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“Watchtower” Study - Week Starting December 22

“Keep Your Minds Fixed on the Things Above”: information for personal study

“Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth.”—COL. 3:2.

HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER?

• How did Abraham and Sarah demonstrate their faith in Jehovah?
• How do we know that Moses was focused on doing God’s will?
• In what ways can we keep our minds fixed on the things above?

(Colossians 2:8) Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ;
- 2 -
(Colossians 2:20-23) If you died together with Christ with respect to the elementary things of the world, why do you live as if still part of the world by further subjecting yourselves to the decrees: 21 “Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch,” 22 referring to things that all perish with their use, according to the commands and teachings of men? 23 Although those things have an appearance of wisdom in a self-imposed form of worship and a false humility, a harsh treatment of the body, they are of no value in combating the satisfying of the flesh.
(Colossians 3:2) Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth.
(Colossians 1:4, 5) since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all the holy ones 5 because of the hope that is being reserved for you in the heavens. You previously heard about this hope through the message of truth of the good news
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(Romans 8:14-17) For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” 16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 If, then, we are children, we are also heirs—heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ—provided we suffer together so that we may also be glorified together.
(John 10:16) “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

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Congregation Bible Study ‒ Week Starting December 22

Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

cl chap. 17 ¶17-23, box on p. 177

cl chap. 17 pp. 176-178 pars. 17-23 “O the Depth of God’s . . . Wisdom!”


Paragraph 17

17, 18. Why does the Bible say that Jehovah is “wise alone,” and why should his wisdom leave us awestruck?
(Romans 16:27) to God, who alone is wise, be the glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
(Proverbs 2:6) For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; From his mouth come knowledge and discernment.
(John 12:48-50) Whoever disregards me and does not receive my sayings has one to judge him. The word that I have spoken is what will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment means everlasting life. So whatever I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me.”

Paragraph 18

17, 18. Why does the Bible say that Jehovah is “wise alone,” and why should his wisdom leave us awestruck?
(Romans 11:33) O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are!
(Psalm 92:5) How great your works are, O Jehovah! How very deep your thoughts are!

Paragraph 19

19, 20. (a) Why is the eagle a fitting symbol of divine wisdom? (b) How has Jehovah demonstrated his ability to peer into the future?
(Job 39:29) From there it searches for food; Its eyes look far into the distance.

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Daily Text - Week Starting December 22

Examining The Scriptures Daily 2014 with biblical texts

Monday, December 22

The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?—Jer. 17:9.

Two matters of vital concern are our attitude toward sex and our view of marriage. Those who are not yet citizens of God’s Kingdom may condone homosexuality, consider pornography to be harmless fun, and think that adultery and divorce are purely personal matters. Kingdom citizens have abandoned such shortsighted, self-centered attitudes. Although many Christians formerly had an immoral lifestyle, they now view sex and marriage as gifts from God. They treasure Jehovah’s high standards and wholeheartedly agree that those who continue to engage in sexual misconduct are not worthy of being Kingdom citizens. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) However, they also recognize that the heart is treacherous. So they appreciate receiving specific warnings that help them to maintain high moral standards. w12 8/15 2:9

(Jer. 17:9) The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?
(1 Cor. 6:9-11) Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.

Tuesday, December 23

In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.—2 Tim. 3:1.

Some today who do not know God also believe that the world as we know it cannot go on for much longer. Being afraid of some impending disaster, they have the attitude: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” (1 Cor. 15:32) We, on the other hand, are not fearful. We refuse to isolate ourselves so as to cater to our own selfish longings. (Prov. 18:1) Rather, we disown ourselves and freely make use of our time, energy, and other assets to share the good news of God’s Kingdom with others. (Matt. 16:24) We find pleasure in serving God, especially in helping others come to know him. Many in Satan’s world hate us, though, so we may be persecuted for our faith. (John 15:19; 16:2) Still, we do not give out. Rather, we will draw closer to Jehovah than we may have imagined possible.—Jas. 1:2-4; 4:8. w12 9/15 4:7, 9

(2 Tim. 3:1) But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.
(1 Cor. 15:32) If like other men, I have fought with wild beasts at Eph′e•sus, of what good is it to me? If the dead are not to be raised up, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.”
(Prov. 18:1) Whoever isolates himself pursues his own selfish desires; He rejects all practical wisdom.
(Matt. 16:24) Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me.
(John 15:19) If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you.
(John 16:2) Men will expel you from the synagogue. In fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he has offered a sacred service to God.
(Jas. 1:2-4) Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, 3 knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith produces endurance. 4 But let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and sound in all respects, not lacking in anything.
(Jas. 4:8) Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones.

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Service Meeting: Week Starting December 22

Study information for Service Meeting

25 min: “2015 Theocratic Ministry School Helps Us Improve Our Teaching.”

Discussion by the Theocratic Ministry School overseer. The school overseer may choose to have certain paragraphs read before considering them. Emphasize the changes to Assignment No. 1, the timing for the Bible Highlights, and the counsel by the school overseer. Have paragraph 7 read, and after discussing it, have a model demonstration of an elder conducting a family study with his wife and child, using the material on page 18 of the New World Translation. Encourage all to take full advantage of the excellent theocratic training provided in the school and to make good use of the textbook Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education.

par. 1 (Ps. 19:14) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be pleasing to you, O Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer.
par. 1 (Acts 19:8) Entering the synagogue, for three months he spoke with boldness, giving talks and reasoning persuasively about the Kingdom of God.
par. 1 (Col. 4:6) Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person.
par. 9 (1 Tim. 4:15) Ponder over these things; be absorbed in them, so that your advancement may be plainly seen by all people.
par. 11 (Ps. 148:12, 13) You young men and young women, Old men and young together. 13 Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For his name alone is unreachably high. His majesty is above earth and heaven.
par. 11 (Isa. 50:4) The Sovereign Lord Jehovah has given me the tongue of those taught, So that I may know how to answer the tired one with the right word. He awakens me morning by morning; He awakens my ear to listen like the taught ones.

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Highlights of Joshua 9-11 - Theocratic Ministry School

Study information for Theocratic Ministry School

Bible reading: Joshua 9-11 (10 min.)

(Joshua 9:2)

they formed an alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.

*** w86 12/15 p. 22 par. 5 “Jehovah Our God We Shall Serve” ***
5 A decisive showdown was now shaping up. The gateway city of Jericho had been disposed of, much as false religion will be devastated when the “great tribulation” starts. Ai had fallen. But now “all the kings who were on the side of the Jordan in the mountainous region and in the Shephelah and along the whole coast of the Great Sea and in front of Lebanon, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites . . . began to assemble themselves all together to make war against Joshua and Israel unanimously.” (Joshua 9:1, 2) In modern-day parallel to this, we find the nations of earth now banded together as a so-called United Nations. They are seeking peace and security for themselves on their own terms but “have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one,” the Greater Joshua. (Psalm 2:1, 2)

(Joshua 9:7)

But the men of Israel said to the Hi′vites: “Perhaps you are living near us. So how can we make a covenant with you?”

*** it-1 p. 1141 Horite ***
At Joshua 9:7 the Greek Septuagint calls the Gibeonites “Chorrean” (Horites) instead of “Hivites,” but this apparently is an error, in view of the fact that the Gibeonites belonged to one of the seven Canaanite nations devoted to destruction (the Horites did not). The Masoretic text has “Hivites.”—Jos 9:22-27; De 7:1, 2.

(Joshua 9:9)

At this they said to him: “Your servants have come from a very distant land out of regard for the name of Jehovah your God, because we have heard about his fame and about all he did in Egypt

*** w04 10/15 p. 18 par. 14 “Go About in the Land” ***
14 Those representatives said: “It is from a very distant land that your servants have come in regard to the name of Jehovah your God.” (Joshua 9:3-9) Their clothes and food items seemed to confirm that they were from afar, but really Gibeon was about 20 miles [30 km] from Gilgal. [gl 19]

*** it-1 pp. 930-931 Gibeon ***
Therefore, after the destruction of Jericho and Ai, the men of Gibeon, apparently also representing the three other Hivite cities of Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim (Jos 9:17), sent a delegation to Joshua at Gilgal to sue for peace. The Gibeonite ambassadors—dressed in worn-out garments and sandals and having burst, skin wine-bottles, worn-out sacks, and dry, crumbly bread—represented themselves as being from a distant land, hence not in the way of Israel’s conquests. They acknowledged Jehovah’s hand in what had earlier befallen Egypt and the Amorite kings Sihon and Og. But wisely they did not mention what had happened to Jericho and Ai, as such news could not have reached their “very distant land” before the supposed departure. Israel’s representatives examined and accepted the evidence and covenanted with them to let them live.—Jos 9:3-15.

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