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References of Theocratic Ministry School Review March – April 2013
Theocratic Ministry School Review
The following questions will be considered at the Theocratic Ministry School during the week beginning April 29, 2013. The date when each point is scheduled for discussion is included so that research can be done when preparing for the school each week.
1. What serious reminder did Jesus give about marriage, as recorded at Mark 10: 6-9? [Mar. 4, w08 2/15 p. 30 par. 8](Mark 10:6-9) 6 However, from [the] beginning of creation ‘He made them male and female. 7 On this account a man will leave his father and mother, 8 and the two will be one flesh’; so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God yoked together let no man put apart.”
*** w08 2/15 p. 30 par. 8 Highlights From the Book of Mark ***10:6-9. God’s purpose is that marriage mates stick together. Therefore, rather than hastily seeking a divorce, husbands and wives should strive to apply Bible principles to overcome any difficulties that may arise in marriage.—Matt. 19:4-6.
2. What does it mean to serve Jehovah whole-souled? (Mark 12:30) [Mar. 4, w97 10/15 p. 13 par. 4](Mark 12:30) 30 and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’
*** w97 10/15 p. 13 par. 4 Jehovah Cherishes Your Whole-Souled Service ***4 What does it mean to serve Jehovah whole-souled? The Greek term rendered “whole-souled” literally means “from the soul.” The “soul” refers to the entire person, with all his physical and mental abilities. Serving whole-souled thus means giving of ourselves, using all our faculties and directing our energies to the fullest extent possible in God’s service. Put simply, it means doing all that our soul can do.—Mark 12:29, 30.
3. What are the “pangs of distress” referred to at Mark 13:8? [Mar. 11, w08 3/15 p. 12 par. 2](Mark 13:8) 8 “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, there will be earthquakes in one place after another, there will be food shortages. These are a beginning of pangs of distress.
*** w08 3/15 p. 12 par. 2 Jehovah Hears Our Cries for Help ***2 As Christians, we are not surprised by the distresses of life. We understand that “pangs of distress” are part of the foretold sign of Jesus’ presence. (Mark 13:8; Matt. 24:3) The original-language word rendered “pangs of distress” refers to the intense pain experienced during childbirth. How accurately that describes the intensity of people’s suffering in these “critical,” or “fierce,” times that are so “hard to deal with”!—2 Tim. 3:1; Kingdom Interlinear.
4. What sources did Luke consult when compiling his Gospel account? (Luke 1:3) [Mar. 18, w09 3/15 p. 32 par. 4](Luke 1:3) 3 I resolved also, because I have traced all things from the start with accuracy, to write them in logical order to you, most excellent The•oph′i•lus,
*** w09 3/15 p. 32 Questions From Readers ***Yes, some Bible writers did refer to or consult existing but uninspired histories or documents. Esther 10:2 refers to “the Book of the affairs of the times of the kings of Media and Persia.” Similarly, to prepare his Gospel account, Luke “traced all things from the start with accuracy.” He probably meant that he consulted written sources available to him as he compiled the list of Jesus’ genealogy that we can read in his Gospel. (Luke 1:3; 3:23-38) While the records Luke consulted were not inspired, his resulting Gospel certainly was. And that Gospel remains valuable for us.
5. The fact that Satan looks for a “convenient time” to test our integrity should move us to do what? (Luke 4:13) [Mar. 25, w11 1/15 p. 23 par. 10](Luke 4:13) 13 So the Devil, having concluded all the temptation, retired from him until another convenient time.
*** w11 1/15 pp. 23-24 par. 10 Empowered to Fight Temptation and Cope With Discouragement ***10 There is something else to remember about the Devil’s temptations. Satan approached Jesus after He had been fasting for 40 days in the wilderness. No doubt the Devil thought that this was a particularly “convenient time” to test Jesus’ integrity. (Luke 4:13) Satan looks for convenient times to test our integrity too. It is vital, therefore, that we keep ourselves spiritually strong. Satan often attacks when he perceives that his target is at its weakest point. So whenever we feel tired or discouraged, we should be more determined than ever to petition Jehovah for his protective help and holy spirit.—2 Cor. 12:8-10.
6. How are we to apply the words recorded at Luke 6:27, 28? [Mar. 25, w08 5/15 p. 8 par. 4](Luke 6:27, 28) 27 “But I say to YOU who are listening, Continue to love YOUR enemies, to do good to those hating YOU, 28 to bless those cursing YOU, to pray for those who are insulting YOU.
*** w08 5/15 p. 8 par. 4 Keep On Doing Good ***4 In contrast, Jesus declared: “Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you.” (Matt. 5:44) His disciples were to act lovingly toward all who showed hostility to them. According to the Gospel writer Luke, Jesus said: “I say to you who are listening, Continue to love your enemies, to do good to those hating you, to bless those cursing you, to pray for those who are insulting you.” (Luke 6:27, 28) Like first-century individuals who took Jesus’ sayings to heart, we “do good to those hating” us by responding to their hostility with gracious actions. We “bless those cursing” us by speaking to them in a kind way. And we “pray for those persecuting” us with physical violence or other forms of “insulting” treatment. Such petitions are loving requests that persecutors might have a change of heart and take action that brings them Jehovah’s favor.
7. Why could Jesus forgive a woman for her sins before he died as the ransom sacrifice? (Luke 7:37, 48) [Apr. 1, w10 8/15 pp. 6-7](Luke 7:37) 37 And, look! a woman who was known in the city to be a sinner learned that he was reclining at a meal in the house of the Pharisee, and she brought an alabaster case of perfumed oil,
(Luke 7:48) 48 Then he said to her: “Your sins are forgiven.”
*** w10 8/15 pp. 6-7 Questions From Readers ***The very first prophecy uttered after the original human couple rebelled spoke of Jehovah’s purpose to raise up a “seed” who would be bruised in the heel by Satan and his “seed.” (Gen. 3:15) This bruising occurred when Jesus was put to death by God’s enemies. (Gal. 3:13, 16) Christ’s shed blood serves as the ransom that frees mankind from sin and death. Since nothing can prevent Jehovah from accomplishing what he has purposed to do, as soon as the words recorded at Genesis 3:15 were spoken, the ransom was as good as paid from God’s viewpoint. He could now forgive those who exercised faith in his promises.
During pre-Christian times, Jehovah counted a number of individuals as righteous. Among them were Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Rahab, and Job. In faith, they looked forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises. “Abraham put faith in Jehovah,” wrote the disciple James, “and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Concerning Rahab, James said: “In the same manner was not also Rahab the harlot declared righteous by works?”—Jas. 2:21-25.
King David of ancient Israel committed several serious sins, but he had strong faith in the true God and manifested genuine repentance each time. Furthermore, the Scriptures state: “God set [Jesus] forth as an offering for propitiation through faith in his blood. This was in order to exhibit his own righteousness, because he was forgiving the sins that occurred in the past while God was exercising forbearance; so as to exhibit his own righteousness in this present season, that he might be righteous even when declaring righteous the man that has faith in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:25, 26) Based on the ransom sacrifice of Jesus that was to be provided in the future, Jehovah could pardon David’s transgressions without compromising His own requirements for justice.
Evidently, the situation of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet was similar. She had lived an immoral life, but she had repented. She recognized her need for redemption from sin and showed by her actions that she truly appreciated the person through whom Jehovah provided that redemption. Though still future, that sacrifice was so certain that its value could already be applied to individuals like her. Hence, Jesus told her: “Your sins are forgiven.”
8. In what sense are Christ’s followers to “hate” their relatives? (Luke 14:26) [Apr. 15, w08 3/15 p. 32 par. 1; w92 7/15 p. 9 pars. 3-5](Luke 14:26) 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.
*** w08 3/15 p. 32 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of Luke ***14:26—In what sense are Christ’s followers to “hate” their relatives? In the Bible, “hate” can refer to loving a person or an object to a lesser degree than another. (Gen. 29:30, 31) Christians are to “hate” their relatives in the sense of loving them less than they do Jesus.—Matt. 10:37.
*** w92 7/15 p. 9 Christ Hated Lawlessness—Do You? ***
Three Kinds of Hatred3 What does it mean to hate? In God’s Word, “hate” is used in three distinct ways. There is the hatred motivated by malice and that seeks to harm its object. Christians must avoid this kind of hatred. It is the kind that prompted Cain to kill his righteous brother Abel. (1 John 3:12) This is also the kind of hatred that the religious leaders had for Jesus Christ.—Matthew 26:3, 4.
4 Further, the word “hate” is used in the Scriptures in the sense of loving less. For example, Jesus said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) Clearly, Jesus simply meant loving these less than we love him. Jacob ‘hated Leah,’ but he actually loved her less than he did Rachel.—Genesis 29:30, 31.
5 Then there is the meaning of the word “hate” with which we are especially concerned here. It has the thought of having such an intense feeling of dislike for or strong aversion to someone or something that we avoid having anything to do with such a person or thing. In Psalm 139 this is spoken of as “a complete hatred.” There David said: “Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies.”—Psalm 139:21, 22.
9. What effect will the “signs in sun and moon and stars” have on humans? (Luke 21:25) [Apr. 22, w97 4/1 p. 15 pars. 8-9](Luke 21:25) 25 “Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and [its] agitation,
*** w97 4/1 p. 15 pars. 8-9 Deliverance Into a Righteous New World ***8 At some point after the “great tribulation” begins, but before Jehovah executes his judgment upon the rest of this world, supernatural events will occur. Note the effect they will have. “Then the sign of the Son of man [Christ] will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:29, 30) “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, . . . while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.”—Luke 21:25, 26.
“Your Deliverance Is Getting Near”9 At that particular time, the prophecy of Luke 21:28 applies. Jesus said: “As these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.” God’s enemies will be trembling with fear because they will know that the supernatural events taking place come from Jehovah. But Jehovah’s servants will rejoice because they will know that their deliverance is getting near.
10. How can we imitate Jesus’ way of praying when we face trials that are particularly severe? (Luke 22:44) [Apr. 29, w07 8/1 p. 6 par. 2](Luke 22:44) 44 But getting into an agony he continued praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.
*** w07 8/1 p. 6 True Spirituality—How Can You Find It? ***Jesus often spent extended periods of time in prayer. (John 17:1-26) For instance, before he chose the 12 men who would become his apostles, Jesus “went out into the mountain to pray, and he continued the whole night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Although not necessarily spending the whole night in prayer, those who are spiritually-minded follow Jesus’ example. Before making major decisions in life, they take ample time to pray to God, seeking the direction of the holy spirit in making choices that will deepen their spirituality.
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