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Review May - June 2013


References of Theocratic Ministry School Review May - June 2013

Theocratic Ministry School Review

The following questions will be considered at the Theocratic Ministry School during the week beginning June 24, 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 did Jesus mean by his statement recorded at John 3:14, 15: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up”? [May 6, it-1 p. 505]

(John 3:14, 15) 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.

*** it-1 p. 505 Copper Serpent ***
Jesus Christ made clear the prophetic meaning of the wilderness event involving the copper serpent when he told Nicodemus: “Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:13-15) Like the copper serpent that Moses placed on a pole in the wilderness, the Son of God was impaled or fastened on a stake, thus appearing to many as an evildoer and a sinner, like a snake, being in the position of one cursed. (De 21:22, 23; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) In the wilderness a person who had been bitten by one of the poisonous serpents that Jehovah sent among the Israelites evidently had to gaze at the copper serpent in faith. Similarly, to gain everlasting life through Christ, it is necessary to exercise faith in him.

2. When do Christ’s followers receive life in themselves, or enter into the fullness of life? (John 6:53) [May 13, w03 9/15 p. 31 par. 3]

(John 6:53) 53 Accordingly Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, Unless YOU eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, YOU have no life in yourselves.

*** w03 9/15 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
Jesus addressed his listeners, saying: “Most truly I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day.” (John 6:53, 54) Here Jesus equates having “life in yourselves” with gaining “everlasting life.” Expressions with the same grammatical construction as having “life in yourselves” are found elsewhere in the Greek Scriptures. Two examples are, “Have salt in yourselves” and “receiving in themselves the full recompense.” (Mark 9:50; Romans 1:27) In these instances, the phrases do not signify power to bestow salt on others or to mete out recompense to anyone. Rather, internal completeness, or fullness, is indicated. Thus, the expression “life in yourselves” used at John 6:53 simply means entering into the very fullness of life.

3. Illustrate how Jesus revealed his Father to imperfect humans. (John 8:28) [May 20, w11 4/1 p. 7 par. 3]

(John 8:28) 28 Therefore Jesus said: “When once YOU have lifted up the Son of man, then YOU will know that I am [he], and that I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak these things.

*** w11 4/1 p. 7 Jesus—How He Lived ***
When on earth as a man, Jesus willingly—yes, eagerly—revealed what his Father is like. Jesus spoke and taught from a unique perspective; he drew on memories acquired firsthand in the spirit realm and in the lofty presence of the Most High God.—John 8:28.
What Jesus did in revealing his Father might be illustrated by what an electric transformer does. Such a device can take in electricity of high voltage and change it into lower voltage, thus making it suitable for use by the average consumer. When on earth, Jesus took what he had learned in the heavens about his Father and transmitted it in ways that lowly humans on earth could readily grasp and easily apply.

4. What do we learn from Jesus’ ‘giving way to tears’ upon the death of his friend Lazarus? (John 11:35) [May 20, w08 5/1 p. 24 pars. 3-5]

(John 11:35) 35 Jesus gave way to tears.

*** w08 5/1 p. 24 He Understands Our Pain ***
Notice that when Jesus saw Mary and those with her weeping, he “groaned” and “became troubled.” The original-language words used here indicate intense emotions. Jesus was deeply moved by what he saw. The surge of strong emotions within him was evident as his eyes brimmed with tears. Clearly, Jesus’ heart was touched by the pain of others. Have you ever been moved to tears because someone you care about was weeping?—Romans 12:15.
Jesus’ empathy gives us valuable insight into the qualities and ways of his Father, Jehovah. Recall that Jesus so perfectly reflected his Father’s qualities that he could say: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:9) So when we read that “Jesus gave way to tears,” we can be sure that Jehovah personally feels the pain of his worshippers. Indeed, other Bible writers confirm this fact. (Isaiah 63:9; Zechariah 2:8) What a tender God Jehovah is!

5. What powerful lesson did Jesus teach by washing the feet of his disciples? (John 13:4, 5) [May 27, w99 3/1 p. 31 par. 1]

(John 13:4-5) 4 got up from the evening meal and laid aside his outer garments. And, taking a towel, he girded himself. 5 After that he put water into a basin and started to wash the feet of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel with which he was girded. 6 And so he came to Simon Peter. He said to him: “Lord, are you washing my feet?”

*** w99 3/1 p. 31 The Greatest Man Performs a Humble Service ***
By washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus provided a powerful lesson in humility. Indeed, Christians should not think that they are so important that others should always serve them, nor should they aspire to positions of honor and prestige. Instead, they should follow the pattern set by Jesus, who “came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Yes, followers of Jesus should be willing to perform the humblest services for one another.

6. How can God’s spirit serve as a sure guide for us? (John 14:26) [May 27, w11 12/15 pp. 14-15 par. 9]

(John 14:26) 26 But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach YOU all things and bring back to YOUR minds all the things I told YOU.

*** w11 12/15 p. 15 par. 9 Why Be Guided by God’s Spirit? ***
Jesus explained to his disciples: “The helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.” (John 14:26) As we regularly and prayerfully study God’s Word, including all the sayings of Christ, holy spirit will increase our comprehension of Jehovah’s deep wisdom, so that we can follow his will closely. (1 Cor. 2:10) Additionally, at any unexpected turn in the road to life, the spirit will show us the way to go. It will bring to mind Bible principles that we have already learned and help us to grasp how they apply in directing our next step.

7. At John 21:15, to what does “these” refer, and what lesson can we learn? [June 3, w08 4/15 p. 32 par. 11]

(John 21:15) 15 When, now, they had breakfasted, Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him: “Yes, Lord, you know I have affection for you.” He said to him: “Feed my lambs.”

*** w08 4/15 p. 32 par. 11 Highlights From the Book of John ***
Peter was asked if he loved Jesus more than “these,” that is, the fish that were before them. Jesus thus stressed the need for Peter to choose to follow him full-time instead of pursuing a fishing career. After considering the Gospel accounts, may we be strengthened in our resolve to love Jesus more than any other things that might attract us. Yes, let us wholeheartedly continue following him.

8. According to Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:34, 35, what spirit do Christians do well to imitate? [June 10, w08 5/15 p. 30 par. 5]

(Acts 2:44-47) 44 All those who became believers were together in having all things in common, 45 and they went selling their possessions and properties and distributing the [proceeds] to all, just as anyone would have the need. 46 And day after day they were in constant attendance at the temple with one accord, and they took their meals in private homes and partook of food with great rejoicing and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and finding favor with all the people. At the same time Jehovah continued to join to them daily those being saved.
(Acts 4:34, 35) 34 In fact, there was not one in need among them; for all those who were possessors of fields or houses would sell them and bring the values of the things sold 35 and they would deposit them at the feet of the apostles. In turn distribution would be made to each one, just as he would have the need.

*** w08 5/15 p. 30 par. 5 Highlights From the Book of Acts ***
Why did believers sell their possessions and distribute the proceeds? Many who became believers had come from faraway places and were without enough provisions to extend their stay in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, they desired to remain there longer in order to learn more about their new faith and to bear witness to others. To help such ones, some Christians sold their property, and the funds were distributed to the needy.

9. Was Stephen praying to Jesus in the account found at Acts 7:59? [June 17, w08 5/15 p. 31 par. 2]

(Acts 7:59) 59 And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

*** w08 5/15 p. 31 par. 2 Highlights From the Book of Acts ***
Was Stephen praying to Jesus? No, he was not. One’s worship—and therefore one’s prayers—should go only to Jehovah God. (Luke 4:8; 6:12) Under normal circumstances, Stephen would have appealed to Jehovah in the name of Jesus. (John 15:16) In this instance, though, Stephen had a vision of “the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.” (Acts 7:56) Fully aware that Jesus had been given the power to resurrect the dead, Stephen spoke, but did not pray, directly to Jesus, asking Him to safeguard his spirit.—John 5:27-29.

10. How can we imitate the good example of Barnabas, and what benefits will we enjoy from doing so? (Acts 9:26, 27) [June 24, bt p. 65 par. 19]

(Acts 9:26, 27) 26 On arriving in Jerusalem he made efforts to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe he was a disciple. 27 So Bar′na•bas came to his aid and led him to the apostles, and he told them in detail how on the road he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.

*** bt chap. 8 p. 65 par. 19 The Congregation “Entered Into a Period of Peace” ***
Notice that Barnabas took the initiative to assist Saul. No doubt this kind act helped to foster the warm friendship that developed between these zealous servants of Jehovah. Do you, like Barnabas, willingly assist new ones in the congregation, working with them in the field service and helping them to progress spiritually? You will be richly rewarded if you do. If you are a new publisher of the good news, do you, like Saul, accept the help that is offered to you? By working along with more experienced publishers, you will improve in your skill in the ministry, your joy will increase, and you will form bonds of friendship that can last a lifetime.


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