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Theocratic Ministry School

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Bible Reading: Exodus 1-6
No. 1: Exodus 2: 1-14
No. 2: Christ’s Return Is Invisible—rs p. 341 par. 3- p. 342 par. 2
No. 3: Abiram—Opposing God-Appointed Authority Is Tantamount to Opposing Jehovah—it-1 p. 25, Abiram No. 1

Talk #2 – Christ’s Return Is Invisible

Will Christ return in a manner visible to human eyes?

John 14:19: “A little longer and the world will behold me no more, but you [Jesus’ faithful apostles] will behold me, because I live and you will live.” (Jesus had promised his apostles that he would come again and take them to heaven to be with him. They could see him because they would be spirit creatures as he is. But the world would not see him again. Compare 1 Timothy 6:16)

Acts 13:34: “He [God] resurrected him [Jesus] from the dead destined no more to return to corruption.” (Human bodies are by nature corruptible. That is why 1 Corinthians 15:42, 44 uses the word “corruption” in parallel construction with “physical body.” Jesus will never again have such a body.)

John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and, for a fact, the bread that I shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world.” (Having given it, Jesus does not take it back again. He does not thereby deprive mankind of the benefits of the sacrifice of his perfect human life.)

Talk #3 – Abiram—Opposing God-Appointed Authority Is Tantamount to Opposing Jehovah

1. A Reubenite, the son of Eliab and brother of Dathan and Nemuel. He was a family head and one of the principal men in Israel at the time of the Exodus from Egypt.—Num. 26:5-9. Abiram and his brother Dathan supported Korah the Levite in his rebellion against the authority of Moses and Aaron. A third Reubenite, named On, is also included in the initial stage of the rebellion but thereafter receives no mention. (Num. 16:1) Having gathered a group of 250 chieftains, who were “men of fame,” these men accused Moses and Aaron of arbitrarily elevating themselves over the rest of the congregation. (Num. 16:1-3) From Moses’ words to Korah it is clear that Korah and his followers among the Levites sought the priesthood that had been conferred on Aaron (Num. 16:4-11); but this was evidently not the case with Abiram and Dathan, who were Reubenites. Moses dealt separately with them, and their rejection of his call for them to appear before him contains accusations directed solely against Moses, with no mention made of Aaron. They decried Moses’ leadership of the nation and said that he was ‘trying to play the prince over them to the limit,’ and that he had failed in making good the promise of leading them into any land flowing with milk and honey. Moses’ prayer to Jehovah in answer to these accusations likewise contains a defense of his own actions, not those of Aaron.—Num. 16:12-15.
From this it would appear that the rebellion was two-pronged and aimed not only at the Aaronic priesthood but also at Moses’ position as administrator of God’s instructions. (Ps. 106:16) The situation may have seemed opportune for organizing popular sentiment toward a change, since shortly before this the people had severely complained against Moses, had talked of appointing a new head to lead the nation back to Egypt, and had even talked of stoning Joshua and Caleb for upholding Moses and Aaron. (Num. 14:1-10) Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn son but lost his right to the inheritance as such because of wrong action. (1Ch. 5:1) Thus, Dathan and Abiram may have been expressing resentment at Moses the Levite’s exercise of authority over them, because of desiring to regain the lost primacy of their forefather. Numbers 26:9, however, shows that their struggle was not only against Moses and Aaron but also “against Jehovah,” who had divinely commissioned Moses and Aaron to occupy positions of authority.
Since the family of the Kohathites (in which Korah’s family was included) encamped on the S side of the tabernacle, the same side as did the Reubenites, it is possible that Korah’s tent was nearby those of Dathan and Abiram. (Num. 2:10; 3:29) At the time of God’s expression of judgment, Dathan and Abiram stood at the entrances of their tents, while Korah and 250 rebel supporters were gathered at the entrance of the tent of meeting with their incense holders in their hands. Then, following Moses’ call to the rest of the people to withdraw from around the tents of the three ringleaders of the rebellion, God manifested his condemnation of their disrespectful course by causing the ground to open up beneath the tents of these men, swallowing up Dathan and Abiram, and their households. (Num. 16:16-35; Deut. 11:6; Ps. 106:17) Korah’s household, with the exception of his sons, likewise perished. Korah himself died with the 250 rebels, destroyed by fire before the tabernacle. (Num. 16:35; 26:10, 11) Thus the rebellion against divinely assigned authority came to a swift termination, and for his share in it, Abiram’s name was wiped out of Israel.

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Highlights of the Bible

Highlights for the Exodus 1-6

Ex 1:1 - *** si p. 19 par. 1 Bible Book Number 2—Exodus ***
(Exodus 1:1) 1 Now these are the names of Israel’s sons who came into Egypt with Jacob, each man who came with his household:
That Exodus is a continuation of the account in Genesis is shown by the opening word, “Now” (literally, “And”), and by the relisting of the names of Jacob’s sons, as taken from the fuller record of Genesis 46:8-27.

Ex 1:7 - *** it-1 pp. 778-779 Exodus ***
Extraordinary increase. The account reports: “And the sons of Israel became fruitful and began to swarm; and they kept on multiplying and growing mightier at a very extraordinary rate, so that the land got to be filled with them.” (Ex 1:7) In fact, they became so many that the king of Egypt said: “Look! The people of the sons of Israel are more numerous and mightier than we are.” “But the more they would oppress them, the more they would multiply and the more they kept spreading abroad, so that they felt a sickening dread as a result of the sons of Israel.” (Ex 1:9, 12) Also, when we realize that polygamy, with concubinage, was practiced and that some Israelites married Egyptian women, it becomes evident how the increase to the point of having an adult male population of 600,000 could have occurred.
Seventy souls of Jacob’s immediate household went down into Egypt or were born there shortly thereafter. (Ge 46) If we exclude Jacob himself, his 12 sons, his daughter Dinah, his granddaughter Serah, the three sons of Levi, and possibly others from the number of family heads who began to multiply in Egypt, we might be left with only 50 of the 70. (Levi’s sons are excluded inasmuch as the Levites were not numbered among the later 603,550 figure.) Starting, then, with the very conservative figure of 50 family heads and taking into consideration the Bible’s statement that “the sons of Israel became fruitful and began to swarm; and they kept on multiplying and growing mightier at a very extraordinary rate, so that the land got to be filled with them” (Ex 1:7), we can easily demonstrate how 600,000 men of military age, between 20 and 50 years old, could be living at the time of the Exodus. Consider the following:
In view of the large families then and the desire of the Israelites to have children to fulfill God’s promise, it is not unreasonable in our calculation to count each male family head as bringing forth ten children (about half being boys), on the average, during the period of life between 20 and 40 years of age. For conservativeness, we might view each of the original 50 who became family heads as not beginning to father children until 25 years after their entry into Egypt. And, since death or other circumstances could prevent some male children from ever becoming productive children, or could interrupt their child-producing before their reaching the limit of 40 years we have set, we might also reduce by 20 percent the number of males born who became fathers. Put simply, this means that in a 20-year period only 200 sons, instead of 250, born to the 50 original family heads we have designated would produce families of their own.
Pharaoh’s decree. Still another factor might be considered: Pharaoh’s decree to destroy all the male children at birth. This decree seems to have been rather ineffective and of short duration. Aaron was born some three years before Moses (or in 1597 B.C.E.), and apparently no such decree was then in force. The Bible definitely states that Pharaoh’s decree was not very successful. The Hebrew women Shiphrah and Puah, who likely were the heads of the midwife profession, over the other midwives, did not carry out the king’s order. They apparently did not instruct the midwives under them as ordered. The result was: “The people kept growing more numerous and becoming very mighty.” Pharaoh then commanded all his people to throw every newborn Israelite son into the river Nile. (Ex 1:15-22) But it does not seem that the Egyptian populace hated the Hebrews to this extent. Even Pharaoh’s own daughter rescued Moses. Again, Pharaoh may have soon come to the conclusion that he would lose valuable slaves if his decree continued in effect. We know that, later on, the Pharaoh of the Exodus refused to let the Hebrews go for the very reason that he valued them as slave laborers.
However, to make our figure yet more conservative we may reduce by nearly one third the number of boys surviving during a five-year period to represent the possible effects of Pharaoh’s unsuccessful edict.
A calculation. Even making all these allowances, the population would still increase in an accelerated manner, and that with God’s blessing. The number of children born during each five-year period from and after 1563 B.C.E. (that is, 50 years before the Exodus) up to 1533 (or 20 years before the Exodus) would be as follows:
B.C.E. Sons Born
from 1563 to 1558 47,350
from 1558 to 1553 62,300
from 1553 to 1548 81,800
from 1548 to 1543 103,750
from 1543 to 1538 133,200
from 1538 to 1533 172,250
Total = 600,650*
* Theoretical male population from the age of 20 to 50 years at time of Exodus (1513 B.C.E.)
It may be noted that even a slight adjustment in the method of computation, for example, increasing by one the number of sons born on the average to each male parent, would send this figure up to over a million.

Ex 1:8 - *** it-1 p. 696 Egypt, Egyptian ***
(Exodus 1:8) 8 In time there arose over Egypt a new king, one who did not know Joseph.
Israel’s slavery. Since the Bible does not name the Pharaoh who initiated the oppression upon the Israelites (Ex 1:8-22) nor the Pharaoh before whom Moses and Aaron appeared and in whose reign the Exodus took place (Ex 2:23; 5:1), and since these events have either been deliberately omitted from Egyptian records or the records have been destroyed, it is not possible to assign these events to any specific dynasty nor to the reign of any particular Pharaoh of secular history. Ramses (Rameses) II (of the “Nineteenth Dynasty”) is often suggested as the Pharaoh of the oppression on the basis of the reference to the building of the cities of Pithom and Raamses by the Israelite laborers. (Ex 1:11) It is held that these cities were built during the reign of Ramses II. In Archaeology and the Old Testament (p. 149) Merrill Unger comments: “But in the light of Raamses II’s notorious practice of taking credit for achievements accomplished by his predecessors, these sites were most certainly merely rebuilt or enlarged by him.” Actually the name “Rameses” seems to have applied to an entire district already in the time of Joseph.—Ge 47:11.

Ex 1:14 - *** w04 3/15 p. 24 par. 7 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***
(Exodus 1:14) 14 They made their life bitter with hard labor, as they worked with clay mortar and bricks and in every form of slavery in the field. Yes, they made them toil in harsh conditions in every form of slavery.
1:7, 14. Jehovah supported his people when they were oppressed in Egypt. He similarly sustains his modern-day Witnesses, even in the face of intense persecution.

Ex 1:15 - *** it-1 p. 779 Exodus ***
(Exodus 1:15) 15 Later the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives whose names were Shiph′rah and Pu′ah,
Pharaoh’s decree. Still another factor might be considered: Pharaoh’s decree to destroy all the male children at birth. This decree seems to have been rather ineffective and of short duration. Aaron was born some three years before Moses (or in 1597 B.C.E.), and apparently no such decree was then in force. The Bible definitely states that Pharaoh’s decree was not very successful. The Hebrew women Shiphrah and Puah, who likely were the heads of the midwife profession, over the other midwives, did not carry out the king’s order. They apparently did not instruct the midwives under them as ordered. The result was: “The people kept growing more numerous and becoming very mighty.” Pharaoh then commanded all his people to throw every newborn Israelite son into the river Nile. (Ex 1:15-22) But it does not seem that the Egyptian populace hated the Hebrews to this extent. Even Pharaoh’s own daughter rescued Moses. Again, Pharaoh may have soon come to the conclusion that he would lose valuable slaves if his decree continued in effect. We know that, later on, the Pharaoh of the Exodus refused to let the Hebrews go for the very reason that he valued them as slave laborers.

Ex 1:17 - *** w03 11/1 pp. 8-9 pars. 3-5 Women Who Made Jehovah’s Heart Rejoice ***
(Exodus 1:17) 17 However, the midwives feared the true God, and they did not do what the king of Egypt told them. Instead, they would keep the male children alive.
3 At the Nuremberg trials, held in Germany after World War II, many who were convicted of mass murder tried to excuse the crimes they committed by arguing that they were simply obeying orders. Now compare these individuals with two Israelite midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, who lived in ancient Egypt during the reign of an unnamed but tyrannical Pharaoh. Fearing a burgeoning Hebrew population, Pharaoh ordered the two midwives to make sure that every newborn Hebrew male was killed. How did the women respond to that heinous command? “They did not do as the king of Egypt had spoken to them, but they would preserve the male children alive.” Why did these women not succumb to fear of man? Because they “feared the true God.”—Exodus 1:15, 17; Genesis 9:6.
4 Yes, the midwives took refuge in Jehovah, and he, in turn, proved to be “a shield” to them, protecting them from Pharaoh’s wrath. (2 Samuel 22:31; Exodus 1:18-20) But Jehovah’s blessing did not stop there. He rewarded Shiphrah and Puah with families of their own. He even honored these women by having their names and deeds recorded in his inspired Word for future generations to read, whereas the name of the Pharaoh has been lost in the sands of time.—Exodus 1:21; 1 Samuel 2:30b; Proverbs 10:7.
5 Are there women like Shiphrah and Puah today? Yes, indeed! Each year, thousands of such women fearlessly preach the Bible’s life-saving message in lands where “the order of the king” forbids it, thus risking their freedom or even their life. (Hebrews 11:23; Acts 5:28, 29) Impelled by love of God and neighbor, such brave women allow no one to stop them from sharing the good news of God’s Kingdom with others. Consequently, many Christian women contend with opposition and persecution. (Mark 12:30, 31; 13:9-13) As with Shiphrah and Puah, Jehovah is fully aware of the deeds of such excellent, courageous women, and he will demonstrate his love for them by preserving their names in his “book of life,” provided they endure faithfully to the end.—Philippians 4:3; Matthew 24:13.

Ex 2:2 - *** w97 5/1 p. 30 Faith of Parents Rewarded ***
(Exodus 2:2) . . .And the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw how beautiful he was, she kept him concealed for three months.
It was during this heinous attempt at genocide that Amram and Jochebed, a Hebrew married couple, became parents to a beautiful baby boy. It is easy to imagine how their joy may have been eclipsed by dread when they remembered Pharaoh’s decree. Yet, as Amram and Jochebed looked at their baby boy, they firmly resolved not to forsake him, regardless of the consequences.—Exodus 2:1, 2; 6:20.
For three months Amram and Jochebed kept their baby concealed. (Exodus 2:2) This was risky, however, since the Hebrews and the Egyptians lived in close proximity. Anyone found attempting to circumvent Pharaoh’s decree would likely be punished with death—and the baby would die too. What, then, could these devoted parents do to keep their son and themselves alive?

Ex 2:8 - *** w02 6/15 p. 10 Something Greater Than the Treasures of Egypt ***
(Exodus 2:8) 8 Phar′aoh’s daughter said to her: “Go!” At once the girl went and called the child’s mother.
Of course, Moses’ well-being was confirmed only when the princess agreed to his sister’s plan. “Go!” responded Pharaoh’s daughter, and Miriam at once summoned her mother. In a remarkable bargain, Jochebed was then hired to raise her own child with royal protection.—Exodus 2:5-9.
The compassion of the princess certainly contrasts with the cruelty of her father. She was neither ignorant nor deceived about the child. Warmhearted pity moved her to adopt him, and her agreeing to the idea of a Hebrew wet nurse reveals that she did not share her father’s prejudices.

Ex 2:9 - *** w02 6/15 p. 10 Something Greater Than the Treasures of Egypt ***
(Exodus 2:9, 10) 9 Phar′aoh’s daughter then said to her: “Take this child with you and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Phar′aoh’s daughter, and he became a son to her. She named him Moses and said: “It is because I have drawn him out of the water.”
Jochebed “took the child and nursed him. And the child grew up. Then she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, so that he became a son to her.” (Exodus 2:9, 10) The Bible does not say how long Moses lived with his natural parents. Some think it must have been at least until he was weaned—two or three years—but it may have been longer. Exodus simply states that he “grew up” with his parents, which can signify reaching any age. In any case, Amram and Jochebed doubtless used the time to make their son aware of his Hebrew origin and to teach him about Jehovah. How well they succeeded in instilling a faith and love for righteousness in Moses’ heart, only time would tell.

3:1 - *** w04 3/15 p. 24 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***
(Exodus 3:1) 3 Moses became a shepherd of the flock of his father-in-law Jeth′ro, the priest of Mid′i•an. While he was leading the flock to the west side of the wilderness, he eventually came to the mountain of the true God, to Ho′reb.
3:1—What kind of priest was Jethro? In patriarchal times the family head served as a priest for his family. Jethro was evidently the patriarchal head of a tribe of Midianites. Since the Midianites were Abraham’s descendants by Keturah, they were perhaps exposed to the worship of Jehovah.—Genesis 25:1, 2.

Ex 3:6 - *** w05 5/1 p. 13 pars. 1-2 Who Will Be Resurrected? ***
SOMETHING very unusual occurred more than 3,500 years ago. Moses was caring for the sheep that belonged to the patriarch Jethro. Near Mount Horeb, Jehovah’s angel appeared to Moses in a flame of fire in the midst of a thornbush. “As he kept looking, why, here the thornbush was burning with the fire and yet the thornbush was not consumed,” relates the Exodus account. Then a voice called to him from the thornbush. “I am the God of your father,” the voice declared, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” (Exodus 3:1-6) Later, in the first century C.E., those words were recalled by none other than God’s own Son, Jesus.
2 Jesus was having a discussion with some Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection. Jesus declared: “That the dead are raised up even Moses disclosed, in the account about the thornbush, when he calls Jehovah ‘the God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob.’ He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all living to him.” (Luke 20:27, 37, 38) By saying these words, Jesus confirmed that from God’s viewpoint the long-dead Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still lived in God’s memory. Like Job, they await the end of their “compulsory service,” their sleep in death. (Job 14:14) In God’s new world, they will be resurrected.

Ex 3:7 - *** w09 3/1 p. 15 “I Well Know the Pains They Suffer” ***
The holy God had a reason for drawing Moses into conversation. God said: “Unquestionably I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their outcry as a result of those who drive them to work; because I well know the pains they suffer.” (Verse 7) God was not blind to the misery of his people; nor was he deaf to the voice of their pleadings. Rather, their anguish became his own. Notice that God said: “I well know the pains they suffer.” Regarding the words “I well know,” one reference work notes: “The expression implies personal feeling, tenderness, and compassion.” Jehovah’s words to Moses reveal a deeply concerned and caring God.

Ex 3:11 - *** w05 2/15 pp. 13-14 par. 8 Christians—Be Proud of Who You Are! ***
Take, for example, Moses, who displayed extraordinary faith, loyalty, and devotion. When assigned a seemingly overwhelming task, Moses diffidently asked: “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) Apparently, the answer he had in mind was, ‘I am a nobody!’ or ‘I am incapable!’ Several aspects of Moses’ background might have caused him to feel inadequate: He belonged to a nation of slaves. He had been rejected by the Israelites. He was not a fluent speaker. (Exodus 1:13, 14; 2:11-14; 4:10) He was a shepherd, an occupation abhorred by the Egyptians. (Genesis 46:34) No wonder he felt unfit to become the liberator of God’s enslaved people!

Ex 3:12 - *** w05 2/15 p. 14 par. 9 Christians—Be Proud of Who You Are! ***
9 Jehovah reassured Moses by giving him two powerful promises: “I shall prove to be with you, and this is the sign for you that it is I who have sent you: After you have brought the people out of Egypt, you people will serve the true God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12) God was telling his hesitant servant that He would constantly be with him. In addition, Jehovah was indicating that he would without fail deliver his people.

Ex 3:13 - *** w13 3/15 p. 25 par. 4 Honor Jehovah’s Great Name ***
(Exodus 3:13) 13 But Moses said to the true God: “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your forefathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I say to them?”
4 Read Exodus 3:10-15. When Moses was 80 years of age, God gave him a weighty command: “You bring my people the sons of Israel out of Egypt.” Moses responded respectfully with a question, one of profound significance. In effect, Moses asked: ‘What is your name?’ Considering that God’s name was long known, what was the point of Moses’ question? Evidently, he wanted to know more about the person represented by the name—facts that would convince God’s people that He really would deliver them. Moses’ concern was warranted, for the Israelites had been slaves for some time. They would likely wonder whether the God of their forefathers could deliver them. Indeed, some Israelites had even taken up the worship of Egyptian gods!—Ezek. 20:7, 8.

Ex 3:14 - *** w10 7/1 p. 4 What Knowing God’s Name Involves ***
When Moses asked God about His name, Jehovah replied: “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.” (Exodus 3:14) Rotherham’s translation renders it: “I Will Become whatsoever I please.” Jehovah’s name reveals that he is a God of innumerable roles. To use a simple illustration: A mother may need to fill many roles each day in caring for her children—as a nurse, a cook, a teacher—according to the need that arises. It is similar with Jehovah, though on a more elevated level. In order to accomplish his loving purpose for mankind, he can become whatever he pleases, filling whatever role is needed. Knowing Jehovah by name thus involves understanding and appreciating his many roles.

Ex 3:15 - *** wi p. 19 pars. 4-5 Knowing the True God—What Does It Mean? ***
(Exodus 3:15) 15 Then God said once more to Moses: “This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
4 From the point of view of the Bible, there has never been any question as to the name of the true God. When God spoke to Moses, explaining that He would use him to lead the nation of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, Moses asked a logical question: “When I come to the Israelites and say to them ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” God answered: “Thus shall you speak to the Israelites: The LORD [Hebrew, יהוה = YHWH = Yahweh, or, since the 13th century C.E., Jehovah], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: This shall be My name forever, this My appellation [memorial, JP] for all eternity.”—Exodus 3:13, 15, italics ours.
5 This name is full of meaning for one who speaks the Hebrew language. It comes from the basic Hebrew root הוה, h•w•h, meaning “to become.” However, the name is in the causative form, Hiph•ʽil′, according to Hebrew grammar. Therefore its basic sense is not relating to God’s eternal existence but rather to his causing things to come to be or to come about. This is especially true in a unique way regarding his purposes. As he purposed to free his chosen nation from Egyptian bondage, so he caused it to be. No power could stand in the way of his express will. Jehovah is the God who causes his purposes to be fulfilled. He thus causes himself to become the Fulfiller of his promises. This was also true of his purpose to free his nation from Babylonian captivity. The same is true regarding his purpose to bring paradisaic conditions to this earth. His very name gives meaning and a guarantee to these promises.—Isaiah 41:21-24; 43:10-13; 46:9, 10.

Ex 4:11 - *** w04 3/15 p. 24 par. 5 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***
(Exodus 4:11) 11 Jehovah said to him: “Who made a mouth for man, or who makes them speechless, deaf, clear-sighted, or blind? Is it not I, Jehovah?
4:11—In what sense does Jehovah ‘appoint the speechless, the deaf, and the blind’? Although Jehovah has on occasion caused blindness and muteness, he is not responsible for every case of such disabilities. (Genesis 19:11; Luke 1:20-22, 62-64) These are the result of inherited sin. (Job 14:4; Romans 5:12) Since God has allowed this situation to exist, however, he could speak of himself as ‘appointing’ the speechless, the deaf, and the blind.

Ex 4:13 - *** w96 1/15 p. 24 Moses and Aaron—Courageous Proclaimers of God’s Word ***
(Exodus 4:13) 13 But he said: “Pardon me, Jehovah, please send anyone whom you want to send.”
Even after being assured of Jehovah’s support, he begged: “Send, please, by the hand of the one whom you are going to send.” In other words, Moses pleaded that God send someone else. (Exodus 4:10, 13)

Ex 4:16 - *** w04 3/15 p. 24 par. 6 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***
(Exodus 4:16) 16 He will speak for you to the people, and he will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him.
4:16—How was Moses to “serve as God” to Aaron? Moses was a representative of God. Hence, Moses became “as God” to Aaron, who spoke representatively for Moses.

Ex 4:22 - *** it-1 p. 780 Exodus ***
(Exodus 4:22) 22 You must say to Phar′aoh, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Israel is my son, my firstborn.
Issues Involved. According to God’s promise to Abraham, His due time had arrived for Him to deliver the nation of Israel from “the iron furnace” of Egypt. Jehovah considered Israel as his firstborn son by virtue of the promise to Abraham. When Jacob went down to Egypt with his household, he went down voluntarily but his descendants later became slaves. As a nation, they were dear to Jehovah as a firstborn son, and Jehovah had the legal right to deliver them from Egypt without the payment of a price.—De 4:20; 14:1, 2; Ex 4:22; 19:5, 6.

Ex 4:24-26 - *** w04 3/15 p. 28 Questions From Readers
(Exodus 4:24-26) 24 Now on the road at the lodging place, Jehovah met him and was seeking to put him to death. 25 Finally Zip•po′rah took a flint and circumcised her son and caused his foreskin to touch his feet and said: “It is because you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 So He let him go. At that time she said, “a bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
What occurred during the incident recorded at Exodus 4:24-26, and whose life was in danger?
Moses was on his way to Egypt with his wife, Zipporah, and his sons, Gershom and Eliezer, when the following incident occurred: “It came about on the road at the lodging place that Jehovah got to meet him and kept looking for a way to put him to death. Finally Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and caused it to touch his feet and said: ‘It is because you are a bridegroom of blood to me.’ Consequently he let go of him. At that time she said: ‘A bridegroom of blood,’ because of the circumcision.” (Exodus 4:20, 24-26) Though this passage is obscure and it is not possible to be certain about its meaning, the Scriptures do shed some light on these verses.
The account does not explicitly state whose life was in danger. However, we can reasonably conclude that it was not Moses’ life, for he had just received a divine commission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:10) It seems unlikely that on his way to fulfill that assignment, Moses’ life would have been threatened by God’s angel. It therefore would be the life of one of his sons. The law given earlier to Abraham regarding circumcision stated: “An uncircumcised male who will not get the flesh of his foreskin circumcised, even that soul must be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.” (Genesis 17:14) Moses had apparently neglected to circumcise his son, and thus the boy’s life was threatened by Jehovah’s angel.
Whose feet were touched when Zipporah cut off her son’s foreskin in an attempt to set matters straight? It was the angel of Jehovah who had the power to put the uncircumcised son to death. Logically, then, Zipporah would have caused the foreskin to touch the angel’s feet, presenting it to him as evidence that she had complied with the covenant.
Zipporah’s expression “you are a bridegroom of blood to me” is an unusual one. What does it indicate about her? By her compliance with the requirements of the circumcision covenant, Zipporah acknowledged a covenant relationship with Jehovah. The Law covenant later made with the Israelites showed that in a covenant relationship, Jehovah can be thought of as a husband and the other party as a wife. (Jeremiah 31:32) Hence, in addressing Jehovah (through his representative angel) as “a bridegroom of blood,” Zipporah appears to have been acknowledging her own submission to the terms of that covenant. It was as if she had accepted a wifely position in the circumcision covenant, with Jehovah God as the husband. In any case, because of her decisive act of obedience to God’s requirement, the life of her son was no longer in danger.

Ex 6:3 - *** w04 3/15 p. 25 par. 6 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***
(Exodus 6:3) 3 And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but with regard to my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.
6:3—In what way had God’s name not been made known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? These patriarchs used the divine name and received promises from Jehovah. Yet, they did not know or experience Jehovah as the one who caused these promises to be fulfilled.—Genesis 12:1, 2; 15:7, 13-16; 26:24; 28:10-15.

Ex 6:6 - *** w12 10/15 p. 24 par. 9 Obey God and Benefit From His Sworn Promises ***
(Exodus 6:6-8) 6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians and rescue you from their slavery, and I will reclaim you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 And I will take you in as my people, and I will be your God, and you will certainly know that I am Jehovah your God who is bringing you out from under the burdens of Egypt. 8 And I will bring you into the land that I swore with an oath to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as something to possess. I am Jehovah.’”
9 Centuries later, Jehovah again swore with respect to the above-mentioned promises when he sent Moses to speak to Abraham’s descendants, who were then in slavery to the Egyptians. (Ex. 6:6-8) Referring to that occasion, God said: “In the day of my choosing Israel, . . . I lifted up my hand in an oath to them to bring them forth from the land of Egypt to a land that I had spied out for them, one flowing with milk and honey.”—Ezek. 20:5, 6.

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Service Meeting

Service Meeting Schedule:

  • Song 63
  • 10min: “Make Good Use of Older Magazines.” Discussion. Inform the congregation of older issues in stock that publishers can obtain for the ministry. Invite audience to relate experiences they have had using older magazines. Before concluding, invite the service overseer to report on the congregation’s progress in distributing the Memorial invitations.
  • 10 min: Local needs.
  • 10 min: What Do We Learn? Discussion. Have Matthew 28:20 and 2 Timothy 4:17 read. Consider how these verses can help us in our ministry.
  • Song: 135

10 Min - “Make Good Use of Older Magazines.”

Since older magazines do not benefit anyone when they are stored or thrown away, we should try to place them. A single magazine can spark a person’s interest in the truth and move him to begin calling on the name of Jehovah. (Rom. 10:13, 14) The following are some suggestions for putting older magazines to good use.
  • When preaching in territories that are not worked frequently, perhaps you can leave one out of sight at not-at-homes.
  • When engaging in public witnessing where people are waiting, such as at bus stops or train stations, ask individuals if they would like something to read, show them several older issues of the magazines, and let them choose.
  • When visiting laundromats, nursing homes, clinics, or similar places that are within your congregation’s territory, leave a few older issues in the waiting area. It is usually good to obtain permission first from the person in charge if he or she is present. If you see a supply of magazines already there, do not leave more.
  • When preparing for return visits, consider the interests of each person you plan to visit. Does he have a family? Does he like to travel? Does he enjoy gardening? Look through older issues of the magazines to see if there is an article that he may enjoy reading, and show it to him when you return.
  • When you find an interested person at home again after making repeated attempts to contact him, show him some of the older magazines that he missed.
(Romans 10:13, 14) For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” 14 However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?

10 Min – Local needs.

10 Min – What Do We Learn?

(Matthew 28:20) teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

Referenced suggested

*** w13 7/15 p. 10 par. 4 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
4 Speaking about the wheat and the weeds, Jesus said: “Let both grow together until the harvest.” This command reveals that from the first century until today, there have always been some anointed wheatlike Christians on earth. That conclusion is confirmed by what Jesus later told his disciples: “I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20) So anointed Christians would be protected by Jesus all the days leading up to the time of the end.
*** jv chap. 3 pp. 26-27 Christian Witnesses of Jehovah in the First Century ***
“Go . . . Make Disciples”
After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, he appeared to his disciples who had gathered at a mountain in Galilee. There, Jesus outlined their responsibility: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:19, 20) Consider what was involved in this weighty commission.
“Go,” said Jesus. But to whom? To “people of all the nations.” This was a new command, especially challenging for Jewish believers. (Compare Acts 10:9-16, 28.) Prior to Jesus’ day, Gentiles were welcomed when they came to Israel because of interest in true worship. (1 Ki. 8:41-43) Earlier in his ministry, Jesus had told the apostles to “go, preach,” but only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:1, 6, 7) Now they were commanded to go to people of all nations. For what purpose?
“Make disciples,” commanded Jesus. Yes, his disciples were commissioned to make disciples of others. What does this involve? A disciple is a learner, a taught one—not just a pupil, however, but an adherent. A disciple accepts Jesus’ authority not just inwardly by believing in him but outwardly by obeying him. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the Greek word rendered “disciple” (ma•the•tes′) “implies the existence of a personal attachment which shapes the whole life of the one described as [a disciple].”
“Teaching them,” added Jesus, “to observe all the things I have commanded you.” To develop a personal attachment to Jesus, a person must be taught to “observe all the things” Christ has commanded, including his command to preach the “good news of the kingdom.” (Matt. 24:14) Only in this way can he become a disciple in the true sense of the word. And only those who accept the teaching and become genuine disciples get baptized.
“I am with you,” Jesus assured them, “all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” Jesus’ teaching is always relevant, never outmoded. On that basis, Christians to this very day are under obligation to make disciples of others.
A responsible commission was thus conferred upon Christ’s followers, namely, to do a disciple-making work among all nations. To make disciples of Christ, though, they had to witness concerning Jehovah’s name and Kingdom, for that is what their Exemplar, Jesus, had done. (Luke 4:43; John 17:26) Those who accepted Christ’s teaching and became disciples thus became Christian witnesses of Jehovah. Becoming a witness of Jehovah was a matter no longer of birth—into the Jewish nation—but of choice. Those who became witnesses did so because they loved Jehovah and sincerely wanted to submit to his sovereign rule.—1 John 5:3.

(2 Timothy 4:17) But the Lord stood near me and infused power into me, so that through me the preaching might be fully accomplished and all the nations might hear it; and I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Referenced suggested

*** w57 4/1 pp. 220-221 pars. 18-20 The Christian’s Responsibility Toward Others ***
Satan would like to discourage us in the ministry, inducing us to avoid the reproach that comes through being connected with the persecuted brothers. But we are not going to bow before this satanic snare. “For God gave us not a spirit of cowardice, but that of power and of love and of soundness of mind. Therefore do not become ashamed of the witness about our Lord, neither of me a prisoner for his sake, but take your part in suffering evil for the good news according to the power of God.” We are not ashamed to be Jehovah’s witnesses in times of persecution and do not withdraw from the association of our brothers to avoid reproach. Our standing with Jehovah, not men, is what counts. If we must go to prison for our faith we can continue preaching among prisoners. After release we shall resume serving our brothers, as Timothy set the good example. We are proud to be associates of the persecuted Christ Jesus, the apostle Paul, the thousands of our brothers imprisoned throughout the world in these evil days. We too should guard our Christianity and ministry and be determined to do so through whatever reproach or imprisonment may come our way, by the help of Jehovah.—2 Tim. 2:10, 12; 1:7, 8, 12, 16; Heb. 13:23, NW.
19 Undaunted and undiscouraged we will be, even if some quit the ministry under persecution. We will go on. Paul told Timothy some “men have deviated from the truth.” “All the men in the province of Asia have turned away from me.” Paul knew what it was to be injured through false brothers, yet it did not shatter his faith and trust in Jehovah, nor did it slow him down in his service of Jehovah. There in prison at Rome he might easily have become depressed when many that he had associated with him in more favorable times left the faith. He knew he always had our true Friend on his side: “They all went to forsaking me—may it not be put to their account—but the Lord stood near me and infused power into me, that through me the preaching might be completely accomplished and all the nations might hear it.” While some fall away, the great work of preaching the good news is accomplished. Paul had Timothy, Onesiphorus, Prisca, Aquila, Luke, Titus, Crescens and many others still at unity with him in the service, and he rejoiced. How we rejoice that many thousands have been added to the New World society in this day! While a few may prove to be false brothers and betrayers, as in Russia, Czechoslovakia and Poland, many others are faithful. And in such lands, even if the work is disrupted momentarily, or for six months, the faithful ministers continue true to their dedication and keep on telling the good news until they can again reorganize their meetings and resume communications with others in the New World society. It is our responsibility to keep on going, remembering that, though at Jesus’ death there was a short period of disruption in preaching, Jehovah’s spirit at Pentecost showed the way and it does so in our day also. We rejoice and give thanks to Jehovah that he has given us so many loyal, happy companions in the ministry.—2 Tim. 2:18; 1:15; 4:11, 16, 17, 19, 20, NW.
20 The records concerning the ministerial responsibilities and service to others rendered by Paul and Timothy as followers of Christ Jesus should make all of us today appreciate the ministry all the more. It is a precious treasure. We are guarding this trust world-wide today in the presence of our God as a group of his servants dedicated to his service.

Song 135

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Congregation Bible Study

Week of March 31, 2014
“Draw Close to Jehovah”
cl chap. 5 ¶1-8

SONG 105
The Heavens Declare God’s Glory
(Psalm 19)

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(Ecclesiastes 11:7) Light is sweet, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.

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(Psalm 74:16) The day belongs to you, also the night. You made the light and the sun.
(Psalm 19:1) The heavens are declaring the glory of God; The skies above proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalm 146:6) The Maker of heaven and earth, Of the sea, and of all that is in them, The One who always remains faithful,

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(1 Corinthians 15:41) The glory of the sun is one sort, and the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is another; in fact, one star differs from another star in glory.

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(Jeremiah 33:22) Just as the army of the heavens cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of my servant David and the Levites who are ministering to me.’”

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(Isaiah 40:26) “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name. Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing.
(Psalm 147:4) He counts the number of the stars; He calls all of them by name.

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(Psalm 104:2) You are wrapped in light as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent cloth.
(Job 38:31-33) Can you tie the ropes of the Ki′mah constellation Or untie the cords of the Ke′sil constellation? 32 Can you lead out a constellation in its season Or guide the Ash constellation along with its sons? 33 Do you know the laws governing the heavens, Or can you impose their authority on the earth?

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“Watchtower” Study

Week of March 31, 2014
“Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When?
“When you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.”—MATT. 24:33.
January 15, 2014

Song 108
Praise Jehovah for His Kingdom
(Revelation 21:2)

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(Matthew 6:10) Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.

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(Revelation 6:1, 2) And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder: “Come!” 2 And I saw, and look! a white horse, and the one seated on it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went out conquering and to complete his conquest.
(Revelation 6:3-8) When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say: “Come!” 4 Another came out, a fiery-colored horse, and it was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a great sword. 5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say: “Come!” And I saw, and look! a black horse, and the one seated on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 I heard what sounded like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say: “A quart of wheat for a de•nar′i•us and three quarts of barley for a de•nar′i•us; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine.” 7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say: “Come!” 8 And I saw, and look! a pale horse, and the one seated on it had the name Death. And the Grave was closely following him. And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.

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(Luke 21:24) And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.
(Psalm 94:20) Can a throne of corruption be allied with you While it is framing trouble in the name of the law?
(Revelation 12:15) And the serpent spewed out water like a river from its mouth after the woman, to cause her to be drowned by the river.

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(2 Corinthians 5:7) for we are walking by faith, not by sight.
(Matthew 24:37-39) For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.
(2 Corinthians 4:4) among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.

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(2 Timothy 3:1-5) But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.
(2 Timothy 3:1) But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.
(2 Timothy 3:13) But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.

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(Jude 14, 15) Yes, the seventh one in line from Adam, E′noch, also prophesied about them when he said: “Look! Jehovah came with his holy myriads 15 to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way, and concerning all the shocking things that ungodly sinners spoke against him.”

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(2 Peter 3:3, 4) First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.”

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(2 Timothy 3:1) But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-10) However, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not from us. 8 We are hard-pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; 9 we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed. 10 Always we endure in our body the death-dealing treatment that Jesus suffered, that the life of Jesus may also be made manifest in our body.

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(Matthew 24:33-35) Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. 34 Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
(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.

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(Matthew 24:34) Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen.
(2 Peter 3:13) But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

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(Matthew 24:36) “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.
(Matthew 25:13) “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour.
(Romans 13:11) And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.

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(Revelation 6:15-17) Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
(Revelation 7:9) After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.
(Revelation 7:13-15) In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them.

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(Revelation 19:11) I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness.
(Revelation 19:19-21) And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. 20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. 21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
(Revelation 20:1-3) And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. 3 And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not mislead the nations anymore until the 1,000 years were ended. After this he must be released for a little while.
(Revelation 20:6) Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years.
(Revelation 21:3, 4) With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

Song 30
Jehovah Begins His Rule
(Revelation 11:15)
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Information consulted in: Watchtower Online Library

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