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All References Week Starting may 5
of the Bible
Theocratic Ministry School
No. 1: Exodus 25:1-22
No. 2: There Is No Bible Record of Adam’s Keeping a Sabbath Day (rs p. 346 ¶4–p. 347 ¶2)rs p. 346 ¶4–p. 347 ¶2 Sabbath
Jehovah God proceeded to rest as to his works of material, earthly creation after preparing the earth for human habitation. This is stated at Genesis 2:1-3. But nothing in the Bible record says that God directed Adam to keep the seventh day of each week as a sabbath.
Deut. 5:15: “You must remember that you [Israel] became a slave in the land of Egypt and Jehovah your God proceeded to bring you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. That is why Jehovah your God commanded you to carry on the sabbath day.” (Here Jehovah connects his giving of the sabbath law with Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt, not with events in Eden.)
Ex. 16:1, 23-29: “The entire assembly of the sons of Israel finally came to the wilderness of Sin . . . on the fifteenth day of the second month after their coming out of the land of Egypt. . . . [Moses] said to them: ‘It is what Jehovah has spoken. Tomorrow there will be a sabbath observance of a holy sabbath to Jehovah. . . . Six days you will pick [the manna] up, but on the seventh day is a sabbath. On it none will form.’ . . . Jehovah said to Moses: . . . ‘Mark the fact that Jehovah has given you the sabbath.’” (Prior to this, there had been a marking off of weeks of seven days each, but this is the first reference to a sabbath observance.)
No. 3: Abraham—Abraham’s Early History Is an Example of Faith (it-1 pp. 28-29 ¶3)it-1 pp. 28-29 ¶3 Abraham
(A′bra•ham) [Father of a Crowd (Multitude)].
The name given by Jehovah to Abram (meaning “Father Is High (Exalted)”) when he was 99 years old, and when God was reaffirming His promise that Abraham’s offspring would become many.—Ge 17:5.
Family Origin and Early History. Abraham was the tenth generation from Noah through Shem and was born 352 years after the Deluge, in 2018 B.C.E. Although listed first among the three sons of Terah, at Genesis 11:26, Abraham was not the firstborn. The Scriptures show that Terah was 70 years old when his first son was born, and that Abraham was born 60 years later when his father Terah was 130 years old. (Ge 11:32; 12:4) Evidently Abraham is listed first among his father’s sons because of his outstanding faithfulness and prominence in the Scriptures, a practice that is followed in the case of several other outstanding men of faith such as Shem and Isaac.—Ge 5:32; 11:10; 1Ch 1:28.
Abraham was a native of the Chaldean city of Ur, a thriving metropolis located in the land of Shinar, near the present junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. It was about 240 km (150 mi) SE of Nimrod’s onetime royal city of Babel, or Babylon, so notorious for its unfinished Tower of Babel.
In Abraham’s time, the city of Ur was steeped in Babylonish idolatry and the worship of its patron moon-god Sin. (Jos 24:2, 14, 15) Nevertheless, Abraham proved to be a man of faith in Jehovah God, even as his forefathers Shem and Noah; and as a consequence, he earned the reputation “the father of all those having faith while in uncircumcision.” (Ro 4:11) Since true faith is based on accurate knowledge, Abraham may have received his understanding by personal association with Shem (their lives overlapped by 150 years). Abraham knew and used the name of Jehovah; to quote him: “Jehovah the Most High God, Producer of heaven and earth,” “Jehovah, the God of the heavens and the God of the earth.”—Ge 14:22; 24:3.
While Abraham was still living in Ur, “before he took up residence in Haran,” Jehovah commanded him to move out to a strange land, leaving behind friends and relatives. (Ac 7:2-4; Ge 15:7; Ne 9:7) There in that country that He would show Abraham, God said he would make out of him a great nation. At the time, Abraham was married to his half sister Sarah, but they were childless and both were old. So it would take great faith to obey, but obey he did.
Terah, now around 200 years old and still the family’s patriarchal head, agreed to accompany Abraham and Sarah on this long journey, and it is for this reason that Terah as father is credited with making the move toward Canaan. (Ge 11:31) It appears that fatherless Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was adopted by his childless uncle and aunt and so accompanied them. Northwestward the caravan moved, some 960 km (600 mi), until they reached Haran, which was an important junction on the E-W trade routes. Haran is located where two wadis join to form a stream that reaches the Balikh River in the winter, about 110 km (68 mi) above where the Balikh empties into the Euphrates River. Here Abraham remained until the death of his father Terah.—MAP, Vol. 1, p. 330.
Highlights of the Bible
Highlights From the Book of Exodus 23-26
Scriptural Questions Answered:23:19; 34:26—What was the significance of the command not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk? Boiling a kid (the young of a goat or other animal) in its mother’s milk reportedly was a pagan ritual thought to produce rain. Moreover, since the mother’s milk is for nourishing her young, boiling her offspring in it would be an act of cruelty. This law helped to show God’s people that they should be compassionate.
23:20-23—Who was the angel mentioned here, and how was it that Jehovah’s name was “within him”? Likely, this angel was Jesus in his prehuman form. He was used to guide the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) Jehovah’s name is “within him” in that Jesus is the principal one who upholds and sanctifies his Father’s name.
Do Not Follow “After the Crowd”
3 In taking a long journey, what would you do if you felt unsure about which way to go? You might feel tempted to follow other travelers—especially if you saw a great many making the same choice. Such a course is risky. After all, those travelers may not be heading toward your destination, or they too may be lost. In this connection, consider a principle that underlies one of the laws given to ancient Israel. Those who served as judges or as witnesses in judicial matters were warned of the danger of ‘following after the crowd.’ (Read Exodus 23:2.) Without doubt, it is all too easy for imperfect humans to bow to peer pressure, perverting justice. However, is the principle about not following the crowd restricted to judicial matters? Not at all.
4 In truth, the pressure to “follow after the crowd” can affect us at almost any time. It may arise suddenly, and it can be very difficult to resist. Think, for example, of the peer pressure that Joshua and Caleb once faced. They were part of a group of 12 men who went into the Promised Land to spy it out. Upon their return, ten of those men gave a very negative and discouraging report. They even claimed that some of the land’s inhabitants were giants descended from the Nephilim, the offspring of rebel angels and women. (Gen. 6:4) Now, that claim was absurd. Those wicked hybrids had been wiped out in the Deluge many centuries earlier, leaving not a single descendant behind. But even the most baseless ideas can exert power over those weak in faith. The negative reports from those ten spies quickly spread fear and panic among the people. Before long, most were sure that it would be a mistake to enter the Promised Land as Jehovah had directed. In that volatile situation, what did Joshua and Caleb do?—Num. 13:25-33.
5 They did not go following after the crowd. Although the crowd hated to hear it, those two men told the truth and stuck to it—even when threatened with death by stoning! Where did they get the courage? No doubt, a good part of it came from their faith. People with faith see clearly the difference between the baseless claims of men and the sacred promises of Jehovah God. Both men later expressed how they felt about Jehovah’s record in fulfilling his every promise. (Read Joshua 14:6, 8; 23:2, 14.) Joshua and Caleb were attached to their faithful God, and they could not imagine hurting him for the sake of following a faithless crowd. So they stood firm, setting a sterling example for us today.—Num. 14:1-10.
6 Do you ever feel pressured to follow after the crowd? People who are alienated from Jehovah and who scoff at his moral standards certainly form a vast crowd today. When it comes to entertainment and recreation, that crowd often promote baseless ideas. They may insist that the immorality, violence, and spiritism so prevalent in television programs, movies, and video games are harmless. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) When you choose entertainment and recreation for yourself or your family, do you allow the lax consciences of others to influence your decisions and to mold your conscience? Would that not, in effect, amount to following after the crowd?
7 Jehovah has given us a precious gift to help us make decisions—our “perceptive powers.” However, these powers need to be trained “through use.” (Heb. 5:14) Following the crowd would not train our perceptive powers; nor, on the other hand, would a host of rigid rules in matters of conscience. That is why, for example, Jehovah’s people are not given a list of films, books, and Internet sites to avoid. Because this world changes so fast, such a list would be outdated soon after it was made. (1 Cor. 7:31) Worse, it would deprive us of the vital work of weighing Bible principles carefully and prayerfully and then making decisions on the basis of those principles.—Eph. 5:10.
8 Of course, our Bible-based decisions may at times make us unpopular. Christian youths in school may face strong pressure from the crowd to see and do what everyone else is seeing and doing. (1 Pet. 4:4) Therefore, it is beautiful to see Christians young and old imitating the faith of Joshua and Caleb, refusing to follow after the crowd.
Questions From Readers
What can we learn from the prohibition found at Exodus 23:19: “You must not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”?
This directive of the Mosaic Law, which appears three times in the Bible, can help us appreciate Jehovah’s sense of propriety, his compassion, and his tenderness. It also highlights his abhorrence of false worship.—Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 14:21.
To boil a young goat or other animal in its mother’s milk would be contrary to Jehovah’s natural arrangement of things. God provided the mother’s milk to nourish the kid and help it grow. Cooking the kid in the milk of its own mother would, in the words of one scholar, display “a contempt of the relation which God has established and sanctified between parent and young.”
Further, some suggest that boiling a kid in its mother’s milk may have been a pagan ritual performed to produce rain. If that was the case, the prohibition would have served to protect the Israelites from the senseless and heartless religious practices of the nations surrounding them. The Mosaic Law specifically forbade the Israelites to walk in the statutes of those nations.—Leviticus 20:23.
Finally, we see in this particular law Jehovah’s tender compassion. Actually, the Law contained a number of similar injunctions against cruelty to animals and safeguards against working contrary to the natural order of things. For instance, the Law included commands that prohibited sacrificing an animal unless it had been with its mother for at least seven days, slaughtering both an animal and its offspring on the same day, and taking from a nest both a mother and her eggs or offspring.—Leviticus 22:27, 28; Deuteronomy 22:6, 7.
Clearly, the Law was not just a complex set of commands and prohibitions. Among other things, its principles help instill in us an elevated moral sensibility that truly reflects Jehovah’s marvelous qualities.—Psalm 19:7-11.
Ex. 23:20, 21
Spiritual Prince of Israel
2 Centuries before the founding of the Christian congregation, Jehovah had an angelic leader over his people Israel. After bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, Jehovah told them: “Here I am sending an angel ahead of you to keep you on the road and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Watch yourself because of him and obey his voice. Do not behave rebelliously against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; because my name is within him.” (Ex. 23:20, 21) It is reasonable to believe that this angel, who had ‘Jehovah’s name within him,’ was God’s firstborn Son.
Moses beheld “the appearance of Jehovah” when he, Aaron, and certain other men were on Mount Sinai. At Exodus 24:10, it is written: “They got to see the God of Israel. And under his feet there was what seemed like a work of sapphire flagstones and like the very heavens for purity.” But how did Moses and the other men get to “see the God of Israel,” since God had told him, “No man may see me and yet live”? Verse 11 explains, for it says: “He did not put out his hand against the distinguished men of the sons of Israel, but they got a vision of the true God and ate and drank.” So the appearance of God that Moses and the others saw was by means of a vision.
7 It is Scriptural to give financial support. The Hebrew word translated “contribution” means “sacred portion.” (Ex. 25:2, Reference Bible, footnote) Christians correctly desire to contribute their time, energy, and material possessions for advancing Kingdom interests. We do not enrich Jehovah with our contributions to his work, but in this way we show our love for him, and he blesses those who contribute voluntarily.—1 Chron. 29:14-17; Prov. 3:9.
Representative figures of cherubs were included in the furnishings of the tabernacle set up in the wilderness. Rising above each end of the Ark’s cover were two cherubs of hammered gold. They were facing each other and bowing toward the cover in an attitude of worship. Each had two wings that spread upward and screened over the cover in a guarding and protecting manner. (Ex 25:10-21; 37:7-9) Also, the inner covering of tent cloths for the tabernacle and the curtain dividing the Holy from the Most Holy had embroidered cherub figures.—Ex 26:1, 31; 36:8, 35.
These were not grotesque figures fashioned after the monstrous winged images worshiped by pagan nations round about, as some contend. According to the unanimous testimony of ancient Jewish tradition (the Bible is silent on this matter), these cherubs had human form. They were finest works of art, representing angelic creatures of glorious beauty, and were made in every detail “according to . . . the pattern” Moses received from Jehovah himself. (Ex 25:9) The apostle Paul describes them as “glorious cherubs overshadowing the propitiatory cover.” (Heb 9:5) These cherubs were associated with the presence of Jehovah: “And I will present myself to you there and speak with you from above the cover, from between the two cherubs that are upon the ark of the testimony.” (Ex 25:22; Nu 7:89) Hence, Jehovah was said to be “sitting upon [or, between] the cherubs.” (1Sa 4:4; 2Sa 6:2; 2Ki 19:15; 1Ch 13:6; Ps 80:1; 99:1; Isa 37:16) In symbol, the cherubs served as “the representation of the chariot” of Jehovah upon which he rode (1Ch 28:18), and the wings of the cherubs offered both guarding protection and swiftness in travel. So David, in poetic song, described the speed with which Jehovah came to his aid, like one who “came riding upon a cherub and came flying” even “upon the wings of a spirit.”—2Sa 22:11; Ps 18:10.
Dimensions. The Bible describes the tabernacle (evidently inside measurements) as being 30 cubits (13.4 m; 43.7 ft) long and 10 cubits (4.5 m; 14.6 ft) in height. (Compare Ex 26:16-18.) It was also evidently 10 cubits in width. (Compare Ex 26:22-24.) The width may be figured as follows: The rear or W wall was constructed of six panel frames of one and one half cubits each (totaling 9 cubits) and two panel frames called corner posts, which evidently were positioned so that each added one half cubit to the inside dimension. The Jewish scholar Rashi (1040-1105 C.E.), commenting on Exodus 26:23, noted: “All the eight boards were set in a row, only that the entire width of these two [the corner posts] did not show in the interior of the Tabernacle, but only a half cubit on the one side and a half cubit on the other side could be seen in the interior, thus making up the breadth to ten cubits. The remaining cubit of one board and the remaining cubit of the other board came against the cubit thickness of the boards of the Tabernacle on the north and the south sides, so that the outside should be even.”—Pentateuch With Targum Onkelos, Haphtaroth and Rashi’s Commentary, Exodus, translated by M. Rosenbaum and A. M. Silbermann, p. 144; italics by the translators.
Service MeetingSong 117
10 min: Offer the Magazines During May. Discussion. Start by demonstrating how the magazines may be offered, using the two sample presentations on this page. Then analyze the sample presentations from beginning to end. Conclude by briefly encouraging all to become well-acquainted with the magazines and to share enthusiastically in offering them.
10 min: Local needs.
10 min: How Did We Do? Discussion. Invite publishers to comment on how they benefited from the part “Improving Our Skills in the Ministry—Being a Helpful Companion.” Ask the audience to relate good experiences.
Song 103 and Prayer
10 min: Offer the Magazines During May.Discussion. Start by demonstrating how the magazines may be offered, using the two sample presentations on this page. Then analyze the sample presentations from beginning to end. Conclude by briefly encouraging all to become well-acquainted with the magazines and to share enthusiastically in offering them.
To start Bible studies on the first Saturday in May
“We are making brief visits to discuss this intriguing question. [Show the first question on the back of the May 1 Watchtower.] What’s your opinion?” Allow for response. Consider together the material under the question and at least one of the cited scriptures. Offer the magazines, and arrange to discuss the next question.
The Watchtower May 1“We’re visiting briefly because many people are interested in what the future holds. When you think about the future, how do you feel? Are you confident, or are you worried? [Allow for response. Then read one of the scriptures from the box “What God Has Revealed About the Future.”] This magazine outlines some of the things that God says will happen and explains why we can be sure that they will occur.”
Awake! May“We’re making brief visits to help people manage their stress. Does it seem to you that people are more stressed today than they were in the past? [Allow for response.] Many have found that the practical advice found in the Bible helps them manage their stress. Here’s one example. [Read Matthew 6:34.] This magazine explains how Bible principles can help us to manage four common causes of stress.”
Note: This issue may be of special interest to businesspeople.
^ (Matt. 6:34) So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.
10 min: Local needs.
10 min: How Did We Do?Discussion. Invite publishers to comment on how they benefited from the part “Improving Our Skills in the Ministry—Being a Helpful Companion.” Ask the audience to relate good experiences.
IMPROVING OUR SKILLS IN THE MINISTRY—BEING A HELPFUL COMPANIONWhy Important: Jesus recognized the value of preaching with a companion. So when he dispatched 70 of his disciples to go ahead of him and preach, he sent them out in pairs. (Luke 10:1) A companion can provide needed support if his fellow publisher encounters a difficult situation or is unsure of how to answer a householder. (Eccl. 4:9, 10) He can share his experience and occasionally offer a suggestion that may help the one with whom he is working become a more effective evangelizer. (Prov. 27:17) He can also encourage by means of his upbuilding conversation between doors.—Phil. 4:8.
How to Do It:• Pay attention when your partner is giving a witness. (Jas. 1:19) When a scripture is read, follow along in your copy of the Bible. This will put you in a better position to assist if needed.
• Use good judgment to determine if and when you should join in the conversation. (Prov. 25:11) If you accompany another publisher on a Bible study, your occasional comments will likely be appreciated. However, when preaching from house to house, your service companion may prefer that you let him do the talking when it is his turn. Of course, if he is a new publisher or if he is not sure how to respond to a question or objection, he will likely appreciate your help. But whether you are accompanying a publisher in the house-to-house, return visit, or Bible study work, do not interrupt, take over the conversation, or introduce a different subject.
• Share your experience. If, on occasion, you can give the publisher with whom you are working a suggestion to help him be more effective in the ministry, do not hold back. (Prov. 3:27) At an appropriate time, you might begin by saying: “How do you think that went?” or “May I offer a suggestion?” or “Here’s what I try to do.” Keep in mind that while others appreciate receiving a suggestionon occasion, they will be discouraged if every mistake is called to their attention.
Try This During the Month:After working in the ministry with your field service partner, tell him what he said or did that made him a helpful companion.
^ (Luke 10:1) After these things the Lord designated 70 others and sent them out by twos ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go.
^ (Eccl. 4:9, 10) Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their hard work. 10 For if one of them falls, the other can help his partner up. But what will happen to the one who falls with no one to help him up?
^ (Prov. 27:17) As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens his friend.
^ (Phil. 4:8) Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well-spoken-of, whatever things are virtuous, and whatever things are praiseworthy, continue considering these things.
^ (Jas. 1:19) Know this, my beloved brothers: Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger,
^ (Prov. 25:11) Like apples of gold in silver carvings Is a word spoken at the right time.
^ (Prov. 3:27) Do not withhold good from those to whom you should give it If it is within your power to help.
Congregation Bible Study
“Draw Close to Jehovah”
cl chap. 6 ¶16-21, box on p. 65
Fear Them Not!
(Numbers 21:14) That is why the book of the Wars of Jehovah speaks of “Va′heb in Su′phah and the valleys of Ar′non,
(Deuteronomy 1:30) Jehovah your God will go before you and will fight for you, just as he did in Egypt before your very eyes.
(Deuteronomy 20:1) “If you go to war against your enemies and you see their horses and chariots and troops that outnumber yours, do not be afraid of them, for Jehovah your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt is with you.
(Joshua 10:1-14) As soon as King A•do′ni-ze′dek of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured A′i and devoted it to destruction, doing to A′i and its king just as he had done to Jer′i•cho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gib′e•on had made peace with Israel and remained among them, 2 he was greatly alarmed, because Gib′e•on was a great city, like one of the royal cities. It was greater than A′i, and all its men were warriors. 3 So A•do′ni-ze′dek king of Jerusalem sent this message to Ho′ham king of Heb′ron, Pi′ram king of Jar′muth, Ja•phi′a king of La′chish, and De′bir king of Eg′lon: 4 “Come to my aid, and let us attack Gib′e•on, because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” 5 At this the five kings of the Am′or•ites—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Heb′ron, the king of Jar′muth, the king of La′chish, and the king of Eg′lon—gathered together along with their armies, and they marched on and encamped against Gib′e•on to fight against it. 6 Then the men of Gib′e•on sent word to Joshua at the camp at Gil′gal: “Do not forsake your slaves. Come quickly! Rescue us and help us! All the kings of the Am′or•ites from the mountainous region have gathered against us.” 7 So Joshua went up from Gil′gal with all the fighting men and the mighty warriors. 8 Jehovah then said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid of them, for I have handed them over to you. Not one of them will be able to stand against you.” 9 Joshua came against them by surprise after marching all night long from Gil′gal. 10 Jehovah threw them into confusion before Israel, and they inflicted a great slaughter on them at Gib′e•on, pursuing them by way of the ascent of Beth-ho′ron and striking them down as far as A•ze′kah and Mak•ke′dah. 11 While they were fleeing from Israel and were on the descent of Beth-ho′ron, Jehovah hurled great hailstones from the sky on them as far as A•ze′kah, and they perished. In fact, more died from the hail than from the sword of the Israelites. 12 It was then, on the day that Jehovah routed the Am′or•ites before the eyes of the Israelites, that Joshua said to Jehovah before Israel:“Sun, stand still over Gib′e•on,And moon, over the Valley of Ai′ja•lon!” 13 So the sun stood still and the moon did not move until the nation could take vengeance on its enemies. Is it not written in the book of Ja′shar? The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to set for about a whole day. 14 There has never been a day like that one, either before it or after it, when Jehovah listened to the voice of a man, for Jehovah was fighting for Israel.
(Judges 4:12-17) They reported to Sis′e•ra that Ba′rak the son of A•bin′o•am had gone up to Mount Ta′bor. 13 At once Sis′e•ra assembled all his war chariots—900 chariots with iron scythes—and all the troops that were with him from Ha•ro′sheth of the nations to go to the stream of Ki′shon. 14 Deb′o•rah now said to Ba′rak: “Rise up, for this is the day that Jehovah will give Sis′e•ra into your hand. Is Jehovah not going out before you?” And Ba′rak descended from Mount Ta′bor with 10,000 men following him. 15 Then Jehovah threw Sis′e•ra and all his war chariots and all the army into confusion before the sword of Ba′rak. Finally Sis′e•ra got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 Ba′rak chased after the war chariots and the army as far as Ha•ro′sheth of the nations. So Sis′e•ra’s whole army fell by the sword; not even one remained. 17 But Sis′e•ra fled on foot to the tent of Ja′el the wife of He′ber the Ken′ite, for there was peace between Ja′bin the king of Ha′zor and the house of He′ber the Ken′ite.
(2 Samuel 5:17-21) When the Phi•lis′tines heard that David had been anointed as king over Israel, all the Phi•lis′tines came up to search for David. When David heard about it, he went down to the stronghold. 18 Then the Phi•lis′tines came in and spread out in the Valley of Reph′a•im. 19 David inquired of Jehovah, saying: “Should I go up against the Phi•lis′tines? Will you give them into my hand?” At this Jehovah said to David: “Go up, for I will surely give the Phi•lis′tines into your hand.” 20 So David came to Ba′al-pe•ra′zim, and David struck them down there. At that he said: “Jehovah has broken through my enemies before me, like a breach made by waters.” That is why he named that place Ba′al-pe•ra′zim. 21 The Phi•lis′tines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men took them away.
(Genesis 1:27, 28) And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.”
(Psalm 11:7) For Jehovah is righteous; he loves righteous acts. The upright will see his face.
(Genesis 3:15) And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”
(Zechariah 14:3) “Jehovah will go out and war against those nations as when he fights in the day of a battle.
(Revelation 16:14) They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.
(Revelation 16:16) And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon.
(Hebrews 12:28) Therefore, seeing that we are to receive a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us continue to receive undeserved kindness, through which we may acceptably offer God sacred service with godly fear and awe.
(Proverbs 18:13) When anyone replies to a matter before he hears the facts, It is foolish and humiliating.
(Job 34:12) For a certainty, God does not act wickedly; The Almighty does not pervert justice.
(Genesis 9:13) I put my rainbow in the cloud, and it will serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
(Ezekiel 1:28) like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. That was how the surrounding brilliant light appeared. It was like the appearance of the glory of Jehovah. When I saw it, I fell facedown and began to hear the voice of someone speaking.
(Revelation 4:3) And the One seated had the appearance of a jasper stone and a sardius stone, and all around the throne was a rainbow like an emerald in appearance.
(1 John 4:8) Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.
Questions for Meditation(2 Kings 6:8-17) Now the king of Syria went to war against Israel. He consulted with his servants and said: “I will encamp at such and such a place with you.” 9 Then the man of the true God sent word to the king of Israel, saying: “Beware of passing by this place, because that is where the Syrians are coming down.” 10 So the king of Israel sent word to the place that the man of the true God had warned him about. He kept warning him, and he stayed away from there on several occasions. 11 This enraged the king of Syria, so he summoned his servants and said to them: “Tell me! Who among us is on the side of the king of Israel?” 12 Then one of his servants said: “None of us, my lord the king! It is E•li′sha the prophet in Israel who tells the king of Israel the things that you say in your own bedroom.” 13 He said: “Go and find out where he is, so that I may send men to capture him.” Later the report was made to him: “He is in Do′than.” 14 He immediately sent horses and war chariots there, as well as a large army; they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the attendant of the man of the true God rose early and went outside, he saw that an army with horses and war chariots was surrounding the city. At once the attendant said to him: “Alas, my master! What are we to do?” 16 But he said: “Do not be afraid! For there are more who are with us than those who are with them.” 17 Then E•li′sha began to pray and say: “O Jehovah, open his eyes, please, that he may see.” Immediately Jehovah opened the attendant’s eyes and he saw, and look! the mountainous region was full of horses and war chariots of fire all around E•li′sha.
(Ezekiel 33:10-20) Now the king of Syria went to war against Israel. He consulted with his servants and said: “I will encamp at such and such a place with you.” 9 Then the man of the true God sent word to the king of Israel, saying: “Beware of passing by this place, because that is where the Syrians are coming down.” 10 So the king of Israel sent word to the place that the man of the true God had warned him about. He kept warning him, and he stayed away from there on several occasions. 11 This enraged the king of Syria, so he summoned his servants and said to them: “Tell me! Who among us is on the side of the king of Israel?” 12 Then one of his servants said: “None of us, my lord the king! It is E•li′sha the prophet in Israel who tells the king of Israel the things that you say in your own bedroom.” 13 He said: “Go and find out where he is, so that I may send men to capture him.” Later the report was made to him: “He is in Do′than.” 14 He immediately sent horses and war chariots there, as well as a large army; they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the attendant of the man of the true God rose early and went outside, he saw that an army with horses and war chariots was surrounding the city. At once the attendant said to him: “Alas, my master! What are we to do?” 16 But he said: “Do not be afraid! For there are more who are with us than those who are with them.” 17 Then E•li′sha began to pray and say: “O Jehovah, open his eyes, please, that he may see.” Immediately Jehovah opened the attendant’s eyes and he saw, and look! the mountainous region was full of horses and war chariots of fire all around E•li′sha.
(2 Thessalonians 1:6-10) “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘You have said: “Our revolts and our sins weigh heavily upon us, causing us to waste away; so how will we keep living?”’ 11 Tell them, ‘“As surely as I am alive,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that someone wicked changes his way and keeps living. Turn back, turn back from your bad ways, for why should you die, O house of Israel?”’ 12 “And you, son of man, tell the sons of your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he revolts; nor will the wickedness of the wicked man make him stumble when he turns away from his wickedness; nor will anyone righteous be able to keep living because of his righteousness in the day that he sins. 13 When I say to the righteous one: “You will surely keep living,” and he trusts in his own righteousness and does what is wrong, none of his righteous acts will be remembered, but he will die for the wrong that he has done. 14 “‘And when I say to the wicked one: “You will surely die,” and he turns away from his sin and does what is just and righteous, 15 and the wicked one returns what was taken in pledge and pays back what was taken by robbery, and he walks in the statutes of life by not doing what is wrong, he will surely keep living. He will not die. 16 None of the sins he committed will be held against him. For doing what is just and righteous, he will surely keep living.’ 17 “But your people have said, ‘The way of Jehovah is unjust,’ when it is actually their way that is unjust. 18 “When someone righteous abandons his righteousness and does what is wrong, he must die for it. 19 But when someone wicked turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and righteous, he will keep living for doing so. 20 “But you have said, ‘The way of Jehovah is unjust.’ I will judge each of you according to his ways, O house of Israel.”
(2 Peter 2:4-13) Certainly God did not refrain from punishing the angels who sinned, but threw them into Tar′ta•rus, putting them in chains of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment. 5 And he did not refrain from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a flood upon a world of ungodly people. 6 And by reducing the cities of Sod′om and Go•mor′rah to ashes, he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly people of things to come. 7 And he rescued righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the brazen conduct of the lawless people— 8 for day after day that righteous man was tormenting his righteous soul over the lawless deeds that he saw and heard while dwelling among them. 9 So, then, Jehovah knows how to rescue people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people to be destroyed on the day of judgment, 10 especially those who seek to defile the flesh of others and who despise authority. Daring and self-willed, they are not afraid to speak abusively of glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, although they are greater in strength and power, do not bring against them an accusation in abusive terms, out of respect for Jehovah. 12 But these men, like unreasoning animals that act on instinct and are born to be caught and destroyed, speak abusively about things of which they are ignorant. They will suffer destruction brought on by their own destructive course, 13 suffering harm as their reward for their own harmful course. They consider it pleasurable to indulge in luxurious living, even in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes who revel in their deceptive teachings while feasting together with you.
MAY 5-11, 2014
What Sort of Person I Should Be
(2 Peter 3:11)
(John 5:30) I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
(Philippians 2:8) More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake.
(Matthew 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.
(Philippians 2:3, 4) Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility consider others superior to you, 4 as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.
(John 13:34, 35) I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”
(Genesis 3:5, 6) For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” 6 Consequently, the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward, she also gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it.
(Matthew 4:1-9) Then Jesus was led by the spirit up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After he had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he felt hungry. 3 And the Tempter approached and said to him: “If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.’” 5 Then the Devil took him along into the holy city, and he stationed him on the battlement of the temple 6 and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’”
(Ephesians 2:2) in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
(1 Corinthians 9:26, 27) Therefore, the way I am running is not aimlessly; the way I am aiming my blows is so as not to be striking the air; 27 but I pummel my body and lead it as a slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow.
(James 1:22-25) However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.
(John 8:31) Then Jesus went on to say to the Jews who had believed him: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples,
(Matthew 7:24, 25) “Therefore, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a discreet man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded on the rock.
(1 Samuel 9:21) At this Saul answered: “Am I not a Ben′ja•min•ite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the most insignificant of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? So why have you spoken to me in this way?”
(1 Samuel 10:27) But some worthless men said: “How will this one save us?” So they despised him, and they did not bring any gift to him. But he said nothing about it.
(1 Samuel 11:6) The spirit of God empowered Saul when he heard these words, and he burned with anger.
(1 Samuel 11:11-13) On the next day, Saul divided the people into three bands, and they made their way into the middle of the camp during the morning watch and struck down the Am′mon•ites until the day grew hot. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together. 12 Then the people said to Samuel: “Who was saying, ‘Is Saul to be king over us?’ Hand the men over, and we will put them to death.” 13 However, Saul said: “Not a man should be put to death on this day, for today Jehovah has rescued Israel.”
(1 Samuel 15:3) Now go, and strike down the A•mal′ek•ites, and devote them to destruction along with all that they have. You must not spare them; you are to put them to death, man as well as woman, child as well as infant, bull as well as sheep, camel as well as donkey.’”
(1 Samuel 15:9) However, Saul and the people spared A′gag and the best of the flock, the herd, the fattened animals, the rams, and all that was good. They did not want to devote them to destruction. But all the goods that were worthless and unwanted, these they devoted to destruction.
(1 Samuel 15:12) When Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul, Samuel was told: “Saul went to Car′mel, and there he erected a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gil′gal.”
(1 Samuel 15:16-21) At this Samuel said to Saul: “Stop! Let me tell you what Jehovah said to me last night.” So he said to him: “Speak!” 17 Samuel continued: “Were you not insignificant in your own eyes when you were made head of the tribes of Israel and when Jehovah anointed you as king over Israel? 18 Jehovah later sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, and devote the sinful A•mal′ek•ites to destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them.’ 19 So why did you not obey the voice of Jehovah? Instead, you rushed greedily toward the spoil and did what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah!” 20 However, Saul said to Samuel: “But I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah! I went on the mission to which Jehovah sent me, and I brought back A′gag the king of Am′a•lek, and I devoted the A•mal′ek•ites to destruction. 21 But the people took sheep and cattle from the spoil, the best of what was devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to Jehovah your God at Gil′gal.”
(1 Samuel 15:30) At this he said: “I have sinned. But honor me, please, in front of the elders of my people and in front of Israel. Return with me, and I will bow down to Jehovah your God.”
(1 Timothy 4:10) This is why we are working hard and exerting ourselves, because we have rested our hope on a living God, who is a Savior of all sorts of men, especially of faithful ones.
(Psalm 141:5) Should the righteous one strike me, it would be an act of loyal love; Should he reprove me, it would be like oil on my head, Which my head would never refuse. My prayer will continue even during their calamities.
(Proverbs 28:13) The one covering over his transgressions will not succeed, But whoever confesses and abandons them will be shown mercy.
(James 5:14-16) Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. A righteous man’s supplication has a powerful effect.
(Luke 5:3-11) Going aboard one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to pull away a bit from land. Then he sat down, and he began teaching the crowds from the boat. 4 When he stopped speaking, he said to Simon: “Pull out to where it is deep, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But in reply Simon said: “Instructor, we toiled all night and caught nothing, but at your word I will lower the nets.” 6 Well, when they did this, they caught a great number of fish. In fact, their nets began ripping apart. 7 So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and assist them, and they came and filled both boats, so that these began to sink. 8 Seeing this, Simon Peter fell down at the knees of Jesus, saying: “Depart from me, Lord, because I am a sinful man.” 9 For both he and those with him were overwhelmed with astonishment at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and the same was true of both James and John, Zeb′e•dee’s sons, who were partners with Simon. But Jesus said to Simon: “Stop being afraid. From now on you will be catching men alive.” 11 So they brought the boats back to land and abandoned everything and followed him.
(Matthew 16:18, 19) Also, I say to you: You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my congregation, and the gates of the Grave will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of the heavens, and whatever you may bind on earth will already be bound in the heavens, and whatever you may loosen on earth will already be loosened in the heavens.”
(Mark 10:35-45) James and John, the sons of Zeb′e•dee, approached him and said to him: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 He said to them: “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 They replied: “Grant us to sit down, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them: “You do not know what you are asking for. Can you drink the cup that I am drinking or be baptized with the baptism with which I am being baptized?” 39 They said to him: “We can.” At that Jesus said to them: “The cup I am drinking, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am being baptized, you will be baptized. 40 However, to sit down at my right hand or at my left is not mine to give, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 When the ten others heard about it, they became indignant at James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to him and said to them: “You know that those who appear to be ruling the nations lord it over them and their great ones wield authority over them. 43 This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”
(Matthew 26:31-33) Then Jesus said to them: “All of you will be stumbled in connection with me on this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered about.’ 32 But after I have been raised up, I will go ahead of you into Gal′i•lee.” 33 But Peter, in response, said to him: “Although all the others are stumbled in connection with you, I will never be stumbled!
(Matthew 26:69-75) Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant girl came up to him and said: “You too were with Jesus the Gal•i•le′an!” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying: “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71 When he went out to the gatehouse, another girl noticed him and said to those there: “This man was with Jesus the Naz•a•rene′.” 72 Again he denied it, with an oath: “I do not know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing around came up and said to Peter: “Certainly you are also one of them, for in fact, your dialect gives you away.” 74 Then he started to curse and swear: “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter called to mind what Jesus had said, namely: “Before a rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
(Galatians 5:22, 23) On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 2:11-14) However, when Ce′phas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Bar′na•bas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw that they were not walking in step with the truth of the good news, I said to Ce′phas before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do and not as Jews do, how can you compel people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?”
(2 Peter 3:15) Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him,
(Acts 5:41) So they went out from before the San′he•drin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name.
(1 Peter 2:20, 21) For what merit is there if you are beaten for sinning and you endure it? But if you endure suffering because of doing good, this is an agreeable thing to God. 21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.
(Ecclesiastes7:9) Do not be quick to take offense, for the taking of offense lodges in the bosom of fools.
(Psalm 86:11) Instruct me, O Jehovah, about your way.I will walk in your truth. Unify my heart to fear your name.
(Romans 12:16) Have the same attitude toward others as toward yourselves; do not set your mind on lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become wise in your own eyes.
(James 1:25) But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.
(Ecclesiastes 7:20) For there is no righteous man on earth who always does good and never sins.
Proof of Discipleship
(John 13:34, 35)