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Theocratic Ministry School Week Starting june 2 ‒ Highlights of Exodus 38-40

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Program of the Theocratic Ministry School: Week Starting june 2


ss14 pp. 1-4 Theocratic Ministry School Schedule for 2014

June 2 Bible reading: Exodus 38-40
No. 1: Exodus 40:20-38
No. 2: What the Sabbath Means to Christians (rs p. 349; updated: w11 7/15 p. 28 ¶16-17)
No. 3: Abraham—The Historicity of Abraham in the Christian Greek Scriptures (it-1 p. 32 ¶2-3)
w14 4/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

JUNE 2-8, 2014
Imitate the Faith of Moses
PAGE 3 • SONGS: 33, 133
ws14 4/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

JUNE 2-8, 2014
Imitate the Faith of Moses
PAGE 3 • SONGS: 33, 133


Highlights From the Book of Exodus 38-40


Exodus 39:30 ‒ w01 2/1 p. 14 pars. 2-3
(Exodus 39:30) Finally, they made the shining plate, the holy sign of dedication, out of pure gold and inscribed on it an inscription as one would engrave a seal: “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.”
[w01 2/1 p. 14 pars. 2-3] 2 However, what does “dedication” mean in the Biblical sense? “Dedicate” translates a Hebrew verb that has the meaning “keep separate; be separated; withdraw.” In ancient Israel, High Priest Aaron wore on his turban “the holy sign of dedication,” which was a shining plate of pure gold engraved with the Hebrew words for “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.” That served as a reminder to the high priest that he must avoid doing anything that would profane the sanctuary “because the sign of dedication, the anointing oil of his God, [was] upon him.”—Exodus 29:6; 39:30; Leviticus 21:12.
3 We can see in this context that dedication is a serious matter. It implies voluntary identification as a servant of God, and it requires clean conduct. Therefore, we can appreciate why the apostle Peter quoted Jehovah as saying: “You must be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15, 16) As dedicated Christians, we bear a heavy responsibility to live up to our dedication, being faithful to the end. But what is involved in Christian dedication?—Leviticus 19:2; Matthew 24:13.

Ex 38:1 - *** it-1 p. 82 Altar ***
(Exodus 38:1) 38 He made the altar of burnt offering out of acacia wood. It was square, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high.
Tabernacle Altars. With the setting up of the tabernacle, two altars were constructed according to divine pattern. The altar of burnt offering (also called “the altar of copper” [Ex 39:39]) was made of acacia wood in the form of a hollow chest, apparently without top or bottom. It was 2.2 m (7.3 ft) square and 1.3 m (4.4 ft) high with “horns” projecting from the upper four corners. All its surfaces were overlaid with copper. A grating, or network, of copper was placed below the altar’s rim “down within,” “toward the center.” Four rings were placed at the four extremities near the grating, and these appear to be the same rings through which the two copper-sheathed acacia-wood poles were passed for carrying the altar. This might mean that a slot was cut through two sides of the altar allowing for a flat grating to be inserted, with the rings extending out on both sides. There is considerable difference of opinion among scholars on the subject, and many consider it likely that two sets of rings were involved, the second set, for insertion of the carrying poles, being attached directly to the outside of the altar. Copper equipment was made in the form of cans and shovels for the ashes, bowls for catching the blood of the animals, forks for handling the flesh, and fire holders.—Ex 27:1-8; 38:1-7, 30; Nu 4:14.

Ex 39:30 -*** it-1 p. 552 Crown ***
The Hebrew word ne′zer, in addition to meaning “diadem” (2Ch 23:11), can pertain to a thing singled out, separated, or dedicated, as in the case of the chief priest who had upon him “the sign of dedication, the anointing oil of his God.” (Le 21:10-12; compare De 33:16, ftn.) In view of this basic meaning, the New World Translation appropriately renders ne′zer at times as “sign of dedication,” with reference to the plate of gold worn by Israel’s high priest upon his turban. On this gold plate were inscribed the words “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.”—Ex 29:6; 39:30, ftn; Le 8:9.

Ex 39:32 - *** w95 12/15 p. 13 par. 9 They “Did Just So”
(Exodus 39:32) 32 So all the work for the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed, and the Israelites did everything that Jehovah had commanded Moses. They did just so.
Then, even to the minutest detail, Moses and his willing coworkers followed the architectural plans provided by Jehovah. “So the work for the tabernacle of the tent of meeting all came to its completion, in that the sons of Israel kept doing according to all that Jehovah had commanded Moses. They did just so.” Similarly, at the inauguration of the priesthood, “Moses proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.” (Exodus 39:32; 40:16)

Ex 40:15 - *** it-1 p. 523 Covenant ***
(Exodus 40:15) 15 You are to anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they will serve as priests to me, and their anointing will serve continually for them as a lasting priesthood during their generations.”
Covenant With the Tribe of Levi. Jehovah made a covenant with the tribe of Levi, that the entire tribe should be set aside to constitute the tabernacle service organization, including the priesthood. This occurred in the wilderness of Sinai, in 1512 B.C.E. (Ex 40:2, 12-16; Mal 2:4) Aaron and his sons, of the family of Kohath, were to be priests, the remaining families of Levi taking care of other duties, such as setting up the tabernacle, moving it, and other matters. (Nu 3:6-13; chap 4) Later, they served likewise at the temple. (1Ch 23) The installation services for the priesthood were carried out Nisan 1-7, 1512 B.C.E., and they began serving on Nisan 8. (Le chaps 8, 9) The Levites had no inheritance in the land, but received tithes from the other tribes, and had enclave cities in which to dwell. (Nu 18:23, 24; Jos 21:41) On account of Phinehas’ zeal for exclusive devotion to Jehovah, God made a covenant of peace with him, a covenant for the priesthood to time indefinite for him and his offspring. (Nu 25:10-13) The covenant with Levi continued in operation until the ending of the Law covenant.—Heb 7:12.

Ex 40:16 - *** it-2 p. 438 Moses ***
(Exodus 40:16) 16 Moses did according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.
He was careful to carry out instructions. In the intricate work of constructing the tabernacle and making its utensils and the priests’ garments, Moses exercised close oversight. The record reads: “And Moses proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.” (Ex 40:16; compare Nu 17:11.)

Ex 40:28 - *** w00 1/15 p. 15 par. 8 “Desirable Things” Are Filling Jehovah’s House ***
(Exodus 40:28) 28 Then he put the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle in place.
During that period, Jesus enjoyed a spirit-begotten relationship with God. This unique standing that Jesus had with his heavenly Father could not be fully comprehended by other humans. It was as if a screen blocked their eyes of discernment, just as a screen shielded the Holy from the view of those in the tabernacle courtyard.—Exodus 40:28.

No. 1: Exodus 40:20-38


No. 2: What the Sabbath Means to Christians (rs p. 349; updated: w11 7/15 p. 28 ¶16-17)

rs p. 349; Sabbath

intently at the face of Moses” on the occasion when it was delivered to them. What is this describing? Exodus 34:1, 28-30 shows that it is the giving of the Ten Commandments; these were the commandments engraved on stone. Obviously these are included in what the scripture here says “was to be done away with.”)
Does doing away with the Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments, imply the taking away of all moral restraint?
Not at all; many of the moral standards set out in the Ten Commandments were restated in the inspired books of the Christian Greek Scriptures. (There was, however, no restating of the sabbath law.) But no matter how good a law is, as long as sinful inclinations dominate a person’s desires, there will be lawlessness. However, regarding the new covenant, which has replaced the Law covenant, Hebrews 8:10 states: “‘For this is the covenant that I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I shall write them. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.’” How much more effective such laws are than those engraved on stone tablets!
Rom. 6:15-17: “Shall we commit a sin because we are not under law but under undeserved kindness? Never may that happen! Do you not know that if you keep presenting yourselves to anyone as slaves to obey him, you are slaves of him because you obey him, either of sin with death in view or of obedience with righteousness in view? But thanks to God that you were the slaves of sin but you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were handed over.” (See also Galatians 5:18-24.)
Of what significance to Christians is the weekly Sabbath?
There is “a sabbath resting” that Christians share in every day
Hebrews 4:4-11 says: “In one place [Genesis 2:2] he [God] has said of the seventh day as follows: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,’ and again in this place

w11 7/15 p. 28 ¶16-17 God’s Rest—What Is It?

16 Few Christians today would insist on observing some aspect of the Mosaic Law in order to obtain salvation. Paul’s inspired words to the Ephesians are perfectly clear: “By this undeserved kindness, indeed, you have been saved through faith; and this not owing to you, it is God’s gift. No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have ground for boasting.” (Eph. 2:8, 9) What, then, does it mean for Christians to enter into God’s rest? Jehovah set aside the seventh day—his rest day—in order to bring his purpose respecting the earth to a glorious fulfillment. We can enter into Jehovah’s rest—or join him in his rest—by obediently working in harmony with his advancing purpose as it is revealed to us through his organization.
17 On the other hand, if we minimized the Bible-based counsel that we receive through the faithful and discreet slave class, choosing to follow an independent course, we would be placing ourselves at odds with God’s unfolding purpose. This could endanger our peaceful relationship with Jehovah. In the next article, we will consider a few common situations that can affect God’s people and discuss how the decisions we make, whether to obey or to take an independent course, can determine if we have truly entered into God’s rest.

No. 3: Abraham—The Historicity of Abraham in the Christian Greek Scriptures (it-1 p. 32 ¶2-3)

it-1 p. 32 ¶2-3 Abraham
Historicity. Jesus and his disciples referred to Abraham more than 70 times in their conversations and writings. In his illustration of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus referred to Abraham in a symbolic sense. (Lu 16:19-31) When his opponents boasted that they were the offspring of Abraham, Jesus was quick to point out their hypocrisy, saying: “If you are Abraham’s children, do the works of Abraham.” (Joh 8:31-58; Mt 3:9, 10) No, as the apostle Paul said, it is not fleshly descent that counts, but, rather, faith like that of Abraham that enables one to be declared righteous. (Ro 9:6-8; 4:1-12) Paul also identified the true seed of Abraham as Christ, along with those who belong to Christ as “heirs with reference to a promise.” (Ga 3:16, 29) He also speaks of Abraham’s kindness and hospitality to strangers, and in his long list in Hebrews chapter 11 of illustrious witnesses of Jehovah, Paul does not overlook Abraham. It is Paul who points out that Abraham’s two women, Sarah and Hagar, figured in a symbolic drama that involved Jehovah’s two covenants. (Ga 4:22-31; Heb 11:8) The Bible writer James adds that Abraham backed up his faith by righteous works and, therefore, was known as “Jehovah’s friend.”—Jas 2:21-23.
Archaeological discoveries have also confirmed matters related in the Biblical history of Abraham: The geographic locations of many places and customs of that period of time, such as the purchase of the field from the Hittites, the choice of Eliezer as heir, and the treatment of Hagar.

References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD‒ROM

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