Our Meetings All In One (AIO) ‒ Week Starting June 16

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

June 16 Bible reading: Leviticus 6-9
No. 1: Leviticus 8:18-30
No. 2: Why We Do Not Pray to “Saints” (rs p. 353 ¶2-4)
No. 3: Absalom—Put Away All Selfish Ambition and Hypocrisy (it-1 p. 33 ¶2–p. 35 ¶1)
w14 4/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

JUNE 16-22, 2014
No One Can Serve Two Masters
PAGE 17 • SONGS: 62, 106
ws14 4/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

JUNE 16-22, 2014
No One Can Serve Two Masters
PAGE 15 • SONGS: 62, 106


Our Meetings All In One (AIO)

All References Week Starting June 16



Theocratic Ministry School

No. 1: Leviticus 8:18-30


No. 2: Why We Do Not Pray to “Saints” (rs p. 353 ¶2-4)

rs p. 353 ¶2-4 Saints
Jesus Christ said: “You should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, . . . ’” So prayers are to be addressed to the Father. Jesus also said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.” (Matt. 6:9; John 14:6, 14, JB) Thus Jesus ruled out the idea that anyone else could fill the role of intercessor. The apostle Paul added regarding Christ: “He not only died for us—he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.” “He is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him.” (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25, JB) If we truly want our prayers to be heard by God, would it not be wise to approach God in the way that his Word directs? (See also pages 258, 259, under the heading “Mary.”)
Eph. 6:18, 19, JB: “Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints; and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and speak without fear and give out the mystery of the gospel.” (Italics added.) (Here encouragement is given to pray for the saints but not to them or through them. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. XI, p. 670, acknowledges: “Usually in the N[ew] T[estament], all prayer, private as well as public liturgical prayer, is addressed to God the Father through Christ.”)
Rom. 15:30, JB: “I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Spirit, to help me through my dangers by praying to God for me.” (The apostle Paul, himself a saint, asked fellow Christians who were also saints to pray for him. But notice that Paul did not address his prayers to those fellow saints, nor did their prayers on his behalf replace the personal intimacy that Paul himself enjoyed with the Father by means of prayer. Compare Ephesians 3:11, 12, 14.)

No. 3: Absalom—Put Away All Selfish Ambition and Hypocrisy (it-1 p. 33 ¶2–p. 35 ¶1)

it-1 p. 33 ¶2–p. 35 ¶1 Absalom
Restoration to Favor. When three years’ time had eased the pain of the loss of his firstborn, David felt paternal longing for Absalom. Joab, reading his royal uncle’s thoughts, by means of stratagem opened the way for David to extend a probationary pardon allowing Absalom to be repatriated but without the right to appear in his father’s court. (2Sa 13:39; 14:1-24) Absalom endured this ostracized status for two years and then began maneuvering for full pardon. When Joab, as an official of the king’s court, refused to visit him, Absalom peremptorily had Joab’s barley field burned and, when the indignant Joab came, told him he wanted a final decision by the king and said, “If there is any error in me, he must then put me to death.” When Joab relayed the message, David received his son, who thereupon fell on the ground in symbol of complete submission, and the king gave him the kiss of full pardon.—2Sa 14:28-33.
Treasonous Activity. Any natural or filial affection that Absalom had for David, however, had apparently vanished during the five years of separation from his father. Three years of association with pagan royalty may have cultivated the corroding influence of ambition. Absalom might have viewed himself as destined for the throne because of being descended from royalty on both sides of the family. Since Chileab (Daniel), who was second in line of David’s sons, is not mentioned after the account of his birth, it is also possible that he had died, thereby leaving Absalom as David’s oldest surviving son. (2Sa 3:3; 1Ch 3:1) Nevertheless, God’s promise to David of a future “seed” to inherit the throne was given after Absalom’s birth, and hence he should have known that he was not Jehovah’s choice for the kingship. (2Sa 7:12) At any rate, once restored to royal rank, Absalom began an underhanded political campaign. With consummate skill he feigned great concern for the public welfare and presented himself as a man of the people. He carefully insinuated to the people, particularly those of the tribes outside Judah, that the king’s court was lacking in interest in their problems and was greatly in need of a warmhearted man like Absalom.—2Sa 15:1-6.
The phrase “at the end of forty years” found at 2 Samuel 15:7 is uncertain in its application, and in the Greek Septuagint (Lagardian edition), Syriac Peshitta, and Latin Vulgate it is rendered as “four years.” But it is not likely that Absalom would wait a total of six years to fulfill a vow, if the “four years” were viewed as counting from the time of his complete reinstatement. (2Sa 14:28) Since a three-year famine, a war with the Philistines, and Adonijah’s attempt at the throne all took place during David’s reign but after the events now considered, it is evident that the writer’s starting point of “forty years” would have to have begun considerably prior to the beginning of David’s 40-year reign, and perhaps means 40 years from his first anointing by Samuel. This would then allow for Absalom’s being still a “young man” at this point (2Sa 18:5), since he was born sometime between 1077 and 1070 B.C.E.
Absalom, feeling satisfied that he had built up a strong following throughout the realm, obtained permission from his father by means of a pretext to go to Hebron, the original capital of Judah. From there he quickly organized a full-scale conspiracy for the throne, including a nationwide web of spies to proclaim his kingship. After having invoked God’s blessing on his rule by offering sacrifices, he obtained the support of his father’s most respected counselor, Ahithophel. Many now swung to Absalom’s side.—2Sa 15:7-12.
Faced with a major crisis and anticipating a large-scale attack, David chose to evacuate the palace along with all his household, although he had the loyal support of a large body of faithful men, including the principal priests, Abiathar and Zadok. These two he sent back to Jerusalem to serve as liaison agents. While ascending the Mount of Olives, barefoot, head covered, and weeping, David was met by Hushai, the king’s “companion,” whom he likewise dispatched to Jerusalem to frustrate Ahithophel’s counsel. (2Sa 15:13-37) Beset by opportunists, one seeking favor, another filled with partisan spirit and venting stored-up hatred, David stands in sharp contrast to Absalom by his quiet submission and refusal to render evil for evil. Rejecting his nephew Abishai’s plea for permission to cross over and ‘take off the head’ of the stone-throwing, cursing Shimei, David reasoned: “Here my own son, who has come forth out of my own inward parts, is looking for my soul; and how much more now a Benjaminite! Let him alone that he may call down evil, for Jehovah has said so to him! Perhaps Jehovah will see with his eye, and Jehovah will actually restore to me goodness instead of his malediction this day.”—2Sa 16:1-14.
Occupying Jerusalem and the palace, Absalom accepted Hushai’s apparent defection to his side after first making a sarcastic reference to Hushai’s being the faithful “companion” of David. Then, acting on Ahithophel’s counsel, Absalom publicly had relations with his father’s concubines as proof of the complete break between himself and David and of his unrelenting determination to maintain control of the throne. (2Sa 16:15-23) In this way the latter part of Nathan’s inspired prophecy saw fulfillment.—2Sa 12:11.
Ahithophel now urged Absalom to charge him with authority to lead a force against David that very night so as to administer the deathblow before David’s forces could get organized. Pleased, Absalom still thought it wise to hear Hushai’s opinion. Realizing David’s need for time, Hushai painted a vivid picture, possibly designed to play on any lack of genuine courage in Absalom (who, till now, had displayed more arrogance and craftiness than manly valor), as well as to appeal to Absalom’s vanity. Hushai recommended the taking of time first to build up an overwhelming force of men to be then commanded by Absalom himself. By Jehovah’s direction, Hushai’s counsel was accepted. Ahithophel, evidently realizing that Absalom’s revolt would fail, committed suicide.—2Sa 17:1-14, 23.
As a precautionary measure, Hushai sent word to David of Ahithophel’s counsel, and despite Absalom’s efforts to catch the clandestine couriers, David received the warning and crossed over the Jordan and went up into the hills of Gilead to Mahanaim (where Ish-bosheth had had his capital). Here he was received with expressions of generosity and kindness. Preparing for the conflict, David organized his expanding forces into three divisions under Joab, Abishai, and Ittai the Gittite. Urged to remain in the city, as his presence would be of more value there, David submitted and again displayed an amazing lack of rancor toward Absalom by publicly requesting his three captains to “deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.”—2Sa 17:15–18:5.
Decisive Battle and Death. Absalom’s newly formed forces were administered a crushing defeat by David’s experienced fighters. The battle reached into the forest of Ephraim. Absalom, riding away on his royal mule, passed under the low branches of a large tree and apparently got his head enmeshed in the fork of a branch so that he was left suspended in the air. The man who reported to Joab that he had seen him said he would not have disobeyed David’s request by slaying Absalom for “a thousand pieces of silver [if shekels, c. $2,200],” but Joab felt no such restraint and drove three shafts into Absalom’s heart, after which ten of his men joined their captain in sharing the responsibility for Absalom’s death. Absalom’s body was thereafter thrown into a hollow and covered with a mound of stones as unworthy of burial.—2Sa 18:6-17; compare Jos 7:26; 8:29.
When messengers reached David in Mahanaim, his first concern was for his son. Learning of Absalom’s death, David paced the floor of the roof chamber, crying: “My son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! O that I might have died, I myself, instead of you, Absalom my son, my son!” (2Sa 18:24-33) Only Joab’s blunt, straightforward speech and reasoning brought David out of his great grief due to the tragic course and end of this physically attractive and resourceful young man, whose driving ambition led him to fight against God’s anointed, thus bringing himself to ruin.—2Sa 19:1-8; compare Pr 24:21, 22.
Psalm 3 was written by David at the time of Absalom’s revolt, according to the superscription that heads the psalm.
Absalom’s Monument. A pillar had been erected by Absalom in “the Low Plain of the King,” also called “the Low Plain of Shaveh,” near Jerusalem. (2Sa 18:18; Ge 14:17) He had erected it because of having no sons to keep his name alive after his death. It thus appears that his three sons mentioned at 2 Samuel 14:27 had died when young. Absalom was not buried at the place of his monument but was left in a hollow in the forest of Ephraim.—2Sa 18:6, 17.
There is a pillar cut out of the rock in the Kidron Valley that has been called the Tomb of Absalom, but its architecture indicates it is from the Greco-Roman period, perhaps of the time of Herod. So there is no basis for associating the name of Absalom with it.

Highlights of the Bible

Highlights From the Book of Leviticus 6-9

Lessons for Us:

7:26, 27. The Israelites were not to eat blood. In God’s view, blood represents life. “The soul [life] of the flesh is in the blood,” states Leviticus 17:11. Abstinence from blood remains the standard for true worshipers today.—Acts 15:28, 29.

HOLY PRIESTHOOD IS SET FORTH

(Leviticus 8:1–10:20)
Who were given the responsibility of caring for duties involving sacrifices and offerings? That was entrusted to the priests. As directed by God, Moses conducted an installation ceremony for Aaron, the high priest, and for his four sons, who were to be underpriests. The ceremony apparently occupied a seven-day period, and the priesthood began functioning on the following day.

Scriptural Questions Answered:

9:9—What is significant about the pouring of blood at the base of the altar and the placing of it on various items? This demonstrated that Jehovah accepted blood for atonement purposes. The whole atonement arrangement was based on blood. “Nearly all things are cleansed with blood according to the Law,” wrote the apostle Paul, “and unless blood is poured out no forgiveness takes place.”—Hebrews 9:22.

*** w12 1/15 pp. 22-23 par. 8 Making Whole-Souled Sacrifices for Jehovah ***
8 The sacrifices that the Israelites made to Jehovah were considered to be holy. (Lev. 6:25; 7:1) The Hebrew term translated “holiness” conveys the idea of separateness, exclusiveness, or sanctification to God. In order for our sacrifices to be acceptable to Jehovah, they must be separate from and uncontaminated by worldly influences. We cannot be loving any of the things that Jehovah hates. (Read 1 John 2:15-17.) Clearly, this means that we have to avoid any associations or involvements that would defile us from God’s point of view. (Isa. 2:4; Rev. 18:4) It also means that we cannot allow our eyes to keep looking at that which is unclean or immoral or let our minds fantasize about such things.—Col. 3:5, 6.

*** cl chap. 26 pp. 267-268 pars. 19-21 A God Who Is “Ready to Forgive” ***
19 Our sins may have additional consequences, especially if others have been hurt by our actions. Consider, for example, the account in Leviticus chapter 6. The Mosaic Law here addresses the situation wherein a person commits a serious wrong by seizing a fellow Israelite’s goods through robbery, extortion, or fraud. The sinner then denies that he is guilty, even being so daring as to swear falsely. It is one person’s word against another’s. Later, however, the offender becomes stricken in conscience and confesses his sin. To gain God’s forgiveness, he has to do three more things: restore what he had taken, pay the victim a fine totaling 20 percent of the value of the stolen items, and provide a ram as a guilt offering. Then, the law says: “The priest must make an atonement for him before Jehovah, and so it must be forgiven him.”—Leviticus 6:1-7.
20 This law was a merciful provision from God. It benefited the victim, whose property was returned and who no doubt felt much relief when the offender finally acknowledged his sin. At the same time, the law benefited the one whose conscience at last moved him to admit his guilt and correct his wrong. Indeed, if he refused to do so, there would be no forgiveness for him from God.
21 Although we are not under the Mosaic Law, that Law gives us insight into Jehovah’s mind, including his thinking on forgiveness. (Colossians 2:13, 14) If others have been hurt by our sins, God is pleased when we do what we can to right the wrong. (Matthew 5:23, 24) This may involve acknowledging our sin, admitting our guilt, and even apologizing to the victim. Then we can appeal to Jehovah on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice and experience the assurance that we have been forgiven by God.—Hebrews 10:21, 22.

*** w13 12/15 p. 13 par. 6 Will You Make Sacrifices for the Kingdom? ***
6 First, the person had to give his best. Jehovah told the nation that any offering had to be a sound one in order “to gain approval.” (Lev. 22:18-20) If there was a defect in the animal, it would not be viewed as an acceptable sacrifice to Jehovah. Second, the person giving the sacrifice had to be clean and undefiled. If a person was in an unclean state, he would have to make a sin offering or a guilt offering to restore his standing with Jehovah before making a voluntary offering. (Lev. 5:5, 6, 15) This was a serious matter. Jehovah stipulated that if someone in an unclean state partook of a communion sacrifice, which included voluntary offerings, he would be cut off from God’s people. (Lev. 7:20, 21) On the other hand, when the person making the sacrifice had a good standing with Jehovah and the offering was without defect, the giver could rejoice with satisfaction.—Read 1 Chronicles 29:9.
16 However, a word of caution is needed. As was true of the ancient Israelites, we must make sure that our voluntary sacrifices are acceptable to God. We have to maintain our balance so that we care for our primary responsibilities in connection with our families and the worship of Jehovah. The giving of our time and resources in behalf of others should not cause us to neglect the spirituality or physical welfare of our family. Otherwise, we would, in effect, be giving from what we do not have. (Read 2 Corinthians 8:12.)

*** w12 1/15 p. 19 pars. 11-12 Learn From ‘the Framework of Truth’ ***
11 Certain sacrifices stipulated by the Mosaic Law were considered communion offerings. These signified peace with Jehovah. The person making such an offering and his family would eat the meat of the sacrificed animal, perhaps in one of the temple’s dining rooms. The officiating priest received a portion of the meat, as did the other priests serving at the temple. (Lev. 3:1, ftn.; 7:31-33) The worshipper made his sacrifice purely out of the desire to enjoy a good relationship with God. It was as though the worshipper, his family, the priests, and Jehovah himself were joyfully partaking of a meal together, in peace.
12 What greater privilege could there be than, in a symbolic way, to invite Jehovah to such a meal and for him to accept? Naturally, the host would want to offer his very best to such an honored guest. The provision of communion sacrifices, part of the Law’s framework of truth, pointed to the fact that by means of Jesus’ greater sacrifice, all those of mankind who desire to attain an intimate, peaceful relationship with their Creator can do so. Today, we can enjoy Jehovah’s friendship and company as we voluntarily sacrifice our resources and energies in his service.

*** g 6/12 p. 8 Healthful Food for All—Soon! ***
[Box on page 8]
“A CODE OF RULES OF HEALTH”
About 3,500 years ago, Israel received the Mosaic Law. That Law protected the Israelites from many foodborne illnesses. Consider the following instructions: ● Eat leftovers within a short period: “On the next day what is left of it also may be eaten. But what is left of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day is to be burned with fire.”—Leviticus 7:16-18.

*** w91 2/15 p. 16 par. 3 “You Were Bought With a Price” ***
3 What role does Christ’s blood play in our salvation? Since Noah’s day, true worshipers have viewed blood as sacred. (Genesis 9:4-6) Blood plays an important part in the life process, for the Bible says that “the soul [or life] of the flesh is in the blood.” (Leviticus 17:11) So the Mosaic Law required that when an animal was sacrificed, its blood be poured out before Jehovah. At times blood was also placed upon the horns of the altar. Clearly, the atoning power of a sacrifice was in its blood. (Leviticus 8:15; 9:9) “Nearly all things are cleansed with blood according to the Law, and unless blood is poured out no forgiveness takes place.”—Hebrews 9:22.

*** it-2 p. 1113 Toe ***
At the installation of the priesthood in Israel, Moses took some blood of the ram of the installation and put it on the right ear, the right thumb, and the right big toe of Aaron and each of his sons. (Le 8:23, 24) The blood of the sacrifice on the prominent member of the right foot meant that they must point their course and walk unswervingly with the best of their ability in the sacrificial duties of the priesthood. Jesus Christ the great High Priest fulfilled this prophetic type when on earth (Mt 16:21-23), and his underpriests, his spirit-begotten brothers, must follow his steps closely.—Heb 7:26; 1Pe 2:5, 8; Re 20:6.

*** g 3/10 p. 29 Are All Parts of the Bible Still Relevant? ***
Over 1,900 years later, we still benefit from those portions of the Bible in several ways. First, we would not even have the Bible if God had not seen to it that it was written and preserved by a people whom he had chosen. (Romans 3:1, 2) In ancient Israel the Mosaic Law was not just a sacred relic to be preserved for future generations but was, in effect, the constitution of that nation. Details in the Law that may seem unnecessary to us today were vital to the survival and proper functioning of ancient Israel. Moreover, the genealogical records in the Bible were necessary to identify the Messiah, who was foretold to be a direct descendant of King David.—2 Samuel 7:12, 13; Luke 1:32; 3:23-31.

Service Meeting

Song 37
30 min: “Remember Those in Nursing Homes.” Questions and answers. When considering paragraph 4, have a brief demonstration showing two qualified publishers meeting with a director of activities to inquire about having a group study at the facility.
Song 90 and Prayer

30 min: “Remember Those in Nursing Homes.”

Questions and answers. When considering paragraph 4, have a brief demonstration showing two qualified publishers meeting with a director of activities to inquire about having a group study at the facility.

REMEMBER THOSE IN NURSING HOMES

1. Why is there a need to reach those in nursing homes with the good news?
1 Many people are facing the debilitating effects of advancing age. (Eccl. 12:1-7) Some older ones live in nursing homes, so it is not always possible for us to reach them through house-to-house preaching. This is true even in lands where aging parents traditionally move in with their children or other relatives. Although perhaps limited in mobility or memory, elderly ones and others who live in nursing homes may still be able to learn about, appreciate, and come to love Jehovah. How can we reach out to share the good news of “the happy hope” with them?—Titus 2:13.
^ par. 1 (Eccl. 12:1-7) Remember, then, your Grand Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of distress come and the years arrive when you will say: “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the downpour; 3 in the day when the guards of the house become shaky, and the strong men stoop over, and the women quit grinding because they have become few, and the ladies looking out the windows find it dark; 4 when the doors to the street have been closed, when the sound of the grinding mill becomes low, when one gets up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song grow faint. 5 Also, one is afraid of heights, and there are terrors in the street. And the almond tree blossoms, and the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry bursts, because man is walking to his lasting house and the mourners walk about in the street; 6 before the silver cord is removed, and the golden bowl is crushed, and the jar at the spring is broken, and the waterwheel for the cistern is crushed. 7 Then the dust returns to the earth, just as it was, and the spirit returns to the true God who gave it.
^ par. 1 (Titus 2:13) while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ,

2. How can we compile a list of nursing-care facilities to visit?
2 Getting Started: Usually a list of nursing-care facilities can be compiled by searching the local telephone directory. Check categories such as “nursing homes,” “group homes,” and “residential-care facilities.” The service overseer can take the lead in arranging for qualified publishers to visit each facility. With good planning and reliance on Jehovah, it is often possible to start a group Bible study.—Prov. 21:5;1 John 5:14, 15.
^ par. 2 (Prov. 21:5) The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, But all who are hasty surely head for poverty.
^ par. 2 (1 John 5:14, 15) And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that no matter what we ask according to his will, he hears us.15 And if we know that he hears us concerning whatever we are asking, we know that we are to have the things we ask for, since we have asked them of him.

3, 4. (a) Whom should we approach to introduce the group study? (b) How might we outline the study arrangement?
3 The manner in which the study is introduced depends on the type of facility. In large facilities with many residents and staff members, it is best to approach the receptionist and ask to speak with the director of activities. In small group homes for seniors—homes with a few residents and two or three caregivers—it may be best to schedule a time to speak directly with the owner of the home.
4 In either situation, explain that you are volunteering your time to encourage individuals who enjoy reading and discussing Bible accounts. Ask if there are any residents who might like to participate in a group Bible discussion for about 30 minutes a week. A variety of publications can be used, but many find that My Book of Bible Stories and The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived are well received. You may wish to show the publications to the director. The day, time, and meeting room location can be worked out with him or her and will typically be posted on an activities calendar in the nursing home. Do not shy away from identifying yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the same time, help the director to understand that you would not be coming to conduct a religious service but, rather, to promote Bible education.

5. What practical suggestions will make the study enjoyable and beneficial?
5 Conducting the Study: How you conduct the study depends on the circumstances and environment at the facility, so be flexible and discerning. The conductor should bring several copies of the publication being considered and should collect them at the end of the study. It may be necessary to bring enlarged copies of the material for some. Paragraphs can be read, questions can be asked, and responses can be given in our usual manner. Those willing and capable may be invited to read the paragraphs or Bible passages. During the study, be engaging, positive, and friendly. With the permission of the director, you can occasionally show one of the organization’s videos that builds faith in the Bible or highlights lessons from a particular Bible account. It may be possible to open and close the study with a simple prayer. Some publishers have even introduced Kingdom songs.

6. How might an objection be handled?
6 What if a resident objects to something that is read or stated during the study? Use discernment when you reply. (Col. 4:6) Perhaps you can share a brief Bible text that clearly addresses his concern. If it is not practical for you to do so, then it would be best to acknowledge his comment and offer to consider the matter with him separately after the study.
^ par. 6 (Col. 4:6) Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person.

7. What can you do if a resident has a personal question or shows exceptional interest?
7 On occasion, a resident may ask a question or express a desire to learn more. One sister uses this approach: “That’s a very good question. But since that is your personal question, let’s wait until the end of our reading. Then you and I can discuss it together.” It is often possible to arrange to conduct a personal Bible study with interested ones at another time and in a different setting.

8. How should group studies and any personal Bible studies that result be counted?
8 It is usually best for the same Witnesses to conduct the group study at the facility each time. Any publishers who participate may count the time. Once the study is established, the publisher taking the lead may count one return visit every time the group study is conducted and one Bible study each month. Bible studies that are started with individual residents who are able to understand and learn may be counted in the usual way.

9, 10. What qualities are necessary for those involved in this work? Explain.
9 Keeping It Going: It is best to have a set day and time for the group study. The residents and staff will expect it to be held regularly and to start and end on time. (Matt. 5:37) Therefore, commitment, diligence, and orderliness are required. Experience has shown that it is best if two qualified publishers work together to conduct the group study. (Eccl. 4:9, 10) In large facilities, more publishers might be needed.
^ par. 9 (Matt. 5:37) Just let your word ‘Yes’ mean yes, your ‘No,’ no, for what goes beyond these is from the wicked one.
^ par. 9 (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?

10 Friendliness and personal interest are also important. (Phil. 2:4) On the first visit, take time to meet each resident who attends. Make note of and try to memorize their names before the next study. However, some older people are offended if someone they do not know addresses them by their first name. Patience and compassion will make everyone feel welcome and appreciated.
^ par. 10 (Phil. 2:4) as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.

11. How can those conducting the group study show respect for the staff and family members of the residents?
11 It is also essential to demonstrate respect for and show kindness to the facility staff and family members of the residents. Once the study arrangement is set, it is wise not to change the time or format without first discussing it with the director. From time to time, ask the director for input on how the study is going. When family members visit during the study, take the initiative to meet them. Explain to them the purpose of the Bible study activity. Reassure them of your sincere interest in their family member. Invite them to sit in and listen to the study.

12, 13. Relate experiences illustrating the benefits of witnessing in nursing homes.
12 Results: Traveling overseers and congregations report encouraging results from this avenue of service. In one case, about 20 residents attended the first discussion. This led to individual Bible studies with six residents. One was eventually baptized. A study in another home motivated an 85-year-old woman to associate with the local congregation and express her desire to be baptized. When one facility decided to consolidate its activities—eliminating the group study conducted by Jehovah’s Witnesses—the residents complained to the facility director! Eventually the study was started again and thereafter between 25 and 30 people attended.

13 The love we show to those in nursing homes leaves a deep impression on more than just the residents. For example, it is not unusual for staff members to sit in on and even participate in the study. The effort we put forth to show personal interest to those in nursing homes also gives a favorable witness to the community. (1 Pet. 2:12) After being told the purpose of the study, one administrator said: “What took you so long? When can you start?” Another director wrote: “I would heartily recommend this group study to any nursing-care facility in the area. Jehovah’s Witnesses provide this free service as part of their ministerial work in the community.” One nursing home in Hawaii gave Jehovah’s Witnesses a Volunteer Service Award that described the volunteers as a “priceless treasure” to those in that facility.
^ par. 13 (1 Pet. 2:12) Maintain your conduct fine among the nations, so that when they accuse you of being wrongdoers, they may be eyewitnesses of your fine works and, as a result, glorify God in the day of his inspection.

14. Why should we want to reach out to assist those in nursing homes?
14 The elderly are invited by Jehovah to praise him. (Ps. 148:12, 13) That invitation includes those in nursing homes. Are there nursing homes within your territory where elderly ones would benefit from hearing the good news? With the help of the local elders and the nursing-home directors, we may be able to give a good witness to those in nursing homes. When we remember those of advancing years, we imitate Jehovah.—Ps. 71:9, 18.
^ par. 14 (Ps. 148:12, 13) You young men and young women, Old men and young together. 13 Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For his name alone is unreachably high. His majesty is above earth and heaven.
^ par. 14 (Ps. 71:9) Do not cast me off in my old age; Do not abandon me when my strength fails.
^ par. 14 (Ps. 71:18) Even when I am old and gray, O God, do not abandon me. Let me tell the next generation about your power And about your mightiness to all those who are to come.

Group Discussions at a Nursing Home

• Check in with the receptionist and director of activities when you arrive for the scheduled session.
• Bring enough copies of the study publication for the group. Carry the publications in a dignified bag, and collect them following the study.
• Be relaxed, friendly, and outgoing. Use the residents’ names.
• Read and discuss one paragraph at a time.
• Use short questions. Warmly commend all for their comments.
• Defer doctrinal or controversial questions to a time and setting where they can be considered privately with the inquirer.
• Answer questions from staff and family members in a simple, direct manner.
• Take advantage of opportunities to start personal Bible studies with residents, relatives, and staff members.

Congregation Bible Study

Draw Close to Jehovah

Chapter 8. Restorative Power—Jehovah Is “Making All Things New”

References and biblical texts


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Matthew 22:29 reply Jesus said to them: “You are mistaken, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God;
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1 Kings 17:8-21 word of Jehovah then came to him: 9 “Rise up, go to Zar′e•phath, which belongs to Si′don, and stay there. Look! I will command a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he rose up and went to Zar′e•phath. When he came to the entrance of the city, there was a widow gathering pieces of wood. So he called to her and said: “Please, bring me a little water in a cup so that I may drink.” 11 As she went to get it, he called to her: “Please, bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 At this she said: “As surely as Jehovah your God is living, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the large jar and a little oil in the small jar. Now I am gathering a few pieces of wood, and I will go in and make something for me and my son. After we have eaten, we will die.” 13 Then E•li′jah said to her: “Do not be afraid. Go in and do as you said. But first make me a small round loaf of bread with what is there, and bring it out to me. Then you can make something afterward for you and your son. 14 For this is what Jehovah the God of Israel says: ‘The large jar of flour will not run out, and the small jar of oil will not run dry until the day Jehovah makes it rain on the surface of the ground.’” 15 So she went and did as E•li′jah said, and she together with him and her household ate for many days. 16 The large jar of flour did not run out, and the small jar of oil did not run dry, according to Jehovah’s word that he had spoken through E•li′jah. 17 After these things, the son of the woman who owned the house fell sick, and his sickness became so severe that he stopped breathing. 18 At this she said to E•li′jah: “What do you have against me, O man of the true God? Have you come to remind me of my guilt and to put my son to death?” 19 But he said to her: “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her arms and carried him up to the roof chamber, where he was staying, and he laid him on his own bed. 20 He called out to Jehovah: “O Jehovah my God, are you also bringing harm to the widow with whom I am staying by putting her son to death?” 21 Then he stretched himself out over the child three times and called out to Jehovah: “O Jehovah my God, please, let this child’s life come back into him.”
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Genesis 17:17 this Abraham fell facedown and began to laugh and to say in his heart: “Will a man 100 years old have a child born to him, and will Sarah, a woman 90 years old, give birth?”
Genesis 21:2, 3 Sarah became pregnant and then bore a son to Abraham in his old age at the appointed time God had promised him. 3 Abraham named his newborn son, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.
Hebrews 11:17-19 faith Abraham, when he was tested, as good as offered up Isaac—the man who had gladly received the promises attempted to offer up his only-begotten son— 18 although it had been said to him: “What will be called your offspring will be through Isaac.” 19 But he reasoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, and he did receive him from there in an illustrative way.
Genesis 22:5 now said to his servants: “You stay here with the donkey, but the boy and I will go over there and worship and return to you.”
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1 Kings 17:22-24 listened to E•li′jah’s request, and the life of the child came back into him, and he revived. 23 E•li′jah took the child and brought him down from the roof chamber into the house and gave him to his mother; and E•li′jah said: “See, your son is alive.” 24 At that the woman said to E•li′jah: “Now I know that you truly are a man of God and that Jehovah’s word in your mouth is truth.”
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John 11:25 said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life;
John 5:28, 29 not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.
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1 Corinthians 15:5, 6 that he appeared to Ce′phas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep in death.
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Job 14:15 will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands.
Revelation 21:5 the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Psalm 89:35-37 have sworn in my holiness, once and for all;I will not tell lies to David. 36 His offspring will endure forever;His throne will endure like the sun before me. 37 Like the moon, it will be firmly established foreverAs a faithful witness in the skies.” (Selah)

Questions for Meditation


2 Kings 5:1-15 Because he cultivated humility, how did one man in Bible times benefit from Jehovah’s restorative power?
2 Kings 5:1-15 Now Na′a•man the army chief of the king of Syria was a prominent man who was held in esteem by his lord, because through him Jehovah had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty warrior, although he was a leper. 2 On one of their raids, the Syrians had taken captive from the land of Israel a little girl who became a servant to Na′a•man’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress: “If only my lord would visit the prophet in Sa•mar′i•a! Then he would cure him of his leprosy.” 4 So he went and reported to his lord, telling him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 Then the king of Syria said: “Go now! And I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, 6,000 pieces of gold, and ten changes of garments. 6 He brought to the king of Israel the letter, which read: “Along with this letter that has come to you, I send my servant Na′a•man so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he ripped his garments apart and said: “Am I God, to put to death and to keep alive? For he is sending this man to me, telling me to cure him of his leprosy! You can see for yourselves that he is seeking a quarrel with me.” 8 But when E•li′sha the man of the true God heard that the king of Israel had ripped his garments apart, he at once sent word to the king: “Why did you rip your garments apart? Please let him come to me so that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Na′a•man came with his horses and his war chariots and stood at the entrance of the house of E•li′sha. 10 However, E•li′sha sent a messenger to tell him: “Go, wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored, and you will be clean.” 11 At this Na′a•man became indignant and started to leave, saying: “Here I said to myself, ‘He will come out to me and stand here and call on the name of Jehovah his God, moving his hand back and forth over the leprosy to cure it.’ 12 Are not the A•ba′nah and the Phar′par, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Can I not wash in them and become clean?” With that he turned and went away in a rage. 13 His servants now approached him and said: “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not do it? How much more, then, since he only said to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” 14 At that he went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of the true God. Then his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little boy, and he became clean. 15 After that he went back to the man of the true God, he and all his entourage, and he stood before him and said: “Now I know that there is no God anywhere in all the earth but in Israel. Now accept, please, a gift from your servant.”

Job 14:12-15 What confidence did Job have, and how might these verses affect our own hope for the future?
Job 14:12-15 also lies down and does not get up. Until heaven is no more, they will not wake up,Nor will they be aroused from their sleep. 13 O that in the Grave you would conceal me,That you would hide me until your anger passes by,That you would set a time limit for me and remember me! 14 If a man dies, can he live again? I will wait all the days of my compulsory serviceUntil my relief comes. 15 You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands.

Psalm 126:1-6 How might Christians today feel about the restoration of pure worship and their share in it?
Psalm 126:1-6 When Jehovah gathered back the captives of Zion,We thought we were dreaming. 2 At that time our mouth was filled with laughterAnd our tongue with a joyful shout. At that time they said among the nations: “Jehovah has done great things for them.” 3 Jehovah has done great things for us,And we are overjoyed. 4 Do gather back our captives, O Jehovah,Like streams in the Neg′eb. 5 Those sowing seed with tearsWill reap with a joyful shout. 6 The one who does go out, though weeping,Carrying his bag of seed,Will surely return with a joyful shout,Carrying in his sheaves.

Romans 4:16-25 Why is it important to put faith in Jehovah’s restorative power?
Romans 4:16-25 is why it is through faith, so that it might be according to undeserved kindness, in order for the promise to be sure to all his offspring, not only to those who adhere to the Law but also to those who adhere to the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 17 (This is just as it is written: “I have appointed you a father of many nations.”) This was in the sight of God, in whom he had faith, who makes the dead alive and calls the things that are not as though they are. 18 Although beyond hope, yet based on hope, he had faith that he would become the father of many nations according to what had been said: “So your offspring will be.” 19 And although he did not grow weak in faith, he considered his own body, now as good as dead (since he was about 100 years old), as well as the deadness of the womb of Sarah. 20 But because of the promise of God, he did not waver in a lack of faith; but he became powerful by his faith, giving God glory 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to do. 22 Therefore, “it was counted to him as righteousness.” 23 However, the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake only, 24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be counted, because we believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord up from the dead. 25 He was handed over for the sake of our trespasses and was raised up for the sake of declaring us righteous.

“Watchtower” Study

JUNE 16-22, 2014

No One Can Serve Two Masters

PAGE 17 • SONGS: 62, 106

Millions of people around the world choose to emigrate in search of work. Many leave behind a marriage mate and children. These articles will help us to understand how Jehovah wants us to view family obligations and how he helps us to fulfill them.

References and biblical texts


Ephesians 6:4;Psalms 37:25;Proverbs 30:8;Genesis 42:1-2;Genesis 46:6-7;Mark 14:7;Matthew 6:9,11,19-20;Matthew 6:24-25,31-34;Deuteronomy 6:6-7;Proverbs 1:8;Proverbs 31:10,27-28;Proverbs 22:3;Proverbs 29:15;Proverbs 22:6;Song of Solomon 1:2;1 Corinthians 7:3,5;Titus 2:3-5;Matthew 6:24;Exodus 23:2;Matthew 6:33;1 Corinthians 10:13;Psalms 37:5,7;Genesis 39:3;
16-22/6/2014 (w 15/4/2014)
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(Ephesians 6:4) And fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah.
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(Psalms 37:25) I was once young and now I am old, But I have not seen anyone righteous abandoned, Nor his children looking for bread.
(Proverbs 30:8) Remove untruth and lies far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Just let me consume my portion of food,
(Genesis 42:1-2) When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons: “Why do you just keep looking at one another?” 2He added: “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may stay alive and not die.”
(Genesis 46:6-7) They took along their herds and their goods, which they had accumulated in the land of Ca′naan. And so they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him. 7He brought with him into Egypt his sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all his offspring.
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(Mark 14:7) For you always have the poor with you, and you can do them good whenever you want to, but you will not always have me.
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(Matthew 6:9,11,19-20) “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 11Give us today our bread for this day; 19“Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. 20Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:24-25,31-34) “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches. 25“On this account I say to you: Stop being anxious about your lives as to what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your bodies as to what you will wear. Does not life mean more than food and the body than clothing? 31So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to wear?’ 32For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. 34So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.
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(Deuteronomy 6:6-7) These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart, 7and you must inculcate them in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.
(Proverbs 1:8) Listen, my son, to the discipline of your father, And do not forsake the instruction of your mother.
(Proverbs 31:10,27-28) Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far more than that of corals. 27She watches over the activity of her household, And the bread of laziness she does not eat. 28Her children rise up and declare her happy; Her husband rises up and praises her.
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(Proverbs 22:3) The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself, But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences.
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(Proverbs 29:15) The rod and reproof impart wisdom, But a child left unrestrained brings shame on his mother.
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(Proverbs 22:6) Train a boy in the way he should go; Even when he grows old he will not depart from it.
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(Song of Solomon 1:2) “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, For your expressions of affection are better than wine.
(1 Corinthians 7:3,5) Let the husband give to his wife her due, and let the wife also do likewise to her husband. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent for an appointed time, so that you may devote time to prayer and may come together again, in order that Satan may not keep tempting you for your lack of self-control.
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(Titus 2:3-5) Likewise, let the older women be reverent in behavior, not slanderous, not enslaved to a lot of wine, teachers of what is good, 4so that they may advise the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sound in mind, chaste, working at home, good, subjecting themselves to their own husbands, so that the word of God may not be spoken of abusively.
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(Matthew 6:24) “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches.
(Exodus 23:2) You must not follow after the crowd to do evil, and you must not pervert justice by giving testimony to go along with the crowd.
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(Matthew 6:33) “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.
(1 Corinthians 10:13) No temptation has come upon you except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
(Psalms 37:5,7) Commit your way to Jehovah; Rely on him, and he will act in your behalf. 7Keep silent before Jehovah And wait expectantly for him. Do not be upset by the man Who succeeds in carrying out his schemes.
(Genesis 39:3) And his master saw that Jehovah was with him and that Jehovah was making everything that he did successful.
References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD-ROM

Download file with all references

Download file with all references