Theocratic Ministry School Week Starting june 23 ‒ Highlights of Leviticus 10-13

References to the Theocratic Ministry School

Program of the Theocratic Ministry School: Week Starting june 23

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

June 23 Bible reading: Leviticus 10-13
No. 1: Leviticus 12:1–13:8
No. 2: The Truth About Venerating Relics and Images of “Saints” (rs p. 354 ¶1–p. 355 ¶1)
No. 3: Abusive Speech—Abusive Speech Is Displeasing to Jehovah (it-1 p. 35)
w14 4/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

JUNE 23-29, 2014
Be of Good Courage—Jehovah Is Your Helper!
PAGE 22 • SONGS: 22, 95
ws14 4/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents

JUNE 23-29, 2014
Be of Good Courage—Jehovah Is Your Helper!
PAGE 21 • SONGS: 22, 95

Highlights From the Book of Leviticus 10-13

Scriptural Questions Answered:

10:1, 2—What may have been involved in the sin of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu? Soon after Nadab and Abihu took liberties in performing their priestly duties, Jehovah forbade priests to use wine or intoxicating liquor while serving at the tabernacle. (Leviticus 10:9) This suggests that Aaron’s two sons may have been under the influence of alcohol on the occasion here under consideration. However, the actual reason for their death was their offering “illegitimate fire, which [Jehovah] had not prescribed for them.”

Lessons for Us:

10:1, 2. Responsible servants of Jehovah today must comply with divine requirements. Moreover, they must not be presumptuous as they care for their responsibilities.
10:9. We should not perform God-given duties while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.

Scriptural Questions Answered:

12:2, 5—Why did childbirth make a woman “unclean”? The reproductive organs were made to pass on perfect human life. However, because of the inherited effects of sin, imperfect and sinful life was passed on to the offspring. The temporary periods of ‘uncleanness’ associated with childbirth, as well as other matters, such as menstruation and seminal emissions, called this hereditary sinfulness to mind. (Leviticus 15:16-24; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12) The required purification regulations would help the Israelites to appreciate the need for a ransom sacrifice to cover mankind’s sinfulness and restore human perfection. Thus the Law became their “tutor leading to Christ.”—Galatians 3:24.

Lessons for Us:

11:45. Jehovah God is holy and demands that those who render him sacred service be holy. They must pursue holiness and remain physically and spiritually clean.—2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:15, 16.
12:8. Jehovah allowed the poor to offer birds instead of a more costly sheep as a sacrificial offering. He is considerate of the poor.

*** w11 2/15 p. 12 Questions From Readers ***
Why did Moses become angry with Aaron’s sons Eleazar and Ithamar after the death of their brothers Nadab and Abihu, and how was his anger appeased?—Lev. 10:16-20.
Shortly after the installation of the priesthood for service at the tabernacle, Jehovah executed Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu because they had offered illegitimate fire before Him. (Lev. 10:1, 2) Moses ordered Aaron’s surviving sons not to mourn their dead brothers. Not long thereafter, Moses became indignant at Eleazar and Ithamar because they had not eaten the goat of the sin offering. (Lev. 9:3) Why did Moses react this way?
The laws that Jehovah had given Moses specified that the priest who offered up a sin offering was to eat part of it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting. Doing so was considered to be answering for the sins of those who made the sacrifice. However, if some of the blood of the sacrifice was taken into the Holy Place, the first compartment of the sanctuary, the offering was not to be eaten. Instead, it was to be burned.—Lev. 6:24-26, 30.
It appears that after the tragic events of that day, Moses saw the need to make sure that all of Jehovah’s commandments had been followed. On discovering that the goat of the sin offering had been burned, he indignantly asked Eleazar and Ithamar why they had not eaten it as directed, because its blood had not been presented before Jehovah in the Holy Place.—Lev. 10:17, 18.
Aaron answered Moses’ question, since the surviving priests had evidently acted as they did with his approval. In the light of the execution of two of his sons, Aaron may have wondered whether any of the priests could in good conscience eat of the sin offering on that day. Perhaps he felt that their eating of it would not be pleasing to Jehovah, even though they bore no direct responsibility for the error committed by Nadab and Abihu.—Lev. 10:19.
Aaron may especially have reasoned that on the day when members of his family first performed their priestly duties, they should have exercised great care to please God in even the smallest detail. However, Jehovah’s name had been profaned by Nadab and Abihu, and God’s anger had blazed against them. So Aaron may have thought that members of a priestly family in which such sin was found should not partake of a holy offering.
Moses seems to have accepted his brother’s answer, for the passage concludes: “When Moses got to hear that, then it proved satisfactory in his eyes.” (Lev. 10:20) Evidently, Jehovah too was satisfied with Aaron’s answer.

*** w11 7/15 pp. 31-32 par. 16 God’s Rest—Have You Entered Into It? ***
16 Moses’ brother, Aaron, faced a difficult situation with regard to two of his sons. Think of how he must have felt when his sons Nadab and Abihu offered illegitimate fire to Jehovah and He struck them dead. Of course, that ended any association those men could have had with their parents. But there is more. Jehovah instructed Aaron and his faithful sons: “Do not let your heads go ungroomed, and you must not tear your garments [in mourning], that you may not die and that [Jehovah] may not become indignant against all the assembly.” (Lev. 10:1-6) The message is clear. Our love for Jehovah must be stronger than our love for unfaithful family members.

*** w12 1/15 p. 22 par. 7 Making Whole-Souled Sacrifices for Jehovah ***
7 When you dedicated yourself to Jehovah, you made that decision without reservation, did you not? In effect, you said that in every aspect of your life, you would put Jehovah first. (Read Hebrews 10:7.) That was a good decision. Doubtless you have seen that when you seek Jehovah’s will in a matter and strive to work in harmony with it, the results are excellent. (Isa. 48:17, 18) God’s people are holy and joyful because they reflect the qualities of the One who instructs them.—Lev. 11:44; 1 Tim. 1:11.

*** w12 1/15 p. 24 par. 12 Making Whole-Souled Sacrifices for Jehovah ***
12 King David sang to Jehovah: “May my prayer be prepared as incense before you.” (Ps. 141:2) Think for a moment about your prayers—about their regularity and their quality. The book of Revelation likens “the prayers of the holy ones” to incense in that acceptable prayers rise to Jehovah like a sweet-smelling and pleasant odor. (Rev. 5:8) In ancient Israel, the incense that was regularly offered on Jehovah’s altar had to be carefully and precisely prepared. It was acceptable to Jehovah only if offered according to the guidelines that he had established. (Ex. 30:34-37; Lev. 10:1, 2) If our heartfelt prayers are similarly formulated, then we can be sure that they are acceptable to Jehovah.

*** w10 8/1 pp. 29-30 Missionaries Sent to “Make Disciples” ***
“Mark Well the Ravens.” Michael Burnett, a class instructor and former missionary, delivered the talk with the above title. He said that we are going to have anxious thoughts on occasion. But remember Jesus’ counsel: “Mark well that the ravens neither sow seed nor reap, . . . and yet God feeds them.” (Luke 12:24) According to the Law covenant, ravens were unclean, not fit to be eaten. They were to be considered loathsome. (Leviticus 11:13, 15) In spite of their status, God feeds them. “So if you are confronted with major anxiety in the future,” said Brother Burnett, “think about the raven. If God takes care of an unclean, loathsome bird, how much more so is he going to take care of you who are clean in his eyes.”

*** w09 2/1 p. 19 Did You Know? ***
There is no doubt that leprosy afflicted people in the Middle East in Biblical times, and the Mosaic Law required that a person with leprosy be quarantined. (Leviticus 13:4, 5) However, the Hebrew word tsa•ra′ʽath translated “leprosy” was not confined to a medical condition. Tsa•ra′ʽath also affected clothing and houses. This kind of leprosy could appear in woolen or linen garments or in anything made of leather. In some cases, it could be eliminated by washing, but if a “yellowish-green or reddish plague” persisted, the garment or leather was to be burned. (Leviticus 13:47-52) In houses, the plague manifested itself as “yellowish-green or reddish depressions” in a wall. Affected stones and mortar were to be removed and discarded—away from human habitation. If the leprosy returned, the building was to be demolished and the materials disposed of. (Leviticus 14:33-45) Some suggest that the leprosy in garments or houses might have described what is now called mildew or mold. However, this cannot be stated with certainty.

*** w06 6/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
In the Mosaic Law, why were certain natural sexual functions viewed as making a person “unclean”?
God created sex, both for the reproduction of the human race and for the enjoyment of married couples. (Genesis 1:28; Proverbs 5:15-18) In chapters 12 and 15 of Leviticus, however, we find detailed statutes concerning uncleanness ascribed to seminal emissions, menstruation, and childbirth. (Leviticus 12:1-6; 15:16-24) Such laws given to ancient Israel fostered a healthy lifestyle, upheld lofty moral values, and stressed the sanctity of blood and the need for atonement for sins.
The paramount issue involved in the types of uncleanness resulting from sexual matters, however, was the flow or loss of blood. Jehovah’s laws regarding blood impressed on the minds of the Israelites not only the sanctity of blood but also the special place that blood occupies in the worship of Jehovah, namely, in sacrifices and atonement for sins.—Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23, 24, 27.

No. 1: Leviticus 12:1–13:8

No. 2: The Truth About Venerating Relics and Images of “Saints” (rs p. 354 ¶1–p. 355 ¶1)

rs p. 354 ¶1–p. 355 ¶1 Saints
The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits: “It is thus vain to seek a justification for the cult of relics in the Old Testament; nor is much attention paid to relics in the New Testament. . . . [The Church “father”] Origen seems to have regarded the practice as a pagan sign of respect for a material object.”—(1967), Vol. XII, pp. 234, 235.
It is noteworthy that God buried Moses, and no human ever found out where his grave was. (Deut. 34:5, 6) But Jude 9 informs us that the archangel Michael disputed with the Devil about Moses’ body. Why? God’s purpose to dispose of it in such a manner that humans would not know where to find it was clearly stated. Did the Adversary want to direct humans to that body so that it might be put on display and perhaps become an object of veneration?
Regarding the veneration of images of the “saints,” see the main heading “Images.”
Why are Catholic “saints” depicted with halos?
The New Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges: “The most common attribute, applied to all saints, is the nimbus (cloud), a luminous defined shape surrounding the head of the saint. Its origins are pre-Christian, and examples are found in Hellenistic art of pagan inspiration; the halo was used, as evidenced in mosaics and coins, for demigods and divinities such as Neptune, Jupiter, Bacchus, and in particular Apollo (god of the sun).”—(1967), Vol. XII, p. 963.
The New Encyclopædia Britannica says: “In Hellenistic and Roman art the sun-god Helios and Roman emperors often appear with a crown of rays. Because of its pagan origin, the form was avoided in Early Christian art, but a simple circular nimbus was adopted by Christian emperors for their official portraits. From the middle of the 4th century, Christ was also shown with this imperial attribute . . . it was not until the 6th century that the halo became customary for the Virgin Mary and other saints.”—(1976), Micropædia, Vol. IV, p. 864.
Is it proper to mix Christianity with pagan symbolism?
“Light and darkness have nothing in common. Christ is not the ally of Beliar [Belial; Satan], nor has a believer anything to share with an unbeliever. The temple of God has no common ground with idols, and that is what we are—the temple of the living God. . . . Then come away from them and keep aloof, says the Lord. Touch nothing that is unclean, and I will welcome you and be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Almighty Lord.”—2 Cor. 6:14-18, JB.

No. 3: Abusive Speech—Abusive Speech Is Displeasing to Jehovah (it-1 p. 35)

it-1 p. 35 Abusive Speech
The original Greek word bla•sphe•mi′a and the verb bla•sphe•me′o basically indicate defamatory, calumnious, abusive language. As noted under the heading BLASPHEMY, the Greek word bla•sphe•mi′a has a broader meaning than the present English word “blasphemy.” In English, only when such speech is directed against God, not against his creatures, is it properly termed “blasphemy.” (Mt 12:31) Concerning this, The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopædia and Scriptural Dictionary says: “Our English translators [that is, primarily those of the KJ] have not adhered to the right use of the term. They employ it with the same latitude as the Greek; but it is generally easy to perceive, from the connection and subject of a passage, whether blasphemy, properly so called, be meant, or only defamation.”—Edited by S. Fallows, 1912, Vol. I, p. 291.
Thus, while the King James Version uses “blasphemy” and “blasphemed” in Acts 18:6, Colossians 3:8, 1 Timothy 6:1, and Titus 2:5, later translations say “slander,” “abusive talk [or “speech”],” “reviled,” “defamed,” “abused,” “spoken of abusively,” and similar expressions. (See RS, AT, NW, and others.) However, the King James Version does recognize this distinction elsewhere in the Greek Scriptures.
As the following texts and surrounding verses show, at the time of his impalement abusive speech was directed against Christ by passersby, who said, “Bah! You would-be thrower-down of the temple and builder of it in three days’ time, save yourself by coming down off the torture stake.” Similar words came from one of the evildoers alongside. (Mr 15:29, 30; Mt 27:39, 40; Lu 23:39) Paul and his fellow Christians were objects of such speech by those who falsely construed their purpose, message, and Christian conscience (Ac 18:6; Ro 3:8; 14:16; 1Co 10:30; 1Pe 4:4), yet they themselves were to “speak injuriously of no one,” and by their conduct gave no true grounds for their work or message to be spoken of abusively. (Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; 1Ti 6:1; Tit 2:5; 3:2; compare 2Pe 2:2.) Even the angels “do not bring . . . an accusation in abusive terms, not doing so out of respect for Jehovah.” (2Pe 2:11) But such talk can be expected from those who indulge in loose conduct, those who are proud and mentally diseased over questionings and debates, and those who disregard or disrespect God’s appointments.—1Ti 6:4; 2Pe 2:10-12; Jude 8-10.
The word ga•dhaph′ is used in a corresponding way in the Hebrew Scriptures. Evidently originally referring to inflicting violent physical injury, it is used figuratively to mean “speak abusively,” that is, harm with reproachful words. (Nu 15:30; 2Ki 19:6; Eze 20:27) The Hebrew word na•qav′, basically meaning “pierce; bore” (2Ki 12:9; 18:21), has the sense of blaspheming in the account where the son of an Israelite woman was said to have ‘abused’ Jehovah’s name. (Le 24:11, 16) In these cases harsh or coarse speech is indicated, directed against either Jehovah God himself or his people. A study of the context makes clear the nature of such “abusive speech.”—See EXECRATION; MALEDICTION; REVILING.

References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD‒ROM

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