Congregation Book Study:

Chapter 2, par. 12-20

Paragraph 18 of the study lists what we call the four cardinal attributes of Jehovah. I heard an illustration years ago that helped me to understand how these four attributes can produce all the diversity and subtlety of God’s personality.  If you look at any color picture in a magazine, you will find that all the colors are represented by colored dots of varying density.  These dots are printed in only four colors from which we get the term four-color process printing.  The colors are yellow, magenta, cyan, and black.  By blending these together we get all the colors of the spectrum.  For example, there are no green dots and no green ink goes into the printing process, but by combining these colors we can get every shade of green imaginable.

Let’s look at Jehovah’s quality of mercy.  Obviously it is an aspect of love.  Love motivates God to act mercifully.  Unlike love, mercy has its limits.  Therefore, Jehovah’s quality of justice comes into the picture by providing the lawful measure to determine if there is a basis for mercy—for example, is there some repentance?  Discerning this and determining who much mercy can be extended and what form it should take to benefit the recipient is the role of the Godly quality of wisdom.  But all the forgoing is useless without the power to exercise mercy, for mercy is more than a feeling, it is an action that alleviates or removes suffering.  Four qualities in perfect balance to produce an act of mercy.  But one example of how Jehovah’s cardinal attributes are blended to express his personality, his character, his divine name toward all.

Theocratic Ministry School

Bible Reading: Genesis 21-24  

1)      What an odd account to the Western mind is that of Abraham’s ousting of his son, Ishmael and his mother, Hagar.  True, he did this under divine instruction and Jehovah did provide for the woman and child.

2)      Abraham makes a covenant: “Please put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by Jehovah…that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites…” (Gen. 24:3)  From http://www.answers.com/topic/testis we get: “The ancient Israelites and Romans knew the significance of testicles. The words testify, testimony and testicle all come from the Latin testis, for testicles. When Roman men gave testimony, they held their testicles in their hand, for they regarded them as sacred. This custom is mentioned in the Old Testament. In the King James translation, the passage reads, “And Abraham said: ‘unto his eldest servant of his house… Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear…'””
Also:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_did_the_…
Testi Words: “attest” to “testosterone”:
testi-, test- (Latin: a witness, one who stands by; testicle, one of the two oval male gonads supported in the scrotum by its tissues and suspended by the spermatic cord).
The word testicles comes from Latin testiculi meaning “little witnesses”. All such test words; including protest, protestant, testify, and attest have this testicle connection.

3)      “So the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking along all sorts of good things from his master…. (Gen. 24:10)  According to w89 7/1 p. 27, par. 17 “The bride class highly values what is pictured by the ten camels.  The number ten is used in the Bible to denote perfection or completeness as related to things on earth.  The ten camels may be compared to the complete and perfect Word of God, by means of which the bride class receives spiritual sustenance and spiritual gifts.”  Since this view has never been rescinded, it is still the official view of the Governing Body, and therefore all Jehovah’s Witnesses.

No. 1: Genesis 23:1-20
No. 2: Why Did Jesus Appear in Materialized Bodies? – rs p. 334 par. 2
I pity the poor souls that have to make a 5-minute talk out of this one paragraph. The answer to this question is a simple and obvious truth that can be stated in 30 seconds.  Sometimes one wonders what happens at headquarters when these parts are assigned.
No. 3: Abel—Exercise Faith That Pleases God—it-1 p. 15, Abel No. 1
Unlike the No. 2 talk, this one has some real meat in it.  Both Cain and Abel believe in God and both offer sacrifices. So both display works of worship. Yet Abel is referred to as a man of faith by Paul in Hebrews 11:4.  This shows that faith isn’t about belief, but about acting on that belief.  Faith isn’t about believing that God exists.  It is about believing in the character of God, his name.  He is the fulfiller of promises, the one that causes things to become.  Faith in God means believing he will keep his word, and acting in accordance with that belief.  Such faith is demonstrated by obedience.  There can be obedience without faith, but there cannot be real faith without work of obedience.

Service Meeting

10 min: Offer the Magazines During February.

10 min: Local Needs
[We look forward to hearing some of the local needs from around the world]

10 min: By Their Fruits You Will Recognize Them.
The theme text is Mat. 6:17 which is talking about recognizing false prophets who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  We have our fair share of those in the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to be sure.  However, that is not the thrust of the assigned Year Book material. Instead we are looking to the positive fruits produced by true Christians, particularly when under trial.

On an unrelated note, here’s an interesting Year Book statistic.

Year

Memorial Attendance Worldwide

Increase

2011

19,374,737

N/A

2012

19,013,343

-361,694

2013

19,241,252

227,909