Congregation Book Study:
Chapter 5, par. 9-17
Theocratic Ministry School
Bible Reading: Exodus 7-10
I’m curious how the magic practicing priests were able to duplicate the first three plagues. Has anyone done any research on that they’d like to share?
No. 1 Exodus 9:20-35
No. 2 In What Manner Will Jesus Return, and How Will Every Eye See Him?—rs p. 342 par. 3-p. 342 par. 4-p. 343 par. 5
Yet another example how a doctrinal bias can color scriptural interpretation. Since we believe he “returned” in 1914, we claim Rev. 1:7 is figurative and that his return is invisible. Whether his return will be literally visible or not, is something we will have to wait to learn. We cannot discount it simply because we cannot see a way that it could be physically accomplished, notwithstanding the shallow reasoning put forth in the Reasoning book. (I can see one scientific way it could be accomplished and I’m just a good-for-nothing slave. What Christ will do will surely blow our mind.)
The trouble with a 1914 fulfillment are the words, “every eye will see him”. We say this was fulfilled because ‘they discerned from the events on the earth that he was invisibly present’. Right. I’m sure the New York Times printed special editions. “Christ returns! All the nations in panic!” The fact is, even the Bible Students didn’t discerned this so-called presence. They thought it had already happened, 40 years earlier. They didn’t start to claim 1914 as the start of his invisible presence until the late 1920s. And what about “the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief”. That is an inconvenient part of the puzzle, isn’t it? How does the Reasoning book deal with that? The way we always do when there is a part of Scripture the directly contradicts our teaching. We just ignore it, hoping that everyone else will not notice the lapse.
Jesus is to come with the clouds. Not hidden in them, but with them. Where are the clouds? High overhead were all can see. If there is a hot air balloon sailing with the clouds, do you see it? Of course. Jesus Christ’s imagery is self-explanatory. When he comes, all the nations will see him—whether it be literally or in the sense of perceiving his presence, the result will be the same. There will be no doubt to anyone on earth that he has returned, and the effect will be devastating on for all those who opposed him.
No. 3 Abishai—Be Loyal and Ready to Help Your Brothers—it-1 p. 26
One just has to admire the kind of loyalty for God’s anointed one that Abishai demonstrates. David represents Jesus in Scripture, so if we were to apply this, then we would wish that all of us would show the type of zealous, unwavering loyalty for our King as Abishai showed for his. Since the talk theme speaks of being ready to help our brothers, we could extend the application of “loyalty to God’s anointed” to our brothers, since all our brothers and sisters are anointed by holy spirit. Of course, that wouldn’t imply the loyalty due a King, since that level of loyalty implies obedience and Jehovah stopped anointing human kings a long time ago. Even then, obedience was still subjective, since the higher loyalty was to God. However, with Jesus, there is no need for giving him relative obedience, since unlike men, he truly is God’s channel for communicating with humans.
Therefore, we should strive to imitate Abishai’s zeal and energy in serving our king today. Of course, his self-restraint and wisdom were not always what they should have been, so we can also learn from his mistakes as well.
10 min: Offer the Magazines During April
I confess that I haven’t prepared for meetings for decades. Since I was a boy, I would pass the time at them dreaming of other things. Now that I’m preparing these reviews every week, I’ve come to realize just how much emphasis we put on placing literature and how very little on actually preaching God’s word. I fear that we have come to be so identified with the magazines, that the message from God’s word has been lost. If we went to the door only with the Bible and only used literature as teaching aids when there was the opportunity for a Bible study, might we not accomplish more?
10 min: Do Not Forget Hospitality
10 min: How Did We Do?
Yet again, another part on overcoming objections, though now we use the euphemism “conversation stoppers”. This is, of course, misleading because it assumes we are engaged in a conversation at the time, which is often not the case. The problem with this is that is highlights the salesmanship nature of our door-to-door ministry. Someone will come to the Christ and God because they are called, not because we are effective salesmen.