OUR CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 5. BIBLE READING FOR THIS WEEK: JUDGES 4 through 5



Quotation: Judges 4:1 through 5:31 But after Ehud died, the Israelites again did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. 2 So Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin the king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The chief of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the nations. 3 The Israelites cried out to Jehovah, because Jabin had 900 war chariots with iron scythes, and he harshly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years. 4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the mountainous region of Ephraim; the Israelites would go up to her for judgment. 6 She sent for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali and said to him: “Has not Jehovah the God of Israel given the command? ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take 10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. 7 I will bring to you Sisera, the chief of Jabin’s army, along with his war chariots and his troops to the stream of Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’” 8 At this Barak said to her: “If you go with me, I will go, but if you do not go with me, I will not go.” 9 To this she said: “I will certainly go with you. However, the campaign you are going on will not bring you glory, for it will be into the hand of a woman that Jehovah will give Sisera.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and 10,000 men followed his steps. Deborah also went up with him. 11 Incidentally, Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, and his tent was pitched near the big tree in Zaanannim, which is at Kedesh. 12 They reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 At once Sisera assembled all his war chariots—900 chariots with iron scythes—and all the troops that were with him from Harosheth of the nations to go to the stream of Kishon. 14 Deborah now said to Barak: “Rise up, for this is the day that Jehovah will give Sisera into your hand. Is Jehovah not going out before you?” And Barak descended from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 Then Jehovah threw Sisera and all his war chariots and all the army into confusion before the sword of Barak. Finally Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 Barak chased after the war chariots and the army as far as Harosheth of the nations. So Sisera’s whole army fell by the sword; not even one remained. 17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Then Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him: “Come in, my lord, come in here. Do not be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 Then he said to her: “Give me, please, a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin bottle of milk and gave him a drink, after which she again covered him. 20 He told her: “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anybody comes and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ say, ‘No!’” 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent pin and a hammer in her hand. Then while he was fast asleep and exhausted, she stealthily approached him and drove the pin through his temples and beat it into the ground, and he died. 22 Barak went there in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael now came out to meet him and said: “Come and I will show you the man you are looking for.” He went in with her and saw Sisera lying dead, with the tent pin through his temples. 23 So on that day, God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 The hand of the Israelites came down harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin the king of Canaan.

5 On that day Deborah along with Barak the son of Abinoam sang this song:  2 “Because of the unbound hair in Israel, Because of the people’s volunteering, Praise Jehovah!  3 Listen, you kings! Give ear, you rulers! To Jehovah I will sing. I will sing praises to Jehovah, Israel’s God.  4 Jehovah, when you went out from Seir, When you marched out of the territory of Edom, The earth shook, and the heavens poured, The clouds poured down water.  5 Mountains melted before the face of Jehovah, Even Sinai before the face of Jehovah, Israel’s God.  6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the roads were deserted; Travelers kept to the back roads.  7 The villagers in Israel were no more; They were no more until I, Deborah, rose up, Until I arose as a mother in Israel.  8 They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates. A shield could not be seen, nor a lance, Among 40,000 in Israel.  9 My heart is with the commanders of Israel, Who went as volunteers with the people. Praise Jehovah! 10 You riders on tawny donkeys, You who sit on fine carpets, And you who walk on the road, Consider! 11 The voices of the water distributors were heard at the watering places; There they were recounting the righteous acts of Jehovah, The righteous acts of his villagers in Israel. Then Jehovah’s people went down to the gates. 12 Awake, awake, O Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Rise up, Barak! Lead your captives away, you son of Abinoam! 13 Then those who were left came down to the nobles; Jehovah’s people came down to me against the mighty. 14 Out of Ephraim was their origin, those in the valley; They are following you, O Benjamin, among your peoples. From Machir the commanders went down, And from Zebulun those who bear the recruiter’s staff. 15 The princes in Issachar were with Deborah, As was Issachar, so was Barak. Into the valley plain he was sent on foot. Among the divisions of Reuben there was intense heart-searching. 16 Why did you sit down between the two saddlebags, Listening to them playing their pipes for the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben, there was intense heart-searching. 17 Gilead remained beyond the Jordan; And Dan, why did he stay with the ships? Asher sat idle at the seashore, And by his harbors he remained. 18 Zebulun was a people who risked their lives to the point of death; Naphtali also, on the open heights. 19 Kings came, they fought; The kings of Canaan then fought In Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo. No spoil of silver did they take. 20 From heaven the stars fought; From their orbits they fought against Sisera. 21 The torrent of Kishon washed them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. You trampled down the powerful, O my soul. 22 Then the hooves of horses pounded As his stallions galloped furiously. 23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of Jehovah, ‘Yes, curse its inhabitants, For they did not come to the assistance of Jehovah, To the assistance of Jehovah with the mighty ones.’ 24 Most blessed of women is Jael The wife of Heber the Kenite; She is most blessed of women living in tents. 25 He asked for water; she gave him milk. In a majestic banquet bowl she offered curdled milk. 26 With her hand she reached for the tent pin, Her right hand for the workman’s mallet. And she hammered Sisera, she crushed his head, And she smashed and pierced his temples. 27 Between her feet he collapsed; he fell and lay still; Between her feet he collapsed and fell; Where he collapsed, there he fell defeated. 28 From the window a woman looked out, Sisera’s mother peered out from the lattice, ‘Why is his chariot delayed in coming? Why are the hoofbeats of his chariots so late?’ 29 The wisest of her noble ladies would answer her; Yes, she too would repeat to herself, 30 ‘They must be dividing the spoil they found, A girl, two girls, to every warrior, Spoil of dyed cloth for Sisera, spoil of dyed cloth, An embroidered garment, dyed cloth, two embroidered garments For the necks of the plunderers.’ 31 So let all your enemies perish, O Jehovah, But let those who love you be like the sun rising in its glory.” And the land had rest for 40 years. End quotation.


SONG 137, FAITHFUL WOMEN, CHRISTIAN SISTERS, BASED ON ROMANS 16:2


1. Sarah and Esther, Mary, Ruth, and others—

All these were capable women, loyal wives.

Godly devotion was foremost in their lives.

They were faithful women, ones we know by name.

There were others favored by Jehovah;

Nameless in the record, their faith was just the same.

2. Goodness and courage, loyal love and kindness—

Lovable qualities in all humankind,

Virtues these excellent women bring to mind.

They were fine examples we appreciate.

In the same way now our Christian sisters

Show a faithful spirit we all can imitate.

3. Mothers and daughters, sisters, wives, and widows,

Willingly laboring, glad to do your part.

Modest your bearing, submissive is your heart,

Having God’s approval, may you never fear.

Christian sisters, may Jehovah keep you

Firm in your conviction, your prize is drawing near.

Opening Comments 1 minutes


TREASURES FROM GOD’S WORD


“Jehovah Uses Two Women to Deliver His People”: 10 minutes

The prophetess Deborah sitting under a palm tree, encouraging Barak to help God’s people.

Deborah encourages Barak to help God’s people


Treasure 1:

A fearsome enemy oppressed Israel
Quotation: Judges 4:3 The Israelites cried out to Jehovah, because Jabin had 900 war chariots with iron scythes, and he harshly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years. End quotation.

Quotation: Judges 5:6 through 8 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the roads were deserted; Travelers kept to the back roads.  7 The villagers in Israel were no more; They were no more until I, Deborah, rose up, Until I arose as a mother in Israel.  8 They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates. A shield could not be seen, nor a lance, Among 40,000 in Israel. End quotation.
Watchtower 2015 8/1 13 paragraph 1

Sisera! The very name caused terror and panic in Israel. The Canaanite religion and culture were brutal, featuring child sacrifice and temple prostitution. What was it like to have a Canaanite general and his army dominating the land? Deborah’s song reveals that travel was nearly impossible in the land and village life had all but ended.
Quotation: Judges 5:6, 7 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the roads were deserted; Travelers kept to the back roads.  7 The villagers in Israel were no more; They were no more until I, Deborah, rose up, Until I arose as a mother in Israel. End quotation.
We may imagine people cowering in the woods and hills, afraid to farm or to live in unwalled villages and terrified to travel on the open roads lest they be attacked, their children taken, and their women raped.
Footnote reads: The song of Deborah indicates that Sisera often returned from his military actions with plunder that included girls, sometimes more than one for each soldier. (
Quotation: Judges 5:30 ‘They must be dividing the spoil they found, A girl, two girls, to every warrior, Spoil of dyed cloth for Sisera, spoil of dyed cloth, An embroidered garment, dyed cloth, two embroidered garments For the necks of the plunderers.’ End quotation.
The word used for “girl” in that verse literally means “womb.” Such language reminds us that those women were valued mainly for their reproductive organs. Rape was likely commonplace. End Footnote.


Treasure 2:

Jehovah raised up Deborah to help his people
Quotation: Judges 4:4 through 7 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the mountainous region of Ephraim; the Israelites would go up to her for judgment. 6 She sent for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali and said to him: “Has not Jehovah the God of Israel given the command? ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take 10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. 7 I will bring to you Sisera, the chief of Jabin’s army, along with his war chariots and his troops to the stream of Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’” End quotation.

Quotation: Judges 5:7 The villagers in Israel were no more; They were no more until I, Deborah, rose up, Until I arose as a mother in Israel. End quotation.
Watchtower 2015 8/1 13 paragraph 2see cover picture

Terror reigned for 20 years, until Jehovah saw evidence that his stubborn people were ready to change or, as the inspired record of the song of Deborah and Barak says, “Until I, Deborah, rose up, until I arose as a mother in Israel.” We do not know if Deborah, the wife of a man named Lappidoth, was a mother in a literal sense, but this expression was intended figuratively. In effect, Jehovah assigned Deborah to provide the nation with motherly protection. He commissioned her to summon a strong man of faith, Judge Barak, and direct him to rise up against Sisera.​—
Quotation: Judges 4:3 The Israelites cried out to Jehovah, because Jabin had 900 war chariots with iron scythes, and he harshly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years. End quotation.

Quotation: Judges 4:6, 7 She sent for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali and said to him: “Has not Jehovah the God of Israel given the command? ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take 10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. 7 I will bring to you Sisera, the chief of Jabin’s army, along with his war chariots and his troops to the stream of Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’” End quotation.

Quotation: Judges 5:7 The villagers in Israel were no more; They were no more until I, Deborah, rose up, Until I arose as a mother in Israel. End quotation.


Treasure 3:

Jehovah used Jael to execute Sisera
Quotation: Judges 4:16, 17 Barak chased after the war chariots and the army as far as Harosheth of the nations. So Sisera’s whole army fell by the sword; not even one remained. 17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. End quotation.

Quotation: Judges 4:21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent pin and a hammer in her hand. Then while he was fast asleep and exhausted, she stealthily approached him and drove the pin through his temples and beat it into the ground, and he died. End quotation.
Watchtower 2015 8/1 15 paragraph 2

Jael had to think fast. She offered Sisera a place to rest. He ordered her to conceal his presence from any man who might come looking for him. She covered him when he lay down, and when he asked her for water, she gave him creamy milk. Soon Sisera sank into a deep sleep. Jael then took a pair of household implements that tent-dwelling women used often and skillfully​—a tent pin and a mallet. Crouching near Sisera’s head, she now faced the terrifying task of acting as an executioner for Jehovah. Even an instant of uncertainty or hesitation could have meant disaster. Did she think of God’s people and of how this man had brutalized them for decades? Or did she think of the privilege of taking her stand for Jehovah? The record does not say. We know only that the deed was soon done. Sisera was dead!​—
Quotation: Judges 4:18 through 21 Then Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him: “Come in, my lord, come in here. Do not be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 Then he said to her: “Give me, please, a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin bottle of milk and gave him a drink, after which she again covered him. 20 He told her: “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anybody comes and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ say, ‘No!’” 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent pin and a hammer in her hand. Then while he was fast asleep and exhausted, she stealthily approached him and drove the pin through his temples and beat it into the ground, and he died. End quotation.

Quotation: Judges 5:24 through 27 Most blessed of women is Jael The wife of Heber the Kenite; She is most blessed of women living in tents. 25 He asked for water; she gave him milk. In a majestic banquet bowl she offered curdled milk. 26 With her hand she reached for the tent pin, Her right hand for the workman’s mallet. And she hammered Sisera, she crushed his head, And she smashed and pierced his temples. 27 Between her feet he collapsed; he fell and lay still; Between her feet he collapsed and fell; Where he collapsed, there he fell defeated. End quotation.

Collage: 1. Deborah sits under a palm tree and encourages Barak to help God’s people. 2. Jael holds a tent pin and a hammer near Sisera, who is fast asleep.

What does this account indicate about Jehovah’s regard for women?


SPIRITUAL GEMS: 10 MINUTES



Quotation: Judges 5:20 From heaven the stars fought; From their orbits they fought against Sisera. End quotation.
​—How did the stars fight from the heavens in behalf of Barak? . Watchtower 2005 1/15 25 paragraph 5


The Bible does not say whether this involved angelic assistance, meteorite showers that were interpreted ominously by Sisera’s wise men, or perhaps astrological predictions for Sisera that proved false. Undoubtedly, however, there was some type of divine intervention.

What spiritual gems from this week’s Bible reading would you like to share regarding Jehovah, the field ministry, or something else?


Bible Reading: 4 minutes, Working on Theocratic Teaching Point 10, Modulation



Quotation: Judges 4:1 through 16 But after Ehud died, the Israelites again did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. 2 So Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin the king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The chief of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the nations. 3 The Israelites cried out to Jehovah, because Jabin had 900 war chariots with iron scythes, and he harshly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years. 4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the mountainous region of Ephraim; the Israelites would go up to her for judgment. 6 She sent for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali and said to him: “Has not Jehovah the God of Israel given the command? ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take 10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. 7 I will bring to you Sisera, the chief of Jabin’s army, along with his war chariots and his troops to the stream of Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’” 8 At this Barak said to her: “If you go with me, I will go, but if you do not go with me, I will not go.” 9 To this she said: “I will certainly go with you. However, the campaign you are going on will not bring you glory, for it will be into the hand of a woman that Jehovah will give Sisera.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and 10,000 men followed his steps. Deborah also went up with him. 11 Incidentally, Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, and his tent was pitched near the big tree in Zaanannim, which is at Kedesh. 12 They reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 At once Sisera assembled all his war chariots—900 chariots with iron scythes—and all the troops that were with him from Harosheth of the nations to go to the stream of Kishon. 14 Deborah now said to Barak: “Rise up, for this is the day that Jehovah will give Sisera into your hand. Is Jehovah not going out before you?” And Barak descended from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 Then Jehovah threw Sisera and all his war chariots and all the army into confusion before the sword of Barak. Finally Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 Barak chased after the war chariots and the army as far as Harosheth of the nations. So Sisera’s whole army fell by the sword; not even one remained. End quotation.


Theocratic Teaching Point 10, Modulation



Quotation: Proverbs 8:4 “To you, O people, I am calling; I raise my voice to everyone. End quotation.

Quotation: Proverbs 8:7 For my mouth softly utters truth, And my lips detest what is wicked. End quotation.

SUMMARY: Convey ideas clearly and stir emotion by varying your volume, pitch, and pace.

HOW TO DO IT:

Vary your volume. Increase your volume to highlight main points and to motivate your listeners. Do the same when reading Scriptural judgments. Decrease your volume to build anticipation or to convey fear or anxiety.

Do not increase your volume so often that your listeners feel scolded. Avoid drawing attention to yourself by being overly dramatic.

Vary your pitch. If appropriate in your language, raise your pitch to express enthusiasm or to indicate size or distance. Lower your pitch to express sorrow or anxiety.

Vary your pace. Speak more rapidly to convey excitement. Speak more slowly when stating important points.

To avoid startling your listeners, do not change pace abruptly. Do not speak so rapidly that your diction suffers.


APPLY YOURSELF TO THE FIELD MINISTRY



ASSIGNMENT 1: Initial Call; November Special Campaign: 4 minutes, Working on Theocratic Study Point 1, Effective Introduction.

Begin with the sample conversation. Then offer The Watchtower Number  2 2021.

Question: Is an end to violence and war realistic?

Scripture:
Quotation: Psalm 37:10, 11 Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; You will look at where they were, And they will not be there. 11 But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.- End quotation.

Link: What Bible promise gives us hope?

FIND THIS SCRIPTURE IN THE TEACHING TOOLBOX:

Watchtower Public Edition 2021.2 5

End Sample Presentation



Theocratic Study Point 1, Effective Introduction



Quotation: Acts 17:22 Paul now stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens, I see that in all things you seem to be more given to the fear of the deities than others are. End quotation.

SUMMARY: Your introduction should arouse interest, identify your subject, and show why your listeners should be interested in it.

HOW TO DO IT:

Arouse interest. Select a question, statement, real-life experience, or news item that will be of interest to your listeners.

In advance, give careful thought to the interests and concerns of your listeners and adapt your introduction accordingly.

Identify your subject. Make sure that your introduction makes the subject and purpose of your presentation clear to your listeners.

Show why the subject is important. Adapt what you say to the practical needs of your listeners. They should clearly understand how the subject can help them personally.

While preparing a discourse, ask yourself, ‘What situations are brothers and sisters in my congregation facing?’ Then tailor your introduction to their needs.

IN THE MINISTRY

To determine what a person might be interested in, observe his or her activities or surroundings. Begin a conversation by asking a question or making a brief comment about those things.


ASSIGNMENT 2: Return Visit: 4 minutes. Working on Theocratic Study Point 4, Scriptures Properly Introduced


Begin with the sample conversation. Then offer the Enjoy Life Forever! brochure.

Question: What Bible promise gives us hope?

Scripture:
Quotation: Revelation 21:3, 4 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”- End quotation.

Link: How can we understand the Bible?

FIND THIS SCRIPTURE IN THE TEACHING TOOLBOX:

Enjoy Life Forever lesson 02 point 2; Watchtower Public Edition 2021.2 14

End Sample Presentation



Theocratic Study Point 4, Scriptures Properly Introduced



Quotation: Matthew 22:41 through 45 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them: 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him: “David’s.” 43 He asked them: “How is it, then, that David under inspiration calls him Lord, saying, 44 ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies beneath your feet”’? 45 If, then, David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” End quotation.

SUMMARY: Prepare the minds of your listeners before you read a scripture.

HOW TO DO IT:

Determine why you are reading the scripture. Introduce each scripture in a way that draws your listeners’ attention to the key point you are making with the verse.

Take the context into account. Attribute quotations to the correct speaker and Bible books to the correct writer.

Cite the Bible as an authority. When you are speaking to people who believe in God, draw attention to the Bible as God’s Word, thus crediting it as the highest source of wisdom.

Arouse interest in the scripture. Ask a question that the scripture will answer, pose a problem that the scripture will help solve, or state a principle that the Scriptural account will illustrate.

Take into account what your listeners already know about the subject and the scripture. Introduce even a familiar text in an appealing way, and help your listeners to take a fresh look at it.


ASSIGNMENT 3: TALK, 5 minutes. Working on Theocratic Study Point 14, Main Points Made to Stand Out.


Theme: In What Way Should “Women Keep Silent in the Congregations”?​— based on Watchtower 2006, March 1, Questions from Readers
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:34 let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. End quotation.

Questions From Readers

What did the apostle Paul mean when he stated that women should “keep silent in the congregations”?

Paul wrote to the Christian congregation in Corinth: “As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak.”
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:33, 34 For God is a God not of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the holy ones, 34 let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. End quotation.
In order for us to understand this correctly, it is helpful to consider the context of Paul’s counsel.

In 1 Corinthians Chapter 14, Paul discussed matters relating to meetings of the Christian congregation. He described what should be discussed at such meetings and recommended how they should be conducted.
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:1 through 6 Pursue love, yet keep striving for the spiritual gifts, but preferably that you may prophesy. 2 For the one who speaks in a tongue speaks, not to men, but to God, for no one listens, but he speaks sacred secrets by the spirit. 3 However, the one who prophesies builds up and encourages and consoles men by his speech. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up a congregation. 5 Now I would like for all of you to speak in tongues, but I prefer that you prophesy. Indeed, the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the congregation may be built up. 6 But at this time, brothers, if I should come speaking to you in tongues, what good would I do you unless I spoke to you either with a revelation or with knowledge or with a prophecy or with a teaching? End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:26 through 34 What is to be done, then, brothers? When you come together, one has a psalm, another has a teaching, another has a revelation, another has a tongue, and another has an interpretation. Let all things take place for building up. 27 And if someone speaks in a tongue, let it be limited to two or three at the most, and in turns, and someone must interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the congregation and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern the meaning. 30 But if another one receives a revelation while sitting there, let the first speaker keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one at a time, so that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And gifts of the spirit of the prophets are to be controlled by the prophets. 33 For God is a God not of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the holy ones, 34 let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. End quotation.
Further, he stressed the objective of Christian meetings​—“that the congregation may receive upbuilding.”​—
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:4, 5 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up a congregation. 5 Now I would like for all of you to speak in tongues, but I prefer that you prophesy. Indeed, the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the congregation may be built up. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:12 So also with you, since you eagerly desire the gifts of the spirit, seek to abound in gifts that will build up the congregation. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:26 What is to be done, then, brothers? When you come together, one has a psalm, another has a teaching, another has a revelation, another has a tongue, and another has an interpretation. Let all things take place for building up. End quotation.

Paul’s instruction to “keep silent” appears three times in 1 Corinthians Chapter 14. Each time, it is addressed to a different group in the congregation, but in all instances, it is given for the same reason​—that “all things take place decently and by arrangement.”​—
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:40 But let all things take place decently and by arrangement. End quotation.

First, Paul said: “If someone speaks in a tongue, let it be limited to two or three at the most, and in turns; and let someone translate. But if there be no translator, let him keep silent in the congregation and speak to himself and to God.”
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:27, 28 And if someone speaks in a tongue, let it be limited to two or three at the most, and in turns, and someone must interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the congregation and speak to himself and to God. End quotation.
That did not mean that such a person was never to speak at meetings but that there were times when he should be silent. After all, the objective of the meetings​—to upbuild one another—​would not be attained if he spoke in a language no one understood.

Second, Paul stated: “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern the meaning. But if there is a revelation to another one while sitting there, let the first one keep silent.” This meant, not that the first prophet was to refrain from speaking at meetings, but that he had to be silent at times. Then the one having the miraculous revelation could address the congregation, and the objective of the meeting​—that “all be encouraged”—​would be achieved.​—
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:26 What is to be done, then, brothers? When you come together, one has a psalm, another has a teaching, another has a revelation, another has a tongue, and another has an interpretation. Let all things take place for building up. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:29 through 31 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern the meaning. 30 But if another one receives a revelation while sitting there, let the first speaker keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one at a time, so that all may learn and all may be encouraged. End quotation.

Third, Paul addressed Christian women only, stating: “Let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection.”
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:34 let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. End quotation.
Why did Paul give this command to sisters? To preserve order in the congregation. He says: “If, then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation.”​—
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:35 If they want to learn something, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the congregation. End quotation.

Perhaps some sisters were challenging what was said in the congregation. Paul’s counsel helped sisters to shun such a disorderly spirit and humbly accept their position within Jehovah’s headship arrangement, particularly with regard to their husbands.
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God. End quotation.
In addition, by keeping silent, sisters would show that they did not aspire to be teachers in the congregation. When he wrote to Timothy, Paul showed that it would be improper for a woman to assume the role of teacher: “I do not permit a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence.”​—
Quotation: 1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but she is to remain silent. End quotation.

Does that mean that a Christian woman must never speak during a congregation meeting? Number In Paul’s day, there were occasions when Christian women, perhaps impelled by holy spirit, prayed or prophesied in the congregation. On such occasions, they acknowledged their position by wearing a head covering.
Footnote reads: In modern times, mature sisters follow that example when, because of circumstances, they have to substitute for a baptized man in a congregation setting.​—See The Watchtower, July 15, 2002, page 26. End Footnote.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 11:5 but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head, for it is one and the same as if she were a woman with a shaved head. End quotation.
Further, in Paul’s day and today, sisters along with brothers are urged to make a public declaration of their hope.
Quotation: Hebrews 10:23 through 25 Let us hold firmly the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for the one who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near. End quotation.
Besides doing this in the field ministry, sisters declare their hope and encourage others during congregation meetings by giving well-thought-out comments when invited to do so and by accepting assignments to share in demonstrations or student talks.

Hence, Christian women “keep silent” by refraining from trying to assume the role of a male and instruct the congregation. They do not raise argumentative questions that could challenge the authority of those who teach. By fulfilling their proper role in the congregation, Christian sisters greatly contribute toward an atmosphere of peace in which “all things [at congregation meetings] take place for upbuilding.”​—
Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:26 What is to be done, then, brothers? When you come together, one has a psalm, another has a teaching, another has a revelation, another has a tongue, and another has an interpretation. Let all things take place for building up. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is a God not of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the holy ones, End quotation.


Theocratic Study Point 14, Main Points Made to Stand Out



Quotation: Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of what we are saying: We have such a high priest as this, and he has sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, End quotation.

SUMMARY: Help your audience to follow along with your talk, and make clear how each main point relates to your objective and theme.

HOW TO DO IT:

Have an objective. Consider whether your talk is intended to inform, convince, or motivate your audience, and then develop it accordingly. Make sure all main points help you to achieve your objective.

Ask yourself: ‘What questions or objections might my audience have about this topic? In what logical order would they raise those questions or objections?’ Then arrange your points in the same order so that your audience can follow along with, understand, and accept the information.

Emphasize the theme of your talk. Refer to the theme throughout your discourse by repeating the key words of the theme or by using synonyms.

Make your main points clear and simple. Select only main points that relate to your theme and that you can teach effectively in the allotted time. Limit the number of main points, clearly state each main point, pause between them, and lead smoothly from one main point to the next.

You might state the main points in your introduction to help the audience follow along or restate them in your conclusion to help the audience remember them.


SONG 84, REACHING OUT, BASED ON MATTHEW 9:37, 38


1. Jehovah knows just what we need

To bring us joy and to succeed.

So he provides so many ways

In which to serve and spend our days.

CHORUS

Reaching out, giving all,

for our God above.

And where the need is great, there we’ll be,

reaching out in love.

2. There’s work to do in ev’ry land.

Where there’s a need, we lend a hand.

By reaching out, we show we care.

We want to help and want to share.

CHORUS

Reaching out, giving all,

for our God above.

And where the need is great, there we’ll be,

reaching out in love.

3. And here at home, in towns nearby,

We plan, we build, new skills we try.

We learn to speak a foreign tongue

And bring good news to ev’ryone.

CHORUS

Reaching out, giving all,

for our God above.

And where the need is great, there we’ll be,

reaching out in love.


LIVING AS CHRISTIANS. PART 1


“How Can Sisters Reach Out?”: 15 minutes Discussion. Play the video “Women Who Are Working Hard in the Lord.”

Collage: Sisters joyfully working in different assignments. 1. A sister works in the field ministry. 2. A sister works on a construction project. 3. A sister cleans a Kingdom Hall. 4. A sister shows an older sister how to use a tablet. 5. A sister helps her daughter give a comment at a meeting. 6. Two sisters preach in cold weather.

How Can Sisters Reach Out?

Sisters make valuable contributions to the Kingdom work.
Quotation: Psalm 68:11 Jehovah gives the command; The women proclaiming the good news are a large army. End quotation.
They conduct many of the home Bible studies and make up a large percentage of the regular pioneers. Thousands of hardworking sisters serve as Bethelites, missionaries, construction volunteers or servants, and translators. Mature sisters build up their families and congregations.
Quotation: Proverbs 14:1 The truly wise woman builds up her house, But the foolish one tears it down with her own hands. End quotation.
Although sisters cannot serve as elders or ministerial servants, they can still set goals in the congregation. If you are a sister, what are some ways that you can reach out?

Cultivate spiritual qualities. ​—
Quotation: 1 Timothy 3:11 Women should likewise be serious, not slanderous, moderate in habits, faithful in all things. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Peter 3:3 through 6 Do not let your adornment be external—the braiding of hair and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothing— 4 but let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible adornment of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God. 5 For this is how the holy women of the past who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, subjecting themselves to their husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you have become her children, provided you continue doing good and do not give in to fear. End quotation.

Help sisters in the congregation who have less experience.​—
Quotation: Titus 2:3 through 5 Likewise, let the older women be reverent in behavior, not slanderous, not enslaved to a lot of wine, teachers of what is good, 4 so that they may advise the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to 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. End quotation.

Improve the quality and quantity of your ministry

Learn another language

Move where the need is greater

Apply to work at Bethel or to assist with the construction of theocratic facilities

Apply for the School for Kingdom Evangelizers

WATCH THE VIDEO “WOMEN WHO ARE WORKING HARD IN THE LORD,” AND THEN ANSWER THIS QUESTION:

How did the comments of each sister encourage you?

The three sisters who appeared in the video “Women Who Are Working Hard in the Lord.”

PART 2. CONGREGATION BIBLE STUDY: 30 MINUTES . PURE WORSHIP BOOK.CHAPTER 16 PARAGRAPH 14 through 20, BOX 16B



14, 15. WHAT EXAMPLES SHOW THAT JEHOVAH WARNS PEOPLE BEFORE A TIME OF DESTRUCTION?


14 How, though, is Ezekiel’s prophetic vision fulfilled in our day? If we look back at how the vision was fulfilled in the past, we can learn what to expect now and in the future. Consider some of the developments we have seen or will see in fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy.

15 Jehovah warns people before a time of destruction. As we saw in Chapter 11 of this publication, Jehovah commissioned Ezekiel “as a watchman to the house of Israel.”
Quotation: Ezekiel 3:17 through 19 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman to the house of Israel; and when you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them from me. 18 When I say to someone wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ but you do not warn him, and you fail to speak in order to warn the wicked one to turn from his wicked course so that he may stay alive, he will die for his error because he is wicked, but I will ask his blood back from you. 19 But if you warn someone wicked and he does not turn back from his wickedness and from his wicked course, he will die for his error, but you will certainly save your own life. End quotation.
Starting in 613 B.C.E., Ezekiel clearly warned Israel of the destruction that was approaching. Other prophets, including Isaiah and Jeremiah, also sounded a warning about the calamity that would befall Jerusalem.
Quotation: Isaiah 39:6, 7 ‘Look! Days are coming, and all that is in your house and all that your forefathers have stored up to this day will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says Jehovah. 7 ‘And some of your own sons to whom you will become father will be taken and will become court officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” End quotation.

Quotation: Jeremiah 25:8, 9 “Therefore this is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘“Because you would not obey my words, 9 I am sending for all the families of the north,” declares Jehovah, “sending for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction and make them an object of horror and something to whistle at and a perpetual ruin. a variant spelling. End quotation.

Quotation: Jeremiah 25:11 And all this land will be reduced to ruins and will become an object of horror, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.”’ End quotation.
In our day, Jehovah, through Christ, has used a small group of anointed servants not only to feed pure worshippers, the domestics, but also to warn others about the fast-approaching great tribulation.​—
Quotation: Matthew 24:45 “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? End quotation.


16. DO WE AS JEHOVAH’S PEOPLE MARK THOSE WHO WILL SURVIVE? EXPLAIN.


16 Jehovah’s people do not mark those who will survive. Recall that Ezekiel was not told to go through Jerusalem himself and mark others for survival. Similarly, Jehovah’s people today are not commissioned to mark worthy ones for survival. Rather, as domestics in Christ’s spiritual household, we are commissioned to preach. We show that we take this commission seriously by zealously sharing the good news of God’s Kingdom and by eagerly sounding the warning that this wicked world is rapidly nearing its end.
Quotation: Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. End quotation.

Quotation: Matthew 28:18 through 20 Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” End quotation.
We thus have a share in helping honesthearted ones to embrace pure worship.​—
Quotation: 1 Timothy 4:16 Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you. End quotation.


17. WHAT DO INDIVIDUALS NEED TO DO NOW IN ORDER TO PUT THEMSELVES IN LINE TO BE MARKED IN THE FUTURE?


17 To survive the coming destruction, individuals need to prove their faith now. As we saw earlier, those who survived Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. demonstrated beforehand their heartfelt rejection of wickedness and their devotion to pure worship. It is similar today. Before the destruction comes, individuals need to be “sighing and groaning”​—deeply grieved at heart—​over the wickedness of this world. And rather than hide their feelings, they must demonstrate by words and actions their devotion to pure worship. How can they do so? They need to react favorably to the preaching work that is being done today, to continue putting on a Christlike personality, to get baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah, and to support Christ’s brothers loyally.
Quotation: Ezekiel 9:4 Jehovah said to him: “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the city.” End quotation.

Quotation: Matthew 25:34 through 40 “Then the King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; 36 naked and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ End quotation.

Quotation: Ephesians 4:22 through 24 You were taught to put away the old personality that conforms to your former course of conduct and that is being corrupted according to its deceptive desires. 23 And you should continue to be made new in your dominant mental attitude, 24 and should put on the new personality that was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty. End quotation.

Quotation: 1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, is also now saving you (not by the removing of the filth of the flesh, but by the request to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. End quotation.
Only those who pursue such a course now​—and who enter the great tribulation as pure worshippers—​will be in a position to be marked for survival.


18. - PART "A" - HOW AND WHEN WILL JESUS CHRIST MARK DESERVING ONES? - PART B - DO FAITHFUL ANOINTED ONES NEED TO BE MARKED? EXPLAIN.


18 The marking of deserving ones will take place in the heavenly realm. In Ezekiel’s day, angels had a role in marking faithful ones for survival. In the modern-day fulfillment, the man with the secretary’s inkhorn represents Jesus Christ when he “comes in his glory” as Judge of all the nations.
Quotation: Matthew 25:31 through 33 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. End quotation.
That coming of Jesus will take place during the great tribulation, after the destruction of false religion.
Footnote reads: Apparently, the destruction of Babylon the Great will not mean the death of all members of false religion. At that time, even some clergymen may abandon false religion and claim that they were never a part of it.​—
Quotation: Zechariah 13:3 through 6 And if a man should prophesy again, his father and his mother who caused his birth will say to him, ‘You will not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of Jehovah.’ And his father and his mother who caused his birth will pierce him through because of his prophesying. 4 “In that day each of the prophets will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; and they will not wear an official garment of hair in order to deceive. 5 And he will say, ‘I am no prophet. I am a man cultivating the soil, because a man bought me when I was young.’ 6 And if someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds between your shoulders?’ he will answer, ‘Wounds I received in the house of my friends.’” That is, on the chest or on the back. End quotation.
End Footnote.
At that crucial time, just before Armageddon begins, Jesus will judge people as sheep or goats. Those of the “great crowd” will be judged, or marked, as sheep, which thus indicates that they will “depart . . . into everlasting life.”
Quotation: Revelation 7:9 through 14 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. 10 And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Let the praise and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” 13 In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. End quotation.

Quotation: Matthew 25:34 through 40 “Then the King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; 36 naked and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ End quotation.

Quotation: Matthew 25:46 These will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.” End quotation.
What about faithful anointed ones? They do not need to be marked for survival through Armageddon. Rather, they will receive their final sealing either before they die or before the outbreak of the great tribulation. Then, at some point before Armageddon begins, they will be raised to heaven.​—
Quotation: Revelation 7:1 through 3 After this I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding tight the four winds of the earth, so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, having a seal of the living God; and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.” End quotation.


19. WHO WILL ACCOMPANY JESUS IN EXECUTING JUDGMENT ON THIS SYSTEM OF THINGS? SEE THE BOX “SIGHING AND GROANING, MARKING, SMASHING​—WHEN AND HOW?”


19 The heavenly King, Jesus Christ, and his heavenly armies will execute judgment on this system of things. In Ezekiel’s vision, the six men with weapons for smashing did not begin the destruction until after the man in linen completed his marking work.
Quotation: Ezekiel 9:4 through 7 Jehovah said to him: “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the city.” 5 And to the others he said in my hearing: “Go through the city after him and strike. Do not let your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. 6 Old man, young man, virgin, little child, and women you should kill off completely. But do not go near to any man on whom there is the mark. You should start from my sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were in front of the house. 7 Then he said to them: “Defile the house and fill the courtyards with the slain. Go!” So they went out and struck down people in the city. End quotation.
Likewise, the coming destruction will begin after Jesus judges people of all the nations and marks the sheep for survival. Then, during the war of Armageddon, Jesus will lead the heavenly executional forces, which will include the holy angels and all his 144,000 corulers, against this wicked world, destroying it utterly and delivering pure worshippers into a righteous new world.​—
Quotation: Revelation 16:14 through 16 They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. 15 “Look! I am coming as a thief. Happy is the one who stays awake and keeps his outer garments, so that he may not walk naked and people look upon his shamefulness.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon.Greek, Har Magedon, from a Hebrew term meaning “Mountain of Megiddo.” End quotation.

Quotation: Revelation 19:11 through 21 I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. 12 His eyes are a fiery flame, and on his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, 13 and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and he is called by the name The Word of God. 14 Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. 15 And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. 17 I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.” 19 And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. 20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. 21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. End quotation.


20. WHAT REASSURING LESSONS HAVE WE LEARNED FROM EZEKIEL’S VISION OF THE MAN WITH THE SECRETARY’S INKHORN?


20 How thankful we are for the reassuring lessons we learn from Ezekiel’s vision of the man with the secretary’s inkhorn! We can have complete confidence that Jehovah will not destroy the righteous with the wicked.
Quotation: Psalm 97:10 O you who love Jehovah, hate what is bad. He is guarding the lives of his loyal ones; He rescues them from the hand of the wicked. End quotation.
We know what we need to do now in order to be marked in the future for survival. As worshippers of Jehovah, we are determined to have the fullest possible share in declaring the good news and in sounding the warning to those who are sighing and groaning over the wickedness in Satan’s world. We thus may have the privilege of helping those who are “rightly disposed for everlasting life” to join us in pure worship and thereby put themselves in line to be marked for survival into God’s righteous new world.​—
Quotation: Acts 13:48 When those of the nations heard this, they began to rejoice and to glorify the word of Jehovah, and all those who were rightly disposed for everlasting life became believers. End quotation.


TEACHING BOX 16B


Sighing and Groaning, Marking, Smashing​—When and How?

The vision recorded in
Quotation: Ezekiel 9:1 through 11 He then called out in my ears with a loud voice, saying: “Summon those who will bring punishment on the city, each one with his weapon for destruction in his hand!” 2 I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate that faces north, each with his weapon for smashing in his hand; and there was one man among them clothed in linen, with a secretary’s inkhorn at his waist, and they came in and stood beside the copper altar. 3 Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from where it had rested above the cherubs and moved to the threshold of the doorway of the house, and he began calling out to the man who was clothed in linen, at whose waist was the secretary’s inkhorn. 4 Jehovah said to him: “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the city.” 5 And to the others he said in my hearing: “Go through the city after him and strike. Do not let your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. 6 Old man, young man, virgin, little child, and women you should kill off completely. But do not go near to any man on whom there is the mark. You should start from my sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were in front of the house. 7 Then he said to them: “Defile the house and fill the courtyards with the slain. Go!” So they went out and struck down people in the city. 8 While they were striking them down, I alone was left, and I fell facedown and cried out: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Are you going to destroy all the remaining ones of Israel while you pour out your rage on Jerusalem?” 9 So he said to me: “The error of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great. The land is filled with bloodshed, and the city is full of corruption. For they say, ‘Jehovah has left the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.’ 10 But as for me, my eye will not feel sorry; nor will I show compassion. The consequences of their way I will bring down on their own head.” 11 Then I saw the man clothed in linen with the inkhorn at his waist bringing back word, saying: “I have done just as you have commanded me.” End quotation.
has a modern-day fulfillment. Our understanding of how events will unfold can help us to face the end of this system of things with confidence

“Sighing and groaning”

WHEN: During the last days, before the great tribulation

HOW: Righthearted individuals show by their words and actions that they detest the wickedness of this world. Such ones respond favorably to the preaching work, continue putting on a Christlike personality, get baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah, and loyally support Christ’s brothers

A woman getting baptized.

“Marking”

WHEN: During the great tribulation

HOW: The man with the secretary’s inkhorn represents Jesus Christ when he comes as Judge of all the nations. Those of the great crowd will be favorably judged, or marked, as sheep, thus indicating that they will survive Armageddon

The man with the secretary’s inkhorn holding a pen.

“Smashing”

WHEN: At Armageddon

HOW: Jesus Christ and his heavenly armies, which will include the angels and his 144,000 corulers, will utterly destroy this wicked world and deliver pure worshippers into a righteous new world

A man gripping a weapon for smashing.

Box: YOUR PLACE IN PURE WORSHIP.
How does Ezekiel’s vision of the man with the secretary’s inkhorn highlight Jehovah’s mercy?
What do you need to do now in order to be marked in the future for survival?
After considering Ezekiel’s vision of the man with the inkhorn, what are you determined to do?


CONCLUDING COMMENTS 3 MINUTES



SONG 27, THE REVEALING OF GOD’S SONS, BASED ON ROMANS 8:19


1. The time is near when God reveals

His faithful chosen ones.

In heaven they will rule with Christ

As mighty spirit sons.

CHORUS

The sons of God will be revealed

Along with Christ, their Lord.

They’ll join him in his victory

And share in his reward.

2. And soon the last remaining ones

Will hear his final call.

The King of kings and Lord of lords

Will then collect them all.

CHORUS

The sons of God will be revealed

Along with Christ, their Lord.

They’ll join him in his victory

And share in his reward.

BRIDGE

And then with Christ, these sons of God

Will wage the final war.

The joyous marriage to the Lamb

Will last forevermore.

CHORUS

The sons of God will be revealed

Along with Christ, their Lord.

They’ll join him in his victory

And share in his reward.


END OUR CHRISTIAN MINISTRY