June 6th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Armando Orrego and his lovely wife were in town from Colombia this week to take care of business. Messrs. Mario Hernandez, Cristian Orrego, Armando Orrego, and several of us met to sort out problems in getting mail to a few Central and South American countries where mail delivery is spotty at best and often impossible. Another problem is the cost of postage in some countries, and we discussed possible solutions. More than 14,500 El Mundo de Mañana (Tomorrow’s World) magazines are distributed to 55 countries around the world, and over 4,000 of these subscribers are in the United States, currently the country with the largest circulation. We are exploring the possibility of preaching the Gospel to Spanish-speaking individuals over a cable network that covers a high concentration of Spanish-language people in the United States. Whether we can do this right away depends on income and the question of how to follow up in areas where we do not have members capable of translating and working with prospective members.
The semi-annual response requesting the booklet What Happens After You Die? is showing a strong early response. The telecast “2019 in Bible Prophecy” has now surpassed 300,000 YouTube views and last week’s telecast, “The Real Armageddon,” has already posted more than 46,500 views.—Gerald Weston
For this year’s Holy Day season, we are offering our newest initiative for our Children’s Bible Program. It will be a special set of Study Guides titled “What Is Pentecost?,” geared toward families with children of all ages. We hope that this set of special Study Guides will greatly enhance family preparation for this Holy Day season! This Study Guide is written for the purpose of helping parents teach their children vital biblical topics in a focused, easy-to-follow format. Each section is not meant to be taught in one lesson; rather the topics are organized so parents can choose specific areas of focus and gear lessons toward the learning styles and ages of their children. Each topic is presented in a straightforward manner with accompanying verses for study. The main study should always come from the Scripture itself, while these lessons can act as a guide for reading passages from the Bible. Each lesson packet includes memory verses, questions for meaningful discussion, and activities (added at the end of the packet). Also, though some things may be labeled as Level 1, 2, or 3, the activities, questions, and scriptures for memorizing can be used to fit the needs and learning levels for children of all ages. Enjoy!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Calling all Members!
In this week’s The World Ahead, we are highlighting specific needs in service areas at several Feast sites. If you could serve in any of the following ways, and if you have some flexibility and would be willing to change your Feast plans, please contact the Festival Site Coordinator listed.—Festival Office
Translation Needs in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada: At the Feast site in Gimli this year, we will be providing Spanish translation. If you are able to translate from English to Spanish and would like to help in that capacity during the Feast, please contact Festival Site Coordinator Marc Arseneault ([email protected]).
Pianist and Nurse Needed in Cathedral City, California: The Cathedral City Feast site needs a pianist to accompany hymns, as well as a qualified RN or EMT in First Aid. If you would like to serve in one of these areas, please consider transferring to Cathedral City this year. For more information, contact Festival Site Coordinator Stephen Elliott ([email protected]).
Pianist Needed in Taupo, New Zealand: If you serve as a pianist in your local congregation, we are in need of your services in New Zealand! We currently do not have a pianist to play hymns and special music during the Feast, and we would really appreciate your help in this way. If you can help and are interested in transferring to Taupo, please contact Festival Site Coordinator Paul Kearns ([email protected]).
Living Youth Program
Texas Teen Camp: Master Activity Schedule Posted and Campers’ Last Week to Register!
The Master Schedule for Activities has now been posted on the youth website. Campers and Staff are encouraged to take a look at what is planned. It is essential for Activity Directors to review this schedule as they plan their lessons for each class they will be teaching.
Campers, this is the last week to register for camp—so sign up now if you have not already done so.—Sheldon Monson/Jason Fritts, Director/Assistant Director of Living Youth Programs
Thankful for the Truth? The Sabbath and the Holy Days are good times to reflect on an important question: How thankful are you for the Truth? It is easy to take the Truth for granted if you are a long-time member, or if you have grown up in the Church. Yet, Jesus said that no one can come to a real understanding of the Truth unless they are called and their minds are opened to see the big picture (John 6:44, 65). God calls us through the power of His Holy Spirit—which is described as “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16–17) and which “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13) if we are willing to be “led by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16–18). The capacity to understand the plan of God as pictured by the Holy Days, the purpose of life, and the true way of life is a gift imparted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) that God is making available to only a few at this time (1 Corinthians 1:26–28). These precious truths are a mystery to most people (1 Corinthians 2:6–12) because Satan—“the god of this age”—has blinded their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). Jesus said it is an incredible privilege to be given an understanding of God’s Truth (Matthew 13:10–17). The Apostle Paul said that to be called out of darkness into the light of the Truth is something to be extremely thankful for (Ephesians 5:8–20). Let’s never forget to be thankful for the opportunity to understand God’s precious Truth.
Have a profitable Sabbath and Holy Day,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—June 6, 2019
Winds of Change in Europe: Recent European elections saw centrist parties lose 70 seats in the EU parliament, while far-right populist parties and liberal pro-European Union parties on the extremes gained ground. As NPRreported on May 27, “In France, the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen narrowly beat French President Emmanuel Macron’s party coalition,” winning by less than 1 percent of the vote. “The League, Italy’s far-right populist party led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, saw a sweeping victory, garnering more than 34% of the country’s vote.” In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party took a drubbing with less than 9 percent of the vote, while the pro-Brexit party of Nigel Farage, formed just six weeks earlier, garnered more than 30 percent of the vote. Despite the gains of far-right parties in the EU parliament, observers believe the increase in support was insufficient to change European policies. However, the parties may have enough power to “block important legislation in a fragmented Parliament” if they are able to work together (Politico, June 1, 2019).
With moderate parties losing some of their power, the future could bring an even more divided and polarized European Union. As Italy, Hungary, and France move in a more conservative direction, it will be important to watch their impact on European politics. The replacement of Britain’s outgoing prime minister could increase the likelihood of a Brexit in October or further divide the British government. If Britain remains in the EU, its anti-EU sentiments would be noticeable. Bible prophecy speaks of the “iron and clay” nature of an end-time European “beast” power (Daniel 2:33–45). This indicates that European nations will have difficulties working together until something happens to unite ten of their “kings” or leaders in an unusual way (see Revelation 17:12–13). The recent elections highlight the growing divisions within the 27 nations of the EU that could lead to the fulfillment of these end-time Bible prophecies. To learn more about Europe’s tenuous future, be sure to read “Shadows Over Europe.”
More Proof of the Bible! According to the Jerusalem Post, archaeologists from the University of Jerusalem recently unearthed a seal from the City of David bearing the inscription “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (April 1, 2019). The seal is estimated to be about 2,600 years old and dates back to the time of King Josiah of Judah. In fact, Nathan-Melech was the name of “the officer who was in the court”—possibly the court outside the king’s royal stables (2 Kings 23:11).
Although archaeologists are not certain whether this Nathan-Melech is the one mentioned in the Bible, other recent discoveries help to make this connection. The Post reports, “The clay bulla (seal impression), along with other artifacts, was discovered inside a public building that was destroyed during the destruction of the First Temple and was uncovered during the archaeological excavation of the Givati parking lot in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.” Other seals have also been found with the names of men who were contemporaries of Nathan-Melech.
While critics continue to challenge the validity of the Bible, archaeological evidence continues to emerge that supports the Bible’s historical record, as it has for centuries. Yet, these new discoveries are seldom mentioned in the popular press. As a result, many assume the ideas of critics—that the Bible is not historically accurate—are true. The Apostle Paul warned about the “ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress [hold back] the truth in unrighteousness” and that such misguided actions lead to other serious social problems that would eventually bring about the “wrath of God” (Romans 1:18–32)—problems that fill the whole world in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1–5). However, there is good news: The day is coming when all mankind will recognize the great God for who He is (Ezekiel 5:13; 6:14; 7:4, 27), that the Bible is true from cover to cover (Psalm 119:160), and that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). For greater insight into the accuracy of the Bible, read or listen to The Bible: Fact or Fiction?—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, Ryan Dawson, and Chris Sookdeo