January 23rd, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
Carol and I returned home this week after a wonderful visit to Mexico City. We very much appreciate the work of Mr. and Mrs. Cristian Orrego and others serving in that part of the world. Sabbath morning began with the baptism of a young woman. This was followed by Sabbath services for 167 warm and enthusiastic brethren, along with over 400 tuning in throughout Latin America and Spain by way of the Internet. Special music was presented by a youth choir, and that evening there was a meal with entertainment from a mariachi band. I gave a talk to about 35 leaders and their spouses on Sunday morning. We also profited from visits to the Anthropology Museum, the Museum of Torture, and the Teotihuacán Pyramids. At all three locations it was evident who the god of this world is. Past civilizations in Mexico were highly intelligent, but unbelievably brutal, practicing human sacrifices, especially of children and enemies. Some remnants of Sun, Moon, and the Fiery Feathered Serpent worship have transitioned into modern Catholicism. In the meantime, the Work of the true God continues in Mexico City and the Spanish-speaking world. Our Spanish YouTube channel has picked up 17,000 new subscribers since the beginning of the year, and we are closing in on 30 million total views, adding around 100,000 views per day.—Gerald Weston
Tomorrow’s World Presentations Results for the Past Five Years
Pastors: You have received or will receive an e-mail request for the numbers of baptized members who have joined us in the last five years after attending a Tomorrow’s World Presentation. Please take the time to ascertain those figures for each of your congregations and send them in as soon as possible. We appreciate your assistance in updating our records for this aspect of preaching the Gospel to the world.
Passover 2020—International Deadline Approaching
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2020, the Passover Service will be observed on Tuesday evening, April 7. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays, wine trays, and/or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French, and Spanish). A new Passover Service recording in English is being made for 2020 by Mr. Ken Frank. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before February 6 for international congregations and by March 5 for U.S. congregations.
Also, please let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. International requests should be received before February 6 and U.S. requests before March 5. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
New Television Stations Carrying the Tomorrow’s World Telecast in the United States
Here is a summary of new stations coming on board for the Tomorrow’s World telecast. Together, they can reach more than 4.8 million television households. Please pray for the effectiveness of these stations in taking the Gospel to the nation.
- KBVO – Austin, Texas (751,650 TV Households)
Sundays @ 8:30 a.m.
Start Date: January 26, 2020
- WBNA – Louisville, Kentucky (647,190 TV Households)
Sundays @ 9:30 a.m.
Start Date: January 26, 2020
- WNOL – New Orleans, Louisiana (624,020 TV Households)
Sundays @ 7:00 a.m.
Start Date: February 9, 2020
- WPSG – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2,816,850 TV Households)
Sundays @ 7:30 a.m.
Start Date: February 9, 2020
Feast of Tabernacles
Pre-registration for Trim, Ireland—Repeat Announcement
Festival Site Coordinators are busy working on preliminary plans for the Feast of Tabernacles 2020. The tentative date for Festival Registration in 2020 is Sunday, May 17. A few sites—such as Trim, Ireland—will have a pre-registration before the May registration date, to accommodate local U.K. brethren, and then overseas brethren. Watch for future announcements in The World Ahead, as more information on pre-registration for Trim, Ireland will be forthcoming.
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on January 31 will cover Luke 7 and 8, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chat room will be open for a half-hour before and after the Bible Study.
To join the study, visit https://live.livingyouth.org, and sign in with either your MyLCG or LYP camp registration credentials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. For those who are unable to make it to the study, recordings of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Luke 6, can be found on the Living Youth Programs Live archive page at https://live.livingyouth.org/archive/.—Josh Penman
The Most Important Quality: Most of God’s people understand the importance of keeping the commandments, the Sabbath, the Holy Days, and the health laws. They also understand the importance of government, tithing, faith, and watching for the fulfillment of prophecy. Yet, sometimes, in our zeal to obey the laws of God, we can overlook something else that is even more important—and that is the need to develop and exercise Godly Love. We are told in the Scriptures that without Godly Love, all these other things will amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1–3). In this chapter, the biblical word for love is agape and it refers to an unselfish, outgoing concern for others. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul states that Godly Love does not seek its own way; it is calm and not easily provoked, nor does it jump to conclusions, or assign motives, or sit in judgment of others. Instead, Godly Love is gracious and forgiving. It is positive and focuses on what is right and true. It never fails or falters. Godly Love is the most important fruit of God’s Spirit that we must nourish and cultivate if we hope to become like our Father and our Elder Brother Jesus Christ. We read that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and that we have been created to become like Him (1 John 3:1–3). Let’s make that our primary goal. Let’s ask God to help us learn to love Him and learn to love others as He does, so we can develop this most important quality—Godly Love.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 23, 2020
Global Unrest Soars: A recent study by a leading risk analysis and global forecasting company reports, “A quarter of all countries experienced a dramatic surge in civil unrest” in 2019 (The Guardian, January 16, 2020). The conclusions in the study were based on the severity and frequency of protests against governments, the use of security forces to quell unrest, and national abuses of civil rights. According to the study, “The pent-up rage that has boiled over into street protests over the past year has caught most governments by surprise…. [Most] of the grievances are deeply entrenched and would take years to address.” According to the report, many of the angry protests were driven by similar grievances: “stagnating incomes and rising inequality… loss of trust in traditional political elites, corruption, and the erosion of civil and political rights.”
The authors of the study predict that the intensity of unrest and number of nations experiencing such troubles will rise over the next year. While “Hong Kong and Chile were deemed the world’s ‘riskiest locations,’” the researchers predict that, “protests are likely to increase in 75 countries over the next six months, including China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Thailand.”
Happy people who are settled, in peaceful circumstances, feel safe, and have their needs met do not generally feel the need to protest. Governments that meet the real needs of their people tend to be stable and long lasting. The book of Proverbs records this fundamental principle of leadership: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).
The Bible reveals that the end of the age will be marked by “perilous times,” with spreading violence, rumors of wars, and ethnic strife (Matthew 24:1–7; 2 Timothy 3:1–4). However, the Bible also indicates that an emerging European “beast” power will provide a temporary and superficial atmosphere of peace and stability—perhaps by restoring some financial stability that will placate civil unrest (see Revelation 13 and 18). To learn more about the impact this coming “beast” power will have on the world, read or listen to The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?
Positive Effects of Parenthood: Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley recently reviewed data on over one million babies born in Washington state between 1996 and 2009. Study findings revealed that “when women become pregnant, they are much less likely to be arrested, for a wide range of crimes” (The Economist, January 3, 2020). In addition, arrest rates tumble by about 50 percent almost as soon as mothers become pregnant, and they decrease further as pregnancies progress. Following the birth, arrest levels increase somewhat, but they plateau at about half the pre-pregnancy rate.
One surprising finding was that the effect on new fathers was similar. Although the decline in arrest rates for fathers was not as pronounced as that of mothers, their arrest rates were still significantly lower during and following pregnancy, and they remained that way! In a separate study in 2007, researchers found that fatherhood is an even more effective deterrent to committing future crimes than the prospect of 20 years of incarceration.
In the book of Genesis, God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), and the Psalms declare that “children are a heritage from the Lord…. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127:3, 5). In the West today, birth rates are declining and more people are choosing not to have children. At the same time, we are watching the decline of biblical morality. When it is possible, obeying God’s admonition to have children brings direct benefits to parents and grandparents, but apparently also works to improve the morality of the parents themselves—something God no doubt understood from the beginning! For greater insight into how to be a successful parent, read or listen to Successful Parenting: God’s Way.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater