Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Rod McNair is scheduled to hold Tomorrow’s World Presentations this weekend in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota. A cold wave with snow hit the south this week and thousands of flights were cancelled, including to and from the Charlotte and Atlanta airports, two major airline hubs. Flights are getting back on schedule, so Mr. McNair should be able to make it to the frozen north for these presentations. Mr. Rick Stafford is also giving a TWP on Sunday, in San Fernando, Trinidad. Mr. Richard Ames’ program, “The Bible: Fact or Fiction,” and Mr. Wallace Smith’s program, “The Truth About the Rapture,” have both produced higher than normal responses over the last two weeks. We are looking at holding the Feast of Tabernacles in Goa, India this year, but need to have some idea how many would be interested. If this is a real possibility for you, please send an e-mail to email@example.com and let us know how many in your immediate family would be interested. This is not a commitment, but we need to know by this week how much interest there may be, so please let us know as soon as possible.—Gerald Weston
Guidelines on Reading The World Ahead Items During Announcements at Services
(Pastors: Please make sure all men reading announcements are aware of this.)
Beginning in this World Ahead update, we will have a slight change in designation for those reading these announcements to congregations. A “Must Read” should be read out loud or printed in a bulletin given to all members. If it is in a local bulletin, a verbal reference to encourage members to take special note of it should be given during announcements. A “Must Read if Applicable” means that it should be read if there is anyone in the congregation that it might apply to. You can usually discern this by asking the members if such a topic is of any interest. Some festival, youth activities, singles activities, and special weekends simply do not apply everywhere. This change is intended to keep announcements to a minimum and avoid lengthy announcements where they do not apply to anyone in a congregation.
Living Education—Must Read
As we begin the new calendar year, consider the challenge of a “Read the Bible in a Year” project. Many of the popular online Bible sites like Blueletter Bible, Bible Study Tools, or Gateway Bible provide an easy way to create a reading schedule. They often allow a user to select multiple approaches to reading the Bible in the year. You can select the “Genesis to Revelation Plan” and read through day by day as our Bibles are typically formatted today. Another option that is often included is the “Old Testament/New Testament Plan,” which includes a reading from both the Old Testament and the New Testament each day, again, completing the whole Bible in one year. Most of these sites offer a “historical” or “chronological” approach, reading portions of the Bible according to when they occurred. All of them allow the user to print out a paper version of the program if they desire. The point is, reading the Bible is important. If we just open the Bible each day to wherever the pages happen to fall, we won’t truly be students of the whole Bible. We’re exhorted by Paul to study God’s word in order to “rightly divide the word of truth.” The literature, telecasts and classes offered to members of the Church are most effective if paired with a daily reading of the word of God. Read the Bible this year—you’ll be glad you did!—Jonathan McNair
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend in Greenville, March 30–April 1
The Anderson congregation invites you to join us for our ninth Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, March 30 to Sunday, April 1. The weekend promises to be filled with inspiring spiritual messages, uplifting fellowship, and fun activities. Come celebrate the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread this year with us in Greenville.
Planned events include: a Friday afternoon scavenger hunt in downtown Greenville, the Night To Be Much Observed on Friday night, a Bible Study and Holy Day services on the First Day of Unleavened Bread, a Spring Soiree Banquet and Ball on Saturday night, and a picnic and recreational activities, including a 5K road race and softball games, on Sunday. The Night to Be Much Observed, Holy Day services, and the banquet and ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville in downtown Greenville. Baptized members who wish to arrive early are welcome to join us for the Passover service on Thursday evening.
We have secured a room rate of $119 (plus tax) per night for guests staying at the Hyatt. This guaranteed rate expires March 9. Further details about the event, prices of meals, and registration instructions are located on our website lcganderson.org (not an official LCG website). Or, you may contact Manuel Burdette at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We look forward to seeing you in Greenville for an inspiring holy day weekend!
Passover 2018—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2018, the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, March 29. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French and Spanish). The Passover Service recording in English is the one made by Mr. Peter Nathan in 2017. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before January 29 for international congregations, and by February 20 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. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at email@example.com as soon as possible. International requests should be received before January 29 and U.S. requests before February 20.
More 2017 Highlights
Our Internet and Social Media efforts complement our print and television efforts to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the entire world. Below are more highlights for the year of 2017.
• Our Spanish-language YouTube channel produced really good fruit last year, with more than 7,420,000 lifetime views and 35,000 subscribers.
• Our French-language YouTube channel now has more than 910,000 lifetime views and more than 4,800 subscribers.
• The Spanish-language Facebook page has more than 46,000 fans, and the French-language Facebook has more than 120,000 fans. The Tomorrow’s World Facebook pages are a great resource for TW content and daily news items, and are a great way for us to reach new people every day.
Thank you very much for your prayers and support for these and all our efforts to preach the Gospel around the world.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Tabernacles International Sites
We are pleased to announce the international Feast sites that have been confirmed for 2018 and that will be open to international transfers. Some venues have not been finalized yet, so the country is listed but not the town.
Other international sites will be announced later as they are confirmed. Stay tuned to The World Ahead for more information about the Feast of Tabernacles 2018!
International Feast sites in 2018:
Australia: Ballina, New South Wales (Dayrell Tanner, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Australia: Victor Harbor, South Australia (Ryan Nicholson, email@example.com)
Canada: Kimberley, British Columbia (Barry Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Canada: Liverpool, Nova Scotia (Frank Best, email@example.com)
Canada: Halliburton, Ontario (Shane Kruse, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Canada: Sorel, Quebec (Yvon Brochu, email@example.com)
France: Carry-le-Rouet (Rees Ellis, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jamaica: Montego Bay
New Zealand: Hanmer Springs (Paul Kearns, email@example.com)
South Africa: Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal (Lawdi Ferreira, firstname.lastname@example.org)
South Africa: Stillbaai, Western Cape (Christo Botha, email@example.com)
United Kingdom: Harrogate, England (Simon Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kauai, Hawaii Feast Pre-Registration—Must Read if Applicable
Once again we will be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles on the beautiful island of Kauai. The tropical rain forest that covers much of Kauai has earned it the name the “garden island.” In addition to its striking beauty, Kauai offers a wide variety of activities. This tropical paradise is truly a magnificent setting to keep God’s Feast.
This year we are really excited to be meeting in a beautiful, newly constructed conference center at the Koloa Landing Resort. This 4-star resort is located on the sunny part of the island in the Poipu area, where many brethren have enjoyed staying due to its world class beaches.
Since Kauai is a transfer-only site, we need brethren to pre-register for planning purposes. Pre-registration will open on Sunday, January 21, at 9:00 a.m. EST. To pre-register, click on Pre-Registration for Kauai, Hawaii for more specific information and to complete the pre-registration process. You can also find this link on your MyLCG page. Those who pre-register on January 21 or soon after will be given first consideration for transfer approval. We look forward to seeing many of you there!—Brandon Fall
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, January 26, will cover the second half of Matthew chapter five as well as chapter six. The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. To join the study, go to www.livingyouth.org. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Matthew 4 and the first part of chapter 5, can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Outstanding LYP Bills—Repeat Announcement
Camp registration for all U.S. camps in 2018 will begin on Sunday, February 11. A number of people have camp bills from previous years which have not yet been paid. Please make every effort to settle your account, as you will need to do so before registering for 2018 camps.—Sheldon Monson
Are You Teachable? The Scriptures reveal that one important quality of character that God is looking for in Christians and future leaders in the Kingdom of God is teachability—the desire and willingness to listen and learn. Abraham was teachable and responsive to God’s instructions (Genesis 12:1-4). Moses was an accomplished and capable leader, yet he was also humble and teachable (Numbers 12:3). David’s attitude comes through in Psalm 119:33 when he writes “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes.” Solomon recognized his own human inadequacies when he asked God for wisdom and an “understanding heart” so he could rule wisely (1 Kings 3:9). When Jesus said the meek and poor in spirit are blessed, He was emphasizing the fact they are teachable and willing to learn and grow (Matthew 5:3-5). The Scriptures also make it plain that when we harden our hearts to God’s instruction (or any instruction), we will reap serious consequences (Proverbs 28:14). We have been called to reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God—and being teachable is one of the keys to attaining that reward.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 18, 2018
Water Emergency in Cape Town! In Cape Town, South Africa, a city of nearly four million people, drought conditions and fires have made headlines lately. But recently the world learned the true seriousness of the drought. “Dam levels in Cape Town have dropped and with many Capetonians still using more than the restricted limit of water, Mayor Patricia de Lille announced on Tuesday that Day Zero had been brought forward by seven days to April 22… Day Zero refers to the day when Cape Town’s dam levels reach 13.5% or less. In that event, the city will close taps and set up 200 sites where people will queue to collect water” (Mail and Guardian, January 9, 2018)! Despite water restrictions, only about half of the residents of the Cape are adhering to them. The drought is obviously also hurting farmers and businesses reliant on water.
Although the severe drought now plaguing Cape Town is not the ultimate fulfillment of end-time Bible prophecies, it gives sobering insight into what lies ahead—especially for the Israelite-descended nations, due to their rejection of God and His laws. For example, God warned through the prophet Isaiah, “For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, and for your transgressions your mother has been put away… Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst” (Isaiah 50:1-2). God also prophesied that “if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God… your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 23-24). What we now see is a foretaste of the very difficult times ahead if our nations fail to repent and return to God.
However, Bible prophecies reveal that the coming times of famine and drought will be short-lived. The prophet Isaiah states, “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you” (Isaiah 54:7). Jesus Christ is going to return and usher in the Kingdom of God, a time of abundance when even the deserts will blossom like a rose (Isaiah 35:1) and when the obedient will be blessed with rain in due season (Zechariah 14:16-19). For more insights into extreme weather events and why they will occur in the future, be sure to read or listen to Who Controls the Weather?
The Plight of Children: According to the United Nations, “Children caught in war zones are increasingly being used as weapons of war—recruited to fight, forced to act as suicide bombers, and used as human shields” (The Guardian, December 27, 2017). According to UNICEF, “parties to conflicts were blatantly disregarding international humanitarian law and children were routinely coming under attack. Rape, forced marriage, abduction and enslavement had become standard tactics in conflicts across Iraq, Syria and Yemen, as well as in Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar.”
Children have always been vulnerable, but in societies completely lacking God’s laws (that outline the proper treatment and protection of children), children are at far greater risk of exploitation and abuse. Bible prophecies warn that “in the last days perilous times will come” due to the callousness and brutality of human beings (2 Timothy 3:1-4). These are the results of failing to understand how children are viewed by God, who declares, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD” (Psalm 127:3), and who tells fathers, “do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). However there is a better time coming—a time of peace and a time of safety, even for children!
God says about the future, “For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25). When Jesus Christ rules in the Kingdom of God, “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13). God loves children and created them to help fulfill His plan for humanity (Matthew 19:14; Malachi 4:6)! For more insights into the future of humanity—and our children—be sure to read or listen to Your Ultimate Destiny.—Scott Winnail, Christo Botha, Francine Prater and Chris Sookdeo