Greetings from Charlotte,
In spite of holidays and vacations, the Work of God—and world events—continue to move ahead. We are beginning to see responses to Mr. Meredith’s semi-annual letter. The new booklet, The Bible: Fact or Fiction? has just come back from the printer and will be mailed shortly. Today we are printing copies of the Living Leadership Course and it, too, will soon be in the mail to all elders. The Editorial Department is busy preparing the September-October issue of Tomorrow’s World magazine. This past week we viewed audition tapes of several younger presenters for the television program. Over the weekend Mr. and Mrs. Crockett visited congregations and family in Arkansas. I spent the Sabbath with our congregation in Thomasville, Georgia, and during the weekend visited with ministers and family in Florida.
Mr. Adrian Kaefer reports from Germany: For the past six months, January 1 through June 30, 2006, the German web site www.weltvonmorgen.org had 20,851 identified visitors (+68.4% from last six months 2005), 4,970 booklet downloads (+77.6% from last six months 2005), 11,434 article downloads (+28.4% from last six months 2005), 2003 Bible Study Course downloads (lessons 1-21) (+73.7% from last six months 2005). Additionally, the following printed publications were sent out by mail: 116 booklets (-45.3% from last six months 2005), 119 articles (-25.2% from last six months 2005), 155 copies of the Bible Study Course lessons (+58.2% from last six months 2005).
The results for the first six months of 2006 were exceptionally good. We were able to have Google ads throughout the time on a continual basis. As you can see, there is a drastic increase in Internet activities while fewer people are interested in giving away personal information by ordering printed publications and thus making more of a commitment. We now have had almost 100,000 visitors (99,273—not counting those who did not look at least at one page of the web site) and should be able to reach 1 million hits by the end of this year.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES: Daytona Beach, Florida
Special Music Announcement for those attending the Daytona Beach Feast Site: We are planning to have three Choir numbers this year. The rehearsal time will be minimal to not interfere with family time at the Feast. We are also planning a small instrumental ensemble. If you play a string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument we would like to include you in the program. Accompanists for the choir and hymns are needed as well. A limited number of spaces will be available for solos and duets. The Children’s Choir will be singing “Won’t It Be Great!” which can be found on page 174 of the retired “Blue Hymnal.” Children two years old and up are invited to participate. Parents are encouraged to help their children learn the song before the Feast. Please contact Mr. Rodger Hagmaier at 330-645-1901; or by e-mail at email@example.com for details.
For our Spanish-speaking brethren, there will be Spanish translation of the messages in Daytona Beach.
According to Mr. Wayne Pyle, holiday travel took a toll on viewers of last week’s program “2006 in Prophecy” which offered the Fourteen Signs booklet, yet we expect about 2,350 responses. Mr. Pyle also comments that “thanks to our long-standing custom and policy of collecting gender titles, such as ‘Mr.’ for men and ‘Mrs.’ for women, we have exceptionally accurate records on how males and females respond to the telecast.” Men respond more frequently to programs about God, Jesus Christ, education, success and prophecy, while women respond more frequently to programs about stress, prayer and marriage, happiness and healing. Doctrinal topics seem to attract about the same proportion of men and women.
Minding Your Thoughts. Have you ever heard yourself say, “Here’s what I think…” and you then proceed to express your opinion on some topic? Yet, are we careful to check our opinions in the light of what God reveals about specific subjects in the Bible? Some professing Christians think it is right to refuse to pay taxes, yet Jesus and Paul affirmed that taxes should be paid (Matthew 22:15-22; Romans 13:5-7). Today people look for reasons to divorce, yet God says He hates divorce (Malachi 3:13-16). Many in our modern Satan-influenced society want to tolerate and promote behaviors that God says are an “abomination” (Leviticus 20:13-16). The Scriptures reveal that God’s thoughts are often very different from commonly accepted ideas and opinions (Isaiah 58:8-9). This is why we are advised to discipline our minds and bring every thought into subjection “to the obedience of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5). If we take time to learn the thoughts of God by regularly studying what God has revealed about specific subjects, we will develop the mind of God (Philippians 2:5; I Corinthians 2:10-16). As we learn to think like God about specific issues, we can avoid being caught up in foolish thoughts and actions that lead to regrettable consequences (Proverbs 28:26). As we develop the mind of God we will be preparing to rule with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
NEWS AND PROPHECY—July 6, 2006
Iran and the Persian Gulf. A map will reveal that the Persian Gulf bears its name for a reason. Iran, formerly Persia, controls a major part of the Gulf’s eastern coastline. Arab strategy has been to control the flow of oil, and Iran is perfectly positioned to win the game. Iran can block the tankers that carry oil from Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, all of which ship most of their oil to the world via the Persian Gulf. Iraq’s former military was the chief counter-weight against Iranian ambitions, but now Iran is moving to establish regional supremacy. With missiles that can reach Israel, a sizable military establishment and a fledgling nuclear program, the Iranians are flexing their muscles in an attempt to dominate what they consider to be their Gulf. Keep an eye on Iran, as the struggle to control the world’s diminishing oil reserves heats up. Iranian leaders are also busy cozying up to the Eurasian nations, which will provide the forces that will ultimately confront the Beast just before Christ’s return as King of kings. When the kings of the East march on Jerusalem, their route will most likely take them through Iran, as it is the land bridge between Asia and the Middle East. The army of 200 million will back up well into Iran, while waiting for the sixth angel to prepare its way across the Euphrates River (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:14-16; 16:12).
More Evil for Good… The Education Ministry in British Columbia (BC), Canada will revise its K-12 curriculum in order to represent homosexuals. Following a 10-year discrimination lawsuit, the Ministry contracted a homosexual couple who will help oversee the curriculum overhaul and the development of a new course on social justice issues, which will include homosexual figures. Additionally the Education Ministry will overhaul its parental “opt out” policy that currently allows parents to remove their children from classes with questionable or objectionable material. At the heart of the lawsuit was the argument that “lack of such representation [of homosexuals] amounted to systemic discrimination (The Vancouver Sun, June 16 and 20, 2006). Many think the “opt out” policy will be revised to prevent parents from removing their children from questionable sections of the new curriculum (CanadianChristianity.com, June 28, 2006). The decision of the BC court fits well with God’s prophetic warnings. Paul warned Timothy, “In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be… despisers of good… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (2 Timothy 3:1-4). Paul told the Romans, “… the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). In these last days, God’s prophetic words are ever more clear to those with ears to hear.
An Ever-Dividing Europe. The Airbus A380 Superjumbo jet, once hailed as a poster-child for European unity and integration, now symbolizes “all that is wrong in Europe – incompetence, misplaced ambition, greed and bickering.” France and Germany cannot agree, thus resulting in expensive and major delays in the production of the new jet. The French blame German factories, middle-management, and executives, while others blame French government intervention and insider trading on the part of the French chief executive of the aerospace group Eads. The German magazine Der Spiegel noted that “the crisis had reopened Franco-German hostilities… Eads and… Airbus, were designed to maintain a delicate political balance between France and Germany, with power shared equally. But the result is cumbersome…” (The Times [London], June 19, 2006). The current French-German struggle reflects the iron and clay that loosely binds the EU together (Daniel 2:33). Soon, many European nations will give their power to one strong leader. Something will also cause these nations to become of one mind (Revelation 13:4, 17:13). For details on how this prophecy will play out we must continue to watch!—Don Davis, Scott Winnail, Daniel Bennett, Stewart Wachowicz