This popular resort on the Pacific side of Mexico
is one of the places where many visitors
don’t know how to pronouce where they are.
OK, we’re talking us gringos.
We do okay with ordering tortillas but somehow say “Va-larta.”
A local says the “V” should be so soft as to sound almost a “b.”
Then there’s those who put “eh” on the end,
and I don’t think it was the Canadians.
In addition to those from the north, our group of 700 came together in unity for eight days from Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Guatamala, Mexico, Netherlands, St. Vincent, United Kingdom and United States. The 11 colorful flags adorning the stage served as a wonderful reminder of the earth-wide importance of what was being heard.
We had the Hotel Friendly resort all to ourselves as we
Enjoyed the sounds
of waves splashing on the beach, families frolicking in the three outdoor pools, pirates arghhhhhing on the replica of Christopher Columbus’ Spirit of Santa Maria, and dophins making high-pitched squeaks as they swam with us and granted a kiss. Thankfully my wife said mine are better.
Of all the sounds heard in our glorious time in PV, the most important were the daily messages—half in Spanish, half in English, with translation—picturing what the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment will mean for the restoration of this entire earth (Acts 3:21). Having one pure language (Zeph. 3:9) will be a huge key so that “all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.” I found that even with my best effort I could only get about 30% as much from the Spanish service as from the English. No wonder Paul said don’t talk in tongues [languages] unless somebody interprets (1 Cor. 14:13).
The opening night message set the tone. Festival Coordinator Mario Seigle noted that the word “joy” comes from the Hebrew word samach which means something very bright. Our happy God expects to see his joy expressed in His children’s beaming, smiling faces. The Feast of Tabernacles means “the season of our joy” and the joy of the Holy Spirit enables us to cope during the hurricanes of life raging above the ocean but below the surface all is calm. Mario gave five sources of biblical joy:
♥ the Holy Spirit
♥ understanding God’s truth
♥ vision of coming Kingdom of God–you are invited to His Feast!
♥ trials to count all joy
♥ content with what we have
This all-inclusive resort means you can eat and drink anytime all you want in five different restaurants. God says at the Feast we can spend our money for “whatever your heart desires” (Deut. 14:26). The trick is, said Ben Light, “What does your heart desire?” As Frank McCrady jokingly put it, “You can pig out on the fruits of the Holy Spirit!”
An annual treat of the first Holy Day is the Harvest Moon when it shows off full, bigger and brighter. The moon was created for signs and seasons (Gen. 1:14), and the Harvest one dramatically pictures the great spiritual harvest of the earth which will take place during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment.
This is especially true of the ending Holy Day called the Eighth Day. The latest estimate is that 107 billion people have lived on the earth—about 15 dead for everyone alive now. Right after the Millennium ends, the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezek. 37) will rattle and come back to physical life. All who have never had their chance at salvation will at that time (Rev. 20:11-12).
The role of teacher will be paramount. Dr. Frank Dunkle said “There’s no teaching to compare with example.” He said Jesus Christ is preparing a job specifically for each of us and He’s going to have us ready.
Victor Kubik said more than information or correction, the people will need a hug! We need to understand suffering in order to rejoice. God the Father and Jesus Christ didn’t paper over sin and suffering; Jesus came right into it! He bloodied His hands. And His body.
C.J. Williams explained how Jesus was compassion in action. He always did the most helpful service He could do at the moment. He saw a need and filled it. He looked for ways to make somebody’s life a little better.
A special treat was going to the zoo which doesn’t seem to have as much stringent regulations as ones in the United States. You could be pretty close, yet safe, to hungry hippos and hyenas while feeding them. Some got to hold cute and wiggly baby tigers and lions in their arms as they snarled playfully. What a foretaste of the Millennium when a little child will lead a lion and lamb together (Isa. 11)! The miracle of changing the very nature of wild beasts will be far less than the miracle of changing the nature of man!
God commanded the temporary tabernacle in the wilderness because He wanted to dwell with His people (Ex. 25:8). Jesus came down to tabernacle with man (John 1:14). Now the Church is His temple as well as each individual Christian (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We must remember that no matter what comes our way, God will be there for us! As close as you can get: He lives in us!
In Rev. 21 God the Father is finally going to come down to the new earth to dwell with His resurrected family for eternity (Rev. 21).
The future God has for us is beyond our dreams. If we make a step toward God, He will make a bigger move toward us (James 4:8).
God sets before us the same choices His called have always faced.
Oh, God, we have heard
Will we choose to accept our incredible destiny!