All of us have ideas about a perfect lifestyle. I remember well as a teenager that I heartily desired to live a different way than I was accustomed to growing up.
I was born into a large family—seven children total. I shared one small bedroom—one closet, two dressers, two beds—with three brothers. Even though my oldest sister had already left home, two of my sisters had to share an even smaller bedroom. When I was young, my father contracted penicillin poisoning in his leg, handicapping his ability to walk, which forced him to take a lesser-paying job and made it difficult for him to make financial ends meet. Even though I never suffered from lack of food or clothes (mostly hand-me-downs), I had less stuff than the other teens I associated with in high school. I did not have access to a car; I did not wear the in clothes at that time; I never went on a family summer vacation; for the most part I had to be satisfied with entertainment from a black-and-white television.
So I would dream of living differently—in a big house, in a bedroom of my own with privacy—a lot of privacy. Of course, my imagination went wild at times. I dreamed of traveling the world, driving a Jaguar, and working at a good job with a high salary.
What about you? What are your ideas of the perfect lifestyle that you desire to live? How do you want to live?
As a teen, I based my ideas on what I saw in magazines and on television, or what I heard from people I looked up to. As I grew into adulthood, got married and began raising children, I soon realized how unrealistic some of my views were. As events began to shape my life—some discouragingly disappointing—I was forced to severely adjust my thinking. Thankfully, things have turned out very positively. Currently, I am living a wonderful way of life—not as I dreamed, but far BETTER!
Realize this: As a teen in God’s Church, you have the opportunity to dream about, plan for and even begin to live a lifestyle most in this world will not see anytime soon. At God’s Feast of Tabernacles, you can live the Millennium lifestyle, a way of life that is certain to be the wave and rave of the fast-approaching future. Here is how you can do it.
Connect With God
God designed the Feast with you in mind. So plan to keep God at the forefront of your mind during the Feast. “You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns” (Deuteronomy 16:13-14; English Standard Version). The Feast is not just for the middle-aged and elderly. It is for everybody in God’s Church, from infants to the aged, and it will be for the whole world in just a few short years (Zechariah 14:16-19).
Do you realize that teenagers may be the most important group at the Feast?
Because you are the future leaders in God’s Church and the leadership base of the new world coming within this generation, God directed Herbert W. Armstrong to put major emphasis on helping teens learn about how to live God’s way of life. Explaining the birth of Youth ‘81 magazine and discussing your future, Mr. Armstrong asked the Church membership, “In a sense, doesn’t that make them almost the most important people on Earth?” (Worldwide News, Oct. 27, 1980). Wow. That statement should really inspire you—not to vanity but to motivating yourself to get as much out of God’s Feast as possible.
You can be guaranteed that Pastor General Gerald Flurry and the pcg ministry are following Mr. Armstrong’s example. God inspired His end-time Elijah and is inspiring His ministry today to ensure you are well taken care of—that your spiritual educational needs are met and that your life is thrilling and exciting (Malachi 4:5-6). So be thankful and appreciative enough to put God first while you attend His Feast.
Now, how do you go about doing that?
Begin each day of the Feast with wholehearted prayer and focused Bible study. Talk to God and let Him talk with you. In other words, get to know God better at the Feast.
In the Millennium, everyone in the world will finally get to know God (Jeremiah 31:33-34). At future Feasts, thousands of people will be so excited and full of rejoicing to be able to meet with Jesus Christ. You have the opportunity to spend special time with Him in October! You can be assured that God the Father and Christ want to keep the Feast with you. Do you want to keep the Feast with them? They want you to befriend them—spend time with them. Invest your best time in God and Christ, and you will become so full of joy that it cannot be bottled up!
Learn With Zeal
Gaining true education will be one of the most important activities in the World Tomorrow. Become educated at this Feast!
This world’s modern educational system has blinded the best minds to the knowledge that really matters. This system must be replaced! Only then can there be truly happy, peaceful and successful living.
Here is the truth: The most educated today do not know who God is or what God is. They do not know what man is or even why God put us on this Earth. In fact, most of the very educated don’t even believe in a Creator God. The vast majority of human beings believe that they are animals—an advanced ape—the product of a mindless evolutionary process that is mathematically impossible. What sane person could believe such a paradox—apes with the ability to send their species to the moon and bring them back? Are you thankful that you already know better than that?
Realize that the main purpose of the Feast is education. Go to the Feast with a mindset for learning.
God’s educators—true and faithful ministers—are preparing to give you challenging, thought-provoking and stimulating sermonettes and sermons at the Feast—about 23 all total. Yet these messages won’t benefit you if you don’t prepare your mind to hear them.
Here are three critical subject areas you need to listen for and pay close attention to while at the Feast.
1) Learn to more deeply respect God. Moses tells us why God has us save a tithe of our income for the Feast: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always” (Deuteronomy 14:22-23). The last part of verse 23 makes a serious point. The Hebrew word yare, translated into the English word fear, means to revere. Our God does not want us to cower in fear of Him. However, He does desire us to learn how to deeply respect His supremacy of mind, unmatched power, righteousness and incredible plan for mankind. It is all for our benefit!
2) Learn that living God’s way is the best and only way of life. Teaching this fact to people will be one of your main jobs in the World Tomorrow. How effective will you be if you don’t learn it now?
Enthralled with a vision of the World Tomorrow, Isaiah wrote, “[W]hen thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9). Human beings do not live by instinct. We must be taught even routine things like walking and talking. You must be taught righteousness—it does not come naturally (Jeremiah 10:23-24). Learn it well and you will be teaching it to the whole world! This is not complicated to understand. God and His star-bright Family (Daniel 12:3) will teach all people from every nation that obeying the Ten Commandments and submitting to God’s government will bring them lasting happiness, joy and peace.
Listen for explanation of God’s laws and government in the Feast messages. Seize every opportunity to obey any instructions given during announcements. Follow wholeheartedly all the standards established for proper conduct in Feast hotels—especially curfews!
3) Learn how this present evil world will be transformed into the wonderful World Tomorrow. Mr. Armstrong understood that the most effective learning comes by making comparisons. He wrote, “We judge and evaluate things by comparison. God intended that man experience the fruits of the way he has chosen for 6,000 years, then compare those agonizing results with the healthy joys and inspiring lives of the next millennium …” (Never Before Understood—Why Humanity Cannot Solve Its Evils).
At the Feast, God gives you the means to make invaluable comparisons about our present world vs. the World Tomorrow. The stark reality you must face is that you are living in Satan’s world—not God’s! Through books and magazines, in entertainment such as movies and television, by music and dazzling technology, Satan has successfully made disobedience and rebellion—SIN—appealing and irresistible. Yet what Satan has made so tantalizing leads to sadness, sickness and near-unsolvable problems. Teenage misuse of sex is one striking example. Not only does premarital sex lead to unwanted pregnancy, which affects all involved for a lifetime, it can kill you!
I had to learn that most of my ideas of the perfect lifestyle were built on values inspired by Satan’s selfish, sinful and vain values. So are some of yours. The Feast is the time to learn that the lifestyle Satan promotes is empty and fruitless.
Listen carefully to the messages that colorfully describe the satisfaction God’s government and laws will bring to the people of the World Tomorrow. Crime, disease, disillusionment, divorce, family breakdown, frustration, hatred between people and nations, illiteracy, poverty, violence and war will be uprooted and removed from this planet. All of you have experienced the evil fruits of living in Satan’s world. Compare that with what you experience at the Feast. Do that and you will be far better educated than those who do not have such an awesome opportunity to attend the Feast. Make it your goal to come to the Feast full of zeal to learn about God, His way of life and the soon-coming Kingdom.
You were born to be royalty. At the Feast, think like one. Know this: The World Tomorrow will not be just a better version of today’s world. Jesus Christ is going to build an entirely new world. It will be radically different from the world we have today. Christ is planning to use you to accomplish that monumental task.
Think on this. In the Tribulation, much of our modern nations of Israel and other parts of this world will be reduced to rubble. Buildings, highways, power and water systems will be destroyed beyond repair. You are destined to be the human leaders rebuilding a new world based on God’s way of doing things. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12). That is an awesome responsibility. What a high purpose to prepare for.
How will you build that new world? There are excellent Bible examples to look to. Kings like David and Solomon have built large, powerful and wealthy nations. They made meeting the needs of their subjects their first priority. As princes and princesses, you will always give of yourselves first in order to build properly. Jesus Christ, the King of kings, said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Put that into practice at the Feast by getting involved where you can. Help with hall setup and takedown or other labor-intensive activities. Lend a helping hand to mothers with small children and to the elderly. When you see a need, fill it! Serving others will make you into an effective builder.
Ask God to sharpen your vision about how the natural world—plants and wild animals, agriculture and livestock—will be restored and blended together with new, sparkling cities to provide an uplifting and encouraging environment. While at the Feast, spend time meditating on Isaiah 11. This is the premier Feast chapter. An Isaiah 11 world will require skilled and thoughtful planning to build a perfect blend of city infrastructure that preserves and beautifies nature. Of course, Jesus Christ, the Creator of all beauty, will be there to oversee all the work. Yet He will want you to be involved—to use your mind, physical strength, sweat and talents to get the job done. Be sure to spend some time in nature at the Feast.
Build Up Others
The Feast is a time for fellowship. However, remember that it is God Family fellowship. Meditate on the instruction in Deuteronomy 14:22-27. While at the Feast, resist the temptation to spend time with just teens or your favorite friends. The World Tomorrow will not be divided by age groups as our world is today. “Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets” (Zechariah 8:4-5; esv). Today, many of the elderly fear to go outdoors or to shopping centers because of the threat of violence from teenage criminals. Young children would be in danger if they were to play unattended on most city streets. At God’s Feast, make it your plan to spend time with people from all age groups.
Nothing can be more encouraging to an older person than a happy conversation with a teenager. Warm smiles and laughter accompanying vigorous discussion about what you are doing, planning to do, or just what is on your mind really uplifts someone who has already lived a long, productive life. Such friendship renews an older person’s zest for life.
Smaller children look up to teens and often walk a little taller in your presence. Jesus Christ spent time with little children. In fact, at the Feast we have the “blessing of little children” ceremony because of Christ’s example (Luke 18:16). Follow His example. Little children are thrilled to spend time with teens. They want to be like you and will follow your example. So when you spend time with a person younger than you, set a right example. That is positive pressure for you.
Jesus Christ spent time with infants and the aged. But He also spent a lot of time with the sick and handicapped (Matthew 11:4-5). Be sure to follow His example here as well. The handicapped seating section is not hard to find; frequent it often during the Feast. In a similar vein, be sure to include the not-so-popular or very shy teens in your activities. Be a builder and encourager of all of God’s Family. When you are, God will be certain to bless you and prepare you for an incredible job in the World Tomorrow. You will prove to Him that you will build up the new society so desperately needed today.
Think deeply on these few points, and do them at this year’s Feast; then commit to doing them the rest of the year and really for the rest of your life. If you do, you will be well on your way to living the Millennium lifestyle.