News and Views

PBI News

Listen to audio:

PBI Annual Report for 2016-2017

The Directors of the Pastoral Bible Students are thankful to the Lord for the completion of another blessed year of publishing The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom and engaging in further activities in the Master’s vineyard (Matthew 20:7). While our primary publishing activity is in the United States, the magazine continues to reach audiences in Africa, Croatia, India, Poland, and other parts of the world. Many brethren in those countries assist with the publishing and distribution of our literature.

Our purpose continues to be to publish Gospel Age Harvest Truth for the benefit of the Lord’s consecrated. A committee of five brethren, selected and appointed annually by the directors, review for approval all material appearing in The Herald. Authors contributing material at the request of this committee
submit to an extensive review and editing process. Authors’ names normally appear on articles for the purpose of taking responsibility for the ideas presented. In some cases an editor may express a dissenting view from that of the author through a
footnote or “on the other hand” appendix. The directors believe this creates a robust process for assuring that articles are consistent with Biblical principles.

During the past year, director Todd Alexander travelled to Brazil to support the first convention of Bible Students in that country. Fourteen brethren attended and much work continues. Several new items were offered for sale this year. A limited number of Daniel, the Beloved of Jehovah by R.E. Streeter were reprinted in Chicago.  Too Many Doors, a novelette regarding conscientious objection to war, by the late Director and Editor
Carl Hagensick, was published and offered free to readers of the magazine. We continue to work on new material regarding subjects not normally covered by other Bible Student activities. Our six-month free subscription program added 291 subscribers
during the past fiscal year.

The directors and editors continue to apply our energy and enthusiasm to the work the Lord gives us to do. We pray that all is done to the honor and glory of our Heavenly Father and His son.

Directors and Editors of the Pastoral Bible Institute, May 2017

Fiscal 2017 Financial Statement of the Pastoral Bible Institute, Inc.

Cash and Investments ……………………… $147,727
Fixed Assets …………………………………… none
Liabilities ………………………………………. none

Net Worth, April 30, 2017 ………………… $147,727

Contributions ………………………………….. $9,969
Herald Subscriptions ……………………….. 2,904
Sale of Material ………………………………. 1,655
Interest …………………………………………… 204
PBI Memberships ……………………………. 25
Other …………………………………………….. 13


Herald Printing
Postage ………………………………………….. 9,603
Pilgrim Expense ……………………………… 4,733
Foreign Heralds ………………………………. 2,881
Purchase of Material for Resale ………… 12,117
Administrative ………………………………… 1,159
Other …………………………………………….. 319


Net Loss…………………………………………. ($16,042)
Net Worth, May 1, 2016 …………………… $163,769
Net Loss for Fiscal 2017 ………………….. (16,042)
Net Worth, April 30, 2017 ………………… $147,727



According to a report published by the Hebrew University’s Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACTse), the PA’s 2016-2017 elementary school curriculum is significantly more radical than that of previous years, with a curriculum that “teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a ‘return’ to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.” The report is
based on an analysis of the PA’s current educational curriculum for elementary schools (grades one through four) and high school (grades 11 and 12). The report found that the textbooks introduce Arabs as the original owners and inhabitants of the land and disregard Jewish ties. Jerusalem, for example, is described as an “Arab city” built by “our Arab ancestors.” A political map in a third grade textbook shows Palestine in the entire territory of Israel. While neighboring Arab countries are shown, Israel is not.” The map does, however, show a number of
Israeli cities with their names changed to Arabic. —Bridges For Peace, April, 2017

The Briarwood Presbyterian Church, a megachurch in suburban Birmingham, Alabama may be the first church to have its own police force. The force, called the God Squad, has been given official permission by the Alabama Senate, who voted in
favor of the project, 24 to 4. The church says it needs the God Squad for security reasons and to patrol the surrounding areas to curb immoral or dangerous activities. The demands for a separate police force for the church had been around since
2015. Supporters cite the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as a substantial reason for wanting the church to have its own police force. — World Religion News, 4/14/2017

For years, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has been rising, a trend similar to what has been happening in much of Europe (including the United Kingdom).
Despite this, in coming decades, the global share of religiously unaffiliated people is actually expected to fall, according to Pew Research Center’s new study on the future of world religions. To be clear, the total number of religiously unaffiliated people (which includes atheists, agnostics and those who do not identify with any religion in particular) is expected to rise in absolute terms, from 1.17 billion in 2015 to 1.20 billion in 2060. But this growth is projected to occur at the same time that other religious groups — and the global population overall — are
growing even faster. These projections, which take into account demographic factors such as fertility, age composition and life expectancy, forecast that people with no religion will make up about 13% of the world’s population in 2060, down from roughly 16% as of 2015. — Pew Research Center, 4/7/2017


Starting at least 4,000 years ago, Central Asian herders migrated from highland pastures in summer to lowland areas in winter (SN: 5/3/14, page 15). Over roughly the next 2,000 years, those routes through mountainous regions eventually became
a key part of the Silk Road, an ancient trade and travel network stretching from China to Europe, says a team led by anthropologist Michael Frachetti of Washington University in St. Louis. “This finding underscores the important contributions of herders interacting with lowland farmers and early city
dwellers, to the Silk Road and overland trade, the team concludes in the March 9 Nature. Extensive Silk Road pathways ran across Asia by about 2,200 years ago. “Contrary to the traditional view of nomadic groups as barbarians, the new paper
supports a growing conviction among researchers that mobile herders contributed to the rise of early states and civilizations, says Yale University archaeologist William Honeychurch” — Science News 191, Number 7, page 9 (April 15, 2017).

Elderly people are suffering concussions and other brain injuries from falls at what appear to be unprecedented rates. The reason for the increase isn’t clear, but one likely factor is that a growing number of elderly people are living at home and
taking repeated tumbles. One in every 45 Americans 75 and older suffered brain injuries that resulted in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or deaths in 2013. The rate jumped 76 percent from 2007. —AP, 3/18/2017

For decades, the public has been warned of the link between exposure to all sorts of toxins and cancer. But according to a new study published in Science, two-thirds of the gene mutations that cause the dreaded affliction in humans aren’t driven by the environment or even hereditary factors. They are
the result of random DNA replication errors — or, as one of the researchers put it, “bad luck.” Following earlier research done in the U.S., the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Johns Hopkins evaluated the incidence of cancer in 69 countries
with a combined population of 4.8 billion. Across vastly different environments, they found a strong correlation between cancer and normal stem cell divisions. This was true regardless of population and environment. — Bloomberg, 3/23/2017

The restaurant industry, as one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, has always had trouble filling entry-level positions. Today, a move across the industry to hire the formerly
incarcerated is paying off. According to a study by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, two-thirds of formerly incarcerated individuals remain unemployed or underemployed a full five years after leaving prison. Some restaurants have reported
as high as a 70 percent retention rate among these employees. With more restaurants participating, the kitchen is becoming a more stable and dignified work environment across the board — incarceration history or not. — Tasting Table, 3/27/2017

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), about 2,000 emergency medical services workers every year between 2008 and 2014, while rendering aid were victims of acts by patients so violent that they required hospital treatment. Other research from Drexel University
showed that many assaults by patients are not reported. Some patients apparently confuse EMS workers with police officers. Others are impaired by drugs or alcohol. — The Indianapolis Star, 4/14/2017


The use of military action in North Korea is becoming closer to a reality. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action that option is on the table.” In September, 2016, North Korea carried out its fifth, and possibly biggest, nuclear test. President Kim Jong Un has said that the country’s goal is to become a nuclear power on a par with others with nuclear capability.— AP, 3/18/2017

The U.S. Army is training soldiers for jungle warfare as part of an effort to prepare for future combat in terrain unlike that encountered in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Army gave up its jungle training in 2001, after the attacks of September 11. The jungle school is an outgrowth of former President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia and the Pacific. — AP, 3/18/2017

The U.S. and British decisions to forbid devices bigger than a cellphone in the cabin on flights from several Middle East and North African states could hit Istanbul particularly hard, after years building up its position as an international hub. Istanbul’s new airport will initially have the capacity for 90 million
passengers when it opens in 2018, but ultimately aims to serve double that and to offer flights to more than 350 destinations. Security experts say Washington and London may believe a laptop could disguise a bomb big enough to bring down a plane.
Reuters, 3/23/2017

Scores of civilians and children died after a deadly chemical attack in Syria. The nerve agent sarin shrouded sections of a modest village, the largest suspected use of chemical weapons in four years. The Syrian government of President Assad denied
using chemical weapons, but the international community remained unconvinced. — AP, 4/5/2017


Forbes list of billionaires showed Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, the richest man in the world, with net worth of $86 billion, followed by Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett at $76 billion. President Trump is the 544th richest person with a net worth of $3.5 billion. It was the first time in the 31 years that Forbes magazine has been tracking the world’s richest people that it recorded more than 2,000 billionaires. — USA Today, 3/23/2017

A new IRS program, authorized by Congress in 2015, allows representatives of four contractors to collect unpaid tax debts on the government’s behalf. In most cases, the obligations were assessed years ago, and affected taxpayers have been notified. The IRS expects to ramp up the program, sending out several thousand letters a week. The agency said it will notify affected taxpayers before they hear from a debt collector. —, 4/5/2017

U.S. Cellular is using draft horses to help install cellphone equipment in rural Wisconsin. The horses are being used to haul equipment up steep wooded hillsides where trucks have gotten stuck in the mud and all-terrain vehicles haven’t been up to the job. he animals can haul equipment through deep snow and work in environmentally sensitive areas where a vehicle would damage the ground. — Milwaukee Journal, 4/4/2017


Attacks like the one in London in March are almost impossible to stop, according to the former head of the Israeli Security Agency Shin Bet, even in Israel. Steel bollards have been put up in sensitive areas, accompanied by concrete blocks to stop vehicles from approaching tram stops. “To my mind, the best solution for stopping an attack is having people who know how to use arms, including civilians,” said Shlomo Harnoy. Even in Israel, however, he is not convinced that civilians are adequately trained to handle an attack. “This is war,” he concluded. —
Jerusalem Post, 3/23/2017

According to a statement by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Jewish state’s Arrow-3 system successfully intercepted an anti-aircraft missile which Syria fired at Israeli jets. This marks the first time the Arrow-3 long-range anti-missile system was used operationally. This is the second time in six months that Syria used its air defense system against the Jewish state. In September 2016, Assad’s forces launched two missiles at Israeli jets heading back to base. The Arrow-3 system is designed to obliterate intercontinental ballistic missiles emerging from
outside the earth’s atmosphere, thus shooting down
“conventional, nuclear, biological or chemical warheads close to their launch sites,” The Times of Israel reports. As part of Israel’s three-tiered missile defense system, the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow-3 systems are aimed to guard the skies
of Israel against short, medium and long-range airborne threats. — Bridges for Peace, 3/24/2017

When it comes to combating anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, “there’s a new sheriff in town,” United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley proclaimed at the AIPAC Policy Conference. Haley cited two episodes that demonstrated her commitment to protecting Israel from unfair attacks.
First, she recalled how she blocked the appointment of a former Palestinian Authority [PA] official to a high UN post. On Haley’s watch, she said, there will be “no freebies for the Palestinian Authority anymore” until the PA decides to negotiate with Israel in good faith. Haley also mentioned how she called UN Secretary-General António Guterres and told him to withdraw a UN agency report that described Israel as an apartheid state. Guterres withdrew the report and the director of the agency
that commissioned the report resigned. — The Israel Project, 3/27/2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the impending renewal of diplomatic relations with Nicaragua. “Today, we are
blessed with excellent relations with more than 160 countries. That number is growing. Next week, another country will announce the establishment of relations with the State of Israel.” Nicaragua suspended diplomatic ties with Israel in 2010 protesting the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship attempting to break the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.
In the incident, nine persons were Arrow-3 Defense System killed. — Ynet News, 3/28/2017