Weekly Update August 27,2016
Greetings from Charlotte,
While floods, fires, riots and campaign rhetoric dominate the news in the USA, earthquakes rocked central Italy and shook sites along the Pacific Rim of Asia, and significant geopolitical events continue to reshape Europe, the Middle East and Asia (see News and Prophecy). Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith conducted a phone meeting with members of the Council of Elders and visited with our on-campus Living University students at a Faculty Reception. He will give the sermon in Charlotte this Sabbath. Mr. Glen Harrison reports that all of our brethren in the flood-ravaged areas of Louisiana are safe, although a number sustained damage to homes and property. Mr. Rob Tyler and Mr. Rajan Moses are currently visiting members in Indonesia. This coming weekend, Mr. Wallace Smith and Mr. Anthony Stroud will make Tomorrow’s World Presentations in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama and Mr. Stuart Wachowicz will conduct a TWP in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. Also this weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Weston will spend the Sabbath with brethren from several states at a camp-out in Cherokee, North Carolina and I will be in Pennsylvania for a Men’s Training Camp. Please pray that God will continue to guide His Work and watch over His people.—DSW
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Feast of Tabernacles
Activity Registration and Payment Now Open!—Repeat Announcement
All LCG members and guests attending the Feast of Tabernacles are now able to register for activities at their respective Feast sites. Payments for activities are also enabled. Activity registration and payment can be made via your MyLCG account through the Festival Web site. To access it, go to www.lcg.org and click on the link “Feast of Tabernacles.
Value of Hope: In our world today, where confusion, deceit, strife and brutality are widespread, many people have real concerns about the future. Yet, having hope in the future—something to look forward to—is a vital aspect of life. Many realize that life without hope is empty and depressing. The Scriptures state, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). But what is the real hope for the future? King David wrote, “You are my hope, O Lord GOD” and “I hope in your word” (Psalm 71:5; 119:147). The Apostle Paul said under cross-examination before a Roman governor, “I have hope in God” and “[believe] all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” including the promise of a resurrection and eternal life (Acts 24:14-15; Titus 1:2; 2:13). Jesus said He will return and establish His kingdom of peace on earth and reign forever with the saints (Revelation 5:10; 11:15-18). The Apostle Peter and the early Christians placed their hope in these “exceedingly great and precious promises” about the future (2 Peter 1:1-4). As Christians, we are urged to “lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18) and to purify ourselves so we can become “children of God” (1 John 3:1-3). We need to be motivated by this same hope today!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 25, 2016
Russia, China, and Japan Develop Closer Relations: “Chinese and Russian forces conducted a first-ever joint amphibious exercise landing 400 marines on Russia’s Pacific Coast… The exercise marks not only the first time People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy have drilled together in an amphibious exercise but also the first time China has landed troops on foreign territory” (USNI News, August 26, 2015). Another report states, “Russia and China staged a bold new series of military manoeuvres last month… running a five-day computer simulation of a joint response to a ballistic missile attack… the exercise… was highly significant because it indicated ‘a new level of trust’ between the two former adversaries… the ability to share information in such a sensitive area as missile launch warning systems and ballistic missile defence indicates something beyond simple co-operation” (Financial Times, June 24, 2016). Russia is also rebuilding its war-torn relationship with Japan. They “have been in talks to fully mend bilateral relations and sign a peace treaty for decades… The next round of consultations on signing a peace treaty… will be held in Moscow on August 26” (TASS Russian News Agency, August 18, 2016). End-time Bible prophecies describe a huge army from the East crossing the Euphrates and invading the region surrounding Jerusalem (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:13-18). The new agreements between Russia, China, and other Asian nations could lead to the fulfillment of these end-time prophecies. For more information, read our booklet Armageddon and Beyond.
Arming the Beast: In the wake of the Brexit, EU leaders are again calling for a European Army. According to the Czech Prime Minister, “The European Union will need a common army to bolster its security over the long term after the U.K. follows through on its decision to exit the bloc” (Bloomberg, August 22, 2016). Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke observed “My opinion [is that] Brexit was supported by Mr. Juncker and leadership of the EU because Great Britain was an obstacle to greater unification of the EU and to the European army” (Sputnik News, August 22, 2016). Many believed Britain would use its veto power if the formation of a European army was formally proposed (ibid.). A European army is viewed as desirable because many believe, “as far as security is concerned, a united Europe is better” (Euronews, August 23, 2016). Ironically, even as France works with Germany toward more unity within the EU, analysts predict that France is likely to be the next nation to leave the EU (Euronews, August 23, 2016). Bible prophecies warn that a powerful “beast” power will emerge in Europe at the end of the age (Daniel 2:42-44; 7:7). Prophecies indicate this “beast” will be headed by Germany (Isaiah 10:5-11), and this will have serious consequences for modern Israelite nations (Deuteronomy 28:36-50). The geopolitical shifts we are watching in Europe could pave the way for the end-time European beast. For more information on this vital topic, be sure to read The Beast of Revelation.
Temple Mount Flares Up Again: “The chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday hit back at Jordan’s allegations of Israeli misconduct at the Temple Mount, saying Jerusalem will not allow the holy site to become exclusive to Muslims like the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina” (Times of Israel, August 15, 2016). “Earlier Monday, King Abdullah II said his country would continue to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from what he called ‘repeated stormings’ by ‘extremist’ Jews, and by opposing attempts ‘to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque temporally or spatially.’ Hours later, a Jordanian minister denounced the ‘vicious’ visits to the site by some 200 Jews on Sunday, who were commemorating the Tisha B’Av day of mourning for the destruction of the two Temples at the compound” (ibid.). Bible prophecy reveals that at the time of the end Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” during the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:20, 24, 28). The prophet Isaiah tells us that the king of Assyria (modern Germany) will “pass through Judah” and “fill the breadth of [God’s] land”—Jerusalem (Isaiah 8:7-8). The Vatican has also desired a greater presence in Jerusalem. The strife on the Temple Mount could bring both the Vatican and a European beast power into Jerusalem under the guise of preserving the peace. For more insights into this important topic, be sure to read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, Chris Sookdeo and Francine Prater
End of Update for August 27,2016
Weekly Update August 20,2016
Greetings from Charlotte,
We had visitors here in Charlotte from around the world to meet with various departments. Mr. Martin Montgomery and his family, Mr. Lawdi Ferreira, Mr. and Mrs. Kinnear Penman and Mr. Stuart Wachowicz all left on Wednesday to return to Australia, South Africa, the Philippines and Canada, respectively. Most dropped by after serving at the Ohio Teen Camp, but Mr. Wachowicz made a short one-day trip from Toronto. Dr. Meredith was pleased to see them and be briefed on what is happening in their respective areas. The personal contact with these men and their wives helps us keep unified and on track. It is also valuable to share ideas and find better ways to preach the Gospel around the world. Mr. and Mrs. Ames will be in Indianapolis this weekend for services and Mr. Ames and Mr. Lambert Greer will make a Tomorrow’s World Presentation on Sunday. Living University got off to an excellent start this week with 240 students registered for online classes, including 14 on-campus students here in Charlotte and one in Clarendon, Australia. Dr. Douglas Winnail will be focusing more on the News and Prophecy section that is found in this publication with the goal in mind of increasing the subscriber base of this valuable resource. We already have 21,000 subscribers who receive a digital copy each week and this indicates it reaches far more than our member base. If you haven’t done so, you too can sign up to receive the TW News and Prophecy each week (see details below). Please pray for our brethren in Louisiana who have sustained serious losses of property in the current flooding, however, they are all safe at this time.—GEW
News and Prophecy Subscription
In order to subscribe for a weekly edition of the TW News and Prophecy, go to the bottom of the Tomorrow’s World Web site. Under the column heading “Publications,” go to “E-mail Subscriptions” and enter your name and e-mail address and select “TW News & Prophecy.” When you register for a digital subscription, you will receive a color version of the News and Prophecy at your e-mail address each week.
Tupelo, Mississippi, Tomorrow’s World Bible Study
The Tomorrow’s World Presentation Bible Study in Tupelo last Sabbath went well. There were 12 attentive and responsive guests, despite some routes being blocked because of protests being held not far away. After the presentation on “Hope for America,” all but one guest stayed for over an hour, asking questions and enjoying the great snacks provided by the brethren. All expressed appreciation for the Bible Study and some wanted to know when there would be another and if we would start a congregation in the area. One man said he had followed Mr. Herbert Armstrong for many years and even attended the Global Church of God for a while, but after he moved, he could not find us any longer. He has been following Tomorrow’s World now and is excited about being able to attend Sabbath services again, now that he knows where we meet. Overall, it was a great Sabbath and it is evident that the great God is finishing the Work that Mr. Armstrong referred to in his last letter, when he stated that a greater Work lies yet ahead. Thank God for this Work!—Anthony Stroud
Feast of Tabernacles
Activity Registration and Payment Now Open!—Repeat Announcement
All LCG members and guests attending the Feast of Tabernacles are now able to register for activities at their respective Feast sites. Payments for activities are also enabled. Activity registration and payment can be made via your MyLCG account, through the Festival Web site. To access it, go to www.lcg.org, and click on the link “Feast of Tabernacles.”
New Semester Underway
This semester’s classes opened on Monday and our on-campus classes here in Charlotte began on Wednesday morning. As of today, we have 169 students enrolled for credit and 71 registered to audit classes, for a total of 240 students for the semester. We have 15 students in residence—14 in Charlotte and one in Clarendon, South Australia. Enrollment for credit increased 37.7 percent. This is a record enrollment for Living University. Overall, it is a 29.4 percent increase over last fall. We anticipate an exciting and rewarding semester for our students. Next week, we host the faculty reception for new students and the dedication of the Sheryl Manor women’s residence, in honor of Mrs. Sheryl Meredith, who set a warm, loving Christian example.—Michael Germano
Real Philadelphia Christians:
The Scriptures reveal that Philadelphian Christians are focused on doing the Work of God (Revelation 3:8-12). That important mission includes carrying out the instructions of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15), to warn the world of impending events (Matthew 24) and preparing a people to reign on earth with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom of God (Luke 1:17). However, the name “Philadelphia” means “brotherly love,” and true Philadelphians will follow Jesus’ admonition to “love one another” (John 15:12-17). They understand how Jesus defined a real Philadelphia Christian, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). As we see the world becoming more selfish, crass, dis-united and brutal (2 Timothy 3:1-5), let’s all look for ways to show real “brotherly love” toward others. In this, the world will come to recognize real Philadelphia Christians as Jesus’ true disciples.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 18, 2016
Boko Haram’s Other Crime: The tragic plight of hundreds of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria have been in the news for nearly two years, but there has been little mention of some 10,000 boys kidnapped by Boko Haram to use as child soldiers (Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2016). Boys as young as age five have been taught to fight and kill by teenage boys fearing for their own lives. Many of these boys have been sent into battle unarmed and often under the influence of opiates. One boy who escaped from Boko Haram said they were told by their young instructors, “It’s all right for you to kill and slaughter even your parents” (ibid.). A former child hostage describing the training camps said, “If you go there, you can see 12-year-olds talking about burning down a village” (ibid.). Bible prophecy has long foretold, “in the last days perilous times will come… men will be lovers of themselves… unloving [inhuman, without natural affection]… brutal, despisers of good” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). These same violent behaviors were rampant in the pagan Roman Empire during the days of the apostles (Romans 1:28-31). The Bible reveals that the evils and brutality of this world are due to the influence of a powerful spirit being, Satan the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4), who is described as “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Thankfully, the evils of the world will come to an end when Jesus Christ returns to this earth as the “prince of peace” to establish His Kingdom (Isaiah 9:6). For more information on this peace-filled future, read “Will Wars Ever Cease?”
The Folly of Gender Therapy: For adolescents caught up in the transgender quagmire, the side effects of hormone therapy include: increased risk of cancer, increased risk of osteoporosis, decreased fertility, unknown neurological side effects, increased risk of blood clots and stroke, irreversible side effects and more (PBS, June 30, 2015). In the confusing world of political correctness, parents and doctors alike are increasingly choosing gender therapy when children express uncertainty about their gender. Amazingly, doctors prescribe such therapies (either chemically delaying puberty or giving opposing gender hormone treatment) in spite of being aware that the side effects of such treatments are very much “unknown” (ibid.). The sad irony is that these same doctors have taken an oath to “do no harm.” In the intellectual and emotional confusion related to transgender issues, many physicians today are actually helping fulfill the prophecy, “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). The Bible has also long warned, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Sadly, in their desire to appease anxious parents, many physicians are adding to the confusion and contributing to future problems. For more insight into why transgender and homosexuality have become such high profile issues despite the well-documented risks, be sure to read our article on “The New Normal?”
Twin Disasters Strike United States: Over the weekend, torrential rains caused “epic” flooding in Louisiana, requiring 30,000 rescues from 40,000 damaged homes in what appears to be the “worst flooding in Louisiana history” and the “worst natural disaster in the United States since Superstorm Sandy that hammered the East Coast in 2012” (AP, August 16, 2016; LA Times, August 17, 2016; CBS/AP, August 17, 2016). Louisiana governor, John Bel Edwards said, “This is a historic flooding event. We are seeing unprecedented flood levels” (ibid.). Meanwhile, California has been set ablaze by wildfires fueled by the state’s fifth year of drought. The most recent fire, just east of Los Angeles has “rapidly scorched through 30,000 acres” and may force “more than 80,000 people to evacuate” their homes (LA Times, August 17, 2016). A veteran firefighter commented, “It hit hard. It hit fast… with an intensity we hadn’t seen before” (ibid.). God warned modern Israelite nations—which are promoting homosexuality, same-sex marriage and transgenderism—that due to their sinful lifestyles and rejecting His laws, they would face two weather extremes: “I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city” (Amos 4:7), and “The Lord will afflict you with… fiery heat and drought, and with blight and mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish” (Deuteronomy 28:22, NRSV). The God of the Bible will not be “mocked” (Galatians 6:7). God is using the weather to humble a proud nation. To learn more, read our informative booklet Who Controls the Weather?—Scott Winnail, Danielle Pierre, Justin Ridgeway and Francine Prater