August 8th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Summer is still here, but it is rapidly coming to an end. Students are preparing to go back to school and this includes our Charlotte Living Education students, who will be arriving this week. The North American Adventure Camp and the Preteen Camp in West Virginia concluded last weekend, and this is the last Sabbath for the European LYP. Another of Mr. Rod McNair’s programs was censored in Australia. Apparently, any comments about traditional marriage or pro-life are not suitable for children. To see what we had to remove from his program in order to air it in Australia, go to the Tomorrow’s World YouTube channel and watch “25 Seconds Banned by the Anti-God Agenda.” Brethren, when you look at the 25-second clip that had to be removed, I think you will agree that “truth is fallen in the street” (Isaiah 59:14), and that we are rapidly moving to a time when there will be a famine of the word. “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord God, ‘That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it’” (Amos 8:11–12). Brethren, let’s be thankful for the Truth that God has given us to understand and the opportunity we have to deliver the positive message about the coming Kingdom of God to this dying world!—Gerald Weston
2019 Charlotte Family Weekend—Must Read
We are looking forward to the 2019 Charlotte Family Weekend to be held on December 25–29. A firm contract for the facility was signed April 30, 2019, and we have been proceeding according to plan. Apparently, some heard that we had cancelled the weekend, but that rumor was mistaken. In the future, if anyone has a concern about an issue like this, rather than passing along and spreading an unfounded rumor, the proper procedure is to contact your pastor for the correct information. It should also be noted that we are open to ideas and input from individuals, but we must not get caught up in movements and the pressure tactics of social media that are so common today.—Gerald Weston
Requests for Feast Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: Please send the Church Administration Department at [email protected] the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast, who do not have access to Feast sermons online, and who wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) The deadline to submit these requests for Spanish and English international recipients is August 19. (Requests for French international recipients should already have been sent in.) For recipients in the U.S. (any language), the deadline is September 18. Note: Feast sermons in English will be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org for those who have Internet access. French sermons will be uploaded to www.eglisedieuvivant.org and Spanish sermons to youtube.com/IDVsermones.
We began our third and final unit of “Acts of the Apostles” this week. This completes the third course that has been added to our library, and, like the other two, it is free to enjoy. Just log in and listen, watch, read, and learn by going to online.lcgeducation.org.
Children’s Bible Lessons
When you think of God’s fall Festivals, what picture pops into your head? Do you think of an Israelite playing a shiny silver trumpet in front of the tabernacle? Or what about the two goats on the Day of Atonement? Or perhaps you imagine the lion and the lamb to represent the millennium? Whatever it may be, get ready to put your creativity to good use! This autumn, we’ll host our first ever Bible Art Contest!
We are looking for artists of all ages whose work could be featured in our Special Edition Children’s lessons for the fall Holy Days. Interested? Just watch the Living Education website (www.lcgeducation.org) for more information on how to enter!
Feast of Tabernacles
Volunteer for the Feast!—Repeat Announcement
Experience teaches us that the BEST Feasts are usually those when we are serving our fellow brethren. If you have not yet signed up to serve at the 2019 Feast of Tabernacles, why not do so now? The Festival Site Coordinators are formulating their teams to take care of needs such as parking, sound, stage, ushering, security, first aid, etc. There are also usually needs for people to serve in the various activities held during the Feast. If you have not gotten involved in serving before, why not take the plunge? Sign up for something you’ve never done before—and watch how God blesses you as you make new friends, learn new skills, and have fun serving your brethren! Sign up today. If you have any technical problems trying to sign up to volunteer, contact [email protected].
Feast Speaking Schedules—Repeat Announcement
Speaking schedules for the Feast are being sent out as they are completed and approved. Some schedules are in the final stages and will be forthcoming. Thank you to all our speakers who will be serving at the Feast! Please begin planning now to put extra preparation time into your messages, so they can be inspiring and encouraging to everyone!
Living Youth Program
West Virginia Preteen Camp
The 2019 West Virginia Preteen Camp was a wonderful success! With 47 campers, 17 mini-campers, and 78 staff (including teens), we had activities like canoeing, archery, kickball, ultimate frisbee, guitar lessons, music appreciation, and arts and crafts. The main theme of camp was “Put on the whole armor of God” of Ephesians 6, around which the daily Christian Living classes revolved. The campers were also able to see God answer their prayers regarding the weather. Though rain was forecast for a couple days, He held it off so that it was not an issue at all. One other notable point was the helpfulness and beautiful attitudes of our sibling campers and the Teen Staff, who ranged in age from 13–17. They, in addition to the dedicated staff, were instrumental in making this year’s camp a real joy and success.—Mike DeSimone
2019 Adventure Camp
Amazingly, the 2019 Adventure Camp has already come and gone. Just under 40 campers and staff enjoyed a fun and action-packed adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park, located in the lakes between Minnesota and Ontario. The group canoed about 40 miles in the gorgeous lakes on the Canadian side of the border, while also enjoying camping, campfires, star-gazing (we saw the Milky Way!), cliff jumping, fishing, great food, and friendships. The theme for camp and the Bible Studies was “Mighty Men and Women of God,” and the group was certainly able to put the theme into action! We sincerely thank all the campers who participated and the staff who served diligently. We especially thank the Manzo family for working extremely hard to host basecamp, lead the routes, and provide much other support to make the trip a great success. We also enjoyed and appreciated Mr. Weston taking time out of his busy schedule to join us and to give several messages during Bible Studies and Sabbath services. We thank God for providing such a wonderful adventure in His beautiful creation! We can’t wait for next year!—Mike Kreyer
Satan’s Subtle Devices: What motivates our thoughts and actions? Principles from God’s word or ideas from the world? Most people today, whether in the Church or in the world, either tend to forget or do not realize that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and that he is the one who strives to influence the thoughts and actions of unsuspecting individuals (Ephesians 2:1–3). Unfortunately, even after spending years in the Church, we can still be snared by Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11) without even realizing what is happening. Satan—who is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and the source of doubts, divisions, and rebellion against authority—can beam thoughts into our minds that stir us to question, complain, or criticize ideas and actions of those around us or over us in the Body of Christ. When we see that Satan tempted Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1–10) and also stirred Peter to sharply rebuke Jesus (Matthew 16:22–23), we should realize that we are not immune to Satan’s devices. If we forget the warning that “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12), we will be an easy target for Satan to manipulate. This is why we are urged to stay alert and vigilant—because we have an enemy who wants to use us for his purposes and eventually destroy us (1 Peter 5:6–9). Let’s strive to promote peace and harmony and not be an instrument that Satan can use to sow division or discord in the Church of God.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 8, 2019
More Shootings in the U.S.: Over the weekend, gunmen opened fire on public crowds in both El Paso and Dayton—killing a total of 31 people. On Saturday, a 21-year-old opened fire at a Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, Texas, ultimately killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen before being taken into police custody. Prosecutors are considering hate crime and domestic terrorism charges and are pressing for the death penalty for the shooter.
The following day, around 1:00 a.m., just 13 hours after the El Paso shooting, a lone gunman opened fire outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio. The 24-year-old gunman, who had a high-capacity weapon, ear protection, and a bulletproof vest, killed nine people, including his sister, and injured 27 others before being killed by police. According to CNN, all of this occurred within 30 seconds after he fired the first shot (August 5, 2019). Investigators believe the gunman obtained the firearm legally.
The Apostle Paul warned that at the end of the age, people would become increasingly “unloving… brutal, despisers of good” (2 Timothy 3:2–3). He also noted that these would be “perilous times” (v.1). The word “perilous” means “difficult, dangerous, troublesome.” As we draw closer to the end of the age and as our societies fall further away from the morality of the Bible, we will see more events like those that occurred this past weekend. While the world debates the need for more gun-control legislation and increased law enforcement efforts, God’s word reveals that these will not be sufficient to resolve the real cause behind such actions. What is required is a change in the human heart and the return of the “Prince of Peace,” who will finally bring true peace to this troubled world. For more insight into a future filled with true and lasting peace, read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?
Drunkenness in Britain: Alcohol addiction brings with it terrible outcomes. According to reports in Britain, “One in 10 people in a hospital bed in the UK are alcohol-dependent” and one out of every five hospital beds is taken by a person who has done self-harm by abusing alcohol (The Guardian, July 3, 2019)! In fact, alcohol-related sickness costs the nation roughly £3.5 billion every year. British health experts have long known that alcohol abuse is a significant issue among its citizens. However, many were “shocked” to see how extensive the problem really is.
Public health officials realize that their traditional model of treating the problem is ineffective. They are now looking at ways to prevent alcohol abuse, or at least reduce its prevalence by focusing on efforts to change the “drinking culture” in the U.K. Such actions could include increasing the cost of alcohol and reducing advertising.
Bible prophecy warns that the Israelite tribe of Ephraim—primarily the British and British-descended peoples—have a proclivity toward destructive alcohol use: “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower” (Isaiah 28:1–3). Sadly, efforts to reform society that do not include following God’s laws will not bring about lasting changes in alcohol abuse. The key to changing personal behavior and destructive social norms is found in the pages of the Bible and the laws of God. To find out more about the biblical view of alcohol, be sure to read “The Glamorization of Alcohol.”—Scott Winnail, Chris Sookdeo, and Francine Prater