October 3rd, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Richard Ames returned from Raleigh, North Carolina, where he spoke on the Feast of Trumpets, and Dr. Douglas Winnail returned from visiting congregations in Arizona and New Mexico. Each gave positive reports of the congregations they visited, and reports from others indicate this was a very positive beginning to the Festival season.
We are pleased to announce we are going on two new stations this Sunday, October 6: KXTU in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 10:30 a.m. and KQCW in Tulsa, Oklahoma at 8:00 a.m. We have dropped a couple of stations that have not provided the hoped-for response rate, and we continue to monitor all stations and look for new opportunities. Responses to our French language telecast Le Monde de Demain continue to grow in Quebec, Canada. This past week, the program presented by Dr. Wilner Pierre set a record of 68 responses and this number should rise with residuals. This makes the third week in a row that programs by Mr. Yvon Brochu and Dr. Pierre have exceeded 50 responses. The telecast is helping to build our congregation in Montreal, which is knocking at the door to become our largest Canadian congregation.
We have now topped the three million mark on YouTube for the program “Ezekiel’s Message Unlocked.” Nearly two million come from our Spanish voice-over program, with more than one million English language responses. The late Rodney King’s Spanish voiced-over program, “Seven Proofs God Exists,” has now topped 1.4 million YouTube views—his work continues.
We pray all of you will have a profitable Feast and that everyone will stay focused on the reason for these special days. And do be safe.—Gerald Weston
Death of Mr. Gerald Dulaney
We are saddened to announce the death of long-time elder Mr. Gerald Dulaney (87). Mr. Dulaney, who served in the Winchester, Virginia, congregation, died in his sleep on September 28. Please remember Mrs. Dulaney in your prayers. Cards may be sent to her at 102 Likens Way, Winchester, VA 22602.
The fall Feast days are a powerful reminder of God’s plan, both for us and for our children. If you are looking for a resource to assist in teaching your children about God’s Holy Days, check out our brand-new study guides, designed specifically to give parents a tool to help review each of the fall Holy Days in detail. The lessons are written in a focused, easy-to-follow format, with an emphasis on pointing children directly to the Scriptures, with discussion questions, activities, and helpful summaries. Just go to lcgeducation.org and click on “God’s Fall Festivals” in the Children’s section.
Also, in our Children’s area, we’re highlighting the artwork that was contributed for our Children’s Lesson Artwork contest. We were overwhelmed by all the illustrations that were submitted, and can’t wait to feature them in the upcoming lessons. To see examples of the creative work of some of our children and adults, just click on the post announcing the results of the contest on the lcgeducation.org site.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Taking a Hymnal… Brethren who don’t have a personal hymnal are encouraged to bring a hymnal (one or two songbooks per household) from their local congregation’s supply for use at the Feast. For those who do take a blue congregational hymnal, please be sure to bring the same hymnal(s) back to your congregation after the Feast, so that the number of hymnals returned to each congregation is equal to the number of hymnals taken. Please make sure that all hymnals are clearly marked as to which congregation they belong.
Regarding Health… One last item regarding health during the Feast. If you go to the Feast and get sick, please do not pass it on to other brethren! Please show love to your fellow brethren and stay in your hotel room or housing until you are well, so as not to pass it on to others.
The above items are condensed excerpts from the “Know Before You Go” FOT Info Digest. For a more detailed explanation on these and other Feast-related issues, download the Digest on the MyLCG website. Log in to MyLCG, and click on the link provided, under “Feast of Tabernacles 2019.”
Rejoice at the Feast: The Feast of Tabernacles is a highlight of the sacred year. It pictures the coming Kingdom of God, when the saints will rule with Jesus Christ and bring peace to this earth. It is truly a joyous time. To keep us mindful of this major step in the plan of God, we are commanded, “you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days… and on the eighth day a Sabbath-rest… you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days… you shall dwell in booths…. It shall be a statute forever” (Leviticus 23:39–44). The New Testament clearly indicates that Jesus kept the Feast, and He told His brothers, “You go up to this Feast” (John 7:1–39). As we keep the Feast of Tabernacles, we need to remember Jesus’ instructions that we should be lights and examples to the world (Matthew 5:13–16). How we conduct ourselves at the Feast, how we dress, and how we relate to everyone we meet—in services, in hotels, in restaurants—will reflect either positively or negatively on God’s Church. While many today view religious people as fanatics and oddballs, the Apostle Paul encouraged Christians, “Let your moderation [your meekness, gentleness, humility, forbearance, reasonableness, courtesy, and magnanimity] be known to all men” (Philippians 4:5, KJV). As we rejoice at the Feast, let’s remember that we have been called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Let’s also remember those who are not able to physically attend the Feast, but who will be there in spirit.
Have a profitable Sabbath and a wonderful Feast,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—October 3, 2019
U.S. Decline Could Be Sudden! Many people in America and abroad see the country’s moral and political decline. The U.S. president at least partially acknowledged this fact with his “Make America Great Again” slogan—you do not need to become “great again” if you are already great or unless you see the country in decline. This catchy slogan looks back to what many view as a better time.
While many hope and believe that the United States can become great again, writer and businessman Jeff Thomas recently made a compelling case from history that empires in decline do not reverse course—instead, they continue their decline. In his commentary, posted to the website of financial speculator Doug Casey, InternationalMan.com, Thomas observes that empires that deteriorate never regain their previous status, noting that “historically, this never occurs. Empires fall with alarming speed, because the support systems that made them possible have decamped and have become reinvigorated elsewhere.” Mr. Thomas ended his article with a powerful observation about America’s ongoing decline and its impact on the world: “It’s all shaping up to be a world-class disaster… one unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
The prophet Jeremiah was inspired to record a long prophecy with a dual fulfillment—one during his time, some 2,500 years ago, and one at the end of the age. His warnings were directed at Israelite-descended nations who would forget and forsake their God. Jeremiah wrote, “For the plunderer will suddenly come upon us” (Jeremiah 6:26), and, “Destruction upon destruction is cried, for the whole land is plundered. Suddenly my tents are plundered, and my curtains in a moment” (Jeremiah 4:20). Isaiah recorded a similar prophecy to the “rebellious children” of Israel: “Therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant” (Isaiah 30:1, 13). Nations decline slowly, over time, but their final fall can be rapid. For more insights into the cycle of national decline, be sure to read our article, “Then Comes Sudden Destruction.”
Bee Die-off in the Amazon: The Guardian reported dire news from Brazil, noting that beekeepers have lost over half a billion honeybees in only three months (August 29, 2019). For many, the die-off brings to mind colony collapse. However, the standard symptoms of colony collapse are not evident with the Brazilian die-off. Normally with colony collapse, bees just disappear from their hives. In Brazil, bees are dying “on the spot.” Since the start of the year, Brazil has quickly brought to market almost 300 new products, some of which are known to be lethal to bees and are tightly regulated or banned in other nations. In fact, many experts believe the massive die-off of bees is likely linked to pesticides, and these chemicals could be killing more than just domesticated honeybees grown by professional beekeepers.
Bees are needed to pollinate roughly one-third of all food cultivated for human consumption. Some of these crops can survive without bee pollination, but their production drops off significantly. Other crops cannot propagate without the assistance of bees.
The Bible notes that, in our day, “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). Yet, Bible prophecies also reveal that “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (v. 21). How we are handling our environment reminds us that humanity may, in many ways, be contributing to its own destruction through its lack of foresight and wisdom. But God makes it plain that it is our sins that will ultimately bring devastating punishment on our food production and our environment (Leviticus 26:19–20; Hosea 4:1–3). When human beings fail to obey their Creator, even the creation will suffer. However, the good news is that Jesus Christ is coming back and He will restore the earth (Acts 3:19–21). To learn more about what our world will be like when this global restoration project is in place, be sure to read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?—Scott Winnail, Stephen Elliott, and Chris Sookdeo