June 4th, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
How swiftly a nation can be brought down! The whole world is aware of what happened in Minneapolis a little over a week ago. We see a house divided and we know what Jesus said about that. We must remember that we in the Church are, above all else, followers of Christ and brothers and sisters begotten of the same Spirit. Rather than saying any more on this subject at this time, I have written a letter to all members addressing the bigger picture.
We are not even halfway through 2020 and the world is reeling from one blow after another. COVID-19 has killed hundreds of thousands and destroyed economies around the world. Riots are tearing apart city after city in the United States. Desert locusts continue to eat their way across East Africa, the Middle East, and into Pakistan and India, threatening apocalyptic starvation. Who knows what else “the prince of the power of the air” will throw at us.
Opening in-person services is going slowly, as many halls are not yet open for our use, and where they are open, there are restrictions limiting occupancy to 25 or 50 percent of capacity, and many halls are not large enough for social distancing at any percent. I encourage our ministry to think creatively, but prudently, not jeopardizing safety. And if members have ideas or suggestions, please work through your local minister.—Gerald Weston
Our newest booklet, Biblical Principles of Health, by Dr. Douglas Winnail, has arrived from the printer! All members will receive a copy automatically. You do not need to request it.
French Language TW Viewpoint: Point de vue du Monde de Demain
Since publishing our first Tomorrow’s World Viewpoint videos in January 2017, we have wanted to reach beyond the English language with these informative productions. We are pleased now to announce the launch of a French-language TW Viewpoint channel on YouTube. Point de vue du Monde de Demain will launch on Friday, June 12, with three French-language videos. The channel is already live and we would like to encourage members to watch our 30-second video promoting the channel, and to subscribe. Reaching 100 subscribers will allow us to create a custom URL that is much easier for viewers to remember—an important step in making the channel easier to find. With your help, we believe we can reach the threshold of 100 subscribers before the launch date.
There are several ways you can visit the channel. On our French Website, MondeDemain.org, you can click on the banner image with the title “Point de vue du Monde de Demain.” Or you can visit either our Tomorrow’s World Viewpoint channel or the Le Monde de Demain channel on YouTube where you will find a link to the new channel under “Featured Channels.” Those reading this electronically can go directly to the new channel by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTqSkm7ToXOdSZvblRM7btA.—Michael Heykoop
French Audio Booklets and Magazines
We are happy to announce that all of our booklets in French (34) are now available in audio format. Additionally, the French Tomorrow’s World magazine will be soon available on audio format on our website, beginning with the May-June 2020 issue. To access the audio files of the booklets online, go to MondeDemain.org, select a booklet or magazine article, and click on the “read more” (lire davantage) button. The MP3 audio file will be available on the top section of that page, under the booklet/article title and author’s name. The audio booklets will also be available on CD and may be requested from your nearest regional office.
Almost 900 members took advantage of our Pentecost Focus Unit. If you weren’t among them, it is still available by simply accessing our course library. Just follow the prompts from our LCGEducation.org site.
This week we want to thank Mr. Cristian Orrego and the Spanish Department for their efforts in translating our Children’s Bible Lessons into Spanish. If you’d like to take advantage of these lessons, or know someone who would benefit from them, simply head over to the Living Education website and look for the section titled “Programa Bíblico para Niños”! It is on the home page.
Israel Tour and Dig Canceled—Repeat Announcement
We regret to announce that because of the pandemic, this year’s Israel trip has had to be canceled due to a decision preventing us from participating in the archaeological dig.
Feast of Tabernacles
This week, our men in the field continued to do “on-the-ground” work in securing additional, smaller, more local Feast sites. We are asking God to make it obvious, in helping us identify the places where He chooses for the Feast this year (Deuteronomy 16:15). Several encouraging new doors opened this week. Thank you for your continued prayers!
Pastors: Please note that we will soon be asking you for the names, e-mail addresses, and congregation of your Festival Advisors for the Feast this year. Watch your e-mail for a request for this information soon!
Living Youth Program
2020 Adventure Camp – Wisconsin Canoe Trip
Last week the state of Wisconsin approved overnight camping in the backcountry this summer. This was the final hurdle we had to overcome—so this trip will proceed as scheduled. If you have been accepted, you can make travel plans now. If you do not plan to attend, please let Jenny Penman ([email protected]) know right away so that we can plan accordingly.—Sheldon Monson, Director of Living Youth Programs and Mike Kreyer, Adventure Camp Director
2020 West Virginia Preteen Camp Canceled
The 2020 West Virginia Preteen Camp has been canceled. The state has not opened for Youth Camps to operate this summer (not even for “day camps” at this time). As a result, the camp facility is not available. We will look forward to next year.—Sheldon Monson and Scott Winnail, West Virginia Preteen Camp Director
Humility—Key to Unity: King David wrote, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “walk worthy” of our calling “with all lowliness and gentleness… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). He stated that the work of the ministry is to edify (build up) the body (the Church) “till we all come to the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:12–13). Paul also told the contentious Corinthians that they should be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). In order to grow together in unity, we need to understand what causes contentions that disrupt unity. The Scriptures reveal that pride is an underlying cause of contention (Proverbs 13:10) and that pride will contribute to a person’s downfall (Proverbs 16:18). However, humility will eventually bring a person honor and success (Proverbs 15:33; 22:4) and humility helps promote peace and unity (James 3:17–18). Jesus Christ humbled Himself and followed His Father’s instructions (Philippians 2:5–9). As Christians, we must be willing to humble ourselves and respect authority (Romans 13:1–2). As we learn to exercise true humility and treat each other with love and respect (Romans 12:9–16; 1 Peter 5:5–6), we will promote unity within the body of Christ.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—June 4, 2020
Anger, Hate, and Violence: What Is the Solution? Millions of people around the globe have been outraged by the viral video of a policeman kneeling on the neck of a defenseless George Floyd. This action was, by all appearances an excessive use of force on the part of the officer. Since then, protests have broken out across the United States and even in Europe. Tragically, mayhem, riots, violence, destruction of property, and even murders have followed in many places. But, are such actions the solution?
In the Bible, God directs His people to “sigh and cry” for the abominations in the land (Ezekiel 9:4), and true Christians should do this! The Apostle Paul gives us some perspective, though. He was inspired to predict that “in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1). These “perilous times” are painful, stressful, and disheartening. But they must come prior to Christ’s return! Bible prophecy reveals that the times we are living through now are only the beginning. Paul warned that those who are engaged in spiritual warfare (true Christians struggling to be separate from the world, Revelation 18:4) should not “entangle” themselves with “the affairs of this life” (2 Timothy 2:4). In fact, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight” (John 18:36).
We must remember that human efforts to bring about peace, no matter how well intentioned, will never lead to ultimate peace in this life (Proverbs 14:12). The real solution to anger, hate, and violence will not come through human efforts, such as protests and riots, but through the application of God’s Ten Commandments. The rejection of these commandments is the source of the world’s suffering. True Christians will focus on preaching the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God—the real solution to the problems of the world (Matthew 24:14), and resist being weighed down with the “cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). The tragedies at the end of the age should motivate the fervent prayers of all real Christians for God’s Kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10)! For a glimpse of what the world will look like when God’s laws finally become the foundation of society, read or listen to our free booklet The Ten Commandments.
Why Do the UK, the U.S., Canada, and Australia Stand Together? As the world watches China and Hong Kong struggle over differing definitions of freedom, and many nations express individual concern, why have four nations recently chosen to issue a joint statement disapproving of how events are unfolding in southeast Asia? Those four nations are the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States (UK.gov, May 28, 2020). But, why would these four nations, out of all the other nations of the world, choose to make a joint statement about freedom?
The Bible provides a perspective that is missing from news events covering this event. In the book of Genesis, we learn about two peoples who would become world-leading nations in the decades leading up to Christ’s return. They are the descendants of Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:19–22; 49:22–26). Ephraim’s descendants would become a “company of nations” (the British peoples), and Manasseh’s descendants would become a “great nation” (the U.S.). This connection, rooted in ancient origins, explains the proclivity of these nations to work together on numerous issues. This informative perspective is found in the pages of the Bible and is supported by numerous facts of history. However, Bible prophecies not only reveal why these peoples rose together historically, but also how they will decline and fall together as we approach the end of the age—because they will continue to turn increasingly away from the God who blessed them. To learn more about the special connection between these four modern nations, be sure to read or listen to our well-documented booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and Chris Sookdeo