July 23rd, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
We are greatly saddened to lose two longtime, faithful servants of God this past week. Mr. Ben Whitfield had been suffering numerous health issues for several years, and his body finally wore out. “Big Ben” and his wife Mary-Pat graduated from Ambassador College the same year as Carol and I, and have been very dear to us. Also, Mrs. Lynn Meakin, wife of Pastor John Meakin, went to sleep after her struggle with cancer. Please pray for both families as we mourn with them.
Much is happening regarding television in several countries, as doors open to us. We have been on national network WGN on Sundays for decades, but will be adding a weekday airing beginning Wednesday, July 29, at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time. Here are some additional U.S. stations that will begin airing on Sunday, August 2:
Z Living Network National Network Sundays at 8:30 AM EDT
WKRC-TV 12 Cincinnati Sundays at 9:00 AM EDT
KUTV-TV 2.2 Salt Lake City Sundays at 7:00 AM EDT
WBFS-TV 33 Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Sundays at 6:00 AM EDT
WMLW-TV 49 Milwaukee Sundays at 8:00 AM EDT
WVTV-TV 18 Milwaukee Sundays
V-télé in Quebec, Canada, where our French-language program has been airing for several years, was recently bought out, and the new owners are dropping all religious broadcasting. However, another door has opened on ICI-TV at a much better time and at a significantly lower cost. V-télé will end on September 13, and it looks as though there will be some overlap with ICI tentatively commencing prior to that. Mr. Wachowicz will be writing a letter to all those who are in our database as a result of V-télé, informing them of the new station. We will also be going on TV YES, a national network in Canada, beginning on Sunday, August 16.
Then we have this encouraging report from New Zealand. In 2019, we were airing Tomorrow’s World three times a week at 5:30 a.m. However, in January 2020 we started a new contract to air the TW program once a week at the better time of 9:00 a.m. This has resulted in reducing costs by 42 percent for the past six months, while at the same time increasing responses by 42 percent.
Please continue to pray about the Feast this year, as many locations remain in flux as governments and venues continue to change occupancy and other regulations.—Gerald Weston
July 25 Livestream—All Congregations
We would like to remind everyone that this Sabbath, July 25, services will be livestreamed from Headquarters. Mr. Weston plans to give the sermon. All congregations are invited to tune in. Services will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, USA. For congregations in time zones where this is impractical, or for those needing Spanish or French translation, a recorded (and/or translated) version will be available at a later time.
Video link information:
- Live stream: www.lcg.org/stream (Note: The stream page will not be active until shortly before services on the Sabbath)
- No password required
Phone call-in information:
- Phone call-in: +1-415-655-0001 (U.S. toll number)
- Connection access number: 157 934 8431
- For a list of call-in numbers for those who are outside the United States, please click on this link: Global call-in numbers
We look forward to meeting virtually together!
We’ve opened the next unit in our Living Education Library. This unit is part of a course that we’ll build over the next year, titled “Tools for Christian Growth.” The focus of this particular unit is “Prayer.” If you’d like to review principles of prayer, add to your knowledge, or find answers to questions that you’ve wondered about, this unit should be of interest to you. Just go to lcgeducation.org, follow the prompts to “Coursework,” and you’ll have access to the material. Don’t forget to check out the podcast interviews with Mr. Richard Ames, Mr. Anthony Stroud, Dr. Richard Franz, and Mr. Adam West in the “Voices of Experience” section of the unit!
Virtual Worldwide Chorus
With modern technology, we cross international boundaries and time zones to assemble together and listen to instruction. But, through the marvels of technology, we also have the opportunity to praise God in song as one harmonious body. This year we plan to create a chorus of the voices of members from around the world contributing to a special musical presentation for the Feast of Tabernacles. In order to form this virtual worldwide chorus, we need singers from our congregations around the world to contribute their voices to the project. You don’t have to be a virtuoso to join in—all it takes is a willingness to learn a simple choir part, record yourself singing it, and send it in! We’ll do the rest! Just go to https://www.lcgeducation.org/virtual-worldwide-chorus/ for more details and to upload your recording!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Festival Registration 2020
We are just over one week away from Festival Registration, set for Sunday, August 2, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA). At that time—on August 2—all LCG members and guests will be invited to register for their assigned site. In preparation for that, final touches are being put on the Festival website, which has individual pages that give specific information about each site. Stay tuned for instructions on how to access the Festival website.
Please note: On August 2, all brethren are asked to register EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT PLANNING TO ATTEND the Feast in person. When you register, one of the possible selections is “Will Not Attend.” For planning purposes, we need to know the number of people who will be staying home. “Will Not Attend” is the choice to make during registration for those who will not be at the Feast in person.
Also, we encourage all brethren to test your MyLCG account. Your MyLCG account must be working for you to successfully register for the Feast. You can test your account by going to the MyLCG webpage (www.cogl.org) and logging in. If you are not able to log in, follow the help menu instructions. If you still cannot log in, contact [email protected].
Festival Advisors: You have access to the “Housing Review” document on your Advisor Access webpage (MyLCG). Please make this document available to those in your congregation who do not have Internet access.
Status Updates Needed for Festival Registration—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: One of the most common technical difficulties in registering for the Feast occurs when a person’s “membership status” is not updated on the Church’s files. For example, if someone is listed as a “Co-Worker” or “Subscriber” in the Headquarters database, the person will not be able to register. His or her status will need to be changed to “Prospective Member” or, if baptized, to “Member.” Please look over your area’s member lists and let us know if anyone’s status needs to be updated. This could especially apply to brethren who have just recently started attending with us. We need the pastor’s notification to change anyone’s status, so please send in any status updates.
Monday Deadline for Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only
Attention U.S. Pastors: This coming Monday is the deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department. All forms should be properly completed by the members requesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. The forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org).—Festival Office
Poconos, Pennsylvania Coordinator and Congregations—Please note two congregation name corrections below
Feast Coordinator: Mr. Adam West (518-225-3860, [email protected])
Massachusetts: Auburn (corrected)
New Hampshire: Tilton
New Jersey: Hammonton, Rahway
New York: Albany, Corning, Plainview, New York City, Rochester
Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Tannersville
Rhode Island: Pawtucket (corrected)
West Virginia: Morgantown
The Church as a Watchman: Many churches today feel their sole mission is to tell the world that God loves everybody and that Jesus came to save sinners. While essentially true, there is much more to the biblical message. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15). Jesus also told His disciples to be alert and watch for specific events that would mark the approaching end of the age and His return to this earth to establish the Kingdom (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). These prophesied events—droughts, floods, famines, wars and spreading violence, religious confusion, and moral corruption—will be making news at the same time that we see the rise of a political power in Europe with definite links to the ancient Roman Empire. This power will be promoted by an ecumenical-minded Roman Church. This end-time European power will be confronted by a rising Arab-Islamic power in the Middle East (see Daniel 7 and 11; Revelation 13). However, just as God raised up prophets to warn the ancient nations of Israel and Judah that their ungodly ways would bring serious consequences, the Church of God today has a similar mission to function as a watchman—to “Cry aloud, spare not” and warn modern Israelite nations of the coming consequences of their sinful ways (Ezekiel 2; 3; 33; Isaiah 58:1). Delivering this powerful warning message must accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 23, 2020
Could Turkey’s Threats Ignite the Middle East? Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been moving away from the EU and the West for some time. President Erdogan recently announced that the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul would revert to a mosque, to the dismay of the pope (Catholic News Service, July 14, 2020). This imposing structure, built by Justinian in the sixth century, has been a Catholic cathedral, a mosque, a museum, and is now being reclaimed by Muslims.
Recently, Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has publicly proclaimed its desire to “‘unite the Islamic community’ against the State of Israel” (Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2020). Mr. Erdogan has also vowed to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The mosque and Temple Mount are currently under Palestinian/Arab authority, but commentators believe Erdogan intends to liberate the entire Old City of Jerusalem from Israeli control (JewishPress.com, February 13, 2020).
Bible prophecies reveal that Jerusalem would be a source of trouble—a “cup of drunkenness”—for surrounding nations and a “very heavy stone” for all peoples who become involved with it (Zechariah 12:2–3). Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies just before He returns at the end of the age (Luke 21:20–22). Today, Arab nations want control of Jerusalem again, yet Israel, the Vatican, and European nations will not easily let it go. While Turkey’s threats may not bring immediate results, they could lead to events that will fulfill these ancient prophecies. To learn more about the future of Jerusalem, Europe, and the Middle East, be sure to view our telecast “The Future of Jerusalem.”
The Cycle of Governments: What Is Next? Long ago, Plato and others observed that governments appear to run in cycles. Monarchies have been the most prominent form of government. After the death of a king, nations are often ruled by an oligarchy or an aristocracy (rule by an elite few). When democracies (rule by the people) emerge next, they have a tendency to descend into anarchy (lawlessness), providing opportunities for “strong men” (dictators and tyrants) to gain control by promising to restore order. Whether or not this exact sequence is followed, change is certainly the rule.
Today, we are witnessing increasing assaults on many governments, as reformers and anarchists seek to overthrow those currently in power—not just in America, but around the globe. In Frankfurt, Germany, an open-air street party of 3,000 people ended in a riot, with participants throwing bottles while chanting demeaning slogans against the police (Deutsche Welle, July 19, 2020). Russia is seeing similar unrest: “Tens of thousands of people in Russia’s Far East marched in protests triggered by the arrest of a popular regional governor, but that has since morphed into a wave of growing dissatisfaction over social issues and the rule of President Vladimir Putin” (Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2020). In Hong Kong, ongoing protests have become more tense as protesters play “cat and mouse” with police (South China Morning Post, July 1, 2020). While many demonstrators may have legitimate concerns about injustices and the corruption evident in self-serving leaders, the increasingly violent and destructive nature of protests is pushing governments to react with force, as police and other citizens are injured and killed, public property is defaced, and buildings are set ablaze.
Many today have forgotten that the Bible has long warned that “in the last days perilous times will come” as people and governments become “lovers of themselves,” unforgiving, brutal, and without self-control (2 Timothy 3:1–5). The prophet Ezekiel describes end-time leaders—particularly in Israelite nations—as leaders who “feed themselves” and not the people they serve (Ezekiel 34:2). Prophecy indicates that growing anarchy in the years ahead will give rise to leaders whose actions will threaten the very future of civilization—necessitating the return of Jesus Christ to literally save the world (John 4:42). For more on this vital topic, listen to our webcast on “The Rise of Strongman Leaders.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater