July 30th, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
We are pleased that campers and staff returned home safely from Teen Camp in Texas. The one-week Adventure Camp in the state of Wisconsin is beginning this weekend. Please pray for the safety of everyone involved. I wrote a member letter to all of you that we hope to mail out next week. We continue working through details preparing for the Feast of Tabernacles, while government regulations change almost daily at some of our sites. Please continue to pray that God will intervene to keep these venues open. I just viewed a short clip from Mr. Rob Tyler in Australia where he mentions that the members have drawn closer together during this pandemic, even though it has inconvenienced many. They are seeing increases in income and members in Australia and a very large increase in members in New Zealand. You will hear about that during the “Behind the Work” video at the Feast. The Philippines, South Africa, and a number of other countries struggle with tight shutdowns. Please remember our members in those areas, where lockdown rules are being enforced in a more harsh and authoritarian manner than some of us are used to. As our world pulls apart, we should be able to recognize whose hand is behind it, and strive to be unified rather than divided by the great divider of mankind. Let’s work as a family, as the body of Christ. I have called for a Church-wide fast for the Sabbath of August 15 to resist Satan as he strives to do us harm, and to draw near to God, who is our firm foundation.—Gerald Weston
Virtual Worldwide Chorus Deadline: August 7
We still have room for more singers to join our “Virtual Worldwide Chorus”! We’re extending the deadline by a few days to Friday, August 7. 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, instructions, and to upload your recording!—Jonathan McNair, Director of Living Education
Feast of Tabernacles
New Date for Festival Registration: August 9
Recent updates to our database system have caused some unexpected glitches in our Festival Registration system, so we are delaying registration for one week to allow for final testing. Please note: the new Festival Registration date is Sunday, August 9, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA). At that time allLCG members and guests will be invited to register for their assigned sites.
Register Even if You Do Not Plan to Attend
Please note:On August 9, all brethren are asked to register EVEN IF THEY 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 register successfully 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.
Festival Website Online: August 3
In preparation for Registration, final touches are being put on the Festival website, which has individual pages that give specific information about each site. Beginning Monday, August 3, the Festival website will be open and available for all Feast-goers to find out information about their site. You can find the Festival website by going on the Living Church of God website (lcg.org), scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and clicking on “Feast of Tabernacles.”
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.
Living Youth Program
2020 Texas Teen Camp a Success!
The two-week 2020 Texas Teen Camp ended this past Sunday, July 26, and everyone has returned home safely. Daily temperature checks of every participant monitored the health of everyone throughout camp. No cases of COVID-19 occurred and no one had to be isolated for sickness of any kind. In addition, we took no trips to the hospital this summer, and we were blessed with good weather. God certainly set His mighty angels about the camp! To Him be the glory! His promises stand fast (Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 7:15). Our God is an awesome God and we are very thankful for His protection.—Sheldon Monson, Living Youth Programs Director
Preparing to Rule: Jesus Christ is coming back to establish the government of God on this earth (Isaiah 9:6–7). Are you learning how to function within the government that God has established in His Church? The Bible reveals that God’s government is not a democracy or an anarchy with everyone doing his or her own thing, but a hierarchy or a pyramid-shaped form of government with various levels of responsibility (Exodus 18:21; Luke 19:14–27). God is going to appoint (not elect) individuals who are capable, caring and trustworthy, who develop wisdom, who fear God, and who are filled with the fruits of His Spirit (Acts 6:3). Individuals who have learned to apply the laws of God will be given the opportunity to rule with Jesus Christ (Proverbs 29:2), because they have demonstrated they can work together in peace and unity (Ephesians 4:16; James 3:17–18). Future leaders in the Kingdom of God will have learned to function together as a team and experience the benefits of being of the “same mind” and “same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10) because they are being led by the same Spirit (Ephesians 4:4). This is why they will be called sons and daughters of God and be rewarded with the opportunity to rule with Jesus Christ in the government of God. When we see how God’s government works, we can begin to understand why we need to prepare now to work smoothly within the government that God has established in His Church.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 30, 2020
Weapons in Space: “The US and UK have accused Russia of testing a weapon-like projectile in space that could be used to target satellites in orbit” (BBC, July 23, 2020). Based on the evidence, both nations believe that Russia may have test-fired a space-based weapon that could be used to shoot down satellites from other nations. If true, this would violate a treaty signed by over 100 nations who have agreed to the peaceful exploration of space. However, Russia claims that its new satellite is designed for the purpose of performing checks on the nation’s other satellites. Satellites in space are used for all types of purposes, including military and surveillance.
Whether or not Russia actually test-fired an anti-satellite weapon may not be as important as the concern other nations have regarding how such an action may push other nations to develop and employ similar technology—if they do not already have it. Humanity, under the influence of Satan, seems to have a heart that is set on war and destruction. Before the flood, God notes that the earth was corrupt and “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). The heart of mankind has not fundamentally changed, and we should expect such global conditions to make a comeback (cf. Luke 17:26).
Recognizing mankind’s tendency to war and destruction, General Douglas MacArthur stated in a speech on September 2, 1945, “It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.” Ultimately, Jesus Christ will return to the earth to establish His Kingdom and change the heart of human beings. War is inevitable as long as Satan remains the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). However, there is a better future ahead. To learn more about how Bible prophecy sheds light on the weaponization of space, watch our telecast entitled “Space Wars.”
Teaching About Islam in Schools? At the recent “Million Muslim Votes” conference, a U.S. presidential candidate made the following observation: “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It’s one of the great confessional faiths” (MSN, July 21, 2020). These comments were doubtlessly made for political reasons. However, considering this individual is running for the most powerful and influential office in the nation, these comments are very revealing as to where the United States and presidential candidates stand spiritually.
God warned the ancient Israelites not to learn about following the gods of other nations, commanding that they “do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise’” (Deuteronomy 12:30). God also warned ancient Israel and its modern-day descendants that they would ultimately go into foreign captivity because of their rejection of Him. As the prophet Jeremiah records, “It will be when you say, ‘Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours’” (Jeremiah 5:19).
While America has never been truly “Christian,” in the sense of truly following the religion of the Bible, it did for some time at least allow the Bible a privileged place as a source of influence and values. That is no longer the case, as the U.S. and other nations—ironically, in an effort to be inclusive of world religions—now quite openly mock and persecute those who believe the Bible and try to fully follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. However, God warns these very nations that “evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29)—a prediction we see coming true before our eyes. For greater insight about what is behind these modern trends away from God and where they are heading, be sure to read “The Rise of Modern Paganism.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater