August 13th, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
A few weeks ago we called for a day of fasting and prayer for members of the Living Church of God, for this Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Mr. Richard Ames will be giving the sermon, which will be livestreamed to the worldwide membership, although some of you, due to different time zones or languages, may have to wait a week to hear the sermon. There are many very positive things happening around the world among our members, but sometimes we get caught up in controversies on the battlefield of social media. I urge all of you to be respectful in any communications with others through social media. Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean you have to hate him or her. No one is all good or all bad. No one is always right or always wrong. As I wrote when announcing this fast, “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. . . .to resist Satan as he strives to do us harm, and to draw near to God, who is our firm foundation.” Let us focus our fasting on what each of us can change. Ask yourself, “What is wrong with me?” Let us learn to love one another.—Gerald Weston
Reminder: Special Church-Wide Livestreamed Sabbath Service on August 15 Fast Day
This Sabbath, August 15, designated as a Church-wide fast day, there will be a special Sabbath Service livestreamed from Headquarters. Mr. Ames will 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: 160 097 7243
- 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!
Manpower Changes – Ministerial Transfers
Dr. Scott Winnail and his family are being transferred to the mid-Atlantic states. He has been appointed to serve as Pastor in the following congregation areas:
- Washington, DC
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Winchester, Virginia
Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka has been appointed to serve as Pastor of the following congregations in Virginia, in addition to his pastoral area in eastern North Carolina:
- Norfolk, Virginia
- Richmond, Virginia
Mr. John Strain, pastor of the Charlotte congregation, assisted by Mr. John Robinson, Elder, will additionally serve as Pastor in:
- Kannapolis, North Carolina
- Statesville, North Carolina
This week, we welcomed twelve new students into our Living Education-Charlotte program. Orientation began with a trip to Blowing Rock, North Carolina, where our six men and six women enjoyed a mixture of classroom lectures and adventure. That two-day program concluded with a whitewater rafting trip down the Watauga River. After returning to Charlotte, orientation week continued with presentations from Headquarters staff, to familiarize the students with the opportunities and challenges awaiting them in the upcoming year. Our final, keynote session included messages from Mr. Richard Ames and Mr. Gerald Weston. Welcome to our new students!—Jonathan McNair, Director of Living Education
Feast of Tabernacles
Registration Now Open
Last Sunday, August 9, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA), Festival registration opened for all Living Church of God brethren and guests. To register, visit the lcg.org website, scroll down to find and click on the link “Feast of Tabernacles,” then follow the steps to register. If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact the Festival Advisor for your congregation.
Please Register by August 23
Many brethren have not yet registered, and until most of us do so, it is very difficult to know if we have room for a limited number of transfers. It is imperative that we all finish registering for the Feast by Sunday, August 23. Festival Advisors: Your pastor should be getting a report with names of brethren in your congregation who have not yet registered. Please seek out those who have not yet registered, to find out who may need help. Again, we need everyone to register, even if they will not be able to attend in person. (If you live in an international area and have questions about your Feast site or registration, contact your International Regional Office.)
Are You Teachable? The Scriptures reveal that one of the most important qualities of character that God is looking for in Christians and future leaders in the Kingdom of God is teachability—the desire and willingness to listen and learn. Abraham was teachable and responsive to God’s instructions (Genesis 12:1–4). Moses was a very capable leader, yet a most humble and teachable individual (Numbers 12:3). David’s attitude comes through in Psalm 119:33, where he writes, “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes.” Solomon recognized his human inadequacies when he asked God for wisdom and an “understanding heart” so he could learn to rule wisely (1 Kings 3:9). When Jesus said the meek and the poor in spirit will be blessed, He was emphasizing their teachability and their willingness to be corrected and to learn and grow (Matthew 5:3–5). This is in stark contrast to an attitude that refuses to listen to advice or correction and is only focused on one’s own ideas (Proverbs 13:1; 18:1–2). The Scriptures also reveal that when we harden our hearts to God’s instructions, we will reap serious consequences (Proverbs 28:14). We have been called to reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God, and being teachable is one of the keys to attaining that incredible reward.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 13, 2020
More Exits from the EU? In May, a poll showed that only 39 percent of Italians trust the EU. Building on this fact, a popular Italian senator recently formed a new political party with the intent of helping Italy exit the EU—just as the U.K. has done (Reuters, July 21, 2020). A few days before forming his party, Gianluigi Paragone met with “Brexit architect Nigel Farage” to gain insights on the process.
Senator Paragone’s party is called “No Europe for Italy” (Bloomberg, July 23, 2020). Paragone has stated, “The euro is in fact a slightly-devalued Deutsche Mark, so Germany does better” in “a Germanic union.” He believes that the EU is not for all Europeans, but is instead a “Germanic construct.” Paragone hopes to capitalize on the growing “anti-euro sentiment” throughout the continent. Yet, that negative EU sentiment could soften when Italy receives a substantial financial boost from the recently approved euro recovery fund.
So, it remains to be seen how far Italy will move away from Europe and the euro. However, Italy is not alone in its growing resentment of the German- and French-centered EU, as there are several nations among the current 27 members that seem to be balking at more pro-EU efforts. Bible prophecy clearly states that the final revival of the Roman Empire will be a combination of “ten kingdoms” that hand their power over to a centralized “beast” power for a time (Daniel 2:41–43; Revelation 17). For more biblical insights about this coming European superpower, watch our telecast on “The Beast of Revelation.”
Why Is China Being Ostracized? In the last few years, many nations around the globe have drawn closer to China through trade relationships and diplomatic channels. But something has changed in the last year or so. “One by one, democratic governments across the globe are hardening their stance on China. What started in Australia and the United States has spread to India, Canada and the United Kingdom” (Politico, August 3, 2020). Germany has been careful to avoid pushing China away, but experts believe that a “post-Merkel” Germany will join the club of nations distancing themselves from China. One German official recently observed, “Once Merkel is gone, I think you will see a quick shift, possibly a drastic one.”
With issues on trade and human rights moving increasingly to the fore, many European officials are now “describing what they once saw hopefully as a partnership as more of a rivalry” (Foreign Policy, June 25, 2020). One China specialist from the Netherlands has stated, “the EU wants to show that it is time for a change, time for a recalibration of the relationship, and that it is time for China to give more.”
What is behind the growing distance between Europe and China, and where will this ultimately lead? Bible prophecy points out a potential rivalry between the German-led European “beast” power and the “kings from the east” that will eventually descend on the beast-controlled Holy Land. The kings from the East will very likely include China. To learn more about these climactic end-time events, be sure to read or listen to our insightful article “Is This China’s Century?”—Scott Winnail, Lenny Bower, and Francine Prater