October 15th, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
Keeping the Feast of Tabernacles was a significant challenge for many this year with all the uncertainty created by national and local governments and how venues implemented regulations. Nevertheless, the majority of our members were able to attend a Festival site in person and reports have been extremely positive. Many appreciated the smaller sites as they were able to meet and get to know one another better. There were more opportunities for service, and this year was more relaxing with an emphasis on members providing their own activities. The two virtual choirs (adult and children) from around the world were greatly appreciated and enjoyed, bringing tears to the eyes of some. We have much for which to thank our Creator for providing a safe and memorable Feast.—Gerald Weston
As the learning and fellowship of the Feast of Tabernacles 2020 fades into our memory, we are already laying plans for the Spring Holy Days 2021. Living Education will be sponsoring a gathering in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, at the Blowing Rock Conference Center. The activity will begin on the afternoon of Friday, March 26, as we prepare for the Passover that evening. We’ll keep the Sabbath and Night to Be Much Observed together (March 27), as well as the First Day of Unleavened Bread (March 28). For more information, stay tuned!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
A Big Thank You!
From reports of our Festival Site Coordinators, there was a high degree of cooperation and service all over the world at this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. We want to thank everyone who contributed in big ways or small ways, and especially for being patient with the unusual conditions that the COVID-19 virus caused.
Fill Out Your Festival Survey
If you have not already handed in a paper survey, or filled it out online, please fill out the online Festival Survey as soon as possible. Every entry is read, and your comments are valued! You can access the Feast Survey at fotsurvey.lcg.org. You can also find the survey on your MyLCG page.
Virtual Choirs to Be Posted
We also wanted to let everyone know that we will be posting the two virtual choir recordings that were produced for the Feast, on the MyLCG website.
Goals for the Coming Year: Solomon advised in the book of Proverbs, “Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:26–27). As we return from the Feast, inspired by the sermons and fellowship, it is a good time to think about setting goals for the coming year. What changes would you like to make, or do you need to make, to improve your relationship with God or your family or other individuals? What can you do to improve your physical or spiritual health? What can you do to serve God and others more effectively? How can you prepare now for the Kingdom of God? The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “walk circumspectly [carefully, diligently]” and make the most of the time at your disposal (Ephesians 5:15–16). The Apostle Peter exhorted his audience to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). What books can you read, what classes can you take, what topics can you study in the Bible, and what experiences can you arrange that will help you and your family grow and prepare for the Kingdom of God? Set some worthwhile goals for the coming year so that you can grow to be a truly profitable servant of God.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—October 15, 2020
Impact of a Trump Reelection on Europe? German chancellor hopeful Norbert Röttgen recently “delivered a stark warning on the future of transatlantic ties, saying the reelection of Donald Trump as U.S. president could endanger the alliance and open the door for China and other powers to try and fill the vacuum” (Politico, September 28, 2020). He further commented that it is not possible to build a partnership with the United States as long as Mr. Trump continues in his habit of punishing nations that do not capitulate to his will.
Over the last four years, there has been a collapse in German confidence in American leadership. German approval ratings of the U.S. have dropped from 60 percent in 2016 to just 25 percent in 2020, and there appears to be no reversal in sight. Mr. Röttgen has also suggested that, in a second presidential term, Mr. Trump would likely move America further away from its role as an international leader, creating a void that other nations “would be more than happy to fill.”
Many prophecies indicate that America and Great Britain will be on the wane at the end of the age. Conversely, other nations like Germany and China will be on the rise, moving into place for the fulfillment of their own roles in the unfolding of biblical prophecy. As we watch world events develop, we can see the stage being set for the accomplishment of many ancient prophecies. For greater insight into the future of America, Britain, and Germany, be sure to watch our informative video “Sunset for Britain and America.”
A Divided Middle East: Following the peace deal between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain, and the powerful involvement of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Middle East appears to be fracturing (Israel National News, October 2, 2020). The mostly Sunni nations mentioned above are gravitating more toward Israel and the United States, while Iran and Iraq are moving closer to Turkey. The Israeli prime minister recently commented, “Israel and states across the Arab world not only stand together in advancing peace. We stand together in confronting the greatest enemy of peace in the Middle East—Iran.”
Iran is now threatening terror attacks against its Arab neighbors, the UAE and Bahrain. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also recently observed to Turkish lawmakers that “Jerusalem is our city”—referring to the period from 1516 to 1917 when the Ottoman Empire controlled the city (Times of Israel, October 2, 2020). Erdogan has also stood up to defend the rights of the Palestinian people.
The Bible warns of a coming “king of the South” that will arise in the Middle East and come into conflict with the coming European “beast” power (Daniel 11:40–43). The fracturing of old Arab ties in the Middle East and new agreements with Israel are fascinating and could tie into Bible prophecies about a temporary, relative peace in the region prior to Christ’s return—including the reinstitution of animal sacrifices (Daniel 11:31; 12:11). Students of Bible prophecy need to watch the Middle East! For more insight into this topic, be sure to read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater