December 31st, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
Dr. Winnail, Mr. Rick Stafford, and I were online yesterday with Dr. Wilner Pierre and several others who serve about 200 people in Haiti. Some of our members there have been in the Body of Christ for decades, even going back to the days of Mr. Herbert Armstrong. Over those years, they have endured hurricanes, earthquakes, civil unrest, and the constant assaults of Satan to distract and destroy God’s children. Conditions in Haiti remain perilous today as kidnapping and other forms of extortion are a daily hazard. “Your kingdom come” is more than a casual statement for our Haitian brothers and sisters. Be sure to keep them in your prayers.—Gerald Weston
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2021, the Passover Service will be observed on Friday evening, March 26. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French, and Spanish). Passover Service recordings for 2021 were made by Mr. Rod McNair in English and by Mr. Yvon Brochu in French. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before January 15 for international congregations and by March 5 for U.S. congregations.
Also, please let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. International requests should be received before January 15 and U.S. requests before March 5. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
These dates take into consideration the slowdown of mail service in some places because of the pandemic.
Living Education will not sponsor an activity during the Spring Holy Days as previously announced. However, we do plan to host a “Men’s Training Camp” at Blowing Rock, North Carolina, from June 11 through 13. Registration for this activity will be available within the next few weeks. As a reminder, here are a few other dates to note in regard to our Living Education-Charlotte program.
- January 4, 2021 – Classes resume for spring semester
- January–February 2021 – Applications open for 2021–22 school year
- March 1, 2021 – Acceptance letters sent to program participants for upcoming year
- May 7, 2021 – Final day of classes
- May 14, 2021 – Graduation
- August 6, 2021 – New students arrive
- August 13, 2021 – Fall semester begins
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Teen Camp Registration Opens This Sunday!
Registration for Living Youth Teen Camp opens this Sunday, January 3. The camp will once again be held at the beautiful Lone Star campgrounds in Athens, Texas. We are preparing an exciting and enriching God-centered program that is guided by the overall motto of “do everything decently and in order, without confusion, and in peace.” Some of our planned activities include archery, basketball, canoeing, dance, horseback riding, media, softball, ultimate frisbee, swimming, volleyball, and waterskiing. We will be accepting applications for adult staff ages 18 and up, high school staff ages 16 and 17, and of course campers! To register, visit http://camp.livingyouth.org or email Jenny Penman at [email protected] for a paper application to be mailed to you.
Registration for our Preteen Camps for 2021 will open at a later date.
Wanted: Web Developer—Repeat Announcement
Log into your MyLcg account.
Sobering Signs of the Times: The Old Testament contains numerous accounts of events that were recorded for our admonition today (1 Corinthians 10:1–11). Jesus foretold the last days would be like “the days of Noah” when the earth was filled with violence, wickedness, and human beings had totally corrupted themselves (Genesis 6:5–13). God destroyed this evil society with a great flood, but He preserved righteous Noah and his family. About 400 years later, God sent two angels to warn Lot and his family that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed for the wickedness that permeated these prosperous cities. Sexual perversions were among the reasons given in the Bible for their destruction (Genesis 18:20; 19:4–7; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10)—but there were also other sins (Ezekiel 16:49–50). Yet, in spite of the warning, Lot and his family were reluctant to leave the luxuries of their cities, and this cost his wife her life (Genesis 19:26). Today, our world is going the way of Sodom again—promoting homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and other behaviors that the Bible condemns. This is why the Apostle Paul urged Christians to “come out” of this world and its perverted ways (2 Corinthians 6:17–18)—because God’s judgment on our modern sinful societies is coming! We need to wake up and recognize the prophetic significance of what is happening around us—and earnestly pray “Thy Kingdom come.”
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 31, 2020
Hungry Children in the UK: Over 70 years ago, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was created as an agency to feed hungry children around the globe, especially in developing nations. According to its website, UNICEF has helped save the lives of over 122 million children since its inception. Now, for the first time in its history, UNICEF is feeding hungry children in the United Kingdom (Guardian, December 16, 2020).
According to a poll in May 2020, 17 percent of children in the UK were “food insecure.” By October, nearly a million more children had been added to school lunch programs. Many of the hungry children live in and around London. Most of these children live in families whose income has been greatly restricted by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the percentages of hungry children are vastly higher in developing nations, it is sobering to see children in highly industrialized nations like the UK needing assistance from relief organizations like UNICEF.
Bible prophecy reveals that Israelite-descended nations like Britain will suffer serious consequences at the end of the age, because they have turned away from God and His laws. The Bible warns that God will “break the pride” of their power (Leviticus 26:19) and they will eventually face hunger and starvation—far worse than we are seeing today (vv. 14–15, 26–29; Ezekiel 5:7–10). Part of the mission of the Church Jesus Christ founded is to warn the world, and especially the Israelite-descended nations, to repent of the sins that are bringing upon them these prophesied end-time plagues (see Ezekiel 3 and 33). For more information about this warning message of love, watch the Tomorrow’s World telecast “The Watchman’s Warning.”
Iran’s Growing Nuclear Strength: According to September reports by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Iran had over ten times the amount of enriched uranium allowed by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers (Times of Israel, September 4, 2020). By November, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reported that number had increased twelvefold (ISIS, November 12, 2020). Back in September, Iran revealed they have a ballistic missile that can reach any part of the United States—stating in the headlines of a state-sanctioned newspaper, “American soil is now within the range of Iranian bombs” (Gatestone Institute, September 5, 2020). In addition, they warned, “The same type of ballistic missile technology used to launch the [military] satellite could carry nuclear, chemical or even biological weapons to wipe Israel off the map, hit US bases and allies in the region and US facilities, and target NATO even in the far west of Europe.”
According to the institute, “Iran now has sufficient low-enriched uranium to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a second nuclear weapon, where the second one could be produced more quickly than the first” (FOX, December 2, 2020). Although Iran’s nuclear and other weapons programs are veiled in secrecy, there is a broadly accepted understanding that they have more capability than previously believed—and their rhetoric is dangerous and reckless.
End-time Bible prophecies indicate that nuclear weapons will likely be used on a global scale prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation indicates that billions of people will die before Christ returns to the earth to set up His peaceful kingdom (Revelation 6:4–8; 9:13–18). The proliferation of these devices around the world hints at the destruction to come in the years ahead. Yet, the Bible also reveals that mankind will not ultimately destroy itself with nuclear weapons and that peace will eventually come from an unexpected source! For more on this subject, be sure to watch “The Real Armageddon.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater