February 11th, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Richard Ames gave an in-person Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Williamsburg, Virginia, last week. There were 32 subscribers in attendance, as well as members. Many said they would be coming back this Sabbath, but most people who say this do not follow through. We pray that some will.
Mr. Htoowah Laybeh reports from Thailand that “there are widespread demonstrations across the country [in Burma] demanding the army to return power to the elected civilian government. However, the army Chief… plans to crack down on the demonstrations. On the other hand, COVID-19 is decreasing in the Kalaymyo area and religious gatherings are now permitting up to 30 people, hence Mr. Thomas Tial Hoe and our Chin brethren were able to meet up on last Sabbath. Our brethren in Burma have asked for our prayers for their safety as the country is facing political turbulence and a civil disobedience movement is being promoted to go against the authority.”
Passover is now only six weeks away. With uncertainty due to the coronavirus, it is wise to prepare well in advance for every eventuality, especially in countries where Passover supplies are not so readily available. Remember to pray for one another and that God will continue to bless us in doing the Work.—Gerald Weston
Requests for Passover Supplies—Repeat Announcement
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). We need this information before March 5 for U.S. congregations in order to ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs. International requests should already have been submitted. The date takes into consideration the slowdown of mail service in some places because of the pandemic.
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. U.S. requests should be received before March 5, and international requests should already be here. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
The Church of God Today: Jesus said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus’ statement indicates that His Church would continue to exist down through the ages. The New Testament Church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and is referred to numerous times in the New Testament as the “Church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; Galatians 1:13). Some think the “work” of the Church of God ended with the death of Mr. Herbert Armstrong. However, Jesus commissioned His disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15), and He promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The “work” of God’s Church continues today, preaching the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, warning the Israelite nations and the nations of the world about the consequences of turning away from God, and preparing people to rule with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom. That message is delivered powerfully using the modern means of television, Internet, print media, and Tomorrow’s World presentations. The commission that Jesus gave to His disciples continues ever more powerfully through doors that God is opening to His Church today—and you are part of that effort!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—February 11, 2021
Europe—A Model for Nations? Eurosceptics continually criticize problems within the European Union, bringing up squabbles between nations, trade disputes, financial crises, and problems with the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. Yet Der Spiegel editor-in-chief Ullrich Fichtner observes, “Despite its long list of crises in recent years… the European Union has become a global pacesetter. Its laws and regulations have established global norms. This has made the bloc a 21st century model” (February 4, 2021).
“The EU, though, isn’t puny and insignificant,” notes Fichtner. “It’s quite the opposite—a giant that plays a decisive role in shaping life on this planet.” In terms of GDP, the EU ranks higher than every nation in the world except the United States. Europe is the primary export market for Russia, the U.S., India, and South Africa, and is the largest financial partner of emerging African nations—providing 40 percent of all African investments and providing the market for a third of all African exports. The EU provides more than half of all development aid funding in the world and is the world’s most influential global regulator. As Fichtner points out, “A global player like today’s Europe has never existed in this form in the history of the world.” These profound realities about the impact of the EU on the globe have moved one researcher from Columbia University to title her new book The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World.
While the configuration of nations in the end-time “Beast” superpower may differ from what we see today (Revelation 17:12–14), the EU is well on its way to leading the world in regulation, trade, standard of living, and other factors. In the years ahead, it could also lead more powerfully in military and religious matters. To discover more about the profound impact Europe will have on the world, be sure to watch “The Beast of Revelation.”
Quantum Apocalypse: This is a term many have used to refer to a future where the current “super computer arms race will remake the world” (Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2021). Quantum computers have been discussed for years, and many companies and nations are working to make the proposed technology a reality. Many fear that the first nation to master this technology will have a powerful advantage over other nations. As the Post reports, “The implications could be no less than to remake who are the world’s military, economic and technological powers and redefine industries as diverse as communications, health, finance and energy.”
Quantum computers will have the ability to process data at an astonishingly greater rate than the fastest computers today. Problems that would take decades or longer to solve with today’s technology would be solvable in minutes with such super computers. Nations without scruples could crack encryption codes and steal the secrets of their rivals and vast sums of money from foreign banks. This advanced technology could feasibly be used to advance technologies in many other fields at a rate of progress never before seen. Quantum computing holds the promise of being a “game changer” for civilization as we know it.
When God divided the languages of humanity at the ancient city of Babel, He inspired a record of His motivations: “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them” (Genesis 11:6). Language differences have slowed innovation, to be sure, but they are posing less and less of a barrier in a world in which knowledge is now shared readily and globally. Quantum computing shows the potential to unleash the very circumstances the Almighty described as a concern. Are we approaching a time in history when God will once again need to intervene in human affairs to save us from ourselves (Matthew 24:22)? For more insight into this new technology and its potentially ominous future, read “Quantum Supremacy and God’s Creation.”—Scott Winnail, Dempsey Bruton, and Francine Prater