Greetings from Charlotte,
It is remarkable how ancient prophecies indicate that as Israelite nations turn away from God, God will remove the supports of their societies and their impulsive leaders will “cause” them to err even as women rule over them (Isaiah 3:1-4, 12). Today, in more and more nations, we see women reaching for power and leaders in religion and government openly ignoring God’s instructions. Recently, the United Methodist Church (USA) elected its first openly gay bishop and the Republican National Convention asked a Muslim to give the benediction at one of its sessions. We will see more of these anti-biblical actions in the days ahead as our nations move further away from God. Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith has written a co-worker letter that has been mailed to more than 13,000 people. Mr. Weston began his duties as Chief Operating Officer this week in Charlotte and spoke to the office staff on Thursday. Mr. Ciesielka reports that in recent weeks, some of our Internet TV platforms are starting to perform better that our big TV stations. This weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Ames will be in Houston, Texas for services and for a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in San Antonio on Sunday. My wife and I will be in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for services this Sabbath and an Area Leadership Conference on Sunday. Last weekend, 26 visitors attended two TWPs in Canada. Another TWP is scheduled in Edmonton this weekend. Please pray that God will guide these efforts to reach this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.—DSW
Update on Project to Relocate Brethren from Cerro de Pasco, Peru
A short film explaining the need and the plan to move our Cerro de Pasco brethren has been posted to LCG.org/Peru. Please continue to pray for our members in this town at the top of the Andean mountains in Peru, and for our efforts to help them relocate to a safer part of the country. Through this project, we hope to move 43 Church members involving ten families. The city has been declared a disaster area by the Peruvian government because excessive mining and pollution has so devastated the region that people, animals and ecosystems are suffering catastrophic consequences. The situation for our brethren there is very serious. Your prayers and assistance will be helpful for our brethren and the entire project. Please visit www.lcg.org/peru for additional information.—Cerro de Pasco Relocation Team
Feast of Tabernacles
Penticton, British Columbia, Feast Site Closed to Further Transfers
Our Feast of Tabernacles site in Penticton, British Columbia, in Canada, has reached maximum capacity and no more transfer requests can be approved. If you registered to attend the Feast in Penticton and have not yet received a transfer approval, please re-register at another site. Other sites closed to further transfers are Hilton Head, South Carolina; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Lake Conroe, Texas; St. George, Utah; and Carry-le-Rouet, France.
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: The deadline to submit the names of brethren who will be unable to attend the Feast and who wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD is September 12 for recipients in the U.S. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) Please send these names to the Church Administration Department at email@example.com. The names of international recipients should already have been submitted. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access.
Living Youth Program
Must Read: Important reminders for all those attending the Teen Youth Camp in Delaware, Ohio
Anyone planning to stay on campus overnight must have a background check. No one without a background check will be able to spend the night on campus for legal reasons and due to lack of space.
Remember to bring your western wear (boots, hats, etc.) for the first Saturday evening dance at camp.
The final dance will be formal attire—so be sure to bring suitable clothing for this dance.
Only those actually working on the staff should be wearing “staff shirts” while on campus.
All visitors are welcome. Visitors must check in at the office to obtain a Visitor’s Pass. Visitors are asked to check out when leaving. No Visitor’s Pass is needed when dropping off campers and staff before camp or picking them up after camp is over.
All Christian Living Classes, Sabbath Services, Friday night Bible Studies, the Talent Show and some all-star games will be live-streamed. Parents, grandparents and others are welcome to tune in.
For those few arriving early at camp: No one is allowed on campus until after 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening, July 29. You will need to eat before arriving as the Church-wide fast begins at sunset. On Saturday evening, dinner will be served after sunset.
Guests are welcome to attend Sabbath Services at camp on the Sabbaths of August 7 and 14. Space is limited so come early. Overflow seating will be available in the dining hall. After services, coffee and snacks will be served in the dining hall for all guests.
Dinner on both Sabbaths is limited to campers and staff due to the lack of space and food expense.
Campers should bring to camp a sleeping bag and sleeping pad (if extra comfort is desired). Some of the accommodations have bedding, some do not.
Anyone who was on the Adventure Trip may bring their shirt to Ohio Teen Camp. There will be one day when you can wear it—you certainly earned it!
2016 Texas Preteen Camp
Healthy family values and future-generation training provided the framework for 143 campers and staff who assembled at Lone Star Camp in Athens, Texas, July 10–15. Knowing that God wants succeeding generations of young people to experience the positive benefits of His way of life so that they will embrace it and commit to it forever, our objectives were to promote and provide a safe, accepting, secure environment, and to use every activity and teachable moment to learn and practice how we ought to interact with and treat each other God’s way. Every Morning Motivation and afternoon Christian Living class focused on traits of healthy families: the qualities of godly love, encouraging others, including others, apologizing, appreciating and following rules, listening, resolving disagreements properly, serving others, and forgiving others. Campers learned to apply these traits in their dorms, at mealtimes, and in activities like archery, canoeing, dodgeball, fishing, ga-ga (or “touch-touch”) ball, life skills, music and soccer. Evening faculty meetings and breakfast counselor meetings kept the family on track throughout the week. Evening reading time provided additional opportunities to stress important life-lessons while settling the campers down for the night. This year, camper-siblings (ages 13–14), high school and young adult staff were combined for specialized evening training sessions to prepare them for the roles they will take on as they progress through the youth program. Through teambuilding exercises and presentations, the training staff learned the qualities needed to serve, how to work together, and how to effectively assess and meet needs. Camp ended with an evening of family fun—the annual variety show, a mixture of showcased talent as well as numerous and humorous camper and counselor skits. We look forward to building on these experiences at next year’s Texas Preteen Camp!—Bob Rodzaj
Registration for First (Fall) Semester
Registration for Fall semester classes is now underway and classes will begin on August 15. Students may register anytime before the start of classes. However, the earlier you register and order your textbooks, the better! Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected courses. A complete listing of the “Fall 2016 Class Schedule” (Spring in the Southern hemisphere) can be viewed on the Living University Web site. To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit www.livinguniv.com. For additional information, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-708-2294. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester.
THL 344: Christian Women – This course attends to the unique role that a Christian woman was designed to fulfill. It emphasizes qualities relevant to the life and work of the Christian woman in the Church. Selected topics include the lives and examples of outstanding women of the Bible and the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual issues affecting all Christian women. It also addresses practical and biblical methods of dealing with these issues.
THL 412: Epistles of Paul I – This exciting course is the first of two focusing on the Apostle Paul’s life and writings. It provides a detailed study of the first four of his letters to the seven churches (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians) and includes a study of the background, message, purposes and themes of each. Many can be confused by the writings of Paul, but this class will make clear God’s inspired intent. Prerequisite: THL 136 or consent of instructor.
THL 439: Biblical Prophecy III: Daniel and Revelation – This course deals with the Old Testament prophecies that are made more clear by New Testament prophecies. It focuses on the books of Daniel and Revelation and their connection with the Olivet Prophecy and with Ezekiel’s and Zechariah’s prophecies. Emphasis is on the biblical teaching of “last things” or the “end of the age.” Prerequisites: THL 135, THL 136, THL 211 and THL 212, or consent of instructor.
The Value of Truth: America is in the midst of another presidential election. Around the world other nations are also in the process of looking for new leaders. During such times, candidates for leadership positions make all sorts of claims and counter-claims that lead many to question the credibility of the speakers. Sadly, we live in a world where truth is often obscured by “spin” which leads growing numbers of people to doubt and distrust statements made by would-be leaders. This should surprise no one, because this is Satan’s world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he is the “father” of lies (John 8:44). Long ago, God foretold that the time would come when “truth is fallen in the street… everyone will deceive his neighbor… they have taught their tongue to speak lies” (Isaiah 59:14; Jeremiah 9:5). The Bible reveals there will be serious consequences for lying (Jeremiah 9:7, 13-15) and that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire” (Revelation 21:8). The God of the Bible is “a God of truth” who desires truth “in the inward parts” (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 51:6). This is why Christians are commanded to “come out” of this world (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) and follow the ninth commandment (Exodus 20:16). We must also gird ourselves with truth and learn to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 6:14; 4:15) if we want to be in the kingdom of God (Psalm 15:1-2).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 21, 2016
Death of an Empire? Following the “Brexit” vote a few weeks ago, many have speculated about the future and fate of the UK. Many anticipate the United Kingdom may not remain united for long (New York Times, July 12, 2016). Sobering rhetoric about Britain’s future appeared in a recent New York Times article entitled “England’s Last Gasp of Empire” (ibid.). The writer, describing the excitement over the Brexit vote, lamented, “What its partisans, celebrating with flag-waving in the street, tearfully called ‘Independence Day’ will unravel the role that England has played since the 16th century as a great power, along with the City of London’s reign as a financial capital of the world” (ibid.). While the exact future of Britain and the UK is not immediately apparent, Bible prophecy has long foretold that due to the Israelite-descended nations’ turning away from God and His laws, God will “break the pride” of their power (Leviticus 26:19). At the birth of Queen Elizabeth, less than 100 years ago, Britain’s empire covered nearly a quarter of the globe. However, that empire has been contracting ever since, just as God predicted. Although God prophesied Britain’s fall from leadership and power, it is still very sobering to watch. For more insight into the encouraging future of Britain and the Israelite nations following the return of Christ, be sure to read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
More Terror in France: Many are asking, “Why is yet another terror attack striking France?” Europe is under attack “especially in France” where we see “Islamic State and other Islamist groups appear… to be frighteningly effective” (Sky News, July 16, 2016). The recent timeline of terrorist attacks against France is sobering: “234 people have died in French terror attacks in [the] last 18 months—more than in the previous 100 years” (The Sun, July 15, 2015). The Nice attack was the fifth attack on France in the last two years. News organizations, analysts, and citizens are questioning “Why France?” Many say the root is France’s troubled relations with some of their former colonies in Africa. Others blame France and the EU for fighting against Muslims in the Middle East. Some point to a troubled economy and disgruntled people who kill others in their frustration. However, the Bible provides another perspective. Long ago, God warned the Israelite-descended nations, including France (descended from the Israelite tribe of Reuben, Genesis 49:3-4), that if they rebel against His truth, God will “appoint terror over you” and that He will “break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:16, 19). The recent attack in Nice occurred when the French were celebrating Bastille Day, a day of national pride. Yet, there is hope for France and the modern descendants of Israel. The God of the Bible states, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). For more about the future of France, see our article “The End of Liberté?”
Starving Children in Nigeria: According to a recent UN report, “Almost a quarter of a million children in parts of Nigeria’s Borno state formerly controlled by Boko Haram are suffering from severe malnutrition, the UN children’s agency says” (BBC, July 19, 2016). The report continues, “In areas where Boko Haram militants had been in control, it found people without water, food or sanitation. Last month, a charity said people fleeing Boko Haram had starved to death” (ibid.). God warns nations at the end of the age, “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves… The weak you have not strengthened…” (Ezekiel 34:2-4). Although this passage of Scripture refers directly to the leaders of the Israelite-descended nations, this self-serving, power-hungry approach motivated by greed permeates our global society. We see it plainly in many militant groups and dictatorships. An increasing number of leaders and organizations today care more about themselves than about the people they rule over. Romans 8:19-21 reminds us that “the whole creation” cries out for Christ’s return and a time when His hand-picked leaders will rule over the earth with love and mercy—and that time is coming! For more about this incredible coming Kingdom of God, be sure to read The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? This booklet will give you hope from God’s word in a world increasingly filled with despair.—Scott Winnail, Kenneth Frank, Justin Ridgeway and Chris Sookdeo