Greetings from Charlotte,
While floods, fires, riots and campaign rhetoric dominate the news in the USA, earthquakes rocked central Italy and shook sites along the Pacific Rim of Asia, and significant geopolitical events continue to reshape Europe, the Middle East and Asia (see News and Prophecy). Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith conducted a phone meeting with members of the Council of Elders and visited with our on-campus Living University students at a Faculty Reception. He will give the sermon in Charlotte this Sabbath. Mr. Glen Harrison reports that all of our brethren in the flood-ravaged areas of Louisiana are safe, although a number sustained damage to homes and property. Mr. Rob Tyler and Mr. Rajan Moses are currently visiting members in Indonesia. This coming weekend, Mr. Wallace Smith and Mr. Anthony Stroud will make Tomorrow’s World Presentations in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama and Mr. Stuart Wachowicz will conduct a TWP in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. Also this weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Weston will spend the Sabbath with brethren from several states at a camp-out in Cherokee, North Carolina and I will be in Pennsylvania for a Men’s Training Camp. Please pray that God will continue to guide His Work and watch over His people.—DSW
News and Prophecy Subscription—Repeat Announcement
In order to subscribe to the weekly TW News and Prophecy e-zine, go to thebottom of the Tomorrow’s World Web site and under the column heading “Publications,” select “E-mail Subscriptions.” That will open a screen where you can enter your name and e-mail address and select “TW News & Prophecy.” A color version of the News and Prophecy items will then be sent to your e-mail address each week.
Feast of Tabernacles
Local Church Services on the Day of Atonement and the Sabbath Before the Feast—Repeat Announcement
Pastors: If you have not yet sent in the plans in your areas for Services on the Day of Atonement (October 12) and the Sabbath immediately preceding the Feast (October 15), please do so right away so that the information can be compiled for posting on the Web site. That is a help to brethren planning their travels to the Feast. Thank you to those who have already responded.
Activity Registration and Payment Now Open!—Repeat Announcement
All LCG members and guests attending the Feast of Tabernacles are now able to register for activities at their respective Feast sites. Payments for activities are also enabled. Activity registration and payment can be made via your MyLCG account through the Festival Web site. To access it, go to www.lcg.org and click on the link “Feast of Tabernacles.”
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: September 12 is the deadline to submit the names of brethren (in the U.S.) who will be unable to attend the Feast and who wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) Please send these names to the Church Administration Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access.
Value of Hope: In our world today, where confusion, deceit, strife and brutality are widespread, many people have real concerns about the future. Yet, having hope in the future—something to look forward to—is a vital aspect of life. Many realize that life without hope is empty and depressing. The Scriptures state, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). But what is the real hope for the future?King David wrote, “You are my hope, O Lord GOD” and “I hope in your word” (Psalm 71:5; 119:147). The Apostle Paul said under cross-examination before a Roman governor, “I have hope in God” and “[believe] all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” including the promise of a resurrection and eternal life (Acts 24:14-15; Titus 1:2; 2:13). Jesus said He will return and establish His kingdom of peace on earth and reign forever with the saints (Revelation 5:10; 11:15-18). The Apostle Peter and the early Christians placed their hope in these “exceedingly great and precious promises” about the future (2 Peter 1:1-4). As Christians, we are urged to “lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18) and to purify ourselves so we can become “children of God” (1 John 3:1-3). We need to be motivated by this same hope today!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 25, 2016
Russia, China, and Japan Develop Closer Relations: “Chinese and Russian forces conducted a first-ever joint amphibious exercise landing 400 marines on Russia’s Pacific Coast… The exercise marks not only the first time People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy have drilled together in an amphibious exercise but also the first time China has landed troops on foreign territory” (USNI News, August 26, 2015). Another report states, “Russia and China staged a bold new series of military manoeuvres last month… running a five-day computer simulation of a joint response to a ballistic missile attack… the exercise… was highly significant because it indicated ‘a new level of trust’ between the two former adversaries… the ability to share information in such a sensitive area as missile launch warning systems and ballistic missile defenceindicates something beyond simple co-operation” (Financial Times, June 24, 2016). Russia is also rebuilding its war-torn relationship with Japan. They “have been in talks to fully mend bilateral relations and sign a peace treaty for decades… The next round of consultations on signing a peace treaty… will be held in Moscow on August 26” (TASS Russian News Agency, August 18, 2016). End-time Bible prophecies describe a huge army from the East crossing the Euphrates and invading the region surrounding Jerusalem (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:13-18). The new agreements between Russia, China, and other Asian nations could lead to the fulfillment of these end-time prophecies. For more information, read our booklet Armageddon and Beyond.
Arming the Beast: In the wake of the Brexit, EU leaders are again calling for a European Army. According to the Czech Prime Minister, “The European Union will need a common army to bolster its security over the long term after the U.K. follows through on its decision to exit the bloc” (Bloomberg, August 22, 2016). Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke observed “My opinion [is that] Brexit was supported by Mr. Juncker and leadership of the EU because Great Britain was an obstacle to greater unification of the EU and to the European army” (Sputnik News, August 22, 2016). Many believed Britain would use its veto power if the formation of a European army was formally proposed (ibid.). A European army is viewed as desirable because many believe, “as far as security is concerned, a united Europe is better” (Euronews, August 23, 2016). Ironically, even as France works with Germany toward more unity within the EU, analysts predict that France is likely to be the next nation to leave the EU (Euronews, August 23, 2016). Bible prophecies warn that a powerful “beast” power will emerge in Europe at the end of the age (Daniel 2:42-44; 7:7). Prophecies indicate this “beast” will be headed by Germany (Isaiah 10:5-11), and this will have serious consequences for modern Israelite nations (Deuteronomy 28:36-50). The geopolitical shifts we are watching in Europe could pave the way for the end-time European beast. For more information on this vital topic, be sure to read The Beast of Revelation.
Temple Mount Flares Up Again: “The chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday hit back at Jordan’s allegations of Israeli misconduct at the Temple Mount, saying Jerusalem will not allow the holy site to become exclusive to Muslims like the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina” (Times of Israel, August 15, 2016). “Earlier Monday, King Abdullah II said his country would continue to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from what he called ‘repeated stormings’ by ‘extremist’ Jews, and by opposing attempts ‘to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque temporally or spatially.’ Hours later, a Jordanian minister denounced the ‘vicious’ visits to the site by some 200 Jews on Sunday, who were commemorating the Tisha B’Av day of mourning for the destruction of the two Temples at the compound” (ibid.). Bible prophecy reveals that at the time of the end Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” during the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:20, 24, 28). The prophet Isaiah tells us that the king of Assyria (modern Germany) will “pass through Judah” and “fill the breadth of [God’s] land”—Jerusalem (Isaiah 8:7-8). The Vatican has also desired a greater presence in Jerusalem. The strife on the Temple Mount could bring both the Vatican and a European beast power into Jerusalem under the guise of preserving the peace. For more insights into this important topic, be sure to read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, Chris Sookdeo and Francine Prater