Greetings from Charlotte,
This Sunday at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time in the USA, we are to begin airing the Tomorrow’s World telecast over Newsmax network, which has a potential audience of 55 million. While potential and real audiences do not always match, we are hopeful this nationwide network will bear fruit in the long run. We are also scheduled to begin airing the program on KYLE in Waco, Texas on February 4 at 7:30 a.m. Central Time. On Wednesday, we held an online Ministerial Conference for about 265 ministers and wives, with 240 tuning in on the Internet. Mr. Jonathan McNair gave a presentation during the conference, and also during an office meeting, explaining the new education program we are developing. Also this week, I recorded a telecast on “What Is a True Christian?,” and we approved holding our first official Feast of Tabernacles in Goa, India for this year. Last weekend, Mr. Rod McNair gave Tomorrow’s World Presentations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota that drew 23 guests and 89 members. Mr. Rick Stafford conducted a TWP in San Fernando, Trinidad that drew 29 guests and 120 members. Follow-up presentations will be given in Duluth, Eau Claire and in San Fernando. This weekend, I will be giving TWPs in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida. Your prayers for these and other efforts to preach the Gospel are much appreciated.—Gerald Weston
Tomorrow’s World Invitational Bible Study in Trinidad
The Trinidad congregation hosted a special invitational Bible Study in San Fernando, located at the southern part of the island. In addition to the 29 guests, 120 members—over 75 percent of the congregation—came to show their support! Only 11 empty seats remained in the beautiful Academy for the Performing Arts Auditorium. Mr. Rick Stafford, Caribbean Regional Director, gave a powerful and moving address with the title: “Prophecy and What Is Ahead for Trinidad?” It wasn’t difficult to sense how the warm support of so many members energized his message in a special way. A number of thoughtful questions were asked at the conclusion of the presentation.
Area Pastor Paul Shumway is scheduled to give a follow-up Bible Study this Sabbath, titled, “How You Can Escape!” God has blessed Trinidad with steady growth over the past several years and we look forward to seeing His blessing on this special presentation! Thank you for your prayers!
Passover 2018—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2018, the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, March 29. 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). The Passover Service recording in English is the one made by Mr. Peter Nathan in 2017. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before next Monday, January 29 for international congregations, and by February 20 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. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. International requests should be received before Monday, January 29 and U.S. requests before February 20.
Guidelines on Reading The World Ahead Items During Announcements at Services—Repeat Announcement
(Pastors: Please make sure all men reading announcements are aware of this.)
Beginning with last week’s World Ahead update, we have made a slight change in designation for those reading these announcements to congregations. A “Must Read” should be read out loud or printed in a bulletin given to all members. If it is in a local bulletin, a verbal reference to encourage members to take special note of it should be given during announcements. A “Must Read if Applicable” means that it should be read if there is anyone in the congregation that it might apply to. You can usually discern this by asking the members if such a topic is of any interest. Some festival, youth activities, singles activities and special weekends simply do not apply everywhere. This change is intended to keep announcements to a minimum and avoid lengthy announcements where they do not apply to anyone in a congregation.
Living Education—Must Read—Repeat Announcement
As we begin the new calendar year, consider the challenge of a “Read the Bible in a Year” project. Many of the popular online Bible sites like Blueletter Bible, Bible Study Tools, or Gateway Bible provide an easy way to create a reading schedule. They often allow a user to select multiple approaches to reading the Bible in the year. You can select the “Genesis to Revelation Plan” and read through day by day as our Bibles are typically formatted today. Another option that is often included is the “Old Testament/New Testament Plan,” which includes a reading from both the Old Testament and the New Testament each day, again, completing the whole Bible in one year. Most of these sites offer a “historical” or “chronological” approach, reading portions of the Bible according to when they occurred. All of them allow the user to print out a paper version of the program if they desire. The point is, reading the Bible is important. If we just open the Bible each day to wherever the pages happen to fall, we won’t truly be students of the whole Bible. We’re exhorted by Paul to study God’s word in order to “rightly divide the word of truth.” The literature, telecasts and classes offered to members of the Church are most effective if paired with a daily reading of the word of God. Read the Bible this year—you’ll be glad you did!—Jonathan McNair
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend March 30–April 1—Repeat Announcement
The Anderson congregation invites you to join us for our ninth Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, March 30 to Sunday, April 1. The weekend promises to be filled with inspiring spiritual messages, uplifting fellowship, and fun activities. Come celebrate the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread this year with us in Greenville.
Planned events include: a Friday afternoon scavenger hunt in downtown Greenville, the Night To Be Much Observed on Friday night, a Bible Study and Holy Day services on the First Day of Unleavened Bread, a Spring Soiree Banquet and Ball on Saturday night, and a picnic and recreational activities, including a 5K road race and softball games, on Sunday. The Night to Be Much Observed, Holy Day services, and the banquet and ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville in downtown Greenville. Baptized members who wish to arrive early are welcome to join us for the Passover service on Thursday evening.
We have secured a room rate of $119 (plus tax) per night for guests staying at the Hyatt. This guaranteed rate expires March 9. Further details about the event, prices of meals, and registration instructions are located on our website lcganderson.org (not an official LCG website). Or, you may contact Manuel Burdette at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at email@example.com for further information.
We look forward to seeing you in Greenville for an inspiring Holy Day weekend!
Some 2017 Highlights
God blessed our Internet reach and projects in many ways last year, and we anticipate 2018 being even busier and making a greater impact around the world.
• We have been letting the TWNow program grow mostly “organically” and it now has more than 110,000 views with more than 3,500 likes, more than 2,400 shares and more than 650 comments on YouTube, plus many more views on Facebook. Very few of these views are from advertising.
• Tomorrow’s World Viewpoint is advertised more so that it can reach more of a new audience, and it now has more than 280,000 views, with more than 2,100 likes, more than 1,200 shares and more than 485 comments on YouTube.
• We are excited to be in the preliminary planning stages to test doing a TWNow-type live program in French and in Spanish this coming year, so your prayers for that would be much appreciated!
• Some of our many other efforts include a robust Twitter page with more than 57,000 followers, a growing News & Prophecy e-zine subscriber list of more than 20,100, and Amazon, AppleTV and Google TV “Internet TV” channels. We are also very encouraged by the quality of our growing Roku audience of more than 75,000 subscribers.
We have a lot more work to do, but we are very thankful for the growth that we had in 2017, and we have shared with you just a brief summary of some of the highlights of our Internet and social media efforts. Thank you very much for your support for these and all our efforts to fulfill Christ’s commission, and for your prayers that God will continue to bless all of our efforts to preach the Gospel around the world, in many ways, in multiple languages, and over various platforms and media.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Tabernacles International Sites
We are pleased to announce the international Feast sites that have been confirmed for 2018 and that will be open to international transfers. Some venues have not been finalized yet, so the country is listed but not the town. New information added since the last listing is in bold font.
Other international sites will be announced later as they are confirmed. Stay tuned to The World Ahead for more information about the Feast of Tabernacles 2018!
International Feast sites in 2018:
Australia: Ballina, New South Wales (Dayrell Tanner, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Australia: Victor Harbor, South Australia (Ryan Nicholson, email@example.com)
Barbados: Pebbles Beach, (Paul Shumway, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Canada: Kimberley, British Columbia (Barry Walker, email@example.com)
Canada: Liverpool, Nova Scotia (Frank Best, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Canada: Haliburton, Ontario (Shane Kruse, email@example.com)
Canada: Sorel, Quebec (Yvon Brochu, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Costa Rica, Punta Leona
France: Carry-le-Rouet (Rees Ellis, email@example.com)
Jamaica: Montego Bay
New Zealand: Hanmer Springs (Paul Kearns, firstname.lastname@example.org)
South Africa: Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal (Lawdi Ferreira, email@example.com)
South Africa: Stillbaai, Western Cape (Christo Botha, firstname.lastname@example.org)
United Kingdom: Harrogate, England (Simon Roberts, email@example.com)
Kauai, Hawaii Feast Pre-Registration—Must Read if Applicable—Repeat Announcement
Once again we will be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles on the beautiful island of Kauai. The tropical rain forest that covers much of Kauai has earned it the name the “garden island.” In addition to its striking beauty, Kauai offers a wide variety of activities. This tropical paradise is truly a magnificent setting to keep God’s Feast.
This year we are really excited to be meeting in a beautiful, newly constructed conference center at the Koloa Landing Resort. This 4-star resort is located on the sunny part of the island in the Poipu area, where many brethren have enjoyed staying due to its world class beaches.
Since Kauai is a transfer-only site, we need brethren to pre-register for planning purposes. Pre-registration will open on Sunday, January 21, at 9:00 a.m. EST. To pre-register, click on Pre-Registration for Kauai, Hawaii for more specific information and to complete the pre-registration process. You can also find this link on your MyLCG page. Those who pre-register on January 21 or soon after will be given first consideration for transfer approval. We look forward to seeing many of you there!—Brandon Fall
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, February 2, will cover Matthew 6:14 through chapter seven. The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. To join the study, go to www.livingyouth.org. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Matthew 5:17 through 6:13, can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Living Church of God Youth Camps 2018
Camps in United States and Europe: Camp Directors, Locations and Dates
United States Camps 2018:
• Teen Camp – Texas – Sheldon Monson
Location: Camp Lone Star – Athens, Texas
Dates: Sunday, July 8 – Sunday, August 22
• Adventure Camp – Colorado – Sheldon Monson
Dates: Tuesday, July 31 – Thursday, August 9
Location: To be determined.
• Preteen Camp – Texas – Jason Fritts
Location: Camp Lone Star – Athens, Texas
Dates: Sunday, July 22 – Friday, July 27
• Preteen Camp – Missouri – Gene Hilgenberg
Location: Knob Noster State Park, Knob Noster, Missouri
Dates: Sunday, July 1 – Friday July 6
• Preteen Camp – North Carolina – Mark Sandor
Location: Singletary Lake State Park, Kelly, North Carolina
Dates: Sunday, June 24 – Friday, June 29
International Camps 2018:
• Europe – John Meakin (Assisted by Rees Ellis)
Location: Domaine de Chevetogne, Belgium
Dates: Friday, August 3 – Sunday, August 12
• South Africa – Lawdi Ferrera
Location: To be determined
Dates: Thursday, December 20 – Saturday, December 29 (tentative)
• Latin America – Cristian Orrego
Location: To be determined
Dates: To be determined
• New Zealand – Rob Tyler (Assisted by Tony Leman)
Location: To be determined
Dates: To be determined
Important Note: Registration for all U.S. camps and for the summer camp in Europe will begin on the second Sunday in February: February 11. You will not be able to register till then. Be sure to submit a photo of yourself with your application, as that is required.
European Teen Summer Camp
Attention all Teens! Applications are being accepted for this year’s summer camp to be held once more at Chevetogne, in the beautiful Ardennes region of Belgium. We want to especially encourage non-Europeans also to apply this year: come with a friend for a memorable educational experience. In addition to camp, see the site of the famed Battle of Waterloo and the headquarters of the EU in Brussels.
The camp arrival date is Friday, August 3, and departure will be Sunday, August 12. The focal point of camp will be two adjacent chalet-style housing units in a woodland setting, with comfortable bunkbeds, shower facilities, and where all meals and indoor activities will take place. Once again an exciting range of outside activities are in preparation, including water skiing and a challenging “aerial adventure.” The application/tuition fee per camper (ages 12-19) is £135/€170. Staff volunteers, especially those with prior experience of summer camp are welcome to apply.
Application forms are available from the U.K. Office (Jamie Meakin: phone 01536 520042, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), or your pastor, or from Mr. Rees Ellis in Europe. Please send any questions to Mr. John Meakin, Camp Director (home 01460 54240, mobile 07795 814623, e-mail email@example.com) or Mr. Rees Ellis, Assistant Camp Director (mobile +32 475 276821, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
Come and enjoy an action-packed week of challenge, fun and fellowship in a safe, supervised environment, where you’ll make new friends, renew acquaintances, and expand your knowledge of God and His amazing creation. Any side trips will be taken before or after camp, as appropriate.
Perspectives on Pride: Today, many groups are busy promoting “pride” in their particular group or issue. Yet, many “Christians” seem to be unaware of what God actually reveals in His word about pride and its more desirable alternative—humility. Bible prophecies reveal that in the last days people will be proud, boastful, haughty and headstrong (2 Timothy 3:1-5)—which we are seeing today. The Bible also states that “pride goes before… a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), and that humility is a prerequisite for honor in God’s sight (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23). God says that He looks on the humble (Isaiah 66:2), that He dwells with the humble (Isaiah 57:15), and that He gives grace (unmerited pardon) to the humble (Proverbs 3:34). Jesus clearly stated, “Blessed” are the humble (Matthew 5:5). Peter urged Christians to “be clothed with humility” (1 Peter 5:5). The Scriptures reveal that God used Moses because he was humble (Numbers 12:3), and Jesus was exalted because He humbled Himself by dying on “the cross” for our sins (Philippians 2:8-9). While many today are vigorously proclaiming “pride” in their causes, the Bible reveals what God is actually looking for in each of us—“to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 25, 2018
Conflict over Jerusalem: As U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Israel this week, international reaction continues to push for Arab involvement in Jerusalem. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was in Brussels this week encouraging the EU to recognize Palestine as a full-fledged state (Times of Israel, January 22, 2018). At an earlier visit with Jordanian King Abdullah in Amman, Mr. Pence was informed that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state (Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2018). Among King Abdullah’s most sobering comments on this visit was his view of the overall importance of Jerusalem to the world: “For us, Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians, as it is to Jews. It is key to peace in the region.” The king also emphasized the importance of a two-state solution.
The Bible predicted that Jerusalem would be a “cup of drunkenness” and a “very heavy stone” for the nations surrounding it (Zechariah 12:2-3)—and it has been for millennia. It has been a source of war and a symbol of peace. Even today, many modern nations and governments desire to control it, including the Palestinians and the Vatican. End-time prophecies describe a time just prior to its desolation, when Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:20). A charismatic world leader will defile the “holy place” (Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15-16) and kill God’s two witnesses in Jerusalem at the end of their 3½-year prophetic ministry (Revelation 11:3-9).
The Bible also reveals that Jerusalem is a key to peace in the region and the world! Ultimately, the returning Messiah, Jesus Christ, will descend on Jerusalem and make it the new world capital. From there He will reign as King of kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14), and from there the law will go forth to all the earth (Micah 4:2). Watch for the world’s attention to focus increasingly on Jerusalem, and watch for the Europeans and the Vatican to become more deeply involved in Jerusalem’s future—and watch for the Jews to reinstitute sacrifices on the Temple Mount. For more details about coming events in this dynamic part of the world, read “The Future of Jerusalem.”
State of Emergency in Jamaica: Last week, Jamaica’s Prime Minister proclaimed a state of emergency due to extreme violence related to the lottery in the northwest corner of the island nation. According to reports published in the Jamaica Gleaner on January 19 and January 21, there were over 330 murders in St. James Parish last year, and this year has been bloody so far, as well. Parish residents welcomed the state of emergency and military and police presence. One elderly resident observed, “This is the best thing that could happen to Montego Bay at this time. It is like a belated Christmas gift.” Authorities confiscated weapons and arrested some wanted criminals. The last state of emergency for St. James Parish was declared in 2010. Governments in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. have issued travel advisories to their citizens traveling to St. James Parish (Deutsche Welle, January 20, 2018).
Jamaica is a beautiful island nation in the Caribbean, filled with kind and welcoming people. It has had a history of Bible-based morality, and many areas of the island are still peaceful and safe. However, in recent decades divided families and other societal failures have left younger generations of Jamaicans feeling hopeless and desperate. The current state of emergency in St. James Parish will no doubt quell the unrest for a time, but it will not fix the problem for good.
The real solution to the problem will come when Jesus Christ returns and begins to change hearts and minds—not only in Jamaica, but around the globe. Peaceful societies require swift justice based on righteousness and mercy (Isaiah 16:5; 55:6-7; Proverbs 21:7). They require that people live by every one of the Ten Commandments, and they require a biblical family structure, where children are taught right and wrong throughout their lives (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). The time is coming when violence will no longer exist in the land (Isaiah 60:18)—and peace will begin in God-fearing families. To learn how to bring peace to your own life, read or listen to Successful Parenting: God’s Way.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater