Greetings from Charlotte,
The Council of Elders met for three days this past week and discussed a number of topics relating to how we can do the Work more effectively and be consistent in administering various doctrines in different cultures around the world. Mr. Jonathan McNair was given a good amount of time to update the Council on the new Living Education program. Regional Director for Canada and China, Mr. Stuart Wachowicz, was ordained an evangelist. The Work in Canada has grown under his energetic leadership and he has brought forth a number of new initiatives that are producing good fruit. His wife was not able to attend, but she was able to watch the ordination electronically. I had a good meeting with Mr. Sheldon Monson to finalize a number of Living Youth Program decisions regarding camps this summer. Please continue to pray for God to protect his eye, which was damaged in a freak accident some weeks ago. It looks positive that he will be able to see once a lens is implanted in June, but he still suffers some discomfort at times.—Gerald Weston
A big thanks to everyone who participated in our Livestream Q&A! Approximately 150 people viewed the program live last Sunday evening, and dozens more have watched the video recording. If you’d like a “behind the scenes” look at the staff and students who are part of our educational program, just go to facebook.com/LCGEducationProgram. In the recording, we answer questions about our program for the upcoming year.
We are still on track to offer our first online class, beginning in August. At this point, we’re planning to offer “Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ” as our first class. Dr. Meredith’s class lectures will be the core of the class, and will be viewable online, or on mobile devices. You can also just listen to the classes through the audio link. To learn more about this class and others we will be offering, just go to lcgeducation.org.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Registration Still Needed for Goa, India
Plans are proceeding for the Feast of Tabernacles in Goa, India. Goa was formally a Portuguese trade colony, and today it is one of India’s most prosperous areas. It is a tropical vacation area for visitors from India as well as for international travelers. This will be our first Feast in India. As a reminder, if you preregistered for Goa earlier this year, you still need to officially register on the regular registration site at fot2018.lcg.org. Or you can go to the LCG website and click on “Feast of Tabernacles.” Several of those who preregistered have not yet officially registered. We will only count you as an attendee if you officially register at the regular registration website. Preregistration does not count as official registration.
We will soon be making our reservations at the Feast hotel, The Citrus, and we need to have our attendees registered soon to get an accurate room count.—Dexter Wakefield, Festival Site Coordinator, Goa
Living Youth Program
North Carolina Preteen Camp: Applications Deadlines Approaching
In about six weeks, the North Carolina Preteen Camp starts the North American summer camp season! If you are thinking about coming, please turn in your applications soon. Staff applications are due by May 20 and camper applications are due by June 4. We look forward to seeing you there!—Mark Sandor
Living Youth Programs Camp Applications from Europeans
Office of Legal Affairs & Risk Management
Due to the impending implementation of the European “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) affecting those living within the “European Economic Area” (EEA), the deadline for camper and staff applications for all applicants living in the following countries is 24 May 2018: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Any applicants residing in these countries are asked to submit their camp application on or before 24 May 2018. This applies to any LYP camp they may want to attend.
To accommodate any European applicants who miss the 24 May 2018 deadline, a new updated GDPR-compliant application will need to be completed. Our office hopes to have those available on, or soon after, that date.
Skills that Promote Teamwork: Members of successful teams (families, congregations, business groups and athletic teams) develop necessary skills to function together smoothly to accomplish goals. These skills can be identified and learned. As Christians, we must develop the same skills—and many are clearly biblical. Effective team players avoid saying or doing things that offend others (Matthew 18:7; 1 Corinthians 10:32). Team players learn to forgive and overlook slights or comments they perceive as hurtful because they have learned the value of not being easily offended (Proverbs 10:12). Effective team players do not sit in judgment of others—accusing, criticizing, spreading their discontent, or saying or assuming negative things about others on the team. Instead, they make sure their own lives are in order (Matthew 7:1-5; James 4:11). Team players are peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) who are able to promote harmony and work smoothly with others (James 3:17-18). They deal with people gently, respectfully and patiently, and are willing to listen without trying to justify their own position (James 1:19). Effective team players appreciate that a team is made up of individuals with different talents and abilities who can make unique contributions to the team (1 Corinthians 12:12). They know the main priority is to work together smoothly to achieve a goal while showing love to one another (Ephesians 4:16). In summary, good team players have learned how to love their neighbors. Let’s all strive to develop these important skills so we can do God’s Work effectively!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 10, 2018
French Push for Ten-Nation Defense Force: French President Emmanuel Macron is the man some are now calling “Europe’s leading figure” (Deutsche Welle, March 16, 2018). From his growing seat of power, he has created a new “10-nation coalition of the willing” to spearhead the European defense initiative (Politico, May 2, 2018). “Frustrated by the big-tent, low-ambition start to the European Union’s so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defense agreed last year at Germany’s insistence, the French leader is pressing ahead with a small core of like-minded nations outside EU and NATO institutional structures.” Germany plans, reluctantly, to participate in the start of this elite group of nations. “Drawing Berlin deeper into defense cooperation remains a French priority. Only Germany has the money to make major next-generation armaments projects feasible, and only the Franco-German engine can drive the EU forward,” however inconsistent it has been of late.
Bible prophecy predicts that a group of “ten kings” will come together in Europe at the end of the age (Revelation 17:12–14). These “kings” will give their power over to an entity the Bible calls “the beast.” Ultimately, this group will attempt to fight Christ at His return (v. 14). Although the current configuration of ten nations embarking on this French-led defense initiative is no doubt not the final group of “kings” mentioned in Revelation 17, it is sobering to see a smaller, more dedicated group of ten within the larger European Union moving forward together when the larger group seems more reluctant, creating a picture that powerfully evokes an image of the end-time scenario.
The EU remains in a state of flux, and its configuration appears to be changing. Students of Bible prophecy should continue watching not only the Middle East, but also Europe, as God—the one who “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21)—continues to bring His ancient plans to pass (Isaiah 46:8–11). To learn more about future prophetic events in Europe, watch our telecast entitled “The Beast of Revelation.”
Will the Dead Live Again? In April, “Yale University announced it had successfully resurrected the brains of more than 100 slaughtered pigs and found that the cells were still healthy. The reanimated brains were kept alive for up to 36 hours and scientists said the process, which should also work in primates, offered a new way to study intact organs in the lab” (Telegraph, May 6, 2018). Although the pig brains were not truly “alive,” some believe this could be the first step toward keeping human brains alive after death—a goal that transhumanists have sought for many years (The Guardian, May 6, 2018).
However, Sean Carroll, a cosmologist and physicist from the California Institute of Technology, has also weighed in on the “life after death” debate. In his scientific view, for life after death to be possible, “consciousness would need to be entirely separated from our physical body”—which he claims is impossible (MSN, May 7, 2018). He concludes this, of course, because scientists have been unable to measure any structure in the human brain that contains the human consciousness.
Yet, the Bible provides unique answers that science has yet to discover, and insights that differ from what most professing Christians believe. A human being is unique because of a special spiritual component that God calls the “spirit in man” (Job 32:8). This spirit, “installed” by God in every human being, is apparently separate from the human brain itself and is the key factor that makes human beings different from animals. For more details about this unique spiritual component, read our fascinating articles “Mystery of the Mind” and “Can We Transcend Our Humanity?”—Scott Winnail, John Meakin, Chris Sookdeo and Francine Prater