April 21st, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
Carol and I returned from Kansas City, Missouri, where I conducted an in-person Tomorrow’s World Presentation with 58 guests in addition to nine connected online, as well as members. Along the way, we were able to spend time with six ministers and wives in Missouri and Tennessee. Mr. Wallace Smith recorded a new Tomorrow’s World telecast, “The Hope You Need,” advertising What Is the Meaning of Life?, the new title for the booklet Your Ultimate Destiny. Dr. Meredith had, and the rest of us have, felt for a number of years that the title Your Ultimate Destiny did not resonate with our audience, and we finally decided to make the change. The newly titled booklet is otherwise the same so there is no need to request a new copy, but if you do not have one, please let us know, as this is one of the most important resources we offer. Mr. Lawdi Ferreira returned home to South Africa on Monday after a productive visit to Malawi, where we have a new group of 35 (many going back to WCG days), and Zambia, where he held services for 22. Mr. Ferreira also baptized three, and was there to comfort a family who recently lost their 31-year-old daughter.—Gerald Weston
Tomorrow’s World Presents Update
Kansas City, Missouri: We had very good results at last week’s Tomorrow’s World Presentations. Sixty-seven guests (58 in person, 9 online) attended Mr. Weston’s presentation titled “The Signs of Christ’s Return,” along with local brethren attending in person and online. Mr. Bobby Jacques reports: “The information table was constantly full…. We made quite a dent in our booklet stockpile…. Overall it was quite exciting.” Most if not all stayed for the Q & A portion afterward. Follow-ups by Mr. Rand Millich and Mr. Jacques are scheduled for April 21 and April 28.
Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois: No, it’s not a railroad line. It’s a section of the Midwest USA where we experimented with inviting subscribers from multiple cities—St. Louis, Columbia, and Rolla, Missouri, and Springfield, Illinois—to an online TWP. On April 11, 17 guests joined the online presentation given by Mr. Wallace Smith (“The Signs of Christ’s Return”). Three new guests and four repeat guests connected to the online presentation by Dr. Richard Franz on April 15, titled “Where Is the Church Christ Built?” Two more follow-ups are scheduled for April 22 and April 29.
Atlanta, Georgia: Over the last couple of months, Mr. Dan Hall has conducted multiple online follow-up Bible studies after the original online TWP conducted for subscribers in the Atlanta area. Here are the encouraging numbers:
- March 5: “The Signs of Christ’s Return” (Mr. J. McNair): 31 guests
- March 6: “Where Is the Church Christ Built?” (Mr. D. Hall): 22 guests (15 new, 7 repeat)
- March 12: “God’s Purpose for Mankind” (Mr. D. Hall): 13 guests (7 new, 6 repeat)
- March 19: “Are the Ten Commandments Done Away?” (Mr. D. Hall): 16 guests (7 new, 9 repeat)
- April 9: “Sabbath or Sunday: Which Is the Lord’s Day?” (Mr. D. Hall): 9 guests (all repeat)
- April 16: “The Pathway to Hope: God’s Holy Days” (Mr. D. Hall): 14 guests (5 new, 9 repeat)
This weekend: Your prayers are requested for two “hybrid” TWPs (in-person and online) being conducted Saturday, April 24, in Greensboro, North Carolina, (Mr. Richard Ames) and Knoxville, Tennessee, (Mr. Rod McNair).
Second Passover—Repeat Announcement
The Second Passover this year is on Monday, April 26, which means that it will be observed on Sunday evening, April 25, shortly after sunset. This Passover is for those baptized members who were unable to take the first Passover due to unavoidable circumstances, as instructed in Numbers 9:1–14. If you have any questions, please contact your pastor.
We are excited to announce that our Men’s Training Camp program will resume this summer. A Men’s Training Camp in North Carolina is scheduled for the June 11–13 weekend. It will once again take place at the Blowing Rock Conference Center. We will build on the topics we covered last time with a new range of topics this year. To find out more and to register, go to MyLCG for more information. Register right away as space may be limited.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast Website Up and Running!
The 2021 Festival website is now up and operational! All LCG brethren and Feast guests can now access the Feast write-ups at the following website: https://fot2021.lcg.org. If you do not have Internet access and need help getting Feast information, contact your local congregation Festival Advisor. If you do not know who your Festival Advisor is, please contact your local pastor. Feast Registration begins Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA).
FESTIVAL ADVISORS: Please print out and distribute any needed site descriptions and registration forms over the next two Sabbaths to brethren who need them, in preparation for Feast registration. To find the Festival Advisor documents, go to https://cogl.org, log in to your MyLCG account, and click on the “Advisor Access” button in the Feast of Tabernacles 2021 section on the right.
FEAST TRANSFERS: If you plan to transfer this year, PLEASE READ IMPORTANT Travel/Transfer Information on the Festival webpage. Go to https://fot2021.lcg.org and click on “COVID-19 Health, Safety and Transfer/Travel Guidelines.”—Festival Office
The Role of a Watchman: Many churches today feel their mission is simply to tell the world that God loves them and that Jesus came to save sinners, which is an important but very incomplete message. Many churches also focus on having plenty of social activities to serve their members. However, Jesus told His disciples to be alert and watch for events that will mark the approaching end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). The events making news today—natural disasters, rumors of wars, spreading violence, global pandemics, moral corruption, and increasing evidence of the demise of the Israelite nations—are prophesied to appear at the same time we see the rise of a political power in Europe linked to the ancient Roman Empire and the emergence of adversarial powers in Asia and the Arab world. Just as God sent a series of prophets to warn the ancient nations of Israel and Judah that their ungodly ways would bring serious consequences, the Church of God has a similar role to function as a “watchman” to warn modern Israelite nations of the coming consequences of their sinful ways (Isaiah 58:1; Ezekiel 3:17; 33:2–7). Delivering this powerful warning message must also accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14). We need to stay focused on this God-given mission.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—April 22, 2021
Weakening the United Kingdom: The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—which have been bound together for centuries. However, in recent years, voices have been raised in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to break up the UK, become independent, and possibly rejoin the European Union (The Economist, April 17, 2021). Brexit has put pressure on the seams of the UK, increasing the risk of splits in the ancient union. Many Scots, for example, see leaving the UK and returning to Europe as a way to escape the Brexit-related shackles being imposed by the EU.
While any attempt to leave the UK and rejoin Europe could take years, all the talk about dissolving their union only serves to weaken the island nation—which was once the heart of a worldwide British Empire. Today, we are watching the “pride” of once-powerful Great Britain continue to erode (Leviticus 26:19). Boris Johnson was elected as Prime Minister to “get Brexit done” and save the UK. However, in the wake of Brexit, some warn he could actually preside over its breakup into separate nations. The outcome remains to be seen.
Few today realize that many of the British are descended from the Israelite tribe of Ephraim—one of the two sons of Joseph. God promised remarkable blessings to the descendants of Joseph, based on the obedience of Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3; 48:17–20; 49:22–26), but the continuation of those blessings was conditioned on their obedience to God’s laws. Yet, the Bible also contains powerful warnings for all Israelite-descended nations, including Ephraim, that reject God and follow their own ways (see, for example, Deuteronomy 28). The prophet Hosea foretold that—because it has turned away from God—the glory of Ephraim “shall fly away like a bird” (Hosea 9:10–11). Today, we are witnessing people descended from ancient Israel who no longer want to be part of a United Kingdom. The pride of the British is being broken, just as Bible prophecy said it would. For more informative insights into the future of Great Britain, be sure to watch “Sunset for Britain and America.”
Human Eye Still Confounds Science: It was once thought that one or two genes controlled eye color—with brown being genetically dominant. Earlier science, based on a rudimentary understanding of the human genome, resulted in a very simplistic view of the genetics of the eye. Fast-forward several decades to more recent times, and we find that scientists are discovering how wrong they were.
New research from King’s College and Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam has demonstrated that human eye color is influenced by 50 different genes—highlighting the complexity of something as simple as eye color (Kings College London, March 11, 2021)! Researchers carried out the largest study of its kind, testing 195,000 people from across Europe and Asia. Yet, even after identifying 50 distinct eye-color-related genes, scientists still do not fully understand how eye color occurs!
Each scientific advance or breakthrough related to the human body seems to uncover another layer of complexity and detailed design. Nearly two centuries ago when Darwin wrote his famous work On the Origin of Species, many facets of life were thought to be relatively simple, and macroevolution seemed quite feasible. But, as science progresses and the various mechanisms of life are found to be profoundly more complex than once thought, the outdated ideas of macroevolution begin to look more and more foolish. Three thousand years ago, David wrote, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works” (Psalm 139:14). Modern discoveries make an ever more reasonable case, not for evolution, but for a Creator! To learn more about the amazing eye, be sure to read or listen to “The Human Eye: Window of the Mind.”—Scott Winnail and Richard Franz