July 15th, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. and Mrs. Weston are serving along with 240 staff and campers at the Living Youth Camp in Athens, Texas. Our teenagers will be enjoying the challenge of a number of activities, including horseback riding, various sports, and Christian Living classes, while striving to “recapture true values” in their two-week training. Then, three preteen camps will follow, in Texas, Missouri, and West Virginia. Be sure to pray for the success and safety of these enriching programs for our youth. Mr. Peter Nathan visited our brethren in South Africa even while in some locations military force is responding to the current urban violence. Mr. Christo Botha reports: “All our brethren in South Africa and surrounding areas are still safe although problems are foreseen regarding food and fuel supplies within the next few days. Many officials have suggested that a state of disaster be declared.” Mr. Nathan plans to be in Kenya next week. We all need God’s protection in this dangerous world. See Mr. Nathan’s report below. Several have been asking about my wife’s condition after her auto accident four months ago. She has completely recovered from her injuries and is just experiencing the common health challenges of us octogenarians. Thank you all for your prayers and many expressions of love and concern. Be sure to pray for our brethren around the world suffering from various trials. Finally, I hope you all have seen Mr. Weston’s telecast which aired again this past weekend, “Cold War Secrets Revealed!” The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 brought the world unknowingly close to Armageddon. The facts are “chilling.” This program garnered four Telly Awards in various categories! Congratulations to Mr. Weston and the television team!—Richard Ames
Mr. Nathan’s Visit to South Africa
Mr. Peter Nathan is in South Africa, though he has shortened his visit by several days since re-imposed COVID lockdowns mean that congregations cannot now meet in person. He will instead address them through electronic means. The country has also been dealing with civil unrest since the arrest of the previous president. Mr. Nathan reports that, “What started as political protest quickly morphed into opportunistic looting…. The President called in the army on Monday…. A third force does appear to be fomenting the troubles with burning of warehouses, targeting of water and electricity supplies, and cell-phone towers vandalised. Ringleaders have been identified. Many have been calling on the President to declare a state of emergency. To date none of the brethren have been directly affected by the troubles, although food and supplies could easily become a problem if the looting and violence continue…. Many arterial roads are closed and fuel is in short supply, especially in Durban, the largest port and location of the largest oil refinery in the country, which is now shut down. Wednesday, we went visiting brethren and passed many supermarkets in better parts of town with no sign of the troubles experienced in the townships or KwaZulu Natal. Today, Thursday, we are going to check out a Feast site. However, if a state of emergency is declared, the holding of the Feast as planned may require revision.”
Please remember the brethren there in your prayers, as challenges will face them in the midst of such turmoil. Mr. Nathan plans to travel to Kenya next week.
All U.S. Second Tithe Assistance Requests Should Now Have Been Submitted
Attention U.S. Pastors: All Festival Assistance Request forms should be sent to the Church Administration Department right away, as that deadline is today, July 15.—Festival Office
Providing Sermons for Those Unable to Attend the Feast in Person—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: Because some members, for legitimate reasons, are unable to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in person, the Church provides access to Feast sermons by various means. Many Feast sites will offer livestream or telephone connections to those assigned to the site. Though not a substitute for being present at the site, these connections give access to complete, live Feast services, including prayers, hymns, and special music.
Pre-recorded Feast sermons are another option for shut-in brethren who are unable to attend in person. Please survey your congregations now to determine who will need the pre-recorded sermons and what means they have available to watch or listen to them:
- Pre-recorded sermons will be posted online (one per day) during the Feast.
- Also, in early September, shortly before the Feast, private links to access this year’s pre-recorded Festival sermons online, even before they post publicly, will be emailed to the pastors. Please forward that email to the members in your areas who will not be able to attend the Feast in person and can view the sermons online.
- We request that as many as are able would access the Feast sermons online. However, if there are brethren in your areas who are by no means able to take advantage of site telephone or livestream connections, nor view sermons online, and who therefore need to receive physical sermon CDs through the mail, please send us their names and addresses before the following deadlines:
- All international requests for pre-recorded Festival sermons are due tomorrow, July 16, in order for the sermons to arrive before the Feast.
- August 6 is the deadline for recipients in the U.S.
Important: New Website for Member Content—members.lcg.org
We have some exciting news! Over the next several months we plan to make several updates to the Living Church of God website. We want it to be more helpful to non-members who are interested in learning about the Living Church of God. The homepage and content at “lcg.org” will more clearly convey to new people who we are and what we teach.
With this in mind, we have created a separate “Members” website where sermons, Mr. Weston’s Member Update videos, Living Church News articles, etc. will be available. This new member site is members.lcg.org, and it will continue to look and work like the LCG site you have used for the past few years.
It is important to note that if you are looking for the latest sermon or LCG update, you can now find it at members.lcg.org. If you need to search for any of these items, please be sure you use the search box on members.lcg.org, as much of the member content will no longer show up through Google or other search engines.
All of our material will still be available to the public, too, but now it is located at members.lcg.org.
Please pray that the updated lcg.org website will help more people learn the Truth and begin attending services as God calls them.—Mike DeSimone
Are You a Peacemaker? Jesus explained a fundamental aspect of Christianity when He told His disciples, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The Apostle Paul advised Christians in Rome they should do all they can to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17–21). Paul explained we can become peacemakers by not seeking revenge or mistreating others when we have been mistreated and by overcoming evil with good. Solomon stated, “He who covers [overlooks and forgives] a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter [keeps talking about or won’t let go] separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Real peacemakers are willing to go to their brother or sister when problems arise and talk things over in a spirit of meekness (Matthew 18:15), and a brother or sister led by God’s Spirit will be willing to listen to bring peace (James 3:17–18). One important lesson we must learn as Christians is that peace comes when we follow and learn to apply the laws of God—as David wrote, “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Psalm 119:165). How are you doing in this area of your life?
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 15, 2021
A European Power Vacuum? Author Wolfgang Münchau recently wrote for The Spectator, “What we are witnessing is the birth of a new breed of Euroskepticism.… This all amounts to a moment of great danger for the EU.” Münchau spoke of the plummeting respect for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron and the impact on the future of the EU.
In the article, Münchau points out many political blunders made by the German chancellor in the 16 years of her leadership. Hers is a party in turmoil. Münchau asked the poignant but very obvious questions regarding the EU’s future, “If neither Merkel nor Macron can ‘lead’ Europe, then who can? Look at the field of their potential successors in Germany and France. No one else is on the horizon. So the EU’s future depends on weaning itself off the illusion of Franco-German leadership.”
However, according to Bible prophecy, Germany will play a significant role in the future of Europe. While there may be “no one else on the horizon” at this moment, there is or surely will be someone waiting in the wings, unbeknownst to the author. There is also an old saying that “nature abhors a vacuum,” and nations and people are always uncomfortable when there is a leadership vacuum. The Bible warns that at the end of the age a powerful, self-absorbed leader will arise in Europe, most likely in Germany. This person “shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god” (Daniel 11:36). He will help unify “ten kings” in Europe who will “give their power” over to him for a brief time (see Revelation 17), and he will be supported by a prominent religious leader. Students of Bible prophecy need to watch for a strong leader to arise and pull together a core of European nations. For more about Germany’s role in the future of Europe, be sure to read “Resurgent Germany: A Fourth Reich?”
Ethiopia Stealing Egyptian Water? The Nile River, one of the longest rivers in the world, is fed by two major tributaries—the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile, responsible for some 80 percent of the Nile’s water, begins in the mountains of Ethiopia. Yet, for decades, Ethiopia has not had full rights to the water flowing through its own land.
Recently, Ethiopia informed Egypt’s irrigation minister that it is filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for the second year. This dam is critical to Ethiopia’s power generation and economic development. At the same time, it controls (and potentially withholds) water flowing into the Sudan and to a significant portion of Egypt’s 80 million people. “Egypt and Sudan have waged a diplomatic campaign for a legally binding deal over the dam’s operation, but talks have repeatedly stalled” (Reuters, July 6, 2021). Ethiopia claims it is finally taking control of waters in its territory, instead of allowing their use to be determined by nations downstream. The situation is serious enough that the United Nations Security Council is getting involved.
Could Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Egypt end up going to war over this water? Possibly! On the other hand, Bible prophecy indicates we could also see these nations cooperating at the end of the age—possibly even in opposition to a European “beast” power. This is a situation students of Bible prophecy should continue to watch. To learn more about the past and possible future relationship between Egypt and Ethiopia, be sure to read “The Last Pharaoh?”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater