July 22nd, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
Everyone should now be home from the Texas Teen Camp that we shut down because of COVID—most likely the Delta variant that is sweeping across the world at this time. Both Carol and I, as well as others who were at the Texas camp, have come down with it. I took Carol to the emergency room per doctor’s orders, but she was not put in a room and was sent home after a long day sitting up.
It is truly remarkable how so many threads are coming together to present a picture leading to the end time and affecting some of our brethren here in the U.S., South Africa, and elsewhere. Leviticus 26 points out that when we come to despise God’s commandments, terror (terrorism) would follow. And following that would be wasting disease. This scourge of COVID has not gone away. And then it says in Leviticus that we will sow our seed in vain, for our enemies shall eat it. Mr. Gene Hilgenberg reported that there are shortages of food supplies, as he was having trouble getting some basic products for the camp. We see the western United States and Canada experiencing extreme drought conditions and high temperatures never before seen. Serious floods have ravaged parts of Europe and China. South Africa, countries in the Middle East, and parts of Asia are facing internal turmoil. See below for news about the situation in Haiti. We are now in a cyberwar with many bad actors disrupting basic services, such as water treatment plants. The big picture shows that this world is entering a time of trouble. Now is no time to fall asleep. While we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we need to realize that very difficult times are ahead.—Gerald Weston
Turmoil in Haiti
Please remember the brethren in Haiti in your prayers, for God’s protection and provision for them in the midst of turmoil in the nation. Haiti has been suffering months of political instability and civil unrest. The president was recently assassinated, which aggravated matters and increased lawlessness in the streets, including kidnappings and armed gangs. A new prime minister was installed this week, but the unrest has not abated. Fuel shortages are being reported. Our brethren have not been able to meet for services. Please pray they are able to resume as soon as possible, as well as plan for the Feast of Tabernacles.
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.
- English-language Feast sermons will be posted at https://members.lcg.org
- French-language Feast sermons will be posted at www.eglisedieuvivant.org
- Spanish-language Feast sermons will be posted at youtube.com/IDVsermones
2. 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.
3. 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 should already have been submitted.
- August 6 is the deadline for recipients in the U.S.
Important: New Website for Member Content—members.lcg.org—Repeat Announcement
We have some exciting news! Over the next few 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 website 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 these updates to the site will help more people learn the Truth and begin attending services as God calls them.—Mike DeSimone
Feast of Tabernacles
Virtual Worldwide Children’s Feast Choir
We are happy to announce that we plan to have a Virtual Worldwide Children’s Choir again this year at the Feast of Tabernacles. This choir is available to English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking children.
Parents, if you have children ages 3 to 13 years old and would like them to participate in a Virtual Worldwide Children’s Choir to be played at the Feast, please contact Mr. Marco Manzo III at [email protected]. Mr. Manzo is one of our dedicated volunteers who will be putting together this project. Contact him for more information and instructions on how to proceed.
Trials and Trust: Tests and trials are a major part of life. Our challenge as Christians is how we respond. Will we trust in God and follow His instructions—or will we give in to our emotions and respond in kind, or compromise and quit? To come through tests and trials, we need to remember that God says, “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28) and that He “will make the way of escape” if we trust and obey His instructions (1 Corinthians 10:13). Those instructions include “do good” and trust God (Psalm 37:3, 40), forgive (Matthew 6:14–15), don’t return “evil for evil” (Romans 12:17), be patient and not easily provoked (1 Corinthians 13:4–5), endure and don’t compromise and quit (Joshua 1:6–9; Matthew 24:13), learn from the experience and grow (James 1:2–4; 2 Peter 3:18). We need to remember that God is watching to see if we will trust Him and obey (1 Corinthians 3:13–14). We also need to remember that God is looking to see where He can “show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). So, when tests and trials come, and they will, trust God, obey Him, and keep your eyes on this big picture.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 22, 2021
The Pope, Environment, and Sunday Law: For years, the Vatican has promoted the pope’s Laudato Si’ message. This plan, “designed to encourage strategic actors to commit to achieving total sustainability with Pope Francis’s environmental advocacy as a guide,” kicked into gear this year (CruxNow, May 25, 2021). “Pope Francis said humanity has a duty to future generations to overcome selfishness, indifference, and ‘irresponsible’ habits, asking faithful to respect creation and ‘inaugurate a lifestyle and a society that is finally eco-sustainable.’” According to a Vatican official, the plan is designed to be seven years long because of the biblical significance of the number seven. Year one is a planning year, followed by five years of environmental action. The final, seventh year “will be a ‘sabbatical’ year dedicated to ‘praise and thanking God.’”
The idea is to begin with Catholic churches and organizations and then bring in other churches and organizations, ultimately involving the whole world. Integral to the plan is a mandatory weekly day of rest. “The Pope’s encyclical calls for Sunday to be implemented as a weekly day of rest to save the environment” (OpenPr.com, December 11, 2020).
Bible prophecy foretells the rise of an end-time “beast power” in central Europe. This “beast” will be a powerful political/military/economic leader who will work in concert with a powerful religious leader (see Revelation 13). Ultimately, the religious leader will cause “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (vv. 16–17). Could mandatory Sunday worship be part of this mysterious “mark” of the beast, and could Francis’ Laudato Si’ help bring this about? For more insight, watch our telecast “The Mark of the Beast Is Here.”
Australia’s Mice Plague Continues: Australia has endured fires, drought, cattle loss, and much more. Its ongoing plague of mice now threatens crops. The New South Wales’ primary crop association predicts the mice could “wipe more than 1 billion Australian dollars ($775 million) from the value of the winter crop” (AP, May 28, 2021). Mice seem to be everywhere. Streets and sidewalks are littered with the bodies of poisoned mice, and their stench and the smell of mouse urine permeates the air. Poorly sealed homes allow mice inside, and homeowners are bitten in their sleep. One farmer, expecting to kill a couple hundred mice with a water trap, drowned 7,500 in one night. Mouse excrement in family cisterns and water tanks is making people sick.
The state government ordered the banned poison Bromadiolone from India in a desperate move to reduce the ever-growing mouse population. But the government is slow to use the poison for fear of killing local wildlife which might eat the poisoned mice.
Mice have also overrun a prison in New South Wales, forcing administrators to temporarily close and move its 400+ prisoners and 200 guards to other facilities. Mice ate through prison wiring and ceiling tiles making the building unsafe (BBC, June 22, 2021).
Australia’s plague is reminiscent of the biblical plague of frogs that struck ancient Egypt (Exodus 8:1–15). Because they have rejected Him, God warns of “extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues” that will impact the nations that have descended from ancient Israel (Deuteronomy 28:58–59). It could also be a foretaste of end-time plagues that Bible prophecies indicate will come on the earth (see Revelation 6). To find out more about prophesied end-time plagues, be sure to read or listen to our free booklet Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater