March 24th, 2022
Greetings from Charlotte,
The Tomorrow’s World Presentations last weekend brought more than 165 guests, along with members, to the initial presentations in Charlotte, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Arcadia and San Louis Obispo in California. Follow-up presentations reached other first-time and repeat guests. We had an encouraging report on the Work in the French language, which you can hear more about in my weekly video update. We returned from Little Rock, Arkansas, last evening and when I came to the office this morning, I noticed that the television crew had completed setting up a studio in a small room off my office to record videos to reach a wider audience. On our return from Little Rock, I was struck by the large volume of semi-trucks on the road. It would not take long to bring the country to a standstill if there were a stoppage of this traffic for any reason. Passover is now less than three weeks away! Be sure to prepare for this important time—physically, but most importantly, spiritually. This is indeed a time for self-examination.—Gerald Weston
Baby-sitting for Passover
It is best if baptized members who need baby-sitters for Passover organize their own baby-sitting privately. If the Church is involved in organizing baby-sitting, it involves the Church taking “care, custody, and control” of the minors, and that involves very specific guidelines that must be adhered to. We will shortly be sending a memo to all ministers providing a more detailed account of those guidelines.
Deadline for Ministerial Feast Survey Is Tomorrow, Friday, March 25
All ministers should have received an email from Headquarters with the link to the Ministerial Feast Survey. Please be sure to fill out this form, even if you plan to attend your assigned site. The deadline to send this in is tomorrow, Friday, March 25. If you did not receive the email, contact Tyler Wayne at [email protected] right away.
Upcoming Ministerial Meetings
As announced in the recent Ministerial Bulletin, we will be having a number of in-person ministerial meetings for the United States ministry during the summer months. More information on who is assigned to which conference will be forthcoming. Meetings being planned are:
- May 2–4: Council of Elders Meetings (in-person, in Charlotte, North Carolina)
- Ministerial Conferences (including all pastors, elders, and wives)
May 15–17: Great Lakes area (South Bend, Indiana)
June 26–28: Mountain West area (Ogden, Utah)
August 7–9: Midwest area (Little Rock, AR)
August 28–30: Eastern Seaboard (Charlotte, NC)
Tomorrow’s World Presentations in Australia Planned
Last week we posted an announcement about six upcoming TWPs in Canada in April and May. This week we have more good news! The Australian office is planning a Tomorrow’s World Presentation for April 30 in Devonport, Tasmania, entitled “The Four Horsemen and Australia’s Future.” This will be the first TWP in Australia since February 23, 2020. Several were planned in 2021 but had to be canceled because of COVID restrictions. Other TWPs along the east coast of Australia are also in the preliminary planning stages. We are certainly grateful for the doors God is opening for TWPs in Australia in 2022!
If you or someone you know is interested in building a foundation for a good life and is between the ages of 18 and 30, LivingEd–Charlotte is the place to be! We are accepting applications for our 2022–23 school year and will begin issuing early acceptance letters shortly. If you would like to know more, just go to www.lcgeducation.org and click on “Charlotte.”—Jonathan McNair
Men’s Training Camp – Texas
We have just completed the first Men’s Leadership Training Camp in Texas. It was blessed in every way, including nearly perfect weather in the high 60s and low 70s with no rain. Camp Cho-Yeh provided us with six dormitory cabins for the 88 men. Meals were provided by the Camp’s professional cooking staff, which enabled us to focus on our fellowship and planned activities. Men came from Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, North Carolina, Iowa, and Texas. For most it was their first “Christian Men’s Boot Camp.” Many exclaimed that the synergistic energy of godly men gathering together to learn to be better mentors, fathers, husbands, and pillars in the Church was inspiring far beyond their expectations. The sessions (many of which were interactive) ranged from preparing for and recovering from trauma to becoming better examples as providers, protectors, and leaders in our marriages, families, congregations, and society. And when it came to singing hymns, we nearly raised the roof of the meeting hall! It was powerful and exhilarating! The feedback from the fellows has been very encouraging to all who put so much effort into making this blessed opportunity to come out of the world and shine as men of God—a band of Christian brothers!—Rick Stafford
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Camps—Repeat Announcement
Registration is continuing for Living Youth teen and preteen Camps. We will begin sending out acceptance letters shortly, so if you want to attend but have not yet registered, now is the time to do so. Visit https://camp.livingyouth.org for more information on this year’s camps and to register.
Real Philadelphia Christians: The Bible describes Philadelphia Christians as having a strong desire to carry out the mission that Jesus Christ gave to His Church (Revelation 3:7–13). That mission involves preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world (Mark 1:14–15; 16:15), warning the world and especially Israelite nations of the consequences of disobedience (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), and preparing a people to reign with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom of God (Luke 1:17). However, as the name “Philadelphia” means “brotherly love,” true Philadelphians will also strive to follow Jesus’ admonition to “love one another” (John 15:12–17). Showing concern for others is one of the distinguishing marks of a real Philadelphian Christian. Let’s all look for ways to do that in our increasingly self-centered world.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—March 24, 2022
America Chases Its Lovers? As global oil prices rise rapidly, due in part to the war in Ukraine, gasoline (petrol) prices are also exploding. As a result, the United States and other nations are looking for countries that will sell them extra oil. As CNN put it, “Russia’s invasion has upended international relations, forcing the US and other nations to seek out solutions in places they’d previously shunned” (March 8, 2022). Amazingly, the U.S. is chasing after nations it had previously shunned as sources of oil due to human rights abuses and other political issues. America recently received news from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that they will not sell the USA extra oil (Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2022). In fact, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the UAE’s Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan both turned down direct calls from President Biden due to the increasing friction between the nations.
In 2019, the U.S. put sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela, but—now that it is in need of more oil—has offered to relax sanctions as long as Venezuela sends a portion of their oil directly to the U.S. (Reuters, March 9, 2022). America is also trying to revive talks with Iran about importing their oil. As CNN noted, Mr. Biden “has long framed his presidency around defending democracy from creeping authoritarianism and accused his predecessor of cozying up to the world’s strongmen. But reducing the world’s dependence on one autocrat’s energy supplies could mean turning to another’s instead.”
Bible prophecy warns of the desperation of the Israelite-descended nations at the end of the age. The prophets foresaw that these nations will go searching after “lovers,” but this will prove unsuccessful (Hosea 2:4–9). Such abandonment will be one of the consequences of turning away from the God who has blessed them. To learn more about these prophecies, be sure to read “Lovers Become Rivals.”
Jerusalem Earthquake Coming! In recent weeks, Israel has experienced several small earthquakes (Haaretz, February 16, 2022). In response to concerns, Israel’s Home Front Command warned that it is expecting worse in the future, saying that “a strong earthquake is expected to occur in the State of Israel, which will cause a mass disaster accompanied by thousands of dead and injured and extensive destruction of buildings and infrastructure.” Experts cannot predict the exact location or the time of this deadly future quake, but the long time since the last major quake in the region only increases the likelihood of one in the near future. Israel just launched their long-awaited early earthquake warning system called TRUAA, which refers to the sound of a trumpet or shofar (animal horn). The system will give people a few seconds of warning before a major earthquake hits, in the hope that many will have time to exit buildings before the quake hits, potentially saving many lives.
Bible prophecy actually agrees that a major earthquake will hit Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, at some point in the not-too-distant future! But the “strong earthquake” predicted by Israel’s Home Front Command will be far smaller than the prophesied, planet-altering quakes to come. For instance, the book of Revelation states that, on the heels of the Great Tribulation and just prior to the start of the Day of the Lord, there will be signs in heaven and a great earthquake that moves every island and every mountain out of its place, terrifying humanity (Revelation 6:12–17). One year later, when Christ returns, He will stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and another earthquake will cause the mountain to split in two, making a very large valley (Zechariah 14:4).
To learn more about future earthquakes and other major signs that announce the impending return of Jesus Christ, be sure to read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater