Greetings from Charlotte,
Disasters and violence continue to make the news. Wild fires are burning thousands of acres in the United States, flooding waters have swamped thousands in the Philippine city of Manila, poison gas has apparently killed hundreds in the Syrian civil war and hundreds have died in the strife in Egypt. We certainly need to pray that God’s Kingdom will come! Here in Charlotte things have been busy this week. Mr. Wallace Smith is here to tape new Tomorrow’s World programs after conducting a very successful Tomorrow’s World Presentation in St. Louis last weekend. Mr. Gerald Weston and two television staff members from the Canadian regional office are also here to explore ways to work with our television production crew here in Charlotte. Mr. Ames will also tape a new program. Dr. Meredith has held a number of meetings and he chaired a productive Living University Board Meeting. Mr. Hernandez has returned from a very profitable trip to Central America, and Mr. Rod McNair has returned from a congregational visit to Trinidad. I will be in Cincinnati this weekend for a congregational visit and to conduct a Regional Conference with Mr. Lambert Greer.—DSW
Tomorrow’s World Presents in St. Louis, Missouri
The St. Louis congregation hosted a Tomorrow’s World Presentation on August 18. Mr.Wallace Smith was the presenter. We had a total of 172 people present: 130 were guests and 42 were brethren. Mr. Smith delivered both subjects, “The Gathering Storm” and “Where Is God’s True Church Today?,” with a ten-minute break between the two programs. The audience was riveted to their seats as both subjects were delivered with enthusiasm and conviction. After the two presentations, the ladies served scrumptious refreshments and almost everyone stayed around for fellowship and food and to ask questions. Many of the guests said they would be interested in coming back for Church services. The members said they were stirred in spirit and excited to be a part of the very Work of God.—Bill Oswald
Announcements for The World Ahead – Repeat Announcement
Attention Church pastors: Please submit any announcements you have for The World Ahead to CAD by Wednesday afternoon for publication on Thursday.
CTV Satellite Covers All of Central and Southern Africa
The Great Commission is that God’s Church preach the Gospel as a witness to all nations… and we are very thankful that God has opened yet another big door for His Work to fulfill this command! Beginning on Sunday, October 6, the Tomorrow’s World program will broadcast to all of Southern Africa over DSTV satellite on the CTV channel! This satellite network covers all of Southern and Central Africa, from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, even up to Zambia, Angola and Malawi. Please join us in praying for the success of this new station.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Living Youth Programs
Online Teen Bible Studies to Resume on September 6
The online Teen Bible studies are scheduled to resume on Friday evening, September 6, with a study entitled, “How To Use Your Second Tithe.” If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us for one of the online Bible studies yet, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath day.
The Bible study runs from 8:00-9:00 p.m. and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. You can access this Bible study at www.livingyouth.org. We hope as many of our youth as possible will join us for this wonderful opportunity for Godly fellowship and learning. For those of you who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible studies can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Feast of Tabernacles 2013
Activity Payment Deadlines
Many of our coordinators are trying to finalize numbers for the planned activities. Please note the instructions—including deadlines and methods of payment—for the Feast site where you will be attending. This information can be found on the Web site for each site (check www.lcg.org for more information). Everyone’s attention to this will greatly facilitate final plans falling into place!
PayPal Payments Deadline: September 1
Online PayPal pre-payments for festival activities for U.S. sites must be made by Sunday, September 1. This will give the Accounting department at Headquarters time to disburse funds to the U.S. sites. After September 1, brethren attending U.S. sites should wait until the Feast to pay for any additional activities. Please check with your local festival coordinator for details of payment methods accepted at the Feast. For international sites, please check with your festival coordinator for more information.
Holy Day Offerings
If you are traveling internationally for the Feast, it is recommended that you leave your Holy Day offering in your home country. This will ensure that you receive proper documentation for a tax deduction, if your country allows it. You should make an additional offering at the international site you attend, and can plan accordingly. Your attention to these instructions and your use of the preprinted Holy Day envelopes is greatly appreciated.
Opening Night Service
The Opening Night service this year will be held on Wednesday night, September 18. Brethren are encouraged to make every effort to arrive at their Feast site in plenty of time to attend this meeting at the beginning of the First day of the Feast, which is a Holy Day. There will also be a special DVD welcome from Dr. Meredith during this service. Check with your festival coordinator for the time of the Opening Night service at your site.
Health and Feast Travel
As we prepare to depart for the Feast of Tabernacles, it is not uncommon for God’s people to “push themselves” and compromise their sleep and diet. Many of us try to get multiple tasks accomplished ahead of time (regarding work and school) so that we can attend the Feast without worry. Often this “push before the Feast” results in too little sleep and unhealthful eating habits. Then, when we finally get in the car, on the train, on the bus, or on an airplane, our bodies slow down and we get sick. In past years, this has resulted in some bringing the flu or a cold to the Feast site and spreading it to other Church members. If we do arrive at the Feast feeling ill, for the benefit of our brethren, it is important to avoid fellowshipping and attending services until all our symptoms are gone.
It is essential, as you prepare for your Feast of Tabernacles travel, to get adequate rest and maintain a healthy diet filled with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Parents should make sure that their children also get adequate rest and eat a very healthful diet before the Feast. For our older brethren, these actions are imperative! In taking measures to stay healthy and improve your health before the Feast, not only will you be more likely to arrive at the Feast “healthy” and not be temporarily detained by the local health officials (if you are traveling abroad), but you will also be physically and mentally prepared to partake of the powerful spiritual food and fellowship that God is preparing for you.
The Feast is just three-and-a-half weeks away! We have many interesting activities for you! However, to complete the arrangements and get accurate counts on the number planning to attend each event, we would appreciate if you would review the Activity Schedule on the Feast Registration Web site and sign up for the activities you and your family would like to attend, including teens, young adults, singles and seniors. Please register for the activities you plan to participate in and submit your payment right away! You can pay online, or download an activity voucher and pay by mail. The Holy Day luncheons, Family Fun Evening and Dinner, Family Day at Enchanted Springs Ranch, Seniors and DELS Luncheons and other activity attendee counts need to be submitted to our caterers/vendors by September 2. We also have a need for ushers, for those of you who would like to serve in that capacity. Thank you, we are looking forward to seeing y’all soon!—Dan Hall
Services before and after the Feast of Tabernacles—Repeat Announcement
Attention all Area Pastors: Please send to email@example.com the time of services and contact person for each of your congregations for the Day of Atonement and for the Sabbath, September 28, which is right after the Feast. That information will be collated and made available to members travelling to and from the Feast sites and it needs to be posted as soon as possible so that members can solidify their plans.
Dominican Republic—Repeat Announcement
The Feast is just four weeks away! Children, pre-teens, teens and singles, we have planned very interesting activities for you, but in order to complete the arrangements, we need you to register now. If there are not enough participants, we will have to cancel the plans. So parents, please review the descriptions of the various activities, talk to your children and teens and register them at this time. Singles: you won’t want to miss out on a wonderful activity and fellowshipping with other singles while you discover a beautiful river. Please register for this activity right away. Also, all brethren who are planning to attend the Feast in the Dominican Republic, please make sure that you go back on the Feast Web site and fill out the service area where you would like to serve during the Feast. We need ushers, greeters, etc. Many hands make light work! Thank you very much.—Marc Arseneault
Snowshoe, West Virginia—Repeat Announcement
For those planning to attend the Feast in Snowshoe, West Virginia, and enjoy one or more of the catered meals and the Family Day train ride, you need to complete and submit the Festival Activity Ticket Order Form, along with payment, by September 2. All of our catering orders need to be submitted to the resort two weeks before the Feast, requiring us to make decisions about Holy Day meals, DELS and Seniors luncheons, and the dinner/dance ahead of time. For those with Internet access, this Festival Activity Ticket Order Form can be found online and printed from the Snowshoe Festival Web site or via the MyLCG interface. For those without Internet or computer access, please see your Festival Advisor—he can print the form for you so you can mail it with your payment check for the activities and meals. Once we receive your payment, confirmation and event tickets will be mailed to you. For those who have submitted payment and forms, confirmation is being mailed this week. Thank you for your assistance with this advance planning. We will see you in Snowshoe very soon!
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: Please send Mrs. Dorothy McNair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast and who will need to receive the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. The deadline to submit these requests is August 30 for recipients in the U.S. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access.
Hall Rentals (U.S.): October hall rental vouchers should be faxed to Accounting at 704-841-1922 or mailed (Attn: Accounts Payable) by September 1 to ensure processing before the Feast of Tabernacles.
Reimbursements (U.S.): Please note that our last scheduled day to print reimbursement checks will be Thursday, September 12. We will not be able to print any checks again until Thursday, October 3. Any invoices we receive before September 10 will be paid before the break. Any invoices we receive after September 10 will not be able to be paid until October 3. If you have any questions about specific invoices or payments, please contact Haley Ridgeway in Accounts Payable at 704-844-1960 ext. 2236 or send e-mail to email@example.com.—Jerry Ruddlesden
Employment Opportunity: Staff Accountant
The headquarters office is looking for an experienced Staff Accountant. Job duties would include, but are not limited to: supervising and maintaining Accounts Payable workflow and systems; interfacing with Purchasing, vendors including hall rentals and employee expenses; responsibility for 1099 reporting and compliance; General Ledger reconciliation as assigned and preparation of Audit Schedules. The successful candidate will be a team player in the Finance Department and must be customer service- and deadline-oriented. Knowledge and experience with accounting systems such as Microsoft GP or similar accounting packages and Excel spreadsheets is a requirement as well as a minimum 3-5 years of experience and a degree in accounting. This job is in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Church will pay for reasonable moving expenses. Applicant must meet the legal requirements to work in the United States, and must be a Living Church of God adherent in good standing, who is truly dedicated to the Work. If you are interested in this position, please send your resume, along with a cover letter to: Human Resources Department, Living Church of God, 2301 Crown Centre Drive, Charlotte, NC 28227. E-mail: HR@lcg.org; FAX: 704-844-1973.—Jerry Ruddlesden
Real Philadelphia Christians: The Book of Revelation describes Philadelphia Christians as having a strong desire to carry out the mission that Jesus Christ gave to His Church (Revelation 3:7-13). According to the Scriptures, that mission involves preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 10:1-7), warning the world and especially the Israelite nations of the difficulties that will arise at the end of this age as consequences of disobedience to God’s laws (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). Real Philadelphians will understand and will be working at showing unselfish, outgoing concern for others (versus sitting in judgment of others). Showing concern toward others is one of the distinguishing marks of a real Philadelphian Christian (John 13:34-35). Let’s all look for ways to show “brotherly love” to others.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 22, 2013
What’s Ahead for Egypt: “Money talks” is an old saying. For years, the United States has influenced Egyptian politics with a billion-dollar military aid package. But with the recent military overthrow of Mohammed Morsi and subsequent bloodbath, the U.S. has threatened to cut off aid to Egypt. The European Union is also considering cutting off aid to Egypt (EU Observer, August 16, 2013). However, last week the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister commented, “To those who have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that, (we say that) Arab and Muslim nations are rich… and will not hesitate to help Egypt” (Al Arabiya, August 19, 2013). Along with Saudi money will come political and military support and influence! The Bible has long-prophesied the rise of a King of the South—probably a confederation of Arab nations directed by one nation or one individual in particular (see Daniel 11:40). Saudi Arabia is one of the richest and most stable Middle Eastern nations and possesses a modern military. It is also a fellow Muslim nation. It will be interesting to see what impact Saudi promises have on Egypt’s future. To better understand the reasons for chaos in the Middle East, read our insightful article “Conflict Over the ‘City of Peace.’”
A European Army? The idea of building a European Army is gaining traction with encouragement from the United States. “Washington has increasingly called on Europe to safeguard itself—and, more important, the nearby territory of the Sahel, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East” (The Christian Science Monitor, July 2, 2013). Since shouldering a large portion of the military support for the war in Libya, the U.S. has pressured Europe to bolster its defense capabilities to be ready for future conflicts. Germany is the most economically stable European nation and “is the only country of the big three [Britain, France, and Germany] not facing serious defense cuts, and if trends continue, it could emerge as the biggest military in Europe” (ibid.). France continues to support Germany’s role as both countries “call for improved battle groups and the use of drones in civilian airspace” (EU Observer, July 30, 2013). “It is clear that the EU is making concrete plans to create a European Army” (Public Service Europe, April 23, 2013). These events should not surprise students of Bible prophecy. Scripture foretells a European superpower of ten nations that will arise at the end of the age (Daniel 2:40-42). This dominant Beast power will lure and intimidate people into following its lead for 3.5 years (Revelation 13:1-5). The formation of a European Army could become part of this emerging Beast. For more information on this vital topic, read our article “Bible Prophecy and the European Dream.”
Upside-Down Justice: “A federal judge has backed a homosexual-rights group [from Uganda] in its claim that members were injured by an American pastor’s biblical preaching in Uganda against homosexual behavior” (WorldNetDaily, August 15, 2013). Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) called Pastor Lively’s comments a “‘crime against humanity’ in violation of ‘international law’” (ibid.). Lively’s lawyers claim that his “Freedom of Speech” rights protect him from such a lawsuit and that a recent precedent was set in U.S. courts, precluding the “Alien Tort Statute” in U.S. law from being used in such a way. SMUG’s lawsuit asked U.S. courts to “punish one of its citizens… for ‘crimes against humanity’ under an international treaty that the United States has expressly rejected” (ibid.). Should this type of lawsuit be recognized in the U.S., virtually anyone opposing legislation that supports homosexual rights could be jailed for crimes against humanity (ibid.). When the prophet stated, “the whole head is sick,” he was implying that the nation of Israel had lost its ability to reason correctly (Isaiah 1:5)—which certainly applies to Israelite nations today that have begun to “call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Justice today is no longer based on a moral or ethical code, but on the will of the opinionated few (see Judges 17:6). For more on this phenomenon, read our article “The Future of Democracy.”—Scott Winnail and Justin Ridgeway