Category Archives: Charlotte Announcements

Charlotte Announcements – 04 October 2014

Greetings from Charlotte,

This year, while God’s people travel to the Feast, fighting rages across the Middle East as Islamic extremists strive to expand their recently declared caliphate, and a deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa now appears ready to threaten Europe and America. While Russia and China move closer together to challenge America and the West, the pope in Rome continues his efforts to bring professing Christians together. What still appears to be lacking is the emergence of a strong political leader in Europe who will fulfill ancient prophecies about a king of the north who will fight with a king of the south and kings of the east. We are certainly living through a critical time in the history of the world.

Here in Charlotte, final arrangements for the Feast of Tabernacles are underway. A number of Headquarters ministers traveled to local congregations for the Feast of Trumpets. Mr. and Mrs. Ames had a very positive visit to the Houston, Texas congregation. I traveled to the Washington, DC area for Trumpets and visited the Raleigh, North Carolina congregation for the Sabbath. Mr. Mario Hernandez made a live broadcast to congregations in the Spanish-speaking world on Trumpets.  Dr. Meredith held a number of meetings this week and is planning to leave for the Feast early next week. This week, we also taped another LU assembly in the TV studio which will be available to our on-line students. Please pray that God will watch over His people as they travel to and from the Feast and that God will bless and inspire the messages and fellowship as we observe His Holy Days. (This will be the last WA until after the Feast.)—DSW

Health Concerns at the Feast: At the Feast of Tabernacles, hundreds of people will be in close contact at services and other activities. If you are feeling sick with a sore throat, fever or other symptoms that indicate that you may be infectious to others, please remember to show love for one another by remaining in your room until you feel better. The biblical command to be at the Feast does not include exposing others to potential illness (see the biblical principle of quarantine in Leviticus 13). If you get sick at the Feast, call for one of the Elders. Cases of serious illness should be reported to the Festival Coordinator and other medical personnel at the Festival site.

 

Church Administration

Young Adults Winter Retreat:  December 28January 1—Deadline Extended

There are still three or four spaces available if you would like to participate in the Young Adults Winter Retreat and the deadline has been extended for one week, until October 7, because no World Ahead was published last week.  Living Church of God young adults 20-35 years of age, singles or married couples, are invited to attend a Winter Retreat from Sunday afternoon, December 28, through Thursday morning, January 1, near the Sugar Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina. We will be having daily Bible Studies and discussions focused on topics of interest to young Christian adults. Activities will include snow skiing and snowboarding at the premier ski resort in this part of the country, as well as other winter recreational sports. The cost for room, breakfast and dinner for the four days will be $165 per person. The cost for lunches, snow skiing/boarding, sledding, tubing and any other activities is not included. We can help provide transportation from Charlotte to this event for those who will be flying in for the Charlotte Family Weekend event that immediately precedes this Retreat.  This is the first of many unique experiences we plan to have for our young Christian adults in the Church. To register for this activity, please e-mail me right away at jmeredith@lcg.org. More details of the activities and costs for optional activities are on the Facebook page for this event, https://www.facebook.com/pages/LCG-young-adults/810157329017652. We will be posting updated information on the Facebook page as well as more details of the event as they become available.  If you “Like” the page, you will get notified of the new updates.  A deposit of $100 to secure your spot is due by October 7 and should be made using the PayPal link on the Facebook page.—Jim Meredith

 

Newspaper Ad Program in Australasia

The Clarendon office of the Living Church of God is working on a number of newspaper advertisements for the Australasian region.  The first ad, for the “Power of Prophecy” DVD and The Beast of Revelation booklet, was run in Papua New Guinea and the response was very exciting!  A number of people were so eager to receive the materials that they offered to come and collect them in person.  Due to this success, regular ads are planned for that country, offering other booklets and DVDs, and the ad program will be expanded to other countries in Australasia.—Nicole Wrona

 

Visit to Indonesia

After an earlier trip to Indonesia was postponed because of the volcanic eruption, Mr. and Mrs. Rajan Moses arrived in Surabaya on July 25.  At Sabbath services he spoke on, “Holding Godly Values During the End Time,” explaining events in the Middle East and Europe and encouraging the brethren to respect Godly values and apply them in everyday life.  His sermon prompted interesting and profitable discussion after services.  The members’ English skills have improved wonderfully because of taking lessons.  Though some of them are still at elementary level, they were brave enough to talk and ask Mr. Moses questions.  We waved good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Moses when they left on July 29, and hope to see our beloved pastor and his wife again in the near future.—Arius Nusantara

 

Feast of Tabernacles 2014 

Feast just one week away!

Thank you to all of our brethren for your cooperation and patience through the whole festival registration process, and all the details leading up to the Feast.  We are thrilled to see the Feast is just a week away!  From the Festival Office and all of our Festival Site Coordinators, we want to wish everyone an inspiring, spiritually rejuvenating and safe Feast of Tabernacles!

As this is the last World Ahead update before the Feast, please note these final items from the Festival Office:

 

2014 Festival Survey

Every year we have a survey taken to get valuable feedback from brethren attending the Feast.  We will once again have the Festival Survey at the Feast available online (as well as having paper forms handed out).  The Web address for filling out the Feast survey will be fotsurvey.lcg.org.  We ask everyone at the Feast to be sure to fill out the survey form during the Feast, as it provides us with helpful information on festival planning for future years.

 

Hymnals 

Brethren who don’t have a personal hymnal are encouraged to bring a hymnal (one or two songbooks per household) from their local congregation’s supply after the Day of Atonement for use at the Feast.  Please make sure that all blue hymnals are clearly marked with the congregation name.  Also, please be sure to return these hymnals after the Feast, so that the congregation’s hymnal supply is not diminished.

 

Church History Book Distribution

As a reminder, each household of the Living Church of God will receive a special gift at the Feast of Tabernacles, The Incredible History of God’s True Church, a book written by Church member Ivor Fletcher.  There is no charge for this book to brethren or guests at the Feast.  We are using the Internet “Web” registration system to keep track of everyone receiving a book.  Copies of the books are being sent to Feast sites in the United States and many Feast sites around the world (those which can be sent without customs difficulty—some will have to be hand-carried).  We have also sent extra copies of the book to each Feast site, to accommodate those who did not have a chance to sign up for the book online.  The Business Office at each Feast site will coordinate the distribution of the book.  We will need to keep track of each household receiving a book, to make sure everyone gets one.  For those brethren who are shut-ins, we will be polling each pastor after the Feast to find out how many people did not get books.  We will then ship the appropriate numbers of books to each pastor, to distribute the books to shut-ins.  Please note: Each married couple is asked to take just one book per couple.  However, additional adults living in a household may request to receive their own book.

 

Phone Hook-Up of Services for Shut-Ins

We will not be providing a live-streamed service from one location this year.  Instead, we are asking each of our Site Coordinators to provide a way for shut-ins in the congregations assigned to that Feast site to be able to listen in or view the service.  The Internet Department also uploads a HQ Feast sermon each day during the Feast on the Church’s Web site.  (These are the pre-recorded Feast sermons used at English-speaking Feast sites where recorded sermons are necessary.)  These HQ sermons uploaded each day of the Feast can also be helpful to shut-ins at home during the Feast.

Please note: If there are brethren in your congregation who have not been in touch with the Festival Coordinator of their assigned Feast site regarding a phone hook-up,” or live-stream,” please have them contact the Festival Coordinator right away. 

 

Meal and Activities Payments—Must Read

Those attending the Gatineau-Ottawa Feast site must come to the meeting hall at the DoubleTree Inn on the afternoon of October 8 before sunset to pay for your meals and activities. If you do not come by before the Sabbath starts, you will not be counted for the meals or the activities. Payment is cash only.  Exact change will be appreciated.  An ATM is available at the hotel. Thank you.—Marc Arseneault

 

Special Music—Applause Allowed:  In the past, we have discouraged applause for special music, except for children’s performances.  As per Dr. Meredith’s direction, applause is allowed as an appropriate way to show appreciation for special music in Sabbath and Holy Day services.

 

Sabbath Times/Contacts for the Day of Atonement (October 4) and Sabbath, October 18—Repeat Announcement 

The listing of where services are scheduled on the Day of Atonement (October 4) and on the Sabbath right after the Feast (October 18) is now available online.  You can find a chart with the places, contact information, and times for Living Church of God services on these two days by logging in to the MyLCG Web site (www.cogl.org).

 

Living Youth Program

Online Teen Bible Studies To Resume after the Feast

Online Teen Bible Studies will resume after the Feast, on October 24.  In the meantime, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies can be found at livingyouth.org.

 

Comments

Rejoice at the Feast:  In the coming week, God’s people will gather at Festival sites around the world to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles—the highlight of the sacred year. As we travel to the Feast, we are reminded every day by the spreading turmoil in this world of what this Festival means for the future of mankind—the coming Kingdom of God when the saints will rule with Jesus Christ to bring peace to His earth. To keep us mindful of this major step in the plan of God, we are commanded to “keep the feast… for seven days” and to “rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days” and “it shall be a statute forever” (Leviticus 23:39-44). The New Testament clearly indicates that Jesus kept the Feast and told His brothers, “You go up to this feast” (John 7:1-39). As we rejoice at the Feast, we need to remember Jesus’ instructions that we should be lights and examples to those around us (Matthew 5:13-16). How we conduct ourselves at the Feast and how we relate to everyone we meet—in services, in hotels, at restaurants—will reflect either positively or negatively on God’s Church and His way of life. As we rejoice at the Feast, let’s remember that we have been called to be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Have a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles,

Douglas S. Winnail

 

News and Prophecy— October 2, 2014

Islamic State Eyes Mecca:  Reports indicate that the Islamic extremists of ISIS are “planning to capture the city of Arar in Saudi Arabia” which is close to the Iraqi border and within a day’s drive of Mecca. The leaders of ISIS know that “if you want to control Islam, you have to control Mecca… ISIS knows the only way to enhance legitimacy among Muslims for its ‘Caliphate’ is to control Mecca” (The Times, September 26, 2014). Islamic history records that attempts to gain control of Mecca, the holiest city of Islam, have occurred numerous times down through the centuries. ISIS appears to be following the same path trod by the Qarmatians, a fanatical Islamic sect that swiftly conquered territory and established a “utopian… state” in the same general region. In a dramatic and bloody move in 930 AD, the Qarmatians attacked unarmed worshippers in Mecca during the annual Islamic pilgrimage and slaughtered 30,000 worshippers in a few hours. Leaders of the Islamic State are now threatening to repeat this bloody spectacle, as they believe it is legitimate to kill anyone who does not agree with their ideas or beliefs. The brutality exhibited by ISIS certainly fits the biblical description, “in the last days perilous days will come: for men will be lovers of themselves… boasters, proud… brutal… having a form of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). The rise of this violent Islamic State and the struggle for control of Mecca could cause other Muslim nations to come together to protect their threatened holy city, which in turn could lead to the long-prophesied rise of the “king of the south” (Daniel 11:40-45). For more on this important subject, request our booklet The Middle East in Prophecy.

Is World War III Underway?  In a recent visit to a northern Italian cemetery, the pope in Rome made some profound remarks. “Pope Francis has said the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a ‘piecemeal’ Third World War, condemning the arms trade and ‘plotters of terrorism’ sowing death and destruction… Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction” (Aljazeera, September 14, 2014). It is interesting to consider that the “wars and rumors of wars” that pervade the globe could be a “piecemeal Third World War.” However, Christ warned that these events are just “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). The real Third World War is yet to come—a time pictured in part by the biblical Feast of Trumpets. This 3.5-year period of worldwide war at the end of this age will result in the deaths of literally billions of people (Revelation 6:7-8; 9:13-15). The real World War III will not be piecemeal but global, and will result in the return of Christ as the King of kings, to establish His throne on the earth (Revelation 19:11-16). This war was described by Christ as a time “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). It will truly be “the war to end all wars.” For more about end-time events, be sure to read our booklet Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled!

The Future of France and Germany: The Franco-German relationship that has held Europe together is faltering. “‘The problem is that the relationship has become deeply unbalanced,’ said Dominique Moïsi, a senior adviser at the French Institute for International Relations. ‘The French and Germans are not playing in the same league any longer, and the overall equilibrium of Europe was depending on a relatively balanced relationship, which no longer exists’” (New York Times, September 21, 2014). “Alfred Grosser, a leading German-French writer and sociologist, said the modern relationship has never been so dire,” even though the average French or German citizen feels no different about the other (ibid.). Mr. Grosser also noted “What those people need is leadership… With Mr. Hollande so weak, and Ms. Merkel so cautious, even enigmatic, the French and German people feel a void” (ibid.). Bible prophecy reveals that a European leadership void will create an opportunity for a powerful leader to fill. This leader, likely German, will use charisma and “intrigue,” to gain the support of ten other European leaders (Daniel 11:20-24; Revelation 17:12-18). These ten end-time leaders will form the long-prophesied Beast power foretold in Daniel 2:42-44 and Revelation 13:1-10. To learn more about future events in Europe, read our booklet The Beast of Revelation.—Scott Winnail, Jim Bennett and Deborah Lincoln-Strange

Announcements – 23 August 2014

Dear brethren,

This week the world was shocked by the brutal killing of a captured American reporter by ISIS radicals.  What a horrific world we live in!  As God’s people, we pray “Thy Kingdom come!” and yearn for the time when men will no longer behave like ravenous beasts.  What an exciting opportunity when we, reigning under Christ, will have a part in stopping these evil men in their tracks!

Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 02 November 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
 
Parents and children all over the United States are observing Halloween this week, misguidedly honoring the god of this age, Satan the devil.  But against this background of corruption and death, God’s Work continues: The Tomorrow’s World television program continues to air on more than 140 stations around the world.  And Dr. Meredith’s semi-annual letter is being mailed to more than 440,000 Tomorrow’s World magazine subscribers in 188 different countries! We have much to be thankful for—and much more work to do, as Dr. Meredith reminded the office staff in a general meeting this week.  Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 26 October 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
This week, Dr. Meredith completed a semi-annual letter that will be mailed to our global mailing list of more than 440,000 subscribers. While we have just completed the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles, Mr. Jim Meredith is busy finalizing plans for Feast sites for 2014 and 2015. Mr. Ciesielka’s trip to the U.K. has gone well, visiting the U.K. office and our U.K. call center and exploring some potentially exciting television opportunities in Europe. Mr. Wallace Smith will make two Tomorrow’s World Presentations this weekend in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, and Mr. Rod McNair will make a congregational visit to Minneapolis, Minnesota. This coming week, Mr. and Mrs. Ames will visit the Canadian Office in the Toronto area, where Mr. Ames will tape several new television programs for Hong Kong television.  Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 19 October 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
While the United States Congress’ argument over the budget nearly shut down the government, a major earthquake (magnitude 7.1) devastated two islands in the central Philippines, killing at least 161 people and destroying thousands of buildings (thankfully, we have no members that were injured or suffered damage—see announcement below). In Europe, smoldering discontent with the EU could bring major changes to a continent that is also struggling with the effects of a financial crisis. Here in Charlotte, Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 12 October 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
We are getting back into more normal routines here in Charlotte as everyone is back safely from Feast travels. Our preliminary figures indicate that about 9,500 individuals attended services or watched the live-streaming from the Feast of Tabernacles this year. This represents about a 1% increase in attendance in the USA, while attendance was down a bit in some international areas. Dr. Meredith has indicated he would like to start planning for a General Ministerial Conference to be held here in Charlotte on May 5-7, 2014.  Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 05 October 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
Reports we are receiving indicate that the Feast of Tabernacles for 2013 was a very encouraging and inspiring experience for brethren around the world—with powerful messages and warm fellowship. Dr. Meredith spent the Feast in California. Mr. Ames and I were able to visit three different Feast sites in the U.S. this year, and our brethren who traveled to Israel have returned safely after a very informative Feast.  Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 24 August 2013

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!  Continue reading

Charlotte Announcemnts – 10 August 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
 
While many view August as a time for vacations, world events and Bible prophecy continue to march ahead. Europe is still struggling with its economic problems that could eventually bring major changes in the EU, and Germany will hold elections in September. The Arab world continues to seethe in ferment that will eventually give rise to a King of the South. China’s economy is contracting, but its military is growing. Russia is increasingly at odds with Europe and America—and the Israelite nations continue down the toboggan slide of moral decline.  Continue reading

Charlotte Announcements – 03 August 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,

 

Summer here in the northern hemisphere seems to be rapidly slipping away and the fall Holy Days are just around the corner! Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith has been writing and holding meetings. Mr. Ames has recorded a special message for the Houston, Texas congregation that will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend as the Global-Living Church of God. Last weekend, I was able to visit congregations in Braselton and Atlanta, Georgia. The Living Youth Camp (for teens) in Ohio and the Family Camp for pre-teens in West Virginia both got off to a good start this week. Mr. Ciesielka reports that the News & Prophecy e-zine that is posted on the Internet every Friday now has a circulation approaching 20,000—which is very encouraging! This is the same N&P that is attached to The World Ahead every week. It will arrive on your computer every Friday if you subscribe. This coming Saturday, Dr. Jeff Fall and Mr. Harold Way will make back-to-back Tomorrow’s World presentations in Concord, California (near San Francisco), entitled “The Gathering Storm” and “God Promises—You Can Be Protected!” Your prayers for these presentations are important and are much appreciated. Living University classes will begin soon—on August 14. I would encourage as many as possible to enroll in these informative and practical classes (see announcement below). Remember that senior citizens are eligible to audit one class each semester for free. Please pray that God will continue to guide and bless His work and that He will remember His children who are in need.—DSW

 

 

Living Youth Program

 

Living Youth Camp is in full swing with 281 enthusiastic campers and staff in attendance in a beautiful camp setting in Delaware, Ohio.  Our days begin with joyful “Morning Motivation,” a hearty breakfast in the dining hall and spiritually filling Christian Living classes. After a full day of activities including canoeing, field sports, dance and speech classes, we end the day with an uplifting and peaceful hymn-sing during “Evening Reflection.”

 

New videos and photos are being posted daily on the LYC Facebook site.  We are also very pleased to be able to announce  that we will be streaming the camp talent show LIVE on Thursday evening, 7:15-9:15 p.m. Eastern time on our Living Youth Web site, www.livingyouth.org.  Please join us Thursday evening, 7:15-9:15 Eastern, on www.livingyouth.org for this special night of talent and entertainment!—Josh Penman, Sheldon Monson and Jason Fritts

 

 

Feast of Tabernacles

 

Feast of Tabernacles Speaking Schedules—Repeat Announcement

 

The Festival Office is currently putting the final touches to the speaking schedules for this year’s Feast.  Opening Night is only a little more than six weeks away!  Speakers should start receiving the schedules by the end of next week.  Contact the Festival Office if you have any questions.  Thank you to all of our speakers for their service to God’s people at this year’s Feast!

 

 

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement

 

Attention Pastors: Please send Mrs. Dorothy McNair, at cad@lcg.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 15 for international recipients, and 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.

 

 

Tithe of the Second Tithe—Repeat Announcement

 

For those who are able to contribute a tithe of their second tithe to help defray the expenses involved in conducting the annual Holy Days, including the Feast of Tabernacles, it would be greatly appreciated if this contribution could be sent at this time (if it has not already been sent). The tithe of the second tithe is used to help brethren with limited funds attend the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as to pay for hall rentals and other administrative costs associated with the annual Holy Days.—Jerry Ruddlesden

 

 

Finance Department

 

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 accounting@lcg.org.—Jerry Ruddlesden

 

 

Living University

 

Living UniversityRegistration for 1st (Fall) Semester

 

Living University classes begin in just 11 days, on August 14. Those planning to take an LU class should register now and order the necessary textbooks. For those who have never taken a Living University course, you will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of “2013 Fall Semester Courses” (Spring in the Southern hemisphere) can be viewed on the Living University Web site. To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com Web site. For additional information, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at mbroussard@livinguniv.com or 704-708-2294.

 

THL 342 – Christian Marriage and Family. This course is an excellent tool for those considering marriage, engaged couples, those recently married, and even for those married for years. It reviews a host of topics related to marriage and family, including: dating, preparation for marriage, successful home and family life, the adolescent, young married adult, family management, and contemporary problems in marriage and family life.

 

EDUC 345 – Early Childhood Education in the Church. This course is ideal for those wanting to become parents at some point, those who are parents, or grandparents. It deals with the influence of Christian family relationships on child development. Emphasis is placed on basic principles and skills for parent effectiveness, the developing nature and needs of children, and how they learn. It reviews major areas of child growth and development and effective Christian parenting.

 

THL 412 – Epistles of Paul I. This course, the first of two, focuses on the Apostle Paul’s life and writings including the background, message, purposes and theme of each of his epistles. Emphasis is on Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. Note that THL 136 is a prerequisite for this course.

 

THL 478 – Lands of the Bible. This course is a study tour which combines travel with lectures and readings on the archaeology, culture and geography of the Bible Lands, to provide students with a rich, on-site learning experience. It is available only to those attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem this year. This is a Pass/Fail course.

 

 

Comments

 

Wisdom with Words: We live in an age when people are encouraged to “say whatever you think” whether in personal conversations or on the Internet—and everyone has an opinion to express! However, the Bible offers very different advice. Long ago, Solomon observed that “a fool’s voice is known by his many words” (Ecclesiastes 5:3), and “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). We are also told that “A prudent man conceals [is reluctant to display] knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness” (Proverbs 12:23), and “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). I once had an English teacher who was fond of saying, “Make sure you engage the brain before you put your mouth in gear” which is the same advice we find in Proverbs 16:23, “The heart [the mind] of the wise teaches his mouth and adds learning to his lips.” In order to speak wise words and avoid troubles, we need to remember the admonition of King David who wrote, “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice” because “The law of his God is in his heart” (Psalm 37:30-31). The book of James offers this advice: “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). This is sound advice about wisdom with words.

 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

 

 

News and Prophecy—August 1, 2013

 

Israel Rejects EU Border Mandate: The European Commission recently decided to refuse funding for Israeli projects in settlements beyond its 1967 borders and to place labels on settlement-made products to enable Europeans to boycott these items (EU Observer, July 16, 2013). However, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu sees the EU mandates as a threat to national sovereignty: “I will not let anybody harm Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, the Golan and Jerusalem… We will not accept any external dictates regarding borders” (ibid.). The efforts by a European power to dictate terms in Israel were anticipated long ago in Bible prophecies. Bible prophecies reveal that at the time of the end, “Gentile” armies of a European Beast will surround and take control of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24)—possibly in an attempt to “bring peace” to the region. The current attempts by the EU to dictate terms in Israel could ultimately lead to Gentile armies of the Beast moving into the Holy Land and controlling its borders. For more on this topic, review our free booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy.

Proud of Sin: A year after British Prime Minister Cameron promised to legalize homosexual marriage by 2015, he touted Britain as “the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe” (Telegraph, July 24, 2013). Mr. Cameron proudly stated that he is “probably the only Conservative Prime Minister who’s taken this step” and that “he wanted to ‘export’ same sex marriage around the world so other countries could follow suit” (ibid.). He also wants his gay marriage bill-writing team to assist other nations in writing legislation to legalize homosexual marriage (ibid.). However, the Bible clearly identifies homosexuality as sin (Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and it clearly defines marriage between “one man and one woman” (Genesis 2:24). Prophecies also warn of end-time leaders “who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20) and openly flaunt their sinful behavior (Isaiah 3:9). While God loves all people (even sinners), He commands us to “flee sexual immorality”—which includes homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:18). We need to remember that “God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). There will be serious consequences for nations and leaders who act contrary to God’s laws (Jeremiah 2:17-19; 23:32). For more on the future of nations who export sin, read The United State and Great Britain in Prophecy.

 

Babies Without Daddies and Society’s Demise: According to British statistics, by 2016, most babies born in the U.K. will be born “out of wedlock”—typically to homes without fathers (Telegraph, July 10, 2013). This number grew from 11 percent in 1979 to 47.5 percent in 2012. Government ministers are proposing tax breaks for married families with children to encourage people to get married and avoid serious consequences to children—“In families where parents break up children do less well at school, are more likely to suffer mental health problems and are more likely to have substance abuse problems” (ibid.). Studies also show that out of wedlock birth rates doubled in many countries between 1980-2009 (Family Life Culture Watch). Sadly, the nations with the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates are mostly Israelite-descended nations (ibid.). Out of wedlock births have skyrocketed in western nations as people have rejected God’s instructions about marriage (see Ephesians 5 and 6). However, God warns, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6). Bible prophecies reveal that when Jesus Christ returns, He will restore the family to its God-intended role (Malachi 4:4-6). For more information on this vital topic, read our article “Marriage and Family: Vital Institutions in Crisis.”—Scott Winnail, Ron Ramsingh, and Deborah Lincoln-Strange