Living Church of God Weekly Update 4/2
Greetings from Charlotte,
This has been a very encouraging week for the Work! Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that Mr. Meredith’s Tomorrow’s World telecast last weekend, program #379, “How to Watch World Events” broke all previous records with more than 6,700 responses. It was also exciting to see that last weekend’s Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations drew 226 new people. Mr. Meredith spoke to more than 200 brethren last Sabbath in Kansas City, and on Sunday 114 visitors attended his Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation there. We had 59 visitors for the TWSP that I made in Lansing, Michigan and 44 visitors for the TWSP in Valparaiso, Indiana. Mr. Ron Poole had nine visitors for the follow-up TWSP in Asheville, North Carolina. This coming weekend, I will be in Jackson and Hattiesburg, Mississippi for two more TWSPs that will focus on the topic “What’s Ahead for America?” It is very inspiring to see God’s people working together to make these presentations possible. Mr. Mario Hernandez left yesterday to visit members and congregations in South America. Thank you for your prayers and support for God’s Work and these Special Presentations—they are needed and appreciated. Please remember to pray fervently that God will intervene for many of our brethren who are facing trials and serious health problems.—DSW
Passover 2011 (Repeat Announcement)
Important Notice to All Pastors: This year the Passover Service will be observed on Sunday, April 17, less than three weeks from now. Let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Servicerecording. (Please note that this year we have a new recording of the Passover Service, given by Dr. Scott Winnail, available both in DVD and CD.)
Additionally, let us know of any scattered members who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions to observe it at home. Please direct your requests to Dorothy McNair at the Church Administration Department by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 704-844-1960, ext. 2248, as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. Please note that a copy of the new Passover Service DVD and CD are being sent automatically to all Area Pastors.
Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations
Kansas City: Dr. Meredith spoke powerfully on “What’s Ahead for America” to an audience of 208 people in Kansas City, of whom 114 were new individuals, while 94 were brethren. The vast majority stayed after the Special Presentation to meet Dr. and Mrs. Meredith. Many asked questions about the Bible, the Church and the Work. The local weather forecasters predicted snow, but God intervened and held it off until much later, allowing for a good attendance.—Rand Millich
Lansing and Knox: The Special Presentations hosted by the Lansing, Michigan, and Knox, Indiana, congregations were given by Dr. Douglas Winnail on March 26 and March 27. The Hampton Inn and Suites in Okemos, Michigan was the site for Sabbath services the morning of the 26th and the Special Presentation that afternoon; 59 visitors and 51 members attended for a total of 110. Dr. Winnail’s presentation was well received. Afterwards guests and members mingled and conversed for well over an hour-and-a-half. The Porter County Exposition Center in Valparaiso, Indiana hosted Sunday’s Special Presentation. There, Dr. Winnail spoke to an enthusiastic audience of 75 people—44 visitors and 31 members. Please pray for our follow-up presentations which are scheduled for this coming Sabbath, April 2, and Sunday, April 3.—Daniel Friz
Asheville: On the Sabbath of March 26, Mr. Ron Poole gave a follow-up Tomorrow’s World
Special Presentation in Asheville, North Carolina. There were 45 people present, five first-time visitors, and four visitors returning from the previous presentation. The Asheville TWSP brought in a total of 20 visitors, two of whom were members of WCG. Both presentations prompted audible and head-shaking responses in support of the information being provided. We thank God for blessing the efforts of all involved in the TWSP.—Ron Poole
Living Youth Camp
We are in full swing, preparing for this summer’s youth camps. In addition to our camp for teens in Ohio, we have Pre-Teen Camps in Texas and Missouri, and our teen Adventure Program, which will be in Maine this year. Summer camp provides our young people with an opportunity to step away from TV, Internet, video games, and spend time with other youth in a wholesome, Godly atmosphere. They learn and enjoy a variety of sports. They experience outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing and camping. And they make new friends… often friends for life! Because of the generous support of the members of the Living Church of God, this opportunity is available at a fraction of the cost of most camp programs. For example, our Teen Camp tuition is $250, with reductions for additional family members. A quick Google search shows that a similar type of program will range anywhere from $650 to $2,000 and more, depending upon the camp. Don’t miss the opportunity to help your son or daughter have the experience of a lifetime at summer camp! And if you don’t have children, try to encourage others who do to take advantage of the opportunity—perhaps by even helping them get to the camp. For more information on registering for summer camp, go to www.livingyouth.org.
Also, we will be announcing this year’s essay contest at our youth Bible Study this coming Sunday evening. The prize will again be free tuition for summer camp! Don’t miss the Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. Check www.livingyouth.org for details about how to get into the on-line Bible Study.—Jonathan McNair
Preparations are well underway for the upcoming spring Holy Day season. The special green Holy Day offering envelopes were mailed to our members in the U.S. the week of March 11, so nearly everyone should have received them by now. We appreciate it very much when you use these pre-coded envelopes to give your offerings on the Holy Days, as it greatly speeds up the processing and recording of the donations. Also remember to tuck these envelopes in with your Bible and notes that you bring to services, so that you do not forget to bring them with you on the Holy Days! Please note that the processing staff assumes that donations in the green envelopes are specifically for the Holy Day unless you clearly indicate otherwise. If you include tithes or other offerings in the envelope, please also include clear direction as to your intentions, so that we may process your donation correctly.
If you have not received your green Holy Day offering envelopes by April 6, please let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 704-844-1960, ext. 2231. Holy Day offerings are a very important part of the funding used to accomplish the Work of the Church, providing about 20% of the annual revenue. In these difficult times, we deeply appreciate the generosity of our brethren around the world, who make it possible to preach the Gospel to this dying world and to feed the flock of the faithful brethren God has called now.—D. Jerry Ruddlesden
Trials Test our Faith: The Apostle Paul warned, “know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1). Jesus predicted that the end of the age would be marked by increasing trials and turmoil on a global scale (Matthew 24). Jesus also wondered aloud, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8), and He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail when he encountered trials and tribulation (Luke 22:32). When the challenges of life begin to mount, we need to remember that faith is one of the fruits of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and that God gives His Spirit to those who trust Him and obey His instructions (Acts 5:32). We must do our part to stir up God’s Spirit to help us overcome our trials and fears (2 Timothy 1:6-7). We can also ask for more faith (Luke 17:5). We need to remember tha t faith comes from hearing (and studying) God’s Word (Romans 10:17), which states plainly that God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and that He is like a rock and a fortress that protects and preserves His faithful people (Psalm 31:3, 23). James wrote, “the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3-4). Let’s do our part to build faith by studying the examples of faith recorded in Hebrews 11, as we strive to please God and stay focused on His plan.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—March 31, 2011
Is The EU Splitting? For nearly two decades, Euro-skeptics have warned that the euro currency would result in division in Europe. The idea of a “two-speed” EU has been mentioned for years, but now appears to be a definite possibility! The 27-member EU is poised to divide into 10 non-Eurozone members and 17 Eurozone members. This “in” group could shrink further as debtor nations are moved “out” of the inner circle. In early March, the 17 Eurozone members held a “closed” budget meeting from which non-members were intentionally excluded. In response, the Economist magazine stated, “Europe may be embarking on a path that could tilt the union away from economic liberalism, risking a split and, ultimately, even a British exit” (The Economist, March 10, 2011). Last week, billionaire George Soros made the sobering prediction, “The solution to the euro crisis to be put into place this week will set in stone a two-speed Europe. This will generate resentments which will endanger the EU’s political cohesion” (Financial Times, March 21, 2011). Initial results from the EU summit show that Germany relaxed its intentions and measures that would “split” the EU—so the division may have been postponed (EU Observer, March 25, 2011). Bible prophecies indicate that the coming Beast power in Europe will be comprised of ten “kings” or “key players” that will surrender their sovereignty to a supra-European government—that does not include Britain and many other Israelite-descended nations (Daniel 2:42-43; Revelation 17:12-13). The nature of the end-time federation is like “iron and clay”—that aptly describes the fractious relationships between the nations that make up the EU. Current events are fitting into the pattern long-foretold in these remarkable Bible prophecies!
Middle East Events and Muslim Prophecy. The regime in Iran just approved a powerful video, soon to be released throughout the Middle East. The video analyzes regime changes in the region and the declining health of the Iranian enemy, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. It concludes that all these events are signs that the return of the 12th Imam/Mahdi or “Islamic messiah” is imminent. The video also predicts that Iranian President Ahmadinejad will conquer Jerusalem prior to the Imam’s coming. Analyst Joel Rosenberg, author of The Twelfth Imam, made the following comment about the video: “I think it’s a very grave development because it gives you a window into the thinking of the Iranian leadership: that they believe the time for war with Israel may be even sooner than others had imagined” (CBN, Ma rch 28, 2011). End-time Bible prophecies state that Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:20), the city will be taken and that half the city will go into captivity (Zechariah 14:1-2), but that Jesus Christ will return and ultimately set up His government in Jerusalem (Joel 3:17-21). It is sobering to see events developing that could stir the Muslim world to attack Israel and Jerusalem. An attack by Islamists on Jerusalem and Israel could trigger a powerful reaction from “Christian” nations—particularly European nations influenced by the Roman Church (see Daniel 11:40-43). For more information on what will “really” occur in the Middle East prior to Christ’s return, see our booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy.
Endangered Wheat Supplies. This winter has been the “driest” in 44 years in Texas—which is America’s second-largest wheat producing state. The drought is also negatively affecting cattle land and thus cattle herds. A March 20 report noted that “More than half the wheat fields and pastures [in Texas] were rated in poor or very poor condition.” Other wheat producing states in the region—Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas—are experiencing similar crop conditions. Meanwhile North Dakotan and Canadian wheat crops are being threatened yet again this year by too much moisture. Last week the U.S. cattle herd was recorded as being the smallest s ince 1958 (Bloomberg, March 24, 2011). God prophesied that at the time of the end, wheat prices would become exceedingly high (Revelation 6:5-6). Ultimately this and other factors will bring “cleanness of teeth and lack of bread” –food shortages and starvation—among Israelite-descended nations and other nations around the globe (Amos 4:6). These prophesied events will occur because the “children of Abraham” have departed from God and His way of life! However, the good news is that the return of Jesus Christ will bring better conditions, “I will send you grain and new wine and oil… The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil” (Joel 2:19, 24). God speed that day!—James Ginn, Jerry Ruddlesden, Scott Winnail