From the Presiding Evangelist
Dear Ministers and Brethren around the world,
Let me remind you again about the Church-wide fast we have called for this Sabbath, January 29. Even since I wrote the member letter to all of you about this, Satan has increased his attack in a number of ways. And one reason is that he knows that his “time is short” (Revelation 12:12). Although the “war in heaven” prophesied in Revelation 12 has not yet taken place, we can see that it may be drawing close—a time when Satan will viciously attack God’s people as never before! This horrible time will include physical persecution, torture and even death for many people. As Satan sees that his own “end” is coming soon, he will become “enraged” with God’s people (Revelation 12:17) and do all he can to divide us and to distract us from our calling and from doing the Work. So we really do need to “cry out” to our Father in heaven during this coming day of fasting and prayer asking His deliverance, His guidance and His mercy for all His people. As I stated in the member letter, “So let us really devote ourselves to this FAST and to show our love and concern for thousands who may be adversely affected by the continuing upheaval among God’s people. Ask God earnestly to protect them, to guide them and to keep them from being bitter or completely falling away from the true way of life revealed in the Bible.”
In addition, dear brethren, ask God to guide and protect all of us in the Living Church of God. For Satan has recently inspired certain hate-filled false ministers to attack us and to “accuse” us of preaching a false gospel because we sometimes dare to mention the “name” of Jesus Christ in connection with the true Gospel! This, of course, is something Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong did again and again in sermons, Bible studies, radio broadcasts, ministerial meetings, and so forth and so forth, etc. Dozens of us are still alive who personally heard and read these comments about Christ from Mr. Armstrong and no one can say, “It didn’t happen!”
Please read again Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” Also, read Acts 28:30-31, “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”
Carefully read Acts 20:20-25 and see how Paul connects the “gospel of grace” with the message of the “Kingdom of God.” For they are both part of the true Gospel—describing God’s mercy and grace to us along with the ultimate goal of being a part of the very Kingdom or Government of God if we are “overcomers” through the guidance and “grace” of God.
In addition, brethren, please study carefully 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 where Paul was inspired by God to spell out in detail, “the gospel which I preached to you…. that Christ died for our sins….”, etc. Over and over, the Bible is exceedingly clear that the Gospel has everything to do with Jesus Christ as our Savior, our living Head and High Priest and the coming King over the soon-coming Kingdom of God. Dear brethren, please do not ever let Satan confuse you on the vital part that the “name” of Jesus Christ plays in the true Gospel and in your personal salvation so you can eventually be part of the ruling Kingdom of God here on this earth!
So let us put our hearts into this time of fasting and prayer and genuinely “cry out” for one another and for all of God’s people wherever they may be! And please write me personally—if you can find time—and let me know how this day of fasting may have helped you and others as well. I pray for all of you and ask your prayers for me and for God’s Church at this time.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith
P.S. After talking with Dr. Winnail, we have agreed that my sermon entitled, “We Are Family,” should be a “Must Play” and should be played in all LCG congregations this Sabbath if at all possible.
Greetings from Charlotte,
This has been an eventful week on the world scene with spreading turmoil in the Arab world, floods in Australia and South Africa, heavy snows in the northeast USA and continued talk of a looming financial crisis on the world scene. Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith has been writing and holding meetings. Last weekend’s telecast by Mr. Meredith, “Seven Steps to Destruction,” drew more than 5,385 responses—the second highest number requesting the booklet Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return that was advertised. Mr. Ames’ Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations in Florida titled “What’s Ahead for America?” drew 146 visitors in Tampa and 144 in Ft Lauderdale—which are very good responses! This coming weekend, Mr. Dexter Wakefield will make follow-up presentations in both cities, titled “Where Is God’s Church Today?” Last Sabbath, I had very encouraging visits to congregations in Braselton and Atlanta, Georgia. Next weekend I will make a TWSP in Greenville, South Carolina. Please keep these TWSPs in your prayers.—DSW
Poised for Growth! The Canadian Headquarters of the Living Church of God has moved! On Monday, January 10, 2011, the Canadian headquarters office officially moved to a new facility which provides space for the addition of a television studio, additional offices, and increased space for printing operations. The 7,750 sq. ft. facility features modern office space as well as warehouse space for printing operations and studio construction.
In addition to providing much-needed space, the single floor office reduces the hazards and toil of transporting mail and supplies up and down stairs, a regular chore at the previous facility. Direct access to the street is an added benefit, and the warehouse space is equipped with loading docks for easy and efficient delivery of supplies. The new space is truly a blessing from our Creator who continues to open mighty doors for growth in the Canadian Work. An open–house is planned for February 5 and 6.—James Ginn
Feast of Tabernacles 2011
Two-Phase Registration in 2011 (Repeat Announcement)
Once again, please note that this year registration will be accomplished in two phases:
Phase 1: Site Registration—Sunday, February 27: On Sunday, February 27, brethren in all USA and all International congregations will be asked to register for the choice of site. Upon approval, you will then be able to make travel and housing arrangements. At any point after February 27, you may go back online to change your site registration, if you decide to go to a different site. Because of space limitations, some sites will be accepting more transfers than others. We hope that having site registration this early will help you all, as you make your festival housing and travel plans.
Phase 2: Activity and Volunteer Registration—Sunday, June 26: The second phase will begin no later than Sunday, June 26. By this date, all activity and volunteer information will be posted on the MyLCG website. Beginning on Sunday, June 26, all brethren are asked to come back to the MyLCG registration website (www.cogl.org) to sign up for your choice of activities and volunteer opportunities. The purpose for having this second phase of registration is to give our coordinators time to have complete activity and volunteer information available on the website.
Write-ups for all Feast sites are in the process of being posted on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org). If you need help finding out festival information, please see your local congregation’s Festival Advisor or check with your local Pastor.—Festival Office
Living Youth Programs
LYC Staff… We Need You!
Living Youth Camp Staff Volunteer Registration: Every year, dozens of men and women from the Living Church of God sacrifice their time and energy to volunteer as staff at the Living Youth Camps. Without their willingness to contribute, the camps would not be possible. What does it take to be a Living Youth Camp Staff Volunteer?
First, the willingness to work. Our staff members work hard to serve their younger brothers and sisters in God’s Church. Camp is a challenging atmosphere, requiring flexibility, perseverance and a willingness to cooperate and work as a team. The camp workday is often long, requiring stamina to keep a positive attitude even when tired.
Second, most staff positions require a certain degree of skill in a given area. If you have skills in archery, riflery, volleyball or canoeing, for example, you would be a valuable asset to our program. Our department heads in these different areas are usually certified as instructors by the appropriate organization for that activity or sport, ensuring their ability to properly and safely teach that course. Support staff may also be certified, particularly in areas like swimming or canoeing, where we are legally required to have a certain number of certified lifeguards on duty. Some support staff may not be officially certified, but have a wealth of experience in the given area. Review the activities and departments listed in the various camps, and consider whether you have just the right skill-set to do the job! And if you have experience in an area and would like to upgrade your training to be involved in the camp program, just contact us. We do offer grants to support training for individuals seeking to be involved in our camp program.
Third, as we go through the volunteer selection process, we also consider the individual’s past record as a camper or staff member, and how successful they have been in the program. We consult with his (or her) local pastor regarding credibility as a positive example in the local congregation. And we also review the personal recommendations he submitted with the application. Ensuring that LYC provides well-trained, service-minded staff who will set a Godly example is a high priority for the LYC program.
God’s way is a way of service and sacrifice. God’s Church needs skilled, hard-working, and selfless men and women who are willing to give one or two weeks of time in the summer to serve as staff at one of our Living Youth Camps. If you have a passion to serve, love young people and enjoy being part of a dedicated team that works hard, plays hard and loves doing both, then Living Youth Camp is for you. We need you! For more information, go to www.livingyouth.org and click on our “Camp” links.—Jonathan McNair
Real Philadelphia Christians: The Scriptures reveal that Philadelphian Christians are dedicated to carrying out Jesus’ instructions to preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15), warn the world (Matthew 24) and prepare a people to reign with Christ in the 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). They understand that showing unselfish, outgoing concern for others (versus sitting in judgment of others) is one of the distinguishing marks of a real Philadelphia Christian (John 13:34-35). As we see the world becoming more selfish, crass, dis-united and brutal (2 Timothy 3:1-5), let’s all look for ways to show real “brotherly love” toward others. In this, the world will recognize real Philadelphia Christians as Jesus’ true disciples.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 27, 2011
Water Everywhere! The record rains that flooded huge parts of Australia’s northeast state of Queensland are now moving across the southeast state of Victoria toward the sea. The flood waters have created an “inland sea” some 55 miles long and 24 miles wide that has closed coal mines and swamped large areas of valuable agricultural land—in what has become “the nation’s most expensive natural disaster in history” (telegraph.co.uk, January 24, 2011). Across the Indian Ocean, flooding in eight of South Africa’s nine provinces has saturated farms and disrupted rail transport, which has affected coal, maize and chrome exports. The flooding in Australia and South Africa has brought death, destruction and rising prices for food and coal. Some parts of South Africa have received two to three times their normal amount of rain. Long ago, God warned, “if you do not obey the voice of the Lord… to observe carefully all His commandments … cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country” (Deuteronomy 28:15-19). Jesus also prophesied that natural disasters would increase just before His return (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8). Global events are moving in that direction!
Spreading Arab Protests. The “Tunisian wind” that toppled an authoritarian regime in Tunisia is spawning similar protests across the Arab world. Thousands demonstrated in Yemen over corruption, lack of freedom, lack of jobs and authoritarian rule (telegraph.co.uk, January 23, 2011). In Egypt, protesters launched a “Day of Wrath” over similar grievances demanding an end to President Mubarak’s 30-year rule (telegraph.co.uk, January 23, 25 and 26, 2011). Egypt could be a barometer to watch as Egypt is the biggest Arab state (population 80 million) with the largest armed forces in the region. EU leaders urged Arab regimes on their southern fringe to “respect” the desires of their citizens for more freedom (euobserver.com, January 26, 2011). Bible prophecies clearly indicate that “in the last days perilous times will come”—aggravated by pride, greed, and brutality (2 Timothy 3:1-4). These factors may contribute to the rise of a Muslim leader who will unite the fractious Arab world and as the “king of the South” move aggressively against western influence in the region (Daniel 11:40).
Legislating Evolution in Schools. In 2005 a U.S. federal court struck down a motion to teach “intelligent design” along with the federally mandated topic of evolution. Since then, scientists and educators have developed evolution-based curricula to counter the growing movement questioning the validity of evolutionary theory (Education Week, November 16, 2010). In 2008, the Council of Europe “condemned all attempts to bring creationism into Europe’s schools” (USA Today, February 11, 2008). Evolutionary theory assumes that man and the universe developed purely by chance—without a Creator—and any evidence to the contrary is ignored. Although “micro evolution” or adaptation “within” species does occur, no one has ever demonstrated that “macro” or Darwinian evolution can occur—the idea is false. Biblical prophets warned of leaders who would “cause My people to err by their lies” (Jeremiah 23:32). The Apostle Paul warned that people who “exchanged the truth of God for the lie” because they “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” will incur “the wrath of God” (Romans 1:18-31). The clock is ticking for our godless societies.—Kristine Ginn, Scott Winnail