Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Stuart Wachowicz and the Canadian headquarters staff hosted a ministerial conference for about 40 ministers, wives, and other leaders from across Canada. Dr. Winnail and I participated in the conference and were encouraged by the dedication and warmth evident among those attending, and appreciate the leadership of Mr. Wachowicz, with the help of his very competent wife Marguerite. Regional Directors Mr. Lambert Greer and Mr. Rand Millich also contributed from their many years of experience in the field ministry, by means of a GOTO Meeting Internet connection. I’ve remained over a few days to record four Tomorrow’s World telecasts for the Canadian market and elsewhere, to give a sermon this Sabbath, and to take care of some unfinished personal business. Meanwhile, back in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith, Mr. Ames, and others are holding down the fort. This past week Mr. Jean-Pierre, our elder in Haiti, was attacked and robbed after withdrawing money from a bank. This reminds us of our need to pray for one another. The semi-annual letter that Dr. Meredith wrote is being mailed out to more than 410,000 Tomorrow’s World subscribers and responses are already beginning to come in from some areas. Please take seriously our responsibility to fervently pray that God will move people to respond to this important letter. This shows God how much our heart is truly in the Work. Our prayers do make a difference so please take this responsibility seriously.—GEW
Online Spanish Radio Station (El Mundo de Mañana)
We are delighted to announce that a project that was approved at the last Spanish Ministerial Conference is now underway: an online radio station (www.mundomananaradio.com) to transmit El Mundo de Mañana programs. Although this project is aimed at Spanish-speaking countries, many listeners are actually in countries where the official language is not Spanish. Most listeners are in the USA. Then, besides Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil, we are also reaching listeners in France, Russia, Spain, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine, Netherlands, and Israel.
Other content on El Mundo de Mañana Online Radio includes music from different countries, readings of Psalms and Proverbs, educational documentaries, and live programs to be made by Mr. Mario Hernandez and other ministers. The programs will be promoted on Facebook, Twitter and on www.mundomananaradio.com. A number of young people and adults in various countries have contributed their time and skills to make this project possible and we hope to launch an app for mobile devices soon.
Thank you for your prayers for the success of this online station and all our efforts to proclaim the true Gospel in Spanish.—Armando Orrego
Miraculous Intervention and Healing
Mr. Stephen Elliott, pastor of the Los Angeles, California, congregation, forwarded this inspiring account of God’s intervention and healing of a member in his area.
God answered prayers and healed a young mother’s left middle fingertip, cut off on September 3, when a gust of wind slammed shut an exterior door, catching her fingertip between the door and the doorjamb. We went quickly to the Emergency Room, praying that Danielle could be seen without delay. We saw that prayer answered, as there were no patients in the ER and she was taken right in. Interestingly, there was no hand doctor on call that evening. We prepared to accept the loss of Danielle’s fingertip when the Physician Assistant said there was perhaps only a one percent chance the finger would grow back together. However, she also said that if it were her own finger, she would have it sewn back on. So, the fingertip was reattached about 2 hours after it was cut off. Two days later, we had a follow-up visit with the doctors and they said it looked encouraging since there was a patch of pink skin on the reattached portion. They arranged for Danielle to see a hand surgeon. The hand surgeon made no guarantees but said it was definitely worth waiting and watching. Two weeks later, Danielle went back to him, concerned that it was filled with fluid and looked like it was withering. However, the doctor was not concerned about that and he said it was definitely growing back together. He expressed surprise at the progress, said it was interesting, and added that none of his colleagues would have even attempted to reattach the fingertip. So, if a hand doctor had been there when we first went to the ER they would not have sewn the fingertip back on! Now, 11 weeks later, the fingertip is almost completely healed!
Thank you for all the prayers to the Almighty God for comfort and healing, for the cards, and for all the words of encouragement.
2016 Charlotte Family Weekend—Registration Open
Almost 300 people are now registered to attend the 2016 Charlotte Family Weekend, themed “Family Now and Forever.” This does not include the more than 200 local brethren not yet registered to attend. Last year we had over 800 people join us, so if you plan to attend this year, please register right away! You may access registration via the MyLCG page of the www.cogl.org Web site and view updates at https://www.facebook.com/
LcgCharlotteWinterWeekend/? fref=nf, the public Charlotte Family Weekend Facebook page. Reservations at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites host hotel may be made by calling the hotel directly at (704) 357-1414 or by using the link provided on the Facebook page. A wide variety of activities have been planned and will begin at the hotel on Thursday evening, December 22, and end on Sundayevening, December 25. So grab your dance shoes and your tennis shoes and come join us for an exciting weekend of physical and spiritual rejuvenation!—Jim Meredith
Kansas City Family Weekend
The Kansas City Family Weekend is less than a month away: Friday, December 30, through Sunday, January 1. We are pleased to announce our theme for this year’s dance and entertainment: “Step in Time.” So get your dancing shoes on and dress in formal or Sabbath wear from any era (try to stay within the last century or so). Please use discretion and modesty when choosing an outfit.
The deadline to reserve rooms at the KCI Airport Embassy Suites is Saturday, December 10. Also, housing with brethren is becoming limited, so please register soon. There is still plenty of opportunity to show off any artwork, poetry, quilting, etc. at our art show this year. Please sign up on the Web site if you plan to bring something.
It’s also vital that you register your team for Sunday sports. On the KC Weekend Web site, just click on “Sunday Activities” and the events you signed up for. There are step-by-step instructions for creating a team. You can always add other team members later. If you don’t create a team, you may get automatically placed on a team of our choosing.
To get started, visit our Web site at kclcg.org (not an official LCG Web site) and click KC Family Weekend. Parts of the site are password-protected and “security” (all lowercase) is the password. We look forward to seeing you soon!—Michael Keesee
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, December 9, will be on “Feast of Unleavened Bread—Our Part in God’s Master Plan.” This is Lesson 26 of the Ambassador CollegeBible Correspondence Course. If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us for one of the online Bible Studies, we encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath day.
The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern time) and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. You can find instructions for joining the Bible Study and also access it at 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, including last evening’s on “Passover—The Beginning of God’s Master Plan,” can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Living University: Registration for Second Semester
Registration for second semester classes is now underway! The spring semester will begin on Wednesday, January 11. You may register for the spring semester (autumn in the Southern Hemisphere) anytime between now and January 10. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. This semester, along with many of our traditionally offered spring classes, we will be offering two completely newcourses. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of second semester courses can also be viewed on the Living University Web site under the link “Spring 2017 Class Schedule.” Those age 65 and above are eligible to audit one class per semester without a tuition fee. High school students interested in taking LU classes while in high school can register for the Early College program and take classes at a significantly reduced rate. Brethren in many developing nations are also eligible for a 50 percent reduction in tuition. 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 or questions, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-708-2294.
NEW THL 300 – Introduction to Biblical Languages and Resources. This course is a basic introduction to Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, using both electronic and in-print resources. This introductory class focuses on the original languages with more attention to Greek, the alphabets of both languages, the nuances of grammar in relation to understanding the text, and the use of major tools for the study of original languages. Students will develop greater skill in profitably and responsibly using original language tools found in software programs; in using the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament to prepare articles, sermons and Bible studies; and the proper use of an interlinear text in understanding the meaning of biblical text.
THL 350 – Principles of Counseling and Conflict Resolution. This course focuses on the philosophy and techniques of Bible-based counseling including interpersonal, premarital, marital, family counseling, addiction counseling, and biblical conflict resolution. Most people are faced with counseling opportunities in their personal lives and this course equips students with basic skills and understanding to positively impact those they care about.
THL 380 – Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. This exciting foundational course taught by Mr. Richard Ames presents an overview of many of the basic doctrines taught by the Living Church of God. Through a review of Scripture as well as past and present Church literature, students gain a broad and basic understanding of what the Church teaches and why it believes as it does. This course is required for most degree and certificate programs.
Prove What You Believe! Today, many assume that “believing in Jesus” and “accepting Him in your heart” are all that is required to be a Christian. Yet, the Bible teaches differently! The Scriptures warn that false teachers will come using Jesus’ name and will deceive many people (Matthew 24:3-5; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4). The Apostle Paul advised Christians to “Test [carefully examine and prove] all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Paul also states that our faith should be based on substance (assurance, solid ground) and evidence (confidence, proof) that can be assembled and understood (Hebrews 11:1)—not just on warm feelings in your heart! Luke writes that the early Christians’ belief in the resurrection of Jesus was based on “many infallible proofs” by witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His crucifixion (Acts 1:1-3). Josephus, the famous Jewish historian in the first century A.D., documented the historicity of Jesus and the first century Church when he wrote about “the brother of Jesus, who is called the Christ, whose name was James” (Antiquities of the Jews, 20:9:1). Peter emphasized that the apostles were eyewitnesses of the things they were teaching (2 Peter 1:16) and that Christians should be able to give sound reasons for their beliefs (1 Peter 3:15). Paul confidently provided a defense for his beliefs (Acts 26; Philippians 1:7, 16-17). If we take time to carefully prove what we believe, and understand the evidence for our beliefs, we, too, can confidently defend and explain what we believe to anyone.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 1, 2016
21st Century Space Race: China recently launched a Shenzhou 11 spacecraft marking “another great leap forward for the nation’s space program… China is NASA’s biggest rival in space exploration… In 2007, the nation tested an anti-satellite missile by blowing up a Chinese craft… U.S.-based analysts are concerned that China is hitting the accelerator as NASA hits the brakes” (Bloomberg, November 28, 2016). Europe has added four new Galileo satellites, bringing the total to 18, and is “accelerating deployment of the new satellite navigation system” (European Space Agency, November 17, 2016). U.S. president-elect “Donald Trump has said he wants to improve the US government’s ability to wage WAR from space… enhancing the ‘combat lethality’ of the military space programme.” He views NASA as “one of the most important agencies of the United States government” (The Sun, October 12, 2016). Mr. Trump “also has plans to… transfer Earth monitoring funding from NASA to NOAA, and strengthen the U.S. military’s stance in orbit” (Inquisitor, November 12, 2016). As we see nations rushing to dominate space exploration and develop more lethal weaponry, we need to remember Bible prophecies that have long warned that unless Jesus Christ returns, “no flesh would be saved” alive on this earth (Matthew 24:22). Jesus foretold that “the end of the age” would be marked by “wars and rumors of wars” that will take a tremendous toll in human lives with ever-advanced weaponry (Matthew 24:3-8; Revelation 6:1-4). To learn more about this sobering topic that will directly affect you, watch our telecast “Space Wars Ahead?”
Killing Embryos to Create Life? In vitro fertilization (IVF) is increasing in Western nations as a tool for a woman to become pregnant when she is naturally unable. According to the Department of Health, “Almost 2.5 million embryos have been deliberately destroyed in the United Kingdom since 1990” (Catholic Herald, November 23, 2016). With IVF, multiple fertilized embryos are used in order to maximize the probability of a successful pregnancy. Once one embryo is viable and healthy, the remaining embryos are often terminated in order to prevent a multiple pregnancy and the potential complications associated with it. When people view life as not starting until birth or very near birth, “discarding” a fertilized embryo is just business. However, God views all human life as sacred, and He created laws to protect the unborn (Exodus 21:22-25). When we understand that God created children because He seeks “godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15), the lives of the unborn take on much more meaning. Bible prophecies foretold that the moral depravity of Israelite-descended nations at the end of the age would include the willful murder of their children (Jeremiah 2:34; Hosea 9:13). However, Jesus Christ had a very different attitude toward little children (Mark 10:13-14) who are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). To learn more about how God views our modern attitudes toward the unborn, view our telecast “Tiny Fingers and Toes!”
More Vanishing Species! “The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends. The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020. Researchers from WWF [World Wildlife Federation] and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame” (The Guardian, October 26, 2016). The Bible reveals that God charged human beings with the task of being good stewards of His creatures (Genesis 1:28). The Bible also contains specific guidelines for the proper treatment of animals and sound principles of wildlife management (e.g. Deuteronomy 22:6-7). Mankind has violated these basic laws and defiled the earth and is destroying its creatures (Isaiah 24:5-6; Hosea 4:1-3). However, Jesus Christ will rectify this situation at His return (Revelation 11:18) and will set about to restore the bounty of the earth (Isaiah 11:6-9; 35:1). Today, the whole creation “groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). In the coming Kingdom of God, humanity will learn to take care of God’s creation, including God’s creatures, and extinction due to human neglect or greed will cease! To learn more about this exciting future, read or listen to Tomorrow’s World: What Will It Be Like?—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, Francine Prater and Chris Sookdeo