Greetings from Charlotte,
This week, violence and weather continue to make news. In France, a series of tragic drive-by shootings claimed multiple lives; Anchorage, Alaska reports nearly eleven feet of snow this winter (nearly twice the historical average); the “lower 48 states” have experienced twice the normal number of tornadoes in addition to record high temperatures; and Mexico City was hit by a 7.6 earthquake! As one news source said, “extreme events” are becoming more common—which is what Jesus predicted would happen as the end of the age approaches. Here in Charlotte, we are in the midst of our annual financial audit. Mr. Meredith has held meetings and taped a new Tomorrow’s World program, “What Happens After Death?” Mr. Wallace Smith is also here this week to tape two new programs: “Doomsday in 2012?” and “A World in Crisis!” Mr. Hernandez has returned from a very encouraging trip to visit members in Europe. Mr. Ames’ Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation in Dallas drew 90 visitors, and Dr. Scott Winnail’s follow-up presentation in Barbados drew 82 visitors (see reports below). This weekend, Mr. Wallace Smith will make TWSPs on “The Gathering Storm” in Omaha, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa and I will be in Atlanta, Georgia for a TWSP on the same topic. Mr. Fitzroy Greeman will do a follow-up presentation in Trinidad on “Where Is the Church Christ Built?” Please keep these important efforts to preach the gospel and warn this world in your prayers.—DSW
Passover 2012 (Repeat Announcement)
Important Notice to All Pastors: This year the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, April 5. 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. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, please let us know this information right away.
Additionally, let us know of any scattered members
who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and 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.
Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations
Barbados: We had a very successful TWSP follow-up here in Bridgetown on Sunday, March 18. Total attendance was 143 and the exciting part was that 82 were visitors! Quite a few said they want to attend Sabbath services next week. About 70% of the congregation attended, too, and the Bajan brethren were very encouraged by the event.—Scott Winnail
Dallas, Texas: Last Sabbath the Dallas congregation of the Living Church of God hosted a Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation entitled “The Gathering Storm,” given by Evangelist and Tomorrow’s World presenter Mr. Richard Ames. There were 120 members from Dallas and surrounding areas to welcome 90 visitors with warm greetings and delicious refreshments.
Mr. Ames’ powerful and meaningful presentation delivered a wealth of very clear and thought- provoking information which elicited many nods of agreement among the guests. One new family of seven traveled twelve hours from south Texas to hear Mr. Ames’ presentation and said they wanted to become members of the Living Church of God! After the presentation most of the guests remained to speak with Mr. Ames and also to fellowship with the brethren. Many indicated they would return next Sabbath for the follow-up presentation which will be delivered by Regional Pastor Dan Hall.
—Gary Stein and Alex Celan
Recent Earthquakes in Mexico City
On Tuesday, March 20, at 12:00 p.m. we had an earthquake of 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale. It lasted approximately one minute. We had aftershocks of less intensity; in fact, right now as I’m writing to you it is trembling, but thanks to the protection of our God none of our brethren have been harmed by the earthquakes.—Issachar Tenorio
Ministerial Conference Registration Forms (Repeat Announcement)
All those invited to the Ministerial Conference are asked to complete and submit their Registration Forms as soon as possible. Although the deadline is not until March 26, it is very helpful, in planning and arranging details such as housing, to get the information earlier.
Church Survey (Repeat Announcement)
Attention all U.S. Area Pastors: This is a reminder regarding the Church Survey results of your congregations. If you have not sent them in yet, please do so as soon as you can. We thank you for your diligent attention to this project, as an up-to-date and accurate database is vital for many different purposes, including timely mailings, festival registration, donation receipts, and for accurate demographic information used in planning.
Carolina Singles Weekend (Repeat Announcement)
The Charlotte singles would like to welcome you to our third annual Carolina Singles Weekend! This year it falls over the weekend of Pentecost, adding to the great spiritual atmosphere. The dates for the weekend are May 25 to May 28. We will be having lots of wonderful messages, great fellowship and delicious food. For more information, please visit our local website www.charlottelcg.org
(not an official Church website).
Registration is now open. We have set up the option for you to register online this year and you may also pay online. If you would rather mail your payment, you may do so. The cost for the weekend will be the same as it was last year, $20. Your registration will not be complete until we receive your payment.
We are working with a few motels around the area for discounted rates. That information will be provided shortly. Housing with brethren is available as well. Please let us know if you would like help arranging transportation when you come to Charlotte. More detailed information and a schedule can be found on the website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Darren Brinson at Darren.Brinson@hotmail.com
We hope to see y’all there!
Living Youth Programs
Teen Bible Study—Sunday Evening
This Sunday evening the topic is “Philemon,” presented by Mr. Ray Clore. The chat room is open at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) and the Bible Study runs from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Missouri Pre-Teen Camp
The applications for the Missouri Pre-Teen Camp are off to a strong start and we are getting close to half-capacity, already! If you are interested in attending or serving at the camp, please go to www.lyc.lcg.org
. The Missouri Camp is June 10-15. More information can be found at www.livingyouth.org
, with more details to come in the future.—Wallace Smith</ i>
Feast of Tabernacles 2012
84% Registered for the Feast (U.S.)
As we near the Passover, 84% of our U.S. brethren (4,343) have now registered for the Feast of Tabernacles. Counting international areas, the number of successfully registered brethren is almost 5,500. Thanks to all of you who have registered! If you are on a transfer waiting list, thank you for your patience—we are processing the transfer requests as quickly as we can.
The Internet Department here in Charlotte is also working in conjunction with the Festival Office and the site coordinators on more behind-the-scenes plans for the Feast, including adding more practical functions to the Festival websites in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!—Festival Office
South American Radio: We share with gladness the news that God opened a door for the preaching of the gospel in the city of Cali, in southern Colombia, some 190 miles from Ecuador’s northern border. The broadcast will be aired on Sabbaths and Sundays by the Radio Station Red Sonora AM 1500. May the glory be to the LORD and we request the brethren’s prayers so that this project is guided by God and contributes effectively in the commission Christ gave to the Church.
Can You Forgive? One of the most challenging things that we must do as Christians is to forgive someone who has offended or hurt us. Jesus said that we must not only love our neighbors, we must also show love to our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). This involves being able to forgive—which means developing the mind of God and learning to use the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals that God is abundant in mercy and ready to forgive (Psalm 86:5). Jesus taught that if we do not forgive others—on a regular basis—then God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-22). The Apostle Paul said that we should “be kind to one another… forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” and, “do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:32, 26). Real Chr istians cannot hold grudges—they must learn to forgive. Jesus asked God to forgive those who crucified Him, and Stephen also made a similar request (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60). We must do the same. As the Passover approaches, we need to carefully examine ourselves in this area of our lives (Matthew 5:21-24; 1 Corinthians 11:27-32). Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone to whom you need to apologize and from whom you need to ask forgiveness? The capacity to forgive is one of the marks of a true Christian.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
News and Prophecy—March 22, 2012
“Ten Nations” plus Germany:
A Spanish newspaper reported, “Gathered around Germany, ten nations have formed the ‘Berlin Club’ to revive the European project” (presseurop
, March 21, 2012). At a meeting in Berlin, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle invited nations considered “the most Europhile” to discuss how to “revive the ideal of a united Europe… stabilize growth and the euro… as well as border controls… [and reopen] the discussion on the need for a European Constitution.” The German Foreign Minister “received qualified support” from France and other countries” including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain (presseurop.eu
, March 15, 2012). Bible pr ophecy has long foretold that “ten kings… will give their power and authority [surrender their sovereignty] to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13)—a German-led power that will arise in Europe that has links to the ancient Roman Empire (Daniel 2:42-44)—see our booklet, The Beast of Revelation
Germany’s New President:
A special assembly of the German parliament just elected a new president to replace Christian Wulff, who recently resigned amid scandal. The 72-year-old Joachim Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor, commented on the news of his appointment, “What a glorious Sunday!” Angela Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. Both also hail from the former East Germany. Mr. Gauck has four children and is divorced. His partner (not his wife), will take on the responsibilities of “first lady” (BBC.com
, March 18, 2012). The Scriptures clearly state that God removes and sets up kings and leaders, and gives power to whomever He will (Daniel 2:21; 4:17). Bible prophecies reveal that at the end of the age, a German-led Beast power will arise in Europe and will be promoted by a prominent religious l eader (Revelation 13). Will Germany’s new, outspoken and more religious president be more likely to work with the religiously motivated ambitions of the Church of Rome? Time will tell. For more information on this coming Beast power, review our free reprint article: “Resurgent Germany: A Fourth Reich?”
Jerusalem’s History Foretells Its Future: The nation of Israel has long benefited from its geographical location. A recent Stratfor report summarized the risks to Israel, based on its geography and its past. Throughout its history, Israel has been able to defend itself against its neighbors, and even a combined attack by more than one neighbor was relatively easy to repel because of its unique geography. What history reveals is that only external powers with clear military and financial advantage have been able to overthrow Israel (e.g., Assyria, Babylon, Britain, and Rome). The Stratfor analysis points out that Israel must ally with a strong power it can trust, in order to prevent invasion and dominance by a powerful outside force. The U.S. has been this power for the last approximately 60 years. Stratfor notes , “It [Israel] can survive only if it maneuvers with great powers commanding enormously greater resources… it must be constantly clever… No nation can be clever forever… But cleverness is not a geopolitical concept. It is not permanent, and it is not assured.” Speaking of a potential scenario in which Israel could be overcome, the report continues, “… Israel might face a Babylonian catastrophe or be forced into some variation of Persian or Roman subjugation” (Stratfor, May 14, 2011). Bible prophecy labels Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, as a “cup of trembling” to its neighbors (Zechariah 12:2, KJV). It has been exactly that for millennia—a critical geopolitical region that everyone wants but no one near can have. As Stratfor notes, it would take an extremely powerful outside force (like Rome) in the absence of a powerful ally (like the U.S.) to effectively gain control of this critica l region of the world. Bible prophecy reveals that this is exactly what will happen in the end times. Jesus said that in the “last days” Jerusalem would be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24, KJV). The Bible reveals that this period of time will last for 3.5 years (Revelation 11:2; 13:5) and include a German-led European Beast Power controlling the sacrifices on the Temple Mount (Daniel 11:31; 12:11). Geopolitics are shaping up for this long-prophesied event. For more information on this subject and the fate of Israel and Jerusalem, see our free booklet, The Beast of Revelation—Scott Winnail and James Ginn.
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