1 September 2011

Greetings from Charlotte,

This week the northeastern portion of the United States has been assessing the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene. High winds and flooding caused billions of dollars of damage, left millions without electrical power and claimed the lives of more than 40 people. Mr. Jonathan McNair, area pastor for the New England congregations, reports that most of our members were protected from damage during the storm. High temperatures, drought and wildfires continue to plague the south central portion of the USA, while violence and bloodshed continue to unsettle the Middle East. In the coming weeks, euro zone countries will face serious decisions concerning their spreading financial crisis—as end-time prophecies come alive! Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith has conducted a number of meetings. Mr. Meredith and Mr. Ames taped new Tomorrow’s World televis ion programs this week. The title of Mr. Meredith’s telecast is: “2012 In Prophecy,” and Mr. Ames’ telecast is titled, “Christmas: The Missing Message.” Last week’s program by Mr. Ames entitled “Overcoming Stress” is expected to draw more than 4,300 responses. I had a very encouraging trip last weekend to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi, to make Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations that drew 79 guests. Mr. Rod Reynolds and Mr. Ed Breaux will make follow-up presentations this weekend. Mr. Irv Woelfle reports that 10 guests attended the follow-up presentations in Peoria and Springfield, Illinois. Mr. Gerald Weston reports that 104 first-time guests attended two TWSPs last weekend in Ottawa, Canada. Please continue to pray that God will bless these efforts to preach the Gospel.—DSW

Church Administration
Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations
New Orleans: On August 27, the New Orleans congregation hosted a very successful Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation given by Dr. Douglas Winnail on the subject of “What’s Ahead for America?” A total of 101 attended the presentation, including 39 from the New Orleans and nearby LCG congregations, and 62 guests. Many guests stayed to visit with members and with Dr. Winnail for an hour or more after the presentation ended. Several guests inquired about attending services, and a number of them stated their intention to return for the follow-up presentation this Sabbath.—Rod Reynolds
Ottawa: On Friday night, August 26, Mr. Gerald Weston gave a TWSP in Ottawa (Ontario), Canada, titled “What Is the Mark of the Beast?” It was attended by 76 subscribers and 25 members for a total of 101 persons. The following day’s presentation was titled, “What Gospel Did Jesus Christ Preach?,” and it was attended by 52 subscribers and 26 members, totaling 78 persons. The enthusiasm was evident on both days, with a total of 104 different subscribers for the two great presentations. We are eagerly awaiting the follow-up this Sabbath!—Jacques Secours

Peoria and Springfield, Illinois: Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations were again given for people living in the area of these two central Illinois cities last weekend. These were follow-up presentations given by the Associate Pastor for the Peoria, Illinois congregation, Mr. Irv Woelfle. For the Peoria presentation, there were 15 members and five guests present and in Springfield, there were 16 members and five guests. Two other guests came to the Springfield presentation who had not attended the previous week. Before the presentation, they looked through the folders which had been given to them. When they found out that the subject was not about prophecy, which was their primary interest, they excused themselves to go to the restroom and never returned. The presentations were very well received with two people being invited to attend the Peoria congregation. Also, two people from Springfield expressed great interest to attend, but the distance to Church services is a problem for them. Therefore, a monthly Bible Study will be conducted for them and other brethren who live in the Springfield area.

Hurricane Irene
For some along the eastern seaboard, Hurricane Irene was a “non-event.” For millions, however, it was a devastating storm. Below, I have included a selection of summary information about the storm, taken from two major journals, outlining the impact on the Northeast. Thankfully, most of our members in the Northeast were protected from damage. However, today (Thursday), some of our members in Long Island are still without power. And tragically, the daughter of one of our members in upstate New York lost her home and all of her belongings. She lived in the Hudson Valley/Catskills area that was hardest hit, along with the whole state of Vermont.—Jonathan McNair
The New York Times reported that New York City’s economic costs have yet to be calculated, but with Broadway dark, storefronts covered in plywood and virtually the entire population shuttered indoors, the weekend’s lost sales and storm damage could end up costing the city about $6 billion. Flooding in Philadelphia reached levels that had not been seen in that city in more than 140 years. At least 45 deaths have been attributed to the storm. All told, more than one million homes and businesses on the East Coast were still waiting for electricity to be restored. Paterson, a working-class city in northern New Jersey, was fighting back the highest floodwaters in over a century. At least 6,000 people here have been affected, Mayor Jeffery Jones said. Roads have been destroyed, and stores have been wrecked. Whole blocks lie beneat h waters that have swallowed stop signs as easily as skipping stones.

The London Telegraph reported that 285,000 homes and firms in eastern Canada lost power after being struck by Irene as it left the U.S., bringing the total who suffered blackouts to more than 5.5 million people. Entire houses in the low-lying areas of the tiny town of Windham, New York, were plunged underwater. Michael Scarey, the fire chief, told local reporters the town, home to about 1,600 people, had been “wiped out.” Further north, Vermont battled what was believed to be its worst flooding in 84 years. Every road in Vermont, apart from two major motorways, was closed at some point yesterday due to water cover. Experts were attempting to analyse the extent of damage caused to businesses, homes and infrastructure along the eastern seaboard. The Kinetic Analysis Corporation put it at $13 billion. Others, however, said the final total—incorporating lost business, including the 11,000 flights cancelled by airlines—could be double that, or even more.

French Update: New French Website Launched!
Our new French website is now online! And the first comments we have received are very positive. This is the third version of www.MondeDemain.org and it uses a similar design to the new English-language website, www.TomorrowsWorld.org. In addition to the new design, the new French website is optimized for “organic” search. A new content section, News and Prophecy (Nouvelles et Prophéties), is also featured, as well as an optional display in large font for our visually-impaired visitors. The launching of this 2011 version is also accompanied by new Facebook and Twitter pages. The use of these social networks will help us improve the positioning of our website (on popular search engines) and reach more people.
With this 2011 version, the online Bible Study Course is now hosted on a separate site, www.coursdebible.org, which also benefits from a new design and is more user-friendly. Through the pages of the Bible Study Course, we are also able to offer various online Bible translations in French that are copyright free (Louis Segond, Darby, Ostervald and Martin).

More developments to our websites are planned for the next few months, such as newsletters, RSS and podcast feeds.—VG Lardé

Africa Update: Visit to Nigeria

Mr. Ellis and I are in Lagos, Nigeria. We have just concluded a day of meetings with our deacon Dr. Akin-Ogundeje who takes care of the Church here in Nigeria. We have discussed how we can best plan for the future with the limited resources that exist. Though there are only a few members they are dedicated to preaching the Gospel. We are considering some advertising and ways of promoting Tomorrow’s World. A small Feast of Tabernacles is being planned this year so please remember to pray for God’s people in this part of the world.—Rod King

Personal Hymnals

We want to thank everyone who ordered personal hymnals for sending us your order forms and payment promptly. We are processing the forms and checks, and the hymnals have been ordered from the printer. We expect to be able to ship the personal hymnals out to everyone shortly after the Feast.

Feast of Tabernacles 2011
Opening Night—October 12
Now that September has begun, the Feast of Tabernacles will be here before we know it! The Feast this year begins on Opening Night, October 12. Brethren should plan ahead to make every effort to attend the Opening Night service, which is the beginning of the first Holy Day of the Feast. As in past years, the Opening Night will begin with a “kickoff” message from Mr. Meredith you won’t want to miss! Check with your Festival Coordinator for time of Opening Night service.
Sign Up and Pay for Activities—and Volunteer!
With just one month left before the Feast, our Festival Coordinators are busy making final arrangements for activities at each Feast site. If you haven’t yet signed up for activities at your site, please do so as soon as possible. Check with your Festival Coordinator about how and when payment must be received. Also, there are still many needs for volunteer service at the Feast. Please be sure to sign up for the volunteer activities you would like to participate in.
Helping Brethren in Need at the Feast
As mentioned last week, Festival Assistance requests have been finalized, and notification letters are being sent to those who requested assistance. With the heavy volume of assistance needed in deteriorating economic times, we want to encourage all brethren to prepare to help one another out at the Feast by sharing with others who may not have as much second tithe. As Nehemiah encouraged his brethren in Nehemiah 8:10, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Feast Film: Philadelphian Pioneers
The final cut of this year’s Feast film, once again put together by Dylan King and the TV department, has been approved by Mr. Meredith. This year’s presentation will be a historical perspective of the Philadelphian work raised up by Mr. Armstrong, through the eyes of one of its earliest students and pioneers, Mr. Meredith. We think you will enjoy viewing this informative and inspiring film at the Feast this year!
Panama City Feast Activity Tickets
Activity ticket orders submitted to Headquarters will be filled and mailed until Monday, September 19. Ticket orders arriving after that date can be picked up at the Business Office desk at the Festival site. If you order your tickets in advance (please try to have your order in the mail by Wednesday, September 14), you will not need to stand in long lines to buy them at the Business Office during the Feast. Please note that tickets for the lunch between services on the first Holy Day will not be available at the site, as the food order will already have been placed with the caterer. Panama City Ticket Order Forms are available online at www.cogl.org or from your local Festival advisor.


Beware of False Teachers! Warnings about false teachers are found throughout the Bible, with much emphasis in the New Testament. Jesus warned of false teachers who would come in “sheep’s clothing” (smooth talking, congenial, appearing spiritual), but are inwardly “ravenous wolves” who seek to divide and devour the flock of God—and whose fruits (track records) will become obvious over time (Matthew 7:15-19). Jesus also warned that at the end of the age, “many” will come in His name (proclaiming to be ministers of God) and will deceive many (Matthew 24:5, 11, 24). The Apostle Paul warned that false teachers guided by a “different spirit” would even masquerade as “apostles of Christ” as they mislead people and actually function as ministers of Satan (2 Corinthian s 11:1-15). Peter warned that false teachers will use deceptive words to promote themselves and spread divisive and destructive heresies, and they will speak evil of the truth and attack the Church of God (2 Peter 2:1-3). The Bible also reveals that false teachers will speak lies (John 8:44), spread rumors (Proverbs 11:13) and dig up evil to make accusations against true ministers of God to discredit them (Proverbs 16:27; Revelation 12:9-10). These prophesied events are happening today. Let’s remember these numerous warnings and ask God for the spiritual discernment to recognize false and misleading teachers (2 Timothy 1:6-7)—because we will all be tested in this crucial area.

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—September 1, 2011
God Banned from Ceremony! New York mayor Michael Bloomberg recently banned religious observance and prayer at the tenth anniversary memorial ceremony of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The decision has drawn some harsh comments. Former deputy mayor of New York, Rudy Washington observed, “This is America, and to have a memorial service where there’s no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me… I feel like America has lost its way. I am very upset about it. This is crazy.” Popular televangelist and former presidential candidate, Pat Robertson, commented “It goes with the finest traditions of our nation that we memorialize bravery, courage, and sacrifice with appeal to the Author of life… I am frankly shocked that May or Bloomberg thinks that he is doing the city of New York a favor by eliminating the spiritual element at an event commemorating tragedy, grief, and heroic sacrifice.” In response to the criticism, Bloomberg’s office commented that the focus “remains on the families of the victims” (www.newsmax.com, August 25, 2011). Millennia ago, God confronted Moses with the question: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?” (Numbers 14:11). God warned ancient Israelites and their modern descendants, “If you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes… I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you…” (Leviticus 26:14-16). God “allowed” an act o f terror to hit New York City ten years ago, yet the nation and its leaders continue to reject God. This same God clearly states that He will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). What will it take for the nations God has so abundantly blessed to return to Him?

Euro Area May Need to Shrink to Survive.“As its sovereign-debt crisis nears a third year and rescue efforts fail to stop the rot in financial markets, economists from Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Mohamed El-Erian to Harvard’s Martin Feldstein say ensuring the euro’s existence may require members to leave the 17-nation currency region. The result would be what El-Erian, Pimco’s Newport Beach, California-based chief executive officer, calls a ‘smaller, much better integrated, fiscally strong euro zone.’” While Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy are adamantly against this move, economists take a different view. One economist used a simple yet sobering analogy to illustrate the need for such a move: “Sometime in the next two years, we probabl y will see an exit as it becomes increasingly impossible for the euro to overcome its internal contradictions. It’s like cutting off a gangrenous leg to preserve the body” (Bloomberg, August 22, 2011). Revelation 17 clearly states that ten “kings” will make up the final Beast power in Europe. These kingdoms may be ethnic groups, nations, or a mixture of both. In the current euro zone, we see strong economies in both eastern and western Europe. We could see “five toes” come from each region of Europe (west and east) making up this final Beast power (Daniel 2:41-43). We need to watch carefully as Bible prophecies come alive!

The Power of Weather. Hurricane Irene plowed a destructive path up the east coast of the United States and into Canada last weekend, causing billions of dollars in damage and leaving millions without power. Although the storm was a “low” category hurricane, it was large and moved through some of the most densely populated areas of the nation—potentially impacting more than 65 million people. Over 2.5 million people were evacuated from low-lying areas across several states. More than half-a-million people were evacuated from New York City alone. Thankfully, damage in the densely populated areas was far less than forecasted (www.msnbc.com, August 27, 2011). The evacuation of 2.5 million people brings to mind a prophecy that God made against the Israelite-descended nations who choose to reject Him at the end of the age. “I will set My face against you… you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Leviticus 26:17). Millions of people fled the storm last weekend and most returned to their intact dwellings with little damage. Although the evacuations were probably a “wise call” by local authorities, it is still sobering to see people flee when no one is chasing. One day soon, Jesus Christ will return and say again to the wind and waves, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39), and they will listen. No more major storms will terrify people, or destroy their property, because God will be the feared, loved, and respected “Protector” of all!—Scott Winnail and Phyllis Api

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COGwriter 2011