From the Presiding Evangelist

Dear fellow servants of Christ, Mr. Apartian and I have just had a fine luncheon with Mr. and Mrs. Kinnear Penman—our minister and wife directing the Work in New Zealand. They are both doing very well, and enjoying their visit to Headquarters and the opportunity, also, to see their new grandson. We have known them for many years—and find they are extremely dedicated and loyal. Because of the situation in the Work and in the world—especially the terrible recession we are just coming out of, most of you realize that our income has been dragging somewhat. So although we are up more than three percent in our income year-to-date, we still need much more resources in order to move ahead and do the things I am sure God would want us to do. With this in mind, please encourage the brethren to pray for the Work—and especially ask them—all of our people—to pray fervently for the semi-annual letter which is just now being mailed out! This letter is being sent out to a total of 287,752 worldwide and, through our prayers, could have a very significant impact on the number of new donors, co-workers and members coming with us over the next several months. These letters only go out twice a year, as you know, so we need to understand the vital importance of our prayers. Ask God to bless the letter and move people to act so they can be part of the Work of God at the end of the age. On a somewhat personal note, as we finished our lunch and came back to the lower lobby of our office building here in Charlotte, Mr. Apartian and I encountered Mr. Gary Ehman—Head of our Personal Correspondence Department. Mr. Ehman looked sober, but was grateful that his wife came through her operation for hip replacement in relatively good shape. However, he told us earnestly that at one point lasting 40 seconds to a minute—she was “technically dead”! All her vital signs stopped. The hospital people put out an alarm and people were coming with defibrillators and other equipment to try to do something. Before they arrived, he himself and the nurse were yelling at Mrs. Ehman, “Linda, Linda!” Soon, she opened her eyes and looked around and said, “What’s going on?” wondering why people were so excited! One of the leading nurses in the room was a religious woman who believed in prayer, Mr. Ehman stated. So—even though the doctor and some of the nurses could not understand what was happening—this nurse looked across to Mr. Ehman and said, “We understand, don’t we?” and came around and gave him a hug. So we all need to realize—and be encouraged by the continuing healings that we often receive—that our God is real. Our God is a merciful God. Even though He may let some of us die when we get quite old. He has intervened and He is intervening over and over. So we gratefully acknowledge that and are so especially thankful at this time for the blessing that He has conferred upon Mr. and Mrs. Ehman by sparing her life as she came through this hip replacement surgery in a miraculous way. Thank God! Please share this with the brethren, fellow ministers. And let us all continue to pray for one another and for so many who are still in need of healing, deliverance, encouragement and God’s help in so many ways. And for the sake of the millions out there who need God’s message, please pray fervently for the semi-annual letter and ask the brethren to do the same. Your brother in Christ, Roderick C. Meredith Church

Administration Greetings from Charlotte,

For those who thought the Work is over—it is time to think again! Last weekend’s telecast by Mr. Ames, “You Can Understand Prophecy,” produced the highest number of responses that we have ever received—more than 6,300 callers headed to their phones after the program! The Canadian responses actually overwhelmed our U.S. call center located near Charlotte (see Mr. Pyle’s comments below). Mr. Rod McNair also reports that we had increased attendance at the Feast this year in both the U.S. and international areas (see below). Yesterday, Mr. Meredith recorded another Tomorrow’s World program entitled, “How Does Satan Deceive You?,” which will offer the booklet Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. Mr. and Mrs. Kinnear Penman, who manage the New Zealand office, are visiting in Charlotte this week—partly on Church business, but mainly to see their new grandson! Mr. Gerald Weston is also here to tape several LU lectures and discuss ideas about the Tomorrow’s World Bible Lectures. The trip my wife and I made last week to Phoenix for services, a Bible lecture and a mini-conference was very encouraging for everyone involved (see Mr. Bardo’s comments below). Members of the Council of Elders are beginning to arrive for meetings that will begin on Monday. Your prayers for God’s guidance during these meetings will be greatly appreciated. Tomorrow’s World Bible Lecture and Conference in Arizona Last Sabbath, 101 brethren from Phoenix, Prescott and Tucson, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico gathered in downtown Phoenix for a combined service and Arizona’s first Tomorrow’s World Bible lecture. Director of Church Administration, Dr. Douglas Winnail presented the Bible lecture entitled, “What’s Ahead for America?,” to an audience of 146 members and subscribers—that included 71 new attendees. The interest and enthusiasm was exciting as the audience heard the informative and sobering message. Many stayed to ask questions, fellowship and enjoy snacks after the lecture. A number also expressed their interest in returning for the follow-up lecture by Mr. Bardo this coming weekend entitled, “Where Is God’s Church Today?”

On Sunday, 30 servant leaders heard Dr. Winnail and Mr. Richard Ames (via DVD) discuss doctrinal topics, principles of speaking and ways to build strong congregations. The entire weekend was a tremendous uplift for the local membership.—Roger Bardo


On Sunday, Mr. John Turner, our elder in St. Joseph, Missouri, became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. It seems that he suffered a serious of mini-strokes that impeded his ability to communicate clearly. Now, we are happy to report that after being anointed and the brethren praying for him, Mr. Turner is doing much better and is able to talk and even share his great sense of humor with those who have visited him. He and Mrs. Turner want to thank everyone for their prayers and loving concerns. Following is a report from Mr. Mansie Bouwer, elder in South Africa, on the healing intervention that God performed for his seven-year-old daughter, Abigail: “Our family would like to report on a healing which took place this past weekend. The circumstances surrounding the healing were as follows: Abigail had been complaining of a stomach ache for some time, but since there was no fever or other obvious signs of illness, we never took her to a doctor. On Friday, 30 October 2009, Abigail went to school and, during the course of the morning, the ache developed into a severe pain that doubled her over, due too its intensity. The school called for us to collect Abigail, and suggested we take her to a pediatrician. The pediatrician sent Abigail for x-rays. The x-rays were frightening. Clearly there was something seriously wrong. Looking at the x-ray, the colon can clearly be seen as it shows up black on the x-ray. It seemed to be stretched from above the hip, on the one side of her body, to just above the middle of her lung on the other side of her body. “The pediatrician referred Abigail for a sonar in the hospital, which was to be performed on Monday, 2 November 2009, presuming there was a chronic blockage in her colon. On arriving home on Friday, we requested that Abigail be anointed in accordance with James 5. The whole Church in South Africa was also asked to pray for her, and it is with great delight that we can report that God intervened mightily for her. On Monday, when the doctor was performing the sonar, he seemed a little mystified as to why the pediatrician had referred Abigail for the sonar. He could find no indication of what was clearly a serious problem on the x-rays. We just want to bring this to your notice as God most assuredly did intervene and healed Abigail after she was anointed and the Church prayed for her.”

Official Attendance Figures for Feast of Tabernacles 2009
* 44 Feast sites in 30 countries
* 7,612 attendees at our Feast sites around the world (9% increase worldwide over 2008)
* 3,991 attendees in the United States (14% increase over 2008)
* 3,621 attendees in International areas (4% increase over 2008)
* 376 shut-ins received FOT CDs (284 in USA, 45 in Canada, 47 in International areas)
* Overall attendance (including shut-ins) was a grand total of 7,988

How to Find a Son-in-Law… A daughter of converted parents deeply resented the restrictions she felt the Church of God put on her life, rebelled in her teen years, ran away and married outside the Church. She was married for 16 years before the marriage ended in divorce. During these years she never attended Church. A couple of years after the divorce, she was working as a leasing agent at an apartment complex when a very nice man came in to lease an apartment and began to drop by the office to chat, eventually asking her out. On their first date, during dinner conversation, he casually asked her, “Have you ever heard of Herbert W. Armstrong?” She was just dumbstruck! She said to herself, “God, don’t do this to me! Here is a man who seems just right for me and he’s looking for what I have been running from all my life!” After she recovered from her shock, she told him, “My Dad is a minister in the Church that teaches what Mr. Armstrong taught.” Then it was his turn to be astonished! She learned that he had been reading and studying the Church of God literature for seven years, looking for a Church that continued teaching what Mr. Armstrong taught. They began to date regularly and to study together and eventually decided to marry. She had introduced him to her parents by this time, but didn’t say anything about studying God’s word together. They began to counsel for marriage with her Dad, a minister in the Living Church of God, and after their last marriage counseling session, she called back her Dad and said they needed to return and talk to him again “in his official capacity.” When they returned, she was very nervous and asked her fiancé to start the conversation. He said that they needed to talk about something more important than marriage, that they had been studying the Truth together and were compelled to take the next step, but didn’t know how to go about it. Her Dad told them to be at Church services the following Sabbath. They began attending faithfully, and were baptized together one month after their marriage. Her parents wrote, “Never, never give up on your children! Continue to pray for God’s protection for them and that He will grant them repentance in His time. We thank God for this wonderful blessing.”

Media Tomorrow’s World Television Program

The response to last weekend’s brand new program by Mr. Ames, “You Can Understand Prophecy,” broke all previous records. This was also the first program that offered a free DVD—the DVD was entitled “The Power of Prophecy.” More than 6,300 callers responded to the program, and the Canadian calls literally swamped the phone system at the U.S. call center. Two programs last November also broke the 6,000-mark: program #333, “When Will Christ Return?,” which offered the Fourteen Signs booklet, and program #265, “Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity.” However, the response to last weekend’s program exceeded the previous programs by several hundred calls.—Wayne Pyle Internet Update: Preaching the Gospel in Six More Languages! We are pleased to announce that Tomorrow’s World and Living Church of God online content is now available in six more languages! Dr. Meredith recently approved the translation of introductory information about the Living Church of God and the Tomorrow's World telecast into six languages—Arabic Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian and Swahili—with more than two billion speakers around the globe! We anticipate translating more of our online content into these and other languages, as Christ makes available the resources to do so.—J. Charles Ogwyn

Comments Are You Thankful for the Truth? The Sabbath is a good time to reflect on an important question: How thankful are you for the Truth? It is easy to take the Truth for granted, especially if you are a long-time member or if you have grown up in the Church. Yet Jesus said that people cannot come to a real understanding of the Truth unless they are called and their minds have been opened to see the big picture (John 6:44). The capacity to understand the plan of God, the purpose of life, Bible prophecy and the true way of life is a gift that God is making available to only a few at this time—those called to be firstfruits (1 Corinthians 1:26-27; James 1:18). The Bible reveals these precious truths are a mystery to most people (1 Corinthians 2:7-8) because Satan—“the god of this age”—has blinded their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Jesus said that it is an incredible privilege to be given an understanding of the Truth (Matthew 13:10-17). Paul said that to be called out of darkness into the light of the Truth is something for which we should be extremely thankful (Ephesians 5:8-20). He also mentions that those who were unthankful for what they could have understood, “exchanged the truth of God for the lie”—misguided ideas generated by human reason that led people off in wrong directions (Romans 1:18-32). Let’s never forget to be thankful for the opportunity to understand the Truth of God that “endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5). Have a profitable Sabbath, Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—November 12, 2009

Death Threats for Australia. Australia is a nation with a size virtually equivalent to the continental United States, but with a population of only 20 million people. A recent article in an online Taliban magazine, Al Sumud, powerfully stated the desires of this extreme group: “The end of European leadership in the world will place the white settler diaspora in Australia before two choices… It can either return to its motherland in Europe or reconcile with its Asian surroundings and assimilate into it as a wealthy and active member.” The author went on to further threaten, “There is no doubt that the huge growth in the population of Asia, together with its economic and military development, will make Australia into lebensraum—to use the European term.” Lebensraum was a term used in Nazi Germany to support the conquest of neighbouring nations to increase the “living space” for Germany. Asians see Australia as future “living space” for their soaring populations (The Australian, November 6, 2009). God warned long ago of difficult times for Israel if it failed to obey and worship Him. Although the recent Taliban threats are currently just verbal, the Bible indicates that they could potentially become a reality in the future. “The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies… A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land...” (Deuteronomy 28:25, 33). Returning to the one true God could prevent some of this evil, and so it is crucial for us to preach the Gospel and the Ezekiel Warning to the world!

Britain Wants Autonomy Back. Following ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, British Tory leader David Cameron vowed to work toward returning powers from Brussels to Britain. He said he would “seek to stop the ‘steady and unaccountable intrusion’ of the European Union into British law.” Many British citizens are upset because they were promised a popular vote on the Treaty and never received it. Cameron, thought by many to be the most likely next British leader, vowed to change British law if he becomes Prime Minister, so future European treaties would be forced to referendum. In response to Cameron’s words, the French Minister of European Affairs commented, “Nobody is going to indulge in rewriting (treaties for) many, many years.” He then noted how any changes would require approval by all 27 EU members (France24.com, November 5, 2009). Britain and many other nations willingly handed over many decision-making powers to the EU leadership in Brussels and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to have them returned. In 1776, thirteen U.S. colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. Not quite 100 years later, several states chose to “leave the union” and brought on the American Civil War. Could leaving the EU lead to a similar conflict? God prophesied that because of Israel’s departure from His laws, “Aliens have devoured his strength” (Hosea 7:9), and “their glory shall fly away like a bird” (Hosea 9:11). Because of their disobedience, the Israelite-descended nations will again be carried captive by their enemies (Deuteronomy 28:64-68). Could it be an attempt to back out of an already-agreed-upon union that will precipitate such events?

Craving a Return to Socialism. “Across former communist Eastern Europe, disenchantment with democracy is widespread and pollsters say mistrust of the elites who made people citizens of the European Union is staggering… ‘Everything was better then. There was no street crime, jobs were safe and salaries were enough for decent living,’ said a Belgrade pensioner…” Several former Soviet nations are becoming nostalgic for a time when there was proverbially a “chicken in every pot,” forgetting the evils of the Soviet society. With the global economic downturn, job loss, inflation and increased crime, the growing feeling in Eastern Europe is “We lived better in the past.” According to a U.S. survey, 60% of Bulgarians thought they were better off under the socialist Soviet rule (Reuters, November 8, 2009). It appears that the masses are becoming ripe for the emergence of a strong leader or kingdom. Intense is the desire to return to the “safety” of a powerful ruler. The Bible prophesies that, at the end of the age, a powerful Beast power will come on the scene and will rule over nations that will willingly allow it to lead them (Revelation 17:12-13). Will these Eastern European nations return to a resurgent Russian empire, or will they submit to a central power in Europe? Time will make this clear!—Scott Winnail and James Ginn