17 November 2011

Greetings from Charlotte,

While America focuses on pre-election dramas, events of prophetic significance continue to develop in the bubbling crucible of Europe. This week in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith directed very profitable Council of Elders meetings from Monday to Wednesday. It was encouraging to hear the positive reports from various parts of the world where the Work is being done. We held a Living University Board Meeting on Thursday. Mr. Pyle reports that Mr. Meredith’s most recent television program entitled, “How To Know When Christ Will Return!,” is expected to draw more than 5,300 responses and that last weekend’s responses overwhelmed our call center. The Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations last weekend in Baltimore, Washington, Indianapolis, Akron, Abilene and Midland drew more than 80 visitors. This coming weekend Dr. Wil Pierre will be in Haiti for services and to conduct a TWSP. Thank you for your prayers for God’s guidance and blessing for all these events.—DSW

Church Administration
Australasian Update
Mr. Bruce Tyler reports: “On the way [to the Council of Elders], I took the opportunity to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Penman and discuss various matters concerning the future of God’s Work in the Pacific sector of the region. Mr. Penman is still in contact with a number of those who attended Dr. Winnail’s Tomorrow’s World presentations…. The new television station [in Australia], TV4, which is carrying the Tomorrow’s World program, appears to be very promising. So far, the responses are steadily climbing each week and that’s very pleasing to see. In this Laodicean age, we know the vast majority of humanity will scoff at God’s Work and Word, but we are in good company. They did the same in Noah’s day. But God and His Word will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). Our peoples are bent on sowing a spiritual whirlwind which is about to end in the greatest national catastrophe ever seen…”
Charlotte Family Weekend
You are invited to a delightful weekend of activities being planned for December 23-25 in Charlotte. There will be a Marriage Seminar on Friday, December 23 (see announcement below). Friday night Bible Study and Sabbath services will be held at the Hilton Charlotte University Place Hotel. Saturday evening we will have a dinner and dance, and Sunday’s activities for all ages will be held at a local gymnasium. This will be an excellent opportunity for fun and fellowship! Rooms are available at the Hilton Charlotte University Place Hotel for a discounted rate of $69 (plus tax) per night. When making reservations, be sure to identify yourself as being with the Living Church of God. This discounted rate will be available from Friday, December 23 until Monday, December 26. Cost for the Saturday evening dinner will be $22 for adults and $9 for children. There is no cost to attend the dance only. The adult dinner consists of sala d, rolls, beef tenderloin or roasted chicken, vegetables, dessert and drink. The children’s meal is salad, rolls, chicken fingers, cheeseburger or hamburger, French fries and drink.
Please download the Registration/Pre-Payment form at www.charlottelcg.org and mail it with payment made out to the Charlotte Local Activity Fund by Friday, December 16 (there is no charge for the dance only). For additional information on the Charlotte Family Weekend, please contact Mrs. Dorothy McNair at 704-844-1960, ext. 2248, or send an e-mail to dmcnair@lcg.org.
Please make checks out to the Charlotte Local Activity Fund and send it to the following address:
Living Church of God
Attention: Dorothy McNair
2301 Crown Centre Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28227
Location of Bible Study, Sabbath Services and Dinner-Dance:
Hilton Charlotte University Place
8629 JM Keynes Street
Charlotte, NC 28262
800-HILTONS (800-445-8667)
Charlotte Family Weekend—Marriage Seminar

Come to the informative Marriage Seminar to be conducted on Friday, December 23, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place, at the beginning of the Charlotte Family Weekend. This event is open to everyone, and there is no charge. Registration, however, is necessary, so we can plan for seating (please use the same form as the dinner-dance). The seminar will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a break for lunch. Lunch will not be provided, but participants can avail themselves of the hotel restaurant or other establishments nearby. Don’t miss it!

Personal Hymnals
The Mail Processing Department is now beginning to distribute personal hymnals, based on the orders we received this past summer. We will not be mailing the hymnals to each person individually. Instead, we will group the hymnals of one congregation together, and ship them together, either to the pastor or the person he designates to receive them. Each order will be separately wrapped and labeled to avoid confusion.

Living University

Registration for Second Semester
Registration for second semester classes is now underway. Classes will begin January 11 and students may register anytime between now and January 11. For those who have never taken a Living University course, you will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of “Spring Semester” courses (Spring in the northern hemisphere), can also be viewed on the Living University website under the link “2011 Spring Schedule.” To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com. For additional information, please contact Dr. Scott Winnail at swinnail@livinguniv.com or call 704-708-2292.
THL 110b – Bible Study Course (prerequisite: THL 110a). This version of the Bible Study Course (BSC) is online and includes lectures on related topics and additional readings. It will be more “in depth” than the paper-pencil or online version of the Bible Study Course, but it will use the original course as its backbone. The course has no tuition fee for those who enroll. This two-semester course serves as an introduction to the Bible, its message, and its implication for successful Christian life in today’s world. This course is not available for audit.
THL 135 – Life, Ministry and Teachings of Jesus. This course is one of LU’s foundational courses in theology, and covers the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the four gospels, and takes a “harmony of the gospels” approach to the subject. It covers the gospels in far more detail than is possible in our traditional Sabbath services. The gospels are analyzed from the context of the social, political, and religious conditions of the first century. Students will spend time reviewing the background, purpose, message, and themes of the gospels and the significance of Jesus Christ in the first century and beyond. The lecture core of this course is a series of recorded lectures presented by Dr. Roderick Meredith.

THL 136 – Acts and the Writings of Paul. This class focuses on the book of Acts and deals with Paul’s life, times, and writings. It includes the background, purpose, message and themes of Paul’s letters; his personal life and character; his companions; and the chronology of the apostle’s life. Emphasis is placed on the spiritual importance of Paul’s writings and the issues that Paul dealt with in the early New Testament Church. This exciting course is also needed to take the Epistles of Paul courses.

Study the Word: The prophet Isaiah records that God is looking for individuals who “tremble at My word” (Isaiah 66:2). Jesus taught that we are to live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also warned of men who would set aside the commandments of God and teach “as doctrines the commandments [traditions] of men” (Mark 7:5-13). This is why the Apostle Paul stressed that we must diligently study the Scriptures so we can rightly divide (understand, explain) the word of truth and avoid being confused by false teachers (2 Timothy 2:15). In a world where many people have different ideas about what to believe, we need to know what the Bible really says to avoid being misled and deceived. Jesus plainly said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make y ou free” (John 8:31-32).
Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—November 17, 2011
Europe’s Dynamic Landscape. The crisis in Europe has generated a myriad of opinions about its ultimate outcome. Some suggest a long and protracted period of crisis management. Others see a sleeker version of a two-speed Europe (The Economist, November 10, 2011). Some think Germany should leave the EU and take its friends with it (The Telegraph, November 16, 2011). Some are calling for a New Europe (Reuters, November 9, 2011). Still others hold to the idea that the EU can be saved only by making the “tough” decisions. In a recent article, geopolitical analyst George Friedman suggests that one way Europe may move beyond the current debt crisis is through the emergence of “… new political forces… that will completely reshape the European political landscape” (Stratfor, November 15, 2011). One idea that is common to many assessments is that the final solu tion will result in some type of “downsizing” of nations (fewer than the current 17 eurozone members), and that Germany will be at the helm. Bible prophecy has long foretold such a development. The Apostle John predicted the rise of a European Beast power eventually consisting of ten kingdoms that willingly give their power to a central government led by a strong individual (Revelation 17:12-16). This Beast will be influenced by a universal “mother church” (verses 1-5) that will direct nations to worship this Beast (Revelation 13:11-15). What is now occurring in Europe will ultimately lead to radical changes in Europe’s political landscape, just as the Bible predicts. For more information on this topic, review our booklet, The Beast of Revelation.
Catholics Come Home. For some time, Catholics Come Home advertisements have aired in select media markets around the U.S. An ad campaign in Phoenix, Arizona in 2008 resulted in more than 3,000 people returning to the Catholic church, according to a spokesperson from the Diocese of Phoenix. Now, the church is poised to blanket the U.S. with 400 ads in more than 10,000 cities across the country, between December 16 and January 8. The hope is that the $3 million campaign will motivate about a million Catholics to return to the church. According to a spokesperson, “People are looking for hope.” Some of those who have returned said they did, “because we were invited” (National Catholic Register, November 9, 2011). As time goes on, prophecy reveals that the Roman church will gain both popularity and power (Revelation 17:1-6, 18), in part from people who are “looking for hope” and waiti ng to be asked. Although this “church of men” will not be able to fulfill the hope of billions, there is One who will—the coming Messiah—Jesus Christ. His return as King of kings and Lord of lords will reshape the world, bring freedom to the captives, and give hope to the hopeless. And His return is eminent! For more details about indicators of Christ’s return, see our booklet, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.
Is War Next for Syria? The once close relationship between Syria and Turkey has rapidly deteriorated due to Syria’s continued violence toward its own protesting citizens. This week, “Turkey… suspended its joint oil exploration projects with Damascus and threatened to cut off electricity supplies to its neighbor in response to the continued violent suppression of Syria’s popular uprising” (Deutche Welle, November 16, 2011). The Arab Spring has slipped out of view of some media sources, but civil unrest and violent government crackdowns are still ripe in Syria. While some have suggested that Syria could be expelled by the Arab League, other experts suggest that if tensions continue to increase, Turkey could take military action against Syria. Currently, Turkey is sending troops to its southern border with Syria to create a buffer zone between the two nations—an area where Syr ian refugees might come for safety. Syrian unrest is a powerful reminder that all is not well in the Middle East, and that things will likely get worse before they get any better. God predicted a time when Syrian leaders in Damascus will grow feeble and afraid, people will die in the streets of the city, and it will be consumed by fire (Jeremiah 49:23-27). He also said that Damascus would cease from being a city and become a “ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1)—a prophecy that has not yet come to pass. Events in Syria will be worth watching as Damascus and Syria will figure prominently in the fulfillment of God’s prophecies.—Scott Winnail, John Meakin, James Ginn, Deborah Lincoln-Strange

COGwriter 2011

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