News of the Living Church of God!
The URL for the official Living Church of God website is www.lcg.org. An official site that is directed towards members and those with a COG background is cogl.org.
LCG's Foreign sites:
|Afrikaans||French||* Living Church of God History. * Living Church of God Statement of Beliefs|
|Canada||German||* Listing of Living Church of God Congregations * Sunset Times for the U.S.|
|Czech||Indonesian||* COG News * News of Those Once Affiliated of Global * Recent LCG Letters|
|Dutch||Spanish||* Prayer Requests * Living Church of God Sermons * LCG Commentary|
Here is a link to some COGwriter articles in Italian (translated by google). LCG 2006 Feast of Tabernacles' Information.
06/28/06 p.m. In an email, LCG reported:
View our latest commentary titled "These Disunited States of America" at www.tomorrowsworld.org.
06/25/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Douglas Winnail. In it, he mentions the fact that television responses are up 31% this year, the death of Ken MacCleod, that the NZ FOT site is full, income is up 6%, Joshua Pennman's move to HQ, and judging and judgements.
The following news items were also included:
Protestant Churches Welcome Homosexual Ministers. The Episcopal Church—the
branch of the Anglican Communion—elected its first female leader this week. Her gender and pro-homosexual vision could further aggravate the growing divide within the Anglican Church over these issues (New York Times, June 19, 2006). At a convention this week, Episcopalians also rejected the idea that Jesus is the only savior of mankind (UPI, June 21, 2006). Meanwhile, the U.S. Presbyterian Church voted to allow local congregations to ordain homosexuals to the clergy. Sexual orientation and sexual practices are apparently no longer “essential issues” for church clergy (The Charlotte Observer, June 21, 2006)—even though the Bible clearly teaches against these behaviors (Leviticus 20:13). Long ago, God predicted, “In the last days…men will be lovers of themselves [selfish]… unholy… without self-control… despisers of what is good… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (II Timothy 3:1-5). God also warned, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Isaiah 5:20). It is sobering that churches supposedly based on the Bible are showing by their actions that they no longer believe the Bible! U.S.
The Alien Shall Rise Higher and Higher. “One fifth (20%) of
’s financial district is now in German hands” (The Times, May 31, 2006). In addition, “The Spanish Armada” is increasing its control in the U.K. Spain just purchased the world’s top airport operator BAA—owner of seven London U.K.airports and airports in Italy, Hungary, Australiaand the (The Times, June 8, 2006). U.S. Spain’s latest U.K.purchase was made possible by an EU mandate for to sell its controlling shares in BAA. Meanwhile, “the European Commission has been sitting on a ‘cash mountain’ of up to 21 billion pounds” (nearly US$40 billion). “The maintenance of such huge cash balances suggests the commission is establishing its own state resources—the hallmark of an emerging independent state” (The Sunday Times, June 8, 2006). As the EU grows in political and economic power, Israelite nations like Britain are increasingly selling out to foreign investors. God prophesied, “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head and you shall be the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44). While some suggest that the events of today are not unique and are just a continuation of history, those who “watch,” as Jesus commanded, know that never before have so many world events come together in a way that so clearly fulfills Bible prophecy! Britain
When the Faucet Runs Dry, What Then? In
New South Wales, , a fifth year of drought is virtually shutting down the agricultural industry. “People are getting desperate again. A lot of people are scared it will become a way of the future… Farming families are leaving the land in search of employment in the cities.” The government has directed Western Australian grain growers to stop sowing crops because there is no rain in sight for at least two weeks. (Daily Telegraph [ Australia ], June 21, 2006). In southern Australia Spain, southwestern Englandand southern , the threat of water shortage is growing. Parts of France Portugal, Italyand have not yet recovered from the record heat of three years ago. Greece is experiencing the worst drought in nearly 60 years, with water tables and reservoirs at a 10-year low. In southeastern Spain , water reserves are down 46 percent. This summer’s pending water shortages in Europe, according to experts, will begin economic and social dislocations throughout the continent (Gulf Times [ England ], June 17, 2006). In the mid-western Qatar , lack of rain is causing crops to wither and prompting cattle to be sent to market early because of a shortage of water and forage (Associated Press, June 20, 2006). Few today realize that God warned this would happen and explained why (Amos 4:7-8). Humanity will ultimately come to realize who controls the weather and what happens when we ignore God and His word!— United States Scott Winnail, Dan Bennett, Don Davis
06/20/06 a.m. At its website, LCG asks and answers the following:
Some professing Christians demonstrate their faith by handling venomous snakes and drinking deadly poisons. Is this what Jesus instructed?
06/18/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from D. Winnail. In it, he mention our radio program starting to get results in Thailand, the growth of the work in Indonesia, LYC, that L4T still has openings, US media results, that all need to "prove your beliefs", plus international news items.
Here is the "prove your beliefs" portion:
Prove Your Beliefs. Many today assume that simply “believing in Jesus” and “accepting Him into one’s own heart” is all that is required to be a Christian. However, the Bible teaches differently! The Scriptures warn that false teachers will also talk about believing in Jesus and deceive many people (Matthew 24:3-5: II Corinthians 11:1-4). The Apostle Paul advised, “Test [carefully examine, prove] all things; hold fast to what is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21). Paul 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 emotions or warm feelings in our heart! Luke writes that the early Christians’ belief in the resurrection of Jesus was based on “many infallible proofs” of seeing Jesus alive after His crucifixion (Acts 1:1-3). Josephus, the famous Jewish historian in the first century A.D., writes, “Jesus… [was] condemned to the cross… [yet] he appeared alive to them on the third day” (The Antiquities of the Jews, 18:3:3). Peter emphasized that the apostles were eyewitnesses to the things they were teaching (II Peter 1:16). He also said Christians should be able to give sound reasons for their beliefs (I 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 upon which our beliefs rest, we, too, should be able to confidently defend and explain what we believe to anyone!
Here are the international news items that were included:
A Civil War in the
? On June 12, “Hamas gunmen attacked the Gaza headquarters of security forces loyal to Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, using rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank rockets” (Stratfor Intelligence Summary, June 13, 2006). The two Palestinian political parties, Hamas and Fatah, are at opposite ends of the political and religious spectrum. Each thinks the other has compromised too much and the only way to resolve their differences is to fight. This political and military infighting could backfire and demonstrate to the world that the Palestinians are incapable of governing themselves, requiring intervention from the international community or nations deeply invested in this area of the Middle East, and home to one of the most holy Christian sites on earth—the Temple Mount (Stratfor Morning Intelligence Brief, June 13, 2006). The Bible prophesies of “the times of the Gentiles” that will come upon the “holy city” at the end of the age. Then, Palestinian Territory will be under the control of a gentile nation or nations (Lk 21:24). The Jerusalem Vaticanhas long been “eyeing” . The civil unrest in the Palestinian territory could act as an incentive for the Jerusalem Vaticanto establish a physical presence in and around . Jerusalem
ItalyIn Support of EU Constitution: Newly elected Italian prime minister Romano Prodi recently returned from . During his trip, Mr. Prodi met with the current EU president. In a statement to the press, Mr. Prodi observed “We need to increase the number of countries that are confident about the future of Brussels Europe… will stand shoulder to shoulder by the [European] commission (EC)… Today is the day of the rebirth of Italy ’s pro-Europe policy” (EuObserver.com, May 29, 2006). Former EC president Jacques Delors voiced powerful disapproval at the apparent divided vision of EU member states at a recent meeting in Italy . Mr. Delors indicated that a key reason for the lack of common vision is too many EU member states, citing the success of the Euro Zone, only after the number of member states was reduced from 15 to 12 (EuObserver.com, June 14, 2006). With Prodi’s support of the European Constitution (albeit a simplified draft), Helsinki Italyjoins the ranks of Germanyand and a small number of other member states, as staunch supporters of the constitution. Many have criticized the Church’s consistent teaching that the Beast power will eventually consist of 10 nations (Revelation 17:7, Daniel 2:33), but European actions and rhetoric, setting up for an “inner core” within the EU, all point toward a limited number of nations making up the final Beast power—God’s idea of 10 nations is no longer far-fetched. France
Honey Bees and Prophecy? Ezekiel 5:17 reads, “So I will send against you [Israelite-descended nations] famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you and I will bring the sword against you.” Honey bees not only produce honey and wax for candles, but are extremely important to the pollination of many food crops. Jerry Hayes, of the Florida Department of Agriculture, estimates that if honey bees disappeared, 1/3 of the food consumed by Americans would also vanish (MSNBC, April 27, 2005). From
California, to Britain, to , bee populations are being decimated by an invading mite. Currently, between 30-50% of honey bees are being killed by the mite annually. The result is an increase in crop prices and also a reduction in the volume of crops, from almonds, to kiwis, to peaches (Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 7, 2006; The Telegraph, May 22, 2006; Radio New Zealand, May 22, 2006; The Guardian [ New Zealand ], April 30, 2006). The “pestilence” mentioned in the book of Ezekiel and elsewhere conjures up images of locust decimating crops of grain, not microscopic mites killing honey bees. Yet, God can use “beasts” of any size and variety to fulfill His prophesies. Could God use this bee mite to completely destroy the world honey bee population and thus the fruit and vegetable crops that totally rely on bees for pollination? Time will tell as prophecy marches on… — UK Scott Winnail, Don Davisand Dan Bennett
06/11/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from D. Winnail. In it, there is a letter to the ministry from RCM, Pentecost trip updates from many areas, HQ news, a media report, and comments on transforming faith.
The following news items were also included:
NEWS AND PROPHECY—June 8, 2006
Rim of Fire Awakening? “From January 3, when a huge quake occurred between Fiji and Tonga, to May 23, when a temblor shook Kamchatka, in Russia’s Far East, there have been 33 earthquakes on the Rim that have measured 6.0 or more on the Richter Scale…Twenty-nine of the quakes have taken place on the western side of the Rim, in an arc running from Kamchatka, Russia to New Zealand. Six of the total involved quakes were bigger than 7.0, topped by a 7.9 behemoth off
Providing For Your Personal Safety. We are living in increasingly dangerous times. As society becomes ever more lawless (Leviticus 16:1), we must take precautions to help ensure the safety of ourselves and our families. A recent case in point involved an attack on a
The idea of Germany supporting a reference to God in the EU constitution is significant. This is something the Vatican wants (well it specifically wants Roman Christianity, but I suspect it will take something that it will later interpret to mean that).
Speaking of earthquakes, my sermonette 8 days ago mentioned them. I turned it into an article titled Islands and Bible Prophecy.
Regarding personal safety, I would add that with the prospect of inflation on the horizon, food may also become an issue. An article of possible interest may be Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians.
06/07/06 a.m. In his latest commentary, LCG's Davy Crockett writes:
Recently, as I waited for a laboratory technician to take care of some lab work, I overheard her chatting with another patient. The patient asked:
“Have you read the DaVinci Code?”
“Yes,” she replied, “It was fascinating!” “Will you go to see the movie?” he asked.
“My husband is eager to see the movie, so I’ll go with him, and I may read the book again before we go so I can follow the movie better,” she answered.
The entire world is abuzz about the blockbuster book by Dan Brown, and the movie version, which recently hit theaters worldwide. Critics have excoriated the film, but people seem to be fascinated by it and are attending in droves.
06/04/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from D. Winnail. In it, he mentions festival registration, media, Jamaica, and Pentecost.
He also mentioned this about Pentecost:
The Spirit of Pentecost. This weekend we will observe the Feast of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks/Firstfruits—Exodus 23:16; 34:22). It is a commanded assembly (Leviticus 23:15-22) that was observed by Jesus’ disciples and the early Church (Acts 2). It was on Pentecost that God began the New Testament Church with the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit—as Jesus had promised (Acts 1:4-8). The Spirit of God, working through the disciples, filled them with courage and conviction to preach the gospel and do “many signs and wonders” that greatly aided the growth of the Church (Acts 2:43). It is also worth noting that the Church earnestly asked God, “grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant, Jesus”—and that God answered their prayers in very powerful ways (Acts 4:29-33). That same Spirit is available to us today. Let’s do our part to nourish that Spirit (II Corinthians 4:16: II Timothy 1:6-7), so we can bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-29), so God can use His Church to finish His work and prepare to reign as the “firstfruits” with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom of God (Romans 8:23; James 1:18; Revelation 14:1-4; 20:4-6).
06/02/06 p.m. LCG's RC Meredith reported:
We are now pleased to announce the addition of a powerful television station in Phoenix, AZ, which will begin airing Tomorrow's World television program on Sunday, June 4 at 10 am.
05/28/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Douglas Winnail.
05/21/06 a.m. There is no update from LCG this week. However, the following was of interest to me:
The Bible clearly reveals a 6,000-year period during which human beings follow their own ideas apart from the Creator...Most biblical chronologists realize that the probable end of the 6,000 years since Adam will occur around the years 2015-2025. And, remember: There is a 3 1/2-year Great Tribulation foretold to occur just before Christ's return! So the above dates indicate an approximate starting time of the Tribulation as early as the spring of 2015. That is nine years from now as I write. And even this period could be "cut short." So all of us need to really draw close to God and act on the Truth! But the point is not to set an exact date. These facts and these figures, rather, should help us realize that we are finally nearing a definite end to the time when carnal human society will keep right on going the way it always has. People have predicted Christ's return before. But this time--near the end of 6,000 years of human turmoil is different! Christ's coming will occur within this generation! (Meredith RC. When Will the END Come? Tomorrow's World. May-June 2006, pp. 2,30).
The above is one of the many Differences between the Living Church of God and the United Church of God, AIA. LCG's top leadership is more willing to go out on a "prophetic limb" than I have ever seen UCG's top leadership do.
05/16/06 a.m. This morning, I received a pdf copy of Tomorrow's World magazine in Spanish!
It should eventually be linked to LCG's Spanish language website, whose URL is http://www.mundomanana.org/
This is a great development!
05/14/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Douglas Winnail. In it, he mentions the Barbados FOT site, LYC, media, and asks if we are thankful for the truth.
There were also the following news items:
More Anti-Christian/Anti-Bible Rhetoric. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called the Bible’s legitimacy into question last week in an interview with the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera. Mr. Gadhafi said that the Bible was a forgery because it does not mention the prophet Muhammad. He went on to state that “If Jesus were alive when Muhammad was sent, he would have followed him. All people must be Muslims.” Earlier in the interview, Mr. Gadhafi shared his view of how
Europewould “turn into a completely Muslim continent within a few decades.” He cited the 50 million Muslims currently residing in Europe and another 50 million Muslims that would become European when is welcomed into the EU (WorldNetDaily.com, May 3, 2006). Bible prophecy reveals that at “the time of the end” a king of the South will “push” against a king of the North, only to be attacked and overpowered by this power from the north (Dan 11:40). These kings represent geographic and religious powers north and south of Turkey . Not only is the Catholic Church taking a more visible role in Jerusalem Europe, but Islam is taking a more prominent role in middle-eastern politics. is also seeking a more prominent role in world politics and is destined to play a role in end-time events (see Ezk 30:3-6; Dan 11:42-43). Libya
Collapse of The Euro? A Belgian economist this week stated that the euro could collapse in ten to twenty years if the political unification of
Europedoes not occur. Echoing these sentiments was German Bundesbank’s vice president Jurgen Stark, who also commented on the need for a political foundation for the euro currency to survive (EuroObserver.com, April 25, 2006). These comments reveal how “un-unified” the European Union really is. The nations of Europetruly resemble the “iron and clay” mentioned in Daniel’s vision (Dan 2:33). Will the Euro collapse in a few years? Will a “strong man” come on the scene who will finally pull ten EU nations together? Will a switch to the euro from the U.S. dollar (as the oil trading currency) be the act that will precipitate a political union in Europe? Time will tell. The Bible clearly states that this final union of ten nations that will arise in Europewill be ridden or overseen by the great woman/church (Rev 17:1-5, 12). We must watch to see how the details of this prophecy will unfold.
How Will Inflation Affect God’s People? “How bad is inflation in
? [Does this matter to developed Israelite nations?] Well, consider this: At a supermarket near the center of this tattered capital, toilet paper costs 417 Zimbabwean dollars. No, not per roll. This is the value of a single two-ply sheet. A roll costs 145,750 dollars, or $1.45 (US) at the official exchange rate. For untold numbers of Zimbabweans, toilet paper—and bread, margarine, meat or even the once-ubiquitous morning cup of tea—have become unimaginable luxuries. All are casualties of a hyperinflation that is roaring toward 1,000 percent a year, a rate usually seen only in war zones” (InternationalHeraldTribune.com, May 5, 2006). Meanwhile, “the dollar is falling and doing so at a quickening pace. It’s falling against the euro, the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc, the British pound and even the Brazilian real… And today, when a country’s trade deficit exceeds 5 percent of its GDP, it’s a major sign of real and present danger, according to the International Monetary Fund” (Money and Markets, May 8, 2006). Many economists are concerned about the potential for the fall of the U.S. dollar, unbridled printing of money, and subsequent rapid inflation. The situation in the Zimbabwe U.S., and ultimately other Israelite descended nations, may not get as bad as it is in , but what if it does? The Bible warns that “in the last days” highways will be desolate and the traveling man will cease—people will not be able to afford to travel and it will be unsafe to do so (Isa 33:8). God also warns about massive inflation—a quart/liter of wheat for a denarius, an entire day’s wages (Rev 6:6). Difficult times ARE ahead, but God promises physical protection and peace of mind for those who love Him and place Him FIRST in their lives (read Matt 6:25-34). We must develop deeper faith and draw near to God NOW, so that as the difficult times approach, He will be near to us (Psalm 73:26-28). Zimbabwe
The timing of the first item is interesting as the cover of the current Tomorrow's World magazine asks An Islamic Europe?
05/11/06 a.m. In its latest online commentary, LCG's Scott Winnail writes:
In a recent newspaper interview, Romano Prodi, newly elected president of
, laid out his plan to accelerate measures to bind the continental European Union (EU) members more tightly together. Mr. Prodi particularly referenced the need to bring together the “group of six” which includes Italy Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Belgiumand . He pointedly made reference to the exclusion of the Luxembourg Netherlandsand when pressed, also mentioned the exclusion of . Britain
Mr. Prodi also discussed the necessity for reintroducing a ballot to move the EU constitution forward once again (The Sunday Times, April 16, 2006). Romano Prodi appears to feel it is his obligation to lead the charge to draw the EU together.
Bible prophecy identifies a final revival of the
Roman Empireto occur at the end of the age. This revival will ultimately involve ten nations in the area of Europe, referred to in Daniel 2:32-33 as ten toes of iron and clay, or in the book of Revelation as ten crowns on ten horns (Revelation 17:10-13). Great Britainand other Israelite-descended nations will be excluded from this final revival of the Roman Empireand will ultimately be persecuted by it (See our free booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy).
05/07/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Douglas Winnail. In it, he mention second Passover, the upcoming ministerial conference, festival assistance, Living 4 Tomorrow, a Thailand update, media update, and comments about faith.
It also included these world news announcements:
to Lead EU Unification Efforts? Romano Prodi, newly elected president of Italy , recently laid out his plan to accelerate measures to bind continental EU members more tightly. Prodi particularly spoke of the need to bring together the “group of six” which includes Italy Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Belgiumand . However, he excluded the Luxembourg Netherlandsin these plans and when pressed, also mentioned the exclusion of . Prodi also discussed the necessity for reintroducing a ballot to move the EU constitution forward once again (The Sunday Times, April 16, 2006). Mr. Prodi appears to feel that it is his obligation to lead the charge to draw the EU together. We need to watch events in Europe to see how God allows this conglomeration of different languages and cultures to eventually come together for a short time (Dan 2:33; Rev 17:10-13). Britain
More Animals Endangered. Biodiversity continues to decline as more animals fall into endangered categories around the globe. Polar bears, hippopotami, sharks and rays top the list of newly endangered species, according to a recent survey by the World Conservation Union. Although one reason for species being threatened is linked with global climate change, most are linked to governmental policies and political unrest and wars (BBC, May 1, 2006). Six thousand years ago, God gave mankind dominion over the animals with the command to “dress and keep” the creation (Gen 1:26-31). As humans drifted further from God over the millennia, they broke both spiritual and natural laws that God set in motion. As a result, even the animal kingdom that God brought through the flood is dying off. Christ tells us that He is aware even when a small sparrow falls from the sky (Mt 10:29-30), but carnal human beings are more concerned about self than about taking care of God’s creation. Yet one more reason we need Christ’s return!
South America: Unity or Division? In the wake of a recent trade agreement signed between Venezuela, Boliviaand Cuba, Bolivian president Morales moved to nationalize foreign oil companies this week using military force—following the example of his mentor, Hugo Chavez in . Ironically, one of the companies taken over by the Bolivian military is based in Venezuela —the primary consumer of Bolivian oil and gas. Dissatisfied with other South American nations who seek trade agreements with the Brazil U.S., the nations of Cuba, Boliviaand have also created their own trade agreement, hoping to set a precedent that will be followed by their South American neighbors (Guardian Unlimited, May 2, 2006). Nationalizing Bolivian oil is designed to be an act “for the Bolivian people.” Also, the pact between Venezuela Bolivia, Cubaand is designed to set a precedent for South American nations to follow. Ironically, both actions may back-fire and further fractionate an already divided South American continent (Stratfor: Morning Intelligence Brief, May 2, 2006). Not only does this action by Bolivian president Morales alienate Venezuela Brazil, but it could also alienate other nations that have invested in the Bolivian gas industry, including: Britain, Spain, Argentina, , and the U.S. End time prophecies state that “nation will rise against nation” (Mt 24:7). This is beginning to happen today in France South America.
Two more chilling stories of thwarted teenage school massacre plots have stunned Americans once again. Police, in April, uncovered a plan by five Riverton, Kansas teenage boys just hours before the attack. Several days later, police arrested six North Pole, Alaska seventh-graders planning to kill students and teachers.
You can click here for the entire commentary.
04/30/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from LCG's Dibar Apartian. In it, he mentions second Passover, Barbados, an additional FOT site (Ayr, Scotland), media, and the days of unleavened bread.
The following news items were also included:
Political Instability in
Europe’s Core. In the past year has been rocked by a series of street riots and widespread civil unrest threatening the future of its political leaders. France recently experienced labor strikes involving more than 30,000 workers. Germany is wrestling with results of a divisive and disputed national election. Leaders across Italy Europeare on shaky ground and forward movement of the EU is currently on hold (Stratfor: Global Intelligence Brief, April 7, 2006). In a recent interview with a Harvard economist, German news source Der Spiegel reported that if Germany can get its current political troubles solved, it could mount an “economic miracle” that would allow Europe to greatly surpass the U.S. economy for 20 years (April 17, 2006). The political and economic situation in Europe is beginning to ripen—preparing the way for a strong leader with the backing of the Catholic Church to appear on the scene, who will draw the iron and clay of Europe together into a formidable and unified force (Dan 2:32-33, Rev 17:12-13).
Popes and Politicians
BattleOver Europe’s Future. This past week, “The mayor of [Mr. Job Cohen] has sent letters to his counterparts in eight European cities warning that gay intolerance is on the increase and asking them to uphold homosexual rights such as allowing gays to get married and to hold demonstrations… The Amsterdam introduced gay marriage five years ago, and Mr. Cohen is urging other countries to do the same” (euobserver.com, April 25, 2006). Yet just weeks ago Pope Benedict XVI urged some 500 parliamentarians and officials of the conservative European People’s Party at their conference in Rome to keep Christian values at the core of the European project. The pope specifically mentioned “the protection of life in all its stages” as well as “recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage” (euobserver.com, March 31, 2006). The center-right EPP is determined to “re-launch our efforts to get God back into the constitution” (euobserver.com, March 29, 2006). Many of the countries that wanted a clear reference to God in the European Constitution were the predominantly Catholic countries in central Europe—including Netherlands Germany, Italyand . In the future, the more liberal countries in Western Europe like Poland Hollandand Francemay not be comfortable being part of ten nations that surrender their power to a Catholic-dominated beast power that is prophesied to arise in central Europe(Rev 17:12-15).
Bird Flu Update. The British Home Office is making plans for mass burials in case a major bird flu outbreak hits
. A worst-case assessment estimates that 320,000 people could die, or a best-case estimate would be 48,000 deaths within a 15-week period. In either case, a great deal of bodies would need to be buried quickly in order to stem additional outbreaks of other deadly diseases (BBC, April 2, 2006). There will be a time in the future when the nations of Britain experience “Many dead bodies everywhere, they shall be thrown out in silence” (Amos 6:9-10; 8:3). Although an imminent bird flu epidemic is likely not what the prophet Amos was talking about, world governments are today preparing for a catastrophe on the scale of the punishment that Amos prophesied more than two thousand years ago. We need to watch where these events will actually lead.—Douglas Winnail, Scott Winnail Israel
04/22/06 p.m. There was no weekly update this week.
In his latest online Bible study, LCG's RC Meredith states:
The Bible talks about the Lord's Day, and people like to say that was Sunday. But the Lord's Day spoken of in Revelation is the time when God will intervene in human affairs and SHAKE the nations and SHAKE every mountain and every island out of its place.
A related article of interest may be Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord?
04/15/06 a.m. In his latest commentary, LCG's Harold Way states:
Easter is second only to Christmas on the religious calendar of this world’s professing Christianity. Like Christmas, many traditions have sprung up surrounding this similarly pagan holiday.
Jesus Christ very plainly condemns replacing God’s commands with human traditions (Mark 7:6–9). He frequently admonished the Scribes and Pharisees for adding practices to God’s way of life that obscured the intent of His instructions and for their works, which were done to be seen by men (Matthew 23:5–7).
In similar manner, is this not the true motivation behind showing off one’s Easter bonnet? Instead of producing out-flowing, godly character, these traditions direct attention toward the self and promote vanity, covetousness, pride and competition.
Easter, Easter bonnets, Easter parades, rabbits, dyed eggs; all have their roots in pagan practices, sanitized to represent the worship of God. But God warns those who say they follow Him not to use any pagan practices in His worship (Deuteronomy 12:30–32). To understand how you must worship Him read our booklet The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan.
04/13/06 a.m. Speaking of LYC, in the mail yesterday, my middle son was sent a copy of Living Reflection LYC 2005. It contains photos and information about last summer's LYC. If you are interested in having your teen attend that camp, you may ask someone in your local group to share their copy with you and your teen.
04/12/06 a.m. The following announcement is at the youth-web site:
04/11/2006 - Update on the LYC registration deadline and registration forms.
Due to the delay in launching the online registration form, the April 15th deadline will be extended. The online forms will be up on April 14.
04/09/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Douglas Winnail. In it, he mention Spring Holy Day travels, a message for the Holy Days, removal of leaven, registering for the FOT, on-line donation ability, and the singles Living-4-Tomorrow program.
Since we will be doing a lot of this today, I thought I would post what he wrote about the removal of leaven:
Eliminating Leaven. The Scriptures clearly indicate that during the Days of Unleavened Bread all leaven is to be removed from our homes and that anyone who eats leavened products is to be “cut off from Israel” (Exodus 12:15). This warning has motivated many to make a diligent effort to deleaven their dwellings before the Passover season begins. However, some go to extremes, not understanding the real reason for this process. I recall a member advising a new person that even books should be deleavened, “because you might have been eating a cookie while you were reading a book.” This nearly caused a panic attack—because the new person’s mate had a large library in their home and the new person envisioned having to search through the pages of hundreds of books looking for crumbs of leaven!
We need to remember that the deleavening of our dwellings is a physical exercise to help us understand the importance of identifying and eliminating the spiritual leaven that we tolerate in our lives and do not like to recognize as sin. Sometimes in our zeal to remove physical leaven, we overlook the real spiritual intent of this process—and we take the Passover harboring anger and being judgmental towards neighbors we are commanded to love (Galatians 5:14-15). Yet Jesus emphasized this spiritual dimension of the law by pointing out that God regards hatred and judgmental attitudes as murder, and lust as adultery (Matthew 5:21-30). Paul emphasized that we should not go through the Days of Unleavened Bread carrying a lot of spiritual leaven (I Corinthians 5:1-8). The real thrust of Paul’s admonition to “examine” ourselves (I Corinthians 11:27-32) was to address and eliminate the sinful attitudes and behaviors that were so evident in the lives of the members of the Church in
. They, too, may have been more worried about bread crumbs than overcoming and eliminating the real sins in their lives. Corinth
An article of related interest may be Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?
An article of related interest may be Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?
04/02/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Dibar Apartian. In it, he mentions a TW susbscription program, 26% increase in tv responses, FOT info, and Olympic ideals and our preparing for Passover.
He also had this FOT announcement:
International Feast Sites 2006. In The World Ahead last week we listed the 2006 Feast of Tabernacles sites in the
USAand . You will find below the 2006 International FOT sites. Canada
Argentina( ) San Rafael
Australia(The Entrance and ) Albany
Colombia (this is a no transfer site)
Guyana( and Awarewaunau) Georgetown
France (Evian—the only LCG Feast site in
(this is a no transfer site) India
Jamaica (Ocho Rios)
Kenya( ) Homa Bay
(this is a no transfer site) Myanmar
New Zealand (Taupo)
(Wewak) Papua New Guinea
(this is a no transfer site) Peru
Philippines( Baguio, Tacloban, , Don Carlos and Maranding) Davao
(George) South Africa
(Mae Sot) Thailand
(this is a no transfer site) Venezuela
Site descriptions will appear in the Festival Planner. However, since attending the Feast abroad requires making plans much ahead of time, those wishing to transfer to an International Feast site may consult our Member Resources website www.cogl.org for details, starting this Sunday, April 2.
03/31/06 a.m. In his latest co-worker letter, RC Meredith wrote:
! The great God is working with all of us who know His Truth. Our Creator deeply desires that every human being made in His image will finally come to genuine conversion—a total surrender to the God who gives us life and breath. As the scripture says, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Charlotte, NC
Those of us who do understand are held accountable. When we realize that probably within just another decade or two, this present society will absolutely cease to exist, it should make each of us want to courageously act on the precious knowledge which God has granted us. Along the way, our Creator is “testing” us. God wants to see if we will truly seek to please Him, or if, on the other hand, we are so absorbed with the people and the physical “things” of this world that we become like many in Jesus’ day who “loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).
The complete letter is available at http://www.cogl.org/cgi-bin/cogl/coworker/cogl-coworker.cgi?action=view_coworker
03/26/06 a.m. In his latest update, Douglas Winnail reported about travels, the Night to Be Observed, ministerial moves, US and Canadian FOT sites, England trip, prophetic news, and love. The FOT annoucement stated:
Announcing 2006 Festival Sites (
USAand ). Here is a brief announcement concerning the 2006 Feast of Tabernacles sites in the Canada United Statesand . Please do not begin making housing reservations yet because the hotels at the site locations will not be ready to give you our discounted rates until our registration launch date. That registration date will soon be announced; God-willing, it will be in the first week of April. At that time, members who identify themselves with the Living Church of God will receive special rates. Hotels we have negotiated with will not activate the discounted prices until our launch date. Canada
This year’s sites for the
U.S.and Canadaare: ,
. Western Shore, Nova Scotia
03/22/06 a.m. In his latest commentary, Rand Millich writes:
Why has this Palestinian parliamentary election caused such uproar? Many nations fear that the ascendancy of the Hamas party will make Arab-Jewish peace negotiations more difficult – if not impossible – thus increasing the threat of spreading violence and war in the Middle East.
“Israeli leaders said there could be no relations with a group that has killed hundreds of Israelis in terrorist attacks and that seeks the destruction of Israel.” (USA Today, January 27, 2006).
President Bush “warned that his administration would not deal with a Hamas-led government unless the group disarmed its militant wing and abandoned its longstanding campaign to destroy the Jewish state.” (Kansas City Star, January 27, 2006).
The commentary is titled Will peace ever come to the Middle East? and can be found at http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/tw/commentary/tw-comm.cgi?action=view_comm
03/19/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Dr. Winnail. In it, he mentions travels, passover, media, and LYC.
Here are the camp announcements:
Time to Get Ready!
Ready for a break from school? Want to see the good ol’ outdoors? How about the opportunity to spend time with friends and to make new ones? What about challenging yourself to learn some new skill, do something you’ve never done before, travel to new territory? If so, LYC 2006 is the place to be!
We would like to make a special appeal this year to any adults who would like to help out with one of the pre-teen camps. The continuation of these camps is very much dependent on having sufficient numbers of adults to oversee various programs, to serve as counselors, and to serve in support areas. If you think you can help, please do apply.
Three camps are planned for this summer: Teen LYC Michigan, Pre-teen LYC Texas, and Pre-teen LYC Missouri. Following are specific details on each of the camps:
—Teen Northwoods Camp, Michigan
Age: Open to campers age 13 to 17. High School workers must be 16 or older and it is preferable if you have attended LYC in previous years. Young adult workers are those aged 19 to 24. We can also use older adults to oversee various programs and work in support areas.
Cost: Tuition for campers is $345 and a non-refundable $5 application fee. There will be NO tuition for High School or Adult staff, but there will be a non-refundable $10 application fee for staff applicants.
Dates: Camper, High School taff, and most adult staff arrival day is Tuesday, July 18. Arrival day for Counselors and Department Heads is Sunday, July 16. Departure day is Monday, July 31.
Deadline: All applications should be returned no later than April 15, 2006. Applications received after that date may be accepted, but your chances of acceptance will drop.
Location: Near the Eastern Upper Peninsula town of
Pickford, . Michigan
Where to Get an Application: You can download an application from:
www.youth-web.org (not an official Church website). Or, you may request an application by e-mail: email@example.com. Or, you may write: Living Youth Camp,
P.O. Box 3810, Charlotte, NC 28227-8010. Or, you may call Sue at: 704-844-1960, Ext. 235.
—Pre-Teen Camp Sherwood Forest, Missouri
Age: Open to campers aged 8 to 12. High School workers must be 15 or older. Previous LYC experience as a camper is helpful. Adult staff is needed to oversee various programs, serve as counselors, and work in support areas.
Cost: Tuition for campers is $100. The second camper from the same family is $90 and a third camper is $80. There will be NO tuition for High School or Adult staffs, but there will be a non-refundable $10 application fee for staff applicants.
Dates: Arrival date is Sunday, June 18. Departure is Sunday, June 25.
Deadline: All applications should be returned no later than April 30, 2006. Applications received after that date may be accepted, but your chances of acceptance will drop.
Location: About one hour northwest of
St. Louis, Missouri, in . Cuivre River State Park
Where to Get an Application: You can download an application from:
www.youth-web.org (not an official Church website). Or, you may request an application by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you may write: Mr. Larry Solomon,
1817 Mountain Ash Drive, Joplin, MO 64801. Or, you may call Mr. Solomon at: 417-782-7768.
—Pre-Teen Fort Parker State Park, Texas
Age: Open to campers aged 8 to 12. High School workers must be 15 or older. Previous LYC experience as a camper is helpful. Young adult workers are those aged 19 to 24. We also need older adults to oversee various programs and work in support areas.
Cost: Tuition for campers is $100. The second camper from the same family is $75 and a third camper is $65. There will be NO tuition for High School or Adult staffs, but there will be a non-refundable $10 application fee for staff applicants.
Dates: Sunday, June 11 to Friday, June 16.
Deadline: All applications should be returned no later than April 21, 2006. Applications received after that date may be accepted, but your chances of acceptance will drop.
Mexia, Texas, about 90 miles south of . Dallas
Where to Get an Application: You can download an application from:
www.youth-web.org (not an official Church website). Or, you may request an application by e-mail: email@example.com. Or, you may write or call: Mr. Charles Ogwyn,
P.O. Box 952, Cabot, AR 72023, phone: 501-941-0277.
03/14/06 a.m. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:
Church shows how to forgive
A year after shooting, members have learned compassion, pastor says...
Brookfield - Last year's tragic rampage during a Living Church of God worship service has taught the congregation about compassion - including for gunman Terry Ratzmann, a pastor said...
"Our brethren have learned from this that everyone does need community support," Pastor Rand Millich said...
"Our brethren have donated to help people in other tragedies, they have written letters of encouragement, because they know that is what they have needed."
And even though a fellow church member caused death and suffering, Millich said the church would not "exclude those who have problems or difficulties." The nature of the church is to "try to really help all people," he said.
Millich said he has been in contact from time to time with Ratzmann's family, and they, too, are struggling with what happened. Church members "absolutely" have forgiven Ratzmann, he said.
It will be one year on March 12 since Ratzmann, 44, of New Berlin, opened fire on the congregation without explanation. He killed pastor Randy Gregory, 51; his son James, 16; Bart Oliver, 15, of Waukesha; Gerald Miller, 44, of Erin; Gloria Critari, 55, of Cudahy; Richard Reeves, 58, of Cudahy; and Harold Diekmeier, 74, of Delafield.
Ratzmann wounded four others: Marjean Gregory, the pastor's wife and mother of James; Critari's granddaughter Lindsay Maughmer, then 10, of Cudahy; Angel Varichak, then 19, of Helenville; and Matthew Kaulbach, then 21, of Pewaukee.
The whole article is at http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=407125
03/13/06 a.m. Here is information from another article about Brookfield, as Greater Milwaukee Today reported:
A legacy of compassion...
DELAFIELD - When Terry Ratzmann opened fire on a congregation of Living Church of God members last March at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, 74-year-old Delafield resident Harold Diekmeier suffered four gunshot wounds, the most of any victim.
Family friend Jim Welch remembers Diekmeier as "one of the most kind and gentle men that I ever had the privilege of knowing."
father of three, Diekmeier had two biological children: a son, Glen Diekmeier and a daughter, Gail Hoffmann, as well as a foster child, Sherry Koonce, who joined the family when she was 6.Twice married, Diekmeier lost his first wife and mother of his two biological children, Irene Simko, to cancer in February of 1994. He later married Lillian Greider, who died in 2001."There are a lot of people that you need and want to hold on to in your life," Welch said. "Harold was one of those people."Welch and his family attended the Living Church of God with Diekmeier and his family for about 25 years, he said, until the church had a split and they went their separate ways."It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since his death," Welch said. "His legacy of kindness and compassion for others will live on through his children and their children."
Diekmeier’s son, Glen, was a deacon at the time of the shooting and was halfway through a sermon when Ratzmann opened fire. Glen’s wife, Eva, was also in the room at the time of the shooting. Neither were injured.
03/12/06 a.m. Here is the weekly update from Douglas Winnail. In it, he mentioned festival planning, record increases in media response, the Spring Holy Days, travels, hall issues, and the following about Brookfield:
One year ago, the tragic shootings occurred in the
congregation. In the year that has transpired, family members, relatives, friends and many others have struggled to understand, forgive and rebuild their lives—with considerable success. Many found their faith in God and His plan to be vital elements—along with the support they received from various sources—in making progress after this tragedy. The Scriptures reveal that it is not God’s will that these things happen (II Peter 3:9). However, God does allow such events to occur in this world—read the story of the New Testament Church in Acts 3-12 where Peter and John are jailed, Stephen is stoned, James is killed and others are persecuted for their beliefs. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Today, Thursday, Regional Pastor Rand Millich and Area Pastor Darrell Lovelady conducted a press conference in
; they will also be conducting Sabbath services for the congregations in this area. We have taken a number of calls from the press here in Brookfield as well. Our prayers will be with everyone in the Charlotte area this weekend. Milwaukee
03/10/06 a.m. This morning, Greater Milwaukee Today reported:
Rand Millich, regional pastor for the Midwest Region of the church, addressed the lasting pain and problems from the Ratzmann shooting on March 12 in a press conference held Thursday at the Brookfield Suites Hotel. He said the majority of the congregation who experienced the shooting - one of the most violent acts in recent Wisconsin history - is still involved with the church, even through its recent leadership and venue changes."I can’t say they don’t have pains or after-effects, but they are all functioning. They are back to their lives as much as they can be," Millich said.
Millich frequently referred to the shooting as being something out of the church’s control, and a statement from national church director of administration Douglas S. Winnail called it "the random act of a troubled individual."
Many church members have discussed the incident with each other or have sought outside counseling, and few have left the congregation, Millich said. Weekly services on Saturdays still bring about 50 people, though the forum has moved from various hotels in Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin and has not returned to the site of the shooting at the Brookfield Sheraton hotel.
A fund exceeding $33,000 was raised by people from the church and outsiders to aid those injured in the shooting, and donations can still be made, Millich said. He said those involved in the incident have turned their experience into one of giving - through money, time and compassion to others in dire need like victims of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast, "because that’s what they had needed."
Although a difficult task, sermons and counseling have encouraged congregants to forgive Ratzmann, who attended regular church services but was reportedly dismayed with the direction of the church. Millich and other members have reached out to the Ratzmann family as well, he said.Lessons of faith and love from the local church have filled regional and international sermons, and Millich said the shooting has not changed the way pastors receive followers.
"The nature of any church is to try to really help all people and not exclude those who may have problems or difficulties. We try to serve all people, just as Jesus Christ tried to serve all people," Millich said.Darrell Lovelady has led the church since November after moving with his wife and two children from the Kansas City, Mo., area.
His initial impression of the Brookfield shooting came mostly from the media, which left him empathetic to the grieving of his fellow church members and unsure about his possible involvement. However, he said the calling to Wisconsin was his own choice and was based on the essence of his religious upbringing - service to those in need."I knew it would be difficult, but this type of job is one that’s based on selflessness and service, so that’s the motivation in addressing the needs as they present themselves," Lovelady said.
On March 12, 2005, Ratzmann came early to a Living Church of God service at a small Brookfield Sheraton conference room. He then went to his New Berlin home and returned to the hotel to shoot 11 congregants, killing seven, before shooting himself. Those killed along with Ratzmann in the shooting included the pastor of the church, the Rev. Randy Gregory, 51, and his 16-year-old son, James Gregory, both of Gurnee, Ill.; Bart Oliver, 15, of Waukesha; Harold Diekmeier, 74, of Delafield; Gloria Critari, 55, of Cudahy; Richard Reeves, 58, of Cudahy; and Gerald Miller, 44, of the town of Erin.
The complete article is available at http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2006/March_06/03102006_01.asp. Our prayers still go out for those who are grieving.
03/08/06 a.m. The Wisconsin shooting seems to be in the news again. Here is one AP article on it:
March 5, 2006 ( MILWAUKEE) - It will soon be a year since Terry Ratzmann walked into a church service in suburban Milwaukee and shot 11 people and then himself.
Seven people died last March 12th during a Living Church of God service at Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield.
J-D Crockett is director of business operations at the church's headquarters in North Carolina. He says he plans to speak at an anniversary service, which will be combined with the congregation in Chicago. He says the congregation is still hurting but they are getting on with their lives.
The 44-year-old Ratzmann left no clear motive for why he walked into the service and decided to murder his fellow church members. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=local&id=3962988
We should not be surprised that a number of articles will be popping up about this during March--with various people putting various opinions forth about it.
03/05/06 a.m. Here is the latest update from Dr. Winnail. In it, he mentions record breaking media responses, the Canadian ministerial conference, a Caribbean update, and comments on forgiveness.
There were also there news items:
Spreading Bird Flu Epidemic. This week
Dropping the Dollar. It has begun! For several years economists have warned that nations around the world could begin changing their base currencies from the US dollar to another more stable currency. A small box article in The Times of London (Feb. 15, 2006) recently reported that
03/01/06 a.m. Here is an interesting news article:
Joining Living Church of God changed woman’s life
By TERRY ROBINSON
Published: Feb 28, 2006
Something about the Living Church of God intrigued Delores Hayes.
“The more and more I thought about it the more and more I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.
Hayes was introduced to the nondenominational group after picking up some of its literature during a lunch break one day at work.
“I picked it up and said this is interesting,” Hayes said.
Hayes, a nurse’s assistant, said she tried to put the literature down for good but couldn’t.
It wasn’t until after a year of Bible study through the mail and talks with the minister that Hayes decided to pay a visit to the Port Allen congregation — Hayes said it’s not called a ‘church.’
“To me the congregation was for me because of the strictness. I needed some of that in my life,” Hayes said.
Becoming a part of the congregation nearly 20 years ago changed Hayes’ life.
Hayes, 64, had grown up a Baptist and was accustomed to going to church. But in the late 1980s, Hayes said she found herself divorced and without a church.
“I was in the world, so to speak, and you don’t mix anything of church with that,” she said. “This is what I believe: You don’t straddle the fence.”
Hayes chose the world over church, until she finally found a congregation to call home.
Although Hayes said she felt “comfortable” in the congregation, her adaptation didn’t come without some growing pains.
“I felt kind of out of place,” she said of her initial visit.
That was because of the conservative appearance of the congregants, including no makeup for women.
The Living Church of God is the second largest Church of God group formed by followers of Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Radio Church of God/Worldwide Church of God and host of the “The World Tomorrow” radio and TV programs. Among the congregation’s doctrines are observing the holy days — including Passover and the Fast of the Tabernacle — and worshipping on Saturday, its holy Sabbath.
The Living Church of God adheres to strict dietary laws that prohibit pork and seafood.
Smoking is also discouraged.
“I still do (smoke) every now and then, but I’m praying that the Lord take the desire away from me,” she said.
The article is from WBRZ TV Ch2 - Baton Rouge and is available at http://www.2theadvocate.com/features/2332011.html.
Click here for previous LCG News.
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