Greetings from Charlotte, 

We ended the financial year of 2006 on a very strong note—for which we are very thankful to God.  This week we have had a number of meetings to discuss plans for increasing our coverage on the Internet in 2007 and a number of other projects.  Mr. and Mrs. Crockett had a very positive trip to visit congregations in the Dallas and Hawkins, Texas area last Sabbath.  I was able to visit Kansas City for a Family Weekend.  We had a Bible study on Friday evening and I gave the sermon on the Sabbath on the topic of “Traits of a Healthy Family.”  There were more than 470 people in attendance for services and the dinner-dance on Saturday evening.  It was encouraging to see so many young people at this activity.      


German Work 2006 Report  

Mr. Adrian Kaefer reports from Germany: In 2006, the Living Church of God’s German language Web site, www.weltvonmorgen.org, registered 35,553 visitors, an increase of 28 percent compared to 2005; 8,671 booklet downloads, 60 percent more than 2005; 19,414 article downloads, an increase of 21.2 percent compared to 2005; 4,070 Bible Study Course lesson downloads, an increase of 105.4 percent compared to 2005. Additionally, the following printed publications were mailed in 2006: 409 booklets, 335 articles, and 275 Bible Study Course lessons. The overall increase of literature distribution was 37.25 percent more than 2005. Interest in our publications has continued to increase with the advertising program via Google.  We have now topped a total of 100,000 distributed publications since inception in 2000, with 104,850 publications downloaded over the Internet (96.5 percent of all distributed publications) and 3,811 printed copies mailed out. 

Philippines Living Youth Camp 2006 

Mr. Gideon Benitez reports: The Living Youth Camp 2006 was held in Myrna Te Beach Resort, Damusag, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte last December 26-28, 2006. There were youths coming from the Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro City congregations. LYC 2006 was attended by 21 young and courageous campers.  The location was so cool and peaceful over the coconut trees on its surroundings facing the seashores. The Camp was blessed with the presence of four ministers who lectured on the spiritual values and other valuable lessons which are to be learned as a young and growing Christian in the Church of God. On the morning of December 29, the campers left the camp site full of joy and courage to face another challenge in life with God’s direction and blessings. 


Bible Study Course 

New Format. Our Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course has begun a transition to a new, more attractive and more convenient format.  Last year, we began sending lessons four at a time, to help subscribers who prefer to move through the Course at a faster pace.  As we reprint Course lessons, we are switching from groups of four individual lessons, to a new four-in-one format that will allow us to present the same material as before, but in a less expensive yet more colorful 48-page booklet. Already Lessons 1-4 are back from the printer, and Lessons 9-12 are currently being printed.  Along with this change, Mr. Charles Ogwyn has set up an online test form that will allow BSC students to complete the Course online, and plans are underway to allow students to take the whole Course—not just the tests—online. These encouraging new developments will allow us to serve BSC subscribers more effectively—and also more cost-effectively. 

Online Testing. Testing for the Bible Study Course is now available online at www.twbiblecourse.org/test/.  When you complete every fourth lesson you will now be able to submit your test by mail or online.  The big advantage that you will notice when you complete the test online is that you won’t have to wait to find out how you scored, you will receive your test results immediately.  Every test that is completed online will save the Work around 44 cents, which is the cost of the envelope and first class postage to return a manually graded test.—Charles Ogwyn 

Television Responses 

The year 2006 is our first year for all our weekly responses to come in above 2,000. Not once in 2006 did we drop below 2,000. This was also our first year to break the 4,000-mark, which we did seven times over! Our highest count reached 4,868 with program #265, “Seven Satanic Deceptions,” which offered the booklet: Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity.—Wayne Pyle 


Plans and Priorities:  The beginning of another calendar year is customarily a time to make plans and set priorities for the twelve months ahead.  Americans are contemplating their next moves in Iraq.  Europeans are planning to revive the EU Constitution.  People in Iran are expecting their Messiah to return.  In the Work of God, we are exploring more effective ways of preaching the Gospel to a troubled world and preparing members to rule with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom.  What personal plans do you have for the coming year?  Jesus admonished His disciples to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).  The Scriptures advise us to ponder the path of our feet (Proverbs 4:25-27) as we prepare for this exciting future.  This will involve setting goals for our personal lives.  In the months ahead, plan specific things to do to make sure we are growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).  Let’s also strive to grow in our ability to recognize and resist Satan’s attempts to deceive and derail us from our overall goal (I Peter 5:8-11).    

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail 

NEWS AND PROPHECY—January 4, 2007 

12th Imam and Christ to Return by Spring? An official Iranian government website is predicting that the Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ will return by Spring. They will return to Mecca, send out tens of thousands of troops to the east and west, and subdue the earth, with Christ as the Mahdi’s lieutenant. President  Ahmadinejad is Shiite and believes in hastening the return of the 12th Imam and Christ. Iranians are growing with excitement about the imminent return of the Imam (WorldNetDaily, December 31, 2006). Although Christ will NOT return this Spring, it is important to note two things: First, many Muslims ARE looking for His return soon, alongside the 12th Imam. Second, some Shiites, including Iran’s president, believe they can hasten His return by bringing about world chaos. Daniel prophesied of a time when the king of the South will struggle against the king of the North militarily (Daniel 11). What will cause nations of the Middle East to unite under one king, and what will push them to struggle against the king of the North? Events may occur in the months ahead that speed up God’s prophecies. 

The European Union: America’s Friend or Foe? The European Union could not have been created without the wholehearted support of the United States. Decades ago, American planners envisioned the E.U. as a tool that would ensure world peace by helping age-old European enemies forge an economic union that would be a valuable U.S. ally. Now, in 2007, the E.U.’s population could reach 484 million—outnumbering the U.S. by 184 million.  Differences between Brussels and Washington continue to widen, especially over trade and foreign policy. The E.U. now has its own parliament, executive, supreme court, currency, prosecutor, emblem—and fledgling army. French and Dutch opposition to the proposed E.U. constitution has merely slowed the process of unification, as the new buzz-word has become “mini-constitution”—a term proposed by French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who is trying to slip a constitution in through the “back door” by proposing a document that would give the E.U. all the attributes of a modern state: a president, foreign minister, and the authority to sign treaties and participate in international organizations as a single European entity. Under this proposal, British citizens’ long-cherished rights of habeas corpus and presumption of innocence would no longer exist (Spero News, December 26, 2006).  The U.S. has helped create a monster that will soon turn against its benefactors. Our former “lovers” will become our conquerors (Jeremiah 30:14; Ezekiel 23:5-10). 

Global Impact of a Nuclear Confrontation. In an attempt to determine the impact of a nuclear confrontation on global climate, researchers from four U.S. universities ran computer models on a potential conflict between India and Pakistan. The model assumed the use of 100 “low yield” weapons. Conclusions drawn from this research predicted severe impact on global climate—more far-reaching than expected. When Indonesia’s Tambora volcano erupted in 1815, the “year without a summer” followed. Using this eruption as a model, researchers determined that following a small regional nuclear confrontation, resulting dust and debris in the atmosphere would cause major global climate changes including significant temperature drops (nuclear winter) and famine—lasting for as long as 10 years. Such a conflict would also cause the immediate death of 20 million people (Der Spiegel Online, December 15, 2006). God predicted major famine and civil disruption at the time of the end, “I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze… I will send wild beasts among you … your highways shall be desolate” (Leviticus 26:19-22). The third horseman in Revelation 6 (the black horse) also signifies severe famine (verses 5-6). Science is now beginning to demonstrate that human efforts, like a regional nuclear conflict, could be used by God to bring on the severe climate and social changes predicted in the Bible.—Don Davis, Scott Winnail, John Wheeler

B. Thiel 2007

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