Greetings from Charlotte, 

The month of January is off to a good start.  The income is well ahead of last year at this time.  Mr. Meredith just completed another letter to the brethren and co-workers that contains an exciting report on the growth of our media efforts in 2006, and comments on future events of prophetic significance in the Middle East.  I had very profitable visits last weekend with our congregations in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Joplin, Missouri; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It was encouraging to see the positive attitudes and overall stability of the brethren in that part of the country.  It was also good to see the willingness of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Beyersdorfer to get back into the saddle again to serve God’s people in those congregations.  They will be ably assisted by several fine elders and other leaders there.   

* Note:  Please read and make available to the brethren the special box article entitled: Does the Gospel Include Salvation? 


Caribbean Update 

Mr. Paul Shumway is flying today to Trinidad where he will conduct a Spokesman Club session. Tomorrow, he and Mr. Fitzroy Greeman will fly to Georgetown, Guyana, in South America, where they will spend the Sabbath with the local congregation.  

Canadian Update  

Mr. Gerald Weston Reports: The year 2006 was another good year for Canada with modest but steady growth in Church attendance, about 6 percent increase over the previous year.  The semi-annual letter was mailed to 29,000 subscribers and, as of this date, 3,800 cards have been received requesting Mr. Meredith’s latest booklet.  This is a little over 13 percent response; and cards are still coming in. We had a surprisingly large number of new donors (111) in the month of December, mostly as a result of the semi-annual letter.  This was in part the reason for a very strong finish for the year.  The results of the first telecast on CH television network were modest, with 80 calls received. The prayers of God’s people for its success are greatly appreciated. 

Chattanooga Spring Family Dinner-Dance 

You are cordially invited to attend our second annual “Spring Family Dinner-Dance” in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during the weekend of March 2-4, 2007.  Those who are interested in attending, please contact Ronney or Debra Downs via e-mail at Debrabluebaby810@netzero.net or by phone at 423-622-0574.  There will a Bible study on Friday night March 2, at 7:30 p.m. and the Dinner-Dance Saturday night with dinner served at 6 p.m. The dance will start at 7:15 p.m.  Sabbath Services are scheduled at 10:30 a.m.  All events will be held at the Chattanooga Trade & Convention Center.  The price for the Dinner-Dance is $32 a person for those over three years of age.  The Area Pastor is Mr. Bob League, phone number 615-641-3778.  Hotel information will be forthcoming in a follow-up letter.  


As we consider our income figures for 2006, it is not about the numbers, even though the numbers do tell a story. The growth in the income of the Church for 2006 is 8.6 percent over 2005. This is outstanding and illustrates the dedication and sacrifice made by our members to support the Work. It also shows growth in the number of donors and co-workers.  For example, as of December 31, 2006, we had 2,616 donors, which is an increase of 38.67 percent over 2005.  For the same period, our co-workers totaled 2,766, which is a 23.21 percent increase over 2005. A heartfelt thanks to all of you, and especially to the great God, for your steadfast support of His Work. Your prayers, tithes and offerings provide the resources to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and to “feed the flock” as we have been commanded to do.—Davy Crockett  


Television Responses 

The first full week in calendar year 2007 turns out to be our best beginning-of-year start for the Tomorrow’s World telecast! TV stations across America and Canada aired Mr. Ames’ program, “Keys for Christian Success,” which offered TV viewers an audio-CD entitled: “The Seven Laws of Success.”  Our Canadian viewers turned in the highest response that we have ever seen for our daily 3:00 am Eastern Time broadcasts on Vision-TV.  One morning 73 Canadians called in—at 3:00 am!—requesting the CD, and on a second morning 52 more Canadians called in.  This was amazing for so early in the morning.  (Vision-TV airs the Tomorrow’s World television program every weekday at 3:00 am Eastern Time, plus Sunday evenings at 5:30 pm Eastern Time.) By the end of the air week, “Keys for Christian Success” generated more than 4,200 responses.—Wayne Pyle   

Internet Update 

In December 2006 there were more than 144,000 visitor sessions on our U.S. websites. This stands above our 2006 average of just over 142,000 visitor sessions monthly.  In 2006 alone we added 17,470 subscribers to our mailing list whose first contact with us came through our website. Starting this Saturday, January 13, The World Ahead weekly update will become available on our members website (www.cogl.org) each Saturday evening just after 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.—Charles Ogwyn  


Beware of False Teachers.  Jesus warned repeatedly that false teachers would come in His “name… and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).  He said, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-20).  The Apostle Paul warned that false teachers would rise up “from among yourselves… speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-31).  Isaiah provides an important key for recognizing false teachers, “To the law and to the testimony!  If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is not truth in them” (Isaiah 8:20).  The Apostle Paul plainly states that individuals who preach a different gospel than Jesus and the apostles preached, are “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ,” who are actually functioning as ministers of Satan (II Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15).  These are strong words!  In order to avoid being deceived by clever arguments and long-winded expositions (Mark 7:6-9), we need to diligently study the Scriptures so we can correctly understand the “word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail 


Does the Gospel Include Salvation? 

     Most people associated with the Churches of God understand that Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15).  However, some apparently do not realize that the Scriptures also speak of other important dimensions of the gospel.  In fact, some self-appointed leaders today are actually preaching a different gospel than Jesus and the apostles preached.  Notice carefully the following scriptures. 

     Jesus Christ commissioned His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).  The Scriptures record that the disciples preached “concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31).  They clearly show the Apostle Paul “preaching the kingdom of God” and testifying “to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24-25).  Paul also preached about “the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13).  He clearly explained that the gospel was also about salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Paul states, “I declare to you the gospel which I preached unto you… by which you are saved… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:1-5).   

     The biblical words translated as “salvation” mean to be saved from destruction, delivered or rescued from dangerous circumstances, or to be released from the penalties of sin.  This theme—the good news of salvation—runs through the Bible.  David wrote, “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day” (I Chronicles 16:23).  David also wrote, “Blessed is the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah. Our God is a God of salvation; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death” (Psalm 68:19-20).  Jesus Christ came to promote this same message of salvation.  Regarding the birth of Jesus, an angel proclaimed, “you shall call His name Jesus [Savior], for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  Later, Jesus stated, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47).  The Apostle Paul preached the good news that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15), and that Jesus was “the Savior of all men” (I Timothy 4:10).  Paul also wrote of “the sufferings for the gospel according the power of God, who has saved us… according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus… who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Timothy 1:8-11).  This is good news!   

     When the apostles preached “the name of Jesus Christ” and “the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31), they were preaching the good news of salvation, about grace (unmerited pardon) and how to receive the gift of eternal life.  To ignore or eliminate these important dimensions of the gospel message is to preach a different gospel.  This is why Paul warned the Galatians, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you to the grace of Christ, to a different gospel… there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ… if anyone preaches another gospel… let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).  We need to make sure we understand and are following the biblical gospel proclaimed by Jesus Christ and His disciples.  No one should ever tamper with the true gospel!       

NEWS AND PROPHECY—January 11, 2007 

How Many Nations in the TRUE European Union?  Skeptics about a coming Beast power in Europe comprised of 10 nations (Revelation 17:12) point to the fact that 25 nations are in the EU. How do you get to ten from 25?  The EU has plans to add more nations to the Euro-Zone in the next few years, but with the addition of Slovenia on January 1, 2007, many speculate that the nations now using the Euro as a central currency (Euro-Zone members) will hold steady at 13 for some time. The current members are reluctant to add new member states and relax standards that would allow more to join (Deutsche Welle, January 2, 2007). The 13 Euro-Zone members are nations that have truly put their money where their mouth is, whereas the remaining twelve states are members “in word” and not “in deed.”  As Europe moves forward, it is this core of nations, who have demonstrated their commitment to the EU by adopting a common currency, that will have the greatest say. The number 13 is much closer to the prophesied ten kings of Revelation 17:12-18.  It is important to note that some of the 13 Euro-Zone members are Israelite nations who are prophesied to be taken into captivity by the Beast.  As we watch Europe and how the future king of the North and Beast of Revelation is developing, it is not “far-fetched” to anticipate a core of ten European nations that will give their power to a central European Beast power. 

Middle East Heating Up. In the wake of Iran’s announcement about the coming of the Muslim Messiah in Spring 2007, the U.S. has sent two carrier groups to the Persian Gulf and shuffled military leadership in the Middle East.  As President Bush plans for the future of the Iraq war, fire-power is being increased in the region that could be used in Iraq—or Iran, if necessary. Many have speculated on the nature of the military buildup in the Persian Gulf.  What is apparent is that something “big” is being planned (DEBKAfile.com, January 7, 2007; WorldNetDaily, January 8, 2007).  President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt recently said that his nation may be forced to develop nuclear weapons to defend itself against other powers in the region, including Iran (Egypt Daily News, January 5, 2007). The end times are prophesied to be full of drama, trauma and tension in the Middle East.  We are witnessing events that will galvanize Middle Eastern nations into the prophesied king of the South of Daniel 11—the U.S. may be a catalyst in bringing these prophesies about. 

Panic Spreads as Australian Drought Deepens. Rainfall in many regions of Australia has reached record lows, while temperatures are unusually warm.  “The really scary thing is last time we had a drought of this intensity that lasted about five years—it lasted for about fifty years,” cautioned Professor Andy Pitman, from Macquarie University in Sydney. “We are in a state of emergency,” said Cate Faehrmann from the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales. “We need to treat this as a war-like scenario. The people are really worried that we are going to run out of water… I can imagine Australia being a desert in a few decades’ time in some of these agricultural areas. The soil is blowing away, the rivers are drying up.”   Veteran meteorologist Bill Kinimonth insists the gradual warming of the earth is part of a natural cycle. Kinimonth told BBC News, “the Earth is warmer than it has been for the last 20,000 years” (news.bbc.co.uk, December 24, 2006).  However, a U.S. government climate agency has acknowledged, “it’s not just natural variability… we are doing something to the climate” (nytimes.com/2007/01/10).  Bible prophecies indicate an unprecedented drought will prevail at the end of the age (Joel 1-2; see also Revelation 6:5-8).  We appear to be entering a time the Bible describes as the “beginning of sorrows” that will immediately precede the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:7-8).—Don Davis, Scott Winnail, Ellis Noll

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COGwriter 2007