Greetings from Charlotte,
This weekend is a holiday period for many Americans as we remember the founding of our nation on July 4, 1776. A number of individuals from Headquarters will be traveling to visit other congregations over the weekend. However, this has also been an eventful week around the world. Torrential rains of “historic” proportions hit the northeastern section of the United States, fires are burning in the American southwest, droughts affect various parts of the world and Israeli tanks moved into Gaza setting the Middle East on edge again. We are living in a dynamic period in history. Here in Charlotte we have been busy with administrative matters this week as we plan ahead. We need to pray for each other as we see current events moving to a climax and we strive to reach this world with a much needed message.
Missouri Pre-Teen Camp
We got back in town last Sunday night from the pre-teen camp in Troy, MO. We had a wonderful staff and a great group of campers. Everyone pulled together and worked as a team to make it a success. The weather was great with a nice shower in the middle of the week, which brought in some cooler temperatures. We had 40 campers and 41 staff members. We started each day with Christian living, which I taught to the campers. Mr. Barry Howdeshell and Mr. Bill Oswald, local elders, taught Christian living to the staff each morning. Other classes included arts and crafts, canoeing, fishing, archery, riflery, fitness, kickball, flag football, square dance, obstacle course and, on Friday, a treasure hunt. On the Sabbath, the St. Louis congregation came to the camp for services. Mr. Rand Millich also came down and gave the sermon. There were 126 in attendance. After services we shared a meal together and then the campers enjoyed a Bible game. My wife and I really appreciate the opportunity to help with the camp.—Larry Solomon
Mr. Michael Gill reports from Australia: We have had success with a new Sydney station added to our growing list! TVS–Ch31 will commence airing the program on Sunday, July 16, at 6:00 a.m. with a repeat on Thursday at 5:30 a.m. Also, we will commence broadcasting the Tomorrow’s World on radio in Sri Lanka starting on July 2 at 6:00 a.m. It will be nationwide on the TNL network. It is exciting to see this progress and the message being both seen and heard by more and more people before the end of this age.
The Following is an excerpt from a belated report sent by our minister in Myanmar, Mr. Thomas Tial Hoe: “Most of our Myanmar brethren are fine, except for two of our members who are suffering from paralysis of their legs. Nineteen members at Kyarinn, 18 members at Sakhan Gyi and 5 members in Chin State, celebrated the Passover. We hired a car and all of our members, including children, went to Tanpho village, where two of our members live, to keep the last day of Feast of Unleavened Bread. All of our members enjoyed the day enormously. I visited Chin State and met with our members (a widow, her son and two daughters) at Hakha, the capital town of Chin State. They are the only family of the LCG. They are very zealous in the faith. Then I went to my native village Dawngva, where two of our members live. On Friday, my second brother, 46 years old, told me that, as he has been studying the Bible so many years, he now understood that the LCG is the true Church of God. He wanted to be baptized by me. (He had been keeping God’s Sabbath for one year and attended FOT last year 2005). So, on April 29 I baptized him, at the same place (stream) where I myself was baptized years ago. I was so happy that my own brother has become a member of God’s true Church.”
We just returned from a very inspiring trip to Barbados. On the Sabbath, we met with 68 warm dedicated brethren, including one new individual. After services, we held a Bible Study for those interested in baptism; there were 12 present. Then, on Monday evening, we held Bible Study with 43 in attendance, including several who were unable to attend on the Sabbath. Five new individuals were baptized on this trip—that makes 17 in the past ten months! We have three couples counseling for marriage as well! We deeply appreciate the dedication of Mr. Clyde Skeete and all our local leaders and members!—Paul Shumway
Computers and Thunderstorms (Note to the Ministry). If you have a computer, it’s advisable to have a surge protector that your computer equipment plugs into to protect your equipment against spikes in electricity during normal usage. You can obtain a surge protector at computer or retail stores. Also, during a storm (or perhaps when going on a trip) it is good to unplug your computer equipment altogether (including phone lines connecting to your computer), as surge protectors are little protection against lightning! It may save you the headache and hassle of a fried computer!—Rod McNair
Based on Thursday’s response, we expected a 3,000-plus weekend, and that did happen! The record for Is This The Only Day of Salvation?-booklet offers was indeed shattered.
This weekend we aired program #278, “Life After Death,” which offered ODS. From Thursday through Sunday, we received 2,623 phone calls, and by the time this week is over, we are expecting nearly, 3,400 replies.
This booklet came out in the fall of 1999 and has been offered 11 times on the telecast. The last time it was offered was more than a year ago in program #242, “Is There Life After Death?”, and that program brought in 2,370 responses. Thus, this week’s offer is bringing in about 1,000 more replies—a 42 percent increase—over last year’s record.—Wayne Pyle
Set Real Goals. For many today, the main goals in life are to make money, acquire things, have friends and have fun. Yet Bible prophecy indicates the time is coming when the people of Israel will “cast their silver into the streets” (Ezekiel 7:19). Physical things will be of little value or comfort when God begins to punish His disobedient people at the end of the age. This is why Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). He told His disciples their future reward involved ruling as kings and priests—civil and religious leaders—in the coming government of God (Luke 19:11-19; Revelation 5:10). Our jobs will involve showing people how to apply the laws of God in every aspect of life (Isaiah 30:20-21). To prepare, we need to learn the real causes of the problems facing human beings today and what biblical principles can be used to prevent and solve these problems (Proverbs 26:2). If we are serious about becoming servant leaders—now and in the future—we will come out of the material rat race of our modern society and make the most of the time we have to prepare for real positions of service in the coming Kingdom (Ephesians 5:14-21).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
NEWS AND PROPHECY—June 29, 2006
A Maturing Power to the North and East? Leaders from Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, four Central Asian ex-Soviet republics and Iran met last week to “strengthen defense links across Central Asia.” The Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) formed ten years ago “to fight terrorism, and religious extremism, and separatism in the region.” A recent Russian news article stated that “The main ideological message of this summit is growing anti-Americanism.” The SCO holds joint military activities yearly and Iran is lobbying hard to become a full member (The Times, June 16, 2006). Will this group’s anti-American agenda develop an anti-European dimension and lead to a confrontation with an end-time Beast power in Europe (Daniel 11:40-43)? God prophesied of a great power in the last days to the north and east of Jerusalem that will spawn a 200-million-man army, and destroy 1/3 of mankind (Daniel 12:44,45; Revelation 9:13-18). Prior to Christ’s return, “kings” from the east will cross the Euphrates River and pass through Iran on their way to fight Christ in Jerusalem (Revelation 16:12). We need to “watch” as world events move toward the dramatic climax depicted in the Scriptures.
Is Evil Good? Scotland: St. Andrews University Court ruled the school must allow the St. Andrews Pagan Society (wiccans or witches) to use campus buildings and grounds for pagan religious festivals. Prohibitions for the group include, no ritual nudity, no attempts to raise spirits, and no attempts to call on dark forces. One Scottish politician remarked, “This is another example of the whole human rights and equal opportunities agenda gone mad” (The Sunday Times [online], June 18, 2006). Meanwhile, “Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations from 16 to 12 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals…” A spokesman for the pedophile group defended their views, “We want to get into parliament so we have a voice. Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals” (Reuters, May 30, 2006). Long ago, God prophesied that at the end of the age wicked rulers of Israelite nations would “hate good and love evil” (Micah 3:1-2). Isaiah foresaw a time when all Israel would be “sick” from head to toe (Isaiah 1:5-6). Because God’s people turn His laws inside-out, God promises to correct them (Isaiah 5:20-25). Societal values will continue to degrade as the end approaches.
Gaza Again. The Israelis thought they could withdraw from Gaza, fence in Hamas and other terrorist groups, and reduce the threat of attack. But, earlier this week, Palestinian fighters tunneled under Israel’s border defenses and surprised a military outpost, killing two IDF soldiers and kidnapping a 19-year-old corporal. In response, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert massed Israeli tanks and troops at the Gaza border, and on Wednesday morning Israeli forces advanced on Hamas positions in the Gaza city of Rafah, following air strikes on key bridges, roadways and Gaza’s only power plant, plunging 65 percent of the area into darkness (Associated Press and BBC, June 28, 2006). Israel’s policy of appeasement toward the Palestinians is now in shambles. Mr. Olmert was elected promising permanent borders between the Arabs and Israel. He now faces the prospect of having to reoccupy Gaza to protect the Jewish state. Hamas cannot survive without conflict. Its constant attacks against Israel keep the money and arms rolling in from the Arab world. War is a way of life for them. Anciently, Abraham prophesied of Esau and his descendents, “By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother […] when you become restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck. So Esau hated Jacob […] and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob” (Genesis 27:39-41). The descendants of Esau have long memories and continue the feud, seeking to wipe out the sons of Jacob.—Don Davis, Dan Bennett, Scott Winnail
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