April 13, 2010
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Warm greetings to you all from Charlotte, NC! Our Presiding Evangelist, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, is maintaining a very active and productive workload, in spite of his health challenges. As you may recall from Dr. Meredith’s January letter, he has asked me to write to you co-workers on occasion while he continues to fulfill his many other responsibilities.
In addition to writing articles for each Tomorrow’s World magazine and our Church news magazine, The Living Church News, Dr. Meredith is taping dynamic Tomorrow’s World telecasts and keeping very active in overseeing operations of the Church around the world, as well as the day-to-day activities here in our Charlotte international headquarters building. He has continued to preach frequent sermons here in Charlotte and in various congregations around the nation. And he is doing all this with great power and effectiveness, despite having experienced a stroke a year and a half ago. Dr. Meredith will turn 80 years of age in June, and I tell him that since Moses anciently began his main ministry at age 80, we can rightly pray that his work is just beginning. He knows that his life is in God’s hands, and he appreciates your prayers and support for him—and for the Work he is leading under our Savior, Jesus Christ, with the same faithfulness and dedication that has inspired me ever since I first met him nearly 49 years ago, at the Church’s fall festival, the Feast of Tabernacles, in Big Sandy, Texas.
I have also been inspired by the example of faithful evangelist Mr. Dibar Apartian, nearing age 94, who has for years directed French-speaking areas of God’s Work and continues to administer international projects for Church Administration. In spite of failing eyesight, Mr. Apartian insists on arriving for work at the office every morning at 8:30 AM. What dedication! Mr. Herbert Armstrong, the founder of this end-time Work, set us all an example working until he died at age 93 and one-half. Mr. Apartian has already lived beyond that age and is still serving Jesus Christ diligently.
Jesus Christ actively continues to lead His Church. We need to humble ourselves and look to Him for the resources and spiritual power to fulfill the mission He gave His Church: to preach the gospel of the Kingdom in all the world; to warn our Western nations (the lost ten tribes of Israel) to repent before the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22); and to feed the flock spiritually (John 21:15-19). That is one reason Dr. Meredith, with the advice and support of the Council of Elders, proclaimed a Church-wide fast for the Sabbath of March 6. Since that time just over six weeks ago, the living Christ has opened exciting media doors for preaching the gospel (see Colossians 4:3; Revelation 3:8). Dr. Meredith will announce those new developments later on. Frankly, one challenge is the high cost of broadcasting on the larger television networks; we sometimes must make the painful decision to wait until more resources become available. We thank our brethren and co-workers for their faithful support in making possible the effective broadcasting and publishing of the true Gospel. Please continue to pray that God will add more co-workers, donors and laborers to accomplish His Work (Matthew 9:37-38).
I remember the encouragement and inspiration I felt when, back in 1961, I received a letter from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong accepting me as a new co-worker with Christ. The Apostle Paul described those who were “fellow workers for your joy” (2 Corinthians 1:24), and “my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life” (Philippians 4:3). The Apostle John urged his readers to “become fellow workers for the truth” (3 John 8). Let us all rejoice in the calling God has given us in working together for the greatest mission in the world: preaching the gospel of the Kingdom to all nations (Matthew 24:14).
God has called His ministry and people to be “watchmen.” We must warn our peoples of their sins and of the consequences that will follow unless they repent. God told the prophet Ezekiel, “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me” (Ezekiel 33:7). God commissioned the prophet Isaiah, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). Tomorrow’s World and the Living Church of God are striving to powerfully warn millions that they may be spared from the Great Tribulation soon to come (Matthew 24:21-22).
How sinful are our Western nations? BBC Focus magazine recently analyzed the world’s nations according to the classic “seven deadly sins”—lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. What nation was measured as most sinful? Australia! The United States and Canada followed at numbers two and three (“The Most Sinful Nation on Earth,” February 2010, p. 30).
Our Western nations are criminal in many other ways. For example, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1.37 million abortions—3,700 per day—are performed annually in the U.S.! The Institute reports that more than 49 million babies have been aborted in the U.S. since 1973! Worldwide, approximately 42 million abortions are performed yearly, or 115,000 per day. Yet the sixth commandment states: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13)! God will judge our nations with great punishment for these abominations, unless we nationally and individually repent! Be sure to read “Abortion: A Modern Holocaust?” by Douglas S. Winnail, on our Web site, www.tomorrowsworld.org.
The Economist magazine recently featured a shocking cover article: “GENDERCIDE, What happened to 100 million baby girls?” (March 6-12, 2010). Historically, many evil nations have committed genocide—but, as horrible as those mass murders have been, no single murderous nation has come close to this number, or has singled out its youngest women for such barbaric assault. In addition to the horrific practice of “selective abortion”—in which the mother aborts her female babies, waiting for a male—there are increasing cases of female babies being murdered after birth, or dying from willful neglect. The Economist reports, “It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions—aborted, killed, neglected to death. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now” (p. 13). Why are mothers choosing to murder their daughters? “In fact the destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus” (ibid.). In its companion article, “The worldwide war on baby girls,” The Economist presents evidence of the crimes against baby girls in China, India and other countries (pp. 77-80). We are nearing the level of global wickedness described before Noah’s flood: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). My friends, do you pray “Your Kingdom come!”? Jesus Christ, the King of kings, will soon stop this global evil!
Although God promised Noah that He would not again destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 9:11), He will use “natural disasters” to wake our peoples and nations to the signs of the times in which we are living. The United States Geological Survey includes in its list of “significant earthquakes” the 7.2 magnitude April 4 temblor in Baja California, Mexico, and the 4.4 magnitude March 16 earthquake in Los Angeles, California. Those of us who have experienced major earthquakes when living in California know how frightening they can be. As Dr. Meredith quoted in his March 16, 2010 letter to brethren and co-workers:
Most news commentators scoff at the idea that the Creator may be starting to intervene in a special way to “shake” people to their senses. But the inspired Word of God tells us that the Creator—whose voice and actions shook His people at Mount Sinai—has promised, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven” (Hebrews 12:26). And Jesus Christ Himself directly predicted that at this time of the end, “There will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11).
At least 17 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater have struck our globe in the first four months of 2010! Scientists are calling the 8.8 magnitude quake that struck Chile on February 27 one of the seven or eight most powerful temblors ever recorded! The January 12 quake in Haiti, though “merely” a 7.0, was one of the five or six deadliest in recorded history, causing more than 230,000 deaths and several hundred thousand serious injuries. From Chile to China, from Haiti to Japan, earthquakes have reminded us of our fragile existence on planet Earth. Even the central U.S.—far from the Pacific “Ring of Fire”—has been startled by unusual earthquake activity in the first months of 2010, with a 4.0 in Oklahoma on January 15 and a 3.8 in Illinois on February 10. It has been nearly 200 years since the New Madrid Fault buckled in December 1811 and January 1812. Is the American Midwest ready for the next big temblor?
We are very thankful that our brethren and co-workers are striving to fulfill the mission Christ has given us, and are remaining alert to prophetic trends. One way this Work is helping people stay alert is through special personal appearances by our evangelists and other ministers. Over the years, Dr. Meredith and others have presented dozens of evangelistic campaigns. Evangelist Dr. Douglas S. Winnail, our Director of Church Administration, has recently been coordinating a major renewal of this important strategy for preaching the Gospel, with excellent results. In fact, just last weekend, Dr. Winnail gave his most recent Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation to subscribers in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Our Canadian Regional Director, Evangelist Gerald Weston, and his fellow ministers have just completed ten Tomorrow’s World special presentations throughout Canada, the latest in Scarborough, Ontario, on April 10. On April 3, Dr. Meredith spoke to an audience of 234 in his hometown of Joplin, Missouri, where he dedicated a new building for Church services and announced that the Tomorrow’s World telecast would soon air on a local television station.
My wife Kathryn and I traveled to Kingston, Jamaica, earlier this year, where I preached to our congregation there and spoke to 158 Tomorrow’s World subscribers on February 7. I also spoke to 120 subscribers in Atlanta, Georgia on February 27. I hope that those of you in the New York City area will plan to attend my Manhattan presentation on May 8, and that those of you in the Los Angeles area will come to my Glendale presentation on May 15.
God willing, Dr. Meredith plans to speak in London, England on May 29, and in Dallas, Texas on July 10. I urge all you brethren and co-workers in those areas to attend his presentations, if you can. By the end of June, we will have held 60 Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, the U.K. and the Caribbean, with many more scheduled through the remainder of 2010. Be sure to check our www.tomorrowsworld.org Web site for the locations and dates of future presentations in your area! Jesus said, “You will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:23). We are following our Lord’s guidance, striving to powerfully witness to as many cities as we can.
Brethren, God’s way is the way of give. As Jesus told His disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). In the version of this letter being sent to co-workers, we are offering them a free subscription to The Living Church News, so they may more deeply come to understand the Way of life Jesus Christ taught. Please join with me in praying that many will accept our offer, and that God may call them into a closer relationship with Him and His Church. I pray that all of you members are regularly reading the LCN, so you can stay abreast of Dr. Meredith’s latest guidance and insights, and can learn from the many helpful and inspiring articles. No, the LCN is not a substitute for your Bible study—which you should maintain faithfully, along with your prayer, meditation and occasional fasting. But it should be a valuable tool to complement and enrich your study of God’s word and His Way.
Thank you all for your continuing support in preaching the true gospel of the soon-coming Kingdom of God! May God bless you as you follow the Way of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Your servant in Christ,
Richard F. Ames