August 20, 2014
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte, NC! I just returned a few days ago from our absolutely wonderful “teen camp” held this year in Ohio. We had just under 300 campers and staff—and an absolute wave of joy, enthusiasm and unity certainly prevailed at the camp. Our staff did a wonderful job, and our young people were taught the giving and serving “way of life” which we certainly want all of them to carry over into their adulthood and into Tomorrow’s World.
Your tithes and offerings have certainly helped support this camp—and I thank you for it very much in Jesus’ name! Hundreds of our young people are coming along, and more and more are enrolling each year for our college classes in Living University. We now have over 200 registered to take classes this autumn.
In every way, this Work is growing in numbers and in power and effectiveness! We are very grateful for God’s help in this—as we are all certainly weak human instruments. But many hundreds of people are now coming with us from other Church of God groups, as they see a weak and Laodicean-type attitude in some groups, and—on the other hand—a dictatorial and militaristic approach in other groups where people are often “kicked out” if they question the leadership or have any problem with the “authority.” Jesus Christ has guided us in this Work to follow the “middle road” in all these things—for which we are thankful. But our actual impact on the world as a whole through our outstanding television program—which brings in the biggest response of any program of this type—plus our largest-circulation magazine, our regular and increasingly powerful evangelistic campaigns, etc., are certainly increasing the effect of this Work in America and around the world. Thanks be to God! Yet, Satan is busy! He is stirring up increasing divisions in our own nations, and certainly a spirit of hate and warfare around the world. The inspired prophecies of Almighty God certainly are happening with increasing frequency!
By far the largest nation on earth, China, is increasing its bellicose behavior in Southeast Asia. Just this morning, the news reported that the Philippines are increasingly upset with China’s continuing to push them around—plus nations like Vietnam, Japan and others are also looking over their shoulders “hoping” for America’s backing in case of war! Certainly, all-out war may break out in Southeast Asia because of China’s increasing hegemony and push toward total dominance in that area. Neo-Nazi and Fascist groups are increasing in power all over Europe! And growing anti-Semitism is very obvious—and the “chosen people” are being increasingly hated in many parts of the world.
Additionally there is a real chance that Putin will soon invade the Ukraine and draw other Eastern European nations into the Russian fold if he can. Are we really going to stop him? With what? The current administration is consistently decreasing America’s military effectiveness—and other nations continually laugh at the “red lines” talked about by President Obama. Certainly, the “pride of our power” is rapidly being broken as prophesied in Leviticus 26:19.
In Iraq, as the ISIS guerillas are slaughtering, torturing and actually crucifying more and more people, our administration often tries to help out with too little, too late. And in Africa, the Ebola virus is spreading rapidly! This morning’s news mentioned that there are now more than 1,200 deaths attributed to the Ebola virus and it is continuing to spread rapidly throughout western Africa and is just a “plane flight away” from being here in the United States or western Europe!
All of us who know the Bible understand that when our ways please God, His blessings come. But because of our rebellion against God and His laws, we are under the inspired curses described in Deuteronomy 28. Remember, dear brethren and co-workers, Jesus constantly referred to the Old Testament books as “Scripture.” He told us: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).
In the famous prophetic passage containing God’s curses for modern Israel—meaning us—God states in verse 24: “The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:24). The Los Angeles Times declares in this headline, “‘Severe’ drought covers nearly 99.8% of California” (August 18, 2014)! The article goes on to describe that the steady march toward disaster is continuing and that more and more cities across California are “enforcing penalties with renewed gusto for over-watering, residents have felt the consequences—some incurring huge fines, others annoyed with browning neighborhood lawns…. As images of dry lake beds and muddy streams continue to proliferate, forecasters warn hope for relief has dimmed somewhat.”
My friends, because we have turned away from God in a massive way—even condoning “men marrying men,” Almighty God is going to intervene to humble this nation with increasing power!
Later in Deuteronomy 28, Almighty God states: “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. Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you” (vv. 43-45). Through our constant adulteries, wife swapping, homosexuality—even increasing bestiality—and our pornographic images on television and in the media, we are indeed spiraling down to the end of this society unless our peoples repent and begin to truly OBEY the God who made them!
We in this Work, dear brethren and co-workers, have the opportunity to reach out to our people while there is time! We need to get zealously involved in this Work which Christ is doing! This Work needs to grow massively because—even with our increased profile—we are simply not well-known yet.
But many of you newer brethren and co-workers apparently do not understand one “key” law of God that you may be breaking—which greatly hinders the growth of God’s Work. That is God’s Law of tithing. In His inspired Word, God commands tithing. Even before the “Mosaic covenant,” the one who was later to be called “father of the faithful,” set the example by practicing tithing.
When God delivered him and his troops from pagan kings and gave them a great victory, Abraham knew that whatever God gives—this is to be tithed to the God who gives us life and breath in the first place! When Abraham met Melchizedek—actually, the God of the Old Testament—he was told that about God “has delivered your enemies into your hand” (Genesis 14:20). Then Abraham “gave him [Melchizedek] a tithe of all” (v. 20). As the “father of the faithful,” Abraham set the inspired example.
Later, Jesus Christ Himself warned the Pharisees: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Matthew 23:23). Notice that Jesus did not tell them to quit tithing. He said, rather, “these”—referring to justice, mercy and faith—you ought to have done, without leaving the others (such as tithing) undone! Yet many professing Christians try to “reason” their way around this clear teaching and leave tithing “undone.” They are not willing to put their trust in God to bless them and guide them even though they are told to give one-tenth of their increase to their Creator. This hurts their relationship with God, and it certainly decreases the capacity of God’s true Work to go forward with the power God wishes.
So I am challenging all of you—as a matter of your worship to God Himself, and your faith that God will bless you if you do His will—to keep this “statute” which God commands in His Word. And that you begin to learn to give a full tithe of your increase to your Creator, plus generous offerings as you are able! Many of you remember that in a sort of “bridge” prophecy at the end of the Old Testament—with many instructions carried right on over to the New Covenant—Almighty God clearly states: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’” (Malachi 3:8-10).
God’s Word is clear on this. If you put your trust in God and obey the One that gives you life and breath, He will bless you! Otherwise, as His Word states very clearly, you are under a certain curse because you have not obeyed God in this important matter. If you wish to learn further about this vital law of God, please call us or write us immediately to request your free copy of our important booklet, God’s People Tithe.
Since all of you who receive this have voluntarily become, with us, “co-workers with Christ,” I feel free to tell you about these things from time to time. I do not want to pressure you in a wrong way. But it is important that you learn to understand and therefore receive God’s blessing for obeying His laws and ways. So I hope that you will consider this carefully and prove that God’s promise is true. And I hope that all of us will learn to put our total faith in God by truly “walking with God” more and more as these exciting and yet increasingly terrifying times come upon us in these last days of this human civilization. A civilization “cut off” from God because we do not obey Him. We in this Work should understand.
May God bless you and guide you to do your part in building this Work so that the world may know there is a real God, and that His Work is out there with increasing power in proclaiming His full Truth of the real purpose of life, of the inspired prophecies of His Word and of the way we may all enter into everlasting life. May God be with you and guide you in all of this! And let us pray that God will give all of us a right spirit and willingness to be truly zealous Christians and not “Laodicean” in any part of our Christian lives.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith