January 16, 2014
January 16th, 2014
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Thank you very, very much for your support of God’s Work in 2013! Christ is opening more doors for the preaching of the gospel, and it is your God-inspired generosity that gives us the resources to go through those doors. We are excited about last year’s media growth, and about the new television stations we are now adding at the beginning of 2014.
Dr. Meredith asked me to write this month’s co-worker letter, and to convey to you his deep appreciation for the love and support so many have shared with him since the death of his wife Sheryl last November, even since his December co-worker letter in which he shared his personal feelings at the loss of his faithful wife. She served her Savior, husband, family, and God’s Church and Work as a profitable servant of Christ.
Despite mourning the loss of his beloved wife, Dr. Meredith is soldiering on, knowing that Sheryl is asleep in the grave, one of many who “sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14), awaiting the resurrection at Christ’s return (vv. 16-18). I hope you were able to see Dr. Meredith’s live Tomorrow’s World Web message “Prophetic Events Leading Up to the Return of Christ” on December 8. Christ is certainly using our Presiding Evangelist very effectively as the human leader of His Work in these end times. He has been taping Tomorrow’s World programs, managing this worldwide Work and preaching strongly—as he did last Sabbath on his topic, “The Resurrection Is Vital.” Please continue to pray for him, and for all of us who are striving—despite our limitations—to serve our Lord wholeheartedly and effectively. We rejoice in Christ’s promise, “‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).
As you may have heard, on January 1, 2014 we began broadcasting the Tomorrow’s World television program in India, the second-most-populous nation (1.2 billion) in the world. We are cautiously starting with a limited audience of about 1.5 million near the city of Goa, to ensure our ability to serve those whom God is calling. Please pray for the success of that broadcast.
Last Sunday, January 12, we began broadcasting Tomorrow’s World television program on Angel One Network at 10:00 PM ET. And, by the time you receive this letter, we will have begun broadcasting on BET Network, reaching 90 million television households every Tuesday, starting January 21, at 7:00 AM ET. The next day, Wednesday, January 22, we will begin broadcasting on Faith World TV network, 8:00 PM London time, reaching 45 million television households in Europe and North Africa. Then on January 23, we will begin broadcasting on ION National Cable Platform network reaching 50 million television households, Thursday mornings at 7:30 AM ET.
Jesus stated in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We have a vital God-given mission in preparing for the Second Coming of Christ, the greatest event yet to occur in all human history! As you know, we are preaching the gospel over the Internet, at TomorrowsWorld.org—which reaches most nations—and we are also very thankful for our Spanish and French Web sites, MundoManana.org and MondeDemain.org. There, you can view the Tomorrow’s World telecast in Spanish and French, and access free publications. German-speaking subscribers are familiar with our Web site WeltVonMorgen.org. In 2013, Christ opened doors for the Gospel to be preached in Russia and surrounding regions. We also began broadcasting in Latin America on JBN network. In Hong Kong, a customized version of the Tomorrow’s World telecast is aired with Chinese subtitles, and a number of booklets are available in Chinese at TomorrowsWorldHK.com. Be sure to let your friends and family know about these open doors proclaiming the Truth!
Brethren and co-workers, we have much to be thankful for, but we have great challenges ahead of us. We are warning our Western nations, and the rest of the world, of their sins that will lead to God’s judgment on the nations during the future Day of the Lord. Wars and conflicts are increasing in regions around the globe. Millions of men, women and children are forced from their homes and lands. According to one source, “The total number of people forcibly displaced worldwide has reached 45.2m [million] people, the highest level in almost 20 years, according to a report published today by the UN’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).” (“UNHCR 2012 refugee statistics: full data,” The Guardian, June 19, 2013).
We pray daily for God’s Kingdom to come, to solve these humanly unsolvable problems! Someday, in the not-too-distant future, true Christians will be refugees as well. God has promised to protect His people through the Great Tribulation. He will lead the Philadelphian remnant of His Church “into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14). God will protect the Church, “the woman,” for the three-and one-half years of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. Some rapturists believe the “woman” represents the modern nation of Israel. But notice in verse 17 that the dragon attacks the woman’s “offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The modern nation of Israel mostly rejects “the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
We must prepare for the dangerous times ahead. How? By doing God’s Work and fulfilling the commission Christ has given the Church. We also must heed Christ’s instructions, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:20-22).
Thank God that there is an “elect” on the earth, and for their sake the world will be preserved from total cosmocide! But the recent weather has certainly reminded us that we need to pray that our flight will not be in the winter!
Many of you brethren and co-workers may have experienced the recent “polar vortex.” CNN reported the “encouraging” news of a warming trend: “The 86,000 residents of Duluth, Minnesota, were among the millions of Americans lucky enough to wake up to warmer weather Wednesday. It was only 30 degrees below zero with wind chill. That was 20 degrees higher than 24 hours earlier. It may not be as fast as most Americans want it, but a new weather pattern is, at long last, sending the iceman packing” (“Goodbye, polar vortex: Warmer weather is arriving,” CNN.com, January 8, 2014). As the world becomes more unstable, and prophetic events speed up, we must continue to “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
Thank you again for your continuing support as brethren, co-workers and “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). Through your faithful support, God blessed us in 2013 with an annual income increase of more than 13 percent above 2012! That is why we are now able to activate this powerful media initiative. Some of that 2013 income came from the generous bequests of estates. You may want to consider including Tomorrow’s World, the Living Church of God or Living University in your future planned giving arrangements. If you would like more information, just write our Legal Affairs department or phone us at (800) 565-0546 or (704) 844-1970.
Many of you have attended our live Tomorrow’s World Presentations (TWPs) in the past. This year we are planning more than 80 such presentations in the U.S., Canada, and around the world. In December, Dr. Wilner Pierre gave three Tomorrow’s World Presentations in the French language: in Guadeloupe (December 9); in St. Maarten (December 13); and in Tampa to Tomorrow’s World subscribers from Haiti (December 21). Be sure to monitor our scheduled TWPs on our Tomorrow’s World Web site and pray for more laborers to work in the “harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
Long-time brethren and co-workers will remember today, January 16, as the 28th anniversary of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s death. Though a few deceptively “wrap themselves in his mantle,” we in the Living Church of God are striving to follow in his footsteps, as he faithfully followed in Christ’s footsteps in doing God’s will and Work.
Brethren and co-workers, let’s look forward to the expansion of the True Gospel to reach millions more in 2014. Thank you for your continuing zeal, your prayers, and your faithful witness of the truth!
In Christian love,
Richard F. Ames