July 17, 2013
July 17th, 2013
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
God’s Work continues to grow and expand under the leadership of our Presiding Evangelist, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith. We thank God that Dr. Meredith continues to demonstrate zeal and vision at age 83. He administers the global operations of Tomorrow’s World and the Living Church of God and daily communicates with ministers and brethren around the world from his office here in Charlotte, North Carolina. His passion for fulfilling the Great Commission continues unabated, and he inspires all of us to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Amidst his many scheduled activities and projects this month, he has asked me to write this month’s letter to you brethren and co-workers.
As you have seen announced in our July-August 2013 Tomorrow’s World magazine, the Tomorrow’s World telecast will now blanket the nation of Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. These programs will feature Russian-language voiceovers. We are excited about this new “open door” for the preaching of the gospel. The first two telecasts will be Dr. Meredith’s “How Can You KNOW God?” starting on July 24, followed by my telecast “Vital Keys for Bible Study” on July 31.
I hope most of you had the opportunity on June 30 to watch Dr. Meredith’s live on-line Tomorrow’s World Presentation, “Prophecy and the Decline of the Western Nations.” He powerfully indicted America and those nations supporting and promoting same-sex marriage. Shockingly, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 struck down the Congress-legislated Defense of Marriage Act. As Dr. Meredith has proclaimed, the Supreme Court of Heaven will not be mocked by men and women rebelling against the laws of God! The history of the world has demonstrated that civilizations decline, decay and self-destruct when they reject the Ten Commandments and the nuclear family. The Roman Empire was one case in point. Read my Tomorrow’s World magazine article “Rise and Fall of Nations” (July-August 2002) on our Web site.
Twenty-nine of the 50 U.S. states currently ban same-sex marriage; in another five it is not legal but not explicitly banned. Twenty states directly ban “same-sex civil unions” meant to approximate marriage. Will their moral strength remain strong? Or will the wave of immorality undermine even these states? This Work has warned—and will continue to warn—our Western nations that, if they will not repent and turn to their Creator, God will judge them with severe punishment. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of our end-time and referred to the Great Tribulation, a time unique in all history, when the American and British-descended peoples, descendants of the ancient patriarch Jacob, will be punished: “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7). Why will God punish our nations? “For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased” (v. 14).
When God punished the ancient House of Israel, He occasionally called on lawless Gentile nations to witness the justice of His actions (Deuteronomy 29:24-28; Amos 3:9-15). For decades, the USSR was the only “super-power” challenger to the United States. Though the USSR has disintegrated, it is ironic that many of its people plainly recognize which “super-power” has truly fallen from its former heights! As one Russian commentator put it: “The US is broke and Russia is the world’s largest oil producer with a growing economy. Russia is not backing down and they have China to back them up. Who will back the US? Tiny Britain? Americans are turning gay and Russian men are looking more like the Klitschko brothers. The US is the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah while Christianity triumphs in Russia. No ACLU in Russia suing Christians to be sure. The largest country in the world shows only contempt at the US Bomb & Missile Diplomacy” (“Putin Throws Down Obama,” english.pravda.ru, June 18, 2013).
What an indictment against a previously self-professed Judeo-Christian nation: “The US is the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.” Gentile nations plainly see that our immorality is headed for judgment! When will we ever learn? The U.S. and other Western nations historically have been blessed by God. But judgment day is approaching. Our historic mission was to be a light of true freedom under law to the rest of the world. God’s instruction to ancient Israel applies to us. God’s servant Moses proclaims: “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:5-8).
For 200 years, the United States and other Western democracies were beacons of freedom to oppressed peoples all over the world. The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of freedom under law. But today, lawless leaders have perverted the standards for true freedom, declaring by their political actions and lifestyle that every form of sin is liberty. The Apostle Paul, however, makes plain the reality of this deception. What defines freedom and what defines slavery? “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18).
Jesus also declares the genuineness of true freedom: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
Just recently, on July 4, the United States observed Independence Day, celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. While the anti-God forces increase their attack on our nations’ acknowledgment of our source of true freedom, the Declaration of Independence acknowledged the “Creator,” “nature’s God,” “the Supreme Judge of the World” and “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” Even now, in 2013, the constitution of every state of the Union acknowledges God and His sovereignty.
On July 4, our local Charlotte newspaper featured two very different full-page advertisements. One was boldly headlined “In God We Trust” while the other urged readers to “Celebrate our GODLESS Constitution” (Charlotte Observer, pp. 5A, 9A). The first advertisement presented quotes acknowledging God from the nation’s founding fathers, U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices and their rulings, statements from Congress and Harvard and Yale student guidelines. One of the most famous quotes alluded to Psalm 127:1 in establishing the new nation: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Eighty-one year old Benjamin Franklin, a member of the Continental Congress, stated: “I’ve lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” (ibid., p. 5A).
The other advertisement, by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), emphasized their slogan, “In Reason We Trust.” That is quite a contrast to the national slogan imprinted on all U.S. coinage and currency: “In God We Trust.” Let us ask these anti-God philosophers, “In whose reason should we trust?” Should we trust in the reasoning of the ancient philosophers? Should we trust in the reasoning of the great historic leaders of nations and empires which are now dust and decay? Should we trust the reasoning of the FFRF?
Let’s understand! Should “reason” be our god? From where did the power of human thought, communication, and reason originate? From lower forms of beasts and animals? The gift of reason, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding comes from the Creator of the human mind (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Psalm 111:10). Sound “reason” and true science demonstrate—time and again—that evolution cannot explain the origin of life and the power of the human mind, as I explained in my telecast, “Questions Evolution Cannot Answer” (which you can watch on our Web site, TomorrowsWorld.org). The Creator God gave human beings the “spirit of man” added to the human brain to create human mind power. “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11). Animals cannot know the things of a man. Human beings have the creative imagination to envision, design and build, foresee the future and communicate using sophisticated verbal language—abilities far superior to animals. Who gave human beings the power to reason? Almighty God gave us the ability to reason, and the free moral agency to misuse that power. Reason apart from godly truth leads to deception and death: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Godly reasoning power is a gift from God and a major responsibility. Misuse of this gift leads to foolishness: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’; and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile’” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20).
God is the source of sound reasoning. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). “In reason we trust” leads to endless varieties of philosophy, false values and eventual death. “In God we trust,” when applied with obedience to His spiritual laws through Christ, leads to abundant living (John 10:10) and true life (Matthew 19:17; Proverbs 3:5-6). If our Western nations would practice biblical standards of morality, God would bless us with a glorious reputation. As we read earlier, “And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:8).
On the other hand, historians and critics have justifiable reason to seek freedom from the false religions of this world. “Christian” nations have historically slaughtered each other in the name of religion. Muslim Shiites and Muslim Sunnis kill each other by suicide bombings, even in their mosques. Pagan superstitions permeate world religions, including hundreds of “Christian” denominations. It is no wonder that millions of “thinking” persons rightly reject such fallacies—but then they themselves are blinded from understanding the true way of life revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
My friends, let’s realize just how important the Bible is to us nationally, and to each of us personally! Daniel Webster, the great American statesman, gave this warning about our national future: “If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 18).
More and more, national leaders and citizens are ignoring the lessons of history. If this trend continues, we will surely experience the sudden “catastrophe” and “profound obscurity” Daniel Webster correctly reasoned and warned against. Our nations and our peoples must wake up!
Brethren and co-workers, God has freely given us His precious truth. His wisdom and understanding are far more valuable than rubies (Proverbs 3:13-15). God’s truth protects us from the deceptions of this world, and—as long as we practice the truth by Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20)—it will keep us free from sin. We must continue to fulfill the Great Commission and preach the gospel of the Kingdom as a witness to the world (Matthew 24:14). Thank you all for your continuing zeal, participation, support and prayers for this most important mission in the world. May God help us all to stand for the Truth as we look forward to the coming Kingdom of God that will bring true liberty and freedom to all nations!
Continue to pray for the success of the Tomorrow’s World telecast in Russia. And pray for more open doors for the gospel to be preached in all nations around the world.
In Christian love,
Richard F. Ames