June 18, 2015
June 18th, 2015
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Over the last couple of weeks, Dr. Meredith has been videotaping messages to be presented at our annual Feast of Tabernacles observances, to be held at 51 sites in 31 countries. Although the Feast does not begin for another three months (starting the evening of September 27 this year, continuing for seven days until the Last Great Day on October 5), Feast sermons and other video productions must be translated into several other languages, so we need to prepare well in advance.
Dr. Meredith’s recent sermons have admonished us to draw close to God as a family and as a team, given the increasing immorality that will bring God’s judgments on our Western nations. Yet God promises the most faithful and zealous Christians His protection from the Great Tribulation to come. He guides the “woman,” God’s Church, “into the wilderness to her place” (Revelation 12:14). Even before that time, persecution may test many of us. Jesus warned His followers: “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:22-23).
True Christians will follow Christ’s instructions and trust Him to guide their lives. We thank God for His promise to protect us while our hearts are dedicated to doing His Work and His will (John 4:34). Psalm 46 gives us this encouraging perspective: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah” (vv. 1-3).
God will give you more faith as you draw close to Him and study His word for total guidance in your life. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, quoting the prophet Isaiah: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Be sure to read your Bible every day. And if you have not yet taken advantage of our free Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course, be sure to request your free enrollment. We will send you the first four lessons right away. You can also take the Bible Study Course online at TomorrowsWorld.org.
Another prophecy that is coming alive is from Amos 4:6-8, “‘Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord. ‘I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered. So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord” (Amos 4:6–8).
My friends, the state of California is now in its fourth year of drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor Map, as of June 9, graphically shows that 93.91 percent of California’s land area is under severe drought or worse. More than 71 percent is under extreme drought or worse. And 47.3 percent of California land area is in the “exceptional drought” category.
What is the economic impact? A study released by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that “when accounting for its indirect and induced impacts on other economic sectors as well, ‘the total cost of this year’s drought on California’s economy is $2.7 billion and the loss of about 18,600 full- and part-time jobs,’” and that the drought “should cause 564,000 acres of farmland to go fallow, compared to a normal year. Farm revenue losses from crops could hit $856 million, dairy income will drop by $250 million and livestock losses will amount to $100 million” (“California faces $2.7 billion hit from drought,” Stockton Record, June 2, 2015).
What should Californians do? Many, of course, are striving to follow state conservation water-use guidelines and restrictions. But that is not enough. Would it occur to state leaders to acknowledge God, and ask for His mercy and intervention? When the state of Georgia experienced a long-term drought, in November 2007, its governor was bold enough to pray for rain. “Gov. Sonny Perdue wasn’t the least bit discouraged Tuesday after his hour-long state Capitol prayer vigil for rain ended with the sun shining through what had been a somewhat cloudy morning. ‘God can make it rain tomorrow, he can make it rain next week or next month,’ Perdue told reporters who asked him if a miracle was on the way” (“Perdue asks crowd to ‘pray up a storm,’” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 13, 2007).
Many Western nations have abandoned their foundational godly values and are going the way of atheism. Historically, leaders have proclaimed days of prayer and humiliation. King George VI proclaimed such a national day of prayer on May 26, 1940 during World War II when 338,000 Allied troops were at the mercy of Hitler’s forces in Dunkirk, France. God miraculously delivered them back to England across an unusually smooth English Channel. You can read more about that deliverance in our free booklet, Prophecy Fulfilled: God’s Hand in World Affairs.
During the United States’ Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation on March 30, 1863, “appointing a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.” The proclamation begins: “Whereas the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation….”
God preserved the U.S. through a bloody Civil War that took the lives of more than 600,000 human beings. As in Lincoln’s day, we need national repentance, humility, fasting and prayer! Brethren and co-workers, our nations may have already crossed the line beyond which they, like ancient Esau, will find “no place for repentance” (Hebrews 12:17).
We need to pray for our nations’ leaders, that they can humble themselves and seek God. Do you pray regularly for U.S. President Barack Obama? Do you pray for world leaders such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper or France’s President François Hollande? The Apostle Paul admonishes us, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
We all have a responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15. We thank God for your support and the new open doors for preaching the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. Starting July 6, Kenya’s Family Media TV will broadcast the Tomorrow’s World television program on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. The audio track of the telecast will also be broadcast over Family Radio 316 on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. The station’s Web site makes this statement: “Family TV is the East and Central Africa’s largest Christian television broadcaster and Kenya’s most watched faith channel.”
In a few days, you will receive your July-August 2015 Tomorrow’s World magazine, our first with a print run above 500,000. And, just last week, Dr. Meredith approved a new U.S. initiative to broadcast on four new stations. Through one donor’s generous directed gift, and by cutting three unproductive stations, we were able to pay for the increased costs. Three of the four stations’ contracts have been confirmed: KCOX (San Diego, CA), Sundays at 7:30 a.m.; KBCW (San Francisco, CA), Sundays at 6:30 a.m.; KPXB (Houston, TX), Wednesdays at 7:00 a.m. We hope to announce the fourth station in next month’s co-worker letter. Brethren and friends, we are grateful for the many Church members who tithe faithfully to support the whole Work of the Church, but we are also encouraged by those, many of whom are not Living Church of God members, who make directed contributions to the Media Fund.
Thank you, brethren and co-workers, for your prayers. Three times in the book of Revelation, the prayers of the saints, symbolized by sweet-smelling incense, come before God’s throne (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4). Your prayers do make a difference in our ability to do God’s Work!
May God bless you all as you serve our Father in heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ with all your heart and soul!
In Christian love,
Richard F. Ames