September 15, 2004
September 15th, 2004
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte, NC! World events are growing more and more ominous as each month passes. Jesus Christ tells us to watch and to pray that we may be counted worthy to escape these things that are coming. And God’s ministers are to be His "watchman" to help all of you not only know about, but understand, the significance of what is beginning to happen before our eyes.
Our great God does indeed control the weather! Following on the heels of Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances, now "Ivan the Terrible"—the sixth most powerful hurricane in recorded history—is heading directly for the Gulf Coast of Florida, Alabama or Mississippi. We here in Charlotte are all praying for our brethren and friends in that area. This series of hurricanes is most unusual—and I hope all of us can realize its significance in the light of Bible prophecy. Our peoples really do need to repent! We love them, we pray for them. But God Himself loves every human being. Yet He "rebukes and chastens" every son whom He receives (Heb. 12:5-6). And God certainly does chastise rebellious nations, as the Bible makes exceedingly clear.
Meanwhile, the terrible drought in the western U.S. continues to get worse, and massive water shortages in many nations are beginning to occur—again a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Another ominous development which fits in precisely with biblical prophecy is the situation in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is now proposing implementation of a plan aimed at installing a "vertical" system of power. This will serve to further entrench Putin’s already near-absolute power. As many analysts are putting it. Putin is, in fact, becoming another "Czar" of Russia! If this plan goes through—which it probably will—then Putin will become an almost total dictator in Russia. He will have complete control over tens of millions of people, a massive military establishment and increasingly close relations with Europe.
Watch this: Will Putin’s Russia somehow be lured into joining the coming "Beast" power in Europe? Will it become the "eastern leg" of the prophetic "Beast" described in Daniel 2:40-43?
It will be extremely significant if the next Pope reaches out to the Russian patriarch and is somehow able to lure the Russian Orthodox back into the fold. Also, it will be momentous if Putin and the leaders of Germany become more and more friendly with one another. For if the massive weaponry—including atomic and hydrogen bombs and biological weapons under Russia’s control—should become part of the coming European Empire: Wow! The Bible indicates that this final revival of the Roman Empire will indeed astonish many people. These developments would, indeed, change the entire situation—and should send shivers up and down the spines of all who understand!
Consider what is beginning to occur: An alarming series of crises is facing a bewildered humanity. The world’s supply of good food and clean water is dwindling, because of pollution that degrades the environment and global warming that alters weather patterns. Millions face hunger and, eventually, starvation. Some areas struggle with horrendous winter storms or powerful hurricanes and massive flooding, while other areas wither in drought under a blazing sun! These weather disasters will exact staggering financial tolls, eventually bankrupting many insurance companies.
Massive earthquakes, occasional volcanoes and insect plagues will further drain international and local disaster relief resources. Ethnic tensions, unemployment and pervasive urban crime will cast a pall of insecurity over once peaceful communities. Life will become increasingly cheap. After all, what is the cost of a few bullets or a knife?
And the horrors of the September 11, 2001 attacks remind us that increasing terrorism is going to greatly intensify all of the above problems!
Dear brethren and co-workers, may God grant all of us the understanding and the humility to sincerely cry out to God to help us have the faith and courage to seek Him and His ways first—above all else! Remember, Jesus Christ tells us in His Word, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33).
We in this Work of the living God are doing our level best to increase the impact of this Work so that all the nations of the world will have at least a "witness" of God’s Plan and of the specific prophecies of what is soon to occur. We deeply appreciate the prayers, encouragement and support of all of you. For we could not possibly do this without your help. As God uses each one of us according to our means and ability, we are indeed "laying up treasure in heaven."
Time is short. Our opportunity to reach this world is now. As the Apostle Paul stated, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Rom. 13:12-14).
May God inspire each of us to draw closer to Him and to the living Jesus Christ who is guiding His true servants to do His Work at this time. May He help us truly surrender our lives so that Christ may live His obedient life within us—the same kind of life that He lived 1,900 years ago. We are doing everything in our power to teach you that way of life. May God help you to understand and to act.
With Christian love,
—Roderick C. Meredith