November 10th, 2022
Greetings from Charlotte,
The Council of Elders met this week, and it was most encouraging to hear of new members coming to the Church and reports of harmony and warmth at our Festival sites around the world. All except Mr. Rob Tyler were able to attend in person and Mr. Tyler participated electronically for most meetings, in spite of the significant time difference. It was also encouraging to learn that we have about 90 new people attending services in the United States and 45 in Canada (and there are many more who are still showing some degree of interest) as a result of our Tomorrow’s World Presentations this past year. There is no video update this week as we have all been extremely busy with the Council of Elders, telecast tapings, review of the new Germany in Prophecy booklet, and other pressing matters.—Gerald Weston
Past and Upcoming Tomorrow’s World Presentations
Last weekend, we held two initial presentations: Reading, England, UK; and Raleigh, North Carolina. These presentations had a combined total of 22 guests. This weekend we have one initial TWP scheduled in Croydon, England, UK. Thank you all for your continued prayers for these presentations.
The Work in the French-Language
This week we published the French translation of our special production titled “The Truth About the Transgender Movement.” It offers the booklet God’s Plan for Happy Marriage, and is available on our Le Monde de Demain YouTube channel and on our Facebook page. In other encouraging news, the French whiteboard video we posted on Tuesday of last week, “How to Recognize the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11,” has generated many more responses than usual. After a week of posting, 98 booklet requests had been received, 62 from Facebook and 36 from YouTube. We usually have 10 to 20 booklet requests for each video after one week online, so this is a significant increase in responses.
Military Draft (U.S. Only)—Repeat Announcement
As violence spreads and the world grows more dangerous, the possibility of reinstituting the military draft can be a cause of concern for Living Church of God members and adherents, as well as parents and grandparents of draft-age young adults. It seems prudent to explain how the Church is prepared to assist in the area of Conscientious Objection to Military Service. The Church Administration and Legal Affairs departments can help provide information for those in the following categories:
- Those who are draft-eligible establishing their Conscientious Objector (CO) status
- Those previously discharged or retired from the military (who may be eligible for reactivation) establishing their CO status
- Those currently in the military (active, reserves, or National Guard) who have personally come to conscientiously object to military service and wish to be discharged
Those eligible for the military draft among the Living Church of God who wish the Church's assistance in establishing their CO status should contact Legal Affairs at [email protected] or 704-844-1960, ext. 2229. We will send you the Church’s information letter, publications, and CO form. When you send back a copy of your completed Conscientious Objector form to Legal Affairs, you will be added to the Church’s official Registry of COs—and a copy forwarded to the Center on Conscience and War for inclusion in their national database of COs.
Those among the Living Church of God previously discharged or retired from the military (who may be eligible for reactivation) wishing the Church’s assistance in establishing their CO status, as well as those currently in the military (active, reserves, or National Guard) wishing the Church’s assistance in their attempt to be discharged, should also contact Legal Affairs ([email protected]) for information.
The Value of Counsel: A common pitfall in life is trusting in our own judgment when we only see part of the picture. Making decisions or taking actions based on our own opinions can be costly—to ourselves and others. This is why Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:5, “Lean not on your own understanding,” and in Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes,” and again in Proverbs 28:26, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.” Solomon also warned in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” To help us avoid making serious mistakes, God inspired Solomon to write in Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” and in Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” We can obtain wise counsel by studying the book of Proverbs and by seeking advice from parents, the ministry, and more experienced people who can be objective and see a bigger picture than we can see on our own. These are the benefits that come when we learn the value of counsel.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 10, 2022
Korean Peninsula Heating Up! Missiles have begun to fly in a troubled region on the coast of Asia. According to a Reuters report, “North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday” (November 3), the latest in a record year of missile testing by the nuclear-armed North. One of the missiles launched was thought to have been a nuclear-capable ICBM. This event happened one day after the North fired a record-setting 25 missiles toward the South. One of these missiles landed just 40 miles off the coast of South Korea. Another flew toward a populated South Korean islanding triggering air-raid sirens and evacuations. In response to the apparent ICBM heading toward their island, Japanese officials directed citizens in the north of the country to shelter indoors (The Guardian, November 2, 2022). Trains were also temporarily stopped over concerns the missiles could fly overhead.
The North claims that their launches are in response to recent joint U.S. and South Korean military air exercises, their largest ever in the region. As many as 240 aircraft, including the advanced F-35 fighter jet, were involved in over 1,600 sorties. In response to the barrage of missiles from the North, the allies extended their air exercises instead of ending them. The exercises are “designed to deter North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.” The North Koreans described their launches as a simulated attack on South Korea and the United States (Reuters, November 6, 2022).
The saber-rattling in the air around the Korean peninsula is increasing in intensity. Experts warn that if any mistakes are made, it could trigger a larger and potentially devastating event. The actions by all parties in this turbulent region are helping to polarize the world to an even greater degree. As recently as 2018, there appeared to be a thaw in tensions between North and South Korea. However, that attempt at peace came to nothing. The Bible reveals that human beings simply do not know the way to peace (Isaiah 59:8), and that only the return of Jesus Christ will finally bring true peace to this earth (Isaiah 9:6–7). To gain a biblical perspective on this vital subject, be sure to read or listen to “Peace in Korea?”
Advances in Biblical Archaeology: In late October, Deutsche Welle reported on interesting new methods of dating the past. Archaeologists use historical documents, pottery, and other cultural items to establish timelines for ancient civilizations. Still, these methods are prone to error. For example, when pottery is used to establish a date, the deeper the pottery is buried, the older it is believed to be. But this assumption is simplistic and often yields an imprecise measure.
Recently, scientists from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem published findings employing a new dating technique. Using stones burned in fire and a process called archaeomagnetic dating, they were able to more precisely determine the year that a fire burned a Judean city. The dating method uses metal particles in the rock and the earth’s magnetic field. Findings from the research revealed the fire that burned the Judean city occurred roughly 80 years earlier than archaeologists had previously thought. Although the new dating method cannot determine the reason for a fire, it can provide a much more precisely determined date. This adds one more tool to help archaeologists increase the accuracy of their dating of events. The new technique holds promise for more accurately matching historical findings to biblical records.
For most people, the dating of biblical events has little relevance. However, for those interested in demonstrating the historical accuracy of Scripture, precision in dating is critical—helping to prove that the Bible is not a book of myths, legends, and stories, as so many today wrongly assume. As time goes forward, God is allowing mankind to discover additional tools to establish the accuracy of His word! To learn more about the validity of the Bible, be sure to watch “Prove the Bible.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater