Weekly Update

September 7th, 2023

Greetings from Charlotte,

We are saddened by the death of Betty Best, wife of minister Frank Best in Nova Scotia, Canada. There will be a proper obituary in an upcoming Living Church News, but in the meantime, Mr. Best and their family can use our prayers for encouragement. Mr. Rod McNair recorded “Why Germany Matters in End-Time Prophecy” and offered for the first time on television the booklet he co-authored with Dr. Douglas Winnail: Germany in Prophecy. Next Sabbath is the Feast of Trumpets, and while it pictures the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:17), it culminates in the return of Christ (11:15), a time we look forward to when we will be resurrected to a new world with a new body that is free of suffering and death. Many, even among us, are suffering today from various maladies and so our prayer truly is, “Your kingdom come.” Be sure to make proper preparations for these upcoming Holy Days and Festivals which contain precious understanding that God has opened our minds to comprehend at this time.—Gerald Weston

Feast of Tabernacles

Opening Night, the First Holy Day, and the Last Great Day

This year, the Opening Night service will take place on Friday evening, September 29. We should all make every effort to arrive at our Feast site in plenty of time to attend this opening service at the beginning of the Holy Day. As last year, there will be a special pre-recorded welcome message from Mr. Weston during this service. Be sure to check your Feast site’s web page or ask your Feast Site Coordinator for the exact time of the Opening Night service at your Festival site.

The first day of the Feast, a Holy Day, is Saturday, September 30, and the Last Great Day, also a Holy Day, is Saturday, October 7. Please consider—the entire Last Great Day is a Holy Day! And a special pre-recorded message from Mr. Weston will be played on the afternoon of the Last Great Day. Everyone is encouraged to plan and make every effort to attend the Feast all the way to the end!

Holy Day Offerings if Transferring to a Different Country

If you are traveling internationally for the Feast, it is recommended that you leave your Holy Day offering in your home country. This will ensure that you receive proper documentation for a tax deduction, if your country allows it. You should make an additional offering at the international site you attend and can plan accordingly. Your attention to these instructions and, if you donate in an envelope, your use of the pre-printed Holy Day envelopes is greatly appreciated.

Green Holy Day Envelopes Have Been Mailed—U.S. Only

Green Holy Day envelopes for the fall Holy Days were mailed out the week ending August 26. If you have not received yours and would like the personalized, pre-addressed offering envelopes, please contact [email protected] or call the office (704-844-1970) and we will mail you a set. If you choose to donate through the envelope system, using these pre-addressed envelopes greatly speeds up the counting and receipting process, which in turn saves valuable time and money. For those who will donate online, please use donations.lcg.org. Click on “Type of Donation,” then choose “Holy Day Offering.” A Holy Day drop-down menu will appear, and there you can select the applicable Holy Day.

Tithe of the Festival Tithe—Repeat Announcement

For many decades, the Church of God has practiced what is called the “tithe of the Festival tithe.” What this means is that brethren who can afford it are asked to send a tenth of their Festival tithe to the Church before the Feast to help pay for meeting halls and other Feast expenses, as well as to help brethren around the world with limited resources to attend the Feast (Deuteronomy 14:27; 16:14). If you are able and you have not already done so, please send in your tithe of the Festival tithe for this year. This contribution is greatly appreciated.

Business Office

Check-Printing Schedule—Repeat Announcement

Please note that our last scheduled day to print checks will be Tuesday, September 26. After that date, we will not be able to print any checks again until Thursday, October 12. Any invoices we receive by September 21 will be paid before the Festival break. Any invoices we receive after September 21 may not be able to be paid until October 12.

If you have any questions concerning specific invoices or payments, please contact Michelle Greene in the Accounts Payable Department at 704-708-2234 or Kezia Ciesielka at 704-708-2237. You can also e-mail [email protected].


Importance of Perseverance: Every year prior to the Holy Days, Satan stirs up trials to discourage God’s people. However, we are admonished to endure to the end to be in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). Endurance requires perseverance. When Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to never, never, never quit, he was echoing biblical advice. When Joshua took over after Moses, God said “Be strong and of good courage”: trust and obey Him and don’t be afraid—and you will succeed and prosper (Joshua 1:5–9). Paul told Christians they must gain control of every thought, resist temptation, and finish the race to win the reward in the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 9:24–27; 2 Corinthians 10:5). The Apostle Peter advised early Christians they needed to develop courage, self-control, and perseverance to obtain the precious promises of God (2 Peter 1:4–8). John wrote that only overcomers who persist in their mission will receive a reward in the Kingdom (Revelation 3:7–13). When trials come, let’s remember this important advice to persevere in our calling so we can reign with Jesus Christ in His coming Kingdom.

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—September 7, 2023

BRICS and Prophecy: At the end of August, South Africa hosted a meeting of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). Also present were several other nations, six of which will officially become part of the BRICS group in January 2024: Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. This new group is particularly interesting because Iran and Saudi Arabia have been enemies for quite some time, but China has brokered a peace between them—at least for now. Multiple dictatorships who oppose the United States and the West are also lining up to join the BRICS group.

The BRICS exists as mechanism to break the hegemony that America and the West have exercised in the Middle East and much of the world. One of the ways the group proposes to counter American influence is by allowing the nations to trade with each other using their own currencies instead of using the U.S. dollar. Some leaders have suggested that the group create its own currency to compete with the U.S. dollar, possibly even backing the new currency with gold. Such moves are seen as a way to limit America’s ability to impose effective economic sanctions through dependency on the U.S. dollar.

Bible prophecy foretells the emergence of an end-time Arab superpower known as the “king of the South” and another group known as “kings of the East” that could include Russia, India, and China (Daniel 11:40–44; Revelation 16:12). Could the developing BRICS structure provide an avenue for these nations to come together economically and then break out on their own? Could this emerging BRICS arrangement force Germany and certain European nations to work together to counteract the potential power of the BRICS? The world is in a great deal of flux, and the current configurations of nations are sure to change in the months and years ahead. To better understand what to expect, be sure to read or listen to The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor, or Soon-Coming Reality?

Consequences of Sexually Transmitted Infections: Euractiv reported on a recent study published in the highly respected journal The Lancet which “estimated that the global pooled prevalence for genital HPV [human papillomavirus] infection among men is 31%… on the basis of data from 65 studies conducted between Jan 1 1995, and June 1 2022” (August 17, 2023). That means nearly one in three men worldwide is infected with this incurable sexually transmitted virus!

There are many different HPV strains, and twelve are carcinogenic. These infections cause cancers in men and women. The cancer most widely associated with HPV infection in women is cervical cancer. Most HPV infections have no symptoms, so sexually active people who are infected often spread the virus to others without knowing it. Another possible consequence of HPV infection is sterility.

HPV and other sexually transmitted infections occur because people have multiple sexual partners. While public health experts and politicians attempt to arrest these diseases with drugs and devices, they overlook the one perfect prevention tool—monogamous sexual relations between one husband and one wife. God knew this powerful prevention tool from the start, and that is one of the reasons He commanded to abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage! While humanity sees the commandments of the Bible as harsh and controlling, God intended them as a blessing to those who would obey His laws (Deuteronomy 10:13). For more on this topic, be sure to read or listen to our insightful article “AIDS Can Be Stopped!”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater