God’s Fall Festivals–Part 1: Feast of Trumpets

Artist: Diego Villafaña – Santiago, Chile

WHAT IS TRUE PEACE?

Where does it come from? This world is not peaceful, but will it ever be? God knew from the beginning that mankind would not be able to find peace without His help. He wants everyone to enjoy true peace, but He knows it will only work if people made the right choices, without Him forcing them. The people would have to want true peace. So God prepared a plan to help people make the right choice to experience the blessings of peace and harmony.

So, how do the Fall festivals fit into this plan? Let’s find out! 


How it works:

This Study Guide is written for the purpose of helping parents teach their children vital Biblical topics in a focused, easy-to-follow format. Each section is not meant to be taught in one lesson, rather the topics are organized so parents can choose specific areas of focus and gear lessons toward the learning styles and ages of their children. Each topic is presented in a straightforward manner with accompanying verses for study. The main study should always come from the Scripture itself, while these lessons can act as a guide for reading passages from the Bible. Each lesson packet includes memory verses, questions for meaningful discussion, and activities (added at the end of the packet). Also, though some things may be labeled as Level 1, 2, or 3, the activities, questions, and scriptures for memorizing can be used to fit the needs and learning levels for children of all ages. Enjoy!


Helpful Links:

Make a Silver Trumpet – Craft link (outside source)

Make a Shofar – Craft Directions Link (outside source)

Shofar/Trumpet Demo Video – Dylan King (LivingEd-Online Course: The Feast of Trumpets)


Announcing! Fall Holy Days Art Contest Winners – 2019

Group 1 | Ages 12 & Under

WINNER: Jude Hunter – Albany, NY

Artist’s Description: It is a free-hand rendition of a lion and a lamb. The picture was colored in colored pencil. I drew it with a 0.7 graphite pencil.

Artist Bio: I was born on August 9, 2008. I have seven siblings. I like to draw and play with Legos. I have brown hair and green-grey eyes.

Honorable Mention:

Jonathan Wilson – Indianapolis, IN

Artist’s Description: This shows the nations coming up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem as described in Zechariah 14:16. There are many people coming up the road to the city.

Artist Bio: I was born in Zionsville, IN. I like Legos, cyclocross, and animals. My favorite Feast site was Costa Rica where I saw monkeys, parrots, and coatis.


Gabriella White – Lafayette, LA

Artist’s Description: The time of the millennial Feast of Trumpets. When I close my eyes this is what I see. Its the time after Christ returns when a trumpet (mom says Shofar) is blown, signifying the start of the Feast of Trumpets in the Kingdom. (Mom helped me choose my colors right for the sunset and water.)

Artist Bio: Gabriella (Ella) is 7 years old. She attends the congregation in Lafayette, LA. She is an artist at heart! Drawing and coloring are some of her favorite past times. Ella seemly edifies MOST of the fruits of the spirit at her young age. She wants to make all things beautiful. She brings flowers from nature in the home constantly. She is a blessing in her family.


Zhania Susi – Melbourne

Artist’s Description: This is an artwork of the millennium. I took inspiration from the bible hymn “It Won’t Be Long Now” as it describes how the world will be at peace.

Artist Bio: Hi, my name is Zhania. I am eleven years old and I am in grade six. My hobbies include, calligraphy, drawing and painting.

GROUP 2 | AGES 13 – 20

WINNER: Hannah Wolford – Bristol, VA

Artist’s Description: My submission depicts what the front page of a newspaper might look like in the Kingdom. The headlines describe some of the events taking place when the world tomorrow becomes the world today!

Artist Bio: I love being creative, and graduated this past spring with an Associates degree specializing in Art. I hope to one day become a professional artist.

Honorable Mention:

Chevy Dela Cruz – Quezon City

Artist’s Description: Inspired by the hymn “It won’t be long now” portraying the wolf, lamb, leopard, kid, lion, bear, and a child dwelling peacefully together.

Artist Bio: Watercolor and graphite are my usual mediums. I am a self-taught artist who does commissioned portrait artworks to earn money for school, savings and offerings. I love art of all kinds and I wish to improve myself with what I do to serve the brethren and to deliver God’s words with it.


Lexi Mitchell – Plainview, NY

Artist’s Description: My picture shows a girl during services at the feast, listening to the song ‘It Wont Be Long Now’ being sung, and imagining the scenarios of the Kingdom mentioned in the chorus.

Artist Bio: My name is Lexi Mitchell and I’m 14 years old. If I had to choose an activity to do it probably would be reading a good book, but drawing is cool too.

GROUP 3 | AGES 21+

WINNER: Diego Villafaña – Santiago, Chile

Artist’s Description: Tiempos vendrán, en donde la maldad se apartará del mundo y el bienestar se apoderará de la tierra. Esta ilustración representa al Milenio, un período de tiempo en donde Cristo gobernará a la Tierra y la sumirá en paz, felicidad y gozo abundantes para cada ser viviente. TRANSLATION: The time will come when evil will depart from the world and justice will take over the earth. This illustration represents the Millennium, a period in which Christ will rule the earth and there will be an abundant peace, happiness, and joy for every living being.

Artist Bio: Nací en Viña del Mar, Chile, el 19 de Noviembre de 1997. Desde pequeño he disfrutado del dibujo y la pintura, y los he practicado en mis tiempos libres durante toda mi juventud hasta el día de hoy. El titularme como Técnico en Animación Digital me ha permitido aplicar estos conocimientos de una manera mucho más profesional y estilizada, principalmente desde el área digital. Hoy en día realizo ilustraciones personalizadas para los sermones locales de la congregación de Santiago, Chile, en la Iglesia del Dios Viviente. TRANSLATION: I was born on November 19, 1997 in Viña del Mar, Chile. I have enjoyed drawing and painting since I was a child, and have practiced it in my spare time throughout my youth until this day. Having a college degree on Digital Animation Technology has allowed me to apply this knowledge in a much more professional and stylized way, mainly from the digital area. I currently serve in the congregation of Santiago, Chile, making the illustrations for sermons CD and DVD covers.

Honorable Mention:

Jaclyn Stiffler – Little Rock, AR

Artist’s Description: Lion and Lamb Pen and Ink on Paper. A traditional scene of a lion sweetly nudging a little lamb, free from fear, totally at peace.

Artist Bio: As a child I always enjoyed drawing and creating art, so it only seemed natural I’d pursue this passion into adulthood. I graduated in 2001 with a degree in fine art and continue to freelance today. My family has always been a source of encouragement, support and now with the addition of two adorable nephews and a beautiful niece…inspiration! I’m so thankful to God for a world of color and beauty, and especially thankful for the gifts and abilities to take what I see and put it on paper!


Brandon Fall – SeaTac, WA

Artist’s Description: I had fun thinking of how a toddler might interact with a great big bear in the Millennium: pulling on the bears cheeks, jumping on the bears back and hanging onto his ear, and of course, snuggling. 🙂

Artist Bio: Brandon Fall serves as the pastor in the Pacific Northwest. Before coming into the ministry, he had the opportunity to work in the illustration and graphic design field. Occasionally he draws pictures for his four children.


Louis Crespo – Charlotte, NC

Artist’s Description: Pastoral setting during the Millennium. This is one in a series of 3 pastoral millennium settings that I completed digitally.

Artist Bio: I studied human anatomy and figure drawing at the Arts Student’s League in New York. I also studied Acrylic and watercolor Landscape Painting in Suffolk College, Long Island. Took a course in Graphic Design and have taken drawing courses at various levels of my life. My hobby is to create illustrations plus various other endeavors. Lately, I am drawn to do digital artwork in Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 10.5.


Jose Zamora – Mississauga, Ontario

Artist’s Description: Related to Feast of Trumpets: “It pictures the massive intervention of God in human affairs- climaxing in the Second Coming of Christ as King of kings.”

Artist Bio: I am a Filipino, self-taught artist who enjoys oil and acrylic paintings and sculptures. I am a former Architectural designer in my hometown.

A Special Thank You

to our panel of judges and all the artists who submitted their work! The beautiful pieces you see displayed here are a testament to their God-given talents, hard work, and dedication to God’s work.


Coloring pages now available with Part 4 of our Fall Festival’s Lessons!


Stay tuned for our upcoming artwork gallery, featuring the submissions from other artists.

Artwork from this contest will be featured in our upcoming Special Edition-Fall Holy Days Children’s Lessons Packet.

Want to participate? Be looking ahead for upcoming Living Education contests for artists on our Updates blog!


All images displayed in this post were submitted by private artists who have granted all rights and permissions of use to Living Education for the purpose of education, and/or promotional publication, in accordance with the Fall Holy Days Art Contest Rules and Guidelines. All rights reserved.

Second Thoughts: Respect His Image

Author: Thomas White | Editorial Staff, Living Church of God


We, a bunch of Freshman English majors, eyes already mostly glazed-over from forty minutes of syllabus reading, refocused ourselves as our professor firmly told us, “Every time we read a piece of literature in this class, you are not allowed to say it’s bad. You are allowed to say that you don’t like it, that you don’t understand it, even that you fundamentally disagree with it so much that you want to vomit. But you can’t say it’s bad, and you can’t say it’s stupid; respect the author enough to assume they knew what they were doing.”

In this week’s assembly on how politeness and protocol can—and should—be used to show love to our fellow human beings, Mr. Richard Ames touched on the fact that every single one of those human beings is valuable.

That’s so easy to say, isn’t it? “Every human being is valuable.” Short, simple, definitive—should be easy to remember. And we all probably forget it every single day, as if we fail to respect the Author enough to assume He knew what He was doing.

No One is Fair Game

We can probably all think of ways we dismiss people as being without value, even if we only do it in our minds. “Whatever. I don’t care what *name* thinks,” we might tell ourselves, forgetting that we really only stop caring about anything when it ceases to have value to us. “I consider you worthless,” may sound a lot more devastating than “I don’t care what you think,” but if we’re honest, don’t both essentially mean the same thing? In many ways, people are their thoughts and opinions—if we devalue those, we devalue the person.

Knowing that every human being is made in God’s image, we can sometimes be tempted to think that image is wasted on certain people whose value we really have a hard time seeing, especially those we don’t know personally. Satan sometimes uses people neck-deep in terrible lifestyles to trick us into thinking that it’s right to devalue those people. Is there anyone we subconsciously consider “fair game” for name-calling, insults, mockery, indifference—even if we don’t “say it to their face”? If so, that consideration definitely isn’t coming from God.

The Image of God

We know God made all of us, and we know He doesn’t make mistakes—but if we view anyone as being without value, we’re not really internalizing those facts. Now, in the familiar phrase (oft-repeated by Mr. Wallace Smith), “don’t get me wrong”—there’s only one right way to live, and the vast majority of people in the world don’t live it.  Ungodly actions, beliefs, or lifestyles are, obviously, never to be valued. But even the people who completely stray from His path are still worth more than we can imagine—just as much as are those who have stayed on His path but just really, really bug us.

Before an artist starts creating anything, there’s often an image in their head of what they want the finished product to look like.

Our being made “in the image of God” means that we have the shape that He has, yes—but it could also mean that we’re each made according to a specific image He had in His perfect mind.

“Look,” He might say, “This person doesn’t have to be your favorite. You don’t have to agree with everything they do and say—you can even wholeheartedly disagree with a lot of it. But they’re not worthless. I made them. Respect Me, the Author of all, enough to assume I knew what I was doing when I did.”


Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 38 “Rehoboam Ascends to the Throne”

Featured Passage: 1 Kings 12

When King Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was made king over all of Israel. The Kingdom of Israel had prospered under Solomon. However, there were problems that needed to be resolved. Rehoboam knew it was wise to seek counsel (Proverbs 1:5), but to whom would he listen? Would he listen to the counsel of the men who had advised his father, or would he listen to his friends? The future of the Kingdom of Israel hung in the balance. 

Discussion:

Sweet Publishing | FreeBibleImages.org
  • The people complained to Rehoboam about how much they had been taxed by his father, Solomon. Why do you think the taxes were so high during Solomon’s reign? For what purpose was Solomon using all that money? 
  • The scripture says that we should seek “wise” counsel. What does it mean to seek counsel? Where can we go for wise counsel?
  • Were Rehoboam’s friends wise counselors? What can we learn from this example?
  • Rehoboam wanted the people’s respect. He tried to show that he was ready to rule by being harsh. Does bullying others in this way earn their respect?
  • How did Solomon’s former advisers say Rehoboam could earn the respect of the people?
  • Rehoboam decided not to listen to the wise men. He decided to tax the people even more, as his friends had advised. What happened to the kingdom of Israel because of Rehoboam’s poor decision?

Memory Challenge: 

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.



Children’s Bible Program – Level 2: Lesson 38 “Between the Army and the Sea”

Featured Passage: Exodus 13-15

God brought the children of Israel out of slavery with many miracles. They were finally headed for the land God promised them. God led the people across the wilderness to edge of the Red Sea where they stopped to camp. In the meantime, Pharaoh changed his mind again! He was angry that he had let his slaves go, so he sent his army after the Israelites. Israel was about to be trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. How would they escape? God had a plan to save them, but how?

Discuss:

Richard Gunther (www.lambsongs.co.nz) | FreeBibleImages.org
  • When the Israelites saw Pharaoh’s army coming, what did they say? What did Moses do? 
  • God worked many miracles to deliver Israel from Egypt. Why were they still afraid? 
  • The Israelites walked through the Red Sea between walls of water on dry ground. What do you imagine the Israelites may have seen?
  • The Egyptian army thought they could cross over the Red Sea just as Israel did. What happened next?
  • How did the Israelites react when they reached the other side of the Red Sea?

Memory Challenge: 

Exodus 14:16 “But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”



Children’s Bible Program – Level 1: Lesson 38 “The Time of the Judges”

Featured Passage: Joshua 24 & Judges 1-3

Israel served God all the days of Joshua, and they continued to serve God under the elders who had been trained by Joshua. However, after Joshua and the elders he trained died, things quickly changed. They soon forgot all about God, and began to do their own thing. When they began to stop obeying God, one of the nearby nations would attack and oppress them. The Israelites would call out to God for help, and in His mercy He would soon send them a leader to save them. This happened again…and again…and again…and again…

Discuss:

Richard Gunther (gunther.net.nz) | FreeBibleImages.org
  • Joshua was a good and righteous leader. What is a leader? What does it mean to be a good leader?
  • During this time, Israel did not have a human king. Who was their king? 
  • In the book of Judges, we see that Israel was led by people called (of course!) judges!  What is a judge? 
  • God corrected the Israelites when they disobeyed him. Why did God correct them and why does He correct us? (Hebrews 12:6). 
  • Israel continued to make the same mistakes over and over – they didn’t learn from their mistakes. How can we avoid following their bad example…how can we learn from our mistakes?
  • How did God show his love and mercy for Israel during the period of the Judges?

Memory Challenge: 

Judges 2:18 “And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge…”



Supporting, Building, and Maintaining: An Interview with Mr. Jonathan McNair

Editorial Staff | Living Church of God


This is the full, uncut version of the interview with Mr. McNair which appears in the September-October issue of the Living Church News, now available at LCG.org.


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Mr. Jonathan McNair | Director of Living Education

As the inaugural year of Living Education came to a successful close, we sat down with its director, Mr. Jonathan McNair, who gave us a glimpse behind the scenes of this exciting new initiative as it heads into its second academic year.

A nine-month program, Living Education offers the young adults of God’s Church a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of His word without spending the time and money required for an undergraduate degree.

As one might expect, converting Living University into Living Education came with its fair share of obstacles. “Probably the most challenging thing is to be able to step back and make a fresh start while still respecting the great work that’s gone on before and appropriately using that work,” Mr. McNair said. “It was the same with Living University; there was a desire to do something that was new and different from, say, Ambassador College, while still respecting what Ambassador College was all about. I think we have to do the same now.”

It’s a fine line to walk, and one Mr. McNair takes seriously. “I feel a great desire to take what we can from the eleven years of effort in Living University, yet we do have to turn a corner,” he said. “There are some different demands and we have different scenarios, so we have to make changes that are appropriate—I think that’s challenging, to keep that balance right.”

A Desire Accomplished

The challenge of keeping that balance means learning through a bit of trial and error, and Mr. McNair looks forward to opportunities to fine-tune Living Education as the program continues. “I feel like there’s a lot that can be improved,” he says, “and that’s one of the things we’re going to be doing now: Whether it’s curriculum or whether it’s programming, we have to think, ‘How can we synchronize it better?’” Much of this involves incorporating the wealth of learning material developed by Living University. “To some degree, we’ve wanted to take the existing classwork and bring it forward, but that doesn’t always work perfectly, because again, much of the existing classwork was geared for our online audience,” Mr. McNair said. “I think that we can do better this year at making sure we synchronize the material.”

Experience, of course, inevitably teaches us all, and Living Education’s first year in operation has proved a valuable instructor. “There’s a lot that we’ve learned from our first year, and we’ve had some time to prepare things for this second year, so I think there’s much that we can improve on,” Mr. McNair said. “I learned a lot in particular from the first year of my involvement here, trying to switch gears from being a field pastor, so there are many different areas in which I hope we’re going to be able to step back and do better.”

When asked to talk about the most fulfilling result of directing Living Education, Mr. McNair chuckled and candidly replied, “To me, I think it’s just seeing that it actually happened. It’s easy to sit down, try to make plans, and say, ‘Well, here’s what should be done, and here’s what can be done,’ but to see it all actually come to fruition, and everyone work successfully toward an end—maybe that’s sort of too ‘big picture,’ but really, that’s rewarding—to see plans come to pass,” he said. “You know, Proverbs 13:19 says, ‘A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul’ and it really is.”

A Threefold Focus

Supporting

Finally, we asked Mr. McNair to describe the goals of Living Education as it moves into its second year—and beyond. His response was threefold, beginning with an emphasis on supporting the larger Work of God’s Church. “The main mission of what we do, both online and in the classroom, is to support the leadership of the Church in teaching and maintaining the truths of God,” he said. “We have to ensure that we’re always keeping clearly in mind that we need to work in harmony with the leadership of the Church. We’re part of the Church, we’re not a separate entity that somehow works in tandem or is parallel. We are literally part of the Church, so that needs to drive what we do and how we do it. That’s the first big part of it.

Building

“The second part is building,” Mr. McNair continued. “We cannot assume that everyone is completely, 100 percent ‘filled to the brim’ in every aspect of God’s way of life, knowing everything. None of us knows everything.” Noting that all of us as Christians are constantly in the process of building our lives on the truths of God, he explained, “Whether we’re brand-new to the Church, or we’ve grown up in the Church, or we’ve been in the Church for fifty years, it’s still a building process. That’s really important, and I think, especially, since we’re gearing this program toward younger people, we have to think about building a solid foundation for the future.” A second-generation Christian himself, Mr. McNair knows how important it is for those raised in God’s Church to deeply appreciate His truth. “When we’re growing up in the Church, we learn a lot by osmosis and even by our own effort,” he says, “but we have a chance, here, to sort of fill in the blanks, holes, and blind spots that sometimes we don’t even know we have, because we’ve just grown up with it all around us.

Maintaining

“So, I think building is a big part of it, and then, maintaining—whether it’s our on-site program or online,” Mr. McNair concluded. “If you just keep driving a vehicle and never change the oil, never do any maintenance on it, you’ll drive it into the ground—and it’s the same with us, spiritually and even educationally. We just assume that we know it all, but we forget, and we lose clarity, and we lose focus. That’s what we’re about with Living Education: doing our part to help the Church to maintain the truths solidly, clearly, with focus and renewed energy.
     We at the Living Church News are grateful to have had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Jonathan McNair, and look forward to seeing how God blesses Living Education in the years ahead.


Second Thoughts: He’s God Because He’s Right!

by Thomas White | Editorial Staff, Living Church of God

Assembly by Gerald Weston

Here’s a weird little question:

If you believe that I, Thomas White, exist, but you also think that I’m a 47-year-old albino pirate who lives in Saskatoon, do you really believe in me? Not really, no. You might believe someone named Thomas White exists, but that someone’s description is emphatically not of me. Honestly, I would probably rather you didn’t believe in my existence at all than believe I’m completely different from who I actually am. I’d venture to guess that God feels similarly.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

– Hebrews 11:6, New King James Version

When you define Truth

During this week’s assembly, one of the many topics Mr. Gerald Weston touched on was that of moral relativism—the increasingly widespread belief that what is morally right and true depends on what situation you’re in, how you feel about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling today overall, how your ancestors felt, etc. What strikes me as terrifying about this philosophy is that certain atheists aren’t the only ones who embrace it; many people who claim to believe in God also find it possible to believe that “My truth is my truth, yours is yours, theirs is theirs, and it’s all good.”

They may believe in God’s existence, but it’s not a belief that He’s perfect, or that He represents universal Truth… so is it really a belief in Him?

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

– Revelation 21:8, New King James Version

Dangerous Unbelief

I’ve wondered about the “unbelieving” included among those who earn the second death. By that point, the Millennium will have come and gone—you would think not believing in God’s existence would be as impossible as not believing in the existence of fingernails! That’s what makes moral relativism so scary, though. The “unbelieving” probably won’t be denying that God exists, but they may well go down refusing to believe that He’s right. “Your truth is different from my truth, Mr. LORD, and if I have to die in a fire for my truth, so be it. You’re not right just because you’re God.”

That’s a horrifying attitude, but it’s still possible for us to be affected by it—maybe in ways we don’t even realize.

God is Right

Discussing His way of life, we can say things like, “God makes the rules” and “Because God says so,” and neither of those statements are incorrect, but they also apply a certain arbitrary, “might makes right” nature to God’s decrees, and that misses a fundamental point. He didn’t decide, “You know what, there are gonna be commandments, and there are gonna be ten, because ten’s a nice number, I like that number,” and then make a universe where ten commandments would fit. The Father and the Word knew, before making a single thing, that there would have to be ten specific commandments, that there would have to be a Bible, that every just decree in it would have to be there. Because all of that was right.

He’s not just right because He’s God—He’s God because He’s right. If we believe He’s ever anything besides right, we’d probably be better off not believing He exists at all.

“He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.”

– Psalm 33:5, New Living Translation

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 37 “Solomon’s Legacy”

Featured Passage: 1 Kings 8-11


Solomon started his reign as king with fear and reverence for God. God blessed him, and Solomon prospered. His wisdom and accomplishments became famous. Sadly, human beings often forget about God when life goes well. Would Solomon fall into that trap? God warned Israel not to multiply wives, horses (for battle), and riches (Deuteronomy 8:11-18). As a powerful king, Solomon had the opportunity to do all these things. What would Solomon’s legacy be? Would he continue to follow God just like his father King David had done…or would he turn his back on God?

Discuss:

Richard Gunther (www.lambsongs.co.nz) | FreeBibleImages.org
  • Solomon had the opportunity to build and dedicate the temple.What kind of attitude does Solomon show toward God in his prayer for the dedication of the temple? How did God respond to his prayer?
  • God told the Israelites not to marry foreigners. Why did God give this command? (Deuteronomy 7:1-4)
  • Solomon ignored God’s command, and married hundreds of women from a variety of different countries. Why did Solomon do this? What were the results?
  • After Solomon died, God allowed the kingdom of Israel to fracture into two parts, just as it had been before the time of David. What were these two parts called and why did God allow this to happen?
  • What important lessons can we learn from Solomon’s life? 

Memory Challenge: 

1 Kings 8:61

Let your heart, therefore, be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.