December 9, 2010

Greetings from Charlotte,
We are saddened this week by the death of Mr. Dibar Apartian on Wednesday evening. Mr. Apartian was an Evangelist and a long-time head of the French Work (see the announcement below). It has certainly been a privilege to be able to work with him over the years. The Work of God that Mr. Apartian devoted his life to continues to move forward. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that we expect to receive more than 4,600 responses to Dr. Meredith’s telecast “The Truth About Divine Healing” that aired last weekend—this was the highest number of requests we have ever received for the booklet “Does God Heal Today?” which was offered on the program. Mr. Meredith’s telecast also generated more than 200 requests for anointed cloths! Dr. Jim Meredith, a recently-hired Elder serving as the Assistant Pastor in the Southern California congregations, has been in Charlotte for several days as part of his pastoral training program. Mr. Gerald Weston reports that the response to last weekend’s Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada included 15 new people in Nanaimo and 20 new people in Courteney. The final two TWSPs for 2010 will be held next weekend in Lagos, Nigeria. Your prayers will be appreciated for the success of these presentations.    
Announcement: The Death of Dibar Apartian
On Wednesday evening Mr. Dibar Apartian died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 94. Mr. Apartian had been dealing with a number of health issues since the Feast. He served the Work of God for more than 55 years. Mr. Meredith’s comments in memory of Mr. Apartian are included in this issue of The World Ahead. The funeral is scheduled for Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. at Forest Lawn East (Heritage) Funeral Home, 3700 Forest Lawn Dr., Matthews, North Carolina 28104. Your prayers for Mrs. Apartian and the Apartian family will be appreciated.   
Church Administration
Mr. Marc Arseneault reports: A couple of months back, one of the lady members of the London, Ontario congregation was anointed for a couple of problems with internal organs, including a worrisome growth. Two weeks ago, she went back to the doctor to have more tests; following the result they would evaluate the options for an operation and or intervention. The doctor performed the tests and, lo and behold, there was no trace of the growth or other problems. The member called me up and she was beautiful to hear. The joy and happiness in her voice was palpable and she was ecstatic. Our great God is alive and He will answer our prayers more and more.
Little Rock Family Weekend
The Little Rock Family Weekend (January 14-16 is coming up soon!  The theme is “An Alpine Family Ski Weekend” and all events will be held at the meeting hall located at 8019 Highway 107, Sherwood AR.  Events begin with a Friday night Bible Study at 7:00 p.m. Sabbath services at 2:30 p.m. will be followed by a delicious dinner then a costume dance and a movie!  A hearty brunch will also be provided Sunday morning, followed by more games and fellowship. 
Space is limited and all local housing is now taken.  However, we have secured a special hotel rate of $74.99 for a double queen room at a local Best Western that is very close to the meeting hall.  To secure this rate, please call 501-835-7556 and book by no later than January 1.  Mention that you are with the Living Church of God.  A $10 per person (maximum of $30 per family) donation is requested.  Also, please don't forget to register at (not an official Church website).—Wyatt Ciesielka
Living University
Registration for next semester is also currently underway. Classes will begin in January. The following course is one of several being offered next semester. A complete listing of “Spring Semester” courses (Spring in the Northern Hemisphere), can also be viewed on the Living University website under the link “2011 Spring Schedule.” Below is a description of an additional course being offered this coming semester. To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the web site. For additional information or questions, please contact Dr. Scott Winnail at or 704-708-2292.
THL 467 – Historical Geography of the Bible Lands:
With its focus on “the Land,” the Bible is a profoundly geographic text. In spite of this, the geographic dimension of the Bible is often misunderstood, overlooked or assumed. Knowledge of the geography of the lands of the Bible can provide a much fuller understanding of the Bible through establishing the context of biblical events and key factors explaining the course of biblical and much of world history. 'The Land’ promised to Abraham and his descendants, located on a bridge between the two centers of ancient civilization, has played a pivotal position in the unfolding of the history of what is now known as the Middle East. The names and descriptions given to the natural and manmade features of the lands of the Bible have profoundly affected our civilization, ranging from place names, often reproduced on distant landscapes, to ways we map the world. Its situation on a transition zone between five climatic types, bisected north to south by the Dead Sea Rift System with its complex geology, has made this small area one of the more physically and biologically diverse and agriculturally challenging regions in the world.
God’s Perspective on the Trials of Life: Sometimes, when we encounter trials and difficulties, we wonder what is happening and whether God has forsaken us. However in challenging times, we need to remember several fundamental scriptures that reveal God’s perspective on the trials that are part of human existence. Jesus told His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The Bible plainly states that God has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). The Apostle Paul reminds us that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28), and that even in trials, God promises that He “will… make the way of escape” that will enable us to get through the difficulties (1 Corinthians 10:13). James offers another vital perspective—that trials are opportunities to exercise faith in God and His promises and to build patience—while we also learn to do our part to work through the challenges we face. Let’s remember these promises and Godly perspectives when we encounter the trials that come as part of human life.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 9, 2010
German Support of Israel. President Wulff of Germany recently became the fifth German leader to visit the state of Israel. During his visit, he voiced Germany’s support for Israel and also spoke out in support of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He stated, “Germany considers that it has a responsibility concerning Israel’s right to exist and to security.” In response, Israeli President Shimon Peres commented, “Relations with Germany are as important such as relations can ever be” (Deutsche Welle, November 28, 2010). Mr. Wulff also observed, “In this official visit, I see a sign of our responsibility towards the existence of Israel and the very relationship between our two countries” (Agence France Presse, November 27, 2010). In the guest book at the Holocaust Memorial, Mr. Wulff wrote, “The incomprehensible crimes of the Shoah [holocaust] have made the defense of Israel's right to exist a permanent duty for Germany and Germans” (, November 29, 2010). Mr. Wulff’s comments send a strong message to Israel’s neighbors and also indicate a potential future path. Will Germany continue to support peace in Jerusalem while also supporting a separate Palestinian state? Time will tell. Bible prophecies speak of a confederation that links Assyria (Germany) with Arab/Muslim nations that make a short-lived agreement (3½ years) to promote peace with Jews in Jerusalem (see Psalm 83:5-8 and Daniel 9:27). During this period the Temple Mount sacrifices will apparently begin once again. The budding Germany-Israel relationship may be setting the stage for future prophetic events.
India, China and Russia Increase Cooperation. Last month, Indian, Russian and Chinese officials met in central China to conduct talks aimed at increasing the cooperation between the three nations–two of which are the world’s most populous nations (India and China encompass more than 2 billion people). At the talks, officials promised “to step up cooperation in trade, energy and geopolitical affairs including climate change,” as well as “energy, high-tech sectors, innovation, aerospace, cultural exchanges and disaster relief.” A communiqué from the meeting noted that the three nations plan to increase “cooperation on international and regional issues… but stressed that such cooperation would not target ‘any other country’.” China and Russia are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a body organized as an alternative to U.S.-led efforts. India is an observer to this body (Agence France-Presse, November 15, 2010). Increasing cooperation between these three nations is evident. Russia has already provided China with navy vessels and maintains a contract for more. Bible prophecies reveal that at the end of the age, just before the return of Jesus Christ, a powerful army of 200 million men will come from north and east of Jerusalem and cause massive destruction on this earth (Daniel 11:44-45; Revelation 9:13-21). Only India, China and Russia appear to have the military technology, the manpower and the funds to support such an army. The deepening relationship between these three nations certainly bears watching—in terms of Bible prophecy.
China’s Artificial Intelligence Ambitions. China is employing eminent scientists from around the globe to help it advance on many fronts. One area that China seeks to make progress in is the realm of artificial intelligence—creating thinking computer-operated machines. One scientist, Dr. Hugo de Garis, will be advising the Chinese government to establish a national artificial intelligence agency in order to regulate and promote the development of intelligent computers. He notes that these “thinking computers” could be used not only in the homes of regular families, but also in military service. Currently Dr. Garis is working to help China develop the world’s first artificial brain (Forbes, June 22, 2009). Whether humans will ever be able to artificially manufacture the ability to “think and reason” remains to be seen. Many brain researchers question this possibility. However, what is interesting about this Chinese initiative is the ambition to move forward on this front and lead the world in artificial intelligence. China not only has aspirations to be a world power; the “Middle Kingdom” also has “very deep pockets” to financially support this ambitious quest! It is worth contemplating where these traits might lead this emerging world power—Julius Hart, Floyd Spencer, Joe Brown and Scott Winnail
In Memoriam
Dibar Apartian (1916-2010)
            Another mighty oak has fallen. Our beloved friend and brother, Evangelist Dibar Krikor Apartian, has gone to a well-earned rest. Mr. Apartian lived to 94 years of age—24 years beyond King David who died “old and full of days” at age 70. The Eternal God used Mr. Apartian to raise up the Work of God in the French language and to oversee and guide that Work for many decades. Through his ministry in the French language, through his sermons and articles in English, and through his well-known personal love and graciousness, Mr. Apartian had a wonderful impact on the lives of many thousands of people around the world.
I first met Mr. Apartian in August 1955. Richard David Armstrong had just hired him as the professor of French at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. A short time earlier, Mr. Apartian had answered an advertisement for a “French Instructor” in an educational journal. Before he was offered the position, he was interviewed by the college president, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. Mr. Apartian often recalled that he was powerfully impressed with the understanding and sincerity he saw in Mr. Armstrong. He told me a number of times, “Rod, all I was doing was applying for a position on the college faculty to teach French. But Mr. Armstrong seemed to want me to understand what the college and the Work were really all about. So, he spent two-and-one-half hours telling me about the whole purpose of human existence! At the time, I didn’t fully understand any of this [he was not yet converted], though I was mightily impressed and was glad to become part of an institution headed by such an understanding man as Herbert W. Armstrong.”
Through the following decades, Mr. Apartian and his wife, Shirley, became good friends of both Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong. For they both reflected a degree of culture and grace that Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong appreciated. As a couple, they hosted scores of elegant dinners for many members of the faculty and friends in the Church. A few times, Mr. Apartian traveled with Mr. Armstrong to see various dignitaries, and was always a kind and interesting companion to any of us who interacted with him. God blessed him with a wonderful wife, two sons, and, finally, one grandson who is deeply loved.
Dibar Apartian lived a most unusual and eventful life. He was born of Armenian parents in Turkey just as a series of the infamous “Armenian genocide” massacres began. Friends of his parents warned them of what was coming, and they were able to send him overseas on a ship to save his life. As a young boy of only four to six years old, he was sent by way of Marseille, in southern France, to stay with relatives in Switzerland. They eventually put him in an orphanage where he spent the next several years of his life and received much of his education. Later, he was able to get a very good education in Switzerland, and he excelled in many studies. During World War II, he ended up working for the United States Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. Because of his intelligence, his diplomacy and his graciousness, he became the highest-ranking non-Swiss employee of the United States Embassy in Bern.
Mr. Apartian found favor in the sight of a leading American diplomat who visited the Embassy and helped him—right after World War II—to immigrate to the United States. At first, he worked in New York as a French language tutor. After leaving New York for Los Angeles, with the hope of tutoring Hollywood “stars” in the French language, he eventually decided to apply for a position as a college instructor in French. This is how he met Richard David Armstrong and came to Ambassador College. At that point, he became my friend and ended up being my oldest and longest personal friend for the next 55 years!
Dibar Apartian, Richard David Armstrong, Benjamin Rea (formerly head of the Spanish Department and Dean of Ambassador College at Bricket Wood) and I were—for a few years—the “four bachelors” on the Ambassador College faculty. We shared many meals, mountain hikes and interesting trips together. Though Mr. Apartian was the oldest, he outlived all except me, the youngest of the four. He traveled all over the Western Hemisphere, throughout much of Europe and elsewhere—especially in the service of God. His dedication to teaching and practicing the way of God became a hallmark of his life.
His warmth, his loving personality and his enthusiasm for building the French Work—and for serving all of God’s people—will be greatly missed. I will personally miss the advice and the encouragement of one of my best friends on this earth.
Yes, a “mighty oak” has fallen. But although we will greatly miss him, we truly should rejoice that God gave his servant, Dibar Apartian, 94 years of eventful and productive life. And we can rejoice that it was such an interesting life in the service of the great God. We look forward with enthusiasm to seeing our friend, Dibar, in the soon-coming resurrection. We have every assurance that he will be there and greet us, once again, with his warm smile. God speed that day!Roderick C. Meredith

COGwriter 2010

Back to home page