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You Shall Not Commit Adultery [Part 1]
If the ancient penalty of stoning were carried out today, adultery would not likely be the plague it is on today’s society.
The Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus, taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, “They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?” John 8:4-5.
Adultery is a heinous act in the eyes of God. We should not have to ask why. The results are seen today in marriages broken up by extra-marital affairs. God knew what the results would be thousands of years ago, so He commanded Moses to write, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death,” Leviticus 20:10.
That is pretty heavy stuff. The same sentence for murdering another person was imposed for both parties in an adulterous relationship, apparently even for a one-night stand.
When one understands that the human family is a microcosm of God’s eternal family, it becomes apparent why God forbids adultery. Unfaithfulness to one’s spouse destroys the sanctity of the family, and if family breakdown is left unchecked, destruction of the nation will result.
Shattered marriages result in confusion and fear in the lives of young children who do not understand what is going on. Even if the affair does not destroy the home directly, sexually transmitted diseases can be brought to the marriage bed.
In addition, if the mistress has several paramours, the disease will be spread even further, and further, and further. This is especially evident where a husband has a homosexual lover on the side. The scourge of AIDS, although it is no longer just a homosexual disease, was propagated by the lifestyles of men and women who committed adultery with their own gender.
We didn’t have to discover the results of adultery through experimentation. Thousands of years ago, King Solomon said a man who goes to his neighbor’s wife will be burned just as surely as if he had walked on hot coals, (Proverbs 6:27-28.) The Contemporary English Version translates verse 32 like this, “If you go to bed with another man’s wife, you will destroy yourself by your own stupidity.”
How true. It’s not just AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, which destroy the adulterer. The concern of being found out brings on stress, which can result in mental problems, and physical illness. The distress of being discovered often results in murder or suicide.
Many years ago it was determined that one’s actions reverberate through an average of seventeen people. So when a man and woman shack up together, at least thirty-four others are affected. Except for the divorce lawyer who gains by the infidelity, the effect on most of the others is negative.
Although the commandment refers to the act of adultery, Jesus magnified the law by saying if a man looks at a woman to lust after her; he has committed adultery with her in his mind, (Matthew 5:28.) Moreover, this applies to the woman who looks at a man with the same lustful thoughts.
Jesus knew that if we lust after someone long enough, we will eventually fulfill our lusts, even if it means resorting to the violent form of adultery, we call rape.
The commandment states, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” When He said lusting after a woman was as immoral as actually committing adultery with her, Jesus didn’t raise the bar. He merely showed how high the bar really is.
— by Leslie A. Turvey,
© used by permission
From the Editor…
A series of events have recently rocked the world, and not just in Iraq. I am referring to many news reports of violence and torture dating from World War II to the present. There have been many international, national, and local reports of all forms of abuse, but a common thread in all the stories is what really shook me.
In all these stories, there were friends, relatives, neighbors, or companions who were there to defend the honor of the accused. Some were undoubtedly just a bunch of groupie idol worshippers but most were long-time relatives or acquaintances.
We see this phenomenon on the local scene when a person is accused of wrongdoing of greater or lesser degrees, and many character witness jump to his or her defense.
“Why, he was such a nice boy, quiet, friendly, helpful, never got into any trouble.” They might say. “He would never do such a thing.”
Let us presume that the character witnesses are correct. He really was a “good” young man.
This leaves us with the conclusion that he was a product of his environment, a “good boy gone bad.” Syndicated columnist Charlie Reese said it well: “Those kids… are products of the American culture.”
How much does our environment influence our lives? The Psalmist said: “…thy children like olive plants round about thy table,” Psalm 128:3. It is as though we have planted our children and implanted in them a moral “DNA.” However, when they leave home they may fall into unfertile or toxic ground, a bad environment. Jeremiah explains it this way. “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” Jeremiah 10:23.
We are never fully prepared to walk on our own. Hopefully, the instruction code in our moral “DNA” will direct us to reach up for a limb when we are in the mire, or gasp for a breath of good air before we sink beneath the waves.
Solomon shared his insight into this matter with us in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” I think Solomon is saying that no matter how well trained or strong you are, eventually, you will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Mud holes get slipperier and deeper the more you stir them up, and we have had 6,000 years of getting stuck in the same old rut; so life is really a challenge today, especially for the children.
Hope is not totally lost because as the song says: “He is Able to Deliver You.” Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” We can take one preventive step as we make our plans. A miner does not go into the mine without a light and a minor should not go into the world without one either.
Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
— by Steven J. Kieler
Flying in the Hot Seat
A photographer from a well-known national magazine was assigned to cover the fires at Yellowstone National Park. The magazine wanted to show some of the heroic work of the fire fighters as they battled the blaze.
When the photographer arrived, he realized that the smoke was so thick that it would seriously impede or make it impossible for him to photograph anything from ground level.
He requested permission to rent a plane and take photos from the air. His request was approved and arrangements were made. He was told to report to a nearby airport where a plane would be waiting for him.
He arrived at the airport and saw a plane warming up near the gate. He jumped in with his bag and shouted, “Let’s go!’’ The pilot swung the little plane into the wind, and within minutes, they were in the air.
The photographer said, “Fly over the park and make two or three low passes so I can take some pictures.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I am a photographer,” he responded, “and photographers take photographs.” The pilot was silent for a moment; finally, he stammered, “You mean you’re not the flight instructor?”
— author unknown
Work as if you don’t need the money, love as if you’ve never been hurt, and dance as if you would when nobody’s watching.
Walk a Little Plainer Daddy
“Walk a little plainer daddy,”
Said a little boy so frail.
“I’m following in your footsteps
And I don’t want to fail.
“Sometimes your steps are very plain,
Sometimes they are hard to see.
So, walk a little plainer daddy
For you are leading me.
“I know that once you walked this way
Many years ago,
And what you did along the way
I’d really like to know.
“For sometimes when I am tempted,
I don’t know what to do.
So, walk a little plainer daddy
For I must follow you.
“Someday when I’m grown up
You are like I want to be.
Then will I have a little boy
Who will want to follow me?
“And I would want to lead him right.
So, walk a little plainer daddy
For we must follow you.”
— author unknown
I made an interesting discovery when researching some of the older English translations of the Bible.
It is quite astounding to find that certain passages used by Antinomians today, as proof texts to reject the Law of God (specifically to reject the Sabbath), have not always been translated as we have them today in the KJV and other modern versions.
For example, in Romans 7:6, the type of “law” referred to therein is not defined. In the King James Version we read, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
With this and other texts, Antinomians “rush to judgment,” and victoriously yet erroneously declare, “Aha! See, here is our proof! We are ‘free from the law of God!’ Paul confirms it right here!” However, by saying so, they affirm Paul’s indictment of them where he states in Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Since the text of Romans 7:6 seems to be contradictory to so many other New Testament texts, where can we look to clarify this confusion?
I have found two translations which identify the law from which we are delivered in Romans 7:6 as the “Law of Death.”
Douay-Rheims, “But now we are loosed from the law of death, wherein we were detained; so that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” The Wycliffe Bible (1382 A.D.) says, “But now we ben vnboundun [unbound] fro the lawe of deth [death], in which we weren holdun, so that we seruen in newnesse of spirit, and not in eldnesse of lettre.”
Obviously, Romans 7:6, properly understood, does not free us from the “law of God,” but from the “law of death.” Paul, in the very next chapter (chapter divisions are man-made as you know), a few verses later, in Romans 8:2, we find repeated, that we are “free from the law of ‘sin and death’.”
Wycliffe states it thusly: Romans 8:2, “For the lawe of the spirit of lijf in Crist Jhesu hath delyuerid me fro the lawe of synne [sin], and of deth [death].”
This text indicates to us two things from which we are free in Messiah: (1) The law of sin, and (2) The law of death. If, as the Antinomians/Sabbath breakers promote, we are free from “the law of God/YHWH” so now we are free to BREAK IT, why is this not mentioned/repeated here or anywhere else in the New Testament? Is this Antinomianism one of the teachings/doctrines that Peter knew men would adopt, as indicated in the following text: II Peter 3:15-16, “As our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him hath written unto you: As also in all his epistles speaking in them of these things: In which are some things hard to be understand, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the Scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
It should be noted that neither the Douay-Rheims [Catholic] translation, or the Wycliffe Bible, rendering of Romans 7:6 are actual translations, but rather paraphrases. From the Catholic Encyclopedia, article “Douay Bible,” we read, “The original Douay Version, which is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic versions are still based, owed its existence to the religious controversies of the sixteenth century . . . The fact however, that the primary end was controversial explains the course adopted by the translators. In the first place, they translated directly, not from the original Hebrew or Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome. This had been declared authoritative for Catholics by the Council of Trent . . .” In no way should the Douay-Rheims Bible be used as an authoritative source. Yet, sometimes, as in this instance, it catches the essence of a particular passage.
How are we delivered from the law? Through the Messiah, we are delivered from the penalty of the law — death — and we are “dead to sin,” Romans 6:2. Before coming to Christ, we were dead in sin, and now we are free from the law of sin and death. We are delivered, not to keep on sinning, but to walk in newness of life.
— adapted by Richard C. Nickels from an article by Marsha Basner, the Vice President of the Bible Sabbath Association.
Are lay members of a Church expected to be active in the Church, or is this reserved for elders and ministers? The Bible presents many examples of the membership being active in the Work of God. Let’s see what our Bible tells us.
Paul speaking to the Corinthians wrote, “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building,” I Corinthians 3:9. You will note that the term “we” is followed by “ye”(you) in the second part of this verse. This implies that the individuals in this Church are being addressed as “laborers” of God.
One example of members in action is found in Acts 8:1-4. Paul, before conversion, was persecuting the Church in Jerusalem, and the Christians were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Verse 4 says, “Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word.”
You will note from this passage that the scattered were not divided into elders and lay members, but it implies everyone, except the apostles, were scattered and preaching.
Another example is found in Acts 9:10 where a “…certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias” was called to lay hands on Paul. This command came from God and not a leader of the Church, and this man was a disciple. Yet another example of a person who had a Work is found in Acts 9:36-43. Peter is summoned to assist a woman named Tabitha who was very sick.
The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, 1967, on page 824, on the topic of Tabitha comments, “…the name of a Christian woman disciple who lived in Joppa and made clothing to give to the widows.” You will note from the commentary that she was a disciple and her part of the Work was providing clothing for the widows.
Again, in III John, the apostle John addresses a man named Gaius, a convert, who was commended for his love and hospitality to traveling preachers of the Gospel. These are just a few examples that are listed in the Bible of common, every-day Christians doing their part of the work by providing for the needs of the people around them, and teaching other as well.
It is our duty as Christians to be a witness in any way that we can, whether by good deeds, or by preaching directly to people though Bible studies and discussions. Everything we do can be a light to our neighbor.
I encourage you to discover your part of the Work so that you can be a witness to others of the faith that you have been taught. You can do anything from sending cards of encouragement, or assisting with Church projects, or even just listening to a neighbor with problems.
Remember Jesus did say, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” Mathew 5:16.
— by Doyle Carter
Peering Into an Egyptian Tomb
When Howard Carter, the British archaeologist, peered wide-eyed into an ancient Egyptian tomb in 1922, at first he saw nothing. For more than twenty centuries, archaeologists, tourists, and tomb robbers had searched for the burial places of Egypt’s pharaohs. It was believed that nothing remained undisturbed, especially in the Royal Valley where the ancient monarchs had been buried for over half a millennium.
With only a few scraps of evidence, Carter carried on his pursuit, privately financed because nobody felt there was anything left to be discovered. However, he was convinced there was one remaining tomb. Twice during his six-year search, he came within two yards of the first stone step leading to the burial chamber, and finally he found it. “Can you see anything?” his assistants asked, as Carter’s eyes adjusted to the darkness. He was seeing, but he had difficulty speaking because he saw what no modern man had ever seen: wooden animals, statues, chests, chariots, carved cobras, vases, daggers, jewels, a throne, and the hand-carved coffin of a teenage king. It was the priceless tomb and treasure of King Tutankhamen, the world’s most exciting archaeological discovery.
Thought: Howard Carter’s great perseverance brought him King Tut’s treasure. How much greater our rewards when we persevere in praying for, and seeking God’s spiritual treasures!
— from www.oakhillcoc.org
“Seeing Eye” is not a generic term for dogs trained to lead the blind. The Seeing Eye, a company in New Jersey is one of many companies devoted to training such dogs.
It is a fallacy that birds don’t eat much, even though we describe someone who is a light eater as “eating like a bird.” Because of their high metabolisms, birds eat a lot more in proportion to their body size than humans—specifically, one quarter to a half of their body weight each day.
I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
“Oh excuse me please” was my reply.
He said, “Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you.”
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.
But at home, a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down
“Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.
While I lay awake in bed,
God’s still small voice came to me and said,
“While dealing with a stranger,
Common courtesy you use,
But the family you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor.
You’ll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
You never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.”
By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
“Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said.
“Are these the flowers you picked for me?”
He smiled, “I found ‘em, out by the tree.
I picked ‘em because they’re pretty like you.
I knew you’d like ‘em, especially the blue.”
I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”
He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay. I love you anyway.” I said, “Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”
FAMILY. Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days? But, the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. We pour ourselves more into work than into our own family, an unwise investment indeed, don’t you think? Family means: (F)ather (A)nd (M)other (I) (L)ove (Y)ou.
— submitted by R. Tigue
When Peace Comes in the Middle East: Many world leaders and presidents of the United States have sought to bring about peace in the Middle East. All have failed. The prejudices, fights and jealousies are centuries old. It appears there is no way that peace there can ever be achieved!
Furthermore, there are factions on both sides that really don’t want peace. Remember Anwar Sadat who was assassinated for trying to make peace with Israel?
It is a good prediction to say that neither our president nor the United Nations will be able to bring about peace in Jerusalem and the Middle East. It is torn by racial, religious, social, economic, and political strife. Some religious leaders have come to predict that there will never be peace in the Middle East in this age. They want it but think it will never happen until the return of Jesus Christ!
They are wrong! Biblical prophecy strongly indicates that there will be peace in the Middle East and that it will radiate out from there to world peace. But, it won’t be an occasion for rejoicing. For God’s people, it will be an occasion for deep concern and extreme caution.
Look at the conditions that will exist before Christ returns. What will they be saying? “Peace and safety!” I Thessalonians 5:3. That takes place before the “sudden destruction” comes upon them with Christ’s return. How did peace and safety happen? There will be no peace as long as the two witnesses are alive! They devour their enemies with fire. They cause drought, pollute water, and plague the earth as often as they will during their reign, Revelation 11:5-6.
But, when they finish their testimony, the Beast will make war with them, conquer them, and kill them, Revelation 11:7. Their dead bodies will lie in the streets for the entire world to see, verses 9-10. This could not have happened before satellite TV and Internet communications.
When the people of the world see that there is someone more powerful than the two witnesses are, then the whole world will greatly admire the Beast, and will worship him and the dragon from which he receives his power. They will say, “…Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” Revelation 13:4. In effect, who can stand up to the Beast? Who has just killed these two witnesses, which no one could do for three and one-half years!
The Beast then will wage war with the saints because they will not accept him as God. They won’t receive his mark and they won’t bow to his image. When he goes after the Saints, he will overcome them. Following that, he will have authority over “all kindreds, and tongues, and nations,” verse 7. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,” verse 8, as deceiving miracles are done.
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” II Thessalonians 2:4. Most of the world will worship him. It will be a time of intense deception on the world and on all who have not received “the love of the truth” to be saved from this great deception, II Thessalonians 2:9-10.
The world will be more prosperous than ever. Commerce will flourish. People will have an abundance of everything. Then God will step in and will destroy the Beast and his Babylonian system. The world will mourn the destruction of the Babylonian economic system, Revelation 18. Only the saints will rejoice when it ends, verse 20.
It sounds easy to discern, but it will not be. Many “Saints” will go along with it and many will have to suffer the last plagues because they received his mark and because they worshipped him. May God help us to stay close to Him and His Son and the truth of His Word!
— by David L. Antion
Aunt Birdie’s Wisdom …
Silence is a great peacemaker. It is the language that God alone understands.
True Tales to Live by…
Farming is different today. Marion and I had an interesting experience one day this week. We had the opportunity to have a friendly visit with a famous inventor. He is Vaughn Bauer from Paton, IA. He has invented a planter, which will plant 32 or 36 (depending upon which one you have) rows at one crossing of a field. It is hard to imagine how a remarkable invention like that was developed in a small town such as Paton. Vaughn has farmed for many years in Iowa. I had expected that this inventor would be rather aloof and perhaps unfriendly, but he was just the opposite. He was a very likeable person whose friendly smile made you feel at ease.
During our visit, he appeared on crutches as he had fallen a distance of about eight feet and suffered a fracture of his heel. That misfortune happened some four weeks ago and he expects to be on crutches for at least another two weeks. I was surprised to learn that he and another man operate 1,400 acres. He said he needs land on which to try out new inventions. However, he spends most of his time at his business.
In his factory operation, he employs fifteen full-time and ten part-time workers. He explained that his invention could plant fifty to fifty-five acres an hour.
My friend explained that his planters are sold exclusively by the John Deere Dealer Network; and there are planters in Texas, also Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota to name a few.
I was interested to know that he had four children, one of whom was recently married. His youngest child (a son) is attending college in Emmetsburg, and intends to farm and work with his Dad. He is a loving family man.
As we were about to leave the town, we saw one of these huge planters parked in front of one of the buildings where they are assembled. It had two large tanks in the middle on top where the grain is put in and from there it goes through hoses to the individual planter and is put into the ground.
The story of his remarkable planter reminds me of how different farming was in the so-called “horse and buggy days.” As a small boy, I can remember how my Dad planted two rows at a crossing with a team of horses. He would never, never have imagined that there would come a time when farmers could plant as much as 50 acres of’ corn in an hour.
It also brought to my mind the year when I was a student in high school at Manson. The teacher always allowed two weeks vacation so that the boys could help with the corn picking which, at that time, was still done by hand. There was a year when rain and snow interfered with the corn picking and to husk over 50 acres of corn took six weeks with all of the family pitching in.
At 5 A.M., all of the family was called out of bed. Dad did the milking and hitched a team of horses to the empty wagon while Mother prepared a breakfast of delicious buckwheat pancakes and sausage. We two kids sleepily crawled out of bed, dressed, and put on our arms stocking with no feet, which would (with cotton gloves) protect our arms from the rough cornhusks.
After breakfast all of the family, including Grandpa DeWall, who was almost 90 years of age, would climb into the wagon and start for the cornfield. It was a long day with time for lunch at noon. It usually consisted of vegetable soup, which Mom had prepared in the morning and needed only to be warmed up. Our hands got wet when it snowed and that was cold.
How grateful I am that life on the farm is so different from what it used to be years ago.
— by Skip Westphal
There is a garden in Gethsemane
Where flowers bloom in this season.
Such blossoms everywhere remind me
Of God’s plan, and of life’s reason.
We need Him daily in our lives
To help us think and do what’s right.
From babes to old ones wise,
He watches us, forgives, and shines bright.
Like a family’s land, our lives He redeems
With His promise and His Spirit, our Friend.
No matter how long cold winter seems,
Spring returns and “human blossoms” thrive again!
— by Pam Chambers
“Establishing the Children…”
When we think of the ministry, we usually are thinking about someone who has been called to lead a Church, preach and teach the Word of God, work with adults, and in general, oversee the workings of the Church. We don’t usually think of someone who works with the youth of the Church.
After all, that person is just being a babysitter, so that the parents can take full part in the Church service without having to tend to their children for the whole service or a portion of it. We may think that working with children is easy, a no-brainer, a place for the children to hear Bible Stories and use crayons. Some Churches have the children sitting in dark, damp rooms with old furniture, flaking paint and dirty floors, while the adults are enjoying the newly refurbished and comfortable part of the building as their “worship domain.” (I hope we are not talking about your own local Church that allows this to happen to the youth of the Church, and the teachers of those youth.)
Teaching children is a high calling, and those called to it deserve respect, support and encouragement. We should appreciate greatly those teachers who are working with our children in the teaching and training of the Word of God, as a supplemental effort to the teaching and training by the parents of these children. These teachers have been called to minister to the youth of the Church. They are called into the “youth ministry.”
Support Your Teachers
Teachers must be given opportunities for worship and spiritual growth, so that they do not lose out because of serving the children and families, and so that they can model Christian living to the children. They need to be seen as people who have heard God’s call and are serving a valuable group of the Church family, in the same way that the preacher and pastor serve another group in the Church family. The Church should allow teachers to have classes either before the worship service, or perhaps while the sermonette and announcements are given. Then the teachers will not be missing the main message of the service. The Church budget needs to provide the money for resources and materials for the teachers. (Of course, this applies if the Church is large enough to provide financial assistance for this purpose. In times past, many and most teachers bought their materials out of their own pocket, and never complained or asked to be reimbursed. However, this may keep some teachers from volunteering to teach. These days most local congregations can help their teachers in the funding for class materials, resources and other class activities.)
You Can Be a Teacher!
Awhile back I wrote an article in another newsletter titled “You, Yes You Can Be a Teacher.” The article pointed out that everyone has life experiences and can call upon these experiences to help teach and train our children. At one time or another in our lives, we have found ourselves in a teaching or training position, either as parents, as an older sibling in the family, at school, at our job, or even while playing games, activities, etc. Everyone knows at least one thing better than someone else does. Men, as well as women, make good teachers. Whether you are a truck driver, homemaker, computer expert, construction worker, school teacher, nurse, retired person, store manager or an older teen, etc., you have experiences you can relate to our youth. Use these experiences to teach about God and His wondrous ways.
Over the years, many teachers volunteered to teach the children because there was no one else that wanted to do the job. These people saw a need and stepped up to take the job. It was not one of the prominent positions of the Church, and may not have been appreciated for its value to the Church. However, that did not matter to these volunteers. They saw a need to minister to the youth and help the future generation of children to come along, learning the ways that will lead into the Kingdom of God. After all, isn’t that what we all want as parents and we can use all the help we can get in teaching and training our children.
Most of the time teachers do not start out with a fervent desire to serve in this “youth ministry,” but as time goes on, they understand how important children are to God, and how special children are to the Church. As they grow in the teacher “role,” they yearn to help the youth understand God’s ways, and there builds up in them a great desire to do what they can in helping the youth of the Church. Always, they know their role is to support and supplement the parents in the training of the children. They don’t always see the results of their teaching. But, there are rewards along the way, which make the job very worthwhile. Some are, to have a small child bring their parent to you and say, “This is my teacher,” or maybe a teenager will come up one day and thank you for teaching them, or perhaps a parent will express their appreciation for all the time and effort you have put into the teaching job. In any case, teachers should be appreciated by the Church, and recognized for doing the job of the “youth ministry.”
To all the teachers of our youth, we thank you and appreciate all that you do in serving in this ministry. Keep up the good work in serving the next generation of God’s people. May God bless your efforts and may we all see the results of your service, if not now then later in the Kingdom of God!
— by Shelby Faith
Items Needed: mint, candy Kiss, tea bag, eraser, rubber band, toothpick, chewing gum, band-aid, and a pencil. Why? (*Relevant Scriptures)
Toothpick: to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others — *Matthew 7:1
Rubber Band: to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out. — *Romans 8:28
Band Aid: to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or theirs — *Colossians 3:12-14
Pencil: to remind you to list your blessings everyday — *Ephesians 1:3
Eraser: to remind you that everyone makes mistakes — *Genesis 50:15-21
Chewing Gum: to remind you to stick with it, and you can accomplish anything — *Philippians 4:13
Mint: to remind you that you are worth a mint — *John 3:16-17
Candy Kiss: to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday — * John 4:7
Tea Bag: to remind you to relax daily and go over and give thanks for your long list of blessings — *1 Thessalonians 5:18
Lord, thank You for loyal, loving friends
Who are there in winter or springtime fair.
New acquaintances are easy to come by,
But, true friendship is extremely rare.
A friend always sees the best in you,
Although they’ve known you at your worst.
They laugh with you in the good times,
When storms threaten, they’ll be there first.
They’ll offer a shoulder to rest your head
When tears are welling in your eyes.
Take a walk down friendship’s path with you
And help chase away those stormy skies.
Lord, thank You for all the gifts You give;
Each one makes our life seem more worthwhile.
But, one of the finest gifts you’ve given us
Is the warmth of friendship’s loving smile.
— by Barbara Cagle Ray
Noah and the Ark
Why couldn’t they play cards on the ark?
Noah was sitting on the deck.
Who was the first canning factory run by?
Noah - he had a boat full of preserved pairs.
Was Noah the first one out of the ark?
No, he came fourth out of the ark.
Which animal took the most baggage on the ark? What animal took the least?
The elephant took his trunk.
But, the fox and the rooster took only a brush and comb between them.
Why weren’t there any worms on the ark?
Because worms come in apples not in pairs.
What creatures were not on the ark? Fish.
Where did Noah keep the bees?
In the ark hives.
Where was Noah when the lights went out?
In the dark.
Why couldn’t Noah catch many fish?
He only had two worms.
When is paper money first mentioned in the Bible? When the dove brought the green back to the ark.
BIBLE QUIZ: “WHO AM I?” I lived in the Old Testament World. My father was one of the
patriarchs that lived during that time and he moved a lot. My
mother was a very beautiful lady but sad sometimes. My
father was promised a special blessing if he obeyed God, which he did. When I was a youth, I went on a special
trip with my father up a mountain. I
married a lady named Rebekah and we had twin sons. God
also promised me blessings if I would obey Him, which I did. Who
am I? __________________________ (If you need help, look in Genesis 12:1-4, Genesis
12:11, Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:17-18, Genesis 25:20-24, and Genesis
26:1-4.) I lived in the New Testament World. I
caused a lot of problems for the early Christians. I
was blinded and lost my sight for three days. My
name was changed by only changing the first letter.
After I repented of persecuting the Christians, God used me in
doing a work with a man named Barnabas. Who am I? ___________________________ (If you need help, look in Acts 8:3, Acts 9:1-9, Acts
13:2, and Acts 13:9.) By Shelby Faith
“WHO AM I?”
I lived in the Old Testament World.
My father was one of the patriarchs that lived during that time and he moved a lot.
My mother was a very beautiful lady but sad sometimes.
My father was promised a special blessing if he obeyed God, which he did.
When I was a youth, I went on a special trip with my father up a mountain.
I married a lady named Rebekah and we had twin sons.
God also promised me blessings if I would obey Him, which I did.
Who am I? __________________________
(If you need help, look in Genesis 12:1-4, Genesis 12:11, Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:17-18, Genesis 25:20-24, and Genesis 26:1-4.)
I lived in the New Testament World.
I caused a lot of problems for the early Christians.
I was blinded and lost my sight for three days.
My name was changed by only changing the first letter.
After I repented of persecuting the Christians, God used me in doing a work with a man named Barnabas.
Who am I? ___________________________
(If you need help, look in Acts 8:3, Acts 9:1-9, Acts 13:2, and Acts 13:9.)
By Shelby Faith
Combined Pentecost services were held in Atlantic, Iowa on May 30, 2004 for United Church of God congregations from Des Moines and Omaha, NE. The Church of God, Sabbath Day, Omaha was also invited to attend. Don Anderson gave the offertory message “Giving to God,” and Scott Hoefker’s sermon was “Celebrating Growth.”
UCG Omaha Choir
Marge Roy, Don and Fran Anderson, Dean Rammelsberg, and Steve Kieler reminisce about WWCG in eastern Iowa in the 1970s.
Blaine & Mary Kearney
Keith and Janice Besch, Omaha, NE
Church of God, Sabbath Day
After a buffet luncheon, Don Hoefker presented a sermonette. The afternoon sermon was by Mitchell Knapp, “The Ekklesia.”
— by Suzanne Kieler
The Hospital Window
This is a great note for all to read, and will take just thirty-seven seconds to read this and change your thinking.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, and where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the man by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”
Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy. “Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”
The origin of this letter is unknown.
Lest I Make a Mistake
“For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again,” Proverbs 24:16 NIV.
Many years ago, I used to work in construction. On a construction site of which I was in charge, I made what to me was a whopping error and was scared to death to tell my boss. Fortunately for me when I did tell him, he simply said, “Dick, the man who never made a mistake never made anything!”
What a relief to know my “sin” was forgiven! Then we set about to correct the mistake. I think it was Robert Schuller who said, “A high jumper never knows how high he can jump until he reaches his failure point.”
In fact, we probably learn a lot more through our failures than we do through our successes. The important thing when we fail, is that we need to get up, learn from our mistakes, and go on to achieve better things. As another has said, “Not failure, but low aim is a crime.”
I appreciate the words of the poet who said:
rather stumble a thousand times
Attempting to reach a goal,
Than to sit in a crowd
In my weather-proof shroud,
A shriveled and self-satisfied soul.
I would rather be doing and daring
All of my error-filled days,
Than watching and waiting, and dying
Snug in my perfect ways.
I would rather wonder and blunder,
Stumbling blindly ahead,
Than for safety’s sake
Lest I make a mistake
Be sure, be safe, be dead.”
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, help me to see your plan and purpose for my life, and with your help, make a total commitment to fulfilling it. Help me to learn from my mistakes and never give up. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
— author unknown
As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court, you can see near the top of the building a row of the world’s lawgivers, and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view . . . it is Moses, and he is holding the Ten Commandments!
As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door. As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see on the wall, right above where the Supreme Court judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments! There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.
James Madison, the fourth president, known as “The Father of Our Constitution” made the following statement: “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777. Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.
The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said: “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.”
Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law . . . an oligarchy . . . the rule of few over many.
The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said: “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.” How, then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 220 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?
Let us tell the world about this and let the world see and remember what this great country was built on.
— from the Internet
Qualification of Kingship
In an article that I wrote called “There Was No King,” I addressed I Samuel 8 and how the elders of Israel had requested a king so they could be like the other nations around them. While researching this topic in the Bible, I discovered a provision in the Law of God, which does cover this possibility when it occurs. It would be interesting to look into this Law just to see what it tells us that God expects from a king or ruler.
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 states, “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me.” You will note that this event was expected to occur when Israel had settled in the Promised Land. There is no “if,” but “when.” This happened in I Samuel 8.
To continue in verse 15, “Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.” We can see that he must be chosen by God and be an Israelite.
In verses 16-17, he is not to “multiply” to himself horses, or wives, or silver and gold.
In verses 18-20, he shall write a copy of the Law, and he is to keep it, and read in it every day of his life, so that he can fear the Lord God, and keep all His Words of the Law.
To sum up the qualifications of kingship: the king is (1) to be chosen by God, (2) a born Israelite, (3) not to imitate other royal courts in other nations by owning great wealth in wives and other goods, and (4) he was to copy the Law of God and meditate on it every day of his life, and fear the Lord God.
This is what the Law of God had required of the kings of Israel whether or not they had observed it. However, by observing this Law, a leader of a nation would have a solid foundation to lead his nation based on the principles of God, i.e. the Law of God.
I encourage you to study the many Laws that God presented to the nation of Israel, and learn the principle meaning of them. This will bring you to a better understanding of God’s Way of Life. Psalm 119:97-100 states, “O how love I Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.”
— by Doyle Carter
P.O. Box 690592
Tulsa, OK 74169
On May 30, 2004, I attended Pentecost services with the Church of God, Sabbath Day in Springdale, AR. Tom Justus is the pastor.
There were eighteen in attendance with guests from Indiana and Oklahoma. Sharon See provided special music to the congregation.
Tom gave a sermon entitled “How Pentecost Covers God’s Plan.” He talked about how sad it is that many have fallen away from observing the Holy Days. He reminded us of how the Holy Days lay out God’s plan of salvation and without the Holy Days, we cannot understand His plan for man. Then his focus was on Pentecost as our hope that we are the part of the First Fruits of God, and how great this hope is to us.
After services, many individuals of the church group went out for dinner and fellowship. It was a very informative Church service and enjoyable day.
— by Doyle Carter
Aunt Birdie’s Wisdom …
The ability to admire and appreciate the best is more important than varied knowledge. For we are developed and formed by what we admire and love more than by what we simply know.
LCG’s R.C. Meredith reported, “Although many of us have been involved in Christ’s ministry for decades, this present Work has existed for only a comparatively few years. Yet, with our move to Charlotte for reasons of economy, we are already experiencing good growth and are beginning to have more impact. The Tomorrow’s World television program is presently being carried on 164 TV stations around the world, with 136 of them right here in North America. In the past five years, more than 200 half-hour TV programs have been produced, and in Canada and the United States combined, these hard-hitting, spiritually provocative programs have generated more than 360,000 requests for our free publications and audiotapes. In addition, the Tomorrow’s World program is on radio stations internationally in five languages, including English, French, Spanish, Afrikaans, and a Filipino dialect. We are on Spanish and French stations in the Caribbean. Our French-speaking director, Dibar Apartian, and our Spanish-speaking director, Mario Hernández, occasionally do live radio interviews in their native language.
“The statistics available to us here in North America show that more than five million households in Canada and the United States have now viewed the Tomorrow’s World telecast. In addition, the Tomorrow’s World magazine circulation of nearly 200,000 is now reaching 130 of the world’s nations and dependencies. Every week now, our office here in Charlotte, North Carolina, is receiving 4,000 to 5,000 responses—from telephone calls, letters, cards and E-mail requests. Last year alone we mailed out, totally free of charge, more than 1.9 million magazine copies, booklets, letters, Bible Study Course lessons, reprint articles, videotapes and audiotapes.”
LCG’s Malaysia-based minister Rajan Moses reported the following from his recent visit to Indonesia, “I arrived in Juanda airport, Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia on June 4, 2004. I conducted a short Bible study and spoke about the Work of God. After the Bible study, we had a group singing. After the singing, we had a potluck dinner with the members.
“Next day, the Sabbath morning, a total of twelve members attended the Sabbath services. I gave the sermon on using the Holy Spirit. We had lunch together, and in the afternoon, I conducted a Bible study on the three tithes, followed by a question and answer session. I met a new girl who has been attending the service for the past three months. I counseled William, a prospective member for baptism. I had counseled him two years ago and I think he is now ready for baptism. On Sunday morning all the members and I visited a Church member in Kesambem. It took us about 1 hour and 50 minutes to reach her place. Every Sabbath she walks two kilometers from her place to the main road and uses the public transportation to travel to Arius’ home for services. And after services in the evening, she takes the public transportation and reaches home late in the night. Forest and mountains surround her village. I have asked Arius to give her a torchlight so that she can use it when she walks back home late at night from the main road. I conducted a Bible study on the Kingdom of God and the meaning of born again. After lunch, we traveled to see the new Feast site. God has truly blessed the Work in Indonesia. There have been many changes for the past two years. Brethren are spiritually growing in understanding of the Word of God, and are strong in the faith. Arius, our video recipient, is doing a good job in translating all the Living Church of God’s material. These materials have helped the brethren to understand and to grow spiritually. What amazes one is that there is freedom of religion in Indonesia.”
In Malaysia, one can be be killed for converting Muslims.
Dibar Apartian reported, “The French-speaking congregation in Martinique began in the middle of the 1960s, and reached its prime with more than 300 brethren prior to Mr. Herbert W Armstrong’s death. Today, sadly, only a tenth of that group is still with us. Some are lingering with our former association, others have drifted away. For years, we used to broadcast five days a week over the powerful Radio Caraibes station. Today, we only air on a small local station. Nevertheless, our brethren are faithful and strong. I was blessed to give three sermons during my short visit.”
Doug Winnail reported, “In mid-May I flew to Salzburg, Austria, for a new visit and to gather information on early Celtic (Israelite) migrations into Europe. The return trip across Austria and through the Swiss Alps provided some spectacular vistas of where God has led His people. I was able to spend some time with Mr. Joseph Felber (our Elder in Zurich) and his family before heading on to Geneva to meet Mr. and Mrs. Ray Clore and brethren for the Sabbath. We had a very pleasant stay with Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cochet in Geneva. On Sunday, I traveled with the Clores back to Paris, where we had a visit and I finished a Tomorrow’s World article. Returning to Ireland, I met Mr. Rod King (visiting from Australia) and Mr. Kenneth Cargill (deacon in Belfast).”
— submitted by Robert Thiel
There’s no connection between the Baby Ruth candy bar and Babe Ruth, the baseball player. At least that’s the claim of the folks that make Baby Ruths (the Curtiss Candy Company). The official company position is that the candy bar was named after the daughter of President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland, Ruth.
The Tulsa Church of God sponsored a seminar with Steven M. Collins as the guest speaker on June 11-12, 2004. He is the author of the book The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! The sessions were open to the public.
On Friday night, June 11, at the Martin Regional Library, the first session started with a brief introduction by Pastor Lawrence Gregory of the Tulsa Church of God. During the evening session, Mr. Collins covered how Israel became a great nation and discussed how great a nation Israel was during the time King David and Solomon. Then he covered the scattering of these people and the new nations they formed.
On Saturday, the Tulsa Church of God had regular Church services with 106 members and guests attending. The main sermon was the last session of the series by Steve Collins. He covered the nation of Parthia and the migration of the modern nations of Israel. He covered how Christ was a royal descendant of King David, which made it possible for Him to be the next king of Parthia if certain events had occurred. He also discussed the wars of Parthia and Rome in detail, and the migration of Israelis out of the Middle East.
Special music was performed by Sharon See and Bonnie French; “America the Beautiful,” “World Tomorrow,” and “Hope for Zion.” This topic of the origin and decline of the nations of Israel are covered in depth by his five books which are:
The Lost Tribes of Israel – Found!
Israel’s Lost Empires
The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel
Israel’s Lost Tribes Today, and
Parthia: The Forgotten Ancient Superpower.
If you are interested in receiving information on these books, go to the Web site www.Bibleblessings.net or write to:
Steven M. Collins
PO Box 88735
Sioux Falls, SD 57109-1005.
— by Doyle Carter
September 30 to October 7, 2004
CGOM Sponsored or
Lake Texoma, OK
Contact: Steve Kieler
San Antonio, TX
Contact: Julian Cruz
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Contact: Duke Schneider
Mountain View, AR
Contact: Wayne Holmes
Contact: Jeff Henderson
Collingwood, Ontario Canada
Contact: Len Labunetz
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The Church of God Halifax will be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles this year from September 30th to October 7th in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This will be a scent-free site (no perfume, cologne, or other scented products).
Halifax has an intimate connection with the Titanic tragedy. Shortly after the White Star liner sank in 1912, about 200 victims were eventually buried in three Halifax cemeteries.
Services will be at the Bluenose Inn & Suites, 636 Bedford Highway, Halifax NS, B3M 2L8. For reservations, call toll free: 1-800-565-2301. For festival registration, please call Alex Nicholson at: (902) 860-2880 or E-mail: email@example.com
— by Alex Nicholson
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Bull Shoal Lake, MO
Mr. Johnny Orr of the Church of God 7th Day will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in the Heart of Ozarks at Bull Shores Lake in southern Missouri. If you wish to assist in any way, we welcome your talents and assistance. If interested in attending or wish to request for information, contact Mr. Orr at Church of God 7th Day, Box 15, Theodosia, MO 65761.
There are talented composers and musicians in the Church of God that have recorded some beautiful hymns. We are listing them here for your information.
(1) Leon Barnett, Rt 1, Box 106, Roff, OK 74865. “Wake up Church,” “One Day Nearer,” “Cry Aloud” (with Gracie Tijerina)
(2) Sharon See, Rt. 1 Box 1133, Eagle Rock, MO 65641, firstname.lastname@example.org. “There is a Redeemer.”
(3) Barri Armitage, 13904 N. Gate Dr., Silver Spring, MD 20906-2217, www. Dovesongs.com. “Follow the Cloud,” “Think on These Things.”
(4) Paul & Linda Woods, Seventh Day COG, PO Box 804, Caldwell, ID 83606-0804. Vocal & Instrumental Music, CD or cassette.