The Battle Continues
The Worldwide Church of God has become just another Protestant denomination. Announcements in January, 1995, have altered the Church’s position relative to God’s Law. The new teaching is that the Church no longer demands a “legalistic” observance of the “Old Testament Sabbath,” Holy Days, or tithing. The prohibition against eating unclean foods has been downgraded.
Certain members have been shocked at what may seem to be a sudden, dramatic, doctrinal perversion. However, as early as 1972, the Worldwide Church of God broke the Sabbath by hiring construction contractors as its Big Sandy, Texas, campus. Members such as myself, I am sorry to say, were required to work for hours on the Holy Days, counting Festival Offerings and depositing the money in the bank. In 1973, Church members in Africa were told that they could go ahead and work on the Sabbath, if the government required them to do so. The continuing developments are not sudden, or new. Departing from God’s Law has been a recurring trait of Old Testament Israel, as well as the New Testament Church of God. The vast majority have, and are at this time, going along with doctrinal departure from the Truth of the Almighty.
Only a few (praise the Eternal that there are some) are resisting the downward path, and struggling to maintain the faith once delivered. We are here to help those who are fighting the continuing battle against false doctrine. Some people have just recently woke up. Welcome to the battle!
For those wishing to study the subject of God’s Law, we encourage you to write for our booklet, Biblical Law. It has an extensive article entitled, “Which Old Testament Laws Are in Force Today?” Also, it is essential to know more about Church history, to realize that apostasy such as is happening today, has happened many times in the past. Write for our updated book, Six Papers on the History of the Church of God. While the forces of evil are having a time of triumph, we shall, with the Almighty’s Spirit, never give in. We are assured in His Word of victory through Him, John 16:33, I John 2:14, 4:4.
Whatever is your present religious affiliation, do not be deceived into thinking, “it cannot happen here.” In recent years, two separate Church of God, Seventh Day, congregations have been infiltrated by, and taken over by, Sunday-keepers who purposely want to rid the world of Sabbath-keeping “legalists” (a derogatory term used against those who desire to obey God in love). One of these Churches had been keeping the Sabbath since 1860, and was probably the oldest continuously Sabbath-keeping Church of God group in North America.
Do not underestimate the zeal of those who are purposely undermining God’s Truth. What are you doing to contend for the faith once delivered? Please write for our new booklet, What Should You Be Doing? Get off your spiritual “duff,” before it is too late. Join the battle against Satan!
A Call to Arms!
Events are moving so rapidly that it is impossible to address and counter all the attacks against the Truth of God, that are coming from within the Church of God. Let us analyze a few of the previous battles, and marshal our forces.
Church Government was one of the first casualties. This doctrine was taught very well in Herbert W. Armstrong’s famous 1939 Article on Church Government. Yet, by the early 1950s, he set up a central Church Government that made all other doctrinal changes possible. Such an unscriptural government, with one man at the head, could result in almost the entire group being led into doctrinal error. To accomplish this, all Satan had to do was get the top leader to go into error, and he would entice the vast majority of the Church away from the Truth.
In 1974, the doctrine of the nature of God was changed dramatically. I am referring to the monumental change in the teaching of divorce and remarriage. Marriage is a type of the kingdom of God, the family of God. When you change your teachings so as to allow divorce and remarriage for almost any reason, or no reason at all, you have destroyed the Truth that God is an eternal family.
In the early 1990s, Worldwide changed its teachings concerning born again, said that God is not a family, supported the Trinity, and now denigrates the Law of God. These changes are somewhat anticlimactic. These doctrinal perversions are natural steps from the 1974 destruction of the doctrine of marriage. If you have already swallowed the divorce and remarriage change, you have a long way to go to get back into the battle. You need to be “deprogrammed.”
The avalanche of doctrinal changes has caused many people to become battle weary. The Bible predicted this would happen. Some of the saints are almost worn out, Daniel 7:25. Because iniquity, even in the Church, is abounding, the love of many is waxing cold, Matthew 24:12. “And such as do wickedly against the covenant [the attack is against the covenant of God] shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many . . .” Daniel 11:32-33. The end-time events leading up to the return of the Messiah will culminate in someone scattering the power of the holy people, Daniel 12:7.
Brethren, do not despair! This time is similar to the “Battle of the Bulge,” Hitler’s last gasp. The battle is the Eternal’s, not the battle of we few, puny, human beings. The question is not who is going to win. That has already been decided. The question is, whose side will we be on? Now, in the heat of the battle, it will be decided whether we are spiritual men, or spiritual mice. I encourage you, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong,” I Corinthians 16:13. Read Paul’s stirring admonition in II Timothy 4:7-8. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,” I Timothy 6:12.
You have no doubt read continual medical reports documenting the cancer-causing properties of some chemical food additives or other man-made substance. With all these reports, it is easy to become jaded.
However, we should take note of the information provided in the September, 1994, issue of Focus on the Family magazine, which cited an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry by psychiatrist and medical researcher David Larson. Summarizing twelve years of psychiatric literature, Larson found that those who have a strong religious commitment (a relationship with God and fellowship with others), have better mental and physical health. The more often a person goes to church, the better his or her health. Dr. Larry Dossey found that prayer lowered high blood pressure, and positively affected wounds, heart attacks, headaches and anxiety.
Larson states that “Research studies indicate that divorce and the process of marital breakup puts people at much higher risk for both psychiatric and physical disease — even cancer.” He adds that divorce is only slightly less dangerous than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
The divorce penalty is much harder on men than women. Researcher J. J. Lynch noted that divorced men are twice as likely to die from heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer as married men in any given year. Divorced men and women are more likely, than the married, to suffer from chronic conditions, acute illness and injuries, and suicide.
The effect of divorce is devastating on children, as we could well surmise. The November 4, 1994, issue of The Wall Street Journal carried the results of a long-term study by sociologists William Axinn and Arland Thornton. They found that children from homes where there was a divorce “were far more inclined to endorse premarital sex and cohabitation, particularly if the mother had remarried, than were children whose parents stayed together.” If the mother remarried, the children were more favorable toward the idea of divorce, however, the daughters became more hostile to marriage. Divorce breeds divorce. The Bible warns us that sin often continues from generation to generation. Only with the Almighty’s help can we break the cycle. No society with wide-open divorce and promiscuity can last for long.
The next time you hear a liberal in the Church of God justifying divorce and remarriage (which encourages more divorce), remember that their “liberating” teaching may liberate you to an early grave. Believe it or not, divorce does cause cancer, both spiritually and physically. The “Surgeon General” of the universe has warned you in His Word to remain faithfully married for life.
Dr. Harris L. Coulter is President of the Center for Empirical Medicine in Washington, D.C. He has written several books about the dangers of immunization, including DPT: A Shot in the Dark. In the February, 1994, issue of Dr. Atkins’ Health Revelations, Dr. Coulter notes that since the end of World War II, the United States and Western Europe have been hit with health and social afflictions resembling the Seven Plagues of Egypt.
In the 1940s and 1950s, autism became a new disease, rising from eleven cases in 1943 to 250,000 today. “Crib death,” or “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” became a serious threat to small babies, causing 7,000 — 10,000 deaths per year. There was a sharp rise in chronic ear infections (otitis) afflicting 90% of the very young. Today, dyslexia/hyperactivity/attention-deficit syndrome affects one in five. Adolescent suicides are on the rise. In the early 1960’s, the American Intelligence Quotient, as measured by standard tests, began its steady and continuing decline. In the late 1960s and 1970s, behavior disorders and skyrocketing crime became prevalent.
Do these events have any common source or cause? Dr. Coulter says, “My own research over the past decade suggests that the threads linking these plagues to one another are the common childhood vaccinations against whooping cough, mumps, measles, German measles, and others.” Childhood vaccination first became prevalent during the 1940s and 1950s. Dr. Coulter is a serious researcher, and presents evidence that especially DPT vaccine is dangerous, causing a form of encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. A 1991 study by the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine concluded that Dr. Coulter was correct, that there is a “causal relation” between the DPT vaccine and “acute encephalopathy.” There are hundreds of cases of death-following-childhood-vaccination every year.
Of the 3-3.5 million babies in the U.S. vaccinated yearly, only a few will die or suffer severe neurological damage, but the majority will suffer no apparent harm at all. However, many are marginally affected by the vaccine, and suffer minimal brain damage, making them candidates for autism, mental retardation, ear infection, and impairment to their cranial nerves which serve the ear. Those with mild brain damage from vaccinations can become society “rejects,” and gravitate to drug addiction, alcoholism, and depression, leading to violent behavior. Dr. Coulter concludes that many of our social ills can be traced to childhood vaccinations, truly a man-caused epidemic.
Another doctor to issue a warning against modern medical practices is Dr. Jeffrey A. Fisher, in his book, The Plague Makers (published by Simon and Schuster). He shows that indiscriminate use of antibiotics is creating catastrophic new epidemics of untreatable diseases, of which AIDS may be one. Some bacteria are not killed by antibiotics, and become resistant. A new drug-resistant tuberculosis has a mortality rate of 40-60%, just about the same fatality rate that TB had before the discovery of antibiotics. Dr. Fisher says that doctors, who are under the unhealthy influence of the giant pharmaceutical industry, carelessly and excessively prescribe antibiotics. Although antibiotics are completely ineffective against the common cold, this well-known fact didn’t stop doctors from prescribing 900,000 useless antibiotic prescriptions. Dr. Fisher concludes by stating that if antibiotics continue to be used irresponsibly, massive man-caused worldwide epidemics will be the result. Truly, the Messiah must return to destroy them which are about to destroy the earth.
Two health tips promoted by Herbert Armstrong in his early years were: (1) the use of heavy aluminum cookware, and (2) vigorous body massage with a towel after bathing. He was 50% correct. Most reliable health information sources today discourage aluminum cookware, noting that aluminum can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum cookware should be avoided like the plague. However, a vigorous body massage after bathing is good for the skin, and improves your general health. I remember learning from Eugene Smyda in Big Sandy, Texas, about the best way to augment body massage. After bathing, rinse your washcloth and use it to wipe off excess water on your body. Then take a Turkish towel and vigorously rub over all of your body. You do not want a soft towel, but one that will rub well. Rubbing your body scrapes off dead skin, opens up pores, and increases blood circulation. After such a “tune-up,” your body can run smoother and you can be more productive in your job and daily walk with the Almighty.
Another tip I have learned about is a natural body deodorant that lasts for a week or two with one application. You may not realize it, but many anti-perspirants contain aluminum, which when applied under your arms, can begin a body poisoning process. I have been using Lavilin, an herbal long-life deodorant made from the oil of the calendula plant, grown in Israel. Body odor is created by perspiration reacting with bacteria on the skin surface. These odor-causing bacteria do not like to live around calendula. I apply a tiny amount of Lavilin once a week, and its effect lasts 1-2 weeks, no matter how many more times I bathe or swim. It is not a harmful anti-perspirant. For me, Lavilin eliminates body odor. For more information, contact: Micro Balanced Products, Box 8, Dumont, New Jersey 07628.
While some people get “bug-eyed” about health matters, simple, basic suggestions are often very helpful. For more information about health from the Biblical viewpoint, please read our free book, Biblical Health and Healing, available from Giving & Sharing. This book also contains a comprehensive article on clean and unclean meats.
As wild buffalo (American bison) grazed near our cabin, we watched the full moon rise over the towering Absaroka Mountains. The sun was setting, painting the mountains and scattered clouds pink. The 1994 Feast of Tabernacles had begun at Lake Yellowstone in majestic Yellowstone National Park.
Our frontier cabin, clustered in a virtual “booth city,” reminded us what a “temporary dwelling” is. In previous years, we had lost this understanding when we stayed in more luxurious accommodations. The Creator is very close in this place. The moonlight shimmered on the water. The peace of the night and the sparkling sun of the day brought constantly changing glimpses of His majesty and power. Wildlife abound, geysers and other thermal features, canyons and waterfalls show His handiwork.
No television is available here. During the day, we could receive no radio stations except Park Ranger safety information. It was close to the end of the season, and most park facilities would be closed shortly after our departure. The benefits of the fall season are obvious: fewer tourists, fall color as the leaves of mountain aspen turn yellow, cool days and brisk refreshing nights. It is plain that the Eternal has chosen to place His name here, long ago. From the playful squirrels and chipmunks, to picnic mooching jay birds, to soaring eagles, to wily wild coyotes, to the herds of bison and elk, the animals praise their Creator in this preserve where hunting is prohibited. What a type of the World Tomorrow!
The power of the earth’s forces is shown in the scores of spouting geysers, gurgling hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steaming fumaroles. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is graced with red and yellow eroded cliffs and the roaring 308 foot tall Lower Yellowstone Falls. Old Faithful Geyser, the world’s best known, erupts on the average of every 75 minutes. We relished other geysers, such as Riverside Geyser, which spurts a tower of hot water in the air over the Firehole River. Our favorite was Eychinus Geyser, which blew a gigantic column of boiling water for over half an hour. No sermon was more powerful as the quiet teaching of our Maker through His creation.
And yet, many of God’s people who observe the Biblical Feasts do so in large city hotels and resorts, far removed from the Almighty’s presence. They are missing so much when they do not enter into His presence. And yet, not so many years ago, there was a time when this basic truth was well understood. The urbanization of this world makes it difficult for us to see God. As the Savior would go out into a lonely place to pray to His Heavenly Father, so too we often need to “get away from it all” and seek His face. And, what better time to do this than at a Feast!
Here is a description of the kind of Feast of Tabernacles that was observed in 1945 by some of God’s people at that time:
We have taken over, for the full period [September 22-29, 1945], beautiful Belknap Mineral Springs, one of Oregon’s leading, nicest mountain resorts high up the Mckenzie [River] in the lofty Cascades, 60 miles east of Eugene.
Here we will be utterly secluded from the world. Belknap is a mile off the McKenzie highway, out in God’s majestic worship-inspiring nature. Here we will be away from the noise and hustle of man-made civilization, out in God’s great natural out-doors where things are beautiful. . . . (Herbert W. Armstrong, in The Good News Letter, 1945).
Armstrong described the common meals the Church would have together, the cabins, and park like grounds, where they could eat and hold services outdoors. “The mineral springs are hot springs,” he said. “The water is boiling as it pours out of the solid rock from underground in the side of the mountain. This mineral water is of very high quality and will be of real benefit to the health of all who will drink it while here. . . . There is the best fishing in America on the McKenzie. . . . Just a word of caution, however: we are going to Belknap for a great SPIRITUAL FEAST, so all hiking, fishing, etc., should be done at such hours as not to conflict with any of the services.” Elders John Kiesz and Frank Walker of the Church of God, Seventh Day, were expected to attend and give sermon messages, in addition to Armstrong and others.
So here we have a great contrast: in those days, the Feast of Tabernacles was kept in a secluded spot in God’s Creation, with a small group of people who could engage in intimate fellowship away from the world, and the Feast included speakers from other groups who were invited to come and share Bible studies with the congregation. This is quite a bit different from the huge, big city, Feasts that most of the Church of God members attend today. Which kind of Feast do you think would enhance the spiritual welfare of God’s people today? At a place where you can see man, or at a place where you can see God? At an Ephesian “first love” feast site, or at a Laodicean feast site? Let us recapture true values that are nearly ready to die out. Let us continue to rejoice in a Feast in God’s presence, and allow Him to communicate with us.
Yair Davidy, an Australian-born scholar living in Israel, has devoted much of his life to researching the Israel identity question. He comes from a family who for some generations has believed that the British (or at least part of them) were descended from the “lost” ten tribes of Israel. He sought to prove the question for himself, by a careful, objective, checking of authentic sources.
The result of his exhaustive research is the book, The Tribes. The Israelite Origins of Western Peoples. It is available from Yair Davidy, Susia Hebron Mountains, 90401, Israel, for $25.00 (US funds). Although his work is scholarly, it is not difficult to read. For effort, I would give Davidy an “A,” and for execution, I would give him a “B.”
Davidy concludes that the tribes are not exclusively concentrated in separate countries, but that several tribes of Israel are in a number of countries. Often one tribe predominates. It appears that Britain has been influenced by a number of different tribes of Israel, including Jews, and those from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher, and Simeon. He designates the predominant influence as follows:
Tribe Predominant Influence
Manasseh United States of America
Simeon Celts and Jews
Levi With the Jews
Judah Jutes and Jews
Issachar Switzerland and Finland
Zebulon Holland (The Netherlands)
Benjamin Belgium and Normandy
Dan Denmark and Celts
Davidy brings to light a number of new (to me) pieces of information. His access to Jewish sources in Israel were used to good effect. I commend Davidy for his effort. Particularly, I appreciate the fact that Davidy avoids racism, pointing out that the chosen people of the Almighty have a responsibility to provide a beneficial influence to all peoples of the world, based upon obedience to the Law of God and the Bible. Since he has no denominational axe to grind, Davidy’s research is very credible indeed.
In the early 1980s, Seventh Day Adventist Brinsmead wrote a book against the Sabbath, entitled Sabbatarianism Re-Examined. Brinsmead left the Adventists and is now an atheist. Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi world-renowned Adventist scholar on the Sabbath question, wrote a refutation to Brinsmead’s points, in his book, The Sabbath in the New Testament (1985). Many of Brinsmead’s points were repeated by another former Adventist minister, Dale Ratzlaff, who wrote Sabbath in Crisis. Ratzlaff’s anti-Sabbath book is being distributed by the Worldwide Church of God to its key officials.
Although Bacchiocchi’s book, The Sabbath in the New Testament, has many fine points, Giving & Sharing has never promoted this book because:
· Bacchiocchi says the Holy Days are abolished (pages 196-197),
· He says the resurrection was on Sunday (page 199, etc.),
· He says the Bible does not give specific instruction when to begin the Sabbath (page 245),
· I disagree with his “rational method” for how to observe the Sabbath during the Arctic long dark or long sunlight periods of the year.
· Bacchiocchi also promotes his book on the crucifixion, which he believes is on Friday.
The Sabbath is a pivotal Biblical issue. It is truly amazing how much error is being promoted, on both sides of the question. We do promote Bacchiocchi’s excellent book, From Sabbath to Sunday, because it concentrates mainly on the history of the switch from Sabbath to Sunday and is a powerful witness that the Sabbath should be kept. Order a copy from Giving & Sharing.
Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849
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