Melvin Johnson’s Bible Songs For Children
Melvin Johnson is a part-time songwriter and singer. He has written over 100 religious songs. He and his wife Elizabeth have three children, Danielle (19), Angela (11), and Adam (9). They attend the Church of God, 7th Day in McMinnville, Tennessee. Melvin works at the Nissan automobile plant in Smyrna, and his wife homeschools their children. His family sometimes sings with him in nursing homes. His prayer is that the Lord will use him to get His word out in music, and that many will be blessed by his songs.
Melvin’s deep voice resonates with a Tennessee country flavor. His music is unique and interesting to listen to. At the request of the Bible Sabbath Association, he has written a special song about the Sabbath, entitled, The Sabbath Day. The words are very appropriate for Sabbath worship:
God’s Sabbath is a holy sign,
To show that you are His design.
He makes His favor really shine
Upon the Sabbath day.
A time of worship, a time of rest,
A time for joy and happiness,
For giving thanks, for we are blessed
Upon the Sabbath day.
A time for peace, to get away,
And I can’t wait to start.
I love to rest the Sabbath day
With Jesus in my heart.
God’s Sabbath day’s a true delight
and I can’t wait for Friday night
To serve the Lord with all my might
Upon the Sabbath day.
God’s Sabbath is a precious pearl
My Father who made all the world
He also made each boy and girl,
So keep the Sabbath day!
(Repeat third and fourth stanzas.)
The Sabbath is a true delight
So keep the Sabbath day!
A cassette tape of this Sabbath song, plus several of Melvin’s songs, Esther, Daniel, Samson, Jonah, Greatest Love Story of All, Joshua, David and Goliath, the Prodigal Son, and The Mustard Seed is available for a donation of $6.00 from: The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. These songs are enjoyable for children from 5-105.
A table of sunrises and sunsets for any location on the earth is available for a donation to the Bible Sabbath Association. You will receive a computer-generated table for the closest longitude and latitude of any address you specify. Tables are generated using an algorithm from the United States Naval Observatory Circular No. 171, February 19, 1987. Table uses “military time,” i.e., 19:27 is 7:27 P.M. Except for minor, 1-2 minute differences, table is accurate for any year. Write: The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718.
Once again, science confirms Bible truth! A Reuters NewsMedia report says that Brazilian scientists at Sao Paulo have found more evidence that red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease. Thirty rabbits were given an especially high-fat diet. Ten of these rabbits also got red wine, ten got alcohol-free grape juice, and the remaining ten got no wine. After twelve weeks, the rabbits were killed and their arteries inspected. Animals with no wine or grape juice had 60% of the surface of their coronary aortas covered by plaque (hardening of the arteries, which leads to heart problems). Animals who had been given grape juice had 48% of their arteries clogged up with fat. But, listen to this: animals which had been given red wine had only 38% of their arteries clogged! Red wine stopped the blood fat from turning into the gummy plaque of arteriosclerosis. Apparently, the red wine stops fat from oxidizing.
This recent report confirms the results of British researchers, who demonstrated that moderate intake of any kind of alcohol protects against heart disease. However, any more than about two drinks a day erased the benefits.
The conclusion is: MODERATE consumption of alcoholic beverages can have beneficial effects. Scientific research confirms the Bible truth on alcoholic beverages, in opposition to a fundamental of belief of the Seventh Day Adventist church. Article 21 of the SDA “Fundamental Beliefs,” states that “alcoholic beverages . . . [etc.] are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well.” Thirty rabbits wiggled their noses at the notion that moderate use of alcohol is harmful.
The Sabbath Sentinel, published by The Bible Sabbath Association, is a quality bimonthly magazine covering articles of interest to Sabbath-keepers. For a free subscription, write to: The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. Or, call toll free in North America, 1-888-687-5191.
Scott Cox of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has initiated the “Network of Sabbatarian Community Churches.” Its purpose is to facilitate communication, friendship, and love and concern among Sabbath-keepers. If you are interested in developing friendships with brethren around the world, write Mr. Cox to be included in the NSCC Penpal Directory. Send your name, address, hobbies, concerns, etc. to: NSCC, 73 Clyde Street, Hamilton, Ontario, L8L 5R5, CANADA.
Are We Becoming Ecumenical?
A reader from Oregon writes, “We find Giving & Sharing’s older works most useful at present. I can’t be sure, but it seems like you’re getting more ecumenical and earthly (materialistic).”
To many, “ecumenical” refers to those who work toward the unification of all churches into a worldwide Catholic conglomeration. Catholics and liberal Protestant churches are striving for a one-world religious system, the beastly system of religious Babylon condemned in the book of Revelation. We utterly oppose this form of ecumenism. The essence of the worldly ecumenical movement is the deliberate down-playing of doctrinal differences for the sake of unity at all costs. This form of ecumenism is a very wrong concept.
However, one may define ecumenical as “one who promotes co-operation between people from different groups.” To this accusation, I plead guilty. There is a vast difference between compromising one’s doctrinal beliefs, and working together with others of similar beliefs toward a common goal. Working with others of similar beliefs has not resulted in the watering down of my personal religious convictions. Instead, it has helped me to further understand what I believe, and sharpened my ability to understand how other people think. My role as President of the Bible Sabbath Association has helped me greatly to understand many other points of view. It is uplifting to work with others toward the common goal of promoting the Sabbath, which is the sole purpose of the Bible Sabbath Association.
On the evening before the 1996 Feast of Tabernacles, a total lunar eclipse was visible over much of North America. I had to work late that night to finish accounting work before leaving for the Feast. While working, I could glance up and view the amazing sight out of my office window. An eclipse of the moon occurs when the Earth is between the moon and the sun. The Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, eclipsing, or cutting off, the reflected sunlight. The moon can only reflect light since it doesn’t produce any of its own. Lunar eclipses, partial or total, occur about every six months. What was unusual about the lunar eclipse of Thursday night, September 26, 1996, was that it was total, and it occurred at the time of the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the September 22, 1996, fall equinox. The Harvest Moon isn’t bigger or brighter than other full moons, but it seems to linger longer on the horizon. And, depending on the amount of atmospheric dust and pollutants in the air, the fully eclipsed moon will be colored pink to deep red in color. The eclipse I saw produced a crimson eclipsed moon! Figuratively, the moon had become blood!
The Bible attaches great importance to heavenly signs as being prophetic and significant occasions in the plan of the Almighty. Although modern evolutionary thought rejects the idea that the Creator controls the universe, we would do well to pay attention to cosmic events, through which the Eternal speaks to us.
The Prophet Joel describes the coming Day of the LORD as a day of darkness, gloominess, clouds and thick darkness, when “The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining,” Joel 2:1-2, 10. Isaiah echoes the same warning, that the wrathful day of the Lord shall be marked by the stars not giving their light, and both the sun and the moon darkened, Isaiah 13:10, as the Eternal punishes the wicked. In Isaiah 24:23, He again mentions this coming “double eclipse” of both the sun and moon. See also Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 3:15, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, Luke 21:25.
Joel 2:31 reports, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” See also Acts 2:20. In Revelation 6:12, we see that at the sixth seal, there is a great earthquake, and the sun becomes black as sackcloth, and the moon as blood.
The Bible points to a red colored moon as a sign of the day of the LORD’s wrath. Is there a deeper spiritual lesson for us now? What does the moon represent?
In Revelation 12:1 we see that the moon is associated with the church, who has the “moon under her feet.” The Almighty is compared to the sun, the source of light, Malachi 4:2. The Church is not the source of light, God is. The Church is to reflect the glory of God. Now when the earth, and things earthly, come between the moon (the Church) and the sun (the light of God), what happens? An eclipse! A lesson is here for the Church today: we must not let things earthly come between us and the Creator. And, it appears that the type of the “bloody eclipse” is a sign of the martyrdom of the saints. Matthew 24:21-29 says that immediately after the martyrdom of the saints in the Great Tribulation, the sun eclipses and the moon is in a bloody (red) eclipse.
Therefore, I believe that the recent red lunar eclipse is a REMINDER of the reality of the coming martyrdom of the saints, and the Day of the LORD. Our redemption may be nearer than we realize.
The lunar eclipse on the Harvest Full Moon of 1996 also points out the practicality of the calendar postponement rules. The eclipse and full moon occurred on Thursday night, September 26, 1996, while the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles was Friday night, September 27. The Festival Holy Day was postponed one day in this year, according to the Hebrew calendar. Had it not been postponed, The Day of Trumpets, and the first and last Holy Days of the Feast of Tabernacles would have been on Fridays, and the Day of Atonement would have been on a Sunday. Such “holydays” calculated in disregard of postponement rules, would have presented work conflicts with the weekly Sabbath, which is not permitted.
Our book, Biblical Holy Days, available on two computer disks for a donation of $5.00 from Giving & Sharing, covers the important subject of the Sacred Calendar. Although some claim that there is a “Bible Calendar,” defining how to calculate the Holy Days, nobody has been able to produce the chapter and verse supporting this spurious assertion. The postponement rules of the Hebrew calendar protect the sanctity of the weekly Sabbath. Reliable historical evidence indicates that these rules have existed since the time of Moses.
As a result of my trip to Australia for the Friends of the Sabbath Seminar in July, 1996, I met my longtime friend and correspondent, Craig White. Also, I became better acquainted with Dale Heslin of Canberra, and David Hill of the Brisbane, Queensland, area. Dale has served as interim distributor of the Giving & Sharing Newsletter in Australia, for which we are grateful.
At this time, David Hill is ready to assume full duties for Australian and New Zealand distribution of the Giving & Sharing Newsletter and literature, as well as the Bible Sabbath Associates, as the BSA is known in Australia. Contact: David Hill, Box 7, Beerburrum, Queensland 4517, AUSTRALIA. Phone: (074) 960-241. We are in the process of supplying David Hill with copies of all Giving & Sharing and Bible Sabbath Associates literature for distribution in Australia and New Zealand.
Have you noticed how much the Sabbath-keeping churches seem to mirror the declining values of worldly political systems? The recent election in the United States brought this lesson home to me. Americans seemed oblivious to moral values, and elected some officials with little or no character. Here is a chart showing current, politically expedient, positions, contrasted with the Bible point of view:
Politically Expedient Position
Character doesn’t matter in our leaders.
Wasteful spending is ok; we will balance the budget some other time.
It is ok for our leader to break his promises and change his views to accommodate what the people want.
One must not be “extreme.”
Abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality are non-issues, and should not be discussed, as they are too divisive.
We must be inclusive, welcoming everybody to our group.
Stewards (servant leaders) must be faithful, I Corinthians 4:1-2. There are ten qualifications for elders or overseers, I Timothy 3:1-7.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much, Luke 16:10-11.
The righteous man sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not, Psalm 15:1-5.
The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up, John 2:17.
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their sins, Isaiah 58:1.
Be not conformed to this world, be not equally yoked together with unbelievers, have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, Romans 12:2, II Corinthians 6:14.
It is easy to observe these trends in American politics. Yet I can see many of these same trends in the Churches of God. Look at these disturbing trends:
Many brethren act as if the character of their leaders does not matter. One church leader’s sexual activities are public knowledge, reported in the press, and many of his supporters think his lack of character does not matter. Another leader of a large Sabbath-keeping group was convicted of libel, and his membership either does not know or does not care. Still another is divorced and remarried, failing one of the ten qualifications for the ministry, yet he is given great deference. Still another leader of a large group has problems with drinking, but this character flaw is not an issue to his loyal followers.
Wasteful spending continues in medium to large Sabbath-keeping groups. Any business person such as myself could analyze and recommend cost savings of 10% or more to all or most of these groups, but the advice would not be followed. Control seems to be more important than efficiently utilizing funds dedicated to God’s work.
Politicians are not the only leaders to promise one thing, and deliver something else. God’s Church is littered with broken promises of ministers who have changed their doctrinal positions.
Today, perhaps in no other period in recent church history, nobody wants to stick their neck out, lest they be labeled as “extreme.” This results in too many soft and weak sermons with no spiritual vitality.
I seldom if ever hear powerful messages from the Bible denouncing common sins of our day: abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual acts. The Church seems to want to be inclusive, rather than preaching God’s word as a witness, letting the chips fall where they may.
If you want to be conformed to this Babel of confusion, you only have to take the easy route. But, if you want to follow the Eternal’s way, you will be scoffed at, turned away, and perhaps even ridiculed.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, radio talk show host, presents common sense advice, urging women (and men) to take responsibility for their own problems and to tolerate the discomforts of risk, rather than being “victims” of their own laziness. Although not always rooted in Biblical concepts, it is amazing how Dr. Laura’s principles serve as moral guidelines in today’s upside world. The ten stupid actions women should avoid are stupid attachment, stupid courtship, stupid devotion, stupid passion, stupid cohabitation, stupid expectations, stupid conception, stupid subjugation, stupid helplessness, and stupid forgiving. She blames women for their own problems, and tells them to take charge of their lives, to pick one of the “good guys,” and stay home and parent the babies they’ve made. She is not a feminist, nor a proponent of super submissiveness. You may find her book, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess up Their Lives, in any bookstore.
Dr. Laura’s book also seems to have deeper spiritual applications as well. Read her book, and then consider her advice in the light of “Ten Stupid Things Church Members Do to Mess up Their Lives.” The mess in the Church of God today is largely the fault of the membership, of putting up with abuse by dictatorial ministerial hierarchies who feed themselves and switch doctrines at their pleasure. Like an abused wife, many church members have, and continue to, allow themselves to be victimized. Some, however, are waking up.
Craig White states, “the brethren feel that it is inevitable that more checks and balances and accountabilities will come including systems to ensure that all participate and use their spiritual gifts. We [the laity] are also given spiritual gifts by God to serve in the Church and to evangelise. Anyone trying to place a lid on one’s spiritual gifts should be challenged immediately. For they are obstructing what God is doing in you.” Church of God, let’s be more participatory, rather than passive.
There really was a “Kilroy,” although he did not personally sign all the “Kilroy Was Here” graffiti during World War II. I am not sure whether or not there was a “Murphy,” but his proverbial “laws” have been spread around the world. Let’s look at “Murphy’s Laws” and see how they apply to the Church of God.
If anything can go wrong, invariably it will (and at the worst possible time). What a true statement of the reality of human nature! Did Murphy have in mind Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 8:5-7? This law should make us surprised and pleased when something goes right, because righteousness is a miracle, the result of God’s Holy Spirit.
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. This is true, and this is false. God’s Truth is simple, to those whom He reveals. Yet God’s Truth is more complex when you comprehend its simplicity and dig deep, seeing that there is much more God had in mind. Satan sometimes presents “simple” falsehoods; at other times he tries to make God’s simple Truth seem complex so as to confuse us.
Everything you decide to do costs more than first estimated. Remember when you were counseled for baptism? The minister probably read Luke 14:26-33, in order to make sure that you were “counting the cost,” and realized the lifetime commitment you were making to God. But then, once you were baptized and began to grow with God’s Holy Spirit, you realized that the job of a Christian was far more difficult than you thought. You faced trials, the greatest of which involved other Christians, even ministers, who did not continue in the Truth, and turned on you. Our walk with the Eternal certainly is no “bed of roses.”
Every activity takes more time than you have. This is a corollary of the previous law. Today we have two groups of people: employed parents with busy families, who are very pressed for time, and retired people with lots of time on their hands. This gap is widening as life becomes more and more hectic. Time management for the true follower of the Almighty becomes more and more important.
It’s easier to make a commitment or to get involved in something than to get out of it. It is most difficult for many to leave a church which has gone doctrinally astray. There is a natural tendency for people to continue hoping things will get better, that God will take care of the problems which are evident.
Whatever you set out to do, something else must be done first. Murphy wrote this one for me! Many times I have had to start out all over, and undo my previous futile efforts. Unlearning faulty understanding takes more time than learning the right way the first time.
If you improve or tinker with something long enough, eventually it will break. This is the story of the history of the Church of God. Jude 3 tells us to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. However, the natural human tendency is to tinker with God’s doctrines, to alter them just a little, to suit our own inclinations. It doesn’t take long until we break God’s Truth. Can we realize that you cannot improve on the revealed Word of God?
By making something absolutely clear, somebody will be confused. God’s Truth is spiritually discerned, I Corinthians 2:9-10. I am amazed how people take some of the most basic concepts of the Bible, and totally misunderstand them. I always appreciate feedback from readers of our articles, but at times I have to shake my head how correspondents can read simple words and come to so many divergent views. How I long for the day coming when all shall see eye to eye, Isaiah 52:8.
There are variations of Murphy’s Laws. In a humorous way, they point out the foibles and shortcomings of human beings, who, even with the Holy Spirit, desperately need the return of the Messiah to make things right.
— written by Richard C. Nickels
Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849 USA
In our last issue, we included a reader survey. We asked for readers to prioritize books planned for reprinting. Results showed that the order of preference was Biblical Law, Biblical Holy Days, History of the True Church, and Biblical Doctrine. Three hundred copies of Biblical Law have been reprinted, to satisfy a large backlog of orders for this popular book. We are currently saving funds to re-print Biblical Holy Days. The “Law” and “Holy Days” books were the clear favorites.
One of our long-time readers commented that he wished the Giving & Sharing Newsletter and Bible Studies would come out more frequently. We are prepared to do so, as the Lord provides.
·Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting a thumb on the scales.
·If you have to choose between pleasing another person and pleasing God, choose God — He’s most likely to remember.
·The real test of your religion is your treatment of those who can be of no possible service to you.
·Humility is a strange thing — the minute you think you’ve got it, you’ve lost it.
Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849