Number 47, June, 1998
New Web Site Added
There are now three Giving & Sharing web sites on the Internet. Check out our newest site, www.giveshare.org which has many of our articles available for viewing and free downloading, links to our other sites, and detailed information from the recent Sabbath-Keepers Users Group meeting in Denver, Colorado, which was sponsored by The Bible Sabbath Association. (If you do not have a computer, and wish to have a printed list of Sabbath-Keepers Users Group resources for spreading the Gospel, send $2 to: BSA, 3316 Alberta Dr, Gillette, WY 82718.)
New Computer Disks
More disks have been added to our list: Disk D012 contains Foxe's Book of Martyrs, 1037kb and Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary, 85kb. Most Bible students are acquainted with Foxe's, one of the most inspiring accounts of many who held their religious convictions firm to the end. Hitchcock's contains over 2,500 Bible and Bible-related proper names and their meanings. Did you know that Aaron means "teacher," that Manasseh means "forgetfulness," or that Elisha means "Salvation of God"? Hitchcock's is a helpful desk reference for any Bible student. If you do not have a computer, you may obtain this 33-page listing from Giving & Sharing for $2.50.
Next, D013 contains Alexander Hislop's classic book, Two Babylons, 775kb. Maligned by those who have returned to Rome, Hislop nevertheless provides extensive scholarship which shows the pagan origins of Christmas, Easter, and the other trappings of Catholicism. Also, this disk contains Giving & Sharing Newsletters 31-40, 188kb. (Newsletters 1-30 are on D001.)
D014 has Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1123kb, which is so large that it had to be compressed (win-zipped) to fit on one disk. Unzipped files are in ".html" (Worldwide Web) format, and take 2.8mb of space. The first file contains hypertext links, which jump you to detailed topics from A to Z.
Except for D014, all our disk files are in ASCII (text) format, readable by any personal computer. Suggested donation is $2.50 per disk, from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
Voice of the Martyrs
A man from Chicago, Illinois, recently wrote me a disturbing letter. He said:
"People who hate and kill Christians don't care if you go to church on Saturday or Sunday. Remember the old saying, 'If they get me today, they will get you tomorrow!' How long before the types of persecution described in [The Voice of the Martyrs] . . . comes to America? When the dragon wanted to kill the true Christ child, he had every baby boy two years old and under killed . . . . Satan wants to destroy all that appear Christian.
"Right now 'Christians' are being martyred, beaten, put in prison, sold into slavery, and suffering many other types of persecutions. Researchers are saying that more Christians are being martyred now than in the first century A.D.
"The Churches of God used to be so urgent on this matter. Is the Church of God asleep now?"
Founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, Voice of the Martyrs, PO Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005, has forty other VOM offices around the world. Its purposes are: to give Bibles, literature, and broadcasts in their own language to Christians in areas of the world where they are persecuted, to give relief to Christian martyrs, to win to Christ those who are opposed to the Gospel, and to inform the world about atrocities committed against Christians and about the courage and faith of the persecuted. You may subscribe to the free VOM Newsletter by calling 800-747-0085 (USA calls). Their web site is www.persecution.com.
Wurmbrand and his wife Sabina are no strangers to persecution. As Romanian Jews converted to Christianity in 1938, they were repeatedly beaten and arrested by Nazis. In 1944, when Communists gained control of Romania, Wurmbrand expanded his ministry to his own countrymen and the Russian soldiers occupying his country. He led an underground Church which smuggled Bibles into Romania and Russia. He was in and out of prison from 1948-1964. In 1965, the Wurmbrand family was ransomed for $10,000 by their friends, and escaped Communist Romania. Richard testified before the United States Senate Security Subcommittee, revealing eighteen deep torture wounds on his body. Wurmbrand began speaking around the world on behalf of persecuted Christians, and became known as "The Iron Curtain Paul," or "The Voice of the Underground Church." In 1990, the Wurmbrands returned to their native Romania, now liberated from Communism, and spoke on national television. VOM now operates a press in Bucharest, and city officials offer storage space below the palace of former Communist dictator Ceausescu, the very site where Wurmbrand was held in solitary confinement for many years.
There are still many countries where Christians in general, and Sabbatarians in particular, are being persecuted. The most notable are Nigeria, Myanmar (formerly Burma), China, and Indonesia. Much work needs to be done, especially in liberated former Communist countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Tajikstan. In the many Moslem countries, such as Sudan, Sharia law calls for the death of anyone even criticizing the Islamic faith. Muslims who convert to Christianity "sign their own death warrant." The Voice of the Martyrs remembers them, and so should we. The cries of the martyrs have been heard. For fifty years, the Wurmbrands have been smuggling Bibles to persecuted believers, not giving expensive Steuben crystal to dictators. For more than thirty years, they have been serving the persecuted. To this day, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand continues to be an inspiration to take the message of love and hope to a lost world. He has never let borders hinder his determination. Neither should we!
Wurmbrand's most famous book is Tortured for Christ, available free from Voice of the Martyrs. The sequel, From Suffering to Triumph, is available for $6. Two inspiring videos produced by VOM are available on loan from The Bible Sabbath Association. Faith Under Fire interviews Christians who face persecution head on, in places such as Muslim territory, China, and Vietnam. This video will challenge you to ask the question, "Is my faith ready to hold up under fire?" A second video, Leaping China's Great Wall describes persecution in the most populous country on earth. These two VHS videos are available on 14-day LOAN for $10 for both from The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. Or, you may purchase these videos from Voice of the Martyrs for $15 each.
Persecution of Messianic believers is definitely a serious matter.
I personally know of oppression of Sabbath-keepers in Nigeria. Our persecuted brethren need our prayers, support, and encouragement. We cannot ignore the voice of the martyrs. After all, we may be next!
Has Time Been Lost?
Are we keeping the same Sabbath today that the Savior kept? Have previous calendar changes altered the weekly cycle? Did Joshua's long day change the Sabbath? What about gaining or losing a day when traveling around the world? The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718 has reprinted the classic booklet, "Has Time Been Lost?" Long published by the Church of God, Seventh Day, and later, the Worldwide Church of God, this excellent booklet demonstrates that the Sabbath day has not been lost. Single copies are free. You may order 100 for $35. This would be an excellent booklet for local evangelism.
Tattered Bible? Get it Recovered to Look Like New
If you are a student of the Bible, you have a lifetime Bible, your main study Bible, which you constantly use. We recommend a wide margin KJV Bible as your main study Bible. Even though you protect it with a book cover, and take extra precautions, Bibles tend to become tattered and the binding eventually loosens. My 30-year old Oxford Wide Margin Bible may soon be in need of repair.
Bookmenders Bible Repair specializes in the fast-disappearing craft of Bible repair. This family-operated business, begun in 1979, is situated on a tiny farm in the Ozarks region of the USA, and also repairs cookbooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias from mail orders all around the world.
Bookmenders receives Bibles in various states of disrepair . . . one or both covers torn off or missing completely . . . spines broken or missing . . . whole sections loose or falling out . . . pages torn or mutilated . . . beautiful leather covers, dried out or cracked and flaking away. Even though many Bibles they receive are "basket cases," they are able to restore them to reusable condition. Each Bible is carefully inspected and disassembled. A special mending tissue and transparent glue is used to repair torn pages. Loose sections are refastened into place with linen twine and flexible glue. When needed, new covers are cut from an attractive, bonded, long wearing leather, made especially for Bibles. All leather covers, when restorable, are cleaned with saddle soap, treated with a special leather dressing, which was developed by the British Royal Museum. Each cover is then carefully redyed to eliminate scuff and wear marks.
Repair of most hand Bibles and Testaments (sizes normally carried to Church) is $34.95 + $5.00 shipping and handling, which includes repair or recovered with bonded leather. Satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Write: Bookmenders Bible Repair, l4007 White Oak Lane, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712. Their Internet address is http://www.bookmenders.com.
If your are not a student of the Bible, you may not comprehend why anyone would repair an old Bible, instead of just throwing it away and getting a new one. Those who study God's Word, remember the location of important passages on the pages of their Bible. A main study Bible is like a familiar road. A different Bible is like an untraveled road.
Tom Belinno and the rest of the family at Bookmenders offer free tips about Bible care and repair. If you follow their suggestions, their service may not be necessary.
Supplies you will need: 3/4 inch 3M Magic Tape; small bottle of Sobo or Elmer's Craft Glue (Craft Shop); knitting needle or a piece of stiff wire longer than your Bible; small bottle of Neats Foot Oil (Hardware Stores or Shoe Repair Shops); small container of wall paper cleaner (Paint Store) and a pink pearl eraser (Office Supply); wax paper.
Don'ts of Bible care: don't let pets near your Bible, don't drop your Bible, don't let your Bible get wet, don't leave your Bible in the car, don't mark your Bible with any other pen than BIC Accountant's Fine Point.
How to clean soiled pages: Clean with wall paper cleaner. Stubborn spots can be removed using a pink pearl eraser. Rub very gently & remove residue.
How to refasten loose pages: Open Bible to missing page, support Bible with books or board so it lays flat. Place a piece of wax paper slightly longer than the page length 1/16 inch from spine edge. Put a light coat of glue on the exposed strip, carefully align loose page on all 3 sides and press onto the glued area. Place another piece of wax paper over the page, close the Bible and set aside to dry.
How to mend a torn page: Carefully align torn sections. Cut a length of Magic tape slightly longer than the tear. Caution: Use only 3M "Magic Tape." Other tapes become brittle and turn brown. Place tape over the tear and rub gently with the back of a spoon. Tape will almost disappear!
How to tighten loose covers: Stand Bible on end and gently open area between cover and contents, dip knitting needle or stiff wire in glue, to evenly coat it. Insert needle in area between cover and spine. Do this to both covers, close Bible and let it dry overnight.
How to care for leather covers: Once a year clean covers and apply a light coat of Neats Foot Oil. If dry spots occur, apply another coat. Use sparingly, put wax paper under covers.
Music Affects Men and Mice
David Merrill, a 16-year old Suffolk, Virginia, high school student, won top honors in the state science fair for a most revealing experiment.
Young David bought 72 male lab mice, a stop watch, a 5 x 3 foot maze, and some music CD's. The 16-year old tested the mice and found that on the average, it took ten minutes for them to find their way through the maze. Then, he divided the mice into three groups: a control group, a hard-rock group, and a classical music group. The mice had identical feedings and twelve hours of light each day. The hard rock and classical music groups were exposed to ten hours of their selected music each day. After three weeks of hard rock music, the hard rock group took thirty minutes to go through the maze. In their three weeks of no music, the control group were able to cut five minutes from their original measured time going through the maze, showing that practice helped them learn. Mice that listened to Mozart knocked 8.5 minutes off their time through the maze. David said the project had to be cut short because the hard rock mice began killing each other! David Merrill says that his experiment proves that hard rock music is bad for the brain. What do you think?
Students with musical training outperform others on the Scholastic Assessment Tests, scoring 59 points higher than others on verbal, and 44 points higher on math. Research by Frances Rauscher and Gordon Shaw on "The Mozart Effect," shows that even brief exposure to classical music has a beneficial effect on intelligence.
What would be the result if, instead of music, mice were exposed to Alexander Scourby reading the Bible, sermons by Gerald Flurry, Rod Meredith, etc.? Are the music and the sermons you are being exposed to, beneficial, or detrimental, to your mind and spirit? Sounds affect mice and men.
Scavengers are a necessary part of God's creation. They clean up the environment so that man would not get sick. They are walking disease factories. Pigs, catfish, eels, and buzzards eat rotten carrion and many things that would be deadly to others. A growing problem in our environment is that sinful man has eaten too many of the scavengers, and they are no longer capable of doing what God intended them to do. When scavengers of our bays and oceans have been harvested for human "food," our waterways become disease-manufacturing cesspools because the scavengers are no longer there to clean the filth from the water.
Enter, China and its ducks. Why is China the source of many strains of the flu virus, which produce worldwide epidemics? Chinese love to eat ducks. To feed the ducks, Chinese farmers raise catfish in duck ponds. The catfish are fed pig feces and duck feces. The ducks eat the baby catfish. Ducks are a reservoir for human influenza virus. Viruses are passed from pig to catfish to duck and to humans. Dead ducks and dead catfish are fed to the pigs, and so on in a vicious circle. And, as humans eat pigs and ducks, they get the disease. Wild ducks pick up the virus from their domestic cousins, and the virus is carried to distant lands. Today's chicken flu virus is killing people in Hong Kong. Chickens raised with ducks are quickly infected and carry their infection to the lands to which they are exported. In 1983, the chicken flu in Pennsylvania spread so rapidly, that all chickens in the state had to be killed. As a boy growing up in Gresham, Oregon, east of Portland, I knew what our Japanese neighbors "fertilized" their gardens with: human manure! Is it any wonder that disease epidemics are spreading?
Are ducks and geese unclean? It appears that most ducks and geese are "clean," but, they are very susceptible to water born parasites and disease. The key passage is Leviticus 11:18, which refers to the "swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle" as being unclean. The word translated "swan" by the KJV is Strong's #8580, tanshemeth, which Jay Green's Interlinear Bible says is "the barn owl." The Septuagint translates this word as porphyrion, which means "purple," or "scarlet," possibly indicating the flamingo. According to the JFB Commentary, Michaelis considers it the goose. Strong's Hebrew dictionary says it could mean "swan, water hen." The NIV footnote to Leviticus 11 informs us, "The precise identification of some of the birds, insects, and animals of this chapter is uncertain."
Let us give ducks and geese the benefit of the doubt. If they are clean, they quickly become unfit for human consumption when fed carrion, pig dung, and such tripe. Even cattle, when fed cattle dung and ground up sick cows, are prime reservoirs for the infamous "mad cow" disease, which can kill humans who eat the diseased meat. My employer's expert environmental scientist majored in geese. I jokingly call him "the goose man." Drainage ponds on our surface coal mines are home to nesting pairs of geese, and, among other things, our scientist makes sure they are healthy. During his university graduate research days, however, he made the mistake of walking in goose ponds in his bare feet. He contracted a goose-snail born parasitical disease, and faced years of painful medical treatment to rid himself of the parasites. My daughter Barbara, a marine biologist, was amazed how many parasites she found in a pelican she dissected.
The way animals are often raised in today's "fast buck" society should lead us to avoid some "clean" foods that are unhealthy because of they way are raised. Ducks and geese appear to fall in this category. For us, it is "ducks, limited."
McGee and Me Videos at Lowest Price Ever
Prices for the excellent series of young people's Christian videos, McGee and Me have been reduced. Produced by Focus on the Family, normally retailing at $12.95, these Christian videos - which combine high energy live-action drama with colorful animation - can now be purchased for $9.95 while current inventories last. Over a million McGee videos have been sold. Now a new group of young grade schoolers has not seen them. This award-winning series has been acclaimed for its ability to deliver the entertainment kids love, and the biblical values parents applaud. We heartily endorse the McGee and Me video series.
Recommended titles include: "Back to the Drawing Board," "Do the Bright Thing," "Skate Expectations," "The Not-So-Great Escape," "A Star in the Breaking," "Beauty in the Least," "In the Nick of Time," "Take Me Out of the Ball game," "The Big Lie," "The Blunder Years," and "Twister and Shout." You may purchase these VHS videos for $9.95 plus $3.50 shipping & handling, from Gospel Direct, telephone (USA) 800-467-7353.
Nutrition Action Newsletter
What are ten foods you should never eat? What are ten super foods you should eat? What are the ten most dangerous food additives? This and more is covered by the ten-issue-per-year, Nutrition Action Healthletter, published by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. Some foods you should never eat are movie theater popcorn popped in coconut oil (fat), Haagen-Dazs ice cream (fat), and Campbell's red and white label soups (salt). Some of the foods you should eat are: sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, broccoli, strawberries, beans, cantaloupe, spinach, kale, oranges, and plain oatmeal. The newsletter, which normally sells for $20 per year, is available now for $10/year, or $28 for three years, from: Nutrition Action, 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009.
Rhyme & Reason
The highest form of literature is poetry. Many parts of the Bible are in poetic style. Poetry conveys Truth in a sublime way. My friend, Dave Cameron, writes superlative poetry and wit in his little periodical, Rhyme & Reason, now in its seventh volume (28 pages of gems). You may order a copy from David M. Cameron, 1520 East North Street, Springfield, MO 65803. A donation of $2.50 is appreciated.
I have been invited to speak at the Church of God Seventh Day Campmeeting, in Meridian, Idaho (near Boise), on July 3-4, 1998. This annual event runs from June 26-July 4, with workshops, children and youth classes, and nightly services. Other speakers include Messianic Jew Saul Wallach, and Creation Science lecturers Fred & Carol Brauer. Visitors are welcome. Call (208) 467-6639, or write Church of God, 1827 West Third Street, Meridian, ID 83642. The campground accomodates RV hook-ups and tents, and there are hotels nearby. I hope to see you there!
Every Prayer an Answered Prayer
Chronology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection According to Ancient Texts
Questions about Divorce And Remarriage
Jesus Set the Example of Forgiveness, The Bible Defines Truth