Newsletter 64, February, 2002


The Search for the Twelve Apostles | An International Feast | United Church of God Literature | Unleavened Bread Feast! | Giving & Sharing CD | Creation Seminar Series | Only Five Commandments? | 24 x 7 Attack on Sabbath-Keepers | Three Resurrections | Armstrong’s Early Writings and Later Writings | Wanted: A Faithful Apostle | Book Review: The Inquisition: Hammer of Heresy | Living Waters | Be Still and Know that He is God | In My Father’s House are Many Mansions | Revelation 8:13 — Angel or Eagle? | Elderly and Caregivers Benefit Programs | The Protester And The Prophet | More Terrorists Found — Believers Beware! | Roy Marrs Counters Antinomianism | Antinomianism in the Church of God (Seventh Day) | The Archers Have Sorely Grieved Joseph | A Physician Testifies About the Crucifixion


The Search for the Twelve Apostles

 What happened to the Twelve Apostles after the Book of Acts?  By traveling to the places they worked, comparing Scripture and history, listen­ing to local tradition, and doing original research, best-selling author William Steuart McBirnie tells a fascinating story of the dedication, humanity, zeal, and faith, of the Apostles, who evangelized the world!  The Search for the Twelve Apostles, 312 pages, is available for a suggested donation of $6.00, plus postage, from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.


An International Feast


Have you ever considered observing the Festivals in a country where the people speak a different language than your own?  In October, 2001, we observed the Feast of Tabernacles with about one hundred United Church of God brethren in El Salvador, Central America.  It was truly an educational and inspiring experience.  Sermons were in Spanish, with English translation via earphones.  A full account of our episode is available on our website at  Our Feast in El Salvador was truly an event of a lifetime!

If you plan to go to a Spanish-speaking Festival site, a bilingual (both Spanish and English) Bible allows you to follow the speakers, and learn Spanish as well.  This and other Spanish Biblical material are available on our Spanish website.  If you do not have Internet access, call Richard Nickels at 307-686-5191 for information on the Reina-Valera/King James Bilingual Bible, and other Spanish Biblical resources.


United Church of God Literature


While many Church of God independents or smaller groups grouse about the evils of hierarchical Church organizations, the United Church of God, an International Associa­tion, is putting other Sabbatarians to shame.  Arguably, the UCG’s literature is head and shoulders above material of other groups.  I do not agree with two of the UCG’s teachings, Sunday Pentecost, and marriage with loopholes, but nevertheless highly commend them for doing a good work of furthering much Bible Truth.

The Good News magazine usually has fine articles.  Managing Editor Scott Ashley does an excellent job.  World News and Prophecy, Biblical Perspectives on Current Events, is well worth reading.  Melvin Rhodes of Lansing, Michigan, regularly writes for both publications.  He is one of the best writers in the Church of God today.  UCG booklets are team efforts of several individuals:  The Church Jesus Built, What Is Your Destiny? The Road to Eternal Life, The Ten Commandments, The Gospel of the Kingdom, Sunset to Sunset — God’s Sabbath Rest, God’s Holy Day Plan, Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep? Fundamental Beliefs, Is the Bible True? Life’s Ultimate Question: Does God Exist? Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe? You Can Understand Bible Prophecy, The Book of Revelation Unveiled, Are We Living in the Time of the End? You Can Have Living Faith, Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion, Is There Really a Devil? and Who is God? The latter booklet destroys the false Trinity doctrine.

The United Church of God also has a well-managed summer youth camp program, Ambassador Bible Center training, and much more.  While not perfect, the UCG shows that good can be accomplished by many people working together in a structured environment.  Smaller groups and anti-organiza­tion individuals could well learn from the UCG. Write: United Church of God, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH, 45254-1027.


Unleavened Bread Feast!


The Bible says, “three times a year,” yet most Church of God people who observe the annual Holy Days do not follow the Bible instructions to move their feet three times a year to observe the pilgrimage feasts: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and Feast of Tabernacles.  See Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16.

We strongly recommend that God’s people stop their daily routine and get in harmony with God’s sacred appointments.

One place to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread is Holiday Mountain Resort & Campground, Mountain View, Arkansas, where the families of Dan White, Wayne Holmes, and others plan to gather for spiritual sermons and studies, fellow­ship, food, and family recreation, at a place where you can see God.  Cabins and camping are available.  Call Dan White at 417-741-7641 for more informa­tion.  Passover is March 27 (ob­served pre­vious evening, after sunset), and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is March 28 through April 3, 2002.

Dan says, “We want to observe this whole feast because we hunger for more time away from the ordinary cares of life, when we can concentrate on the extra­ordinary. That’s what the festivals are for:  time with God.  I have never seen a more beautiful spot to spend a week worshiping God and fellowshipping with His people.”

If you cannot make it to Arkansas, contact Richard Nickels at 307-686-5191.  We will plan to have some telephone conference call Bible Studies during this festival occasion (which is spring in Northern Hemisphere).


Giving & Sharing CD


Giving & Sharing Newsletters, articles, booklets, and much more, are available on our website,  A CD of our entire website, plus audio messages by Richard Nickels and others, is available for a suggested donation of $20.00.


Creation Seminar Series

The Church of God, Seventh Day, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has a wonderful ministry.  They are distributing the seven-VHS tape “Creation Seminar Series” by Dr. Kent Hovind, noted anti-evolution speaker and writer.

Dr. Hovind says, “Evolutionism is a religious worldview not supported by science, Scripture, popular opinion, or common sense. The exclusive teaching of this dangerous, mind-altering philosophy in tax-supported schools, parks, museums, etc., is a clear violation of the First Amendment.”

These videos can be a real benefit to your Church or study group.  Write:  Colorado Springs Church of God 7th Day, 2017 – 2019 E Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80909.  Phone: 719-578-9818,  Please send them at least a minimum donation of $20 to cover cost of duplicating and postage.


Only Five Commandments?


Billions of people have heard of the Ten Commandments, and many of them can name at least three or four, in fact, there must be a good few million who can list all ten, in order.  Less common, however, is the knowledge that this 10-point encapsulation of God’s message to man reads in two directions: from top to bottom and from side to side.

What do I mean?  The Ten Commandments were given to Moses engraved on two stone tablets — five commandments on each stone.

Why on two tablets?  And why are the first five Commandments on one stone and the second five on the other?  (5 x 5 may seem an even division, but it’s really not: the first five Commandments total 146 words in the original Hebrew, the second five 26.)  One of the reasons given by our sages is that the five latter Commandments are actually a reiteration of the first five.  In other words, we’re supposed to place these two tablets side by side and read across, like this:

1 - 6    I am the Lord your God. — Do not kill.

2 - 7    You shall have no other gods. — Do not commit adultery.

3 - 8    Do not take God’s name in vain. — Do not steal.

4 - 9    Remember the Sabbath. — Do not bear false witness.

5 - 10  Honor your father and mother. — Do not covet.

This means that, in effect, there are only five groups of Commandments.  “Do not kill” is another way of saying “I am the Lord your God”; the prohibition against adultery is the prohibition against idolatry; keeping Shabbat means being a truthful witness, etc.

The Midrash explains the correlations of each of these five sets, but we’re running out of space, so we’ll just look at the connection between Commandments #1 and #6.  Why is “Do not kill” the flip side of “I am the Lord your God”?  Because, say the Sages, to murder a fellow man is to murder God.

What is this analogous to?  To a king of flesh and blood who entered a country and put up portraits of himself, and made statues of himself, and minted coins with his image.  After a while, the people of the country overturned his portraits, broke his statues, and invalidated his coins, thereby reducing the image of the king.  So, too, one who sheds blood reduces the image of the King, as it is written (Genesis 9:6): “One who spills a man’s blood . . . for in the image of God He made man.”

There are murderers who say they believe in God.  There are people who are dead set against murder who claim not to believe in a higher power.  They’re both wrong.

If you truly believe in God, you are incapable of murder.  And if you truly believe that taking the life of another human is wrong — not just because you lack the means or motive to do so, or are afraid of ending up in jail, but because you recognize the transcendent, inviolable value of life — that’s just another way of saying you believe in God.  Even if you’re not one of those religious types who put it in those terms.

                               — by Yanki Tauber, based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.


24 x 7 Attack on Sabbath-Keepers


In A.D. 321, Emperor Constantine chased the True Church into the wilderness with his decree enforcing rest on the “venerable day of the sun,” Sunday.  The Council of Laodicea in A.D. 364, prohibited Christians from resting from work on Saturday, the Sabbath.  Thomas Torquemada led the infamous Spanish Inquisition in the late 1400s, which tortured and killed Jews and Christians who would not bow to Rome.  Adolph Hitler led Nazi Germany from 1933-1945, which persecuted and killed millions of Jews and Christian Sabbath-keepers as well.

Today, Sabbath-keepers confront a faceless enemy, which is as cruel and implacable as Constantine, Torquemada, and Hitler.  The capitalistic, mercantile, worldwide economic combine uses workers as fodder to feed the wheels of production.  Whether located in the United States, Mexico, Indonesia, or Bangladesh, manufacturing facilities, to stay competitive, are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The “24 x 7” factor is a killer for Sabbatarians, because it is generally accompanied by rotating 12-hour shifts.  While the typical 24 x 7 worker suffers physical, emotional, and family problems from rotating 12-hour shifts, the Sabbath-keeper is faced with loss of his or her job.

More than half a decade ago, most of the coal mines here in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin (the world’s richest surface coal mining area), switched to rotating 12-hour shifts.  Previously, the mines had been 24 x 7 operations, but there were inherent problems with the then common practice of three 8-hour shifts (8 AM to 4 PM, 4 PM to Midnight, Midnight to 8 AM).  The old series of day, swing, and graveyard shifts was inefficient.  In spite of paying swing and graveyard shift workers an additional amount, companies found it difficult to find qualified workers who wanted to regularly work evenings and nights.  Most mines are about an hour one-way drive from town.  Workers wanted more days off to rest from the hard work and long commuting times.  The answer was rotating 12-hour shifts.  This means, for three or four consecutive days, you work 12-hour day shifts (e.g., 7 AM to 7 PM), then get three or four days off.  You then come back on the night shift (7 PM to 7 AM), and repeat the process.  Coal miners liked the extra days off.  There was less commuting time, and more working time.  At hourly wages of $20 per hour or better, plus excellent benefits, who could complain?  Nobody was stuck forever working nights.  It all seemed such a reasonable solution.

However, one of those workers was a Sabbath-keeper.  Rotating shifts would mean that some required workdays would be Sabbaths.  He had worked at the mine for many years without a Sabbath work problem, but now he faced the prospect of losing his job.  He was advised by the Church to “muddle through” a few more months, until he was eligible to take early retirement.  Seventh-day Adventist lawyers wanted to take the case to court.  However, it was doubtful if the provisions of the law requiring employers to provide “reasonable accommodation” for workers’ religious convictions, would apply in this case.  He decided to stay on long enough to take early retirement.

Young workers would not have the luxury of such a choice.  For them, they would have to decide either to break God’s Law and work on the Sabbath, or lose their job.

But there are other bad effects of the 24 x 7 trend, which affect non-Sabbatarians as well.  God designed the human body with an internal clock.  If you have ever made a long plane trip overseas, you know the devastating effect on the body when this internal clock is confused.  When Shirley and I flew to Australia in 1996, it was a 14-hour plane flight from Los Angeles.  When we got to Sydney, local time was 17 hours ahead, the next day.  Our bodies were hit with a jolt (not counting our confused state of mind, seeing cars driven on the “wrong” side of the road, north being south, and everyone eating vegemite!).  It took days before the grogginess left us.  Now, think about having to adjust your body’s internal clock every week.  You work nights one week, then you work days the next week.  Don’t you think this would, over time, ruin the human body?  This practice is likely to produce physical, emotional, and psychological damage.

And so it is, that in Gillette, Wyoming, there is a large unit at the local hospital to treat sleeping disorders.  Drugs, suicide, wife-beating, and other family problems proliferate.  The wonder is that tired workers in their 50s, on their third consecutive 12-hour working day, don’t cause a serious, fatigue-related, accident.

Today, the 24 x 7 work schedule is becoming a worldwide trend, from toothpaste factories to car tire plants.  Some 90% of these operations moved to rotating 12-hour shifts.  Life is precious, and time is short for working parents with children.  Rotating 12-hour shifts play havoc with family and personal lives.  How can one be an effective husband and father with such a mixed-up work schedule?

Recent articles in The Wall Street Journal (7/24/01) and USA Today (8/1/01) have documented this trend.  Manufacturing is being centered around machines, rather than the people who run them.  In the 1800s, labor unions were formed to protect workers from unsafe and inhumane working conditions.  However, in the global economy of the twenty-first century, some labor unions are supporting the lethal 24 x 7 work schedule.  Factories must run continuously, or shut down due to stiff global competition.

In Revelation 18, we see that God will “blow the whistle” on this whole economic system, which is trafficking in slaves and souls of men, verse 13.  This human exploitation will be stopped dead in its tracks.  Instead of the “You Load Sixteen Tons” song, which says, “I owe my soul to the company store,” every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, Micah 4:1-4.  May God speed that day!


Three Resurrections


Belief in three (instead of two) resurrections is virtually unheard of in Christian theology.  However, history records that some Sabbatarians in the Second Century believed in three resurrections: 

“These Jewish-Christian groups, referred to by Epiphanius (Williams, 1987) as Nazarenes or Elkasaites, professed the following beliefs: They proclaimed Jesus as prophet-Messiah; insisted upon the validity of the Torah & laws of ritual purity; spoke of three resurrections; professed a millennarian eschatology; looked forward to the restoration of the Temple; observed the feast of Sukkoth (Tabernacles), celebrated Easter at Passover, and observed the Sabbath; affirmed the primacy of James, brother of Jesus, over Peter in the leadership of the church; and preferred the designation ‘Nazarene’ over ‘Christian’,” (Early Judaism by Eric Meyers, emphasis mine).

If it is indeed true that the Nazarenes of the Second Century are our spiritual ancestors, it would appear from the above quote that they believed in three resurrections. One can assume that they believed in three resurrections in similitude to what the old WCG taught (viz., 1st resurrection of the saints; 2nd resurrection of the majority of mankind who were not “called” to salvation in this life; 3rd resurrection to eternal death of the wicked). Alternatively, they may have meant that Christ’s resurrection was the first, the resurrection of the saints was the second, and the resurrection at the end of the millennium was the third.  More investigation is required in this regard to ascertain with certainty exactly what they believed pertaining to the third resurrection. 

There were three Old Testament resurrections (I Kings 17:17-24; II Kings 4:32-37, 13:20-21); three by Christ (Luke 7:11-17; Mark 5:35-43; John 11); and three after Christ’s death (Matthew 27:51-53; Acts 9:36-41, 20:9-10).  Bullinger, in Number in Scripture, goes so far as to state: “three is the number of resurrection” (page 111) because Christ rose the third day; He was perfected on the third day; He was crucified at the third hour; for three hours darkness shrouded the region at the time of His crucifixion; He raised three persons from the dead; and it was on the third day that the earth was caused to rise up out of the waters in Genesis.                                                                        — contributed by Craig White


Armstrong’s Early Writings and Later Writings


Comment: “For you to promote only HWA’s earlier writings and leave off his later writings is to say God only worked thru him in the earlier years.” —                                           R.R., Massachusetts

Answer: That is not so.  God worked through Herbert Armstrong both in the early and later years.  During his entire ministry, he taught much Bible Truth, more so than any Protestant minister I know.  During the 1934-1986 period of his ministry, God used HWA to teach many people many Bible truths.  However, in 1967, when his wife Loma died, changes began to be made.  In the 1974-1986 period, he departed from many Truths he formerly taught.  I am grateful to the Almighty that He used Herbert Armstrong.  We should compare Armstrong’s teachings with the Bible.  Armstrong’s earlier writings are much more scriptural than his later teachings. Our book, Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1928-1953, is available for a donation of $9.00, from Giving & Sharing, or free on the Internet at


Wanted: A Faithful Apostle


Mystery Babylon Denomination, Foreign Missions Board

First Christian Church, Antioch, Syria, 1st Century, A.D.

Dear Mr. Paul:

I have your application for missionary appointment before me, and will be as frank as possible concerning your qualifications as a foreign missionary. We have to be very careful in choosing our missionaries, and our Missions Board has reviewed your case thoroughly. We have decided that it would be unwise to send you to the foreign field for the following reasons:

1. It has come to our attention that you are doing secular work on the side.  We do not feel that making tents and a full-time ministry go together very well. It seems that you do not have enough experience in trusting the Lord for your income. You should make up your mind whether you want to preach, or continue your profession.

2. Your previous actions have been very rash and unseemly for a minister. We learned that in a public meeting, you opposed Dr. Simon Peter, an esteemed minister with a high reputation. We also hear that you argued so violently with some of our ministers, that a special council meeting had to be called at Jerusalem to prevent a serious split in the Churches. We frown on such radicalism. For your own good, I am enclosing a copy of Daius Carnegus’ book on How to Win Jews and Influence Greeks.

3. We understand that you do not agree with all the points in our constitution and by-laws, and do not even believe in all our doctrines. In checking back, we discovered your Christian education consisted of a three-year course in Arabia.  We find that the Arabian school has not been approved by our accreditation board, and we hear that there are some strange unknown doctrines being taught in that school.  We also hear a rumor that you are a snake handler. Such a reputation could only hurt the true cause of Christ and the Church.  We don’t have all the details on that episode at Melita, but we understand you claim immunity to harm from snake bites through a promise of Christ.  It has come to our attention also, that you preach much about “the Power of God” and the “gifts of the Spirit” — also that you speak in tongues a great deal. Surely you realize that such as this only drives off the better class of people, and attracts only the riff-raff.

4. We see here that you have a jail record in several places.  If this is true, it puts you in a bad light, for our denomination has always stood for a high standard of holiness, and I fear it would damage our reputation to have someone representing us that had served time in jails and prisons.  Frankly, Mr. Paul, we seriously doubt you could have been innocent and the judge wrong in so many cases.  It just doesn’t look right.

5. It seems that you are a troublemaker, Mr. Paul.  Several businessmen of Ephesus have written us that you were the cause of severe loss of business to them and even stirred mob violence.  You must learn to cultivate the friendship and influence of men such as these.  We also have some details of a lurid “over the wall in a basket” episode at Damascus, plus a stoning at Lystra, and several other violent actions taken against your ministry.  Haven’t you ever suspected that conciliatory behavior and gentler words might gain you more friends?  We have never condoned such sensationalism in the ministry. This is just not the type of minister that we send out.  We have learned through channels that following some trouble with a preacher on the island of Cyprus, you had to change your name.  This does not seem to us to be conduct becoming to the ministry.

6. You admitted in your application that in the past you neglected such needy fields as Bithynia, just because “the Spirit didn’t lead that way,” and that you undertook a hazardous journey on the strength of a dream you had at Troas.  Mr. Paul, surely you don’t expect us to go along with such flimsy and fantastic excuses for your seemingly purposeless wanderings.  Many times you did not stay long enough, in our opinion, to get a Church established.  You left your converts many times without even a pastor to guide them, and without setting the Church in order in some good fundamental denomination.  We hear also from Troas that you preach too long, one sermon lasting almost twenty-four hours, even to the extent that a young man fell asleep and was seriously injured.  We understand that you claim to have restored his life and raised him from the dead by falling on him and embracing him. What nonsense! If the man was injured, you should have called in a competent physician.

7. We understand from your own home Church that you could not get along with your fellow ministers, that John Mark, a commendable young man and nephew of one of our leading ministers, had to leave your party in the middle of a journey, and that you had a violent quarrel with gentle, good natured Barnabas.  Now these men are well thought of in Jerusalem, and we wonder why you are always having trouble with your fellow workers?  We have notarized affidavits from three fine brethren, Diotrephes, Demas, and Alexander, to the effect that it is impossible for them to cooperate with either you or your program.  From what we hear, you seem to have a self-exalted spirit, boasting about your revelations and that God has chosen you to reveal some “new Mystery.”  Can’t you realize that any new truth that is to be revealed would come through Headquarters to the recognized, more mature brethren, and that after it had been checked by our Procedure and Doctrine Committee that we would let you know if it is correct or not?

As you see, Mr. Paul, we feel definitely after close scrutiny of your case, that you are undoubtedly the most unqualified applicant we have ever seen, and my advice for you is to find a Church where you can work in harmony, and use your past education as perhaps a Sunday School teacher.  I hope I have prevented you from making a terrible mistake in your life.                                                 Sincerely, Simon Magus

Book Review: The Inquisition: Hammer of Heresy


The Inquisition: Hammer of Heresy is, in my view, the definitive work on the somewhat controversial subject of the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Catholics today downplay the reality and severity of the Inquisition.  This book presents the historical facts of the Inquisition.  The book is nicely divided into three parts.

Part One deals with the foundation of the Medieval Inquisition and the various papal decrees that led to the eventual institutionalization of the Papal Inquisition: Pope  Lucis III’s Bull Ad abolendam (1184) ordered bishops to “make inquisitions” for heresy; Innocent III’s (1204) call to exterminate the Albigensians is examined; and Pope Gregory IX (1231) Excommunicamus provided a detailed methodology for the punish­ment of so-called “heretics.”

Page 33 gives a detailed explanation of the various punishments a so-called “heretic” might legally suffer under the 1231 law: for example, (a) impenitent heretics were imprisoned for life, (b) the right to appeal was denied, (c) suspected heretics could not be defended by lawyers, (d) children of heretics were to be excluded from ecclesiastical appointments to the second generation.  The law also provided for the exhumation of an unpunished heretic (and his bones to be burned), and the demolition of the homes of convicted heretics.  Part One concludes with an explanation of Pope Innocent IV’s Bull Ad  Extirpanda.

Part Two deals with the Roman Catholic Church’s crusade against heresy in the form of sorcery and witchcraft.  The Church formulated an organized response to suspected demonic heresy using the text “Malleus Maleficarum”  (The Hammer of Witches).  Part Two highlights the “burning years,” (1500-1700s A.D.) a period in which some historians believe over a million women were convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake throughout Europe and the Americas.

Part Three deals with the Spanish Inquisition, as well as the reformation of the Roman (Italian) Inquisition.  Part Three guides the reader through the various stages and changes in the Roman Catholic Inquisition.  The Inquisition is not a footnote in history, as some would have the uninformed believe.  It was reorganized in 1908, by Pope Pius X, and named simply the “Holy Office.”  During the 1960s the Holy Office underwent two more name changes.  Pope Paul VI changed the name of the Holy Office to the  “Congregation of the Holy Office.”  And again, in 1965, the Congregation of the Holy Office was changed to “The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”  The reformed “Inquisition” concerns itself with safeguarding Catholic doctrine and suppress­ing threatening orthodoxy.

The Inquisition:  Hammer of Heresy is a must read for every student of the Bible.  When the Bible and the Inquisition are examined side-by-side, it becomes very clear who is “Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth,” (Revelation 17:5).  The Inquisition is almost eight hundred years old  (1231 AD — present).  The Inquisition: Hammer of Heresy makes it quite clear who is the “woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:6). Read this book for yourself; the evidence is overwhelming!  A must read for all those who are searching for the truth in a world of confusion.

                                                                                                            — review by Larry Volk

The Inquisition: Hammer of Heresy, is available on free loan basis from our Sharing Library, John D. Crissinger, PO Box 581, Granville, OH 43023. It is also available online at our link site,

We also recommend these books on Babylonianism: A Woman Rides the Beast, by Dave Hunt ($11), and Satan’s Great Deception, by Dr. C. Paul Meredith ($7.50), both available from Giving & Sharing.


Living Waters



The world in all its beauty, 

      Cradles in its heart,

The lives of millions, then and now,

      The future still not wrought.

All around we see and hear,

      Of heartache and despair.

We long for peace and safety,

      But don’t find it anywhere.

In many places, souls are torn,

      By hunger and disease.

A famine in body and spirit,

      Leaves nothing left to please.

And when we look at nations,

      Once very blessed by God,

We find even our halls of learning

      A frightful place to trod.

Where God is cast aside,

      You see a bare and naked land,

Not yielding even the barest crops,

      For a nation on which to stand.

Many live with bellies full,

      Yet souls continue to bleed.

Alone, cut off and longing,

      Where angry ground finds seed.

Turning from God in defiance,

      Many want their selfish way,

To be a god unto themselves,

      They wouldn’t think to pray.

Yet all these troubles can be traced

      To this neglected love.

Which we only can achieve,

      As a gift from Him, above.

This world, as sorrowful as it seems,

      A powerful future waits.

When man learns his ways don’t work,

      And finally turns in faith.

At this point our God, so great,

      Will pour, throughout the land,

Living waters that will heal,

      As people reach out their hand.

This river that flows from Zion,

      With which the Lord our God,

Will cure the agony of disease,

      Dispensing with the fraud.

The truth will finally all be told,

      And every soul will know,

The happiness and contentment,

      That Only God’s love can sow.

A light will spread throughout the world,

      And we will have a part,

Of teaching and of healing,

      Filling every empty heart.

As the waters of this river,

      Reach far and distant shores,

The truth of God and all His glory,

      Will shine forevermore.

                                        — by Cindy F. Clark



Be Still and Know that He is God


The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger.

“God, how could you do this to me!” he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.  Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground — it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.

You say: “It’s impossible.”  God says: All things are possible, Luke 18:27.

You say: “I’m too tired.”  God says: I will give you rest, Matthew 11:28-30.

You say: “Nobody really loves me.”  God says: I love you, John 3:16, 13:34.

You say: “I can’t go on.”  God says: My grace is sufficient, II Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15.

You say: “I can’t figure things out.”  God says: I will direct your steps, Proverbs 3:5-6.

You say: “I can’t do it.”  God says: You can do all things, Philippians 4:13.

You say: “I’m not able.”  God says: I am able, II Corinthians 9:8.

You say: “It’s not worth it.”  God says: It will be worth it, Romans 8:28.

You say: “I can’t forgive myself.”  God says: I forgive you, I John 1:9; Romans 8:1.

You say: “I can’t manage.”  God says: I will supply all your needs, Philippians 4:19.

You say: “I’m afraid.”  God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear, II Timothy 1:7.

You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.”  God says: Cast all your cares on ME, I Peter 5:7.

You say: “I don’t have enough faith.”  God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith, Romans 12:3.

You say: “I’m not smart enough.”  God says: I give you wisdom, I Corinthians 1:30.

You say: “I feel all alone.”  God says: I will never leave you or forsake you, Hebrews 13:5.       — from the Internet


In My Father’s House are Many Mansions


In John 14:2, Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”  In our free article, “King James Version Errors,” we corrected the word “mansion” to “office,” as a better translation.  A reader asked, “May I ask where you got this word ‘office’ as the real meaning of the word mansion?”

The word translated “mansion” is Strong’s #3438, mone.  In John 14:23, this word is translated “abode.”  The Father and the Son come to the believer and make their abode with him.  The emphasis is not on a physical place, but working activity.  Mone, therefore, means a place to live and work, not a building of many rooms.  The NIV translates verse 2, “rooms.”  The Kingdom of God is like a building, and in it are many rooms where we will live and work.  The place where I work for my Accounting job is my office, a room in my employer’s building.  The place where I work for Giving & Sharing is a room in our home called an “office.”  Therefore, it makes perfectly good sense to translate John 14:2 as “In My Father’s house are many offices….”


Revelation 8:13 — Angel or Eagle?


Our article, “King James Version Errors,” has this entry: “Revelation 8:13, ‘eagle’ rather than ‘angel’.” Feedback from one of our readers warrants a change in the article.

Actually, both “angel” and “eagle” could be accurate in this verse, when understood as being together.  The Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic translations have “eagle,” while the Received Text has “angel.”  Have you ever heard an eagle say with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitors of the earth”?  No, but this messenger who warns of the fifth through seventh trumpets (also known as the three woes), is like an eagle, but it is actually an angel.  The fourth beast was “like a flying eagle,” Revelation 4:7; he announced the fourth seal, Revelation 6:7-8Jamison, Fausset and Brown Commentary says the eagle is symbolic of judgment descending fatally from on high.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary says the eagle was the symbol of the Romans, and was always on their ensigns.  Thus, we may have an explanation how translators replaced the original “angel” with “eagle.”  Those who believe, falsely, that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70-71 fulfilled most of the prophecy in Matthew 24 and Revelation, would like to have symbols pointing back to the Romans.  This is known as the “preterist” (past) view of Bible prophecy.  If “eagle” should be in Revelation 8:13, this should be understood as an angel that appeared as an eagle.  End-time prophecy was not fulfilled in the First Century, but will be in the last days.


Elderly and Caregivers Benefit Programs


Are you caring for elderly parents or grandchildren?  Are you disabled or elderly?  The National Council on the Aging has developed a one-stop shopping center to help you locate assistance programs for which you may be eligible.  The website is a free, easy-to-use service that identifies federal and state assistance programs for older Americans. Researching these programs used to be a time-consuming, frustrating experience. But no longer.

This service helps older adults to quickly identify programs that may improve the quality of their lives. Family and friends can also obtain facts about benefits that their loved ones may qualify for. Chances are, you will be surprised to learn what benefits are available to you, regardless of your income.

Here’s how it works: You take 10 or 15 minutes to enter information about your financial situation into an online questionnaire. Then, BenefitsCheckUp explains what benefit programs for which you may be eligible, and how to apply for them.

It is completely confidential, and does not require your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, or other information that could be used to identify you. You enter simple information, such as your age, income, and ZIP code, and BenefitsCheckUp identifies programs for which you might qualify.

Don’t have a computer?  No problem, just call Steve Kieler of our Help Lines service, at 515-576-5743, and he will submit your answers online and return to you the results.


The Protester And The Prophet



I was hungry,

And you formed a humanities club and

discussed my hunger. Thank you.

I was imprisoned,

And you crept off quietly to your chapel in the cellar and prayed for my release.

I was naked,

      and in your mind you debated the morality   of my appearance.

I was sick,

      and you thanked God for your good health.

I was homeless,

      and you preached to me of the spiritual        shelter of the love of God.

I was lonely,

      and you left me alone to pray for me.

You seem so holy; So close to God,

      but I am still very hungry, and lonely, and cold . . . .— anonymous

      This poem was submitted to Petah Tikvah by: Hannah Rychlik Box 31381, Jerusalem 91110, ISRAEL.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor Who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him...Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily; And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’.” (Isaiah 58:5-9).



More Terrorists Found — Believers Beware!


An additional group of ten terrorists has been newly discovered, only this time, operating out of the churches across America.  Identified by security specialists earlier today, the following have been confirmed to be secretly undermining the work of the Gospel in the United States.   They have been identified as: Bin Lying, Bin Sleeping, Bin Arguing, Bin Fighting, Bin Complaining, Bin Missing, Bin Procrastinating, Bin Backsliding, and Bin Non-Tithing. The ringleader is none other than Bin Lucifer, who has trained these operatives very well. They are out to destroy the body of Messiah. Their strategy is always the same:  covertly infiltrate the local churches disguised as Believers or Christians, pretend to love the Master but secretly sow seeds of discord, criticism, discouragement, doubt, and other sins among the congregation. If any of these terrorists are seen operating in your congregation, immediately report them to your leadership and pray for revival.

There is now intelligence that has uncovered a new wave of terrorists sent out to replace those captured yesterday. Intelligence believes the brother’s names are: Bin Gossip, Bin Critical, Bin Absent and Bin Sour. The fear is they are already in place in many area congregations. Intelligence also fears that there are even more brothers in this wicked family just waiting for orders to invade.  Since our first report we have been notified by a number of CHURCH BOARDS that they have identified four additional suspected terrorists working on different church boards. Three of the four have been apprehended. Bin Sleepin, Bin Loafin and Bin Drinkin have been taken into custody. The Associate Pastor advised us that it is very difficult to find anyone fitting the description of the fourth cell member, Bin Workin, in most congregations. However, he is confident that anyone who looks like he’s Bin Workin will be very easy to spot.

                                                                 — from the Internet, posted by Steven Berkowitz


Roy Marrs Counters Antinomianism


Roy Marrs, a senior statesman in the Church of God (Seventh Day), says that the same anti-law (antinomian) ideas which took the Worldwide Church of God down, are rearing their ugly head in the Seventh Day Church of God.  He has spent five years researching and writing two books to help Sabbath-keepers resist the so-called “New” Covenant theology.

Paul, New Testament Lawyer And Advocate Of Grace: is a 390-page study of Paul’s teachings about God’s Law and its relationship to Christian conduct, how God’s law and our behavior affect our relations with God, with other Christians and with our neighbors.

The second book, God’s Revised Will (Part 1) And The Rest Of The Story (Part 2): is an attractively bound 338-page companion book.  Part One is a study in contrasts and similarities between the covenant God made with Israel, and the covenant He made with the Church.  Part Two is an examination of Hebrews 3, 4, looking at the meaning of “REST” as used in those chapters, and the reason the Sabbath is mentioned in that discussion.

Elder Marrs is kind to offer these well-researched, easy-to-understand, books for only the cost of the postage.  Individuals may order a package with one of each title, for at least $3.00 for shipping and handling.  Groups may order two boxes with 22 of each title for $20 postage.  These are intended for laity, Christian teachers, leaders, and Pastors either to distribute free to interested parties or for group studies.  Note: As of April, 2003, Elder Marrs is out of stock of these books.  Call him for further information.

Send your request to: Roy A. Marrs, 102 Mokelumne River Drive, Lodi, CA 95240.  Phone: 209-333-0357; e-mail:


Antinomianism in the Church of God (Seventh Day)


Two professors at the Church of God (Seventh Day) Denver Group’s “Summit School of Theology” presented a seminar/study paper to the CG7 Ministerial Council claiming that the Ten Commandments are part of the Old Covenant and therefore done away.  One of them resigned from the Church after almost thirty years of ministry, totally severed his association with the Church of God, and renounced the Sabbath.  In his resignation letter, this antinomian stated,

“It is my hope that one day the church will truly accept the gospel without qualification — that it will one day be truly Christ-centered and grace-based. . . .

“Paul said that anyone (including himself or angels) bringing a gospel PLUS message perverts the gospel and is ‘eternally condemned’ (Galatians 1:6-9). The church’s message historically has been a gospel plus message — the gospel plus Sabbath, tithing, clean meats, three days and three nights, correct Lord’s Supper date, etc. Strides have been made, but the under girding theology of the church continues to struggle with a grace-based, Christ-centered message. This is evidenced by reactions to new Covenant articles . . . affirming the church’s position regarding the Ten Commandments and Sabbath observance as a part of the new covenant. That is heresy.

“We no longer believe that the covenant made at Sinai is binding on believers (II Corinthians 3; Galatians 4:21-31). This includes the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. We no longer believe Sabbath observance is binding on believers — Jesus is our Sabbath rest (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:9-11).

Can you answer the above arguments?  Antinomians do not understand that the Ten Commandments summarize the Word of God, the Messiah, Matthew 22:36-40.  The New Covenant is God’s Law written in our hearts and minds, Hebrews 8:6-12, 10:16-17.  Besides Roy Marrs’ books against anti-nominianism, we highly recommend a very important book which defends the Sabbath against every conceivable anti-law argument:  The Sabbath Under Crossfire, by Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, $15 suggested donation, from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.  If you read only one book this year, read this one!                                                                                                    — written by Richard C. Nickels