Newsletter 67, September, 2002


Noah’s Ark and Early Man Seminars | Answers in Genesis Creation CD-ROM | Las Vegas or Yellowstone? | Dr. Barbara Boss | Two Worldviews | One Day in Seven, or THE Seventh Day? | Bring Me the Victuals! | The International Date Line | Christian Passover, and Harmony of the Gospels | The Church of God’s “English Connection” | Too Harsh On Muslims? | Help for Stuttering | Where is Jesus Today? | Amish and Mennonites | Land for Peace? | Catholic Priests Child Sex-Abuse Scandal| Close to You, El Salvador | The Fossil Record and Early Man | What Do You Mean, “You”?



Noah’s Ark and Early Man Seminars


Arnold Mendez, a United Church of God Deacon, has presented the Noah’s Ark Seminar and Early Man Seminar to more than thirty congregations (  He has studied the Genesis account and the creation vs. evolution controversy for the last twenty-five years.  Mendez is a chemistry instructor at Texas A&M University — Corpus Christi.  He has a Master’s and Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (minor in Chemistry) and was a former research and graduate teaching assistant at the university level.

The Seminar presentation is usually scheduled for a double Sabbath Service.  The morning presentation is a seminar and is followed by a sermon in the afternoon.  Many congregations combine services with a sister congregation and usually have a luncheon break at noon.  It is recommended that the Noah’s Ark Seminar be presented initially, and then at a later date, the Early Man Seminar can be presented.

Arnold would be happy to present these seminars/sermons in your Church area.  They are ideal for Youth Sports weekends, Young Adult weekends, and combined local Sabbath Services.  They are of interest to all Church members of whatever age.  These seminars are presented at cost and usually require the host church to provide transporta­tion, Sabbath housing with a church family, printing, and associated costs, etc.  References from UCG pastors can be provided.

If your Church could benefit from one of these presentations, please forward this information to your minister or activity coordinator.  If you cannot attend the seminars, order a CD with Noah’s Ark Seminar, and Early Man Seminar information.  See next page for details.  Don’t miss Arnold’s lecture on October 19, 2002, 11:00 AM Central Time.  Dial 918-222-7158.  Then press 0566#.


Noah’s Ark Seminar:

·        Various scale models of Noah’s ark.

·        Poster displays of the Geological evidence of the Biblical flood.

·        The flood of Noah — can we believe the Bible?

·        Could the ark carry all the animals?

·        What did the ark look like?

Early Man Seminar:

·        Includes poster displays of evolution/creation topics.

·        Displays of relevant fossils and crania (skulls).

·        Who were Homo erectus, Neanderthal man, and Australopithecus?

·        Did Pre-Adamic man exist?

·        The antediluvian world and its effects on humans.


Contact Information:

Arnold C. Mendez, Sr.

222 Pearse Dr.

Corpus Christi, TX 78415

Phone: 361-855-8480 (Home),

or 361-442-8144 (Cell).




Answers in Genesis Creation CD-ROM


Responding to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television series “Evolu­tion,” Answers in Genesis created a multi­media CD-ROM with more than 350 pages (97 articles) of powerful informa­tion, 40 minutes of video, the book, Refuting Evolution, by Dr. Jonathan Sar­fati, and thirteen interviews and messages by Creation scientists and speakers.  The Creation CD-ROM criti­ques the Evolution series and equips people with the most powerful antievolution arguments.

The two CD’s: Answers in Genesis, plus Arnold Mendez’s Noah’s Ark and Early Man Seminar, are available for a suggested donation of $10 postpaid for the two CD’s, from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.


Las Vegas or Yellowstone?


Where will you take your family for a summer vacation?  Two popular spots are a study in contrasts.  Las Vegas, Nevada, attracts families to the center of gambling, prostitution, and unabashed hedonism.  On the other hand, Wyoming’s Yellow­stone National Park features geysers, wild ani­mals, hiking, and fishing.  Which place do you think would put you more in tune with the Creator?

And, when it comes to Festival time, will you go to a glitzy city, or to God’s creation?


Dr. Barbara Boss


Our new representative in South Africa, Dr. Barbara Boss, Box 72500, Parkview 2122 Johannesburg, is a homeo­­path, naturopath, and herbalist. 


Two Worldviews




From nothing (Hebrews 11:3)

From matter at hand


Over a very long time

By power

By chance

By the word of God

By mutation

By wisdom

By natural selection

By God’s will

By isolation

According to God’s Law, planned, executed, goal-oriented

By matter organizing itself without creator, will, or goal

Meaningful, with purpose

Without meaning, purposeless

Which worldview makes the most sense to you?  — adapted from The Sabbath Watchman, January-February 2002.                                                                                          W


One Day in Seven, or THE Seventh Day?


Question: “When discussing the Fourth Commandment, especially with Sunday- keepers, one frequently encounters the claim: “The [Sabbath] Commandment really only requires one day in seven, so any one day is as good as any other.”  Have you a rebuttal specific to this excuse? — E.G., Michigan.

Answer: The definite article, “the” is ha in Hebrew. “Remember the Sabbath day [Hebrew: ha-Shabbat], to keep it holy,” Exodus 20:8.  The definite article in the Hebrew precludes one day in seven, and specifies “the” Sabbath.  Nowadays, you could pass college English without understanding what a definite article is.  Nevertheless, it is important that in both English and Hebrew, the definite article with a noun makes that noun specific, and not general.  If we could observe any Sabbath, any one day in seven, the Hebrew would have been, “remember [a] Sabbath.”

The Hebrew-English Dictionary, by Ehud Ben-Yehuda and David Weinstein, p. vi, states, “The Hebrew language has no indefinite article.  The definite article, by nature a demonstrative pronoun, usually takes the form ha, and . . .  never appears in Hebrew as an independent word but as an inseparable particle prefixed to words.”

One cannot keep the Sabbath as any day in seven.  God’s inspired Word commands us to remember ha-Shabbat, the Sabbath.


Bring Me the Victuals!


“Victuals” (pronounced “vittles”) is not a commonly-used word in today’s English.  In the wild west, the impatient husband waiting for his dinner, would exclaim to his wife, “bring me the victuals!”  Someone asked us recently what the word “victuals” in Joshua 1:11 means.  The NKJV, unfortunately, gives an inaccurate impression by rendering it “provisions,” which gives the idea of something other than food.  But, “victuals” means food.

You should have and use the Englishman’s Hebrew, and Englishman’s Greek, Concordances.  If not, you have one hand tied behind your back in Bible study, and should obtain these Bible helps.  Order from our website, or, from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.

 What are the “victuals” of Joshua 1:11, and 9:11?  The Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance (EHC) tells us, by showing all the places the word, tzedeh, Strong’s #6720, is used.  In Genesis 27:3, it is the “venison” Isaac wanted Esau to get for him.  In Genesis 45:21, 23, “provision” was definitely food for traveling, given by Joseph to his brothers.  In Exodus 12:39, “victual” is unleavened bread, definitely food.  In Judges 7:8, “victuals in their hand” is food, also in Judges 20:10.  In I Samuel 22:10, the priest gave David victuals, since he was hungry, chapter 21Psalm 78:25, “Man did eat angels’ food [manna]: He sent them meat [#6720] to the full.”  Thus we see that tzedeh, #6720, means food in every case, either meat or bread.  Now, letting the Bible interpret the Bible, the “victuals,” tzedeh, of Joshua 1:11 and 9:11, have to be the same thing: food.  Scripture does not make this a possibility, but a definite.  There is nothing else besides food that this word means.  And so it is that Gesenius’ Hebrew Dictionary of the Old Testament says, #6720 means “food, especially provisions for a journey.”

 Even more so, EHC shows that #6720 is related to #6718, tzahyid, which, likewise, means meat from hunting, or bread.  See Joshua 9:5, 14, the “provision” or “victuals” of the Gibeonites was their moldy bread.  Nehemiah was angered and put a stop to selling “victuals” on the Sabbath, Nehemiah 13:15.

 There is no usage of #6720 or #6718, out of all the 29 or 30 uses in the Hebrew Bible, where these words mean anything but food.  In the mouth of two or three witnesses, everything is established.  Here, we have 29-30 witnesses. “Bring me the vittles!”


The International Date Line


Pigafetta, the official chronicler of Magellan’s expedition, discovered in 1522 after completing the westward journey from Spain to South America via the Atlantic, to the Philippines via the Pacific, to South Africa via the Indian Ocean, and finally back to Spain, that he lost one day.  This was not due to a miscalculation, but the effect of the rotation of the earth.

For 280 years until 1845, the Philippines under the government of Spain followed the date of America (Central and South America — where Spain also colonized) before the Governor-General Narciso Claveria “issued a proclamation announcing that Monday, 30 December 1844, was to be immediately followed by Wednesday, 1 January 1845.”  This decision harmonized the Philippines with what became later to be the International Date Line.

To organize worldwide time, the International Date Line (IDL) was established in 1884.  It is a man-made demarcation through the middle of the Pacific Ocean that delineates the end of one day, and the beginning of another.  The result of the IDL is that Australian Sabbath-observing brethren observe the Sabbath and Holy Days ahead of the Africans, Europeans, and Americans.

When man invented rapid means of transportation and communication, and the industrial revolution spread throughout the world, it became an economic and social necessity to fix a standard date. According to the Encyclopedia Americana, “in August 1884, the U.S. Congress authorized President Chester A. Arthur to convene an Inter­national Meridian Conference, which would consider a proposal for a system of world time zones and a common zero degree of longitude, and recommend acceptance of it.”

The International Date Line is an imaginary longitudinal zigzag line running from the North Pole through the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia, going down the middle of the Pacific Ocean and to the South Pole. It deviates eastward to avoid dividing Siberia, westward to include the Aleutian Islands with Alaska, and eastward to make the date of certain islands in the Southwest Pacific the same as in New Zealand.

The IDL is 180 degrees west of the Greenwich Meridian — the “zero degree of longitude” — running through Greenwich, England.  Areas west of the IDL are one day ahead of areas to the east of the date line.  For example, when it is Sunday just west of the IDL, it is Saturday just east of it.

Physics demonstrates that light travels in straight lines, so naturally the sunset shadow along the IDL should be straight from North to South on the equinoxes. But the zigzags in the IDL alter this. When it is Friday sunset in the Aleutian Islands, it is supposedly Saturday sunset in Eastern Siberia. In other words, these two groups of Sabbath-keepers, despite observing the same sunset at the same moment, are keeping two different seventh days.

The Creator of planet Earth did not authorize the zigzag International Date Line.  The International Meridian Conference authorized it.  However, the Bible does not inform us which part of the earth should be the “International Date Line.”  Logic might indicate that the Sabbath should begin at Jerusalem, and spread westward with the setting sun of the end of the sixth day of the week.  That is not how the world currently keeps time.  For unity, man has demarcated time.  Elijah will “restore all things,” Matthew 17:11.  We look forward to the Millennium, when the Messiah will initiate the “restitution of all things,” Acts 3:20-21.        — based on an article by Samuel V. Mercado

NOTE:  We are NOT advocating that brethren located west of the International Date Line and east of Jerusalem change the times when they observe the Sabbath and Holy Days.  There is no authoritative source that defines where the Date Line should be, and the Bible is silent on this topic, as well as the Sacred Calendar.


Christian Passover, and Harmony of the Gospels


Fred R. Coulter of the Christian Biblical Church of God is a prolific writer and speaker.  The second edition (1999) of The Christian Passover: What Does It Mean? When Should It Be Observed — the 14th or the 15th? is an exhaustive, 482-page hard back book that every member of the Church of God should own.  It is the most comprehensive treatment of the Passover date question.  The Passover, the sacrifice of the Messiah, is the theme of the entire Bible, and a proper understanding of the death and resurrection of Christ is fundamental.

The new edition of Coulter’s Harmony of the Gospels in Modern English arranges the events of the four Gospels in chronological order.  This 381-page book presents much helpful information.

Coulter’s books are available from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849, for a suggested donation of $15 postpaid each, or $28 for the pair.  Or, you may borrow them free for one month from: Sharing Library, Box 581, Granville, OH 43023.


The Church of God’s “English Connection”


Seventeenth Century Puritans have gotten a bad rap.  Especially in today’s America, say the word “Puritan,” and you bring to mind stern, humorless, strict, mean-spirited, intolerant religious bigots, who settled New England in the 1600s, and continued to have considerable influence through the 1700s.

However, the press is wrong.  Puritans strove to reform the “Reformed” Anglican Church in Great Britain.  They were sincere Bible students who believed in the primacy of Scripture, and sought to conform their lives, as much as possible, to the Bible.  The Seventeenth Century English Puritan movement was the seedbed for a resurgence of Sabbatariansim, and the teachings of John Traske, Theophilus Brabourne, Francis and Thomas Bampfield, Edward Stennett, and other Seventh Day Baptists.

Seventh-day Adventist scholar Bryan W. Ball, in his 252-page book, The English Connection:  The Puritan Roots of Seventh-day Adventist Belief, thoroughly examines seventeenth century Puritan writings, and compares them with the beliefs of modern Sabbatarians.  There are many similarities.  Many Puritans had a view of Scripture, Jesus, believer’s baptism, the nature of man, the Ten Commandments, the return of Christ, Prophecy, and the World to Come, that are strikingly similar to modern Church of God belief.  Most Puritans revered the Ten Commandments as God’s immutable Moral Law.  Yet, few Puritans took the next logical step, to see that the Fourth Commandment is the seventh day, Saturday, and there is no Bible authority for a change in the Sabbath commandment from Saturday to Sunday.  Traske, Brabourne, Bampfield, etc., were exceptions.  These Sabbatarians wanted to purify Puritanism, to continue the path of getting back to the faith once delivered to the saints.

Bryan Ball shows that we Sabbatarians of today have an “English Connection.”  The first Christian Sabbath-keeping Church in America was founded in 1671 by Stephen Mumford, a member of the Sabbatarian Baptist Church of London.  The growth of Seventh Day Baptists in America was supported by their sister churches in Britain.

To obtain The English Connection:  The Puritan Roots of Seventh-day Adventist Belief, see our website,  Or, you may send a donation of $36 to Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.


Too Harsh On Muslims?


A reader from Australia, who claims he is a Christian, says he studied Islam in the Middle East.  He says we are too harsh on Muslims.  Here is my answer:

Muslims who follow their religion in all respects will put into practice the tenets of the Muslim faith, which include death to Jews, death to anyone leaving the Muslim faith, establishment of a worldwide Muslim government oppressing all who refuse to convert to Islam, oppression of women, slavery, and all sorts of related evils.  If you have studied the Muslim faith, you know what I have said is the Truth.  Truth is neither harsh nor kind; it is the Truth.

Muslims who say they respect other religions are either unfaithful Muslims, or they are using freedoms afforded to them in western countries where they live, to subvert and further their cause of worldwide domination and oppression.  A 1994 Public Television documentary gave speeches of Muslim leaders in America calling for death, destruction, and acts of terrorism, seven years before the Twin Towers were destroyed.

To my knowledge, there is not one Muslim-dominated country where Christians are given freedom to practice their faith, and freedom to share their faith with others.  Christianity is the religion of freedom and life, while Islam is one of many religions of slavery, death, and strife.  It has been rightly said, “The problem with Christianity is individual Christians.  The problem with Islam is Islam.”  Which one will you choose?


Help for Stuttering


Stuttering and related speech disorders afflict three million Americans.  I know the problem, because as a youth, I stuttered, severely at times.  As an adult, the problem is much more moderate, but I am still conscious of the problem when I am speaking in front of a group.

Famous stutterers include George Burns, Ty Cobb, Marilyn Monroe, and Sir Winston Churchill.  In the Bible, we see that Moses and Paul (II Corinthians 10:10, I Corinth­ians 2:3-4) had speech problems.  Yet, the Eternal used them anyway, to deliver His message.  Not being able to speak well does have its advantages:  it keeps you humble.  I am continually unimpressed by those whose words are smoother than butter, Psalm 55:21.  Speeches of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan do not impress me.  In fact, I tend to look at what a person does much more than what they say, or how well they talk.  Talk is cheap; action is valuable.

The stuttering disorder affects four times as many males as females, and usually begins between the ages of two and four.  About 60% of children outgrow it by puberty.  What causes stuttering?  Some researchers theorize that it comes from brain chemistry, heredity, or environmental factors.  They don’t know for sure.  As a college student, I was a human guinea pig for the Director of the Speech Department and his students.  I quickly discovered that these speech professionals did not know anything about stuttering.  Not many people do.

If you have to listen to someone who stutters, remember these tips:  Don’t finish their sentences or interrupt.  Don’t tell them to “take a deep breath” or “think before you speak,” or “speak more slowly.”  That makes the problem worse.  Don’t walk away or do something else (I know, this takes patience, but bear with us stutterers).  Keep your speech slow and relaxed, and maintain eye contact.

If you stutter, you have no doubt experienced ridicule and abuse.  This comes not only from children, but from adults as well.  The worst abuse I ever received was when I was working in the Business Office of Ambassador College, Big Sandy, Texas.  I received a phone call, and the moment I began stuttering, I was inundated with derisive abuse.  Although I do not know who was on the other end of the line, I was quite sure it was a Church member.  Another time at work in a Portland, Oregon, office, my fellow worker laid it on me to my face.  I left the room, nearly in tears.  To one tormentor, I exclaimed, “If I was crippled and in a wheelchair, would you still make fun of me?”

Physician Gerald Maguire, a UC Irvine, California, Medical School psychiatrist, himself a stutterer, is trying to solve stuttering through drugs.  He believes that stuttering is caused by the brain producing too much dopamine, and seeks drugs to reduce the dopamine level.  Of course, these drugs have side affects (source:  Los Angeles Times).  Drugs are not the answer to the problem.  I believe that research should be conducted using natural herbs and foods, since stuttering is probably a chemical imbalance problem in the brain.

God is the only true healer.  He has certainly helped me to minimize my stuttering problem, and He can do the same for you.  Call out to Him in prayer, commit your ways to Him, and He will lift you up.

Support and help for stutterers include The National Stuttering Association, which has support groups in about 75 American cities, 800-364-1677; Friends: National Organization of Young People Who Stutter, provides a network of love and support for children and teenagers who stutter, 866-866-8335; Stuttering Foundation of America, 3100 Walnut Grove Road, Suite 603, PO Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749, 800-992-9392,  I have a book published by the latter organization, entitled Self-Therapy for the Stutterer.  You may borrow it free from Richard C. Nickels, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718.


Where is Jesus Today?


Question:  “Where is Jesus right now?  Is He in Heaven with His Father, or at the Sanctuary intercessing for our sins?”  D.D., Malaysia

      Answer:  Jesus is at the right hand of His Heavenly Father, Acts 2:32-33, Hebrews 10:12, I Peter 3:22, Ephesians 1:20.

Amish and Mennonites


They are descendants of European Anabaptists of the sixteenth century.  Menno Simons (c. 1496-1561) founded the Mennonites, and Jacob Amman the Amish.  Today, these “peculiar” people, who wear plain clothes, and often farm with the aid of horses, continue to be an example in a hedonistic, materialistic, sexually degenerate world.  My father came from a long line of Mennonites.  Because they would not serve in the Prussian military, my Mennonite ancestors migrated from Eastern Europe to Russia, at the invitation of Empress Catherine the Great.  The “von Nickel” clan apparently gave up ownership of the largest nickel mine in Eastern Europe to follow their faith.  Catherine wanted these Germans to teach the Russians how to farm, and so they did.  After many years, the Russian czar tried to force them to join the Russian army, so they fled to central Asia in the middle of the nineteenth century.  Not liking to live among the fierce Kyrgyz tribes around Tashkent, they decided to go to the North Dakota Territory in America in about the 1870s.  Others went to Paraguay in South America.

My father’s Mennonite Church was more liberal than most.  When they married, my parents decided to become Baptists.  I did not know much about Mennonite belief until lately.  After reading some of their literature, I am impressed that in two areas, we in the Church of God can learn from Mennonites.

Mennonites remain conscientious objectors to war.  This fundamental tenet of Church of God belief is under vigorous attack today.  Also, Mennonites understand clearly that marriage is for life, and they are unalterably opposed to divorce and remarriage.  The vast majority of the Church of God has capitulated to a wide-open policy concerning divorce and remarriage.  I recommend the booklets, “Why We Are Conscientious Objectors to War,” by William R. McGrath, $2.45; “What Does the Bible Say on Divorce and Remarriage,” by L.O. Schlegel, $2.45; and “The Bible Versus Divorce and Remarriage,” by Ronald J. Border, $1.95.  Add $4 for postage on these three booklets.  Write: Amish Mennonite Publications, 6523 TR 346, Millersburg, OH 44654.

Although there is much for Mennonites and Amish to learn about the Bible, such as the truth about Heaven and Hell, the Sabbath, etc., their correct understanding about war and marriage is admirable, and their simple, back to nature lifestyle is exemplary.

                                                                                             — written by Richard C. Nickels