Newsletter 69, February, 2003


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Giving & Sharing Enters 25th Year of Service | Church of God News | Some Basic Principles | Comments From Our Readers | Bible Home Instructor Converts Idol Maker to Sabbath-Keeper | Good News From Nigeria | Comments from Giving & Sharing Workers | Audio Sermon CD | How Vaccines are Made | The Old Paths, the Good Way | Seven Essential Bible Study Tools | More on the Five Commandments | The Bible Story, by Arthur S. Maxwell | The Little Sabbath-Keeping Red Hen | Table of Symbolical Words in Scripture | Problems with the New King James Version | Our Road to Damascus | NIV Bible Quiz



Giving & Sharing Enters 25th Year of Service


In 1978, I was in transition.  Having served in leadership roles in the Worldwide Church of God, and Church of God, the Eternal, I was disappointed in the way some Churches of God operated.  It seemed to me that too much of the tithes and offerings ended up as ministerial salaries.  The Church is supposed to serve others, not its elders.  This is a critical doctrine.  As a lay person, I wanted to serve the Church as a whole, as well as share the Good News of the Kingdom of God with others.

I was receiving numerous requests for my book, History of the Seventh Day Church of God, as well as other Church History material that I had compiled.  I purchased a set of the King James Bible on cassette tape, narrated by Alexander Scourby, from a local Christian bookstore at a “special sale” price of $97. The normal price at that time was about $150 for the four dozen cassette tape set.  I found that if I bought four sets from the distributor, I could buy this excellent Bible study tool for only $68!  The Christian bookstore had made $29 gross profit on this “special sale” item!  This gave me the idea to start a wholesale book service for God’s people so they would not have to pay exorbitant prices.  I started advertising this service to those who had obtained my books on Church History.  Thus began the Giving & Sharing service to Sabbath-keepers.

In addition to the books on Church History, which continue to be of interest to Sabbath-keepers, we distribute Bibles, Biblical reference books, and provide articles and books on many Bible topics: the Sabbath, Biblical Holy Days, Tithing, Laws of Health, Marriage, etc. Wholesale arrangements with major jobbers and publishers enable us to deliver almost any Bible or religious book in print at a 30% to 50% discount. If one cannot afford our suggested donation, we will send an item free, or on free loan.

Many thousands of dollars worth of books and articles have been distributed through­out the world, all without a bit of personal profit. Our “suggested donation” is intended to represent our “break even” cost of materials, postage and handling.

Giving & Sharing is an activity of Sharing & Giving, Inc., a tax-exempt religious service, not a “church.”  Donations above the “suggested donation” are USA income tax-deductible.  Request our annual financial statement.  We are grateful for donations above the “suggested donation,” which allow us to send more free material to those who cannot afford to send a donation. More money donated to Giving & Sharing means more WORK for us, which we are most happy to do, because that is the reason for our being, to serve others with the Almighty’s Truth.  Giving & Sharing pays no salaries.

In 1993, Earl and Wanda Lewis of Missouri, assumed the responsibility of mailing books and articles. Prior to that time, I packaged and mailed all materials, with help from our children.  In addition to my full-time job as an accountant for a major coal mining company, I work 20-30 hours a week writing articles and handling correspondence for Giving & Sharing.  Steve Kieler, John Guffey, John Crissinger, David Miller, and our international distributors also serve those who request literature, tapes, videos, answers to Bible questions, or help with personal, spiritual, emotional, or financial needs.

We thank the many people who have spread the word about Giving & Sharing so that we can serve more.  Most of our new contacts come from word of mouth.

Do you have a Bible question or personal problem?  We will do our best to answer all queries for assistance.  If we can’t help you, perhaps we can refer you to someone who can.  It’s a tough and wicked society in which we live, and sometimes it helps to have someone with whom we can discuss a problem.

Through the years, I have enjoyed Biblical research and writing, interacting with people about Biblical subjects, and providing good, solid, Biblical material to encourage others around the world.  If there has been just one person who has been helped by the seeds we have planted in the name of the Eternal, it has all been worth it!



Church of God News


Giving & Sharing announces a new, free, publication, “Church of God News,” which began in January, 2003.  Plans are to publish it ten times a year, on the Internet at, and in print.  COG News will not duplicate the Bible Studies and related material of the Giving & Sharing Newsletter.

We need regular news reporters who will submit news articles every month from many Church of God groups.  Please submit news articles of your group’s activities.  Deadline for each issue is the 15th of the preceding month. E-mail articles to the COG News editor, Steve Kieler, at:

Subscribe to the Internet notification version, E-mail  The printed version is available only if you do not have Internet access. Write: Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.

“News of the Church of God” contains news of Church events, special meetings, youth camps, youth activities, feast sites, seminars, special speakers, new publica­tions, summary of important articles and noteworthy sermons, new booklets, wed­dings, births, baptisms, deaths, ordina­tions, a bit of history, etc.

“COG News” will NOT contain:  paid advertisements, doctrinal arguments, per­sonal attacks, or negative articles attacking traditional Church of God doctrines.

Our goal is to discover what the Churches of God are doing right, not advertise what they are doing wrong.  Our purpose for the new publication is to inform and edify, Ephesians 4:12, to stimulate and exhort, Hebrews 10:24-25, and unify, Ephesians 4:3.

Positive news has a way of changing attitudes.  There are many good things being done by God’s scattered believers.  “Church of God News” will support the doctrines commonly taught by the Churches of God. 

May we count on your regular news article contributions to “Church of God News”?


Some Basic Principles


I am ordinary.  There are people in the Church of God just like me.  They have the same wants, needs, and abilities, as I do.  I am average.  I am not smarter, more good-looking, or richer, than most Church members.  I am not more righteous than the ordinary called and chosen sons of God.  In fact, many in the Church of God are much more talented than I am.  And yet, the Bible says that spiritual gifts are distributed by God to every man, as He wills, I Corinthians 12:7-11.  So, where do I fit in?  Where do you fit in?

When I was hired to work in construction of new festival sites for the Worldwide Church of God in 1971, I began on the survey crew at Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.  One day, I was in the dirt, setting stakes, when Festival Director Raymond C. Cole came by and said, “Richard, I want you to write an article for me for The Good News magazine.”  I exclaimed, “Are you serious?”  To my surprise, he was.  And so, I obeyed him and did it.  Further, he sent me on a fact-finding trip to research the history of the Church of God.  He did not tell me how to do it, just do it.  Years later, I finished the book.  Raymond Cole taught me to be an independent thinker.

Over the years, I wrote many more articles for the ministers, and membership, of the Church.  Lawson Briggs, my mentor, taught me how to research and write.  Alice and Rodney Pratt, my spiritual godparents in the Church, taught me dedication and faithfulness.  Terry Swagerty taught me in Spokesman Club to speak like a man, to organize my thoughts, and drive home my points.  I have left out many who have helped me in so many ways.

My humble gift is to write, in a simple and straightforward way, to communicate Bible Truths to others.  I would probably not make a good Church pastor, or youth camp director, but I try to help others through the written word.

Average ability can be extended through hard work.  My forte is work.  In High School, a friend of mine had an IQ so high, it was off the chart.  She could easily have been class Valedictorian.  But, I worked to the edge of my limits, and earned the highest grades, while she was forced to settle for Salutatorian.

Thrift would not be something you would easily learn by working for the Worldwide Church of God in Wisconsin Dells, Big Sandy, Texas, and Pasadena, California.  I saw Church funds wasted and abused by, and lavished on, its top leaders.  I was disgusted and revolted at this financial mismanagement.  Since leaving the WCG in 1975, I refused jobs offered by two different Church organizations because I believe in volunteerism.  Tithes and offerings are holy to God, and must be used economically.  I have voluntarily worked hard all these years, with no remuneration whatsoever, out of a labor of love for the Truth of God.  Large organizations today could expand their work, and cut expenses by at least 15% or more, by instituting thrifty principles.

Articles I have written to help others don’t usually come from this mediocre brain.  I am continually amazed how material just comes to my attention, usually from several different sources at the same general time frame, and then suddenly, the light goes on.  When I am impatient with others for not “getting” something that is perfectly clear to me, I am humbled when I realize the many times, I was as dumb as a doornail until God revealed something to me.  Truth comes from revelation, not from scholarship.

In 1999, at the Feast of Tabernacles in Lake Texoma, Okla­homa, Tom Justus and other elders ordained me as an elder in the Church of God.  It did not change who I was, but provided another avenue for service.  There are infinite possibilities in the Work of GodEach one of us has a part.  Let us all do our Father’s business.  After twenty-five years of serving the brethren, these are still my basic principles.  Are you doing the job the Almighty has called you to do?                                                                 — Richard C. Nickels


Comments From Our Readers


Once in a while, we receive mail that rips into us.  That comes with the territory of serving the public.  However, positive mail serves to inspire us.  Here are a few samples:

“I want to thank you for the good work you are doing without a big fanfare or multi-million budget.  I appreciate reading [another man’s] issue of your Newsletter that he receives and passes around.

“I am doing life [in prison] and came to the truth about the Sabbath and Holy Days five years ago.  [My friend] explained about the days of Unleavened Bread last year and he obtained matzos for us during those days.

“I have read a lot about the Jesuits and would very much appreciate it if you would consider donating a copy of The Jesuits to me.”                                                                          — prisoner in California

Answer: Certainly!  Your free copy is on its way.

When we announced our new publication, “Church of God News,” we struck a cord with many of our readers.  Here are some representative comments:

“Hooray!!  It’s about time somebody set out to publish a Good News paper instead of just a bad news paper!  Sign me up!”

“Congratulation on proposing this new publication.  It sounds like an excellent way to generate tolerance and understanding among the members of the Church of God.”

“I hope I may be of some help. Your idea of a common newsletter could be the first of many needed steps to promote unity among Gods people, and eventually the Church.”

“Please send the online version of this new publication.  Sounds good; especially goal of only including ‘good news’ in this publication instead of doctrinal bickering.”

“I have been informed that you are preparing to publish a Church of God News. . . . I am so disgusted with the [a certain newspaper] and I stopped my subscription several years ago because it was so depressing and negative in its approach.”


Bible Home Instructor Converts Idol Maker to Sabbath-Keeper


 “We were in the Philippines a year ago for three weeks, seven people were baptized while we were there.  They have Sabbath School and Church every Sabbath at their home.  They only use the Bible Home Instructor and the Bible.  We furnish all of their supplies.  It is a wide-open mission field and many can be saved through this work. . . . 

“One uncle of the family read one page of The Bible Home Instructor (concerning idols) and was so convicted that he never misses a Sabbath service. This man was an idol maker for the Catholic Church for years.”                                                                                                       — E. and K. K., Oregon

Note: Giving & Sharing has supplied many hundreds of copies of The Bible Home Instructor to these wonderful folks for use in their missionary work.


Good News From Nigeria


A reader from Nigeria sent this E-mail:  “I am writing to express my gratitude and appreciation for your website (  Each new day, I continue to read and am blessed by the spirit-filled articles you posed in your website.  It has uplifted me, provided resource and speaking ideas for me, convicted me, and been my resource for personal devotions.  I am a woman Bible class leader in our local Sabbath Church and a family prison Ministry Director.  I then pass on to men and women in the city jail, where my husband and I have a service with the few there each two weeks.  I also share the articles from your website with my co-workers who also appreciate it...the articles have been meat to grow [with] since 2002.  Here in prison, it is a blessing to receive the truth of God’s Word.  I want to thank you for allowing me this privilege.  Your effort is not in vain.  Many of the brothers and sisters here on this unit are growing in God’s grace and the knowledge of His Word, because of your website.

“God bless your Ministry. Please add my name to your mailing list and if you are able, send me your free literature and Bibles to share with the inmates! You are in our daily prayers!  Please keep in touch!”


Comments from Giving & Sharing Workers


I can’t remember how or why I became associated with Giving and Sharing.  I do recall discovering a source of “cheap,” if you will, books, Bibles, concordances, and Bible study materials which helped me to learn more about the Eternal God, His Son, and His instruction book.

I have since become acquainted with Richard Nickels and Earl Lewis who appear to be the driving forces behind this unique operation.  I have found that I think along similar lines as they do and, I want to believe that I have, in a small way, helped unknown others obtain, as I did, a wealth of information about God’s way of life and His plans for man.

It must be a huge undertaking to answer inquiries and fill orders from all over the world.  It surely takes many hours of unselfish labor to make Giving and Sharing work.  It is a wonder that it all gets done.  No doubt there are those who take advantage and do not do their share in keeping the operation solvent, but inside I know the aim and purpose are solid and that God is watching over the effort.

Through Giving and Sharing I have made the acquaintance of unnamed others who engage in similar efforts to help those who struggle to understand truth.

I have found that the foundation of Christianity is not necessarily the preachers in churches, but the laborers in the field planting the mustard seeds among the many varieties of soil.  May God grant that this bramble-covered bit of rocky ground become fertile from all the nourishment poured upon it by Giving and Sharing.      — John Guffey


There are a host of large and small church publications; so what makes the Giving and Sharing Newsletter unique, worthwhile and profitable? Can we justify our existence; do we have a purpose?

Sometimes it is good to step back and see where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re going, and a 25th anniversary seems the right time.  It’s been said that you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.  While most church periodicals have good material and news items, I find much of it is redundant and some even poor attempts at doctrinal persuasion; often wrong.  But here’s the time to apply II Corinthians 10:12,  “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”  We need to measure ourselves, as individuals, groups or services, against the better standards of truth, honesty, helpfulness, love, integrity, and righteousness (God’s, not ours).

Where have we been? After twenty-five years of the Giving and Sharing Newsletter, we’ve seen highs and lows.  Many or most of us have a grand history with the Churches of God: most good, some bad.  As the latest saying in vogue goes: cry me a river — build a bridge and get over it.

Where are we?  I tried to get an overview of the Newsletter and found not only items to assist you in your daily life and spiritual walk, but many references to good materials or sources of information, assistance, and good works.  Yes things change, and change can be positive or negative. There have been major changes in the Church, and divisions. I believe that the Newsletter has been on the plus side of those changes and divisions. The material printed seems to be largely unique; not generally a duplication of other publishers’ articles; that’s not a put down of others writings.  Most of the feedback I hear on the Newsletter is very positive.  That could be because of the emphasis on doing rather than hearingRomans 2:13,  “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

Where are we going?  This can best be addressed by rephrasing the question: What are the needs and are we filling them?

I believe our needs lie in persuasion to believe, to do, to keep, and, as Paul says, to provoke and exhort.  Hebrews 10:24-25,  “. . . let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  May God bless the G&S Newsletter and all the periodicals of the Churches of God that inform and uplift.  I am proud to be associated with fellow saints and elders in all the Churches of God who are teaching, leading, serving, and living THE WAY.  — Steven J. Kieler, 2193 Sheker Drive, Fort Dodge, IA 50501-8707, 515-576-5743, E-mail:


Audio Sermon CD


Giving & Sharing’s new Audio Sermon CD has 446mb of RealAudio format files, featuring narrations of the book, Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong, scores of sermons by Herbert W. Armstrong, eight sermons by Garner Ted Armstrong, three sermons by Richard David Armstrong, and various messages by Richard Nickels and others.  CD002 is available for a $10 donation to Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.

Another item, CD001, a CD copy of our website (over 150mb), is also available for a suggested donation of $10.


How Vaccines are Made


Besides artificially tampering with the all-important immune system, many vaccines are made from questionable sources.  It has been verified that certain common childhood vaccines are made from aborted human babies.

Do you wish to obtain vaccines that are not from aborted humans?  You still have a problem.  Polio, hepatitis A, and rabies vaccines are often made from monkey kidneys, rubella vaccines from rabbits, and  encephalitis vaccine from mouse tissue.  For more information on vaccines, see  The Bible says not to ingest unclean substances.  We can trust our Creator to protect us from disease.  Some instead trust putrid, unclean vaccines.


The Old Paths, the Good Way


“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.  But they said, We will not walk therein,” Jeremiah 6:16.  Which way are you going to walk?

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee,” Deuteronomy 32:7.

“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent,” Revelation 3:3.

“Ye should contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3

Seven Essential Bible Study Tools


My father was a carpenter and homebuilder.  He built homes completely by himself, from the ground up.  He bought the land, drew the architectural plans, obtained the necessary permits, dug the foundation (by hand), poured the foundations, constructed the house, did the plumbing and electrical wiring, did all the painting, designed and built the kitchen cabinets, everything.  He had no subcontractors.  In Portland, Gresham, Lincoln City, and McMinnville, Oregon, are well-built homes my father built.

One of the things I noticed most about my father was the way he treated his tools.  His attitude toward his tools affected everything he did.  (1) he had a few simple tools, (2) he knew how to use his tools, and took great care to keep them in good working order, and (3) he took great care in the finished product; he worried about the details, was slow and careful, and incessantly used his level to make sure the job was done right.

I have inherited some of my father’s tools, carefully kept in his metal toolbox.  My most prized carpentry tool is my grandfather’s hand saw, with his signature etched in the metal, dating from about 1900.  My father’s tools lasted a lifetime and longer.  The carpenter’s square, tape measure, pliers, shake axe, hammer, several kinds of hand saws, mortar board, trowel, pipe threader, brace and bit, and the ever present level point back to a time when homes were built to last, not slapped together.  These were not cheap tools that you use once and then lose or throw away.

Dad didn’t work fast.  He felt that some of the newer tools and materials, such as electric skill-saws and drywall, were not as good as hand saws and lathe and plaster.  He would saw a 2x4 stud with his right hand until he was tired, then switch to his left hand, without missing a beat.  My father’s definition of ready mix concrete was his son (me) feeding the sputtering electric cement mixer with gravel and cement.  Plaster was mixed in a trough and carried on a hod into the house to smear on the thin strips of wood lathe nailed to the walls.  Plumbing was the most difficult job, as we used no plastic or copper pipe, but galvanized steel water pipe, and cast iron sewer pipes fastened together with oakum and molten lead.

Although modern contractors laugh at my father’s “primitive” construction practices, his simple houses he built with his own hands are still standing.  A cement driveway we laid in 1965 is still good, with few if any cracks.  In 1962, our home on the Oregon coast withstood the Columbus Day storm which devastated the state.  Our neighbor’s house lost its roof, but our home stood like a rock.

Well do I remember seeing my father, walking around inside an unfinished house, after working 10-12 hours, worrying about how he did that day, and planning what he would do the next day.  If that blessed level showed something was not quite right, he would tear it down and start over!  I have never known my father to brag about anything he did, but I did notice the quiet pride and self satisfaction when he finished a house.  My father instilled in me the value of using quality tools to produce a quality product.

If we approach our study of the Bible with almost as much care as my father built houses, then perhaps we will produce a quality finished product — a life of godly character.  Like a master carpenter, we need to carefully choose a few simple tools, and use them skillfully, taking care in the finished product.  Dad bought the best tools he could find.  He treasured them, and he learned how to use them as a craftsman.  Your attitude toward your tools effects how you work with them.

As my father prized his carpentry tools, so I value highly the Seven Essential Bible Study Tools.  Giving & Sharing can deliver six of them to you at discount.  You need to know how to use them, respect them, keep them for a lifetime, and in some cases, pass them down for generations.  The seventh tool, the Almighty’s Holy Spirit, is like my father’s level.  It is the test, the plumb line, the guide for everything you build with the six other tools.  We cannot “sell” the Spirit to you, but you can “buy” it free from the Eternal (see Matthew 25:1-9 and Revelation 3:18).

The first Essential Bible Study Tool is the Oxford (or Cambridge) Wide Margin King James Version Bible.  Why should your main study Bible be the King James Version?  Because other essential Bible Study tools are keyed to the KJV.  Further, the KJV is based on the Received Text, while most modern translations rely on the spurious Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.  Inferior translations, such as the New International Version, the most popular today, are like cheap tools.

Professor Robert Alter of the University of California, a Bible translator himself, admits, “Modern English versions repeatedly put readers at a grotesque distance from the Hebrew Bible.  To this day, the Authorized Version of 1611 (the “King James Bible”), for all its inaccuracies, archaisms, and insistently Jacobean rhythm and tone, remains the closest we have yet come to the distinctive experience of the original” (emphasis mine).  We recommend the excellent book, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated by B.G. Wilkinson ($6.95 retail, $6.00 suggested donation from Giving & Sharing), which shows the superiority of the King James Version.

Use the wide margins to enter your own notes and comments.  Use a BIC Accountant’s Fine Point Ink Pen, or similar extra fine point, which does not “bleed” through the pages.  If you wish to highlight portions in color, we recommend Eagle Prismacolor pencils, which can be obtained from an art supply store.  Our article, “King James Version Errors,” helps to identify the few inaccuracies in the KJV, as well as understand the meaning of some out of date words used in the KJV.

When you become skillful using the Oxford Wide Margin KJV as your main study Bible, you will memorize where on the page certain key passages are located.  For example, I can “see” the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20, on the right hand side of the page in my Oxford Wide Margin Bible.

The second Essential Bible Study Tool is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.  Every word in the KJV Bible in its textual context is listed, alphabetically, with the corresponding number for the Hebrew or Greek word from which it is translated.  This “Strong’s Number” is the key used for other essential Bible Study Tools.  Strong’s has two major uses:  to look up a passage when you only know one or a few words of that passage, and to look up all related passages covering a specific word or subject.

A third Essential Bible Study Tool, the Franklin Electronic Bible, can replace or enhance Strong’s, especially when you are looking up scripture passages.  If you are sitting in Sabbath services listening to a fast talking preacher, you will have no trouble turning to every scripture passage he cites, using the Electronic Bible.  You only have to type a portion of the scripture reference, and the Electronic Bible knows what you mean.  For example, suppose you want to look up I Corinthians 15:50.  You can enter your scripture search in several ways:  1Cor 15 50, or I Co 15 50, etc.  If you want to it the hard way, you can type the whole thing out, “I Corinthians 15:50.”  A second use of the Electronic Bible is to search for passages containing a word or group of words.  For example, suppose you want to see all passages where the words “good man” are used in close proximity.  Type “good man” and instantly, you are taken to the first occurence, and you can scroll backwards and forwards to read surrounding verses, and/or jump forward to view additional occurences where these words are used.  The Franklin Electronic Bible is an excellent Bible Study Tool.  There are three sizes and add-in book modules available.  My dad, although skeptical of modern tools, would have loved it.

The fourth and fifth Essential Bible Study Tools are the Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance, and the Englishman’s Greek Concordance.  Why, you may ask, do we need two more concordances?  Isn’t Strong’s enough?  No.  Just as my father used different kinds of saws to cut different materials, so you need more than one kind of concordance.  The KJV Bible, and any translation for that matter, does not always translate a particular Hebrew or Greek word into the same English equivalent word.  For example, look up the word “love” in Strong’s Concordance.  You will see that in the New Testament, the word “love” is translated from two basic Greek words, agape, Strong’s #25 or 26, and phileo, Strong’s #5368.  These Greek words have very different meanings, yet they are both translated “love” in the KJV.

With the Englishman’s Concordances, you can gather together all instances where agape is used, and all references where phileo is used, so you can see what the Bible says about different kinds of love.  Once you locate the words under study using Strong’s, you can simply move over to the Englishman’s concordances to find all places in the Bible where that word or words are used.

You will find in this instance, that agape is translated as either “love,” or “charity,” and that phileo is translated “love,” or “loveth,” or “kiss.”  Using only Strong’s, you might not have discovered this information.

Finally, the sixth Essential Bible Study Tool is The Interlinear Bible.  It is the only tool among the others that could be considered advanced.  The Hebrew and Greek text of the whole Bible is shown, with the Strong’s numbers above the Hebrew and Greek.  With the Interlinear Bible, you can get back to the original language of the Bible, and verify if the translators did their job correctly.

While these six tools can help you understand much Bible truth, without the seventh tool, the Holy Spirit, you may build a very shaky house.  The Spirit of the Almighty is like my father’s carpenter level.  If the result of your Bible Study is not “level,” or “plumb,” it is not right, and you might as well tear it down and start over.

I encourage you to use these Seven Essential Bible Study Tools to be enriched and enlightened by the Word of God.  The six tools are not inexpensive, but you can obtain them from us at discount.  In addition, we recommend, for advanced Bible students, Hebrew and Greek lexicons (dictionaries), keyed to Strong’s numbers.  Please see the current Giving & Sharing Order Form for the suggested donation for these excellent products.                                       — from Giving & Sharing Newsletter #40, February, 1997


More on the Five Commandments


While we cannot know for sure if the first five commandments were on one stone tablet, and the last five were on the second tablet, we do know from Scripture that the Eternal wrote on both sides of two tablets, Exodus 32:15-16.  It is amazing how commandments one through five relate to commandments six through ten.  Truly, God’s commandments are interrelated.

1-6      Murder is dishonoring the true God, for man is made in the image of God.

2-7      Idolatry and adultery in scripture are almost interchangeable.  Israel went a whoring after other gods, while she was married to the Eternal.

3-8      Since God owns everything, stealing another’s goods is actually defaming God’s name.

4-9      The Sabbath is a true witness of the Creation and the Creator.  Those who believe the lie of evolution, and twist the truth in their actions, are bearing false witness of the Lord of the Sabbath, and denying the Creator.

5-10    You honor your parents when you take care of them, and visit them when they are old.  Covetous people neglect their parents, and do not visit them, because they are solely concerned with pursuing gaining wealth.  Your parents sacrificed for you when you were young; now is your turn to sacrifice for them when they are old.  My mother worked as a Nurse’s Aid in nursing homes for over 30 years, and relates numerous stories of neglect by children of their elderly parents.

The Bible Story, by Arthur S. Maxwell


Reading to our children is one of the most important things that we parents, grand­parents, aunts, and uncles can do.  I remember vividly my mother reading stories to me when I was child.  It was a great pleasure to read stories to our children.  Now that they are grown, I look forward to reading to our grandchildren, and other children as well.

Seventh-day Adventist, Arthur S. Maxwell is a storyteller par excellence.  Maxwell’s ten-volume masterpiece, The Bible Story(1953), is the whole Bible in 409 gripping stories tailor-made to explain God’s Word to children.  A variety of artists contributed paintings of Bible scenes and characters.  Other than pictures of Christ, which an adult can censor, there is very little objectionable material in this series.  Adults should discuss the stories with the children, and add additional explanations.

Maxwell’s The Bible Story is the children’s Bible story series that all others are measured against.  You see them in doctor’s offices all the time.  Each volume has about 190-200 pages; volumes 1-6 cover the Old Testament, and volumes 7-10 cover the New Testament.  Check the 18-page index at the end of Volume 10, and you will be amazed how thorough and complete this work covers the entire Bible.

Until now, the set has been rather expensive.  Sets printed in the USA by Review & Herald or Pacific Press, retail for $399.95.  We can deliver this excellent 10-volume set for $169.95. Those unable to afford the suggested donation, may receive The Bible Story free on loan, two volumes at a time, from: Sharing Library, John D. Crissinger, PO Box 581, Granville, OH 43023.

We also recommend other children’s story books for reading to your children: Choice Stories for Children, forty character-building stories, 144 pp.; The King’s Daughter and Other Stories for Girls, 224 pp.; Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys, 224 pp.; Wisdom and the Millers, Proverbs for Children, 159 pp.; A Hive of Busy Bees, bedtime stories to teach everyday lessons, 159 pp.; and, Another Hive of Bees, more of the same, 192 pp.  These are available for $7 each, delivered.  Another, larger, book, Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, 400 pp., $11 delivered, has sixty stories and thirty poems.  Order all seven children’s books for only $49.  All are available on free loan to those unable to afford our suggested donation.

                                                                                             — written by Richard C. Nickels