Newsletter 72, September 2003


The Seventh Day Sabbath | Ordinal Numbers, Cardinal Numbers | A Time to Give | Topical Order of Books of the Bible | What Book in The Bible? | Why September 11? | Halibut: Holy Day Fish | Interpolation or Inspired Scripture? | Begotten Again, or Born Again, Which? | Mary’s Stars on the European Flag | Opening/Closing Prayer Guidelines | How to Give a Sermonette | The Danite Exodus From Egypt | Review: A Zeal For God Not According to Knowledge: A Refutation of Judaism’s Arguments Against Christianity


The Seventh Day Sabbath


There are two types of people we like to share the Seventh Day Sabbath with:  those who don’t know much about the Bible, and those who are avid Bible students.  An excellent evangelistic tool to give to folks off the street, is the video series, The Seventh Day: Revelations from the Lost Pages of History.  These VHS NTSC videos, narrated by Hal Holbrook, show the importance of the Sabbath from history.  Five videos are planned; three are available now: Part One, 52 min., lays the foundation for the Sabbath in the creation.  It answers the question, “Why does the week have seven days?” and “Does God consider one day of the week more special than others?”  Part Two, 47 min., covers Sabbath history from Jesus to the fourth century.  It explains that Church leaders conspired to kill Jesus when He broke their Sabbath rules; early Christians kept Saturday as the Sabbath for hundreds of years.  Roman sun worship led some Christians to worship on Sunday.  Part Three, 50 min., covers Patrick of Ireland through Wycliffe.  Ireland’s famous St. Patrick was neither Irish nor Catholic.  Fakes and forgeries are exposed in this video. Order any one video for $23.00, any two videos, $40, all three videos for $60.  You may also BORROW any video for $5.00 for 14-day LOAN, V215.

For Bible students who are not yet enlightened about the seventh day Sabbath, and may be enamored by the typical Protestant/Catholic arguments against the Sabbath, there is no better resource than Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi’s, The Sabbath Under Crossfire, A Biblical analysis of Recent Sabbath/Sunday Developments.  Common anti-Sabbath arguments of Joseph Tkach and Dale Ratzlaff are thoroughly answered in this 303-page masterpiece. This book has led many Sunday-keepers to switch to the Seventh-day Sabbath.  $15.00, B224.

Order these resources from: Giving & Sharing, c/o Richard C. Nickels, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718.


Ordinal Numbers, Cardinal Numbers


G.W. from Texas pointed out an error in the June, 2003, Giving & Sharing Newsletter, in our article, “Lessons for Pentecost.”  On page 9, in the next to the last paragraph, the last two sentences should read:

Pentekonta is the Greek cardinal number (how much) for 50; pentekostee is the Greek ordinal number (order or sequence) for 50th.  In Acts 2:1, the Greek word, pentekostee, not only means ‘fiftieth,’ but also ‘five counts of ten’.”

The words pentekonta (translated “fifty”), and pentekostee (translated “Pentecost”) both have the core meaning of “count fifty” or “five counts of ten.”  Kostee is merely a grammatical form of konta, in the same way fiftieth is a form of fifty in English.  Fiftieth, pentekostee, is the ordinal form of the cardinal number, fifty, pentekonta.  Fifty is a measurement of quantity (five tens), while fiftieth is five tens in a particular order or sequence.  In other words, a cardinal number is a quantity number, while an ordinal number is a sequential number.

When the New Testament uses ordinal numbers, without reference to the other numbers in the series, it seems to be very consistent.  Paul was circumcised on “the eighth day.”  Now “eighth” is an ordinal number.  And here, it means when eight days are completed, during the ninth day in progress, as that is when circumcision is done.  Jesus was resurrected “the third day,” which means “after three days,” as we have noted many times, and you can find these references in the NT yourself.  All these ordinal numbers, “third,” mean when three complete days are finished, during the fourth day in progress.  Likewise, Pentecost is the fiftieth day, when fifty days are fully counted.


A Time to Give


Giving of yourself, your time and resources, is the most satisfying of all human activities.  We were made to give by the great Giver of Life.  Givers are happy; takers are miserable.  Whether we have 80 more years to live this physical life, or only 80 more days, we need to make every day count.  “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil,” Ephesians 5:15-16.

Topical Order of Books of the Bible


In the oldest New Testament manuscripts, the books are in a different order than the New Testament of today — James, not Romans, follows Acts as the first of the epistles.  In the oldest manuscripts the “general epistles” of James, Peter, John, and Jude immediately follow Acts — instead of Romans and Paul’s other letters to Gentile Churches, as in traditional Christian Bibles.  The book order of the New Testament was scrambled by the early Roman Catholic hierarchy to exalt Rome, by making the epistle to Rome first among the epistles, followed by Paul’s other epistles to Gentile congrega­tions. This tradition of scrambling makes the New Testament harder to rightly understand in reading it through.

As Peter says, Paul’s “letters contain some things that are hard to understand” (II Peter 3:16, NIV) — so why does traditional Christianity put them before letters that come first in the oldest original manuscripts, are easier to understand, and address funda­mentals — the general epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude?  I find Ernest L. Martin’s thesis about the significance of the original manuscript order of the Old and New Testaments — Restoring the Original Bible — very edifying. He argues that Apostolic teaching is easier to rightly understand if the New Testament books are read in the order of the earliest manuscripts, instead of the revised order of Roman Catholicism, which became the traditional standard for Christianity. — by Jeffrey Caldwell

Whether or not this different order of New Testament books is inspired, it helps us to look at this “topical” order structure, not only of the New Testament, but also of the Old Testament.  The Jewish Old Testament order of books is different than that found in the King James Bible.  The following topical order is based on Dr. Martin, and my understanding, which places the Book of Hebrews as the first of the General Epistles.


Topical Order and Division of Bible Books





1. The Law (Torah)



Book of Moses









2. The Prophets


Former Prophets





I & II Samuel

Book of Kings


I & II Kings



Latter Prophets

Major Prophets







12 Minor Prophets

















2. Continued.


Latter Prophets

12 Minor Prophets





3. The Writings


Poetical Books









Song of Songs

Festival Scroll







Fast of Ab 10



Feast of Tabernacles






Post Exilic Books

Latter Restoration




I & II Chronicles

4. Gospels/Acts



Synoptic Gospels












5. General Epistles









I & II Peter




I & II & III John







6. Epistles of Paul


Church Epistles



I & II Corinthians















I & II Thessalonians



I & II Timothy

Pastoral Epistles








7. Revelation





The Old Testament begins with five books (Torah), and the New Testament begins with five books (Gospels/Acts).  In the standard Bible, the Old Testament has 39 books (13 x 3), while the New Testament has 27 books (9 x 3), for a total of 66 books (22 x 3).  The number three signifies divine perfection, that which is solid, real, substantiated, complete, entire, embracing past, present, and future.  There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  The 66 books of the Bible (22 x 3) may signify that they are the complete divine perfection of God’s Word to mankind.  The number 13 signifies rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, revolution, as well as atonement for sin.  The Old Testament number of books, 39 (13 x 3) seems to indicate that Israel’s history of rebellion will be completed.  The number 9 signifies finality and judgment.  The New Testament number of books, 27 (9 x 3), indicates completion (perfection) of judgment.

For additional information about the spiritual significance of numbers, see E.W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture, Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance.  This 303-page resource is available from Giving & Sharing, for a suggested donation of $14 postpaid.  See also, Restoring the Original Bible, by Dr. Ernest L. Martin, 502 pp., for $30 postpaid.  Or, you may order these books from


Tests on the Topical Order and Division of Bible Books


Go by the Numbers


Give the number of the following:

A. Number of Minor Prophets

B. Gospels

C. Synoptic Gospels

D. Church Epistles

E. Books of Moses

F. Books in the Bible

G. Books in NT

H. Books in OT

I. Books written by John

J. Major divisions of the Bible

K. Books written by Luke

L. Books written by Paul

M. Major Prophets

N. Books written by Peter


Know the Seven Sections


Name the seven major sections of the Bible.




Match the number of the item on the left column with the appropriate letter in the right column.  In some cases there is more than one answer.


1. Book with most chapters

2. Church Epistle

3. Epistle of Paul

4. Ezra is in this major section of the Bible

5. Feast of Tabernacles book

6. Festival Scroll book

7. Former Prophet

8. General Epistle

9. Last Book of the Bible

10. Last Book of the Old Testament

11. Latter Prophet

12. Major Prophet

13. Minor Prophet

14. Passover book

15. Pastoral Epistle

16. Pastoral Epistles were written to these

17. Pentecost book

18. Poetical Book

19. Post-Exilic or Restoration Book

20. Synoptic Gospel


___ a. Ecclesiastes

___ b. Ephesians

___ c. Esther

___ d. Ezekiel

___ e. Habakkuk

___ f. Hebrews

___ g. I Samuel

___ h. II Chronicles

___ i. II Timothy

___ j. Individual Christians

___ k. Isaiah

___ l. James

___ m. Mark

___ n. Nehemiah

___ o. Proverbs

___ p. Psalms

___ q. Revelation

___ r. Ruth

___ s. Song of Songs

___ t. Writings



Go by the Numbers: A12, B4, C3, D7, E5, F66, G27, H39, I5, J7, K2, L14, M3, N2.

Seven Sections: Law, Prophets, Writings, Gospel/Acts, General Epistles, Epistles of Paul, Revelation

Matching: 1p, 2b, 3bfi, 4t, 5a, 6acrs, 7g, 8fl, 9q, 10h, 11dek, 12dk, 13e, 14s, 15i, 16j, 17r, 18op, 19hn, 20m.


What Book in The Bible?


We recommend the following group game that should help you become more familiar with the Bible.

What Book of the Bible am I reading?” Directions:  In a group of people, one person takes a Bible and sits so the others cannot see which portion of the Bible he is reading.  The reader selects any portion of any book he wants, and reads a few verses.  Others in the group take turns to guess the Book of the Bible.  The winner takes the Bible and repeats the process.  You may wish to limit the guesses to three or five, and if the audience is unsuccessful, the reader announces the Book, and selects another Book to read.

Got more Bible games?  Send suggestions to us.


Why September 11?


Why did Muslim extremists attack the New York World Trade Center Towers and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001?  They gained revenge for two previous historical defeats at the same general time.  Muslims have a well-defined sense of history, while America is like Manesseh, which means “forgetting.”  Islam never forgets.

Upon the founding of Islam in the seventh century, Muslims conquered Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and began to invade Western Europe under the leadership of Abd-er Rahman, governor of Spain.  Rahman led an infantry of 60,000 to 400,000 soldiers across the Western Pyrenees into France, and marched toward the Loire River. They were met just outside the city of Tours by Charles Martel, known as the Hammer, and the Frankish Army. In a decisive battle, the Franks captured and killed Abd-er Rahman, and the demoralized Muslims had no choice but to retreat back across the Pyrenees, never to return again.  Not only did this prove to be an extremely decisive battle for the Christians, but the Battle of Tours is considered the high water mark of the Muslim invasion of Western Europe. The date, October 10, 732 A.D., marked the conclusion of the Battle of Tours, arguably one of the most decisive battles in all of history.

Eastern Europe for hundreds of years was subjected to attacks by Muslim invaders. Much of the Balkans fell to Islam.  On September 12, 1683, the Turkish siege of Vienna, Austria, was broken in a decisive battle, by King Jan Sobieski of Poland, heading a German-Austrian-Polish alliance.  The Turks lost 15,000 men that day.  In “The Battle of Vienna: September 12, 1683,” Richard Lysiak writes, “The Turks never recovered from the battle, while the Ottoman Empire survived for another two hundred plus years, from here on out it was merely a holding action.”  Had the Turks won, Europe might have fallen to Islam, and professing Christianity would have been wiped from the face of the earth. Truly, the Battle of Vienna was a turning point in human history.

At both Tours and Vienna, Europe was saved from falling into the hands of the Muslim hordes.  Had either of these decisive battles gone the other way, we might be speaking Arabic today.  On September 11, 2001, the Islamic powers gained revenge for their defeat in Vienna and Tours.  The battle continues.

In a Biblical sense, the “War on Terror” can be seen as a futile reaction against punishment from God.  Our western nations continue to be under siege from Muslim extremists.  We have been blessed for so long that we take for granted God’s bounty.  However, these blessings are conditional, and we have broken the conditions.  “But if ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant: I also will do this unto you . . .” Leviticus 26:14-16.  Now, what would be the first cursing that the Almighty God would bring upon His people for their disobedience?  “I will even appoint over [upon] you terror . . . .”  This is incredible!  God’s first action would be to allow terrorist attacks on His people.  Instead of fighting the cause for the terror — disobedience to God’s Laws — the United States, Britain, Australia, and their allies only fight the instruments of terror, those who perpetrate terror.  This is absolutely futile, counter productive.  Muslims are right in their revulsion of western culture, which is soaked in sexual permissiveness, crass materialism.  Unless we repent, our western nations are doomed to fall, this time without champions like Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski to defend us.

Here is the end result of rebellion against God’s laws: “And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.  And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them,” Leviticus 26:38-39.

There is only one valid response to terror:  repentance!  “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me . . . I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly . . . But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors . . .” verses 40-45.  The punishment of terror is the first step in God’s plan to discipline His people. Only in captivity will some repent and turn back to the Eternal.  That is why we suffered September 11.


Halibut: Holy Day Fish


An E-mail from G.M. states, “We believe as you, in keeping the clean food laws along with Biblical Holy Days etc. I noticed on your website that you have halibut listed as a clean fish.  Problem:  Halibut is a bottom feeder/scavenger and has no scales. I learned this because we caught several, and specifically asked my fishing guide since I saw no scales recently while in Alaska fishing for salmon.  Consequently, I brought no halibut home.”

Answer:  We will continue to list halibut as a clean fish.  Our daughter, Barbara Nickels Parada, a Marine Biologist, provides this information:

“Pacific halibuts have scales. My Audubon Society Field Guide confirms it, as well as the websites listed below. Bottom feeders especially need scales for protection because they’re more susceptible to predation. As far as I know, all fish in the flounder family (Bothidae) have scales (either cycloid or ctenoid), although some only have them on the eyed side. There are other flatfish that are naked (some soles and tongue fishes).  Sorry he missed the chance to eat some great fish!”

The Pacific halibut, a clean fish, has cycloid scales — scales with a smooth rear edge, which makes the scales smooth to touch.  Perhaps that is why the gentleman did not recognize them as scales.  The word “halibut,” comes from “hally-butte,” Middle English, meaning flatfish to be eaten on holy days.  Halibut literally means, “Holy flatfish”!


Interpolation or Inspired Scripture?


An E-mail respondent writes, “I just finished reading your article, ‘King James Version Translation Errors’, and am wondering why you left out the interpolations in John 7:53-8:11.”

AnswerJohn 7:53-8:11 is not an interpolation.  It is in the Received Text, and as such should be considered inspired Scripture.  Green’s Interlinear Bible includes this passage.  The NIV omits this passage entirely, stating, “The earliest and most reliable manuscripts do not have John 7:53-8:11.”  By this they obviously mean the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts, which may be “earler” but they are corrupt.

One of the most insidious attacks against God’s Word comes from Bible translations which down­play the Textus Receptus, and promote the corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts.

We strongly recommend two books by Gail Riplinger, New Age Bible Versions, 700 pp., $15, and The Language of the King James Bible, 179 pp., $10.  These books expose the errors of the NIV, NKJV, NASB, and other translations, and authenticate the King James Version as the best available English translation.