Newsletter 82 December 2005


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Should a Christian Fight? | Sexual Perversion | Lesson from Austria | Do You Have the Time? | Back to the Basics | The Sabbath and Military Service | Steve Collins’ Books on Israel | Every Man Shall Sit Under His Vine | Fourteen Rules for Bible Study | 52-week Bible Reading Plan


Should a Christian Fight?


Some in the Church of God today support military service. Others do not address this important Bible topic.  In spite of the fact of our long-standing doctrine of conscientious objection to military service, and the numerous Bible admonitions for Christians to abstain from carnal warfare, some have corrupted the Church with the teaching that it is proper, even a patriotic duty, for believers to serve in the military.  The truth is, that military service is fundamentally opposed to our core beliefs, and it is neither patriotic nor Biblical, to be a military slave and kill others in warfare.

The study, “The Sabbath and Military Service,” covers this topic.  In addition, we have reprinted a Church of God classic, L. Leroy Neff’s thesis, “Should a Christian Fight?”  It is available on the Internet at, or in printed form for $4 from Giving & Sharing.


How Early American Pilgrims Handled Sexual Perversion


The following is an excerpt from the writings of William Bradford, second governor of the Plymouth Colony, from Book II, Chapter 32, written in 1642:

“And after the time of the writing of these things befell a very sad accident of the like foul nature in this government, this very year, which I shall now relate. There was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger. He was servant to an honest man of Duxbury, being about 16 or 17 years of age. (His father and mother lived at the same time at Scituate.) He was this year detected of buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey. Horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the history requires it. He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practice towards the mare. (I forbear particulars.) Being upon it examined and committed, in the end he not only confessed the fact with that beast at that time, but sundry times before and at several times with all the rest of the forenamed in his indictment. And this his free confession was not only in private to the magistrates (though at first he strived to deny it) but to sundry, both ministers and others. . . .

“And whereas some of the sheep could not so well be known by his description of them, others with them were brought before him and he declared which were they and which were not. And accordingly he was cast by the jury and condemned, and after executed about the 8th of September, 1642. A very sad spectacle it was. For first the mare and then the cow and the rest of the lesser cattle were killed before his face, according to the law, Leviticus 20:15; and then he himself was executed. The cattle were all cast into a great and large pit that was digged of purpose for them, and no use made of any part of them.

“Upon the examination of this person and also of a former that had made some sodomitical attempts upon another, it being demanded of them how they came first to the knowledge and practice of such wickedness, the one confessed he had long used it in old England; and this youth last spoken of said he was taught it by another that had heard of such things from some in England when he was there, and they kept cattle together. By which it appears how one wicked person may infect many, and what care all ought to have what servants they bring into their families.”

The Pilgrims were struggling to survive living in the wilderness of the New World, but they were willing to destroy valuable livestock in order to obey God’s Law!  No wonder the Almighty blessed America!  Today, our nation does not regard the seriousness of sexual sin.  Bestiality would not even be punished.  We are headed down a slippery slope into the abyss of evil.  May the Almighty help us to repent of our sins!  May the Eternal give our Church leaders the courage to speak the Truth in love.


The Seventh Day: Revelations from the Lost Pages of History


We have received favorable comments on the fascinating five-part video series on the history of the Sabbath.  These videos are an excellent tool to share with non-Sabbath-keepers to help explain our beliefs.

The Seventh Day: Revelations from the Lost Pages of History,” narrated by Hal Holbrook, is available in either VHS (NTSC) or DVD.  Order from Giving & Sharing for $20 single copy, $18 for multiple copies, or $90 for the entire five-part series.  Postage: add $2 per video for shipment to North America, $5 per video International.

When ordering, specify VHS or DVD:

215-1  Origins of the Sabbath, 52 min

215-2  Jesus and the “Change” of the Sabbath, 47 min.

215-3  Sabbath Persists Through the Dark Ages, 48 min.

215-4  The Reformation and the Revival of the Sabbath, 60 min.

215-5  Explosion of Sabbath-keeping in the Modern Era, 83 min.

Giving & Sharing provides a great deal of material on Church History, and we are very pleased to add these excellent videos to our list of recommended items.  For more Church History information, see our Order Form, or visit our website at:


Seismos in Divers Places


In Matthew 24:7, the Savior pro­phesies, “there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes [seismos, Strong’s #4578] in divers places.”  We get our word, “seismology,” which is the study of earthquakes, from seismos.  However, the word can also mean “commotion, tempest.”  In Matthew 8:24, we see the same word referring to a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. So, Jesus was predicting that natural disasters such as earthquakes and violent storms would be signs of His return and of the end of the age.  The recent Asian tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, which devastated the southern United States, are examples of seismos.


Lesson from Austria


Kitty WerthmanThe following story illustrates the devastating effect of “creeping socialism.”  It is also a lesson for us spiritually, for this is how the Church of God has gone off track, one step at a time.

Isaiah 9:16, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.”  It is easy to see how gullible we can be.  One can see how our ancestors got duped, but it is not clear if we are any better.  Can we really learn from these historic events staring us in the face?  The politicians certainly have.

Kitty Werthman saw Hitler’s rise to power in prewar AustriaDer Fuehrer did not conquer by force. He was eagerly welcomed by the people because the Nazis promised free health care, retirement income, unemployment benefits, guaranteed wages, free nursery care, equal rights for women, gun control, and other enticements that now are part of the American political scene. Can we learn from Austria’s mistake before it is too late?  Here is Kitty’s story:

What I’m about to tell you is something you’ve probably never read, or will ever read in history books. I believe that I’m an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected Hitler by 98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publication. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took over Austria.

In 1938, Austria was in deep depression. We had nearly one-third of our work force unemployed, 25% inflation, and a 25% interest rate from banks. Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy every day. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work, but there simply wasn’t any work. My mother was a very devout woman who believed that you have to help the people in need. I remember she had a big kettle of soup every day, on the stove, and we baked bread to feed those poor hungry people, about thirty each day.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Lenzt, and Grotz were being destroyed. The people became desperate, and petitioned the government to let the people decide what kind of government they wanted. We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime. But they did have a high living standard. There was nothing being said of persecution of anyone, Jewish or otherwise, just that everyone was happy. We wanted the same thing for Austria. We were promised that if we would vote for Hitler, everyone would be employed in two or three weeks, and he would help the family. He also said that businesses would be helped. And the farmers would get their farms back.

Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany, and have Hitler be our ruler. We were so joyful that for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. They opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed. After the election, everyone was appointed from Germany. Like a miracle, suddenly we had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was being created by the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married women did not work outside of the home. The husband would be looked down (upon) because he couldn’t support a family. The teaching profession was overjoyed that women could go back to the jobs they gave up for marriage. Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good school; 98% of the population was Catholic at that time, so we had religion in our schools.  The day we elected Hitler, March 13, 1938, I walked into my schoolroom and found our crucifix had been replaced with Hitler’s picture and the flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class that we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. We sang Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alis and had physical education instead. Our parents were not happy about the sudden change.

On Sunday, we had National Youth Day. It was compulsory to attend. We were told if our parents would not send us on Sunday, they would get a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of three hundred dollars, and the third time they would be subject to jail. As time went along, we loved it. The first two hours we had political indoctrination. The rest of the day, we had sports. We all had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and tell our parents, gleefully, what a wonderful time we were having.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that, and she told me that someday when I grew up, I might be grateful. I almost hated my mother. It was a very good curriculum; hardly any fun, no sports and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first, but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while on holidays I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their lifestyle was very alarming to me.

By that time, it was glorified to be an unwed mother; to have a baby for Hitler. They lived a very loose lifestyle, without religion. It seemed strange to me that all of this changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother had done, so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of philosophy.

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. That meant all food was rationed and you couldn’t buy anything without food stamps. At the same time, the Full Employment Law was passed. Which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have one, you starved to death. The women who stayed home and raised their family for years and didn’t have any skills often had to take a job that was for men. Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male or female, to give one year in the Labor Corps. During the day, the girls had to work on the farms and then at night, they returned to their barracks and had their military training just like the men. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and in the Signal Corps. After the Labor Corps, they were not discharged, but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria and visit my friends, I find most of those women are emotional cripples, because they just were not geared to the same thing that men did in combat. Three months before I turned eighteen, I was severely injured in an air-raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the Labor Corps, and into the military service.

Socially, Hitler had to restructure the family. When the mothers had to go out into the workforce, the government immediately established childcare centers. You could bring your child from age four weeks on up to school age, and leave them there twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, under the total absolute care of the state. There were no motherly women there to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. They raised a whole generation by state.

By that time, no one talked about equal rights, we knew we had been had. Before Hitler, we had very good medicine. Many doctors from America came over to train at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, all the health care was socialized; free for everyone. The doctors were all salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at eight o’clock in the morning, forty people were already waiting, and at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two until your turn came. There was no money for research because they poured it all into free medicare for everybody. Work at the medical schools was literally stopped, so the doctors left and went to other countries.

As for welfare, our tax rates went up to 80%. Any young couple who got married immediately received a one thousand dollar loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All daycare and education was free. Going to college was subsidized, and high school was taken over by the government. Everyone who was entitled to something, whether it was food stamps, clothing, or subsidized housing, was given it by the government.

We had another agency designed to control the businesses. I had a brother-in-law whose restaurant had square tables and chairs. The government told him he had to have round tables because people can bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have more bathroom facilities. It was just a small business; a dairy business with a snack bar. His business couldn’t survive with all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses, and not many small businesses existed, they could be in control. We had consumer protection. We were told how we should shop, and what we should buy. Free enterprise was literally abolished. We had a planning agency, especially designed for farmers and private property owners. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, then tell the farmer what to produce and how to produce it.

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villages were surrounded by mountain passes which in the winter were closed off, with snow causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried. By genetics, the offspring were often retarded. When I got there I was told there were fifteen adult, mentally retarded, people, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one named Vincent really well. He was the janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior what they were doing. She said it was the state health department, taking him to an institution to teach him a trade, and to read and write. The families had to sign a paper. The paper had a little clause that they could not visit for six months, because it would interfere with their program and they might get homesick. When the six months passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not ignorant. We suspected what was happening. Those people all left in excellent physical health, and all died within six months. We called this euthanasia.

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler also said that the real way to catch the criminals (and we still had a few) was by the serial numbers of the guns, so we had to register our guns. Most of the people were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station and registered their guns. Not long afterward, they said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. They already knew who had the guns, so you had to turn them in, or they would come and get them.

We knew then that we had a full dictatorship. No more freedom of speech. If you said anything against the government, you were taken away. We knew many people who were taken away, not only Jews, but priests and ministers. It didn’t come overnight, it took five years from 1938 until 1943 to graduate into dictatorship. If we (would have) had a dictatorship overnight, we would have fought to our last breath, but we had creeping gradualism.

Now we had nothing except broom handles. The whole thing was almost unbelievable; that you could feed all this to the masses, little by little, and no one would object. It’s true, those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty, came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America is the greatest country in the world. Don’t let freedom slip away. After America, there is no place to go. — from the Internet

Do You Have the Time?



I knelt to pray but not for long,

I had too much to do.

I had to hurry and get to work

For bills would soon be due.


So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,

And jumped up off my knees.

My Christian duty was now done

My soul could rest at ease.


All day long I had no time

To spread a word of cheer.

No time to speak of  HIM to friends,

They’d laugh at me I’d fear.


No time, no time, too much to do,

That was my constant cry,

No time to give to souls in need

But at last the time, the time to die.


I went before the YAHWEH, I came,

I stood with downcast eyes.

For in his hands HE held a book;

It was the book of life.


HE looked into his book and said

“Your name I cannot find.

I once was going to write it down . . .

But never found the time.”

    from the Internet



Back to the Basics


How do you study the Bible?  Some believers think that you mainly compare various translations, or use lexicons to define Bible words.  While multiple translations and lexicons are sometimes helpful, these resources are secondary Bible Helps.

We recommend that you use the seven primary Basic Bible Study Tools: (1) Main Study Bible (KJV Wide Margin), (2) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, (3) Franklin Electronic Bible, (4) Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance, (5) Englishman’s Greek Concordance, (6) Interlinear Bible, (7) God’s Holy Spirit.  While we can help you obtain the first six tools, the Almighty is the only source for the Holy Spirit, which is essential to understanding spiritual Truth.

See our current Order Form, or visit our website for ordering Bible Study Tools.

    by Richard C. Nickels Ω