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					Vol. 7, No. 6       A newsletter for servants of the Almighty Eternal Creator, wherever they may be                       Nov/Dec 2001



“Christ… Leaving                                                                  Baptism & Passover:
                                                                                  Two Pictures of Our
 Us an Example”                                                                        Need for Christ
      by Norman Edwards                      Dear Norman:                                                            by Jerry Laws
                                                I am looking for
                                            as their main          a church that
                                                              focus. They wou has Jesus Christ

T                                                                                                           Fthoughtsprocess timesalva-
        he most important part of seventh day S                                 ld                              rom time to         my
                                                              abbath, observ have to keep the
        Christ’s earthly ministry All of the Chur                              e all the Holy
                                                                                                Days.                   keep coming
                                                             ch
        was dying for our sins. not have Jesu es of God that I am aware of                                  back to the       of
                                                            s Christ as th
The Apostle Paul said so:                  believe that if                    eir main focus. do            tion. The more I think about
                                                             you are keepin                     Th
      For I delivered to you first of all Holy Days
                                                        and are tithin        g the Sabbath ey              it, the broader and deeper it
                                                                                               , the
  that which I also received: that good standi                           g, you're a Ch
                                                                                         ristian in        gets. In this ever-expanding
                                                         ng and that's
  Christ died for our sins according bring up Je                         all                               process I’m being made more
                                                      sus in their mes you have to do. They
  to the Scriptures (1Cor 15:3).          of Unleavened                  sages                             keenly aware that there is
      For if when we were enemies there mus                Bread and that around the Feast                “nothing but Christ!” What
                                                     t be a Church            's about it.
  we were reconciled to God first in ou                                somewhere that Surely              I mean by this is that in the
                                                     r Lord and Sav                       believes
  through the death of His Son, their mai                              ior, Jesus the                     Father’s purity, He only views
                                                   n belief. I would                    Christ as
  much more, having been recon-             Thanks, — Dav             appreciate                          His beloved Son.
  ciled, we shall be saved by His                             id C. McCarble, a response.                    And by the Father’s grace
                                                                               Texas
  life (Rom 5:10).                       Dear David,                                                     (ability) we believers have been
    Christ and the Father                  I am look                                                    placed or positioned “in Christ”
demonstrated their love for seems th ing for a church like that                                         (1Cor 1:30) whether we are
                                                    at                                   to
us in this (Rom 5:8). It cer- things that many groups emphasize o! It                                   actively aware of it or not.
                                                        they do well,                     a few
tainly was a wonderful rest is not
                                                      important. M and act as if the                             Continued on page 24
thing. This message has all of us to                                    aybe Christ
                                                       sh                                wan
been preached many places together to se are what we know and w ts
                                                         rve Him. I h                       ork
by a great many Christian can be a star
                                                        t.
                                                                         ope these ar
                                                                                         ticles             Also in this issue:
denominations, and is very
                                                                      — Norman E                        2   Truckers Bible Study
good. Unfortunately, this                                                             dwards
message has often been                                                                                  3   News from Local Congregations
mixed with doctrinal error, but then,                                                                   6   Literature Mailed During Past
God often makes sure that those who                   Jesus made it very                                    Seven Years
seek more truth about Him find it (Deut clear that it was of His own choosing                           8   More Answers to Hierarchical
4:29; Jer 29:13).                                  that he “laid down His life” for us (John                Leader Letter
    But is there any more we should 10:11–18). “No one takes it from Me,
learn from the death and resurrection of but I lay it down of Myself. I have                            23 God Mentioned in the
Christ than His great love and His sac- power to lay it down, and I have power                             Constitutions of All 50 States of
rifice for sins? Would it have worked to take it again. This command I have                                the Union
equally well for the Messiah to have received from My Father” (John 10:18).                             25 Letters and Responses
lived on a deserted island and to have Christ voluntarily lived a life of service                       32 Church Bible Teaching Ministry
been killed by a wandering thief who and teaching which ultimately resulted                                Begins
killed Him in His sleep to steal His in His death. He learned from that life:
                                                                                                        32 Literature List
stash of coconuts?
    Absolutely not!                                                 Continued on page 15
                                                   SERVANTS’ NEWS

Truckers
Bible
Study                                                                         Vol. 7, No. 6                               Nov/Dec 2001
                                                                              The purpose of Church Bible Teaching Ministry is to continue the
                                                                              work of the Church that was started by Jesus Christ (Yeshua the
Oak Grove, Mo.                                                                Messiah) and His Apostles in the first century. This work involves
                                                                              expounding the truth of the Bible by means of preaching, teaching,
#88-90                                                                        writing and music as well as taking positive action to help and serve
                                                                              other believers and all people of the world. CBTM and those people
The Trucker’s Bible Study is conducted weekly at the Texaco                   who work within it are just a few of many parts of the Church, which
truck stop on I-70, Oak Grove, Missouri, by Arlo Gieselman,                   is the body of Christ. Servants’ News is a publication of CBTM.
often assisted by Lenny Cacchio, the writer of this series                         The gospel should be given freely—you may copy this
                                                                              newsletter and give it to others. CBTM has nothing to sell, but
                                                                              is supported by free-will offerings of individuals. We do not have
                                                                              IRS 501(c)(3) status, but Churches are tax exempt without this
November 4, 2001                                                              status (see IRS Publ. 557, Nov 1999 ed., p. 15). Please make
We had a great time this morning at the truck stop. We had four dri-          offerings to Church Bible Teaching Ministry.
vers, our regular guest Matt, and I brought a friend from Lee’s Sum-          Editor: Norman S. Edwards
mit.                                                                          Production Editor & Website Design: David King
   My plans today were to do a study of the Sabbath beginning in              Servants’ News Staff: Bill Buckman, Marleen Edwards,
                                                                                   Missi Lara, David Meidinger, Jon D. Pike, Charlotte Ruppert,
Genesis, but instead we had a study on a few of the Holy Days                      Christine Yoos
beginning in Genesis. We started with the sin of Adam and Eve, and            Website Hosting: Gary Lesperance, garyl@mcsauto.com
Matt mentioned that when God told them that they would die if they            Contributors: Many! Thanks to everyone!
ate from the tree, they probably didn’t know what He meant                         Notice: The people listed above do not necessarily endorse
because they had never seen death before this. This led to a discus-          every item in this newsletter.
sion about God clothing them with skins, which would have meant                    New articles and corrections to previous articles will be
the death of an innocent animal (and the shedding of blood), which            considered for printing. We do not return writings sent to us, so
would have been a precursor of the sacrifice of the innocent Lamb             please make copies of anything you need to keep. Send to:
of God.                                                                                            Servants’ News
   This lead to Exodus 12 and the Passover, and the parallels                  P.O. Box 107, Perry, Michigan 48872-0107
between that and the accounts of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the           Phone: 517-625-7480 Fax: 517-625-7481
Gospels.                                                                           E-Mail: Info@ServantsNews.com
   We then talked about the differences between the Old and New                    Internet: www.servantsnews.com
Covenants, and I was pleased that they could see that the problem
with the Old Covenant was not the covenant but the people, who                     Magazine and literature requests may be sent to the
were unable to live by it. This led to a discussion of Pentecost and          following addresses. Money received at these locations will be
                                                                              used for duplicating and mailing. Please make checks out to the
the likelihood that the Old Covenant was made with Israel at about            name shown with the address:
that time, and how the New Covenant was ratified by the giving of             Australia: Dale Heslin, 9 Alice Jackson Crescent, Gilmore,
the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. It is that Holy Spirit which writes the                       ACT 2905. e-mail: dale@pcug.org.au
law in our hearts, as indicated in Hebrews 8.                                 Canada:       Cherie Zimmerman, 268 Pennswood Way SE,
   So we had our basis for discussion, and I was pleased to see the                         Calgary, AB T2A 4T3. e-mail: uscazim2@aol.com
depth of Bible understanding that they had.                                   Philippines: Cesar Lumbuan; 2298 Flerida St. Balagtas,
   One item that struck me earlier this week was a broadcast of                             Pandacan, Manila. e-mail: maxzen@skyinet.net
                                                                              U.K.:         Jenny Whiteman, 2 Warren Road, Narborough,
                                                   Continued on page 29                     Leicester, LE9 5DR.
                                                                                            e-mail: 100623.734@compuserve.com
                   E-mail subscriptions also available                        This publication is produced as a right of freedoms of religion,
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In addition to the normal printed copy edition which can be received in the   not legal or professional advice or recommendations.
normal post, you can also receive Servants’ News by e-mail in Portable
                                                                               Most Scripture quotes are from the New King James Version
Document Format (PDF), which can be read using the free Adobe Acrobat
Reader (www.adobe.com), which looks the same as the printed copy.                 Circulation mailed from the USA: 1758;
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                                                                              Servants’ News is published bimonthly (six times per year).
available on the website (www.servantsnews.com). Thus the four options are:   Issues are regularly sent free to people who request the
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Page 2                                                                                                                   Nov/Dec 2001
                                             SERVANTS’ NEWS

                                              News from
                                     Local
                                  Congregations
This column includes information sent to us from a variety of groups. Servants’ News does not necessarily agree with the teachings
or practices of these groups. Please ask about them before attending their functions.

Detroit Area Special Speakers               Tabernacles sites that welcome non-         Maryland residents add sales tax of
                                            aligned believers. We are especially in-    $0.68/CD, $0.50/cassette, $0.30/ song
You are invited to hear two Sabbath         terested in sites held with calendars       sheet set, and $0.40/ “piano only” CD
messages on Saturday May 18, 2002 at        other than the Jewish Calendar. Many        or cassette. For shipping discounts on
the Unity East Church, 23057 Nun-           calendars are a whole month different       orders of 2 or more, or if someone can-
neley, Clinton Township, MI 48036.          than the Jewish Calendar this year and      not afford the full price, contact Barri
Jeff and Sharon Ledy will speak on          so it does not work to attend with an-      at the address above or e-mail:
Conflict Resolution from 12 noon to         other group that is only a day off. Even    barri@dovesongs.com. Any profits will go
1:30 pm, followed by a potluck meal,        if just a few families gathering, please    toward producing her next CD,
then Love Languages from 3:00 to 4:30       send Feast information: location,           Comfort You My People. For details
pm. Take I-94 north out of Detroit; at      dates, contact information, and a           about the performers and to hear song
exit 236 go west on Metro Parkway,          few sentence description of what this       samples, visit www.dovesongs.com.
cross Harper Ave then look for Unity        site is like (traditional CoG sermonette                         — Barri Armitage
East Church on the north side; pass it,     and sermons, completely interactive,
turning right onto N. Nunneley.             shared meals, use sacred names,              Ray Wooten to Speak at
   The Ledys have presented these and       planned activities, etc.). While we un-
other messages at Feasts and seminar        derstand and appreciate long messages       Sabbath Campers Fellowship
weekends. The topics are from their         about the greatness of God’s Feasts         Ray Wooten will be speaking at the
marriage seminar, but are helpful to        and the beauty of various places He         Sabbath Campers Fellowship week-
people of all ages, married or single. I    has created, we do not have room to in-     end, August 23–25. at Shady Green
think most brethren would find them         clude them all. Send detailed literature    Pastures, near Charlotte, Michigan. A
very edifying. The Ledys and my fam-        like this to those who contact you.         Bible study will be held Friday night.
ily both attend the Church of God                                — Norman Edwards       The Sabbath schedule is: 11:00 a.m.
Fellowship in Haslett, Michigan.                                                        singing, noon services, and a 3:00 p.m.
Contact Allen Turner at 586-463-3856            Scripture Songs on CD                   potluck meal. Saturday evening, there
or Jeff Ledy at 517-625-6383.                                                           will be a concert by The Northmen, a
                   — Norman Edwards         Think On These Things, a profession-        Gospel quartet from Indiana, at
                                            ally produced CD and audio cassette         7:00 p.m. Recreational activities are
     Michigan Feast Site                    with 16 inspirational songs by poet         planned for Sunday. More details will
                                            Barri Armitage, includes several songs      be provided in future issues. If you
I have found several good places for a      which focus on the Spring Holy Days:        would like to help or need more infor-
Feast of Tabernacles 2002 site, and         Oh, Lord, You Have Searched Me,             mation now, contact:
will be choosing one shortly. I am in-      Healed By His Stripes, Bought With a                               — Kelli Brophy
terested in sites similar to the Chadron    Price, Song of Moses, and songs adapt-                         Kellibrophy@yahoo.com
State Park site we used last year (see      ed from Psalms 113 and 116, tradition-
Sept/Oct 2001 issue). It had a place        al psalms for those days. Barri has         New Service in Detroit Area
with a central meeting/dining hall          poetically adapted scriptures and set
where we did our own cooking and a          them to folk melodies.                      A new Church of God fellowship has
variety of accommodations, from mo-            Servants’ News provides free copies      been formed and is now meeting week-
tels to cabins to camping. I will pro-      of Sheet Music to this album. To            ly on Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. All
vide information in the next issue          obtain the CD, send check or M.O. to:       in the greater Metro Detroit area are in-
                    — Norman Edwards        Barri Armitage, 13904 N. Gate Dr.,          vited to attend. Please contact us at:
                                            Silver Spring, MD 20906. Prices             Messianic Church of God, P.O. Box
Send Info on Other Feast Sites              (which include S&H): $16.00/CD;             214036, Auburn Hills, MI 48321. Our
                                            $12/cassette; $8.00/song sheet set;         email address is messiahcog@hotmail.com.
If you have not already done so, please     $10.00/CD or cassette with piano only.      Our website address is: mcog.israelite.info.
send information on other Feast of          International orders, add $l.00.            Phone: 248-853-6675. We would great-
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                              Page 3
                                           SERVANTS’ NEWS

ly appreciate any service you can be to    over the Gihon Springs. If his research      works like Adam Clarke’s commentary
us by spreading the word. Thank you!       is accepted by the rabbis currently          are still in use 175 years later.
        — Don Frith and Jory Brooks        hoping to build a temple, it may be             I believe Dr. Martin was blessed by
                                           possible to do what many have former-        our Father in that he spent no great
   Ernest Martin Dies at 69                ly considered impossible—build a             amount of time suffering, but spent all
                                           Jewish Temple without destroying the         but a few days of his life studying and
Dr. Ernest Martin, 69, died in his Port-   Dome of the Rock.                            teaching—the things he liked to do
land, Oregon home, January 16, 2002.           Dr. Martin was also the fundamen-        best. May God bless us with more men
He is survived by his wife, Ramona,        tal inspiration for “the Original Bible      with a similar desire to study and teach.
one son and two daughters. He suffered     Project”, in the process of completion                           — Norman Edwards
a heart attack while working at his        by James Tabor.
computer—having largely recovered              I have only read part of Ernest              Original Bible Project
from a heart attack on January 4th.        Martin’s work, and have disagreed
   He graduated from Ambassador            with some of his conclusions—he              Previous issues of Servants’ News
College in 1958, received an M.A. in       appeared to believe in universal salva-      have indicated that the Original Bible
1962 and a Ph.D. in 1966. From 1960        tion and did not observe the Sabbath         Project was scheduled to be complete
to 1972, he was Senior Professor of        and other laws the way that I do. But        in the year 2000, but it has been de-
History and Theology at the Brickett       nor did he accept the false doctrines of     layed a couple of years in an effort to
Wood campus. He also served as Dean        mainstream Christianity. Nevertheless,       keep its accuracy and consistency at
of Faculty and secured an alliance with    I think he set a fine example in             the highest possible level. The Original
Hebrew University in Israel to bring       methodology. He gave reasons for his         Bible Project is largely the work of
students to help with archeological        conclusions and was usually willing to       James Tabor and is an effort to produce
digs. Dr. Martin’s style did not fit in    discuss opposing points of view. He          a translation with an accurate meaning
well with the growing centralized con-     recognized and appreciated the work          within the known historical and lin-
trol in the WCG. His desire to study       of many others, even though they dis-        guistic context, avoiding traditional re-
deeply and to write whatever conclu-       agreed with him. While being widely          ligious interpretations.
sions were produced by his analysis of     read and seeming to have an opinion             Consistency is not an easy task in
the facts caused him to split off from     on most Biblical subjects, he did not        Bible translation. When different
the WCG in 1974.                           have to have “the limelight”. I remem-       members of a translation team work on
   After leaving the WCG, he started       ber he graciously accepted my talking        different sections of the Bible, it is
the Foundation for Biblical Research       through most of his time slot in a 3-        quite easy for some words to be trans-
and the the Associates for Scriptural      man presentation on the Biblical calen-      lated differently by each team. Even
Knowledge (A.S.K.) in 1985. During         dar that I shared with him. I asked him      the well-respected King James Version
this time he authored 10 books, 200        if he wanted me to stop, but he said         has this problem. For example, the
booklets and 200 taped lectures. His       “keep going” and spoke for only a few        Hebrew moed means “appointed
ministry was different from the typical    minutes at the end. (He did agree with       times” and is most often used to refer
WCG splinter-group ministry in that it     my conclusion and I think was rather         to God’s appointed times, the Sabbath
did not claim to be “the one church” and   amused by my rather youthful presen-         and Holy Days. Yet the KJV translates
most of those served were not former       tation at the time.)                         it as: “congregation, feast, season,
members of the WCG. Furthermore,               The death of this diligent Bible stu-    appointed, time, assembly, solemnity,
Dr. Martin interacted with mainstream      dent ought to give Church of God             solemn, days, sign, synagogues”.
Bible scholars and some actually           brethren a moment to think about the         When moed is translated “congrega-
respected his work. I have seen him        past and the future. Most of Dr. Martin’s    tion” it is almost always in the phrase
interviewed on network TV for a couple     books are still available at                 “tabernacle of the congregation”,
of biblical documentaries. The premise     Amazon.com, though some are out of           which would be better translated
of his book, The Star that Astonished      print—only used books for sale. There        “tabernacle of meetings” or “taberna-
the World, was accepted by numerous        are no books written against him.            cle of appointed times” or “tabernacle
planetariums throughout the world and      Whereas, of 20 books listed under            of Feasts”. The other greatly varying
used as the explanation of the star seen   “Herbert W Armstrong”, only one actu-        translations obscure the importance of
by the “Magi” that came to the birth of    ally written by him is still in print—a      God’s appointed times, making it very
Christ. (You can see an animated pre-      republication of his early writings edit-    difficult for a person to study the
sentation of this at the A.S.K. website:   ed by Richard Nickels. Used copies of        Feasts in the Bible with only an
www.askelm.com.)                           eight of his out-of-print books are there.   English language concordance. This is
   Martin also did extensive research      And then there are 11 books about            just one of many difficult situations a
on the original location of the temples    him—eight of which are against him!          translator faces.
in Jerusalem. He was convinced that        As some of our older Sabbatarian lead-          Dr. Robert Haak of Augustana Col-
neither temple was located on the site     ers and teachers finish their time in this   lege has been hired to edit the entire
of the Dome of the Rock mosque, but        life, we must think about what we will       Old Testament. Arrangements to find
south of the so-called Temple Mount        leave behind and where our new leaders       an editor for the New Testament are be-
and Western Wall, in the city of David     will come from. Remember, excellent          ing made. Both Dr. Haak and Dr. Tabor
Page 4                                                                                                       Nov/Dec 2001
                                              SERVANTS’ NEWS

have arranged for Sabbaticals from            Daily" of Daniel 8, How "the daily" and    more about forming congregations in
their universities for the fall of 2002, so   the prophetic time periods of Daniel       the future. Several people remarked
the entire Old Testament should be            relate to the festal calendar; John        that it gave them a better understand-
available near the end of 2002.               Merritt, MD Oconomowoc, Wisconsin          ing of how brethren from diverse
   I have sample pages of this Bible          (YHN26@aol.com), There is no such          backgrounds can function together.
and I think most Bible students will          thing as The Old Covenant, or The New      Many of those attending went to a
find it very helpful. While I do not feel     Covenant; Merwin Abbott, Norman,           restaurant for dinner after the Sabbath.
that this is a translation that will make     Arkansas (sabbathmorefully@earth-             Sunday morning, December 30, we
all other translations obsolete, it is cer-   link.net) Appointed Time After the         went south from Denver and saw the
tainly one worth reading all the way          Nailing; David Schwingel, Chicago,         Royal Gorge. It is a canyon that is over
through, and I am sure that I will fre-       Illinois (Ulairiver@aol.com), Opening      1,000 feet deep but only a few hundred
quently check it when studying                the Seals—a Day of Two Earthquates.        feet wide at the top. It is an excellent
Scripture. You can contact the Original           —M. Basner, 918-521-1414; e-           demonstration of the erroneous
Bible Project at 408 South Pasadena           mail: sabbathmorefully@yahoo.com, .        evolutionary thinking for most modern
Ave Suite 1; Pasadena, California             www.andrews.edu/ser vices/sabbathconfer-   geologists. The website says (at
91105; 626-799-2000; website:                 ence/2002/ Registration Information:       www.royalgorgebridge.com/history.htm) : “It is
www.centuryone.org/obp.html.                  www.andrews.edu/ser vices/sabbathconfer-   estimated that the Royal Gorge was
                    — Norman Edwards          ence/2002/registration.php3                THREE MILLION YEARS in the making.
                                                                                         The Arkansas River (at 1,400 miles,
 Forum Un-Recommended                             Edwards Winter Trip                    one of the longest rivers in America)
                                                                                         has cut its channel more than a
I mentioned the Fellowship Forum              Theses are highlights of the Edwards’      thousand feet deep through the granite
(www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user     family 2-week winter trip:                 at the estimated average of one foot
KevinWelch) in the July/Aug issue (p 5). It      Friday night, Dec 21 was spent at       every 2,500 years.”
appears to have largely changed into a        the home of Brian & Samantha Hoeck            What is wrong with that? It was evi-
forum trying to figure out what, if any,      near Chicago. We attended the after-       dent to me that there has been wind and
of the New Testament is true. I do not        noon Sabbath service there which was       rain erosion of the sides of the canyon
recommend it at this time. I have post-       held in a library conference room and      at a rate much faster than one foot
ed a message on this forum explaining         included some out-of-town guests. We       every 2,500 years. It seems that over a
more about my reasons.                        enjoyed the interactive study conduct-     foot of rock and dirt had eroded away
                     — Norman Edwards         ed by Don Reed. Then I spoke about         from some of the man-made structures
                                              starting a local congregation. Many        that are less than 100 years old. One
Sabbath Conference 2002                       said that it helped them understand        could see places in the bottom of the
                                              how to better work together.               gorge where piles of rubble sat that had
   This Proclaiming the Sabbath More             We then traveled to Colorado and        fallen from the sides. Obviously, I
Fully conference        will be held          spent a few days with Matt and Robin       could not take accurate measurements
Pentecost weekend, at Andrews                 Laws and family, then Leo and Anna         in one visit, nor could I find any data on
University, Berrien Springs, Michigan,        Bredehoft and family. Friday, the 28th,    the Internet, but if the sides are eroding
V. E. Garber Auditorium in Chan Shun          we rehearsed music for the Sabbath,        at an average of one foot every hundred
Hall, May 17-19, 2002 Presenters              and then spent the evening with            years (or even one foot every thousand
include: Peter Sander, Schaumburg, IL         Howard and Theresa Naasz in                years), and the bottom at only one foot
Ha'dlakat Ha'nerot and Kidush                 Littleton (a southern suburb of            every 2,500 years, then the canyon
(Friday-evening candle lighting ser-          Denver). The newspaper announce-           would be wider than it is deep. But it is
vice), Havdalah and Nerot b'Shavuot           ment for the Starting a Local              not! The 1,000-foot depth and only
(end of Sabbath service when followed         Congregation seminar was properly          few-hundred-foot width clearly show
by a holy day); Samuele Bacchiocchi,          submitted, but was not printed by the      that at some time in the past this canyon
Berrien Springs, Michigan (sbacchioc-         Denver papers. I had prayed that non-      must have been cut very quickly! Water
chi@qtm.net) The Sabbath and the              CoG people would come only if it           receding from a great flood would do
Savior; Richard Washington, Inkster,          were God’s will for them to do so.         just such a thing.
Michigan, He Shall Think to Change;           While I believe that Church of God            We went to Dallas/Fort Worth on
Michael Horton, Chicago, Illinois             groups must learn to reach out to oth-     Monday the 31st. We met with my
(LETHOR510@aol.com) Christ as                 ers, it is more difficult to structure a   cousin who explained about a non-
Liberator in the Feasts: Worship              message to be helpful to both groups.      denominational service organization in
Renewal; Sidney L. Davis, Jr., ND             As it was, over 50 former CoG people       which he was involved. I may write
North Chicago, Illinois (sabbathmore-         attended and we were able to cover a       more about it in the future. We also vis-
fully@aol.com), The Law in Galatians          lot of ground in regard to starting a      ited my wife’s family. We went to the
- an examination of the 1888 message          local congregation. Many helpful com-      Fayetteville Arkansas area where I vis-
and its impact on the SDA theology of         ments and questions were raised by the     ited my parents and also spent an hour
the la;. Tom Stapleton, B.C., Canada          brethren in attendance. I learned a lot
(staelectric@uniserve.com),      "The         from this meeting and hope to write                       Continued on page 31
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                Page 5
                                         SERVANTS’ NEWS


Literature Mailed During Past Seven Years
   The following two-page chart shows total literature items we sent during the last seven years. It does not include the
approximately 100,000 issues of Servants’ News issues mass-mailed as a part of the regular circulation, or the more than
10,000 literature items included with those issues. It does not include a few thousand items given away at Feast and con-
ference displays. The number of ultimate readers is unknown since these items are easy to copy and many people do so.
   Almost all literature was specifically requested by our readers, the major exception being the initial package sent to
readers where we frequently include popular literature like How Does the Eternal Govern Through Humans?
   The “***” line, below, contains the combined totals for over a hundred low-volume items of which we shipped less
than 24 in every year. The 15,000+ back issues we mailed were also combined into one line, otherwise they would take
about 60 lines.You may request this literature (except personal and “discontinued” items”) by its title or “Order Code”.
              Y    E    A    R           ORDER
TOTAL 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 CODE                    LITERATURE NAME
41429 3178 10684 8540 5854 5043 4400 3730                     (grand totals of everything shown below)
15241 1544 4937 3223 1950 1648 1087           852             (combined Servants’ News back issues mailed separately)
 3496 374 1420 914 480 190       94            24             (combined literature items we have discontinued)
 1742 320 734 236 147 116 124                  65   GOVHUM    How Does the Eternal Govern Through Humans?
 1443            279 406 342 236              180   LITLST    Servants’ News Complete Literature List
 1190            317 306 314 107              146   CARDSN    Card asking for signature for 2nd class mail for SN
 1188 249 515 159      71   78   72            44   ASABB     Assembling on the Sabbath
 1085   33 104 162 171 107 239                269             (***combined totals for all other literature not listed here)
  933   13 143 154 190 121 176                136             (combined totals for all custom personal items, such as
                                                              personal letter answers, copies of papers, cards, etc.)
  792                106    85    234   228   139             (label size notes sent as brief personal messages to readers)
  791     83   313   145    67     63    76    44 HWA39G      Did Christ Reorganize the Church? (1939 HWA government ar-
                                                              ticle)
  689    157   254   132    46     34    43    23   WCGSPL    The Worldwide Church of God Splits: Their Triumphs & Troubles
  634          336   124    52     55    46    21   CALBAS    Biblical Calendar Basics
  481            3   248    79     82    51    18   HOWGIV    How Do We Give to the Eternal?
  465                       61    183   145    76             (Shelter in the Word back issues mailed separately)
  448                 46    83     51   147   121   RELIG     What Is Christian Religion?
  396     98   156    84    33     10    12     3   COVLAW    Does the New Covenant Do Away With the Letter of the Law?
  392     59   196    91    23     11     9     3   COVDO     Just What Does the New Covenant Do?
  390     27    11    88   102     88    47    27   PUBLET    Letter to people letting them know their letter was published
  373          139   100    37     68    13    16   SAMPSN    Letter sent with Sample SN.
  345          189   100    35      9     6     6   TRUECH    Where Is the True Church Today?
  311      8    57    29    75     26   109     7   RESFAC    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ—Is it a Fact?
  305     13    70    56    73      8    39    46   BS7OR1    The Bible Sabbath: Seventh or First Day?
  284                111    61     36    45    31   JOURNL    The Journal: News of the Churches of God (sample copy)
  276     19   124    59    25     23    15    11   GIVSHO    Giving and Sharing Order Form
  268                109    43     29    35    52   LRCOGD    Living Room Church of God Directory
  259                       13     93   127    26   SCABRO    Scattered Brethren Contact List
  240           46   120    36     11    16    11   SABHIS    Sabbath History Newsletter (sample copy)
  236          104    71    35     12     9     5   HEROOT    Hebrew Roots Newsletter (sample copy)
  226     11   102    43    11      7     8    44   HRPO      History Research Projects Order Form
  224          119    49    37      3     7     9   SABSEN    The Sabbath Sentinel Magazine (and BSA order form)
  192                 75    43     22    41    11   REASON    The Reason for the Season
  191                               2    86   103   EJUDGE    What Does the Bible Say About Eternal Judgment?
  190      7    18    58    39     26    17    25   GCGREL    Global Church of God Relationship Package
  177                 68    51     37    11    10   CHUGOV    Church Government?
  176           83    57    13     14     7     2   BSTOOL    Basic Bible Study Tools
  174           17    84    21     15    18    19   UNMEAT    Does the Bible Permit Christians to Eat “Unclean” Meat in New
                                                              Testament Times?
  162                 15      3    51    87     6 MOVED       Page telling people that we have moved
  160                                         160 ALLIVE      All Who Die Shall Live Again!
  158           70    47    25      7     6     3 BEACON      The Christian Beacon

Page 6                                                                                                 Nov/Dec 2001
                                 SERVANTS’ NEWS
              Y    E    A    R           ORDER
TOTAL 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 CODE            LITERATURE NAME
  150             42   30   17   39    22 GDPROB God, I’ve Got a Problem
  141                  46   35   33    27 FBIC    Freedom Biblical Information Center Catalog
  139                                 139 HOLYSC The Holy Scriptures
  134        15   38   28   47    6       CEMCOR CEM Correspondence Course
  133   10   47   14   12    1   41     8 BARNAB Barnabas Ministries Bookmark Bunch
  132             67   44    9   10     2 CONDER Is Christianity a Fraud? A Preliminary Assessment of the Conder
                                                  Thesis
  131                       93   22    16 MYST7 The Mysterious 7-Day Cycle
  130        55   40   18    8    7     2 WHYSUN Why Do You Observe Sunday?
  119        26   11   21   24   25    12 STARTL Starting letter for someone put on the SN list by someone else
  118             34   54   14   10     6 HWABIO Herbert W. Armstrong: 1892-1986
  110             35   37   22    7     9 REMNIS The Remnant of Israel, An Analysis of G. G. Ruppert
  100                  51   23   15    11 EIGHTS Eight Studies: Ordination, Laying on of Hands, Tithing, Nicolai-
                                                  tans, Cain, Balaam, Korah, Teachers
   95                  44   17   32     2 PASGID A Pastoral Guide on True Shepherding & Caring for the Flock of
                                                  God with Servant Leadership & “Being Helpers of Their Joy!”
   94                       50   29    15 MAY74 May 2, 1974 Member Letter about Church Government
   92                       27   18    47 SWLIST Shelter in the Word Literature List
   88        42   31    9    4    2       LAZARS Lazarus and the Rich Man
   87                                  87 KERSHA Unlicensed Church Materials Order Form
   86                       49   32     5 HWACW1 Herbert Armstrong Co-Worker Letter Reprints
   81   63    2    7    6    3            ALLLET Letter to Many Brethren, Bulk mailed February 1995
   78             32   31    6    6     3 WNUSBP Rebuttal to the “Worldwide News” (12/19/95) Article by Ralph
                                                  Orr: “United States and Britain in Prophecy”
   76             44   25    6    1       SEVERA The Seven Eras of Ancient Israel—Type of the Eras of the True
                                                  Church
   75   21   26    8   4     5    5     6 RECEXP Current Statement of Offerings and Expenses (automatically
                                                  sent to the approx. 300 people who send offerings each year).
   74                       46   15    13 CG7OLD Church of God 7th Day Old Documents About Herbert Armstrong
   65             20   38    6    1       ASSERT Should God’s People Be Assertive?
   64                                  64 SASABB Scriptures About the Sabbath
   63                            56     7 ROMECH Are You Ready for Rome’s Challenge?
   62             29   16    4   11     2 CBSG    Christian Bible Study Guide
   58        10   32    6    5    3     2 WAITAR Ask reader to wait for comment on article submitted.
   57                                  57 WHENHE When Will God Heal?
   55   14   27    9    4               1 GOALIT Explaining current goals of Servants’ News and lit list
   53             41    9    2    1       UTIMEM Utilizing the Members in the Local Congregations and In the
                                                  Work: A System to Ensure Fair Opportunity for All
   52              1        38    8     5 PURGCD Purge letter sent with card when no communication for years.
   51                       41    4     6 PASPER Passover in Perspective
   47                            40     7 GVEY2K God vs. Evolution Y2K
   43                                  43 DECLAR The Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution
   41                  29    7    4     1 THIDEA The Theological Marketplace of Ideas Or, the Three “C’s” of Min-
                                                  istry
   40                  29    4    4     3 COMINT Computer and Internet/World Wide Web Guide
   39                             5    34 SN0007S Response page for July/August 2000 Issue
   38                                  38 THINKO Think On These Things Sheet Music
   36                            36       GIDEON Lessons from Gideon
   35                                  35 LPROV Learning from the Proverbs
   34                            30     4 COGNEW The Churches of God Newsletter
   32                                  32 ARCOG Ambassador Report: Should Church of God Brethren Read It?
   31                                  31 NEWLIF A New Life
   27                                  27 SINOTH What Should I Do About the Sins of Others?
   26                            24     2 KJVERR King James Version Translation Errors
   25                                  25 DISFEL Is Disfellowshipping a Christian Practice?
   24                                  24 MERLET March 14, 1980 Letter to Rod Meredith from Herbert Armstrong

Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                            Page 7
                                                   SERVANTS’ NEWS


More Answers to Hierarchical
       Leader Letter
          Robert J. Thiel, Answering for Rod Meredith of the Living Church of God
Mr. Thiel requested that I print his letter as one continuous piece without breaking it up. I attempted to do this by assigning let-
ters to each of his 18 sections to which I wanted to respond, but too much page-turning was required to read it. You may honor
Mr. Thiel’s request by reading just his letter first, then coming back to read my responses later. The Living Church of God may
be reached at P.O. Box 501304, San Diego, CA 92150; tel: 858-673-7470; e-mail: media@cogl.org.                 —Norman Edwards

LETTER:
Robert J. Thiel                                                 Servants’ News, PO Box 107, Perry, Michigan, 48872-0107, USA
Arroyo Grande, CA                                                                      April 25, 2000
COGwriter@aol.com
                                                   Dear Leader in a Hierarchical Church Organization,
December 18, 2001
                                                        Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am sending this letter to Church of God leaders who
Dear Norman Edwards:                               are attempting to continue the work of Herbert Armstrong. If you have answers to the following ques-
    This is in response to your letter to hier-    tions, I will gladly publish your entire response in Servants’ News (up to 3,000 words)—even if you
                                                   send a previously written article that answers these questions. After Pentecost, I intend to publish
archical COG organizations. I briefly men-         lists of groups that did and did not respond to this letter—both in Servants’ News and in The Journal.
tioned your letter to Roderick C. Meredith
and he said I could respond to it on his               1. Do not the members in your own church organization prove that the Eternal does
                                                   not always govern from the top down? For the past 20 years of his life, Herbert Armstrong taught
behalf if I wished. For the record, I should       that any problems “at the top” of the church government would be cleaned up by God Himself. Yet,
probably start off by saying that I did not        Herbert Armstrong appointed Joseph Tkach, who appointed his son, who reversed much of the
show Dr. Meredith the letter or mention most       truth that Herbert Armstrong taught. Herbert Armstrong’s appointees never told former WCG min-
of the questions to him, nor am I on the pay-      isters or members which was the “right group” to join. No group has any “signs” that make it obvi-
roll of the Living Church of God (LCG), nor        ously “the one”: no miracles like the early apostles, no annual new-convert growth over 10%, no
do I hold any ordained position. Your ques-        media outreach anything like the WCG. Your group may claim to be the only one following Herbert
                                                   Armstrong correctly, but it was your ministers and members who where able to think for themselves,
tions will be in italics as well as some of your
                                                   study the Scriptures and decide to join. They were not commanded from the “top down”, but they
more relevant comments.                            disobeyed the man appointed by Herbert Armstrong.
    1. Do not the members of your own
                                                       2. There are members who left the WCG, joined another WCG split-off group, then
church organization prove that the Eternal         joined your group. Are not these members proof that these other split-off groups are part of
does not always govern through the top             the Church of God and therefore brethren? Does your group automatically rebaptize or disci-
down? …church government would be                  pline former WCG members who attended another split-off group before joining yours? Or do you
cleaned up by God Himself… no group has            welcome them with open arms? I think it is wonderful to welcome them. But if you consider people
any “signs” which make it obviously “the           in other groups as brethren, then why don’t you encourage your members to fellowship with these
one”… no media outreach anything like the          brethren, share joint activities and services, etc.? Why do you continue the sectarianism that Paul
WCG… they (LCG members) disobeyed the              spoke against? (1Cor 1:10–17; 3:1–10.) How do you explain this to the new converts that come to
                                                   your group? If your group is truly and obviously doing the most significant work of God now, would
man appointed by Herbert Armstrong.                not the intermixing of brethren cause more of them to see your group and begin to attend it? Or are
    Not exactly. The Bible teaches that            you afraid that your members will continue to check your teaching against Scripture as they did
although we are to submit to secular (1Pet         when they left the WCG—and might see problems with your group?
2:13–14) and non-secular human govern-                 3. Is it possible that Christ intended to end Herbert Armstrong’s work? Nearly every group
ments (1Tim 5:17; Heb 13:7), “We ought to          that tries to continue his work is splitting and shrinking. HWA has been dead for 14 years—almost no
obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In          teenagers remember seeing him alive; the world leaders he visited are out of office. In another 14
case of any conflict, the Bible teaches we         years, most former-WCG ministers will be retired or deceased, and most of the adults who heard HWA
must individually do what is right. The Global     prophesy “these things will happen in your lifetime” during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s will be deceased.
Church of God (GCG) was formed only three              Eternal judgment is one of the six basic doctrines (Heb 6:1–2). Paul told believers: “For we
months after WCG released its God Is book-         must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done
let and we feel that God was making it clear-      in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2Cor 5:10). He also said: “For
er for His people who saw that J. Tkach was        if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1Cor 11:31). I am not your judge; you do not
                                                   have to answer these questions to me. But if you cannot answer these questions to your own
teaching apostasy that there was a place to        members and the members of other groups, how will you answer Christ? It is easy for a per-
go. Both Herbert Armstrong and the Apostle         son to think he is right when he is surrounded by people who agree with him. I know; I worked for
Paul taught, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate   the WCG for 18 years. It is much more difficult when one must answer questions from others who
Christ” (1Cor 11:1). We are not to imitate         disagree. The New Testament shows Christ and His Apostles spent much time answering difficult
areas of anyone’s sins, nor are we to put up       questions from Pharisees, heretics and sometimes brethren. What will you do?
with false doctrine (Eph 4:14). The same Paul
                                                   Sincerely,    Norman S. Edwards
who wrote, “Remember those who have the
Page 8                                                                                                                           Nov/Dec 2001
                                              SERVANTS’ NEWS

rule over you, who have spoken the word       this area, but do not support us, should         in international areas. Christ taught that
of God to you” (Heb 13:7) also wrote, “But    understand that.                                 various parts of His body should not
even if we or an angel from heaven preach         LCG has prayed and fasted for some of        consider themselves better than the oth-
any other gospel to you than what we have     the other miraculous signs you alluded to        ers (1Cor 12). Does anyone really
preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal    which we believe God will grant when it          believe that in the judgment, Christ is
1:8). Our members knew they were not to       suits His time table (there are some few         going to give everyone a quiz on the var-
obey the lawless teachings of another         COG groups which claim to have had direct        ious Church organization’s media statis-
gospel from J. Tkach, and it matters not      supernatural revelation now, but suffice it to   tics and fault those who were in the
who appointed him.                            say that my research into them questions         wrong group? Will He fault you if there
                                              that the ‘revelations’ were from God).           is a group with better numbers that you
RESPONSE: I am glad that we agree that                                                         never found out about? What if the non-
we are not commanded to follow a              RESPONSE: Wow! You are stating that              aligned believers reached more people
human leader just because he was              the LCG is “the one” church organiza-            and had more baptisms, but no man
appointed by someone we respect. I            tion, which means that the other similar         knew it because only Christ was keeping
think this also applies to an LCG mem-        groups are not “the one”. So how are             score?
ber who feels that his LCG minister is        members to make this life-critical                  Also, please realize that nearly every
doing or teaching something unbibli-          decision of finding the right one? By a          CoG group says that they could be doing
cal—the member would be considered            very few ratios and measures of gospel           a much bigger work if only lots more
free to do what he understands to be          preaching money, baptisms, TV stations,          brethren would come to them. Many also
right, even if the minister were appoint-     etc. The Bible does say we can know a            say that God will eventually give them
ed by Mr. Meredith.                           group by its fruit, and it is good that the      miraculous signs and wonders.
                                              LCG and many other church organiza-              Personally, I do not think God will grant
LETTER: Jesus taught His people,              tions are preaching the gospel, baptizing,       any such things to part of his body that
“Therefore by their fruits you will know      etc. But does the Bible mention overall          will use them to exalt themselves over
them” (Matthew 7:20) and that, “Where         spiritual fruit, or does it give a formu-        the other parts of His body. “And the eye
your treasure is, there your heart will be    la we can use to compare budgets and             cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need
also” (6:21). LCG spends approximately        baptism and know which group is “the             of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I
the same percentage of its income to pro-     one”? If you believe God expects mem-            have no need of you.’ No, much rather,
claim the Gospel as WCG did under             bers to make this most-important deci-           those members of the body which seem
Herbert Armstrong (I verified this person-    sion based upon those numbers, I would           to be weaker are necessary” (1Cor
ally with Fred Dattolo who worked in          expect you to clearly state the exact            12:21–22). He wants to see us learn to
WCG’s and LCG’s accounting depart-            amounts and ratios of money you spend            work together and love each other.
ments); I do not believe that this can be     on evangelism, the exact number of bap-
said about the other large COGs (but you      tisms, etc. I would expect the LCG to            LETTER: 2a. There are members who
can check with them if you wish). With        have a booklet giving those numbers,             left WCG, joined another WCG split-off,
currently about 137 television stations and   and giving the same numbers for com-             then joined your group, Are not these
9 radio stations broadcasting Tomorrow’s      peting organizations, proving the LCG is         members proof that these other split-off
World, LCG probably has the largest           best. How can you know that the LCG is           groups are part of the Church of God and
media outreach of any COG. And while          “the one” without those numbers?                 therefore brethren? Does your group
many of those stations are cable-access,         You used ratios for some of your fig-         automatically rebaptize or discipline for-
LCG has about the same ratio of tele-         ures probably because the UCG-IA,                mer WCG members…? Or do you wel-
phone responses per church attendee to        being larger, has higher absolute num-           come them with open arms?
its telecast as WCG used to have to The       bers. Cannot you thank God that the                  While we cannot speak for all the ‘split-
World Tomorrow. LCG’s new baptism             UCG-IA exists and is doing a similar             off’ groups, we do believe that there are
(those who were never part of WCG) to         work, even though it may be slightly less        Church of God members, our brethren,
telephone respondent ratio is nearly three    effective in a few areas? On the other           who fellowship in other groups. If some
times as high as WCG’s used to be.            hand, you will probably find that                who were once part of various COG
GCG/LCG has had more baptisms of peo-         Christian Educational Ministries (Ron            groups attend with us, we do not auto-
ple who previously had not attended any       Dart) has a much greater ratio of money          matically baptize them. I know in our
COG than any other group that I am            going to Gospel preaching than the               video group we welcome them with open
aware of.                                     LCG. They are smaller, yes, but what             arms, and that is the position of LCG.
    We believe that LCG has been most         does God count: a high ratio or total                2.b. But if you consider people in other
biblically consistent in doctrine and prac-   numbers?                                         groups as brethren, then why don’t you
tice to WCG when Herbert Armstrong was           Please realize that the areas you men-        encourage your members to fellowship
alive than any other group we are aware       tion are not the only commands given to          with these brethren, share joint activities,
of, so in that way you could say that LCG     the Church in the Bible. Some groups             and services, etc.? …If your group is truly
is “the one”. The more people in the          may have more local congregations and            and obviously doing the most significant
COGs that support us, the more extensive      serve them better; others may give more          work of God now, would not the intermix-
our media outreach should become—any          to the poor (as the Apostles frequently          ing of brethren cause more of them to see
who do criticize us for our total impact in   mentioned). Other groups may do more             your group and begin to attend it? Or are
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                      Page 9
                                               SERVANTS’ NEWS

you afraid that your members will contin-      el and there are no LCG services. I am       explain this to new converts that come
ue to check your teaching against              glad you see them as brethren. But what      into your group?
Scripture…?                                    are LCG members supposed to do who               It is somewhat shocking that you would
    We encourage our members to check          live in areas where there are no LCG ser-    ask that first question as you recently
the Scriptures to “prove all things” as Paul   vices? Would it not be better that they      wrote “Mr. Pack and I perform the same
taught, thus we are not afraid of them         follow Hebrews 11:25 and assemble            service for many former WCG members:
looking into their Bibles. In keeping with     with another group of believers there?       We both teach against hierarchical gov-
the admonition to not forsake the assem-       Yet I know of LCG members who were           ernment” (Servants’ News, May/June
bling of ourselves together (Hebrews           told they must drive many hours to an        2001, p.18). Proper hierarchical gover-
10:25), I personally have attended with        LCG congregation or else stay home—          nance does a better job than what you
UCG on many occasions when I travel            when another group has a congregation        advocate to insure that “you all speak the
and there has been no LCG group in the         nearby. Could not you publish a book         same thing, that there be no divisions
area. This is consistent with what the         titled Known Errors of the UCG-IA, so        among you, but that you be perfectly
Apostle Paul did as well (except he visited    that your members could be protected         joined together in the same mind and in
Jewish synagogues), as well as the prac-       from the tiny bit of false doctrine there?   the same judgment” (1Cor 1:10). We do
tices of the old WCG (where CG7 was            Then they could have fellowship and          not claim to be ‘of Meredith’ or any other
considered an option for travelers).           share all the good things the Scriptures     man. We believe that the major work is
    However, we have differences in doc-       mention.                                     being done in LCG and that Dr. Meredith
trine and practice with the other COGs,            In most cases, the people who want to    is the human head of that group, under
and cannot wholly condone their teach-         attend multiple groups are not new           Jesus Christ.
ings as appropriate. The Bible itself has      believers, but people who have been in
many lessons and warnings about false          the CoG’s for 20 to 40 years. Numerous       RESPONSE: For years I also thought that
teachers, and warns the leadership to          scriptures show that those who will be in    hierarchical government is the solution
protect against that (e.g. Acts 20:28–30).     the first resurrection must be willing to    to unity: One man answers the questions
It even shows that some teachers called        suffer and die for Christ (Matt 16:24–25;    on behalf of Christ, there is no division
of God do not understand everything as         19:28–29; Acts 14:22; Rom 8:17; Phil         among the people, and those who oppose
well as they should (e.g. Acts 18:24–26);      1:8; 2Tim 2:12, Rev 20:4). These scrip-      the decisions are removed. But is that
so why should our members intentionally        tures are not addressed to apostles or       what Paul did? And has that worked for
be exposed to some we feel are in that         leaders. After great persecution, it was     the GCG/LCG?
category? Amos also wrote, “Can two            brethren “who were scattered” that              If we quote the beginning of your
walk together unless they are agreed?”.        “went everywhere preaching the word”         verse it says “Now I plead with you,
And Solomon, “Whatsoever thy hand              (Acts 8:1, 4). Should not brethren who       brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus
finds to do, do it with your might”, thus      have been in the church many years be        Christ…” (1Cor 1:10). If there was a
assuming they agree with LCG, we feel          able to be teachers (Heb 5:12), able to      hierarchy, why isn’t Paul telling the
that it is not appropriate for our members     recognize and correct the minor doctri-      Corinthian minister to keep these
to regularly fellowship outside LCG.           nal error that they might find in another    brethren “in line”? Also notice, that he is
    If LCG members regularly attend non-       Church of God group? How will people         “pleading”, not ordering on threat of dis-
LCG services, we believe that this gives       endure to the death in the future and rule   fellowshipment. The same Greek word,
credence to a current misconception that       in the Kingdom if they cannot accept         parakaleo, is used in 1 Corinthians
all the COG groups are about the same.         such a small challenge now?                  16:12 where Paul “pleads” for Apollos
We believe our members set a better                Another question that should be asked    to make a trip, but he decided not to. In
example for those in other COGs by reg-        about the policy of not letting LCG          this same letter Paul says: “…when you
ularly attending with LCG. We have no          members frequently attend other groups:      come together as a church, I hear that
prohibition with our members meeting or        Is this policy working? Are thousands of     there are divisions among you, and in
having activities with individuals in other    people from other groups flocking to the     part I believe it. For there must also be
COGs (unless they have been specifically       LCG because of this policy? To me, it        factions among you, that those who are
disfellowshipped or some other specific        sounds a lot more like standard “us ver-     approved may be recognized among
problem may be involved). Peter said that      sus them” rivalry like one might find        you” (1Cor 11:18–19). It is wonderful
we are to “grow in grace and knowledge         between rival sports teams. Romans 14        for believers to be of one mind in Christ,
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”           shows beyond a doubt that brethren with      but Paul does not teach that the way to
(2 Peter 3:16) and believe that regular        some doctrinal disagreements can fel-        achieve this is for one person to com-
attendance at LCG services best helps          lowship together. Jesus clearly stated       mand all others. A unity created by a
accomplish this goal. We believe that          that His followers would be known by         church hierarchy with an “agree or get
those who are looking for doctrinal con-       their love, not by their adherence to a      out policy” is no different than the many
sistency and the practice of placing the       group that has slightly better statistics    dictatorships throughout history that pro-
top priority on proclaiming the Gospel will    than some others.                            claimed the same thing.
be led to find LCG.                                                                            Since you mentioned Dave Pack, I
                                               LETTER: 2.c. Why do you continue the         think it is important to examine how,
RESPONSE: I am glad that you will              sectarianism that Paul spoke against?        in his case, hierarchy was a detriment to
attend with other groups when you trav-        (1Cor 1:10–17; 3:1–10). How do you           unity. When I worked for the GCG in
Page 10                                                                                                           Nov/Dec 2001
                                               SERVANTS’ NEWS

1993–1994, there were many complaints          teaches against doctrines like the              that those who have an ear to hear can
about Mr. Pack’s abusive nature and Mr.        “Trinity” and “Rapture” because they are        hear it.
Meredith once said that he continually         not in the Bible, so why should anyone
had to correct Mr. Pack and would not          accept your non-biblical doctrines?             RESPONSE: I’ve never found a group
keep him as a minister, except that he         Seven times, Christ tells every person to       that does not agree that “Christ is the
kept bringing so many new members and          listen to every message to every church         head of the church”. The question is
money to the GCG. When I left the              (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). I think     always, “Does He work through one or
GCG, I heard many more complaints              we should look at all of those messages         many men?” With Christ having infinite
about Mr. Pack—even found that he was          and see if they apply to us .                   power and wisdom, it is hard to under-
the cause for many leaving the GCG. But            “Laodicean” comes from two words            stand why He would channel all of that
because the GCG was a hierarchy, head-         meaning “rule” or “justice” and “peo-           through just one fragile human, but let us
quarters always heard Mr. Pack’s side of       ple”. Both you and I agree that Christ is       look at your scripture. The NKJV rightly
problems, but rarely heard the member’s        the head of the Church and that He rules        translates the Greek in Ephesians 4:11:
side (Pack warned them not to “go              it through people. Our only difference is       “He Himself gave…” Usually, just
around him” to headquarters). Some             how many people. You believe He rules           Greek verb endings would be used to
members left, but many stayed, willing         through one (Mr. Meredith) and I believe        indicate the word “he”, but this verse
to endure this “bad minister” to remain        He rules through the entire Body. The           uses the Greek word autos for the sub-
in the “one true Church organization”.         word “Laodicean” says nothing about             ject to emphasize that He is doing it
After Mr. Pack began his own organiza-         how many people should be ruling.               Himself. I believe that spiritual gifts that
tion, there was no longer a hierarchy          Christ does clearly say that Laodiceans         brethren can recognize are given through
over him to defend him—it was more             are lukewarm and think they are “rich,          Christ, not through a human hierarchy.
like a local congregation. He still            wealthy and have need of nothing”. This
brought in hundreds of members, but            reminds me a little bit about your claim        LETTER: Here is a quote from the Living
when they saw his abusive ways, they           of spending the most money for preach-          Church News on LCG and Philadelphia,
either brought it to his attention and were    ing. It also reminds me of the time Mr.         “Mr. Armstrong wrote that he restored to
disfellowshipped, or just left on their        Meredith said he thought they under-            the Church of God at least 18 truths that
own. Almost every year, Pack’s head-           stood 90 to 95% of all biblical truth. I        the previous era had lost (Mystery of the
quarters staff has left his group after see-   will go on record as saying I do not think      Ages, p. 251, 1985 hardback edition,
ing how he operates.                           I will know that much before I die. I           p. 207, 1985 paperback edition, section
   I believe this incident shows that          have continually learned new things over        “Partial Truth”, chapter “Mystery of the
the GCG (now LCG) leaders thought              the last seven years, both from my own          Church”). Philadelphians are the ones
they had unity but did not. Mr. Pack           study and the study of others. Am I say-        who hold to those truths (as well as all
was able to continually go against             ing that the LCG is the Laodicean               other biblical truths)—including gover-
GCG policies but keep the GCG head-            church? No. There are probably people           nance—and will be able to have a crown
quarters supporting him. When Mr.              with Laodicean problems there, but              and to rule! Philadelphians have ‘kept My
Pack left the larger hierarchical struc-       Christ promises to correct them individ-        command to persevere’ (Rev 3:10).
ture, the members in his group are             ually (Rev 3:19) and any of them can            Holding fast to Truth, while putting a prior-
now much better able to get to the             come to Him individually (v20–21).              ity on proclaiming the Gospel, is what sets
heart of the problem and solve it                                                              the Philadelphian Church apart… The
(leave).                                       LETTER: The Philadelphians accept               Living Church of God cannot claim that all
                                               that “Christ is head of the church” (Eph        its members are Philadelphian, but we do
LETTER: As far as new members are              5:23), and accept authority within the          believe we are a uniquely Philadelphian
concerned, we believe in Church eras and       Church: “And He Himself gave some to be         remnant. Can one find a larger or more
believe that rejection of governance may       apostles, some prophets, some evange-           effective ‘corporate body’ which retains
be one of the signs of a Laodicean atti-       lists, and some pastors and teachers, for       the Truth as taught by Mr. Armstrong,
tude (as the term Laodicea seems to            the equipping of the saints for the work of     without adding non-biblical ‘revelations’ or
mean the ‘people rule’, ‘people decide’, or    ministry, for the edifying of the body of       diverting its members from making their
‘rights of the people’). We believe that       Christ, till we all come to the unity of the    top priority the Great Commission of pro-
LCG has picked up the ‘Philadelphia man-       faith and of the knowledge of the Son of        claiming the Gospel as established by
tle’. The other COGs that are accepted by      God, to a perfect man, to the measure of        Jesus Christ? No! One can expect that
God fall into various eras and God can         the stature of the fullness of Christ, that     Philadelphians, who care about doing an
determine which.                               we should no longer be children, tossed to      effective Work and holding fast to the
                                               and fro and carried about with every wind       Truth, will naturally support the Living
RESPONSE: Here you are giving another          of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the     Church of God” (Thiel, Robert, What is a
reason why brethren should choose the          cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,       Philadelphian? Living Church News, Jul-
LCG over the other groups and it seems         but, speaking the truth in love, may grow       Aug 2001; p.15).
to be largely conjecture. You use terms        up in all things into Him who is the head—
like “church era” and “Philadelphia            Christ” (Eph 4:11–15). I am aware that          RESPONSE: I attempted to honestly
mantle” which are not in any Bible trans-      you interpret that scripture differently than   study Herbert Armstrong’s 18 truths in
lation that I know of. Your organization       how we do, so I have simply quoted it so        our Dec 1998 issue (p 32). Only four of
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                    Page 11
                                               SERVANTS’ NEWS

them are truths that he restored to com-       Philadelphia era Church, that because we       Ames, who remains faithful to this mission
mon teaching. Most were taught widely          have but little strength, He would OPEN        to this day, as he is still making television
by other groups, and at least two were         THOSE DOORS TO US (Revelation 3:8)”            programs to proclaim the Gospel! Another
not, from Bible understanding, “truths”.       (Letter, Nov. 19, 1976). “It may be that the   evangelist who was preaching the Gospel
Again, if you are going to declare the         Work that God has given me to do is com-       in the French language over radio while
LCG “the one” church based upon evan-          plete, but not the Work of God’s Church,       Mr. Armstrong was alive, Dibar Apartian,
gelism spending and your continued fol-        which will be faithfully doing God’s Work      continues to preach it to this day. When I
lowing of Herbert Armstrong’s doctrine,        till Christ, the True Head of this Church,     asked him if Mr. Armstrong told him to
I think it very important that someone         returns… Remember brethren, this is            stop doing this in the event of his death,
write down exactly what those figures          not the work of Herbert W.                     Mr. Apartian responded, “To the contrary,
are and what your doctrines are so they        Armstrong… The greatest work lies              he told me he wanted me to go on more
can be honestly compared with other            ahead… Never before in the history of          stations.” This concept is confirmed by
groups.                                        the Church has it been possible to reap        Mr. Armstrong in his third to last letter,
                                               so great a harvest. It has only been           “I thank God that he has organized this
LETTER: Although we believe that, due          made possible through modern tech-             present work of his so thoroughly that
to confusion and misreporting over the         nology, beginning with the printing            regardless of the outcome of my pre-
last years, there are some Philadelphians      press, radio, television… Each of you          sent illness, the work will continue
in other fellowships, we believe that the      must commit yourself to support God’s          right on to the Second Coming of
largest remnant of the Philadelphians fel-     Work… God’s work must push ahead as            Christ” (Letter dated 12/23/85). Thus it
lowship with LCG. I should add LCG             never before. God is opening up new            seems clear that Mr. Armstrong felt that
teaches that just being a member of LCG        doors in television” (Letter, 1/10/86).        he was the leader of the Philadelphia era,
does not make one a “Philadelphian” and                                                       but that if he died prior to the time of the
that we undoubtedly have some                  RESPONSE: I remember reading and               end, that he considered that his work was
“Laodiceans” in our midst.                     believing these things that Herbert            done, but that the Church should continue
                                               Armstrong said for many years. But if          to preach the gospel to the world!
RESPONSE: That is a good teaching.             one thinks about them, they are extreme-
You may have some with the character-          ly contradictory. If print and electronic      RESPONSE: Christ clearly told us that
istics of Ephesus, Sardis or other groups,     media are the “open door” of Revelation        we should be doing His work when He
too.                                           3:7, then every church organization that       returns (Matt 24:45). I am glad that the
                                               uses that media is “Philadelphian”. If         LCG is reaching out to teach others. I
LETTER: 3. Is it possible that Christ          electronic media is only to be considered      think you misunderstood my question.
intended to end Herbert Armstrong’s            an “open door” for the WCG because it          To me, the end of the work of Herbert
work?                                          was given better prices and airing times       Armstrong does not mean the end of
    Perhaps it would be wisest to first look   than all the other groups, the proof of        God’s work at all, but to you, I think they
at what Herbert Armstrong himself wrote        that has never been published. If it is        are the same thing.
on this matter, “God has given his Church      only to be considered an “open door” for          Mr. Armstrong’s bolded statement
dual responsibility: 1) ‘Go ye into all the    the WCG because the WCG had more               above, however, is a discredit to Christ
world’ and proclaim the good news—             media than any other group, then we are        and clearly in error. He credits Christ
announcement—of the coming kingdom             saying that Philadelphia had “the most         with organizing the WCG so its work
of God. 2) ‘Feed my sheep’. But in feeding     strength” rather than “a little strength”      would continue, but it was the very
the ‘sheep’, developing in them God’s          (verse 8).                                     organization of the WCG that allowed
spiritual character, God has given them           So what is an open door? I once read        one man and a few of his friends to
their part in supporting, backing up, the      about a missionary group that went to a        completely change it within a few
great commission: ‘Go ye into all the          Muslim country to start a congregation.        years. Other works similar to Mr.
world’ ” (Mystery of the Ages, p. 265, 1985    When they arrived, the police told them        Armstrong’s continued, but they all
hardback edition, p. 218, 1985 paperback       that such preaching was illegal and that       started from zero, making new book-
edition, section “Real Purpose of the          they could not stay. The missionary            lets, new magazines, new programs,
Church”, chapter “Mystery of the               responded that God had opened this door        etc. Each one thinks they are “the one”,
Church”). “From the year 1931, exactly         and that they would not be able to shut it.    and largely thanks to Mr. Armstrong’s
1,900 years (a century of time cycles)         The police could have arrested them, but       approach, they have no idea how to
from the foundation of the Church, this        did not and the mission lasted for many        show love toward or co-operate with
small remnant of the original true Church      years. I think this is just one of many        each other. How did Christ organize
of God began to take on new life as the        ways this scripture could be applied.          His work during the first century
Philadelphia era. This era of the Church                                                      when there was much greater persecu-
was to produce fruit” (Mystery of the          LETTER: And to be sure that this portion       tion? He sent apostles, prophets,
Ages, pp. 289–290, 1985 hardback edi-          of the work would continue after he died,      brethren, and copies of the New
tion, p. 227, 1985 paperback edition, sec-     Herbert Armstrong insured that there           Testament everywhere and He directed
tion “Restoration of God’s Truth to            were others designated to continue to          them personally. There was variety in
Church”, chapter “Mystery of the               make television programs after his death.      doctrine and practice, but there was no
Church”). “But Christ said to His              One of those was evangelist Richard            central target that Jewish or Roman per-
Page 12                                                                                                              Nov/Dec 2001
                                                SERVANTS’ NEWS

secutors could strike to disable the            his household, to give them food in due         by an apostle and since LCG does not
Church.                                         season? Blessed is that servant whom his        claim to have any apostles, we should not
                                                master, when he comes, will find so             do the work. Jesus, however, sent non-
LETTER: We agree with those writings            doing” (Matt 24:44–46).                         apostles out to heal the sick and preach
by Herbert Armstrong as the Living                   I should probably add that one person      about the Kingdom of God (Luke
Church of God believes, “the primary            argued with me that since Jesus does not        10:1–12). God used a deacon (Stephen),
function of the true Church of God is to        return until after the place of safety, that    one who was only supposed to serve
GO to all nations and preach the same           this verse does not mean we need to pro-        tables, to get His message out and even
powerful message Jesus preached about           claim the Gospel now—how does this              get a vision from God (Acts 6–7). “As for
the coming Kingdom of God!” (Meredith,          person know what work may be done in            Saul, he made havoc of the church, enter-
Roderick C. Should You Be Baptized?             the place of safety? And since it is likely     ing every house, and dragging off men
Booklet. 1999; p. 17). However, in your         that many of God’s people will die before       and women, committing them to prison.
question you specifically asked about           then, for them, the Master could come           Therefore those who were scattered went
Christ. The best way to address that            anytime; also LCG’s teaching is that we         everywhere preaching the word” (Acts
would seem to be to look to Scripture:          do go to a place of safety at the time of the   8:3–4), those everywhere preaching were
    “When the Son of Man comes in His           end. James wrote, “Show me your faith           not just apostles. Interestingly, Paul start-
glory, and all the holy angels with Him,        without your works, and I will show you         ed preaching (Acts 9:19–20) BEFORE he
then He will sit on the throne of His glory.    my faith by my works. You believe that          was made an apostle (Acts 13:2). Timothy
All the nations will be gathered before         there is one God. You do well. Even the         was an evangelist (2Tim 4:5) and not an
Him, and He will separate them one from         demons believe—and tremble! But do you          apostle (2Cor 2:1), yet Paul wrote, “Now if
another, as a shepherd divides his sheep        want to know, O foolish man, that faith         Timothy comes, see that he may be with
from the goats. And He will set the sheep       without works is dead?” (James 2:18–20).        you without fear; for he does the work of
on His right hand, but the goats on the         Thus it would seem more logical that the        the Lord, as I also do” (1Cor 16:10) and
left… Then they also will answer Him,           work should continue to be done now.            “Preach the word! Be ready in season and
saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hun-         Remember it was Jesus who also said,            out of season” (2Tim 4:2). There simply is
gry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick   “I must work the works of Him who sent          no biblical restriction that preaching the
or in prison, and did not minister to You?’     Me while it is day; the night is coming         Gospel must be limited to apostles.
Then He will answer them, saying,               when no one can work” (John 9:4); it is
‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you       still ‘day’, which means we are to do the       RESPONSE: Great. I agree with you
did not do it to one of the least of these,     work as long as we possibly can.                here. We do not need apostles, evange-
you did not do it to Me’ ” (Matt 25:31–33,           Jesus had a few comments for those         lists or even “ordained ministers” to
44–46). These are people who said they          who felt it was not time to do the work,        preach the gospel. If you check your
would have done the work if they under-         “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the      Bible (ignoring the headings added later)
stood that is what Jesus wanted, however        will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His      you will see that it does not say that
they did not minister to those Jesus want-      work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four     Stephen was a deacon—he was simply
ed them to minister to.                         months and then comes the harvest’?             appointed to wait on tables. Apollos
                                                Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and     started preaching without contact from
RESPONSE: I am not sure how this                look at the fields, for they are already        the apostles at all.
scripture fits your subject. It is specifi-     white for harvest! And he who reaps
cally talking about individuals taking          receives wages, and gathers fruit for eter-     LETTER: Some independents and
care of other people when they see they         nal life, that both he who sows and he who      other COG groups claim that they do not
have physical needs. It is not talking          reaps may rejoice together. For in this the     need to place a priority on proclaiming the
about preaching the Gospel or tithing to        saying is true: ‘One sows and another           Gospel of the kingdom to the world as wit-
a “work”. I have occasionally helped            reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which       ness, because they claim they are tasked
people in need, or let them stay at my          you have not labored; others have               primarily with “feeding the flock”.
house. Does the LCG encourage its               labored, and you have entered into their            “But be doers of the word, and not
members to do this?                             labors’ ” (John 4:34–38). Jesus also            hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jms
                                                taught, “You did not choose Me, but I           1:22). Jesus said, “And as you go, preach,
LETTER: “And this gospel of the king-           chose you and appointed you that you            saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at
dom shall be preached to all the world for      should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).         hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers,
a witness unto all nations; and then the                                                        raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely
end shall come” (Matt 24:14). I would like      RESPONSE: Again, I agree we should              you have received, freely give” (Matt
to emphasize that THE END HAS NOT               keep working, I just do not agree that we       10:7–8). He did not say to stop giving after
YET COME so we should not give up               should teach in the name of Herbert             He died, to the contrary He taught, “And
early! Scripture indicates that Jesus also      Armstrong or claim to continue his              Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
does not want us to give up early,              work.                                           ‘All authority has been given to Me in
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son                                                       heaven and on earth. Go therefore and
of Man is coming at an hour you do not          LETTER: Some have claimed the work              make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
expect. Who then is a faithful and wise         begun under Herbert Armstrong is                them in the name of the Father and of the
servant, whom his master made ruler over        through, because it was only to be done         Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                     Page 13
                                              SERVANTS’ NEWS

to observe all things that I have com-        “there are many insubordinate” (Titus         to handle governance, etc. In my
manded you and lo, I am with you always       1:10). I assume that when you sent this       response I have NOT attempted to
even to the end of the age’ ” (Matt           letter, you did not intend to change your     address issues you may raise about the
28:18–20). Notice that Jesus told the dis-    mind on “hierarchical governments”, but I     answers provided (and as I mentioned to
ciples to do both, as Mr. Armstrong also      do hope that perhaps some of your read-       you on the telephone, if you are going to
wrote, but to first go to all the nations.    ership will realize that if they choose to    comment on this letter, please comment
   Philadelphians need to keep preaching      support LCG, that LCG is serious about        after running the letter in its entirety—do
to the world until the end comes, since       getting the Gospel out, and that our form     not break it up).
they will be around until the end comes       of governance has been more effective
(Revelation 3:10).                            than others to do what we are doing.          RESPONSE: I’m sorry that I broke up
                                                                                            your letter, but that was the only readable
RESPONSE: If you believe that there is        RESPONSE: I hoped that everyone               way to respond to it on a point by point
“one true church organization”, I can         would learn from these letters. I hoped       basis, as you broke my letter up and
understand why you would expect that          that either I would come to new under-        responded to it that way.
organization to fulfill all of the biblical   standing of how multiple similar CoG
commands to the church. I would also be       groups can function, each claiming to be      LETTER: To some degree, I question
quite concerned that my organization has      “the one” church, or that these CoG           the wisdom of answering your questions,
done virtually nothing to reach the peo-      groups would see the difficulty with their    but since I told you I would, I have tried to
ple of China, Russia, Islamic nations,        position and think about making peace         do so to at least keep my word. Paul
etc. But if one believes that Christ rules    with each other. When you concluded           wrote, “But avoid foolish and ignorant dis-
His church made of many congregations         your form of government was “more             putes, knowing they generate strife. And a
and ministries, and that He has clearly       effective than others”, which other           servant of the Lord must not quarrel but
shown you what He wants you to do             groups did you study and find less effec-     be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in
(which might be “feed a flock”), then I       tive? The Church of God Seventh Day           humility correcting those in who are in
would not feel bad about not preaching        groups do not have a strong central hier-     opposition, if God perhaps will grant them
the gospel as the LCG does. I can also        archy, but still have over 200,000 mem-       repentance, so that they may know the
read an article about hundreds of thou-       bers worldwide. The Gideon Bible              truth” (2Tim 2:23–25).
sands of Chinese Sabbatarians and know        Society is not hierarchical, and it has           The sad fact is that my answers will
that Christ is taking care of those people    taken the Word of God more places than        probably not change the mindset of those
whether or not they and Rod Meredith          the WCG did. If God’s will for the WCG        who are against COGs with “hierarchical
know about each other.                        members was for all to individually rec-      governments”. It is my hope that those
                                              ognize that they should leave and join        who once claimed to believe in “hierarchi-
LETTER: 4. The New Testament shows            the GCG/LCG, then the WCG was less            cal governance” and believed that the
that Christ and His Apostles spent much       than 10% effective in its mission,            Church’s top priority was to proclaim the
time answering difficult questions from       because less than that percentage joined      Gospel, will begin to understand that LCG
Pharisees, heretics and sometimes             the GCG/LCG. If we want to simply             is the COG group which is closest in doc-
brethren. What will you do?                   consider “warning the world” as the           trine and practice to WCG when Herbert
   I have done so here.                       WCG’s mission, we also must classify it       Armstrong was alive, and will be willing to
                                              as ineffective because it taught that the     support us as we try to help humanity.
RESPONSE: Thank you very much! I              end was coming “in a few/ten/fifteen              Sincerely, Robert J. Thiel
think it is a shame that most top leaders     short years” or “certainly within your
of COG groups never answer questions          lifetime”. These phrases appear fre-          RESPONSE: I thank you very much for
in an open forum (where they must             quently in the WCG correspondence             writing this letter and making your case.
either answer any question or clearly be      course and prophetic booklets. The            I doubt these are foolish questions as I
seen as refusing to answer) as Christ and     “short years” phrases are now all com-        have heard many people ask them—
the apostles did. But as the old leaders      pletely wrong and the “lifetime” ones are     including people who were drawn to
depart, maybe a new generation of             becoming more wrong by the day. The           study the Bible by an LCG telecast, but
Church of God leaders will emerge that        generation which Mr. Armstrong warned         then began attending an independent fel-
will answer questions, and we may be          has not seen the great tribulation, but is    lowship when they could not find good
able to grow in our understanding and         gradually going to their graves in relative   answers to these questions.
appreciation of each other.                   peace. How can you fault them for say-           I am not sure why you do not expect
                                              ing: “Mr. Armstrong’s timing was wrong        anyone to change based upon what you
LETTER: Regarding the New Testa-              so the Bible says we do not have to listen    write. If this situation were reversed and
ment, let’s read what Paul told Timothy on    to him (Deut 18:22), we therefore reject      I were to write an article about govern-
this matter, “I urged you… that you may       the rest of his message.”                     ment, and you were to respond to it as I
charge some that they teach no other                                                        have done, and it were to be printed in
doctrine, nor give heed to fables and end-    LETTER: It should be added that part of       an LCG publication, I would expect to
less genealogies, which cause dispute         the problem in addressing your points is      get dozens, maybe hundreds, of
rather than godly edification which is from   that you seem to have your own ideas
faith” (1Tim 1:3–4); he also told Titus       about how “hierarchical organizations” are                   Continued on page 31
Page 14                                                                                                            Nov/Dec 2001
                                                SERVANTS’ NEWS
      “Christ… Leaving Us an                    eternal life is more valuable than gain-          that Herod Antipas deserved to be
       Example” from page 1                     ing the whole world.                              called “a fox”, he did not want to kill
                                                      “He who loves father or mother more         Jesus. It was the “religious” leaders,
“though He was a Son, yet He learned              than Me is not worthy of Me. And he             who should have known better, who
obedience by the things which He suf-             who loves son or daughter more than             wanted to kill Jesus. Why? Simply to
fered” (Heb 5:8). And, He set an                  Me is not worthy of Me. And he who              preserve their political power.
example for us:                                   does not take his cross [or “stake”] and             Then the chief priests and the
       For to this you were called,               follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He           Pharisees gathered a council and said,
   because Christ also suffered for us,           who finds his life will lose it, and he who       “What shall we do? For this Man works
   leaving us an example, that you                loses his life for My sake will find it”          many signs. If we let Him alone like this,
   should follow His steps (1Pet 2:21).           (Matt 10:37–39).                                  everyone will believe in Him, and the
     This is not just so much religious             The theme of being willing to lose              Romans will come and take away both
talk. Christ really expected us to do           one’s own life to follow Jesus seems to             our place and nation.” …Then, from that
this. And as we will see, His apostles          be a frequent theme of His teaching.                day on, they plotted to put Him to death
really did do it.                               Matthew (and other Gospels) record                  (John 11:47–48, 53).
       14 For the love of Christ urges us on,   Jesus talking about it more than once:               The following is a chapter sum-
   because we are convinced that one has              Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If       mary of the book of John, emphasiz-
   died for all; therefore all have died.         anyone desires to come after Me, let            ing Jesus’ interactions with the people
   15 And He died for all, so that those          him deny himself, and take up his cross         and government of His day. John fre-
   who live might live no longer for              [or “stake”], and follow Me. For whoever        quently used the terms “Pharisees”,
   themselves, but for him who died and           desires to save his life will lose it, but      “chief priests” or simply “the Jews” to
   was raised for them… 18 All this is from       whoever loses his life for My sake will         describe those who opposed Jesus.
   God, who reconciled us to himself              find it. For what profit is it to a man if he   Unfortunately, many Christians have
   through Christ, and has given us the           gains the whole world, and loses his            used this for the basis of being anti-
   ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in     own soul? Or what will a man give in            Jewish. In truth, none of these groups
   Christ God was reconciling the world to        exchange for his soul? For the Son of           were inherently bad: Paul was a
   himself, not counting their trespasses         Man will come in the glory of His Father        Pharisee (Acts 23:6), many priests
   against them, and entrusting the mes-          with His angels, and then He will               eventually believed (Acts 6:7) and
   sage of reconciliation to us. 20 So we         reward each according to his works”             Jesus and nearly all of His followers
   are ambassadors for Christ, since God          (Matt 16:24–27)                                 were Jews. However, the leaders of
   is making his appeal through us; we                                                            these groups were, in general, bad. So,
   entreat you on behalf of Christ, be rec-     What Did Jesus Do?                                rather than name every corrupt indi-
   onciled to God (2Cor 5:14–15,18–20,          Whilst the single biggest major topic             vidual and office, John refers to them
   NRSV).                                       of the four Gospels is the righteous              in general terms, just like we might say
     Christ expected believers to “die” to      teachings of Jesus, the clear second is           today “our government is corrupt”. We
themselves and to continue on doing             the story of His interactions with the            do not mean that every last person in
His ministry, even if that meant their          human leaders of this day. The Jew-               the government is bad or that all gov-
own deaths. He did not say that it              ish leaders functioned as both religious          ernment is inherently evil—it is just
would be easy: but He did promise to            and civil leaders. The Romans were ul-            characterized that way today.
make it possible and he did say that it         timately in charge and did whatever                  So, the lesson of the book of John is
would be worth it.                              they found most expedient to keep re-             not “to oppose Jews, priests and
       “Remember the word that I said to        bellions down and taxes up. The Jew-              Pharisees”, but “to oppose leaders
   you, ‘A servant is not greater than his      ish leaders willingly did the bidding of          who resist good and do evil”. As you
   master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will    the Romans to keep their place of pow-            read this summary, please ask yourself
   also persecute you…” (John 15:20).           er, but were also quite clever at trying          if you would back a Christian leader
       Therefore be imitators of God as         to get the Romans to use their power to           who did similar things today.
   dear children. And walk in love, as          accomplish the Jewish leader’s goals:             Chapter Summary of John:
   Christ also has loved us and given                 At that time some Pharisees came to
   Himself for us, an offering and a sacri-       Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place        1. Jesus asked 12 men to quit their jobs
   fice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma         and go somewhere else. Herod wants to              and follow Him without explaining
   (Eph 5:1–2).                                   kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox,          how they or their families would be
       “Greater love has no one than this,        ‘I will drive out demons and heal people           supported.
   than to lay down one’s life for his            today and tomorrow, and on the third            2. Jesus overturned money changers’
   friends. You are My friends if you do          day I will reach my goal’ ” (Luke                  tables and drove merchants’ animals
   whatever I command you” (John                  13:31–32, NIV).                                    out of the temple. His only authority
   15:13–14).                                       Jesus had only these and a few other             was Scripture. The government lead-
     Jesus said that following Him              rebukes for the Romans, but it was the               ers knew this was against the Bible,
would make our lives very different—            Jewish leaders whom He most fre-                     but allowed it to go on. (Jesus did this
even take us away from our own fam-             quently and severely condemned.                      again at the end of His ministry.)
ilies. But He said that His reward and          Although both Christ and history show             3. Nicodemus, a government leader,
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                                               SERVANTS’ NEWS

     came to see Jesus by night and                delivered the woman from an unjust              Joseph of Arimathea was another
     acknowledged that He was a teacher            trial where she would have been con-            disciple of Jesus who kept his disci-
     from God. (But the Jewish leaders             demned without the man who was                  pleship secret for fear of the govern-
     never admitted it to the people.              also involved. The leaders sought to            ment.
     Should we be surprised if today’s             kill Jesus again, and claimed that He      20.–21 Jesus rose from the dead,
     leaders secretly believe things that          was “born of fornication” and “has a            spoke to His disciples several times
     they will not admit openly?).                 demon”. He told them that they are              and told them to continue on with HIS
4.   The Jews had no dealings with the             liars and “of their father, the devil”.         work.
     Samaritans because of their false re-     9. Jesus healed a man who was born                This does not mean that anyone
     ligion. Jesus affirms that Samaritans         blind and the Jewish leaders put him       who opposes any government is fol-
     “worship what you do not know”                out of the synagogue—a very bad            lowing God. Indeed Paul taught that
     (v 22), but shocked His disciples by          stigma for those days, making it diffi-    believers should obey rulers that “are
     teaching them anyway. (Would Jesus            cult to find a job and purchase goods      not a terror to good works, but to evil”
     teach Moslems today? Would He try             and services. The leaders passed no        (Rom 13:3). A great many people rise
     to visit some of the prisoners held           law, but agreed among themselves to        up against governments for their own
     without trial or charges?)                    cast anyone out of the synagogue           self-interest (Luke 13:1–2; Acts
5.   Jesus told a man to carry his bed on          who would acknowledge Jesus as             5:36–37), and that is still happening
     the Sabbath, contrary to the law              the Christ. The blind man’s parents        today. We should not be one of them or
     (v 10), which was one of two things           were successfully bullied by the gov-      follow them. But after reading the
     that made the government mad                  ernment and declined to give credit to     Gospel of John, hopefully every
     enough at Him to kill Him (v 18).             Christ for this miracle.                   believer will realize that corrupt gov-
6.   Jesus was so popular that the people      10. Jesus teaches he is the “good shep-        ernment leaders lie, kill and plot evil to
     wanted to make Him king (v 15), but           herd” who lays down his life for his       keep themselves in power, and that
     then He said that believers “must eat         sheep. Some leaders again accuse           Christ openly opposed them and dis-
     My flesh and drink My blood” (v 54).          Him of demon possession and try to         obeyed unjust laws and practices.
     Rather than ask Him what He meant             kill Him on two separate occasions         While many of His followers lacked
     by this apparently cannibal-like mes-         (vv 20, 31, 39).                           the Holy Spirit and the courage to pub-
     sage, many followers deserted Him         11. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead         licly acknowledge Him for fear of the
     (v 60, 66).                                   and the council of leaders agreed          government, Christ taught:
7.   Jesus said, “the world… hates Me              they must kill Him to protect their gov-        “…whoever confesses Me before
     because I testify of it that its works        ernment position. They order anyone          men, him the Son of Man also will con-
     are evil.” People were afraid to open-        who sees Him to report Him.                  fess before the angels of God. But he
     ly talk about him for fear of the gov-    12. To discredit Jesus’ miracle, the lead-       who denies Me before men will be denied
     ernment (v 13). The leaders ques-             ers plotted to kill Lazarus whom             before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8–9).
     tioned Jesus’ education (v 15). Jesus         Jesus had raised from the dead. A
     told them that they were not obeying          huge crowd praised Jesus as He             What Did Peter Do?
     the law and were seeking to kill Him          rode into Jerusalem. Even some of          When Peter saw the weight of govern-
     (v 19). The leaders denied it and ac-         the leaders believed in Him, but were      ment forces abusing Jesus and threat-
     cused Him of demon possession.                afraid to mention it openly lest they      ening Him with death, he felt the fear
     Others from Jerusalem leaked the              be put out of the synagogue, “for they     and did what so many of us would to-
     secret plan to kill Him, creating con-        loved the praise of men more than          day, and pretended he did not know
     fusion (vv 25–26). The rulers finally         the praise of God” (v 42–43).              him. Before anyone today says “I
     sent officers to arrest Him, but they     13–17. Jesus explained His relationship        wouldn’t do that”, think about this:
     did not carry out their order because         with the Father, His love, the need for    Suppose you were driving to the house
     of Christ’s words. Those in the gov-          His death, the coming of the Holy          of a long-time friend whom you know
     ernment who supported Jesus were              Spirit and how His disciples will con-     to be a righteous and God-fearing per-
     threatened (vv 45–52).                        tinue His work after He rejoins the        son. As you got there, the street is
8.   The leaders tried to trap Jesus by            Father. He warned that they will be        blocked, an armed helicopter is hover-
     bringing a woman caught in adultery           hated and persecuted just like He          ing overhead, and numerous police
     to him. The Scriptures gave the death         was (15:18–20).                            and federal agents are brutally drag-
     penalty for adultery, but the Romans      18–19. Judas, a former disciple of             ging your friend to a waiting truck,
     did not allow the Jews to execute             Jesus, knew the places where Jesus         even though he is not resisting. If an
     anyone. Whatever Jesus said, they             met and led the government leaders         officer came to your car and asked you
     thought they could get Him in trouble         and troops there. Jesus was a victim       what you were doing there, would you
     with the Romans or with the                   of “police brutality”, was not given       say, “I know this good man and there
     Scriptures. Jesus wrote on the                due process, but was taken to a            must be some mistake”? Or would you
     ground—brilliantly avoiding saying            series of improperly convened courts       say, “I don’t know him”?
     something that others could testify           and finally condemned by Pilate at              “What do you think?” They answered
     about or writing a record that could be       the urging of a paid crowd who yelled        and said, “He [Jesus] is deserving of
     used against Him in court. Jesus              “we have no king but Caesar”.                death.” Then they spat in His face and
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                                             SERVANTS’ NEWS

 beat Him; and others struck Him with        afraid of persecution—he was one of               from the Jews the forty lashes minus
 the palms of their hands, saying,           the greatest of the persecutors! But to           one. Three times I was beaten with rods,
 “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one     show how our Father is able to accom-             once I was stoned, three times I was
 who struck You?” Now Peter sat outside      plish His will in His Church, He sim-             shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in
 in the courtyard. And a servant girl        ply struck Paul down with blindness               the open sea (2Cor 11:23–25, NIV)
 came to him, saying, “You also were         and clearly showed him that He must                 The passage contains more than
 with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it    serve Christ’s Body whom he had been            that. At the end of his ministry, when
 before them all, saying, “I do not know     attacking. “For I will show him how             he was awaiting trial by Caesar, Paul
 what you are saying” (Matt 26:66–70).       many things he must suffer for My               expected to die at the hands of another
    Peter was indeed afraid of a power-      name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). Paul used             corrupt government. He was content
ful human government and went on to          his zeal for God and was thoroughly             that he had lived his life well for
deny Christ three times. Even though         familiar with Christ’s principle of self-       Christ, but was sad that many other
he had witnessed Christ escape death         sacrifice:                                      believers were afraid, and would not
many times in the past, and even                  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by      stand with him at his trial:
though Christ had promised that he             the mercies of God, that you present your           6 For I am already being poured out
would have an important role in the            bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable     as a drink offering, and the time of my
future, Peter still feared for his life.       to God, which is your reasonable service.       departure is at hand. 7 I have fought
    But Christ said that He prayed for         And do not be conformed to this world,          the good fight, I have finished the race,
Peter’s strength, and with the coming          but be transformed by the renewing of           I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is
of the Holy Spirit, Peter spoke boldly in      your mind, that you may prove what is           laid up for me the crown of righteous-
Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. But         that good and acceptable and perfect will       ness, which the Lord, the righteous
the same government leaders who con-           of God (Rom 12:1–2).                            Judge, will give to me on that Day, and
demned Jesus were still there to oppose         The New Testament contains                     not to me only but also to all who have
the Apostles. But the power of the           numerous stories of how Paul sacri-               loved His appearing. 9 Be diligent to
Spirit of God made all the difference:       ficed to serve the Churches, preach the           come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has
      And when they [leaders] had brought    Gospel, take care of the poor and work            forsaken me, having loved this present
  them [the Apostles], they set them         his way through the rather corrupt                world, and has departed for
  before the council. And the high priest    legal systems of his day. Paul was                Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia,
  asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly   familiar with his legal rights under              Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with
  command you not to teach in this           Roman Law and frequently used them                me. Get Mark and bring him with you,
  name? And look, you have filled            to his advantage, causing public offi-            for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And
  Jerusalem with your doctrine, and          cials to panic at times (Acts 16:37–39;           Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus…
  intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”   22:25–29; 28:19). When a group of 40                  16 At my first defense no one
  But Peter and the other apostles           men conspired to kill Paul, he was                stood with me, but all forsook me.
  answered and said: “We ought to obey       actually protected by the Roman sol-              May it not be charged against them. 17
  God rather than men” (Acts 5:27–29)        diers (Acts 23:12–24). But he also                But the Lord stood with me and
      And… when they had called for the      received ill treatment from the same              strengthened me, so that the message
  apostles and beaten them, they [evil       system. The governor Felix left him in            might be preached fully through me,
  leaders] commanded that they should        prison for two years, hoping to receive           and that all the Gentiles might hear. And
  not speak in the name of Jesus, and let    a bribe and as a political favor to the           I was delivered out of the mouth of the
  them go. So they departed from the         Jews (Acts 24:25–27). Paul certainly              lion (2Tim 4:6–12, 16–17)
  presence of the council, rejoicing that    avoided co-operating with corrupt               What Should We Do?
  they were counted worthy to suffer         governments when he could. When
  shame for His name. And daily in the       soldiers were waiting for him to leave          Christ told His Apostles:
  temple, and in every house, they did not   Damascus, he escaped from the city by                “Remember the word that I said to
  cease teaching and preaching Jesus as      being let down out of the wall in a bas-          you, ‘A servant is not greater than his
  the Christ (Acts 5:40–42).                 ket (2Cor 11:32–33).                              master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will
    Peter went on to do many great              When Paul’s apostleship was in                 also persecute you. If they kept My
works in the name of Christ. He healed       question by some of the Corinthians,              word, they will keep yours also” (John
and taught many, but also received           he did not go into a long doctrinal dis-          15:20).
beatings and jail sentences at the hands     sertation or give the number of people             While we are not all called to be
of the government. The brethren were         he had “saved” as a proof that he was           apostles, Christ still has a lot to say to
not embarrassed by their leaders being       a true servant of God. He expounded             all who follow Him:
in jail, but prayed for their release and    his sufferings for Christ:                           For you, brethren, became imitators
encouraged them to continue serving               Are they servants of Christ? (I am out       of the churches of God which are in
in spite of this persecution.                  of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I     Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also
What Did Paul Do?                              have worked much harder, been in prison         suffered the same things from your
                                               more frequently, been flogged more              own countrymen, just as they did from
When the early church began, the               severely, and been exposed to death             the Judeans, who killed both the Lord
Apostle Paul was not the least bit             again and again. Five times I received          Jesus and their own prophets, and have
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                                                SERVANTS’ NEWS

 persecuted us; and they do not please          side they should be on, and were not         proach that some brethren have toward
 God and are contrary to all men,               strong enough to stand up to the gov-        man’s law versus God’s law. If these
 forbidding us to speak to the                  ernments and did not support these           brethren find a scripture that seems to
 Gentiles that they may be saved, so            Christians in their time of difficulty.      disagree with their understanding of
 as always to fill up the measure of their          Today, it is hard for many Christians    what is right, they diligently check oth-
 sins; but wrath has come upon them to          to think about personally intervening        er related scriptures, translations, com-
 the uttermost (1Thes 2:14–16).                 for believers who are being persecuted       mentaries and Greek or Hebrew
     12 “But before all these things, they      and killed by some of the                    dictionaries to see if the scripture
 will lay their hands on you and perse-         “respectable” nations that sell us oil. It   might be understood a different way.
 cute you, delivering you up to the syna-       is hard for some Christians to help          As long as one is not trying to force a
 gogues and prisons. You will be brought        defend other believers who may be            meaning into the Bible that is not
 before kings and rulers for My name’s          losing custody of their children             there, this method of study is good. It
 sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an    because they homeschool them (Deut           shows knowledge of how to study and
 occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore           6:7), spank them (Prov 13:24), or do         a desire to know exactly what God
 settle it in your hearts not to meditate       not follow “accepted medical proce-          meant when he inspired the scripture.
 beforehand on what you will answer;            dures”. (“Shouldn’t they just obey the           But these same brethren can be told
 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom      government and give in if there are          by someone in government, “this is
 which all your adversaries will not be         conflicts with their understanding of        what the law says you have to do” and
 able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be   the Bible?”) It is similarly difficult for   they feel they must do it without any
 betrayed even by parents and brothers,         many believers to organize a local con-      further checking, even if it goes
 relatives and friends; and they will put       gregation directly under God (which          against their beliefs and judgment.
 some of you to death. 17 And you will          was typical in the 1800s), because           They may not ask such very important
 be hated by all for My name’s sake.            today almost all congregations are           questions as: Was the government per-
 18 But not a hair of your head shall be        incorporated under the state and it          son quoting a codified rule or were
 lost. 19 By your patience possess your         seems the “respectable” thing to do.         they just saying whatever they want-
 souls” (Luke 21:12–19).                        Also, if a Christian becomes aware of        ed? If it was a codified rule, was it a
     This is how we know what love is:          an evil crime committed by a govern-         law passed by a legislature or was it
 Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.        ment or large corporation today,             simply an agency regulation which
 And we ought to lay down our lives for         should they do what they can to see          may not be a law at all? If it was a law,
 our brothers (1Jn 3:16).                       that it is exposed and prosecuted to         has it ever been tested in court? (Many
    Christ’s message that we must be            whatever ability our legal system is         laws are rejected as unconstitutional or
willing to lay down our lives for our           able to do it? Or is civil justice the       invalid the first time there is an attempt
brothers is very clear. Many Christian          exclusive realm of unbelievers?              to enforce them in court, but govern-
groups actually teach this—but it is                The above paragraph gives just a         ments may continue acting as if the
usually understood in a sort of “spiritu-       few examples of situations where one         law exists unless they are challenged.)
al, not-right-here, not-right-now way”.         might risk their life for Christ today.      Is this law in conflict with the laws of
When I first read these parts of the            These are not by any means all or even       God as taught in the Bible? And final-
Bible and imagined giving my life for           the most important areas. This author        ly, who should we obey, God or men?
Christ, I thought of a scene like: “A big       is still studying the subject, and intends       Now one’s initial reaction might be,
military truck will come to our house           to follow it up with more study, and         “If you ask questions like that, people
with a picture of Satan or ‘the beast’ on       action.                                      will think you are crazy and you are
the side and evil-looking uniformed                 Even now, it appears that there are      going to get in trouble.” Indeed, there
men will ask us if we are Christians;           seven helpful steps to understanding         are times when people fight over
we will stand firm and say ‘yes’ to the         and obeying this vital Bible teaching:       “crazy” issues that do not appear to
admiration of other Christians around           1. Believe God and His Word over             matter to God or most people. But it is
us and maybe even the singing of                    men and their word.                      also true that the governments accused
angels; either the evil men will shoot          2. Recognize what we as Sabbatari-           Christ and the Apostles of being crazy,
us on the spot, or we will be protected             ans have done.                           and that they did get into trouble!
by a divine miracle awing believer and          3. Recognize what others have done.              The previous section summarizing
infidel alike.”                                 4. Respect and support those who are         John noted how many times the Jewish
    But neither Jesus’ nor the Apostles’            working now.                             government leaders plotted to kill
lives or deaths were like that. Their           5. Do our share of the governing that        Christ, but how they publicly denied it
enemies lied and worked hard to make                has been given to us.                    and accused Christ of “having a
their persecutions and executions look          6. Commit to study.                          demon”. Notice how the same accusa-
“legal”, “respectable”, even “a valu-           7. Ask God to show you what to do,           tions were made against Peter and
able service to public order and to                 and do it.                               Paul:
God”. The results were messy. The                                                                 So they were all amazed and per-
Apostles were beaten up and spent a             1. Believe God and His Word                    plexed, saying to one another,
lot of time in jail before they died.              over men and their word                     “Whatever could this mean?” Others
Many of the brethren doubted which              This writer has been amazed at the ap-         mocking said, “They are full of new
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                                             SERVANTS’ NEWS

 wine.” But Peter, standing up with the      righteous as they reach higher levels of    tainly benefit from this work that has
 eleven, raised his voice and said to        government. If anything, “power cor-        been done in the past. While the
 them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell       rupts, and absolute power corrupts          prayers of believers and God’s specific
 in Jerusalem, let this be known to you,     absolutely.”                                plans may or may not have been the
 and heed my words” (Acts 2:12–13).                                                      main cause of the changes that made it
    Now as he thus made his defense,         2. Recognize what we as                     easier to be a Sabbatarian, the fact
 Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you      Sabbatarians have done                   remains that most of these benefits
 are beside yourself! Much learning is       After the first century, the Church was     were implemented because of what a
 driving you mad!” But he said, “I am        divided and much error had entered in.      person or a church group actually did.
 not mad, most noble Festus, but speak       The writings of the “church fathers         In other words, there are precious few
 the words of truth and reason” (Acts        (200 to 500 A.D.) confirm an incredible     instances in modern history (the Bible
 26:24–25).                                  variation in Church doctrine and prac-      records a very few) where a ruler or
    While the Spirit of God is a Spirit of   tice. The Sabbath, Holy Days, eating        legislature simply declared that God
“power and of love and of a sound            clean meats, and many other true doc-       had inspired them to pass a law mak-
mind” (2Tim 1:7), it is not always so        trines of the first century were lost to    ing it easier for true believers. Almost
recognized by corrupt leaders seeking        mainstream “Christianity”. Some of          always, such things came about as the
their own power. Most people in big          these doctrines were maintained by the      result of someone who brought a court
Government and big business really           Ebionites, Waldenses and other small-       case, or someone who repeatedly vio-
believe a person is crazy to spend their     er groups, but those groups have since      lated a law until the authorities realized
life serving others—when they could          departed. The Bible was copied, trans-      that no amount of punishment would
spend it getting things for themselves.      lated, published and distributed around     stop this person from doing what they
    On the other hand, there are some        the world almost exclusively by main-       believe was right before God.
very good business and government            stream Christianity.                           As an example, Arkansas had a law
leaders who stand for Christian princi-          Many Sabbatarian groups have            in the 1880s against Sunday work.
ples and are trying to change the world      done a great service by studying, pub-      Voters passed the law because its pro-
for good. There are also many teach-         lishing and living these lost, but true     ponents claimed it would “close the
ers, both secular and religious, who         doctrines. It is one thing for someone      bars” on Sunday, but no bar was ever
claim to have identified the cause of        to read about keeping the Feasts in the     prosecuted under the law. However,
government and business corruption           Bible, it is much more valuable to go       some Seventh Day Adventists were
and will try to “tell you exactly who        and see them being kept. Doctrinal          fined each Sunday that they worked,
you can trust and who you cannot”.           truth is a very important part of the       eventually having all their farm ani-
While most of them have some truth, it       Body of Christ. It is a big part of the     mals and possessions sold at auction to
seems that all too many are just too         gift of “knowledge” described in            pay the “fines”. Obviously, they would
interested in selling their next book,       1 Corinthians 12:8. But Paul said           have been economically better off to
magazine or tape—and not interested          “Knowledge puffs up” (1Cor 8:1).            not work on Sunday and avoid the
in discussing facts that disagree with       And indeed, many who have under-            fines. But they believed Americans
their theories. But a few seem to be         stood the Sabbath and other truths          should be free to keep the Sabbath and
genuinely serving others in a Christ-        have been puffed up into thinking that      work on Sunday, so they did “lay down
like way.                                    only they are part of the true Church.      their lives” for their friends, and for
    The whole point of this section is       How would the Sabbatarians under-           Sabbatarians like us whom they did
we need to be ready to believe God           stand any truth if it were not for those    not know. It was not until the self-
instead of men, not to just believe dif-     who preserved and translated the Bible      righteous leaders actually saw how
ferent men. But we must recognize that       and worked for freedom of religion?         they had destroyed the lives of other-
there is a great tendency for humans,            The Seventh Day Adventists,             wise “good Christian people” that they
when they find problems, to trust them       Seventh Day Baptists and some               finally stopped prosecuting them and
to a “higher level of government” for a      Church of God groups also deserve           eventually abolished the laws (see
solution. In other words, if we find cor-    credit for making “Sabbath keeping”         www.adventist4truth.com/Library/Pioneer/
ruption in our county government, we         and “Sunday working” a lot easier in        AT%20JonesNational%20Sunday%20Law.html)
look to our state laws and courts to         many countries. Some governments
solve the problem. If there is a problem     literally fined or imprisoned people if a   3. Recognize what others have
with a state, we look to national laws       Sabbatarian’s neighbors could hear or          done
and courts to solve the problem. If          see them working on Sunday. These           Most people today take for granted the
there is a national problem, we look to      Sabbatarian groups also made progress       Bible on their shelf and the freedom to
an international committee or the            in protecting Sabbatarians who were         read it. Contrast this with North Korea
United Nations to solve it. While solv-      needlessly dismissed from jobs or           where “one class was given the assign-
ing local problems with people we            schools because of their beliefs. They      ment at school to go home and find a
know can be unpleasant, the solution is      also dealt with military service and        black book that their parents some-
often better than when the problem is        other important issues.                     times read. One girl returned the next
solved by somebody whom we do not                Current Sabbatarians, and all who       day with her parents’ Bible. When she
know. People do not become more              will be Sabbatarians in the future, cer-    got home, her parents were gone, and
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                           Page 19
                                            SERVANTS’ NEWS

she has not seen them in the decades        given rights of man, but without spon-       Royce Mitchell running for a position
since that day” (www.persecution.com).      soring any state church or religion.         on the Texas Supreme Court, trying to
    For most of the centuries since         Individual freedom was recognized, as        help defeat the virtual monopoly that
Christ died, most people have had nei-      long as it did not infringe on the free-     the Bar Association has on our legal
ther Bible nor the freedom to read and      doms of others. The Declaration of           system—see The Journal, News of the
live by them. As with the Sabbatarian       Independence recognizes God, not the         Churches of God, February 2002.)
progress described above, religious         State, as the Grantor of rights. The             Hopefully, the purpose of these peo-
freedom has not come by a group of          constitutions of all 50 states of the        ple is not to use the state to enforce a
people practicing the right doctrine, or    USA acknowledge God, most recog-             religious denomination or belief on
even by a group of people quietly           nizing him as the source of rights and       anyone, but to simply fix unjust laws
praying for it, and then suddenly a         freedoms (see box on page 23). It has        in the way that God describes as good,
ruler grants freedom of religion            only been during that last century that      and that even unbelievers can under-
“because God told him to”.                  laws and Supreme Court Decisions             stand. For example, the right to life,
    Freedom of religion has come about      have tried to make the USA a godless         liberty and the pursuit of happiness
because some people wanted it so            nation.                                      should be recognized for pre-born
badly that they were going to obey              The constitutions of the USA as          babies. People who kill them (when
God no matter what some government          well as other countries recognize the        they are not threatening the life of the
told them they should do. Sometimes,        people as the ultimate source of power       mother) should be treated as murder-
reasonable leaders recognized their         for human government—with all gov-           ers. Other laws governing children,
determination and granted some or all       ernment officials being servants of the      parents, theft, perjury, kidnapping are
of their requests. It worked this way in    people. If the people recognize an           all often far away from what the Bible
some European countries during the          unjust ruler or an unjust law, they have     teaches and everyone would be a lot
Protestant     Reformation.        Other    the right—actually the responsibili-         better off if they were changed. It is the
Christians were resisted with the full      ty—to change it. While such a system         job of the Christian preachers and
force of the state and had to leave the     is far from perfect, it certainly has pro-   teachers to show all citizens why
comforts of their homeland and jour-        vided better results than most monar-        God’s laws are for our good. It is the
ney elsewhere to obey God and avoid         chies and dictatorships. Like any kind       job of all the citizens to make these
being massacred. The history of reli-       of government, a democracy works             laws their national laws as they under-
gious freedom (and the lack of it) is       much better when righteous, neighbor-        stand them.
very interesting, be it for the Americas,   serving, God-fearing people are run-             A past example of such a change is
Europe or the rest of the world. It         ning it. When people who are willing         the “abolitionist” movement, largely
would be good for all of us to learn        to “lay down their lives” for their          pushed by church groups. It eventually
more about it, so we can value what we      brother abandon government and leave         resulted in voting in the Constitution’s
have, and maybe do something to stem        it to self-seeking men, then everyone        13th amendment which limited slavery
the current trend of it gradually slip-     begins to suffer.                            to convicted criminals. This article
ping away.                                      Simply put, Christ and the Apostles      cannot begin to cover all of the laws,
    Thanks to the work of those who         had no rights or responsibilities in         practices and needy people that a
have gone before us, we face a better       making the laws in the human govern-         believer today might want to help
situation than did Christ and the           ments of their day. They understood          change. But much information is avail-
Apostles. During their day, the highest     that system and worked within it when        able on the Internet or even in the
human authority, Rome, was com-             possible, against it when necessary.         Yellow Pages.
pletely pagan, primarily interested in      But today, most citizens of Western              Since Sabbatarians tend to be con-
its own gods and wealth. Jewish lead-       nations have the right to petition their     sidered on the “fringe” of organized
ers who were loyal to Rome were kept        government as soon as they are able to       religion, the freedom of religion issue
in power by the Romans. They had and        write a letter. They become legally          should be very important to them.
taught the Bible, but with a mixture of     responsible for their government when        While religious freedom in general
their own tradition. The leaders did not    they come of voting age. By neglecting       continued to increase in western coun-
“practice what they preached”, but          or poorly fulfilling their responsibility,   tries from the 1300s to the 1800s, it
ruled corruptly. The Romans were not        they become partly responsible for the       may now be on a reverse path. Today,
interested in correcting unbiblical         bad laws and leaders of the nation.          governments are bigger and collect
practices of Jewish leaders unless their                                                 more information about their citizens
own interests were threatened. All the      4. Respect and support those                 than ever before. They use a myriad of
average person of that day could               who are working now.                      computers, forms, ID numbers, satel-
directly do was to confront the bad         There are dozens of groups or individ-       lites and “intelligence agencies”. Some
leaders and hope to convince them           uals who are trying to replace our cor-      governments are now using computer-
from the Scriptures or moral argu-          rupt laws and leaders with those more        ized facial scanners that look for the
ments that they were wrong.                 in line with Bible teaching. Many are        faces of “wanted” people if they hap-
    The United States of America was        trying to help individuals victimized        pen to walk the streets.
founded on the principles of the state      by such laws and leaders. (It was nice           If governments use these capabili-
recognizing and protecting the God-         to see the article about sabbatarian         ties only to prosecute real criminals,
Page 20                                                                                                       Nov/Dec 2001
                                            SERVANTS’ NEWS

then it is wonderful. But there have        can be fined all the money it has, or         bility for governing falls on all citi-
already been ample cases where gov-         shut down completely. The French              zens, any believer who chooses not to
ernment leaders have used the IRS,          government has moved to shut down             vote is essentially saying “I cannot
FBI, CIA and other agencies to harass       the Church of Scientology under this          make any better decision than the aver-
political opponents. If the Apostle Paul    law. While this church group indeed           age member of my nation.” No other
were here today and someone was let         does harass former members and                member of the Church—no matter
down from a wall in a basket to escape      appears to do as much business as it          how gifted in government he may be—
searching soldiers, would he be discov-     does religion, it is still a little ominous   can vote for another believer. But if the
ered by a satellite or a hidden camera      to see a modern Western nation shut           believer does not have enough knowl-
and immediately apprehended? Yes,           down a church group in an entire coun-        edge to know who to vote for, he or she
God would still provide for him, but        try. Some of the abusive practices of         can fulfill their responsibility by sim-
our freedom is dwindling. Are we wise       the Church of God groups would like-          ply finding that “gifted in government”
when we trust a government with all         ly be prosecutable under this law.            believer and voting for whom he sug-
information about everyone and little       While some might say, “what a bless-          gests. If a nation has 100 million vot-
accountability about how they use it?       ing”, do we really want governments           ers,     is    not     each     believer
   Governments continue to increase         to get in the habit of terminating reli-      1/100,000,000th responsible for the
their direct monitoring of religious        gions that they disagree with? How            laws and elected people of that coun-
groups as well. Part of this is achieved    easy will it become for several govern-       try?
by convincing the church groups to          ment “expert witnesses” to testify that          Please realize that by voting, this
accept government benefits along with       a religion is abusive, and then to have       writer is not suggesting that one take
government control. Incorporating           a few jurors, knowing little about the        the classic “I do something for you,
churches, asking for tax-exempt docu-       religion, side with the “experts” and         you do something for me” approach to
mentation, accepting college grants,        shut the religion down.                       politics. Many people simply vote for
participating in government aid pro-           In addition to this, the French gov-       “their party” or for whatever candidate
grams are some of the ways where            ernment acknowleged it has a list of          will promise to do the most for them.
church groups get money or benefits         173 religious groups which are “under            Nevertheless, there are many rea-
and the government obtains a partial        permanent government surveillance”.           sons that brethren give for not voting.
degree of control. For example,             These include nearly all groups that          Those reasons are listed below, with
churches that have obtained 501(c)3         believe in a literal return of Christ.        simple refutations:
status from the IRS have agreed not to         While this is only for one country,           a. We cannot solve the world’s
be involved in activities that attempt to   there is a tendency for these kinds of        problems now, only at the return of
influence legislation or candidates for     laws, if unopposed, to spread from one        Christ, so why try? Few believers use
public office. They have agreed not to      country to another. There are many            this logic on their own personal needs.
publish an article like this one.           organizations that attempt to monitor         If they are hurt, they get help; if they
Similarly, if Jesus and the Apostles        and encourage Freedom of religion.            are hungry, they look for food; if they
could have asked for a 501(c)3 exemp-       Some of their web sites are:                  are poor, they look for a job. They do
tion back then, they could have been           International Coalition for Religious      not wait for Christ to return and solve
justly punished for openly condemning             Freedom (has info on every country):    their problems. They do not solve them
the unjust laws of the Pharisees.                 www.religiousfreedom.com                perfectly, but it is better than doing
   While it is obvious that govern-            Center for Religious Freedom:              nothing. We have religious freedom
ments need a way to deal with citizens            www.freedomhouse.org                    because men and women followed
who falsely masquerade as a “religion”         Voice of the Martyrs: www.vom.org          Christ’s teaching to lay down their
when they are not, the methods gov-            Any Christian, no matter what doc-         lives for others, not because He literal-
ernments use are not changing. In the       trine they believe, must appreciate all       ly returned. Who can prove that Christ
past, they would most often prosecute       the work that has been done and all the       will not continue to do good things
an individual who claimed to be part of     others who have “laid down their              through His believers, now and in the
a church, but who was actually running      lives” to produce the religious freedom       future?
a business. Lately, there has been an       that we have.                                    b. Prayer is much more power-
increased tendency for governments to                                                     ful than voting, so we should just
regulate religion directly and decide       5. Do our share of the                        pray about elections. The difficulty
what is and what is not a church.              governing that has been                    with this argument can be illustrated
   In the year 2000, France became the         given to us                                by a meeting of 90 people in a town
first major nation to pass a specific       Christ puts a variety of spiritual gifts in   hall that is voting on whether to allow
anti-cult law. It allows for the govern-    the church. We cannot all “lay down           a gambling hall to be built. There are
ment to accuse a church organization        our lives” for our brethren in the same       20 Christians who are against it, and
of a crime. The law makes it a crime        way. One believer may primarily teach         70 other people who are for it to one
for organizations to apply heavy pres-      the Bible, another may primarily help         degree or another. In the meeting the
sure techniques or make “fraudulent         the poor, another may visit those in          Christians effectively show the evils
abuse of a state of ignorance or weak-      prison and try to help them out.              that gambling tends to bring to small
ness”. An organization found guilty            But in nations where the responsi-         towns and they convince 30 people to
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                            Page 21
                                            SERVANTS’ NEWS

vote against it. But when the vote is       be dishonest or unjust. Many elections            beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public
taken, the 20 Christians pray, the 30       have two candidates running who                   property, including schools, shall not be
people vote against it, the 40 others       match that description well. But there            infringed. Neither the United States nor
vote for it, and the gambling hall is       are also lesser-known candidates run-             any State shall require any person to
built. And these Christians got what        ning for most elections. The                      join in prayer or other religious activity,
they deserved. Should we ever pray for      Constitution Party and the Libertarian            prescribe school prayers, discriminate
someone else to do something that we        Party believe in gradually getting rid of         against religion, or deny equal access
refuse to do ourselves?                     most big government. In most cases,               to a benefit on account of religion.
    c. If a Christian voted for the         that would be better than what we have              This amendment seems to capture
person whom God did not want, he            now. If nothing else, the more people            the original intent of the Constitution.
would be voting against God. This is        who vote for candidates who are not              It allows prayer in schools and other
little different to when one gives          traditional Democrats or Republicans,            public places, but states that no one
money to a charity and then later finds     the more others will consider those              should be forced to participate. It was
doctrinal or other difficulties with it.    alternatives. If all the people who nor-         approved by a subcommittee in 1997,
One is disappointed at the loss of          mally skip elections would vote for a            but has not passed the votes needed to
money and one’s own misunderstand-          non-traditional candidate, our entire            cause it to be submitted to the States.
ing, but neither one of these kinds of      country’s leadership would change in a           Would a few thousand more Christians
mistakes will stop God’s purpose.           few years. A non-traditional vote says           writing letters about this to their con-
    d. If Christians vote, they could       “I do not want the major candidates”,            gressmen make a difference? More
end up voting on opposite sides of an       which is much better than not voting             information is available at:
issue. Would it not appear that             which says “I do not care what hap-                 http://religiousfreedom.house.gov
Christ is divided? Christians already       pens, I want no influence whatever.”
are on opposite sides of many issues.          When one looks at the histories of            7. Ask God to show you what
One group makes a booklet on a cer-         local, state and national elections, it is          to do, and do it
tain doctrine, and another group makes      possible to see a lot of good ideas that         The need for believers to be willing to
a booklet refuting it. The solution to      came to pass because Christians voted            lay down their lives for their brethren is
these situations is not “to stop studying   for them. It is also possible to see             clearly found in the Bible. The benefits
doctrine and stop voting”. The solution     many bad things that happened                    from believers who laid down their
is for Christians to do the best they can   because not enough Christians voted.             lives to bring us religious freedom, the
now and then to listen and learn from                                                        Bible, etc. can be clearly seen.
each other.                                 6. Commit to study                                   Knowing what we can do to help is
    e. “Voting is not in the Bible.”        Laying down our lives for others is a            not too difficult, it requires only a little
Actually, a good case can be made to        big issue—something not discussed by             study. We can easily find more that
show voting in the Bible, but rather        many Church of God groups. While it              needs to be done than we can do in our
than include a long explanation of          is possible to jump right in and try to          lifetime.
Greek words here, we can see that God       begin doing this today, it is probably               Knowing exactly what God wants
utterly commanded all the people of a       better to study the issue first—some-            us to do may not be as easy. But we
nation to form local governments            thing that Church of God members are             should not undertake anything that is
(Deut 16:18) and the brethren in con-       good at. There are many ways that a              not of God. There are many possibili-
gregations to choose people to take         believer could usefully “lay down his            ties. What shall we do? Shall we work
care of needs in their local congrega-      life for his brethren”. There are also           alone or in groups? Should it be a local
tions (Acts 6:3). The only way a group      many phony programs in existence;                group or a national group? How much
of people can make a decision is with       they claim to be doing good, but are             time should we devote to Bible study
some manner of voting. There is no          primarily designed to make money for             and teaching others, and how much
scripture that condemns voting.             somebody. But there are also worth-              should we devote to serving others?
    f. It does not pay to vote              while methods of service. Some are               These are questions I hope to answer
because the poles are rigged. If one        very small—run by a few individuals;             for myself, and I hope you will answer
has absolute proof that voting is being     others may be large—involving big or-            them for yourself. When one has lived
controlled by outside parties, then one     ganizations and governments.                     in a “wait for Christ to return to solve
should lay down one’s life and expose           One example, which this author               everything” mentality for many years,
this evil to put government back in the     knew nothing about until researching             it is hard to think about what Christ
hands of the people. If one cannot          this article, is a proposed amendment            might really expect out of us today.
prove it, then one should continue to       to the Constitution called “The                  Brethren can be a great encouragement
vote. A rigged voting system is more        Religious Freedom Amendment:                     to each other when they work together.
likely to be discovered if righteous              To secure the people’s right to            We can take time to do this right, but
people are using it than if they have         acknowledge God according to the dic-          we cannot take forever:
abandoned it.                                 tates of conscience: Neither the United              John 9:4 “I must work the works of
    g. How do I vote if no candidate          States nor any State shall establish any         Him who sent Me while it is day; the
is acceptable? It is indeed difficult to      official religion, but the people’s right to
vote for a person whom one believes to        pray and to recognize their religious                        Continued on page 30
Page 22                                                                                                             Nov/Dec 2001
                                                 SERVANTS’ NEWS

           God Mentioned in the Constitutions of
                All 50 States of the Union
Alabama:       “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty             Minnesota:      “grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty”
                God”                                                    Mississippi:    “grateful to Almighty God, and invoking blessings
Alaska:        “grateful to God and to those who founded our                             of freedom”
                nation… in order to secure and transmit                 Missouri:       “with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler
                succeeding generations our heritage of political,                        of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness”
                civil, and religious liberty”                           Montana:        “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of
Arizona:       “grateful to Almighty God for our liberties”                              liberty”
Arkansas:      “grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of           Nebraska        “grateful to Almighty God for our freedom”
                choosing our own form of government, for our            Nevada:         “Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom in
                civil and religious liberty”                                             order to secure its blessings”
California:    “grateful to Almighty God for our freedom”               New Hampshire: “unalienable right to worship God according to
Colorado:      “with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler                            the dictates of conscience”
                of the Universe”                                        New Jersey:     “grateful to Almighty God for the civil and
Connecticut:   “acknowledge with gratitude, the good providence                          religious liberty which He hath so long permitted
                of God”                                                                  us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing
Delaware:      “Through Divine goodness, all men have by                                 upon our endeavors to secure…”
                nature the rights of worshipping and serving their      New Mexico:     “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of
                Creator according to the dictates of their own                           liberty”
                conscience”                                             New York:       “grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom”
Florida:       “being grateful to Almighty God for our                  North Carolina: “grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of
                constitutional liberty”                                                  Nations”
Georgia:       “relying upon the protections and guidance of            North Dakota: “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil
                Almighty God”                                                            and religious liberty”
Hawaii:        “grateful for Divine Guidance”                           Ohio:           “grateful to Almighty God for our freedom”
Idaho:         “grateful to Almighty God for our freedom”               Oklahoma:       “Invoking the guidance of Almighty God”
Illinois:      “grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and   Oregon:         “to worship Almighty God”
                religious liberty which He has permitted us to
                                                                        Pennsylvania: “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil
                enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our
                                                                                         and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His
                endeavors”
                                                                                         guidance”
Indiana:       “grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of
                                                                        Rhode Island: “grateful to Almighty God for the civil and
                the right to choose our own government”
                                                                                         religious liberty which He hath so long permitted
Iowa:          “grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings                          us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing
                hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on                          upon our endeavors”
                Him for a continuation of those blessings”
                                                                        South Carolina: “grateful to God for our liberties”
Kansas:        “grateful to Almighty God for our civic and
                                                                        South Dakota: “grateful to Almighty God for our civil and
                religious privileges”
                                                                                         religious liberties”
Kentucky:      “grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political,
                                                                        Texas:          “Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God”
                and religious liberties we enjoy”
                                                                        Tennessee:      “to worship Almighty God”
Louisiana:     “grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political,
                economic, and religious liberties we enjoy”             Utah:           “Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty”
Maine:         “acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness         Vermont:        “to worship Almighty God”
                of the Sovereign Ruler of the universe in               Virginia:       “…duty which we owe to our Creator… mutual
                affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the                         duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love,
                design; and imploring God’s aid and direction in                         and charity”
                its accomplishments, do agree”                          Washington:     “grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for
Maryland:      “grateful to Almighty God for our civil and                               our liberties”
                religious liberty”                                      West Virginia: “Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the
Massachusetts: “acknowledging with grateful hearts, the                                  blessings of civil, political and religious liberty…
                goodness of the great Legislator of the Universe,                        reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon
                in affording us, in the course of His providence,                        God…”
                and opportunity”                                        Wisconsin:      “grateful to Almighty God for our freedom”
Michigan:      “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of           Wyoming:        “grateful to God for our civil, political, and
                freedom”                                                                 religious liberties”
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                     Page 23
                                           SERVANTS’ NEWS
  “Two Pictures of Our Need for            are in it; strong self-will; rebellious    any choice in the matter. We were
      Christ” from page 1                  natures; procrastination, etc. (I          therefore “positioned” with Adam’s
                                           remember a friend telling me that it       nature—our flesh—which is simply
   Salvation is a process of delivering    took him 18 years from his calling to      not compatible with God’s nature
us from the world, Satan, and self. It’s   make a firm commitment before              (Rom 3:23; 7:18; 8:7).
a process of the old man’s death, and      being baptized. Praise God, he did             When we are immersed into the
the new creature in Christ growing         make it.)                                  water, our old man is as a dead man,
into a mature thinking and acting             Even after we have made the cor-        crucified and its power over us is bro-
individual, just as our Messiah was        rect choice of Life, I don’t think most    ken. As we come out of the water, we
and is (Eph 4:13). The apostle Paul’s      have a very deep understanding of the      have entered into the newness of life.
determined goal for all those whom         life-out-of-death process that we have     This is our new position, “in Christ”
he ministered to, was given for our        entered into with our Lord and Savior      and the old man has no power over
reference in Galatians 4:19, “My chil-     Jesus Christ. This usually comes later     the new man in Christ. Remember
dren, with whom I am again in labor        on with our child-training.                when Jesus was nailed up to the stake,
until Christ is formed in you.” This          Submitting to water baptism is to       and He was up there crucified for a
central theme of the reformation           be a testimony, or giving evidence         period of time before He finally died.
process is summarized in 2Cor 3:18,        that we have accepted the facts of         This is where our old man has been
and is specifically emphasized in                                                     placed—up on the stake with Jesus,
2Cor 4:11; “For we who live are con-                                                  crucified, power broken, but not yet
stantly being delivered over to death        Baptism need be done                     annihilated.
for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus                                                   There is an allegory which has
also may be manifested in our mortal             only one time in                     been given to me by another, and it
flesh.”                                       one’s life—at an age                    might help clarify this situation: there
   Now the principle of life out of                                                   is a ship on a voyage and the captain
death is pictured both in our public
                                                 when one is old                      has been tried and found guilty of a
baptism and the Christian Passover           enough for a life-long                   capital offense, and as such has been
service.                                       adult commitment.                      put below deck in the ship’s jail. The
   Let us first briefly review the need                                               new captain of our ship gives good
for a Savior to deliver us from our-         It also testifies to our                 guidance and steers a true course
selves and the evil that exists in this         position; we have                     along safe harbors. Meanwhile the old
world. Adam and Eve’s wrong choice             died to—out of the                     captain continues to loudly claim he
resulted in mankind’s separation from                                                 is the rightful leader of the ship, and
God, pictured by removing them from          power of—the old life                    the crew are so used to listening to
the Garden and thereby barring them           and are alive in the                    him that they still sometimes do—
from the Tree of Life. In order for rec-          newness of life                     which causes a lot of problems for the
onciliation to come about, God the                                                    ship. Explanation: We are the ship on
Father had to first propose deliver-                                                  our voyage of life. Our old man is the
ance—salvation. Secondly, the              Scripture, and acknowledge our need        old captain who has been put in
beloved Son had to purchase it. And        for a Savior in order to be reconciled     chains, and his power over us is bro-
finally, God’s Holy Spirit has to apply    back to God. We therefore reckon, or       ken at our baptism. He will be perma-
it. The first two steps have been          count ourselves to have been placed        nently removed from our ship when
accomplished, and the third is in          in union with Jesus Christ, by the         the ship reaches the final port, but he
active process.                            Spirit (Rom 6:1–11). Baptism need be       still causes a lot of problems in the
   There is no amount of good works        done only one time in one’s life—at        meantime. The new captain of our
we can do to earn salvation. Our part      an age when one is old enough for a        ship is, of course, Jesus Christ.
is not production, but reception of our    life-long adult commitment. It also            This brings us to the Christian
life “in Christ Jesus”, who is our sal-    testifies to our position; we have died    Passover/Lord’s Supper connection
vation. However, our efforts are           to—out of the power of—the old life        and the reason why we need to par-
involved here as this entails Bible        and are alive in the newness of life.      take of it as an annual memorial,
based fact-finding, and explicit faith        Our “position” is not a place, but is   rather than a one-time experience
in Him and His purpose for us “in          a person with a personality.               such as with our baptism.
Christ”. It also involves our patient      Sometimes we have difficulty grasp-            When we come up out of the water
trust as He takes us through the nec-      ing this concept. Making a compari-        we have entered into a brand new
essary purification process involved       son with our human birth might help        life, separate from the old. It is the
(Tit 2:11–14).                             here. When we were born into this          life of Christ—He is our life (Col
   As God’s calling continues to go        world, we automatically inherited the      3:4). We have been positioned in Him
out, the people have a choice to make,     characteristics of our forefathers clear   by the Father. However, we come
not unlike Adam and Eve’s choice.          back to the beginning of time. We          into Jesus’ life as newborn spiritual
Many factors can affect the response:      inherited a deep self-centered nature
love of the world and the things that      that is prone to sin. We didn’t have                    Continued on page 31
Page 24                                                                                                   Nov/Dec 2001
                                                SERVANTS’ NEWS

                                                                                  We print a representative sampling of our
                                                                                  mail—both positive and negative. We do
                                                                                  not include names unless we are fairly sure
                                                                                  that the writer would not object.
                                                                                  To avoid any difficulty, writers should
                                                                                  specify how much of their name and
                                                                                  address they would like us to print.


Not Worried About Past Tithes                   have done something different.                   ideas about protecting “intellectual prop-
LETTER:                   November 22, 2001                                         — NSE        erty”. Some less-developed countries
Dear Mr. Edwards,                                                                                still do not have plagiarism laws. Some
    My husband Norman died July 13 of this          Plagiarism in the UCG-BI?                    communist countries have almost no
year. But aside from that, I have noticed how                                                    copyright protection—from the false
some people are still talking on about past     LETTER:                     November 8, 2001     idea that everything belongs to the state
tithes they gave to WCG. We were long time      Dear Mr. Edwards,                                and the state belongs to everybody.
members of WCG, and haven’t been now                I understand you have some knowledge         Some countries are good about recogniz-
for over 10 years. Before Norman died we        of plagiarism and wonder if you can advise       ing their own copyrights, but not as good
talked a lot about our past and what we         me.                                              about recognizing the copyrights of
learned from it. Neither of us had ever             I have been trying to confirm that a World   other nations.
regretted the years, or what we learned or      Tomorrow broadcast which quotes exten-               Obviously, Britain is neither less-
tithed. We felt God called us, to learn what    sively from old Plain Truth articles consti-     developed nor communist, but copying
He wanted to teach us. And we saw nothing       tutes plagiarism. I have raised the issues       old magazine articles from another coun-
wrong until we had learned enough to follow     with the National Council of the United          try may not constitute legal plagiarism
Him. Then we slowly started seeing the          Church of God—British Isles, but the CEO         there. I do not know. But even if it is
wrongs and then quit.                           asserts that it is not plagiarism.               legal, is it not deceitful for them to use
    But we both thought that’s why we didn’t        I also believe, but have no proof, that      somebody else’s work as if it were their
have any mind problems. We just kept read-      another part of the same broadcast has           own? Probably so—but it is a deception
ing, learning and following God. Oh we have     been “lifted” from an encyclopedia but have      used by nearly every church organiza-
changed our views on some things, but not       not been able to trace the source.               tion that claims to be the “one true
without prayer and searching. And the               I do have a transcript of the programme,     church”. Most such groups fail to
tithes, we gave to God’s work in faith, with    which I have made myself. The original           acknowledge that they could not be
prayer and thanksgiving—have no regrets         broadcast is available on the UCG-BI web         doing their work if it was not for other
there either.                                   site—details attached.                           groups that copied and translated the
    I just thank God daily for bringing us to       Yours sincerely,                             Scriptures. Most fail to acknowledge that
Him in whatever means He used. And now                   — Barbara Fenney, United Kingdom        they use Bible helps and commentaries
onward. Yes I lost my greatest joy to God,                                                       by men from other denominations. And
but what I’ve learned from Norman through       RESPONSE: Thank you for your letter              as in your case, they apparently failed to
God, I will always have. And no, my hus-        about the United Church of God—                  acknowledge when they are reading
band had nothing to leave me, but again         British Isles. I have some knowledge of          someone else’s material.
because of God’s work through him, our          plagiarism in the United States, but                 Just looking at the list of broadcast
children take very good care of me. Please      internationally is a completely different        titles at www.goodnews.org.uk/audio, there
keep sending future Servants’ News to me.       matter.                                          are some new ones about current issues,
I need all the reading I can get, God isn’t        In general, plagiarism was not even           but many are identical or similar to pre-
done with me yet!                               considered a crime until the age of print-       vious Worldwide Church of God titles.
    May God Bless all of you                    ing. Before printing, anyone who was a           The same prophetic flavor maintained by
                — Jackie Firestone, Montana     skilled copiest could make money by              the WCG in the 1950s through to the
                                                copying and selling a book—he would              1970s remains: Cracking Open The
RESPONSE: I agree with you. I never             not make more money by pretending it             Apocalypse; The Urgency of the Times!;
felt bad at the more than 10% that I            was his own work and the real author             Apocalypse USA—Behind the Atrocity;
gave to the WCG for about 14 years. I           was usually glad that someone was                Armageddon—What Does It mean?;
did it in faith. I did what I believed God      copying his book. But today, in some             Britain In Prophecy (Parts 1 & 2);
required of me, and that is a good thing        countries, making 10,000 copies of a             Condition Critical; etc.
to do. I know that at least some of the         book often costs less than the writing and           To me, the plagiarism issue that you
money was used to do some good for              research for a good book. Plagiarism             mentioned is important, but the overall
some people.                                    laws vary greatly from one country to            direction of the UCG’s work is crucial.
   I can guess, but cannot possibly know        the next, based upon their tradition of          In a few hours they could rewrite, in
what would have happened if I would             printing and their social and political          their own words, the WCG booklet or
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                   Page 25
                                                    SERVANTS’ NEWS

the encyclopedia article that you men-                 Many of us have been or are still farmers.       some of it is certainly helpful, I am con-
tioned. That would avoid any problems              Along with this are the many hours milking           vinced that a lot of it makes the Sabbath
with legal plagiarism. The difficulty is           cows, feeding, watering, taking care of              a burden rather than a delight. I am
that they are continuing to preach the             orphans, scrubbing milk machines, and other          enclosing my tract entitled Scriptures
same message: “Bible prophecy states               chores too numerous to mention. In the old           about the Sabbath, which covers most of
that the world is about to destroy itself          Worldwide Church some even taught that the           the scriptures in the Bible about the
and Christ must return in our lifetime”.           cows should not be milked on the Sabbath.            Sabbath. It is amazing how relatively
We must realize that the WCG (and the              (What a disaster!!!) (This from “citified” minis-    few verses there are.
Radio Church of God before it) preached            ters knowing nothing about farming.)                     We are accountable to God to keep
that message in the 1930s, 40s and 50s                 Some taught that there should not be that        the Sabbath. “So then each of us shall
and most of the people who heard it are            big of an operation. Have only one or two            give account of himself to God” (Rom
now dead—never seeing it come to pass.             cows. Could anyone make a living with one            14:12). He tells us not to work (Ex 20:9)
Many other Adventist groups preached a             or two cows? From where would the milk               or do our own pleasure (Is 58:13). He
similar message before the WCG and                 come from for the many people living in the          tells us not to work our animals (Ex
RCG. Each dogmatically stated that                 cities? The butter, the eggs, the cream and          20:10). It is all right to feed animals
“they were living in the time of the end”.         the ice cream…?                                      (Luke 13:15), and tend to unusual or
   Can God hold the world today                        In the Bible, Abraham had many cattle.           unexpected conditions on the Sabbath
responsible for refusing to listen to this         His, however, must have been more the beef           (Luke 14:6, John 5:9). It is commanded
prophetic message that has been                    type that just graze and have only enough            that we assemble on the Sabbath (Lev
preached for decades and not come to               milk for the calves.                                 23:1–2) and the Holy Days (rest of
pass? Can any objective person really                  Some people have criticized others for           Leviticus 23). God will know whether a
believe that a just God preached “His              doing a little more than milk cows on the            farmer is trying to do these things or
warning to the world” through the “one             Sabbath while they themselves spend two              whether he is trying to use his farm to
true church”, the WCG, but that warning            hours or more in the barn twice a day on the         avoid obeying Him.
was a whole generation early and now               Sabbath, which is about 4 to 6 hours of hard             I believe it is a great mistake for
the real warning is coming through a               physical labor.                                      preachers to insist that Sabbatarians live
whole bunch of little “one true churches”              I guess that what I would like is your           a certain way, and then live a lifestyle
that preach the same thing, but can’t get          thoughts on this problem that for most farm-         that is not compatible with that way. For
along with each other?                             ers does not go away. Keeping the Sabbath            example, if a preacher declares that
   The UCG is teaching a lot of sound              certainly has to be different for different peo-     Sabbatarian farmers should have only
Bible truth. If they (and the other groups)        ple. Just going to a building and sitting there      one or two cows, then he should also
could properly present themselves as one           in a row listening to another person funneling       declare that Sabbatarians try to get their
of many groups serving God, they would             information about what they know is not              milk from a farmer with only one or two
not have to copy the works of others in            “keeping the Sabbath” as far as I can see.           cows. (It would have to be a local farmer
an effort to pretend that they have the            Keeping the Feast days are another thing             as no dairy could profitably pick up milk
answer to everything. They could do                with the same format. Here again it is just          from a farm with two cows.) Similarly, if
what they do well, and refer readers to            men standing in front of people funneling in         a preacher declares that no Sabbatarian
other groups that also have good teach-            their information and their thoughts about           should be in the dairy business because it
ing in other areas. May God give all of            what they think the Bible says.                      is impossible to keep the Sabbath, then
us wisdom to better serve Him.                         Why do some people think they have so            they should declare that no Sabbatarian
                                   — NSE           much more knowledge about what the Bible             should drink milk because producing it
                                                   says when anyone can read it for oneself?            requires the breaking of the Sabbath.
    Farming and the Sabbath                        I don’t think God meant for it to be so difficult.       I think each farmer can figure out
                                                       Freedom in Christ is exactly what it says.       how best to limit their Sabbath work to
LETTER:                         August 28, 2001    It really boils down to everyone working out         that which must be done for the sake of
Dear Norman,                                       their own salvation. One between the person          the animals. I know of some who milk
    At the end of an article of yours, you         and God and Jesus Christ. Not allowing one-          Friday afternoon, and then Saturday after
quote 1Cor 7:23: “You were bought at a             self to be a slave of men is a good one.             dark, but I do not know that all can do
price; do not become slaves of men”. That              Now back to the cows… Any good, help-            that. I did this when I had milk goats.
was an eye-opening statement as so many            ful thoughts??? I certainly want this to be a        Goats were fairly flexible and could wait
have been just that, slaves of men for so          private letter and answer… in other words not        a number of hours to be milked. It is pos-
many years and still to this day.                  to be published in the Servants’ News, etc.          sible that there are (or were) some breeds
    This, however, is not what was on my mind                                        — Wisconsin        of cattle that were more flexible in their
at the moment. A certain problem that has ex-                                                           milking requirements, but they probably
isted for many years for some of us in the         RESPONSE: Your quote about not being                 do not produce the huge quantities of
churches of God has never been addressed           slaves of men relates to how a farmer                milk that modern cows do. Is it possible
properly or not at all in the many years we have   should keep the Sabbath. Many Sabbath-               that there are some that do not need to be
been associated with a church. (We are no          keeping groups have written huge                     milked at all one day in seven? I do not
longer with any church of men. Have a deep         amounts of detail about how to keep the              know. But it will be farmers who should
and abiding love of God and Jesus Christ.)         Sabbath—the Jews lead the pack. While                find or produce such a breed and raise
Page 26                                                                                                                      Nov/Dec 2001
                                                 SERVANTS’ NEWS

and milk them. Preachers cannot preach           who in every place call on the name of       strong was much different than the Word
such cows into existence.                        Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and       who taught the Apostles. The Apostles
   Both Leviticus 23:1–2 and Hebrews             ours” (1Cor 1:2). Yet Paul goes on to        understood Christ’s language perfectly
10:25 indicate that we should continue           mention numerous sins and problems           and could ask questions if they did not.
assembling together. The purpose is to           among those Corinthian saints.               Herbert Armstrong was not reading the
encourage each other, learn from each               Now that we know who the saints are,      words of Christ and the Apostles, but a
other, and share our spiritual gifts.            we can see the the book of Jude is clear-    version of their words after 1,900 years
However, I can understand not wanting            ly talking about the message that was        of copying and translation. He relied on
to attend a service that consists primarily      once taught to many saints by Christ, His    commentaries, lexicons and other Bible
of men just lecturing people and funnel-         Apostles, evangelists and other teachers.    helps to gather a better understanding of
ing what they think they know. That is           Jude was certainly writing this letter to    the original meaning of the writers. He
why the New Testament teaching is pri-           real people who were alive at his time,      certainly learned a lot from this, but it
marily questions and answers, not just           but affected by false teaching (see verse    was far from the abilities of the original
long sermons. You should find a place            4) and in need of “contending for the        Apostles. For example, Mr. Armstrong
where you can contribute your spiritual          faith”. There is no hint that Jude is        rightly rejected the long-standing Christ-
gifts as well as benefit from others. That       prophesying some event 1,900 years into      ian tradition and KJV’s erroneous trans-
can be in a “church building”, or with a         the future. Nevertheless, many Bible sto-    lation of “pascha” to “Easter” in Acts
few other believers at home.                     ries and prophecies will apply to multi-     12:4, but till the day of his death, he
                                   — NSE         ple times throughout history. Today,         maintained the erroneous practice of
                                                 could this scripture mean that believers     having separate offices of “deacon” and
                                                 should earnestly contend for the faith       “minister” in his congregation. These
   The Faith Once Delivered                      once delivered to the twentieth century      separate words were written into the
LETTER:                    December 4, 2001      saints by Herbert Armstrong?                 KJV Bible because the church of Eng-
   Regarding “e-mail subs” on Page 2, I             This is a fair question. Let us compare   land had two separate offices—the
would take Option 3. This would save you         the sources of what was delivered to the     Greek Scriptures contain only one word
time and money. I would still be able to         saints, both in the first century and the    for both of them, “diakonos”. There are
access and/or print it out much cheaper.         twentieth century.                           many other examples of Bible transla-
   Looking forward to delving into your             The saints of the first century were      tion errors that Herbert Armstrong DID
paper: “Starting a Local Congregation”.          taught primarily by the Apostles. When       and DID NOT find in the Bible. He nev-
   Norm, I would appreciate your input on a      Judas was replaced, the Apostles chose       er claimed nor apparently had any divine
subject of concern: In your opinion, does the    another who had been with Christ from        revelation of the precise meaning of the
term “faith once delivered” refer to Mr.         the beginning (Acts 1:21–22). Paul was       original language texts. He studied to the
Armstrong’s work, or does it refer to Christ’s   taught directly by Christ (Gal 1:11–16).     best of his ability, just like you, I and
teaching?                                        In his writings, Paul sometimes makes        many other Bible teachers.
   Hope this finds you all well.                 clear when he is giving a command he             2. Mr. Armstrong changed his doc-
                                 — Colorado      heard directly from Christ (“Now to the      trines as he went along, whereas the
                                                 married I command, yet not I but the         Apostles did not. The New Testament
RESPONSE: I will begin sending you an            Lord…”—1Cor 7:10), and when he is            contains no example where the Apostles
e-mail link.                                     using his own understanding (“But to the     stated that Christ taught them one thing,
   Your question is obviously referring          rest I, not the Lord, say…”—1Cor 7:12).      then later taught them something differ-
to Jude 1:3:                                        By contrast, how was Herbert              ent. Whereas HWA changed his teaching
     “Beloved, when I gave all dili-             Armstrong taught? He never claimed           on several major doctrines. His teaching
  gence to write unto you of the com-            any direct revelation from Christ—nei-       on church government reversed from his
  mon salvation, it was needful for me           ther visions nor dreams nor face to face     1939 to his 1974 article. He observed
  to write unto you, and exhort you              meetings. Many times he stated that he       Pentecost by three different methods. He
  that ye should earnestly contend               was taught by the written Word of God,       once taught married believers to split up
  for the faith which was once deliv-            rather than the spoken Word, and fre-        if either had been previously married to
  ered unto the saints” (KJV).                   quently mentioned his intensive 6-month      someone still alive—then later reversed
   The word “saints” is used about 95            study of the Bible. Of interest, that is     that teaching. He reversed himself on the
times in the New Testament and always            about one seventh of the time that the       wearing of make-up several times. He set
refers to all of the believers—or all of         Apostles spent with Jesus. But that is not   numerous ranges of years for the return
them in a specific geographical area.            necessarily a factor, God is capable of      of Christ, all failed. It is very good that a
While it does mean “holy ones” or “set           making a man who can learn seven times       person corrects themselves when they
apart ones” the Bible says nothing about         faster. The question to answer is this:      find errors in their teaching—Mr.
a subclass of people who are believers           Was Herbert Armstrong’s study equiva-        Armstrong should have done it and we
but somehow not good enough to be                lent to the Apostles learning from           should do it. However, it is difficult to
“saints”. Paul addresses one of his let-         Christ?                                      believe that Mr. Armstrong had some
ters: “To the church of God which is at             I think the answer is “No” for five       special divine teaching of Christ when he
Corinth, to those who are sanctified in          important reasons:                           had to make corrections throughout his
Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all         1. The Word that taught Mr. Arm-          ministry. His pattern of teaching is more
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                                   Page 27
                                                 SERVANTS’ NEWS

like the pattern of many other teachers:        much traditional error, his track record is         and I have put the bug in my husband’s ear, so
sometimes he diligently sought God and          nowhere close to the servants of God of             please pray about his inspiration to give.
the Bible and God taught him truth; other       the first century. Mr. Armstrong’s track               Also, please send me all your plans for the
times he answered questions without             record is similar to many other religious           website, and let’s see if we can help you.
adequate prayer and study, and gave             leaders who rejected error, taught truth               My husband and I are musicians and I
answers that he later had to change.            and turned many people to God and the               would like to talk to you about Psalms, but first
    3. Mr. Armstrong borrowed some of           Bible—but placed far too much emphasis              I’m going to read your article about Psalms.
his teaching from others. He taught that        on their own ministries. When I stand be-                            — Susan Owen, Switzerland,
the United States and Britain were Israel,      fore the judgment seat of Christ (2Cor                                            atl04@yahoo.com
but borrowed much of the content of his         5:10), I know He will uphold my desire
works from J. H. Allen’s book on the sub-       to live by His Words, and the words of              RESPONSE: Thank you for sending
ject. He copied the entire booklet “Has         those men whom He chose in the first                How Does the Eternal Govern Through
Time Been Lost?” from the Church of             century. I will answer for my life from             Humans? to friends. That is often the
God Seventh Day. His explanation of the         those words. Similarly, Mr. Armstrong               best way to spread such information.
Day of Atonement goats (Lev 16) is the          will be judged for his teaching. If either          Many people do not want to take the
same as a vision of Ellen G. White,             of us taught error due to Bible translation         time to read a long religious article from
founder of the Seventh Day Adventists.          problems or some other factor unknown               somebody they do not know. It may turn
All of these sources clearly existed before     to us, Christ will be lenient on us for the         out to be a big waste of time. If they just
his study into the Bible. There is nothing      things we did not know (Luke 12:48).                skim it, or read the end, they may see the
wrong with learning from the writings of        But if either of us deliberately taught er-         conclusions before they see the proof
others that teach truth. We should all do it.   ror to increase our personal power, we              and say “those are really strange ideas”
But we should not ascribe God’s revela-         will be punished with many stripes (Luke            and reject it without hearing the case.
tion of truth to one man when God has           12:47). I do not know how Mr. Arm-                  But when a friend someone knows and
revealed it through many people.                strong will be judged. He built a huge              trusts recommends an article, they are
    4. Mr. Armstrong did not have the           work in a short time, but it came down              more likely to read it all.
signs and wonders that the Bible speaks         even faster than it went up. I must not                Thank you so much for volunteering
of as the identifying signs of an Apostle       contend for the faith delivered by a man            to help. When my issues are caught up,
(Acts 2:43, Acts 5:12; 2Cor 12:12). While       with an unknown status before God, but              God willing, I hope to do a lot more on
he claims a number of miracles in his au-       contend for the faith once delivered to the         my website.
tobiography, these all occurred before he       first century saints.                                                                  — NSE
called himself an Apostle. Indeed, this             May God guide us all into that faith!
writer attended the same local congrega-                                           — NSE            Unclean Medical Supplements
tion as Mr. Armstrong for eight years and
does not know of anyone who witnessed             Likes How Does The Eternal                        LETTER:                              Dec 9, 2001
a miracle done through him while he                Govern Through Humans?                           Greetings.
claimed to be an Apostle. At the same                                                                   I was looking for some input. I read this
time, I witnessed or heard about a number       LETTER:                     November 6, 2001        quote from an article in Nutrition Action Health
of healings and miracles through other          Dear Norman,                                        Letter, a reputable magazine. “Glucosamine
church leaders and brethren. Mr. Arm-               It is about time that I wrote to you, just      is a simple compound and is easy to manu-
strong certainly never claimed that his         wanted to let you know that i am promoting          facture. It’s extracted from the shells of crabs
miracles were proof of his Apostleship.         your article.                                       and other crustaceans. Chondroitin, which is
    5. Mr. Armstrong did not have the               www.servantsnews.com/docs/govhum.htm            prepared from cow tracheae (windpipes) or
humble approach of the New Testament                I’ve e-mailed to at least a half dozen peo-     shark cartilage, is more difficult to make.”
leaders. They did not have this world’s         ple, posted up on a [name removed] forum                I’d really appreciate your input because
wealth (Acts 3:6, 1Cor 4:11) and were           and also got my husband (a major skeptic) to        many of God’s people (mostly the elderly) are
patient with brethren who did not always        reading, and he agrees totally, in fact he was      taking this stuff to relieve pain from arthritis.
listen to their teaching. None proclaimed       on to a lot of these myths before I was, and        (I’m one of them.)
great titles for themselves. Herbert            your article cleared up a lot of things…                                  — Ken Omick, Wisconsin
Armstrong proclaimed himself to be                  And I’m corresponding with Horst, who
both the physical and spiritual head of         read your article some time ago and found it        RESPONSE: The Bible teaches us not to
the Church on earth—and cast out those          very encouraging and when he tried to dis-          eat unclean animals, and to consider our-
who understood doctrines differently            cuss it he could only find people hung up on        selves “unclean” if we touch their car-
than he did. He lived an extravagant life-      hierarchy, so now we are going to start dis-        casses. It does not mention what we
style while instructing his coworkers,          cussing it… And I e-mailed a link of your arti-     should do about greatly refined products
about 100 times, to make sure they sent         cle to Monte, and he was really excited about       made from unclean animals. God does
in their “widow’s mites”.                       it… (I met Monte in the CEM Forum, but that is      not have a secret law that He hopes to
    In conclusion, I think it is a big mis-     run by Ron Dart, and it’s not appropriate to talk   “catch us disobeying so He can punish
take to classify Mr. Armstrong’s teaching       about the subject of your article there! Ron        us”. On the other hand, we should do the
as “the faith once delivered to the saints”.    doesn’t allow references to “other ministries”,
While he taught much truth and rejected         anyway.) I would like to support your ministry,                     Continued on page 30
Page 28                                                                                                                      Nov/Dec 2001
                                            SERVANTS’ NEWS
 “Truckers Study” from page 2               highlight, as these studies usually are.   them. He stopped working and took
                                                                 — Lenny Cacchio       time to build a relationship.
Hank Hannegraff where a Muslim                                                             We went down through a few chap-
had called him and challenged him to            [Using John 9:8, “…most assured-       ters of Genesis, including the taking
show from the words of Jesus and            ly, I say to you, before Abraham was,      of the forbidden fruit. The assertion of
Jesus alone that Jesus was in fact          I AM,” is not a good proof that Christ     the serpent that “you shall be as gods”
God. He didn’t want to hear what            is God. While the NKJV and a couple        and that they would know good and
Paul had to say or John, or anybody         other translations capitalize “I AM”,      evil is very much akin to the modern
else, but from the words of Jesus           most do not and there is nothing in the    concepts of moral relativism. People
Himself. Did Jesus Himself ever             Greek manuscripts to indicate                             think they can figure
claim to be God? I commented on my          that they should. It is no dif-                                out good and evil
disappointment of Hank’s lame               ferent than dozens of                                            for themselves
answers, and asked the men how they         other uses of “I am” in                                           without God,
would answer a Muslim on this mat-          the New Testament,                                                 and in fact are
ter. Without missing a beat, one of the     one of which is:                                                    taking on the
drivers said that Jesus claimed to be            “Therefore the                                                  prerogative of
the “I AM”. Indeed! I was struck how          neighbors        and                                                God.
the truck driver could get to the heart       those who previ-                                                       One of the
of the issue and the Bible Answer             ously had seen                                                       men men-
Man could not.                                that he was blind                                                    tioned his
   I posited a different approach. I          said, ‘Is not this he who sat and        conclusion that a new seeker might be
suggested asking the Muslim this              begged?’ Some said, ‘This is he.’        better served by being given just a
question: “If I were to show you              Others said, ‘He is like him.’ He        New Testament. This was not to say
where Jesus claimed to be God,                [the blind man] said, ‘I am he’ ”        that the Old Testament is worthless,
would you then believe Him and fol-           (John 9:8).                              but that new seekers often begin in
low Him?” I would bet the Muslim                The last word “he”, above, is not      Genesis, then get bogged down in all
would not take up the challenge. They       in the Greek—the blind man is saying       the “begats” and give up. If they
don’t accept the Bible’s authority on       “I am” in the same way Jesus did.          begin with the gospels, they are more
such matters anyway. This led to a          Also, “I am” is not a good translation     likely to stay with it and come to
long discussion on how Jesus dealt          of what God said to Moses in Exodus        know Jesus Christ. The Old
with questions from the Pharisees.          3:14. The Hebrew there is in the           Testament can be picked up later.
   The idea of the Trinity was an           future tense. Hebrew translations              Near the end of the study, a fifth
interesting sidelight. I asked these dri-   often have something like “I shall be”     guest arrived, and he and I stayed
vers how they would answer a                or “I-will-be-there” as the Fox trans-     around afterward for the better part of
Muslim who might accuse them of             lation has it.                             an hour and talked.
not being monotheistic because they             Neverthess, John 9:8 is a great            It turns out he is a Seventh Day
believe in three Gods, and I got as         proof that Christ existed before           Baptist, and we had a great discussion
answers a lot of stumbling, confused        Abraham. Also John 14:9 says: “He          about the history of that denomina-
comments, which is what I expected.         who has seen Me has seen the               tion. He grew up in that church, but he
For whatever reason, I was unable to        Father.” That is claiming to “be           tells me his grandfather had a library
follow up with a challenge to the tra-      God” to me.                                of old books containing their history
ditional beliefs of the Trinity, but                                        — NSE]     that he presumes was donated to the
instead we discussed the meaning of                                                    denomination at his death. He would
the word “one” (echad in Hebrew)            November 11, 2001                          hope one day to get his hands on
and the prayer of Jesus in John 17 that     We had four visitors today, and then a     them. To him without question the
talks in terms of the people of God         fifth later near the end of the study.     seventh day is the Sabbath, but unlike
“becoming one as we are one”. I need        One of the gentlemen has visited us        his grandfather he has not studied the
to find a way to approach this subject      many times, and he has been around         subject inside out and wonders how
with them and stimulate thought. In         enough that I am beginning to wonder       Christians came to worship on
any case, I suggested that they might       if he considers this to be his church.     Sunday.
want to think through how they would        So be it if it is!                             He mentioned that the SDB con-
answer a Muslim if they were to be              I began with Genesis 2 and dis-        gregation he grew up in had split in
asked this question. One of the rea-        cussed briefly the rest that God estab-    two some time around World War II,
sons that Islam is the world’s fastest      lished. Why did God feel a need to         and he believes it was split because of
growing religion is its rigid monothe-      rest by establishing the Sabbath day?      contention between the English mem-
ism as opposed to the self-contradic-       Obviously God was not tired, so why        bers and the German members over
tory explanation Christians give for        did He rest? I think it is interesting     the war, although no one talked about
the Trinity, which in my mind is why        that the first thing God did after mak-    it and discouraged him from asking.
Hank fell all over himself this week.       ing the first man and woman was to         However, in spite of their split, they
   Today was an inspiration and a           take a break and spend time with           still came together for socials and
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                        Page 29
                                                SERVANTS’ NEWS

what-not. He could never understand            including this topic, and he has            God is raising up stones to the sons of
why they didn’t just merge.                    learned that the Sabbath was changed        Abraham because the Churches of
   Too bad he wasn’t at the Bible              around the time of Constantine.             God have been so pathetically weak?
study in the beginning where I plant-          Moreover, they have been studying           Are we so close to the end times, and
ed some “Sabbath seeds”. But God               the Holy Days and their meaning. He         is the Church of God so weak that
has His own ways.                              had purchased a book written by John        God is exercising His sovereignty
   [It is easy for us, an outside group,       Hagee on the subject of the Holy            without us?
to say, “Yes, why don’t they merge if          Days, and shortly thereafter his               In any case, it was intimated to the
nobody even wants to talk about why            church began to study them.                 gentleman from Georgia that he has
they split?” Now let’s talk about a               Well, the door was opened, so we         some important knowledge. Now
young person or a new believer in one          turned to Leviticus 23, began with the      what is he going to do with it?
of the corporate Church of God                 first verse, and just went down                [God has always exercised His
groups. Will he or she be any less puz-        through the chapter, referring back         Sovereignty with or without us—the
zled as to why these groups do not             and forth between the Old and New           Church of God groups have covered
meet together and work together                Testaments, explaining those days in        only a small part of the world for only
today? What will he or she think if            terms of their relationship to Jesus        a short part of its history. Searching
they are still divided 10, 20 or 30            Christ and the Gospel. The men loved        the Internet for “Sabbath”, “Holy
years from now?                 —NSE]          it, although the gentleman from             Days”, “Feast of Tabernacles” pro-
                                               Georgia knew much of this already.          duces thousands of hits, many of
November 25, 2001                              There were some insights that were          which have nothing to do with Church
Most weeks the studies are interesting         new to him, and he was eagerly gob-         of God groups. I beleive Church of
but nothing out of the ordinary. We            bling up everything we were saying.         God groups are so busy trying to get
cover a few topics, give the drivers a         It was wonderful seeing these men           their doctrine perfect and woo other
place to study and pray, and know we           realize how God has woven the two           CoG members to their group that they
have done some good. Today was a               Testaments together into a unified          are not spending enough time teach-
different sort of day.                         whole.                                      ing others. We often quote John 6:44,
   Along with the three drivers and               Time allowed us to get up to             “No one can come to Me unless the
me, I was joined by Darwin Keesee.             Trumpets. As it turns out, CEM had          Father who sent Me draws him,” but
Before getting started we were talking         just sent me a box of tapes for distrib-    forget that we have no gaurantee that
about various Bible translations.              ution, all of which are from the Holy       He has to call them through our
Darwin had his Companion Bible                 Day series, and I was pleased to give       group. Thanks for making the point,
with him, and we talked about its              them some.                                  Lenny, and thanks, through these
study notes and the appendices, one               Afterwards Darwin and I were             studies, for showing that neither
of which gives a very good explana-            talking, and the question arose:            money not a large number of people
tion of three days and three nights,           “What’s going on here?” Here is a           are needed to teach others what we
which we threw out to seed a ques-             man who learned about the Holy              know.]
tion. One of the drivers, however, was         Days first of all from a mainstream
way ahead of us and knew that the              Protestant evangelist, and then had it
Friday/Sunday tradition doesn’t work.          reinforced by his own congregation,                            L_cacchio@yahoo.com
His congregation somewhere in                  who are not only studying the Holy                           705 NE Bryant Drive
Georgia has been involved in some              Days, but issues such as the Sabbath                                Lee’s Summit
rather interesting studies lately              and the sign of Jonah. Could it be that                            MO 64086
     “Letters & Responses” from page 28                       “Christ… Leaving Us an                  And I saw thrones, and they
                                                              Example” from page 22
                                                                                                  sat on them, and judgment was
best we can to follow God. I have not investigated this                                           committed to them. Then I saw the
particular issue, but I make the following general sug-      night is coming when no one can      souls of those who had been
gestions. 1) Try to adjust one’s diet, exercise and other    work.”                               beheaded for their witness to
habits so supplements are not needed. 2) Look for              And finally, as we all look for-   Jesus and for the word of God,
alternatives that are not unclean. 3) If none can be        ward to the millennial Kingdom        who had not worshiped the beast
found, pray and ask God to show you what to do.             of Christ, let us remember that       or his image, and had not received
                                                 — NSE      those who are promised to be          his mark on their foreheads or on
    There are manufacturers who make glucosamine            there are not some who simply         their hands. And they lived and
and chrondoitin tablets, with ingredients made from         had the “right doctrine”. They        reigned with Christ for a thousand
fish (shark cartilage), not from cattle or pigs as in       may well have had right doc-          years (Rev 20:4).
cheaper versions by others. Glucosamine and chron-          trine, but the characteristic men-        Being confident of this very
doitin are both helpful in maintaining connectivity         tioned here is again the              thing, that He who has begun a
tissue. One source for these is Healthspan, PO Box          willingness to follow the exam-       good work in you will complete it
64, Park Street, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3BT,          ple of Jesus Christ, and lay down     until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil
telephone +44-1481-714015. —David King                      ones life for one’s friends:          1:6).
Page 30                                                                                                          Nov/Dec 2001
                                           SERVANTS’ NEWS
“Church Bible Teaching Ministry
     Begins” from page 32                  name like “Servants’ News” does not           Church Bible Teaching Ministry in the
                                           sound like a church and may be more           future. I hope other congregations and
                                           often challenged, whereas a name like         ministries will consider using these
have not filed form 1023, but the name     “Church Bible Teaching Ministry”              methods that were so common at the
on the check can apparently make a         probably would not be.                        founding of our country, but have
difference as to whether tax auditors         I intend to publish the declaration        recently declined greatly in use.
will question a deduction or not—a         and other foundational documents of                         — Norman Edwards

“News from Local Congregations,            ever read the proclamation? It is only            The Civil War was about states’
Edwards Family Trip” from page 5           about 700 words; it nicely fits on one        rights versus a strong central govern-
                                           page. It is actually a restatement and        ment and (like most wars) it was about
with Tom and Thelma Justus. He now         clarification of an earlier proclamation.     money. As it was, General Lee and
serves an independent congregation,        But both proclamations freed the slaves       other Southern leaders did not own
which merged with a Church of God          only in the south—the states “in rebel-       slaves because they felt it was morally
Seventh Day group several years back.      lion” against the union: “…all persons        wrong. Mr. Lincoln and Northern
While the Church of God Seventh Day        held as slaves within any State or des-       General Grant kept their slaves
does not usually observe the annual        ignated part of a State, the people           throughout the entire war. There were
Holy Days, they asked to hear the Feast    whereof shall then be in rebellion            many other abuses during the Civil War.
of Trumpets message when it fell on a      against the United States, shall be then,     The entire state of Missouri was placed
Sabbath. I had never thought of congre-    thenceforward, and forever free…”             under martial law and people were
gational mergers as a way to teach Holy    The proclamation goes into great detail       forcibly removed from several counties.
Days, but that is what has happened.       as to exactly which states and parts of       Unarmed citizens were executed by the
   On January 3rd, we stopped at           states were under southern control—           military without trials and without even
Eldon, Missouri, the home of John and      and shows that slaves were only freed         being charged with crimes. We should
Debbie Sash. We discussed many             there. A popular history book I have on       want to know how that happened, rather
things, including some of the difficulty   the civil war leaves out most of this         than say, “it cannot happen today.”
in learning and teaching the truth about   detail from the proclamation, making it           We visited my wife’s sister in Indi-
history. Debbie has been continuing her    difficult to determine that Lincoln only      ana and returned home to a fax, 17
college to obtain a master’s degree in     freed the slaves in the South. It was         phone messages, about 100 letters and
history. Some interesting information      several years before the Northern             about 250 e-mails. About half were du-
about the civil war: In school, we heard   slaves were freed. If the civil war were      plicates, junk mail, etc. But the others
about        Abraham           Lincoln’s   about slavery, why didn’t Lincoln free        still represent a lot of work. It was a
“Emancipation Proclamation” that “set      the slaves in the North first? Should not     very beneficial trip for many of us.
the slaves free”. But how many of us       one clean up one’s own house first?                   —Norman & Marleen Edwards

“Answers to Hierarchical Leader            man with a good heart. I encourage you,       chical organization.
     Letter” from page 14                  as opportunity permits, to work closely          Nevertheless, I rejoice in the good
                                           with the LCG leaders and observe how          that the LCG is doing. There is more
responses to it. I think it would change   their hierarchy works from the inside. It     than enough work for all of us to do, and
many people’s minds—though certainly       was that very thing that sent me to the       none of us (including me) do it in per-
not all.                                   Scriptures to study, and those studies that   fection. May you work in peace, my
   I appreciate your desire to help        caused me to seek a Work that was cen-        brother.
humanity. You appear to be an honest       tered around Christ, rather than a hierar-                    — Norman Edwards
  “Two Pictures of Our Need for            condition is in the process of purifica-      of our vessel and let the old man take
     Christ” from page 24
                                           tion. We, individually, are being             control of the helm once again.
                                           transformed (conformed) to His death          Remember what the beloved Son of
babes, with God’s goal set before us       in order that His life may be manifest-       God experienced on our behalf. “For
to grow in grace and knowledge until       ed in our mortal flesh.                       as often as you eat this bread and
we reach the full maturity, just as the       Even though the ultimate goal of           drink this cup, you proclaim the
beloved Son of God is mature (2 Pet        Jesus’ death was to bring us into Life        Lord’s death until He comes” (1Cor
3:18; Eph 4:13). This ultimately           (Rom 5:10), we can never bypass the           11:26).
leads to intimacy and oneness with         importance of His beaten body and                Maybe this will help illuminate
our God.                                   shed blood. We need to remember—              what Paul said in Galatians 2:20; “I
   The Passover service sets forth our     proclaim—His death annually, on a             have been crucified with Christ, and it
experience in our voyage of life. It is    continual basis to help us focus on our       is no longer I who live, but Christ
our continual condition, of growing to     need for Him. We acknowledge that             lives in me; and the life which I now
full maturity. It is not the old man       our condition in this journey of life is      live in the flesh, I live by faith in the
improving, or getting better—for he        a needy one, because it is all too easy       Son of God, who loved me, and deliv-
has been crucified—but our human           to take our eyes off the new Captain          ered Himself up for me.”
Nov/Dec 2001                                                                                                           Page 31
                                              SERVANTS’ NEWS


Church Bible Teaching Ministry Begins
A     fter studying more about creating
      paper documents for local con-
gregations and ministries, I have de-
                                             tant to get in the habit of producing
                                             articles that can be understood without
                                             a CoG background. There is no reason
                                                                                             are not already more than I can do), I
                                                                                             will not need to produce many new en-
                                                                                             velopes, forms, etc.
cided to better document my own              for people who want to come to God to                The name, Church Bible Teaching
church ministry. At the same time, I         feel like they have to learn and re-live        Ministry, was chosen because it was
hope to improve and simplify some            50 years of Radio Church of God and             descriptive of what I do, and because it
documents, forms and envelopes.              Worldwide Church of God history—                should be more helpful for those who
    Servants’ News has been published        just like most of us would not want to          give offerings and desire tax deduc-
since 1995, intended for people with a       learn and re-live 50 years of Church of         tions. We have frequently quoted the
Church of God background. Shelter in         God Seventh Day or Seventh Day                  following paragraph from IRS publica-
the Word has been published since            Adventist History. Indeed, I have felt          tion 557 (rev. Nov 1999), Tax-exempt Status
1998 and intended for a general              that if some Shelter in the Word read-          for Your Organization, page 21, col. 3:
Christian audience. I have diligently        ers would read some of the long ban-                   Churches. Although a church, its
tried to keep out anything that would        terings about organization and church              integrated auxiliaries, or a convention or
require a Church of God background           government in Servants’ News, they                 association of churches is not required
to understand. At present, there are         might conclude that they need to look              to file Form 1023 to be exempt from fed-
only about 50 Shelter in the Word            elsewhere for help in serving God.                 eral income tax or to receive tax
recipients that do not take Servants’            But my efforts to keep the Servants’           deductible contributions, the organiza-
News, but there are also many who get        News name away from Shelter in the                 tion may find it advantageous to obtain
both, but who are primarily interested       Word readers have met with difficulty              recognition of exemption…
in Shelter in the Word.                      when it comes to basic literature, form              I believe it is a mistake for churches
    I have not felt a great urgency to try   letters, envelopes, etc. Do I need to print     and Church ministries to file form
to increase Shelter in the Word reader-      two versions of each, one “from”                1023, because they must promise to
ship, and I admit that it has not had a      Servants’ News and the other “from”             abide by all IRS regulations both pre-
lot of consistency in its publication        Shelter in the Word ? It is much easier to      sent and future, which are sometimes
size or content. It has had extremely        simply make all of them “from” Church           contrary to Scripture. As I understand
basic articles, and then it has included     Bible Teaching Ministry. Readers of             it (consult a licensed professional for
massive papers like What Does the            both publications will see the CBTM             advice), courts have upheld tax deduc-
Bible Say About Eternal Judgment?            name, but need not know about the oth-          tions to churches and ministries that
and Starting a Local Congregation.           er publication. If I ever have reason to
However, I thought it was very impor-        add another publication (as if these two                        Continued on page 31



Partial Literature List                                              Our goal is to bring worthwhile information to as many as want it at the
                                                                     lowest practical cost. The loose-leaf format used by Servants’ News
All items are free upon request. All back issues of                  and most of the literature below is inexpensive and makes copying
Servants’ News are available as well as a complete                   easy (most literature is public domain). You might wish to hold the
Literature List and a Literature Subject Index.                      pages together with a ring binder, staples, brads or a paper clip.

          Mature Literature                   Scriptures about government to please            Free sources of literature and tapes.
Assembling on the Sabbath by Norman           King James and an analysis of what the         Giving and Sharing Order Form by
  Edwards, 16 pages. An exposition of the     Bible says about how we should govern            Richard Nickels, 3 pages. Has many
  scriptures regarding our need to fellow-    in today’s congregations.                        excellent free items, low prices on hard-
  ship on the Sabbath and how to do it.      What Does the Bible Say About Eternal             to-find religious books, and fine literature
Biblical Calendar Basics by Norman            Judgment? by Norman Edwards, 83                  on floppy disk.
  Edwards, 26 pages. Explanation of           pages. What happens to people after they       The Journal: News of the Churches of God
  Biblical and Hebrew calendars (beginning    die? What about “bad” people? “Good”             edited by Dixon Cartwright. One free
  of months, years, postponements etc.)       people? Unbelievers? Diligent believers?         sample issue. Best single source of news
How Do We Give to the Eternal? by Richard     Lax believers? Read the many scriptures          about Sabbath-keeping groups. 24 pages.
  Tafoya & Norman Edwards, 36 pages.          that answer these questions.                   Servants’ News Statement of Receipts and
  Biblical study of giving and tithing.                                                        Expenses, 2 pages.
How Does the Eternal Govern Through          Study Resources and Information                 Servants’ News Literature List, 24 pages.
  Humans? by Norman S. Edwards, 34           Freedom Biblical Information Center             Servants’ News Literature Subject Index, 51
  pages. How the KJV translators altered       Catalog by Wayne Schatzle, 12 pages.            pages. All articles & literature by subject.

Servants’ News, PO Box 107, Perry, Michigan 48872-0107, USA
Tel: 517-625-7480,                   Fax: 517-625-7481,                      E-mail: Info@ServantsNews.com
International brethren will receive literature more quickly by writing or e-mailing the nearest address on page 2.
Page 32                                                                                                               Nov/Dec 2001

				
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