Letters from our Readers - Part 4
( READ PART 1)
Door to the Father
In regard to letters and articles asking "Who is Christ?" and "Is there one God?":
Jesus said there is only one God. This is the same God as in the Old Testament and is still the same God today.
Proverbs 8:1-36 tells us that God created Jesus Christ first before all the angels were created.
Hebrews 1:4-5 makes it clear that Jesus was higher than the angels and that the angels were to worship Him.
Hebrews 1:8-9 states that God the Father addresses Christ as God. He is worthy of worship by man and angels alike.
Enoch 68:38: He was the son of man and carried out the will of the Father, God. When He was human, he was the son of man. Today He is our High Priest, and, when He returns to earth to set up the Kingdom of God, He will be Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Christ today is the door to the Father, and no one has access to the Father but through Him.
New Castle, Del.
Pro and con concerning unitary monotheism
If unitary monotheism (not Universal Unitarianism) were on trial in a court of law and the Churches of God were the jurors, they would want to hear the facts from the defense as well as the prosecution.
But what are we presented with as evidence? Just one side of the story! All the evidence for the defense is inadmissable! It is not just inadmissable; it is completely ignored and rejected even before it is presented.
The defense lawyer is not even allowed into the courtroom. The judge was biased. Most of the spectators were biased.
I have just received a copy of The Khaboris Manuscript, a book that contains selected passages from the New Testament scribed in Aramaic, the language of Jesus of Nazareth. Of particular note is the original translation of John 1:1-4.
As shown in this book, the original does not even hint that the Word was God, which is the foundational scripture most binitarians use to prove Jesus was God.
In these last days this evidence in favor of the truly monotheistic nature of Jesus is not being ignored. The One God Seminars, the well-written documented books, Web sites, testimonies by Trinitarians, research documents, commentaries, lexicons and other sources you can consult are readily available by any Berean Christian who is not afraid of the truth.
Light and the nature of God
In Genesis 1:3 we are told that light was made when Elohim spoke.
In Romans 1:20 we are told that we can clearly understand the invisible things of God by examining the things (such as light) that were made.
In 1 John 1:5 we are told that God is light. (This has to be figurative rather than literal since light was made but God wasn't.)
If light is something that was made, and God is compared to light in the Scriptures, then we ought to follow the instructions in Romans 1:20 and examine the nature of light. If we do this we should be able to clearly understand some of the invisible things about our Creator. That's what the Bible tells us.
So we need to figure out just exactly what is the nature of light. That should shed some light (sorry for the pun) on the nature of God.
Light is made when electricity and magnetism are joined in a suitable manner. Electricity by itself does not make light, and magnetism by itself does not make light. It is only when electricity and magnetism come together to form one cooperative unit that light is produced.
In other words, light does not exist unless the electric and magnetic fields are both present and work together as a unit.
So, since God is compared to light (1 John 1:5) and since light is formed when its two distinct components are joined to act as one unit, what does that tell us about the nature of God?
In my opinion, it tells us that God could, perhaps, be viewed as consisting of two (not three) members, working together in perfect harmony as if they were only "one" being. Romans 1:20, together with 1 John 1:5, therefore, seems to imply that our Creator had such a twofold nature.
This would be compatible with the God-is-a-family concept in which there were initially just two members in the family. If "God is light" and if we accept the instructions in Romans 1:20, we ought to at least consider the possibility that God is a family.
It's hard to ignore Romans 1:20. Chapter 1 of Romans makes it clear that our Creator is not happy when we ignore these principles!
John N. "Jack" Churchill
I was disappointed to find Tom Mahon once again resorting to labeling ["I'm Puzzled," page 4, The Journal, April 30]. It seems that if one disagrees with Mr. Mahon it is simply because one is misguided, illogical, ignorant, unchristian, or lacking the Holy Spirit of God. How could anyone argue with such "logical" thinking?
I would encourage Mr. Mahon to read and reread Dave Havir's excellent article about name-calling [page 3 of the same issue], but I wonder if a man of such exceptional understanding could learn anything from it. Personally, I know that I will never have all the answers in this life, and I can live with that.
God is capable
Samuele Bacchiocchi writes persuasively on biblical criticism vs. belief [see essays in Nov. 28, 2003, and Jan. 31, 2004, issues of The Journal] but may leave some of your readers with doubts in their minds.
I am not here concerned to argue Dr. Sam's philosophic approach, but am very much concerned with his use of "well-known discrepancies" and the assertion that God "allowed inaccuracies that do not affect our faith and practice." Let's deal with the two that he specifically used as examples.
First, the 1.1 million of 1 Chronicles 21:5 include the 300,000 already in royal service (see chapter 27) whereas 2 Samuel 24:9 does not include them, thus leaving an apparent discrepancy of 300,000 between the two accounts.
Second, in 2 Samuel 24:24 David paid 50 shekels for the purchase of the threshing floor and oxen to make that immediate vital sacrifice. Later he obviously purchased that entire hill (Mount Moriah) upon which the temple would be built, and this cost the 600 shekels of 1 Chronicles 21:25.
Does the Bible spell these things out? No, of course not, but it must be here a little, there a little, if we are to gain the truth. God did not allow inaccuracies that do not affect our faith and practice but apparent discrepancies to test us: whether we will prove His Word or not.
Allow me to add some simple thoughts regarding our approach to these questions. Yes, each of the inspired writers used his own language style and sources, but do we imagine that the great God who gave mankind multiple languages at Babel was incapable of allowing for that?
We must, however, consider that languages change within themselves in the course of history and that considerable difficulty is encountered in translating from one language to another. The original books were inspired, but what we have today are versions thereof, and it sometimes requires considerable study to determine between them what is most accurate.
In short, it is God's Word and truth altogether. The question is how will we put it together. The apostle Peter warns that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20). That Bible study is difficult, especially in this age of ultimate confusion, is without doubt, but we in the Churches of God had best be careful how we approach this Word of salvation.
Baden, Ont., Canada
I enjoyed Eric Snow's rebuttal of Samuele Bacchiocchi's article on Bible inerrancy ["Is Dr. Bacchiocchi Right? Is the Bible Only Partially Inerrant?," The Journal, April 30]. Eric concludes that Dr. Bacchiocchi's motive may have been to justify the Adventist belief that the writings of Ellen G. White, which contain errors, were still inspired.
Eric goes on to quote the October 1981 SDA Ministry Magazine: "We believe the revelation and inspiration of both the Bible and Ellen White's writings to be of equal quality. The superintendence of the Holy Spirit was just as careful and thorough in one case as in the other."
Wait a minute! Don't many in the Church of God say the same thing about the writings of Herbert W. Armstrong?
Significance, if not safety, in numbers
A reliable source informs me that:
"Friday 14th of May, it was announced that the WCG finally sold the Pasadena campus! It's official. Harvest Rock Evangelical has bought the property."
This took place on the 63rd anniversary of the opening of the first Radio Church of God office on May 14, 1941, using the address Box 111, Eugene, Ore.
Ambassador College first opened with four students on Oct. 8, 1947. Ambassador University closed on Aug. 31, 1997, the same day Princess Diana was killed.
Geoffrey R. Neilson
Cape Town, South Africa
WCG background clarified
In regards to my recent article that appeared in the previous issue of The Journal ["The WCG Still Practices Armstrongism," March 31 issue], I would like to make a clarification as to my background in the Worldwide Church of God. I am not and was not a paid minister. I am a former elder in the Worldwide Church of God who also served in the capacity of lay pastor.
I was a longtime WCG member who welcomed and promoted the doctrinal changes. I now attend and am very active in an evangelical congregation.
I have two reasons for choosing to use a pseudonym. One is to hopefully focus people on my writings and not to dismiss them merely because of who I am, where I am or where I come from. My other reason is to protect my sources and the friendships my family still have in the WCG.
Via the Internet
Important feast announcement
There will be no Feast of Unleavened Bread in 2005. Here's why.
The Passover in 2005 is on the Sabbath of April 23 and observed the night before, Friday, April 22. The first holy day of Unleavened Bread is Sunday, April 24.
In Leviticus 23 God says you cannot eat of the festival foods (use of second tithe, etc.) until the wave sheaf is offered on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
If you start counting seven days from the first holy day (Sunday, April 24), you end up with the last holy day being the weekly Sabbath, which ends the feast.
Surely God doesn't want us to wave the sheaf offering on Sunday when the feast has concluded the day before (weekly Sabbath).
Hello! Are you listening? Is there anyone out there who can help solve this huge problem? If not, God says there will be no Feast of Unleavened Bread in 2005.
Paul and Micki Herrmann
July conference plans
Hi, friends, family, pastors, youth leaders, brethren. This year's conference [in Orlando, Fla., in July] is unique because of the influx of international delegates coming from overseas. The Catch the Vision 2004 conference [sponsored by independent congregations of the Church of God Seventh Day] seeks to open new doors and relationships with churches as far as we can reach. So far, delegates from New Zealand, Africa and Mexico plan to attend.
To make this trip possible, we are picking up their cost once they arrive for this conference. I am seeking to form partnerships with churches and individuals to donate towards this worthy cause. I personally have not been schooled in writing fancy letters that major nonprofit organizations send out monthly. This request is straightforward, with no gimmicks. We need the help.
Below I've listed what churches, youth groups, businesses or individuals will receive by helping us. I hope and pray that some group or person will be led to contribute to this worthy cause. (Individuals can donate any amount from $5.)
Delegates from Brazil, Mexico, Africa and the Caribbean are interested in attending, and we would like to assist them. Your church, ministry or youth group can be a sponsor for a suggested donation of $250.
Here's what you get:
Please make check payable to Mount Zion Church of God and mail to Catch the Vision 2004, 203 E. 37th St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11203, U.S.A.
See also www.cog7day.org.
Gilford T. Monrose
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