Request for free subscription
I would be pleased to remain on The Journal's subscribers' list this year through a gift subscription. It is only through The Journal that I get updated news about the Churches of God.
Over here, church members are few and scattered (you can count them with your fingers). What was once one group under the Worldwide Church of God has split into the Living Church of God, United Church of God, Philadelphia Church and Church of God, greatly reducing the membership of each.
Again my heartfelt thanks, and may The Journal continue to grow!
P.O. Box 452, Lae
Morobe, Province 411
Papua New Guinea
Speechless in Arkansas
On page 2 of the April 2006 issue of The Journal Eric Snow says, "I will continue to maintain that professing Christians who reject the Sabbath and holy days can't be saved, regardless of how well they obey other laws of God or the quantity of their good works."
You may wonder why it has taken me a year to comment. It was because I was stunned speechless at the time.
I would have liked to hear from Brian Knowles. Maybe Brian was too timid or cautious or generous or wise to comment.
I hope the editor is not censoring exposing the readers to the serious problems with the calendar issues--including the doctrines of the Sabbath and holy days--so here goes.
The significance of the calendars seems to exist and have life only when we give them to them. I am not comfortable making any calendar interpretation more than a matter of conscience.
The idea that any calendar takes priority over good works might be what is referred to as "turn[ing] over to worship the host of heaven" (the sun, moon and stars).
I must admit that a religion could be attractive that allows us to get away from people with problems that are the result of their own ignorance, greed, lack of responsibility, laziness, vanity, malice, wickedness, uncleanness and the like. But the sad fact is that those people are you and I.
The calendar is only one of 1,000 doctrinal issues that allow us to get away from other people so we won't feel obligated to meet them at their real point of need.
As to perfect doctrine and good works: If we are not careful we may find that our lives are something like all blow and no show. It may even be that we are not trying to "do justly, love mercy and walk humbly" but rather to avoid such.
I don't see how we can be judged on something as arbitrary as a calendar. Yet it seems that most have put all their eggs in the calendar basket. There seems to be no possibility of peace on any calendar issues.
As to who is right and who is wrong, I suggest that we are all wrong if we give calendars and sabbaths too high a priority in our salvation scenarios.
If we can't have acceptable good works and goodwill without perfect doctrines, including calendars, ceremonies and rituals, we are apparently all lost.
You have no clue
Where are you, spiritually, right now? Do you realize you have no clue of proper government? Or do you?
Gerald Flurry was not obeyed. He is a dissolving mountain because he is powerless, with no Davidic Ruling Authority, due to lack of love for our Father Yahveh.
Study what a truthful Philadelphian holds. Reveal this, love it, and cling to it for safety and provisions for a profitable premillennial rule in our Father Yahveh's love.
Big Sandy, Texas
Religion is politics
I was entertained by Wesley White's article "Do You Preach Politics From the Pulpit?" in the November-December 2006 issue.
Since religion is politics, it is of necessity impossible to avoid politics. The gospel is that the government of God shall replace the governments of men (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Doctors with faith
Through this public testimony I wish to acknowledge God's love and mercy and miracles in my life. All honor and glory be to our eternal God.
Initially I went to the hospital emergency room because of severe heartburn and the fear of an impending heart attack. I was diagnosed with gall-bladder problems and scheduled for surgery.
During surgery I had complications and developed internal bleeding. Further examinations revealed a blockage that required removal of my intestines.
My husband, Paul, conferred with the doctors to persuade them not to remove everything and to leave sufficient intestine for functional use.
During these trials he prayed and upheld his faith by reading church literature on healing and faith. This gave him the courage to confront the doctors and plead for me. He told the doctors to have faith in God. They looked at him skeptically but conceded.
After surgery I developed an infection that kept me in a coma and delirious from fever.
I had initially entered the hospital on Nov. 7. After both surgeries and intensive care, I was finally released on Dec. 1. I was then moved for rehab to a home for extended care, where I remained till the end of January.
Besides the miracle of my recovery and maintaining part of my intestine, God gave Paul favor before his bosses at work. Their small company's insurance didn't make allowance for absences for family emergencies, but they fully compensated him for the three weeks he was off.
I am truly grateful for the many cards and prayers I received from church people all over the country and overseas. I also received financial help from some churches and individuals, for which I am sincerely grateful.
God has bestowed miracles and healings on me that are a testimony of His love and mercy and that He truly answers the prayers of His people.
I am at home and slowly recovering. God willing, I will soon be up and around.
P.S.: I attend services at the Church of God Independent in Houston.
10307 Larston Rd.
Houston, Texas 77043, U.S.A.
Thanks to Bill Dankenbring
Thank you for the excellent article and write-up on Triumph Prophetic Ministries and founder Bill Dankenbring by Mac Overton in the November-December 2006 issue of The Journal.
I credit Triumph's Prophetic Flash as the vehicle God used to get me out of the WCG. I received my first issue in the spring of 1991 and by October of that year I knew I would leave the WCG. I left Feb. 29, 1992.
I have attended five of Mr. Dankenbring's Feasts and felt like a pioneer back in '92 when there were only five to 10 people there. The first half was in Altadena, Calif., and the second at Big Bear Lake, east of Los Angeles.
I really appreciate Mr. Dankenbring's willingness to tackle areas and subjects of the Bible that are off the beaten path for most mainline ministries.
My favorite joke about Mr. Dankenbring's prolific writing style is: Why say it in five pages when you can say it in 15?
Three or four years ago he changed to the crescent moon after more than 45 years of being on the dark, or conjunction, moon like the standard Jewish calendar. Included in this change was that Christ now died on Thursday and rose Sunday morning.
Bill Dankenbring now believes that Jesus had to be in the grave only for two and one-half days, not three days and three nights, as in Luke 24:46, Matthew 16:21 and many other references.
For anyone who has never proved that Jesus died and was buried on a Wednesday, there is John Gill's excellent Expository. See Gill's references on Luke 23:54 and Matthew 28:1.
Jesus died on Wednesday and rose Saturday evening, 72 hours after His burial. It can be proved.
I have written Mr. Dankenbring about this, and I believe he will agree and change his views.
Ernest R. Schreiber
No intent to allege cowardice
[Regarding "Open Letter to Ron Dart: We Are Not Cowards," an editorial by Thomas M. Geiger in The Journal, March-April 2007]: This is the letter I sent to Mr. Geiger in reply:
Thank you for your letter and the work you have done in analyzing the shooting of the brethren in Brookfield. By coincidence, it arrived in my office the day after the Virginia Tech shooting, so the entire picture was illuminated in a way that otherwise might not have been.
I do feel I failed to take into account the shock and disorientation of the victims, just as was the case in Virginia. There was simply no time for the event to even register on the brain, much less react to it.
But, in any case, it was not my intent to make a charge of cowardice. Rather, I was drawing it, however mistakenly, as an illustration of a culture of pacifism, and an allegory of how churches can be assaulted doctrinally or intellectually and people fail to act against it.
I think we would agree that the WCG practiced pacifism at some level, and, since the LCG is closely related to that culture, they would also be influenced by it.
I know that in years gone by the membership depended on the ministry to keep the wolves at bay and did not see their own responsibility in doing so.
In the VT shooting there were some bright lights who tried to act against the killer, most notably the gentleman who was a holocaust survivor. I think, in his lifetime, he had learned that allowing yourself to be led like a lamb to the slaughter is a fool's game.
It is my hope that the brethren in the church will learn to react quickly and forcefully against attacks on the church, however they may come.
Thanks for taking the time to write and for the kind approach you took in your letter.
Ronald L. Dart
Christian Educational Ministries