Letters from our readers

Being there

Congratulations on reaching 60 issues. May you publish 6,000 more issues as the Lord wills. You really do make a contribution to the Churches of God. Thanks for being there. Thanks for all your hard work.

John Walsh
Napa, Calif.

Special Pentecost weekend

Just a short note to tell you that we had a most marvelous Pentecost weekend. We returned to the Oklahoma City area, where we lived for five years and where our son was born. We had a most gracious welcome from the elders and brethren there.

We first went to Enid, where Brian and Mary Beth Davis knocked themselves out for the entire church and us in preparing food and hosting a Friday-evening dinner for us and Gus Jacobi and John and Jean Akin.

Art and Willa Hulet (he's the pastor of the Enid and Perry churches) participated in a most cordial welcome. Our friendship and love go back 42 years.

We spoke in Enid on Sabbath, May 18, and then on to Pentecost services in Oklahoma City on Sunday. There were more than 200 people there from six states meeting at the church building where Pastor Lesley Pope serves the brethren.

We were humbled to realize how many miles some had traveled to be there at this special occasion. It was wonderful to see some of the people who were there at the beginning of the churches [of the Radio Church of God] in 1960.

The Fellowship Church of God had built a wonderful facility for services, but there was literally standing room only as people packed into the building for Pentecost services. Pastor Lawrence Gregory [from Tulsa] and 80 people from the Tulsa congregation also came down to Oklahoma City for the services.

I was so excited and overwhelmed to be there. It was a memory that will be with me for the rest of my life.

David L. Antion
Guardian Ministries
Pasadena, Calif.

When in doubt, start a new church

Regarding "Elder Protests UCG Move to Relieve Him of Duties," in the April 15 issue:
Roger West, while employed by the Worldwide Church of God, was my pastor for several years. I never noticed that he wavered from the church's teaching, even while its doctrines were changing. He accommodated the changes, outwardly at least.

My perception of Mr. West is that he is a man committed to peace and unity. He appears to see his mission as a shepherd to all those assigned to his care. If one of the sheep contracts a contagious illness, he seeks to isolate that one, thus insulating the flock from the malady.

Mr. West, unsolicited, removed me from the speaking schedule at one time for more than a year. I was thankful for the rest. It freed up my time for doing the things for which there is reward in heaven (Matthew 25:31-40; James 1:26-27).

Even if one keeps all the right days, yet neglects to help those in need, one is taking God's name in vain and will be held as guilty.

If Dan Cafourek really wishes to be president of the United Church of God an International Association, as his stance indicates, he would do well to imitate Joe Tkach Sr., who, when he was relegated to the bottom of the elders' totem pole, became a servant to widows and the poor.

It was in this way he built both a reputation and a constituency worthy of the name of elder.
His chance finally came to do something about the fiscal extravagances and abuses disguised as doctrines.

As a recovering former member of the WCG, my advice to Mr. Cafourek would be: If you cannot bridle your tongue concerning the third resurrection and the calendar, then start your own church.

That is the modus operandi inherent in William Miller and James and Ellen White down to present-day Adventist groups (including all present and former Sabbath-keeping Churches of God).

When beliefs and practices clash, the minority starts a new body.

Arnold Denney
Bronston, Ky.

Smiley face

I really enjoyed the interview with Dan Cafourek in the April 15 issue of THE JOURNAL ["Elder Protests UCG Move to Relieve Him of Duties"]. Dan really does have quite a sense of humor to come up with the "affidavit" for the elders to sign. You really put a smile on my face.

Also, I would like to thank Brian Knowles for his article in the same issue ["Spiritual Effects Have Their Causes"]. It was exceptionally motivating. His article is worth reading many times throughout the year to keep each and every one of us goal-oriented spiritually.

Joanne Woodring
Tyler, Texas

Auditorium turns 19

As you know, Mr. Armstrong said he was ordained 100 19-year moon time cycles after the A.D. 31 start of the church, that the broadcast went to Europe one 19-year cycle after its Jan. 7, 1934, official start of becoming a regular program.

One 19-year cycle and seven days later, Reader's Digest opened its advertising to the WCG.
The Hebrew calendar also revolves around a 28-year time cycle, of 28 times 365.25, or 10,227, days. Mr. Armstrong dedicated the auditorium to the Great God on May 6, 1974.
Monday, May 6, 2002, is exactly one sun cycle later. Whether the April 29 event of Legacy Partners pulling out of the sale of the Auditorium, seven days earlier, or some other event will mark this milestone remains to be seen but might be worth watching.

Between the end of the first 24 hours of the independence of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948, and the day David Hulme closed the auditorium (the largest symbol of spiritual Israel on earth) for the purposes Mr. Armstrong built it, on May 17, 1995, was exactly one 19-year moon cycle plus one 28-year sun cycle.

From the day Joe Tkach Sr. first went to Ambassador College as a student on July 17, 1966, until (what I take to be) the heavenly sign of War in Heaven against the largest wandering star, Jupiter, on July 16-17, 1994—which was the 9th of Ab—was exactly one sun cycle.
One hundred fifty-three days later he proposed a New (marriage) Covenant to the bride-to-be of Christ, on Dec. 17, 1994, the start of Saturnalia.

The chief god of the Babylonians and Romans who destroyed the first two temples of God was Jupiter. The temple and statue of Jupiter was the chief of the Seven Wonders of the Pagan World.

A new book says that the face the world knows as Jesus was derived from this statue of Jupiter (that is, Satan). One hundred fifty-three is, of course, a biblically significant number symbolizing the sons of God (good and evil) and involving the preaching of the gospel.
From these facts it is also evident that God has a direct hand in guiding events. The reason things take so long to happen sometimes is they happen only when the appointed time comes.

Geoff Neilson
Fish Hoek, South Africa

Burning question

I have a burning question for WCG members:

Since Herbert W. Armstrong time and again entreated the members of the Worldwide Church of God not to believe him but to prove all things from the Bible, how could so many of its present leaders and members have believed—for 10, 20, 30 or more years—the very doctrines they now call false?

All of them had a Bible during the dozens of years they followed Mr. Armstrong before discovering what they say is the "truth." Didn't they read it?

And what do they say of themselves? Were they just not led by the Holy Spirit at that time? Were they unconverted? Merely following a man? Blind? Deceived? Stupid (as they say the entire church was)?

Yet the majority of the church did not declare those beliefs false. Hmm. I don't understand.

Jason Poole
Yucaipa, Calif.

Guiding lights

There is no human authority for determining when days, appointed times or Feasts or years start.

That authority was vested in the lights of heaven by God Himself.

The lights of heaven include the sun, the moon and the stars.

In Genesis 1:14-16 it is the sun, moon and stars that were given rulership or "authority" over the day and night, as well as being named as determining the days, seasons or appointed times, years. They are also for signs.

Although I have written on this subject at length in the past, I would like to say again that the start of the new year is not dependent on "green ears" of corn being available; it is dependent on the positions of the sun, moon and stars.

Briefly, on the evening of the full moon of the first month, Abib, the moon will rise close to sunset time, as it normally does on a full-moon night.

The full moon of Abib (meaning "ear of corn") will rise just before or with the first stars of Virgo, including Porrima, but before Virgo's bright star Spica (meaning "ear of wheat").

At the first month the full moon will rise close to due east (90 degrees) or a few degrees past as it moves towards the southeast (135 degrees), moving back again to east at the time of the seventh month. From the seventh month it moves in a northeastern (45-degree) direction, coming back once more to the east around the time of the first month.

Both sun and moon follow this path within a few degrees on the ecliptic. This circuit, or "turning," may relate to the "year's end," or tekufah, mentioned in Exodus 34.

In the month preceding the first month, the full moon rises around sunset in the constellation of Leo (with its bright star Regulus). Leo lies low on the horizon at that time.

Two weeks later the new moon following the full moon rising in Leo will be the first new moon of the year, the 1st of Abib.

Two weeks later the full moon of Abib will rise before or with the first stars of Virgo, but before Spica.

Lorna Thomas
Via the Internet

The simplicity of the calendar

I cannot believe that I am reading in THE JOURNAL of April 15, 2002, from Ron Dart and Frank Nelte [in respective essays on pages 6 and 7] that there are no instructions for a calendar in the biblical written law. This is incredible and, of course, incorrect. If there were no instructions for a calendar, the holy days would not be mandatory and could not be mandatory under God's laws of due process.

It appears to me that they are really saying that they do not understand how to derive the calendar of God from the Bible alone.

It would be extremely arrogant for anyone to deny that God had made His calendar known or knowable from the Scriptures alone. This is true particularly in light of the simplicity with which God's calendar is placed in the Bible and with which it can be discerned.

Michael Cox
Bossier City, La.

Barley schmarley

I hate to be so blunt and to the point, but barley (or any other grain) has absolutely, positively nothing—zero, zilch, nada—to do with determining time ["Church of God Members Embark on a Barley Hunt in Israel," THE JOURNAL, March 25].

Genesis 1:14 says it all: "And Elohim said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years . . ." (NIV) ". . . They shall serve as signs for the set times—the days and the years . . ." (Tanakh).

It's really simple! The "them-they" refers to the "lights," not barley or any other grain or anything else on the ground (including a shadow on the ground cast by an obelisk-Asherah pole). That's it, period, end of story.

We are to look up to see what time it is, not look down. Where is the verse that directly establishes—nor sorta-kinda circumstantially implies—barley-watching to determine time?
Once you throw out barley as a factor in telling time, then you also throw out those troublesome variables about which location on the earth and either having to travel somewhere or relying on some man to tell you he saw "green ears."

What did people do before the phone was invented? Get smoke signals from Jerusalem?

What about living in the tropics where things are green all year round?

Look up at the "lights" (the stars); that's what they're there for (Psalm 19:1-4, NIV). You can see them for yourself wherever you are, and you don't need to rely on any man or any man-made instruments.

I believe that Genesis 1:14-16 should read: "And Elohim said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth and separate the day from night, and to also serve as signs to mark seasons, days and years.' And it was so. So Elohim made two great lights: the greater light (sun) to govern the day and the lesser lights (stars) to govern the night."

Why is it that none of the COG calendars uses the stars in any way to tell time? Have the COGs been hoodwinked into equating stars with astrology? Who would want to get God's people away from what David talks about in Psalm 19?

Michael Turner
Fairview, Texas

This is a test

This writer showed a gift for the use of insulting terms at a young age. As I grew to adulthood, my talent grew exponentially.

Although I live alone, with little human contact, my ex-wife, children and acquaintances will all verify that I am a leading authority on and possibly unequaled anywhere in the use of insulting terms. I humbly admit to being a legend in my own timeline.

With my credentials established, I present the following quiz to help your readers understand and appreciate this vital spiritual subject. To take this quiz, merely match the insulting terms in the first list (numbers 1-11) with the author in the second list (letters A-K) who used the term in his article or advertisement in the April 15 issue of THE JOURNAL.

Disclaimer: The writer is not being judgmental as to proper protocol; I am merely verifying that the terms can be used insultingly.

The terms of insult:

1. Charlatans.

2. Vultures.

3. Wrong attitude.

4. He can't hope to intelligently answer.

5. Your ride on the religious welfare train.

6. The way of Satan.

7. Hard-heartedness.

8. Belligerent.

9. Persnickety.

10. Do I need to say anything about such a comment?

11. Poopsi-Cola.

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