News from Local Congregations
Everyone is invited to the 2001 Sabbath Campers Fellowship, August 3-5, at Hickory Lake Campground in Perry, Michigan. Come for Bible study, a Sabbath service, fellowship, recreation and relaxation. The campground has swimming, fishing, boating (no gas motors), volleyball, basketball, and a sports fields. Each site has electric and water hookups, a fire pit and a picnic table. Exit I-69 at M-52 and go south toward Perry. Turn right at the first light which is Lansing Rd. Go west for 3 miles and turn right on Bath Road, which goes under the freeway. Then take the next right, which is Beardslee Rd, and go a quarter mile to Hickory Lake Campground (517-625-3113).
Schedule of events:
Friday: 8:30p.m. Fireside Bible Study: “Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” by Norman Edwards.
Saturday: 12noon Praise and Worship Singing
1p.m. Interactive Sabbath Service.
3p.m. Potluck Dinner—everybody bring something.
Sunday: Organized sports and games. Please come for any or all of the activities.
The cost is $16.00 per space per night. We have paid the deposit on a limited number of spaces, so please let us know to reserve one for you:
— Kelli Brophy, 517-543-4685; firstname.lastname@example.org
We are a home church in the Redding California area, having recently moved here from Southern California. We literally are two or three in Jesus’s name meeting according to Matthew 18:20.
Weekly meeting time is Friday evening at 7:00p.m. Call first to be sure that we are not away on a ministry trip and to find the meeting address.
Our primary ministry is literature with more than 200 titles of books, booklets, pamphlets and tracts available. You may have a free sample packet and literature list. The literature list covers subjects about: Bible truth of God versus religious traditions of men, How to share your faith in Jesus Christ, Evangelism tools, Prophecy, Home church fellowship, and more. It is constantly growing in scope and number of titles.
— Al Van Dyk: PO Box 1035, Bella Vista, CA 96008-1035
[I have read some of Al Van Dyk’s literature and found it very helpful. I intend to print some of it and put it on the Internet as time allows. — NSE]
Short collections of scriptures on a particular topic, with either minimal or no explanation are the standard fare on this web site: www.topical-bible-studies.org
This should be very useful for personal study or for research for messages or articles.
Another site from the same author documents some of the inconsistencies in the WCG’s teaching on hierarchical government: http://www.csi-net.net/therays/cgrc [link updated March 2002].
The author of these pages is Karen Ray. She was the real writer of “For… Except There Come a Falling Away First”, a 1993 book documenting the many doctrinal changes in the Worldwide Church of God which bore David C. Pack’s name. As far as I knew, this was the most conclusive work on WCG changes available and it made a difference in the lives of many people.
I hope our readers will be understanding of why Karen let her work go out under David Pack’s name. I was working at the Global Church of God at the same time she was writing the book. Both of us realized the problems in the WCG and knew we had to do something about it, but we thought that any work had to be done through an ordained ministry and a church organization—so we worked with whoever would work with us. It took more personal study and looking to God and His word to understand how his Spirit works in us.
Although the group was smaller this year, the 60 women and girls who attended the IBLC Women’s Conference reported that the atmosphere was more conducive to getting to know one another better.
Here are just a few of the comments I have already received: “It was really great to be able to ‘get away’ for a few days and experience such wonderful fellowship with our sisters in Christ.”
“The blending of personalities and sharing of experiences was enlightening, sobering, humbling and a blessing all rolled together.”
“About the magnificent weekend—we had the best time, and as we all have reflected on our wonderful time this one day since we have been back, we realize much more that everything we heard had such tremendous value.”
This year we tackled issues that are not normally discussed in the church. I focused on the unspoken rule that we were supposed to have perfect lives, yet the changes that Ecclesiastes 3 describes are sure to come into every life. But through God’s grace, we are able to stand firm in any crisis or difficulty, and I encouraged women to share their experiences and to be advocates for each other.
Jennifer Leagan described in her seminar on divorce and widowhood how the church sometimes took the side of the husband when a divorce was imminent, without bothering to investigate the wife’s complaints. She talked about the sense of loss that such women were forced to deal with from both a personal and church perspective. In her seminar on alcoholism, Tarcila Fox recounted how ministers encouraged her to continue living with her abusive former husband and how she had felt that if she were the perfect wife he would stop being an alcoholic.
Brenda Ross showed that women of the Bible sometimes worked outside the home and then guided the women into a discussion on the difficulties faced by working women. Cindy McLendon, Joyce Green, Shirley Senay, and Darlene Warren bravely told how their faith had sustained them through serious illness, the loss of a child, and other life-changing events.
Although in the past women in the church were pushed toward one cookie-cutter pattern, Carolyn Scharpen administered a test showing 17 or more different types of personalities. All of the personality traits can be Scripturally supported, but the unfortunate previous emphasis on only one female personality type being pleasing to God caused women who were different to feel insecure and unworthy.
Kim Skelton made an excellent MC, helping us to feel relaxed during our ice-breakers on Friday evening and providing interesting comments throughout the weekend. Heather McLendon ushered in the Sabbath with a variety of beautiful songs, and Sondra Beam delighted us on the Sabbath with her special music.
Since our topics were so meaty, we had to lighten up with a funky fashion show (thanks to Brenda Ross and Gay Orren) and country music gig from Midnight Trail on Saturday night after sunset. We had a ton of good food and snacks and the hotel was both comfortable and elegant.
Alan Ruth sent us CDs of church music and invited women to submit articles to his Web site, and we had numerous door prizes donated by several ladies in the Dallas area.
We concluded our conference with an old Millerite custom. Since adherents came from all denominations, the Millerite movement grew as a result of its numerous conferences and camp meetings. They took leave of each other by forming a line, which doubled back on itself. That way everyone said goodbye to each person in the line. It was a fitting end for us as well, and not a few tears were shed.
— Linda Hardy White; email@example.com
We celebrated the Pentecost weekend with the Berean Fellowship on June 1, 2 and 3. This is our 35th celebration of Pentecost. I think this was by far the best Pentecost we ever attended.
Dean Wheelock spoke on the Hebrew wedding. It is utterly amazing when you are shown all the things that are spoken of in the New Testament by Christ that equate with the Hebrew wedding. It truly made a lot of things clear that were hard to be understood previously. In a manner of speaking, it took us back to our “Hebrew roots”. What made it so interesting was that it does not deal with doctrine but with understanding. Our current wedding practices are only 300 years old. He only gave us a thumbnail sketch, but he did offer free tapes on the subject.
Dr John Merritt had read somewhere that it was a tradition of some Jewish sects to usher in Pentecost by studying the law all that night, so we attempted it at his home on Saturday evening but we only lasted until 4a.m. It was an open forum and started out with difficult scriptures, but by midnight we were into a very interesting discussion on aspects of the law (or Torah if you prefer). Both of our special speakers were present and because of a wide variety of backgrounds there were a lot of diverse points of view.
Dr Sidney Davis showed us how God used the black man in the history of Israel and his church. And he showed many black men are Jews and that this can be proven by DNA testing. This history lesson was, again, only a thumbnail sketch but well-documented. We were given sources so we could study into the subject deeper if we liked. He showed us how many people in Africa kept the Sabbath, and remnants are still keeping it. It was a lesson that not many churches of God had the privilege of hearing.
From my own personal point of view, the only problem we had was that we couldn’t absorb all that was being offered.
— Ken and Arlette Omick, P.O. Box 71, Oostburg, WI 53070
[There certainly are numerous wedding analogies in the Bible. Our modern traditions are very different from the Biblical ones—even the concept of a minister, priest or rabbi “performing” a wedding is less than 600 years old.
However, I have also studied material setting forth parallels between the Bible and the Hebrew wedding and found great variation—sometimes complete contradiction—in stated practices of ancient Hebrew Weddings. The Bible itself gives some details, the Talmud gives others, ancient histories give more, but some claimed “Hebrew wedding customs” seem to have no ancient source at all. — NSE]
Some things are an essential part of every believer, indeed every human being. The need to love and be loved, the will to live, freedom to choose, and a creative spirit, to name a few. Another commonality that we all share in the deepest part of our souls is a love of music. Music could easily be called a universal language. Words and melody go together to help us express feelings of hope, despair, love, joy, and sadness. Through song, we express the deepest desires, prayers, and dreams for our lives and the lives of others. Music helps us celebrate and helps us mourn. It is a gift from our Creator even an essential part of who He is.
As with all the other gifts and talents God has given, music can also be found more concentrated in some individuals than others, in this case the Church’s musicians. And this particular gift, like others, can be used in the Body of Christ for edifying its members and worshipping God. When disagreement over doctrine divides, spiritually uplifting music can unite. When discord and spite enflame the tongue, music can soothe the heart. When what we don’t understand gives rise to a wall of fear, music can dismantle it with love. Musicians who exercise their gift in the Spirit of God, without a humanly devised hidden agenda, are goodwill ambassadors for Christ among scattered brethren.
There is a group of us musicians who have a vision. We see hearts united in a fervent desire to be open, vulnerable, and yielding to one another. People looking for any excuse and every opportunity to focus on commonality and discuss differences. And this music group wants to be part of a process toward realizing this hope. Thus, we are pursuing the formation of an organization made up of musicians within the sabbatarian community at large. This organization might be called The Bible Sabbath Musicians Association (BSMA), following in the tradition of the interdenominational efforts of The Bible Sabbath Association. The work of this new organization would be beneficial for both musicians and the general membership, providing services such as:
• Encourage, promote, and report interdenominational music events throughout the Sabbatarian community.
• Provide a single point of access for music written and/or recorded by Sabbath brethren.
• List artist names, music style, and performance availability/schedules.
• Provide a place where musicians can chat with and mentor one another about music interests.
• Provide product information for musicians endeavoring to increase their skill in writing and/or performance through the use of technology.
What we need more of in our community of believers is cooperation and openness. Of course, without love, neither of these is really possible. That is everyone’s concern and responsibility. There may be reasons some people have for not rubbing elbows with others of differing doctrinal position, but music doesn’t usually have such boundaries. As I’ve said, music is somewhat of a universal language, a place on the right side of the brain where even the cautious and fearful can relax to share feelings, hopes, and desires that are common to us all. In such a state of mind, we can find opportunity to stretch ourselves beyond ourselves if we want to. And maybe, just maybe, if musicians can work together, others can too.
If you are a musician who would like to be a part of this type of organization, send your name, phone number, and address to: Robin Todd, 6413 Stephan Ct. SE, Lacey, WA 98503, or email RobinSyngs@aol.com. We will send you a questionnaire of basic information needed to establish your membership. Membership can mean that you have music you’d like to share with the brethren either in performance, recordings, or sheet form. It can mean that you wish to be the musician of contact between our organization and your congregation, or promoting the goals of our group in your area. Or your motivation may simply be to add your name to a list of sabbatarian musicians who desire to transcend doctrinal boundaries.
We believe we can make a difference both in the short and long term. If you are a pastor, we would also love to hear encouragement you might have for this effort. With the support of our congregations’ pastors and ministers, our goal of united musicians in Christ will be much easier to achieve. If God be for us, who can be against us.
— Robin Todd
Australia and New Zealand were privileged to host Professor Terry Blodgett and his wife Cheryl in June of this year at a number of seminars where Professor Blodgett presented the results of his original 1981 doctoral dissertation and his subsequent 20 years of research and study into the linguistic influence of Hebrew on all the Indo-European languages and especially the Germanic languages such as English, German and Scandinavian.
Prof. Blodgett is the Professor of Linguistics at the Southern Utah University. He is currently writing a book outlining his research findings which he hopes to complete this year. Given the success of his seminars in Australia and New Zealand, it is likely that the book will be of great academic and general interest to all those interested in the history of Israel and in a variety of individual fields of linguistics studies.
Prof. Blodgett has postulated that ancient Hebrew was the basis of the various Indo-European languages and has been able to show that the various known linguistic sound shifts that became evident in these languages at particular times in their history can be shown to correspond directly to at least one of the four major periods of the migration of the Israelite peoples from Egypt and the Middle East.
The first migration of Israelite people into Europe was said to have been in the time prior to and during the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. The second migration was around the time of the Assyrian captivity of the northern House of Israel; the third around the time of the Babylonian captivity of the southern House of Judah; and the fourth major migration was as a result of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in 70 A.D.
These four migrations apparently impacted on the languages of the peoples affected by these various Israelite migrations to the extent that we are able to directly correlate these changes with what we know of the language of those Israelites who emigrated from their various homelands in the Middle East during the various historical periods of Israelite migration.
An interesting speaker and presenter, Prof. Blodgett enthralled his Sydney audience with the results of his studies and the breadth and depth of his expertise and general knowledge. His mastery of his subject matter was clearly not only the result of his doctoral studies but also his post-doctoral studies in Civilization and Culture at the University of Bonn in Germany and his on-going general studies and interest in history and languages. Apart from his specialty in Historical and Comparative Linguistics his other interests and studies include Ancient History, Archaeology, Middle-Eastern Studies and English History. His language studies have included Hebrew, English, Gothic, Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Old High German, Latin, French and Spanish.
Some 30 people attended in Auckland, New Zealand; 90 people attended the full-day seminar in Sydney; and 85 attended in Brisbane. Of these, less than half were from “Church of God organizations”, the rest were from a variety of other religious and secular backgrounds. A very scholarly and very positive atmosphere prevailed throughout the day and the opportunity to ask questions and to make related comments was enthusiastically taken up by the audience both during the presentations and after each session.
The Sydney organising committee, which was also responsible for organising the visit of Prof. Blodgett to Australia and New Zealand, was delighted with both the presentation from Prof. Blodgett at the Sydney seminar and the very positive participation and response of those who attended the Sydney seminar. The fact that so many people from outside of the Church of God organizations attended the various seminars was also particularly pleasing.
Some Church of God groups took up the opportunity offered to make available their tapes and literature to those attending the seminar. As a result, not only were there a variety of books and free literature on offer about the Lost Ten Tribes and the US & BC in Prophecy, but also much literature on a variety of Church of God doctrines, in particular the literature published by the United Church of God. In addition, there was considerable interest in the limited number of available copies of Prof. Blodgett’s 1981 doctoral thesis and these were all very quickly sold long before the seminar ended.
Apart from many thanks to the Sydney organising committee, particular thanks are also extended to Bruce Porteous in New Zealand and Geoff Robertson in Brisbane, Australia who both did everything that was necessary to make the seminars the great success that they were in their respective centres.
Lecture tapes are available from History Research Projects, GPO Box 864, Sydney 2001 for Aus$20.00. Overseas orders please send US$20.00. For further study in this area, see Origin of Nations magazine (all back issues are available for free download: http://www4.tpgi.com.au/users/surfer1).
— Craig White & Michael Baran
Terry Blodgett Responds:
Cheryl and I arrived home safely. Our stay, both in N.Z. and in Aussie, was very delightful. We met wonderful people everywhere we went. We seem to share with you and your friends in these two countries a common yearning and striving to find the truth including the search for Israel and other peoples. I enjoyed the discussions you and I had when you picked me up at the airport and around the table when we ate out. The evening of the pot luck dinner at the Carnochan’s was very enjoyable as well.
[Personal thanks deleted.]
The articles you have sent and that are on the web are very interesting. You have shown some keen insights. Great work… I will keep working on my book and let you know when it is finished.
— Terry Blodgett
[More can be accomplished in an environment of freedom of study. I believe the weight of evidence clearly shows that the English-speaking and some other European peoples are modern-day Israel. However, some of J. H. Allen’s work and the WCG books taken from it mention Irish legends and history for which there is no known source.
The “ only true church” environment prevented open discussion and error correction. Some rejected the entire teaching because of the few errors. Prof Blodgett’s work puts this subject where it clearly belongs: in the realm of historic study, not as a “doctrine of faith” to be decided by a church government. — NSE]
The Four Sound Shifts Which Identify the Four Migrations of the Israelites
I. 1700-1500 B.C. - The Migration of the Israelites out of Egypt
A. The Linguistic Evidence
1. The Sound Changes
2. The Vocabulary
B. The Extent of the Migrations-Mediterranean Area, Silk Road, Central Asia, India, Europe, Britain, Mexico
C. The Cultural Evidence
D. Legends and Mythology
E. The Alphabet
II. 734-701 B.C - The Migration of the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel into the Lands of the North
A. The Assyrian Campaign against Israel and the Assyrian Captivity
B. Northwestern Migrations of the Germanic and Celtic Tribes
1. Linguistic Evidence
a. The Sound Changes—The Germanic Sound Shift and the “st” and “sk” pronunciations of Hebrew “s”
b. The Vocabulary
2. The Extent of the Migrations
3. Cultural Evidence
4. Legends and Mythology
6. The Alphabet
C. Northeastern Migrations into Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and India
1. Linguistic Evidence
III. 604-586 B.C. - The Migrations of the Kingdom of Judah
A. The Babylonian Captivity
B. Linguistic Evidence-The Hebrew beghadh-kephath letters and the “sh” pronunciation of “s”
C. The Migrations into Africa, Ireland, and South America
1. Linguistic Evidence
2. Legends and Mythology
IV. 68-72 A.D. - The Migrations of the Jews
A. The Roman Occupation and Persecution of the Jews
B. The two Jewish Dialects—one from Palestine and one from Babylon
C. The Linguistic Evidence—Aramaic Influence on the High German Sound Shift
D. The Migration of the Christian Jews into Europe
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