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.
For over a year, I have corresponded and spoken with Al Van Dyk (pronounced “van dike”). He is a long-time Sabbatarian who writes a lot of tracts and other basic literature useful for evangelism. I have intended to make some of his literature available to Servants’ News readers, but simply wanted to take the time to read more of it first.
A few times, I have caused difficulty for some people by highly recommending a ministry that I had studied lightly and that seemed good, only to find major difficulties later.
I have read several of Al Van Dyk’s articles and found them good. His understanding of how the church should operate is much like mine. I think I have some different prophetic views—but then my own understanding has changed over the past few years. While I would like to take the time to read more, I feel I am doing a dis-service to my readers who could benefit from his literature. I think most can compare literature to the Bible and ask God for direction by His Spirit.
Al Van Dyk is retired and writes at home. He does not have room or money to print a large number of each of his articles. (He has printed only a few.) When someone requests his articles, he simply takes his masters to a copy-store and has copies made. He ran out of money when he tried to give literature away, so he charges a nominal amount for each article—usually 25 cents to one dollar, with large booklets several dollars. He encourages people to freely copy any of his works.
His literature list is available free from Servants’ News or directly from him by writing Al Van Dyk, PO Box 1035, Bella Vista, CA 96008.
— Norman Edwards
[Alan Knight is the author of Primitive Christianity in Crisis, a book read by many CoG members and discussed in The Journal and other CoG media. Mr. Knight described his background in a letter to Craig White:]
…I regret it is out of print and am no longer able to fill orders for the interest that just seems to roll on even though we no longer are advertising [a second edition is planned to print within a year].
As regards my background: I was converted to Sabbatarian Christianity many, many years ago at the age of 16 (I am now 60). There were very unfortunate circumstances at that time regarding my family, very staunch conservative Protestants who ultimately disowned me but years later partially reconciled to me. I was hauled before a succession of Protestant psychiatrists and at one point was threatened with incarceration in a mental hospital if I did not give up the Sabbath. I stood firm and fortunately they did not follow through on the threat.
I attended Ambassador College for two years. I left WCG around 1976 and later joined the Church of God Seventh Day. As you know, there is a segment of CG7 that appears to want to follow the new (Tkach) WCG. I already had done a great deal of research and had wanted to write on the subject after I retired, but was so upset with what was going on in CG7 that I decided to do some writing immediately on the issue of apostasy.
What ultimately became the book Primitive Christianity in Crisis began, believe it or not, as a three-page letter addressed to Whaid Rose. No one seemed to listen or care, so I enlarged it several times, reaching ultimately some 35 pages.
At about that time I became very sick and was unable to work full-time. Confined to home and with plenty of time on my hands, I then set about turning the paper into a full book. I was sick for about three years and in that time produced the first edition of the book.
I am employed in the field of computer software and have been working as a contract consultant for the past couple of years. I sometimes work a long way from home and fly back and forth between home and work several times a month. When I am away from home I once again have loads of time on my hands and in the evenings have been doing research for the second volume, The Spirit of AntiChrist: the Other Gospel, the Other Jesus. My current contract expires at the end of January and I have been informed it will not be extended. The contract job market is so bad right now I probably will not be working for many months, which will give me time to advance the work on the second volume.
Ultimately, God willing, I plan to write a series of many books under the series title, The World of Primitive Christianity. I am just a single individual doing this work. I am not an organization; I am not a church; I am not a minister and have no intention to become one. My purpose is to make this historical information available to all Sabbatarian organizations for them to use as it benefits them.
I believe that one important benefit of this information is to give Sabbatarians a strong foundation and confidence in who they are and what they represent within the broad sweep of history. We are swiftly coming to a point when there will be increasing pressure on Sabbatarian Christians to rejoin apostate Christianity, and we see that happening already. I hope that many will be encouraged and heartened by understanding this information and will be strengthened to resist and remain loyal to our heavenly father and his son Jesus Christ in the dark days to come.
Greetings to all, and God bless,
— Alan Knight
BSMA website: www.sabbathmusic.org.
The BSMA is an organization of sabbatarian musicians and those with related music interests. It serves both its own membership and the sabbatarian community of believers.
Founded by Robin Todd a few months ago to help foster an environment of co-operation and brotherhood amongst the many sabbath-keeping congregations through music, the group opens its website with 32 members from around the world. Many more have expressed a strong desire to join, but have yet to visit the new website or return information through the mail.
The BSMA now offers on-line membership with a simple questionnaire that takes only a few minutes to complete. There is no membership fee. The only requirement is to share the goals of the organization, which you can read on the website.
Although most of the site is still under construction, there are working links for 1) CDs and cassettes produced by sabbatarian artists, 2) List of members with some basic information about each, and 3) the membership questionnaire. Robin welcomes any new information about recording artists not yet posted.
Yet to come is a message board, music news from within the community, other types of music available (such as sheet music, lyrics, etc.), and products available to help those who want to delve into the world of songwriting, recording, etc.
One of the major projects Robin knows he needs to undertake almost immediately, is the means to share this information with those not on the Internet. This will mean establishing a link between the BSMA and pastoral ministries for passing along information to congregations. It will also mean finding ways to communicate to the many who are not a part of an organized fellowship, or are in smaller fellowships.
The BSMA cannot report on every Sabbath special music performance, but some events we would like to report might be: 1) invitations to local talent nights, 2) interdenominational or open fellowship concerts, 3) special guest performances by Sabbatarian recording artists, 4) music announcements revolving around festivals, conventions, etc. Start sending those in for posting anytime now.
Robin and Liz ask BSMA members and the community it serves to exercise patience as the organization grows and learns. They are already getting some good suggestions, and just need some time to implement.
If you’re not on the Internet, but would like to become a member of the BSMA or know more about them, write to: BSMA, 6413 Stephan Ct. S.E., Lacey, WA 98503.
— Robin Todd
Raymond Cole died on September 25, 2001 of a stroke. It was his second, the first having left him unable to speak and paralyzed on the right side. He is survived by his widow, Myra Cole and two daughters, Lynn and Jann. Myra cole can be contacted at the address, below.
Because their farm was destroyed by a tornado, Raymond Cole’s parents moved his family to Oregon in 1936 when Raymond was 10. The family had long been Sabbatarian, and Raymond was heavily influenced by the preaching of Herbert Armstrong during his teen years. He was one of the first four students at Ambassador College when it opened in 1947.
His name and footprints were in the cement at the original gate to the college, though they were later filled in with cement when Raymond left the WCG (reminds one of the way history was rewritten in Stalinist Russia every time an important government figure left the Communist Party.)
Raymond Cole believed that Herbert Armstrong’s teaching was inspired of God. When Herbert Armstrong changed his teaching on Pentecost and divorce and remarriage, Raymond felt he had no right to change what God inspired. Members in his Oregon congregations had similar trouble believing these changes. Raymond taught that this was the “great falling away” mentioned in 2Thessalonians 2:3. So, in 1974, he incorporated his own church, the Church of God, The Eternal, even though he considered it the same spiritual body as the WCG.
Raymond believed that commissions only come from God, and that he did not have a commission to preach the Gospel to the world, so he never did. His church membership was always in the 100 to 300 range. He felt it was his job to simply continue to teach the same doctrines as Herbert Armstrong for the rest of his life, and he did that. One of his members told me that Cole’s sermon tapes mainted HWA’s excited, hollering style until the end. Even though he was aware of dozens of other groups that were claiming to do the same thing, he felt that they had at least one or more errors.
Christ knows the heart of Raymond Cole and will judge him in love, mercy and understanding.
But we can learn from his experience. While it is vital to seek and obey the truth of God, it is a mistake to base one’s fellowship on a vary narrow doctrinal definition. The seven churches in Revelation 2–3 had a variety of doctrinal errors, but Christ did not command brethren to leave them—He commanded those in error to repent.
While the Church of God, The Eternal had a few congregations, many of its members were completely scattered, finding fellowship with other believers only at the Feast. The problem was made worse by continual splits within itself over the exact interpretation of HWA’s teaching.
Even in the last few years, one of their ministers, Bryce Clark, left to start a new group (Bethel Church of God, P.O. Box 25345, Eugene OR 97402; www.bethelcog.org).
Also, I received a call from a man who had left the Church of God, The Eternal because he had discovered the postponements in the Jewish calendar and concluded that Mr. Armstrong had all of the truth except for that. There were only two others meeting with this man and the purpose of his call was to find if I knew of others of similar belief—otherwise, he was left to conclude that the true church now consisted of only three people!
John Brisbee is the new leader of the Church of God, The Eternal, Box 775, Eugene, OR 97440; tel: 541-344-8880, Internet: www.cogeternal.org
A faithful few are trying to build a group for former members of the PCG led by Gerald Flurry. In many ways they are trying to gather as much information as possible, while still maintaining a certain amount of objectivity.
“We are not in the business of slander” says webmaster Henrik Blunck, “but we have noticed that much effort has been spent trying to suppress the literature of Herbert W. Armstrong.”
Mr. Blunck is referring to the fact that Don Tiger’s material was worked against by both Gerald Flurry and later David C. Pack of the Restored Church of God. “David [Pack] has refused to accept the link between his church and the PCG,” he says “but they made that link when they did the very same thing the PCG tried to do, suppress it!”
The question seems to be one of willingness to tell the whole truth versus being afraid to lose tithes.
“We can’t know the hearts of men,” says the webmaster. “But we can see the effects of actions taken. It seems many COG-leaders are afraid to accept the document known as the 1939-document on church government.”
HWA offered very clear, and in many cases correct, explanations of biblical subjects, but this could soon be lost in the mire of authoritarian government. “It is our job both to help and nurture those hurt either directly or indirectly by family or members in the PCG. We need much more information, and are very grateful for the material we are already processing. It is an interesting job, but we are only very few with the expertise necessary for building a website. But keep the information coming, and we will do our best to adapt this to the website,” he ends.
The group website can be found at www.pcg_flurry.subnet.dk
— Henrik V Blunck
[Many times, people in a group that calls itself the “one true church” will only listen to other members of that group or former members of that group. Servants’ News has offered copies of the 1939 article, Did Christ Reorganize the Church? referred to above for seven years. However, PCG members would most likely accept a copy from another PCG member or maybe a former member. This website is just beginning, but it may become a fine help to PCG members. — NSE]
The Herbert Armstrong Library, dedicated to preserving all of HWA’s and WCG writings is again online at: www.herbertwarmstrong.org
HWA coworker letters and other items can be found at: www.hoselton.net/religion/hwa/coworker
Here is a source of real “Kosher” gelatin if you are interested. They sell it in case lots so you may want to get together with others to purchase it: Great Lakes Gelatin Co, 253 Commerce Drive, PO Box 917, Grayslake, IL 60030; tel: 847-223-8141, Internet: www.greatlakesgelatin.com
— Raymond King
I have collected the following Ambassador College theses and papers. Some have already been scanned by me and others. However, most still require top quality computer scanning.
1)If you know of anyone who is willing to scan them, please let me know as soon as possible. I need a top quality job done requiring an excellent scanner and software. Please advise me of the estimated number of pages you would like to scan.
2)Some items are not in a good enough condition to scan, but will have to be re-typed (such as the 333 page “Key to Northwest European Origins”). Again, if you are aware of anyone who can assist, please let me know. I would like to know the estimated number of pages he or she would like to re-type;
3)Please advise if you are aware of any other AC items in addition to those listed below.
Thanks in advance,
— Craig White, GPO Box 864, Sydney, Australia 2001
History of the True Church:
What Became of the Church Jesus Built? by Briggs, L. (1972)
A Handbook of Church History by Blackwell, D. (1973)
The Plain Truth About the Waldensians —a Handbook by Blackwell, D. (1974)
Now Revealed—the True History of the Early Christian Church by Kelly, R. (1967)
Were the Waldenses a Part of God’s Church? by Grabbe, L. (1981)
The Beliefs and Practices of the Church of God in Transylvania by Marx, G.
Six Papers on the History of the Church (Sardis Era) by Nickels, R. (1973)
History of the Seventh Day Churches of God by Nickels, R. (1973)
Plain Truth Indexes since 1934
Good News Indexes since 1951
Tomorrow’s World Indexes
Youth Magazine Indexes
Correspondence Course Indexes (various editions)
900 series index
Collection of articles on the history of the Philadelphia Era
Collection of papers on the history of the True Church
Early Literature of the WCG (collection of 1930s material)
The Great False Church:
Satan’s Great Deception by Meredith, C. P. (1953)
The Plain Truth About the Protestant Reformation by Meredith, R. C. (1958–59)
How and When the Church Festivals Were Changed by Hoeh, H. L (1952–53)
The Origin of Medical Practice by McMichael, S. (1969)
Peter in Rome? by Albert, D. (1973)
More About Simon Magus by Martin, E. (1964)
Collection of articles, papers and CC lessons on Paganism in the Modern World.
The Law & the Sacred Calendar:
Collection of articles and papers on Tithing (from AC)
Collection of articles and papers on the Holy Days (from AC, 1974)
The Hebrew Calendar: A Mathematical Introduction by Kossey, D.
Pentecost Study Material (from AC, 1974)
Calendar and Eclipse Interrelationships by Herrmann, K. (1967)
Collection of articles on the Law.
Collection of articles and study papers on True Masculinity and Femininity
The Sacred Calendar (collection of study and research papers)
Economic Policy to Help Man Achieve Maximum Potential by Goonan, T.
Food, Christianity and the State.
Miscellaneous Bible Helps (AC collection of study papers)
Old Testament Israel (AC collection of articles and papers)
An Outline of Design and Development of the Holy Scriptures by Martin, E. (1971).
Old Testament Survey (from AC, various study articles on books of the Bible)
Bible Chronology Charts (Collection of short papers)
The Systematic Theology Project (from AC, c. 1978)
Bible Doctrines: Scriptures & Notes (from AC, c. 1985)
Divorce & Remarriage (collection of study papers and articles)
The Bible and Ecology, the Environment etc.
Mastering the Self (collection of articles)
False Prophets and False Brethren (collection of articles)
Women’s Role in Society (from AC)
The Doctrine of Matthew 18:15
The Harmony Society by Schulz, R.
Church Government (collection of articles)
Counselling Teenagers by Albrecht, G.
The Sacred Name
The Plain Truth About the “Sacred Name”
The Sacred Name—Is it Sacred or Mystical?
Origins of Nations:
Key to Northwest European Origins by McNair, R. (1963)
The French Speaking Peoples in Prophecy by Apartian, D. (1967)
A Two Thousand Year Analysis of the German Character by Marx, O. (1969)
The Race Change in Ancient Italy by Martin, E.
The True Origin of the American Indian by Rea, B. (1968)
The Bible and Race (collection of articles on the Bible Doctrine on interracial marriage)
God’s Temple in Prophecy by Neff, L. (1986)
The Place of Safety (collection of articles)
Cities: Today and Tomorrow (collection of articles)
End-Time Prophecy (collection of articles)
Ezekiel’s Message / The Captivity Doctrine (collection of articles)
The German People and Prophecy (collection of articles)
Creative Development by Burky, R. (1989)
Exploring Ancient History by Schulz, R. (1967)
A Chronological Outline of History by Kneebors, M. (1973)
Classical Authors—Greek and Latin (from AC)
Josephus as Historian and Apologist (from AC)
Flavius Josephus–An Index to Vital Subjects (from AC)
Index to the Works of Josephus (from AC)
Compendium of World History (two volumes) by Hoeh, H.L. (1969)
Collection of papers and letters by Hoeh, H.L & Herrmann, K (1970s)
Papers from AC about various movements:
Is a Conspiracy Responsible for America’s Decline?
The Conspiracy Against the Family
The Movement to Destroy the Family
Britain’s Road to Communism
The Real Origin of Communism
Who will Bury Communism?
What’s Behind the Shift in US Foreign Policy?
Is it Dark Behind the Iron Curtain?
What Church Members Should Know About Masonry
Mainstream of History (variety of AC study papers and articles on ancient, Roman and European history).
— Craig White
GPO Box 864, Sydney, Australia 2001
[What an incredible variety of papers that Craig White has assembled. I hope he will find people to help him scan these items and place them on the Internet so that they may be studied by all who are interested. What a great contrast this is to the days of the WCG when the very existence of these papers was unknown to nearly all WCG members.
My guess is that the quality of these papers vary greatly. Some were probably written from the point of view that the WCG already “had the truth”—so the researcher ignored any evidence contrary to WCG teaching. Other papers may simply cover trivial items of little interest. But many in the WCG believed that they were seeking the truth that would someday be taught to the whole world—so they were very diligent to do a good job.
Any researcher and writer needs to realize that God holds them accountable for what they do. If they write error that continues for generations, they are at least partly responsible for all of the people who are deceived by it.
Truth can stand when there is free access to all information—because it is the truth. Every lie written against the truth will someday be exposed. It is only lies that are protected by attempting to suppress people’s access to the truth. The WCG was often like the USSR or other dictatorships in its efforts to remove the names of former members from publications and its official history.
It is nice to see another project offering full access to these papers and historical records. —NSE]
Send Us Your News!
it or not, publication editors are not people who automatically know
whats going on. The only way we know about significant events
is by somebody telling us, by reading a publication or by asking various
groups what they are planning. We simply do not have time to contact numerous
groups before each issue to get their current news. We receive a lot of
publications, but cannot read all of them. Many groups do not have a publication.