Sabbatarian Bible Fellowship (SBF)

Sabbatarians of various 'branches' of the Church of God have been scattered and without a means to share fellowship and Bible studies between each other for a long time.

Yet, it is a fundamental aspect of Christianity that we talk often about God's Word among each other. Note the article by Dr Herman L. Hoeh in the Good News, "Talk about the Bible when you visit one another!" (January 1962). Indeed we must (Mal 3:16).

We sabbatarians need fellowship and a spirit of co-operation and harmony. We need to get to know one another in the most fundamental and basic way possible: Bible discussions. SBF provides for just such an opportunity.

The Purpose of SBF

  1. To discuss God's Word without contention.
  2. Create an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation between the various sabbatarian groups at grass-roots level.
  3. To be a means to spiritual growth.

Goals of SBF

  1. Gently create grass—roots inter-sabbatarian harmony.
  2. Opportunities to create new friendships.
  3. Increase our knowledge of God's Word.

Now that we have seen what SBF is, let us understand what it is not.

What SBF is Not

Firstly, it is not a means to criticise other sabbatarian churches or be involved in any negative and demeaning behaviour. A spirit of bitterness, anger and competition is not wanted.

Nor is it a medium for anyone to 'push their barrow' or to set themselves up as preachers and leaders. The SBF also is not a place to poach members of other groups. It is there to demonstrate love and unity, not the spirit of competition. As such, SBF encourages people to stay where they are happy and not to set out to form their own groups.

It should be understood that this 'club' is not a time for 'prayer meetings', 'music ministries', 'role playing' and such like. It has a specific Bible focus—for and by—committed Sabbatarians.

And, finally, it is not in competition with any group or to push one's scriptural understandings upon another. It is for positive, loving, caring people who wish to fellowship with God and one another.

How SBF Operates

  1. A revolving chair so that no one person dominates. This person guides the participants through the agenda.
  2. The agenda has the following basic outline: chair opens; old business discussed; new business discussed; possible review of previous meeting; the talks are next presented with questions (10-15 minutes). A break with refreshments and music is enjoyed roughly half way through the meeting.
  3. The next meeting's topics are chosen as well as the venue (preferably a different person's venue each time).
  4. Minutes taken and distributed (optional).
  5. Each person/family brings refreshments for the break.
  6. The meeting lasts for approximately 2 hours but may be shorter or longer.
  7. Frequency: fortnightly or monthly.

Some Possible Topics for Discussion

  1. Your favorite scripture and why.
  2. A review of a piece of literature which has helped you understand God's word better.
  3. Types of Prayer.
  4. Research methodologies.
  5. Weekend workshops.
  6. Your favorite Proverb.
  7. The fruits of the spirit.
  8. The gifts of the spirit.
  9. The Lost Tribes of Israel. Where are they today?
  10. What do you understand the 'Mark of the Beast' to be?
  11. Should a Christian vote?
  12. Open discussion.
  13. Just what do you mean 'Speaking in Tongues'?
  14. Is there a market for an Inter-sabbatarian Speaker's Club?
  15. Prophecy in the news: US of Europe, Germany, Japan.
  16. God's true church in history.
  17. Man's incredible destiny!
  18. Ideas for Inter-sabbatarian fellowship and harmony (e.g., dinners, outings, joint activities, visiting each other's churches, etc.)
  19. The New Testament—Complement to the Old Testament.
  20. The christian and co-operation with the ministry.
  21. Philippians 4:8—a discussion.

—Craig White

The author sent this article with the following note attached to it:

Dear Norman,

I would like feedback by/from you on my ideas for establishing in-home Bible discussions. Following are some guidelines I have [written] up for feedback. Feel free to reprint it.

Craig White
GPO Box 864
Sydney, Australia 2001

We, at SN, strongly encourage what is suggested here as well as any who have ideas or suggestions to please forward them to the author or to us here at SN. As an aid to those of you who wish to attempt to put together an SBF-type of group, we are printing a list of cities where people currently subscribe to SN. See page 6 for more details.

Is Santa Clause a Christmas Idol?

Santa Claus is taught to children as a grand old fictitious being, having special power of bringing good and blessing children. Webster s Dictionary defines an idol as an image, object or being that is greatly or excessively loved and admired. This word picture of man describes Santa Claus as an idol. God explains and describes an idol in His Word, Ex. 20:4 as either a graven (carved-out) object, or a being of the mind's creation of any likeness (characteristic) of God in heaven. Doesn't Santa Claus fit an idol's description, that has God-like power to serve all children of the world at Christmas? Society has even clothed its Santa idol to appear like the likeness of God, as Christ in heaven appeared to John in vision, that has a golden or (black) girdle girt about the body with the head and hairs appearing white like wool, white as snow and having a deep voice. Read it in Rev. 1:13-15. God says in Ex. 20:5 "...Don't worship nor serve them-any of man's created God-like idols or gods," and in the last part of verse 5, "this sin depicts hatred-hostility against God." God says He is a jealous God for His people and the creating of idols, as in Santa, shows not love as many professed Christians believe it does, but hatred and rebellion against God-Christ, Ex. 20:5.

Society and professed Christianity would have all to believe that observing Christmas and teaching about Santa is done in the name of Christ to remember his unknown birthday. Is observing Christmas Christ's will or the will of another spirit being, posing as the Christ? People literally raise up Santa and put him on a throne at the Christmas season and exalt him in conjunction with all the sun-god customs and practices of Christmas, as in setting up a tree with all the lights, candles, yule logs, and songs that seem so joyous and wonderful, but oh so deceiving! Jesus Christ said there would be false Christs, false imaginations, creations and images of Him worshipped by the many people and showing great wonders like as at the Christmas season, and if possible would deceive even the elect, Mat. 24:5, 24. Why not the elect, because they are not deceived about the requirements for salvation and understand what is idolatry and have repented of this sin, a sin God greatly hates, Deut. 7:25-26; 8:19-20.

Can a confessed Christian, who has repented of the sins of idolatry and the worship of idols in his life, join in and be a part of the Christmas season? Christmas was founded in idolatry and still carries with it the worship of the Santa idol and all of the idolatrous, sun worship practices and symbols, but because Christ's name has been added to it, people reason erroneously that Christmas and Santa Claus has been Christianized. Oh what a deception! This is not only idolatry, but taking Christ's name in vain as well, and joining His Holy Righteous Name to idols and idolatry, and doing despite against His spirit of grace, (Heb. 10:28-31). Also study II Cor. 6:14-17. This is works of unholiness and will reap the wages of sin! Jesus Christ has given no one-preacher, church or whatever, permission and authority to use His name in conjunction with the season's symbols of sun-god worship, and the extolling of Santa Claus. Then who has given churches permission? It is Satan, who has deceived the whole world, Rev. 12:9, and set up false, Christ worship in all the churches, II Cor. 4:4 and study II Cor. 11:13-15.

The Christmas season, with the extolling of the Santa Claus idol, is the fruit of man's living from the "tree of good and evil." Man, as a self-appointed god, Gen. 3:5, justifies his decision to observe Christmas in its spirit, as his own choice, and to follow his own, and his church's standard of what is "good and evil" even if it is contrary to God's law and God's spirit. However, and whenever, a man is converted to God's way and desires to choose the "tree of life," he comes to see from this choice, that only God knows what is good and evil, and it is God's standard of measurement-His Ten Commandments, that man must acknowledge as the only way of love and real joy. The excuse Satan's preachers teach that no one can keep Christ's Ten Commandments by denying God's power, will not protect anyone from God's judgment. God's Word still stands-the wages of sin is death, not life. (Rom.6:23, II Pet.2:2, II Tim.3:5.

The man-gods of professed Christianity reason from their church, the family "tree of good and evil" that Rom. 14:3-6 gives them their justification in choosing and esteeming any day for the Sabbath or holy day, such as Christmas, Sunday and Easter, with no remorse or guilt of commandment transgression. Is this Paul's teaching? Do these verses give a believer permission to cast off, denounce and forget God's commanded 7th day Sabbath, and His Holy Days-making light of why Christ died, Heb. 10:26-29? Of course not! That would be ridiculous! These verses are teaching that no one is to judge a believer that esteems a certain day for fasting and prayer to praise and draw close to his Master-Christ, and its meaning was in no way meant to forget His Master's weekly 7th day Sabbath or His annual Holy Days, Mark 2:28, Ex. 20:8. Professed Christianity uses Rom.14:3-6 to justify their sins and of exercising their self-imposed right as "gods" to choose the Sabbath and holidays they choose, and not what Sabbath and Holy Days the Master of the Bible says are to be holy!

Santa Claus is a greatly admired idol at Christmas that parents lie about and teach to their children that takes the place of God. Santa Claus is raised up in Christmas parades, at parties and brought into American homes against the will of Jesus Christ, and is an abomination to God. Christ says, "Come out of it and be ye separate," II Cor. 6:16-18, I Cor.6:9-10, Gal.5:19-21.

-Don Young
Church of God of Jessamine
PO Box 1216
Nicholasville, KY 40340-1216