William Tyndale and the New Testament Today
Fred R. Coulter & Steve Durham—May 19, 2016

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I would like to bring you up to date on some of things that we're currently doing. The office in Hollister is going full blast! We have, as I've mentioned, all of the past series. Roy mentioned about a correspondence course. We have it! We have a study course of ten lessons now with CDs, with transcripts. So, we have it!

We also have, in addition to those ten, 45 more in-depth series. Through the years, when we started out with a small group of seven, you can't just repeat the sermons, so we kept our noses in the Bible and recorded them first on cassettes and then later on the digital, and now we have, counting the study packs, close to 50 in-depth studies.

You've heard me mention Daniel/Revelation series. We have got for all of the doctrinal people:

  • Romans
  • Galatians
  • Hebrews

Probably about 400 pages of transcripts with all the messages.

I talked to one man over e-mail from the United Kingdom—Eric has told me that's he best way to refer to it—and he wrote me saying, 'Hooray! I finally someone who agrees with me!' I sent him back an e-mail—and that was on the trinity thing—and let him know that we have a lot of material and you go online and download it, study it and do all of those things, etc. He wrote back and said that he 'believes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' I said that's great! 'Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.' That's great! 'But I reject all of Paul.'

So, I thought to myself, I'll try once again. So, I sent him back and e-mail and said:

We have some good material on Paul and it's not like it's presented with the Protestants that he's done away with anything. A little sidebar: Even Jesus did not do away with God's Law! How could He if it is spiritual and eternal? But what Jesus did is raise it to a higher spiritual level.

So, I sent that on to him. He steadfastly refused any of Paul's Epistles, because he didn't deal directly with Jesus. If you don't read his epistles you will never know that God did.

We have our office in Canada, that's doing fine. Australia and New Zealand had a good report on that. The United Kingdom and now the Netherlands—Frans Peeters is here from the Netherlands—and we are going to have a brand new office in Malaysia; we have Andrew Moses here. That's a good line to come from—isn't it?

This shows that God is working with people in different ways and different things so that He will be bringing to us those people that He wants. We hope and pray that all the Churches of God, everywhere—those we know of and those we don't know of—and the people that are able to learn online. We get e-mails all the time saying they've got three or five in our home every Sabbath. I got one the other day that there were ten brethren getting together with Church at Home, and also watching videos from cbcg.org.

So, God has provided the means for getting the Gospel out in a very powerful way through the Internet. Also, I might mention that we have the Bible with an Apple App and a Microsoft App. You just have to go to the App Store and you can download it right on your Smart Phone. If you've got a dumb phone, forget it!

So, we are reaching, right now, with all of our websites combined, over 2-million visitors a year and, as you saw in the last report, they are between six and seven minutes or more on average on the site.

We've revamped cbcg.org, and in doing that we've had some difficulties getting everything working the way it should, so we're just about there having all the links and everything done—internal links and so forth—that are necessary. We want to have it so it is easy to use to help people to understand.

Another thing that is very prevalent, too. We have a lot of people in the other Churches of God that say, 'Well, I go to xyz church, but I get my spiritual meat from CBCG.' That's fine! Sooner or later they're going to have to figure out what they're going to do.

We don't know what's going to happen in the other churches; we wish that all of us continually repent and stay close to God so that we can all grow and overcome where there will be many different voices going out to the world. We all have a part.

So, that's my prayer. I don't want to get into church wars, although from time to time we do need to mention those false prophets that rise up among the Churches of God. We'll have to see what we can do there.

Advertising:

I need to bring up a little concerning advertising. We currently have been advertising quite a bit in The Washington Times and the advertising manager is on our mailing list: John Spokes. We get good responses from The Washington Times, because that goes out to quite a conservative following. Plus, we also advertise on their digital advertising where they have one million people on that. We've been able to provide them with Bibles. Some have been able to come to the websites, and it has worked very well.

Plus we also advertise in home schooling. Home schooling and Church at Home work together very, very well. It's going to be that even though we like to congregate and get together—which is fine—God is able to work with people who are scattered to help them come along.

We also get e-mails from people saying, 'I've been listening to you for a year… two years… three years… and they're asking to know about church and fellowship at that point. That's fine! So, I think with more and more elders that we're going to have—by the way Roy Assanti ordained Andrew over in Malaysia and caused a minor eruption among the people over there. Andrew, are they still e-mailing you and calling you on the phone?
We're going to try doing some e-mail on Google and Facebook and see how that goes.

Internet Update:

I had Ron Cary check out some domain names for us, because who is going to be sitting at their computer and saying, 'I wonder where I can find God?' BING! CBCG! They'll never think of that. I also get e-mails from people who say, 'Well, it was a miracle I found your site.'

So, the thought came to me: the Truth of God. I'm sure that there will be many, many more people trying to find the Truth of God in this world of deception that we have around us. So, I asked Ron Cary to checkout the domain names. We got:

  • thetruthofgod.world (new extension)
  • thetruthofgod.net
  • truthofgod.org (no the)

So, what we want to do is have a website that they come to search for the Truth of God and we'll put a lot of verbiage on there:

  • Are you tired of churches?
  • Are you tired of the lies?
  • Are you tired of the hypocrisy?
  • Have you been burned by this church or that church?
  • Is your life in trouble?
  • Are you trying to find God?
  • Do you want the Truth?

Click here!

Then they'll come to the home page and we've added to the home page that we preach and teach only the Truth of the Bible: We do not teach any traditions of men, any teachings of men, but the Truth of the Word of God!

If that works, that will increase the number of people trying to get in touch with us, and that will add to what we've been doing.

William Tyndale and the New Testament Today:

I've brought for everyone—The Obedience of the Christian Man by Wm. Tyndale—and this is the spiral binding that we're doing now. Ken Redman comes in one day a week and we have a high-powered copier to do it, and we have these spiral notebooks. I had him add to it chapter eight from the New Testament, which is the story of William Tyndale.

This becomes really, really important for us to understand that we're part of something God has been doing from the days of the apostles.

Lots of times we read these things and we read the Scriptures and we say, 'Oh yeah, that's right, that's good, that's true, this is what we need to do.' But we have very little historical reference. I brought up before about Israel of the Alps. If you don't have that get that DVD; it would be good to show it to your fellowship group or whomever, or just have it at home and people who are interested you can show it to them. That's put out by the Seventh-Day Adventists. It's very interesting that they associate themselves with the Church in the Alps, and I think they have it right.

From the time of Constantine 325A.D. they fled to the place in the wilderness where they were there 1260 years from which we get the Waldensians and others like that. It's very interesting, because God has said that He would do it. So, here we are at the end-time. I think we were entirely wrong in saying that the Gospel hadn't been preached in 1800 years. Well, if that's the case, then God failed.
It is true that the world may not have known in the way that we know today that the Gospel was being preached. Also there were times out of the British Isles where they had the Bible, evangelical groups going into Europe, so when we read:

Matthew 28:18: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.'" Christ is in charge!Notice that is on earth, the whole earth. We don't know how many people that God has in China. There are probably a good number of people in China.

Remember this always: The Sabbath connects us with God; that's His first appointed time of Lev. 23: 'These are My appointed times'—period!

So, every Sabbath is an appointment of God. Do you ever think of it that way? This keeps us in contact with God, and between the Holy Days and the Word of God He's telling us what He's doing.

Roger and I were talking yesterday about: I wonder what the Apostle John thought when he was exiled to the Island of Patmos? Before he was given the vision of the book of Revelation?

I imagine that he was wondering, 'Lord, what is going on? The churches are all falling apart! Many of them outside and around Ephesus are being taken over, doctrines are being changed. What is happening? Well, all authority is in Christ's hands!

When John was given the vision of the book of Revelation, at the beginning when it first went out, half of the Church did not accept it. You read Revelation and then you read the Gospel of John and 1st, 2nd and 3rd John, it's totally different. I'm sure there were people who said, 'How can this be from John?' But nevertheless, it was! Little did the Church know that it's going to be 2,000 years! How do you understand all the things in Revelation? You can understand Rev. 1-3, maybe 4; you can't understand 5-8… Put yourself back to about 102A.D. Then John died just two or three years before that. Here you are in great mess: Where is God? They had to go through we've gone through! Yes, indeed!

Verse 19: "Therefore, go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…." (vs 19-20).

That would be an interesting sermon you could work up. Go through Matt., Mark, Luke and John and pick out everything pertaining to the Ten Commandments, and then bring a sermon on what are all the things that Jesus taught?
It says that Jesus came to reveal the Father; so without giving any details, think of this as a carnal human being. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect… [it is in the future tense become perfect]even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." One of His very first sermons He told us what He's going to do. But the details came later. So, lots of times we see things we need to do, and the details come later.

Here we are coming down in time. The Catholic Church rules the world, kills the Christians, then there comes a time when God has to fulfill His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There came a time that it was to begin giving the end-time blessings to the 12 tribes of Israel, beginning with the UK or Britain or England.

How is He going to do this? The only thing they know about Christianity is the Catholic Church, maybe a few little scattered brethren still from the Waldensians. So, this is why I gave you this book: The Obedience of A Christian Man. We need to understand that we are part of what God has been doing down through time.

How much understanding did Tyndale have? If you think you're alone, he was absolutely alone except for a few—when you read about his life—helpers. He had all the authorities of the Catholic Church chasing him. Someone is surely going to ask the question:

  • Where was a minister of God to baptize him?

Good question! Probably not around anywhere!

  • Can God convert someone unilaterally Himself?
  • For a purpose He wants done? Yes!
  • Can He give him His Spirit? Yes!

If He can give it to 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude sealed with an angel, it doesn't say that here are 144,000 and we have 2,000 ministers out there baptizing as hard and fast as they can. God sealed them!

Here I am bringing this to you. I said to myself before I left: I'm going to take a copy and I'm going to read it. You'll have to understand how bad the Catholic Church was at that time, and how adamant that God put in Tyndale's mind to be against it. He was the one who translated first from Greek (N.T.) Hebrew (O.T.) knowing seven languages.

God selected him, converted him, and Tyndale knew the Word of God, but he had to be alone. He was hunted and chased, and finally arrested and executed. They tied him to the stake, had a noose around his neck, had all the fire material spread all around him, and he had just finished translating the Old Testament.

One mistake that most historians make is this: They did not account for that he was translating from the Hebrew. They had in mind the Jerome sequence of books in the Bible. When it says—when John Rogers, Tyndale's last helper to put together the Bible—that he finished 2 Chronicles, what book is that in the Hebrew? The last book! So, he finished it.

Why did God do this? The ultimate purpose was so that the descendants of Israel would have the Word of God! Then the ultimate purpose is that at the end-time that there would be the Word of God in many languages going out everywhere. Because God, in giving a witness to the whole world at the end-time, is going to be a fantastic thing in edition to the two witnesses.

Sidebar: By the way, they don't come from Edmonds, Oklahoma!

Here I am on the plane flying over to Detroit and have to get on another plane and go to… So, here God put into William Tyndale's heart and mind to translate and to have the Word of God in the 'mother tongue.'

  • Why can't we have it in the mother tongue?
  • Why do we have to have it in Latin?
  • Why do we have to have all these church ceremonies that no one understands and even the priests don't understand?
  • They don't understand Latin, and it's so far gone from the Word of God, why do they have to have it that way?

It's written that Tyndale had a Holy passion. Think of this: In the day that he was doing this—beginning in the early 1520s—he had a conversation at a dinner. As you read this, one of the prelates said, 'Well, we better without the Law of God, and have the pope's law. William Tyndale said, 'I defy the pope!'

You don't understand how powerful that was. 'I defy the pope and all his laws, and I will make the plowboy to know of the Word of God than the pope does!' That was like dropping a hydrogen bomb!

As you read this—and I want you to read it—you will learn from it. So, here I am on the plane reading along, doing a few markings, underlining certain things. I want you to understand that the Gospel is the same 'yesterday, today and forever!'

Obedience of A Christian Man by William Tyndale:

If any man has broken the law or a good ordinance, and he repents and comes to the right way again, then Christ has power to forgive him. But he cannot give license to break the law; much less can his disciples and vicars, as they call themselves, do it. The keys which they so greatly boast…

What is it said of the pope? He has the keys of Peter! That goes back to Jannes and Jambres, the two keys. We've always understood that in Matt. 16 where Jesus asked:

Matthew 16:15: "He said to them, 'But you, whom do you declare Me to be?' Then Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father, Who is in heaven'" (vs 15-17).

Can God give us thoughts independent of anything else? Of course! Yes! Even unconverted? Yes!

Verse 18: "And I say also to you, that you are Peter; but upon this Rock… ['petros' and 'petra'] …I will build My Church, and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you may bind on the earth will have already been bound in heaven; and whatever you may loose on the earth will have already been loosed in heaven'" (vs 18-19). That's the correct sense of it from the Greek.

We've known that it's not the keys that the Catholics say, but what are the keys? Have we ever had that defined for us? No! All the years of studying the Bible, all the years doing all of these things, how much knowledge did William Tyndale have? We'll read it right here:

…The keys which they so greatly boast of are not carnal things, but spiritual; and they are nothing else than knowledge of the law, and of the promises or gospel….

Tyndale references Luke 11. Did he know his Bible? Yes, he did! He does a lot of quoting about the Pharisees of his day, and all of the 'religionists' of his day.

And let's understand this, brethren, we've also had to come through the same experience that a lot of those in the 1st century did with people coming into the Church and uprooting and destroying things. Well, that's what Christ did:

Luke 11:37: "Now, while He was speaking, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him… [going in with an important man] …and He went in and sat down. But the Pharisee, seeing this, wondered why He had not first washed before dinner" (vs 37-38). Probably had a lot of other questions on his mind:

  • If this Man is really Who He says He is, why isn't He coming to us for advice?
  • Why isn't He coming to join us so we can get together and raise up an army and get rid of the Romans?
  • We're the important people here, why doesn't He come to us first?
  • Why is He going out to all the masses; all of those dumb, ignorant people who don't know the law?

That's what was going on here. Notice Jesus' answer: 'Well, I just washed My hands ten minutes ago, so I'm fine.' There's all the Pharisees and doctors of the law around there. This is like going to the Vatican with all the cardinals there ready to elect an new pope and tell them what absolute rotten, corrupt, devilish, evil people that they are.

Verse 39: "Then the Lord said to him, 'Now, you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of greediness and wickedness. Fools… [Greek there is 'idiotes' from which we get the English word idiots] …did not He Who made the outside also make the inside? Rather, give alms from the things that are within; and behold, all things are clean to you. But woe to you, Pharisees! For you pay tithes of mint and rue and every herb, but you pass over the judgment and the love of God. It is obligatory for you to do these things, and not to set aside those lesser things. Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the chief seat in the synagogues and the salutations in the marketplaces. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are as unseen tombs, and men who walk over them do not know it'" (vs 39-44).

Verse 45: "And one of the doctors of the law answered and said to Him, 'Teacher, by saying these things You are also insulting us.' And He said, 'Woe to you also, doctors of the law! For you weigh men down with burdens heavy to bear, but you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, whom your fathers killed. Therefore, you are bearing witness and consenting to the works of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. Because of this, the wisdom of God also said, "I will send prophets and apostles to them; and some of them they shall kill, and others they shall drive out… [and we fit into that category today] …so that the blood of all the prophets, poured out from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias, who perished between the altar and the house of God." Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation'" (vs 45-51).

Go forward 2,000 years to today! Then read the book of Revelation and see what God is requiring of the world, because of what they have done, and how Satan has the whole world in the grasp of His hands right now. Just look at what they're trying to do in the nations of the world.

  • Look at what's happening in the UK!
  • Look at what's happening in America!
  • Look at what's happening in every one of the end-time countries of Israel!

The descendants of the 12 tribes are being flooded with aliens, everything about God is being taken away, and here we are!

Verse 52: "Woe to you, doctors of the law! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you prevented those who were entering."

Now let's read what Wm. Tyndale wrote. And I learned from Tyndale what the keys are. Jesus says that he has the keys of the grave and death. Those aren't the keys Tyndale is talking about. He's talking about keys concerning the Gospel.

That is, they blinded the Scripture…

In other words they got rid of the understanding of the Scriptures for the people.

…(whose knowledge, like a key, lets us into God)…

A key on how you get to God; the knowledge!

…with glosses and traditions.

So, what are the keys?

  • knowledge
  • repentance and faith

Those are the keys that Christ gave to His Church!

What were the first words that Jesus said in Mark 1 when He came into Galilee to preach the Gospel? Here I am on the plane reading this and I thought, look at all these years, how simple! We've been doing it, but we've never had it defined quite this way. Sure enough Wm. Tyndale knew 500 years ago! What does that tell us about God?

  • God is consistent!
  • God is true!
  • God is righteous!

And these are the keys that we need to use to preach today, as well.

  • Do people need repentance?
  • Do people need the knowledge of God?
  • Do people need forgiveness?
  • Do people need to grow in grace and knowledge?
  • Yes!

Mark 1:14: "Now, after the imprisonment of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying…" (vs 14-15). 'I give to you, Peter, and all the apostles and from that time all the way down, the keys of the Kingdom.' What is the key? Repentance, faith and knowledge of God!

"…'The time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel'" (v 15).

As we find out in growing and overcoming, we need to repent every day—don't we? Yes, we do! So, if you're wrestling with the deep within sins, and they're there in our mind, God is getting rid of them. That's why He wants us to come to Him every day and repent. That is called being brought to perfection! We'll never be perfect in the flesh; God didn't design it that way. The final perfection will come at the resurrection.

I hope that this book—Obedience of A Christian Man… Some of it's pretty heavy reading, and some of the words are really difficult to understand, because they're 500 years old, but nevertheless, I'm sure you can figure out the sense of it. That was so inspiring to me to know, especially when I was doing the New Testament. When you're out there and you feel all alone—and we were, we were all alone; we had a little group of seven people and that was it:

  • What are you going to do?
  • Where is God?
  • How did this happen?
  • Why are we going through this?
  • What does God want us to do?

All of these things came to the fore!

Now we all have an opportunity to participate in it in whatever way. All the way from prayer to actively doing different things; that's fine! But what's most important? Prayer! Isn't prayer the most important thing? Yes, indeed!

If you don't pray every day, where are you going to be? Look at all the people we used to know who were attending church and they quit keeping the Sabbath. Where are they now? Well, when you quit keeping the Sabbath, what happens? You're not showing up for God's appointment! When you quit studying, God is not teaching you. God's not going to funnel it into your head! We have to study! We have to grow! How that's going to work out in the long run, we don't know because we have to walk by faith!

So, this is what got to me coming to the conference. I thought: what a wonderful thing! It's sad to see that there are men who stand up and make themselves so important. Listen! The only one Who is important is Jesus Christ and God the Father, their love for us and our love for God!

What did Jesus say? We're to love Him, love each other and do the things that God wants us to do! Look at the history and the background on it. Look at what we have in the end-time. This is why we can't take anything for granted.

  • We have the Word of God, we need to use it and study it!
  • We have the Spirit of God, we need to grow in grace and knowledge and let the Spirit of God lead us!

We have some difficult, difficult, difficult times ahead of us! We need to be strengthened in everything that we can do. We have been called upon to help others that God is going to deal with that we know nothing about.

I mentioned yesterday, I got an e-mail out of the blue—I get these quite often—'there are three, four or five that we meet every Sabbath.' I got this from a group of ten! I don't know them; never heard of them. But with the things that God has provided today, if we do our part and provide for them, then we're doing our part with the keys of the Kingdom of God in giving them the knowledge and preaching unto them repentance and baptism. I'm sure we're going to have more of that in the future.

We're getting more baptisms right along. So, if you're pretty much alone, don't worry, pray!

  • Ask God to intervene!
  • Ask God to call!
  • Ask God to reach back for those brethren that can still be redeemed!

God doesn't want to lose any of them. So, we need to understand that's what we need to do. It can be done. All I can do is what I can do. Where would be without all of us together doing the other things as well.

(go to the next track)

FRED:

That's quite amazing that we have to learn something that Tyndale knew 500 years ago. We've been doing it, but we didn't define it. But it also is very inspiring to realize that Christ is doing what He's doing. He's the Head of the Church. That's why the true government of God is Christ in you. The truth is that if God can't rule you, there is no way the ministers can and no way they can get you into the Kingdom of God.

We've all had some experiences, and now we're going to hear some things from Steve Durham. He's going to relate to us some of the experiences he went through with an inside peek on what happened to the Church.

STEVE DURHAM:

Good morning everyone! The problem we had earlier with the sound reminds me of the older guy that was out in the woods and he wanted to cut some trees down. He went into town and told the guy that he needed to cut some trees down. The guy gave him a brand new chainsaw. 'Are you sure this is going to work?' Yeah! That will cut those trees down really well. So about a week later he came back to the guy and said it wasn't working. Well, let me look at it! So, he went broom, broom! What's that noise?

Always be ready when you come to the conference, because you may get a message on your phone late at night. We'll see how this goes. I want to give a disclaimer before I start, because I don't talk about myself. I'm not comfortable doing that, but I have been asked to relate lessons that I've learned from the time I've been in the Church. I was called when I was 14, and it's been 50 years. To do that I have to tell you about myself; so I do it with humility and I've got to tell you the facts, so please just take them as facts. I don't think of myself as anything.

We all have a journey, all of us in the room, and God starts us out on that journey with a calling. What I want to say, for whatever reason in my life and my journey—I just gave a sermon on the Highway of God—that we start and we finish, and the finish is the Kingdom of God. But we have events that happen to us along the way.

What God is trying to do is build that government of God in us. To get everything else out of the way and to get that government of God, Christ and the Father, no one else in between.

As we grow in grace and knowledge and we become perfect (Matt. 5:48) the end of that journey. That's the purpose. So, these situations that I've had, or these events, issues—whatever you want to call them—the things I've observed in the Church of God, the Body of Christ: Worldwide, CGI, United and now CBCG, those are organizations. But it's the Body of Christ that's most important.

These things have helped me—and I know they have you in your own personal lives—and helped you to become more dedicated and committed. That's the whole purpose. That should be the lesson that we pick up.

It is a personal calling, but you what happens is that when we're young in the faith, or young in my case, you have rose-colored glasses on. You accept everything. When I first came into the Church, God called me and that came through a neighbor who was in the Church, and they were talking about 1972 and 1975 in prophecy. Remember the book: 1975 in Prophecy.

I devoured that, and when I heard that, read that, and they talked to me every evening in a Bible study over at their house, I knew—I just knew—that this was the Truth. I began to pray: 'God help me always understand wherever the Truth is and help me not to be deceived. And help me discern.' That's been my prayer all along, and you will kind of see that as we go through this. I do that every day, but there were times when I really prayed that.

Along the path you kind of get jostled and knocked off. You might trip over a rock or you might get tired and sit down on a bench along the way and you don't maybe you don't want to get going again. So, we all run into those times.

But we start out with rose-colored glasses and we're naïve. Everybody is perfect. Everyone is perfect. The ministers are perfect. They are the Word of God. They could actually be God, but…. That's carrying it a little too far, but we do tend to, as we start out, idolize.

God begins to strip that away a little at a time, a little time. So, that was my situation. That was my first love; I was fired up and I was all for Mr. Armstrong and the work. Remember what we called the work?

How many were in Worldwide? All right, we're talking on the same page. That was in 1967, and in 1971 I wanted to go to Ambassador College, that is where it was. If you were in the Church and a teenager, you had to go to Ambassador College. I hesitate to tell you that, because Ambassador has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years. I've had people make funny faces when I tell that I went to Ambassador. So, I don't say that anymore.

I say, 'I went to school.' And my friend Roy said that I have to tell them Ambassador or they won't know what school it was. I went to Big Sandy, and at the same time Terry (my wife) went to Bricketwood in 1971. I had my eyes opened a little bit at that time to the fact that everything wasn't rosy.

The ministers weren't really what they said was definitely from God, even the things in your personal life. My father-in-law was told—he was going to buy a car—by the minister that he needed to buy a black car. My father-in-law said, 'Are you going to make the payment?' So, he knew at that time, too, that he was the responsible for that decision. The ministers were responsible for teaching us the Truth. I had my eyes opened a little bit.

Not to go into a lot detail but there was a racquetball court built in 1971 at Big Sandy. I love racquetball, so I put my name down on the list. The deal was that the first one on the list got to play. My name kept getting scratched off, scratched off, scratched off. I went and confronted the individual that ran the athletic department, and I said, 'Hey, what's going on here; I keep getting my name scratched off?'

He said, 'Don't worry about it,' and he ripped it up and threw in the trashcan. I said, 'Wait a minute, I need to have that.' We had a little verbal fight about it, and he walked off and I grabbed it and taped it back together and went into the dean's office with it. Well, needless to say I wasn't received very well, which my attitude was probably wrong, but I realized that there was something else going on. There actually was a cache system. That was my first.

At that time there were some rumblings, there was the STP (Systematic Theology Program) that was beginning to start. Garner Ted and Mr. Thornhill came through after a basketball game late at night and I was a janitor cleaning the dinning hall and I was in the shadows. I heard some things going on and being said that were not what you would expect from a minister. So, that also kind of opened my eyes.

The point is, there's a lesson here. There are several lessons. I want to talk about our calling overall, and in that calling God wants us to draw close to Him. He want is to not have idols, to put nothing between Him and Christ, and also to love God, to learn to love God, which was missing during that time.

Another thing was that I wanted to meet Mr. Armstrong badly, so during orientation he was up there and afterward everybody went up and I couldn't get to him, so I thought I'd just let it go. I prayed and said I would like to meet Mr. Armstrong sometime.

There was a basketball game and I was walking back from watching the basketball game. I was standing off to the side of the bleachers, nobody there, and all of a sudden someone comes beside me and I look over and it was Mr. Armstrong. I had five minutes of time alone with him, which to me at that time was fantastic. Soon the faculty came and whisked him off.

God was helping me see, and there were some things that were said that kind of helped me put him in a human light instead of this glow that I had at age 14. 

In 1974 I ran out of money and they asked me to go back home and get my money together and I could come back. Mr. Ron Kelly told me I could do that.

Terry came back in 1974 from Bricketwood, finished the year, they had shut Bricketwood down in 1973-74. We got married in 1976 and served in the area. I always wanted to go back to Ambassador, so in 1984-86 we went back to Pasadena as married students and took my little 16-month-old girl, which is a totally different situation.

My eyes were opened again even more. There was a lot of discontent in the Church at that time. I wasn't aware of it until these little glimpses of God opening my eyes.

We all have our own path, our own journey, our own 'appointed time,' that God is working with us and reveals these things to us. But the point is—and there are some people still in the churches that have not had their eyes opened to that point—God was doing that with me.

In 1984 was when Mr. Feazell was my director; Greg Albrecht was my dean of students. I had a class with Dr. Stavrinides, a Greek class that I desperately needed to pass, and none of us were because he wasn't worried about grades. And Joe Tkach Jr. was there, and Joe Tkach Sr. That was that time, so you get the idea.

A lot of discontent. A lot of people were afraid to talk to one another because they worked together, went to church together, they met each other on the street at the grocery store, and your life was an open book. So, they clamed up, and I wasn't used to that. We were used to hugs and 'Hi, how are you doing?' Everybody knowing everyone. So Terry and I weren't too sure what was going on.

Gradually we began to see all the chicanery behind the scenes and the things that were going on. At that time it was very legalistic. The love of God was not being shown, but some of the classes that I had we were taught that obedience and the law and do this and don't do that. Love was never mentioned. Grace was not mentioned a lot. That was something else that we gradually began to learn.

Mr. Armstrong died in 1986, January, and at that time everything got very lively. I can remember the day when the announcement was made; I was in the carpentry shop, upstairs on the second floor and there was a little bathroom. The announcement was made and I went into the bathroom and immediately locked the door and prayed asking God to help me discern the Truth, where the Truth was, and help me not be deceived. I knew someone was going to be replacing him and it there weren't any good choices at the time.

God did do that; He helped me understand that. Another thing He did was help me—at the time we had all the married students over to our apartment that night—and I said I wasn't going to go to the funeral; I don't like funerals, I'm not going to go. I got a phone call, it was Roman Boric from the auditorium and he said, 'Would you be in the honor guard for Mr. Armstrong? So, I said, 'Yes' because you're always told not to say no. You were told that you will say yes, so you do it.

I was able to walk in the honor guard; I could reach out and touch the casket, so it was sort of a closure for me. It also showed me that that was an idol for me; I had had an idol. I was able to put that away and see it for what it was. God was merciful in that, as well, to have that last moment. But I have him in the proper perspective now.

Along this journey, back in 1988 we left and went back to Indianapolis. It still was in disarray. We walked from the pan into the fire. We went into an area that had a minister that was a friend of Joe Tkach Sr., an old truck driver from Chicago, who could do no wrong no matter what he did. He was very authoritarian.

Think about Matt. 20 where Christ talks about those in the world, not being overlords. We had a situation that was very much that way. This gentleman told me, 'You went to Ambassador College, now I'm going to show you what education is really about. You think your Ambassador College is education, I'm going to show you.'

So, I got it! It was terrible! The women would cry in services, and nobody enjoyed being there. Eventually he was moved, but there was still doctrinal discontent. Ambassador was changed to Ambassador University; there was the receivership in 1979 that happened. There was this undercurrent of things going on.

I left Worldwide in 1995—everything blew!—God Is, Sabbath to Sunday, Christmas—all the things that we are all very well aware of. You all have your own stories. At that time there were seven regional pastors that were lost, that had been a part of Worldwide and didn't know what to do. We got a call to setup a meeting and have them in a room. They sat and talked and they were very humbled, contrite. 'What are we going to do? We just want to meet where God's people are and keep the Sabbath.

I can still remember that meeting. I thought: WOW! God is giving us an opportunity to turn around, to turn the corner and go back to the old past, the old ways (Jer. 6); to go back to the way of the Truth. The next week that got some more people together. We got another room and they had 30 people. The week after that we had 300 people. We set up the tape and we were taping it, all that was said through all the sessions. All the commitments, all the things that were said I have on tape. It's interesting to watch, because it's so different than what actually happened.

They were told that anybody that wanted to be on the payroll to go to the back and sign the list. When they did that, everybody rushed the table and knocked the table over. This lady who was writing down, got pushed up against the wall. That was kind of the attitude that was there.

Six months later there was a rumble in the organization and one individual split and took it to England. Then they had another situation. The old individual who was over the ministry and his assistant were in Indianapolis, where I was. They tried to gain control of that meeting, which didn't happen. The assistant tried to gain control of the congregation in Indianapolis where I was.

The minister said, 'How well do you know this person?' I said that I went to school with him. I grew up with his wife. That was it, no questions asked, I was taken off of everything. I was canned. I was put off to the side, because I was one of them and I was trying to take over.

Well, that was all part of the plan. God was helping me to understand and move to a different position or place, which I didn't understand at the time. In retrospect I can tell that he was.

The word was put out and this individual who is very high in one of the organized Churches of God. He put the word out about me, and I prayed about it, 'God, You've given me all these things to teach and I've been taught these things and I've got this desire to help and I've got nowhere to go and nothing to do.

I tried and tried to stay at United, and it didn't work. So, I was basically pushed out. We stayed home for two years, and I believe at that time we grew and came close to God probably more so than we could have at any organization. At the same time, there were some people keeping church at home. They had some tapes and they said, 'Why don't you come and meet with us?' We did. After two years we started that and gradually Marlin came over and we got to know him and a couple of years ago I was ordained and Indianapolis and come together. I asked Fred if we could be under the CBCG banner. Yes, so we came into that and now we're in CBCG.

What are the lessons from all of this? I wanted to give you that quick overrun. Our calling is so very, very important. We grow in that calling.

Jer. 29:11 says that God has a purpose for you. 'My purpose is different.' We have an overall calling, but He's working with you individually. He's honing and sharpening you as a tool in the shed. Some cut grass, some cut wood, they do different things. So, He's working with you. He says, 'I have a purpose for you. I know My thoughts that I have for you. They are thoughts of peace, not to harm you, but to give you a good result or good end.'

That good end is the Kingdom of God, but along the way He wants us to understand that there no idols, no overlords, and us being in positions now of helping and serving; Christ being the Chief Servant. Not to be overlords but to love and show the love of God. That becomes very evident in this story. I grew in that.

We are built on the foundation, on the Rock (1-Cor. 10:4). He's the Head of the Church (Eph. 2:20). To love God and also in our relationships with one another. That's where the 'rubber meets the road.' How you relate to one another, that's how you show the love of God. That was so sorely missing in my journey through those organizations.

God has a purpose for us. He loves us. The last part of Rom. 8:28 says called according to His purpose. He works out everything for those who love Him.

He tests us and proves us along the way. That's all part of the journey, coming out of those organizations. You've got to come out and stand on your own. You have to have that two-year period where you work out your own salvation and you see that it's just you, Christ and God the Father before He can put you back somewhere. It has to happen.

There are so many people who have not had that. It will happen to them. 'If you build it, they'll come.' I think that's what's happening. God is building little places for those to come to. I think we're going to see that in a big way.

  • He wants our election to be sure!
  • He has a purpose for us!
  • He doesn't want any to perish!

All that endure will make it into His kingdom (Matt. 24:13)—endure to the end. Hang in there! That's part of what you learn. So many people have left. They got tired (parable of the sower) and for whatever reason it wasn't sown in their heart.

So, you have ask: Where is that being sown? Is it in my heart? The end result is that God wants to build in us that Holy righteous character, the character of God.

  • How are we doing?
  • How are we processing the journey and the things that come at us?
  • How are we doing?
  • Are we loving one another?

God wants to rule in our heart! He wants to be the One Who rules! We have to build the love of God.

I'll just say this, this has been literally a Godsend to be here in CBCG. Not that the organization is anything great. I'm not idolizing Fred; none of us do. We respect the talents, traits and abilities that God has put in Fred, that God is working with him, and each one of us.

I could go about the room and I could tell you things that are important and special about each one of us. So, He knows us individually and is working personally with us, and He wants a good end. He says, 'I know the purpose that I have for you.'

Isn't that neat? Just think about the calling that we have. What a fantastic calling. See it more crystal clear. See it the way God sees it for us, where we're going. Each individual, not all of us as a whole. We're all going to the same place: the Sea of Glass, the Kingdom of God, the Family of God. But you all have a reward, an individual reward. Each individual person here will have a reward that's different than the other one. That's exciting to me. I'm just so fired up about it.

Thank you for the opportunity, for the love that you show me, and conversion that you have and allowing God's Spirit to work in you. Thanks!

FRED:

Thank you! Appreciate that. I think that if there's any one thing that we're going to cover, it's, as Steve brought out, we have the big picture, we have the individual picture, and it all ties together. It all comes from the Word of God.

We'll cover some of those things and go over the purpose. As Steve said, God has purpose for us in serving the brethren and we will see how important that is.

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Matthew 16:15-19
  • Luke 11:37-52
  • Mark 1:14-15

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Leviticus 23

Also referenced:

  • DVD: Israel of the Alps (produced by Seventh-Day Adventist Church)
  • Book: The Obedience of a Christian Man by William Tyndale (richard-2782.net/obediencechristianman.pdf)

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6/24/16

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Related Links

A Tribute to William Tyndale
The Obedience of a Christian Man

BOOKS