Sabbath 17/12/30/120

Dear Friends,

This Sabbath is in the month of Adar in the build-up to the New Year. I will go over a message we sent out just after Pentecost four years ago on 11/3/27/120. It deals with the ‘errors’ of the Hillel calendar and shows just how twisted the Hillel calendar is and how the Churches of God that follow it are never correct. In that year, which was the sixth year of the previous Sabbath cycle, they had postponed Pentecost in the Churches of God because the Passover was out on their calendar due to intercalations and postponements. This year, it is over a month out due to the Babylonian intercalation system adopted by the Jews in 358 CE.

The Armstrong offshoots in that year followed the Jews and postponed the Feasts and Lord’s Supper. They then had to postpone Pentecost itself. They did not follow the Jews as the Jews kept Pentecost on Sivan 6, which is wrong, and the offshoots know it is wrong. So, if they don’t follow the Jews over Pentecost, how do they justify following them with the Babylonian postponements when God says clearly not to follow these false religions? If they had been alive in 30 CE they would have been a week late for Pentecost. The Holy Spirit would have been given and they would have been too late. We know for a fact that many in UCG and LCG and in the independents read the Sabbath messages most weeks, and follow the papers and learn from them, yet they cannot bring themselves to ”bite the bullet” and keep the right Feasts and Holy Days. This year, they will be a month and two days out. Atonement will be a month out and so will Trumpets and Pentecost, and they will keep the Feast in the eighth month, which was condemned by God. The Jews did not have the Oracles of God and so the brethren are not excused from this sin (see the papers Jeroboam and the Hillel Calendar (No.191) and The Oracles of God (No. 184)).

In that message it was said that:
“It is a sad matter that we see the Churches of God being so badly damaged over the years by false teaching and false teachers. It should be a matter of determining the historical doctrines of the true Churches of God over the centuries. If Christ was correct about the gates of death not prevailing against the Church, and that he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, it should follow that the churches have followed more or less the same doctrines over the centuries. These should be identifiable. The Churches of God should also be identifiable by those same doctrines. Errors and deviations should also be identifiable, as should be the times and people involved for causing those deviations.

The Churches of God are like the moon. They wax and wane in understanding. Some understand more than others and are more faithful to the truth. There is, however, at any one time a Church of God that holds the authority or the lamp-stand of its time. That Church is empowered to perform the duties and the tasks of the Church until it has its lamp-stand removed through unacceptable error in teaching the doctrine and Mysteries of God.

At the end of what we term the Thyatiran era, in which the Waldensian Sabbatarian churches in Europe held sway, there were also remnants of the Pergamos era still operating in Asia Minor. We have explained the movements of those groups in the papers General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) and also in the work The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170). The success of the Thyatiran era was so great that the existence of the Trinitarian church was threatened before its allocated time at the end of this age. Thus the Trinitarians had to reorganise and force a Reformation to correct the excesses of the Roman system, which in turn forced its own counter-reformation and the edicts of the Council of Trent.

Once the Reformation was in place, the Church of God then was again ruthlessly suppressed by the so-called Protestants of Europe. However, the recruiting base was limited because the excesses of the unmarried Roman priests had been curtailed, and the monasteries had been reduced and with them the excesses they assisted.

The next era came into being through the Sabbath-keeping churches in Europe that also spread into the Americas. This era we understand as the Sardis era. It saw some persecution but not a lot. The removal of the Huguenots and the Palatine Germans was often a Roman-Protestant Trinitarian war. However, the earlier moves out of France were often of what were termed non-conformists, who were actually Sabbatarian remnants of the earlier Thyatiran Waldensians in Southern France and Northern Italy.

The Seventh Day Baptist movement commenced the Sardis system. The Waldensians, once they had the Reformation occur, capitulated and accepted without duress what they withstood under the most unspeakable persecutions. The Italian Waldensians as a movement largely became Protestant and Sunday worshippers. The Anabaptists and Lollards formed what became the nucleus of the Seventh Day Baptists, who were Unitarians. All Sabbath-keepers were Unitarians over the centuries from the early Church. The disease of Binitarianism and its logical brother, Trinitarianism, entered the Church in most cases from the US and its offshoots. To this day, the Seventh Day Baptists in the International Conference are still nominally Unitarian, although they are infested with people who believe all sorts of composite theories, and also Sabellians are admitted as well. Sabellians are those who believe there is only one God but that God was Jesus Christ. They do not acknowledge the Father as the One True God. Some Messianic Jews fall into this category. In the US conferences, the Seventh Day Baptists had finally become Trinitarian, and that influence is moving to overwhelm the international churches also.

Out of this early system emerged what was to become the Churches of God. The Advent movement had two elements to it. Both elements were Unitarian, but one was to become involved in the utterances of a woman named Ellen G. White. They were ultimately to espouse vegetarianism as an encouraged view and then, after the death of Uriah Smith, from 1931 they became slowly infiltrated and adopted Trinitarianism. The other element became the Church of God and that group was to form the Church of God (Seventh Day). That group split from 1933. Andrew Dugger was to become the mentor of Herbert Armstrong, who was a subordinate minister of the Oregon Conference until 1940 when he was removed. He fell into dispute for trying to introduce the Jewish Hillel system into the Church. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were originally formed from the Churches of God and that is why it also is Unitarian, but does nothing else in relation to the Law and the Testimony.

The Church of God (Seventh Day) was a Unitarian church in all conferences and their ministers were credentialed as Unitarians, but their theology was badly developed and their history was not clearly delineated. The more academically idle of the ministry drifted into opportunism. Unfortunately for the Churches of God, that combination was also to include Herbert Armstrong, who was ambitious and understood the power of advertising and the sell of the early twentieth century. Many were taken in by this new approach and the tailored selling package that was developed in the Radio Church of God, which later became the Worldwide Church of God. The WCG had a doctrinal statement in its advanced Bible Correspondence Course that was in fact Unitarian, and clearly stated that Eloah was the God of the Church, and that this singular entity had become elohim. The problem was that despite the fact that this doctrine was clearly enshrined in their major study course, none of the ministry really understood the ramifications of what they were teaching and doing. Many had not left their Trinitarianism behind in spite of their protestations of repentance from this error.

The Church of God (Seventh Day) meanwhile continued on in their split and never developed the theology in any clearly defined way in either faction. It was not until 1995, however, that the Denver Conference really began to examine what they believed in any serious way, and by 1999 they had decided and declared their Binitarianism through the Bible Advocate. They were warned that this would happen some years beforehand.

Much of the problem that comes with the calendar issues is often a direct result of idolatry, and that is one of the major reasons that the WCG under Herbert Armstrong fell into the errors of the Hillel system. Because they had an idolatrous error they did not keep the Feasts on the right days, postponing them as do the post-Temple Jews.

Now, to explain the importance of the problem we must examine the Binitarian error. This doctrine says that there is one God who was both father and son. The son came down to earth and was sacrificed while the element that was the father remained in heaven. This doctrine has been explained in a Ditheist way in some Churches of God. They contend that there were two true gods who existed from before the beginning of creation. One of these two decided to come down and be the son of the other and to be sacrificed and resurrected. Now this version of the doctrine is actually theologically sillier and more blasphemous than the Binitarian version. That view is advanced by many of the Armstrongite offshoots and they do not realise, or seemingly care, about its origins as a late development of the former Binitarian doctrine. The Binitarian doctrine is actually the doctrine of the worship of a pagan god named Attis in the west and from Rome, and Adonis among the Greeks.

The worshippers of Attis taught that God was a single entity comprised of two elements of father and son. The son came down and was the castrated lover of Cybele. He descended into hell on the Friday after his death on the “unhappy tree,” as the Greeks called the stake at that time. He was resurrected on the Sunday (by intervention of the goddess) and ascended into heaven. Sound familiar? It should be familiar. It is what Trinitarian Christianity worships as Christ crucified. This festival was called Easter, by the Anglo-Saxons in honour of the Goddess whose festival it was. Easter is the name of Istar or Astarte, or Ashtoreth, the consort of Baal, which name simply means “lord”. Anicetus, in 154 CE, introduced this festival into the Roman Church, after he became bishop of Rome. He was opposed in this by Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and disciple of John. In ca. 192 CE Victor, after he had become bishop of Rome, forced a schism of the Church. Polycrates, disciple of Polycarp, opposed him. This forced us into a schism with the church based in Rome and we have never been with them since that date. The schism is detailed in the paper The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277).
This doctrine is the doctrine of Anti-Christ detailed in The Statement of Beliefs of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (A1) (1.5.2):

“The doctrine of Antichrist is stated in 1John 4:1-2. The correct ancient text for 1John 4:1-2 is reconstructed from Irenæus, Chapter 16:8 (ANF, Vol. 1, fn. p. 443).
Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God; and every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of God but is of Antichrist.
Socrates the historian says (VII, 32, p. 381) that the passage had been corrupted by those who wished to separate the humanity of Jesus Christ from his divinity.”

The priests in Rome had developed this doctrine into Modalism, and then it became the Binitarianism of the Council of Nicea in 325 CE. Trinitarianism was not developed until the Cappadocians developed it for the Council of Constantinople in 381 CE, after the Spanish born Theodosius had become Emperor and ordered the Council, where it was more or less adopted. It was formalised by the Council of Chalcedon ca. 451 CE.

Thus, Binitarianism is the true doctrine of the pagans developed for introduction to Roman Christianity at Nicea in 325 CE.

By the arrival of the fourth century, the priests of Attis were all complaining bitterly that the Roman Christians had stolen all their doctrines. This syncretism has gone on unabated for centuries. Opposition to it has been persecuted. The various papers on the topic of the nature of God and the Church are in The Bible Study Program (B1).

In order to get the Churches of God back to using pure doctrine, God has scattered the systems that had been corrupted, and has raised organisations that will adhere to the true doctrines of the Church of God once delivered to the saints.

We were amused to see one of the reports from Pentecost this week, where an officer of one of the Churches of God came to us for the Feast of Pentecost, as his church has gone so far in the race into error that they have adopted Trinitarianism and Sunday worship so completely, that they no longer have any services on Sabbath. He is left sitting there with no worship and no services, and he has to face the re-examination of all that he learned. He came out of Catholicism decades ago and is simply amazed that they are all rushing back into it and calling it ‘progress’.

We were also encouraged [in that week of Pentecost in 27/120] by one of the Churches of God that has remained more or less Unitarian over all the attacks on doctrine last century, and has asked to cooperate with us in the restoration of the doctrines of the Churches of God. They are moving to adopt the Calendar more fully. No doubt more will come of that as we discuss the matters. Our doctrines on the nature of God are used far and wide now, and a number of denominations use the works in their theological courses and universities.

The nature of God is no minor issue. It is the central pivotal point of the Law and the Testimony. If you do not have that right, you have nothing right. Ditheism and Binitarianism are idolatry and you had better believe that fact [see the papers Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127) and The Original Doctrines of the Christian Faith (No. 088)].

The calendar of the Church of God is the Temple Calendar, and is based on the conjunctions, as we know full well from history. Only in the twentieth century has it degenerated into the Judaising farce it now is, based on the Hillel system, and one that the rabbis themselves acknowledge as wrong. They themselves are waiting on Messiah to correct it. The Church has done it correctly for centuries because we did not adopt the Hillel system, at least not until Herbert Armstrong.

Each of us has an obligation to identify the Body of Christ and then work for it. The Christian Churches of God has identified the doctrines and has restored the doctrines of the true Churches of God. To our knowledge, there is no one else doing the work as we are doing it. If there is such a body, let us know and we will work with them. If they are doing more than we are, we will go and support them. Christ is not divided, and those who cause division in the Church of God are to be marked. Give your ways to the Lord and he will establish your thoughts (Prov. 16:3).

Love one another and love God with all your heart and your entire mind and all your soul. For us there is one God who is Father of all, and by whom are all things, and we (exist) in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all and we through him (1Corinthians 8:6).”

This message is as relevant now as it was then and even more so because the brethren are being led astray, and the teachings of the ministry have become more irrational and deceitful in trying to overcome the rational objections of the brethren that actually study the word of God and its historical implementation.

We see ministers use argument against keeping the New Moons that is similar in logic to the arguments used by Trinitarians in keeping Sunday. We see them also referring to Zechariah 14:16-19 and using the same argument in other churches not to keep the Feasts. One strange chap says that the Feast in Zechariah will not be kept because the whole population of the world could not fit into Jerusalem. Zechariah is quite clear that the nations are to send their representatives to Jerusalem each year for the Feasts and if they don’t the nations will starve to death and die of the plagues of Egypt. I had one SDA minister abused me at a “Friends of the Sabbath” Conference and accuse me of being Hitler when I delivered the paper Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170) to that conference. He said that I was Hitler and I wanted to kill people when I referred to the text. I replied: “My friend, I did not write the Bible. God wrote it and Scripture cannot be broken”.

The Bible is quite clear on the Calendar (see the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156)). The brethren are required to keep it and that includes the New Moons, and not according to the Babylonian postponements.

In 1994, a minister of WCG said to me regarding the fact that CCG keeps the New Moons: “Yes, I have always thought we should be keeping them”. Yet he does not keep them, and never has, and teaches others not to do so.

If you follow the Hillel Calendar, ask your minister: “Why are we postponing the month this month when there is no reason to intercalate in 2007/2008 under the Bible rules?” If he says it is because the Jews do it then you have your answer as to where you should be. Leave and keep the Passover and Feasts on the right days, free of postponements and the Babylonian system of intercalation.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General