GOD WORKS IN MANY WAYS HIS TRUTHS TO PROCLAIM
I want you to come with me back to the middle 1960s. I was a
young man in my early 20s and a member of the Worldwide Church of
God, led by Herbert Armstrong. One of the teachings we
appreciated was the truth about God's Festivals (Leviticus 23) as
contrasted to the festivals observed by the rest of Christianity.
We knew of no other church organization that observed them. As
the WCG (Worldwide Church of God) grew, so did HWA's (Herbert W.
Armstrong) vanity and individualism. He taught and wrote, that he
and his wife discovered the Festivals of Leviticus 23, and for a
number of year kept them by themselves. He taught that finally
his organization were the only ones observing those festivals.
Years later I found out that all those points were
incorrect! Even out and out lies, to put it bluntly.
There were OTHER ministers and people in the Church of God,
Seventh Day, that he was a minister for, who agreed with him that
the Festivals of Leviticus 23 should be observed today by New
Testament Christians. And they did observe those festivals with
HWA and his wife Loma.
Of course by the time he was writing all that he wrote on
the observing of the Festivals, he was out of the Church of God,
Seventh Day, and heading his own organization. Most of us in the
WCG in the 1960s did not even know the Church of God, Seventh Day,
even existed. Hence it was not too hard to convince us that he,
Herbert Armstrong, was the one God had chosen to RESTORE the
observance of the Festivals of Leviticus 23.
It was somewhere about 1966 that an article appeared in the
membership WCG magazine called "The Good News" - written by
Charles Dorothy (a Greek and Hebrew scholar teaching in
Ambassador College, the WCG's main College, Passadena,
California). He had been sent down to South America, with another
minister from the WCG to talk with and baptize some individuals.
While there they discovered some "church groups" in the hills and
valleys of South America (I do not remember which country it was,
and for this article, it is not important) who WERE OBSERVING the
Festivals of Leviticus 23. This was EXCITING!!
Charles Dorothy arrived back at Passadena with the news, and
he was told to write an article about this discovery for the
"Good News" magazine. I well remember reading it (though I do not
have that issue any more). It was exiting for all the members of
the WCG at that time. And HWA had not yet gone completely out in
left field with his vanity.
But after that article appeared in that particular issue,
everything went SILENT about those people. Not one more word was
EVER WRITTEN or SPOKEN about them!
Now come with me to 1986, about 20 years later. I had left
the WCG long before that year, way back in 1972. I was pastoring
a small group near Toronto, and we were observing the Feast of
Tabernacles, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The group there was
connected with Kenneth Westby (who had left the WCG about
By 1986, Charles Dorothy had been "kicked out" of the WCG
for not "towing the line." He had married Ken Westby's sister.
Charles Dorothy was also with us at Harrisburg. I had read his
studies, but never personally met him until that Feast of
Tabernacles. He had been very mentally and emotionally abused by
the WCG in the 1980s.
He was a very fine man, very down to earth, very humble, and
just really nice to get to know (he is resting in the sleep of
death now). I had with me at that Feast, the Greek/English and
Hebrew/English Interlinears by J.P.Green. Charles noticed them
and looked at me and said, "You know Keith, that could have been
my name on them. I wanted to do those Hebrew and Greek
Internilears, but the WCG would not let me (he was meaning of
course HWA would not allow him to write them). Charles was a very
fine Christian man, I remember him with warmth and love.
I had never forgotten that article he had written in the
Good News magazine about those groups in South America who were
observing the Feasts of Leviticus 23. Here was my chance to ask
him, "Charles, remember those groups you discovered in South
America, back in the 60s. Why, after that one article you wrote,
did we not hear another single word about them?"
His reply with a slight smile on his face, "Keith, I was
sent back to them, to ask them if they would accept Herbert W.
Armstrong as God's end-time 'apostle.' They looked at me in
wonderment and said, 'Who is Herbert Armstrong?' They told me in
kind word to 'get lost.'"
Now Charles Dorothy, did not know how they came to be
observing the Feasts of Leviticus 23. They had NEVER HEARD of the
WCG and Herbert Armstrong.
It was some years after 1986 that I came to know HOW those
groups in South America were teaching and observing the
Festivals of God. It was through a man called Richard Nickels
(also now sleeping in death) - a one time member of the WCG.
Richard is the man who founded "Giving and Sharing" that I
believe is still functioning. Richard when living, did more
research into Church of God, Seventh Day history than probably
any man has ever done. He wrote books on Church of God, Seventh
Richard discovered that way back in the very early 1900s,
before HWA was ever on the scene, before he was even a member of
the Church of God, Seventh Day, let alone a minister, a minister
in the Seventh Day Adventist church, discovered by reading his
Bible, that indeed the New Testament Church of God, observed the
Festivals. He wrote a study on the topic of observing the Feasts
of Leviticus 23. His study was even published around the world in
the SDA magazine "Signs of the Times." Well most of the SDA
church basically ignored the study, just did not take it too
seriously. BUT some SDA churches in South America DID TAKE THE
STUDY SERIOUSLY! They agreed that the Festivals of Leviticus 23
SHOULD be observed by the Church today. THEY STARTED TO OBSERVE
Finally those South American SDA churches WITHDREW from the
SDA organization, and became INDEPENDENT churches.
Then in the middle 1960s comes Charles Dorothy from the WCG,
and discovers them and tells us all about them in that one Good
News article he wrote.
Now I'll go a little further. In the 1980s I came across a
little book published by the SDA church to show the differences
between the SDA church and the WCG church. In one chapter they
talk about the WCG teaching (now the WCG of the 21st century does
not teach this) the observance of the Festivals of Leviticus 23.
They mention that this is not a "new" teaching per se. They give
the account of a black man working on the trains in the latter
part of the 1800s. He read his Bible all the time he could. He
came to see that the Festivals of God should be observed today.
He preached and informed others accordingly. He was responsible
for bringing MANY other black people to this knowledge and
During the latter part of the 1960s I was talking to one of
our local WCG members AFTER the Feast of Tabernacles, who had
gone to a different WCG location than most of the rest of us went
to, that particular year. The WCG had "ex" number of Feast sites,
not very many back then for North America, very few indeed. Our
member had stopped to fill up his car at a gas station. Then
another car pulls in to fill up also. Out gets a number of black
folks and they are talking about going to observe the Feast of
Tabernacles ... BUT at a location that our member had never heard
of, a location that was NOT a WCG Feast site!
None of us knew what to think about that occurrence. I stuck
it in the back of my memory for future times. The future time was
in the middle 1980s when I had that little book from the SDA
church who told about this black fellow on the trains, reading
his Bible, and coming to see the Feasts of the Lord ARE for US
Then there is the fact and truth that when HWA was starting
to preach for the Church of God, Seventh Day, other of their
ministers also agreed with Herbert about observing the Feasts of
the Lord. Some of them moved into the "Sacred Name" teaching,
left the Church of God, Seventh Day, and started the number of
groups we have today called "Sacred Name." Those number of groups
(they split off from each other over the years, one reason being
they could not agree HOW the so-called Sacred Name of God should
be pronounced in English or even Hebrew) total many thousands,
and do observe the Seventh Day Sabbath, and the Seven Annual Feasts
of the Lord, as outlined in Leviticus 23.
Ah .... it was FAR FROM the Plain Truth that HWA preached
about for many decades as to WHO was observing the Feasts of the
Lord. There WERE many OTHERS of his time who taught and observed
them. There were many in other parts of the world, like South
America, who taught and observed them BEFORE he, Herbert W.
Armstrong, came along to also teach and observe them.
God has always been WORKING, in all parts of the world, for
two thousand years of the New Testament Church of God, to
proclaim to Bible readers, that HE HAS HIS FESTIVALS FOR HIS
CHILDREN TO OBSERVE. As king Solomon wisely said, "There is
nothing new under the sun." It's all there. It's always been
there, it just needs to be RESTORED every so often, because men
tend to FORGET and PERVERT the faith that was once delivered to
Written October 2007