Cartwright’s Journal Out: Roy Hammer, Shirley Armstrong, Sacred names, BI, Salvation, and Prophecy


The latest issue (says #166 September-October 2014) of The Journal was sent out electronically and just received.

Some of its main articles were titled: Hammer family’s history parallels the RCG/WCG’s, Friends and family members fondly remember Shirley Armstrong during her memorial in Texas, Hebrew scholar urges ‘balance’ in sacred name, Two books take two different BI tack, and Church of God Knoxville finds its man, and Don’t throw prophecy out with the bathwater.

The Hammer family article was probably the most information in terms of bringing out information that many had would be unaware of:

Sometime in 1946 Roy Hammer, then 48, heard a man speaking on his car radio who caught his interest. At first he thought he was hearing the voice of a news broadcaster. The voice belonged to the then-54- year-old Church of God Oregon Conference minister, Herbert Armstrong, who only a year earlier had moved from Eugene, Ore., to Pasadena, Calif.

It wasn’t long before Roy Hammer began his financial support of the Pasadena-based ministry of the Radio Church of God, even though his children chided him for sending money to someone he did not know and to a place he had never seen. …

Buck Hammer, the oldest of the eight children, tried to warn his father. “We told him, ‘You are sending your money off and you don’t know what is happening to it,’ ” Buck told T HE J OURNAL in 2002. “One day Dad said to Mother [Roy’s wife, Pearl, who lived into her 90s in Tyler, T exas], ‘I’m going to Pasadena. If you want to go, you better get ready.’ That was in 1948.” …

Buck Hammer, who lived in retirement in Gladewater and attended services of the United Church of God until his death, in 2002 related the story of how in 1948 he had just sold a skating rink in Big Sandy and married Jean Burgess. With no job to hold him back and a new bride who was willing to travel, the younger Mr. Hammer told his father he would drive the family to California. So in November of that year the four made the trip to check out the Radio Church of God’s headquarters. “Dad, Mother, Jean [who died in 1995] and I went to Pasadena,” Mr. Hammer said. “When we drove out there, there wasn’t much going on. No one knew us, and we didn’t know who they were. They were kind of standoffish.“ But Mr. Armstrong walked out of the library building on campus and began conducting a campus tour for the Hammers. …

“Mr. Armstrong sort of took us in hand. He took us to lunch and showed us the town. He was making that ’48 Chrysler of his do what I didn’t know a Chrysler could do.” Mr. Hammer was impressed with Mr. Armstrong, but he was heard to comment privately to his family, “This isn’t much of a college.“ Learning about the feasts After their 1948 trip, the Hammers learned about the feast days of Leviticus 23, so in 1949 Roy and Pearl Hammer traveled to Belknap Springs, Ore., for their first Feast of Tabernacles observance.  …

Meanwhile, back in Gladewater the church was growing. By the spring of ’51 enough church mem- bers were active in East Texas that they needed a local location for the annual Passover service. So the members met in Roy and Pearl Hammer’s residence in Gladewater. “I don’t remember how many people we had that first year,” Buck Hammer told this writer. “Some reports stated there were 13 at the first Passover service. The second year we had 89 people, and there were people in every room. …

At the Feast of Tabernacles in 1952 in Siegler Springs, Mr. Armstrong saw that, with continuing growth, the church would need a larger festival location for the next year. Mr. Hammer remembered his dad having long telephone conversations with Mr. Armstrong and that Mr. Armstrong commissioned the father- son Hammer team to find a suitable facility near Gladewater for the Feast in 1953. The Hammers located three possible sites, so Mr. Armstrong made a trip to Texas to inspect them. …

During their discussions Buck Hammer informed Mr. Armstrong that he owned property near Big Sandy, a small town in Upshur County, 10 miles west of Gladewater. “Mr. Armstrong didn’t find exactly what he was looking for, so I said, ‘I will give you a piece of land.’ We went and took a look and he said, ‘Yes, this is what I like,’ because he liked the rolling hills and streams.” Over the years many people have credited Buck’s father, Roy Hammer, with donating the original Big Sandy property to the Radio Church of God. But that’s not the way it happened. The original 10 to 15 acres that served as a Feast location and eventually the core of the Ambassador College campus came from Buck Hammer, who was 29 at the time. Buck made the donation just after the Passover in 1952. The church bought two adjoining parcels of land that same year. …

By 1961 Mr. Armstrong had bought an additional 600 acres surrounding the original 10 or 15 that Buck Hammer had donated. Roy Hammer and a crew that included his son continued year-round improvements and additions to the property to accommodate the spring and fall influxes of church members. The elder Mr. Hammer died in 1962, and Buck took over the responsibilities of overseeing the church property.

Many have claimed that Roy Hammer donated the property, whereas the above article states that it was his son Buck who donated what became the Big Sandy campus of the old Ambassador College.

Here is some information related to Shirley Armstrong’s funeral:

GLADEWATER, Texas—Shirley Armstrong, widow of Garner Ted Armstrong and daughter-in-law of Herbert W. Arm- strong, was fondly remembered by family and friends Oct. 22, 2014, at her funeral here. Officiating was Mrs. Armstrong’s brother- in-law, David Antion of Pasadena, Calif. Mrs. Armstrong, 79, was most recently a resident of Bullard, near Tyler, Texas.

She died at home Oct. 17 after an extended illness. Since her husband’s death, in 2003, she, with the help of her sons Mark, David and Matthew and other church members, continued her husband’s ministry in the form of the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association and the Intercontinental Church of God, both based in Flint, also near Tyler. Much of the information in this article is from the two printed pro- grams provided by the ICG and Croley Funeral Home of Gladewater.

…she married Garner Ted Armstrong, on March 8, 1953… Mrs. Armstrong was the mother of three boys, two of whom, David and Matthew, were born profoundly deaf.

Here is some information from the article Hebrew scholar urges ‘balance’ in sacred name:

HAWKINS, Texas—Church of God members of the “He- brew roots” persuasion— those interested in “Hebraic studies”—can go too far in their use of the “sacred names.” So said a Church of God lecturer on what he calls a balanced approach to the use of the Hebrew names for God and Jesus. Herb Solinsky of Carrollton, Texas, former Worldwide Church of God member who grew up in a Jewish family in New York City, spoke to a gathering of the East Texas Fellowship

I agree that many go too far regarding sacred names, and have yet to see any sacred name group have significant impact in proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom which Jesus said His true end time followers would do (Matthew 24:14).   More on names can be found in the following articles:

Why the Names Jesus and Christ in English? Was the New Testament Written in Hebrew or Greek? Various groups believe that the name Jesus should not be used, but instead other pronunciations and spellings. This is an article by the late evangelist John Ogwyn, addresses this “sacred name” issue, as well as if the New Testament was written in Hebrew or Greek.
God’s Names and the Jewish Reading Tradition This article by John Wheeler, addresses this, as well as a few other Hebrew and Greek points.
Yahweh and Sacred Names This article by Wyatt Ciesielka, addresses this issue that is sometimes raised.
Sacred Names: Appropriate or Required? This article contains a question with a response from Norman Edwards about these names.
Worldwide Assembly of Yahweh This is what I’d call a sacred name group.

The front page of The Journal  had an article titled Two books take two different BI tack.  This was about two different views on the tribes of Israel and whether/how they have connections to the British descended peoples.  Here are some articles and sermons that provide documentation and scriptures on that:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?

Related to the article titled Church of God Knoxville finds its man, The Journal wrote “Elder teaches that Jesus is not God and everyone will be saved,” though the author of the article took a stand against him. Some biblical and historical articles on the Godhead include the following:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Matthew Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 seemingly list two different genealogies for Jesus. Why?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
What is the Holy Spirit? This is an article by Rod Reynolds.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.

It should also be noted that while we in the Continuing Church of God believe that God will offer salvation to all, we do not believe that all will be saved, only most.  There are hundreds of scriptures about all of this:

Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love  and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.

Another article in The Journal was  by Ray E. Daly and titled Don’t throw prophecy out with the bathwater. That article stated:

LINCOLN, N.D.—For most of the readers of THE JOURNAL prophecy played an important role in their becoming members of the Worldwide Church of God. …

Since the church did not flee to a place of safety, the teaching was changed to a preparing of the church for the return of the Son of Man. As a result, the attitude of believers sort of lost the context of what it meant to flee. They may believe that the church will be protected in a place of safety. But they do not see themselves as a part of it. In reality, they do not really, any longer, see themselves as having a real part in such fleeing. But there will be a fleeing prior to the return of the Son of Man.

The Almighty will not carry out His plans for the future unless He first has His prophets explain the future to His called-out peoples.

First, the “Church” did NOT change its teaching about the place of safety.  Yet. many Laodicean groups did, perhaps starting with groups like the original CGI.

Second, it is true that most in the Church of God do not view prophecy as they should.  They have, sadly, become lukewarm as Jesus prophesied (Revelation 3:14-22).

Third, the prophetic message does go out from one of God’s prophets and his supporters now.  However, most have not paid enought attention to that.

Some items and articles related to subjects Ray E. Daly alluded to include:

There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety?  Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
This is PETRA! This is a 1962 Good News article by the late Dr. Hoeh.
Why Prophecy? To keep us vigilant and to realize that the world will not end this year Some question or downplay the role of prophecy. This article gives some of the biblical reasons what it is important and explains why the world cannot end (the Great Tribulation will not start) until 3 1/2 years from an event that will occur.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?

Also in The Journal there were the usual letters to the editor and other advertisements, various comments, and opinion articles.

The Journal itself is available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions are free to those who cannot afford it) and often tends to take a non-Philadelphian era view of certain church matters.

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