Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
There has been a lot going on here from radio, to working on the Feast of Tabernacles, to working on the magazine, writing articles, to working on the websites, and working with multiple languages.
Bible News Prophecy Magazine
Because of miscommunications, technical problems, and travel, the July-September edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine was delayed. The English version was finalized this week and is to be delivered to our office later today. For those who have asked for more pre-addressed envelopes, they should be added to the mailing to include that magazine, which we plan to do next week.
The online version of the English edition is now available in pdf format: Bible News Prophecy, July-September 2013 edition.
The Spanish edition of the magazine (which is all translated) is expected to go to press next, and then also be available online as well.
After that, for the first time,we expect to have a version of the magazine in Mandarin Chinese! This could be a first for any Church of God. And even if not, I am unaware of any other group that has done this approach this year. Whether we in the Continuing Church of God are first or not, putting materials out in Mandarin Chinese is a door to reach people that were not as reachable before.
Mandarin Chinese has the most native speakers of any language in the world. About one out of every seven people on earth speaks Mandarin Chinese as their native language. We worked with the graphics company on that this week and hopefully it will be ready within the next two weeks (as soon as they finish with the Spanish edition, Mandarin is next).
Spanish actually has the second highest amount of native speakers, and every edition of our magazine has so far been translated into the Spanish language.
English, while not having the greatest number of native speakers (it is third), does have the greatest number of total speakers in the world and is currently the most understood language in the world.
Reaching the World
The amount of people from China who have been reading our materials in English has basically tripled since January. China is a country that seems to be showing more interest in what we are teaching, than they had in the past.
As far as other languages, we currently also have a couple of items at the website in the Tagalog language, which is the primary native language of the Philippines.
We also are looking at putting materials together in Kiswahili. Kiswahili (often just referred to as Swahili) is the native language for many in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Mayotte. We currently have many congregants in several of those countries, and based upon the growth there believe that getting materials in the Kiswahili language is a door that God is opening for us at this time.
As far as doors in English, on July 8, I was again a guest on a syndicated radio program. I was able to bring up matters such as abortion and changes that are happening that will allow the rise of the Beast power.
I had meant to pre-announce this interview last week in the weekly letter for those who would have liked to listen to it, but the Monday date slipped my mind then. I will try to pre-announce one or more other radio interviews in the future if I get a chance. Since I am normally a guest, sometimes I get last-minute invitations, which do not allow for pre-announcement. And when I can, I normally accept interview offers.
We also spent a lot of time this week on internet matters. We added a few links to www.cogwriter.com that should help us better reach people in Asia. We also took steps that will help us better reach people who understand English. We also are looking how to better reach those in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere on the internet.
YouTube Technical Matters
We realize that watching YouTube videos can be problematic, especially if you have a slow internet connection. We are still looking at better ways to handle this. The first move we made, months ago, was to use less megapixels as that was not only a possible problem to view (because of internet speed), but also for us to upload (took over 24 hours to upload one sermon).
Anyway, we have an interim solution for those who would prefer to simply listen to the sermon and sermonette videos.
Basically, if you go to the YouTube link (and we are also trying to put this in other places), click on SHOW MORE related to the description. You will then see something that says, “Download MP3.” Below that is a link to an MP3 file. Most computers (and even some cellular telephones) will allow MP3 files to be downloaded and played.
We went back to the past several sermons and added this. We also are adding it to some of the sermonettes which are on the BibleNewsProphecy YouTube channel.
World News Events
The situations in Egypt (Egypt’s military-backed government orders arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leaders) and Syria remained in the news. Russia’s President Putin warned the West that it may not like what will happen in that region because of its desire to remove Syria’s President Assad (see Russia’s Putin blasts West on Syria and Western media disapproves of his position on homosexuality). Although Vladimir Putin is right about that (and he is right to oppose marriage between homosexuals), the Bible clearly teaches that a power will rise up in the Middle East and North Africa known as the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9). What the West has been doing has been helping facilitate his rise.
Yet, this will rise will result in a plan to destroy the Anglo-nations and the Jewish nation of Israel (Psalm 83) as well as an eventual, but less successful, attack on Europe (Daniel 11:40-43).
Feast of Tabernacles
As a reminder, we have a webpage with information on the Feast of Tabernacles this year. You may wish to view from time to time as we expect to update it with more information as it becomes available: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013.
Please think about where you hope to attend this year and let the coordinator for your Feast site know via email.
- Ndhiwa, Kenya contact Deacon George Otieno, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Whangarei, New Zealand contact John Hickey, email email@example.com
- Santa Maria, California, USA contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have tentatively decided on holding the Feast of Tabernacles in the USA at the Santa Maria Inn, in Santa Maria, California. I sent emails and made telephone calls to them and hope to possibly visit them again this Sunday. More information about that is expected for next week.
If you are considering coming to Santa Maria, California for the Feast of Tabernacles, please email me. I need to decide how large of a room to reserve and have other matters to deal with that hearing from those of you who plan to come will be helpful. Currently, Santa Maria looks to be our smallest Feast site, so those of you in North America (or elsewhere) that plan to attend, please let me know so we will reserve the best possible room for services to meet our needs and size.
Suggested Sabbath Service for July 13, 2013
Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services on July 13, 2013:
- 2-3 hymns (we are using the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG, and in most areas, the Choral Accompaniment).
- Opening prayer.
- Sermonette. Here is a link to one: Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology? There is also information related to this in the new article: The Bible and Astrology. Other sermonettes are also available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- Sermon which for most will be a recorded one titled: The Great Tribulation Will Not Begin Before 2017. There is also information related to this in the new article: When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2013, 2014, or 2015? Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Brethren, there is a lot of work to be done. Remember the words of Jesus:
37…”The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)
And yes, I know I have ended with those verses before, but the need for more laborers still exists.
Brethren you are in my prayers.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God