Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
What a week this has been!
Bible News Prophecy Magazine
At the beginning of the week, the English version of Bible News Prophecy magazine was mailed out to subscribers.
The Spanish language version of Bible News Prophecy magazine was finalized and is to be printed, and put on one of our websites. It was slightly delayed because we wanted to put a new URL on the front and back covers.
The Mandarin Chinese version of Bible News Prophecy magazine is being finalized, to later be put on one of our websites, printed, and mailed.
Translations of the Bible News Prophecy magazine in Tagalog are in progress.
We also now are looking at getting the October-December 2013 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine translated into the language of 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.
Additionally, we were asked this week if we would consider putting together a Telugu language version Bible News Prophecy magazine for the 74 million or so in India who read that language. We have agreed to do so. Presuming that we receive the translation of the October-December 2013 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine into Telugu back in time (and it is not yet been put together in English yet), we expect to have this available in the Fall of 2013.
Reaching the World
Telugu has the thirteenth most native speakers of any language in the world. By having many of our materials in Telugu and English this should better help us reach people in India (India is the second most populous nation in the world).
Speaking of India, the website www.ccog.in went live this week. While it currently looks pretty much the same as our English-language website www.ccog.org, it is our intent to have information in Telugu, and perhaps also later some in Hindi (the Hindi language has the fifth highest number of native speakers).
Mandarin Chinese has the most native speakers of any language in the world (and China is the most populous nation on earth). About one out of every seven people on earth speaks Mandarin Chinese as their native language. More information was added to the related website, www.ccog.asia, this week.
Spanish has the second highest amount of native speakers in the world. Spanish is the official language of twenty countries. More information was put online this week in the Spanish language. We are still working on a separate Spanish language website, URL www.cdlidd.es (it is currently only slightly functional). That URL is an abbreviation for Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios, which is a translation into Spanish of the “Continuing Church of God.”
English, while not having the greatest number of native speakers (it is third in the world), does have the greatest number of total speakers in the world and is currently the most understood language in the world. English is the official language of 54 countries and 27 non-sovereign entities. Additionally, it has become the language of international trade and even international pilots (amongst others) are required to learn it.
As far as doors in English, twice in July 2013, I was a guest on a syndicated radio program (on around 60 stations worldwide, plus the internet). According to the program host, I was able to reach millions this month with the Church of God message. As I have been on radio each month this year, according to his numbers, over one million people have been reached every month in 2013. We also have a radio idea that we expect to try in about six months to try to reach other audiences.
We also spent a lot of time this week on internet matters. We also added a few links to www.cogwriter.com and other sites 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 looked at how to better reach those in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere on the internet.
Since it was necessary for the Continuing Church of God to form on 12/28/12, over 2,600,000 of our articles/pages have been viewed on the internet. We had over 600,000 cumulative monthly unique visitors since we formed. According to AWstats (which was down at least three times this year, so it has under-counted certain periods) we have had visitors from at least 223 countries/territories connect with our materials at our websites.
As of yesterday 1,341 per day have subscribed to and receive our electronic Church of God News e-zine.
Never before in the history of Church of God has any group reached so many with so little money by so few.
But some scoffed at the beginning of the efforts of the Continuing Church of God and others have discounted and/or despised what we have accomplished.
Yet, the Bible teaches:
1 ‘Behold, you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you.’ (Acts 13:41)
6 ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
YouTube Technical Matters
Of course we want to reach more than we have, and we will (cf. Matthew 24;14).
So to make that easier for some, as mentioned last week, if you have a slow internet connection, you can now simply listen to the YouTube 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 sermonettes and added this audio file.
World News Events
Despite the goings on in Egypt, there are still calls for an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East as one Imam called for that amid cries of from his supporters of “Down with peaceful solutions” (see Imam calls for Islamic empire and warns Obama). The reality is that the Bible foretells the rise of a leader called the King of the South who rules lands that are currently predominantly Islamic (cf. Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9). So, this type of leader will rise up.
Over in the West, the homosexual agenda moved forward in England and Wales this week with “royal assent” of homosexual ‘marriage’ (see Royal Assent given, England and Wales to have homosexual ‘marriage’).
Related to the Middle East, top military generals in the UK and USA announced that their governments may launch attacks into Syria to prevent various ones (including rebels that both those nations have claimed to support) from getting access to Syria’s chemical weapons (UK and USA reportedly considering invading Syria because of chemical weapons concerns). The Bible teaches that Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1) and military action is likely to be the cause.
The German press reported that former USA President Jimmy Carter who stated that it was his view that “America has no functioning democracy.” He also said that the moral authority of of the U.S. has sharply declined due to excessive restriction of civil rights (see International survey reflects rise of China’s power and influence, and some USA issues.).
Things are changing in the Anglo-descended nations and many of those changes are not good.
Feast of Tabernacles
As mentioned before, we have a webpage with information on the Feast of Tabernacles this year. You may wish to view from time to time as we updated it with more information this week: 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 received a request from the Philippines to try to provide Feast of Tabernacles’ services there this week. We now tentatively plan to do this. And for several of the days, as well as possibly the Day of Atonement, we hope this will be a live feed or live Skype there. More is expected to be reported about this later.
There also is expected to be an affiliated Feast of Tabernacles’ site in southern India. If you are not currently part of the group there, but now may wish to attend, please email me (email@example.com) for more information.
We finalized the decision this week on holding the Feast of Tabernacles in the USA at the Santa Maria Inn, in Santa Maria, California (about 160 miles north of Los Angeles). I was able to go and view the site on Sunday, but have not yet signed a contract for which of the meeting rooms. If you plan to attend in Santa Maria we do need to hear from you.
If you are considering coming to Santa Maria, California for the Feast of Tabernacles, please email me. 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 20, 2013
Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services on July 20, 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 our latest one: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy? There is also information related to this in the new article: Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy. 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 Christian Success (while this is not the subject of a full written article yet, a scriptural outline exists: Christian Success Outline; also some reading of the old The Seven Laws of Success booklet was also included in the sermon). Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Have a great and uplifting Sabbath.
Brethren you are in my prayers.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God