Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
Greetings during this Holy Day season.
We had two baptisms in our area in the past week, and of course, kept the Passover, and the first Day of Unleavened Bread.
We continue to hear from scattered individuals who had not contacted us in the past.
Someone new to us, on his own, decided to translate a couple of items into the Spanish language and I posted these at www.cogwriter.com yesterday. The two items, in Spanish, were ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes? and ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?
I believe that he will likely eventually translate more items–though I do not know how many, and there are no immediate plans for a magazine in Spanish. But some day, that may happen.
The number of views of our videos on the BibleNewsProphecy YouTube channel has been very encouraging. We now have had over 40,000 video views there. We have also had about 4,000 views on the ContinuingCOG YouTube channel.
Both of those channels began to get videos in January 2013. We are also looking at ways to make the materials more accessible and easier for some to view. We hope to have an announcement on that sometime next month.
In terms of the impact of the two websites (www.cogwriter.com
), this has done well. We have averaged about 7,000 visitors per day this past week. There tends to be increased interest in more doctrinal matters on the internet near the time of the Spring Holy Days and the world’s “substitutes.”
The trend towards greater acceptance of homosexuality in the Anglo-lands continued in the past week. The Supreme Court of the USA is looking at overturning the “Defense of Marriage Act” as well as a proposition in California against homosexual “marriage.” Canada has already legalized homosexual marriage. New Zealand is close to formally allowing homosexual marriage. The UK has passed legislation in that direction and ultimately seems to be moving in that way. Australia is trying to figure out how to handle it, though its states already have some type of “civil union” recognition. Many of the leaders in these nations do not care about biblical warnings related to homosexuality (for details, please see the article The Bible Condemns Homosexuality
The USA put on a display of force this week to attempt to dissuade North Korea from making good on its threat to launch a type of nuclear attack against it (see Syria, North Korea, the USA, and Ronald Weinland
). Although North Korea could not win an all-out war with the USA, it, directly or indirectly, could impact the USA. The public display of force by the USA could persuade North Korea to make a less public attack against the USA and perhaps convince it to do some type of terrorist or other attack.
The USA also took steps to help arm the Syrian opposition this week. As the Bible teaches that Damascus (Syria’s capital) will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1) and the King of the South will form (Daniel 11:40-43), it is likely that the USA’s decision will impact end time prophecy.
Suggested Service Format for March 29, 2013
Here is my suggested format for Sabbath services for March 29, 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: Is Russia the King of the North? (there is a related article here Is Russia the King of the North? for those who prefer the written word over the video or who may wish to refer back to this source as the sermonette is based on this article).
- Announcements (such as parts of this letter) and one hymn.
- Sermon titled Why Easter? (there is a related article here: Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? for those who prefer the written word over the video or who may wish to refer back to this source as the sermon is based on this article).
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Similar to last week, I hope to send out another letter late Saturday (Pacific Daylight Time) with a suggested service format for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread.
During these days of unleavened bread, remember to have at least a small amount of unleavened bread each day and understand your need to live an unleavened life based upon sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8).
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God