Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
Greeting from the Five Cities area of California.
“2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 2-4).
We have heard from various scattered ones, and even had a visitor attend Sabbath services here from the Peoples’ Republic of China last week.
In the past four months, we have reached hundreds of thousands of people from a total of at least 210 different countries/territories on the internet, plus millions of people on radio.
Speaking of the internet, next week we hope to begin our first funded internet campaign to reach out to more in the world.
The Final Phase of the Work
A major reason that I believe that God caused events leading to the formation of the Continuing Church of God was for us to lead what I have long called “the final phase of the work.” I have put together a detailed article on this, and it is also the subject of the recommended sermon for today.
Feast of Tabernacles in Africa
Received the following from Deacon George Otieno in Kenya:
Since our Church compound is very small, I have found a good site for the F.O.T 2013. It will be held in Homabay, Western Kenya on the shore of lake Victoria. 12 kms from Ndhiwa. It has enough rooms which can accommodate 80-100 people. The charges are Kshs 500 each per day and booking should be done in July.
He later sent another email that said people from Tanzania and Uganda have already written to him and stated that they plan to come to the Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles’ site in Kenya.
As far as other Feast of Tabernacles’ sites, two others were mentioned last week, and I hope to get more online at the www.ccog.org website later this month.
Reaching the Spanish Speaking World
More articles were added to: la página en español de Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. That is the Spanish language page of the Continuing Church of God.
Items added in the Spanish language this week include:
- The article 18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God has been translated into the Spanish language: Lista de Herbert W. Armstrong de las 18 verdades restauradas.
- The article was translated into the Spanish language: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía.
- At www.cogwriter.com, I uploaded the pdf Spanish version of my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect to make it available for free to Spanish readers: 2012 y el Surgimiento de la Secta Secreta pdf. Because of agreements with Amazon Kindle, I am unable to do that with the English version, but we do have printed copies of that available for those who request it (I have given away over 1,000 free copies of it).
While English is understood by many, we would like to reach people in other languages as well and perhaps God will raise up some volunteers to translate our materials into languages other than English and Spanish. Please pray about that as there is at least one supporter who says that he would like to assist us this way in the Orient.
Furthermore, because of certain events relating to Latin America this week (Obama to Mexico and Costa Rica: Latin America in prophecy), I decided to machine translate a few articles into the Portuguese language. Years ago, two volunteers translated my 2012 book into Portuguese and I hope to eventually make that available.
Immoral News Trends
The increasing public moral decline of the USA was in the news a lot this past week. Perhaps the two biggest related stories had to do with homosexuality and chemical abortion.
The State of Rhode Island legalized “same-sex marriage” this week, while the State of Colorado began to conduct its first such “marriages” this week. This continues that deplorable trend in the USA, and various other parts of the world. France legalized homosexual marriage last week (see Ignoring the Bible, France legalizes homosexual marriage) and New Zealand did so the week before (see BSA proposal on allowing homosexuals; NZ approves homosexual marriage).
A professional sports star in the USA, who publicly announced that he was a homosexual this week, is now considered a brave hero by many. He even received endorsement from a former USA President (see Bill Clinton endorses NBA star’s ‘coming out of the closet’). This is not good and the Bible shows that condoning such behavior leads to destruction (Romans 1:18-32).
The US Food and Drug Administration decided that the so-called “Plan B” or “morning after” pill, which prevents ovum (fertilized or not) from attaching to the uterus) needs to be made available without prescription and to girls as young as 15 (see FDA increases access to ‘morning after’ abortion pill; horrors of abortion). The USA seems determined to increase abortions of various types and does not seem to realize how its position in the world has changed since it began to legalize various forms of abortion (see also the video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt).
Much of the leadership in the USA and elsewhere wishes to act like encouraging homosexuality and abortion are good things, with positive fruits. The Bible teaches otherwise (see also Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose and The Bible Condemns Homosexuality).
Suggested Sabbath Service for May 4, 2013
Here is my suggested format for Sabbath services for May 4, 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: Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life. There is also some information related to this in the articles titled Is God’s Existence Logical? and Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II.
- Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
- Sermon which for most will be a recorded one titled The Final Phase of the Work (there is a related article here The Final Phase of the Work 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.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified (2 Thessalonians 3:1) and “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God