Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
By the time most of you see this letter, I should be at the airport, on a plane, or in London as I need to leave for the airport quickly after this is being sent.
As nearly all of you realize, I am going to Nairobi, Kenya to hold a conference for Church of God leaders in Kenya and Tanzania. Most of these leaders are currently part of the Continuing Church of God, but several are not. Some may be interested in the Continuing Church of God, while others simply want to learn more about us and what we teach.
Please remember this conference in your prayers.
Booklet and Magazine
We have our first booklet now! The booklet is titled the Continuing History of the Church of God. I still call this Continuing History of the Church of God booklet a draft as we plan to make changes to it in the future (plus I already noticed some items to modify and add). But this is a great first step.
No other COG group seems to have a booklet with this much detail proving, beyond a doubt, that the original post-apostolic Christian church held Church of God, not modern Greco-Roman doctrines. I actually moved the priority of this project up because a COG leader in Nairobi (who presently is not part of CCOG) asked about something like it. So, since it was intended to be done some time, this project was moved up and now a draft booklet has been produced.
Speaking of literature, we were able to get the English edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine printed. We mailed it, along with our new booklet, to all on our regular mailing list, so hopefully, most of you will receive it soon. This needed to be printed by now so that, in order to save postage, I could take some copies with me to Kenya.
Because of the Sabbaths and airline schedules, as mentioned before I decided that it might be best to stop in London, England prior to going to Nairobi. So, this Sabbath I expect to be in the London Heathrow area to conduct Sabbath services and meet a couple of interested people there.
Going to London was not the original plan, but this seems to be a door that has opened a little, so this could be a good step for the work.
Kenya, Books, and Baptisms
Received the following email from one of our leaders in Kenya:
I thank you very much for the support you have been given to us,hymnal books and the three books that is THE LAST POPE ,BARACK OBAMA,THE PROPHECY AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE UNITED STATES and FATIMA SHOCK! through the servant of the lord, Mr. Evans Ochieng. I was astonished to be eye-lightened to know more on Catholic belief about Fatima, The Lady of Rosary and the Lady of kingdoms.I have groped around for years and never got anywhere since there are so many groups baring the name church of and claiming to succeed Mr.Armstrong but teaches contrary to what Mr.Armstrong taught, but we finally found somewhere with meaning and understanding. May you remember us in your prayers in this locality to be a work after God`s own heart, a place of refuge for the lost, a home for lonely soul, seeking to be gathered to the family of God.I know we are in a period of training and development to qualify to serve God`s people now and in the coming kingdom of God. May God bless you and give you more energy to continue to help open the blinded eyes and seeking hearts to know more on the unfolding truth of the Bible. Looking forward to meet you in Kenya April 1st God willing.In Christ serviceMr. Grantone Otieno.
One of the reasons that this is included here is show everyone that literature, including books we have freely given in Africa, are helping people learn more of the truth. They also should be better able to deal with issues that those who do not have a Church of God background may raise with them.
My packed luggage includes additional books, magazines, and many copies of our new booklet to bring to Nairobi.
Here is another report from Kenya:
Glad to greet you enthusiastically in Jesus name. Am much interested to pass this good news of baptism that was powerfully done in River Sondu Miriu next to a constructed tunnels of Odinho falls power generation, by pastor Evans Ochieng assisted by elder Bathelomeo and Simon Okeyo from Mbita. It was done nicely and we as those who were baptised in the name of the Holy Father, the son and the Holy Spirit, were fully blessed and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. It was by God’s grace that immediately after baptism,the flowing water was minimise by blockage of constructed tunnels,we glorify the Lord’s name for such wonderful. A powerful teaching in sermonette and sermon about baptism introduced to all attendance before baptised. Pastor Evans is busily moving ccog with the truth and I know that God will bless him. That’s how it was pastor and may God bless you.
Evans Ochieng sent the following list in an email:
Greetings from Kenya.
The baptism was well conducted in Kisii. I was assisted by Simon Okeyo. They were 17 people.
These are the people who were Baptized:-
The work in Kenya is bearing fruit (cf. Matthew 7:15-20).
Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread
It is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and we are planning for the Spring Holy Days. Passover will be after sunset on April 13th this year, with the Night to be Observed the next evening and the first Day of Unleavened Bread.
To help you remember the dates of the Holy Days, here is a link to our English language Holy Day Calendar.
World News Events
The situation with Russia remains in the news. Russia has annexed Crimea and shows no interest in wanting it returned to Ukraine (unless Russia were to annex Ukraine). Some in Eastern Ukraine and Moldova have petitioned Russia as they would like to be part of the Russian Federation. This is appalling to various ones in the West, and some are concerned that Russia may take military action (see NATO worried that Russia may move on Moldova; Eurasian Union membership may be goal, but could happen democratically). Some type of Eurasian confederation is prophesied to occur in the future, with Russia apparently leading it (cf. Jeremiah 51:11-32; Isaiah 13:1, 17-19).
A World Health Organization report came out related to the dangers of air pollution this week (see Millions die from air pollution, billions lost on extreme weather), and this was a motivation for the suggested sermonette for the week.
Yesterday, US President Obama pressed the Europeans to spend more on their military forces. While this may seem to make sense on the surface, this will not end up well for the USA (Daniel 11:39), its Anglo-Saxon allies (Isaiah 10:5-11), the Arab world (Daniel 11:40-43), nor the Europeans themselves (Daniel 11:44-45; Jeremiah 51:11-32; Isaiah 13:1, 17-19).
Earlier today, US President Barack Obama met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Both leaders tend to have at least two similar agendas as each wants some type of human ‘new world economic order,’ as well as some type of ecumenical agenda. Neither has proposed either that seems consistent with what the Bible actually teaches, but instead seems to warn against (Revelation 13:1-18, 14:12, 18:4; Zechariah 2:6-7).
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:
- 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there also is some Choral Accompaniment online).
- Opening prayer.
- Sermonette which for most will be a recorded one titled: Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy. There is also a related written article titled: The Bible, Christians, and the Environment. 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: Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. There is also a related written pdf booklet titled Continuing History of the Church of God. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Note: If you have a slow internet connection, you can watch these by starting the video, then below it (and towards the right) look for an outline of a gear–if you click on that, it will allow the YouTube video to be played with lower video quality, but at least it will not stop often–you can select a quality as low as 144p.
If your internet connection is still too slow (as my home one is) and/or you prefer audio messages to audio-visuals ones, go to the YouTube link for the message, 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. So, this is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to improve that as well)–and, of course, we have written article options that we list each week.
Notice the following from the Apostle Paul:
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.
5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5)
Brethren, you are in my prayers, and I really would appreciate yours for me and this trip to London and Nairobi (and back!).
If there are delays in getting this letter next week, please understand that internet issues could pop up.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God