Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
The Days of Unleavened Bread for 2014 are now a memory. Hopefully, you were spiritually rejuvenated and are building the type of character that our Creator wants us to do with His help.
It was another week of producing additional videos and having additional administrative tasks (because of the Last Day of the Unleavened Bread).
But is was an exciting week as we have heard from new potential supporters in various locations.
Internet Attacks Against the Continuing Church of God
There were some blatantly improper attacks against me and the Continuing Church of God on the internet that I learned about this week.
I would like to address two of them (one of which I might have heard of before).
One critic falsely posted on April 23, 2014:
COG EAST AFRICA NEWS:…There are several independent groups involved in the meetings and Thiel’s claim that CCOG currently has over 20 congregations in East Africa, with more expected soon.” is purely in his own imagination; unless he is attempting a takeover of these other groups.
First of all, the number of our congregations in East Africa did not originate with me, it came from our Regional Pastor, Evans Ochieng, who sent the following email to me April 7, 2014:
You know that we have 20 congregations in Kenya and one in Tanzania. we have more than 300 members.
It should also be mentioned that there were over 30 Church of God leaders who attended our conference in Nairobi, Kenya. We reached many, including several leaders that were not part of CCOG.
And with the exception of one leader (John Owak, formerly of UCG) who attended the conference, our expected growth in East Africa is not related to the others who attended the conference that were not already affiliated with CCOG. Because of the people we have on the ground, plus literature, website plans, and translation projects, our main leaders in both Kenya and Tanzania informed me that they felt that we should expect more congregations to come with us. That was their assessment and that is what I reported. While numbers can change, my reports obviously were not from my imagination.
The other attack was brought to my attention by someone who saw a YouTube (from August 2013; so it is possible that I heard of this before) that supposedly is dedicated to attacking me and my positions related to the Vatican.
The person doing this, Chooka Marshall, may be a relative of one she claims is the reincarnated Jesus Christ. Here is part of the description of the YouTube that she has posted there:
Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall is the reincarnated Jesus Christ, Yahweh…
The last warning, unrepentant men and women will soon become aware of what they have become and it will be too late, the offence to the Holy Ghost Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall the Lord Jesus Christ is so great that unless every knee bows there will be no hope for the majority, the harvest of souls the supper of God the fowls of the air feasting upon the flesh of unrepentant man.
The presenter said that Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall was truly King of Kings, Lord of Lords, etc. in the YouTube video.
In the presentation, Chooka Marshall stated:
So, Dr. Bob Thiel, you really have no idea and like all the rest will deny Christ is back.
Of course I deny that Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall is Jesus the Christ. False Christs were prophesied by Jesus (Matthew 24:23-26).
This video is such nonsense that it is unlikely to cause serious harm as any thinking person will realize it is absurd. But, it should not have been done. Other than including my name in the title of the YouTube and a couple of statements within it, it really seems to have almost nothing to do with me–it is more of a rant of her positions on the Vatican, Pope Francis, and Brian Marshall. One person I mentioned this to today suggested that she may have used my name in order to hope that would get people to watch her video. Yet, relatively few have.
These attacks remind me of the following that Jesus said:
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12)
We in CCOG stand for the truth and strive to report the truth and proclaim Christ’s gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14). Apparently some do not want others to realize this.
Flipboard Update from New Zealand
Shirley Gestro of our New Zealand congregation, sent the following:
I thought this would be a good time to keep you up to date for Matt 24:14, this does not need to be published but it serves the purpose of keeping you informed.
A month ago 17/3/14 one of the Flipboard magazines’ ‘News & Prophecy’ was accidentally deleted, some technical difficulties occurred (I did not click any delete buttons). I contacted Flipboard immediately and asked if they could recover it, unfortunately they could not. At that time the reader count for the N & P mag was at 99 and page views (page flips) 1500 plus (an earlier picture is attached at 97 readers). Total readers for all magazines at that time was 163 approx. Unfortunately, the deletion affected the reader count, decreased it by 40 or so, due to this, a new N & P magazine was created.Current statistics for the News & Prophecy FB Magazine:
- 91 readers
- 1,755 page flips
- 198 articlesTotal Readers for all 20 BNP Flipboard Magazines: 271Total Page Flips (Page Views) for all 20 FB Magazines: 5,933
Total Articles: 994
Note: At least 2 of the magazines ‘Military Technology & Beast of Rev’ (included article references you quoted from other sources) & Archaeology (included new discoveries from biblicalarchaeology.org) have other articles apart from yours. I add new magazines when I get more time to work on it.
I hope you recall I mentioned in an email to you I will be focusing on sharing, going through other doors, through Google plus, twitter etc. You suggested getting it done automatically. Since you already have an active twitter account, I chose to leave that one. Approx 6-7 weeks ago early March, I created a ‘Bible News Prophecy Updates’ Page on Google Plus, the current view count (includes content views, pictures, profile views, these are approximate only) is – 7,820 views & 13 Followers. Here is the link:https://plus.google.com/101842900290466764179/posts Since Google Plus seems to have more views in a shorter time frame, with your permission, I would like to expand this by creating separate language Bible News Prophecy Pages on Google plus, Spanish one, Philippines, etc all the links added when clicked on go straight to the original site, similar to Flipboard. I also would like to add the official B N P Magazines and books, COGwriter radio interviews, Study The Bible Course when more is produced, Pages by Subjects, (I will also do this on flipboard).
I have also created a page on Pinterest under ‘Biblical Wisdom’, that is still a work in progress and requires alot more time get more re-pinning (you need to pin other peoples pins to get yours noticed, once you stop doing that it kind of dwindles, there are 2 separate boards I created for that reason and there are other techniques to get it growing) etc.
For the past few months I have been looking into internet marketing strategies alternative ways to go through open doors, with minimal or no cost involved hence that is the reason I chose Google plus & Pinterests, as it ranks 3rd & 4th after Facebook & Twitter. Its a good idea to keep posting news updates from your facebook page (still ranks No.1 social media), or we could always create CCOG Fbook, I could set this up and it also can be used as a automatic poster to the other social media profiles (as it includes many, unlike Flipboard). Social media profiles statistically are to account for 30% of traffic to your site.
We greatly appreciate the assistance we get from the New Zealand congregation. They assist in various aspects of literature editing as well.
The graphics company finally got done with the Kiswahili version of the April-June 2014 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine. So, here is a link to it online: HABARI ZA UNABII WA BIBLIA: Ni nini kilizuka kule Fatima?
In addition to printing a few copies here, this particular magazine file was sent to Kenya for printing. This saves us postage and allows us to print and distribute more copies to more people that we otherwise would be able to. The Continuing Church of God is truly leading the final phase of the work.
Speaking of Kenya, we also sent more books and Bibles there this week.
Tithes and Holy Day Offerings are coming in via mail and PayPal. We expect the same Our Spanish language translator sent us a lot of links to news articles from COGwriter.com that he recently translated.
And while they are on our Spanish website (CDLIDD.es), the following were also put on the COGwriter Church of God News page:
Cartwright’s Journal Out: Billingsley wants one group; CCOG in Africa; Feast Sites, etc.
Journal de Cartwright: Billingsley quiere un grupo; CCOG en África; Sitios de la Fiesta, etc.
http://www.cdlidd.es/journal-de-cartwrigth-billingsley-quiere-un-grupo-ccog-en-africa-sitios-de-la-fiesta-etac/Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush?
Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush?
http://www.cdlidd.es/hillary-clinton-vs-jeb-bush/Chemical weapons again used in Syria
Armas químicas de nuevo usadas en Siria
http://www.cdlidd.es/armas-quimicas-de-nuevo-usadas-en-siria/Argentina accuses Britain of provoking ‘hostile actions’ in Falklands’ region
Argentina acusa a Bretaña de provocar ‘acciones hostiles’ en la región de las Falklands
http://www.cdlidd.es/argentina-acusa-a-bretana-de-provocar-acciones-hostiles-en-la-region-de-las-falklands/In Ukraine, Donetsk remains divided
En Ucrania, Donetsk sigue dividido
http://www.cdlidd.es/en-ucrania-donetsk-sigue-dividida/Violent conflict erupts in eastern Ukraine!
Violento conflicto hace erupción en Ucrania oriental!
http://www.cdlidd.es/violento-conflicto-hace-erupcion-en-ucrania-oriental/Financial writer warns of wars and rumors of wars; and then there is Ukraine.
Escritor financiero advierte de guerras y rumores de guerras; y luego viene Ucrania.
http://www.cdlidd.es/escritor-financiero-advierte-de-guerras-y-rumores-de-guerras-y-luego-viene-ucrania/Was Jesus’ resurrection on a Sunday?
¿Fue en un domingo la resurrección de Jesús?
http://www.cdlidd.es/fue-en-un-domingo-la-resurreccion-de-jesus/Victorinus taught the millennium and six-thousand year plan
Victorino enseñó el milenio y un plan de seis mil años
http://www.cdlidd.es/victorino-enseno-el-milenio-y-un-plan-de-seis-mil-anos/Former KKK leader arrested for shooting of Jews; what else may happen?
Antiguo líder del KKK arrestado por disparar a judíos; ¿Qué más puede suceder?
http://www.cdlidd.es/antiguo-lider-del-kkk-arrestado-por-disparar-a-judios-que-mas-puede-suceder/USA again warns Russia about being involved with Ukraine; Russia goes to the UN
EE.UU. advierte de nuevo a Rusia acerca de involucrarse en Ucrania; Rusia va a las Naciones Unidas
http://www.cdlidd.es/ee-uu-advierte-de-nuevo-a-rusia-acerca-de-involucrarse-en-ucrania-rusia-va-a-las-naciones-unidas/Tonight is to be observed
Esta noche ha de ser observada
http://www.cdlidd.es/esta-noche-ha-de-ser-observada/Tonight is the Christian Passover; Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Esta noche es la Pascua cristiana; guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
http://www.cdlidd.es/esta-noche-es-la-pascua-cristiana-guardando-la-pascua-y-los-dias-de-los-panes-sin-levadura/Early Christians kept the ‘Days of Unleavened Bread,’ should you?
Los primeros cristianos guardaban los ‘Días de los Panes sin Levadura’, ¿Debería hacerlo usted?
http://www.cdlidd.es/los-primeros-cristianos-guardaban-los-dias-de-los-panes-sin-levadura-deberia-hacerlo-usted/BibleNewsProphecy & Blood Moon Expected April 15th
Noticias de Profecía de la Biblia & Luna Roja esperada para abril 15
Jews in Donetsk told to register or face losing their property and rights to live there! Maybe the Geneva agreement on Ukraine will stop this.
A los Judíos en Donetsk se les pidió registrarse o enfrentar perder sus propiedades y derechos para vivir allí! Pueda ser que el acuerdo de Ginebra sobre Ucrania pare esto.
http://www.cdlidd.es/a-los-judios-en-donets-se-les-pidio-registrarse-o-enfrentar-perder-sus-propiedades-y-derechos-para-vivir-alli-pueda-ser-que-el-acuerdo-de-ginebra-sobre-ucrania-pare-esto/Luna roja dispara apocalípticos debates Protestantes
http://www.cdlidd.es/luna-roja-dispara-apocalipticos-debates-protestantes/Was Jesus in the grave three days and three nights?
¿Estuvo Jesús en la tumba tres días y tres noches?
http://www.cdlidd.es/estuvo-jesus-en-la-tumba-tres-dias-y-tres-noches/The Bible, monk shaving, and history
La Biblia, tonsura de los monjes, e historia
http://www.cdlidd.es/la-biblia-tonsura-de-los-monjes-e-historia/Kiev forces kill three, Vladmir Putin considering military intervention, and talks go on related to Ukraine
Fuerzas de Kiev matan a tres, Vladimir Putin considera intervención militar, y siguen las conversaciones relacionadas con Ucrania
http://www.cdlidd.es/fuerzas-de-kiev-matan-a-tres-vladimir-putin-considerando-intervencion-militar-y-siguen-las-conversaciones-relacionadas-con-ucrania/Pope Leo IX took militaristic action against Sabbath keepers
El Papa León IX tomó acción militar contra guardadores del Sabbath
http://www.cdlidd.es/el-papa-leon-ix-tomo-accion-militar-contra-guardadores-del-sabbathBishop Twal: Catholics accept all Christians; Queen Elizabeth apparently does understand the destructive significance of the gift given by Pope Francis.
Obispo Twal: Los católicos aceptan a todos los cristianos; la Reina Isabel aparentemente no entiende el destructivo significado del regalo dado por el Papa Francisco.
http://www.cdlidd.es/obispo-twal-los-catolicos-aceptan-a-todos-los-cristianos-la-reina-isabel-aparentemente-no-entiende-el-destructivo-significado-del-regalo-dado-por-el-papa-francisco/April: ‘Month of the Holy Eucharist’
Abril: ‘Mes de la Sagrada Eucaristía’
http://www.cdlidd.es/abril-mes-de-la-sagrada-eucaristia/Chinese pollution blamed for intensifying storms in North America–but sin is the real cause
Contaminación china acusada de intensificar tormentas en Norteamérica –pero el pecado es la verdadera causa.
http://www.cdlidd.es/contaminacion-china-acusada-de-intensificar-tormentas-en-norteamerica-pero-el-pecado-es-la-verdadera-causa/India’s Supreme Court recognizes a ‘third gender;’Ohio forced to recognize homosexual ‘marriages’
Corte Suprema de la India reconoce un ‘tercer género’; Ohio forzado a reconocer ‘matrimonios’ homosexuales
http://www.cdlidd.es/corte-suprema-de-la-india-reconoce-un-tercer-genero-ohio-forzado-a-reconocer-matrimonios-homosexuales/Karl zu Guttenberg on Germany’s change of relationship with Russia; Ukraine a wake-up call.Karl zu Guttenberg sobre cambio de relación de Alemania con Rusia; Ucrania un llamado a despertar.
Kiev and Russian actions unsettle many in eastern Ukraine and some prepare to flee: Will you be ready when it is time for Christians to flee?Acciones de Kiev y Rusia preocupan a muchos en Ucrania oriental y algunos se preparan a huir: ¿Estará usted listo cuando sea tiempo de huir para los cristianos? http://www.cdlidd.es/acciones-de-kiev-y-rusia-perturban-a-muchos-en-ucrania-oriental-y-algunos-se-preparan-a-huir-estara-usted-listo-cuando-sea-tiempo-de-huir-para-los-cristianos/US Treasury says that China is intentionally undervaluing its currency; IMF warns USA.Secretario del Tesoro de los EE.UU. dice que China está devaluando intencionalmente su moneda; FMI advierte a los EE.UU.
http://www.cdlidd.es/secretario-del-tesoro-de-los-ee-uu-dice-que-china-esta-devaluando-intencionalmente-su-moneda-fmi-advierte-a-los-ee-uu/Federal judge overturns ‘heartbeat’ abortion restrictionJuez Federal anula restricción del aborto por ‘latido del corazón’
The Continuing Church of God has information in several languages. While most materials are in the English language, the Spanish language has the second most amount of articles and items.
Our Spanish language website is: CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios.
World News Events
During the Days of Unleavened Bread, much of world instead observed Easter. Over in Jerusalem, the Eastern Orthodox believe that ‘Holy Fire’ appeared last Sabbath (see Easter, Obama, and ‘Holy Fire’). The Orthodox believe that this ‘miracle’ (which happens out-of-sight for the members) occurs each year. It is claimed to have been happening for the past 1,200 or so years. This type of sign/lying wonder keeps many in the Orthodox faith. The time will come when the signs and lying wonders will become more public (2 Thessalonians 2:9) and will deceive all who do not have ‘the love of the truth’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
Two Greek Orthodox bishops sent a scathing letter to Pope Francis this month. In it, they basically state that his position is invalid, his organization is not a church, his ecumenical movement is consistent with antichrist plans like those of the Freemasons, and that their faith is the only valid one (see Greek Orthodox Bishops denounce Pope Francis, Church of Rome, and Ecumenism as Antichrist Plan of Freemasons). However, they also point to their view of the supremacy of ‘Ecumenical Councils’ and they may be disappointed with the one scheduled for 2016–which is the first one in over 1100 years. Their 89 page letter will give Pope Francis and various leaders in the Eastern Orthodox churches an opportunity to prepare to try to figure out how they will wish to deal with their issues at the planned council in 2016. That council, which I mentioned here before, has the potential to greatly impact the world.
Israel and the USA were displeased yesterday by a deal between the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic group Hamas to share power as it is believed that this will delay prospects for peace (see New Palestinian agreement expected to block/delay Middle East peace plan).
Hamas’ initial stated goal, when it formed, was to remove Israel from basically all its land. It may well take a significant war and/or terrorism for the type of ‘peace deal’ that Daniel 9:27 says will be confirmed for seven years (and then broken in the middle). The Bible strongly suggests this deal is likely to be a type of peace deal (Daniel 8:25, 11:23-24). Yet as peace deals tend to happen after armed conflict, the deal of Daniel 9:27 may be some time off as historically Hamas has not been particularly interested in peace with Israel.
In the USA, yet another study came out on the dangers of marijuana yesterday–it warns of increased risk of cardiovascular and other diseases from using marijuana, while another study found that even casual marijuana use causes brain damage (see More research reveals more problems with marijuana use). Marijuana use is dangerous, yet more and more Westerners are supporting its use and legalization.
Earlier today, Ukrainian commandos stormed barricades made by pro-Russia supporters in eastern Ukraine. Russia is disturbed by this and has stepped up military exercises on the border (see Commando raid against barricades in eastern Ukraine; might Russia respond?). This week’s recommended sermon is titled Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy
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 is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
- Opening prayer.
- Sermonette, which for most will be a recorded one. One suggested for this week is Wars, rumors of wars, and the Apocalypse. A related written article would be: Financial writer warns of wars and rumors of wars; and then there is Ukraine. 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: Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy. There is also a related written article titled: Russia and Ukraine: Their Origins and Prophesied Future. 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:
1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, (Hebrews 6:1)
Yes, that was the subject of the sermon suggested for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread this year. So, please take this reminder personally.
You are in my prayers.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God