Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
Tried for an early start this week and videoed the weekly Bible News Prophecy channel. video on Monday, instead of Wednesday. I normally wait until Wednesday in order to be more timely with certain news items. However, since the subject had to do with an upcoming non-biblical holiday, there was no need to wait. Getting it done early meant that I could focus more on other video matters during the week that I have had to put off for many weeks.
More on Africa
I asked Evans Ochieng to provide some additional information about his area in Africa:
Kenya is an agricultural country with Rivers and lakes. It borders Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somali. Even though it is an agricultural country some parts are very dry especially parts which faces Somali and Ethiopia. The sides which faces Ethiopia and Somali have much troubled by the group called Alsabab who are ready to destroy and kill the innocent people and it this causes serious problems to the Kenyan government to produce good and total security to these areas.
In the parts that are dry, it can take even 12 months without rain. The lack of rain causes famine problems in some parts of the country. People can go without food in these parts of Kenya which sometimes ends with death.
Since Kenya is a third world country, even preaching the gospel is becoming difficult. Even though there are famines, deaths, and major problems have been facing this country, many people are really hungry of the truth from the Bible and many people love God.
This shows that the gospel should be preached in all parts of the country both in green and dry places to fulfill Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20. And since the doors are open for the gospel to penetrate in Kenya, it needs those laborers who can preach the gospel.
God is starting/continuing the work again with one person and God is calling many to join the work to finish it. In Egypt, God called Moses to rescue the life of his children in that country.
7 Then the Lord told him ” I have seen the deep sorrows of my people in Egypt, and have heard their pleas for freedom from their taskmasters. 8 I have come to deliver them from the Egyptians and to take them out of Egypt into a good Land, 9 flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:7-9)
We have a lot to learn from the delivery of Israelite from hard task which they face in Egypt. Even though they were under total pressure of hardship, they could not rescue themselves from that hard task. They needed one to deliver them from the hands of Pharaoh. Likewise to these days, even though Kenya is under hardship, it needs those who can deliver it from the hands of Satan and take people in good land of milk and honey. This is the good work and none can do it apart from our Sovereign God. He who did it in Egypt to free the children of Israel out of the hard task they were facing. And when God wanted to do this, He used Moses to deliver the children of Israel from this great task. He did not used many people to deliver them but one person and later many walked out of Egypt to go and serve their God.
Now the whole world is in bondage of Satan and needs rescue. This is the reason why Christ died to rescue the life of many and have eternal life and have immortal body. At this time, God and Jesus Christ are the only ones who have this immortal body and those who will be made immortal with them are those who are called in God’s church and be resurrected when Jesus returns.
In the 1930s, Armstrong was called to preach the gospel and when he died in 1986, the work could not stop even though Satan wanted to destroy God’s church by using one to take the church into apostasy. This is the main reason why God is still choosing another man to take the charge in order to fulfill Matthew 24:14. God cannot use all the so called churches of God to fulfill and lead Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:19. Only one man can be used to lead this work. This the reason why I have sense that CCOG is in front line to fulfill these scriptures, according to the work it is now doing. CCOG has provided books which can help to show where are we in the prophecy, as well as many songbooks, and magazines.
The Continuing Church of God has done a great work in Kenya to print the magazines in Kenya which has reached almost over 300 people. We can now reach all parts of Kenya to preach the gospel by sending these magazines even to areas where we cannot reach physically. It is a great work that the magazines are now translated into a local language that both Kenya and Tanzania people can understand. The magazine has been printed in both English and Swahili here. I am always thanking God for the great work which is being done in Kenya.
We in the Continuing Church of God are working hard to lead the work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20. We hope to do more in Africa.
I also heard again this week from a pastor in Zambia who has expressed interest in possibly affiliating with the Continuing Church of God. He and his group are studying us, our teachings, and various practices. The fact that they have again contacted me suggests that perhaps they will ask to affiliate with us in the future.
New Zealand Comes Through for Africa
The brethren in New Zealand were able to wire some of their tithes and offerings to the USA this week. Although this has been expected, between that, and some of what was sent in by supporters in the USA, it looks like we may have enough funds for me to visit Kenya and hold a conference there in a month or two. This is still not for certain (I still am awaiting cost estimates), but this trip is something that needs to happen at some point in time, the sooner the better.
Possible Stop in London
It may be possible that I might be able to stop in London for a Sabbath in late March or early April in conjunction with possibly going to Kenya. If you are in or affiliated with the Continuing Church of God and would be interested in meeting that Sabbath with me, please contact me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Various ones in New Zealand also support the work through assisting with services there, editing CCOG literature, and working on new ways to reach the world with the good news of the kingdom of God.
Shirley Gestro recently contacted me about the possibility of utilizing something called Flipboard to reach more people. So, after looking into to it a bit, I asked her to pursue it. It is now in place.
Here is a report that she sent:
Our Flipboard name is Bible News Prophecy you can also find us under Prophecy News. One way to view our flipboard magazines is to download the free Flipboard app and sign up (you do not need to create a magazine to view magazines), then in the search box at the top right hand corner type in our Flipboard name: Bible News Prophecy, tap on the Bible News Prophecy @ProphecyNews, click on one of the links below for your Ipad, Tablet or Mobile to download the app then follow the instructions to sign up:For iOS: http://flip.it/iOS_emailFor Android: http://flip.it/android_emailFor Windows: http://flip..it/windows_emailFor Blackberry: http://flip.it/blackberry_emailFor further information on Flipboard go to: http://tips.flipboard.com/2013/03/26/flipboard-user-guide/ or http://dev.cdn.flipboard.com/media/uploads/Flipboard_How_To_Guide_2.0_2.pdf
For those who do not have tablets, mobiles or ipads you can view our Flipboard magazines on the web details as follows (please be aware the magazine layout of the web somewhat differs to the tablet/ipad/mobile layout) :
For the Bible News Prophecy Profile page where you can view all our Flipboard Magazines (they are located on the lower part of the screen), copy & paste this url into your address bar: https://flipboard.com/profile/ProphecyNews
(You can also download the flipboard app from this profile page, just click on the red/white ‘get the app’ button on the top right corner).
Also, if you would like to flip through our magazines separately these are the Individual Magazine web urls:
- Prophetic News Feb 2014 (Church of God News Updates for February, 41 Articles) – http://flip.it/MrJ8D
- Prophetic News Jan 2014 (Church of God News Updates for January, 31 Articles) – http://flip.it/MaDtj
- Bible News Prophecy: Blood Moons: (BNP Magazine Articles and Youtube vidoes) – http://flip.it/SYOZN
- Bible News Prophecy: The U K Will Lose the Gibraltar …( BNP Magazine Articles & Youtube Videos) http://flip.it/7Amh6
- Is God’s Existence Logical?: (Where Does God Come From, Evolution, Gap Theory, Has Time been Lost, other related articles & Youtube vidoes) – http://flip.it/xlEHd
- Fifteen 2013 News Items of Prophetic Interest (56 articles & Youtube vidoes) – http://flip.it/roqyq
- WTO Trade Deal and the Rise of the European Beast Power (16 articles & Ytube vidoes) – http://flip.it/qYyzw
- Biblical Archaeology (19 Articles and Youtube vidoes) – http://flip.it/Pn2yT
- Who are the 12 Tribes of Israel? (9 articles & Youtube videos).
There are so many ways to get information out these days, and we obviously want to go through all the doors that we can.
After going to the link in 1. above (http://flip.it/MrJ8D) my immediate reaction was WOW!
The Journal: News of the Churches of God
Dixon Cartwright put the following on the back page of his publication titled The Journal: News of the Churches of God:
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif.— Bob Thiel, founder and overseer of the Continuing Church of God, announced the CCG’s magazine is going out in multiple languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin Chinese and Kishahili. “We also have a partial translation of the January–March 2014 edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine into the Telugu and French languages,” Dr. Thiel told THE JOURNAL. An area of particular influence for Dr. Thiel’s ministry is China. “Chinese television has frequently linked to our Web sites the last few months,” he said.
For more information, go to cogwriter.com.
While I submitted more information such as the name of the Kiswahili translator (George Lemi) and listed multiple websites, he left that off. Dixon Cartwright had told me he might go with a small item or a larger one depending on the space remaining, so it looks like he did not have much space (though he did include a small version of the magazine cover). Despite the small size, the article does let some know about the Continuing Church of God who might not learn about us in other media.
World News Events
The USA took steps this week to increase its debt (see Bitcoin’s problems grow, yet so does USA debt) after its Treasury Secretary Lew said that the USA could possibly default otherwise (see US Treasury Secretary Lew again pushes for increase in debt ceiling). The federal government of the USA seems to believe that the only way it can properly function is to borrow and borrow. This is not good and will not end well (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8).
Severe weather again hits parts of the USA, UK, and Europe this week (see USA and Europe hit by severe weather). God sometimes uses weather as a warning (cf. Amos 4:7-12), but most seem not to wish to heed the warnings.
Both the USA and Switzerland made changes related to their immigration policies this week. The USA has decided to lift certain restrictions to allow people who have provided support to terrorist groups to be allowed in the USA (see Obama Administration eases immigration for supporters of terrorism). More terrorism is expected to hit the USA and this policy change might help facilitate that.
The Swiss narrowly voted to restrict immigration and travel related to citizens of the European Union (see Swiss immigration vote causing major EU concern). The European Union is incensed by this and is attempting to decide how to handle it. Because of various prophecies, including Genesis 49:19a, I do believe that Switzerland will be entangled with the EU for a time in the future.
Elsewhere in Europe, progress is being made with its Galileo ‘GPS’ system (see Europe’s Galileo ‘GPS’ and laser nuclear fusion). The Europeans are making technological progress that may assist them in fulfilling military-related biblical prophecies (cf. Revelation 13:4; Daniel 11:39).
Over in the Middle East, there is now a publicized report about a Marian statue in Israel that allegedly weeps tears of oil (see Weeping Marian statue in Israel?). Weeping statues have long been associated with paganism and in the end times would appear to be related to Satan’s devices and the lying wonders that the Apostle Paul warned about (2 Corinthians 2:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). If the Marian focused Pope Francis visits this statue when he is in Israel this Spring, it may be of even greater prophetic interest.
On a slightly related note, some advanced a theory that the earthquake in Matthew 27:54-60 provides partial proof that the so-called Shroud of Turin was used on Jesus. However, the timing of the biblical earthquake disproves that belief. So, I explained that yesterday (see Earthquake theory proposed for ‘Shroud of Turin’). But many still wish to cling to false beliefs and relics.
Speaking on non-biblical beliefs, many outside the CCOG will be observing Valentine’s Day this week. A reader of the COGwriter.com page sent me something from ‘Dear Abby’ I thought was interesting. If you want to read that, as well as some comments, please check out the post Dear Abby: My boyfriend won’t buy me anything for Valentine’s Day.
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: Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians? There is related written article titled: Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? 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: Confess to God and truly repent. There are two related written articles titled When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? and History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’. 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).
Notice the following from the Apostle Peter:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-11)
Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and be diligent to live as Christians.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God