Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
It has been a somewhat grueling week finalizing a draft of a new booklet, handling literature matters, and dealing with the day-to-day matters of leading a church, while also trying to get ready to go to London next week and Nairobi the next. But Jesus once basically said to focus on getting through one day at a time (cf. Matthew 6:34), and we have been trying to do that, and mostly successfully.
Booklet, Lesson, and Magazine
Though it ended up being twice as long as I would have preferred prior to writing it, we now have our first history ‘booklet’ (it is long enough to be considered as a book) awaiting printing. Originally, the plan was for our first booklet to be on faith. The faith booklet was, and still is, planned to be out later in 2014. But because of requests from Africa and other needs throughout the work for a booklet about the CCOG and history, the priority of a history booklet was moved ahead on the list. The new booklet is titled the Continuing History of the Church of God.
I would like to take a moment to thank New Zealanders John Hickey, Shirley Gestro, and Kayla Morgan for their last minute editing assistance on this booklet.
That being said, 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. But we wanted to get a version out this month and it looks like we will succeed.
We were able to get our first Study the Bible Course lesson translated into the Filipino language of Tagalog and I was able to upload that today. Here is a link: KURSO SA PAG-ARAL NG BIBLYA. It is great to have more materials in Tagalog and other languages.
We were able to get the printed Spanish edition of the Bible News Prophecy magazine. Here is a link: Noticias de Profecía de la Biblia Abril-Junio 2014: ¿Qué apareció en Fátima?
We asked to get the English edition printed first to prepare for Kenya, but because of supplier issues, that was delayed. Hopefully that will be finished next week.
Unexpectedly ended up on radio yesterday. The host (Dr. Deagle) told me that the program had millions and millions of listeners. And though I have asked him about that before, he gave more details. Basically, he said not only is the show popular on the Genesis Communications Network, he said that he is also an ABC affiliate and is part of DISH Network in Europe. He explained that DISH network in Europe has something like 1100 radio channels and covers Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, including Russia. There are even listeners in Perth, Australia.
The primary subjects that I got to cover had to do with the announcement of the upcoming ‘eighth ecumenical council’ by the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is something I had written about last week (see Orthodox agree to eighth ecumenical council: If Orthodox prophecy is correct on it, this council marks a major step towards the end!) as well as some prophecies related to Russia (see, for example, Russian nuclear threat against USA, Crimea, EU, and WWIII).
We have reached multiple millions via radio and essentially at no financial cost to the Continuing Church of God.
Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread
It is now 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.
Because most of us are quite scattered, many will not be able to meet with others of like-mind and spirit. But we should try to if at all possible. If you are willing to host Passover or Unleavened Bread services or simply the Night to Be Observed, please let me know via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note: We have a new Passover service for this year on video, so if you do host this, you will not need to give the message personally, etc. as the video contains step-by-step instructions. There is also a short video that can be played on the Night to be Observed, and we plan a new one for the Days of Unleavened Bread.
To help you remember the dates of the Holy Days, here is a link to our English language Holy Day Calendar.
We are looking at possible locations for the 2014 Fall Holy Day. The Feast of Tabernacles begins the evening of October 8th in 2014.
Although no specific locations have been completely finalized, there are four locations that we are currently expecting.
In the USA, probably somewhere in Northern Florida. Specific cities under consideration at Daytona Beach, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, and perhaps elsewhere. If you live in or near those areas and would like to possibly assist with visiting one or more locations, please contact me. My email remains email@example.com.
We also again expect a site in New Zealand. For more information, contact John Hickey, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Kenya, it is expected that Ndhiwa will be used as the primary Feast of Tabernacles’ site, but there could possibly be others. For more information, contact Evans Ochieng, email email@example.com.
It is possible that we will have a video group site in the Philippines (Silay City) and perhaps other locations (such as India).
We can now confirm that PayPal has worked for donations from the USA and Asia.
It is, of course, less costly to the work if you live in the USA and you send a check as opposed to using PayPal. So, please feel free to send checks/money orders if that works for you as it is less costly to us. But if PayPal makes more sense for your own situation, it is working and remains an available option.
London Trip and Africa Update
As mentioned earlier, I am scheduled to be in London, near the Heathrow airport from March 29th through March 30th. Finally made hotel reservations in West Drayton (which is where the airport is). If you wish to meet with me, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
After London, I am to fly to Nairobi, Kenya for our leadership conference there.
Received the following email yesterday from Kenya, in Africa:
Christian greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ. We are doing well here in Migori, and i can let you know that the Church is growing in number since some people can now read the magazine in Swahili. We appreciate you for your hard work for the people of God to accomplish the great commission of Mathew 28.Many blessings, looking forward to meet you soon.Nicholas.
Nicholas is one of over 20 CCOG-related leaders I hope to meet in Kenya next month. There are also expected to be leaders from other COG fellowships that have said that they would attend. We have a number of congregations in Kenya and Tanzania (some are expected from there) and hopefully we can provide them the spiritual support that they need in accordance with Matthew 28:19-20).
World News Events
The situation with Crimea and Russia dominated a lot of the news. There was also some discussion that some parts of Ukraine and Moldova are interested in becoming part of the Russian Federation (see More in Ukraine and Moldova look to Putin; Crimeans overrun Ukrainian naval base; Dumping dollars?). The West (USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) appears appalled by this, but they do not seem to fully understand that Russian President Vladimir Putin really wants to create a major empire. He has been working towards the development of an organization that he calls the Eurasian Union, and most definitely he wants Ukraine and Moldova to become part of it. While he may not get all that he wants, the reality is that the Bible tells of a time of a Russian-led confederation that will destroy the end time Babylonian power (Jeremiah 50:41-43; 51:11-32), which right now is starting to rise up in Europe.
The non-biblical period called Lent is currently going on. Last Sunday, Pope Francis told people to turn to ‘Mary’ during Lent (see During Lent, Pope Francis says to turn to Mary). His continued emphasis on ‘Mary’ seems to be a prelude to signs and lying wonders (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) that could appear to have some type of feminine involvement (cf. Isaiah 47). Christians are to turn to Jesus, not Mary.
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: NASA ‘Irreversible Collapse’ of Industrial Civilization by 2030? There seems to have been a sound distortion on this and I apologize for this, but we simply did not have enough time to re-do this one (we intend to take steps to minimize these issues in the future). There are two somewhat related written articles titled: NASA predicts irreversible collapse of civilization; ‘perfect storm’ within 15 years? and Massive solar flare destruction missed Earth by 9 days in 2012; what could happen if it does not miss in the future? 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: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives: I had basically lost much of my voice by then, but was determined to put the message together when I was on the Mount of Olives. There is a related written article titled
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 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 Paul:
32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
Brethren, do you part for “indeed your reward is great” (Luke 6:23).
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God