Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
It has been a packed few days since the last letter to all of you as we had to prepare extra videos because of the upcoming Feast of Trumpets.
Instead of making this a short letter as I originally planned, because of the proximity of the Feast of Trumpets and the Sabbath (plus the availability of videos), I decided to make this a combined letter to include suggested services for both the Feast of Trumpets and the Sabbath which follows two days later.
We mailed out most of the latest edition of the English version of the Bible News Prophecy magazine as well as our newest booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today? to nearly all of our subscribers. We also sent additional booklets to Kenya and New Zealand.
We actually ran out of the Where is the True Christian Church Today? booklet, so are printing a few more of them up.
Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement
The Fall Holy Days will be upon us shortly.
The Feast of Trumpets is from sunset September 24th until sunset September 25th in 2014. The Day of Atonement is from sunset October 3rd until sunset October 4th this year.
The Feast of Trumpets is kept like a Sabbath, as it is also a day of rest and a holy convocation. Christians should pray and attend services and/or watch messages for that day. An offering is normally also taken up. We also normally have our youngest child blow some type of a trumpet on that day. I made an attempt to try to blow a shofar during the sermon recommended for the Feast of Trumpets. I also made an attempt during the offertory.
The Day of Atonement is kept like a Sabbath, as it is also a day of rest and a holy convocation. Christians should pray and attend services and/or watch messages for that day. An offering is normally also taken up. The Bible says to afflict oneself then (Leviticus 23:27). Those who are physically able should fast from sunset to sunset. This means going without any food or drink. Pregnant women, nursing women, infants, and people with various illnesses are considered to already have an affliction and either do not fast or do not completely fast (they might drink water and/or eat something, though less than normal).
The Feast of Tabernacles is Getting Close
The Feast of Tabernacles is coming soon. Opening night is October 8th this year. Those who can, will travel (Deuteronomy 14:23-26) to a Feast site. They tend to keep a second tithe of their increase for this purpose (see Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today?). Those who cannot travel to a site may wish to consider the possibility of not sleeping in their usual locations during the time of the Feast. If they are physically and financially able, they may wish to try to sleep in some type of temporary dwelling like a hotel, motel, camper, or a tent (including perhaps one in one’s own home). In ancient Israel, those who did not travel (as well as native Israelites that did) made ‘booths’ of branches on top of their roofs (Leviticus 23:40) and slept in them for the seven days of the Feast (Leviticus 23:42), and some slept for the entire eight days (though the Bible only mentions seven days). Staying in ‘temporary dwellings,’ of whatever sort (and we are not advocating roof top dwellings), helps convey during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles that this age is temporal and a new millennial age is coming.
The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles is kept like a Sabbath, as it is also a day of rest and a holy convocation as is the eighth day, also known as the Last Great Day (John 7:37). Christians should pray and attend services and/or watch messages on each of the eight days. An offering is normally also taken up on the first and eighth day (cf. Deuteronomy 16:16). But the other days are NOT kept like the Sabbath, meaning that one can engage in regular physical work on those days.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites
The Continuing Church of God is planning on having several sites for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014. Services begin after sunset on October 8, 2014.
The scheduled location for the USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site in 2014 is the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport hotel, 7550 Augusta National Drive, Orlando, Florida 32822. For more information, contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The site for the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand is to be in Tawa which is a suburb of Wellington. The location there is the Bucket Tree Lodge, 1 Boscobel Lane (PO Box 51009), Tawa, Wellington. For more information, contact John Hickey, email email@example.com; You can also telephone him on his mobile phone. His number is 021 519 441.
In Kenya, it is planned that Ndhiwa will be used as the primary Feast of Tabernacles’ site, and that there will be another site in Kisii as well as the capital city of Nairobi. Most from Kenya and Tanzania are expected to go to the site in Ndhiwa. For more information, contact Evans Ochieng, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We expect to have a video group site in the Philippines (Silay City). For details, contact Oscar Mediavilla via email email@example.com.
There is also a possibility that we may have a video site in one or two other locations in North America.
Information on all the expected sites is in the article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014.
World News Events
Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom as I and a CCOG member in China felt would happen. However, the time will come where the United Kingdom will be taken over and its lands divided (see Scotland stays, UK pays–but division will still come).
The leaders of India and China met last week and China claimed it was not warlike (see China tells India it is not warlike as the two nations make deals). Jesus spoke of the final times of the Gentiles, and alliances in Europe and Asia are taking place (as well as some alliances involving Africa, the Caribbean, and South America).
China announced that it plans to build the world’s largest particle collider while the leading collider in the world, Europe’s Large Hadron Collider was started again after another upgrade to it (see China’s announced largest particle collider; CERN’s Hadron Collider is back). China would like to try to lead the world in technology, but the Bible shows that Europe will be the leader.
Russia took steps within the last week to project its military power (see Russia projecting power, Sweden, Canada, & USA concerned, yet …). And while Russia will not be the final King of the North (see Is Russia the King of the North?). The Bible shows that a northern power that could only be Russia at this time will align with other mainly Asian nations to damage the final European power (Daniel 11:44; Jeremiah 50:41-43).
The Islamic State issued instructions to its supporters around the world to kill the “crusaders” and others involved in the coalition that the Obama Administration put together to fight it. A spokesperson today specified countries such as the USA, France, Canada, and Australia to have its disbelieving citizens killed (see Islamic State tells followers to kill any French, USA, Canadian, Australian, etc. ‘disbelievers’ anywhere they find them). The Bible is clear that terrorism is prophesied (Deuteronomy 32:25; Ezekiel 21:12; Psalms 73:12,19; Proverbs 1:25-27), and the Islamic State is one group that wants to try to fulfill those prophecies.
As far as “crusaders” go, that term literally means “cross bearers.” Since the time of the fourth century Emperor Constantine, European soldiers painted crosses on their shields (early Christians did NOT use crosses as a symbol nor participate in military warfare). This practice continued into the time the famous Crusades of the Middle Ages. Basically, many Muslims consider that those who claim a cross-connected ‘Christian’ faith are “crusaders” today (they do not tend to realize that true Christians do not venerate crosses).
Over in Europe, Pope Francis made a trip to Albania to reach out to the Muslims, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholics there as part of his international and interfaith agenda. He also ‘entrusted Albania’ to ‘Mary’ (see Pope Francis entrusts Albania to ‘Mary’ and pushes interfaith agenda). The Bible never teaches to trust Mary nor to entrust nations to her. This is another part of the false gospel that Pope Francis is advocating (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7).
In Germany, it was reported that former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg may be trying for a political comeback later this year (see Political leader plans comeback for Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg in December?). Herr Guttenberg has made various statements and taken various actions which suggest he is a possible candidate to become the final prophesied King of the North (Daniel 11:27-45). He is one that I am watching (cf. Mark 13:37).
Suggested Feast of Trumpets Service
Here is our suggested format for the Feast of Trumpets for 2014:
- 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). Hymns on pages 62, 63, 118, and 119 would be recommended on this Holy Day.
- Opening prayer.
- Offertory Sermonette, which for most who receive this emailed-letter will be a recorded one: Offertory: Blowing the Trumpet. 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 who receive this emailed-letter will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life. There is a related written article titled: The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
For those who wish two sermons, here is a link to one given in 2013 which was tied into last year: The Trumpet Release.
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services on September 27th 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 who receive this emailed-letter will be a recorded one: Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors. Other sermonettes are also available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
- Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
- Sermon, which for most who receive this emailed-letter will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Which Church of God For You? There is a related written booklet titled: Where is the True Christian Church Today? 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. 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.
The Psalmist wrote:
Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.
2 Raise a song and strike the timbrel,
The pleasant harp with the lute.3 Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.
4 For this is a statute for Israel,
A law of the God of Jacob. (Psalms 81:1-4)
Let us joyfully keep the Feast of Trumpets as well as the upcoming Sabbath.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God