Letter to the Brethren: May 16, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from the Five Cities region of California.

We hope and pray you have had a spiritually productive week.

Second Passover 2019

May 18th, after sunset, is the 14th day of Iyyar on the Hebrew calendar. Those who were unable to keep the Passover on the 14th of Nisan (about a month ago) are authorized by scripture to keep the Passover then.

(La segunda Pascua es el 28 de abril, después de la puesta del sol
http://www.cdlidd.es/la-segunda-pascua-es-el-28-de-abril-despues-de-la-puesta-del-sol/)

This is based upon the following passages of scripture:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 “Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.” 4 So Moses told the children of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight, in the Wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did.

6 Now there were certain men who were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We became defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of the Lord at its appointed time among the children of Israel?”

8 And Moses said to them, “Stand still, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”

9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the Lord’s Passover. 11 On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. (Numbers 9:1-13)

Centuries later, basically the entire tribe of Judah all did this one year (and had some from other tribes join them):

1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. 2 For the king and his leaders and all the assembly in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at the regular time, because a sufficient number of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people gathered together at Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 30:1-3)

Groups, such as the Continuing Church of God, observe the Christian Passover.

So, if you are baptized and were unable to keep Passover earlier this year, like Numbers 9 mentions, then you can (and should) keep Passover the 18th after sunset. Here is a link to the article: Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened BreadWe also have an online CCOG Passover Service.

New Zealand Services, May 25, 2019

As mentioned last week, my wife Joyce and I are scheduled to visit the congregation in New Zealand this month. We are planning to be at Sabbath services on May 25, 2019 there, in Takanini, which is just south of Auckland.

For more information, contact John Hickey, email johnhickey705@xtra.co.nz

Haiti

Herb Haddon informed me that he was able to secure the type of water filtration straws that we sent from the USA that for some reason (probably theft) did not get to our people in Haiti. He and his wife Gisele plan to bring them as well as CCOG literature in the French language when they are able to go back to Haiti.

Hopefully, that will be next month as Air Canada indicated it would resume flights to Haiti in late June 2019, after suspending them this Spring.

Another Booklet in French

We now have another booklet available in the French language, which is a translation of the English-language booklet Is God’s Existence Logical?:

We also just ordered copies of the above booklet in French to Canada so that the Haddons can hopefully bring it when they go to Haiti.

Speaking of French materials, we have had some trouble getting literature in French arriving in Kenya, with the ultimate objective of some of it getting into Burundi.
We learned yesterday, that something we originally ordered in December, then had to reorder in March because it did not arrive, did arrive (presumably the reorder) this week.
So, we are looking at other ways to possibly get French literature into Africa.

Brighteon Efforts Successful!

In a recent letter (see Letter to the Brethren: April 18, 2019), I asked is some of you would assist by watching the ten videos we had on Brighteon.

This has been successful, thank  you.

Bill Wedekind reported:
We did get over 500 views on Brighteon with your help.  This has allowed us to upload more videos.

As mentioned before, the more views we get on Brighteon, the more videos Brighteon will allow us to upload.

We had been at our limit for some time and wanted to upload more.

So, again thanks for all who assisted. And for those who had been thinking about assisting but had not got around to it, you can watch the Brighteon videos still. Here is a link: Brighteon Bible News Prophecy channel.

Brighteon has been put in place as a ‘backup’ should YouTube and/or Vimeo one day remove our videos since both of those organizations have removed videos and shut down channels for those with various aspects of biblical content.

One of the videos that we recently uploaded to Brighteon (you can watch it on Brighteon: How many genders did God create?) was one we decided to not make live on Vimeo as we were fairly certain they would kick us off their channel if it were live.

Brighteon has stated that its purpose is basically to provide an alternative to the often anti-biblical mainstream platforms. So, we think it is wise to upload videos there at this time.

That being said, please do NOT think that we necessarily endorse or even approve the short advertisements that Brighteon puts up. We have no say in that.

Again, the more views we have, the more videos Brighteon will allow us to upload.

World News Items

Saudi Arabian oil has been affected by tankers hit by sabotage (see ‘Saudi Arabia says 2 oil tankers damaged by sabotage attacks’) and drones striking some of its refineries. The USA is pointing to Iran, or at least Iranian influence plus its President Trump issued warnings (see Donald Trump warns Iran, drones hit Saudi oil sites: 120k troops?). We may see more military action, which one day may see great damage to Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 22:8-9) as well as Iran and Syria (Isaiah 17:1).

Speaking of military matters, various ones in the US government are concerned that Europe will spend increases in military funding on European priorities (see US warns EU against projects like PESCO: This will not turn out well for the US). The US has been encouraging Europe to increase its military spending and will come to regret it in the future (cf. Daniel 11:39).

On a more positive note, some politicians in the US have taken a strong stand to reduce abortions (see Missouri and Alabama move to restrict abortions). It is nice when people realize that unborn babies should not be killed.

‘Marian’ matters were in the news as May 13th marked the 102nd anniversary of the Fatima apparition (see Fatima’s 102nd anniversary) and around the same time Pope Francis authorized visits to the ‘Marian shrine’ in Medjugorje (see Despite it being known as a supplier of false messages, Pope Francis authorizes visits to Medjugorje).

Notice some of what Gene Hogberg, once part of the Worldwide Church of God wrote about these matters decades ago:

Members of the Roman Catholic curia in the Vatican, wrote Roger Boyes in the June 15 Times of London, say that an overture toward the Soviet Union is now the pope’s “great obsession.” Journalist Boyes asserts that the Fatima prophecy is important to the pope because of his “Marian devotion and his constant search for signs from her. “In this light, one must also be aware, as is the pope, of what has been transpiring for the past six years at Medjugorje, Yugoslavia.

Since June 24, 1981, several young people have experienced “Mary” in apparition on a daily basis. The form that they see, touch and converse with, though no one else around them can, has admonished them to continually pray and perform other religious duties. The young visionaries also claim to have received 10 secrets concerning the future of the world. At the very beginning six years ago the apparition presented herself saying, “I am the Queen of Peace.”

I obtained literature about the Medjugorje phenomenon at a Catholic ecumenical bookstore near St. Peter’s Basilica. The sales clerk said that Medjugorje is a far bigger event than has been portrayed in the American press. It is apparent that some startling days lie ahead. (Hogberg G. Election surprising, pope peers at Russia. Worldwide News, June 22, 1987, p. 2)

We are seeing Fatima, ‘Mary,’ and Medjugorje gaining more attention. Pope Francis is even MORE ‘Marian’ focused than Pope John-Paul II (the pope Roger Boyes was referring to).

‘Marian’ apparitions ARE NOT Jesus’ mother Mary. And they have been signs and lying wonders throughout history and likely will be even more in the future (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

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 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. Some people have found that if their internet connections are not fast enough, that they can simply listen to the messages that are found at the Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.

IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOGchannel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

The Book of Acts states:

21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:21-23)

Brethren, I know many of us are facing many tests and trials. But notice that even in the New Testament times, Christians needed to be exhorted to continue in the faith, because we will face numerous “tribulations” to “enter the kingdom of God.”

So, do not give up. Instead, “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer