Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Post Santa Fe, New Mexico greetings. My wife and I were able to meet and hold services in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time last Sabbath.
Services went well, although one family that had hoped to come was not able to make it. The sermon and sermonette recommended for this week were given in Santa Fe this past Sabbath.
The Letter to the Brethren sent out last week had the incorrect email address for Herb Haddon. His correct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I was able to correct this in the online version, but those who received the emailed letter from me received the wrong email address. I apologize for the error.
Speaking of Herb Haddon, he said that a shortened address can now be used for Canada. Here is what he sent:
We can abbreviate the CCOG address to:Continuing Church of GodP.O. Box 344Harvey Station, NBCanada E6K 3W9
Not sure why the original address was so long.
On other Canadian matters, we have been working on trying to get at least a partial Canadian website up. When it is, I plan to announce the URL.
We also sent a lot of information to an attorney in Canada who hopefully will be able to submit a revised application to the Canadian authorities for our registration there.
Pastor Evans Ochieng and I continue to keep in contact with those who have contacted us from Ethiopia and Nigeria.
This morning I answered a couple of emails from Ethiopia, and also learned that two new people are interested in the Continuing Church of God in Nigeria.
We hope and pray that if the situations in both countries continue to show promise of real interest that Pastor Ochieng will get to visit one or both of those nations later this year. Please keep the handling new groups in your prayers.
Feast of Tabernacles Matters
A few of you emailed me about attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Denver and Niagara Falls.
I would appreciate getting emails from others who may attend those sites so that we can better plan for them. My email address is email@example.com. I am not trying to rush all of you, but if you think you know where you will go, it would be helpful to let me know.
Information on the North American sites, as well as other sites around the world, are in the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2015.
There is a possibility that we may have a video site in the Netherlands in 2015. If so, this will be our first site in Europe. I plan to report details as they develop. The services would mainly be in the English language, so those from other areas who speak English could possibly attend.
As a reminder, the Bible, in Numbers 9:1-14, has a provision that those who were unable to partake of the Passover essentially due to illness, travel, or similar unavoidable circumstances, can take it later. This year, the ‘second Passover’ should be taken shortly after sunset on Saturday, May 2. This Passover, like the other one, is only for baptized members. Here is a link to an article: Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Here is a link to an online video: CCOG Passover Service.
Bible News Prophecy Radio
If you have not visited the Bible News Prophecy online radio site lately, you may not have seen how attractive of a website it has become. Those in New Zealand have done a great job with putting it together as well as its appearance.
I signed a contract yesterday, as well as wrote a check, to promote my book Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States to radio interviewers. This should result in my being interviewed on a variety of AM/FM radio stations. I believe that this is a door that is open for us now, that I should go through.
Because I wrote the book and had it published in a commercial way, the check I wrote was NOT from the bank account of the Continuing Church of God, in case any wondered, but from my own funds.
World News Events
There were earthquakes in Nepal. Initial reports had the death toll in the hundreds (see Hundreds killed by Nepal earthquake; India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan also impacted), but it ended up in the thousands (see Thousands killed by Nepal earthquake: Could others be affected by earthquakes?). Jesus warned of earthquakes as part of the troubles associated with the beginning of sorrows (Mark 13:8) and we should expect to see more.
In Indonesia, they held a conference partially commemorating a similar conference held 60 years before (see Asians and Africans call for end of Western Imperialism: The final ‘time of the Gentiles’ is approaching). Many Asians and Africans still have complaints about ‘Western Imperialism’ and ultimately, at least the Asians will take steps partially related to it (cf. Daniel 11:44; Revelation 16:12-16).
In Italy, at least 18 al-Qaeda suspects were arrested related to an early terrorist plot related to the Vatican. I believe that Vatican City and/or other properties of the Church of Rome will suffer from terrorist acts (see Italy arrrests at least 18 al-Qaeda suspects related to plot to attack the Vatican).
In the USA, there were riots and protests in Baltimore because a black man who was arrested died under what appears to have been questionable circumstances (see National Guard called out in Baltimore). Violence, however, is not the answer to violence (Matthew 26:52).
Also in the USA, its Supreme Court began to decide whether or not homosexual marriage should be forced upon all the states of that nation (see Will the Supreme Court ‘legalize’ more of the homosexual agenda?). Most legal analysts believe that the US Supreme Court will rule against the Bible and in favor of practices that the Bible opposes. This will not end well (cf. Romans 1:18-32).
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 who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one: Famine of the Word? Other sermonettes are 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 letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: CCOG Answers: The Soul, Reincarnation, Creeds, and Michael the Archangel. 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.
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 new 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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel.
The earthquakes in Nepal brought to mind the following:
1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)
Those killed were not worse sinners than others, but died unexpectedly. Earthquakes and other disasters should remind us that our lives can be changed quickly and that repentance is needed now. None should wait. Even Christians need to examine themselves and repent where needed (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:28-32).
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God