Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Well, we are another week closer to the return of Jesus and the establishment of the millennial kingdom of God.
And as always, we have been working to get the truth of God out to the world and to those that God will call.
This Week’s Recommended Sermon
One comment about this week’s suggested sermon: if you have concerns about exposing your children to biblical and other information about homosexuality you may prefer to watch a different sermon.
The Bible teaches:
1 “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)
The time will come when sermons against homosexuality may be prohibited (cf. Amos 8:11-12), and in some parts of the world they seem to at least partially be.
It may be soon that it will not be wise to put such sermons up in publicly accessed sites like YouTube (Amos 5:13). But until the US Supreme Court makes its ruling(s) on certain aspects of the homosexual agenda, now seems to be the time to deal with false arguments from those who claim to be Christian leaders who falsely promote aspects of the homosexual agenda.
Feast of Tabernacles
The 2015 Feast of Tabernacles will be here soon.The first service is planned for after sunset on September 27, 2015.Have you made your plans to attend? The Bible teaches:
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
34 The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations (Leviticus 23:34-37)
A ‘holy convocation’ is a religious assembly. Attending the Feast of Tabernacles is good for you and your attendance should also be good for the other brethren.
While most of you in North America do not have other brethren close enough to you to attend regular Sabbath services with, you should strive, if you have the financial resources to do so, to attend the Feast of Tabernacles.
Are we not NOW closer to the Day approaching than was written in the Book of Hebrews over 1900 years ago?
Do NOT forsake the assembling together. This is a command from the Bible!
If you are planning on attending in North America, our sites are in Denver, Colorado, USA and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
If you are planning on attending in Denver and have not contacted me, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are planning on attending in Niagara Falls and have not contacted Herb Haddon, please send him an email: email@example.com.
If you are planning on attending Feast of Tabernacles’ site in New Zealand, contact John Hickey, email firstname.lastname@example.org; his mobile phone number is 021 519 441.For more information of the various locations of the for 2015, including in those in Africa & Asia, check out the updated article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2015.
Michigan Trip in August
Of course, the Bible commands that those who can attend not only the Feast of Tabernacles, but also, when possible, Sabbath services with others (cf. Hebrews 10:24-25; Leviticus 23:3).
I am planning to be in Michigan around the middle of August. My plan is to get a hotel room so we can have services in either Brighton or Ann Arbor Or South Lyon or ? The expected date for services is August 15, 2015.
If you live in or near Michigan and possibly would like to attend, please email me email@example.com. Once we have a better idea of the number who plan to attend, we will try to nail down the precise location.
Received the following from a supporter in a group in Nigeria:
We have a very big problem accessing the internet since we do not have personal computers and therefore have to visit cyber cafe in order to access the internet. We would request that if it can be possible, please send us even two laptop computers to help us in our communication and studies.
We are looking forward to registering the CCOG in Nigeria as required by the law. The law here requires that any Non governmental organization in the country be registered .
FEATS OF TABERNACLES SITE
This group has been in contact with us for many months. Many in it originally had a Protestant, not Church of God, background. Once they have a mailing address, I hope to send them copies of The Bible Hymnal, our booklets, and perhaps DVDs we are working on that they could use at the Feast of Tabernacles.
At some point in time, it is my hope that Kenya-based CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng will be able to visit this group. He will better be able to determine what type of spiritual and other assistance would be called for there. There is also another group in Nigeria that has contacted us recently, so if Pastor Ochieng does get to go to Nigeria, there could be a second group to see.
Pastor Ochieng is already quite busy with the CCOG congregations in Kenya and Tanzania. And we hope that he will be able to visit the group in Ethiopia some time this year that has been in contact with he and I. We mailed that group additional booklets today from the California office.
Last week I mentioned that I was to be interviewed on WOCA 1370 am and 96.3 fm out of Ocala, Florida. The interview went fairly well. Topics covered included prophecy and factors involved in the decline of the USA, as well as some specific to US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
This Friday, I am scheduled to be on KTKK 630am at 11:05 am MDT (10:05 am PDT) out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
I have been on secular radio as a guest (including once as a fill-in host) at least 44 times already since the official formation of the Continuing Church of God less than 2 1/2 years ago.
As mentioned before, doing secular radio interviews gives us an opportunity to reach people who otherwise would not be as open to hearing the Church of God message.
Statement of Beliefs Now Available in the French Language
We now have the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God translated into the French language: Déclaration des croyances de L’Église Continue de Dieu.
We also have the Statement in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios, Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos, Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明, Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI, Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God, Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God, and in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God.
We hope to get the Statement translated into more languages as we work to fulfill Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:19-20, Romans 9:28, and assist with Revelation 7:9-10.
The same day that I received the first printed copies of the Where is the True Christian Church Today? booklet in the French language, Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?, I happened to have received an email from a small group of about six in the African nation of Rwanda.
After I asked them if they were more comfortable in English or French, they responded with French. The same day they told me that, they asked if we could send literature in the French language. That same day (late last Friday) is when the Statement of Beliefs was finalized in the French language.
As I do not believe in mere coincidence for God’s people (cf. Romans 8:28), I thought that timing was significant. Anyway, I was able to mail a printed copy of the Statement in French, two of our first French booklets, and the two lessons of the Study the Bible Course we have in French. I also included the English version of the Continuing History of the Church of God booklet as the people there said they have a Roman Catholic background.
It may be that Rwanda is a door that is being opened to be reached (Revelation 3:7-9) in the French language at this time.
World News Events
The USA is considering moving heavy weapons into Eastern Europe, including the northern Baltic states, in an effort to attempt to stop what it considers to be Russian aggression (see USA looking to provide heavy weaponry to Eastern Europe: deterrent to Russia or preparation for disaster?). The next day, Russia’s President Putin said that Russia will have to add more nuclear missiles (see Russia says USA’s weapons ideas for Eastern Europe means it will add 40 more ICBMs). The reality is that by providing more weapons to the Europeans, the USA continues to arm an ally that will turn against them (Lamentations 1:1-2; Daniel 11:39). Political leaders would often make different decisions if they believed the Bible and understood more of its prophecies.
The USA is dealing with the Avian flu and South Korea is dealing with MERS (see ‘Worst Avian Flu Outbreak in U.S. History’; MERS continues to kill in South Korea). The time will come when pestilences are a bigger issue (Matthew 24:4-8). As I wrote last year, I did not believe that Ebola would become a truly pandemic problem as the time was not yet. But the time will come when pestilences are likely to devastate places like the USA. As far as Korea goes, similar to California and certain other parts of the world, there are severe drought conditions in North Korea (see Korea: Record drought in North, deadly pestilence in the South).
Today’ Pope Francis’ second encyclical, titled Laudato Si, was officially released. He advocated changes to the world in relationship to the environment and economy, while promoting ‘Mary,’ the trinity, unity with the Eastern Orthodox, monasticism, interfaith dialogue, Sunday, and the eucharist (see Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words?). Overlooking key passages of scripture, he did not point to the Kingdom of God as the needed solution for problems affecting humanity. Pope Francis is expected to advocate his solutions for the economy and ‘climate change’ at his scheduled addresses before the US Congress and the United Nations in September of this year.
Pope Francis publicly stated that he would change the date of Passover (the media decided to call it ‘Easter’) to the date that the Eastern Orthodox observe if that would result in ecumenical unity (see Pope publicly states Church of Rome is willing to change date of Easter/Passover to gain unity with Eastern Orthodox). The change of the date of Passover from the 14th of Nisan to a Sunday is one of the first documented heresies in post New Testament history. That heresy was adopted by the Greco-Roman churches in the second century in Rome, Alexandria, and after 135 A.D., the apostate church of Jerusalem.
Despite many Catholic-Protestants believing that ‘Easter’ is the most sacred day of the year, Pope Francis has pledged to change the date to show cooperation with the Eastern Orthodox. This is NOT a surprise. When my wife and I visited the compound of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople back in 2008, we were told that the Church of Rome told Patriarch Bartholomew that Rome would change any and all doctrines needed for ecumenical unity with the Eastern Orthodox as long as the Eastern Orthodox would acknowledge a certain primacy/supremacy to the Pope. The announcement by Pope Francis is another step by Rome to attempt to move the ecumenical movement forward. It would not surprise me that many Protestants would change the date of Easter if Rome does so.
Sadly, few Greco-Romans seem to think that they need to keep the biblical date of Passover nor keep the Passover as Jesus taught His disciples to do so.
Over in Israel, Yehuda Glick (a former executive director of the Temple Institute) has declared that he may have access to enough gold under a mountain in Israel to fund the building of a third Jewish temple (see Yehuda Glick thinks he may have access to enough gold to build the Third Temple). Many Jews want a third temple and some Protestant prophecy watchers believe that one must be built before Jesus returns. Although that is not biblically required (see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?), it is possible that a Jewish temple of some type could be built. It is also possible that by providing some of the earnings of the gold to Israeli politicians, certain prophetic events could be sped up.
Speaking of Israel, archeologists over there revealed a piece of pottery that has the name of Eshbaal on it (see Archeology again proves the biblical account with Eshbaal inscription). Eshaal was one of the sons of Saul (see 1 Chronicles 8:33). The reason this is of interest is that many pseudo-scientists have claimed that accounts of Saul and David were basically myths without proof. The piece of pottery is additional proof that accounts of the Bible are accurate and biblical skeptics are in error.
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 titled: RAND: Peace for Israelis and Palestinians? A written article of related interest is titled: RAND: Peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would mean billions in economic gains. 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: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? A written article of related interest is titled: The Bible Condemns Homosexuality. 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 Bible shows that we should save a tithe in order to be able to travel to attend the Feast of Tabernacles:
22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)
Brethren, believe what the Bible teaches and don’t just believe it, live it.
I look forward to hopefully seeing all of you who plan to attend either of the North American Feast of Tabernacles’ sites this year as my wife Joyce and I plan to split our time between both sites. Steve Dupuie and his wife Ruth also plan to split their time between both sites, so with the exception of a travel day, there should be live sermon speaker every day at both North American Feast of Tabernacles’ sites.
Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God