Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities from Grover Beach, California.
My wife Joyce and I have been planning for the Spring Holy Days here, including Passover, the Night to Be Observed., and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
If you are planning on being in our area for any of those events, please email me at COGwriter@aol.com
Passover services are to be held the evening of April 14th after sunset all around the world.
We also made our hotel and airline reservations for the Feast of Tabernacles, which begins the evening of October 9th in 2022. Information on expected festival sites is in the following link: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2022.
The Spring holy days are almost upon us.
Before getting to more about that, do you know why April 1st is observed as April Fool’s Day by various ones in the world?
Here are a couple of accounts:
The origins of April Fools’ Day are shrouded in mystery, experts say.
The most popular theory is that France changed its calendar in the 1500s so that the New Year would begin in January to match the Roman calendar instead of the start of spring in late March or early April.
However word of the change traveled slowly, and many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring. These country dwellers became known as “April fools.”
Boese, who has studied the holiday’s origin, disagrees with that interpretation.
“[The French] theory is completely wrong, because the day that the French celebrated the beginning of the year legally was Easter day, so it never really was associated with April first,” he said… http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080328-april-fools.html
“April Fool’s Day. The first mention of this custom is a curt note in Aubrey: ‘Fooles holy day. We observe it on ye first of April. And so it is kept in Germany everywhere.’ ( Aubrey, 1686, 1880: 10). It must have reached England from Germany or France in the mid-17th century, and quickly became very popular under the name All Fools’ Day; 18th-century writers call it ‘universal’.” [English writer John Aubrey ?] – Oxford University Press 2000 http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O71-AprilFoolsDay.html
“There are several explanations for the origin of April Fools’ Day, but here is the most plausible one. April 1st was once New Year’s Day in France. In 1582, Pope Gregory declared the adoption of his Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian calendar and New Year’s Day was officially changed to January 1st. It took awhile for everyone in France to hear the news of this major change and others obstinately refused to accept the new calendar, so a lot of people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on the first of April – earning them the name April fools. The April fools were subjected to ridicule and practical jokes and the tradition was born. The butts of these pranks were first called poisson d’avril or April fish because a young naive fish is easily caught. A common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke. This evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continues on the first day of April.” – Dictionary.com by Lexico Publishing Group http://dictionary.reference.com/features/aprilfools.html
So there are a few theories about where “April Fools’ Day” originated.
But, basically because the Roman calendar was adopted, those who had accepted the more traditional (and biblical) notion that the year began in the Spring were made fun of.
Depending on the year, the first day of the year that God is referring to comes in March or April in modern calendars.
The Bible also refers to the first month of the year with the name Nisan (Nehemiah 2:1; Esther 3:7). The Passover and biblical holy days (some of which are also this month, see Holy Day Calendar) are based upon the calendar that begins on Nisan 1.
Historically calling people fools because they did not change the biblical beginning of the year from Spring to January 1st, apparently did not help people realize when the BIBLE teaches that the year is supposed to begin.
However, unlike most others, now you know.
When speaking of the Hebrew month of Abib/Nisan God declared:
2 This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).
But most people do not realize that is what God’s word taught.
While it is rare to actually align with April 1st, after sunset on April 1 will begin the first day of the year on God’s calendar in 2022.
The first month of the sacred year has various biblical observances.
For example, Passover will be after sunset on April 14th.
The Night to Be Observed is the following evening. Which also begins the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Because we know when God begins the year, we know when those times are.
It is foolish not to know what season God begins His year.
Youth Camps in Kenya, Baptisms in India
We plan to have another set of youth camps in Kenya during April (consistent with Malachi 4:6).
Last Sunday, we had eight people baptized in India. Jesus said:
10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10)
So, eight baptisms would be eight times the rejoicing :).
Bible News Prophecy Magazine
Hopefully to be received prior to Passover for most of our subscribers, we mailed out the latest edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine.
Here is a link to the April – June 2022 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine.
In This Issue:
From the Editor: Passover: Do You Take It Seriously? Passover is coming up soon. Have you been examining yourself?
What Will Each Church Member’s Duty Be? This is from the late Dr. Herman Hoeh of the old Radio & Worldwide Church of God.
Study the Bible Course, Lesson 21: Human Nature What about carnal human nature? What does the Bible teach about it?
Is God Calling You? Looking at Scriptures in this article may help you answer that question.
The Miracles of Jesus, Part 4: Feeding the 5000. An article directed towards our younger readers and those who needed to be read to.
Here is a link to the April – June 2022 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine.
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is a suggested Sabbath service for 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. The one suggested for this week is: Why Holy Day Offerings? Another option would be one by James Martenet: War, Food Prices, and taking the peace in Ukraine and Europe. Other sermonettes are available at the BitChute Prophecy channel https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/ and other CCOG used platforms.
- 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: Really examine yourself before Passover.. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG YouTube channel and other CCOG used platforms.
- 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. 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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.
World News Items
Various aspects of the LGBTQ+ agenda continue to be in the news. While there are some partial setbacks, the trend and what those pushing that agenda want is not good (see ‘American Parents Should Be Angry As A Raging Bull: The Full-Scale Indoctrination Of Our Children Into A ‘Bizarro Cult World Gone Mad’ Is Being Ramped Up Even Higher’). A top level executive at Disney, a company that tends to target children and families, claimed that Disney intends to have half of its characters to be LGBT or part of ethnic minorities (see NP: Disney President Admits ‘Not-So-Secret Gay Agenda’, Vows HALF of Disney Characters Will Be LGBT). While increasing minority representation may be a fine goal, increasingly attempting to “normalize” sexually immoral behavior is not. Last year, on March 31, 2021, US President Joe Biden put out a proclamation in support of Transgender Visibility Day. He again spoke in favor of it and today intends to change USA passports to have gender listed as “X” option instead of male or female (see VOA: Biden to Mark Transgender Day of Visibility With New Actions)–this is in conflict with scripture (e.g. Matthew 19:4). As Christians we are not to be involved with nor promote sexual immorality nor to approve of it (cf. Romans 1:24-32).
Food shortages are appearing in Ukraine (see WFP Says Food Becoming Harder to Find in Ukraine’). One of the consequences of the military conflict in Ukraine is increased prices for oil and decreased production of food. As it turns out many Arab nations get substantial amounts of grain from Ukraine. Since crises will occur prior to the rise of the coming King of the North, expect that various crises will help lead to the rise up of the prophesied King of the South (see Could the Ukrainian food crisis help lead to the rise of the King of the South?), who looks to be a leader of Arabic descent.
Because of Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin is pushing more publicly away from the USA dollar (see ‘Russia’s Putin declares an end to Western currencies, says world moving towards “real reserves” including “land, food, gold”’). Although Russia, on its own, cannot make that happen, the time will come when the USA dollar will be worth no more than its scrap or collector value.
With Vladimir Putin being in the news so long, it is of no surprise that false prophets have made wrong predictions related to him (see Vladimir Putin: Lord of the world? Prince of Rosh?). The Apostle Peter warned of some who came out of the church who would be false (2 Peter 2:1-3). We need to be diligent and as the Apostle John wrote related to prophets “test the spirits” (2 Peter 2:1-3). Brethren, we have NOT made the prophetic errors that many who claim to be Church of God have (see also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?).
Brethren, in the Continuing Church of God, “have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).
The Book of Leviticus teaches the following:
4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’” (Leviticus 23:4-8)
Brethren, these days are almost upon us in 2022.
Prepare for them (see also Examine Yourself before Passover).
Pastor and Overseer