Letter to the Brethren: May 5, 2016

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

We had a fine Sabbath and Last Day of Unleavened Bread.

We received comments from various places about the Days of Unleavened Bread this year.  Here are some from Kenya and Nigeria respectively:

Dear Pastor Bob,

We had a fantastic feast of passover and a good week of unleavened bread. Only the attendance was poor since only a few from far managed to come.  But some gathered for the feast in their various areas of meeting even though I believe only a few understand  how to perform…

Best regards,

James

REPORT ON THE PASSOVER FEAST.

I greet you in the name yashua messiah – shalom! we had a blessed Passover here in rift valley, Kenya, east Africa. there were six local churches, two in Bomet and there was one venue in Mau, in Transmara, there were three venues: Chilani, Motosiet and Takitech. we were thankful to Pastor Ochieng for his participation and preparation and support towards the feast. WE ARE EXPERIENCING AN INCREASE IN THE BRETHRENS NUMBER, AFTER THE PASSOVER, THE BRETHRENS ALSO GATHERED FOR THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD AND THERE WERE SERMONS AND PRAYERS FROM THE BRETHRENS AND WE RELLY APPRECIATED OUR LORD WHO HAS BROUGHT US TOGETHER BY HIS WONDERFUL BLOOD.

MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU, AMEN.

YOURS SINCERELY,

JOSEAH KIPNGETICH.

A lot is going on in Africa. Pastor Ochieng needs to go to Nigeria as those there have a prior Protestant background and we wish to help them better understand subjects like the Holy Days.  Because of safety concerns Pastor Evans has not been able to get there. So, prayers for that would be appreciated.

Let me also add, that we also just received a positive report on the Days of Unleavened Bread from Ghana a few moments ago. Pastor Evans hopes to also go there this year.

Booklet is a Draft, but we have plans

Related to this week’s sermon, towards the end I showed a new booklet on the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  That booklet, while available online, is a draft and the first formal edition should come out next month and we plan to send copies to our subscribers in places other than Africa (Africans should get their copies from those printed in Africa).

The individual I have been working with, that had me get the draft of the booklet together, has run into some technical issues.  He also has a little time, so he should get the modified version by next month. He is hoping to develop an Android telephone ‘app’ to get it available in numerous languages. We also have plans to get the finalized booklet available in numerous languages in printed form as well as also being made available on the internet.

Radio

Got a last minute radio interview opportunity, and am to be on the air shortly after sending this week’s Letter to the Brethren out. I am to be on something called the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN) at 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time.

The Sabbath Sentinel

Earlier this year, I submitted a short article to The Sabbath Sentinel, which is put out by the Bible Sabbath Association.

That article was published in the March-April 2016 edition. A follow-up article was requested and it was published in the May-June 2016 edition of The Sabbath Sentinel.

The published items came from information in my article Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath. Because of the restrictions in article length for The Sabbath Sentinel, I submitted just a few pages which they published, so far, in two parts. They have also said they plan to publish a few more pages in an article in their next edition, which is planned for September 2016.

It is my hope and prayer that those who read the submitted articles will see that early church history supports Saturday, and not Sunday, as the Christian day of rest.  These articles should be able to reach people we have not been able to reach in other ways. It is also my hope and prayer that those who read the articles will see that we in the Continuing Church of God have a true and proper grasp of early church history.

This series of articles being published in The Sabbath Sentinel should also help non-Sabbath keepers realize that the historical evidence points to early, faithful, Christians resting on Saturday and not Sunday.

World News Items

The Zika virus is causing concerns in many places, and the first American to die from a Zika-infection has been reported (Zika is more dangerous than many thought; USA has its first Zika death). One of the brethren asked me if the Zika virus could possibly fulfill the following:

19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! (Matthew 24:19)

While pregnant women are considered most at risk for this virus, but it also affects others. While I believe that there is something other application of Matthew 24:19, something like Zika certainly makes one wonder if some infection could also be involved with this prophecy.

Over in Canada, a massive fire in Alberta caused the evacuation of 88,000 people (see Massive wildfire causes 88,000 in Canada to evacuate). Disasters show that the calm circumstances in this age can dramatically change.

In the US presidential primary, it looks like the nationalistic, immigrant-restricting, Republican Donald Trump is expected to win the nomination from his party (see Dangerous Donald wins Indiana: Europe concerned). Many have seen that the USA is in decline and believe that is a reason that Donald Trump and his Democratic opponents have done well this election cycle (see also Savage claims Obama would trash the economy if Trump wins; German press sees USA becoming more rotten). Donald Trump has already offended the Europeans and if he were to gain the office of the President of the United States, this will further divide Europe from the USA.

Lest my assessment seem partisan (which it is not), perhaps it should be noted that former German Defence Minister Karl-Guttenberg zu Guttenberg (who has referred to Donald Trump as a “lunatic”) recently blamed Barack Obama for disappointing Europe and increasing the divide between the USA and Europe (see Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg blasts Barack Obama and Donald Trump).

In Germany, its own nationalism may be rising as more there are concerned about Islamic immigrants (see ‘Nationalist party declares Islam doesn’t belong to Germany’). The time will come when a strong leader will arise in Europe (cf. Daniel 11:36-39; Revelation 17:12-13).

Over in Europe, scientists are excited that the Large Hadron Collider may have discovered another particle (see AP: ‘Physicists abuzz about possible new particle as CERN revs up’). At this moment, the Europeans appear to be far ahead of the Americans in developing collider-related physics technology. As I have written for years, this may end up giving the Europeans a military advantage, which they one day will exploit (cf. Daniel 11:39-43; Revelation 13:4).

The European Central Bank has announced that it is to stop the production and issuance of the €500 euro note in a couple of years. (see ‘The End of the 500 Euro Note Could Lead to a Cashless Economy’). This is a step towards the Beast’s ability to control buying and selling (Revelation 13:15-18). The timing of this announcement is interesting as this week’s recommended sermonette (which I videoed a couple of weeks ago) is related to the possibility of the USA eliminating its largest currency note (watch Eliminate the $100 bill?).

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 1974Bible 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:Eliminate the $100 bill? Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecychannel.
  • 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: Are Christians really supposed to rule? Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

Because of the suggested sermon is shorter than usual, that is why you see two (2) recommended sermonettes.

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 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 ContinuingCOGchannel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, (1 Timothy 1:5)

Brethren, God’s ways are best and show love. Always practice them.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer