Letter to the Brethren: May 10, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We have been working on holy days, visits, hunger issues, literature, reporting on world events, and other matters.

Rift Valley & Nyakach Kenya and Malawi

Pastor Tiongik Sawek sent the following:

REPORT FROM RIFT VALLEY, KENYA

I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, here in Rift Valley are doing well, all the churches in rift valley are doing well in the word. There has also been callings from various parts of rift valley to join the Continuing Church of God in Mau there are new places which need us there, in a place known as Kewet and Sagamian and needs Pastor Ochieng before the feast of tabernacles. In Njoro, the five groups we met with Pastor Ochieng, the churches of Sirikwo, Molo, Kiletien and Rongai needs also to be attended for they are far apart.

In Bomet, there are new places of Merigi and Saoset, in Kericho is Chebirbelek and there groups. In Transmara they have also dispensed the word, there is a place known as Olkos and Ndamama. We see the Lord is opening people’s hearts to listen to the word of God.

The harvest is great but the laborers are few in Transmara, we saw Chilani is the middle and is accessible as it is served by a feeder road. We talked with the elders from Kabolecho, Takitech, Motosiet, Cheramgoi, Chilani and Chebunyo and proposed that anytime Ochieng visits Transmara should converge at Chilani in order to meet with the representatives of these churches for it has been quite a length of time since he visited them.

This area will be able to solve any rising matter with the representatives. Likewise to Njoro, they will see one particular place to meet also, same case to Mau, Kericho and Bomet, for we see that time is squeeze and may not be able to round all these groups for there are several issues which we cannot solve as rift valley without the intervention of Ochieng. My prayer is that, this is accomplished before the feast of tabernacles. The goodness is that the elders are really struggling hard in the word, despite the hardships they are facing.

From the month of March, we have been experiencing heavy downpour of rain hence flooding the lands of Chilani leading to the destruction of crops that we had planted in the farms. This might bring a crisis as we see famine ahead of us, however, this might be what Christ foretold in the book of Mathew 24.

In Mau, there is also a problem of landslide due to this heavy rain, I believe that after this rainy season, Pastor Ochieng will visit us.

May God bless you.

Pastor Sawek.

Evangelist Ochieng went to Nyakach, Kenya to try to assist with hunger issues there on Friday. He hopes to go to Rift Valley soon.

Evangelist Ochieng sent the following email and photos:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Paloni is the congregation in Malawi which have a problem of hunger because of flood. They need assistance heavily and I am begging you to send Radson Mulozwa … so that he can help these congregations and Mozambique.  Kenya is also having a problem of hunger especially Nyakach. I am going to assist Nyakach tomorrow.

I was very happy when I met our brethren in Paloni because of serious faith which they show. The only people who are keeping Sabbath in that region.

Evans


Paloni, Malawi

Funuzi, Malawi

Migowi, Malawi

He also sent the following short video from Malawi:

3:34

We sent more funds to Malawi in order to assist those who lost much of their crops due to a flood as well as a worm infestation.

We keep draining our financial resources to help our brethren facing various crises in Africa. Pray for them, pray for the income of the CCOG, and pray that we will most wisely use the resources we have available.

Pentecost

While it seems like we barely finished Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost is coming up soon.

Pentecost is May 20, 2018.

Two articles on Pentecost are Pentecost is Part of God’s Plan and Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2?

Information on all of God’s Holy Days can be found in the free online booklet: Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

Feast of Tabernacles in the Philippines

Bacolod is the capital city of the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. A mainly ‘DVD’ Feast of Tabernacles is planned for there. The same location for 2017 has been selected for 2018 which is the Meeting Room at 11th Street Bed & Breakfast.

We sent funds to confirm this location.

Here is a photograph of the hotel:

Placeholder

Tripadvisor reports that there are 30 hotels and 226 restaurants in Bacolod. Bacolod has several museums and parks.

For further details, contact Oscar Mediavilla via email hansmeidavilla@rocketmail.com or Anthony Flavell via email anthonyflavell@yahoo.com.ph

If you plan to go there and have internet access and/or computer expertise, your skills could be helpful.

Prayer Request

Joanne Audet sent a prayer request for her husband Gilbert. He collapsed and had to go to the hospital because of a possible stroke. The Audets live in Quebec, Canada.

Almont, Michigan

I plan to visit the small group we have in Almont, Michigan for services at 2:30 pm, July 21, 2018.

I look forward to seeing people who normally attend there as well as any visitors who may come.

World News Items

US President Donald Trump told the world that he is pulling the USA out of the Iranian nuclear deal. Europe is not pleased and Iran hopes this will help drive Europe further from the USA (see Donald Trump voids Iranian nuclear deal: There is still a threat). Europe is upset and wants further distance from the USA (see AP: Trump’s pull out from Iran deal deepens US isolation).

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin began another term in office (see Vladimir Putin begins another term: How will he affect world events? Is he the ‘prince of Rosh’?). Some have been confused about Iran, Syria, Israel, and Russia from a prophetic perspective (see Iran, Syria, Israel, and Russia: Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah). Our recommended sermonette for this week addresses prophetic truths as well as strives to correct some prophetic misunderstandings related to some of those nations (watch Iran & Syria vs Israel? Russia?).

Armenia’s parliament selected a protesting politician to be its prime minister–Armenia would like to be a bridge between the East and West and the Europeans have interest in engaging with Armenia (see Nikol Pashinyan is Armenian Prime Minister: EU wants to talk). This could, temporarily, work for Armenia, but prophetically it looks like it will one day turn against Europe while supporting Russia and other eastern-leaning powers (Jeremiah 51:27-29; cf. Daniel 11:44-45).

Some believe that it is up to Europe to ‘save the world’ (see “It’s Up To Europe” – Paul Craig Roberts On What Can Be Done To Save The World). And while the coming European Babylonian Beast power will temporarily cause much of the Gentile world to prosper, it will not last (Revelation 18). The Kingdom of God is the solution, but few seem to want to seriously consider that.

Timely Sermonette

Last Sabbath, the subject of my sermonette was prophesied military conflict between Iran and Syria and Israel (watch Iran & Syria vs Israel? Russia?).

As it turned out, Israel said Iran attacked its Golan Heights from Syria today and the Israelis launched a major counter-attack (see also Israel claimed Iran attacked it from Syria, then Israel launched huge counter-strike):

Israel Launches Most Extensive Strike in Syria in Decades After Iranian Rocket Barrage

10 May 2018

Israel attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in what the military said was the most extensive strike in the neighboring country in decades. The strike was carried out in response to a barrage of 20 rockets that were fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts.

The Israeli military accused the Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force and its commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack at the Israeli Golan Heights. This is the first time Israel has directly accused Iran of firing toward Israeli territory. Four of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and the rest of the rockets exploded on Syrian territory, the military said. https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/israel-launches-extensive-syria-strike-after-iranian-rocket-barrage-1.6073938

Since this is the FIRST TIME Israel has claimed that Iran fired towards its territory, and this was the most extensive Israeli strike in Syria in decades, this strongly suggests the sermonette message was timely.

Although today’s military strikes were NOT the fulfillment of prophecies such as the Valley of Vision in Isaiah 22 (which shows that there will be great damage to part of Jerusalem from what looks to be an Iranian-Syrian coalition), today’s actions are consistent with the view that such a destructive conflict looks to be coming.  Despite Israeli reliance on its military and its “Iron Dome,” Bible prophecy says that God will remove the protection of Judah (Isaiah 22:8) and there will come great damage to at least part of Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:9).

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: Iran & Syria vs Israel? Russia? 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: Justin Martyr: Saint or Apostate? 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. 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

Mark wrote the following:

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life.
31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:17-31)

While Christians are to obey the Ten Commandments (see also our free online book The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast), Christianity is about more than just following rules. We need to follow Jesus’ lead and support the work He wants His church to do in these end times.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer