Letter to the Brethren: October 18, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We hope you have been having a spiritually productive week.

We have been working on literature, animation promotion, as well as some long-term items to assist the final phase of the work.

For the sermon recommended for this Sabbath, I answered a lot of questions. But in one of my answers, I should have also added that even if we knew what Jesus looked like, it would not be appropriate to have an image or statute of Him as Deuteronomy 4:15-16 clearly prohibits creating an image of a man or woman with which to worship God. I did, however, also point to our book The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast, which does teach that.

CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing

In a potentially disturbing move, Amazon essentially eliminated CreateSpace and merged it with Kindle Direct Publishing.

This may cause problems in getting literature as we have been having most of our literature (other than what is printed in Kenya) printed by CreateSpace.

Kindle Direct does not seem to support as many languages as CreateSpace did, and this may be causing us problems. Kindle Direct seems to support less than 10 languages, whereas CreateSpace supported at several scores of languages. That being said, it seems like Kindle Direct accepted most of the older literature we had in other languages, so we will see if this will have much of a negative impact on us.

One immediate concern is that we may not be able to print file copies of the latest editions of our Luo and Swahili magazines, as these are on ‘Hold’ from Kindle Direct. And Kindle Direct says that during its transition cycle we cannot even contact them to ask about them. Presumably that will change and we will learn how, or if, we can continue to do what we have been doing that way. The bulk of those magazines, however, are printed in Kenya, which does not involve Kindle Direct.

We uploaded a draft of an upcoming book in English in Kindle Direct on Monday and that seems to have been satisfactory according to an email we received on Tuesday from Kindle Direct.

We will see how Kindle Direct Publishing goes.

If it does not go well, we will have to look for a different or at least a supplementary printer.

CCOG Animations

While at the Feast of Tabernacles in Alexandria, Virginia, Brian Thiel, Andre Nelson, and I met to discuss animation promotion ideas.

Andre Nelson has had some success promoting items over Facebook and we decided to have him try that.

In the first four days he tried, about 150 people seemed to watch one of our animations. But since it was arranged via Facebook, if you go to the CCOG Animations Channel you will not see those views reflected in YouTube’s statistics. Anyway, it was fantastic that we were able to get so many views in such a short time.

Andre Nelson and I spoke a couple of times about this in the past several days. And we are looking at ways to better continue with this and explore ways to reach more people.

Ethiopia & Malawi

Koang Deng Gatluak

Deacon Koang Deng sent the following report from Ethiopia:

Dear Pastor Bob:

We received a books you have send this morning. Thank for this sending. Secondly, we have no problem of chairs. A fund you have sended last month get a good help for  Sabbath services/praying. We bought now 40 chairs. The remain of money, some  are used for Feasts and Transportation for those from camp.
Thank you.
Koang Deng
We have had some from South Sudan come to the Feast of Tabernacles as well in Ethiopia.

Radson Enock Mulozowa

Kenya-based CCOG Evangelist Evans Ochieng asked us to send some funds to Malawi so that they could get some iron sheets and cement to finish the hall there so that they could meet out of the rain, so I sent funds Monday to Radson Mulozowa for that.

Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour

Overseer Samuel Ofosu sent the following report in from Ghana:

The Church observed the Feast under the theme: ..”O’ LORD, RENEW THEM IN OUR DAY”.., (Habakkuk 3:2).

Captioned under the given subject, the Feast eminently related the “Political-Socio-Economic Global Reformation of Christ in the coming Kingdom.

Scripturally, the congregation studied in relevance that, no-human government could bring about, or more so, ever grant this world any peace whatsoever, except God the Father, as promised and destined at the reign and governance of the Messiah.

We can only be part of this PROMISED-GOODNEWS of the Kingdom and also enjoy of its GIFT AND BLESSINGS if we live obedient lives without blemishes according to the PROVISIONS OF THE ALMIGHTY CREATOR.

The Feast ended peacefully-well with no casualty, and all the members have gotten home safely.

However, we weren’t fortunate enough at being very joyous due to money transfer issues, that resulted in the delay of the funds promised for our budget.

Hence, we weren’t able to pay-off all the bills as a result of the shortage we received.

Meanwhile, I have intended to seek legal advice concerning the incident that led to the unfortunate inconvenience and delay of the funds.

Notwithstanding, we do appreciate your efforts and are much grateful for what we received.

May God bless you abundantly and all the brethren in the Lord.

Sincerely yours,

Pastor Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour.
Ghana

Both myself and Herb Haddon out of Canada did a lot of work to provide some financial assistance for the Feast of Tabernacles in Ghana. While it did not work out as well as the Ghanaians or we hoped, we are glad that we were able to provide some support and that the Feast of Tabernacles was held there.

World News Items

Hurricane Michael caused major damage to areas near the Gulf of Mexico (see Hurricane Michael: “An Atomic Bomb Has Hit Our City”: ‘Apocalyptic’). None of our supporters has reported any serious issues, however, from that storm.

A storm of a different type has been brewing in the Eastern and Russian Orthodox world–a major schism has occurred and was essentially formalized on Monday (see 2018 schism between the Eastern and Russian Orthodox; Was the Sabbath an issue in the 1054 schism?). This schism seems to have primarily been political. This move would seem to have somewhat derailed some of the Vatican’s and World Council of Churches’ ecumenical plans. But, despite this schism, for a time a least, the Eastern and Russian Orthodox will somewhat be together once the Beast of Revelation 13 rises up.

Over in Europe, we are seeing some backlash against German Chancellor Merkel’s immigration and other policies–at least that is how some are viewing the results of Sunday’s elections in Bavaria (see Bavarian election, Italy Declares War on Merkel and the EU, and France’s Emmanuel Macron). Also on Sunday, US President Donald Trump again insulted Europe and pushed the Europeans to increase military spending (see Donald Trump again calls out EU on trade and defense spending–this will not end well). That will not end well for the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39).

China has completed a road to the eastern edge of the European continent as one part of its ‘Silk Road’ project (see China pushing ‘New Silk Road’ after completing one road connecting itself into the edge of Europe). China is also interested in working with the Eurasian Economic Union, which is where several of its expected roads will cross (see Moldova, India, China, and Egypt interested in the Eurasian Economic Union: Steps towards Armageddon?). Many nations in Asia are looking towards closer cooperation, and biblically, we realize that further cooperation will happen (Revelation 9:13-19) and also lead to the gathering at the place known as Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16).

In Yemen, the war and other factors are causing food shortages and if the situation does not change, it is estimated that famine there will affect 12 million people (see Yemen famine and USA ‘polio’). Yemen, like the rest of the world, sorely needs the Kingdom of God to come (cf. Matthew 6:10).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

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

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Brethren, when we face the tests and trials of life, do not give up. As the Apostle Paul was inspired to write, walk worthy of the calling with which you were called with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer