Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings again from the Five Cities region of California.
Another week of working on proclaiming gospel of the kingdom in truth and love.
We have been working this week on hopefully getting a version of The Bible Hymnal into two African languages this year (which we think we will probably be able to do) as well as possibly getting a version of it in other languages afterwards.
Furthermore, we have been working on the ‘Behind the Work 2016′ video sermon. That sermon is intended to be played during the Feast of Tabernacles in October.
Skyping with Serbia
For the first time, I was able to ‘Skype’ with multiple brethren in Serbia. Skype is a normally no cost way to communicate over the internet.
I was trying to contact the local Serbian host, Aleksandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic (with whom I have Skyped with before), and he added me to his Skype group. We were able to discuss the festivals, prophecy, and hoped for travel plans.
The call went well.
The Serbians also expressed concern for our African brethren, and I asked Aleksandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic if he might be interested in coming to Kenya in February 2017 to visit many of the congregations there as well as to come to the international African CCOG conference that would also be there. He was interested and so this may happen.
It is my hope and prayer that my wife Joyce and I will get to meet some of the Serbians in October.
As a follow-up to last week, here is an email we got after the Sunday meeting in Ghana:
The meeting was successfully convened the results endorse our intention to work together in the Savior’s vineyard. The entire participants from various branches became comfortable to Dr. Bob’s vision to bring the ignorant to the Gospel to the True Gospel after I read Bob’s message to Africa. Now I am looking forward for Evans visit for the way forward. Many thanks to brethren out there.
Pastor Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour
It is great that they wish to come closer together with the Continuing Church of God.
Pastor Evans Ochieng hopes to visit Ghana next month.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God and Scattered Brethren
Last week, I announced that we finally put together a comprehensive list of groups and/or congregations affiliated with the Continuing Church of God. Here is a link to them:Congregations of the Continuing Church of God.
In the Continuing Church of God, also we have scattered brethren throughout the USA and Canada, as well as in the Caribbean (like Trinidad & Tobago), South Asia, North Africa, South Africa, and elsewhere.
In time, we expect to have more congregations in more places, as we keep getting growth in membership every year. So, if there is no group or congregation in your area, do not give up–hang in there, faithfully of course, and perhaps in time, we will have a group/congregation near you. Maybe even one you might help form!
Remember, Jesus promised Philadelphian Christians that they would be “pillars” in the Temple of God (Revelation 3:12). Therefore in this age, sometimes being a foundational part of a new group, or standing alone in a separated area, could be part of your training for that reward.
Of course, we should fellowship on the Sabbaths when we can (Hebrews 10:24-25). God’s Holy Days, like the Feast of Tabernacles, are another opportunity for that (cf. Leviticus 23:2; Romans 12:1).
In the Continuing Church of God, we hold the Feast of Tabernacles in multiple places around the world. This festival is a time that God expects those that can to travel (cf. Psalm 42:4); far away if need be (cf. Deuteronomy 14:22-27). For a listing of currently expected sites this year, check out Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2016.
So, whether you are in a group or congregation, or all alone, be faithful to the word of God.
World News Items
More and more US States are trying to cause problems for churches that do not accept the LGBT agenda. In Iowa, there are concerns now that its government thinks it should be able to control aspects of the content of sermons (see WND: ‘Holy war: Government tries to control church sermons’). The time is coming of the ‘famine of the word’ (cf. Amos 8:11-12) and those who think this will not affect the USA are mistaken.
Speaking of the USA, a new poll suggests that 13% of its adults regularly use marijuana (seeMore USA adults are admitting to regular marijuana use). Marijuana causes a variety of physical and spiritual problems (see Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High?). This does not bode well for the USA.
China is looking at genetically-editing human beings (see Times of India: ‘China to conduct world’s first gene editing trial on humans’). The USA (see Time: ‘Human-Animal Chimera Studies Are Now Allowed In the U.S.’) and the UK are, in different ways, as well (see Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line?). This does not bode well for this world.
It has been reported that Europe is quietly preparing for war against Russia (see ‘Europeans Are Quietly Preparing for War with Russia,’ but the USA will be eliminated). Europe will rearm, be successful militarily (Daniel 11:39-43), but Russia will later cause Europe to suffer defeat. But other than the continued rearming of Europe, these other events will not occur before 2020 (watch Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020?).
The situation between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea has intensified. Russia’s Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of making a terrorist incursion into Crimea over the weekend. Now both the Russians and Ukrainians announced militaristic steps, and both had meetings today (separately) to discuss potentially other steps to take (see Situation heating up between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea). Jesus spoke of a time of wars and rumors of wars (cf. Matthew 24:6), and we are seeing this.
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:Are Chinese threats against Australia for real? 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: Matthew 11-12: John the Elijah, Sodom, Unpardonable Sin, & 3 Days and 3 Nights. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOGchannel.
- 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 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.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-25)
Brethren, we are praying for you.
Pastor and Overseer