Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.
Another full week of working on matters related to Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20, Romans 9:28, 11:25, etc.
Last Sabbath, Evangelist Evans Ochieng and some of his family visited our congregation in Muhuru Bay, Kenya:
Pastor Dr Bob,Greetings from Kenya.It was a wonderful Sabbath. We had combination Sabbath services in Muhuru bay. The Migori congregation and Gribe congregation, I and my two daughters Esther Ochieng and Marrie Goff Ochieng and my three grandchildren Nancy, Sheril and Warren accompanied me to this great Sabbath day in Muhuru bay. The Sabbath was well done. I taught about quarrel that brings divisions and humbleness. I also touched a little about the covid vaccine.Muhuru is the smallest congregation in Kenya, and they were very happy with the meeting. I also promised this small and new congregation that we shall help them to start the chicken project. Below is the picture of the meeting today in MuhuruEvans
It is good that they could meet with them. We strive to meet when we can.
Some have wondered about how many people are part of the Continuing Church of God.
We received feedback from nine CCOG leaders around the world about the numbers of people with us. Plus, I looked at files that we have in Grover Beach. So, we have input from 10 leaders.
The Continuing Church of God has 5,275 people reportedly with us.
Here are the nations with the number of people with us that our leaders have reported:
|Trinidad & Tobago||1|
|USA & Puerto Rico||99|
There are additional people in those nations that we have not counted who have expressed interest, but not enough to be counted by our leaders yet. Furthermore, we have groups or individuals in Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Nigeria, Peru, and South Africa who have stated that they are (or want to be) with us that we have not been able to visit and have not counted. There is also a significant group in France that we have long maintained a relationship with, but they have not committed to being in CCOG.
Overall, we have supporters in at least 30 nations.
While there have been some small losses of congregants from time to time, the CCOG has grown every year since our corporate declaration December 28, 2012.
The Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing of all COG groups in the 21st century whose main leaders were once part of the old Worldwide Church of God.
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: Vademecum: Rome’s Trinitarian Ecumenical Handbook. 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: English Versions of the Bible and How Did We Get Them? 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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.
World News Items
In Europe, we continue to see French President Macron and others call for Europe to develop an independent military (see Macron calls for all-powerful EU: We CAN’T depend on Biden’s USA ‘Need strategic autonomy’). While there is some opposition to this in Europe, the time will come when the European Beast will be a successful warring power (cf. Daniel 11:39-43; Revelation 13:1-4).
Another trend that is continuing is increased pressure for more censorship (see India, Europe, and USA moving towards more censorship and free speech restrictions). This is expected, and looks to be a major factor in the coming famine of the word of God that Amos warned about in Amos 8:11-12.
On other matters, last week we mentioned vaccines and that there were risks associated with them, Tuesday, after the UK began mass public vaccinations, it came out that it looks like people who have strong allergic reactions should not take it (see ‘UK warns people with serious allergies to avoid Pfizer vaccine after two adverse reactions’). Also, some facial issues were encountered in the USA. While those reports are still being looked at, it is true that there are risks associated with vaccines, despite public health officials often being dismissive of them.
Brethren, the recommended sermon for this Sabbath is related to the series that we have been doing related to our book (which is expected to go to pre-print editing next month with the intent to have it be printed and distributed in the first half og 2021) titled: Who Gave the World the Bible? The Canon: Why do we have the books we now do in the Bible? Is the Bible complete?
The New Testament teaches:
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
If one does not know what the word of God actually is, either by including non-inspired books, excluding inspired ones, relying on the wrong early manuscripts, and/or mistranslations, one is not discerning enough of the truth nor properly growing in grace and knowledge.
Our upcoming book, as well as the sermon series we have been working on, is intended to help insure that YOU do know the books of the Bible as well as the certainty of what it teaches.
Pastor and Overseer