Letter to the Brethren: December 26, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

We hope you all are well.

The world had its biggest holiday yesterday, continuing various traditions incorporated from pagan religions.

We, of course, are to be separate and not be part of such unclean observances (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). This, also, would include the world’s new year celebrations, which are based on several pagan elements (see Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? and/or also watch God’s or Satan’s New Year?).

This coming Sabbath marks the 7th anniversary of the official declaration of the formation of the Continuing Church of God. Much has happened in the past seven years or so. The recommended sermon for this Sabbath covers some of that as well as some of what we expect to be our future plans.

Youth Camp

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following video clip related to one of the youth camps: https://youtu.be/6DgY0kHJtSk. He also sent the following email and photographs:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya.
I’m happy to inform you that we had a wonderful youth camps in Kenya. This is Ndhiwa you camp. We had 102 youths at at Ndhiwa. On the arrival day our brother Charles osutwa was injured on his way to the youth camp. He broke his leg when he was crossing the river. Since it is raining heavily the river was slippery. Now he is at the hospital getting treatment. Please put him in prayer.
The youth camps in chilani, Bomet, njoro, Mau, molo and kaplong also went well. We are facing heavy rainfall in Kenya seriously. And it will cause hunger in the country.
Another thing I’m sorry to inform you that Martin wanga’s son Anton died. So put wanga in prayer. I’ll go to Tanzania for burial.  …
Evans
  

Bradox Ochieng (who took the photos above) sent the following detailed report:

Youth Camp Report  2019

Greeting to all the Brethren across the world, It is my pleasure to once again give a report for 2019 Ndhiwa youth camp, We all know that we are really leaving  in very deceived world that if we don’t train the youths to grow and walk in Christ, then they may be influenced into doing what others who don’t  obey God does.The only way young men and women  clean their ways is by doing the will of God  “Psalm 119:9”( How can a young man clean His way? By taking heed according to your word)

The only way to be sure that we are strong in Christ is by doing what the bible says in “Psalm 1:1-2” (Blessed in the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly not stand in the path of sinners not sits in the seat of scornful But his delight is in the law of the Lord and and in His law he meditates day and night)

Many are turning away from God and no longer want to listen neither do they read nor obey God’s commandment , during the youth camp, The Ten commandments in Exodus 20:1-17 was touched  elaborately and I believe  those who attend this camp received something to help them in their spiritual lives. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”

Psalm 127:3-4 “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward . Like arrows in the hand of a warrior so are the children in one’s youth.”

We should train our young boys and girls to be closer to God in this deceived world so that we may one day be glad and rejoice when Christ return and find us worthy to be part of his Kingdom.  Matthew 19:14 “ But Jesus said, let the children come to me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of heaven”

Even though there was too much rain, many got the opportunity to attend the camp. Our youth from Kissi, Migori and Giribe hard to walk from Ndhiwa town to the site in Sigama area which is  roughly, 7kilometers. NO vehicles could access the area due to bad roads plus too much rain but we sincerely thank God that the camp went on so well and all from the camp arrived back to their various places safely and we thank God.

Have attached some few photos we took during the camp.

Sincerely,

Bradox

Pastor Tiongik Sawek sent the following related to another of the youth camps:

Receive greetings from Chilani church, the youth camp was very blessed. We were very happy on the arrangement of the meeting with Evangelist Ochieng since the meeting went through successfully. Because the Kipsigis and the Maasai are deeply rooted in culture and we saw that it was good for us to assemble youth so as to teach them  on  right ways of Christ, thanks to the continuing church of God which accepted to support this meeting through Evangelist Ochieng. It was not only us who appreciate but the entire Rift valley; including the groups of Mau, Bomet, Molo, Njoro, Chilani and Kericho Chebirbelek. There was a lot of rain but we managed to receive youths from Sunday churches and other churches who join us in the continuing church of God and promised to continue with us as they have receive blessed lessons.

There were also women teachers who took greater part in mentoring the female youth on how to cope up with various challenges facing the youths.

Pray also for the church of Kabolecho because during this rainy season, they are conducting Sabbath service in their houses. So let us all pray to this local church so that may even get a place to shelter. They were happy when I told them on how we have already talk with Evangelist Ochieng of soon upcoming support to them.

Herewith are the photos I managed to take during the meeting.

May God bless you abundantly

Regards,

Pastor Sawek

   

Thank all of you for your prayers, as well as financial support, for the camps.

The end time work includes turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and children to the fathers (Malachi 4:6), and youth camps are one way to help fulfill that.

Year-End Income Tax Matters

We are getting close to the end of the calendar year. Those who live in the United States, to have their contributions eligible for tax deduction for calendar year 2019, need to send electronic or regular mail donations no later than December 31, 2019. For those who physically mail donations, they must be postmarked by December 31, 2019 to be eligible for deductibility for 2019.

All contributions received via US mail for residents of the United States are to be processed for the tax year based upon the postmarked date on the envelopes.

For contributions received via PayPal, we use the date that PayPal gives us.

The PayPal donation link for the USA is at: https://www.ccog.org/donations/

In Canada the rules may be slightly different for mailed and other contributions, so if you want the tax deduction for calendar year 2019, they likely also need to be made before the end of the calendar year to the CCOG in Canada.

(In New Zealand, they use a March 31st date.)

World News Items

China is expanding its naval presence, which is a concern to some military analysts (see ‘Sleeping dragon no more: China about to replace US as strongest naval power and Washington is too late to stop it’). While China is not prophesied to be a major military threat to the USA, its military moves tend to get the USA focused towards it and away from Europe, though it is a European power prophesied to takeover the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39).

Russia has been in the news for its technological prowess. It now has a train that goes over the longest bridge (which it made) in Europe (see AP: Putin opens railway bridge to Crimea). Russia’s President Putin stated that his nation is now the first with hypersonic weapons (see ‘Putin says Russia is leading world in hypersonic weapons’ and ‘Runet’). Look for Russia to make one or more deals with Europe in the future.

Europe and Russia not happy with new sanctions signed into law by US President Donald Trump last Friday (see DW: Germany, EU decry US Nord Stream sanctions). Russia reported today that this is not expected to stop the project (see ‘Russia can complete Nord Stream 2 pipeline by itself: Kremlin’). A German researcher even proposed a “climate change” tariff/tax against the USA (see Climate tariffs against the USA because of Nord Stream sanctions? Plus, Turkey warning EU about more Syrian migrants). Relations between the Anglo-American powers and the EU are becoming more distant.

The Parliament of the UK took another step to leaving the EU on Friday (see UK Parliament votes to accept Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill). The UK and USA hope to make a major trade deal after the UK is out of the European Union (see Post-Brexit trade for the UK and USA? Prosperity? Europe to Rise and Fall?). The Europeans will remember, but not fondly, many UK and USA actions over the past few years.

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: Could Ursula von der Leyen be the prophesied ‘raiser of taxes? 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: CCOG: 7 years of RestorationOther 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.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, (Philippians 1:3-13)

Brethren, God is faithful, we love you, and do not give up.

Yes, brethren, even those that lie about us and post false and misleading information on the internet have, in ways they have not understood, turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. One such way is indirectly assisting us in reducing errors as we put together more and more to prepare for the short work (cf. Romans 9:25) as part of the final phase of the work.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer