Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Warm greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

As usual, we have been involved in many projects and issues.

Prayer Request Update

Last week, we mentioned that Bradox Ochieng needed prayers for a very bad case of malaria   His father, Pastor Evans Ochieng, shortly later sent me the following:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Let me thank you and all brethren who prayed for my son Bradox. Your prayer was answered by our ALMIGHTY GOD. The situation of my son was very bad that he could not talk. Now he is doing well.

Evans

God hears our prayers. Thank you all for your prayers. Pastor John Owak also emailed me and mentioned that three of his children recently had malaria.  He and others in Kenya are looking at ways that may reduce the incidence of malaria there as it is quite prevalent in many parts of Africa.

Youth Camp in Ghana

Pastor Samuel Ofosu sent in a report about a youth camp in Ghana:

CHURCH OF GOD 7TH DAY, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE CONTINUING Church of God organized a youth revival with the theme ‘O LORD, I HAVE HEARD OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND I AM FILLED WITH AWE.’ (HABAKKUK 3.2)   From Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 to Friday 11 January 2016 of the civil calendar…

Because the activity was simultaneously organized, I as the Youth Co-coordinator couldn’t visit the other branches for some reasons including means of transport.

I centered at the headquarters and thus, would report vividly on events as such.

With the sermon been led by the head pastor at the watch night, there was a teaching on the disobedience and rebellious behavior which eventually are snare to our righteous-living.

He also re-affirmed the kindness and compassion of the Lord to Israel, who later rebelled and grieved hid Holy Spirit which fought them back in the process according to Isaiah 63:7-12.

History has an indelible memory and the youth must be very careful in nowadays and today’s world of modernism and the religious proliferation of secular humanism which advocates humanistic standard than religious values, it was a memorable lesson and prayer night.

The second day’s sermon thought us extremely to live good exemplary lifestyle worthy of praise, testimony and commendation as youth in reference to   Act6s 16:1,2; II Timothy 4:9-10;TITUS 2:6-8; Ecclesiastes 12:1,13-14.

Day three sermon highlighted more on our social-life through godly living and practicability reading from I John 2:15-17; I Thessalonians 4:3-7; Romans 8:5-11.

The last sermon encouraged us to be strengthened, courageous and determined in our call to the work of God; referring to Joshua 1:7-9 ;Isaiah 35:3-4 ;II Chronicles 15:7.

We hoped to provide the video footage but unfortunately, it was not possible due to some reasons. . .

WE sincerely need your supportive prayers to see us through.

Hope to get back to you soon, but in the meantime, may the grace of our Heavenly Father bestowed upon you among all brethren in the faith. Amen

The Ghanians are NOT part of the Denver group called Church of God Seventh Day. They contacted us last year (under that name, which is how they are still legally registered in Ghana) and are affiliated with the Continuing Church of God and we have began sending them literature (all funding for the youth camp came from those in Ghana).

Mozambique and Malawi

We would like thank those of you who went above and beyond to commit to provide funds so that we can contribute to relieving some of the food shortages for our members in Africa, such as in Malawi and Mozambique that have experienced crop losses due to droughts and, yes, also floods.

This came as good news to Sosten Libungwa of Malawi who sent the following to me today:

Dear pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from CCOG Malawi, am reporting of this week situation where by
many people are suffering with many diseases like cholera, kwashok and
some are swelling and dying because of sleeping empty stomach for some
several days, our Church members are much affected and the Mozambique
leaders are coming on Sunday after Sabbath to give me report of their
situations and to check after I told them that you pass on our request
through brethren letter to all the saints of God,it is good that God
must do very wonderful thing this week so that the Mozambique leaders
Mr R Matiya and Mr Malire should go back with joy. Sosten

We are looking to send some funds next week as I told Sosten Libugwa.

Sosten Libugwa translated our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, into Chichewa, also known as the Chewa language.  In the USA, we are working on formatting that so we can have the songbook available to those in Mozambique and Malawi who speak (and sing) in that language.

Report from Kisii, Kenya

Received the following report from Japhter Onwonga in southwestern Kenya:

Dear Editor Bob,
Greetings send to you through Christ Jesus.
Firstly thank you and the Creator’s sustenance in allowing support to reach brethren on their various allocations within Kisii on the previous Sabbath along with Pst Evans latter Pst Ezekiel. Praise unto God for that wonderful opportunity allowed.
We pray for you God to continue giving you strength.
Welcome report from Kisii in Kenya as per last Sabbath meeting our Church groups. Pastor Evans and i met and went to their gathering of brethren.
Met Peter Omuya, shared with them and considered to support them Bibles, Hymonal song books.
AFTER MOVING FROM THERE we reached Nyamaruma and shared with them shortly. Then went to Rosiaga gathering where we shared with brethren. The issue of chicken project need for widows, money was given to them before our leaving them along with that to buy Bibles handed to Ezekiel.
After concluding our sharing with brethren, Evans commissioned Ezekiel and i to meet Nyamecheo group at Nyabiore in Magenche while Evans returned Indiwa agent to meet the other in service.
We met those of Nyamecheo on evening.15 that patient to meet us. On their morning FELLOWSHIP THEY WERE 35. We shared that of of Bible and discussed with them major issue hindering gathering is payment renting house whereby we put this to your considering. Also viewed seats not available. Widow request be considered orphan school fees.
Thank you for your providing contribution to make that possible.
We again thank God providence through you for expanding work in Kenya and sustenance such gifted blessings.
In love to be in touch, JAPHTER

The needs in many parts of Africa are great, and we try to assist where we can.

Radio

As pre-announced last week, I was on radio on the Genesis Communications Network this past Monday, January 18th, at 2:05 pm PST.  We discussed items related to the recommended sermonette for the week: 2016: The State of the Apocalypse.

Google Campaign

Just got a report from Google that our campaign to tell people about which is the faithful church reached 2,753,196 computers in December 2015.

We have a very cost-effective campaign and should issues in Africa reduce the strain on our finances, we hope to increase the campaign, but currently that does not look likely before 2017 because of crop and poverty issues in several of the African countries we have congregations in.

Reaching the Spanish Speaking World

We continue to get more CCOG materials translated into Spanish than any other language (other than English, which is not a translation).

Here are links to some news items translated into Spanish:

Iraq offers to mediate Saudi-Iran dispute; but PCG is wrong about Psalm 83 alliance
Irak ofrece mediar en disputa Irán-Arabia Saudita; pero la PCG está equivocada acerca de la alianza del Salmo 83
http://www.cdlidd.es/irak-ofrece-mediar-en-disputa-iran-arabia-saudita-pero-la-pcg-esta-equivocada-acerca-de-la-alianza-del-salmo-83/
Alabama’s Chief Justice stops non-biblical marriages
Principal Juez de Alabama para matrimonios no bíblicos
http://www.cdlidd.es/presidente-del-tribunal-supremo-de-alabama-para-matrimonios-no-biblicos/
2 dead, at least 1600 injured, in ‘Black Nazarene’ celebration in the Philippines
2 muertos, al menos 1600 heridos, en celebración del ‘Nazareno negro’ en las Filipinas
http://www.cdlidd.es/2-muertos-al-menos-1600-heridos-en-celebracion-del-nazareno-negro-en-filipinas/
Anglicans divided on women and homosexuality, but the USA branch has taken the anti-biblical side
Anglicanos divididos sobre las mujeres y la homosexualidad,pero la rama de los EE.UU. ha tomado el lado antibíblico
http://www.cdlidd.es/anglicanos-divididos-sobre-las-mujeres-y-la-homosexualidad-pero-la-rama-de-los-ee-uu-ha-tomado-el-lado-antibiblico/
Did Pope Francis display Peter’s relics?
¿Mostró el Papa Francisco las reliquias de Pedro?
http://www.cdlidd.es/mostro-el-papa-francisco-las-reliquias-de-pedro/
Sexual corruption at the US military academies
Corrupción sexual en las academias militares de los EE.UU.
http://www.cdlidd.es/corrupcion-sexual-en-las-academias-militares-de-los-ee-uu/
Pope Francis to display remains of ‘St. Pio of Pietrelcina’
Papa Francisco a mostrar restos de ‘San Pío de Pietrelcina’
http://www.cdlidd.es/papa-francisco-a-mostrar-restos-de-san-pio-de-pietrelcina/
Royal Bank of Scotland claims 2016 will financially be ‘catastrophic’
Banco Real de Escocia dice que 2016 financieramente será ‘catastrófico’
http://www.cdlidd.es/banco-real-de-escocia-dice-que-2016-financieramente-sera-catastrofico/
European leaders move closer to ’666′
Líderes europeos se mueven más cerca del ’666′
http://www.cdlidd.es/lideres-europeos-se-mueven-mas-cerca-del-666/
Hyginus of Rome may have done what?
¿Qué puede haber hecho Hyginus de Roma?
http://www.cdlidd.es/que-puede-haber-hecho-hyginus-de-roma/
Church of God or Church of Rome: What doctrines did Apollinaris of Hierapolis hold?
Iglesia de Dios o Iglesia de Roma: ¿Qué doctrinas mantuvo Apollinaris de Hierápolis?
http://www.cdlidd.es/iglesia-de-dios-o-iglesia-de-roma-que-doctrinas-mantuvo-apolllinaris-de-hierapolis/
CG7 on Israel in prophecy
CG7 sobre Israel en Profecía
http://www.cdlidd.es/cg7-sobre-israel-en-profecia/
Study claims artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing will solve ‘wicked problems’ in the 21st century
Estudio dice que la inteligencia artificial y crowdsourcing resolverán ‘malvados problemas’ en el siglo 21
http://www.cdlidd.es/estudio-dice-que-la-inteligencia-artifical-y-crowdsourcing-resolveran-problemas-malos-en-el-siglo-21/

London’s mayor claims that UK will prosper greatly outside of EU
Alcalde de Londres dice que el Reino Unido prosperaría enormemente por fuera de la UE
http://www.cdlidd.es/alcalde-de-londres-dice-que-el-reino-unido-prosperaria-enormemente-por-fuera-de-la-ue/

Having news items translated into the Spanish language should help us attract people who are interested in more information about what the Bible has to say about world conditions and news items.

Canadian PayPal Button

The Continuing Church of God Canada can take donations via PayPal.  This is now possible online through the PayPal button which is at http://ccogcanada.ca/donations/

Donations made by PayPal at that site are now fully tax deductible by Canadians.

Canadians can also mail tax deductible donations to:

    Continuing Church of God Canada
    P.O. Box 344
    Harvey Station, NB
    Canada    E6K 3W9

Because of exchange rate and other issues, it is normally best for those in Canada to send their tithes and offerings to the Continuing Church of God Canada.

Funds CCOG Canada receives are used to support the work in Canada, Africa, and elsewhere.  Thus, it is not necessary for those in Canada to send funds to the USA to support the work as we work together.

World News Items

The annual World Economic Forum has been going on in Davos, Switzerland.  In addition to discussing world economic issues, pushing the homosexual agenda was one of the objectives of the meeting in 2016. US Vice President Joseph Biden called for an end to “hateful laws” that oppose the LGBT agenda (see World Economic Forum: Concerned about economic panic, information technology, and Brexit, while VP Biden pushes the LGBT agenda).  The Bible’s laws of love (cf. James 2:8-11) apparently are considered as hateful by him and others.  Most fail to see that God gave His laws for our good (cf. Deuteronomy 10:13).  The fruits of the homosexual agenda are not good (2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7), but most in the world seem blinded by Satan(cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4) to that fact.

Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière called for churches to work with his government on dealing with the refugees in Europe (see German leader calls for more cooperation between church and state: Will this turn out well?). He admitted that there are probably over twice the amount as has been officially acknowledged.  Look for more European cooperation with the Vatican on this and other matters (cf. Revelation 17), though ultimately this will NOT turn out well for Rome.

Speaking of the Vatican, its Pope Francis visited a Jewish synagogue in Rome a few days ago (see Pope Francis visits Jewish synagogue as part of his interfaith agenda).  He is believed to be only the third pontiff to ever do that.  The Pope keeps working on his interfaith agenda and has again tried to strike up better relations with the Jews (though he does not have particularly close ties to the nation of Israel).

The famous treatise of Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, was released to the public domain after its copyright expired a few weeks ago.  Its newest printing in German quickly sold out (see Mein Kampf sells out). Mein Kampf is an anti-Jewish, pro-German book that some believe will further fuel hatred in Germany towards Jews as well as the Islamic immigrants. Anti-Jewish sentiment will likely be a factor leading to some of the persecution against those in the Church of God as certain Catholic writings suggest that we are secret Jews that need to be eliminated (some details are in the article Persecutions by Church and State).  The new popularity of Mein Kampfis likely ‘fuel for the fire’ of coming persecution.

Jesus warned persecutions would come (John 15:20) in the end times (Luke 21:12).

 Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services 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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one titled: 2016: The State of the Apocalypse. 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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: What really happens after death?  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 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.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle John wrote:

4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. 5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. (2 John 4-8)

Brethren, while working on this week’s recommended sermon, I encountered doctrinal deceit from an ‘expert’ in one of the world’s churches.  Many profess to be teaching the truth of the Bible and doctrines of Christ, but fail to do so.  There are many deceivers who claim Christianity.

“Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer