Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities region of Central California. We had a nice Pentecost weekend, plus we have been busy ‘catching up.’
Before going further, I wanted to write a little about the trend towards cashlessness in Europe.
My wife Joyce took a picture of signs in two shops in Stockholm, Sweden:
The vision of a cashless society, from a biblical perspective, resembles something that those in Sweden will not really want:
Beast of the Sea (Revelation 13:1)
The vision of a coming ‘cashless’ society seems to have been prophesied in Revelation 13:16-18. It is NOT good.
Yet, as Western society moves further away from biblical truth, it is more and more embracing concepts that the Bible warns against. It is not only some shops, even small restaurants and pubs are moving away from accepting cash in Sweden and even the employees of such establishments see this as good. Anyway, the suggested sermonette for this week is related to some of this and is titled Sweden going to ‘666’ cashlessness?
Last Friday, June 2, 2017, I was on Jeff Crouere’s radio show Ringside politics with a punch program on WGSO 990 AM, New Orleans, Louisiana. Jeff Crouere was an at-large delegate to the 2016 Republican Convention and a supporter of Donald Trump. I have been on his show twice before. He asked me about Donald Trump as well as prophetic matters.
Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent in the following report:
Pastor Dr Bob,
The work in Africa has made another step of reaching many countries and reach many people. When we started to work with Dr Bob, I did not expect the work I am seeing now. Recently when I visited Malawi and Mozambique, I saw how much the doors are open for the gospel to reach many people and reach some areas where the sabbath has never been kept for the last centuries. It made me to understand what is written in the Bible that the work is big but labourers are few. I saw the response of people in Mozambique and how the meetings were blessed throughout that trip.
The work has expanded in some of Africa countries like Kenya where we have reached many people. This is the country that CCOG has done a wonderful work to preach the gospel to reach many people in corners of the country. We have 28 congregations in Kenya with more than 1000 members. This is the country where the translations of church magazines and books are now being translated into many languages. The church has made a good step of printing the magazines in the country in different languages. I thank those people who have spare time to translate magazines in different languages. May God bless our brothers like Ezekiel Oanda, Nimrod Ondigo, Granton Otieno and William Kirui who have taken their time to do a better work of translation. I also thank Pastor Sawek who is working day and night to move in all parts of Rift Valley to reach many brethren in Rift Valley. I also thank our brother from Serbia Elder Alexander Velijic who took his time to visit all our congregations in Kenya. God blessed him so much during his trip in Kenya with good and blessed words to uplift the faith of the people throughout his visit. Lastly I thank overseer Dr Bob for the conference in Nairobi which bears many fruits in Kenya. In combination of these people God has done a wonderful work in Kenya.
We shall have 5 feast of tabernacles 2017 sites in Kenya. One in Tanzania and one in Malawi.
Since the beginning of our work with Dr Bob, The gospel of the kingdom has been preached widely in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia. I am asking our brethren worldwide to pray for the work in Africa and also pray for me. This work is big and tough. It needs a lot of prayer.
Yes, we have had a lot of growth in Africa–we strive to go through the doors that Jesus opens (cf. Revelation 3:).
We received the following from our deacon in Ethiopia regarding Pentecost:
Dear Pastor:We did celebrated this feast as good so likes some of our Congregations all over the world.We will go out side the Region tomorrow morning for the discussion of Church matters as I told you before.The Cog in Ethiopia totally separated.But, the problems we have got now,the Church we build some three years a go, The Government controlled.Because,These two groups have to argument on properties.The Church now closed until the properties divided. We now prayed inside the smallest room.I will tell you when we come back.Thank,koang deng.
The group in Ethiopia is relatively new as far as keeping all the Holy Days go.
Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following:
Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Kenya.
The feast of tabernacles 2017 sites are :_
5 – NAKURU
TANZANIA – UTEGI
MALAWI – MIGOWI
So, we expect to have five sites in Kenya this year. We also expect to have sites in Ghana and Ethiopia.
A listing of expected sites, including those in the Western world, are in the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017.
Squash in Africa, Greetings from Ghana
Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following photograph of his wife Rose with summer squash:
The summer squash came from seeds I was able to bring over when I came to Nairobi for our African conference in February. It appears that summer squash grows as well there as it does here in California.
Furthermore, Pastor Samuel Fosu Gyeabour from Ghana reported the following:
Meanwhile, the seeds have been nursed and germination perfect. …
“..But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth..,” (II Thessalonians 2:13 NIV).
My utmost greetings to all the brethren here..!
Beloved in Christ,
Pastor Samuel Fosu Gyeabour,
So, the seeds worked there as well and I am passing his greetings on to those of you who are reading this.
Last letter, I mentioned that we sent funds to Uganda. Here is an email we received:
Dear Dr. Bob, Ev. Evans and CCOG around the world,
I can’t take another step without thanking you for the prompt extrication you made for releasing our brethren.
We all here are very excited for redeeming us from trials.
Our brethren here are now free and safe.
In my consolation message to the brethren after being released to the claws of the devil.
I told them that we all must understand the prophecy of the Bible. I remembered them also that Jesus said that He will build His Church upon a solid rock, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And it must be a persecution for this church. And today the devil is using the rulers, governors to persecute His Church. Jesus Christ has already reveled us a secret in Mark 13:9 and Matthew 10:17-18 : Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. And you shall be led before both rulers and kings for my sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
Apostle John also revealed us how much the dragon is angry against the Christ’s Body( HIS CHURCH). Revelation 12:17 says;
And the dragon ( Satan)was angry at the woman( THE CHURCH) . And so he went away to do battle with the remainder of her offspring, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I told them that we are the only ones of God’s holy people in this planet earth who are still keeping God’s commandments and have testimony of Jesus Christ. The dragon is against us and must use these rulers and governors of this darkness world to persecute us as well.
So as true Christians if we come forward to serve the Lord we must prepare ourselves for temptation and trials. We must set our heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity.
We must cleave to GOD and do not depart IN His WORD, so that we may be honored at the end of our lives we then must accept whatever is brought upon us.
Truly I and our brethren are very excited to be part of Jesus Christ body and through CCOG’s teachings the things that are pleasing to our Creator God have been made clear to us.
As I am planning to go in refugee camp to see our brethren there, I please you to pray fervently for us. My hope and goal in refugee camp is also to meet the Local leaders so that we can register the church as we will still wait for the full registration. This will help the brethren to operate and meet every Sabbath without fear.
Thank you very much for your prayer and your prompt extrication.
We are hopeful that the situation in Uganda will work out, but we still have serious concerns about that area.
Next week we (my family) are planning to have Sabbath services in Belgrade, Serbia on June 17, 2017 and to see some of the brethren there. If you wish to attend, please conduct Elder Aleksander “Sasha” Veljic. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
World News Items
In the USA, actions and statements by US President Donald Trump have emboldened international players to essentially say that the USA is no longer going in the proper direction of a power to lead the world (see Donald Trump announces withdraw from Paris accords: A slap in the face to Pope Francis and the Europeans?, FOX: ‘Stephen Hawking says humans must flee Earth within century.’ Angela Merkel furious with Donald Trump, and Donald Trump announces withdraw from Paris accords: A slap in the face to Pope Francis and the Europeans?). While Europe still relies on the USA for defense, the time will come when Europe will decide it not only does not need the USA, that it should take it over militarily (cf. Daniel 11:39). Europe is taking military steps and making more statements about separating from the USA and UK (see EU decides to increase its military spending).
China also seems to hope to take advantage of the fact that Europe and others have issues with the USA and its president (see China trying to benefit from US withdraw of Paris accord, while also working to eliminate the ‘petrodollar’ and DW: How Trump’s unreliability is pushing EU and China closer together). While China will prosper under the time of the coming European Beast power, it will not attain the same level of dominance that Europe is prophesied to attain (Revelation 13,17,18).
The situation in Afghanistan with the Taliban, etc. currently does not look very encouraging (see Afghanistan: Clashes, terror, quagmire, and death), but a temporary peace will likely affect it one day (cf. Daniel 9:27).
Over in the UK, there was more terrorism (see Terrorists kill and maim on London Bridge). France was also hit by an incident (see Terrorist strikes at Notre Dame de Paris), as well Iran (see Islamic State kills in Iran and Iraq: Is something worse coming?). Terror was prophesied to affect “a perverse and crooked generation” (Deuteronomy 32:5,25).
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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Sweden going to ‘666’ cashlessness? 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: The Past and Future Inquisition. 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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE BibleNewsProphecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.
After Satan attempted to tempt Him, notice something that the Book of Luke mentions that Jesus told Satan:
4 Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” (Luke 4:4)
Brethren, we too face tests and trials and should not listen to Satan or his followers. We need to truly live by every word of God.
Pastor and Overseer