Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.
We hope that you have been growing in grace and knowledge.
We continue to write, produce literature, and reach who we can.
We are still having success on YouTube.
We have now passed 800,000 views of our YouTube channels.
We originally choose YouTube ‘television’ because it was convenient and basically free. It also has wide viewership all over the world. As of this morning, we have 2,624 ‘subscribers’ to the BibleNewsProphecy channel and 1,128 for the ContinuingCOG channel. This is up from December 22, 2016 when we had 2,569 subscribers to the BibleNewsProphecy channel and 1079 for the ContinuingCOG channel. We have 20 subscribers to the CCOGAfrica channel–a channel we recently were able to add some materials to.
YouTube says that “Subscribers watch more,” meaning that they typically watch more of what is on the channels they subscribe to than non-subscribers. Anyway, we have never promoted getting ‘subscribers’ to the YouTube channels, but the numbers have been increasing.
We are reaching people with this form of media.
Years ago, we bought the URL CCOG.africa as part of a plan to better reach those in Africa. But because of legal disputes between two entities who have claimed the right to that gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain for Africa) we have not been able to use it (nor have thousands of other organizations that wanted to use ‘dot.africa’).
So,a few weeks ago, on behalf of the CCOG, I bought the URL CCOGAfrica.org. We now have a home page and a little bit of information there.
It is our intent to have more materials in more African languages there.
It is also our intent to provide more information on each of our congregations in Africa there. This will take some time. But the plan is to get email addresses, telephone numbers, and other information on the host/elder/pastor for each congregation in order to make it easier for those in Africa to find our congregations. While some of that information is currently available at the link: Congregations of the Continuing Church of God, we plan to add more information that should assist those interested in attending with the Continuing Church of God.
Serbian and Kenyan Dream Report
Elder Aleksandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic sent the following from Serbia:
For the first time in my 25 years of being in the Church of God, I have finally experienced an enthusiastic embrace worldwide that we make a joint humbling before God and ask Him to open more doors and intervene in our various problems. You said on the Sabbath in Kenya that you hoped this was the Church I thought I became part of when I was baptized in 1992. Indeed, this is the Church I believed I became part of back then.
Another fulfilled dream. I learned on February 26th that another dream was fulfilled. I used to be very cautious about dreams because I thought that they might be just figments of our human imaginations (and, as you know, the former hierarchies strongly discouraged deriving any conclusions from our dreams). So, the fact that dreams can be used as a message from God is a totally new thing to me, even though it has been in the Bible all along. Even that aspect shows you why I felt distrustful and weary of any hierarchy. All of those hierarchies impended the work of God in many ways. Anyhow, this is what Ondigo wrote me on February 26th:
„I remember several occasions when fasting has helped me. Before you came to Kenya, I fasted for you and Bob’s coming. On the same night after fasting, I saw in a dream Bob smearing oil on my body and some pure water like a waterfall dropped on my head. I have never told anybody that dream because I usually do not tell people my dreams. Imagine, I did not know that I would be ordained so I think it was the fulfillment of the dream”.
So, Fred Ochieng had a dream about your path lit with light and Ondigo Ochieng had a dream I have just quoted. Amazing.
Nimrod Ondigo Ochieng
Notice that Sasha was somewhat of a dream skeptic, but realized that the Bible often told about dreams.
The situation with Nimrod Ondigo Ochieng is interesting. He attended the Nairobi conference in 2014 and no one was ordained with oil then–there were no ordinations at that conference–so it was not like there was a precedent. The comment about pure water dropping on his head would seem to be a reference to the prayer I gave during his anointing. So, we have another confirmed dream associated with the Continuing Church of God (details on others are in the article Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).
I am expecting a written report from Frederick Ochieng (who is not related to Nimrod Ondigo Ochieng) on his confirmed dream as well.
Malawi Reports on Mozambique
Host Radson Mulozowa of Malawi sent in the following reports:
Thanks For Your Prayers Am Back From Mozambique.Brethern Prayers Has
Helped In The Way That Some Wellwisher Borrowed Me A Motorcycle To
Use.I Have Just Arrived In Malawi One Hour Ago. I Met With Pastors Who
Wants To Join CCOG. I Had A Good Time With Them And I Have Promised
Them That I Will Be Going To Mozambique Every Tuesday To Teach Them.
Greetings From Malawi And Mozambique.My Trip To Mozambique Was Very
Successful And The Church Is Growing Fast With Dedicated People. I
Have Failed To Sent Pictures Of Migowi And Mozambique Becoz My Phone
Is Faiing To Send. When I Go To Blantyre I Will Send The Pictures.
Pastor Matiya Is Just Waiting For Money So That They Can Start The
Process Of Registration. The Process Is Very Long That’s Why They Need
A lot Of Money. Here Is The Process: 1, Village Headman. 2, Traditional
Authority. 3, Police, 4, District Commissioner. 5, Each Trustee Must
Have Cedular Pesuwally Card. 6, Each Trustee Must Have Again Beliyeta
Card. 7, Immigration Letter. 8, Registar. All These Offices Are Based
In Maputo Which Is Much Far From Where Our Churches Are.Which Indicate
That The Transport Will Cost Much.They Requested Me To Be Going Every
Tuesday For Teachings To All Newly Church joiner. looking to hear
from you Pastor. Radson Mulozowa
We are looking into registrations in both Malawi and Mozambique.
Radson Mulozowa, Hoseya Bauleni, Bob Thiel, and Wedison Matiya
I was able to meet with Radson Mulozowa, Hoseya Bauleni (another host in Malawi), and Wedison Matiya (of Mozambique) when I was in Nairobi a couple of weeks ago.
Ghanaian Pastor Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour asked me to pull what he sent last week from the Letter to the Brethren and replace it with the corrected version that follows:
We express our sincere thanks for your support and prayers that led us to be part of our historic conference held in the far East of Africa Kenya.
After landing at the Kenyatta Airport we were conveyed to the Karibu Hotel scheduled for the conference by the representative there on the morning of the 7th February 2017. The conference officially commenced on the 8th February on the Theme: “What the Church of God is about. The essence of Leadership and the Love Leaders of God’s Church should have for the flock as shepherds. “
The host Pastor Bob Thiel made it known The Creator have a purpose for the Church which cost Him the life of His begotten Son to fulfill it. Several quotes that exhibits the theme in relationship to mankind were outlined to justify the theme with emphasis expressed on ( Philip. 2:5) He made mention later in the message that ” Humility” as one of the genuine products of the Spirit amongst others is very essential and should be ADORNED in the saviors vineyard.
Variety of topics were brought to light and addressed especially , CHURCH HISTORY. How the Church of God spread to the Asia Minor, America and the World at large: The Heretical behavior, Leadership crises that causes division among the Church which long ago was predicted by the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts. (20:28-31) etc. Again he also briefed the conference stating clearly that the Church is a Family ( Eph. 3:14) having its own beliefs which the Apostle Paul stated. Jude admonishes us in his epistle verse.3-4. The Host brought to light about his plans for the continent of Africa highlighting the Gospel of the Kingdom of God being the central theme of the work assigned to Gods Church to fulfil (Mark.16:15, Matt.28:18-20).
Divinely something strange and of cause during the climax of the conference happened when the host requested the Kenyan Overseer and Me to Ordain Him on the basis of Biblical understanding and regarding our efforts to bring the people of Africa to the light about the perfect will of God. Honestly, this part of the conference boosted my morale and afterwards the host also ordained me and strengthened me to stand firm in the work with his experiences and hardships he encountered previously. Several questions were asked which in response the host made it categorically clear that he is human and not perfect and more importantly, is willing to learn from us together citing the work of God is not academic but Spiritually inclined under tbe guidance of the Holy Spirit referring to (1Corint. 2:1-6).
The host attention was humbly drawn and addressed on the Passover feast and the regard for Only the first and the Last day of the feast than the rest of the days of Unleavened Bread whilst all have the same spiritual significance. He on notice accepted the important issue raised saying he was going to look at it very carefully at home in America portraying a testimony of Humility. After the lectures the host wanted to know our opinions about the conference and the way forward as well as our plans to enhance the ministry. We delivered to him from Ghana on paper in consultation with the Elders before leaving for the conference and promise to hear from him after studying it. Remarkably the conference was an eye-opener, educative and lesson experience packed one. I am therefore very grateful for the necessary support and prayers that enable this Historic journey.
May The Good Lord bless the family abundantly and more blessings to Pastor Bob Thiel the host for the funding and tuition.
Pastor Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour.
I changed the online version to this last week, but obviously those who received the email of the Letter got the version he wanted corrected. So, I included it in this Letter.
World News Items
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker laid out five scenarios for the future of Europe yesterday (see Jean-Claude Juncker puts forth five scenarios for Europe’s future: Which does the Bible point to?). He wants more unity and influence for Europe. But that will not end well (cf. Revelation 17:12-14).
Some European lawmakers are calling for a Federal Union of European States (see EU lawmakers call for ‘Federal Union’ of European states). While not all want this yet, this sounds similar to the “United States of Europe” Herbert W. Armstrong warned about rising up back in the 1940s. The time will come when Europe will reorganize (Revelation 17:12) and then turn power over to the Beast (Revelation 17:13). But expect to see more problems with unity within Europe first (cf. Daniel 2:41-43).
The head of the World Council of Churches met with the President of Palestine this week. They want a two-state peace deal in the Middle East (see World Council of Churches head meets with Palestine’s Abbas and pushes its ‘peace plan’). This is consistent with what the Vatican also wants. A temporary peace deal will come to the Middle East (Daniel 9:27), but will basically end in war (Daniel 11:31, 39-43). There may well be a major war in that region of the world before the prophesied peace deal will take place.
Now with the Brexit situation and Donald Trump as the President of the United States, the UK has extended some type of invitation for the USA to become an associate member in the Commonwealth (see USA to join Britain’s Commonwealth?). This could be perceived by certain political leaders as advantageous and could further drive a wedge between Europe and the USA and UK–it also would tend to push the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand closer together. Supposedly, the Trump Administration has expressed interest in this proposal. This may be a way where the end time descendants of the sons of Joseph will work closer together–we will see.
In the USA, Donald Trump claimed that Barack Obama is stirring up protests and agitators against him. And last Friday, Hillary Clinton put out a video where she encouraged protests (see Hillary Clinton pushing for ‘resistance’–there will be more violence in the cities!). I have long warned about civil unrest and riots coming to the USA. While we have seen some, expect to see more before the USA is gone.
On other matters with USA connection, the American Academy of Pediatrics put out another statement against the use of marijuana (see How to talk to kids about legal marijuana). The USA connection is that as more and more states make marijuana use legal, that children will foolishly think that becoming high on marijuana is good and safe–yet it is neither. The Bible warns against the type of intoxication that marijuana users attain (1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:9-11; Romans 13:13-14).
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: Donald Trump and Mexico’s future. Other sermonettes are available at the BibleNewsProphecy 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: Which Spring Days should Christians observe? 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.
Notice the following from the Book of Ecclesiastes:
1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Brethren, for the end time Philadelphians, this is a time to not only persevere and hold fast to the truths we have been taught (Revelation 3:10-11), but also this is the time to go through the doors that Jesus opens to us (Revelation 3:7-8) and to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14). Thank you for your support and prayers.
Pastor and Overseer