Letter to the Brethren: May 30, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Post New Zealand greetings.

Joyce and I were able to visit the brethren in New Zealand last Sabbath.

We were able to meet with them and even video a little bit for the ‘Behind the Work’ video for 2019.

Here is a photograph from New Zealand:


Takanini, New Zealand

Speaking of trips, Louis Rubin is scheduled to fly to Tabasco, Mexico today to meet with those there. Please pray for this trip to be successful.

Kenya and Malawi Conferences

Last Friday, a conference was held in Kenya.

Here is the report I received:

Pastor Dr Bob,

              MINUTES OF CCOG LEADERSHIP MEETING HELD AT NDHIWA CHURCH HALL ON 25TH MAY 2019 AT 2.00 PM.
                      AGENDA
1-PREAMBLE
2- READING AND CONFIRMATION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES.
3- APPOINTMENT OF REGIONAL LEADERS AND THEIR MANDATES.
4- TITHES AND OFFERINGS
MATTER ARISING
5- AOB
7- ADJOURNMENT
MIN1/5/2019 PREAMBLE
The meeting commenced by opening prayer from Deacon Nimrod Ondigo.
MIN2/5/2019. READING AND CONFIRMATION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES.
The previous minutes were read by the interim secretary and were confirmed to be true records by Deaconess Rosemary Akinyi and was seconded by Jacob Kungu.
MIN3/5/2019 APPOINTMENT OF REGIONAL LEADERS AND THEIR MANDATES.
Evangelist Evans Ochieng kisiengo proposed that leaders be appointed in various regions to easen the church work and the burden he has.
Pastor Ezekiel Oanda cited that when leadership is poor or not well structured then the work cannot run smoothly. The members unanimously agreed to have pastors or deacons appointed to help supervise the work in the six regions.
The regions were divided into six regions as follows with their corresponding leaders. (After appointment).
1- Ndhiwa region — Nimrod Ondigo
2- Kisii region ——— pastor Ezekiel Oanda
3- North Rift valley — Pastor William Kirui
4- southern Rift valley – Pastor Tiongik Sawek
5- western Kenya — Deacon Kennedy Odhiambo
6- Migori – Bradox Ouma
Regional leaders will go to each and every congregation and oversee the tithes and offerings collections, preach and teach the word of God and preside over other spiritual matters.
MIN4/5/2019 TITHES AND OFFERINGS.
Evangelist Evans Ochieng Kisiengo proposed that leaders should go and teach more about tithes and offerings in their local congregations.
The leaders are to keep records of the tithes and offerings and submit their records to the general secretary at Ndhiwa from July.
From July, the regional leaders and hosts will be given some assistance to help them visit congregations and to motivate them in their spiritual work.
MIN5/5/2019 MATTERS ARISING.
1- The new general church secretary will be Deacon Granton Otieno who is going to replace … who left the church.
2- The church treasure will still be Anna Adhiambo.
3- In June, Evangelist Evans Ochieng Kisiengo will go to all congregations to inform them of changes in leadership and to endorse the regional directors.
4- There will be a personal secretary to help Evangelist Evans Ochieng Kisiengo.
The personal secretary should be computer literate and will work in the office at Ndhiwa town.
5- There will be a central office at Ndhiwa to aid in church matters and urgency.
MIN6/5/2019 ADJOURNMENT.
The meeting was concluded by prayer from Jacob Kungu.
Evans Ochieng Kisiengo

It is our hope and prayer that these changes will not only better serve those in Kenya, but will free up more of evangelist Evans Ochieng’s time to be able to better serve those in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and other parts of Africa.

Elder Sasha Veljic and I also encouraged those in Kenya to be faithful in tithes and offerings as the need for them, and the blessings associated with giving them, are sorely needed in Africa.

Yesterday, there was also a conference that was to take place in Malawi to make plans to better serve Malawi and Mozambique. Also, a couple of days ago, deacon Radson Mulozowa mentioned that we have a new congregation “in mulanje called kachingwe.”

World News Items

The European Union completed its parliamentary elections. While pro-EU parties still have control, ‘nationalist’ parties gained ground (see European elections 2019: Power blocs lose grip on parliament).

Over in the UK, the new Brexit party, led by Nigel Farage, did the best in the EU parliamentary election (see European elections 2019: Power blocs lose grip on parliament). UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation on Friday at least partially because her Brexit proposals have not passed (see Theresa May announces resignation). The EU is still upset about Brexit and the UK political leaders remain divided on how to proceed.

The USA has issued another threat against Iran (see John Bolton Accuses Iran of Tanker Attacks Off UAE and issues threat). While Iran is not powerful enough to defeat the USA, it does have the ability to cause it damage should this situation escalate much more.

The USA continues to have trade issues with China and Europe (see Trade Wars: USA, Rare Earth Elements, China, and Europe). This will ultimately result in Europe rising up and dominating world trade, for a time (cf. Revelation 18).

Regarding the Middle East, US President Trump’s son-in-law is hoping to persuade more in the Middle East to support a Trump Administration peace plan (see Jared Kushner scheduled to attend Bilderberg conference and go to the Middle East to promote peace plan). Because of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian leaders do not wish to deal with him or others in the Trump Administration regarding a peace plan. That being said, a temporary peace deal will one day–probably relatively soon (though likely after more armed conflict)–come to that region (cf. Daniel 9:27). That will be an important prophetic sign–but one that most will not understand when the deal is confirmed (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

  • 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: Chronology matters by John Hickey. Other sermonettes are also 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: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy. 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 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 ContinuingCOGchannel 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 Titus:

8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. (Titus 3:8-11)

Brethren, notice the contrast.

There are the faithful that believe God and are involved in doing and supporting the good works that God wants. Then there are those who are divisive, who engage in foolish and useless disputes.

In the past couple of decades, I have gotten emails from numerous people who feel that their positions on topics like ‘make-up’ are more important than fulfilling Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

And in Africa and Canada, a year or two back, we lost people in CCOG who foolishly (and falsely) concluded that the New Testament was not written in Greek, but instead in some other language in order to justify their contentions about ‘sacred names.’ Those who left, too, seemingly insist that their unprofitable disputes are also more important than supporting a work that is fulfilling Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

The lack of fruits of those insisting on their improper contentions should be clear to all. Yet, those who do such things do not properly see their lukewarm work (cf. Revelation 3:14-16), but they need their eyes properly anointed to see and change (cf. Revelation 3:18).

Brethren, remember that during this predominantly Laodicean time there are many excuses that are useless.

Believe what the Bible teaches and continue to support the work and be careful to maintain good works.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer