Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities Region of California.
The End is Not Yet!
Many have been influenced by political matters to believe that the end (meaning the Great Tribulation) is going to happen within the next 2-3 years. It will not (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).
Furthermore, consider that Jesus taught:
5 Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:5-8)
While many events are aligning with biblical prophecies, the end is not yet.
Some are caught up with political and other changes which influence them tell others that the end is sooner than it is or that certain political policies are more important than they are in the overall light of God’s plan.
The Bible teaches:
12 Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. (Isaiah 8:12)
It is not that Satan is not conspiring, but understanding certain ‘conspiracies’ is simply not relevant for Christians.
While prophetic events are going on, there is still time before the end, and there still are false prophets.
Consider that those who predicted certain matters related to Donald Trump remaining in office or him coming back into office by now, to cite a couple of political examples, were wrong. Nor is Joe Biden or Donald Trump or Kamala Harris the hope for Christians. Nor are COVID vaccines the Christian hope or the ‘mark of the beast.’
We in the Continuing Church of God strive to always rely on the Bible for our prophetic understandings and teachings. Because of that:
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19, KJV)
We have been correct on what we have actually taught on prophetic matters.
Why bring this up now?
Well, yesterday someone not part of CCOG asked me if a video that one or more CCOG members were promoting/circulating was produced by us. I responded that it was not from the CCOG. But this person had thought that it may have.
Please be careful about tying CCOG in with emails and videos that you might send that we have not produced here in the Five Cities Region of California, which is where our world headquarters is located. Also, be careful about speculations–they should be identified as such.
As far as warnings and the end goes, all would do well to heed the following from Jesus:
34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36)
Watch, pray to be counted worthy, and continually take steps to change your life so you will be accounted worthy.
Anyway, while the end is near (e.g. watch Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027?) and we are to watch certain world events (Mark 13), the end is not yet.
Christians should not get caught up with political matters or conspiracies that detract from the Kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 6:33).
Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles for 2021 is fast approaching.
Services for the Feast of Tabernacles are to begin the evening of September 20th and continue until the Last Great Day which is September 28th in 2021.
The Bible teaches:
34 … ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, (Leviticus 23:34-37)
God commands His people to observe it, so if you have not already done so, please email the appropriate person for the site you want to attend.
For information on CCOG sites, check out the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2021.
COVID and the Feast of Tabernacles
While people are supposed to attend God’s festivals, if someone has a communicable disease, like COVID, they should not attend services until after they have completely recovered.
Several in North America and Africa who will be traveling to serve in other nations have had to get a COVID vaccine in order to be let in those countries.
Personally, I do not care for vaccines, nor believe that government officials have told the full true story about them. Yet, even before COVID have written that if one was necessary to work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and/or 28:19-20, it would be something I would be willing to do (see also the article: CCOG on vaccines).
As far as COVID restrictions go for 2021, we are still awaiting information regarding Malawi and Mozambique. Kenya-based evangelist Evans Ochieng is still hoping to go to Malawi, as well as possibly Mozambique before the Feast of Tabernacles to help finalize matters. Hopefully, we will be able to have the Nelsons go to these nations for the Feast of Tabernacles.
New Zealand has blocked outsiders, and has another lockdown, but we hope and pray the restrictions will have no meaningful impact on the Feast there. Much of Australia is still under lockdown.
We are working on matters related to Haiti, and COVID is really not a major factor. We also have no new information to share regarding the earthquake there, but are trying to learn more to better assess the situation there. We have no reports of any new injuries.
Canada has had tough restrictions for crossing the border, but some of those were partially lifted for those with an approved COVID vaccine.
Puerto Rico has some restrictive entrance requirements that we are looking into, yet it is my hope that my family will be able to attend there the last two days of the Feast/LGD. We still plan to be at the USA site at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for the majority of the Feast of Tabernacles.
As far as the USA goes, one of the reasons that Tennessee was selected was because it has had less COVID restrictions than some other states. As far as masks, etc., those are optional–though the hotel or authorities could impose some restrictions. In 2020, the hotel in Texas required masks in the lobby and elevators, but that was all. We were not required to wear masks during services–this is expected to be an individual decision again in 2021.
That being said, please send me an email if you plan to attend the CCOG Feast of Tabernacles in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee–you do NOT need to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn to attend. So, please send me an email if you intend to attend. My email address remains COGwriter@aol.com
Suggested Sabbath Day Services
Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:
- 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.
- The suggested sermonette is: Afghanis: Potential terrorists? Other sermonettes are available at our Prophecy channel on BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- The suggested sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email, will be a recorded one. The suggested one is: Fall Holy Days or Holidays? Other sermons are also available at the COGTube channel on BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/
- 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. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.
World News Items
Drought and a deadly flood in Tennessee have been in the news. Various officials are concerned about food production and prices (see Drought, food production, and wilted crops).
Issues associated with Afghanistan have also been dominating the news (e.g. VOA: Biden Seeks to Weather Afghan Withdrawal Storm; COGwriter: USA looks to be gone by 2028 and USA to be out of Afghanistan by August 31; PCG posts: Iran-Backed Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan). Many are also concerned that Afghanistan will be a haven for Islamic terrorists (see Taliban: A potential terrorist threat?). Some, including French President Macron (see Potential terrorists? USA wants Afghani refugees, France’s Macron says EU should not) and Russian President Putin (see US and Russian leaders warn about terrorism from Afghanis) are concerned that some within the Afghanistan refugee population will be terrorists (watch Afghanis: Potential terrorists?). Such concerns are well-founded: terrorism is prophesied (cf. Deuteronomy 32:25) and looks to be specifically prophesied to come from those from lands in the Near-Middle East and North Africa dominated by Islam (cf. Psalm 83:3-8).
COVID matters, of course, have also been dominating the news. COVID policies have hurt the economies of many and may also have lowered the Intelligence Quotients (IQ) of babies (see COVID fear has hurt economies and the IQ of babies). Furthermore, various governments in the West are making it more difficult to ‘buy and sell’ without a COVID vaccine (see WND: Mark of the COVID beast: Store denies people food, water without vaccine passport). Although ‘COVID passports” are NOT the ‘mark of the beast,’ such difficulties are showing that much of the populous will accept ‘666’ restrictions (cf. Revelation 13:16-18).
While COVID-19 also is not the ride of the fourth horseman of Revelation 6:7-8, a worse pandemic is coming. Some are even speculating about something being called COVID-22 may soon emerge (see ‘Immunologists Are Fearing That a “COVID-22” Super Strain Is Just Around the Corner’).
The world as we have known it has changed a lot in the past 1 1/2 years, and many negative changes are coming. Remember to do as Jesus said and pray for God’s kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).
The Apostle Paul wrote Titus and said:
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. (Titus 2:1-10)
Brethren, we all, and not just Titus, need to “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.”
We all ought to be “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works.”
Pastor and Overseer