Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings again from the Five Cities region of California.
In addition to the routine activities, I have been spending a lot of time writing a new booklet on prayer. A draft was finished today, so I sent it to New Zealand for editing. There is also still a lot of work to be done related to its front and back covers.
On more ‘routine’ matters, the recommended sermon for this upcoming Sabbath is part two of a two-part series on Satan’s plan. I also expect to cover other aspects of Satan’s plan in additional sermons/sermonettes. Many would be shocked if they realized how Satan has been planning to deal with end time Christians. But as we in CCOG are to be wise and able to instruct others (cf. Daniel 11:32-33), we need to know and not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Hopefully, those not with us will see why this type of knowledge is needed for the end times.
As mentioned in the last letter, I did a radio interview on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. The host and I discussed the dangers of Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday (see also Mardi Gras is not Christian; Pope Francis was once a ‘Mardis Gras bouncer;’ Shrove Tuesday?), abortion (see also Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose), and some ideas that science has about ‘apocalyptic’ events. As we did not finish that last item as planned, I was invited back and covered the rest of the items from a report from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute and the Global Challenges Foundation titled 12 Risks that threaten human civilisation (see also Oxford University’s 12 likely causes of the Apocalypse). We also discussed some of the problems associated with the movie Fifty Shades of Grey (see ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ wins at box office, showing sin sells).
These interviews were broadcast over the Genesis Communications Network. The host said he is also an ABC affiliate and the show is broadcast on the DISH Network in Europe. He has stated that DISH network in Europe has something like 1100 radio channels and covers Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and Asia, including Russia.
Statement of Beliefs in German and Italian!
The Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God has just been translated into Deutsche (German). It is now available online at: Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God.
The Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God has just been translated into Italian. It now is available online at: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God.
In addition to English, we also have the Statement in other languages such as Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios; Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos; Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明; Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI; and Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God.
I again wish to thank our volunteer translators for all of their hard work. This truly is an international work. Interestingly, the German and Italian Statements were translated by people who currently live in Canada and Australia, respectively.
Building up and improving our online materials in multiple languages is part of how we are now preparing for the final phase of the work.
Lighting for YouTube Videos
Last week, I mentioned lighting changes for the video sermons and sermonettes. But as this resulted in reflective glare, I decided to wear my contact lenses instead of glasses. Every day, hopefully, we all learn. And each week, we try to do better.
Received the following from CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng today:
I went to visit our new congregations in Rift Valley where I met Bomet Congregation that is under pastor Kosgey.. I also met pastor Sawek and other members from Masailand Transmara. I spent two days in Bomet and on the Sabbath I met all of the congregation. The meeting was so nice. We were 37 members including me and John Okinda who accompanied me.
Most of these members are old members of Seventh Day Church of God who decided to join CCOG after study many truths from CCOG website and also met first time when I visit them. This is my second time to visit Bomet Congregation. They were very happy when they received our Magazines, books and song books which I gave them. …
I noticed that these congregations in Rift valley are bigger that they cannot fit in Ndhiwa During the feast of Tabernacles. Even though my plan was to have one feast site in Kenya this year, it can’t work because the growth is high that it will force us to have more than one feast site. These members in Rift valley are so many. That means, we shall have feast site in Rift valley and it needs a big space that can accommodate all congregations here. I tried to call you through phone to talk with you when we were together with the pastor but I didn’t go through. After that, I traveled to various congregations.
This coming Sabbath I will go to Kisii to meet our new group. We shall go with Ezekiel Oanda, our Area representative in Kisii.
The power is going off. I will send more information on Sunday or Monday.
A lot is going on in Africa, specifically Kenya. Please pray that we have more laborers for the harvest (Matthew 9:38) and that we can properly support the growth as it will take significant funds to make the Feast of Tabernacles work well over there.
World News Events
The Islamic State has been in the news a lot related to murders in Denmark (e.g. Danish terrorist had sworn allegiance to ‘caliph’ of the Islamic State), Egypt (see Egypt bombs Libyan stronghold for Islamic State after Copts are killed), and the removal and selling of human organs in Iraq (see UN suspects Islamic State is taking and selling human organs to fund terrorism). The USA is trying to put together a coalition to deal with that group–and as I have written before, part of that coalition could set the stage for the formation of the final King of the South of biblical prophecy (Daniel 11:40-43).
The Europeans helped put together a ceasefire for eastern Ukraine (see Ceasefire deal reached for Ukraine: Will it really bring peace?) that has had problems (see Separatists claim capture of territory in Debaltseve, Ukraine). The President of Ukraine has already claimed that the ceasefire has been violated. Because of what is happening related to eastern Ukraine and the limited military support from the USA, some German leaders are looking at improving the military power of Europe to be able to stand against Russia. Germany will rise up further militarily (cf. Isaiah 10:5-11).
On what might be considered to be a distantly related note, scientists are getting excited about the upgrades that were made to Europe’s Large Hadron Collider (see Scientists excited about Europe’s updated Large Hadron Collider). I have warned for years that technology coming out of European projects like the Large Hadron Collider will be a factor in the Europeans developing military prowess consistent with the prophecies in places such Revelation 13:4 and Daniel 11:39.
In ‘entertainment’ news, the movie Fifty Shades of Grey was released to a worldwide audience and became a box office smash (see ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ wins at box office, showing sin sells). The movie is based upon a book with the same title that promotes fornication, lust, and the inflicting of physical pain (see also ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ sends out a horrible message). Although the movie was banned in some countries, it has proven to be wildly popular and shows that we are seeing more and more moral depravity becoming ‘mainstream.’
As far as moral depravity becoming more ‘mainstream,’ last week US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated that she believes that the American public has changed enough recently that it will now accept homosexual marriage (see Justice Ginsburg: Americans are ready for homosexual marriage to be a Constitutional right).
Notice something that God warned the children of Israel:
22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. (Leviticus 18:22-28)
The increasing acceptance of behaviors that the Bible condemns does not bode well for the USA, its Anglo-Saxon descended allies, not ultimately for the rest of the world (cf. Matthew 24:21-22; Romans 1:18-32).
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 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: Collapse of the Euro and Dollar? War in 2020? A related written article is: M&M: What’s ahead for Europe and the US dollar? War in 2020? Other sermonettes are also 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: Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize. A related written article is titled: Satan’s Plan. 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 that we list each week.
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 Bible News Prophecy channel.
The Apostle Peter wrote:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (1 Peter 5:8-10)
Brethren, Satan is for real and he does have a plan. Resist Satan and be steadfast in the faith.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God