Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.
In addition to regular and routine tasks, we have been working on a new booklet that we hope to get out later this year. It has to do with prayer and putting it together has been a bit more difficult than it would seem. It is still not done, even done to the point of having a first draft, but progress is being made.
As mentioned last week, for those who live in North America, I would be interested in hearing any ideas that you might have. We are debating between having one or two sites, depending on our needs. If you have a suggestion, you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, but understand that there will be many factors that will determine our final choice(s).
Bible News Prophecy In German!
Received a translation of the Bible News Prophecy magazine from one of our members in Canada. This translation has been forwarded to the graphics company for formatting. While we are interested in ALL real languages, German is one that I was especially interested in getting as I do believe that as much of the message needs to be in that language as possible.
Once this first edition is available, we plan to put a link to it at the CCOG.eu page, as well as announce it elsewhere.
I was able to be on the radio on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. The host and I discussed faith, the Pope’s comments about the devil’s work (see Pope Francis misunderstands the devil’s unity, which is the subject of this week’s recommended sermonette; watch Pope Francis and the Devil’s Unity), and vaccinations (see Obama and potential presidential candidates speak about vaccines). This was broadcast over the Genesis Communications Network, which reaches millions.
Being a radio guest allows us to reach a lot of people at virtually no cost. Radio complements our presence on the internet and often radio programs will link back to our articles and videos, as this particular one sometimes does. This allows us to reach people we otherwise would not be able to reach.
Meeting Hall in Canada
Received the following email from Canada today:
As a former member of the RCG, I can agree that you are right-on-the-money when it comes to the RCG in your recent article… May God help them to see the truth and come here to the CCOG…
I’m including a few photos of where we meet for services here in Saint John…God has allowed us, by the way, to rent for a mere $10 per-week, and with no taxes, a very nice room at the Saint John Central Library.
Only a small room is rented. Anyway, here is the photograph he sent that best shows the three-story building they are meeting in for services in Saint John, New Brunswick:
As far as RCG goes (a group the emailer was once part of), I did write a post warning against some of its improper doctrines yesterday (see RCG’s David Pack claims, ‘You’re not allowed to hold on to your own assets.’).
Food for Africa
Kenya-based CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng sent the following reports Tuesday:
Pastor Dr Bob,
Thank very much for the funds I received today. I will purchase food for our members in Nyakach and plan to meet them tomorrow. These, our brethren, are feeling very bad…
Thank you very much for the assistance. God will bless you highly. you have promoted the church in Nyakach and in Kenya at large. CCOG bears fruits. we are preaching the gospel in every corner and every way.
Although our focus is spiritually-feeding, we help where we can. We strive to follow the admonitions and example of the Apostle Paul:
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)
25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. (Romans 15:25-27)
While we do have limited resources, we strive to assist where we can.
ContinuingCOG YouTube Channel: Over 100,000 Views!
A report this week from YouTube shows that we now have had over 100,000 views from our ContinuingCOG ‘television’ channel. These videos are the ones that we normally use for sermons each week. Although it would not seem so looking at the last few uploaded videos, we have had over 6,000 views of our sermons in the past 30 days.
As mentioned last week, we past 250,000 views of our Bible News Prophecy ‘television’ channel (which are the ones that we normally use for sermonettes each week).
Jesus said that His followers should get the gospel of the kingdom and what He taught to the world and we in the Continuing Church of God are doing that in many ways, including YouTube television.
World News Events
The world, and the USA, are seeing an increase in child sex-trafficking (see Sex trafficking rising). The Apostle Paul warned about perilous times in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-9), and this is one of the more horrific crimes of selfish-lust that is increasing and needs to be denounced.
The USA itself seems bent on increasing its debt (see Obama proposes additional $474 billion of debt; Australian sets out timeline for collapse). This will ultimately not end well for the USA (Habakkuk 2:6-8).
Europe has financial issues, but they are not quite the same. There are some problems there because of Sunday’s recent election in Greece (see Merkel says no debt forgiveness for Greece: What will happen?). The new Greek government wants to eliminate austerity and renegotiate terms of debt repayment, in great measured owed to the Germans. Germans want to be paid back, but they also want Greece to remain in the Eurozone (see Most Germans want Greece to remain part of the Eurozone). Germany wants a large Europe. Despite what may happen in the short-term, in the long-run, Greece will support the final Beast power.
In France, there are concerns that unless Islam is dealt with differently, there might be civil war there some day (see Might Islam trigger civil war in France?). I do expect civil unrest in France and other parts of Europe related to Islam. Currently, France is estimated to be 5-10% Muslim. The Bible tells of a religion that will be based out of Europe that nearly all will follow (Revelation 13:1-8). Because of biblical writings, I believe the time will come when there will be no significant amount of Muslims in Europe.
Speaking of Islam, there are still problems in Egypt (see Egypt’s Sissi expects the battle against the Muslim Brotherhood will be a long one: Will it turn out as he hopes?). On Monday, a court there approved the death penalty for 183 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (see Egypt condemns 183 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death). While the more secular leaders in Egypt rightly fear what will happen should an Islamic confederation form like the Muslim Brotherhood wants, the Bible shows that such a confederation will form, Egypt will be part of it, and it will NOT end well for Egypt (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:2-8).
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has commented that he approves of how the Vatican is handling Ukraine (see Russian Patriarch Kirill praises Vatican’s approach to Ukrainian crisis). While many in the West are clearly anti-Russia on the Ukrainian situation, Pope Francis has not come out in favor of the Kiev government as much as those in Europe would have liked. Pope Francis has refrained from being highly critical of Russia in all of this for several reasons, including his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his desire to attain unity with the Russian Orthodox church. The Russian Orthodox church has the most members of any branch of the Eastern Orthodox faith, and if Pope Francis wants to get ecumenical unity with the Eastern Orthodox, which of course he does, he likely has concluded that he needs to be careful to not directly offend them if he perceives that as possible. Thus, the Vatican’s approach to Ukraine, in my view, is mainly one of alignment with the ecumenical and interfaith agenda that Pope Francis has. As I have written before, I believe that the Russian Orthodox will, for a time, provide at least tacit support for the changed ‘Catholic’ faith of the Church of Rome and the final Beast power that will arise in Europe. However, since the Bible shows that a Russian-led confederation will turn against the end time ‘daughter of Babylon’ that Europe will become (Jeremiah 50:41-43; 51:27-33), it would seem that the Russian Orthodox church will also distance itself from whatever version of religion that final Beast power will cling to (the Babylonian leaders will turn against the Church of Seven Hills according to the Bible–Revelation 17:9,16-18).
NATO met on how to deal with Russia and Ukraine today. European leaders plan to go Ukraine and later meet with Vladimir Putin (see NATO, Europe, Ukraine, and USA concerned about Russia: A secret plan?) to attempt to make some type of a ‘peace deal.’ The situation in Ukraine remains tense, but is giving the Europeans reasons to build up military arms.
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: Pope Francis and the Devil’s Unity. A related written article is: Pope Francis misunderstands the devil’s unity. 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: Valentine’s Day, Christianity, and Islam. A related written article is titled: Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins. 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 Paul was inspired to write:
19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (1 Corinthians 10:19-22)
Brethren, please keep this in mind during the times that many will be celebrating soon such as Valentine’s Day, Carnaval, Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Easter. None of which Jesus or His actual followers observed.
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God