Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
We had another full week of working on matters related to running the church, Matthew 24:14, and Matthew 28:19-20.
Some matters, like getting further on booklets and magazines in multiple languages, were positive, but we had some disappointing news as well.
YouTube Censorship and the Famine of the Word
Last week, I received the following in a ‘do not respond’ email from YouTube:
The YouTube community flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. After reviewing the content, we’ve determined that the videos violate our Community Guidelines. As a result, we removed the following videos from YouTube:
Are we saved by faith? Or are we saved by works?
Please note that this removal has not resulted in a strike.
– The YouTube Team
This email and the related removal are outrageous. Because YouTube did not count this censorship as a ‘strike,’ so far, we have not found a way to appeal this. Nor did they tell us what they considered wrong–all we got was the above.
The sermon that YouTube censored was by Steve Dupuie and was given at the Feast of Tabernacles in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in in 2015. He sent me his notes before and after the sermon, and I see nothing in it that warranted it being pulled by YouTube.
It appears to have been pulled because someone (likely from a Protestant faith) claimed that doctrinal differences were offensive.
By the criteria that we suspect that YouTube used, it should have to pull not only a CCOG sermon, but most messages by Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, and Muslims as someone is bound to be offended by some of the theology of those of other faiths.
I have been warning for some time that since the Bible tells of a coming ‘famine of the word’ (Amos 8:11-12), that we should expect YouTube censorship to be part of this.
Because of that, before this censorship, I asked Bill Wedekind to back-up every sermon and sermonette we had on YouTube, and last month he did. So, we have copies of everything, including the video sermon that YouTube censored.
I have spoken to Bill Wedekind, Steve Dupuie, and two of our sons about how to proceed. At this moment, because YouTube is free, YouTube is available in multiple formats, and YouTube sometimes helps us get viewers, we plan to remain on YouTube. However, we are continuing to look into alternatives in case YouTube ultimately pulls us completely off.
YouTube has NOT threatened to remove us. But since we have what they would consider to be more ‘controversial’ videos up than the one that Steve Dupuie was in, it remains a concern that some day we may be forced to abandon YouTube.
I ended up being on the radio on Monday. Mainly we discussed Iran and some items related to the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43). The host and I differed with certain details and I spent some time attempting to get the more biblically-tied view across.
I am planning on being on radio on the Genesis Communications Network next Monday, January 18th, at 2:05 pm PST.
Rose Brown and the Wichita Video-Group
As mentioned before, Rose Brown, the former host of the CCOG video-group in Wichita, Kansas died on December 26, 2015. She is survived by her eight children and twenty-four grandchildren. She will be sorely missed. A memorial service is planned for January 16th in Wichita. Email Linda Holeman, firstname.lastname@example.org, for particulars.
The video-group we have in Wichita is continuing with David Reed and Linda Holeman (two of Rose Brown’s children) co-hosting.
Kenya-based Pastor Evans Ochieng sent me the following yesterday:
Pastor Dr Bob,
I am back from the hospital now. My son Bradox is seriously sick. He is suffering from strong Malaria. I left him in the hospital if he cannot talk. Please pray for him and ask the brethren to pray for him.
Bradox Ochieng works with his father helping the churches in Kenya. Malaria is very common in the portion of Kenya where many of our members live in. Please keep Bradox Ochieng and others in Africa in your prayers.
Time reported yesterday about increases of mosquito-born diseases in places like the USA (see Time: ‘Why You Can Get So Many Diseases from Mosquitoes’). But because of the winters there, places like Africa tend to have much worse problems related to mosquitoes.
Received the following this morning from Sosten Libungwa of Malawi:
Am sending you a report of hunger situation in Malawi and Mozambique among the affected people with death because of lack of food in the body, which caused more diseases in our lives, our church members are affected with this drought. In addition to this, we experienced floods last year 2015 in January where crops and other agricultural produce were taken away with floods, include animals and houses, houses were destroyed by floods, when Evans came he found people live in tents with also no harvest, but I did not report to you this because I thought it’s good to mold the people spiritually with a new doctrine of CCOG, so that the church must be strong both Malawi and Mozambique. In addition to this, we are expecting that this year, the rain will not be a problem, we planted our crops in November 2015 hoping that by January 2016, the maize will be ready to be used since after three months or 90 days our crops are always ready and by early march we do harvest our dry crops, but this year all our crops are totally dry, can you see the attached plants, it can be burn if you can just put fire on it. The Government of Malawi under the ministry of Agriculture advised us to plant other new crops and remove the old ones, we did this, but it is also dried, can you look to those ridges that has small plants, we need the CCOG to take a step to intervene our situation by coming in with urgent help, this must go to every CCOG in this world to help to us avoid more deaths . . .
We have already sent more money to Africa than we recorded as receiving this month. Hopefully, we will be able to assist with this when we get more funds in.
We also hope that Pastor Evans Ochieng will be able to visit Malawi within the next month or so (as well as Nigeria, Ghana, and some other parts of Kenya).
USA Contribution Receipts
We put together and sent all contribution receipts to all donors for 2015 who we had valid USA addresses. These were mailed yesterday, so you should get yours next week.
If you do not get yours by the end of the month, please contact us.
World News Items
A Syrian terrorist connected to the Islamic State killed 10 and wounded many others, mainly Germans, in Istanbul Turkey on Tuesday (see Syrian terrorist kills Germans in Istanbul). European leaders have been meeting on ways to deal with terrorists and are taking steps consistent with those expected to be expanded upon by the final King of the North Beast power (see European leaders move closer to ’666′). War will one day come between the Europeans and the Arabs (Daniel 11:40-43), but before then the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies will be defeated (Daniel 11:39), by a European power that will surprise the world (Revelation 13:4).
Some are optimistic and others pessimistic about the world economy. On the pessimistic side, the Royal Bank of Scotland claims that 2016 will be a financially ‘catastrophic year’ and has its own advice for that (see Royal Bank of Scotland claims 2016 will financially be ‘catastrophic’). Jesus’ ‘investment advice’ differed as He said:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The Anglican Church is facing another potential division between those that believe that women should be ordained and homosexuals married and those that do not (see Anglicans divided on women and homosexuality, but the USA branch has taken the anti-biblical side). Any church can call itself ‘Christian’ and support the homosexual agenda has changed the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1:24-27).
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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one titled: Crowdsourcing and Artificial Intelligence to solve “wicked problems”? Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- Sermon, which for many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist? 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 Bible News Prophecy channel.
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage — in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”
19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”
20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. (Exodus 1:8-21)
Brethren, we are seeing more and more leaders rising up in the West that do not remember to abide by the morality of the Bible.
While we strive to obey the laws in this world, and do not go out of our way to violate them, we need to be like the midwives in the land of Egypt and, like the apostles did, “obey God rather than men” when there is a conflict (Acts 5:29).
As the political winds change, we may have many that will face that type of trial.
Pastor and Overseer