Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from Grover Beach, California.
Today is the USA holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a national holiday commemorating the giving of thanks religious pilgrims gave at a meal centuries ago. As a national holiday, it is not required to be observed by Christians.
However, the idea of being thankful is something Christians should be.
Would you like to do good in the sight of God?
If so, an easy thing to do is to thank Him:
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord (Psalm 92:1)
6 I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good. (Psalm 54:6)
1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God (Psalm 147:1)
And, we should thank and praise God regularly and not just around national holidays that may mention thanks.
Lost Tribes Apology
Two different households recently contacted me to mention that our latest in-process book, Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America?, was not available under the literature tab at www.ccog.org as mentioned in some recent sermons.
This was an error on my part. While the book was online (and linked to some places at ccog.org), it had not been added to the literature page at ccog.org. I apologize for that error, but am glad and thankful that this has now been corrected.
This book will now be easier for others to find.
The book, however, is still a draft and I have been updating it several times per week. The intent is to have it available in print form sometime in 2023.
‘Doc’ Buchanan Update
I was able to speak with Panama-based CCOG elder George ‘Doc’ Buchanan over the telephone on Tuesday. He is still recovering from the automobile accident he had last March. While he is not yet back to normal, his memory is coming back and he feels much better than he did. Please keep him and his wife Jo Anne in your prayers.
As mentioned before, we are in the process of registering the Continuing Church of God in Rwanda.
As part of that process, it was helpful to establish a formal postal address there.
Moise Nshimiyimana emailed me that address, so last Friday we were able to order literature in English and French. While some in Rwanda know English and some French, the native language is Kinyarwanda, sometimes called Rwandan.
Currently, we only have one booklet translated in Kinyarwanda, here is a link: https://ccogafrica.org/2022/04/01/amayobera-ya-gahunda-yimana/
Here is a link to the English version of that booklet: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?
I have asked Moise Nshimiyimana to review both versions to see if we should make grammatical or other changes to the Kinyarwandan version now that we have members who are fluent in both languages.
Suggested Sabbath Day Service
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: Interfaith Beast Commandments? 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: Israel, Jeremiah, Tea Tephi, and British Royalty. 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
Iran continues to face protests, while it also works to increase its stockpile of processed nuclear materials (see Iran is facing protests, while it is also producing enough nuclear materials for nuclear weapons). In the news this week, once again Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would take military action against such in Iran even if others would not concur or assist. Between what is happening with protests, nuclear accumulation, actions & threats from Israel, the leadership in Iran may soon decide to strike out and cause “great damage” to Israel’s capital of Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 22:6-9).
The European Union declared that the climate change conference called COP 27 did not result in enough to improve the planet. (see ‘EU: COP27 agreement ‘not enough’ for the planet’). While there are biblical solutions to weather and climate matters (watch COP 27 and Solving Climate Change), those at these conferences will not seriously consider them.
Speaking of COP 27, as the result of that meeting, many agreed to work to mandate ‘vaccine passports’ for international travel as well as to push for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Some commentators have pointed out that it looks like the G20 politicians are looking to have more and more control over people’s lives and finances (see LAURA INGRAHAM: The goal with digital health certificates is ‘ultimate control’). And that, sadly, is true–666 controls (Revelation 13:16-18) are getting closer and closer.
We continue to see more steps towards ecumenical unity between the Roman Catholics and various branches of the Orthodox Catholic churches. Once again, it is being proposed that they take steps to all celebrate Easter on the same date (see CNA: Why Catholics and Orthodox might once again celebrate Easter on the same date). Originally, the Greco-Roman churches observed Passover, but switched to a Sunday date, as opposed to the biblical date of the 14th of the month of Abib/Nisan. The sun-worshiping Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea, which in 325 A.D. declared Passover was to be kept by his people on a Sunday. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic church began to refer to Passover as Easter as the pagans in Germany and part of the British Isles had observed a Spring holiday to the goddess Eostre and/or Ishtar. Because of calendar changes in the Middle Ages, the Roman and Orthodox Catholics began to use different calendars to observe Easter and are now looking to make it so both groups keep it on the same day–a day that is set (intentionally) so that it will not fall on the date of the biblical Passover.
‘Easter’ most definitely was not part “of the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), yet the Greco-Romans are contending for their changes, as opposed to going back to the biblical date, as well as practices, of Passover, instead of Easter.
That said, speaking to Mar Dinkha IV, who is the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Pope Francis said:
I thank your Holiness for having voiced the desire to find a common date for Christians to join in celebrating Easter. On this point, I want to say – indeed, to repeat – what Saint Paul VI said in his day: we are ready to accept any proposal that is made together. 2025 is an important year: we will celebrate the anniversary of the first Ecumenical Council (of Nicaea), yet it is also important because we will celebrate Easter on the same date. So let us have the courage to put an end to this division that at times makes us laugh … https://zenit.org/2022/11/21/pope-to-assyrian-leader-on-easter-we-are-ready-to-accept-any-proposal-that-is-made-together/
While Pope Paul VI pushed such anti-biblical nonsense, the Apostle Paul, the one Paul VI is supposedly named after, did NOT say to accept any proposal that is made together. Actually, he wrote:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 ‘I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
We in the Continuing Church of God are not part of the unclean ecumenical movement.
Furthermore, that Council of Nicea not only ruled against the biblical date of Passover–and that is a historical fact that it did–it also ruled against the Sabbath day which God established in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Genesis and that the Apostle Paul wrote was still for Christians.
On that last point, notice what the New Testament Book of Hebrews teaches according to one Eastern Orthodox and three Roman Catholic translations related to the Christian Sabbath:
3 However, we who have faith are entering into that rest, even as God said: As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest. And yet, the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 Somewhere [else], God said this about the seventh day: God rested on the seventh day from all his works. … 9 There must still be, then, a Sabbath rest for God’s people, 10 and anyone who has entered into his rest has also rested from his [own] works, just as God did. 11 Therefore, let us do our utmost to enter into that rest, for fear that anyone should fall according to the same pattern of disobedience. ((Hebrews 4:3-4, 9-11. THE EASTERN / GREEK ORTHODOX BIBLE NEW TESTAMENT. The EOB New Testament is presented in memory of Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos † 2007 https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/assets/uploads/books/18204/Eastern_Orthodox_Bible-New_Testament.pdf)
3 We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest, as in the text: And then in my anger I swore that they would never enter my place of rest. Now God’s work was all finished at the beginning of the world; 4 as one text says, referring to the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. 5 And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest. 6 It remains the case, then, that there would be some people who would reach it, and since those who first heard the good news were prevented from entering by their refusal to believe … 9 There must still be, therefore, a seventh-day rest reserved for God’s people, 10 since to enter the place of rest is to rest after your work, as God did after his. 11 Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of refusal to believe and be lost. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NJB)
3 For we, that have believed, shall enter into their rest; as he said: As I sware in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: and truly the works from the foundation of the world being perfected. 4 For he said in a certain place of the seventh day thus: And God rested the seventh day from all his works … 9 Therefore there is left a sabbatisme for the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, the same also hath rested from his works, as God did from his. 11 Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest; lest any man fall into the same example of incredulity. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, The Original and True Rheims New Testament of Anno Domini 1582)
3 For we who believed enter into [that] rest, just as he has said: “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest,’” and yet his works were accomplished at the foundation of the world. 4 For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works”; 5 and again, in the previously mentioned place, “They shall not enter into my rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains that some will enter into it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience,… 9 Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. 10And whoever enters into God’s rest, rests from his own works as God did from his. 11 Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.(Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, New American Bible)
Thus, the New Testament clearly shows that the command to keep the seventh day Sabbath is in the New Testament. It also shows that only those who will not observe it because of their disobedience argue otherwise. And that is why Paul observed it.
Even Origen of Alexandria, who is considered to be a highly important Greco-Roman Catholic theologian of the early 3rd century A.D., understood some of this as he wrote:
But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, “There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism,” that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God…let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath-day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from…give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction…this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Translated from Origen’s Opera 2, Paris, 1733, Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, pp. 324-325).
As it turns out, at least 20 Protestant translations make it clear that Hebrews 4:9 is pointing to the weekly seventh-day Sabbath (ASV, BLB, BSB, CSB, DBT, ERV, ESV, GNT, HCSB, ILB, ISV, JMNT, Jubilee 2000, NASB, NETB, NHEB, NIV, WEB, WNT, YLT).
As it is believed that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews, it should be apparent that he would not have endorsed the anti-biblical decisions at the Council of Nicea.
Do not get caught up in false arguments for unclean unity–which are actually supportive of the satanic ride of the white horseman of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:1-2).
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
Brethren, God’s plan is based on love.
Jesus did not just come to die for the elect (see also our free online book: Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation).
While many Protestants quote verse 16, they normally fail to understand the ramifications of verse 17.
But we are privileged to serve a God of love (1 John 4:16), for “our God is the God of salvation” (Psalms 68:20).
Rejoice and be thankful for that.
Pastor and Overseer