Letter to the Brethren: April 19, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from the Five Cities region of California.

We continue to work on new literature as well as new animations.

One of the reasons for working on new booklets is to support our animations. And one of the purposes of the animations is to direct people to our literature so that they can learn more about the truth of the Bible.

We are currently expecting to release at least four new booklets this year, with the dating booklet the first.

We Got Media Attention

Many of you will remember that in my 2015 sermon The Short Work, I mentioned my belief that the short work alluded to in Romans 9:28, as well as the final fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, would partially happen as the result of media coverage.

While now is not the time for the fulfillment of Romans 9:28, we did just get some media attention.

The UK Express ran three articles where I was mentioned by name this week: World War 3 WARNING: US told ‘consequences of bombing Syria’ set the stage for WAR and World War 3 PROPHECY: Did ‘Balkan Nostradamus’ Baba Vanga predict Putin’s rise to power? and End of the world: Will the world end on April 23? Will World War 3 break out?

In the first one, they embedded part of this week’s recommended sermonette video: Syria and the start of World War 3. Now, the way it was embedded does not affect the statistics that YouTube supplies us, so we are not sure how many have seen the version the Express put together. But, as a media outlet, obviously more have now seen this.

Of course, the coverage was not intended to be flattering. But that is consistent with the prophetic words of Jesus:

11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).

It is not that the UK Express was spreading evil falsehoods about us, per se, in all of the articles. But the coverage is ‘tabloid’ like and used unflattering titles.

That being said, media attention will amplify our reach and I believe will be a factor in the prophesied fulfilling of Matthew 24:14.

Spanish Voices

We received the Spanish translation of our ‘First Date’ animation back very quickly.

But we need voices. Preferably two female and three male voices (though we possibly could do this with as little as one female and two male voices).

Does your family speak proper Spanish?

Would you like to volunteer to assist the Continuing Church of God reach people in the Spanish language?

If so, perhaps you might be willing to provide voices for a short animation script?

If you may be willing to serve that way, please send me an email: COGwriter@aol.com

Feast of Tabernacles Sites in the USA

The Feast of Tabernacles (including the Last Great Day) will be here relatively soon: starting the evening of September 23rd until sunset October 1st in 2018.

We now have agreements for two Feast of Tabernacles’ sites in the USA for 2018 (though the Wichita site will probably not be officially finalized for about a week–but a check to secure the location has just been mailed).

The first, which was announced before, is the the Marriott Courtyard Alexandria Old Town/Southwest, located at 2700 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA  22314-4553, (703) 329-2323.

Here is a link to book rooms at the above: Book your group rate for CCOG Feast of Tabernacles.

Alexandria is near Washington, D.C.

The second is the Wichita Public Library, Evergreen Branch, 2601 N Arkansas, Wichita, Kansas.

At this instant, the plan is for Steve Dupuie to spend the first half of the festival speaking in Alexandria and the second half in Wichita; with Richard Close speaking the first half in Wichita and the second half in Canada; with Bob Thiel speaking the first half in Serbia and the second half in Alexandria.

Herb Haddon is working on a site in Canada. It is expected to be between Ontario and New Brunswick. Currently, a site in Kingston, Ontario, which is a short distance from New York Interstate 81, is being most considered. For more information, contact Herb Haddon, email hwhaddon@gmail.com

Information on our Fall festival sites around the world is in the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2018.

Now that the USA sites are essentially finalized, please email me to tell me which of those sites you plan to attend.

My email remains cogwriter@aol.com

Please try to let me know as soon as you can.

New Zealand Site

John Hickey sent me the following:

We have booked a venue for the Feast of Tabernacles. The venue is Academy Comfort Inn, 734 Cameron Road, Tauranga.

https://www.academymotorinn.co.nz/

Tauranga is just under 3 hours south east of Auckland by car.

For more information, contact John Hickey, email john.h@vodafone.net.nz.

Google Campaign

Google reported that our campaign with them reached 1,559,397 computers last month. That is down slightly from the previous month, mainly because of changes in Google algorithms.

A witness to the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of God is going forth as we are working to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

World News Items

The USA, UK, and France dropped bombs on Syria as punishment for what has been claimed to be a chemical weapons attack against civilians (see Syria bombed and Russia reacts: The start of WWIII or Isaiah 17?). One day, the Bible shows that Syria’s capital, Damascus, will become a “ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1). While that has not happened yet, it will come to pass.

French President Emmanuel Macron is concerned that the European Union is divided between those who prefer democracy and those who prefer a more authoritarian model (see BBC: “France’s Macron: EU in ‘civil war’ over democracy”). Despite hopes some have that Europe will be democratic, the biblical reality is that an authoritarian dictator will be given power in Europe (Revelation 17:12-13) and he will be there to do his (and Satan’s, cf. Revelation 16:13) will (cf. Daniel 11:31-39).

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that both the Europeans and China are pushing back against trade policies of the USA (see Trade wars: China and EU push back against the USA). The Bible shows that Europe will one day dominate trade for a time (cf. Revelation 18). We are seeing more efforts by the Europeans to try to take the lead on international trade.

A study just came out that said 95% of humans are breathing unhealthy air (see ’95 percent of the world’s population is breathing unhealthy air’ What is the solution?). While humanity will NOT solve this, the Kingdom of God will. Pray for God’s kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for 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. The one suggested for this week is: Syria and the start of World War 3. 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 most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: No One to Date? Teen Q&A? Engagement? 2nd Marriage?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 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 ContinuingCOGchannel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

Jesus taught:

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’  7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’  10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. (Matthew 25:1-13)

Brethren, in these Laodicean times (cf. Revelation 3:14-22), most Christians are not wise. Live, now, as a Philadelphian Christian (cf. Revelation 3:14-22), so that you can be one of those that Jesus will later consider to be wise.
Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer