Letter to the Brethren: August 3, 2017

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Warm greetings from the West Coast of the USA.

Last Sabbath, we completed the last sermon in our series on Mark’s gospel.

So, we have now covered all the verses of all the gospel accounts in the Bible. This is consistent with the following command from Jesus:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

While I technically had covered all the words of Jesus in the New Testament before (that was completed last year), I had not covered, in the case of Mark’s gospel, all the rest of that particular book. Now that has been completed.

Records of church history indicate that teaching the contents of the gospels was something that was regularly done in the early church–and that is something that has been restored in the Continuing Church of God.

Doing this sermon series pushed me to look more at a ‘disputed’ section of Mark, so this week’s recommended sermonette is about  that (watch Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?).

One thing that we have striven to restore in the Continuing Church of God is teaching all of Jesus’ words and commands. To truly fulfill His command in Matthew 28:19-20, we have covered ALL THE WORDS of Jesus in the New Testament as well as covering all the verses in the gospels in our English sermons.

We do teach the Bible in CCOG.

Here are links to some of the sermons that show that we have been fulfilling Matthew 28:19-20:

MATTHEW Here are links to twelve sermons covering the 28 chapters of Matthew: Matthew 1-2: Greek or Aramaic, Jesus, and the Star?Matthew 3-5: John the Baptist, Temptations, and the BeatitudesMatthew 6-7: Charitable Deeds, the Rosary, Prayer, the Golden Rule, and FaithMatthew 8-10: Married Clergy, Faith, Coming Persecution, and the Ecumenical AgendaMatthew 11-12: John the Elijah, Sodom, Unpardonable Sin, & 3 Days and 3 Nights-14: Parables, Mustard Seeds, Birthdays, and FaithMatthew 15-16: Tradition, Signs of the Times, and The Rock & PeterMatthew 17-18: Transfiguration, Elijah to Come, Taxes, and ForgivenessMatthew 19-20: Transgender? Divorce? Purgatory? The first shall be last?Matthew 21-23: ‘Palm Sunday,’ Come as You Are?, and the Greatest CommandmentsMatthew 24: Temple Destruction, Sorrows, Tribulation, and the Return of Jesus, and Matthew 25-28: Midnight Cry, False Christians, Resurrection, & Teaching what Jesus Taught.
MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & MiraclesMark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and ParablesMark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and RestorationMark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & TaxesMark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and Mark 14-16: Jesus’ Priorities & Betrayal, the Resurrection, Signs, and Reaching the World.
LUKE Here are links to eight sermons covering the entire ‘Gospel of Luke’: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the CensusLuke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the MountLuke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the MinistryLuke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and SignsLuke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow WayLuke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and LazarusLuke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards, and Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence. The last sermon also covers Jesus’ words in the Book of Acts.
JOHN Here are links to a seven-part sermon series covering the entire ‘Gospel of John’: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & HeavenJohn 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles and the Bread of Life
John 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day’John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of JesusJohn 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate, and John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants.
REVELATION This is a link to a sermon covering words Jesus spoke as recorded in the Book of Revelation and in first and second Corinthians: Revelation: Jesus’ Final Words.

We have also made all those sermons available to the world on our ContinuingCOG YouTube channel–and that YouTube channel has had views from 214 nations/territories as measured by YouTube (though not all nations have watched much).

Perhaps it should be mentioned that when I was in Africa earlier this year, I publicly told those in attendance (which included leaders from six African nations and one European nation) that they needed to also go through and teach everything that Jesus commanded in the New Testament. We want to fulfill Matthew 28:19-20 in as many languages and to as many people as we possibly can.

We are preaching the Bible, including the gospels.

It is also my intent, in time, to attempt to cover every verse of every book of the New Testament, as well as several in the Old Testament in time in future sermons.

Change of Festival Location

Because of health issues with New Zealand host John Hickey, the Feast of Tabernacles’ site in New Zealand has been switched from Rotorua to Takanini–which is just south of Auckland.

Also, we almost had to change the location of the Feast of Tabernacles’ site in the Philippines because of health concerns with our Silay City host Oscar Mediavilla. But, as of this writing, it looks like we will still hold the Feast there in Bacolod (which is near Silay City).

Please pray for our hosts.

Also, pray as Jesus said:

“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

The Feast of Tabernacles, itself, is coming up soon. Services for the Feast of Tabernacles will begin the evening of October 4th and continue until the Last Great Day which is October 12th in 2017. Information on festival sites can be found in the following link: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017.

Bible Hymnals

We ordered another 100 of our song book, The Bible Hymnal, for Africa. We ordered 50 in the language of Kiswahili (shown above) that is scheduled to arrive before the Feast of Trumpets. Hopefully, these will be able to be distributed to those needing them in Tanzania and Kenya for the Feast of Tabernacles. We also ordered another 50 in English that we plan to ship later another way to Africa.

The Bible teaches:

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
24 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples. (1 Chronicles 16:23-24)

The Bible Hymnal helps us do that.

100th Radio Appearance!

Last week, I mentioned that I was  scheduled to be on the Nutri-Medical Report on the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN) last Monday. On that date, the host and I discussed false science, health, prophecy, ‘fake news’ about the Bible, and the importance of truth.

This looks like my 100th radio appearance since the formation of the Continuing Church of God. Radio appearances is basically a low cost (we never pay to be on, but have had some travel and agency fees) way to reach people with the messages of the Bible.

In addition to my 100 appearances, as mentioned a several weeks ago (see Letter to the Brethren: June 29, 2017), we help sponsor a radio program in Ghana that Overseer Samuel Ofosu hosts. He emailed this week to thank us for our support of that effort.

In New Zealand, John Hickey and Shirley Gestro continue to handle our Bible News Prophecy online radio channel. This is another way we reach people.

Next Tuesday, August 8th, at 9:30 am CDT, I am scheduled to be on The Morning Show with Mike Hogan of KHUB/KFMT/KBLR, Fremont, NE. This interview is expected to cover events aligning with biblical prophecies.

Radio is a tool we in CCOG have been using to help fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

World News Items

“Sabre rattling” between the USA and North Korea has continued. Last Friday, North Korea successfully test launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that it claims can hit the USA (see ‘Pakistan Defiant as US Ponders South Asia Strategy;’ Various ones concerned about North Korean missile launch and China, USA, North Korea, Russia, NATO, etc. posturing militarily: The red horse of the Apocalypse?). The USA has been doing its own sabre rattling and seems to be preparing for some type of an attack against North Korea (see US tests another ICBM: A message to North Korea or WWIII provocation?). I expect some type of military conflict between the USA and North Korea.

On other matters, both the Germans (see ‘Germany calls for EU countermeasures against US following Russian sanctions’) and the Russians (see Russia retaliates against US sanctions) are upset with a new Russian sanctions that passed US Congress (see also US Congress offends Europe and Russia). It was signed by Donald Trump yesterday, even though he had reservations about it–Russia was not pleased (see Russia warns of full-scale trade war over US sanctions). I expect that Russia will cooperate with Europe when the final Beast rises up to destroy the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39; Revelation 13:1-4).

This week, the Washington Post reported that a study concluded that there was a 5% chance to reverse “dangerous global warming” (see WP: 5% chance to reverse ‘dangerous global warming;’ COGwriter: 0% chance). Yet, without international repentance, the Bible shows that there is zero chance:

8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9)

Now, the above prophecy is for several years into the future–we are not too near that yet. But I believe that this will happen in the 21st century. The models that ‘climate change’ advocates have pointed to are clearly missing something–but part of that is that those looking at the climate tend to not rely on Bible prophecy.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

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 BibleNewsProphecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

In his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul concluded with:

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge —  21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

Grace be with you. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

Brethren, we are not only in a time were “experts” teach immorality and try to pass off wrong concepts as science, we are also living in the Laodicean age. Many who claim to be Church of God Christians will not support the Continuing Church of God because they point to a couple of personal interpretations of some doctrine (it varies) as their justification to be on their own. The term Laodicea is made up of two terms meaning “the people decide” which is also possible to be translated to mean that the people are judgmental.

While Christians should have proper judgment, we all need to not stray from the faith and doctrines that Philadelphian Christians are to hold to in this Laodicean era. Be properly concerned about others, and support us as we proclaim the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of God to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) and work to teach all things that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer

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