Letter to the Brethren: February 21, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We hope and pray you are all growing in grace and knowledge.

Bible News Prophecy Channel Subscribers

Likely because of the recent success of our video, Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document! (over 16,000 views in less than two weeks), we now have over 4,000 subscribers to our Bible News Prophecy channel on YouTube. YouTube has reported that people are more likely to watch channels that they are subscribers to.

We never had any campaign intended to increase the number of subscribers, but the number has continued to rise.

USA Feast of Tabernacles

As most of you know, the Feast of Tabernacles will begin at sunset October 13th and run through sunset, the Last Great Day, October 21st.

Last week, I mentioned that we have selected the The Westin St. Louis 811 Spruce Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102 USA +1 314-621-2000 for our site in the USA.

The hotel had some glitches with its reservation system, but I have been told that this has been fixed.

Regarding guest rooms (rooms you may stay in), you may find the following helpful:

Start Date End Date Room Type Room Rate
10/31/2019 10/21/2019 Run of the house $119.00

The Hotel’s room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 16.93%) in effect at the time of check out.

The group room rates listed above are net non-commissionable.

For the group rate call 800-Westin-1 and ask for a room in the St. Louis Westin and ask for the “Continuing Church of God” room block. Local number is 314.552.5806.

There is also a link to do this online: Book your group rate for Continuing Church of God

We are being offered a major discount on the rooms here and many of you may wish to stay here. My family has made reservations here already as have at least two other families (which is how I learned there were glitches with the reservation system that I had to contact the Westin to fix).

One other issue has to do with parking. If the hotel personnel valet park your car it is $30.00 per night plus tax and tip. Self-Parking for overnight guests is free. For those who attend the Feast site, but do not stay at the hotel, we have arranged to give all who tell us in advance of the Feast, free parking stickers. So, you will want to let us know you are coming once you know.

On 2/7/19, TripAdvisor listed 2,495 restaurants and 172 hotels in St. Louis (even if some are not available, there are many choices).

If you are planning on attending this year in St. Louis (and you do not have to stay at the Westin, although with the discount being offered many will), please send me an email. My email address is COGwriter@aol.com

Note: We expect to have three sites on the continent of North America: St. Louis, Montreal, and eastern Mexico. We plan to announce more information on the other two after those sites are finalized.

For information on the St. Louis site and the other expected festival sites for 2019, you can also check out the page: Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for 2019.

Haiti

As mentioned last week, Herb and Gisele Haddon left Haiti because of the riots, protests, and transportation stoppages there.

Tuesday, he sent me the following photo:


Tires were ablaze on the tarmac

While it is hard to tell (you can see smoke), some protesters even lit tires on fire on the airport tarmac when the Haddons were leaving.

Anyway, Herb Haddon sent me the following report:

Gisele and I have returned from an all too short trip to Haiti.  Even though we were no able to get to meet with Moise, we did learn considerable about the plight of Haitians.

We cannot, in this present age, help all Haitians with the considerable negative issues they face but we can help Moise and those of the household of faith.

We are learning of a considerable number who desire to be a part of CCOG.  Perhaps even up to 100!

Gisele and I are making plans to return to the country when it is much safer to travel, hopefully soon!  We have been tasked to assess the situation and make recommendations where necessary.  This part of the mission will, again, require the prayers of the brethren, but this is not why I write to you.

Moise and those God is calling from that country have an immediate need for food and water!  That’s right . . . WATER!  The country’s water supply is dwindling and also what water that is available is not good for human consumption.

Generally speaking, ALL water must be purified before it can be used for drinking.  Personally speaking, this fact came as quite a shock to me.  I was brought up in a land of plenty . . . especially where water is concerned!  City and town water in Canada and I believe in the US has strict standards that are in place to make water, from the tap, potable.  Not so in Haiti!

The capital city, Port-au-Prince, a city of several million, does not even have the infrastructure to get water to the masses!  If you want water for a particular area, you drill a well!!  That’s right, in the middle of a city of several million, you drill a well!!  Unheard of in North America.

As I understand it, in North America, it is prohibited to drill a well in an area where water is supplied by a community.  Again, not so in Haiti!  Also, by drilling a well, this does not guarantee drinkable water!  It is my understanding that ALL water has to be purified before it is safe for drinking.

From personal experience, we were given bottled water to drink while in Haiti.  Although the water was probably safe to drink, I liken the taste of it to ‘drinking water from a mud puddle’!

My request of you, brothers and sisters, is to help me find information on water purification that can be built in Haiti (generally called ‘appropriate technology’) or products that may be purchased in North America (bare in mind that price and size is an issue) and delivered/taken to Haiti.

In all this, continue praying for our spiritual family and future spiritual family in Haiti.  As well as prayers to help us find a suitable method of making drinking water available.  Note that potable water, if produced by volume, may also be sold to provide some income for our family there.

Lots to think and pray about.

And while we may only have a dozen or so who are the most interested, it is great that many more may also be.

The Haddons plan to return to Haiti after the situation improves–they are looking at this April. As far as water purification goes, I made a suggestion to Herb Haddon and others probably have by now as well.

Malawi and Mozambique

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following report on Monday:

Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Malawi.

I had a conference for leaders meeting for two days.

Here are leaders’ names;

JOANES WASI———–MALAWI
SMART SAMIHA ——–MALAWI
EVANS OCHIENG ——KENYA
JASTEN MPHINJI ——-MOZAMBIQUE
DAIS JOHN CHIKPLA—–MOZAMBIQUE
EDSON GOODSON——MOZAMBIQUE
LAISON EDSON———–MOZAMBIQUE
JAMES RABSON——–MOZAMBIQUE
KAFAMTAE DIVALASON—–MOZAMBIQUE
BATON MAKWELA————-MALAWI
LUIS WAHERA——————–MALAWI
LUKE LIKUVA ———————MALAWI
EDWARD SAYENDA———–MALAWI
MOSES CHIPANGUI————-MALAWI
WEDSON MATIYA—————MOZAMBIQUE——REPRESENTATIVE
RADSON MOLOZOWA———MALAWI————REPRESENTATIVE
PRISSILA MONIWA ———–MALAWI

SELIA WASI ———————-MALAWI

The meeting was very good for the two days. I was having a lot of work because I was to cover many topics within a short time that I am staying in Malawi. I started by church history. why church of God is different. The differences between the Church of God and Pentecostal and Catholic religions.

We also went over how we conducted church services, how leaders should conduct themselves among the people, how to shepherd God’s church, program of the church, how to keep Passover and Passover services, God’s ordained feasts, who are allowed to take Passover, what is repentance and baptism and lastly the gospel of the kingdom.

Most of leaders said that they were very happy to be in the meeting because they learned a lot of things that they did not know. I was also happy because of their quietness. they took massage wholeheartedly. I also programmed the work in Malawi and Mozambique.

Today I went to meet Gunda congregation it was a long trip. we traveled 80 kms from where I am staying. We started in the morning and came back in the evening. I met 6 members. …

The problem that they are facing is the place to gather on sabbath. They are just under tree because their rooms are very small. That is the problem in Malawi because they are building very small houses.

The good news is that there is more rain in Malawi this season and they are going to have a very good harvest.

Tomorrow I will visit two congregations. One in the morning and another in the afternoon. The problem is the distance but I will make it. … I am trying to visit all congregations in Malawi up to sabbath. Sunday, I will be in Mozambique till Tuesday.

Evans


Leader’s Meeting attendees

We are working to insure that those in Malawi and Mozambique who claim to be with us better understand what we teach. We have recently translated the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God into the Chichewa language (see ZIKHULUPIRIRO ZA MPINGO WA CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD). Plus we are in the process of getting more materials translated into Chichewa.

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent me the following report yesterday:

Pastor Dr Bob
Greetings from Malawi.
This is my most pleasant day in Malawi.I visited two congregations which are really called by God. When I came in Malawi last year, I  told you that there is an area in Malawi which people had never kept sabbath. And we were the first people to preach about sabbath in that area: The Continuing Church of God was the first sabbath keeper to preach about sabbath in that area. It is an area of Sunday keepers only. when we preached about sabbath in this area, very few people turned and accept the teachings. These people have been in a problem from that time up to now because they  get frustrations from the hands of those who keeps Sunday. But the good and happy thing is that these people have never turned back and when I  reach there today I  found if there is great improvement. I was also very happy to find that the chief of that area is still keeping sabbath with them. I was happy and enjoyed my trip today. Let us keep on praying to this congregation the surrounding is not unfavorable with them.  …
We will go to the border of Mozambique tomorrow to meet the officers for our movement on Sunday in Mozambique.
Evans

Migowi, Malawi Congregation

Phalani, Malawi Congregation

Chiringa, Malawi Congregation

Yes, we are reaching people without a Church of God background. We go through whatever doors that Jesus opens (cf. Revelation 3:7-8).

Please pray for more quality laborers for the harvest (cf. Matthew 9:37-38) as well as for our people to lead “a quiet and peaceable life” (1 Timothy 2:2).

Radio

This afternoon at 2:00 pm PST, I am scheduled to be on the radio on the NutriMedical Report with Dr. Bill Deagle. We will likely discuss prophetic matters, including possibly items covered in this week’s recommended sermonette video: Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document!

Last Thursday, we discussed aspects of Chrislam.

Dr. Deagle’s program is on the Rense Radio Network, Revolution Radio, Red State Radio, and other outlets.

World News Items

Technology has gotten to the point where millions in some parts of China are under surveillance–the technology for this type of surveillance is also being implemented in the West (see ‘China surveillance firm tracking millions in Xinjiang’ Can it happen to you?). The Beast will have surveillance over many things, including financial (Revelation 13:16-18).

There is also another use of surveillance that poses concerns, that of ‘big tech.’ More and more we are seeing biases against those who promoted values consistent with the Bible (see More ‘big tech’ censorship and the coming famine of the word). While we know that a ‘famine of the word’ is coming (Amos 8:11-12), we in the Continuing Church of God continue to “cry aloud” (Isaiah 58:1)–plus also take steps to be able to function, even if YouTube were to one day ban us.

Those in Europe remain concerned about the US and Europe’s defense (see Munich Security Conference: Concerns in EU about USA, NATO, and Russia). Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced some weapons systems (see ‘World War 3? Russia will aim MISSILES at Europe and US over Trump’s latest threat – Putin’). The US and Russia are factors persuading the Europeans to build the “great army” that the Bible predicts (cf. Daniel 11:25, 39-43; Revelation 13:4).

On other matters, the Church of Rome continues to deal with aspects of its numerous sex scandals. It has forced an archbishop cardinal to resign (archbishop cardinals hold the highest position in the Roman Catholic Church, besides the Pope). A new book scheduled to be released publicly today claims that up to 80% of the clerics at the Vatican are, or are leaning towards being, homosexual (see ‘Vatican Expels Former US Cardinal McCarrick’ and ‘Salacious new book says homosexuality is rampant at the Vatican’). And an earlier report stated that 2/3rds of Catholic priests have are actively breaking their “vows of celibacy”(see ‘Pope adviser urges rethink on Catholic celibacy’ Two-thirds of Catholic priests reportedly are NOT celibate). The “fruits” of the Vatican’s celibacy rules clearly are awful.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

  • 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: The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement. 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: Theophilus: Trinitarian or Binitarian? Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel. 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 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

The Bible warns:

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.”

17 Therefore

“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)

Christians are to be separate from paganism. Those who accept the true God as their Father must realize that. Isaiah wrote:

11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
Be clean,
You who bear the vessels of the Lord. (Isaiah 52:11)

To depart means to separate. Notice that Isaiah’s sentiments here are captured in the New Testament in Paul’s writing (2 Corinthians 6:17), plus they are also in the Book of Revelation (18:2-4).

Brethren, the interfaith and ecumenical movements will prove to be a powerful force that may be a factor in another falling away, as it was in the past few decades with the apostasy in the old WCG (2 Thessalonians 2:3; see also The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings  and Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

Do not fall for it.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer