Letter to the Brethren: February 7, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

My wife Joyce and I are back in California from New Jersey.

I am still not fully caught up from my unplanned trip to handle affairs (including the funeral) of my wife’s mother. One day at a time (cf. Matthew 6:34).

But I have been also working on the Feast of Tabernacles’ site for the USA, booklets, and our next animation.

Animation Promotion

Speaking of animations, Andre Nelson sent the following in yesterday:

I asked him about the picture above and he responded with:

In total the video gained 17,553 views and about 7,000 of those views were 10 second views. It’s kind of confusing sorry about that. And yes you’re correct a 100000 or so people saw the ad.

This is the first time he has promoted our dating animation (which you can watch by clicking on the following: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian).

Although YouTube makes it look like relatively few have watched the animations, the reality is that the Facebook promotion by Andre (which does not cause YouTube to count the views) has resulted in tens of thousands of views of the animations. This is another ‘door’ we are using to reach people.

Feast of Tabernacles

In 2019, the Feast of Tabernacles begins at sunset October 13th and runs through sunset, the Last Great Day, October 21st.

For the USA, we have a tentative agreement we made yesterday with a hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. After the agreement is signed by the hotel, we plan to provide more information on the precise location, etc. It appears to be a very nice hotel, and we have been offered a substantial discount on room rates. We plan to announce the details on this next week.

We only intend to have one US Feast of Tabernacles’ site for 2019.

We also expect, however, to have a site in Canada (probably Montreal), one in Europe (Serbia), one in India (likely Imphal region), one in New Zealand, one in the Philippines, possibly one in Haiti, possibly one in Mexico, and many in Africa.

We are working on putting together a webpage on 2019 sites that we plan to link to soon.

Laptops for Africa

Dozens of used laptop computers have been sent to Africa over the past few years in these shipments, along with Bibles, songbooks, office supplies, and other items.

Bill Wedekind recently dropped off items for another shipment to Kenya:

Here is a list of what is included in the box being shipped last weekend:
1) Ten(10) laptops in support of CCOG to be distributed at your discretion (translation, communications, etc).
2) Additional laptop marked for delivery to Ondigo Ochieng for his use.
3) Bibles
4) Hymnals
5) Moringa seeds (two packs of 1000 … 2000 seeds).  While these seeds can be eaten, if you plant them, the Moringa plant is fast growing.  The entire plant is edible including the roots and it is quite nutritious.  Here is some information about them:
6) Various nutrients and supplements … {to assist with digestive issues in Malawi and elsewhere}.
7) Five(5) of the heavy duty locks you asked for.

And some other items.

The laptops tend to be used for education, communication, and translation of our materials into African languages.

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.

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

World News Items

Brexit remains a concern and the UK is trying to figure out if it can get the EU to compromise on at least the part related to borders related to Northern Ireland. And UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that Brexit will happen next month–some are preparing Brexit supplies in something called a ‘Brexit box’ in the event of disruptions of food or medical supplies (see Theresa May ‘determined’ to leave EU in March & should you have a ‘Brexit box’?). The UK hopes that the EU will renegotiate–and Theresa May is in Brussels today to do so–EU Council President Donald Tusk said yesterday that the EU would not negotiate, but instead is preparing for a hard (without a negotiated deal) British exit from the European Union (see also Brexiters: Donald Tusk: Special divine punishment, Nigel Farage: Divine reward, Herbert W. Armstrong: Nuclear devastation). Theresa May met with EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker in what both sides reported today was a “robust but constructive” meeting (see https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47152035).

Speaking of Brexit, some have claimed it is a UK revolt to stop Europe from forming a superstate (see CNBC: ‘Brexit is a revolt against a German-run European super-state … the European Union will most probably come out terminally fractured’ COGwriter: Or will it reorganize?). But Bible prophecy reveals that a ‘superstate’ will form in Europe after a reorganization (cf. Revelation 17:12-13)–Brexit will not only not prevent this, it will be a factor in allowing this to happen.

The Bible shows that an improper church-state alliance will occur with Europe (cf. Revelation 17:1-10).

Pope Francis has encouraged this. Furthermore, he is encouraging an interfaith and ecumenical agenda that may encourage temporary alliances with those of Islamic lands (cf. Daniel 11:27; Psalm 83:4-8). He spent some time in the United Arab Emirates this week to encourage cooperation with Muslims (see Pope Francis pushing interfaith agenda in UAE: Is this dangerous?).

Perhaps it should also be pointed out that the decision by the Trump Administration to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Russia and the US in 1987 is giving Europeans yet another reason to consider that they need their own defenses (see ‘Europeans aghast as end to INF treaty looms’). The Bible shows Europe will end up with a ‘great army’ (Daniel 11:25) and the world will marvel when its military power is successfully used (Revelation 13:1-4)–and it will be used successfully against the USA (Daniel 11:39), others like the UK (cf. Daniel 8:24-25), and also against nations in the Middle East and North Africa (Daniel 11:40-43).

Speaking of the USA, US President Donald Trump gave a “State of the Union” speech that was widely liked on Tuesday. However, he and the Democratic responder (Stacey Abrams) failed to discuss the state of US debt, which continues to increase to dangerous levels (see State of the Indebted Union). This will not end well for the USA (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8).

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: Is there a coming King of the South? 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: CCOG Q&A: Acting, 3 Tithes, Kosher, Voting, & More. 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 Apostle Paul wrote:

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).

Brethren, despite what we go through, the hope of the resurrection and the return of Jesus should be a comfort to us all.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer