Letter to the Brethren: January 10, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

It may seem too early, but in the US we have started to contact cities related to the Feast of Tabernacles which begins at sunset October 13th in 2019.

We are basically looking towards the Midwest and have 3-4 cities in mind.

Yesterday, we contacted two cities.

There are several criteria needed for a festival location including cost, meeting hall, parking, airport proximity, and general proximity.

We expect to give more updates on this as the process moves forward.

Speaking of updates, Elder Sasha Veljic should be arriving in Manipur, India today to meet with the group there. We expect updates on this within the next week or two.

Burundi and the Bible Hymnal in French

As mentioned a while back, Pastor Jérôme Ndayishimiye is from French-speaking Burundi. He and some others live at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. He has expressed interest in being with the Continuing Church of God and we have sent him some literature in the past.

He requested more literature, and I ordered some more for him from Kindle Direct yesterday.

He also asked for copies of The Bible Hymnal.

As it turns out, because of Haiti, we recently started looking into the possibility of putting together The Bible Hymnal in the French language. However, unlike a few other languages, we have not been able to find a computer file with this. So, I contacted leaders in a couple of other COG groups, and so far have not gotten what we need. If we cannot, the most efficient option would probably be to photocopy the interior of an old WCG hymnal in French and make our own front and back cover (this is similar to a project we have started to work on in the Spanish language).

If you have an electronic file of the WCG hymnal in the French language, or even a good copy of the actual old songbook, please contact me as that may assist us. My email address remains as COGwriter@aol.com

Now, as it turns out, Pastor Jérôme Ndayishimiye maintains ties with others in Burundi and he sent some photos of some in Burundi. So, here are two of them:

He has also asked for booklets on two subjects that we do not have as booklets in English yet. So, those are something I will consider working on after we finalize two more books that we are currently working on. And then if I can write those two new books, we will need to have them translated into the French language. Those connected with Pastor Jérôme Ndayishimiyea are basically new to the Church of God.

It remains my hope and prayer that we will be able to better reach people in the French language, whether in Kenya, Burundi, Haiti, or elsewhere.

Radio

Last Thursday afternoon, I was on the radio on the NutriMedical Report with Dr. Bill Deagle. We discussed matters related to items to watch in 2019.

I am scheduled to be on again today at 2:06 PST.

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

Archaeological News Items

There were a couple of interesting archaeologically-related news items in the past few days.

The first was that scientists now seem to accept that the earthquake Amos reported about happened (see BIN: ‘Scientists Finally Agree About the Earthquake in Days of Amos’). While secularists normally discount biblically-correct historical accounts, it is nice when they sometimes recognize them as accurate.

The other was more of an archaeological opinion– a rabbi named Harry Moskoff explained why he feels that the ancient Jewish temples were not directly under the Dome of the Rock (see ‘Expert: Gold Dome of the Rock Not Where Jewish Temples Stood’). This could have some prophetic ramifications as it may encourage the Jews who wish to resume daily sacrifices–which will happen (cf. Daniel 9:27; 11:31)–to be more comfortable sacrificing somewhere other than the spot where the Muslim Dome of the Rock is located.

The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, wrote:

It is inconceivable that the Israelis, in the present international turmoil over their possession of old Jerusalem, could ever demolish the Arab Moslem Dome of the Rock – (Armstrong HW. 7 Proofs of God’s True Church, Part 6. Plain Truth. August, 1979, p. 38)

But, verse 11, “from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away ….Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice–possibly at the wailing wall. (Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2)

The situation is still volatile between the Israelis and the Arab Muslims, and I do not believe that it will be necessary to remove the Dome of the Rock to perform the prophesied sacrifices.

That is not only consistent with what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote, it is also consistent with information I was directly given by the Temple Institute and the Nascent Sanhedrin–the two groups that are the most likely ones to support and/or perform the coming daily sacrifices.

World News Items

German-Foreign-Policy.com (GFP) reported that a Protestant leader was supporting more missions by the German military (see GFP: There are appeals from within the Protestant Church for an expansion ofi Bundeswehr (German military) missions; US downgrades EU delegation). It was interesting that GFP pointed out and emphasized the ‘Protestant” aspect of that support. Expect to see Protestant, as well as Roman Catholic, leaders support the Beast power that will arise in Europe (cf. Revelation 13:1-10).

US President Donald Trump continues to upset the Europeans (see Donald Trump: ‘I don’t care about Europe,’ but he should . . .). The Europeans will eventually seek revenge for US insults and policies as well as against the UK for their Brexit vote and various policies (cf. Daniel 8:24-25; 11:39).

The race for the 2020 US presidential election has already begun (see Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail). Yet, no American politician is going to solve the problems of the US. The US needs national repentance and that is not in the platform of any I have heard of which have expressed interest in running for that office.

It was reported that the number of monarch butterflies in the Californian coastal regions are down dramatically (see California Monarch Butterfly Numbers Decline 86% in 2 Years). Since we live in that region, we are well aware that there are a lot less monarch butterflies migrating here in the winter than there used to be. Part of the cause seems to related to an herbicide used along with genetically-modified corn production. The Bible says God will have to destroy those that destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18).

Speaking of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), some think it is wrong to tell people when foods do not contain them (see GMOs: Safe or Dangerous?). The Bible says to “eat what is good” (Isaiah 55:2), and it is good to eat real foods.

As far as other health concerns go, there are concerns that ‘5G’ is dangerous. Another danger is that technology like that will have military and ‘antichrist’ applications (see ‘What will a 5G mobile phone be capable of?’ and ‘Russian Patriarch Warns ‘Antichrist’ Will Control Humans Through Gadgets’). Humanity’s use and misuse of technology will aid the Beast and his Antichrist religious leader in the relatively near future.

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: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch? 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: Women’s Roles in the Church. 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 (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

The Book of Acts contains the following:

15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed. 16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. (Acts 17:15-33)

Brethren, notice that the Apostle Paul attempted to connect with his audience by bringing up elements of their religious understanding and tying that in with the plan of God. That is one of the things we in the CCOG also do.

But also notice that some of the religious listened to Paul and others did not– and some mocked.

We have to give a witness (cf. Matthew 5:13-16, 24:14), but God calls.

Some mock now, and that turns some aside (cf. Mark 4:15-17).

Brethren, we need not just be religious, but truly believe, despite contrary views others may have.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer