Letter to the Brethren: January 24, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from New Jersey, a place I had not expected to be today.

My wife Joyce’s mother died Tuesday, so we are on the other side of the USA.

However, last Sabbath we had a trip to Garden Grove, California and met with a couple of CCOG supporters last Sabbath:

Anyway, it was good for us to meet with both of those men again (one of which my wife and I had not seen in decades).

So, the background for the sermon and sermonette recommended this week will look different than usual.

Now, since we are planning on staying in New Jersey for several days, we would like to mention that we are currently planning Sabbath services in the Wayne, New Jersey area this upcoming Sabbath (January 27, 2019). If you would like to attend, send me an email to get the particulars.

My email address remains: COGwriter@aol.com

On other matters, by this time, we had hoped to be able to finalize our USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site location, but because of an issue with one hotel, and travel matters, this will be delayed for a little while. We will try to keep you informed once we have more details.

Manipur, India

As reported before, Alexsandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic was in Manipur in the far eastern portion of India.


Manipur in red (Map via Filpro)

He has since safely returned to Serbia.

He sent in the following:


K. Sani Mao, Sasha Veljic, Mary Mao, and another


Manipur, India Congregation

Dear Bob:

I have just landed to Serbia

Last Friday, 12 individuals were baptized in a river outside of Imphal.  I am happy we had done it in the nature, away from the town.  They are all enthusiastic and happy and I am also enthusiastic with them.

On the Sabbath, January 19, 2019, India got its first deaconess in the modern history of God’s Church.

Prior to the ordination of Mary, the wife of our deacon K. Sani, I delivered a memorable sermon on the parable of the wheat and tares.  Since the congregation in Manipur suffered from various betrayals, as well as those who crept in in the past for different (and wrong) reasons, the sermon was much needed to explain to the brethren various events that happened throughout the history of God’s people and in recent times.  Various members of the congregation were particularly concerned that the younger baptized members didn’t not really understand about dedication and seriousness because their calling wasn’t as dramatic as it had been for their parents.

Other than portraying to the brethren the fact that we cannot prevent tares being sown in the Church, as the parable shows us, we are not to be suspicious of one another and try to accuse one another with judgemental attitude.  I pointed out that the youth of the local church informed me that once a unified and fired congregation had been driven to become colder, disunified and that members became to accuse and suspect one another.  Enough of that, brethren, I thundered from the lectern!  Half of the congregation was in tears in repentance of that attitude.  As far as the young people, I explained that I had no reason not to baptize them since I counseled them properly and they express the understanding of what their sins incurred as the death penalty.  Also, I said that their calling could not be as dramatic as that of their parents for the simple reason that they are the second generation Christians.  Therefore, they didn’t grow up in pagan families, but with you, brethren, having a Christ-like examples.  Therefore, we should be there to nurture and support our youth, I said, not to be suspicious of them.

My sermon was followed attentively by all newly baptized youth and everyone noticed how amazingly attentive they were, as never before.  When I finished the sermon, we had a break for lunch and preparing for ordination.

Prior to the ordination, Mary asked to speak and “make a confession before the congregation”.  She stepped up to the lectern and said that she has been guilty of suspicions and judgemental attitudes.  She wanted to acknowledge that before the elder and the entire congregation prior to her anointing.  Mary also asked for forgiveness and she particularly asked the church youth to forgive her.  They have forgiven already, I said to Mary prior to anointing her.  They told me they have forgiven before they were baptized.

The ordination took place and my prayer lasted for about 10 minutes.  As of recently, Mary occupies a high position in the government of Manipur.  Being a teacher, she was selected by the government and appointed (without any elections and political activity on her part, lest there be any misunderstanding) the secretary of education in order to clear up all the mess that the previous corrupted secretary has done.  So, I prayed that Mary’s position would help her for qualifying for the future role in the Kingdom and having an important role in the World to come.  I also prayed that her continual service would be a blessing and a great benefit to the local congregation.

Following ordination, I delivered another, somewhat shorter message about the days that will mark the very end of this world and our work as Philadelphia remnant.  Again, the newly baptized youth, and even some other youth, had given their undivided attention to the message.  Following that Sabbath, the congregation in Manipur stood at peace and unity, something that seemed to be sorely lacking due to past … abuses and various people who came and went from that congregation.

God’s people now continue united in Philadelphia love.

With gratitude,

Sasha

We are glad that the trip went well.

Jesus taught:

1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”(Luke 15:1-10)

And more than one repented in Manipur.

We should be joyful as well.

Haiti

Herb Haddon informed me last night that he and his wife Gisele were able to get a good deal on tickets to go to Haiti. They plan to spend two Sabbaths there meeting with Nicolas Moise and others there that have expressed interest in the Continuing Church of God.

We have been working on this for some time, but needed one more passport to arrive. So, now that it has, the plan is for the Haddons to go next month.

Radio

Last Thursday afternoon, I was on the radio on the NutriMedical Report with Dr. Bill Deagle. We discussed NATO and PESCO and prophecy related to Europe and the USA.

I am scheduled to be on again today at 2:06 PST but am not sure if this will work, but we will see.

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

World News Items

The Vatican’s Pope Francis declared that ecumenism in NOT optional (see Pope Francis: ‘Ecumenism is not optional’). The Vatican continues to push towards an ecumenical religious unity that the Bible condemns (cf. Revelation 13 & 17).

The leaders of Germany and France signed an agreement Tuesday to increase military cooperation and to develop more artificial intelligence in an effort to be ahead of the USA (see France’ Macron and Germany’s Merkel sign military-economic agreement to revive EU).European leaders continue to work on their goal of world domination.  Though they rarely, publicly, call it that.

Speaking of the Europeans, they remain very concerned about the USA in general and US President Donald Trump in particular (see DW: Two years in, Donald Trump remains the ‘unprecedented president;’ COGwriter: Donald Trump fulfilling predictions). Donald Trump continues to take actions we said he would, consistent with our understanding of various biblical prophecies. Europe will one day react in a way that Americans do not expect (cf. Daniel 11:39).

The Europeans are in the process of setting up something that will enforce the type of buying and selling restrictions that the Bible warns are coming in Revelation 13:15-18 (see EU setting up 666 persecution office?). That is also the subject of this week’s recommended sermonette: EU Setting Up 666 Enforcer?

Speaking of setting up, an EU Commissioner has proposed a European Space Army (see European Commissioner wants a European Space Army). Europe is taking steps.

In the Middle East, Israel hit Iranian-related targets in Syria and the Iranians have made various threats (see Rabbi claims Messianic process began, Israeli ‘Armageddon’ airstrikes, and Iran threatens Israel’s elimination). Bible prophecy shows that Syria’s capital Damascus will one day be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1) and that God will one day remove His protection from Judah and that there will be great damage in the City of David (Isaiah 22:8-9). Such damage looks to come from Iran and/or Syria. We are getting closer to that time.

In environmental news, there has been record heat in Australia and massive melting of some of the ice in places like Greenland (see In Greenland and Antarctica, supposedly “safe” ice is melting alarmingly; Australia heat wave fast). Humankind will NOT fix this. It will take the return of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God to stop those that destroy the earth (Revelation 11:17-18).

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: EU Setting Up 666 Enforcer? 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: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West. 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

King David wrote:

14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:14-19)

Brethren, we exist to help make eternity better.

Yes we have difficulties, tests, and trials, but God hears those who cry out to Him.

Do good, seek and pursue peace.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer