Letter to the Brethren: June 7, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from the Five Cities region of California.

We continue to work on many matters.

We hope and pray you are doing well spiritually as well as physically.

Prayer Request Update

A few weeks ago, Joanne Audet sent a prayer request for her husband Gilbert. He had collapsed and had to go to the hospital because of a possible stroke.

The subsequent reports from the medical professionals looked extremely bad and they offered no real hope.

Well, we have learned now that Gilbert Audet is doing substantially better than the medical professionals believed possible. Some consider that this is a miracle–and it may well be.

We should continue to pray for him.

The Audets live in Quebec, Canada.

Almont, Michigan

As mentioned last month, I plan to visit the small group we have in Almont, Michigan for services at 2:30 pm, July 21, 2018.

I look forward to seeing people who normally attend there as well as any visitors who may come.

Laptop, etc Shipments to Kenya

Bill Wedekind sent me the following:

Dr. Thiel,

Two boxes headed to Kenya …

We’ve had “trouble” a couple of times in the past with delays on the Kenyan end.  Shipments would arrive fine in Mombasa and then Nairobi but then experience a long delay getting out west to Evans in Ndhiwa area; just sitting in a warehouse was all I was told.  The last leg is included in the price and is therefore already paid for … so what is the hold up?  No one ever explained what the problem was (until prior to this shipment).
The real story … I have finally learned … the last leg basically involves putting the box(es) in the undercarriage of a bus (apparently very standard in Kenya) and coordinating with Evans to meet that bus on the other end.  Problem: the boxes I was using were too large to fit under most buses.  So, they were always looking for alternative options which were few and far between.  My solution: use two smaller boxes.  So, they should sail through this time. …
Bill W.

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.

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

World News Items

More are concluding that a trade war has begun (see Finance expert says Europeans are in ‘over their heads’ as Trump TRADE WAR begins; see also  EU decides on anti-USA tariffs and seeks to increase European Space Agency budget). Although a few seem to think that this is something that the USA will ‘win’, the reality is that nations around the world are looking to take steps to bypass the USA and its dollar (e.g. see Eric Peters: In The Global Trade War, America Has “All The Cards” and De-Dollarization Escalates: “African Economy Needs More Usage Of Chinese Yuan”).

The USA is also taking steps to monitor those who write and influence on the Internet. Reportedly, 290,000 are currently on the list of the USA (see Department Of Homeland Security Compiles List Of All Bloggers, Journalists, & “Social Media Influencers”). Because of the actions of the USA, other governments are likely to feel more justified with the monitoring, etc. that they want to do. The Europeans have just proposed spending billions to be major digital players in the next decade (see EU proposes billions for ‘Digital Europe’ surveillance: This would assist 666). We are getting closer to the time of the ‘famine of the word’ (Amos 8:11-12)–the loss of freedom from governmental monitoring and censorship is getting stronger–and in Europe it will get even worse (cf. Revelation 13:15-18).

The famous Bilderberg meeting began today in Italy. For the first time ever, a high ranking Vatican official is expected to attend (see Bilderberg 2018 conference beginning). To a major degree, Bilderberg is about making a multinational government to rule the world, and having Vatican involvement with it is consistent with some of the prophesies in Revelation 17.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin put out the word that the EU is Russia’s biggest trading power and that Russia is not trying to break it up (see Vladimir Putin: ‘Russia does not want to split EU’). Since many in Europe believe that Donald Trump (perhaps the most covered non-UK pro-Brexit supporter) wants the EU to break up, more are considering working with Russia. This will not end well for the USA (Daniel 11:39) nor ultimately the Europeans (Jeremiah 50:41-43).

Over in the Middle East, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, Sheik Muhammad Hussein stated:

“Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque are an Islamic waqf until Judgment Day; they cannot be sold, given away, or bequeathed, and no one has the right to relinquish them,” (see Mahmoud Al-Habbash: Muslims cannot give up any part of Jerusalem).

While he has misunderstandings, the Jews will not keep Jerusalem as their eternal and undivided capital in this age. The situation in the ‘Holy land’ remains tense (see also Certain Jewish military solutions and prophetic understandings for Gaza are in conflict with what the Bible teaches).

In other news, the government of Denmark became the 6th EU nation to ban aspects of the Islamic covering known as a burqa (see Denmark is the 6th EU nation to ban burqas: Will there be war between the Europeans and the Arabs?). Armed conflict will be coming between the Europeans and the Arabs (cf. Daniel 11:40-43). The burqa ban is only a small way by which the stage is being set for that.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

  • 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: Forbes 2020s Might Be The Worst Decade In U S History. 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: First death, Second death. 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

Notice the following account from the Apostle Paul:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.  (Romans 8:18-25)

Brethren, despite the problems we face, we have hope. Have faith in God, wait and persevere. And no, that is not easy, which is probably why the Bible tells us this is something that we need to do.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer