Letter to the Brethren: November 22, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

We hope and pray that you have had a spiritually productive week.

We have been making progress on literature and clarifying matters for an upcoming Study the Bible Course lesson. Working on that lesson (number 15) caused me to do a lot of research and add many scriptures that were not in the original course from the 1950s. We expect that lesson to be available next Spring.

Speaking of the Study the Bible Course, we have been working on getting all the English version lessons online by themselves, as opposed to only being available in the magazines. This should be ready fairly soon.

Give Thanks to God

Today is the US holiday of Thanksgiving. While it is not a biblical holy day, the Bible is clear that people should give thanks to God.

Are you grateful for what you have or are you mainly a complainer?

I regularly hear from poor, and often hungry, people in Africa. Their situations and problems remind me how grateful those of us in Western cultures should be for at least the physical blessings we have.

Do you give thanks to God? Does the Bible actually say to do that?

Does the Bible say anything about people who are not thankful?

Should you be giving thanks to God? For what?

What are some of the fruits of not being thankful?

The New King James Version of the Bible has the word ‘thank’ 25 times, ‘thanks’ 75 times, ‘thankful’ 3 times, and ‘thanksgiving’ 32 times. It also has the word ‘praise’ 237 times and ‘praises’ 11 times.

Thanks and praise must be important to God. And God must think it is important for us to know.

Yet, the Bible teaches that in the last days, people will be selfish and unthankful:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-6)

Notice that God does not want His people to associate much with the selfish who are unthankful. God wants His people to have gratitude, not ingratitude.

Unthankful people are often unhappy, and often unloving.

Notice what is prophesied towards those who will not serve God with joy:

47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. (Deuteronomy 28:47-51)

Oddly, people seem to think that complaining makes them happy. Many are selfish and seem to think that complaining is better for them than giving thanks.

Some seem to complain because they are Christian! Yet, God expects His people to be joyous:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-24)

People who are joyous and longsuffering tend to be thankful.

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce this sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:


1:14:34

Are you thankful? Does the Bible teach that you are supposed to be? What did Dibar Apartian write was ‘the most common sin’? What does the Bible say about thanks and praise? Is ingratitude warned against? Is unthankfulness prophesied? Can the thankful commit the unpardonable sin? What should you be thankful for? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.

We also have a written article online titled: Giving Thanks.

A Door in Television?

Someone in Kenya contacted me to ask my permission to broadcast one of our sermons over a private TV station. This would be broadcasting from Kisii Town, in the Western Kenya Region. The station owner says he now has a national license as well. Anyway, I granted him permission and then informed Evangelist Evans Ochieng about this.

We both think that this could help a lot.

We will see what might develop from this.

Radio Hour

Last Thursday afternoon, I was on the radio on the NutriMedical Report with Dr. Bill Deagle. We discussed matters related to the development of a European army and empire, World War 3, and the coming destruction of the Anglo-American nations.

Because of the American holiday, Dr. Deagle is not doing a live show today, so I am not to be on (unless he runs a repeat episode).

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

Google Campaign

Google reported that our campaign with them had 2,013,220 computer impressions last month. That is up from the previous month.

While we would like to some day pour more resources into this or similar promotions,  even at the level we are doing this, a witness to the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of God is going forth as we are working to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Kindle Direct Publishing

As mentioned before, Amazon essentially eliminated CreateSpace and merged it with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

We had been using CreateSpace for many years to print much of our literature.

Anyway, this merging has caused us serious problems in getting literature orders processed.

Despite one of the KDP representatives assuring me that we could use this for all languages, we have now been told that will not be the case. So, while we still be able to print English, Spanish, German, and French materials, we will not be able to use Kindle Direct Publishing for our African, Serbian, and Asian language materials.

African language materials are normally printed in Africa, so we do not need KDP for this. But this means that we can no longer put many languages on Amazon–that is distressing.

As far as printing future Serbian and Asian language materials goes, we will have to see if there is another cost-effective way to do this.

World News Items

Tensions remain between China and the USA on areas of trade (see ‘Pence, Xi Showdown Crushes Hopes For Trade War De-escalation’). Furthermore, while the USA is now planning on building a military base with Australia, this has also upset the Chinese (see ‘Pence Unveils Plan For US-Australian Pacific Base, Spiking Tensions With China’). I remain of the opinion that China will one day end up with part or all of Australia, either directly or indirectly.

Brexit remains in the news and some feel that a ‘hard Brexit’ is likely and will cause the UK problems (see Forbes: The Brutal Reality Of Brexit).

With the calls for a European army, including from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, more are wondering if we may end up in World War III (see WWIII: ‘THIRD TIME THE CHARM? After Starting Both World Wars I and II, Germany Now Calls For The Creation Of A Massive European Army’). The answer is yes, though I do not believe that it will start before 2023 (though 2022 may be remotely possible).

The Anglo-American dominated world order will not remain. The Europeans will defeat the USA (Daniel 11:39) and its Anglo-Saxon descended allies (cf. Daniel 8:24-25).

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: Arab NATO and the 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: 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made. 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 Apostle Paul wrote:

13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

Brethren, we should all give God thanks for choosing us to have an opportunity for salvation in this age.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer