Letter to the Brethren: August 22, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

In addition to working with people around the world, we have been working a lot on the Behind the Works video we intend to show this Fall at the Feast of Tabernacles. We have lots of video clips and photos that we received from people in many nations.

How the CCOG Differs

As mentioned in a previous letter (see Letter to the Brethren: July 25, 2019), in response to an inquiry, I put together a list of items in a paper titled: How does the Continuing Church of God differ from other Sabbatarian COG groups?

Last Friday, I noticed that some clarification to one of the items on the list may be beneficial, so items eleven and  twelve on the list were reworded as follows:

11. Our focus includes supporting the fulfillment of Romans 11:25 (e.g. What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?) as well as providing the ‘Ezekiel warning’ to ‘Israel’ (e.g. What is the Ezekiel Warning?) (many are not serious enough about Romans 11:25 and some are lukewarm when it comes to making warnings related to specific sins). This focus is more than just providing a witness only, but also includes efforts we believe can be used for God granting conversions (John 6:44; Romans 9:27, 11:25).

12. Knowing that a ‘famine of the word is coming’ (Amos 8:11-12) and that Philadelphian Christians are to do the work when we can (John 9:4; Revelation 3:7-13), we are specifically preparing for the ‘short work‘ (cf. Romans 9:27-28) through literature, websites, media, videos, visits, and other means, that will help lead to God’s determination that Matthew 24:14 has been sufficiently provided as a witness for the end to come (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word).

This preparation of the short work is also part of the final phase of the work, which is mentioned under item eight on the above list.

Also, on Friday, I added the following to the English edition of our The Gospel of the Kingdom of God booklet:

We in the Continuing Church of God are preparing literature (in multiple languages), adding to websites, and taking other steps to prepare for the ‘short work’ (cf. Romans 9:28) that will help lead to God’s determination that Matthew 24:14 has been sufficiently provided as a witness for the end to come.

In addition, I also contacted a translating service we have used in the past to see about updating many of the non-English language versions of that booklet (and there were additional scriptures added to in beyond those shown above since most of the editions were translated a couple of years ago) as well as to see if there are additional languages that they can provide us translations in.

We are preparing for something like the “fifteen minutes of fame” that late Andy Warhol indicated individuals or phenomena would be able to experience. Why? Because the work having a short-period of significant influence is consistent with scripture.

Further notice the following from the Book of Daniel:

25 “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him. 26 Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. 27 Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time. 28 While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land. (Daniel 11:25-28, NKJV)

28 Then the king of the north will return to his country with great treasures. But on the way, he will attack the religion of God’s people and do whatever else he pleases. (Daniel 11:28, CEV)

Partially because of the warning message we (the people of the holy covenant) are preaching,  this will upset the upcoming prince/King of the North (Daniel 11:28). One or more associated with the Continuing Church of God will already have been identifying that the European “prince” (Daniel 9:26-27) who is rising up to become a king, is not able to truly bring peace, but instead teach that he will bring war and will be in league with the final Antichrist. Telling about a deal between the Europeans and the then King of the South (Daniel 11:27; Psalm 83:4-8) will also be something that would upset the King of the North.

Consider the following:

29 At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. 30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant (Daniel 11:29-30).

30 For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. (Daniel 11:30 New Living Translation 1996 Greg Laurie).

Note: the Hebrew term translated as “Cyprus” in the NKJV is a mistranslation. The KJV uses the term Chittim which means “Western lands.” Hence the King of the North will be stopped by a western naval power (likely the USA and/or its British-descended allies).

Yet, consider that the King of the North is more enraged by the people of the “holy covenant” than the naval power who stopped him!

Why?

Because he wants to try to stop the supporters of “the holy covenant” from proclaiming the truth about his intentions and truth about the gospel of the kingdom (c.f. Matthew 24:14). The King of the North will attempt to learn more about how to eliminate us and any who follow us by trying to be nice to various apostates (those who “forsake the holy covenant”)–he tries to get some of them to betray true Christians (Matthew 24:10).

Why would this be?

Most likely this occurs because the people of the holy covenant are proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14, as that immediately precedes “the end”) and teaching that the King of the North is fulfilling prophecies in Daniel 11 and he wants them stopped. It is my belief that after the peace deal in Daniel 9:27/11:23 has been made and/or confirmed by “the prince to come,” that the group that best represents the remnant of the Philadelphia era of the church per Revelation 3:7–11, currently called the Continuing Church of God, will be publicly identifying the person who confirmed the deal (“the prince”) as the one who fulfilled Daniel 9:27/11:23-24. This enrages the King of the North so much that he initially tries to eliminate these people through political pressure and selected persecution (cf. Daniel 7:25a).

Once we clearly identify him, we plan to specifically teach that he is about to destroy the USA (Daniel 11:39) and its British-descended allies (cf. Daniel 8:24-25), and that later he will conquer a confederation of nations in North Africa and the Middle East which will be under the control of someone that the Bible refers to as the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43).

We will also be warning that the idea of a human-led utopia is false and that it is only through Jesus’ return and the gospel of the kingdom that such a utopian condition will happen (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

This would be expected to temporarily trigger major media coverage. Scrutiny of real, as well as claimed, Church of God literature will likely happen and various aspects of real and incorrect COG doctrines will likely be ridiculed. Media coverage would then be expected to cover more of the message we are proclaiming (cf. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God) and this would be associated with the “short work” of Romans 9:28. Media coverage will also encourage people around the globe to check out more of our teachings, which is one of the reasons that we have multiple websites, multiple video platforms, and materials in over 100 languages.

Back to the Book of Daniel:

33 Those with insight will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by sword or flame, or be captured or plundered. 34 Now when they fall, they will be granted a little help, but many will join them insincerely. 35 Some of the wise will fall, so that they may be refined, purified, and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

36 Then the king will do as he pleases and will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will speak monstrous things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must be accomplished. (Daniel 11:33-36, BSB)

“Those with insight” are Philadelphian Christians (and likely some other supporters) who will be instructing many. This is during the time of the short work–and this will lead to the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 and then the ‘famine of the word’ (Amos 8:11-12).

Some of the Philadelphia remnant will be explaining that it is Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God and not the rise of a militaristic leader that the world needs. According to Daniel 11:32 it is “the people who know their God [that] shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” Hundreds of millions, if not billions, will receive at least a partial witness. All of that will likely trigger the King of the North to take actions that lead to the end–this includes the persecutions, pre- (Daniel 7:25a, 11:29-36) and post-tribulation (Daniel 7:25b; Revelation 13:5-7).

Much of what the volunteers of the Continuing Church of God are now doing is involved with preparing and/or translating materials in multiple languages for multiple websites to provide a witness to those who will later look.

Feast of Tabernacles in Kenya and Tanzania

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent me the following email:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya.
The work in Kenya is moving very highly and God open the doors in Kenya. During my trip in Rift valley so many people are joining church and when I was in Molo the congregations around Molo requested to have another feast site because they are over 140 people in number. And those who are in Njoro are also many. So one site cannot fit them well. So this year we are going to have 6 feast sites in Kenya and one in Tanzania.

It is great that we are having so much growth in the Rift Valley.

Part of the reason is that we have been putting out literature in languages such as Ekegusii, as well as the work of our pastors in the region.

World News Items

The EU is still not happy with Brexit and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson keeps asking for something the EU does not want to negotiate (see Boris Johnson calls Irish backstop ‘anti-democratic’ and Europeans concerned about post-Brexit freedom of movement in UK). The Europeans will remember Brexit and this will not end well for the UK (cf. Daniel 8:24-25).

The EU is not happy with the US either. There are reports that Germany wants to head up a naval operation in the Persian Gulf and not do so under American direction (see Germany wants to support European, not US naval force in Persian Gulf. ‘Germany needs to grow up. The post-war era is over.’). More and more in Europe see problems with relying on the US and feel that that Europe needs it own strong and independent military. This will happen one day (cf. Daniel 11:25; Revelation 13:1-4), and one day this military will defeat the US (cf. Daniel 11:39).

France’s President Macron stated that Russia was a “deeply European country” and he wanted to see more ties between it and the EU (see France’s Macron: Russia is a very deeply European country; COGwriter: Russia and Europe will make a deal that will NOT end well for the USA). It remains my view that Russia will end up making a deal with the Europeans that will result in at least part of Alaska, and perhaps part of western Canada, going back to Russia (cf. Daniel 11:39; see also Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves?).

An Australian report came out that concluded that the US does not have the ability to stop China in certain ways if China chooses to attack (‘China could overwhelm US military in Asia in hours, Australian report says’ and Russia upset with US missile test). Australia has long sensed its vulnerability to powers in Asia and is getting increasingly concerned about China’s rise and problems that the USA has. This will not end well for Australia or New Zealand (watch also Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy).

It was reported that Muslims in Egypt celebrated a ‘Mary-related’ holiday last Sunday (see Muslims observe festival honoring Mary. Is ‘Mary’ be part of the interfaith agenda?). My wife and I were told that the Turks near ancient Ephesus have an annual ‘Mary-related’ holiday as well. It is likely that some claimed version of ‘Mary’ will be a factor in the temporary alignment of the kings of the North and South in biblical prophecy (Daniel 11:27; Psalm 83:4-8; cf. Nahum 3:4).

As far as pushing interfaith matters goes, a COGwriter.com reader from Germany sent an email with some news links related to an interfaith peace conference that is currently going on in Germany (see Unbiblical interfaith religion being officially promoted in Germany). He mentioned, and one of the news linked reported as well, that the government of Germany was financing at least part of the conference. While peace is a good objective (Matthew 5:9), the way that the world is going about it will not lead to peace, but war (cf. Revelation 13:3-4; Daniel 11:39-45).

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. Here is the recommended sermonette for the week: Losing Religion (and HOW NOT TO!). Other sermonettes are also available at the BibleNewsProphecy 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: Rapture or Fleeing? Which is Great Tribulation Protection?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 Peter was inspired to write:

1: 24 … “All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  (1 Peter 1:24-2:3)

Brethren, the word of God endures forever. Be careful about all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking and still learn from the word of God so that you can grow thereby “in sincere love of the brethren” (1 Peter 1:22)–Philadelphia!

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer