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Letter to the Brethren: February 11, 2016

Letter to the Brethren: February 11, 2016

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

We hope you have been growing in grace and knowledge.

We too are striving to do that in California as we study the word of God and work on literature and sermon materials.

Now on Amazon in Russian and Greek!

We have begun a new program to see if we can make more of our materials available to more people around the world.

Now, for the first time, our Bible News Prophecy magazine is now available from  We have begun with the languages of Russian and Greek.

Here are what the covers look like on Amazon:

Russian Edition                     Greek Edition

We are also trying a new way to lay out the magazine to reduce graphic and layout costs, which is why the above look different (in the future, we think we can have a background color other than white, like those shown above have).

For languages who use our alphabet characters (known as ‘Latin I’), we plan to have a fancier cover as we can do that at no extra cost.  We, sadly, cannot do that currently for languages like Russian, Greek, Hebrew, Mandarin, Hindi, or Arabic as their character styles are not supported by the cover program we are trying out from CreateSpace (which is an Amazon company).

We hope to have a version in the French language (which uses the same Latin I alphabet as English) available next week on Amazon and plan to show you how that will look.

Speaking of materials in multiple languages, Sosten Libungwa contacted me from Malawi.  He said he is interested in manually translating some of our literature into Portuguese for those in Mozambique. He says that they would like to better support Matthew 24:14 and that they want more information on the Continuing Church of God.  So, I sent him an updated file of our Where is the True Christian Church? booklet that I hope to reprint later this year in English.

We are striving to reach all that we can all around the world.

As far as Malawi goes, Pastor Evans Ochieng is scheduled to arrive there sometime today. He expects to assist those there to better understand doctrine, as well as to assess the hunger issues there. Pastor Ochieng was going to be accompanied by Pastor John Owak, but yesterday I learned that he has malaria, so he said he would not be able to go.  Please keep Pastor Owak and the others in Africa in your prayers.

April 2, 2016 in Florida

As announced last week, it looks like I will be in Florida the Sabbath of April 2, 2016.  I have contacted a facility in Lantana, Florida (it is on the east coast near West Palm Beach) about possibly holding services there.  If you live in Florida, and/or may wish to visit and would like to come for services, please email me. My email address is


Ended up being on the radio as a guest yesterday.  Topics covered included apocalyptic leaders and the need for the kingdom of God.

Being a radio guest on secular radio allows us to reach people we otherwise might not be able to.

US Presidential Politics

In the USA, its presidential primary election was held in New Hampshire. Two candidates considered to be ‘outsiders’ won (see Sanders and Trump win, ‘Establishment takes a beating’).

Americans are turning to ‘outsiders’ because they recognize that something is terribly wrong with the direction of the USA.  Yet, the answer is not Donald Trump nor Bernie Sanders.  The answer is national repentance, which is something neither of those candidates has spoken about.

God will decide who He wants in various offices:

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’ (Daniel 4:17)

We are seeing many running for office that do not have godly character.  And God will take steps to put in office whosoever He feels should lead the USA.  The way the Republican votes in Iowa and New Hampshire have gone specifically suggest that to me already.

By voting, one could be voting against God’s will. God’s people do not want to be found fighting against God (Acts 5:39).  Once, in the 1970s, I actually voted in an election. But for some reason, I decided not to vote for attorney general.  If I would have voted for the office, I probably would have voted for the man that won–a man that later had a massive lawsuit against the Church of God I was part of in the late 1970s.  Obviously, I would not have done that on purpose, but am glad that I did not accidentally assist in empowering one who was against the COG.

If Christians are not supposed to vote, what should we do about leaders?

Pray for them!

Notice what Paul wrote:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Notice that we are to pray for worldly leaders and those that have authority over us so that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life. Nothing like this is said for voting that many falsely claim is their “Christian” duty–prayer for leaders is.

Now let’s briefly consider the two New Hampshire winners individually.

Democrat Bernie Sanders is an advocate of abortion and the homosexual agenda.  Both of these are morally wrong.  So are some of his other policies. Debt seems to be a curse the USA has been under because of abortion (watch Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt) and destruction is the end result of promoting the homosexual agenda (for scriptures, see The Bible Condemns Homosexuality). Bernie Sanders is not the answer

And the braggart Donald Trump?  No, he is not the salvation of the USA either.  Let’s also look at something I posted about him on January 31, 2016 (see Iowa, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton emails):

Donald Trump’s direct, but often bombastic style, appeals to many who are concerned about their safety.  He keeps saying he is a man of action as he has repeatedly blasted current US President Barack Obama and others for not taking what he feels are appropriate actions against Islamic terrorism.

Despite what many think, people often will go for a ‘strongman’ in times of crisis.  Donald Trump has portrayed that better to the Republican party supporters, thus far, than any other candidate. …

Should he actually become President of the United States, his flamboyance and brashness are bound to offend the Europeans, and ultimately that will not turn out well for the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39).

And Donald Trump has already made statements to offend the Europeans.  A member sent me the following:

February 9, 2016

U.S. Republican presidential contender Donald Trump said German Chancellor Angela Merkel was wrong to let in thousands of migrants into Germany and that the refugee crisis could trigger revolutions and even the end of Europe.

“I think Angela Merkel made a tragic mistake with the migrants,” Trump told French conservative weekly Valeurs Actuelles, which said it was the billionaire’s first in-depth campaign interview with European media.

“If you don’t treat the situation competently and firmly, yes, it’s the end of Europe. You could face real revolutions,” Trump was quoted as saying, according to the French translation.

The 69-year-old property magnate also said Brussels had become a breeding ground for terrorists and some neighborhoods in Paris and elsewhere in France had become no-go zones.

“Unfortunately, France is not what it used to be, and neither is Paris,” he said. He also said tight French gun laws were partly responsible for the killing of dozens of people at the Bataclan concert hall last November by Islamist militants.

“I always have a gun with me. Had I been at the Bataclan, I can tell you I would have opened fire,” he said.

Donald Trump has now made statements that many Europeans will not like.  Donald Trump, should he become President of the USA, is likely to greatly offend the Europeans.  And while many in the USA do not care about that, the Europeans do.  And according to Bible prophecy, the Europeans will DEFEAT THE USA MILITARILY (Daniel 11:39).

Those who believe that Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump or any of the other declared candidates can save the USA are misleading themselves and overlooking a lot of what the Bible teaches.  The USA needs national repentance and the Kingdom of God.

This week’s recommended sermonette is titled Should Christians Vote?

World News Items

The ecumenical movement is moving forward, sometimes at an increasingly rapid pace.

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis is supposed to meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba in the next few days (see Pope Francis to meet Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba: an ecumenical first).  The Russian Orthodox are the largest branch of the Eastern Orthodox and Pope Francis really wants them to support his ecumenical agenda.

The Bible warns against the final end-time Babylon the Great (Revelation 17,18). For a time, the Russians will also support this, but ultimately, they will turn against it according to Bible prophecy (Jeremiah 50:41-43).

Speaking of items moving at a rapid pace, the official debt of the government of the USA topped $19 trillion last week.  The Congressional Budget Office has it rising to over $26 trillion by the end of this decade (see Admitted USA debt passes $19 trillion and $26.3 trillion now projected).  And this does not count a budget proposal that US President Barack Obama recently submitted that would increase the debt even more.  The rapid acceleration of US debt is not good and the Bible indicates that it will be a factor in the USA ultimately being taken over (Habakkuk 2:6-8).

Over in the UK, a new poll finds that the majority there are not convinced that the UK should remain part of the European Union (see Most in the UK not convinced it should remain in the EU).  The UK will NOT remain an equal member of the final European Beast power and the intended referendum to vote on this would provide an opportunity to drive a further wedge between the UK and the rest of the Europeans.

Over in Germany, Philip zu Guttenberg, the brother of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, made the news for his growing political influence (see MIght the rise of Guttenberg help his brother Karl-Theodor?).  The influence of the Guttenberg family may well fulfill prophecies mentioned in Revelation 17:12-13.

On other international news, Iran has been telling purchasers of its oil to pay in euros, and not dollars (see Iran tells India to pay in Euros, not US dollars). The fact that Iran picked the currency of the European Union is consistent with the biblical reality that the Europeans will, for a time, dominate the world economically as discussed in Revelation 13 and 18.

More and more countries are working to change the current economic order to eliminate the USA’s dominance.  China and the European Union come to immediate mind.

When the USA dollar finally loses its status as the world’s reserve currency, it will be worse than most politicians seem to realize.  Expect inflation, interest rate rises, followed by hyperinflation, followed by collapse of the economy of the USA.

The Bible teaches that the USA will end–and the end will come because of international concerns about its debt (Habakkuk 2:6-8), plus the USA relying on military strength and allies that will betray it (Lamentations 1:1-2; Daniel 11:39).  While Iran, of itself, cannot topple the US dollar, its move is simply another step towards that.

And what does the largest state-sponsor of terrorism intend to do with its money?

While we do not know about all of it, yesterday it was announced that Iran would buy advanced fighter jets from Russia. Such aircraft could be used in a regional conflict with Israel, that may not end well for Judah (Isaiah 22:6-14) or Iran (Jeremiah 49:34-38). Such an event could be a prelude to the ‘peace deal’ of Daniel 9:27.  We will see.

 Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette, which for many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one titled: Should Christians Vote? 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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. 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 new Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.


Concluding Comments

The prophet Micah was inspired to write:

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

The biggest problem that people have is probably pride.  People refuse to humble themselves and live as God wants.  They reason around it based on tradition and false logic.  Do not be like them.

Brethren, do what is right.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer