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Letter to the Brethren: February 2, 2023

Letter to the Brethren: February 2, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

Hope and pray you had a spiritually uplifting week.

I have been working on finalizing changes and additions to the draft book: Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America? My part will likely be finished next week, and then we will have to wait for the editing process. Once that is completed, we plan to send copies to our supporters and other interested people.

Also, I have been writing a new booklet tentatively titled About Baptism. It is likely to be finished and printed later this year.

Feast of Tabernacles 2023

Church services for the Feast in 2023 are to begin the evening of September 29th and run (including the Last Great Day) until sunset October 7th.

We are still looking for a Feast of Tabernacles’ site location in the USA and plan to announce one once we have it.  We have learned that there is a large auto show in Hershey, PA,  during the time of the Feast, so we may have to choose a different location. We are still looking in Pennsylvania, but may have to consider another state.

Shirley Gestro informed me that they are looking into a South Island location for the first time for New Zealand. Previous sites have been in the North Island of New Zealand.

Evangelistic Evans Ochieng informed me that the plan is for those in the Democratic of the Congo to attend in Rwanda. This would be the first Feast of Tabernacles in Rwanda as well as the first time those who come from the Congo will likely have ever kept the Feast of Tabernacles.

More information on the expected festival sites around the world can be found in the following: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2023.

Gospel of the Kingdom Booklet

We continue to receive additional translations of our English language booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Since Jesus said that the gospel of the kingdom would be preached to all the world and then the end would come (Matthew 24:14) and the book of Revelation shows that people of all tongues will ultimately respond (Revelation 7:9), we know that we should have our gospel booklet in as many languages as possible.

Although they have not all been loaded online yet because of staffing issues which we have been having the past couple of months, we appear to have over 300 languages.

In the Continuing Church of God, we are serious about preparing for the “short work” and helping to fulfill Matthew 24:14.

That said, I would appreciate prayers for our staffing needs here in California.

Spanish, Ekegussi, and Kiswahili Language Magazines

As mentioned before, we have had difficulty getting Amazon Kindle to approve and print the Spanish language version of the January-March 2023 edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine.

Last Friday we were able to mail it out. This is the latest we have ever been with it. So, our apologies, but those of you have subscribed to it should receive it soon.

It is, also, available online: Noticias de Profecía de la Biblia Enero-Marzo 2023.

Because of limited staffing, the formatting of the Ekegusii language edition of the magazine was also delayed. But it is now available.

Here is a link: AMANG ’ANA AMAYA ‘OBOBANI BW’EBUKU – Engatiato – Egetamo 2023

For our brethren who read Kiswahili, here is a link to the online edition of the magazine in that language: AMANG ’ANA AMAYA ‘OBOBANI BW’EBUKU – Engatiato – Egetamo 2023.

In addition to Tanzania and parts of Kenya, our newer brethren in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo also tend to be able to read the language of Kiswahili, so that is why I also included that link in this Letter to the Brethren.

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.

World News Items

Prominent leaders in the USA continue to point to China as the major military threat that the USA will face (e.g. see ZH: Air Force General Tells His Officers ‘War With China’ Only 2 Years Away). While there could be military skirmishes between the USA and China (and there have been many “close calls”), Bible prophecy reveals that it will be a European power that will lead to the military conquest of the USA and its British-descended allies (cf. Daniel 11:39). That said, it is certainly possible, and even probable, that China will be supportive of such and may send troops into places such as Australia and New Zealand.

That said, certain Protestants have pointed to rumors of a possible massive nuclear war between Russia and the USA (see Are we about to see WWIII and a nuclear war with Russia?). Our recommended sermonette for this Sabbath deals with that–watch:Nuclear WWIII from Russia?

Speaking of wars and rumors of wars, the USA and Israel conducted their largest ever joint military exercise in the past week, supposedly to send a signal to Iran (see ‘US, Israel Conclude Largest-Ever Joint Military Exercise Aimed At Iran’). While Iran is aware of that exercise, I do not believe that will stop Iran from one day attempting to do damage to Israel’s capital Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 22:6-8). That action will be part of a major countdown to the Great Tribulation as I believe a regional war in the Middle East is likely needed for the “peace deal” of Daniel 9:26-27 to be confirmed.

One of our members sent me a link to a video Tuesday evening that I watched. It was part of a presentation at the World Economic Forum’s conference in Davos, Switzerland last month. The WEF presenter stated that the technology to monitor brain waves and make even criminal referrals based on them is currently available. Upon doing additional research, I found that she also considers that thoughts and feelings are data (see WEF touted looking at brain waves to determine potential criminals). We are seeing more technologies, as well as attitudes, that the coming 666 Beast power will seem to take advantage of.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write the following:

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:1-8)

Brethren, yes, many of you are going through difficult and severe trials.

But God really has a plan–and it is a fantastic one.

Do not give up, but have confidence in God and His plan.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer