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Letter to the Brethren: January 12, 2023

Letter to the Brethren: January 12, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

There has been a lot more than normal amounts of rain, and that has impacted us because of road closures, program shutdowns, and employee issues.

That said, we are fine, but we have been impacted a bit by the storms and other matters in California.

Preparation for the Short Work

The Apostle Paul prophesied the following:

28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth. (Romans 9:28)

Because we in the Continuing Church of God recognize that, we realize that we need to be taking steps to prepare for that short work.

This week, we received an addition 45 translations of our 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.

And at this time, the Continuing Church of God seems to have had some of our literature translated into more languages than any Church of God has throughout history. We are serious about preparing for the “short work.”

Bible News Prophecy Magazine

As mentioned last week, Amazon Kindle has taken much longer than usual to print and send up magazines for those of us outside of Kenya/Tanzania. They finally did arrive and we mailed them yesterday to our subscribers around the world.

Here, also, is a link to the online version of the January – March 2023 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine.

Hunger in Malawi and War in the Congo

There are hunger issues in Malawi partially because the government there apparently failed to supply subsidized fertilizer to farmers. We provided some assistance before and have also done so this week.

In other African news, there is fighting in parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kenya-based evangelist Evans Ochieng has been asked to go there and asked my advice under such circumstances. And I though some of you might be interested, so let me share basically what I suggested.My advice was to Evan Ochieng:

  1. Look up where the fighting is.
  2. See if he could enter the country and go where needs to without running into the fighting.
  3. Ask those in the Congo what they think is the safest way to do that.
  4. Pray and possibly fast about it.

I also mentioned that Ezra faced a similar dilemma, but went forward on faith:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer. ( Ezra 8:21-23)And brought up that Jesus said:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men … (Matthew 10:16-17)

This means we are to take reasonable precautions, but still proceed if it makes sense.

Brethren, please put this matter in your prayers as Evans Ochieng may try to go to the Congo this month.

Assisting the Poor

As most of you realize, in the Continuing Church of God we send a lot of funds to support the poor spiritually and physically.

While we will not tell you that you cannot directly assist the poor, we do not encourage sending funds to members or those claiming to be members of the Continuing Church of God in poorer countries. There are several reason for this, including prioritizing legitimate needs as well as to reduce resentment and division that sending funds to some and not others can cause.

Furthermore, we do not encourage members in wealthier countries to sponsor potential immigrants into their nations who are not relatives.

So, if you receive solicitations for either, we do not encourage you to directly fund nor directly sponsor someone.

That said, if you wish to give a special donation for the poor, we in the Continuing Church of God gladly accept them and do strive to be proper stewards with the funds to help the poor.

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

Economic concerns remain in the news (see ‘World Bank warning: Global economy is at risk of recession’). While individuals tend to do better with less debt, it appears that countries like the USA will continue to increase national debt (see AP: US to max out on debt soon, setting up political fight). That will NOT end well for the USA (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8).

In other economic news, the move towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) is moving ahead in Europe and elsewhere (see ‘2023: The ABC’s of CBDC, the Great Reset(s) & MORE Centralized Control’). Some type of digital currency will be related to the coming ‘666’ controls of buying and selling (cf. Revelation 13:16-18).

In news rarely emphasized by the major media in the USA, China and the European Union are continuing their infrastructure efforts to improve trade among Asia and Europe, as well as connecting better to Africa and parts of South America (see EU’s Global Gateway and China’s Belt & Road Initiative are moving forward). The USA and its British-descended allies are basically not part of these programs (though the USA says it wants to play a role). The infrastructure efforts by China and the European Union will help establish a different world order than the one dominated by the British and Americans the past 200 or so years.

Concluding Comments

The Book of Psalms has the following:

97 Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep Your precepts.
101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word.
102 I have not departed from Your judgments,
For You Yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:97-104)

Brethren, make sure you believe, obey, and act on God’s laws and His ways.

They help keep us from every false way and are for our own good–both in this age and in the age to come.

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer