Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

It has been a full week coordinating many matters around the world.

Protestant Differences Book

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we plan to have Terry Nelson bring some copies of the draft of our upcoming book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants.

In the recommended sermon for this week, I referred to this book. While I have added many pages to it since we ordered some printed to go to Africa, the book itself has not been finalized, and likely will not be until much later this year. That being said, we have sent links to it to groups that have contacted us in Africa and India, plus used parts of it at COGwriter.com, thus we have already started to use it as a witness, consistent with Matthew 24:14 (the gospel of the kingdom is one on many doctrines this book goes into), as well as to teach “all things” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Protestants, and others, are likely to be surprised to learn about doctrinal differences and truths that much of the world does not understand.

Locusts and Hunger in Kenya

Desert locust (Arpingstone)

It was reported that Kenya is having its worst outbreak of desert locusts in 70 years (see Locust outbreak in Kenya is worst in 70 years: “Even cows are wondering what is happening”). This is expected to cause food shortages. However, at this instant, none of our members have been affected since they live west of that region. However, a co-worker told Evangelist Evans Ochieng that the locusts are moving speedily towards his place. But all along none of our members is affected.

That being said, Evangelist Evans Ochieng informed me that one of our far-western congregations in Kenya is facing a lot of hunger (not because of the locusts, but because of poverty) and so we sent some support yesterday.

World News Items

The coronavirus remains in the news and we even put together a sermonette video related to it (watch Biological Warfare and Prophecy). The consumption of biblically-unclean animals has been pushed as the likely cause, though there are other ideas (see Bat soup advocate pressured to apologize as unclean animal consumption and espionage theories are out on the Wuhan coronavirus).

Brexit is moving ahead as it was approved by the two European Union presidents, the UK Parliament, and Queen Elizabeth II of the UK (see EU Presidents and Queen Elizabeth II sign off on Brexit), and then yesterday by the EU Parliament (see Brexit: ‘The end is nigh’ and Donald Trump signs Canada-Mexico trade deal). Officially, the UK is withdrawing from the EU on January 31, 2020 (technically one hour before), though it still has a lot of negotiations that it needs to do regarding trade with the EU.

On Tuesday, the Trump Administration released its proposed Middle East peace plan (see ‘Trump Unveils Mideast Peace Plan’). Israeli leaders like it, but the Palestinians are not pleased with it (see also BIN: ‘Trump’s Peace Deal is Akin to Decree of King Cyrus Paving Path For Third Temple’ says Israeli Politician). Anyway, it is NOT the deal of Daniel 9:27 (see Trump Administration ‘deal of the century’ peace plan has features consistent with biblical prophecy, but . . .). One day, some type of timed deal will be confirmed by a European “prince” (Daniel 9:26) who will one day become the King of the North of Daniel 11.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

  • 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: Biological Warfare and Prophecy. 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: Peter’s Position and Location. 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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

Jesus said:

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God. (Matthew 5:3-8)

Brethren, remember to live pure in heart, for we will see God.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer