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Letter to the Brethren: July 13, 2023

Letter to the Brethren: July 13, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

We have had some reports of problems people have had when at the website. Essentially, false re-directs come up with various searches and some links. We are working on this and would appreciate your prayers.

The Apostle Paul warned:

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

And we certainly seem to be seeing this with the interference we have run into. Paul further wrote:

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

So, again your prayers would be appreciated as we try to work through this.

On other matters, we received another 25 additional translations of our English language booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God. We continue to prepare for the short work of Romans 9:28 (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word) as we work to help fulfill Matthew 24:14 a part of the final phase of the work–numerous languages look to be required for that per Revelation 7:9.

New Zealand and Internet Media

There have been at least two people now in the Continuing Church of God that had a dream that involved Shirley Gestro and the work (Fesilafai Fiso Leaana and James Martenet), as well as another who had a dream about support for the CCOG from New Zealand (Frederick Ochieng). For details, see the article: Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God.

Shirley Gestro-Hickey

Has Shirley been fulfilling any of what three have dreamed?


In addition to handling administrative and coordinating services and the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand, Shirley Gestro-Hickey also handles our online radio.

Here is what she recently sent me about that:

The CCOG established the Bible News Prophecy online radio in November 2014 Not long after its initial launch, this international internet radio streamed on a 24/7 non-stop schedule, and broadcast news and information in the light of the Bible and its prophecies, part of this message but is not limited to, is prophetic warnings of God’s impending judgments, includes the identity of Israel. We had sufficient content to launch this in November 2014 due to the Bible News Prophecy YouTube videos by Dr. Thiel available at the time, these videos were converted into audio mp3 items and uploaded to the radio stream. Since then, many more audio messages have been added over the last 8 years, which also includes COGwriter news items, sermons and sermonettes from CCOG speakers, and short messages for literature. These are maintained on the radio streaming server and website, kept up to date on a weekly basis.

The set-up process included finding a suitable radio streaming server and website hosting platform, constructing a radio type website, learning the software and about internet radio and how to promote it, obtaining and embedding codes, using different listening streams, auto playlists, submitting radio forms for our stream to various radio platforms and apps, creating logos, digital posters, rss feeds, joining more social media sites and posting to it, organizing scripts for short literature messages.

A previous radio streaming server we utilised prior to our current one, provided country statistics, in Dec 2018, listeners from 191 countries.

Top 20 Countries by listener Minutes in Dec 2018:

United States                       5251876

Unknown                              966535

United Kingdom                   900345

Germany                              421790

Canada                                 270306

New Zealand                        201984

Australia                               201474

Bahamas                              130744

France                                  102463

Japan                                    89595

Virgin Islands (U.S.)              43076

South Africa                         36324

Mexico                                 34657

Netherlands                         29480

Ukraine                                24774

Switzerland                          18193

Ireland                                  16018

Italy                                      10789

Hungary                               10728

Jamaica                                10251

You can listen to Bible News Prophecy radio on radio mobile apps, listening platforms and media players. Listening options available are:

TuneIn / TuneIn App

Mobile stream


Online Radio Box / Online Radio Box

Android App

Streema / Simple Radio App

VLC, iTunes and other media players see FAQ.

Streamingthe.netvTuner, in the search box type Bible News Prophecy

Through TuneIn You Can Listen On:

Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant/Google Home; Sonos, Bose SoundTouch, Roku Wireless Speakers; iPhone, Android Phone; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; Smart Tv’s; Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire Tv

I also asked Shirley to send me links and some information on a variety of CCOG social media and other sites she runs for us. So she sent me information on the following:

Flipboard is a digital magazine, which contains primarily news items. We joined and created Flipboard magazines in 2014.  Our Flipboard Page consists of news articles, includes literature, sermons, sermonettes, categorized in 23 separate magazines. Updates are daily. It was first available on the desktop, and then a mobile app.

Pinterest is a discovery visual engine, inspires ideas and more. Pins (posters) are created about BNP, news, or sermon items are added to the Pinterest page. In its initial years, a lot of the content added was from COGwriter news articles, with over 130,000 impressions, now due to censorship issues, only certain subjects are added.

MeWe is a social media site, similar to facebook, but without the censorship, ads, or news feed manipulation. We joined in 2022. Content shared on MeWe is from BNP radio, COGwriter, including any new literature.

Ello to, “Ello is a community to discover, discuss, publish, share and promote the things you are passionate about.” We only add items on this page when we have created digital posters, or for posting CCOG magazines and books.

Tumblr is a social media site and free blog site to share your content with others who may be interested. COGwriter articles and BNP radio items are shared here.

The internet radio and the above social media sites reach people around the world.

So, Shirley has been–and still is–involved in many ways to support getting the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) as well as helping spread the messages Jesus wanted to go to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20). More on the multimedia outreach of the church to work to support numerous scriptures can be found at the Continuing Church of God Multimedia page.

That said, the example of Shirley Gestro does show that women can, and do, contribute in important ways to support God’s work in the Continuing Church of God.

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

Several European sources has raised concerns that Iran may be close to having and/or testing a nuclear bomb (see The Dutch say Iran moving toward testing of nuclear bomb). Since the nation of Israel has, repeatedly in the past, stated it would not allow Iran to have such a bomb, Israel and/or Iran may take actions that will lead to the fulfill of prophecies such as Isaiah 22:6-9–and that may lead to the deal of Daniel 9:27 and the “countdown” to the start of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22).

While at this moment, the Great Tribulation CANNOT begin before 2027, if we see certain steps within the next year (like the confirming of the deal of Daniel 9:27), it could begin in 2027 or 2028. We will have need to “watch” as Jesus said (Mark 13:37).

Despite the Biden Administration calling the use of cluster bombs a “war crime,” it has decided to supply them to Ukraine (see Cluster bomb agreement by Biden Administration shows additional American hypocrisy). The KJV Bible says God will send the Assyrians (modern Germans) against “an hypocritical nation” (Isaiah 10:5-11) and this announcement is yet another sign of public USA hypocrisy.

Concluding Comments

Many of us are experiencing what appear to be increased trials from many sides.

In these troubling times, remember the following from King David:

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever. (Psalms 23)

Brethren, note that despite difficulties, God will be with us and if we remain faithful, we “will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.”


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer