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Letter to the Brethren: July 26, 2018

Letter to the Brethren: July 26, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Post Michigan greetings.

Last Sabbath, I was able to meet with brethren in Almont, Michigan.

Almont attendees (not including Sharon LaFrance, photographer)

In addition to Michiganders, we had people drive in from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Ontario (Canada).

Most people fellowshipped with other brethren for hours after services ended.

It was great to be able to meet with people I had not seen in person before, as well as people I had not seen for a few years, plus some I have seen more recently.

Another Animation

A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?

We just put up our third animation.

This one is the second part of a two-part series on the atheistic view of the universe compared to the scientifically-accurate Creator view of the universe and life.

It is our suggested sermonette for this Sabbath.

Here is a link: A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?

We plan to work on other animations now that this one is finished.

BTW 2018 and Opening Night Message

We have been working on the Behind the Work (BTW) video sermon for the 2018 Feast of Tabernacles. We had wanted it done earlier, but a literature order from Amazon Createspace did not arrive when it was originally promised.

Anyway, that order has since arrived and we showed some of the new booklets in the BTW video.

What might be the final videoing took place yesterday. It will then need to be pieced together with the other video clips we plan to have in this message.

Then we will essentially have to manually produced DVD copies.

Once that is done we will need to physically mail the DVDs to places that do not always have quick mailing deliveries.

It is expected to be played at most of the CCOG Feast of Tabernacles’ sites this year.

We also started to put together an opening night message for the Feast of Tabernacles. This is also expected to be send to the Philippines and some African nations.

Last year, we had problems with the length of time it took for mail delivery to the Philippines and at least one African nations.

Internet Issues

Because of transferring the website server, this morning I noticed that we lost all the posts to after July 7, 2018. So, I have reloaded the sermons and Letters to the Brethren that were missed. So, if you notice a strange loading date, that is the reason.

Anyway, this also may have affected some other CCOG sites, so we will try to look into that.

World News Items

We are seeing extreme weather in many parts of the world (see Extreme weather hitting Europe, USA, and Japan). Jesus warned of “troubles’ during the beginning of sorrows (Mark 13:8), and extreme weather is consistent with that.

On the other hand, tomorrow night’s expected ‘blood moon’ is NOT a sign from God like some have suggested (see Could next week’s ‘blood moon’ be a message from God?). The biblical ‘blood moon’ prophecies are for a time AFTER the Great Tribulation begins and ones prior to that are NOT a sign of the tribulation or Jesus’ return as various ones have suggested over the past several years.

US President Trump sent a Twitter-based warning to Iran this week (see Donald Trump tweets massive warning to Iran). Since the Bible does not show that Iran will be the King of the South of biblical prophecies (Daniel 11:40-43), I have long believed that Iran would someday be neutralized. This neutralization possibly could come to Iran because of a conflict with Israel, or perhaps even one involving the USA.

The trade problems between the USA and China are getting the Chinese to take various steps as well as to try to get along better with Europe (see also ‘U.S.-China trade war is now becoming a currency war, too’). US President Trump is not pleased with certain Chinese actions (see Donald Trump calls China’s trade actions ‘viscous’ and threatens more tariffs).

Tension continue to escalate between the USA and Europe, despite nicer words from time to time. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stated “We can’t rely on the superpower of the United States,” whereas we are also seeing calls from others for Europe to have its own military independent of NATO (see Angela Merkel again says EU ‘can’t rely’ on USA, FPIF says ‘Europe should bolt NATO’).

Europe will develop its own military, get a “great army” (Daniel 11:25), and one day destroy the USA (Daniel 11:39). It perhaps should also be mentioned that Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, is in Europe to try to whip up support to breakup the European Union (see Steve Bannon in Europe working to breakup EU). The Europeans will remember that, Brexit, and Donald Trump as instigators working to thwart their agenda. But, despite prophesied problems (Daniel 2:41-43), Europe will one day unite under a militaristic dictator (Revelation 17:12-13).

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: A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution? 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: Acts 10-12: Visions, Dreams, and Gentiles.  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.


Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write the following:

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.  (Titus 2:1-15)

Brethren, there are non-Christians, as well as those with a Church of God background, that despise the idea that any in the ministry should actually have authority and be able to provide correction to them on various matters. Do not be like them.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer