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Letter to the Brethren: June 21, 2018

Letter to the Brethren: June 21, 2018

Letter to the Brethren: June 21, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:1-2)

Grace to those in the Continuing Church of God wherever you may be relocated.

We hope and pray you had a spiritually profitable week.

Online Radio and Flipboard

While the Continuing Church of God is presently based in the USA, work is being done in many places throughout the world.

For example, we get several types of support from the brethren in New Zealand and elsewhere.

John Hickey, for example, edits the Bible News Prophecy magazine as well as our booklets. Furthermore, he sometimes makes recordings for the online Bible News Prophecy radio program, which is put together in New Zealand.

His wife, Shirley Gestro, is also heavily involved. She helps put together the above radio program as well as assists with booklets and the Study the Bible Course.

She also puts out the CCOG Flipboard page.

She sent the following report:

Bible News Prophecy Internet Radio Update

Analytics from Caster FM Streaming Server

Countries: 185

Unique listeners: 46,420

Total Listener Minutes: 7,538,956

Top 25 Countries by Listener Minutes:

  1. United States            4,643,710
  2. Unknown                      730,226
  3. United Kingdom           700,573
  4. Germany                      326,354
  5. Canada                        230,084
  6. New Zealand               180,048
  7. Australia                      156,923
  8. Bahamas                     122,587
  9. France                           96,960
  10. Japan                            87,727
  11. Virgin Islands (U.S.)      43,076
  12. Mexico                          31,128
  13. Netherlands                  29,114
  14. South Africa                  20,321
  15. Switzerland                   15,260
  16. Italy                               10,769
  17. Jamaica                        10,423
  18. Belgium                           8,611
  19. China                              7,455
  20. Philippines                      7,204
  21. Sweden                           6,665
  22. Ireland                             6,286
  23. Indonesia                         5,406
  24. Thailand                           5,237
  25. Nigeria                             5,006

Bible News Prophecy Flipboard Page Update

Followers: 3,760

Articles: 11,091

Viewers: 24, 672

Page flips: 265,436

Bible News Radio Pinterest Page

Average Monthly Viewers: 8,952

We utilize many platforms to reach whomever we can.


As it worked out, I spent a couple of days in Serbia and got back last night after over 24 hours of traveling yesterday (including about 5 hours on a bus), so I am a bit jet lagged (plus there are many things to try to get caught up on–including dealing with telephone messages when I was gone).

We are working on some important church projects in Serbia and I was able to make progress on at least two of them. But this can be complicated in a country that is so closely influenced by the Orthodox Church (so I used some techniques like the old Worldwide Church of God did, to minimize possible disruptive offense).

Here are some stats from Wikipedia related to religion in Serbia:

 Eastern Orthodoxy (84.59%)
 Catholic Church (4.97%)
 Islam (3.10%)
 Protestantism (0.99%)
 Irreligion (1.11%)
Others (5.24%)

So, we in the Continuing Church of God would consider that we are part of ‘Others.’ It should be noted that there is religious freedom in Serbia, though the Orthodox Church has much influence in that land. We expect to reach more there in the future.

In other Serbian news, Aleksandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic informed me late yesterday that the Bible Hymnals in Serbia have arrived.

World News Items

Trade matters continue to be in the news (see China: ‘The US has launched a trade war’ and ‘Trump threatens additional $200bn in tariffs on China’ after Gallup shows his approval rate has increased). Tomorrow, the European Union intends to impose new tariffs on the USA (see European Union hitting back against the USA on trade).e have warned about trade issues for years and we are now seeing more of them. The world’s trading order is in the process of changing and will turn out differently than most of the world expects (cf. Revelation 18).

Over in Canada, its senate decided to legalize marijuana on Tuesday (see Canada legalizes marijuana). The end result of more marijuana use will not be good for the users nor the nation of Canada.

In the Middle East, the Palestinians are expressing their disapproval of a peace plan by the Trump Administration (see Palestinian Authority says no to Trump ‘peace plan,’ but … ). This is not a surprise as it is consistent with Palestinian sentiments since Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Eventually, but after more bloodshed, we will see a temporal peace deal in the Middle East involving Israel (cf. Daniel 9:27).

Also in the Middle East, the military coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates continues its offensive in Yemen (see ‘The Saudi-UAE Alliance is the Most Dangerous Force in the Middle East Today’). Eventually, a broader and more powerful confederation of nations in the Middle East and North Africa will form (cf. Daniel 11:40-43). The efforts over the past few years by Saudi Arabia to put something together will develop into something that I do not believe that the Saudi government truly understands.

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 Different False Gospel. 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: Physical Protection During the Great Tribulation. 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

In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul also wrote:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-6)

As far as comfort and the Great Tribulation goes, Jesus promised to protect the Philadelphian Christians (Revelation 3:7-13).

Brethren, if you truly are Philadelphian, Jesus’ promise for protection from the Great Tribulation applies to you.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer