Letter to the Brethren: June 25, 2020

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

We continue to work on many matters related to Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

We trust that you are having a spiritually productive week.

Closed Postal Doors?

Because of coronavirus and other problems, people in many international areas have not been receiving our printed literature, like the Bible News Prophecy magazine.

Amazon no longer will ship to many countries, like New Zealand. But, while that door is temporaliy closed, we can ship to New Zealand via the United State Post Office (USPS)–and just sent another priority mailing there yesterday.

However, the United States Post Office states that it cannot currently send mail to many countries at this time because of COVID-19 and other suspensions. Those include Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, and Tanzania.

If you live in any of the nations (other than Kenya and Tanzania), we only now have materials available online until the USPS suspensions are lifted.

Of course, since we also print literature in Kenya, those who receive it from distribution by Evangelist Evans Ochieng, that has not changed.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ … (Colossians 4:2-3)

Please pray that shut doors will be opened. This is something that Jesus can do as He has opens doors for the Philadelphian Christians (cf. Revelation 3:7-8).

Feast of Tabernacles in 2020

In 2020, Feast of Tabernacles’ services are to begin the evening of October 2nd and continue until the Last Great Day which is October 10th.

Last month, we announced that we have a signed agreement with a hotel in San Antonio, Texas called the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade located at 9821 Colonnade Boulevard San Antonio, Texas 78230. Here is a photo from its website:

Omni Hotel, San Antonio

Should you stay there, the daily room rate is $119 per night, plus applicable taxes. You can call 1800TheOmni to make a reservation–tell them it is for the Feast of Tabernacles.

The hotel provided a link to book directly online. Here it is: https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-antonio/meetings/feast-of-tabernacles-10022020

While you do not have to stay at the Omni, many will find it convenient. In addition to our meeting there, it has two restaurants, one lobby snack bar, and even food available at its pool.

If you plan to attend in San Antonio, please send me an email. Please do not assume that I know. Please send me an email if you plan to come if you have not already done that. My email address remains COGwriter@aol.com

In North America, we also expect a site in New Brunswick, Canada.

As mentioned before, we still intend to hold the Feast of Tabernacles in probably all countries we have indicated (there could be changes, however). Information on the expected general locations is included in our article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2020. However, there may be changes in location and how we can conduct services.

We plan to hold services for the Feast of Tabernacles and encourage all who can attend to attend.

World News Items

India and China have had some clashes (see India and China clash: Start of WWIII?). But one day, they will get together when the 200 million man army forms (Revelation 9:16). In the meantime, China is also taking other military steps that others have concerns about (China about to start Gog Magog war? EMP threat?).

Protests and related matters remain an issue in the USA (see Protesters knock over abolitionist statue while others want to eliminate ‘white’ religious depictions at churches and ‘Seattle to end police-free protest zone after shootings’). The increased division in the USA is not good (cf. Matthew 12:25).

The coronavirus remains a major issue in the USA and around the world (see WHO Reports Jump in New COVID Cases and Warns Against Politicizing the Cornonavirus and SG: What they don’t tell you about surviving COVID-19).

Over in Israel, ‘Levitical priests’ are being trained to perform various rituals associated with animal sacrifices (see BIN: Jerusalem School Trains Priests to Perform Temple Rituals in Anticipation of 3rd Temple). We know that regular animal sacrifices will resumed because of the following biblical prophecies:

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. (Daniel 11:31)

11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11)

For those sacrifices to be stopped, obviously they first must be started. And yes, some members of a ‘trained Levitical priesthood’ would be expected to be involved. Although there are already some of them with training to do this now, perhaps more training could be considered as helpful.

When will the sacrifices be resumed?

They will be started PRIOR to the start of the Great Tribulation as they are stopped just prior to the Great Tribulation–which in the sequence in Daniel 11, starts in verse 39 (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?), which is, of course, after the sacrifices are stopped in Daniel 11:31.

We are getting closer to the time of starting the animal sacrifices.

Politics and training will play a role in that. And formal training is going on.

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: Polycarp or Martin Luther? 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: Fleeing or Rapture? 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

The Book of Hebrews has the following:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

The Book of James has the following:

1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:1-10)

The Book of Daniel has the following:

33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; (Daniel 11:32)

The Apostle Peter taught:

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15, KJV)

Jesus taught:

16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

What does all of this mean?

It means, brethren, that we all should be able to be teachers, but that we also need to carefully guide what we say. And that God does have a plan for us to instruct many.

Yet, we are to be meek and careful with our words.

Please be so.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer