Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from the Five Cities Region of California.

Last week’s recommended sermonette (Planet Nibiru to Destroy Earth by 2017?) has proven to be fairly popular. We have repeatedly seen that when we place a date when debunking false ‘end of the world’ scenarios that we get a wider audience and reach more people. While we do not wish to do this all the time, this knowledge may be of assistance to us in the future.

On other matters, as a reminder, Pentecost will be here soon: June 12th.  Pentecost always falls on a Sunday, and hence we end up with ‘back-to-back’ Sabbaths this weekend. Thus, this week we have multiple sermons recommended (one for the Sabbath, and two to consider for Pentecost).

The sermon for Pentecost is one that I gave in New Zealand last year when my wife and I were there. And for the sermonette, we are recommending the offertory given by John Hickey from New Zealand.

Tanzania

Pastor Evans Ochieng was able to visit Tanzania in the past week.  Here is what he emailed me about his visit:

Pastor Dr Bob.

Greetings from Kenya.

I am very happy with the work that is going on in Tanzania. I noticed that so many people were in church of God in Tanzania. But due to poor management and relax made the congregations in Tanzania to die. The people who were in United and international community churches of God were so many in Tanzania. But poor management killed them. Before I met Andrew and his group, I met with Samson who was in United Church of God. This man was very happy to meet with me. When I introduced myself to him and and introduce the continuing church of God and the work we are doing, the man was so pleased. I gave him our magazines and statement of belief. I also explain to him why we know that continuing church of God is the only church where the truth is at this time. With prophesies, true salvation, repentance and ordained feasts. The work was so big in Tanzania that forced me to promise them another visit in July. So many people turned to join CCOG. It made me happy because of late, I wanted to pull off from Tanzania. What I noticed is that, pulling out wasn’t God’s plan. Satan was trying to block ways. But he is defeated. Martin was very happy when he met new people who are long-term members of God’s church. We were doing visitation to every member’s home. Every person whom we got his or her calling, we visit. The work was very good and made some steps a head.

After that we sat down and talk about the feast of tabernacles. How it can be organized this year. We noticed that people who will attend the feast of tabernacles this year in Tanzania will be many. We also noticed that to hire hotel for all those people will be very expensive. So Martin offered a land where we can put semi-permanent rooms to help those in Tanzania this year during the feast of tabernacles. I recommended their suggestions and when I was there I gave funds to start bringing sand. To make them it needs USD 2500. I hope this will help them and will make them steady. When I will be going back in July, I will also go and baptize 2 ladies who wanted baptism but I told Martin to continue teaching them the importance of baptism.

‘Martin’ above is Martin Wanga.  He first contacted me in 2013. The ‘international community’ is a reference to the Church of God, an International Community (COGaIC). It was founded by David Hulme, who left the United Church of God shortly after he was not re-elected as its president. That group initially had a relatively large presence in Africa, but many of COGaIC’s top US leaders left it a couple of years ago, and that affected their operations in Africa.

Now, I perhaps should add a clarifying statement that while the Continuing Church of God is not the only church that has the truth (which the email above seems to suggest), we are the most prophetically accurate and do best represent the Philadelphia remnant (Revelation 13:7-13) of the true Church of God at this time.

Australia Voting Exemption

Last week, I mentioned that if one is legally required to vote by some government, how perhaps that could be dealt with.  Let me add that I heard from a CCOG member in Australia who informed me that although supposedly Australians must vote, there is a religious exemption. What she said happens is that the non-voter will receive something in the mail called an “infringement notice” to respond to. And if one tells the Australian government that one’s religion is opposed to secular voting, then one will be granted an exemption.

Here is something from the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God:

NOT OF THIS WORLD

Jesus taught, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). John the Baptist taught, “Do violence to no man” (Luke 3:14, KJV). Historically, those of the Church of God have considered military service as wrong for its members. From Revolutionary War times to the Civil War and to present, countries like the United States have tended to have had provisions to exempt Church of God members and congregants from military participation because of conscientious objections. Early Christians did not participate in military warfare nor watch violent sports.

The Apostle Paul taught “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20). The Apostle Peter taught that God’s people were “a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out” (1 Peter 2:9). The Bible also teaches that this world has been deceived by Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9) and that God’s people need to be separate from the world (John 15:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Revelation 18:4). Since a Christian is God’s ambassador and  this responsibility is our duty above any arising from human relationships (Acts 4:18-20; 5:26-31), it is our normal religious practice to not participate in voting for national elections nor participate in jury duty, nor do we voluntarily join the military.  Historically, the faithful Church of God has long taught that its members should not participate in secular juries and secular politics.

However, Christians are expected to listen to (and pray for, 1 Timothy 2:1-3) governmental authorities (1 Peter 2:13-17) and pay their taxes (Matthew 22:17-21), yet if there is a conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29, NLT).

One of the reasons some of the above subjects are mentioned (voting, jury duty, military service) is so one can specifically point to our Statement as proof of a religious position.

Limited Free Hillary Clinton Prophecy Book

Because of the volatile presidential election process going on in the USA, I decided to put out a second edition of my book on Hillary Clinton, by adding more information, plus including comments related to her rival Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton Book JUNE 2016

It is my hope that the updated book will result in many radio interviews this year.

Anyway, Amazon Kindle allows me to give the electronic book away for free for 5 days, starting tomorrow, June 10, 2016.  And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it.

Why?

Because Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon 2nd Kindle edition. Now, Kindle editions have format issues, but the content is the same as the print version. So, if you would like a free copy of this book (and in accordance with the terms that Amazon sets forth, this is the only way we can give the electronic version away for free), please act before the free offer expires.

World News Items

A boy just got “all state’ honors in the USA State of Alaska by being able to compete in a girls’ track meet by claiming he identifies with the female gender (see Boy wins all state honors at girls’ track meet). This is something I indicated would happen in the sermonette video last month titled: USA pushing gender confusion. Expect to see such absurdities, and probably worse, in the future.

Two weeks from today, those in the United Kingdom are scheduled to vote about whether or not to remain part of the European Union. While the USA has stated it wants the UK to remain in, some believe that Russia is hoping for a British exit (known as a Brexit) from the European Union. Russia sees the UK as one of the most influential anti-Russian voices in the EU (seeVOA: Russia Sees ‘Brexit’ Weakening European Resolve). Over in Germany, some are wondering why top EU office holders are not more strongly pleading the case why the UK should stay in the EU (see EU leaders keeping low profile on Brexit vote); some think that the EU needs stronger leadership. The Bible shows that stronger leadership will come to Europe under the direction of one called ‘the Beast’ (Revelation 17:12-13).

Over in the Vatican, Pope Francis has continued his push that people need to rely on his version of ‘Mary’ and his church (see ‘Pope Francis says Jesus is not our hope, Mary and the Mother Church are’). The Bible symbolizes his church as a female that God does not approve of (Revelation 17,18). Pope Francis and many others hope that appeals to ‘Mary’ will assist them with their ecumenical and interfaith agendas that the Bible warns against.

Over in the Middle East, 19 Yazidi girls were burned alive because they refused to voluntarily subject themselves to being raped by members of the so-called Islamic State (see Burning horrors from the ‘Islamic State’–will Christians again be subject to being burned alive?). The horrific actions by the Islamic State will help get it muzzled in the future as I do not believe its leader can become the final King of the South of Bible prophecy (Daniel 11:40-43).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

Suggested Pentecost Services

Here is our suggested format for Pentecost services this Sunday:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Offertory, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one:Pentecost Offertory. Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecychannel.
  • 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: Pentecost Plan. Other sermons are also available at theContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

For those who wish two services, here is a second suggested service:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974Bible 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:Repentance & Baptism. Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecychannel.
  • 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: Predestination and Pentecost. A written article of somewhat related interest is titled Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? 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 new 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 ContinuingCOGchannel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel.

Concluding Comments

Let’s close with how the Apostle Paul began his letter to the Ephesians:

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

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

Brethren, we are saints and are to be faithful. May God grant you His grace and peace.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer

P.S. We have had some computer/internet problems in the past week or so, so do not be surprised if next week’s Letter to the Brethren is a little early or late.