Letter to the Brethren: May 12, 2016

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Another full week of managing matters around the world while we work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Radio

I was able to go on radio last Thursday, shortly after sending out this week’s Letter to the Brethren. I was on the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN) at 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time. The host highly dominated the interview, but I was able to at least get in that the solution to the USA was not Donald Trump (who the host wanted) nor Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders, but the kingdom of God.

On other radio matters, I spent time with a radio publicist to develop a plan to possibly be on a variety of stations in the USA in the Summer and Fall of 2016. We did something like this last Summer, so I believe this will be helpful for us to reach people this year.

As I tend to come on as a guest, sometimes there is little advanced notice, but sometimes there is.  So, since we realize that many of you would like to hear the radio interviews, we will continue to try to tell you in advance when that is practical.  The use of radio is a way to reach people that we generally would not on the internet or through personal contact.

Successful Trip to Tanzania

Kenya-based CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng sent the following yesterday related to his trip to Tanzania:

Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Kenya.
I had a very successful trip in Tanzania. I met with Martin Wanga and the congregation in Utegi. Thank you for your encouragement to meet with Martin Wanga from Utegi. We had a wonderful discussion with the whole congregation. They were very happy to meet with me. I found if some have been staying for long if they are not attending sabbath services. So we went round to visit every member at their homes. It was successful that many came up to start going to services. They congratulate my visit. I also gave them some little help for food. Here is a photo at Martin’s home. This sabbath, Martin is going to meet our congregation in Kitembe. There is another group who were in ucg and are not attending services nowadays. Martin will meet them tomorrow before Saturday. I will give you feedback.
Evans.

We try to reach those that we can (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20) as well as ‘wake-up’ those that seem to be spiritually asleep (Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 3:14-21).

Here is the photograph mentioned above:

Wanga

Martin Wanga (the man to the far left above) first contacted me in August or September 2013.

Malarial Death Prayer Request

Received the following prayer request from Kenya:

hallo

i great you in the name of Messiah

we are doing good here in Rift valley. we have one of our member who had lost her child who was sick Malaria. so we are request you prayers. the burial we be announced by pastor Ochieng.

God bless you

regard
kipngetich Joseah

Brethren, please pray for this family as well as others in Kenya and other parts of Africa that are subject to Malaria, yellow fever, terrorist threats, and dire poverty.

Censorship and the Famine of the Word

This week, Facebook made the news because of allegations that it censors ‘conservative’ news sources (see Facebook is also in the censorship business).  Though Facebook is denying this, there is clear evidence that Facebook has manipulated trending news and taken other steps that could be considered censorship.

In another ‘censorship’ issue, some are trying to pressure Amazon.com to not sell Donald Trump tee shirts and other items.  Those doing the pressuring claim that they are not being political, but that Donald Trump’s stances on certain immigrant and female issues essentially are a form of hate and that Amazon.com should not allow him to be promoted.

While I am not a fan of Donald Trump (and even explained on the radio last week part of why he is NOT a Christian), the sorts of censorship pressures we are seeing are of real concern.  In the case of Amazon.com, we have most of our non-English language magazines produced by its partner CreateSpace as well as our more recent English-language booklets.  The time may well come that because we stand for biblical morality that our opposition to the LGBT agenda and other matters will be called ‘hate speech’ and be cited as a reason for Amazon.com to no longer be an outlet for us.  The same holds true for YouTube and other forms of media we may try to use.

Last year, YouTube suspended one of our sermons for no legitimate reason, and a firm I was once involved with related to radio publicity refunded my money as they were opposed to my use of biblical terms related to a book I was then promoting.

The Prophet Amos was inspired to record the following:

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Notice that the Bible tells of a time that will come when the word of God will not be found. And that would seem to be because truth from it will be taken off the internet. In the 21st century, the internet is accessed by people in every country, and thus some type of internet restriction/suspension/site removal is coming.

We are getting closer to this time.

That is part of why we in the Continuing Church of God are preparing for the ‘short work’ (Romans 9:28) and the coming ‘famine of the word.’

World News Items

Spain still wants the British stronghold of Gibraltar and there was a naval incident in which the British got Spain to back off (see Gibraltar: Naval incident and Brexit). At some point in time, look for the UK to lose Gibraltar as well as the Falkland Islands (cf. Deuteronomy 28:62-63). It may well be that the European Union will try to push the UK out of one or both if the UK votes to leave the EU next month.

Over in Europe, Germany has decided it needs to boost its army, and train new troops in the technological aspects of war (see Germany is building a larger army; Russia is working on ‘Satan 2′). We have long warned that the German war machine would rise up, and we keep seeing signs that it is happening. It remains my view that technology will be the key for Europe to fulfill war-related prophecies, such as are found in Revelation 13:4 and Daniel 11:39.

Iran has been doing some sabre rattling and has been testing missiles (see CBS: ‘Iran tests missile capable of reaching Israel’). It may be that God will remove the protection from Judah to allow Israel to be one day hit by an attack from Iran, consistent with Isaiah 22:5-10.

Over in Iraq and Yemen, the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State killed about one hundred people in the past couple of days (see ‘Islamic State’ kills in Yemen and Iraq: The days of the Islamic State are numbered). The atrocities committed by the Islamic State are alarming both the West and many Muslims. This ultimately will lead to the end of the Islamic State as we now know it, but also the rise of the King of the South of biblical prophecy (Daniel 11:40-43).

There have been false predictions we denounced this week related to astronomy.  One was that the ‘transit of Mercury’ supposedly marked the countdown to Armageddon (see Transit of Mercury linked to Biblical Armageddon prophecy?). And the other was the “Planet Nibiru” would destroy the Earth this year (see More predictions that planet ‘Nibiru’ will destroy the Earth this year). While Jesus did mention some astronomical signs in Matthew 24 and in the Book of Revelation, many ignore and/or misunderstand the sequence. Biblical prophecies are coming to pass, but just because someone claims that the Bible predicts something does not mean that it does.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

Because of the suggested sermon is shorter than usual, that is why you see two (2) recommended sermonettes.

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

The Apostle Paul wrote:

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

Brethren, live for the glory of God and consider the feelings of others.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer