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Letter to the Brethren: November 2, 2017

Letter to the Brethren: November 2, 2017

ear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We have been working on international matters as well as literature.

We hope and pray all of you are well.

Gospel of the Kingdom in Serbian!

We finally have a proper version of our English booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, in the Serbia language. We had what seemed to be a machine-translated version that was unacceptable, so we never put it up online.

This version was translated by a Serbian, Predrag Mijatovic, who I met twice in CCOG services in Serbia.

Anyway, we had some problems with Amazon CreateSpace which is why it took us so long to get this ready (we thought it would have been ready in August or September).

But, at least, we have it now. If you can read Serbian (or know someone interested in it), here is a link: Јеванђеље o Краљевству Божјем.

On other Serbian matters, when we were in Serbia in June, we had hoped to be able to come again in August or November of this year, but we could not go in August and are not expecting to go this month.

However, we still do plan on attending the first half of the Feast of Tabernacles in 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia, and we hope and pray that we will be able to go to Serbia one time prior to the Feast of Tabernacles. Your prayers for our success in matters related to Serbia are appreciated.

Serbian Press Coverage

CCOG Serbian elder Alexsandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic ran across an article online at a Serbian news website related to the Protestant minister Greg Lori and his view that the USA is not mentioned in biblical prophecy.

So why report about that here?

Well, in the middle of the news article was an embedded BibleNewsProphecy video from me where I explained that Protestants, including specifically Greg Lori, did not understand where the Bible discussed the USA.

Subject: [ccog] Serbian news portal announced video of Dr. Bob Thiel

This is the most amazing news I can give you right now, brethren.  I have just noticed, as I went on to see the latest news, the article in Serbian, published just three hours ago on that news portal.  The article speaks about Greg Lori, who says that America is not mentioned in the Bible prophecy.  Within the article is the link to your video that speaks about Greg Lori and his claim that America is not mentioned in the Bible prophecy.
I have no idea how that newspaper or portal came to Dr. Thiel’s video, only God knows that.  I have no contact with them, or with their journalists, so we might just say this is a providence of God.  I have just shared that link on my Facebook profile.  The link is as follows:

If you want to see the article, including the embedded video, here is a link:

From time to time, the press reports about some of what we are doing. This is the first time we are aware  that this happened in Serbia. But this has happened in the past with major news organizations in the USA and China. Eventually, we will get intense media coverage, which I believe will tie in with the short work of Romans 9:28 and the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 (see Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word).

Chilani Trans Mara

Joseph Kipngetich sent the following picture related to the Feast of Tabernacles:

Chilani, Trans Mara, Kenya

Transmara is part of Kenya.

Daylight Saving Time

Europe and some other nations went back to Standard Time, from Daylight Saving Time, last Sunday. The USA, Canada, some Caribbean nations, and some other countries are to do that this coming Sunday. Those who live in northern regions may need to leave work earlier than usual on Fridays for several weeks/months.

World News Items

The 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg (Germany) church on October 31, 1517 was celebrated a couple of days ago (see Ecumenical celebrations of the Protestant Reformation; what about sola Scriptura and the white horse of the Apocalypse?). Instead of this being a celebration of the sins of the Church of Rome, it was mainly a time where various Greco-Roman religious and political leaders promoted ecumenical unity. Of course, this is what we in the CCOG long expected (watch Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary and World Council of Churches Peace Plan).

Speaking of anniversaries, today marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration related to the ultimate establishment of a Jewish state. Jews have been celebrating, but Palestinians protesting, the declaration (see The Balfour Declaration and a prophecy?).

More in Europe are getting frustrated with the USA and its President Donald Trump. Germany, in particular, has been vocal, and we are seeing some expect that former German Defense Minister,  Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg will re-enter German politics (see Germany past point of no return with USA? Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg ‘will become more important in German politics again’). Prophecy tells of the rise of a Germanic power that God will use to punish places like the ‘Samarian’ USA (Isaiah 10:5-12). Karl-Thoedor zu Guttenberg is likely to once again enter politics in Germany and is one to watch–he wants Europe to develop more technology and take other steps that are consistent with biblical prophecies.

We continue to see rumblings in Catalonia and elsewhere in Europe for governmental changes (see Catalonians want democracy to work; Pope Francis wants Europe to be more united). I have been teaching for years that the Bible shows that Europe will have to reorganize and that the ten kings listed in Revelation 17 do not simply represent 10 currently existing countries, but will include some type of groupings or regions. Interestingly, Pope Francis called on the EU to use creativity to deal with issues like Catalonia (see Catalonians want democracy to work; Pope Francis wants Europe to be more united). Reorganization of Europe is prophesied (Revelation 17:12-13), and the Pope’s urging of creative solutions is consistent with that.

We continue to see steps taken to reduce the influence of the US dollar around the world. Yesterday, Russian Prime Minister called for an end to a dominant currency for trade (the US dollar) and proposed supporting China’s plans to bypass the dollar while also asking China to look at a Russian payment system (see Russia and China meet to dethrone US dollar dominance). The time will come when the US dollar will lose its status as the world’s dominant reserve currency and this will affect the US much worse than the ‘experts’ who do not properly understand biblical prophecy (e.g. Habakkuk 2:6-8) realize. Speaking of Russia, Paul Craig Roberts is concerned that Russian investigations, etc. are setting the USA up for Armageddon and defeat by Russia (see ZH: One Day, Tomorrow Won’t Arrive, Paul Craig Roberts: Armageddon). While it is Europe (cf. Daniel 11:39), not Russia, that is prophesied to takeover the USA, it remains my position that Russia will assist. But, we still have until at least 2021 before the USA will be taken over, and I do not believe it can be before 2022 at this stage.

There was a storm that caused hundreds of thousands to lose power in the Northeast of the USA this week (see ‘Severe storm leaves about 700K without power in Northeast;’ Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. Martins, and Virgin Islands still suffering; Will you consider the St. Lucia Prime Minister’s warning?). Around that time, when commenting on the devastation that recent hurricanes caused in the Caribbean, the Prime Minister of St. Lucia (a small island nation in the Caribbean) stated:

‘We continue thinking there’s tomorrow. Tomorrow has arrived.’

Jesus spoke of a time of troubles (Mark 13:5-8) that occur BEFORE the start of the great tribulation (Mark 13:19-24). Troubles have decimated Dominica, St. Martins, Puerto Rico, and parts of the Virgin Islands (as well as parts of Cuba). The people and leaders in those lands realized that something bad like this could happen someday, but generally did not take the steps needed to prevent widespread devastation.

What will happen to the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will, in many ways, be worse (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21-22). The great tribulation will come (Matthew 24:21), watch and pray and get your spiritual house in order (Luke 21:34-36)–most will NOT (Luke 21:34-35; 1 Thessalonians 5:3-6; Revelation 12:14-17).

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: Ten Kings, Catalonia, and the Future of Europe. 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: Thanksgiving and Prayer. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel, especially if you wish two services today.
  • 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 ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE BibleNewsProphecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

The Bible warns against complainers:

39 Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins? (Lamentations 3:39)

The late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote:

Decide to be thankful

Here is a challenge for you: Make up your mind that for 12 consecutive hours, you won’t complain. Don’t allow any gripes or murmurs to enter your words or your thoughts, no matter what happens. Say to yourself, “All things work together for my good.” You may be surprised at the result and the sudden fantastic change in your life.

In all probability, you may find this challenge rather hard to meet, because complaining could very well be a part of your daily life — a routine you follow, consciously or not. But try it — force yourself to try it. Set your mind, your eyes, your thoughts on the ultimate goal — on the purpose of your existence, on the opportunities you will have in God’s Kingdom to help and serve. Discard from your mind any thoughts that may be a hindrance to your resolution. Like my friend who was blind, feel what you cannot see and be joyful and thankful for what you have.

If you don’t succeed the first time, try it again until you succeed. And then make a habit of it. God Himself will give you all the help you need. The promise He made to the ancient Israelites also applies to you: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today… The Lord will fight for, you, and you have only to be still” (Ex. 14:13-14, RSV).

What more encouragement do you need? God will fight for you if you stop complaining and only express gratitude.

Then you will fully grasp the deep meaning of Paul’s words, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

(Apartian D. The Most Common Sin – ARE YOU GUILTY? Good News, May 1980)

Brethren, can you live up to that challenge?

Hopefully, the sermon suggested for this upcoming Sabbath will help.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer