Letter to the Brethren: October 23, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Post Feast of Tabernacles’ greetings from Quebec.

We liked seeing all those who attended at the St. Louis, Missouri and Montreal, Quebec festival sites this year.

We are scheduled to fly to San Luis Obispo, California very early tomorrow–hence we needed to send this out on Wednesday as opposed to Thursday which is the normally intended day. We have to take three flights to get home. And I hope to be in the office Friday.

Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day seemed to go well based on the reports we have received.

There was a baptism in St. Louis:

Here is a photograph from the Philippines:

Here is a report from Ethiopia:

Dear Saints:
We greet you in Jesus name Amen.
I am now to give you our safety feast report which we have took to
celebrate last Monday and goes forward to be finish coming Monday.
The Feast is goes well. And we have Three people from South Sudan
(Pagak) doing the feast together with them.
We are very glade to heard from you all living in the hands of GOD,
And doing the Feast very well.
Again, Members of Ethiopia greet you. I hope and believe that,every
things will be done in the name of our Father and his Son Jesus
Christ.The photos will be send after the Feasts.
Thanks you,

koang deng

Here is a photograph from Ndhiwa, Kenya:

Here is a report from Bomet, Kenya:

dear bob,greeting you in jesus name,we had a wonderful feast of
tabernacles at bomet kenya. over 50 people attended the congregation we
had lesson morning/evening and special meals.thank you. tomas koskei.
Here is another from the Rift Valley:
Receive greeting in the name of Jesus Christ. As brethrens of Bomet South Rift, we are really happy and thankful for the support as the construction of our church has already completed.
The feast of Tabernacles went through successfully and they were also requesting for my second visit as there are new members who joint them. I believe will be visiting together with pastor Ochieng’ as he had promised the Brethrens for the final cementing of the church floor.
Here are the photos from Bomet.
May God bless you.
Regards,
Pastor Sawek.
And another:
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, here in Kenya South Rift, groups of Chilani had a wonderful feast of Tabernacles. we had several brethren s who joint us in our church, and therefore we really thank God for being with us. Although we had a heavy rain but its all went through successfully. Also I’m informed that the brethrens from Mau had a blessed prayers and are thankful for the support and prayers they have been received.
we also thank the continuing Church of God for the prayers, support and work they have been doing. we are happy too for the unity we have together including Pastor Ochieng’ as we have realized the continuity of our churches here in Kenya.
herewith this report are the attach photos i manage to capture as we have several brethrens in attendance, including childrens.
Regards,
Pastor Sawek.

Here is a report from India:

Sir,

Today is the Last Great Day and …

I have counselled {three people} for baptism.

We plan to go to Lokchao River today in the afternoon for baptism. …

I have made them read “All about water Baptism” and the other mails.

Having satisfied myself, I shall take up the baptism today afternoon.

Thank you for your support and guidance.

Sincerely

K. Sani Mao

Here is a photograph from Haiti:

Here is a report from Portugal:

Dear Mr Thiel,

The Feast in Portugal has been wonderful.

We were blessed with beautiful weather and a quiet and peaceful time.
We held services in the apartment and followed your suggestions by watching the sermons as they were uploaded. …
The Kingdom is coming and with God no others actions should affect us. We will always be ok and this is a great comfort.
This is each individuals journey and I am grateful we have a loving and compassionate God who is quick to forgive us.
That we are all found guilty and yet Gods plan is for all to be offered salvation and that mercy will rule over judgement – how great is his love, and may we strive every day to walk better in his path than the day before.
Much love to you and Joyce
Thank you for all you do in his name.
Joanna

Here is a report from Ghana:

Dear Bob..,

Greetings from Ghana to you and the brethren all over the Globe in the Family of our Lord..!

To proceed, l wish to thank you very much for your informative updates concerning your visits to the various cities.
May the Good Lord bless, strengthen you in health and in Knowledge.
Having said, we’re having a fantastic Festive appointed period here in Ghana with some activities making it a joyous-one.
Just gone by, we’ve had a Womens debate with the motion:
“WHO ARE MORE REBELLIOUS”
[a] The believers of Old.., or ..
[b] The Present time believers..?!
There was a lot of enlightenment and fun as the ladies exhibited talent and skill very well in Scriptures.
In another memorable night, the various
represented Branches of the Church contested at answering your questions and enjoyed wanting more.
We hope our finances shall help us to honour the participants with some prizes next time.
Upcoming is the Mens debate on the motion:
“MOSES AND PAUL, WHO LABOURED MUCH” and the KIDS Bible Drill on Friday.
Prayer intercessions and supplications are spiritually absolute with manifestations in the Lord.
I shall keep you posted with update and developments.
Yours in His Vineyard,
Pastor Samuel.
Ghana

We are pleased that the Feast of Tabernacles went well around the world.

Post Festival Trials

The Feast of Tabernacles is now past. We now have to face issues in the world (work, school, relatives, financial issues, etc.) that were not the same as when we were rejoicing at the Feast of Tabernacles.

The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

Rejoice in trials

It’s easy to rejoice when all is going well, but how can you rejoice when things are not going smoothly, when you have major problems to go back to after the Feast, when you are up against an obstacle, persecution, even physical pain? That question is often asked.
But on what level are such problems? Are they not on the physical, material level — that is to say, the level having to do with this present, temporary existence? Of course they are!

Not a one of them can rob you of your eternal inheritance. Let’s keep things in perspective! The reason we reside in temporary dwellings annually at the Feast of Tabernacles is to remind us that this life is only for a short while. We are only pilgrims.
We need to stop letting this limited, transitory, earthly sphere dominate our thoughts. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” wrote Paul (Col. 3:2, Revised Standard Version). How well we do that will determine how much we can rejoice even in the face of severe trials.

If, with the eyes of faith, we are looking to Jesus Christ and the deliverance He shall surely provide — at the time that is best for us, in the way that is best for us — what is there that should be able to deprive us of joy?

No problem in the world can take our salvation from any of us against our will. Read carefully Romans 8:35-39, letting the meaningful words sink in: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is In Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Steep CD. Why Should You Rejoice at the Feast? Good News, September 1982)

While it is difficult to rejoice in trials, the Bible says that we should (cf. 1 Peter 4:13; Matthew 5:11-12). But we, like the faithful in the past (cf. Hebrews 11:4-40) are looking beyond them to the coming Kingdom of God.

Rejoice!

World News Items

The suicide rate for US teens raised dramatically according to a recent report (see Suicide rates up 56% for teens: Why?). Social media and less respect for biblical morality seem to be causes.

Brexit has been dominating the UK news (see Brexit: Johnson in race to win support for deal’). A vote in Parliament supported Boris Johnson’s deal, but not its timetable (see Brexit somewhat approved, but date of departure not). Its Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants out on October 31, 2019, but many in Parliament want to wait. The EU is quite frustrated with the UK and will not forgive the UK for Brexit (cf. Daniel 8:24-25).

In Canada, its the party of its Prime Minister (the Liberal party) gained the most seats in Parliament after Monday’s election–but the Liberals lost seats and there is more division in Canada (see ‘Justin Trudeau Scored A Victory, But He’s Facing A More Divided Country’).

In the USA, more moves towards impeaching its President Trump have been going on (see ‘The Trump Prophecy’ movie vs. COGwriter warnings about Donald Trump).

The increased divisions in places like the USA and Canada will not end well (cf. Matthew 12:25).

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: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity? 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: Church of God Unity. 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

Many, erroneously believe that they will recognized God’s two witnesses when God grants them power as shown in Revelation 11:3-4. Many have persuaded themselves that they do not need to support the final phase of the work, as God will take care of that.

While God will get the work done (cf. Matthew 24:14; Romans 9:28), most may well find out that they are not even close to being Philadelphian until after the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22) begins.

Jesus taught:

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” (Luke 16:27-31)

Why bring that up?

If people who claim to be in the Church of God will not accept that CCOG has the signs of Acts 2:17-18 (see Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?), most of them will not accept the two witnesses until after disaster strikes (cf. Ezekiel 7:26).

Brethren, let’s believe the word of God–and love show love of the brethren as we try to reach and teach all we can.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer