Contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered for the saints ... Let brotherly love continue (Jude 3; Hebrews 13:1)
Letter to the Brethren: September 19, 2019

Letter to the Brethren: September 19, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities Region of California.

This week’s recommended sermonette is possibly the shortest ever mentioned in one of the CCOG Letters to the Brethren.

Part of the reason for that is that I had expected to give a much longer than usual sermon.

Anyway, while the sermon did not go as long as I first thought (as some items were accidentally overlooked in my notes), I did not re-do the sermonette to make it longer.

The sermon itself may be a bit bold for people without a prior Worldwide Church of God background. But, my hope and prayer, is that those in that category (as well as those who are not) will benefit from learning some ways that the CCOG is different than other Church of God organizations.

Fall Holy Days

We are less than two weeks away from the start of the Fall Holy Days for 2019.

The first one is the Feast of Trumpets, which runs from sunset September 29th through sunset September 30th this year. Next will be the Day of Atonement, which runs from sunset October 8th through sunset October 9th this year. Next after that will come the Feast of Tabernacles/Last Great Day (from sunset October 13th through sunset October 21st this year).

Are you ready for them?

Have you prepared to be off work/school on God’s commanded Holy Days?

Hopefully, you have done so.

As far as the Feast of Tabernacles goes, as mentioned before, we have selected the The Westin St. Louis, 811 Spruce Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102 USA +1 314-621-2000 for our site in the USA.

The hotel only has a limited number of rooms blocked off and still available for us and are only holding them until tomorrow, September 20th. If you are planning on staying there, you want to make your reservations today or tomorrow or the cost will be much higher!

Regarding guest rooms (rooms you may stay in), you may find the following helpful:

Start Date End Date Room Type Room Rate
10/31/2019 10/21/2019 Run of the house $119.00

The Hotel’s room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 16.93%) in effect at the time of check out.

The group room rates listed above are net non-commissionable.

For the group rate call 800-Westin-1 and ask for a room in the St. Louis Westin and ask for the “Continuing Church of God” room block. Local number is 314.552.5806.

There is also a link to do this online: Book your group rate for Continuing Church of God

We are being offered a major discount on the rooms here and many of you may wish to stay here. My family made our reservations here some time ago as have some others.

One other issue has to do with parking. If the hotel personnel valet park your car it is $30.00 per night plus tax and tip. Self-Parking for overnight guests is free. For those who attend the Feast site, but do not stay at the hotel, we have arranged to give all who tell us in advance of the Feast, free parking stickers. So, you will want to let us know you are coming once you know.

No one is required to stay at the Westin, so do not feel that you must.

On 2/7/19, TripAdvisor listed 2,495 restaurants and 172 hotels in St. Louis (even if some are not available, there are many choices).

If you are planning on attending this year in St. Louis (and you do not have to stay at the Westin, although with the discount being offered many will), please send me an email. My email address is

Note: We expect to have two sites on the continent of North America: St. Louis and Montreal.

For information on the St. Louis site and the other expected festival sites for 2019, you can also check out the page: Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for 2019.

World News Items

Last Sabbath, there were attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that disrupted oil production (see ‘Yemen Rebels Claim Drone Attacks on Saudi Oil Facility’ ‘Drone strikes knock out half of Saudi oil capacity’). Many are pointing the finger at Iran, who does not wish to speak to the USA at all (see Iran won’t talk with US, 3 Australians held, Donald Trump, and WWIII?). US officials are blaming Iran for the attacks and Iran’s Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued a warning today that an attack against Iran would lead to “All-out war” (see ‘Zarif Warns Against War as US Officials Blame Iran For Saudi Attack’ ‘All-out war’). Even without an attack (or perhaps even with a so-called ‘proportionate response’), Iran may feel it is getting pressured so much that this may accelerate actions that are prophesied to strike Jerusalem (Isaiah 22:6-9) and eventually Iran itself (cf. Jeremiah 49:34-38).

The Vatican is continuing to push its ecumenical and interfaith agendas as Pope Francis has been pushing a ‘global pact’ meeting for next May (see Pope Francis invites religious, political leaders to sign ‘Global Pact’ for ‘new humanism’: Prelude to a schism or the Antichrist?). Even the Russian Orthodox are involved in some of the ecumenical and interfaith agenda as one of its leaders made comments at a meeting this week in Madrid (see Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, of the Patriarchate of Moscow, promoting ecumenical cooperation).

Last Summer (on July 28, 2018), I warned that releasing genetically-modified mosquitoes posed a risk. Sadly, a news report I saw yesterday confirmed that (see Scientists confirm COGwriter GMO mosquito warning). There can be many unanticipated consequences of GMO research that may lead to famines and/or pestilences (cf. Matthew 24:7).

In more positive news, there reportedly has been some environmental improvements associated with the coral reefs off of Jamaica (see AP: Surprise rescue of Jamaica coral reefs shows nature can heal; COGwriter: Proof of the coming millennial utopia?). The Bible teaches that “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice” (Isaiah 35:1-2a). After Jesus returns, the environment will be improved during the millennial Kingdom of God.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

  • 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. Here is the recommended sermonette for the week: Facebook bans Holy Day promotion. Other sermonettes are also available at the BibleNewsProphecy 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: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle. 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 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.


Concluding Comments

The prophet Jeremiah was inspired to write:

1 How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!

2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
Her tears are on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers
She has none to comfort her.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
They have become her enemies. (Lamentations 1:1-2)

Brethren, notice that a major change is prophesied.

Has the United States and Great Britain been considered great?

Notice that the great will fall and be betrayed by allies, which Jeremiah called friends.

Do not think that the world order will continue as it has.

The USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will fall shortly after the start of the Great Tribulation.

The time to get your spiritual house in order is now (Luke 21:34-36; Zephaniah 2:1-3).


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer