Letter to the Brethren: September 3, 2020

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

A Witness

Received an unexpected email last week from someone who used to help me get radio interviews on secular stations:

Hi Bob, it’s your old radio promoter …, and I remembered your name after seeing some Thiel headlines recently. I’m not doing media anymore, but it’s neat to see how your were right in your predictions.

Here is what I sent in response:

Nice to hear from you.
Yes, in all the books you tried to help promote, I was right on all the predictions in them (e.g. events aligned with 33 in my 2012 book by the end of 2012, to cite one example).
One radio host you got me an interview with years ago, who had been a Trump delegate in 2016, told me I was right on most of the ones in the Trump book except about Trump increasing the debt. Obviously, that happened.
Anyway, should you have the itch to do this type of promotion again, let me know.
While less and less are interested in truth, there still is a need to broadcast it.

Much of what I and the CCOG have taught is coming to pass. One day, more will realize that (cf. Ezekiel 33:33).

But it was nice to hear from a non-COG person that he recognizes that what was taught in those books related to prophecy is coming to pass.

Flipboard and Radio Statistics

New Zealand host Shirley Gestro sent the following statistics related to the CCOG Bible News Prophecy Flipboard page and the CCOG Bible News Prophecy online radio:

Bible News Prophecy Flipboard Page

https://flipboard.com/@ProphecyNews

Magazine news app, also available on desktop.

Statistics for 28 August 2020

Articles: 14,322

Page flips: 338,723

Viewers: 24,690

Followers: 4,071

Bible News Prophecy internet radio

https://www.biblenewsprophecy.net/on-air

Radio streaming server statistics for 27 Apr – 24 Aug 2020

Total Listeners: 15,112

Average listening time: 35 minutes

Top countries: USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Germany

Listening hours (1 July – 28 Aug 2020): 7,037

TuneIn App: 1.3K added to favourites

Top items of interest on the Radio website (1 Jan – 28 Aug 2020):

Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation   12,062 page views

20 Prophetic Items to Watch in 2020  7,812 page views

COVID-19 Leading to 666?  4,414 page views

Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020?  3,075 page views

Bible News Prophecy Radio on Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.nz/biblenewsradio/

Our Pinterest page includes COGwriter news items, literature, sermons and sermonettes. Pinterest pins are created for sermons and sermonettes and are added to group boards to reach a wider audience.

Statistics for 7/28/2020 – 8/26/2020

Impressions: 132.36K

Total audience: 104,03K

Top Pins:

  • Last Great Day: God is impartial and has a plan for all  37,020 impressions

  • Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020?  15,237 impressions

  • Exodus 25: Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat   5,980 impressions

  • Early Glimpses of Christ in the Old Testament   6,586 impressions

  • European Leaders Move Closer to 666    3,348 impressions

  • Biden, Trump & the Bible   2,510 impressions

Both of these programs were her idea and we are reaching those that we otherwise would not. I had planned to cover the above in a sermon last Sabbath, but decided to do that particular sermon at a later time.

Bibles in Chichewa

Received reports that Bibles in the language of Chichewa were delivered to members in Malawi and Mozambique. Deacon Radson Mulozowa sent the following photo of the Bibles:

It is difficult to “know the certainty of the words of truth” (Proverbs 22:21) without Bibles in one’s native language. We are glad the Chichewa-language Bibles arrived and have mainly been distributed.

Naming Children and Birthdays

In general, the CCOG does not get involved in naming children.

However, over the years it has became apparent that in various African lands, some parents like to name their children after religious leaders from the United States.

Someone with such a first AND last name contacted me some time ago, and it was a bit sad as she was not then affiliated with the leader whose last name (surname) she had.

We have also had various ones name their children after CCOG leaders (and in at least one case, the spouse of one) who have visited Africa. Although English/American/Biblical first names are common in Africa, we do not recommend that parents give their children English/American/European surnames (last names). Such last names are not usually culturally appropriate. So, we discourage parents from giving their children such last names.

Speaking of children, while some may like to celebrate birthdays, please understand that we in the CCOG teach against birthday celebrations. Local CCOG leaders should teach that to their newer members as well as any who do not fully understand the CCOG’s position on that. For more information, check out the article Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?

History and the Final Phase of the Work

Several days ago, two websites that are focused against Church of God (COG) groups highlighted the writings of someone who pointed out flaws in aspects of COG history as found in a book from the late A.N. Dugger, which had also been taught by other COG groups. In response, I posted what we in the CCOG teach about some of that (see Stephen Mumford was not COG and the CCOG does not include him as one of our spiritual predecessors). We in the CCOG, while not having perfect understanding of all matters of COG history, do not have many of the errors that other claimed COG groups have.

Why is that important?

Well, in order to lead the Final Phase of the Work, a group needs to have the love of the truth and be best able “to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). At this instant, other COG groups are not doing that as they should as they have major problems with their teachings on church history. Various ones teach myths and other errors. These are major credibility problems that other COGs have been unwilling or unable due to lack of knowledge (or unwillingness to go against accepted, but erroneous traditions) to fix.

In order to provide a proper witness and “instruct many” in the end times (cf. Daniel 11:33), we need to strive to be as accurate on matters like church history as that is a point that the Greco-Romans think they dominate on, yet a point we in the CCOG can better claim (see also our free online book: Continuing History of the Church of God).

That being said, we plan to continue to update our teachings on church history as we always wish to instruct “more accurately” (cf. Acts 18:26).

World News Items

While much of the world is still in at least partial lockdown because of governmental regulations blamed on COVID, some in Germany are pushing for the end of the “occupation” of the USA since WWII (see ‘The Reichsbürger movement in Germany’). One day, Germany will turn against the USA militarily and defeat it (cf. Isaiah 10:5-11).  Anti-American sentiments are alive and increasing in parts of Germany.

Speaking of Germany, its former Economics and Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg acquired a Ph.D. (see Once again, it is Dr. Guttenberg). Herr Guttenberg resigned in position several years ago after a scandal pointed to him plagiarizing parts of an earlier doctoral dissertation. He wrote a different dissertation and was granted a Ph.D. from the University of Southampton. Dr. Guttenberg is one to watch related to the upcoming European Beast power because of his heritage and areas of expertise.

Over in Vatican City, Pope Francis re-iterated the Roman Catholic position that God made the world to show His glory, but that is not the reason God did that (see Pope Francis: The world was made to communicate the glory of God’ COGwriter: God is not an egotist as He made the world so eternity would be better). God made the world so eternity would be better. More on that can be found in our free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?

Over in the USA, we continue to see protests, counter-protests, and violence (see Trump speaks as protesters urge his removal in Washington, D.C. and ‘And the city is full of violence’). Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (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: Serapion of Antioch: A COG Christian? 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: Let’s Talk About the Bible. 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

The Apostle Paul wrote:

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

Brethren, please pray for those of us who give sermons and write articles that we may better teach you so that you will grow in love, knowledge, and discernment and be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer