Letter to the Brethren: September 5, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Prophetic Dreams Were Prophesied for Our Time

Do you believe biblical prophecies?

Well, you really cannot be part of the Continuing Church of God if you do not.

Yet, most outside of the Continuing Church of God do not seem to accept how God said He would work prophetically in this century.

Anyway, after hearing various improperly spun stories about us, including from people who are supposedly Church of God members/leaders, it seemed appropriate to again address the prophet and dream matter in a sermon.

Here is a link: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.

The biblical reality is that both prophets and dreams from God were predicted for our time. The historical reality is that there have been prophets throughout Church of God history (see also the written article also titled: Church of God Leaders on Prophets).

Now notice something that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong said in a sermon back in 1981:

Joel 2:28-29 And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: (29) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

So there is a time coming when God will start pouring out His spirit on human beings. … Day of Pentecost, 3000 were baptized. Peter preached a sermon. They were pricked in their hearts. God began to draw them. God was now… Remember He said, “I will pour out of my spirit on all flesh.” All right, there’s a duality of that. (Armstrong HW. Building The Temple. Sermon, February 14, 1981)

Herbert W. Armstrong was correct about the time coming when God would pour out His Spirit as well the duality. There was a duality to what Peter preached in Acts 2–and that duality is for our current time!

On the Day of Pentecost c. 31 A.D., here is some of what the Apostle Peter taught:

14 … “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.  (Acts 2:14b-18)

We are in the last days (see also Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

Dreams and prophesy were expected for our day!

Despite what the Bible supports, most Church of God groups do not seemingly accept that there are any prophets today, nor do they seem to accept that God actually sometimes speaks in dreams in the 21st century. Some seemingly despise prophecies (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:20) and seem indignant of the very idea that God would use dreams or prophets. Part of the reason for this is that those self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ outside of the Continuing Church of God have tended to be proven to be false (see also Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders?).

But that does not mean God doesn’t ever use dreams or have any in the office of prophet or ever pour out a ‘double-portion’ of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-15) as happened when an ordained minister so prayed and anointed me on December 15, 2011.

The Bible shows that the Apostle Peter and the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29) taught that there would be some with prophetic dreams in the end times.

Yet, many non-Philadelphians have concluded that there are not, cannot be, and/or that no stock should be placed on dreams.

But since Peter said that was a last days prophecy, then some had to have dreams and/or prophetic abilities.

At least seven people associated with the Continuing Church of God have had confirmed prophetic dreams (for details, see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).

Although Jesus gave many signs (John 2:11; 6:2, 26; 7:31; 9:16; 11:47; 12:37), the people apparently wanted different ones:

37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:

“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:37-38)

Jesus denounced those who wanted different signs from Him (Matthew 12:38-39). Non-Philadelphians are unwilling to accept God’s signs–that’s the biblical reality. God does not always show signs the way many seem to think He has to.

The apostles were confirmed by signs that followed them (Mark 16:20) and there have been signs that have confirmed the Continuing Church of God.

It is bizarre that so many people who claim to believe in Bible prophecy are so dismissive of God’s use of signs like dreams.

The Bible shows that God most often works with prophets through a dream:

5 Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. 6 Then He said,

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:5-6)

Notice that the above says that God’s plan is that He will speak to His prophets in a dream.

A decade or so ago I had two dreams, which while I did not fully understand at first, became more and more fulfilled over the years, I began to understand it and believe it was from God–and I was not the only one who had some about me. At least six other people associated with the Continuing Church of God, several of which I did not know before they had dreams, had CCOG-related dreams that were confirmed (for details, check out the article Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).

Dreams and prophets were prophesied in the New Testament for the last days!

How many dreams or people with confirmed dreams will it take for people to accept that the dreams prophecy in Acts 2:17-18 is being fulfilled in the Continuing Church of God and, to this degree, in no other church?

Jesus taught that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 18:16)

Isn’t seven people with confirmed dreams enough to take them seriously?

Yet, those who seem to wish to remain Laodicean (or at least part of Laodicean groups) are judging against God by not accepting such clear proof.

The reality is that most end time Christians will not be Philadelphian–and it is the Philadelphians that have the work that Jesus praised (Revelation 3:7-13). It is the non-Philadelphians that will not accept dreams from God or listening to His prophets until it is too late (cf. Revelation 3).

Now consider something that Jeremiah was inspired to write:

28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. (Jeremiah 23:28)

Some do not want to hear about dreams, but the word of God says that God’s prophets, as well as people used for one or more prophetic dreams, should truthfully tell them. Some are critical of me and others in the CCOG telling about them.

Yet, notice the following:

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:29-32)

In these times, Christians still ought to obey God and not men. And when it comes to proclamation, also be witnesses of what has happened.

Therefore, that is something we in the Continuing Church of God are doing.

For more information on Acts 2:17-18, check out the article: Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?

Here is a link to a version of that article in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18?

Kenya Report

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following report late last week:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya.
I am back from a successful trip. As I told you that I met some Pentecostal brethren who insisted that I visit them at their homes. After two days discussion, they accepted the teachings about the kingdom of God and God’s ordained feasts.  They turned against their pastor after we discussed about trinity. After confirming that we don’t have trinity in the Bible and their pastor was insisting without any proof in the Bible, they have decided to join the church and their families. On Sabbath we will meet other brethren in Macalder with Granton.
Another thing, on Tuesday next week I will go to Nairobi for printing. Also students are going back as from 2nd September 2019 and you know that we have some orphans that we are helping in paying for them school fees. … I hope that can help to pay school fees for the orphans and also to go to Nairobi for printing. On my way back from Nairobi I will pass through rift valley to do the arrangements for the feast of tabernacles.
TT told me that she will keep the feast of tabernacles in Kenya.
Evans.

TT is to be in Southern California for a year. She is visiting Kenya, is new to CCOG, and I put her in touch with Evangelist Ochieng.

Health and World News Items

A report came out about a teenager in the United Kingdom who went blind after mainly eating a diet of Pringles’ potato chips, french fries, white bread, ham, and sausage (see Blindness after a diet of Pringles, fries, sausage, and ham). A couple of studies just came out about the dangers of consuming soda pop. Even one soda per day increases risk of premature death, and two or more per day is even worse (see Soda drinking tied to early death, with as little as one per day). “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good” (Isaiah 55:2). Do not let Satan or fancy advertising deceive you into thinking that highly processed ‘foods,’ often ‘fortified’ with synthetic nutrients, are healthy in significant quantity.

Hurricane Dorian caused great damage in parts of the Bahamas and has also impacted parts of the east coast of the US (see Hurricane Dorian damages and kills in the Bahamas as it heads towards Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina). Although we do not have any members in the Bahamas, pray that God will be merciful to those affected and help them recover.

While Europe is facing financial problems (see US dollar risk, Eurozone shaky, and AfD wants German to lead NATO), we continue to see steps that look to be at least partially intended to displace US dollar dominance in the world, and some are publicly admitting it (e.g., see BRICS was created as a tool to attack US dollar dominance as former Brazilian president states).

The US itself has been living off of borrowed money for decades. It is so bad now that Bloomberg reported that the US would slip into a severe economic depression if it stopped borrowing (see ‘Study Discovers That If The Debt Machine Was Turned Off, The U.S. Would Immediately Plunge Into A Horrifying Depression’). Actually, the time will come when US debt will be invoked as a reason to conquer the US per Habakkuk 2:6-8.

There were elections in part of eastern Germany on Sunday that resulted in gains for the anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutshland party (see Germany’s AfD party makes gains that ‘shock, but . . .). That party also wants Germans to lead a more powerful European military (see US dollar risk, Eurozone shaky, and AfD wants German to lead NATO). We know that this will happen (cf. Isaiah 10:5-11; Daniel 11:39), but that will not end well for Germany (Isaiah 10:12-19; Daniel 11:44-45).

The UK is still having major problems with Brexit (see ‘Brexit: What’s happened and what’s next?’). Ultimately, this will not end well for the UK (Daniel 8:24-25; Isaiah 17:3-4).

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: Gay Gene? Born That Way? 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: Church of God Leaders on Prophets. 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.

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 John was inspired to write:

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life — 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4)

Brethren, be grateful for the truth about Jesus the Christ (some of which you can read about in our free online book: Proof Jesus is the Messiah).

While I know most of us outside of Africa are scattered, strive to be in proper fellowship with the CCOG. And, if at all possible, strive to attend to the Feast of Tabernacles in 2019 to have more personal fellowship with other brethren.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer