Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We had a heat wave–it was 106 F at our house this past week. We do not have air conditioning and it was miserably hot. Today, the weather is back to normal here.

But it is not in many places in the world.

There have been typhoons in Asia and hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Southern USA. Two hurricanes have already set various records. The island of Barbuda has been nearly completely destroyed. Please pray for those so affected.

The Bible shows that God sometimes uses weather to urge repentance (cf. Haggai 2:17; Amos 4:7-9; Revelation 16:8-9, 20), but we have not seen signs of repentance in the Caribbean or the Southern USA.

Oriang, Kenya

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent me the following late last Thursday:

Yesterday I and Charles Osutwa and Jacob Kungu, our host in Mbani we went to discuss with Elders of SDA about the kingdom of God and where the Millennium will be spent. The discussion was very good. The elders were Patrick Agola and Joshua Ogweno. They want to learn more so we shall go back again.

On sabbath I will visit our congregation called Oriang. I will send you the pictures and the picture of Jacob Kungu who is our host there. Jacob is hosting two congregations, Oriang and Mbani.

Best regards

Evans

He then sent the following photograph on Sunday:

One of the projects we are engaged in is trying to get at least one photograph of each of our African congregations to put online. I proposed this when in Nairobi this past February as it seemed that this may help people not with the CCOG to become more comfortable about visiting our congregations there.

Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia

Radson Mulozowa sent the following from Malawi:

Dear Pastor Bob. Greetings From Malawi, Mozambique And Zambia.

I Thank God For The Successful Growth Of CCOG In Both Countries.We Are Pleased For The Growth.

Brethren Are Enjoying This Truth. Concerning The Feast Of Tabernacles, We Are Expecting To Have Delegates From Zambia And Mozambique.

We Believe We Are Going To Have A Wonderful Meeting Because Many People In Our Area Are Will To Attend And Learn The Truth. Thanks
For Your Prayers To Us.  Blessings

This will be the first time that anyone from Zambia will be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles with the Continuing Church of God as well as many from Mozambique.

We are planning on sending Grantone Mangiana Otieno, who is a CCOG host for Migori, Kenya, to this site in Malawi to teach and assist.

Radio and PowerPoint

I am scheduled to be on the Nutri-Medical Report on the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN) Friday, September 8th at 1:00 pm CDT. The host and I will likely discuss some type of PowerPoint presentation he wants me to put together for a podcast he and I are intending to do later today.

I have never used PowerPoint before and hopefully this first attempt will be useful. My schedule has been filled with international issues in Europe and North America that put me behind in preparation for this, which made doing this even more difficult. I am planning on finalizing the PowerPoint presentation in the next couple of hours–yet I have also had a variety of computer problems that have interfered–but  still expect to get this done. Church history is the subject of the PowerPoint presentation.

Canada

We have made a few changes in the volunteer officer positions in Canada. Michael Radtke has stepped down as CCOG Canada president, to be replaced by Herb Haddon, who will be stepping down as vice president. Steve Dupuie has agreed to serve as vice president. Don Williams will remain as CCOG secretary. Herb Haddon will also remain as treasurer.

We wish to thank Michael Radtke for his service, including volunteering to accept the call to serve at a critical time in our Canadian registration.

Steve Dupuie is scheduled to speak at both the Kingston, Ontario (Canada) and the San Diego, California (USA) Feast of Tabernacles’ sites in 2017.

Holy Days

In the USA, despite confirmation of its harm, many are getting excited about the start of the National Football League’s season, which starts today (see NFL 2017: Should Christians watch?). As Christians, we should be excited about God’s Fall Holy Day season which starts in about two weeks. Hence the recommended sermon for this Sabbath is: Should Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?

The Feast of Trumpets begins at sunset September 20th this year. The Day of Atonement begins at sunset on September 29th this year. The Feast of Tabernacles begins at sunset October 4th in 2017.

World News Items

CNN had an article titled Who Vladimir Putin thinks will rule the world. So, we did a sermonette video on that: Who does Vladimir Putin and the Bible say will rule the world?There remain major tensions between North Korea, the USA, and some other in the region of North Korea (see North Korea tests a hydrogen bomb–Donald Trump tweets ‘appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!’ and Trump says ‘Now is not the time to talk to North Korea’–is there really a threat from North Korea?). We continue to see the drumbeats of war.

One of our supporters tipped me off on a new European technology called the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL). While there are other machines that somewhat do what this machine does, the light generated by the XFEL is about a BILLION (thousand million) times brighter than those machines (see Germany moving ahead with its Free-electron Laser: Military applications?). That is a massive gap in results. As many of you realized, I have long believed that technology would be a major reason that the European Beast power will one day be able to defeat the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39; Revelation 13:1-4). More and more technologies are being developed by the Europeans.

Today, Israel bombed a suspected chemical weapons factory in Syria (see Israel bombs reported chemical weapons factory in Syria).

The Bible shows that after the second seal is opened (Revelation 6:3-4), there will be even less peace on the Earth. The old Worldwide Church of God put out the following:

Where is it all going to end? That was the question the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ posed in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew. Christ’s answer, known as the Olivet Prophecy, is quite revealing. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars,” Christ said, referring to one of the prophetic signals that would herald the end of an age (verse 6).

Certainly there have always been wars. And certainly Christ’s words had particular meaning for that day and age. Within a few short decades Roman legions under the command of Titus sacked, burned and pillaged the city of Jerusalem.

But Jesus’ warning about war was also applicable to another period in history. In the book of Revelation, Christ, speaking through the apostle John, amplified some of His previous prophetic statements. In the sixth chapter, John writes: “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” (Rev. 6:4).

John was not speaking about the fall of Jerusalem. That war was already some twenty years behind him. John was referring to future events that would bring 6000 years of human history crashing to a cataclysmic close. … John is referring to a time yet ahead of us when “peaceful coexistence” will be a thing of the past. …

It’s no wonder that Jeremiah, in referring to these tumultuous times, stated: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble …” (Jer. 30:7). (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Red Horse – War, pp. 48, 52; see also Ritter R. The War that could end it all. Good News, December 1975)

That “time yet ahead” over forty years ago is much, much, sooner now.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

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 prophet Micah was inspired to write:

1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.

2 Many nations shall come and say,”Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.”

For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3 He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 5 For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
Forever and ever.

6 “In that day,” says the Lord,”I will assemble the lame,I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted; 7 I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion

From now on, even forever. (Micah 4:1-7)

Brethren, despite the trials and difficulties that we face, there really is good news. The glorious Kingdom of God will be established. A fantastic time is ahead.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer