Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.
Reaching Religious Writers
On Tuesday afternoon, I uploaded some information related to our book Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church to Academia.edu, whose logo is shown below:
By Wednesday morning, religious writers (all of whom seem to be scholars) from the Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant churches that I had cited in that book confirmed that they now saw the book and that their writings were referred to in that book. The speed of the confirmations demonstrated that some are paying a lot of attention to Academia.edu.
On Tuesday, I had made a couple of changes as to how I have uploaded there in the past, and at least one of the changes increased effectiveness. Based on this experience, I now have plans to again release something on one of two other books later this year that we had previously partially uploaded to Academia.edu.
The use of Academia.edu is an interesting open door as it helps us reach leaders that we otherwise would be less likely to reach. These religious writers are now getting exposed to organized historical information about the true Church of God that they likely have not gotten elsewhere. Not only is this a witness (cf. Matthew 24:14), it is also an avenue that could get more doctrinal truth to others should any refer to our literature or the CCOG in any of their writings.
Our deacon in India sent the following photo and email:
Dear Sir,I have received a DVD set of 9 sets on the Feast of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and Last Great Day.Thank you for the same.We plan to have the Feast at a place called Lamdan.It is a training institute for mountaineering.In the past we had activities such as basic training for climbing mountains (like Mt Everest:), swimming, rafting, trekking, rock climbing, rapelling and living in tents, including paragliding.Sincerely
Lamdan is in eastern India. If you are interested in attending there, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I emailed Jo Anne Buchanan, the wife of CCOG elder Doc Buchanan, about the unrest in Panama as well as their health matters. Her response included the following:
Hi Dr. Thiel,We were just impacted a little. The mail and packages couldn’t get through from the city to any place in the interior. We were not able to go to Coronado, a larger town down the mountain the coast. It’s all over now.Doc continues to make slow progress. Physically, he is still weak and unsteady. He sleeps a lot, which I think is needed for more healing. It helps him to use a cane. Even his mental status is improving. He doesn’t lose his train of thought as much. His short term memory is not coming back though, but even that is better. …We still need your prayers for healing. I think it will be a long process for Doc and I’m afraid he won’t be able to regain all he lost. My wrist did not heal properly and hurts all the time. …Thanks so much for your continued prayers and concern for my darling husband.Kindest regards,Jo Anne
Please continue to pray for the Buchanans and the brethren in Panama.
Elder Aleksandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic has been filling in for Doc’s counseling role.
Stanley Kibet sent the following from the Rift Valley in Kenya today:
Received greetings in Jesus christ. We are doing well in Mau, Rift valley region. Recently we had visitors from Chilani, Bomet and Njoro areas accompanied by Elder Cheruiyot, Pastor Sawek and Langat and we felt happy for their visit and appreciate them for their teachings.They have the opportunity to meet with Mau evictees whom I have held in two groups. The visitors instructed me to be incharge of these people, evicted from Mau for the purpose of administering gospel and counselling them and helping them.The two groups agreed to held the feast of tabernacles at Mau region as the continuing church of God has grown.Here are some photos i took.May God bless you.Regards,Stanley Kibet
Both he and Pastor Sawek are reporting potential growth in that part of the world.
Questions and Answers
In 1981, the Youth magazine of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) had some short answers to questions high school and/or college students who attended WCG had.
For this Letter to the Brethren, we will have three updated questions with short answers to help high school/college/university students and others today.
Question 1: Why don’ t you keep Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Easter, or many other popular holidays?
Answer: Because I have learned that the Bible does not teach keeping them (cf. Leviticus 23), that the Apostle Paul warned about practices associated with some of them (1 Corinthians 10:20-22; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18), and that history books prove they were not originally Christian celebrations anyway.
Question 2: Why don’ t you eat pork or shellfish?
Answer: Because in the Bible it says we shouldn’t eat them (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14). Also, it is medically-documented that there are potential health problems associated with eating them.
Question 3: Why don’t you go to any Friday night or Saturday events like everyone else?
Answer: Because I keep the seventh-day Sabbath, which begins Friday at sunset and ends Saturday at sunset. This is something that I see that the Bible teaches (e.g. Exodus 20:8-11).
While the Bible says to “be ready always with an answer” (1 Peter 3:15, KJV), it may be that you may be asked a question you do not know. Don’t be afraid to tell someone that you are still learning, but that you will ask someone else (like a parent or minister) for more information if the questioner sincerely wants to know the answer. Everyone who tries to follow the Bible needs to continue to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is a suggested service for the weekly Sabbath:
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).
Announcements (if any, other than, for many, this letter) and one hymn.
Sermon: 1 Corinthians 11-12: Hair, Veils, & Spiritual Gifts. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
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. Note: If there are ever commercials before, during or after, they ARE NOT from us nor do we receive money from them–but sometimes platforms put them up.
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. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.
World News Items
Monkeypox continues to be in the news. However, the narrative that it is not mainly a male homosexually-transmitted disease for non-Africans is not correct–it is as those who look more into the details realize that (see NBC News: Monkeypox chiefly transmitted through sex between men, suggests CDC update communications strategy). Sexual immorality contributes to many diseases.
This week Iran has been complaining that the USA is not moving as it wants on a new nuclear deal (see ‘Iran Slams US For Procrastinating On Nuclear Deal’). This is something I warned could happen back in January of 2021. This may help push Iran to take military actions which may ultimately lead to the ‘peace deal’ of Daniel 9:27.
We continue to see events consistent with the following prophecy:
7 “I also withheld rain from you,
When there were still three months to the harvest.
I made it rain on one city,
I withheld rain from another city.
One part was rained upon,
And where it did not rain the part withered.
8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water,
But they were not satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the Lord. (Amos 4:7-8)
Europe and much of the Western USA are in severe drought, whereas Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and even Death Valley have seen torrential downpours of rain in some areas (see CBS: Europe’s drought is the worst in 500 years, officials say, as two-thirds of the continent is under distress; with excess rain in parts of USA ).
And although we have not seen massive amounts of people turning to God, more and more secular sources are sensing that the current world (see ‘Something Is Looming Geopolitically, And We Better Start Taking It Seriously’), European (see ZH: “End Of Abundance”: Macron Warns Of “Major Tipping Point” And “Great Upheaval” As Difficult Winter Approaches), and American societies (see NBC News poll finds 74% of USA voters believe the nation is on the wrong course) are not going in the right direction. However, instead of massive repentance and turning to God, most will look towards leaders who will lead them further astray (cf. Isaiah 3:13) and lead them towards destruction (Isaiah 9:16).
The European Central Bank has now issued a report that stated:
Since cash is only available in physical form, it is by construction not “fit” for the digital age.
Saying that cash is no longer fit for this age and moving to digital currencies is consistent with prophecies in Revelation 13:16-18.
We are clearly getting closer to the time of ‘666’ control of buying and selling in Europe (see also ZH: ECB Says Cash “Not Fit” For Digital Economy, Dismisses CBDC Privacy Concerns; COGwriter: This is a clear ‘666’ signal).
The Apostle Paul wrote:
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:7-14)
Brethren, we are to be productive. We are not to be busybodies nor get tired of doing good.
Pastor and Overseer