Letter to the Brethren: February 4, 2016

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Another full week in California, working on matters across the country and the world.

We are also looking into ways to streamline literature production as well as produce more literature (booklets).

Monthly Video Group in Minnesota/Wisconsin

We now have a very small ‘video group’ that will be meeting once per month just across the bridge from Duluth, Minnesota at the Superior Public Library. The address is Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Avenue, Superior, Wisconsin.

The scheduled time is for 10:30 am – 1:45 pm. The currently scheduled dates are set for February 27, March 12, and April 16, 2016.

For more information, please contact Terry Nelson vitalogydoc@hotmail.com.

April 2, 2016 in Florida

Currently, it looks like I will be in Florida the Sabbath of April 2, 2016.  I have contacted a facility in Lantana, Florida (it is on the east coast near West Palm Beach) about possibly holding services there.  If you live in Florida, and/or may wish to visit and would like to come for services, please email me. My email address is cogwriter@aol.com.

Food For Malawi/Mozambique

A few weeks ago, Sosten Libungwa reported that crop and weather problems were causing hunger for our brethren in Malawi and Mozambique.  We were able to send a little financial support.

Here is what Sosten Libungwa reported in an email:

Dear pastor Dr. Bob,

Greetings from Sosten, am sending pictures of how we have shared food to the needy using the money you sent, I collected it, and this morning we bought some few bags of maize according to our money from the track that was from Zambia, we just finished sharing to the needy  2 hours  ago, thank you very much ,it was valued and timely help, … am sending these pictures so that you can send to those well-wishers those that  has contributed the money, so that few people from Malawi and Mozambique must be glad at this time, we just  chose those that are very needy, the first picture is from one of the authority leader in our area who came to witness the event after we invited him and he give thanks to CCOG for the support, the one in black suit and put on spectacles is Sosten, all these people Evans knows them, Evans knew that we are renting this hall and we used this  hall for our Sabbath prayers and other meetings for the Church, please we need your prayers, make sure that you must send pictures to all that has taken the roll to help, my prayers is that they have to see, so that they can see how they can help us. We welcome Evans this week, Sosten

Here are some of the photos that Sosten Libungwa sent related to Malawi and the food they just received:


Sosten Libungwa is shown preaching in the last photo.  While we do not have the funds to relieve all hunger our brethren face, we assist and try “to remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10) as we can.

Kenya-based CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng is scheduled to be visiting the brethren in Malawi later this month.

Prayer Requests

CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng sent me the following from Kenya:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Our Luo magazine translator, Charles Osutwa is very sick. He is suffering from leg cancer. He cannot walk. please pray for him.

Charles Osutwa is in my prayers.

(Dholou, also called Luo, is the language many of our members in Kenya speak.)

Koang Deng sent this from Ethiopia:

Dear Elder Bob:a big trouble happened here in Gambella which lose more
lives with in the region and some towns outside the region.The clash
happened last Thursday up to this day morning (7days) b|n (Nuer and
Anuak) who are the two biggest tribes in the region. Houses burn and
more properties lost. Please pray for us. Koang Deng

The brethren there are in my prayers. Also, in Nigeria the terrorist group Boko Haram has been active, which is why Pastor Ochieng once again has not been able to visit there.  We want him to as soon as it is safe and practical.

World News Items

The Iowa caucuses took place this week (see Iowa caucuses past, candidates look to the future) and the New Hampshire primaries are coming up next week.  Although all the candidates have some ideas that they believe will help, none are what we would consider converted Church of God Christians, and none seems to fully share our views on biblical morality. Therefore, while none are the immediate hope that the USA truly needs, we can all pray for our physical leaders “and others who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:2-3).

The British government has given permission for scientists to work on genetically-modified humans (see British scientists get permission to genetically-modify human embryos–21st century Frankenstein’s?).  Basically, the scientists are to have human embryos that they will experiment on and then kill in this phase.  Killing unborn babies and trying to alter human genetic code is wrong, but these scientists and government officials seem to have no fear of God before their eyes (cf. Psalm 36:1).

Speaking of Britain, it has been trying to renegotiate what its government believes is better terms with the European Union.  This week, the EU made a proposal, but various ones in the UK are not pleased with it (see EU offers UK deal, but PM Cameron wants details improved and Nigel Farage wants out). British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to put up a referendum so those in the UK can vote to remain in or leave the European Union.  He hopes the proposed deal will encourage more in the UK to vote to remain part of the EU.  Irrespective of that vote, the time will come when the UK will be taken over by a power in continental Europe. The renegotiations that the UK has asked for has upset various ones on the continent, and they will remember this.

Over in Germany, its Chancellor Merkel has declared that the Syrian and Iraqi migrants need to be returned to their lands once the situations in those lands changes; i.e. Assad regime changed and the Islamic State defeated (see Germany’s Merkel says that refugees must go back after the war is over). The Europeans are not thrilled with the immigrants and want most of them to leave. The migrant situation will cause ‘bad blood’ to be between the Europeans and the Arabs in the long run. The Bible shows that conflict will ultimately come between the Europeans and those from the Arab lands (cf. Daniel 11:40-43).

 Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services 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.


Concluding Comments

Jesus taught:

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:28-34)

Brethren, while the Bible encourages planning and hard work, are you worrying beyond what a Christian should?

Is it your priority to really seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?  If not, should you not do that?


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer

Posted in Letters to the Brethren
About CCOG
The Continuing Church of God, which attempts to represent the most faithful remnant of the Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7) portion of the Church of God, bases its beliefs on the Holy Bible. Read CCOG's statement of beliefs for more information.