Letter to the Brethren: July 11, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Since I have been asked, let me state that neither my wife Joyce nor I felt any of the earthquakes that hit California on Thursday or Friday.

One day, however, California will have massive devastation from a great earthquake.

Since a COGwriter post on January 16, 2011, I have written that earthquakes, combined with US debt and other ‘natural’ disaster may combine in what could be called a “perfect storm” to push the USA over the edge for it to fall. As US debt continues to rise, the situation for the US is even more perilous since I first started to warn about that.

While the recent earthquakes should serve as a ‘wake up call,’ few really believe that mega-massive disaster will hit California and the rest of the USA.

Bible Studies

We realize that most of our English-speaking brethren in the Western Hemisphere as well as in the South Pacific rarely get live Sabbath services.

And while that is not expected to change for a while, we have been looking at seeing if we can do something such as having some type of live Bible study online on a weekday on occasion.

We are still working on the details of this, but hope to be close to trying something fairly soon.

We will let you know once we get closer on this.

Google Campaign

It has been a while since I reported about our Google campaign.

As of last Friday, Google reported that we had 171 million computer impressions since we began our Google campaign. Of those, 1.83 million clicked on our links to learn more about church history, the original Gospel of the Kingdom, and the true Christian church.

While we would like to some day pour more resources into this or similar promotions,  even at the level we are doing this, a witness to the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of God is going forth as we are working to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Malawi Conference

Deacon Radson Mulozowa sent the following about a conference held today in Sunuzi, Malawi:

The attendance was men 12 while women 10. I was teaching leaders from Njenjete, Willie, Kachingwe and Sunuzi. The meeting was very good.

We have had a lot of growth in Malawi and we want the leaders there to be better prepared to feed the flock there.

Laptops for Africa

The latest shipment of laptops and supplies to Africa has finally arrived and been picked up today.

In order to make shipments cost-effective, a relatively slow form of shipment is used. Otherwise, shipment costs can be double or triple the cost of the items (this happens for books, for example, if we ship them in a more conventional and faster way to Africa or other part of the Eastern or Southern Hemisphere).

Here is a list of what was Bill Wedekind reported was sent back in early February:
1) Eleven laptops
2) Bibles
3) Hymnals
4) Moringa seeds.
5) Various nutrients and supplements … {to assist with digestive issues in Malawi and elsewhere}.
6) Five (5) of the heavy duty locks.
7) Office supplies, etc.

We sometimes order Bibles and copies of the CCOG Bible Hymnal to be shipped directly to Bill Wedekind so he can include them in the laptop shipments.

For example, we can get bulk paperback NKJV Bibles purchased and shipped for a total of about US$1.50 each to him. But the ‘normal’ shipping cost alone each to Kenya is over $5.00. But if they are included in the laptop shipment, there is no additional cost to ship them. So, we put them in the container with the laptops being shipped as we have room.

We strive to be as cost-efficient as practical.

The laptops, themselves, tend to be used for education, communication, and translation of our materials into African languages. These are laptops donated to Bill Wedekind for this purpose, so we have no out-of-pocket costs for them. Over 80 laptops have now been sent.

World News Items

Iran announced that it has breached another aspect of its nuclear deal (see CBS: Iran ignores Trump’s warning, breaks another nuclear deal limit on uranium enrichment). Its leaders are interested in creating chaos in the hopes that a mystical figure known as the Twelfth Imam will rise up and essentially make the world Muslim. While that will not happen, Iran may well cause chaos. One day it looks prophesied to damage Jerusalem per Isaiah 22:6-9.  What is going on now seems to be a prelude to that.

On other matters, the Trump Administration has suggested that it wants to make trade with India more difficult, while the European Union is working to improve its ties with India and many other nations (see ‘Trump Hints At New Trade War With India’). Bible prophecy shows that a European power will dominate trade for a time (cf. Revelation 18) after the USA is gone (cf. Daniel 11:39).

Speaking of trade, 55 African nations agreed to a trade deal, that if implemented, would seem to be able to improve the economies of nations in Africa (see Economic ‘Game Changer? African Leaders Launch Free-Trade Zone).

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. The one suggested for this week is: Why Aren’t All Christians Multi-Millionaires? 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: Is God Fair? 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.


Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:10-14)

Brethren, strive to live as a real Christian.


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.