Letter to the Brethren: July 20, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

We received another 44 translations of our English language booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God. We continue to prepare for the short work of Romans 9:28 (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word). We truly are working to help fulfill Matthew 24:14 as we prepare for the final phase of the work as numerous languages look to be required for that per Revelation 7:9.

Malware Found and Removed, but …

(Pixabay photo)

As mentioned in the s Letter to the Brethren: July 13, 2023, we have received occasional reports that users at the COGwriter.com website have sometimes been redirected to some type of advertisement. Since COGwriter.com never has accepted any advertisements or paid content, we knew we were not the source.

We asked for your prayers about this. And they were answered.

As mentioned last week, the Apostle Paul warned:

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

And we certainly seem to be seeing this with the interference we have run into. Paul further wrote:

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

Anyway, yes, Satan’s minions did attack the COGwriter.com website.

Bill Wedekind discovered that various files at the COGwriter.com site had been hit with malware.

Malware, short for malicious software, refers to any intrusive software developed by cybercriminals (often called hackers). As far as we have determined, the malware that hit the COGwriter.com website simply re-directed some clicks to advertisements. It was done in a particularly deceitful way, so that having an ongoing problem was not obvious.

Jesus said:

44 … the devil, … He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

The re-directs were lies, hence that is clearly the connection to Satan.

The Apostle Paul warned about our time:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, …

12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 12-13)

So, yes, we were hit with persecution from brutal, slanderous, evil imposters who were more interested in deceit and money than in truth.

Jesus said:

20 If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20)

Jesus also said:

18 … I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Satan cannot stop the church, but certainly can persecute and attack (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Bill Wedekind worked until about 1:00 am Sunday morning his time to clean up the infected files.

On Monday and Tuesday, Bill and our staff in California took other steps to attempt to try to prevent recurrence–which we think has worked.

If you encounter any further false re-directs, please let me know. My email remains COGwriter@aol.com

My thanks to Bill Wedekind for his work, dedication, and determination.

 Jesus warned:

4 … the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4, NKJV)

4… the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4 KJV)

The internet re-directs certainly, for a time, interfered with the work of Matthew 28:19-20, etc.

In an October 23, 1980 co-worker letter, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

The Bible warns us the time is just ahead when NO MAN CAN WORK—in the Lord’s Work.

In a November 22, 1982 co-worker letter, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

… brethren and co-workers, the prophesied Great Tribulation (nuclear World War III) will start soon after the European unification. That means OUR WORK OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE FINISHED! We have not now much more time. Soon shall come a FAMINE of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11). God says, work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work – in the Work of God! Nothing else is important in our lives, now, but this all-important Work of God. (http://cog-ff.com/html/pcomments_07_04_08.html, viewed 10/03/13)

So, the Bible tells of a time that will come when the word of God will not be found. And that would seem to be because it will be taken off the internet as well as other mass media such as radio and television. In the 21st century, the internet is accessed by people in every country, and thus some type of internet restriction/suspension/site removal is coming–and that will be because of something even worse than malware.

For now, we are trying to be vigilant to eliminate the malware we encounter, both physically (online) and spiritually (in our lives).

Satan Strikes Again!

Jesus said:

11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

11 … Satan … we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Well, we are now facing some radio issues as the Protestant management of one of our radio platforms believes that it should break its contractual promises and not keep its word regarding hosting our radio broadcast. I wrote several emails to them related to their anti-CCOG plan this week.

Their improper plan brought the following words of Jesus to mind when He dealt with those who thought they were faithful to God:

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ (John 15:18-25)

Anyway, we believe Jesus is in the process of opening other radio doors for us (cf. Revelation 3:7-8). Regarding various ones who claimed to be faithful, like our Protestant and anti-COG critics, Jesus said:

9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9)

That said, we have been in contact with other radio platforms and expect to go on at least one more of them. We will announce more after certain arrangements are made.

Death of Vince Patterson

UK CCOG member Vince Patterson died on Monday, July 10th. His wife sent me the following this past Sunday:

Good Morning Mr Thiel,

sadly my husband passed away last week Monday. His funeral will be on 24/07/2023. He went quietly and calmly as is his nature.
Please let the brethren know.
Kind regards
Sharon Patterson

I met Vince Patterson twice and we got along quite well.

Vince Patterson giving a sermonette

Once was in the UK, which is also when I met Sharon. And the other time was at the CCOG Feast of Tabernacles in Gouda, Netherlands back in 2016. Our condolences to his remaining family.

Feast of Tabernacles in Rwanda

Tuesday, Moïse Nshimiyimana sent the following from Rwanda:

Dear Brother Pastor and General Overseer.

I am very happy to greet you and wish you God’s peace and give you the greetings from CCOG members in Rwanda. God’s work is good in Rwanda because people continue to accept the good news of the kingdom of God and now there are people who are ready to be baptized.
About the news of the enemies of the CCOG that we heard in letter to the Brethren , let us be patient because the evil is fighting but is not winning . Act 14:22.
We are also preparing for the Feast of Tabernacles , so for that , the 50 people will come from different districts and gather in the Bugesera district , because that is best place we have chosen to rent. This photo is of the place where we will meet during the Feast of Tabernacles , there is also a playground inside.
However , if possible , we would like that Pastor Evans to visit us before the Feast of Tabernacles and teach us about the 7 churches of Revelation chapter 2 and 3 and the prophetic teachings.
Best Regards

(I sent Moïse Nshimiyimana information on the seven churches of Revelation after receiving his email.)

For more information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ site in Rwanda, contact Moïse Nshimiyimana.

His email is: monaliv19@gmail.com

That said, the Feast of Tabernacles is something all of us should be preparing for. This year, services are to begin the evening of September 29th and continue until sunset ending the Last Great Day which is October 7th.

For information on the sites we have around the world, check out the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2023

‘Doc’ Buchanan and Baptismal Counseling Update

George and Jo Anne Buchanan

Panama-based CCOG elder George ‘Doc’ Buchanan says he is 85% better from the automobile accident he had in March 2022. Please keep him and his wife Jo Anne in your prayers.

Anyway, he says he can drive again as well as resume helping with counseling, including baptismal counseling. His email address is: Doc1111@protonmail.com

For more on counseling, check out the article: How does the CCOG handle Counseling, Baptisms. Prayer Requests, Funerals, and Anointing of the Sick?

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

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.

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

At a conference, Standard & Poors Global’s chief economist, Paul Gruenwald, stated that the US dollar will lose its world status. This is something that we have been warning about for years, and now more and more from the mainstream are starting to publicly admit this (see S&P’s chief economist says US dollar, ‘will no longer be the dominant world currency’). The world economy is changing that the USA will not be on top for too many more years.

Israel365News was reporting that perhaps the current heatwave is related to prophecies in the Book of Isaiah and the final judgement (see I365: Is the global heatwave God removing the sun from its ‘sheath’ for final judgement?; AOL: Air quality alerts issued for Midwest due to Canadian wildfire smoke). While not the “final judgment,” heat is consistent with troubles in the beginning of sorrows (Mark 13:8). Our recommended sermonette for this Sabbath is related to heat and other weather matters–watch: Apocalyptic Weather?

YouTube, which has censored 3 or 4 of our videos in the past, has censored some videos by people who liked the movie Sound of Freedom, which is an anti-sex trafficking video (see “YouTube Is Pulling ‘Sound Of Freedom’ Interviews, Reviews”) for what it called violation of its “community standards.” Although I have not seen, nor do I intend to go to the movies to see Sound of Freedom, YouTube’s standards are often anti-biblical and misapplied. Sadly, it seems like some in Big Tech and the major media are in favor of pedophilia and prostitution, while many also despise the word of  God. That is not good and will not end well (cf. Isaiah 30:12-13).

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Brethren, yes, you should follow the proper examples of real Christian leaders.

As far as what to meditate about, since Jesus said God’s word is truth (John 17:17), studying the Bible will help you focus on what is true and what you should be thinking about.


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.