Letter to the Brethren: March 21, 2024

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

We remain out of our offices and are into cramped aisles in the warehouse as our ceilings are in the process of being replaced because of water damage related to the tornado that hit last month. Because of the construction, the church telephone line (which is analog and unreachable from where we now are) is still not functional and probably may not be for another week or two. However, email still works. Sorry for any difficulties this may cause some of you.

On other matters, we have continued to search for an appropriate the location for the Feast of Tabernacles for the USA this year. We have a tentative agreement now in Galveston, Texas and plan to announce more details once we receive a contract and the deal is finalized.

In terms of proclamation and preparing for the short work of Romans 9:28, we received another 20 translations of our English booklet titled The Gospel of the Kingdom of God this week. The work of reaching the world with a witness of the good news of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14) continues.

We also ordered hundreds of The Bible Hymnal as well as other books/booklets to send to Africa, which we hope will arrive in the late Spring. While we do print literature in Africa, for some items it is less expensive to print in the USA and then ship in a slow container to get there, and that is something we have been working to arrange.

Monarch Butterflies and a Richard Close Related Sermon

According to Google Maps, the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove  is about 1.3 miles away from our office in Grover Beach. It is free to visit, though sometimes parking can be tricky (which is also free).

Myself,  wife Joyce, and son David tend to visit it about once or twice a year when the monarch butterflies are there. For Central California, that tends to be between late November and early February.

Monarch Butterfly at the Monarch Butterfly Grove, Pismo Beach
(Photo by Joyce Thiel, 12/10/23)

While David has no real interest in the butterflies, one of the paths in the small Monarch Butterfly Grove leads to the beach, so we almost always walk over to the beach after seeing the butterflies.

One thing that has always stood out as interesting about the monarch butterflies is that they end up congregating on the same trees year after year. One of the reasons that is interesting is that the actual butterflies on the trees have never been in the area before. Nor have their parents nor grandparents.

Other people, including the late Richard Close, have been fascinated by many aspects of monarch butterflies, including their life cycle. Richard Close was a long time member of the Church of God. He was ordained a deacon in 1989. He lived in Towanda, Pennsylvania. He came with the Continuing Church of God in 2015. He died in 2022.

Richard Close speaking at the Feast of Tabernacles in New Brunswick

Recently, Dawn Parr sent me a written transcript of a message that Richard Close gave many years back as a possible sermon. Anyway after reading it, I edited it, added more scriptures, as well as some additional information and comments, so that is now the recommended sermon for the week. Here is a link to the related sermon: Christian Growth: Consider the Monarch. You are likely to find out several interesting aspects of monarch butterflies, as well as hopefully consider some lessons about Christian growth.

Congo and the Rwanda

Moise Nshimiyimana of Rwanda sent the following photo from the Congo and sent a report from Rwanda:

Dear Pastor Dr Bob , Greetings from Rwanda and Congo.

Dear Pastor, the brothers and sisters from Congo are very grateful for the help you gave them about food because it helped them a lot in the terrible war situation they are in . Attached is a photo while they praise God for it.
Also in Rwanda we are very grateful because you help us to find what we need  in work of God, especially to gather together for the Passover we are waiting.
All will help in the development of the ministry of God.

We are glad that we could provide some aid to our brethren in the Congo and Rwanda (cf. Galatians 6:10).

Tomato Plants in Mozambique

Pastor Radson Mulozowa sent the following photo along with a couple of brief statements:

Tomato farming in Mozambique

The fruits of your funds

Thus some of the aid we sent for food for Mozambique was used to buy tomato plants which are being grown there by brethren, which will provide more food than simply direct food (some of which was also provided).

Suggested Sabbath Day Services

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 mobile 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

Red heifers have gotten the attention of CBS News (see CBS: What these red cows from Texas have to do with war and peace in the Middle East. Red Heifer to be killed on the Mount of Olives?) as well as radio host Glenn Beck (see Glenn Beck on Red Heifers and Hamas). As I wrote earlier today (see MS: A “Massive Altar” For The Red Heifer Sacrifice Has Been Constructed In Israel), the sacrifice of a red heifer, which some hope will be this Spring, may trigger an expanded regional war in the Middle East. While the Bible does NOT require the ashes of a red heifer (Hebrews 9:13-15), certain Jews, such as associated with the Temple Institute and Sanhedrin, have been wanting that sacrifice for many years. The suggested sermonette for this week is titled: Temple Institute, Heifers, Hamas, and a Tent.

Australia and Canada look to be taking more steps towards the elimination of financial privacy (see Could Australia be moving towards the cashless world the WEF wants? (and then there is Canada’s ‘666’ move). While Europe will the ‘666’ power, steps outside of the continent are pushing a lot of the world towards ‘666’ type controls (cf. Revelation 13:13-18).

The situation in Haiti is getting more desperate and some see related risks to the USA (see Haiti violence escalates and Michael Snyder posts, ‘What Is Happening In Haiti Will Come Here Too’). There have also been hunger protests in Cuba.

As far as the USA itself goes, more are seeing that it is not what it once was (see ‘2024: The Last Year of America?’ ‘If I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath’) or what the republic it has claimed to be (see Ron Paul: I believe in that theory of the Black Swan … the Republic is gone). The USA is in decline and no matter who takes office as president in 2025, that will not change (though the rate of decline could slow or accelerate differently based upon the policies of that preside

Over in Russia, Vladimir Putin was re-elected president and he stated that the world is laughing at the election process in the USA (see Vladimir Putin wins re-election and states world is laughing at the USA).

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote the following:

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

Yes, brethren, God called us even though we were sinners.

And if you ever think your sins were so bad that God could not want or use you, remember that God put Paul into the ministry despite him persecuting real Christians.

Accept God’s grace and love and that yes, God has a plan for you as well.

And always abide in the love of Christ and love others.


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.