Letter to the Brethren: March 31, 2016

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings this week from Florida!

I plan to be in Florida until Sunday, April 3rd.  Which means I am scheduled to be here the Sabbath of April 2, 2016.

As announced before, we arranged to meet for services at the West Boca Executive Office Suites at 7777 Glades Rd #100, Boca Raton, FL 33434. Services are to begin about 1:30 pm.

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.

Because my wife Joyce left for Florida several days before me, and there was no one else to watch our youngest son, I decided that this would be a good time to not make a new sermon and sermonette personally, but instead to recommend  a message I made a while back, and a sermonette that John Hickey gave in New Zealand.

Bible News Prophecy Magazine

Apr - Jun 2016_ENGLISH cover

Shortly before our youngest son and I headed off to Florida, we received and mailed out the April-June 2016 edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine. We also enclosed a copy of our new booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?, which, interestingly enough, has the same cover photo and background color (though it is half the page size, though about 3 times the page count).

In about three months, when we finish and send out the July-September 2016 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine, we expect to include another new booklet (on the Gospel of the Kingdom of God) then as well.

World News Items

The American Bible Society released a survey yesterday which found that 53% thought the USA would be better off if its leaders would regularly read the Bible (see ABS survey: ’53 percent . . believe politicians would be more effective if they read the Bible on a regular basis’). While that it true, it would be better if people not only read the Bible but would actually do what it says.

Over in the US state of Georgia, its governor bowed to pressure from the homosexual lobby to not provide distinct legal protection for those who do not support the LGBT agenda (see Georgia governor against assuring religious liberty and freedom of conscience).  The USA is less and less respectful of religious conscience, and its leaders do not believe the biblical warnings about approving sexual immorality (cf. Romans 1:18-32).

Because of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the USA is calling for more ‘intelligence sharing’  (see USA wants more inetelligence sharing in light of Brussels attacks, but does not realize the risks it is taking). While that may assist in fighting terrorism, the USA is more and more putting itself in a position that it is revealing its own espionage techniques and results with the Europeans–a group that is prophesied to one day takeover the USA (see Daniel 11:39).

In Pakistan, there was a deadly attack by Islamists who want to eliminate those who do not share their faith. (see Islamists kill professing Christians in Pakistan).

World leaders are meeting today to discuss trying to stop terrorists from getting nuclear weapons–something that seems bound to happen. In the past the group calling itself the Islamic State was stopped from getting nuclear materials (seeIslamic State stopped from getting more materials to make ‘dirty bombs’), but it and other groups still want to do that.

Prior to the meeting, the government of Pakistan told the USA that it will continue to develop nuclear weapons and is not willing to stop as the USA prefers (see Pakistan tells USA it will continue its nuclear missile development). Nuclear weapons from Pakistan may well end up in the arsenal of the final King of the South of Bible prophecy (Daniel 11:40). But if so, this will NOT stop the King of the South from eventual defeat (Daniel 11:40-43).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:

  • 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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one titled: Fruit of the Spirit. Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work. 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 (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

The Book of Proverbs teaches:

7  “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.” (Proverbs 9:7-12)

Brethren, we live in a time of skeptics and critics. But God’s people are to value instruction and correction.  As we get closer to the Spring Holy Days, consider that we all need to improve, and that includes you and I personally.


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.