Letter to the Brethren: November 12, 2015

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

As usual, routine matters, plus also African ones, took up a lot of time.

Additionally, we have been working on booklet-related issues.  It is my hope and prayer to get the second edition of the Continuing History of the Church of God booklet out this month.  As mentioned before, the original edition was a ‘draft’ that was rushed in early 2014 so that we could distribute them when I visited Kenya then.  It still needs a little editing work that hopefully should be done next week.

As many of you know, I also have been working on a new booklet related to the Holy Days.  It is finally starting to take shape.  This should be out in early 2016.  We are also working on another Holy Day related printing project that should be done this month.

Malawi Registration

Many governments in Africa require registration of churches as they want to monitor potential terrorist and other groups.

We were informed last month that we would need to register the Continuing Church of God in Malawi.  However, the cost was high so we looked at how to handle this.

Yesterday, we received an email from Sosten Libungwa who reported that the government said we only had 48 hours in order to register.  I contacted Herb Haddon in Canada to see if they had the funds.

The good news is that they barely did.  The bad news was that yesterday was a bank holiday in Canada, and it would not be possible to send the money then.  And, even if it would have been possible to make that happen today (they had never tried to send money to Malawi), by the time it would have arrived, been picked up, and then given to government authorities, government offices there would have been closed.

So, I spent a long time attempting to telephone Malawi to see if anything else could be done, but the calls never went through. I got different excuses from Charter, our telephone service provider, as to why the calls would not go through.

Then, decided that the only option was to ‘borrow’ the funds, by delaying paying other bills that were due, in order to get the funds in time to Malawi.

Today, I got the following email from Sosten Libungwa:

Dear Dr Bob & Evans,

I have now collected the Cash this afternoon.  In the morning we had the problem of net work.

Thank you very much, we are now having the safe Church.  I will get back  to you in a few days.


So, even after the money was sent from here, there were problem in Malawi in the morning, but finally the funds were received in the afternoon.

Despite obstacles, we must continue to try to go through whatever doors Jesus opens (cf. Revelation 3:7-9).

Transgender Agenda

Last week I saw the following:

November 6, 2015

Daycare workers fired for refusing transgender demands

2 male parents insisted daughter, 6, be called boy

Two daycare workers in Texas – one of whom is the author of a Christian book – were fired after they refused to refer to a six-year-old girl in their care as a boy.

The demand came from the girl’s two male parents, Breitbart reported. The dads also demanded the girl, whose hair was cut short like a boy’s, also be called by a masculine name.

Madeline Kirksey, who has penned a book for the Christian crowd, told Breitbart she was most concerned about confusing the little girl by calling her “John,” which was not the name given at her birth, and by referring to her as a boy. Kirksey and another worker at the Childrens’ Lighthouse Learning Center in Katy, Texas, were fired, Breitbart said. …The fired worker who asked to remain anonymous actually contacted Child Protective Services about the dads’ treatment of the little girl.  http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/daycare-workers-fired-for-refusing-transgender-demands/#FQrteMiMgFXri12e.99

So, you can be fired for not calling a girl a boy!  Child Protective Services should have removed the girl from her homosexual parents, but it no longer seems to consider this child abuse–which trying to make a girl a boy most certainly is.

Someone who also saw what I wrote about this said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.”

So, that ended up being the topic for this week’s suggested sermonette.

The Bible, of course, is opposed to the transgender agenda (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:22-32).

One of the reasons I included this in this letter today is to remind people that more and more abominations are being defended by governments and others in many lands.  More and more, deviant behaviors are being considered acceptable by a perverse society.


There is a small group in Kachinland, an area in the northern portion of Myanmar (Burma) which claims a distant relationship with us.  It is a very poor area.  Their Pastor Lazum Brang mailed me a letter that says because of the intensity of fighting, only 16 were able to attend his Feast of Tabernacles’ site.  He told me that for the Feast of Tabernacles, the total amount spent for food was US$30.00–they all skipped breakfast to stretch the food.

Kachinland is a very poor region.

The world is dangerous and some see more of the dangers up close.  There was an election this week in Myanmar, and none of the coverage I looked at even mentioned the region of Kachinland as it is often ignored.

Lazum Brang, himself, does not have a computer and communicates with me using regular postal mail, so there are more delays in communication with him than most others who use email and/or the telephone (I do not believe he has a telephone either as no number is listed on his letterhead).

The Journal

Dixon Cartwright’s newspaper The Journal: News of the Churches of God ran articles that I submitted on my meeting with CG7-Denver’s Robert Coulter as well as articles that I and some others put together about the Feast of Tabernacles in Denver, Canada, New Zealand, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Ghana.

The Journal mainly reaches people who have a Church of God background.  While it often includes articles that promote various heresies, the articles it published from those of us in (or affiliated with) the Continuing Church of God in its latest issue may help get some to take a closer look at the Continuing Church of God.  Some people I met this year as well as last year at the Feast of Tabernacles came (directly or indirectly) because of information about out Feast of Tabernacles’ sites in The Journal.

World News Items

Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew met with Anglican Archbishop Welby this week.  The two discussed matters of climate and mutual cooperation (see Patriarch Bartholomew meets with Archbishop Welby and endorses UN’s climate change agenda).  The ecumenical agenda is moving forward, and it is not just the Church of Rome that is promoting it.

It was reported that a migrant-refugee was arrested last month who really was a leader in the terrorist group Al-Qaeda (see Al-Qaeda leader found on a migrant refugee boat: Will Western civilization be destroyed?).  Some nations in Europe are putting up fences to keep migrants out (see Greeks again protest austerity, more fences put up in Europe, Europe will have more civil unrest). While not all migrants are terrorists, the waves of Arab migrants include people who are, and others who may become terrorists.  Since the Bible prophesies terrorism (Leviticus 26:14-17; Deuteronomy 32:25; Ezekiel 21:12; Psalms 73:12,19; Proverbs 1:25-27; Ecclesiastes 12:5), it appears that events are setting up for more of it.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has long promised to hold an election so that those in the UK could decide if they want to be part of the European Union.  This week, in order to reduce the possibility that UK voters would actually vote to leave the European Union, he essentially proposed that the European Union be more flexible and stop moving towards a closer union (see UK’s Cameron wants less EU closeness, while German report wants confederate association).

Some in Europe want more of a confederation of states as opposed to a real union in Europe.  However, irrespective of what will happen in the short-run, the Bible shows a dictatorial union will arise in Europe (Revelation 17:12-13)–and one that will not turn out well for the UK.

In the USA, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposed lifting federal restrictions against marijuana (see Bernie Sanders proposes a ‘marijuana nation’).  Increased marijuana smoking is not good for the USA.   The USA also had another debate between Republican presidential candidates (see Another Republican debate shows divided leaders in a dividing nation).

Two people were fired for not calling calling a girl a boy, while a school district was ordered to allow a boy who wants to pretend he is a girl to be able to go into girls’ locker rooms and showers anytime (see Transgender agenda: ‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil’).

The President of the USA was interviewed and posed for the front cover of a homosexual magazine (see Obama called ‘hero’ and named LGBT ‘Ally of the Year’).  The same publication called him a ‘hero’ and their ‘Ally of the Year.’   The Bible warns against homosexuality/lesbianism as well as those who approve such behaviors (Romans 1:22-32).  The so-called LGBT agenda is not good for the USA.

The USA will have financial and other problems before it is no more.  Some suspect this month, but a true collapse of the USA economy will not happen that soon, but it will come (Habakkuk 2:6-8; see also The ‘new cycle of war,’ Russia, Middle East, ‘Money Tsunami,’ and ‘November collapse’?).

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: Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’.  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: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule. 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 that we list each week. 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

Because of the nature of this week’s recommended sermon, perhaps we should look at the following that the Prophet Habakkuk wrote:

5 “Look among the nations and watch —
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you. (Habakkuk 1:5)

The Apostle Paul essentially repeated the same concept:

40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

41 ‘Behold, you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you.'” (Acts 13:40-41)

Brethren, many will not really believe that prophecy about the end-time work or it would not have been made.

The work is being done, yet many do not accept how God does things–many ‘believers’ do not really understand the word of God and even lack much faith. Jesus even asked “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Be a real believer and act on that faith (James 2:14-26).


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God

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.