Does the Continuing Church of God go through the ‘door’ of radio to reach the world?
Since its formation on December 28, 2012, CCOG Pastor and Overseer Bob Thiel has been on the radio scores of times and reached millions of people. Doing secular radio interviews gives an opportunity to reach people who otherwise would not be as open to hearing the Church of God message (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20).
Being on radio is something that COG leaders have done since no later than the 1930s. Back then, the late Herbert W. Armstrong was invited to speak on KORE out of Eugene, Oregon. He had apprehensions about it, but it it turned out well. Here is some of what he wrote about that experience in his Autobiography:
The First Broadcast
The six weeks’ meetings in the one-room Firbutte schoolhouse came to a close on Sunday night, August 20, 1933. A total of more than 20 had come with us …
In September — very soon after rejecting a salary and being controlled and muzzled by men, the living Christ began opening doors for the MASS-proclaiming of His Gospel. It was then that someone brought to my attention the fact that the local radio station at Eugene, KORE, then the very smallest minimum-power of 100 watts, had a morning devotional program scheduled, but that they were having difficulty getting local ministers to conduct the program. It was free time, carried by the station as a public service sustaining program of 15 minutes, 7:45 to 8:00 a.m.
Immediately I went to the radio station. A woman secretary told me she felt sure they would be glad to have me take the program for a week. I was to call back later for the exact date.
On my second call I was assigned the week of October 9th.
October 9th was surely a great big day in my life — the day of my very first experience before a microphone, ON THE AIR!
I took this opportunity very seriously. It was an opportunity to speak to several hundred people at once! I had never spoken to that many before.
I spent the preceding week preparing rather extensive notes and script. I might never again have such an opportunity, so I decided to strike directly at the very heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Since the Kingdom of God is based on the promises made to Abraham, I began, on Monday morning’s pro- gram with the promises made to Abraham.
I had heard a lot about everybody getting “mike-fright” the very first time on the air. I wondered if I would experience this. It was probably the most exciting adventure of my life.
On Monday morning, I arrived at the radio studio early. The announcer did not come into the studio until ten or fifteen seconds before 7:45.
“Mike-fright”? Why, I thought to myself, I’m calm and cool as a cucumber!
“Listen!” I said quietly but quickly to the announcer. “I’ve never been on the air before. If you have any instructions, you’d better give them to me in a hurry. We have only 10 seconds!”
He looked at me disdainfully, and a little bored.
“Just stand up there in front of the mike, and start talking as soon as I announce you,” he replied.
About three seconds later he announced me. While he was giving this very brief announcement on the air, I thought, “Well I don’t have any ‘mike-fright.’ I’m sure glad of that!”
Then, for the first time in my life, I said into the microphone:
The World Tomorrow Broadcast Begins
But suddenly something had happened! Before those two words were finished, something had hit me like a jolt! Something had started my heart pounding like a sledge-hammer! I felt myself gasping for breath! During those opening two words, “mike- fright” had seized me!
I struggled with all my might to control my hard breathing so it would not be audible over the air. It was agony, but I concentrated my mind with all the strength I had on two things — to carefully say the words of my typed script as naturally as I could, and to control my hard breathing so it did not sound.
After two or three minutes I was making good progress in gaining control. After some five minutes my breathing had returned to normal, and I was so absorbed in getting this vital message over to the largest audience of my life — even though that audience was invisible — that I forgot all about the “mike- fright.”
The Surprising Response
The second morning there was no “mike-fright.” I was beginning to gain assurance, and able to speak a little more naturally.
It must have been about Thursday morning that the announcer told me the station owner, Mr. Prank Hill, wanted to see me in his office later in the morning.
He had received several letters and telephone calls from listeners, requesting copies of my talks. I had offered no literature of any kind. I had invited no mail response.
“This is rather surprising,” said Mr. Hill. “We never had any response of any kind, before, from this morning devotional program. They told me you had not invited any. Yet it has been coming. I listened in on you this morning to see what was causing it. You have an excellent radio voice, and a way of delivering your message that arouses interest and holds an audience.
“Now, Mr. Armstrong,” he continued, “I want to suggest that you work out a regular Sunday morning Church service, condensed into a half hour. I’d like to put that on as a regular sustaining program — free time — but I can’t do that without offering equal time to every church in town. However, I will sell you the time at less than bare cost of operation, $2.50 per half hour.”
And that suggestion from Mr. Frank Hill is what put the idea of the World Tomorrow program in my mind!
Altogether 14 letters and telephone calls came in to the radio station requesting copies of the messages I had broadcast.
I thanked him, and told him I would see what I could do.
But, $2.50 every week! WOW! That was almost as much as my entire salary had been! And I had just previously renounced even that small salary!
Today, $2.50 per half-hour broadcast seems incredibly small. We have to pay more than that per minute on most stations, today! But it seemed like an insurmountable barrier then.
Yet I knew this was God’s Work, not mine. I was only an instrument. God had promised to supply every need.
God had opened the door of mass evangelism!
He had opened the first radio door (Rev. 3:8). I knew He wanted us to walk through that door. (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1973, pp. 451-455)
Here is a photograph of a building in Eugene, Oregon that had been used decades before by the old Radio Church of God (I believe it was their headquarters’ building in the 1940s):
One-time Radio Church of God building, Eugene, Oregon
(To see other buildings later used by the old Radio and Worldwide Church of God, check out Joyce’s Pictures of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God.)
Thus far, the Continuing Church of God has not ever had to pay for time on the radio in the USA, but have we have worked with someone to help secure radio bookings. Radio has been a very cost-effective way to reach people. But we have sent funds for being on stations in Ghana and Kenya.
Although all the messages to the seven churches of Revelation state, “I know your works,” it is only to the Philadelphians that Jesus says, “See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it”:
7. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.(Revelation 3:7-8)
So, what is the “open door”?
Let us look at this concept within the New Testament and let the Bible interpret itself.
12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord (2 Corinthians 2:12).
8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me (1 Corinthians 16:8-9).
2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak (Colossians 4:2-4).
27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles (Acts 14:27).
Thus, the Bible is quite clear that the open door is the door to proclaim the Gospel.
Herbert W. Armstrong understood that the door was opened to proclaim the gospel:
Also a door was to be opened for this leader and/or the Philadelphia era of the Church to fulfill Matthew 24:14: ‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ (Mystery of the Ages, pp. 290-291).
It was not until the 20th century that the technology of automated transportation and electronic media (such as radio and television) came forth to allow the Church of God (COG) to have much international impact. And as shown earlier, Herbert W. Armstrong began to broadcast on the radio beginning in 1933.
Dr. Thiel began doing radio as part of the Continuing Church of God within weeks of its official formation. He was on the massive Genesis Communications Network (GCN), which reached many nations, on January 16, 2013 and then within days on 950 am KAHI, Sacramento, California on January 21, 2013. Dr. Thiel has reached millions over secular radio.
Herbert W. Armstrong’s church taught that the door would not be closed until the end:
Philadelphia has little strength to do this great work that God has given it to do. God has opened the door, and yet look how insignificant, how weak, how little strength we as a Church have to do that work…Revelation 3:7-13: “And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that OPENETH, and no man SHUTTETH; and SHUTTETH and no man openeth.” The great door that God has opened to this work is the facility to go into all the world and preach the gospel; the door of radio, the door of the printing press, plus many other such doors. God has set before us an open door and no MAN can shut it. God can shut it, and He will when the work is finished and the Philadelphia Church goes to a place of safety. …The Laodicean Church is not going to he worthy to escape to a place of safety. When it is too late, they will find that the Church of Philadelphia has gone to safety. (What Is the “LAODICEAN CHURCH”? Good News Magazine, August 1959 Vol. VIII, Number 8).
Sadly, many once in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) simply never understood what was taught about the open door. But the Continuing Church of God still does–and its proclamation efforts are reaching millions (we also reach millions over the internet).
In addition to being on secular radio, the Continuing Church of God also has an online radio presence, coordinated by Shirley Gestro and John Hickey of New Zealand. It is called Bible News Prophecy Radio.
There have been seven other speakers, other than Dr. Bob Thiel, on that ‘station’:
John Hickey: John Hickey is the news presenter for Prophecy News reports and also one of our speakers for CCOG, some items include ‘Is the Bible Real?’, and ‘Technology and the Gospel’.
Steve Dupuie: Steve Dupuie is one of our CCOG speakers, some topics include; ‘Traffic Laws Done Away?’ , ‘Dealing with Satan’, Bearing Fruit Worth of Repentance, and Are We Saved by Faith? Or are we Saved by works?
Bill Wedekind: Bill Wedekind is the voice for our station id, short messages as well as one of our news presenters for Prophecy News reports.
Jay Chang: Jay Chang records some of our CCOG short messages and sermonettes, one sermonette is titled Astrology, the occult, tattoos, and pornography.
Vince Patterson, who was born in the Caribbean, but now lives in the UK, has been featured.
Deacon Richard Close, from Pennsylvania, has been featured.
Herb Haddon from New Brunswick, Canada, has been featured.
On December 5, 2016, Shirley Gestro sent the following report related to that as well as the Flipboard presence she works on:
Flipboard and BNP online radio update, 5 Dec 2016Flipboard
There is a steady increase in viewers, followers and comments, many are highly interested in the following magazines; Origins & the Bible, News & Prophecy, The Arab and Islamic World in the Bible, History and Prophecy. There is also an interest growth in Anglo-America in Prophecy and the Lost Tribes of Israel, followed by One World Religion (Ecumenical/Interfaith) and Europa the Beast and Revelation.
Flipboard overall analytics show most viewed articles from the previous 30 days are:
>Islamic State threatens voters in the USA
>The Church of Rome understands some aspects of church history, but …,
>Did the early church hold to Continuing Church of God doctrines or those of the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, & Protestants?
>‘How President Trump Could Actually Reduce Danger Of War In Europe For The U.S.’ ‘Make Europe great again’
>Donald Trump protested in USA and Europe.
Overall statistics also include:
Viewers/page views – 232,549
Followers – 3,352
>Magazines – 23
>Articles – 7,776
You can visit our Flipboard page here: https://flipboard.com/@ProphecyNews also available as an app on IOS and Android in magazine format.
BNP online radio
We continue to stream BNP items, CCOG sermons/sermonettes, COGwriter news items and short messages for church literature in audio form. Our primary speaker is Dr. Thiel with numerous bible prophecy content and in-depth biblical sermons. We have also been fortunate to stream sermons and sermonettes from Steve Dupuie, Jay Chang, John Hickey, Vince Patterson, Richard Close and Herb Haddon. Reporting news items is John Hickey, along with our recent news reporter Bill Wedekind who has kindly volunteered his help, has recorded several news items thus far. Short messages are recorded by Jay and Bill. Thank you to all our volunteers.
A few months ago, there were technical issues affecting our stream, it has been resolved. Since we persevered with the streaming company they gave us 1 GB free storage increase. Due to this increase, we now have more Sermons streaming and space for other future church messages we are considering. The online radio is updated several times throughout the week with the latest BNP, Sermons and news reports, from time to time we add short messages for our new literature, and is accessible on various audio platforms, radio and rss directories.
The following information is collated data from our streaming server and multiple media avenues.
Analytical data from streaming solutions:
>Unique listeners: 23,458
>Total Listener Minutes: 2,625,589
>Hourly average: 144
>Listener trend (30 days): +17.97%
>User Agents/Devices: 32% listening via desktop, 68% using various mobile apps and media players.
BNP radio analytics from other media:
>Google +: 175,212 views https://plus.google.com/+BiblenewsprophecyNet
>Pinterest: 5,920 avg monthly viewers https://nz.pinterest.com/biblenewsradio/
>Tumblr: 449 posts, 102 followers https://www.tumblr.com/blog/biblenewsprophecy
>Flipboard: 332 posts, 2,170 page views https://flipboard.com/@prophecynews/bible-prophecy-radio-eguc7bfsy
Ello.co: 70 posts, 8,294 views https://ello.co/biblenewsprophecy
>Tune-In Radio: 708 followers http://tunein.com/radio/Bible-News-Prophecy-s236546/
There are several ways you can listen, some options are:
Internet radio stream and podcasts, visit www.biblenewsprophecy.net
For mobile devices and faster streaming (IOS and Android):
>Tune-In Radio App and Desktophttp://tunein.com/radio/Bible-News-Prophecy-s236546/
>Itunes go to Internet Radio, News/Talk Radio, and search for Bible News Prophecy
>Simple Radio App/Streema Radio http://streema.com/radios/Bible_News_Prophecy
You can also listen on different players:
To listen on Winamp, iTunes, Windows Media Player, Real Player and QuickTime, simply click on Mobile radio link http://mobile.caster.fm/66A647/ and then click on the player icon.
We also produce magazines, booklets, websites, and YouTube videos. Continuing Church of God, literature has also been translated into over 100 languages (watch Behind the Work 2016: All Nations, Tribes, People, and Tongues). In addition also to actual travel to meet interested people, we do go through the ‘doors’ that God is opening for us.
Following in the footsteps of the 20th century, we go through the doors of mass media that are open to us in the 21st century, and that has regularly included radio.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
Joyce’s Pictures of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God Here is some pictures of the old campus taken in 2016 for those interested in what it did look like and what remains.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章，其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中，准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in many European languages.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.