Letter: August 23, 2013

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

We are trying to keep up with the daily needs here is Arroyo Grande, California, while also trying to prepare materials related to the Feast of Tabernacles and upcoming Holy Days.

We all should remember and heed what the Apostle Peter wrote:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (2 Peter 1:2-11).

If we continue to do what we should, rely on God, and build the character that God wants, He will pull us through.  Having worked on five videos so far this week was a lot of work.

The Holy Days

We finalized a ‘behind the works’ type sermon video and it should be available for the Feast of Tabernacles.  We also put some other video materials together related to the upcoming Holy Days.

The Feast of Tabernacles is coming up quickly.  We added more information this week to the article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013.

In the USA, services are scheduled to be held at the Santa Maria Inn. Santa Maria is about 160 miles north of LAX, but also has its own small airport.

Here is information about the hotel and site in New Zealand:

The name of the place is Cheviot Park Motor Lodge and their website is http://www.cheviot-park.co.nz/ .  They are prepared to offer a 10% discount on accommodation to any of our members who are attending so long as they mention it when booking.

Whangarei District will pleasantly surprise you. Unspoilt landscapes, truly spectacular coastline and variety plus. A space to experience adventure, warmth, culture, excitement and peace. The perfect place to revive, to breathe, to reconnect. That’s why we love it here.

Just two hours from Auckland, our sub tropical region is the perfect base to explore the rest of Northland – you may never want to leave.

My wife and I expect to spend the first 1/2 of the Feast of Tabernacles in Whangarei and the second 1/2 in Santa Maria.

Doing the Work

We were able to send some additional materials to Kenya, Trinidad, and South Africa this week.  We have been reaching over 5,000 people per day on the internet viewing our articles.  Additionally, we are getting about 50,000 page impressions per day with our very inexpensive internet Google campaign.

This week, I was able to speak, for the first time, with our Spanish language translator.  He and I discussed the use of the internet and some of its role in the final phase of the work.

We also discussed getting other materials available in not only English and Spanish, but other languages as well.  Our Spanish translator has some ideas related to getting our sermons into multiple languages, which he is looking into.  We also discussed the production of certain educational materials that I have agreed to look into.

We also are working at getting other materials in other languages.

The Bible Hymnal

This week I learned that that 100 copies of our new songbook, The Bible Hymnal, arrived in Africa.  I had wanted them to arrive prior to the Feast of Trumpets (which is less than two weeks away) and they made it.

In California, we worked with CreateSpace (an Amazon-related company) to attempt to get a hard cover version of our new songbook.   We slightly modified certain dimensions from the paperback edition of The Bible Hymnal and hope this will satisfy their requirements.   It remains my hope and prayer, that we will get enough hard cover books prior to the Feast of Tabernacles this year so that our hymnal can be available at the Santa Maria, California, USA and Whangarei, New Zealand sites.

My wife and I hope to bring the hymnals personally to New Zealand, but with delays with Create Space, this remains a challenge.

World News Events

The situation in Egypt made the news a lot this week.  The military-backed government there arrested the top ‘spiritual leader’ of the Muslim Brotherhood this week (Muslim Brotherhood says it will continue protests; Obama Administration denies cutting funding to military government in Egypt) and he was immediately replaced by Mohamed Ezzat, who is called the “iron man” in some of the media.  The Muslim Brotherhood called for a “Martyr’s Friday” protest today and that has various USA officials concerned (see Muslim Brotherhood calls for ‘Martyr’s Friday’ protest: US President Obama concerned).  Someone like Mohamed Ezzat has the potential to be the final King of the South of Bible prophecy (Daniel 11:40-43).

The moral decline in the USA is becoming more and more obvious.  Earlier this week, New Jersey’s Governor signed a bill that would prevent parents from sending their children to counselors, etc. to help them not be homosexual (see Republican Christie to sign bill outlawing homosexual conversion therapy).  The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuals can change (see 1 Corinthians 6:8-11), but more and more in the USA not only do not want to admit that, they want to allow assisting that change.

This acceptance of immorality does not bode well for the USA (cf. Romans 1:18-32).

Over in Europe, they have been trying to set up a system that will help ultimately the final Beast power control (see More on EU-USA TTIP talks: A Prelude to Revelation 13:16-18?).  Also in Europe, the former Pope Benedict XVI reportedly stated that he got some type of message from God to resign his pontificate (Former Pope Benedict XVI said God told him to resign his pontificate).  This differs from what he originally said about why he resigned and certainly suggests that it was the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and not the God of the Bible who gave him the message.  Could this be because Satan wanted Pope Francis in office?  We will see.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:

Note: If you have a slow internet connection and/or 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. So, this is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to try to improve that as well).

Be faithful, studying the word, support the work, and pray.


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.