Letter: October 16, 2013

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

Because of scheduling and travel issues, this letter is out a bit earlier than normal.  But I decided that it was better to send it out early than to risk it not getting out until too late for those in the South Pacific to receive it after they would normally have Sabbath services.

Matthew 24:14–Doing the Work

We are obtaining very good results with our Google campaign to reach the world with the truth about the true church.

Our Google campaign began in mid-June 2013.  As of the end of September 2013 (the last period that Google has sent statistics for), our current campaign has had 10,776,047 impressions (the number of times it showed up on computers around the world) and 49,287 clicks (the number of times people decided to actually get more information).

We hope to be able to expand the program in the future, as well as to possibly also include a campaign to boost viewership of our videos over the YouTube channels.

Even though we have not paid for any direct promotions, our YouTube videos have now had well over 100,000 views from people around the world (cf. Matthew 28:19-20).

Some items were added to the CCOG.ASIA website:

There was also some work done related to improving links on the ccog.asia website and other ccog websites.

In terms of printed literature, during October we sent literature to people in North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.

World News Events

The budgetary problems of the USA continue to dominate a lot of the financial news (e.g. Proposed deal to end this week’s debt crisis will help insure disaster).  The Chinese have been attempting to gain international leverage because of this (see China calls for ‘de-Americanisation’ of the world and points to USA debt crisis).  As I write this it appears that some type of tentative deal to continue to increase debt and pretend that this will be dealt with later has been made (see Tentative agreement to avert the debt default: What will it really mean? and Congress Passes Debt, Budget Deal).  The continuing increase of debt by the USA is not good and will help lead to destruction (Habakkuk 2:6-8).

Reports of espionage by the United States on some of its supposed friends have incensed the Brazilians so much that they have announced that they hope to come up with some type of email system not subject to monitoring by the USA–one possibly similar to to one developed by the Germans (see Brazil announces plan to attempt to stop Brazilian emails from espionage from the USA and UK).

Over in Vatican City, Pope Francis and his Marian and Fatima obsessions made the news.  Francis held a vigil for ‘Mary’ on Saturday night, and then consecrated the world to the so-called “immaculate heart of Mary” on Sunday and did so in front of a statue flown in from Fatima, Portugal.  He did this in honor of ‘Marian Day’ which is commemorate what is called the ‘miracle of the sun’ that allegedly occurred on October 13, 1917 in Fatima, Portugal as promised by ‘the Lady of Fatima’ (a demonic apparition that did not possibly resemble Mary, the mother of Jesus).

Catholic dogma teaches that Jesus’ mother Mary was born without sin and some also falsely believe (as it goes against scriptures such as Romans 3:23), that Mary never sinned. Some conclude that she not only supposedly has an “immaculate heart,” but that her intervention will prevent wars, bring world peace, and provide a variety of blessings that the deceased biblical Mary cannot possibly bring to pass (cf. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).

Both biblical (Isaiah 47; Nahum 3:4-5; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 17 & 18) and Catholic prophecy suggest that female apparitions could be part of end time events.  In my view, Pope Francis continues to ‘set the stage’ for people to look forward to such a time–a time that the Bible warns against (Isaiah 47; Nahum 3:4-5; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 17 & 18).

Some items of related interest may include:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:

  • 2-3 hymns (we are using the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG, and in most areas, the Choral Accompaniment).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette. Here is a link to one by John Hickey: Is the Bible real? Other sermonettes are also available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon which for most will be a recorded one titled: Sermon What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? This sermon basically tries to cover all that Jesus said in Mark’s Gospel. 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. So, this is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to try to improve that as well).

Notice the following from the Apostle Peter:

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;  9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For

“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12)

Brethren, do what Jesus would have you do.  Please also pray for each other, pray for me, and pray for God’s kingdom to come.


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.