Letter: September 27, 2013

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

Post Feast of Tabernacles’ greetings!

We have just completed the first Feast of Tabernacles’ season of the Continuing Church of God.  My wife, son David, and I were able to attend the sites in Whangarei and Santa Maria.  And, during this festival season, between the sermons in Whangarei, New Zealand and Santa Maria, California (USA), I was able to read the “book of the law” and fulfill the biblical admonition to do this every seven years during the Feast of Tabernacles per Deuteronomy 31:10-13.

As many of you are probably aware, there were some technological issues which delayed all those sermons being uploaded as promptly as we wished, but except for the Last Great Day sermon (which is in the process of being uploaded while I am posting this), as of this morning, the other sermons were uploaded.

In case you missed any of them, here are the ones given during the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles:

Doing the Work and Feeding the Flock

During the Feast of Tabernacles, I was able to meet with one of our translators as well as meet with another individual who has agreed to translate some of our materials into another language which we have not yet had (the language will be announced after the materials become available).

Our goal is to make Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom message available as a witness (Matthew 24:14) to as many as we can in as many languages as we can.  And we are making progress in this area with the help of our volunteer translators.

Speaking of translators, our Spanish translator seems to have “worked overtime” by translating a lot more items, beyond our magazine.  Here are some links in the Spanish language to some items he sent us within the last week or so:

So, we now have more articles and even current news items in the Spanish language.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, we received our first magazine request from the Ukraine and our first magazine request from Vietnam.  We are truly reaching the world, and not just on the internet.

Since a few hours prior to the Day of Atonement, we have had three baptisms in New Zealand–I was able to participate in one of them.

On other matters, we are putting the finishing touches on the next edition of the Bible News Prophecy magazine (the October-December 2013 edition).

The Bible Hymnal

Our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, was used during the Feast of Tabernacles by various ones in the USA, New Zealand, Kenya, and the Philippines.  The hard cover version of it arrived after we had left for New Zealand and it was used at the USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site–a copy was also given to all who attended that site.

News Events

The USA continues to debate about how much to increase its debt, and seemingly its top politicians have concluded that continuing to increase its debt (see Treasury’s Lew: USA has until October 17, 2013) and inflate the amount of its currency (US Federal Reserve announces plan to continue to debase the value of the US dollar) is what is needed to head off economic disaster.  This is short-sighted and wrong.

Certain military leaders of the USA believe that the process is harming the USA military and the actual spending cuts that may happen will severely interfere with the USA’s military ability (see US military being severely damaged by budget cuts).

The combination of increasing debt and military cuts by the USA will sadly help lead to the fulfillment of the following:

3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry…5 Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man… 6 “Will not all these take up a proverb against him, And a taunting riddle against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases What is not his–how long? And to him who loads himself with many pledges’? 7 Will not your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you (Habakkuk 2:3,5,6-8).

The above prophecy will be fulfilled at the time of the end (cf. “The message was true, but the appointed time was long…in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come,” Daniel 10:1,14). Daniel 8:19, 11:27,29,35 use same the Hebrew term for “appointed time” as Habakkuk 2:3, while Daniel 10, using a different term, ties the latter days to the time in Daniel 8:19. Habakkuk 2 was not fulfilled in its entirety anciently. Also, it makes little sense that Habakkuk would be directed towards the modern nation of Israel as it does not have enemy creditors. It must be a nation or group of nations with some prominence at the appointed time of the end.

The nation with the greatest debt of all time is the United States of America, and on a per capita basis one of the highest is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It is the the United States and its Anglo-allies that have loaded pledges of debt in these end times that they really do not expect to pay back. In that respect they have recently plundered many nations. And while much is owed to nations such as China, Japan, and the Arab World, the Europeans have trillions of dollars invested in the USA–money they may be disappointed to have devalued. Enough so that they may divide the land among themselves and other creditors.

There are carnal solutions that the USA could do now (such as several related to energy production, regulatory relief, and tariff policies) that could help extend the situation, but too many of its leaders have rejected God and have the type of “reprobate mind” that allows them to approve immorality (like homosexuality and lesbianism) that prevents them from properly seeing even those “convenient” options (cf. Romans 1:18-32, KJV). In my view, most political leaders (including those involved with finance and economics) truly do not understand production, economics, job-creation, nor the Bible.

Since legalizing abortion, the USA has gone from creditor nation to the largest debtor nation of all time (watch also the video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt).  Promoting abortion is also something that the current Administration has done.  But repentance is not something it seems to consider.

Over in Egypt, a court banned the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered the confiscation of  its assets (see Egyptian court bans Muslim Brotherhood!).  This will at least have a temporary negative impact on the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet because many will be upset by these actions, many Islamists will and their supporters will still work towards their goal of an Islamic superstate–a confederation of nations that will include North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East.  The Bible says that such a confederation will form (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9), so while an Egyptian court may slow parts of the plan down, such a confederation will come to pass.

In Vatican-related news, it was reported that before becoming pontiff, Francis had some involvement looking into what is considered to be a eucharistic miracle (see A ‘eucharistic miracle’? El Papa Francisco «consagrará» al mundo al «inmaculado corazón de María»).  There have now been a couple of signs and wonders (cf. Matthew 24:24;  2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) associated with this current pontiff and he remains one to watch.

Suggested Sabbath Service for the Feast of Trumpets

Here is our suggested format for services for this Holy Day:

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 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 looking into ways to try to improve that as well).

We recognize that the YouTube videos do not play well unless one has a high-speed internet connection, which is part of why we try (when we have them) to list related articles that can be read.

With the Feast of Tabernacles for 2013 behind us, we need to continue to endure and grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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.