Letter to the Brethren: August 7, 2014

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Another full week in the Five Cities region of California.

We were able to make some progress on another booklet that we hope to have available by the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.  I was pleased to add additional scriptures to it about why subjects such as prophecy are important for Christians, not only in New Testament times, but at present as well.

Overseas Miracle

Received an email from overseas that someone I was praying about was able to get cleared of some major immigration problems in Europe this week.  The writer of the email called it a miracle.  While I do not intend to post the details because of privacy concerns, it is always fantastic news to learn that prayers were answers and miracles occurred.

While not technically a miracle, we also received an unexpected donation from the other side of the Pacific a few days ago–and that was an answer to prayer.  We had serious needs in Africa that I wondered how we could even partially fund.  Because of that donation, yesterday we were able to send some money for bedding and building repairs to be used at the Ndhiwa (Kenya) Feast of Tabernacles’ site as well as some other money to be used to support the membership and gospel proclamation in Kenya and Tanzania.

Feast of Tabernacles

We are trying to coordinate matters for the Feast of Tabernacles and I had contact with several in different parts of the world about that in the past week, including speaking with an intended sermonette speaker in the USA yesterday.

As a reminder, the location for the USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site in 2014 is the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport hotel, 7550 Augusta National Drive, Orlando, Florida 32822.  As the name implies, it is near the Orlando, Florida airport.

Here are links to a discounted rate on the rooms/suites there:




The discounted rooms will only be available for a few weeks, so if you wish to stay there (and no one has to stay at that particular hotel), please try to book relatively soon.

The site for the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand is to be in Tawa which is a suburb of Wellington. The location there is the Bucket Tree Lodge, 1 Boscobel Lane (PO Box 51009), Tawa, Wellington. For more information, contact John Hickey, email john.h@vodafone.net.nz; You can also telephone him on his mobile phone.  His number is 021 519 441.

In Kenya, it is expected that Ndhiwa will be used as the primary Feast of Tabernacles’ site, but there could possibly be others. For more information, contact Evans Ochieng, email evochieng74@gmail.com.

We expect to have a video group site in the Philippines (Silay City).  For details, contact Oscar Mediavilla via email hansmeidavilla@rocketmail.com.

We could, perhaps, have other locations this year, such as South Africa.

Information on all the expected sites is in the article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014.

Spanish Language Statistics

According to AWstats, our Spanish language website, CDLIDD.es, had one of its best months ever last month.

Speaking of statistics, I noticed this morning that our new Spanish language booklet: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios had been downloaded 379 times and our new Spanish language booklet Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido 409 times since we made them available a couple of weeks ago.

These statistics demonstrate that there are hundreds of Spanish language speakers who are seriously looking into the Continuing Church of God, despite the fact that we have relatively few Spanish language speakers actually with us.  In time, we may see an explosion in Spanish language members.

Here are some additional news items that have been translated into the Spanish language:

Artic methane gas: Could it have any prophetic implications?
Gas metano del ártico: ¿Podría tener algunas implicaciones proféticas?
35% of Americans have debts turned over to collection agencies
35% de los americanos tienen deudas pasadas a agencias de cobranza
Herbert W. Armstrong was born 122 years ago
Herbert W. Armstrong nació hace 122 años
Fighting stops and starts: What is ahead for Gaza?
Combates paran y siguen: ¿Qué está por delante para Gaza?
Jesus, the Son of God and Savior
Jesús, el Hijo de Dios y Salvador
CCOG: Increasing reach for Spanish articles and literature
CCOG: Incrementando alcance de artículos y literatura en español
Chikungunya virus now in Florida
Virus chikungunya ahora en Florida
CGPFKG’s Ronald Weinland’s 2019 date for Jesus to return
Fecha de Ronald Weinland de CGPFKG para el retorno de Jesús
China making moves against corruption, yet pollution remains and a river turns red
China hace movidas contra la corrupción, sin embargo la contaminación sigue y un río se torna rojo
Dow Erases 2014 Gain Amid Global Selloff;’ USA politicians scrapped, then reconsidered, immigration bill
‘Dow borra ganancia de 2014 en medio de liquidación global’; políticos de los EE.UU. desecharon, luego reconsideraron, ley de inmigración
Zephaniah said to ‘gather together’
Sofonías dijo ‘congregáos juntos’
Ecumenical ‘Anglican’ Bishop Tony Palmer died; Pope Francis continues his ecumenical meetings
Murió obispo ecuménico ‘anglicano’ Tony Palmer; Papa Francisco continúa sus encuentros ecuménicos
US judge accused Argentina of ‘half-truths,’ but USA has more serious ones of its own
Juez de EE:UU: acusó a Argentina de ‘verdades a medias’ pero los EE.UU. tienen unas más serias por sí mismos

We have a lot of information in the Spanish language and are reaching more people with of materials in it.  But we still have a ways to go.

World News Events

In the world there have continued to be wars and rumors of war, false religion, and pestilence.

In Gaza, there has been another temporary cease-fire.  That will not last indefinitely.  The recommended sermonette for this week discusses some prophecies related to Gaza and the Palestinians (watch Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy).

Fighting continues in Iraq and Syria.  The group known as the Islamic State has captured more territory and has been terrorizing many (see ‘Islamic State’ takes oil field from Kurds and attacks Lebanon).  While I do not believe that its current leader will become the King of the South of biblical prophecy, what he claims he wants is consistent with biblical prophecy concerning a confederation of the peoples of that region per Daniel 11:40-43 and Ezekiel 30:2-8.

A rebel group in Libya declared its own Islamic emirate this past week (see Benghazi declared an ‘Islamic emirate,’ while fighting continues in Libya).  Many Sunni Arab leaders claim that they want to create an Islamic empire.  This group in Libya is just one more example.

The situation has been tense in Ukraine as the Kiev government has tried to take control of the east, while Russia is building up troops and deciding if and/or how it may intervene (see Ukraine trying to take back east, Russia builds up troops, Russian economy affected, and Ukrainian matter allegedly causes USA stocks to drop).  Russia does not want Ukraine to be part of the European Union, and is trying to figure out how to minimize such a possible move.  An invasion of some sort by Russia could well happen.

Speaking of Russia, it has declared that all who have blogs on the internet who receive more than 3000 daily visitors day must register with the government (see Russia requiring popular bloggers to register: A famine of the word is coming).  If something like this happens in the USA, I would have to register as we always get much more than that.  It seems that governments are trying to be in a better position to stop messages they do not like.  The time will come when their opposition to the proclamation of the gospel will cause what is commonly referred to as the ‘famine of the word’ of Amos 8:11.

The USA has decided that its army in Europe will now report to a German general (see German general now commands the US Army in Europe).  This is a foolish and dangerous move.  The USA probably did this to try to appease the Germans for the USA’s espionage matters, but history has shown that appeasement does not work with the Germans (remember WWII).

On the economic side, a USA judge has accused Argentina of half-truths about its debt payments (see US judge accused Argentina of ‘half-truths,’ but USA has more serious ones of its own).  Whether or not that is true, the truth is that the USA has greater debt issues than it has led the rest of the world to believe.  And this will not end well for the USA (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8).

It was reported that China may make provisions to accept more of the world’s version of ‘Christianity,” and that Pope Francis is heading Asia (see China moving toward one world religion! Pope to conduct mass in South Korea).  The Babylonian inter-faith and ecumenical movements continue to gain ground in many parts of the world.

The growing problem with the Ebola virus has also been in the news.  Ebola has reached four continents as international travel has impacted various visitors to affected areas in Africa (see Ebola hits 4 continents as death toll rises in Africa).  The Bible warns of pestilences (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:8) and this particular one has infected over 1700 and killed over 900 according to available statistics from earlier today.  Thus far, none of our members seem to have been affected as it has not been a major factor in countries our members live.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:

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.

Concluding Comments

Brethren, as I mentioned last week, when it comes to doing the work of God and living our own lives, these must be done in truth.  Here are some additional verses to consider:

5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,
Him I will destroy;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart,
Him I will not endure.

6 My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land,
That they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a perfect way,
He shall serve me.
7 He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence.
8 Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land,
That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord. (Psalms 101:5-8)

Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Luke 11:44,12:1-3).  We all need to live honestly as true and real Christians.


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.