Letter to the Brethren: December 4, 2014

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Another week closer to the return of Jesus Christ and the coming millennial kingdom of God.

In addition to attempting to coordinate matters in many locations, I personally worked on putting together articles for the Bible News Prophecy magazine, while also editing and updating another lesson for the Study the Bible Course.

There have also been a lot of issues in Africa and the east coast of the USA that I have been working on, which have taken a fair amount of time.  We must “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14), despite issues and obstacles that come up.

Report from Africa

Received the following report from the border area of Kenya, which includes some information on matters in Tanzania:

It has been weeks full of blessings amid challenges. Challenges that strengthen our faith and blessings as we see God calls His people into the church [ John 6:44]. As the work expands, we who are called to do the work have to pull our socks to work diligently.

Bro. Grantone and I managed to visit Paul {Last Name Removed}, whom you baptized in Nairobi, in his home in Arusha-Tanzania. We shared with him the word of God and we were gad to meet sister {Name Removed}-who was converted from being a Muslim to CCOG after sharing with Paul for sometimes. She has been benefiting so much from the Kiswahili BNP. She is very eager to be baptized and she therefore requested us to inform Pastor Evans about it.

On our way to Mwanza  where we were going to see bro. Simon before taking  a bus to Arusha, I received a phone call that one of the workers,who was helping in digging the well was bitten by a snake while in the hole. There has been a lot of construction going on to complete the meeting hall in Kehancha town and what was remaining was the water source and some painting. We could not help the victim but we only prayed for him. We were glad to hear that he was healed when he was taken to the local hospital.

So far we have completed the hall of meeting and we have started fellowship in it. A certain brother volunteered for this and we have greatly thanked our God for His grace, mercy and favor. We have seven members gathering in it for the last three weeks.

Note: For safety reasons I did not include the name of the Muslim women who converted nor the last name of the one who assisted her nor the last name of the man who submitted the report.

Anyway, the Bible News Prophecy (BNP) magazine is assisting us throughout the world, with the Kiswahili version assisting mainly in Africa.  Kiswahili is highly used in parts of Africa, especially Tanzania.   Here is a link to the latest issue of the BNP magazine in Kiswahili: Okt-Des 2014  UNABII WA BIBLIA: MwanaFiladelfia wa Karne ya 21 ni nani?

We also hope to have materials in two additional African languages in the future.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that I just received a scanned copy of the CCOG registration in Kenya.  Today is the first day that I saw it and it does have the name wrong (says “Continuing Church of Jesus Kenya”, instead of “Continuing Church of God in Kenya”), but we were told that this will get fixed.


Over in New Zealand, progress has been made on our online radio station, Bible News Prophecy Radio:

Now that the CCOG global radio station is up and running smoothly.  This is an opportunity to add the different languages to the radio programme if our brethren our willing…

I have also created  ‘The Gospel of the Kingdom’ – short msg’ parts taken from your Sermon, with orchestral background music, we have the music broadcast license for this.  I have attached it for you to listen at your leisure it is only 2 & 1/2 mins approx, it has been added to the radio programme. …

Eventually I will like to add the CCOG Sermons.  Once everything is finalised I can do a proper broadcast schedule. …
p.s.   Bill is working on the radio/station id/slogan and the biblestudycourse advert/msg.  I will be editing it to put some bible in the news theme sound effects behind the radio/station id slogan.

“Bill” above lives in the U.S.A.  The radio project is being headed up in New Zealand, and while much of the work is being done there, some in the U.S.A., Africa, and Asia are also participating.  I would love to have someone who speaks Spanish also get involved.  If you have the ability to speak clearly in Spanish, please contact me and perhaps you can be involved in this project as well.

Now, I was able to listen to the ‘The Gospel of the Kingdom’ message at the Bible News Prophecy Radio site.  It almost sounds like I spoke those words just for the spot on the radio, where in reality, it was simply pulled from a sermon with background music added.  This radio presence may help a lot as we go forward to proclaim the “gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness” (Matthew 24:14).

Spanish Articles

Received the following articles from our Spanish language translator:

Houston pastors’ sermon notes on homosexuality subpoenaed
Conminadas referencias de sermón de un pastor de Houston a la homosexualidad
Kirk Cameron’s Christmas movie seeks to save paganism
Película de navidad de Kirk Cameron busca salvar al paganismo
Iran nuclear talks reaching ‘deadline;’ Russia a concern
Conversaciones nucleres con Irán alcanzando ‘fecha límite’; Rusia una preocupación
Islamic State to issue its own currency to remove itself from Satanic usury
Estado Islámico va a emitir su propia moneda para apartarse él mismo de la usura satánica
Farage’s anti-EU party gets a big win in UK and eyes more in May
Partido anti-UE de Farage consigue una gran votación en el Reino Unido y todos los ojos más sobre mayo
Fed Chair voices concerns similar to Pope Francis, Ban Ki-Moon, and Barack Obama
Jefe de la Fed expresa preocupaciones similares a las del Papa Francisco, Ban Ki-Moon, y Barack Obama

Islamic State’ pours reinforcements to Kobani and outside Bagdad; Turkey and USA talk
‘Estado Islámico’ realiza refuerzos en Kobani y afuera de Bagdad; Turquía y los EE.UU. conversan
Drive: HWA’s fourth ‘law of success’
Empuje: Cuarta ‘ley del éxito’ de HWA

We are producing a lot of materials in the Spanish language (español/castellano).  We are working on fulfilling Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.  Our Spanish language website is CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios.

We also working on materials in other languages and hope to some day, for example, to get a booklet in the French language.

World News Events

Europe is still concerned about Russia and Ukraine.  European leaders met this week to determine if they should develop the next generation of the Ariane rocket so that Europe would not have to depend on Russia or the U.S.A. to launch various payloads (see Europe considering Ariane to replace need for NASA and Russia).  After meeting, the Europeans decided to produce the sixth generation of the Ariane rocket (see Europe agrees to develop Ariane 6 rocket).  Europe is moving forward in its space and military technology (see European Technology and the Beast of Revelation), but most in the world do not realize the ramifications of the ‘land of the Beast’ doing so.

In his State of the Union type speech today, Russia’ President Vladimir Putin defended the annexation of Crimea and basically said that the problems Russia faces is that the USA does not want it to rise up and that Crimea is an excuse for sanctions (see Putin defends Crimea annexation; Moldova’s election seemingly points to EU).  There was an election in Moldova this week that one observer said represented a choice between “pro-European crooks and pro-Russian crooks.”  The European Union side seems to have won, but there are concerns about the election.  Russia wants Moldova and got close to having its side win the election.  Ultimtately, even if Moldova and Ukraine end up in the European Union for a time, they still have ties to Russia.

The vote in Taiwan (see Taiwan moves for more distance from China, but…) and the protests in Hong Kong (see Hong Kong government attempts to stop protests) were in the news this week.  China is attempting to see how to influence both of those areas to be more supportive.  China wants them closer, while most in Taiwan and Hong Kong prefer a more distance relationship.  The Bible tells of a time when the ‘Kings of the East’ will get together militarily (Revelation 16:12), after the USA is gone.  So, despite what many in Taiwan and Hong Kong may prefer, prophecy indicates that they will align closer with China.

There was another terrorist incident in Kenya this week (see al-Shabab kills more in Kenya; Al Qaeda threatening European air travel).  And while it is not in an area where we have a congregation, the repeated killings by the terrorist group al-Shabab in Kenya does affect the entire nation, and sometimes impacts the ability of our supporters over there to travel.

Circumcision made the news this week.  The CDC in the USA finally caught up with some governments in Africa and officially concluded that the benefits of male circumcision outweigh any risks involved (see CDC finally supports circumcision: Health Benefits of Circumcision).  While the New Testament does NOT REQUIRE that converted males get physically circumcised (Acts 15), the practice of many in the Church of God throughout history has been to circumcise male infants at 8 days of age, consistent with Leviticus 12:3. The conclusion that the CDC came to that circumcision is better than the alternative is consistent with the Bible.

Last week Pope Francis spoke about ‘the end of the world, and then went to Turkey for a few days (see Pope Francis, the Blue Mosque, and end of the world). Yesterday Pope Francis explained how he and the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew are working for “the re-establishment of full communion between Catholics and Orthodox” (see Pope Francis speaks on his plans to re-establish full communion with the Eastern Orthodox).

As far as the “end of the world” goes, Pope Francis is essentially teaching that he does not not know the details, but he implies that his ecumenical and inter-faith agenda will bring peace. Notice what a pro-Vatican news agency reported about his knowledge of the end of the world:

Christians throughout history — starting with the disciples — were filled with questions such as when the end will come and what will happen to the created world, Pope Francis said.

No one knows the answer to those questions, the pope said Nov. 26 at his weekly general audience, but Catholics are convinced that the end of time will not bring the “annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us.”

God’s plan, he said, is to renew everything in Christ and “bring everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.”

The Bible teaches that a false peace will come, followed by the war-filled Great Tribulation, and that peace and renewal will not come until the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the millennial portion of the Kingdom of God.  Pope Francis’ church says that teaching any version of that biblical truth is a doctrine of Antichrist (see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).  Pope Francis is leading the world to accept the final Antichrist, and he if were to live long enough, he could be that individual himself.

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

The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, KJV)

Brethren, we need to all keep God’s commandments.  They are for our good (Deuteronomy 10:13).  Both in this age, and the age to come.

Remain faithful.


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.