Letter to the Brethren: February 20, 2014

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

In addition to regular matters, we finalized the dates and location for an upcoming conference with church leaders in Kenya.  I also purchased my airline tickets to go there.

In addition to having leaders come who are in the Continuing Church of God (CCOG), leaders in some other groups have asked to come.  It is hoped that we will be able to better explain what the Continuing Church of God is all about, go over matters of doctrine & prophecy, deal with administrative matters, and go over what is going on in respect to the final phase of the work.

I also ordered some Bibles, CCOG banners, and a few song books to take with me, and if I have room, plan to bring some other books and magazines as well.

London, England Trip

Because of the Kenya trip, airfares, and timing of the Sabbath, I did also arrange to be in London, near the Heathrow airport (still need to make hotel reservations) on the Sabbath of March 29, 2014 ( I am scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon and leave Sunday morning).

If you are in the United Kingdom (or anywhere else that allows you to come) and wish to meet with me, please contact me directly.   My email address is cogwriter@aol.com.


Last week I announced that we now are on Flipboard. Our Flipboard name is Bible News Prophecy you can also find us under Prophecy News.

We have not paid to advertise this, but have already had hundreds of views.  This is another door that has been opened to us and I am grateful for the work that Shirley Gestro has done on this.


Got a last minute opportunity to do radio today, so I discussed matters such as the USA’s direction with marijuana, “Blood Moons,” the false end of the world prediction for this weekend, the homosexual agenda, and some information about Vatican plans related to the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill.

It is possible that I will be on the Genesis Communication Network next Thursday, February 27th at 3:06-3:59 pm EST, which is 12:06-12:59 pm PST, for the show named the Nutrimedical Report.  While this is sometimes a difficult door to manage (as the host and I have differing prophetic/doctrinal views on various points, it is his program and I’m simply a guest), the host is a Sabbath-keeper who keeps the Holy Days (though he is not COG).  This show does reach a lot of people interested in prophetic matters and is broadcast on scores of radio stations.   We in CCOG are willing to go through doors that others sometimes either cannot or will not.

The host of this show has often shown a willingness to link articles and/or our YouTube videos to his website related to topics that we discuss.  This provides a second opportunity to reach people from doing a radio interview.

Booklet Development

One of the projects that I am hoping to complete this year is one or more booklets.  Booklets tend to be shorter and sometimes less technical than some articles.  One specific project that I have been working on is taking a book that I have been working on that comes out at 1700 booklet size pages and trying to get it into a booklet 5% of less of that size.

This has been a daunting project, but I hope to get this done.  Afterwards, there are probably other booklets that can be developed.  My schedule is so full that it makes it difficult to get to this, but I do believe that having booklets will really help those interested in the truth learn more of the truth, and perhaps then truly commit to Christ.

One recommended sermon for a few weeks ago (Faith for the Called and Chosen) was based on a 4 page article that I wrote five years ago, that I added about another 14 pages to.  It is possible that this could be turned into a booklet, as well as a booklet related to a sermon I gave last month titled Sermon: Is it logical to believe in God?

I also have other booklets in mind (such as one on the Holy Days).  Just keeping up with the weekly sermons, sermonettes, member issues, email issues, daily posts, magazine production, etc. takes a lot of time, yet my plan still is to try to squeeze some booklet projects in.

World News Events

The USA took steps to make it easier for people to legally be in the marijuana business (see Obama Administration relaxes financial restrictions for marijuana sellers) and the State of Kentucky then announced steps to produce marijuana (see Kentucky to move forward with marijuana production).  These steps come around the same time more scientists are realizing that toxic chemicals contribute to autism (see More scientists linking toxic chemicals to autism in the USA), so as marijuana use becomes more mainstream, we may expect to see more autism and other problems develop.

The USA decided to eliminate having a ceiling on its debt until at least March of 2015 (see USA has now decided against an official debt limit).  The USA is already the most indebted nation in the history of humankind and the fact that it continues to increase its debt will not end well for it (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-7).  While many disbelieve that, the Bible tells that calamity will come upon those who did not think it could happen (cf. Amos 9:8-10).

Russia offered the Ukraine more money for its economic problems, yet thousands intensified their protests against the Ukrainian government (see After Russia offers more money, there are more protests in Kiev).  Ukraine basically means ‘on the edge’ and being on the edge of the European Union and Russia puts Ukraine in a difficult position.  There were many killed in Ukraine this week related to the protests there.

Over in the UK, because of all the odd weather, The Guardian asked if people should get a lot more prepared for disasters (see Guardian asks: Is it time to join the ‘preppers’?).  The post at COGwriter about that also included comments from one or more Iranian leaders that Iran will cause internal damage (as opposed to weather damage) to the USA.  People do need to prepare, both physically and spiritually, but most tend to do neither or mainly prepare physically.  And many do not believe that disaster can come.

In prophetic news, there is a Viking prophecy that the ‘end of the world’ will begin this weekend.  This will not happen and I denounced this prediction yesterday (see ‘Viking Apocalypse’ predicted for February 22; Scientists concerned about risk of collider destroying Planet Earth).  Because of frequent false ‘end of the world’ predictions, many have hardened their hearts and do not believe that this age really will end.  But it will come to pass (2 Peter 3:1-14).

In Vatican City, Pope Francis urged his followers to not be afraid of Catholic confession (see Pope Francis declares: “Do not be afraid of Confession!”).  His views did not agree with the practices of original Christians, which I also briefly discussed in the sermon Confess to God and truly repent.

Speaking of the Vatican, Israeli news reported today that the Vatican wants the area known as Mt. Zion (see Vatican continues to press for control of Mt. Zion building).  I absolutely do believe that the Vatican will get control of the main building there.  It may also be that the Continuing Church of God will have one or more roles related to this building.  It may be of interest to note that a photo of part of this building was on the front cover of the first edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine, is on our songbook The Bible Hymnal, is on our letterhead, and my CCOG business cards.

Over in Africa, Uganda announced a law against homosexuality and was condemned for that by US President Obama.  Uganda, also repulsed by Western clothing trends and sexual immorality, also announced restrictions on the public display of female flesh (see Uganda takes moves against sexual immorality).  Uganda has attempted to take some biblically-appropriate moves, yet may be subject to sanctions by the USA and other nations.  Of course, Islamic nations are often more restrictive on such matters (beyond what the Bible would endorse), but sanctions against them for these type of positions have not been seriously proposed by the international community.  I commend those in Uganda that are trying to stem the tide towards increased acceptance of sexual immorality and public pornography and am appalled by various aspects of Western hypocrisy.

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. So, this is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to improve that as well).

Concluding Comments

Notice the following from the Book of James:

7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.  (James 5:7-11)

Brethren, build character, and always strive to follow Jesus and live as a Christian.


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.