Letter to the Brethren: January 23, 2014

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

Out here in California we have had unseasonably, near record high temperature, weather (though not today), whereas parts of the USA and Canada have been colder than normal.

Weather issues are sometimes used by God to send people a warning message, but most ignore what this might mean.  I believe that God is not pleased with the homosexual agenda and other immoral trends in these lands (see Drought disaster declared in 11 Western states; any relationship to homosexual agenda? and USA and Canada hit by extreme weather).  And even today, another US state leader, Virginia’s Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced that he would not defend Virginia’s constitutional ban on gay marriage as he claims this is ‘unconstitutional,’ despite him taking an oath to defend Virginia’s laws about two weeks ago.  The trend is not good.

YouTube Channels

What is one way to reach the world with the truth about the gospel of the Kingdom?

Because of the worldwide reach, limited budgets, and limited time availability, we in the Continuing Church of God chose to utilize YouTube videos, as opposed to television, to reach people with the truths of the Bible.

We are reaching thousands this way (we have had over 142,000 views).  Although if one looks at how the latest video or two tend to be doing on any given week, it often looks like only we only have a few hundred views. But that first glance look is misleading, because over time, more and more watch the older videos.

Since my last report on this, I noticed that we have been averaging over 3,500 views per week.  While this is not where we want to be (we want to reach more), it is nice that thousands have watched and are watching our videos.  In this modern age, many in the West are no longer paying for digital television via cable, but instead watching what is available online and elsewhere, and this trend may help us in many areas.

We have reached people in at least 200 hundred countries and territories around the world with our Bible News Prophecy and ContinuingCOG channels (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20).

Positive Email Related to a Post

The New Testament shows that the Apostle Paul frequently felt the need to defend his teachings, apostleship, and ordination.  But a balance, according to the Book of Proverbs is necessary:

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.  (Proverbs 26:4-5)

So, it is likely that the Apostle Paul weighed which false accusations to respond to.  This is still an issue today.

A long-time reader of the COGwriter.com website who is not part of the Continuing Church of God sent me the following email in response to my post titled Satan’s Plan and how James Malm, David Pack, Ron Weinland, Roderick Meredith, and others have helped promote it:

That was a good article – an excellent response to the accusers who say you are a false prophet when in fact they are the ones who are proven to be false prophets.  It’s really funny in a way.  Here we have these groups repeatedly making false prophecies when the JWs have learned their lesson and stopped making predictions about the future with specific dates.  In that sense those COG groups are worse than the JWs and one would be better off becoming a JW (with ignorance) than belonging to any of those COGs.

One thing I found out about you is you do not make prophecies like those other COGs to the extent of attaching specific dates.  That is a good thing.  We know what is about to happen in the not too distant future; we simply do not know the exact timing although we can watch and see the jigsaw pieces fall into place as time passes.  I believe if one studies the scriptures close enough one can easily become very aware of where we will be in the timeline as we come closer to the end.  Patience is required, and many do not have that, but you do.  That’s why I like to follow your articles, although we do have our disagreements in a few other areas.  Please keep up the good work.

It is often difficult to decide when to respond and when not to respond to some of the ludicrous statements about me on the internet, but it is nice when even outsiders agree it was appropriate.

But, because so many have repeated false accusations against me for properly referring to non-biblical prophecies, I thought that the post and this week’s recommended sermonette (Do Prophets Cite False Prophecies?) would help some who may be misled by various hypocritical false accusers.

Prayer Request

We received the following prayer request from Migori, Kenya:

Please pray for one of the Church members Mrs Risper Ojuki, she old lady here in the Church, and a widow, but since yesterday she is not feeling well, she has malaria. We know that God will heal her through prayers.

Malaria is a factor in that part of the world.

World News Events

Photos resembling the WWII Holocaust made the news this week, purportedly from Syria.  Thousands are believed to have been tortured and starved (see Syria discussions and Syrian holocaust).  While many thought this would happen “never again,”  the Bible indicates otherwise (cf. Matthew 24:21-22; Lamentations 1-5).  When I saw the images from the Syrian prisons, it made me wish to pray more fervently for God’s Kingdom to come (cf. Matthew 6:10)–quickly (cf. Revelation 22:20).

In the USA, its Treasury Secretary is warning that it needs to again increase its debt ceiling (USA needs to increase debt limit sooner than expected)–which is not much of a ceiling as it is often raised.  While US government officials act like this can continue indefinitely, it cannot according to Bible prophecy (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8).

US President Obama is supposed to meet with Pope Francis on March 27th of this year.  Both leaders have made statements that homosexuals and economic socialists have tended to like.  It would seem that if the two work towards the same goals that the Bible warns against that the Antichrist power will rise up quicker than would have been otherwise expected (see also Barack Obama to meet Pope Francis in March).

Speaking of Pope Francis, Cardinal Kurt Koch is pleased with the ecumenical path that Pope Francis is advocating (see Cardinal Koch on the ecumenical movement and Pope Francis).  The Bible warns against that, yet men who claim their faith has something to do with the Bible seem determined to overlook that (see Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? and/or watch Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?).  Cardinal Koch is one that I have long felt, if he lived long enough, would be the final Antichrist or at least support his objectives.  Currently, Cardinal Koch is at least promoting and supporting objectives of Antichrist.

One aspect of Antichrist will be the promotion of false religion.  A Vatican panel recently finished the first part into its investigation of the claimed ‘Marian’ apparition that allegedly regularly gives messages to some in Medjugorje (see Vatican: Medjugorje report submitted).  If the Vatican approves of any of this, not only will it be approving something false and blasphemous, it will be approving something that is very ecumenical.  And, for a time at least, the final Antichrist will be very ecumenical.  Former Pope Benedict XVI and various members of the Catholic clergy have distanced themselves from Medjugorje in the past for various reasons, including wrong and false statements.  However, since many Catholics supposedly have became more ardent Catholics because of it, various ones in the Church of Rome have claimed that Medjugorje is beneficial and thus must be from God.

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).

Brethren, we all need to trust God more. Hopefully, this week’s sermon will help some that way.  Furthermore, pray that we all will:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

There either is a Creator God or there is not.  And since there is, Christians should truly trust Him.


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.