Letter to the Brethren: July 10, 2014

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

We were able to get the BNP magazine printed in Spanish in the USA.  They were also printed in English and Kiswahili in Kenya.

Here is a pdf link to the Spanish version: Noticias de Profecía de la Biblia Julio-Sept 2014: La próxima Unión Euroasiática.

Here is a pdf link to the Kiswahili version: Jul-Sept 2014 UNABII WA BIBLIA: Umoja wa Eurasia Ujao.

Here is a pdf link to the English version July-Sept. 2014 edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine.

Reaching Africa

Although we have many supporters in Africa, it can be a difficult region to reach.  Relatively few have regular internet access or computers.  Many are poorer than Westerners seem to understand.  And then there are societal and governmental issues and pressures.

That being said, we are reaching Kenya and Tanzania with various leaders under the direction of our Regional Pastor Evans Ochieng. Pastor Ochieng is traveling often and tries to figure out how to best assist the needs of our brethren in Africa.  He also handles matters such as getting our magazines printed and distributed over there.

Here are excerpts from some of the recent reports from Evans Ochieng, with the first related to a group that contacted us recently and the second a group that contacted us just before our conference in Kenya (I left the names of the first group out as they are still quite new and I want them to study more before mentioning them by name):

Greetings from  Kenya.

I went to meet …  him with his family and his group. I found that he is keeping Sunday not Sabbath. I met his father and his brother who is  the chief of the area. All his family are Sunday keepers. So I took a lot of time to explain to them that Sunday is not God’s Sabbath.  They were surprised to find that Saturday is the true sabbath of God. After a long discussion They agree that they will change and keep sabbath. I left to them the Continuing Church history booklet and one Bible News Prophecy magazine. …

After that I went to meet Charles Mokoro and many brethren who were formerly remained with VWCG but have decided themselves to join CCOG. They called me to go and talk with the whole congregation. So I talked with them for along time till 6.30 pm They are now our members. We took a lot of time and my trip was very successful. I promised Manoti’s family that I  will send to them our books, especially FATIMA SHOCK and THE LASt POPE first.

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya.

The printing is now going on.

Pastor Evans Ochieng is traveling a lot and we are getting interest from those with as well as without a Church of God background.  He speaks Dholuo, English, and Kiswahili.

Kiswahili is widely understood in eastern Africa and it used quite heavily by those in Tanzania. Dholuo is widely spoken in western Kenya as well as parts of Uganda.  Having materials in African languages (other than English which is widely used) is one of our plans for this part of the world.

Future plans for the Continuing Church of God in Africa include the development of an Africa-specific website, listing of congregations there, as well as materials such as songbooks in multiple languages (Dholuo, English, and Kiswahili).  While some of the work for this is in process, we once again are facing a delay at there is another delay in the release of certain Africa specific URLs.  These were all originally supposed to be ready as of September 2013, then delayed until December of 2013.  And then further delayed to “early 2014.”  They were supposed to have been ready last week, but there is yet another delay until supposedly “late 2014.”

While this is frustrating, it has not deterred our determination to reach more people there and we continue to take the steps that we can until that door is open as much as we would like.

That being said, we have 20 or so congregations in Kenya and Tanzania.  Others have expressed interest in the Continuing Church of God in those areas, so more congregations are likely in the future.

In other areas of Africa, such as Sudan, Uganda, and South Africa, we have scattered supporters, but no specific congregations.  Over time, we suspect that this will change and we will end up with congregations in multiple African countries.

Reaching the World on Radio

I was a radio guest for about an hour on Tuesday.  This was on the Genesis Communication Network, Ku band satellite, part of Dish Network (the part that covers the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa), which have listeners around the world.

The main topic of discussion had to do with the coming ‘Islamic’ confederation that the Bible prophesies.  We talked about the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43) being a type of Islamic Imam/Caliph as well as how Satan has deceived Muslims and others to get them to support this.  We also discussed the Sabbath and why what Jesus said about it showed that He, but not practicing Orthodox Jews, believe about it.  I also brought up the return of Jesus Christ and the putting away of Satan during the millennium.

Reaching Asia with Literature

About once per quarter, I send literature to Lazum Brang in Kachinland, and  sometimes include a Letter to the Brethren.

This Tuesday we received the following in a mailed letter from Lazum Brang that he sent a month ago:

Greetings to you again from Kachinland.  With a lot of thanks, I write this letter to you.   On June 6 evening, I have gladly received a priority mail parcel from you.  And I thank you so much for your kind letter of April 10, 2014 along with two precious magazines and 3 booklets (CONTINUING HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD).  I can not express you how I was glad and happy to receive these precious magazines and booklets. And also, I thank you so much that we were mentioned in today’s weekly letter to the brethren.

I have noticed that the two magazines also contain our new study the Bible Course, which is based on the old Radio Church of God.  And I also have to know that you personally just returned from putting on a Conference for church leaders in Kenya and Tanzania and are trying to coordinate the Spring Holy Days there.  Despite your small size and relative lack of income, you have been able to reach millions over the internet and millions over the radio.  It is amazing for us that God is miraculously giving you more wisdom for His work around the world…

May God bless you and your ministries around the world very abundantly.

It is great that our literature can reach to such a technologically remote area.  Kachinland is a semi-autonomous region in the northern area of Myanmar, also known as Burma.   The native language their is Jingpho.


Because of the governmental change, Russia annexing Crimea, and other matters, Ukraine has been in the news a lot the past several months.

Perhaps I should mention that I received the following email on Wednesday:

Dear pastor Bob Thiel

thank you for booklet and new magazine.

In addition to a little literature going to Ukraine, we are having a lot of visits from Ukraine at our websites.  Troubled areas sometimes are more willing to receive the word.

Feast of Tabernacles

We have tentatively decided on the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport • 7550 Augusta National Drive • Orlando, Florida 32822, which is near the Orlando, Florida airport as the location for the USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site in 2014.

Here is some of what its website says about it:

Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport offers the classic charm of an exclusive home away from home with our newly renovated guest rooms, all featuring separate living areas and the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed. Conveniently located at Orlando International Airport, our all-suite hotel provides you easy access to all of Orlando.

We picked this particular hotel because they offered (by far) the best meeting room rate and they have free parking available for guests and visitors (many other Orlando area hotels charge visitors/guests between $5-$20 per day to self-park). They also have valet parking which they charge for.

They plan to give us a link to book rooms, which is at a discount.  You do not need to stay at this facility to attend the Feast of Tabernacles nor book through the link we hope to have later this month. Reasons for selecting this hotel include the fact that this location had the best rates for the meeting hall, does not charge visitors to park to self-park there, and has responded to requests.

We plan one Feast of Tabernacles site in New Zealand, in the city of Wellington.

We plan at least one site in Kenya in the Ndhiwa area, but may end up with another site in Kenya and/or Tanzania. We plan to make more announcements related to this in the future.

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

World News Events

The situation in Iraq continues to make the news and was partially why this week’s recommended sermonette was prepared.  It is titled Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?

There has been a major offensive by the Israelis into Gaza, as well as one by the Ukrainian government in Kiev against those to its east (see Israel, Gaza, Ukraine: Wars and Rumors of War).  We are seeing troubles, sorrows, wars, and rumors of war (Mark 13:7-8).

Over in Italy, Pope Francis made a direct appeal for people to not have to work on Sunday (see Pope Francis pushes for no work on Sunday–a prelude to a new Sunday law? What about Saturday?).  Pope Francis and various others in Europe seem to want to force Sunday as a day of rest, despite the fact that the Bible teaches that the seventh-day is the day of rest, including for Christians (Hebrews 4:3-9)–and that it is the disobedient who do not observe it (Hebrews 4:10-11).

Over in Europe, German Chancellor Merkel expressed her disappointment again that the USA keeps spying on Germany, this time because of a ‘double-agent’ that the USA allegedly hired (see Germany’s Merkel upset about USA espionage).  Chancellor Merkel continues to indicate that friends should not treat friends the way that the USA has been treating Germany.  Many in Germany, including those who have been supporters of the USA in the past, are getting upset with the USA.  Germany seemingly has decided NOT to renew a no-spy agreement that it has had with the USA since 1945 (see Time: Snowden asks for extended stay in Russia, and German outrage at USA grows)–this will not end well for the USA nor its Anglo-Saxon descended allies (cf. Isaiah 10:5-11; Daniel 11:39).  It is also reported today that Germany expelled a US diplomat for espionage and that Angela Merkel and others in Germany are getting more upset with the USA.  Some in Germany have said that all of this will not blow over (see The Snowden Leaks are Leading to the Destruction of the USA)–the ramifications for the USA will be disastrous.

As far as Angela Merkel goes, she also went to China (see Angela Merkel to China again; any ramifications for the USA, Australia, or New Zealand?) for various economic and political discussions.  The Europeans are taking steps around the world to support what they want–and to a degree, this will work for a time (cf. Revelation 13:3-8).

In the USA, another one of its states legalized ‘recreational use’ of marijuana, while another legalized what is claimed to be a ‘medical use’ (see Washington begins marijuana sales and New York legalizes it).  Many leaders in the USA do not see the dangers that marijuana poses even though many health experts tell of those dangers.

CBS reported that the problem with the USA economy is that Americans need a pay raise.  Many others in the world would tend not to agree with that conclusion.  Now, when I reviewed CBS’s article yesterday, I commented that the stagnation of USA income, along with its shift from being the world’s largest creditor nation to the world’s largest debtor nation, came as it began to legalize and accept more abortion and pornography (see CBS on main problem with USA economy; COGwriter provides missing biblical points).  Sin has a cost (cf. Proverbs 14:34) and most of the secular world totally overlook that.

Spanish News Items

As mentioned, we finally received the Spanish version of the BNP magazine back from the graphics company, so it is now available.

The primary volunteer translator of English into the Spanish language for the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) frequently translates Church of God News articles into the Spanish language. Here are the latest that he sent me:

Our Spanish translator translated the following news items this past week:

ISIL declares itself ‘Islamic State’ and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as caliph
ISIL se declara a sí mismo ‘Estado islámico’ y Abu Bakr al Baghdadi como califa
Ukraine, Moldova, and George sign deals with European Union; Russia not pleased
Ucrania, Moldavia y Georgia firman acuerdos con la Unión Europea; Rusia no complacida
‘The Coming Death of the Dollar’
La próxima muerte del dólar
‘Caliph’ calls for Muslims to move to his ‘Islamic State’
‘Califa’ llama a los musulmanes a moverse a su ‘Estado Islámico’
Infection-gate: A dangerous scandal hitting the USA?
Puerta de infecciones: Un peligroso escándalo golpeando a los EE.UU.?
Peter, Paul, Francis, and the Eastern Orthodox
Pedro, Pablo, Francisco y los Ortodoxos orientales
The Fourth of July and the USA
El cuatro de julio y los EE.UU.
Thomson Reuters predicts no food shortages after 2025, but what does the Bible predict?
Thomson Reuters predice ninguna escasez de alimentos después de 2025, pero ¿Qué predice la Biblia?
Caliph of Islamic State wants to conquer Rome
Califa de Estado Islámico desea conquistar Roma
Angela Merkel to China again; any ramifications for the USA, Australia, or New Zealand?
Angela Merkel a China de nuevo; alguna ramificación para los EE.UU., Australia, o Nueva Zelanda?
Pope Francis pushes for no work on Sunday-a prelude to a new Sunday law? What about Saturday?
Papa Francisco presiona por no trabajar en domingo –un preludio a una nueva ley del domingo? ¿Qué hay acerca del sábado?

This is a door (Revelation 3:7-9; 2 Corinthians 2:12) that the Continuing Church of God continues to go through. And we are pleased to offer as much material in the Spanish language as we do.

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 Proverbs teaches us:

1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.

2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

3 A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

5 The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand. (Proverbs 12:1-7)

Brethren,let us all love instruction and think the ways that God would have us think.


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.