Letter to the Brethren: July 17, 2014

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

A very full week of answering emails, counseling, working on literature, making videos, and planning for the upcoming Fall Holy Days.

That planning also including working quite bit on the planned Behind the Works video for 2014.  This is intended to be out around the time of the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles.

CCOG Registrations

We had some inquiries from Canada in the past week.  A couple of people emailed me and asked if the Continuing Church of God is registered as a charitable organization to allow for the tax deductibility of contributions made from there.  I spent time looking into this, made some telephone calls, and if all goes as hoped, hopefully some will assist us so that we will be able to apply later this year.

We currently have that type of registration in New Zealand and California (and the entire USA is covered).  We are also in the process of registering the Continuing Church of God in Kenya.

Reaching the World on Radio

I ended up being a last-minute radio guest yesterday.  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 subjects covered include the red heifer, animal sacrifices, the ‘peace-deal’ of Daniel 9:27, the rise of the King of the South, the return of Jesus Christ, and the threats of terrorism from various Islamists.

Reaching the World Over the Internet

Although our AWStats program still has troubles not counting some days, between that and the report we received from Google yesterday, it appears that we reached between 2,800,000-3,000,000 different people last month over the internet.

In addition to that, our latest statistics show that our YouTube videos are averaging over 3,200 views per week.  We are reaching people in many forms of media.

Feast of Tabernacles

We signed a contract with the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport hotel to be the location for the USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site in 2014.  We are awaiting the signed contract back from them.

Its address is Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport • 7550 Augusta National Drive • Orlando, Florida 32822.  As the name implies, it is near the Orlando, Florida airport.

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.

As mentioned last week, 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–but we have not received it yet.  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.

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

World News Events

The top leaders of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have been meeting this week.  They are working on a plan to reduce the world’s dependence on the USA dollar.  They also agreed to set up their own alternative to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) so they can try to operate more independently of the West (see BRICS take another step to reduce USA dollar dominance).  The Bible shows that final time of the Gentiles will come (cf. Luke 21:24), and while things will not work out as the BRICS probably want, the idea that the USA dollar will lose its dominance in the world is true and that will come to pass.

USA debt is one of the reasons the USA dollar will fall (sorrows, troubles, etc. will be other factors).  The USA remains on a path to continue to increase its debt and the rate seems to be worsening (see CBO worsens outlook on USA as debt and debt projections rise; Fed still wants ‘stimulus’).  Habakkuk 2:6-8 tells of a time when the heavily indebted will be taken over.  The USA is the most indebted nation in the history of humanity and is facing destruction.

The USA disclosed it had some problems with pathogens (see USA admits mishandling of Anthrax and H1N1, plague case in Colorado, and there is Ebola in Sierra Leone).  In addition to ‘natural pestilences,’ some are concerned that government laboratories could accidentally trigger one.

Over in the UK, the Church of England decided to allow women as bishops/overseers (see UK Anglicans approve females to be bishops).  This, of course, is contrary to scripture (cf. 1 Timothy 2:11-12; 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-7), but again the Anglicans have many other teachings and practices that are unbiblical.

The Germans remain upset with the USA over its espionage practices and policies (see Germany, US Espionage, Drones, Blitzkrieg, and the World Cup).  Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a possible candidate to the final King of the North of Bible prophecy, told CNN that the USA seems detached from what it has done and does not seem to realize that this has truly upset many in Germany (see Karl Guttenberg on USA espionage and damage to US-German relations; He calls Obama the ‘most detached President’ in decades).  Although I made the recommended sermonette for this Sabbath prior to reading that interview, Herr Guttenberg’s comments are consistent with some I do quote (watch Is the USA Pushing Germany to Start WWIII?).

In the Middle East there have been wars and rumors of war (see Middle East wars: Libya, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Gaza, & Israel, with new terror threat to USA and the West).  Israel and Gaza have been firing missiles/rockets at each other, and some of that also happened today.

Yesterday, Syria’s President Assad began his third term and warned the West and others that their actions were going to have terror-related costs (see Syria’s Assad begins 3rd term and warns West of terrorism he says it is causing).  While he has a point, his region is not going to remain the way it has been.  The Bible tells of a soon-coming time when Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed (see Isaiah 17:1).

Fighting has been going on in Ukraine.  And today, a Malaysian airliner crashed with 295 people aboard.  Both the Kiev government and the separatists are blaming each other for this (see Ukrainian jet shot down; Russia claims USA is using blackmail; Malaysian flight crashed in Ukraine, was it shot down?),.  This crash is a horrible event that is causing many to suffer.

A news event that many may have missed was the election of Jean Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission.  Some report that this is the most powerful single position in the European Union (see Jean Claude Juncker elected President of the European Commission; He wants Europe center-stage and technologically advanced).  He made some statements that I would like to quote and address in the next section.

The Election of Jeane Claude Juncker

On July 15, 2014, Jean Claude Juncker was elected to become the next president of the European Commission.

Here is something he said the day he was elected:

“I don’t want a Europe that just watches others while they are acting, sits there twiddling its thumbs while others move ahead,” Juncker, fluent in French, German and English, told the EU Parliament today in Strasbourg, France, during a speech in which he switched among all three languages. “I want a Europe that is at center stage.”  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-07-15/juncker-wins-eu-parliament-support-for-top-commission-job

Notice that the European Commission president elect is stating that he wants EUROPE CENTER STAGE AND NOT WATCHING OTHERS.  In other words, Jean-Claude Juncker wants a Europe that is not passive, but a world leader.  He is telling everyone that he wants Europe to lead and no longer have to follow the USA.  The time of Jacob’s trouble is coming (Jeremiah 30:7).

Here are quotes from a document he authored on July 15, 2014 (bolding in the source document:

As we enter the new legislative cycle following the European Parliament elections in May 2014, the time has come for a new approachI see it as my key task to rebuild bridges in Europe after the crisis. To restore European citizens’ confidenceI want a European Union that is bigger and more ambitious on big things, and smaller and more modest on small things

My first priority as Commission President will be to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and to stimulate investment for the purpose of job creation . I intend to present, within the first three months of my mandate and in the context of the Europe 2020 review , an ambitious Jobs, Growth and Investment Package…I do not believe that we can build sustainable growth on ever – growing mountains of debt…

The focus of this additional investment should be in infrastructure, notably broadband and energy networks as well as transport infrastructure in industrial centres; education, research and innovation; and renewable energy and energy efficiency

I believe that we must make much better use of the great opportunities offered by digital technologies , which know no borders…By creating a connected digital single market, we can generate up to € 25 0 billion of additional growth in Europe in the course of the mandate of the next Commission, thereby creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs , notably for younger job – seekers, and a vibrant knowledge – based society…To achieve this, I intend to take , within the first six months of my mandate, ambitious legislative steps towards a connected digital single market, notably by swiftly concluding negotiations on common European data protection rules…

We need to diversify our energy sources, and reduce the high energy dependency of several of our Member States…I strongly believe in the potential of green growth. I therefore want Europe’s Energy Union to become the world number one in renewable energies . I would also like to significantly enhance energy efficiency beyond the 2020 objective

We need to bring industry’s weight in the EU’s GDP back to 20% by 2020, from less than 16% today. This should ensure that Europe maintains its global leadership in strategic sectors with high – value jobs such as the automotive, aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries. To achieve this, we need to stimulate investment in new technologies, improve the business environment, ease access to markets and to finance, particularly for SMEs, and ensure that workers have the skills industry needs.

A continuing priority is to finish fixing the problems of our banking sector and to boost private investment. I have been a strong supporter of the development of stricter controls on banks through a Single Supervisory Mechanism and a Single Resolution Mechanism with a Single Resolution Fund that will be built up progressively. My Commission will be active and vigilant in ensuring that we implement the new supervisory and resolution rules fully , making European banks more robust so that they can get back to lending to the real economy…

I will notably press ahead with administrative cooperation between tax authorities and work for the adoption at EU level of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and a Financial Transaction Tax…

I want to launch legislative and non–legislative initiatives to deepen our Economic and Monetary Union during the first year of my mandate…

Under my presidency, the Commission will negotiate a reasonable and balanced trade agreement with the United States of America…However, as Commission President, I will also be very clear that I will not sacrifice Europe’s safety, health, social and data protection standards or our cultural diversity on the altar of free trade. Notably, the safety of the food we eat and the protection of Europeans’ personal data will be non – negotiable for me as Commission President…

Data protection is a fundamental right of particular importance in the digital age. In addition to swiftly finalising the legislative work on common data protection rules within the European Union, we also need to uphold this right in our external relations. In view of recent mass surveillance revelations, close partners such as the United States must convince us that the current safe harbour arrangements really are safe if they want them to continue. The U.S. must also guarantee that all EU citizens have the right to enforce data protect ion rights in U.S. courts, whether or not they reside on U.S. soil. This will be essential for restoring trust in transatlantic relations…

I also believe that we need to work on a stronger Europe when it comes to security and defence matters. (Juncker JC. A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change: Political Guidelines for the next European Commission. Strasbourg, July 15, 2014. http://ec.europa.eu/about/juncker-commission/docs/pg_en.pdf)

I have warned for years that Europe would utilize technology to rise up (see European Technology and the Beast of Revelation), and now, the person elected to hold the most powerful position in the European Union has put out a document proving that is his intent.  He wants to do this without massive debt.  Jean-Claude Juncker wants to raise taxes and seeming plans on implementing new ones (cf. Daniel 11:20). Notice that Jean-Claude Juncker WANTS THE USA TO AGREE TO STOP COLLECTING MASSIVE DATA ON THE EUROPEANS AND TO ACCEPT EUROPEAN DATA STANDARDS and wants a stronger European military. Notice also that Jean-Claude Juncker wants stricter controls on banks.

The Bible tells of a time of a successful military power in Europe rising up that will have greater financial controls:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”  (Revelation 13:1-4)

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.  (Revelation 13:16-18)

Jean-Claude Juncker wants a Europe that is capable of fulfilling those prophecies.  The Bible shows that it can only be in Europe that the final Beast of the sea can rise up (cf. Daniel 7:2-8; (Joshua 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16; see also Europa, the Beast, and Revelation).

UK Prime Minister David Cameron fought hard to prevent Jean-Claude Juncker from gaining the presidency of the European Commission.  He felt that the policies of Jean-Claude Juncker may well persuade voters in the UK to pull out of the European Union.  The departure of the UK from the EU has been called a Brixit or Brexit, meaning a British exit. As far as the UK’s role in the future, as I have written many times before, the UK will not remain a major power in the final European configuration. The UK will be taken over and essentially devoured by the Beast power. And it may well leave prior to its final formation.  The UK could vote to leave as early as 2016.  The UK may well leave or renegotiate something with the European Union by 2020.

The Bible tells of a time when Europe will rise up for the last time and dominate the world for a short while.

Related to, but slightly prior to this, it tells of a leader who will rise up and raise taxes in Europe.  Notice:

20 “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle.  (Daniel 11:20)

Based upon his stated positions, this could possibly be Jean-Claude Juncker.

We will have to see if he does raise taxes and then die/be destroyed somehow.  If so, he could be the one that is to somehow be replaced by a ‘vile person’ (Daniel 11:21) that will be the final King of the North, the final Beast of the Sea leader of biblical prophecy.  This is something to watch (Mark 13:37).

A European power is struggling to rise up (Daniel 2:41-43).  Most in the world do not realize what is really happening in Europe.

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:

18 Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction. 19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. 21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel — that will stand.  22 What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. (Proverbs 19:18-23)

Brethren, we are to correct our children when needed, but also need to realize that our heavenly Father corrects us.  God’s ways work best, but we do not always understand that as well as we should.


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.