Letter to the Brethren: July 24, 2014

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

More work was done on the planned Behind the Works video for 2014.  This is intended to be out around the time of the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles.

Feast of Tabernacles

We finally received the signed contract back from the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport hotel which is to be the location for the USA Feast of Tabernacles’ site in 2014.

This means that the location is now legally set for this site.

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 are links to a discounted rate on the rooms/suites there:




We picked this particular hotel because they offered the best meeting room rate and they have free parking available for guests and visitors. You do not need to stay at this facility to attend the Feast of Tabernacles nor book it through the links that they provided us. They also have valet parking which they charge for.

As far as other accommodations go, TripAdvisor lists 328 hotels and 9,922 vacation rentals (houses, condos) in Orlando. There are also several camping sites in or near Orlando.  TripAdvisor lists 3,102 restaurants in Orlando.

Here is the expected schedule for services for this site:


Wednesday, October 8, 2014.  Services: 7:30 pm.

Thursday, October 9, 2014.  Services: 2:00 pm.

Friday, October 10, 2014.  Services: 10:00 am.

Saturday, October 11, 2014.  Services: 2:00 pm.

Sunday, October 12, 2014.  Services: 10:00 am.

Monday, October 13, 2014.  Services: 10:00 am.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014.  Services: 10:00 am.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014.  Services: 10:00 am.

Thursday, October 16, 2014.  Services: 2:00 pm.

We expect to add some possible group activities as we get closer to the Feast itself. There is a place called ‘The Holy Land Experience’ that might be interesting to visit and there are many activities for children and families in the Orlando area.

Last year, we had a site in Northern New Zealand, and in 2014 a more southern location was chosen for this year. Here is information from an email I received yesterday from John Hickey:

A bit cold down here in the middle of our Winter, but it won’t be long and it will start to warm up again and the Feast will be upon us before we know it.  We are holding the Feast in Tawa which is a suburb of Wellington.  Far enough away to be out of most of the traffic but close enough to be within range of all the places of interest.

For more information, contact John Hickey, email john.h@vodafone.net.nz.

In Kenya, it is expected that Ndhiwa will be used as the primary Feast of Tabernacles’ site, but there could possibly be others. We just ordered 200 additional songbooks for Kenya, which cost us a lot to print and ship, but that will be needed for not just the Feast, but for various congregations we have in Kenya.

If you are not from Africa and want to attend here, please realize that this is not a wealthy area and is not a site for those who expect various Western comforts.  However, this will be a unique experience for any who do decide to attend here.  This site is expected to have people from Kenya and Tanzania.  Though there could be a location chosen in Tanzania and another in Kenya as well. For more information, contact Evans Ochieng, email evochieng74@gmail.com.

We expect to have a video group site in the Philippines (Silay City).  For details, contact Oscar Mediavilla via email hansmeidavilla@rocketmail.com.

We could, perhaps, have other locations this year.  There is one group in India and at least one in Kachinland that claim a distant affiliation with us.  There are also some in two other countries that do as well.  If additional sites are to truly happen, we plan to announce them.

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

Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda

Received the following from the recently CCOG-affiliated Pastor Elijah Maaya Osiemo:

Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Here in Kisii we are doing fine. How about you there in America? Am glad to inform you that CCOG is doing well here in Kenya and many brethrens are thankful for the booklets which you do prepare for us to grow the church. Especially we thank you for the vision you have for Africa
Again thanks for Elder Evans meeting with us this last Sabbath here in Kisii and sharing with us more about the coming kingdom. Were able to receive the Bible prophesy both in English and Swahili. Praise God! We on translating CCOG Bible history in Ekegusii.

Kisii is a city located in southwestern Kenya. It is the main urban and commercial center in the Gusii Highlands & the South Nyanza region. Many there speak Ekegusii, and we some day hope to have some of our materials in Ekegusii.  As the above shows, steps are being made.  The fact that we have had materials in English as well as Kiswahili has also helped us there.

On other African news, I received the following in an email from CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng (I edited out the names that are missing for privacy reasons):

Pastor Dr Bob,

Thank you very much for the weekly update.

Soon I am going to let you know if we shall have two feast sites in Kenya. My plans are to have one site in Kenya so that I will have a better chance at the feast to explain many things and plans of CCOG…

But I am worried of the big number which we have in Kenya that the site sometimes cannot accommodate the whole number. These is the reason why we may have 2 sites. It is good to have the feast site in Tanzania…


The printing was successful. This time we printed 340 Kiswahili magazines and 325 English versions of the Bible News Prophecy magazine. The biggest number of Kiswahili magazines I gave to congregations in Tanzania. They were very happy with the magazines…

I made many trips this month.  We shall be busy with the arrangements of the feast sites.


I  made a trip to Nairobi to print the magazines and when  I was in Nairobi i went to sheria house to check how to register the church in Kenya. I made the plans and I will go back next week on July 24 From sheria house I traveled to Eastern province to meet 16 brethren at different areas who were with me in  (another COG). I have stayed for many years before I met them. They had been calling me many times to go and meet them. That trip was successful, even though I spent most of my time in answering very many questions, which I hope was a successful to God’s church (CCOG). I spent most of my time in hotels. I was afraid of staying in remote areas because of AL SHABAB  which now a days attacking our country every now and then, especially this eastern and north eastern parts.

After traveling back from Tanzania I moved to go and meet XXXX from Uganda  at the border. He wanted me to move with him in Kampala but my finances status could not allow me to reach in Kampala.

We agree that I will travel to Kampala before the feast of Tabernacles. He told me that his family is a large family who  are learning with him from WWCOG till now. They had been having problems because many COG splinters have been cheating him that they are working with them but failing him. So we talked honestly and agreed in our terms of work. He was very happy to meet me and he gave a comment that he met a good man. I try to tell him that none is good except God. It was a happy time to discuss with …


I have tried to distribute our magazines to most of our congregations except Kisii where I will go tomorrow (July 19) to give them magazines…

The work in Kenya is big and large. Thank you very much for great work you have done for the work in Kenya to make it succeed.


Despite the dangers (there was a terrorist bombing in Nairobi the morning after I arrived last Spring and several since), we are reaching many in Africa.

Notice an admonition from Jesus:

2 The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2)

The harvest is plentiful in certain parts of Africa and we try to go through the doors we have the human and financial resources to go through.

Please pray as Jesus said to.

World News Events and Sorrows

Fighting continues in Eastern Ukraine.  The West is blaming Russia for fanning the flames there, a charge that Russia tends to deny (see MH17: Australia’s Abbott claims cover-up, Russia blames Ukraine, & EU not united and Vladimir Putin blames Ukraine for the downing of MH17 and Ukraine increases fighting in Donetsk).

The battles between Israel and Hamas have been continuing.  The US FAA ordered US airlines to not fly into Israel’s Ben Gurion airport for 24 hours because of safety concerns (it later extended the ban, then canceled it).  Many airlines, such as those in Canada, the USA, and the Netherlands suspended flights on their own (see Airlines and FAA Suspend Flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, while John Kerry want Hamas and Israel to agree to a cease fire). The Bible says to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), yet we know that real peace will not come to that region until after the return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom–yet even after the millennium, Satan will incite trouble to be directed to that region (Revelation 20:7-9).

Over in Iraq, the proclaimed “Islamic State” has contributed to hundreds of thousands fleeing to be near the Kurds as the Islamic State is killing and persecuting (see ‘Islamic State’ terrorizing, killing, and persecuting).  While this does not seem to be affecting any directly in the Church of God, the time will come that worse persecution will affect us (e.g. Daniel 7:25).

There have been weather troubles in Asia and the USA (see Typhoon Matmo and plague hit China; record heat California, record fires in Washington–blame the Polar Vortex?) as well as some problems with diseasees (see also Chikungunya virus now in Florida).  Speaking of diseases, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that eating bats (a biblically unclean animal, per Deuteronomy 14:11-18) increases the risk of getting the deadly Ebola virus (see FAO warns of Ebola virus risk from eating fruit bats).  Bats are commonly eaten in many parts of Africa and the FAO is trying to discourage that.  Research out of Canada in 2012 indicated that pis (another biblically unclean animal, see Deuteronomy 14:3,7-8) may also spread the deadly Ebola virus (see Pigs May Spread Deadly Ebola Virus).  Avoiding biblically-unclean meats is beneficial to one’s health.

A report came out which concluded that 42 US states are expected to be a risk of significant earthquakes this century (see Earthquake risk in 42 US states: earthquakes in diverse places?).  There are, thus, known earthquake risks, in various parts of the USA.

Jesus taught:

4 Take heed that no one deceives you.  5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)

The term “sorrows’ in Matthew 24:8 could also be translated as “birth pangs” (NASB), which essentially conveys the idea that problems will worsen.  And actually, Jesus taught that after the gospel of the kingdom has been successfully preached to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14), there will be persecutions and fleeing (Matthew 24:15-20), followed by a terrible time:

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)

We appear to be witnessing some of the “birth pangs” prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

In the USA, its President Obama signed another law to support the homosexual agenda (see President Obama again pushes homosexual agenda with LGBT order). The Atlantic had a couple of articles claiming that “evangelical morality” is considered outdated by many young people (see Evangelical morality unsustainable?) and that Protestants needed to change if they want to attract people.  The rise of sexual immorality is becoming even more prevalent in American society. The Bible shows a correlation between certain weather problems and sexual immorality (see Does God Use Weather?).

Booklets Now Available in the Spanish Language

Had to work a lot with the graphics company to get it put together the Spanish language version of our two booklets.  It seems like I have been over there about ten times to work with them on this.  But now they are done.  It takes longer to coordinate the various foreign language materials than most probably think.

Here is a link to the English version of the booklet Continuing History of the Church of God  and here now is a link to the Spanish version of the booklet: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Here is a link to the English version of the booklet Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen and here now is a link to the Spanish version of the booklet Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido.

Our Spanish translator also translated more materials.  Here are many more links:

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
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
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?
German-Russian relations a prelude to the end of USA dominance?
Relaciones ruso-alemanas, ¿Un preludio al fin del dominio de los EE.UU.?
Bye, bye Blackbirds?
Adiós, adiós, golondrinas?
Washington begins marijuana sales and New York legalizes it
Washington comienza ventas de marihuana y New York la legaliza
Germany’s Merkel upset about USA espionage
Merkel de Alemania molesta acerca del espionaje de los EE.UU.
M&M: ‘World War III has ALREADY started’
M&M: ‘La III Guerra Mundial YA ha comenzado’
The Great Tribulation cannot begin before 2018
La Gran Tribulación no puede comenzar antes de 2018
VOA: Islamic insurgency fueled by the web
VOA: Insurgencia islámica alimentada por la red
The Prophet Hosea: His messsage will affect those in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
El profeta Oseas: Su mensaje afectará a aquellos en los EE.UU, el Reino Unido, Canadá, Australia y Nueva Zelanda
Seven Churches of Revelation
Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis
Time: Snowden asks for extended stay in Russia, and German outrage at USA grows
Time: Snowden pide extender su estadía en Rusia, e indignación alemana hacia los EE.UU. crece
Islamic State acquires nuclear materials: a dirty bomb threat?
Estado Islámico adquiere materiales nucleares: Una amenaza de bomba sucia?
Priscilla and her husband Aquila
Priscila y su esposo Aquila
Israel, Gaza, Ukraine: Wars and Rumors of War
Israel, Gaza, Ucrania: Guerras y rumores de guerra
CBS on main problem with USA economy; COGwriter provides missing biblical points
CBS sobre principal problema con la economía de los
EE.UU.; COGwriter suministra puntos bíblicos que hacen falta
CG7 on the ‘unpardonable sin’ and offer of salvation
CG7 sobre el ‘pecado imperdonable’ y la oferta de salvación
Germany, US Espionage, Drones, Blitzkrieg, and the World Cup
Alemania, espionaje de los EE.UU., Drones, Guerra relámpago, y la Copa Mundial
Congressman questions logic of atheistic evolutionists
Congresista cuestiona lógica de evolucionistas ateos
The Prophet Joel: Are parts of his prophecies being fulfilled now?
El profeta Joel: ¿Están cumpliéndose hoy partes de sus profecías?
USA admits mishandling of Anthrax and H1N1, plague case in Colorado, and there is Ebola in Sierra Leone
EE.UU. admite mal manejo de Antrax y H1N1, caso de plaga en Colorad, y hay ébola en Sierra Leona
Can the ‘Rapture’ happen tomorrow?
¿Puede suceder mañana ‘el rapto’?
Cartwright’s Journal: CG7 Strife, Bricket Wood Reunion, UCM Dissolution, and Why Separate COGs?
Journal de Cartwright: Conflicto de CG7, reunión en Bricket Wood, disolución de UCM, y por qué COGs separadas?
Kiev’s Poroshenko vows revenge for missile attack and his warplanes are bombing in the east
Poroshenko de Kiev promete venganza por ataque de misil y sus aeroplanos están bombardeando en el este
Middle East wars: Libya, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Gaza, & Israel, with new terror threat to USA and the West
Guerras del Medio Oriente: Libia, Irak, Siria, Irán, Gaza, & Israel, con nuevas amenazas de terror a los EE.UU. y Occidente
CBO worsens outlook on USA as debt and debt projections rise; Fed still wants ‘stimulus’
CBO empeora perspectiva sobre los EE.UU. en cuanto la deuda y las prospecciones de la deuda suben; la Fed todavía quiere ‘estímulo’
Karl Guttenberg on USA espionage and damage to US-German relations; He calls Obama the ‘most detached President’ in decades
Karl Guttenberg sobre espionaje de los EE.UU. y daño a las relaciones Alemania-EE.UU.: Él llama a Obama el ‘Presidente más distante’ en décadas
CGOM’s James McBride and the Bible on prophecy
James McBride de CGOM y la Biblia sobre profecía
Kiev accuses Russia of again sending in officers and mercenary troops, and there are battles in east
Kiev acusa a Rusia de nuevo de enviar oficiales y tropas mercenarias, y hay batallas en el este
Jean Claude Juncker elected President of the European Commission; He wants Europe center-stage and technologically advanced
Jean Claude Juncker elegido Presidente de la Comisión Europea; él quiere una Europa centralizada y tecnológicamente avanzada
UK Anglicans approve females to be bishops
Anglicanos del Reino Unido aprueban que las mujeres sean obispos
Syria’s Assad begins 3rd term and warns West of terrorism he says it is causing
Assad de Siria comienza tercer período y advierte a Occidente del terrorismo que él dice que está causando
Noah’s ark evidence to possibly be confirmed in 2014 or 2015?
Evidencia del arca de Noé posiblemente será confirmada en 2014 o 2015?
Persecuted’ film, coming persecution, Iraqi persecution, and unearthing Jonah?
Película ‘Perseguido’, la próxima persecución, y desenterrando a Jonás?
UCG’s Sabbath answer and Hebrews 4
Respuesta del Sabbath de UCG y Hebreos 4

We strive to go through all the ‘doors’ we can to proclaim the Christ’s gospel of the kingdom (cf.2 Corinthians 2:12).

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 concludes with:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Brethren, we need to live as Christians.  We need to have the right type of fear towards God and keep His commandments.  We also need to realize that we too are subject to His judgment for everything we do..


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.