Letter to the Brethren: June 29, 2017

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from the Five Cities region of California.

We have been busy mailing and writing literature, as well as planning for the Feast of Tabernacles.

BNP Magazine and Ten Commandments

We were able to mail out our latest Bible News Prophecy magazine (July-September 2017 edition of Bible News Prophecy) and newest booklet (The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast) to our English-language subscribers in the USA.

We had mailed out the international copies the prior week as they take longer to arrive.

I am pleased that we were able to get the booklet, The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast, out this soon.  Originally, I thought it would be mailed in December 2017, then aimed for September of 2017, but instead we were able to have it ready this month for mailing.

Getting it out earlier means that I can work on another new booklet, and that is in progress (with no particular anticipated date at this time).

But it is good that we have been able to continue to add booklets, and plan to keep doing so.

Feast of Tabernacles

As a reminder we plan to have three Feast of Tabernacles’ sites in North America for 2017 (services will begin the evening of October 4th and continue until the Last Great Day which is October 12th in 2017).

One site is San Diego, California. The plan is to hold services at the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina 2051 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, California 92106. Phone 619-222-0561 Fax 619-222-9760. Received a telephone call from the hotel today and made arrangements to change our meeting room to the Bay Room–this will assist the hotel as well as save CCOG money. For more information about this Feast site, contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email cogwriter@aol.com

Another site is in  Kingston, Ontario. The plan is to hold services at the Thriftlodge, 1187 Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7M 3E1. Phone: 1 800 706-0698  (local) 613 546-4411. For more information about this site, contact Herb Haddon, email hwhaddon@gmail.com

Richard Close has been working on having a limited site in Wichita, Kansas. The plan is to hold services on most days at the Wichita Public Library, Evergreen Branch, 2601 N Arkansas, Wichita, KS  67204. They are unable to get it on Columbus Day (which falls during the Feast of Tabernacles this year). and are trying to make plans for that day. For more information about this site, contact Richard Close, email closer@comcast.net

In earlier letters, I asked you to be thinking and praying about which site you may wish to attend this year. As soon as you decide, please email the person listed by the site. Please, those of you in the USA that have not contacted me, please let me know where you plan to attend.

There are also sites in New Zealand, the Philippines, and Serbia, as well as many sites in Africa. If you live in North America and wish to attend any of those sites outside the Western Hemisphere, please email me: email cogwriter@aol.com.

My wife and I have been looking into our flight schedules and expect to be in New Zealand in time for the Day of Atonement and the first half of the Feast of Tabernacles. We plan to spend the second half in San Diego this year. We look forward to seeing many of you again, as well as meeting some of you for the first time.

Our most current information is in the link: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017, which is updated as we get more information.


I am scheduled to be on the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN) at 2:00 pm Central Daylight Time (12:00 pm PDT) today. The host claims statistics demonstrate that he reaches millions each week. Dr. Deagle (the host) and I are expected to talk about various prophecies and how they relate to the USA and other lands.

Radio in Ghana

Speaking of other lands, we are also partially supporting radio in Ghana. The program there is on radio station OTEC Fm. Most of the funds are provided by those in Ghana and we are providing some financial support from the USA. The program has been for a half hour on Sunday evenings and the plan is to expand to one hour. Overseer Samuel Ofosu is the presenter. Here is some information he emailed me about it:

As you have requested , the program is self- sponsored an hour air-time covered preaching by myself on a station known as OTEC. 102.9 FM.  As we wrote to you earlier we afford only 30 minutes at the moment due to financial problems. However with your push , we would be upgraded with sufficient time coverage or additional station can be added with your help. Anyway I normally start from 7.00am to 730am every Sunday. We educate people  specifically on doctrine of the Church of God and the real reasons why Jesus came to this earth and the purpose of His second coming. And finally lessons from the Biblical truths  from brethren  like you abroad . At any rate Africa is Sunday observed Continent but With God’s grace and your vision we can make it , as such The Sabbath and The Festivals are mostly preached on the program.  Best Regards. Pastor Samuel . Ghana.

Radio has been used by the Church of God since at least the 1930s. It still reaches people and is a door we utilize (cf. Revelation 3:7-8; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 16:8-9; Colossians 4:2-4). In Acts it states, “they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27).

Rift Valley, Kenya

Received the following unedited email from Pastor Sawek from the Rift Valley in Kenya:

i greet you in the name of jesus christ. i greet you and your family
as well as your church.we are well here in kenya, rift valley. our
churches are going on well. the churches in mau Narok, Transmara ,
Bomet grett you.we had general meeting at chilani . churches from
various places as well those who have been attending together with the
new members during the meeting.it was a big metting composed of
elders,women and youth.in addition we had also prayers for the
churches in Nakuru,Njoro which we shall opened it on eighth of july .
brethren from that area have been calling us,despite the fact that
they have been coming for the feast here in transmara.due to the fact
that yuo had a lot of work with pastor ochieng for travelling
different part of the world , pastor ochieng have has given us that
date of august eighth to visit that area of Nakuru with him . we shall
be there on that day though i do not know the exact day of going there
, whether exactly on eighth or earlier , ochieng knows.i have given
those brethren the report in rift valley. i and pastor william kirui
will go there.when we return there we shall visit  kapolecho where we
did not go due to the Nairobi conference, we had given them an
opportunity to go but was broken due to that conference , therefore,
pastor ochieng proposed it.we are asking for prayers because we shall
be there on twenty ninth of july God willing with pastor ochieng.we
are thanksfull,for the Nairobi conference. it a waken people from
different pars and that is the reason we have a lot of callings. in
connection with those callings we can attend others as rift valley
pastorand others we can attend with pastor ochieng. repeately we are
appealing if possible , you can help us to build a large hall at
chilani.where we can do feasts and where brethren can have where to
sleep for the meeting and offices. we look foward for that .lastly,
greet for us brother and elder , Alexander. we still remember for his


It is good that things are going well over in the Rift Valley region. However in my email response, I informed Pastor Sawek that due to holding the conference in Nairobi this year and needs in other parts of the world, we do not have the funds to pay for a large hall to be built this year. We will see if providing some support of this should be a higher priority next year, but it is not something we expect to be doing at this time.

Cabbage in Kenya

The seeds we sent to Kenya are being productive. Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following photo today:

Rose and Tabitha Akoth weeding the cabbage patch

It is good that the physical seeds we sent to Africa are bearing fruit. The spiritual seeds we have sent there are as well.

World News Items

The ‘Islamic State’ has suffered some losses (see Islamic State down, but not out: Will something replace it?). While I have written for years that believe that its current leader (who may be dead–see Russia says it may have killed Islamic State’s Caliph Baghdadi) will not be the prophesied King of the South of Daniel 11:40-43, there are many Muslims who do want a confederation of Islamic nations in the Middle East and North Africa. One will form (cf. Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-8).

Directly or indirectly, US President Donald Trump continues to dominate much of the news. His (correct in my opinion) decision to not host an Islamic Ramadan dinner seems to have offended parts of the media (see Donald Trump breaks White House ‘tradition’ related to Ramandan). Some of his statements have gotten many around the world to turn more away from the USA (see Pew poll concludes US image in the world tarnished because of Donald Trump, but what about CNN and Edward Snowden?). Despite optimistic financial views that some have (see Janet Yellen does not believe that there will be another financial crisis ‘in our lifetimes’), the time will come when the USA will be replaced as the main power of the world. The Anglo-American dominated world will be replaced by a European power, led by the ‘Beast of the Sea’ of Revelation 13. USA debts (Habakkuk 2:6-8) combined with European and media disdain for Donald Trump are leading to something that those who do not understand biblical prophecy have no idea is coming (cf. Daniel 11:39; Isaiah 10:5-11).

Now, it is not just Donald Trump that is a factor in what is happening with Europe. The Brexit vote from the UK is also a factor (see France and Germany push Europe over Brexit) and formal Brexit talks have began (see After Brexit talks begin, EU pushes military spending and is disappointed with UK). Change is happening in Europe, and not all of it will be good.

Over in Germany there are calls for less governmental surveillance (see Germans pushing for less government surveillance, but will end up with more than they bargain for), and perhaps they will get some restrictions. Yet, the time will come when there will be so much surveillance that one will not be able to buy or sell without “the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette, which for many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Canadian censoring of the Bible. Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & Miracles. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

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. Some people have found that if their internet connections are not fast enough, that they can simply listen to the messages that are found at the new Bible News Prophecy online radio channel. IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE BibleNewsProphecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

Jesus taught:

20 … “Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich,
For you have received your consolation.
25 Woe to you who are full,
For you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now,
For you shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
For so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:20-26)

Brethren, do not think it strange that many people speak evil of us and the Continuing Church of God. Jesus said that His people would be hated and reviled–and many of you realize that this happens to us on the internet pretty much daily.

Despite their hate, we must press towards the Kingdom of God.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer

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.