Letter to the Brethren: May 1, 2014

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

After being back in the USA for a few weeks, finally I feel like I am partially caught up.  Between the Spring Holy Days and being gone, it was difficult keeping up with daily activities that this work is involved in.

There were several projects that I wanted to get to and some progress was made in the last eight days or so on some of them.


One project that we have been working on is related to booklets.

Our initial booklet, The Continuing History of the Church of God, was released as a “draft” in order for it to be ready for the conference we held in Kenya a few weeks ago.  Since the conference, we have made some minor edits, additions, and format fixes, and should have the non-draft edition available later this month.

We are getting closer to getting a booklet on faith and I will update you on that as it gets closer.  A draft of this booklet was submitted to one of our volunteer editors in New Zealand.

Furthermore, we have started on a booklet tentatively titled Where is the True Christian Church Today?  It will take some time before this will be done, but it has at least been started.

Various ones, especially those with a Church of God background have asked for more information about why the Continuing Church of God represents the true remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God as discussed in Revelation 3:7-13.  While others without a Church of God background wish to know why to support a COG group like the Continuing Church of God.  This expected booklet, along with our other materials, should to help explain why the most faithful Christians would clearly want to support the Continuing Church of God.


Ended up doing a radio interview yesterday.  This is over the Genesis Communications Network, which reaches millions.  I provided warnings about the ecumenical movement, Marian apparitions, Pope Francis, Iran, Damascus, pestilences, and the USA in light of biblical prophecy.  I also discussed salvation and explained that the way that Pope Francis is advocating is not what the Bible teaches.  The host of the radio program highly praised the www.cogwriter.com website for its vast content and documented research.  This may bring more people to learn more about the truth.

I am scheduled to be on radio again on May 8th at 12:06 pm PDT on the ‘Nutri-Medical Report’ where prophetic and biblical matters are expected to be discussed.

Unleavened Bread Reports

Got the following report shortly after sending out the last letter to the Brethren:

I have waited for long not to send feast report because I was still waiting to get the report from Tanzania. The reports from Tanzania have not reached me till now. So I just decided to send the report minus their report(s).

It was a blessed feasts of passover and unleavened bread, according to reports I received from all our congregations. We had six different sites of passover and unleavened bread. These are Siaya, Ndhiwa, Nyakach, Migori and Kisii had two different sites.

6 Congregations gathered at Ndhiwa. These are Ndhiwa, Mbani, Rakoro, Oriang, Kiseke and Rongo. The services were conducted by Pastor Evans Ochieng and Bathlomew {Otieno}. The attendance was very good and this is the first time for us to have a large number composing of 45 This is the number of people who partook passover. Then days of the unleavened bread we had 82. The number was large this year because many people came from different COG and join CCOG. Many are visiting CCOG website and some are coming a cross CCOG literature which are giving CCOG credit in Africa because of prophecies Dr Bob is touching. These books are really touching many people and most of them are migrating to CCOG. there is light that CCOG is the only true church of God which is going to finish the work. The only group which did not came with us is Abura…

7 congregations also gathered at Ramula Siaya. These are ;-Malanga, Kambare,Ugenya, Ramula, Akala, Seme, and Sakwa. The services were conducted by Deacon John Ogada. 32 people partook the passover. and 67 joined on the days of unleavened bread. The zone is very safe and heavy wind which is now moving round KENYA to protect their people from joining CCOG have not affect these zone. THEY are fully CCOG members.

2 congregations gathered in upper NYAKACH where 12 people sat for passover. These congregations are still new in church but rich in faith. most of them were baptized during my baptismal trip when we were approaching the Nairobi conference.

1 congregation sat in Migori which was led by Nimrod Ondigo. They were four people who partook passover and there is another group in Migori that had funeral issues.

2 congregations sat at different sites in Kisii. One was led by Ezekiel Oanda and another one was led by Elijah Osiemo.

Evans Ochieng is the Regional Pastor for the Continuing Church of God for East Africa.  We also have supporters in Sudan and Uganda.

We also received positive comments from New Zealand and others, as well as our scattered brethren who used our online Passover service this year.

Feast of Tabernacles

We currently expect to have at least ‘regular’ three Feast of Tabernacles’ sites (USA, New Zealand, Kenya), plus perhaps one in the Philippines and possibly others in remote parts of Asia. (See also Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014.)

If you are planning on coming to the Feast of Tabernacles’ site in the USA, please send contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email cogwriter@aol.com.  The expected location is in Pensacola, Florida.

We need to know how many to expect so that we can narrow the location down.  One facility, that looks promising, has limits to how many can attend and we need to decide between it and another location.  This will partially be determined based upon how many people write and say that they plan to attend.

Study the Bible Course

The third lesson of out Study the Bible Course took a lot more work and editing than the others.  Since we are basing this on an earlier course of the old Radio Church of God from the 1950s, there were many specifics that needed to be updated.  And while that has been true for other lessons, this particular one took a lot of work.  To reduce the probability of inadvertent errors, someone who has volunteered to red-edit the lesson was sent this one.  After that review it should be published.

We have also started the process of getting the fourth lesson going.  This, however, will take several months, and that is part of why we start working on the lessons months before they are released publicly.

Internet and Radio

April was a strong month for us reaching people over the internet and on radio (cf. Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20).  On a combined (radio and internet basis) we reached millions, and more millions than we typically reach in a month.

April 2014 set a record for us on the internet for our Spanish language website cdlidd.es as well as our Filipino directed website pnind.ph. All the websites had a good month.

We have plans that we believe will help us reach people better on the internet as well as better over the radio, and those are projects we are starting to work on.

World News Events

During the Days of Unleavened Bread, much of world instead observed Easter. Over in Jerusalem, the Eastern Orthodox believe that ‘Holy Fire’ appeared last Sabbath (see Easter, Obama, and ‘Holy Fire’).  The Orthodox believe that this ‘miracle’ (which happens out-of-sight for the members) occurs each year.  It is claimed to have been happening for the past 1,200 or so years.  This type of sign/lying wonder keeps many in the Orthodox faith.  The time will come when the signs and lying wonders will become more public (2 Thessalonians 2:9) and will deceive all who do not have ‘the love of the truth’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Also in Israel, the near-term prospects for a comprehensive peace deal seem dim.  Even the USA is concerned that it will not now happen (see Obama says peace process is on ‘pause;’ Netanyahu demands Hamas agreement be ripped up; Will COGs recognize the Daniel 9:27 agreement?).  Israel states it will not make a deal with the terrorist group known as Hamas, so there is no likely peace deal soon.  While one could come, it likely will take war and/or terrorism for the deal mentioned in Daniel 9:27 to take place.  The more I review biblical prophecies, the more convinced I am that other groups that claim to be part of the Church of God will misunderstand certain key events.  There are several reasons why the Bible shows that some true Christians will be protected (Revelation 3:7-13; 12:14)  and others not (Revelation 3:14-22; 12:17) from the coming ‘hour of trial’ (Revelation 3:10).  Wrong priorities for the work, improper spiritual growth, and prophetic misunderstandings will abound at the end, which is why only a few will be subject to the type of escape and protection that Jesus spoke of (cf. Luke 21:36).

In nearby Egypt, there was outrage over the death penalty proclamation of hundreds of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (see CNN: ‘Egypt court sentences hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death’).  Its condemned current leader claims that this will lead to the downfall of the ‘interim government’ in Egypt (see Condemned Muslim Brotherhood leader claims death sentences will result in the toppling of the Egyptian regime).

On the ecumenical front, there is more Protestant and Catholic acceptance of religious ordinances of both groups (see WCC and ecumenical baptismal acceptance between Catholics and Protestants)–apparently Protestants less and less feel that the final Antichrist will claim to be Roman Catholic.

Over in Vatican City, Pope Francis ‘canonized’ (declared as Catholic saints), two ecumenical pontiffs.  Pope John XXIII, who with Vatican II, set the stage for what has been happening.  And Pope John Paul II, who made a couple of deals with the Lutherans.  Pope Francis also appealed to ‘Mary’ when he made his canonization prayer (see Ecumenical Marian message of dual papal canonizations).  Despite biblical warnings against it, the ecumenical movement is going forward.

The situation with Russia remains in the news.  Pro-Russian supporters seem determined to bring more parts of Ukraine under Russian dominance (Protesters seize building in Luhansk, Ukraine; Russia denounces sanctions and Kiev acknowleges losing control of east; Guardian blames Kiev).  A Eurasian confederation is prophesied to come to pass and some of what is happening now is related to that.  However, the bigger picture is that what Russia and its supporters are doing is sending a signal to the Europeans that they need to put greater emphasis on their armaments (see Europe and USA divided on Russia; should Europe step up its independent military capacity?).

Last Sabbath I posted information about weather and tornadoes (see Oklahoma and Texas brace for tornadoes: What does the Bible prophesy about tornadoes?).  This past week saw a lot of difficult weather in parts of the USA.  Jesus predicted ‘troubles’ (Mark 13:8) as part of the beginning of sorrows.

Throughout the world, the threat of pestilences is increasing.  Not only did Jesus warn of that (Matthew 24:7), the World Health Organization is getting concerned (see WHO calls antibiotic resistance a ‘major global threat’ and comments on MERS).  Antibiotics, including the stronger ones, are having problems.  Pestilences will come (Revelation 6:7-8).

We are getting closer to the time of the end, but the end is not yet (Matthew 24:6).

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)–and, of course, we have written article options that we list each week.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

Brethren, we need to put God first, sacrifice our lives for Him, and not be conformed to the world around us.


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.