Letter to the Brethren: May 15, 2014

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

Been working on expanding certain articles and updating matters.  Although I would prefer not to put together sermons and sermonettes pretty much every week, one advantage to that is that it gets me to look into certain articles and matters in more detail, and thus, I believe strengthens the materials we have available.

Baptisms and Major Gains in Kenya

As I mentioned last week, Evans Ochieng, CCOG’s Regional Pastor for East Africa was to meet with another group who had previously asked to become part of the Continuing Church of God.  He also was going to meet with many who requested baptisms.

Here is some of his report about that:

Greetings from Kenya.

It was a busy and successful sabbath yesterday when we met different
congregations in Kisii. The first meeting was at Eberege where we
baptized 6 people.  Our representative here is Ezekiel Oanda. Oanda was
among the leaders who were in Nairobi and when I remember, he gave you his address, ID card photocopy and may be e-mail address.

What I wondered about was how come this congregation is growing very fast.   I found that the number is very much larger than before. Most of the people around this region are SDAs and I think this is the major reason why they are getting the truth very fast. Every time I do a Bible study with this group when I come back I do get good growth.

I was accompanied by Simon Okeyo who did the sermonette. He covered a topic about the importance of baptism and why baptism is very important in our life.

After that I was introducing the subject, from our booklet, on the CONTINUING HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD.  It took a very long sermon because I wanted to explain about why CCOG is on the front line to finish the work at this age. Since people were many and it was late, it forced me to provide lunch for the day. The number of attendees was 57 adults ans 18 children. After the services we went to the river where we were going for baptism. It was a very happy day and the whole congregation was happy. I gave them booklets on the Continuing
History of the Church of God, Bible News Prophecy magazines, and few bibles. When we left the group, there was a full joy.

After that baptism ceremony we rushed to go and meet Elijah Osiemo and
the three congregations. We took a very long time when discussing
church matters with these congregations because I wanted them  to see
the differences between CCOG and other  COGs. we met  people who were
formerly under  {other groups}.  After a long and thorough discussion, they confirmed to us that they are fully members of CCOG…

We also talked about the translation of our Statement of Beliefs and Continuing History of the Church of God booklet into the Ekegusii language. We agreed on this point that is going to shoot straight away. We agreed that after translations, they will be edited and taken for printing. The Statement of Beliefs in Luo is also going on which is being translated by my son Felix who is in university.  The Continuing History of the Church of God booklet is also going on being translated in Luo.

I met Charles Mokoro…and he confirmed that he is now fully CCOG member.

Our trip of yesterday was very much fruitful and added more strength
to CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD which also shifted the CCOG number from 17  to 21 congregations.. We also talked about giving Ekegusii bibles to members of the church in kisii who are lacking bibles. One bible is costing kshs 850/-. We agreed that after printing the BNP magazine into Kiswahili, we will buy the Bibles for all congregations in Kisii. Elijah told me that he has already translated hymnal book into kiswahili so the only thing that I will do is to talk with a musician who can edit it and after that it can be taken for printing.

Now concerning the work in Kenya, it needs a proper support.I was
trying to provide church history and the magazines. Many missed to get
them because the number is higher than what we had  in stock as our total number of members are over 500. So serving this people needs a proper management in Kenya, financially and with literature  because the door is open for work.

I will travel to Nairobi tomorrow for printing the magazines…
We are planning to have a leaders’ meeting after my trip from Tanzania
before I travel to Uganda.

May God bless you, your family and the work you are doing

Evans Ochieng plans to go to Tanzania next week.  Our financial needs to support the work in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are great, and we are doing the best we can with what God encourages our supporters to provide.

We in CCOG are proclaiming the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14), teaching all things that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), and bearing fruit (Matthew 7:16-20).

Durban, South Africa

A married couple from South Africa contacted me a few days ago and said that they now wish to be part of the Continuing Church of God.  They are considering possibly attending the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014 with us in Kenya.

But they really would like to attend regular Sabbath services with others in the area of Durban, South Africa.  We do have some scattered supporters in South Africa and if any wish to try to form a congregation, please email me (cogwriter@aol.com).

We get requests from people in different parts of the world to attend local congregations, and we mainly have to tell them that they will need to be faithful until we have enough people in their area to form a congregation.

If, no matter where you live, you would like to try to host a congregation in your area, please email me (cogwriter@aol.com).  We are getting additional scattered supporters so hopefully we will end up with congregations near YOU, even if there are none now.

While being so scattered is difficult, the reality is that this is similar to what happened with the old Radio Church of God and the start of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God.  People were scattered until there were enough members for more congregations to form.  Unlike the 1930s and 1940s, we now have the internet available, so at least those with sufficient access to it can watch sermons and sermonettes on the Sabbath, as well as have a song service.  That is something to be grateful for as we ‘plant seeds’ that we expect will bring forth a major harvest.


As announced last week, I did a radio interview today.  This was over the Genesis Communications Network, which reaches millions.  I spoke about the deal of Daniel 9:27 in that interview and why various Protestants, Catholics, and even people in the Church of God will not recognize the deal once it happens.

Feast of Tabernacles

We need your help.  If you are planning on coming to the Feast of Tabernacles’ site in the USA, please  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.

Please let us know as soon as you can.  Thank you.

World News Events

Those in two sections of eastern Ukraine voted for independence from Ukraine on Sunday (see Eastern Ukraine votes for independence: Kiev upset, Russia pleased).  One of the areas has already asked to become part of Russia.  While Russia is interested, it is proceeding a bit slowly in order to reduce international outrage.  The Bible tells of a time when the ‘Kings of the Medes” will get together (Jeremiah 50-51) and what has been happening in Ukraine and in Moldova may be setting the stage for this.

Also on Sunday, I watched an interview on CNN of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.  In that interview, he mentioned that there is growing anti-American sentiment in certain parts of Germany (see Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on CNN tells of selective anti-Americanism growing in Germany).  This appears to be related to the Edward Snowden espionage links and the refusal of the USA to treat Germany as much as like an ally as the USA treats the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  This will not end well for the USA (Isaiah 10:5-11).

Over in the Middle East, the USA encouraged several of the Arab nations to build up their militaries this week (see USA urges Arab peninsula military unity: a step towards the King of the South?).  The USA does not seem to realize that they will be involved in a deal in Psalm 83 that will also not turn out well for the USA.

Pope Francis is supposed to go to Israel later this month.  While there he is intending some ecumenical and inter-faith meetings, but also plans to conduct Catholic mass in the area known as Mt. Zion.  There was an Israeli politician that is encouraging Israel to give the Vatican ‘Mt. Zion’, which includes the building known as the Cenacle as well as what is claimed to be the tomb of King David (see Reform leader calls for Israel to Give ‘Mt. Zion’ to Catholic Church).  This sparked protests and a later denial by Israel that it would not turn the grounds over to the Vatican (see 200+ Jews protest the idea of the Tomb of David and ‘Mt. Zion’ Church to be given to the Vatican).

A former Argentinian soccer star has denounced the Vatican and encouraged Pope Francis to donate more to the poor (see Deigo Maradona says that the Vatican is a lie).  Should Pope Francis do this, that could be a factor in getting more people to accept his coming ecumenical religion (cf. Revelation 13 & 17).

Over at the COGwriter website, I reported about the fact that the homosexual lobby is going after critics of the homosexual agenda (see Homosexual lobby getting its revenge against critics).  Although that lobby is not now focused on church leaders, that too may change.  The homosexual lobby wants to squelch free speech and does not like people holding to biblical views against homosexuality.  The time will come when there will be even less free speech than today–and the homosexual lobby seems to wish to be a factor in that.

On the health and morality side, a new study from the World Health Organization reports that 3.3 million people per year die from ‘binge drinking’ alcohol (see WHO, Binge Drinking, and the Bible).  We warned about the dangers of binge drinking in the Bible News Prophecy magazine, and the Bible warns against drunkenness.

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:

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.  (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Brethren, live like a Christian.  Allow God to build the type of character within you to last for all eternity.

Note:  There is a chance that next week, or the week after, this letter will not be emailed to those who have requested it.  If you do not receive it by Friday, May 16, 2014, there should be a version available at the Letters to the Brethren link at the CCOG.org website.


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.