Letter to the Brethren: May 29, 2014

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

We have been working a lot on booklets and aspects of the final phase of the work.

We (myself and the graphics company) made some edits, came up with the front and back covers, and added a bit more to our upcoming booklet on faith.  It is my hope to get that printed in time to be sent with the English language version of the July-September edition of the Bible News Prophecy magazine, which is now being formatted.

We are also working on making our history booklet a non-draft version.  We may eventually send out a copy of this edition later this year or early next year.  Our Spanish language translator has also translated that booklet into the Spanish language and now I plan to work with the graphics company for a Spanish language version.

Related to one aspect of the final phase of the work, we (this ‘we’ only being my wife and I) spent time trying to better understand Hinduism to see how we may be better able to get a witness to Hindus in Asia (cf. Matthew 24:14).  There are over 1,000,000,000 Hindus in the world, and they need to be better reached.  While it is God who calls (John 6:44), I now believe that I better understand how the ecumenical/inter-faith movement will be able to appeal to them, so hopefully that will better help us have a more effective witness to them.

Even though it is May 29th when I am sending this, because of time zone issues, many of you will receive this late on May 28th in your area.  Next week’s letter is expected to be out closer to the usual time.

Study the Bible Course in French

We received the second lesson of our Study the Bible Course translated into the French language. Here is a link: Leçon 2: Voici la bonne nouvelle.

This is being in cooperation with a group in France that contacted us last June.  In time, it is my hope and prayer that we will be able to better cooperate and perhaps some day I will be able to meet with them.

More Articles in Spanish

Here are just a few of the articles recently translated into the Spanish language:

Do you know what the Apostle Paul taught about the Ten Commandments?
¿Sabe usted qué enseñó el apóstol Pablo sobre los Diez Mandamientos?
FATCA dollar collapse in six weeks? Will foreign creditors rise up?
¿FATCA colapsa al dólar en seis semanas? ¿Se levantarán los acreedores extranjeros?
USA charging Chinese military officials for economic espionage cyber crimes
EE.UU. acusando a oficiales militares chinos por ciber-crímenes de espionaje económico
PCGs Gerald Flurry’s teaching that J. Tkach, Jr. is the ‘man of sin’
Gerald Flurry de la PCG diciendo que J. Tkach, Jr. es el ‘hombre de pecado’

China warns the USA and makes a deal with Russia
China advierte a los EE.UU. y hace un pacto con Rusia
Greek Bishops challenge Vatican’s position on Peter and more
Obispos griegos retan la posición del Vaticano sobre Pedro y más
WHO adds to voice of UN and Vatican on economics and warns of increased disease risk
OMS agrega una voz de la ONU y el Vaticano sobre la economía y advierte de incrementado riesgo de enfermedad
Are we entering the time of the Gentiles? WWIII?
¿Estamos entrando en el tiempo de los gentiles? ¿III Guerra Mundial?
Shepherd’s Voice: Results of the World’s Sexual Immorality
La Voz del Pastor: Resultados de la Inmoralidad Sexual del Mundo
J. Swank, the Bible, and the teaching of a ‘pre-tribulation rapture’?
J. Swank, la Biblia, y la enseñanza de un ‘rapto antes de la tribulación’
True U.S. collapse to be ushered in July 1, 2014?
¿Verdaderamente los EE:UU. serán arrojados al colapso en julio 1, 2014?
PCG’s Gerald Flurry’s “Message from God” for Vladimir Putin
Mensaje de Gerald Flurry de la PCG para Vladimir Putin

We are producing more materials in the Spanish language than most realize.

Prayer Request

Regional Pastor Evans Ochieng sent the following from Kenya:

Pastor Bob,
I had an a positive  visit to Siaya Congregations. I am now in Siaya and I
will start visiting our Congregations here tomorrow.  I will do sabbath
services tomorrow at Kambare.

I am accompanied by Charles Osutwa. Now we are with John Ogada who is
our Deacon here. We shall go with him to Kambare. I brought to them
Kiswahili Magazines, English Magazines, Continuing History of the Church
of God booklets, and Bibles.

What I found here that a certain widow called Jane is having problem.
her daughter is very sick and almost at death point. So we prayed for
her. You try to inform brethren to pray for this widow.

We have great needs in this part of the world, and all the widows there, including Jane, need our prayers.

There have been other groups in Kenya that have also contacted us about becoming part of CCOG.  There is great interest in Africa, though we are also being attacked by those that do not share our vision to lead the final phase of the work there as well.  Your prayers are needed.

Prophetic Matters

Because of the teachings and certain reports from various COG groups, I have made more posts than usual at COGwriter.com recently about prophetic errors and misunderstandings that other groups that claim to be part of the Church of God profess.

Some of these improper teachings have come from their own imaginations, while others have come from improperly held to traditions of men (e.g. Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?).

God’s Spirit and His word are the true source of prophecy and prophetic understanding:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  (2 Peter 1:19-21, KJV)

Because of improper interpretations of prophecy, most COG groups will not understand certain key end-time events nor when the Great Tribulation will begin.  Since Jesus repeatedly taught His followers to “watch” end-time events (cf. Mark 13:28-37), most who think that they are watching will be watching for the wrong things.

Another Dream

In the current issue of Bible News Prophecy magazine, there are reports of dreams that two people had before becoming part of the Continuing Church of God.

There is a third that I would like to report.

On March 28, 2014, I flew into London for a two night stopover, before heading to Kenya for a CCOG leadership conference.  Within an hour of arriving at my hotel, Senhor Pires came for baptismal counseling.  As we walked from the hotel lobby to my room, he wanted to tell me about a dream that he had.

Here is what he said:

I had this dream. In it was a vision of a congregation of the Continuing Church of God inside a transparent glass bubble (like a balloon). And everyone, I mean everyone apart from the speaker, was black. The speaker was white.And I was asking myself inside that bubble…”why is everyone black here?”

It made no sense to me.  I wondered why I would see this.

When Senhor Pires told me the above, I began to laugh.  I said to him, “Didn’t you know that the vast majority of people in the Continuing Church of God were black?”

And he said, “No, I figured that most would be white.”

I then told him, “This is quite interesting. Your dream seems to be one of three or more directly related to the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) that has had confirmation.”

I also told him that I was to fly to Kenya in two days Sunday, and that those who were to attend a Continuing Church of God leadership conference from Kenya and Tanzania were also black, and that I, the main speaker, would be the only one who was white.  And that is what happened.

Also as it turns out, not only was Senhor Pires black, the others who came to attend Sabbath services with us the next day in the United Kingdom were also black.  Neither Senhor Pires nor I were aware of this until March 30, 2014.

While this may not seem to be a massive ‘earth-shattering’ dream, it is yet additional confirmation that God has used dreams/visions to communicate to at least three individuals who all later became part of the Continuing Church of God.  Dreams and visions are something that God intended to use during the end times (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29).  Elijah apparently once thought that God would be in something dramatic, but then only was in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13).

I believe that they are partial confirmations that the Continuing Church of God was to lead (two dreams happened prior to CCOG’s formation), and now is leading, the final phase of the work.

Pentecost is June 8, 2014

Pentecost is coming up soon.  It begins on sunset June 7th and runs through sunset June 8th in 2014.  In next week’s Letter to the Brethren, we expect to have a suggested service for Sabbath, June 7th and Pentecost June 8th.

World News Events

Pope Francis went to the Middle East.  He met with a descendent of the Muslim prophet Muhammed in Jordan, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Israel, as well as other dignitaries.  He called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the Vatican (see Pope Francis proposed peace negotiations with Israel and Palestine). He is increasing his influence and prestige.  Additionally, he held services in the building that is connected to the wall of the original Church of God building in Jerusalem (see Pope Francis conducts Catholic mass in building on Mt. Zion)–some of the bricks of such are shown on our songbook The Bible Hymnal.

Since he is not the ‘man of sin’ of 2 Thessalonians 2, he did not fulfill the prophecy of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.  But he seems to have helped set this up.  Because of misunderstandings of various COG groups on matters of prophecy, most will NOT realize when or how 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 will be fulfilled (see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?).

Over in Europe, including Ukraine, there were elections.  These elections are supposed to make the European Union and Ukraine appear to be ‘democratic’ and also to affect the direction of the nations in those areas. The Euroskeptics did well (see ‘Euroskeptics’ make gains, Ukraine leaning West, and European fragile unity for the ‘Beast of the Sea’ will come to pass), especially in the United Kingdom (see After the election, the UK a step closer to leaving the EU?).

The Bible itself teaches of a coming reorganization in Europe in Revelation 17:12-13, which certain other COG groups do not understand (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).  But it will come to pass, irrespective of how the press and others view the elections this week.

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 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things —  4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,  8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. (Titus 2:1-10)

Brethren, we need to be proper Christian examples in our homes, in public, and at work.  You are in my prayers.


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.