Letter to the Brethren: November 20, 2014

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.  We have been busy on gospel proclamation matters, administrative issues, and planning.

Kenyan Registration

Received another report from CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya. Happy to inform you that CCOG is
now registered in Kenya and I have the certificate in my hand now.

The only problem is that typist made an error, instead of writing

So I talked with secretary and she told me that, that one is now
simple it will be changed later. They cannot change it now because
there is order from government that no any new church that can be
registered in kenya. which means we are lucky to be registered in
kenya. So I will scan the certificate and send to you.

The printing of the Kiswahili translation of the Bible News Prophecy magazine is going on now…


Of course, since Jesus is God, the slight typing error on the name is not overly significant.  And since it will be corrected that will be fine.  Although the Bible normally uses the expression “Church of God” as the name of the church, in Romans 16:16 it does use the expression “Churches of Christ,” so the Kenyan error is not too far from that.

That being said, it should good that the CCOG is now legally registered in Kenya. Lack of registration could cause major legal problems over there as well as risk getting Sabbath and Holy Day services shut down by the government.

On other matters, Pastor Evans’ mother died this week.  And there are many other difficulties and issues in Kenya.

Canadian Registration

We still have not received an answer from the Canadian government authorities on our application for registration there.  While such recognition is not required like it is in Kenya, presuming it is approved, this will assist those in Canada with tax issues related to donations to the CCOG.

We already have that type of approval in the U.S.A. (via the State of California) and New Zealand.

Spanish Language Materials

The graphics company is finalizing our last booklet (Where is the True Christian Church Today?) in the Spanish language.  Hopefully it will be out soon.  Here are some additional news items that have been translated into the Spanish language:

BibleNewsProphecy: Anti-Pope Francis?
Noticias de Profecía de la Biblia: ¿Francisco Antipapa?
Australian Cardinal hints Francis could be an antipope; US Cardinal also expresses doubts about Pope Francis
Cardenal australiano sugiere que Francisco podría ser un Anti-Papa; Cardenal de los EE.UU. también expresa dudas acerca de Francisco
UK only to pay 1/2 of EU surcharge; Most in Poland oppose adoption of the Euro
Reino Unido sólo paga 1/2 de sobrecarga de la UE; la mayoría en Polonia se opone a la adopción del Euro
Pope Francis concludes ecumenical conference, pushes eucharistic unity, and warns about being pagan
El Papa Francisco concluye conferencia ecuménica, impulsa unidad eucarística, y advierte contra ser pagano
UK 1/2 surcharge payment claimed to be ‘spin’
Pago del Reino Unido de la mitad de la sobrecarga se dijo estar ‘rotando’
Europe: Technology and Autocracy? Hungarian PM promotes turn from ‘liberal democracy’
Europa: ¿Tecnología y Autocracia? PM húngaro promueve apartarse de la ‘democracia liberal’
Ukraine shells Donetsk
Ucrania bombardea Donetsk
Pope Francis speaks of unity and authority; Conservative Catholics have doubts and Francis demotes Cardinal Burke
El Papa Francisco habla de unidad y autoridad; los Católicos Conservadores tienen dudas y Francisco degrada al Cardenal Burke
The End of the Berlin Wall, 25 Years Later
El final del Muro de Berlín, 25 años después
Are Signs and Wonders the Reason to Support the Eastern Orthodox?
¿Son las señales y milagros la razón para apoyar a los Ortodoxos Orientales?
Obama in China–Is China to be the predominant superpower?
Obama en China –¿Va a ser China la superpotencia predominante?
Catholics understand some aspects of church history, but…
Los católicos entienden algunos aspectos de la historia de la iglesia, pero…

We have a lot of information in the Spanish language and are reaching more people with of materials in it.  But we still have a ways to go.

World News Events

Over in the Middle East, the group calling itself the Islamic State announced that it plans to have its own currency (see Islamic State to issue its own currency to remove itself from Satanic usury).  It intends to produce coins resembling those of earlier Islamic caliphates in gold, silver, and copper.  Most analysts have dismissed this as a somewhat useless move, while at least one has rightly pointed out that gold coins from any source have value.  While I do NOT believe that the current head of the Islamic State will be the prophesied King of the South of Daniel 11:40 (he would have to change a lot to be the one), it may be that some of the steps that the Islamic State has taken, such as having its own currency, will be done by the biblical King of the South.

Also in the Middle East there has been violence and terrorism in other areas, with four killed in Jerusalem at synagogue they were trying to worship at (see Terrorist-related deaths up 60%: vast majority related to Islamic terrorists).

Speaking of issues in Jerusalem, John Hickey, our host in New Zealand, sent me a link to a historical item that some may find of interest (see Violence and the ‘Temple Mount’). While believers are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6), we also realize that true peace will not come until after the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Over in Australia, leaders of the four Anglo-American nations who are members of the G-20 made negative statements against Russia for its involvement with Ukraine (see Obama and Harper blast Russia on Ukraine in Australia, plus Abbot and Cameron).  Such rhetoric, however, has not dissuaded Vladmir Putin from his goal of creating a Eurasian Union.  Unity of the “kings of the Medes” will occur and Russia has been taking steps to get more of the descendants of the Medes to be aligned with it (Jeremiah 51:11, 28-29).

The US Secretary of Defense announced that the USA has been neglecting its nuclear arsenal and will need to spend additional billions of dollars to correct that (see US Secretary of Defense admits nuclear deterrent has been neglected and needs billions of $).  The USA is NOT immune from attack and will find that its financial debts and misunderstandings about its enemies will put it in a position where it can be taken over.

The USA was hit with unseasonably frigid temperatures and higher amounts of snow in the past week (see Buffalo Mayor: Most snowfall in 40 years; USA hit with frigid weather).  Changes in weather should serve as a reminder that many circumstances in the world can change quickly and we should not be complacent as we see the day of Christ’s return drawing closer (Romans 13:11-14).

Also in the USA, some of its religious leaders decided to host a Muslim prayer meeting in the Washington National Cathedral (see Washington National Cathedral hosting Muslim prayers of a group with terrorist ties?).  The ecumenical and inter-faith movements are taking steps around the world and the final end time ‘Mystery Babylon’ power will rise up.  Many leaders around the world favor such a system that the Bible condemns (Revelation 17, 18).

Protestant actor Kirk Cameron is currently starring in a movie called “Saving Christmas.”  When interviewed, he has defended the paganism associated with Christmas, All Saints Day, and Halloween and also seems to take a somewhat ecumenical view of Catholic holidays (see Kirk Cameron’s Christmas movie seeks to save paganism).  Jesus said that His true followers would worship God in truth (John 4:23-24), something that people like Kirk Cameron sadly do not realize in this age.  But worshiping God in truth is what we in the Continuing Church of God strive to always do.

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 Apostle Paul wrote:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

Brethren, whether or not you had a pleasant or very difficult week, remember that all things will work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose.  We were predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus and the experiences of our life contribute to that.  Remember that Jesus will be coming relatively soon.


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.