Letter to the Brethren: October 16, 2014

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

The Feast of Tabernacles for 2014 is now over.  We had a very positive and uplifting Feast in Orlando, Florida.  It was great to be able to meet with and converse with many we had never met personally before.

We had two baptisms last Sabbath in Orlando.  This was the first Feast of Tabernacles for one woman who was baptized in forty years.  For an unrelated man who was baptized, this was his first time he had attended the Feast of Tabernacles.

Many in Orlando commented that they felt like this reminded them of the Feast of Tabernacles of many years ago and that they felt that God’s Spirit was clearly here with us.

It is my hope and prayer that those who were not able to personally attend have been able to benefit from the sermons that were made and/or uploaded for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014.

The end of the Feast of Tabernacles reminds me that we are one year closer to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth.

Our family is still in Orlando and is scheduled to fly back to California early tomorrow morning.

We hope to be able to report more about the other sites, perhaps next week, as they send in information.

World News Events

A report came out that the City of Houston (in Texas, in the USA), subpoenaed  sermon notes of pastors that spoke against homosexuality (see Houston pastors’ sermon notes on homosexuality subpoenaed).  The mayor of Houston is reportedly a lesbian.  She seemingly wants an anti-discrimination bill enforced and  apparently has little tolerance for those who hold a view against homosexuality more consistent with the Bible than her view. The Bible warns that a famine of the word is coming (Amos 8:11-12).

The Vatican is being more ‘politically correct’ on matters of sexual immorality and was praised by some homosexual marriage advocates for some apparent softening of position on certain related subjects (see Vatican shift on homosexual couples and divorce: Is Pope Francis Catholic?).

Ebola remains in the news (see Ebola: More deaths in Africa, more issues in USA) and is the subject of the recommended sermonette for this week (watch Ebola, Pestilence, and 2016?).

Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin was to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in what has been called a diplomatic offensive related to Ukraine.  Russia still wants Ukraine, and does not want financial sanctions.  At some point in time, Russia will apparently make a deal with the Europeans (cf. Revelation 13:8, but will later turn on them (Daniel 11:44; Jeremiah 50:41-42).

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:

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

Whether you were able to attend the Feast of Tabernacles personally and/or online, we all still need to strive and press towards the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.


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.