Letter to the Brethren: October 23, 2014

 Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

We are back in California and are working on trying to get caught up with mail, accounting, literature, and other matters that accumulated while gone for the Feast of Tabernacles.

Feast of Tabernacles and Related Reports

Received reports from all the official CCOG sites, other than one video site (in the Philippines) where email communication has long been limited.

My family attended the site in Orlando, Florida. A highlight of the site were the baptisms that took place. When I was baptizing a man there, his head somewhat popped up and did not quite get immersed when I went to put him under the water, so I had to push his head specifically a second time. It seemed a little humorous at the time, but he at least was properly fully immersed. In the Continuing Church of God we, of course, practice baptism by immersion (see also Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church).

Topics covered in messages in Orlando included the Feast of Tabernacles, forgiveness, love, human nature, strangers & pilgrims, Messianic Judaism, the gospel of the kingdom, China, tradition, prophesying, dealing with Satan, and the meaning of the Last Great Day.

We were only significantly affected by rain one day in Orlando, which was the sixth day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  Our family was caught in two downpours that day.  They reminded me why the Jews did not pray for rain until the eighth day, the Last Great Day, of the Feast.

We received the following information from the video Feast of Tabernacles’ site in Wichita, Kansas:

2014  Feast Attendance  for Wichita, Kansas video group was 3 adults and 2 children 2 teenagers. …

We had no problems. We were able to see the sermons you uploaded from the day before and others you had from last year on Deut. Very Good!

Here is a report from John Hickey from New Zealand related to the site there:

The Feast was great.  We enjoyed your sermons very much.  For sermonettes we had some of yours and I gave some, I didn’t record them but I have thought that I could do that now I’m home again and send them to you.

We’ve just arrived home from our drive up from Wellington, all happy, safe and sound.  The weather was good for the whole feast (another answered prayer) and we enjoyed the sightseeing and the shopping etc.

To download your sermons we purchased extra gigabytes for my iPad and used that as a hotspot to download them to the laptop.  This worked extremely well.

We also received reports from Africa related to the hundreds that attended there.  On the negative side, most of the brethren from Tanzania were turned away at the Kenyan border, so they ended up having a Feast in Tanzania.

Here is a report from Pastor Evans Ochieng:


Greetings from Kenya. The Feast of Tabernacles in Kenya 2014 was a wonderful feast I ever kept. And it is the first feast of CCOG in Kenya which was perfectly done.  We had three feast sites in Kenya. Ndhiwa, Kisii and Nairobi.

There was a problem with our brethren from Tanzania who were blocked at the border when they were crossing the border because they did not have passports. So they went back and keep the feast in Tanzania. Only our brother Paul Makinda who was baptized in in Nairobi during your visit in Kenya managed to reach at the camp in Ndhiwa.  The feast in Ndhiwa was opened at the end of 8th when 9th was arriving, and that night we got sermon from Bob Thiel.  It was a wonderful sermon and was spiritually inspired.  In the morning I gave sermon about the importance of Feast of Tabernacles and the reason why it should be kept.

The feast site in Ndhiwa was the largest feast in Kenya with a
population of 236 people. Adults were 196 and 40 children.  There were 12 congregations who were in Ndhiwa site and one man from Tanzania.  The congregations were, Ndhiwa, Oriang, Mbani, kiseke, Oyugis, Rongo, Nyakach, Mbita, Migori,  Eberege  Kisii Nyamaruma Kisii and Mgonga Kisii. Also we had 2 people from Kisumu who wanted to attend  CCOG feast of tabernacles site. This was a William and Nora. I gave them church history and after four days they declared that  they are CCOG members. They said that since they started to become members of CCOG. Even today I received their calls that they reached well and wanted me to go to Kisumu  to go and arrange how they can meet every Sabbath. I stayed in Ndhiwa for three days then I travelled to Kisii to meet our brethren who were keeping Feast in Kisii.

Regarding Kisii, here isthe report from Evans Ochieng:

Pastor Bob,

The Kisii site was hosting 200 people.

In Tanzania, a former Muslim expressed interest in becoming part of the Continuing Church of God. Here is a report from Evans Ochieng:

Pastor Dr. Bob,

I am happy to inform you that the the magazines have done a wonderful work. I was informed by our brother Paul Makinda that the magazines which I was sending to martin has made some big changes in Tanzania and there are people in Arusha who received the Swahili translations from Martin {Wanga} and have joined the CCOG. There is also one lady an Islamist who decided to join CCOG in Arusha. Paul Makinda requested my visit in Arusha to meet that lady and other brethren. So I told him that I will make it to Arusha in November. I was very happy that a lady who is an Islam can change her mind to join God’s church. May you pray for this lady. I am really praying for her.

The Sabbath after the Feast, Pastor Evans Ochieng and John Owak traveled to Oyugis:

Pastor Dr Bob,

I just arrive in the house now from Oyugis. I went to open a new congregation there. They wanted a place where they can meet every sabbath. …

I was accompanied by John Owak when I was going to Oyugis he drove me in his car to Oyugis.

We had four Feast of Tabernacles’ sites in Africa (including what seems to have been a very limited one in Nairobi), two in North America (including one video site in Kansas), one in New Zealand, and one video site in the Philippines.

Over 500 people part of the Continuing Church of God were able to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014. We had more than double the number of attendees in North America and Africa this year compared to 2013.

Additionally, there were people who were unable to get to our sites who live in North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Australia, and parts of Africa. But, some of them were able to watch the videos prepared for and during the Feast of Tabernacles this year (see Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014).

The ‘over 500 people’ figure does not include those who were unable to attend, nor does it include two groups in Asia who held the Feast of Tabernacles at sites there, but who have a more distant affiliation with CCOG. Nor does it include some in Africa who are currently looking at possible closer CCOG affiliation.

Spanish Articles

Received the following today from our Spanish language translator:

Ebola: More deaths in Africa, more issues in USA
Ébola: Más muertes en África, más problemas en los EE.UU.
A point made and missed about Halloween
Un punto hecho y echado de menos acerca de Halloween
Original Church of God Building and Roman One in Jerusalem
Edificio de la Iglesia de Dios original y uno romano en Jerusalén
Turkey assist Kurds related to Kobani; Irish Times challenges effectiveness of USA bombing.
Turquía ayuda a Kurdos respecto a Kobani; Irish Times cuestiona efectividad del bombardeo de los EE.UU.
Turquía ayuda a Kurdos respecto a Kobani; Irish Times cuestiona efectividad del bombardeo de los EE.UU.

We are producing a lot of materials that are translated into the Spanish language.  We are working on fulfilling Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

World News Events

Canada was hit with two attacks this week from Islamic converts (see Canadian Pariliament Attacked and White House Walls Scaled).  Terrorism will affect the USA and its Anglo-Saxon descended allies more according to various scriptures (e.g. Leviticus 26:14-17; Deuteronomy 32:25; Psalms 73:12,19; Ezekiel 21:12).

Over in Vatican City, the prelates that the pontiff got together for an ‘extraordinary synod’ would not provide the 2/3rds approval needed to approve certain statements related to fornicators, homosexuals, and divorcees.  However, an attendee indicated that Pope Francis was not giving up and would try again next year (see ‘Extraordinary synod’ concludes, and if at first you don’t succeed, try again?).  Pope Francis has an ecumenical agenda and is attempting to push it through wherever he can.

Yesterday at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke on Ezekiel 37, but misunderstood it (see Pope Francis misunderstands Ezekiel 37–do you?).  I did, however, find it interesting that he spoke on it within a week of the Last Great Day, which is a time that the Church of God historically speaks about it.

Speaking of timing, a new animated movie was released called the Book of Life.  It was not timed to be out for the Fall Holy Days (it was officially released right after the Last Great Day), but was timed to be out on Halloween and the ‘Day of the Dead’ (see ‘The Book of Life’ animation is about the ‘Day of the Dead’).  From what I have read, it encourages the non-biblical ‘Day of the Dead‘ and other non-biblical practices.

In the USA, its Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, echoing world leaders like Pope Francis, made statements suggesting a call for a new financial order (see Fed Chair voices concerns similar to Pope Francis, Ban Ki-Moon, and Barack Obama).  The Bible shows a new order will happen, but it will not be the type that Janet Yellen seems to envision for this age.

In other financial news, it is becoming clearer that the world is moving towards a time where controlling/monitoring the buying and selling by the Beast power (Revelation 13:16-18) will take place.  See, for example, Could Apple Pay be a step towards 666? and Sweden becoming cashless? A prelude to 666? and Europe eliminating remaining ‘bank secrecy’ as it gets closer to Revelation 13:16-18.

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 Book of Proverbs teaches:

2 When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.
7 When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of the unjust perishes.
8 The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead.
9 The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. (Proverbs 11:2-12)

Brethren, live as God expects us to, not the way the world wants us to.


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.