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Letter to the Brethren: April 23, 2020

Letter to the Brethren: April 23, 2020

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities Region of California.

Baptismal Reports from Kenya

Shortly after sending out last week’s Letter to the Brethren, Kenyan Pastor Tiongik Arapsawek sent the following:

Receive greetings in the name of Jesus. Here in Kenya Rift valley, we are doing well, despite the corona pandemic we are experiencing, but that doesn’t worry us so much because the Lord is our hope. We had a blessed Passover and that we had to divide brethren’s into groups during this celebrations due to the curfew that restricts movement from 7:00 p.m to 5:00 a.m in the morning.

I was happy that all the groups in the south were able to adhere to our call of grouping themselves in smaller groups for the Passover celebrations (1st Timothy 3:15). I was also happy that we were able to baptize other brethren who joined us on that day in Chilani Local church, where we had 10 brethren while in Takitech we had two brethren’s. Chilani local was divided into Ilkerin local and Chemurin local church. This feast resembled the Passover that was celebrated by our Lord Jesus because there was a lot of fear in the society. Brethren from other churches were able to face the law. But we thank the lord for the grace he had upon us. We have also done the same during the last feast of unleavened bread and the Sabath.

We received that message from evangelist Ochieng and you that we ought to obey the authorities and that we were able to abide by the rule. You will receive photos of the newly baptized brethren pray for us and let us also pray for.

God bless you. James 5:13


Pastor Sawek

We obey government authorities when their instructions do not conflict with scripture (cf. Acts 5:29). And I am glad that the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread went well in Pastor Sawek’s area and that the baptisms were able to be carried out without violating local government guidelines.

Tuesday, elder David Cheruiyot of Nakuru, Kenya sent the following photos:

Remember that the Bible tells us that the angels in heaven rejoice (Luke 15:7) when one repents. They must have been really rejoicing the past couple of weeks!

Now, back to Pastor Sawek, some funds were sent to his area a few days ago related to the chicken-egg raising project. We are starting with just a few congregations to see if this will work in Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique to see if they are successful so we can later expand the program.

CCOGAfrica Channel


CCOGAfrica channel logo

As a reminder to most of you, Terry Nelson and his sons Andre and Asher were in Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique on the Continuing Church of God’s behalf several weeks ago to help proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14; see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God), to teach what Jesus commanded (cf. Matthew 28:19-20), and to support the fulfillment of Romans 11:25 (see also What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?). Their trip timing was great as the Nelsons were able to get back to the USA just prior to the lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions related to COVID-19.

Anyway, since they returned, Andre Nelson has been working and uploading many messages to the CCOGAfrica YouTube channel.

The messages are now live.

Here is one example:


The channel includes messages translated in several African languages. In this time of COVID-19 restrictions, this may even help some who otherwise cannot attend services in parts of Africa.

Anyway, the messages can be found at CCOGAfrica YouTube channel.

COVID-19 Hunger

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following email on Tuesday:

Pastor Dr Bob

Greetings from Kenya.

How are you doing?

how is USA?

We are still safe in Kenya about corona. No church member is infected. We are praying that God can continue to keep his people safe worldwide. I saw  if the corona case is going down in USA. We are praying that God continues to protect his people.

The main problem that people are facing now in Africa is hunger. I’m getting many massages and requests about food. especially this week and end of last week I have received many massages crying about food. This is the problem I’m facing now. But no any report of corona infection towards brethren that I’ve received.


As far as the USA goes, we have had one person I am aware of who had COVID-19, which we sent some supplements to assist.

On Tuesday, after getting Evangelist Ochieng’s email, we wired additional funds to assist with hunger issues brought about related to governmental practices for COVID-19.

Today, I received the following two emails:

pastor Dr Bob

Greetings from Kenya.

Thank you very much for the assistance.

I’m trying to help the needy. May God bless you highly


Dear Bob.
On behalf of Migori region and as CCOG coordinator, for 5 congregations, I would like to thank you very much and the team you are working with for the food support that you were able to sent to help our brethren over here through Pst. Evance. May God bless you and strengthen you for this is going to help them for the time being.
May you pleas pass our love to all as we are looking forward to hearing from each other over God willing and not to forget us in your prayers.
Best Regard,

While we cannot solve all the hunger or economic problems of the world, the Bible teaches:

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. (Proverbs 3:27)

10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

We in the CCOG strive to live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4) and to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Yes, we try to help where we can. And, we actually do help!

But, as the baptisms help demonstrate, not just physically, but spiritually as well.

CDLIDDSermones Channel

Of course, we are working to assist people all around the world spiritually.

CDLIDDsermones channel logo

Two of our Spanish translators have been busy putting together videos for our CDLIDDSermones channel. We have added many in the past several weeks. We believe this will help us gain greater interest among Spanish speakers. Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world.

I would also like to thank Bill Wedekind for working with the translators and uploading the videos.

Here is one example of a recent Spanish-language video:


We have long wanted audio-visual messages in the Spanish language and are pleased that we have gotten many in the past several weeks.

This has been a fantastic development.

Spanish News Posts

The Continuing Church of God continues to get additional materials translated into the Spanish language.

Here are links to the latest we received:

Herbert W. Armstrong warned that many in the WCG would not make it into the Kingdom of God and a massive falling away consistent with Zechariah 13 occurred

Herbert W. Armstrong advirtió que muchos en la Iglesia de Dios Universal no entrarían en el Reino de Dios y que ocurriría una masiva apostasía consistente con Zacarías 12

Hulk Hogan: Coronavirus, like the Exodus plagues, is against the false gods

Hulk Hogan: El Coronavirus, como las plagas del Éxodo, son contra los falsos dioses

US, European Cities Turn to “Talking Drones” From China to Enforce Social Distancing’

‘Ciudades europeas, y de los Estados Unidos volviéndose a “drones parlantes” de China para implementar el distanciamiento social’

EU fails to adopt rescue plan, but the ‘daughter of Babylon’ seemingly thinks people should eat worms and bugs

La UE fracasa en adoptar un plan de rescate, pero la ‘hija de Babilonia’ aparentemente piensa que la gente debería comer gusanos y escarabajos

AP: Record 22 million have sought US jobless aid since virus; Rickards: Worst Recession in 150 Years … Get Ready for Social Disorder

AP: 22 millones de personas han buscado ayuda por desempleo en los Estados Unidos desde el virus Rickards: La peor recesión en 150 años … prepárese para el desorden social

Americans and Germans want China to pay for COVID-19 damages

Los estadounidenses y alemanes quieren que China pague por perjuicios del COVID-19

VOA: Hungary: The EU’s First Dictatorship? Politico: Blank checks, taboos and bazookas: Inside the global battle to prevent another depression; COGwriter: The real EU dictator will be worse than Adolf Hitler

VOA: Hungría: ¿La primera dictadura de la UE? Político: Cheques en blanco, tabúes y bazucas: dentro de la batalla global para prevenir otra depresión; COGwriter: El verdadero dictador de la UE será peor que Adolf Hitler

Corona is Beginning of Gog and Magog War: Unless we Repent says Rabbi’

‘Corona es el comienzo de la guerra de Gog y Magog: A menos que nos arrepintamos dice Rabino’

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich: Could the Coronavirus be the End of the European Union?

Cardenal Jean-Claude Hollerich: ¿Podría el Coronavirus ser el fin de la Unión Europea?

AP: New, larger wave of locusts threatens millions in Africa

AP: Nueva, más grande ola de langostas amenaza a millones en África

Fox: Pope says coronavirus could be ‘nature’s response’ to climate change

Fox: El Papa dice que el coronavirus podría ser la ‘respuesta de la naturaleza’ al cambio climático

NCR: ‘Demonic Deal’: Pornography Industry Targets the Isolated in Coronavirus Pandemic

NCR: ‘Acuerdo demoníaco’: La industria de la pornografía toma como objetivo a los aislados por la pandemia del Coronavirus

PCG: Coronavirus and Other Modern Plagues in Prophecy

PCG: El Coronavirus y otras plagas modernas en la profecía

Time: What ‘Preppers’ Can Teach Us About Dealing With the Coronavirus Outbreak

Time: Lo que los ‘preppers’ pueden enseñarnos acerca de tratar con el brote de Coronavirus

The Book of Malachi was inspired by God, PCG’s Malachi’s Message was not

El libro de Malaquías fue inspirado por Dios, pero el ‘Mensaje de Malaquías’ de la PCG no lo fue

WHO: Abortions Must Continue even at Expense of Spreading Coronavirus’

‘WHO: Los abortos deben continuar incluso a expensas de esparcir el coronavirus’

NPR: Where Did The Coronavirus Originate? Virus Hunters Find Genetic Clues In Bats; WND: Biblically unclean animals responsible for pandemics

NPR: ¿Dónde se originó el Coronavirus? Los cazadores de virus encuentras claves genéticas; WND: Los animales bíblicamente inmundos son responsables por la pandemia

NPR: ¿Dónde se originó el Coronavirus? Los cazadores de virus encuentran claves genéticas; WND: Los animales bíblicamente inmundos son responsables por la pandemia |

The Continuing Church of God has a separate Spanish language website The term Continuing Church of God translates into La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios in the Spanish language, also called Castellano or Español.

Note From John Hickey

John Hickey, our host for New Zealand, sent the following:

I would very much like to thank all CCOG members and members of the Email Forum for their prayers for me while I was incapacitated recently.  I am back home and on the mend.  Shirley also sends her deepest gratitude for the heartfelt good wishes from everyone.  I. personally would also like to thank God for the wonderful work He does among us all.

John has had a lot of rough health crises. We are glad he is reporting he is improving again and grateful for the work that he  and his wife Shirley do.

World News Items

Matter associated with COVID-19 still are dominating the news (see Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich: Could the Coronavirus be the End of the European Union? and Americans and Germans want China to pay for COVID-19 damages and VOX: The coronavirus could tear the EU apart and Americans protest lockdown, Media against protests, Worse economic contraction since WWII, but Sweden did not shut its economy down).

The novel coronavirus has emboldened some who wish to eliminate cash and go to digital currency (see COVID-19 aiding in moves towards digital currency and 666). This is helping pave the way for ‘666’ financial control of buying and selling as described in Revelation 13:16-18.

Despite having major problems with COVID-19, Iran launched a missile with satellite that the US had concerns over–US President Donald Trump also issued a warning to Iran when he publicly told the US Navy to destroy any Iranian gunboats that might harass them (see Donald Trump instructs US Navy to shoot and destroy ‘any and all’ harassing Iranian gunboats). The situation with Iran remains one to “watch” (cf. Mark 13:37).

Another intentionally mistranslated Bible is gaining a little bit of traction–it prefers not to use the term “Israel” despite numerous scriptural mentions (see Holocaust Memorial and Lutheran ‘New Agreement’ NT Version Fails to Mention the Word ‘Israel’). This type of mistake is increased motivation for me to complete a book I began some time ago, which is not yet available, but tentatively titled: Who Gave the World the Bible? The Canon: Why do we have the books we now do in the Bible?

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for 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. Some people have found that if their internet connections are not fast enough, that they can simply listen to the messages that are found at the Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.


Concluding Comments

The Book of Proverbs has the following:

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep —
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11)

Brethren, the above is telling us to be prepared physically. But as Christians, we also need to prepare spiritually.

A famine of the word is coming (Amos 8:11-12) and God will cut short His work (Romans 9:28)–we are preparing for that (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word).

Thank you for your support.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer