Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Dallas Area Meeting

Last week, we announced a special meeting in the Dallas, Texas area. Dawn Parr sent the following photograph and email:

Greetings Dr. Thiel,

We had 14 people attended the Sabbath services in the Dallas, Texas area. We had time for fellowship prior to services. We listened to your sermonette entitled, “UAE Deal: Peace in the Middle East,” and your sermon entitled, “Christian Faith.” Chad Branton read your most recent (8-20-‘20) “Letter to the Brethren,” and Connor Parr was the song leader.

One of the children expressed it was one of the best days of their lives. We would really like to be able to do something like this again. It was wonderful to gather together.

Thank you for your leadership.

We are glad it went so well and some of our normally scattered people were able to get together.

Email from a Presbyterian

Recently received the following in an email from a Presbyterian who read our free online book, Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism, and then wrote:

I am very concerned with the speech of John Calvin you quote in your book Hope of Salvation where he said “We see that the practice which we have of baptizing little children is impugned and assailed by some malignant spirits, as if it had not been appointed by God, but newly invented by men, or at least some years after the days of the apostles.”

This very teaching and was enough for me to look for other group of people to have new fellowship with them, as today the Presbyterian Churches are baptizing children. As of now I am a making house Churches in the name of God not as a Presbyterian church, because I have notice many wrong and unbiblical things they practicing, on reading your books as I having I them in PDFs I am a really encouraged to follow the truth you are taking. I AM READY TO BE CCG because of the truth and the name itself speaks a lot about true Church.

Yes, the Continuing Church of God has continued to contend earnestly for the original faith as the New Testament admonishes (cf. Jude 3). Most Protestants would be shocked if they actually read various statements of their early leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin–some of which are in the free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

This book is currently online in a draft form and is undergoing final editing. Once ready, we plan to print and distribute it. Those willing to read it and believe the Bible will find out why the Continuing Church of God and none of the Protestant denominations represents the true Christian faith.

Haiti

After watching a video about the destruction caused by then Tropical Storm Laura, French-speaking CCOG member Gisele Haddon contacted our host in Haiti:

I contacted Moïse to get news of our brethren’s situation. It is not very good, even dire. All of our brethren’s homes have disappeared in the flood/mudslides except for one. They have lost all the meager crop they had managed to plant, all their belongings and food. The roof of Moïse’s home flew away. They are in desperate need of everything.
I don’t know if we could do something to alleviated their pain and suffering.
I was thinking of posting a prayer request to the Yahoo group. This being said I don’t want them to take it upon themselves to send Moïse funds outside the Church.

A prayer request is appropriate, but we are not encouraging individual members to send funds directly to Haiti. Yesterday, I instructed the Haddons to send funds from the CCOG in Canada to Haiti to assist, and they said they would be doing so.

Malawi

Deacon Radson Mulozowa sent the following:


Njenjete church project

So, some progress there to build a larger church building to replace the current one has began.

We believe this will assist us in our mission to reach the ‘full number of the Gentiles’ (cf. Romans 9:28)–which is something that is needed before Jesus returns (for more on that see What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?).

Ghana

Samuel Ofosu sent the following from Ghana:

Dear Bob ,
Greetings from Samuel to you and brethren out there and I know by His Grace you are hale and healthy. …

Dr. Bob , the ban imposed by the Government of Ghana has been lifted. With this development in view we are looking for a place to honour the Feast of Tabernacles this year. … {we plan to } secure a place by making some forward deposit before the Feast month because many institutions are not willing to hire their facilities for COXID-19 fear. …

At any rate, I doing everything possible to send you the translation of Book, The Kingdom of God before the Feast.

Yours sincerely,

Pastor Samuel.

So, the limitations in Ghana have been lifted and the leaders in Ghana are preparing to secure one or more sites for the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, and we are assisting on this.

We have also been working with Pastor Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour to get it version printed and translated in Asante Twi, a language used in Ghana.

Having as many translations of our booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom of God available is a key to being able to fulfill Matthew 24:14.

We continue to work on that. Having a version for those who understand Asante Twi is another step in doing so.

Kenya

Pastor Tiongik Sawek sent the following report related to the Rift Valley in Kenya:

Greetings and Report

Receive greetings in Jesus Christ. Last week Friday we meet with Evangelist Ochieng, Pastor William Kirui from North Rift and Pastor Sawek from South Rift where we held a meeting in South Rift and proposed Mau, Bomet, Chilani and Takitech to be places where the Feast of Tabernacles will be held. Pastor Stantley Kibet Arap Tiongik will be in charge of Mau, Kewet Olmekenyu and Mosonik, Thomas Kosgei be incharge of Bomet and Kiromwok, Pastor Sawek be in charge of Chilani and Kabolecho and David langat will be incharge of Takitech and Motosiet areas.

Secondly, we appreciate the message from Evangelist Ochieng and indeed we are supposed to stand in truth, be united and teach the gospel accordingly.
Brethrens from South Rift and North Rift are really glad with lots of thanks for the projects of chickens which are currently going on well and still pray for you. Although other places including Bomet, Mau and Takitech from South Rift regions are yet to receive theirs as also mentioned by Evangelist Ochieng.
Therefore we are really ready and shall take care of these projects as they are useful and will benefit the work of our churches.
Lastly, I believe more will be shared by Evangelist Ochieng. May God bless you!
Regards,
Pastor Sawek.

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following report about Kenya and the Feast of Tabernacles planned for there:

pastor Dr Bob

Greetings from Kenya.

I met the brethren in rift valley to discuss how we are going to conduct the feast of Tabernacles 2020.The meeting was successful and since the condition is tough in Kenya concerning the covid 19 status. We agreed that the feasts sites in Kenya will be more this year. We shall have 9 feasts sites in Kenya this year. The sites are NDHIWA, KIHANCHA,KISII, CHILANI, DACTECH, BOMET, MAO, NJORO AND MOLO.

Those who want to attend the feast at Ndhiwa will contact Evans Ochieng . phone number 0728216321. Those who want to attend the feast in kihancha will contact Nimrod Ondigo. phone number 0714800150. Those who want to attend the feast in kisii will contact Ezekiel Oanda. phone number 0728632613. Those who want to attend the feast at chilani will contact Sawek Tiongik. phone number 0716737068. Those who want to attend the feast at Daktech will contact David Langat. phone number 0708969729. Those who wiant to attend the feast in Bomet will contact Thomas kosgey. phone number 0726924377. Those who want to attend the feast in Mao will contact Stanley Sawek. phone number 0716446503, those who want to attend the feast of tabernacles in Njoro will contact David Cheriot. phone number 0710329625, Those who want to attend the feast of tabernacles in molo will contact William Kirui and charles. phone number 0729966664.
On sabbath I met our congregation of Oriang. … now this congregation has got no hall where they can do the services on sabbath. Now I talked with them and we decided to see how we can build another hall. At the end of this month we shall buy the iron sheets and start the building.
Today I went to change my passport in Kisumu and I came back very late. It was tough but I succeeded.
Evans

So, we have had to make changes related to COVID, but basically this is resulting in more festival sites in Kenya.

Philippines

Joe Lumpay sent a report from the Philippines, but it was in a format I was unable to copy, so here is a summary: Basically, he said and some others visited a potential Feast of Tabernacles’ site in Mainit, which is about 45 miles from Surigao City. Since the internet connection there looks to be weak, they do not think they can watch this year’s sermons–so we plan to mainly send DVDs of past ones and a couple new ones for this year.

Joe Lumpay also mentioned that Ray Baconguis can barely walk after his stroke 5 months ago, but is diligent related to his Bible studies. Please keep Ray Baconguis in your prayers.

We had originally hoped to send Steve and Ruth Dupuie to the Philippines again this year, but because of travel restrictions, instead we will need to send DVDs for sermons.

World News Items

There have been hundreds of wildfires in California (see ‘More Than 12,000 Firefighters in California Battle 560 Wildfires’ and California burning and suffering, but its political leaders do not connect this with the sins they condone), many of them sparked by ‘unseasonable lightening.’ We saw a lot of smoke the past week or two.

Protests and violence keep occurring in the US, with another police shooting being a trigger this week (see ‘Church Promoting Black Lives Matter set Ablaze in BLM Riot in Kenosha’).

Official US debt has now exceeded its annual Gross Domestic Product (see COVID policies devastating economy as offficial USA debt now exceeds USA GDP). This will not end well for the US (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8).

Last week the US Democratic party had its convention (see also Biden Vows To Unite America, Defeat Darkness, and Provide Light After Accepting Democratic Nomination). This week the US Republican party has been having its convention. Neither are the answer for what ails the US (see Trump vs. Biden: Is the lesser of two evils still evil?). Pray for God’s kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

Over in the Middle East, Israel launched what it considered to be a counter-offensive against Hamas in Gaza (see ‘Israel says it targeted Hamas posts in Gaza after rocket fired’). Despite the current situation, Israel will lose at least some of the land it now controls (see also Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy).

Speaking of Israel, the Temple Institute believes it may have a viable ‘red heifer’ to cleanse a temple or other area for resuming daily animal sacrifices (see Temple Institute claims three currently viable red heifers and that it wants one to fulfill prophecy). Since the Bible shows that such sacrifices will be stopped (cf. Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11), they must be started first. The Temple Institute has some political pressure in Israel and getting red heifer may be a factor in getting politicians to all it to resume daily sacrifices.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Biden, Trump, and the Bible. Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Increasing Faith. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

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.

IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

16 … those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:16-25)

Brethren, keep in mind that those of the Old and New Testaments did not always know how things would turn out, but continued to believe.

These things were written for our examples.

That means we need to have the same type of faith.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer