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Letter to the Brethren: December 8, 2022

Letter to the Brethren: December 8, 2022

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

Kenyan Radio Report

Deacon Ondigo Ochieng sent the following regarding responses to our radio presence in Kenya and neighboring Tanzania:



We chose to cover the BELIEFS OF THE ORIGINAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. So far, we have covered the following sub-headings in this Book:

  1. Inquiry and the True Church – We got 24 phone calls and 13 sms from different people plus invitations to visit some interested people.
  2. The Catholic Church of God – This attracted 29 phone calls and 21 sms.
  3. Original Catholic Doctrines of the Apostles – This attracted 17 phone calls and 9 sms.
  4. Liturgy, Baptism, and Pascha – This attracted 21 phone calls and 5 sms.
  5. Tradition, Holy Days, Apocatastasis, Ten Commandments, Celibacy – This attracted 42 phone calls and 19 sms.
  6. What Type of Catholic Was Polycarp? – This attracted 27 phone calls and 3 sms.
  7. Early Heretics and Heretic Fighters – This attracted 16 phone calls and 7 sms.
  8. The Canon of Scripture – This attracted 20 phone calls and 2 sms.
  9. Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession – This attracted 11 phone calls and 1 sms.


On the other hand, we decided to continue with proper and elaborate explanation of HOW THE CCOG DIFFERS FROM PROTESTANTISM. We have so far covered the following sub-headings:

  1. The Seventh Day Baptists, Adventists and Messianic Jews – This attracted 28 phone calls and 11 sms which came from some Messianic groups who adhere to sacred names and also some Adventists.
  2. The Millennium Kingdom of God – This attracted 32 phone calls and 12 sms.
  3. Saved to Do What? – This attracted 17 phone calls and 4 sms.
  4. Plan of Salvation – This attracted a total of 44 phone calls and 13 sms.
  5. Crosses, Trees, Valentine’s and Collars – This attracted 22 phone calls and 2 sms.
  6. Godhead – This attracted 6 phone calls and 3 sms.
  7. Tithing – This attracted 26 phone calls and 5 sms.
  8. Clean and Unclean Meats – This attracted 39 phone calls and 14 sms mostly from SDA members.
  9. Rapture, or Fleeing? – This attracted 49 phone calls and 17 sms.  Some church ministers were so very wild about the discourse.
  10. Polycarp or Martin Luther? – This attracted 5 phone calls and 1 sms.
  11. Ecumenism – This attracted 35 phone calls and 12 sms.
  12. Summary Protestantism’s Problem – This attracted 27 phone calls and 4 sms.


This is a National Station that covers almost all parts of Kenya, parts of Tanzania, Somalia (because it is situated on the Coast of Mombasa), and parts of Uganda.

It’s frequency varies in some areas like Endebess, Vuria Hills, Vipingo, Voi e.t.c . The frequency can either be 93.7 FM, 104.7 FM and 103.1 FM.

I paid for three sessions of 30 minutes and  have so far explained about THE STATEMENTS OF BELIEFS OF THE CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD.

We have so far received a total of 55 phone calls and 24 sms. …


Someone by the name Sylivester Erick heard me over the KBC PWANI FM when I was teaching about the Statements of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God. He invited me to a place called Bumala in Busia County to the border between Kenya and Uganda. I went and took two days. He warmly welcomed me and we discussed a lot depending on the questions he raised. He is a pastor in Maranatha Faith Assemblies but he is yearning to know the truth. Since last month after visiting him , he has been calling as we discuss some topics through the phone. I carried some articles which I gave him and his wife.

I also encouraged him to read more and search any topic he may be interested in learning on CCOG websites.

Pastor Sylivester Erick and Ondigo Ochieng

  Joel Omasanja from Bumala and Ondigo Ochieng

The duo (Sylivester and Joel), impressed me a lot. … Joel who told me that he has been praying that God opens his eyes to know the truth. He told me that nothing can hinder him from seeking for truth because he is not tied to any church leadership.

He has been calling and promised to visit them again this December. They probably may invite me to their Maranatha Youth Camp to teach the Word of God this December.

We are so grateful to God and to the brethren who have supported our entering this door. We are so very grateful to Doctor Bob Thiel who is doing a very excellent and marvelous Work in providing the truth materials and making them available on the website. May God bless him abundantly. Am really praying and thanking Deacon Grantone Otieno who has stood with me and has been sacrificing to be on the Radio Milambo even if I am not there. We have worked with him very harmoniously without putting conditions like others.

May God be with you.

Best regards,

Bro. Ondigo Ochieng,

Deacon, Continuing Church of God,

Kehancha, Kenya.

Our radio efforts are bearing fruits.

In prison you visited me

Deacon Ondigo Ochieng also sent the following:


I am so grateful to God to allow me serve at Kendege Prison where I got an invitation from one of the Prison Police Officers called Mr. Peter Lunani Wafula.  Mr. Peter is also a Pastor in charge of the religious programs, though there is senior Reverend whom he is answerable to when he is dealing with the evangelists or religious teachers from outside the prison department.

Mr. Peter Wafula has been a long time radio listener and he has been asking questions whenever I present a discourse over the radio.  He wanted me to go last Sunday upon booking for one person visit but I did not make it because one of the conditions of the visit is that you have to carry some gifts to give the prison inmates. There are gifts which are not accepted but the one easily accepted is bars of soap. Since I didn’t have enough funds to purchase bars of soap which are enough for all the 115 prison inmates, I didn’t go.

Am grateful to Brother Philip for intervening so fast to support with the funds to buy enough soaps that were well distributed to all the inmates. They were so very happy and even our hosts were impressed.


I did not take lots of time preparing for what to say because I prayed that God through His Holy Spirit would guide me on what to say.

Brother Philip and Brother George were inspired to advice me on what to tackle. My Key Text was from 1 Corinthians 13:13 which says, “ And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest is love” (NKJV).

I begun by clarifying how God loves each and every individual despite the situation or condition one may be found. I made them understand God’s love toward humankind and that NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God whether it is nakedness, persecution that goes along with imprisonment, famine, sickness, peril or sword as described in the Book of Romans 8: 31-39.

I personalized the situation and made them understand that each and every individual is in God’s Master Plan despite the situation they are in right now and made them understand that through God’s Love, they should have Faith that God will come to fulfill all His Precious Promises. God is Fulfilling His promises even now. I delved on some other verses that vividly explained about God’s love.

I also discussed about faith and how God acts very quickly when we have faith in all that He has said in His Word ( The Bible). I gave situations where faith saved most people in the Bible. I also talked about Hope and the kind of hope every true Christian should have. I discussed briefly and precisely on hope of the coming Kingdom of God.

Some of the inmates gave testimonies of what made them be in situation where they are now. They appreciated the message I gave and some who will be released after completing their jail terms requested for my phone number. Some 5 people will be released next Friday. The Officer in charge will give them my contacts so that I may pray for them and also discuss much with them when they are free at home.

This is an open door, though we will not regularly enter it every Sunday because there are other pastors who are making applications. We are praying that God  may give us another chance next Sunday.

The officer in charge, Mr. Peter Wafula, testified that the message was one of its kind. He said that he himself was so very blessed with the message and he longs to hear more from us. We directed some of the prison officers who were there to CCOG website. Remember inmates cannot access internet e.t.c.

We are looking forward to enter every door that God opens. Pray that God continue to give us the opportunity to reach out to His people in the prison.

Jesus said of His true followers:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40)

Glad Ondigo Ochieng was able to visit and preach in a prison.

As most of you already know, we in the CCOG also help provide food for the hungry and clothing for the poor.

Pursue Spiritual Excellence

In the December 1984 edition of the old Good News magazine, the late evangelist Leroy Neff wrote the following:

In Pursuit of Spiritual Excellence

The example of Olympian Eric Liddell is instructive for those running the ultimate spiritual race.

What drives humans to climb Mt. Everest? To summon hidden reserves on the running track? What makes individuals handicapped by deafness or blindness determined to achieve amazing feats? Why do people often react in noble ways during disasters?

Is it pride and vanity? Not necessarily. The human Spirit is truly magnificent. The force that propels people to great physical achievements is often the same force that, when coupled with God’s Holy Spirit, can help a true Christian be a spiritual achiever and endure to the end!

Herein lies a vital lesson — one that reaches into the very core of God’s plan for His greatest physical creation — ultimately to become His greatest spiritual creation — man.
It is the lesson of spiritual excellence.

Eric Liddell’s achievements

The life of Eric Liddell is an inspiring illustration of this spiritual quality. Liddell did not understand the true Sabbath or Holy Days or God’s master plan, but he did manifest an exemplary spirit of excellence.

Liddell’s life, of course, was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire. His real life, though, as detailed in such books as Sally Magnusson’s The Flying Scotsman, is even more gripping and fascinating.

Eric Liddell was the second son of Scottish missionaries to China. Born in China, he returned to Scotland to complete his formal education. Rugby was his early specialty in sports, but his fleetness soon led him to track, particularly the 100-yard dash. He won this event, as well as the 220 and 440, in numerous meets.

One such meet, the Triangular International Contest, brought teams from England, Ireland and Scotland together in the summer of 1923. The week previous Eric Liddell set a British record of 9.7 seconds in the 100 — a record that was to stand for 35 years. But this was to be overshadowed by what occurred at the Triangular. Eric won all three of his races at this meet, but it was his victory in the 440 that stands out as one of track’s greatest feats.

After only three strides, he was literally knocked off the track and onto the turf by an English runner who was bursting for the inside spot. Eric didn’t quit. He got up. He sprang onto the track. A 20-yard deficit now existed between him and the top-class field of runners.

The gap grew smaller as Liddell strained to catch up. Then he was in fourth place. With 40 yards and the tape to go, he edged into third, on the verge of collapse. However, the word collapse was not in Eric Liddell’s vocabulary, at least not during a race.

From somewhere deep within, he mustered that special something that catapulted him into the lead. He won the race by two yards! Coaches and spectators were dumbfounded.

This was a true exhibition of the spirit of excellence, of utter determination and burning desire, of drawing on an inner strength seemingly beyond normal ability.

How do we react when we get “knocked off the track”? Do we give up or do we strive mightily to catch up and succeed?

Interestingly, Eric Liddell’s running style was unorthodox. He flailed his arms and held his head back, but he got there. We also may appear unorthodox, but we can get there, too.

Olympic victory

Eric Liddell qualified for the 100-meter and 200-meter events in the 1924 Paris Olympics. The timetables were issued. Heats for the 100 were scheduled for Sunday. Though he didn’t understand the true Sabbath, which is on Saturday, Eric was sincere in his beliefs. To the horror of British athletic authorities, he absolutely refused to run on Sunday. Some critics went so far as to brand Eric a traitor.

It was in early 1924, at least six months before the Olympics, that Liddell made his decision not to run on Sunday. Consequently, he switched to the 400 meters and trained accordingly, but no one thought he had much chance at this distance, due to the faster times of other Olympic entrants. The favorite was Horatio Fitch, an American, who obviously remained the favorite when he clocked 47.8 seconds in the semifinals. It was a new world and Olympic record.

In contrast, Liddell ran 49 flat on a Thursday, his personal best to that point. Friday morning he brought it down to 48.2. Still, he seemingly posed no threat — except in the minds of a few who knew him and felt he had something not understood by others. That something is what we need spiritually.

Then came the final, on Friday afternoon. The 1924 Olympics were held during one of the most blazing heat waves in Paris’s history, and this Friday afternoon was no exception.

The most undesirable outside lane went to Eric. At the crack of the pistol, he bolted into a full sprint, though experienced runners know you just don’t go flat out in this race.

At 200 meters, Liddell streaked by at 22.2. Two days earlier, Jackson Scholz of the United States set a world record of 21.6 in the 200. Liddell was only halfway through the race, and was only.6 of a second off that pace. He ran in the 200 himself, taking the bronze at 21.9. His teammate Harold Abrahams, who won the gold in the 100 meters, ran only 22.3 in the 200. So Eric was.1 of a second faster at the halfway mark of the 400 than Abrahams was for the entire 200-meter event!

At this point, Liddell led by five meters. Everyone expected him to crack at any time.

Sure enough, Fitch gained to within two yards. Then came the long final straight. The incredible happened. Eric seemed to sense the threat. He poured it on. He stretched his lead and broke the tape five meters ahead of Fitch. The time — 47.6 seconds, a new world record, eclipsing Fitch’s effort of that morning.

Yes, times in track, including the 400 meters, have improved considerably — and so have training techniques, technology and the amount of time devoted to practice. At any rate, the traitor was now a hero.

Likewise, though true Christians will be considered traitors prior to the return of Jesus Christ, if we run our race with determination, we will eventually achieve the proper respect and esteem from others for our efforts.

Indeed, Eric Liddell earned a great deal of respect in Scotland. Even 56 years later, at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, when a Scotsman named Allan Wells finally won the Olympic 100 meters, Wells quietly stated, “This one was for Eric Liddell.”

The pursuit of excellence

Of course there was glory in that 400-meter victory. Not so much glory of the flesh – not vanity nor pride. It was the glory of achievement, character, determination, self-discipline and of knowing one had done his best. Sadly, this is so often lacking in sports today, but is still evident in some athletes.

It should definitely be evident in Christians when we participate in athletic endeavors, but it should especially be present in our spiritual lives.

When tempered with humility, this approach is highly valued by God, for it reflects His approach — that of true excellence. Manifested in us and coupled with God’s truth, this approach elevates what we do to the level of the things of God. God’s Kingdom and Family, finally, are keynoted by excellence.

Those who were acquainted with Eric Liddell described him as a man of average talents who drove himself to develop and utilize those talents to an amazing degree. What a parallel to the “foolish things of the world,” who are called by God to confound the wise (I Corinthians 1:27-29)!

Of course, God’s help is involved. But, perhaps this quality of striving for excellence can help us better understand Hebrews 2:10: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

It’s as if God gave humans something in this life that can, in a lesser way, parallel and enable us to glimpse the truly glorious things of His spiritual Family. And perhaps that something is also to act as a potential bridge toward building godly character, if only we are called of God and utilize it properly.

Now, you may not be a runner — you may not be at all interested in running. But you are a runner in life, even if you are in a wheelchair. And you and I need to run our race as Eric Liddell ran his — both the race of life and, more especially, the spiritual race we are in.

At the tape is the glory awaiting the children of God. But the miracle of this transformation won’t happen if we settle for mediocrity. It won’t happen if we remain as base and foolish as when we started, but by the change that takes place in us.

With God’s Spirit and a spirit of excellence, this change will literally astound the world, because it will lead to our becoming very God!

Running our race

The apostle Paul said, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). In II Corinthians 12:10 he stated: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Sometimes it seems that those with physical handicaps do the best job of running in this race. They seem to have more desire to maximize whatever physical abilities they have.

Paul himself stands out as one of the greatest “runners” of all time. It’s possible he attended the Isthmian Games around A.D. 50. Much of the advice he offered in his epistles draws spiritual analogies from these athletic contests, which provided the inspiration for the modern Olympic Games.

For example, in I Corinthians 9:24, Paul admonished his readers: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

Paul went on in verse 25 to contrast the fading branch of wild olive offered to victors in the Games with the glorious crown we will receive at the conclusion of the Christian race. Even Olympic gold will look tarnished in comparison to that crown.

Make no mistake. Our crown will be one of glory — not pride and vanity, but the glory of satisfaction in accomplishment, perfection of character and achievement, along with radiant brilliance and power to be given us at that great day.

In verse 27, Paul talked about preaching to others. This could well be translated “heralded to others.” The herald at the Games summoned the contending runners to their starting positions. This would typify in the analogy the spiritual job of God’s true ministry, and is how Paul applied the point to himself.

Paul made related references in several scriptures. One is Acts 20:24, where he talked about the course or track: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Authorized Version).

A runner had to press forward, even to the disregard of his life, in the Isthmian Games. This is the approach we are called on to adopt in our spiritual race. And we can’t look back! That can cost us the race.

Furthermore, Paul showed in II Timothy 2:5 that we must follow the rules — do it the right way: “And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” Eric Liddell will one day come to understand the true rules of the spiritual race. But we have been made privy to that information now.

In Hebrews 12:1-2, Paul wrote: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Here we find a reference to weights that were strapped to runners’ legs for training purposes. Sin, in this sense, is a weight we have to work against in order to build spiritual strength. Paul also shows it is an endurance race that Jesus Christ has already finished.

In God’s view, excellence has a great deal to do with determination, courage and perseverance. Jesus Christ manifested all of these and more in His life, and especially at His crucifixion.

Paul’s own example

Paul himself endured more than most. Indeed, in this context, he is one of the greatest heroes of the track. He who had been the hunter became the hunted: The one who earlier rejoiced at the murders of God’s people became willing to die for them.

You can read about some of the suffering Paul endured in the latter part of II Corinthians 11. On many occasions, this brave warrior of God stood virtually alone — particularly during his second imprisonment, which culminated in his death. But in Paul there was no giving up, no quitting. He finished the race.

In II Timothy 4:6-8, Paul described in moving and emotional language the conclusion of his race: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (AV).

And, as the story goes, Paul was led to the outskirts of Rome, along the Ostian Way, on what was probably a hot summer day. There, the executioner’s axe severed his head from his body. Unwittingly, the executioner participated in a glorious victory in a great race. At his death in the faith Paul broke the tape and secured the excellency that is soon to come with the Kingdom of God.

God desires excellence in us

The question is, how will we finish our race? Will we even finish? Will we be victorious? Will we manifest excellence? We all can, and God desires this in us.

As the end of this age approaches, let’s determine to make full use of the potential excellence God created in the human spirit, and reap more abundantly the rich spiritual lessons and achievements that can help all of us win our great race for the Kingdom of God.

Yes, brethren, we all are to pursue spiritual excellence.

However, one problem in this age is that many are lukewarm and feel that they have done enough and are satisfied with less than that.

Strive not to be among the majority of Christians in this age who are Laodicean (cf. Revelation 3:14-21).

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

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. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.

World News Items

Israel looks to be getting a more religious coalition as part of its government (see I365; Netanyahu’s Likud, UTJ reach interim coalition deal)–though there are still limits as the Likud pparty still does not want to allow regular Jewish prayer on what is called the Temple Mount. It is likely that it will take a more religious government to implement the sacrifices that scripture shows will be stopped (e.g. Daniel 11:31)–though we may be getting very close to that time (but it may also take a regional war first as well).

We keep seeing reports that Europe is concerned about a possible trade war with the USA (e.g. see DW: German finance minister warns of US trade war; BBC: Finnish PM Sanna Marin … Europe must make sure it is “building those capabilities when it comes to European defence …”). Basically, the Europeans believe that subsidies, etc. related to the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ benefit the USA, Canada, and Mexico at the expense of Europe. As we have been writing for years, trade friction will be one of the major factors that will turn Europe militarily against the USA.

There remain valid concerns that the financial “house of cards” that the financial systems of the Western nations are linked to will collapse (see MS: Could 65 Trillion Dollars In “Hidden” Derivatives Cause The Entire Global Financial System To Crash?). It is little wonder that the BRICS and Eurasian nations are looking towards something else (see Eurasian Economic Union working with BRICS to bypass USA dollar). Scripture points to gold (cf. Daniel 11:35-43; Revelation 18) as a temporal pillar that the future Babylonia Beast system will use–but it also points out that gold will one day be worthless (e.g. Ezekiel 7:19; see also The Plain Truth About Gold in Prophecy. How Should a Christian View Gold?).

Concluding Comments

God inspired the prophet Micah to write down the following:

1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.
2 Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
And rebuke strong nations afar off;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.

4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid;
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. (Micah 4:1-4)

Yes, brethren, despite wars and rumors of wars, there still is good news.

Jesus will return and establish the Kingdom of God.

Comfort one another with these words (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer