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Letter to the Brethren: February 22, 2024

Letter to the Brethren: February 22, 2024

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California (where now our ceilings have to be replaced because of water damage related to the tornado that hit earlier this month).

We were disappointed with the proposals we received from Corpus Christi. Therefore, we have contacted to other cities further north in Texas related to the USA site for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2024, who have not yet responded. That said, a representative from Corpus Christi said she was looking into getting other proposals submitted, so we have not yet totally eliminated Corpus Christi. We plan to let you know when a decision has been made.

The Feast of Tabernacles is later in the calendar year than usual (begins after sunset October 16th), so we still do have time on this. But we do not wish to wait too long which is why we have contacted two additional cities.

We received another 20 translations of our English booklet titled The Gospel of the Kingdom of God this week. These translation are helpful to support the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, Romans 11:25 (see What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?), the Ezekiel warning (see What is the Ezekiel Warning?), as well as the short work of Romans 9:28 (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word).

Wedding in New Zealand

Richie White and Shirley Gestro were married in New Zealand on the 29th of January 2024.

They submitted the following photo:

Many of you may recall that Shirley was the widow of John Hickey who died in July of 2020.

Richie lived in the South Island of New Zealand and now Shirley has been moving from the North Island to the South Island. The official address for the Continuing Church of God in New Zealand will soon also be switched to one in the South Island.

Anyway, all the best to Richie and Shirley.

Kenya Matters

We received the following in an email from CCOG pastor Tiongik Sawek:

Receive greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. We are doing well in the name the name of Jesus Christ both in North and South Rift. New churches are emerging as a result of hardworking of the ministers of God and that we are receiving many invitations in various places as a results of getting teachings from our books, others are hearing from our teaching. Others are accepting while others might not accept. Just as it was in the days of Christ and Apostle Paul others could accept while others could not.

Therefore we in rift valley have to visit up to three times in order to know whether they were speaking the truth or not, just as Apostle Paul said in 2corr. 13:1. We agreed together with Ochieng that if anyone writes a letter in Rift valley, he will give our contact to him so that we may travel and find if that person is truthful at least three times before travelling whit Ochieng. When we started doing this way we were able to overcome liars who were pretending to be Christians while they were not. …

Secondly we were pleased with what we had said with Ochieng that no minister will be ordained without us in rift valley consulting in order to make it sure that those who might be ordained are well equipped with faith and the teachings of the continuing church of God.

(1st Tim 3:1). Not the one who accepted recently for he might boast even if that has been a leader in another church or could be well educated for such may make them to be boastful and bring the dispute in the church.

We had proposed Elder Cheruiyot to be in charge of the churches of the north rift but in case of the opening the new churches, he will call me and I will go ascertain with him to find whether they are truthful or not before calling Evans Ochieng. Although we leaders we cannot prevent anyone from joining the church so long as they want the truth (1 Tim 5:1-2,1st peter 5:1)

We are now in the rainy season and in most cases we normally experience outbreak of diseases especially malaria as a result of increase of mosquito.

Remember to pray for one mother who has been admitted to Kapkatet hospital for a week now who is a member of Chilani church. God bless you.

Pastor Sawek.

We also received the following this week from a man who had left the CCOG, was temporarily associated with the ‘Hope of Israel,’ and told us that he wants to return to the CCOG. He also sent an email stating the following:

First Let me thank you for your research in publishing this book “Fatima Shock”. It is a must read for those who are really serious to know Satan’s deceptions that will be very rampant in the near years ahead. I’ve read the book in two rounds but it is still fascinating. My background as a former Catholic is more or less the same way as you stated yours. I was born in a Catholic family baptized there in 1955 when I was 14 years old. My confirmation was in 1957, I become a staunch Mass Servant for some years and I had believed in everything plus our Lady of Fatima, I had crammed everything in Latin. I appreciate that book plus another shocking one from our esteemed  Pastor Evans Kisiengo, the other one was Secret Sect 2000, Wow!We should commend a pastor who hit hard at the enemy the way you do. May the Loving God bless you and bless the work.   

Sincerely, Lukas A Ogada.

I first met Lukas Ogada when I visited Kenya in 2014. He was one of the first Kenyans to be part of the old Worldwide Church of God.

In terms of media in Kenya, we are on one radio station, with three presenters. The presenters are Grantone Otieno, Joel Owuoti, and Charles Agwenge.

This week we were able to renew the following station for the next six months:

The above station comes from Migori, also reaches Tanzania, and is a called Radio Milambo and is on 103.8FM. We have been on Fridays from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Being on mass media, including radio, is something that COG leaders have done since no later than the 1930s to help fulfill that.

Radio was used so much to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom and other biblical messages, that after he left CG7, the late Herbert W. Armstrong initially named his group the Radio Church of God.

In addition to Kenya, we of the CCOG are on other commercial radio stations around the world, as well as on two shortwave radio stations. More on them can be found at the Continuing Church of God Multimedia page.

Another Facebook Fake

Brethren, as reported before, I received several messages from contacts on Facebook who suspected that friend requests that they received which supposedly came from me in December 2023.

While I normally receive Facebook friend requests multiple times per week, I have not sent out any Facebook friend requests myself to anyone for over a decade. Generally speaking, I try to avoid Facebook, and only try to be to it the minimum time possible-which I sometimes need to do for some overseas church matters.

Well, now someone is pretending to be me again on Facebook and is associated with an orphanage ministry in Kenya.

When I learned this connection on Tuesday, I sent the orphanage ministry the following message on its contact form:

Someone is sending out fake Facebook posts supposedly from me, Bob Thiel, with a link to your ministry. If you are doing this, please cease and desist. If it is not you, but you know of someone doing this, please tell them to stop bearing false witness.

The above orphanage ministry has still not responded to my message.

That said, although we in the CCOG do support numerous orphans (consistent with James 1:27), this Facebook push to the one promoted was not from me.

Now, one easy way anyone can prove that this was not from me is if one clicks on the link in the post, one ends up at the page of that orphanage ministry, which has numerous crosses. Since I and those truly in the Churches of God do not use crosses as a religious symbol (see also What is the Origin of the Cross as a Claimed ‘Christian’ Symbol?), that will show anyone with that knowledge that this was not me.

As many of you are aware, we have warned about the emergence of deepfakes for some time now. Back in 2021, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) even put out a related video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel: Lies and Deepfakes.

Last March, I was presented with what I considered to be a “deepfake” computer-conversation related to another CCOG leader (Evans Ochieng) that I was able to determine could not have happened as it was presented to myself and others. Sadly, however, some preferred to believe that lie.

The Bible warns against:

15 … idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:15)

Jesus once said to some near Him:

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  (John 8:44-45)

Whoever is pretending to be me has the devil as his/her father.

Many use a variety of techniques to try to deceive.

The Apostle Paul warned:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: … 13 … evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:1,13)

Yes, the emergence of various fakes is a sign of the last days.

Expect deceivers to put out materials pretending that I and/or others in the CCOG leadership have accepted one or more heresies or have engaged in biblically sinful behavior. Remember to be careful NOT to accept accusations against church leadership (cf. 1 Timothy 5:19) without REAL proof (some who have claimed to have “real proof” have not, but instead have twisted matters and believed lies).

It is sad that some wish to try to deceive others through fakes, talebearing, and other ways (cf. Leviticus 19:16).

The Apostle Paul also warned end-time Christians, “not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, … Let no one deceive you by any means” (2 Thessalonians 2:2,3).

That includes trying not to be deceived by “deepfakes and phony computer requests.”

Yes brethren, I believe that deepfakes will get worse consistent with the prophecies in 2 Timothy 3:13 and 2 Thessalonians 2.

Be on guard. Fakes and liars will get even worse.

Suggested Sabbath Day ServicesHere 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 mobile 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

The annual Munich Security Conference ended on Sunday (see What’s been going on at the Munich Security Conference?). Though many say they want peace, according to the President of Serbia, many are mainly preparing for war — and this includes Germany which has been taking militaristic steps (see RT: World leaders no longer working toward peace – Serbian president; PCG: Signs of Germany’s Startling Rise). Biblically, we know a warring Beast power will arise in Europe (cf. Revelation 13:1-4) and that Germany will be a power that will use its military again (cf. Isaiah 10:5-12).

That said, in the Western world we are seeing a lot of protests and civil unrest (see MS: Chaos Erupts! We Are Witnessing Riots, Protests And Civil Unrest All Over The Western World In 2024). Unrest, protests, and riots in Europe would be expected to be factors in the coming reorganizations in Europe and rise of the prophesied Beast.

On Tuesday, I denounced a couple of false predictions at the website. One was from a Messianic Protestant and the other from one who had been a minister in the old Worldwide Church of God (see Biltz: Judgment of USA begins with solar eclipse April 8, 2024; Billinglesy: Jesus will be on earth in 2029; COGwriter: Accept God’s criteria for a prophet). Consistent with what the Apostle Peter wrote, we in the Continuing Church of God “have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

Sadly, we see that the Bible prophesies that most true Christians in the end times will NOT follow proper biblical church governance (Revelation 3:14-19; see also The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government). Because of that. most real end time Christians have major misunderstandings of end time prophecies (see also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?). Those who will not repent to be Philadelphian Christians are not promised to be protected from the coming “hour of trial” that Jesus promised He would give the Philadelphian Christians protection from (Revelation 3:7-13; see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).

All Churches of God (COGs) are NOT alike or close enough to for a Philadelphian Christian to be a supporter of. Do not think otherwise.

Consider also, that unless they got the restored truth from, or after it was announced by, the Continuing Church of God, the other COGs do not know why God created anything nor what God’s purpose for each individual be in His kingdom (see also The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?). According to Jesus, truth was to be restored before He returned (Matthew 17:11).

The Apostle Paul warned:

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, (2 Timothy 3:13-14)

That message was not just for Timothy. The fact is that the other COGs did not restore the truths that have been taught and restored in the Continuing Church of God (see also Continuing Church of God, Elijah, and Restoring All Things).

Remember, also, that seven time Jesus said:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22)

Jesus probably would not have felt the need to say that so many times if most Christian people would pay proper attention to the messages to the different Christian churches.

Prophecies show that most will not pay sufficient attention.

Do not be like them–strive to truly be a Philadelphian Christian.

Concluding Comments

The Book of Proverbs teaches:

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Brethren, do not be among those who do or support those that do things that God hates.

Live in peace, and demonstrate the love of God of love.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer