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Letter to the Brethren: July 23, 2015

Letter to the Brethren: July 23, 2015

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Google Internet Campaign

Google reports that our internet campaign reached 3,727,109 computers for the month of June. We continue to reach millions over the internet as well as other ways like radio and our YouTube channels.

Move to Grover Beach, California

As mentioned before, we have been looking into moving our office to a larger location.  We looked in many areas, including two of which were not part of the ‘Five Cities’ region of California.

As it turned out, it looks like we will be moving our office to Grover Beach, California, which we believe will assist in fulfilling the work we are trying to do.  Basically it is a mile or so down the street from where we have been.  And it happens to be one of the ‘Five Cities’ here.

Some of you may have wondered why we did not include your Contribution Statement with the last mailing of the Bible News Prophecy magazine like we usually do for those in the USA.  The reason was that we thought that we might need to move and did not want to include a lot of envelopes with the old address.

Anyway, we sent those Contribution Statements out yesterday with envelopes with the new address.

We officially have access to the new location beginning August 1, 2015, but will not be moving in for a couple of weeks afterwards as an office needs to be put up first and then government approval will be needed.

That being said, we will be accepting mail in both the current Arroyo Grande office and the new Grover Beach office for the next several weeks.

We plan to announce the new address here next week, along with a picture, presuming all is going well with the move.

Spanish Language Matters

We were able to pick up the printed copy of the Spanish edition of Bible News Prophecy magazine yesterday so that we were able to mail those out.  Other than English, we have the most materials available in the Spanish language.

Canada Matters

We are getting closer to getting formal approval of the Continuing Church of God in Canada.  We hope and pray we will have this by next month.

Such approval will allow Canadian donations to be income tax-deductible.  The way we have tried to structure this should allow us another way to help support the brethren in Africa.

Africa and Asia

We sent sermon DVDs and some CDs and other materials to Africa (Kenya and Nigeria) and Asia (Philippines and Kachinland).  The DVDs were also related to the Fall Holy Days, with most sermons on them given at the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014.

This should help some with the multiple locations in Africa, as well as expose some without a prior Church of God background to the types of sermons that have been given at Feast of Tabernacles’ sites.

Speaking of Africa, Pastor Evans Ochieng sent the following a few days ago:

Another thing I would like to inform you is that I will be very busy next week building the church hall that will help during the feast of Tabernacles. I am trying to use the  funds you  sent to me to try to put this hall. It is very essential to have this hall. I need to establish the church hear in Kenya fully because  soon  after the feast I will spend most of my time to visit African countries to meet all people who are contacting the church from various African countries. We need to preach the gospel to all nations in Africa. And since the church is facing Feast of Tabernacles’ budget I need not to disturb the church to send funds for building this hall. So I will cut some of the expenses I am covering in expenses. So that I will try to finish this hall before October. If there are some brethren who can donate {funds to assist} in building this hall will be highly appreciated.

We provided some assistance for the building last year, but not enough to expand it enough for the number of people who hopefully will be able to attend this year.

Also, since I got that email from Pastor Ochieng, it looks like he may possibly try to visit one or more interested groups in Ghana, Malawi, and/or Nigeria prior to the Feast of Tabernacles.  Though some or all of those may need to happen after the Feast of Tabernacles.

Yesterday, Pastor Ochieng sent me the following:

Pastor I have many reports to send not only financial report but all collective reports. I am committed to establish many things in Kenya since you know that the church was still new and now it is growing rapidly even has exceeded many old churches of God here in Kenya. …

You told me even to teach about tithing. I have all these in mind and I will do everything perfect. …

If I have already finish the major things I want to do in Kenya concerning the growth of the church. Now I am ok because those who were fighting CCOG in Kenya are bending law and realized that CCOG is doing a powerful work that they cannot defeat easily like the way they wanted to do it. Because they were thinking that they were senior in Kenya than CCOG because  they are old in the country. Now they have realized that God is working in CCOG more than their expectations. When I am sending report I want to send all reports. All financial reports are with me and I will send them all. Except I misplaced some papers of May accounts. So the financial report of May will not be full. But most of it I have. I have started the hall building where we shall have the Feast of Tabernacles services in Ndhiwa.
I will reply the people of Ghana and Malawi how my trip will be, after
visit their Embassies.

CCOG has had a lot of growth in Africa.  Many other groups did not believe that would happen, but it has been occurring.


A radio interview I did on July 14, 2015 for WARM 590 AM Radio, Wilkes Barre, PA is scheduled to be on the air only Sunday, July 26, 2015.  The topics covered included the Iranian deal and issues related to Hillary Clinton and prophecy.

I was on Newstalk. 1400 am WPFA, Fort Wayne, Alabama this morning for nearly one hour.  The host and I discussed American politics, debt, concerns about the homosexual agenda, the famine of the word, and biblical prophecies.

The Continuing Church of God is determined to go through whatever doors Jesus opens (Revelation 3:7-13), and secular radio is sometimes one of those doors.

Bible News Prophecy Radio

We received the following report from New Zealand related to Bible News Prophecy online radio from Shirley Gestro:

I  changed the design for the online radio channel, for a cleaner appearance and other traffic related reasons.  I will be working on creating RSS feeds so new content can be updated automatically and it will be easier to share on social media, and backlinks, according to marketing experts it is suppose to drive more traffic.

Bible News Prophecy online radio is another ‘door’ that we are using to try to reach as many as we can.  People are being reached with this volunteer effort in New Zealand.

World News Items

The  BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) opened a new bank, called the New Development Bank, which some feel will compete with the World Bank (see BRICS launch New Development Bank in Shanghai–another step in the rise of the time of the Gentiles?).  One of the goals of the BRICS nations is to reduce the financial dominance of the US on the world scene, and this is another step towards that goal.  While the Bible shows that it will be a European power that dominates trade during the Great Tribulation, it may well be that steps that Asian and Africa nations take will assist with Europe’s rise at the expense of the USA.

There is still concern over the deal that Iran and the USA agreed to.  After it was agreed to, Iran basically said the deal does not change relations with the USA and that the “real terrorists’ are basically the USA (see After deal, Iran’s Khamenei calls USA ‘arrogant’ and ‘the real terrorists;’ he also says Iran will not change its policies in Middle East).

On Monday, the USA was easily able to get the United Nations Security Council to approve the deal (see UN approves Iran deal, US tells Israel it may need to agree to disagree).  The next day, an Iranian leader publicly stated that Iran would ‘defy’ portions of what the United Nations approved.  Iran may well take steps that will incur a significant military wrath of Israel, the USA, and/or others and this may be a reason that it will not be the nation that will arise to lead the final king of the South of biblical prophecy (Daniel 11:40-43).

Speaking of the USA and the United Nations, California Governor Jerry Brown told Zenit (a pro-Vatican news agency) that he is likely to hear Pope Francis speak at his scheduled address to the United Nations in September (see Former Jesuit student and California Governor Jerry Brown endorses Pope Francis).  Jerry Brown was a former Jesuit student and Pope Francis is publicly promoting many parts of the ecumenical Jesuit agenda.  An agenda that the Bible warns against, but that many politicians have been endorsing (cf. Revelation 17/18).

In the USA, the abortion-group Planned Parenthood, face embarrassment when undercover videos were released showing that the organization is involved in selling baby parts (see StemExpress changes website, but still is selling baby body parts and Trading baby parts for a Lamborghini?).  Planned Parenthood released statements that they do not ‘sell’ baby parts for profit, but that they do get money for them.  Planned Parenthood also claimed that they do everything in accordance with the law and ‘ethical standards’ despite the fact that abortion is murder and not ethical.

In Greece, there are still bank restrictions, but some have loosened up.  European Council President said that faced a catastrophe that the Greek ‘bail out’ deal averted (see EU President Tusk: Europe came close to a catastrophe).  It does not seem like problems in Greece have been solved by this deal, so look for more problems with Greece in the future.

A member tipped me off to claims of a ‘Marian miracle’ that allegedly occurred in Australia on Sunday (see Marian miracle in Australia?).  As I have warned for some time, expect to see various ‘miracles’ attributed to Mary in these end times.  These are setting the stage of the signs and lying wonders that will deceive the world (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Isaiah 47).

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.

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 new Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.


Concluding Comments

The deacon and martyr Stephen taught:

44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, 45 which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, 46 who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built Him a house.

48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:

49 ‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has My hand not made all these things?’ (Acts 7:44-50)

Brethren, do you realize that Christians are the ‘temple of God’ (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; see also Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).  Remember to live your life with that knowledge (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why?).


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God