Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.
The recommended sermon for this Sabbath, Hierarchical Governance and Corruption, is a bit longer than usual as I felt it was necessary to do so to deal with many issues as well as allegations.
Typically, I try to do sermons that are between 70 and 90 minutes in length, and this one is just a few seconds shy of 90 minutes.
Anyway, there are many falsehoods and gossip that many believe that I tried to address.
True Philadelphian Christians strive to believe the truth over gossip, accept Philadelphia era governance, and support the proclamation work of the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Radio in Africa and Europe
Deacon Ondigo Ochieng at the recording studioOndigo Ochieng, Grantone Otieno, Joel Owuoti, Charles Agwenge, and Evans Ochieng met to discuss future radio plans to reach Kenya and Tanzania. It was decided that Ondigo Ochieng, Grantone Otieno, Joel Owuoti, and Charles Agwenge would all be presenters. At least three of them have been presenters in the past.
Radio is one of the “doors” we are using to work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20, while also working towards part of the fulfillment of Romans 11:25.
Speaking of radio, Joe Lumpay emailed me this week and commented that information in our book will be helpful for the radio broadcast he does in the Philippines.
Also, in addition to the 12 commercial stations, plus 1 shortwave station we are on in the USA, we are on one AM and one shortwave station in Europe.
In Europe, the shortwave frequency changes twice per year. We were informed that starting Monday, March 27, 2023, our European Gospel Radio shortwave frequency will be 7290 KHz.
More information on our radio and other outreaches, check out the CCOG Multimedia page.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites in the Philippines and New Zealand
Joe Lumpay sent me the following email:
Dear Dr. Thiel,
Happy to report to you that we finally had found a fine feast site for the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles. This is a mountain resort namely, FARMERS’ GARDEN RESORT, located at the Municipality of Mainit (which means hot), Surigao del Norte, a one hour drive from Surigao City. A wellness resort sorrounded by hills which has four pools, one of which is a warm water from a volcanic spring.
We already informed our brethren in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City of which they felt excited about.
We were told by the management to book as early as possible with the 30% advance. We promised to do before end of this month.
The price of rooms are quite just reasonable as follows:
1) Double Bed . . . .Php 1,500.00 (US $ 30.00)
2) Family of 6. .Php 2,400.00 (US $48.00)
3) Function Hall ( the double-size room converted into a Function Hall). . Php 1,500.00
Attached hereto is a video of one section of the resort.
Also I would like to take this opportunity to request your book about the Ten Tribes. Am sure this is going to be a good material source for our radio broadcast here. Please send us three, one for me, and one each for Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
Furthermore, I humbly assure you of our backings through prayers for God to give you the extra strength and inspiration as you continue on leading God’s Church amidst this trying times.
Our warmest regards,
Joe (and family)
Because I could not copy the video link, I included a photo of the hotel that the Feast of Tabernacles is planned for in the Philippines:
We are hoping that Steve and Ruth Dupuie from the USA will be able to go there and assist with the Feast site in the Philippines this year.
Shirley Gestro sent the following today related to the site in New Zealand:
Dear Dr. Thiel
We have a site confirmed for the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand. The location is Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.
Here is some information about Christchurch:
Christchurch is the city of exploration, where urban regeneration and heritage thrive. The city is constantly evolving, always giving locals and visitors something new to explore. Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene, and established green spaces.
The central city is filled with cutting-edge architecture alongside some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. The Avon River intersects the city, bringing a natural landscape to the urban environment. Christchurch is the basecamp for South Island exploration, with the Banks Peninsula within reach, as well as the stunning Southern Alps and famed Canterbury Plains. https://www.newzealand.com/int/christchurch/
Feast of Tabernacles services site:
74 London Street, Richmond, Christchurch
Church Service Dates and Times
Opening Night Service, Friday, September 29, 6:30pm
FOT 1, Saturday, 30 September, 11am
Sunday, October 1 to Friday, October 6, 10:30am
LGD, Saturday, 7 October, 11am
Motels close (3-minute drive) to Richmond Cottage:
Bealey Quarter https://www.bealeyquarter.co.nz/stay/
Bealey Avenue Motel https://bealeyavenuemotel.co.nz/
Guest houses, suites, holiday homes in Christchurch:
Air BnB https://www.airbnb.co.nz/
Book a Bach https://www.bookabach.co.nz/d/1225006/richmond
Holy Day restaurant details and activities will be available later.
Contact Ritchie White, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be the first time that the Continuing Church of God will have held the Feast of Tabernacles in the South Island of New Zealand. This is something we have discussed as a possibility for several years.
The Feast of Tabernacles is something all of us should be preparing for. This year, services are to begin the evening of September 29th and continue until sunset ending the Last Great Day which is October 7th.
Do not put it off as time marches on fairly quickly.
Here is a link to additional information, which we expect to further update: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2023.
That said, the Spring Holy Days are almost upon us. Passover is to be kept after sunset on April 4th this year.
In the CCOG, we often receive donations via PayPal.It was not working right as I have received reports from a couple of people in Europe that they were unable to donate within the past 24 hours.
I contacted PayPal yesterday and today and believe it now works again. If you have any problem, please feel free to email me: COGwriter@aol.com
What looks to have happened is that PayPal made a change and did not continue to support the existing situation past Monday. So, it has been updated.
Sorry for the difficulties this caused some.
After we put together the recommended sermon for this week (which is titled Hierarchical Governance and Corruption), someone once with us posted at an anti-Church of God website that, in Africa, “In some cases, membership of the entire countries have departed from CCOG.” Now, that has not happened!
While we did lose around 7-8 people in the European nation of Serbia (which we reported about in the Letter to the Brethren: March 2, 2023), we have not had any other “entire country” with a congregation leave us–and certainly none in Africa.
Let me add that I have received emails of support from all nations we have congregations in around the world, so am unsure why someone chose to write and then post that “entire countries” departed from the CCOG comment. Furthermore, I even received an email from someone who left the Serbian group a couple of years ago who may have interest in being part of the CCOG again.
Let it be stated that the repeated assertion that we have ignored complaints by not investigating or by not taking actions is absolutely false. We have put numerous leaders in Africa out of the Continuing Church of God once we proved their unfaithfulness.
That said, let me add that there are some leaders in Africa that we put out of the CCOG for corruption in 2022 (and prior) who now reportedly are receiving outside funding. Consistent with a warning from the Apostle Paul, some we put out in in Africa (and some who have been influenced by them) have been “speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves” (cf. Acts 20:30). Yet, despite their words and various claims, the Continuing Church of God still has at least hundreds of congregants in each of the countries we put leaders out in (and multiple thousands in Kenya alone).
Remember that after Jesus’ arrest, “many false witnesses came forward” (Matthew 26:60) to try to get rid of Him. Sadly, many wanted to frame and/or believe falsehoods about Jesus.
Do not be caught up in lies that many are spreading now.
Be careful about believing false reports and gossip.
Suggested Sabbath Day Service
Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:
- 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.
- The suggested sermonette is: Where is the Ark of the Covenant? Other sermonettes are available at our Prophecy channel on BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- The suggested sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The suggested one is: Hierarchical Governance and Corruption. Other sermons are also available at the COGTube channel on BitChute https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/
- 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. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.
World News Items
Banking concerns remain in the news (see Contradictory actions and headlines in banking mean what? and MS: Are They Actually Trying To Crash The Economy On Purpose?). While we know that the economic system in the coming Kingdom of God will be stable, much of the world’s banking system, at best, is on a foundation of sand, which can collapse.
Saw an article posted by a Protestant writer who believed God was about to orchestrate a ‘Greater Exodus’ and basically that the globalists were about to be defeated (see WND: EXODUS AHEAD The ‘one-world government’ effort is collapsing; COGwriter: Don’t inhale that hopium). But that is not consistent with biblical prophecies (such as in the 13th and 17th chapters of the Book of Revelation) nor reality among many of the elite–the world is moving towards ‘666’ controls (see World Economic Forum pushing the inevitability of CBDCs). World event continue to align with properly understood biblical prophecies.
About six months ago, partially because of skeptics and biblical naysayers, Steve Dupuie and I put together a sermonette titled: Did Joshua of the Bible Exist? This week, Israel365News had an article about additional archaeological evidence which supports the biblical account of Joshua (see ‘Joshua’s Altar – How Archaeology proves the Bible’). While we do not need archaeology to prove that the Bible is true, archaeological evidence is another witness against those who would speak against the reliability of the scripture.
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘ (Revelation 3:7-13)
Brethren, strive to live as a Philadelphian Christian and do not let talebearers or others take your crown.
Pastor and Overseer