Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Denver, Colorado. We are in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles.

We have received positive reports from sites in New Zealand, Africa, the Philippines, and Canada.

The Feast of Tabernacles has gone well in Denver and we had a baptism here on Monday.

We had the ‘blessing of little children’ yesterday.  This is the first time I have conducted that service.  Traditionally, the Church of God has done this during the Feast of Tabernacles and this is the first time we had young enough children to do this at one of our USA Feast of Tabernacles’ sites.

Today, my wife, youngest son, and I are to fly from Denver, Colorado and eventually land in Buffalo, New York and then drive across to the site in Niagara Falls, Canada.  Steve and Ruth Dupuie are to fly to Denver today as they were in Niagara Falls for the first half of the Feast.

We expect to put up more Feast of Tabernacles’ announcements in next week’s letter.

Meeting With CG7′s Robert Coulter

While in Denver, I got an opportunity to visit the headquarters of Church of God (Seventh Day), Denver (CG7).  There I met with CG7′s former president Robert Coulter.  He and I have conversed over the years, mainly on matters of church history, Christology, and working with people in South America and Africa.  This was our first face-to-face meeting and we discussed those subjects and more.

Robert Coulter also showed me CG7′s ‘vault,’ which is a storage room with original copies of old CG7 publications.  He showed me, for example, the first edition of the old Hope of Israelmagazine.

I had also hoped to meet with another former CG7 president, Calvin Burrell, but he recently moved to the State of Oregon–he has since emailed me to see if we can meet in the future.  He and I have discussed doctrinal matters as well as matters related to contacts in Africa.

Several groups in Africa which have contacted the Continuing Church of God in the past couple of years have used some version of the name Church of God Seventh-Day and I have tried to determine their sincerity as well as possible connections to the group in Denver.

In 2015, we were contacted by groups in Ethiopia and Ghana who use a version of the term Church of God 7th Day.  I discussed those groups with Calvin Burrell some months ago.  Afterwards, I determined it would be wise to send CCOG Pastors Ochieng and Owak to meet those in Ghana in August 2015. I also worked on matters related to supporting those in Ghana to observe the Feast of Tabernacles this year, as well as assisted in clarifying doctrinal issues related to the Feast of Trumpets and the Last Great Day.  We hope that CCOG Pastor Evans Ochieng will be able to go to Ethiopia relatively soon to meet with them.

Those groups in Ghana and Ethiopia were not breaking away from the Denver group according to Calvin Burrell (nor had I thought so, but wanted to check).  When I met with Robert Coulter, he explained that there are groups that are formally part of the CG7 International Conference, but that there are independent groups that have associate status–but that it is really only a name association.

He and I discussed how I was told the Ethiopians first became affiliated with a Church of God minister from Kenya and that there were around 200 in the group that contacted us.  I also mentioned that there were about 500 in the group in Ghana that we were starting to work with.  He provided some of his insights to that part of the world, and he and I discussed our own respective visits to Kenya and other parts of Africa.

While in Denver, I was unable to meet with new CG7 president Loren Stacey as he has not yet moved to CG7′s Denver office in his new role.

My main interests in meeting with CG7 was to improve information on church history, pass on doctrinal information, help prevent misunderstandings, reduce the possibility of getting misled by pretenders to the COG located in various parts of the world while we in the Continuing Church of God work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

World News Items

The world has been excited about Pope Francis’ visits to Cuba, the USA, and the United Nations.  and excited many there (see Pope Francis in Cuba; false prediction by PCG’s Gerald Flurry).  As alluded to last week, the United Nations formally adopted its ‘New Universal Agenda” which I have also called the ‘New Catholic Agenda’ (for more on that, watch UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel!).  The world needs the kingdom of God, which is pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, and not the United Nations’ and the Pope’s plan which appears to be a mixture of good and evil.

It was reported that the number of people wishing to support the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State doubled in the past year (see NYT: Islamic State volunteers are doubling).  The rise of the Islamic State is likely to be a factor in the rise of the final King of the South of Bible prophecy (cf. Daniel 11:40-43).

On a possibly related note, Russia began bombing in Syria (for details, see Russia is bombing in Syria).  The situation in the Middle East will change (cf. Daniel 11).

On other matters, the last of the four blood moons of this tetrad occurred a few days ago (seeBlood Moons and Prophecy).  As we have been teaching for years: 1) Jesus would not return then 2) nor did/could the Great Tribulation begin then.  Biblically, these were simply not possible.  Other predictions I heard about them being of massive prophetic significance (such as from John Hagee and Jonathan Cahn) have thus far proven to be false.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services 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 someChoral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette, which for many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one titled: Were the Laws of Traffic Nailed to the Stopsign? 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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Why Teach the Kingdom of God? 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 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.

IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN‘ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOGchannel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel.

Suggested Last Great Day Service

Here is our suggested format for the service for the upcoming Last Great Day, which is on Monday:

  • 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 someChoral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Offertory Sermonette, which for many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one titled: Last Great Day Offertory. 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 many who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested would be Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

Other sermons are available if you wish to hold double services.

A sermonette message that many will watch later during the Feast this year is Behind The Work 2015: Technology and the Gospel.  Other possible sermonettes are at the Bible News Prophecychannel.

Since all should attend, or at least watch, services each day, there are many sermons and sermonettes are available at the following link: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2015.

It is our hope to post the sermons given this year in the USA and Canada online during the Feast of Tabernacles at the ContinuingCOG channel.  They also may be posted at CCOG.org and other sites.

Concluding Comments

The Bible says:

23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. (Deuteronomy 14:23-27)

Brethren and co-workers, rejoice during this Feast of Tabernacles and do not forsake being concerned for others.

Sincerely,

Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God