Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
Today marks the fourth anniversary (on the Roman calendar) of the official formation of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) as a separate entity.
Despite comments from various detractors in and out of the various Church of God (COG) groups, the Continuing Church of God has flourished beyond what many said/posted.
Compared to the formation of other groups whose leaders were once part of the old Worldwide Church of God, there have been several things that were unique about our formation. But actually, more similar to the start of the old Radio Church of God.
For example, a dream preceded the start of the old Radio Church of God, whereas two people (myself and someone who I did not know at the time) had dreams that preceded the start of the Continuing Church of God.
Furthermore, unlike other groups we are aware of, no other group also declared that it was fulfilling the second part of the dream that Loma Armstrong had which preceded the start of the Radio Church of God (see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).
Despite the fact that the Bible shows that God uses dreams (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9), and the members of the old Radio and Worldwide Church of God used to accept that the dream from Loma Armstrong was from God, most today do not wish to believe God still uses dreams.
Non-believers and Laodiceans often will not accept how God works.
(Anyway, all of those dreams preceded the start of the Continuing Church of God, but there was also another since its formation; see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God.)
Unlike the formation of many groups like the United Church of God, Living Church of God, and Church of God, a Worldwide Association, there were not discussions among ministers prior to the official formation for CCOG to start. CCOG started out on faith.
Similar to Herbert W. Armstrong who refused a salary from the Church of God, Seventh-Day prior to the formation of the Radio Church of God, I on two occasions turned down financial offers (one offer was a salary, the other was less clear) from the Living Church of God, sometime prior to the start of CCOG.
Many anti-COG posters on the internet have falsely claimed that the COG is all about financially enriching the leaders of the respective churches. In my case, I will add that I have never taken a salary from the Living Church of God or Continuing Church of God. This does not mean that I never would, but I have not–nor has my wife Joyce.
Interestingly, someone not in CCOG mentioned to me in Illinois this past October that CCOG was one of the only, if not the only, COG group he knew of that formed mainly because of doctrinal/integrity issues, as opposed to personality issues. Details on why CCOG had to form are in the article Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.
Within hours of the formation, I posted that the Continuing Church of God would reach more people in the first 30 days after it formed than any COG group that was not directly related to the late Garner Ted Armstrong. This goal was accomplished (see January 27, 2013 post CCOG met COG proclamation goal).
Well, similar to what happened with the late Herbert W. Armstrong, I unexpectedly ended up being on radio. I ended up being on two radio programs, one of which the host claimed to have over 2,000,000 listeners. Additionally, over 100,000 different computers were reached over the COGwriter.com website in those thirty days. I believe that this accomplishment helped demonstrate the application of various dreams to the CCOG.
Some may discount that, but Jesus said:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
As far as other proclamation fruits, both the COGwriter.com and Bible News Prophecy channel have reached people in over 215 nations and territories around the world.
I have also been on the radio over 80 times as a guest, plus the CCOG has an online radio presence: Bible News Prophecy online radio.
Another project to mention is that some of the literature of the CCOG has been translated into 100 languages (watch Behind the Work 2016: All Nations, Tribes, People, and Tongues). Some people may not consider that important, but notice what Jesus taught:
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Since the overwhelming majority of people on planet earth do not understand English, getting the message out in multiple languages is a scriptural necessity.
Furthermore, an accomplishment that might be unique to the CCOG, compared to other groups, is that we literally have taught people “to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
In the past four years, we have produced sermon videos that cover everything that the New Testament shows that Jesus taught. You can find links to those sermons in the article Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour.
Someone I spoke with in CCOG said he never heard any other COG do that. Well, they should have. But many do not take seriously enough all that Jesus taught–this was prophesied to be the case in latter portion of the church age (Revelation 3:14-18).
Other proclamation fruits include the production of literature.
We have produced booklets as well as the quarterly Bible News Prophecy magazine. We have been blessed to have never missed a timely issue.
Peter Cross, at his 7th Day Churches of God, Church of God News page, reported the following:
Continuing Church of God
Robert Thiel reports:
“We had 1900 people attend the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites of the Continuing Church of God this year, which is up over 30% from last year. For details and photographs, here is a link to a series of reports titled: 2016 Feast of Tabernacles Report. We also have others that claim affiliation, but were unable to attend because of financial limitations. Currently, we have over 2000 (including children) declaring they are in the Continuing Church of God.”
This is the highest festival attendance of any church group not started by former ministers of the Worldwide Church of God.
Peter Cross’ observation about the high festival attendance is correct. The other 4-5 COG groups whose leaders were once part of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG), that are larger than the Continuing Church of God, were all started by men who were ministers in WCG.
Actually, since its formation, the Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing of all COG groups.
We now have over 2,000 people around the world, with most of our congregations in Africa (see Congregations of the Continuing Church of God).
Of the allegedly 400 groups whose leaders were once part of the old Worldwide Church of God, the Continuing Church of God is one of the newest, and seems to about the sixth largest in terms of congregants.
Of course, size, of itself, is not what is important. Love, faithfulness, and truth are.
Earlier doctrine was mentioned.
In this area, the CCOG has restored more than other groups we are aware of.
This includes church history (see Continuing History of the Church of God), doctrine (see What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?), and prophecy (The Laodicean Church Era ).
In addition, we have taken steps to correct doctrinal errors. The old Global and Living Church of God required my sons to complete the old Radio Church of God Bible Correspondence Course as a prerequisite to baptism. Yet, both sons would come to me when they found clear errors (the most common being that the scripture cited as ‘proof’ was not correct–but there were exaggeration and other errors as well).
Since a course to study the Bible is helpful for Christian growth, in the CCOG we decided to use the old lessons of the Bible Correspondence Course as a template–to insure the subjects would be covered–but with updating for scriptural accuracy, timeliness, doctrinal accuracy, and with additional scriptures. This has resulted in a restored course that is improved and appropriate for the 21st century (see Study the Bible Course: Lesson 1 In English).
About a decade ago, evangelist R.C. Meredith and I were talking and he agreed with various points I was raising about the end time work. And back then, I was able to help lead him to essentially state that in the end it would not mainly be the message of the COG vs. the Protestants, but it would be the COG basically vs. the ecumenical religion that will rise up in the end that will likely (for a while) refer to itself as “Catholic.” In 2005, during the Feast of Tabernacles in Clearwater Beach, after a private lunch, we and our wives met at his hotel room and I also discussed various aspects of the final phase of the work with him–and I had other meetings, discussions, and emails related to that with the other Charlotte evangelists through December 14, 2012. Yet, even though he and others in his church agreed to take many steps related to the final phase of the work, few, if any, of the promised steps were taken by his group–this is a major part of why the Continuing Church of God needed to form.
Interestingly, in December 2015, Dr. Meredith lamented the slow growth in his church. He said that 30% should be attained, but he hoped for at last 15% growth per year–something his church does not attain. Consider that the Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing COG since its formation in late 2012. It has exceeded the 30% growth in both membership and income in each of the years since it formed that the late Herbert W. Armstrong often pointed to as a proof of a blessing from God (he also seemed to blame following a suggestion from Dr. Meredith as to why the old WCG no longer had the 30% annual growth–see The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government). While our growth rate will fluctuate, the Continuing Church of God is the only one of the ten largest COGs whose leaders had origins in the old Worldwide Church of God to do so.
A bolder, yet truthful, willingness to “name names” and call out what is happening will need to happen more than the official COG groups formed between 1986 and 2011 have done–and this would seem to have to be led by the Continuing Church of God. (I have emails from one or more LCG evangelists where they objected to doing parts of this themselves, as well as notes from a meeting where they told me, and one was Dr. Meredith, that they were afraid that I could become too bold and that they did not want to take bold proclamation steps that could trigger the persecution that they teach is biblically prophesied.)
And while some COG groups overly “keep silent,” hence pull-punches in proclamation, the reality is that there is not truly full freedom of truthful speech in countries like the USA without consequences.
The Bible says that the work will be done and it will trigger persecution. Until the work is done the most faithful will:
1 Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)
Of course, no matter what some Laodiceans insist upon, the end has not yet come–the final phase of the work is not over.
It’s been an amazing four years.
Through God’s Spirit we have been able to have fruits (like dreams and radio) that no other actual COG group actually has had. We have also had tremendous growth in membership, while we have reached people around the world.
Although we have a lot more to do, we in the CCOG are leading The Final Phase of the Work.
A new sermon, with more details, is available: CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
CCOG’s Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia? Has God been revealing Philadelphia since CCOG formed? What has been happening? Can you see the hand of God in this? A related sermon is titled CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
501(c)(3)? Why the Continuing Church of God chose a better option Churches in the USA do NOT have to register as 501(c)(3). Why would they? Why is what CCOG did better? A sermon of related interest is titled: CCOG, a corporation sole, not a 501(c)(3).
Why is the Continuing Church of God a corporation sole? What is a ‘corporation sole’ and why is this a better organizational choice?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like the beliefs held of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
Journal Report on Continuing Church of God Leader Bob Thiel Bob Thiel was interviewed by The Journal News of the Churches of God related to him being a prophet, the proclamation goals of the Continuing Church of God, and why he left LCG.
What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God as led by Roderick C. Meredith and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?)
Church History Book This is a URL with some information on Church History.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced several YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel.
Bible News Prophecy magazine This is the official magazine of the Continuing Church of God and it has articles on a wide variety of subjects of Christian interest. It is produced in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Tagalog, Kiswahili, and Mandarin Chinese. The language of Telugu is in-process.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章，其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中，准备添加到这个网站中。
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.