Letter to the Brethren: April 4, 2019

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We are grateful for your prayers and support.

We continue to work on many literature and internet projects, as well as various trips, to work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Currently, my wife Joyce and I plan to visit the group in New Zealand next month, whereas Evangelist Evans Ochieng is intending to visit Tanzania this month, and Deacon Richard Close is soon expecting to visit various states in the USA .

Luis Rubin is intending to visit the group in Mexico this Spring, whereas Herb and Gisele Haddon hope to do so in Haiti once the situation on the ground there sufficiently safely allows it.

Northern Midwest USA Counseling, Baptizing, and Visiting Trip

Deacon Richard Close is planning on a personal visit and counseling trip thru the upper mid-west starting from his home in Pennsylvania. He intends to be in Almont, Michigan April 13th for Sabbath services @ 2 PM  He would like to welcome to all who wish to attend. If you wish to attend services there, please contact Terry LaFrance–his email address is terrylafrance22@gmail.com

Deacon Close plans to leave Michigan on Sunday April 14 to travel to Madison, Wisconsin and return back to Pennsylvania as late as April 17. If there is any one located in the area of travel (which would also include northern Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio) that would like a personal visit (or perhaps drive to meet for a meal, etc.), please contact Richard Close via e-mail  Closesr@comcast.net  prior to April 13th so arrangements can be scheduled.

He requests prayers from the brethren for God’s guidance, protection, and wisdom on this trip.

Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread

Passover is after sunset on April 18th this year, whereas the Night to Be Observed begins at sunset the 19th. The Days of Unleavened Bread run from sunset April 19th through sunset April 26th this year.

As we get closer to Passover, remember we recently put this sermon on our ContinuingCOG channel:


In 1 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul admonishes Christians to examine themselves before they take the bread and wine of Passover. The Book of Lamentations says to examine ourselves and not complain. Do Christians sin? What should be done about it? Should Christians remove physical leaven? Is looking for spiritual leaven a weightier matter? What is leaven anyway? Are you a complainer or worrier? Are people to be judged for idle words? Do you know how to live as a Christian? Should Christians change and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus? Do Christians really need to overcome? Overcome what?

Here is a link to the sermon: Really examine yourself before Passover.

Passover for 2019 will be here soon.

World News Items

Freedom of speech and the press continues to be under fire in Canada as well as the USA. A Canadian man was fined C$55,000 because he distributed literature stating (correctly) that a transgender person was a biological male, whereas a professor in the USA is suing his former university for making his opinions known about aspects of transgenderism (see Canada fines man $55,000 after teaching someone is a ‘biological male’, U. of Louisville being sued for firing professor who did not accept the transgender agenda). Truth is being less and less valued by many these days–even when it should be obvious. In other LGBTQ news, Chicago elected a lesbian to be mayor, while Brunei has a new law making adultery and homosexual relations a capital crime–much to the ire of the West (see Chicago elects lesbian as mayor; Brunei makes adultery and homosexuality capital crimes).

A few days ago, Pope Francis was at his ‘Chrislam Cross’ event (watch also The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement) in Morocco promoting his interfaith agenda (see Pope Francis and WCC pushing interfaith agenda). He continued to push it yesterday in Rome/Vatican City (see ‘Pope Francis: God Desires Solidarity Among Catholics and Muslims’).

Confirming what the European Union did last week (see EU rejects US recognition of Israeli control of the Golan Heights–a prelude to Daniel 9:27?), the Arab League condemned the Trump Administration’s change on US policy towards the Golan Heights (see Arab League summit condemns of Trump administration’ Golan Heights policy). We continue to see statements pushing the Arabs closer to the Europeans and farther away from the Americans. One day a ‘peace deal’ in the Middle East will come and be confirmed by a European leader per Daniel 9:27.

The US halted shipment of F-35 fighter jet parts to NATO ally Turkey (see US Halts F-35 Equipment Shipments to Turkey: Could this lead to harm to the USA?). This is just before the start of a 70th NATO anniversary that occurs today (see VOA: ‘NATO Celebrates 70th Anniversary, But Demands Rise For European Burden-Sharing’ COGwriter: ‘NATO will not end well for the USA’). One day, nations in NATO, including also Turkey (cf. Psalm 83:2-8), will turn against the USA.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

  • 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.
  • Sermonette, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans?
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Exodus 21-24: Judgments. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel. 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 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.


Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)

Brethren, let as walk as those who are called to be Christians are to walk.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer

Posted in Letters to the Brethren
About CCOG
The Continuing Church of God, which attempts to represent the most faithful remnant of the Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7) portion of the Church of God, bases its beliefs on the Holy Bible. Read CCOG's statement of beliefs for more information.