Letter to the Brethren: April 6, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

We had a fine Passover and Night to be Observed here.

Today is the First Day of Unleavened Bread–we sent information about that last week in the Letter to the Brethren: March 30, 2023.

The Last Day of Unleavened Bread starts Tuesday evening and runs through Wednesday evening April 12th in 2023.

Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread

The seventh day of Unleavened Bread begins at sunset April 11th and runs through sunset April 12th.

“The Crossing of the Red Sea” by Nicolas Poussin c. 1634

The seventh day of unleavened bread occurs on the 21st of Nisan/Abib of the Hebrew calendar.

On the 21st of Nisan/Abib, God had the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:20-21). God called for the children of Israel to cross on dry land under the cloud (Exodus 14:20-22,29), where they were symbolically baptized (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). They endured their fleeing with their enemies behind them and the waters stopped on both sides of them. During the daylight hours of the 21st, the Egyptian army pursued them and was destroyed (Exodus 14:23-28).

Understand that it was on the Seventh Day of Unleavened bread that the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea and the army of Egypt was destroyed. The Seventh, the last, Day of Unleavened Bread pictures fully leaving the dead works of sin behind.

A Christian sequence of events starts from our acceptance of Jesus, repentance, and baptism (Acts 2:38-39). Christians endure to the end (Matthew 10:22) attaining to the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6) to be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

The crossing of the Red Sea may have other lessons for Philadelphian Christians. As they flee to a place in the wilderness just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, Satan will be angry with them (Revelation 12:13-16). During the time the Philadelphian Christians are being protected (Revelation 3:7-13), bad things will be happening in the world around them (Revelation 12:14-17). They will often need to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Furthermore, the New Testament also seemingly shows a fulfillment of the destruction of Pharaoh’s army in the destruction of the world’s armies who will fight against the returning Jesus (Revelation 19:19-21).

The Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread helps picture the end of the world’s systems and the emergence of the Kingdom of God.

Were the Days of Unleavened Bread done away? Consider something else that Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

Not Abolished With Old Covenant

Observe that the Days of Unleavened Bread are a PERIOD, having two high-day SABBATHS. And this PERIOD is established FOREVER — while the Israelites were still in Egypt — before the ceremonial law of Moses had been given or written — before God even proposed the old covenant! What the law of Moses, or the old covenant, did not bring or institute, THEY CANNOT TAKE AWAY! In Fenton’s translation, the 17th verse is translated: “consequently KEEP THIS PERIOD AS AN EVER-LASTING INSTITUTION.” The whole period is included.

This ALONE ought to prove that the HOLY DAYS — and the seven Days of Unleavened Bread — are binding today, and FOREVER!

Now, if these texts apply to the 15th, not the 14th, as they assuredly do, and is here conclusively proved, then is the Passover established FOR-EVER? Indeed it is! But THESE texts above refer to the FEAST and not the PASSOVER. In the paragraph beginning Exodus 12:21 the PASSOVER is again referred to, and verse 24 establishes it FOREVER! …

To observe Passover alone, and then fail to observe the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, means, in the symbolism, to accept Christ’s blood, and to continue on in sin — to say … the LAW is done away, we are under grace, meaning license, to continue in sin!

The seven Days of Unleavened Bread picture the keeping of the Commandments, which is another way of saying the putting away of sin. (Armstrong HW. What You Should Know About the Passover and Festival of Unleavened Bread. Good News, March 1979)

Early Christians did not believe that the Days of Unleavened Bread were done away. The Apostle Paul endorsed properly keeping the Feast with unleavened bread (1 Corinthians 5:7). He and others still marked/observed it and observed it outside of Judea:

6 But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. (Acts 20:6)

If Christians were not keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Holy Spirit would not have inspired this to be recorded like this. Now Philippi was a Gentile town in Macedonia. It was ruled by the Romans–thus keeping these days was NOT limited to a place like Jerusalem. In at least two places in the New Testament, we see that the Days of Unleavened Bread were to be kept in Gentile areas (1 Corinthians 5:7; Acts 20:6).

Consider also the statement “it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread” in Acts 12:3. Since the Gentile author Luke addressed the Book of Acts to another Gentile (Acts 1:1), why would he have mentioned these days if they were unknown to the Gentile Christians and had ceased to exist?

Perhaps it should be added that the spurious 3rd century Epistula Apostolorum claims Jesus taught His followers should keep the Days of Unleavened Bread until He returns. While we cannot rely on that document, it does indicate that some were keeping those days into the 3rd century.

Information from outside the Bible reports that the Apostles Paul, John, and Philip, along with Polycarp of Smyrna and other early Christians, kept the Days of Unleavened bread (Pionius. Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2).

Despite this, Canon 38 of the Council of Laodicea of the fourth century (c. 363-364) prohibited the observation of the Days of Unleavened bread (Synod of Laodicea. Translated by Henry Percival. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 14. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1900). Those in the Church of God could not comply with many decrees of this Council which went against the Bible and the early traditions of the faithful.

Therefore, various Sabbath-keepers continued to keep the Days of Unleavened bread afterwards (Pritz. Nazarene Jewish Christianity. Magnas, Jerusalem, 1988, p. 35; Jerome as cited in Pritz, pp. 58,62,63; Ephiphanius. The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book II (sects 1-46) Section 1, Chapter 19, 7-9. BRILL, 1987, p. 117-119) and into the Middle Ages and beyond (Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs (MI), 1993, pp. 61-62; Falconer John. A Breife Refutation of John Traskes Judaical and Novel Fantyces, pp. 57-58, as cited in Ball B. Seventh Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800, 2nd edition. James Clark & Co., 2009, pp. 49-50).

As we in the Continuing Church of God do not accept that the Council of Laodicea spoke for the true Christian church, we still keep the Days of Unleavened Bread. We eat some unleavened bread for each of the seven days as the Bible admonishes (Exodus 12:15; 13:6; 23:15; 34:18). This bread can be made of different grains/nuts—the use of wheat is not biblically-required.

While some like to allegorize away many portions of the Bible, although there certainly is a spiritual understanding to the Holy Days, there is also a physical one. And the physical observance helps us to better understand the spiritual lessons.

The Days of Unleavened Bread help picture that we Christians are to strive to put sin and hypocrisy out of our lives (cf. Matthew 16:6-12; 23:28; Luke 12:1). By keeping them physically, it helps us to better learn the spiritual lessons that God intended.

New Hall in India

Deacon Sani Mao sent the following email and photos:

Dear Sir,
We inaugurated our meeting hall on the New Year’s Day on the 23rd of March, 2023.
We are expecting to perform baptism for 2 ladies …

In my counselling I have made them read John 3:1- 21. They have a fair idea of the 10 Commandments and the coming Kingdom of God.
K. Sani Mao

Deacons Mary and Sani Mao

Manipur, India Congregation

We have had growth in India and I hope to be able to personally visit the brethren we have there.

Leaders Meeting in Kenya

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya.
We had a very good leaders meeting yesterday till late night. The meeting went until midnight because of many things we were discussing about the church growth and development. We also talked about the Passover and feast of Tabernacle. I was happy because the leaders show the importance and goodness for being in CCOG. Since we are at end time,  Satan is trying to  destroy the growth of the church in order to put another gospel which is not even another. The leaders looked into that seriously and see its course. The leaders looked into it deeply. We also talked more about oneness of the church.
                      FEAST OF TABERNACLE
We shall have 9 feast sites in Kenya and one in Tanzania. Got Kachola, Mau, Bomet, Njoro,Molo, Chilani, Daktech, Kisii and Kihancha.
Those were in the meeting were Evans Ochieng, Joel Owuoti, Granton Otieno, Charles Agwenge, Andrew Ojowi, Jacob Kungu,
Charles Otieno and Jack Peres and Kennedy Odhiambo. …
Ps here are photos of those who were in the meeting.

While there are always challenges in Kenya, we continue to move forward as we work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 & 28:19-20.

New Spanish Language Video

Today, received the following in an email:

English title:  Did Christ rise on a Sunday?
Spanish title:  ¿Resucitó Cristo un domingo?
Spanish YouTube link:  https://youtu.be/AN5npovyGWk

One thing that was interesting is that I saw it while working on COGwriter posts for today–and there was one related to that.

So, I added the above link and changed the title of that post to: Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? También en Español!

We regularly have been adding many videos in the Spanish language–for more, check out the CDLIDDSermones channel.

Suggested Sabbath and Holy Day Services

Here is a suggested  service for the weekly Sabbath:

Here is a suggested holy day service for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

For those interested in two services, here is a suggestion for the second service:

We also have an offertory message in the Spanish language:


Mensaje de ofrenda de ultimo dia de Panes sin Levadura

Este es un ofertorio destinado a ser visto en el séptimo y último día de pan sin levadura. En él, el Dr. Thiel revisa las escrituras relacionadas con las ofrendas. También revisa las escrituras relacionadas con dar y la fe. ¿Tienes la fe para dar lo que puedas? ¿Crees que Dios bendice a los que dan, lo suficiente como para mejorar tú mismo? Este mensaje ofensivo cubre estos temas y más. Para enviar una oferta por correo, aquí está nuestra dirección en los Estados Unidos Continuing Church of God 1036 W. Grand Avenue Grover Beach, CA 93433 Para hacer donaciones en línea a través de PayPal, visite: https://www.ccog.org/donations/

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

It was announced this week that certain Jews hope to sacrifice a red heifer in 2024 (see Red Heifer could be ready for sacrifice for Passover 2024). While not listed as a biblical requirement, certain Jews think that this type of sacrifice is necessary for various reasons. Biblically, since we know that daily sacrifices are to stop (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11), we know that they must first start. The sacrifice of a red heifer Jews consider to be qualified could be a major prophetic marker (watch also 5 Red Heifers and Year 5783?).

A study came out asserting that 77% of young American males are not fit to be in its military–so the military is again lowering some standards (see WND: Astonishing 77% of American youth unqualified as military recruits). The military of the USA is weakening on the inside and this will be a factor in the ease by which it will be take over–which will happen (cf. Daniel 11:39).

Former US President Donald Trump was indicted Tuesday for allegedly falsifying documents and violating election rules. Some believe that this will lead to more civil unrest in the US (see “Glenn Beck Tells Tucker Carlson Trump Indictment Means ‘War,’ ‘Currency Collapse,’ and ‘Virtual Police State’ in the U.S. By 2025”). The US is more and more being divided. Jesus said:

25 Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25)

17 Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. (Luke 11:17)

The divide in the USA is growing as many of its sins (including hypocrisy) become more blatant. The time will come when the US will be no more.

In economic news, more and more nations are taking steps to push aside the US dollar as their currency for cross-border transactions (see RT: Brazil and China sign pact to abandon dollar; Forbes: Could The U.S. Dollar Collapse?). The steps being taken now, and in the future, are setting the stage for an economic order that will no longer be dominated by the USA and its British-descended allies. While we have been warning about this for a very long time, what has been striking is that more American news sources are starting to cover this now–and while many do not think that the US dollar will be dethroned, at least they are realizing that steps are being taken and that it is possible.

Concluding Comments

Jesus said:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Brethren, the seven days of unleavened bread picture putting sin out as we strive for the perfection that Jesus told us to seek to attain.

That perfection, that purity, is not limited to eliminating sin, but also to loving others. Including those that hate us.

Do not forget that “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).


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.