Letter to the Brethren: March 9, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Five Cities, California.

This seemed to be a good time to suggest a sermon from the late deacon Richard Close for this Sabbath. So, his short message, Changes and Speech Under Jesus’ Rule, is the recommended sermon for this Sabbath.

In preparation for the upcoming Spring Holy Days, last Sabbath we put together a sermon for the Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread–which is April 12, 2023.

Since Richard Close’s sermon message is not long, in addition to the recommended sermonette for this Sabbath (watch King Charles Setting Prophetic Stage?), some may wish to also watch the video message: Why Holy Day Offerings?

Feast of Tabernacles 2023

We continue to prepare for the 2023 Feast of Tabernacles. 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.

We originally had hoped for Hershey, Pennsylvania, but a car show there prevented hotels and other locations there from giving us a cost-effective quote. We then tried a couple of other locations in Pennsylvania with unacceptable (Mount Poconos) and no results (Lancaster). We then contacted Sandusky, Ohio, with no results. Finally, we contacted Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and after a somewhat long wait, did receive a quote for a location that worked out.

We now have a signed contract.

We plan to hold services in the  Fairfield Inn & Suites Wisconsin Dells. Its address is 511 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Wisconsin Dells

It reportedly shares a parking lot, and has affiliation, with the SpringHill Suites Wisconsin Dells. Its address is 461 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965.

The hotel representative sent the following:

Hotel(s) offering your special group rate:
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Wisconsin Dells for 99 USD per night

Book your group rate for CCOG Feast of Tabernacles

  • SpringHill Suites Wisconsin Dells for 109 USD per night

Book your group rate for CCOG Feast of Tabernacles

The SpringHill Suites Wisconsin Dells is supposedly a little nicer than the Fairfield Inn & Suites Wisconsin Dells and also is to have the option of having connecting rooms.

The rates for each include some type of breakfast.

The discount being offered to us is substantial as when we tried to book them for the period of the Feast of Tabernacles, the rates that came up online were about USD$50 more per night, so we feel that the rates being offered are quite good.

While we do not require that people stay at either of those properties, it is usually much easier for those who choose to stay where services will be held.

Congregants should already be saving second tithe so they can afford to go and observe the Feast of Tabernacles joyfully, as God’s word declares they should.

Do not put it off as time marches on fairly quickly.

Leaders in other parts of the world should also be planning on where they will hold the Feast of Tabernacles in their respective countries in 2023.

Here is a link to additional information, which we expect to further update: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2023.

American Girls Becoming More Suicidal

(Unsplash photo)

There was a disturbing report from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) related to teenage American girls. Here is some information about that:

Why do 30% of girls want to die?

By Patricia Lewis

March 3, 2023

When I was a young woman (early ’80s), modern feminism was on the ascendency. …According to CDC data from 2021, almost 6 out of 10 girls felt persistently sad or hopeless, the highest numbers ever recorded. And it gets worse. Consider this tragic column by Auguste Meyrat: “Trained To Hate Their Sex And Selves, 1 In 3 Teen Girls Now Considers Suicide.” These statistics reflect an increase of 60% from just a decade ago.

“What’s especially troubling about this report is how it runs counter to today’s conventional wisdom,” notes Meyrat. “After all, our society allegedly celebrates women more than ever and offers abundant opportunities to girls. Furthermore, women are doing much better than men in some crucial areas, outnumbering them at colleges and in the workplace. Moreover, strong female protagonists abound in popular movies and television shows. Women have more representation in politics and sports. Schools continually push girls to achieve and break glass ceilings. No longer do girls live in a world where they’re expected to find a husband, have children, and submit to lifelong domestic drudgery. They can do anything.”

If this is true, then why do one-third of our girls want to kill themselves? And why do two-thirds feel persistently sad or hopeless?

Meyrat doesn’t pin the blame solely on toxic feminism; he also attacks social media and the transgender movement. Social media, he says, is dangerous for teen girls because of its addictiveness and promotion of unattainable ideals. The transgenderism movement, too, argues that sex is fluid and that changing one’s sex will make someone happier.

Ironically, according to a column by Alex Newman in The New American, “the federal government suggested that government schools could and should be the solution to the crisis they have caused. … In reality, the escalating godlessness, immorality, humanism and ever-more extreme ‘Comprehensive Sex Education’ being forced on children in indoctrination centers masquerading as ‘public schools’ are almost certainly the primary source of the problem. Adding more of the same is tantamount to throwing gasoline on this deadly dumpster fire.” (Side note: Reason No. 5,402,248 to homeschool.)

In all events, however, the underlying message to young girls is clear: No matter what, they’re not good enough. They’re not pretty enough, smart enough, popular enough, or witty enough.

Yes, being a girl is no longer good enough. Maybe if they chop off their lady parts and replace them with man parts, that will all change. …

This is the new generation of leftists: Those who hate themselves, and want to spread that hate to the next generation. Does this sound like a healthy attitude? Of course not. But these are the fruits of radical leftism in general and toxic feminism in particular: self-hate and suicide.  https://www.wnd.com/2023/03/30-girls-want-die/

Fox News also cited the CDC report:

A Center for Disease Control report … detailed an alarming 10-year increase in depression and thoughts of suicide among teenage girls.

Among the more shocking findings in the report:

  • 57 percent of high school females reported feeling sadness or hopelessness in 2021, a 58 percent increase from 36 percent in 2011.
  • 30 percent of females seriously considered attempting suicide in 2021, an almost 60 percent increase from 19 percent in 2011.
  • 24 percent of females made a suicide plan in 2021, a 60 percent increase from 15 percent in 2011.

Mental health for teenagers across the board was bleak.

Overall in 2021, 42 percent of high school students reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, 22 percent said they seriously considered attempting suicide, 18 percent said they had made a plan to commit suicide and 10 percent said they attempted suicide, all increases from 10 years ago. …

In 2021, 45 percent of LGBQ+ students said they seriously considered attempting suicide while the number was 14 percent of boys.

In their executive summary, the CDC did not mince words about America’s youth mental health crisis.

“As we saw in the 10 years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health among students overall continues to worsen, with more than 40% of high school students feeling so sad or hopeless that they could not engage in their regular activities for at least two weeks during the previous year – a possible indication of the experience of depressive symptoms. We also saw significant increases in the percentage of youth who seriously considered suicide, made a suicide plan, and attempted suicide,” the CDC reported.  02/13/23 https://www.foxnews.com/media/cdc-reports-60-increases-high-school-girls-seriously-considering-planning-suicide-sadness

In many ways, American society, its government, academics, and clerics are failing males and females.

Plus, the perverted LGBTQ+ agenda being pushed is harmful and destructive (cf. Romans 1:18-32).

Yes, one major thing really that has impacted youth and society in the USA has been the rise of the LGBTQ agenda in the past ten years. Also consider the rise electronic social media, more acceptance of pornography–which in many ways degrades women, and the decreasing importance of religion to Americans (see ‘Three Decades Ago, America Lost Its Religion. Why?’ and/or watch Losing Religion (and HOW NOT TO!).

Many feel hopeless.

But there is hope.

Related to females the late  Clint C. Zimmerman wrote an article that was in the  April 1972 edition of the old Tomorrow’s World magazine. Although some items may be a little dated, the general principles are still applicable today. It is freely provided here for educational purposes.

SEVERAL months ago my oldest daughter, Kamie, came home from a summer in Jerusalem. Bubbling, happy, vibrant, full of satisfying participation in an archaeological dig. She’d done new things, won new friends. Life had proved rewarding, worthwhile, exquisite. She was ready to move on and meet the challenge of her junior year in college. She was eager to live and learn and do!

Yesterday my youngest daughter, “Suzi,” came swishing — all in pink and brown — out of the Los Angeles International Airport customs room. Just home from her first college semester in England. Her eyes found us. Our smiles were enriched with tears. We hugged and kissed and talked and wondered about the baggage and tried to get closer. ..and it all was so very good.

My girls have been growing up.

My girls have a date with destiny.

My girls are beginning to exert normal, natural, powerful feminine influence.

Girl Power

All girls do! And it can be so very good. But I doubt that most girls perceive the wonder in that potential. They must come to understand it. Each of them is going to use that power — which turning into a woman gives to a girl — for better or for worse!

Girls grow up. Girlish thoughts are O.K. for girls. But have you taken a look at yourself lately? Are you still only a girl? Have you given any thought as to why boys are becoming interested in you? Why have you become more attracted to them? Why do some of them not seem to be monsters anymore? It’s because your mind and body are maturing, and there’s much more to life than just dolls, school and dresses. Life was meant to reward you. You were meant to give meaning to life. It’s time to be learning about it.

A girl needs to understand what she is. What she has. What she will become. What she can do.

Sugar ‘n spice ‘n everything nice… ‘n with the power potential of womanhood to change the future of the world.

Men Need Help

Woman came on the scene right after Adam. There was no doubt at all that the man needed help — and lots of it. There could be no future without woman. She provided a desperately needed sweet-sour, opposite-sameness for man. She was meant to complement him, stabilize him, stimulate him. Produce the future — something he could never do by himself. She had the inherent ability to make their lives happy, peaceful, content. To encourage, motivate, inspire. To give deep meaning to the word “love.” To make life completely successful.

Eve had the first opportunity. She and her husband could have conquered and ruled the world — given it happiness and peace everlasting. But she swallowed a lie, made her rash decision about what is right and wrong. Lined up her own experiment and blew it — but good. Perhaps she didn’t recognize what tremendous influence she held over Adam, nor how far-reaching the consequences. She turned it all on-and the roof caved in.

Remember Delilah? She got together with Samson, the dude who would make any modern surfer look sick. He was a real, lusty longhair. (He was to be a Nazarite from his mother’s womb — Judges 13:5.) He had roving eyes and he knew what he wanted. When the right chick came along, he was long gone. Brains, muscle, body — neat, tough and cool — but his whole life became loused up. He started himself down the chute, no doubt about that, but his woman, Delilah, was right in there using her femininity to “help” him all the way down and out. She turned on, and Samson really blew it.

Take Herodias and her daughter Salome for another example. Salome danced for the king so these two women could have what they wanted. Now when a dance stirs up a king so much that he offers half his kingdom and lops off a man’s head to show his appreciation, we can be sure he’d seen more than a ballroom waltz. She had found a way to dress, a way to move her body, a way to use her eyes, a way to use her difference to change lives, obtain decisions, get action. That’s power-live and real! It’s part of femininity and womanhood — but only part. It’s a shame, but some women never find much more than just that part.

Eve, Delilah, and Salome resorted to their natural, womanly talents to assure decisions to their liking. Very probably these three used sex as their prime motivator. This does not mean to say that every woman is a sex trap. But all of them do have the potential to become one. Every woman ought to make certain that sex is not her only stock in trade. There is far more to a woman than just sex.

Femininity entails a different mental approach and appraisal of situations. A different response and reaction. It’s a soft strength and pretty power which impacts man, society, and destiny. There is no suggestion here that you abandon your feminine influence. Not for the world! Its proper use can be a tremendous force for good. If you use it rightly, happiness will come flooding into your life. You will find reason for being, attained purpose, fulfillment — the things which you really want down deep — the best life has to offer. But to be successful requires preparation and work.

Get Smart

Simply everybody (except for a few dropouts and knuckleheads) realizes that intelligence must be used and an education pursued. Even if it’s only a matter of money, food and clothes. A recent report shows that — on the average — people with less than seven years of school make about $3,000 per year. People with a college degree make some $17,000 per year — the simple but cruel facts of being alive {editor’s note: while the figures have gone up, there is still a massive difference between the earnings of those who graduated college/university compared to those that have not finished high school}.

Even those women who seek “liberation” realize they must be prepared (educated) if their movement is to succeed. Ability to do a job depends upon preparedness.

Face the Facts of Life

Whether or not you like it, you are responsible for you. Face up to it. A girl is known — and judged — by what she does. Those who look for the right and true answers early are going to be better off. It’s best to start building for the future as soon as possible.

The world needs reshaping. Everybody knows that. Most of the sincere hippies and Jesus People have become what they are because they see the crying need for improvement materialistically, mentally, and spiritually. But the very way in which they live — the product that their lives present — screams that they have not found the way to get that reshaping done. Christ Himself says we can know how it will be done. There is a way, even if we can’t put it all together today.

Reshaping the world is going to require women — real women! Not just girls — WOMEN! And not just women — but virtuous, industrious, thinking, educated, truth-oriented, giving, loving women. Women who have courage, intelligence, culture, and leadership.

Perhaps it will come as a shock — but God wants women to be strong, smart, properly aggressive leaders. Their contribution toward a successful World Tomorrow is sorely needed. A woman is expected to have a positive, commanding role in the instruction of her children. Her action is to be so vital and far-reaching that she will command the respect of her children. That is no small commission. Look at the success, or failure, of your own mother and realize just how much wisdom, strength, integrity, and love are required. There is a challenge of gigantic size.

Teach Children

A woman and her husband are to labor side by side in the rearing of their children. God is concerned for more than sons. He will have daughters too (2 Cor. 6:18). A mother must insert powerful influence into the rearing of her children (Prov. 6:20). The mother of your husband-to-be should warn him about sex pots. You would expect her to — yes, you would want her to — tell him something like this:

“Listen to me, my son! I know what I am saying; listen! Watch yourself, lest you be indiscreet and betray some vital information. For the lips of a prostitute are as sweet as honey, and smooth flattery is her stock in trade. But afterwards only a bitter conscience is left to you, sharp as a double-edged sword. She leads you down to death and hell. For she does not know the path of life. She staggers down a crooked trail, and doesn’t even realize where it leads. Young men, listen to me, and never forget what I’m about to say: Run from her! Don’t go near her house, lest you fall to her temptation and lose your honor, and give the remainder of your life to the cruel and merciless; Lest strangers obtain your wealth, and you become a slave of foreigners. Lest afterwards you groan in anguish and in shame, when syphilis consumes your body, and you say, ‘Oh, if only I had listened! If only I had not demanded my own way! Oh, why wouldn’t I take advice? Why was I so stupid? For now I must face public disgrace’” (Prov. 5:1-14, The Living Bible).

If your parents-in-law-to-be would so instruct your boyfriend, if he would believe them and avoid the obvious pitfall, both of you would stand a much better chance of staying healthy. You wouldn’t need to be concerned that your own child — to be born in the distant future — might be blind or mentally deficient because of gonorrhea or syphilis.

And that is what you, too — a girl today, but woman and mother tomorrow — should eventually teach your own child!

What and how you teach your child will depend upon what you know — and the emphasis you place on the facts — the culture — the religious way in which you use them.

Education, Culture and Character

Do you realize that today — right now — you are creating the minds and character of yet un-conceived children you will bear years from now? Your interest in learning today will be mirrored in your children. The better the job of educating yourself you do today, the better off will be your children. Your personal character and culture will unfold to the degree your education enlightens, refines and disciplines your appreciation of intellect, beauty and morality. The more cultured you are, the greater head-start your children will have. Your children are slated to become what you ARE! A girl who will have children must prepare for womanhood and motherhood. You must learn, grow, change, attain, because the future of your children — and society — depends on what you do from here on.

Look at life. Question it. Know! If you truly search for the answer, you will not be able to escape the conclusion that you must become educated. This doesn’t mean you need necessarily go to college, but you must know what you are about — how to live, and how to make a living. But the full expression of true womanhood demands more of you than mere book education. Your education should provide the foundation for proper culture. The best culture is arrived at when a woman expresses genuine, outgoing concern — true love — for others. You should use your body, mind, and life to clearly fill the needs of your husband and children, your parents and society. To accomplish that naturally and conclusively demands morality — religious participation.

Knowing how to cook, sew and clean are mighty important parts of being a woman. You ought to be able to make wise and encompassing business decisions, too. Practical foresight into the everyday, routine problems of living is indispensable. You must be industrious, persevering, healthy, strong, vigorous if you are going to make the most of your life — in or out of marriage.

A competent woman will be able to take charge of her own and her children’s problems, handle them deftly, thoroughly, give sure guidance out of her deep understanding of the facts of life, run her home and life with vision and certainty, love her husband and children in fairness and so satisfy the deep needs of all her family.

There is much to learn — seemingly more to do — if life is going to become the highly satisfying experience which it is meant to be.

But if you do well all those things mentioned above, it will only be for the reason that you have found some more wonderful reasons for doing them than just to satisfy your physical needs. There is fathomless reward, as many women have found down through the ages, in such “mundane” accomplishment. But you can find even more delectable and luxurious sufficiency if you know and apply all these actions in relationship to the reason for your having been created feminine in the first place.

Love God the Most

Do you want to be more wanted than the most precious and valuable jewels? Do you wish for respect, honor, esteem, adoration in their most gratifying fulfillment? Then get started right now! There is far more to womanly success than merely satisfying physical needs. A real woman’s mind will reach into the meaning of life itself and she will find God. She will come to understand what is truly transcendently important. Remember, Jesus told Martha that she was so wrapped up in her housework and dinner preparations that she was missing the reason for doing them in the first place (Luke 10:40-42).

A woman should strive for full womanhood because she has found the relevance of her femininity to God’s plan and purpose. She is meant to be a part of His family.

Whatever other woman you may admire and would emulate simply cannot be as thoroughly acceptable to God as the woman who practices His religion. The woman who reverences and worships God will accrue the virtue, capability, intelligence, grace, nobility, culture and strength of character to be completely acceptable to God in every relationship.

You Can Do It

When rightly attuned to the overall purpose, any woman in private life can surpass the excellence attained by the most noted women of history. All you need do is use the mysterious power and key which God provides. You need only totally respect and reverence God, and then the Holy Spirit will impower you and make come true the impossible dream your womanhood harbors.

I know hundreds of young women whose dreams have become reality — hundreds of others who are moving swiftly and certainly into that same realness. Our own daughters are on the way. You, too, can keep your date with a beautiful destiny. Use your womanhood to arrive.

Females have no less potential than males.

And since Jesus said many of the last shall be first and the first last (Matthew 19:30), males may be surprised after the resurrection to see a lot people who were born female ruling.

Related to destiny, we have a free book, online at ccog.org titled: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?

Related to dating, we have a free book, online at ccog.org titled: Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians.

Girls have massive potential. And, to attain that, they, like all others, need to strive to endure to the end as Jesus taught in Matthew 10:23 and 24:13.

More on roles for Christian females can be found in the article: Women and the New Testament Church.

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

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

Oil for the upcoming coronation of King Charles III was consecrated in Jerusalem (see Oil for King Charles III coronation consecrated in Jerusalem). Additionally, the plans are in place to move the Stone of Scone, otherwise known as the Stone of Destiny, back to London from Scotland for the upcoming coronation ceremony (see ‘The disputed history of the Coronation Stone’). There are various ties that the British monarchy has with Israel (see also our free, online, book Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America?) and we will see how many may be apparent in the upcoming coronation.

That said, we continue to see more leaders in Germany calls for that nation to become more militaristic (see Germany Defence Minister makes the case for rebuilding a stronger German military). We know that will happen, because of prophecies such as Isaiah 10:5-12.

Something related to ‘666’ control of buying and selling (cf. Revelation 13:16-18) was in the news. It seems that the cryptocurrency Ripple, which has ties to Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, is looking at being involved in governments issuing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs, see Ripple now involved in state currencies for CBDCs as USA also eyes CBDCs). Furthermore, many of the elite of this world are looking towards having more and more potentially totalitarian controls (see WEF Seeks To Control All Resources And All People’). World events continue to align with properly understood biblical prophecies.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote the following:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. …

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-9, 13)

Brethren, live and abide in love.


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.