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Letter to the Brethren: April 20, 2022

Letter to the Brethren: April 20, 2022

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

Because of time zone matters, this letter is being sent out a day earlier than usual.

There are to be ‘back-to-back’ Sabbaths this week with the Last Day of Unleavened Bread starting Thursday evening immediately followed by the weekly Sabbath the next evening.

For the weekly Sabbath, instead of a short sermonette and a long sermon, we are recommending three messages that are between the usual lengths of those.

Passover, NTBO, and the First Day of Unleavened Bread

Passover, the night to be observed and the first day of unleavened bread went well here in Grover Beach. Here are a couple of photos:

We also received a report that it went well in Serbia.

Here is a report from Ethiopia:

Dear Elders:

Let we give thank God for his great blessings he has shown on us all.I hope, he will fulfill everything he had planned of those who keeping his laws.Thank you.

Koang Deng.

Deacon Koang included a photo of perhaps the most people we have had together in Ethiopia, but there were technical problems with the photo, so we were unable to post it.


Ended up being on the radio twice last week. Was on the NutriMedical program on Thursday discussing Passover and was on Friday related to Pope Francis and Fatima. I am also supposed to be on later today.

Radio is a door that we use to reach those we otherwise would not reach.

Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread

The seventh day of Unleavened Bread begins at sunset April 21st and runs through sunset April 22nd, to immediately be followed by the weekly Sabbath.

“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.

Youth Camps and Baptisms

Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following photos and report about the youth camps and baptisms we recently held in Kenya:

Pastor Dr Bob,

Greetings from Kenya.I’m very happy to inform you that the youth camp meetings in Kenya went very well.  One thing that I want to encourage to the church worldwide is to practice the youth camp worldwide. We have seen so many changes and improvements among the youths since we started to have youth meetings.  The children are growing highly in God’s word and their characters are changing very far from earthly things.  They saw a good character that shows the image of God.  We are so happy about this and I’m encouraging church of God worldwide to do it.We had so many children in all the camps.  Ndhiwa had 130youths,  Eberege congregation in Kisii had 150 youths, Njoro also had 150 youths, chilani had 128, Bomet 52 and Mau 77. This programme is a very reasonable in the church that will help the church to grow and have faithful members.  On 11th April we baptized 5 members.  2 from Kihancha,  2 from Ndhiwa and 1 from NyakachThe baptism was done by Joel Owuoti on my behalf. Hope you can see pictures below. …


It is great that hundreds were able to attend the youth camps this month (cf. Malachi 4:5-6). It is also great that five were baptized (cf. Luke 15:7,10). The full number of Gentiles needs to come in before Jesus returns (Romans 11:25).

Suggested Sabbath and Holy Day Services

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:

Christians have kept God’s Holy Days for nearly 2000 years.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:

We have other messages in the Spanish language–for more, check out the CDLIDDSermones channel.

Here is a suggested  service for the weekly Sabbath:

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

Jesus warned of wars and rumors of war (Matthew 24:6). The President of Iran threatened to do damage consistent with Isaiah 22:6-8 should Israel make “the slightest move” against Iran (see Iran’s President Raisi issues threat to Israel consistent with Isaiah 22). Should Iran make such an attacking move, that may well set the stage for the coming peace deal of Daniel 9:26-27 and begin the countdown to the start of the Great Tribulation.

As far as military conflict goes, the situation with Russia bombing Ukraine is having a variety of international consequences. Germany feels that it needs to sanction Russia, but still needs oil and natural gas to prevent internal unrest (see ‘Gazprom continues natural gas shipments to Europe’ ‘Germany’s Economic Minister Warned Of Unrest If Russian Gas Is Immediately Cut Off’). Decreased food production and increased food inflation are expected (see ZH: One-Third Of Ukraine Farmland May Go Unplanted As Russia Begins ‘Second Phase’). Many nations are looking at gold and other hard assets because of sanctions pushing nations away from the USA dollar (see ‘Why Gold Will Benefit From The Inevitable Reshaping Of The International Monetary System’ & France Repatriates). Many Russians and Ukrainians are dying (see ‘Washington Will Fight Russia To The Last Ukrainian’).

Considering the bloodshed and reactions to it, consider that the Apostle Paul wrote:

12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:12-18)

Remember to heed Jesus’ admonition to pray for God’s kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

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