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Letter to the Brethren: April 4, 2024

Letter to the Brethren: April 4, 2024

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities Region of California.

Though everything is still not back to normal space wise, we are back into our offices after much of the tornado damage was repaired and the church telephone line (1-805-574-1818) is once again functional.

That said, yesterday I read a report that Michael Radtke of Canada died. He held a leadership position in the CCOG years ago, but we had to stop him from speaking at the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. because of his improper insistence to preach wrong doctrines based on his view that the New Testament was written in Aramaic, which it was not (see also Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic?). He left us six or so years ago.  Michael Radtke had been in my regular prayers (and actually I had prayed for him by name yesterday morning before I learned of his death). As I have mentioned before, people die at the time God determines it is best for them (see also Why Do Christian People Die?).

We received another 20 translations of our English booklet titled The Gospel of the Kingdom of God this week. The work of reaching the world with a witness of the good news of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14), the Ezekiel warning to the descendants of Israel (Ezekiel 3-6; see also What is the Ezekiel Warning?), and reaching out to Gentiles (Romans 11:25; see also What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?) continues.

Spring Holy Days

The Spring Holy Day season is getting closer.

The Bible teaches:

2 This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. (Exodus 12:2)

That month is called Abib (Exodus 13:5) or Nisan (Esther 3:7) in the Bible. And in 2024, that means that new year begins after sunset on April 8th. That is NOT a Holy Day, but sets the date to calculate the other days and events.

Passover in 2024 will be after sunset on April 21st. The period from sunset April 22nd through sunset April 23rd is the Holy Day called the First Day of Unleavened Bread. The period from sunset April 28th through sunset April 29th is also a Holy Day and is called the Seventh (or Last) Day of Unleavened Bread.

Feast of Tabernacles for 2024

We now have received a contract for the USA site for the Feast of Tabernacles which runs from sunset October 16th through the Last Great Day which ends sunset October 24th in 2024.

We ended up eliminating two properties that were cost-competitive (one in Corpus Christi and the other in Galveston) because of numerous negative online reviews of cleanliness matters.

Anyway, the contract is with the Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa, 7 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, 409-744-4673.

(Photo from Moody Gardens Hotel accommodations” page)

While the per room rate is a bit higher than other sites ($169 per night, plus taxes), remember that no one needs to stay there in order to attend the Feast of Tabernacles’ services there. The hotel provided us a link in which you can book rooms should you choose to stay here:

My wife and I made reservations yesterday–which is the day we received the link (plus it was also posted online yesterday at: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2024).

That said, all should be saving ‘second tithe’ so they will be able to afford to go to one of our festival sites around the world.

Let me add that leaders in other nations who will be hosting festival sites need to be sending information on where they intend to hold the Feast of Tabernacles so we can further update our article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2024.

Bible News Prophecy Magazine

This week we sent out the April-June 2024 Bible News Prophecy magazines to our international as well as USA subscribers (they were delayed several days because of moving back into our offices).

Here is a link to the online version: Bible News Prophecy April-JUne 2024: Passover Approaching–Are you ready?

With Passover coming up after sunset April 21 in 2024, you may wish to read the cover article relatively soon.

Africa Matters

As mentioned last week, the president of Malawi declared a state of emergency for 23 regions do to drought/dry spells there, though some areas have had rain. Mozambique ranked 106 of 116 in the 2021 Global Hunger Index, and the situation has worsened this year.

Pastor Radson Mulozowa sent the following photo and email earlier today:

Greetings from Malawi and Mozambique.We are all fine by the grace of God. What about USALet me report that the work of God is expanding and many doors are opening after some people visiting our website and am receiving many calls both Malawi and Mozambique together with questions about our beliefsToday am visiting some brethren who visited our website. This week am meeting all the leaders to finalize the arrangements for Passover as most are willing to attend Passover though they are far.Every week am travelling and visiting brethren inorder to sharpen.Equip , encourage them as they are passing hard times of Hunger due to dry spells.Pastor I can’t be silent to beg you funds as I want to travel to some places before Passover as am much needed but for me to travel to Mwanza, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe and Mozambique. Some places they need baptismLet me report that all the congregation are paying tithe and offering but the income coming can not assist in travelling. For instance the tithe and offering for February and march we have given to Muriko congregation to mould bricks inorder to build a good house of worship as you can see the pictures of last SabbathMy shop business has gone down due to travelling expenses and support to Our Deacon Masenga in Mozambique and other brethrenFruits of irrigation … sunflower projectI have explained the {Malawi/Mozambique} situation to pastor EvansBest regardsRadson

The sunflower project will hopefully assist with income and hunger there.

After consulting with evangelist Ochieng, we also sent funds to assist with hunger, travel, etc. to Malawi today for there and Mozambique.

Suggested Sabbath Day ServicesHere 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 mobile 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

We continue to see more calls for military spending and preparedness in Europe (see ‘Europe must get ready for looming war, Donald Tusk warns’ & ‘CERN to test world’s most powerful particle accelerator during April’s solar eclipse to search for ‘invisible’ matter that secretly powers our universe’). The Bible prophesies that Europe will have a “great army” (Daniel 11:25) with “many ships (Daniel 11:40), but I have also long believed that Europe would use new technologies for it to be able to defeat the USA (Daniel 11:39) and its British-descended allies–and Europe looks to be working on all of those.

The tension in the Middle East is rising after Israel attacked some Iranian targets in Syria (see CBS: Iran vows deadly suspected Israeli airstrike on its consulate in Damascus “will not go unanswered” & MS: We Are Just One Step Away From An Apocalyptic War In The Middle East). It is likely that we will see a major regional war in the Middle East prior to the confirmation of the deal of Daniel 9:27. It is still possible that such confirmation could occur in the Fall of 2024.

Over in the UK, there are apparently plans being made for the funeral of King Charles III, who reportedly has about two years to live (see ‘King Charles’ Funeral Plans Unveiled After Monarch Is Given 2 Years to Live With Pancreatic Cancer’). Charles sits on the ‘throne of David’ and currently it is believed that his son William will succeed him.

Concluding Comments

Consider the following from Daily Reckoning:

The World Wants to Be Deceived

April 3, 2024

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur” — the world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.

We believe there is vast justice here. The world yearns to be deceived, eternally and infinitely deceived.

Why else — sisters and brothers — do people attend magic shows… consult psychics… or read New York Times editorial columns?

Why, indeed, do people vote?

The answer, so far as we can discern, is because they wish to be deceived.

It is a deception, at least from the perspective that humanity can solve its major problems itself ignoring the word of God and not placing its hope in the return of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

The Bible teaches:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)

We should not believe the lie that voting, per se, will solve the problems of a nation.

In 2023, Daily Reckoning posted the following:

The ‘lesser of two evils’ voters who could decide 2024

June 28, 2023

President Joe Biden’s path to victory in 2024 runs through voters who think he’s been a disappointment in the White House — but say Donald Trump or another Republican would be even worse.

Biden’s approval rating stands at 43% in the latest NBC News national poll, not enough support to translate to a re-election win. But another 10% of registered voters say they only “somewhat disapprove” of Biden’s performance. And in a hypothetical rematch with Trump, half of those voters say they would support Biden, while 39% say they would back Trump.

A man from California who is a self-described “very liberal” voter likened the matchup to “choosing the lesser of two evils.” …

The NBC News poll of 1,000 registered voters — 831 of whom were reached by cellphone — was conducted June 16-20 and has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

I am NOT a voter nor a Democrat nor a Republican –I am a non-partisan Christian looking for the return of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Notice something that Daily Reckoning posted related to the 2012 USA presidential election:

When confronted with the false dilemma of the democratic political process, many individuals settle for the “less of two evils” as a kind of compromise. But one suspects (or hopes) they do so with a certain degree of moral discomfort. Ask a disciple of the Elephant Party, for example, if he agrees with the murderous drone attacks this moment underway in Pakistan and you will likely offend a delicate delusion of “Democrats for Peace.” Similarly, press any Donkey Party advocate on the issue of economic freedom and watch them squirm under close scrutiny of their own candidate’s position vis-à-vis the IRS, the Federal Reserve, the indigestible, 75,000- page tax code, etc., etc., etc., . . .

Contrary to the popular snipe that “only those who vote have the right to complain,” common sense leads us to quite the opposite conclusion. It is only those who have not aggressed against others who have the right to complain when they are aggressed against. Those who, to invert a phrase, “feed the mouth that bites them,” may stand firmly, but do so on shaky ground.

A vote for either evil is nonetheless a vote for evil. (Daily Reckoning, October 19, 2012)

It is interesting to see a secular source coming to similar conclusions regarding the ‘democratic system’ and the US presidential election.

The Book of Daniel has the following:

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’ (Daniel 4:17)

There are elections taking place in something like 50 countries this year, as well as for those of the Parliament for the European Union. But we know that we should pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3), and God will decide who they should be.

(Pixabay photo)

After I gave reasons why we in the Continuing Church of God do not vote in the Letter to the Brethren: January 25, 2024, one man pointed to a couple of portions of the Bible which he felt supported voting.

So, let’s look at some.

Notice the following:

13 Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you. (Deuteronomy 1:13)

God had the nation of the children of Israel choose wise understanding men from their tribes, and He said He would make them leaders.  Probably no one that is on the ballot anywhere is a “wise, understanding, and knowledgeable” man and few would even be from the same tribe in places like the USA. So, no that is not an endorsement for modern voting.

Notice also the following:

14 When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. (Deuteronomy 17:14-15)

Now that seemingly suggests the people pick the top leader. But there are at least two issues which show that was not really the case:

  1. The Bible shows that God says by asking for a king, the children of Israel rejected Him ruling over them per 1 Samuel 8:6-7.
  2. God, Himself, directly chose the first kings of Israel (1 Samuel 9:15-17; 1 Samuel 16:1-13), so this was not a voting election by the people.

Another issue here was the children of Israel were supposed to be God’s people with His laws and function as a physical nation. No nation currently on the earth makes any serious effort to function according to the laws of the God of the Bible.

Of course, the Bible shows that Christians are different from those of the world:

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9)

Furthermore, Jesus said:

 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, … 14I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. .. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:11,14,16)

Brethren, we are not to be of this world or its politics.

Let’s look at some of what the scriptures teach are to be traits of godly leaders:

19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. (Exodus 18:19-21)

2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
‘He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling in the fear of God. (2 Samuel 23:2-3)

Few, if any, politicians truly endorse His laws and statutes, do not possess covetousness, and rule in the fear of the true God. Hence they are not people that Christians should endorse.

Understand, in the case of the USA for example, that the two leading candidates are evil and promote various aspects of evil–we even did a video about them nearly four years ago: Biden, Trump, and the Bible.

Understand that political divisions among Christians can “cause disputes rather than godly edification” (1 Timothy 1:4), hence they tend to be truly unprofitable.

Related to voting and other aspects of this world’s systems, here is something from the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God:


Jesus taught, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Early Christians understood “the gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15) prohibited them from engaging in violent military behavior. John the Baptist taught, “Do violence to no man” (Luke 3:14, KJV). Historically, those of the Church of God have considered military service as wrong for its members. From Revolutionary War times to the Civil War and to present, countries like the United States have tended to have had provisions to exempt Church of God members and congregants from military participation because of conscientious objections. Early Christians did not participate in military warfare nor watch violent sports.

The Apostle Paul taught “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20; see also Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian). The Apostle Peter taught that God’s people were “a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out” (1 Peter 2:9). The Bible also teaches that this world has been deceived by Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9) and that God’s people need to be separate from the world (John 15:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; James 4:4; Revelation 18:4). Since a Christian is God’s ambassador and  this responsibility is our duty above any arising from human relationships (Matthew 10:37; Acts 4:18-20; 5:26-31), it is our normal religious practice to not participate in voting for national elections nor participate in jury duty, nor do we voluntarily join the military. Historically, the faithful Church of God has long taught that its members should not participate in secular juries and secular politics.

However, Christians are expected to listen to (1 Peter 2:13-17) and pray for (1 Timothy 2:1-3) governmental authorities and to pay their taxes (Matthew 22:17-21). Yet, if there is a conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29, NLT).

As far as church governance is concerned, consider reading the article: The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government.

Of course, many professing Christians believe that they need to vote even though that concept is not endorsed in the Bible. But notice two concepts that are:

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).

2 You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; (Exodus 23:2)

The “lesser of two evils” is still evil.

Let’s not follow not follow a crowd to vote for evil.

Instead, we look forward to the coming Kingdom of God–and we are to pray for it to come. Unlike voting, that is something that Jesus enjoined on Christians (Matthew 6:10).

More on voting can be found in the article: Should a Christian Vote?


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer