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Letter to the Brethren: August 23, 2023

Letter to the Brethren: August 23, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

While there was a hurricane in Mexico that affected California, as well as a 5.1 earthquake (see ‘Flooding, mudslides, water rescues − and Hilary’s destruction not done yet’), other than having higher temperatures and muggy weather for a few days, we did not notice either here, even though some did feel the earthquake in the Five Cities.

On other matters, my family and I are scheduled to fly to Puerto Rico today. We are to meet Carlos Aponte this Sabbath as well as to work on other aspects of Matthew 24:14, Romans 11:25, and Matthew 28:19-20.

As far as Matthew 24:14 goes, we received another 43 translations of our English language booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Please understand that this is a historic accomplishment as we now have that booklet translated into over 600 languages and dialects (cf. Revelation 7:9-10; Romans 11:25).

Going Thru the Bible

Portion of 2 Corinthians from late 2nd century
Papyrus 46 (photo from Wikipedia)

The recommended sermon for this week is the seventh and last of our series covering the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Here is a listing of all the sermons in that series for you to watch,, review, and/or repeat:

  1.  2 Corinthians 1-2: Church of God Suffering and Open Door
  2.  2 Corinthians 3: The New Covenant, Jews, & Gentiles
  3.  2 Corinthians 4-5: Guaranteed Immortality
  4.  2 Corinthians 6: Salvation and Persecutions
  5.  2 Corinthians 2:7-9: Be a Philadelphian Giver
  6. 2 Corinthians 10-11: Faithfulness, Speaking, and Fables
  7. 2 Corinthians 12-13: Problems and Philadelphian Proofs

It is my plan to one day cover each and every verse of the entire New Testament and completing 2 Corinthians was part of that plan.

The Apostle Paul told the prophetic evangelist Timothy to:

2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2)

By intentionally covering whole books of the Bible, we have been doing that. And yes, that does include trying to convince, rebuke, and exhort, which those of you who watched the sermon series on 2 Corinthians 2 would have noticed.

As far as covering the Bible, in addition to numerous sermons covering doctrine, prophecy, and other matters from the Bible, we have put out the following sermons as part of our intent to “go through the Bible”:

GENESIS Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses. While we have not yet covered all of the Book of Genesis, here is a sermon related to part of Genesis: Gap Theory: Doctrine or Modern Heresy?
EXODUS Exodus sermons, which it total cover each and every verse of that book, include Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and RevelationExodus 8-9: Plagues and ProphecyExodus 10-12: The Last Plagues & 21st Century Prophecies, and Exodus 13-15: Passover Protection and Armageddon. Another article is Exodus 16-19 which covers all of those verses–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 16-19: Manna, Governance, and End Time Protection. Another article is Exodus 20 which covers all of the verses in that chapter–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments. Another article covers the verses in those chapters Exodus 21-24: These are the Judgments–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 21-24: Judgments. Here is a link to the article Exodus 25: Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 25: Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. Here is a link to the article Exodus 26-32 Tabernacle, Sacrifices, & the Book of Life–here is a link to a related sermon:Exodus 26-32: Tabernacle, Golden Calf, and Book of Life. A final article is: Exodus 33-40, The Final Chapters.Here are links to two related video sermons: Exodus 33-36: Moses Shown and You Should Too and Exodus 37-40: Finishing the Work.There is also more, such as the article: When was the Exodus? Did it Happen? Some deny the biblical account of the Exodus. Was Ramses II the pharaoh then? When did the Exodus occur?  Is there proof outside of the Bible that there was an Exodus? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Cuándo fue el Éxodo? ¿Ocurrió realmente? Also: Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus What do you know about these plagues? What happened to the ‘gods of Egypt’? Is there any confirmation outside the Bible? Might something worse be coming? A related two-part sermon is available: Egypt and the Plagues (Part 1) and Exodus Plagues and Prophecy (Part 2). Also: Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread. This article discusses parts of the Book of Exodus with some connections to the Days of Unleavened Bread. Also Exodus 4:24, Why would God have sought to kill Moses? What did Moses do wrong? Do you have a similar problem?
DEUTERONOMY. Here are links to sermons covering Deuteronomy: Deuteronomy 1-4Deuteronomy 5-12Deuteronomy 13-17Deuteronomy 18 – 24Deuteronomy 25-30, and Deuteronomy 31-34.
ESTHER This is a sermon that covers the entire book: Book of Esther.
PROVERBS Here are links to ten sermons covering the all the chapters of the Book of Proverbs: Proverbs 1-7: Practical advice for those who wish to follow God and Proverbs 7-12: Wisdom, Knowledge, Righteousness, and Diligence and Proverbs 13-15: Following God’s Advice and Proverbs 16-17: Accept God’s Instructions and Proverbs 18-19: It is dangerous to trust self and Proverbs 20-21: Modern Christian Living and Proverbs 22-23: Certainty of the Bible and How to Live and Proverbs 24-25: What to do and what not to do and Proverbs 26-28: Giving Answers, Making Right Decisions (a related article is also available: Proverbs 26-28) and Proverbs 29-31: Are You Willing to Learn From God’s Word? (a related article is also available: Proverbs 29-31).
ECCLESIASTES Here is a link to an article covering: the Book of Ecclesiastes. Links to related sermons are available: Ecclesiastes 1-3: Vanity or Biblical Focus?Ecclesiastes 4-6: Christian Living Makes a DifferenceEcclesiastes 7-8: Reputation, Anger Management and Walking God’s Way, and Ecclesiastes 9-12: Joyful Living, Youth, Aging, and the Commandments.
MATTHEW Here are links to twelve sermons covering the 28 chapters of Matthew: Matthew 1-2: Greek or Aramaic, Jesus, and the Star?Matthew 3-5: John the Baptist, Temptations, and the BeatitudesMatthew 6-7: Charitable Deeds, the Rosary, Prayer, the Golden Rule, and FaithMatthew 8-10: Married Clergy, Faith, Coming Persecution, and the Ecumenical AgendaMatthew 11-12: John the Elijah, Sodom, Unpardonable Sin, & 3 Days and 3 Nights-14: Parables, Mustard Seeds, Birthdays, and FaithMatthew 15-16: Tradition, Signs of the Times, and The Rock & PeterMatthew 17-18: Transfiguration, Elijah to Come, Taxes, and ForgivenessMatthew 19-20: Transgender? Divorce? Purgatory? The first shall be last?Matthew 21-23: ‘Palm Sunday,’ Come as You Are?, and the Greatest CommandmentsMatthew 24: Temple Destruction, Sorrows, Tribulation, and the Return of Jesus, and Matthew 25-28: Midnight Cry, False Christians, Resurrection, & Teaching what Jesus Taught.
MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & MiraclesMark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and ParablesMark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and RestorationMark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & TaxesMark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and Mark 14-16: Jesus’ Priorities & Betrayal, the Resurrection, Signs, and Reaching the World.
LUKE Here are links to eight sermons covering the entire ‘Gospel of Luke’: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the CensusLuke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the MountLuke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the MinistryLuke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and SignsLuke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow WayLuke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and LazarusLuke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards, and Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence. The last sermon also covers Jesus’ words in the Book of Acts.
JOHN Here are links to a seven-part sermon series covering the entire ‘Gospel of John’: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & HeavenJohn 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles and the Bread of LifeJohn 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day’John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of JesusJohn 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate, and John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants.
Here is an article: The Book of Acts. Here is a link to related sermons: Book of Acts 1-2: Jesus Left, New Testament Church BeganActs 3-5: Miracles, Trials, Proclamation, and PersecutionActs 6-9: Widows, Stephen, Saul, and Simon MagusActs 10-12: Visions, Dreams, and GentilesActs 13-16: Prophets, Poisoning, and Proclamation,Acts 17-19: Travels, Anointed Cloths, & the Gospel of the KingdomActs 20-22: James, Sunday, and Prejudice, and Acts 23-25: Vows, Secrets, Cults, & Criticisms, and Acts 26-28: Shipwreck, the Kingdom of God, & Amen.
Comments on the Book of Romans. Here are links to six related sermons: Romans 1-2: Believe the Truth of GodRomans 3:-6: Sin, Law, Grace, SalvationRomans 7-8: God’s Spirit and GuaranteeRomans 9-10: Grace, Mercy, SalvationRomans 11-12: Gentiles, Jews, and the Fulness, and Romans 13-16: Obedience, Gentiles, Love, and Women.
Comments on the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians. Here are links to  related sermons: 1 Corinthians 1-2: God’s Spirit & the Ways of the World1 Corinthians 3-4: Christianity Requires Repentance1 Corinthians 5-6: The Church and Bad Apples1 Corinthians 7-8: Sex, Remarriage, and Christian Love1 Corinthians 9-10: Authority, Idols, and Love1 Corinthians 11-12: Hair, Veils, & Spiritual Gifts1 Corinthians 13-14: Love, Prophecy, and Tongues, and 1 Corinthians 15-16: Resurrection Hope, Collections, and Love.
Comments on the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians. Here is a links to related sermons: 2 Corinthians 1-2: Church of God Suffering and Open Door2 Corinthians 3: The New Covenant, Jews, & Gentiles2 Corinthians 4-5: Guaranteed Immortality2 Corinthians 6: Salvation and Persecutions2 Corinthians 2:7-9: Be a Philadelphian Giver2 Corinthians 10-11: Faithfulness, Speaking, and Fables; and 2 Corinthians 12-13: Problems and Philadelphian Proofs.
GALATIANS Comments on Galatians Did the Apostle Paul do away with God’s law as some claim the Book of Galatians teaches? What is the false gospel? Related sermon videos related to Galatians are available: Galatians 1 and the False Gospel and Galatians 2 & 3: What Law was Added? What was Abolished? and Galatians 4 & 5: Who Does Not Inherit the Kingdom? and Galatians 5 & 6: The Gifts of the Spirit.
Comments on EphesiansHere is a link three related sermons: Ephesians 1-2: Predestination, Mysteries, & GraceEphesians 3 -4: Godhead, Immortality, Your Purposeand Ephesians 5-6: Put on the Whole Armor of God, Marriage, Child Rearing.
Here is a link to an article: 1 Peter: Scriptures and Commentary. Here is a link to a related sermon covering 1 Peter: 1 Peter: Humbly love, God’s plan is eternal.
Here is a link to an article: Second Peter & Jude: Scriptures and CommentaryHere is a link to a related sermon covering those books: 2 Peter & Jude: Lusts, Prophecy, & 144,000?
Here are links to sermons covering James: Strong Meat: James 1-2 and Strong Meat: James 3-5.
 This is a link to a sermon covering words Jesus spoke as recorded in the Book of Revelation and in first and second Corinthians: Revelation: Jesus’ Final Words.

Yes, as the above shows, we in the Continuing Church of God are serious about preaching the Word of God!


Evangelist Evans Ochieng has been in Rwanda to meet with the the leaders and the brethren there. He sent the following photo and email:

Pastor Dr Bob,Greetings from Rwanda.I had a wonderful and fruitful meeting today with leaders. We discussed so many things concerning church growth and the differences between church of God and the protestants. Why we are different, God’s ordained feasts and God’s family. The importance of marriage and why people shouldn’t not divorce. The establishment of the kingdom of God on earth and What’s the work of a Minister. We departed when people are very happy. We shall meet tomorrow again  to learn more. I’m tired now and I need to rest.


Yes, we strive to teach all that we can to those around the world as Jesus said to do in Matthew 28:19-20.

Here is another, later, report:

Pastor Dr Bob,Greetings from Rwanda.It was a long distance from Town where we kept Sabbath. We had a wonderful service with our brethren from all parts of Congregations in Rwanda and Congo. The brethren from Congo arrived safe in Rwanda. There was just a small confusion at the border since there is misunderstanding between Congo and Rwanda. But at Long last there were set Free and come. Other brethren came from far end of Rwanda near Burundi. Near Uganda and near Tanzania. I took a picture with all leaders in Rwanda and Congo. The only Big problem in Rwanda is that for the church to be registered nationally, they must built a good meeting hall. The area chief called Moise and asked him why he put a meeting in the House which doesn’t belong to the church as the known church hall. I noticed that every country has got its own rules which govern the churches in that particular country. But Moise talked with a senior Chief. So we were not disturbed. The meeting went very well. We covered the topic about a true church of God and those whose names are written in the book of life. People paid much attention and they didn’t want the topic to end. We also touched about God’s ordained feasts, the true gospel. After that we learnt something about Azal. Zakaria 14:5. People were very happy.After the meeting we went to see where Rwandans and Congo will keep the feast this year. It’s a fine place even though they will rent it for one week. They will also need to buy a mattresses. One of the people who was fighting Moise  for a long, who is a member of seventh day church of God also accepted the gospel and asserted he will join CCOG.Let’s continue to pray for the work in Rwanda because people of Rwanda are very disciplined and like the truth. I was moved spiritually with their choir which combined elderly people and youths. They made the service so wonderful.Since there is war in Congo, the people from Congo will need support for their way to the feast site in Rwanda. Both Rwanda and Congo will have one feast site this year. Many topics we covered with leaders since I entered Rwanda made Rwanda to move some steps forward.


Here are two photos we took.

Despite struggles, we continue to move forward where we can and reach those that are interested and being called by God (cf. Matthew 28:19-20).

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

Saw a report online that a former Mexican politician was convicted of “political violence” for objecting to a male dressing up as a female: “In a video statement, Rodrigo Iván Cortés said the trans-identifying politician was “a man who describes himself as a woman, who demands respect, but it is exactly what he does not give, he asks for what he does not give, with tremendous disrespect.” Rodrigo Iván Cortés even lost on appeal (see Great Reset already here? UN ‘Digital Army’? Plus, former Mexican politician convicted of ‘violence’ for making a factual statement). Telling the truth will trigger even more persecution in the future.

Iran unveiled its latest military drone, Mohajer-10, which it claims has the capability of hitting Israel (see ‘Iran unveils armed drone, claims it could reach Israel’). An attack that greatly damages Jerusalem is prophesied in Isaiah 22 from ethnic groups that are in Iran and Syria. It may be that the fulfillment of Isaiah 22:5-9, will lead to the peace deal confirmation of Daniel 9:27 and then begin the countdown for the start of the Great Tribulation. So, this region is one to watch (cf. Mark 13:37).

The BRICS nations have been meeting this week (see Russia, China Look to Advance Agendas at BRICS Summit’). At least 20 other nations wish to join this alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. One of the goals of BRICS is to push aside the dominance of the dollar of the USA and that, as well as the allowance of other nations to become part of BRICS (see DW: BRICS summit: Leaders eye expansion, common currency). Today, it was announced that Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were accepted to join in January 2024. The addition of three major oil producing nations looks to ultimately have negative effects on the economy of the USA as the “petrodollar” (the pricing of most oil in USA dollars) looks to be receding with this move as one of the goals of BRICS is to conduct international trade without the use of USA dollars. So, yes, the BRICS expansion looks to have negative consequences for the USA.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul taught:

5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, (1 Timothy 1:5-6)

Brethren, yes, love is what the commandments are all about.

Because of that love, we strive to reach others and fulfill the commands of Jesus to reach the world (Matthew 24:14) and teach (Matthew 28:19-20).


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer