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Letter to the Brethren: February 23, 2023

Letter to the Brethren: February 23, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Moving Forward on Radio

This week, I came across something that I had inadvertently filed away a few years ago. It was a flyer from a company that has a network of small AM and FM religious radio stations in parts of the USA. After my speaking with their representatives, Steve Dupuie and I discussed this and made a tentative agreement to possibly add a few of these stations to broadcast our Bible News Prophecy program.

Once the deal is finalized, we expect to have more information on these stations in a future Letter to the Brethren.

We are also taking a look at the stations we have in Kenya and looking at possibly adding some additional presenters there.

Radio is one “open door” that we have used to helpful fulfill Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:14 & 28:19-20 and expect to continue to use for some time.

Small Gathering in Texas

Louis Rubin sent the following and apparently took the following photos:Hello Dr. Thiel,Last Saturday February 18th 5 of us got together for church service in Rockport Texas. There was Chad and Evan Branton, Carlos Leal and Pat and myself. Then we spent the rest of the day visiting. It was a really nice time for all of us. We intend to do it again soon. It is about a 3 1/2 hour trip for Pat and I to get to Rockport and it is about a 5 1/2 hour trip for Chad and Evan to make that trip. A little over half an hour for Carlos to make it to Rockport.

See the pictures below,

Louis Rubin

We have many scattered people in Texas. And it is nice that just a few were able to meet in a different place to get together.

Support the Work

While researching this week’s recommended sermon, I ran across the following from the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, who wrote:

Just as the angels on earth (pre-Adamic) needed the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to synchronize the various functions into a team unit, so was this necessary in God’s Church.

The operation of the GREAT COMMISSION … requires, as the New Testament clearly states, organization.

So God set HIS GOVERNMENT in His Church. And God’s government is authority from the TOP down. God the Father is in supreme authority over all. Next in authority under Him is Jesus Christ, living Head of the Church. On the human and earthly level, next in authority …

Jesus said, “He that is not with me…” (and since He is the Head of God’s one and only Church, He plainly meant with Him where HE is working — in God’s one Church). Repeat, “He that is not with me [where He works] is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). …

The Church is made up of the BODY of Christ. More on that a little later. But the BODY presented to Christ will not be a dismembered body, with an arm, a leg or other parts being separated! It is ONE Church—fitly framed together—not dismembered into many parts following many different men seeking to draw away disciples after them.

This coming marriage is again referred to in II Corinthians 11:2: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

The New-Covenant MARRIAGE will take place at Christ’s coming in GLORY: “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ALLELUIA: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb [Christ] is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:6-7).

It is enlightening at this point to remember Jesus came as “the messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1). He came as the Messenger of the NEW Covenant.

The Old Covenant was a CONTRACT entered into between the children of Israel and the Word (who was to become Christ)—the God of the Old Testament. It was a MARRIAGE covenant. God “proposed” and Israel “accepted” (Exodus 19:6, 8). That “marriage covenant” also set up the kingdom of Israel as one of earth’s nations.

The New Covenant also will be a MARRIAGE covenant marrying the Church, then changed to spirit immortality, to Christ. But that covenant also will set up the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling all nations with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.

The Old Covenant was made with a carnal-minded people on their PROMISE to obey. The New Covenant will be made with a Spirit-begotten and Spirit-born people who have ALREADY PROVED THEIR OBEDIENCE!

Modern Facilities for Mass Communication Today

The Church members, as a whole, are not called to “GO FORTH” with the gospel message, but to back up, help, support the apostle in carrying the message into all the world. … with … the printing press, radio, television, even the telephone by which one may reach another in any part of the world in a matter of minutes or less — can reach more people by far than all of the first century apostles combined. (Armstrong HW. Seven Proofs Of The True Church – Proof No. 5-6. Good News, December 4, 1978)

And, of course, since that was written, the internet became available as another form of mass communication. More of the various forms of media that we are using in the 21st century, check out the Continuing Church of God Multimedia page.

In a Bible Study, Herbert W. Armstrong said:

Ephesians. They had been born Gentiles. Now they are converted; and he says that you are no longer Gentiles. You are no longer foreigners from the nation of Israel, but you are fellow citizens. And then they are also in the family of God, a household, and they’re built together like a building.

Now what kind of a building do you have if part of the facade, one or two stones, or one or two pieces of the wood of it is over one place and some of it is over in another State, and a part of it is in another nation, and another part of it is somewhere else? Would you call it a building? And yet there are those that say; “Well I’m a loner, I’m an individual Christian. I don’t want to be a part of any church organization.” And then there’s those who say; “I don’t want to follow a man.” And yet that’s what they do do, they follow a man usually. And they go off into many little cliques, each one of them following one man.

Now God has always worked through one man as leader. But that man is only a leader, and always it has been God. For example, when Samuel was a prophet leading the people of God, they didn’t want Samuel anymore, they wanted a human king like the other nations. God said; “It isn’t you they have rejected Samuel, you weren’t the real ruler, I was. They have rejected me that I should not rule over them.” (I Samuel 8:7 paraphrased). This is eighth chapter of I Samuel. And, you see it was God ruling them, not Samuel.

And so it is really Christ leading the Church today, it is not I. I am only an instrument. But if Christ is not in me and leading me and inspiring me, then I am not the leader. And if I’m not the leader, I don’t know why — I presume you just don’t have one. But I think it is evident that I not only have been a leader, but that I have led you in precisely what this Word says. And that I have not compromised with this Word. (Armstrong HW. Ephesians 3 & 4 Bible Study, January 2, 1981)

I, too, have striven to be faithful and to not compromise the Word. And, I believe, that confirmation of prophesied signs from Acts 2:17-18 demonstrates the scriptural appropriateness of my position (see also Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?). Now, biblically, that is consistent with what Jesus stated, “believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:11). Even though that was the Son of God, most in Jesus’ day ignored His stated admonition–do not be like them!

True Philadelphians will realize that they need to support the Philadelphian remnant church, which is best represented organizationally at this time by the Continuing Church of God.

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

We are seeing more and more calls for Europe to increase its military strength (e.g., see Germany’s Patrick Sensburg essentially calls for a ‘great army’ consistent with Daniel 11:25; ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it — and Munich feels nervous’). Biblically (cf. Revelation 13:3-4), we know that will happen.

While the Church of God has long pointed to the rise of something that could be called the final ‘Holy Roman Empire,’ more and more feel that Europe should reorganize (which it will per Revelation 17:12-13) and some have pointed to having some type of ‘Holy Roman Empire’ is needed to replace the European Union (see ‘Venetians: to save us from the EU there is only the Holy Roman Empire’). A religious (the final Antichrist) and secular (the Beast) power will rise up in Europe and lead a totalitarian dictatorship.

Food price inflation is affecting people around the world. In addition to government policies (including sanctions), the H5N1 ‘bird flu’ has impacted poultry and egg prices (see ‘World’s poultry supply threatened as bird flu spreads’ ‘Will bird flu spark the next pandemic?)–and even infected some people (see Jesus warned of food shortages and pestilences (Matthew 24:7) and the current ‘bird flu’ has elements of both.

Concluding Comments

Jesus said the following:

15 … Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)

Brethren, your support helps us accomplish what Jesus wanted.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer