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Letter to the Brethren: July 15, 2021

Letter to the Brethren: July 15, 2021

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

We need to mention that parents may wish to watch the recommended sermonette and sermon for this Sabbath without their children as they deal with matters of sex and some related to anatomy. If parents feel that the content is appropriate for their children, then they should let them watch one or both. If not, there are always other sermonettes and sermons available on our video channels–all of which can be found at our Multimedia page. Another option would be for parents to read the articles: Are any types of birth control scripturally allowed? and Why sex and marriage? What are each spouse’s responsibilities regarding sex in the marriage? What is not allowed according to God’s word? as they are the notes for the sermonette and sermon, and then decide if they want their children to watch the related videos with them.

The plan to make these messages was triggered by an inquiry I received from someone last month who was part of at least 2 or 3 Church of God groups I was once part of.

There are various spiritual aspects of marriage that the sermon covers as well as certain physical matters related to sex that I felt also should be covered. Particularly in this age where deviant forms of sexuality are pushed as acceptable–those who do push biblically-abominable views simply do not understand the PURPOSE of sex or marriage. Marriage is a God-plane relationship that most in the world do not understand.

For those with a long-term Church of God background, most of the materials should ‘ring a bell’ as they are fairly consistent with what has been taught by the old Worldwide Church of God. Additionally, some materials have been added, partially because of the times we are in.

Beverley Bivens’ Funeral

Edith Bivens reported that the funeral for her sister Beverley (a CCOG pioneer; seeLetter to the Brethren: July 1, 2021) went well and that she was pleased that the Nelsons were able to attend.

Andre Nelson sent the following:

The funeral was conducted by Terry Nelson. It was the first funeral he ever conducted.

Pigeon Forge and Haiti

A member from Tennessee sent the following:

I just wanted to send a quick short notice on advice for pigeon forge. The closer one can stay to the site the better, even more so than for other, previous feast sites:  it is a very heavy traffic area and so as you suggest staying at or near the site is even more relevant at this feast, traffic is very heavy and walking is often faster. The extra cost is mitigated by the avoidance of traffic. As a local I cannot stress this enough and did not wish to see anyone’s enjoyment dampened by traffic issues.

Anyway, as mentioned before, for the continental USA we have a contract to hold the Feast of Tabernacles at the Hilton Garden Inn Pigeon Forge, 2481 Teaster Ln, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. You may wish to stay there or fairly close.

If you plan to come, no matter where you may being staying there, please send me an email if you intend to attend unless you already have done so. My email address remains

Despite ongoing problems in Haiti, Herb Haddon and I have been looking into ways to assist long-term and short-term. Hopefully, in a few weeks we will be able to report a new location for regular church services as well as for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2021.

Online Radio

As many of you are aware, we have an online as well as mobile radio presence.

Received the following written comment about it from a listener:

Your channel is AMAZING Dr. Thiel!


TY-means Thank You.

Here is a link to out Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app. It is managed by Shirley Gestro in New Zealand and gives us an opportunity to reach people in additional ways as well as ways that are more convenient for some. It is another door that has been open to us (cf. Revelation 3:7-8) that we continue to go through.

Suggested Sabbath Day Services

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

Jesus said:

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6-8)

12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)

Lawlessness looks to be increasing in many places, including the USA (see MS: In Many Cities In America, The Criminals Are Starting To Gain Firm Control Of The Streets). As far as lawlessness, wars, and rumors of war go, there are reports from many parts of the globe related to that (see Protests in Cuba, rioting in South Africa, turmoil in Haiti, Hong Kong, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and peace being taken from the Earth).

Scientific American published a blasphemous opinion piece last week that falsely asserts that denial of the lie of evolution is a form of “white supremacy” (see SA: Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy; COGwriter: Acceptance of evolution is a denial of science). This assertion really is belittling to the Bible as well as the subject racism and should never have been made. Furthermore, evolution is NOT true, Therefore, it makes no sense to believe it (see also our free online book Is God’s Existence Logical?). Yet, this seems to be part of an agenda to further divide the USA as well as to take another shot against the Bible. The Bible warns about destruction coming to those that despise God’s word (Isaiah 30:8-13).

On a more positive note, evidence of the biblical name Jerubbaal was recently found (see A first: Rare inscription discovered dating from time of Judges,bears name ‘Jerubbaal’). This provides more physical support for what is in the Bible for those interested in that.

Here is a biblical reference related to the name Jerubbaal:

24 So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.

Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal

28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it.”

31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!” 32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.” (Judges 6:24-32)

Judges 6:32 is the first place we see the name Jerubbaal in the Bible.

More and more we are seeing evidence supporting the biblical narrative. Secularists and secular scholars often discount and do not accept evidence that supports what the Bible says. They try to act like it is based on myths and exaggerated stories.

In other archaeological news, a portion of the 586 BC wall around Jerusalem has been found, which is believed to have survived the siege that year by Nebuchadnezzar in 2 Kings 25:1-21  (see ‘Archaeologists find part of Jerusalem’s wall destroyed on Ninth of Av’).

As we get closer to the end, archeologists continue to find more evidence of biblical locations, figures, and events.

Of course, for those of us who believe the Bible, no further archeological proof is needed. But for some who have heard statements from archaeologists that deny the biblical accounts, it may be helpful for them to realize that as time goes on, more and more archaeological evidence surfaces that supports the Bible.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Peter wrote:

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”

8 and

“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

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; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:4-12)

Jesus, who spoke the truth, was rejected.

In modern times, Big Tech and various governments find much of the biblical truth offensive (e.g. YouTube censors and removes BNP video: Disney’s abominable promotions!).

Despite that brethren, we need to do the work when we can like Jesus (cf. John 9:4), as well as live as Christian examples.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer