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Letter to the Brethren: September 2, 2021

Letter to the Brethren: September 2, 2021

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from Grover Beach, California.

Prayer Requests

CCOG deacon Koang Deng sent the following prayer request yesterday:

Dear Pastor,We received a funding message on Monday but due to the trouble in Gambella, because the regional authority closed all branches banks and restriction of moving in town.Some evils men killed people in Gambella town, which brought a great fear in region. Gambella has five tribes, Nuer, Anyuak, Como, Mageinger and Opow including those came for trades from different regions of Ethiopia and with in that numbers, two tribes, Nuer and Anyuak are the majority who always using fighting for politics issue.Because of this, you may pray for this regional authority to bring a peaceful manner for the life of their people.Thank you,Deacon koang.

Gambella is where most of our Ethiopian brethren live as well as where we expect to hold the Feast of Tabernacles this year. Please put the situation in Ethiopia in your prayers.

I also received a prayer request from a supporter in Louisiana related to problems caused by Hurricane Ida, which looks to leave many thousands without electricity for weeks.

Again, I ask for prayers for the brethren and others in Haiti because of the earthquake that happened there a couple of weeks ago. The situation for the brethren there is still quite difficult. Furthermore, we received reports that much of the funds last sent there from Canada were stolen in a robbery. We have been looking into that as certain given instructions were not followed. We plan to provide some assistance next week from here in the USA.

The Feast of Trumpets

Blowing of a Shofar

Statue of a man blowing a shofar trumpet

The Feast of Trumpets is almost upon us. This year it starts at sunset September 6th and runs through sunset September 7th. Basically, with the exception of offerings, it is observed like a regular weekly Sabbath.

Most of the Greco-Roman churches do not keep the biblical holy days that occur in September/October on the Roman calendar. Yet, these Holy Days portray many pivotal events in God’s plan.

The Feast of Trumpets not only pictures the coming of Christ to resurrect the firstfruits from the dead, it also pictures the terrible time of devastation just ahead and the intervention of Jesus Christ to save the living from total annihilation and to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

Let’s understand how this festival fits into God’s great master plan.

Consider that there is a major time gap between the Day of Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets.  Since the New Testament church began on Pentecost and basically ends when Jesus returns at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-57), in a sense the period of time between Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets can be considered as representing the church age.

The fourth Holy Day, the Feast of Trumpets, is observed in “the seventh month, on the first day of the month” (Leviticus 23:23-25).

The number seven in God’s plan signifies completion and perfection. The seventh month of God’s calendar (occurs in September and/or October) contains the final four festivals, picturing the completion of God’s great master plan for us. The festival that falls on the first day of this month marks the beginning of the final events in God’s plan.

It is another annual Sabbath of rest from one’s regular work, and it was to be a memorial of blowing of trumpets (Leviticus 23:24-25). It is also a time to learn God’s ways (Nehemiah 8:2-3; cf. Ezra 3:1-7). Much of what happened to the children of Israel was written for our “examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

It is from the blowing of trumpets that the Feast of Trumpets draws its name.

There is a great deal of symbolic meaning tied in with the blowing of these trumpets, especially with regard to the end times in which we’re living. It should be noted that the modern Jewish name for this date, Rosh Hashanah, is not biblical nor even original for the Jews. It was something that they adopted centuries after God gave it to them and after the Old Testament was written (Kramer, Amy J. Rosh Hashana Origins. Copyright © 1998-1999 Everything Jewish, Inc.).

The Bible teaches that Trumpets were blown to announce God’s feasts, as well as to call people to assemble (Numbers 10:1-3, 10).

Interestingly, Jewish scholars have tied the Feast of Trumpets in with the ‘Book of Life’ (Peltz M, Rabbi. What is in a Rosh Hashanah greeting? Haaretz, September 17, 2012). Why is that of interest?

Well, the Bible teaches that those who are listed in the ‘Book of Life’ (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5) will be resurrected (Hebrews 12:22-23).  When? At the seventh and last trumpet:

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —  52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

The Book of Revelation clearly teaches that seven trumpets will be blown (8:2), punishment comes upon those who are not protected by God (9:4), and then God’s kingdom and judgment will come (11:15-18). Finally it teaches that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will experience the second death (Revelation 20:14-15).

Furthermore, consider that the Bible shows that during Israel’s history, which was heavily punctuated with conflicts and rebellion, trumpets continued to be used as warning devices, to call to arms or as preludes to important messages — always to mark an event of tremendous import to the whole nation.

God also used the prophets, among them Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and Joel, to warn Israel about punishments He would bring upon them for their constant rebellion against His laws. These prophets were to use their voices like trumpets to blare their warnings to God’s people.

1 Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

We in the Continuing Church of God are working to do that today. We boldly tell of the sins of society and how world events are aligning with properly understood prophecy–which we also strive to explain.

But there will also be literal trumpet blasts coming in the future as the Book of Revelation teaches (Revelation 8:1-13, 9:1-18).  But most will not heed those warnings.

Many are blown in the Book of Revelation, and a lot were to be blown on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24)–hopefully many can see the connection.

But the most important trumpet, in a sense, could be the last, the seventh one. Here is what Revelation teaches about that:

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:15-19)

The Feast of Trumpets pictures the future blowing of trumpets and the reality that Jesus will come and establish the Kingdom of God on the earth. The good news of coming Kingdom of God is a big part of what Jesus wants His servants to proclaim now (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20), and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14). The Feast of Trumpets points to Christ’s victory over this world.

Greco-Roman historians, such as Jerome and Epiphanius (Catholica Omnia Tabulinum De Ecclesiae Patribus Doctoribusque Materia Migne JP Argumentum Patrologia Latina Volumen MPL025 Ab Columna ad Culumnam 1415 – 1542A, pp. 922, 930 and Epiphanius (Ephiphanius. The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book II (sects 1-46) Section 1, Chapter 19, 7-9. Frank Williams, editor. Publisher BRILL, 1987, p. 117-119), recorded that the ‘Nazarene Christians’ continued to keep the Fall Holy Days into the fourth and fifth centuries. They were also kept by the faithful Christians in Jerusalem who claimed the original Christian building in Jerusalem into the fourth century until they were stopped by Imperial authorities (Pixner B. Church of the Apostles Found on Mt. Zion. Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1990: 16-35,60).

The anti-Semite John Chrysostom specifically attempted to stop people from keeping the Feast of Trumpets in the late fourth century (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2). However, those trying to be faithful continued to do so throughout history. The Continuing Church of God does so now.

Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles for 2021 is fast approaching.

Services for the Feast of Tabernacles are to begin the evening of September 20th and continue until the Last Great Day which is September 28th in 2021.

God commands His people to observe it, so if you have not already done so, please email the appropriate person for the site you want to attend.

For information on CCOG sites, check out the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2021.

Radio In Migori

Radio tower (Wikipedia)

A while back, we reported about deacon Ondigo Ochieng (no relationships to Evans Ochieng) being on a commercial radio station in Migori, Kenya. This station is very close to the border with Tanzania, meaning that people in that nation can also listen to it. A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that were we hoping to be able to continue this and that some in France indicated that they would like to help sponsor this. The funding from France arrived, so we expect to be able to continue this though at least some time in 2022.

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.

Suggested Feast of Trumpets Services

Here is a suggested Feast of Trumpets service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

Here is a suggested Feast of Trumpets service for our scattered brethren and other interested people who prefer to have two services:

As far as information on how to keep the biblical holy days, check out the online article: How to Keep God’s Festivals.

World News Items

In Afghanistan, the Taliban declared victory after the USA pulled its troops out (see Taliban declare victory, Muslims say ‘Christianity’ defeated, but …). This was not unexpected. The USA has been losing ‘the pride” of its ‘power’ (Leviticus 26:19). Many, correctly, expect that what happened in Afghanistan will embolden terrorists around the world (see ‘Terrorists Worldwide Will Be Emboldened by Our Retreat’).

In the USA, a school teacher suggested that her class pledge allegiance to flag of the homo/transsexual crowd (seeWND: Teacher encourages students to pledge allegiance to LGBT pride flag instead of American flag). The USA is going downhill (see also‘Empire’s Fate: America under siege and at a crossroads’). The days of the USA are numbered (cf. Romans 1:18-32).

The world, including the USA, has been embracing more totalitarian steps consistent with what is prophesied to come in Revelation 13:16-18. While ‘vaccine passports’ are not the ‘mark of the beast’ they look to be a prelude into more controls of buying and selling (see WHO, Digital Vaccine Passports, & 666).

Biblical prophecies will be fulfilled–and we see many steps aligning with them.

Concluding Comments

The Bible teaches:

2 … The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. (Leviticus 23:2)

Brethren, the festivals that occur in September and October are almost here.

These are God’s festivals and we should rejoice that we have the knowledge about them and ability to observe them.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer