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Letter to the Brethren: September 6, 2018

Letter to the Brethren: September 6, 2018

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings again from Grover Beach, California.

We have been working on literature and mailed out magazines and booklets around the world this week.

Now, the Holy Day season is just about upon us, starting with the Feast of Trumpets beginning after sunset September 9th. So if need to, you should arrange to be off work and/or school from sunset September 9th to sunset September 10th.

For this year, I did fairly different sermon for the Feast of Trumpets, emphasizing and explaining some points generally not covered then.

As we videoed that sermon last Sabbath, we did not make another sermon then. So, for this upcoming Sabbath, we are suggesting a sermon by Herb Haddon.

Feast of Trumpets: Christ’s Return and the Events Leading to it

Most of the Greco-Roman churches do not keep the biblical holy days that generally occur in the Fall. 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 —  52in 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).

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.

Day of Atonement in Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Main Thoroughfare, Dom, Dome
Belgrade, Serbia

As it turns out, my family is scheduled to be in Belgrade on the Day of Atonement and the Saturday Sabbath afterwards. If anyone wishes to attend services that day (September 20th) and/or the Sabbath after Atonement (September 22nd), please let me know via email so we can email you the precise location. My email address remains:

World News Items

The British exit (Brexit) from the European Union continues to be in the news. There are major disagreements in the UK about it (see Boris Johnson disses May’s Brexit plan, while PM’s office claims he has no new ideas), while the EU wants to insure that the UK will suffer because of its decision to leave the EU (see EU wants UK to pay a price for Brexit or no deal and BRINO? ‘Brexit in name only’). Please understand that no matter what deal (including possibly, officially, no deal) there develops between the EU and UK, the Europeans will one day take vengeance against the UK (cf. Daniel 8:24-25).

Turkey (see Erdogan Vows To Abandon Dollar, “Doesn’t Need Permission” To Buy Russian Missiles), Russia, the Europeans (see ‘European Firms Hit Hard By U.S. Sanctions On Iran’ and then there are the sanctions against Russia), and Iran (see Iran’s reaction to US sanctions could cause an ‘unintended’ military conflict) are all upset about USA sanctions. The USA is continuing to push Turkey and Russia towards the Europeans as we pointed out in two recent sermonette videos (watch Is Donald Trump pushing Europe to Russia? and US Sanctions and Tariffs leading to New World Order?).

USA trade policies have been upsetting many and creating a void in the World Trade Organization (see ‘Trump threatens to pull US out of World Trade Organization.’ CITI: Europe can win the trade war). This looks like this is providing an opportunity of Europe to further develop trading standards which will help it fulfill its role as a dominant trading power (Revelation 17-18) before Jesus returns.

Also, in Europe we are seeing more and more resistance to Islamic immigrants (see “Europeans Are Shocked And Frightened”: Czech PM Blast Europe’s Migrant Policy). One day there will be war between the Europeans and Arabs (Daniel 11:40-43).

A new survey concluded that Germans fear the politics of US President Donald Trump more than anything else (including migrants) they have feared since this type of survey began in 1992 (see ‘Donald Trump’s politics tops list of Germans’ greatest fears’ and Karl Guttenberg called ‘The saviour of us all’). The Germans will one day turn to a leader that the Bible calls the King of the North (Daniel 11) and the Beast of the Sea (Revelation 13:1-10). As it turns out, a German recently referred to former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg as “The saviour of us all” (see ‘Donald Trump’s politics tops list of Germans’ greatest fears’ and Karl Guttenberg called ‘The saviour of us all’). Well, Jesus is the Saviour (1 Timothy 4:10; Acts 4:10-12; 2 Peter 3:17-18). But the Bible warns about a Beast that will appear to many, particularly in Europe, as the one who will deliver them from problems (e.g. Daniel 11:23-24) and that will be worshiped (Revelation 13:1-8). We will see if this applies to Herr Guttenberg.

Prophetically-related events continue to happen.

Spanish Language News Items

We continue to get additional materials translated into the Spanish language.

Including many news items. Here are links to the items we posted this week:

US & China Confront in South China Sea: What will happen to Asia and Australia?
Los EE.UU. & China se enfrentan en el mar del sur de China: ¿Qué ocurrirá con Asia y Australia?

Temple Institute continues to push ‘foundation stone’ teaching for the Temple
El Instituto del Templo continúa impulsando la enseñanza de la ‘piedra fundacional’ para el Templo

New US Sanctions Would Be Declaration Of Economic War’ ‘Somebody must find a solution and say ‘stop’ to the United States’
Nuevas sanciones de los EE.UU. serían una declaración de guerra económica’ ‘Alguien debe encontrar una solución y decir ‘pare’ a los EE.UU.’

PCG pushing view that Vladmir Putin is prophesied as the ‘Prince of Rosh,’ while Russia also moves further away from the USA dollar
PCG impulsando la opinión de que Vladimir Putin está profetizado como el ‘Príncipe de Rosh’, mientras Rusia también se mueve hacia adelante para apartarse del dólar de los EE.UU.

PCG’s King Gerald Flurry and the Place of Safety
El Rey de la PCG Gerald Flurry y el Lugar de Seguridad

VOA: Nearly Quarter of Americans Carry Lucky Charms
VOA: Casi un cuarto de los americanos porta amuletos de la suerte

Former Vatican official calls for Pope’s resignation amid sex abuse scandal’
Antiguo oficial del Vaticano pide renuncia del Papa en medio de escándalo de abuso sexual’

End of the World prophecy ROCKS Vatican hours before ‘last Pope’ leaves for historic visit’
La profecía del fin del mundo SACUDE AL Vaticano horas antes de que el “último Papa” se vaya para una visita histórica

Is Trump Pushing Germany and Russia Together?’
‘¿Está Trump impulsando a Alemania y Rusia a unirse?’

CNBC: There’s a very high probability we’re in the end game for dollar strength, strategist says
CNBC: Hay una gran probabilidad de que estemos en el juego final para la fortaleza del dólar, dice un estratega

UK expects to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’: Is there a basis to allow it?
El Reino Unido espera prohibir la “terapia de conversión gay”: ¿hay alguna base para permitirlo?

It’s been over 6 years and the evolutionists still have not found the ‘proof’ they are looking for–actually one of their main beliefs has been overturned
Han pasado más de 6 años y los evolucionistas aún no han encontrado la ‘prueba’ que están buscando, en realidad una de sus principales creencias ha sido revocada

Pope speaks & CGBS attendee published about sex scandals
El Papa habla y el asistente de CGBS publicó sobre escándalos sexuales

Germany creates DARPA-like cybersecurity agency
Alemania crea una agencia de ciberseguridad similar a DARPA

France’s Macron says Europe must develop its military as it should not rely on the USA
Macron de Francia dice que Europa debe desarrollar su ejército, ya que no debe depender de los EE. UU.

Trump’s deal with Mexico will not stop Mexico from moving towards Europe
El acuerdo de Trump con México no impedirá que México se mueva hacia Europa

Terrorists strike Sweden and UK
Terroristas atacan en Suecia y el Reino Unido

Could there have been humanoids before Adam?
¿Pudo haber humanoides antes de Adán?

Why Is Nobody Talking About The Union For The Mediterranean?’
‘¿Por qué nadie habla de la Unión para el Mediterráneo?’

Francis says no comment on resignation letter; ‘By secular standards, the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization’
Francisco dice que no hay comentarios sobre la carta de renuncia; ‘Según los estándares seculares, la Iglesia Católica es una organización corrupta’

Have you seen what the late Joe Tkach. Sr. called ‘Satan’s throne’?
¿Has visto lo que el difunto Joe Tkach. Sr. llamó ‘el trono de Satanás’?

Is Joel Richardson right about the Rapture and wrong about the Antichrist?
¿Tiene razón Joel Richardson sobre el Rapto y está equivocado sobre el Anticristo?

More protests in Germany against Islamic immigrants
Más protestas en Alemania contra inmigrantes islámicos

Satanists want Ten Commandments out or Baphomet in
Los satanistas quieren los Diez Mandamientos afuera o a Baphomet adentro

As many of you are aware, the Continuing Church of God has a separate Spanish language website The term Continuing Church of God translates into La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios in the Spanish language, also called Castellano or Español.

Feast of Trumpets Service

The Fall Holy Days are coming up soon, with the Feast of Trumpets which begins at sunset on September 9th this year.

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for the Feast of Trumpets this year:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Offertory, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one: 2018 Trumpets Offertory: The Trumpet Watchman Offertory.
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Trumpets and Being Born Again. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel, especially if you wish two services today.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

For those wishing a second service for the Feast of Trumpets, here is another possibility:

The next annual holy day will be the Day of Atonement, which begins at sunset on September 18th this year.

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Jewish Year 5779 or 5990? Other sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
  • Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Christians … Strangers and Pilgrims? Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

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.


Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Brethren, we do not want you to be ignorant either. God has a plan for true Jesus believers involving trumpets and us meeting Him. Therefore comfort one another with these words.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer