Letter to the Brethren – April 24, 2013
Dear Members, Co-Workers and Friends,
How much longer do we have until Jesus Christ returns to usher in the wonderful world tomorrow, and to establish God’s rule and government here on earth? The answer is, no man knows the times or seasons, the day or the hour—but Christ gave us signs to watch for, and He said that when we see certain events take place, we should know that the time is near. He gave us an outline in Matthew 24, and judging by His words, the next spectacular event will be the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Again, we don’t know the exact timing of that event—and those who claim that they have been given such insightful knowledge are deceiving you—but we should be able to see that it could happen very soon.
While Europe is uniting, America and the UK are losing all glimmer of hope that they could restore their past greatness, and the powder keg in the Middle East could explode any time. The beast and the false prophet are alive and may be working eagerly behind the scenes—even though they have not yet manifested themselves on the world scene, and no man knows at this point who they are—and those who claim they have been given such insightful knowledge are deceiving you.
At the same time, the two witnesses are also alive and are being trained by God for their future prophetic and prophesied task. No man knows who they are, and they themselves might not know it either, and those who claim that they have been given such insightful knowledge are deceiving you, and those who claim that they are the two witnesses are not telling you the truth. But as we are approaching the final chapter of the history of this world’s civilization, we must take to heart Christ’s words to work while it is day, and to pray to God the Father to send laborers into His harvest.
The Church of God has been given the ongoing commission to preach the gospel in all the world as a witness, and only then will the end come. It appears that God is opening mighty doors for the proclamation of the gospel in Germany and Europe, and perhaps in other parts of the world. While we are continuing with our efforts to preach the gospel to the modern descendants of the lost tribes of the House of Israel, we must also go through the doors which God is opening in other parts of the world. In addition to observing the Feast of Tabernacles in Vail, Colorado, we will be celebrating this year, for the first time, the Feast in Germany. Further information is posted on our Website, www.eternalgod.org. For this Passover in Germany, we already had 21 members in attendance (last year, there were 8 members), and several more prospective members are counseling with us for baptism.
Following Paul’s instruction to Timothy to appoint qualified elders in every city and in realization of the fact that God has answered our prayers to send more laborers into His harvest, the ministry ordained two deacons to the rank and office of elder, and one member to the office of deacon. One of the new elders was born in Germany and will be used more and more in the service of God’s Work in Germany. We are glad to see God’s mighty hand in all of these developments—and it is always sad to see when somebody does not seem to grasp how the living Jesus Christ is leading His Church in these end times. I am reminded of Herbert Armstrong’s experiences when he started to build Ambassador College. Mr. Armstrong had enough vision and godly inspiration, as well as will power, so that he didn’t allow others to throw him off track when they thought that he was wrong in going in such a direction, and when they stated that the college was going nowhere. There may be those who might think in similar vein to the approach that we are taking today. Mr. Armstrong responded to them that the college would prosper (which it did), but it would prosper without them—it was they who were going nowhere.
We completed a very successful and harmonious annual Church Conference, and being mindful of the task ahead of us, we were led to make important decisions in order to further the Work, knowing that we can either delay or hasten Christ’s coming (compare 2 Peter 3:9, 12). Our Canadian minister, Mr. Rene Messier, is planning a trip to Kenya to visit our members and meet with new people and prospective members. Both Mr. Messier and Mr. Brian Gale (our UK minister) will begin short Internet audio broadcasts in Canada and the UK, respectively, to promote our literature. Mr. Messier will do so in English and French. Of course, the production and posting of our weekly video-recorded German sermons and our AufPostenStehen programs, as well as our video-recorded English sermons will continue, as will our weekly StandingWatch programs.
We are also going to print German booklets, while at the same time completing the writing of our next booklet on the ten revivals of the ancient Roman Empire in Europe. Other planned booklets for this year will concentrate on the return of Jesus Christ as well as on the Ten Commandments. We are investigating how we can implement our decision to broadcast live Sabbath services from San Diego via video, instead of audio. We will also have monthly ministerial meetings via Skype to make sure that we most efficiently carry out God’s Work of preaching the gospel and feeding the flock. Many more technical decisions were made in furtherance of our two-fold commission.
As you can see, we have set wide-reaching goals for ourselves, realizing that we need vision and that the time is short. Dear brethren and friends, please understand that God will be doing a short work of raising the modern-day Chaldeans (compare Habakkuk 1:5-6, referring to the final European revival of the ancient Roman Empire) and of proclaiming His Word (compare Acts 13:38-41; Romans 9:28). We must not be found lacking in zeal and dedication. Cursed is the one who does the Work of God with slackness (Jeremiah 48:10, RSV). Over the years and decades, many former brethren have left the truth and turned to fables; however, the prophesied “falling away” is not over yet, but is ongoing.
Dear brethren and friends, keep yourself in the truth, and pray for one another and for God’s ministers and also for me that we can speak and preach God’s Word boldly, in season and out-of-season, as we must. Satan is alive and walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour. We must not be ignorant of his many devices. He wants nothing more than to destroy God’s Church—which he cannot—and to separate you from the vine, knowing that in that case, you will wither away. You must not let that happen. Christ is the vine and we are the branches, being called out of this world to bring much fruit. Christ is the Head of His Church, and when we believe that, we will not leave His Church to go our separate ways, thinking that we could make it on our own into the Kingdom. We definitely cannot do this. Even if we might not understand everything which is going on, and why things are done in the way that they are, IF we believe that the living Jesus Christ is leading His Church, then let us submit to Him and His Will. If we don’t but seek to have it our way, we WILL fail!
Thank you, dear brethren, for your dedication and loyalty, and for remaining faithful. We know—or ought to know—that if we shrink back, God will have no pleasure in us. But to end with the words of Paul, “we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).
In Jesus’ Name