Letter to the Brethren – January 9, 2009

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Dear Brethren, Co-Workers and Friends:

We are living in prophetically decisive times. What the Church of God has been proclaiming to occur in the years just prior to Christ’s return IS coming to pass before our very eyes. That is, IF we have eyes to see.

Unfortunately, most people are totally BLIND. They have no comprehension as to what current events may mean and signify. Sadly, even some—if not many—in the Church of God have lulled their senses, being only half awake or perhaps even almost sound asleep.

Here are some of the facts which we MUST take note of!

The United States of America is losing its status as the world’s superpower. How many times have you heard before that this WILL happen? Now it IS happening—but do you recognize it? The U.S. economy is weak and beyond substantial repair. But some—including some of those who CLAIM that they speak for the Churches of God—have been denying for MONTHS that our economy is really THAT bad. They have been DENYING that we have been in a recession for over a year! They are still saying today that the U.S. economy is fundamentally sound and stable, and that we will see very soon a tremendous recovery. Friends, don’t you believe it! The truth is that the U.S. economy will not substantially revive. How do we know? Because the Bible says it—that’s why!

At the same time, we are seeing Europe coming together—the United States of Europe is forming with unparalleled vigor. How many times have you heard before that this WILL happen? Now it IS happening—but do you recognize it? Gainsayers have prophesied that the euro would never become a successful currency. They are saying now that the EU will NEVER replace the USA as the world’s superpower. They even question whether Europe will REALLY unite at all. But it will! How do we know? Because we BELIEVE the prophecies of the Bible—that’s why!

Now, we are witnessing again a terrible WAR in the Middle East. We had predicted over a year ago that war might break out between Israel and Iran before the inauguration of the next American President. Now we see this very war unfolding. But most CAN’T see who the real players are in this war! However, the plain truth is that Israel is fighting a “proxy war” with Hamas—and perhaps soon with Hezbollah—by really fighting “against Iran’s spiritual little brothers” (Der Spiegel Online, January 5, 2009). Iran is financing its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah—it has been training their military leaders and soldiers, and it has been providing them with weapons and missiles, as the Jerusalem Post reported on December 25 and 29, 2008. This WAR is making Israel VERY unpopular around the world. Even those governments which are still supporting Israel will soon turn against it. How many times have you heard before that you must watch the Middle East—that Israel will be hated by all nations? How do we know all of this? Because the Bible says it—that’s why.

We are trying to keep those who want to know informed about important news events—in the light of biblical prophecies for our times! We do this through our booklets and sermons, and mostly through our weekly Updates and our StandingWatch programs. And although truly converted Christians—irrespective of the human organizations they may belong to—should rejoice over the fact that God is using His people to WARN the world, there are some self-proclaimed misguided individuals who MUST try to find fault with just about everyone who does not belong to “their” organization. And they are not afraid to give wrong impressions by false innuendos and outright misstatements, or simply by neglecting to tell the whole truth. This is called slander and libel in legal terms; it’s branded as the sin of LYING in the Bible. And Christ said that NO LIAR will enter the Kingdom of God.

We thank God that He has seen fit to bless our efforts of preaching the gospel—including the WARNING message of the soon-coming disastrous Great Tribulation—and of spiritually feeding those whom He has entrusted to us to care for. God IS working with new individuals and smaller groups who are contacting us—including some who had never had any association with the Church of God before. This should not come as a surprise—after all, we are maintaining two Websites in the USA, one Website in Canada, one Website in the United Kingdom, and one Website in Germany. They are all interconnected, of course.

In addition, we are not only posting video-taped sermons and StandingWatch programs on our own Websites, but also on other sites, such as Google Video and YouTube. We should never underestimate the importance of these activities. For instance, our StandingWatch program, “Coming—The Great Depression,” which was posted over eight months ago, has by now been viewed in excess of 25,500 times on YouTube alone. And as the U.S. economy will continue to move towards depression, we expect that just that program will be viewed many thousand times more.

As you can imagine, all of these activities, and many other projects, require money. It costs money to run regular advertisements on the Internet and to respond each month to hundreds of special literature requests; it costs money to produce and send out new booklets, monthly member letters, weekly Updates, and regular CDs or audio tapes. It costs money to pay our employees who have dedicated their LIVES to serving this Work—thereby forgoing or terminating more lucrative employment opportunities. In fact, we WISHED we could hire more employees, and when God grants us the funds, we will do so.

In the meantime, we will not live beyond our means. That requires us to cut expenses which may not be (that) necessary. Some of our readers who regularly receive our member letters and new booklets, have been on our mailing lists for many years, without ever contacting us in any way. We do not want to give our free literature to those who may not really want it. Therefore, some of our readers in the USA are receiving a renewal card with this letter. If you did not receive such a renewal card, don’t worry about it. You don’t need to do anything, because we know that you want to receive our literature, and we will continue to send it to you. We conducted already a renewal program last month for our readers in the UK, and so this obviously does not apply to them.

However, if a card is enclosed with your letter, we need to hear from you. It is important that you return the card to us, telling us that you want to continue to receive our literature. If you do not fill out and return the card, then this letter will be the last one which you will receive from us, unless and until we hear from you again.

We’d also like to mention that we will soon conduct our annual conference in San Diego, beginning with the end of February. We appreciate your prayers for a successful conference, and that God will lead us in the direction HE wants us to go. MUCH needs to be accomplished, but with God on our side, we WILL be successful.

Dear brethren and friends, please continue to pray for one another—especially for good health, for the possibility to keep or get a job, and for God’s blessings for those of you who have their own business. In these difficult economic times, we need God’s involvement, protection and guidance. Please make every effort to attend our Church services regularly, in person, whenever possible. It is God’s command to do so! God expects of us to encourage each other, and to be encouraged, AT SERVICES. Sometimes, we may find reasons which seemingly justify our non-attendance. But with an honest scrutiny and self-examination, most—if not all—of these “justifications” evaporate into thin air.

Please, continue to pray for the income and success of the Work. We don’t want to cut any necessary projects, and we DO want to go through doors which God opens for us—and that with increasing strength and power. So please, brethren, don’t forget to plead with God in this regard, and please continue to pray for me that I may be inspired to proclaim with vigor and clarity, what needs to be said on our StandingWatch programs—both in English and in German.

Finally, brethren, please pray for all of our ministers and their wives. Our burdens are sometimes quite heavy, as the apostle Paul said—but when we all, together, cast our burdens on Christ, they become much lighter.

I truly appreciate all your dedication. Always remember, our efforts in the great Work of our Eternal God are never in vain.

With the love of Christ,

Norbert Link