Letter to the Brethren – March 11, 2014
Dear Brethren, Co-Workers and Friends:
As we are bombarded with terrible news from around the world, showing the perilous times and the lives of self-centered human beings in these last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5), those called by God to His Way of Life must be different. True Christians are to be happy people, reflecting and manifesting their inner joy which is focused on their future as glorified eternal Spirit beings in the very Family and Kingdom of God (John 17:13; Galatians 5:22; Romans 14:17). As we walk through this dark valley of human suffering and death, we must not allow ourselves to become frustrated and depressed; rather, we are to lift up our heads in anticipation of entering a spiritual world of splendor and beauty, joy and peace (Luke 21:28). In short, we are looking forward to the soon-coming time of our change (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).
Even when preparing for the sobering and serious Passover evening, we need to understand that our required self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28) should produce thankfulness and happiness (John 15:11)—realizing that our sins have been forgiven because of the Father and Christ’s mercy, grace and selfless love for us and all of mankind. While this world is living a life of selfish pursuits and idle and vain endeavors, we—God’s people—are to exemplify a life of unselfish love and concern for the welfare and benefit of others. We do understand, of course, that we cannot change the world or convert others—nor should we ever try to do this—but we can help in whatever way possible to perhaps assist God in opening the minds of those who are being called (Matthew 5:16).
Prayer, Bible Study, Meditation on God’s Word and His Way of Life and occasional Fasting are in fact major pillars in the life of a Christian—part of the foundation on which a Christian stands. But sometimes, when we are confronted with “pressing” daily needs and “important” tasks, it might become difficult to “find the time” to pray or study God’s Word, and it may become far too easy to “convince” ourselves that it may not be that important. Also, we may be shocked to discover that our prayers have become “routine”—a habitual repetition of certain words—and our Bible Studies may lack quality and just consist of a superficial “reading” of a few verses in a randomly selected chapter.
Several years ago, we published a free booklet, “Teach Us to Pray,” to help our readers in their daily task of praying meaningful and successful prayers. This booklet is still available upon request. When we want answers to our prayers, we have certain obligations, and this booklet tells us what they are. We are now pleased to offer a brand-new booklet, which should help you to make your Bible Studies more interesting. It is titled, “Hidden Secrets in the Bible,” and was written to show you marvelous things from God’s Word.
We say in the introduction: “Based on the title of this booklet, if you are expecting to read about secret ‘Bible codes’ or obscure ‘biblical’ messages, you might be disappointed. Instead, we are going to lay out some interesting hidden secrets in the pages of the Holy Scriptures which might otherwise escape the casual reader.
“In Part 1 of this booklet, we will show you the beauty of Old Testament poetry and how it lends a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.
“In Part 2, we will explain the often overlooked significance of certain biblical numbers, while also clearing up some misunderstandings in this regard.
“In Part 3, we will discuss a hidden message in the book of Psalms. Rather than viewing this book as a collection of unrelated passages, you will see a story flow that reveals God’s plan of salvation.”
This booklet should be of great help to you to make your Bible Study more delightful. It also includes several boxes with related material, including an outline and overview of the psalms, briefly listing the topic of each psalm; and the identification of the seven psalms of repentance and the fourteen “psalms of ascent”; as well as those psalms which are focusing on and are related to a particular annual Holy Day, such as the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles.
For our subscribers in the USA, we enclose a copy of our new booklet with this letter. In other parts of the world, this booklet will be sent out shortly to those on the circulation list to receive new booklets. We trust that you will make good use of the discussed material. You will realize that it proves to you the unmistakable fact that it was indeed God who inspired the writings of the Bible—no human being and no human committee could have remotely accomplished what God did; and He left us His Holy Word for our benefit and learning (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
And so, we conclude this booklet with the following observation:
“For many, the Bible is a book ‘with seven seals’—a book which they seem to be unable to understand. Indeed, God must open our minds to see, but when He does, the Word of God will shine as a bright light in utter darkness, and it will truly reveal a whole world of previously unseen secrets which are not hidden any longer from those who want to understand…”
But as it is the case with prayer, we also have obligations and responsibilities when we want to study the Bible successfully. John 7:17 tells us that we must want to DO what we learn in God’s Word, and we are only privileged to be called Christ’s friends if we DO whatever He commands us (John 15:14).
With Christian love,