Letter the the Brethren – September 18, 2020

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Dear Members, Co-Workers and Friends,

Our enemy, Satan the Devil, has been very busy. For nearly 6,000 years, he has been deceiving
mankind on a continuous basis. He tricked the first woman into believing that one can disobey God and get away with it. Satan lied to her, being the father of lies in whom is no truth (John 8:44), and in following him, Adam and Eve died. Satan caused their death, being a murderer from the beginning (same verse), and he has had the power of death over sinning mankind ever since (Hebrews 2:14). 

This world is cut off from God. Satan rules this world from his throne here on earth (Revelation 2:13). He has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:10), which is under his sway (1 John 5:19). His demons are ruling with and under him—evil spirits of darkness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). 

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Letter to the Brethren – August 27, 2020

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

We are fast approaching the Feast of Tabernacles, and how quickly things have changed over the last six months, causing many people to change their plans in regard to where they are going to keep the Feast. Satan has been very strong in attempting to break God’s people through many different circumstances. The attacks so far this pre-Holy Day season have been trying and stressful. As I reflect on my own trials,
I realize that it is not that difficult to get discouraged and at times frustrated and even angry with situations, people and life.

It is easy to look at what we are going through now and understand that these are hard trials, but all of this brings home the point that as we go through them, we are growing in strength, faith, patience, knowledge and perseverance, and that we will be tried harder and harder, sometimes close to the breaking point. We may lose family, friends (Matthew 19:29), and earthen “treasures,” but these things hold no comparison to what God is doing in and through us on a daily basis.

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Letter to the Brethren – July 21, 2020

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually,” according to what the apostle Paul wrote to the Church (1 Corinthians 12:27). In this chapter, he uses the parts of the body as an analogy to show the different functions of people who make up the Church of God.

His point is that every Christian has a function and a vital role in the Church. After all, being Christ’s representatives in this world is the commissioned Work that is being done on His behalf in preparation for His return.

But there is more!

We are in training to rule with Jesus. World government at that time will be God’s government! Our conduct in the Church right now is—undoubtedly—much more important than we may possibly realize. That point comes home when we really take the time to carefully study what Jesus said to churches of God in chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation.

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Letter to the Brethren – June 21, 2020

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

We are seeing greater worldwide persecution and hostility against individuals that call themselves Christians. The following are news headlines from the past several months:

“Gunmen Kill 27 in Predominantly Christian Villages in Mali,”

“10 Christians, Including a 3-Year-Old Girl, Killed by Extremists in Nigeria,”

“Militant Extremists Kill More Than 80 in Nigerian Village,”

“Gunmen Kill 58 in Attacks Aimed at Christians in Burkina Faso,”

“Christian Boy, 16, Stabbed and Stoned to Death for His Faith in Eastern India.”

These attacks are from extremists in predominantly Muslim-controlled regions. The hatred towards Christianity in these countries is nothing new, but this disdain is not just from Muslim radicals. Earlier this year, Open Doors, an international organization tracking Christian persecution, released their annual report, assessing 50 countries where Christians are at risk. 260 million Christians live in these territories, where they are subjected to high levels of violence because of their beliefs. Based on their practices, we can assume most of those tortured are only Christian in name, but groups that target Christians to persecute don’t care. The tide of persecution is rising, and we must do all that we can not to bring unnecessary persecution upon ourselves.

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Letter to the Brethren – May 26, 2020

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Dear Brethren,

These days we all have something in common. And when I say “we,” I mean everyone in the whole world. Every single one of us is affected by the societal response to the global pandemic of Covid-19. We’ve canceled trips. If we’re fortunate enough to have work, we’ve changed the way we do it. We’ve been forced to find masks to wear when we shop. We were told to stand in lines six feet apart from the person in front of us. Some have hesitated or refused shaking hands. We’ve been shocked to see shortages of goods. I could go on about how life has changed for everyone, but I think the point is clear. Life has changed on an unprecedented scale, and there’s no way that we can completely escape from it.

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Letter to the Brethren – April 22, 2020

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Dear brethren and co-workers,

What a difference a few months make. As late as February or the beginning of March, things were going along as usual with no major interruptions in our daily lives; yet all that has changed now since the outbreak of and the reactions to the Coronavirus.

Draconian measures have been implemented by most governments worldwide, including restrictions on travel and individual movements. In some areas, violations to these restrictions and the mandatory requirement to stay home can be punishable by fines and even imprisonment if not adhered to.

In some areas they are not so strict, allowing people to go outside for relaxation, as long as social distancing is maintained, or to work in essential jobs or buy essential goods.

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Letter to the Brethren – March 15, 2020

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Dear Brethren and Friends, 

Prophecy is being fulfilled! That which has been prophesied to occur is happening right in front of our eyes, and the effects are being felt around the world. The worldwide panic-stricken results from the coronavirus are only the beginning, and we have seen what an impact this has had already, day by day, minute by minute, and even as this letter is being written, more dire developments are arising. We hear news about more closures, cancellations and quarantining happening all over the world in large proportions like the canceling of sporting events, concerts, schools, flights, with entire cities and even countries being on lockdown and quarantined, affecting millions upon millions of people, increasing shortages in food and supplies as panic-stricken people are trying to prepare for the worst. This pandemic has led to economic collapse as the markets tumbled, and we have observed the worst day in the USA for the Dow on March 12, 2020, since the 1987 crash, and the worst week for stocks since the 2008 crash. This has also led to the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates to near zero as they try to battle this potential economic shutdown. We in the Church of God have been warning about these developments for years.

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Letter to the Brethren – February 13, 2020

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

In Galatians chapter 5 we read about the works of the flesh and the fruit of God’s Spirit. One such fruit is longsuffering, and it is one that I would suggest doesn’t come easily to most of us.

By comparison, God is very definitely longsuffering. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries translates the word “makrothumia” as “(objectively) forbearance (or subjectively) fortitude; longsuffering, patience. Longsuffering is defined as enduring wrongs or difficulties; patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship; stoic, tolerant or uncomplaining; obliging, unconstrained and many other descriptions.” Does this describe you and me?

It could be said that we complain because there is much to complain about and there may be an element of truth in that. “Longsuffering” is not a word that we generally use today and is, perhaps, seen as a somewhat old fashioned word.

I have no doubt that over the last few years we have all, to one degree or another, had our share of problems. I well remember a former colleague who designated all problems as areas of opportunity, and of course he was right. Longsuffering is the Christian’s way of bearing troubles and ills and also the problems associated with being different to the rest of society. It is an opportunity to grow and overcome and demonstrate to God that we are sold on the Way of Life that He has revealed to us.

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Letter to the Brethren – January 16, 2020

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Dear Members and Friends:

How often do we feel like we are failing? That life is hard? Maybe wondering what the point of trying so hard is all about? Maybe asking ourselves what good is living in the world at this time in the way that we do? Why put forth effort in overcoming, in changing? Maybe we have questions about why life is so mundane and frustrating? Maybe our attitudes take on a negative and depressive nature? 

Often times, when these types of thoughts and feelings start to invade in my own life, the only way to overcome them is to meditate on God’s Word and start reading the words that are there for us. When these types of attitudes come, it is often due to a lack of closeness to God. The attitudes of this world invade us, even if we don’t want them. Therefore, it takes constant effort with our thoughts to work on staying close to God (Colossians 3:2-10). When we do, the Holy Spirit will guard and keep us (2 Timothy 1:14). But if we start to drift away, even the slightest bit, we start to have these issues which Satan constantly broadcasts and with which he tempts us (Ephesians 2:2).

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Letter to the Brethren – December 17, 2019

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Dear Members and Friends:

A well-known Christmas song, which we can’t avoid hearing, no matter where we are, goes like this:

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year… It’s the happiest season of all with those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings… and caroling out in the snow. There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago…”

For a converted Christian, these words could not be further from the Truth. Rather, they describe the most dreadful time, which, sadly, we must endure in this world ruled by Satan. After all, true Christians know that the Christmas season is not biblical at all; it is pagan to the core, and placing a “Christian” mantle on those horrible or silly customs constitutes a mockery of the real Jesus Christ who died for us and reconciled us with God the Father, so that we can flee from demon-inspired worship services.  

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