Letter to the Brethren – July 4, 2007
Dear Brethren and Friends:
This is the time when the American people celebrate their “Independence Day.” I couldn’t help but comparing this event with the brief history of our Church organization in the USA—the “Church of the Eternal God.”
When something new starts, it is often accompanied by problems. But where there is vision and zeal for the right cause, there will be success. After a period of spiritual drought and lethargy, of little accomplishment and much fruitless debate, some ministers in the USA decided to resign from their former association and start anew, by incorporating the “Church of the Eternal God.”
Documents were filed with the Secretary of State on July 2, 2001, and the certificate of incorporation was issued on July 5, 2001. This means that the Church of the Eternal God has now entered the seventh year of its corporate existence. In due course, state and federal tax exemptions were received, on November 26, 2001, and July 30, 2002, respectively.
The Church of the Eternal God became legally affiliated with the Global Church of God in England and the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship, in Canada. Some serve as Directors on the Boards of two or, in one case, of all three corporations.
In spite of these harmonious relationships, there were setbacks. Certain events forced us to separate from one of our Board members in the USA, who has since conducted his own independent ministry. Talks with another Church organization (which subsequently split into several groups) led nowhere. And a Church group in continental Europe, with whom we had originally collaborated, decided to become independent from us.
The biggest setback so far was the death of our beloved Senior Pastor, Edwin Pope, who died in December of last year. Gainsayers were quick to point out that this meant the death of our organization, as some had prophesied in 2001 that we would not survive for six months.
But if God is with us, no one can stop us! This is true individually AND collectively.
Let us have some fun with a few numbers, to illustrate this point:
Since the establishment of the Church of the Eternal God, we have published by now, through the combined efforts of our corporate entities in the USA, the UK and Canada, 24 booklets, with the 25th booklet being printed, as we speak. These booklets discuss vital topics such as the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ; the fact that God is not a Trinity, but rather a Family; God’s purpose for man; prophetic events; marriage and family; prayer; sickness and healing; human suffering; the weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days; the Ten Commandments; angels and demons; tithing; predestination; evolution; Christmas celebrations; whether we have an immortal soul; and that there is life after death—just to name a few. In terms of volume, our published booklets contain approximately 546,000 words.
In addition, we have just published our 300th weekly Update, filled with important current news reports in light of biblical prophecy, an editorial, a Bible study, as well as information regarding the Work, prayer updates and requests, and, every other week, a special contribution for our young(er) readers. These weekly updates have grown in volume and contents since their rather humble inception, and are now, on an average, between 15 and 20 pages long.
We have also just produced our 127th StandingWatch video-Internet program—a 6-to-10 minutes weekly video commentary on prophetic events or Christian living. Due to the construction of a recording studio and the purchase of additional necessary equipment, these programs are being regularly improved through a more appealing background, better lighting and sound. They are being posted on our own StandingWatch Website (www.standingwatch.org), as well as on Google Video—and they will soon be posted on additional Internet providers. We have confirmed that these programs are being watched around the world, including in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Africa and Australia, and, of course, in Europe, Canada and the USA.
One of the most successful StandingWatch programs so far has been the one on “666, the Beast and Antichrist,” which received almost 3,900 views on Google Video, followed by “America’s Illegal Aliens” (about 3,050 views), “Is Nuclear War Coming?” (almost 3,000 views), “American Hiroshima” (in excess of 2,050 views), “USA—The Fading Superpower!” (in excess of 1,400 views), “Afghanistan’s Radical Islam” (almost 1,300 views), “Ghosts of Departed Ones?” (in excess of 1,100 views), “Iran’s Frightening Intentions” (over 1,000 views) and “What’s in Store for America” (over 850 views). These numbers are only for Google Video and do not include viewers of our StandingWatch Website.
In addition, we are posting certain selected video-recorded sermons on Google Video. Our recent video presentation, “Bible Study—Christian Suffering” has been viewed approximately 1,150 times.
We have also conducted advertisement campaigns and public Bible lectures in England and the USA, and have now begun to run Internet ad campaigns in Britain, the USA and Canada.
Our budget is balanced and sound, as we are careful not to overextend ourselves in any way. From the inception of the Church of the Eternal God, it has been our policy and practice NOT to spend what we don’t have, but to administer wisely and conscientiously the money that God has entrusted to us, to do His Work of preaching the Gospel and feeding His Flock.
All of our literature is free, and hard copies of our booklets and updates, as well as audiotapes of our sermons, are sent to those who request them, including those who do not have access to the Internet or who do not have email. Our websites, www.eternalgod.org; www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk, and www.churchofgodacf.ca, have posted all of our booklets and most updates, as well as approximately 500 sermons, and literature in German and French. In addition, our German website, www.aufpostenstehen.de, has posted seven of our booklets, as well as certain articles, in the German language.
Why mention all of this? To glory in ourselves? To give us a pat on the back and say to ourselves: “Well done!”? FAR FROM IT! Rather, to show what GOD can do! ALL glory belongs to God (Philippians 4:20). We would not be able to do ANYTHING without God’s direction, strength and help. But at the same time, consider what can be done when God’s servants work together in unity and harmony; zealous to do the Work of God; realizing that they ultimately labor for Christ and not for men; being concerned about what GOD thinks about them, rather than what men may think; KNOWING that their reward and their true treasures are in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21); and that Christ will reward them for their diligence when He returns (Revelation 22:12).
We have only just begun—but the potential is great. Truly, the harvest is ripe and plentiful (John 4:35). So let us pray that God will send out laborers into His harvest (Luke 10:2), and that He will guide and use us powerfully to fulfill His commission for us—all the while continuing to grow in the KNOWLEDGE of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:13).
Thank you, dear brethren and friends, for your loyalty, patience and dedication. May the richest blessings from our God and Father be with all of you.
In Christian love,