Letter to the Brethren – May 13, 2024

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Dear Brethren,

We recently observed Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, and one lesson from that time continues to firmly resonate with me. It is succinctly summarized in 2 Corinthians 13:5:

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” [margin: “do not stand the test”].

What does it mean to have Jesus Christ in us? For one thing, it means that we have eternal life—begotten (not yet born) of God by His Holy Spirit. As Romans 8:9-11 explains, we have both the Spirit of the Father and of Christ:

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit [which] dwells in you.”

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Letter to the Brethren – April 7, 2024

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Dear Members and Friends,

Often, in our monthly letter, we make mention about deteriorating world conditions which are inevitably leading to the much-anticipated return of Jesus Christ. As we see prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes, it is inevitable that we yearn for the time just ahead of us to replace the 6,000 years failure of man’s rule on this earth. Everywhere we look are problems of man’s own making and we are admonished to pray for the return of Jesus Christ and His future millennial rule on this earth.

In the model prayer as outlined by Jesus in both Matthew 6:10 and Luke 11:2, we read that we are to pray for God’s Kingdom to come. In addition, we are also told: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). These prayers are part and parcel of our Way of Life as we approach the end of this age.

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Letter to the Brethren – March 15, 2024

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Dear Members and Friends,

There is an interesting psychological concept that is quite well recognised and it should be a part of our lives. It is delayed gratification, or deferred gratification. It is the resistance to the temptation of an immediate pleasure in the hope of obtaining a valuable and long-lasting reward in the long-term. In other words, delayed gratification describes the process that the person undergoes when he or she resists the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a later reward that is more favourable. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward, in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later. A growing body of literature has linked the ability to delay gratification to a host of other positive outcomes, including academic success, physical health, psychological health, and social competence.

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Letter to the Brethren – February 20, 2024

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Dear Members and Friends,

According to the Gregorian calendar which is used in the USA and the Western world, the month of February is the shortest month of the year. Every month in the modern calendar consists of at least 30 days, except for this month. February only has 28 days and 29 on a leap year which happens to be this year, 2024. Why is the most widely used calendar in the world so inconsistent in the lengths of its months? And why is February the only month with the fewest number of days? 

According to Britannica.com, “The Gregorian calendar’s oldest ancestor, the first Roman calendar, had a glaring difference in structure from its later variants: it consisted of 10 months rather than 12. In order to fully sync the calendar with the lunar year, the Roman king Numa Pompilius added January and February to the original 10 months. The previous calendar had had 6 months of 30 days and 4 months of 31, for a total of 304 days. However, Numa wanted to avoid having even numbers in his calendar, as Roman superstition at the time held that even numbers were unlucky. He subtracted a day from each of the 30-day months to make them 29. The lunar year consists of 355 days (354.367 to be exact, but calling it 354 would have made the whole year unlucky!), which meant that he now had 56 days left to work with. In the end, at least 1 month out of the 12 needed to contain an even number of days. This is because of a simple mathematical fact: the sum of any even amount (12 months) of odd numbers will always equal an even number—and he wanted the total to be odd. So Numa chose February, a month that would be host to Roman rituals honoring the dead, as the unlucky month to consist of 28 days.

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Letter to the Brethren – January 18, 2024

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Dear Brethren,

The Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates have a commission to preach the Gospel to the world as a witness and to feed the flock (compare Mark 16:15; John 21:16; Acts 20:25-28). This commission underpins the decisions we make about how to use the resources that God has blessed us with. We know that God holds us accountable to use the financial resources that He provides through tithes and offerings and the talents of our team of coworkers. We take this accountability to fulfill the commission very seriously.

During our annual conferences and monthly meetings, we discuss these matters, always praying for guidance from God in our endeavors. In the summer of 2022, we made the decision to dedicate some of our resources towards running advertising campaigns to promote some of our booklets. Our focus is to become more known through those advertisements in order to become better equipped to preach the Gospel to a broader audience. This allows us to provide our booklets to interested readers as one way of fulfilling our commission to preach the Good News to the world as a witness and to feed the flock. To any outsider with a worldly perspective, this strategy makes no sense. We spend money on advertising to give away booklets for free, not asking for any kind of monetary return. To the world, this looks like we are throwing our money away. But we believe that God sees this much differently, ordering us to freely give what we have received ourselves. We have a responsibility to share the Good News of the Kingdom of God, and spending our resources in this way is an investment that will pay eternal dividends.

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Letter to the Brethren – December 7, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

With winter having arrived, we are facing shorter days, colder temperatures and less time to spend outdoors. Oftentimes, we can start to feel worn out.

Pulling some quotes from an article entitled: “Why Do You Feel More Tired In the Winter?”: “The days get shorter during the winter months, especially in northern states, Dr. Bazan says. Unfortunately, reduced sun exposure can dramatically affect your circadian rhythm, causing your body to produce more melatonin (a.k.a., the sleep hormone). The end result: You feel tired more often.”

The article gives a few more examples as to why we may feel more tired and then gives some advice on how to feel better. 

On our spiritual front, the Feast of Tabernacles has ended a few months ago, and we have gone back into the fight and the fray of living our lives in this world—and it can be utterly exhausting!! 

As children of God, we are singled out and targeted with increasing ferocity by our spiritual enemies. Just as there are things that we can do physically to rejuvenate, so we must also do so spiritually. We are warned in Scripture that as we draw closer to the return of Christ, the more we will have to face difficulties which we will have to overcome. With God’s help, we can be successful and victorious to make it into His Kingdom. 

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Letter to the Brethren – October 25, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

Having celebrated the annual Fall Holy Days, including the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, we find ourselves back in this dark world which is ruled by Satan and his demons. Terrible shattering news reached us already during the Last Great Day when murderous Hamas terrorists inflicted unspeakable harm and evil on many innocent people. 

While we focused on the wonderful world tomorrow during our Feast celebrations, when God will rule this earth for the very first time since Adam and Eve, we were shocked by the brutality of demonically inspired and possessed deceived Islamists whose expressed goal it is to wipe Israel off the map and to kill all Jews. Satan has been trying to do this time and again in the past, but he was and will be unsuccessful, because God’s plan requires the existence and survival of the Jewish people (Our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People,” makes this very clear).

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Letter to the Brethren – September 12, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

The world of the year 2023 does not offer us much hope for the future. News reports appear to be only harbingers of even worse things to come. From wars, natural disasters, societal breakdown and countless other issues, individuals and nations are being confronted with problems for which there seems no way out.

But there is a solution, and God will soon intervene to bring peace by establishing His government over the earth. This will be done through the return of Jesus Christ, and that is the great hope the Church of God is proclaiming as is noted in Matthew 24, verse 14: “‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’”

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Letter to the Brethren – August 21, 2023

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Dear Brethren, Co-Workers and Friends,

Is it inconceivable that because of a pandemic or other threats, our government will again begin to impose lockdowns and other restrictive authoritarian measures on us in the future? If so, how will you act and react?

You might think our government might have learned from the many mistakes which were made and the many unconstitutional and useless measures which were imposed on us when the COVID pandemic engulfed the nation. You could not be more wrong.

Notice what is posted on the website of California’s government, pertaining to Corona (covid19.ca.gov):

“California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency is over, but COVID-19 has not gone away. To safely go about our daily lives, we need to keep taking steps to prevent the spread. Get your kids and yourself vaccinated and boosted. It’s our best tool to end the pandemic. Vaccination is safe, effective, and free… Find out how long to stay home and avoid others if you test positive for COVID-19… You can access a digital copy of your vaccination record if you got vaccinated in California. Save it on your phone and use it as proof of vaccination wherever you go… Wear a mask to keep from spreading the virus to those who are vulnerable. This includes those with weak immune systems, those who are pregnant, and the unvaccinated.”

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Letter to the Brethren – July 13, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends, 

With summer here and with the children out of school, there is an increase in activity. For those who have gardens, they have to be maintained and most of us have lawns to cut because of the increased growth, due to the warm weather. Some have to deal with the planning of activities for the children this summer. With all the increased activities, it is easy to get so caught up in all of this that we begin to neglect one of the tools for maintaining a right relationship with God, and that is fasting. 

As unpleasant as it may seem, it is a crucial element to maintaining a close relationship with God, and it also helps in getting closer to God. Notice the admonition in Matthew 6:16: “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”

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