Letter to the Brethren – April 16, 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
While the world has changed in trying to cope with the pandemic, with new measures put into place as to what one is allowed to do and what not do, and how churches all around the world have been affected in the way services are to be conducted, we are led to ask the question as to what God wants us to do. The world is changing and that is self-evident. However, that which is consistent, or ought to be, is the way we are to obey God. That should not change. Observing God’s commanded annual Holy Days, as we have just done in the celebration of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, is something that we must do on a consistent basis, no matter what is happening all around us, just as we must consistently observe His Sabbath Day every week.
The world does not understand or believe in the observance of God’s weekly and annual Holy Days and Festivals. Instead, it does ignorantly believe in celebrating holidays derived from paganism which has just been the case with the observance of Easter. The Bible warns those who engage in such pagan worship and who completely disregard God’s specific commands to keep His Word (Deuteronomy 11 and 28). But this will not last forever. The world will not continue to observe these ungodly man-made days, for the time will come in the very near future when the Truth will be revealed to all, and then they will know what God’s Law and His Holy Days are all about. In the meantime, those of us who have been called out of this world now have to remain obedient and observant as we eagerly wait for Christ’s return.
We read in the Bible that Christ explained during the Passover ceremony an important aspect of His coming and how critical it is to have Him in our lives. He stated in John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” Having Christ as a part of us is crucial for our eternal life, which is guaranteed as long as we remain faithful in obeying Him.
God explained very succinctly in the Old Testament to Moses and the Israelites that we must obey Him—and He was not referring to temporary rituals and ordinances, but to His lasting and enduring injunctions. “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29).
It is not man whom we should fear, especially when he stands for something which contradicts what God specifically commands, but it is our knowledge of God’s Law that is put to the test often to see how we will decide. Yet we gain wisdom when we fear or respect God. Psalm 111:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” David understood this quite well, and he knew what the Truth was all about—that God’s spiritual Law would always remain as long as there are human beings—and he admits this in Psalm 119:160 where he says, “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”
The contrast between materialistic and eternal is described in 1 John 2:17: “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” We understand that the world we are living in is only temporary with all the material things that it’s composed of, and we also understand that a new world is coming for which we are all eagerly waiting with long-suffering.
As we prepare ourselves for our eternal gift of immortal life, while enduring necessary sufferings, we look forward to the greatest sense of relief we couldn’t even possibly imagine but which we will experience when the time of Christ’s return will have finally arrived. What an incredible feeling of accomplishment that will be, knowing that we will have made it. This is something we should always have on our minds, for this is our destiny. The times just ahead of us will lead to destruction. But God’s faithful people do not need to fear, for they will be triumphant, and this is something that will last forever!
In God’s service and with Christian love,