Dear Members, Co-Workers and Friends:
We have just finished our annual conference for 2008, and we would like to thank all of you who prayed for its success. When reporting about last year’s conference, we wrote the following in our letter, dated February 21, 2007:
“Do we realize how much this world is in utter confusion; how close we are to the return of Christ; and how great our responsibility is to do the Work of God—the most important activity anyone could be involved in? But do we really understand that Christ will only return, when the true gospel of the Kingdom of God has been preached and when His wife—His true Church—has made herself ready (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 19:7-9)?”
As we did last year, so we focused again during this year’s conference on our all-important duty and two-fold commission to preach the gospel and to feed the flock. In reflecting on what has been accomplished during this past year, we were encouraged to continue and excel with even more energy and zeal. Whatever God grants us to do, we must never forget to give Him all the credit and glory. We thought you might be encouraged as well when focusing on what has been accomplished since the 2007 conference, and what we are planning to do in the near future.
We advertised several of our booklets on the Internet, and we will continue to do so. Due to the receipt of over 1,200 requests, we will soon have to reprint one or more of our booklets. We also intend to advertise on the Internet some of our Biblical Q&A’s (close to 300 so far), which we publish in our weekly Updates.
Our weekly StandingWatch Internet video programs are posted on, or linked to our own five Websites, as well as Google Video and YouTube. It is planned to post the programs with several more Internet video sites. We have also begun to post Norbert Link’s one-hour-long video sermons on Google Video, as well as some of Edwin Pope’s video-taped sermons. Several new booklets have been published since the 2007 conference, including, “The Meaning of God’s Fall Holy Days,” and “The Sacrificial System and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.” Our 27th booklet, “Is That in the Bible—Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days,” is being printed and will be distributed shortly. We decided to produce several additional booklets in 2008.
In the international areas, we will begin producing German StandingWatch Internet video programs and French audio Internet programs. Several German translations of our booklets were completed and posted on our different websites. We have posted German translations of seven booklets, with the translation of the 8th booklet nearing completion, and we are presently working on a German translation of another booklet. We also decided to purchase new equipment to facilitate the task of sending out requested audio-recorded sermons.
As you can see, we don’t intend to “retire” in the Work of God, even though immediate tremendous “success” in terms of growing numbers by leaps and bounds may not be that obvious. We must never forget that it is God who plants the seed and gives the increase. We also know that His Word will not return “void” or without results (compare Isaiah 55:10-11). Notice the following statistics:
On average, over 400 people visit our sites each day. We have received about 1.5 million “hits” since our conference in 2007, and about 150,000 “sessions” (Sessions refer to people who are reviewing our posted material in more detail). Within the last six months, people from at least 67 different countries reviewed our material in “sessions.” Actually, the number of countries is much higher, as the origin of about 80% of all sessions cannot be determined. These figures do not include those who view our StandingWatch programs and sermons, which we are posting with other Internet sites. For instance, our StandingWatch programs were viewed on Google Video and YouTube over 64,000 times.
God’s Work—however seemingly small and insignificant—IS going into all the world to proclaim the good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God, and God’s zealous and dedicated people, wherever they may live, ARE and MUST BE involved in this all-important task, in whatever way they are able. As we approach the Passover season, it might be a good idea to evaluate or examine ourselves by asking the question as to HOW DEEPLY we are involved in God’s Work. Is it ALWAYS in our prayers and thoughts? Do we HUNGER and THIRST for God’s righteousness—in our own lives, as well as in the lives of our brethren, relatives and friends? Do we LONG for the arrival of God’s Kingdom to replace Satan’s evil world of hate and accusations with God’s LOVE, MERCY and UNCOMPROMISING TRUTH?
We have emphasized many times that the degree of overcoming and conquering our own sinful nature is in direct proportion to our involvement in God’s Work. If we are indifferent about God’s all-important mission to His Church, then, chances are, we are not REALLY interested in overcoming sin. The reverse is true as well. If we are not really interested in FIGHTING our sinful nature and the evil influences in this society; if we are not REALLY warring against and rejecting wicked spirits in high places (Ephesians 6:12); if we are not REALLY working on restoring and maintaining good and peaceful relationships with our brethren and fellow man; if we are not REALLY heeding Christ’s COMMAND to reconcile with one another, by dealing with an offended brother or sister in a private and humble manner, rather than telling the whole world EXCEPT the one who has or is offended (Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 18:15); then we are NOT REALLY focusing on participating in preaching the GOSPEL of God’s Kingdom and uplifting and “feeding” His flock.
THAT would be a terrible indictment. It might very well prevent us from partaking of the Passover in a worthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:27; compare 1 Corinthians 11:17), and it might destroy OTHERS and US in the long run (Galatians 5:14-15), blinding us to God’s Way of Life (compare 1 John 2:6-11).
Dear brethren, co-workers and friends, the loving Work of GOD MUST be central to our lives. We might not be able to work DIRECTLY as employees of the Church, but we ALL can and should help in our individual capacities to HASTEN the coming of the LORD (compare 2 Peter 3:12). God did call us in this day and age to HELP in the furtherance of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). He did NOT call us just for our individual salvation. We have a job to do, and the better we do it, the more abundantly our entrance into God’s everlasting Kingdom will be supplied to us (compare 2 Peter 1:11).
And so, let’s all get behind the Work of God of preaching the gospel and feeding and caring for the Church of God. Let us be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49). Much work is ahead of us, and it isn’t always “easy.” But if we are faithful in “little things,” then our labor will not be in vain—and our REWARD will be “full” and “great” (2 John 8; Luke 6:35).
With brotherly love,