Letter to the Brethren – March 27, 2012
Dear Members, Co-workers and Friends,
We have just concluded our annual Church conference in the greater San Diego area. Though it was a time for the entire ministry to catch up with one another and the brethren from the local area, there was a sense of “getting business done” even more so than usual.
As we went through the agenda, there seemed to be a sharpened focus on accomplishing what has been placed before us. Without saying it, everyone knows that time is short, and the need to witness to the world and help the bride to get ready has become that much more pressing.
In going through the items that needed to be discussed and taken care of, there was a business-like approach to addressing the issues thoroughly and succinctly, creating action items if necessary, and then moving on to the next matter at hand. God did indeed answer the prayers you sent up before the conference as well as those given during it. Thank you!
Reports on all the areas were given with some very exciting news coming out of Germany. At the moment, we are experiencing a great deal of interest. The StandingWatch program in German (AufPostenStehen) along with the German video sermons are bearing much fruit in the way of questions, requests for literature and, most importantly, many baptism inquiries.
It really goes to show what we already know… we are to do the planting and watering, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
A theme that emerged throughout different topics and conversations was the need to hold fast to the truth and to preach the gospel as it was delivered to us and as Christ gave it. It is the charter of our organization and one of the hallmarks that differentiates us from others. To change or deviate from it in the slightest is to cause others to receive a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-8).
Our desire in our commission to preach the gospel and feed the flock is to heed Paul’s words to Timothy: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). That we must do even “when they will not endure sound doctrine” (verse 3) and when “they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (verse 4). Though we know God’s Word will not always be received, it is incumbent upon us to expound it continuously and accurately to those whom God has entrusted and brought to us.
It is always our hope that God will call people to become members of His Church—that they may become future sons and daughters in the Family of God.
It is now the time of the year for those of us who are begotten members of the Family of God to be focusing on the first annual feast of the year—Passover. Even though we look at ourselves throughout the year, questioning the godliness of our thoughts and actions, this is a period for deeper introspection.
By the power that we were imbued with during the laying on of hands after baptism, we are to weed out the carnality that does not belong and is contrary to God. Our efforts, along with God’s help, are to make us right with God in preparation for the soon-coming return of Christ.
The Passover is a memorial—we must never forget this and the fact that Jesus gave His life blood and body for us. He laid down His life, becoming the ultimate Passover Sacrifice, so that we may have the forgiveness, reconciliation, freedom, justification, and healing that have now been afforded us.
After having accepted what Christ did for us and therefore having buried the old man with our old ways, we are to continue to remove sin from our lives. The following Days of Unleavened Bread picture this and the replacement of sin (symbolized by leavened bread) with Christ’s righteousness of a sinless life (represented by the unleavened bread).
These days are packed with meaning that will enrich our lives immeasurably. We need to be resolute in our approach, in order that we may make the most of the eternal opportunities that are currently set before us. Brethren, we hope and pray that we are up to this challenge.
With brotherly love,