Letter to the Brethren – May 1, 2002

Dear Brethren:
It is hard to believe, but Pentecost is only a few weeks away. We are already preparing sermons
for the Pentecost weekend of May 19, 2002, that will explain in more depth the importance of
that annual festival – and what it means for you, personally. Why did God set aside the weekly
Sabbath and the annual Holy Days, to be kept by His people in worship of Him? Without the
Sabbath and the Holy Days, one simply cannot fully understand and comprehend God’s
awesome plan for mankind. Further, one would not know that today, only a very few are called to
God’s Truth – the overwhelming majority of mankind does not and cannot understand what God
is doing here on earth.
The Feast of Pentecost teaches us that we can understand – because God gave, on that very day,
His Spirit to His little flock, His called-out-ones. He did not give His Spirit to the world at large,
and no matter how much one might want to try – without God’s Spirit one cannot understand
God’s plan for man. And those who once kept the Holy Days, but in due time ceased to do so,
have lost that vitally important knowledge that the world is not called today.
How thankful we must be that God has called us out of this world and that He has given us the
understanding and the knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 2:18; Ephesians 4:13). But we
must never take this special privilege for granted ñ lest we lose it and drift away, as so many
before us have done (cp. Hebrews 2:1-3).
With knowledge comes responsibility! Why did God call us today? Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong
told us repeatedly that we have been called to fulfill the commission of preaching the gospel to
the world as a witness and prepare individually for the return of Christ. But, one cannot prepare
individually while neglecting involvement in the work of preaching the gospel. The more our
heart is in the work, the more we will overcome individually.
God has called us at this time so that we can do a job. If it were otherwise, God would be a
respecter of persons, which He is not (cp. Acts 10:34, Authorized Version). And if we are only
concerned with how we can make it into the kingdom, we are like the unprofitable servant who
buried his talents in the ground and refused to use what God had given him (cp. Matthew
25:24-27). And, we are acting selfishly, only thinking about ourselves, rather than showing deep
concern for the suffering world around us. Let us keep Pentecost, then, with the overall picture
of Godís plan in mind ñ and what God wants you to do with the knowledge that He has granted
to you today.
The Canadian brethren are looking forward to a visit for the Pentecost weekend to the
Edmonton area by Edwin Pope. Rene and Delia Messier will also be traveling to Edmonton for
that weekend. The Canadian church will be having a Directors meeting at that time to discuss
how to do the work most effectively. Mr. Pope will also be in attendance. Please pray about this
important meeting, which we will have on Friday May 17th. In addition, our schedule for Net
services that is posted on our Web page (www.eternalgod.org) lists the sermons to be given by
Dave Harris and Norbert Link which will be broadcast over Internet during the Pentecost
weekend.
Although we may be a little group, the work is moving forward. We should not be discouraged
by the very small beginning of this work (cp. Zechariah 4:10), nor by apparent temporary
setbacks. Rather, we must understand that it is the living Jesus Christ who guides and directs
His church, and it is He who sifts and separates the chaff from the wheat. We are producing
more booklets and we will walk through doors that God opens to us, as He provides us with the
finances (cp. 2 Corinthians 2:12-17; 1 Corinthians 16:9; Colossians 4: 2-3; Acts 14:27). All of you
should have received, by now, our newest booklet, “Do You Have an Immortal Soul?” This booklet
was printed in England and we are very happy for the continuing cooperation of the brethren in
England and in Canada in our efforts to preach and publish the gospel to the world as a witness
(cp. Matthew 24:14). ìAs a witnessî means just that — we do not brow beat or coerce people
into reading our literature since we know it is God who does the calling. Our responsibility is
putting the truth out there.
Our next booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families!,” is now in its final stages. This booklet
is to be printed in Canada and distributed to the US and Britain from there. Each region will
then mail copies out to you. We hope that you will have your copy by the end of May.
Although Pentecost is just around the corner, it is not too early to make plans for the Feast of
Tabernacles. The list of motels and rates for rooms for the feast site in Penticton, Canada, has been
posted on our Web sites. We would encourage as many as possible, who will be attending the
feast in Canada, to make reservations at the Sandman Inn, which is hosting us this year. They
have recently redone many of their rooms with new beds and furniture. They have kitchenettes,
an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, a restaurant on site and other amenities. They are close to shopping
and Okanagan Lake. The more people book there the better deal we get for the hall rental, so it
is favorable to the Church for brethren to book there. Now would also be a good time to send in
your tithe of the tithe, which is needed by the Church for the payments of Feast-related costs and
expenses.
We are now experiencing the beginnings of the fulfillment of end-time prophecies. To properly
watch world events (cp. Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Mark 13:35-37), one must understand, however,
what is actually prophesied in the Bible. One must know who the key players will be. Only Godís
Spirit – which is a Spirit of understanding (cp. Ephesians 1:13-21) and of prophecy (cp. Revelation
19:10; 2 Peter 1:20-21) – can reveal to us what the Scriptures predict is going to happen.
Although the Church of God has understood the end-time biblical prophecies correctly for a
long time, some people have rejected this understanding in recent years and have proposed
alternative prophetic scenarios. Some seem to be trying to figure out when exactly Christ will
return, although God tells us clearly that only He knows the exact time (cp. Matthew 24:36, 42,
44; Mark 13:32, 35; Acts 1:7). We want to briefly comment on a recent paper that has come out
relative to a ìnewî look at end-time prophecy. Some of you have asked us about this paper. We
have studied the paper and have found it to be seriously flawed. We would encourage you to
review our booklet, ìEurope in Prophecy,î which gives an accurate appraisal and overview of end
time events, as they had been consistently explained a long time ago by the Church. A new
scenario might seem appealing at first sight, but the truth is always compelling.
We don’t want to comment here on the paper with its new prophetic scenario in detail. Quite
“coincidentally,” perhaps, Norbert Link had already planned to give a third part to his recent
series on prophecy, covering the correct biblical scenario pertaining to the relationship between
the United States of America, Canada, and Great Britain on the one hand, and a United States of
Europe under the leadership of Germany on the other hand. This sermon is scheduled to be
given over the Internet on May 10.
We feel, however, that we must make one comment, so as not to be found negligent in such an
important matter. Close to the end of the paper on the “new” prophetic perspective, the author
writes that ‘in this final climatic battle’ just prior to Christ’s return, ‘none of God’s people will be
“conscientious objectors.”- [H]is servants (spiritual saints or physical Israelites) will fight!… God prophesies
that He will empower His people (spiritual or physical) to be tremendous warriors in the fight at the end of this
age. If you are a servant of Jesus Christ, then mentally prepare yourself to “go to war” for your Lord at
the end of this age.’
Brethren, we hope that all of you can see how wrong this teaching is. (This alone should tell you
something about this, or any, ìnewî prophetic perspective, when it reaches such unbiblical
conclusions.) If you have any doubts regarding your responsibility, before God, when it comes to
fighting in war, please listen again to our three-part sermon series on Military Service and War. If
you need a copy of those three tapes, please let us know.
Satan continues to be very active, especially in these prophetically-important times, so letís be
praying for one another, asking God for His guidance and love toward us as His children and for
us to love one another. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love [Greek,
agape, that is, Godly love] for one another.” (John 13:35). Pentecost also pictures the fact that we
can love one another, if the Spirit of God lives in us (cp. Romans 5:5).
Brethren, once again, we would like to personally and specifically thank all of you for your
faithfulness, for your prayers and for the encouraging example you represent. The work of the
Church of the Eternal God involves all of us doing whatever we can and whatever God opens to us.
Please continue in your valiant service to God the Father and Jesus Christ and to each other. We
know that in this, God is very pleased.
Your brothers in Christ,
Edwin Pope
Norbert Link
Dave Harris
Rene Messier