Letter to the Brethren – November 17, 2004
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Events, long ago foretold by God, are now taking shape in OUR lifetime! Sometimes it is hard to recognize the obvious, but little by little (and sometimes in breath-taking ways), we are witnessing the unrelenting emergence of a new world power in Europe that is destined to change life as we know it, and for the modern nations comprising the British Empire, the United States and Israel, these are indeed ominous times!
The Bible warns that the immediate time ahead will usher in a period of national punishment. Jeremiah 30 reveals that there will be dreadful events that will include enslavement, the captivity of the remnants of these now powerful nations! Consider this very specific warning: “Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Verse 7).
Why? Why will God bring down the vast power and sweeping influence of America and Great Britain along with the destruction of the Jewish nation of Israel? Jeremiah 30 also answers this question:”For thus says the LORD: Your affliction is incurable, Your wound is severe. There is no one to plead your cause, That you may be bound up; You have no healing medicines. All your lovers have forgotten you; They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the chastisement of a cruel one. For the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased. Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you” (Verses 12-15).
Our sins have increased mightily, and our generation does not really take notice nor repent and turn whole-heartedly to God for forgiveness and restoration! The murder of helpless children through abortion is an abominable stench before God! Marriages end in divorce, something God says He HATES! (Malachi 2:16). We are now fighting fruitless wars and further eroding our international prestige and earning a bully’s reputation, the very pride of our power is being broken as we watch (Leviticus 26:19). Murder and violence fill our cities, and our churches talk about God but don’t obey Him! On the contrary, the very name of God is flippantly spoken of or invoked in profane and obscene terms!
In short, God, His laws and His way of living have been rejected. People simply don’t take God seriously! Hosea sums up our current state with these words from God: ìHear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed” (Hosea 4:1-2).
This should not come as a surprise to US! In the remarkable prophecies of Ezekiel we find that during the Babylonian captivity of Judah, Ezekiel was “sent” to the House of Israel. However, the ten tribes comprising the nation of Israel had already gone into captivity well over one hundred years earlier (722-721 B.C.)!
We find this commission from God to Ezekiel: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.î As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are a rebellious house, yet they will know that a prophet has been among them'” (Ezekiel 2:3-5).
Ezekiel’s message has become a part of God’s Word. This warning from God is for our day, and it MUST BE PROCLAIMED, along with many other prophecies preserved in the Bible for us! That responsibility has passed along to the Church of God!
A further example of prophetic messages recorded for the time of the end is found in Habakkuk 2:2-3: ìThen the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie, Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”
Note this message found in Jeremiah: “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it.” Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, “Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen.” Therefore hear, you nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people, The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words Nor My law, but rejected it'” (Jeremiah 6:16-19).
We find a similar message in Zechariah 7, verses 9-10: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.” The record shows that those who heard then, rejected God’s warning: “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 7:11-12).
Once again, the descendants of Jacob in this generation face the great wrath of God because of rebellion and stubborn disobedience. Only those who turn to God in utter repentance will receive His protection.
God has called some few to faithfully warn, to powerfully cry out the message of hope for those who will indeed listen! In fact, God promises that a warning proclamation WILL go out! We find this commitment of God’s full warning to His people: “Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure” (Hosea 5:9). Later, in this same book of Hosea, God speaks of a coming period of chastisement for Ephraim (the nations of the British Empire) with a reminder that they had been warned: “According to what their congregation has heard” (Hosea 7:12). More specifically, this promise is given to those faithful to God: “Surely the LORD God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Jesus Christ spoke in Matthew 24 of the time of the end and of that period just prior to His return. Along with instructing His servants to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom to ALL NATIONS in ALL THE WORLD (Compare verse 14), He said we who would follow Him should WATCH and be READY (Compare verses 42 and 44).
Brethren, this is the TASK of the Church today, it is the work of God entrusted to His Church, including you and me, for OUR time!
Over the years, we have been reminded of a statement found in Zechariah 4:6: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the LORD of hosts.” When we weigh our responsibilities against our resources, we must always remember that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
This lesson was poignantly taught to the disciples of Jesus. Unable to cast out a powerful demon, they asked, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you'” (Matthew 17:19-20).
However, Jesus also revealed a vital key in verse 21, when He further stated: “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” To accomplish the work of God that falls to the Church, all of us must be close to God.
Although our individual responsibilities differ, we have ALL been called to participate in the work of the Church of God. That work involves a message of warning, but it also includes a message of hope.
Consider these encouraging words from God: “Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob, says the LORD, Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid. For I am with you, says the LORD, to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished” (Jeremiah 30:10-11).
Jesus also preached the gospel of the kingdom, the same message of hope we are to proclaim. We find this record of Him in Matthew 9:36-38: ìBut when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Time is closing in on us to accomplish the work, which God has given us to do. Jesus was aware of the urgency of His work, and He told His disciples: “must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
Brethren, we will all give account for our labors on behalf of God and Jesus Christ (Compare Matthew 25). Let us pray the more fervently for God’s help as we enter even greater times of peril leading to the return of Jesus Christ!
Thank all of you for your faithful part in this work. May God strengthen you for the awesome job we must complete!
In Christ’s Service,
David J. Harris