Letter to the Brethren – November 7, 2008
Dear Brethren, Co-Workers and Friends:
What a joyous and spiritually uplifting Feast of Tabernacles 2008 it has been! Feast attendees in Derbyshire, England, and Tucson, Arizona, USA, overwhelmingly expressed their appreciation and thankfulness for the beautiful locations, the warmth of the membership, and the outstanding Feast messages and other activities
Just read the following Feast reports from Brian Gale (England) and Dave Harris (Arizona):
Feast Report from England:
Against the backdrop of Chatsworth House in rural Derbyshire, the magnificent stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and with sheep and deer grazing safely in the surrounding estate, the Global Church of God in the UK held God’s Feast of Tabernacles for the ninth time at Chatsworth. Many of those who were there had attended many times over the years and yet never tire of the beauty and tranquility that is a feature of this Feast site. The house and gardens have attracted visitors from all over the world for many generations. It is worth mentioning that Derbyshire’s Peak District, where Chatsworth House is a main attraction, is now the second most visited National Park in the world after Mt. Fuji in Japan.
Some of our visitors from the USA and Africa, who had not visited the area before, were suitably impressed. Messages were given by Evangelist Norbert Link, Brian Gale, Andrew Burns, John Dunn, Bill Koeneke, Douglas Mitchell and Terry McQuire, with a DVD of Pastor Dave Harris in the USA. The messages were of a high quality and positive comments were made by both new attendees and those who have become accustomed to attending at this wonderful site.
One of the highlights was an excellent evening when a first class Feast meal was much appreciated by everyone. In addition, a “fun evening” and a coach tour of the beautiful area added to an excellent 8 days. There was a Sabbath buffet held at the Gale’s lodge where everyone was invited and the fellowship went on long after the food had finished!
During the Feast, Norbert Link, presenter of the StandingWatch programs, filmed two programs on location, interviewing several members, with Chatsworth House as the background to these presentations.
Feast Report from Arizona:
Brethren gathered to observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day in Tucson, Arizona. Members of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States along with Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada, conducted meetings at the facilities of the Sheraton Hotel. Most were also able to stay in this hotel and enjoy the intimate fellowship provided in being housed closely to one another.
Many activities available in the Tucson area added greatly: visits to a special tea room; touring a botanical garden; sightseeing in the famed Saguaro desert area; eating at many of the fine restaurants; also, attending a group BBQ and participating in a talent/game evening were just some of the shared experiences of this occasion. While Tucson is widely known as a very warm area, our time was blessed with ideal temperatures enabling unlimited access to the surrounding attractions.
We also welcomed several guests who attended at various times. Of particular note was the tremendous impact everyone felt in the spiritual food of the daily services. Speakers included Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Bill Grams, Terry Grade, Michael Link, Robb Harris, Eric Rank, Bob Bourque, Gilbert DeVaux, and Kalon Mitchell. All of them and those who contributed special music rose to the challenge and helped make this an especially memorable observance. Many subsequent comments have reflected the marked inspirational quality that was taken away from this Feast period. Although attending in Derbyshire, England, with his wife, Johanna, Norbert Link had prepared a very moving video sermon that was played on the first day of the Feast in Tucson.
This year, three youngsters took part in the blessing of little children that is conducted by the ministry annually during the Feast of Tabernacles.
This remarkable period of fellowshipping and of learning more of God’s purpose for all of mankind was truly uplifting. Many have already begun to look forward to next year—anticipating yet another joyous Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day!
In addition, we received the following comments from visitors:
—How good and how pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psalm 133). Yes, very pleasant, a wonderful Feast. A truly remarkable “Feast of Tabernacles.” It must be one of the best I’ve known in 30 years. A beautiful setting at Chatsworth, truly a touch of the Millennium and so well organised in every detail. The messages and quality of the speakers, also the research needed for such delivery… I could go on but I think you must realise I enjoyed the Feast and the social side very much. I look forward to next year’s Feast, which I hope to attend.
—Thank you for a very enjoyable Feast [at Chatsworth]. It was good to see everyone again and spend time together. We appreciate all the hard work involved in ensuring the smooth running of the Festival.
—I just wanted to say once again how much I enjoyed meeting the people in your group [in CEG]. They all seemed really down to earth. I only wish I would have found out about it sooner so I could have spent more time there. Do you think there is any chance of you guys coming back next year [to Tucson]? If so, let me know so I can at least offer to help out in the preparations.
—I wanted to thank you for allowing us to attend the Feast this year with your group. We really enjoyed being with the brethren of CEG. God’s people are just a real pleasure to be around. Please relay our love to the brethren with you.
We could add more comments—especially from our membership—but these should be sufficient to show the blessings, which God bestowed on His sites in England and Arizona, and on all those who attended there.
But now, the Feast of Tabernacles 2008 is over, and we are entering the dark winter months, before God’s Spring Festival season will be upon us—beginning with the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. And how DARK these months will be! The world is facing an uncertain and grim future, while celebrating pagan days which are of no consequence for the plan of God—and which have been derived from demonically inspired observances. The day of Halloween, which much of the world celebrated on October 31, is perhaps the most obvious example of a festival, which honors Satan and his powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). But there are other days, which follow Halloween—including the Christmas season—which had been celebrated by pagans centuries before the birth of Christ (which did not occur anywhere near December 25) in honor of cruel “gods” such as Nimrod, Baal, Attis and Mythra. If you are in any doubt about the real origins of Christmas (or the origins of Halloween or New Year’s, for example), please read our free booklets, “Don’t Keep Christmas” and “Is That in the Bible—Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days.”
How did these heathen days enter orthodox Christianity? Why do so many well-meaning professing Christians participate, in one way or another, in their celebrations? And perhaps more critically, how did our present civilization begin observing those days in the first place? Why does God’s Word tell us to “come out of her, my people” (Revelation 18:4)? These and literally hundreds of additional questions are addressed in our brand-new 155 page book, “Is That in the Bible—The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation!” A copy of this book was distributed to all of our Feast attendees, and it was also sent to our readers in Great Britain. As a special service to our additional readers, we are pleased to enclose a copy to all of you who have not received it so far. Please take the time to study this book carefully. We are convinced that you have NEVER read anything quite like it before.
As this world grows darker, God’s people must continue to grow brighter as lights “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15). Christ’s return is NEAR—and we must be constantly on guard—watching and praying always to be counted worthy to be protected from and to escape the terrible times just ahead of us (Revelation 3:10), and to STAND before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).
All of us are called to get involved in the most-important WORK (compare James 1:25) of preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM of God to this dying and decaying world (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10, 16:15). We are to make every effort to GROW in the knowledge of our SAVIOR Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Christ commands us to overcome (Revelation 3:5; 12:11). This includes overcoming our sins against God and our trespasses against our fellow man (Ephesians 2:1-3).
We should never feel too proud or too indifferent to seek the help of God’s ministry in this regard. Christ gives His ordained ministry to His Church for the edification and unification of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16). Let us take advantage of God’s gift, and counsel with the ministry if there is a need.
May God lead and guide you and keep you safe in the days, months and years ahead of us.
In Christ’s service