Letter to the Brethren – October 25, 2012
Dear Members and Friends:
The Feast of Tabernacles 2012 is now a thing of the past. How many more Feasts will we be able to observe before the Great Tribulation will begin—a time so terrible that mankind’s very survival will be at stake? When that night arrives, travel and peaceful gatherings will have become virtually impossible.
In light of the prophesied darkness of the future, our Feast celebrations this year reflected relief and joy and a happy anticipation of the wonderful world to come, when the powers of the evil forces will have been replaced by the rule of the true Light—the Prince of Peace and the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth. At the same time, a sense of urgency permeated the Feast attendees who were reminded that we must work today as much and as long as we can. We distributed our newest booklet at both Feast sites, titled, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy,” as well as a special copy of a Feast-related magazine, “Millennial Times,” imagining how the world might look like 20 years after the beginning of the Millennium. (For our general subscribers in the US, we have enclosed a copy of the new booklet with this member letter).
The following two Feast reports from California and North Wales reflect that sense of joy,
urgency and our longing for a better world.
First, the Feast Report from California:
Once again brethren and visitors from the United States and Canada observed the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day in Pismo Beach, California, which was conducted by the Church of the Eternal God in the USA, in collaboration with the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada. Most of the brethren stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn where our meetings were conducted. Being in close proximity allowed for extended opportunities to socialize—especially during breakfast time.
The messages this year were presented by Bob Bourque, Joe Bourque, Kalon Mitchell, Michael Link, Robb Harris, Eric Rank, Rene Messier and Dave Harris—along with a special recorded Feast sermon from Norbert Link. These are available on our Church Website.
Special music by the adult and children’s choir in addition to individual performances from our talented members greatly added to the services. Several had diligently prepared in the time leading up to the Feast to be able to participate, and we are very grateful for their personal contributions.
Highlights also included a Dinner Dance with the theme of “animation”—hosted by Michael Link. Both adults and children really went all-out with costumes, and the entire evening was truly a fun-filled time. That enjoyment continued the next evening during our Talent Show—hosted by John Amorelli and Kalon Mitchell. Both young and old gave it their all to entertain one another in a family-like atmosphere!
On Friday afternoon, several assembled together at Avila Beach to enjoy the sand and waves of the beautiful California coast. That evening the ministry conducted a Bible Study discussing the fulfillment of biblical prophecies that we are currently witnessing. On Monday evening, many of the brethren gathered for a meal in a nearby restaurant as a way to cap off the tremendous experience of observing this Feast.
This year’s Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day were especially marked by a willingness to participate and serve one another, and we give God our thanks for His protection and blessings during this very special time!
Following is the Feast Report from North Wales:
For the sixteenth time, the Global Church of God held the Feast of Tabernacles in the UK, and this was the 3rd consecutive year at Deganwy in North Wales. This year, a 6 foot high Global Church of God banner was displayed for the first time and added to the proceedings.
Daily services were held in the Tegid Suite at the Quay Hotel, which is perfectly situated on the idyllic Conwy Estuary. On the hotel’s website, they state: “The Quay Hotel commands awe-inspiring views of the most magical scenery in North Wales and is located within easy reach of Snowdonia National Park, the neighbouring medieval town of Conwy and Victorian Llandudno, all within close access from Chester and the North.” This is no exaggeration as the hotel is beautifully situated where the harbour, countryside and Conwy Castle can all be seen quite clearly.
A number of brethren were welcomed from the USA and from Germany. For several of the German brethren, this was their first Feast. They had seen Mr Link’s German StandingWatch programs and heard his German sermons on the Church’s German website, aufpostenstehen.de. Several baptisms had been performed in Germany before the Feast and a further two baptisms took place during the Feast, much to the delight of all concerned. In addition, a young child was blessed during the Feast.
A PowerPoint slide show, which was similar to the one presented in California, was much appreciated and drew additional visitors from another church organization. Further messages were presented by Doug Mitchell, Andrew Burns, Brian Gale and Norbert Link—in addition to the pre-recorded video Feast sermon by Mr Link on the importance of true and genuine love. Norbert and Johanna Link provided simultaneous German translations of all the messages for our German brethren in attendance.
God has commanded His people to faithfully keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and the spiritual food is the most important aspect of this important time. However, many activities were enjoyed. Again the Conwy Golf Club hosted the Feast Dinner, which again provided a superb meal. An organised coach tour visited a number of places in the Snowdonia region and included a train journey on the Ffestiniog Railway which is the oldest independent railway company in the world—being founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832. Also a social was held and was enjoyed by everybody, including a number of guests from another Church organization.
Conditions in the world continue to go rapidly downhill, and no one knows how many more Feasts will be held in this age. We have to make the most of any opportunities that we are afforded, and the brethren certainly took full advantage of everything on offer at this Feast site. There was certainly much spiritual teaching in an area of beauty, peace and serenity and many other activities that were enjoyed.
Meeting others of a like mind and with the same goals is always a wonderful experience, and we are all now waiting for the Feast of Tabernacles to become reality, when Christ returns to set up the Kingdom of God in what we hope is in the not-too-distant future!
Even though we do not know how many Feasts we still are able to observe, we must plan ahead. And so, given the increasing number of German-speaking brethren and visitors, we will to try to find a Feast site in Germany in 2013 for attendees from the UK (and hopefully the US) and German speaking areas. We will also try to find a Feast site in or near Colorado for attendees from the US and Canada. Your prayers for God’s guidance in this regard are truly appreciated.
Further plans have been initiated to conduct our 2013 Ministerial Conference in Colorado after the Passover (evening of March 24) and the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread (March 26-April 1). The conference is scheduled to begin on Friday, April 12, through Tuesday, April 16. Norbert and Johanna Link intend to fly to Germany before the Passover, to conduct further meetings, campaigns, and counseling for anticipated baptisms, and to observe the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread with the German brethren, while Brian and Jill Gale will travel to San Diego for the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. We are also in the process of establishing regular German church services in hotels, rather than in private homes, as we have been doing so far.
World conditions are getting darker by the day, with wars looming on the horizon, and terrible economic conditions raising their ugly head. The US Presidential Election on November 6 will have no substantial positive impact whatsoever on the future of the USA—no matter who will win—as God has decreed that this country must fall. Misguided faith in politicians, their empty promises and their destructive deeds, must come to an end. The sins of the nation have become too grievous to be overlooked any longer. The abominable and increasingly popular celebration of Halloween on October 31—a feast openly dedicated to Satan the devil and his demonic forces—is only one example, showing how far this nation has turned its back on and removed itself from God.
Brethren and friends, time is short as never before. Satan knows it too. His wrath is great. His activities, influences and hate can be clearly seen these days all over the world. But as Norbert Link explained in his recent video-recorded sermon, “Satan Is Alive,” the devil is especially interested in the destruction of God’s people. He will not stop at anything. He will bring temptations and deceptions; he will bombard them with physical and spiritual fiery darts of wickedness. He is a liar and murderer. For the world, he is their angel of light and even their very god—for us, he is our mortal deadly enemy. Make no mistake! The prophesied apostasy for the last days has not ended—it is ongoing and directed at the Church of God organizations. We will see, once again, more and more deceptive and false teachings being infiltrated into the churches in the weeks and months to come. And we are warned that MANY in the Church of God will be deceived and that their love—the love of God within them—will grow cold. They will hate and betray one another, and former friends will become cruel and unforgiving enemies.
We must be on guard. We must be clothed with God’s spiritual armor to stand and to fight Satan. When we resist him and draw near to God, Satan must flee from us. He had nothing in Christ—he must have nothing in us.
This world is built on the foundation of Satan’s deceptions. It can’t be improved—it must be replaced. Thanks be to God that Christ will return very soon to establish God’s rule on earth. In the meantime, we must stay strong and do the Work of God. Having been rejuvenated during the Feast of Tabernacles, let us not lose this necessary zeal and love for God. Let us not give place to the devil, and let us not allow him to discourage us through problems, trials and difficulties. Too much—our eternity—is at stake.
In Christian love,