Letter to the Brethren – October 31, 2017
Dear Members and Friends:
Members of the Church of the Eternal God in the USA, Canada, the UK and German-speaking areas have just returned from what was the most enjoyable time of the year—the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. These eight days, which picture the soon-coming world tomorrow in peace and harmony when Christ will return to this earth, should be the best time of the year for us all. Why wouldn’t it be? We attend in beautiful locations which God has chosen and assemble together with people of like mind, with the right attitude, when we experience happiness and joy, inspiring and uplifting messages focusing on God’s wonderful and perfect Way of Life, while we need not worry about what is going on in the world since our attention should be concentrated on the Feast.
In this letter, we want to give you three separate reports about our Feast sites in the USA and Germany, to reflect again on what we just experienced; what we now miss dearly; and what we are looking forward to in the next year:
Dave Harris reported on the Feast in the United States:
“Brethren met at the La Quinta Inn facility again this year to observe the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We were blessed with excellent weather—especially for our two-hour dinner boat cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene on Sunday evening.
“Strong and encouraging sermonettes and sermons added to what many commented as a very warm and loving time together. Members came from Germany, Canada and the United States to attend, and having the Spokane International Airport close by greatly facilitated travel arrangements.
“All of the sermonettes and sermons were broadcast live so that several members who were unable to attend due to health concerns could participate. Adding to this unifying effort, we played a pre-recorded video message by Evangelist Norbert Link during the Feast.
“On one evening we joined together for pizza and games, which was especially enjoyed by our children. Several members contributed their talents by providing special music that included a youth choir presentation. This year, on the weekly Sabbath, we had the blessing of little children for the twin boys of the Rank family.
“Our plans are to return to this area next year.”
The following is a report by Michael Link about the German Feast site:
“Members and guests up to 120 in attendance met again in Templin, Germany, this being the 4th consecutive year at this Feast site. Many uplifting and inspiring messages were given, including sermonettes from some first-timers by a few of our members, and all the German and English messages given in Templin [and also in Coeur d’Alene] have been posted on our websites. We had the blessing of little children for two, a separate blessing and prayer for several older children, and also the addition of four baptisms. There were counseling sessions for potential baptisms in the future.
“We shared in the joy with several activities during the Feast, had a successful and much-needed interactive Friday night Bible Study going into a specific topic on addiction and how to get rid of it, pointing out the fact that we will be tested in all things and how we need to be aware of what the warning signs are for falling away from the Truth. The Bible study concluded with this vital and relevant statement by Norbert Link: “If you are here because you want to be here, you are called! What you do with your calling is up to you. Don’t blow it!”
“Other activities included go-karts at a professional track minutes away from the hotel, a soccer game at the indoor soccer arena on the hotel premises, a trip to Berlin, a sobering but highly interesting tour-guided visit at the Sachsenhausen Concentration camp, several enjoyable nights on the 11th floor Vista Lounge which was reserved just for us for the entire time where we enjoyed snacks and drinks, games, dancing, and fellowship. One of the highlights of the Feast was a very successful talent show which included a Lip Sync Battle from several of the members, showing off their “lip-syncing” acting skills, which then was followed by a disco-themed dance.
“It was encouraging to see that the principle of quarantine was taken seriously at the Feast this year overall as we didn’t have many sicknesses among us, as opposed to some Feasts in the past. This was also due to the fact that people approached the ministry for anointing at the initial signs of sickness which then did not progress and spread to others.
“The need for urgency was expressed through the importance of staying on track and moving forward, especially after the Feast as we return back to the normal activities of life. We had several counseling sessions with members and prospective members dealing with problems, some of which were recurring ones, and it was stressed how important it is to overcome these problems because there comes a point where patience will run out. Even God’s patience is limited (compare Matthew 7:19, 21-23). We have to remain consistent in our Church teachings, rules and their practical application. We hope that the message was taken seriously for those who are struggling and we pray for their strength and faith, as we should for each and every one of us.
“We also had to deal with challenges from the hotel. We had several meetings with the management. We hope to return to Templin next year. We were told that they definitely want us back, and they sent us a proposed contract for 2018, but some provisions will definitely need to be addressed and changed. Hopefully, they will abide by our requests which is why we are asking for your prayers in this matter, so that God’s Will be done.”
Here is an additional report by Kalon Mitchell about the Feast site in Germany:
“From a personal standpoint, the Feast was upbeat and positive. There were a lot of opportunities to grow old and new friendships. Much encouraging and counseling took place. Norbert Link’s Feast sermon ‘What’s the Hurry’ was really the feeling that all of the messages seemed to convey. Overall, the messages were very forward-thinking and really focused everyone on the need to dig deep into their Christian lives, by examining oneself and to hold fast. It’s interesting how all of our messages tied together and helped to build a picture of what we must do to make it into the Kingdom of God.
“Now that we have returned from the Feast, we should continue praying for the Work and doing our part in any way we can, making sure that we are leaning forward and really approaching each day with an intensity and desire to work in our lives to draw closer and closer to God. We ALL need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling as the Bible says. We have that opportunity now as we do not know how much additional time God has given us. But we do have the choice and the ability to work on bettering ourselves. The goal is always to keep that feeling alive.”
We pray that the Kingdom comes soon but we also have a responsibility to our calling. Are we living a life that is pleasing to God or do we let our struggles control us? Do we believe that God is working with us or do our struggles, problems, challenges as well as our daily pleasures and “priorities” become more important to us than God? If we know that with God ALL things are possible, then why do we worry and doubt, become sad and depressed and end up doing things we shouldn’t be doing? Is this new life too difficult for us to handle or do we believe that our life was better before we began following the Truth? If we trust in God, then let Him work with us because He has called us for a reason. He has a plan just for us!
We must continue on with the same attitude and joy we experienced at the Feast and we must NOT forget what the purpose of our calling is, because that should give us hope and confidence, knowing that God has chosen us NOW over billions of people on this planet, to have the first opportunity to become members of the God Family in His soon-coming Kingdom.
Be and stay strong, brethren, because the time is near. This world moves towards utter destruction. It is rotten to the core, and in many countries, it celebrates the dark and demonical day of Halloween. What a contrast it is between the right celebration of God’s Feasts and the sinister and evil “observance” of a festival like Halloween which is dedicated to the Devil. This is Satan’s world, not God’s; but God has called us out of this world and sanctified us to be different. Let us make sure that we do not let us be deceived by Satan’s evil devices, because we ought to know what he has in mind. We must NEVER forget that we are God’s chosen people, set aside for a HOLY purpose. Let us show God and our fellow-man that we understand and deeply appreciate what God has in store for us.
In this regard, we are enclosing for our subscribers in the USA and Canada our new booklet, How to Find the True Church of God. (Copies of this booklet were already sent to our English-speaking subscribers in other countries.) We hope that this booklet will help you to see clearly WHY the Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates exist, and what our purpose and goals are.
With Christian love,