Friday, February 17, 2012

What a Joy to Be Back in the Body of Christ!

Greetings brethren and friends!

Thank you for the encouragement we have received from so many of you. What a joy to have returned to the Body of Christ, with God’s Government in place and all its parts zealously doing the Work, headed by Jesus Christ!

There also continues to be persecution for me, some quite intense. All who have regained spiritual sight will suffer persecution. As we participate in this end-time Work of proclaiming the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, along with the trials we also experience joy. Both will continue to increase “as we see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).

After the death of Mr. Herbert Armstrong, during the apostasy that occurred in the Worldwide Church of God, Jesus Christ was “locked out” and the deceiver, Satan the devil, had taken control of the corporate church. The continued division over the ensuing years in all the splinters was very disconcerting, knowing that Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25).

My wife and I are so thankful to God for answering our prayers to be led to where He is truly working. We had become severed from the True Vine, but are now reattached. As some of you may know, I have studied and employed biblical agriculture for decades, and understand what happens when a branch is cut from a vine or tree. The environment in which it falls will determine how long it will remain alive and able to be reattached, grafted back into the vine before it completely withers and finally dies—then to be gathered and burned. Brethren, I was withering as a part of Laodicea, as “blindness and nakedness” crept into my life and work. I had taught against taking on a Laodicean attitude and lifestyle for decades. Yet I had drifted into it myself. What a sobering reality!

After we prayed diligently for a solution, God performed a miracle and led us to The Restored Church of God. It was a jolt, to say the least, but so heartwarming to confirm where the Head of the True Church is continuing His Work—and not only continuing, but greatly expanding it. The fruits are truly manifold. I cried with inner joy! We had again found the faith once delivered to the saints, the Government of God, the Church of God headed by Jesus Christ, an apostle in place, and a dedicated ministry, staff and brethren—all on fire—vibrant and very busy doing the Work of God!

We are both humbled and very thankful to return and be accepted, once again “grafted in,” branches that still retained a measure of God’s Holy Spirit, but now enabled to produce good fruit again. This is because we are reconnected to the source of God’s Spirit. It is encouraging to remember that when the “sap” (spiritually speaking, the Holy Spirit) is really flowing, the grafted branch over time becomes more strongly attached to the vine, able to bear more, bigger and better fruit. This is now our vision and goal, and it is available to all in Laodicea. You too can be set free from bondage! “…if any man [singular, not any organization] hears My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him [singular], and will sup with him [singular], and he [singular] with Me. To him [singular] that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:20-21).

May this be a call to action!

Last week I had the privilege to again travel to The Restored Church of God’s World Headquarters in Wadsworth, OH, and engage in an uplifting and motivating three-day work experience. The urgency and work ethic there are inspiring.

If you have not already done so, I urge you to go to right now and read online and/or order The True Church – One Organization, or Many?, The Government of God – Understanding Offices and Duties, and the other centerpiece books (“Anoint Your Eyes,” etc.) from the Splinter Explanation Packet. They are both sobering and encouraging—true wake-up calls that at the same time impart hope.