Dear Brethren and Co-workers with Christ,
This is a favorite time of year for many of us. Fall is here in the Northern Hemisphere when temperatures moderate and are neither too hot nor too cold. And it is Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, with flowers bursting forth and birds singing.
It is also a favorite time of year for all our members who attend our services, as it is the time for the Festivals and Holy Days that portray end-time events. By the time you receive this, the Feast of Trumpets will be in your rearview mirrors, and many of you will already be at one of our Feast of Tabernacles sites, rejoicing with others over the encouraging meaning of these days.
The Feast of Trumpets, what the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, reminds us of the Day of the Lord, the time of God’s intervention, punishment upon rebellious mankind, and the return of Jesus Christ to save the world from its madness. This is the time of the seven trumpets, found in the book of Revelation. It is obvious from reading chapters 8 and 9, along with the seven last plagues found in chapter 16, that this will not be a pleasant time on earth. But for those of us who are Christ’s, we look forward to that seventh trumpet sounding when Christ returns. That is when we will be changed or resurrected to eternal life as brothers and sisters of the returning King (Revelation 11:15-18).
The Day of Atonement, what the Jews call Yom Kippur, points to the time of Satan’s banishment (Revelation 20:1-3). How different the world will be without the influence of this evil being who directs the course of this present age (Ephesians 2:2)! It is evident that the current god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) is extremely active at this time. How often we use words such as crazy and insane to describe what we see all around us. May God speed that day when His Son returns and removes that evil prince of the power of the air from influencing our world!
Most of you members who regularly attend our services look forward to the annual Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day where we will meet this year at 89 locations around the world with brethren of like mind for eight days. This is the highlight of the year for us, where we hold services each morning and fellowship together in various family-oriented activities during the afternoons and evenings. As Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
But the significance of this time is not lost in activities. We fellowship with understanding and purpose as we observe these days. The meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles inspires us to look forward to that thousand-year reign of Christ when He will rule from Jerusalem as King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9). At that time we, as His resurrected servants, will rule with Him to bring peace and prosperity to all (Revelation 20:4). No wonder Jesus observed this Festival, even under the threat of death (John 7:1-10). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). No wonder He will require all nations to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in the future (Zechariah 14:16-19)!
The Last Great Day depicts the culmination of God’s plan of salvation for mankind by picturing the time after the Millennium when all who never even heard of Jesus Christ, and those who were never called by God during this lifetime, will be given their chance to choose His better way. How encouraging it is to realize the fairness of God. Many of our friends and relatives who were deceived by Satan the Devil and just didn’t get it, will be offered a chance, and will get it. This is not a “second chance” but a first genuine chance, as Jesus clearly stated, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” and “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father” (John 6:44, 65). Why is it that so few understand this wonderful truth that God is fair and gives hope to all men everywhere?
Many baptized members who attend our weekly services will not receive this letter until they have returned from the Feast of Tabernacles, but I especially wanted to share this information with our co-workers who may not be as familiar with this subject. But, for all of you, thank you for all that you do in support of this Work!
Brethren and co-workers, as you are aware, we are living in crazy times, and that is no exaggeration. On September 20, the Associated Press reported on the recent General Assembly meetings at the United Nations:
“We are gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, adding that “our world is in peril—and paralyzed.”
He and others pointed to conflicts ranging from Russia’s six-month-old war in Ukraine to the decades-long dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Speakers worried about a changing climate, spiking fuel prices, food shortages, economic inequality, migration, disinformation, discrimination, hate speech, public health and more.
Our world has always faced challenges, but thinking individuals understand that what we see today is different. The international rules-based order since World War II is breaking down. Old alliances are stressed and new alliances are forming. Nations in Africa, South America, Asia, and even Europe are re-assessing their reliance on the United States. There is a war in Europe where the use of nuclear weapons is being openly discussed and threatened. It is at a time such as this that strongmen step up. They are often seen positively at first, but too often end up being a Hitler, Stalin, or Mussolini.
What we are seeing is the chessboard being set in preparation for the final restoration of what the Bible refers to as the Beast—a strongman bringing together “ten kings” in Europe and having great economic and military power, and he will be accompanied by a charismatic miracle-working religious figure. Time is short and we have a great Work to accomplish. Too many people are more interested in their team playing this week, or what is happening with their favorite celebrity. They are asleep to the dangers our world faces and will sleepwalk right into the Great Tribulation. We need to watch world news and study what the Bible predicts for the end of the age, as we are surely in that time (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).
God assures us that there is light ahead—and we see that light in His Festivals and Holy Days. We should thank God that He gives us this assurance and hope for a brighter future for planet Earth and its inhabitants. Let us look forward to the fulfillment of these days! And thank you again for all your encouragement and support. We understand that God can raise up stones to do His Work, but He has not chosen stones. He has chosen you and me to do a great end-time Work and He has a reward for us as we take up this challenge (John 4:34-36). May God bless you all!
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston
P.S.: This letter is being sent out earlier than usual due to our observance of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day.