September 16, 2016 Brethren Letter
During my sermon last Sabbath, I read a paragraph from a “Brethren Letter” which was written in 2011. It was planned to send that letter to you for this week. Please have a wonderful Sabbath everyone!
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,
September 9, 2011
In two more days, the tenth anniversary of “9/11” will be remembered throughout our nation. One decade ago, the United States of America experienced a heinous, cowardly, and despicable act of terrorism carried out by radical Islamic terrorists.
Probably most of us can remember exactly where we were when those acts of terror began to unfold on September 11, 2001. I was in a business customer’s home watching the attack take place on our client’s television set. Those horrible events that day took Americans by total SURPRISE. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.
Our nation can also look back at another shocking event that was perpetrated against the United States on December 7, 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7th as “a day that would live in infamy.” On that date, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a SURPRISE military attack against our U.S. naval base located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 2,400 lives were lost that day.
Thankfully, God has a plan where each of the men, women and children who died in these tragedies will once again come back to life in the future resurrection (Ezekiel 37; Revelation 20:11-13). God has a record of each and every one of those individuals who died. As we know, that which happened to America in 2001 and in 1941, were real events in history that took real physical lives. In retrospect, we can see something in common with each of these events. Both attacks were carried out as SURPRISE, SNEAK ATTACKS on an unsuspecting nation.
Brethren, spiritually speaking, there’s an enemy out there who would love to destroy you and me in any number of ways, through a set of SURPRISE, SNEAK ATTACKS! What may often start out as a health problem, a job loss, persecution from others, etc., is not what the sneak attack, is about. The sneak attack usually happens after an initial trial. The sneak attack is when negativism, anger, bitterness, discouragement, depression, (or a whole host of destructive MOODS), are allowed to grow and fester. Those very emotions will lead to spiritual harm, if left unchecked.
It’s not men we’re warring against, or an imperialistic nation that we’re fighting. In fact, our enemy is not physical. It’s composed of spirit! He’s Satan the Devil! Satan plans out his SNEAK ATTACKS, using the element of SURPRISE to his advantage. He broadcasts in negative MOODS. Satan is described as a “roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8), and “the prince of the power of the air”. “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” (Ephesians 2:2).
As I have said before, I FULLY believe the closer we get to the return of Jesus Christ, the more God’s people will be tested and tried in ways we never had before. That shouldn’t discourage or deter us! Remember, it’s not God’s will that we fail (I Peter 5:6-7). We as human beings have the potential to become literal Sons of God, as spirit forever and ever (Romans 8:18-19 and Hebrews 2:9). Satan would like to thwart that potential.
Please remember, as a spiritual leader in God’s Church, I intend to be a helper of your joy (II Corinthians 1:24), and to fight right by your side. Each of us must continue to care for one another, and never cease in our prayers.
Finally, as we see in the book of Ephesians, an important way to protect ourselves against Satan’s surprise, sneak attacks, is to wear our protective, spiritual armor each and every day (Ephesians 6:11-17)! Satan’s SURPRISE, SNEAK ATTACKS won’t get very far when we’re deeply close to God, and wearing our spiritual armor!
Have a wonderful Sabbath.
Your Brother in Christ,