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Dear Friends Letter

Copyright © Jules Dervaes

May 3, 1988


(Reproduced below is a personal letter written on April 18 to one who is finding LIFE UNDER CHRIST.)

Having received your very encouraging letter, I wish to thank you for the scriptural material that you presented and, also, for the prayers that you offered. I am very grateful to God for your perseverance in keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days even without the benefit of the social interaction that comes from church services. To know that and to know that you are continually searching for the truth in the Bible brought great encouragement to me.

Much can be said about the prophetic significance of the duality found in the gospel accounts. There has been a dangerous gap in our understanding about the message Jesus really brought and TO WHOM He brought it. He came to deliver a life-giving warning for HIS spiritual people today. God’s physical Old Testament Church—the Jews—never read His Gospel; its belated message could not have been intended for them.

What we should soberly realize is that the period preceding the Second Coming of Christ will parallel the times of the First Advent. As you correctly pointed out, the New Testament Church—although it is God’s chosen people—will be the agent for persecuting His true servants. The Church will be so deceived that it will think it is acting in the service of God by seeking to “kill” His followers. The leaders will not want to surrender their power to the returning HEIR and the lay members will be afraid to displease these ministers lest they be put out of “the synagogue.”

But, just as before, the misled Church—unknowingly—will only be assisting God in His plan by actually provoking His begotten sons to develop godly character. In this way Satan’s tactics will backfire and he will only be performing a “valuable service” in getting God’s servants ready for the marriage supper. In order to qualify to be Christ’s bride, each person will have to become ONE WITH HIM and show the love of Jesus in the face of spiritual persecution by one’s own church. And to prepare to marry Him, it has become necessary to leave “our home” and to love less “our family.”

As you understood, no secular agent could even be capable of bringing this about. Betrayal is the means, and being cast out will be the end result, of this inner oppression. The one who can hurt you the worst is always the one who is closest to you. For, in reality, it is no great trial for us to leave the world as we have nothing in common with it. But, for us to leave the Church is a great sacrifice whereby we suffer a real-but-not-mortal loss of “our lives.” We are no longer able to function as “living” members of that community which was “our world”; and, being physically cut off from personal contact, socially we “die.” And, furthermore, we are considered by those whom we have loved to be now spiritually “dead” and of no earthly value.

Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends-those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them AS THOUGH I WERE DEAD; I have become like broken pottery. (Psalm 31:11)

But the oil of character that will be “purchased” from Christ through bearing our cross will be that which allows us to be there to walk through the door when the bridegroom arrives. While we are “trimming our lamps,” it is evident that we will have to return to the ways of the early disciples. As in those days, the OPEN followers will be outcasts—isolated and excluded from communal services. And this will be the test to see if we desire the praise of God more than the praise of men. For those who can now keep the Philadelphian spirit of love, it’s meant to be the opportunity to qualify to receive that Philadelphian reward and to become, indeed, pillars in God’s Kingdom.

Since pillars do not need support, they can “go it alone.” Because pillars are strong enough to stand singly, they give support. For us the church group has been the scaffolding that has previously held us up. Its structural framework is still craved by many who are addicted to being propped up by “popular support.” But it’s time now to see if we can have the power of Christ-in-us to remain standing alone.

It seems obvious now that this was the only way possible that Christ could have really found out who were truly His followers because they would be actually following in His very footsteps. His salvation has never been “a parade”; each individual must walk in THE WAY that Jesus walked. This type of trial, then, was necessary to separate those who can walk on their own from those who want to “come along for the ride” and wind up needing to be carried the whole way by church-cart.

We who are the outcasts are not meant to have a FORMAL organization that would compete with the one that God has established in this era. Jesus (as did the prophets) did not set up another government but existed under the church of His day. He obeyed that authority as far as He could but drew the line when it came to sin. It’s not His way to head two STRUCTURED bodies at the same time.

This is the lesson of David-under-King Saul. And, to form an actual church group would be counter-productive to what God now desires, that is, the personal growth of the individual in direct relationship with Christ. What this end-time trial has provided is the opportunity—not to form another corporation—but to establish another WAY OF LIFE.

We who are following His way of life will be scattered brethren. But God has not left us without the capability to “fellowship” with one another. Although the physical distance between us may be greater than between those believers in the first century, God has provided special ways for us to still be in very close contact—by letter and, even, by phone. At this time we can readily communicate and form relationships if we put out the effort and use the means that we have available. One day there will be a joyful union of all those who were trained in this final period; but for now that cannot be so.

Then those who feared the Lord TALKED WITH EACH OTHER and the Lord listened and heard. …”They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession.” (Mal. 3:16-17)

We feel an urgent need to contact all WCG members in order to warn them so that God can say that He did give the cry to awaken “the ten virgins.” Each one should have the choice to respond to that WARNING so that, if one would be blind, it wouldn’t be through ignorance but through his willful rejection of the light. This work to prepare the way for Christ is now directed to the Church because judgment is begun on the family of God. Our very salvation is dependent on bringing this message of salvation to others.

I will close for now; but I wish to thank you once again for your special letter. It was really a very great thrill to read of your dedication.

We are belatedly sending you the enclosed Passover card as our way of affirming that you did not keep the Holy Days alone.

Yours sincerely,

Jules Dervaes

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