"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
May - June, 2010
"There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is 'PRESENT TRUTH' that the flock needs now." Early Writings, p 63.
Elder: robert sessler
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
...AND GOD SPOKE THESE WORDS
After three whole months had passed since the Israelites had left “the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus 19:1), and had “camped before the mount” (Exodus 19:2). This was the very same mountain that the Great I Am – the mighty Lord God had personally spoken to Moses earlier when He gave him his commission to free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. So “Moses went up unto God” (Exodus 19:3) to the same spot where the burning bush was on the mountain, and “the Lord called unto him” (Exodus 19:3) and gave him a specific message to take to the children of Israel.
The Lord God began His message by declaring that “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bear you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself” (Exodus 19:4). God then told them that “if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).
You will notice that God did not force them back into slavery by demanding their obedience; neither did He pressure them to obey Him because of all the wonders and miracles He had performed in delivering them from Egyptian bondage; and neither did He state that they owed Him their obedience as a fair compensation for satisfying all of their daily needs for these past 3 months of wilderness living. But instead this divine message was a simple invitation for them to consider, and then to freely choose to either accept or reject it. So even though God had every right to command this people to obey Him since they, as well as the earth they lived on, was His creation, yet He chose instead to appeal to them as the free people that He had made them.
Through all that He had done for this Israelite people, in all His dealings with them so far, the Lord God had revealed that He loved them as a father, and had even tenderly borne them “on eagles’ wings” so that they would be protected and shielded from all harm. And He now declared that He – the Great I Am, the Lord God of all the earth – would mercifully embrace them all as His chosen people “above all people” of the earth, if they would only lovingly respond back to Him and choose of their own free will to obey Him as their God. If so, then He would continue to perform the same miracles for them and even more on their behalf, because He viewed them as a precious and “peculiar treasure unto me” and not just as simple, lowly subjects of His kingdom.
You know, what other pagan gods ever revealed such love and compassion for their followers? Not in one recorded instance throughout all of their sacred writings did any of the pagan gods ever treat people who had not yet chosen to serve them in the same tender fatherly way as the Lord God had done with the Israelites! The type of character revealed and manifested by God was so vastly different than all the rest of the pagan gods, that it stood alone in comparison! This is because all the pagan gods looked upon humanity with unloving eyes. They viewed humanity as being nothing more than dumb slaves and their rightful property to command and even play with, whose duty it was to satisfy their every desire, and that humanity must earn the blessings of the gods through faithful, unquestioning obedience. While the Lord God did not look upon humanity with the same cold, dark paganistic eyes. He instead compassionately viewed them as being free people who had been led astray through the errors, superstitions and false doctrines which were holding them captive to corrupt men and an oppressive religious system, and He willingly chose to expend all the divine power necessary to deliver them from their abject slavery, so that they could as free people then decide for themselves whether to accept Him as their God and serve and obey Him because they loved Him, or to continue to serve the other gods, or no gods at all. Thus it was the difference between forced or willing obedience; slavery or freedom; hatred or love; Lucifer or God; and God was putting all His divine power and the resources of heaven on the line in order to make it possible that each and every human being had the right to choose their own destiny of either destruction or salvation; either eternal death or eternal life.
After the Israelites heard the message of the Lord God, “all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8). When Moses “told the words of the people unto the Lord” (Exodus 19:9), the Lord God then told Moses something amazing. He declared that three days from now He would personally “come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai” (Exodus 19:11) “in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee” (Exodus 19:9).
This was something unheard of in any of the paganistic religions – that a God would personally manifest Himself in the sight of all of His followers, and would also allow them all to hear His own voice speaking out loud! In all pagan religions, it was always the priests or the kings that told the people what the gods had supposedly revealed to them through signs, or in dreams or trances. Never once had any of the pagan gods ever manifested themselves to their worshippers, or allowed them all to audibly hear them speak. So there was really no hard evidence showing that any of their pagan gods were really alive at all, and nothing to prove that their gods were not just being kept alive through their teachings and superstitious imaginations.
In order to counter this lack of proof, the people had to be taught to believe without question what they were told came from the gods, and that they had to manifest absolute faith that what their priests or kings were telling them was honestly the truth. But the Almighty Lord God wanted all of His worshippers to know that He was indeed a living God who was strikingly different from all the other gods they knew about in Egypt or elsewhere, because they could see and hear for themselves that He really existed! Thus they could indeed implicitly trust all that Moses was telling them came from God because they had the proof and could know without a doubt that it was the truth because they knew that God really existed.
After all the Israelites had spent two days preparing themselves to meet with the Lord God, “it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled” (Exodus 19:16). This loud trumpet blast was the signal for all the people to “come up to the mount” (Exodus 19:13) in order “to meet with God” which they did (Exodus 19:17). As all the Israelites “stood at the nether part of the mount”, again “the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder” (Exodus 19:19) thus gaining the undivided attention of all the people. In the hearing of all the people “Moses spake” to God, the trumpet then ceased, and “God answered him by a voice” (Exodus 19:19). Then the people watched in amazement as “the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount” (Exodus 19:20) enveloped in fire so that “no similitude” of His form was seen (Deuteronomy 4:12), “and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:11).
It was from “out of the midst of the fire” (Deuteronomy 4:12) that the Lord God began audibly speaking to all the Israelites “with a great voice” declaring “his covenant...even ten commandments” (Deuteronomy 4:13) as all the people listened in amazement. God began the first commandment of His covenant by declaring that “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2). After identifying Himself to be the very same God that performed all the miracles and wonders that brought about their deliverance from Egypt, He then continued declaring the first, then the second, until He had finished with the 10th commandment, and then “he added no more” (Deuteronomy 5:22), signifying that He had given a complete law. Afterwards “the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount” (Exodus 24:12), and it was there that these same 10 commandments were written “upon two tables of stone”, and then God “delivered them unto” Moses (Deuteronomy 5:22).
Each of these two stone “tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written” (Exodus 32:15). Thus about half of the 10 commandments were written on one stone tablet, and the remaining commandments were written on the other. Moses had not carved out these two tablets, and neither had he chisled the words on them, but “the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables” (Exodus 32:16) being “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).
These events reveal that God considered His law to be of such importance that He would not allow any human being to tell it to others, but He Himself had to personally speak each one of these 10 commandments with His own voice in the hearing of all the people, and then had to personally write these same commandments with His own finger onto two stone tablets. Thus these 10 commandments came directly from God and not man proving that this law was not the product of the mind of men, but from God Himself. Also since they were written by God Himself with His own finger in stone instead of on cloth or paper, plainly shows us that God considered His law to be permanent and unchanging. And these commandments were His covenant or agreement with the people that He would be their God, and they would be His people, if they would keep and “perform” all 10 of them (Deuteronomy 4:13).
These 10 commandments are recorded in Exodus 20:3-17 and again in Deuteronomy 5:7-21. Each commandment was very simply stated and was easy for all to understand, yet they were so broad and far reaching as to encompass all aspects of daily life.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT
The first commandment of God was:
“I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-3.
This first commandment of this covenant revealed who God was – the God which had delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, and further declared that “no other gods” were to be chosen or worshiped by His people “before me”. But who was the God that declared in the hearing of all the people that no other gods were to be before Him?
“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” John 5:37.
Previous to when Jesus had spoken this, no one had heard the Father’s voice at any time. So it was not the voice of God the Father that all the Israelites heard declaring each of the 10 commandments at Sinai! Then whose voice was it? Who was this Great I Am? Who was this Lord God who performed all the miracles in delivering His people from Egyptian bondage, and who was now speaking to the people His ten commandments?
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58.
So Jesus declared Himself to be the Great I Am, the Lord God who had appeared to Moses, and to Abraham before him. But the name Jesus was only given to Him after He became human. So then who was Jesus known as before He became human?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made....He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” John 1:1-3, 10.
So before becoming Jesus in humanity, He was identified as the Word, who was not only with God, but was also a God Himself. He was the God who had created the world and all things in it by the power of His word, and who had formed man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7). But was this particular God only known as the Word?
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.
“Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks...” Daniel 9:25.
“And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” Acts 3:15.
“And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood...” Revelation 1:5.
“Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31.
So this mighty God who became Jesus Christ the Son of God in the flesh, was also known as Messiah the Prince, the Prince of peace, the Prince of life, the Prince of the kings of the earth, or just simply a Prince. But what was this mighty God and Prince all about?
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.
So the Word, who was this mighty God and Prince, who also became Jesus the Son of God in the flesh, was full of grace and truth. In fact, this mighty God was Himself the truth.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises [made] unto the fathers:” Romans 15:8.
“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:” Ephesians 4:21.
So Jesus – the Word, was the truth, and He specifically came to minister the truth to the Israelites, as well as to all humanity, because the truth was in Him. And since He is the truth, then He knows everything there is about truth, and no one else knows more about truth than He does. But was this Mighty God and Prince who was with God in the beginning, and who was specifically working for His people, known only by the name of the Word?
“But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” Daniel 10:21.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people...” Daniel 12:1.
So this mighty God, this great Prince, the Word, and the truth itself, was known by the name of Michael before being born into humanity and becoming Jesus Christ the Messiah and Son of God in order to minister the truth to His people. So Michael was this mighty God who was with God the Father in the beginning! And it was to this mighty God Michael that God the Father had declared “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:20)! Then is it really true that in the beginning there was the Almighty God the Father, and the mighty Lord God Michael, thus making two Gods and not just one?
“But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:8-9.
So then Michael, who became Jesus Christ – the Son of God, is here called by God the Father to be a God Himself! Thus there are two Gods listed in this text – the God Michael, and His God the Father. So then this Word who was a God along with God the Father in the beginning, and who then created the world through His own divine power, was Michael – the truth, the great Prince, the future Messiah to His people when He would be born into humanity becoming Jesus Christ the Son of God. And even though God the Father is greater in authority than the God Michael, yet Michael’s power as a God is not lessened in the least degree by this fact.
It was the mighty God Michael who put down the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven, defeating him and his followers, winning the warfare, and then casting them all out.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9.
So it was the mighty God Michael who defeated Lucifer and his followers in heaven. It was the mighty God Michael who created the world and all things in it. It was the mighty God Michael, the Great I Am, who was the Lord God who had spoken to Moses, who had then worked all the great and marvelous signs, wonders and miracles in delivering His people out of Egyptian bondage. And it was the mighty God Michael who was now declaring His 10 commandment law and covenant with His own divine voice to all of His people declaring that they were to have no other gods before Him.
But in commanding that His people were to worship “no other gods before me”, the mighty Lord God Michael was not including the Almighty Most High God and Father who is definitely to be worshiped! So then how do we understand this very first commandment stating there is to be no other gods worshipped but Michael when both Michael and the Almighty Most High God are two separate Gods? The Hebrew word for “gods” used in this commandment is “elohiym” (Strong’s, word #430), which in this sense translates and means “gods in the ordinary sense”, or in other words pagan deities. So then Michael was not declaring in this commandment that only God who could be worshipped was Himself and thus the Almighty Most High God of the universe is not to be worshipped. But Michael was referring to all the pagan gods that were being worshipped on the earth. So since Michael was the real Creator God of the earth, then in this first commandment He was declaring that there were to be no other earthly gods worshiped but Him.
Yet this commandment means more than just having no other literal pagan gods placed before the Lord God Michael. It also included His people allowing the Lord God Himself to reign supreme in all areas of their lives – whether in thought, plans, or in worship, and allowing His will to be the first that they followed. In other words, this commandment prohibited all forms of rebellion against God, and restricted His people from giving lose reign to any thoughts, plans, desires or actions that were not in harmony with His supreme authority and will.
With the Lord God enthroned in the heart and reigning supreme in the lives of His people, and with His will placed first and foremost to be followed before everything else, then God would be allowed to correctly lead, safely guide, and divinely preserve them in all areas of life. But if His people would allow some rebellious thought, plan, desire or action that is in direct opposition to the will of God to take His supreme place in their life, then God would be dethroned out of the heart, and their own will would now be placed in supremacy to be the leader and guide of life. In allowing this to occur, then their own rebellious will would be on par with God Himself in their life, and anything that is allowed to dethrone the Lord God from His supreme position of authority in the life and allowed to be on par with God Himself, would take the form of another god that is being placed before the Lord God, and thus breaking this commandment.
So this first commandment not only prohibited all literal pagan gods from being placed before the Lord God Michael in supremacy and authority, but it also prevented any and all forms of rebellion from ripening in the very lives, thoughts, plans, desires and actions of His people by making His will and authority first and foremost to be followed.
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
The second commandment of God is:
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6.
This second commandment of this covenant revealed how the Lord God wanted to be worshiped, declaring that the people were not to make “any graven image, or likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”. This was because Michael was the great living God who had created and upholds all things and therefore was above all created things, and thus nothing which He had created could correctly represent all that He is. So to make an idol or image of something which He had created, and then believe that this represents or symbolizes the Great I Am, would only work to lessen God’s majesty and greatness. This idol or image of the created thing would be so far from the actual truth, and so far off the mark of correctly representing Him, that it would only mislead souls into error and falsehood regarding exactly who God is.
To make an image or idol “of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast...of any winged fowl...of any thing that creepeth on the ground...of any fish”, or even of “the sun, and the moon, and the stars” (Deuteronomy 4:16-19) would only work to take the eyes of the people off of the Creator Himself and focus them instead upon the creation itself. Thus the great and mighty Lord God would be made to appear no greater than the created thing which the idol or image depicted, and since the idol itself cannot speak, hear or answer because it is lifeless and dead, then people would be led to believe the same about God.
In regards to any pagan image or idol that had already been formed, God further declared that He did not want the people to “bow down thyself to them, nor serve them”. This was because just as a husband jealously refuses to allow the affections of his covenant bound wife to be shared with another man, so Michael stated that “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God” who also refuses to allow the worship and affections of His covenant bound people to be shared with another god of the pagans, and especially not with Lucifer who all these pagan gods ultimately symbolized and represented.
So it wasn’t that God forbad all images or statues or pictures, but just those which were believed to be, or were worshiped as, a sacred representation of any god – including Himself. That is why God did not allow the people to see His actual form, or any “manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you” (Deuteronomy 4:15), but to only see the fire that He was hidden by, as well as to hear His voice. Michael knew that if they saw His actual form then they would eventually be led to “forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image” (Deuteronomy 4:23) of what they saw the Lord look like.
Yet this commandment just did not forbid the making of, bowing to and worshiping a literal image or idol, but also prohibited making a non-literal image or idol out of anything else, and then bowing to, and worshiping it more, or instead of, the Lord God Himself. These types of non-literal idols could be anything that is allowed to take up so much time and attention of His people that there is little time left, or little energy remaining, for them to devote to the worship of and due service to God. Various hobbies, work, houses, land, pets, family, friends, etc., – anything that His people allow to take their time away from what is due to God is made by them to be an idol in their life that they are bowing to, serving and worshiping more than God Himself.
God further declared in this second commandment that He was the One who either visits the iniquity upon or punishes the disobedient and their families, or is merciful towards and thus blesses the obedient. This is because as God is the Creator and Author of all things, then He has the right and authority to either bless or punish all things. But instead of arbitrarily doling out these good or bad rewards irrespective of whether or not they were merited, Michael instead blesses or punishes according to the actions which people themselves choose to perform.
But in order to justly determine who is indeed worthy of reward based upon their actions, their actions must be compared to or judged by some standard. And to be completely unbiased, this standard must be openly available for all to learn about, as it would be unfair to punish those who had no way of knowing that their actions were displeasing God because they did not comply with this standard. This is one of the main reasons why the Lord God Michael was openly providing His 10 commandment law, by both speaking it in their hearing and then writing it in stone, so it could be this standard to which all His people would be judged by according to their works and actions in order to justly determine whether they deserve His blessings or His curses. And it was not just the Israelites that would be held to this standard of law.
Since Michael was the Creator of mankind, then all peoples of the earth would be held to this same one standard of law. Thus any person could know what this righteous standard of God’s law was, then could compare their lives to it and see for themselves whether they were pleasing or displeasing God – irregardless of whether they were Israelite or from another race. And most importantly, if they found that their actions had been displeasing God by being against His law, would they manifest sorrow and repentance towards God for their sinful actions, and then choose to change their lives so that they could now be in harmony with His law? Would they plead for God to work in them to bring about this miraculous change in their life? Or would they knowingly choose to continue breaking God’s commandments and stubbornly refuse to repent for all their sinful actions that have brought sorrow and displeasure to God and His curses upon them?
So with God’s great standard of law within sight and knowledge of each and every human being, God could not be charged with arbitrarily doling out rewards, because each would decide for themselves whether they would receive God’s blessings or His curses depending on what kind of life they chose to live. And ultimately, each person would decide for themselves exactly what their own destiny would be at the final judgment – either eternal death or eternal life – precisely by how they chose to live their life after knowing about God’s great standard of law, as well as His willingness to forgive and change all truly repentant sinners.
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT
The third commandment of God is:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7.
This third commandment of this covenant revealed how God wanted His people to communicate to Him or about Him, declaring that the people were not to “take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain”, and any who did would not be held guiltless. Thus God’s followers were not to use His name in a light or frivolous manner in their communications, but when speaking to, or speaking or writing about Him, they were to respect and honor His name.
But since the mighty Lord God had never revealed His real name of Michael to any of His people, but had instead always gave them a general name descriptive of His character, then this commandment means something more than just not taking God’s literal name in vain.
The Hebrew word for “name” used in this commandment is “shem” (Strong’s, word #8034), and it translates and means “a mark or memorial of individuality, character”. Thus the name God did not want His people to take in vain was not His literal name, but was His character – which was a mark or memorial of His individuality from all the other so-called gods.
As this true that God’s name represents His character, then how could His people take His name or character in vain? The Hebrew word for “take” in this commandment is “nacah” (Strong’s, word #5375), and it translates and means “to lift, accept, advance, bear, carry, hold up, respect, wear”. And the Hebrew word for “vain” is “shav” (Strong’s, word #7723), which translates and means “deceptive, false, lying”. So instead of this third commandment only forbidding the irreverent usage of God’s name, it more importantly forbids His people from being deceptive, or false, or lying about His character.
God had separated His people from all of the other pagan nations, and brought them into a special covenant relationship with Himself. They were no longer to worship any pagan gods, nor were they to abide by pagan laws, practices, rules, rituals, etc. But now they were to worship only the Mighty Lord God, and were only to abide by His laws. In doing this, no longer would they develop characters resembling what was depicted of the pagan gods, but would instead develop characters resembling the living God. And it was this character of the living God that His people were to then take or accept or wear in their own lives. By doing this they would reveal before others that they had respect for God’s name because their lives worked to advance, bear, carry, hold and lift up a correct representation of God’s true holy character.
But if their character was different than the true character of the living God whom they claimed to be followers of, then their lives would work instead to lift up or manifest a false representation of the true character of the living God to others. Thus by giving a false representation of God’s true character, while claiming to be a follower of God, they would be guilty of lying to and deceiving others, and thus guilty of taking “the name of the Lord thy God in vain”.
So this third commandment forbade His people from believing that they could live like pagans, while still claiming to be God’s followers. It showed that profession alone, without corresponding works and actions, was absolutely worthless. If the lives of God’s followers were not in harmony with God’s name or character, then they showed by their own lives that they were not followers of God at all, but were really deceivers and liars. Thus by the lives, actions and characters revealed to others, precisely communicated to all exactly which God or gods were being followed.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
The fourth commandment of God is:
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.
This fourth commandment of this covenant revealed how God wanted His people to spend their time during each day of the week. The Lord God Michael plainly told them that “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God”. Michael also revealed that this Sabbath commandment was not something newly created just for the Israelites to keep, but had been first established at creation because “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day”.
So the first six days of the week were nothing more than common work days to be spent in earning a living and doing anything and everything else the people wanted or needed to get done. But the seventh day of the week was different: it was not a common day like all the rest. The seventh day was set aside to be a day of rest and worship to God because “the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hollowed it” after all His labor of creation those first six days. And just so that no one would forget this fact of truth, Michael began this fourth commandment of His covenant by plainly stating and even warning: “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”!
Thus this Sabbath day of God was a day which Michael chose as His holy day for all of His people to worship Him on.
“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].” Isaiah 58:13-14.
From ancient times, all the pagan worshippers had kept the day of the sun or Sunday holy as a special worship day to their deity: whether it was Marduk – the supreme god of Babylon; or Amun-Ra – the supreme god of Egypt; or Baal – the supreme god of the Canaanites; or Zeus – the supreme god of the Greeks, etc. But the day which the Lord God Michael had chosen to be His Sabbath was not Sunday the first day of the week, but was the seventh day of the week, or Saturday. And this was not an afterthought, but Michael had established His Sabbath day at creation, which was before sin had entered into this world, and way before any of the pagan religions had first been developed. It was those that rebelled against the Lord God and refused to keep His Sabbath law who had chosen to worship on a different day of the week and chose Sunday in honor of their supreme sun god to be their worship day. This then shows us that Sunday, the first day of the week, had no connection whatsoever with the Lord God of heaven, but was connected with honoring and worshiping all the pagan gods who ultimately represented Lucifer himself.
As such, then this Sabbath day of the Lord God Michael was a special day between God and His people which actually distinguished them from all pagan worshipers. The Sabbath was actually a sign between God and His people, designating those that kept it holy to be a worshiper of the Lord God, and designating God to be the God and protector of those that kept it holy.
“Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] the LORD that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13.
“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the LORD that sanctify them....And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I [am] the LORD your God.” Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
So the Sabbath day itself was a distinguishing sign or mark between God and His people who He had done so many marvelous things to deliver them from Egyptian slavery. While Sunday was itself the day which was a distinguishing sign or mark between Lucifer and His pagan followers. So the day of worship at that time indicated exactly which people were serving the Lord God and which were not – and the same today. As the seventh day of the week today is Saturday, therefore any who are not keeping this Sabbath day of God as a holy worship day to Him are plainly showing that they are really not serving the Lord God of heaven whom they may claim to be worshiping, but are actually serving another god depending on the day of the week they choose to keep holy! Thus by the day we keep as a holy day of worship today, just like anciently, shows exactly which God or gods we are really worshiping and whose followers we really are.
In our next Newsletter, we will continue examining the remaining commandments of God.
The Lord is continuing to bless our TrueChurchofGod.info website. In the month of March we had 8,969 hits, which were generated by 774 visitors. In these Visitor Sessions, 3,071 documents of Present Truth were viewed, and over 262.6 million bytes of information were downloaded.
In the month of April we had 9,964 hits, which were generated by 606 visitors. In these Visitor Sessions, 3,268 documents of Present Truth were viewed, and over 294.9 million bytes of information were downloaded.
So for these past 2 months, over 557 million bytes of information were downloaded from our Gospel Truth website by over 1,300 visitors!
The Lord is also abundantly blessing our LightMinistries.com website! In the month of March we had 134,636 hits, which were generated by 14,360 visitors. In these Visitor Sessions, 36,163 documents of Present Truth were viewed, and over 26.4 billion bytes of information were downloaded.
In the month of April we had 131,196 hits, which were generated by 12,477 visitors. In these Visitor Sessions, 32,924 documents of Present Truth were viewed, and over 21.6 billion bytes of information were downloaded.
So for these past 2 months, over 48 billion bytes of information were downloaded from our Gospel Truth website by over 26,800 visitors! MAY GOD'S HOLY NAME BE INDEED PRAISED!!
We would like to encourage our readers to check out a website that is dedicated to providing a “voice” to the people who have joined the separation movement out of the SDA church, as well as out of all the other churches of Babylon. The website is www.SDRVoice.org. This site also publishes an excellent Magazine called “The SDR Voice”, and on the site you can view past articles of interest, and can also request to be added to their mailing list to receive future copies for free.
For those who are not able to have a home church to attend and who miss the benefit of fellowshipping together with others of like faith, there is an on-line Home Church which meets every Sabbath at 12:00 noon Central Time. This is a live broadcast of one of our separated Home Churches in Indiana which is pastored by brother Nicholas Patula. Please feel free to come and fellowship with others of like faith and enjoy the spiritual uplifting experience. You can also stay after the church service and be able to chat with brothers and sisters, as well as visitors, from around the world. Many come away with their questions answered, their hearts uplifted and filled with gratefulness for all that God has and is doing for His people! If you would like to fellowship with us, go to www.RemnantofGod.org/pogmchat.htm.
TO OUR SUPPORTERS: Please know that "Let There Be Light" Ministries is not using your support to build itself up into a kingdom, nor are we trying to acquire expensive video, TV or shortwave facilities. But we are trying to spread the truth as quickly and economically as possible. Please also know that you have played an important part in helping spread the Present Truth into various parts of this world, including through the printed page, through the living full-time workers and ministers we sponsor, and also through our Web Sites on the internet. This is how the Loud Cry of the third angel will be spread, and is now being spread! If the Lord impresses you to help in these endeavors, your donations and prayers will be greatly appreciated, and not just by this Ministry. MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU!
"Let There Be Light" Ministries is committed to the spreading of the full present truth gospel message worldwide, and has been doing so since 1986. This Ministry has operating expenses covering the areas of: printing, publishing, and writing of present truth books, booklets, tracts, and other literature; DVD, video and audio taping, production, and distribution; supporting several ministers and workers in foreign Countries; mail order – both domestic and foreign; traveling to hold meetings – both locally, nationally, and internationally; answering correspondence and questions regarding the message of truth; offering National and International Bible studies; sending free present truth literature to contacts in many poor Countries; etc.
Your gracious prayers and support is greatly appreciated and needed. Without the Lord's guidance, blessings, and your support, this Ministry could not continue to reach out worldwide with the precious message of Revelation 14:6-12 & 18:1-5.
May our God and Saviour continue to lead and guide all those who have helped us reach souls who sit in darkness with the precious light of gospel truth. May our supporters remember that they share in each and every soul who has been reached by this Ministry and converted to the Lord and His present truth!
GENERAL FOREIGN MISSION WORK NEEDS
We are currently supporting several workers in many different Countries on a monthly basis. We check into the economy of each area and supply a base support which is adequate depending on their situation, but not extravagant. This base support is to ensure that the monthly needs of each worker and family is met for that month so that the worker may devote full time to the ministry work. In addition to this, we are sending extra materials for evangelism, and money for printing, publishing, holding meetings, traveling, and other necessary areas in spreading the Present Truth in their Country. And as the work extends, especially will the expenses for evangelism expand. Whatever you can send to help in this necessary and vital area is greatly appreciated.
The work of spreading God's present truth is not to be limited, but must extend world-wide to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people before our Saviour can come (Matthew 24:14). What better way of spreading the Present Truth Gospel than by having workers who speak the native language, who reside in that particular Country, who can live and preach the truth, visit the interests in their homes, and spread the printed truth translated into their native language!
"Our publications should be printed in other languages, that foreign nations may be reached. Much can be done through the medium of the press, but still more can be accomplished if the influence of the living preacher goes with our publications....The Lord has moved upon men of other tongues and has brought them under the influence of the truth, that they might be qualified to labor in His cause." Testimonies, vol 3, p 204-205.
Please financially help us to continue supporting our current ministers and workers on a consistent basis, so that the spreading of the truth will not be interrupted but can quickly lighten this dark world with the glory of God.
"Every opportunity should be improved to extend the truth to other nations. This will be attended with considerable expense, but expense should in no case hinder the performance of this work. Means are of value only as they are used to advance the interest of the kingdom of God. The Lord has lent men means for this very purpose, to use in sending the truth to their fellow men." Testimonies, vol 3, p 208.
SPECIFIC MONTHLY FOREIGN MISSION WORK NEEDS
M Printing and mailing expenses for booklets and tracts to Fiji.
M Printing of booklets and tracts in Fiji.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
KENYA, East Africa:
M Printing and mailing expenses for booklets and tracts to Kenya.
M Printing of booklets and tracts in Kenya.
M Projector, screen, and evangelistic film for non-SDA outreach.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA:
M Printing and mailing expenses for booklets and tracts to PNG.
M Printing of booklets and tracts in PNG.
M A small portable speaker system for street preaching.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
M Used SOP books.
M Clothes to pass out to naked villagers.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
M Printing of booklets and tracts in Philippines.
M Printing and mailing expenses for booklets and tracts to Philippines.
M Printing 100,000 tracts in Philippines--$1,450.
UGANDA, East Africa:
M Printing and mailing expenses for booklets to Uganda.
M Printing of booklets and tracts in Uganda.
M Printing 100,000 tracts in Uganda--$1,600.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
M Copier machine for quick production of tracts and booklets–$2000 ($1,500 so far raised, and thank you!)
ZAMBIA, Central Africa:
M Monthly operating expenses for the publication work already established there.
M Start up costs to open a Health Center and Herbal Store--$6,000.
M Donations of any amount to help with construction of a home–$12,000 total cost.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
M Donations of any amount to help purchase a vehicle–$6,000 total cost.
M Printing and mailing expenses for booklets and tracts to Zimbabwe.
M Printing of booklets and tracts in Zimbabwe.
M Donations of any amount to help with construction of a home–$12,000 total cost.
M Cartons of KJV Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books.
M Donations of any amount to help purchase a vehicle–$6,000 total cost.
Please be sure to mark all donated monies for any of the above Ministry or Foreign Mission needs. 100% of all donated monies will go where specified. Unspecified donations will go where needed. Thank you very much for making this evangelistic work possible, and may God's richest blessings attend you and yours.
LETTERS to "LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
(Combination of 2 letters) Elder Robert,
Many Christian greetings from Tanzania. As I write, it is almost midnight. I have not slept for the past 3 nights. I am now in the ____ city of my country, ____. I have been coming here for almost three times since February. We had an evangelistic effort in ____September 2009 near the border of Tanzania and Burundi last year. We left a number of Kiswahili booklets near the border. The results have been wonderful. The booklets were sent to ____, the ____ city of Burundi.
2 pastors who had separated from the SDA Church for a number of years, after reading, came to the Western parts of Tanzania to inquire from the people who produce such booklets. They stayed there for 5 days and were fully convinced of our present truth. They have invited us to gather them in. They needed more books and booklets. Besides, they contributed some money to print....It is for the purpose of printing, at least 100 copies for each title. By mid March I shall be traveling to that part by bus. It is a three days journey. I shall let you know the results....
Reaching there, I stayed for two days, picked the books and boarded a bus for two days. The first day I traveled for 16 hours, slept in the bus because the buses in this country are not allowed to travel past midnight. The second day I traveled for 11 hours and by the time I reached ____... I was completely tired. I had to rest for four days since Easter holidays interfered with the office days and my companion did not have a passport. On the next Tuesday, we left for ____ – 8 hours by bus. We reached ____ in the evening.
Reaching the city of ____ we started our seminars and preaching. These people, in Central Africa, have experienced frequent wars. As such they are very attentive to the gospel. We had no timetable. They listened to us since morning to evening and some went with us where we were sleeping and had a lot of questions. After five days of our seminars where we presented the Present Truth, 5 souls were baptized – leaders of the congregation.
The crocodiles which have been endangering the lives of people almost stopped us from conducting that ceremony in the late evening. The police authority told us that in the past 3 days about 5 people were caught by crocodiles and killed. However, the candidates insisted that they had faith to stop the mouths of crocodiles. After a long negotiation, the police allowed us at our own risk. He went few meters to observe one officiating the ceremony being taken (eyed) by a crocodile. After prayer, my companion went down to baptize. As soon as the baptism was over and we had finished the last prayer, the crocodiles began making noise just on the place where we were baptizing and the police gave his testimony that our God is too great.
On Sunday we continued with the seminars and on Monday we left ____ back home. We arrived in ____ on Monday. On Wednesday, I traveled to ____. On the way I stopped at a place where we had preached in 2008 but the people declined. I spent 4 days encouraging those few people who had accepted the messages after reading the printed pages. I expect to go there next week and we shall finalize the event with baptism of at least four souls who will be preparing for a big meeting this year. On Monday I began my journey to ____ and I arrived on Tuesday night very tired. Although I had finished translating the last chapter of the book – Last Day Events, I need at least 4 hours of editing it. The past four weeks have been too busy to me because when you go out is when you are overworked.
Keep on praying for the evangelistic work in Burundi where people are more receptive than Tanzania. I can predict that in few years they may overtake us since they are attentive to preachers. Some of those who accepted our Present Truth began preaching in the market place.
Yours in the Blessed Hope, P.T., Tanzania.
Am so much grateful for remembering me in your endeavors to evangelize the world. I received your tracts which you sent via my mailbox. These tracts friends are doing a wonderful gospel work and reaching hearts that could not be reached by human instrumentals. I have read the tract and am distributing the few that remained to friends....
Your co-laborer in His Vineyard, J.O, Kenya.
Dear elder Bob,
I will be traveling to ____ to meet some of our brethren that we are agreeing with about the Registration process, among others is ____ of DRC.
____ rang me requesting for booklets and tracts in French language while he was in ____ teaching! There were also some booklets and tracts which I printed out in my address from your website data bank of spiritual enrichment! So ____ thought that I have some more in stock and calling upon me to send some to him! But at the moment, I don't have any and my budget is so much stretched with traveling to different home churches which will be represented in SDR before the government of Uganda.
Therefore, my kind plea and request is that you help with an extra fund for this region to help with the printing of these SOP materials.
Thank you for supporting us.
God bless you. N.J., Uganda.
I discovered your web page today. Amazing! You have put a lot of work into finding these catholic writings. I still have to do the research to see if what you have posted is true...
You see, I am a cradle catholic. I believe in my church. I also want to keep an open mind and stay informed....
I want to say thank you for posting all of this. I am looking forward to reading it.
ELDER Robert Sessler,
Greetings from God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ who hath called us from darkness to His marvelous light, and commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
BULA VINAKA-It’s a great pleasure for me to write and thank God for your ministry which God had been using to reach many souls world wide and also here in Fiji. We have been part of the
ministry for the last 8 years with the late ____ and his family. Thank you for the books and literatures and DVDs, its been a great blessing to us.
We have been part of God’s work here in the ____ island of Fiji, ____ and had families and souls in different places keeping the light and the Sabbath. We ran a 2 weeks Health /Gospel and Prophecy Programme in villages and towns and still we are busy on that now. Many souls from different religious bodies God is calling through revealed lights preparing them for eternity. We are blessed to be part of God’s last work. The team consist of health workers, a Bible teacher, a Prophecy teacher and a youth team from ____ as our singing group. I will send photos of the work when I had prepared them.
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things. We will keep in touch.
Thank you and God bless. S.K., Fiji.
Dear Bro. Bob,
Thank you for continuing to extend the pure unadulterated present, sealing truth in booklets, DVDs, videos and Newsletters.
Our God is so gracious. Jacob’s time of trouble is nearly upon us. Soon Jesus will come.
Our prayer is that we will be faithful and love the truth as it is in Jesus.
Love in Christ, B., R. & C.K., MO.
Hello brother Sessler,
Hope all is well with you and family. God bless you, and watch over you. Keep the present truth going. I pray always for your ministry, and for you.
Am praying for the latter rain more and more. I want to go home. Please pray for my 4 daughters. God bless.
Your sister in Christ, P.M., WA.
CORRESPONDENCE FROM FOREIGN WORKERS
FROM FIJI ISLANDS
I John 4:4.
Dear Elder Bob,
May the grace of our Father and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. I want to take this opportunity in thanking you for your support and prayers.
How is life treating you there? Well here in Fiji [we] are well and geared up for the work even though we were hit by the cyclone Thomas which caused great destructions of life and property in most parts of ____ and the ____, but we were lucky in this part of the country even though we felt strong winds but not much damage. I know that the enemy knows his time is short, so we have to work hard in warning the people in towns and cities as fast as we can, only by the help of God.
We went house to house sharing and distributing tracts in the area where we live. In the town of ____ through the streets and shops, and the next day we went to the city of ____. The tracks we were giving out is “God’s Last Message of Mercy to the World”. It was a great experience for us especially to my daughter and my 13 years old grandson.
____ visited us on a Sabbath morning, after his tour from ____ and he was telling us about his visit to few of the small churches there, and he mentioned that they are really behind in present truth message. With Gods help we can reach them in whatever way with the message. (Editor’s Note: I will be adding my prayers as well!)
I received a letter from Karen at last from Central Africa, she sounds encouraging, a lovely and strong lady, and very much in the faith (SDR).
Work here in Fiji is moving forward, the crisis we are going though is only telling us that time is short, so may God help us to accomplish the work He has called us to do.
May our good Lord richly bless you.
FROM KENYA, EAST AFRICA
(Combination of 2 letters) Happy to read these [e-mail] forwards, though they never respond when we attempt to call on them.
____ and myself left home on 7th for ____, a south-western town on the Kenya/Tanzania border, while ____ represented us in a burial of a brother in ____, formerly congregating with ____ in ____. We had a 7-day effort at one point and another seven in another place. It is becoming truer every day that we are surely in the midst of a darkness so dense, especially among SDAs who ought to be way ahead. The meetings were well attended. We here met with some brethren from Tz and shared much. We shall have some of them coming to our camp meeting in April. Thereafter we shall lay strategies of going to their place. In fact they have arranged a big Bible Conference to be held in ____. I will let you know when the plans are complete....
On coming back from ____ mission, my step-mother passed on, and the next almost two weeks saw us embroiled in the plans for her burial, which took place on Wednesday last week. It was a hectic time, nevertheless God sustained us through the grief period. [Editor’s Note: our sympathies are with you and family]. I come from a strongly Catholic family, but God gave us opportunity to share the word every evening through the period. On burial day we also shared out several papers with the third angel's message; every one who came went away with a paper at least. May God bless their reading....
On a very special note, I appreciate we can now have our own computer to help us in our activities. On behalf of the church, and on my own, let our brethren know that we are very, very grateful.
We shall be in camp as from 11th through 18th as I early noted.
May God bless you. B.I., Kenya.
Dear Elder Robert,
General christian greetings in Jesus name. I thank God for giving me this time to write to you and apologise for delaying to let you know what is going on over here. The work is extending to some new fields. We had April camp which was so encouraging. Representatives came from different parts of Kenya and the support which you sent to us helped us so much. Next month we shall go to western Kenya for one week. The journey was postponed from this week to 9th - 16th of May 2010 due to lack of funds....
FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA
(Combination of 2 letters) Hello elder Bob,
Christian greetings. 1 John 1: 3.
Internet system is back after having problem for a week.
Last night bro. ____ (church elder) from the Central Province report to me via phone saying, the two couples connect with other Ministries received one pallet of books and tracts and they started distribute in their area. Those books are; Great Controversy, NSL for (from) Jan Marcussen, and some booklets for Pr. Vance Farrell.
____ said, our folks reject other materials, but they want GC. They ask elder ____ to contact and get some ideas from me. I warned SDR folks many times not to collect or read other Ministries’ booklets, and I thank God that folks are on alert always....
Many thanks for the recent News Letter titled; “DRINKING FROM THE CUP OF SUFFERING”. Without delay I made 7 pages x 50 copies and mailed out to our leaders and workers in other Provinces this morning. Bob once again I would like to thank God for His inspiration to prepare the best food for our mind and souls. Keep on doing preeminent work for the Lord.
Last week Sunday 28th Feb, we [SRD Elders] held a meeting discussing the issues and needs in our ministry lines. Our churches have sufficient funds only for 15 fulltime medical and gospel workers according to our monthly collections, but couldn’t go beyond that. Elders need to include two more gospel missionaries in new areas as I’ve been mention to you months ago, but this agenda was put off to next meeting. Need some evangelism funds to send workers to run meetings and training.
Tomorrow I will collect 1000 WPBP booklets in Pidgin from the ____ press. Those booklets will be the great blessing to those who are waiting for longer period....
Many thanks to LTBL Ministry for donation in printing 1000 booklets of “Why Protestants Bowing to the Pope?” translate into Tok Pidgin. Those booklets were packed in 100s and mailed to needed areas.
So far we have received seven letters of request and appreciation from the folks is not of our faith since after we given away those booklets. Two people appreciate for understanding the Catholic errors and the Bible Sabbath. One lady who worked in Government in high office wrote and asked she want to buy more than 400 booklets for her Anglican people lived in high mountain villages. But I talked to her on the phone and said, I have only 85 copies remain in stock.
Four Protestant men and student asked me for more copies to distribute in their churches. Elder Bob I’m expecting more request to come from others as well. It shows that people are hungry and seeking for the spiritual foods for their lives for cheap and free. Please seek donation for us to print more copies. (Editor’s Note: May God quickly impress His people to donate for this important need.)
In the second week of March this year, SDR volunteer workers left their home in ____, E.H.P. for ____ in the Northern Province. On the way the boys had to pass through ____ city in ____ Province and they decided to spend a few days in the city and conduct evangelistic campaign in the streets before traveling to ____.
Boys targeted the busy ____ shopping centre for the program for the first week. As usual they conducted a one week series on the End-Time events. The 4 male voice singers with inspirational singing assist brother ____ and ____ on the street.
Starting from the first campaign the news spread all over the suburbs and settlements and the hungry souls flocked in to receive the final warning massage in hundreds. It was amazing to see the way the city folks attend this program. It was like a well organized evangelistic meeting. A steady crowd in hundreds had to wait for the boys to arrive to conduct a meeting each day. These people are not members of our faith, but they come from all sorts of religious background.
After approximately 50 minutes of presentation the folks would not be satisfied so they request the preacher to preach more than an hour or two. The power that attends the messages presented here continues to increase. Fellow brethren the glory of the fourth angel is already begin enlighten the earth.
After one week in ____ suburb, the team moves to ____ market in ____ city for two days before they left for ____. When the team presented the present truth here, the people just pressed in on the boys as a result of people rushing to occupy a space to sit or stand to receive the message. Just take a good look [in the photo] at the way people gather to receive the present truth cast [broadcast] on the street.
What we see happening here is evidence that it is the time for us to go home. But having said that we should not forget that we have a work to accomplish and also a troublous time ahead of us to overcome. “The end is very near. God’s people should be preparing for what is to breaking upon the world as overhelming surprise.” GC 555.
I purchased a used car [Suzuki Vitara] from a Doctor who worked in ____ hospital. The car has a four-wheel drive and in good running condition but need a minor body repair. The registration has been expired last year. It’s pretty good enough for doing street preaching, transporting field workers and sound systems from place to place, distributing tracts and booklets along the highways and byways.
And have been struggled this far to put the van on the road to do the Lord’s work but only few things which I couldn’t afford to meet, and please I require your backing if funds available. Single tyre @ K215 x 3 = K645. Inspection, Registration and Insurance cost @ K680. Total costing: K1, 325.00 (PNG KINA) [about $530 US].
[May I] Hear from you and may God continue to bless and up-holds you and family in His service.
B.K., Papua New Guinea.
FROM THE PHILIPPINES
Dear Bro Bob,
How are you doing? I hope that everything is fine with you through the help and guidance of our Lord. About our work here, I just came back from my long missionary travel. I visited a lady who lives in ____ and is a breast cancer patient and was just being operated. She was a Catholic. But are now studying and trying to practice the truth especially on health reform. We always talk through cellphone and giving her some advice especially on diet and health. When I visited her in their house, we were able to have a Bible study. I told her the importance of having Jesus in our lives and the keeping of His law. I stayed there for a half day. She was so happy and I saw in her the eagerness to learn. I hope that she will continue to search for the truth. I also invited her to attend in our camp meeting. She is really willing to come, but she said that she had a problem financially. I told her that God will provide all her needs. During Sabbath, I spend Sabbath with our brethren in ____, and was able to speak during the whole Sabbath. During our afternoon meeting, I speak about the importance of attending camp meeting and the preparation we need to do especially on spiritual aspect prior to the meeting. We hope that they all will come.
On the following day, I visited my friend in ____, and sleep there. My purpose of sleeping there is to have a chance to share the truth to her brother and his wife. Her brother is an Adventist layman and is holding a whole church in ____. This layman is starting teaching reformation but don’t want to come out from the church. They told me that some inside the church are calling them offshoot already. I just started to build friendship with them. During the evening devotional, we were able to share a bit of light to them. I am hoping that when I go back there, we will be able to sit down and study the whole truth. I hope and pray that if that time comes, that they will accept it and stand for the right.
Bro Bob, I also try to visit ____, whom you endorsed to me. I know sis ____ for a long time since the time that the reformation started here. From the start, we were united but as home churches here were divided into various groups and beliefs, she went away with [from] us. She joined to various group from time to time. I knew that she joined to a group of fanatics. But even I knew all that, I still try to visit and have conversation with her, hoping that she will unite with us again. That is why we seek for her house. When we were near at her house, I try to called her to ask her the exact place. But sad to say, when I am just starting to speak on the phone, she talked many bad things and she doesn’t want us to go to her house. I felt very sad but ask God for His grace. I still pray for her.
Also as of now, we'd been sharing to the mother of our newly brethren who is an Adventist also. She spend 3 Sabbaths already with us. Hoping and praying that it will continue. We are also doing house to house work and tracts distribution.
Bro Bob, just want to let you know that I already bought Bibles and SOP books and printed out tracts through the help that you sent. We are using those tracts and books in our missionary work here. Please include all our work in your prayers.
God bless always, s.b., Philippines.
FROM UGANDA, EAST AFRICA
(Combination of 2 letters) Dear Elder Sessler.
Christian greetings from this side. I have been down with Malaria, feeling un-balanced in the head and pains in the whole body for almost a month plus, and I’m not fully recovered. But I’m believing God for the possible health in the midst turbulent health situations.
The gracious Lord has given opportunity to share the gospel with two different families. The number shared with [has] been 5 persons in the 1st place and 3 persons in the other place. This was an entry wedge to well to do persons in the community. God’s purpose is to have all men/people come to the knowledge of truth.
Almost two weeks ago there was one of the worst landslides in eastern part of Uganda. This happened at Namatsi Parish, Bududa district, Eastern Region. A whole Trading Centre and Health Centre, Schools and Churches were buried in the mud with all the peoples; it was a market day, like the last day, the non-expected happen. Almost 400 persons were buried alive. Some human reasoning had this to say – Population Pressure; almost 1059 people live every square-meter, 7 times the national average which is 161 persons per square-meter....there has been an outbreak of diarrhea and diseases. Over 700 families are displaced.
The time is now come when one moment we be on solid earth, the next the earth may be heaving beneath our feet. Earthquake will take place where least expected (TM, Page 421). Shortly there was an earthquake in Chile at 8.8 magnitudes which also shortened the length of the day by almost 1.26 microseconds. Almost 800 persons perished in it. The Haiti earthquake with almost 3 million persons displaced, and troubles are fast covering the earth, it is becoming more unsafe to stay this [side]...
Butaleja District was flooded, almost all the food in the gardens were swept by the invading waters and almost 35000 persons are left homeless. If the rains continue in the same way, most parts of Eastern Uganda and Northern Uganda will be covered with floods. But God is speaking to us in these last days. “We hear of His voice in storm, in rolling thunder. We hear of calamities He permits earthquakes, breaking forth of waters and destructive elements sweeping all before them.” 2SM315. “We are living in the time of the end. The days in which we live in are solemn and important…calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society.” 9T 11. These are the signs of His coming. Africa may be worst hit in climate change.
Matthew 24:3 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign your coming, and of the end of the age?” Verse 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places”. We live in the days of these prophecies. There may [be] no any better way to appreciate the Saviour’s words than when this heart sickening events take place. This brings Jesus [closer to coming back] in [seeing and hearing about these] day to day experiences, and with great force we hear this words. But like Isaiah says “These people draw near me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.“ “Where as you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” James 4:14. “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by him in peace, without spot and blameless.” II Peter 3:14.
In the times of Jesus they gave him a happening in which some, while in the temple praying, [afterwards had] a pillar crushed them, [and] some thought they were better. But Jesus answered and said unless you repent [a] worse calamity may befall you. The Issue is repentance....
The Lord has been our help in reaching out. So far I have given out 3 copies of Desire of Ages and 2 copies of the Bible to different persons that have picked interest in our Saviour and Lord.
Brothers called and they are the process of translating Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets, save we looked around [and] there is no original/standard copy for GC, amongst our people.
Thirdly there are brothers in one home Church interested in getting 3 Volume Spirit of Prophecy, how much can we have the copies? This urgent....
The issue of Land we have failed, so it reverts back to the owners and hence freedom is given them to sell and give back our deposit.
Put us in earnest prayers for the’re signs of a great harvest, but the laborers are a few. May the Master increase laborers in the field.
Yours in the Master’s service, H.K., Uganda.
FROM ZAMBIA, CENTRAL AFRICA
Greetings in the name of Jesus,
The Lord is with us as a family and the whole family in faith is well. The love is God is still abiding among us and His services are going on according to His will. Last month was a month of a lot of experiences both in my family and in the church. The Lord is so merciful that He Has made all things according to His will.
At one of our home church which is between ____ and ____ where am, about 85km came an emergency call from the brethren there. Br. ____ from ____ and I meet at this home church on a Friday when there was a very heavy rain and we where both soaked just from the station to the houses of these brethren. Sabbath morning came and all the members assembled and during the morning study we discovered that one of the members who had joined the home church 8 months ago had a different doctrine concerning (the) Judgement....and that is why we where summoned because he was almost taking some members in a very wrong direction.
We noticed in the study that his teaching was like that of the Davidian movement. The morning session ended at 12:00hrs as usual. At 14:00hrs we started the other session with the continuation of the same topic of Investigative Judgement. Later in the study we saw that this man was a full Davidian and we openly asked him if he was, it was a very hard moment because we saw that time was not with us and so the truth should come up openly so that if he was to humble himself then should learn the truth. He later confessed openly that he was a full time member of the Davidian Movement. Fortunately enough, br. ____ had a small booklet entitled ‘‘THE HISTORY AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE DAVIDIANS’’. We reviewed this false teacher (and founder of the Shepherd Rod’s) Victor Houteff.
The church was very surprised to hear a lot of falsehood which was exactly with this man’s previous teachings in this home church. A lot was reviewed and we asked this man whether this information was not true according to his belief, he said this was true. We asked him to check with the truth of God as from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, it was very sad to see this br. running away from the truth and holding to this false teachings (such as) the ‘‘144,000 will at the end be slaughtering those who will be found wanting towards the coming of Christ.” And “these (144,000) will go Palestine.’’ Br. Bob this is Victor Houteff’s teachings. Please I ask you and other brethren who have more information on this leader of the Davidian’s to send me so that we can pass it to all the brethren as this group is big in Zambia, especially among the SDAs. Please help us with these materials so that we can teach and warn other [of] our brethren in all our home churches from this false doctrine which is spreading like a kill [deadly] disease. After these truths this man run away even from this place, that is when it was discovered he just came in this church so that he can win some souls. Praise God this did not happen (and) the members praised God for this help in the revelation.
Later when I came home I discovered that the devil was annoyed with me over the house issue. The owner of the house is trying to make final touches to finish it so that we it can be put on let (the market). I have great trouble on this issue because I can not rent an house due to lack of needed finances. I have a plot ready to be used in building but I cannot do anything because I have no money to start building. Right now am sometimes spending nights in the car and my 3 children are occupying two rooms in the very house even the little properties. This is the same house which we have been using for worshiping till last Friday when the church at ____ central find a classroom for rent that is where we congregated last Sabbath....Brethren I ask you all by the grace of God that you pray with us so that the Almighty can find a way for us. We need to have our own house even very small for us to be stable. Many are the calls from our home churches demanding our services but how do I move leaving the children almost outside? May God have mercy on us. My brother ____ is also facing some hardships in life because the income that we are receiving is not enough. May you help.
Yesterday I received a call from br. ____ that we need to go and conduct the Lord’s supper this week to another new but fast growing home church about 800km to and from place, but we can not go now because we have not means of going there. The car that helps us in these movements is down (and) it needs about $400 in repairing....Please help...
Your brother in faith, B.M., Zambia.