An Open Letter to the Brethren in All Branches of the Church of God
Did you ever get a little short of patience because traffic was heavy and made you late for work? Perhaps you have your car in the shop and were supposed to get it back in two days, but just received a call that it will not be ready for a week. Maybe even your AC goes out for a few days in the middle of July and you live in one of the warmer southernmost states. Then what if you find your account short at the end of the month and you find you have to quit eating out for six to eight months to catch up? Do you complain?
This is not a lecture on controlling your temper, nor a dissertation on not complaining.
This is a plea for help for our brethren, YES – Our Brethren. I just returned from a trip to Kenya where we have brothers and sisters who are hungry. They live in abject poverty. I have met very few, if any in my life, who, like these, work from 4 AM until late at night and always have a genuine smile on their face. I have yet to meet any so pleasant to be around and hospitable. From very small children to the extreme elders, they wanted to serve us. They gave us their best.
They were so happy to be able to keep the Feast, and so appreciative that we came all the way from America to keep it with them. One young man who was always smiling was asked by someone, “What are you so happy about?” The young man replied, “It is the Millennium, we are celebrating the Millennium.” One precious couple gave us their house to stay in; I think they slept in the chicken house. Yet they always looked clean and dressed for services. They prepared meals (all on a wood fire they built outside), washed our clothes (by hand, in a big pan of water) and even polished our shoes.
Just from being in the church for so many years, I know many think that two services a day is too many. These people, after two services a day (sometimes lasting three to four hours each), wanted Bible study at night, rather than entertainment. They are so full of faith – so full of zeal!
These people live in mud huts with dirt floors. Their bathrooms are outhouses or mud holes; their showers (if they have one) are outhouses with no hot water, since there is no electricity in their area. Some just bathe in a river. They read the Bible (if they have one) by a lantern at night.
I have heard from some Americans that these Africans do not work, so they should not eat. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT true! These are hard-working faithful people. I have seen them, met them, and lived with them. If you are up at 4:30 or 5:00 AM, you will see many of them, even children, walking down a big hill with empty water jugs, and some coming up the hill carrying jugs full of water. They carry them on their head, making several trips, collecting water for the day from water holes. I would call them mud holes since one cannot see through the water. They use some for the latrine, some water to drink and some to cook and wash dishes with. Some places, the outhouses have nothing but a mud hole.
Brethren, there is no way to describe their poverty. A warm shower or a cold drink of water is unheard of in these areas with no electricity. Most depend on what they can grow for their substance. So when there is rain, they have food. When there is drought, they go hungry.
We are trying to get Bibles for them, but some still do not have them. Brethren, imagine learning the truth, and being excited about it and not even having a Bible to read. Some do not have mosquito nets – a real priority since there is hardly a family who has not lost a family member to malaria, which the mosquitoes carry.
This was one of the most spiritual Feasts I have ever attended. This is not only because of the wonderful sermons, straight from the Bible, but also the people. I never saw so many people delighted over a bowl of rice and beans, or corn and beans. I’ve never seen so many so appreciative that we came all the way from America to keep the Feast with them. I’ve never seen a group so helpful and non-judgmental. We could all take a lesson in Agape love from these poverty stricken people.
One young man there, Richard, who recently lost his mother (she was 51) has started an orphanage because there are so many little children whose parents have died. He cannot feed them lavishly, but he can feed them by rationing food. One terribly sad thing that broke my heart was a precious little girl about two years old. About a year and a half ago, Richard was taking his cows to the river to water and he heard crying. After following the sounds, he found this little baby girl, approximately six months old. Her little clothes or blanket was caught on some roots of a tree going out into the water, keeping her from drowning. Richard rescued her and brought her into the orphanage. Richard’s sisters named her “Angel” saying they thought an angel sent her. I don’t know about that – it appears her mother tossed her away - but an angel must have protected her precious little life. I so wanted to take her, clean her all up, bring her home with me and buy her some pretty little dresses.
Another sad thing was an elderly man, who had read in the Bible that he should attend the Feast of Tabernacles, and he was determined to go. His wife was sick and had been bedridden for some time. He took full care of her. He said he had trouble finding someone to stay with her. We asked if he had any children or grandchildren who could have stayed with his wife. He said they had borne nine kids but they had all died before leaving any grandchildren. Any of you who have ever lost a child know the hurt and pain you felt. Imagine having to bury nine children and none of them leaving any progeny.
One more of the many sad things we saw here in Siaya was a young girl of 17 who had lost her parents and both hands in a fire.
Brethren, these are not just stories. They are true. I know these people. They never complain. You never hear them whine “It’s hot”, “It’s cold”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty”, “I’m tired”. That is simply the way it is.
When the Feast was over, many had to return to abject poverty. We sent what we could home with those who had much drought in their area. We sent home 20 K/G with one young lady for her and her mother, to last ten days to two weeks. It takes 1.7 K/G per day to sustain life and when there is so little, they ration their food.
After the Feast, we visited others in different areas. The last place we visited, it had rained three nights straight before we left, and no mode of transportation could get to us. We had to walk uphill in mud to the next village. There were 26 people (men, women, and children) who not only walked with us to say “good-bye”, but two teenage boys carried our heaviest suitcases on their head. This was all uphill in mud because they wanted to see us off, and they had to walk back. Now that is love!
Brethren, please, I beg of you to help our brothers and sisters who are in need.
Proverbs 21:13 says, “Whose stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.”
1 John 3:17 – “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Thank you in advance for anything you can give to help. A little can go a long way, and I can guarantee you that 100% of what you give will go directly to help these people. Although we have servants who have made trips to visit these people, not a penny of your money goes for trips. All who go use their own money for such visits.
If you find it in your heart to share, the Eternal will bless you, and you will be showing Agape love for your poverty stricken brothers and sisters.
Proverbs 19:17 says “He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given He will pay him again.”
Proverbs 22:9 – “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth his bread to the poor.”
Proverbs 28:27 – “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”
The fund that is set up for this is:
Kenya Hands of Hope
5525 Springs Avenue
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Thank you all from the depth of my heart.
Latest Update from Kenya.
JULY 7, 2012
Hi Bill, Greetings from Kenya.
It is a good day to inform you of my recent long trips. First of all, let me thank you for the great work you have done to sponsor my trips in Kenya and Tanzania. I have been traveling since last week in Kenya and Tanzania.
I started by visited our Congregation in Nyakach when it forced me to rewind my trip there again after getting a good response & welcome. My first trip went to old members of the church where I met some new members from near the lake shore of Victoria who begged me a visit to their place.
I again went back to Nyakach to meet this new group where I was highly welcome. I was also welcome them to Church of God after seeing their seriousness in truth. This forced me to appoint our brother from Oyugis, Kenedy Odhiambo to go back this Sabbath and every Sabbath to meet them and teach them the truth. Since they are still row in truth, they still need more teachings so that they can grow in faith.
I'm happy with them because they are good responsive listeners who are ready to learn. Many of them came from African religious who believe in trinity, Christmas, Going to heaven after death and African traditions. I was very pleased with their respond because they took a law profile to learn. (Proverbs 29:20).
The most important problem I found in Nyakach was Famine. This comes because of lack of good soil where they can do farming. They area is just but stones all over. And lack of enough rain. This year, there was a great disaster in many parts of Kenya simply because of heavy rains, causing much flooding. There was Hugh flooding in many parts of Kenya. This also caused a big problem. Many areas had been going without rain, but this year it turns with heavy rain, affecting many parts in Kenya and has coursed great hunger.
I wanted to travel to Homa hills but there was no time after concentrated and consuming much time in Nyakach.
I then travel to Tanzania to meet our brethren in that country. I met Martin wanga who is our Tanzanian coordinator. Martin was operated after having abdomen problem. But we sent request prayer to our brethren allover the world to pray for him and after their prayers God answered by healing him. Martin is now well and can do the services of God as usual.
I met our brother from Kuria on my way back from Tanzania who discussed more about the new moon observation. This is a very important sermon which was delivered by Elder William Goff, who in his sermon try to reform the observation of New moon to the church of God members. And it was my main sermon in all my visits because we need this truth to stand and be practiced among the brethren. It is a lost biblical truth for many years but is very important among the brethren because we are going to observe it in the millennium. (Isaiah 66:22-23)
Before returning to Kenya I extended my journey to meet another group in Tanzania where I met the family of Samson. I found our brother Samson not in. He went in Bukoba town near Uganda where he is working now. His family is still in the faith. It is a family which likes singing and they are best singers to our God.
When I met Evans from Kuria, we talked more about new moon and other messages which are very important to deliver to God's people. I also send him to meet our new group at Maeta. We have a lot of work in Kenya which needs more funds because God has opened the door for the gospel to move. Africans still have a lot of interest in truth because for a long time they have been deceived and been following a wrong gospel.
The problem which I found in Tanzania is just the same of Nyakach. They are also having famine. They need many books to help them learn more truth.
On my way back home I called in Migori at Rose' home where we touched many biblical truths. We also talked more about New Moon. She agreed with the teaching of New Moon as a real truth which must be shared among the brethren.
Today I'm in Kiseke where it forced me to meet them after getting an urgent call which forced me to postponed my trip to sindo and meet them. They have three families who wanted to learn more about God's church and its doctrines. We had a tough but smart discussion because they wanted to know more of what they term a new biblical truth to them.
They were surprised to see that those truths are there in the bible. They were calling them new because they were deceived by their Protestant pastors. It was good that they turned to learn the truth. One of them insisted that he is still going to confirm after meeting their pastors and chat with them about what we teach them.
Many Missionaries traveled to Africa and deceived Africans to follow a wrong thing and this is the main reason why if an African get the truth, he or she try to trace with a lot of seriousness. We still need more assistance to travel and open the eyes of men on our continent me to learn more truths and do a way with falls teaching.
And since Kenya is a third world country it needs many assistance from our brethren who are willing to help the work of God to move. Many are lacking Bibles, books to study, physical and spiritual things.
This year, we have many people who will attend the feast of Tabernacles but are lacking food and transport to take them to the feast site and feast site supplies are also lacking.
I’m now asking the brethren who have been helping us, to come to Kenya and stay at the site for 8 days, all of you are highly welcome. We have many who will come from all corners of Kenya to Keep God’s Feast. Any assistance is highly welcome to feed people and to help widows and orphans reach at the feast site.
May God bless you and all of the brethren.
Evans Ochieng Kisiengo
Greetings from Kenya.
May 3, 2012
It is very great to inform you that From 3 May 2012 I was on a trip to visit our congregations in Siaya county. Before visiting our old congregations, There was a man from Ugenya who visited our one of the congregations in Siaya called Ramula. This was the time when you visited Kenya. He was interested in church concerning the sermon of that date. Many times he was sending requests for invitation to go and see him in Ugenya. So we made a special day to go and meet him in Ugenya.
Many people came to understand about a new truth which they have never heard. I call it new because, it was surprising that, the whole of that area they have never heard about God’s Sabbath. They were terming Sunday as God’s Sabbath. It was a good day that God gave us enough time to preach about God’s Sabbath, true baptism and repentance. Most of them were Catholics and Anglicans, some were coming from Africans denominations. 8 people decided to join the church and some reject the truth when saying that they have never heard of such teaching from their youth. It is good that now we have a group in ugenya who are surely need to follow the truth. We are getting their calls every day how they are going. They are still asking many questions which many of them are being answered through phone. Now we are planning how to make that group to grow because many people are still contacting them and asking many questions. This shows clearly that, it is still on the process to grow. I ask every one in the church to pray for this group because it is under hardship and temptations from the groups they left.
On the third day, we visited our Congregation called Malanga. The group has a good growth. Its members have increased from 19 to 28. They made us to laugh when they nicknamed Bill, with the name that (don’t swallow chicken bones when hearing men speak) chew first, swalow meat, but spit out the bones.) They told us that they learned many things from this sermon that they cannot forget it and they are still remember You (Bill) by this your sermon. They asked me to promise them if you will go and visit them again. They also say that since they came out from Babylon they don’t want return back to search deadly things and that is the reason why they remember that sermon so much. I read to them your short sermon which they receive with good heart. I also talk to them about our stand at now. I introduce our new move of VITWCOG. I was introducing it to every congregation because I’m trying to avoid confusion. They gladly welcome our move and my sermon of that date.
The fourth day I met our old group Ramula where John Ogada is coming from. This congregation is a mature congregation. Many members were long members of the church. Some came from church of God the eternal and some from church of God in truth. The number has not increased so much. They have only two people who have been added to the old group. They are 32 members including children.
The fifth day I met our newly born group called Lidha. The people in this group were formerly Anglicans and CCA. When I was preaching in Siaya I met these people when I was with my brother John Ogada. We talk with only few of them and when they told us to go and meet them at there area, they called other brethren to come and hear the truth we were preaching. From here some of them again decided to join us and keep God’s Sabbath and other teachings. Some of them also found that, the kind of baptism they receive was not true baptism. This is also the purpose why most of them join the church. What I have realized is that, those who were not keeping God’s Sabbath, if they discover that what they were following is not the truth they turn with the whole heart. This group is growing well. Its members are now 17 adults. The sad news is that, we found Benta Ojwang who is the founder member of this group if was very sick. And today I received a sad massage that she is dead. I’m very sorry.
After that we went to visit new people of Kopolo near Bondo who are very much interested in truth. They were members of church of God in truth but they left some years back. When they were outside the church. They experience many bad teachings outside the church. So they decided to join VITWCOG and now they continuing to talk about the truth. It is 1 family.
The next day we visited our new group of Kambare. Why do I call these groups new? I’m calling them new because they are groups which joined us after the trip of Bill and I to Siaya. And after when our brother Bill gave a clear path of gospel to move by sponsoring our trips in Kenya and Tanzania. This congregation is wonderful congregation. They all came from Sunday. When we met them and talk to them about Sabbath, they responded well. It is the last group but the largest group with 33 adults and 22 children. I’m very happy with this group because they understanding the truth with total heart.
Lastly I met Nyakach group who are also growing well. Before Passover we baptized four brethren from this group. They are now 25 people including children.
My next move will visit our congrigations of Oyugis, Rongo, Rakwaro, Kiseke, Kuria, kisii, 2 Tanzanian congregations and 5 coastal congrigations.
Throughout my trip at different congregations in Siaya, I was not happy with the kind of problem which I found that many church members are facing. In Kenya there is a great hunger which faces almost every part of the country. When I was travelling I realized that some people are going without food for days. Our beloved brother Bill Goff who has been kind and sympathetic to the brethren in East Africa tried to send some good funds for my trip and to help some widows. It forced me to share the funds with all the brethren which I was visiting. Even though I couldn’t help fully, I was to share with them a little that can push for at least one or two days. I was doing this because every member is suffering just like the widow. I’m thanking my brother for his kindness and also I’m thanking for those who contributed in this my trip.
This trip gave a good product. And it has been productive since we started to share the work with our brother Bill. It brings something In mind that, God combined us together simply because this is the way how creator wanted the work to be fulfilled at this end time in Kenya. I’m now requesting brethren and those who can volunteer to help Kenyans and Tanzanians in order to get Food that can push us in this thorough hunger. There is a great cry in all our groups. I have noticed many problems in all our congregations in Kenya. I’m now requesting our brethren and those who can help the brethren in Kenya and Tanzania to get food that can help in this great famine.
We have 20 congregations in Kenya including our brethren in Mombasa and kisii and kuria. Two congregations in Tanzania. We are therefore requesting more than60 bags of maize and 30 bags of beans to help brethren. 1 bag of maize is costing kshs 4,800/- and 1 bag of beans is now kshs 8,000/-
It is very dangerous this year with Kenyans because; heavy rains are extremely causing disasters. There is flood everywhere in Kenya which swept gardens and big farms. More than 70 people have died in the country because of flood. It clears that Kenyans will still have great famine.
May God bless you and those who are assisting the work in Kenya.
I would like to thank you for the assistance you gave me to enable me get my family travel to my wife's home where the burial of her father will take place. They have traveled and now i am the only one remaining here in Nairobi.
The burial of my father-in law will take place on Friday which is a week from now. I should travel there by Sunday or Monday next week. Since i have some days here before i travel, i would like to print the article you sent and make copies which i will give to the church members by next week and on the sabbath of 26th this month. I have some times to read it and if there is any question i will ask you before i give the copies to the church members.
i would therefore ask you to assist us financially to make the copies. Since i will very busy next week with the arrangements of the burial, i would ask you if possible to assist us do that by now. If possible, you can also assist us get the children of the school with some drink so that they can continue well when we will not be around next week
May i hear from you. Thank you.
Update on the Work of God
Latest Update from Otara at the School
Good evening brother Goff, thank you for your inquiring. We are going on well here in Kenya and the school is also fine. As I informed you, we now have more new children who have joined the school for the first time this year. In general, the number of the children have now raised from 50 to 120. The number of teachers also have raised to six and two workers.
The dairy drink that they receive is also more than it was last year, and at times we do go without giving them the drink. This is because we sometimes lack the funds to buy the required flour and sugar. All in all, the needs are still many including class rooms, desks, books and so on. We hope God will see us through.
As for the case of the sick girls, their parents have been letting me down for about two weeks now. Whenever we agree to go to the hospital, they keep claiming they were busy with some jobs on that day or they traveled up country. These made us moving the date of visiting the hospital from one week to another until some needs have forced me to use some of that money in the school. However, we are hoping to visit the hospital this coming Wednesday and I hope this time we will be successful. I will inform you when we are through from the Hospital.
Thank you, and hoping to hear from you soon.
Letter by: Bill Goff
I feel it is time to give an update on what has been transpiring amongst the members of the church of God that we have had the pleasure to “associate with” and “work with” from around the world.
Its been quite fascinating to watch our Creator continue to unite many of His brethren together through His spirit as we approach the end of this age. Yes, His “one” and the “same” spirit appears to be bringing some of the “diversities of operations”, the “different administrations”, and some of the “scattered members” who possess the many different gifts of God, together in unity. And this is a good thing for everyone because “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal 1 Cor. 12:7.” This “unity” amongst the brethren seems to be linked to the continent of Africa, E. Africa in particular, where God has us focusing our attention at this time. And not too surprising, considering that He tells us that the “last will be first” and “the first last”. After all, what people are among the last in this world, than the people of Africa? They are definitely the most downtrodden.
The work that we are involved in is no small thing. It started approximately 2,000 years ago on that day of Pentecost. Yes, it started back when the spirit of God came in as a “rushing might wind” and “filled all the house where the brethren (the disciples) were sitting.” Just prior to that our Lord and Savior told His disciples to be “witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Now the disciples within His church today, are fulfilling the last part of that command brethren. They are reaching out to the “uttermost” part of the earth, and in more ways than one. The word “uttermost” has a very important meaning. With reference to place, it means “The extreme, “most remote”. With reference to time it means the “last”, generally that which concludes anything. Now what is being concluded here brethren is the building of the church of God.
The church age is coming to a close
There is a lot of confusion and division amongst the brethren in the church of God as we approach the end of the church age, but let us not become overwhelmed by any confusion brethren, let us not forget that there is simplicity in Christ, not confusion 2 Cor.11:3. Yes the church has division within it and yes, the church is being divided as we near the end of its age, but it’s only being divided in two, yes two. Nothing new or out of the ordinary here brethren, the number two and the body often go hand-in-hand. We have two eyes, two ears, to legs and two ways to walk, uprightly or in transgression. Two trees set before us, the tree of life and the tree of death. Two paths that one can follow, the narrow one that leads to life or the broad one that leads to death. There are blessings for obedience or curses for disobedience. When Christ returns to this earth all nations shall be gathered before Him and He shall separate them into two groups as described quite plainly by the parable of the sheep & goats of Mat. 25:31- 46. But let’s continue to focus on the church, the called out ones, the first fruits which are being divided into two groups now. Yes brethren, the church is being divided right down the middle, and each and every member has been individually choosing which side he is on. In God's eyes, there are only two groups that comprise the entire church, the wise & the foolish.
Church is Spiritual
Let us remember, the church of God is a spiritual organization, and to better comprehend the spiritual we have to look at the physical. When it comes to the plan that our Father has for mankind (the humans that He created in His own image back in Eden) He gives us the agricultural growing seasons for us to observe so we can better understand His plan and our calling. Now as we approach the end of this age and the end of the church age, we can easily see that the two divisions within the church of God have to do with maturity and growth, or lack there of. And just as some physical crops grow and mature if they have been properly cared for and given rain in due season, or fail if they are not properly cared for and do not receive the rain, so follow the spiritual, (us.) Some members of the church of God are growing in grace and knowledge and are maturing quite well, and some are not. Some are found lacking and may never reach that state of maturity or completion. Now this is a very important subject brethren, because it concerns our eternal lives in the Kingdom of God, or lack there of.
Mature ones arriving, immature ones departing.
In the book of Corinthians chapter 13 and verse 10, Paul, the Apostle who is often misunderstood, makes a very important statement concerning us, you and me (and all the rest of the members of the church of God.) Make no mistake about this verse brethren; Paul is speaking of the members of the church here in this verse. Let us read it please:
1Cor.13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
Those four words “that-which-is-perfect” comes from only one Greek word TELEIOS meaning = complete, fully grown in mental and moral character. This is the current condition of the church of God brethren, some have grown on to maturity, and some have not. This mental and moral “Maturity” or lack there of, is spoken of in the book of Hebrews concerning those who ought to be teachers now, but instead need to be taught again, and are in need of milk when they ought to be partaking of strong meat. “But strong meat belongeth only to them that are of full age” same word “perfect” Heb. 5:14.
That’s our goal brethren, to become fully mature in mental and moral character, to develop that Holy Righteous Character of our Father, to have changed hearts, and changed natures Mat. 5:48, 19:21, Jn. 17:23 Well, how are we doing, are we complete yet? Have we, as members of the church of God, the body of Christ, reached that point of full growth in mental and moral character as the church age comes to a close? We better have brethren because those in God’s church who continue to take their calling lightly, and have not continued to grow, and have not reached maturity but are only in part, “shall be done away” another four words that come from only one Greek word KATARGEO meaning = to be entirely idle (useless.)
Brethren, we’re firstfruits, first fruits are planted first, mature first, and are harvested first. But as every farmer knows, not every crop ripens to maturity, not every crop reaches its full potential. And when it comes to the called of God, the church, when it comes to our potential, we’re talking perfection here. We’re talking about wheat here, a crop planted by God the Father Himself, and He’s looking for good trees that are producing plenty of good fruit. And remember, our Father’s been seeking fruit on His trees repeatedly for a long time now, and He has no intention of keeping any of them that are unproductive Lk. 13:7-9. If the tree (You and I) are not producing good fruit now, if the tree is still not mature and productive now, then the tree is in grave danger. (The last dunging will be quite a sobering one for the remnant of God’s church Rv. 12:17.)
If you remember, one of the ingredients in the “wave loaves” (the wave loaf picture the church which will be presented for acceptance on the last day, the day of Pentecost) includes “Fine Flour” and fine flour is made from the cream of the crop, from the best of the kernels at the top of the wheat stem. Those particular kernels grew from the seed that fell on the good ground and received the proper nurturing and the proper rains. (And please let us realize that sermons and pulpits can be a good thing - God does give us ministry to edify and encourage and perfect Eph 4:11 – 13. But the main nurturing and teaching comes from God Himself, He is the one we have to put our trust in, not any man. He is the one we have to stay in tune with, He is our true teacher Eph. 4:21.) To make fine flour the kernels had to go through a process, they had to be grinded and sifted over and over (Seven times to be precise) until all the lumps and all the imperfections were removed. (We’re talking perfection here.) All that perfecting in the wave loafs took place before they were baked. Don’t believe the lies of those false ministers who tell you that perfection doesn’t come until after our change, they are deceived and being deceived. If you don’t get the lumps and imperfections out now, if you don’t get the sin out now, you may not be changed!
Brethren, we need to remember how the physical Temple was built, because it pictures the building of the spiritual Temple, which is the church of God (us) to a tee! And the stones (us) used for the physical temple were cut, grinded and made ready BEFORE they were erected into that Temple. “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone (us) made ready “before” it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building 1Kgs. 6:7”.
Yes brethren, The house of God, the church of God that Jesus began to build nearly 2,000 years ago is nearing its completion, and soon to be erected on the other side Dan. 2:44 (Up on the Sea of Glass) Are you going to be there? Have you taken the proper time to be involved with your High Calling? Are you a true disciple of Jesus Christ? “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” Lk.14:26, 27, 33.
(Please Reference our article titled: “The End From The Beginning”.)
Calm Before The Storm
Brethren, we are living at the point in time that Jesus previously inquired about, when He asked whether or not He would find “faith” “belief” on this earth at His second coming Lk 18:8. We are living at the point in time when the slumbering and sleeping 10 Virgins of Mat 25 are about to be jolted awake by the midnight cry announcing “The Bridegroom Cometh; go ye out to meet Him”. We are living at the point in time when the assembling of ourselves together and the exhorting of one another is of utmost importance, because we see the day approaching, and soon, some of the members of the church of God will be standing on the sea of glass, and some will not.
Standing on the Sea of Glass
Brethren, do you know who will be standing there on that sea of glass and who will not? Many “ministers” will tell you that it will be the members in their particular incorporated group that will be standing there. Don’t believe that nonsense brethren, (And if your still trapped in one of those hierarchical groups playing church, get out before it’s too late) Let’s stop here for a moment and answer that important question which is of utmost importance to each and every member of the church of God concerning who will be standing there on the sea of glass at Christ’s return, and who will not. Brethren, please, take a moment here and set down your “golf clubs”, find the “pause” button on your TV, VCR, IPOD, CELL PHONE, BLACKBERRY, TWITTERBURY or whatever else you are fiddling with. This is a very important matter to consider.
This concerns “Crowns” brethren, (Our crowns) or lack there of. This concerns our calling, and whether or not we will individually fulfill it. And this is no gray area, we need not speculate here in any way, shape or form concerning who will be standing there and who will not. We need only to take a quick trip up to that sea of glass and have a look for ourselves and see exactly who will be standing there. (And It has nothing to do with incorporated groups.)
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Rev. 15:2
Brethren, those six words "Them that had gotten the victory" come from only one Greek word NIKAO = conquer, overcomer. That's who is going to be standing there brethren, those who overcome.
Our calling brethren, our high calling includes a fantastic “All Inclusive” Wedding Banquet on that Sea of glass. The only catch involved is that in order to be there, one has to overcome; one has to be a conqueror, a soldier who fought that good fight. But don’t let that hinder you in any way, because we have been given the needed help to accomplish that goal of overcoming. The question is whether or not that is our goal? Maybe for some, their goal is to perfect their swing with those golf clubs or some other mundane care that they may cherish over seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Or maybe they don’t understand 2Tm. 2:4.
Are we ready for that day brethren? Are we ready to meet our Lord and Savior in the clouds? Are we amongst the wise virgins that have their vessels filled with the precious oil of the word of God? Or will we be found lacking of the precious oil that will be needed to keep our lamps burning when that midnight cry goes out? Mt. 25:8.
Brethren, the Pharisees and the Sadducees are alive and well today, and still full of pride and vain glory. And just as they were not ready at Christ’ first coming, they will not be ready at His second coming. The Pharisees were quite in tune with the physical, and loved to lord over the brethren. They were also top-notch meteorologists; they could predict the weather with just a quick glance at the sky. But they had no clue concerning the signs of the time in which they were living. Do we brethren? Mt.16:3
Do we comprehend the signs of the time in which we are living?
Are we preoccupied with the cares of this world to realize that the mighty storm that the church of God has been anticipating for millennia is rapidly approaching. Many in the COG have been hearing this warning to be ready for a long time, but some will not wake up until it’s too late. Some will not focus on their calling and repent of their inappropriate sinful ways until the dragon proceeds to make war with them after he realizes that he cannot harm the true disciples of Jesus Christ? Rv.12:15-17.
Brethren, this is not a time to be frightened or upset, or skittish or to bury our head in the sand. (And this is not doom & gloom) This is a time to be hopeful and thankful as we anticipate the return of our Lord and Savior who will soon be returning at The Father’s command to take full charge of this earth with His saints at His side Rv.17:14 . The majority of this world is suffering horrendously brethren. We need our Lord and Savior to return to this earth to end all of the world’s suffering. This brings our focus back on those brethren of ours over there in E. Africa who are in need of our help.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Our Lord and Savior made that statement on the last night that He was with His disciples. He gave us a new command, a command to love one another as He loved us. Later the Apostle John, the Apostle of love, asked this important question: “Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 Jn. 3:17. If that’s a bit too Greek in the KJ for us to comprehend, maybe we better read that verse in the NIV: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be present in him?”
Brethren, what a fantastic opportunity we have here, to be able to help our fellow brethren that are in need. But not everyone feels this way. When we first began trying to spread the word out that there are fellow members of the household of faith who are in desperate need of our help, many of the “leaders” of the churches of God that we contacted refused to consider our plea, and refused to notify the brethren of the request for help. Some of those “leaders” are apparently of the same mind as Diotrephes, the one who would not accept the true brethren back then in apostolic times. He even refused to receive the Apostle John 3 Jn.1:9-10. And just like Diotrephes loved to have the preeminence back then, so do many of the “leaders” today. But they cannot have it brethren, because there is one who already hold that position of preeminence in the church of God, and He is the one and only true head of our body, Jesus The Christ Himself Col. 1:18.
Plea For Help Is Uniting The Brethren
This plea for help from our brethren there in E. Africa has been bringing out the true colors of many of the members of the church of God. It has shown the Agape love (Or lack there of) of the brethren.
When we finally did begin to get the word out that there were fellow members of the house hold of faith who were in dire need of help, one man quickly responded by inquiring about what the beliefs were of our organization. He very plainly stated that if our beliefs or doctrines were different from his, then he would not help. Unfortunately he doesn’t qualify to fit the role of a “Good Samaritan” a qualification needed for entrance into the Kingdom of God.
Another man, one retired and lacking in physical wealth himself who even finds himself living out of the back of his pickup truck from time to time, not only rushed down to the post office to send out some assistance, but also came out of retirement and took on a very laborious job (that almost did him in) in order to raise funds to assist his fellow brethren who were in need of help. It mattered not to him at that time what the beliefs were of those in need, anymore than it mattered to the Good Samaritan when he saw that half dead stranger there in the street.
Then there was an entire church group who also concerned themselves not in what the beliefs were or doctrines followed by those brethren of theirs who were in such dire need, but only concerned themselves with how quick and how well they could assist.
Now please don’t misunderstand here, I am not saying that doctrine is not important, on the contrary, doctrine is very important. True doctrine is the teachings of Jesus Himself, the very thing we are to be growing in. But true doctrine teaches love, the outgoing concern for others, a rarity in this world, and sometimes a rarity amongst the brethren Phil. 2:20-21. But without love, without outgoing concern for others (especially our brethren Gal.6:10) how can we have any understanding? 1 Cor. 13:1-13.
Another man (apparently out of our fold) who was a recipient of our call for help responded by saying this: If those in need are members of the church of God, then why don’t you ask the church of God for help? After all (he went on to say) it is not Christian to ask strangers for help. (Another man lacking in “Good Samaritan” qualities.)
Then there are these two brethren (who live where the sun rarely shines) who began responding in rapid succession by sending funds for food, funds for school fees, Bibles, books, study aids and more. (Use extreme caution when in their presence, because God’s powerful spirit is flowing out of these two people in such abundance that you may begin to glow.)
And now there is another small group (Where the sun often shines) that possess large hearts and are anxious to assist those in need.
The true church of God is being united brethren, and its being united by a very powerful force. A force that no man made incorporated group can stop (no matter how pious or unique they claim to be). God has led us to assist the brethren in E. Africa, but this same scenario is transpiring all over the Globe with God people.
And let us glorify our Heavenly Father brethren, because it is Him that deserves all the glory. When our Lord returns and gathers His flock together, there will be no doubt in His mind that the answer to the question He posed nearly 2,000 years ago concerning faith, will be YES. There is no doubt about this because there is salt on this earth today brethren, salt that has not lost it savor. And there are lights shining atop lamp stands. There are those who are answering the Fathers call and becoming perfect, just as we have been commanded to do. The wheat seeds planted by the Father that began growing 2,000 years ago are now coming to full maturity, reaching their full potential. Yes, the church age is coming to a close and soon to be exhibiting those powerful gifts bestowed upon the members of the body, by God Himself.
God’s work is moving forward. Many people in E. Africa are very receptive for the true Word of God that is being preached to them, and we are receiving many calls for more literature and more visits. Let us pray that we all move on to perfection, and that we walk this earth doing all things that are pleasing in our Father’s sight.
If you would like to help our brethren in E. Africa, please send that help to: