November 30th, 2015
This morning we are waking up to a heavy snowstorm. When we look out the window we see some people dressed like Eskimos, working hard to clear their cars from ice and snow, a cat is running franticly for refuge, the wind is playing with the snow like with small feathers, and it’s nice to look out from the warm kitchen.
Most of the people are living in these huge old brick apartment homes, which are build in the 1930s, but ever since updated and renovated to make it more livable. When you enter a building like this through huge squeaking metal doors, you walk up old wide and deep concrete stairs. The apartment from our Sister Nastya is very lovely furnished and the Lord will bless her and her husband for their hospitality and great sacrifice.
There is a big discrepancy between the temperatures on the inside and the outside of these buildings, because heating with coal is here very cheap, and all of them have central heating, and it’s not regulated in each individual apartment.Each building has about 100 apartments.
In the fellowship room of the church there is a shelve from wall to wall, where the believers who are coming from the outside leaving their boots and hats; they have to change because of the heat inside when they arrive.
Later today we are picked up for fellowship at the church, where we are enjoying the presence of the Lord again, and we know beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the Angel of the Lord is among us.
Brother Viktor is thanking everyone for their sacrifice and labour to make these celebration meetings such a tremendous blessing to all. Three things we have to strive for: Faith, love and worship.
Today we are very pleased to see Brother Mark Stefanenko and Sister Anastasia Malkov, who is Brother Andrew Malkov’s daughter, the deacon in this church, to walk in fellowship together.
Whatever God does, there is a pattern in the Scripture, and we desire to be so aligned with the Word, that the blessings, which God desires to give, can flow through this channel. In our church we always like to spend a little time with this, because when we look at the world and it’s condition today, there is so much misrepresentation, and so much is projected through TV and movies; it’s a great perversion. But when the Scripture, the Word begins to be interpreted in the lives of believers, then a true example can come forth. Especially in an assembly where you have other young people come up, it always leaves some footprints.
These two young people come from very precious families. They are both involved in the service of the Lord and they are actively involved in God’s service and a blessing in God’s economy. When you see young people dedicate their lives and become living epistles, read of all men, you see Christ coming out of them. I know Mark from a young boy.
Being a parent you always long to see, that if somebody is coming into your garden, you always want to know that this is something you can approve. Sometimes you look at a young lady, but behind that life there has been one cultivating the tree. Somebody planted that tree and watered it, parents which care and grow that child for the glory of God. Then you have a young man who can look with spiritual understanding and appreciate that kind of parents, that would invest that time in their children to raise them. You want to have some measure of confidence, that the person, who is expressing an interest, has all these things in consideration.
To pray a prayer here today, you can pray from experience and understanding. So it’s not something cosmetic, because I was the first one in Lithuania; I came in the church, baptized the grandfather in Poland. I am kind of closely connected with the family, I am like your uncle, your father’s brother. When I came and see Brother Andrew and find out that’s his daughter… and I testified yesterday, there is something special about him.
I preached a little message for the young people at home Marriage by appointment and Marriage by circumstance. God said ‘It is not good that the man should be alone‘. You don’t have to go and look for somebody. God gives this to his sons. And Abraham, when he looked at Isaac at a certain stage of his experience – he is a type of Christ – the father desired to see his son to come to a settled stage in life. It shows us how relationships should evolve.
The first thing God wants to give you is salvation, you seek first the Kingdom of God and all other things shall be added unto you and the next best thing that God can give after salvation is a mate, where the mystery of Christ and the church can be reflected. Marriage is not some tradition or invention by society; marriage is an institution of God. God, who made the first man and the first woman designed this to be a mystery of Christ and the church, and there are roles defined for the man and for the woman and God designed this, and these are the laws and principles that govern a true relationship. Marriage takes three people: the two individuals and God. If God doesn’t join, nothing happens.
That’s why we take this approach, this is just a fellowship, not a betrothal, not a marriage, but a beginning under supervision of the parents and the pastor, as this evolves. It is under the leadership of God. We are believing by setting the right example, having the right motive and objective, because this is a promise of God. To every promise of God we have to have the right attitude and approach to God and come God’s provided way to receive the promise. And so what is being set before the church today is something for all of us being edified, and to say that this approach is a more excellent way. This is nothing that is evolving and the parents are being told after. This is evolving through the concept of the parents and the minister. For God to make of twain one, He must start with the right kind of material, coming God’s provided way, the right approach and coming according to the scripture. And so today it’s an honour and a privilege to have two people actively involved in the service of God, and God only gives you something to bring you closer to him.
If God plans something like this in their lives, its to make them more mature and for a closer walk with the Lord.
“I want to express my gratitude to be here with you; its wonderful to look and review our own earthly journey, to see where we have come from, see where we are, to see where our destination is and how the Lord is leading us forward. It made such an expression on me what I have seen and felt.
I never really got to all the things I wanted to preach. The scripture says ‘Elijah surely shall come and restore all things.‘ Things in the Bible are mystery truths, because the Bible says, that He brings back things to remembrance, He will teach you all things, He will show you things to come, the Holy Spirit is searching the deep things of God. So things is ‘truth,’ and Elijah came to restore all things to us. A lot of the truth was lost. When we say the truth was lost, we mean the understanding of the truth. Because the Bible never went out of existence. The understanding of those truths, that the early church had, was lost.
In the last days, when the prophet came, he began to show us, that this was always in the Bible, it wasn’t something new. Nothing was added to the Word, but things being revealed from the Word. Then we see the importance of divine revelation, where the church is build upon; the revelation of Christ.
To build the house of God… some are build on men’s ideas, some are build on emotions, but when you find that God can give you a faithful man, who would search the scriptures – Acts 17:10 – So you have to search and when you search the things out and find this is the scripture, then heaven and earth will pass away, but this Word cannot fail, because that Word is God’s thoughts, and that becomes our Absolute. Everything what we ever have been through in life, will go through or going through is in the Bible. Without the truth there is no knowing, without the way there is no going, without the life there is no living. To know God you have go know His ways. To know a person, you have to know their ways.
We know God is powerful. We know a few things about the Lord, but then we want to know His will and purpose, to know what He is trying to achieve, and why He is passing us through certain things. When we grow in this knowledge, we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. And as we come to know Him… to know Him is life. To know about Him is just knowledge about a person. But until we know Him by experience, to know His ways, then we will be able to have confidence, even in a time of testing and trial.
When Paul had his infirmity, God told him, that His strength would be made perfect in his weakness, and when you get weak, you get more dependant on Him. When you are not weak, you want to go in your own energy. ‘When you are weak, I am strong, my strength is made perfect in your weakness.’ So God had to teach him human weakness. And the same infirmity that he wanted God to take away, and God showed him the purpose behind it and what He wanted to achieve. All God did, He changed his seeing. He didn’t remove the condition; He changed the way he was seeing it. And when he looked from God’s perspective, it had no terror for him anymore.
And so it is many times, the way we see some things. When you know what God has made you in Christ, you can go through circumstances, you can do all things through Him. This is the consciousness of what we are called unto.
We have been greatly blessed to be here.”
Now Brother Nikolai Kadurov presents to each of the visitors a little gift as memory of the time here.
Brother Jurij Zakis from Vilnius presents a gift to Brother Viktor for the 20th anniversary of the church, a plaque with the Scripture of Revelation 4:1.
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
and with the quote from the Introduction of the Church age book:
for out of the Ages come the Seals, and out of the seals come the Trumpets, and out of the Trumpets come the Vials.
The fellowships ends with the song: Shalom, Shalom Jerusalem.
Because the believers here know that we are departing tomorrow, lots of photos are taken now, and the evening ends with a nice dinner.