Greetings everybody from Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. It is our last full day here before Jiri, our gracious contact here, takes us on a short tour of Prague. Before I update you on the Czech Republic, I'll quickly go over what happened in Serbia.
We stayed at Boris and Carol's apartment in Zrenjanin, Serbia, which is about an hour north of the capitol Belgrade. They have two children, a 5 year old daughter Sara and 2 year old boy named Martin. Carol is also pregnant with their third child. Boris accepted Jesus when he was 18 and has served as a Bible Worker for the Adventist Church since that time (he is 41) until he was disfellowshipped a few years ago. He has brought many people to the Christ and the Adventist truth over the years, and having lived in Zrenjanin his whole life, he knows many many people in that city of 120,000 people. In his home church are many people that he studied with and helped convert.
Please pray for Boris though, because has hemophilia and also walks with a limp because of severe joint problems from his youth. He accepted Father-Son in 2000, as the message seems to have come to Serbia very early on (I noticed that Serbian is one of the earliest languages to have subtitles of Walter Veith videos, so they are ahead of the game). But it seems that many are without a clear understanding of the 1888 message, without which the Father-Son message can become an Anti-Trinity message that enrages people against the church - there is no understanding of corporate repentance. I found it interesting that there are many translations of Robert Wieland books in Bulgaria, a country where an aggressive anti-church stance was not acceptable allowing our material to penetrate without having to compete with other Godhead ministries. I'm not sure if the same is true with Serbia, where many seem to want to be ministers, squabbling over status, and unable to come to unity. Many of those who are non-trinitarian in Serbia have become more liberal/lax on standards, and Boris is attacked heavily in this area as he is considered overly-conservative.
Still because of his many years of service to the church and his early adoption of truth, Boris has much respect in Serbia. He told us how he met with a Russian Adventist Organization that has roots from WW1 similar to the Reform Movement; they are descended from the work of Vladimir Shelkov. From his imprisonment in 1931 Shelkov spent almost all his life in prison and labor camps before dying in a labor camp in 1980 at the 83 in Yakutsk in Siberia (from wikipedia). Interesting history there. Boris told us that this group still is non-trinitarian and has some good aspects, but was very legalistic regarding its own church ordinances. For example, they started Sabbath an hour before sunset, if you did it later you would be disfellowshipped. Also everyone except them was Babylon...yet they were ok with drinking soda. Hopefully connections can be made and truth shared to these Russians (I think they are named 'True and Free 7th Day Adventists'), particularly the character of God/Ministration of Death material that is built off of 1888 that God designed to bless conservative Adventism.
Adrian also had a chance to meet with a Serbian Adventist leader who has accepted the truth of the One God and His Son, who is still in the church but is under much pressure to get in line. He described being told to baptize before he thought they were ready, and how they were trying to control his preaching. He said he had read all of Adrian's books in Serbian and was excited to know that there were some in Russian, because he also could speak Russian. Please pray for him too.
We spent most of the time in Serbia going over the newer material, to shore up Boris' understanding of the Mirror ("as you judge, so shall ye be judged" Matthew 7:2), the Character of God, and the Feasts (he particularly liked Exodus 5:1 and Psalm 81 that Joseph kept the Feasts) so he could teach it to others. It helped to have Adrian there so he could ask questions and work through it. Both his wife and their neighbor Jasmina, a fellow believer, have encouraged Boris to record videos of himself talking, and we also pray he would do this.
After this we flew out of Belgrade to Vienna where we were picked up by Brother Jiri. Jiri is an engineer (working with lasers or motion detectors I think) here in Brno who joined the church 3-4 years ago. Like many, after searching the truth for years, he stumbled on Walter Vieth's videos and believed. He was convicted of the Father-Son message later on along with a few other members of his church, particularly some of the older ladies who have been attending the meetings here at our hotel.
Brno is in Moravia which is famous among English speaking protestants for the missionaries who greatly influenced John Wesley. They have roots in Jan Huss (Bohemian, which is a neighboring state in the Czech Republic) and their most famous member, at least to meet, is Count Zizendorf, a Pietist who met a Moravian "remnant/hidden seed" and helped spark a mid 1700's revival. On the drive from Vienna to Brno Jiri also pointed out an old ruined castle in the distance where the Hutterites were founded, a group similar to the Amish or Mennonites.
Jiri has only been in contact with Adrian since December 2016 after having found out the truth of Father-Son, yet it is amazing how much work he has accomplished in the short time since then. We were amazed to see that he had fully completed 10 different booklets, and another 3 that needed just a little more editing. 13 booklets in just this year! Plus he had organized these meetings and brought a camera to film them, as well as acting as translator. In 4 days of meetings we've probably done 15+ talks. Praise God! Hoping these can be seen by many in the Czech Republic along with her sister nation Slovakia.
Jiri has told us how there is a slovak group translating Paul Penno's material, which has been helpful for him and he is sharing. He hopes to make contact with them. There were 7 others who attended the meetings, with 3 ladies who were dedicated and attended all the talks(others had to work) - V, the only other person besides Jiri who spoke English, and two others who couldn't. One of these ladies has a daughter in one of the slavic nations who is helping translate Adrian's material and is very excited about the message; soon Adrian may have to do talks there! They also are translating from Serbian into Czech.
We have done meetings on many of the usual subjects, but new talks that were of interest was a sermon on 'Fire' in the Bible, particularly spiritual fire (word study required) and 'The Penalty of Sin', which the ladies were loving. They got more and more enthusiastic as we continued through the talks, peppering Adrian with many questions and comments and severely testing Jiri's translation skills. We were overjoyed at the response to the sermons on the 'Ministration of Death' and the Law as the Mirror ("Let those who feel inclined to make a high profession of holiness look into the mirror of God's law. As they see its far-reaching claims, and understand its work as a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, they will not boast of sinlessness." Acts of Apostles 562). "This is a revolution in how to understand the Bible!"one lady said. Amen, this is my thought exactly, and I truly thank God for giving us more light in explaining these difficult questions on God's commands to kill. Adrian went right at 1 Samuel 15: 2-3 about God's commands to slay all, including babies, showing how it he is digging out our deeprooted want to do such things and mirroring it back to us. The ladies got it - God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. God consistently offered the Israelites in Old Testament grace and offered them to come into the new covenant, but they persistently refused, the consequences of which lead to more and more terrible consequences which meant more terrible commands coming from God through the mirror.
Today Christ is looking with sadness upon those whose characters He must at last refuse to acknowledge. Inflated with self-sufficiency, they have had all hope that it would be well with their soul. All at once the mirror of detection reveals to them the evil that their hearts have practiced and at the same time shows them the impossibility of reform. Every effort was made to bring them to repentance. But they stormed out words of defiance and refused to humble their hearts. Now the bitter lamentation is heard, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved.” Lt 147, 1903
We had the meetings in our hotel in a room on the first floor. We have had a chance to walk around in nature around us in our free time, and from our window here we have an excellent view overlooking the city. We praise God for how he has brought people who are dedicated to the work and appreciating the message. We hope it can bless many here in the Czech Republic.
Tomorrow we will go to Prague where we hope to get a tour of the protestant sites in that city. I like the city and have visited Jan Huss' Bethlehem Chapel before. July 6 is Jan Huss Day, a national public holiday in the Czech Republic, which commemorates his martyrdom. He was only 46 when he died. I end my report here with his last words before dying on the stake, which I feel are appropriate considering how deeply we have misunderstood the gospel, mischaracterized God, and are so lacking in faith:
"Christ, son of the Living God, have mercy on us!"