April 1, 1994
A CALL TO THE CHURCHES IN AMERICA
First of all, I would like to greet you all with the words of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: "Peace be unto you all." It was very unexpected for me to be here tonight. But I feel privileged that I can share, as a bond-slave of the Lord, about his grace and mercy to us as He led our people from Russia to China, from China to Australia, and from Australia to Canada.
And by way of introduction I would like to share very quickly where we come from. As we go around the North American continent and around the world ministering the message of the last days, people often ask me, "What is your nationality?"
And I say, "I’m not sure myself anymore." Because I was born in China of Ukrainian parents. We spoke the Ukrainian language at home, the Turkish language in the streets, playing with Turkish children as young boys. And then we spoke Russian, Ukrainian, and Chinese in school, because that’s the kind of school we had, and now I’ve been fighting twenty or thirty years with English. So I’m not really sure anymore what nationality I am. But, if you want me to be honest, I am a Jew. You say, "How come?"
Because I am a son of Abraham by faith, and my country is heaven. So I am not fighting for any nationality. I am not racist, defending this or that, no. In Christ, there is no race, but new-born men and women of God in Christ Jesus, saved and washed by his blood. And, it also becomes very hard sometimes as we go around and minister; everybody wants to know, "What is your denomination, what is your affiliation, what church do you belong to?"
The Lord taught me to only speak from the Bible, and I love the Word and I want to share from the Word of God and nothing else, so I’ll answer that question from the Bible only. And so I say I belong to that denomination which was in the days of the Apostles; I belong to the Antioch church because they were Gentiles, and it was there, for the first time in history, that they were called Christians. So my denomination is Christian. And they say, "Well, everybody’s a Christian." I’m sorry, I beg your pardon. Let’s check with the Bible to see if everybody’s Christian or not. And I read that the only denomination, the only true faith, was one faith and that was the Apostolic faith and that was established by Christ himself in the days of the Apostles with signs and miracles following.
The true church was one faith and I know in heaven there will be one faith also. And anything in between that Apostolic faith and the faith in heaven is just a bunch of fences and cross-fences and barricades, and different divisions. It’s all man-made. It’s not in the Word of God, so excuse me if I don’t belong to any of them. I belong to the first denomination, which is called Christian. So, if you are satisfied with that, we’ll leave it at that.
That’s just by way of introduction, but people usually leave me alone after that because they really want to know what denomination I am. But it has nothing to do with denominations. God did not intend any denominations, but it’s man-made, just branching away and branching away, and lots of energy is spent in just branching away and defending denominations instead of the Truth which is in here.
So, we’re going to turn to the Word of the Lord now and after that we will go into a little bit of background and sharing about the mercies of the Lord in how He dealt with us in Russia and in China. So, this will be chapter 2 from Judges. I will read word for word from my old- fashioned Russian Bible, and you can check if that’s what it says in your English Bibles. We’ll start in verse 6. "And so, Joshua let the people go and they went away to their own houses and to their own area in order to receive their inheritance of the land. And so, at that time, the people were serving the Lord all the days of Joshua and the elders and those who had seen all the mighty works of the Lord which He had performed in Israel.
But when Joshua died, son of Nun" - "the slave of the Lord," my Bible says; in your Bible it probably says, "servant of the Lord" but in my Bible it says, "slave of the Lord" "being 110 years old, he was buried on the Mount of Ephraim, to the north of the Mount of Gaash. And when another generation had arisen who did not know the Lord and all His works which the Lord had done to Israel, the sons of Israel started to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, and started to be servants of Baalim. And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who He had led out of the land of Egypt, and they turned to other gods, to gods of other nations that were surrounding them. They started bowing down to them and they brought his wrath. They forsook the Lord and they started to serve Baal and Ashtaroth."
And, for the second portion of scripture we are going to turn to the New Testament, chapter 18 of Luke, beginning at verse one. Jesus told a parable, about prayer, that we always ought to pray and not to faint, saying: "In one city there was a judge who did not fear God or people. And in that same city there was a widow who was coming up to him saying, ‘Please defend me from my opponents.’ But he did not want to do that for a long time. But then he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God and am not ashamed of people, I am going to help this widow because she does not give me peace, so she will not come and bother me anymore."
"And the Lord said, Are you hearing what the unjust judge is saying? Would not God protect and defend his elect who are crying to Him day and night, even though He is tarrying to help them? I say to you He will send them help and protection soon, but when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" This passage speaks about prayer, about perseverance in prayer, about his elect, and about the last days and the coming of the Lord. And there is a very sad note in the end of this saying: "But when the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith in the earth?" Yes, He will find many Christians when He comes, but will He find a living faith in the Lord and his Word, and his plan for the church of God?
So, in my infirmity I’m going to share how the Lord has shown mercy to Russia. The revolution took place in Russia in 1917. And Russia was in for 70 years of atheism and darkness, and the authorities fighting against God. So the Lord in his mercy and his providence decided to send a helper to Russia to put up a standard and bring the light of the Gospel into Russia. And so He sent one man from New York, filled with the Holy Ghost. He sent him to Russia; he was a Russian man. And he came to Russia and he started to preach the Apostolic message: the message of salvation, the message of sanctification, the message of holiness, the message of dying to sin, the message of repentance, and the message also of entering into the blessing of the Lord, into the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the power of God’s miracles, which are able to be performed when God’s people seek his face.
The people in Russia at that time were simple people, mostly farmers, hardly any education, so that message was believed and the revival broke out in Russia. And then it spread like a wildfire through many villages and many towns. So within the 7 or 8 years after God sent that man to Russia, that revival took over all of the Ukraine and all of Russia and went as far as the Ural mountains, which run north and south and divide the Russian mainland from Siberia.
And so the Lord was doing mighty things and He was establishing a church there, a living church, which was a change from the Orthodox church who, as you might be aware, were worshipers of idols and worshipers of icons, of crosses and all those things. So there were many thousands of people coming to the Lord through the simple message in the power of the Holy Ghost like in the days of the Apostles. The Lord used simple peasants, who would go on horses and on carts throughout all of Russia. And of course, the Lord did not use the modern methods of jets and modern transportation, or large advertising campaigns months in advance like they do in America. And I’m not judging America, I’m just comparing how the Lord did it in Russia, because my mother was a living witness of that revival which took place and she was in it herself. She is still alive and she’s in Canada with us and she related many of the mighty things the Lord did for his glory in Russia, saving hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people in Russia.
So, what the Lord did was this - He would pick out men by the Holy Ghost and tell them to fast and pray, and then the Lord would tell them the name of the village, the name of the street, and the name of the person to whom they should go. God knew who was prepared in that village. So these brethren would go there and they would find the man and the house. He was ready and prepared by the Lord to receive the message. They would start preaching the message and before you know it the whole village gathers, because of the Holy Ghost. Because they were not eloquent people with mighty speech or whatever. They were just simple farmers, but they ministered in the power of the Holy Ghost, like the simple fishermen in the days of Christ. They were preaching the Gospel, not in their own might, but in the power of the Holy Ghost.
So the whole village gathered and before you knew it most of the village would come to the Lord. And there would be repentance. They would be drinking vodka and idol worshiping, and then they would become empowered with the power of the Holy Ghost, and miracles were taking place all over. My mother was relating to me that all of the miracles that are recorded in the days of the Apostles and in the Old Testament were repeated in Russia. People have seen mighty works of God, including the resurrection of the dead.
So the Lord was proving himself a living God, a mighty God, even today in this last generation, a generation of unbelief, a generation of darkness. So, this was a direct working of the Lord in Russia. So my mother was sharing with me that this revival was spreading through the land and people were being really blessed; because they did not have Bibles because there were no printing presses to take care of the need of the Word of the Lord in Russia. There were no printing presses. There were some Bibles brought out from the West, like from France and from England that were printed in the 18th century. But those Bibles were very few and far between.
But the Lord had taught them by the Holy Ghost, by direct revelations, by visions, by angels, and by the word of prophecy. The Lord taught them, without Bibles, the principles of holy living. Separation from the world. The Lord taught them the commandment of washing the saint’s feet. The Russian revival church practiced the washing of feet. The ladies covered their heads. The Lord taught them that’s the sign, the visible sign of headship in the house. And for the angels, that sign must be there. And there were many other things the Lord taught specifically by the Holy Ghost because people didn’t have Bibles.
But then of course when the brethren had opportunity to check with the Bible, it was right in the Word. So, the work of the Spirit was one with the Word, because the Word and the Spirit are one. It cannot work otherwise. If anybody claims to have revelations, but they are not found in the Word of God, if they are contrary, then we should check and beware. So that was the mighty Russian revival which took place in our day and generation. It was the blessing of the Lord, for God prepared Russia for the great and dark hours of Godless atheism and persecution.
As time went along, about 1928, the Holy Spirit began to speak throughout all the groups and churches in Russia. They did not build churches in Russia because they had no time. And if they had time they would not have been able to stay caught up because people were coming in big numbers.
There were multitudes coming to the Lord, because it was the work of the Holy Ghost. It wasn’t the work of man, it wasn’t man’s, what you’d call evangelistic meetings. It wasn’t man’s programs. They were uneducated simple people of God. It was the work of the Holy Ghost.
So they just gathered in homes. And I asked my mother, what was the secret of the continuing presence and the mighty miracles of the Lord in Russia? And she said it was the same as in the days of the Apostles: it was mighty prayers. Russia experienced mighty prayers and they were in prayer daily.
All over the villages, whenever the groups gathered, every night there were prayers. And to pray 2, 3 or 4 hours was nothing. That was nothing unusual. Mighty prayers with God speaking, God rebuking, God revealing the secret sins of hearts right in those prayers. People were trembling when they walked into those home meetings. They were walking in the fear of the Lord. They knew the Lord is alive and they had better walk very gently and softly, and walk holy, otherwise the Lord would reveal it right on the spot. As they entered in, the Lord would reveal whatever shortcomings or sins. That was a direct work of the Holy Ghost.
About 1928 the Lord started to speak throughout all those home groups in Russia about the future days to come. And the Lord said by the Holy Ghost, "My children, there will be great starvation coming to this land and after that, great bloodshed and much suffering in this country. My children, whoever will believe my voice and obey me, I will lead you out to another country. I want to deliver you and save you from great sufferings which are coming upon this land."
That was the voice of the Lord coming independently throughout all of Russia. Many people had heard the same message about the days to come when that message came through. At that time people were living very freely, even though it was during the Communist regime, because it took the Communists about sixteen years to get in power and gain strength. So from 1917 to 1933 there was relative freedom, freedom of movement and freedom to preach the Gospel. There wasn’t much persecution at that time. They really clamped down from 1933 on. It was a time of ruthless persecution and trouble for Russia. But until then there was still a relative freedom to preach the Gospel. People lived very freely and had their own houses, had their own cattle. Mostly they were farmers, so they had their own farms.
They were quite well off. So there was the cost. The Lord was speaking that He wanted to deliver them from future suffering. But He set a condition. "Whoever will believe my voice and obey Me, I will lead them out."
So, it’s not enough to be saved, it’s not enough to have the power of the Holy Ghost, it’s not enough to have miracles. That’s all nice and well, and it’s scriptural, and it must be a part of church life, yes, it’s for New Testament believers. But there sometimes will come a time when people have to pay the cost of obedience. Forsaking all for the sake of doing the Lord’s will, and going wherever the Lord will lead.
So then, out of those thousands and thousands of Christians used by God in Russia to proclaim the Gospel and spread the message of the living God, just a few hundred believed this warning. And the Lord said to them, "My children, seek my face and pray and I will direct you." And so, eventually, about 1931, the message came from the Lord, "My people, it’s time to move out." First of all, the Lord will always speak in advance. As you read the Word of God, first in the Old Testament and then in the New, the Lord always warns God’s people in advance. He will tell them of things to come, because Christ promised, he said, "When I go away I will send you another comforter, the Holy Ghost, who will tell you of things to come. He will also tell you all the things I have taught you." Yes, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Not only to teach us and lead us into all truth, but also He will tell of things to come.
That’s what the Lord was doing in the days of old. Read the Prophets. How many times did the Lord warn God’s people, kings, and nations about future things to come? And read the book of Acts. There was the time Agabus the prophet came into the midst of the church and he said by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, "There will be a famine in the land." Nobody knew.
Everything was fine, food was still plentiful at that time. But God knew what was coming. And the people of God were warned by the prophet through the Holy Ghost in the New Testament age, this dispensation, that there would be a famine. And so the people of God were able to prepare for that and do necessary things, as you read in Acts.
The same Holy Spirit warned the Apostle Paul, "Don’t go to Jerusalem because bondage is awaiting you there". Who knew that? Nobody but the Holy Ghost, God Himself. So then, we see our living God, right in the Bible, speaking, teaching, rebuking, calling to repentance, but as well He will tell you of things to come, He will warn the people of God of the future things. He always wanted to save, and lead, and protect the people of God. And that was the same case in Russia.
So, in 1931 the call of God came, "My people, get ready to move out." Yes. And there were just a few hundred people that were praying and saying, "Lord, where do you want us to go?" Because when the Lord warns you, then it’s time to seek his face; if He warns you of future things to come, if He warns you of any danger, that’s really the time to fast and pray and seek the will of the Lord, for his further instruction. So, they were praying and the Lord said, "My children, this is the next city you must go to."
Being farmers in Russia, with horse and buggy, they did not have cars. They did not have trucks at that time. And even now Russia is still backward in the way of machinery on the farms. But anyhow, at that time it was just horse and buggy. And there was just one central railroad through Russia. So anyhow, the Lord told these farmers, who never traveled more than a hundred kilometers in their lifetime maybe to the next village on horse and buggy - to these farmers the Lord said He will move them out into another country.
And that was about the area of Kiev, which is the central Ukraine and a little bit south. Some group from that area who were praying and fasting heard the Lord tell them to move to the next city south. When they came to that city, the Lord told them to move to another city. He would give the name of the city. And so He was moving them from city to city, telling them the name and address, like in the days of old. We read that in the Old Testament. We read that in the New. The Lord directed three men to look for Peter. How did they know where to go? They were told the location. They were told the name of the person, who to look for. And they came right to that house. How did they know? Only by God’s intervention and God’s direct revelation. And that’s the kind of God we believe, and that’s the kind of God that was working in Russia, and in China. And He’s still alive and well in Canada and America if anybody’s willing to believe, and willing to believe the word of God and have that living faith. Because Christ said, "Have the faith of God." In thinking about the last days, Christ said, with kind of a sad note, "...but when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" That is the question. It should be in our minds as we minister tonight.
God knew what the condition of the churches would be, in general, in the last days, all over the world before his coming, and that is the condition he gave. There will be many churches, there will be many believers, but will there be much living faith in the land? That’s the question. And Christ had foreseen, by his divine wisdom, that in the last days before his coming, the Church would be slumbering and asleep. That’s the parable of the ten virgins; that the people of God in the last days will be waiting for the Bridegroom. And yet Christ said the same church, the ten virgins that represent a pure church, slumbered and slept.
So that is basically about the condition of the worldwide Church today, which has slumbered and slept. They were waiting for the coming of the Lord, but then we read the Lord tarried. There are reasons why the Lord tarried, but that’s another subject. So then, these people were moving from town to town by direct instruction of the Lord, like the days of old. They knew the place to go. And so, eventually they came to the border of China. And there they were tested. If you would remember, in the days of Israel, as they were being led out from Egypt, the Lord told them when to start out and move and the Lord told them when to stop. And they camped and stayed until the Lord told them to move. So then, the time came for this group of about two or three hundred families to move south. They came to the border of Russia and China and there was a stopping place there. And the people were praying all along the way, saying, "Lord, what’s next? Lord, what do we do now?" And the Lord said, "My children, just wait and be patient, and I will tell you when to move." In the meantime they had to feed their children. They left their cattle, they left their horses, they left their land, everything was left behind.
And that was a small group out of the whole of Russia, those who had decided to pay the price of obedience and leave everything behind. Now, wasn’t it required of the Apostles? "Leave everything and follow me." Now, isn’t that the price that Christ requires of Christians even today? "If anyone does not forsake all that he has, he cannot be my disciple." Would not that commandment apply to us all in this modern twentieth-century generation? So, anyhow, they left everything, and here they had to feed the children. And the Russian families had many children. So, what did they do?
They had to go around searching for work here and there. They went into orchards, they dug channels for irrigation, and different things. Doing anything and everything possible, trying to get a piece of bread.
And, there was the problem of accommodations. There was always a problem of accommodations in Russia, even now. So then, they had to live someplace. So, what they did was, they went a little ways outside of town and they dug caves in the side of a mountain. And the whole group was living in those caves quite a length of time, praying and seeking the face of the Lord, saying, "Lord, what is next?" That was their dwelling place. I wonder how many bathrooms they had. Did they have a flushing toilet?
I’m not sure, I didn’t ask my mother. Did they have running water in those caves when they dug them? Did they have separate bedrooms, and privacy with door locks? I’m not sure what they had there. But each family lived in a cave, in just a hole in the mountain. But praise God, that was a group that was willing to follow the Lord at any cost. So, early in the morning, at five o’clock, one brother would come and he would start to sing a psalm. The Russians sang a lot of psalms, put to music. And he would sing loud, in a big voice, and everybody would wake up and wash their faces and come out. And they would start worshiping the Lord right on the grass, right in front of the caves, praising God and ascending their prayers to the Lord, seeking for his guidance, for his instruction, and for his protection.
But, before long the murmuring started in the camp. Following the Lord is not all carpet and roses. If you read the Bible sincerely, just check how the men of old lived. Like Elijah, or Isaiah, or Micah, or other prophets. How did they live? What luxuries did they have? Did they live a luxurious life? Did they live a comfortable life? Did they live a rich life? Consider. How many bedrooms did Elijah have for his accommodations? Or any of the prophets of old? What about the Apostles?
So, these people were seeking the face of the Lord. But, still, the murmuring started in the camp. They said, "Now, we left those cattle, we left our milk cows there, and there is no milk for the children here. Lord, what do we do?" And the people started to complain and murmur. Wives started to complain to their husbands, "Now, what is this? We are stuck here, there is nothing happening, we don’t hear any more instruction from the Lord, and He told us He would lead us to a new country and here we are still in Russia, and we are in such poverty." And the people started to complain. And then quite a few of them decided to go back to their land. Because it was 1931, 1932, and everything was peaceful, everything was rich yet, everything was plenty, and so they said, "We’ll go back. This must not have been from the Lord." Even though the Lord moved them supernaturally from city to city. They never had maps. There were no geography maps in those days, so how would they have known what city to go to next? They were brought to the border of another country; they knew it was the Lord. Yet they started to murmur and complain, and quite a big group decided to go back. To their cattle, to their farming, to their warm houses, to a degree of comfort, even though you couldn’t compare their houses to the houses in Canada and America today. But still, it was a relatively good comfort.
So they were longing, in a sense, for Egypt, like the Israelites. Did they not say, "Let’s get rid of Moses. Let’s appoint new leaders, and let us go back to Egypt. Life was different there. We had onions, we had garlic, we had good things there, but out here, we will die in the wilderness." Is that not the same spirit of unbelief and the same spirit of murmuring that could be among God’s people today? Following the Lord and his guidance and his direction is not always carpet and roses.
Then, during prayer, the Lord finally said, "My children, just be patient, and humble yourselves and pray, and I will lead you to another country. And I am going to save you from great trouble and great suffering. Just trust Me. But if anyone will return, their children will be taken away from them, and their husbands will be taken off to Siberia." The Lord said that right there on the border of China. "And some of the mothers will eat the flesh of their babies, if you return."
In spite of that warning, the majority of the group returned. There were only about 40 families left by the border, faithful to stay, and pray, and fast, and trust the Lord. Of course, they weren’t starving. They had a piece of bread, but it wasn’t very comfortable to live in a hole, in a cave. It wasn’t very comfortable to depend from day to day upon the Lord. Because they had no secure jobs, like you have. There was no security at all, their security was in the Lord. So they decided to trust. The rest returned.
Later on, in 1933, a big crush came on Russia. It was the year of taking away all property, confiscating all your belongings. Your houses, your land, your horse carts, your horses. Everything went to the government. The food was taken away from the farmers in order to force them into collective government farms. And those who did not want to go in, they died by way of starvation. The families did; the husbands were taken to Siberia as enemies of the people.
In 1933, six million Ukrainians alone died of artificial starvation. Among them, quite a few Christians. The word of the Lord came to be fulfilled, right to the dot. All of those Christian brethren who returned were taken to Siberia in 1933, as the Lord had said. Their children were taken away to the government schools. And some of their relatives wrote later to China and said that when starvation came, some of the mothers, being believers, ate the flesh of their babies, in the Ukraine. Because of disobedience.
We may say, "Our God of grace, can He be such a cruel God?" It has nothing to do with the cruelty of God. It was sheer disobedience. Read about Israel in the Bible. Were they not commanded to obey the Lord? Were they not commanded to follow the Lord’s commandments and be a holy nation, an obedient nation? And the Lord said, "If you will not, then my blessing will be taken away from you." And do we not read in the Bible that Israelite mothers, the people of God, the holy nation, the separate people which God elected unto Himself, did they not eat their children? Yes. They ate. And that has nothing to do with God wanting or intending for them to eat their babies, no. It was the spirit of unbelief. It was a work of the enemy, which troubled the people of God. And they were not watching and praying enough to stand in the faith, and to be trustful and obedient to the Lord. So that all came to pass. And there was great trouble. And many thousands of brethren went to Siberia.
So there was great trouble in Russia from 1933 on. In the meantime, that little group that was left by the border, a couple months after the other group left, heard the voice of the Lord saying, "My children, get ready to move into another country." And when they were fasting and praying, the Lord divided the forty families into four groups. He named the heads of the families. He said, "My son, you and you and you..." The Lord, by the Holy Spirit, named the heads of the families and divided them into groups. "You will be leaving on such and such a day at midnight. I will lead you out into another country."
Then the Lord, in his divine providence, took them across the border into China. And it was only the miracles of God that could lead them, because they had never traveled that far in their lifetime. They never had guides. And they could not reveal their intent because at that time there was already big surveillance in the villages. So they were being watched. So they said, "Lord, we have the government here in this village where we live, in this city, watching for us. How can we move?" And the Lord said, "My children, don’t worry. I will lead you out." And the Lord told them to leave at midnight.
When midnight came, they were praying. Even right to midnight they were in prayer to the Lord, saying, "Lord, please help us and lead us out." And this is what happened to that particular group, as my mother related it. Right at midnight the Lord raised a great storm. It was such a great storm that it caused a great commotion with much wind and noise. Even dogs stopped barking in the streets and everyone went into hiding. It was a big storm.
And then the Lord said, "My children, it’s time to move out." So they left in the darkness of the night, at midnight. And there was no KGB watching the streets, walking surveillance. There was nobody on the streets. The streets were empty. And they left from the outskirts of that town, they left quietly in the darkness. And the Lord was leading them through the night, because it was very close to the border. The Lord led them through the wild paths in the bush. The Lord was telling them to turn right, turn left. Because they didn’t know where to go. But the Lord supernaturally led them and group by group they all went into China.
Yes. But in spite of God’s working, in spite of God’s miracles, in spite of the presence of the Lord, there is always an element of man’s flesh entering in and trying to disobey and do his own will. Other groups went in safely without incident. But one group, my mother related, one group was being led by the Lord. He was instructing them, and the moon was shining but it was still quite dark. They were walking on a wide, well-worn path as the Lord had directed them.
Then all of a sudden the Lord told them, "turn to the right, my children." And off to the right was just a little path going into the bush. And they stopped there. And a couple of brethren said, "Well, why should we go to the right? This path we are on is very big and it’s very easy to walk on. We have children and our kettles with our water, and if we go through the bush we will be getting scratched and this and that, and it will be very hard for the mothers with children to walk." And they started reasoning.
So they said, "No, let’s go straight." And after that, of course, there was no more voice of the Lord. And so they went straight. See, they disobeyed, they just walked straight. Not long after that they came to a small, wet area, and then into a big swamp. And the two brothers who took over the leadership and rejected the leadership of the Lord, the divine leadership of the Lord, they happened to fall into the swamp and started sinking. And they cried, "Lord, help us!"
The people had to take off their shirts and quickly make a rope to throw them in order to save them from certain death. That’s what it means to disobey the Lord, when you want to go your own way and not the Lord’s way. So they got them to shore and they were all soaking wet. And people started to weep and cry bitterly, "Lord, forgive us. We disobeyed your voice and wanted to go on the easier path. Forgive us, Lord." And they were repenting and praying for a couple of hours, and there was no voice of God. Eventually, they really broke down, crying before the Lord. And then the Lord spoke to them, with a very stern rebuke and He said, "Never, never disobey the commandment of the Lord when He wants to lead you to safety."
So, the Lord forgave them and told them to go back to the point where they had to turn. So this time they had to turn left. And when they turned left on that little wild path, they found it led them around that big swamp. It took them around on dry ground, and then back to the wide path. The Lord knew, and wanted to lead them around the swamp, but the people wanted to go straight. So that’s how it is when people want to disobey his Word. Finally, they came to China. And, of course, there were many miracles along the way as they were being led. But, I will just relate a few and we must proceed on.
Each group was led differently, on different paths. One group, as they crossed into China, came into a little wilderness area which was a completely desolate area with just sand and nothing else. It was a literal wilderness area, just sand and no growth, no vegetation. So they came to that wilderness, and the Lord said, "Just walk through. Go straight." So they were walking on foot, the children were crying, the heat of the sun was burning, and the water in their kettles ran out. They were walking a long time.
Then they were crying, "Lord, we are exhausted, we are thirsty, Lord, and our children are crying. Lord, what are we to do?" And the brethren called the group to pray, and they knelt down. Our people were taught to pray kneeling down or standing. Never sitting up or laying. That’s to show that God is a mighty God, a King of kings. He is worthy of our bowing down, like our brother read tonight. Let’s bow down before the Lord. So they bowed down before the Lord and started to cry, "Lord, what do we do? We’ll die in this wilderness if you don’t help us." Then the Lord told them, through the Holy Ghost, "My children, go so many steps to the right and dig." So they obeyed the Lord, the brethren obeyed the Lord, and they went to the right as the Lord directed, so many steps, and they started digging.
They only had to dig about a foot or so, as my mother related, and water came gushing out. And they were praising the Lord and they were drinking, and then they laid back on the sand, and then they were drinking again until everybody quenched their thirst. They filled their teapots, and they were glorifying and praising the Lord’s name, that He is even able to supply water in the wilderness where there was no water. Only the Lord knew where the water was.
So praise be to his Name. He is a living God. The God of the Prophets and the Apostles in the days of old is still the same living God today in this twentieth century. So all those groups came safely into China. And the Lord led them into the same little town where they gathered together. And they were praising God there. It was an isolated mountainous area, but there was very rich soil there. And so they started to farm and the Lord blessed them mightily. They built houses, mostly mud houses with dirt floors, earthen walls, and straw roofs, with some poles for the roof. So it was a very simple dwelling. But in those dwellings people gathered daily for prayer. There were mighty prayers. Our people believed in prayer.
The secret to Apostolic success, as I read in my old-fashioned Russian Bible, was that the Apostles were in the Word and prayer daily. So, why has the Church gone to sleep today? Because the spirit of prayer departed from churches. The people of God will get busy with anything and everything, manmade programs, this and that, but not prayer. And then the spirit of prayer is lost and therefore you will find that God’s Holy Spirit cannot work because the Lord’s hand is moved through prayer. So the people in Russia and in China believed in mighty prayers. So when they prayed, they prayed in one accord, like in chapter four of Acts. They raised their voice in one accord and prayed, "Lord, help us."
So those were the kind of prayers I was born into. And as I grew up, then the time came that I came to the Lord in China. So I was raised on those prayers. Those were mighty prayers. And the young people would gather together with older brethren, and with grandmothers and with grandfathers in a room, in a simple hut. And heaven would come down, the Holy Spirit would come down and talk to young people and rebuke them and expose them and comfort them and reveal the secrets of their hearts.
Miracles would take place in those prayer times because God loves the praises of his people and their prayers. And so we had a period of revival in China because the Lord started to send this simple group of forty families into different villages, many of which were Slavic villages because many Ukrainians and Russians ran away from Russia just before the revolution because of the turmoil of World War 1 and the aftermath. So, many thousands of people ran away from Russia while it was free, before the borders were guarded. The borders were not guarded at that time, so many people ran away and settled in parts of China.
So the Lord was sending this little group, telling them where to go, and they were preaching the Gospel. And within a few short years the Lord blessed the church and they gathered the first harvest in China. There was about five hundred members within a few short years. The church was a mighty church, a praying church, and it was blessed by the Lord with miracles and signs, as in the days of the Apostles, even in China. So the Lord is no respecter of people. He seeks for those who want to see the face of the Lord, and He wants a living faith, which is willing to obey the Lord.
So the Lord was doing mighty things in China. From 1932 on, they were going to the villages witnessing. The central group was in that town where the Lord had led them. Even though there were some little groups in different villages, the mother church, so to speak, was in that town the Lord had originally brought them to. So, the Lord was blessing his people. But of course at that time the people were walking in the fear of the Lord. They were walking in very humble obedience to the word of the Lord and in obedience to God’s commands and his principles. That was a church separate from the world, and from the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. Because it was just simple farmers, with no such temptations surrounding them as you have in America here. All this, what you call the modern age, the modern world - we had nothing like that in China.
People were just walking in simple obedience and trust, and they were just humble people of God, being farmers. And so that was just one group movement from Russia into China. But there were many other moves of the Lord. But I’ll just share one incident and then we’ll move on to the word of God so we can conclude the message.
There was one brother who was living across the Ural mountains, about fifteen hundred kilometers from Kiev in the central Ukraine. He was ministering to his village there. This was about 1932. He was a man of prayer. The Lord was teaching him. The time was coming for the great crush upon Russia, the confiscation, the killing, the shooting, the deaths in Siberia. So there were different rumors, that there would eventually be full control in Russia. So this brother was praying to the Lord, "Lord, you know what the people are talking about here. There are rumors that we will be persecuted and killed. So help us Lord, protect us and save us."
One of the nights when he was praying, the Lord said to him his name was Ivan, which means John in English - "My son Ivan, I’ll lead you into the country of China. Get ready for journeying." And the Lord set him a night. "On such and such a night you are going to leave this village." And the Lord told him what to do. He was quite well off because he had eight cows and two purebred horses. And to have eight cows in Russia in those days was quite a good farming experience, with chickens and so forth, quite a good farming operation.
So the Lord said, "You leave your house and leave your cattle, leave your purebred horses, and leave everything. And put your milk cow in your horse cart, harness her and put her in the horse cart. Take a couple bags of millet grain and some other food and leave this village at dusk, in the darkness. And leave on such and such a road." The Lord told him to take a side road out of the village. And the Lord gave the name of the village he was to go to next.
So, this brother was puzzled. "Lord, I have good transportation. My horses are good.." But, because he was a man of prayer and a man of obedience, he decided to obey the Lord. When the night came, he harnessed his cow. The Lord even told him the name of the cow. So he harnessed her in the horse cart, he turned on the lights in the house, he fed his cattle, fed his horses, and then he put his children and wife on the horse cart and he quietly left.
As he was passing through his village, people saw them traveling in the dusk of the evening and they said, "Oh no, we have another gypsy coming to our village." Gypsies would travel throughout all Russia. They were stealing, they were doing witchcraft, they were doing all kinds of things and begging.
That’s how they lived their lives, they never worked in Russia. There were many, many gypsies traveling in Russia for many centuries. So, the people thought this brother was a gypsy, because it was a common sight to see a gypsy traveling on a cow. Now, why did the Lord do this? Because at that time there was very strict control. People could not move in and out of their villages because the government was already gaining control over all the people. What they did in Russia was to slowly prepare the population. Each neighbor was told to spy on their next door neighbor, and to report what their neighbor says, and what their neighbor does, and where their neighbor goes. So each neighbor spies on his neighbor and reports to the KGB without knowing that he was being spied on by his neighbor too. They did it in secrecy and they offered them some reward.
So people were doing that and movement was watched very closely. So if he had left on horses, it would have been known immediately that he was leaving the village. Nobody was allowed to move without permission from the authorities, from town or from your village. And they experienced that same thing in China when the Communists came. You had to have four stamps on a piece of paper, and your reasons for going, and how long you were going, before you could leave town. And only ten kilometers at a time.
That was the same in China too, so I know what they’re talking about. So then, this brother left quietly. He was taken for a gypsy. The Lord sent him on a side road. And at midnight of the night he left, the KGB came to take this brother to Siberia because he was proclaimed an enemy of the people, because he was supposedly a rich man. So his property would have been confiscated that night and he would have been taken to Siberia and gotten rid of. Of those taken to Siberia, many were killed.
Some were needed for labor. Many rich people were simply shot; taken outside of villages and shot with machine guns or whatever. They killed many millions of people in Russia from 1933 on. But this brother had left and when they came to pick him up there was no man. The family had disappeared. And they didn’t know what to do, or what happened. The horses were there. Everything was there. And the lights were on in the house. But no man and no family. They were amazed. So they waited for morning and they saw the tracks leaving through the gate. They saw the direction he went. So they harnessed his horses and made a big chase along that main road. And of course, they were chasing for a long time with no results. Because the Lord sent him on a side road. And that man traveled to that village that the Lord told him to go to.
The Lord told that man he would take him to China. But, of course, he hardly had any education and he had no beautiful road maps like you people have here. He had no road signs, nothing. They had to totally depend upon the Lord. All he knew was the name of the next village. He knew that one. And he was praying each time, and he was praying at night; it was summer time. And they were traveling on the cow. And they would pasture the cow and milk the cow, and make porridge with the millet, and feed the children.
They praised God because they realized if they had traveled on horses, they couldn’t milk horses. But they could milk a cow. So, the Lord uses the simple, the uneducated, the unwise of this world, to confound the wise and prudent. And the Lord put the KGB to shame by simply leading this man out to security and safety, to China on the cow. When he came to the next village, which wasn’t very far, he prayed with his family, "Lord, is this China?" The Lord said, "My son Ivan, this is not China yet. I will take you to China." Then the Lord told him the name of the next village. And he just moved on. And the Lord gave the next address and so on. And he had to ask people where the village was. He had no map.
Russia had no maps in those days. So he would ask people, "Where is this village?" And they would point to the right road. And he happened to be moving south without knowing where he went. Like Abraham. Did Abraham know the address, did he know where he went? The Bible says Abraham left his country and didn’t know where he was going. So this brother was just traveling on, and before he knew, by the end of summer - it took him all summer - he had traveled from the middle of Russia to the border of China. And here is a disappointment. When he came to the border the Lord told him to move on and so he went on, by the direction of the Lord, very close to the border. The Russian border at that time was already heavily guarded, with German Shepherd dogs and constant checking by guards on horseback. So it was already an iron curtain at that time. It was severely controlled because they did not want people to leave. It was very strictly checked.
So when they saw this strange sight, a man with a family traveling in the direction of China, it was very suspicious. And so they caught him. They confiscated his cow, they took his cart away, and they made him a prisoner. And they caught some other people that looked suspicious to them, and they made them cut dry grass along the border for hay for their horses. So this brother was weeping a prayer at night, "Lord, what is this? You told me you would lead me to safety, you would lead me to China. Here I am, I left everything as you told me, and now I’ve lost my cow, I’ve lost my horse cart, I have nothing left, Lord. What is going on?" And the Lord was comforting him saying, "My son, cheer up and don’t worry. I will take you yet to China. Just trust me. I will take you to China." He was a prisoner. So they put his family and the others right by the border in tents, as a temporary dwelling place. And the men were made to work with scythes cutting hay, dry hay. His personal relative told me this story and there were many miracles along the way, but I have forgotten most of it.
But one of the days when they were working, fire broke out on the Russian side of the border. A big fire. Then the wind started blowing, and this dry hay started burning very quickly. And this fire moved onto the group that was working, and onto the tents. The border guards started to panic and run for their lives, yelling orders. The workers dropped their scythes and ran for the tents to get their families. They wanted to run to safety. But the wind was increasing in force and the fire was moving very fast toward them. So everyone started to run for their lives, with their children. And this brother grabbed his wife and children and they were running away from the fire. They were running and running and crying, "Lord, what is this?" And they just ran and ran. They ran for a long time.
Eventually, when they were exhausted and had run far enough away from the fire to be safe, they fell down in the grass, totally exhausted. They started to weep and this man said, "Lord, here’s my family running, and we’re in a desperate situation. What is this? Why is this happening to me? Lord, where am I ?" And the Lord said to him, "My son, this is China." He came to China. So the Lord deported him from prison into China by fire. And this man and his wife started to praise the Lord and rejoice and thank the Lord. And the Lord told them where to go, and so they found those four groups that had already arrived. Those four groups came to the same town. And so they joined them. They praised the Lord for his guidance and protection.
And so these people, these simple people, who believed and trusted the Lord and his leadership, they never saw the starvation in the Ukraine. They never saw the persecution and trials. They never saw their children being taken away. They never saw Siberia and all those things which happened to Russia. It was a drastic, terrible time in Russia from 1933 on. Many millions of people died. And also, the Lord saved them from the great war. And that Second World War took twenty million lives from Russia and the Ukraine. That’s a big number. Six million died in the Ukraine from starvation in 1933.
So whatever the Lord promised them, it came to pass. He delivered them from that country, from starvation and from those troubles, from the war, as He promised. And because there was no communication, there was no radio, and no mail going through to China in those desolate areas, those secluded areas in the mountains, they never knew there was starvation in Russia which took away many millions.
They never even knew there was a war until some letters started to come. When the Communists came to China in 1948, then the news came. There was transportation, there was communication; the Russian trucks started to come. Russia and China became friends. And so then the news came. There was starvation in Russia, in the Ukraine, there was a war which took many lives.
But these simple people were protected and saved by the Lord, led out from the area of calamity, and were living a very blessed life. It was a land of plenty because it was very rich soil, and the Lord blessed the fruits of their labors. Of course, they weren’t rich by American standards, no. They were still simple farmers. But they had their cattle, they had their milk. And that brother who lost his house, he built a good house in China and lots more cows and lots more horses. So the Lord returned to him much more than he lost, for his obedience. He would have lost it the next night anyhow. But for obedience to the Lord and his voice, he was richly repaid. Because the Lord is faithful and willing to bless his people if they obey his voice and follow Him.
I have just mentioned briefly some of what happened. There were many, many events, many miracles and situations that happened in Russia, that happened in China, that we were a witness of.
While our people were in China yet, before it became Communist, while it was still free, the Lord began speaking to us, "My children, China is only a stopping station for you. I will lead you out to a country of milk and honey. I will lead you out to a free country where milk and honey is flowing. And there you will meet many people who bear my name, but they do not serve Me as they ought to, according to my commandments. And you will testify of my power and my commandments and of my will for them." That is what the Lord was saying to our people as they were praying, that the Lord would be leading them out to another country. And the Lord also said that the government was going to change in China, and that there was going to be great trouble in China, and that his people should be prepared to move out.
By 1947 the Lord moved out most of those five hundred church members to the Philippines. They went from west China to east China, then to the Philippines, and then to Paraguay, and then to America. And most of the group left by direct commandment of the Holy Ghost to move out and carry on the Gospel. So they left. And about thirty families were left, and our family was one of the families that was left in China. And of course, in 1948, a year after the first group left, the revolution took place and China became Red. It became friends with Russia. And of course, then the same thing that took place in Russia started in China. In Russia it took sixteen years for them to become strong and to confiscate people’s property and to crush the people’s will. But in China it took a very short time. Within four or five years they forced the majority of the population onto collective farms, they took away all of the properties, and there were many shootings, many killings. If you had four cows, you were an enemy of the people and you were gone. They just took you on a truck outside the village and shot you. It was as simple as that. Life was very cheap in China and in Russia.
So, of these things we were witnesses, of what things were taking place in China during hard times. And of course the number one thing, as in Russia, was that they started to fight against God.
Because that was their main ideology, "We’ll build a happy society, we’ll build a new world without God, we don’t need God, there is no God." So number one, the first thing they started to do was to persecute the Church, and the faith of Jesus Christ. So our brethren were subjected to severe persecutions.
Most of the ministers were taken to concentration camps and labor camps, going deep into mines, working on small rations, being harshly treated, being beaten. Some of them were sentenced to life sentences. They said, "We will never let you go." But they responded to the authorities that God was going to lead them to a land of milk and honey. "We will not stay here, we will go away from here." And of course they were mocking our people and they said, "We will never let you go because you are in our hands, we will do what we want with you. We’ll never let you go. You will rot in prison. We’ll kill all of you, but we’ll never let you go."
But our people said, "We’ll trust the Lord, we’ll trust the living God who promised us, and He will lead us out." But of course, people had to go through very big trials and persecutions in China. There was poverty, there were rations, and there were very big needs economically. Most of our people were in very dire need.
They would receive 800 grams of oil per person per month, that was all you could get, and a very meager ration of rice. People just could not survive on that ration. But thanks to God, our people were in a mountainous area and they were able to go into the mountains and hunt and they were bringing some fowl and wild game. So nobody starved in China. In spite of the fact that there was starvation and death in the Chinese population, and the Turkish, and many other people. But the Lord preserved his people.
Our people were praying nightly in China. There were prayers all over town. That was a praying church in China. The brethren would often get up at four or five in the morning and gather for prayer and pray for a couple of hours, and then by eight o’clock they would go to work. And then at night their prayers would rise from town. They would gather in home groups and pray and seek the face of the Lord, "Lord, you promised you’d help us, you said you’d deliver us."
And the Lord would comfort them, and the Lord was revealing to them what the authorities would do, and what would happen. The Lord was, by the Holy Spirit, revealing the things to come, and the people were comforted. So eventually the Lord moved our groups across China by single families, about seven thousand kilometers to the city of Shanghai, which is about ten hours from Hong Kong by train, if you’ve heard of Hong Kong, that’s where Shanghai is. It has about eight million people.
Of course, at the time it was not allowed to travel. Not even to leave town. As I shared, you had to have four stamps on a piece of paper, where you were going, when you were coming back, and all those things, and you had to have your signature. You had to go through four different offices before you leave town. And yet, the Lord led our people out on foot and on horses, and then farther on by trucks and by train. And eventually every one of those who were people of faith, people of prayer, people who wanted to walk close to the Lord, every one of them left to the free world. They went to Hong Kong, and then they were released by the authorities, even though they were threatened. The Lord opened the doors of the Bamboo Curtain, and every one of them went out, including the brethren who were prisoners. They were released and taken to Shanghai and then released to the free world.
So our people came to a country of milk and honey. And yet it was only a stopping place. Because way back in China when my mother was fasting and praying, God told her that we would be in Canada. That was sixteen years before it took place. So we knew that eventually our family would be in Canada. We were in Australia for ten years and then we left in 1969 when the Lord told us to go to Canada. So we landed in Vancouver, we came by ship from Australia to Canada. There were many, many things along the way as the Lord led and miraculously provided and protected and saved, all across China. Because to travel across China when they watch for you and catch you and send you back and those things, they threaten to put you in prison, and they harass you. It’s a very difficult thing to do without God. But with a living God, all that was possible. Every one of them was led out to the free world.
This scripture I left for us until last, for our instruction and for our admonition. And for a warning also. If you read chapter 10 of Corinthians it says that whatever happened to the Israelites is an example for us. It is written to us who are reaching the end of the age, as Christians of a new Christian era. It says they did this, and they perished. They did this, and they perished. If you remember the Apostle Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit, related what the Israelites did. How they were into idol worship. How they murmured. How they fornicated. How they did the different things that they did, and they perished.
God says through the Holy Ghost, by the Apostle, to this Christian age, that it is possible, even being the people of God, that it is possible, even being believers, and being led by God, yet it is still possible to fall away. Even to the extent that your name can be stricken from the Book of Life. There is such a danger for believers. So then, what happened to our people when they came to the free world?
Their eyes were running all directions, "What a blessed country, what an abundance!" When you live on meager rations in China, on the verge of starvation - even though our people did not starve - but they lived in very big need.... when they only give you, if I remember correct, one meter of material for a whole year, that’s all you can get, everything is rationed, and you have great need. Then all of a sudden when you come to the free world, your eyes run in all directions, "Now what is this? Is this a paradise? Such a blessed country, such an abundance of things, an abundance of materials, food, you name it." So our people were real excited. And they started to build their houses.
They went out and got jobs and tried to make money and things like that. And slowly, bit by bit, those everyday prayers started to be less and less, and less frequent, and less frequent. And the church, as such, lost the spirit of prayer. And then of course, eventually, as the people of God became more rich and more blessed by the Lord, as the Lord had promised them... but the Lord did not tell them to do what they did. The Lord told them to still be engaged in the word of the Lord, to be a living witness and testify and share the Gospel with all those who are in those countries of freedom, the lands of plenty, that was the commission. But of course they kind of forgot the commission. They got caught up with the cares of life, of building good houses, beautiful houses. All of a sudden the house isn’t big enough anymore, so they’ll build a bigger house with more bedrooms, with more carpet, with beautiful ornaments, and before you knew it the sisters became very colorful, very beautiful. And before you know, guess what happened to the church of Russia and China in the free world?
I’m going to share very openly what happened. God commanded for his people to walk in all his commandments of the Word. So our sisters were very modest, walking in sobriety and shamefacedness in Russia and China. And I remember how my Grandmother was adorned. She was a very plain woman. She was dressed very modestly, in a one-color dress. And that was commanded by the Lord. She also had a head covering. And the brethren were also very modest. But in this country of plenty there is such an abundance, such a variety, such beauty, Babylonian beauty, that before you knew it, our sisters started to get more modern. And their covering moved back and back and back, and before you know, it was just a little fluffy thing left here. A net, a cap with two pins to the hair. And then one day our sisters eventually lost those pins someplace in a drawer, and the wind blew this latest covering away. Our sisters left their covering and our brethren loved the world, and before you know, they went into a very modern way of life. More or less equal to the Western world and the Australian and Canadian churches. They more or less mingled and mixed up totally with the world.
But what happened? The Lord was warning our people even in Australia and in Canada, "My children, you walk in obedience and my holiness as I have taught you by the Holy Spirit and by the Word. Walk in it and be obedient and repent." The Lord was calling our people to repentance by the Holy Ghost, by visions, by revelations, and all those things.
And of course, out of many people there are few that are still faithful to the Lord like the older generation. Our children are the fourth generation now. And as the generations went on, our people drew away from the Lord. And eventually what happened is, the Holy Spirit departed from most of our churches in the free world. The miracles and wonders have departed. The presence of the Lord, the sweet presence, the joy of the Lord, the joy of the Holy Ghost, and the manifestations of the Holy Ghost departed. The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit that were operating in Russia and China, they have departed.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon