Home Children of God Publications An Answer to Him That Asketh Us! (1Pet.3:15.--The Why's and Wherefores Behind WS's Letter to the Judge!)

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"AN ANSWER TO HIM THAT ASKETH US!" (1Pet.3:15) Maria #298 9/95 DFO 3016

--The Why's and Wherefore's Behind WS's Letter to the Judge! --By Maria

1. For the last three years our dear sister Pearl has been involved in an ongoing court case in the British Isles as she has fought to retain custody of her son, who is now three years old. It has been a long, drawn-out affair which has been very difficult for her and the other Family members involved.

2. During the 75 days that the actual case was being heard before the judge, witnesses from and for the Family, as well as witnesses for the grandmother (Pearl's mother) were heard. Most of the grandmother's witnesses were ex-Family members, many of whom have spent a good deal of their time actively fighting the Family. Among these ex-members were some who left the Family as teens, who, while testifying against the Family, manifested a great deal of bitterness towards us. Some of them had legitimate grievances, especially when they spoke of past sexual advances by certain adults, as well as unfair, harsh disciplinary action. Although some of their testimony is true, we believe significant parts were highly exaggerated, if not outright lies.

3. It hurts me deeply, though, to hear about what some of these kids claim to have gone through. If any of it is true, it is a reproach to the Family, and a reproach to the cause of Christ! We are supposed to be a Family of Love, but unfortunately, some of our people have not treated others in a way that they would want others to treat them. Thus they've violated the "Golden Rule" and the foundation principle of the Lord's Law of Love: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets" (Mat.7:12).

4. Throughout the case WS has been asked by Pearl both for counsel and to answer the court on various matters. Twice during the case the court has asked WS to respond on certain matters, so Peter has written to the judge.

5. Peter has remained in close communication with those involved in the case. He has done his best to answer their questions as well as to respond to the queries from the court.

6. Because it is a child custody case, it has been held behind closed doors. No one is allowed into the court except those involved, and no court documents can as yet be released to the public. The press has not been involved, as they were in Australia and other places.

7. Although the case originated as a custody case between a young child's mother and grandmother, it is apparent to many that it is the Family that is on trial. The grandmother has done all she can to portray the Family as the most horrific environment in which to raise a child, or to live one's life.

8. After hearing 75 days of testimony, the judge took a full year to write his book-length judgement. At this point his judgment is confidential, although he has said he may release it in late October this year. Although he has given WS leadership permission to read it, he has warned that if anyone leaks it, they will be charged with contempt of court and will spend time in jail. So we cannot quote from it or even say much about it. But I believe I can safely say that overall it is certainly not complimentary, and it is my prayer that the judge will not release it to the public in its entirety, as there is no doubt that those who are bent on attacking us, particularly the so-called anti-cult outfits like CAN, ADFI and others, would use it to try to goad the authorities in other parts of the world to take action against us.

The Judge's Request for Assurances from WS

9. As part of his ruling, the judge has asked Pearl to reappear on the witness stand to answer further questions. He has also asked her to have WS respond to a number of questions. He is asking these questions to determine if he can rule that the child can remain with Pearl in the Family. As it stands now, Pearl's child is a ward of the court, which means that the judge is responsible for his welfare. He wants to make sure that the negative things which different ex-members have testified of will not happen to this child.

10. The judge wants assurances from Pearl and WS on several important matters. He wants to ensure that the child will not be harshly disciplined or abused in any way. He wants assurances that he will be able to have regular contact with his relatives who aren't in the Family. As well, he wants to be assured that the child will receive sufficient education to enable him to carry on in society if he doesn't want to remain in the Family when he is older, and that if he eventually decides to leave the Family, he will still have loving contact with his mother. I want the same things, not only for this child but for every child in the Family, which is why we spent so much time prayerfully producing the Love Charter. These points are specifically covered in the Charter and I have absolutely no problem letting the judge or anyone else know that these are our goals as well.

11. In order to make sure these goals are reached, he is asking questions and seeking assurances from WS. Again, because all of this is confidential at this time, we cannot tell you specifically what he has asked WS, but generally, he wants some changes instituted in the Family child discipline rules in the United Kingdom so they will be more lenient. Of course, because of the Charter, WS cannot just change the child discipline rules in any given country. We have purposely limited our authority in this regard, so, in keeping with the Charter, the European CROs submitted a referendum to the Homes in the United Kingdom to vote on. The Homes there have now agreed to the proposed changes in the child discipline rules for those living in the United Kingdom.

12. The judge has also wanted assurances that various points regarding the education of our children, which Peter had written to him about in the past, were in fact happening. Virtually all of these points have been addressed in the Charter.

13. Another point he wanted reassurance on was in regard to our Ministry of Reconciliation and our openness to those outside the Family. He wants to know that we intend to remain open and that we encourage Family members to keep in contact with relatives. It is common knowledge throughout the Family that our Homes are now open and that we are neither isolated nor unsocialized. Family members are free to decide on the amount of contact they personally wish to have with their relatives, just the same as they are in society at large.

14. The last point is that he wants us to acknowledge that because of Dad's writings, Dad is personally responsible for any children in the Family in the past being subjected to sexually inappropriate behavior, that children were harmed as a result, and that Dad was therefore wrong to write such things.

Dad's Responsibility for the Family's Former Sexual Excesses

15. When Dad first introduced the concept of sexual freedom to the Family 20 years ago in 1974 with the Letter "The Law of Love," he did give some restrictive guidelines as to its use. They were, however, quite general and subjective instead of very explicit like our current rules are, which are clearly listed in the "Fundamental Family Rules."

16. With 20/20 hindsight we can look back and see that it would have been better to explain things more clearly. We should have anticipated potential problems and put in more stringent rules to keep them from happening, including prohibitions on all adult/minor sexual contact. By not having such restrictions in place, some people were able to act in ways that were harmful to others.

17. Because of the insight Dad gave into the Scriptures which granted us a great deal of sexual freedom, without clearly stated explicit restrictions that prohibited all sexual activity between adults and minors, it resulted in actions that caused harm to some children. He must therefore bear responsibility for the harm. Today it's easy to see that it was wrong not to put explicit restrictions in place earlier, but Dad didn't see the need for such explicit rules when he first introduced sexual freedoms.

18. In a prophecy we just received while working on this Letter, Dad said, "No matter how much good you do or try to do, it's inevitable that you hurt people, that you don't do everything right. You don't really see it yourself because you're trying to do the right thing. But as your life rolls before your eyes [after death] and you see it all, then you understand better, for you see as others see you. You understand their feelings, and it hurts.

19. "I do apologize to anyone that I hurt in any way, for I did not intend to hurt, but I see now that I did hurt others at times by my words, by my actions. I never intended to harm, but I have learned that what one intends is not always the outcome.

20. "So go ahead and show that I should have been wiser, so that you can carry on and move on and move forward. Our folks will just have to learn to accept that everyone has clay feet. There is none righteous, no, not one; only God is righteous. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But that just goes to show you how much credit the Lord gets for all the good." (Mama:) Dad is obviously sorry for any harm that was caused to anyone.

21. Some young people were hurt by inappropriate sexual behavior on the part of adults, and in 1986 he and I moved to ban all such conduct. We were firm and explicit in banning it, making it an excommunicable offense. In 1988, Dad went as far as to say he renounced all literature, including his own, that indicated in any way that sexual activity with minors was permissible. He clearly stated that any sexual activity between an adult and a minor was not to be tolerated and was grounds for immediate excommunication.

Dad's 1988 Renouncement of any Lit that Condoned Sex with Minors

22. In 1988 in our statement entitled "Child Abuse?!" Dad wrote, "We do not approve of sex with minors, and hereby renounce any writings of anyone in our Family which may seem to do so! We absolutely forbid it!" Let's take a closer look at this statement:

23. First let's start with, "We do not approve of sex with minors." The definition of "approve" is "to consider right or good; think or speak favorably of." A second definition is "to consent to, officially or formally; to confirm or sanction." So this first part of Dad's sentence is in effect saying, "We do not consider it right or good, we do not think or speak favorably of, we do not officially or formally consent to, nor confirm, nor sanction sex with minors."

24. Okay, let's examine the next part of the sentence, which reads, "and hereby renounce any writings of anyone in our Family which may seem to do so." The definition of "hereby" is "from this fact or circumstance; as a result of this." The definition of "renounce" is "to reject; disown; to abandon or give up (a belief or opinion) by open profession." The next word, "any," means "without limitation as to which, and thus every one of them." The definition of "seem" is "to appear to be." So this second part of the sentence is saying, "As a result of the fact that we do not approve of sex with minors, I reject, disown, abandon and give up by open profession every single writing of any person in the Family which may appear to approve of it."

25. The last sentence says, "We absolutely forbid it!" The word "absolutely" is defined as "without condition or limitation; unconditionally, unreservedly." The definition of "forbid" is, "to command a person or persons not to do, have, use, or indulge in something." So this sentence says, "Without condition or limitation, we command Family members not to indulge in sex with minors."

26. When you put it all together it states: "We do not consider it right or good, we do not think or speak favorably of, nor do we officially [or unofficially] consent to, confirm or sanction sex with minors. As a result of this fact, I reject, disown, abandon and give up by open profession every single writing of any person in the Family which may appear to approve of it. Without condition or limitation, we command the Family not to indulge in sex with minors."

27. I don't think that Dad could have made it any more clear than that! And then to back it up, he made it an excommunicable offense, and it very explicitly remains so in the Charter. Based on his renunciation of such Family literature, he approved of our lit purges, which expunged all such literature, no matter who it was written by, including his own. So, folks, you can see that Dad was quite determined to not only stop any and all sexual activity between adults and minors, he also wanted all lit destroyed which in any way alluded to it.

Peter's Letter to the Judge

28. The judge in the British case wants to make sure the Family is a safe environment for Pearl's son to be raised in. I do too, and I am absolutely convinced that the Family is a very safe environment, not only for Pearl's son, but for all of our children. But as I said, the judge asked Peter to respond to his questions and make assurances, which Peter wrote, along with the help of Apollos and others. I believe it is a well-presented letter which addresses and answers the judge's questions. We are presenting this letter to you in this GN so that you will know what we have told the court.

29. Of course, you know me!--I wouldn't make such a move without first seeking the Lord and asking Him for a confirmation that this letter to the judge is of Him and that the presentation reflects His will. In addition, I wanted to hear Dad's confirmation from the Spirit World since the questions were about him. For this reason, we brought the matter before the Lord on a number of occasions, both before writing the letter and afterwards. There were numerous prophecies, but since they would be too long to include in their entirety, I thought we could give you some excerpts of the things the Lord and Dad said to us.

30. I was especially encouraged to hear the Lord confirm that we were doing the right thing in answering the judge, and that our answers were of Him. He promised to lead us as we decided how to present our answers.

"Bending," but not Breaking!

31. Upon initially hearing that the judge was asking us to answer his questions, we brought the matter before the Lord, seeking His guidance. He said, "You say unto Me, 'What can we do?' I say unto you, you can bend, but you cannot break! For as the wind blows, the tree can bend. But it must not break, for when it breaks, it loses life. So you can bend here and you can bend there, but you must not break.

32. "Then trust Me for the outcome. I say unto you, trust Me for the outcome! Go forth not knowing, but know in your hearts that I do all things well. Do not look at the waves or the wind, or the seeming outcome, but just trust Me. Trust Me in the darkness, that you may see the light." (End of prophecy.)

33. (Mama:) As you will see when reading the next prophecy from Dad, he indicates that bending is putting blame on him, while breaking would be to deny the Law of Love. Of course we understand, and have made it quite clear that the Law of Love does not include adult sexual contact with children.

34. (Dad speaking:) "Some of the things I did and said surely stirred up trouble. But I did the very best I could. I truly did the best I could. My only desire was to give His Words and His Truth, to give love to others.

35. "That was my goal. That's what I tried to attain. That was my mission, that was my heart's desire, to give love--His Love, His Words, His messages. As imperfect as I was, that's what I tried to do. I knew I fell short, and that discouraged me sometimes, but in spite of that, I kept trying to just give what He gave to me to give to you.

36. "Don't be afraid to put some of the blame on me. I don't mind. I know there are sometimes things you have to do that you don't really want to do, but sometimes you just have to do them, and this is one of them. But don't be afraid, these things will work together for good!

37. "Don't deny the Truth, don't deny the Truth-Giver, and don't deny the messenger. But if you have to poke a little at the messenger, some of the faults and failings, and point some blame here and there, don't worry about it! There are lots of things I could've done better, and boy, if I had known then what I know now, there are things I would've done differently. I think I would've even listened more to you and to your counsel. But we made a good team! We did what we could do, got as far as we got, and then the Lord took me Home!

38. "So don't worry that you've got to bend like this. Yes, I know it's a little uncomfortable and it hurts and you don't like to do it, and it really goes against your nature. But you've got to do it, so do it!

39. "You're not denying the Truth, you're not denying the Lord, and you're not denying all that He gave through me to give to you! You're just acknowledging that I was a man, and that the Family is made up of sinful people, just like the world. Nobody's perfect. But the Truth is still the Truth, so don't deny that. Keep giving the Word, keep preaching the Word, keep living the Word, keep strong on the Foundation, rooted in it, stablished in it, strengthened in it!" (End of prophecy.)

40. (Mama:) As Dad pointed out above, he tried to do the best he could to be a faithful messenger of God's Words, but like everyone, he fell short sometimes, which was discouraging for him. That's just how Dad was, he would get discouraged when he felt that he had failed to live up to what the Lord expected of him. He went on to say that it was OK to put some of the blame on him for things that went wrong, that he wasn't perfect, he had faults and failings like we all do. As we pointed out above, bending is putting blame on Dad and breaking would be to deny the Law of Love.

41. Many of those outside the Family misunderstand the Law of Love. They strongly criticize it, and think it deals only with sex. They don't seem to understand that this principle governs more than just our sex lives, it governs every aspect of our lives. Back in 1977 Dad said that the Law of Love was the foundation principle of our entire religion, not just of our sex lives. In fact, he said that this belief in the grace of God given through the Law of Love was the cornerstone of every Christian's religion. He wrote:

42. "We believe Jesus is the Son of God, a sort of picture of God Himself, and in His salvation through His Law of Love! When Jesus came, He abolished all other laws but Love! He gave only one law which fulfills all the laws of the Bible, both old and new, and that is Love!--For God and fellow man!

43. "This is our specific religion and the religion of every Christian who truly believes in the Love of God in Jesus and the Bible! We are Christians and we believe in the religion of Jesus Christ, His Law of Love! We believe in the Bible, God, Jesus and Love--because God is Love! (1John 4:8). Jesus preached Love, and when asked what the greatest law was, He said God's only law now was Love. 'Love God ... and love thy neighbor as thyself! ... In these are all the law and all the prophets!' (Matthew 22:37-40)." (From "Our Answers to the Daily News!" ML #633, 11/77.)

44. We've made it quite clear in the Charter that the basis of our beliefs regarding the Law of Love are the above Words of Jesus. These Scriptures are the foundation for our Law of Love doctrine, just as they are the basis for all other Christians' faith. We try to apply the Law of Love to all of our actions, and try to show love and kindness in all we do. Of course, unlike most other Christians, we feel that God's Word grants us freedoms in our sexual lives as well.

45. Within those freedoms we believe that it is acceptable for consenting adults to have sexual fellowship without sin, providing it is done in love and in accordance with what we have laid out in the Charter--principles which were originally given in the Letters. We do not believe, however, that these freedoms extend to adults having sexual contact with minors, as is evidenced by our rules against it.

46. In the above prophecies the Lord is telling us not to deny the Law of Love, which of course we can't, as to do so would be denying Jesus' words to love our neighbors as ourselves. And I believe He also wants us to make it very clear that the liberties we are granted under the Law of Love do not include sex with minors, that to have sex with minors is wrong.

How We Initially Handled (and Mishandled) the Law of Love

47. The Lord revealed to Dad that through God's Law of Love we can enjoy freedoms that most other Christians can't, because they do not have the faith for it, "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom.14:23). Because of the Word we've received on the subject, we do have the faith that sexual fellowship between consenting adults is perfectly okay in the sight of God, providing it is done in accordance with the rules of the Law of Love, which we have now very clearly outlined in the Love Charter.

48. There was a time when those rules, or boundaries, were not as clear-cut as they are today. In fact, they were more along the lines of very general guidelines 20 years ago when the revelation that we could enjoy sexual fellowship with one another was first given. In time Dad did say that any sexual activity out of the norm of marital relationships needed to have the approval of the Home's leadership. But later, in 1978, when the RNR was declared, Dad made it clear that everyone was free to exercise their faith in regard to sexual sharing with one another, that they no longer needed leadership's permission.

49. In some Homes and areas this led to quite a wild time, with a lot of sexual activity amongst the adults. It was a time when there was virtually no leadership except Home shepherds. The Family received the Letters and applied them as they saw fit, without any oversight. During this era, a great deal of sexual freedom was taken, and because of immaturity, some were hurt through selfishness, lack of love, inconsideration, etc. This is a case where, with 20/20 hindsight, we see that some stricter guidelines would have prevented such hurt, or at least much of it. Unfortunately, there weren't stricter guidelines in place at that time.

50. It was during this period that Dad wrote Letters which removed other barriers as well. He explored the possibility that a mild degree of male with male sexual activity, i.e. masturbation, between adult men could be allowed under the Law of Love, as he explained in the Letter "Homos" (ML #719). In a few cases some Family men entered into such activity. When Dad saw that the fruit of such freedom was not good he rescinded that freedom (ML #792:48-52). The Letter "Homos" has since been withdrawn, and such activity is now excommunicable.

51. It was also during this time that lit was published that challenged the barriers between adult/minor sexual contact, opening the door to some members crossing over that barrier. As mentioned earlier, all such lit was eventually renounced by Dad and withdrawn from our Homes. If we had known then what we know now, we would not have published this material.

Hurtful Behavior Was Never Intended, and Is Apologized for

52. In 1986 after some of our young people complained about some adult sexual contact, Dad and I slammed the door on any and all such activity by making it an excommunicable offense. Our young people, our children, are very precious to us and we do not want to do anything at all that could possibly hurt or harm them. Again, in 20/20 hindsight, we should have had rules in effect much earlier that would have prevented any of our children from being hurt. We are sorry that we didn't and we're truly sorry if any of you young people were hurt as a result of it.

53. We regret that more restrictions, guidelines and safeguards were not in place during the Family's sexually freewheeling era of 1978 through the early eighties. So to anyone, young person or adult, who due to Dad or the Family's exploration of the Law of Love, feels that they were subjected to inappropriate sexual behavior of any kind, we sincerely apologize.

54. Also, we apologize to any of you young people who may have been harshly and unlovingly disciplined in the past. We have heard a number of testimonies of past excessive corporal punishment, prolonged "silence restriction" and/or isolation, as well as other means of discipline which some of you experienced, and we want to say that it pains us to hear such things. It was wrong, and we are truly sorry that any of you received any such treatment.

55. We've made it clear in a number of Letters, as well as in the Love Charter, that sexual or physical abuse of any kind are absolutely disallowed in the Family today. If you feel you suffered either of these in the past, we ask you to please accept our apologies. We have prayed and asked the Lord to forgive us for not doing more in the past to prevent any such behavior, and we ask you to forgive us too.

56. To any Family member or ex-Family member who feels he or she has suffered because of the effects of Dad's and the Family's exploration of the Law of Love, or for any mistreatment of any kind, by anyone, we say we are truly sorry and ask for your forgiveness.

Addressing and Dealing with Problems from the Past

57. We are thankful that most of our members today have successfully dealt with any past mistreatment. They have been able to face and deal with their hurts or resentment or ill feelings by counseling with their parents or competent shepherds and through prayer and forgiveness.

58. However, if you have past hurts or grievances which you have been unable to resolve, we want to encourage you to please speak up about it by sharing your heart with your parents or a good shepherd in your Home or area, someone that you feel comfortable honestly and openly communicating with.

59. And you parents and shepherds, if your children or anyone in your Home or area expresses a desire to talk with you about such matters, we implore you to be as open and understanding of them as possible, in no way being critical, condemning or demeaning. If someone entrusts you with hearing about anything of this nature, it's your responsibility to handle their heart gently, lovingly and carefully, letting them talk it out, and then counseling and praying with them afterwards. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal.6:2).

60. So if any of you young people or adults were harmed by any past activities, sexual, disciplinary, or otherwise, and you are bothered or burdened by any such experiences, we want to do what we can to help you "lay aside the weights" from the past. If you don't feel comfortable sharing your heart with your parents or shepherds, we encourage you to please write your CROs about it, and they will do what they can to help you. Or if necessary, you can write to Peter and me.

61. Similarly, we have received reports that some of you TS brethren were handled roughly or unlovingly when you were transferred to TS status. As we have said before, we are very sorry to hear about such instances, and ask you, once again, to please accept our apology on behalf of the Family. If you feel you were mistreated and haven't been able to resolve it and you wish to get it off your heart, then please write your CROs or us about it.

62. Likewise, if any of you ex-members who may be reading this have had negative sexual experiences while with us, or you were treated unlovingly or harshly, either before or after you left the Family, we are sorry. Our goal is to be the Lord's Family of Love, so if you suffered unloving treatment from any Family member, we ask you to please forgive us. The Lord has been teaching us all a lot about how important it is that we are loving and kind with one another. As a Family, we are asking Him to help us to love Him and others more, for, without love we have nothing! So if we failed you in not being loving enough, please forgive us.

63. In a recent prophecy Dad said he too is making amends for things that went wrong. He said this apology is "my way of making amends for some of the wrongs that did happen. It's just that simple! Some things did go wrong. Some went too far, some did things they shouldn't have done; even I went too far sometimes. I got too angry, too upset. I was too definite, too extreme. Not always, sometimes you needed it, but sometimes it was so." (Mama: In an earlier prophecy Dad also said, "I was too impatient. I expected too much sometimes. I was upset when people didn't deliver.") "This is an opportunity to repair some of those things that we should have done differently. For there are some that are hurting, and you can repair it."

Why Dad Initially Failed to Impose Needed Sexual Restrictions

64. I've already explained that Dad ultimately bears responsibility, as he was the one who should have put stronger rules in place from the beginning. As the old saying about leadership goes, "The buck stops here." When you are the leader, you get the blame, as well as the credit. Like Dad said in "So You Want to Be a Leader," "You'd better enjoy being a buck private while you can--with very little worry or responsibility, credit or blame, cursing or fame. One of these days, you may be the general and have most of the work and nearly all the worry--and usually, all the blame! Just be a good follower, and be thankful that you don't have to do the leading, make the decisions, carry the burden of the responsibility, and suffer the blame!" (ML #31:19,20).

65. I lived with Dad for 25 years and knew him better than anyone else did. He had his shortcomings and sometimes made mistakes, but I know that Dad never intended to harm nor wanted harm of any kind to come to any member of our dear Family. He loved the Lord and the Family with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, and would do anything for both. He also believed that for the most part all Family members felt the same about the Lord and the Family as he did.

66. So when the Lord revealed to him the sexual freedoms granted under the Law of Love, his hope was that Family members would understand the principles of loving and even sacrificial sharing, and would therefore be motivated by loving concern for others. Sadly, this wasn't always the case. Therefore, as the author of the Letters, he accepts the blame, but this doesn't mean that everyone else is completely blameless.

67. Anyone who attempted to use the Law of Love to justify any unloving, selfish or hurtful behavior is responsible before God for it. Throughout the years, especially in the area of adults sharing with one another, some people hurt others due to misapplication or misuse of our sexual freedoms. They acted in lust instead of love, their motives were selfish and unloving, and as such, they weren't following the primary guidelines given for the Law of Love.

"Be Ye Doers of the Word!"

68. This next portion of prophecy points out that even if people don't use God's Word the way He intended it to be used, He still has to give it, as those who receive it and use it benefit by it.

69. (Jesus speaking:) "The Words that I spoke were pure Words full of Truth, for they are My Words straight from Me that revealed to you the Truth of Heaven, the Truth of the Spirit, the Truth of Love. These are pure Words and these are Holy Words, and these are Words that have brought forth great fruit in the lives of many.

70. "But there are those who walked in sin, who perceived not the love of this Truth. These have done damage, for they have hurt others and have cast doubt upon the veracity of My Truth, just as all Christians who do not live My Words cause others to doubt that My Words are true. For they do things in the name of My Words, but they do things not in accordance with My Words, because they have not received the spirit of My Words.

71. "But what?--Should I have not spoken My Words? Should I have not had My prophets speak My Words throughout all generations because some would take the Words and wrest them, and some would do things in My Name that I had not told them to do? Has not untold damage and harm been done in My Name? Did I not know that this would happen? But still I gave My Words, because My Words, when received in open and receptive hearts, bring forth fruit. My Words spoken and written down have brought forth the eternal fruit of those who will live with Me forever." (End of prophecy.)

72. (Mama:) Unfortunately, this has been a blotch on the face of Christianity since its beginning: that some people who claim to be doing things in the Name of the Lord aren't really following what the Lord said to do in the Word. Those who are hurt as a result of this poor example believe that God has failed them or that the Christian way of life is unloving and unworkable, and that God's Word has no practical application or no power to effect positive change in someone's life. But the fault is not in God nor in His Word. What is wrong is the wicked hearts of those who wrest the Scriptures.

73. This applies to the Law of Love and our sexual freedoms as well. When people knowingly misuse the Law of Love and wrest it to satisfy their lusts, instead of applying it in a loving, giving manner, it causes others to question it, to wonder how it can possibly be a good thing. In some cases, Family members have acted unlovingly, and when they have, they have sinned. "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).

74. Besides the biblical definition just given, another good definition of sin is "deliberate disobedience to the known will of God." If you know that the will of God is to be loving to others, and instead you act in an unloving manner, then it's sin! If you know that the Lord has put down some boundaries to keep you from hurting yourself or others, and you cross those boundaries, it is sin. The following prophecy talks about this and about how the Lord sees these matters.

The Liberties and Boundaries of God!

75. (Jesus speaking:) "The Words I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life, and they bring forth life. The Words your Father David gave to you were life-giving Words, Words of My Spirit, Words of My Truth, Words that set you free from the captive's bonds, that set you free from the snares of Satan, that set you free from the clutches of this world. And whom I have set free is free indeed!--Free to love Me, free to serve Me, free to give love. But in this freedom, as in all freedom, there are those who take it as a liberty to do things which are in their hearts which are not of Me. Any time one does an unloving act, a harmful act, a selfish act, a hurtful act, it is not of Me.

76. "For I am the Creator of all things, and I judge the heart of man. I know the heart of man, I know all that is therein, so My judgement is just and true. At the day of judgement, the day when you stand before Me, and your life is reviewed, I judge by the act and by the intent of the heart, thus I judge righteous judgement. For I know the heart of man, and there is nothing hid from Me.

77. "So when you seek to do a thing, know that I see and understand the thoughts and intents of your heart. So in all that you do, be motivated by love--My Love, love for one another, love for Me and love for the lost--that you may be found perfect before Me, perfect in love.

78. "For some will be shocked to arrive Here in Heaven, to understand and to see and to feel the depth of My Love, for they have no idea how deep My Love runs, how broad My Love is, how full My Love fills! They have no concept. Even you, to whom I have given this great Truth, do not fully understand the depth, the breadth, the height, the width of My Love. The puny mind of man cannot encase the broadness and the fullness and the completeness of My love, for it is not possible.

79. "Because the Truth of God, the freedom of the Heavenly Realm, is too broad for the mind of man and for the heart of man, so are there restrictions put so that man can operate within the bounds of the heart of man. For the heart of man is wicked and evil. And though I abide in the heart of those that love Me, that have received Me, yet there is a constant struggle to yield to Me. So I have put the bounds on these freedoms as protection--protection of others and protection of self--that you, My children, can move freely within the bounds, bounds which are much broader than those who do not receive My Truth.

80. "For I have set wider boundaries for you to operate in because of your belief and your receptivity to My Truth. So can you move within these bounds in love without sin. For great is your faith in that you have believed the Words that I spoke to your Father David, and you have received these truths from Heaven. Thus I have widened your bounds, and you are free. You are free as children of the King to roam freely within the bounds that I have set--wide bounds. Whereas those that receive not My full Truth operate within much stricter bounds. If they cross over their bounds, because of their little faith, it is sin.

81. "The bounds that I have set, because I have set them, are the boundaries, and you are to go no further. For to go further is sin, for these are the boundaries that I have set. I have set these boundaries that these things would not be a testimony against you. I have set these boundaries in wisdom and in love.

82. "As I lead you step by step, so did I lead your Father David step by step. So did he too learn the need for boundaries. And so did he set boundaries for your safekeeping, for your protection. So stay within the boundaries of God and sin not, for he that oversteps the boundaries sins in My sight. For these are the boundaries of God, the boundaries that your David has set forth by the wisdom of God. Remain within the boundaries and you are free. Step without the boundaries and you sin." (End of prophecy.)

83. (Mama:) Isn't that an amazing prophecy? What a warning about doing all things in love, knowing that the Lord is looking at the motives of our hearts. As the Bible says, "Let all your things be done with love!" (1Cor.16:14). I thought it was very interesting, too, how He pointed out that the boundaries He has set for us are much broader than those set for most other Christians because of our faith and our acceptance of the freedoms that He offers to us. Because most other Christians don't accept these freedoms, their boundaries are smaller.

84. For example, because of our faith, we can enjoy sexual fellowship with another consenting adult outside of marriage, without sin. Whereas if a Christian who doesn't believe as we do were to do the same thing, for him it would be sin. The Bible brings this principle out clearly when it says, "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned [condemned] if he eat [or commits any other act that he's doubtful about], because he eateth [acts] not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom.14:22-23).

85. Although the Lord has given us in the Family much freedom, there are, nevertheless, some restrictions. The Lord says clearly here that He, through Dad, has set some boundaries for us. He goes on to say that if we cross over those boundaries, it is sin. What are those boundaries? The boundaries that Dad put in place concerning sex were:

1) No sexual contact between adults and minors.

2) No male with male sexual activity.

3) No sex with outsiders.

4) No sex with new members until after their first six months in the Family.

5) Any sexual activity between adults must be done according to the Law of Love.

These rules are all precisely reiterated in the Love Charter.

86. What the Lord is saying is that if you break these rules, cross these boundaries, you are sinning. He said these boundaries were set up by Him. "The bounds that I have set, because I have set them, are the boundaries, and you are to go no further. For to go further is sin, for these are the boundaries that I have set."

87. What is it that gives us faith? The Word, right? "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom.10:17). So if the Word gives you faith for something, like it does for us to have sexual fellowship with other consenting adults, then you can engage in those activities without sin. However, when the Word says that you cannot do something, then you cannot have the faith to do it, because you would be acting in disobedience to God's Word. So to cross the boundaries the Lord, through His Word, has set up, is sin.

Confirmations from the Lord on Peter's Letter to the Judge

88. Because we needed to answer the judge about these matters, Peter and I were desperate to make sure we were doing the right thing. We have prayed a great deal about it and heard from the Lord numerous times, each step of the way. When Peter met with Apollos and others to write the letter to the judge, we here were in desperate prayer for them. Once they were finished, we asked the Lord to confirm in prophecy that this letter was indeed what He wanted it to be. Here is some of what the Lord gave us:

89. (Dad speaking to Peter:) "It doesn't matter that they want to put the responsibility on me for the Law of Love, and they want me to take the blame for any misuse of the Law of Love. I've told you that that's fine. As I've always told you, the buck stops with the leader, and he is always the one who must take the blame and the responsibility. But don't worry, everything will work out just fine."

* * *

90. (Dad speaking:) "Well done, I knew you could do it! I counted on you--on your wisdom and your prayerfulness--and you've done well! You've worked well with your co-workers and you've counseled well.

91. "So don't worry, you've done well! You've been in tune, you've been prayerful, and you've been listening to my whispers and those of the many, many counselors who have been gathered around you. So don't be fearful. I know you feel the weight of the responsibility, and I know you feel like the buck stops with you, and it is wise that Mama has asked for prayer and asked for a confirmation, because the Family will need to hear these words of confirmation from me and from the Lord.

92. "To admit that there should have been safeguards and we should have done things differently--and if we had known then what we know now, we would have done things differently--is not showing weakness, it is showing strength! People who are sensible will respect you for it, and the Family will understand. So don't worry or fear about what you've written, but go in full confidence, knowing that I have guided and directed your thoughts and your words. I have established your counseling and your decisions. You've done a good job! You've done well! You've been wise and prayerful, and I'm well pleased!

93. "You've done the best you can. It's a difficult assignment, because it goes against your grain to have to publicly admit that I made mistakes. It doesn't set well with you, and you feel nervous and insecure, and I understand this. To have to admit that I was wrong and that I didn't do things as well as maybe I could have done is difficult for you.

94. "Don't worry, you've done a good job! Well done! I'm proud of you! You've really done it, you've really hit it! You've really listened and you did well. God bless you! Now go in faith and don't worry!"

* * *

95. (Jesus speaking:) "You have been given skill and power from on High in the formation and the writing of this letter. You have done your part, in which I am very pleased. Words have power and carry great significance. Though you may not see everything clearly now, the paths ahead have been charted by Me. And although you do not see clearly down the road, do not feel you are failing. One step at a time is sufficient for you." (End of prophecies.)

96. (Mama:) These prophecies did greatly encourage Peter and the others who were working on this letter to the judge. They confirmed that the letter is indeed of the Lord and His will. It is now our prayer that the judge will clearly understand what we have said in the letter and that it will help him understand that the Family is indeed a truly safe environment for Pearl's son, and in fact for all of our precious children. Please pray for this judge, as well as for Pearl and her son and all those involved in this case! Thanks! We love you!

Much love,

Mama

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Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family