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MAMA'S NEWS AND VIEWS!--Part One--By MariaDO 30463/96
1. I love each of you so much! You are so faithful, so wonderful, so precious! You are the Lord's loving Bride, each one of you! And all together, as a Family, you are it! I'm so proud of you! You are terrific!--And I'm not the only one who thinks so! Listen to what one academic who is writing a book about us said after visiting Family Homes and interviewing over 100 Family members.
2. He said that after all his traveling he would define the Family as:
1) people who change and revolute;
2) people with profound faith and spirituality;
3) people who not only believe in a literal Endtime, but who are living their belief.
He said that unlike other Christians who act as if the End will never come, our daily lives reflect our belief that the End is almost here. He also commented that of all the Christians he knows, the Family is the only group of people on this Earth who are sacrificing and dedicating their lives to witnessing to the degree that we do.
3. He explained that if he were asked to describe what the Family is in one word, he would say we are "Jesus" people. He observed that you cannot stay in a Family Home without hearing the Name of Jesus at least 50 times in one day. In comparing us to church folks, he said he knows many Christians who go the whole day without saying the Name of Jesus even once!
4. Since the Lord is our Husband, and since we love Him so much, then of course His Name should be on our lips constantly throughout the day! Thank You Jesus! We love You, Jesus! Hallelujah! Doesn't it encourage you that even with all our faults and failings, the Lord still uses us, and folks who come in contact with us can see Jesus shining through us? Praise the Lord!
More Witnessing and More Fruit!
5. Peter was reading me the stats that were pubbed in FUN 34, and I was just thrilled to see the progress that has been made in the one year since the Love Charter came out. It was also thrilling to hear the "1995 Annual Activity Report," which gave some of the highlights of 1995. I sure hope you read these and share them with your friends. It's wonderful to see how the Lord is using the Family to reach the world. He's using you--each one of you, no matter what your ministry, no matter where you are, no matter what your age or nationality! You are part of His Kingdom, and you are going to reap the rewards of the marvelous victories that the Family is winning throughout all the world.
6. Last year we averaged 77,700 souls won every month, a total of 932,401 souls won during the year! You helped that happen! We distributed 6.6 million posters, 397,000 audio tapes, and 141,000 videos for the year! You helped that happen! There were 357 new full-time DO disciples won last year. You helped that happen! You're doing the job! Don't let anyone tell you anything different! We're marching forward, winning souls and disciples, friends and supporters! We're gaining new ground, snatching it from the hands of the Enemy! We're on the move!
7. The year since the Love Charter has brought an increase in all forms of witnessing: personal witnessing up 7%, poster distribution up 48%, tape distribution up 39%, and video distribution up 18%! Our total lit distributed for the year was 13 million pieces, which was up 43%! All of this paid off in 16% more souls won last year than the year before! God bless you for a job well done!
8. That's not all that's increased! We had 62 betrothals, which is up 158% over last year! Congratulations to all of you newlyweds! May the Lord reward you with wonderfully happy and fruitful unions! God bless you for taking the step to commit yourselves to marriage.
Lots of Babies Being Born!
9. In addition to these betrothals, we had 338 new babies this past year, which is just wonderful! "The fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psa.127:3). Quite a number of these babies were born to you younger women--senior teens and YAs. I'm so very proud of each of you. Having a baby is one of the most satisfying and fulfilling experiences that can ever happen to you! However, it usually takes a while to get used to the idea, and at first, some of you don't exactly see it as being so "wonderful." But when you finally have that little baby in your arms, you begin to understand what a precious love gift Jesus has given you!--How He loves and trusts you so greatly that He has privileged you with being the mother of His little child.
10. I understand that some of you young people might be a little unenthusiastic about this news of so many babies being born because you are concerned about our single mothers. I'm concerned about them too, and I hope you who have single moms in your Homes are taking my previous Letters on the subject to heart, and giving them the help and physical and emotional support they need. However, some of you young people are either somewhat critical of single mothers, or you're worried that you're going to end up being a single mother yourself. I plan to share more on this subject in a later GN, Lord willing, but for now it might encourage you to hear portions of a letterI received recently where the writer, a young single mom herself, talked about how impressed she was with a couple of other YA single mommies she met. She said:
11. "One thing that is super obvious is that even though the YA fathers of these girls' babies decided not to be with them, either because they chose to leave the Family or they just aren't doing well spiritually, the Lord has given these young women such beautiful kids, and they love them so much and are such a blessing to them. It is so clear and obvious that God has totally blessed them with their sweet babies. Even though they have their trials about being a single mother, you can tell that they are close to the Lord and the Lord is taking care of them. The ones that I've met have such a good attitude about it.
12. "One sweet single YA sister who has two small children said, 'I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they (the children) are the best thing that has happened to me. I can honestly say that if I had a choice, I would do it again, even if I knew that I would end up being a single mom. The battles and the trying times and the difficult moments all seem like nothing when I think about how precious these little children are, and how privileged I am to be their mommy, and how thankful I am for the lessons and the changes they've brought about in my life.'
13. "The other single mom said, 'I'll tell you, this little baby is totally worth it. Even being a single mom doesn't matter any more, once you have the baby.' She was going on and on about how much she loved the baby and how she was so happy."
14. (Mama:) It is always encouraging to me to see how the Lord works differently in each of our lives, carefully and lovingly giving us what we need to help us learn, grow and mature. He has a plan that will make each of us into the vessels of His Love that we need to be, and sometimes that plan includes having a baby. You might look at young single mothers, or even young married couples with rapidly growing families, and wonder how they manage with their little ones, or how they ever got themselves into such a predicament. It might look like they've made a big mistake. But the above reactions are a testimony of the wonderful rewards of having children, even under less-than-ideal circumstances, and a sample of the Lord's grace and love! I'm proud of all you young people, married and single, who have trusted the Lord concerning pregnancy, and who are bravely and cheerfully raising children for His glory. Great is your reward in Heaven!
15. Of course, not all of the new babies were born to senior teens or YAs; the majority were born to you older mothers, who are real veterans, real troopers! I'm just as proud of you older women for your willingness to give birth to the precious children the Lord has chosen to give you. He knows He can trust you with raising them because you have been so faithful to nurture those that you have already borne, some of whom are now having children of their own. As Dad said about all you mothers, young and old: "All hail to the queen, the mother unseen, all hail to the mother of men!" We can't think of any better way to say it! You really are marvelous!
16. Let's not forget our faithful fathers as well! I have been very encouraged to hear that many of you young men are taking the "Go for the Gold" Letter to heart, and you're being very responsible concerning young women who become pregnant. In some cases you are marrying; in other cases the two of you have decided not to marry, for a variety of reasons. But even if you don't marry, many of you young men are going the extra mile to care for the woman and baby, either until she finds a mate, or at least until she and the baby are in a good, happy, stable situation. Thank you for your loving concern! I'm proud of you all!--And so is the Lord!
17. While I'm talking about single mothers, I also want to take this opportunity to say that I pray you are all doing your part to care for our single moms and their children. These dear ones are in desperate need of your love, care, attention, time, and help. Remember, the Charter says, "Special attention must be paid to the needs of single parents and their children, so that children of single parents are treated with the same care as children having two parents" (Rights of Parents, Point E.1, pg.37). Following is a very encouraging testimony of what one Home is doing to care for a single mommy and her children, and the lessons of love they are learning. God bless them!
18. "We just voted to receive a single mom with four children into our Home. The first time the possibility of her and her children coming to our Home was mentioned, it seemed like it wouldn't be possible, as we'd be too squished, so one of us answered on the phone that we were sorry, but our 'inn' was too full! Lord help us! However, after getting deeper into 'Go for the Gold' and rereading parts of it, we felt convicted we had not brought her request before the Lord to see what He felt about it; so we called a Home meeting to ask the Lord what He thought.
19. "Once we did this, He spoke very clearly that it would be a great blessing to us to receive her. We received beautiful and convicting prophecies and visions, and one person even received a vision of her crying and praying desperately because she didn't have anywhere to go! The vote for her to come was nearly unanimous, but we weren't sure that she still had a need, as by this time it was almost two weeks after the initial phone call. When we asked about her situation, it was an exact fulfillment of the vision of her crying desperately, as she had only two weeks left to find a place to go and hadn't been able to find anyone to take her! We were so convicted, but also so thankful that we had done the right thing, even if it was a little delayed. Now we are waiting for her to come, and we're happy that we can play a part in the Lord's plan for her!"
20. This is a wonderful sample of taking a situation to the Lord in prayer and being open to His leading, even if it seems contrary to your first impressions or your natural reasoning. I know the Lord will bless those of you in this Home for your sacrifice, generosity and outgoing concern. Keep following Jesus and He will never fail you!
Two Generations Get the Job Done for Jesus!
21. Another area in which we're making great progress is in the implementation of the principles of the PER, with adults and young people working together side by side. Our second generation is integrating into all facets and ministries of the work at all levels, including leadership. In our pubs units we have teens, YAs and second-generation adults working as editors, writers, artists, layout artists, typists, etc. Some of these young people compile and edit pubs like FSMs, FUNs, HOPEs, Power and Protections, WNDs, KIDZ mags and others. Others work on our childcare and educational pubs. Some are computer technicians, others scan books on computer, and prepare material to be added to our worldwide Web site. Others play an important role in childcare and home organization.
22. Our WS video departments, which produce material for both the GP and DO, are staffed mostly by our second generation. In order to give you an example of how much is done by our younger generation, I'll share some of what one of our sweet young people, who oversees the DO video ministry, had to say about his team, all of whom are young people themselves:
23. "Our light man and crew bellwether is 18 years old. He has stuck to his job even though when he first joined the team, lighting wasn't his first choice of ministry. Now he is not only becoming quite experienced, but he also has the burden for lighting and wants to continue with it. Our costume girl is also 18 years old. She is a super blessing and help. She has a real sincere love and heart for children. She is also beginning to get more involved with the pre-production side of things, scripting and producing, and is going to try her hand at directing.
24. "Our live-audio man is 14 years old. He is a pleasure to work with. He has been faithful in his work and proved himself to be very responsible even though he is younger than the others.
25. "Our camera man is 17 years old. He just recently joined the team. It's a blessing to have him with us, and already he is proving to be a good camera man, as well as a diligent worker.
26. "The set man is 16 years old. He has really put his heart and imagination into his work. We can always count on him to come up with something original and creative. He always goes the extra mile as well.
27. "The one who works in the editing and music production department is 19 years old. He is very faithful with the projects that he has been given, as well as having a burden to continue to make progress in the field of editing.
28. "Our mood music and audio sweetening man is 17 years old. He is quite a talented musician. What he does takes a lot of creativity. It is a difficult job, but he has been doing it with a lot of inspiration. There are other young people too who help with the secretarial and communications work."
29. (Mama:) Our GP video department is also staffed by mostly our second generation. In both the DO and GP teams, our young people work side by side with our first-generation adults to produce such beautiful videos as Treasure Attics, Family Funs, Fantastic Friends and others. Please pray for our GP and DO video teams as they are trying to get out a number of new videos this year, including four new Treasure Attics, four Family Funs, and "Countdown to Armageddon," an Endtime documentary.
30. There have also been other talented, faithful young people--teens and YAs--who have worked in the video ministry previously and have now gone on to other jobs or fields. So these departments have been very fruitful not only in producing the tools, but in training young people, as the two generations get the job done for Jesus!Isn't that wonderful? That's the payoff! It's really working!
31. Our audio studios are also staffed largely by YA musicians and technicians, working together with our older experienced musicians. Many of the YAs are trying their hand at producing new songs, some of which are now appearing on the FTTs, with more to come. Please pray for them too, as it takes a tremendous amount of work to keep up with producing FTTs on a regular basis, while also trying to produce songs for new GP tapes for distribution.
32. Nearly all of our CRO offices now have YAs and/or teens doing secretarial work, stats collection, NPC work, phone communications, etc. In fact, we now even have a second-generation adult in our Home helping with our administrational work. David, too, was a great blessing doing office work, letter writing, Home business, etc., before he went on to the high calling of front-line missionary work on a very needy field! God bless him!
33. Some of our LIMs have young people working as translators, typists, layout people, printers, shippers, etc. Most of the PPCs also have young people helping in various capacities, as do some of our mail ministry and media Homes.
34. The VS program is slowly beginning to be implemented, and over half of the new VSs are YAs or second-generation adults, who in many cases are teaming up with a first-generation partner. We've also asked the CROs to take some younger people under their wings to train them.
35. You young people are not only playing an important role in our administration, publications, video and audio work, but in our field work and pioneering as well! From every area we receive wonderful reports of you young people working together with adults in pioneering new Homes, new cities and new countries. You play vital roles in your Homes as teamworkers and department heads. You play a major role in a multitude of "consider the poor" ministries. You witness to drug addicts and runaways as well as to businessmen and governors. You march in where angels fear to tread!
36. Recently I received a report from one of our CROs which was an encouraging example of how you young people can work together successfully with the adults, and at the same time play a major role in the operation of your Home and your outreach. The CRO said:
37. "The Home I visited is composed of two couples, an adult single mom and an adult single brother (who is preparing to go to Russia),two YAs, four teens and 14 children (including five who are four years old or younger).It was beautiful to see the adults, teens and YAs working very well together in close unity. The adults of the Home have a very good rapport with the teens and YAs, and they have a good relationship not only shepherding them, but also listening to them and putting into effect some of the ideas and plans that they have.
38. "The Lord has really blessed them a lot, and in less than a year of pioneering this Home they have a lot of friends. They especially have a very good ministry to the young people, and they receive over 35 visitors every Saturday at their Meaningful Meetings, which are all planned and carried out by the teens and YAs of the Home. I participated in a couple of these Meaningful Meetings and I was quite impressed to see how well they were handled by the YAs and teens who sang the songs, planned and performed the skits, and took care of the sheep, witnessing to them and praying with them. It was very beautiful to see our young people in action like this."
39. (Mama:) A few months ago, a number of Family members attended an academic conference on communal living in the U.S. called the Communal Studies Association Conference. Besides interacting with the attending academics, they held a two-and-a-half-hour panel discussion in which three first-generation adults and 14 teens, YAs and second-generation adults participated. One of the older adults who attended wrote the following:
40. "The YAs are excellent Family representatives and very full of enthusiasm. They've got that 'it' that is noticed by all. It was very powerful to see our young people hold their own in long conversations with important scholars. After giving an overview of Dad's Homegoing and the Charter, the YAs and teens shared personal testimonies about their experiences in the Family, including highlights of their lives on the field, the decisions they've personally made to continue in the Family, and their perspective of growing up in the Family or being a Family teen. Quite a few shared about their current ministries, thus covering education in the Family, teen teachers, vocational training such as studio work, carpentry and personal evangelism. Some shared encouraging side-by-side testimonies, and they also talked about their reactions to the Charter, and other interesting topics such as teen dating, engagements in the Family, and lots more.
41. "Questions were constantly being asked in a real give-and-take environment, and the teens and YAs answered practically all of them. It was a very good sample of our second generation representing the Family and the way they're willing to work side-by-side with adults.
42. "As I was watching the Lord use these teens and YAs to articulate their interpretations of the Charter, their beliefs and convictions--and there were very pointed questions about this--it was a real payoff! It made me glad for all the personal time and pow-wows we have had, which have taken quite a bit of our time, as it's a constant shepherding challenge to know the balance with YAs in bringing them back to the basics of the Charter, emphasizing the need for them to hear from the Lord when making decisions, and sticking to the standard of discipleship that is outlined in the Charter. I believe the conviction displayed by our young people on that panel was the fruit of our desperately praying in the Home and going to the Word to see what is the right spirit and the right sample that we should give as Christians."
43. (Mama:) I'm really happy to hear about you young people standing up for your beliefs and for the Family, both to the outside and to your peers. I've heard a lot of positive testimonies of your holding to your convictions, of your taking stands for the Word and the Family's ways, of your following the Lord in the face of adversity and even criticism from some of your peers who have chosen a path of lesser commitment.
44. When you choose God's way and His will, you should never feel that you have made the wrong choice. No matter what others think of you or say about you, what truly matters is what God thinks and says. Don't in any way feel inferior if you are following the Lord and His Word. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about being sold out to the Family! Never be ashamed of Jesus or His Word. Some may think it's cool to be rebellious or to mock the Lord and His Word, but remember what Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).
Young People Sacrificing to Help Big Families
45. I want to express my deep love and appreciation to you young people who have been willing to sacrificially give of yourselves for others, especially when it means your remaining in or joining Homes which have very few adults or people your age and lots of children. Our large families desperately need help, and it seems that not too many young people are interested in helping them. It's understandable in some ways, as you are young and want to get out and try your wings. Many of you have worked hard in childcare or other Home ministries for years and you have wanted a change of ministry. My prayer is, though, that some of you will soon come to recognize that the Lord has gifted you in childcare or other "helps" and has given you that calling, and that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom.11:29).
46. Some of you have already heard the Lord's call and have chosen to sacrificially help our large families, and I highly commend you for doing so. God bless you for your love. Recently I heard about a sweet 17-year-old girl who went to a new city to see about the possibility of marrying someone there. The marriage plans didn't work out, but when she saw the need of the Homes there, which have many children and few adults, she volunteered to stay, even though she would not have much teen or YA fellowship, as there are only two other YAs in the city. God bless you, sweet girl! The Lord will reward you greatly!
47. I also was told about a YA boy who was invited to go to one of our WS studios. He had a real desire to go, but wrote them and said that he couldn't go right now as he was a very integral part of a Home which has 18 children, including two newborns, and only six adults. He knew that if he were to leave, the Home would have a very difficult time. Isn't that precious? That is sacrificial love, love that is not just in word, but in deed and in truth (1John 3:18).
48. After a prophecy session in one of our Service Homes for dear Joy, mother of 11 in Alaska, who has an advanced case of cervical cancer, one sweet senior teen girl got a burden to go help for awhile, even though it meant leaving her ministry of singing on the Houston TV show. That too is precious sacrificial love. Recently Dad spoke in prophecy about those of you who have chosen to sacrifice by helping the larger families. I'll share that prophecy with you a little later on in this Letter.
49. I am so proud of you young people! It's great to see you so dedicated, so willing to witness, willing to pioneer. But it's also wonderful to see you willing to work behind the scenes, be on Home teamworks, take care of babies, teach children, provision, shop, cook or whatever calling the Lord has given you, or whatever ministry He's asked you to undertake.
50. There is also an urgent need for support staff for some of our newly appointed VSs. In order to do their job, many of the VSs need help, especially with the care of their children. In our present small Homes, each member plays a vital role and no one can be easily spared. So in some cases, even if the VSs urgently need to visit Homes in their areas, they are not able to do so because the Homes where they live are strapped for personnel. No matter how urgent the need is for the VSs to travel, they will not be able to fill that need if they don't have someone to stand in the gap with their duties at home, especially to help care for their children. The VSs won't be traveling full-time, as they will be spending part of their time taking care of their Home and their children, and possibly even traveling with their children in some cases. But they will need personnel in the Home who can fill in for them when they're on the road. If you're interested in helping as support staff for the VSs of your area, please contact your CROs right away. Thanks so much! As Dad often said, "It's the little people who keep the Kingdom going!" (See ML #974.) Great is your reward in Heaven--and even here on Earth!
Stand Up for Your Convictions!
51. The majority of you young people are doing very well, you're learning and growing. Even though you make mistakes, like we all do, you're dedicated and a blessing to the Family. Unfortunately, however, there are some young people I've heard of who seem to do little more than complain about the Family. They don't have a good word to say about anything. If you feel that way, if you feel that more is wrong about the Family than right, if you are constantly criticizing and complaining about almost everything, then you should ask yourself what you're doing in the Family. If you're not satisfied, you can leave. We're not holding you here, you're free to go. In fact, if you don't stop your constant murmuring and complaining, you are in danger of being excommunicated.
52. The Charter is quite specific about this when it says members can be excommunicated for "the continual voicing of doubts, criticisms or skepticism, in a destructive manner designed to foster strife and schism (division), of Dad, Maria, the Word or the Family." (Offences Warranting Excommunication, H., Page 120.) The Charter goes on to explain that "criticism or inquiries of a legitimate nature for the purpose of seeking clarification or counsel, or voicing an objection, may be made, either in person or in writing, to the appropriate over-shepherds, Home officer or higher officers. Such criticisms are acceptable only if made for the purpose of seeking clarification or counsel, or voicing an objection."
53. As you can see, legitimate questions, inquiries, or constructive criticism are acceptable if made to the proper person, but going around criticizing the Family and the Word to your peers in a destructive manner is not acceptable. Those of you who are guilty of this should take heed to this warning and change, or you risk losing your place in the DO Family. And if the rest of you run into people who are continually murmuring and criticizing the Family, you should stand up for your convictions and point out to them that they are violating the Charter. Remember, if they're tearing down the Family, they're tearing you down, because all of you, each one of you, are what make up the Family.
54. Some of you seem to have lost your conviction to stand up for our Family beliefs, our values, the Truth. I've heard of cases where some of our young people have decided to leave the Family, and after leaving, they return to visit their former Home to brag to all of the other young people about their so-called "exploits"--the jobs they have, the hobbies they are pursuing, or their new boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.
55. These young people often mock the Family teens, telling them to "get a life," and try to extol the virtues of System life, drugs, and having a job to make money for themselves. They talk all about the things they didn't like in the Family and speak against the Word. From what I've heard, some of our young people even allow these people to come to their Homes and their recreational events, and allow them to mix and mingle with all the young people, and thus they can spread their stories to all. From what I've heard, not many of you challenge these young people with the Word, you don't insist that they leave, and they are then allowed to continue polluting those they speak to.
56. Now I'm not talking about those ex-members who come over on a regular basis for real spiritual fellowship, who are supportive and interested in the Family and the Word, but who don't feel they're ready to return to full-time discipleship in the Family. That's a different kettle of fish altogether. Ex-members who are hungry and are seeking fellowship in the Lord should be welcomed in the Home.
57. But why would you put up with those who come only to tear down the Family and what we believe? How are you able to sit there and listen to them extol everything that we stand against? Where is your conviction? We're not just talking about those who have left the Family either. I've heard of some people who are still DO members who are in pretty sad spiritual shape. When the Charter let each individual's faith float to its own level, unfortunately theirs didn't seem to float at all, but instead sank to the bottom! There have been some young people who are still DO members who have spent the last year doing virtually nothing but speaking against the Family, against our policies, against the Word, against the New Wine, against prophecy, against me, against Peter, against WS, against leadership in general, against the Love Charter, against just about anything and everything!
58. But the thing that upsets me the most is that those of you who are around these who are so discontent just seem to let them carry on without saying anything. You let them pollute others as they spew out their doubts, murmurs and complaints unchallenged. You seem to think that they have the right to just spout off to anyone and everyone about anything they wish, and no one can stand up to them and tell them off! How can you stand it? Why do you allow it?
59. Folks, we are not interested in having people like that in the Family! And after they leave, if they continue with that kind of attitude, you shouldn't want to have fellowship with them! Jesus said so! "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Mat.18:15-17).
60. A few other verses you should consider are: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Eph.5:11; 2Cor. 6:14; Rom.16:17).
61. I heard of a small Home in one city that was made up of several young people who were like this. They constantly spoke against everything, they didn't witness, they all had System jobs, and they sat around talking about everything they didn't like about the Family. When the new mailings came out, they mocked them. They didn't do anything for the benefit of the Family or the lost. People's comments about these members were almost always followed by, "Well, he is on his way out of the Family." Most people in the city knew those kids were constantly contravening the Charter in a multitude of ways, yet they would allow these problem kids to come over to their Homes and fill others with their garbage! The leadership of the area did not step in enough with disciplinary action against this problem Home.
62. Don't think you can just ignore people who are continually rebellious and disobedient, thinking that what they do won't affect you or your Home. You might be very surprised some day when you see how far-reaching the actions of such people can be if they're allowed to continue unchecked or undisciplined! If you don't do something to stop them and correct them and help them to get back on track, you may find them ripping off your sheep or your young people, and wreaking havoc in the missionary work you've labored hard to build!
63. If these troublemakers are members of your Home, then you should get together as a Home and correct the situation, or administer some form of discipline as per the Charter. If they're not members of your Home, but of another Home in your city, then you should report the situation to your CRO or VS. And upon receiving reports of this sort, you VSs or CROs should get in there and investigate the situation as quickly as possible, and take whatever steps are necessary to salvage the situation and discipline the guilty! Don't let the situation go on, or not only will you be shirking your responsibilities under the Charter, but you'll have a much bigger mess to clean up down the road! As Dad said in "On Guard": "It is dangerous to have people around … who are grumbling and murmuring and complaining and causing difficulties and disobedient and not subject to authority, because if you don't spank'm, God will!--And you're apt to have to pay the bills for it!" (ML #1377:1).
64. I've recently heard of another situation in a different area where two YAs had become TSers. The area leadership thought these YAs were only in contact with their parents, but they found out later that they had had free rein in most of the DO Homes in the city where they lived. When these YAs visited the Homes, they spoke openly about "what a blast they were having in the System." They were allowed to smoke while in the Homes, and apparently they brought System music and porno magazines into the Homes.
65. This is ridiculous! What in the hell is going on?! How can you parents and shepherds just sit back and allow this type of evil influence on your children and flock right within your own Home? Don't you see what this does to them? Don't you see how this undermines their faith and conviction? It says as plain as day in the Charter that smoking and pornography are forbidden. Also, according to the Charter, we are to "resist ungodly and unedifying influences in our lives. These ungodly and unedifying influences could be anything that pulls us away from the Lord or pollutes our spirit, mind or heart with 'junk food' of the spirit and hinders our connection with God. This would include the reading of unedifying or ungodly material, or the watching of unedifying videos, movies or TV, or listening to ungodly music" (Responsibilities of Individual Members, 1A, pg.1).
66. We have a hard enough time trying to keep our kids free from the influences of the System that they can't avoid coming in contact with through their witnessing and "consider the poor" ministries and their legitimate work for the Lord, but to open the doors and freely allow this type of garbage into your own Home is downright absurd! When you're in a spiritual battle, it's difficult enough to stay on your toes and alert so you can dodge the bullets from the Enemy and fight back. But in a situation like this, you've quit defending yourselves against the attacks of the Enemy and stopped going on the offensive against him. It's as if you've picked up his guns and begun shooting, not at your enemy, but at each other!
67. I understand that the CROs cautioned these Homes about the bad influence of these particular YAs and suggested they limit their influence and stop them from freely visiting the DO Homes. They also told them that if these YAs ever did visit, that they should be expected to abide by the Family standard (the Charter) while visiting a DO Home. The Homes did not heed this counsel on the grounds of their wanting to show "unconditional love" to these young people.
68. Listen, folks, this is not my idea of unconditional love! The Bible says that "the rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Pro. 29:15). We are to be kind and loving to those who leave, and be willing to receive them again into our fellowship when they repent. But that does not mean that in the meantime, while they're backslidden and wallowing in the muck and mire of the Devil, and spewing out all kinds of poisonous garbage, that you should put up with all their sins and evil influence, and let them do whatever they want in your very own Home! You can show love without forsaking your conviction! You can show you care without allowing their System filth to contaminate your loved ones! If they love you, they'll be willing to abide by your rules and behave themselves when visiting your Home. And if not, they don't deserve to visit! For goodness sake, even in the System many parents don't allow their kids' friends into their house if they are going to cause trouble and do things that completely go against their home rules!
69. Do you know what all that supposed "unconditional love" did for these YAs? Did it cause them to repent? Did it bring them back to the Family? Did it even help them lead a good sample Christian life outside the Family? No! In fact, it was later discovered that those YAs were using drugs, so they were excommunicated, and the Homes had to be informed in no uncertain terms that they were not to fellowship with those young men.
70. So you see, letting those backslidden kids (either DO, TS or ex-members) have their way and do whatever they wanted was not the solution. It didn't bring them closer to the Lord. They just drifted further away, and you can be sure that the other kids who partook of their sample are much weaker as a result! Indulging the sins of wayward kids or rotten apples and letting them spread their lies and doubts and bad sample around doesn't help to rehabilitate them, it only weakens the loyal ones, those who are trying to obey and do their best for Jesus. God help you to be responsible shepherds and protect your flocks and children! (For more on unconditional love please see: "Reassurance and Unconditional Love for Our Teens!" ML #2980, GN 625; "Braving the Winds of Change!--Helping Our Teens to Face the Future!" ML #2981, GN 625; "When Teens Leave the Family!--Don't Give Up On'm!--While There's Life, There's Hope!" ML #2942, GN 608; "A Caution Not to Compromise!" ML #2968, GN 626.)
71. When you find out that someone is not of us, that they have no intention of wholeheartedly serving the Lord with us, and that they just want to cause trouble, you can't simply continue to look the other way and ignore them or hope the problem will somehow just go away or fix itself. When you've done all you can to help someone, but it becomes clear that the person doesn't want to change or learn or yield, and they're determined to continue in their sins that are hurting others, such as murmuring, or sowing doubt, division and dissension, then it's time to get rid of them. As Dad always said, it's better to have an enemy on the outside than the inside!
72. I want to remind you what type of members we are interested in having in the Family, by sharing some quotes from Dad on the subject, as he has said it so well, much better than I could.
73. "I don't give a damn about numbers!--As far as spiritually weak and sickly, disobedient Family members who are no good to anybody, in fact a drag, in fact a danger! I'd rather have a handful of real fighters, strong and faithful and firm and diligent and obedient winners, than 10,000 failures! And that's how we got where we are today, because I insisted on people obeying God whether they liked it or not! If they don't like it, they can lump it and leave!
74. "I'd rather have a tiny Gideon's band of just a few well-behaved, serious-minded, genuine soldiers who know how to attack and how to fight the battle in a way that we're gonna win, than a bunch of lazy, loafing, uncommitted, uncertain cowards or traitors or dangerously weak members who are not willing to really work and fight and win victories for the Lord and the Kingdom!
75. "Like Gideon, I'd rather send 30-some-thousand of them home than have untrustworthy soldiers like that! I'd rather have 300 that can obey and behave and do what they're told, and trust God and have faith and do God's work and be serious about it and be willing to challenge the Devil's whole army and win a victory, than have 30-some-thousand who don't even know how to behave!
76. "Lord, You know we need folks who really want to be in the Family, who are willing to really sacrifice and who are really heart and soul 110% Family! We thank You, Lord, that You're making us a good Gideon's band that really loves You and is sold out whole soul for Thee and Thy work and Thy ministry to witness, win souls and win the world to Thy Love, in Jesus' name" ("We Are It!" ML #2222:81, 84-86).
77. (Mama:) Is that the kind of disciple you are? Are you a member of our Gideon's Band? Are you going to stand up for your convictions and not let others tear down the Family and your brothers and sisters? When praying about this problem, the Lord spoke to us in a very interesting prophecy:
You Are Your Brother's Keeper!
78. (Prophecy, Jesus speaking:) Are you not your brother's keeper? Are you not to care for your brothers and your sisters? Are you not to protect them from the snares of the Enemy, from the snares of the fowler, from the snares of defeat? When you see your brother or your sister being beaten, do you not come to their aid, to assist them, to stand up for them, to fight for them? When a bully torments your little brother or your little sister, do you come and stand up for them and fight?--Or do you sit back and watch them as they are beaten, as they are kicked, as they are pulverized? Are you not your brother's keeper?
79. He that stands by and watches his brother or his sister get beaten by the bully is the same as the bully, for he protects not the young one, but assists the bully by doing nothing about the beating. I ask you, are you assisting the bully, or are you standing up for your brothers and your sisters? Do you have the conviction to stand strong against the wiles of the Enemy, even when these wiles come with the face of friends?
80. How much do you love your brothers and your sisters? Do you lay down your life for them? Do you lay down your pride for them? Are you willing to lose your so-called "friends" for them? Will you stand up for them and face down those who bully them in spirit, who lie to them, who speak ill of them and speak ill to them? Do you stand by and watch and let it happen?--Or do you raise up the standard of God and stand strong with conviction of Spirit, knowing that you speak the truth against the lies?
81. Where are the shepherds? Where are the shepherds among you? Am I not trying to raise you up to be shepherds? Am I not trying to bring out the need for you to stand strong? Am I not trying to train you to become shepherds? Do I not put you in positions where you must stand up for your convictions? And when you are in these situations, what do you do? Do you become shepherds, or do you remain dumb sheep? When you see the wolves coming to devour the weak and the weary, do you sit by and eat grass and pay no attention?--Or do you rise up and fight against the devourers?
82. I am trying to make all of you shepherds. I am trying to raise you up in strength and power! I have given you the opportunity, I have given you the power to stand up, through My Words, through the Words of David, and I have made it very clear and easy to understand through the words of the Charter. You know what is true and right. You know what is the standard for all, as I have made this clear. I have made it so that if you see one that is being hurt or that is hurting, you have the right and the responsibility to speak up and to protect the weak.
83. But no, you say, "The shepherds must do it. We will wait until the shepherds take care of it." But I say to you, you are the shepherds--you who are there, you who know it's wrong. Look not off in the distance and say, "Oh, when the shepherds come, they will take care of it." For I say to you, you are the shepherds, each one of you, for you have My Word, you know My standard. I have made it clear. I have given a clear sound of the trumpet. I have put it down for all to see and all to know and for all to enact. When you see the Evil One come slashing and ripping and devouring, if you stand not up to fight against him to save your brother and to save your sister and to save the flock, then it is you who are at fault.
84. Be not deceived, for these that wear the face of a friend but speak the words of Satan are not your friends. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful workers of darkness! Have I not said to try the spirits so you will know that which is of God and that which is not?
85. When you speak with these in the gates, these that come in and speak to you of the glories of the world, the glories of man and of their own accomplishments, do you try the spirits? What do you feel in your heart? Do you not know that these have turned back and have turned away? And if you know it, why do you give place to it? Why do you let the stench of their words and the stench of their spirit permeate yours? Why do you let it weaken those who struggle? Why do you not stand up and rebuke them? Why do you fellowship with them? Why do you invite them in to your gatherings? When you come together, why do you draw them in? Do they edify? Do they bring forth the fruits of love? Do they speak the praises of God? If they do, then are they My children. But if they bring forth the stench of Satan, then cast them off!
86. You know the standard. You have the Charter. Each one of you knows. Therefore look not to the right, look not to the left, look not in the distance and say, "Where is the shepherd that will come to help?" For I call you to stand up with conviction! I call you to stand up at the cost of your pride, at the cost of your friends. For did I not say that I came not to bring peace but a sword, and that I would divide asunder even families? I will divide asunder even friends, for I divide between the sheep and the goats; I divide between that which is true and that which is false. For that which is true cannot dwell with that which is false, except to speak the truth.
87. There are those sheep who are weak sheep, who do and say things that they should not, who need good and gentle and loving shepherding, patience and longsuffering to bring them through. For they are weak, and they are battling, and they are weary, and they need strengthening. Care for those. Love them. Encourage them. Strengthen them. Be patient with them. Bring them through. Gently care for them and feed them. Correct them and bring them along, that they may be strengthened and that they may continue in the faith.
88. But there are those who are no longer sheep and no longer wish to follow Me, who have chosen in their hearts to turn back, to go out. These become conduits for the words, the thoughts, and the doubts of Satan. Pray for them. Try to help them. But if they refuse your help, if they choose not to yield, to change and to accept, then put a hedge between you and them so that you may protect yourself and your sheep. For as they begin to speak these thoughts, these words and these doubts, so are they the bullies who begin to beat upon the weak. And so are the weak affected and infected with these doubts, with these attitudes, with these lies. Move them out, cut them off, but do so in love. Do not let them devour your sheep. Stand up and protect them!
89. I talk to you--you who see it, you who are faced with it, you who know. I do not care who you are--if you are a little one, if you are a weak one, if you are a strong one, if you are a shepherd, if you are a sheep, if you are a driver, if you are a VS, if you are a CRO or if you are a new disciple. Whoever you are, stand up! For you are your brother's keeper! (End of prophecy.)
90. (Mama:) Jesus, thank You so much for that clear sound of the trumpet. Help us each to stand up for our convictions and to be willing to protect our brethren from the bullies of the spirit.
91. The above is a very important message, as the Lord is putting the responsibility squarely on your shoulders to watch out for and take care of your brothers and sisters. He also makes it clear that not everyone who leaves the Family, and then wants to visit and fellowship, is to be handled in the same way. He said, "Do they edify? Do they bring forth the fruits of love? Do they speak the praises of God? If they do, then are they My children." So if an ex-member comes for fellowship and they are hungry and their visit bears good fruit, is edifying and loving, then it's just fine to fellowship with them. But, as the Lord said, "If they bring forth the stench of Satan, then cast them off!"
92. Please understand the difference. We have initiated the ministry of reconciliation and we want to keep it up, as it is fruitful for the most part. We encourage loving and positive fellowship between our DO and TS members, and even with friendly ex-members. But this does not mean that we can allow wolves into the fold to devour the sheep. Like the Lord said, "Try the spirits."
93. He also made a differentiation between those in the DO Family who have problems and are weak and who need love and patience to overcome their problems, and those who are no longer sheep. With the first you should do all you can to help them; with the latter you should pray for them and try to help them also, but if they refuse to change, then you need to "put a hedge between you and them so that you may protect yourself and your sheep."
94. Remember, you as a Home have the right, through a two-thirds majority of your voting members, to discipline errant members by voting to place them on Probationary Status. If that doesn't help them change, then the same two-thirds majority can recommend they be placed on TRF Supporter Status, or vote them out of your Home. Please try to help them first, show love and patience, and shepherd them, but if they refuse help and continue to be "conduits for the words, the thoughts and the doubts of Satan," then you must take some action for the protection of your sheep.
95. Some people carry on in their problems because no one stands up to them. Sometimes they don't even know they are causing problems until someone speaks to them. So if you see someone heading down the wrong road, speak to them about it. If they are hurting others or causing others to doubt, speak to them about it. Do it in love, but do it. For in doing so, you may save that person's spiritual life. "If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Gal.6:1). After you've spoken to them and prayed for and with them, give them some time to change. But if no change is forthcoming and they are causing damage to others, then you must take further action according to the Charter.
96. People need shepherding. They need to see your conviction to stand up for the truth. They'll respect you for it. They expect it of you. Consider this testimony which I received from one of the CROs recently:
97. "We received reports from a Home teamwork member about a brother who had done some things that he needed to be disciplined for, so they wanted the VSs or someone from the CRO teamwork to visit their Home and take care of the situation, since they didn't know how to handle it.
98. "After being in the Home for a while, we came to the conclusion that this brother's problems were small in comparison to the problems that the teamwork, mainly the particular teamwork member who wrote in the first place, was having. There was a lack of shepherding in the Home, the Home was directionless and visionless, with the teens especially not knowing what they were there for. There was very little witnessing. After weighing up the situation in accordance with the Charter, we decided the Home needed to be put on Probationary Notice.
99. "I of course felt bad about doing this, but was happy to see the reaction, especially from the teens and the teamwork. They said it meant that they were finally going to have to do something about their problems and they couldn't just coast along. The teens told us that they felt for sure their Home would be put on Probationary Notice if they had a visit from the VSs, and that now that we had come, if we hadn't done it they would have felt disappointed and like the Charter wasn't working and didn't really mean what it said! Hearing this gave me more conviction to implement the disciplinary measures that are necessary when visiting Homes."
100. (Mama:) I'm very happy to see that this Home wanted the help. It would have been better if they could have overcome their problems on their own, but since they apparently couldn't, it was good that they recognized the need for correction. Our VS program is going to be gaining momentum now that some VSs have been put in place, which should be a help in assessing your Home's compliance with the Love Charter. But you'd better not wait for a VS visit to take care of your Home's problems. Like the Lord said in the prophecy above, He doesn't want you looking off in the distance, waiting for a shepherd to come straighten out the problems. He wants you to be a shepherd. He wants your Home to look to the Word and the Charter and to do all you can to prayerfully solve your own problems. How 'bout it? Will you try? I pray so.
Charter Infractions--Judge Righteous Judgment!
101. To have to judge people's behavior and come to a conclusion about whether they deserve to be disciplined in some way according to the guidelines of the Charter is a very sobering and difficult task. The Charter lays down specific rules, but it was designed with a certain amount of flexibility so that you can be Spirit-led in what kind of discipline is given and the severity or leniency of the sentence that is doled out when any of those rules are broken.
102. Over the last few months a number of situations have arisen in various Homes, in which teens, YAs and adults have seriously contravened the Charter and/or the Fundamental Family Rules. It has been difficult for those involved to know exactly how to discipline these brethren, as in some cases they have knowingly been disobedient, but were quite repentant after the fact. Others have disobeyed but have not shown themselves to be repentant, and instead have either continued to disobey or have loudly complained about the Charter and the Family rules.
103. I understand that it is difficult to discipline someone, especially if the discipline required is recommending they be moved to TRF Supporter status or even excommunicated. We felt it was important to bring the matter before the Lord to seek His direction. The counsel He gave provides further insight on some of the points brought up in the "Brother's Keeper" prophecy. Following is what He said:
104. (Prophecy, Jesus speaking:) There are those that sin because they are weak; they stumble and fall. They know they've done wrong, they repent, they're sorry and they find forgiveness. These deserve the least punishment that can be given, for they are repentant, they are forgiven. They have broken the law and thus they must pay, but just lightly, a slap on the wrist, a spank on the bottom, that they may know and understand and be wise in the days ahead.
105. But there are those who reject and who decide in their hearts to do those things which they know to be wrong. It is not because of weakness, it is because of rebellion, of rejection. These are not repentant, nor do they seek forgiveness, for they are in a state of rebellion, thinking they themselves know what is best. For they trust in their own arm and their own righteousness, and they are not yielded unto Me. They are My children, but they are unyielded children, disobedient children who listen not to the voice of their father, who follow not the leadings of their mother, but who are fully set and determined in their own minds to do those things which they choose to do, not listening to the counsel of others. These are a stench and a danger, and must be judged to the full extent of the law.
106. For have I not made you judges with wisdom and discernment, with love and mercy? And can you not determine the difference between those who slip and fall because of weakness, and those who step over the line because of willfulness? For I put it in your hearts to know the difference. And if you know not, you can seek Me and I will show you.
107. For I have mercy upon those whom I will have mercy upon, and those are they who are repentant. But those who wallow in the lies and the muck and the mire of Satan, of the System, in deception, and who invite others in to partake of this mire and this deception, these are they who must receive judgement according to the full extent of the law in the Charter, that they may be brought to their senses or brought to a decision. These must be disciplined, that others may also see and understand and fear--fear Me, fear to step out beyond the bounds that I have set.
108. I have presented this Love Charter as an act of love. Those who mock it and scoff at it and continue to carry on in their own ways, giving no regard, bring questions to the minds of others. They spread doubts and they challenge. They challenge Me. They challenge My Word. They challenge the rules that I have set down, the rules that I have set for you to live by so that you can live in love and harmony. I will not be challenged in this manner. For he that challenges Me in this way will find that I will take their challenge, and I will prove to them and to others that if they will not live according to the rules and the guidelines, according to the love that I have set as a standard, that they will be removed. For behold, how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity. And these that bring forth disunity, that bring forth doubt and destruction, that sow discord among the brethren, yea, these I will not tolerate!
109. So discern ye, discern between those who slip and fall because of ignorance, because of weakness, and those who are fully set in their minds to do evil. Warn them. Challenge them. And if they will not change, then enforce the rules that I have put in place. For I foresaw these, and thus set rules to deal with them. Move swiftly with these, that they may quickly repent or that they may leave, so that their disease does not spread and infect others. For these are not just weaker brethren, they are rebellious brethren, and their rebellion leads to more rebellion. Their rebellion leads to confusion, and brings forth doubt and questions. This is discord, and this I hate.
110. Be loving, but be firm. Give the correction, and if there is no repentance, then prayerfully move them on. Let all that you do be done in love, but realize that protecting your sheep is love. (End of prophecy.)
111. (Mama:) This prophecy gives good guidelines on how to determine the punishment someone is due, judging not only by their mistake, but also by their attitude. If you Family members are going to be shepherding each other and putting the Charter into practice to discipline wayward Home members, then you need to be very careful and prayerful that you take heed to the counsel in the above prophecy so that you will judge righteous judgment. It's serious business to vote to put someone on Probationary Status, or to recommend that someone be moved to TS Status. While you don't want to be guilty of being too lax, as in the case I mentioned above with the problem YAs who were allowed to continue polluting others, neither do you want to be too harsh.
112. Some people are making mistakes and contravening the Charter or breaking Family rules because they're weak. They stumble and fall, but afterwards they're very sorry. Such people do need to be disciplined, but because they're repentant, you can be more lenient on them and give them the minimum punishment. Even suffering such light consequences for their wrongdoing will help them learn their lessons and get back on track, and they'll be wiser in the future. Of course, if they continue to break the rules and show a persistent disregard for the Charter or the Fundamental Family Rules, they would need stiffer penalties. (For more on this, see the Charter, Responsibilities of Individual Members, 1R, pg.9, and Fundamental Family Rules, Offences Warranting Excommunication, 2J, pg.121.)
113. But other people who are contravening the Charter are not doing so because they are weak or because they suffered an unguarded moment, but because they've made a calculated decision to do wrong. The Lord indicates in the above prophecy that such people should be judged to the full extent of the law. So there is obviously a difference in the way you handle people who have made mistakes. There is room for mercy, tolerance, forgiveness and leniency. But there is also a time for stiff penalties.
114. So you'll need to prayerfully seek the Lord and ask Him to give you discernment. He describes those who are deserving of only "a slap on the wrist" or "a spank on the bottom" as those who slip and fall out of weakness or ignorance, but who are sorry and who seek and find forgiveness. But this is not the case with people who are not repentant, who willfully disobey, who refuse to listen to the counsel of the Word or others, who lead others astray, who sow disunity, discord, doubt, etc. Those people need to be disciplined with the full penalty. The Lord instructs you to warn and challenge such people, but if they won't change fairly quickly, then you should prayerfully, lovingly, but firmly enforce the rules of the Charter so they won't continue to lead others astray. (Note: In order to wisely apply the counsel in paragraphs 51-114 of this GN to teens, please also remember the counsel in ML #3018, "Loving Shepherding and Interaction--Charter Style," GN 661.)
It Doesn't Pay to Compromise for Gain!
115. Another problem that many of our Homes are having is compromising for gain. You ask, how are we doing that?! You're doing that if you are allowing folks in your Home to contravene the Charter while you look the other way, ignoring their infractions, because you want their help. They may be valuable as fund-raisers, as childcare helpers, as drivers or provisioners. So you have a little unspoken agreement that if they'll stay and do the job you need to have done, you'll ignore their breaking the rules. You fear that if you shepherd them or discipline them, they're going to exercise their right of mobility and go elsewhere where they can get away with their disobedience.
116. This tolerance of sin in your camp is not only a result of lack of conviction to stand up to them, or pride, or fear of losing their friendship, but in some cases it is due to a much greater fear: Fear of your children not being taken care of if a childcare helper leaves; fear of a lack of supply if a provisioner leaves; fear of not being able to pay your bills if a fund-raiser leaves; fear that you just won't be able to make it because you won't have enough hands to do all the work.
117. I sympathize with you, and I know this is indeed a great test for you. Nevertheless, as the above prophecies pointed out, as a good shepherd you are required to ensure that your Home members keep the standard of the Charter. If you continue to compromise with them, you are as guilty as they are, because you are an accomplice in their crime.
118. Not only will the Lord not bless this lack of conviction and tolerance of disobedience in your own life, but this allowing of a double standard in your midst will seriously undermine confidence in your leadership, confidence in the Charter, and will subvert and pervert the rest of the members of your Home, who will most likely follow in the path of disobedience. So while these folks who are unrepentantly breaking the rules may seem valuable or even essential to your Home, in the long run they'll turn out to be not so valuable, and even detrimental. They'll erode and eventually destroy your Home's sample and standard, and when they do leave, they'll take others down with them. In the end, you'll lose more than you gain!
119. No matter how much you think you will lose by your conviction to stand up for the truth, you must do it! If all forsake you, you'll still have Jesus, and though you may not think so now, He will be enough! If you will let go of anything that is displeasing to Him, and empty your hands and Home of things which pollute and corrupt, He will be able to fill your hands and Home with His blessing. You may have to face some battles, and there may be some big tests, but He will bless you for your faithfulness and your obedience to His Word. You are your brother's keeper, even if it costs you greatly! You are responsible for his soul, you are responsible for his spiritual life, and not only his, but the others in your Home. You must not let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel.
120. I think this is a serious problem in our Homes, this compromising to keep folks around who we feel are important to the Home and its operation. With personnel so hard to find, people who can bring in funds, take care of the children, etc., some of you feel you are over a barrel and have to do almost anything to keep the personnel you have. I really do feel for you. The possibility of losing vital personnel can seem quite overwhelming, and you can even get fearful about it. I understand why you would compromise, but you've got to see that the consequence of such compromise will be even more serious than what you will lose by not compromising. Such compromises will pull down the entire standard of your Home and erode everyone's convictions.
121. I know that if I ask you to try to raise the standard in your Home and it means risking the loss of some of your people, it will be a battle for you. It will be a great test of your faith in the Lord to trust that He will help you to survive if you uphold the standard of His Word and lose valuable personnel as a result. Perhaps it will make it a little easier for you if you hear what the Lord had to say when we asked Him to further expound on this subject and help us to see it even more clearly.
122. When we came before the Lord in prayer, He and Dad spoke, giving much tremendous counsel. The Lord gave more explanation about the day of choices and what it means, and Dad gave one of his excellent, A-to-Z, Genesis-to-Revelation classes on the benefits of trusting the Lord and the dangers of compromise, explaining that, "God takes care of the faithful and the trusting and the believing, no matter how it looks in the physical." It's terrific! So faith-building!
123. There isn't room to include these prophecies in full in this GN, but Lord willing, they will be published later in a follow-up GN. I will, however, include a few excerpts of the prophecies here, so you can benefit immediately, not only from the instruction, but also from the wonderful promises given for those of you who uphold the standard of obedience in the Word and the Love Charter.
124. (Prophecy, Jesus speaking:) I see things differently than you see them. You look in the flesh and you calculate and you analyze and you fear for the future. But if you were to look in the Spirit, you would see that My blessing and My provision is dependent upon your obedience. It is not dependent upon your personnel. It is not dependent upon how many singles you have in your Home, or how many fund-raisers or provisioners. But My blessings in your life and on your Home are dependent upon your obedience.
125. If you stand up for your convictions, then you are depending on Me and trusting Me and looking to Me, and I will be able to open the windows of Heaven and pour out blessings that you did not anticipate. I will be able to do miracles and I will be glorified, because in your weakness you look to Me and trust in Me, and as a work of My Spirit, I will supply your needs and take care of you and provide for you.
126. But if you compromise and you look to this one or that one, then you are in effect leaning to the arm of the flesh. Then you must carry the weight. You must do the work. You must work much harder, many more hours, because it is a work of the flesh and you are not depending as much on Me.
127. So take your choice--whether you choose to look to Me and obey and stand up for your convictions and trust Me to supply, even in the face of all odds and even when things look impossible, or whether you choose the way of the arm of the flesh, to compromise, to go the way that looks easier, more logical, the way that would naturally seem more fruitful and more productive.
128. But if you trust in Me, I will be able to do miracles! I will be able to open doors where there are no doors. I will be able to touch people's hearts. I will be able to lead you and guide you. I will be able to do the unexpected, the miraculous, the supernatural! I will be able to bless abundantly, because of your obedience and upholding the standard of the Word.
129. (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) You've been given freedom in the Charter, so much freedom, but freedom has a price! If you use it wrongly, you lose God's blessing. You lose the power. You lose the joy. And most of all, you lose that strong connection and direction that the Lord gives to His faithful, to those that refuse to compromise and insist on trusting Him every step of the way, knowing that He is going to supply because He has promised that He will!
130. We're fighting a serious war and the Devil is out to win, and he is trying to weaken you through compromise. I understand and Mama understands that you have so much to do. You really are very busy, but sometimes you lose sight of the fact that the most important thing in your Home is the blessing of the Lord. Instead of worrying about what you'll lose if you lose some people, you should be worrying about what you'll lose if you lose the blessing of God.
131. If you don't compromise and you stay close to the Lord and you live your convictions and you try to do what the Love Charter says and what the Letters say, you'll be surprised at all the trouble and problems that you can avoid. If you compromise, you may think you're going the easy way, but actually you're going the difficult way. What you thought was going to be the more prosperous way will be much, much more difficult, with sicknesses and accidents and persecutions and problems.--Unexpected problems that you never anticipated, because the Lord just won't be able to bless you and protect you as much as He would like to.
132. If you go the route of obedience you'll be surprised at how the Lord can protect you and keep you from unexpected obstacles and time-wasters and money-stealers. When you have problems in your Homes, it steals your joy and your inspiration, your unity. It's the Devil robbing you of your time and distracting you, when you should be putting your attention on the field and on the job at hand and reaching the lost. It's a trick of the Enemy! It's sin inside the camp! It's dangerous!
133. Remember, obedience brings on the Spirit and blessing of God. So naturally the opposite is also true, that disobedience removes the blessing of God. (End of excerpts of prophecies.)
134. (Mama:) The ways of the Spirit are so different from the ways of the carnal mind. I hope you grasped, through the above prophecy excerpts, that it just doesn't pay to compromise for gain or backpedal on your convictions, because it won't have the results that you're hoping for. You won't find the abundance and security and blessings that you expect or hope for. However, if you stand strong in doing what you know the Lord wants you to, even if it looks like it will be to your own hurt, the Lord promises that you'll have what you need, even if He has to do miracles to get it to you! Don't be afraid to obey the Lord. Put Him to the test. He won't fail you, His faithful children! He never has, and He never will!
Uphold the Standard with Your Friends!
135. The need to not compromise also applies to you young people. It has been brought to my attention that some of you fail to report situations to your shepherds for fear of losing the friendship of your peers. Sometimes you have the mistaken idea that your shepherds must know everything that is happening amongst your peers, so you fail to report some of the questionable behavior that is going on. You don't want to be the tattletale or the one who tells on your friends, so you just turn a blind eye.
136. In other cases you deliberately disobey and go against the guidelines of the Charter, but you agree together to not report these things to your shepherds. Some of the examples that I've heard of are such things as drinking over the quota while out on faith trips, or going to movie theaters to see not just unrated movies, but very obviously unedifying, ungodly, horrible movies. These may seem like small things to you, but they can grow and become serious problems if left unchecked. By not reporting these kinds of things you are not helping your friends, nor being loyal to the Lord and the Word. I'm counting on you young people to stand up for your convictions and what you know is the standard of the Word on these matters. This may mean that you might risk losing some of your "close friends" by standing up to them and challenging them to follow the "little dog line" (ML #535), but if they are true friends and followers of the Word, they'll be thankful that you helped to pull them through.
Promises for Large Families and Their Helpers!
137. I recently received a letter from a precious mother with eight children and one on the way, who had moved out of a large Home and pioneered a new small Home with her sweet husband and two other voting members. One of the others eventually moved to another field, so the Home sent in a want ad looking for another Home member. No one responded. This was very discouraging for this mother, as it was very difficult for them to have a fruitful ministry, raise their children, take time with the Lord, and do all the other things they needed to do as a Home.
138. This is not uncommon, as I've heard of many large families who are in the same predicament. They are in need of singles or a couple with only a few children to join up with them in order to balance out their team. I know this is a very real problem for many of you, as it is for this dear one. When we prayed for this couple, Dad gave us the following. Besides speaking to the parents of large families, he also speaks to you young people.
139. (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) The Lord certainly has given you a beautiful family! All those wonderful kids--and not one to spare, including your newest addition! I'm so happy you can be with your kids and live in a small Home again, rather than being bunched up in big blobs. Yes, blobs have some advantages and blessings, in that jobs and responsibilities can be spread out more by comboing. But one of the disadvantages is that the parents sometimes don't get to spend all that much time with their kids. And for all their so-called efficiency, they still don't get out and witness all that much.
140. But the Lord is really blessing these pioneer families where the moms and dads are taking their kids out witnessing and giving them individual time. They're learning to be a family again, no matter how many kids they have. He's blessing with love, provision, fulfillment and happiness! Even though it is a great sacrifice and takes a toll on your strength, sleep and Word time, I think it'll pay off in our kids being happier and in keeping more of them.
141. But because of the demands on your time, if it doesn't work out to spend extra time with the Lord and to go to Him, He'll come to you! If you don't see how you're going to make it another day, He'll make it for you. If it looks like an impossible situation, all things are possible to Him. He's very pleased with our large pioneer families because it takes lots of faith to strike out like that and trust Him for provision, going out not knowing whither you're going, or how He'll supply for you.--But He will! Without faith it is impossible to please Him, but you're going and that shows how great your faith is!--And He'll not fail you! No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, no matter how bleak the outlook, no matter how many children you have, He promises that He will not leave you destitute, nor forsake you, nor fail you.
142. When it's not possible to get the Word that you need, the Word will come to you, and will be alive to you and strengthen you, because you're living it! If you feel you can't go on another day, the Lord's Spirit will carry you. He'll carry you through even if you're tired and feel drained, because of your obedience and your desire to just do His will. He'll carry you through supernaturally, no matter what the outlook in the physical.
143. He's poured out His Spirit on these pioneer families, His Spirit of blessing, because of your obedience. He'll not only provide for you and protect you, but He'll bless your family, your children, and your relationship. Your children will get the love, the training, the Word and the security in your small Home that they may have sometimes missed in the bigger ones.
144. Haven't you felt His blessing? Hasn't He been providing? Haven't you felt fulfilled? And though it's been hard, haven't you been happy? Hasn't it been a satisfaction to be with your children, knowing that you're teaching them to love the Lord and to witness? Don't you have that inner peace of knowing you're trying to do your best, that you're fulfilling the Lord's highest will in your life? Don't you have the contentment of knowing you're giving your all to Jesus? There's nothing that can replace that feeling. And that's what you're doing--your best for Jesus.
145. It's true that our young people, singles, and YAs aren't always attracted to helping large families, because it is hard work, and it is a sacrifice, and they must count the cost. They are more attracted to exciting fields and being free and independent. But there is a need, and those young people, teens or singles who answer the call to help large families are to be commended, for no greater love hath any man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends! These are the ones with great love. These are the ones who will be known for their love and their sacrifice on Earth and in Heaven and ever after. Those that sacrifice the most will be rewarded the most.
146. Many are called but few choose to be chosen, because there are few who have such great love. But those young ones who make the decision to help these large families and make the sacrifice will become great in the Lord's Kingdom. The struggle will make them strong, the sacrifice will give them love and understanding. They'll grow in Spirit and be some of the Lord's greatest warriors. Their daily battles will strengthen their muscles and their faith; it will grow them in stature more than the others.
147. So if the Lord puts the burden on your heart to help these large families, be true and faithful to the call. They not only need your help, but it is also the Lord's plan for you to fulfill His highest will and to make you into what He wants you to be.
148. Oh, the mansions that these large families are going to have over Here with all their children about them! When you see the mansion He's prepared for you, you'll know that it has truly been worth it all! (End of prophecy.)
149. (Mama:) Isn't that wonderful? Doesn't that give you renewed faith to carry on? The Lord loves you precious parents for all you've done to care for His priceless gifts to you. Your eternal reward is going to be great, just as He has said. And you younger ones who make the sacrifice to help out our large families will receive tremendous blessings and rewards as well. Will you take up the challenge?
150. A very big thank you to each of you--young people, singles, married couples, large families--who have taken up the challenge that the Lord has set before you, whether it be opening a new Home, trying a new outreach method, pioneering a "consider the poor" ministry, or staying faithful with the daily demands of childcare and home care ministries. He will mightily bless you and give you the desires of your heart as you put Him first and keep following closely! God bless and keep you! I love you!
Much love, Mama
(To be continued!)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family