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"Man Looketh on the Outward Appearance"--Part 2  Maria #385           DO 3125               4/97

By Maria

Table of Contents

                Baggy Clothes and Makeup!--Some Tips from Dad!     2

                A Message About Makeup from Phoebe!      4

                Testimony from an Anorexic!            6

                Body Piercing!      10

                What Is a Rebel?  13

                Freedom: Burden or Blessing?           17

                Tattoos  20

                Posters of System Icons     22

                Seek the Lord!      25

                PS: A Personal Testimony from One of Our WS Shepherdesses                26

                1. In part one of this series we mainly addressed you boys, although the general counsel in the prophecies in that GN about dress and appearance apply to you girls as well. But now, how about if we move on to some questions that you girls might have.

                2. One issue that we've heard about that is a bit controversial is girls wearing super baggy or mannish-looking clothes, or wearing what is referred to as the "grunge" look." Most people don't consider it very feminine looking, but some of the girls say that it's more comfortable, and if the boys get to wear those types of clothes, why can't they? So we asked the Lord if He had anything to say about it, and He sent Dad with a little message for you girls, which I think you'll really enjoy reading.

Baggy Clothes and Makeup!--Some Tips from Dad!

                3.(Dad speaking:) I love you, my sweet girls! I never understood about wearing baggy clothes until my last years, when I liked to wear baggy clothes, too! Of course, it's because I got so thin and I didn't have any choice in the matter, and I certainly wasn't going to go out and buy a whole new set of clothes just because I got so thin! Goodness, when you're an old man, things like clothes certainly take on less importance in life than other things. So I guess in a way I can understand about the baggy clothes. They're comfortable!

                4.But if you're sometimes asked to put on a dress or spruce up a little bit for the boys or for the visitors or for whatever reason, will you try it for me? You might just like it, especially when you see how happy it makes the boys! You don't have to, but if it makes someone happy, why not? The Lord made you women beautiful! So don't hide those lovely figures, but let your light so shine before men that they may see the Lord's good works and glorify Him.

                5. Now don't take me to the extreme here and swing the other way. Like I said before, dress in love. Be comfortable. It doesn't mean you have to get all dressed up and look like a bunch of stuffy Systemites; but when it's called for and needed, dress up a little bit! Since people judge so much by appearance, people will appreciate just the very thought that you took a little extra time and effort to make your hair look nice and put on a little bit of blush or a little bit of lipstick or whatever to make yourself look more attractive and more healthy.

                6.My mother was a real proponent of looking nice. She took the time to put on a little makeup because she considered it a part of her witness. She didn't slather on the eyeliner or have raccoon eyes or big bright cheeks, but she was quite an artist! She'd add a touch of color here and a little dab here and there, and she was a beautiful woman. For her, it was a witness to look lovely, to look healthy for Jesus.

                7.Now please don't take offense at me and feel like I'm meddling in your business. I don't mean to do that. I was just asked the question, asked for my advice, and this is it!

                8.There was one girl who visited my Home once who was so pale and so "revolutionary" that she looked downright sick! So I asked one of our girls to give her a few tips on adding a little touch of blush on her cheeks and some lip gloss, and boy, the difference was like night and day! She got so many compliments after that, she never stopped wearing the stuff, and she always looked so nice. She looked healthy.

                9.Then there was another girl in my Home who wore a lot of eye shadow, so much so that the first thing you saw when you looked at her was her raccoon eyes, and it just wasn't attractive. I just didn't like it, and I asked one of the girls to sweetly mention it to her. As soon as she stopped wearing so much, everyone began to compliment her, so it shows that I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Because then you could see her beautiful eyes so much better. She still wore a little touch because she needed it, because of the color of her complexion, but she looked so much better!

                10.So how's that for a little class on makeup? Did you ever expect to get that from Grandpa? You've probably already read my tips on dressing, that clothes are like a frame on a lovely picture, but you can read'm again in "Revolutionary Women" if you want a few tips.

                11.Don't worry, I'm not saying to toss away the T-shirts or the jeans. No, no, no. My Techi likes to wear those too. But I'm just giving you a little tip from a man, that if you want to be pleasing and if you want to make the men happy, try a little femininity. It doesn't mean you have to be flighty or silly, I'm only talking about a little bit of an upgrade in your dress. Or if your hair is always hanging in your face, try some comfortable way to pull it back a little bit so people can see your beautiful eyes and beautiful cheeks and beautiful smile.

                12.Or if someone asks you to put a dress on for an hour, just grin and bear it! Besides, you might find a dress to be more comfortable, as well as quite free and enjoyable!

                13.Now remember, don't go to the extreme and throw your jeans away. You need'm for running around, cleaning, crawling on the floor with the kids, and get-out. Thank God for jeans! I wore them a lot too in my last years. In fact, my girls had to pull'm off me sometimes to convince me they needed a wash. Ha! So I understand those jeans are comfortable. But when it comes to sprucing yourselves up a little bit and looking pretty for Jesus, try it! You might just like it!

                14. I love you! I appreciate all the sweet, loving things you do to be sweet loving sisters to your brothers, and mothers and big sisters to the children around you, and all the sweet things you do to make your Homes happy Homes, and comfortable ones. Thank you for being God's beautiful women. I love you!

                15.And remember, girls, it's really revolutionary for a woman to know and understand that she is the love of God for a man. That message is really unpopular these days with the Women's Lib movement! They don't want to think that the woman is made for the man. They don't want to serve the man. They don't want to be God's love for man. They want to be above men. So it's a radical and unpopular message for a woman to understand that she is God's crowning creation and that she was created to be God's love for man.

                16.So don't forget that, girls, in your dress and in your styles and in your interaction with the boys. Don't forget that you're Jesus' love for those boys. The tenderness and sympathy and compassion and love that you show them will be an example of Jesus. So remember that when you choose your clothes and your hairstyles. If the boys want you to dress a different way and they don't like those baggy clothes and baggy jeans, if they'd rather see you wear a short skirt, or if they'd rather see you wear something that shows your beautiful figure or your legs, don't take offense. Just realize that that's the way men are--they love beautiful women! God put that love in their hearts. They appreciate the beauty of your figure, of your hair, of your gorgeous face, because you are God's love for them. So love them, won't you? In the way that you dress and the way that you look, be His tender, sweet love for them.

                17. Remember that variety is the spice of life! You don't have to look the same all the time. There might be occasions when baggy shirts and baggy pants and big clunky shoes would be the perfect dress. But then there're other occasions when something more feminine and sexy and pretty would be the order of the day. So be led of the Lord and be led by love, and don't be afraid to be God's love for the boys.

                18.Your mothers learned this lesson well, because they were fishers of men. They were the flirty fishers of men, winning men to the Heavenly Kingdom through their love and their beauty. So you should listen to your mothers and to your shepherdesses, because they know what they're talking about. They understand what it is to be a woman, what it is to be beautiful, and what it is to be God's love. So don't be ashamed of that, and don't pooh-pooh that mission in your life. It's a wonderful privilege to be Jesus for another person and to show His love.

                19.Don't be too proud to be a beautiful woman, because that's what the Lord created you to be. Sure there're times when you can be playful, there're times when you relax, there're times when you become one for your witnessing, there're times when you want to look a little wild and different. But don't forget that there are also times when you want to look like a woman and be beautiful and be an example of God's love.

                20. Spice up your life with a little bit of variety. You'll find that it's fun! Once you get used to it, you'll see that it's really the way to go. Be revolutionary women for Jesus! (End of message from Dad.)

                21.(Mama:) Well, Dad said it all very clearly, so I don't really need to add anything here, except that I would like to mention something to you boys: In the above prophecy, Dad advises the girls that while it's fine for them to wear baggy clothes or whatever style they like from time to time, it's also nice when they can dress nice and be feminine for the boys' sake. Don't you appreciate it when the girls make an effort to make themselves look pretty and dress nicely? Well, if you do, then you should tell the girls so and compliment them on their nice appearance. (Of course, when I say "nice" I don't mean just dresses. You can also dress nicely in jeans or other casual clothes that complement your figure and make you look attractive and feminine.)

                22. Maybe the reason some of the girls don't dress up very often, or don't fix their hair nicely, and even look a little sloppy, is because they feel that you boys don't even notice or say anything when they make an effort to look nice, so they wonder what's the use. So if you want the girls to go out of their way to look nice and pretty, then be sure to let them know how beautiful they look when they make the effort! We women like to look nice to make you boys happy, but we need to hear you compliment us!

                23.And just like it's nice if the girls look pretty to make the boys happy, it works the same way for you boys! Most girls like it when the boys make an effort to look nice. I don't mean fancy or conservative, but just neat and clean, no matter what style you're wearing. Dirty or ragged clothes, dirty and uncombed hair, and a generally slovenly appearance is a real turn-off for most girls, and not a sample of real love. So go out of your way to show love to your sisters by taking a few extra minutes to look nice and dress nice and attractive, too (which includes smelling nice and having good breath). Okay?

                24. Besides you girls looking pretty for the boys and you boys looking nice and attractive for the girls, we should dress appropriately when out for the sake of our witness to the world and to be "winsome," as explained in part 1 of this series. We all have contact with many outsiders, whether we're out witnessing or they're visiting our Homes, and they all look on the outward appearance to form their opinions of us and the Family.

A Message About Makeup from Phoebe!

                25.Another girl issue is makeup. Dad refers to makeup in the prophecy above, where he basically explains that some girls need to use some and it enhances their natural beauty, but it's nice if they don't overdo. We've heard reports from the field of some teens getting into very heavy makeup, including real thick coatings of lipstick, heavy eyeliner to where you can hardly see their eyes any more, and so much blush that it's almost painted on! Well, these may be extreme examples, but from what we've heard, putting a lot of makeup on is getting to be more common among the younger teen girls, and some older ones too.

                26.So I thought that would be a good question to ask the Lord about, to see if He had any counsel for you girls, or any guidelines on this issue. Dad had already said that a little makeup is often nice and can help make a girl look more attractive, but that he didn't think that heavy makeup was very appealing to most men. I wondered if we could get any more specifics on the heavy use of makeup. I guess the Lord knew that this is a subject you girls might prefer to hear about from another girl, so He sent Norwegian Phoebe (who passed on some years ago), with a message about it! Following are some excerpts of what she had to say:

                27.(Phoebe speaking:) Hi! This is Phoebe. Wow, it's fun to be able to talk to you all like this! This is a big subject, really--how much makeup to use--because it's really not black or white. Like so many things, it's more in the gray zone, because of course each situation is different and each girl might have a different need.

                28.I had a burden to punch through on this, and dear, sweet wonderful Dad encouraged me to share with you some things I have learned and realized about makeup since coming Home to Heaven. You might think it's funny I would learn some things about makeup Here in Heaven. Well, not really, because one thing about Heaven is that we are able to see things that we did there on Earth that were perhaps not the best--you know?

                29.I went through a stage on Earth when I used way too much makeup! Boy, I piled it on thick sometimes. Dad, of course, doesn't like the girls to wear too much makeup, although some is okay. Like so many things, there's lots of counsel on this already in Letters like "Revolutionary Women" and later pubs like the BTH. There are some really good tips in there! And that book called "Charity and Charm" has some good general beauty tips too.

                30.Here's a point to ponder: What's one big way you can really know something about a person? There are lots of ways, but if you look deep into someone's eyes you can really tell a lot about that person, can't you? You've all heard that quote, "The eyes are the window to your soul," right? How true that is. You can tell so much about someone just by looking into their eyes. That's a really deep thought, if you just take a minute to think about it. It's pretty far-out to think that the eyes are the window to your very soul.

                31.Now if the eyes are the window to your soul, well, what do you do with a window? You look through it, right? Have you ever looked through a window that needed to be cleaned real badly? You know, a real dirty window that maybe even had mud on it, or had such a layer of dirt that you could hardly even see through it? You can sort of see through and get an idea of what lies on the other side of the window, but it is hard to see through a really dirty window. You can't see through it very clearly.

                32.Don't laugh at me now, but in a way that's what putting on too much eye makeup is like. It sort of mucks up your window. It obscures the vision so that others can't see real clearly through it into your soul or even see Jesus shining through. Of course, you have the Lord, and He will shine through, but how you look and how you take care of your temple, your body, and how you present Him to others is important. It's sort of like you are the showcase that shows Jesus to the world. It's like Dad says, the simplest picture frames are often the best. The ornate, fancy frames often detract from the pretty picture that's within.

                33.If you, dear Family girls, cake yourself up with too much makeup, it can detract from the Lord, Who wants to shine brightly right through your beautiful eyes! Your eyes are so important, so it's nice to be prayerful and careful about how you adorn them, because the Lord wants to really shine through your eyes. People say that about the Family all the time, don't they?--That our eyes are so different and they actually shine. Your eyes are shining full of Jesus, so why cover them up too much? If you want an interesting Word theme to look up sometime, do a little study on the eyes.

                34.So, taking all this into account, if the eyes are so important, if this is one way that Jesus can really shine through you and touch another soul, then doesn't it make sense to you that the Devil would try to attack in this area by trying to fog up your window, or block the view, or obscure the vision so that others can't see Jesus shining through so clearly? You might think it's a little thing, and this is not to say that if someone has a ton of makeup on that they don't have Jesus shining through. But believe it or not, the Devil really uses things like makeup to get in the way. It's like a little extra distraction that just makes it harder and mucks things up.

                35.This might sound incredible, but that's exactly what the Devil does with makeup. Not only can too much makeup hide your pretty eyes, but it can block the view of Jesus shining through to some extent. Listen, folks, that ol' Devil is smart! He's not only smart, he's desperate, and will grasp at any opportunity he can to trip people up. And all these seemingly little things add up, and are aimed at destroying your witness. That's what the Devil is out to do--to destroy the witness. He knows all the little things really do add up and it's the little foxes that spoil the vine. It's not always some big giant storm of destruction that spoils the vine, it's often the little things that all add up.

                36.This is not to say you should never use any kind of makeup. Just like everything else, if we stopped using everything the Devil uses, there wouldn't be anything left! It's just the amount and the balance of all these things that's important. A false balance is an abomination to God, and getting the right balance in things is really important. You can see that so much clearer up Here, so please take it from me.

                37.When I realized how much the Devil can use even these seemingly harmless things, it was an amazing awakening. It makes sense when you think about it, doesn't it? It's just like so many other things the Devil uses, like different foods to try and weaken your body, if you eat too much junk food, for example. You've just gotta really pray to know how much makeup to use and even what kind to use.

                38.Nowadays, believe it or not, there is a lot of makeup that is even quite harmful if you put too much on, or if you don't use it properly and prayerfully. Some things are made with harmful products and additives that can even harm your body, and in the case of eye makeup, harm your eyes. So you've gotta pray and use it properly.

                39. And please, girls, don't forget to remove it before you go to sleep at night. That is really important. The Devil would just love to cause harm to your eyes and blur your vision if he could, or even cause you to go blind, as he knows that would stop you from reading the Word. That is not far-fetched. Some folks have had serious eye problems because they didn't use makeup correctly or they got a bad kind, etc. Just like with food, you do have to be diligent with what you put in your body, and in this case what you put on your body, because the punk (the Devil) will try anything he can to cause harm. So you've gotta pray!

                40.One thing I can say for sure is that the best makeup anybody can wear is Jesus. It's always best to pray and ask the Lord and get a proper balance in all these things. Don't fall for the Devil's tricks and let him muck up your showcase! The best advice I can give you about makeup is what Dad has already said, and is really tops as far as good counsel: Just use a light touch to enhance the beauty that the Lord has already given you.

                41. I hope that this has been a little help. And, girls, take a tip from me: If you ask the boys, you'll find out hardly any of them really like a lot of makeup--truly. So that's a pretty good gauge, too. Hope this is some help. Keep shining those looks of love on the lost and lonely. I love you! Kisses! Phoebe. (End of message from Phoebe.)

                42.(Mama:) What a sweet message from Phoebe! It's insight into how just like the Lord can use things like a little makeup to enhance your beauty and make you more attractive as a token of His love for others, at the same time the Devil can use an excess of it to detract from the Lord's light in your sample and witness. Also, heavy, dark makeup can sometimes come across as a sign of trying to be tough and not very feminine, and a lot of bright makeup can make you look cheap or like an "easy catch" to the boys you meet when out, or at the least like you're trying to draw attention to yourself.

                43.Remember, the most beautiful makeup is the Lord's Spirit shining through you, your smile and your sweet, loving spirit. Like Dad has said, "The most beautiful ornament, the most beautiful jewelry that you can possibly wear, the loveliest makeup, the most gorgeous clothing is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit!" (ML #1250:66).

Testimony from an Anorexic!

                44.Now that we're on the subject of beauty and trying to look nice and attractive in our dress, appearance, makeup, etc. (I'm mainly talking to the girls here), I'd like to touch on the other side of trying to look too nice or attaching too much importance to it. Well, maybe some of you girls feel that there's no way you could look too nice, and that you never look nice enough. But maybe that's just because the members of the opposite sex don't tell you enough how lovely you really are. Or maybe you've gotten so overly concerned with looking nice that no matter how good you look, you feel that it's not enough. It can be a real problem, and we've had some girls in the Family get so obsessed with their looks and their weight that they stopped eating altogether so that they could be slimmer and fit into the smaller-sized clothes that they wanted to wear, because of their misperception that they were fat!

                45.It's pretty normal for most women, especially as we get older, to feel a little self-conscious if our hips start getting wide and our thighs start growing. There's nothing wrong with any of us trying to do vigorous exercise every day and watch that we don't eat too many fatty foods in order to keep our weight in check if we find that we easily gain; in fact, it's a good idea. But if you get too concerned with it, especially when you're still a teenager or young adult, it can get to the point that it becomes dangerous and a burden rather than a blessing.

                46.And of course some girls are just naturally a bit on the heavy side and battle with feeling fat--not because of a misperception, but because they are bigger than some of the other girls. But we're all different, and there's nothing wrong with being a bit heavier than other girls if that's the way the Lord made you. And there's also nothing wrong with trying to stay fit and healthy through eating smart and exercise. But when it becomes such a monumental concern and is on your mind all the time, that's when trying to look nice becomes a problem and even dangerous! In fact, if you stop eating properly, regularly skipping meals in a desperate effort to keep slim and trim, it could end up costing you your health, or even your life! Or, if you later find out you're pregnant, it could cost you your baby's life in a miscarriage, or severely affect his health, strength and intelligence once he's born.

                47.On the other hand, maybe there are some girls who are truly overweight and need to watch their diet and do more vigorous exercise in order to get down to a healthy level. For them it's not imaginary, but a real problem that they struggle to overcome, God bless them.

                48.Since overzealous dieting to stay slim and trim is a problem some of you girls have experienced, I thought you might be interested in reading the following message from beyond that we received from a Christian girl named Mary Kemper, who was anorexic. She tells her story and what caused her anorexia, leading her to an early grave. While I don't think many of you girls have as serious an obsession with beauty and appearance as this girl did, nevertheless you may find this warning about the ultimate consequences helpful in warding off this attack of the Enemy, by which he tries to hinder your usefulness to the Lord.

                49.(Mary Kemper speaking:) There's a saying that beauty is only skin deep. Have you heard it? Many folks know that real beauty lies not on the surface at all, but is inside you. Real beauty, the beauty of the Lord, is much deeper than your outside shell. It's real and lasting, deep and eternal, and will last forever. True beauty goes much deeper than meets the eye. But though many people realize this, they unfortunately still base a lot of their decisions about their appearance on skin-deep beauty instead of the true beauty within.

                50.It's one thing to take care of your body, obey God's natural health laws, and have a nice, neat, pleasant appearance. There's nothing wrong with looking nice. But today things are getting way out of hand. Folks look to the outward appearance and go to extremes to adjust their looks, just so they can be what they think is more beautiful. It's gotten so far out of hand these days that in some places it's even fashionable to use plastic surgery or dyes to snip it, tuck it, inflate it, deflate it, color it--you name it! People don't think anything of it! It really is horrifying, because all these adjustments and attempts to beautify your flesh are designed to destroy you. How smart of the Devil to make it fashionable and the accepted "in" thing.

                51.If you only knew how Jesus sees you, you wouldn't want to tamper with your body at all! A normal amount of body care and staying in good health and good shape is good, but tampering with your body and trying to change things that don't need changing is another ballgame.

                52.Real beauty is more than skin deep, and all these new and fancy ways to achieve a certain look are extremely dangerous. Fashion is mostly designed for a purpose--to destroy you. Watch out for fashion; it just might strip you of your passion--the passion of love, the passion of the Lord, and the passion to get out there and love the lost at any cost! When you get so bent on all these self-improvement kicks, and so immersed and obsessed with fashion and false looks, it can grow and grow until that's all you can think about!

                53.Unless you stop it while there's still time, a process begins inside you of being overly concerned about yourself and how you look on the outside. It's the process of elimination, and the target is you. The Devil's trying to eliminate you! He wants to destroy your real beauty so you can't shine and help others. He'll try to hurt and harm your body with all these falsities, all the while making you think you're improving it. He projects these false images and wrong ideas to trap you in his snare, to take you past the point of no return.

                54.The physical and spiritual are deeply interconnected. Physical beauty is only skin deep, but that physical beauty is often altered from within. That is why it's important to do what you can to take good care of your body. Your physical appearance can shine, glow and radiate, or it can be dull, haggard and wasted. The spiritual affects the physical much more than most folks think.

                55.I never realized this until I finally came Home to Heaven, and that's why I'm here to talk to you now, so you can hopefully learn from my experience. You might be thinking, "Plastic surgery, breast implants, I'm never gonna go that far! Come on now, I'm not that stupid." Maybe so, and I certainly hope not. But you see, it's still out there. There are temptations, tricks and decoys all around you to entice you if you're unaware.

                56.It's all around in many forms, surrounding you in ways you don't even realize--through advertising, fashion magazines, newspapers, the people you see in the movies or on TV--all constantly trying to influence, to mold your thought patterns and tear you down. Movie stars, sports heroes, musicians and rock stars, that beautiful girl on the billboard or that hunk of a man you see in a commercial. Some are genuinely beautiful--God's creations, the way He made them--but many are false images, unreal, synthetic, not natural.

                57.When you pass over to this side, you will be seen as you truly are--the way God made you, the beautiful real you. Over Here everyone is the way God made them to be, because that's what beautiful is. Only the way God made you is gonna shine forth, because He made you a certain way for a reason.

                58.God designed each person in a unique way. Wouldn't life be boring if everyone was the same? It's true that some people do gain or lose too much weight because of their lifestyles and ungodly habits, or they are affected in some way because of wrongful living. But if each person would live right, eat right, exercise right, and follow the truth of God's Word, if everyone would follow the instruction manual of their Maker, then even on Earth they'd be beautiful, just the way God made and intended folks to be. God likes variety. He is the Creator. He made all the shapes and sizes and colors, tall and short, hefty and lean, black, white, yellow and red; all are beautiful in His sight.

                59.I never personally got into some of the extremes they have nowadays. I never changed my nose or inflated my breasts. I never even colored my hair. I'm guilty of something much, much worse--I starved myself to death!

                60.It started out because of fashion ideas that were implanted in my head. It seemed so innocent at first, and I didn't have sense enough to brush it aside, so it grew and grew into a vicious cycle. Because of my pride and my unyieldedness and refusal to get help, my refusal to admit that I was wrong, there was no stopping place. After a while I hardened my heart. I yielded to the wrong voices, the wrong spirits, and I took the long, hard road.

                61.I was not really overweight, although I admit there were a few times when I went overboard. I'd go on a binge of eating too many sweets every once in a while, after which I could afford to shed a few pounds, or even 5 or 10. There were a few times in my junior high days when I overdid. I ate too many sweets--cakes, pies, jelly-filled donuts, ice cream, and oh, candy bars! I just loved candy bars! Yeah, there were a few times when I genuinely could afford to lose a few pounds!

                62.My sweet binges were relatively few and far between, though. I couldn't afford to overdo too often. For the most part, as an active teen, I was doing fine. I was pretty average all around--not too tall, five foot five inches--and my weight went up and down between 115 and 125 pounds (52-57 kilos).

                63.My best friend Sally was different altogether. She was tall and thin--the boys called her skinny. Sally was just made that way, though. It wasn't because she didn't eat; as a matter of fact, she always had the appetite of a horse! Not only that, she could eat all those lusty sweets I craved so much and she never put on a pound. I never did think that was fair. Sally and I had different figures--she was tall and slender and I was shorter, more built, and I definitely had a little more padding in the buns!

                64.Have you ever heard of a model named Twiggy? She was popular when I was in school. The Twiggy look became the rage. I didn't know then what I know now, and that's how the Devil uses fashion. He creates new trends with a purpose. He'll send out his thought patterns through fashion.

                65.Fashion is one of the vehicles that the Devil uses to project false images in the form of a certain look or style. He attempts to shape the thoughts of those ignorant of his devices. His images project certain thought patterns that move people to act or think or strive for a certain thing, or a certain look, a certain thrill. It's all very subtle, but very real.

                66.Twiggy was the rage, and Sally, my best friend, certainly had the "in" look more than I did. "It wouldn't hurt to shed just a few more pounds to be in vogue," I thought. With the Twiggy look all around on the billboards, on the TV, in the movies, and my dear best friend Sally staring me in the face day after day, I thought, why not? Besides, I always wanted to shed my extra padding on the rear end and thigh area.

                67.So in an attempt to be "in," I got a brainy idea: Why not just stop eating for a while and shed the pounds quickly? Crash diets were also the trend, and quick results were what I was after. So I simply stopped eating. I never really stopped to think about long-term effects in those days. All I really wanted was to be able to wear a smaller size and cram my fanny and thighs into a designated favorite pair of pants--the skintight ones. I never once stopped to think about what it was doing to my body on the inside--all I wanted was results on the outside.

                68.So I started skipping meals. It was subtle and very gradual at first. The Devil is sly. He gentled me into it with a gradual cutting down of my meals until I was able to get used to it more and more, to where I could go for long periods of time with no food at all. The thing is that I never really missed eating so much. I didn't miss it because I yielded to this driving force that was egging me on.

                69.After a while you just sort of get to the point where you hardly feel it any more--at least you think you don't feel it. Your stomach shrinks and you don't feel so much. You can't see what is going on inside of your body until you get past the point of no return. It was downhill from then on, until I was a confirmed, full-fledged anorexic.

                70.Although I was no expert on the subject of food and health, somehow I knew in my heart that to abuse my body by just not eating was wrong. But I was driven with the desire to be fashionable, and the more I yielded to that desire, the more I lost conviction.

                71.I never meant to stop eating altogether, forever. I never meant to kill myself; in fact, that thought never entered my mind. All I knew at first was that I wanted to look a certain way. It seemed innocent in the beginning, but my point of reference was all wrong, and this is where I got way off track. I was getting hit with all the wrong input around me and I soaked it all up. I started actually thinking I was fat, when I was never really fat at all. I thought I had to be like someone else, instead of just accepting I was me--the way God made me.

                72.With my clouded vision, I convinced myself that I was fat,I was too heavy, and I wanted to be skinny. The more weight I would lose, the more I wanted to lose. Deaf to all the good intentions of loving family and friends around me who would prod me to eat, I just couldn't see it, because I was blinded. When I looked in that mirror I actually thought I was still too fat, because I couldn't see the real me. I saw an image that was planted in my mind--the image of how I thought I needed to be--skinny!

                73.If you don't receive the truth, you get strong delusion and you believe the lie. I didn't receive the truth of Jesus, that He made me the way He wanted me. So in my rebellion and disobedience to God's natural laws, I received strong delusion. Every time I looked in the mirror, that's what I got--strong delusion. Truth resisted loses its power over the mind, and that's what happened to me. I rejected the truth of God and received the lies of Satan.

                74.I believed the lie--the lie that I was too fat! Too fat by whose standard? What I was seeing was the Devil's beauty. I listened to his lies and I was deceived, until I became a pitiful deformed figure of bone and flesh--a distorted, distraught, shallow shell with sunken, empty eyes. That's the beauty of Satan. I was deceived into thinking that the ugliness of Satan was okay. My eyes had no sparkle. They were empty and dark and glazed over. I was the sad state of what Satan has to offer. Empty, pale, exhausted and worn, I simply wasted away and silently passed into the world of the spirit way before my time. Mary Kemper, dead at age 17. A sad, sad tale.

                75.Do you know what the word anorexia means? Maybe it has little meaning to you, but watch out, because the name is derived from its author--Orexis. He's out for keeps. Just as Oplexicon seeks to stop the life-giving flow of the Words of life, Orexis, his companion, seeks to stop the life-giving flow of fuel to your body. Orexis seeks to bottle up your body fuel and the nutrition that you need to keep you going, vibrant, and alive. Orexis seeks to starve you and destroy you and your usefulness to help others.

                76.It could have been different for me. I could have received help and been delivered from this disease of anorexia. I could have lived a while longer on Earth and helped others, instead of causing so much grief and pain. But I made a willful decision to listen to the wrong voices. I listened to the lies of Orexis. I let the dark voices in. I just gave up. I didn't hold on. I didn't ask Jesus to help me. He could have. He would have.

                77.Don't let it happen to you! Remember that God made you the way you are, and He is not the author of extremes. If you are on the thin side, but you eat enough good balanced meals and you put enough fuel in your body, then don't worry about it if you're a little thin. If you're on the heftier side, but you eat smart and cut out unnecessary fat and fluff, the grease, and too many sweets and empty calories, and you don't stuff your gut with the Devil's poisons, then don't worry about it if you have a little padding that others don't have.

                78. If you get enough good exercise, proper sleep and fresh air, if you live, eat, exercise, and sleep right and obey all God's health laws and rules for good living, then don't worry about the way you are! He's the maker of the tall and slender, the short and hefty. He shaped you with His Own hand and put all the curves and handles in the right places! Stay fit and take care of your body by obeying His health rules! Live according to His health laws and you will be beautiful. You'll shine the way He made you to shine. The only beauty that will last forever is the beauty of the Lord, the way He made you and the way He wants you to be.

                79.Jesus has healed me now. I'm delivered. It hasn't been easy, though; going before your time never is. It's been a hard and long recovery. It would take too long to tell you of the grief and pain I caused others, and that I've had to endure myself. You wouldn't want to go through the same. That's why I wanted to share my story with you. Won't you please take my advice? Beware of the fashion lies! Don't fall for the tricks of Orexis! Go God's way! Take care of your body, obey His loving laws and enjoy life. (End of message from Mary Kemper.)

                80.(Mama:) Like this girl said, each one of you girls is God's creation, and He made you just the way He wants you to be. You're beautiful in His sight and He delights in you just the way you are! If you find you're having a problem with always being negative about yourself and your looks or your weight, or thinking that you're overweight when you're really not, call out to the Lord for deliverance, and He will help you! Like this girl testified, she could have been delivered and able to eat that very day had she called out to the Lord. Nothing is impossible for Him! And remember that while it's natural to like to look pretty, and even beautiful, it's pretty insignificant when measured up against the more important values of life, like your love and your beauty of spirit.

Body Piercing!

                81.Ready for more? I'm sorry this is getting long, but these are all subjects which I'm sure you're very interested in and eager to know the Lord's mind on. Next we'll go on to something perhaps even more controversial than earrings or haircuts, and that's body piercing, or putting a ring or stud in parts of your body other than your earlobe, such as your eyebrow, nose, navel, nipple, etc. This is getting to be more common in some countries like the U.S., where according to news reports, people are getting pierced just about everywhere, even on their genitals! Well, I don't think any of you young people would think of going that far, but some of you have probably had questions about putting a ring in your nose or your belly button or some place like that. I understand that it's mostly girls who are interested in this particular style, but maybe some of you boys have thought about it, too.

                82.One reason I know that some of you have probably wondered whether this was okay, or have maybe even gone ahead in some cases, is because one of the teen girls in a WS unit recently wanted to get her nose or eyebrow pierced. So I figured if she asked about it, others of you are asking about it as well. You parents are probably thinking that that's going too far, but many of you are willing to change your minds if the Lord gives the okay.

                83. Well, I didn't know for sure either, and when this young woman asked about getting her nose or eyebrow pierced, I suggested that she pray and hear from the Lord about it. So she asked someone in her Home to ask the Lord, and this is what He had to say. The prophecy was longer, with some more personal words for her, but I'm just including excerpts here which address the general question of body piercing, which you can apply to your situation as well.

                84.(Jesus speaking:) Tell Me everything, for I love you and I would not turn you away. I will give you greater peace and joy than you can imagine! Your request is not strange, for you wish to be happy, and I wish for you to be happy also. For this I shower My love upon you!

                85.Do you know what true happiness is? It is in giving love and receiving love. The secret of life is this: love. That is Me, that is My Name, that is My nature. I am love. And not only do I desire that you be filled with My love because it is Me, but I desire you to be filled with My love because that is what will make you happy.

                86.The true qualities of life are to be grasped and understood in the spirit, in the emotions. I say this to you because you have said that you would like to be happy. You ask about the piercing, because you say it would make you happy. I understand this, for I know the simple joys of having nice clothing, of having jewelry and earrings, of being adorned. Even in the Bible, Solomon described the beauty of a woman in terms of jewels. He likened the beauty of her neck and of her face to jewels (SoS.1:10). And in the Heavenly City, there are so, so many beautiful, beautiful jewels. They are enormous! You will love them when you see them. It's an ecstatic feeling to walk through the Heavenly City and see the enormous jewels!

                87.A woman decked in finery is beautiful. Yet I say unto you, like many things that I give you to enjoy, it has its place and its time, and it must not become more important than the things of the Spirit. For I say unto you that there were women of old time, written about in the Old Testament, who put on their finery, and this finery was a symbol of their rejection of Me. In this sense, you will find it written about nose jewels, because they were one of the jewels that the women wore who had departed from Me in their pride and arrogance. (See Isaiah 3:16-24.) I do not say that you are proud and arrogant in wanting to wear this jewelry. I only explain what has been said about jewels in My Word.

                88.But there is a place for these things, and the beautiful adornment of a woman can even be a symbol of spiritual things. Did I not say that the Heavenly City is adorned as a bride to meet her husband? In this way you might see that the clothing of a woman can reflect My love to a man. As I shine forth My love from a woman to a man, she can make herself more pleasing to the man by the clothes that she wears or the adornment that she puts on. It pleases Me for the woman to dress to please the man, desiring to be attractive to him and to make him happy.

                89.But I say unto you that with this, as with many other things, there is a balance, and there is an approach that must be taken so these things do not become too important. As with anything that I give to enjoy, I am what makes life worth living, and My love is what makes life worth living. For you can see the people of the world who have no happiness in their hearts, although they are adorned with great finery. They are as empty shells. Why? It is because true happiness comes from love and from giving. It's a spiritual thing.

                90.As for the matter of the piercing, I understand that you want to do something that is cool. And why is it cool? It's cool because it's a sign of rebellion. I understand this, because I was also a rebel. Many of your parents, elders and shepherds were also rebels when they were your age. For often those who are rebels are rebelling against the sins of their generation. Many who are rebellious are disgusted with the hypocrisy, the degeneration, the emptiness and the depravity that they see in modern society. Thus they seek to show a different way, and they rebel completely.

                91.I say unto you that the greatest rebellion is the rebellion of love. But many people in the world do not want to rebel in love, because it's too hard. It's easier to rebel simply in an outward way by their clothing and appearance, and not in the heart. They don't want to rebel or be a revolutionary against the System in their heart, because it's too hard.

                92.Yet I show unto you a more excellent way, and that is the way of love. I show you a better way, you could even say a cooler way! This is the most radical and the most revolutionary way of all. People can tell when you are acting in love. They can see that this is the true standard against the status quo, against the robotic majority who have no love and who are selfish, self-centered and egocentric.

                93.When I was on Earth, I rebelled by being simple, by being very plain. I wore one robe, and this was all I owned. Because I knew that if there was anything physical that people could latch on to, they would do that. If there was any outward thing that they could mimic, they would do that. But My revolution was of the Spirit. My message was love, and My gift to them was love. I knew they needed love to make them happy, and I didn't want anything to distract from My message of love. So I tried to keep the physical as simple as possible, and I just wore one robe. It didn't even have a seam, it was so plain. But even this robe has been written about, and there have been movies about it, and books about it. So it was very hard to stay simple, but this was the way I rebelled.

                94.I'm not saying you should just wear one robe, but I'm just trying to show you that I understand when you want to assume a certain look or you want to dress a certain way. But I also want to explain to you that in My great love for you, I want to use you to love others. I want to use your beauty and your charm and your personality to love others. I need your eyes to love others. I need your beautiful face to love others. If you were to put a ring in your eyebrow or your nose, your beautiful face could be disfigured, and it could be dangerous for you. I need your eyes. I need your face. I need to shine My love through your eyes and through your face to other people.

                95.If you were an island unto yourself, it wouldn't matter. If you were never going to look at anyone with the eyes of love, it wouldn't matter. But do you know that many are encouraged by your eyes and by your face?

                96.For this reason I would ask that you hold back on doing this thing, because I need you. You are very, very precious to Me, and your happiness is very, very important to Me. And if there were not a good reason and if it didn't matter, I would not stop you from doing this. But because there is a danger of disfigurement, I desire to protect you from this danger.

                97.Take heart and be encouraged, and know that you can identify with the youth of your time in many ways. You can be one with them and win them, just as I did. And as you look at all these people that will be helped by you--by your love, by your touch, by your happiness, by your countenance--you will understand, and you will be able to make the sacrifices that you make now.

                98.As you yield and go with Me, I will bless you, and I will give you great joy and happiness inside!--Not only peace and contentment, but more than that--real joyful happiness. This will be My gift to you as you yield to Me. The gift will come as you lay down your life, because it will be in laying down your life that you will find it. In yielding to those things that seem to be hard, you will even find an escape. But tell Me when it is too hard, and I will send those that will help you. Tell Me when you don't understand and I will send you explanations. But know this, that the path that I have for you is one of joy and happiness and great fruitfulness! (End of message from Jesus.)

                99.(Mama:) So basically, the Lord told this young woman that it would be best not to pierce her eyebrow or her nose because of the danger of infection and disfigurement (which does happen!), and also because He wants to use her face as an inspiration and encouragement to others. The Lord wants to use you all in a similar manner, as vessels of His love to others--your brothers and sisters in the Family, as well as to the lost. So I would say that piercing your eyebrow or your lip or nose would not be a good idea or the best sample in most situations. (If nose jewels are the custom in your country, as they are in some Eastern cultures, and you've been wearing one already or wearing one would help you become one and would be a good testimony, that might be a different story. In that case, seek the Lord for His counsel, and He'll let you know what's best in your situation.)

                100.As far as piercing other parts of your body, such as your navel, you might feel that it won't affect your sample any, since no one will see it when you're out. Well, I would still advise against it, as piercing other parts of your body besides your earlobe can lead to serious infection. Even piercing the upper part of your ear--as is popular with some System young people nowadays--can be dangerous. Above the lobe, the ear is made of cartilage which can more easily get seriously infected and be permanently damaged if not pierced properly. It happened recently to one of our teens, so be forewarned!


Piercing Perils

                ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Not only are more people, men and women alike, piercing their ears these days, but also their noses, eyebrows, lips and tongues.

                The next fashion trend may be trips to the plastic surgeon to undo the damage, according to Dr. J. Regan Thomas, professor and chairman of the department of head and neck surgery at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

                "We're certainly seeing more men of all ages and professions who are having their ears pierced. We're seeing men and women continue to add multiple holes to their ears. In addition, we're seeing other parts of the face and head be pierced as well. Along with these trends has come an increase in some potentially serious complications," he says.

                The most common problem is tearing or a complete split in the earlobe, which often happens when an earring catches on something or is pulled as a result of activity like sports or holding a curious baby, Thomas says. Repairing a split earlobe usually requires plastic surgery to stitch the lobe in a way to prevent notching or deformity. Visible scarring normally results. Infections and resulting deformity can arise from the practice of piercing cartilage rather than soft tissue, he says. While the earlobe itself is made of soft tissue, the outside edge near the top of the ear--a common spot for multiple ear piercing--is cartilage. Portions of the nose also are made of cartilage, which has a poorer blood supply than soft tissue, is less resistant to infection and has a higher chance of scarring and deformity.

                "Infection can lead to a loss of cartilage," says Dr. Anthony P. Sclafani, facial plastic and reconstructive fellow in Thomas' department. "The cartilage is replaced by scar tissue, which then retracts and is difficult to repair. A nostril can be pulled up by scar tissue; or we can see a so-called 'cauliflower ear' as the result of infected cartilage. In addition, infection can spread to other parts of the body, requiring antibiotics and even hospitalization." Other problems include heavy jewelry stretching holes, which can become infected; risk of infectious diseases, since piercing is an invasive procedure; skin allergies for people who cannot tolerate nickel or other metals; and tumor-like distortions formed by abnormal scar tissue growth that can form at the piercing site.


What Is a Rebel?

                101.Besides the Lord's message about piercing, another reason why I wanted to include the previous prophecy in this GN is because the Lord says some very significant things to you young people about being rebels. When most kids get to be teenagers, it's pretty much a fact of life that they start wanting to be more independent or do things differently than when they were younger. Many even rebel to some degree against what their parents tell them to do, because they want to be grown up and not be treated like kids any more. Dad had a lot to say about this in Letters like "Teenagers," "The Early Teens," "Encouraging and Guiding the Teens," "The Age of Decision," etc. (MLs #1398, 2062, 2139, 2429). I'm not going to repeat all of what Dad said about it, because you can look up those Letters and read his full counsel for yourself--and you parents and shepherds probably should.

                102. When your teen has been a bit "rebellious" and has wanted to do things a bit differently than the way you think that he or she should have (for example, wearing clothing that you don't particularly like and wouldn't wear), you may have wondered whether this was something to be tolerated, or whether he or she was just being rebellious and needed to shape up.

                103.Teens have an inborn need to flap their wings at that age and be able to express themselves in new and different ways,but how far can we let it go, and how should we as parents look at it? What's the purpose of our teens being different, or what we parents consider "cool" (in the sense of being worldly)--which often seems to have a bit of a rebellious spirit attached to it? I thought that you might have these questions, so I brought them before the Lord. Thank the Lord that we can go to Him with these difficult questions, and He always answers so wonderfully! Some of this is along the same lines of what was covered in part one of this series, but the Lord has lots of new counsel, too, particularly on the subject of rebellion. Here are the two messages the Lord gave:

                104.(Jesus speaking:) Every generation has a desire to be different, to be unique! I have put it in the hearts of these young ones to desire their individuality, to show themselves as individuals, to be different from their parents and the older generation. They have this desire because they want to be seen as individuals. They want to be seen for what they are--as unique individuals with their own desires, dreams, heartaches, battles, victories and needs. I have put it in their hearts to be different.

                105.It's not enough for them to just hear how the older generation did it in the early days of the Family and how they became one to win the hippies. This is not enough for these young ones. They want to do it and live it themselves. They want to become one, be different, break people's bottles! This is the desire that I have put in their hearts, in their young, wild, free spirits. And even if they love and respect their parents, they want their parents to know that they're different, that they're not like their parents. That's why every generation wants to look and be and act different.

                106.This is how I bring about change and new thoughts and ideas and revolutions and discoveries. I bring about all this good fruit from this desire in the young ones to be different. Because then they reach out, they go beyond the norm, they break out of the mold. They think new thoughts and they desire to do new things.

                107.So it is with these young ones, the young children of David. They are My revolutionaries, My new bottles, and I put a desire within them to be different. So let them burn free! My purpose in this is that they might receive My new ideas, My New Wine, My new inspiration, that they might be able to reach their generation and go places their parents have never gone, and do things their parents have never done!

                108.The reason many of My young ones who look "cool" have a rebellious spirit is because in order to wear these clothes and these styles, they are forced to rebel against the codes and rules that the older generation has placed upon them. Their parents and shepherds and caregivers have hedged them about so tightly with rules and an artificial standard that if they wish to break out of it, they must rebel. So it is that you sense a rebellious spirit. The rebellious spirit does not come from the clothes or the styles, but it comes from their frustration. In their frustration and their lack of freedom and their lack of an avenue to express their individuality, they rebel.

                109.Those who have broken through the rules and the bondage that has been placed upon them, those few who have taken upon themselves these styles and this look of their generation, have rebelled, and so it is that you sense the rebellious spirit. But if these young ones were given the freedom of choice, if they were given leeway in My Spirit, if they were given room to move more freely according to their own desires, then they would not be forced to break the rules or break out of the bondage and artificial standard that is being placed upon them. They would not be forced to rebel, but they would be able to move freely. They would be able to move in faith and in peace and in security, knowing that what they are doing is not displeasing in My sight, and is not displeasing in the sight of their parents or their shepherds or their caregivers.

                110.In giving them this freedom, you will not find more rebellion, but more yieldedness, because they will reward your demonstration of faith in them. They will reward you for this greater freedom that you bestow upon them with more cooperation and more respect and more working together with you in unity. You will find that opening the doors to more freedom will not bring more rebelliousness. It will bring more conscientious concern on their part if they are given the responsibility to pray and to make Spirit-led decisions and to give account of those decisions and to be responsible for the consequences. They will prove themselves worthy of these privileges, and you will see good fruit--provided the motive for their desire to be free is based in truth and righteousness and a desire to bear fruit for My Kingdom.

                111.This greater freedom will bear good fruit in My Kingdom if these young ones prove themselves worthy, mature and prayerful in their desires and their decisions, if they let themselves be counseled and if they are open to suggestion, and if they are truly desiring to do the right thing and find a good balance between their individuality and what is best for My Kingdom.

                112.So fear not to grant the liberty that these young ones desire, and continue to test and measure the fruits. But have patience, for these young ones have much to learn. You must give them a free line that they might express themselves and find themselves and learn what works and what doesn't work. And with time and good counsel and good communication and good experimentation, you will find that which is fruitful for My Kingdom.

                113.I have put it in the hearts of My young people to rebel, and if you encroach on their freedom too much, if you bind them in too tightly, they will rebel against you. They will rebel against your rules and your regulations and restrictions. But this is a false rebellion. This is a rebellion poorly placed, which will not bear good fruit. This is not the purpose of the spirit of rebellion that I have placed in their hearts.

                114.Release these young ones from this immediate distraction of rules and regulations in these relatively unimportant matters, that they might be able to turn their eyes to the things in the world that are truly worthy of their rebellion. They will then be able to let go of these insignificant battles, and turn their eyes and their minds and their thoughts and energies toward rebelling against the evils of the System and getting out My message of warning and doom to the System!

                115. Now they are distracted and are rebelling against things that are so unimportant and insignificant and that bear so little good fruit. This is just a distraction of the Enemy! Set them free from these distractions, that they might use the rebellion I have placed in their heart to be My messengers of the End, to expose the evils of the System, to be a rallying cry to their generation and to open their eyes to the evil around them!--The evils of abortion, the evils of drugs and the perpetrators of the drug kingdoms, the evils of war, the evils of wicked politics, the evils of big business which steals from the poor to gather more and more riches for themselves.

                116.Set My young ones free that they might cry aloud their rebellion against wicked Babylon,that they might call out My message of rebellion, that it may ring in the hearts of the lost sheep! The sheep will come running into their arms and into the fold, for this cry of rebellion will strike a responsive chord in those who are searching for the truth. For My lost young people around the world seek rebellion against the evils of the System. They seek an escape, a solution, a way out, but they see it not.

                117.So loose the young warriors of David and let them be the voice of rebellion against the kingdom of the Evil One! In this they will find great satisfaction and great inspiration. They will find their place, and know they are fulfilling the dream that I have placed in their hearts. (End of message from Jesus.)

                118.(Mama:) This is an amazing message, isn't it? The Lord is so understanding of all of us, and doesn't want to pour any of us into a tight mold. As a loving parent, He allows us the freedom to love and serve Him according to our faith and even desires, as long as we stay within the confines of His will.

                119.Now please take this message from Jesus in context with everything else He has said in other Letters like "Help from Heaven" (ML #3056, GN 686) about upholding the standard and not allowing our young people (or adults, for that matter) to get away with behavior that goes against the Word and that is bearing bad fruit and pulling them away from the Lord and the Word and witnessing. You need to be tolerant and understanding, but there are limits. We're not tearing down all the boundaries and saying that people can just do whatever they want!

                120.Along these lines, one key excerpt of the above prophecy that I would like to repeat here explains quite well the balance to be found in freedom versus the standard: "Release these young ones from this immediate distraction of rules and regulations in these relatively unimportant matters, that they might be able to turn their eyes to the things in the world that are truly worthy of their rebellion. They will then be able to let go of these insignificant battles and turn their eyes and their minds and their thoughts and energies toward rebelling against the evils of the System and getting out My message of warning and doom to the System."

                121.What the Lord is saying is that maybe you need to lighten up on some things that are minor details in our service for the Lord, such as our dress, so that it's not an issue any more, in order to focus the teens' attention on the much more important matters of their dedication to the Lord and their witnessing of the Lord's meaty anti-System message.

                122. Often the Enemy can use these little superficial things as red herringsto sow disagreement and disunity between the adults and teens, so that you end up spending a whole lot of time and energy arguing over and trying to sort out minor details instead of using that time to work on the much more important aspects of your service for the Lord and spiritual growth. Our young people's spiritual growth and attitude of heart are much more important than their outward appearance.

                123.It's true that the outward appearance sometimes reflects wrong spiritual attitudes, but not always. And in either case, rather than focusing on the symptom--the outward appearance or actions--you should dig deeper and try to fix the real root of the problem, whether it be frustration or lack of inspiration or vision, etc. If you just repress the symptom by creating rules that forbid it, instead of taking time to cure the inner problem, the problem will grow under the surface until it finally explodes and does a lot more damage in the long run.

                124.Again, please don't misunderstand and just throw out shepherding and let "freedom" reign. Shepherding is very important, and this prophecy doesn't change that in any way. It's just that the Lord is saying that in some areas you may need to allow more freedom, and instead of trying to repress or bring the teens' energy and ideas under subjection, you should channel them in the right direction so they can bear fruit for the Lord. You should also leave petty differences behind so that you can find unity and strength in the issues that matter most.

                125.And young folks, remember that the Lord is listing some pretty important qualifiers here which you mustn't forget. He isn't just saying "let's have more freedom," but He's putting down some conditions and asking you to live up to your part of the bargain, too. He tells your parents and shepherds that as they give you more freedom, you will in turn reward them with more cooperation and respect and conscientious concern. And I hope you will!

                126.Many of the blessings that the Lord gives us are conditional. They're conditional on our obedience and how closely we're following what He is asking us to do in return for the extra blessings or freedoms or privileges. So if you don't keep your side of the bargain, then the Lord won't bless it and it won't bear good fruit, either in your personal life or in your Home. He wants to give you more responsibility and freedom in many areas, but with it He's giving you the responsibility to pray and to make Spirit-led decisions, and to give account of those decisions. You also bear the responsibility for the consequences of those choices, as to whether they're going to bear good fruit and further the Lord's will, or whether they're going to bear bad fruit in your life or the lives of others. Please take that responsibility seriously!

                127.(Jesus speaking:) As each generation of the young has had their rebellions, their revolutions, their dance crazes, their dress crazes, their poetry crazes in order to wake up the older generation, to wake up their parents, to expose their lethargy, so have I allowed your young ones to rebel, to help make sure that you do not settle down into the old-bottleism of legalism.

                128.Being "cool" is a form of rebellion, but in the case of your children, My new generation of the Family, it is not quite the same rebellion as has happened through the years in the System. For often theirs were based on anti-God values, things not important. But as I have said, many of your younger ones are frustrated and confused with the feelings they have. For they love you and they love Me, and they want to please you and they want to please Me. They don't quite understand this inner conflict of also wanting to please themselves, which is a natural, inborn desire that I have placed there, to help grow them up and mature them and help them to become dependent on Me.

                129.So don't fear or worry about your children wanting to experiment. Be patient and lead and guide, and remember from whence you came. And of course, as each one is an individual, some are rebellious with the wrong spirit. But don't worry for these either, for you have trained up your children in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. So don't worry, but lead and guide and be patient. And when possible, allow your children to step out and experiment and be different and learn and grow. As I said, in your allowing freedoms, you'll draw them in closer.

                130. Know that this being cool is not a rebellion against you or against Me; it's just their way of crying out to be recognized. So heed their cries and treat them with wisdom and love and patience. (End of message from Jesus.)

                131.(Mama:) Now before you young people start going off thinking that it's okay to be "cool" (in the sense of being worldly) and even a bit rebellious, may I say a few things? Yes, the Lord has put it in the heart of you teens to want to exert your adolescence and be different, as well as have a cause and something to live for and something to fight for or against. That's just great, as long as you make sure that you're fighting for the right things and against the wrong things. The Lord is not saying that it's okay to rebel against Him and His Word and His will!

                132.In the godless System, teens rebel against their parents because they're fed up with the spiritually decaying System around them. The Lord made it that way so they'll start searching and try to find Him and His love. Otherwise, if they were so self-satisfied, they'd never even look for the Lord or be open to His message of salvation. Of course, most of the rebels eventually settle down to become just like the System around them, living comfortably for themselves, until their kids come along and rebel against them!

                133.In the Family it's a bit different, of course, because we have the truth and the Lord. And while the Lord made you teens to want to do things differently than your parents and be different than they are, you have to be careful that you're not rebelling against God by rejecting the fundamental building blocks of your faith in the Lord and His Word. Be careful that in wanting to be different than your parents, you don't rebel the wrong way and become more like the System kids your age. That's not being a real rebel! That's just being a Systemite like everyone else--cowardly and aimlessly flowing with the fickle, fleeting tide of fad and fashion! Being a true rebel is staying dropped out and being what the Lord wants you to be!

                134.I'm not saying that you have to be just like your parents and do things exactly the same way they do. In fact, I hope you don't, as the Lord is always leading in new ways for each generation. In the previous prophecy the Lord says, "I have put it in the hearts of these young ones to desire their individuality, to show themselves as individuals, to be different from their parents and the older generation." This confirms what Dad said many years ago: "The greatest thing we can teach our new disciples and children--and each new generation has to learn it for itself--is to follow God and hear from Him fresh every day" (ML #251:39).

                135.But it's important for you young people to check your motives for wanting to be different and express your individuality. The Lord explained what the purpose should be when He said in the prophecy earlier, "So let them burn free! My purpose in this is that they might receive My new ideas, My New Wine, My new inspiration, that they might be able to reach their generation and go places their parents have never gone, and do things their parents have never done!" Are these your motives and goals?

                136.If your motives are wrong and your heart is not right, the Lord's not going to bless it, and these freedoms will become a bondage of the Enemy that will pull you away from the Lord and could eventually suck you right into the System! One way to avoid that happening is to remember the caution the Lord gives in this prophecy. I hope you don't mind if I repeat the whole paragraph here, but I think it's an important point that is worth highlighting so you won't forget it. The Lord says, "This greater freedom will bear good fruit in My Kingdom if these young ones prove themselves worthy, mature and prayerful in their desires and their decisions, if they let themselves be counseled and are open to suggestion, and if they are truly desiring to do the right thing and find a good balance between their individuality and what is best for My Kingdom."

                137.Remember, you can be different in some ways, operating according to your faith and personal desires and leading of the Lord, and yet still follow the Lord and His Word just as closely. And that's what you need to strive to do. Rebel, yes, but rebel against the worldliness and godlessness and selfishness of the System--not against the Lord and the standard of the Word!

                138.Get out and show your rebellion against the System by preaching the meat of the Word and socking it to them with the Endtime message, which the Lord has given you a particular commission to give! The Lord says that He's placed the urge to rebel in your hearts so that you could use that rebellion to be His messengers of the End, to expose the evils of the System, to be a rallying cry to your generation. He wants to use you to open the eyes of your peers in the world to the evils around them --abortion, drugs, war, ungodly education, wicked politics, selfish big business, and most of all, the coming Antichrist one-world government. The Lord wants to give you more freedoms of the flesh--freedoms to look and act the way you would like to in order to become one with the youth of the System so you can reach them better--but He expects you to show them the true wild freedom of the Spirit, to turn them on to Jesus and His freedom!

                139.Just like your parents had to rebel against the System of their day and drop out, you have to rebel and drop out of the pull of materialism and evil of your day! In the Letter "Dropouts," Dad said, "God has no grandchildren! There's no such thing as second-generation Christians! Every new generation either has to drop out or cop out--one or the other; bring forth new buds, or die on the vine and become dead!" (ML #42:5). What will you do?

Freedom: Burden or Blessing?

                140.While we're on the subject of freedom and individuality, I'd like to include excerpts of another message the Lord gave when we asked for counsel on a matter of outward appearance. What the Lord says in the prophecy below is much along the same lines as the message He gave in prophecy earlier, although given on another occasion and in answer to a different question. Here He offers some additional insight and counsel on how to discern which freedoms to allow and what the limits are, which you adults will find very helpful in your shepherding and you young people will find helpful as guidelines. The Lord also expounds further on the reasons why it's important to allow you young people a certain degree of freedom and how it fits into His overall plan.

                141.(Jesus speaking:) What freedoms to allow and what freedoms to curtail is a difficult question. I say unto you that it depends on the motivation. It depends upon the spirit of those partaking of the freedom. It depends upon the maturity of those desiring the freedom. Is it good for My work? Does it help someone and harm no one? Does it cause My young people to feel My love and to feel trusted, to feel independent, to feel that they are their own person, that they can make their own decisions, that they are not being constantly watched and their every move dictated by their overseers, teachers or parents? Does it allow them to feel that they are growing up and that they are trusted and that they have the freedom to just be teens--to be different from the adults and their parents and to do things differently than the way the older generation did them?

                142.As I have said, the younger generation seeks to be different. They seek to break loose from the mold. They seek freedom and liberty in the spirit, but also in the flesh. They seek to find their own way and be their own person and be individuals. They seek to try new things. I have put within them this desire to be different, to be My new bottles. I have put within them a hunger for change, for individuality, for independence. They are coming to an age when they will need to make major decisions which will affect their lives in a much bigger way. So they are tested and trained and taught through little decisions, testing their convictions, testing their principles, testing their motives, testing their ability to handle freedom and to be independent.

                143.They must be given some freedoms. They must be allowed to make some choices in order for them to learn and grow and mature. They cannot be overprotected, lest when it comes time for them to make serious decisions, they will not be prepared. They will not have learned how to hear My still small voice. They will not have learned how to judge between right and wrong--that which is good and that which is not good, that which is beneficial for My Kingdom and that which is detrimental. So they must be given freedom and independence within certain limitations, to allow them to grow and mature and learn the lessons that they need to learn.

                144.Your physical appearance matters very little to Me: How you wear your hair or what kind of clothes you wear. This is of little importance to Me if your heart is right with Me and your motivation is right and if it bears good fruit in your life and the lives of those round about you. But if it causes pride or rebelliousness, or a greater desire for the System, or a resistance to correction, or if it causes a gap between the younger generation and the older generation, or a gap between the teens and their younger brothers and sisters, then this is not good fruit. And by its fruit this liberty shall be judged.

                145.If the young people feel trusted, if it makes them feel more content, if they are able to feel that they have room to be individuals and to flap their wings and to try new things, if it brings greater unity between the generations and greater appreciation for one another, if it makes the young people more willing to listen and more open to the counsel and teachings of the older generation, then this is good fruit.

                146.So don't be afraid to allow these liberties, but judge by the fruit. If it bears good fruit, then it can continue; if it bears bad fruit, then it must be discontinued. Whatever is good for the Kingdom is what's best. Whatever promotes openness and honesty and love and unity, this is freedom of the spirit.

                147. Freedom of the spirit is what must be sought above all freedom! It is much more important, much more glorious and wonderful, and much more satisfying than mere freedom of the flesh. Freedom of the flesh in how you wear your hair or your clothes or your jewelry or your makeup is so limited and so small in comparison to freedom in the spirit--freedom to love, freedom to pray, freedom to seek Me, freedom to praise Me openly and to show a thankful spirit, freedom to love one another and lift each other up and give each other a helping hand when the other falls.

                148.Freedom to love and communicate and share your heart and forgive is all part of the freedom of the spirit, which is much more valuable and so much more to be sought after than mere freedom of the flesh or freedom of fashion. So in seeking freedom, do not neglect the greatest freedom--the freedom of the spirit, the freedom to be what I would want you to be, the freedom that is found in humility and yieldedness to Me. In seeking not only to be an individual, a young person, yourself, but seeking to be what I want you to be, the creation that I have created you to be, and in seeking Me first and seeking to please Me above all things, you will find the greatest freedom! (End of prophecy.)

                149.(Mama:) I'm just fascinated by the way the Lord explains things and the tremendous answers He gives when we seek Him! They are truly jewels from Heaven that He pours out of His treasure storehouse! Isn't it neat what the Lord said about the freedom of the spirit and the freedom of the flesh? While it's nice to have these freedoms of the flesh and to be able to enjoy the things that you want to do and be the way you want to be, the freedoms of the spirit are so much more important. Without them, you'll never really be able to enjoy the freedoms of the flesh, because you won't be happy or content or full of the Lord's blessings in your life. Think about it.

                150.Again, the Lord explains how one way to judge whether a certain freedom is good or not is to try it out and see the fruit that it bears. He also gives some very good criteria on what is good fruit and what is bad fruit. Some people might think that something is bearing good fruit when it's actually bad, and others who are more conservative may think something is bearing bad fruit, when it's actually okay. So how do you know? Well, here are the criteria the Lord spells out above, listed in point form. There are more, I'm sure, but these are just the ones the Lord gives in this prophecy:

                Good fruit:

                * Young people feel the Lord's love and feel trusted.

                * Young people feel more content.

                * Young people feel they have room to be individuals and try new things.

                * Greater unity between the older and younger generations.

                * Greater love and appreciation for one another.

                * Young people more willing to listen and be open for counsel from the older generation.

                * Promotes openness, honesty, love and unity.

                Bad fruit:

                * Pride and rebelliousness.

                * A greater desire for the System.

                * Resistance to correction.

                * A lack of communication and trust between the younger and older generation, or between the teens and YAs and their younger brothers and sisters.

                151.On another point, it's interesting how the Lord explains one of the reasons why we should give the young people certain freedoms and allow them to operate according to their own faith. He tells us how they need to make some choices now so that they can learn and grow and mature through the experience. We can't overprotect them. Otherwise, when the time comes that they're out on their own or in a situation where they have to make important, serious decisions, they won't be prepared.

                152.We should, of course, try to help them make the right decisions, but even if they sometimes make the wrong ones, by allowing them to make them on their own and then see the consequences, they'll learn by experience. And most of all, they'll learn to seek the Lord, as only by looking to Him can they make the truly right decisions. Of course, you don't want to let them make wrong decisions that would seriously hurt themselves or others, but in many more minor areas it's helpful to let them learn from their own experience and choices. That's the way the Lord is with us: He gives us instruction and counsel, but leaves the choice up to us, and sometimes even uses our mistakes to teach us lessons we couldn't learn otherwise.

                153.The Lord explains this in the following excerpt of another prophecy received while hearing from the Lord on the subject of outward appearance. He said, "I have given unto you, My older generation, abundant blessings, great freedoms in your life, of which all of you partook to the full, and many of you had to learn the blessing of staying within My will and within My love. Some of you had to learn the hard way, that it doesn't pay to lean to your own understanding, to follow your own feelings, to be led by your feelings or by pride or circumstances. So it is with My younger generation who seek to do new things, and find new challenges and steeper paths to tread. Some may have to learn through trial and error and through personal experience, because they are not willing to just be totally yielded and hearken unto My voice, My counsel and My advice. Even these I will not force, but I will allow them to choose the path that they wish, for in so doing they will be fully convinced in their own mind and heart."


                154.(Mama:) Now on to another issue related to outward appearance that some of you young people might be wondering about: Is it okay to have tattoos? Maybe you've met an adult in the Family who had one done before he joined. Or maybe some kids you've been witnessing to have one and you think it would be cool to have one, too. How does the Lord see it? Does He look at it the same way as a hairstyle or an earring? If you want to find out, read on!

                155.(Jesus speaking:) You have been Mine and have been loved by Me since the foundation of time, and even now you are with Me in the great eternal now! You're Mine not only in name, but in spirit, in heart, and in body. We are one. Your body is as My body, created by Me for My pleasure and a vessel of beauty and sanctity in My sight. Even though it is an earthen vessel, it is also a living temple where My Spirit dwells.

                156.I am your Husband Who loves and delights in His wife, Who longs for her to open herself to Him in every way--not only in body, but also in spirit and heart--and to share with Him her deepest longings, desires, wishes, concerns, questions and ponderings. For what great love and devotion it shows when she diligently seeks out and longs for her Husband and asks Him all things, and seeks to do only those things that are pleasing in His sight, be they big or little. What great dependence, loyalty and love this shows, when she earnestly seeks His will, His desires, His wants and His ways above her own, when in humility and devotion to her Lord she says, "Your wish is as my command." This brings Me great joy and pleasure.

                157.Come, let us talk together about these questions you have. Together we can weigh out these matters. Each one must search his heart and ask the same questions: Does this thing I wish to do glorify my Lord? Does it bear good fruit in my life? What are my motives for wanting to do this? Does it help and not hinder in my witnessing to others? Does it draw me closer to my Husband?

                158.For just as a wife desires to look good in the eyes of her husband and desires to adorn herself and wear things that please him, so I wish for each one to come before Me and ask Me of these things--what I know to be good for you personally. Yet I am also a doting Husband who wishes to shower His bride with blessings and all that her heart desires, if it does not hurt her, as she continues to delight herself in Me.

                159.For we are joined forever as one, and you are not your own, even your body. Your body is as My body, for it is the vehicle whereby My love is shown to those who have no love. For you are the only body I have. I want to show the world that you are My bride, you are My dearest love, My treasured one, My called-out love. I need your body, your face, your hands to radiate My love, My purity, My truth, My Words in motion, in order to seek out and find My lost ones.

                160.I want your body to glorify Me, and to be a testimony of our love and oneness. For you are fairer to Me than all the daughters of men, and your fairness shines as a light in great darkness. Your fairness comes from being Mine and having My light and love. And even though I do not look on the outward appearance, but I look past the flesh to your spirit and heart, I do at the same time desire for you, as My bride, to glorify Me--that your body, your apparel, your ornaments, do glorify Me, that they beautify and enhance My handiwork.

                161.I would not that the world so encase your body and pull on your spirit that it no longer glorifies Me, or that you no longer walk as Mine. For there is a difference between dressing in fashionable clothing that pleases you when your spirit and heart are focused in the right direction (toward Me), and being enticed and lured by the ways of the world, to be in spirit and in body and in every way as one of the world.

                162.Rather than desiring to write these marks of the world on your body--these tattoos--I would that you would earnestly seek to write My Words diligently on the tablets of your heart. For the fashion of this world passes away, but My Words written in your heart shall never pass away. This is your true strength--to sear My Words in your heart.

                163.This mark of the world, these tattoos, are the mark of supposed strength, pride, and toughness. But I challenge you: Are you brave enough to walk the path of humility and receive true strength by having your inner man seared with the white-hot heat of My Words? This is the source of true power and strength! Are you willing to be My love slave, and in turn experience exhilarating thrills, ecstasies and freedom you have never known before?

                164.For yet a little while and you shall receive My tattoo, the greatest of all tattoos, which does not mark and sear the flesh as those of the world, for it is greater than all fleshly marks of the world. This is My spiritual seal and mark. I would that you rather earnestly seek after this great seal, My mark which shall set you apart and keep you in the dark days to come which are almost upon you.

                165.This mark will be the mark of true strength--not of worldly pride and fleshly strength, but of dependence on Me, of true humility, of My ownership. Therefore earnestly seek after, be worthy of, and covet this mark. For though these coming days be dark, for you, My children, I also call them days of light, for your light shall shine as never before! Then shall your true inner strength be made manifest as never before! Then shall the strength of the flesh fail. Then shall your true strength be put to the test. Then shall you need My strength, My power, My seal.

                166.Are you willing to seek out those who need Me, who need My love, My salvation, My seal? Are you willing to lay down your life that others may bear My mark? Are you willing to shine as one who bears My mark?--Not the mark of the world, of pride and fleshly strength, but of the true servants of God--strong in My Word, in My love, in dependency on Me, shining as living testaments to My Word, and being as more than conquerors through Me! (End of message from Jesus.)

                167.(Mama:) The Lord loves us, and as a doting Husband, He wants to give us what pleases us. But He knows that as we please Him, we will be truly happy. Remember the old saying?: "Jesus, Others and You spells JOY!" Well, it's really true, and if we put His wishes first and do those things which are good for Him and for others, He'll pour down on us all kinds of blessings that will make us happy.

                168. It may seem contradictory that giving up something that you want in order to please someone else will make you happy, but that's one of the laws of God. It's a miracle, just like everything in the spiritual realm operates so differently from the natural. You give in order to get; you lose your life in order to save it; you die, yet you live; you step out by faith and saw off the limb, yet you don't fall; you become weak in order to become strong; you have to become simple in order to become wise, etc.

                169.So you can be sure that when the Lord asks us to do something that seems contrary to our natural way of thinking and even our desires, if we go ahead and do it, He's going to reward our faith and our obedience. When you want to do something that you're not sure about, the Lord says that you should ask yourself the following questions: Does it glorify the Lord? Will it bear good fruit in your life? Does it draw you closer to your Husband? Will it help and not hinder in your witnessing to others?

                170.Maybe you figure you'll get a tattoo somewhere where no one will see it when you're out witnessing, so that it won't be a bad sample or stumble anybody. But think of this: The Bible tells us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.6:19-20), and in the above prophecy the Lord again repeats that we're His body, His face to the world. So if you're tempted to get a tattoo, look at it this way: Would Jesus want to get a tattoo on His body?

                171.The Lord certainly seems to be discouraging tattoos, instructing us to rather write His Word on the tablets of our heart. He refers to tattoos as the mark of the world on our bodies, and a sign of pride and fleshly strength, and tells us that we should instead strive to be ready to receive His mark.

                172.On the practical side, one thing about a tattoo that very much sets it apart from a hairstyle, clothes or earring is that it's pretty much an irreversible decision. You can always decide to change your clothes or take out the earring if you feel it was a bad decision or you simply change your mind or move somewhere where it isn't acceptable. But you can't just take off a tattoo. In fact, the only way you can get rid of it is through an expensive and very painful process where they burn it off with a laser. Our Home saw a documentary on this, and believe me, it's not something you would want to go through.

                173.In any case, after reading this if you still feel you should get a tattoo and that it would be a help in some way, then I strongly recommend that you first seek the Lord, along with others, to get a confirmation in the mouth of two or three witnesses that it's His will, before you go ahead with it. Don't make a decision you'll later regret!

                174.As an interesting sideline, we asked the Lord what He meant in the above prophecy about His "mark." We wondered whether He was referring to the "seal of God" that is mentioned in Revelation chapter 7. The Lord didn't reveal whether it was or not, but I think you'll find His answer very interesting:

                175.(Jesus speaking:) What is the mark of My Spirit and what shows or proves that you are My children and that you belong to Me? Man takes an outward mark or tattoo upon his body to show something that he believes in, or something that he desires or longs after or wants to live up to. He takes on a mark or tattoo to portray his inner beliefs or way of thinking. No matter what the mark is, it says something about the man.

                176.What is the mark that My children have upon them? What is the seal of the servants of God--the seal that they receive in their foreheads? What shows the world that you are My children, that I am your God, that we belong to each other? And how can you be ready to receive My mark as a testimony to the world that you are My bride and that I am your Lord and Husband?

                177.They see it in the light on your face. They see it reflected. They see My Spiritthrough the love in your eyes, the joy, the conviction, the light. My mark and My seal upon your forehead or upon your face shines forth brilliantly to those who sit in darkness, to those who know Me not. It shines more clearly and speaks more loudly than any tattoo of man, for it cannot be hidden or covered up. My Spirit will be recognized upon your faces and in your eyes.

                178.That is My mark--the mark that My children receive when they love Me and receive Me and yield to Me and let Me make love to them. And the more I love you and make love to you, the more My Spirit and My seeds enter into you and become part of you, and grow and blossom and develop and bring forth precious fruit, precious fruits of My Spirit--love and wisdom and understanding, discernment, peace, joy, unity, faith and the great things of My Spirit. These will be reflected on your face to the world. These will be shown in your conviction, in your love for Me, in your unity with each other.

                179.It's a strong seal, a strong mark, a spiritual mark that no man has the power to take away from My children. No man has the power to erase it. So be ready to receive My mark not only once, but continue to stay open, yielded and receptive to Me, so I can continually pump My seeds into you, and that My seal upon your face may shine forever. (End of message from Jesus.)

Posters of System Icons

                180.(Mama:) This next subject is not really about outward appearance, but is somewhat related, and I know it's one you'll be interested in. In part one of this GN series I explained how some of the teens in one of our WS units had asked about wearing earrings (on the guys, that is). Another question they had at the same time was about putting up some posters of famous performers in their room. To be specific, the girls wanted to put up a big poster of Brad Pitt in their room, and the boys one of Dolly Parton in theirs. I've seen pictures of Dolly Parton, but I don't know Brad Pitt as I don't watch movies because of my eyes. From what I've heard, he's a good-looking young actor that many young girls like.

                181.So when the shepherds of the Home asked if I had any counsel about it, guess what my answer was? You've probably guessed it already. That's right, I suggested we pray and ask the Lord! So we did, and the Lord sent Dad with a very good answer which I think will be a real help to all of you who have had questions about whether or not it's okay to put up posters of movie stars and other System icons on your bedroom walls.

                182.(Dad speaking:) Well, Honey, like I always said, raising teens is not an easy job! There are so many questions, so many things that come up. But you're a wise and loving mother and shepherdess to bring these things before the Lord. The Lord knows what's best. He knows their hearts. He knows what they need. It's so difficult judging what is right for teens, because they have to be given some freedom. They have to be allowed to be independent in some ways and be given some freedom so that they can feel that they're trusted and that they're growing up and that they're not being clamped down on by the adults.

                183. I can understand posters of beautiful, sexy, semi-nude women. You know I always loved to have nude women around--so beautiful, glorifying God! A woman is His greatest, most beautiful creation! And a naked woman is even better! Such beauty! Such sex appeal! I can understand that the boys would want to hang up naked women, and I can even understand that they'd want a picture of Dolly Parton. She's beautiful and she's spunky and she loves Jesus. But the question that I ask, Honey, with Dolly Parton and Brad Pitt, or whoever else, is what kind of effect is this going to have on the others?

                184.When the other girls look at the boys' poster of Dolly Parton, how are they going to feel when they compare themselves with her? How are they going to measure up? Of course they're going to feel insecure and ugly by comparison. They already have trials about their bodies and figures and not feeling sexy or attractive to the boys. So if the boys put up a picture of Dolly Parton, how is that going to make them feel? Certainly it's going to accentuate their battles and make them feel worse, and make them feel that they are not sexy enough or not beautiful enough or not glamorous enough, and that the boys want something else!

                185.(Mama: There may be some of you boys and girls who don't think Dolly Parton is that great, so why compare with her. Well, don't let that distract you from the point being made. If it helps bring it home more, when you read this, replace Dolly Parton with whatever actress or performer you think may be exceptionally beautiful.)

                186.(Dad continues:) And this poster of this other fellow, Brad, is going to have the same effect on the teen boys. If they walk into the girls' room and there's this picture of a movie star, how are they going to feel? Are they going to feel that they're attractive to the girls? Are they going to feel that their revolutionary spirit and loving Jesus and forsaking all to serve Jesus is what the girls want? Or are they going to feel that the girls want this rich, handsome, worldly person? So what effect are these posters going to have on others? Is it going to make them feel loved and included and accepted, or is it going to make them compare and feel discontent and unloved and that they don't satisfy and they don't have what others want?

                187.So that's really something to consider, because if that's the fruit of these posters, then I would say that it's bad fruit. If it hurts your brothers and sisters and makes them feel unloved or undesirable or that they can't measure up somehow, then I don't think that's very good or very loving.

                188.I had pictures of naked women up, but it didn't bother you, Honey, because you knew that I loved you the most and I wanted you more than anyone. You knew that I desired you and I thought you were beautiful and sexy and you excited me! So in that case it was perfectly acceptable. But if I had put up pictures that had made you feel bad about yourself or discontent or that I didn't desire you or love you or that you weren't enough to satisfy my needs, of course that wouldn't have been right and it wouldn't have been loving.

                189.So these kids need to really think about that. They need to think about others and how these pictures are going to affect their brothers and sisters and their loved ones and friends. There's nothing wrong with the pictures in themselves, but consider the effect that they're going to have on other people. These pictures will have much more effect on others than the earrings will! Wearing an earring is just a fashion point, just somebody's personal preference. It's really a very small thing. But these pictures say a lot more, and they can give a message that can be very hurtful to others.

                190. So they need to really pray about it and see what kind of effect it's going to have on others. If it hurts others, or if the younger ones, the little brothers and sisters, wonder why they're putting up these System idols, this could certainly raise lots of questions in the younger ones' minds. The younger ones are probably wondering why they're not putting up pictures of Jesus or beautiful pictures of Heaven or even pictures of nature. There are plenty of beautiful posters they can get that would be much more edifying than just pictures of movie stars and rich people that set a standard that is so difficult for anybody to reach. It makes you feel bad that you don't have a lot of money and that you can't dress that way or look that way or act that way.

                191.So these pictures are pretty dangerous. I think the shepherds and the teens need to really pray about it and count the cost. If they still want that freedom, they need to count the cost, because this kind of freedom can boomerang and come back to you in many ways.

                192.I don't mind posters. I don't mind them making their rooms look any way they want them to look. But I really think they need to stay away from System idols and from setting a standard before their faces that is ungodly and unrealistic and will only make them discontent and unhappy. If they want posters, surely amongst all the posters that are available, they would be able to find something more Godly, more beautiful, and that will have a good effect on everybody in the house.

                193. Our teens aren't like teens in the world. Their bedrooms aren't their private domain where nobody comes in but the one person who lives there. Our teens' bedrooms are open, and their little brothers and sisters come in, and the little kids, and the teen girls come into the teen boys' room, and the teen boys go in the teen girls' room. So they need to be very loving and caring in the message that they're going to give in the posters that they have on the wall. They need to make sure that they're not hurting those that they love.

                194.So you'd better ask them to pray about that one, Honey, and reconsider, so they make sure they're doing the right thing, which is the loving thing. That's what's right and what is going to bear good fruit. Like the Lord said, as long as it's good for someone and it doesn't harm anyone, then it's okay! So they need to pray about that and consider these things that I've said, and make wise, loving decisions. (End of message from Dad.)

                195.(Mama:) Dad says that there's nothing wrong with pictures of pretty girls and handsome boys in themselves, but he gives some pretty good arguments against putting up pictures of System movie stars, singers, etc., for two main reasons:

                196.First, what effect will putting up such posters have on the other males and females in the Home? Is it going to make them compare or feel like you'd rather they look like the poster on your wall than the way the Lord made them? Some people might not mind at all, and like Dad says, he had pictures of pretty girls on his wall, and it didn't bother me because I was very assured of his love for me and knew that he loved me just the way I was. Even though I knew I didn't have the looks of some of those beauties, to him I was even more beautiful because of his love for me.

                197.But many people do mind, and it could make them feel pretty bad. Especially if you have a mate or a girlfriend or boyfriend, they might feel bad if they think they have to measure up to the standard that you put on your wall in the form of that beautiful poster. So on that count it might not be very loving.

                198.Dad's second argument against such posters is the signal that they send to your younger brothers and sisters. Will it encourage them to want to be like that--rich and famous and outwardly glamorous? Don't you think it might be a bit of a pull away from the humble life of a missionary for Jesus? Doesn't it imply that these movie or music stars or other System idols are some sort of role models? If so, what are they role models of? Some of them may be nice folks and even Christians, but they're certainly not role models of having a revolutionary spirit and loving Jesus and forsaking all to serve Him. I would say that the values that they promote--or that the System promotes through their image--is one of wealth, fame, and selfish living.

                199. You might think it's okay for you because you know the difference and to you it's just a pretty picture, but it does have an influence! More importantly, will the younger kids in the Home know the difference and be able to discern? What kind of message does it preach to them--or even to yourself, for that matter?

                200.Dad had pictures of pretty women on his wall, but it didn't matter to him whether they were famous or who they were--he was just admiring the Lord's beautiful creation. In other words, there was no adulation of the person or what he or she represented, which can be a problem with posters of System icons. The problem is not so much the picture itself, but the worldly spirit that comes with it, and the exaltation of their accomplishments or what they portray in their movies or music.

                201.So Dad has some pretty good cautions there that I hope you will seriously take into consideration when deciding whether to put up a poster of this sort on your wall. If you feel that in your situation it would be all right, or that the poster you want to put up carries the right spirit, and others are okay with it, too, then I suggest you ask the Lord about it and make sure He's okay with it as well.

                202.Actually, when it comes to personal desires like this that you feel pretty strongly about, I suggest that rather than just praying about it yourself, you have someone else pray about it, or even pray together with a couple of people who aren't involved and don't have such strong feelings about it either way. When you're very emotionally involved with a situation and you feel quite strongly about what you want to do, it's more difficult to get the Lord's clear answer because your channel can be tainted by your own personal strong desire. Of course, that doesn't have to be the case, and if you're yielded and open to the Lord, and in your heart you've signed a blank sheet of paper and really want to do whatever He says, then you can get His answer clearly despite your own feelings. But even then, it's helpful to pray with a couple of other people so that the Lord's counsel can be confirmed through not only what He gives you, but what He gives them, too.

Seek the Lord!

                203.Well, that was quite an array of subjects, wasn't it? What started out as one GN grew to two, but wasn't what the Lord and Dad had to say fascinating? Thank the Lord for His clear answers that give us exactly the instruction that we need! Of course, the counsel that He gives in these messages is the general instruction on the subject, and doesn't cover every situation and set of circumstances. So if you have any specific questions about your particular situation, you can ask Him, and I know that He'll speak to you, too!

                204.Actually, the most important lesson from this GN, and the point you should remember even if you forget all the rest, is that the Lord wants you to seek Him for what to do in each case when a question arises, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to you. If you don't know what to do and you can't seem to find a clear answer in the Word that fits your particular scenario, or there's a general answer in the Word on the subject but you're not sure exactly how to apply it to your set of circumstances and conditions, then ask the Lord! He'll lead you. He loves it when you ask Him, because it's a demonstration of your faith and trust in Him.

                205.I'd like to close with a prophecy received when asking the Lord about the earrings, where the Lord expresses His pleasure at our queries and requests. He also sums up His previous counsel of letting the teens enjoy some freedoms and individuality, as long as it's in the right spirit and their hearts are right with Him.

                206.(Jesus speaking:) Thank you for coming to Me and acknowledging Me and turning to Me with these very important questions and desires and requests from the teens. Thank you for being good, caring, concerned shepherds over the lives and spirits and minds and bodies of My precious children. As I have said that each thing in the physical is an illustration of the spiritual, so it is the same even with these issues. Thank you for seeking My face and for listening to My answers and the wisdom that I impart to you. Know that happy are those who are in such a state, who know that their loved ones care for them so much that they are willing to pray about their requests, even their smallest requests and hearts' desires, and are willing to do that which I show and that which is right in My sight, rather than seeking their own desires or their own will.

                207.Having this understanding and this freedom will give them a boost and a spiritual zest that will far surpass anything in the physical. Everything turns, turns, turns. Everything changes. There is a time and a purpose for everything under Heaven. My youth are the ones that I have anointed and given the qualities and the desires that will produce and bear the fruit that I wish. Their desire for change, for variety, for that which is different from the norm, or different from the older generation, has been instilled in their hearts by My Spirit.

                208. So quench not their desires! Quench not their spirit and their zest for changes. For as you know, I do not look on the outward appearance, but I look upon the heart. Those whose hearts are right with Me, no matter what their age, have the faith and the freedom to be different, and will not fear or feel condemnation, or worry or feel guilty that they are out of My will.

                209.A pure and a clean heart that is burning with a love for Me will be reflected on their face, and will shine out to the world. And if they need some physical token of My love to help them give forth My love, so be it. It is Your Heavenly Father's desire and pleasure to give unto you the things that fulfill your hearts. (End of message from Jesus.)

                210.(Mama:) "Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psa.37:4). As long as you're following the Lord and you're giving your whole heart to Him and trying to follow His Word as closely as you can, doing your best to witness and win others to His Kingdom, then He blesses you by giving you the desires of your heart. Of course, if you're yielded to the Lord, then you'll only desire what glorifies Him and what is good for you and others, so it works both ways! God bless and keep you pleasing Him and reveling in the freedom of His Spirit!

Love, Mama

A Personal Testimony from One of Our WS Shepherdesses

                211. P.S.: I thought you might enjoy the following testimony from Heather, one of our WS shepherdesses, which she wrote me several months ago after she decided to get one of her ears double-pierced. (This was before we had published any of the counsel in this GN, of course.) Though she's not a young person, it proves that some of us "older folks" are young at heart and have questions about these things too, ha! Heather shares a very good lesson that she learned about not acting in haste, as well as having the right motives and seeking the Lord. This is taken from a personal note she wrote me, so the style is very casual, and I left it like that rather than edit it so you can get to know her the way she is. God bless dear Heather; she's a wonderful shepherdess who has been very faithful and a good sample to her flock for many years now.

                212. (From Heather:) For several months, even before going to the Summit, I thought and prayed about getting my left ear pierced for the second time, and wearing a second earring that I have had, a small diamond.

                213. I know it's mentioned in one of the teen GNs from several years ago that if you want to double pierce your ears, you should check your motives and make sure you're doing it with the right motive and not just to be worldly or to conform with the System (ML #2864:8-10, GN 559). This wasn't why I thought of doing it. My reason was just to do something a little different.

                214. At first I thought it was just me who had started to feel a little "closed in" or like I just wanted to do something different after living in a selah unit for almost 20 years. As you know, I've had a lot of challenges with my teen son (he's 14) and the different things he's wanted to do, such as pierce his ear (which he has done), but also pierce his body in about five other places as well (which he hasn't done), become a vegetarian, shave his head to where his hair is just a few millimeters long, dye his hair, lift weights, wear black all the time, get a tattoo--all those things and more. I've thought and prayed about and talked with him about each one, and some of them I've let him do, since they weren't so bad. Others, like getting a tattoo, I haven't allowed.

                215. I found that I've had to pray about each request as it comes up and give several "yes's" on his requests, even if they're sort of far-fetched and out of the norm. But that's how my sweet kid is, and I love him dearly and we have a special connection! When he gets to do some of these things and even experiment with them, later he may get bored and not care so much about them, but at least he's been able to make the decision himself, rather than getting a bunch of "no's" and "don'ts" that make him rebel, which I have found in many cases is much worse than letting him do some of these things. Again, I take it case by case, in counsel with my mate and others.

                216. For example, he went ahead and shaved his head till his hair was only about a quarter of an inch long, but after a while he let it grow out into a different style. He got some weights and lifted them for a while, but then stopped. He tried being a vegetarian, but that's pretty difficult to stick with since he's a Taurus and loves food, ha! I was happy he could try these things and make his own decision on them. Why not? I felt he and I were close enough that we could talk about these things--and yes, argue a bit about them--but I found it's a whole lot better than saying "no" to any and all wild or out of the ordinary requests.

                217. Now as for me, I've been a shepherdess for a long time and the type who's overly concerned about my sample, as I don't want to "cause my sisters to stumble" or give anybody any reason for doing anything out of the spirit, or whatever. But for quite a while now I've just felt the need to do some things differently. I've worn the same clothes for years, looked the same way for years, and I don't know if it's the "mid-life crisis" hitting or an "identity crisis," of which I've had several over the last years, ha!--And I've noticed I'm not the only one.

                218. Slightly unrelated is a comment one of the SGA girls made to me at Summit '96 when I was wearing some long dangle earrings. She said, "Oh, I didn't think WS shepherdesses were allowed to wear dangle earrings." I guess this goes along with the impression that other YAs and SGAs have of us WS "nerds," that we're all a bunch of pizza-eating (well, I wish we ate pizza more; I love pizza, ha!), wearin' coke-bottle glasses (I still don't wear glasses and don't need them!), conservative (which I don't feel I am), slow-moving (the last thing I am is slow), weirdos! (Well, okay, I do fit in the "weirdo" category for sure, ha, ha!)

                219. All that to say, I've been thinking and praying about getting a second piercing in my left ear. I've had both my ears pierced for about 30 years, and only recently have I worn different styles of earrings, as for years I'd only worn the small gold hoops I got about 15 years ago.

                220. Well, what happened was it was one of those rainy, chaotic, family days, and Jac (my mate) and I had all our high-energy kids packed into our little room. We were bored and didn't know what to do! I finally asked my two oldest boys (a teen and a JETT) if they wanted to just split and get out with me, and leave the three younger ones with daddy. I told them I was thinking of piercing my ear. Of course they thought that was a great idea, "Go for it, Mom!"

                221. However, my motives weren't right. Something had happened with my work that I wasn't very happy about, and it was weighing on my mind. So on this particular family day I was pretty discouraged about my work and a few other situations in the Home. So when I went out with my two boys, I had an odd sort of rebellious feeling in my heart, like, "Humph! Things just don't seem to be working out, so I'll go ahead and pierce my ear!" Can you believe it? It's uncharacteristic of me, as I'm not so much the rebellious type, ha!

                222. Now I had told my boys that I really wanted to get prayer and prophecy before getting a second piercing, because no one else in the Home had done it, and I just wanted to make sure it was okay with the Lord before going ahead. But by this time we were already at the shop, and my boys wanted to be with me when I did it, so I went ahead. I prayed a prayer before the lady pierced my ear, that the Lord would bless it and help it to go well.

                223. Once home, I didn't want any of the other girls to see my pierced ear yet until I really got word from the Lord that it was okay! I got the idea to write my teamworker, Stephanie, a note and ask her to ask the Lord if it was okay with Him if I pierced my left ear for my little diamond earring. Stephanie had no idea that I had already gone ahead and pierced it, ha!

                224. One reason I asked Stephanie and not one of the other prophets here is because Stephanie had previously told me that she's not so interested in getting her ear double-pierced. She said that if the girls started getting their ears double-pierced, she wouldn't, because she doesn't like to conform to others, ha! (While I'm sure someone else could have gotten the same message from the Lord just as well, sometimes when you have a personal preference towards something, it's harder for you to be more completely yielded and sign a blank sheet of paper about it so that the Lord can get through with His message loud and clear.) So I figured there was a pretty good chance the Lord would say no, which would be fine with me. In that case I would just pull my little diamond earring out and that would be it.

                225. Well, a short while later I heard from Stephanie what the Lord gave her about me piercing my ear, and I was happily surprised with what the Lord had to say. I felt like what you said, Mama, somewhere in the "Praise Kisses" GN (GN 684), about how you had done something wrong--in my case, when I was feeling rebellious--but the Lord was still very sweet. So here's the short prophecy, which I thought you'd want to hear:

                226.(Jesus speaking:) Women of old adorned themselves with jewels to enhance their beauty, to make themselves desirable, and this is not bad, for it all depends on the spirit in which it is done. For I have given women beauty and the desire to want beautiful things, to be surrounded by beautiful things, and this is not bad nor evil. This is a desire that I have placed within them, and this is what makes them women. They desire to be comely and they desire to be beautiful for their men. The important thing is the motive and spirit in which it is done, whether it is to selfishly draw attention to themselves, or whether they do it for others, as an adornment to make themselves comely for them, because it pleases a man to gaze upon and admire a beautiful woman.

                227.Jewels and jewelry are also symbols of love, devotion and dedication. As the marriage ring is used as a vow of love and of dedication to each other, so I want you to use this earring as a dedication to Me, as a symbol of your love for Me. As those of old pierced their left ear as a symbol of being a love slave unto Me, of being yoked together unto Me, I want you to use this earring as a symbol of being a love slave for Me, of your dedication to Me. Just as you wear your silver ring as a symbol of being married to Me, of being My bride, I want you to use this earring as a symbol of being My love slave, of being at My beck and call, of doing My bidding, of being yoked to Me.

                228.The diamond that you will insert shall be a symbol of the sparkle and shine of your love for Me, of its radiance and of its brilliance. Every time you look in the mirror and you see that diamond, it will be a reminder to you of the commitment that you have made, of the dedication that you have made, of the ceremony that you have gone through to be My love slave. It will also remind you that you must spend time with Me in the bed of love--to lay aside all of your burdens and all of your cares and all of your worries, to turn off your computer, to turn off your intercom, to shut the doors of your closet and to come and be a love slave to Me, in the bed of love, to be at My beck and call, to come and spend time with Me, to come and make love to Me, to hear from Me, and to get quiet and to hear what I have to say to you.

                229.So yes, you may wear this earring, only if you will make it as a dedication unto Me, of being My love slave, and only if you will make it a testimony and a witness to others of your declaration of love. For the women of this world use these things for their own gain, to draw attention to themselves. But I want you to take it and use it as a symbol of your love for Me and your dedication to Me, as My love slave. (End of prophecy.)

                230. (Heather:) I was so happy to hear that not only was it okay to pierce my ear, but that the Lord gave it such a special and important meaning: that the diamond is a symbol of the sparkle and shine of my love for the Lord, and that every time I look in the mirror and see the diamond, it's a reminder to me of the commitment that I've made of dedication to be the Lord's love slave, and that I could pierce my ear only if I make it as such a dedication, and as a testimony and witness to others of the dedication of my love to the Lord.

                231. I just thought this was so beautiful. It means so much to me that the Lord would not only speak so sweetly to me when I was feeling badly about it, but give such meaning to piercing my ear. I also felt I should share my lesson with the Home, and with my older boys. So that night at announcement time I shared my lesson and read the prophecy to the Home, since everyone would now be seeing my earring. It seemed to be a help to share this with those in the Home, and a few commented that it was an encouragement to them that I had done something with less than an absolutely pure motive, showing that I wasn't perfect either, ha! Much love and prayers always.

Your love slave, Heather

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family