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The Benefits of the Family! Maria #424 CM/FM 3172 2/98
1. I love you, my precious friends, co-workers, brothers and sisters and children in the Lord! I love being able to serve the Lord with you in such a wonderful Family, made up of such wonderful people who are giving their lives for the Lord and others. Each of you is so precious to the Lord and me, and I'm so thankful for you and your faithfulness and dedication. I know you all go through hard times to some degree, and the fact that you stick it out despite the hardships, difficulties, trials and battles really says a lot.
2.I pray that the messages from the Lord that I included in "Hold On to Your Crown" were a blessing and help to you--especially to those of you who are presently struggling under a heavy load of battles to the point that you're questioning your place in the Family and whether you should continue serving the Lord or not. I'm proud of you who took that counsel to heart and are holding on and keeping the Heavenly vision, and the Lord is proud of you too. He's not ashamed to be called your God, because you seek a better country, that is, an Heavenly one, praise the Lord!
3.Even though we do experience a lot of battles and trials in the Family, and serving the Lord isn't easy--after all, the Lord said we're to take up our cross daily--sometimes it's easy to forget just how easy we have it in many ways compared to most people in the world, both spiritually and physically. In particular, it's easy for those of you who have grown up in the Family and have been in this environment all your lives to take for granted things that people in the System just don't have.
4.You see things in the movies, or you meet people who have lots of money and material things, or who seem to have lots of freedom and can do fun things that you can't, or seemingly do whatever they want to do, and you may compare because you don't have or can't do all of those same things in your Home. But there are so many things that you have that you don't even think of as being advantages or benefits, just because you're so used to them. You might think life is just that way for everyone--but it's not!
5.It's sad when we take these things for granted, because if we truly realized and reminded ourselves of how many blessings we have, we would be much happier and more content. It would be easier to face the difficulties that come our way, because we'd realize that no matter how hard things are sometimes, the benefits and rewards still outweigh the trials. We'd also be less likely to consider leaving the Family and the Lord's service, because we'd be more aware of how many blessings and benefits we would be missing if we did.
6. Now you may wonder how come people who leave the Family don't come back once they realize the blessings they've lost and the things they took for granted. If things were really better in the Family, you figure, wouldn't more people who leave come back? No, not necessarily. In the story of the prodigal son, it sounds like the younger son went hungry for a while and had it pretty bad feeding pigs for some time before he started home, even though he knew he had it much better at home.
7. So why don't people come back once they realize the blessings they've missed? There are a lot of reasons, and a full explanation could be a Letter on its own. But briefly, some just don't have the humility to admit that they were wrong in leaving, and their pride keeps them from coming back and starting over again as a babe. Others are too taken by the glitter of what the world has to offer and keep hoping that if they get more of it, they'll be happy. Others know they had it better in the Family but aren't willing to make the sacrifices that being here takes. Others get into debt or fall prey to the Enemy's vices, and it's very hard for them to get back out of the pit even when they want to. These are just a few reasons, and I'm sure you can think of other reasons why more folks don't come back to the Family even when they know they had it pretty good. But it's certainly not a sign that they all have it better off now than when they were serving the Lord!
8. Back to the subject of taking things for granted: Unfortunately, human nature is such that we often tend to see the negative more easily than the positive--or at least some people do. Thank the Lord, some people are pretty positive and keep their hearts and minds focused on the good instead of the lacks, and are much happier because of it! But others tend to look more on the hole instead of the doughnut. While it's true that the hole is there, and there's no point denying it or pretending it doesn't exist, neither is it wise to focus on the hole, because there's so much more of the doughnut!
9.I think especially you young people can tend to more easily take the blessings of being in the Family for granted--mainly because you haven't experienced life in the System. As a result, it's easier for you to become discontent with things in the Family, and the problems and difficulties can seem to loom larger than the benefits and blessings. So that's an advantage that the older adults and the young nationals have, because they know from their own personal experience what the advantages of the Family are, whereas you who have grown up in the Family have to take them more by faith. However, just because you haven't personally experienced the differences between the Family and the System doesn't mean that they're not there, and I think if you look at them with an open mind, you'll agree that they are many.
10.Sometimes it's a little hard to remember all these benefits, though--not only because we take many of them for granted, but also because our minds are often preoccupied with the challenges and difficulties that we face on a day-to-day basis. So I thought that it might help to put some of these advantages down on paper, so that you can review them for your encouragement and inspiration. I hope that they'll help to increase your vision that serving the Lord in the Family really has lots of advantages, and in fact, it's the best thing around! As Dad has often said, we may not be perfect, but we're the best! If there had been something better, he would have joined them instead! And I would have too!
11.I thought that Dad might have something to say on this topic, and that you would enjoy hearing from him on it, so I asked him if he could give us a message about the benefits of the Family from his point of view. I think you'll find his response very inspiring, and you may even hear some things you never thought of before!
12.Now before you start reading the following message, I want to say that I know that some of you who are a little more on the analytical side might take exception to some of Dad's statements below, or you might consider them to be a bit exaggerated and too good to be true, or feel that they don't apply to your particular situation. After all, don't we have lots of problems in the Family? Sure we do! And Dad knows that too. But, as you know, Dad does get fired up sometimes, especially when it's something that he has a lot of conviction about--like the benefits of the Family vs. the System! And if there's anyone who knows his subject and what the System is like, it's Dad, because he lived in it for 49 years. That's a lot longer than even most adults in the Family, not to mention you young folks who haven't experienced it at all, or very little.
13. So if you start feeling that way, read on, because I think you'll find the answers to your questions in the commentary after the prophecy, where I address each of the points that Dad brings out one by one. And I think you'll find, when you really start thinking about it and analyzing it, Dad's pretty right on! So as you read this, leave yourself open, and don't start drawing any conclusions until you've read the whole Letter, okay?
Dad on the Benefits of the Family!
14.(Dad speaking:) You want to know what the benefits are of staying in the Family? Are you kiddin'? Let me ask you this: What are the benefits of going to the System, for goodness sake!
15. What are the benefits of staying in the Family?--All the blessings of obeying God! And what does God say in His Word that we're to obey? "Come out from among them, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing!" "Be ye separate!" "Keep yourselves from idols!" "Entangle yourselves not with the affairs of this life!" "Follow thou Me," Jesus said. So what are the benefits of the Family?--Everything God's got to offer you! God's unlimited blessings in your life! Those are the benefits of serving the Lord and staying in the Family, folks!
16.Where on Earth is there a better place to serve the Lord and follow Him than in the Family? I'll tell you the benefits of staying in the Family: the full blessings of God in your life! The best job benefits in the world! Working for the best Boss in the world! Receiving that crown of righteousness! Being able to avail yourself of the full power of God, because you're giving yourself completely to Him and obeying His call. And let me tell you, folks, full obedience to God brings down His power and blessings like you've never seen!
17.You want to know the benefits of staying in the Family? Not only can you receive the full power of God in your life, but you've got the best take-home pay ever: the Lord's unfailing provision, protection and safekeeping! You want to know the benefits of staying in the Family? How about unlimited access to the treasures of Heaven--gold mines of wealth and wisdom and love and the Lord and the true values in life! My goodness, are our folks so blinded by the deceitfulness of riches?
18.The benefits of staying in the Family? The list is endless! I've already given you several good reasons to stay in the Family in my Letters. Many of you young people are at a crucial stage in your lives. You're young and very idealistic, you want to flap your wings, you want freedom. Well, right there you have it; those reasons alone are pretty good ones for staying in the Family. Where else can you really flap your wings and find true, lasting freedom?
19.Some folks just don't want to learn from the experiences of others, that what you see out there in the System ain't usually what you get! Behind all the glitter and glamour lies a decrepit ol' slime pit of horror--the mud and the mire of the swine pit! That in itself is a mighty good reason why it's better to stay in the Family!
20.What better benefit could you want than protection from the empty pit of useless living? What better benefits could you ask for than to live in a loving atmosphere, a place where people are willing to try their best to give you the love and understanding that you need? Our folks may not be perfect, but at least you know they'll try to be patient, kind, loving and forgiving. Where else can you find folks who will lend such a listening ear? Where else are you gonna find folks who are so willing to put up with you and your idiosyncrasies, and love you in spite of'm?
21.You might say, "Oh, Dad, come on! We've got trials and tests and problems and tribulations and afflictions." Sure, you've got a few battles, tests and trials--but that's where the challenge is! Did you know that one of the basic human needs of man is to have a challenge? But if you don't think that there are also trials, tribulations, battles and difficulties out there in the System, you've got another think comin', 'cause they've got plenty!
22.Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord promised to deliver you out of them all--and He certainly can do it quicker and faster when you're staying mighty close to Him and in the center of His highest will. Don't be fooled; those poor folks out there in the System have plenty of problems too, only a lot of them don't have the Lord and don't know He can deliver'm. Or if they have God and know about Him, most don't know about the power of prayer like you, and don't have the closeness with the Lord through obedience to Him that brings down His blessings. They also don't have a loving Family who'll help them fight their battles. They have to go it alone most of the time, or in the best of cases with just the help of very few others who are struggling just like them. The strength of unity--that's a major benefit of living in the Family!
23. I've said it before: Where else are you going to find a place where all your basic needs are met, whether they're physical, spiritual or emotional? Where you can get love and understanding? Where you can find plenty of change, challenge, and satisfaction, knowing that you're doing some good and helping others? Where else will you find true acceptance and a genuine sense of belonging, recognition, fellowship and companionship? I'd say those are some pretty good benefits, wouldn't you? Where on Earth are you going to find that in the System?
24.Do you realize that you folks in the Family can go to almost any corner of the world and be instantly "connected"? You can go all around the world and find people with common interests and goals, people with love and understanding who will help you and care for you--because you have a Family! You can step right in anywhere and find friends, learn about the country, the customs, the land, and find plenty to do! That's a mighty big benefit, folks. In the Family you've got connections, limitless opportunities, all yours for the asking if you're willing to go for it!
25.Some of you folks may find yourselves in difficult situations from time to time. You may have been through some rough times in the Family. We're not perfect, we have our faults and failings and shortcomings, but we're still the best! We're not afraid to change. We're not afraid to correct mistakes and right the wrongs. We're not afraid to change directions if we have to.
26.What are the benefits of staying in the Family? If you can give me one good reason why not to stay in the Family, I'll be willing to change my mind, but I haven't found anything better yet! I never could when I was there with you, and I sure can't now--because I know there's nothing any better! So, folks, if you want to sit down and make a little list of the pros and cons, I'll tell you right now, it's gonna be pretty one-sided.
What Are You Preparing to Be?--A Super?--Or a Super-Duper?
27. (Dad continues:) You want to know what's the biggest reason, the greatest benefit of you folks staying in the Family right now, today? The greatest benefit of staying in the Family is so you'll be ready for the End! It's a matter of survival, pure and simple. There's no better place to spend the Endtime than in God's Endtime Family, under His protection, guidance and safekeeping, experiencing His blessings, abiding under the shadow of His wings, guarded by His angels.
28.There's no better place on the entire face of the Earth where it'll be easier to survive in the days ahead than right here in the Family. Those of you who are considering going out and getting what you think is a better education--watch out! Are you willing to become one of the System's "supers"? (See ML #1036.) You'd better count the cost! What are you gonna do with all that education? It won't do you much good unless you're willing to take the Mark of the Beast. Is that what you want to do? I'm not talking a hundred years from now. Don't you folks read the signs of the times? Are you listening to the news? Are you reading the papers? The AC already has his people in position, folks. He's already in control!
29.The whole world is being prepared for the future. In the System you'll be prepared for a future of accepting the Mark of the Beast; in the Family you'll be prepared in the ways of faith--living by faith, hearing from God, and following His orders. You'll be prepared to survive in the days to come, to live through things that the System's own will not survive. You'll be prepared for the soon-coming days when all is in chaos. It's started already--earthquakes, famines, drastic weather conditions, bizarre diseases--times of scourges and plagues and catastrophes, when you who understand will instruct many! You'll be prepared to avail yourselves of the wisdom and power of God. You'll be prepared to stand head and shoulders above your System counterparts. You'll be prepared for a future full of excitement, action, fulfillment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're doing the right thing. You'll be prepared to rule the whole Earth!
30.Right here in the Family you have greater benefits all around, plus you'll be better prepared for the future. You have a better plan of preparation and survival than all the rest, as you continue to learn and grow in the wisdom and nurture and admonition of the Lord, in hearing His voice and growing in faith, in honing your gifts of prophecy. You're getting the best education you could possibly get as He continues to pour out the treasures of Heaven, the secrets of the universe, true wisdom and understanding of reality. You're learning to rule and reign over the kingdoms of this world.
31.So there you have it! Not only are there oodles of benefits to staying in the Family right now today as you enjoy love, life, happiness, joy, and all His blessings every day, but where else can you be better prepared and groomed for the future? I used to say, "It won't be long now!" But, folks, the future is here! It's rolling, and things are only gonna speed up from here on.
32.If you don't think so, just take a look around. Open your eyes! You can read the signs of the times every day in the news. You can watch them on TV. You can see them all around you! This is it! Which do you prefer--to be prepared to receive the Mark of the Beast, or to be prepared to stand up for the truth? You want a challenge? What better challenge could you possibly want than to stand up for the truth of God in the face of the Antichrist system that's covering the Earth!
33.Sure, there will be those in the System who will not want to accept the Mark of the Beast, and they'll try to resist on their own. But they won't have the strength of unity, and it'll be much harder for them. Many will eventually come running to the Family, as some already have, begging to hear the Words of the Lord, begging for guidance and help in knowing what to do. Some of our own who've gone out from us will come running back home, but they'll be behind; they won't be as strong as they could have been; they won't be as prepared.
34.You folks who want excitement and thrills--it might look exciting and tempting out there in the System, but don't be fooled! It comes with a price. It doesn't last, as many of our folks who've gone out from us have found. Don't kid yourselves: There are not a lot of success stories among the folks that have gone out from among us. Where are the lasting success stories of those who've gone out into the world? And of the few who have maybe so-called "succeeded" in the world's eyes, if they're honest before God and with themselves, they're gonna tell you that it comes with a price. Giving up true freedom, that's the price. They're finding that along with all the glitter and trinkets the Devil has to offer, there's a mighty big price, and it's high. They're finding that to succeed they have to play it the System's way, and there are lots of strings attached.
35.When you have a winning horse, I wouldn't advise changing in the middle of the stream. We're on the right track, folks! We're running a race that we can't lose, as long as you keep on going, keep on riding, keep on keeping on! God's plan will not be foiled, with or without you! You're either being prepared to receive the Mark of the Beast or have a pretty rough time of going it alone during the very End, or you're being prepared to rule and reign with Jesus for a thousand years and into all eternity! The choice is yours! What are you gonna be prepared for? (End of message from Dad.)
36. (Mama:) That's quite an interesting message, isn't it?--Especially that point about how in the System you're just being prepared to receive the Mark of the Beast, whereas in the Family you're being prepared to survive, be strong and do exploits during the last days! The End is very near, and we're seeing more signs of it all the time, as evidenced by the articles that we're including in the new END magazine. Wow, that's sobering!
37. As I said before, some of you might have some questions after reading Dad's prophecy, or feel that he's looking at things unrealistically, or is at the least overly optimistic about the Family and its benefits. So let's take a closer look at some of the points that Dad brought out and talk about them a little, shall we? Here's a recap of the benefits that Dad listed in his message, along with some additional commentary. I could go on and on about some of these points, because they're such important benefits and great blessings, but I'll try to keep my comments as short and to the point as I can.
38. The blessings of obeying God. I think it would be hard to make a case that by leaving the Lord's service in the Family and going out to live and work for yourself in the System, that you're in the Lord's will and obeying God. Now, if you left the Family and dedicated your life full-time to serving the Lord in some other capacity, witnessing and laying down your life for others, you could still be obeying God's commission and following Him, although I don't believe you'd be in His highest will for you personally. But how many young people do you know who have left the Family and are serving Him elsewhere? None that I know of, despite some having good intentions when they left. So, if you're not obeying God by living for Him, then how can He bless you? As that famous quote from Dad goes, "Obedience comes before the blessing."
39. Of course, even if you leave and aren't serving the Lord anymore, the Lord will always love you. His arms are always open, and He is married to the backslider. And if you're trying to live in love toward others and show them the Lord's love, He'll even continue to bless you to some extent. However, the degree of blessing will be much less, or He may withdraw His blessings entirely, depending on how you're doing.
40. So the blessings that come from fully obeying God, the results of the promises that He has made in His Word to those who obey and follow Him, are some of the main benefits of being in the Family. (Of course, you can be in the Family in name or body, but be disobedient and not following the Lord or being a sample of Him to others. So this benefit doesn't come with just physically being in a Family Home and officially a Family member, but by obeying God's Word and upholding the standard of the Word and the Charter in your heart and by your deeds.)
41. The best place to serve the Lord. There are a lot of other sincere Christians in the world who are trying to serve the Lord the best they can, and some do very well, God bless them. But I think you'll agree that the Family is the best place to serve the Lord, because we have the strength of unity through living together, and most of all, the New Wine and direction from the Lord, which the churches and even other dedicated missionaries don't have. If there was any better place to serve the Lord than the Family, I'm sure you'd be there instead of here! I don't know of many--if any--Family members who have left the Family in order to join another missionary group that they felt was doing a better job of winning the world for Jesus; so I think that speaks for itself.
42. The Lord's provision. This is something that we often take for granted, but if you stop to think about it for a moment, the Lord's provision for the Family is amazing! When you think of all the places or countries that you've traveled to which the Lord provided funds or tickets for, how large families have been able to support themselves for years and move from field to field, it truly is miraculous! And all this without any "visible means of support," as most outsiders would say. We're so used to it that we don't realize just how incredible it is!
43.True, raising finances is a struggle. Fundraising is sometimes very difficult, and most Homes are not as well-off as middle or upper class families in the developed world. Yet, for the most part, Family members live in houses that have the necessary facilities and utilities and are reasonably comfortable, people have decent clothes they can wear and eat decent meals, and their basic needs are met. We don't live in luxury by any means, and we don't have lots of money stashed away in bank accounts, or even extra money to spare for nice things that we would like to buy, but the Lord keeps providing for us day by day, one step at a time, and we're better off than the majority of the world. Isn't that a miracle?
44. There are so many testimonies of System folks who are just astounded at our Family Homes and how the Lord provides for us. In the System you might be able to make more money than in the Family if you work hard enough, but you won't have the miracles of provision that the Lord blesses you with when you're serving Him. Actually, in some fields you'd have to work pretty hard at a System job to make as much as you would if you put the same amount of hours into getting out our tools every day!
45. A related point that someone brought out is that because you're serving the Lord and obeying Him, it gives you the faith to ask people to help with goods or services that you would never consider asking them for if you weren't in the Family, such as vehicles, household items, free rents, airline tickets, office equipment, and the list goes on and on! In the System, the only way to get those is to work for them and buy them. So that's another big advantage that you wouldn't have in the System.
46. The Lord's protection. We've had some serious accidents in the Family, such as Brazilian Paulo's recent Homegoing after a bike accident. But for the most part, if you compare us with the number of people in the System who have serious accidents or who die from accidents alone, it's pretty low. According to the '97 Almanac, in the U.S. about 3.5 people per 10,000 (which is roughly the Family's Charter population) die each year from accidents--and the figure is probably much higher in poorer countries. So as you can see, we have a lot less fatal, or even serious accidents, which is due to the Lord's protection, as well as to all the safety rules which Dad has taught us over the years.
47. Unlimited access to the treasures of Heaven. Of course, other dedicated Christians will also receive their part of the treasures of Heaven for their service to Him, just as you who have given your lives for Jesus in the Family will. But one thing we have in the Family which most other Christians don't is unlimited access to the treasures of Heaven now in the form of His living Words, which He pours down abundantly through those who are open channels! The blessing of being able to hear directly from the God of the universe Himself, through Jesus and His Heavenly helpers, is one of the greatest benefits of being in the Family. This advantage is especially important in preparation for the very End, when getting the Lord's direction through prophecy will be vital.
48.Also, in the System, if people want to know about their future or want spiritual advice for their life, their personal relationships or their business decisions, they have to go to seers and fortunetellers, many of whom are quacks or attuned to evil spirits. In the Family, you don't have to go anywhere but to the Lord, and you can get the answers directly from Him! Or, if you don't have the gift of prophecy, you can ask someone right in your Home who does.
49. True values in life. In the Family you know that you're living for something worthwhile--helping others find salvation, and giving them love, comfort and encouragement.
50.Maybe you feel like in your Home you're just "surviving" and mainly raising funds to get by without doing a whole lot of witnessing. If that's the case, then you should get together to pray and ask the Lord about what you should change in your Home in order to do better at fulfilling the Great Commission. That will not only result in more of the Lord's blessings, but a greater sense of fulfillment as well.
51.You could argue that even if you leave the Family you can still witness and give people love and encouragement. I agree, and I hope that those who leave the Family do those things. But unfortunately, most people who leave end up living selfishly for themselves and do little--if anything--to serve the Lord while in the System. To make it in the System you have to give it your all, just like you have to give your all to make it in the Family. And since you can't serve two masters, you end up not doing much for God in your pursuit of Mammon.
52. True, lasting freedom. Dad says, "Where else can you really flap your wings and find true, lasting freedom?" I can almost hear some of you young folks thinking, "Wait a minute! Now that's one of the advantages of leaving the Family, because in the System I'll have all this independence and I can do whatever I want, whenever I want! I won't have to follow a schedule, worry about keeping Charter rules and Home regulations, or be concerned about the rest of the folks in my Home." Dad's reply to that is in the next paragraph: "Some folks just don't want to learn from the experiences of others, that what you see out there in the System ain't usually what you get." And that's very true! Granted, you do get independence and you don't have to concern yourself with others the way you do now, but independence doesn't mean freedom.
53.In order to survive in the System, you have to conform to its rules and regulations. You can't just "flap your wings" and decide to do whatever ministry you like, or go to whatever country you like, and work with whoever you like, like you can in the Family. Your primary concern is to make enough money to get by, and that goal can be very restrictive. You're limited to whatever jobs are available, and if you don't like the people you work under, you can't just quit, or you might not find another job so easily--unless it's some bottom-of-the-barrel job no one else wants, like flipping burgers for the minimum wage at a fast-food outlet. You're very much controlled by your conditions, especially if you want to "make it" in the System and not just be a drifter who barely ekes out enough to keep from starving.
54.Talk about conformity and regulations--you get a job in the System and you'll soon find out just how much you have to conform to the "way things are done." This is especially true as you get older. When you're a teen, you might be able to get away with just drifting here or there, doing odd jobs and just sort of hanging out. But as you get older and start raising a family, you discover that the only way to survive is to conform to the System's restrictions. You get locked into a certain situation, job or location, and soon find that there's no way out if you want to keep your head above water!
55.In contrast, in the Family the opportunities are wide open for anyone with the faith, vision and initiative. You can pioneer new ministries, new Homes, new countries, meet new people, go new places, implement new changes in your Home, etc.! And if you're in the Lord's will, He's going to bless your efforts and help you do things that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible if you were in the System.
56.I know that in some Homes you feel like you can't "flap your wings," and you feel restricted. If that's the case, talk to your parents or shepherds, or try to talk about it as a Home. Ask the Lord whether you need to change something in your heart or life, or as a Home, or whether you should go to another Home or field where you will be able to flap your wings more. There's always a solution--you've just gotta ask the Lord in order to find it!
57. Living in a loving atmosphere. This is something else we often take for granted, because we're so used to it. True, sometimes people in the Family aren't as loving as they should be, and some of our Homes don't have as loving an atmosphere as they should. But because we know what the standard should be and we're pretty used to it, when things do go wrong, the problem can seem amplified. Whereas in general, if you compare with System homes and families, there's almost no comparison! In the System it's just single families living on their own and learning to get along with each other and love each other. Whereas in our Homes we have several families, often from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, living together and loving each other. It's really a miracle of the Lord's love and grace.
58. Even compared to other Christians who also know the Lord and have a measure of His love, because of our dedication to Him and commitment to obeying Him fully and loving Him with all our hearts, He blesses us with a greater portion of His Holy Spirit of love. That makes a big difference in our interaction with each other, and is certainly a benefit and advantage. It's not that we as individuals are better than anyone else, but because of our yieldedness to the Lord, we have more of His Spirit, and that's what makes the difference.
59. And despite the hardships and challenges that we face on a daily basis in our Homes, the Lord's Spirit gives us more happiness and joy in our labors than most people in the System have. It's not so noticeable when you're in a Home for a long time because you get used to it, but it becomes more apparent if you spend some time visiting System relatives, for example, and then return to a Family Home. It's also one of the things that many sheep and those we minister to comment on when visiting our Homes.
60.That's why people marvel when they visit our Homes, because they see something that they don't see in any System homes. Like Dad said, "Our folks may not be perfect, but at least you know they'll try to be patient, kind, loving and forgiving. Where else are you gonna find folks who are so willing to put up with you and your idiosyncrasies and love you in spite of'm?" Praise the Lord!
61. Help through your trials. Some young people think of leaving the Family when they go through trials, as if that would eliminate all their battles. Maybe they think that people in the System don't have trials, and it only happens to those in the Family! Ha! Not only do people in the System have as many personal battles and trials as folks in the Family--and in fact, often many more--but they don't have the help that we do. If they have close friends, they might talk to them, and to sympathetic relatives; but their friends and relatives seldom have any more answers than they do, and while they may try to help, are often plagued by the same problems themselves and unable to provide lasting solutions. About the only help they have are self-help books and psychiatrists, many of whom are no help at all, and sometimes just make matters worse through their ungodly counsel!
62.In the Family you have co-workers or shepherds who, while they have their faults, do (or should) try their best to listen to you and help you with loving, Word-based counsel. And you have Jesus, the best Shepherd of all, Who you can go to for direct shepherding and counsel when you need it. Talk about an advantage!
63.Of course, you could still avail yourself of Jesus' help and counsel if you left the Family, and He won't leave you or shut you out; but because you probably wouldn't be taking as much time in His Word or following Him as closely as we try to do in the Family, it would make it more difficult to have the faith to ask for His help or receive His answers.
64. Plenty of change. Change is such a natural part of our lives that sometimes you hardly notice how blessed you are until you're witnessing to someone and they say, "You're only 20 and you've been to all those countries and done all those things? I'm 50 and I've lived in this same city all my life, and have only been out of the country once on vacation!" Many people grow up in the same city where they were born, and spend most of their lives in the same place, doing the same thing. People work for 30 years at the same boring job--and even if they hate it, they don't dare quit, because they'll lose their retirement benefits, or may not find another job that's as good.
65.Whereas in the Family, if you spend 30 months doing the same ministry in the same Home, you feel like you're "burnt out" and you get itchy feet for something new and different! And the neat thing is, you can find something new and different, if it's within the Lord's will! (Just to clarify, I'm not encouraging people to change their Homes or ministries often. In fact, the Lord often blesses you more for sticking to the same situation with the same team, so that you can bear more lasting fruit. But if you do need a change, the possibilities and opportunities are greater in the Family than they would be elsewhere.)
66.On this subject, here's a little confirmatory message from Mother Teresa, which someone on the field received in prophecy and recently sent me:
67.(Mother Teresa speaking:) I am so happy that the children of David are so dedicated. You know, the church has prohibited change for so long that it's difficult for the Spirit of God to work with it. That's why I went to Calcutta in the first place, to get away from all the rigidity of the church system, the formality, and to be free, in a sense, to follow Jesus as I saw and felt in my heart, to break out of the confines of the church. God always needs men and women who are willing to break out of the established ways of doing things. That's why the mission field is such a blessing. You can more freely follow your own convictions without peer pressure and the fear of man hindering you from following God.
68.So my message to you, the children of David, is to go to the field. The field needs you and you need the field. Gandhi so rightly said that when economic security is established, spiritual bankruptcy is certain. Don't worry, God will supply! He did for me. It was difficult, especially in the beginning. But in the end, oh, how He blessed!
69.Oh, how I wish my Sisters of Charity had the love and the spirit of the children of David! Pray for them that you can help them more, and that they will be receptive to your overture of love. Oh, that the Sisters of Charity could know the love of Jesus like the children of David and Maria! You are so richly blessed! (End of message from Mother Teresa.)
70. Satisfaction of knowing that you're doing some good. That one speaks for itself. I don't know many folks who've left the Family who are doing a lot of good for others, do you?
71. True acceptance and a sense of belonging. This is another blessing we can easily take for granted, especially you young people who've never known anything else. People in the System really yearn for a sense of belonging and seldom find it, even sometimes amongst their own flesh family and relatives. True friends who accept you for what you are can be very hard to come by in the world. Now maybe some of you feel that you're not accepted by everyone in the Family, or that you don't get along well with the other generation and you feel they don't understand you. But if you look back on the people you've been close to or who have helped you through rough times, you know that you can find people in the Family who will understand and accept you. Most of all, you know that the Lord understands and accepts you, as do Dad, Peter and I!
72. Being connected. It's really something when you consider how you can go almost anywhere in the world and find a Family Home, or Family members who will try to help you in some way--either with a place to stay, or helpful information, provisioning, useful contacts, or whatever. I'm sure this is an area we can make progress in, and from what I've heard, some Homes aren't as helpful and courteous as they should be, Lord help them. But in general, it's an amazing advantage that people in the world don't have. If they go someplace, they either have to fend for themselves or pay a guide big money to show them around and get information, pay for expensive hotels, etc. Whereas we're "connected" wherever we go!
73. Fellowship and companionship. In the Family you can find people who you relate to, and who understand you and have the same burdens, desires and goals. That's really saying a lot, and a very rare find in the System!
74.One 18-year-old boy who recently left the Family summed it up in a letter he wrote me: "I miss the hugs. I miss the love that beams from the eyes of the beautiful girls who write me. It sort of made me feel needed. Most of all, I miss the Family, the 'everyone's Family' thing, that feeling that no matter where you go, you've got the Family around."
75. Unity. In the Family, you can go to a Home on the other side of the world, full of people you've never met before and know nothing about, and yet feel like you know them, or share a certain measure of camaraderie and unity.--Another advantage that those in the world don't have!
76.In some Homes, people have differences over how to go about things or run the Home, and experience disunity; but overall we're working toward the same goals, which is another tremendous benefit that you don't have outside the Family. In the world, you're usually just working for yourself; for the most part, others at your work don't have the same goals or ideals as you. So you have no unity, no sense of togetherness, and no shouldering of the load as one.
77. Preparation for the Endtime. Dad expounded on that quite a bit, so I won't repeat it all here, but when you think of it, where else can you get better training for the Endtime than in the Family? Most churches aren't preparing for it, and while for the most part they'll resist the AC and his forces, they'll be weak and disunited. The rest of the world is either being led along like dumb sheep or actively preparing for the AC's New World Order. Which will you prepare for and be a part of? Will you be a serf, super, or super-duper?
78. Rewards in Heaven. All of the above are just the advantages on Earth--here and now--and don't even begin to cover the advantages of the next life and all the rewards that the Lord will bless you with for being faithful to Him! "To him that overcometh I will grant to sit with Me in My throne … to him will I give power over the nations … I will give him the morning star … I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God …" and much more! (See Revelation 2:11,17,26-28; 3:5,12,21.)
79.That's quite a list, isn't it? And there's more! After receiving the above message from Dad, I asked the members of our Home, both young people and adults, to discuss one evening over dinner what they thought the benefits of living in the Family were. The folks in my Home have a wide range of experiences both in the Family and in the System (before joining), so it was a pretty well-rounded discussion. They mentioned most of the same points that Dad brought out in his message, but also some more which he didn't cover, which I'll list here. Some of these are more spiritual in nature, others are on the practical side.
80. The Words of David. Where else are you going to find the counsel and truth that we have in the Letters? There are other Christians who believe many of the same things that we do, but no one says it like Dad does, or like the Lord does in prophecy! And we have new and exciting moves of the Spirit which other Christians don't have, and which unfortunately, because of the conditioning and peer pressure of the church system, would be very difficult for them to receive or accept even if they wanted to.
81. Communication and relationship skills. As I'm sure you've discovered in your witnessing, you young people in particular are miles ahead of your System peers when it comes to communication skills, being able to relate to people and understand them, etc. Some of the most sought-after skills by many employers in the System are being able to relate well to others and communicate well. There's hardly anywhere you can get better training for that than in the Family, because of our communal lifestyle and our outreach ministries. Not only do we have all the good training and advice in the Word, but we get to practice and learn and grow in this area on a daily basis in our interaction with each other in our Homes, and in our witnessing.
82. More boldness. I know some of you feel pretty shy, and it's difficult for you to speak in front of others in your Home, or to prophesy in public, for example. Or maybe in general you don't consider yourself very outgoing compared to your peers in the Family. But if you compare yourself to your peers in the System, most people in the Family are much bolder! They're more assertive about what they're doing and where they're going in life, what their beliefs and convictions are, and they have a lot more boldness about approaching others and talking to them, making contacts, etc.
83. Because living communally and witnessing is so much a part of our lives, even those of us who are shy by nature--and I'll include myself in that group--have a lot more opportunity to learn boldness than people in the System have. Many young people in the System are very shy--too shy to make new friends, or to speak in public, or to do many of the things that you young people and adults do in the Family.
84. Of course, you often meet groups of System kids while you're on outreach. They may seem very bold and outgoing, and this might lead you to wonder if they really are shy. The short answer is that yes, they are. But just being together with all their friends generates their boldness. In fact, in some places it generates their rowdiness, as they can get pretty wild and seem like the most extroverted folks on Earth! But that's not really the case. They just build up their boldness through being together. Apart and individually they may not be that way at all.
85. In the Family, you're trained all your life to meet new people, both young and old, to present the Gospel and our Gospel tools to them. It's your life to reach out to others in this way, and even if it's hard for some of you who consider yourself shy, you learn and grow and make progress in it for the sake of others. So you're miles ahead of most poor System people, who have little incentive at all to grow in this area. In fact, kids in the System are brought up to fear strangers and mistrust them almost from birth. Whereas you young people are taught to want to help others and give them Heaven in their hearts! So the practice and help from the Lord that we get in overcoming our shyness is another benefit of the Family.
86. Young and old working together. Some of you may think, "I thought we had problems with disunity between the generations. Isn't that one of the main things the Feast GNs were about?" True, we do need to learn to work together better, but let me tell you, we're already far ahead of the System in this regard! In the System, young and old don't work together at all, or very little. In general, they have completely different goals and interests and don't mix, either at work or in their leisure time.
87.In the workplace, young people are not promoted to top jobs nor trusted with important responsibilities as many young people in the Family are. Or, in cases where a company does hire an exceptionally talented young person, they usually fire an older person who held that job before (preferably before retirement age so that they don't have to pay him his pension). The older person then has a very difficult time finding a new job. Whereas in the Family, young and old can work together, and no one is unemployed because there's so much to do!
88. More flexibility. With the advent of the Charter, Home decisions are made by all members of the Home, and you each have a voice in how your Home is run and what its goals are. If you've ever held a System job, you know that in the vast majority of businesses or companies you have no voice at all in company decisions. You do what you're told, and if you don't, you get fired, plain and simple. So you end up biting your tongue to keep your job (which you need to survive), and can wind up hating it and the people who are over you. You think it's tough in the Family because the Lord expects you to obey your shepherds? Try obeying--without question or opportunity to discuss your opinions--a System employer who couldn't care less if you dropped dead as long as you get to work on time and do your job the way he tells you to.
89. Better relations with your co-workers. Related to that last point, in the Family you usually work with people who you get along with (or if you don't, you either learn to get along, or you can change Homes)--some better than others, of course. But in System jobs you often find that there's someone or someones at work who greatly dislike you and who try their best to give you a hard time. And if you manage to be successful, they're jealous of your position, talk negatively about you to others, or even try to frame or cheat you! Thank God that while we may have our differences with those we live with in the Family, and sadly, some Family members are on occasion unloving towards their brothers and sisters, for the most part we don't have to worry about our co-workers deliberately maligning or trying to hurt us! We don't have to "watch our back," as people in the System do.
90.As an example of this, recently an SGA sent me part of a letter she received from her stepfather, who was in the Family for a long time and left a few years ago. He's a very intelligent, well-educated, successful businessman, and knows the ins and outs of the System well. He had something very significant to say to the young people in the Family, so I thought it would be appropriate to include it here. In his letter to his daughter, he wrote:
91. "The incident at work here has left me wondering a lot about my character, my lack of patience sometimes, and the perfect dislike I still have for a System within which I have chosen to operate, which is so full of vipers and serpents, of hateful and deceitful people, and of spiritual wickedness, that sometimes I wish I could tell all of those youngsters in the Family who entertain the idea of tasting and trying the System that they're making a gross mistake!--That no matter what hardship they may be going through at this moment in a Family Home because of whatever reason, they will find equally difficult circumstances out here, sometimes even worse. But they will not have the daily support, love, understanding and counsel of people who truly love them and that they can run to for solace and help. But I guess that it's part of human nature to want to learn by one's own mistakes, so perhaps no one would listen to those words."
92. Sobering, huh? Some interesting food for thought there.
93. Lots of travel. In the System, if you want to travel, unless you're wealthy you have to work hard and cut costs for a long time to save up the money to make your trip. And to actually move to another country is even more difficult. In the Family, the Lord miraculously provides the funds or free travel tickets quickly!
94. Provisioning. I touched on this earlier, but being able to provision your needs is a great benefit in the Family, and one of the main means by which the Lord supplies many of our needs, and even our wants!
95. Safer sex. In the System a lot of young people--and older folks too--worry about catching AIDS. It's a very legitimate fear, as AIDS is one of the leading causes of death among young people in the U.S. and other countries.
96. And if you thought that people who are HIV-positive are careful about their sexual contacts so they won't spread it, and therefore you're not likely to catch it if you had sex in the System, you're wrong. A recent news article reported that a Chicago university study showed that nearly half of sexually active Americans who are infected with HIV do not tell their lovers. And, to top it off, of those who did not tell, 42 per cent did not use condoms! No wonder people are scared of getting AIDS. With those kind of figures, if I were in the System, I'd be scared too! But thanks to our policy of no sex with outsiders, in the Family you can be free to enjoy sex without fear of catching AIDS.
97. Interest-free loans. Your Home would like to purchase a vehicle but doesn't have the money on hand to do it. In the Family you can take out an interest-free loan. Where can you find that in the System? Almost nowhere! Most people in Western countries are in debt--that's how they can afford their lifestyle--and have to spend a lot of money just paying off the interest on their loans.
98. Motivation. Without a vision--and motivation--the people perish. That's true whether you're in the Family or the System. Thankfully, in the Family we have a vision--to win the world for Jesus--and that provides us with the motivation to keep going through tough times. Without that, life becomes a meaningless drag, simply a means of making money in order to survive, while hoping you'll have some left over for a bit of "fun" that may give you a couple of hours of respite before you have to return to your "green door" routine. In the System you go through just as tough times as you do in the Family, but lack the motivation to get through them; that's why so many people get severely depressed and even try to commit suicide. In fact, as an article in the London Times brought out, the World Health Organization has forecast that depression will be the leading cause of disability in the developing world by 2020. Here's a brief excerpt from that article to illustrate how serious the problem has become:
Sarah Broughton is in her late twenties, blonde, attractive and successful. She works as a writer, owns her own two-bedroom flat in south London, has a long-standing boyfriend and a lively social life. But every evening, just before she sits down for a meal, she swallows 75mg of a powerful antidepressant drug. Broughton has been on antidepressants for three months and says that without them she would probably fall apart.
"At least half of the people in my circle of friends are on Prozac, or have taken it at some time," says Broughton. "On the surface, we all seem to be coping, doing well even, with good jobs and a great social life, but scratch the surface and you'll discover a lot of unhappiness. I think most of us are living a lie--pretending we're having a better time than we actually are. I know that's the root of my depression. … I'm not happy with my life. It's not turning out as I'd hoped."
Karl Phillips, a 33-year-old film lecturer, has also suffered from bouts of depression throughout his life and believes the increasing prevalence of the illness stems from the breakdown of community in society. "We're racing towards the new millennium with more technology than we've ever had before, but I think we're more lost and isolated than we've ever been. We've become an alienated, work-obsessed society. I'm not surprised we're queuing up for antidepressants."
99.Thank the Lord we have a purpose and motivation in the Family! I know you have days when you don't feel motivated or inspired about your ministry, or you're tired of going out witnessing.But if you pray and ask the Lord, He can rekindle that flame in your heart and open your eyes to all that you can do. You may feel that your choices are limited, but really the sky's the limit if you have the faith, initiative, and the Lord's blessing!
100. Open to change. Academics say that one of the big differences between us and many other Christian groups, and one of our greatest advantages, is that we're not afraid to change or adapt, while still staying true to our fundamental beliefs. The Lord's always leading in new directions, and Dad was always willing to try something different if the way we'd been doing it wasn't working anymore.
101. Learning languages/cultures. Because most of you have lived in more than one country, you have much more opportunity to learn other languages and study other cultures than you would if you weren't in the Family.
102. No fear of being fired. In today's competitive world, where economies quickly rise and fall and companies frequently collapse, many people's greatest fear--and one that they face nearly every day--is getting fired. Young people might not worry about it as much as the older adults do, since it will be easier for them to find another job, but it's still a big concern for them too, especially in cities or countries where unemployment is high. And when you consider that as a result of the recent Asian currency crisis millions of people lost their jobs, their fear is pretty well-founded.
103.Along with the fear of being fired comes the fear of not being able to find a new job, defaulting on their mortgage or car payments, and winding up without a house, car, and other valuables! It's such a serious worry that when people do lose their jobs, they sometimes become severely depressed or even commit suicide rather than have to face the consequences.
104.Thank the Lord these are not fears that weigh on us! There's plenty to do in our Homes, and if there's nothing for you to do in your Home, then maybe you should ask the Lord whether you should be in a Home somewhere else where there is. The harvest truly is plenteous!
105. No bullying. Bullying is a serious problem in schools that children in Family Homes don't experience--or at least not to the same degree.
106. Less pressure by parents to get ahead. If you're a young person in the Family, your parents certainly want you to do your best for the Lord and grow into strong soldiers of the faith. And because they love you and want you to be able to enjoy the Lord's blessings and rewards, they encourage you, and maybe even pressure you, to hold on and stay in the Family. But in the System, the pressure by many parents on their children to succeed and pursue whatever career they've chosen for them or they think will be most profitable is much stronger. It's not uncommon for parents to completely disown their children and refuse to speak to them for a long time when the children don't want to follow the path the parents think is best. In some countries, like Japan, the pressure to excel in school is so great it has even driven children to commit suicide!
107. Safeguards. Everyone--whether they're serving the Lord or not--needs safeguards in their life to help keep them from falling prey to their bad habits and those vices which seem to come naturally to them. People in the System don't have any safeguards to keep them from getting into trouble, except the law, which doesn't do much more than lock them up. And that's one reason why society has so many criminals, drunks and abusers.
108.In the Family we have a lot of safeguards. The main one is the Lord and the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Lord's spirit helpers who try to help us stay on track. But we also have the Charter and our shepherds and brothers and sisters who help us by their sample, with their advice, or by correcting us when we go astray. Safeguards aren't always fun, but they're very important and needed, and without them a lot of us might be getting into trouble of some sort or another, or being very unloving and unchristian in our behavior towards others, and leading miserable lives as a result.
109. Deliverance from NWOs. In the Family we also have the support and prayer we need, as well as the instruction from the Word, that helps us obtain deliverance from long-standing problems and NWOs. Some people in the System spend months or years attending therapy sessions or support groups and still aren't able to overcome some of the problems that plague them, like jealousy, bitterness, anger, etc.
110. Creativity. Being creative and innovative is an uncommon and highly coveted quality in the System. Many people in the Family are quite creative and innovative compared to the majority of their counterparts in society at large, because in the Family we learn to make do under whatever circumstances. We often don't have the resources and manpower that people in the System would consider necessary to get the job done, but because we know that the Lord wants us to get it done, He inspires us with new ideas and ways to do without. Plus He does lots of miracles to make up for what we may be lacking! And because we're steeped in the Word and we're giving our lives for the Lord, we have the faith that the Lord will bless us with those miracles and resolve seemingly impossible situations. That's quite an advantage!
111.We also encourage people to find new and better ways to do things in their Home ministries and outreach in order to get more done for the Lord, which fosters initiative and creativity.
112. No alcoholics or drug addicts. Alcoholism is a widespread problem in System families that leads to a lot of broken homes. While some people in the Family probably break the rules at times and drink more than they're supposed to, thank the Lord we don't have any real alcoholics. And we certainly don't have any drug addicts!
113.While the Charter rule that forbids heavy drinking or drugs is our safeguard, the main reason we're free of these vices is because we have the Lord and His love and peace and the meaning He gives to our lives, so we don't have the pressure and hopelessness that drives people in the System to either drink heavily or take drugs as an escape from their own sadness or the evils of the world around them.
114. No dog-eat-dog society. Thank the Lord, in the Family our goal is not to climb the ladder of success, because in the end, what the Lord rewards is our faithfulness, not our position. In the Lord's eyes, success is just being faithful at the job and calling He's given you. I'm sure some Family members have had leadership ambitions, and sadly, people have been hurt by others' attempts to be leaders or to gain favor in their shepherds' eyes; but we don't have that same strong competition that there is in the System to make it to the top. People aren't stepping all over you in their attempt to get promoted--and in fact, we've even had a hard time finding enough people to fill the VS positions needed because people know it's a heavy responsibility that requires a lot of sacrifice, and they're not eager to jump into it. In contrast, in the Western world in particular, it's a mad rush to the top, no matter who you have to trample on to get there. It's a dog-eat-dog society, and you quickly discover that either you learn to howl and run like the rest of the pack, or you get trampled on and devoured by them.
115. It's easier to make friends, because you share the same general goals, convictions and interests (serving the Lord and following Him) as other people in the Family. We take this one for granted sometimes, but I think you'd be surprised how difficult it is to make good friends in the System. It's rare that you find someone who has the same goals in life as you, who you have a deep connect with and with whom you can share your heart and innermost thoughts.
116. Easier to have dates. I know some of you folks who don't have many others around in your age bracket might object to this, and you figure that if you weren't in the Family you'd have more of a chance to "do it." In some cases, maybe so. But finding someone you want to have sex with in the System--besides a hooker or some guy in a bar--is no piece of cake and can actually be pretty tough! If you're a guy, you've got to be willing to spend a lot of money to woo a girl. You have to have a car to take her out, money for dinner, drinks, etc., whereas in the Family it's a lot easier and simpler. If you're a girl, you don't need to worry about spending lots of money on clothes and make-up and playing all sorts of games to win some guy. And you don't have to worry about date rape or sexual harassment either.
117.We have a long ways to go in practicing the Law of Love more in our Homes. Nevertheless, in the Family people are a lot more likely to be willing to have a date with you to help fill your needs, even if they don't really need it or feel like it themselves nor are super attracted to you. Whereas you'll rarely or never find that kind of sacrificial love in the System. So when it comes to loving sex, the Family has a big advantage.
118. Affection: Hugging and kissing is so much a part of our life in the Family (although we need more of it in some Homes) that we probably don't think much of it, but it's actually quite rare in the System. Everyone needs affection to help them feel loved, and it's probably one of the first things that people miss when they leave our Homes.
119. No guilt about sex. Thanks to the freedoms that the Lord has given us with the Law of Love, we can enjoy sex outside of marriage (if it's done in love and all parties involved consent), without being torn apart by guilt or ruining our marriages, as happens to many people in the world. Many people have friends that they would like to have a sexual relationship with, but they don't either because it's taboo or it would hurt their marriage; or they go ahead and have sex and then have to cover it up, and fight feelings of guilt and condemnation. They battle fear of being found out, and if it is discovered, it often ends in divorce. So we're truly blessed in this area, praise the Lord!
120. Support during tough times. If you've ever been through a real tough time and found that you could depend on others in your Home or in other Homes for emotional support, understanding and prayer, you know how important that is and what a difference it makes. That's another big benefit of the Family, because that kind of support is very hard to come by in the System, even among so-called friends, because many of them just have a superficial friendship without much true love or concern.
121. No family feuds. In the Family, sometimes parents and children, or flesh brothers and sisters, don't get along as well as they should, but it's pretty rare that we have the serious feuds that many System families do. Because their values are based on material things, System families are split apart by things like inheritances or money matters, and siblings or parents and children sometimes end up not speaking to each other for years. Not to mention the proverbial disputes with and dislike for the "in-laws." People in the Family may have their differences, but thank the Lord we learn to resolve them in love and can still love each other and work together. And that is a big benefit!
122. Equal opportunity. In the Family we have equal opportunity for all. The Lord can use you just the same, in any ministry--whether you're male or female, white or black, American or Angolan, it doesn't make any difference to us or the Lord! As you know from the news, unfortunately in most countries it's a very different story.
123. Less boredom. I know that there are times when particularly you younger teens--and even the older teens--feel bored and unchallenged. You feel like you don't have much to do and your life isn't very full or exciting. As I mentioned in "Hold on to Your Crown," I hope that you will seek the Lord as to ways to make your life more fulfilling--and if you do, I know that He'll show you what you can do.
124.But even though you may feel pretty bored at times in the Family, it doesn't come close to the boredom that a lot of young people, and even adults, in the System feel. That's why you so often see kids just hanging around, roaming the streets, or getting into trouble, because they don't have anything to do--or at least not anything that interests them. Also, few members of the older generation (teachers, pastors and parents) are willing to take the time, effort and patience necessary to help change and challenge young people.
125.For many young people, there's not a single thing in their daily routine that interests them, other than perhaps hanging out with their friends, and even that gets to be boring after a while. Whereas in the Family, while there may be times of boredom, you can always find some things that are interesting and exciting, or that give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Witnessing and winning people to the Lord certainly gives you joy and satisfaction like nothing else does. Sometimes it takes some work, faith and initiative to discover what you can do and how to make it work, but the possibilities are there.
126.It's also important to realize that in the Family we're used to a pretty fast-paced life. We're used to quick answers to prayer, quick moves, many changes, much variety of service, Homes, and people. The minimum standard of what we feel we need to experience in order for our lives to be "active" or "exciting" is pretty high, much higher than the average level for people in the world!
127.So if you feel your life's activity level is below-average or below the minimum needed to be happy, remember that it's still a lot higher than most people in the System, because their expectations are much lower. People in the System have to get used to the same boring routine every day for years with no changes or inspiration, so their average threshold of activity is much lower than in the Family. So bear that in mind when you're feeling bored and think that you might be more challenged in the System. You might be in the short term when you first get out there, because there are new things to do and try out. But the newness quickly wears off, and as you start to settle down, you find out just how boring life in the System really is.
128.Also, if you feel bored and lacking excitement or fulfillment, you can do something about it! Here's part of a message Dad gave on this subject with some good food for thought:
129.(Dad speaking:) If you want lasting excitement and far-out thrills, the Family is the place to get it. It's right there for the asking! If you aren't finding enough thrills and excitement and challenge here in the Family, why not try asking yourselves what you need to do about it? Could it be you might be doing something wrong?
130.Something must be wrong somewhere, and maybe it's because you're either doing something wrong or you're missing the mark somewhere and there's something you could be doing that you're not. Maybe you didn't speak up to the right person. Maybe you failed to listen to the Lord when He was trying to tell you to do this or that. Maybe you just got a little slack in some area. Maybe you forgot to obey in another area, so you're unable to progress like you should, or receive the full blessing the Lord is waiting to give you, the full benefits that He has for you.
131.If you find yourself in a situation where you're a little dissatisfied or out of sorts, or things are not as exciting or as challenging as you would like them to be, well, there's gotta be a reason why. But for Heaven's sake, look for it here. Look for the solution here! Why do you think it's out there? Why not get down to business and find out what can be done about it?
132. Ask yourself a few questions: "Am I doing something wrong? Should I be doing something I'm not? Do I need to start doing something, or stop doing something? Do I need to change in some area? Am I failing to see all sides to the situation? Do I need to speak up about something? Do I need to communicate about something? Lord, do I need a change of heart? Do I need a change of scenery? Do I need a change of location, of Home, of country, or ministry?" Ask yourselves these questions and then ask the Lord for solutions! Ask Him where in the Family He wants you to be! Maybe you're in the wrong place, the wrong country, or even on the wrong side of the world! Seek Him and find out what He wants you to do. Don't just stand there, do something about it! (End of message from Dad.)
133. Less stigmas. In the System, because people often live in the same city their whole lives, those around them tend to form a very fixed opinion of what they're like, which can be very hard to change. Especially if you really blow it--or people think you blew it--others are often very slow to forgive, and you can be stigmatized for life despite every effort to change. In the Family we still have improvement to make in the area of not labeling others because of things they've done, and forgiving and forgetting the past; but in general, it's an area that we're miles ahead in when compared to the kind of stigmatization and ostracism that is very common in the System.
134. No mortgages. Because Dad has encouraged us to rent housing rather than buy, Family members are not burdened by large mortgages, which are common to most families in society. We're also free from the pressure that mortgages bring and the fear that if you default on your payments you'll be out in the cold, having lost the house you've spent so much money on so far.
135. Now you may think, "Considering all the houses I've lived in over the past 15 or 20 years, if I'd just bought the house and made my payments over the years, then I would own the house now, wouldn't have to pay any rent, and would be money ahead." Well, if you bought a good house to start with and everything had gone picture perfect for the past 20 years, then yes, that might be true. But for starters, you'd still be stuck in that house, or you would have had to find someone else to take over the monthly payments. Talk about being tied down! Secondly, had something come up--as it often does in life--and you were unable to keep up with your payments, you would have lost everything. Thirdly, you are then responsible for the property taxes, keeping the house maintained (replacing the plumbing when it goes out, for example), and all that can cost big. And, if your house gets hit by a natural disaster of some kind, you can't just move on and continue your ministry, but you've lost everything and are heavily in debt.
136. As someone in my Home brought out: "Buying a house doesn't end up nearly as economical as most people think it will be. Take my mother, for example. She has a $450 a month mortgage, pays an average of $60 a month in property taxes, and probably another $100 a month in house repairs. I'm very familiar with the figures since I recently visited her and had to help her sort out her finances. So she pays $600 a month for her house. On the other hand, the renter she has upstairs occupies almost half the house and pays $150 a month rent, including utilities. So for a quarter the amount she pays, he's got it as good as she does, and if anything breaks in his part of the house, she has to pay for it."
137. I'm not saying that no Family member should ever buy a house. However, Dad's counsel was for a good reason, and in our line of work, unless you're planning on a settled-down System life, you're better off renting.
138. More trust. As evil men and seducers wax worse and worse during these last days, there's a continued decline in the amount of trust people in the System have. Because of all the horror stories and scams that you hear about on the news, many times people's first reaction toward others is one of mistrust. And it can be very hard to be surrounded by people who don't trust you and whose initial automatic reaction is to be suspicious of you. In the Family we know that our brothers and sisters are not going to purposely hurt us or do anything bad to us (at least I hope not--God forbid!), and our first reaction towards others--and their reaction towards us--is generally one of trust and brotherhood.
139. Vision for the future. In the Family we have so much to look forward to! There's the Endtime, when the Lord has promised that we'll be doing exploits, when we'll be able to see so many amazing events like the Rapture and the Battle of Armageddon. Then there's Heaven and the Millennium, when we'll rule and reign over the Earth with Jesus Himself! What a vision! What a future!
140.Unfortunately, people in the System, even good Christians, don't have that same vision. The only thing they have to look forward to is getting old, hopefully having enough money to retire and still survive okay, not knowing exactly how they will cope as they get up in years, and then dying! Even if they're saved, most don't know enough about Heaven to look forward to it that much, and they certainly don't know enough about the Endtime to look forward to that, or hardly know it's coming!
141. Healthier lifestyle. Because of Dad's good training, we live a much healthier lifestyle than the vast majority of people in the world. We eat better, and we're not so dependent on medicine and pharmaceutical drugs that would screw up our bodies, which are a way of life in Western countries. We don't smoke, we don't drink excessively, and we try to get good exercise.
142. Age slower. Have you ever heard people comment about how the adults in the Family look young for their age? Or have you ever visited your relatives and noticed that your uncles and aunts, who are about the same age as your parents, look a fair bit older? A few years back, after visiting a number of Homes, one academic asked whether we only accept people who are handsome or young-looking into the Family! And he was serious! Besides our healthier lifestyle, probably a big reason is because in the Family we don't have all the fears, worries and burdens that people in the System carry with them, which causes them to age quickly. We've found the fountain of youth--faith and trust in the Lord!
143. Legacy. A legacy is what people leave behind for others when they die, not just in money or goods, but in the way of accomplishments. For example, Alexander the Great's legacy was his conquering most of the known world in only ten years. The vast majority of people don't have any legacy to leave behind at the end of their lives, other than their children. But you do--all the thousands of souls that you personally won to the Lord throughout your life, and the lives that you changed and influenced as a result of your witness! As Dad once said, the souls you won will be an eternal memorial to your service to the Lord. But in the System, what would your legacy be? That you managed to get by financially? That you earned a college degree and felt smart? You can't take those things with you to the next life.
144. More challenging jobs. Witnessing can be pretty tough, and there are probably times when you get burned out on going out with the tools to raise your support. It's sometimes difficult to keep going day after day. But at least you know it's doing some good and helping others--you're giving people the message of the Lord's love, and lives are changing for the better because of what you do. In the System you're often forced into jobs you really hate--or jobs that are sleazy in nature, or ones that not only don't help others, but even hurt them, or hurt you. These kinds of jobs have no goal or purpose other than to give you the money you need to get by.
145. No couch potatoes. Thank the Lord, in the Family we're too busy trying to serve the Lord, keep our Homes running, and giving His love to others, to spend hours every day in front of the TV, drinking in all the garbage that the media feeds people through it, and becoming fat and lazy couch potatoes who no longer know how to communicate and socialize with others because the only thing they're used to interacting with any more is the remote control for their TV!
146. More aware. Because of all the input that they get from the media and advertising, and because of peer pressure and fear of others' opinions, people in the System often become very dull and gullible, believing whatever the media tells them. In the Family, because of the treasures of Word that we have, we learn to be much more alert, aware, and on guard, which makes us much wiser and less likely to fall prey to the Devil's wiles and subtle propaganda.
147.You may think that if you went into the System you would take that awareness with you--and you probably would at first. But the continual dripping and chipping away at your moral and spiritual fabric by the System's input can slowly turn you into a zombie without you even realizing it, and can dull your senses to the truth. "Truth resisted loses its power over the mind."
148. Learning from our trials. The Lord has taught us so much about Romans 8:28 and that blessings come from battles. In the Family we've learned to recognize trials and tribulations as an important part of our spiritual growth. Because of the input from the Word and help from the Lord and our shepherds, we learn to use the battles as steppingstones to greater things and victories over our NWOs.
149.Most people in the world go through some of the same battles as you do, or similar ones, but learn nothing from them. In fact, they often become worse through bitterness. So learning to grow through our trials is another great benefit of being in the Family.
150. Greater understanding of world events. Through the Letters that Dad gave, and the Word that the Lord and Dad continue to pour out from Heaven, we have a much greater understanding of world events than do people in the System. We're much more aware of the behind-the-scenes happenings and the real reasons that certain events are taking place. Most importantly, we're able to recognize them as signs of the times and indications of the soon-coming End.
151. More healing. We're not the only Christians who believe in and have faith for healing. But we use it a lot, and the Lord does many wonderful miracles of healing for our Family members because of our faith and desperation in prayer. I'm sure if you were in the System the Lord could still heal you, as He has many others. But the fact that you're serving the Lord and devoting your life to His service gives you much more faith to claim miracles of healing and to know that the Lord will answer--and it's faith that moves the hand of God. So that's a big advantage people in the System, and even other Christians, don't have. Plus you can get prayer from thousands of other Family members around the world via the continental and international prayer lists!
152.Another benefit of healing is the huge financial savings! In the System you generally have four options when you get sick: 1) You've earned good money and paid dearly for health insurance, so it will hopefully cover most of your doctor bills if you got the right kind that covers everything related to your illness; 2) You don't have health insurance and you're faced with sky-high hospital bills that put you in debt; 3) You get free government health care if eligible (which you paid for with your taxes), but then you're in the hands of a health care system that doesn't care about you, sometimes doesn't let you have any say in decisions concerning your health and what medication or treatment you will or won't take, and often treats you like a human guinea pig; 4) You remain sick because you can't afford or don't have access to any of the other three options. So thank God for the power of prayer and healing!
153. That's an impressive list when you think of it, isn't it? It sure helps you realize that we don't have it so bad in the Family after all, ha! As one of our long-time staff members put it, "After having tried out System education to the point that I'm listed in 'Who's Who in American High Schools' and have a whole bunch of other academic awards; after having had a System job that made me one of the best-paid accountants in Central America, and gave me a chance to travel the Caribbean, attend conferences in Europe, stay in fancy hotels, etc., I think we're the best. I've met the rich, the intellectual and the famous, and I still think we've got the best! Of course we're human and we make mistakes; that's true both inside and outside the Family. But it's sure a lot nicer inside the Family."
154.Many of the benefits of being in the Family come from the fact that we live communally. This is a whole topic in itself, with many facets! I'll start by including a message that Dad gave about communal living in which he lists many of its advantages.
155.Of course, we're not the only ones in the world who live communally. But we are some of the very few Christians who live communally and yet have an active missionary outreach to the world. There are other religious orders or groups (Christian, Jewish, and some Eastern religions) who live communally, but nearly all of them separate themselves entirely from the rest of the world and don't actively witness or try to reach others outside their community with the Gospel. So we're quite unique!
156.(Note: Dad gave the following message when we asked him for an explanation on communal living for non-Family members. Thus you may notice a difference in approach as compared to when he was talking to the Family in the message on the benefits of the Family that I included earlier in this Letter.)
157.(Dad speaking:) God was the original pioneer of communal living, with His early church and disciples whom He encouraged to live together and help each other. This lifestyle is not for everyone, and there will always be scoffers who say it can't be done, or people who prefer a private lifestyle, but the benefits remain unparalleled!
158.I'll begin with the financial benefits--not because that's the most important thing, but because it's one thing that all people can relate to and is usually a prime concern no matter what your walk of life. Having many people share the financial responsibility makes for a very light load, and the pressure and strain is taken off of the shoulders of the traditional single breadwinner having to bring home the paycheck and pay all the bills. You have many people contributing towards the rent, which makes it possible to expand and enjoy even a few frills if you want. You can build on the patio, paint the living room, hang new curtains, not to mention the repair work that needs doing. You say, "Well, I can do that anyway." Yes, but it's going to take you a lot longer, and let's face it, most of the time you just can't afford it, or you never get around to it.
159.That brings me to another benefit--many hands make light work! When there's a job that needs doing, it can certainly be taken care of much more quickly and efficiently when everyone pulls together to get it done and contributes all their talents and experience towards it. You know how hard it is to be the only one, for example, to do something as simple as mow the lawn, let alone plant the lawn, or fix the roof, or the leaking faucet.
160. Young mothers with little children have helpnot only with their newborn, but their other children as well, giving them time to recover from their delivery. If you get sick, there's someone there to take care of you and help with your children, someone to pray for you and give you support and comfort and take over your work until you recover.
161. Parents have the blessing of having help with their children when they need it. They don't have to hire a baby sitter who they hardly know and trust the children's care to the hands of a stranger. Mothers have help with housework and chores, and don't have to be responsible to cook all the meals, do all the laundry, all the housework, shopping, etc. The daily jobs of motherhood and parenting are shared by many people, allowing parents to do other things with their children or concentrate on their educational needs, their personal needs, and their growth.
162.The educational needs and training of children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, can be tailored to meet their individual needs and be given in a much more quality way. Children benefit greatly from living and interacting with others, which prepares them for the future. It's a real hands-on human relations experience where people learn to give and take and to work together in harmony and cooperation. Children who are used to being around other people and interacting with them well are much more prepared to face life's problems and are much better people handlers, and better equipped to work together well with others on the job.
163.Friendships grow between young people, and there isn't the fear by the parents that they're getting in with the wrong crowd. Singles have the companionship of people with like interests, as do older people, and there isn't the problem of loneliness or fear that's common among people who live alone. Married couples have other married couples to communicate with and to seek counsel and advice from when faced with marital difficulties. Newlyweds can benefit from the experience and counsel of the older, more mature married couples, which can help make their initial years of married life go more smoothly.
164.There are innumerable benefits to communal living simply along the lines of learning from the experience and training and character of each other. The younger can learn from the older, and the older have a feeling of fulfillment in being able to pass on their knowledge. The younger take care of the older when they become sick or approach death. The old folks have someone there with them to comfort and support them and take care of their needs.
165.And of course, in our missionary Homes, where serving Jesus is the center of our lives, the spiritual benefits are great in terms of our loving fellowship, the encouragement and support we give one another, the prayer power in our lives, and the spirit of the Lord's love which we're blessed with. When someone first becomes a Christian, living communally is an excellent environment for them to grow in the Lord and build a good spiritual foundation in the Word through the teaching and instruction of those around him. He has a ready-made church of believers right in his own home.
166.The practical benefits go on and on. You don't have to feel like you have to be everything and know something about everything, or hire someone who does, because the different portfolios are shared among the members. You don't have to be an accountant or bookkeeper if you don't have the talent for it, because most likely someone else does and can take care of that job. You don't have to repair the car when it's having trouble if you're not mechanically minded and without the proper training, neither do you have to pay for it to be taken to the garage when someone else might have the aptitude and training for it.
167.The list of the tremendous benefits of communal living goes on and on, and if you're at all practically minded, it soon becomes apparent that it's one of the most logical, practical, efficient ways to live! You don't have to worry that burglars will break into your house and you won't have anyone around to help you out. You're seldom, if ever, alone at home with the kids, or even just plain alone with no one to help you in an emergency.
168.Family meals are a pleasant time, and you don't have to suffer those strained relations at the table if you've had a spat, because there's always someone else around to help get your mind off your problems. The kids aren't as bored with the same old routine, because they have live-in friends to do things with, and adults to help oversee their activities. There can be much less sibling rivalry in a good Christian atmosphere where parents are praying together for solutions to their problems and their children's needs. The children receive much more input and personal time, which results in happier lives.
169.So all in all, when you consider the practical benefits, the human relations benefits, and the spiritual benefits of communal living, you really wonder why more people don't do it! (End of message from Dad.)
170. (Mama:) I realize that not everyone in the Family lives communally, and there are some who live in single-family Homes for one reason or another. However, as Peter brought out in "Goals for 1998," we want to encourage everyone to live communally as much as possible. Not only is it God's plan for His disciples to live and work together in unity, which therefore brings on His blessings, but it has lots of practical benefits as well. Of course, if the communal Homes get too large and unwieldy, they have their downsides as well, which is why we've encouraged smaller Homes since the Charter--smaller, but still communal.
171.Here's a recap of the points Dad shared, along with some other benefits of communal living that came up in the dinner discussion in our Home:
172.Economical. If you took a Home's income and divided it between each family or single, there's no way they could survive on that little if they were living alone. They'd be way below the poverty line!
173. Sharing financial responsibility. One of the greatest causes of stress in the world, and most people's greatest concern, is making it financially. Of course, we have those concerns in the Family too, and you wonder how you're going to raise money for the rent and other bills. However, you have the blessing of being able to share those burdens with the rest of the Home, so the responsibility doesn't rest solely on you. Even if you're the main breadwinner of the Home through your outreach, the others share the responsibility through their prayers, and you counsel and work together as a team. That takes a tremendous pressure off of you, which those in the System have to carry alone (which often leads to a lot of friction in the home).
174. Many hands make light work. There are more people with varied experience who know how to do things that you don't, like handyman repairs, cooking, etc. Or maybe there's no one in your Home with that particular skill, but there's someone in a nearby Home who can come over to help you out, without having to pay big money for System experts and repairmen.
175. Childcare help. Since the Charter, a lot of parents feel the responsibility of teaching their children much more heavily than they did before, and they may not have as much childcare help as they did before. But they still have a lot of help compared with the System, where working parents (and usually both parents have to work to survive) usually have three options for their young children: 1) Let them hang out on their own all day; 2) Entrust their lives and safety to the hands of a baby sitter who may or may not take care of them; 3) Pay big money to leave them at a daycare center. There was a recent news report that in the U.S., quality daycare can cost $1,000 per month per child! Most people can't afford that, so they're left with the first two options, or with poor-quality daycare, none of which are very good. So what an advantage our parents with young children in the Family have.
176. Care for the sick. A member of our staff told of how a couple of years ago he had a very serious back problem, and was virtually bedridden for some months. He noted that had that happened to him in the System, he might have gotten a few days or a week or two of sick leave, but after that, he would have lost his job. With no means of support, it would have been very difficult to survive, plus he would have had to find a new job once he got better (if he could even find an employer that would hire someone with a history of debilitating medical problems that could cause his prolonged absence from work in the future, or who the employer would have to pay higher health insurance for). Whereas in the Family he had the loving care of others in the Home who carried on the work until he got well enough to resume his duties.
177. Prayer power! We're not the only Christians who believe in and practice prayer power, but it's a lot easier to get prayer power from your fellow Christians when they're right in the same house with you and they know you and what you're going through or what ailments you have!
178. Children benefit from more exposure to others. It's estimated that a child learns 80% of what he will learn in his lifetime before the age of 5. This is why education experts are pushing for more and more preschool training during these important formative years, when a child's ability to learn is at its peak. In the Family, our young children have the advantage of living with many people, and receive a variety of input and teaching from those in the Home just through their passing interaction, even if they don't actually "teach" or take care of the child.
179.This was very noticeable with Trevor while he and Techi stayed in our Home for some months. He learned so much from others in the Home, even those who just spent a few minutes with him here or there, or interacted with him at meal times. Just being exposed to different people increased his knowledge and learning capacities tremendously.
180. Less loneliness. Some of you may think, "I'm not so sure about this one. I go through loneliness trials in the Family!" I know a lot of people in the Family do go through loneliness trials or have felt lonely at some point or another. But if you've ever lived alone in the System, you know that what you may go through in a Family Home cannot be compared to the loneliness that you experience when on your own out there. It's difficult enough to not have a boyfriend or girlfriend who you feel close to, but to have to live on your own and to feel like no one in the world understands you, and for this to go on for months and years, can be devastating. This is one reason why a lot of people commit suicide in the System--because they're so lonely.
181.Plus, even though we experience loneliness battles in the Family, we have Jesus to turn to, our wonderful Lover and Husband, Who can help us through our deepest heartaches and Who comforts us with His love and fills our empties. And He often uses those times to draw us much closer to Him and give us more depth of character and spirit. I know that you still like to have "someone with skin on," but just think how it would be if you were alone but didn't have that closeness to Jesus and that knowledge that He was going to take care of you and pull you through those tough times. That would be really tough!
182. Always have company. This ties in with loneliness. A lot of people in the System feel miserable because they don't have anyone to be with at times that are real special to them, like birthdays, Christmas, etc., whereas in the Family we always have plenty of people around! You may not always be with your best friend or lover or the person you'd like to be with the most, but you can always make new friends where you are. At the very least you have some sort of companionship, and you don't have to go through those emotional or nostalgic times alone.
183. Help in marriages and pregnancy. You young couples and new mothers have the advantage of living with older adults who have "been there," and who can provide free help and advice on prenatal and postnatal care, marriage counseling, etc.--without having to spend a lot of money on a marriage counselor! Not to mention the best marriage counselor of all--the Lord--through His written and living Word!
184. Encouragement and support from people who believe the same as you do, and who have the same goals.
185. A ready-made church of believers in the Home. No need to go to church!
186. Safety. A lot of people who live alone fear being attacked, burglarized or raped, especially young women. In the Family we don't usually worry about that because there's safety in numbers, and most of all, safety in the Lord through prayer.
187. Variety of food. With more than one person who can cook in the Home, often from different nationalities, you get to enjoy a greater variety of meals than you would in the System, unless you happen to be a very talented cook yourself.
188. Help for single moms. Another advantage of living communally is that single moms can get help and care for their children. I know this is a weak area in the Family, and I hope that you've been taking to heart the Lord's admonitions about caring for the single moms in our Homes. But despite our shortcomings, I know the single moms will testify that it's much easier for them in the Family, where they have the support of their brothers and sisters, than in the System where they would be completely on their own, and have to support their family while caring for their children alone (or putting them in daycare if they could afford it), with all the pressures that accompany it.
189. Shepherding. Maybe some of you who don't particularly like being shepherded won't see this as a benefit, ha! But it is a big one, because whether in the Family or out of the Family, you need shepherding and help in your personal life in order to be happy and continue growing. You'd be surprised at how many people in the System see a psychiatrist--their version of a "shepherd"--to get advice and help for their problems. One of the SGAs in our Home mentioned how when one of her best friends left the Family, one of the first things she did was to start seeing a psychiatrist. But, as someone put it, in the Family you have free in-house shrinks, ha!
190.Of course the big advantage is that our "shrinks" are people who love you and care about you, who understand and often relate to your battles (having gone through similar ones), and try their best to help you. And they aren't in it for the money, because there isn't any! I know that not all our Homes have such concerned shepherds who really put their heart into their job of spiritually shepherding their flock, and this is a weak point that we need to work on, as outlined in the "Goals for 1998" GN. But compared to going to System psychiatrists for help, I think you'll agree we have a great advantage. Most of all, your shepherds can point you to the greatest "shrink" of them all--Jesus--and His Heavenly answers in the Word and through prophecy!
191. Sharing and forsake-all. Because of Acts 2:44-45, we share many of our belongings and goods with each other, which means that everyone doesn't have to go out and buy the same item. Not only that, but people often forsake clothes or personal items (either because they no longer need them or because someone else has a greater need), which means others can benefit from them. In the System, you usually don't get anything from anyone for free (unless you're begging), and you'd have to buy all those things for yourself.
192.As Dad mentioned earlier, one of the big benefits of being in the Family is the preparation for the future that serving the Lord provides, and which comes through all the Word which the Lord pours out so abundantly. Not only is the Lord preparing us for the few short years of the Endtime, but also for the thousand-year Millennium, where we'll have important responsibilities in helping to run the world.
193. Recently, when praying for one of our teens on the field, one of our folks here received a message from the boy's spirit helper in which he gave some very interesting insight into how the Lord is preparing us for the Millennium, and that through the things we learn and experience, we're also helping our spirit helpers learn and grow and prepare for the Millennium too. Isn't that something? Here's the message:
194.(Spirit helper speaking:) Hi! I love you! I'm one of your helpers from Heaven. I'm a young man too--at least by your standards there on Earth.
195.I've never been to Earth, but one day I'm going to go, so I want to learn all I can now. So I not only help you, but you help me, because I'm learning from you at the same time. See, the Lord's going to need lots of help during the Millennium, and there just aren't enough trained people to do the job, so I'm getting trained now so that I can help then. People who have a knowledge and understanding of how things work on Earth, as well as a deep love for the Lord and knowledge of His Word, are going to be in high demand during the years of the Millennium.
196.That's why you children of David are so valuable! You know what it's like to work and live on Earth, and you understand the way people think. But at the same time you're learning to understand how the Lord thinks and the way He sees things, and how to relate the two--how to help people live more Godly lives, love each other more, etc. You don't just have "book knowledge," but you've really lived it and experienced it. And all that you're learning now is going to be very needed and used then. If you don't believe it, just look at what I'm spending my time doing--learning from you so that I can be a help then too!
197.So don't worry or feel bad if you think you're not doing much right now or don't have any "great" responsibilities or whatever. Because what you're doing now is getting prepared for the days to come, when you're going to be needed to do a big job. At least all those who are ready and prepared will be called upon, and I know you're going to be one of them. So press in all you can now, because the real fun days are coming!
198.During those days, the gifts and powers that you have and the places you get to go are going to depend on how you did with the talents and assignments the Lord gave you here on Earth. There are a lot of things the Lord gives you now that don't look like assignments; they look more like tests and trials and major bummers! But they're assignments and little trial runs for the bigger things that are coming. It's going to be fun, believe me! I can't see it, because I'm not like the Lord and I can't see everything, but I know it's going to be real exciting!
199.You have lots of people around you in the spirit. They're all here to help, because you there in the Family have a big job to do. So the Lord's giving you some of His best help to help you make it through this time. The more you learn to hear from the spirit world, the easier the tests will be, because we can give you the inside scoop on what's really happening, which makes it a lot easier, I think.
200. Well, it's fun being around you! Everything you experience, I get to experience with you and try to help you, and learn myself at the same time. So have fun for both of us, okay? And make sure to get strengthened in the Word and in hearing from Heaven. Those are the most important things that are going to help you make the grade and make progress as easily as possible. Okay, really gotta split now. See you around! (End of message from spirit helper.)
201. (Mama:) That's an amazing revelation, isn't it? Not only do our spirit helpers help us, but we help them prepare for the future through our own preparations by means of the lessons we learn and the things we experience. Yet another benefit of serving the Lord in the Family!
202. This spirit helper brought out a couple of important points that I would like to repeat here just to make sure you don't miss them. One is that even if you don't have any "important" responsibilities, through the little things that you do every day and the lessons you learn, the Word that you drink in, the witnessing that you do, the Lord is preparing you for your important responsibilities in the Millennium. The Lord builds great things on little things, and He wants to see how you'll do with that which is least before He can entrust you with that which is most.
203.In the Millennium, the gifts and powers that you have, the things that you get to do and the responsibilities you will carry, will depend on how you did with the talents and assignments the Lord gave you here on Earth. So that's another pretty big benefit of staying in the Family, because by putting your talents to good use for the Lord's work now and by being faithful with the Mark 16:15 commission that He's given you (and all the little daily duties that make it possible for you and those in your Home to fulfill that commission), you'll be proving yourself worthy of great things in the Millennium. Those future responsibilities shouldn't be our motive for service, of course, but it sure helps, And if the Lord didn't want to use it as an added incentive and encouragement, He probably wouldn't have told us about it.
204.But remember, a lot of the assignments and tests that the Lord gives you now don't look like assignments. You may not even know they're tests that relate to your future, because maybe to you it's just a stupid battle, or some lowly job that you'd really rather not do, or another day of going out on outreach when you'd rather be taking it easy on something else. But the Lord uses all those assignments to see if you have what it takes, so He'll know what jobs He can trust you with in the Millennium.
205.I know that it takes a lot of vision to look beyond this life into the Millennium and to keep in mind that what you're doing here is preparation for there. It's so much easier to focus on the present and whether you're happy and fulfilled now, whether you have what you want now, and whether you're doing what you like most now. "Forget the future," you may figure, "and let's just enjoy the present." And that's one reason why people leave the Family--because they figure that it'll be easier for them to enjoy the present and they don't have to always be preparing for the future.
206.But even in the world, people spend years--up to half their lives or more sometimes--preparing for their future. And they have no future to look forward to other than hopefully enjoying a few years of retirement if they can save up enough money for it. People spend years in school, and then years more in university, and then more years working their way up from the bottom of the totem pole to a high-paying job. Then in their forties or so, if they've succeeded in life, they feel like it's starting to finally pay off. Of course, for them, the payoff just means money, and as they'll tell you, it doesn't bring them any real happiness or lasting fulfillment. Some do find work in professions that they really enjoy and feel like they're doing something meaningful with, like teaching, medicine or scientific research, but they have to spend years and years in preparation, and even then the results of their efforts are often limited.
207.For example, someone who wants to be a surgeon has to spend years in university, then internship and residency, and it's often only in their thirties that they are referred to as a surgeon. Then it takes another 10 or 15 years before they're recognized as being "good" at their job and their career really takes off. So they could be in their mid-forties or fifties before they really start to shine in their ministry.
208.Our ministry of saving souls on Earth, not to mention running the world in the Millennium, is much more important than just being a surgeon and fixing people's bodies. So if someone can spend the first 40 to 50 years of their life preparing for and then perfecting their ministry, how much more should we have the motivation to prepare for ours, which yields much more lasting results!
209.Following is another example of the responsibilities that the Lord has for us in the next life, and how the way to prepare for them is to simply be faithful with what the Lord gives you day by day. It's not contingent on how "big" or "important" your jobs were on Earth, but how much you loved the Lord and others, and how closely you followed the Lord in what He wanted you to do. So take heart! You never know what the Lord might have in store for you in the next life!
210.I received a prophecy from one of my personal spirit helpers, who introduced herself as Tory. I was curious to know more about her and who she was, so I asked the Lord, and it turned out that she was Victoria, one of the teens who went to be with the Lord in the Austin accident! Here's part of what she told me:
211.(Tory speaking:) I was born and raised in our beautiful Family by two wonderful parents--and I guess that's the main qualification Jesus wanted me to have in order to be a help to you in caring for our young people. I know what it's like to be raised in the Family, and I know some of the battles that they face. Before I died in the Austin accident, I too went through some big battles just wondering how I was going to make it and if I had what it took to be a full-time teen missionary. I really love the Family, and I love you and Peter very much, so I'm very happy to be able to help you in any way that I can.
212.I don't have any great big talents or qualifications, at least not from my point of view. But Jesus told me that was good, because then I'd be able to help you understand the average teen and what their feelings and needs are. So that's great! I never thought being untalented, so to speak, would be my biggest asset. I really love you. Bye for now! (End of message from Tory.)
213.(Mama:) Maybe you feel like you don't have many talents, you don't have an important ministry, you aren't doing that much for the Lord, and therefore you're not going to get much of a job in the next life either; so you might as well just quit and leave and try to enjoy life in the System, because it doesn't matter anyway. But that isn't so! Like dear Tory, you never know what important assignment the Lord is going to give you if you just hold on! She held on, and when it was her turn to go, look at what the Lord blessed her with!
Thank God for His Blessings!
214.We've covered quite a list of benefits in this Letter, haven't we? And I'm sure you could probably think of more that I failed to mention above. It's interesting to note that many of these advantages are things that we don't normally think of, because we take them for granted or figure that it would be the same whether we were in the Family or not. It's easy to forget sometimes just how blessed we are in the Family, in spite of our problems--and I know we have them! I don't have my head in the sand, extolling only the virtues of the Family and pretending that there are no problems. There are plenty of weak areas that we need to work on as individuals, on the Home level, and at the Family level, and I mentioned some of them in this Letter.
215.But I don't need to harp on what the problems are--the Enemy does that plenty! In fact, he likes to exaggerate them so that they seem even bigger than they are. He also likes to tell you that everyone else is having the same problems you or your Home are having, and that the Family's falling apart.
216.The Enemy tries hard to magnify and play on the weaknesses of the Family, so why shouldn't we emphasize its strengths and advantages? "Whatsoever things are of good report, think on these things!" And we've got plenty of things of good report to think on. We truly are blessed beyond measure, even if sometimes we don't realize it as much as we should, and we're not as thankful for it as we should be. Sometimes it's only when we find ourselves out of the Family and without those benefits that we become fully aware of how much we had. But don't let it come to that! It's better to learn now from the experience of others than to have to experience it the hard way yourself.
217.Reviewing the above points should make us praise and thank the Lord more for the benefits that He's blessed us with. After all, they're all from Him, and without Him we would have nothing. It's not just the living communally, or the Charter, or our structure or rules that give us these benefits. If we didn't have the Lord's Spirit, His Word, and His guidance, and if it wasn't His work, we wouldn't have anything. If this work were of man and not of God, it would have come to naught long ago, and we wouldn't be around to enjoy any of these benefits. So all glory be to our precious Lover and Husband, Who daily loadeth us with benefits! Hallelujah! We love You, precious Jesus, and we're so thankful for Your many blessings in so many different areas of our lives.
God's Elite Troops!
218.Earlier in this Letter I talked about how being prepared for the Endtime and the future beyond is one of the main benefits we have in the Family. I'd like to close with an inspiring message from the Lord that talks more about the Family's role in the Endtime, and how important each of you will be--not only in bringing the unsaved to the Lord during that difficult time, but also in leading the other Christians who are weaker in the faith and won't be nearly as prepared as you. All this again emphasizes the advantages of the Family versus System Christians, and how important your place in the Family is. So hold on to your crown!
219.(Jesus speaking:) Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus, going on before! This is an army, just as My true followers throughout all ages have been an army. For this is a war, a war of good against evil, of right against wrong, a war of the angels of God against the demons of Hell. It's a spiritual battle, a spiritual warfare, and there is no greater struggle in Heaven or on Earth. It's the true holy war, the true battle of the saints of God against the forces of darkness, and I've called forth a great and mighty army, a terrible army to fight for the right and to defeat the lies and deceptions of Satan! This army has been marching throughout the centuries, and though it has been called by many names, it has still been My Christian soldiers marching forth to battle.
220.The army of God is on the move and on the attack, and now in these Last Days I have a tremendous army! I have an army of Christian soldiers, combat-ready troops that cover the Earth from shore to shore and sea to sea, and they will fight and be a testimony of My power to overcome evil! This is a vast army, a great army with many divisions, many officers, and many battle plans. And just as in all the great armies of this Earth there are different ranks and different divisions, so it is in My great Endtime army.
221.The vast majority of My army are foot soldiers--multitudes and multitudes of foot soldiers--each with his rifle in his hand, going forth to fight the Enemy face to face. Then I have My officers, all the way up the line to My commanding officers and generals.
222.Within this great army I have special units. And you, My dear children of David, are members of My elite troop of Endtime officers! I have trained you by My Own hand. I have given you My Own Endtime prophet, your father David, to teach you, to train you, and to guide you in My way, and to prepare you for the days ahead. You are an elite unit in this Endtime army of Mine. Because of your faith, dedication, yieldedness and humility, I've lifted you up to be My elite troops. You're called and chosen, and you have a special mission in these Last Days.
223.You have been the spearhead! You've paved the way in the spirit for the rest of My army to follow. I've used you to pioneer a mighty revolution of love for Me and My Word, and I have used you to turn My mighty army to march in the right direction. For they were languishing in the fields. They were growing weary in well doing. They were losing the vision. They were cooling off and solidifying. They were losing their conviction. They were becoming a demoralized army, visionless and powerless.
224. I have used you, My elite Endtime troops, My wonderful children of David, to be a beacon and a standard-bearer for My army! I've used you to rouse them out of their sleep, to call them to battle, and to point the way to renewed service and dedication. Without you, My great and grand army would just be floating along, untrained and unprepared for what is to come.
225. (Mama:) Now you might think that what the Lord is saying sounds too big and too good to be true. Is it really true that He has used and is using the Family to be a spearhead, a beacon, and to arouse other Christians out of their sleepy state? Has the Family really done that? What about how the churches hate us? How can we be a beacon to people who don't even like us, and in fact actively work against us?
226. Dad has often said that we, the Family, were the ones who really got the Jesus Revolution of the late sixties and early seventies started, which started a wave of evangelism that has gone far beyond what just the Family has accomplished. The fact that we were so radical and on-fire for the Lord, dedicating our lives to Him full-time, living by faith, manifesting the gifts of the Spirit and witnessing up a storm, had a great impact on the churches, and prodded many of them into doing the same, or at least loosening up a bit from their cold, stiff formality.
227. And today, there are many more Christian groups that are out witnessing and manifesting the gifts of the Spirit than there were 30 years ago when the Family first started. The church system as a whole is still pretty dead in many ways, but it has been shaken up during the last 3 decades and many churches are doing a lot more for the Lord and are more alive in the Spirit now than they were then. And I believe, as the Lord said, that Dad and the Family have had a lot to do with it by paving the way! Who else was doing it before we were?
228. The Lord isn't saying that the churches like us. But they don't have to like us to be convicted by our sample and have a change of attitude. Many times the people who convict you to do better and to make some changes are doing things that you don't like and don't necessarily want to do; but you know and believe that you should be doing them and that, in fact, it's the Lord's will for you to do them. So just because we're not loved or even outwardly praised by other church Christians doesn't mean that they're not convicted by our willingness to dedicate our lives to the Lord the way we do.
229. Even though you might think that your life and service and sample hasn't done that much to change the Christian world, the Lord sees their hearts and minds, and He knows the things that you can't see or don't know yet. You have to keep your eyes on the Spirit and the things of the Spirit; you can't only look at the way things appear in the physical.
230. You might not have the whole Christian world knocking on your door asking you for classes and training, but I believe that day will come when we will have more Christians coming to us for help. We have had a major impact and effect on the Christian world in general--at least the ones who have heard about us, and that's quite a few. Our testimony of being willing to believe and obey the Bible all the way, our willingness to live Acts 2:44-45, our testimony of living by faith, our message of the Endtime and our willingness to preach it abroad has caused shock waves amongst the Christian world, either making them mad, sad or glad. They've heard about us and they've either had to reject it and further solidify, or be convicted by it and try to do some of the same in their church or personal lives.
231.(Message from Jesus continues:)So not only will I use you in the Endtime to do mighty exploits, and not only will you find yourself endowed with Heavenly powers that will shock and defeat the Enemy and be a witness and a testimony to all, but I have also used you to awaken and to lead and to signal the call to arms to My great and mighty worldwide army of Christians. They will all do battle in the Last Days. They will all be called upon to fight. Many will fall by the wayside, for their convictions are shallow, but they're still part of My army today. Others will rise to the occasion and will shine brighter than ever before, for they will see the challenge, they will see the fight and the battle.
232.You, My children of David, have had your eyes opened, and the scales have fallen off of them, that you may see into the world of the spirit, for you are not ignorant of the System's devices. You have seen past and beyond that. My vast Christian army lies in the lowlands. They are stationed there, and their eyes of the spirit are dim; they don't see things as clearly as you do. But the day will come when their eyes will be opened and they will choose. Many of them will choose to fight and to stand firm on their convictions, and this mighty army of Mine will win the battle and do exploits in these Last Days!
233.So you, My children of David, My elite Endtime troops, have a two-fold mission. You've been called to rally My church, to rally My vast Christian army, to awake them from their lethargy, to challenge them, to provoke them to Godly jealously, to wake up and to do the job that they've been called to do. And I've also called you to be My special troops in this Endtime battle, where you will have more power, more anointing, and more gifts of My Spirit, because of your training and your dedication. Your skill in the spirit, your knowledge of prayer, your understanding of the Heavenly realm, and your yieldedness to My whispers will qualify you to be entrusted with powerful gifts of the Spirit. You're a highly trained unit and capable of operating My high-tech weapons of the Spirit, which shall be placed in your hands at the time appointed.
234.So take heart, My young ones, and be not weary in well-doing, for this is a time of training for you. You're learning to submit, to follow, to obey, to fight, and this is all part of your training as My elite troops. The qualifications for this unit are much stricter and more rigid than those of My other divisions. The standard is higher and the level of commitment and dedication is deeper, but the anointing and reward shall be far greater, and I will bestow upon you great honor! (End of message from Jesus.)
235.(Mama:) So keep marching on, and take pride in being God's elite troops! And keep thanking God for your blessings, amen? I love you!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family