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The Weakness Revolution--How You Can Make It! Happy New Year 1999, Part 1.              Maria #464            CM/FM 3218         11/98

--By Maria

                Note: Some sentences or paragraphs in this GN have been underlined for emphasis, to highlight some of the key points.

In this issue:

                The year of choices!            4

                The Family is growing in spirit!         6

                The day of the weak--yieldedness is the key!7

                Don't worry--I'm the one doing this work!       8

                The battle is intensifying!  9

                I would rather have you!    11

                Time of testing and decision-making for all!   11

                Keep your level of faith high             12

                Put your faith in Me and My Word!13

                The danger of looking to man            13

                Keep your eyes on Jesus!  14

                Seeing things as the Lord sees them                16

                Rejoice at the Lord's work in your life!             18

                Keep making progress--there's no standing still!           19

                The Lord's special strengthening times           19

                Keep going one day at a time, depending on Me!         20

                Even the strongest can fall if they don't stay close to Me and My Word22

                Be on guard against pride!22

                For God's sake follow God today!     23

In Part 2:

                Diligently tend the garden of your heart!        1

                Complete obedience brings on My complete blessings!              2

                As long as you fight the Enemy's lies and doubts, you'll stay strong in spirit!        4

                This is the year of decisions!             6

                Breakings and remakings!  7

                To the Lord's Endtime Christian army!             11

                Practical tips for progress   14

Dear Family,

                1. God bless you! Happy New Year! Peter and I are so proud of you for making it through another year--and what a year it has been! The Lord has blessed us on numerous fronts, not only by keeping, protecting, prospering and guiding us, but He has also poured out His wonderful, refreshing New Wine in greater abundance than ever before! Praise the Lord!

                2.I'm sure that you can testify to the increased strength and inspiration that the Lord has given you as you have opened your heart to receive the Words that He's been giving in the GNs this past year. At the same time, however, I'll be the first to admit that not all of the New Wine has been easy to receive. There have been some very weighty subjects addressed this past year--many, in fact. Most of the 18 goals that the Lord set out for the Family at the time of the last Feast were areas that we as a Family needed a bit of a shakeup in. Many of the resultant GNs and messages which the Lord has given on these various topics have been fairly hard-hitting. They've exposed the Enemy and his evil devices, and also shone the Lord's searchlight on the areas in our hearts where we were either holding back or not yielding all.

                3.Now the Law of Love series has been published. Even though the Lord's Words contained therein are beautiful, wonderful, and liberating, it is nonetheless a tall order to put into practice in our everyday lives. It's only made possible by our complete yieldedness and the Lord's miracle-working power in our hearts. This series, along with the previous GNs which the Lord has used to delve into our hearts and lives, may have caused you to feel shaken, worried, or fearful of what the Lord is going to require of you. You may wonder whether or not you can live up to it. You may also be concerned about what's next on the horizon and whether or not you'll be able to make it. As you may have deduced from the title, that's what this GN is about--how you can make it!

                4.First let me tell you how proud the Lord is of you for being open and willing to receive His Words. The reason that our Lover and Husband has brought these shortcomings out in the open is because He loves us. He knows that we want to change, that we want to progress, and He, in His abundant love, wants to help us to do so. He's been patiently working with us over the years on these areas, but in many cases we've become all too familiar with His loving voice and His loving hand, and we've neglected to change our attitudes and actions as much as He was asking. So over the past year He has helped us by more clearly showing us our weak areas, and firmly--yet lovingly--requiring us to make commitments and changes in our lives.

                5.This past year, as the Lord Himself termed it, has been the "year of the bottom line." As the GN by the same name explained, it was ordained to be a year of choices. (See ML #3176, GN 781.) The standard that our Husband and Shepherd wants us to abide by has been clearly laid out in a number of GNs, including "Charter Responsibilities," "The Spiritual Health Revolution," "You Are What You Watch," "Trash Your Trinkets," "Quiet Time--Your Lifesaver," "Eat Right," and many more. Recent GNs have covered nearly every aspect of our spiritual life, growth and walk with the Lord, as well as our inter-Home relations and interactions with others. Through this counsel He has provided solutions to many of the problems the Family faces. The Lord has given the solutions and keys to victory for each of these weak areas, if we will only reach out and avail ourselves of them. This is what the Lord has been begging us to do.

                6.We're so glad for those of you who have taken hold of the New Wine and are putting it into effect. We realize that this costs you a great deal. It requires giving up your own will, your own thoughts and plans, your independence, your pride, your selfishness, your own desires and dreams. In order to live the New Wine to the full, you first of all need to recognize the need to do so and the rewards that are promised to those who follow closely--this will help to give you the determination to make the sacrifices necessary. Also, you need to be willing to study the New Wine, to understand it and grasp the spirit of it. Finally, you need to make solid commitments to make whatever changes are needed in your personal habits and attitudes so that you can grow stronger in the spirit day by day through greater obedience and yieldedness.

                7.All of this takes effort both spiritually and physically. It takes commitment, consistency, honesty, desperation and the will to be what the Lord wants you to be. This is difficult. It can hurt. Even if you're really trying, you might feel like you're going through the wringer, really being tested, and sometimes you might wonder if it's worth it. But the Lord will not give you more than you can take. He's got a plan, and if you just hold on, you'll see that He's able to untangle the most jumbled messes, illumine the darkest paths, and bring you through the tightest squeezes. And in the end, He will have made you a better, more useful and fruitful tool in His hand. It's definitely worth giving up your own life in order to live the life that Jesus wants to give you.

                8.Those of you who have chosen to let the Word soak into your heart and being, who have committed to being fully on board in the Spirit, have been pulled in closer to the Lord and are being whisked along in the direction which the Lord is now moving. Praise the Lord! There is the possibility, however, that you might feel a little stagnated. Possibly you feel that you're not pressing in as you wish you could, or that you're not progressing in areas that you feel you need to. That might cause you some concern. Also, you might see others, perhaps those in your own Home or city, who have not let the New Wine take root in their hearts, and rather than being pulled in closer, they are distancing themselves or are gradually drifting further away. Some may have left the Family altogether. That might also cause you some concern. In fact, it might cause you to waver and question whether or not you can make it.

                9.As we know from the Word, no one has an automatic guarantee that they'll remain in the Family! There are no guarantees that anyone will remain yielded to the Lord forever; it's a choice that each of us has to make anew each day. As Dad has said so often throughout the Letters, your relationship with Jesus is a personal one--between just you and Him. Your decision to serve the Lord can't be based on who else is serving Him. Remember Dad's well-known quote: "I can fail, you can fail, the whole world can fail, but God's Word will never fail!" (ML #527:45).

                10.As you know, the Lord indicated that 1998 would bring a shaking of the tree and a clear laying out of the guidelines and standard for everyone. This "year of the bottom line," as He called it, would bring everyone in the Family to a crossroads, to a point of choice and decision-making. As a result, you've probably found yourself in situations or circumstances where you've had to decide whether or not you would be willing to sign your name on that blank sheet of paper and recommit your life to the Lord.

                11. This challenge has not disappeared now that 1998 has drawn to a close. The Lord is asking you to decide which way you're going to go. Are you going to follow closely, or will you drift away? Will you do everything in your power to stay in the Lord's highest will? This is a commitment that the Lord is asking of each of you in both the CM and the FM Family. But you might ask, "What is the Lord's highest will for me?" On this point, the Lord recently said:

                12. (Jesus speaking:) Being in the center of My will is just that--being in the center of My will for you. It is not associated with status or location; it is only associated with the location of your heart and the extent of your obedience to what I have asked of you. This is not hard to determine--your heart will tell you if you stop and listen, and I will show you if you ask Me whether or not you are in the center of My will for you.

                13. The issue at hand is not whether you are a part of the CM or the FM Family, or whether you are in a certain Home or doing a certain ministry. The important thing is that you are doing what I want you to do, whatever that may be. That is for Me alone to judge, so you cannot look around at others and determine whether or not you think they are in My highest will for them. You can only look to Me and ask Me about your own heart, your own life, your own situation. I will show you clearly. This is something that you cannot blame on others; you cannot excuse yourself by what others are doing. This is something between you and Me.

                14. I only ask of you what I know you are capable of giving and fighting through. So look unto Me and let Me lighten your load. Do not look around and compare, but look unto Me, make your heart right with Me; then, when you are in the center of My highest will for you, you can expect to receive My full blessings. (End of message from Jesus.)

                15.(Mama:) Now at the onset of 1999, some of you might ask yourselves, "Will I make it?" This year of the bottom line has been a purging, and when the Lord gives a call to greater dedication, it is a good time to reevaluate your commitment to Him and the Family, and to pray and ask the Lord for His personal counsel and will in your life. This is what the members of our Home recently did in preparation for the New Year, not only so they could recommit their lives to the Lord and receive His confirmation of His highest will for their lives, but also so they could receive His counsel on how to remain fully dedicated and avoid the pitfalls of the Enemy.

                16.Later in this GN,I'd like to share with you excerpts of those personal prophecies received by our Home members, which I believe will be a blessing to you, as the counsel is applicable to all. I have also included excerpts of other prophecies received over the months--other than those that our Home members received--which I felt would be of value to you.

                17.After you've studied this GN, I'd like to ask that you take some quiet time with the Lord to ask Him to speak to you personally. Ask our wonderful Lover to answer any questions that you've had on your heart, lighten any burdens, strengthen your commitment, and guide you as you apply these messages to your life. I know His Words will encourage and lift your heart, so please do set this time aside.

The Year of Choices!

                18.It's interesting to look back at last year--the year of the bottom line--and evaluate how it has affected the Family. But we must also look forward and see what is ahead of us, and how we are to be prepared in mind, heart, and spirit. Here's an insightful message the Lord gave when we asked Him about this past year's "year of the bottom line" message and how it will affect this new year:

                19.(Jesus speaking:) The standard has been set; the foundation has been laid. All My children are now held accountable for the multitude of Words that I have poured out. They are without excuse, and they cross the threshold of the new year aware of all that I will require of them.

                20.If they are yielded to My voice and have accepted My Words, and have committed themselves to living them, then I will greatly empower them and prosper them at every turn. I will strengthen and anoint and make their way fruitful. But those who do not obey My Word or My leading will not weather the year ahead. For if they choose to obey not, they also choose to forfeit a measure of the protection of My Spirit, and they will lack the stamina and the strength to continue on as they have in the past.

                21.Those who allow doubts to creep into their hearts and minds, and who do not vigorously fight to wash them away with the cleansing power of My Word will become weakened, for they chose to entertain the Devil's lies and untruths. Beware, for small unyieldednesses and disobediences grow to greater ones. If you are not moving forward, then you are moving backwards. This is how the Enemy can weaken even those of you who are strong, if you let go of the protection of My Spirit when you choose to disregard My Word or to not allow it to penetrate your heart.It is a result of your own choices, if you refuse to let Me in to clean out the garden of your heart.

                22.This coming year will be the year of choices and the year of strengthening. Depending on your choices, you shall either be strengthened or weakened. The strength of My protection and spiritual force field comes from the choices you make to yield, to sacrifice, to give, to love, to forsake your pride and your independence, to live the One Wife vision, to care for others as you would yourself, to humble yourself before Me and your Family. The choices which strip you of your spiritual force field and disarm My protection in your life are those choices of selfishness, pride, withholding, covering up, dishonesty, laziness in spirit, jealousy, a hunger for the world and its material goods, a lack of fearing Me, straying from the counsel of My Word, mocking My messengers or My voice in living prophecy, and seeking for your own gain and comfort.

                23.Therefore search your heart as to whether you can make one choice this year: the choice to say yes. You may not feel that you can live up to all the wonderful qualities which I would that you strive for, but don't worry about how you feel; just trust, for I promise that I won't make it too hard for you. If you will but yield and say yes, and be willing to do so time and again, I will put the love, humility, happiness and unselfishness within your heart. But if you cannot make the choice to yield in all things by faith, as coming from a willing heart and mind, though you know not how you will make it, then I say unto you that you will not benefit from the strengthening that I hold for you in this coming year.

                24. If you can make the difficult choice to choose and accept My will above your own, then I will set you about with good things. I will hedge you about with the fruits and treasures of My Spirit. I will spoil you with spiritual delights and riches of happiness and joy. I will heap upon you goodness and mercy. I will give you understanding and love in your teamworks, and trust and faith amongst your brethren, that your work may prosper and multiply exceedingly. All this will I give to you, if you will but say yes to Me. (End of message from Jesus.)

                25. (Mama:) Wow! That gives us a pretty clear goal to shoot for, doesn't it? Isn't it sweet how the Lord makes it so simple for us? When we look at the long list of things that we need to become--loving, giving, unselfish, sacrificial, willing to live the One Wife vision, willing to give up the things of the world, etc.--it looks rather daunting, doesn't it? Actually, there just isn't any way we can become all those things in ourselves. It's impossible. But the Lord doesn't expect us to make those changes on our own!

                26.All our wonderful Husband asks is that we make one choice for the coming year--to say yes! If we have a willing heart and mind, even though we can't figure out how in the world we're going to be able to do all those other things, and we feel like we simply don't have it within us to be so loving, giving, and Spirit-led, well, we don't have to worry about that! That's God's business! He will take care of that and put those very qualities within our heart if we'll just say yes each time He presents us with a choice.

                27.So can we do that, Family? Can you do that for Jesus? Can you give Him what He wants from you this coming year--the choice of yieldedness? Just say yes to Him, and He'll take it from there! Yes, it does mean that there will be sacrifice and hardship at times, but that's just part of life. You'll have to live the Word and give of yourself in order to fill the needs of others, and it will hurt at times. But think of what Jesus has promised to give us in return! He's promised His protection and spiritual force field which will enable us to weather the year ahead. Not only that, but He listed a number of tremendous blessings that He's just waiting to heap on our heads if we'll only let Him--by choosing to say yes! Let's do it together, okay?

                28. Keep in mind when reading these messages that they were all given over this last year, and in many of these prophecies the Lord refers to "the year of the bottom line" and encourages those to whom the message was given to press forward and make the right choices, remembering that time is short and that now is the time to do it!

                29. When we asked the Lord about sharing these messages with you and how they apply to the next year--1999--the Lord said, "These messages are very applicable, for they outline clearly what I am asking of each of My children. Those who have already made the right choices will be strengthened, and those who have not yet made the decision to go forward should take heed. These messages give the call to commitment that I am putting forth, and this coming year will bring the fulfillment of the choices that My children make--whether they answer the call and are strengthened, or whether they try to hold out and remain the same, in which case they will have a very difficult time.

                30. "So while these messages were given in 1998, what I called the year of the bottom line, they apply very much to the new year. They show that what I have asked of My children, and now the progress that they make and their future service for Me, is determined by how they respond to this call to commitment. For this year [1999] is a year of reaping the fruits of their decisions. If they have not yet made the right decisions, it's not too late. But these cannot be put off, for this year will bring the fulfillment--whether strengthening or purging." (End of message from Jesus.)

                31. (Mama:) Now, here are the prophecies I mentioned earlier that were received both by our Home members as well as by others, when they prayed about their personal commitments to the Lord and what He would have them do to keep moving forward. There's very good counsel in here for all of us, which I pray will be a blessing to you! I love you!

The Family Is Growing in Spirit!

                32. (Jesus speaking to Mama and Peter:) My Family, My children, are progressing more now than ever before! Though it may not look like it, because it doesn't have an outward show, yet the progress now is even greater. The progress that I talk about is deep spiritual progress.

                33.Yes, many fight battles, many struggle, but they keep moving forward and keep fighting, and this is deep progress. Many are learning to seek Me more, to operate more in accordance with My plan and My direct leading and guidance. Many are linking up more to the things of the Spirit and are learning to be more attuned to the checks of their spirit helpers, those that I send to help, to lead, and to guide. Although these are not all testimonies that you can put in The Grapevine to show outward growth, nevertheless, this is great growth--the growth that I am seeking at this time. And there are outward manifestations of this growth; as people hear My voice and follow My leadings, it brings forth fruit both in their lives and in the lives of others. Those who grow in this manner receive more of My blessings than ever before.

                34.Another area of growth is that the great majority of My children love Me intimately in some form. They're more keenly aware of My desire and the deep love that I have for them. This depth of love that I have is a bedrock foundation for them, which they are beginning to grasp. It is very important that they know how strongly and deeply I love them. This too is a major step of growth and strength within the Family, within My children.

                35.They have also grown in their understanding, knowledge and wisdom in regards to the things of the Spirit. This is very important, for it plays a big role in their present witness, and in their witness in the future. I have opened up and revealed to them many of the deep secrets of the Spirit, of My Heavenly Kingdom, of My inner workings, and this helps them in their interaction with Me and with those in the spirit who help them.

                36.The Family is also making great strides now in correcting many of the areas in which they've fallen short of late, and this is due to the Words that you have poured forth. This shows that My children are reading, grasping, and obeying My Words. The fact that they read and obey, absorb and do, is also a continued sign of their growth in spirit.

                37. The Words that have been poured forth to My children are having a good effect. They're strengthening them, they're growing them up, they're making them more well-rounded, mature Christians--the kind of Christians that I wish for them to be--those who are open to My Spirit and very free in My love, who can relate to others, who have answers to their questions because of the deep matters I have revealed to them, Christians who are flexible and moldable instead of rigid and stiff, who flow with My Spirit, who drink in My New Wine, who revel in its ecstasies and in its love. Those who partake of these qualities embrace the true spirit of Christianity.

                38. Therefore, don't hitch yourself up to the old. Don't judge yourself by those that are considered normal Christians, for you are not normal Christians in the eyes of the world. In My eyes, you are they who are doing just what I want done. You are they who are living My Words and are willing to receive My truth--the truth and the Words for today. No matter how crazy it may seem, no matter how far out there it might seem, you're willing to receive and to move there. This pleases Me. It may not please others, but it pleases Me.

                39.This is the way I am leading My children, and how I'm leading you to lead them. Therefore follow closely, step by step. Take My hand and I will lead you to go exactly where I wish for you to go. As you continue to trust Me and to move in the direction and in the manner in which I say, so will My children continue to grow and be strengthened and be better prepared for the days ahead. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Day of the Weak--Yieldedness Is the Key!

                40.(Jesus speaking:) I gave a preview of the requirements for this past year with the message of the bottom line. I am a faithful Shepherd and I let you know ahead of time what the requirements are--not to scare you or discourage you, but to prepare you and get you headed in the right direction. I know what's ahead for you personally and for the army as a whole, and I have shown My army that the direction to move is in the path of the bottom line. But I have to work in the heart of each individual, and it's your willingness to let Me work in your heart that prepares you for the path ahead.

                41.Now it's time for Me to see how you're each doing in the "bottom line" requirements. I don't require perfection, but I look on the heart. Are you yielded, or leaning to your own ways? Do you look to your own strength or to My strength? Is your attitude, "Thy will, Lord, not mine, be done"? Do you think in your heart, "I am nothing, Lord, and You are everything--do with me as You will"? Do you lean to your own reasoning, or do you come to Me with your questions to get your answers? Do you insist on having your own way, thinking you know better, or are you willing to yield to My instruction and direction for your life, knowing that I know what's best? Do you murmur, or do you praise? Do you secretly think, "I'm strong and I know what I'm doing," or do you know you are hopelessly weak and don't know anything?

                42.The key is yieldedness, because yieldedness makes you weak--weak in yourself--because all you want to do is follow Me. And when you want to follow Me, all you want to do is do what I'm leading you to do and lean on Me. You're surrendering your will, your agenda, your program, your heart, even your own thoughts and opinions so that your own ideas don't get in the way. Then there's no problem with whatever revolutions I bring, because you're yielded. You follow Me without question, without argument, without a fuss, without criticalness, without whining, complaining or murmuring.

                43.When you're yielded in your heart, then you're yielded to My Spirit, which will bear witness and have its way in your life and even make following Me easy--whether it be praise times, or "Loving Jesus," or "Law of Love," or spirit stories, or voices from beyond, or instruction. It won't crack or break your bottle, but it will be exciting and fresh and thrilling and a joy to your spirit!

                44.Yieldedness makes you receptive to whatever comes your way. It gives you faith, like the faith of a little child that follows eagerly and with joy. So this is a good test if you ever want to test how you're doing: Check to see if you're yielded to what may come your way in the New Wine and My new revelations, or even on a day-to-day basis.

                45.The best followers are those that are the most yielded, and being weak helps to make you yielded. When you know you don't have anything in yourself and you don't know anything of yourself, it's much easier to be yielded. But when you think you're strong or talented or better or smart or good, it gets in the way.

                46.I've been bringing you, as well as many others, down the path of weakness to help My children be more yielded--yielded to My every whim, My every desire, My every whisper. It's the weakness revolution, and those who think they know best or pride themselves in their strengths, abilities, knowledge or capabilities will not be prepared.

                47.It's time to lay all on the altar,the things that are the most dear, which are usually pride or things that are easy to be proud over, the things that are the hardest to let go of--abilities, accomplishments, works, knowledge, opinions, ideas, or whatever it is. Sacrifice it and burn it and let it go and become nothing.

                48.No one has to fear being weak; the only thing to fear is not wanting to be weak. I only require My children to be willing, and I will do the rest. Like the man who said, "Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief." All it takes is saying, "Help me," and I will.

                49.It's the day of the weak--weak in themselves--and the weak will inherit all things. (End of message from Jesus.)

Don't Worry--I'm the One Doing This Work!

                50.(Jesus speaking:) Don't worry about the trials and tribulations of others. Don't worry about the positions that I put them in, in which they must make decisions on whether or not to follow Me fully and wholeheartedly. These are their decisions; these are not your burdens.

                51. I am turning up the heat, out of love for you, My dear ones, to help you to prepare for the days ahead. This preparation is vital to your survival, but there are many who will decide that the very center of My will is too hot for them. But don't let this disturb you or cause you to waver or fear that you will not be able to make it. For all those who cling to Me and are willing to follow Me will make it! And as your David taught you, a Gideon's band of smaller, more dedicated and fully committed soldiers is better than a large group who are not fully there.

                52.Whether there are many or few, it will not hinder or limit Me, for I have many things yet to accomplish through My children. There is great progress that will be made. So don't fear or fret. Don't listen to the voice of the Enemy when he tries to tell you that things won't work out, but rather look to Me, for I am the Author and Finisher of your faith.

                53.I am the One Who's doing this work, as you so well know, therefore trust Me completely. Throw your lot completely in with Me and fear nothing. For My hand is upon you and I have anointed you for the task. I have given you wisdom to be able to do all that must be done. I will give you the strength and the power that you need, even the faith, as you continue to cry out to Me and hold on, not letting go, not giving one inch to Satan.

                54.Continue to fight the good fight! Continue to look to Me and don't waver or worry about these tests and trials. Don't fret for the choices that others make, and don't be in awe at the challenges that are before you, for I am He that will overcome these things and will bring you to the place of My choosing. I'm leading you, My children. I will not fail in any of all of these things that I have shown you to do; just follow Me step by step.

                55.I know the world is complex and there are many bad things happening, one which affects another, which affects another, and all of these do have some effect upon you, My children. But that's My worry and not yours, so fret not yourself for these matters.

                56. Don't try to bear burdens that are not yours to bear; instead let Me carry them. Cast them upon Me. Strengthen yourself in My Word and in faith. Look up to Me and praise Me, give glory to Me, for I am He that does all things. I will bring to pass all that My Word has spoken. You must just help to facilitate it by doing My will and doing the tasks that I set before you. As you obey and follow closely, so will I strengthen you, and so will I bring to pass all that I have promised. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Battle Is Intensifying!

                57.(Jesus speaking:) It is the day of the weak and of the humble. It is the day of discovering the strengths of weakness and humility, of meekness and quietness, of lowliness and of looking to Me. It is a day of looking to Me, and not to man. It is a day of relying solely upon My power, and not upon your own gifts, the talents and ministries that I have given you. The only way that you can stay in tune with My Spirit is to keep looking to Me, to keep asking and seeking and knocking, that I may keep answering, guiding, and revealing all things to you.

                58.Stay open to the moves of My Spirit. For this is the year of the bottom line, the year when each man's heart will be tested and tried. I will prove them to see what manner of spirit they are--whether they follow after the flesh or after the spirit; whether they think this work is of man or whether they know that it is of Me.

                59.Those who think this is of man will turn aside, will despair. But those of you who know that this work is of Me, who have kept your eyes on Me and on My Spirit and not on man, will keep going. You faithful ones are the ones who heed My admonition when I say unto you, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me!" You are the ones who say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." You are the ones who don't look back, but keep your hands on the plow and move forward.

                60. You see the importance of heeding My Words, My instructions. You see the vigilance you must keep in your soul, watching at all times for the Enemy, who to this day still walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, whom he may ensnare in his traps and devices, whom he can tempt to stray from the path of My highest and best will.

                61.You see that he will stop at nothing to achieve his ends, and unless you do the same--stopping at nothing to fulfill My highest and best will and plan for you--you will be defeated. He will not stop or give up now, for there's too much at stake. The Enemy is fighting harder than ever before, and you can no longer resist him as you have in the past. Since his offensive has intensified, so must yours! The Enemy is raging, more determined than ever to quench the power of My Spirit that is sweeping the world through you, My children of David, My mighty men of the End.

                62. He knows that his time is short, and he's not about to give up. He has stepped up the fight, upped the ante, and the battles are only beginning to intensify. So you must stand ready to face him down time and again, to beat him back, to challenge his genuine threats, and to call his bluffs. But you cannot stand still. You can no longer hope to keep the Enemy at bay by only quoting a few verses or praying a halfhearted prayer, for he will not be kept for long by a weak counterattack. He is on the rampage, and will stop at nothing in his aim of trying to conquer your soul.

                63. The battle is intensifying, and you can no longer survive with only the primitive weapons of the past. It's no longer sufficient to just resist the Enemy and have him flee from you by only using the old weapons of warfare. Although the older weapons have their place in the warfare, in today's warfare he will not be made to flee completely with only their use. But the battle is not lost, for I have upgraded the arsenal of weapons for My children for this very purpose.

                64.The Enemy will pursue more persistently than ever. He will continue his attempt to get you to quit, to despise your birthright, to forsake your crown, and to defeat My plan and purpose in your life, and unless you master the use of today's weaponry, you will not have the firepower to defeat him. That's why it's vital to learn to use and become proficient in using these new weapons of the Spirit. For without them you will not be able to defeat the new and vicious onslaughts of the Enemy.

                65.The days of peace will soon come to an end, and the days of training will be over. As the Family moves closer to the front lines every day, more and more will find themselves in the heat of battle, and only those who are equipped with the new weapons will be able to survive--and not only survive, but carry on victoriously, defeating the Enemy at every turn.

                66.These weapons are not the weapons of your own strength, your own smartness, your own gifts or talents, but they are My weapons and you wield them through your yieldedness to Me. Because only through your yieldedness to Me can My Spirit and My power overshadow you, possess you, and provide you with the defenses you need to withstand the attacks of the Enemy, and give you the power, courage, initiative and insight to challenge, attack, and overcome the Enemy.

                67.Only through My power will you be able to defeat the Enemy. Only those who, in their own humility, in their own weakness, in their own incapacity, look to Me for the strength, the strategies, and the munitions they need in their battles with the Evil One, will be able to overcome him.

                68.Those who think they can do without the new weapons, but who seek to preserve the traditions of the old, will find that they will no longer have the strength to hang on and stand strong against the mighty wave of evil that is washing over the world.

                69.Those who look to Me, who remain faithful to My Word, who accept My new weapons by faith--even if they can't understand them--know that My Word and new weapons will work and that through them the Enemy can be defeated. These are the ones who will overcome. This is the victory that will overcome the world, even your faith--your faith in My Words, your faith in My promises, your belief that all that I have said will come to pass, your faith to accept the new weapons of the Spirit and to practice and become proficient in using them.

                70.The day is almost at hand, and the final battle is almost upon us. I will be with you, and those who have yielded their all to Me will feel My power in that day and will rejoice that they walked by faith and not sight; that they set their affections on things above and not on the things of this world; that though they did not see, yet they believed and prepared. They were not as those that slept, but they watched and waited, not knowing what hour their Lord would come. They, as the wise virgins, kept their lamps filled with oil. Nor were they as the slothful who ate and drank, and knew not until the flood of evil came and carried them all away.

                71.These will be the ones who will overcome the Beast by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. These are they who will do great exploits. These are they who will instruct many. These are they who will shine as the brightness of the firmament, and the stars for ever and ever. These are they who will overcome, and be pillars of beauty in the house of their Lord. These are the children of David. (End of message from Jesus.)

I Would Rather Have You!

                72.(Jesus speaking:) I want you to see that it's not such a bad thing to have lost all that self-confidence of yours. You used to think that you were so smart, so talented, so special, and perhaps a little bit better than others. But over the years you've gotten most of that self-assurance knocked out of you.

                73.You made mistakes, and you feel that most of your life has just been wasted compared to all the big dreams and hopes you had for yourself when you started out. You feel that you haven't accomplished anything, that you've barely even made it by the skin of your teeth. And it's true, there were times when you nearly didn't make it. But here you are today, still going and growing for Me.

                74.Maybe you feel that you're not as useful to Me as you were years ago, and that there's not much left of you for Me to use. I assure you, the only thing I need in order to use you is your heart. All the rest can go as far as I'm concerned. I'm into using the weak things and those who feel that they have nothing left of themselves but Me.

                75.Over the years, you've lost just about everything you counted on: your quick mind and several abilities, your strength and health, your loved ones; even your memory is going and the ability to analyze and focus, to memorize and teach. You really don't have much left, do you?

                76.Well, it's taken Me a long time to get you to this point. It was difficult, too. I had to watch you go through a lot of hard times, and I didn't enjoy it. It's not like I just sat back and enjoyed the breakings and the hurts that you had to go through. You are My child, and I love you. When you hurt, it's so hard to watch. When your heart aches, My heart breaks. When you lose those you love, believe Me, I know how it feels.

                77.The times when I saw you were going astray and making the wrong decisions, that hurt too. I knew the heartache it was going to cause you in the long run. The only reason I had for letting you go that route and not intervening was because I saw the end of the road and where it was going to take you. I saw the good lessons and the soft heart it was going to result in.

                78.Of course, there were times when it didn't look as though a soft heart was going to come out of it. There were times when the Enemy almost got you to harden your heart and to throw away your birthright. But you've continued to make the right choices, you've continued to let Me break you and to break your heart. And now you've even learned to be thankful when I'm breaking you, because you've learned that good is going to come out of it, and that it's because I love you. You've learned that any breaking is worth it, because it always brings you closer to My bosom and to My heart.

                79.Look back and thank Me for the breakings which have made you more moldable in My hand, and look forward to more breakings and lessons which will make you an even more useful vessel.

                80.Above all, the most important thing to Me is not that I may use you, but that I may love you and be close to you. You've always wanted to be useful, to bear fruit, to be a useful tool in My hand; but now, because you have nothing left to give, you understand that I would rather have you--your love, your body, your heart, your all.

                81. I want you not only as My tool, but as My bride of love, one near to My heart, who lies by My side, kissing Me and touching Me, waiting to hear My words of love. You don't need to be talented or strong or even useful to do that. You just need to love Me and want Me as much as I want you. (End of message from Jesus.)

Time of Testing and Decision-Making for All!

                82.(Jesus speaking:) I am moving in the lives of many. I am drawing those closer who want to be closer, who want to be wholly Mine, and I am allowing those who want to step away to do so. I'm moving and working and allowing many things to happen in the lives of My avant-garde in order to purge and prepare and better them.

                83.It's a time of testing and decision, a time of praying and communing within the heart, a time of proving the faith and conviction of My children. Some will decide to follow even more closely; they will decide to put away the things that hinder and keep them from seeing clearly where I'm leading. And some will decide to follow afar off.

                84. This is My will and My doing--My plan to prepare the Family for the days ahead. I am testing and trying many, and their age does not matter. What matters is their newness of spirit--whether they're new bottles, willing to let go of the past, their own ideas and ways, and to go forward. I'm testing and trying the young and the older, both generations. I'm not looking on their outward appearance or their age or their past experience, but I'm looking at their spirit and where their heart and spirit are at right now.

                85. This is the test that all will go through--a purging of the heart, a forsaking of the things that are not part of the new day and the new moves of My Spirit; the things that they need to leave behind, old attitudes, old ways of doing things, old mindsets, and the need to move on with the new.

                86.Those who are willing to forsake the old and adopt the new will explode with Me into the future, and I will use them to be the avant-garde of the future, the front-line soldiers in the battles to come. These are they who are prepared to take on the challenges of the future, who I will anoint and ordain to fight the new battles ahead. Others, who wish to go no further, I will use in a different capacity, to support, to be friends, and to fight in a different arena of battle.

                87.The days of preparation are in progress, and all will face the days of decision. In order to help My children decide which way they will go, I prepare situations and circumstances to test and try and purge and bring to the fore their level of faith and dedication. It's part of My plan. (End of message from Jesus.)

Keep Your Level of Faith High

                88.(Jesus speaking:) There's a hazard in becoming familiar with prophecy, of becoming familiar with the voice of My Spirit, with the voice of My queen and king, the voice of My shepherds, and the counsel, training and instruction that I'm continually pouring forth. You must resist this temptation and keep your respect for these things or you will not be able to benefit from them. Becoming too familiar with My Word or voice or My counsel through others can lead to your becoming critical or judgmental, which will cut you off from the life supply of the Word and the new moves of the Spirit.

                89.Most of all, you've got to keep your level of faith high. Anyone can be affected by listening to the many questions and the various wonderings of others, which can wear away at your faith, especially in prophecy. If you don't keep your faith strong through regularly receiving the Word, then it will weaken, and you will find yourself having to battle to regain that childlike faith that you once possessed. You do this through reading and believing the Word, putting the Word into practice in your life, meditating on it, giving yourself wholly to it and to Me.

                90.Remember, you can't get answers without faith. You have to be in a believing frame of mind to understand. You have to be willing to receive if you expect to be given the secret treasures. You have to do your part before I can do Mine. Tank up on the subject, soak yourself in the Word, and then make a conscious commitment to believe and to receive. Then step out and hold Me to My Word, and I'll come through for you. It's a step-by-step process, but if you follow it faithfully, you'll get results!

                91.When people let themselves get into wondering if there's something wrong with the Family, and they try to put two and two together in their own carnal reasoning and figure out why some folks have chosen to leave the Family, it leaves the door open for the Enemy to come in with his lies and wrong conclusions. It's because those people made individual, personal choices that affected their life and walk with Me, and these choices are what set them on the road of backsliding from the place of My highest will for them personally. It has nothing to do with the essence of the Family, only that they decided that they had gone as far as they wanted to. They weren't willing to give up more, to leave the past behind.

                92.Those who are going through severe testings, breakings and trials should be thankful that they're coming at them one after another, because that helps to keep you yielded and not to solidify. Otherwise, whenpeople fight the breakings that I know they need, or they don't allow Me to regularly work in their lives, they solidify. Then when a new move of the Spirit comes along, they aren't able to flow with it. If you choose of your own free will to quit receiving more, then the same thing happens--you solidify and aren't able to flow with it--and this is what has happened to some.(End of message from Jesus.)

Put Your Faith in Me and My Word!

                93. (Jesus speaking:) I'm using many things in the lives of My children to test and purge and try their faith, conviction, and yieldedness to Me. I've said that this year will be a year of testing and trying the hearts of My children, and I know just what tests each one needs to bring forth the best fruit in their lives, to help them to make the decisions that they need to make in order to follow Me one hundred percent.

                94. I will work in the lives of all My children, to show each of you how important it is that you put your faith in Me and My Word and not look at others--at what others are doing or not doing, and how others are following Me. For if you have a strong personal connection with Me through My Word and through your personal prayer time, your faith will remain strong and will not falter or waver no matter what happens around you. Those of you who keep your eyes firmly fixed on Me and keep your connection strong and healthy through drinking in the New Wine and following it will have strong faith that will not waver, no matter what happens.

                95. Many look on the outward appearance, people's personalities, their gifts and talents and accomplishments. But that's dangerous because even the seemingly strong ones, by measurement of outward appearance, are weaklings if they try to operate without Me and My Spirit. I am the One Who gives strength to My anointed, so you must look to Me and not unto man. You must look to the sample of strength through receiving and believing My Word, through loving Me diligently, through obeying the voice of My Spirit. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Danger of Looking to Man

                96.(Jesus speaking:) My children, you must reevaluate your faith and see who you're putting your faith in. If you have your faith in Me and My Words, both My old and My new Word given through My Endtime shepherds, Maria and Peter, I will never fail you. I will cause you to grow, to make the right decisions, to follow the path of My will, and to bear good fruit. But when you put your faith in people, even seemingly spiritually strong, wise, loving people, or in the conditions around you, these things can fail.

                97.People are human; they're not perfect. They'll make mistakes. They won't always make the right decisions. Sometimes they'll make wrong decisions. Sometimes they'll fail. Sometimes they'll do the wrong things. Even people that you love and are close to, who are strong and dedicated, can fail if they don't keep their eyes on Me and depend on Me. This is something that Maria and Peter are constantly doing. They are desperately looking to Me, checking with Me, asking for My direction and guidance and keeping their eyes firmly fixed on Me to lead the way.

                98.Even people that I anoint and use mightily as bellwethers and pillars in the Family, good leaders and shepherds, are weak human vessels who are made strong, and their anointing is kept strong through their faith in My Word, through their faith in My voice of prophecy given fresh for today in the pages of each GN. If they take their eyes off of Me and My Words and get their eyes on anything else, they become weakened.

                99.When you look at someone that you admire and who you think is a wonderful example of a leader or shepherd or follower, remember that what you're seeing is Me working through them. It's nothing of themselves. It's only because they're allowing Me full sway in their life and are yielding completely to the moves of My Spirit that I am able to work through them and use them mightily.

                100.When My leaders and shepherds are yielded to Me, when they're hanging on to My Words, studying My Word--both old and new--and clinging to My Word for the answers and the power and the strength and anointing they need, then I continue to use them mightily and cause them to grow and progress and lead My sheep. When they come to Me in prayer and seek Me for the answers and have faith in My Spirit speaking to them and leading them and are willing to obey and follow, then I can mightily use them to be a sample to My flock and lead My sheep.

                101.The shepherds and leaders who I can fully use are those who know they are nothing and who depend totally on Me, who have their faith fixed firmly on Me and My Word, given through My Endtime shepherds, and who hold fast to their faith. They don't look around them to see what other people are doing and thinking, but they look to Me and My Word; they study the GNs to see what I am asking of them, what I want them to do, and where My Word is leading the Family.

                102.This is what My sheep must also do. My sheep must put their faith in Me and My Word. I have many shepherds on the field tending to many folds of My sheep, but the sheep must also learn to be fed directly from My Word for themselves. They must learn to study and feed themselves from the Words that I pour through My appointed Endtime shepherds, Maria and Peter.

                103. There is great danger in looking only to the shepherds on the field and not drawing from the Words which I am providing for the Family through My GNs. Even though My sheep love their shepherds and are close to them, they must not allow this to get to the point that they look up to them more than to Me and My Words. They must not respect the man more than My Spirit in the man.

                104.The danger of looking to the man, or thinking too highly of the man or woman, is that you will be disappointed at some time, because they're not perfect, just like you, and like you, they never will be perfect. The more you look to them for perfection or for your personal inspiration or encouragement, and the more you put your faith in the person rather than in Me and My Word, the more easily the Enemy can cause disappointment. Through this disappointment can come discouragement, bitterness, and loss of faith. And through the loss of faith can come confusion, fear, worry and doubt.

                105.But if you keep your eyes on Me and My Word, then your faith will remain strong, because it's based on the right foundation, the only true foundation. No matter what happens around you, and no matter who fails or backslides, you'll still go on because your faith is in Me. (End of message from Jesus.)

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!

                106. (Dad speaking:) The Lord knows that it's easier for us to look to another human being--someone who's in the same frail flesh and yet manages to live according to the Word. The sample is an encouragement. Even Jesus Himself came down and was made flesh that we might behold His glory and the sample of His loving life. So there's really nothing wrong with looking to others and being encouraged by their sample, or looking up to people and appreciating their dedication and love for the Lord, or their faithfulness, or whatever it is about them.

                107. The problem is that often people don't keep in mind that the Lord is the One that we're supposed to be following. The Letters are the leaders! That's what it comes down to! There's a difference between seeing the Lord in someone and giving Him the glory, realizing that He's using that person because they're weak in themselves and yielded vessels; rather than looking to the person and thinking that they're so good and so sweet and so righteous or knowledgeable in themselves, and forgetting that anything good about them is really just the Lord. That's when it becomes man worship. But you see, that's really a very fine line and not easily distinguished except in the spirit.

                108.You're just appreciating Jesus in someone when you think, "What a wonderful sample of obedience to the Word! They really love Jesus, and He's worked in their life to make them a very sweet vessel of His love. Lord, help me to be more yielded to You as well. Please help and anoint them, Lord, and continue to keep them close to You and right with You so that You can continue to make them the wonderful blessing and encouragement that they are!"

                109.Then if you see them start to go through a time of testing, you automatically understand that there's a good reason for it, that the Lord is teaching them something, He's trying to work in their life. Then you'll have the perspective to be able to pray, "Lord, please help them to yield to Your hand in their life. Please help them to resist the lies of the Enemy and to surrender all to You!"--rather than being stumbled by it as well.

                110.You don't think, "Man, all this time I looked up to him [or her] and thought he was so wonderful, but now look at him! I'm never going to be able to make it if he wasn't able to make it! He always seemed so strong. The battles must be very hard at that stage of the road--I might as well quit now!"

                111.When you're looking to the Lord, He gives you understanding and helps you to see the picture more clearly. But when you've got your eyes on the person, you often don't clearly see the spiritual reasons behind things. Thus it's much easier to become very discouraged, condemned, lacking in faith, and even critical or bitter.

                112. When you've kept your eyes on Jesus, if someone leaves the Family, you know that the Lord will work it all out for good in the lives of those around them, and in their lives eventually as well, as soon as they let Him. You know that the Lord is your Good Shepherd, and even if those around you fail or misunderstand or fall by the wayside, He's still right there with you, strong and able, and will help you--and them--through.

                113.You see, when you keep your eyes on Jesus, you have perfect faith that He's in control of the circumstances around you. You have to make the right choices, yes, but even if those around you are making the wrong ones, He has the power to turn it to good for you--and that doesn't leave room for bitterness or distrust of the shepherds that are caring for you.

                114.Whereas, if you've got your eyes too much on man, you give them too much credit in your mind and you're bound to have all kinds of troubles--not only when things go bad, but also when things are going well. You're not learning what you need to learn about the way the Lord is working, and you're not giving the Lord the glory, which displeases Him.

                115. It's something that you learn from turning your eyes toward Jesus and receiving His comfort and explanations for situations that He allows in your lives. When you see people fall, you start to see that it's not given to anyone in frail human flesh to be strong enough in themselves. It's only in Jesus. Only in Him is there goodness and strength. The more you can realize that and learn to see the anointing for just what it is--an anointing--the more you will learn to give credit where credit is due, and that's to the Lord!

                116.The Lord has to let that happen; otherwise, people can tend to try to copy what they see others do, instead of keeping their eyes on the Lord and following His standard. This is especially a tendency of young people who are inexperienced. There's nothing wrong with having role models and looking up to people, but you've got to keep your eyes on Jesus in order to know which qualities to long for and strive for.

                117.When you're keeping your eyes on Jesus, the little mistakes don't stumble you so easily because you remember that even our sweet, good-sample folks are only human, and are bound to blow it every once in a while. Just thank the Lord that they're yielded to Him most of the time and that He's able to use them to accomplish so much and be such yielded vessels of His love.

                118.Our Family can be very prone to man worship. Our young folks need to learn that they have to keep their eyes on Jesus. They need to learn this lesson not only for now, but in preparation for their roles which the Lord is going to call them to play in the Tribulation. They're going to be teaching thousands of people, with very little outside help and guidance, very little shepherding or counsel. If they haven't learned the lesson of keeping their eyes on Jesus, they're going to be tempted to accept the praise of man and will fall into the snare of pride, and thus be useless to the Lord and easily led astray.

                119.So these present lessons of learning how only Jesus gives the anointing--and He can give it or take it away according to the person's yieldedness and obedience--and the importance of keeping your eyes on Him, are going to serve them well in the days to come. They'll be ready to teach others the same, and thus will be better prepared for the attacks the Enemy will try to throw at them during their time of greatest usefulness.

                120. More of our folks are going to fall. I've told you that it's the shaking of the tree, and the Lord is purging the ranks. The quicker our folks learn that the only way to be strong is to be strong in the Lord, the more they'll avoid the confusion of the Enemy that he would like to throw at them when they see others leave. (End of message from Dad.)

Seeing Things as the Lord Sees Them

                121. (Timothy Concerned speaking:) One of the things that struck me the most when I got Here was how very differently the Lord views things in comparison with how I generally saw them there. When I came Here it was a real shock to realize that my logical conclusions were often wrong--that the Lord sees things so completely opposite much of the time!

                122. Not that you in the Family can't see things how the Lord sees them, because not only do you have the Word, but He's also opened up the channel of communication much more in recent years and can tell you what He thinks about anything that happens, which of course helps you to understand His perspective on things more. But it still takes faith, because so much in Heaven is contrary to how people on Earth perceive things.

                123. When you live on Earth you see through a glass darkly, whereas when you arrive Here you will see things face to face. But for those who are somewhat rebellious or unyielded, like I was, if they persist in disobedience or rebellion, they are allowed to be deceived. They deceive themselves, with the Enemy's active assistance, into thinking that their positions are right and proper, when they aren't. Thus the contrast between the way they see things on Earth and the way they are in Heaven, in reality, is even greater. That's what happened to me.

                124. One thing that's very different in Heaven is our perspective on the difference between those who are weak and those who are strong. That's the eternal controversy for you on Earth--whether it's better to be weak or to be strong, ha! On Earth there are some people who are very outwardly strong and they appear very together, but inside they're very weak spiritually. There are other people who are very weak outwardly, but inside they have tremendous inner strength--strength in the spirit--and they're able to outlast many of the seemingly stronger folks.

                125. Then there are folks who are outwardly strong, but because they stay desperate with the Lord and He faithfully keeps them humble in one way or another, they also have spiritual strength.

                126. There are also folks who appear very weak, who really are very weak. They don't use their weakness to draw closer to the Lord, but rather just accept it as the way they are and stagnate. They don't keep reaching up, reaching forward. You see, it's all in how much you want to stay close to the Lord and how much you want to grow.

                127. I was really one for judging by outward appearance. That has its definite drawbacks, because if you consider yourself better than the person you've just sized up, it immediately lends itself to being critical of them, or at least condescending. If you consider them to be better than you--more gifted, more beautiful, more talented, more used, more loved, whatever--you immediately are tempted with comparing, envy and jealousy, among other things. So all in all, it's very dangerous to judge by outward appearance.

                128. Of course, sometimes you can't help it--it's very natural to size people up. But you have to remember to keep yourself in check, and that when you meet someone or you interact with them, you have to ask the Lord to help you see them as He sees them; otherwise it can be a real downfall of the Enemy and leave room for a lot of pride or discontent with the way the Lord made you.

                129. Okay, well, I'm getting a little off the subject, because I wanted to talk to you about something else--although this, too, has to do with how you look at people. This is about whether or not you're seeing the Lord's strength in them and keeping your eyes on the Lord and not on the person's outward appearance.

                130. You've probably heard of people from time to time--even known some of them personally--who have made the decision to leave their service for the Lord in the Family. You've probably wondered how something like that happens in a person's life. How do they come to that decision when the Family is such a terrific place to be? The Family is full of challenges, changes, new things, new steps, new moves forward.

                131. Well, they simply made the decision that they were going to stop--that the next step was just too much for them. They became settled down in spirit, lazy in spirit, and stopped fighting. It really wasn't too much or the Lord wouldn't have asked it of them. But little by little, as they said no to the Lord, it chipped away at their spiritual strength and they were weakened.

                132. The Lord doesn't force anybody. If they weren't ready to take one step, but tried to keep coming back to it and overcoming, they would have eventually overcome and gone on and continued to be strong. But they became content with the place they had. They considered themselves strong, so they stopped making progress. But, like Dad said in "Greater Victories," you just can't stop!

                133.You can't allow yourself to become spiritually weakened and just keep up a strong false front, because when the crunch comes, it won't hold water! We see all that now from the spiritual realm, so it's no surprise to us. We don't worry about others who might look weaker on the outside, or less talented or less used, as long as they really love Jesus more than anything else and are willing to obey and follow Him wherever He leads--because that's what makes them strong in spirit!

                134. You really don't have to worry. You don't have to think years ahead, or even months or weeks ahead. You don't have to wonder how you're going to make it, or whether you're going to be weakened and quit--all you have to do is live each moment as it comes. Just pray and ask Jesus to help you make the right decisions, each one as it comes.

                135. Just try each day to love Jesus a little more, to be a little more on the attack about whatever the Lord shows you. And if the Lord presents you with something that He wants you to work on, then make that your priority, the most important thing you have to do, because it is!

                136. Don't look around and compare. And don't worry about those precious Family members who aren't with you anymore. They're still going to be with us in Heaven. Even if they don't go on for the Lord, they've still done a lot for Him thus far. But take it as a good lesson that you just have to keep going forward a little bit every day.

                137. The Lord doesn't judge you by accomplishments, by talents, by how much you know, or how good you are. He judges by your heart--and the thing that gets the highest marks, above anything else, is love and humility, because love and humility make you willing to do anything. They give you yieldedness and peace. They allow the elixir to flow through you and make you a blessing in all that you do, even if it's just little tiny things.

                138. You can be thankful that you're not super talented in a big showy way, because then you'd be strong on the outside, but possibly much weaker inside due to your pride. The gifts the Lord gave you were quiet, inside gifts--the gift of understanding, the gift of wisdom, the gift of love. Those are gifts that will come to the fore when you need them. Strive to exercise them every day. I know it doesn't sound very glamorous to have the gift of weakness, but it's one of the most precious honors that the Lord can bestow upon someone.

                139. So remember that, Honey. Use the gifts of humility and love, and strive to keep going forward every day. That's simple enough, isn't it? Then you don't have to worry! Just take it one moment at a time, one decision at a time, and pray for the Lord to give you the love and humility to make the right ones. Even if you don't make the right decisions first off, you can always try to go back and make it right. Then soon it will become a habit, and the Lord will help you each time.

                140. And, Honey, really try to see things as the Lord sees them. It makes things so much clearer. Of course, it's nothing you can work up in the flesh, but you can ask Him to show you. Each time He speaks you can really absorb it and appreciate it, and that's all part of learning to see things more through His eyes. (End of message from Timothy.)

Rejoice at the Lord's Work in Your Life!

                141.(Jesus speaking:) As I have been showing you, My sweet one, I am bringing up these areas in your life because I love you, and because I still have need of you. I will always have need of you as long as you have need of Me--which is forever and ever! I had need of all of those who have left off serving Me as well, but they did not see so clearly their need for Me; thus I was not able to work in their lives as I needed to.

                142. When someone forsakes their high calling, it is a slow process, one that takes place through many little decisions. It does not come all at once. Someone does not wake up one morning and decide that they no longer want to continue in the high calling that I have placed before them. It is a series of many little decisions: Deciding not to yield to My highest will. Deciding to pass over the humble thing which I ask of them. Deciding to put their own thoughts above My thoughts. Deciding not to receive the Word fully, thinking that they know better and it doesn't apply to them. Deciding that using the new weapons is too costly, and thinking that their ways work just as well, so what is the need. All these little decisions slowly make way for the time when they face the fact that they are no longer desirous nor even capable of fulfilling My high calling.

                143.So you see, My love, you should take it as a great compliment when I work in your life in these ways. Whether they are big or small, My hand upon your life is a sign of My love, and you should take it as such. For when you stop receiving it as a sign of My great love, that is when you become resistant to it. When you stop seeing it as a beautiful and wonderful gift that I would use to keep you close to Me, you will begin to drift away, feeling that it is a punishment, and thus I do not love you as I say. This is the beginning of the end of your receptivity. For if you do not believe in My love, how can you believe in My Word? And My Word--both My living Word and My written Word--is your lifeline.

                144.So take in these lessons and apply them. When you come before the body to have prayer, emphasize your great thanks for My hand in your life, for it is a sign of My love and care for you, though it may be hard for you to receive. Rejoice that I continue to keep you soft in My hand, and pray for the desperation and the hunger of spirit to remain that way always.

                145.Instead of being happy when the battles cease and when you stop being chastened by My hand, you should instead be happy when you feel My hand in your life. Not that you will always be needing to receive pressure from My hand in big ways, but even in the small ways, if you let it speak to you and change you, this is My gift of love to you. And when you stop feeling My hand, My still small voice, when you stop seeing the signs of My comforting shepherd's rod, that is when you should worry--for you are not hearing and heeding the signs.

                146. I give the most instruction to those who love to hear it. So be one of those who is eager for My Words, and then I will continue to pour it out to you in great abundance. Those who take My compliments of correction or battles or tests with joy and seek to grow through them are those who are the happiest in My Kingdom, for they have learned to rejoice at My work in their life. And so they are kept on the straight and narrow, which brings the greatest peace and fulfillment. (End of message from Jesus.)

Keep Making Progress--There's No Standing Still!

                147.(Jesus speaking:) You must yield your all to Me, give your all, and not hold back in any area of your life. You must come to Me as an open and yielded vessel, not having any plans of your own, any will of your own. Just be willing to sign that blank sheet of paper and let Me fill it in for you. For I have said that this is the year of the bottom line, and you cannot continue business as usual.

                148.Don't think that you can just coast along, for there's no such thing. I've said time and time again that there's no such thing as standing still. If you're not progressing and growing, then you're starting back. This is what has happened to some who thought they could stop progressing, that they could just stand still for a while and not really receive the new Letters and not really use the new tools that I've placed before them.

                149.So learn from their mistakes and don't hold back in any area of your life, for I wish for you to make progress. And the way to make progress is by having an open and receptive heart, by hungering and thirsting after My Words so that you may be filled, and so that these Words will move and work in your life and make you into the vessel that I want you to be.

                150.This is the lesson that I have for you--that you continue to grow, and that you desire to grow. If you lose that desire to grow and to make progress, it's a dangerous sign. If you lose that desire and hunger for My Words, that's also a danger sign. This is what has happened to some. They lost their desire to grow and to make progress. They lost their hunger for My Words, and now they are in a sorry state.

                151.Some have not been able to let go of the past and the old ways of doing things. You cannot hang on to the old and at the same time attempt to grasp the new. You must be willing to let go of the old by faith and reach out and wholeheartedly embrace the new.

                152.So let go of the old and hang on to the new! Let go of any old thought patterns, the way things used to be done, for this is a new day and things are done in a new way. You must allow yourself to be rewired to the new--and My Spirit will do this in you as you let go of the old and embrace the New Wine and use the new tools that I've given you. I will complete the process of making you new. But you must be willing to let go of the old and be willing to become that new bottle that will be able to receive the New Wine.

                153.The old bottles cannot receive the new; it's too much for them. They can't contain it, and they'll crack. Only new bottles can receive the New Wine. Take these lessons to heart. Hunger and thirst after My Words and desire to grow and become the new bottle, the new vessel that I want you to be. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Lord's Special Strengthening Times

                154. (Jesus speaking:) In the days before the Charter less freedom of choice was given to My children, for they had not yet entered into the days of preparation. They had not yet entered into the days of individual maturity where I was willing to give each one the time and the place and the opportunity to be strengthened in this special way, in this special time. But I have My times, and when I am emphasizing a particular area of growth or a particular direction, it behooves My children to follow then and there, for that is the time appointed, and that is when it is easiest to learn and progress. For then they go step by step in My time and with My instruction and they are therefore able to avoid much hardship. (End of message from Jesus.)

Keep Going One Day at a Time, Depending on Me!

                155.(Jesus speaking:) The things of My Spirit are pure, unadulterated, undefiled and beautiful, and I share these things with My children even though they are not yet pure and perfect. But I trust My children. I trust the children of David because they have been taught well by My servant David and have proven themselves true and faithful followers of My Words and the moves of My Spirit.

                156.You have a great heritage of faith behind you,a great force of My Spirit, because you have lived in the Family for years. You have absorbed My Word for years and have received and believed. You don't realize the working of My Spirit in your life to keep you close to Me and My Words, but it's there. I need dedicated, loyal, do-or-die soldiers who are willing to follow Me and their king and queen into the Endtime, and so I use My little children of David, My motley crew of believers to do the impossible.

                157.And though I have said that only those who are weak and willing to forsake all, only those who are humble and yielded and desperate and using the weapons of the new day will be able to continue to follow Me all the way, you need not fear that you cannot make it, because being weak and broken means that you keep going, one day at a time, depending on Me.

                158.You don't need to have faith for everything right now. You don't need to have faith for tomorrow or the moves of My Spirit for tomorrow, you just need to have faith to follow the move of My Spirit for today.

                159.So fear not to continue to walk the path of My will in your life for today, just taking one day at a time and following according to your freedom of choice. Fear not, My dear one, for the dedication and loyalty and sacrificial spirit that you need to be in the Family will come one step at a time as I feed you My Words for today, and you need not worry that you won't have what it takes. I am a wise and faithful Shepherd and I know just what to give you through My Word and through My shepherds to prepare and strengthen you for the days to come. If you are just faithful to study and absorb My Words, you will be well prepared and armed in spirit.

                160.It is not My will that any should fall by the wayside, so I fight for My children. I fight for you in spirit and I strengthen you with the weapons of the Spirit. All you have to do is learn to wield the weapons of the new day and let them work for you.

                161.How can you fail and how can you fall if you are holding My hand and walking beside Me? I'm still your Papa and I won't let anything happen to My little child. I won't let My little one be left behind because I want you close by My side.

                162.But you say, "How can I be sure I'll hold on and won't let go? What if I fail in some way and don't stay close to You? What if I can't take the steep climb up the Endtime mountain?" My love, the only way you won't make it is if you don't have the strength of My Words in your life, if you doubt My Words and lose faith. But as long as you're receiving, believing and accepting My Word and doing your best to live it and obey it, you'll continue to be strengthened and strong in spirit; you'll continue to move forward, to change and move with Me and go the way that I'm leading.

                163.You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to be without sin to continue to be My Endtime soldier. You don't have to be without problems. You just have to be totally Mine, totally dedicated and committed to following Me. This is your guarantee that you'll make it.

                164.Just like a meal of good healthful food that is set before you--wouldn't you want to eat what you know is good for you so that you can stay strong and healthy? It's the same thing with the good, healthful Words of My Spirit. You love them and have learned to depend on them for your spiritual health, so why would you stop loving them and depending on them now?

                165.As long as you continue to recognize how much you need Me and My Words in your life, you'll remain strong in spirit. You'll be right beside Me holding My hand, climbing the Endtime mountain. And if you run into some rough spots along the way, that doesn't mean you're going to slide back down the mountain and end up at the bottom. All you need to do is eat more Word and let it strengthen you to continue on.

                166.My Words are spirit and they are life, and they will sustain you. You just have to keep trusting and believing in the power of My Words. The Enemy is always there to tell you that My Word is not enough, that it can't possibly have all the answers to everything and give you all the strength and power and anointing that you need for every battle. But I say that My Word has great power and great, great spiritual strength, and it will give you the anointing and strength for every battle.

                167.So no matter what is ahead, no matter how rugged the mountain climb gets--and it will get very rugged in the Last Days--you never need to fear, because you will have the power of My Word and the anointing of My Spirit surrounding you.

                168.You're afraid you won't be able to hold on, that something will happen that'll make you doubt or fear. But I say that those who feel weak in themselves and insecure in themselves will be the ones who will hold on the tightest, and I will take them into My everlasting arms of love. You have My power surrounding you; all you have to do is reach for it. Pray and call unto Me, and it will be given you. Nothing will change the power of My Spirit in your life, unless you refuse to receive it or believe and accept it.

                169.Concerning your ministry of prophecy, My little one,it is good that you acknowledge Me in reverence and respect, that you love Me intimately with your words of love and praise. Loving Me intimately might seem like a mechanical thing to some people, yet I say that it is translated into beautiful things in the spirit. When you acknowledge Me and give Me the honor and glory through your prayers and words, even if you think it's mechanical, I see your heart and I treasure your words of love and I will bless you for it.

                170.Saying the words of praise and love helps to keep you prayerful and humble and yielded, and it reminds you how much you need Me. So it's good to do that and to let Me and others know that you need Me.

                171.As long as you're asking Me to keep you in the right spirit and the right attitude, you can trust that I will do the things in your life to help you to stay in a good healthy fear of Me.

                172.Just because you don't have big battles or trials right now in your life doesn't mean that you're not moving forward or receiving the things of My Spirit, for you are learning and growing and moving through your obedience, your faithfulness, and your love for Me and My Words. I will teach you and I will instruct and guide you when you need it.

                173.If I'm not doing anything special in your life right now along the lines of big breakings or lessons, it's because you don't need it as much as another right now, and I must give to others more. It's not that I am not capable of giving all My children what they need at the same time. But I weigh each situation in the balances. If I were to give an entire Home or group of people difficult trials or battles at the same time, it could affect your work for Me adversely, and there would be none to pull up his brother or sister, for all would be down and in need of pulling up. So I alternate the dealings of My hand, giving each what is best in My time, according to My plan, alternating the periods of sunshine and rain.

                174. If I'm not working in a very obvious way in your life right now it's also because I know that you will stay close to Me through prayer and My Word, and that I'm able to speak to you through My Word and My Spirit and that you will listen and learn.

                175.So don't worry that you're being left behind because you don't have big breakings. Big breakings are not the only way that I teach My children. Some I teach in this way, because that's what they need in order to learn well, and in order to see more clearly the lessons that I want to teach them. But others who have had some big breakings already are more sensitive to the moves of My Spirit and are more eager to learn the easy way. They recognize more quickly the lessons that I want to teach them, and I'm able to speak to them in other ways--through My Word, the voice of My Spirit, and the voice of their shepherds.

                176.So worry not, My love, for I will be faithful to teach you along the way. I will not leave you behind, and if there are lessons for you to learn, I will be faithful to instruct you. Just be listening, be open, and be willing. (End of message from Jesus.)

Even the Strongest Can Fall If They Don't Stay Close to Me and My Word

                177. (Jesus speaking:) Even the strongest of My children can fall if they don't stay close to Me and very close to My Word, the truth, and let the truth of My Words lead them and be their standard for all their decisions and ways of thinking. Even strong missionaries, or strong men and women of faith, can be weakened if they're not willing to put My Word and the standard of My Word first in their lives.

                178. This is why it's so important for you to get your inspiration, your comfort, your answers, and your direction from My Words, both written and living. Because then even if the people around you are off track in some way, even if they're having spiritual problems and are being buffeted or hindered by the Enemy, you can stand strong and know what's right and wrong by the light of My Word which will lead you.

                179.It's possible for anyone, no matter what their ministry--whether shepherding, taking care of Home business, or witnessing full-time--to get off track if they're not staying very close to Me and My Word. If they're allowing their circumstances, or people they're close to, to influence them in a wrong way and are not coming to Me for the right way to see things, then they will slowly get farther and farther away from the standard of My Words. They will slowly drift farther away from the truth and find it harder and harder to recognize what the standard is, because they haven't been staying close to it.

                180.Even if you know My Word and have a good foundation in it, it's not enough for you just to know it in a technical sense, a work sense, but you must believe that My Word for today is still the foundation and the means to rightly divide the words of truth, and that it applies to your personal situation. You must believe that it's meant for you and apply it to your life. (End of message from Jesus.)

Be On Guard Against Pride!

                181. (Jesus speaking:) You must guard against pride, for the end result which the Enemy would seek to bring about is to cause you to forsake your calling--through becoming proud and thus slowly less and less yielded and open to My ways and My thoughts. It's so easy not to see it, for you feel that you're justified to receive a little of the credit since you are the vessel that I'm using. But when you're tempted to get proud and lifted up, this in your case is like someone who was an alcoholic who can't even touch a drink once or they'll fall back into it.

                182. You must continually give Me the glory and the credit, for this is how you will change your ways. Once you start giving Me all the glory, you'll see just how nothing you really are, that without Me you are nothing and that you truly have no strength of your own.

                183.It's like the key to a code. You may have all the information to break the code, but until you get it in the right order, you'll not solve the problem. You'll not be able to change all these things that you want to change in your life unless you get rid of the root problem, and that is pride. All these other things like selfishness, feeling frustrated that your work isn't perfect, feeling that you want to be the best at something, being unwilling to help out unless you're asked, not being affectionate enough, thinking others don't like you, being jealous of what others have and not being content with what I have given you, all these are just manifestations of pride. When you look at it as pride, it really doesn't look like that long of a list of things that you need to change!

                184.You must constantly look to Me for the strength that you need. If you don't learn this, then you can't continue to progress in the way that I want you to. If you're just looking to your own strength and at things in the natural you'll not be led of Me, and this is dangerous! It's like walking around in a mine field, because there are so many pitfalls that you can't see when you walk in the flesh.

                185.Use the gifts of the Spirit that I've given you and become strong in those. You know how to do things well in the flesh, but that is not enough; you must now learn to work in the Spirit. All these things are connected and you can't do one without doing the other. You can't work in the Spirit without being humble, and you can't be humble when you're not walking in My Spirit.

                186.I will lead you and guide you if you will only ask and seek Me. This is a new day and everything is new--the way that you must operate, the way that you interact with others, the way that you get answers to your questions. Everything must go through Me first. Once you've learned to do this, then you'll see where your true strength lies and you'll become a new creature. (End of message from Jesus.)

For God's Sake Follow God Today!

                187.(Dad speaking:) Do you remember Letters like "The Humble Prophetess" and "Maria Shall Shine"? I could list a whole string of Letters, or portions of Letters, where the Lord talked about what He was going to do through Mama after I was gone. There must be hundreds of references, prophecies, and things the Lord said about Mama in the old Letters. Someone should look some of that up, because it just shows you the foresight and absolute will of God.

                188.Isn't it amazing how the Lord could tell us before it ever happened? As far back as 1978, 20 years ago, the Lord was talking about how He was going to raise up Mama. From a shy woman who was afraid to open her mouth before the people, He's now filled her mouth to overflowing with streams of His Words! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

                189.The thing that I've tried to teach you guysis that you have to keep your eyes on the Lord and what He's doing and where He's going. For God's sake follow God today! You've got to look to the Lord for today! Because if you don't keep your eyes on the Lord and what He's doing today, you'll get left behind in the past and the way things were.

                190.Contrary to what some people might be tempted to think, there's nothing wrong with God, and there's nothing wrong with the way He's doing things today. There's nothing wrong with His Word. His Word is sure and stands forever--even the hot New Wine of today! Some people might think, "But, Dad, I liked the old Letters better. I liked your Bible classes. I liked studying and marking my Bible, but I don't know about all this new stuff." Well, I liked that too! I loved giving you those Bible classes, and thank God you studied and built a good, strong foundation in the Word; that's what you were supposed to do. The Lord used it to prepare you, to teach you, and to build your faith.

                191.What do you think He was building your faith for? Why did He pour out all those thousands of Letters through me? Why did He prod me to teach you Bible classes and prod you to stir yourselves up and study? Was it just so you'd have all that head stuffing and knowledge and could then sit back and say, "I know it all now--I don't have to know any more"?

                192.He was preparing you for today! He wanted the Family to have that foundation in the Bible and the Letters so that He could pour more into you today, and so that you'd be able to take it! God is a moving God, a living God! He's always invoking change! He's never still, and that's the truth! He's moving forward into the new day and bringing with Him things both old and new. He's bringing to pass the prophecies which He gave 10 and 20 years ago, and He's fulfilling them today through Mama and the new moves of His Spirit.

                193.This has often been the downfall of Christians--they felt they knew it all and didn't need to know any more! They're experts at this or that. They know the Hebrew, the Greek. They've been to Bible college and have graduated, and you can't tell'm anything because their mind is made up. Even some of our own folks have this attitude when it comes to the New Wine of the Spirit that the Lord Himself is opening up to the Family. But the danger is, when people get locked into the way things were in the past and refuse to continue following the Lord for today, they eventually come to a standstill and can't go any further.

                194.I would have never received some of the crazy, radical things that the Lord wanted to give me if I hadn't been willing to stay open and receptive to the new, and if Mama hadn't been right there by my side encouraging me, believing and receiving it right along with me. She was part of the Lord's plan from the beginning, and she just followed along in faith, trusting and obeying every Word of the Lord--even the things that she couldn't understand or figure out, like how He was going to raise her up to lead the Family after I was gone!

                195.The Lord has been true to His Word and has raised up His Endtime shepherdess just as He promised. He's put His Words in her mouth just like He promised He would. He's pouring out His living Word for today through Mama in a powerful stream!

                196.Some of it is radical, new, challenging, shocking! But what did you expect? She was tutored under my wing for 25 years and trained by the Lord to follow His every move, so you've got a time bomb just ticking away and exploding with every new Word of God! She's just bursting with the New Wine! She's been programmed to receive and give His Word. Mama was foreordained and destined to be God's Endtime prophetess.

                197.The Lord talked about Maria of the End, His shepherdess of the Endtime who would feed His sheep by the handfuls, by the bagfuls. The sheep would come running to eat it straight out of her hand, and she would eventually pour it out so fast that it would be overflowing.

                198.Some church Christians just pick and choose what they want to believe from the Word, and what they don't like they choose not to receive and not to follow. They like their old comfortable church pews, their old comfortable routine and lifestyle. They like having services on certain days and on certain subjects--don't talk about anything too radical or new! They like listening to the same old sermons because it means they don't have to do much, they don't have to change their ways too much, but they can just continue on with the way things are going. They don't mind the same old preacher who isn't going to challenge them to progress. Life is comfortable with the old familiar ways. After all, they're getting older and have served the Lord for many years, and now it's time to retire.

                199.Lord help you not to have the retirement spirit! Because the Lord is never going to retire, and He's going to keep pouring out the New Wine for today to all who will receive it and be willing to do it!

                200.I haven't retired yet! I was faithful to pass on the Lord's messages to you while I was with you in the flesh, and you received them and believed them, and that's good. But don't stop there! You've got to keep receiving and keep believing what the Lord is giving for today! You can't just go by the things that He gave you yesterday, or last year, or 20 years ago. You've got to be open to the New Wine and the things He's pouring through His new anointed head of the Family.

                201.I'm glad you know the old Letters and know your Bibles. I'm glad if you can quote chapters and rattle off Bible references, because that's part of your training and the foundation of your faith, but don't stop there! You don't know everything, and you're not fully prepared for the days ahead if you're not reading and studying the New Wine and following the Lord's battle plan for today.

                202.You have to follow God for today! Don't get left behind with the church Christians who like it the way it used to be and who don't want to change. There's nothing wrong with the way it used to be, but there are new ways now because it's a new day. So don't neglect His voice for today. Don't be an Old Testament Christian or a TSC Christian or even yesterday's Christian. Be today's Christian, moving and changing with the way the Lord is leading today! (End of message from Dad.)

(Continued in GN 820)