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"FIGHTERS"--MO       September 21, 1976       DFO No.551
--What Did You Join the Army For?

Copyright © September 1976 by The Children of God

       1. (MARIA: THIS PROBLEM HAS COME UP QUITE A LOT that the boys think as soon as they receive Jesus they'll really get happy had all their problems are solved and they're never going to have anymore and things are going to go real smoothly. We need to explain to them why not.)

       2. "BEAUTY FOR ASHES" IS A PRETTY GOOD ANSWER, and "But If Not." (Maria: But how would you explain it briefly to somebody?) Well, one of the simplest things that my mother always used to say was,

       3. "THE DEVIL DOESN'T START SHOOTING TILL YOU GO OVER THE TOP!"--which is an illustration of the old WWI trench warfare. Not until you came out of your trench and started attacking his territory does the Enemy really let go and let you have it with all his big guns!

       4. ALSO THOSE BACKSLIDER LETTERS are good answers in which I explain how the Lord lets you go through all these heaviest tests in the very beginning, just like boot camp in the army. When joining the army, you go through the worst part in the very beginning in order to wash out all the guys who can't take it.

       5. (MARIA: THAT WOULD REALLY ENCOURAGE THE BOYS to know that it wasn't going to keep up forever.

       6. GETTING SAVED DOESN'T AUTOMATICALLY BRING COMPLETE RELIEF FROM ALL PROBLEMS AND BATTLES. We talk to them about being so happy, but then as soon as they get saved they start having all these battles. "So what's my reward for getting saved?--Just a bunch of big trials and battles!" That's how they could be tempted to think about it.)

       7. ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION IS THE STORY ABOUT OLD BLACK SAM: The servant of this wealthy plantation owner down South was asked by his master one day,

       8. "HOW COME SAM, THAT YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN AND YET YOU HAVE ALL THESE TROUBLES and trials and tribulations? Here I don't even believe in God and yet I don't have as much trouble as you do!" He said, "Well boss, I guess I have to think for a little while before I can answer that one."

       9. A FEW DAYS LATER THEY WERE OUT DUCK HUNTING. In bird hunting, some birds are killed and some are just lamed or temporarily wounded. Sometimes they'll even get up and fly off again if you don't grab them quick. So his master yelled at him after he'd been shooting at several ducks and said,

       10. "BAG THE LIVE ONES! BAG THE LIVE ONES! LEAVE THE DEAD ONES LAY!" And old Sam came back and said, "I think I got the answer, boss." He said, "I'm a live one! The Devil is afraid I'm going to get away, so he tries to bag me first. You's a dead one, he's already got you, he's not a bit worried about you!"

       11. (MARIA: BUT THE DEVIL CAN'T GET YOU BACK once you're saved--you're the Lord's forever!) Yes, but he tries hard to keep you from serving God, so he gives you a lot of trouble. (Maria: But he knows he can't get you back in his bag.) No, but he can tempt you to backslide and destroy your usefulness. (Maria: He tries to keep you from winning others into the Kingdom.)

       12. YES, HE TRIES TO KEEP YOU FROM BEING A GOOD OR EFFECTIVE WITNESS or a good testimony. If he can't destroy you he'll try to destroy your testimony. And of course he tries to destroy you too, even physically. He can't destroy your spirit any longer, your spirit is saved, but he can sure give you a lot of trouble in the flesh!

       13. THE LORD ALLOWS IT TO TEST NEW CHRISTIANS to see if they've really got what it takes, so that you don't have to waste time on them if they can't make it. That's why the army always makes the first training the toughest--boot camp.

       14. IN EARLY ARMY TRAINING THE FIRST THREE MONTHS ARE THE TOUGHEST of all, because that's when they try to wash you out and see if there are any weak guys or weaknesses. They get rid of the weak ones so they don't have to waste the more specialized training on you unless they know you can really take it.

       15. (MARIA: I SUPPOSE THE BIGGEST THING THE DEVIL'S TRYING TO DO IS JUST DEFEAT YOU FROM BEING A GOOD SAMPLE TO WIN OTHERS, because he knows now he's going to lose others from his clutches because of you! You've already gotten there, but also he knows he's going to lose others too through you!)

       16. EVERYONE WE WIN IS A THREAT TO HUNDREDS of others of his, so he's out to stop each one the best he can. So the guys ought to know that. They know something about the army and the police.

       17. WHO IS THE TOP TARGET OF THE TERRORIST?--THE POLICE!--Not just the ordinary common man, but the guy who's the biggest threat to his dirty work! (Maria: The ones that carry the guns.) Yeah, the ones who are really the leaders and the samples, who are definitely on the other side, those are the ones they try to stop and kill. (Maria: Then they want to know,

       18. ("WELL WHAT DID GETTING SAVED DO FOR ME ANYWAY? I'm just having these horrible trials now!") Well, you've got the Lord and you're saved that's the main thing. You've got eternal life, you're not going to Hell, you don't have to worry about death anymore, you don't have to worry about life anymore and you've got the Lord on your side, or you're on His side.

       19. SO YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO WIN in the long run no matter what happens, no matter how heavy the fighting nor how hot the battle, you're going to win the war, you're on the winning side! And though "Many are the afflictions of the righteous," the Lord is going to deliver you out of them all, no matter how many or what! (Ps 34:19)

       20. EVEN THOUGH THERE'S WAR and turmoil and confusion and chaos on the outside, at last you've got rid of it on the inside. You should have peace of mind, you should have contentment of heart and a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, fulfillment. You know you're doing something good, you know it's something worthwhile with eternal values.

       21. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF BENEFITS! You've got all the promises in the whole Bible on your side now! Even whatever you give up, the Lord's going to repay you a "hundred-fold in this life!--And in the world to come life eternal!" (Mark 10:30)

       22. THEY NEED TO REALLY READ THEIR BIBLES to see that there are battles. But boy, the rewards are high! It's worth fighting the battles for such high stakes! I mean you couldn't have bigger rewards than we have! They're worth paying a price for, worth sacrificing for, even worth dying for!

       23. WE BELONG TO THE GREATEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD, the family of God's love, with the truest and most loving brothers and sisters in the whole world, who will help you, do anything for you, even die for you, give their lives for you, their bodies and whatever.

       24. THE BENEFITS ARE INNUMERABLE! How could they ever question the benefits, for goodness sake! They ought to know what the benefits are! They've already received a lot of benefits! How could they complain about a few little tests?--That's murmuring! Like the children of Israel, "What's in it for us?" (Maria: Well sometimes when they get down and the Devil really is attacking them...)

       25. THEY NEED TO COUNT THEIR BLESSINGS! Start thinking on the positive things, quit looking at all the negative things and trials of the Devil and doubts and fears and woes and troubles and tribulations and afflictions!--They must get their minds off of those negative things and think about all their blessings!

       26. THEY'RE SAVED, THEY'VE GOT GOD, they have the Lord, they've got the Holy Spirit, they've got the greatest power in the world! They're going to be all right, God's going to take care of them no matter what happens, even if they get killed He's going to take care of them!

       27. HE'S PROMISED US EVERYTHING! And they've got the best Family in the world, they've got all of their brothers and sisters to love and help them and fellowship with them. God's promised to provide, protect and everything!

       28. HOW COULD THEY COMPLAIN?--THAT'S TERRIBLE! GOD HATES MURMURING! They need to get their minds on their blessings and be thankful for all God's goodness! If they don't He'll give them something to cry about! Then they'll be thankful a little too late! (Maria: Like even though the battles seem heavier now than before, it's a different kind of battle and it's one that doesn't take so much of a toll on their mind or their spirit.)

       29. AT LEAST THEY HAVE SOME VICTORIES NOW! WHAT DID THEY HAVE BEFORE? They were living in nothing but defeat before! The Devil might not have fought them as much then because they were his, but now at least, though they have battles they at least have some victories.

       30. BEFORE THEY WEREN'T EVEN FIGHTING, they weren't even in the army, they hadn't even joined the army!--Of course they didn't have any battles and didn't have to do any fighting, they hadn't joined the army!

       31. NOW THEY'VE JOINED THE ARMY, SO OF COURSE THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE SOME BATTLES and have to do some fighting! But that also means they're going to have some victories! It's an army worth joining! There are victories worth fighting for! How could they complain? I don't see how anybody can complain! I don't think I've hardly ever been able to complain about God's goodness or the battles!

       32. I'VE HAD A FEW PROBLEMS AND BATTLES SOMETIMES. But it's only because I got my eyes on my own damn selfish self and my little selfish problems instead of getting my eyes on the Lord and on the battle and all the good we're doing and the people we're helping. Thank the Lord!

       33. WHEN I THINK OF HOW MANY TIMES I'VE ALMOST RUN AWAY from here! Just think of the good that would have been lost if we had run off too soon! A few times we got scared and started to run. The Devil said "boo" and we started to run! We even got packed up a few times.

       34. AND WHAT IF WE HAD? I doubt if they'd have carried on like this if we had. If we'd turned tail and run, the rest of them would have gotten scared too and been afraid to do anything.

       35. IT WAS A BATTLE IN THOSE EARLY DAYS when we couldn't really see what God was doing and how much He was going to do. We couldn't possibly have envisioned all the tremendous effects! God just had to tell us by faith, and we just had to keep on plugging even though we didn't see an awful lot of results.

       36. NOW WE CAN SEE THE RESULTS! Now we can see what God was driving at. Now we can see what a tremendous impact we're having, what great influence! It's powerful what great God's doing! Now we begin to see the results and see the friends God's raised up for us.

       37. IT'S PRETTY EASY TO BELIEVE AFTER YOU CAN SEE IT. They ought to be able to see now and believe it. Now anybody can see, even strangers can see something's going on! (Maria: So the battles will really rage hot and heavy until the Devil sees that he can't stop us.) He'll put you through the test to see if you can take it.

       38. WHEN HE SEES HE CAN'T STOP YOU THEN HE QUITS, gives up usually for awhile, eases off and tries something else. He does give up once in a while. It says, "Resist the Enemy and he'll flee from you!" (Jas.4:7) "When the Enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise a standard against him!" (Isa.59:19)

       39. THEY NEED TO LEARN TO RESIST THE ENEMY AND PRAY FOR THE SPIRIT of God to raise a standard against him. They need to learn that they are not joining the Peace Corps--they've joined the army--and we're in a battle, it's a fight! But we like it, we like to fight the Devil, we like to defeat him!

       40. I GET A THRILL EVERYTIME I GO DOWN THERE!--I KNOW I'M RIGHT ON THE BATTLEFRONT! Every moment's a moment of action, every moment is a moment of both suspense and danger and excitement and we don't know what's going to happen next!

       41. A REAL SOLDIER LIKES THE BATTLE like an athlete likes the athletic trial. He likes the fight, he likes to be right there on the battlefront, he likes the excitement, he likes the exhilarating thrill of victory, every victory!

       42. EVERYTIME WE CONQUER ONE OF THESE MEN FOR THE LORD IT'S ANOTHER VICTORY, ANOTHER BATTLE WON! They're eating out of our hands for God's Love! Thank You Lord!

       43. WE'RE WIELDING THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPONS THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN! Phooey on the atom bomb! This little tiny pill bomb of love is enough to blow this country apart! Thank God!

       44. THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD OF GOD ENCASED IN FRAIL FEMININE FLESH turns out to be the most powerful effective weapon the Lord's ever used! It conquers these men right and left! They're all easy prey to God's love!--The ultimate weapon!

       45. THEY CANNOT RESIST THE LOVE AND THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD, and these three are one, thank You Lord! Faith works in love. "Faith which worketh by love" (Gal.5:6). Thank You Lord! "Love never fails!" (Maria: Hallelujah, amen!) We're armed with the power of the Love of God, the Spirit and His Word, the power of faith which results in works of love, and they cannot resist it!

       46. IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY IRRESISTIBLE POWER! Thank You Lord! They may bite it off and they may gobble down the bait sometimes along with the hook and then break the line and run away, but they'll never get rid of that hook of the Word! It'll be a witness against them at the Judgement!

       47. SO EVEN THE ONES THAT FIGHT AND RUN AWAY ARE ALREADY DOOMED to defeat. They have already really been conquered, but to their own doom! The Word will slay them! But praise God, those who surrender willingly, voluntarily, get all the benefits!

       48. THOSE THAT HAVE TO BE CONQUERED BY THE SWORD, the sharp hook followed by the sword, have to be forced. Just like that vision about the sword (see Letter No.545), the Word is going to become a sword to them that will slay them! So they're conquered too, but to their own doom.

       49. WE CAN'T LOSE, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO LOSE, FOR "LOVE NEVER FAILS!" Even when it looks like we lose, we still win! So they ought to be thanking God for their blessings! Thank God for the Family, thank God for the love, thank God for salvation, thank God for His protection, thank God for His provision, thank God for everything, whatever God sends or lets the Devil bring!

       50. "ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to them that love the Lord." (Rom.8:28.) I don't know how they could complain about having a few little tests and trials and battles. Like I've always said,

       51. THERE'S NO TESTIMONY WITHOUT A TEST, THERE'S NO TRIUMPH WITHOUT A TRIAL AND NO VICTORY WITHOUT A BATTLE! They sound like some athlete who says, "Well, now I've joined the Olympic team, what do I have to run for? Why do I have to go through these tests and trials? I thought I was appointed a champion!" I'll tell you, you've got to earn your laurels in this fight! I mean it's like some soldier saying,

       52. "WELL, I'VE JOINED THE ARMY--WHY DO I HAVE TO FIGHT? I've given everything, I volunteered and joined the army, now why do I have to fight?" Isn't that ridiculous! That's what you joined the army for, to fight! And let me tell you, if you're going to fight, the Devil's going to try to fight you and get his licks in first if he can!

       53. MAYBE GOD'S LETTING IT HAPPEN TO WAKE YOU UP THAT IT'S A WAR! The church people don't think that they've joined the army; they've joined the Peace Corps! They settle down somewhere peacefully and do nothing or very little.

       54. WHEN WE GET SAVED WE'VE JOINED GOD'S ARMY AND WE'VE BECOME A SOLDIER, AND WE'RE EXPECTED TO GO INTO BATTLE AND FIGHT! And there's no discharge in this war, it's a fight to the finish, every inch, till death do us part! I can't understand soldiers who don't want to fight! I can't understand soldiers who don't know they're supposed to fight!


       56. THERE WERE A LOT OF GUYS LIKE THAT IN THE OLD PEACETIME ARMY. They joined the army because they couldn't get any other job and there was a big depression going on and everybody was starving or had very little money. So a lot of guys when I was a kid joined the army because you got free housing, free clothing, free meals, everything provided and everything was hunky-dory! You even got a little salary of spending money, $30 a month, a dollar a day!

       57. AND ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS SIT AROUND MOST OF THE TIME DOING NO THING, playing pinochle or cards or chess or having a few little exercises once in a while, just a little boot camp training to begin with which didn't amount to much in those days.

       58. THEN SUDDENLY ALONG CAME WORLD WAR II and all of a sudden they found out that an army is something that goes into battle and fights the enemy and there's a distinct possibility of getting wounded or killed! Then all those peacetime soldiers began to bewail their plight! "My God, what did I ever join this army for? Now I'm going to get myself killed!"

       59. IN THE PEACETIME ARMY EVERYTHING WAS SO PEACEFUL, and they seemed to think that's the way it was supposed to be all the time, so nice: "I joined the peacetime army, an army that never has to go to war, never fights any battles and has no dangers, no possibility of ever getting wounded or killed or anything, no enemies!"

       60. THAT'S A PRETTY SICKENING ARMY! And when they found out all of a sudden there was a war going on, when they had to get sent off to North Africa to get killed by Rommel or somebody, then they all got to mourning about it!

       61. I REMEMBER THOSE GUYS used to come to me and say, "Oh, I joined the army when there was peace, and I never knew I was going to get in to all this! Why did I ever join the army!"--They'd actually weep!--"Why did I ever join the army? Everything was so nice!"

       62. FORGET THE GUYS WHO DON'T THINK IT'S WORTH FIGHTING AND DYING FOR! Goodness, if they don't think it's worth fighting and dying for, what the hell did they join for? Hmm? Ridiculous! They're probably going to have to fight to protect us before long! They're going to have to fight to defend us everyday from our critics and our enemies and they'll have to fight to defend their own faith and themselves and their own testimony, their own witness!

       63. IT'S A DIE-DAILY FIGHT! They better get that through their thick skulls right now! Did they join because they thought they were going to get a nice soft pillowy bed of roses if they joined? (Maria: Probably most of them joined because they saw our happiness and they wanted the same thing.) Sure we're happy!

       64. (MARIA: MAYBE THEY DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS AN ARMY--all us pretty little girls sitting down there! Maybe they did think it'd be a bed of roses!--Our beds!--Ha!) We're down there in a battle! They may not know it but it's a battle of love, it's a battle of love for love! (Maria: So it's like a lot of them, they got plunked into the army and they don't yet know it's an army! Then all of a sudden they have to wake up to it!)

       65. IT'S A BATTLE OF LOVE! IT'S NOT EASY FOR THESE GIRLS down there every night, but they enjoy it. It's not easy to have to love these men and dance with them and talk to them half the night and sleep with them the other half!

       66. BUT THEY LOVE IT because they know it's their job and their duty and their calling and their vocation and their fight and their battle!

       67. THEY'RE GOOD SOLDIERS! I'M SO PROUD OF THEM! When I saw Bethlehem here this morning, I thought, "Ah, there's a soldier, there's the kind of a woman I like!" I've got admiration for her like I would for a good he-man that's fought a battle and done his fight and won a victory! That's the kind of love and admiration that has nothing to do with sex, I just looked at her and I thought,

       68. "THANK GOD FOR A GOOD SOLDIER, A REAL SOLDIER WHO KNOWS HOW TO FIGHT, HOW TO USE THE WEAPON OF THE WORD AND HOW TO WIELD IT!--EVEN IN BED! Thank God! How can they resist? It must take the hardest hearts in the world to resist!--And they can't! If they resist, it'll still cut them to the heart! So Praise God! Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus! Praise God? (Maria: Amen! I mean even if they're tricked into the army like it says "some saved by fire," some saved by just wanting to please a woman, still, they're in, then they have to find out.) Like a lot of guys that got tricked into the army in peacetime, "Oh boy, it's a great soft job and you don't have to work very hard and you get free room and board and clothes and medical attention and GI benefits--even after you get out you get GI benefits, bonuses, mustering out pay, you get all kinds of things, wonderful, all these benefits!"

       69. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY DISCOVERED THAT JOINING THE ARMY MEANT GOING TO WAR!--And when a country went to war it meant you had to go into battle and fight and get killed! Then all of a sudden they had second thoughts about it! Then, unless they loved their country and loved whatever they thought they were fighting for, why it wasn't easy!

       70. THESE GUYS HAVE GOT TO GET SOME CONVICTION THAT THERE'S A WAR GOING ON, a war of the worlds between two worlds--the world of evil and the Kingdom of God! They're on God's side, the winning side that cannot lose! But they've still got to fight! But when they get to be a veteran they'll enjoy the fighting, they'll love it!

       71. I LOVE IT! I COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT! I'd dry up and die on the vine if there wasn't a battle going on! I love to wield the weapon of the Word and cut the enemies down to size! I like to cut the enemies to heart! But I love to wield it like a penis to those that receive it receptively.

       72. I LOVE TO FUCK THEM WITH THE WORD OF GOD and sow the seed that brings fruit--like I love to love a woman! Those receptive hearts, those men sitting there giving me all those looks of love--it's just as enticing to a warrior of the Word as a woman is to a lover!

       73. I LOVE TO SOCK IT TO THEM WITH THE PENIS OF THE WORD, sow the seed--and they love it too! (Maria: That's why the Word's so important--some of these men don't realise what importance the Word has.) But I like to wield it even on the enemies and cut them to their heart! It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to sock it to 'em with the sword of the Spirit!

       74. I LIKE THE BATTLE! I LOVE IT! Hallelujah! Because I know I'm on the right side, the winning side, and I've got the right Commander I'm proud of and happy to live or die for, thank the Lord!

       75. OF COURSE IT'S A BATTLE! WHAT DO THEY THINK THEY JOINED THE ARMY FOR? (Maria: But they didn't know it was in army when they joined.) But we're going to win and it's worth winning! And the fruits, they're going to be worth fighting for.

       76. WE'RE GOING TO ENJOY ALL THE SPOILS OF WAR, triumph over our enemies, and all the blessings of God and all the rewards, and a hundred-fold of everything we've ever given up! God will take it away from our enemies and give it to us!

       77. WE'RE GOING TO RUN THE WORLD! Not that I exactly look forward to the responsibility of the job, but with supernatural immortal bodies and superhuman miraculous wisdom I'm sure we'll be able to handle it! Yes, I think I would enjoy that too! It's like another battle!

       78. LIKE RIGHT NOW, IF GOD GAVE ME THE BODY OF AN ANGEL and the power of an angel like we're going to have, absolutely irresistible supernatural total power, I wouldn't mind flying out there over these cities and some of these villages and start telling them off and what to do and how to run the valley! What could they do?

       79. THEY COULDN'T STOP ME! They'd either have to obey or get punished. God could give us the wisdom how to run this valley, and then we'll see who's going to get the water! That's going to be quite a thing, organising the world!

       80. THAT'S GOING TO BE SOMETHING! But if they haven't got the guts to fight a little battle to win it, how in the world do they think they're going to ever be able to run it! It's ridiculous!

       81. OF COURSE, IF THEY DON'T WANT TO WIN, THEY DON'T WANT TO FIGHT. If you don't realise what you're fighting for, why there is a fight, if you don't look forward to the goal, the fact that we're going to win, and if you can't see what we're going to win and what's in it for you and what victory's going to mean, well then of course you're going to think the trials and tribulations and battles are too much and too hard and aren't worth it!

       82. YOU'VE GOT TO KEEP YOUR EYES AHEAD ON THE GOAL, like Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. By faith, by faith--they looked ahead, they looked forward. They weren't satisfied with being a citizen of this world, they looked for a country made by God, a Heavenly Country, a Heavenly City, built by the Lord!

       83. THEY WERE WILLING TO GO THROUGH ALL THE TRIALS and tribulations and be strangers and pilgrims here and people without a country because they knew they had one coming!--And they knew it was worth fighting for, living and dying for!

       84. EVEN THE BENEFITS ON THE WAY--WHAT SOLDIER GETS PAID THAT WELL? Who gets a hundred times everything he gives up or forsakes to join the army? He's going to get a hundred times here and now in this life! What more could he ask than that!

       85. A HUNDRED TIMES THE SALARY HE GOT BEFORE, a hundred times the family he had before, a hundred times the houses he had before, a hundred times the health, the blessings, the love--one hundred times as much as everything he had before! What more could he ask than that! Plus Heaven!

       86. ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO! And all the friends and family he's going to have for eternity, including wives and lovers! Heaven's not going to be the end of sex, thank God! In Heaven we can enjoy sex without end if we want it! The angels did, so why not? All this and Heaven too!

       87. MY LORD, DON'T THEY THINK THAT'S WORTH FIGHTING FOR? Don't they think even the love of our Saviour, the love of our Commander-in-Chief and just because you love Him is worth fighting for? Someone ought to ask those guys a question:

       88. AREN'T EVEN WE WORTH FIGHTING FOR? Maybe you don't think you're worth fighting for yourself, maybe you don't want to go through all these trials and tribulations just for yourself or for your own Salvation. But maybe you'd be willing to fight and live and die for somebody else, one of these girls that loves you!

       89. WOULD YOU PROTECT OUR GIRLS? Would you fight for one of them? Would you defend her? Huh? Do you have that must love? That much guts? Huh? How much manhood have you got? If you haven't got the guts to fight for yourself,

       90. FOR GOD'S SAKE FIGHT FOR US! FIGHT FOR GOD, FIGHT FOR GOD'S ARMY, GOD'S FAMILY--FIGHT FOR OTHERS! Many a man hasn't been willing to die for himself but he's willing to die for others. If they didn't know they were getting into a battle, I'm sorry.

       91. JUST BECAUSE THEY WON ONE BATTLE, salvation by grace, a God-given victory, they thought they had the victory, some kind of a permanent victory. Well, that battle for their soul is won and it's a permanent victory of Salvation forever, they never have to fight that one again, thank God! Amen?

       92. THEY'LL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING SAVED ANY MORE or going to Hell or whether they're going to go to Heaven or not. That ought to be worth the whole thing, just having that battle off your hands! Right? You should be grateful enough for that to be willing to now fight the Lord's battles.

       93. HE WON YOUR BATTLE, HE FOUGHT AND BLED AND DIED FOR YOU ON THE CROSS TO SAVE YOU and won the battle for you. If you're not willing now to turn around and lay down your life for Him, you're not worth the shit on the ground! If you're not willing to turn around and live and fight and die for Jesus when look how He suffered for you, for your salvation, then you're no soldier!

       94. IF YOU'RE NOT GRATEFUL ENOUGH FOR YOUR SALVATION TO GO THROUGH A FEW LITTLE BATTLES with the Devil and the Enemy to fight for the cause of Christ and for Jesus and for His Kingdom and His Family and His Love and to try to save others, then you haven't got what it takes!

       95. YOU HAVEN'T GOT THE GUTS TO BE A SOLDIER! You haven't even got the gratitude to be willing to fight just because God tells you to fight, whether you know what you're fighting for or not! You should be willing to fight just in gratitude for the fact that He saved you.

       96. MY LORD, SOMEBODY WHO SAVES YOUR LIFE YOU SHOULD BE WILLING TO DIE FOR! I mean your life belongs to Him! Jesus saved your souls, saved your lives for eternity, you should be willing to do anything for Him now, whatever He tells you to do, any kind of a battle, any kind of a fight, no matter whether you understand it or not or why!

       97. JUST DO IT LIKE THEY DO IN THE ARMY--because your Commander said so! All you have to do is read the Bible to find out why! I get disgusted with soldiers that gripe about the food or they gripe about the uniform or they gripe about this and they gripe about that or they gripe about the schedule or they gripe about a little work or they gripe about a little bit of fighting and a little bit of dying--it makes me sick!

       98. MY GOD, IF YOU'RE NOT WILLING TO DIE FOR CHRIST IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE YOU WEREN'T WORTH DYING FOR WHEN HE DIED FOR YOU! Jesus died for you, but you're not willing to suffer a little bit for Him? You're not willing to take a little persecution for Him with the Family?--Suffer a little criticism, a little persecution, a few little hard times?

       99. THEY HAVEN'T SCREWED ANY OF YOU UP ON THE RACK YET or pounded bamboo thorns underneath your nails or anything--not that I know of, at least not here.

       100. YOU HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN TO SUFFER! A little criticism, a few little hard looks or a few little putdowns on your job or something and you think you're suffering:

       101. "SUCH A BATTLE! MY PARENTS FUSS AT ME when I'm home, my teachers don't like me at school or my officers criticise me or you." Isn't that tough, isn't that rough, how hard! How pitiful that you have to suffer a little criticism, a little tiny bit of superficial persecution!

       102. YOU HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN TO FIGHT YET! You don't know what the battle is like, you don't even know what suffering is! Look what Jesus did for you, look how He suffered for us! We ought to be willing to do anything for Him, suffer anything, go through anything for Him to save others like He saved us! Jesus help us!

       103. GOD HELP US TO BE SOLDERS and willing to do anything for You, Lord, in just plain thanks for Your Salvation! He bought and paid for us, we're His property, we belong to Him now. He can do whatever He wants to with us.

       104. WE'RE HIS SOLDIERS, HE CAN SEND US INTO ANY BATTLE He wants to whether we understand it or not or whether we think it's worth it or not! It's His battle, not ours! He's the Commander, He's the One that has to understand, He's the One that gives the orders, we, just obey!

       105. YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO KNOW WHY YOU'RE FIGHTING OR WHAT YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR! All you have to do is know that Jesus gave the order and you obey it no matter how it comes out--even if it kills you! "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!" (Job 13:15.) Amen?

       106. OF COURSE IT'S A BATTLE! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU JOINED THE ARMY FOR? An army is to fight battles, and we've got plenty of them to fight! But hallelujah! I love to fight because I know I'm fighting for the One that's worth fighting for and the souls that are worth winning and for the goals that are worth attaining!

       107. I KNOW WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR, thank the Lord! And if we don't know anything else but that we know we're fighting for Jesus and for the ones we love, that's all we need to know! What else do we need to know? My God, why question why you have these battles, trials, and tribulations and these fights and battles?

       108. YOU'RE IN AN ARMY! OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO FIGHT AND HAVE BATTLES! Maybe you just need to be waked up and reminded that you've joined an army and you're a soldier now! Maybe you thought you were entering an old folks' home or something, retiring or going on a permanent vacation!

       109. WE HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN TO FIGHT YET! Well, I'd say we have begun, but maybe some of you haven't and some of you don't realise what a battle you've got on your hands! If you're not willing to die for Jesus like Jesus died for you, you're not worth it! Amen, thank You Lord!

       110. JESUS WAS WILLING TO DIE FOR US TO SAVE US, AND HE WANTS US TO BE WILLING TO DIE FOR HIM TO SAVE OTHERS! He died for others, He died for us! So He expects us to be willing to do the same. (Maria: That's 1John 3:16. And Jesus said, "Even as My Father hath sent Me, so send I you!"--John 20:21.)

       111. "NO GREATER LOVE HATH ANY MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS!" (John 15:13.) Even as Christ died for us, He expects us to lay down our lives for the brethren.

       112. YOU GUYS DON'T WANT TO BE FIGHTERS? You don't want to be soldiers, you don't want to join the war, join the army to fight a war?

       113. THEN YOU'D BETTER SIT DOWN FIRST AND COUNT THE COST! Because we don't want any namby-pamby weak sisters who don't know what they're joining the army for! I can't understand people who want all the benefits without paying any of the prices!

       114. YOU WANT TO GET ALL THE BLESSINGS WITHOUT ANY OF THE SACRIFICES! You want to get all the advantages without having to suffer any of the disadvantages! You want all the pleasures without having to share any of the sufferings!

       115. LET ME TELL YOU THERE ARE BOTH! But they're worth it, they 're worth it! I think they're worth it, otherwise I wouldn't be in it. Thank You Lord! Do you think they're worth it? We don't really suffer anything much yet, almost nothing!

       116. HOW COULD ANYBODY COMPLAIN? WE DON'T KNOW WHAT SUFFERING IS! We've got so many more blessings and benefits and pleasures and wonderful things to enjoy, so much more than our sufferings! There's a verse on that, what is it?

       117. (MARIA: "WE KNOW THAT OUR SUFFERINGS ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED WITH THE GLORY THAT SHALL BE!"--Romans 8:18.) Very good! Our sufferings aren't even worthy to be compared with the blessings that we already have, much less the glory we're going to enjoy!

       118. SO SHUT UP, YOU SICKENING COMPLAINERS! You make me sick at my stomach, people who complain and murmur even about their blessings! Some people even complain and murmur and gripe and bellyache about everything, even their blessings, not only their sufferings!

       119. THEY EVEN COMPLAIN ABOUT THEIR BLESSINGS! "Well, they didn't fix the meal right," or "My bed isn't good enough," or "I don't have enough privacy," or "blah blah blah"! They make me sick! They make God sick too! I think people like that either better get the victory or they don't belong in the army, people who do nothing but gripe about it and complain and murmur about a few little problems, trials, sacrifices--and even their blessings!

       120. THEY MAKE ME SICK AND MAKE GOD SICK TOO! God got so sick of Israel's murmurings He let all the millions of them die out in the desert because of their God-dammed murmurings and complainings and bellyaching about everything He did for them! He saved their lives, provided every need and did everything He could for them.

       121. BUT THEN THEY CONSTANTLY GRIPED because they had to walk a few miles through the wilderness to get to the Promised Land and a few little inconveniences! Then they had to complain when they got there that it was already occupied by somebody else that they were going to have to throw out.

       122. SOME PEOPLE FIND SOMETHING TO MURMUR ABOUT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS! But God finally got so fed up with their murmuring and their bellyaching and their whimpering and their crying and their complaining and their whining that He finally decided to give them something to whine about!

       123. SO HE JUST LEFT THEM OUT THERE IN THE DESERT--when they wouldn't have the faith to fight and go in and possess the land: "Oh, but we don't want to fight those big giants!--And there's some people there already behind big walls! Yes, it's a land flowing with milk and honey, but you ought to see those giants, you ought to see those walls!" So the Lord just as good as said, "Okay, if they prefer to die in the desert rather than have a battle and fight and die for the Promised Land, if God's country's not worth fighting for, well then, just let them die for the desert!

       124. THEY DIDN'T WANT TO DIE FOR THE PROMISED LAND, SO THEY WOUND UP 40 YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS AND DYING ANYHOW FOR THE DESERT until they were all gone! The entire older generation passed away with their bones bleaching on the desert sands because if their unbelief and their murmuring and their complaining and belly-aching and their whining about every little thing!

       125. GOD JUST LET THEIR BELIEVING CHILDREN MARCH IN THEN. Only their children had the faith--the older generation lost it. They did all the suffering and never got to enjoy the benefits because they complained.

       126. THEY SUFFERED SO MANY THINGS IN VAIN! (Gal.3:4.) The people that complain about the battle and then quit just before the Victory's won never get to enjoy it! Think of it! They've had to go through all this and then miss the victory! They even lose the fruits of victory, they lose the benefits and the blessings and the pleasures and the spoils.

       127. THEY LOSE THE WHOLE THING BECAUSE THEY GRIPED and bellyached and complained all the way through the battle and never made it to the victory because they quit too soon, just because there was a little battle! You talk about losers, they are the losers! The guys that fight almost to victory and then quit!

       128. THEY'VE SUFFERED ALL THIS MUCH IN VAIN! They quit and give up and surrender and they've lost, after all they've suffered, because they weren't willing to go on through to the end. (Maria: That little illustration you always give about that guy that was out on the ice, remember that one?) I was just thinking about the Scripture where the Lord says,

       129. "BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE!" (Rev.2:10.) The guy was just about to die for his faith, but then he turned coward and traitor and ran and gave up and just as the crown was about to be placed on his head! (Maria: Could you tell that story?) Honey, I've told it a thousand times! (Maria: Would you tell it once more?)

       130. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE HAPPENED IN COMMUNIST RUSSIA during the early days when they were persecuting the Christians so badly. They put this bunch of Christians out on the ice naked to die because they wouldn't renounce their faith. The guards told them if any of them wanted to save themselves, all they had to do was run back to the guards and renounce their faith and they wouldn't have to die.

       131. SO THEY ALL FROZE AND DROPPED ONE BY ONE, till this last fellow finally couldn't take it. He saw all these other people dying and he was left alone, the last one, so he ran screaming across the ice toward the guards and said he couldn't stand it any longer, he'd deny his faith. But suddenly one soldier said, "Here, quick, take my uniform, take my gun, put them on!

       132. "I'M GOING OUT THERE TO DIE IN YOUR PLACE! I was standing here watching and as each one dropped I saw a crown placed on his head! But just as the hand was coming down from Heaven to place a crown on your head you ran! So here, take my uniform, my gun! I want to take your place!--I want that crown!" So praise the Lord! Do you want a crown?

       133. THERE'S NO CROWN WITHOUT A CROSS, NO TESTIMONY WITHOUT A TEST NO TRIUMPH WITHOUT A TRIAL, NO VICTORY WITHOUT A BATTLE, NO ROSE WITHOUT A THORN! Praise God, that's what you joined the army for--to fight and to win! Let's get on with the battle! We can't lose! The victory is already ours! Just keep fighting until we get there! Thank God we win a lot along the way too!

       134. IT'S WORTH IT! IT'S WORTH EVERY FIGHT, EVERY BATTLE, EVERY TEST, EVERY TRIAL! IT'S WORTH IT ALL! Thank You Jesus! It's worth it all for the testimonies and the triumphs and the victories! It's worth the winning, thank the Lord!

       135. SO NOW GO BACK TO THE BATTLE AND START FIGHTING!--AMEN?--QUIT GIVING UP SO DAMN EASY and getting scared off by the Devil! Quit waving the white flag of surrender every time the Devil says "Boo!" and tries to scare you out of it! He knows he can't win.

       136. IF YOU FIGHT HE KNOWS YOU'LL WIN! If you fight he knows you cannot lose and he cannot win and he can't get the victory. So he tries to scare you into giving up, to frighten you into surrendering. He tries to persuade you to quit and wave the white flag of sickening surrender!

       137. THE ONLY WAY HE CAN WIN IS IF YOU QUIT, give up, give in, surrender, stop fighting. That's the only way he can win and the only way you can lose. If you keep fighting you keep winning.

       138. IF YOU KEEP FIGHTING, YOU CAN'T LOSE! Keep resisting the Enemy, keep raising up the standard of the Spirit, keep wielding the weapon of the Word, and you cannot lose if you keep fighting! It's impossible for us to lose, because we're on the winning side, thank the Lord, if we keep fighting!

       139. BUT WE HAVE TO FIGHT! That's what He called us to be soldiers for. (Maria: That's why we need the Holy Spirit too.) Amen, in the power of the Spirit! (Maria: I think that's the problem with a lot of these men--they don't have the Holy Spirit yet. They need the power and the boldness of the Spirit.)

       140. COWARDLY SOLDIERS THAT WANT TO TURN TAIL AND RUN AT THE FIRST LITTLE SKIRMISH MAKE ME SICK AND GOD SICK TOO! God deliver us from such weak sisters that haven't got the guts or the manhood to stand up and fight! "Our weapons are not carnal but mighty to the tearing down of strongholds!" (2Cor.10:4.) Hallelujah! Thank You Lord!

       141. "WE FIGHT NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against principalities, and powers and evil spirits in heavenly places!" (Eph.6:12.) But thank God, we have got the weapons to do it that cannot lose and can only win, because God said so and I believe it, thank the Lord!

       142. THEY NEED TO READ THEIR BIBLES MORE TO GET MORE FAITH TO FIGHT, to know they're going to win, to know the Devil can't lick them no matter how he says "Boo!" and tries to scare them. They need to put their faith in the Lord and His Word and know they're going to win the battle, so they'll keep fighting, keep hanging on. Praise God, thank You Lord!

       143. "ENDURE HARDNESS AS A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST, that you might please Him that hath called you to be a soldier." (2Tim.2:3) "Entangle not yourselves in the affairs of this life, but endure hardness as a good soldier!" "Fight the good fight" as Paul said.

       144. "FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH", "CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH", "ENDURE HARDNESS", "KEEP THE FAITH!" (1Tim.6:12; Jude 3; 2Tim.2:3; 2Tim.4:7.) Thank You Lord! Just don't forget it's a fight! Keep fighting the Enemy with the Word of God and your faith: "Put ye on therefore the whole armour of God--the helmet of Salvation, breastplate of righteousness shield of faith, sword of the Spirit (the Word), having your loins girt with truth, and your feet shod with the Gospel of peace!" (Eph.6:13-17) You're in a battle and that's the armour!

       145. YOU'RE A SOLDIER CALLED TO FIGHT FOR GOD AND THE FAITH! For God's sake, don't give up just because of a little tiny skirmish here and there! There are bigger battles to come! If you can't survive these little ones, you'll certainly never survive the big ones! If you let the Devil make you turn tail and run just when he says "Boo!", what are you going to do when he really starts fighting?

       146. NOW THE INITIAL TEST IS TO SEE WHO'S REALLY GOT IT, who's going to be faithful, who's going to fight, who's going to stick with it, who's not going to fail the Lord or their brethren or their Family. Because if they can't win now, they'll certainly never win then when the Devil brings out his big guns and his big bombs and really starts trying to cause trouble!

       147. WE'RE NOT EVEN HARDLY HAVING ANY LITTLE SKIRMISHES RIGHT NOW. We have a few little patrols bumping into each other now and then, that's about all. Nobody's gotten killed yet, nobody's been tortured yet, nobody's been imprisoned yet, not here at least.

       148. NOBODY'S REALLY BEEN SEVERELY HARSHLY PERSECUTED HERE YET except maybe Carl the sailor. He was put on that boat and worked like a slave because he kept visiting us and wanted to quit his job with the military and join the army of the Lord! They really socked it to him! I consider he got real persecution, hard labour just like a prisoner.

       149. BUT NOT MANY HERE HAVE HAD TO SUFFER THAT MUCH. Some of them feel like they're suffering if they get a little disapproval from their friends or their employers or their work mates or from the System or the local society, a little criticism.

       150. THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT SUFFERING IS YET! They haven't even begun to fight yet! Wait till the men are all wounded and the ship is sinking, and then see what kind of a spirit they're going to have!

       151. SEE IF THEY'RE GOING TO BE LIKE JOHN PAUL JONES who screamed, "Surrender? Hell no! We haven't even begun to fight yet!"--when his ship was shot out from under him and sinking and his men were all wounded, half of them killed, and he was wounded, he still refused to surrender! Instead he captured the enemy's boat and kept on fighting until he won!

       152. THAT'S THE KIND OF SOLDIERS THAT WIN VICTORIES, THE ONES WHO REFUSE TO QUIT FIGHTING! No soldier that quit ever won a battle! No soldier that surrendered ever won a victory! No soldier that waved the white flag of surrender ever got to wave his own flag over the enemy's battlements!

       153. MY GOD, GIVE US FIGHTERS who like to fight for the Lord with the weapon of His Word and who enjoy defeating the Devil and who know they can't lose and who like to win victories, conquering heroes that like to live and fight and die for Jesus and their brethren and the truth! Thank You Lord!

       154. THAT KIND OF SOLDIERS CAN'T BE CONQUERED, THEY CAN'T LOSE, EVEN IF THEY DIE FIGHTING they can't lose because they'll get a crown of glory! "Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of glory!" Paul says. (2Tim.4:8) He said, "I have fought the good fight of faith, I kept the faith, I have finished the course, and henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness"! Thank You Lord! So, praise the Lord!

       155. GOD GIVE US FIGHTERS who like to fight the Devil for Jesus and for the brethren, and are willing to fight and die, fight and live and die for the Lord! That's the kind of soldiers we need! Not the ones that give up at the first little foul breath of the Enemy!--Amen?

       156. WE MAY NOT WIN THEM ALL, BUT WE'RE WINNING THE WAR! We may not seem to win every battle, we may even seem to lose a few. But we cannot lose! Love cannot fail, it never fails! Everything else may fail, but love will never fail! God cannot fail, faith cannot fail, hope can't fail!

       157. "SO NOW ABIDETH THESE THREE: HOPE, FAITH AND LOVE--BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE!" (1Cor.13:13.) Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! Amen?--If you keep fighting! For hope never quits, faith never stops trusting, and love never fails!--If you keep fighting!

       158. SO STAY IN THERE AND SOCK IT TO 'EM!--Amen? God bless you! I love you! You can't lose if you keep on fighting the good fight of faith to the finish!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family