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"COMING OF AGE!"--By Father David       5 January 1979       NRS15       DFO771


       1. IN YOUR AVERAGE CHURCH IN THE SYSTEM, how many in the church are able to serve the Lord fulltime & don't have to have a System job?--About the only guy in the church who doesn't is the preacher!

       2. SO, WE MAY HAVE A FEW WHO WILL MAKE GOOD PASTORS & who can check on the sheep & keep the flock together, keep them worshipping the Lord, serving the Lord, studying the Word, fellowshipping & witnessing & winning souls, etc. But he may be one of a dozen, & you others may have to help support him to keep him going.

       3. WE MAY HAVE TO HAVE A DOZEN FAMILIES SETTLE DOWN & GET JOBS & HOMES TO ONE FAMILY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO SHEPHERD THEM & provide spiritual food & fellowship & care for them--one out of a dozen do you understand? Now, this particular stage that we are going through right now, this is it:

       4. IT'S TEN YEARS SINCE YOU WERE TEENAGERS, & you are no longer teenagers. You are no longer hippies, you are no longer wild-eyed revolutionaries-most of you. You are no longer young singles, foot-loose & fancy-free, with no responsibilities, so that it doesn't matter where you go, or what you do. You once could "take up your bed & walk" & go anywhere & sleep.

       5. BUT NOW YOU'VE GOT A WIFE & SMALL CHILDREN TO TAKE CARE OF, & you've got to have some kind of halfway-decent place for them to sleep & food for them to eat, & the vast majority of our kids are going to have to settle down in Homes--& not only to homes, but to jobs in order to support yourselves.

       6. BECAUSE THE SYSTEM IS OUT TO GET US & THEY ARE DRIVING US FROM THE STREETS, & they will drive us from everything they can, to keep us from doing what we've been doing. You may not have to go back to your country, you may be able to settle down where you are.

       7. BUT I THINK A LOT OF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE IT ON THE FIELD. You are either going to have to try to get a job where you are which is difficult if you're a foreigner or you are going to have to go back home & get a job. But we are passing through that stage now where:

       8. YOU PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT ESTABLISHING MORE PERMANENT HOMES with a steadier source of income of some kind, no matter what you do--whether you go house-to-house & sell enough literature to manage to support you, or you write home & beg the home folks & your family to do their very best to support you.

       9. OR REALLY PUSH THE MAIL MINISTRY like the missionaries of the churches, you know?--The missionaries of the churches--where do they get their support? They don't get it on foreign fields--They wouldn't think of getting it on the field!

       10. WE ARE AN AMAZING OUTFIT! We have gone into scores of foreign fields & we have lived off the land & gotten our support right on the field where we were working--a little bit like the Apostle Paul & some of the first missionaries of the church.

       11. BUT EVEN PAUL HAD TO SETTLE DOWN TO A JOB PART-TIME, or he had to scold the churches back home for not supporting him! He as good as said, "Now listen, if you want me to stay out here, you've got to support me! Look! I had to go to work to make tents! I had to go to work with my hands because you failed me, because you didn't send me enough to live on out here!"

       12. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE, like Paul did: Either settle down & get a job & "make tents" to support yourselves, or you're going to have to sock it to the home folks & say, "Now, listen ! Do you want me to stay out here as your missionary? I'm doing your job for you. I'm out here preaching the Gospel in all the world to every creature. (Mk.16:15.)

       13. "YOU SEND ME THE MONEY & SUPPORT ME!--THAT'S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO! You're staying home living selfishly & comfortably in luxury, so if you can't do the job, fork over some of that dough to help me stay out here to do the job for you!" You are going to have to do it--just like the churches have had to do it & the missionaries of denominations have had to do it.

       14. CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES DON'T GET THIS SUPPORT ON THE FIELD!--They can't! They have to ask the Home base & the Home folks to do it. The settled-down families or Homes are going to have to get jobs & have incomes to support those still on the field--however you get it--whether you go door-to-door or still street litness etc.

       15. THE SUPPORT MINISTRY IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE ACCEPTED TYPE OF MINISTRY, whatever it is. About the only kind of ministry that the System can understand is you are a car mechanic or a brick layer or a house builder or a salesman or something that's in their area.

       16. EARN MONEY TO HELP SUPPORT THE PEOPLE WHO CAN STILL STAY OUT ON THE FIELD FULLTIME & do nothing but witness & litness, etc. So I think we are passing through this stage right now.--I mean, it's obvious! We've got little families who are getting discouraged & giving up & going home because they can't make it on the field.

       17. (TIMOTHY: ANOTHER THING IS THAT WE ARE ENTERING WORLDWIDE DEPRESSION DAYS AHEAD, & I think that is going to play a part.) Definitely! The "recession" is already on! The dollar is diving, & leaner times are predicted by nearly every economist who is honest!--All except for the government.

       18. GOVERNMENT ALWAYS LIE TO THE PEOPLE & SAY THINGS ARE GOING TO BE BETTER! The U.S. President even prohibited this one poor guy to use the word "recession", so now he calls it a "banana"!--The chief U.S. economic advisor! He says "We're bound to have a 'banana' if so-&-so doesn't happen--if you don't conserve the oil, if you don't stop this rise in prices & wages, if we don't stop inflation--we're going to have a banana this year--In '79!"--A banana!--And it's going to be a slippery one at that!

       19. SO, IF YOU CAN'T SUPPORT YOURSELVES ON THE FIELD, if you're driven off the field & have to go home & if you can't even get a job at home, at least you will be at home, & most Western countries have very good social security programmes to support the unemployed, especially if you have a wife & children.

       20. YOU CAN GO ON THE WELFARE OR THE SOCIAL SECURITY & AT LEAST GET YOUR FOOD & RENT! You can exist, you can survive, even f you have to go to parents, relatives, friends or the Government for help. You're unemployed & can't help it.--The System drove you off the streets!

       21. BUT THERE ARE STILL MANY WAYS OF MINISTERING THAT WE CAN STILL USE,--and a lot of them we have not plumbed the depths of by any means. For example, even if you go home & have to settle down in a normal home, get a job & send your kids to school, & it looks like you are back in the System,

       22. AT LEAST YOU HAVE SPENT A FEW YEARS OF YOUR LIFE, like the Mormons & others, in-full-time service,--at least you tried! If the System drove you back to it, it's not your fault. If the burden with such a big family & the persecution & all drove you back too & cut off your income, that's not your fault. You can't help it.--The System did it!

       23. PAUL HAD TO GO BACK TO MAKING TENTS! That was probably a pretty humiliating job for a guy who was a real brain & a scholar & a teacher & a rabbi & what amounted to a preacher, to have to go join the commoner tent & awning company & start sewing canvas!

       24. HE COULD HAVE BEEN A TEACHER OR A RABBI in any Jewish synagogue or school & had his living well taken care of in some brainy department. But he was out of the synagogue & certainly out of the church of the Jews! So he had to find something else he could do, & the only thing that he could find to do was to help dear Aquila & Priscilla make tents! (Ac.18.)

       25. WHETHER YOU GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY OR WHEREVER, YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE: You can be real pikers & give up the whole works, quit serving the Lord entirely & go back to the same rut you used to be in, or continue to serve the Lord somehow.

       26. I DON'T THINK MANY OF YOU WILL QUIT!--You have stuck with us this long, for the past several years, so I don't think you are going to go back to that kind of a rut of useless selfish living--if you can possibly help it.

       27. I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE MANY REAL BACKSLIDERS who are not going to do anything but just kind of exist in the same old rut! I believe, if you do have to go to a job & put the kids in school, you are going to at least witness, whether in church or on the job or in the school or to your neighbours.

       28. YOU ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WITNESS FOR CHRIST & be faithful witnesses & soul winners. I don't doubt that. You will probably have several options: You can just do it in person that way in your local community,

       29. OR YOU CAN KEEP UP A GOOD SOLID MAIL MINISTRY to friends & relatives & contacts that you have made, even contacts maybe you made clear back in Europe or Timbuktu or wherever it was when you were on the field. Keep up with them by mail & continue to minister to them & feed them.

       30. OR YOU COULD START A DOOR-TO-DOOR MINISTRY IN YOUR SPARE TIME, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, the 7th Day Adventists & the Mormons & all the rest!--Go door-to-door & witness & distribute literature & win souls & start Bible studies & little prayer meeting groups & "Churches in the Home", "Churches of love", gathered together as the Lord's little families & neighbours.

       31. HAVE A SOLID GROUP OF BELIEVERS WHO MEET TOGETHER, FELLOWSHIP, STUDY THE WORD, PRAY, GIVE & SUPPORT THE MISSIONARIES STILL ON THE FIELD! You who started the thing locally, maybe you've got a job & don't need their support. But urge them to try to help people you know & used to work with, whom you knew on the field, & know they're doing a good job. You know you can give to them, You know it is going to be well used & they need it.

       32. RAISE SUPPORT FOR THE MISSIONARIES STILL THE FIELD--AND FOR US TO KEEP THE WORD FLOWING as well.--And if you still want to get the Letters, you are going to have to pay the cost, if you're going to be driven back to settle down with families & children & some kind of support.

       33. NOT ALL ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO MAKE IT ON THE FIELD. Some people still have the faith & will still be able to stay on the field & live by faith. But even those are going to have to spend less & less time on the streets litnessing & cafe-singing, pied-pipering & public witnessing, & you are going to have to do more FFing & writing letters home for support, or going house-to-house in a more clandestine type of personal witnessing.

       34. THERE WILL BE A FEW who I think have got the faith, ingenuity & the drive & the wisdom to be able to stick it out on the field. But they are going to need help from home.

       35. QUITE A FEW ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO HOME OR SETTLE DOWN SOMEWHERE WITH A JOB & a living & a home, & serve the Lord in your spare time & with your gifts, & support those who still stay on the field fulltime. You'll also have to continue to support us who keep ministering the Word to you. It's just a stage we are going to have to pass through, that is all there is to it!

       36. WE CAN NO LONGER HIT THE STREETS LIKE A BOMB like we used to with a hundred red-sackcloth-clothed prophets carrying signs & warnings & staves, etc.! Now they're going to kill us if they can! We're going to have to go underground & appear to re-join their System, & they will be very happy about it!:

       37. "AH HA! WE STOPPED THEM! We put an end to their street litnessing & their begging & their preaching & their prophesying against us, & they had to go home & get a job & settle down & have a family!"--That they'll think is the end of it!

       38. BUT IT'S GOING TO BE ANYTHING BUT THE END--IT'LL BE A REBIRTH! The Mormons compromised with the System, called off their polygamy, & so the System called off its dogs. They agreed to have a truce & make peace with the System & settle down to their farming.

       39. BUT THEY STILL CONDUCTED THEIR WORSHIP & THEIR RELIGION IN THEIR OWN WAY, without the one thing the System objected to the most--polygamy! Not that it really was the main thing. Actually the established religions objected to their very existence at all!--But polygamy was the System's excuse to get'm! That was the one weapon they could get ahold of to fight them & get the Feds & the law & the law & the Army & the guns behind them to force them to stop it to try to stop them!--Just like they're doing us!

       40. SO, THEY JUST ABANDONED POLYGAMY! THEY CHANGED THEIR STYLE & THEIR MINISTRY & a few of their doctrines & practises, & settled down & kept right on worshipping in their own way & their own tenets & their own churches & temples. But they continued to prosper & grew & multiplied anyhow!

       41. THE MORMONS HAD TO PASS THROUGH THESE STAGES OF CHANGE, GROWTH & MATURATION TO SURVIVE! Now you can hardly go to a field today but what there's a Mormon missionary there already!--Not only in the populated civilised areas, but in the backwoods & everywhere!

       42. AND THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES? I was down in the Bahamas where there was nothing but a little single trail through the jungle. I mean you either had to walk it or ride a burro! There was no such thing as taking a car!

       43. SO DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?--A millionaire of the Jehovah's Witnesses from Canada got a great big freighter & loaded it up with motorscooters! He loaded it up with about 300 Jehovah's Witnesses & 300 motorscooters & sailed off to the Bahamas & just saturated the Islands with their lit through those little trails by motorscooters! They could zip right down those tiny trails & hit all those little villages!

       44. SO AS THE OLD SAYING GOES, "THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT!" (Tim: There are some people who we might be able to use on the home field to sponsor or give a cover or a job to someone out there, at least so that they can make a minimal amount to pay the rent & then scrounge the rest.) Yes, there are many multi-national companies that have branches & jobs right out here on the field.

       45. (TIM: AND LIKE I JUST RECEIVED A LETTER FROM JARED: He has his own independent film company & would like to give a job to someone out in India or Greece who could get a few shots for him for his pictures & send them back to him to use in his thing but still witness.) Amen!

       46. DUE TO THIS CULTS PERSECUTION, WE'RE NOW GOING TO BE DRIVEN OFF THE MOST OBVIOUS FIELDS & ministries & off the streets. But that does not mean we are going to be stopped! There are other fields & ministries which we can use to continue to serve the Lord.

       47. THE MAIL MINISTRY WILL BE A VERY BIG ONE if we put the drive on now to get you people to stop being so careless about getting contacts & addresses. Make it very important that you get names & addresses to add to the mailing list to send literature to & all--and make it pay, Lord willing, so we can afford it!--And

       48. HOUSE-TO-HOUSE WITNESSING IS GOING TO BE A REAL BIG VERY FRUITFUL FIELD, & MUCH LESS OBVIOUS! You don't have to stand on the main corner of the street waving literature. You are out of sight most of the time. It's a little harder to hit a target that doesn't show up very often, but stays out of sight most of the time--and that's what you do in house-to-house witnessing.

       49. THOSE ARE THE TWO MAJOR MINISTRIES WHICH WE HAVE NEGLECTED & which can be & will be very fruitful--both the Mail Ministry & the House-to-house Ministry.--And God only knows how many other things He'll turn up!--Lots of new ways of witnessing & ministering that we can do besides FFing, which we have already pioneered & is going great! Thank You, Lord!

       50. BECAUSE OF THE CULTS PERSECUTION, WE ARE GOING TO BE DRIVEN OFF A LOT OF STREETS & have to go underground, which means a lot of you are not going to be able to make it in the field anymore, & are going to have to go home. I think you can make house-to-house witnessing pay, especially at home in your rich western countries.

       51. OR YOU CAN HAVE SUCH AN ACTIVE MAIL MINISTRY WITH THE HOME FOLKS YOU CAN GET THEM TO PAY! Try to keep on the field with a Mail Ministry or House-to-House Ministry that will support you. But if you have to go home to support yourselves, also help send support to the people still in the field who can stay.

       52. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOME OF THESE OTHER THINGS: Either write home & get the support, or go house-to-house & get the support, or do enough FFing to get the support.--Or go home & support yourselves & the missionaries! PTL!

       53. THE QUESTION IS: ARE YOU GOING HOME AS "FURLOUGHERS, BACKSLIDERS OR SUPPORTERS?" Some of you are going to be able to go home, take a little furlough, a little rest, drum up more support & pledges etc, from the home folks, & get back to the field again. But some just aren't going to be able to make it, & you may have to stay home. But at least you can support those who go!--PTL?

       54. (PRAYS:) AMEN, LORD, IT'S IN YOUR HAND, THY WILL BE DONE! You know what's best. Give each of our folks the faith that they need, the vision they need, to catch a vision for whatever ministry they are best suited, the faith to exercise it & do it, Lord, & the willingness to take the initiative to do differently now, other things we haven't done before & still have to do.

       55. SINCE SOME DOORS ARE CLOSING, YOU WILL HAVE TO OPEN OTHERS. You will have to open them Lord, & give us the courage to make this transition from one ministry to another, to pass through this crisis stage of our growth & change & maturity, as we grow & as we mature to more solid families & more solid & stable ministries that are not & cannot be stopped by the System!

       56. GIVE US MORE SOLID, STABLE & FAITHFUL SUPPORT. Help us & help them to make the grade, to make the change, the transition, without too great a strain. Help us to make it, in Jesus' name we ask, for Thy glory

       57. HELP WORLD SERVICES & OUR LETTER MINISTRY & MAIL MINISTRY TO BE ABLE TO SURVIVE THIS CHANGEOVER! We're going to no doubt suffer some shortages for awhile until we have passed through these changes & they have either come back to the field & are producing again, or they have gone home & are producing there. Help them continue to serve You, Lord, by helping others to continue to produce on the field if they themselves can't make it.

       58. WE THINK YOU'VE GIVEN US THE WISDOM ON HOW TO SURVIVE THIS CRISIS in the meantime between the changes, & how to make the transition ourselves with the least problems possible. TYJ!--In Jesus' name, amen! Well, that's what started that whole discussion, I was trying to explain to you why I think we are going to have to make some of these changes.--Are you making them?--Are you "Coming of Age"?

       59. WE MAY HAVE A CONSIDERABLE TEMPORARY DROP IN INCOME THESE COMING MONTHS as we go through this general transition in our whole ministry. But I believe it'll pick up later as you get relocated, & we're going to survive--however we do it--somehow! PTL! I know He wants the Message to go on out, the Word to continue & you to continue to be fed, so you can continue to be fruitful & serve Him.

       60. SO I BELIEVE THE LORD WILL KEEP US GOING somehow, God willing. "But If Not", well, PTL! We've done a good job, & if the job is done & He's through with us, well, PTL, we're finished! Maybe we'll do something else instead. But I don't think it's going to happen that way. I would be very greatly surprised if it did. That wouldn't be very much according to the usual History of His work & His word & His Prophets & His Kingdom.

       61. HE ALWAYS KEPT HIS PROPHETS GOING, VERY OFTEN TO THE BITTER END!--and when it came time for the Prophet's end it was usually time for the end of the nation!--Or the End of the World! When He was through with His Prophet. It usually meant that He was through warning the people & He was through with them, & that was the End for everybody!--That's true all the way through Bible History:

       62. WHENEVER GOD STOPPED TALKING TO THE PEOPLE, THAT WAS THE END! So, if He stops talking, you'd better believe that that's going to be the End! Whenever He stops sending His Prophets to warn the people, that's the End!--And they won't need any more Prophets, because there won't be any more people!--Ha!

       63. SO, PTL!--AT LEAST THAT'S THE END FOR NOW!--But I hope it's not the end of you! I hope you're just "Coming of Age", & you'll keep on going for God somehow!--Amen? PTL! ILY!

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