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THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH!--The Original Letter! DO 170412/83
Trust Him Anyhow!--Victory Over Seeming Defeat!

1. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO USE KING DAVID OF THE BIBLE AS THEIR EXCUSE FOR BEING BAD. Other people are encouraged by his mistakes & faults & think, "If even he could make it, I sure can make it. If God loved him & can save him, why, He surely could save me!" So you can take him either as a good example or a bad example.
2. I THINK IF NEARLY EVERY WOMAN HAD A PERFECT DELIVERY & BIRTH, & NEARLY EVERYBODY CAME THROUGH PAINLESSLY & VICTORIOUSLY, A WOMAN WHO HAD A HARD TIME WOULD FEEL TERRIBLY CONDEMNED & GUILTY, like, "What's the matter with me? I must be very bad or something!" I think Sara's experience with Mary Dear will encourage a lot of people. "If even Sara had a hard time & almost didn't make it & almost seemed to be defeated & nearly gave up, maybe there's some hope for me!" Some women in the Bible even died in childbirth & it was fairly common when I was young that some women died in childbirth & in pain.
3. (MARIA: ONE FAMILY COUPLE INSISTED ON NATURAL CHILDBIRTH WHEN THE DOCTOR TOLD THEM THEY SHOULD HAVE A CAESAREAN, & THEY LOST THE BABY!) You know, a lot of it is the motive behind their insistence. My Mother used to discuss this, about how some people insisted on trusting the Lord because they knew they should & therefore in spiritual pride they refused help even when they really didn't have the faith to trust the Lord. They refused the natural help which might have helped them, but they didn't have the faith to trust the Lord really, so they insisted on going the faith way without the faith, out of spiritual pride because they thought they should have the faith or wanted to be proud of the fact that they had the faith & they tried to do it by faith but they just didn't have it.
4. I'VE DEALT WITH THAT IN SOME OF THE VERY FIRST LETTERS ON HEALING: (ML Number's: M, 73, 87, 313, 330C, 337B, 353, 599, 717, 1112, 1135, 1281, 1315, 1375, 1565, etc.) They really didn't have the faith but they thought they were supposed to do it anyhow. (Maria: Like a pride trip.) Yes, when they really didn't have the faith & they really needed medical help & needed to go to the hospital & to the Doctor & let him help.
5. YOU'VE EITHER GOT IT OR YOU HAVEN'T GOT IT, THAT'S ALL, & IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT IT, YOU'D BETTER GO TO THE HOSPITAL & THE DOCTOR! (Maria: Maybe the Lord uses that sometimes & even makes it necessary for you to be under the Doctor's care or have an operation or a Caesarean or whatever to humble you.) To humble your spiritual pride, yes. To give you a little more sympathy for other people who haven't got the faith & have a hard time having faith, who might have a hard time trusting the Lord.
6. THERE IS NO WORSE PRIDE THAN SELF-RIGHTEOUS RELIGIOUS PRIDE!--The self-righteous, Pharisaical, proud, religious person who thanks God he's not as other men or as other women & looks down on them because they don't have as much faith as he has & they didn't do this or they didn't do that! It causes some people to have absolutely no sympathy for the poor guys who haven't got it & can't make it & resort to other means, etc. It really kind of puts them down & discourages them. Those self-righteous proud hypocrites who are so proud of their own success & righteousness & look down on the other guys, they are the most hard & intolerant people that you could possibly run into! They have no mercy, no compassion, no sympathy for the guys who really haven't got it, can't make it, etc.
7. I'M THAT WAY A LITTLE BIT MYSELF ABOUT SOME THINGS, I JUST CAN'T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE WHO AREN'T WHOLE-HEARTED & WHO BACKSLIDE SO EASILY & haven't got guts & fight & faith & aren't all-out hundred per-centers! I don't have very much mercy or sympathy for people like that. I'm a lot like Paul, I guess. I guess Peter must have had a little more mercy & sympathy. (Maria: Maybe that's why we make such a good team. I'm so bad myself & so weak that I understand practically everybody's problems!) Well, look at me, I've been so sick, & when I get sick I get discouraged. (Maria: Well, Honey, but you're so good.)
8. WELL, IT'S AS THEY SAY, IT TAKES ALL KINDS, & there are all kinds of people, all kinds of faith & all kinds of strengths & all kinds of weaknesses. It takes all kinds to make a World & it takes all kinds to make our Family too. One guy said to the Lord, "I believe, help Thou mine unbelief." (Mk.9:24) It's easy for some people to believe for certain things. They've got extra strong faith for certain things & they never even think to doubt or question. For other people, questioning & doubting & scepticism is a great problem, they've just got a lot of it. (Maria: But when they overcome it, it's all the greater victory!) Yes, I'd say that God gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeat!
9. LOOK AT KING DAVID IN THE BIBLE, HE WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST SINNERS IN THE BIBLE & did some of the most horrible things! He stole other people's wives, he murdered their husbands, he cheated, he lied, he did all kinds of horrible things & he was unmerciful to the cripples & all kinds of awful things that preachers hardly ever tell you about! They just don't & they certainly never read them out of the Bible, but if you happen to read the Bible you can read it. But look what a marvellous change occurred in him when the Lord really humbled him, & it came through humbling of his spiritual pride when he was guilty of all those things.
10. AND THEN HE WAS COMPLETELY EXPOSED--his wickedness & his sins & his weaknesses were completely exposed when he was sitting up there on his throne so high & mighty & seemingly so perfect & self-righteous. The Prophet came along & pointed a finger at him & said, "Thou art the man!" (2Sam.12) You're the wicked one, the sinner!--And then the judgements of God began to fall & he lost his little boy, the first child of Bathsheba, & later he lost his throne, he lost his favourite son, Absalom, he lost his kingdom, he was driven off & had to run for his life in disgrace & sneak out across the river by night, he just lost everything, everything but Bathsheba, she stuck by him. He lost his other wives. He was just absolutely stripped except for a few loyal friends & a small army. His enemies cursed him & gloated over his defeat & railed against him & he was stripped even of his family, his other relatives & sons & daughters, & Absalom usurped the throne!
11. A GUY COULDN'T HAVE GONE DOWN IN WORSE DEFEAT THAN KING DAVID DID! And worst of all, he had become a self-righteous sinner because he covered it all up & pretended to be so righteous & all that, judging other people's problems when, as the Prophet as good as said, "How can you sit here on the throne judging other peoples' problems when you've got the biggest problem of all, you're the biggest sinner of all & you haven't made it right, you haven't straightened things out!" He was really something! He killed another man for his wife & more or less almost stole another one, Abigail, & her husband died, but that seemed to have been the will & judgement of God, because he wouldn't feed David & his men. (1Sam.25)
12. DAVID REALLY WENT THROUGH A LOT OF THINGS. HE APPARENTLY HAD A LOT OF SPIRITUAL PRIDE THAT HAD TO BE HUMBLED, because look what a great hero he was to begin with! Even as a little boy he was a great hero. He even fought a lion to protect his sheep & killed the lion.--As I recall it was with his bare hands! Then all Israel knew what a great hero he was when he killed Goliath, the giant! They were praising his name above King Saul, saying that "Saul hath slain his thousands but David hath slain his tens of thousands!" (1Sam.18:7-9) And so King Saul almost rightly said, "Well, what does this fellow want? What can he have more than the throne?" They were praising him more than the King!
13. THEN HE HAD TO ESCAPE FOR HIS LIFE SEVERAL TIMES FROM SAUL. It could be that he was a little bit proud. The Lord had to finally really humble him & disgrace him & really debase him down to the bottom before he finally really became humble & sympathetic to others & wrote those marvellous Psalms! There are all kinds of discouragement in those Psalms, you can see where he got terribly discouraged & he wondered if the Lord had forsaken him & everything. Then he cries to the Lord & the Lord comes through & saves him.
14. SO DAVID IS A DANDY BAD EXAMPLE, yet a great example of a great man who was apparently lifted up in pride for awhile & thereby got into great sin & thereby he had to have a great humbling, a great judgement, a great confession & really terrible stripping of everything.
15. LOOK AT JOSEPH! He had all those dreams about how his brothers were going to bow down to him & everything! Who knows how he told those stories before his brothers. Obviously he told them right in front of his brothers & he knew he was his father's pet & his father was always spoiling him & loving him above his brethren, making him his coat of many colours etc. He usually was kept at home apparently so he didn't have to work with his brothers & do hard work in the field with the sheep & all that. Apparently at first he was really a spoiled little brat, Papa's pet!
16. SO LOOK WHAT THE LORD PUT HIM THROUGH! First his brothers were going to kill him."Behold, this dreamer cometh!", they said. Their idea was to put an end to his dreams! "He thinks we're going to bow down to him, we'll show him!" And they were going to kill him if Reuben hadn't pled for him!
17. HE PROBABLY HAD QUITE A BIT OF PRIDE & was just naturally proud that his father loved him the most, he knew it & he wasn't ashamed to brag about it & his father wasn't either. So look what the Lord put him through! They beat him up, nearly killed him, & finally threw him down in a pit, & then they sold him & decided, (Imagine, brothers like that!) "Well, if we're not going to kill him let's at least make some money on him, let's sell him as a slave to the Arabs!"--Which they did! So they sold him & the caravan took him down to Egypt where they sold him to a rich man for a slave, a house servant!
18. JOSEPH WAS A VERY GOOD BOY, APPARENTLY, HE WAS PRETTY RIGHTEOUS. He did well & he governed the house well & took good care of his master's affairs until he was the chief one in his house, until Potiphar's wife tried to get him into bed & make him disloyal to her husband & framed him & accused him before her husband, his master, that he had tried to rape her! And so what could the master do but throw him in prison where he languished in prison for a long time, we don't know just how long, & that was quite a humbling experience!
19. FIRST HIS BROTHERS HATED HIM, THEY NEARLY KILLED HIM, they apparently beat him up & threw him in a hole in the ground to leave him virtually for dead, & would have except that Reuben was certain he was going to come back & save him later. But then they got this bright idea to sell him to a caravan & make some money, & they did & he was sold as a slave, became a slave in somebody else's house & then was falsely accused by the man's wife, thrown in prison, languished in prison for a long time until apparently he was so far down he had to reach up to scratch a worm's ankle! He was really down & discouraged & probably wondered why the Lord put him through all those things!
20. THEN ONCE HE WAS DOWN & REALLY HUMBLED & BROKEN & HAD NOTHING LEFT BUT THE LORD, THEN THE LORD BEGAN TO RAISE HIM UP & GAVE HIM THOSE DREAMS! The dreams got him to Pharaoh & got him in a good position, a good job with Pharaoh until he became second in the whole kingdom.
21. APPARENTLY THE LORD CAN'T TRUST YOU WITH A HIGH & MIGHTY JOB OR A HIGH & MIGHTY TESTIMONY, or a high & mighty responsibility, something that might really lift you up in pride, until He has really humbled you & broken you so that you know it's the Lord & you give God all the glory & all the credit & it doesn't go to your head & make you proud!--Which is why the New Testament says you're not to give a novice any position of great responsibility or leadership lest he be lifted up in pride & fall under the condemnation of the Devil. (1Tim.3:6)
22. IN OUR WORK MANY TIMES WHEN THERE WAS NOBODY ELSE, it seemed people who really were not humble nor loving nor merciful nor kind or tolerant had to be appointed to jobs, especially in the Chain. In fact, they were tyrants, & that's what made me so furious, how they were mistreating the little folks, the little people, & putting yokes & burdens on them they were not even able to bear, which they themselves wouldn't lift with one finger like the Scribes & Pharisees Jesus talked about. (Mat.23:4)
23. SO IN ORDER TO HAVE A POSITION OF REAL LEADERSHIP IN THE LORD, SOMETIMES THE LORD HAS TO REALLY HUMBLE YOU & BREAK YOU, & I really think that's perhaps what the Lord did with Sara. She had everything to make her pretty proud of her record & her skill & expertise in having & rearing children, to make her high & mighty & lifted up to tell the whole World how to do it. Who knows? Maybe she needed that experience to really sort of break her & humble her & remind her that it's all the Lord & that even she wasn't perfect, the greatest & the best & the most looked-up-to & almost worshipped for her greatness in childcare & child rearing, & entrusted with the most important little children on Earth & doing such a marvellous job of rearing them!
24. SHE HAD EVERYTHING GOING FOR HER, every reason to be praised for being almost perfect & doing such a tremendous job & everybody in the World looking up to her as a perfect & ideal mother, having the perfect & ideal children, caring for the perfect children, the King & Queen's children, & having such beautiful children of her own & being such a perfectionist in childcare & all of these things. Who knows, maybe there was a little spiritual pride? Maybe there was a little self-satisfaction that, "Well, I am pretty good at this & I'm pretty big & important, I'm pretty great, look at me!"
25. THE DEVIL REALLY TEMPTS YOU WITH THAT SORT OF THING TO MAKE YOU GET HIGH & LIFTED UP, & especially if you accept the praise of men & you don't remind them it's the Lord. I could hardly think of anybody that seems to be more perfect than Sara & has such faith in the Lord for everything--for the children, & for healing & such marvellous teaching ability, such patience, such love, I mean she's just about perfect! And frankly, to an old sinner like me, it was sort of comforting to know that Sara was not quite so perfect & that she could actually get mad enough to cuss & get desperate enough to scream & have her faith almost fail at the last minute because of such pain & such a horrible ordeal!
26. WHEN I READ HER STORY, IT SORT OF ENCOURAGED ME! I thought, "Well, even Sara's not perfect. She almost didn't make it, but she did!" Give her credit, she did! The Lord pulled her through. He obviously really humbled her. It wasn't because of all of her teaching on how to have a child or how to give birth or natural childbirth & perfect delivery & all that kind of stuff. Maybe the Lord had to sort of humble her to really remind her that it was all the Lord & only He could really do it, not all of her perfectionist training & perfectionist practice & preparation & the arm of flesh & exercises & diet, this, that & the other etc., etc., etc.
27. BUT IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, ALL THAT DOESN'T EVEN MEAN A THING WITHOUT THE LORD, only the Lord can do it & He can do it under some pretty strenuous circumstances, some pretty rough & tough methods if you really need to be brought down a few notches & humbled & made to sort of say "Uncle!" when He's putting the pressure on you & leaning on you to really remind you that you really are totally utterly dependent on Him!
28. WE WOULD ALL SAY THAT THERE COULD HARDLY BE ANYBODY MORE DEPENDENT ON THE LORD THAN SARA. She has almost seemingly perfect ideal faith & perfect trust & marvellous faith for healing. She's really had miracles happen & she has done such a marvellous job of training the children, I've never seen better children, never seen more perfect children, smarter children. I mean she's just got it all & had it all! Maybe the Lord had to give her a little humbling experience so she wouldn't get too puffed up in pride. If she had had a glowing, marvellous, easy, victorious delivery she could have said, "Ah, ha! See there! I told you, you can do it! This is the way it ought to be done. I am the perfect example, I am the ideal. Look at me! Look at what I can do!"
29. SO WHO KNOWS, MAYBE THE LORD HAD TO REALLY HUMBLE HER & really take her down a peg or two in order that she might have a little more mercy & sympathy & patience with others who can't do all that she tells them to do & that they should do & should be able to do & should have the faith for. I'm sure that experience must have certainly humbled her & made her a lot more sympathetic for others who don't have such glorious victorious deliveries & who don't have so much faith & utter trust etc.
30. BUT IT ALSO SHOWED THAT SHE SURE HAD THE GUTS & she sure had the determination, it was do or die, sink or swim, & she went through with it, she was determined to go through with it if it killed her, & it almost did! But that was pretty humbling. She screamed & cursed or whatever she did. I presume in her younger days maybe she had learned those words & had used them before, it wasn't something new. (Maria: But it's not something that she ever does normally.) It certainly isn't! She's the sweetest, mildest, softest-spoken, dearest, most precious, lovable, tender, gentle little thing, you'd never dream she could even yell! I've hardly ever heard her raise her voice--hardly ever! When can you ever remember Sara really raising her voice & screaming at people or yelling at the kids? She can get firm & she can get tough with them, but she's not normally that loud! You don't think of her as somebody who raves & rants & screams & yells & cusses, sort of like I do sometimes.
31. I'VE OFTEN THOUGHT SHE MUST BE LIKE MOTHER MARY, SOME IDEAL WOMAN WHO IS ALMOST PERFECT! So then when you hear she isn't quite so perfect, it really sort of encourages you, "Well, maybe there is some hope for me if even Sara isn't perfect with all she knows & all she has & all she's done & all the faith she has & the gifts she has & knowledge & wisdom & everything, she's got it all, but even she's not perfect! Well, Hallelujah, praise the Lord! There must be some hope for me! Because I know I'm not perfect!"--And most people know they're a mess! And to know that some of their leaders are not perfect either is sure comforting!
32. IF ANYTHING, MY CONFESSIONS (NO.1406) HAVE AROUSED MORE THANKS & GRATITUDE & people have gone on raving & raving about some of the worst Letters I think I ever wrote about some of the worst things I ever did! My defeats have encouraged them almost more than my successes! My failures & my defeats have been more encouraging to them in some ways than my victories, because it showed that I was also human & that I was just as fallible & just as weak & just as bad & had just as many problems as they had, but praise the Lord, I somehow made it anyhow, the Lord pulled me through anyway. So they figured, "There must be some hope for me.--I'm not even as bad a mess as Dad is! So surely the Lord will somehow have mercy on me & somehow see me through!"
33. (MARIA: THAT'S WHY THEY RAVED SO MUCH ABOUT "PETER'S TRIBUTE" (See GN Book 11, pg.73) because we went into detail all about my weaknesses & faults & failings.) It's encouraging to people to see that you're not perfect, even their leaders are not perfect, they're human. Look at Moses! Look at King David! Look at Joseph! I mean there is just one long string of them in the Bible & even in church history. They were all men.--Men of faith, but all of them had feet of clay & all of them made mistakes & the Lord had to show that they were men & flesh & blood & just as weak as we are & made mistakes like we do, & it was all the Lord!
34. AND IT HAD TO BE ALL THE LORD, FOR THEY BECAME SHINING EXAMPLES--not of their own greatness but of their utter dependence on the Lord. They have glorified God by being sometimes dandy bad examples who showed that it was only the Lord that pulled them through, it was only the Lord that saved them, it was only the Lord that gave them the final victory & it wasn't of themselves, but of the Lord.
35. JUST LIKE SALVATION, IT'S "NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD!" (Eph.2:8,9) "Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God" (Rom.10:17) but we're saved by grace through faith. And it's not of ourselves, lest any man should boast, it's the gift of God! An awful lot of our preaching & teaching sometimes may seem to be like, well, we did it & we made it & you should too. And we have to keep reminding ourselves & them (And if we don't, God will!) that it was all the Lord & He's the One that did it & without Him we're nothing, we can't do anything. And once in awhile He has to kind of rub our noses in it & humble our pride & show everybody how weak & fleshly we are.
36. I GO DOWN TO THE DINNER TABLE & SOMETIMES I COUGH & SPIT & HACK & THROW UP & everything else with a bad cold, the worst I've ever had, & it's really humbling! But I figure, well, they might as well know how bad I am. I'm just as human as they are. I'm flesh just like they are, & if I can make it, that ought to encourage them. If I'm such a mess & I can still make it & the Lord still pulls me through, there must be some hope for them. That's what a lot of people testified about my confessions & my faults & failures & how the Lord in His mercy & His love has still done it all & pulled me through anyhow.
37. (MARIA: LOOK AT ALL THE SPANKINGS YOU HAVE HAD TO GIVE ME that have been printed in the Letters to keep me humble, & I'm sure it encourages everybody that I'm so bad!) We have our little disagreements even in print once in awhile & before the whole World & you question me about things or you disagree with me about things, & sometimes you're right. I mean it's humbling to me that you show up the weaknesses sometimes in my arguments or you show up the other side. You're always bringing up the other side, you're always balancing what I'm saying with the poor guys who are on the other side. (Maria: It shows up all my failings, my argumentative contrary streak. And then you have to sock it to me for my jealousy & murmuring & complaining about having headaches & lots of other things. Oh, I really am a mess!)
38. BUT A LOT OF TIMES YOU'RE RIGHT ABOUT THESE THINGS, & these points need to be brought to my attention, that there is another side to the question, that there are people who can't be like that or can't have such faith or can't understand that or can't do that. You're always sticking up for the underdog & the other guy & trying to make me see their side of the question & their situation, & it's good! You're a good balance, a very good counter-balance. It's sort of like the old story about the Devil's advocate. Somebody has even got to stick up for the Devil & have a little sympathy for him. After all, he could claim, "It wasn't my fault, God made me!"--And a few other things. But of course, he got lifted up in pride & he wasn't satisfied with just being Lucifer, the Lightbearer, God's right-hand man, he wanted to be God Himself, so look what God had to do to humble him! I mean he's suffered the greatest humbling probably of any character in all history, cast down & demoted & vilified & cursed & degraded & stripped of most of his power that he used to have in helping God to run the Universe! Look at how he's been put down! Look how he's been judged & chastised, & yet he still hasn't repented!
39. THAT'S THE CRUX OF THE MATTER!: EVERYBODY IS BAD. EVERYBODY DESERVES SPANKINGS & PUNISHMENTS. Everybody deserves the worst, even though they don't think so, some of them. We're all sinners, we've all come short of the glory of God! There's none righteous, no, not one! (Rom.3:10,23; Tit.3:5) That isn't what God blames you for. He blames you for not calling on Him to help you & for not repenting, not letting Him change you, not letting Him do it. You can't do it yourself. You just have to turn your life, your mind, your heart & everything over to the Lord & let Him do it. When people finally get to that point where they just give up & let go & let God, then God has a chance to step in & do it, because He wants to do it, He wants to show you that you can't do it & He wants the glory.
40. IF IN ANY WAY YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF A LITTLE CREDIT FOR SALVATION, THEN GOD DIDN'T DO IT ALL, JESUS DIDN'T PAY IT ALL! He didn't really save you, He saved most of you but you saved yourself a little bit, so you could pat yourself on the back, "Well, I & the Lord saved me!" But the Lord won't stand for that. He wants you to know you can't save yourself.--No matter how good you are & how perfect! He's got to do it.
41. THE TROUBLE IS, SOME PEOPLE STILL WON'T ADMIT THAT & STILL DON'T REPENT, STILL REBEL AGAINST THE LORD, STILL ARE LIFTED UP IN PRIDE LIKE THE DEVIL & still going on in their own rebellious, stubborn, wilful way in defiance of God, like Satan, & look at all the trouble he's caused as a result! He's caused most of mankind to follow him & do the same thing & to make a mess out of the World & almost wreck God's Creation, & he probably would completely destroy it if the Lord let him! He's trying to, trying hard, but he still hasn't repented. But even this is not enough.
42. HE HAS TO DISCOVER THAT HE CAN'T RUN THE WORLD, which he is going to try to do one of these days, what he's always wanted to do. He's been trying to for thousands of years & he's been pretty much doing it & having his way, but he's made a mess out of things every single time, showing that he can't do it without God. Finally he is going to have the perfect man, the super man, the Antichrist, full of all of his wisdom & perfection & self-righteousness & supernatural power, miracles & all the rest, who's going to make the biggest mess out of the World of anything & almost destroy it!
43. SO THEN, ON TOP OF THAT, HE IS GOING TO BE TOTALLY DEFEATED IN OUTRIGHT WAR AGAINST GOD!--His whole kingdom wiped out, the Earth almost wiped out, a good deal of man wiped out & still God is not through with him, he's got to go to Hell yet! And apparently it must be if he is ever going to repent, that's where it's going to be, in the depths of the fires of Gehenna itself! He is going to really suffer along with his Antichrist & False Prophet & all that, they're going to get the worst of all! But who knows, maybe after a few thousand years of that, they'll repent & decide it wasn't worth it & that God was right after all!
44. SOME PEOPLE REALLY HAVE TO GO THROUGH A LOT BEFORE THEY GET HUMBLED, & some people it seems never get the point & they never get humbled & they never say, "Uncle!" They never cry out to God for deliverance. They never admit that they can't make it. They just never ever give up trying to do it their way, never ever say "Uncle!" & "Lord, You win. I quit!"
45. WHO COULD BE A BETTER DANDY BAD EXAMPLE THAN SATAN HIMSELF! He's an example of those who never quit & never give up, at least haven't yet & for thousands of years, & is going to almost completely wreck the World & destroy mankind & have to go to Hell yet for God knows how long, at least a thousand years or more! In fact he is bound for a thousand years in the Millennium & comes back again & is still up to the same old tricks & the same old dirty work, till God then finally has to throw him & all of his in the fires of Hell, the Lake of Fire!
46. SOME PEOPLE APPARENTLY WON'T EVEN REPENT UNTIL GOD REALLY THROWS THEM IN THE FIRE, burns up all their self-works & all their self-righteousness & all their pride & all their iniquity! Self-righteous pride is the worst sin of all, so with some people God has to really work them over to humble them. I think He really did to me. Look how long He's been working on me & I don't think I'm even humble yet! (Maria: I think you're quite humble.) I can bawl other people out sometimes pretty unmercifully myself, maybe that's why He really has to knock me down a few pegs & make me sick & almost make people sorry for me, I'm such a mess!
47. (MARIA: WELL, ON THE OTHER HAND YOU'RE SOMETIMES TREMENDOUSLY MERCIFUL, & MANY TIMES WHEN WE DON'T DESERVE IT AT ALL!) I'll tell you, one reason is, I think about myself & I think about what a mess I am & I think how good God is to me & how forgiving & merciful & patient He is to me, & I feel like forgiving them the way the Lord forgives me, & have patience with them. But on the other hand, sometimes I do like the Lord does with people who you've had a lot of patience with & you've really let them get away with something for a long time & they keep on going that way & they don't change & they don't confess it, they don't repent of it, they don't quit it, they just keep on going. Instead of getting better they keep getting worse, until finally you have to come to a stopping place where you have to crack the whip, lower the boom, apply the rod & sock it to them with the hope that maybe that will pull them out of it, which is the same thing the Lord does.
48. SO WHO KNOWS?--MAYBE SARA WAS A LITTLE BIT PROUD OF WHAT A MARVELLOUS PERFECTIONIST & WONDERFUL EXAMPLE SHE IS. And she is, she's about as near perfect as any of us, anybody! (Maria: I know she's a lot better than I am.) I always figured she's more perfect than I am. I was kind of encouraged to find out that she could kind of get discouraged & get angry & almost give up & cuss etc. too!
49. SO WHO KNOWS, MAYBE THE LORD WAS KIND OF KNOCKING SOME OF THAT OUT OF HER THROUGH THAT EXPERIENCE? It certainly must have humbled her to know she didn't have the glorious victorious time she was expecting & the Lord let her go through a really horrible ordeal. Who knows, maybe it's to encourage others who aren't so perfect & haven't got such faith, that the Lord loves them too even if they can't go the perfect way & have the perfect faith & have the perfect delivery, but instead they have problems. Even you, Maria, had a few problems, both times. So it wasn't absolutely perfect. You tore both times & the last time after the baby was born they had to knock you out to get that placenta out. They waited & waited & waited for it & it didn't come, there was even a knot in the cord & it's just a miracle that you made it & the baby made it!
50. SO, THE LORD SOMETIMES HAS TO HUMBLE US TO KEEP US HUMBLE. (Maria: We don't want people to feel that they're going to have to necessarily go through the same thing, but that these hard things are usually the exceptions. The type of thing Sara went through is usually an exception, & the Lord doesn't always require everybody to go through that type of thing. I'm fairly sure if we had been in that place you would have said to the Doctor, "Knock her out & let's get it over with!") I might have. (Maria: It's not always that you have to just endure torture.)
51. ON THE OTHER HAND I MIGHT HAVE HAD SOME SPIRITUAL PRIDE & BEEN ASHAMED of my "O ye of little faith, wherefore dost thou doubt", & I might have stood with her & thought she ought to go ahead & "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him", & she did! Give her credit for that. (Maria: I was talking about me though. If you & I had been in the same situation, I'm almost a hundred percent sure, that before you would have let me go through all that & endure all that, you would have said, "Well, Honey, you need to just let the Doctor do it & get it over with.")
52. MAYBE THAT'S WHY THE LORD DIDN'T LET ME BE THERE. I might have been stupid enough to insist on live or die, sink or swim, though they slay you yet will I trust Him! And that might not have been the best thing for you if I didn't really have the faith & you didn't & we simply had to in that case finally lean on some flesh & physician.
53. MAYBE IT WAS A GOOD THING I WASN'T THERE. I might have insisted that you trust the Lord & not have any help or something, you know? (Maria: And sometimes that isn't the thing to do.)--When maybe I didn't really have the faith, I just thought I had the faith. Sometimes people think they've got the faith but they really don't, & obviously, if it doesn't happen, even though they think they expect it, if it doesn't happen, obviously they didn't have the faith. If what they thought was going to happen or expected to happen or wanted to happen, doesn't happen, then obviously their faith was not real faith. It was just presumption. Or maybe it was even spiritual pride. And the Lord had to humble them.
54. (MARIA: SARA SAID SHE HAD THE FAITH FOR A BEAUTIFUL EASY DELIVERY, BUT OBVIOUSLY THAT WASN'T IN GOD'S WILL & GOD HAD SOMETHING ELSE IN MIND, so maybe the Lord didn't want her to have the faith for an easy delivery? Maybe He wanted to do something else?) Well maybe she thought she had the faith for it, obviously she did think she had the faith for it. But apparently it wasn't God's plan & He wanted her to suffer like some women suffer & go through Hell like some women do & really suffer pain to sort of give her a little more mercy on others, a little more sympathy for others, a little more patience with others, some that can't.
55. IT SORT OF REMINDS ME OF THAT HOLINESS SLOGAN, "OTHERS MAY, YOU CANNOT." In this case we might turn it around, others can, you may not! You may not make it the way you think you're going to make it. So I guess we missed the news but we got the news from the Lord! It must be that she needed the humbling & the severe experience to give her more patience & mercy with others & to remind her that she's not perfect either.
56. "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE!" "FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH & that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." (Rom.3:10; Eph.2:8,9) And that principle is true of everything, including healing & everything else!
57. IT'S GOTTA BE THE LORD & HE WANTS TO DO IT & HE WANTS TO GET THE CREDIT FOR IT & THE GLORY, & if in any way, shape or form you think you're going to get a little credit for it & be able to brag about how you did it & made it & had the faith & all the rest, He's apt to slap you down a little to show you Who's Boss & make you say "Uncle!" to really humble you & make you look to the Lord alone!
58. I'M SURE THE LORD KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING. I'VE HAD SOME THINGS HAPPEN TO ME I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND, EXCEPT I KNOW THEY KEPT ME HUMBLE & THEY WORKED OUT HIS PLAN. I couldn't understand why we had this curse of this bad influenza, this round of colds in our Family, almost like a curse, & I wondered, "Why, Lord?" But God has gotten in a way a great victory out of this seeming defeat. We've come through although I thought for awhile I was going to die or maybe one of the kids might. The thought sometimes occurs to you when they're real sick with a high fever, & I just had to say, "Well, the Lord has given, the Lord may take away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" (Job 1:21) It's all the Lord & it's up to Him.
59. WHEN YOU'RE REALLY WILLING TO RESIGN YOURSELF TO THE WILL OF GOD, WHATEVER IT MAY BE, WHETHER YOU THINK IT'S GOOD OR BAD, THE LORD LETS YOU GO THROUGH SOME OF THOSE TESTS SOMETIMES, even to let you think He's being a little too hard on you! "How could He let our children suffer like this? How could He do that sort of thing to people? How can He let that sort of thing happen etc.?" The Devil is always around to ask you those questions to try to make you doubt the Lord & even criticise the Lord, make yourself righteous with God. Job finally said, "Can a man be found righteous with God?"--Or somebody did in Job. (Job 25:4)
60. JOB FINALLY GOT THE POINT THAT HIS SIN WAS SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. His sin was self-perfection. His sin was that he thought he didn't have any sin, & he couldn't understand why God was doing all this to him. When he finally confessed that, that he wasn't as righteous as he thought he was, & he finally really got down to rock bottom on the ash heap scraping the boils with a broken piece of pottery & his wife & family & riches & everything gone, when he finally said "Uncle!" & confessed that he wasn't righteous & it was all the Lord, he was healed!
61. EVEN THOUGH THE LORD HIMSELF HAD SAID HE WAS THE MOST PERFECT MAN ON EARTH, THE DEVIL ASKED, "WELL, YOU JUST LET ME WORK HIM OVER & WE'LL SEE!" Well, Satan almost got the victory, but God really got the victory out of seeming defeat! He finally made it, & it's one of the most glorious testimonies in the whole Bible of suffering & defeat & discouragement & yet a faith that carried him through, even if God had killed him!
62. WHEN HE SAID, "THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET WILL I TRUST HIM!"--He as good as said to the Lord, "I'll trust You even if You kill me!"--That did it! (Job 13:15) And the Lord really saw that he was going to come through no matter what, & the Devil saw he wasn't going to give up & he was going to die trusting the Lord in spite of everything! The Devil gave up & God got the victory & Job was delivered & his health was restored & his wealth restored several times over & a bigger family than ever & everything! He got His greatest victory out of seeming defeat!
63. LIKE DEAR OLD DR. MITCHELL USED TO SAY, "GOD DOES SOME THINGS TO US TO MAKE US HUMBLE & SOMETIMES HE REPEATS THEM OR DOES OTHER THINGS TO US TO SEE IF WE'RE STILL HUMBLE!" It's sort of God's intolerable compliment. One thing for sure, God knows what He's doing, so even if you don't understand it & you don't know what He's doing, He does, so you just have to wrap it up in a little bundle of faith & tuck it away till some day He reveals why. We don't always know why right away. We may not know why for years, who knows? Maybe we won't know some of these things till we get to Heaven!--Why He did some of these things & why He allowed some of these things. I've got a whole lot of questions I'm going to be asking up there that I don't understand. So, praise the Lord! We've just got to trust Him anyhow, amen?
64. BOY, OH BOY! LOOK HOW THE LORD PROMOTES US WHEN MAYBE WE DON'T EVEN WANT HIM TO! I'm kind of afraid sometimes of some of the Lord's promotions like I'm sometimes afraid of praise! I'm afraid if I accept it that the Lord is really going to knock me down to show me a thing or two, that it's all Him. I'm almost as bad as the old lady that when asked how she felt, she said she felt good but whenever she felt good she felt bad because she knew pretty soon she was going to feel bad again. Sometimes I'm almost afraid of the Lord's blessings for fear He is going to give us some kind of a trial along with it to keep us humble!
65. HE KNOWS HOW TO KEEP YOU IN LINE, KEEP YOU IN CHECK SO YOU DON'T GET THE BIG HEAD & don't get too puffed up & too self-confident, have too great a sense of false security! The Lord really knows how to keep you in line, keep you in shape, toeing the mark so you won't miss the mark! So, praise the Lord!
66. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND NOW.--Sometimes we're even ashamed that we don't understand! "Well, why did the Lord do it?--Why did Sara have such a hard time when she is so faithful & full of faith & has got gifts of healing & is so obedient & so good & so good with the children? Why did the Lord let her suffer like that?" That's one of the great eternal questions of this life: "Why does God allow sin & suffering etc.?"
67. --WE PROBABLY WON'T KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS TO THAT QUESTION UNTIL WE GET THERE. We can see some of the answers & understand some reasons why, but I presume most of it we won't really comprehend till we get up there & see the whole picture. That's going to be part of our training & education, to learn why & finally get all the answers! We don't know'm all here. Sometimes we think we do or we sometimes try to explain things to others that we really don't understand completely ourselves, we have questions but we think we ought to know the answers, when sometimes the best thing we can do is say, "I don't know!" All I know is God! I don't know why, I just know the Lord is & He loves & He knows best, that's all! If we don't understand now, we will later. So praise the Lord!
68. I'M JUST OFFERING A FEW SUGGESTIONS, ANSWERS TO THAT QUESTION OF WHY HE LET SARA SUFFER SO.--Some possible answers, but I don't know, only Sara really knows maybe, or maybe she doesn't know why. But maybe when she gives her testimony there are people out there who will know why.--Maybe it's for them! Maybe they'll have the answer. Maybe it'll encourage them to know Sara had a tough time too!--Even the perfectionist Worldwide example really went through it! Praise the Lord! Amen?
69. SO ALL I KNOW IS WE'VE GOT TO TRUST GOD ANYWAY! Like the little girl said, "And Lord, please take care of Yourself most of all because if anything happened to You we'd all be sunk!" So, praise the Lord! We've got to trust God anyhow, no matter what, even if we don't understand. Some day we'll understand. Some day we'll know, even if we don't know now. Maybe that's why God lets some things happen that we don't understand, we don't know, just to test our faith & see if we'll still trust Him anyhow!
70. THE WHOLE NAME OF THE GAME IS FAITH & TRUST & TO TRUST HIM ANYHOW! "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him! Though I had a tough time & I don't know why, yet will I trust Him! Though He let this or that happen, yet will I trust Him! Though He let this affliction afflict me or my children or my wife or my loved ones or some Home or something, still I've got to trust Him." He loves to see if you've really got real faith & you're going to trust Him anyhow, no matter what!--Even if you weren't a shining example & didn't have a glorious victory!--You trusted Him in seeming defeat, & that's a victory in itself, to be a good loser!--More than a conqueror!
71. LOOK AT THE MARTYRS!--"THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH!"--That's the greatest thing that could be said of them! They died & they were killed & they were martyred!--But they never lost faith, they never lost heart. "These all died in faith!" (Heb.11:13) Are you even willing to die & still trust the Lord?--Still have faith even as you die? Can you die in faith?
72. SARA NEARLY DIED, but I'd say the Lord put the squeeze on her to the point that He saw that she was going to die in faith even if He killed her, & then He took the screws off, He let up! He pushed her to the brink to where she even thought she was dying, but she was still trusting, so I'd say that was a glorious victory! She was about to die but she was still determined to trust the Lord & did!--Even if she got mad & screamed in pain & cussed the trial & cussed the pain & the situation & the Devil, at least she was still trusting God! She went right to the brink, maybe the Lord was pushing her like He did Job, to the very edge to see if she'd still trust Him, & she did! So I'd say that was quite a victory!
73. THAT'S THE GREATEST VICTORY OF ALL, WHEN YOU SEEM TO BE DEFEATED & YOU STILL TRUST THE LORD! That must be the greatest & the most pleasing thing of all to God, that even when it looked like you were lost & you were defeated & you didn't make it, you still trusted Him anyhow, like Job! The Lord must really be pleased with that kind of faith!--Faith in the face of disaster, faith in the face of agony, faith in the face of death!--"These all died in faith"!
74. WELL, SHE DIDN'T DIE, SHE ALMOST DID BUT SHE DIDN'T! The Lord knew we needed her, the kids needed her & she was going to bring another beautiful baby into the World! Even the Lord needed her! He was just testing her. She thought she had a lot of faith until that happened. He was just trying to show her that sometimes faith can really be tested right to the brink, to the edge, even to death to show us real faith!
75. I THINK, THAT WAS A TERRIBLE TEST, IT WAS ALMOST AN AWFUL TEST, IT WAS A TERRIFIC TEST! She nearly died but she still believed, she still had faith, she didn't lose her heart, she didn't lose faith, she may have thought she lost heart & got discouraged & screamed & cussed & everything else, but she held on & she pulled through. Her faith pulled her through. The Lord pulled her through. He really squeezed her to see if He could still trust her anyhow, & it may not have looked or sounded very victorious, & to her it sort of looked like a failure or a defeat, but I doubt if the Doctor thought so. In fact, they complimented her & praised her for how she pulled through!
76. THE DOCTOR THANKED THE LORD! The Doctor praised her afterward & thanked the Lord that He'd had a victory, he looked on it as a victory! She made it! She had the baby, everything was fine! Everything was beautiful & she came through & had a glorious victory out of seeming defeat! It looked like a defeat to her but it resulted in great victory, & that's the greatest victory of all, when you still trust the Lord when it looks like you're defeated! That's the greatest test of faith of all, so praise the Lord!
77. AND OF COURSE THE GREATEST TEST OF FAITH IS DEATH! She really thought she was about to die & "These all died in faith!" (Heb.11:13) Think of that! Praise the Lord! They died in faith, think of that! They died trusting God! Even Job didn't do that! How about that? He thought he was going to die but he didn't, but the martyrs did! And every man, woman & child of God that ever lived still died, but they died in faith still trusting God! That's the ultimate test, if you can die trusting the Lord, & that's a greater test than Job had to go through, & that's just about what dear Sara went through!
78. "O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY VICTORY, O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING?" (1Cor.15:55) The sting of death is sin, & the victory of the grave is to keep you dead! But the marvel of righteousness is faith! Faith is the only righteousness really, & that results in victory over the grave, resurrection!
79. THAT'S THE FINAL TEST OF FAITH AFTER ALL, ISN'T IT?--DEATH! IF YOU DIE STILL TRUSTING, THAT'S THE FINAL VICTORY! Praise God? Amen? If you can die trusting, then you've really got it made!
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(Later:)
80. WE JUST FINISHED A LETTER, "THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH!" TTL! That's the final test of faith. It's a Letter all about Sara, how she nearly died! We were trying to explain why you had such a trial, Honey. It's because the Lord knew you had so much faith, that you could take it! Isn't she gorgeous? Oh, she's a queen, I'll tell you! (Sara cries) Oh, come on now! It's the truth, can't you stand a little praise here? It's the truth!
81. HONEY, I LOOK ON THAT AS A GLORIOUS VICTORY THAT YOU STILL HUNG ON & TRUSTED THE LORD IN THE FACE OF DEATH, EVEN IF YOU SCREAMED & CUSSED & whatever. (Sara: I hope I took that part out, did I take out the cussing?) Please don't! (Maria: You've got to leave it in!) I mean that's going to really encourage some people! Otherwise they'll feel so condemned if they don't have perfect births! If you had had a glorious easy birth & everything went hunky-dory as it should, they might have thought, "Oh well, I guess I must be terribly bad, I didn't have it so easy. Nobody but leadership can have such glorious victory!"
82. BUT NOW THEY'RE GOING TO SAY, "WELL, IF EVEN SARA WENT THROUGH IT LIKE THAT, WHY, THEN THERE'S SOME HOPE FOR ME!" That's the greatest faith of all! That's the Scripture that came to me, "These all died in faith"! (Heb.11:13) Not even Job had that kind of a test! He thought he was going to die, you know? He thought he was about to die & he was even willing to die, "though He slay me, yet will I trust Him", but He didn't, at least not then.
83. BUT THE MARTYRS & THE ONES IN GOD'S HALL OF FAME IN HEBREWS 11, "THESE ALL DIED", THEY DIED IN FAITH! Death is the final test of faith.--How about that? If you can die in faith you've got more faith than Job had! At least than he had right then--of course he died later, I presume, I haven't heard otherwise, have you? I really got a glorious victory out of that Letter! That's a good verse, "These all died in faith!"
84. DEAR SARA THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO DIE BUT SHE STILL HELD ON, SHE STILL HAD FAITH even though she was in such pain & agony she screamed & cussed & nearly passed out! She thought she was going to die but she held on, she still had faith. You didn't really curse God, did you? (Sara: No, no!) You just cursed the pain, cursed the Devil! Well, that's okay. Cuss him out, curse the Devil, curse the pain! Curse it! I cuss every now & then, when I get mad enough. I cuss some people that make me mad! I'll tell you, you can put up with some people so long & then you've got to clamp down.
85. SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? YOU WERE IN AGONY & ALMOST DYING, YOU NEARLY DIED, YOU MIGHT HAVE DIED! But you'd have died in faith! That's the final test of faith, death! "These all died in faith!" You know that verse never hit me so hard as it did when I was talking about her experience tonight. I missed listening to the news & everything! You know I never miss the news for anything except something that important. It's happened a few times. Leave it to Maria, she always gets me started on something, you know. She asked me some question about something in your testimony.
86. IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE GLORIOUS CHILDBIRTHS & great victory & a miraculously easy time! What about all the people who don't? The Bible talks about women having pain & some women in the Bible even died in childbirth!
87. JOB ONLY SAID, "THOUGH HE SLAY ME YET WILL I TRUST HIM", BUT GOD DIDN'T SLAY HIM! All the martyrs that died in faith had bigger faith than Job! So you nearly died but you were dying in faith! PTL? (Sara: I remember that John started quoting Psalm 23 & he said right at the most crucial time, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil", & I realised what was happening, that I was sinking, I realised that I was dying. And so that's when I began to rebuke the Devil & I got the verse "Who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb.2:15) Right then I realised that it was the Enemy & that the Lord wouldn't allow it! That's when I began rebuking & that's when I started cursing!)
88. WHAT'S WRONG WITH CUSSING THE DEVIL? (SARA: I WONDERED WHAT THE HOSPITAL PEOPLE THOUGHT when I was yelling, "TYJ! Hallelujah! God damn you!") Hallelujah! Fight! Fight! (Sara: I didn't realise I was doing it till later. I thought I was only thinking it inside, but John said I was actually screaming it out loud!) "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he", "Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh"!--Amen! (Pro.23:7; Mat.12:34)
89. WELL HONEY, I THINK YOU WON A GLORIOUS VICTORY! You survived in spite of all that pain & hard time & you brought into the World a beautiful baby over there, & all's well that ends well! So PTL! (Maria: And also we should bring out for the childrens' sake that most people don't have such a hard time when they have babies. Sara had a serious problem with her spine when she was little & that's why she had a harder time. But usually it isn't that difficult.)
90. (SARA: AND WHEN I WAS IN LABOUR I THOUGHT OF YOU, HOW YOUR MOTHER HAD SPINAL TROUBLE & didn't have eight inches of her vertebrae & yet she had you & you were 11 pounds! And because of all your Letters about Heaven we don't even worry about dying when we know what's ahead! I remember how encouraged we were about Heaven at the time & these were the newest latest Letters, you know, so I didn't worry. Thinking ahead about death or Heaven is no burden anymore. It's just like the Tribulation, it's no longer something that you worry about or consider such a big deal, it's a victory!) It's a release actually, a graduation! PTL!
91. (FAM: I THOUGHT SARA'S TESTIMONY WAS REAL INSTRUCTIVE BECAUSE I THINK I'VE NEVER READ A TESTIMONY OF WHAT YOU DO WHEN EVERYTHING DOESN'T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN! But it's a real lesson of how you get the victory & cope even if something like that ever happened. It encouraged my faith, it really inspired me!) Well, I was really amazed, I mean it thrilled me of how she hung on, & though she was practically dying she still trusted the Lord & still didn't give up, & I thought that was really a real battle & you won the victory!
92. BESIDES, SARA'S SO PERFECT THAT SHE PROBABLY NEEDED A LITTLE HUMBLING. (Sara: That's for sure, I'm far from perfect, that's for sure! It is humbling,it is very humbling!) Very humbling, PTL! It shows them that you're just as human as they are & you can suffer like they do, & not every victory is easy. (Sara: That's the truth!) The more I read it the more I admired your guts & your fight, & I think I'd have done some cussin' too! She was so embarrassed because she got so mad she cussed! Well, she didn't curse God, she was cussing the Devil! So PTL! But the doctor didn't seem to wonder. He thanked the Lord & he knew it was the Lord & he didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with your faith! (Sara: He sure had faith, God bless him!)
93. THAT TAKES THE GREATEST FAITH OF ALL, TO BE A GOOD LOSER, MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! "These all DIED in faith", trusting in the Lord! HAL! TYJ! GBAKY trusting even through death!--And don't worry, you WILL! You'll DIE like you LIVED, STILL trusting God!--Amen?--In Jesus' name, amen!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family