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--Victory During Persecution!       6/92
--By Maria       Maria #160 DO 2786

       1. I've been really praying for our Family Members who have been facing persecution. There's so much going on & so many battles are being fought, but we're winning so many victories, praise the Lord! "If God be for us, who can be against us!"--Rom.8:31. It's so thrilling to see the Lord fulfilling all His promises & accomplishing all the things that He told us were going to come to pass, like how He would keep us & protect us in the midst of these troubles & make us a great witness to the World.
       2. Originally it was a bit difficult to see what He meant by some of the things He told us, but now it's getting clearer all the time; some of the things we had to take by faith before, we can see more by sight now. One thing we've clearly seen now is that we would have never been able to get the exposure that the Lord wants us to have in order to get out our Message if we didn't get it in the form of persecution.--International persecution at that!
       3. We can certainly see now why He wants us to stand up & fight for His Truth & get on the attack & take the initiative instead of just being on the defensive. It's serving so many wonderful purposes, a major one being that we're being forced to get all kinds of new Statements & other articles prepared for the Family's use. In these new pubs we're codifying & consolidating our beliefs so that the Family will be better able to speak with one voice & give a clear ringing testimony to the public of where we stand.
       4. When you see what is actually happening now, not just where we now face court cases, but all over, in the form of very serious attacks on all fronts, you can more easily understand Dad's series, "It Could Happen This Year!" It's almost like all Hell has broken loose! Since we have decided to stand up & fight, the Enemy is fighting back! We have decided to be more aggressive against him, therefore, he is doing the same against us. So it's not surprising that he would launch such major attacks against us, trying to destroy us (which of course he can never do).
       5. He's not even succeeding in substantially upsetting or hindering us, but only bothering or annoying & inconveniencing us. And even then, all things work together for our good, & all of his attacks are helping us draw closer to Jesus & be more desperate with Him, for our own lives as well as for His Work. The Enemy's attacks are also driving the point home that this is war, all-out, open, declared, violent, no-holds-barred war!
       6. These attacks are a signal to stand up & be counted as a 100% dedicated soldier in the Lord's Army, & to put on the whole armour of God! (Eph.6:10-18.) If we've been taking it easy, playing around & not really being serious enough about things, this recent persecution has made it clear that now is the time to put away childish things & to get serious with the Lord, so we can be as effective as possible in fighting this war.
       7. Let's face it, for most of our lives in the Family, we've had it pretty easy. However, I don't think this is how most of our Family Members look at it. I think their impression is that we are besieged, we're troubled on every hand, we're persecuted, we're maligned, we're afflicted more than anyone else in the World. Some of us tend to think, "Aren't we soldiers in the forefront of the battle? And aren't all of these churchy Christians just sitting around doing nothing, taking it easy & having a real good time? And don't even a lot of the unbelievers have it pretty easy as well?" I think we tend to get somewhat of a martyr complex sometimes, & some of us consider ourselves over-worked, over-burdened, over-persecuted, over-tired, thinking, "How could anyone possibly have it more difficult than we do?"
       8. Well, if you feel like that, you just need to take a closer look around you & remember what Dad has said: "Although many are the afflictions of the righteous, many more are the afflictions of the unrighteous!" It might help you to look around at what the poor people in the System have to endure--believers & unbelievers--& if you do, it should make you very thankful that you're in the Family! They're chained to System jobs (or are completely without work & destitute), worried sick about their children's problems, burdened by afflictions from which they can't get delivered, scared to death of rising crime, burdened with taxes, plagued with worry about pollution, AIDS, riots, marital problems, health care, etc., etc. A lot of people are so bad off they're almost unable to function. And what's the purpose of all that they go through? Most of them see absolutely no rhyme or reason for all their sufferings.
       9. For us, though we may have lots of problems, at least we know there's a good reason for it, a purpose behind it all. We understand that we are in a spiritual warfare, & that most of our problems are a result of those battles, & they have a good effect on us as they teach us lessons & make us strong. We know we're enduring these things for Jesus' sake, & that if we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him! (2Tim. 2:12.) So just the fact that we know that these trials have a valuable purpose makes it a lot easier for us to bear them.

       Short Battles & Quick Victories!
       10. We've had lots of battles, lots of tests & lots of tribulations over the years, but for the most part, they've been short battles with quick victories. We've won souls quickly! We've learned the Word quickly! We finish projects quickly. We get quick answers to our prayers. We see instant deliverances & rapid healings. We have quick childbirth & early recuperation.
       11. Although they're not necessarily easy, most of the things in our lives have been quick & simple. Many Christians who aren't in the Family struggle for years to win just one soul to the Lord, or to get delivered from their afflictions. Some of them are persecuted for years by antagonistic members of their families. Some of them struggle for years under cruel & demonic taskmasters in their System jobs. Many who testify of their faith are ridiculed & criticised & rejected by friends & colleagues. Stuck in the rut of the System, they have to learn to endure; & victories often do not come quickly, they're often alone & without the support of others, with little inspiration & few victories to keep them inspired & to keep them fighting.
       12. On the other hand, it seems like we can accomplish anything we want to.--There is nothing too difficult! There is no limit! If we decide the Lord wants us to do something, we're usually able to do it! Of course, one reason for this is because we're not bound by the System & its red tape & bureaucracy & ruts by which it confines its victims. And because there is so much to do & so few of us to do it, the Lord has miraculously enabled us to get things done quickly.--Souls saved, literature distributed, Audio & Video Tapes produced, afflictions healed, countries pioneered, etc!
       13. We may have a lot of battles & a lot of problems, but in spite of them we get a lot of things done quickly! Things come a lot more easily to us in many ways than they do to the rest of the World because of our faith, & because the Lord has blessed us with many victories & quick results, since He knows there is so much to do & so few of us to do it.
       14. However, as we now come closer to the End & begin a new phase in the war, one that will be of much greater intensity & vehemence & ferocity, with all the forces of Hell throwing everything they have into their efforts to defeat us, we are going to have to learn more patience. We are going to have to learn how to endure! We are going to have to get used to fighting more long-term battles. We are going to have to learn what it means to really hold on, not just for one day or one week or one month, but perhaps for many months at a time. We are going to have to learn to truly cling to God's Word & "endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ!"--2Tim.2:3.
       15. We are going to be involved in long drawn-out court battles, longer & more intense fights for housing, & more protracted battles with afflictions & illnesses. We'll be beset by more vicious longstanding personal trials & testings, & we'll have to fight longer & harder for our children's progress in their weak areas. The Devil won't give up so easily, as he knows his time is short.--And because we have come out full-force against him, he is going to respond in like manner.
       16. Comparatively speaking, most of us have not had to learn such heavy lessons of patience & endurance. We have learned many other lessons, but now may be the time that the Lord wants us to work on these new ones. "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the Will of God, ye might receive the promise. In your patience possess ye your souls."--Heb. 10:36; Luke 21:19.
       17. The Lord tells us, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation."--Jam.1:12. "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, & have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, & of tender mercy."--Jam.5:11. "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience & faith in all your persecutions & tribulations that ye endure."--2Thes.1:4. "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."--2Tim.4:5. "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; & patience, experience; & experience, hope."--Rom.5:3,4.
       18. In our personal battles & trials in the past, if we didn't bounce back full-force & come out from under our clouds of discouragement, depression & heaviness within a few hours, or at the most, a day or two, we'd be worried that we were never going to. If we couldn't feel inspired or loved or anointed for a few days or a few weeks, we'd worry that something was dreadfully wrong & we became almost persuaded to give up the fight.
       19. For the future, you may have to make up your mind that you may have extended periods of not feeling much at all, times when, if you in fact feel anything, you may be feeling pretty rotten!--When you'll not be able to go on your feelings at all, but will have to cling to the Fact of His Word, that God still loves you & God still cares, & is expecting you to go on for Him, no matter what you feel like, & no matter how long you feel or don't feel like it! You're going to have to learn to keep going even if you feel like a zombie or a robot just going through the motions, just doing what you're supposed to do because God says to do it!
       20. You may have to keep going even when absolutely everything seems to have turned against you, just believing that Truth will triumph in the end, & Jesus will be victorious. You may just have to put on that "Fear Not" Scripture Song Tape & listen to it over & over & over until even if you can't think or make decisions, you will be able to just rest in Jesus' arms with those unbreakable promises going over & over in your mind & heart.
       21. You'll have to sing the songs of the Saints who learned to endure:

       "Jesus, Lover of My soul, let me to Thy bosom fly.
While the greater waters flow, while the tempest still is nigh.
Oh, safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its sorrow to Jesus would fly."
* * *
"When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed, ere the day is half done.
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun."
* * *
"There is never a care or burden.
There is never a grief or loss,
But that Jesus in Love will lighten,
When carried to the Cross."
* * *
"Oh, soul, are you wearied & troubled,
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant & free."
* * *
"If we could know beyond today as God doth know,
Why dearest treasures pass away & tears must flow.
We'd see that darkness leads to light,
And dreary days will soon grow bright.
Some day life's wrongs will be made right.
Faith tells us so."
* * *
"Say not that God, His face has hidden from you.
Though doubts may stand before you as a host.
Lift up your eyes, behold, Christ watches o'er you,
And He is nearest when you need Him most.
So do not fear the gathering clouds of darkness;
Stand where God placed you, never leave your post,
And when it seems that sure defeat awaits you,
He'll stand beside you when you need Him most."

       (These verses of song are a little glimpse of what's to come on the new Inspirational Song Tape that our musicians are working on!)

       You've Got to Be Grounded in the Word &
Committed to the Lord!
       22. We are in a war, & if you aren't really grounded in the Word, & if you don't have the conviction that this is our calling to fight for the Truth & uphold the standard of the Word & preach the Warning Message to people, then you're not going to be able to take it! It's going to require a lot of sacrifice & it's going to be difficult & you have to be convinced that you've just got to do it & that this is the Lord's Will for you, & that He intends for you to do it & that's His purpose for you & you've just got to fulfil it, no matter what!
       23. You can't go into this like a lot of people do in marriages nowadays, "Oh well, if it doesn't work out, I'll just get a divorce." If you're in this Family & you figure, "Well, if it gets too tough, I can just leave & become a TRF Supporter," then you're not going to make it! You've got to be "fully persuaded" in your own mind & heart, & committed to the fact that this is a do or die situation & you're sold out to the Lord, you can't turn back, you've burned your bridges & there's nothing else for you to do in life: You'd rather die than do anything else!
       24. You've got to have the attitude of "to whom shall we go, no one else has the Words of Eternal life!"--Jn.6:68. Otherwise you're not going to make it! If you have consecrated & dedicated yourself & have made that kind of a commitment, then no matter how hard it gets, you're going to stick. If you know you've got to stick no matter what, then it won't matter whether you think you can make it or not, you'll just keep going & you'll just keep serving the Lord, even if you die on your way.

       Facing the Future with Faith, & Fighting Together
       25. For anyone who is fearful of the future & is contemplating leaving the Family because of the new wave of increased persecution that is beginning--& that will undoubtedly intensify as time goes on--you've got to determine that you're not going to forsake your place & your crown. You need to increase your faith through the Word & the wonderful promises that the Lord has given us.
       26. If you think that by getting out of the Family you're going to escape persecution, you're wrong. This is the Endtime, folks, & there's no way to escape the Great Tribulation that God has said is going to come upon the whole Earth! It is our destiny & our calling to be chosen to go through this time, & to be victorious in it! We can just be very thankful to the Lord that we have not had to endure the many years of suffering & tribulation & sorrow & heartbreak that many other missionaries have experienced. We've had it easy, we've almost lived in luxury, we've lived charmed lives with ourselves & our little ones protected miraculously so that we could accomplish the special job that the Lord has called us to.
       27. So now we're going to get a little persecution, but it's going to purge us & purify us & make us white (Dan.11:35), as well as make us known & make us a testimony & a witness to the World! Should we cower & tremble & hide our faces? No! We should be challenged & excited at the wonderful things the Lord is going to do through us. Can we escape persecution? No! No matter how far we run from the Family, no matter how we try to hide, we're the Lord's children & this is the Endtime & "we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God"!--Acts 14:22.
       28. The thing you have to realise is that we are not the only ones who are going to be persecuted. All Christians are going to be persecuted, all people of other faiths are going to be persecuted, the whole World is going to be in distress, everyone is going to be suffering! But when we suffer, we at least know why we're suffering & that we're suffering for righteousness' sake.
       29. We have a purpose, we have a plan, we have a ministry, we have a calling, we have a mission, we have an understanding of tribulation. So we don't have to fear it! We have a Family who supports us, we have a God Who always causes us to triumph! But look at the poor World; they suffer poverty, affliction, death, injustice, fear, crime, violence, abuse, hate, loneliness etc. even now, with no one to turn to & no hope for the future! Sure, we get persecuted for righteousness sake & they don't, but they suffer a multitude of horrors which we can never be touched by. And when we suffer, we suffer with a purpose, & when we suffer, it does us good!
       30. As a group, we may be some of the first Christians to suffer in this new wave of persecution & tribulation, because we are standing up for the Truth & exposing the Devil's plan. But that doesn't mean that other Christians aren't going to eventually get it too. By sitting tight & being quiet & not doing anything, they may buy themselves a little more time. But when they do get persecuted, they're not going to know how to handle it, they're going to be weak in the Word, they're going to lack in unity & support, & as a result it is going to be a much greater trauma & horrifying experience for them.
       31. We have the Word, we have the unity, we have the prayer, we have the support, we have the Lord's promises, we have the vision, we have a purpose, we have the power & we know what's happening & where we're going, so we are much stronger & better able to endure even greater persecution than they. The intensity of it will be minimised for us. It's like the tolerance level to pain; some people have a high tolerance, some have a low tolerance. Our tolerance to persecution will be very high & our victories will be many & our power will be amazing & our exploits will be great as we present a united front to the Enemy. However, if we go off on our own without the power of unity & the strength of united prayer, when persecution comes, it will be magnified many times over.
       32. The persecution we receive for what we believe comes because we stand for something & we let the World know about it. We not only believe it but we preach it, & what we believe & practice & preach is in direct opposition to almost everything the World believes & practices, & they can't stand the discomfort of exposure, so they attack us. But it's going to come to the point that other Christians will also be forced to eventually stand up for what they believe, & they will be persecuted as well, but we will have paved the way & learned to fight & been a sample to them of how God keeps you even in the midst of the flood, & never fails His children. We're some of the first to get hit because we're some of the first who are actively opposing the Devil's System & exposing his evil plans. We will undoubtedly be a great help & strength to many of these other Christians in that day, as we fulfil the verse that "they that understand among the people shall instruct many."--Dan.11:33.
       33. How much better to be in the forefront & to learn to fight by many battles & to gain increasing strength for each confrontation with the Enemy, learning how to war & how to use the Sword of the Spirit & the shield of faith & being led step-by-step, learning to become seasoned veteran soldiers who do not fear the Enemy but who thrill to the battle, instead of first-time recruits who cower & shake & tremble when first thrust into the fray! How much better to start suffering affliction now with the people of God than enjoying the pleasures of the World for a season, & then having to be unexpectedly hit in a surprise attack that leaves you in confusion, shock & complete disarray.
       34. So why not just face what we have to do bravely & courageously, & realise that it's an honour & privilege to be able to fight in the forefront of this battle! The Lord is training us & making us His tried-&-proven veteran soldiers, PTL! So let us rather "glory in our infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon us!"--2Cor.12:9. Amen? TYJ! GBAKY, ILY!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family