—By Father DavidDFO 11412/11/81
—For Sinning Saints—Who Fall Short of Saintly Goals!—Are YOU One?
1. THESE BOOK REVIEWS OF THE FAMOUS SAINTS & MISSIONARIES BY THE WIM KIDS ARE REALLY BEAUTIFULLY DONE! Gorgeous! They're beautiful! Only about one maybe of them that is not quite as fluent, but the rest of them are amazing! To think they were practically highschool kids when we found them, & most of the highschool kids I had, they could hardly read & write at all! Highschool kids in those days, in California, were notoriously dumb & illiterate!
2. ISN'T IT AMAZING THE EXPERIENCE THE LORD GAVE ME in almost everything I can think of that we needed to know?—Ha!—From the post office to radio to electronics! TYL! Hallelujah! It's just amazing! But boy, reading these things this morning I thought, "Whew! When it comes to being a saint I don't think I'd ever make it!" (Maria: Honey, you've been a saint for a long time!) I don't think I could ever suffer‚ I don't think I'd last long. (Maria: Like you say, living is dying daily!)
3. WELL, MAYBE I HAD MY SUFFERING WHEN I WAS YOUNG, I suffered a lot then, not torture, but in a way, spiritual torture & persecution torture & physical weakness & sickness. I mean, it wasn't easy to be a Christian in a Godless public school. I don't see how the Communist schools could be much worse!
4. I MEAN, YOU GOT PERSECUED & RIDICULED & REVILED & BEAT UP & EVERYTHING! That's how I got my arm broken‚ really, is by this real mean bully. & the worst thing they could say was, "Preacher's kid!" You know? "He's a Christian!" They make just as much fun of you & revile & virtually spit on you just about as much‚ I think, in some of those American schools, those Godless violent schools as they would in Russia!
5. I BET THE KIDS EVEN IN THE RUSSIAN SCHOOLS ARE BETTER BEHAVED THAN THOSE! They certainly aren't officially believers in God, but they couldn't be much more Godless than the American schools. I'll bet they've got stricter discipline & they don't get away with all that horseplay & hooliganism, as they call it, in their schools. (Maria: I'm glad you liked those book reviews.) They're terrific, amazing!
6. WELL, I WEIGH IT LIKE THIS: READING THOSE GAVE ME A LITTLE BIT OF A SORT OF NOSTALGIC FEELING FOR THE CHURCH, & certainly gave me a feeling of inferiority that I'm never going to measure up to standards like that or that kind of survival of torture & persecution! We've never gone through anything yet compared to that! Of course let's face it, in some ways they picked out some rather rare outstanding cases, people who really are great saints. Not everybody can be like that, necessarily.
7. GOD LETS US HAVE A FEW GREAT SAINTS TO BE EXAMPLES & IDEALS, but that was the thing about that—even if you can remember back when you were in church & the churchianity—the saints & the great heroes of the Bible & all were so exalted & so high & so far superior‚ it just made you feel like, "Oh well, what's the use of trying? I could never be like that, I'll never make it!"—& you don't even feel like trying hardly because they're so far beyond & above you!
8. THEY'D EVEN MAKE CHARACTERS IN THE BIBLE SOUND SO FAR ABOVE & BEYOND US that they were unrelated to our present existence. They were out of this World, they were just in another World. But what I've tried to do in my writings—or I think the Lord's tried to do—is to show you how human they were & how much like us they were. I've tried to point out their faults & their mistakes etc. to show you that they weren't perfect & that maybe you could even be almost as they were! That they weren't all that much different, they weren't all that much beyond you.
9. I THINK IT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO BRING SOME OF THOSE CHARACTERS DOWN CLOSER TO YOUR LEVEL where you can see there's some possible hopes for you. That's why King David was always such a great encouragement to me‚ a man who could sin & be as wicked as he was & yet the Lord forgave him & called him a man after His Own heart! And He wrote all those beautiful Psalms & wound up a good king & a great man & a Psalmist & a Prophet & loved the Lord in spite of all his mistakes & his sins.
10. I'VE TRIED TO BRING OUT THAT EVEN THE APOSTLE PAUL WASN'T PERFECT! He's the great saint of the New Testament era which the church virtually worshipped, & they hold almost every single word of his as absolutely inviolate, absolutely en cathedra & you cannot tamper with one single word that he spoke, that it's the very Word of God Himself! Whereas he himself admits not everything he says is of the Lord! (1 Cor.7:12)
11. WHEN I COME AWAY FROM READING THINGS LIKE THAT, I ADMIRE & I EVEN WONDER AT THEIR SAINTLINESS & THEIR PERSEVERANCE. It's so far beyond me that I don't know how they ever did it. I just figure, "Well, if I was ever under such circumstances‚ I don't think I could ever make it‚ if I ever had to suffer like that in prison for years & be tortured & everything else!" But I know that the Lord gives you grace for the hour. (Maria: I think it might encouraged other to see that some have made it.) Well, I'm telling you the other side now first. You have to balance between the two.
12. THERE'S ONE EFFECT ON YOU THAT ISN'T SO GOOD, which is the churchy effect of exalting the saints so high & mighty & so supernatural, really out of this World, that you have a feeling of such inferiority & such hopeless helplessness that you could never possibly attain to such heights of Godliness & saintliness & glory & suffering & persecution & you just give up & say, "What's the use? I could never make it!"
13. I THINK A LOT OF CHRISTIANS HAVE FELT THAT WAY ABOUT THE TRIBULATION, the Church Christians particularly. They never wanted to hear about the Tribulation & they wouldn't even countenance for a moment the idea that they were going to have to go through the Tribulation, because most of them figure they never could make it! Really! And so therefore God was going to rescue them out of this World before the Tribulation because they couldn't possibly be strong enough to take it or make it. I don't know who in the World they thought the Antichrist was going to be persecuting while they were gone!—Ha!
14. ON THE ONE HAND IT MAKES YOU FEEL PRETTY SMALL & pretty little & pretty hopeless, helpless, useless, unsaintly & ungodly & very weak & you know yourself that you're far below that kind of a lofty height of attainment of saintliness & suffering etc. I think this defeats the good it does by the possible feeling of inferiority which the church always gave me & sermons nearly always gave me. I always figure, "Well I never could live up to that! There's no use hardly trying!"
15. BUT I HAD PRETTY GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCRIPTURE & remembered even Moses made mistakes & sinned‚ & nearly every man of God in the Bible was a hero with clay feet & just as human as we are! That's why in my Letters I've tried to point up their mistakes & their failures & their shortcomings & their sins to bring them down to our present generation's level! They gave up on the church long ago.
16. THE CHURCH HAS BECOME SO HOLY & SO OUT OF THIS WORLD & so far beyond anything to which this present generation could attain in the way of pretended holiness, at least. It's pretty self-righteous & hypocritical because they're really not what they pretend to be. That's the ideal of a Christian is to be perfect, you know, absolute holiness & sinless perfection. He doesn't do anything wrong, he always is faithful with church & tithes & he doesn't play cards or dance or smoke or lust after women or do anything evil. Or go to movies, although they've kind of relaxed that a bit since they all have TV now!
17. BUT THE CHURCH STANDARD WAS SO HIGH that the average sinner looked at it & figured, "Well, it's just unattainable, no hopes for me, no use for me‚ I never could make it! I could never be a church member, I could never be that good."—Although he could see through a lot of the hypocrisy & a lot of the hypocrites that he had to do business with & how crooked they could be & what phonies they were on the outside. Of course, that didn't help him to have much faith in them either.
18. THEY HELD UP A STANDARD WHICH TO THE SINNER WAS TOTALLY OUT OF THEIR REACH & UNATTAINABLE & THERE WAS NO USE TRYING. On the other hand, they saw that the church members themselves were hypocrites & did not measure up to that standard at all! Therefore they were ready to, & did, throw overboard the whole Church System, because they held the standard up too high for them to live up to, & on the other hand were phonies themselves & hypocrites because they didn't live up to it either, they couldn't. So they junked the whole system.
19. WELL, OF COURSE I'VE JUNKED IT TOO FOR MUCH THE SAME REASONS & the fact that it is so unrelated to this World today that it has gotten out of reach of the sinner & doesn't reach the sinner & they don't put their cookies on a low enough shelf!
20. SO THAT IS ALWAYS THE EFFECT THAT SORT OF THING HAS ON ME & had on me even then. Even the Bible doesn't cover up the sins of its heroes. Even the Bible shows their sins & their mistakes & how God had to chastise'm & punish'm & everything else, correct'm & straighten'm out time & time again! Even the Bible tells of their errors & mistakes.
21. BUT AS OUR DEAR EDITORS & CRITICS HERE FOUND OUT‚ THE CHURCH SELDOM EVER ADMITS ANY MISTAKES or that its heroes were not perfect‚ or that they ever sinned or made mistakes or could have been mistaken. They have to be absolutely infallible! The church, I think, really fears being fallible, knowing they are fallible, but in order to win others & win converts & persuade them to join their religion, they've got to prove that they are more righteous than the other guy & they're more perfect than the other religion. "Here is the perfect religion! We're all perfect, our doctrines are perfect & everything is perfect & therefore you ought to join us because we're perfect!"
22. I THINK MY DOCTRINE, MY APPROACH HAS BEEN‚ WELL‚ WE'RE A BUNCH OF SINNERS JUST AS BAD IF NOT WORSE THAN YOU ARE! We do the same things you do & we like it, but we found out from God's Word & the Lord & by grace that it's not all sin, it's not wicked. God has brought it down to their level & put it on their shelf to show them that it is attainable & it's not by works & this saintliness & this suffering & this way out-of-this-World kind of example of the rare exceptions of people whom the church worships & holds up as the great examples without even pointing out their mistakes or their faults or where they were wrong is not necessarily the norm but the exception.
23. BUT THE CHURCH ITSELF DOESN'T DARE ADMIT THAT ANY OF THEIR OWN MADE A MISTAKE or was wrong or committed a sin or was not infallible, because they've got to claim infallibility like the Pope, yet every one of'm's a Pope! The Protestants vilify the Catholics & criticise the Pope for his claim of infallibility, & every damn one of'm claims infallibility! I never studied a religion yet that didn't claim they were infallible‚ I think except maybe mine‚ & I think I even claim to be a little infallible!—Ha!
24. BUT I TRY TO SHOW'M I'M HUMAN, I REALLY THINK I HAVE, HAVEN'T I? (Maria: Yes!) And that I make mistakes & I poke fun of myself & make fun of myself, & I think that's one reason maybe the Lord made me so funny‚ like my Mother! She used to say, "I think the Lord did that just to show if I could serve the Lord, anybody could serve the Lord!"
25. THAT'S WHY KING DAVID IS SUCH A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE, because he was such a mess & he did make so many mistakes & committed horrible sins! And yet the Lord forgave him & used him. I must say, he was my ideal! Because I always figured, "Well, if he made it, I guess I can make it!"
26. I NEVER EXPECTED TO ATTAIN TO HIS HEIGHTS OF GLORY & BEAUTY & PSALMISTRY & PROPHECY & KINGLINESS & ALL THE REST, but I figured if a great man like that can be such a great sinner, well then I guess there's some hopes for this little sinner! I won't necessarily be a great man, but at least maybe I can be a little man for the Lord & not just give up & quit trying altogether.
27. IN A WAY, THAT'S THE WAY THE CHURCH‚ I THINK, ALWAYS AFFECTED ME. I was like Ironside. He was reared in a Holiness Church & he had secret sins etc. that he knew were sins, yet all the time on the outside, he like all the rest of the hypocrites in his church kept pretending that they had attained sinless perfection, that they never sinned anymore because they had this second work of grace of the Holiness experience of eradication & that God had cut out all the old self & sin & they were now absolutely totally sinlessly perfect & couldn't sin.
28. WELL, HE WAS HONEST WITH HIMSELF, AT LEAST, HE KNEW IT WAS A LIE. He knew it wasn't so, with him at least, & he knew with most of the people he saw around him that he saw in church it wasn't so either, in spite of their hypocrisy & pretense & their show. Well, he finally got so frustrated & so worried that it got him down sick & he wound up with tuberculosis & landed in a tubercular sanitarium!
29. BUT THERE HE GOT TO REALLY READING HIS BIBLE & FINALLY WOKE UP TO THE FACT THAT IT WAS ALL BY GRACE, that it had nothing to do with your own sinless perfection or any kind of perfection that you had to absolutely be perfect & never sin & never make a mistake. That we're all fallible, we all make mistakes, we all have sins & it's all the grace of God! It's only His love & mercy & His grace & His sacrifice on Calvary that saves us! Nothing else! Nothing!
30. HE WAS GLORIOUSLY SAVED THEN! He realised he was saved for the first time when he had saving faith in the blood of Christ & in Christ's salvation. And I think it was that same verse that came to me before I ever ran across his book. It shows you how the Lord was working with me when I first was baptised with the Holy Spirit when I was 19, & trying to teach me these things.
31. MY FOLKS WEREN'T REALLY STRONG HOLINESS OR PRUDISH, BUT THERE WAS THAT HANGOVER from the Holiness background that, well, you had to be pretty good, maybe not perfect but you had to be very very good! You might slip a little bit once in awhile, but if you quick repent & ask the Lord to forgive you, you're not going to go to Hell, you know?
32. SO HE THEN WROTE THE BOOK: "GRACE PLUS FAITH PLUS NOTHING!"—Which was a shocker to a lot of those church people & he really socked it to'm that they were a bunch of hypocrites, they weren't perfect, & they ought to wake up & confess it. He finally confessed it himself in the tubercular sanitarium dying of tuberculosis!
33. HE HAD TO FACE GOD & DEATH & HE GOT DESPERATE, read the Bible & came to the same conclusion, made the same discovery that dear Martin Luther did who also had a Holiness background in the Holiness Catholic Church which pretended to be holy & pretended to be perfect & its Pope infallible but it was as big a mess as the World if not worse because it claimed to be what it wasn't!
34. WELL THAT WAS ALWAYS SORT OF THE EFFECT OF THE CHURCH ON ME: "I guess I'll never be a Christian, at least not that kind of Christian, Church Christian!" Maybe that's why I had to start my own religion, 'cause I'd never make it in the church! I'm too sinful & wicked & lustful & licentious & everything they consider sinful. I knew that in my own heart, if they only knew what I was thinking they'd throw me out the door!—Because it wasn't according to their standards of righteousness!
35. HERE THE PIOUS PIANIST WOULD BE SITTING THERE PLAYING THESE PLAINTIVE PEONS OF PEACE & LOFTINESS & SAINTLINESS, & all the time I had my eye on that gorgeous beautiful hinie spread out across the piano seat & doing my best to peek underneath her arms or down her bosom at the gorgeous beauty of her body & lusting after every woman I ever saw!
36. WHEN THE LORD TALKED ABOUT THAT‚ HE DIDN'T SAY IT WAS POSSIBLE NOT TO LUST AFTER WOMEN. He was showing those hypocrites what sinners they already were! They were so strong against adultery & they'd stone women to death for it! I don't know why they always let the men get off so easy!
37. BUT HE WAS SAYING, "NOW LISTEN, YOU GUYS ARE GOING AROUND LOOKING AT WOMEN LUSTFULLY ALL THE TIME‚ & in so doing you've already committed adultery with her in your heart!" (Mt.5:28) He was merely showing up their wickedness & their sinfulness in spite of their pretense of righteousness, their self-righteousness & their hypocrisy.
38. HE WASN'T SAYING IT WAS POSSIBLE NOT TO LUST AFTER WOMEN, BUT THIS IS WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES!: "Oh my, if you really are a Christian & saintly you'll never lust after another woman!" I mean, that's as ridiculous as saying to a guy that's hungry & sees a gorgeous delicious meal & smells it that that's lustful, that's greed, that's gluttony to see & smell a delicious food when you're hungry & want it, you shouldn't want it, tsk tsk!
39. IT'S A NATURAL HUNGER! IT'S A PERFECTLY NORMAL PHYSICAL DESIRE WHICH GOD PUT IN US TO FULFIL HIS PURPOSE OF PROCREATION!—To lust after nearly every woman we see & want to fuck her if we can in order to make sure that His creations are made, His children are created! I sat there in church many times trying to look saintly & trying to be good & trying not to think those thoughts, but it was impossible!
40. MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO SAY‚ "YOU CAN'T KEEP BIRDS FROM FLYING OVER YOUR HEAD, BUT YOU SURE CAN KEEP THEM FROM BUILDING A NEST IN YOUR HAIR!"—when she was talking about evil thoughts. And I thought to myself, "My Lord, it's hopeless! I keep batting these birds away but they keep coming down here & settling in my head anyhow‚ & they certainly have built a nest on my hair & I can't even seem to shoo'm out!
41. "NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY, I CAN'T THINK PERFECTLY PURE HOLY THOUGHTS—according to the standards of the church—I just cannot keep'm out of my head! I can't look at a pretty woman without admiring her & longing for her & just wishing I could touch her & love her & hug her & kiss her & fuck her!" I mean, it was just impossible!
42. SOME OF THOSE WOMEN WHO CAME TO CHURCH IN THOSE FILMY FLIMSY DRESSES in Florida where it was hot, I'll tell you, you could see plenty & you wanted more!—& it was mighty hard—in fact, it was impossible—not to lust after them, just impossible! So I just figured I was a hopeless case, I was a sex maniac, I must be a pervert because I was jacking off, masturbating all the time in private, "I guess I've got a hopeless secret sin!"
43. I READ ALL THESE LITTLE CHURCHY BOOKS ON SEX & they said that people like that always became diseased & went crazy & became morons & went to insane asylums, & if you did those things you'd really become an absolute degenerate! So I just figured there was no use for me, I was a hopeless case! I must be the worst sinner that ever lived!
44. SUCH A SAINTLY & GODLY MOTHER & FATHER & SUCH A CHURCH UPBRINGING & all the knowledge I had, & oh boy, the Scriptures used to go through my head! "He that being often reproved & hardeneth his neck!"—I wasn't hardening my neck but I was sure hardening my penie! I just was waiting for that awful fearful looking for of judgement that comes "if we wilfully sin after having the knowledge of the truth!" (He.10:26‚27) And boy‚ those Scriptures kept drumming into you in their Holiness churches!
45. SO I THOUGHT, "WELL, THE BEST I CAN DO, AT LEAST I CAN BE A HELP TO MY MOTHER & HELP HER PREACH THE GOSPEL. I can't‚ I'm not good enough, how could I ever preach to other people when I myself am such a vile filthy sinner so full of this corruption of the lust of the flesh & I'm anything but perfect. I'm a weak sinner & sex was my big sin & my temptation, I couldn't seem to overcome it, I just could not overcome my sexual feelings & my lustful cravings for sex."
46. WELL, GOD NEVER EXPECTS YOU TO OVERCOME IT! How could He expect you to overcome your natural appetites that He gave you & created to satisfy your natural needs?—Such as food, or such as fresh air, the desire to work & play & exercise & have sex!
47. LOOK AT OUR CHILDREN, IF YOU CONTINUALLY TELL TECHI TO SIT DOWN & BE STILL, SHE'D PROBABLY JUST GO TO PIECES!—Because she's so active & so full of life & motion every moment! You can't make a little child that small really be still & be quiet for any length of time unless they're asleep! It's just not natural! They're perpetual motion.
48. THE DESIRE FOR ACTION & EXERCISE IS A NATURAL APPETITE, & for food, it's a natural appetite‚ your desire to breathe air is a natural appetite. If you've got to overcome all these desires for things that you enjoy—including sex!—you'd be like the farmer & the cow. He said he got her used to going without feed & he would have got her used to going without water too if she hadn't died!
49. WELL, THAT'S ABOUT THE WAY THE CHURCH TEACHES! Now you've got to get used to going without food & satisfaction of these natural physical desires before you can become a real Christian & a saint. You've got to overcome all these natural carnal cravings.
50. YOU KNOW HOW THEY PREACH THOSE VERSES ON THE FLESH & the carnal & all that sort of thing, when Paul was not really saying that it was possible to overcome natural normal legitimate physical desires, even such as sex, although he did have a bit of a hangover along that line & was a bit prohibitive. But he had to admit that you just couldn't stop it, so you might as well let them marry. He felt it was better to be like he was—& sometimes I wonder about the way he was! He sounds like he knew enough about women that he must have had plenty of experience & got fed up!
51. BUT I JUST KNEW I COULD NEVER BE THAT MUCH OF A SAINT & THERE WAS NO HOPE FOR ME, & sometimes I really got discouraged if it hadn't been for my dear Mother & the fact that I knew I was a blessing to her & helped her & drove her & carried her bags & made her comfortable & helped her to preach the Gospel.
52. I'D SIT THERE IN ALMOST WORSHIPFUL ADMIRATION OF WHAT A SAINT SHE WAS‚ because she came about as close to being a saint as anybody I knew. And yet all the time I knew there were times when she wasn't perfect & she did the wrong thing or she got upset, & a few times I thought she was even unfair with me. But I knew she was about as close to being perfect as anybody I knew, & mostly because she really loved the Lord, I knew that.
53. SHE REALLY LOVED SOULS & REALLY SACRIFICED & SUFFERED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, even to the point of leaving her own husband‚ or him leaving her for awhile, & her children. And she gave up home which she dearly loved. She gave up the city that she loved, Miami, & the climate she loved. At one time or another all through her life God required her to give up things that she loved dearly & which seemed to be perfectly normal legitimate loves, like love for your husband‚ love for your children, love for your home.
54. BUT GOD OFTEN TESTS US ALONG THESE LINES TO SEE IF WE'RE WILLING TO GIVE THEM UP to make sure we don't worship them more than Him & that we don't put them before His service. But on the other hand, most of the time He allows us to enjoy our mates, our children, our homes in a normal natural physical fleshly life—food, clothing, shelter, sex, play, recreation, entertainment‚ all of these things. Most of the time He allows us to enjoy these things for our own pleasure & our own benefit.
55. BUT EVERY NOW & THEN HE'LL TEST US TO MAKE SURE WE'RE NOT PUTTING THOSE BEFORE HIM, we're not having any other gods before Him & that we're not sacrificing His work for those things, we're not sacrificing His will for these carnal natural normal satisfactions & pleasures.
56. HE OFTEN TESTS US LIKE HE DID ABRAHAM by making us think He's going to take it away from us permanently, just to see if we'll still obey Him & still follow Him, still worship Him & love Him & serve Him. But I've found most of the time, that once He's threatened to take it away from you or looks like He's going to take it away or He does take it away from you for a little while, it's just a test to see if you'll still love Him.
57. JUST LIKE JOB, WHOM HE ALLOWED THE DEVIL TO TEST. He first of all took away all his wealth, then He even took away his family, his children & wife & all that he loved, & finally his health. It was all a test, perpetrated by the Devil but allowed by the Lord in order to show that Job really loved Him in spite of it all.
58. AND WHEN JOB PASSED THE TEST & GAVE THE FINAL RIGHT ANSWER: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15), well, he got his diploma & the Lord gave him back everything & several times over what he'd had before!—Although He'd allowed the Devil to take it all away from him. But it was just a test to see if he would love the Lord still, in spite of all his sacrifice & suffering & denial & deprivation & all the rest.
59. SO IT'S MY CONVICTION THAT THAT KIND OF DEPRIVATION OF THE FLESH & SUFFERING OF THE SAINTS & ALL IS THE RARE EXCEPTION & NOT THE RULE, & I don't think it should be held up as the standard or the example or the goal or the ideal for everybody, because I think it's a rare exception, very rare exception. Very few people can go through all that & stand those kind of tests & remain faithful.
60. AFTER READING THESE STORIES ABOUT ALL THESE MARTYRS & SAINTS & SUFFERERS & people who were in prison & tortured & everything & still came through, I was thinking, "Oh Lord‚ I don't know if I could ever stand all that!" And the Scripture came to me just as clear as anything‚ "He will not suffer you to be tested above what you're able to bear!" (1Co.10:13)
61. IN OTHER WORDS, IF I CAN'T STAND IT, THE LORD WON'T LET ME GO THROUGH IT. In fact, He's already promised to take me out before the Tribulation. I begged the Lord I didn't want to have to stay here during that, I didn't know if I could take it. (Maria: But on the other hand, a lot of our kids have gone through persecution a long time ago even, they've gone through a lot of real persecution!)
62. LET ME TELL YOU, WHEN WE WERE YOUNG IN THE LORD, both me & my little family & my Mother & Dad & their little family, we went through deprivation & suffering & hunger & physical suffering & persecution & contempt of the church, & in the early days of our hippie family, I'll tell you, we were the scum of the Earth as far as the System was concerned.
63. WHEN WE WERE OUT ON THE ROAD WE WERE IN CONSTANT DANGER & FEAR & SUFFERING & we never knew where our next meal was coming from or when the cops were going to descend on us next. We never knew where we were going to be able to lay our heads, nothing! That year on the road with those 100-&-some people was a year of real suffering & deprivation‚ sometimes agony & sometimes even fear of physical violence from the System & Systemites & the police & whatnot. & some did suffer real physical violence & beatings & jail etc.
64. (MARIA: THEREFORE ALMOST EVERY REAL CHRISTIAN SOMETIME IN HIS LIFE DOES SUFFER SOME PERSECUTION.) Oh, the Scripture proves it! It says, "They that live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2Ti.3:12) I was really praying & asking the Lord why, "Why do You let Your Own children go through such suffering as this sometimes? Why?"—Which I think, however, is the exception & not necessarily the rule, such extremes of hardship & suffering & torture etc. And it came to me as clearly as anything, the main thing, it is a testimony to others. Another thing, it's a test. It's a test of you & your own faith & how much you love the Lord.
65. NOW IN A WAY, SINCE JOB WAS HIS OWN CHILD‚ GOD MUST HAVE SUFFERED WITH HIM, the Lord must have really felt for him. Just like you do for your own child when you have to spank him or punish him. "This hurts me more than it does you!" is the old saying. In a way, it's true.
66. WHEN POOR LITTLE TECHI TRIED TO REACH THE DOORKNOB & COULDN'T—I almost cry when I think about it now—she burst into tears in frustration! And then I was so sorry I'd put her through such a test. I didn't really mean for her to think that she could reach the doorknob or that I even had the faintest idea that she could, but I just wanted to see how close she could come to it, how much more she'd have to grow before she could reach it.
67. BUT SHE APPARENTLY THOUGHT THAT I REALLY EXPECTED her to reach the doorknob‚ & when she couldn't make it she felt like she'd failed me & she was a failure & she had really failed something I expected her to do‚ & she was so heartbroken & so frustrated she burst into tears!
68. WELL, I THINK HER BURSTING INTO TEARS & MY REALISING WHAT I'D DONE TO HER, by a simple little thing that I didn't even realise what I was doing, I think that hurt me more than it did her! I felt like bursting into tears & it was about all I could do to try to cheer her up! And then dear Mama, you had the perfect cure, you brought her in that little dolly & her tears vanished instantly & the sunshine broke through the rain!
69. WELL‚ I REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE LORD IS A LOT LIKE THAT. He's not as dumb as I was‚ He knows the effect it's going to have, but I don't think He's going to ask us to reach for anything that's out of our reach, that He knows we can't reach. I don't think He's going to ask us to be gooder than we are or can be‚ you know what I mean? I don't think He's going to ask of any of us a standard that is beyond our particular individual reach. But if He allows you to go through these tests, even if you don't think you can make it, He's going to help you make it & show you that you can.
70. SO IT IS A TEST OF YOUR OWN FAITH & YOUR OWN LOVE FOR HIM, if you're willing even in the absolute extreme as Job was. It looked like the end to him, the end of everything. He was humiliated, he was horribly disgraced. That must have been the worst thing of all because he did have a bit of pride‚ he had to admit it afterwards: "Can a man be found righteous with God?"
71. HE THOUGHT HE WAS PRETTY GOOD HIMSELF. He couldn't see where he'd made any mistakes or sinned at all! But through it the Lord had to show him that he was not perfect. And God allowed him to go through the test so that he would come to the absolute extreme & be our marvellous example, that "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!" Jesus help us, Lord!
72. THIS WAS AN EXTREME EXAMPLE! I don't think everybody's going to have to go through what Job went through. I don't think many of us could make it!—To lose our families‚ all of our possessions, the respect of friends & family & even our own wife or mate saying to us, "Why don't you just curse God & die! God has deserted you, He's forsaken you!"
73. HIS FRIENDS TOLD HIM, "YOU MUST BE AN AWFUL SINNER TO HAVE TO SUFFER LIKE THIS! You must have been very wicked. You didn't tell us, you didn't let us know, you won't confess it‚ you'd better confess it!"—His comforters. Why they ever called them Job's "comforters", I don't know! They did anything but comfort him!
74. ALL THEY DID WAS CRITICISE HIM & DISCOMFORT HIM & DISCOURAGE HIM & RUN HIM DOWN & beat him over the head with their self-righteousness & trying to make him confess he was a terrible sinner & he must have awfully offended God in some way or he wouldn't have had to suffer like that!
75. WHEN ACTUALLY, HE WASN'T SUFFERING FOR HIS SINS AT ALL! He was suffering to prove his faith & his love of God to be a shining example of patience & willingness to suffer—although he didn't suffer too willingly—but at least he suffered & he was willing to continue to trust God in spite of his suffering, that's the main thing.
76. HE DIDN'T LIKE THE SUFFERING, HE COMPLAINED ABOUT IT, he murmured about it, he didn't want to suffer & he even complained to God about it: "How come, Lord? Why are You letting me suffer like this?" The Lord let him go through it though, the contempt of his family & friends & the scorn of his own wife & lost everything including his health‚ & finally‚ sitting there on an ash heap scraping his boils with a piece of broken pottery! What more horrible picture can you have?
77. I'VE OFTEN THOUGHT, "OH MY GOD‚ I NEVER WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO ME! I don't think I could stand it! I don't think I could make it!"—Although when I was a little boy I did have boils on the inside of my knees which just really were horribly painful! But the Lord healed me‚ TTL! It must have been some kind of a test, maybe to know a little bit about what Job suffered.
78. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY I THOUGHT, "IF THESE TWO BOILS ON THE BACK OF MY KNEE HURT ME LIKE THIS, think of how all those boils all over Job must have hurt!" I remember how the doctor used to pop'm & try to get out the core, you know, in those days, & they were all bloody & pussy. They'd get out some kind of a core that was inside, & then drain them, & then they would heal up. Some kind of a poisoning of some kind, a poisoning in the body.
79. LIKE ONE OF THE KINGS HAD BOILS ON HIS NECK, THEY WERE CALLED CARBUNCLES‚ & the Lord showed the prophet to lay half of a raw fig over each boil & it drew the poison out, a natural remedy. (2Kg.20:7) (Maria: They could have done that at MWM when they got so many boils.) Well, I've said this in the Letters, why don't they remember it? It's right in the Bible! For goodness sake, yes! Raw figs! Take a raw fig‚ cut it in half. (Maria: They have'm in Greece, huh?) Of course they have! Goodness, in those Mediterranean countries they all have figs, especially North Africa‚ they ship'm in from there. Well, why don't you tell'm!
80. MY GRANDFATHER USED TO SAY, "GOD HAS A NATURAL REMEDY FOR EVERYTHING, & you'll always find it in the very area where the problem is, where the poisoning is or whatever it is." And he used to give the illustration about that big thorn he got in his thumb on the desert, that it was absolutely venomous‚ poisonous, & his thumb swelled way up & it was horrible! And when one of his Arab camel drivers saw it he said, "Oh, why didn't you tell me? Come!" Here was this great European man, smart know-it-all with all the wisdom of the West!
81. THIS SIMPLE ARAB LED HIM OVER TO A CAMEL & HE STUCK HIS THUMB IN THE CAMEL'S MOUTH! The camel sucked on the thumb just a few moments & he took his thumb out & most of the swelling was all gone, the pus & infection all drained out & the thorn dissolved!—And his thumb healed up within just a short time! So there's always a healing somewhere. Well‚ we didn't mean to get off into that over Job's boils!
82. BUT LATER ON, I TOLD YOU ABOUT L.P. LEHMAN‚ the famous sponsor of that "Bit of Heaven" hour on the radio in Pennsylvania & West Virginia, two daily programs that reached millions‚ hundreds of millions in the long run really, & on which Mother broadcast twice a day for three months in the Summer. And that's where she first got her book published‚ he sponsored it! She'd never had the faith to write it & publish it before, in fact, never had the time.
83. SHE WAS TOO BUSY PREACHING & TOO BUSY ACTIVE FOR THE LORD TO SIT DOWN & TAKE TIME TO WRITE, SO HE JUST MADE HER! He said, "I'm going to just lock you in your bedroom every day until you write that book!" He threatened to‚ but of course he didn't. But he said, "I'm not going to even let you come to the radio program, anything, you just stay there. You can come down & preach at night but you've got to stay there & write that book!" He just made her write it!
84. SHE WAS SUCH A BUSY ACTIVE WOMAN‚ YOU KNOW, LIKE MAMA EVE. She likes to be so busy with people. She loved people & loved to be in the middle of the muddle & preaching & active & witnessing & busking & going here & travelling & all that! Mama Eve‚ in a way, is following my Mother's example.
85. BUT LOOK AT MY MOTHER, ALL THAT ACTIVE WITNESSING & ALL THAT ACTIVE PREACHING, & HOW MUCH DID SHE LEAVE IN THE WAY OF WRITINGS?—Two books that L.P. Lehman sat her down & made her take time to write. He as good as said‚ "I'm going to pay you to write'm!—And then I'll give you a royalty on them."—Just made her do it—or she never would have done it! & just think of all her beautiful sermons that were never published.
86. THAT USED TO BE ONE OF MY DREAMS, TO PUT HER SERMONS INTO PRINT. I used to save boxes & boxes of all her notes & thought, "Well, they'll remind me of what the sermon's all about & maybe one of these days even after she's gone we can put'm into print. I can see she'll never do it here, she's too busy with people‚ on the telephone, writing letters all the time.
87. PEOPLE JUST DRAINED HER! They demanded her time, they kept her from the ministry she could have had! The immediately physically present few prevented her ministry to the multitudes of millions that she could have reached through her writings, & it remained to us to really publish her books & writings & get out the Word. And I'm just a tape recorder almost of what she taught me‚ besides what the Lord's taught me.
88. BUT LOOK, WE'VE PUBLISHED NOT ONLY HER BOOKS—FAR FURTHER THAN SHE EVER DID & in many more copies than she ever did—but we have also published her sermonettes in the Meditation Moments radio series, something that she never even did. She never even printed any of them or sent them out! She simply did not seem to conceive the value of the printed word.
89. SHE WAS AN ACTRESS, SHE WAS A PERFORMER LIKE LITTLE TECHI. I mean, she just wasn't happy unless she was on stage before the crowds. You know, they get that show business in their blood! These old–timers, they resign & they quit & they retire & then pretty soon you see them back on stage again! They just can't stop it‚ they've got to keep doing it!—Like Frank Sinatra! He's here in South Africa in another big show!
90. LIKE MY GRANDFATHER SAID TO MY MOTHER, "Nina, you're going to find out one of these days"—& he ought to know, he was old enough to know it—"that the hardest thing in the World for you to do is just quit!" And she never did, & neither did he! They tried, but they just couldn't! Well, my dear Mother! How did I get onto that?
91. SHE WAS A SAINT, AS CLOSE TO A SAINT AS ANYTHING I EVER SAW, but she made her mistakes, she had her shortcomings. She could have reached many more people by her writings than she ever reached personally. She could have reached millions.
92. THERE'S MAMA EVE, SAME THING! She could be reaching millions with her experiences in the faith life & testimonies‚ her knowledge of the Scripture & faith lessons etc., things that she has lived & proven that she's worthy to talk about. But what's she doing? She's fiddling around with John, playing the organ, singing old hymns, reminiscing of the church days‚ looking back, really, to the good old days of Churchianity & Gospel meetings & Gospel songs & all the rest.—And now gone back to the U.S.!
93. WELL, I APPRECIATE THOSE GOOD OLD HYMNS & GOSPEL SONGS TOO & I SING'M, but I have even delayed for years even singing them or giving them to this generation for fear they will remind them of church & they will get that church quirk! It's a mental conditioning that people like us get who have been in church all their lives.
94. FOR A LONG TIME AFTER I HAD LEFT THE CHURCH I HAD REAL CHURCH BLUES & qualms & nostalgia periods of real homesickness for the church again, to want to be back on stage & singing Psalms & hymns & spiritual songs amongst the saints & all that beautiful music & all that nice peace & quiet & just with people who know & love the Lord & out of the World & separated from the hubbub of the System‚ & church was a little bit of Heaven on Earth. Just like our Homes!
95. BUT THE CHURCH HAD SO FAILED & LOST THE VISION FOR GETTING OUT INTO THE WORLD SOMETIME TO WITNESS, pass tracts & win souls, that they had gone in for nothing but fellowship & nothing but selfish self-feeding of the Word, & they were over-stuffed with it & they were not giving it out at all. They were not witnessing, they were not winning souls, they were not getting out the Gospel, passing tracts, they were not going out as missionaries. So I just got fed up with it!
96. I THOUGHT, WELL‚ IT'S ALL SELFISHNESS! They've gone overboard on this fellowship thing & feeding on the Word & this saintly separation from the World to where they will hardly even go out on a street corner to pass tracts, much less into a bar & witness & try to win souls! So I got fed up. I saw that that for sure was not where it was at.
97. I COULD SEE THAT IN SPITE OF ITS CLAIM OF HOLINESS & SAINTLINESS & its holding up ideals of such perfection, that the church itself was very very immature, imperfect & even corrupt in the eyes of God in failing to obey to do the biggest job God ever asked them to do!—And that was to get out & love others, give'm God's message of love & salvation & woo & win them to the Lord!
98. SO I'VE GONE TO THE OPPOSITE EXTREME: WE'VE LEFT THE CHURCH ENTIRELY & all that churchianity & beautiful fellowship & organ music & lullabies & the fellowship of only the holy saintly saints & the purity of it all & the beauty of it all & the peace of it all‚ the quiet of it all‚ the separation of it all from the World. You have that feeling when you walk in to some of these big churches.
99. I LOVE TO WALK INTO CATHOLIC CHURCHES, IT'S SO NICE & QUIET & PEACEFUL & away from the din on the public street out front‚ it's beautiful. It really inspires you to pray, & I must admit, it gives you a feeling of closeness to Infinity & the spiritual & prayer & the saints & God & all of that, it's beautiful. My Dad said, "If you really want to go in for church, why don't you become a Catholic? They've got more church than anybody!"
100. HE WAS PRETTY MUCH OF A RADICAL REBEL REVOLUTIONARY, IF YOU ASK ME! It was amazing how much he knew. I guess I got a lot of it from both him & my mother. He was a little more radical about some things than she was, & she about some things than he was, so there was a good balance.
101. BUT WE HAD TO BREAK AWAY FROM ALL OF THAT IN ORDER TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS, that the love of God is not templeism & temple-worship, & being a Christian isn't just going to church‚ but that God's only law is love, love of others & love of God, & not just going to church on Sunday.
102. VIRTUALLY THE CHRUCH'S ONLY LAW IS GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY, & if you'll come to church on Sunday, they'll forgive you for almost anything, especially if you put enough in the waste basket! It doesn't matter what kind of an ungodly cigar-smoking wicked politician you are outside, or a crooked businessman or anything else, if you will just deign to come to their services on Sunday & sit there & look pious & saintly & put enough in the waste basket, then they will just about forgive you for anything!
103. THEY FIGURE‚ "WELL, HE MUST BE A SAINT‚ AFTER ALL, HE COMES TO MY CHURCH ON SUNDAY! There must be something good about him, even if he's a crooked politician all week long, or a crooked businessman. He comes & he brings his wife & he brings his children to Sunday School, & he attends church faithfully, he's a faithful supporter."
104. AND THAT'S THEIR ONLY LAW, REALLY, THEIR CARDINAL LAW, IS THE LAW OF FELLOWSHIP. Well, it is one of God's requirements‚ you might say, it's really more of a manifestation of His Law of Love, that we love each other as Christians & want to be together & fellowship, but it is not the only manifestation & should not be like the churches.
105. I WAS THINKING A LOT ABOUT OUR FELLOWSHIPS & HOW THEY'RE GROWING & BOOMING & how much they're enjoying them, reading all these reports of how much it's done for the people, strengthened their faith & their fellowship & their enjoyment of each other & how wonderful it is, how they enjoy those marvellous meetings & all that singing, inspiration & mutual love for each other.
106. I THOUGHT‚ "UH OH! NOW LORD, WHAT HAVE I DONE? AM I GETTING THEM INTO THE CHURCH RUT?" Well, you see, nothing is unclean of itself. (Rom.14:14) It's not bad in itself, it all depends on how far they go with it. "Be temperate in all things, let your moderation be known to all men!" (1Co.9:25; Ph.4:5)
107. IF THEY CARRY THIS LOVE OF FELLOWSHIP TO THE POINT WHERE THEY NEGLECT THE WORLD & their witnessing & their real outside work, then it would be a sin. Right now, a moderate amount of that fellowship enjoyment is fine. We even had it in most of our Homes & Colonies every night & every morning. And in my Soul Clinic schools, we had it all morning long. But that was not all we did. We got out every afternoon & witnessed, & weekends all day long‚ which was our main job.
108. IT'S LIKE I USED TO TRY TO TELL THOSE CHURCH PEOPLE, I said, "Listen‚ you call this meeting we're having here tonight or this morning in church service? It's not a service for anybody but the preacher & the song leader & the organist & the choir & the ushers. It's not a service! You're not working, you're just sitting there enjoying it! How can you call it your service for God just because you come to church on Sunday morning?
109. "HOW CAN YOU PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK & GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR SERVING GOD just because you came in here & enjoyed this gorgeous music & this pure pretty pious pulpit platitude & all this beautiful fellowship? How can you call that service for God? This is a part of your enjoyment! This is like sitting down to a spiritual meal & a feast & enjoying it, it's not work!"—Although I must admit, some people figured that going to church was work & they hated it. And I don't much blame some of them, some of those sermons were dead as doornails & dry as crackerdust ten miles from a glass of water!
110. BUT YOU SEE, THEY WENT OVERBOARD ON THE FELLOWSHIP & the separation of the saints from the World to where they got so far separated & so distant from the rest of the World, they couldn't touch'm with a ten-foot pole! There was such a great gulf fixed between'm, they seemed to think they were already in Heaven & the wicked World was already in Hell & they weren't allowed to pass over!
111. I MEAN, TO WALK INTO A BAR, A CHRISTIAN! TO WITNESS! "My God‚ what will the other church members think of me if they even happen to see me?! I would be disgraced! I would be in contempt of the whole church, they'd probably have a special meeting‚ call me down for prayer or something"—if it was a very spiritual church.
112. & YET I GOT MY EYES OPENED WHEN THE STAUNTONS CAME TO TOWN, Jerry Staunton & his older brother. They went into the local bar & won souls right & left, sang & played the piano there. Started off with Worldly songs & wound up singing some old favourite hymns that everybody joined in, because they all knew'm, a Christian country, church background.
113. WHEN HE WON ALL THE RUSSIAN SAILORS TO THE LORD THAT TIME‚ THAT DID IT! I said‚ "Listen, I don't care what they think of us, we're going to go into bars‚ nightclubs, strip joints, brothels, anywhere, to save souls!"—Until I've gone to the absolute opposite extreme where I'm willing to allow our girls to do what the church thinks & calls adultery & fornication‚ the absolute limit, the unlimited limit, all the way, to love souls & win'm to the Lord—& it's working!
114. THE CHURCH IS ACCUSING US OF BEING LIBERTINES, licentious, lustful, wicked, adulterous generation, fornicators & all the rest, all the wicked names they can think of out of the Bible. But how can it be a sin when it's love & when they do it for love & to win souls & because they really want to witness & win those poor guys to the Lord by showing'm them such love.
115. THEY HAVE TO GO TO SUCH LENGTHS TO LOVE THEM THAT MUCH to convince them that they really do love them. As I've so often said, they don't believe you really love them when you won't give them the thing they think they need the most, & that's the flesh‚ that's sex.
116. WELL, THAT'S WHY I FINALLY GAVE UP ON THE CHURCH. I figured it was a hopeless case. In the first place, it was too holy for me‚ such a wicked sinner. In the second place, I could never live up to their standards & their ideals of saintliness. And finally, when I saw their own sins & wickedness in not loving others & the World—not even hardly loving each other, all kinds of fights & backbiting & nasty gossip & everything against each other right inside the church‚ I didn't find too much love there. And when I saw how they were failing God & not reaching people outside, that the sinners hardly ever came to church—& I can't blame'm—I saw that church was just not where it was at, that's all!
117. THEREFORE, TO PRETEND TO BE SO HOLY & to lift up such spotless, perfect, shining examples of purity & holiness in their saints—& they all have'm‚ not only the Catholics but the Protestants too, such as these we've been reading about here—I just came to the conclusion it was hopeless, I just couldn't do it. I'd never make it. Besides, they weren't doing the job.
118. SO I FIGURED, "WELL, I'LL NEVER MAKE IT IN THE CHURCH, I can't be their kind of saint, but at least I can get out in the World amongst people like myself & I can be a soul-winning sinner, even if I can't be a church-going saint! I can get out & I can love & sympathise with this poor travelling salesman & this next guy who's got all the same problems & desires & sins that I really felt were sins & things I'm subject to, & I can sympathise with him.
119. "I CAN'T HELP THESE CHURCH PEOPLE, THEY'RE TOO FAR ABOVE & BEYOND ME & they're too far out & too far away even from what I think Jesus wanted them to be, as witnesses in the World. But at least I can get out amongst people who are pretty much like me, who are poor lost sinners & who are wicked & lustful & sexy & have the desires of the flesh & confess & admit it & try to satsify'm. I can get out amongst'm & I can at least not feel so totally inferior & have such an inferiority complex like I do when I'm sitting in church!
120. "I CAN GET OUT HERE & TELL'M THE TRUE GOSPEL, that in spite of all their sins & their wickedness & in spite of their shortcomings, failures, mistakes & unsaintliness & ungodliness, God can still save'm through Jesus! He still loves'm & He can still save'm, & they can still be a Christian if they will just love the Lord & love others.
121. "THEY DON'T HAVE TO GO NEAR THE CHURCH OR COMPARE THEMSELVES TO THOSE SAINTS. They'll never be like that, they can never be like that, they would never fit in church, ever! But they can fit out here where they are in the World. And although they are in the World, they are no longer of the World, because the Lord has changed them. But now out here in the World‚ they can be the salt of the Earth to keep it from completely rotting away & save some of it!
122. WHEREAS THE CHURCHES‚ THEY'RE LIKE SALT SHAKERS! They keep all the salt inside the salt shaker & they never shake it out. They never get it out & shake it around where it will do any good! Not only that, they've sat around in the salt shaker so long & gotten so stale, they've lost their savour & are good for nothing but to be cast forth & trodden under foot! (Mt.5:13)
123. THEY'VE LOST THEIR SAVING POWER, THEIR WITNESSING POWER, THEIR SHAKE-IT–UP POWER! What God's trying to do with some of these churches is grab that salt shaker & turn it upside-down & shake some of the salt out & get it out where it will do some good! And that's what He used me for a lot in going around to those churches. Boy, I turned them upside-down & shook'm up & shook'm out until the preachers threw me out!
124. BUT JUST LIKE PAUL, WE'D GET A FEW LITTLE FOLLOWERS WHO WERE ALL THRILLED & EXCITED‚ most of whom had already been passin' tracts & witnessing already. Or some of them who never heard about witnessing in church or passing tracts or winning souls or never thought they could but that they were just supposed to come to church & support the preacher to do the job & only in the church, they got all excited, businessmen, housewives, young people, even children!
125. "OH‚ THIS IS WONDERFUL! THERE'S A JOB FOR ME, THERE'S SOMETHING I CAN DO! I couldn't sing in the choir, I couldn't play the organ, I couldn't preach a sermon, I couldn't teach the Sunday School class, I couldn't even pass the hat or the waste basket!" I mean‚ there's not enough jobs in the church for everybody in church to do something, right? They just say, "Well, it's just your job to attend church & support us, & we'll do the rest."
126. I FINALLY SHOWED THE CHRISTIANS IN THOSE CHURCHES THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING EVERYBODY COULD DO, there was a job for everybody—& not just in church, & not just on Sunday morning! You can get out all week long—at work or school or play or whatever—& you could witness & you could win souls & you could work for the Lord all day long, every day of the week, just by being a witness of His saving grace.
127. NOT NECESSARILY A SHINING SAINTLY HOLY PERFECT EXAMPLE of some kind of an angelic saint or something, but you can work alongside'm at the same job or sit alongside'm at the same kind of desk at school or whatever‚ & still be different, a little bit different, at least. You're happy, you smile more, you shine more, you've got satisfaction in life because you've found the Lover of all lovers‚ the Lover & Creator of life!
128. YOU'VE GOT A GOAL, YOU'VE GOT AN INTEREST, YOU'VE GOT FULFILMENT, SATISFACTION! You're telling others about the love of God, you're manifesting the love of God, you're obeying the Law of Love, you're loving others, even to the limit or without limit, & it makes you happy. Even if you can't be a saint or even if you can't be some kind of an angel that the church expects you to be, at least you can be a sort of a sinning saint, & most of all, a winning saint‚ witnessing & winning souls for the Lord.
129. YOU'RE GONNA BE OUT THERE & THEY CAN SEE YOU‚ FEEL YOU, TOUCH YOU. "See me, feel me‚ touch me, heal me!" "Why, it's real! Here you are right next to me‚ even in bed with me, & you really love me, but you love God too! How about that!" That's the kind of love they never heard about before.
130. MY GOD, THE AVERAGE CHURCH MEMBER WOULD NEVER EVEN GO NEAR'M ON THE STREETS! Like the Scribes & the Pharisees, they would pull their garments aside to make sure they didn't even touch'm, much less go to bed with'm! The average church member would never go into their bars or their honky–tonks or their habitats & their dives to witness to'm & win'm & show'm any love. The Holiness & holiest church people avoid the sinners like the plague & wouldn't even go near'm!
131. OUR GIRLS ARE WILLING TO GO TO BED WITH'M TO LOVE'M & WIN'M, THEY LOVE'M SO MUCH. Now that really proves love!—A girl who goes to bed with one of those men & shows him that she loves him that much even though he may be a beast & ugly & old & everything else, they know it's love‚ & they can believe in the love of God when they see that kind of love, they can believe God loves'm.
132. SO THAT'S WHY I'M HERE OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH, so to speak, & why I decided there was no hopes for me, I couldn't be a sinless saint of angelic perfection, but at least I could be a poor old saved sinner telling others about Jesus & His love & that they could be saved sinners too, just like me. PTL!
133. I GAVE UP THAT THING A LONG TIME AGO, THAT IDEA OF EVER BEING SINLESSLY PERFECT & absolute holiness & that ideal & standard that the church sets up for themselves, much less the World, & can't even live up to it themselves. This discouraged me. They make the standard so high that you know it's impossible to attain, so you almost give up altogether like Ironside did.
134. WELL‚ WHEN HE FINALLY REALISED THAT IT WASN'T HIM‚ that it was the Lord & all he had to do was trust God & obey Him & His Law of Love & love others, in that horrible tubercular condition, dying, hemorrhaging, coughing up blood & everything else, wasting away, he cried out to God desperately to save him & he was gloriously saved & healed!
135. HE IMMEDIATELY BEGAN TO GET BETTER & HE BEGAN TO TELL EVERYBODY, WITNESS TO EVERYBODY: "Why, do you know all you have to do to get saved is just believe, that's all! Just believe! Grace—God's grace—faith—your faith—plus nothing! That's all it takes to get saved!" Grace + Faith + Nothing! Well, of course the works will come as works of love & labours of love for the Lord, but they are not required for salvation. They're a manifestation of salvation & your love for the Lord & others.
136. SO HE WENT AROUND SHOUTING & PRAISING GOD & WITNESSING & PREACHING THIS NEWFOUND GOSPEL, just like Martin Luther when he finally came to the conclusion that we're saved by grace through faith & that not of ourselves. It's a gift of God‚ not of works lest any man should boast!—Ephesians 2:8,9. And Martin Luther got up from his crawl on his knees up the steps or wherever it was & began to shout:
137. "I DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE SAVED! I don't have to do penance‚ I don't have to crawl up these steps & on my hands & knees to the Pope or anybody! I can just be saved by the grace of God. He's already given it, all I have to do is receive it & thank God for it!"
138. HE WENT AROUND PREACHING THAT & GETTING FOLKS SAVED BY GRACE & got thrown out of the church because that was absolutely intolerable doctrine that you didn't have to be good, you didn't have to have works‚ you didn't have to be a saint to be saved, you could just be a saved sinner.
139. SO THE SAINTLY EXAMPLE, IN A WAY, BOTHERS ME, BECAUSE THEY'RE SUCH A RARE EXCEPTION. I think that type of saint—I almost agree with the Catholic Church—they have to be thoroughly investigated to make sure they didn't make too many big mistakes or commit sins‚ & be sure they were perfectly pure & saintly & Godly & holy before they could dare to canonise'm lest somebody should find some fault with them later.
140. IN FACT, A FEW OF THEM HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT DEBUNKED SINCE THEN, because if you're going to have that kind of saint, you've got to make sure they're pretty pure & they're mighty holy to be looked up to & worshipped. It's a form of worship! They are exalted so high that they become like the angels & gods that are worshipped. I just can't bring myself to that because I knew I could never make it, that's all.
141. WELL, ALL THAT TO SAY THIS!: I HAD TO PRESENT MY CASE FIRST, sorry, why I don't go too much for that sort of thing & why I left the church & why I don't go for their ideals of saintliness & setting them up as shining examples of the way everybody ought to be‚ because I don't think it's possible for everybody to be like that & it discourages people from being anything if they're told that they've got to be like that or else they're not saints at all! Or the Holiness churches teach'm they're not even saved if they're not perfect.
142. MAYBE I WEIGHTED DOWN THE SCALE PRETTY HEAVILY IN MY FAVOUR OF US SINNING SAINTS, but on the other hand I think it could have its good effect as it apparently has on some of those readers who have their eyes open & they see the faults & they see the mistakes & they see the neglects & the errors of the way of the saints & how they could have avoided a lot of that stuff if they'd had a little more sense instead of being so saintly‚ so churchy saintly.
143. LIKE I SAID ABOUT THE FAMOUS MOVIE "THE SEVENTH QUESTION", if that little family hadn't been so damn churchy & insisted under a Communist government on continuing to go to church & baptize their children & preach sermons against the government etc., when they knew it was going to get'm in trouble & they knew they were defying the laws of state—going ahead & trying to repair their church when that was forbidden, & all these anti–God, anti-Christ, anti-Church laws of the State—mostly anti-church is what they are.
144. COMMUNIST PEOPLE & GOVERNMENTS ARE FED UP WITH CHURCHIANITY! They're sick of it & they hate it & they know it's not it‚ & so they try to destroy it. And so they restricted the Christians—at least the church Christians who insisted on going to church—& when they told them that they had to come to work on Sunday, they refused to go to work & went to church instead & of course they got in trouble with the law & the government & thrown in jail & all that sort of thing.
145. WELL, OUR RELIGION DOESN'T DEPEND ON GOING TO CHURCH! It doesn't even depend on going to meetings! It doesn't even depend on getting up & preaching sermons against the government, although I've done a lot of it. But we can be Christians under almost any kind of government as long as we love the Lord & love others & obey His Law of Love & we don't deny Christ & we can continue to witness to others even by our example if nothing else.
146. WHEREVER WE GO WE SHINE! People wonder why they're drawn to us, they wonder why we're so happy! We smile, we shine, & they're just drawn by the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love, drawn like a magnet does iron shavings! We're a witness anywhere, anytime, nightclubs, dives. I've been a witness in brothels to prostitutes, told them the love of God.
147. WE CAN BE CHRISTIANS ANYTIME‚ ANYWHERE, UNDER ANY KIND OF GOVERNMENT as long as they don't make us come out & openly deny our faith in Jesus Christ, & as long as they don't stop our witnessing, whatever it is. We witnessed up a storm in what was supposed to be one of the worst dictatorships in the World in a closed country, Franco Spain‚ for two solid years! And it wasn't his government that called the law on us & tried to put us in jail & stop it, it was the new so-called democratic government under the King & Suarez where they finally came out & the Bishop tried to nail us.
148. SO IT'S QUITE POSSIBLE TO BE A WITNESS, EVEN UNDER A HARSH DICTATORIAL TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT THAT RESTRICTS WITNESSING. Of course, we didn't get out on the streets passing out lit, either, because it was forbidden. We'd have had ourselves straight into jail & that would have been the end of it! (Maria: They did on Mainland Spain before that & they got away with it.) They did, they did! God bless'm!—But
149. WE COPIED THINGS ON THE TYPEWRITER & PASSED THEM OUT TO OUR FRIENDS & our contacts & our fish & loved ones there & we were a terrific witness! In fact, we were such a witness that we began having these friends gather at our house—I was reading in my diary just the other day, it was amazing!—In numbers of 30 & 40 at our homes when such meetings were forbidden by actual law in Spain to have anybody else in any kind of a gathering of more than 10 people unless they were relatives, a family gathering.
150. ANY OTHER TYPE OF GATHERING OUTSIDE OF OFFICIAL POLITICAL GATHERINGS OR THE CHURCH WAS FORBIDDEN, OF 10 OR MORE PEOPLE. And yet we were having these gatherings of 30 & 40 with the Guardia Civil plainclothesmen sitting in the front row drinking it in!—Ha! I mean‚ we had those dark-eyed brethren right in with us from almost the beginning! But we won'm, we loved'm & we showed we were harmless!
151. AND EVEN THE BISHOP SENT HIS SPIES, LIKE SERGIO, & THEY PRACTICALLY BECAME CONVERTED. I don't know what kind of a club the Bishop held over poor Sergio's head to make him finally knuckle under & defect like Judas, but he was won, he was saved, you led him to the Lord, you loved him & fucked him & won his heart until he was a happy man for a change! And Judy went & lived with him & encouraged him‚ & Bev. But all the time he still had that horrible fear of the church. He was working so close to the Bishop & teaching in the college there & one of his leading spies.
152. IT MUST HAVE BEEN A REAL SHOCK TO THE BISHOP WHEN HE CAME BACK & TESTIFIED HOW WONDERFUL WE WERE! He said, "My God, you've joined the Greeks!" He called us the Greeks. What was it he said? He said, "They've even won you!" He was so shocked! Well, we had those people sitting right there in our meetings in Franco Spain!
153. SO IT'S POSSIBLE TO BE A WITNESS ANYWHERE under almost any kind of government & those people didn't have to suffer like that. Like the kids brought out in these book reviews, a lot of those Christians didn't really have to suffer if they had enough sense to flee or not openly defy the laws so that they simply, in a way, brought it on themselves.
154. I USED TO SAY THIS ABOUT WURMBRANDT. He openly defied the Communist government‚ preached in his pulpit things he wasn't supposed to preach & did things they told him not to do. They gave him every chance to cooperate & not fight against them.
155. AND YET THERE ARE CHRISTIAN PASTORS & PREACHERS WITHIN BOTH RUSSIA & CHINA WHO COOPERATE WITH THE GOVERNMENT, even though they're really Christians. They obey the government & they don't preach against the government‚ they don't preach against Communism, they go that far along with the government as long as they let them continue to have church meetings & fellowship & preach Christ & preach the Gospel, as long as they don't fight the government or say anything against the government, & they've always got their spies there.
156. WELL, OTHER CHRISTIANS, THESE HOLINESS PERFECTED SAINTLY CHRISTIANS CRITICISE THEM as compromisers & hypocrites for cooperating with the government in order to have a chance to keep their church & keep preaching. They criticise them as collaborators, co-conspirators, fellow Communists, fellow travelers, pinks & everything else just because they obey the Communist government & do what they say in order to keep their church.
157. SO A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE HAVE REALLY SUFFERED IN VAIN, IN A WAY. "Have ye suffered so many things in vain?" (Ga.3:4) Why did they suffer? Well, they did a lot of things they didn't have to do. They openly defied the government‚ defied the laws—which did not even prevent them, in many cases, from witnessing or even preaching in their churches.
158. WELL‚ I HAVE REALLY MAYBE OVER-WEIGHTED THE SCALE ON THIS SIDE AGAINST THE CHURCHES' IDEALS OF SAINTLINESS to give our own people & the sinner hope that there's a chance for him & hopes for him to be a Christian without being a sinless saint. On the other hand, I think there is probably some good in showing what some exceptional saints have suffered & survived, that it is possible that some can reach & attain such heights.
159. BUT I DON'T WANT TO PUT THE DOORKNOB SO HIGH that the poor babe in Christ tries to reach it & can't & gets so frustrated he bursts into tears & quits like poor Techi did! I want to put the cookies on a lower shelf! I want to put the doorknob low enough that they can reach it!
160. IN FACT, DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT I SAID TO HER? I didn't realise that was going to be an illustration today. I said, "Techi! Don't worry about it! Don't cry, Honey! It's not because you're not tall enough‚ it's because they put the doorknob too high!" Right? And I think maybe that would be a good title for the whole thing: "The Doorknob's Too High!"
161. IT'S NOT BECAUSE SHE WASN'T TALL ENOUGH, THEY PUT THE DOORKNOB TOO HIGH! And I tried to comfort her on that but she still wouldn't be comforted because Daddy had asked her to reach the doorknob & she couldn't. But Mama had the solution & the salve, Maria was the balm of Gilead & brought out the little toy. (Je.8:22)
162. HERE WAS SOMETHING SHE COULD REACH, here was something she could understand, something she could play with within her power & her reach & her understanding & her realm & not too high for her & which satisfied her, & immediately she forgot the doorknob & her tears & the sun broke through & she was happy & smiling again, her usual self!
163. AND I THINK GOD, IN SOME WAYS, IS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING WITH US. The church has put the doorknob too high to the point that most of us who are too short spiritually can't even reach it‚ it's impossible. So we get so frustrated we burst into tears & we give up & feel like failures & quit altogether!
164. THAT'S WHAT I WAS ON THE POINT OF DOING WHEN I FINALLY GOT THAT VERSE to assure me that I was really saved: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life!" (Jn.3:36) It finally dawned on me I had it already, I didn't have to wait for it. Just through faith, just by believing in His grace.
165. BUT THE CHURCH HAS PUT THE DOORKNOB TOO HIGH to where most people try to stretch & reach for it & are unable to attain it. Even Paul said, "I do not count myself to have attained." (Ph.3:12) He hadn't reached the state of sinless perfection yet himself. He hadn't attained to what kind of a saint he would even like to be. He knew he was still a human.
166. BUT THE CHURCH HAS PUT THE DOORKNOB TOO HIGH & MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANYBODY TO REACH except some of the sinless adult saints who claim that they are big enough to do it & seem to be able to do it. But I guess it looks to me like most of us must be children & there are mighty few adults in the church that can reach it & mighty few saints in the church who have attained to that height & had that ability to reach that knob & turn it & open that door to heavenly saintliness & sacrifice & suffering & perfection. The doorknob's just too high for most of us & so many have just given up‚ quit!
167. I THINK MAYBE IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE FAMILY IN SOME RESPECTS FOR SOME PEOPLE WE PUT THE DOORKNOB TOO HIGH, especially the Chain & some of them! They made the requirements too tough, they made the rules too rigid & they put the doorknob too high & people just gave up, they couldn't make it.
168. THEY MADE THE QUOTAS TOO BIG, THEY MADE THE SEXUAL RESTRICTIONS TOO PROHIBITIVE & there were many people who just couldn't make it. They couldn't go that long without sex, they couldn't go that long out litnessing.—Two of their biggest shibboleths. They had to stand out on the street till they got so much money or they couldn't come home for supper. What a horrible terrible torturous tyranny!
169. AND THEY COULDN'T EVEN MAKE LOVE TO EACH OTHER IN THEIR OWN HOME WITH THEIR OWN BROTHERS & SISTERS! "Oh, that was wicked!"—When some of their leaders were making love like mad to everybody who came around! I mean, they were such hypocrites, those leaders! I was making love to everybody I could get ahold of too, but I was doing it openly & confessed it & told everybody & I eventually broadcast it & broke the Chain & set'm all free, TTL! But the early Family, the Chain Saulites, they set the standard too high, they made the doorknob too high where they couldn't reach it. But what I've done, I've come along & said,
170. "NOW LISTEN, YOU'VE GOT TO PUT THAT DOORKNOB DOWN WITHIN REACH OF THESE POOR BABES IN CHRIST, these children of the Lord. Put it down where they can reach it & they can open the door & they can still go out & have the freedom that they should have in everything—witnessing, freedom from financial bondage—except a little 10% tithe when the Chain-Saw used to require 25‚ 35, 50%—& where they'll have sexual freedom as well!—Not even only within the Homes & amongst brethren, but even with the sinners to show them the love of God & win them for the Lord."
171. SO THAT'S THE ONLY THING I'M CONCERNED ABOUT IN HOLDING UP SUCH CHURCHY EXAMPLES to the Family of the churches' saints, although some of these were even outcasts of the church. I am concerned that the Family should not get the idea that that is really the goal to become such a lofty sinless perfect saint who is able to endure anything, suffer anything, undergo anything & still come through victorious.
172. I BELIEVE IT'S POSSIBLE FOR SOME PEOPLE, BUT WE DON'T PUT OUR LITTLE BABIES & OUR LITTLE CHILDREN THROUGH ADULT TRIALS, DO WE? And I don't think God does either, & I don't think He expects it of babes. We try to be patient & lenient on our babes in the Family. I'm talking about spiritual babes now, as well as babies. We don't expect adult behaviour out of them. We don't expect completely mature Christian behaviour from them.
173. WE NEED TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE TOLERANT‚ A LITTLE MORE PATIENT, GIVE THEM TIME TO LEARN. In one Komic the other day, one guy said to the other guy, "You've got to stop smoking, you've been in the Family two years now & you still haven't stopped smoking!" I thought, "My God‚ we've got to change that! I don't want to give anybody the idea we allow somebody to stay in the Family two years & continue to smoke!"
174. I MIGHT TOLERATE IT & FORGIVE'M & BE PATIENT WITH'M FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS, so I changed it to two months! But let me tell you, in the early days of the Family we didn't give them a couple of days! They came in & from the moment they hit our gate & our territory or our Home or through our door, they quit smoking & they had not another smoke! Period!
175. WE HAD A BABE WHO WAS A COOK AT ONE OF OUR SCHOOLS IN MIAMI. I mean, after all‚ he was about 50 & he couldn't seem to get the victory over cigarettes. Bob was his name, dear old Bob‚ I wonder what's happened to him? I mean, dear Mary, she put the doorknob too high, she put her keyhole too high where he couldn't stick his key in it when he desperately needed sex & needed a woman. But she was too holy & sanctimonious to give him any sex, so he had to go outside & get it, & then she threw him out for it!
176. SO HE GOT DRUNK & EVERYTHING ELSE & ONLY CAME BACK THROUGH OUR MERCY & PLEADING & trying to get him back & be patient with him. I finally told him, "Listen Bob, if you've got to smoke, while you're trying to get the victory, at least, don't smoke in the house where people come here & smell it, especially some of these church people, & they figure, `Ugh! That's no house of God! It's full of the Devil's smoke!'"—That's the way the church people are. I said‚ "There's some people who don't think you're a Christian if you smoke—I know you're a Christian‚ I know you love the Lord, I know you love me!"
177. HE'D HAVE DONE ANYTHING FOR ME. He'd have laid down his life for me, & he did. When we didn't have anything to eat he went out & got it. Sometimes I wondered how he got it! He used to be a robber & everything else! But he did everything he could to feed that family, & cooked it besides. He was one of our first provisioners. We never heard about provisioning at that time. He even went out once & sold his own stuff to get food for us.
178. I SAID, "BOB, IF YOU MUST SMOKE‚ IF YOU CAN'T SEEM TO MAKE IT, well then why don't you at least smoke outside of the house & out of sight. Smoke out there behind the bushes amongst the trees in the back where nobody can smell it & nobody can see you smoking & when they pass by our little Bible School, these critical churchy Christians who hate us anyhow can't find any excuse to point the finger at us & say, `Oh, look at'm, there they are out there smoking! They're not Christians, they're wicked sinners. Church people don't smoke, blah blah!'" Well, I know a lot of them that do!
179. I TRIED TO LOWER THE DOOR HANDLE A LITTLE BIT TO WHERE HE COULD REACH IT, 'cause he just didn't seem to be able to get the victory over it. Now I don't want that to give an excuse to anybody in our Family that they can get away with smoking, at least not for long, & I think they ought to abandon the cigarettes & you ought to tell them they're gonna have to abandon them maybe even before they come in the door! Set the standard high!
180. BUT I DON'T THINK THAT'S BEYOND THEIR REACH, I THINK THEY CAN DO IT. Maybe some people feel it is‚ they couldn't. That's maybe why a lot of people haven't joined the Family, 'cause they just figured they couldn't quit smoking. They don't have to stop drinking, they know we drink wine, at least. They don't have to stop sex. I don't approve of card-playing & wasting time even on chess or other games, unless they're educational for children, but we have made that one of our shibboleths, & that is, we don't smoke, they're not to smoke.
181. WE THINK IT'S A WASTE‚ IT'S HARMFUL & WE CAN'T SEE ANY GOOD ABOUT IT WHATSOEVER‚ SO WHY SHOULD WE DO IT? "Whatsoever ye do in word or in deed do all to the glory of God!" (Col.3:17, 1Co.10:31) So we tell'm don't smoke. Well, there may be some of'm that they try to wait on'm a little bit & be patient like some I've known recently who went to MCV & they got to smoking again & got caught & Faithy had to lecture'm!
182. IT'S A POOR EXAMPLE TO OTHERS, IT'S A POOR TESTIMONY TO THE WORLD who have been given that impression by the church that smoking is a sin & therefore they shouldn't do it & therefore we must not be Christians if they see them out there smoking. So it just is a poor example & we don't think our folks ought to do it.
183. AND FOR GOD'S SAKE, IF THERE'S SOME REASON OR OTHER THEY CAN'T SEEM TO GET THE VICTORY, they certainly ought not to do it in the presence of outsiders & anybody that is a weaker brother & is going to be hurt by it. Paul himself said there are things that he did which he wouldn't do for the sake of the weaker brethren‚ that were perfectly lawful for him to do & he could do, but he wouldn't do them lest he cause a weaker brother to stumble. (Romans 14)
184. SO WE HAVE TRIED TO ABOLISH THESE TOO HIGH STANDARDS THAT THEY WERE UNABLE TO ATTAIN‚ & I'm not just talking about smoking. I think anybody can quit that if they want to & really love the Lord. We have tried to lower the doorknob & not expect them to stretch beyond their reach & thereby get frustrated & quit.
185. SO WHAT I'M ASKING YOU IS THIS, IF WE'RE GOING TO BEGIN TO DARE TO SHARE SOME OF THE TRULY SHINING EXAMPLES OF SAINTLINESS, of the great heroes of the church & even modern Christian heroes, are we going to make that the ideal, the goal, as the supposed standard which we all should be able to live up to & eventually attain? Or are we going to merely present this as,
186. "LOOK, YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT BAD? You think you've got it tough? You think you're having a hard time? Well, look at these people! Look what they did! Look what they went through! Look what they suffered & yet they made it. You ought to be thankful you don't have to go through that!" I mean, if anything, reading that kind of stories makes you so thankful that you're not put under that kind of pressure & torture & persecution & trial, that God has made it so easy on most of us so that we can make it.
187. BUT I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD PRESSURE BABES, CHILDREN & IMMATURE CHRISTIANS—which we have lots of in the Family—under the impression that that's the goal, that's what we want you to be like eventually‚ that's what you're to strive to attain to be, that's what you're supposed to endeavour to suffer & gain merit by, to become a truly great Christian that's what you've got to go through.
188. I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD SET THE STANDARD SO HIGH THEY CAN'T MAKE IT. They used to say, "Don't lower the standard‚ but bring yourself up to the standard!" My brother used to say, "Dave, don't let anybody pull you down to their level, you pull them up to yours!"—Which of course was supposed to be far superior as a Christian.
189. I NOTICE HE WOUND UP NEVER MAKING IT! I already knew I couldn't make it & figured I couldn't make it & confessed I couldn't make it & didn't even try, but I wound up to be more of a Christian than he was! He couldn't make it! He couldn't even live up to his own standards, so he quit entirely. I couldn't make it, I knew I couldn't make it, so I quit trying to make that standard, reach that doorknob‚ & I decided to just reach the doorknobs I could & go through the doors that I could make.
190. I DECIDED I WOULD NOT TRY TO BE SOMETHING I COULDN'T BE, but I would at least try to be something! It's better than nothing! Right? I'd rather see a young Christian & a babe in Christ at least try to live up to the meager minor expectations that we would expect of a baby Christian & the few criterion, the few minimum standards that we would have for them than to try to set standards so high & go so high & restrictions so tight & prohibitions so impossible that he gets discouraged & figures he never can make that, he might as well quit.
191. SO I THINK REALLY WHAT MY MINISTRY HAS BEEN, IN A WAY—for example, in the beginning with those hippies, & then with sinners & the prostitutes & the profligates & what have you—is to show that to be saved you don't have to reach any doorknob! The door is already wide open by Jesus & all you have to do is walk through, that's all!
192. AND IF THERE ARE ANY DOORS & DOORKNOBS AFTER THAT, I HAVE TRIED TO PUT'M SO LOW THAT THEY'RE WITHIN REACH OF ANYBODY. I mean, we have got criminals & robbers & drug pushers & former prostitutes & maybe even present prostitutes who are members of our church & continue to practice their trade.—Not the robbers, I hope, nor the criminals‚ I hope, nor the drug pushers either! Although I've heard of a few, but they've usually been backsliders who've gone back & left the Family, but we certainly don't tolerate it in the Family. But the prostitutes?—Jesus took'm in! He loved them!
193. BUT AT LEAST I'VE TRIED TO PUT SALVATION AS AN OPEN DOOR BEFORE THEM WHERE THEY DON'T HAVE TO REACH ANY DOORKNOB. All they have to do is see the door, believe it, walk through it by faith‚ receive it, receive Jesus, & they're saved! They're in the Heavenly sphere of salvation, Heaven on Earth, Kingdom of God, just by walking through the open door that Jesus has already opened. He said, "I am the Door!" (Jn.10:7‚9)
194. AND IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER DOORS THAT THEY HAVE TO OPEN THEREAFTER IN THE WAY OF WORKS, services for the Lord‚ witnessing, litnessing & living for the Lord, we have tried to make the standards low enough that they're within their reach‚ within their grasp, they can make it, it's not too hard for them.
195. WE ABANDONED THE QUOTAS & NEARLY ALL THE RULES & RESTRICTIONS WE EVER HAD, & now about the only restriction we've got is that they be Christians & that they show they love us by fellowshipping with us & give & help the work & even witness—we don't even compel them to litness any more to be a Member, but I believe they will & I believe they'll witness.
196. I BELIEVE ANY CHRISTIAN WHO REALLY LOVES JESUS IS GOING TO CONFESS CHRIST TO OTHERS OR HE'S NOT REALLY SAVED. Because it seems to be one of the conditions of salvation, you've got to at least confess Christ. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom.10:10) If we confess Christ, believe on Him that God has raised Him from the dead, the same shall be saved. He that shall confess!
197. AS WE HAVE POINTED OUT IN THE FOUR LITTLE STEPS OF SALVATION‚ you not only have to believe‚ but you have to receive Christ by faith & then you certainly must confess Christ in some way. Maybe litnessing is not their bag yet, but maybe they witness at work, maybe they witness at home or to friends or relatives or something, but they will confess Christ & confess they're saved & confess Jesus & confess that they're different & have had a change, that they're a Christian now that they're saved, they'll confess Him in some way.
198. I BELIEVE THAT THOSE ARE THE FOUR STEPS: Confession‚ of course, first, that you're a sinner, confess sin, then believe Christ, receive Christ & confess Christ. Those are our Four Steps of Salvation. To be saved you've got to confess you're a sinner or you can't even know you need to be saved. & that's all! (ML No.527)
199. THAT'S ALL THE REQUIREMENTS GOD MAKES! He didn't put the cookies so high we couldn't reach'm! He didn't put the doorknob so high we couldn't open the door. He's even already opened it for us, all He does is invite us to walk through it & believe it's open & believe that He is the Door!
200. I COULDN'T POSSIBLY GO THROUGH THAT DOOR TO GET OUT OF HERE if this place was on fire if I would just sit here & figure the door was locked & it was impossible to open & I might as well burn up in the fires of Hell or whatever!
201. WE HAVE GOT TO BELIEVE THAT THAT DOOR IS UNLOCKED, not only unlocked, but open, & that it is a door, that Jesus is the Door. & we've got to believe that it's not only a door, we've got to believe it's open for me, for us, that we can walk through it.
202. BUT THEN WE HAVE TO TAKE THAT STEP OF FAITH! Having seen it & believed it & knowing that going through it could save us, we then have to do that one thing ourselves, take that step of faith by accepting it, receiving it, by taking a step & walking through it, & that's salvation.
203. SO IN A SENSE THAT'S WHAT WE DO WITH JESUS: HE SAID‚ "I AM THE DOOR!" (Jn.10:9) And therefore, if we want to get to Heaven we have to walk through Jesus, the Open Door. But He is an open door, not a locked door, not even a shut door, not even a door with the handle too high, but an open door. All we have to do is walk through. PTL!
204. WHEW! I'M AFRAID SOME OF THESE LETTERS ARE SO LONG they're going to be a shut door for some people, they're going to get discouraged to try to read'm! But there's a kind of a summation of our basic beliefs & faith & doctrine & expectation of our people!
205. —THAT I DON'T BELIEVE IN PUTTING THE COOKIES ON SUCH A HIGH SHELF THEY CAN'T REACH'M‚ or putting the doorknob too high that in trying to reach they think it's their fault that they can't reach it & they quit!—Instead of showing them that the church has put the doorknob too high & it's the church builder's fault that they put the doorknob too high.
206. I HOPE IN PRESENTING THIS KIND OF HEROISM TO OUR FAMILY MEMBERS WE ARE NOT PUTTING THE DOORKNOB SO HIGH like the church does & like the church has obviously done even with these heroes that it's describing: "These are the heroes of the faith, these are the shining examples‚ these are the goals, these are the heights of attainment to which you should strive & to be a truly great Christian you'd have to be like this!"—I don't believe that!
207. I THINK THAT'S FOR THE RARE EXCEPTIONAL FEW TO BE SUCH GREAT SAINTS & suffering saints & to go through such extreme trials & testings & temptations. I believe that is the exception & should be known to be the exception rather than the rule, so that not everybody just gets discouraged, quits & gives up because they figure, "Well, I could never make that anyhow so I might as well not try." God doesn't expect you to make that & you probably won't make that! There probably won't be one in a hundred or a thousand that can make that!
208. BUT WE'VE GOT TO SHOW THEM THAT YOU CAN MAKE WHAT GOD EXPECTS YOU TO MAKE, & I think that's been a part of our ministry, to show the sinners & Family Members that God is not going to expect more of you than you're able to bear. He is not going to cause you to be tested or tempted beyond what you're able to bear. He's not going to ask more of you than you can.
209. HE'S MADE SALVATION THE EASIEST THING IN THE WORLD where it requires absolutely no effort on your part whatsoever, no work, nothing‚ except just receive it & believe it! If there's any effort to it at all, you might say it's stretching out the hand of faith to receive the gift‚ just by faith receiving it. Or taking that step of faith through the door. That's the only thing we have to do, as dear old Dr. Ironside wrote: "God's grace plus your faith"—& He even gives you the faith—"plus nothing!"
210. SO MY FINAL OPINION ON THAT IS, LET'S NOT GET BACK INTO THAT SAME RUT THE CHURCH IS IN WHERE THEY HAVE MADE SAINTHOOD IMPOSSIBLE!—In fact, where they have made even being a Christian impossible for most of us sinners. Right? But let's keep our cookies on the bottom shelf—I even want to put'm on the floor so that our little babies can crawl around & get into'm & get the nourishment they need!
211. LET'S NOT JUST PUT THE HANDLE DOWN LOW ENOUGH EVEN, BUT LEAVE THE DOOR WIDE OPEN so that our babes can crawl in & out & round about wherever it's safe. If it's not safe for them to go out that particular door, then all right, we'll shut it‚ keep the handle high up, even lock it if necessary, if it would be dangerous for them to go through that particular door.
212. WE LOCK A FEW DOORS‚ WE TELL THEM YOU CAN'T DO THIS OR THAT, WE DON'T THINK IT'S RIGHT OR GOOD FOR YOU. Even our health rules, our dietary rules, we have some prohibitions along these lines. Our rules against smoking & doping & crime & lying & a lot of other things. We've got some pretty strict standards & rules & regulations & Family laws which we think are a fulfillment of God's only Law of Love.
213. BUT WE DON'T EXPECT THEM TO GO THROUGH THIS KIND OF DOOR, we don't think it's safe for them & it's dangerous to go out in certain areas, so we shut the door & we lock it & tell them not to go through it. And if they do, they've practically got to batter it down & break up the home or the house to do it, & they're apt to get out where they can't come back in!
214. (MARIA: WELL, IN VIEW OF ALL THAT‚ IT'S PROBABLY BETTER TO JUST FORGET IT, forget the great saints & great missionaries.) No, no, no, I wouldn't say that. (Maria: I'd like to say what my impression was upon reading that. I agree with everything you said, it's completely true & it's right & that's the way it is, but just my personal impression—maybe it's because I'm just a little dumb—but when I read those testimonies I didn't get that point out of it. Maybe I was taking it the wrong way‚ but to me, I thought,
215. ("OH, WELL MOST OF THEM WERE GREAT MISSIONARIES OF THE CHURCH & SORT OF LIKE OUR KIDS!" I sort of identified with them, like our kids have gone through really tough battles & they're going to be going through more as times get harder & the Tribulation, because a lot of our kids are going to go through the Tribulation. But the Lord's going to strengthen them so they may get to the point where they have to go through maybe just as hard times as some of these missionaries went through, but the Lord will give them power for the hour.
216. (I THOUGHT THE KIDS WILL SORT OF IDENTIFY WITH A LOT OF THESE PEOPLE. Not the two that spent 14 years in prison or something, that's really extreme & I agree with that, but the other hardships of these other missionaries, I think some of our kids have even gone through the same type of thing already.
217. (AND WHEN I READ THESE WHEN I WAS LITTLE‚ I THOUGHT‚ "WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF I'LL EVER HAVE TO DO THAT OR ATTAIN TO IT," but it gave me hopes that if I ever did have to, there were some people that had gone on before & had gone through the same thing! So therefore, "Well, Lord, now I know somebody else has done it so I can do it if I ever have to!") Amen, Honey! That's a good way to present the positive.
218. I'VE BEEN DWELLING ON THE NEGATIVE‚ I'M SORRY, BUT SEE‚ I WENT THROUGH SO MUCH OF THAT & it was such a trial to me & I couldn't make it, that I really gave up, I didn't give up the Lord, that's about all I can say, but I gave up the Lord's work, I gave up church, I gave up Christians, I gave up everything, my own ministry! I quit & I nearly became a Communist!
219. I WAS SO TOTALLY DISCOURAGED & DEFEATED & BITTER AGAINST THE WAY THE CHURCH HAD TREATED ME, these so-called Christians, & thrown me out & exiled me from the very building I'd built with my own hands. I did what they wanted me to do‚ I fulfilled the almost unattainable obligation & goal that they set out for me‚ to build a church out in the middle of the desert—50 degree centigrade heat even in the shade—& there was no shade—& where we had to wear gloves to pick up our tools.
220. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SICK BUT I LIFTED UP THOSE 40 POUND ADOBE BLOCKS & BUILT THAT CHURCH WITH MY OWN BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS & MONEY THAT GOD GAVE ME TO BUILD IT! They gave hardly a damn thing, not a God-damned thing! All they gave was about $10 every Sunday morning which couldn't have even fed my own little family of four children & a wife, nothing!—And then threw me out after doing what they told me to do & building the building when I didn't even have much faith in buildings anyhow, I didn't even care much for buildings anyway. But they said they had to have one in order to have a church there, so I built it.
221. I HAD THE CHURCH MEETING OUT ON MY VERANDA‚ nice big long 40-foot verandah, half as big as the church I built, & there was plenty of room for them there. In fact, now I'm sorry I built the church, really, in a way, except I learned a lot by it & I had to go through that experience. Because what few people came to that church normally could easily fit on my verandah. But oh no, they had to have a church building.
222. IN FACT, WE USED THE VERANDA FOR ALL THE MONTHS WHILE I WAS BUILDING THE CHURCH BUILDING & it was perfectly comfortable & seated all the people we needed to seat. We even had our first Christmas there in it & we didn't need any more, & I did all that & yet they threw me out!
223. WELL, I WAS SO EMBITTERED AGAINST THE CHURCH & churchianity & denominationalism & church officials & the Scribes & the Pharisees & the hypocrites that I never would have darkened the door of another church & I swore I never would, God helping me! I'd never go back to church, & I almost never did!
224. THE ONLY TIME I EVER WENT TO CHURCH AFTER THAT MY WIFE DRAGGED ME IN PRACTICALLY BY THE HAIR OF MY HEAD, or my mother did, & I was uncomfortable in it every minute! I felt like the sinner who said he was afraid to go to church, maybe the roof would fall in on him! I hated it!
225. BECAUSE I SAW THROUGH THE WHOLE DAMN MESS & ITS HYPOCRISY & its corruption & its total violation of the laws of God in disobedience to God's commission to go out into the World!: "Go ye into all the World & preach the Gospel to every creature!" (Mk.16:15)—Not just these God-damned Christians! And I mean they were God damned because they were going to be judged by God‚ punished by God for their disobedience & failure to get out in the World & into the World to preach the Gospel to every creature!
226. & I GOT TO WHERE I HATED THE CHURCH & THE CHURCH PEOPLE who had nearly destroyed me & nearly destroyed my faith. If my faith hadn't been built on God Himself & His Word & the example of my own parents & Christians I knew were real Christians, I could have thrown the whole thing overboard as many a sinner has & as many a church member has & many a poor Christian who tried to be a Christian! But I got fed up & threw the whole thing out, but I didn't lose my faith in the Lord!
227. (MARIA: WELL, JUST BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE HYPOCRITICAL DOESN'T MEAN THAT SOME OF THEM HAVEN'T BEEN VERY GOOD EXAMPLES.) Right. This is what we have now gently, gingerly, very prayerfully & hesitantly tried to do. We have gone the full circle in the Revolution & we have come back now to where we feel our people, our Family, our children, our Members are sufficiently established in the faith & strong enough that although they were once extremists like me & couldn't tolerate the church or Christians at all, we're trying now to teach'm that there were some real Christians in the churches, there were some real saints, there were some real Godly people a lot like us who were outstanding witnesses & missionaries for the Lord & lived by faith like us!
228. THERE WAS SOME GOOD IN THE CHURCH & there were a few things in the church which we can emulate & still imitate & a few things about it that were good, like Sunday School, & like the fellowship & the sweet old Gospel hymns of praise to the Lord & the cute little kids choruses & the Bible Pictures & the Vacation Bible School type of training for our children, visual aids, flannelgraphs. We've even gone now to the extremes of puppets & videos & all kinds of audio & visual aids.
229. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THE CHURCH HAD WHICH WERE VERY GOOD & which we can dare now to imitate, emulate & even maybe assimilate & absorb & do ourselves without being afraid of becoming like the churches. I've even now gone to this almost final ultimate step which is as close to being churches—& I've even called them churches—of the Local Fellowships, Group Fellowships etc. (Maria: & telling them to invade the churches.) Yes, infiltrate the churches.
230. MAYBE INSTEAD OF "INVADE" THE CHURCHES I SHOULD HAVE USED THE TERM "INFILTRATE" THE CHURCHES, which is a lot safer & more like our kids are doing‚ like we did. Not invade the churches like dear Brother Jim Ballister did in San Francisco‚ & like we used to do in our red robes & staves & whatnot sometimes & go in in a church sit-down or a church picket or whatever, walk in 50-strong down the aisle with those red robes & those yokes around their necks thumping those big heavy staves & walking up in front of the preacher while he's preaching, disturbing the service, interrupting the sermon & lifting a big clay pot high overhead & crashing it down to the floor with a huge crash bang & then giving a big warning Jeremiah prophecy to the congregation condemning them to Hell for being in churches & church people, etc., so that of course they called the cops & rounded them up & put'm in jail! That was a church invasion!
231. (MARIA: EVEN THAT WASN'T AS DANGEROUS AS INFILTRATING THE CHURCHES.) Well, it was pretty dangerous & some of our kids got beat up & attacked physically & violently. They took poor Ebed & beat him up & threw him out the door & off the steps about seven feet above the sidewalk & he could have gotten killed! (Maria: I know‚ physically, but the point we're trying to bring out & you've been saying, the dangerous thing is...)
232. THE MOST DANGEROUS THING IS THE SPIRITUAL DANGER! Exactly! You're right! Their attacking us physically made us even more violent for the Lord, made us even more fervent for the Lord. Actually in some ways physical violence, the physical attacks of persecution, seem to make you stronger.
233. AND THIS IS WHAT I WAS ASKING ABOUT THIS MORNING: Lord‚ how could You ever let them go through things like that? Well, it's a testimony, it's a test—& I didn't ever reach the final point—through this it makes you stronger in the Lord. Like I believe Job came out stronger than ever for the Lord because he passed the test, he passed the examinations, he got his diploma, he got his graduation & he got rewarded more afterward than he had before, seven times over!—Family‚ wealth, health & everything.
234. SO I CAN SEE WHY GOD DOES ALLOW SOME OF THESE TESTS & SUFFERINGS. They're not only for Him to see if we've got it—which He surely must know already—but maybe for us to see if we've got it. And most of all, maybe for others to see if we've got it!
235. IT WAS THE CHRISTIANS' HAPPY DYING BURNING AT THE STAKE or in the lions' mouths singing hymns & rejoicing & praising the Lord for it which converted the Roman Empire & the Emperor. So I can see why God would let some of His precious children go through such suffering.
236. (MARIA: YOU SAY THESE ARE THE EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE RULE‚ but you know, if the church hadn't been so hypocritical & if they lived more for the Lord like they should, there would have been a lot more samples & they wouldn't have to hold up two or three people & idealize them. There would have been a lot of people that had been the same. Just like our little families have suffered persecution & our kids when they joined the Family they've suffered heavy persecution.)
237. WELL, I GUESS MAYBE I'LL HAVE TO CONFESS THAT IN THE EARLY DAYS PARTICULARLY & EVEN NOW, WE SET THE STANDARD SO HIGH that when you compare with what the church practices—not what they preach but what they practice—our preaching may not be much & may set up a lower standard, but our standard of practice is so high that most people stand in fear & awe of us & the church is afraid of us & criticise us because we put'm to shame!
238. BECAUSE WE REALLY BELIEVE IN WHAT JESUS SAID, that we ought to forsake all & go into all the World & preach the Gospel to every creature, all of us! That is our standard! And for God's sake‚ that's a Heaven of a lot higher than the church standard for its Christians! We expect to suffer for it, & we expect to have to live by faith for it & forsake all for it!
239. WELL, THAT'S A PRETTY HIGH STANDARD, & I'll admit I don't know of any church that expects that of its people & really expects that that is God's highest & best, that you should forsake all—System, System jobs, even an unsympathetic mate, live by faith, maybe lose your children, your home, your country—like I have—& have to forsake all & be pilgrims & strangers hounded from one country to another by our enemies, persecuted, in some cases suffering physical persecution.
240. BUT LIKE YOU SAY, EVEN THE PHYSICAL PERSECUTION IS NOT AS DANGEROUS as the danger of getting into the same bad habits & the same rut & the same spiritual lethargy & the same churchianity hypnotism of the church people. "Ye are in the World but not of the World." Our folks must remember when they're in that church‚ they are in that church building & that congregation, but they're not of it! They're not like'm, & those people will soon find it out!—And sometimes when they find it out, they throw'm out or get rid of'm or quit helping'm or don't ask'm to come back, like they did us.
241. THEY HAVE GOT TO NOT BECOME ONE WITH THEM IN THAT SENSE, SPIRITUALLY, & BECOME LIKE THEM. As somebody has said, "You've gotta love'm, but don't like'm!" Watch out you don't like that kind of thing & get to where you like going to church better on Sunday & enjoying the lovely pious platitudinous peons of the choir & the organ lullaby melodies & the beautiful decorations & the peace & quiet & the lovely little sermonettes & all that kind of churchianity & Christianity better than the tough, hard, live-by-faith‚ forsake-all road of going into all the World & preaching the Gospel to every creature! That's what they've got to remember!
242. AND I'LL GRANT YOU THAT IT'S MORE DANGEROUS THAT THEY SHOULD BE TEMPTED BY CHURCHIANITY to get back into that rut of do-nothing Christians who only have to go to church on Sunday & put a little change in the waste basket. I'll admit that it is dangerous! But so is lifting up the standard too high & extolling these heroes of the church to the point where they're worshipped & made the example & the ideal & the goal & unattainable—a doorknob so high some people give up & just cry!
243. (MARIA: I AGREE WITH THAT‚ BUT IN SOME CASES JUST TELLING SOMEONE'S TESTIMONY IS NOT EXTOLLING THEM, it's using them as an example, what they accomplished with the Lord's power & in His strength.) Amen, & I was glad to see that your book-reviewers saw through some of these people & some of the mistakes they made & some of their mistaken ideas, & that either the authors or the publishers of the book failed to bring out where the problem really lay & why they got in so much trouble & how they could have avoided it, which we've tried to teach our children.
244. AS LONG AS WE GO INTO THIS WITH OUR EYES OPEN & AWARE OF THE DANGERS & the pitfalls & the bogs & the temptations of it, like the dear pilgrim in Pilgrim's Progress‚ as long as you're aware of the dangers of the church & its teachings & its bad habits & its hypnotism, as long as you're aware of it, well‚ then there may be a few good things we can find if we pick away carefully through all the trash & all the garbage & all the dangerous sharp tin cans & broken bottles & junk.
245. LET'S HOPE WE CAN PICK OUT A FEW THINGS THAT MIGHT BE REAL JEWELS, precious jewels & precious things & valuables that are worth salvaging from the church & churchianity & church practices. (Maria: Or if we can see that these great men & women of God didn't actually belong to the church, the church didn't possess them, but God possessed them, then they belong to our Family as much as they belong to the church! They belong to our Worldwide Family of God!) Right!
246. THEY BELONG TO THE CHURCH, BUT NOT NECESSARILY THE CHURCHES. Many of them were not even church people. Many of them never had much experience with the church till they came out of their country & came to America etc. & preached in churches as shining examples of sainthood, the church parading them around supposedly as a product of the church, which they were not.
247. THEY WERE NOT CHURCH PRODUCTS AT ALL, they were products of some faithful poor little humble missionaries witnessing out on the field someplace or even reading the Bible‚ literature‚ without any human assistance, or even a vision of God.
248. SOME OF THE GREATEST ONES HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHURCH, at least until later in their experience, in their testimony. And when they saw what churches were like they were so sick & fed up with them they quit'm & went back to their field & their missionary place etc.
249. THEY ONLY WENT TO THE WEST & THE SICKENING CHURCHES LONG ENOUGH TO PREACH TO THEM what they ought to be doing & condemn'm that they're going to be judged by God for their failures! In fact, so much so that obviously the church didn't like'm & sent'm back where they came from!
250. SO I AGREE THAT THEY ARE MARVELLOUS, WONDERFUL SHINING EXAMPLES of faith & service & practice & witness & even suffering, surviving tests for their testimony, & can be an inspiration, I think, to our Family!—If we keep our eyes open, if we don't fall into the trap of falling back into the feeling & the doctrines of the church that this is what you've got to be.
251. IF WE CAN SHOW THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE PRETTY MUCH LIKE US & this is something you already are, in a way, & that there were people like you in the church & in Christianity before you—& even not so long ago much like you—this should encourage you & be an inspiration to you & a blessing to know that there were real Christians like you & even real Christians in the churches who in spite of the churches & everything, they left their church & went to the foreign field & became real missionaries, by faith, forsook all.
252. THEY WENT INTO ALL THE WORLD & PREACHED THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE THEY COULD FIND‚ they left their churches & they went out there & suffered privation & persecution & forsook all & are much like our own Family. I think that is a good thing to hold before them. And I was certainly inspired by reading these testimonies & thrilled to be amazed & to admire that there could be such marvellous Christians, far beyond my own experience & my own testings of sufferings, I think.
253. PERHAPS I'VE BEEN TESTED & SUFFERED IN OTHER FIELDS, IN OTHER WAYS. I've been attacked by the Enemy in other ways, even in his personal persecution of my own flesh. They didn't have to beat me up, the Enemy's often beaten me up & nearly killed me, in person.
254. (MARIA: SO SEE, YOU'VE SUFFERED TOO, OUR KIDS HAVE SUFFERED. It's not that it's not so much different—with a couple exceptions where they spent 14 years in prison—but most of them suffered things that probably our own families have suffered, or will possibly suffer. The Lord will give them grace, they'll be stronger when the time comes if they have to.) Yes, I think that's good.
255. IT'S GOOD FOR THEM TO SEE THAT THERE ARE OTHERS SORT OF LIKE US & that we're not the only ones. That there are other Christians in the World & have been other Christians in the World who have been like us & who have obeyed the Lord & who've forsaken all & gone into all the World to preach the Gospel to every creature.
256. (MARIA: WE JUST DIDN'T JUMP FROM NEW TESTAMENT TIME & THE 12 DISCIPLES UP TO NOW, but over that long period of time there've been other Christians who really loved Jesus & really lived for the Lord, & still are a few.) Amen! And I, of course, confessed that I am from a third or fourth or more generation of preachers, my family.
257. IN A SENSE THE CHURCH COULD CLAIM‚ "WELL, YOU'RE A PRODUCT OF THE CHURCH, SO WHAT ARE YOU BRAGGING ABOUT?" Well, in a way I am, & my upbringing was church & churchianity. But really my Mother & Father were rebels, revolutionaries & thrown out of their church, outcasts‚ lepers spiritually as far as the church was concerned‚ pariahs, & had to go out like Abraham not knowing whither they went, by faith, forsaking all, into all the World, & they did. Even though they kept the forms & ceremonies of the church, in a way, & within the buildings‚ they often had meetings out of the buildings too & were pretty radical in many respects, even in the eyes of the churches.
258. BUT IT SEEMS THAT ALMOST WITH EACH GENERATION HE'S BROUGHT US A STEP FURTHER‚ FURTHER OUT. Camps Farthest Out is one outfit, they claim to be real pioneers, you know, the camps farthest out, that everybody was in some kind of a camp but they were the camp that was farthest out of all because they were really out on the fringes of the pioneer areas of Christianity & Christian faith.
259. AND I THOUGHT THEIR STUFF WAS PRETTY GOOD! My Mother was quite interested in them, a group of Christians who were really trying to be witnesses in the World & in their own places & spheres & professions outside the church, which was very good.
260. WELL‚ WE'VE BEEN SORT OF A CAMP THAT'S THE MOST FAR OUT, REALLY FAR OUT!—So far out that most Christians can't even stomach us. I think FFing was the last straw. That did it! Then they knew we were not of God! Then they knew we were not Christians! Then they knew we were not the real thing! Then they knew I was a false prophet! When we finally lowered the boom on FFing, that was their last straw! In fact, it wasn't a straw, it was a huge log as far as they were concerned!
261. HOWEVER, THAT DIVIDED THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS, the weak sisters from the strong ones‚ the handicapped spiritually from those who are real all-outers all the way, real fighters, real soldiers‚ & I think we came through that stronger than ever & certainly more effective than ever, & more far-reaching than ever, & reaching people that way now that we would never have reached any other way before & the church never reached, who wouldn't go near a church.
262. THEY WOULDN'T ENTER A CHURCH BUT THEY'RE SURE ENTERING OUR GIRLS!—And our girls have entered their beds & won'm to the Lord, changed their lives & they've become wonderful Christians helping the Family & defending'm & loving them & cooperating with them. That's why I said in "Members" (No.1068) that I think we should count'm as Members, whether they live in or out, tithe or no tithe. As long as they're saved & love us & love the Lord & love souls & love our fellowships & work with us & count themselves as one of us, we should count them as one of us.
263. BUT ALL THE TIME YOU MUST ALWAYS KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN & AWARE OF THE DANGERS & the pitfalls & the temptations, even in our Fellowships, of becoming like the churches where they're more interested in fellowship than witnessing. They're more interested in enjoying ourselves together—thee, thou, me & no other—than in getting out & witnessing to the unsaved & winning souls! That's what happened to the church.
264. THEY FOUND FELLOWSHIP WAS SO GREAT & SO WONDERFUL & THEY ENJOYED IT SO MUCH, THEY DECIDED TO GO TO THE UPPER ROOM & STAY THERE & never leave it if they could help it! And as a result they lost the fire of the Holy Spirit & the power of witnessing, power of the Holy Ghost, because they no longer witnessed, so therefore they didn't need it‚ so God didn't give it to'm because they were disobedient.
265. SO WE'VE GOT TO WATCH OUT ABOUT FELLOWSHIPS THAT WE DON'T FELLOWSHIP SO MUCH WE NEGLECT OUR JOB & OUR WORK—which is witnessing, litnessing, winning souls. I don't think they've gotten even close to that yet, thank God, but we don't want to hold up even fellowships as the ideal, that this is the ultimate goal, fellowship.
266. I'VE EVEN TRIED TO SHOW THEM THAT UNLIKE THE CHURCHES TEACHING THAT HEAVEN IS JUST THE ULTIMATE GOAL where there's nothing but saints & nothing but perfection & nothing but floating around on a cloud playing a harp singing hymns, that God is still going to have us busy working trying to help & save the World & change it! Certainly it's obvious it's going to be that through the Millennium.
267. AND FROM MANY SCRIPTURES I'VE GIVEN, IT'S OBVIOUS THAT THERE'S STILL GOING TO BE SOMETHING TO DO IN THE WAY OF WORK FOR CHRISTIANS, for the saints, for the saved, to still be helping the World, even in the New Heaven & the New Earth, those outside in need of healing. I guess the Lord never can trust the church or Christians, our Family or anybody‚ without something to do. But some people's idea of Heaven is nothing to do‚ just to be lazy & rest & sleep & never do anything, that's their idea of Heaven!
268. WELL, GOD IS GOING TO DELIVER US FROM A LOT OF THE HARDSHIPS & the toil & the unnecessary physical labours, etc., we'll have spiritual powerful supernatural bodies & we will be delivered from a lot of these things, the burdens & the weariness of the flesh & the pains of the flesh & afflictions of the flesh & all of this which we suffer in the flesh.
269. BUT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE FAR SUPERIOR & INCREASED SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITIES of ruling & governing & restoring the World, the Earth‚ & still trying to, in a sense, win the wicked, or at least reform them or at least get'm organised or something. At least force'm to obey & conform to God's Kingdom & His rule.
270. SO THERE'S STILL GOING TO BE A LOT OF WORK TO DO, but there's going to be a change. In some ways it's going to be easier, but in some ways it's going to be even more responsibility. So I just can't go for the churches' view of Heaven as being someplace where you just float around on a cloud & there dream of a cloud as a sealy mattress where they can just loaf & laze & sleep & do nothing.
271. I BELIEVE GOD HAS SOMETHING MORE FOR US TO DO AT EACH STAGE, at each phase & each new World so to speak, that it's all working toward a goal of complete universal reconciliation & a universal salvation for all. Praise God! TYJ! Hallelujah!
272. BUT I DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT TOO HARD FOR ANYBODY, I want to make it possible for everybody. If God's going to get to the point where finally He's going to save everybody, make it possible for everybody to have some form of salvation, some form of reconciliation, some form of restoration, then I think we should try to do the same—not make it too difficult, too hard & impossible.
273. BUT AS YOU SAY, IF WE GO INTO THIS TAMPERING WITH THE CHURCHES & church people & church heroes‚ in a way we're playing with fire & we've got to watch out we don't get our fingers burned! But if our eyes are open & we're aware of the dangers & difficulties & pitfalls, then I think we can salvage a few of the useful things that are maybe left in the churches themselves & churchianity, & church practices, as well as church heroes of the past & present.
274. WE CAN HOLD THEM UP AS EXAMPLES OF REALLY WHAT WE'RE DOING ALREADY, to show our Family we're not the only ones, that we're not so peculiar that there haven't been others like us all through history who forsook all & suffered to preach the Gospel to the whole World & lived by faith etc. So I think that's good.
275. I WAS INSPIRED BY READING THE BOOK REVIEWS OF FAMOUS HEROES OF THE CHURCH & I was inspired by their examples. "True Stories of Great Men & Women of Faith"‚ now that's a good way to put it, not heroes. Hardly anybody can ever hope to be a hero. & he didn't say of the church either, but of faith, that's good.
276. I WONDERED WHAT THAT LITTLE WIGGLY WORM WAS DOING WAVING BOOKS THERE! I wondered, now why in the World did Zeb make a picture of a worm here on these book reviews‚ of all things! You didn't even know what it was, but I finally got the point. (Maria: A bookworm!) Exactly! I figured a lot of the Family would wonder what in the World? Why should there be a worm there, & so look what I added! I thought some credit ought to be given—"By the Bookworms!"—so the people would understand what that little worm was about!
277. THESE EDITORS & REVIEWERS ARE OUR BOOKWORMS, THEY'RE READING THE BOOKS FOR US! (Maria: I didn't want to recommend those books because we don't want to have our whole Family taking their time.) Right, we didn't want the whole Family wasting their time reading'm. And I think you're very wise in getting the strong members of the Family who could take it & could see through it & see the wrongs & the rights & the fallacies & the mistakes & where they made their mistakes. I thought that was very good to get somebody else to read it for'm & give'm the summary. We sure don't have time to read'm! I don't even have enough time to read all my own stuff, or I should say the Lord's‚ much less anybody else's.
278. BUT I THINK IT'S GOOD IF WE CAN GO IN WITH OUR EYES OPEN & AWARE OF THE DANGERS. But see, somebody like me who's once been burned, I'm afraid of the fire. I'm really afraid of the fire! (Maria: Well, I was in the churches too.) I know you were, & you survived it & I survived it thanks to the Lord, certainly no thanks to the church or the Christians, they were really no example.
279. (MARIA: BUT I SAW ALONG THE WAY A FEW GOOD PEOPLE that I really had faith & confidence in, I knew they were really sincere.) Right, your mother & father, my mother & father, & some of the old-fashioned saints of God who were really like us. (Maria: So that kept me from just saying, OK, the whole things is just terrible‚ it's not of God, because I saw there were a few people here & there who really loved the Lord & others.)
280. WELL, I CERTAINLY KNEW THAT & I SAW THAT, THAT THERE WERE SOME REAL GENUINE CHRISTIANS IN THE CHURCHES, but I wouldn't say that they were any credit to the churches or churchianity or church doctrines or really were a fruit of the church or its products, as much as a fruit of the Word & somebody's witness & God's love. They were real outstanding Christians, I would say, in spite of the churches—not because of churchianity but in spite of it. In fact, they stood out & shone as amazing exceptions to the regular run of Christians, right? (Maria: Yes, definitely!)
281. THE REAL CHRISTIANS, ESPECIALLY ANY WHO WITNESSED & WON SOULS, or litnessed, passed tracts, how many of those did you find in the average church? You were doing well if you found one! I used to say in average church of one or two hundred people there were probably only one, two or three people in the whole church who witnessed & passed tracts! (Maria: And they were looked upon as being real weirdos!)
282. THEY WERE CONSIDERED BY THE REST OF THE CHRISTIANS AS REALLY BEING PECULIAR & KIND OF WEIRD & a little crazy & a little eccentric & a little odd to stand out there on the corner every Saturday all day passing tracts, other Christians were almost ashamed of them! Especially if they brought some bum into the church, of all things, & contaminated & defiled the church building with some drunk or prostitute they just won to the Lord & brought in off the street! Everybody pulled aside their skirts & their trousers & kind of eased away from them so they didn't get too close!
283. LIKE ALL THOSE MEXICANS & INDIANS & OTEHRS I BROUGHT INTO MY LITTLE CHURCH! That was one of the excuses they gave the District Superintendent for throwing me out! "The next thing you know he'll be bringing in Black people! Just think of it!"—These old hard blue–nosed Southern Whites of Arizona. They were so racially prejudiced it was pitiful! And they really held that against me.
284. WELL, IF YOU BRING SINNERS INTO THE CHURCH NOWADAYS, CHRISTIANS ARE HORRIFIED! "That's no place for a sinner! All of us here are saints‚ pure! Don't contaminate us & our building with bringing in these newly saved sinners with all the stench of the fire & the smoke still on'm!" (Maria: We're the halfway house.)
285. YES, IN A WAY, WE'VE SORT OF BECOME THE HALFWAY HOUSE! Through us, I wouldn't be surprised some of them probably get into the churches where they never felt they could have gone before. But I hope they never get in there to stay, just to get'm out.
286. WE'RE NOT TRYING TO GET PEOPLE INTO THE CHURCHES, WE'RE TRYING TO GET PEOPLE OUT OF THE CHURCHES & INTO THE WORLD!—All the World, to preach the Gospel to every creature! Too long the preachers have tried to get people into the churches, & they haven't been too successful at that. It's even harder to get church people out of the churches to witness & win souls & go into all the World as missionaries & preach the Gospel to every creature.
287. SO LET'S JUST BE PRAYERFUL & AWARE OF THE DANGERS of these things & go in with our eyes open & try to eschew the evil & choose the good & know the difference between the two & what's good & what isn't, & what's right & what's wrong & where they made their mistakes—just like the Bible does pretty clearly in nearly all of its great characters.
288. MY MOTHER USED TO SAY THAT'S ONE OF THE PROOFS THAT IT'S A SUPERNATURAL MIRACULOUS BOOK OF GOD & NOT MAN, because when man writes history he covers up all of the failings & frailties & foibles & follies & mistakes & sins of his heroes‚ whereas God lays'm out wide open there, all the mistakes that they made & their sins—horrible sins they committed!—And yet repented & God forgave & they were restored & they were still useful in spite of it all, which gives all of us sinners hope.
289. LET'S JUST NOT HOLD THE STANDARD UP TOO HIGH‚ let's not raise the doorknob to where they can't reach it, in fact, let's keep the door wide open so they can come in by grace through faith & not of works & show them that anybody can be a Christian if they'll just believe & receive Jesus & confess their sins & confess Christ. Anybody can do it!
290. LET'S MAKE IT SO EASY EVERYBODY CAN DO IT! PTL? That's what the Lord tried to do. He walked those dusty roads & talked to the simple fishermen & the tax collectors & the odds & ends & radicals & flotsam & jetsam & trash of society & whatnot, prostitutes, drunks, harlots & everybody in order to show them that God loved them all & they could all love God, they could all be Christians, they could all love each other & serve each other & serve the World with the Gospel.
291. HE CAME TO TRY TO MAKE IT AS EASY AS HE COULD & that's why they crucified Him‚ that's why they killed Him, because the church of the day as good as said it couldn't be done without them & without following all of their laws their too-high doorknob.
292. HE CAME TO SHOW THEM—LIKE WE DO—THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY—or Saturday or Friday or any other day of the week! You don't have to follow the church laws & regulations & the Mosaic Law & all the rest. All you have to do is just confess that you're a sinner & need salvation—believe‚ receive & confess Christ.
293. AND I THINK THAT'S THE ONLY STANDARD THAT GOD HAS MADE, the only requirements He has given. He said that His one Law of Love contains all the law & all the prophets. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart & thy neighbour as thyself." (Mt.22:37-39) That's the only law God made & that can take almost anybody in if they will.
294. THAT DOESN'T SET THE STANDARD TOO HIGH, THE SAINTLINESS TOO HIGH, THE DOORKNOB TOO HIGH & the cookies too high, it puts it within reach of all. It puts saintliness & Godliness & cleanliness & missionary-ness & living-by-faithness & forsaking–allness within reach of everybody.
295. AND I THINK WE'VE PROVED THAT! God sent us to the people that Dave Wilkerson said were impossible, the hippies, he hadn't ever heard of a hippy that got saved. He said they're worse than the drug addicts. God sent us to the most hopeless cases, the ones Dave thought were the worst of all, we proved that God can do anything, He can even save the hippies!
296. HE SENT US TO THE CLASS OF PEOPLE WHO THE WORLD HAD REJECTED, the System had completely totally rejected & fought & hated & even persecuted to prove to the World that if hippies could get saved, anybody could get saved—except, of course, the self-righteous Systemites! Even some of them can get saved if they'll abandon their self-righteousness.
297. HE SENT US DOWN TO THE LOWEST & WORST, what the System considered was the worst of all, so that we proved that God could save anybody. And not only that, anybody can serve the Lord! They have become the shining examples & extremes of God's service & servants & handmaidens, real missionaries for the Lord, forsaking all, living by faith, going into the uttermost parts of the Earth to preach the Gospel unto every creature.
298. SO I THINK WE HAVE PROVEN THAT THE BEST STANDARD IS THE SIMPLEST MOST CHILDLIKE STANDARD. Jesus Himself said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me & forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Except ye be as a little child ye shall no wise enter in!" (Mt.19:14, 18:3) So if our little children can make it‚ certainly we ought to be able to make it! PTL! We ought to make it easy enough that even the children can make it, amen?—& I think we are. PTL!
299. GOD HELP US NEVER TO MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT THAT THE BABES IN CHRIST CAN'T MAKE IT! And God help us to keep things in the proper perspective regarding the churches' saints & heroes & see that they were not necessarily heroes of the church or a product of churchianity, but as you put in the headline, a product of faith in God & His love & obedience to God.
300. THEY BELONG TO US, NOT NECESSARILY THE CHURCH! And in a sense, thereby, we belong to them & we are the same people, the same kind of people, & if we set them out as that kind of example‚ OK! PTL! I'm satisfied.
301. AND I LIKE YOUR NEW DEPARTMENT & I THINK IT WAS EXTREMELY WELL-WRITTEN. I'm amazed at the eloquence & the fluency of our folks‚ many of whom never had any formal training in writing or anything, that they can write as eloquently & fluently & even moreso perhaps than I! Of course, Maria says that's where they got it!
302. WELL‚ I THINK THEY GOT IT FROM THE LORD, but maybe after reading so much of God's Word, of course you're bound to catch a little of it & be influenced by it. By learning the Words & reading a lot you're bound to learn how to express yourself well, & I certainly was amazed at how well they write & how beautifully they express themselves & how they saw the faults & errors & mistakes & could bring out the real lessons that you needed to learn.
303. THAT'S WHAT I MEAN BY GOING INTO IT WITH YOUR EYES OPEN & seeing the good & the bad & being able to choose the good & eschew the evil. So if we can do that, PTL! Let's just never put the doorknob too high. In fact, let's leave the door open for anybody & everybody, that anybody can be saved & anybody can be a Christian!
304. THE ONLY UNPARDONABLE SIN IS THE SIN OF REJECTING THE HOLY GHOST, the sin of refusing to heed the voice of God & of spurning His Love & His salvation & faith in Christ. There's no sin unpardonable except rejection of Jesus‚ God's Love, that's the only unpardonable sin. And He says it won't be forgiven in this life & He says even in the World to come, they will never have salvation like we have. (Mt.12:31,32)
305. GOD MADE IT AS EASY AS HE COULD FOR US TO ATTAIN SALVATION & EVEN USEFULNESS TO HIM, RIGHT? So let's make it as easy as we can for others to be saved & to be part of us, Members, fellowship & serve God with us. And not point up to some pictures of some distant saint as being something which we should try to attain but looks far beyond us, but as someone much like us, human, who is more like us than most of the church members—heroes of the faith but not the church—& I think then we'll be safe. PTL!
306. IF THEY KNOW THAT, YOU CAN CONTINUE YOUR LITTLE COLUMN OF HEROES OF FAITH, MEN & WOMEN OF FAITH & THEIR EXPLOITS! I think it's very good, excellent! I dwelt on the negative fearful side because the churches scare me 'cause I know how long they have brainwashed & mentally conditioned Christians to false doctrines & false practices & failures & failure to reach the World with the Gospel.
307. I'M AFRAID OF CHURCHIANITY! I fear its dangers & its pitfalls & its lies & its deceptions. I was a victim of it for years—thank God I got delivered! I broke those yokes, the Lord broke them for me, & each of our generations has come a step further.
308. MY GRANDFATHER FINALLY GOT OUT OF THE WORLD & INTO THE CHURCH BY GETTING SAVED‚ then he had to get out of the church & start another one, helped another man start another denomination or religion in order to be free & practice what he thought was Christianity. Then my Mother & Father even got out of that one because it wasn't good enough for them. And I got out of my Mother's & Father's because that one wasn't good enough for me! So we kept being dropouts!
309. AND MAYBE OUR CHILDREN WILL EVEN BE BETTER! They should be an improvement on the stock. They'll be more radical than we are & more revolutionary. Maybe they'll be even freer than we are, not as bound as we are. They're going to do tremendous exploits to be able to survive under the Antichrist System, that's for sure, & these Last Days. So they're going to be Wonder-Children! Super-Children!—And God's going to mightily care for them‚ mightily help them!
310. I WAS JUST THINKING, I DON'T KNOW IF I COULD STAND SOME OF THOSE TESTS, I don't know if I could go through that. Could I see my children suffer? I might be able to bear it myself, but could I stand to see our little children suffer? But I know there's power for the hour & grace for the facing of it.
311. (MARIA: WELL, LOOK WHAT OUR FAMILIES DO NOW! Many of them have had their children taken away from them. What greater suffering is that than to see them go back into a Godless anti-Christ situation?) It's pitiful! (Maria: Look at the suffering they've been through, but the Lord has given them grace for it!) Lord help us! TYJ!
312. LORD‚ BLESS THEM & KEEP THEM IN JESUS' NAME, HELP THEM! Thank You Lord for how You've called them out of this World, Lord, that You may call them into Thy Kingdom, & then called them back into the World to go out into all the World to preach the Gospel to every creature by faith, forsaking all.
313. THANK YOU LORD HOW THEY HAVE BEEN SHINING EXAMPLES, SAMPLE SAINTS, even to the churches, putting the church people to shame—which is one reason they hate us. We've exposed their hypocrisy & their failures just as You did, Lord, exposed the hypocrisy & failures & sin & wickedness & corruption of the church of Your day, the Scribes & the Pharisees & the Chief Priests who hated You for it & killed You for it!
314. BUT YOU GOT THE VICTORY, LORD, & AS A RESULT WE'RE HERE TODAY & Thy Gospel of Love & Law of Love has spread throughout the whole Earth, including by means of some of our children, our Family. Thank You Jesus that they have been heroes of faith themselves.
315. SHOW THEM THAT THEY ALREADY ARE WHAT WE'RE READING ABOUT IN THESE BOOK REVIEWS, to see the similarities, see the relationship, the kindred spirit‚ the like manner & methods & that it's just the same, the same old story of salvation purely by faith & grace & service by faith too, by faith, forsaking all, obeying, going into all the World just like these that we're reading about.
316. SIMPLY SHOW THEM, LORD, THROUGH THIS, THAT THEY TOO, IN A SENSE, HAVE ALREADY ATTAINED TO SUCH SAINTHOOD & SUCH HEROISM! Many of them have already been through some of these trials & tortures & sufferings & beatings & persecution & deprivations, deprogrammings & all kinds of things‚ Lord.
317. SHOW THEM THAT OUR FAMILY ALREADY ARE LIVING EXAMPLES OF THIS KIND OF HEROISM & sainthood & faith & obedience & effectiveness in Thy service, just like these others they're reading about that they never heard of before, that are famous to the Church World, & which the Church hold up as an example.
318. HELP US TO REALISE‚ LORD, THAT WE ARE THE SAME KIND, OF THE SAME BROTHERHOOD & OF THE SAME SAINTHOOD & the same army, the same battle, the same war. And if some of these extreme cases can make it, Lord—cases which are similar to some we've already had in our own Family—certainly we can all make it‚ or many of us can make it, most of us can make it, Lord. All of us can make whatever You ask us to do, because You wouldn't ask us unless You knew we could do it with Your help.
319. SO HELP US NOT TO BE AFRAID OR DISCOURAGED OR GET FRUSTRATED JUST BECAUSE WE CAN'T REACH SOMEBODY ELSE'S DOORKNOB, LORD. Help us just to go through Thy open easy door of easy access to Thy salvation & Thy kind of sainthood, Lord, simply receiving You & confessing You before men, trusting You & living by faith, gladly getting up & forsaking all.
320. WHAT IS THE "ALL" WORTH, LORD, COMPARED TO YOU & YOUR KINGDOM & OUR CHILDREN & SOULS?—Forsaking all of this World in order to go out & redeem everlasting souls for the next World that will live forever in joy & blessing & eternal bliss through Thy salvation that we have given them through our witness‚ our faith, our sacrifice, our love, our willingness to forsake all & abandon the System & life of ease, comfort & luxury at home to go out into the World, all the World & preach the Gospel to every creature. In Jesus' name!
321. THANK YOU LORD FOR MAKING OUR FAMILY SUCH BEAUTIFUL SAINTS OUT OF SUCH AWFUL SINNERS to show the World that anybody can do it! They too can become saved sinners & sinning saints, in a sense, it's within their grasp, their reach to gain that kind of sainthood. It's on their level & with Thy help, Lord, & Thy grace & Thy power & Thy love they can attain it.
322. HELP US TO SHOW THEM THAT IT'S POSSIBLE & not make it too difficult or look impossible, but to show them that they too can be a Christian & they too can serve Thee & love others & win souls & witness & be members of our Family & Thy great Family, Lord, of the saved sinners, all by grace.
323. IT'S ALL YOU, JESUS, ALL THY WORK! For without You we are nothing. Except we abide in the Vine, we're nothing. But through Thee we can be fruitful & a blessing & bear much fruit & please Thee! TYJ! PYL! Hallelujah! In Jesus' name, amen. TYL!