1. WE NEED TO EXPLAIN TO THE KIDS, TO DEFINE THE OFFICES & THE DIFFERENCE IN THE SPHERES OF AUTHORITY. The Family needs to understand the differences & the officers themselves need to understand the differences between their jobs‚ their spheres of authority & their personal responsibilities regarding their work. The difference between the World Services-appointed VSs & the Family-elected Area Shepherds.
2. IT'S SOMEWHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF APOSTLES & DEACONS, or should be, with the Apostles tending to the spiritual oversight & supervision of the area, country or whatever their area is that they cover, which compares favourably to the job of the VSs. They are World Services appointees to simply supervise the country or the area & to sort of keep an eye on things & a happy balance to authority of responsibilities of the supervision of the Family & its Homes & areas within their jurisdiction. They report directly to World Services on the conditions & events etc. of the people & the area.
3. THE VSs ARE SORT OF WORLD SERVICES' EYES ON THE WORLD to report directly to World Services what's going on in their particular area, the condition of the Homes & the various Servants of the Homes & the various areas, & any needs or problems that they see or help that they see is needed & to generally encourage the Local Area Shepherds & the various Area Shepherds—District Area Shepherds, General Area Shepherds, National Area Shepherds etc. & to work very closely particularly with the National Area Shepherds, all of whom are elected by the people directly from the bottom on up.
4. THESE SHEPHERDS FROM LOCAL HOME SHEPHERDS ON UP COMPARE SOMEWHAT TO THE DEACONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT who were in charge of the physical & practical needs of the people such as what is called the "tending of tables" (Ac.6:2), making sure that their Homes are provided for, the people are provided for & their Fellowships are provided for. The National Area Shepherds in particular are supposed to be primarily concerned with the Fellowships of their various areas within their country as well as its National Area Fellowship.
5. THEY ARE TO TAKE CARE OF THE NATIONAL AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS WHICH ARE ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR & are supposed to be anything from weekend meetings to an entire week or more of a sort of Camp Meeting or Hotel Meeting, whatever they can afford. Whatever they can find in the way of accommodation to spend several days together‚ particularly in a National Fellowship Meeting to go over their various needs & organisations & plans etc. as well as just to enjoy the fellowship of the other Members of the Family whom they may not see very often & may not have seen for a long time.
6. THE NATIONAL AREA SHEPHERDS ARE TO BE THE ONES WHO ORGANISE THESE MEETINGS‚ who MC them or appoint someone Programme Director to plan them & a Housing & Feeding Committee to house & feed them & organise a programme & MC it & supervise the entire Fellowship Meeting or Meetings of that particular occasion. The National Area Shepherds are also supposed to supervise the other Area Shepherds—Greater Area, District Area & even to help them to supervise down to their Local Area Fellowships to make sure that everyone is having Fellowships & Fellowship Meetings at the proper times & in the right places etc.
7. THE NATIONAL AREA SHEPHERDS ARE TO BE PRIMARILY CONCERNED WITH THE FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS OF THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF THE FAMILY & in their various areas & to make sure that they are had & are properly organised & supervised & housed & fed & all the logistics etc. & to make sure that the lower levels of Area Fellowships are maintained at the proper times & intervals & with decent housing & feeding facilities etc. such as General Area Fellowships quarterly, District Area Fellowships monthly & even down to the Local Area Fellowships weekly.
8. THE NATIONAL AREA SHEPHERDS ARE TO BE PRIMARILY CONCERNED, THEREFORE‚ WITH THE WELFARE OF THE FLOCKS, their personal needs, physical needs, fellowship needs, various area needs & problems. They are elected by the people themselves just as the Deacons of the Early Church were elected by the people. Whereas the Apostles, the spiritual overseers over all, were not elected by the people of the Early Church but were appointed by the Lord & were supposed to be deeply spiritual men who were called by the Lord for their spiritual experience & wisdom in the spiritual oversight & the spiritual administration of the people‚ for their inspiration, the feeding of the Word.
9. AS THEY SAID THEMSELVES WHEN THE FIRST ORGANISATION OF THE CHURCH BEGAN IN THE EARLY DAYS IN JERUSALEM, the Deacons were to take care of the physical needs of the flock, the tending of tables, the feeding, housing etc. & were to be in charge of the local finances & all of that sort of thing of the Church, overseeing their material needs. Whereas, the Apostles were to give themselves to the Word & to prayer & inspiration of the people, teaching & overseeing the people inspirationally, ministering the Word, guiding them lovingly, gently in the right directions & making sure that they were making due progress in the Spirit & in their service for the Lord etc. (Ac.6:4)
10. THESE TWO AREAS OF AUTHORITY ARE SCRIPTURALLY SUPPORTED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, between the spiritual overseers—the Apostles—& the material overseers of the flock—the Deacons. This organisation was the good result of a division that took place in the Early Church by contention over the food that was being served etc., as they were obviously living & eating communally & sharing all things etc. so that there would be proper oversight of their physical needs by the Deacons—comparable to our Area Shepherds—& proper spiritual oversight of their spiritual needs & ministrations & inspiration & guidance in the Word, teaching etc. by the Apostles—comparable to our World Service-appointed Visiting Servants.
11. THE VISITING SERVANTS & THE NATIONAL AREA SHEPHERDS PARTICULARLY WORK VERY CLOSELY TOGETHER in the supervision of the people in both of these areas, both spiritual & material & to cooperate together & help each other & encourage each other, & you more or less might say report to each other both the spiritual condition & the material condition of the people & to discuss & point out to each other the various needs in these various areas of need, both material & spiritual‚ & work together on ministering to them & solving any problems regarding them.
12. HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT TO INTERFERE WITH EACH OTHER IN THEIR PARTICULAR SPHERE OF RESPONSIBILITIES & INFLUENCES but rather to work together in cooperation & assisting each other in these various ministrations & needs. The Visiting Servants are not supposed to be the bosses telling the Local Area Servants what to do regarding the material needs of the Church & their Fellowship Organisations etc.‚ although they may advise & counsel together with the Area Shepherds regarding these things in order that everything might work smoothly & be done in decency & in order & best of all agree together on how they should be done, if possible, the Area Shepherds knowing that the Visiting Servants are going to be reporting directly to World Services regarding the conditions in their areas etc.
13. —ALTHOUGH THE NATIONAL AREA SHEPHERDS ALSO ARE WELCOME TO REPORT DIRECTLY TO WORLD SERVICES & we are expecting them to do so, giving their side of the picture regarding the various Area Fellowships & needs, & particularly physical needs, logistics & Action Committees & all that's being accomplished directly by the people & their Area Shepherds in their various areas. We should have a Monthly Report from each NAS, a brief report of not more than one page, if possible‚ describing the conditions in the Area, the victories & the accomplishments as well as the needs of the Area from the standpoint of the National Area Shepherd.
14. THE WORLD SERVICE VSs ALREADY APPOINTED BY WORLD SERVICES & REPORTING DIRECTLY TO US ARE TO REPORT THEIR VIEW OF THE LOCAL PICTURE, at least of the nation or National Area in general to which they are appointed by us‚ & give us their side of the picture as they see it. This way we can keep an eye on things from our viewpoint as well as hear the reports of the local people elected by the people for the people & with the consent of the people from the local people's standpoint, from the nationals' standpoints themselves of the people who live & work in that Area, getting both sides of the picture & both sides of the coin, so to speak, so that we can get a well-rounded picture from both standpoints & the opinions of both on any subject which may come up or any problems or needs etc.
15. WE HAD SAID THAT IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE THAT IF THE LOCAL PEOPLE PARTICULARLY LIKE THE VISITING SERVANTS (& they certainly should, we hope so; we try to pick good people that we have heard are good spiritual overseers) that if the people like them well enough they might even elect them as their National Area Shepherds, but we would prefer to keep these Offices separated if possible.
16. THE VISITING SERVANTS ARE MORE OR LESS THE DIRECT REPRESENTATIVES OF WORLD SERVICES & possibly not even nationals of the countries where they minister, but keeping an eye on the nationals & their officers & their events & activities of the Area. Whereas, the Area Shepherds should be as much as possible either nationals of the Area who are very familiar with the people & the language & the local situation, or we might say longtime missionaries & ministers to the Area who are also very familiar with the language & local situation. This way we can view the situation from our viewpoint as to how they are progressing locally & we can be given the viewpoint of the local people themselves through their Area Shepherds as to how they feel that they are progressing & accomplishing & what their needs may be.
17. THE NATIONAL AREA SHEPHERDS & ALL THE AREA SHEPHERDS DOWN THE LINE are not only to be elected by the people, but also in complete charge of the direct administration of the organisation of the various local groups & Fellowships & physical needs‚ logistics of Fellowship Meetings—how they're housed & fed & programme organised & Action Committees & all this sort of thing. They are to oversee & supervise these more local needs of the people & to be directly responsible for those Fellowship organisations & physical needs & supervision of the various Area Shepherds below them etc.
18. THE WORLD SERVICE VISITING SERVANTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY TO DIRECT OR TELL THE AREA SHEPHERDS HOW TO RUN THEIR AFFAIRS & organise their Fellowship Meetings, much less to directly be in charge of them or control them in any way, but simply to cooperate with them & to keep an eye on them & supervise them & counsel & advise them if they feel that they need it & report back to us regarding situations that may arise. They are our eyes on the World from our direction.
19. THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE THEIR EYES ON THEIR NATION & LOCAL AREAS from the standpoint of the people from their direction. They are to meet together with our Visiting Servants to discuss needs & problems & situations & organisation both spiritual & material, the Visiting Servants particularly having in mind the spiritual needs & the oversight & advise & counsel with the Area Shepherds. Whereas the Area Shepherds have particularly in mind both the spiritual & physical needs‚ in a sense, of their people & counseling together with the Visiting Servants regarding these particular needs.
20. THE VISITING SERVANT IS NOT TO HORN IN & RUN THE AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS. He is welcome to sit in on them & observe them & even perhaps to speak at them occasionally if he is a good inspirationalist or speaker or teacher‚ particularly from the standpoint of spiritual guidance & spiritual counsel & advice to the people & their leaders, & to speak to them regarding our feelings as your World leaders in World Services & to pass on to you directly any messages from us & counsel & guidance from us & what we think you may need to know about or hear or the latest news from us, etc., particularly at the time of your Area Fellowships.
21. IN A SENSE‚ THE VISITING SERVANTS PERFORM THE DUTIES OF AN EVANGELIST, in both the Early Church & in the Present Day Church. Faithy for example, is a very good shining example of this. She is an on-fire inspirationalist, a spiritual guide & counselor. She is sensitive to the Spirit & the spiritual needs as well as to our mind & feelings regarding these things reflecting our particular viewpoint of the overall World situation & a bird's-eye view of the World which we, your World leaders have, being in contact with all parts & sections of the World through direct reports from the various leaders.
22. THE VSs GO ABOUT VISITING THE VARIOUS AREA FELLOWSHIPS INSPIRING THEM & ENCOURAGING THEM & SHOWING THEM VIDEOS of other parts of the World & leading & guiding them spiritually, particularly inspiring them in their service for the Lord & filling them with the accomplishments of other brethren & sisters around the World in every Area, bringing together a World Fellowship through Visiting Via Video!—Not necessarily leading all the meetings of the Area Fellowships, but being perhaps the inspirational speaker at some of these meetings, not necessarily all of them by any means.
23. WHEREAS THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE MORE LIKE LOCAL PASTORS WHO ARE IN CHARGE OF THE LOCAL SITUATION & directly in contact with the people to the lowest levels, grassroots, & all of their needs, their fellowships‚ their meetings, their lit needs‚ their financial needs, their personnel needs & all of these more local needs.
24. VISITING SERVANTS ARE SUPPOSED TO MORE OR LESS TELL THE AREA SHEPHERDS WHAT OUR FEELINGS ARE in various matters & how we feel about this or that & counsel with them & guide them regarding our particular view of various situations, whereas the Local Area Shepherds on up through the National Area Shepherds are to tell us through our Visiting Servant what their needs are & what they feel their problems are, what their personnel needs are, fellowship needs etc. from the more or less local viewpoint of the people themselves.
25. THEREFORE‚ THE AREA SHEPHERDS COME FROM THE PEOPLE & SPEAK FOR THE PEOPLE. They are in direct charge of Area Fellowship Meetings & the needs of the people in the way of personnel‚ literature, meetings etc. & they speak for the people. The Visiting Servants, we hope & trust, speak knowledgeably & directly for World Services & your World leadership to the Area Shepherds & to the people, furnishing the spiritual oversight & spiritual leadership from the World viewpoint of your World leadership through World Services & their Visiting Servants.
26. THIS WAY WE HOPE TO HAVE A BALANCE BETWEEN LEADERSHIP & THE PEOPLE which will give a well-rounded care & responsibility for all of the needs of both the people & leadership in both spiritual & physical spheres & material necessities. We trust‚ of course, they will work well together to minister in all areas, both spiritual & material, both in local organisation & logistics, personnel‚ meetings & various needs of the people as well as in presenting to the Visiting Servants our particular viewpoint & needs of the World & how we feel they should follow their World Shepherds of World Services in the direction that God is guiding & leading as we see it from the Letters & from me & from the Lord.
27. THEREFORE, THERE SHOULD BE NO OVERLAPPING OF AUTHORITY HERE nor interference with each other's particular tasks & responsibilities, but a linking of responsibilities & a linkage of cooperation so that all of the needs of the people are cared for & all of the needs of the country‚ both spiritual & material & personnel & lit & all the rest, as well as spiritual guidance & leadership coming from the Lord through me & the Letters‚ World Services & your Visiting Servants.
28. NEITHER SHOULD THERE BE INTERFERENCE BETWEEN THESE VARIOUS SPHERES OF AUTHORITY unless there should be some gross misconduct on either side which should be reported by the other side. We don't want to be choosing up sides between Visiting Servants & Area Shepherds & have them pitted against each other, but rather cooperating together, working together for the overall general benefit of all the people by the people & for the people & your World Services leadership as well.
29. IN FACT, THIS IS, WE FEEL & WE HOPE, TO WORK OUT AS A HAPPY MEDIUM BETWEEN THE VARIOUS, YOU MIGHT SAY, POLITICAL MODELS OF GOVERNMENT, as it was in the Early Church, a measure of democracy from the people up who chose their own Deacons & their local leaders etc. & yet a measure of authority, theocracy, from the Lord down to the people through His chosen Prophets & Apostles, Evangelists etc. who were, in a sense, the final word of authority in a theocracy—which is a dictatorship by the Lord—& a strong central authority to guide the local leaders & the people in their work & decisions & their spiritual leadership, & there should be a very good balance between the two.
30. THE DIRECTLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES & their Area Shepherds should be able to present to the theocratic leadership of World Services the needs of the people & their viewpoints & their suggestions & their comments & even criticisms, if necessary, regarding how they think that certain situations should be handled locally & the local personnel & policies & procedures on the local level.
31. —WHEREAS THE VISITING SERVANTS ARE THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF WORLD SERVICES & your World leadership of Prophets & Apostles under the Lord to lovingly, gently guide you in what the Lord & we feel is the proper direction in your local activities & responsibilities & services for the Lord on that local level‚ particularly spiritually.
32. YOUR AREA SERVANTS, LOCALLY REPRESENTATIVE & ELECTED BY YOU THE PEOPLE, are to be particularly concerned about your local needs‚ material needs, fellowship needs, personnel & lit needs & local policies in detail from a close-up standpoint of the local knowledgeable leadership who are one of & one with you the local people & understand your local needs & local feelings & can speak for you. Simply speaking, the Area Shepherds from the local Area Shepherds on up through the National Area Shepherds should speak for you the people from your viewpoint. The Visiting Servants speak for us through World Services & the Letters etc.
33. THE LORD, OF COURSE, CAN LEAD ANY ONE OF YOU & CALL YOU TO BE A PROPHET, APOSTLE OR EVANGELIST with true talents for such spiritual leadership right from among your own ranks & lift you out of, you might say, the local mundane material responsibilities of a local nature into that of an overseer, a supervisor of the spiritual needs of the people even as happened in the Early Church.
34. CERTAIN OF THE DEACONS SUCH AS STEPHEN & PHILIP, chosen originally by the people themselves to minister to their material needs, ministration of the food & their physical needs etc., turned out to be greatly inspired by the Lord & the Holy Spirit as great inspirationalists, Prophets, Apostles & Evangelists.—The Lord by His Spirit lifting them out of the common ranks of the people & their material overseers into the ranks of their spiritual inspirationalists & spiritual overseers & ministers of the Word as well as the food.
35. THIS IS WHAT WE HAD ORIGINALLY INTENDED WHEN WE FIRST ORGANISED THE CHAIN OF COOPERATION. The Local Shepherds or Servants from the lowliest pastures, Local Pastors up through their District Shepherds & Bishops & Archbishops etc. were to speak really for the people & not to be mere tools of the authority at the top, which at that time was materially in the hands of Jethro, Rachel & their bunch.
36. BUT THE SITUATION GOT OUT OF HAND THROUGH THEIR OWN LACK OF SPIRITUALITY & failure to follow me & the Letters & the Lord, to where they were becoming dictators & tyrants & dictating to the people through their appointed leaders of the people rather than elected leaders of the people.
37. THEY SIMPLY AUTHORITATIVELY & DICTATORIALLY APPOINTED THE LOWER OFFICERS such as the Archbishop, Bishops, right on down the line instead of even allowing them to be elected by the people, so that they spoke only for the higher authorities & their dictatorial tyrannical oppressive policies, & the people had virtually no voice at all.
38. THIS IS THE SITUATION THAT WE HAVE TRIED TO CORRECT IN COMPLETELY ABANDONING THE OLD SAUL-CHAIN OR CHAIN-SAW POLICIES of Jethro, Deborah, Rachel & their ilk & firing all 300 of their appointees from their Archbishops & Bishops on down, setting the people completely free & independent from any central authority other than the Lord & me & the Letters for about three–&-a-half years until we gradually began to pull out of the mess that we were in due to their unspiritual leadership & very carnal materialistic dictatorship.
39. WE ARE TRYING TO GET BACK TO THE NEW TESTAMENT PATTERN, GOD'S PATTERN UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE LORD & HIS HOLY SPIRIT into the proper balance between your spiritual oversight & spiritual leaders, known in both the Old & New Testament as Prophets‚ Apostles, Evangelists etc., those appointed by the Lord & called directly by Him, He knowing their particular spiritual qualifications & abilities & that they would follow Him & would preach the Word to the people that was the Word of the Lord & His direct counsel & direction. Whereas the Deacons & local Pastors etc. were to tend directly to the local people's local needs both spiritually & physically & materially in the ministration of the daily needs of the people—food, housing & their fellowship on a more direct & local level.
40. THIS IS SOMEWHAT OF A SIMILAR SITUATION TO THAT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT WHERE THE PROPHET OF GOD, MOSES, WAS APPOINTED BY THE LORD, called of God to lead & direct His people, but their local problems & needs & situations were settled by the more local Judges, Judges which were chosen by either Moses or by the people with Moses' agreement to settle their local affairs so that he would not have to be involved in every little tiny detail of government & administration & the settling of all local problems etc. which they themselves could settle amongst themselves. (Exodus 18)
41. IN OTHER WORDS‚ THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL AREA LEADERSHIP & needs & the details of the administration of the local people's needs regarding the Area Fellowships—lit needs, personnel needs‚ material needs, financial needs & all of these things—& of course, to counsel with the Visiting Servants, representatives of World Services & us personally, to counsel together with them & share together these needs & problems & situations & plans‚ programmes etc. & to try to agree together on how they should be handled & what they are & who should do what, etc.
42. BUT THAT IS THE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY IN THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY REGARDING THESE VARIOUS OFFICES. We are not always exactly sure‚ some of the Visiting Servants were appointed rather quickly in haste because they were the only ones available at the time in that particular Area. Their qualifications seemed promising & they were recommended by others in the Area or other leaders who knew them, as we quickly needed some kind of supervision after the destruction & abolishment of the Chain.
43. WE NEEDED SOMEONE ON THE LOCAL LEVEL WHO COULD OBSERVE THE LOCAL SITUATION & REPORT TO US how things were going with the local people & to visit you & to counsel you, pray with you about your local needs & advise & counsel you regarding what they felt might be the solutions etc. & to give you a certain amount of fellowship with each other through them & with us here you might say at the top, sharing our Letters & viewpoints from this direction as well.
44. IN THIS CHANGEOVER WE WERE ENDEAVOURING TO GUIDE YOU & LEAD YOU THROUGH FROM US THE LETTERS, LETTING THE LETTERS BE THE LEADERS until the purge was over & the purifying of leadership & the purging out of the beggarly elements of some of the previously misguided & misdirected & mistrained people & leaders who had been appointed by the Chain rather than having the more democratic processes, find a happy medium in meeting together from both top & bottom & agreeing together in how their affairs should be governed.
45. FOR A POLITICAL COMPARISON IN THE POLITICAL MATERIALISTIC WORLD, I don't like to compare them, but you might say the situation is similar to‚ for example, the Parliamentarian political system of the British. The Parliamentarians are elected by the people from the local level on up whereas the various Ministers of the various departments of government are appointed by the top officers of the Queen etc. from the top down, but they are to work together & endeavour to work together in taking care of the needs of the people & the nation from a standpoint of both the people & the leadership.
46. ALSO TO BE COMPARED TO YOU MIGHT SAY THE DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT in which the Congressional Representatives & Senators are elected by the people themselves, whereas the Members of the Cabinet & Directors of the various bureaucracies of the Federal Government are appointed directly by the President & his appointees from the top down.
47. THESE ARE THEN SUPPOSED TO WORK TOGETHER FROM A CENTRAL IN-BETWEEN MEDIUM POINT representing both the people from the bottom up‚ as well as the leaders from the top down to be able to work together & to solve the problems from the standpoint of both directions & a happy medium somewhere in-between with both people & leadership represented & counseling & working & agreeing together.
48. WELL, AS YOU CAN SEE, IN BOTH U.S. & BRITISH WORLDLY GOVERNMENTS IT DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK THAT WAY & WE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM WITH THE CHAIN. The leaders of the Chain began to get too much power through dictatorial & tyrannical policies & financial control to the point that the Chain became an oppressive dictatorship with almost total control in the hands of the top leaders. Whereas we are trying now to bring back a measure of local autonomy & place within your hands your own local affairs & government & fellowship & ministration.
49. YOUR LOCALLY-ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES & YOUR AREA SHEPHERDS ARE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR LOCAL NEEDS & the various details to which the local responsibility extends in their various areas according to how they were elected, whether they are Local Area Shepherds, District Area Shepherds, Greater Area Shepherds or National Area Shepherds.
50. THIS IS INTENDED TO GIVE YOU MORE DIRECT LOCAL CONTROL BY YOU THE PEOPLE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL over your own local affairs & fellowships & needs, as well as your own local ministries, personnel, literature & representation in various Areas regarding placement of missionaries & the pioneering of new areas etc., particularly all of the needs which require cooperation & deserve cooperation & need cooperation between the Homes & the various Areas so that you can work together to meet these needs & problems & administrations on the local level.
51. WHEREAS, THE VISITING SERVANTS ARE MERELY TO EXPRESS OUR OPINIONS & REMIND YOU OF THE WORD & THE LETTERS & THE LAWS OF GOD already set down in Love & to lovingly guide & counsel you from the direction of your World leadership & the Lord's‚ the Letter's leadership, our leadership. They are not to horn in & interfere & be dictators & tell you off & tell you what to do & interfere with your local affairs & local fellowships & local material needs, local organisation‚ local operations, local ministrations, etc.
52. THEY ARE MERELY TO BE OUR EYES ON YOU TO KEEP AN EYE ON YOU to see that things are going as they should & if they feel that you need any help, counsel, advice, guidance, direction & perhaps even any correction. They are to speak to you regarding these things & counsel together with you regarding them & you are to work together, & not against, not pulling in any opposite directions but a team working together‚ both leadership & people working together.
53. BOTH APOSTLES, PROPHETS, EVANGELISTS, PASTORS ON DOWN THE LINE ALL WORKING TOGETHER to the lowliest of the lowliest Church or Local Home for the mutual benefit of all of God's Work & His Worldwide Work of evangelising the World & reaching all the World & every creature with His Gospel of Love & cooperation.
54. IN OTHER WORDS, A COOPERATION IS A CO-OPERATION! You are to work together. As we used to jokingly use the old cowboy's illustration of what is cooperation? Well‚ he says, it's like cow-operation. Did you ever see two cows standing end-to-end with each cow brushing the flies off of the nose of the other cow with each other's tails?—With the nose of the one cow near the tail of the other cow & vice versa? If you've ever been around cattle you've seen this happen, it's amazing! Horses will even do it sometimes. They brush the flies & the bugs away from each others' faces with each others' tails standing nose-to–tail.
55. WELL‚ WE DON'T WANT OUR REPRESENTATIVES TO GET TOO NOSY IN YOUR LOCAL AFFAIRS, neither do we want you to tail along & lag too far behind your leadership. But we would like to work together & we'd like for you tail-ends down the line to brush any flies off of our faces that you see & feel need to be helped & brush the bugs out of our eyes which may obscure our vision of your operations while our tails brush the flies off of your nose & the dirt out of your eyes so that you can see more clearly what you're doing & things perhaps from our standpoint as well. That's how we're supposed to work together.
56. FOR EXAMPLE, WE CAN PERHAPS SEE YOUR TAIL EVEN BETTER THAN YOU CAN, & you can see, in a sense, our tail, even our Visiting Servants, better than we can. And the Lord can see us all better than any of us can! PTL! Thank God for His leadership which never makes a mistake, the Lord Himself & His Word which is our primary guide & leadership through His Word & the Letters.
57. NOT THAT WE PERSONALLY NEVER MAKE A MISTAKE & ARE NEVER WRONG, but that overall, generally speaking, certainly His Word is always true & the Letters are at least most of the time right on cue & right on the button when it comes to the Lord giving us the wisdom to pass on to you His mind & His revelations & dreams & visions & guidance & messages directly from Him. That's our job!
58. TAKING CARE OF YOUR LOCAL NEEDS & ORGANISATION & COOPERATION & FELLOWSHIPS ETC. ON THE LOCAL LEVEL IS YOUR JOB, although we may sometimes give you suggestions or direction even in the smallest details as we have in the Letters, & sometimes you may give us a few suggestions & comments from your viewpoint regarding our leadership & what you think of the Letters & His Word & how you feel that they express the genuine needs of the World & your personal needs as well & if the Lord really hit the nail right on the head & right on the button, which He usually does! TTL! And that's why we have gotten as far as we have with His faithful leadership & your faithful following.
59. BUT YOU LOCAL VSs & NASs & VARIOUS ASs, ARE NOT TO BE KICKING EACH OTHER IN THE ASSES nor lashing & whipping each other with each others' tails nor stepping on each others' toes‚ but you are to be walking together in the same direction & cooperating together, cow-operating even if it's sometimes nose–to-tail & even the VSs' noses in your details occasionally if he feels that you need help! Perhaps your nose in our details now & then if you feel that we need better knowledge of the situation from your & the local people's standpoint such as in some controversies which we have had in the past in local areas with various sides or factions taking part in the discussions.
60. SUCH AS THE "CHILEAN CONTROVERSY" OF THE PAST REGARDING "TO BE OR NOT TO BE—TO LITNESS OR NOT TO LITNESS," (see No.1054) both sides very well expressed themselves & we published their letters on both sides. Then we gave you our opinion & our judgement from the standpoint of what we feel is the Word of God. You then got together & settled your differences & there was no more controversy so that you were then able to work together.
61. THAT'S OUR JOB: TRYING TO GET YOU TOGETHER, keep you together & help you to work together in the big job that we have to do of preaching the Gospel to every creature in all the World! Our job is to try to help you do your job & to help you to fellowship together, unite together in various activities, work together for the evangelisation of each individual Area as well as the entire World.
62. WE ARE NOT TO WORK AGAINST EACH OTHER BUT WE ARE TO WORK TOGETHER AGAINST THE ENEMY!—Not to be fighting & bickering amongst ourselves but to be standing together, fighting together against the Enemy. This is often the problem in so many denominations on their various fields. It was the major problem in my old denomination from which I came, & it was one of the most spiritual & missionary-minded denominations you could find at that time, & still is very spiritual & very missionary–minded, the Christian & Missionary Alliance, God bless'm! They've done a great worldwide work; however, I think we're now surpassing them‚ as they finally got into the old Church rut because they had never really broken with churchianity.
63. BUT THEY SOON FOUND OUT THAT THEIR MAJOR PROBLEMS ON THE MISSION FIELD WERE NOT IN THE BATTLE WITH THE ENEMY & were not the problems of evangelising the heathen, but fights amongst the Christians & differences of opinions & arguments & controversies between the missionaries themselves rather than between the missionaries & their enemies.
64. THE DEVIL ENDEAVOURED TO ENTER IN & CREATE DIVISION, controversy, schisms, arguments & differences of opinion so that their usefulness & their efficiency & efficacy & unity & therefore their united efforts to convert the heathen were in some areas almost virtually destroyed by their own disunity & lack of cooperation & lack of working together.
65. FOR GOD'S SAKE & OUR SAKE & YOUR SAKE WE HOPE THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN & we're doing our best to avoid it & doing our best to organise you in such a way that all sides will be represented fairly & efficiently & squarely so that everybody will have their fair share & their fair say in everything that goes on & so that we can all work together towards the same goals & not be working against each other destroying those goals.
66. SO YOU VSs & YOU AREA SHEPHERDS PLEASE REMEMBER WHAT YOUR DELEGATED & RELEGATED & REPRESENTATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES ARE regarding the delegation of your authority, meaning between us & the people. The Visiting Servants, suppose to be representing us, World Services, your World leadership & the Lord's Work, & the Area Shepherds representing you‚ the people‚ & your local leadership & the voice of the people & working therefore together hand–in-hand & hand–in-glove & side-by-side, working & fighting together in the service & the Army of the Lord against the common Enemy of the Devil & his dirty tricks & dirty people to endeavour to rescue the masses from the morasses of Satanic power & the grip of the Devil on their souls!
67. WE ARE SENT TO LIBERATE & FREE THEM THROUGH THE WORD! "And ye shall know the Truth & the Truth shall make you free!" (Jn.8:32) But this only comes through living in the Word, knowing the Word & following the Lord & the Letters‚ all of you, whether it be Visiting Servants, World leadership, Local Area Shepherds, National Area Shepherds‚ both leadership & people in all spheres. We must all work together with the Lord & with each other in one great united effort to win as many as we can to the Lord before He comes. Amen? Win as many to the Lord as we can, working together before His soon coming.
68. WE HAVEN'T GOT VERY MUCH TIME LEFT! Things are getting worse before they're gonna get better. Times shall wax worse & worse until the End comes, so we'll need to work more & more together in greater strength & unity & power & fellowship & leadership in order to fight these battles in united strength together to overcome the Enemy & rescue the people from his fiendish grip!
69. WE ARE THE LOYAL ARMY OF THE LORD, THE TRUE KING, THE RIGHTFUL KING & HEIR! We're fighting against a usurper, an impostor king, the Devil, who has entrapped the people of the World in his snares & usurped the authority of their leadership to get them to follow him instead of the Lord. We have come to rescue them from the Enemy, from his grip & from his foul government & his diabolical leadership & to restore the Kingdom & the kingdoms of this World to the authority of its rightful King of Kings, Jesus Christ Himself! Hallelujah? TYJ!
70. SO FOR GOD'S SAKES, FOLKS, LET'S WORK TOGETHER & NOT WORK AGAINST EACH OTHER! Let's work in cooperation, cow-operation, helping each other & not hurting each other. Let's work together in hurdling some of these problems & situations & not hurting & hindering each other in their difficulties.
71. FOR GOD'S SAKE & YOUR OWN SAKE & YOUR LEADERS' SAKE, GET TOGETHER FIRST OF ALL IN PRAYER in every meeting that you have & praise the Lord & get in the Spirit & pray desperately that God will use you! Get down on your hands & knees, old-fashioned prayer-meeting style, & beg the Lord & cry out to the Lord like the Prophets & the Apostles & the men of God of old & plead with God to help you be melted together in Love!
72. NOT MERELY FROZEN TOGETHER IN FORMALITY & ORGANISATION BUT TO BE MELTED TOGETHER IN THE WHITE-HOT LOVE OF HIS SPIRIT just as two uniting bodies in the sexual union are melted together in the heat of loving sex & becoming one with both the positive of the male & you might say comparatively the negative of the female, the leadership of Christ & the Body of Christ, Jesus as our Head & we as His body. We are to become one‚ even as He said‚ "I & the Father are one." (Jn.17:22) We are to unite with Him in loving fellowship & loving spiritual sex, completely united!—One body, all one body we, under the headship of Jesus Christ Himself!
73. SO FOR GOD'S SAKE, LET'S WORK TOGETHER & NOT WORK AGAINST EACH OTHER, not interfere with each other but work together in unity, in cooperation of one mind, one heart, one soul, one effort & one body so that we might accomplish the purpose whereunto He hath sent us. Amen?!—And that's the evangelisation of the whole World that they might all hear the Gospel & everyone have their opportunity & their chance to know His Love & to receive it before He comes, or even reject it if they must.
74. SO PLEASE, VISITING SERVANTS, DO NOT BE DICTATORIAL BOSSES who are little dictators dictating the local policies & programmes & procedures & fellowships of the local level in the Local Areas telling off the Local Shepherds what to do etc.‚ but be counselors, advisors, inspirationalists‚ teachers‚ ministers of the Word in great prayer & great wisdom & great love, not the type of leadership of the former Chain.
75. AND YOU LOCAL AREA SHEPHERDS & AREA SHEPHERDS OF ALL LEVELS, PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOU DO EXPRESS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE & the needs & voice of the people & minister to their local needs & material needs & Fellowships in cooperation with them & not be mere tools in the hands of some higher authority as the local Leaders became under the Chain. We want to hear from you local leaders‚ you Local Shepherds & Area Shepherds. We want to hear from you about your particular personal local people's needs & efforts & victories & problems etc.
76. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! You are the voice of the people! And of course you should want to hear from us, your spiritual overseers, as we speak to you as the voice of the Lord & His leadership. And we should work together, both head & body, both male & female becoming one Body under the Headship of Jesus Christ Himself! Amen? PTL!
77. GBY ALL! WLY! AND WE DO HOPE THAT THIS HELPS TO CLARIFY the distinction between the various areas of authority & representation & responsibilities of these various officers of His Church & His Body, His Bride & their Headship. Can't we work together? Or are we going to work apart & fall apart? Are we going to work together & stick together & unite together & win together?—Or allow the Devil to divide us & conquer us instead of us conquering him & his forces?
78. PLEASE, FOR GOD'S SAKE & YOUR OWN SAKE, DON'T ALLOW SUCH DIVISION TO COME AMONG YOU! "Brethren, such things ought not so to be!" as the Apostle told his people. (Ja.3:10) But you should be loving & working & playing & walking together in beautiful harmony & cooperation & unity & love, His Love, under His guidance. Amen?
79. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME & THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE & listening to these long lectures & reading these long Letters in which I am endeavouring to counsel & guide you & instruct you in the ways of the Lord & the ways of His Word & in the ways of His Church & the way He wants His Bride to be. PTL? And you are His Bride-to-be! Hallelujah!
80. IN FACT, YOU'RE ALREADY HIS BRIDE, WE JUST HAVEN'T YET GOTTEN TO THE WEDDING SUPPER OF THE LAMB & that great big wing-a-ding, ring–a-ding‚ wing-ding of a shindig of the Royal Wedding Supper of the Lamb!—The great Wedding Reception on High in that great Home that He's preparing for us & has prepared for us even now & is already on its way here!
81. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THAT MARVELOUS MARRIAGE UP THERE, total fulfillment of it when we go to be with Him & which we're already receiving a taste of through His Spirit in our spiritual union with Him right now through His Spirit & through Jesus in our hearts & already a part of His spiritual Kingdom & sharing the Lord & His Love even now in our present betrothal to Him in the Spirit.
82. BUT THEN WE SHALL SEE & WE SHALL KNOW HIM EVEN AS WE ARE ALSO KNOWN & BE UNITED WITH HIM, you might say almost physically, in His Home & our Home on High in the ultimate final union with Him there from which we come back to conquer this World & set up His Kingdom, His Kingdom on Earth, physically as well as spiritually, politically as well as religiously:
83. A LITERAL KINGDOM OF CHRIST ON THIS EARTH RULED BY HIS LITERAL AUTHORITY & HIS ROD OF IRON, a tough dictatorial Government of God which shall rule the people by force & compel the wicked to obey Him during those thousand years of the Millennium through us & our authority, having merited such a responsibility & having won such a place of authority & leadership through our own previous duties & faithful discharge of obligations here on this Earth here & now in the work that we are now doing for the Lord,
84. HAVING WON & MERITED THE VARIOUS POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY & AUTHORITY & BEING WORTHY, having won the Crowns & the Rewards & the places of leadership that we will have then under His Government over the whole Earth in that supernatural Kingdom of Jesus Christ on Earth known as the Millennium, so that "he that is faithful now in a few things shall be made ruler of many things," & "he that is faithful now in the least shall be also found faithful then in the most!" (Mt.25:23; Lk.16:10)
85. SO I TRUST YOU ARE ALL WORKING TOGETHER & BEING FAITHFUL IN THESE LEAST & SMALLEST THINGS of our present-day World effort to reach the World with His Gospel of Love so that you may well merit & be worthy of a very important position in His coming World Government in the oversight of the whole World & even the Worldlings, in which we will then be their leaders & we will have the authority & the power over them & not them over us as they now have.
86. WE ARE GOING TO TURN THE TABLES ONE OF THESE DAYS AS WE COME BACK FROM THE HEAVENLY CITY riding on white chargers with our Heavenly Leader Jesus Christ to conquer this Earth & abolish the evil leadership of the Devil & his Antichrist & his False Prophet & his followers, to take over this World both spiritually & physically, both religiously & materially for the Lord in absolute & complete authority under His complete authority, His dictatorship if you will, the dictatorship of Jesus Christ Himself, in the personal, literal Kingdom of Christ upon Earth.
87. YOU ARE GOING THROUGH YOUR TRAINING PERIOD FOR IT NOW! You are now being tested for it, tried for it to see how you respond to it & what you can be trusted with, how much responsibility, how much leadership, how much followership & how much love & obligation & authority etc. And those who are faithful in the very fewest & least things of today will be found to be appointed positions of faithfulness in the greater & greatest things of tomorrow.
88. SO FOR GOD'S SAKE & YOUR OWN SAKE & HIS WORK'S SAKE & EVEN THE WORLD'S SAKE, PLEASE WORK TOGETHER so that you may be found worthy of those greater responsibilities of His coming Kingdom on Earth & that you may learn the lessons now that you will need to know in the days to come when you will be needed to rule the whole World. And you will only learn those lessons by working together, melting together, uniting together in His Love & His Word & His Work. Amen?
89. SO GOD BLESS YOU ALL! WLY & ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO GREAT DAYS AHEAD as we unite more & more in fellowship & unity, the power of His Spirit & the Work of the Lord! Amen? For the evangelisation of the whole Earth, for the winning of multitudes of souls who are now in the Valley of Decision, to lead the poor people of this Earth into the knowledge & the Love & the Freedom of the Lord! Amen? And the enjoyment of His Kingdom on Earth! PG! GBAKYA & CTMYAB to each other & His Work & the whole World, the whole wide World! TYJ! In Jesus' name we ask it. Amen.
90. AND DON'T FORGET: (SINGS: ) "HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS! He's got the whole World in His hands! He's got you & me brother in His hands‚ He's got the whole World in His hands!" So please stay in His hands & in the Spirit & in fellowship with each other in Love! In Jesus' name, amen!
(Summary of VS/NASs talk at Family Dinner:)
91. (TO TECHI:) YOU'RE ALSO A LITTLE SHEEP! (T: No I'm not!) You're my little sheep. (T: No I'm not.) Oh yes, you're my little sheep. Oh, I think so. You think it over, you pray about it. You usually come to the right decision later. (T: I'm a sheep & a shepherd!) That's right, you're a sheep & a shepherd. I knew you'd come to the right decision.
92. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT ON THIS TAPE, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHEEP & SHEPHERDS & HOW THEY NEED TO WORK TOGETHER & NOT WORK APART. How to stick together & not fall apart! There's been a little difference of opinion between Visiting Servants & Area Shepherds. We haven't really clearly defined their spheres of influence & authority & their jobs, & so we need to do it right quick & let'm know. Some Visiting Servants have gone in like they were the bosses to run the Local Areas & Fellowships when they're not.
93. VISITING SERVANTS ARE OUR REPRESENTATIVES, THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE THE PEOPLE'S REPRESENTATIVES & THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO WORK TOGETHER! The Visiting Servants are appointed‚ not elected; we appoint'm. And the Area Shepherds are elected by the people. We're trying to have a well–balanced Government with both the voice of the people & the voice of leadership—both! Not a dictatorship of leadership alone like under the Chain & not total democracy either, I don't believe in that. Really it should be a dictatorship of the Spirit through both leadership & people & they need to learn how to work together.
94. WE'RE GETTING BACK TOGETHER AGAIN NOW IN FELLOWSHIP & ORGANISATION & UNITED EFFORTS & ACTIVITIES‚ it's bringing us back together but in some cases it's bringing us back together in confrontation & a little controversy as to who is who & who is supposed to do what. And I'll take the blame, I don't think we've made that clear, although I thought we had said it before.
95. I PUT IT IN AN LNF, I THINK‚ THAT VSs ARE APPOINTED BY WORLD SERVICES & they represent us directly to the people. Area Shepherds are elected by the people & they represent the people directly to us, & therefore we try to have a proper balance between the two & the Visiting Servants are not supposed to be dictators in the Local Areas, they're merely to be advisors, counselors & supervisors & our eyes on the local situation.
96. THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DIRECT LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, & I was showing on this tape how it's comparable to the Early Church organisation between Apostles & Deacons, or even the Old Testament organisation between Prophets & Judges. The Deacons & Judges were supposed to represent the people & the Apostles & Prophets represent the Lord.
97. SO THAT'S A BIG SUBJECT & IT TOOK ME AN-HOUR-&-A-HALF TO TAKE CARE OF IT, A RATHER LONG LETTER! What a weariness for you poor people to have to read it all, but it's necessary, very necessary. At least maybe I'm not as long-winded as some filibustering Congressmen & I am trying to help now get together & organised.
98. THAT'S THE PROBLEM IN ANY KIND OF ORGANISATION, GOVERNMENT OR COOPERATION, you have to be able to work together like a machine, all parts fitting. You have to fit together like the body, our body, & to work together & not work apart. If you work apart you'll soon fall apart! If parts of a machine don't work together, they'll go to pieces, right? Yet in order to be a machine, in order to be an organisation or to be a body it's got to be put together somehow!
99. YOU CAN'T JUST HAVE PARTS SCATTERED ALL OVER LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN FOR THE LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS SINCE OUR DESTRUCTION OF THE CHAIN! But under the Chain‚ as we pointed out, things got to be too dictatorial & leaders even down to Local Shepherds of Homes were being appointed by the top & a total absolute dictatorship, right? You ought to know‚ you were near one of the dictators where the people had almost no voice, no representation & they couldn't speak for themselves, had no access directly to me etc.
100. WE FINALLY HAD TO CHANGE THAT SITUATION BY COMPLETELY DESTROYING THE CHAIN & ITS FORMER LEADERSHIP, whether good or bad, in order to start over on the right foot & let the Lord & the Letters be the leaders & get you on the right track of the Word. And after three-&-a-half, four years of that purge & purification & washing in the Word—with nothing but the Word & the Letters to be the leaders—I think you seem to be quite ready now for fellowship & for local organisation & the voice of the people. PTL? And you need it very much & you're appreciating it too.
101. WELL, I THOUGHT YOU'D BE INTERESTED TO KNOW WHY I COULDN'T GET HERE FOR SUPPER! Sorry! We had finished our nap & we were discussing various local situations & I was concerned with administration & sometimes it has its problems. We got a report from one area where they just had a National Fellowship Meeting & it turned out that the VSs tried to be the dictators of the whole situation & run it & tell them how to do it & made pretty much of a mess out of the situation, apparently, instead of letting the local elected leaders handle it‚ which they're supposed to do.
102. THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE IN CHARGE OF THE FELLOWSHIPS & THEIR ORGANISATION‚ LOGISTICS, HOUSING, FOOD, PROGRAMME, EVERYTHING! VSs are to be mere observers‚ that's all, just representatives of the King, so to speak, to watch & see what's going on & also counsel & advise in case they're needed & to inspire, inspirationalists, sometimes teachers of the Word like the Apostles. That's why the Deacons were elected by the people so, as the Apostles said, "We can give ourselves to the Word & to prayer" & the spiritual leadership of the people. (Ac.6:4)
103. VSs SHOULD BE SPIRITUAL PEOPLE & THEY SHOULD BE GOOD REPRESENTATIVES OF US, & I'm afraid we've been kind of short of leadership like that & some of them have not been of the very highest spiritual calibre that we would have preferred & we've had to just take what we could get in some cases because we're growing so fast & booming so fast all over the World!
104. I DARESAY THERE'S HARDLY EVER A NEW DENOMINATION OR CHRISTIAN GROUP OR MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION THAT HAS EVER GROWN AS FAST AS WE HAVE & scattered as far apart in 80 countries of the World like we have, so far from each other with so little organisation & so little leadership, & now we're trying to get together & it has a few problems. But we will‚ TTL‚ & we are! And the victories far outweigh the problems. I think all this is merely a misunderstanding & it's my own fault by not sounding the alarm clearer.
105. IF THE TRUMPET GIVES AN UNCERTAIN SOUND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO ATTACK OR WHAT TO DO! (1Co.14:8) We have to guide you with the Word to begin with to let you know just what you're supposed to do‚ & the VSs, some of'm, apparently think they're supposed to be running the show. They're supposed to, in a sense, stay out of the show unless they're asked to participate, & then merely as the voice of our leadership & the Word & the Lord.
106. THEY'RE LIKE THE PROPHETS, APOSTLES, EVANGELISTS & THAT'S WHY THEY'RE CALLED VISITING SERVANTS—they're not permanent shepherds or permanent dictators in an area, but they're merely to visit & report to us. So anyhow, no use telling it all over again, it's already on tape & you'll read it in a Letter, but that's a general summation of the idea. I thought you'd like to have a 10-minute summary of it.
107. WELL, THERE WAS THIS PROBLEM & I APPARENTLY HAD NOT EXPLAINED IT TO THEM CLEARLY or it hadn't been explained to them & some of the Visiting Servants seemed to be under the impression that they're the local dictators, whereas they're just really to be King's observers, World Service representatives to counsel, advise, inspire‚ minister the Word & observe. Whereas all the Local Area Shepherds from the local level up to national are to be concerned with the local affairs & their administration, material things‚ fellowships, housing, feeding, lit, personnel & all kinds of things.
108. (MARIA: HOWEVER, SOME OF THE VSs THAT WE APPOINTED YEARS AGO, ARE OF COURSE NOW THE MOST QUALIFIED & THE MOST EFFICIENT & EXPERIENCED.) Some of'm. There are a few exceptions. (Maria: Yes, but in many cases no one else is as qualified & people look up to them for organisational help even though they're VSs.) Well, they are to be counselors & advisors & of course they should be leaders in a sense. (Maria: So therefore, if they see an obvious need that no one else can take care of, they need to step in & offer their help.) Yes, of course.
109. SINCE WE HAVE HAD IN A SENSE NO LEADERS, WE'VE BEEN TOTALLY DISORGANISED SINCE THE CHAIN & totally almost out of fellowship except through the Letters & our direct leadership, which we had to do to get rid of the bad influence of the Chain. So they were the only leaders, in a sense, our personal representatives in the various fields‚ but now we are trying to encourage local leadership & trying to get it started off on the right foot again. Genuine local leadership, actually elected by the people, not dictatorially appointed.
110. WE FOUND OUT THAT TOO MANY OF THE LOCAL LEADERS WERE JUST DICTATORIALLY APPOINTED FROM THE TOP UNDER THE CHAIN. About the only ones that were even locally elected at all were the individual Homes & even in many of those cases they got some orders from some Bishop or Archbishop above that so-&-so was to be the head of that Home, period! It was a total dictatorship from the top where they ruled with an iron hand & tyranny & oppression.
111. WE'RE TRYING NOW TO GIVE THE PEOPLE MORE FREEDOM & MORE SAY IN THEIR OWN AFFAIRS. We're trying to strike a balance between dictatorship & autonomy, that's what it amounts to, & that's what the Church should have & that's what the Early Church had. They had Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists etc. on the one side representing God & His direct Word from above, whereas they had the Pastors, Deacons etc. on the other hand representing the people. Apostles, Prophets & Evangelists are the Voice of God to the people; the Deacons, Pastors‚ & in our case Local Area Shepherds etc., are the Voice of the people to us & we try to have a balance between the two! PTL!
112. THE VSs ARE OUR VOICE & OUR OBSERVERS & THE AREA SHEPHERDS ARE THE PEOPLE'S VOICE & THEIR LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN A SENSE, LOCAL LEADERS. (Maria: So the VSs can get involved in organisation if they're needed?) I think perhaps to help them & help supervise them & guide them & counsel them & observe & make sure things are going the right direction the way we, World Services, think they should go. I mean‚ there's supposed to be a balance between the two, but of course in this case‚ between theocracy & democracy, between dictatorship & autonomy.
113. WE'RE TRYING TO BALANCE THE TWO AS MUCH AS WE CAN, BUT THE FINAL AUTHORITY‚ OF COURSE‚ HAS TO COME FROM THE TOP, THAT I MUST SAY. However, under the old Chain all authority came from the top & there was almost no local autonomy or nobody on the local level had any say whatsoever, & if they were to so much as dare to voice their opinion they got squelched or fired or moved or sent on the road for a road trip by faith etc. Well, we might do that sometimes too if it's needed but we're trying to encourage the local people to take more responsibility for their own affairs & have more of a voice in their own Areas & Fellowships & it's necessary.
114. LEADERSHIP, ESPECIALLY THIS FAR REMOVED, COULDN'T KNOW IT ALL. They know their own local affairs better than we do‚ just as the Deacons knew better the needs of the people than did the Apostles in the days of the Early Church‚ & the Judges of Israel knew better the problems of the people than did Moses. Can you imagine trying to judge six million people all by yourself? I mean, he was out there night & day trying to settle all these problems & arguments & it was a hopeless endless matter!
115. UNTIL DEAR OL' JETHRO HIS FATHER-IN-LAW, APPARENTLY A WISE OLD MAN‚ JUST GAVE HIM SOME PLAIN COMMON-SENSE SOUND PRACTICAL ADVICE: "Don't try to do the whole job by yourself, appoint some people to do it for you! Then if they can't settle it‚ well then let them explain it to you." (Ex.18:13-26) Beginnings of real government, both from the top & from the bottom.
116. THEY'VE GOT TO WORK TOGETHER & THE VSs ARE NOT TO BE LITTLE PIDDLERS & DICTATORS TELLING EVERYBODY WHAT TO DO! They're to try to help & guide & counsel & they're supposed to be the spiritual overseers, whereas the Area Shepherds are more the material overseers tending to the people's local needs & situations etc. particularly the Fellowships. That is their title & their area of authority, the Fellowships in particular, & that is one place where the VSs are not supposed to horn in!
117. THAT'S A PEOPLE'S THING‚ SELECTED & ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE & OPERATED BY THE PEOPLE! It's a people's time of Fellowship & the people's Voice & it's supposed to be their programme & their co-op! Visiting Servants are not supposed to interfere with local affairs if they can help it & neither are the Local Area Shepherds to tell the Visiting Servants what to do. They're supposed to work together, PTL!
118. WELL, PTL! (TOASTS:) TO THE LORD & HIS LOVE & MAY WE ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR HIS GLORY IN JESUS' NAME! PTL! It's the Lord, the Lord! "And I‚ if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me." (Jn.12:32) So see, we lift up our glasses like the Lord! Bless it & make it a blessing like the Lord is when He's lifted up.
119. THIS WAS ALL OCCASIONED BY THE FACT THAT AT A RECENT NAS THE DEAR VSs WERE TRYING TO DICTATE ALL THE POLICIES & THE PLANS & THE PROGRAMME & THE PEOPLE. The Area Shepherds wanted a three–day meeting & a NAS is supposed to be at least a three-day meeting‚ even maybe a week's Camp meeting or some such because the people haven't seen each other maybe for a year, & in this case years! They're supposed to have a NAS at least once every year or even every six months if they can.
120. BUT THIS VISITING SERVANT, HE NIXED THE WHOLE WORKS & SAID THEY COULDN'T AFFORD THREE DAYS, they'd just have to have one meeting one day & everybody could go home. Can you imagine people coming hundreds of miles from remote parts of the country to come to just one meeting one day & have to come & practically go home all in the same day?! I mean, that was ridiculous, insanity!
121. THIS PARTY HAS SHOWN A LITTLE INCLINATION ALONG THE RIDICULOUS & INSANE DECISIONS BEFORE, SAD TO SAY. We'd expected his very deeply spiritual wife to be the spiritual leader & to exert her spiritual authority, but she has completely allowed herself to be subjugated by this novice who is no more than a novice & being lifted up, exalted, falls into the temptation of the Devil which is pride. You get the problem?
122. SO HE NIXED THE LOCAL SHEPHERD'S PLANS TO HAVE A GOOD THREE-DAY MEETING saying they couldn't afford it, it cost too much money. I think the local people probably would have been willing to put out almost anything to get a real good Fellowship like that, & they needed it! They needed it! I mean, what's the use of having it at all if it's going to be so brief you don't even get the benefit of it? That's being penny-wise & pound-foolish when you think of all the money they had to put out to get there & get home again & then only have a one-day meeting! It's ridiculous!
123. SO SOME OF THESE DEAR APPOINTED VSs WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KINDA RECONSIDER A BIT IF THEY CAN'T HAVE ANY MORE SENSE THAN THAT! So we're trying to now just simply designate the areas of authority & responsibility so they can stay out of each other's hair & the VS can mind his own business, which is more observatory & conciliatory & not dictatory. So, PTL, Maria knows me, I just repeat the whole thing to you here, so now maybe you won't have to read the Letter! Ha! PTL! GBYAKY busy Fellowshipping & witnessing & winning souls for His Kingdom that you're already ruling! Hallelujah!—In Jesus' name, amen.