1. SOMETIMES I MAY MAKE A LITTLE MISTAKE BECAUSE OF MY FORGETFULNESS OF HISTORY & THE EXACT TIME & DATES‚ or I say somebody's name, when I meant somebody else. Maybe some historian in the past gave me the wrong dope on history or events, where it's easy to confuse Artaxerxes with Xerxes, etc. (Maria: I think it's good to explain to the Family why sometimes there are a few seeming contradictions.) Some statement which I made in the past regarding our methods, may change‚ but not our Message!
2. AS I'VE SAID MANY TIMES, OVER & OVER AGAIN, THE WAR IS THE SAME BUT THE BATTLES CHANGE! The forces whom we are battling are the same, but tactics change & there are changes in how we work & what we do according to circumstances. So what we said yesterday about some minor tactics or tactical operations or methods, can change from day to day. Just like in any general's war, he can change his allocation of forces & drives & tactics & weapons used & all that from day to day! Those change constantly. But our major goal has not changed!—Neither has our war with the forces of Satan! The opponents & combatants have not changed, & the general principles have not changed! God hasn't changed, His Word hasn't changed—all the basic things are still the same. There have only been minor changes in tactics & drives & battles & weapons & methods & things like that.
3. BUT THE THING THAT AMAZES ME IN GOING OVER ALL THESE OLD PROPHECY LETTERS, IS NOT HOW MANY MISTAKES I FOUND, BUT HOW FEW MISTAKES I'VE FOUND! That's what amazes me! There are very few minor little slips of the tongue or slips of the memory about some minor little insignificant detail‚ nothing major. There was that confusion of Xerxes with Artaxerxes & about which one Esther married, but that's a simple little historical fact that we got straightened out before it was even printed! But when I'm in a furor & the white-heat of teaching a class on Bible Prophecy, I may make a slip on some name or some less important fact of history just through a mere slip of the memory, slip of the tongue or confusion of similar names or circumstances, but not on the message!
4. THEREFORE, THE THING THAT AMAZES ME IS HOW FEW MISTAKES I'VE FOUND IN THESE MILLIONS OF WORDS & THOUSANDS OF PAGES!—And especially how the links of the chain have been so consistent & unbroken! The development of the chronology of the interpretation of Bible Prophecy & its events have merely been enlarged upon & made clearer & stronger & more definite over the years, rather than any major changes.
5. SOMETIMES IT'S DIFFICULT TO TELL WHAT A BIBLE PROPHET IS TALKING ABOUT IN SOME OF THESE EVENTS THAT ARE VERY SIMILAR—the various wars‚ the various judgements of God, the various periods of His wrath, etc.—And I doubt if they even knew which one they were talking about! I doubt if they even had them all lined up on a string & all the events straightened out themselves! God knew, but He didn't have to reveal all those details to them. They were thousands or hundreds of years away from those events, & they didn't have to get'm exactly straight in the exact chronological order & tell you that "this battle happened in this war, & that battle happened in that war," etc. (Maria: He didn't even reveal all the details to one person—He revealed some to one & some to another!) Exactly!
6. THERE WERE MANY DIFFERENT PROPHETS DESCRIBING MANY DIFFERENT EVENTS, SOME OF THEM DESCRIBING THE SAME EVENT, but in some cases they wouldn't have really known whether they were describing the same events or different events! It remained for the Lord to show us in these Last Days which events they were talking about & which Scriptures describe which event, & even yet, that's still not always too clear. I tried to make that clear in my "Introduction to the BOF 1" (No.1426) on the various Scriptures in the 14 categories of events & eras, that it's not always clear exactly which of these wars or which of these outpourings of God's Wrath the Prophet was referring to, because they were all so similar. War is war, war is Hell, so which Hell is He talking about? Is He talking about the Atomic Hell, the Tribulation Hell, the Wrath Hell, the Armageddon Hell or the Gog & Magog Hell or which Gog & Magog & blah blah! So that's not always clear & not always easy to understand.
7. BUT THE LORD, I THINK, HAS GIVEN US AN AMAZING CLARIFICATION & INTERPRETATION OF THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS TO WHERE THEY'VE NOW SETTLED DOWN, & in going back over these old lectures & all, I'm amazed at how accurate & consistent they were with what we still teach! They're just not quite as clear in some respects, because I didn't have some of these things revealed yet or clear in my own mind. (Maria: You weren't concentrating so intensely on it or asking so desperately to know.) I was like in the lower grades of development of learning, & I've gone ahead grade by grade, step by step as the Lord revealed these things to us & showed us these things in His Word, until they were finally clear in our own minds & hearts. (Maria: And you weren't seeking to know some of these things. You were, in a way, going from past teaching or what seemed logical on the surface, so the Lord didn't show you until you were desperate.) Especially in the earliest days.
8. BUT I THANK GOD‚ TWO GREAT TURNING POINTS CAME!—First with the "Warning Prophecy" which Grandmother gave (No.655)‚ which made some things very clear & very specific, & the development of that from there. Then He had to shake me loose from the shackles of the past & my Jewishism & my pro-Israel stance, which was as major a change to me personally as it was to the Jews of Paul's day, & as it was to Paul in his breakaway from the Law & tradition & his Judaism! Even then he had a struggle & sometimes he had some flashbacks & some throwbacks & some reactions where he was almost tempted to go back, like he did to the Temple. But I don't think, thank God, that I've ever had any desire to go back to that!
9. BUT THOSE ARE MAJOR MILESTONES WHICH HELPED TO CLARIFY THE WHOLE PICTURE OF BIBLE PROPHECY, & I never could have gotten it straight if the Lord hadn't given us the first clue in the "Warning Prophecy‚" & then broke me loose from the past in "Breakdown"! (No.66) And other than that change from my early BIPs about the Jews & exaltation of the Jews in Israel—which‚ thank God, I think Beriah weeded out a lot of it—there wasn't too much that was any different. After all, the Jews are Jews, & they have been around a long time & God did do a lot with them! But most of that's ancient history.
10. SO THE AMAZING THING TO ME IS HOW CONSISTENT THE LORD HAS BEEN IN SHOWING ME THESE TRUTHS & FACTS & GETTING THEM STRUNG IN PROPER SEQUENCE & CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER & IN GREATER CLARITY! He's cut some of the diamonds & polished them up to where I can see them much more clearly, whereas in the early days they were just rough stones!—And He's getting the beads lined up on the string in proper order! The amazing thing to me is not how wrong I've been about a few little gnats that some strain at, but how many camels I've already swallowed & how many hurdles we've gotten over that were fairly easy!—Not how many nit-picking gnat-picking little grains of dust & tiny motes that some people are trying to pick on‚ but all the beams that we've cleared away! (Mt.7:3-5) TTL!
11. I DON'T BLAME THEM FOR POINTING THEM OUT IF THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND, & GOD HELP ME TO ANSWER THEM! Nevertheless, I am thankful & amazed as we go over the old Letters‚ at how clear the Lord was already showing me, & how consistent it's been!—How unchanged the major facts & events & sequence have been & all the rest, & how He has just been gradually developing each of these areas in our own minds & hearts & revealing more details & showing us more clearly the events & characteristics than before.
12. THAT'S THE WONDERFUL THING TO ME‚ IS HOW ACCURATE IT HAS BEEN & HOW CONSISTENT IT HAS BEEN & HOW FEW MISTAKES WE HAVE MADE! Thank God for that! In a multitude of words there are bound to be a few mistakes! He says, "In the multitude of words there lacketh not sin!" (Pr.10:19) I'm bound to say a few things wrong, not purposely, but accidentally—slips of the tongue or confusion of a couple of ancient historical characters & dates. But regarding the Future, I don't think I have run across any major confusion on the chronology, sequence & order of events, or the nature of the events, eras or periods, other than the same confusion that it seems most of the Prophets were having. In looking from afar at events which were very similar, they could hardly tell the difference between them! They couldn't even tell if they were different distinct events—particularly such as the various battles, wars, Wrath & judgements of God which all sounded pretty similar—or all one & the same at the same time!
13. I THINK ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL CONFUSIONS THAT I HAVE FINALLY COME OUT OF‚ THANK GOD, IS REGARDING THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON! I think for years I was in sort of a quandary as to whether the Atomic War was going to be the Battle of Armageddon, but now it's as clear as can be! The Atomic War is obviously not the Battle of Armageddon, because it has to come before the Antichrist! The Battle of Armageddon comes after the Tribulation at the end of the Wrath of God, so it's impossible for them to be the same! But it sounded like it & it looked like it. All the descriptions are very similar—the devastation, the horrible Hell on Earth & the terrible events & all!
14. SOME OF THE PROPHECIES OF THE PROPHETS COULD BE USED TO DESCRIBE EITHER ONE OR ANY ONE OF A NUMBER OF THOSE HORRIBLE EVENTS!—And maybe the Lord made'm that way! Maybe they do describe'm! Jeremiah says‚ "The dead shall be from one end of the Earth to the other; they shall be dung upon the ground & be neither gathered nor buried nor lamented." (Jer.25:33) This could describe several different wars! It could describe the Atomic War, it could describe some of the events of the Tribulation‚ it could describe the Wrath of God, it could describe the Battle of Armageddon—any of them! And maybe the Lord was using it to just generally describe all those horrors—not necessarily any distinct particular one. Savvy?
15. SO THAT IS ONE MAJOR CLARIFICATION THAT I'VE HAD TO CORRECT IN A VERY FEW SPOTS IN THESE PAST LECTURES OF YEARS AGO, WHERE I WAS A LITTLE CONFUSED BETWEEN THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON & THE ATOMIC WAR!—And some places I think it was just a slip of the tongue! I was really meaning to say one, when I said the other! Let me tell you, when the Atomic War occurs, there are going to be a lot of people who think it's Armageddon!—Because that's their idea of Armageddon, a whole Worldwide Hellish nuclear holocaust! And it's going to be very similar to the Battle of Armageddon, because it's going to be one horror of Hell on Earth for a little while! But it is not the Battle of Armageddon, because the Battle of Armageddon occurs after the Tribulation & at the End of the Wrath of God, which occurs after the time of the Antichrist!—Whereas the Atomic War is obviously going to come very soon & give rise to the Antichrist, as the Lord has made it more clear.
16. IN OTHER WORDS, FOR YEARS I COULDN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ATOMIC WAR & THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON‚ & I doubt if you could have asked Daniel or Jeremiah or Isaiah or any of them to tell you the difference between the two Battles of Gog & Magog‚ or the Wrath of God & the Battle of Armageddon, or the Atomic War & the Battle of Gog & Magog or whatever! In the distance, they all look about the same! But now as we're closer & we need to know, God has shown us that there's a difference, & that the one comes before the other, & that the Atomic War is not the Battle of Armageddon. It may seem like it & look like it & feel like it, but the Battle of Armageddon is going to be even worse—not on us, but on our enemies at the end of the Wrath of God!
17. SO THESE VERY TINY LITTLE MINOR INFINITESIMAL CONFUSIONS ARE SO FEW & FAR BETWEEN & SO UNDERSTANDABLE, THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE CHARITABLE ENOUGH TO REALISE THAT IT'S JUST TAKEN A LONG TIME DEVELOPING! The Lord has taken a long time in showing me all these things that I didn't know at the beginning. They should be thankful now that I know the difference, & that now I can see some of my slight mistakes & confusions of the past, confusing things like the Atomic War with the Battle of Armageddon—which sound very similar & very much alike, etc.—or confusing some of the events like the Tribulation with the Wrath of God. They're very difficult to separate sometimes. But thank God we've had so little confusion & we've had so few mistakes or misinterpretation! Thank God that about 99% of the time—I could almost say 99.99% of the time—we have been right & accurate‚ & what God is showing us now is no different from what He showed us before, except more & clearer & more definite, defining the events more clearly & separating things more clearly.
18. SO IF THEY COME ACROSS SOME LITTLE TINY HAIR-SPLITTING DIFFERENCE IN THE PAST—or maybe even something I said recently where I was misunderstood or misinterpreted, or maybe it was mistranscribed or mistranslated or whatever—for God's sake‚ some people ought to have a little charity & give me allowance for a few mistakes! I'm only a man! (Maria: There are a few very very unimportant details that we don't even need to know about now, such as, for example‚ whether the people outside the gates of the City are formerly evil, or they are still evil.) The Lord really hasn't revealed that, except that they still need healing. (Rev.22:2)
19. THERE ARE MANY THINGS THE LORD DID NOT SHOW ME UNTIL RECENTLY & I DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW, like the difference between these various classes of people & the various classes of the saved & when they're going to be saved. This has gradually developed & the Lord has gradually revealed it & made it more distinct & clear all the time, that people are not only getting saved now, but it's obvious from many Scriptures that there are also people getting saved now in the Spirit World, & have in the past!—Jesus visiting the spirits in prison! (Mt.12:40; 1Pet.3:19; 4:6) There are also people who are going to get saved in the Tribulation, which of course is before the Coming of the Lord, still in this Age of Grace anyhow, so nobody should object to that! But they're also going to get saved during the Millennium! And what could you call the healing of the nations with the leaves of the Tree of Life on the New Earth in the New Heaven—after the Millennium—but some kind of salvation? Saving! If you're being healed, you're being saved somehow, saved from something! (Re.22:2) So there's going to be still some kind of salvation & final reconciliation even in so-called Heaven! (See Nos.1437, 1441‚ 1450 & 1476.)
20. BUT THE LORD DIDN'T REVEAL SOME OF THESE THINGS TO ME IN DETAIL & IN CLARITY & IN THE DIFFERENCES & THE DIFFERENT ERAS & THE DIFFERENT WAYS & STATUS & CLASS & TIME & WHATNOT UNTIL NOW! They should be thankful that He's showing me more! They should be thankful that I'm smarter today than I was yesterday! They should be thankful that I'm wiser today than I was yesterday! Instead of accusing me of changing my mind, they should be thankful that the Lord has showed me more clearly now than I knew in the past! (Maria: I don't think anybody is accusing you or condemning you or anything just because they point out things. We want them to point it out, because they do it with the right motive, to really get their questions straightened out. After all, they're just young people & you really have to explain it!) Amen! They hit a snag, they can't understand it because it sounds like something different, so they want to know! So here I am, I'm ready to try to explain things if I can! But as I said before, I can answer any question you ask me, but the answer may be, "I don't know! The Lord hasn't shown me yet!" And if He hasn't shown me yet, I don't know!
21. BUT THEY SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR THE 99% OF THE THINGS THAT HE HAS SHOWN ME, INSTEAD OF QUIBBLING OVER THE 1% & CHOKING ON THE GNAT WHEN THEY'VE ALREADY SWALLOWED THE CAMEL! (Maria: Yes, I think they have to learn to take it more as a whole instead of picking out every little tiny piece & putting it in the puzzle & making sure it fits.—To just take the general overall picture, & if they don't understand something, like you've always said, wrap it up in a little bundle of faith, set it aside for now & just go on!) Yes!—Wait & see! Maybe the Lord will show'm later. Maybe they'll find it back in the Letters, or maybe they'll find it in future Letters! (Maria: So if they can't understand it completely, don't worry about it, just understand the main overall picture!)
22. MY LORD!—I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT COMPLETELY! I DON'T KNOW IT ALL! So what am I supposed to do?—Chuck it all away because I can't understand every single little detail? I didn't chuck the Bible away when I was a kid because I couldn't understand it all, I just kept trying! Thank God, over the years‚ through patience & gradual education & tutoring of the Holy Spirit & others, the Lord has gradually opened it up. This education is a long process‚ that's why I'm convinced it's going to continue into the Millennium!
23. (MARIA: SOMETIMES IT'S A MATTER OF MISINTERPRETATION ON THE PART OF THE FAMILY. For example, in one place you said, "God made some things ugly so we'd appreciate the beautiful." And in another place you said, "God has made everything beautiful, not anything ugly." But that's sort of a matter of comparison.) One was a specific statement & the other was a generalisation. I mean, they're picking at the gnats again! Generally speaking, the World in general is a beautiful place & virtually all of His creations are beautiful! You can even look at some of these ugly bugs & the beauty of their form & amazing scientific construction of their bodies & all, & to some scientists, they would consider that beautiful!—Their marvellous mechanics & structures & the levers of their legs & arms & all kinds of things!
24. SOME PEOPLE WOULD EVEN THINK A CRAB WAS BEAUTIFUL, OR EVEN A LIZARD OR A SNAKE! You take snakes, some of them are beautiful the way they can go through the grass & their colouring & all. But one person's meat is another man's poison! There's some herpetologists, people who love snakes & deal with snakes & take care of snakes, who admire them & think they're marvellous & beautiful!—Whereas most of us are horrified at snakes! It depends on the individual, really, whether you think some things are beautiful or not. (Maria: Compared to trees & flowers & people, snakes & some of these things are ugly‚ comparatively speaking. But because they're God's creations, they're beautiful in their realm.) Or as the guy said as he saw the woman kiss the cow‚ "Every person to their own taste!" So sometimes it's a matter of taste. But God's Word itself says, "Every creature of God is good & nothing to be refused. Every good & perfect gift cometh down from the Father of Lights." (1Ti.4:4; Ja.1:17)
25. IN SOME WAY, "ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD!" (Rom.8:28) God's created everything for a purpose & for good & ultimate good & for an ultimate reason, so you can generally say that God's Creation is generally good & for a good purpose—even the Devil himself! Even the Devil is a beautiful creature if seen in some light, as he appears as an Angel of Light. He was, after all, next to God Himself! He was Lucifer, but he became the anti-God, the one who wanted to be in the place of God! But even the Devil is a creation of God & good for us, because he's working out God's purpose! But you could take some statement I make along that line & say‚ "It totally contradicts what you said about he's the Enemy‚ he's Satanic, diabolical, etc., etc., etc.!" You've got to look at it in the right light, the right context & the right interpretation!
26. IT'S JUST LIKE SOMEBODY HAS SAID THAT YOU CAN PROVE ANYTHING BY THE BIBLE!—That the Bible even says "there is no God"! That's a Scripture! It's right in the Bible! The Bible itself says "there is no God!"—But they've taken it out of context, out of its relationship with other Scriptures! So where does that Scripture occur? (Maria: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God!") (Ps.14:1) Exactly! So if you take the Scripture out of context & out of its relationship with others & out of its relationship with the whole‚ of course you can find little nit-pickin' gnat-chokin' items that don't seem to sync or jive!—Because I'm talking about different things‚ from a different aspect, in a different context & at a different time & all of that!
27. THEY SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR ALL THE THINGS THAT I'VE SAID THAT ARE RIGHT! They should be thankful for all the things that jive, all the things that are synchronised, all the things that are true! "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are good, whatsoever things are of good report, think on these things!" (Ph.4:8)—And not be dwelling on the little nit-pickin' flaws that the Devil, I'm sure, brings up & tries to constantly attack them with! "Oh, he made a mistake here! He said something wrong here! He contradicts himself there! That's not the way he used to interpret this prophecy & blah blah!—So he must be a false Prophet!"
28. THEY SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR THE FACT THAT THE LORD HAS BEEN DEVELOPING THESE THINGS GRADUALLY TO WHERE I UNDERSTAND BETTER NOW THAN I USED TO YESTERDAY! I'm wiser now than I was years ago & I know better now than I did then! So they should be thankful! Yet they want to say that I contradict something I said back 15 years ago in the Light Club & that I said something different now today! Well, of course! That was 15 years ago at the Light Club! That was for a different day, a different time, a different audience! Everything was different!—But the major things haven't changed! Jesus hasn't changed, God hasn't changed, His Word hasn't changed, Salvation hasn't changed, our Commission to "go into all the World & preach the Gospel to every creature" hasn't changed, even our major prophetic teachings have not changed!—The coming of the Tribulation & then the coming of the Lord & then the Millennium, etc., all these things basically have not changed at all‚ just a few little minor specks of dust here & there that somehow we didn't shoo away & somebody's discovered'm‚ so they want to bring it to our attention.
29. IT'S LIKE THE BUTTON OFF OF MUTT'S VEST! Mutt wanted to show off his nice bright red necktie & how well-dressed he was & everything, & all Jeff could see was that he was minus a button! (Maria: But it's good, because we want them to ask if they don't understand. I don't think most of our Family do it in a critical manner at all!) You're right‚ Jeff should have called it to his attention! Here he's all dressed up & has everything he should have but one button—Jeff really should have called his attention to it. And Mutt shouldn't have had his feelings hurt just because Jeff said, "Hey Mutt‚ you're minus a button off your vest!" I mean, he would have been embarrassed going to his party & into polite society & whatnot, not knowing the button was off his vest! So I'm very glad that Jeff is calling Mutt's attention to these buttons off my vest! Thank God there aren't too many of them! At least I'm dressed!—And I think this Prophecy Series is a beautiful necktie!
30. (MARIA: WHEN THE FAMILY WRITES IN & ASKS YOU THESE QUESTIONS, THEY'RE SORT OF LIKE ASKING THE LORD FOR THE ANSWER!—And that's what they're supposed to do!) And I try to answer'm all! In fact, I do answer'm all—sometimes I say, "I don't know!" (Maria: I don't think it's in a critical way at all.) No, most of them I don't think so. I detect one or two in some of the A/Qs, that there's some guy who's nitpickin' & deliberately trying to find fault & just trying to point out contradictions, but I think we've answered them pretty well. (Maria: We don't want them to be scared from now on to ask questions just because you're telling them this!) Of course not! If they've got a problem or a question, I've said ask it! I told our household here, "If you run across something in the Letters you don't understand, for God's sake, put a question mark by it & put it on the list of questions & we'll try to straighten it out if it's not clear!" So we have! PTL!
31. GOD KNOWS I'VE MADE PLENTY OF MISTAKES & I'VE SOMETIMES BEEN CONFUSED & HAD SLIPS OF THE TONGUE & SLIPS OF THE MEMORY! In the millions of words I've written there are bound to be some mistakes! "In a multitude of words there lacketh not sin!" Sin is missing the mark‚ it's a mistake, it's something you don't get exactly right. Well‚ nothing short of right is right!—But they should be thankful for all the things I did get right & all the marvellous things that God has shown me & shown us that are right, & not let some little tiny nit-pickin' flaw or gnat or grain of dust get'm all upset because it doesn't seem to jive! Thank God that nearly all of it does & nearly all of it's right!
32. SO IF THEY WANT TO LOWER THAT BOOM ON ME & SAY, "WELL, NOTHING SHORT OF RIGHT IS RIGHT! You made a mistake, therefore you're not right, therefore you're not perfect, therefore I'm going to throw you out & leave the Family!" That's really kind of extreme! They should be thankful that the Lord showed me so many things so soon & so early that I didn't lead them all astray‚ & that all we've got to straighten out yet are virtually a few little minor typos! After all, I'm bound to be smarter now than I was then! I'm bound to know more now than I did then! You don't scold a grown adult for the mistakes he made in kindergarten! So let's be thankful for what we know now, & not go nit-pickin' over the gnats & the specks & the motes of the past—except to correct them when we run across them, if we do. PTL! What I have written in those books can never be changed—although we tried to change a few‚ some mistakes some other people made, like Sam Warner & Joel & some of them, & even the typists.
33. BUT LET'S "FORGET THE THINGS THAT ARE BEHIND & PRESS FORWARD TO THE THINGS THAT ARE BEFORE!" (Ph.3:13,14) The Lord is giving us so many marvellous wonderful revelations about the near Future & more details on the events that are soon to come & our lives in the very near Future, so marvellously showing us the Future so we can have something to look forward to! They say 50% of enjoyment is anticipation, so we're getting to enjoy the Future already! We're half enjoying it already just by knowing about it & hearing about it & thinking about it & seeing it & anticipating it & looking forward to it! This is what kept Moses & some of the old Prophets & Patriarchs alive: "Looking unto Jesus, the Author & the Finisher of their faith!" (Heb.12:2) Moses wasn't looking at the waves, he was looking to the Lord & "seeing Him who is invisible!" (Heb.11:27)—Looking beyond the difficulties of the present to the marvellous Future the Lord has stored up for us, beside which these present sufferings are not to even be compared! (Rom.8:18)
34. THAT'S WHAT I THINK THE LORD'S DOING NOW, HE'S BEGINNING TO REVEAL TO US—WE WHO ARE GETTING SO CLOSE TO IT—THE MARVELS & THE WONDERS OF THE FUTURE! Forget the troubles of the Tribulation, that's nothing compared to what God is showing us we're going to move into immediately afterward! He's giving us that hope & that anticipation & expectation of the glories to come & the wonders to come & the thrills to come which are worth suffering a little bit for! So we should be thankful! We should be thankful for all God is showing us & has shown us, & the 99.9% that He has revealed to us that's all beautiful & correct & right & true‚ & not go stumbling along over some little grain of dust that we failed to brush away, or choke on some little gnat when we've already swallowed the camel! So, TTL!
35. ANYHOW, THIS ALL STARTED BY MY TELLING YOU THAT I WAS THANKFUL‚ IN GOING OVER THESE OLD LETTERS, HOW FEW MISTAKES I HAVE FOUND, how few little slips of the tongue or sometimes even mis-transcriptions where maybe the typist didn't hear it quite clearly. We found a lot of those! They thought I said one thing when I said another! They didn't even understand the word that I said‚ so they put down some other funny word!—Sometimes something that meant the exact opposite! But thank God we go through & we catch nearly all of'm! Once in awhile we may have slipped & missed one, but with so many people proofreading'm now, we're not likely to let any get through anymore!
36. THE MARVEL IS THAT IN THE DAYS WHEN YOU & I WERE THE ONLY ONES PROOFREADING THEM, THAT WE GOT SO MANY THINGS RIGHT & MADE SO FEW MISTAKES!—And that was for years! We really haven't started general proofreading until recently. They ought to give us credit for that‚ instead of picking out the flaws like the Devil does, the Accuser of the Saints, trying to find all the little nit-pickin's! Well, I think they should call our attention to the flaws‚ & that's what the Devil is for! That's his job, is to find our mistakes & accuse us of our faults & remind us of our sins so we will be conscious of them & get them straightened out! I'm not saying these people are like the Devil, but it's similar. Nevertheless‚ "Faithful are the wounds of a friend!" (Pr.27:6) (Maria: After you said that, they'll all be hesitant to write another question from now on! But it's been wonderful! It's been such a help to the Family that they've written their questions & you've answered them!) I think they should! We certainly want to know if we made a mistake & if we said the wrong thing. If we got our dates or names screwed up somehow, then for God's sake‚ they ought to tell us!
37. BUT I'M JUST SAYING THAT THEY SHOULDN'T GET TO THE POINT WHERE JUST BECAUSE THEY FIND SOME LITTLE TINY FLAW, THEY CHUCK OUT THE WHOLE THING! They should be like me, when I find a flaw on a purchase in a store, I just [bargain them] down & get it cheaper! I don't throw it out or refuse to accept it! They ought to be thankful they got it so cheap & that they're gettin' it so easy!—That in spite of a few flaws & scratches & mars, they're getting a real bargain! So, PTL! I'm just thankful for how few scratches we've got, & how few little nicks & flaws that there are in going over all these old Letters! I'm talking from the standpoint of reading back over all these old Letters & lectures—it's amazing to me how few mistakes I did make!—And most of them are slips of the tongue or a slight slip of the memory or accidentally saying the wrong word or something, & thank God we're able to catch most of them before they get to the Family. And of course our local Family, the ones who are doing the proofreading, are the ones that are catching them! Very few of them get to the Worldwide Family, because we've caught'm before they get that far! But there have apparently been a few that have gotten that far in the past.
38. (MARIA: BUT I WANT TO PUT IN A PLUG FOR THE FAMILY TO NOT FEEL AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS IF THEY HAVE QUESTIONS! If there's something they don't understand or you haven't covered, I want them to still write in, because their questions have even inspired Letters!) Amen! We may not know the answers, but there's no reason why you shouldn't ask! If it really puzzles you & you can't understand it—ask! The answer may be very simple! You may have overlooked it very easily. And if I've overlooked it‚ I want to know! If you catch us in a mistake, tell us! If we said something wrong, point it out!—Or if you think it's wrong or if you don't understand it or if it's just a question & it's not clear, let us know, & we'll try to straighten it out.
39. IN THE MEANTIME, JUST BE THANKFUL FOR ALL THE THINGS IN THE BIBLE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT YOU DO UNDERSTAND, EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE BIBLE! Let's try to be at least that charitable with the MO Letters & thank God for all the good things in the MO Letters that you do understand & that are right, even though there are a few things you don't! (Maria: And if you do ask questions & don't get an answer right away, don't worry! It may not be the time yet‚ you may get it later if you need it.) There may not be room in the latest GN for your A/Qs. It takes time & it takes space & it takes my time. Right now I'm rushin' to get off all these Prophetic Letters before the War so you'll be forewarned & know what's going to happen! I can't necessarily answer every little question right now‚ but I try!
40. BUT THANK THE LORD FOR ALL THE GOOD THINGS! "Whatsoever things are good, think on these things!" Amen? PTL! Don't dwell on the mistakes & the errors, or what you think may be errors. A lot of people do that with the Bible—they dwell on all of its supposed mistakes & contradictions & errors. I've even been hesitant to point out a few little translators' mistakes & misinterpretations in the Bible for fear you'll chuck out the whole Bible just because a few little tiny mistakes were made! I've tried to explain clearly why they were made & who made'm. It wasn't God's fault‚ it wasn't the Prophets' fault, it wasn't the Patriarchs' or the Apostles' fault necessarily, it was often the translator's fault or the political conditions under which the guy was being forced to translate, or they forced him to translate contrary to what interpretation he wanted to put in! (Maria: Then the next question is‚ why did God allow it?)
41. I SUPPOSE THE LORD ALLOWS SOME OF THOSE THINGS JUST LIKE HE SAYS HE PERMITTED JESUS TO BE A CORNERSTONE TO SOME PEOPLE BUT A STUMBLINGBLOCK TO OTHERS! (Rom.9:33; 1Co.1:23,24) For those who are going to trip & stumble over those little things & are going to let those things cause'm to lose faith & to chuck out the whole Bible or chuck out all the MO Letters along with MO & leave the Family & backslide, I think people like that who go that far are looking for flaws! They're looking for excuses, they're trying to find fault so that they won't have to read or believe the Bible or obey it!—They won't have to read or believe the MO Letters or obey them or stay in the Family, they can become a rebel & a backslider & do as they please! That's one class of people.
42. THERE ARE EVEN THINGS THAT PAUL COULDN'T UNDERSTAND & I CAN'T UNDERSTAND & MY MOTHER COULDN'T UNDERSTAND & LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND! But when you find one little brown spot on a banana or one little brown spot on a pear or an avocado or an apple, you don't throw away the whole apple!—You just cut out the little brown spot, you correct it! (Maria: And whether the Church interpreted it one way or the other, you can still be a full-time 100% disciple for Jesus‚ whether you believe it one way or the other! The Lord allowed those mistakes for a purpose, but it isn't going to keep anybody from salvation!) That's for sure!
43. THAT WAS A POLITICAL THING BY THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY TO INTERPRET THE WORD "CHURCH" AS A BUILDING INSTEAD OF AS A GROUP OF PEOPLE‚ but he was politically pressed & pressed by the king, & the king was pressed by him for fear they were going to lose their power over the people! So you can understand their position. But thank God the Lord has revealed it to us! Apparently the Lord has allowed a few little mistakes & stumblingblocks over which people can stumble if they choose to, but the vast majority of the millions & millions of Christians have been saved & served the Lord & gone home to Glory without stumbling over that, even church Christians!
44. HONEY, YOU SURE CATCH ME AT A FUNNY TIME, BUT I GUESS THAT'S THE ONLY TIME! I'm trying to wind this up & finish it!—I've said too much on it already! I'm tired of the subject! I want to go on to something more! For God's sake, let's forget the past & go on to the Future! (Maria: Thank the Lord! This is such good counsel! Do you want to say goodbye?) Goodbye to the past!—Hello‚ future! Forget the past, press forward to the future! Thank God for the good! "Choose the good & eschew the evil!" (Isa.7:15; 1Pe.3:11)
45. WE DON'T CHUCK OUT THE WHOLE WORLD BECAUSE A FEW THINGS SEEM BAD! We don't commit suicide because we have a few little difficulties, & cast away our whole life just because we have a few problems & make a few mistakes! For God's sake, you ought to think on the good things & thank the Lord for all the right things, & that we're more right than anybody else! If you can find something better, find it!
46. BUT I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT YOU TO HESITATE TO ASK QUESTIONS IF THEY'RE SINCERE HONEST QUESTIONS & NOT JUST TRYING TO FIND FAULT & trying to show, "You're wrong & make mistakes, you contradict yourself"—like the Devil, just trying to undermine confidence & undermine faith in leadership. Their motive is what is important! Why are they asking these questions? Do they really want to know the answers? As I've often said with some questioners & some sinners‚ some people you're witnessing to, are they sincere questions that they really are stumped on & want to know the answers?—Or are they just trying to find fault & cause trouble? That's the difference! Do they really want to know?
47. ARE YOU SINCERE? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWERS?—Or are you just trying to be difficult & harass & pester & find fault & be accusers of the saints like the Devil! That's the difference! If your motive is pure & you really are mystified or confused & don't understand & want to know the answer or you found a mistake, for God's sake, tell us! Ask us!—But be thankful at the same time that we've got so much Truth & not go lettin' the Devil trip you up over a few tiny infinitesimal grain-of-sand mistakes! Thank God for the Bible, in spite of a few mistakes! Even Jesus said there was only One who is perfect, & that's God! He said, "Why call ye Me good? There is none good but God!" (Mt.19:17) So if even Jesus said that, for God's sake‚ what do they expect me to say?
48. WELL, PTL! I'M JUST THANKING THE LORD FOR HOW MANY THINGS I FOUND RIGHT & HOW FEW MISTAKES I FOUND, HOW FEW LITTLE TINY ERRORS OR SLIPS—ALMOST NONE! That's how close it is! But with some people, it's like Huddersfield (See No.686:90-92.)—just because everything is not theirs & exactly right, "Well, it belongs to me & to thee. It's not really all ours, you made a mistake, you own one little plot of land, therefore we can't really have the whole truth, we don't really own it all. It belongs to me & to thee. I can't quite figure out this one little thing, so it must be wrong, it must be of the Devil, you must be a false prophet, the MO Letters must be false doctrine because I found a little tiny typo!" God help us! Well, that's enough!
49. I'M GOING TO FORGET THE PAST & GO ON TO THE FUTURE! GBY! Thank You Jesus for the future! Let's forget the past, let's press forward to the future! I've got enough to worry about today without worrying about the past or the future! PTL! GBY!—But keep asking—even if I don't always know!—Someday we'll know!—Even as we're known! (1Cor.13:12) Meanwhile, thank God for all we do know!—Amen? GBAKY wanting to know! TYJ!—In Jesus' name‚ amen. In the meantime, thank God for all the good!—Amen?—ILY!