Comments while watching a video of a young man we were considering making the head of our World Radio Ministry!)
1. THERE'S A SONG I'LL NEVER FORGET JOHN HUBBARD SINGING SO BEAUTIFULLY, the Westmont College Director of Music, when I almost married his wife's sister, Evelyn Gapen:)
Does your heart ring true?
Are you loyal through & through?
When the clapper strikes the gong‚
Strikes the gong‚ strikes the gong!
—Does your heart ring true?
2. I ALWAYS FEEL BAD THAT I HAVE TO SAY IT, BUT SOMETIMES I HAVE TO SAY THINGS THAT I'M SORRY I HAVE TO SAY, BUT I HAVE TO SAY THEM JUST THE SAME!—Like about all this big mass media push & mass meetings, & even now our own radio ministry that we're questioning, our own radio ministry that I've promoted for years! Now we've got to really assess just how valuable it is & if it's really valuable enough to continue, if it's really worth it, & we just have to do it, that's all, whether we like it or not, whether it hurts feelings or not!
3. I'M SORRY, BUT WE'RE A REVOLUTION! WE'RE AT WAR!—We can't just go around worrying about people's personal feelings all the time! They have to do what's best for the command, what's best for the country‚ what's best for the nation‚ the kingdom, what's best for our goals & the war, the battles! We have to change tactics whether people like it or not. People get settled down in a groove, in a rut & let the roots grow down sometimes too long, & then the Lord has to uproot'm, tear'm loose & really break'm & shake'm up!
4. LOOK WHAT HE DID TO ME ALL THOSE YEARS, ONE THING AFTER THE OTHER! It seemed like I never found myself, I never could find out who I was supposed to be! Well, how could I have ever known that? How could the Lord have ever told me who I was supposed to be & what I was supposed to do when there wasn't any such thing! Nobody even heard of any such person, ha!—And such a thing had never been done before!
5. THERE ARE SOME THINGS THE LORD JUST CAN'T REVEAL TO YOU IN ADVANCE BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT READY FOR IT & you just can't comprehend it, you just couldn't cope with it‚ you just couldn't understand. He has to break you the news little by little, ha! Just think of all those prophecies I got & that were made over me all those years! It still didn't really sink in that He really meant me! Ha!—How about that? I thought they were wonderful & they were great promises & I thought that's fine‚ it's wonderful to apply those Scriptures & it's kind of nice my name is in there, makes it real personal, but never dreaming they actually meant me!
6. I GUESS I'M SUCH A SCEPTIC & CYNIC & DOUBTER THAT THE LORD JUST ALMOST HAD TO DO IT FIRST BEFORE I'D BELIEVE IT!—I'm a Jew! The Jews require a sign, ha! I had to see it really to believe it. I think if anybody had told me any sooner I wouldn't have believed it. I even thought Mrs. Gunn was sort of off her rocker a little bit‚ one of those flighty women preachers, one of those kind of crazy Pentecostals, coming clear out there to Texas, driving out there in her car all alone, can you imagine!—Just to tell me that I was the David of Ezekiel! (Ezek.34:23-24; 37:24) I thought, "That poor woman, she really is far out!"
7. —AND I STILL COULDN'T SEE WHAT IT MEANT! I just related it to our situation, that well, I could see where it fit us, I could see where the prophecy that the Lord had given Ezekiel fit our situation just like the things He gave me about David & Saul—I could see where they paralleled, the analogy fit & we could sort of follow it with Fred, it applied, it was a good example & I could see where those prophecies sort of fit my situation‚ you know, & it was nice to be able to apply them to my similar situation, never even dreaming that they really did actually mean me!
8. THE LORD REALLY HAD TO WAIT UNTIL THE REVOLUTION WAS PRETTY WELL ON THE WAY & THE KINGDOM HAD PRACTICALLY COME BEFORE I COULD REALLY BELIEVE IT! I'll never forget when it began to sink in after we came back from England & we came to Dallas, at the Dalrich Motel, & then we went South, you & I, we were going to go across the border of Mexico driving in that little red Ford. And then the Lord just turned me around & brought us back, remember? That was a drastic decision! Remember that? We went clear down, drove almost down to the border, & then we turned around & came back, & it was on the way back that we got several of those outstanding prophecies & messages, the David series! (Nos.77-79)
9. I THEN BEGAN TO BELIEVE IT‚ IT BEGAN TO SINK IN, I began to feel the hand of the Lord‚ that I was really being amazingly anointed & guided, because I was always seeing results! Look, there were already hundreds & hundreds of us across the nation, & this was just before our second departure for Europe! We were just beginning our pioneer push into Europe. I hadn't gotten the "Great Escape" (see No.160) yet, but we had just sent teams to Europe—Faithy & Ho & all of them. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Lord!
10. WHEN I LOOK AT THIS YOUNG MAN & LISTEN TO THESE DEAR FOLKS THAT WE'RE CONSIDERING FOR WORKING WITH US, I THINK, IF THEY ONLY KNEW, IF THEY COULD JUST STAND THIS TEST! I must look at them the way the Lord looks at us. If they only knew what the future holds for them, if they only knew the job we're considering them for! The Lord must look at us that way, if they can only make it through the testing! I don't dare tell them‚ because that would ruin it. That would ruin the test, it would give them too much hope‚ they'd be willing then to do anything & endure anything if they knew what the reward was going to be, but we don't dare tell them—otherwise it wouldn't be a valid credible test.
11. BUT THEY'VE GOT TO GO THROUGH THESE TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS & TESTINGS & BREAKINGS & HUMBLINGS WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING what the future holds, not even knowing they're under consideration for something very much more important than they've ever done, without knowing that it's a step upward, a promotion. They've been doing a great work, but they're going to do a much greater work! We don't dare tell them, we can't tell'm or it will nullify the test, because they have to go through this breaking, this humbling to see if they can take it, to see how good their loyalty is, how strong they are, how faithful they are, if they will be willing to do anything & just be a general flunkie, whatever the Lord asks them to be‚ in spite of former glory & glorification!
12. IT'S WONDERFUL, IT'S JUST THRILLING TO SEE'M TAKE IT! It must be the way the Lord feels when He watches us go through trials, you know? Sometimes we wonder‚ "Why do we have to go through this, Lord? What are You trying to do to us? Why do You let all this happen to us, Lord?" When although it hurts Him in a way, He's suffering with us, but He loves us. He loves to watch us make it in spite of all the tests & trials. He loves to watch us win, win the race, endure the affliction & the battle & fight through & win! I think He even sometimes watches & sees the effect on us when we lose‚ if we can take that!
13. I'M SURE THIS PERSON MUST HAVE FELT LIKE HE WAS REALLY LOSING, BEING DEMOTED & disgraced & everything else, but he doesn't realise the Lord has so much greater things in store for him, more important things. Good men like that need to get close to the Source where they can really be used of the Lord to really help in the battle & the warfare & organisation & be able to get near to you, Honey, be your right hand so that you can carry on when I'm gone.
14. IT'S WONDERFUL TO SEE THEM PASS THE TEST! But you can't tell'm the answers!—That's cheating! You know? Ha! You've just got to hand them the paper with the questions & they have to try to struggle through‚ & it's wonderful when they get the right answers & they pass, & then, when they think they're flunking, they find out they've graduated! Ha! They think they've flunked but actually they've won!
15. I LIKED WHAT HE SAID ABOUT RUDYARD KIPLING'S POEM, "IF": If you win or lose, you can treat both success & failure the same, treat both these two impostors the same. That little poem has had a great influence on my life, I've often thought of that when I failed or felt I'd failed or wasn't a success.
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs & blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait & not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or‚ being hated‚ don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—& not make dreams your master;
If you can think—& not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph & disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools‚
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken‚
And stoop & build'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-&-toss,
And lose, & start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart & nerve & sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which say to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds & keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run—
Yours is the Earth & everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!"
16. IT SEEMED LIKE I WAS NEVER A SUCCESS AT ANYTHING REALLY, until I was finally broken enough & down to nothing & nowhere & ready to give up & even my own first wife as good as told me to curse God & die! Then I guess the Lord finally decided I was ready, & sent me out to the scum of the Earth, the dregs of society—the hippies that everybody hated with contempt—to save them! It turned out they were the cream of the crop! We got the cream of the crop, the best of youth! God knew where the value really was & where the real valuable choice priceless gems were!
17. WHEN I SEE THOSE PRECIOUS FAMILY MEMBERS WE'RE CONSIDERING ON VIDEO‚ I HAVE THAT FEELING, "OH BOY!—JUST HOLD ON A LITTLE LONGER! If you'll just hold on‚ if you only knew what's coming!" Sort of like those Christians on the ice floe as they dropped one by one & the crowns were placed on their heads. Like that Russian soldier that saw that one crown descending. He must have almost been praying they would hold on, you know, just a little longer & get the crown, but instead of that, one fellow deserted & ran back & the soldier switched clothes with him & ran out there naked to the ice floe so that he could get the crown! You just hope they can make it. You just hope they'll hold on! You just really pray that the Lord will help them make it, they'll stand the test, so that He can use them for something greater than they've ever done before, much more important. It may not seem greater but it has greater potentiality & it has greater responsibility than anything else they've ever done.
18. THIS PARTICULAR PERSON UNDER CONSIDERATION WAS LIKE A COMMANDER IN THE FIELD WINNING BATTLES & VICTORIES & GETTING GREAT GLORY FOR IT, but which is it better to be?—A commander in the field winning battles‚ or to be working with the Commander-In-Chief running the whole war?—Hmm? And a lot of our people need to remember that too. Which is better?—To be working real close to the Lord & the centre of His will where He knows you fit best & what He wants you to do & what He knows will work best & the particular job He really has for you & has in mind for you & wants you to do?—Or being out there on your own, working on things your own way?—Like Frank Sinatra's song‚ "I Did It My Way!"—No matter what, I did it my way.
19. THAT'S THE ATTITUDE OF THE WORLD & THAT'S THE ATTITUDE OF A LOT OF INDEPENDENT CHRISTIANS, THEY WANT TO DO IT THEIR WAY! They'd rather be out‚ independent & alone & doing their own thing than working together as a team in some more seemingly humble capacity but as an integral part of a team, which is far more important than any other job they could possibly do, working with the Commander-In-Chief in the war room running the war‚ making decisions, helping carry them out, having revolutions & all the rest, instead of just merely out there fighting their own battle doing their own thing, which may not even be the right thing, or even the wrong thing, but just not the thing that God wants done the most.
20. SO I LOOK AT THESE FOLKS WE'RE CONSIDERING & I THINK‚ "OH LORD, HELP THEM TO MAKE IT! Help them to be able to stand this, help them to be able to pull through. Help'm to hold on just a little longer‚ rescue is on the way!" Thank You Lord. Like Amundsen said, "Don't rescue me prematurely!" Well, in his case they didn't, & he failed & he died, poor fellow!—Wasn't he the one? He never made it to [rescue his friend lost near] the North Pole, but at least he died trying. He would never have been happy or satisfied if they had, he would have always thought, "If you hadn't come & rescued me‚ I might have made it." At least even if he died trying he knew‚ because he tried & he did his best, he did all he could do—whereas if they had rescued him prematurely he would have always blamed the rescuers for interfering & preventing him from reaching his goal.
21. IN THIS CASE, THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE GOAL IS & YOU DON'T DARE TELL THEM because you don't dare rescue them until they've really stood the test & shown that they were willing to give their lives to reach some goal, even though they don't know what the goal is—just give their lives to the Lord, to the principle & to the Lord & to His Work, whatever it may be‚ not even knowing.—Like Abraham going out, not even knowing whither he went! My, how many times that Scripture came to me when I did the same thing! The Lord asked me to do things & I didn't even know why, but I just did them, went out not even knowing where! The Lord was asking me to do the unknown, but I did it! Like Abraham being asked to go up in the mountains & sacrifice Isaac.
22. YOU DON'T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS OBEY! See, the Lord knew what He was doing, He was testing him to see if he was going to obey no matter what, to see how loyal he was, how faithful he was‚ how obedient he was, & when he stood the test, then he was ready to become the Father of all the faithful! So praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Lord!
23. GOD HELP THEM, HELP THE MEN, & THE WOMEN TOO, TO STAND THE TEST, LORD!—To fight a good fight, to finish the course & keep the faith, so they'll inherit the crown & receive the reward that You have in store for them, the high calling which is in Christ Jesus‚ the highest they could possibly have, Lord! (2Tim.4:7–8) They already have a high one, but You've got an even higher one in store for them, not just something good but something better, the best! Help us not to fall short of Your best, Lord. Help us not to trade the best for something that was just simply good. Help us to not settle for anything less than Your best! In Jesus name‚ amen. Praise the Lord!—Hold on a little longer!—The best is just around the corner!—And worth it!—Amen?