—Another Letter on "ALL THINGS"!—MOMarch 21, 1974NO.302C—DO
© Copyright March, 1974 by The Children of God P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or Box 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936.
1. WE ARE THE LAST CHURCH! We are God's last Church‚ the last step in God's progress toward total freedom for His Church and the last chance to prove that the ultimate Church can be trusted with total freedom in this last generation!
2. EACH AGE OR GENERATION OF THE CHURCH HAS TAKEN ANOTHER STEP OR SOME NEW STEP TOWARD SUCH FREEDOM from the harsh restrictions of the law to the total freedom of love through the grace of God; from material symbolisms and mechanised ceremonialism to spiritual realities and total spiritual liberty—"the spirits of just men set free!"
3. "FOR WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS THERE IS LIBERTY"—total and complete freedom from the bondage of the law into total and complete freedom of life and liberty through love!—It's the liberating law of love that gives life—not the enslaving "letter of the law that killeth."
4. THIS LAST GENERATION OF THE CHURCH WILL PROBABLY HAVE AS MUCH TROUBLE IN HANDLING SUCH FREEDOM AS DID ITS FIRST GENERATION! It's like giving a growing child a little more liberty at each new stage of development, a little more complicated and possibly even more dangerous toy, ushering in a new stage of growth and responsibility to see if he can be trusted with it. If he uses it wisely, he'll be given more. If he plays with it foolishly and dangerously it may be taken away from him, as Paul had to do with the Early Church.
5. IT DEPENDS ON YOUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND MATURITY‚ trustworthiness and especially the ultimate in total unselfish and sacrificial love—the true Love of God! Have you got that much love? Have you got enough love to be trusted with enough liberty to live life to the full?
6. THE ANSWER IS UP TO YOU: Can you handle this new toy safely so as to bring joy and pleasure to yourself and others around you without endangering anyone or harming anyone or infringing on anyone else's freedom and others' rights?
7. CAN YOU BE TRUSTED WITH IT, OR WILL YOU ABUSE IT and use your liberty as license to do wrongfully and lustfully instead of rightfully and lovingly? Will you use it to heal and help, or harm and hinder? The answer is up to you: Are you so ruled by His Love that He can liberate you from the rules, or do you have to be kept under the law of works because you cannot be trusted with the liberty of His grace? The answer is up to you!
8. IF YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH IN SPIRIT AND FILLED WITH HIS LOVE, YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH HIS LIBERTY as a useful tool to help others. But if you are weak in the flesh, full of selfish lust and play with it foolishly like a dangerous toy, it will only harm yourself and others and hinder the work of God.
9. WHO HAS THE MOST LOVE?—TO WHOM CAN WE GIVE THE MOST LIBERTY?—THE LION OR THE LAMB? Will you follow the Shepherd as a lamb into ever greener pastures and be content to enjoy all things at His hand?—Or will you rage as a ravenous beast, a loosed lion preying upon the lambs themselves and devouring and destroying the flock?
10. ARE YOU A LION OR A LAMB‚ a wolf or one of the flock? Will you feed and follow and love and lamb together with the Shepherd, or will you rage and devour and tear and destroy and scatter the flock and drive them from the Shepherd's fold?
11. THE ANSWER IS UP TO YOU—whether you have the lamb-like gentle loving nature of the Shepherd Himself, which loves, rescues, helps and heals and truly cares for the sheep; or the evil wolf-like nature of the Destroyer who rends and rips and gnashes with his teeth, only to selfishly destroy, devour, harm and scatter the flock. The answer is up to you!
12. CAN YOU BE TRUSTED WITH TOTAL LIFE, LOVE, LIBERTY AND THE FREEDOM OF THE SPIRIT, or do you have to be kept in the cage of the law for the transgressors who are ruled only by their own carnal lusts and lack of love? The answer depends on you and whether you can keep the rules of love to enjoy such liberty that brings such life!
13. AS IN MARRIAGE AND ALL OTHER SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER, GOD'S LAWS OF LOVE ARE STILL THE SAME:
These are questions you will have to answer yourself and before God and others, and you may need counsel in answering them.
14. ANY VARIATION FROM THE NORM of personal relationships, any substantial change in marital relationships‚ any projected sexual associations SHOULD HAVE THE WILLING CONSENT OF ALL parties concerned or affected, including the approval of leadership and permission of the Body. If this is lacking in any quarter and anyone is going to be harmed or unduly offended‚ then your action is not in love nor according to God's law of love!
15. "LOVE DOETH THY NEIGHBOUR NO HARM," FOR "THOU SHALL LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF": THIS IS GOD'S LAW OF LOVE! "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." "Against such love there is no law." This is the Lord's law of love. Obey it and you can have total love, life and liberty in the Lord. These are God's conditions.
16. ARE YOU DOING IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO UNSELFISHLY AND SACRIFICIALLY HELP SOMEONE else who really needs it, and by which you can show them God's Love, or are you doing it selfishly and unlawfully‚ not in love for others and God, but merely "to consume it upon your own lusts"?
17. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LUST AND LOVE: Lust is merely to gratify your own greedy selfish appetite, like eating a meal. You may need it, but if you're stealing it from someone else and taking the food out of their mouth to stuff your own, this is selfish lust, not love! But if you are taking the food out of your own mouth and giving your own meal to satisfy and feed another who is hungry and starving for love and needs it desperately and might not survive without it‚ then this is real love.
18. "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS: that a man lay down his life for his friends." "Therefore we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Are you willing to lay down your life—or even your wife—for a starving brother or a sister?
19. ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE TILL IT HURTS, even until it hurts you?—Jesus did: He gave His life! God did: He gave His Son! David did: He said, "I will not give unto the Lord of that which hath cost me nothing!"—He gave until it hurt! God gives His Wife, the Church, continually in loving service to others! She is constantly engaged in trying to woo and win the world!
20. ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE THAT MUCH IF NEEDED? Are you willing to suffer to save others?—To offer your life or your wife or be offered as God's Wife or both? They said of Jesus: "He saved others, but Himself He could not save!" This is true: "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit."
21. ARE YOU WILLING TO PLANT YOUR SEED INTO THE FURROW OF THE BODY of God's Earth, His Wife, His Church, that it may be warmed by the sun of His Love, refreshed by the water of His Word, and bring forth much fruit? As it is with the spiritual‚ so it is with the physical, and that's the final test:
22. DOES IT BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT—either spiritually or physically or both? "For by their fruits ye shall know them." Does it bring forth the "fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance"? (Gal.5:22,23.) Or does it even bear your own good fruit of another new soul for the Kingdom of God?
23. IS IT GOOD FOR YOU, OTHERS, AND HIS KINGDOM AND DOES IT BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT FOR ALL? It is not always easy, and sometimes it hurts you!—I know‚ because I've done it, and I have suffered the agonies of Gethsemane over it, and the agony of God seeing His little lamb crucified on a cross for the salvation of others! But it was worth it! "For afterward it yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which were exercised thereby." Godly hurt, sacrifice and suffering to help others are good for us.—It's the harmful hurt to others that does the damage. That's the difference between selfish lust and sacrificial love! Can a couch be your cross?
24. FOR, AS JESUS SAID, "IF ANY MAN WOULD COME AFTER ME‚ LET HIM DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME." (When hiking, that bed roll you carry on your back could become your cross!) "For whosoever saveth his life (or wife?) shall lose it, but whosoever loseth his life (or wife?) for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it!" Have you really forsaken all for Jesus and others?
25. ARE YOU REALLY SHARING UNTO THE UTTERMOST? Are you really sacrificing and dying daily that others may live? Is this too much to ask? Are you strong enough to give it? Are you free enough to live it? Do you love enough to lose it?
26. FOR "ALL THAT BELIEVED WERE TOGETHER AND HAD ALL THINGS COMMON!" "Neither called any man anything his own, but they had all things common!" That is the ultimate ideal in total sharing, total giving‚ total forsaking all, total freedom, total living, total loving and total liberty in the total love of God!
27. CAN YOU HANDLE IT? CAN YOU MAKE IT? ARE YOU REVOLUTIONARY ENOUGH? CAN YOUR BOTTLE TAKE IT? We shall see! "He shall not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able to bear, but with every temptation will make a way of escape!"—The choice is up to you!
28. "CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE SHALL SERVE": If the love of "God be God, then serve Him!" If the lusting bondage of Baal be your god, then serve him! "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" in His labours of Love forever!—Amen.—How about you?