—By Father DavidDFO 848—Part 118/10/79
1. THIS DREAM WAS A NIGHTMARE! The first of it wasn't so bad—just normal. But the end was so bad, I almost tried to put it out of my mind! Sometimes the Devil attacks me with nightmares‚ so I thought maybe he'd just tried to get at me in the night again.
2. BUT AS I THINK ABOUT IT, IT COULD BE SIGNIFICANT. The first part was just sort of a hodgepodge all about the Church & Churches—right after I've recently told the folks to "Invade the Churches!" (No.834.)
3. WE WERE AT THIS huge big typical revival-type place where they were having big meetings. I can't remember too much about it, except they were having special speakers & big shots, sort of like a preachers' convention.
4. YOU KNOW HOW THEY HAVE THOSE ALL-DAY THINGS when you have a dinner on the grounds, so everybody can stay there & be there for the next meeting. It was like one of those preachers' conventions, with the big shot preachers & special speakers.
5. THE PLACE WAS PACKED WITH PEOPLE! Then we would go out between sessions to eat outside, a Sunday picnic on the grounds‚ like we used to do at those Gospel campgrounds. But after the dream's awful ending, I woke up & thought‚ "Oh, that's just one of those horrible nightmares! The Devil is trying to scare me! I don't even want to tell it—it's too discouraging." But I want to tell you what I think it means when I get to the end of it.
6. I THINK IT'S A WARNING that some of our kids are not yet strong enough to go back to church—especially backsliders & spiritual weaklings! (Maria: I wondered about that.) They are too apt to get sucked in again. (Maria: Yes, I wondered about that, too. It's too lethargic, & you catch that same spirit, that lackadaisical lazy spirit, & you can't stand up against it like you should.)
7. SO ANYWAY, THERE WERE A LOT OF THINGS GOING ON on the grounds, & we were poorly impressed by the typical Christians, you know, so...all I can say is, they're so sickening, they're just so sickening! I remember one outstanding incident that horrified me was about the poor behaviour of the children.—They were just a bunch of rowdy little demons, you know?
8. I REMEMBER THIS ONE THING THAT WAS SO SHOCKING that really impressed me!: A little boy about five or six years old took a stick & hit a cat real hard until he crippled it, broke its neck or something, & it was writhing on the ground dying!—And this old lady got so upset, an upper middle-aged lady, you know‚ the usual fat, typical Christian.
9. SHE GOT SO UPSET & SO CONCERNED OVER THIS LITTLE CAT getting almost killed! I mean, it would have been better if he had killed it, because it was just writhing there in agony! There it was flopping on the ground right in front of everybody, & everybody was a bit astonished & horrified that a child could have such cruelty, yet this woman was weeping, "Ohhhhh!" & carrying on so, almost fainting over it!
10. THEY DON'T CARE IF THERE'RE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN STARVING & DYING‚ but they can go into absolute hysteria over one poor little animal! So one of the men came, & he thought it best to put the cat out of sight & out of its misery, which of course it was. So he just took it & walked out on this point & threw the cat into the water! And when he did this, the woman practically fainted, like it was even worse what he did, to drown the cat!
11. CHRISTIANS ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT LITTLE THINGS LIKE THAT DYING CAT THAN MILLIONS OF DYING CHILDREN! I remember one woman where we stayed for a meeting, when they started showing some of these horrible World War II scenes & all on TV, she would just get up & turn off the TV because she didn't want to see what was going on in the world!
12. THE AMERICANS SORT OF SEW THEMSELVES INTO AN ISOLATIONISM so that they don't even want to see what's happening to the rest of the World! They don't want to see it, they don't want to know it, because it might make them feel bad, & they don't want to feel bad because they have everything, so they don't want to hear about the rest of the world's sufferings! Whhhheewwww!
13. I MUST ADMIT, I HATE TO SEE THESE PICTURES of starving skinny skeleton-like children because it makes you feel so bad! But you gotta know what's happening in the World, or you're not going to have any compassion for them, or do anything for them! (Maria: At least it makes you pray for them & count your own blessings!)
14. BUT HERE THEY WERE JUST BUSINESS AS USUAL AT THIS CONVENTION!—A typical church meeting with typical special speakers, & blah blah blah! And it was all so sickening! We seemed to be like guests there, so then these preachers decided to take us for a sightseeing ride in a big Land Rover, with about three or four of us sitting up front & the rest of us packed in the back. They were going to go out & show us the sights!
15. IT HAD TO BE SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTHEAST U.S., BECAUSE THE NAME "NANTUCKET" WAS MENTIONED. Now, I couldn't even tell you where Nantucket is‚ except I know it's somewhere around New England. Do you know where it is? (Maria: Doesn't that have something to do with the Kennedys?) It could be. (We found out later Nantucket is an island across Nantucket Sound from the rich resort coast of Massachusetts where the Kennedys live!) But I don't know New England that well.
16. WE NEVER TRAVELLED MUCH IN NEW ENGLAND, as they never invited us to have meetings up there much. They're pretty cold‚ hard, Church Christians. I don't think we ever had any meetings in New England at all.—Nowhere! The closest we ever got to that was New York, in the capital, Albany, New York, in a very humble little Italian church.
17. IT'S A HARD COUNTRY, PREDOMINANTLY CATHOLIC NOW. Just think, it used to be predominantly Protestants who were escaping the Catholics! Now the Catholics have followed them up, & it's almost solid Catholics escaping the Protestants! That's one of the places where the Pope stopped, at Boston.
18. SO, WE WERE RIDING along a stretched-out suburban area along the coast. We had driven across almost like an island or a peninsula, & it was quite a densely populated suburbia, not a big city, but a suburb‚ rich suburbs.
19. SO WE WERE DRIVING ALONG THIS COASTAL ROAD GOING SOUTH. I remember that distinctly‚ because the Atlantic Ocean was on the left. There were houses & homes between the highway & the coast, & then there were homes on the other side, both sides. It wasn't a highway right on the beach, but with houses on both sides.
20. AND WE PASSED CHURCH AFTER CHURCH AFTER CHURCH! I just couldn't believe how many churches there were, you know? Every few blocks there was another church!—And they all had beautiful signs, some even neon signs & things like that‚ brightly lighted almost like cinema marquees. Each was advertising what was going on at their church & the kind of program they are having at that church etc. So I thought:
21. "MY LORD! LOOK AT ALL THOSE FANCY CHURCH BUILDINGS!—What they could have done with all that money in reaching the World with the Gospel! You'd think they would at least print some little Gospel tracts or something, instead of wasting it on all those fancy buildings! They should have sent all those Christians out on the streets with tracts instead of wasting all that money on those buildings & programs & fat high–paid preachers & all that stuff!
22. THAT'S THEIR WHOLE THING, JUST THE CHURCH BUILDING & ITS PROGRAMS. They're not geared to reaching the lost at all, really. Mostly they're trying to attract other Christians from other churches to come to their church. Proselyting from other religions seems to be their main business. I can see now it did have meaning, like an awful warning!
23. SO THEY WERE SHOWING US THESE SIGHTS, & there were these three or four preachers in the car with us, these big shot fancy preachers like the Wilkersons & some of those guys, you know—that type, the ones that like to run those big entertainment centers called churches! Oh, did you hear that they took over the huge ballroom & auditorium, Melody Land, because the crowds were getting too big for his old "Delusion Center"? Imagine that! The people worked so hard to build that first big building, & then it still wasn't big enough to hold the crowds, so they had to have a bigger building!
24. SO AS WE RODE ALONG, THESE SMART PREACHERS WERE BRAGGING ABOUT THESE DIFFERENT RICH CHURCHES "Oh, look! There's brother so-& -so's, & that's the new so–&–so, & that was so-&-so!" Oh, they were all thrilled with all these new fancy church buildings‚ like that was the ideal, that was just great‚ these fancy church buildings with fancy neon marquees & big fancy programs going on!
25. THE WHOLE THING BEGINS TO LOOK SIGNIFICANT TO ME! Now I can see by this dream how they haven't changed. If anything, they have just gotten worse! Instead of doing more for the missions & to reach the lost, they always go & build a bigger building! So these preachers began to talk amongst themselves, & one preacher said.
26. "YOU KNOW, NANTUCKET WOULD BE A GREAT PLACE FOR A NEW CHURCH! That place is really growing down there! Have you boys thought anything about building a new church down in Nantucket? That would be just the place! There really aren't enough churches down there, & that's a great opportunity to pioneer a new work, a new church in Nantucket."
27. I CAN REMEMBER HOW PREACHERS WERE LIKE THIS WHEN I USED TO BE IN THE CHURCHES. They were always thinking about a new place to build a new church so they could get a new crowd. And the other guys were agreeing, "Yeah, yeah, that's true! We should consider Nantucket!" So he says, "I'll drive you down that way & show you."
28. SO‚ WE DROVE ON DOWN‚ & I think he got lost trying to find his way, because we ended up down at a wharf, like a commercial dock in the dark. So we stopped there to get out & ask directions, & this dear lady came out of her house with a white cane. She was obviously partly blind, she wasn't completely blind‚ & I went first to talk to her. I thought,
29. "OH, THERE'S A LADY OUT OF HER HOUSE, so I'll go talk to her," you know. I think that's sort of symbolic of our constant personal approach to people, like door-to–door & personal witnessing, & how blinded the World is! So I went over & I talked to her friendly & nice, & she liked me real well. I witnessed to her a little bit, & asked her directions & all, & then they came over, too, but she wasn't a bit interested in the preachers. She just kept her eyes on me & she said,
30. "WELL CAN'T YOU GIVE ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR RELIGION? Can't you give me a little paper or something that will tell me more about you?" And she said, "How about this!"—And she reached towards my left pocket where I had this big legal-sized envelope. The only thing I can think of now is that it must have contained MO Letters & it was sealed like it was secret, see?
31. WE DIDN'T NORMALLY USE MO LETTERS OURSELVES PERSONALLY BECAUSE IT IDENTIFIED US. We always used just little Gospel tracts of some kind. But she started to take it out of my pocket! So I quickly said, "No, no, I'm sorry‚ but that's very private, that's very confidential‚ strictly personal, private material!—But here. "And I pulled out a little one of those "Four Things" tracts like we used to pass out. I said, "Here, this is it!" And she said, "Oh thank you!"
32. BY THIS TIME, THE PREACHER GUYS HAD GOTTEN OVER THERE & were listening to what was going on, & when she asked for something & I hesitated, they thought maybe I didn't have anything. So they wanted to show how quick they could get on the ball, & as I pulled out the tract with a simple plan of salvation, he whipped out a little tiny Bible or new Testament, all leather-bound & fancy.
33. THIS IS WHY THE CHURCHES CAN'T DO MUCH WITNESSING: They've got to be so fancy! And he just hands it to her like this: "Here's our religion!—See?" It's like the Churches have had the Bible so long, but they don't know where to find anything & they can't understand it, so they try to cram the whole thing down the public's poor throats all at once! But instead, we try to make it simple, see?
34. BUT THE CHURCHES ARE GIVING THEM THIS DEEP HEAVY STUFF from the Bible & too much, so they nearly choke them to death! Whereas, we just give them a simple little tiny tract & try to make it simple. We're always trying to make the plan of salvation simple & just give them a few verses instead of a bible-full! Fred used to say,
35. "IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THEM ONE VERSE & SAY IT so many times that they've got it memorised, than to keep shoving a whole bunch of verses down their throat so they can't remember any of them"! (Maria: Well that's for sure true!) It's better to give them something simple they will remember, than so much, like the churches do, that they forget! (Maria: Because one is more effective to hang on to than five or six or seven they'll forgot!)
36. YES, I'VE HEARD OF SO MANY PEOPLE WHO FOUND SALVATION THROUGH ONLY ONE VERSE that was convincing‚ like the Catholic priest with Ephesians 2:8 & 9, & how I really finally got the assurance of my salvation through simple John 3:36! The dream is so symbolic‚ how the churches try to cram so much & in such a fancy package, so they can't afford to do very much of it at all, if they're going to do it that way.
37. THESE SIMPLE LITTLE FIVE-CENT GOSPEL COMIC BOOKS WOULD BE BETTER! (Maria: But they've spent so much money on all their buildings & other thing, they don't have enough left for even a few tracts!) Yes, particularly on their expensive church buildings, big fancy programs & the preacher's high salary, so that they can't afford a little thing like literature! With most churches, lit's the most neglected ministry there is!
38. I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST GOT FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT when I was 19, I said, "Now, Lord, by Your Spirit‚ please tell me what to do." So I went to the church building—of course, that's the first way I thought of serving the Lord, you know, was taking care of the church building! So I volunteered to go down & clean the church. Now, that was the highest service you could do, after all, was to take care of the church building!
39. SO I GOT DOWN THERE & I CLEANED UP THE CHURCH, & then I started looking around & thinking, "What next needs to be done?"—& right away the track rack came to me! We did have tracts‚ thank God! My mother always insisted on having little tracts, but they were mostly about healing & the Holy Spirit & stuff for Christians. There was not really much you could take outside. I don't think we had any "4 Things" or "Plan of Salvation" or anything for "sinners" or outsiders!
40. IT SHOWS HOW THE CHURCH IS MINISTERING MOSTLY TO ITSELF & NOT TO THE WORLD! So‚ I went back & I checked on the tracts & I arranged them nice & everything‚ & I remember then I went home to my mother & said, "You know, nearly all those tracts are just for Christians.—We ought to have something for the unsaved! "Well, she said,
41. "BUT THERE'S HARDLY ANY UNSAVED WHO COME TO OUR CHURCH," And I said, "Well the church people could take them out & give them to them outside if we'd keep them supplied." She said, "You're right, son we should have a good supply for them to take out."—Like that was sort of a surprising thought, to have Gospel tracts to take outside! She sort of connected tracts with her old mission work, you know, but that Christians in nice churches didn't do that sort of thing! She probably knew our Christians pretty well‚ that they wouldn't take them out anyhow‚ or go out standing on the street corners passing out tracts!
42. SO IN MY DREAM I THOUGHT, "THAT'S SOMETHING!—THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY KIND OF WITNESSING & the preachers!: I just hand out a simple little Gospel tract, short & sweet & easy to understand, on which you can get a quick decision.—But they hand them the whole Bible." We've heard of lots of church members & young people who went to church all their lives but never really heard the plan of salvation!
43. THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS TO GET SAVED! (Maria: They even had a Bible in their house or two or three, but never understood salvation!) Yes, & heard all kinds of sermons, but not once how to get saved! Think of it! So, isn't that funny, now that I tell you about it, everything about the dream becomes significant!
44. SO WE GOT BACK ON THE TRUCK & we were backing onto the dock to turn around—backing up—get the idea?—We were going backwards—like the churches!—When suddenly something happened! He must have gotten it accidentally into reverse while we were turning around, & when he stepped on the gas, we shot right back out over the wharf & into the water! That's the shocking thing that woke me up! I thought, as it sank:
45. "OH, MY GOD! I HOPE THIS ISN'T A DEEP SHIP CHANNEL!" Then it came to my mind: "This is a deep ship channel! There's some kind of a deep ship channel there near Nantucket! Oh‚ if it was just shallow, we should have time to get the doors open & try to get them out!"
46. I WAS ALREADY OUT OF THE TRUCK SOMEHOW. I don't know how I had done it. (Maria: Because you hadn't gotten back in, maybe‚ when he was turning around.) No, I had the feeling I was in the truck when it went over, but I had quickly gotten out somehow. But I was struggling to get to the door to open it to get some of the rest of them out.
47. BUT THE CAR WAS SINKING SO FAST, I COULDN'T EVEN CATCH UP WITH IT! I was struggling desperately to get to the door, but I couldn't reach the door handle!—And that's the last I remember! I woke up suddenly, still trying to save them, but it was too late! Whew! So, I hope this doesn't mean that, by getting tangled up with the preachers & their churches again, some of our kids are going to sink back into the System! (Maria: Well‚ that thought did cross my mind, & I've had to keep putting that Letter off from getting into the Magazine because there just wasn't room.)