—By Father DavidDFO95014 September, 1980
1. WE'VE JUST BEEN THINKING ABOUT FAST DAY & HOW IT SEEMS LIKE WE NEVER CAN REMEMBER THE 1ST! I'm always missing it somehow. You guys don't remind me, of course, I wonder why? Ahem! (Family: We fasted!) Well‚ GBY, but we were busy anyhow. I'll tell you, we did some fasting on some of those moves! The boys didn't eat until about four o'clock & sometimes worse!
2. BUT I WAS THINKING ABOUT FAST DAY & HOW A LOT OF THE FAMILY HAVE JOBS OR BUSINESS, even our Family. Lots of times you have business you can't postpone, you have work that needs to be done, & Fast Day falls on all kinds of odd days of the week—work days, business days & shopping days. So I think just to hold it to the 1st of the month makes it rather inconvenient for a lot of the Family.
3. THOUGH WE HAD DECLARED THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH FAST DAY, as I thought about that‚ I thought, "Well, we hardly ever have Bible Studies because Fast Day's only once a month; we really need them more often!" I don't want to get so regimented like the churches, but I think we do need a specific time of Fellowship & Bible Study for all the Family together.
4. IT WOULDN'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE A FAST DAY EVERY SUNDAY, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, WHY NOT?—I think maybe a once-a-week fast would do us good! We'd let you have liquids, & this would at least give the cooks sort of a day off—they wouldn't have to cook so much & the dishwashers wouldn't have to wash so many dishes.
5. THE POINT OF THE LIQUID DIET IS TO CUT DOWN ON THE VOLUME OF DISHES & COOKING & POTS & PANS. You shouldn't have to have more than just one bowl, one spoon & one glass—which shouldn't make too many dishes—& one pot for the soup. So that ought to cut down a lot on the pots & pans & dishes so there's not so much dish–washing.
6. THE WHOLE IDEA OF FAST DAY IS NOT THAT THERE'S SO MUCH VIRTUE IN FASTING; we're not earning merit & God's not going to answer our prayers better if we fast. As I used to tell my students in school, the idea is that you want to do something else instead of spending all that time cooking & eating & washing dishes. You want to devote more time to the Lord & to prayer & to study & to fellowship, without having that burden of so much cooking & eating & feasting—do some fasting instead of feasting!
7. SO I THINK IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO TRY & MAKE EVERY SUNDAY A FAST DAY! What kind of breakfast you eat is your business‚ but come & have a little bowl of soup—or a big bowl of soup—& we'll even let you have crackers! Margie wanted to know if she could let you have crackers, so she's your mediator.
8. IT'S A FUNNY THING ABOUT THE COOKS‚ THEY'RE ALWAYS MEDIATORS! It causes them more trouble, but they're always trying to figure out some way they can be a little better to you & make sure you get enough to eat. They have your appetite at heart, or your stomach at heart!
9. WE'RE GOING IN FOR FAST FOOD!—"FAST" FOOD SERVICE! Our fast food is our liquid diet, liquid lunch, & you could have soup & a drink. So what about it? If you want to eat breakfast, that's OK‚ but in order to save time & have more time for a little fellowship & Bible Study & prayer, what about having a liquid diet?
10. JUS IS WORRYING ABOUT IT ALREADY!—HA!—YOUR FACE TELLS WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND! He was looking pretty worried!—"Every Sunday?" You're like little Dennis the Menace was in the paper the other night: He said, "Lord, if I don't thank You for the carrots, I think You'll understand!"—"Lord, if I can't be too happy about fasting, I think You'll understand!"—Ha!
11. SO, PTL! WE COULD HAVE LIQUID DIET FOR SUNDAY NOON LUNCH, THEN SOME BIBLE STUDY. And maybe at the end of our time of fellowship together we could have Communion, & that way we'd have it every Sunday. Some people are sick & can't wait till next month to have Communion! I'll tell you, I was so sick last night I decided I couldn't postpone Fast Day any longer either, & Communion.
12. MAYBE THE LORD USED THAT LAST NIGHT TO TRY TO GET ME ON THE BALL & NOT POSTPONE FAST DAY ANY LONGER! And as we thought about it, these other ideas came to us about having it on a Sunday‚ not only the first Sunday of the month, but every Sunday. Not all things are bad about the churches‚ & they've found that most people need good fellowship at least once a week—once, twice or three times a week. Of course we have it almost every night & every day because we live together!
13. SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? DO YOU WANT TO TRY IT? If it works, we could get some more Bible studies in, & we sure need some Bible studies, particularly on Bible Prophecy. I've found you're bit ignorant on that. We're having a special little series on Noah—& we've got one more chapter to do today—but the Old Testament is pretty much covered in the Bible in Pictures. I told it with those pictures just about the same way I always told it to my children.
14. IT'S ALMOST LIKE A NATURAL LAW TO TAKE A DAY OFF ONCE A WEEK. And frankly‚ I think that might help us if we have our Fast Day every Sunday, because I don't think some of you guys will ever take a day off! I found our workers worked day & night & every day of the week‚ especially under Jethro & Deborah & Rachel & some of them!
15. WE FIRST REALLY DISCOVERED THIS IN VISITING SOME OTHER COLONIES, BUT PARTICULARLY SOME OTHER COLONIES, BUT PARTICULARLY WHEN WE SENT OUT THE CQs. On one of the questions we asked if they got one day a week off or something like that.—"Never!"—Never had a day off! "Do you have any free time?"—"Never!" They worked the pants & the socks off of those poor people, night & day, every day of the week! It was horrible! And if you do that nowadays it's your own fault, not mine, because I didn't teach that!
16. I MAY DO IT MYSELF‚ & OFTEN I DON'T HARDLY KNOW IT'S SUNDAY BECAUSE I'M STILL WORKING TRYING TO GET SOMETHING READY! So I'd just as soon pick any other day of the week, but Sunday is a customary day & a day when even the World has acknowledged that they're to give their workers a day off—virtually the entire World, even Communist Russia! Therefore when stores & businesses are usually closed & people are not on the job, it's more likely that they will be free on Sunday.
17. YOUR SUNDAY FAST DAY & BIBLE STUDY COULD ALSO TURN OUT TO THEN BE AN AVAILABLE FELLOWSHIP DAY for not only your selfish family, but outside friends & visitors & so on. This is why even in our earliest days in my old Soul Clinics & all the rest we always had a big meeting Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock which we called our Fellowship Meeting.—Because that's the day when other Christians & other people were free & usually didn't have to work. They weren't in business, on the job or in school.
18. I WONDER WHAT OUR FAMILY DOES WITH THEIR CHILDREN IF THEY'RE IN SCHOOL ON FAST DAY?—Do they just go ahead & send them off to school, hmm? Are the school children denied the privilege of fellowshipping with the Family‚ praying with the Family & studying the Bible with the Family? You've got to go to school in America, it's the law! They'll put a parent in jail if you let a child stay home even one day! The Truant Officer comes around & wants to know why!
19. AND IF YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE & YOU DELIBERATELY WILFULLY DESIGNEDLY KEPT THAT CHILD HOME & prevented him from going to school, you have broken the law & they can put you in jail! They don't usually put them in jail, they usually fine 'em; but I've heard of a few cases where they put'm in jail when they kept the kids out of school continually—not only fined the parents, but put them in jail! Now that's great, isn't it, how smart!
20. IT SHOWS YOU THAT THEY PUT THE STATE & ITS EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM—ITS BRAINWASHING SYSTEM to educate them to be good citizens of the State—as more important than being members of their family! Now they accuse us of that—& it's true!—Only it's the other way around: We consider it's more important to be members of God's Family than it is to be citizens of the State, & we are at sword's points with the System over that. We keep our kids out of school, we don't observe their days, we don't even observe some of their laws that conflict with us—especially when it comes to witnessing etc.
21. SO SUNDAY IS A CUSTOMARY DAY WHEN PEOPLE ARE FREE & USUALLY DON'T GO TO SCHOOL OR WORK & DON'T HAVE BUSINESS—INCLUDING US! We often find that it interferes with our shopping & our work & our business, & those business days are very important because those are the only days we can shop & do business. And some Family members have to work & are only free on maybe Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
22. WELL, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE SATURDAY AFTERNOON OFF & MAKE THAT YOUR FAST DAY‚ THAT'S OK WITH ME. I don't care what day you take, as long as you take a day. But I think it would be nice if the whole Family were celebrating the same day. It gives you a feeling of unity if you know we're all praying together. That's why we established the 1st, to know that the Family around the World is praying together at the same time, all day long, even as the day moved around the Earth with the sun. So I think we could establish Sunday as a common day in which we shall have our Fast Day.
23. WE EMPHASISE FAST DAY, BUT MAYBE WE OUGHT TO EMPHASISE PRAYER DAY OR FELLOWSHIP DAY OR BIBLE STUDY DAY. It's not the fasting that's the most important thing about the day, it's the fact that we're gathered together here. Nobody's out shopping, nobody's out doing business‚ nobody's working & nobody's busy cooking sumptuous feasts! Nobody's doing a mountain of dishes, because we've tried to cut everything down to the minimum, a liquid diet, which means almost no cooking, almost no dishes, & no work!
24. WE PUT THIS ABOVE ANY BUSINESS & ANY WORK & CERTAINLY ANY SCHOOL, EXCEPT GOD'S SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE! What better day could we have it than Sunday, which has become the customary day of the whole World?—So that if any of our Family members hold jobs, & many of them do, they will be able to participate on the one day off, on Sunday. That's the one sure day off. Some people have to work all day Saturday‚ so we can't be too sure of that. And nowadays in the States & even in Europe you can't be too sure of Sunday!
25. SOME BUSINESSES STAY OPEN ON SUNDAY TOO, & SOME PEOPLE EVEN HAVE TO WORK ON SUNDAY!—But at least those usually only stay open half a day, & you'd have at least Sunday afternoon. And isn't that when we're meeting now‚ on Sunday afternoon? Even if you'd had a job this morning & had to go to work or be at the market or whatever, you could have gotten home for lunch & had the afternoon off for Family fellowship, PTL?
26. THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT, THE MORE REASONS COME TO ME FOR FEELING IT'S A GOOD TIME. I wouldn't say it was a revelation of God, although I did get it in thinking & praying about it this morning‚ & thinking about how we missed our Fast Day. I don't make a big thing over the 1st of the month, we never have. Who makes a big thing throughout the World but us?—And we haven't made a big thing about it‚ we've often forgotten it, right?
27. WHICH DO YOU PAY THE MOST ATTENTION TO, THE DAY OR THE DATE? (Family: The day!) Which are you most likely to remember that today is? Right now every one of you can remember it's Sunday, but I daresay that some of you couldn't tell me what date it is! But almost always you remember the days of the week, & it would be hard to forget Sunday, although sometimes I have!
28. MY FATHER WAS A GREAT ONE FOR SAYING HE BELIEVED THERE SHOULDN'T BE ANY DIFFERENCE OF ONE DAY ABOVE ANOTHER. He was like the guy Paul was talking about in the Bible where he said, "Some esteem one day above another, others esteem everyday the same." (Ro.14:5.) He believed you should love the Lord just as much everyday & not more on Sunday. So I kind of inherited part of my rebelism; he was pretty much of a rebel himself!
29. HE USED TO TELL PEOPLE IN CHURCH, "I DON'T LOVE THE LORD ANY MORE ON SUNDAY THAN I DO EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE WEEK! I worship Him everyday! You shouldn't worship anymore on Sunday than you do every day of the week!"—And he believed it & he practised it! We had family worship everyday for at least an hour. He read the Bible & we prayed.—Which is probably more than most people get in church!
30. IN MOST CHURCHES THEY'VE GOT ABOUT A ONE-HOUR SERVICE, 50 minutes of singing & announcements & about a 10–minute sermon. And if they go beyond that, the people get up & walk out!—To their fishin' & their golf game & their car washin' & television & whatnot! So you don't dare have too long services in a normal church today.
31. I'VE FOUND IN MANY OF THE AREAS OF THE U.S. & ESPECIALLY IN EUROPE, THAT THEY EVEN CLOSE UP CHURCHES DURING THE SUMMER! What's the use of keeping them open when nobody comes? Everybody's gone on their vacation. And a lot of churches only have Sunday morning service, even during the Winter. No Sunday night because nobody comes. Certainly no Wednesday night prayer meeting‚ they don't know how to pray!
32. SO IT'S ONLY THE MOST SPIRITUAL CHURCHES EVEN IN THE STATES THAT HAVE SUNDAY MORNING, SUNDAY NIGHT & WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICES, & try to keep them short so people can quick run home & see Ed Sullivan or whatever else they want to see on TV. Some of them really got mad if you went past 9 o'clock when Ed Sullivan used to come on! At least they wanted to run home & get the last of the show! That's the set customary hour for Christians in the U.S.—I don't know about Europe—& from 11 to 12 on Sunday morning & that's it!
33. IF YOU RAN PAST 12 O'CLOCK, BOY, THEIR STOMACHS WERE GROWLING, THE ROAST WAS BURNING & "YOU'D BETTER LET US GET HOME!"—Or everybody began to scowl! It reminds me of the story about the guy who came up to the preacher who had prayed a 15–minute prayer: The guy said, "Listen, Preacher, that was too long! A 15-minute prayer is too long at the end of the service when I'm wanting to go home. For the first five minutes I was praying with you‚ the second five minutes I was praying for you, but that last five minutes, that was the limit—I was praying against you!"
34. YOU COULD ALWAYS TELL HOW RELIGIOUS THEY WERE WHEN WE WERE IN CHURCHES BY HOW EARLY OR LATE THEY GOT OUT! Well, the time we get into church here...we are the church, so how can you get into church?—Unless I get into you!—Then I'm getting into the church, like I got into Mama this morning!—Ah, we really got into it, TTL! (Maria: And we even got more than that out of it!) Yes, we had a good sex tape out of it!
35. I THINK WE CAN HAVE WILD WIND PUBLISH IT; IT'S CALLED "START THE DAY WITH LOVE"!—How to start the day—start the day with love! So how can you go to church?—Here we are, we're already the church. The building is not the church, we're the church!—The Body of Christ, the called-out ones, the "ecclesia", the body of believers, the Bride of Christ!
36. BUT USUALLY THEY GET OUT ANYWHERE BETWEEN NOON OR ONE, & THEN THEY'VE GOT TO GO HOME & EAT DINNER.—Sometimes even cook it!—But usually they leave a roast on the fire. That's a favourite American Sunday afternoon dinner for all the family‚ friends & relatives, & usually it's a big dinner, the meal of the week!—Either a beef roast or chicken or turkey, some kind of a big roast & big feed. It's a big feast & lots of fun & we kids always enjoyed it.
37. AND OF COURSE AFTER EATING SO MUCH YOU WERE SO TIRED & GROGGY & SLEEPY YOU HAD TO HAVE A NAP while some of the poor women were doing the dishes, & then they rested a bit. So even if you get out of church as early as 12, going home & getting started on your meal would take at least till one.—And you wouldn't be eating till two, 'cause especially in the States you drive a long distance & they've got to get it ready & prepare & set it on the table & have thanks & start eating.
38. SO IF YOU GOT STARTED EATING AT TWO YOU WERE DOING PETTY WELL, & most of us from more spiritual churches didn't get started till about 3. Then that took an hour with all the family fellowship & feasting & jokes & news & everything, & you weren't done until at least three or four‚ & then they had to clean up. So that would be four or more, right? And then you've got to give them time to drive whatever distance they have to come to your Fellowship Meeting.
39. SO EVEN RIGHT HERE WHERE WE'RE VIRTUALLY ALL OF US LIVING TOGETHER, we found it a little bit tight to even make it by three, even though you eat an early lunch at one or 1:30. So how did you like four o'clock today? That even gave our boys time to get back from an important errand.
40. BY THE WAY, FROM NOW ON LET'S TRY NOT TO SCHEDULE ANY KIND OF IMPORTANT APPOINTMENTS or meetings or departures or arrivals or anything else on our Sunday Fellowship Meeting Day, if possible.—Unless it's Sunday morning or Sunday night before the meeting or afterward, OK? It says you're not supposed to work on Sunday, it's rest day‚ fast day, meeting day‚ fellowship day, fun day, Bible study day—& driving all that way & back is work!
41. SO PTL! I THINK FOUR O'CLOCK IS A GOOD TIME! It doesn't make us rush quite so much & gives you a chance to have a little rest. I'm a firm believer in the beloved Siesta! I got convinced of it after three years in Spain, & I think it's a great idea! So how do you Family around the world like 4 o'clock?—Say, Amen! (Family: Amen!) That'll give you plenty of time to have a nice morning off of rest & a lot of love-making if you want to. It's the one day you don't have to get up & go to work or go out first thing doing something else!
42. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO STAY HOME & REST & READ & PRAY & FELLOWSHIP & DO NOTHING BUT ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL EMERGENCY WORK, like taking care of children. That you always have to do, & feeding them you have to do, & you're cooking as little as possible so we have as little dishes as possible. You're not supposed to clean house on Sunday. We're beginning to sound like the churches, aren't we?—Ha!—These words have a familiar ring! Well, we'll get you back into your good old habit of just devoting Sunday to the Lord, amen?
43. FAMILY & HOME MEETINGS ARE QUITE CUSTOMARY ON SUNDAYS. Families get together for family reunions, so that wouldn't be so conspicuous for a big family to get together for dinner & have fellowship & exchange stories & whatnot. The neighbours wouldn't think much of it, if you're trying to be Selah, if you had a family meeting on Sunday afternoon at your house & there were a lot of visitors & a lot of cars parked outside.
44. THIS IS A WORLDWIDE CUSTOM THAT FAMILIES GET TOGETHER ON SUNDAYS, & Sunday afternoons in particular. Now if you get into Sunday mornings, then they might begin to think you're a church, because they figure you ought to be in church & what are you doing here?—Savvy? They might suspect you're some kind of a religious group or church if you're having a meeting on Sunday morning when the family ought to be in church! Most religious families are usually in church on Sunday mornings, & then they go to the relatives or somewhere for family dinner.
45. SO IF YOU START OFF WITH YOUR FAMILY FEED AT YOUR SUNDAY NOON MEAL AT 12 OR ONE O'CLOCK, you could even afford to invite the neighbours & friends & relatives if you only have soup!—That's another advantage I can think of!—You don't have to have chicken or anything fancy or fancy desserts. We're going to have supper—souper—souper supper! That's where the word "sup" came from—soup! You can't sup anything but soup, just try it! It's akin to the word "sip".
46. FROM THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE SOUL CLINIC WE INVITED THE NEIGHBOURS & FRIENDS & RELATIVES TO COME FOR SUNDAY DINNER—too bad we hadn't thought about soup then, but sometimes it wasn't much more than soup because we didn't have much! And if we only have soup & drinks they ought to think that's enough. After all, it's free, so they shouldn't complain! Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!
47. SO IT'S BEEN A CHRISTIAN CUSTOM LONG BEFORE THE DAYS OF CHRISTIAN CHURCH-BUILDINGS. In the early days of the true Christian church—meaning the people, the body of Christ—where did they usually meet? Did they have Christian church buildings? No, but they did meet. Paul talks about the church, meaning the gathering, the assembly of the saints. They couldn't very well have a Christian shoutin' Pentecostal meeting in front of all the Jews who were unbelievers. It says‚ "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers." (2Cor.6:14.)
48. THEY KICKED THEM OUT OF THE TEMPLE & LATER OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE, SO WHERE DID THEY MEET?—They usually met in homes; small groups of friends & Christians & those who loved the Lord met in homes; that's what we still do today‚ right?—And that's what the Jehovah's Witnesses did in the early days, except for their big Tabernacle in Brooklyn, they started in homes, & they still do to this very day.
49. (MARIA: DO YOU THINK THAT SUNDAY IS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS FOR DTD?)—Yes! That's something I was going to mention. The Jehovah's Witnesses have discovered that's the best time in the World to do DTDing, door-to-door, just when all the churchy church people whom you're not apt to have very much success with are in church, between about nine & noon Sunday.
50. SO, PTL! HOW DO YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF SUNDAY?—WE MIGHT BE GETTING AROUND TO BEING A CHURCH YET!—HA! And that's another thing, we'd have something in common with a lot of church Christians & they might not think we were quite so freaky! "My God‚ those people only have their day of worship once a month on the 1st day of the month, who ever head of that!" At least we might have a little more in common with them, & the only difference is, we have ours in the afternoon, whereas they have theirs in the morning!
51. "BUT WE HAVE OURS IN THE AFTERNOON BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU'RE IN CHURCH IN THE MORNING, & we'd like to have you come be with us in the afternoon!"—That's really why we did it, because Sunday afternoon we wanted the church people & the Christians to come see that we were not as crazy as people said we were! We wanted visitors, & we wanted to get them interested‚ wanted them to come, & we also wanted to take an offering!—They had more money than we had! That's one reason the preachers always insist you go to church on Sunday, because if you didn't, where would they be without that offering? (Take one!)
52. SO I THINK 4 O'CLOCK WOULD BE MORE CONVENIENT FOR EVERYBODY, especially if you have Christian friends who are church members who still love you & want to fellowship with you, or even are curious, & maybe four would be a little easier hour for them to make it.
53. WE USED TO START AT THREE, BUT FROM THREE TO FOUR WAS SOLID MUSIC & BAND PLAYING & singing, so they'd miss the best part if they didn't come by three. Then four we usually had the Bible study, taught by me, & that usually lasted a couple of hours. And we tried to get them out by six because Americans eat dinner at six quite regularly.
54. THEY'VE GOT TO EAT DINNER AT SIX & THEY'RE GOING TO BE VERY HUNGRY SITTING THERE with their big ones eating up the little ones & their tummies gnawing if you don't let them out by six. Now you can keep the Family longer maybe & they'll put up with it, especially since you won't give them anything to eat anyhow until whenever time you get done! But you'd better let your visitors & friends & relatives & fish go not later than about six.
55. IF THEY CAN TAKE A TWO-HOUR MEETING EVEN, THEY'RE DOING PRETTY GOOD, because they're not used to much more than one-hour meetings & one-hour masses. So they're going to be very religious to stick it out with you for two solid hours! So have lots of music & lots of specials & testimonies & interesting things‚ maybe even a little dancing!
56. SOME OF THEM MIGHT THINK IT'S TERRIBLE TO DANCE, MUCH LESS ON SUNDAY OR MUCH MORE ON SUNDAY, so if you think it might offend some of the churchier ones by dancing, you can save that for your night fellowship sometime & the more advanced can come out, especially those Saturday Night Discos! Whew! Some of those get pretty wild!—All that cuddling & all that loving up & close dancing & those dreamy romantic numbers are bound to get somebody aroused, so PTL!—DO it!
57. (MARIA: YOU COULD EVEN READ SOME SHORT TESTIMONIES FROM THE FAMILY NEWS!) Yes, that used to be the time when they always read the latest MO Letters at TSC. And you ought to have maybe a little Psalm together, just like you have at your Family devotions.
58. GIVE THEM A LITTLE SAMPLE OF FAMILY DEVOTIONS, lots of singing & music & fun & fellowship, maybe skits or flannelgraphs, & then a little prayer & Bible Study or MO Letter‚ a little bit of everything; lots of variety & something for everybody. Then don't forget to draw the net, especially when you have very likely unsaved visitors, relatives & fish attending.
59. WHOEVER IS THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE DAY SHOULD TRY TO DRAW THE NET AT THE END‚ EVEN ASK FOR DECISIONS.—Ask if they would like to have the same joy, the same happiness in their hearts, the same shine on their faces & radiant smiles that we do. "How would you like to have Jesus? Jesus is the one Who does it!—Would you like to have Him?"
60. I WOULD ALWAYS LIKE TO HAVE THEM BOW THEIR HEADS IN PRAYER so they won't be worrying about what other people think & watching each other. Then I'd say‚ "How many of you would like to receive Jesus in your heart?" I always figured that the minute they made the decision, even before their hand shot up, Jesus came in!
61. HE STANDS AT THE DOOR & KNOCKS, & YOU OPEN THE DOOR. The moment they make the decision to open the door & signify it by raising their hand, even before I saw their hand, you know the Lord came in. Then everybody would pray the little Sinner's Prayer together. I said‚ "Even you Christians need to pray, you're some of the worst sinners of all!":
62. "LORD FORGIVE ME FOR MY SINS. I BELIEVE‚ JESUS, YOU'RE THE SON OF GOD & DIED FOR ME, took my punishment for me. Forgive me & help me & come into my heart & help me to be good & to serve You & tell others about You."—Isn't that the general run of that little prayer? Then we used to sing a little song at that time that was a good one too, because it was that very prayer. (Sings:)
63. "INTO MY HEART, INTO MY HEART, COME INTO MY HEART, LORD JESUS! Come in today, come in to stay, Come into my heart, Lord Jesus!" Isn't that a good little song to pray?—They can all sing it‚ & if they mean it, He comes in. That's a nice little song you could sing at the close of the sessions & say, "All of you that mean it, raise your hands!"—& sometimes I'd even tell the Christians: "Well, you'd better mean it too! We all need more of the Lord! Come into my heart Lord Jesus!"
64. AND THEN WE'D ALWAYS DISMISS WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER & USUALLY SING "BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS" & "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"—some of those old-timers—& the special blessing from the Old Testament. Do you know where it is?—You've heard me say it many times:
65. "THE LORD BLESS THEE & KEEP THEE; THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON THEE & BE GRACIOUS UNTO THEE: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee & give thee peace!"—Anybody know where it's found? Well, I'll let that be part of your homework! PTL! So that's a little idea about what to have at your meetings, & then don't forget to dismiss. (Num.6:24-27.)
66. AND IF YOU'RE THE KIND OF HOME THAT CAN AFFORD IT & EVEN WANT THEM TO STAY LONGER while you witness & talk to them personally sometime on in the evening, you may want to serve a little light liquid refreshment after the meeting. By that time they're hungry again, & probably everybody's hungry.
67. OH, & DON'T FORGET TO HAVE THE LORD'S SUPPER! You can have it whenever you want it, either at the opening of the meeting or at the end of the meeting. I think it makes a nice opening or ending, or you might even want to have it in the middle after the songs & testimonies & before the message or the Bible Study. You might want to have it after prayer or you might want to have prayer after it.
68. WHATEVER WAY IT SEEMS BEST TO YOU & YOU FEEL LED OF THE SPIRIT. We've tried different ways & we never know which way we're going to have it, do we? I think in a way sometimes it's good to have it after prayer, because then they're more in the mood for it. And when you pray you should ask the Lord to forgive you for offending your brother. We used to have a little love feast & go & hug & kiss & make up before we'd take Communion so you don't have anything on your heart you should have made right beforehand, PTL?
69. WELL, THERE'S A FEW IDEAS ON MEETINGS & TIMES & THINGS TO DO & THE COMMUNION, THE DAY WE HAVE OUR PRAYER & PRAISE. Even some of our songs were prayers, & you may have some special prayer from individuals around the circle. It does you good to pray & it does us good to hear you.
70. IT DOES YOU GOOD TO PRAY PUBLICLY BEFORE OTHERS‚ & SOMETIMES IT HELPS US KNOW JUST HOW SPIRITUAL YOU ARE. If you're in the habit of praying privately, it won't be hard for you to pray publicly; but if you seem to have difficulty praying publicly, it might be because you haven't had enough practice at home or in private. That's a fact‚ you can really tell the difference.
71. WE USED TO CALL ON SOME OF THESE PEOPLE TO PRAY IN CHURCH & THEY WOULD STUTTER & MUMBLE & STAMMER & didn't know that to say. They weren't used to praying at all‚ not even at home! If they said a little grace at the table, that was about it, & any other kind of prayer they didn't even know how to pray.
72. SO SOMETIMES YOU CAN TELL PEOPLE'S DEPTH OF SPIRITUALLY BY HOW GOOD TALKING TERMS THEY'RE ON WITH THE LORD, how easy it is for them to talk to the Lord. If it comes easy, you know they're used to it; if it comes hard either they're not getting enough practice at it or they're too shy. But don't push visitors to pray who are reluctant or you may embarrass them so they'll not come back.
73. BUT WE'RE NOT JUST HAVING YOU PRAY SO WE CAN CRITICISE YOUR PRAYER LIFE; IT ENCOURAGES US TO HEAR EACH OTHER PRAY. We often get inspiring encouraging faith-building thoughts out of it, & it inspires our faith & encourages us to hear our prayers for one another—to know we have people who can really pray & expect answers & pray by faith & in faith, & you can tell it, & are victorious & joyful, & it inspires faith!
74. IT ALSO LEADS OTHERS INTO A DEEPER SPIRITUAL LIFE & UNDERSTANDING, TO HEAR PEOPLE PRAY. They learn how to pray from you. The Disciples learned how to pray from the Lord, right? And sometimes, especially when you have strangers & visitors, family, friends, relatives & fish, you can preach a good prayer! You can quote Scriptures in your prayer.
75. YOU CAN GIVE GOOD THOUGHTS IN YOUR PRAYER THAT YOU'RE REALLY PRAYING RIGHT AT THEM.—Not praying to them‚ you're praying to the Lord, but you're praying at them. You want them to get the point‚ & when you can't do it any other way. In my brother's house, he wasn't too spiritual, so I used to try to put it into the prayer before the meal when we were supposed to say grace. Until one day he said "Ok, Dave, this time please say grace, & pray afterwards!—The food's getting cold!"—And I don't blame him!
76. THE COOK HAS WORKED HARD TO GET A MEAL HOT‚ & USUALLY IN THE AVERAGE HOME THEY HAVE THE CUSTOM OF PUTTING THE MEAL ON THE TABLE FIRST. Then the family gathers around to sit down & pray. And in our Family they sing & they pray‚ & they sing & they pray, & they go on & on till the meal is ice cold!—They used to, that is, before I made a drastic change in that!
77. I SAID, "FROM NOW ON YOU COOKS KEEP THE DINNER ON THE STOVE UNTIL WE FINISH SINGING ALL THE SINGING WE'RE GOING TO DO & praying all the praying we're going to do, & then bring it on & we'll say one little family prayer for it & that's it!"—A little poem that my father composed, "Thank You Jesus for this food & for our home so fair", etc.!
78. IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG TO DO THAT, & EVEN DEAR LITTLE TECHI HAS FAITH & PATIENCE TO WAIT FOR THAT PRAYER TO END! She couldn't quite make it through that prayer at first, but she's made a lot of spiritual progress since then! Now she holds onto my finger all the way through the prayer & bows her little head.
79. I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH PEEKING SHE DOES, BUT SHE MUMBLES A LITTLE BIT ALONG WITH US & she knows exactly where to say, "Amen!" with great joy & rejoicing that the prayer's over! When we say, "In Jesus' Name", she says, "Amen!"—with great enthusiasm! I'm a little suspicious as to whether it's because she enjoyed the prayer or the fact that it's over!—Ha!
80. MY MOTHER USED TO SAY WHEN I WAS A BOY I COULD HARDLY WAIT TO EAT DINNER, & when they asked me to pray I'd say, "In Jesus' name‚ amen.—Pass the potatoes!" That was my favourite dish, always has been! Sue knows I still like mashed potatoes & gravy, & I wanted to make sure I got'm first!—Because there were some great big eaters in the family like some of you guys, that if they got it first they'd sometimes cinch the dish & I didn't get much left! So I wanted to get the potatoes first—"Amen, pass the potatoes!" Maybe you wish I'd say, "Amen" & pass the bread & the wine, ha!
81. I'LL TEST YOUR PATIENCE A LITTLE FURTHER & SEE WHAT YOU HAVE MOST ON YOUR MIND‚ THE LORD OR YOUR TUMMY! So I think public prayer is good for you, & we used to always do it. And when we had a large group & didn't have time for a prayer from everyone, I'd call on at least 3 or 4 or half-a-dozen to lead out in prayer. And closing prayer we tried to make not too long.
82. SO PLEASE REMEMBER, ESPECIALLY WITH CHILDREN WAITING & HOT FOOD & COOKS WAITING, SAY GRACE & PRAY AFTERWARDS!—Either that or pray & do your singing before they take it off the stove. I don't know who started the custom of everybody standing up around the table, because I can sing & praise just as well sitting down, & sometimes better `cause I'm more rested.—Especially after you wait a long time on some of these people to come to dinner, or somebody's long-winded & sings a lot of songs & prays long prayers! You get awful tired standing up in a circle holding hands, & you can just as easily hold hands around the table sitting down.
83. I FOUND IN DIFFERENT ONES WHO HAVE COME TO WORK WITH US THAT THEY HAD BEEN USED TO SOME OF THESE OLD CHAIN CUSTOMS & were really in bondage to some of those old Family practices that I never started—such as standing up around the table holding hands, & standing up for a long long time sometimes with long prayers & manifestations of the Spirit & songs‚ & the food getting ice-cold on the table!
84. SO I SUGGEST YOU HAVE YOUR SONGS & YOUR PRAYERS BEFOREHAND & DO THEM SITTING DOWN HOLDING HANDS so everybody won't be exhausted by the time it's time to sit down & eat; then you can tell them when it's time to bring it on. You can't bless it too well when it's not on the table, so the minute it's on the table, then pray the little Family blessing & get onto it, amen? PTL!
85. WELL‚ WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A LITTLE COMMUNION, & IF YOU'VE GOT ANY CONFESSING TO DO, NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO DO IT—to the Lord or to us or your brother or whatever. Of course there're some things which should never be confessed publicly. Sins which are just private secret sins of your own that nobody knows about but the Lord, you should only confess to the Lord. Otherwise it might hurt other people's faith & confidence in you & give them a bad impression of you.
86. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CONFESS SECRET SINS TO OTHERS, YOU ONLY HAVE TO CONFESS THEM TO THE LORD. But if you've offended somebody, & you didn't do it before anybody else, then you don't have to confess it publicly either. You only have to confess that to them & ask them to forgive you.—Because sometimes it might be too gory & gruesome & might just actually distract people & bother them & offend them.
87. BUT OF COURSE IF YOU HAVE SINNED IN SOME WAY THAT HAS BEEN AN OFFENSE TO THE WHOLE FAMILY & EVERYBODY KNOWS IT & YOU KNOW IT, that's the time to publicly confess your sins & ask not only the Lord, but everybody to forgive you. Anybody want to do that? I confess I'm a mess! (Maria: Me too!)—And I make a lot of mistakes & I don't do everything right‚ but thank the Lord, maybe we do most things right, anyhow, & keep at least on the up side, not on the down side.
88. THERE WAS SOMETHING RECENTLY I WANTED TO CONFESS‚ WHAT WAS IT?—Or did I? Anyhow, if I should, I'm sure the Lord will remind me. Does anybody want to make any public confession here before Communion? Hmm? Boy, we have such a sinless perfect bunch here! (Maria: We'll all say we're a mess!) Nobody has anything to say! (Maria: There's so many things, you can't begin to!) All right. Well, it's a good time to confess in your prayer, if you're embarrassed to confess it any other way.
89. (DAD YAWNS.) I'M SORRY, I'M EVEN TIRED MYSELF, SO I KNOW YOU MUST BE TIRED! Well‚ I have no excuses for that, except that I don't know that having sex twice a day really wears me out, I think it peps me up! And as I said, Sunday's a good day to have sex unless you go out DTDing in the morning. You get one morning off, & I don't think you necessarily have to fast sex‚ PTL? (Family: Thank the Lord!)
90. THEY'RE ALL REJOICING & THANKING THE LORD BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT'S WHAT THEY DID THIS MORNING ANYWAY! Ha! That's your one sleep-in-morning, Sunday. But the dear church people have to get up, & that's really pretty hard on the poor people. They get up early every morning to go to work, even on Saturdays. A lot of them work half a day & still have to get up early in the morning.
91. AND THE ONE MORNING THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO SLEEP IN, THEY HAVE TO DRAG OUT & GO TO CHURCH! I think that's cruelty to poor dumb System animals! But at least then they get to go home & take a nap in the afternoon. So if they went to church that morning it's doubtful you'll be seeing them at your afternoon meeting. They've got to get their one rest of the week!
92. BUT IF YOU HAVE IT LATE ENOUGH MAYBE THEY'LL HAVE A CHANCE TO TAKE A LITTLE NAP AFTER DINNER & COME TO YOUR 4 O'CLOCK MEETING.—At least get them on the 5 o'clock Lord's Supper or the Bible Study or MO Letter, whatever it is, even if they're a bit late. So invite them anyhow, amen? I'm trying to give you a few ideas for your Sunday Afternoon Fellowship.
93. WE COULD EVEN CALL IT FEASTING DAY BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO SPIRITUALLY FEAST! We may fast the body a bit with a bit of fast food—liquid food that's fast to prepare & fast to wash up after—but we're going to feast spiritually when we have our Fellowship Meeting.
94.—AND WHEN YOU PRAY‚ YOU CAN START THE BALL ROLLING BY GOING AROUND THE CIRCLE. I always like to definitely designate that way because if you just throw the ball in the middle of the table & say, "Well, now whoever wants to pray first, grab it!"—You'll be sitting around for five minutes between prayers waiting for somebody who has the courage to pray!
95. THE SPIRITUAL ARE SO HUMBLE THEY DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE INITIATIVE, even though they can easily pray in public, for fear it'll be pride that they're leading in prayer; & the poor weak in spirit & prayer life are so unaccustomed to praying that they don't want to be first because they're scared to death to have to pray in public. Some others are just plain shy, so praying in a circle is a simple way to solve it, unless you have visitors present who might be embarrassed to pray. In that case‚ you can just designate two or three of the Family to pray, to avoid long delays.
96. WHEN MY FOUR LITTLE CHILDREN WERE YOUNG WE USUALLY HAD PRAYER BEFORE BIBLE STUDY because some of them were asleep before the prayer was over. We used to have the oldest one pray down to the little one, as we thought that was recognising seniority.
97. BUT WE FOUND SOMETIMES THE LITTLEST ONE WAS ASLEEP BY THAT TIME, SO THEN WE STARTED HAVING FAITHY PRAY FIRST. Faithy was the youngest, two years old at that time, then Ho, & we worked on up the line to the oldest who wasn't quite as prone to go to sleep! But that's one way to do it in your Family if you want to, go right on up from the youngest to the oldest!—Through Mamas‚ Daddies, Aunts, Uncles‚ childcare workers & all the helpers in the Home! That way we can find out how old they are!—Ha!
98. OR AN EVEN SIMPLER WAY, SINCE USUALLY YOUR FAMILY'S GATHERED IN A CIRCLE IN OUR HOMES AROUND THE ROOM OR THE TABLE, just go right around the circle. That way they can't mistake when it's time for them to pray, & come what may, the hour has come! When the last guy finishes praying‚ they're next & they know they've got to pray no matter what, & if there's any pause they know they're holding up the works. So that's about the easiest way to solve that problem.
99. I LEARNED A LOT OF THINGS IN ALL THOSE YEARS OF HAVING MEETINGS & PRAYER MEETINGS! So go around the circle—that's why they used to call them prayer circles or a Family circle—& designate which way to go. I usually go clockwise because even the little children can understand what that means. You go the direction the hands of the clock go, right? David, who would pray first if Daddy now says let's pray?—If this table was a big clock, which way do the hands of the clock go?
100. THE PROBLEM HERE, DEAR FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD, IS WE'VE GOT A WHOLE FAMILY OF LEFTIES that don't know their right hand from their left! So then you can pray what you're the most thankful for. Think of the thing you're the most thankful for & the thing you want the most & need the most. Can you think of those two things?
101. A PRAYER SHOULD BE FIRST OF ALL THANKSGIVING‚ & THEN YOU SHOULD BE PRAYING FOR WHAT YOU THINK IS YOUR GREATEST NEED or greatest need of the Family. So always start your prayer with thanksgiving, thanking Jesus for all your blessings first. Don't start telling Him what you want, all your wants & needs first without even thanking Him! How would a father feel if the little child, after all the toys & things he's already given him, said, "Now Daddy, I want you to give me next time..."
102. YOU OUGHT TO BUTTER DADDY UP A LITTLE BIT & say, "Daddy, it was so nice of you to bring me that lovely present last time you went to the store!—You know, it sure would be nice of you if you'd also not forget to get me that other think I want next time you come back!"—So thank Him first, & then He'll feel more like getting you what you want, amen?
103. SO I CAN THINK OF A LOT OF GOOD REASONS WHY SUNDAY WOULD BE A GOOD DAY, & SUNDAY AFTERNOON ESPECIALLY. Because you can have fellowship then, & you could have lots of friends & relatives & neighbours visiting, & it won't look too unusual to have a lot of cars parked out front at your home. I'm speaking now to the whole Worldwide Family as we're recording this, & maybe you'll think up even more good reasons for it!
104. IT NOT ONLY WOULD BE BETTER FOR US AS A FAMILY‚ IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR ALL OF OUR FAMILIES & EASIER ON OUR VISITORS, friends, relatives & anybody who might want to join us; & our school children & our businessmen who have to be at business places‚ & our workers who have jobs—& we have lots of them who would like to fellowship with us & would like to join a fellowship meeting with us.
105. WE HAVE REALLY BEEN NEGLECTING THE FELLOWSHIP SINCE WE BROKE UP THE BLOBS; & THAT WAS ONE GOOD THING ABOUT BLOBS. I have been watching the MWM videos & seeing how they enjoy the fellowship & inspiration of all the families together, & it was a great blessing & a great asset in the days of the Blobs when we did have a lot of folks get together for fellowship. In unity there's strength, & there's sweet fellowship, & we had good inspiration & entertainment & testimonies & united prayer & all of these things.
106. THE BLOBS HAD A FEW GOOD POINTS, BUT WE'VE GONE TO THE OTHER EXTREME NOW & BROKEN UP INTO SUCH SMALL FAMILIES, many only single family Homes. So I believe we have really been neglecting fellowship‚ & many of our Homes feel it & they complain about it. They say the VS's don't come around enough, & other Homes nearby don't want to fellowship & so on & so on.
107. WELL, FELLOWSHIP IN A WAY IS A SACRIFICE. You folks had to come over here today & walk a distance & leave other things behind, & it's a certain amount of sacrifice of your time & your strength. And some of the women have to get together & figure out even what kind of soup & drinks to have, & it's a little more work when it's a bigger family, two or three families celebrating & fellowshipping together.
108. BUT I THINK IT'S GOOD & I THINK WE NEED MORE OF IT! We encouraged breaking up the Blobs to the point that now we have almost no fellowship in some areas. There was a major point which we were trying to accomplish through breaking up the Blobs, & do you know what it was? (Family: To get out & witness!) That was the main thing. They were all sitting there at the Church of Jerusalem enjoying the fellowship, but not getting out to the whole World.
109. WELL, NOW WE'RE OUT! WE HAVE SCATTERED INTO MORE THAN A HUNDRED COUNTRIES, & are right now in more than 80 countries. We are scattered throughout the whole World, we have done the job, & to the extreme almost. Now we need to encourage them to have fellowship. They don't have to have a Blob to have fellowship, but several Homes in the same area could at least get together once a week‚ particularly Sunday afternoon for our Fast & Fellowship Day.
110. LET'S NOT EVEN CALL IT FAST DAY, BECAUSE THAT EMPHASISES THE WRONG THING:—WHY NOT CALL IT FELLOWSHIP DAY? In the early days of my Soul Clinic Schools we used to call it our Fellowship Dinner & our Fellowship Meeting. So why not call it Fellowship Day & have a Fellowship Dinner of soup & liquid drinks, juices, coffee, tea, cold or hot, whatever you want, & that ought to be enough.
111. I THINK WE AS A FAMILY ARE IN DIRE NEED! What would you say is one of the greatest Family needs today?—It's not literature, we've got lots of it & getting lots more all the time‚ thank God! Is it witnessing & litnessing?—Well, you can never have too much of that, but we do a lot of it, right? Is it scattering into all the World?—Well, we could do more, but we've done a lot.
112. IS IT GIVING‚ TITHING, FINANCING?—YOU'RE BEING VERY FAITHFUL & DOING WELL AT THAT & the Lord's being good to us & supporting World Services well, so that we can get out more Magazines & more books & more Childcare literature & all the rest & help more people. So I'd say that that's pretty well attended to. You're giving well, witnessing fairly well, you've gone into the World very well. Is it more teaching? Well, you're getting lots of teaching in the Letters & the Magazines.
113. I WOULD SAY ONE OF THE GREATEST LACKS & AREAS WHERE WE NEED STRENGTHENING & MORE OF IT & NOW IS FELLOWSHIP!—That was the thing in the early days, that was the main thing‚ was fellowship. We had these big Blobs & inspirations every night & day, I mean it was like going to a convention or a conference every time that we did that!
114. BUT I DO FEEL THAT A VERY WEAK AREA IN THE FAMILY RIGHT NOW IS OUR LACK OF FELLOWSHIP. We're not having sufficient fellowship, inspirational meetings & time together, even to study the Word together & pray & unite in prayer & to pray for each other & pray for the sick & to discuss problems & so on.
115. A LOT OF POOR FAMILIES ARE STRUGGLING ALONG TRYING TO MAKE IT ON THEIR OWN WITH NO FELLOWSHIP, no one to help, no one to counsel & advise, no one to share problems with & their needs with‚ & I really think we need now to start tying more families together. They're fellowshipping through the mail, through the Magazine, through the literature & through the tapes, & now even through the videos.
116. I THINK VIDEOS ARE GOING TO BE A GREAT TOOL FOR BRINGING ABOUT MORE FAMILY FELLOWSHIP. Didn't you enjoy watching them? (Family: Yes!) Didn't you feel like you were a part of something Worldwide when you saw others other places doing the same things that we do?—Only better, because we can't usually have a lot of singing & music. We're a very selah colony that can't take a chance on being too joyful—at least not too loud!
117. SO I BELIEVE WE SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE FAMILY TO HAVE MORE FELLOWSHIP BY UNITING AT LEAST ONE DAY A WEEK, SUNDAY AFTERNOON, when others can come. I don't want to interfere with the church or the Christians, & most everybody's free on Sunday afternoon wondering what to do. They don't have anything to do or a place to go or whatever.—At least those that don't go to the beach or someplace like that.
118. THOSE WHO REALLY LOVE THE LORD OR ARE INTERESTED IN THE FAMILY WOULD PROBABLY LIKE TO COME & FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU & LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU. They always have all through our history. Our Sunday Afternoon Fellowship Meetings used to be our greatest time of inspiration, when we had strangers there that the Family went to work on & witnessing to them & getting Salvations & all kinds of things.
119. YOU'VE SEEN PICTURES OF TSC ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON DURING FELLOWSHIP MEETING WITH THE CARS LINED UP ALMOST AS FAR AS YOU COULD SEE! People came from miles around to come to our Sunday Afternoon Fellowship Meeting—& we put on a show! We had a band & orchestra & music & made those hills jump up & down!—And we had a good feed usually, the Lord was good to us. We gave those who came early a free dinner. We encouraged them to come straight from church if they wanted to, or whatever, & come for dinner. And then how could they refuse to stay for the meeting?
120. SO THERE'S A LITTLE METHOD IN THE MADNESS OF GIVING THEM A FREE FEED! And if they want to know, "Don't you ever have anything better than soup & weak coffee?"—Then you could tell them‚ "Well, yes, we do, but this is our Fast Day when we also fast & pray!" Then they'll understand why they didn't get a very big meal.—And you cooks & bottlewashers won't have so much to do!
121. IT'S KIND OF LIKE WE'VE GONE FULL CIRCLE & COME BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED in our little tiny Soul Clinic Schools that we used to have. And even before that we did the same thing. Our own family used to invite in friends & neighbours to have a little fellowship Sunday afternoon‚ which I always turned into a Bible Study, & they got trapped & couldn't get out till it was over!
122. WHILE THEY'RE SITTING AROUND THE TABLE HAVING JUST FINISHED A FREE MEAL THAT YOU GAVE THEM, they couldn't very well say, "I'm sorry, I've got to get up & go" when you pull out your Bible & start reading it! How can they walk out?—Kind of the reverse of what they do about church followed by dinner. We have church following dinner, & that way they're already there for the dinner & they can hardly escape church! Amen?
123. WHO'S GOING TO BE SO UNGRATEFUL & SUCH AN INGRATE AS TO GET UP FROM A FREE MEAL & WALK OUT ON YOUR BIBLE STUDY? They'll at least stay for a reasonable length of time if you don't make it too long, & you certainly wouldn't make it this long for strangers! They'd have been long gone by this time! Well, my goodness, aren't you glad?—I've talked you almost up to supper! So just before the cooks warm up the soup‚ we can have our communion.
124. BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO TEACH "GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY" AS ONE OF OUR LAWS, IT'S A VOLUNTARY FELLOWSHIP & A VOLUNTARY DAY TO FAST. You don't even have to fast. If any of you are so hungry you think you're going to expire before the day's over because you only had soup for lunch, well, you're welcome to go in there & fix yourself a sandwich! Nobody's making you fast, are they?
125. YOU SAY, "WELL DAD, YOU HAVEN'T EVEN GIVEN ME TIME TO HARDLY GO TO THE BATHROOM, how would I have time to fix myself a sandwich?" "And Dad, what would you think of me if I was out there in the kitchen fixing myself a hamburger while you're in here teaching?"—It's kind of a social pressure! Ha! It's not what we'd think of you, it's what we wouldn't think of you if you did!
126. WE WOULDN'T THINK YOU WERE VERY NICE OR VERY POLITE OR VERY COURTEOUS OR VERY COOPERATIVE OR VERY INTERESTED IN THE BIBLE or teaching or fellowship or anything if you did, would we? If I was here today & some of you weren't & said, "No‚ I'm too tired & sleepy" or "I'm going to stay home & do my gardening"—I would figure you really were losing the victory! If you'd say, "Besides, I'm hungry & I want to eat a hamburger for lunch"—when we invite you here for prayer & Bible Study & fellowship & fasting, then I might, like the preachers, figure you were a little bit backslidden if you didn't come to church!—Ha!
127. SO I'M GLAD TO SEE YOU'RE ALL OF ONE MIND & ONE HEART & ONE SPIRIT & IN ONE PLACE ON THIS ONE DAY, & of one stomach as well, all of you not eating; & pretty soon we will all be of one body, literally, having partaken of the bread. Have we got the elements ready? (Maria: Do you want a cracker or a loaf of bread?) Whatever you've got handy, it doesn't matter. But I like bread, it says bread, & I like one loaf, it was a loaf. Even if it's half a loaf, it's still one whole piece, & that illustrates the point. I think the children can understand it better if we use the Scriptural things according to Scriptural terms. (Begins Communion: )
128. AND HE TOOK THE BREAD & GAVE THANKS, & when He had given thanks, He brake it, & He said, "Take, eat. This is My body broken for you." Which came first‚ the bread or the wine? (Family: The bread.) But isn't salvation more important? Isn't the blood more important? He ministered a lot to people's bodies long before they got the Word & the truth of the Word & the knowledge of salvation. Their physical needs came first! Maybe that's the way you feel right now, you wish we'd have supper first!—Ha! But you're supposed to be older, stronger Christians, well-indoctrinated, strong in the faith!
129. THANK YOU LORD FOR THIS SYMBOL OF THY BODY BROKEN FOR US, FOR OUR HEALTH & PHYSICAL HEALING. Bless it, Lord, & make it a blessing to those who now partake in their flesh of this flesh, of this bread, all of us literally becoming a part of this loaf & this loaf becoming a part of us. Therefore we're literally one in the flesh, as we are also one in the Spirit through Thy blood. This has an even more significant symbolism for us, Lord‚ who are really one in the flesh in every way in our sexual freedom as well as our spiritual freedom.
130. WE ARE ONE WIFE, ONE BODY‚ & ONE BRIDE OF CHRIST, & WE THANK YOU FOR IT, LORD! And if any here need healing, help them to have the faith to trust Thee for it as they partake of this bread. You promised it, Lord, Your body broken for us‚ because by Your stripes we are healed. As it was broken for our healing, so let us have faith to partake of it accordingly, in Jesus' Name, amen. TYL! Do you know a song about that? (Sings: )
131. "BREAK THOU THE BREAD OF LIFE, DEAR LORD TO ME. As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea. Beyond the Sacred Page, I see Thee Lord. My spirit pants for Thee, Thou living Word!"—So it really has a double meaning, doesn't it? In this case the song is not just talking about this bread‚ the bread of His body, but the bread of His Word, amen? PTL!
132. SO HE SAID, "TAKE, EAT, THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU. As oft as ye do it, ye do it in remembrance of Me, & ye do glorify the Lord's death till He come." Amen? PTL? My communions may be a little rough, but at least I hope you get the point! TYL! Bless it, in Jesus' Name. Thank You Lord for this Thy symbol of Thy blood shed for us & our salvation that we might be free in Spirit & healed spiritually as well as physically, in Jesus' Name, amen. TYL!
133. AND HE SAID ALSO THAT BECAUSE THEY DON'T PARTAKE OF COMMUNION‚ FOR THIS CAUSE MANY ARE SICK & MANY SLEEP, meaning died!—And maybe because we haven't been partaking of it often enough. If you want to know why we're having this Fast Day today especially, it's because I was very sick last night with burning indigestion, & it came to me very strongly when I prayed & asked the Lord why:
134. "YOU HAVEN'T BEEN HAVING ENOUGH COMMUNION! You postponed My one little day you gave Me once a month, & you haven't had it yet!" So I said, "OK‚ Lord, today is it!"—And I conferred with Maria & she agreed, & you, & you agreed, & here we are!—Our first regular Sunday Fellowship Day!—Not feast & fellowship, but fast & fellowship & inspiration. I hope you had inspiration! (Family: Yes!) We haven't had a lot of loud music & singing & praising, but at least we've had some spiritual feeding. Amen, TYL!
135. HE SAYS, "AS OFT AS YE DO THIS, YE DO IT IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."—So if we do it oftener—four times a month instead of just once—we'll be remembrancing Him more often, & it'll be an oftener testimony to our friends & visitors & family & relatives & so on that come. We found it in the early days a very successful practice to have an afternoon Sunday Fellowship Dinner & Meeting together‚ & invited even the general public. So I think it will be a very good thing for the Family.
136. WE PUT EMPHASIS ON EVERYTHING ELSE—WITNESSING, LITNESSING, GIVING, STUDYING & GOING INTO ALL THE WORLD—now we need to put more emphasis on Fellowship! I think it's past time, because I think we have neglected it. May the Lord forgive me‚ because I am your leader & you usually do whatever I ask you to, GBY; but we have put other things first which we felt actually were more important.
137. WE'VE KIND OF TURNED THINGS AROUND BACKWARDS TO THE WAY THE CHURCH DOES IT. To them, the fellowship is the most important thing‚ & the greatest law of the church is "Go to church on Sunday", right?—If you break that, that's terrible! Whereas the Lord said that the greatest law was what?—"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, & the second, thy neighbour as thyself!" (Mk.12:30,31.)
138. WE HAVE TRIED TO PUT THE LORD FIRST & OUR NEIGHBOURS & THE WORLD BY "GOING INTO ALL THE WORLD & PREACHING THE GOSPEL", witnessing first, & giving to support it, before all of this other! In the early days we did have more fellowship, but we have sort of left our fellowship now till last. We had it first, but now it's last, & we need to give it more emphasis.
139. FELLOWSHIP IN A SENSE IS THE SELFISH PART, IT'S THE PART WE REALLY ENJOY! I used to tell Christians, "You seem to think that coming to church is your job, your service & work for the Lord. This is not your service! You can't count this up as service for the Lord just because you come to church & you thought it was a hard job to have to get ready & drive all this way & give your money & that's such a great service!
140. "THIS IS YOUR PLEASURE! THIS IS YOUR ENJOYMENT! THIS IS THE ICING ON THE CAKE & THE BEST PART ABOUT IT! To have fellowship together & spiritual feasting is pure pleasure & enjoyment!"—And it should be, although most Christians make a hard job out of it. Some preachers make a hard job out of it.—And maybe you figure I made a hard job out of it today! I used to say,
141. "THIS IS YOUR PLEASURE & ENJOYMENT‚ BUT THE MINUTE YOU GO OUT THAT DOOR OF THE CHURCH & HIT THE STREET & START WITNESSING, THAT'S WHERE THE WORK BEGINS!" The churches even call their meetings a "service"! I said, "We don't have service here; the only ones serving here or giving any kind of service is me‚ the preacher, & the pianist & maybe the ushers! You're not serving, you're just sitting there in your pew like a bump on a log doing nothing but just drinking it in & enjoying it!—It's no work for you! You may think it's work but it's really not work. Your job begins when you go out that door!
142. "THE SERVICE DOESN'T BEGIN WHEN YOU COME IN THAT DOOR, IT BEGINS WHEN YOU GO OUT THAT DOOR!"—Amen? The church has it really screwed up, all turned around backwards, right? So in a way we have put our Fellowship Meeting, Sundays now‚ in their proper place, actually last. This is the thing you enjoy after the week's work & service are over, & you get together & have fun & food & fellowship & the Word.
143. THIS IS NOT YOUR SERVICE, THIS IS NOT A SERVICE!—God forbid that we should ever call it a service for anybody but the teacher or the Family Shepherd or the cooks or the bottle washers! They're about the only ones serving today, right?—And the childcare workers, the ones taking care of the children. I'm working, although it's a pleasure for me to do this kind of work, PTL! You have a hard time stopping me in this kind of work. I never knew a Jew who didn't like to talk‚ but I hope my talking's doing you some good!
144. THE PEOPLE WHO PREPARED YOUR SOUP & YOUR DRINKS & HAVE BEEN TAKING CARE OF THE CHILDREN & WHO HAVE WASHED THE DISHES, THEY'VE BEEN SERVING.—Well, in a small family like this it's almost everybody! But in a church where only the preacher & the pianist & the ushers have really been working, the scores or hundreds of the congregation haven't been serving. That's no service for them! They can't count that as their service for God, their work for the Lord at all!
145. HE'S GOING TO SAY WHEN THEY FACE HIM SOMEDAY, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN SERVICE? You called them services—those weren't services! They were only services for My servants the preachers & the musicians & the ushers & so on! They were your pleasure, intended to be for your fun & fellowship & food & so on; but as far as service is concerned, you should have started working for Me when you left the door—not thinking you were working for Me when you came in the door!
146. "YOU BEGAN YOUR SERVICE WHEN YOU WALKED OUT THE DOOR, STARTING TO WITNESS TO OTHERS ON THE STREET & ON THE JOB & AT HOME!" Right? You never heard that sermon in any churches, did you? I sure preached it to them though‚ & that's why I'm no longer in 'em, they didn't appreciate it! They liked to feel that once they had spent their one hour on Sunday morning in church, bored with the preacher & the choir & all that stuff, & the same old hymns they could sing in their sleep, they could go out the door patting themselves on the back:
147. "I HAVE DONE MY LITTLE WEEKLY DUTY FOR THE LORD! He's had my service this morning, & therefore I deserve to have His blessing & keeping all week & supply all my needs & protect my family, because I have served God for one hour this week!"—When it wasn't even service!
148. BUT THAT IS THE FAULT OF THE PREACHERS & THE CHURCHES & THEIR DOCTRINE that has given the people that impression & feeling‚ including the Catholic Church, that they have done their job for God if they go to mass once a week & that's all they need to do. Of course the most devout ones, every morning, & some very devout ones even the evening! But it's the preachers themselves & the priests & the church that have given the impression that that is the service for God. It is not a service for God!
149. PRAYER & FELLOWSHIP WERE NOT INTENDED TO BE SOME KIND OF WORKS FOR GOD, or feasting on the Word of God really work! You're supposed to enjoy reading the Bible, enjoy reading the MO Letters‚ enjoy fellowship together, even enjoy praying together for each other‚ right? If there were anything in the whole so-called church service that might be counted as a little bit of service or a little bit of work for the Lord, it might be prayer & praise.
150. BUT PRAISE SHOULDN'T BE COUNTED AS WORK, SHOULD IT? You might say it's a good work, but I wouldn't call it very much work. Of course some people consider prayer really a hard job, even the Lord's Prayer. But now we're going to pray it anyway & dismiss you until 7:30 suppertime. If you are having the simplest kind of a meal & only soup, it shouldn't take very long to warm it up & get the drinks ready. You deserve not only a nourishing soup, but a good drink, & we might even let you have a few crackers, amen?
151. WELL, PTL‚ YOU DON'T HAVE TO ATTEND MANY CLASSES LIKE THIS‚ & WE HOPE FROM NOW ON YOU'LL ONLY HAVE TO ATTEND THEM ABOUT ONCE A WEEK. If I get this time with you on Sundays, then I'll fell freer to dismiss you early every night after supper so you won't have to listen to me so often & so long. We can condense it all on one Sunday afternoon! PTL? Amen? So how are we doing on tapes now? Which tape is this? (Maria: Second side of Tape 4.) Oh, going on four hours!
152. WELL, AT LEAST I DIDN'T KEEP YOU HERE THREE DAYS UNTIL YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE STARVING! They must have been pretty anxious to hear the Lord's Word & really sacrificial, willing to drink in & listen. He sat there for three days on the Mount & taught them! They probably just rolled out their sleeping bags—well, not a sleeping bag, but a robe or something—& laid down on the grass & slept for the night, & He started all over again in the morning!
153. THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT WAS QUITE A SERMON, & THE SERMON OF THE DAYS OF THE FIVE LOAVES & TWO FISHES WAS EVEN LONGER! We have the Sermon on the Mount pretty well recorded, He had His recorders too, PTL! God bless them for their faithfulness! You've got the 5th, 6th, 7th Chapters of Matthew & some more to thank them for because they jotted it down. But they must have been getting a little weary on that three-day stretch, & somehow or another we sort of missed a lot of that.
154. SO GOD BLESS THE DEAR DISCIPLES, THEY RAN OUT OF FOOD & THEY APPARENTLY RAN OUT OF FAITH TOO!—And I think they were about to run out of patience, when the Lord finally encouraged them by doing probably the greatest miracle He ever did outside of raising the dead. Miracles of healing were amazing, & of course raising the dead was the greatest, but only one man benefited from it‚ except those that learned the lesson. But feeding 5,000 people—hungry men at that—was quite a feat!—And even more women & kids!
155. WELL, LET'S PRAY THE PRAYER HE TAUGHT US TO PRAY: (Prays the Lord's Prayer.) I'm sure, Lord, you understood it, even if we rushed it up a little bit for Techi's sake. She held our hand the whole time. She's becoming a mature Christian! GBY! xxx! Amen. Let me kiss you hand, Daddy wants to kiss your hand that you held in his so faithfully. She's looking in amazement, "You mean they're actually going to finally quit?" (Maria: And David & Davida sat for 3 1/2 hours!) Where did you ever hear of any children sitting that long? Well‚ I'll tell you, I used to!
156. IN THOSE OLD TABERNACLE DAYS THE SERVICES WERE FREQUENTLY THREE OR FOUR HOURS LONG, BELIEVE IT OR NOT! They started at six or seven o'clock in the evening & often didn't wind up till midnight! Of course they had more variety than me!—They had different speakers, testimonies, live music & sometimes pictures. Well, PTL, you're dismissed! Take a break! GBY! Lord also bless the absent ones who are not here & be with them, all our Families around the World, in Jesus' Name!
157. WE THANK THEE FOR THIS DAY & WE THANK THEE FOR THESE LESSONS & FOR THIS NEW IDEA YOU'VE GIVEN US, really an old idea come back again, to have more Family Fellowship oftener‚ more Communion‚ Lord, for all these reasons. May it spread around the World to the whole Family, Lord, that we may be more of a blessing to visitors & others as well as to ourselves‚ in Jesus' Name, amen.—Are you!