—Don't Miss the Harvest! DFO951 24/10/80
—A Personal Letter from Father David written in response to a Family Video of one family's ministry.
1. YOUR LITTLE SKIT WAS BEAUTIFUL, ZACCHEUS, LAMB & THE CHILDREN, JUST BEAUTIFUL! PTL! Really touching! No wonder you are such a hit in the streets & parks. God bless you! That's just beautiful! Wow! How could you have four such beautiful children? All beautiful!—Like you!
2. WELL‚ YOUR CHILDREN REALLY ARE STARS & especially Etoile who really lives up to her name! She is a doll, Etoile, & is really a star & so sweet, & it's amazing her memory for the tapes & Letters & so on & how well she does. And I notice she tries to prompt her little brother & sisters in their performance, ha! She really takes her oldest-child responsibility very well.
3. YOU FOLKS HAVE BEEN A MARVELLOUS EXAMPLE TO THEM & what wonderful children the Lord has given you & what wonderful witnesses & testimonies they are going to be for the Lord, already & also in the future, thank the Lord‚ because of your faithfulness, & I know the Lord is going to be faithful to you. PTL!
4. AND MELODY, YOUR DRAWINGS ARE BEAUTIFUL, it's amazing the talent the Lord has given you as an artist for the Lord! May the Lord use it as a real witness for Him. Just beautiful! PTL! God bless you parents who have done so well in training them, praise the Lord!
5. AND THAT WAS CERTAINLY A BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION OF THE PICTURES OF YOUR WORK. You did real well on getting some of those closeups of the photos, Paul, & they looked almost like you'd taken them yourself in action! That is a very interesting way of presenting photos of the different families & what they do, & they are just beautiful! I mean they look almost like the real thing. They are the real thing, they're you! PTL! God bless you all!
6. AND THAT WAS A BEAUTIFUL SCENE IN THE OLD FOLKS HOME, ALSO IN THE GOLDEN HEART CLUB. It sounded to us like that was a mighty open door for not only reaching the people who have influence with the Message & with real salvation‚ but also a golden opportunity for support & backing & good public relations with the City Fathers, as you say.
7. I'M WONDERING IF MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE PERHAPS PURSUED THAT EVEN LONGER & visited more of those Clubs to reach more of those people who can really do something & be of help to you & to your work as well as reaching them with the Gospel, because raising support is a very important field.
8. AT THE SAME TIME YOU'RE BEING AN EXAMPLE TO THEM & TEACHING THEM‚ EVEN CONVICTING THEM that they have not used their lives for the Lord & reared their children for the Lord as you are. And in such cases, oftentimes they'll give to you & try to help you in order to make up for what they have lacked in so doing. And to have had that open door with those Golden Heart Clubs sounds like it would have been something worthwhile pursuing.
9. VISITING THE HOMES IS IMPORTANT TOO OF COURSE‚ BUT OUR PEOPLE, AFTER ALL, HAVE ALREADY HAD THE MESSAGE & they are saved & they are serving the Lord; whereas reaching people on the outside is even more important. So if you can continue that sometime in the future, or off & on perhaps, it would certainly be wise.
10. WE REALLY FEEL THAT WHEN VERY SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THAT OPEN, we've found out from years of experience in the Lord's work it is something that God does in a special way to reach a special audience that you may not have the opportunity to reach again!—Someone He wants to reach or someone He wants to deal with‚ some particular field of ministry that He wants you to proceed with & pursue & not to forsake too soon.
11. YOUR MINISTRY AS A VS IS IMPORTANT & VISITING THE HOMES IS IMPORTANT WHEN YOU CAN, BUT THE PRIMARY & FIRST MINISTRY OF ALL OF US IS REACHING THE LOST & reaching the people who need the Message! It's more important even to leave the ninety-&-nine & go out & seek the one lost sheep—the ninety-&-nine are safe in the fold. (Mt.18:12.) Nowadays it's more like leaving the one that's safe in the fold & going out to seek the ninety-&-nine!
12. THERE ARE FAR MORE OUT THERE WHO ARE UNSAVED & WHO NEED SALVATION & WHO NEED THE MESSAGE & NEED THE LOVE OF THE LORD who do not yet know Him & are not yet convicted about serving Him, to whom you can speak & give the Message both of His love & His call to service. And even if they are too old to forsake all at this late date—families & their business & all these things that they have served all their lives—at least they have the means & the influence to help to support you & back you & your ministry to others.
13. SO I WOULD NOT PASS UP A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY LIKE THAT SUCH AS REACHING THOSE GOLDEN HEART CLUBS OF OLDER PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE & OF MEANS who are needy, some of the most needy of all!—The poor rich who seldom are ministered to by missionaries, or particularly missionaries like us with such a simple message of His love, & your precious children certainly win their hearts!—They are also very well able to help to protect you & provide for you & get you more opportunities of service, as well as to help support you in the Lord's Work‚ & the Lord's Work as a whole.
14. SO DON'T NEGLECT THOSE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES WHICH THE LORD PRESENTS & GIVES YOU A FOOT IN THE DOOR TO PURSUE! We have found it's best to go ahead with those things until, sooner or later‚ somebody objects & somebody stops it, & you've at least entered the field & covered as much of it as you can while you can, because you can't always go back to it. You don't always have a second chance.
15. SOMETIMES WE'VE THOUGHT, "WELL, WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE WE'VE GOT TO DO IN THE MEANTIME; we'll go back to that later"—& we went back later & they were cold & unreceptive & turned off‚ & the Devil had gone to work on them through some enemies or something & turned them against us so that we couldn't even get back in at all anymore. We've had this happen in the churches.
16. THE CHURCHES THAT RECEIVED US & EVEN THE MESSAGE ENTHUSIASTICALLY & WHO STARTED TO SUPPORT & HELP US we didn't really follow up as well as we should have, getting more names & addresses & making more real lasting friends to pray for us & help support us; we thought we should go on & maybe we'd come back later. But later we found out there was a change of pastor or there was change of administration‚ & there was a change of heart & they had grown cold & hard & no longer wanted to even hear us any more. So don't pass up those golden opportunities!
17. FOLLOW THE LEADING OF THE LORD, NOT ANY SET SYSTEM! We have no set system for you to have to follow as VSs, that you have got to visit so many Homes a month or you've got to go to so many places. Don't set for yourself any set regimen or set system or itinerary of schedule that you can't break whenever one of God's setups appears. You read in the Letters about some of those. (Nos. 4, 302.)
18. GOD HAS CERTAIN SETUPS THAT ARE JUST GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES, & THAT KIND OF AN OPPORTUNITY IS VERY RARE. Both you & your children are very presentable, & not everybody has the talent nor the personality nor the wisdom nor the, what shall I say?—Diplomacy‚ etiquette & culture to be able to handle that type of people. Who knows, maybe you're called to that kind of people!
19. MAYBE THAT'S GOING TO BE YOUR CALLING FOR AWHILE, TO MINISTER TO PEOPLE LIKE THAT. They're very difficult to get to at all, very difficult to reach, & it's very difficult to have opportunities to reach them; & to find that there is an opportunity, & channel through which you can reach them, an open door through which you can approach them & find them extremely receptive & yourselves all suddenly popular & in demand‚ is the kind of a door that I think you should definitely follow up when you have such opportunities!
20. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REAL SIXTH SENSE OF THE LORD—MAYBE IT'S A SEVENTH SENSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT & HIS GUIDING—to recognise such unusual opportunities & to realise that this is something that God has suddenly opened to you & is a golden opportunity at the moment & must be pursued at once & followed up now or it may never come again & you may never be able to reach those same people again or that class of people or that type of people or in that particular field again.
21. GOD HAS HIS TIMES, HE HAS HIS HARVEST TIMES, & THEY DON'T ALWAYS LAST, because as He said, "The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few. The field is already white unto harvest." (Mt.9:37, Jn.4:35.) Well, why is He in such a hurry? Why does He want to get so many labourers into the harvest quickly?—Because the harvest won't last if it's not reaped immediately when it's ripe, & then you'll be sorry.
22. YOU'LL FIND OUT WHEN YOU COME BACK THE HARVEST HAS BEEN DEVASTATED BY SOME STORM OF THE ENEMY or some opposition or some freeze of their hearts, & it's gone & past forever & you'll never have it again! So you must try to seize these golden opportunities of harvest time which come but once, sometimes never again!
23. WHEN YOU HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY & WHEN THE DOORS ARE OPEN, ENTER THEM!—Because God does not open doors that He doesn't want you to enter. When He opens doors like that, it means that you're supposed to enter & follow it up until He closes the door.
24. I HAVE FOUND THAT HE WILL ALWAYS TELL YOU‚ LET YOU KNOW, & THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THE DOOR WILL CLOSE, if you'll follow it up at the time & do your best, harvest rapidly while the field is free & open & the harvest is good & the pickings are good & the opportunity is golden & the people are receptive & responsive & their hearts are open.
25. BECAUSE IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG OR YOU NEGLECT IT OR PUT IT OFF, YOU'RE GOING TO FIND OUT THAT THE DEVIL HAS CLOSED THE DOOR or God has even allowed it to be closed because you failed the ideal time, the ideal moment, the psychological moment, the spiritual moment‚ God's golden-harvest moment!:—His golden opportunity when the harvest is ripe & ready to be reaped & we failed to reap it rapidly enough & quickly & immediately enough, & suddenly something happens!
26. WE SAY, "WELL, I'LL DO THAT WHEN I GET BACK" OR "LATER", we procrastinate, we put if off, we postpone it, & we find out when we come back the whole situation has changed—there are different people in charge who are not interested, the people have lost interest. It's a matter of passing popularity.
27. THE WHIMS OF MAN ARE FLEETING, FAME IS FLEETING‚ & WHEN YOU'RE ON THAT BIG WAVE OF POPULARITY YOU'VE GOT TO RIDE IT AS LONG AS IT LASTS, because it's eventually going to crash on the beach & go to pieces & you may be with it! But anyhow, you can ride it while it lasts & you can get the glory of it while it's going.
28. I PREACHED ALMOST THIS SAME SERMON TO A LITTLE GROUP OF 50 HIPPIES in a little club called the Light Club in Huntington Beach a long time ago. I told them‚ "We've got to ride it now while it's here, because it won't last forever!"—And it only lasted a few months, but as a result we became known almost nationwide before it crashed & we had to get out of town!
29. GOD ALWAYS CLOSES THE DOOR WHEN HIS TIME IS UP & WHEN HE KNOWS IT'S TIME TO QUIT. He'll close the door & probably give you some opposition or persecution or something to realise the time is up & the harvest is over & it's time to quit & go someplace else where they're ripe & ready to receive.
30. YOU JUST MUST NOT NEGLECT THESE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES such as your Golden Heart Clubs that you mentioned, but pursue these opportunities which sometimes knock but once & then are gone forever! Do it while you can! Don't be bound by any schedules or any regimens or any itineraries or "Well, we've got to get to such–&-such a town at a certain time for such–&-such an event" or this, that or the other!—Strike while the iron is hot!
31. I FOUND GOD'S APPOINTMENTS WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTMENTS!—But you'll disappoint God if you don't meet His appointment, if you don't get there & stay there when He wants you to be there.—If you set for yourself too rigid a schedule, that you've got to be someplace else the next day & someplace else the next day etc., you may miss something that God is opening up.
32. YOU MAY MISS SOME CHOICE FIELD, SOME READY REALLY RIPE HARVEST, & find out when you come back that the harvest has been ruined & destroyed by the enemy or opposition or something else; or it's frozen with cold hearts & you just cannot get back in again, the thing will never be the same again.
33. YOU MUST FOLLOW UP SUCH GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES WHEN YOU HAVE THEM & RIDE THE CREST OF THAT WAVE OF POPULARITY!—Ride along until it breaks on the shore & is no more & you go on somewhere else. This is what we have done many times in the Family, & we have ridden the crest of a wave of popularity & receptiveness, a ripe harvest field‚ & we have reaped it until the Lord shut the door & it was no more.
34. SO DON'T PASS UP THOSE GOOD OPPORTUNITIES WHEN YOU GET A PARTICULARLY JUICY CHOICE OPEN DOOR to some special field that will not always last & you'll not always be able to come back to. Remember the vision Grandmother had of the plow forsaken in the field? (No.703.)
35. WE HAD A MARVELLOUS OPPORTUNITY AT THE WORLD'S FAIR, SIX MONTHS OF ALL THE SUMMER REACHING 10,000 PEOPLE A DAY with our little witness of our little booth there; handing out hundreds of thousands of tracts & pieces of Gospel literature to millions of people who maybe never heard or never got anything else with a personal sweet witness, smiling happy face of a young person‚ a kind loving word etc., & would remember it forever.
36. WE HAD THAT OPPORTUNITY ONLY TWO SUMMERS & THAT WAS IT!—And we almost didn't go back the second Summer because of Saul's opposition & refusal to support it, his refusal to back it. He even was refusing to pay the rent, the lease on the spot in the exhibit building for the second year.
37. BUT THE LORD CONVICTED US & GAVE GRANDMOTHER AN ACTUAL VISION THAT WE HAD FORSAKEN OUR PLOW! We weren't going to go back because Fred told us not to, he commanded us not to, & I was in danger of risking my job over going back!—And I did lose my job by going back‚ because he never forgot that I disobeyed him on that & I went back to the World's Fair!
38. HE TOLD ME NOT TO GO BACK, SO I DIDN'T GO BACK PERSONALLY, but I let the kids & Mama Eve go back, & I let them do it, so technically I was obeying. I said‚ "Well, just Mom & the kids want to do it, so I let them." But what he was worried about was, it meant that he had to pay another $5,000 for the space as long as we were there using it. Well, he had already contracted for it & signed his name anyhow, & they might have sued him for the balance anyway.
39. SO WE FIGURED WE MIGHT AS WELL USE IT AS LONG AS WE WERE GOOD FRIENDS WITH THE MANAGEMENT & THEY WANTED US & they were happy to have us. We almost were like the greeting committee as the people came in the door! They were supposed to go the other way, so science said, but they went our way instead! So the Lord provided, & it was just a golden marvellous amazing opportunity that only lasted a little while! If we'd have failed to go back, it would have been gone forever!
40. WELL, WE WENT BACK & WE DID WHAT THE LORD TOLD US TO DO! We followed God instead of following our schedule or following the boss or following even some of our own ideas & our own plans & our own personal feelings. I didn't want to go away & leave poor Mom there with just two little kids to help. Aaron was back on the Ranch, Deborah was married, & there was only little Ho & Faithy to help Mom.
41. HO WAS ONLY 16 & FAITHY ONLY 14, & THEY WERE LEFT TO MANAGE THE EXHIBIT MOST OF THE TIME.—Poor Mom was living in a rough section of New York City to house them & take care of them & to encourage them & keep them going. I didn't really want to leave them, but the Lord had to give me the vision for it too. I didn't go back like Fred told me not to go back; I obeyed my boss, but he nevertheless never forgave me for letting them go back & fired me the next Summer as a result!
42. BUT THEY WENT BACK‚ & I'LL NEVER FORGET THAT NIGHT AS I STOOD OUTSIDE THAT EXHIBIT BUILDING WATCHING HO & FAITH & MOM working away in there & Ho climbing this big tall ladder to hang this huge big seven-foot picture back up again that had been in storage through the Winter, a beautiful picture of Christ, the Prince of Peace.
43. THE THEME OF THE FAIR WAS PEACE, & it had a gorgeous beautiful golden frame with a blue tinge to the picture against this bright orange wall. Blue & orange were the Fair colours, so a lot of the news media took pictures of it & marvelled at the beauty of our little exhibit, which was the cheapest smallest one in the whole building!—And people commented on it, & the manager loved us & loved it.
44. SO WE WENT BACK & DID IT ANYHOW, NO MATTER WHAT THE BOSS SAID & NO MATTER WHAT OUR PLANS WERE & even no matter what my personal feelings & fears were! The Lord gave me the faith‚ because as I saw Ho climb that ladder, he was climbing the ladder to something much bigger than that picture! Hallelujah! Praise You Jesus! (Tongues & weeping:)
45. "ONLY THE LORD KNEW WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO! ONLY GOD KNEW THE FUTURE THAT HE HAD FOR HIM WITH HIS FATHER in starting this great Family Revolution for the Lord!" And as he stood up there at the top of the ladder, dangerously balanced there trying to hang that picture with a little help from his mother & sister below, suddenly the Lord comforted my heart & said,
46. "THE MANTLE OF HIS FATHER HAS FALLEN UPON HIM FOR THE TASK!" So I knew right then that God was with him & the Holy Spirit was anointing him, for the mantle of his father had fallen upon him to carry on in his father's absence when his father had been unable to continue because of other plans & other people's & other people's schedules & other people's work & other people's ideas.
47. SO DON'T LEAVE THAT PLOW DESERTED IN A FERTILE FIELD before a ripe harvest which God has opened a door to! Don't forsake it, & don't forsake the task God has given you. Don't abandon something that is fruitful & paying off—as long as you're reaping & fruitful & getting souls or support or the blessing of the Lord spiritually or monetarily or some way.
48. AS LONG AS GOD IS REALLY BLESSING YOU & MAKING YOU FRUITFUL & MAKING YOU A BLESSING, pursue it & keep after it until it comes to its end!—And it'll always end because harvests don't last forever‚ fields are not open forever, doors do not stay open forever. Something always closes them in the long run‚ & the time is gone, the time is past. "The Summer is ended, the harvest is past", the Scripture says, "& yet we are not saved"! They are not saved & the time is gone! (Jer. 8:20.)
49. "THERE IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING", GOD'S WORD SAYS, "a time to laugh, a time to weep, a time for peace & a time for war". (Ecc.3:1-8)—And there's a time for each field, a time for each harvest, & we need to really get action on the harvest fields when they are "white unto harvest" & ripe & ready, before they rot in the field or are destroyed by the storm or the freeze or enemies & so on.
50. YOU MUST PURSUE SUCH OPPORTUNITIES WHEN THEY ARE GOLDEN & RIPE & READY & THE DOOR & THE FIELD ARE STILL OPEN, until the Lord allows the enemy to shut the doors because their time is past & their chance is over & their opportunity is gone—the golden opportunity is gone forever! So don't fail God in failing to pursue the opportunities that He gives, the doors that He opens, the fields that He frees, makes free to you, & the golden harvest that He makes ripe & ready for you to reap!
51. PURSUE IT UNTIL THE DOOR CLOSES! PURSUE IT UNTIL THE HARVEST IS GONE! PURSUE IT UNTIL THE FIELD CLOSES! Pursue it as long as it is profitable & as long as you are reaping & you're making progress & you are reaching souls, you're raising support, you're making friends & you have a golden opportunity of service of spreading the Message.
52. PURSUE IT AS LONG AS YOU CAN, AS LONG AS IT PAYS OFF & AS LONG AS YOU CAN SEE & FEEL THAT GOD IS REALLY WORKING—then let Him close the door!—Don't you close it! Don't step out & say, "Well, I've got to go now & I'll be back later, bye bye"—& close the door yourself! You may find when you get back it's locked, never to be reopened again! (No.679:35.)
53. SO PLEASE PLEASE PURSUE SUCH GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES as your Golden Heart Clubs or reaching the fields & areas & people that we don't ordinarily have the opportunity to reach like that; people of importance & influence & means that can be a real help to God's work & who really need the Message of salvation!
54. THEY'RE APPROACHING OLD AGE & DEATH & THEY CERTAINLY NEED TO GET SAVED & THEY KNOW IT! People are more conscious of those things the older they grow. Sometimes they are more hardened & less receptive, but when they are receptive by all means for God's sake pursue them & go after them & get them for the Lord & reap them while they still have a chance!
55. GO THROUGH THE OPEN DOORS & ACCEPT THE INVITATIONS & TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES WHICH MAY ONLY KNOCK ONCE & BE GONE FOREVER! The door may only be opened once & then be slammed shut & locked forever afterwards! Each harvest field is only ripe once, it never grows again, it never is ripe again; it only has its one time of harvest & that's it, & then it's gone!
56. IT EITHER ROTS IN THE FIELD OR IS DESTROYED BY THE STORM OR THE FREEZE OR THE ENEMY & is plowed back under again‚ even by the Farmer Himself, God Himself‚ because they've had their chance & they've had their opportunity & either they failed it, or may God help us, we have failed it!—"The time is past, the Summer is over, the harvest is ended & they are not saved!"
57. SO MAY GOD FORGIVE US & HELP US NEVER TO FAIL (DAD WEEPS) TO GO THROUGH THOSE OPEN DOORS & take advantage of those marvellous harvest fields which may never be available again. My God bless you! I know you're doing your best. I know that the Lord really wants to use you & you certainly have done your best for the Lord, but I just want to see Him use you to your fullest in ways that you can be the most useful & the greatest blessing.
58. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A TITLE OF VS DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE A VS, maybe we were wrong! Certainly God knows best, & surely when the Lord opens a door, just tell us!: "Well, we're so busy here, things are poppin' here & things are going so strong‚ we're building this wall, we're doing a tremendous great work & we just can't come down! Sorry! We'll see you later!" (Neh.6:3.) Hallelujah!
59. WHEN THINGS ARE GOING STRONG, KEEP AT IT! If Nehemiah had come down to fiddle around with something else then, he might never have finished the wall! So keep on the job until it's finished. Keep on your task until it's finished. "It's one thing just to stick!" (No.703.)
60. DO THE THING UNTIL THE TIME IS SPENT & OVER & THE HARVEST IS HARVESTED & THE DOOR IS SHUT & the wave is spent & crashed; then God'll let you know when it's time to go on someplace else & do something else. So PTL, here's Maria. She's got a good thought for you too, God bless her!:
61. (MARIA: AND I WAS THINKING, ZACH & LAMB, THAT AFTER YOU'VE BEEN PIONEERING THIS MINISTRY & after you have fruit to show—like even this video that Paul & Marianne took of the proof & of your performances that have been such an inspiration to us already & I'm sure will be to so many others in the Family.
62. (—AFTER YOU'VE HAD YOUR MINISTRY WITH THIS CLASS OF PEOPLE YOU'LL BE ABLE TO REALLY SHOW THE REST OF THE FAMILY WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING & how you've been doing it‚ & you'll be an even greater sample in your VS ministry than ever before! So it's a little like "time sharpening the scythe is not wasted!") Amen. Amen! It's so true! (No.161:51.)
63. WHAT DID THE LORD DO WITH ME & MY LITTLE FAMILY FOR YEARS?—He sent us out to pioneer the kind of ministry that you folks were going to do in the future, to make us an example & to train us & teach us what had to be done & how to do it, so we could pass the lessons & the inspiration on to you folks to follow & to do it after us!
64. SO REMEMBER, AN OUNCE OF EXAMPLE IS WORTH A POUND OF ADVICE!—And when you've done it yourself & you've set the example & you've proven your own ministry, then you can go around & encourage others in theirs. So it's very important to grow your own wings first, in a sense, & earn your own wings first & prove your own ministry. (Gal.6:4.)
65. "LET EVERY MAN ABIDE IN THE CALLING WHEREIN HE IS CALLED" (1Cor.7:20), & when God calls you to a certain ministry, you'd better stay in it until you're finished, & then go on to whatever else God wants you to do. So PTL, I think that's good advice & God bless you! (Coming!: "YOUR CALLING".)
66. DON'T PASS UP THOSE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES, leaving a plow in the field that may not be there when you get back!—And the field may not be there either! These are extremely important cities to reach, & the people are extremely important people to influence for the Gospel!—It may be their last chance! Seize it TODAY!