Geneva, SwitzerlandOctober 1980DO 952-3
—Dad & Mom Eve's Youngest Physical Son & Early Pioneer of the Jesus Revolution.
—A sad story of wanderings away from the Word‚ from a Prodigal Son trying to come home!
(The underlinings are ours.)—Dad.
Dearest Dad, Maria & Peter,
GBY. GIJN. I love you all & appreciate your love & concern for me. Your mercy & patience is an example of Jesus to me always.
THE PRESENT PURGING & CHASTENING IS CERTAINLY JUST WHAT I NEED, so I'm thankful for it & receive it whole-heartedly. Also this time alone to be with Jesus ("Lashes of Love," 606:10,11,14) to pray‚ fast, read the Bible & the Letters, & asking through it all to be shown how to get straightened out‚ & how, where, why I got off the track.
PRIMARILY, IT ALL STEMS FROM MY GETTING AWAY FROM LIVING IN THE WORD & LIVING & OBEYING IT in the Spirit. (Amen.) I've allowed the thorns of the cares, riches & pleasures of this life to choke out the Word. It began slowly‚ subtly, little by little, but has gotten to the point of choking out my listening & hearing His voice & obeying it.
MY MISTAKES & DISOBEDIENCES ARE THE RESULTS OF MY NOT HARKENING & OBEYING BOTH GOD'S WORD & YOU HIS PROPHET. My lack of the Word & obedience also caused me to fail in my responsibility to help others like Esther, & this is part of the reason for her failures. She needed my help to help her get God's help to overcome her problems, but I was too busy & out of it myself. I was so busy running around dealing with practical home matters & system printing projects that I neglected the spiritual life of myself, Esther & my family to a large extent.
THE THINGS YOU WARNED US OF IN "SEEK FIRST" IS EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN GUILTY OF, getting more involved with supporting my family & neglecting getting out the words, preaching the Gospel, & winning souls.—Just like you wrote about the soldier fixing watches & forgetting what he joined the army for.
GOD WAS CONVICTING MYSELF, RUTHIE & ESTHER ABOUT THIS, & we really wanted to change & make a break with all our outside system obligations. That was the main reason for considering the trip to the Philippines, so we could just get out as a family to litness, witness & sing. When we were encouraged to stay in H.K., we then took steps to bring the whole family into H.K. from Macau for the express purpose of litnessing‚ witnessing, singing & working together as a family serving Jesus.
THIS BEGAN TO HAVE A GOOD CHANGING EFFECT ON EVERYONE, Esther especially, with the children, & bringing us in more active victorious front-line service. This was happening just two weeks before I came on this trip to Europe.
TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THIS TRIP, I was at the same time put under more pressure than ever by our system kings to spend more time working on their system projects to get them done before I left. I did this because I desperately wanted to make the break with them by being able to go away to Europe to get renewed contact with the Family & seeing first-hand how other big families like ours are getting mobile, living & witnessing.
I ESPECIALLY WANTED TO SEE YOU FOLKS, as I felt I desperately needed your help & counsel on my spiritual condition‚ as I just felt burned out & dried up through my working with the system, & hence my lack of time in the Word & unfaithfulness in obedience in other areas.
THROUGH ALL THIS I FELT I NEEDED SOME DRASTIC CHANGES desperately‚ & real purging & cleansing away all the dross & rooting out all the thorns that have grown up. These have choked out my fruitfulness, faithfulness & obedience, which is all my own fault I confess. God forgive me.
MY DEEPEST DESIRE IS TO GET BACK TO THE PLACE OF FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE in simple full-time service preaching Jesus only & witnessing as a family. "Lashes of Love," 606:14‚15,18,19. That we can learn by our mistakes & warn others & come back stronger than before is my hope, challenge, prayer & determined goal. So I pray the Lord keeps laying it on until I'm really sorry, repentant & bring forth fruits meet for repentance. (606:44-48.) On probation‚ I want to "produce good works that will produce good fruit."
HAVING BEEN RAISED & LIVING MY WHOLE LIFE SERVING THE LORD FULL-TIME BY FAITH, I never experienced what it was like really working with or for Systemites in the system. Like some of your experiences when you did so as a young father, really made you more determined than ever to serve God full-time & make it work by faith. Like 606:118-121 says:
"TEACHERS ARE A SHORTCUT, BUT GOD WILL TEACH YOU ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. THE HARDEST WAY IS EXPERIENCE, & the easy way is to listen & obey." In this case I've learned the hard way through experience, but in future I just want by God's grace to listen & obey.
THIS IS A HUMBLING THAT I NEED to make me more merciful & understanding of others in future, as we call them to forsake all. Now I understand how the system's ties on you grow so subtly until they become such a dominating factor, controlling your time & making you dependent on their money, so that it becomes harder & harder to break free & just serve Jesus by faith.
IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO JUST "SEEK FIRST". This whole Letter has really showed me all the things I was guilty of (697:14,15‚16), failing God, you, the Family & souls, in not doing the number one job of preaching the Gospel & winning souls first & foremost & above all. My failure to do this (697:53) has brought on an absence of God's blessing, & cursing instead.
BECAUSE OF MY UNFAITHFULNESS & DISOBEDIENCE IN SO MANY THINGS TO THE LORD & TO YOU‚ GOD HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH ME LIKE IN "THE PRODIGAL SON," Letter No.641. Through this Letter the Lord showed me how far away I'd strayed (641:47,61,62‚65) & all the problems it has caused (par.70) to you & my family, especially Esther. So I'm thankful for the Lord's & your mercy (par.86) & your promise to abundantly pardon (Isa.55:7). Your example is such an encouragement to me. So I'm claiming the promise in par.93 that the Lord will forgive, restore, reinstate & help me fly higher (Joel 2:25) in Jesus' name.
THE SITUATION WITH ESTHER has been greatly affected by everything I stated so far, as many of my failures affected her. Also she herself has been guilty of the same things‚ which she now also has awakened to. Whereas I strayed away working for the System, etc., she did the same FFing a Systemite & becoming so emotionally wrapped up in & dependent on him physically, emotionally, materially etc.
THE DEEP-ROOTED CAUSES OF HER PROBLEMS GO BACK A VERY LONG WAY. Some of them I have only come to know & understand in recent months. Also God has been working some changes in her heart & spirit just in the last few weeks.
LIKE IN "PRAYER FOR LOVE & MERCY," IT'S BEEN A SLOW CLEANSING‚ HEALING PROCESS. And like in "Prodigal Son" & "Lashes of Love," it's been through love, counsel‚ prayer, confession & obedience, forsaking all, getting into the Word & back in touch with the Lord. Now I believe & pray that she'll make it through the fiery trials that are ahead that we all (Ho, Ruthie, Esther) face & all want to make it.
BECAUSE OF MY OWN FAILURES & that her situation & condition being revealed would expose me too, I failed to write it out to you when you requested it. Though I sat down several times to do it, I couldn't start or get past the first few lines, so this hindered me writing to you on other things as well. Please forgive me & my failure to you in not answering your questions on this & other important matters as well. When I failed in one area‚ it certainly affected others also. Now I pray through all this that our breach in communication can be restored & be better than ever.
CERTAINLY I WANT TO BE OPEN & HONEST, confessing what I see my sins have been, & Esther's, so we can be corrected, forgiven, & restored. TYJ. Part of Esther's problems stemmed from loss of faith that I loved her because I failed her in so many ways.
AS YOU SAID IN "REAL LOVE NEVER FAILS," 639:35: "IF THEY CAN BELIEVE THAT YOU LOVE THEM, THEN THEY CAN BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES THEM. But if they get disillusioned & disappointed & lose faith that you really love them & they don't believe you love them anymore, they can also lose faith that God loves them." This happened to Esther. Also in par.41 it says "... if you don't live up to their expectations, they're apt to lose faith & heart & courage & everything. There're some people we dare not fail, or they're apt to get discouraged & go back, & then we've done all our hard work fruitlessly." And in par.10, "If we fail them, if they go back‚ they'll be so hardened & insulated they'll never be able to be reached again."
THIS HAPPENED TO A DEGREE IN ESTHER'S HEART, though she didn't go back to the States or her parents, through my failing her, it affected her in these ways. There are other ways in which she failed the Lord herself that God's dealing with her about also. Like in "The Prodigal Son," par.61 & 70. She became "really defeated" & "sad, down‚ discouraged, nervous, feeling like crying"—because she was out of perfect harmony with the Lord & His will & His Children.
THEN IN THE LAST OF PAR. 61, "THERE'S ONLY ONE SOLUTION, THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY BACK, & THAT'S TO COME BACK TO WHERE YOU LEFT OFF." This is what she's now trying to do, but before "things got worse" like par.70 warns, "perhaps even take away your health, without which you can't be much good for anything," Par.8. "But it's particularly true when you get out of God's will, because then you do not have the extra power‚ the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit & His strength. You can't feel like you have the right to claim it when you know that you're not doing His highest & His best. ..."
SHE WENT THROUGH THE PHYSICAL BATTLES OF HER SICKNESS & OPERATION, & through mental & spiritual ones also. Before she went to the Philippines she went through the symptoms of a nervous breakdown. Ruthie's taking her there, & the Family's love & good physical care for her, brought her through a lot.
BUT HER ACTUAL SINS, WHICH BEGAN LONG AGO WHICH BROUGHT SO MUCH OF THIS ON HER, were
THE TRUTHS WHICH SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT WERE THOSE IN REGARDS TO "ONE WIFE," or specifically, in anyone having more than one. She would not accept that anyone should have more than one mate, because adding another would mean that the first one was neglected & left out. So she rebelled against this idea & would not accept that it could work with you or me or anyone else. Therefore she did not want to participate in any such situation. This goes as far back as the Ark in H.B.‚ as you know.
SO WHEN RUTHIE CAME ALONG & GOD ADDED HER TO BE A HELPMEET TO ME, SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT IT & felt it was forced upon her without her counsel or consent by me, you, Mother & the Family. This she said, was contrary to the Law of Love, which she used as an excuse to never accept it.
THERE IS STILL ANOTHER SIDE TO THE SITUATION, BECAUSE THERE WERE TIMES WHEN SHE WAS IN THE SPIRIT & DID ACCEPT IT VICTORIOUSLY & LIVED LIT HAPPILY. But her doubts & disbelief & bitterness ate at her from the inside, though not always openly manifested. Like Heb.12:15, "a root of bitterness springing up" troubled her from the inside. This was compounded & magnified by my failures & mistakes with her, as mentioned already (639:35), & my failure to take the time with her to see, understand‚ & deal with the problems. As she withdrew‚ hardened & insulated herself, I let her go & it got worse.
AT THE SAME TIME I FAILED TO FEED & MINISTER TO HER SPIRITUALLY, to build her faith & accept God's dealing. Only now just recently, since she got into such a desperate state, have I started to take the time to listen to her, pray with her, & really tried to help her spiritually & physically. In the past I tried to help her sometimes in physical ways & not in the most necessary spiritual things.
NOW WITH THE FAMILY ALTOGETHER IN OUR TINY TRAILER-SIZE H.K. FLAT‚ we've been more together, & working together as a Family. This has helped Esther to progress more spiritually & physically than anything in a long time. Hearing the Word, obeying & seeing it work, is what strengthens faith & makes it grow.
SO SHE IS MAKING PROGRESS in a "growing will to live" in the spirit according to the truth, & wants to get the victory. The cleansing of her doubts & bitterness by faith can happen, as "Love Never Fails," as she yields more to the Lord instead of giving in to her doubts & bitterness. As "Doubts," par.28 says, "the best cure for doubts is the Word."
READING OVER THE "FFing & JEALOUSY" LETTER, THERE IS MUCH IN IT THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO OUR SITUATION in terms of accepting the truth & overcoming doubts & weaknesses that Esther has had over having more than one mate. In par.20 it says, "If you're weak in that one area, the Enemy can take advantage of that weakness & harp on it, & play on it & plague you on it‚ etc. The Enemy has some power over those things which are not yet yielded to the Lord, like some besetting sin." Par.25:
"BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ANY EXCUSE FOR SUCH DOUBTS about it, because we've given them the Word & the cause & the whole motivation." In Par.39 it says, "I have always said, that it has to be in agreement with all parties concerned." 40: "All parties concerned have to have the faith for it & agree to it—it has to be with mutual consent. Now if one does not have the faith for it & will not give consent, doesn't like it, doesn't want it, is jealous or refuses, then the other party is going to have to work on him (in this case her) & try to convince her, & convict her & try to persuade her, so that she will be convinced & persuaded & agree & consent." This I did not do properly in the beginning in Libya & in times following, & that made her so bitter that she never got over it & it grew under the surface. Par.43:
"IF YOU'RE WEAK IN FAITH IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE WEAK IN THE WORD!—And it's your own fault, because, not reading, you're ignorant of, or you're not receiving the Word." Esther went through this & suffered for it to the point that I hope & pray that she'll receive the truth & obey & live it. Par.49: "God gives us a little time to repent" ... Par.50: ... "then sooner or later you've got to discipline & punish him for it, chasten & chastise him for it, to try to make him obey." Par.54: ... "Give them a little time to repent‚ a little time to get the victory, a little time to pull out of it, a little time to see the facts & recognise the truth & receive it & believe it & act on it." Though I didn't give her time much at the beginning, I have endeavoured to do so recently, & it has brought good results.
WHEN ESTHER FELL IN LOVE WITH HER FISH so much, & depended upon him as a mate, I gave her freedom & didn't restrict her but encouraged her. When her fish disappointed her & started going after & living with another girl, she broke up with him. Then as I've tried to encourage & help her more, recently she has shown an appreciation & thankfulness that "real love never fails". In spite of my failures to her in the past as a husband, mate, fisherman & shepherd‚ now I've tried to show her that I myself, the Family & especially the Lord, still love her & want her in His service. I realise & agree with par.58:
"OUR OUTFIT IS NO PLACE FOR WEAKLINGS...if they still cling to their unbelief & doubts because they don't want to do it or they don't want their mate to do it, then sooner or later there has to come a dividing & a parting of the ways." Esther, I believe has been through this in the past year, & the potential consequences of this on the children, the Lord's work & each other has helped us all to more desperately than ever want to obey & follow God & make it "work together for good". God's will be done.
RUTHIE, ESTHER & MYSELF I'M SURE ALL AGREE TOGETHER ON THIS. Ruthie has been an unquestionable help to me through all this & will remain so. TG! Together we have both prayed & counselled about this, & feel it's our responsibility with God's help to help Esther make it. Through working together now, she is.
DUE TO ESTHER'S ILLNESS, subsequent operation, recovery, recurring manifestation of Herpes, general poor physical condition & her bitterness toward me‚ we had not had a sexual relationship for about a year. This at first I was resentful about, but God gave me the victory as I tried to minister to her spiritually instead. Then just before I left on this trip due to progress God has given in all these areas, we were able to spend time together sexually & she really appreciated it. It was a sign God is reuniting us again. (Not to spread Herpes we hope!)
RUTHIE, ESTHER, & ALL WANT TO SERVE JESUS & you together wherever & however we can by God's grace & His help. Please forgive my failures to communicate & seek your help & counsel on this in the past. By God's grace, I want to be a faithful & obedient son.
OUR SEVEN CHILDREN ARE THE BEST FRUIT THAT MAKE IT WORTH IT ALL. Thanks to the faithful ministering of Word to them by our faithful helpers even when we've been busy, out‚ or out of it, they are probably doing better spiritually than all of us & are our most on-fire litnessers & witnessers. Now they're getting the chance to get out daily. I pray the effects of our failures have been minimised on them by the Word, & we'll be better parents & shepherds in future.
I'M SORRY THIS LETTER HAS TURNED OUT TO BE SO LONG & my problems a burden to you, but I pray it's worth it. The lessons I learned through studying the Letters & the Bible in writing this letter I pray I will never forget. I'm also awaiting your counsel & reaction to all of this which I need desperately.
I HAVE NO IMMEDIATE PLANS to go anywhere or do anything. Daily I'll be continuing to study the Letters & the Bible & writing what lessons I'm learning & forwarding them on to you by mail as you've requested. Then I'll be awaiting some word from you on what you want me to do. This letter has taken more than two full days to write as I'm so slow, so I pray it's not too long. I wish it could have been typed to make it easier for you, but I couldn't. PTL.
YESTERDAY WHEN I WENT TO GENEVA to change money & buy writing materials, etc., I ran into some of the Family litnessing. They invited me to their Home‚ but I told them I was staying in a small hotel to get into the Word & finish some writing. After spending my days reading, praying & writing like today, when I take the letter to the Post I hope to be able to fellowship with them. I hope & pray that this is OK. Also‚ as forwarding all this by mail will take some time, I will run out of money in a few days & I thought it may be God's way of providing & teaching me some lessons if I can go out litnessing with them. After my previous mistakes leaning to my own understanding, I don't want to make any more‚ so I'm praying I don't.
I DON'T WANT TO ESCAPE THIS TIME OF TEACHING alone that God is giving me, & will spend my mornings & days studying, praying & writing. If in the evenings I can visit them, it would also help me a lot to just be a simple Family member again & a litnesser when I run out of money. D.V. Thanks so much for your patience & prayers.
With my love & prayers,
Your son always‚ Ho OXOXOXO
1. (From Dad:—Thanks for your honesty, Son. May God help you to get back to His Word & His Will!—We're praying you'll make it! GBY! WLY!—Dad.)
2. (—And we hope you don't litness only when you run out of money!—Ha! That's why many do run out, because they're not litnessing or witnessing! We must put His Word first‚ in our own lives & in giving it to others, or we'll certainly suffer for our neglect of it! GHU!—Love,—D.)