—By Father DavidDO 953-113 December 1980
—Inspired by Persecution in Spain.
1. PTL! TYL! GBY LEADERS & LITNESSERS & ALL YOU WORLD SERVICE FAMILY THERE IN SPAIN, wherever you are. This is a reply to some of your questions about the recent persecution in Spain, due to or at least manifest in an advisory from apparently the Minister of the Interior against the Family. The Ministry of the Interior, of course‚ is that which heads the Internal Security of a country & its police, etc.
2. AND OF COURSE, AS USUAL, LIKE PILATE, THE GOVERNOR, THE HEAD OF THE ROMAN POLICE‚ he'd just as soon have not been bothered. But our enemies, the enemies of Christ, the scribes, Pharisees, Chief Priests of the established religion stirred Pilate up against Christ & the Christians out of jealousy, hatred & of course being anti–Christ & of the Devil, as the Whore rules the Beast! (Rev.17)
3. SO THERE'S NOTHING NEW ABOUT IT‚ IT'S AGES OLD & IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME OLD STORY: The established religion inspired by the Devil stirring up persecution against the true children of the Lord, because they have done such a good job & such a thorough job that it has infuriated Satan.
4. WE HAVE PROBABLY SATURATED SPAIN MORE WITH OUR LITERATURE & OUR MESSAGE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH OUTSIDE OF THE U.S., & lately I think Spain's been getting more lit than the U.S. In fact, to be exact, for the month of October, lit distribution in the U.S. was second highest in the World, 241,299, second only to Spain where it was 254,207!—Over a quarter-of-a-million copies of Letters in Spain alone, that one small country of Europe, compared to the whole great United States which is almost as big as all Europe!
5. SO YOU FOLKS THERE IN SPAIN HAVE REALLY BEEN DOING A TERRIFIC JOB & we have really saturated that country with our doctrine & turned it rightside–up! "They that have turned the World upside-down have come hither also" (Ac.17:6), & we have been hither quite a while, some ten years or more already, & our lit distribution in Spain has always been very high & thorough & zealous.
6. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE HAD TROUBLES IN SPAIN BEFORE, including running me completely out of the country! I don't dare go back there because they were persecuting me there in Tenerife when we realised it was time to go.
7. AND THE AMAZING THING ABOUT IT IS‚ that as well as they know us & our doctrine & me & as much publicity as we've had there, both good & bad, that you there in Spain have been able to continue as long as you have‚ although there have been attempts to prosecute, arrest & harass & persecute the Family there for some years now.
8. SO THE FACT THAT WE'VE BEEN GOING STILL SO STRONG IN SPAIN IN SPITE OF ALL THIS & we have continued to saturate that country with our doctrine & continued to win souls & friends & fish there‚ that is the miracle!—That we have managed to stay there so long!
9. BUT NOW THEY'RE NOT ONLY CRACKING DOWN ON THE FOREIGNERS, BUT ON EVEN THE NATIONALS, those who are Spanish & born there & have a right to be there. It's their country & they even have a right to free speech & freedom of the press to distribute literature, etc., according to the Constitution & the new free democratic government, so-called.
10. NEVERTHELESS, AS YOU HAVE SAID IN SOME OF YOUR LETTERS, IT SHOWS YOU WHO STILL RUNS THE COUNTRY & who still has ahold of the power regardless of the laws of the Constitution or the people or the vote or the democracy, just as in Israel at the time of Jesus' persecution.
11. ALTHOUGH ROME WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN CONTROL & the Roman legions were supposed to be the law & Israel was supposed to have a certain amount of self-government, nevertheless when it came to the showdown, the established religion & religionists won & proved themselves more powerful than even the Roman government, & influenced the Roman government to persecute the Christians, kill Jesus, & try to stop their message.
12. SO IT'S NO DOUBT THE ESTABLISHED RELIGIONISTS, WHO HAVE STIRRED UP THE GOVERNMENT AGAINST US & inspired the Minister of the Interior to get out that warning letter against us, that if they picked up any of you folks there, the foreigners should be deported & the locals should be told that they're illegal—although there's now supposed to be religious freedom in Spain!
13. IT JUST SHOWS YOU WHO STILL RUNS THINGS & WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. It's no wonder the Catholic Church itself is getting so persecuted in some other countries‚ & [others] too, when both of them are so merciless & cruel when it comes to persecuting others wherever they are in power.
14. SO IT'S THE SAME OLD STORY THAT REPEATS ITSELF OVER & OVER AGAIN, the process of persecution & how it comes to that. And it's always because we have done an exceptionally good job in an area & saturated it with our message & our people & our witnessing & winning souls, etc., until it has made the Devil so furious he has stirred up persecution against us.
15. BOTH WITNESSERS, LITNESSERS‚ FFers & ALL HAVE BEEN SO FAITHFUL & SO ZEALOUS that you have saturated the country with the Message of the Gospel—His Gospel of Love & our particular form of it—& have absolutely infuriated the forces of the Enemy who have been stirred up to rise up against us & try to drive us out & persecute us & try to stop the Word—which of course they can never do! "They can't stop our rain!" They may be able to stop us for a little while & drive some of us out & shut up some, but it's the same old story.
16. BUT ALSO REMEMBER WHEN IT GETS TO THE POINT WHERE YOU HAVE DONE SUCH A GOOD JOB that the Lord allows the Enemy to stir up such opposition & persecution against you, as we've so often said before, it's usually a sign that you have finished your work there, at least for the time being.
17. JESUS HIMSELF SAYS IN MATTHEW 10:23, THAT "WHEN THEY PERSECUTE YOU IN ONE CITY, FLEE YE TO ANOTHER!" And my criterion has always been that when they persecute you to the point that they stop you from your witnessing & litnessing, which is your main job‚ then it's time to go.
18. SOMETIMES YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO COOL IT & LIE LOW FOR A LITTLE WHILE UNTIL THE STORM BLOWS OVER & the System begins to get other things to worry about & forgets about you for awhile, like they usually do‚ then you can come out of your holes again & go at it again. Sometimes the Lord will let you do this, & the Devil will have so many other things to be busy about he will tolerate it for awhile & ease off for a bit.
19. THIS HAS HAPPENED IN SPAIN NOW OFF & ON FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS. We have gone in & out & we have worked off & on—mostly on—& when there has been persecution, as there has been—even some violent persecution & bodily injury—you folks there have sometimes cooled it for awhile, crawled in to your holes & waited till the storm was over, then come back out again & were at it again. Now just how long you're going to be able to keep this up, of course, we don't know, only the Lord knows.
20. BUT WHEN IT STARTS COMING TO THE POINT WHERE THERE'S AN OFFICIAL CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DECREE GOTTEN OUT to all of the law enforcement agencies & governmental agencies & branches throughout the entire country from the Central Government—an official letter advising them to stop us & ban us & deport the aliens & stop the nationals—this is getting pretty close to the top & pretty official & not an isolated incident here & there!
21. WHEN IT BECOMES A GENERAL PERSECUTION, OFFICIALLY‚ GOVERNMENTALLY THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE COUNTRY to the point that it makes it impossible for you to continue to witness or litness without unnecessarily severe persecution‚ then it's time to take Jesus' advice [to move on]. Well, in the days of the old City States where you could flee from one City State to the other‚ just one city to the other & it had an entirely different government, that was fine!
23. SO WE ARE PILGRIMS & STRANGERS HERE AS THE LORD HAS SHOWED US TIME & AGAIN, & we have to be always ready to move on when our job is done; severe persecution which prohibits any further witnessing or litnessing is usually a sign that our job there is finished—at least for the time being. So PTL! TYL!
24. THE LORD HAS ALLOWED THE ENEMY TO TEST US IN THIS MANY TIMES‚ & "the trying of your faith is more precious than gold"! (1Pe.1:7.) He loves you, but He also likes to see your love manifest in your willingness even to suffer for Him & His Love & others & to endure persecution.
25. SORRY, BUT I'VE HAD TO STOP TO COUGH SEVERAL TIMES, as you've probably noticed, I can tell the Enemy is on the warpath because he's certainly been attacking us, & I was quite sick last night. Our neighbours had fumigated & the gas was hanging heavy in the air all around us here from about 6 to 2 a.m., about 8 hours, & was still out there in the middle of the night so thick & heavy that it virtually made us sick every time we stepped out, sick & woozy.
26. SO I KNOW THE ENEMY'S ANGRY & HE'S TRYING TO ATTACK US PERSONALLY AS WELL & cause us to be sick last night & have coughing spells, & I'm still fighting it this morning. But in reading your reports on Spain & the persecution there, of course I went to the Lord as always in prayer. In fact, the old song came to me I hadn't thought of for a long time, & I don't think I've ever sung it for you because I don't know all the words. (Sings:)
27. "WHERE SHALL I GO?
OH, WHERE SHALL I GO?
WHERE SHALL I GO
BUT TO THE LORD?"
Maybe you know the rest of the words. And then I pulled a verse out of the Promise Box which was by faith. I was looking to the Lord for more guidance & we both got a very good verse. Mine was,
28. "BLESSED IS THAT MAN THAT MAKETH THE LORD HIS TRUST & RESPECTETH NOT THE PROUD NOR SUCH AS TURN ASIDE TO LIES." (Ps.40:4.) Now what that meant to me was that we're to trust the Lord & not to believe the Enemy's lies nor worry about them, & we are not to give too much respect to our proud enemies who are trying to persecute us. They don't deserve respect. These religionist[s] who fight us are anti-Christ & they certainly deserve no respect.
29. IN A WAY, IT'S AS GOOD AS SAYING THAT WE'RE NOT TO FEAR THEM NOR THEIR LIES AGAINST US, which sounded to me almost like the Lord was saying, "Now don't worry, it's just lies of your enemies & you're not to fear nor worry about it!"—That the Lord, in other words, is certainly going to take care of the situation because we make Him our trust. At the same time Maria got this Scripture‚ 2Cor.1:7:
30. "KNOWING THAT AS YE ARE PARTAKERS OF THE SUFFERINGS, SO SHALL YE BE ALSO OF THE CONSOLATION," PTL! TYL! Hallelujah! Amen. Just as Christ suffered for us & now has entered into the everlasting glory of His Father, so we shall suffer for Him & enter into everlasting glory with the Son. TYJ!
31. WE ALREADY EXPERIENCE A LOT OF THAT GLORY NOW, of Heaven on Earth‚ the joy & happiness & wonderful beautiful life that we live in the Family, which is truly the Kingdom of God on Earth, Heaven on Earth now & here. I'm also reminded of that little song that Ho's children & some of the rest of you children sing:
32. "THE TIME TO BE HAPPY IS NOW!
THE PLACE TO BE HAPPY IS HERE!
The way to be happy is to make others happy,
And we'll have a little Heaven right here!"
—& that's so true! But the Devil doesn't like it! It makes him very angry for people to be happy. He specialises in making his people miserable, as so manifest by so many things we read in the newspapers. He just hates to see us so happy & he'd just love to make us unhappy & miserable if he could, & he's certainly trying hard.
33. SO IT'S THE SAME USUAL STORY ABOUT PERSECUTION. Christ's rule that "if they persecute you too hard in one city, flee ye to another" has always meant to me if they persecute you to the point that you can no longer witness, no longer litness, no longer do your job of getting out the Gospel, then it's time to quit there.
34. NOW JUST BECAUSE YOU GET A LITTLE PERSECUTION & you might get a little suffering or you might get a few little "boo's" of the Devil & scares, & he tries to frighten you & say "Boo!" doesn't necessarily mean you're to run right away—as long as you can keep on witnessing & litnessing & preaching the Gospel.
35. BUT IF THEY PUSH YOU SO HARD THAT IT'S NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO FREELY PREACH THE GOSPEL, litness or witness, & you can't do your job, then of course you have to stop & get out & go someplace where you can! So it remains to be seen just how far they're going to carry this now. And of course I don't recall we've ever had persecution in Spain from that high up before, officially from the Center of Government.
36. WE'VE HAD LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL PERSECUTION, local police persecution‚ local persecution of various kinds & various provinces‚ etc., but I think this is the first time you have received national persecution, at least this national "boo" from the government, which was a letter from the Ministry of the Interior, apparently, telling all of its branches & officers & police to stop us.
37. THAT'S PRETTY SERIOUS & THAT'S PRETTY GENERAL, I WOULD SAY, & THAT'S PRETTY OFFICIAL & NATIONWIDE & it certainly has been causing some of our folks trouble in various places. I don't think anyone has actually suffered too greatly physically yet. They've detained some for a few hours or days & then let them go with warnings, as they did the Apostles, & they're trying to deport the aliens, such as Americans who are there, & other foreigners whom they have a right to deport‚ of course.
38. YOU WHO ARE ALIENS OR FOREIGNERS OR AMERICANS ARE THERE ONLY AS THEIR GUESTS, & if they would care to withdraw their hospitality, that's their business. Of course God will take care of them for it too! He can withdraw His hospitality & they'll no longer be welcome in His land of blessing. As they do unto you, He'll do unto them!
39. SINCE THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL GOVERNMENT OF ITALY HAS BEEN PERSECUTING US now for some months or years‚ look what's happened to Italy!—All kinds of horrors & terrorists & hells on Earth & volcanic eruptions & earthquakes & instability of government, terrorism, assassinations & bankruptcy!
40. THE COUNTRY HAS BECOME VIRTUALLY UNGOVERNABLE & A NATION OF THIEVES, as I've said before‚ where they're even stealing the emergency supplies that were intended for the poor refugees from the earthquakes & killing each other over it‚ shooting the mayor of one town, all kinds of horrors & hells that are going on in Italy today because of the way that that government has rejected the Word of God & His Children & has obeyed the voice of the Whore, the false religionists!
41. SO IF SPAIN BEGINS NOW TO OFFICIALLY, NATIONALLY, GOVERNMENTALLY NATIONWIDE BRING UPON A NATIONWIDE PERSECUTION OF OUR FAMILY, Spain will certainly suffer for it!—And it looks to me like she's already beginning to suffer for it! Her present government is becoming more & more unpopular, & there's more & more discontent, there's more & more economic dissatisfaction & disruption & inflation, recession, & Spain is beginning to have all kinds of troubles.
42. THINGS LOOKED VERY BRIGHT FOR AWHILE, & THAT WAS DURING THE PERIOD WHEN SHE RECEIVED US & ACCEPTED US & blessed us & we continued witnessing & litnessing freely & openly, & it seemed virtually with the blessing of the country! But now if she's going to officially start to persecute us, governmentally, officially, nationwide, nationally, it looks like God is going to have to deal with Spain for it.
43. MEANWHILE, HIS ADVICE TO HIS OWN CHILDREN WHEN HE WANTS TO GET READY TO JUDGE A NATION for the way they have treated them, is to tell His children to get out so He can wreak judgments upon their persecutors & crack down on'm with the rods & storms of His judgments, & He will persecute them for their sins & punish them for them.
44. MEANWHILE HE ALWAYS ADVISES HIS OWN CHILDREN TO GET OUT SO THAT HE CAN. He got Lot & his family out of Sodom, although they almost didn't make it! The husbands were left behind, the wife of Lot was left behind eventually‚ & only he & his two daughters escaped. The advice has always been the same, that if the persecution gets too hard to bear & makes it impossible for you to do your job, it's time to go somewhere else where you can.
45. SO WHAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN IS HOW FAR THEY'RE GOING TO CARRY IT & if they're really going to take the advice of the Minister of the Interior, which seems likely, of course. As you notice, nothing's happened yet as far as you know in Madrid, except for the letter to go out, but it's been in the local areas where they want some excuse to persecute us, some official reason to nail us & stop us, & where they don't like us anyhow, so they use the letter from the Government.
46. USUALLY THE SMALLER COMMUNITIES & SMALLER TOWNS & LOCAL AREAS THAT ALREADY HAVE IT IN FOR US & AGAINST US & are just waiting for a good excuse like this letter from the Ministry of the Interior will, of course, be the first, & have been, to stop you children on the streets & take you in & arrest you & keep you in detention for a few days & warn you "not to speak any more in this Name"—just as they did the disciples in the days of Jesus. (Acts 4:17,18; 5:28,40.)
47. THEY TOOK THEM TO PRISON & ON SOME OCCASIONS THEY EVEN BEAT THEM‚ & then turned them loose with a warning not to talk about Jesus anymore. Well, of course they couldn't stop talking about Jesus, so it even got'm in deeper trouble & finally the only final solution, once their message had really reached the nation & their job was done, was to get out.
48. SOME OF THEM DIDN'T GET OUT FAST ENOUGH & IT COST THEM THEIR LIVES, but there are always bound to be a few martyrs. But God tries to give you enough warning to save your life, because your life is very precious to Him. You're His employee, His worker, & your service is very valuable & He wants you to continue in it & to be profitable to Him as your Master, to go elsewhere & continue to preach the Gospel.
49. SO I REALLY BELIEVE THE LORD WOULD PREFER TO SAVE YOUR LIFE & YOUR MINISTRY & your safety & your liberty & your security as long as He can, for you to be able to preach the Gospel wherever you can as long as possible. So I think the martyrs should be more or less rare, those that really have to suffer severely or even lose their lives for the Gospel—which does happen & has happened to us—but they have been the exceptional cases. And even in those cases, God has made it a testimony & a witness.
50. IN FACT, THE WORD "MARTYR" IN GREEK DOES MEAN WITNESS, so that's your final witness, your greatest witness that you can possibly make is to give your life for Jesus & for others. "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend" (Jn.15:13.)—& that is your last witness & your greatest witness, if you must give your life & end it for Christ & others.
51. BUT I REALLY BELIEVE FROM ALL THAT I CAN SEE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT & WHAT JESUS TAUGHT, that He would prefer in the vast majority of cases & most of the time, that you try to save your life in order to use it for Him; that you try to [leave] go somewhere else where you can continue your good work & your service & be useful & fruitful & serve Him longer & win more souls & witness more & get out the Message.
52. SO I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD UNNECESSARILY RISK YOUR LIFE & YOUR LIBERTY & YOUR LIMB to stay where you're no longer wanted & where the Nation has rejected you, & where although most of the people have been seemingly friendly & receptive & responsive, the powers that be control them & obviously still dominate them & have the power to do it even behind the backs of the people as they did in Israel in the time of Jesus.
53. ALTHOUGH THE PEOPLE WERE IN FAVOUR OF JESUS & the vast majority at first seemed to be in His favour‚ finally the persecutors & the enemies were able to turn the mob against Him & against the Disciples. And where that happens, I think that it's time to go & try to get out & save yourself & your life & limb & liberty to preach the Gospel elsewhere.
54. SO THIS DOES SEEM TO BE THE SEVEREST SITUATION WHICH HAS FACED US IN SPAIN UP TO NOW, to make this an official nationwide governmental persecution with an official nationwide virtual ban on our activities‚ litnessing, open witnessing, etc., probably including FFing. We'll probably start feeling the crackdown in many areas. So you have your choice in this event, & it is usually "according to your faith be it done unto you" (Mt.9:29), what you feel led to do.
55. IF YOU'RE A NATIONAL, IT'S YOUR COUNTRY, IT SEEMS THAT YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO DO AS YOU PLEASE. According to the Constitution you're supposed to have religious freedom, freedom of speech‚ freedom of the press & freedom to get out literature, etc. But what they then do is try to pin some type of criminal charge on you that you're operating against the law in certain areas such as sex or whatever it may be, which is of course what the System so often attacks us on because we're pretty revolutionary along that line.
56. IF THEY CAN'T ACTUALLY STOP YOU FOR LITNESSING PER SE, or for your religion per se, then they try to charge you with criminal offences such as corruption of minors, public scandal‚ sex offences of some kind‚ blah blah!—And this is what they may attempt to do. Because they could hardly charge you with passing out literature on the street or even selling literature when it's quite legal to do so throughout Spain.
57. THEY COULD HARDLY CHARGE YOU WITH CRIMINAL ACTIVITY JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT KIND OF RELIGION, but they can try to trump up legal criminal charges against you just as they did against Jesus & against His disciples. They accused them of sedition, of being against the government‚ trying to overthrow the government, & I understand that's one of the charges in the letter, isn't it?—Being treasonable or a conspiracy against the government & the religious establishment, etc.—How silly!
58. THE WHOLE POINT IS, IF THEY GET TO THE POINT WHERE THEY HARRASS YOU SO MUCH THAT YOU'RE UNABLE TO CARRY ON YOUR JOB FOR THE LORD, then of course you have to quit there & go someplace else! Now when that point is reached is up to you & the Lord & the authorities, & it's according to your faith how far you think you should go & when you think you should leave.
59. IT'S UP TO YOUR FAITH, PARTICULARLY NATIONALS, AS TO WHETHER YOU FEEL LED THAT YOU COULD GO INTO HIDING FOR AWHILE & cool it for awhile & not openly witness & litness, so that perhaps the thing will blow over & the government will forget about it—which we have done in many countries. Usually this is only temporary‚ & the Lord gives them then enough other things to worry about they forget about us‚ which the Lord has done in a number of occasions in other countries.
60. WHEN THEY STARTED TO PERSECUTE US, HE GAVE THEM A LOT OF OTHER TROUBLE THAT TOOK THEIR MINDS OFF OF US, & helped them forget about us, & our folks came back out of their holes & from under cover again & started openly litnessing & witnessing again without any trouble. So it's up to you & according to your faith, what you feel led to do, particularly you nationals.
61. I WOULD SAY THAT THE SITUATION IS PARTICULARLY CRITICAL FOR FOREIGNERS & AMERICANS, etc., who are not natives of Spain & who they have every right to deport if they want to. You have no comeback & you have nothing whatsoever to use to insist on staying, you have no right to stay at all. I would say Americans in particular & other foreigners are particularly in jeopardy & at risk, but probably the most they would do is just order you to get out of the country.
62. THEY CAN'T ORDER NATIONALS TO GET OUT OF THEIR COUNTRY‚ so they would probably try to prosecute criminally in some way to try to put a stop to you if you don't stop. All I know is what the Lord says, & He says that "if they persecute you in one city‚ flee ye to another"!
63. IT LOOKS LIKE THE PERSECUTION HAS BEEN HEAVIEST IN THE OUTLYING AREAS & NOT IN THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CITY OF MADRID, but in Barcelona or in the Catalan area & in the Basque area—both of which we have really saturated with the Gospel. We have really thoroughly spread the Message!—A quarter-of-a-million pieces of literature every single month in Spain alone is a lot of lit!
64. AND OF COURSE THE ENEMY IS FURIOUS TOO BECAUSE THE SPAIN/PORTUGUESE LIM IS LOCATED IN SPAIN to service both Spain & all the Latin American countries & the Iberian Peninsula, etc.‚ & the Devil would of course like to put a stop to that because that's our second largest language area in the entire World!
65. WE PRODUCE MORE LIT FOR THE LATIN-SPEAKING COUNTRIES THAN WE DO FOR ANY OTHER LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD EXCEPT ENGLISH‚ & this amounts to about a quarter of our entire population in Homes! So I'm sure the Enemy would like to stop that if he can. So it's up to you & your faith & your leading from the Lord. You have to make the decision & you're on the spot, as I told you folks long before some of you came along.
66. WHEN I WAS PRESENTED SOME QUESTIONS FROM HOME ABOUT LOCAL PROBLEMS CLEAR BACK IN THE UNITED STATES WHEN WE WERE IN EUROPE, I finally had to phone Jethro & tell him‚ "Well, you're there, you know what the situation is‚ I don't! You're involved & you have to have the faith to do what you have faith for. You have to find the answer from the Lord there for your own problems, I can't tell you what to do. I can only give you God's Word in similar situations, Christ's advice, but you have to make the decision & you have to operate according to your own faith!"—And that's when I taped the Letter, "For God's Sake, Follow God!" (See No.265.)
67. SO IT'S UP TO YOU TO GET DOWN TO BUSINESS & PRAY EARNESTLY TO FIND OUT WHICH WAY GOD'S GOING‚ which way is He leading & are we finished in Spain?—At least as an international group & association. Can the nationals stay & carry on whatever's left‚ or will they have to go too in order to save their lives, liberty & limbs!
68. ABOUT A YEAR OR SO AGO IN ITALY THE GOVERNMENTAL NATIONAL PERSECUTION GOT SO HEAVY that our advice was for everybody in the Family to get out of that country, which seems to be run by the Devil, in order to save their lives, limbs, liberty, lit, Homes, etc., & many did.
69. BUT MANY OF OUR FOLKS STAYED IN SPITE OF OUR ADVICE, & Italy is at the present time the 7th highest literature distribution country in the World, with 139,437 pieces for the month of October! This is about a seventh-of-a-million pieces of literature each month!
70. SO ITALY IS STILL BOOMING IN LITNESSING & WITNESSING, & the Family there is not being bothered so much anymore. God has given that government a lot of other things much more serious to worry about—& justifiably so—to take them off our necks & get them off our backs, so things are still going strong in Italy. We've still got lots of Family there, lots of real zealous folks who are really doing a great job on witnessing, with Italy still being about 12th highest in the World in converts, etc.
71. SO DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP TOO SOON! Don't be rescued prematurely! Don't let the Devil frighten you out with his first "boo" & his lies & "respect not their proud & haughty looks" & don't let them just scare you out without actually being driven out! The Devil tries to scare you out & just says "Boo!" & some people run.
72. BUT I WOULD SUGGEST THAT PARTICULARLY YOU LOCALS & NATIONALS SHOULD TRY TO HANG ON TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY as long as you possibly can, because if they drive you out‚ then I think God is through with that country & God will certainly wreak His judgments on it & on your enemies & persecutors!
73. FOR THE FOREIGNERS LIKE US AMERICANS IT'S A LITTLE MORE DELICATE SITUATION & A LITTLE MORE RISKY‚ but I wouldn't run too soon as long as you are not being too hindered from doing your job. But if it looks like it's going to become a general nationwide persecution & stopping us everywhere that we're litnessing & witnessing, then I suggest that it's time for you to go.
74. SO FAR THERE HAS NOT BEEN ANYTHING SEVERE IN THE WAY OF SUFFERING, they have simply picked up some of our folks & questioned them & kept them for a short time & then let them go with a warning not to litness any more & to stop it, etc.
75. WELL, I WOULD SAY IF IT COMES TO THE POINT THAT YOU'RE ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY STOPPED FROM LITNESSING, if you're arrested, if you're taken to the police station & questioned & officially forbidden to do so anymore, you've had the straight official word from the police themselves to stop, then if you continue you are breaking the law, & you are breaking at least their law, & you're disobeying the police & their order, & it's time for you to stop & to quit & to pack up & time to go!
76. I CERTAINLY WOULD NOT STAY IN A COMMUNITY WHERE THE LOCAL POLICE HAVE FORBIDDEN YOU TO LITNESS & WITNESS, unless you've got an awful lot of faith or you have time & money to go into hiding for awhile until things cool off & you try to test it again later to see if they still want the books or don't they!
77. SO I WOULD SAY THAT WHEN IT COMES TO THE POINT WHEN THE POLICE EVEN ACCOST YOU ON THE STREET—even if they don't arrest you & take you in—if they accost you on the street & tell you you cannot litness, cannot witness & tell you to stop, then your days are numbered, your time is up; if you go right on litnessing you're going to be disobeying the police. God's Word says definitely you are supposed to obey the officer of the law in Romans 13, "for he carrieth not the sword in vain"!
78. FIVE TIMES IN THAT ONE CHAPTER HE CALLS THE OFFICERS OF THE LAW A MINISTER OF GOD! So if things have gotten so bad in Spain that the ministers of God don't want you to pass out literature anymore, it must be an order from the Lord! God's getting sick & fed up with those people, they've had so much Gospel & so much Truth & been given such a great opportunity, that God is finished with them & through with them & He's even going to stop you from witnessing to them‚ wasting your time on them any longer!
79. THERE DOES COME THAT POINT, YOU KNOW, WHERE YOU CAN PREACH TO SOMEBODY SO LONG THEY JUST CONTINUE TO HARDEN THEIR HEARTS more & more until it becomes useless to speak to them. In which case God says‚ "He that being often reproved & hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, & that without remedy!" (Prov.29:1.) Sometimes God has to get you out of the way so He can destroy them to whom you have been witnessing but who have hardened their hearts until it's of no longer any avail & you might as well quit wasting your time on them.
80. EVERYBODY WHO'S GOING TO RECEIVE THE MESSAGE HAS RECEIVED IT‚ & all the rest have turned against it, hardened their hearts, & they've also turned against you & have begun to persecute you literally, physically, & forbid you & stop you from litnessing or witnessing, then it's time to quit.
81. WHEN THE OFFICER OF THE LAW, MINISTER OF GOD, HAS TOLD YOU TO STOP—STOP! Don't disobey him‚ don't break the law there, it's better to get out. I realise that some of the Apostles said, "Is it better for us to obey you or God?" (Acts 4:19.) Well, of course it was better for them to obey God, but it was better for their own safety's sake to obey the authorities, as the Apostle Paul also says in Romans, in which case it's better to stop & obey the authorities, stop & get out. It's all according to your faith.
82. AS MARIA'S POINTING OUT, IN ONE INSTANCE EVEN WHEN THEY FORBADE THEM TO PREACH ANY LONGER, THEY WENT OUT & THEY PREACHED MORE THAN EVER & with greater fire & with even greater success! This of course was in the early days when they were still being very fruitful, but of course they got caught again too & it finally cost some of them their lives when they disobeyed the authorities & they went ahead & witnessed anyhow. So it's up to your faith & your leadings.
83. IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU HAVE FAITH FOR‚ what you feel led of the Lord to do, maybe how you want to die!—Whether you want to die in a blaze of glorious persecution & wind up your ministry quickly & go to be with the Lord in a hurry, now‚ or whether you want to be able to do as Jesus said, "Flee the city!"
84. "WHEN THEY PERSECUTE YOU IN ONE CITY, FLEE TO ANOTHER" so you can continue your ministry & continue preaching the Gospel, continue winning souls, continue being useful & fruitful, & continue to work hard & sometimes suffer for the Lord. A lot depends on your faith & your leading & how you feel led of the Lord & what He tells you personally to do, that's what you have to do.
85. (MARIA: WELL, I HAVE ONE QUESTION: If in some of these large cities where we have quite a few Family members, if one person is stopped on the street in one isolated incident & asked not to continue litnessing, this might not necessarily mean that everybody in the city would just automatically have to stop litnessing‚ because it might be a personality thing.)
86. WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT AN EXCEPTIONAL CASE WHERE ONE COP'S GOT IT IN FOR YOU & he stops you on this side of the park, one person. Like I used to tell my kids, "If a cop stops you from witnessing & says, 'You can't do that, stop that here,' I said, "Well, go over on the other side of the park or on another street & litness!"—When it's just an individual matter‚ it's an individual cop or authority & it's not a general thing.
87. BUT IF WE FIND OUT THIS IS GOING TO BE ENFORCED GENERALLY & that all the cops are going to start stopping you because of this letter from the minister of the Interior—which is the head of the whole security forces & national police & everything—if it's going to be a general thing & they feel like it's orders & they've got to obey them & all the police & all the authorities start stopping you & stopping all of you, then that's a different story.
88. JUST AN OCCASIONAL MINOR STOPPING FROM AN INDIVIDUAL POLICEMAN OR AUTHORITY which may not represent the general governmental feeling or governmental regulations does not necessarily mean you have to stop it entirely. That one person may have to stop temporarily & at least avoid that policeman, or if it's a general thing in one town, the Family may have to stop litnessing in that one town & move to another, as Jesus said.
89. BUT IF IT PROVES TO BE GOVERNMENTAL, NATIONWIDE & MANY AUTHORITIES START STOPPING ALL OF YOU & persecuting all of you & hauling you in & questioning you as they have in several of these cases lately—showing each one of them the letter proving that it was a national thing from the top, from the government, forbidding you to carry on—then I would say it's fairly general persecution.
90. AND IF THIS IS THE GENERAL ATTITUDE THE GOVERNMENT'S GOING TO TAKE‚ it's going to make it very difficult for you to disobey it & to keep on witnessing & litnessing in defiance of their commands & orders, whether they be constitutional or not—that's something you have to go to court to prove.
91. GOD'S WORD SAYS TO "AGREE WITH THINE ADVERSARY WHILST THOU ART IN THE WAY WITH HIM‚ lest he haul you into court in front of the judge & you wind up in jail!" (Mt.5:25.) I think it's better to say, "Yes sir‚ OK‚ we'll quit," to the local officer, & quit!—Before you annoy him so by your defiance & disobedience & stubbornness that he gets aggravated & arrests you & hauls you into court & to the judge & finally to jail!—Which we've had a few cases of in the Family.
92. SOME PEOPLE STUBBORNLY WENT AHEAD & WITNESSED & LITNESSED ANYHOW even though they'd' been told to stop by the authorities, so that they were finally taken to court & to jail! I only recall one or two cases of those that ever won the case in court & were permitted to go on, at least according to the judges' ruling, to continue to litness or witness or whatever they were doing.
93. THE FACT OF THE MATTER BEING THAT THE SYSTEM OF THAT LOCAL COMMUNITY WAS AGAINST THEM & harassing them & determined to get them & therefore had them taken to court; just because they won one little case did not mean that the System was going to stop persecuting them & stop harassing them. If they lose one court battle they'll try another one, if they're determined to get you or get you out or stop you.
94. SO WE'VE NEVER FOUND IT TOO PROFITABLE TO FIGHT THESE THINGS THROUGH THE COURTS because you're fighting City Hall. You've got the System stacked against you & you just can hardly win, particularly in our case where the System is pretty much against us.
95. SO TO SUM IT UP MORE OR LESS, NUMBER ONE, IF IT'S ONLY A MINOR THING & ONLY LOCAL, only one policemen, who stopped you on this side of the park & said, "You can't do that here!"—go over to the other side of the park or some other street & do it there, it's only his own personal opinion & personal animosity.
96. OR EVEN IN ONE COMMUNITY, IF THE AUTHORITIES & THE POWERS THAT BE OF THAT TOWN SAY, "YOU CAN'T DO IT IN OUR TOWN," well, then do as Jesus said: "If they persecute you in one city, flee ye to another!" (Maria: In other words, do it until you are effectively stopped. Don't just get scared that you're going to be stopped, but wait until you are stopped.)
97. DON'T JUST LET THE DEVIL SCARE YOU BY HIS "BOO'S!" but keep on witnessing until you are sure that they really mean business, that they are bound to stop you, determined to stop you & that it's a general community-wide thing, then [leave] that city. If it becomes countrywide, nationwide, of course, then it means you have to [leave] the nation as well.
98. SO FROM THE SCRIPTURE I GOT THIS MORNING‚ don't let the Devil scare you by his first boo‚ but wait & see if they're going to enforce it. Lots of countries & communities have laws that are on the books that some enemies got put there, but the police themselves are lax to enforce them & the general public they know would not approve of them enforcing these ridiculous laws sometimes; therefore they just let it ride, let it slide & they don't bother you.
99. BUT WHERE THE ENEMY GETS THE POLICE FORCES STIRRED UP TO THE POINT WHERE THEY'RE ACTUALLY ENFORCING LAWS AGAINST YOU, & enforcing rules & orders & letters against you & are really stopping you, literally, physically ordering you to stop, then I suggest that you stop! They mean business & they're going to stop you one way or the other.
100. "AGREE WITH THINE ADVERSARY WHILST THOU ART IN THE WAY WITH HIM"—& that means the policeman too, or the authority who's telling you to stop, if he has the authority, & every policeman has that authority whether he's right or wrong. So I would say in that case that you should stop, "agree with thine adversary," & don't wait till he has to haul you into court & finally to jail.
101. IF IT'S JUST ONE COP IN ONE CITY, WELL, THEN GO OUT OF HIS PRECINCT INTO ANOTHER PRECINCT, some other area of the city. If it's the whole town, then go to another town. If it's the whole province, go to another province. If it's the whole country, you'd better go to another country! So that's my advice & what I would suggest for you folks in Spain & elsewhere.
102. I THINK YOU FOREIGNERS & AMERICANS SHOULD BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL & watch out‚ because apparently at the moment & for the time—& it's always for a time, it's never permanent, it's usually passing—they're apparently out to try to get us if they can! I even had the feeling it had something to do with that [AC]–inspired big meeting there in Madrid with all those [ACs] there from everywhere!
103. THAT WHOLE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION & ALL THAT HUMAN RIGHTS BALONEY IS ALL ORGANISED & INSPIRED BY THE [ACs] TO PROTECT THEMSELVES, of course, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised that a while they were there they stirred up the local [ACs] when the [ACs] reported to them what was happening regarding us, etc., that they stirred them up to try to stop us.
104. SO I WOULDN'T BE A BIT SURPRISED THAT SOME OF THOSE [ACs] who came to that Conference— —I wouldn't be a bit surprised that that has something to do with the Spanish government getting stirred up against us again, this time on a much higher level. So, PTL! TYL!
105. HE SAYS, "REJOICE & BE EXCEEDING GLAD" WHEN THEY PERSECUTE YOU‚ "for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you, & great is your reward in Heaven!" (Mt.5:11,12.)Amen? PTL? But if it gets too heavy to take, & I mean by that not just vilification, bad publicity & a few warnings, but where they really make it impossible for you to carry on, then it's time to quit & go someplace else—unless you want to just quit & go into your hole‚ into hiding until it blows over, instead of going someplace else.
106. MAYBE SOME OF YOU NATIONALS HAVE NO PLACE ELSE TO GO! You don't want to go, you'd like to stay & continue to work on your own people, & for some reason it's difficult for you to flee, you might just go into hiding. You might have to take an ordinary job for awhile in order to support yourself like the Apostles did sometimes—several times in fact. Paul did it to kind of wait it out & sit it out & weather the storm until he was able to start preaching again. So don't be ashamed of that & don't be afraid to do it if you have to.
107. IF THEY MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO WITNESS & IT'S DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO [LEAVE] ‚ then I would suggest that you stop, get a job, or if you have enough money to live on, whatever, to survive until the storm blows over & the heat's off & they've got something else to worry about & they've forgotten about you, & you can then try it again.
108. MANY MANY OF OUR KIDS ALL OVER THE WORLD, MUCH OF OUR FAMILY, HAVE FOUND THAT THIS HAS WORKED & they haven't had to completely leave the country‚ particularly the nationals. They have just waited stayed off the streets for awhile, done something else for awhile until the heat was off, the storm was over & the sun came out & they came out too again & went at it again & were not bothered again for a long time.
109. WE FOUND OUT EVEN IN HUNTINGTON BEACH WHERE WE FIRST BEGAN that parents or someone would stir the police up against us & they'd come & have a little chat with us or give us a little warning or something, & then they'd done their little duty & got the parents off their back temporarily & felt that they had fulfilled their mission & washed their hands of us, so that we could just go ahead & they could forget about us!
110. POLICE ARE USUALLY NOT THEMSELVES THAT MUCH INTERESTED IN US & they have a lot more to worry about than us! Most of them know that we're not really troublesome & that we're not real problems & criminals & they've got lots worse to worry about. So they'd just as soon not worry about us & they'd just as soon forget about us & usually do after a time—providing our persecutors & our real enemies stop hounding them.
111. AND USUALLY EVEN WHEN THEY'RE HOUNDED BY PARENTS OR PERSECUTORS OR ENEMIES OR RELIGIONISTS, the police or the government won't do anything until they are virtually forced to. Just like the scribes & the Pharisees & the Chief Priests of Jesus' day: Pilate didn't really want to do anything against Jesus & His Disciples, but he was forced to by the religious establishment. They forced him to by threatening him & threatening that he was protecting these people who were seditionists, etc., & that they were going to report him to the government if he didn't do something about them.
112. SO THE POLICE USUALLY ARE RELUCTANT TO DO ANYTHING UNLESS THEY'RE COMPELLED TO, & they don't really like to or want to. It's not really their fault as a rule, it's the enemies behind the scenes‚ & as soon as the police can get the problem off their hands‚ the better they like it.
113. THEY DO A LITTLE SOMETHING, EITHER WARN YOU ON THE STREET OR HAUL YOU IN FOR QUESTIONING or maybe put you in jail for a few days as a warning, & then they go on to much more important business & let you go & sometimes forget about you, so pretty soon you can get away with it again.
114. SO THAT'S ABOUT THE WAY IT WORKS & THAT'S WHAT I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO DO IN THOSE VARIOUS CATEGORIES. Don't let one policeman or one town or even one province stop you. If it's only one policeman in one town I wouldn't even leave town. If it gets to be the whole town, the whole police force, then of course you'll have to leave town, but not necessarily the province.
115. BUT IF IT GETS TO BE PROVINCEWIDE OR NATIONWIDE & A DETERMINED OPPOSITION & PERSECUTION & they really make it very difficult or impossible to carry on & do your work & do your job for the Lord & litness & witness—which you have to do more or less openly if you're going to do the job—if they make it impossible for you to do the job, then you've got to quit it & go someplace else, whether it be another neighbourhood or another town or another province or another country, to continue.
116. SO THOSE ARE THE GENERAL BASIC RULES ON WHAT TO DO WHEN PERSECUTED. Don't let one person stop you or even a few, until they really do make it impossible to do your job. As I said, when the law does tell you to stop‚ then you have to stop, at least there.
117. AGREE WITH YOUR ADVERSARY RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT & GO ELSEWHERE, either from that corner or that park or that street or that town or whatever it is.—Unless you want to go [wait] until it all blows over & they've forgotten about it & cooled off & you can start all over again.
118. IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU HAVE FAITH FOR & it depends on what you feel led to do & how God is guiding you. Whatever you do, for God's sake‚ follow God! PTL? So God bless & keep you folks there in Spain. (Prays:)
119. LORD, BLESS & KEEP THEM & ENCOURAGE THEM & INSPIRE THEM & LEAD & GUIDE THEM. Strengthen them & give them great faith instead of fear, & great love, Lord, even for their enemies instead of hate‚ & the realisation that many of them are just deceived & they know not what they do‚ & we must forgive them because they are stirred up by others who do know that they're doing. So Lord, we ask Thee to give them great wisdom & patience with officials.
120. YOU SAID, "BE YE WISE AS SERPENTS BUT YET AS HARMLESS AS DOVES" because You sent us forth like sheep in the midst of wolves. (Mt.10:16.) And we are Thy sheep, the sheep of Thy pasture & we're Thy children‚ Thy workers. It's Your business‚ Lord, we're Thy workers, You have to take care of it & You have to take care of us, but we do have to obey You & follow You & Your general advice already given in the Scriptures as well as Your direct revelations of the moment.
121. SO LORD, WE DO ASK THEE TO GIVE THEM WISDOM, GREAT WISDOM, IN HOW TO HANDLE THE SITUATION THERE, wherever they are really being persecuted & where there is genuine opposition, & particularly wherever it is really being made very difficult or impossible to carry on in witnessing or open litnessing, etc.
122. GIVE THEM WISDOM WHAT YOU WANT EACH ONE OF THEM TO DO: Whether they be nationals & they feel led to stay but wait awhile, try again, or whether they feel like the local situation is impossible & they must flee to another. And whether they be foreigners, Americans‚ who feel their position is particularly precarious & they must be especially careful as guests of the country‚ & therefore if there is definitely this nationwide national opposition to the Family, then it would be wise for them not to get caught openly litnessing & witnessing in areas where this is enforced, lest they be driven out of the country.
123. SO LORD IT COULD BE THAT YOU'RE PUTTING THE PRESSURE ON IN SPAIN NOW because we have done such a good job there, to get some of these people—all of whom must speak some Spanish by this time—pushed out to more fertile fields, riper fields of Latin America which have not been so saturated & over-worked as has been Spain.
124. MAYBE SPAIN HAS NOT BEEN OVERWORKED, LORD, BUT IT CERTAINLY HAS BEEN WORKED MORE, far more thoroughly than have all the countries of Latin America, & those labourers there in Spain are no doubt needed now in Latin America. Many of them already speak the language or languages & could go on to other Spanish or Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil & the other Latin American countries of South America, Central America & the Caribbean.
125. EVEN NORTH AMERICA, SUCH AS MEXICO & THE IMMENSE MEXICAN OR SPANISH-SPEAKING POPULATIONS of Florida, Texas, California & Southwestern United States where there are many many sweet precious Latin Americans who need the Gospel & need Thy Love & are open to it & there is greater freedom to witness at least for the time being, even there they could be a blessing!
126. SO THERE IS ALWAYS SOME PLACE, LORD, THAT WE CAN WORK! You are a very great Employer, You have this Whole World at our disposal, so if work runs out in one place, we can always go to someplace else, since You're a multinational corporation & You have works all over the World, Lord, in all these countries. We can go anywhere You lead where the work is better, more fruitful, more profitable & freer & easier & the land is more fertile & the crop is riper to the harvest!
127. YOU SAID TO "LIFT UP OUR EYES UNTO THE HARVEST‚ FOR THE HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS BUT THE LABOURERS ARE FEW!" (Jn.4:35; Mt.9:37.) Well, why'd Ya ask us to lift up our eyes‚ Lord? We must have been looking down too close to our feet, too locally, too close at hand where maybe the harvest wasn't good, & You said to "Lift up our eyes & behold the fields white unto harvest!"
128. IF THERE'S NOT ENOUGH HARVEST HANDY, THEN WE NEED TO LIFT UP OUR EYES & LOOK ABROAD‚ look afar across to further fields‚ far off fields, far–flung fields where the harvest is ripe & plenteous & ripe unto the harvest, when we have already harvested the local field as best we can & we're only gleaning & not really getting the great harvest that we once had in that local situation.
129. HELP US TO LIFT UP OUR EYES & BEHOLD THE FIELDS WHITE UNTO THE HARVEST THAT ARE AFAR OFF where we can go & get a better harvest & reap a better field & a more fertile field which has not been overworked & already harvested. So lead & guide these folks, Lord, in Spain, & show them what they should do. "Ready to go, ready to stay, ready to do Thy will!"—Whatever You want for them to do.
130. BLESS PARTICULARLY THE LEADERSHIP THERE, LORD, who are in jeopardy & whom the Enemy is always trying to find & persecute to cut off the head to kill the body. Help them to know what to do when it's time to [leave] to protect Thy work & Thy children & their essential tools. But bless & keep them & give them great wisdom & safety & protection & guide them exactly according to Thy will, what You want then to do‚ & help them to know it & to find it.
131. YOU SAID, "LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, BUT IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE ME & I WILL DIRECT THY PATHS." So help them not to just do it on their own personal reasoning or logic or understanding, but to look to Thee, Lord, in all their ways, & You will direct in the paths that You know are best, in Jesus' name. (Prov.3:5,6.)
132. BLESS & KEEP THEM & CONTINUE TO MAKE THEM A BLESSING WHEREVER THEY MAY BE or wherever they may go, according to Your Will, in Jesus' name, amen. Praise You Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Amen, amen, amen!—What's His will for YOU?