KEYWORDS: god, church, jesus, people, life, way

Letter to a Loved One

Karen Zerby

—MariaMay, 1970NO.G—GP

P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or Box 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936

Dear One:

1. Praise the Lord! It was wonderful to hear from you! I wish you'd write me more often, and tell me about how things are, what you think about nowadays, how everybody is, etc.

2. I HOPE YOU GOT TO WATCH THE "FIRST TUESDAY" DOCUMENTARY ABOUT US, on NBC television. We just learned that this show on us was so popular, and people were requesting reruns of it, and writing in for our address so frequently, that NBC is now selling the film to anyone who request it—educational institutions, medical societies, church groups, clubs, etc.—for $300.00 a film! So God is continuing to promote His Message—that people can live the way Jesus and the Disciples did—the way Jesus taught that we all should live—in happiness and unity and fellowship with each other‚ and that He would supply all our needs, and in the process help us to further His Message and Way of Living.

3. PERHAPS YOU HAVE WONDERED WHY THE CHURCH PEOPLE ARE SO MUCH AGAINST OUR METHODS and our teaching and our Ministry; in fact‚ why some, as much as we love them, do not agree with the work we are now in! I do not like to tell you this, because I know it may hurt you, but to save your life for the Lord‚ I would have to defy anyone! The Bible says, "A man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matt.10:36). The Lord allows this to test us to see if we are going to put Him first—"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God," and, "I will have no other gods before Me!" Did you know money, education, husband‚ wife‚ and even parents‚ can be gods that you put before God? Sometimes, and many times, parents are our biggest test‚ to see if we really love God most, because it's the hardest thing we have to do to leave them, or to go against their wishes. We are supposed to honour our Mother and Father, and to obey them in the Lord, but if God shows us something we are to do, we must obey Him‚ even if it is not what our parents want! The Bible says, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me (Jesus is speaking) is not worthy of Me!"

4. NOW TO EXPLAIN WHY THE CHURCHES AND CHURCH PEOPLE DO NOT CARE FOR US—THE MISSIONARIES TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THIS LAST GENERATION—and even why some wish that I had joined some other nice little sweet churchy group, or some other such traditional what-we've been-brought-up-with-doctrine group!

5. FIRST OF ALL, WE PRACTICE AND PREACH EXACTLY WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES, and we tell others exactly what the Bible teaches, which in many cases is directly contrary to what the churches of today are teaching. Now, if you will take an honest look at what you have learned from the church during you life, and then an honest look at what the Bible really has to say, you will find that the two widely differ in what they have to say. Yet the church says, "We are the people" and "We have the Truth" and "We are living for God" and "We are obeying God" and "We are doing His Will" and "If you aren't going to church and following our way, then you're wrong"! Do you know what Jesus had to say about the organised church? He said, "Ye, by your traditions, have made the Law of God of none effect!" That wasn't just back there‚ either; that has happened today, also.

6. FOR EXAMPLE: THE ORGANISED CHURCHES OF TODAY HAVE PUT GOD IN A LITTLE BOX (THE CHURCH BUILDING) and put one man over the people—one man who only by reason of his many years in a school has been made their shepherd‚ not because of his great knowledge of the Scriptures or his closeness to God, or his obedience to God's commands, which are God's requirements for a real Pastor and Shepherd, but only because he has passed their tests, and earned their certificate, and knows how to speak eloquently and construct pretty little, pleasant sermons, and because he has had enough money to somehow get through all those years of college. If he has not been able to make it to college, then no matter if he knows the Bible—the Rulebook‚ the Guide, the Yardstick—backwards and forwards, and has won many, many people to the Lord, he will never be passed by the board for the position of Pastor in one of their churches. There was an old man who worked as a gardener, and he was always getting up and testifying and telling of the people he'd told about Jesus, and the ones he'd won to the Lord, and was always praying for others‚ and encouraging them to keep on for Jesus! Well, this poor old uneducated man had more right in God's eyes‚ to be leader of those people, than the smooth, well-educated, full–of-facts-and-figures, public relations man: the "Pastor"! But this, sad to say‚ is the way the church system, which has left the ways of God, and walks in its own wisdom, operates! The Bible, however, makes it quite clear that all Christians are ordained to preach the Gospel‚ when it says in John 15:16: "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit."

7. YOU SEE, THE CHURCH SYSTEM OF TODAY, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO PAY THE PRICE OF OBEYING GOD AND FOLLOWING HIS WAY, HAS BEEN DECEIVED into thinking their own way is right. Because they do not take the time to study His Word and hide it in their hearts‚ and follow His pattern, but instead follow false shepherds; and instead of reading God's Book, they study always men's books about what God's Book says. But if you want the Truth, you must always go to the top—to the One who said it first! It's like that little game of Gossip—by the time the word or sentence is whispered around the circle, it is totally distorted‚ and comes out completely different from the original word. God says, "Because they received not the love of the truth, He shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie." (2Thes.2:11) If you don't believe the truth, you have to fill your heart with something. You have to believe something, so God lets you believe something other than the truth, which, if it is not the truth, is a lie.

8. ASK THE EVANGELIST AND THE TEACHERS AT CHURCH! SEE HOW MUCH SCRIPTURE THEY HAVE HID IN THEIR HEARTS, that they might not sin against God! Remember, sin is not just doing something dreadfully bad. Even worse‚ it is getting out of line with God's Will, leading people astray, away from what God wants for them. They may be doing something good, like sitting in church praying and listening to the preacher and singing, but if they aren't doing what God told them to do: Go out into the highway and hedges and bring them in: Seek (search for) and save that which is lost; go ye into all the word, and preach the Gospel to every creature; if they aren't hiding God's Word (memorising) and really studying, in their hearts, and meditating upon it day and night, as God's Word says to do—if they aren't doing these things, they are sinning‚ and God will let them keep on‚ deceived that they are doing OK, if they refuse to pay the price of learning His Word and obeying what it says. The Bible says, "The law of his God is in his heart‚ and none of his steps shall slide." If it isn't in his heart, his steps will slide, and he'll get off the right track.

9. I HAVE LEARNED MORE HERE, EVEN IN THE FIRST MONTH OR TWO I WAS WITH THE TEAM, THAN I DID IN MY WHOLE LIFE BEFORE, of what God really has to say, and what He wants for our lives; just because we study the Bible and obey it. If you obey what you know God wants you to do, then He will show you more truth; and when you obey that, He'll give you a little more, and step by step, as you follow Him, He shows you more and more. The trouble with most Christians is that they stopped obeying the little truth they did have, and, as a result‚ God hasn't been able to give them anymore.

10. THEREFORE, THE CHURCH OF TODAY HAS NOTHING TO OFFER TO THE HUNGRY‚ SPIRITUALLY SICK MILLIONS. WHO NEED ITS HELP. It can just say, "Jesus will save you!" But after Jesus saves you, what then? Where do we go from here? The reason why some are not interested in being a Christian is because they see no future in it! Who wants to just go to a building once or twice a week‚ pray a little during the week, and try to be a good little kid, and not do a million "Don'ts" the church has laid down to try to take away the real freedom that God actually has for His children. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." "If the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed" and "To the pure all things are pure!"

11. SO YOU SEE (I DO LOVE YOU!)—THE REASON WHY THE CHURCH SYSTEM WOULD RATHER WE DID NOT EXIST, IS BECAUSE WE EXPOSE THEIR HYPOCRISY! We show people that all they have to do is obey what God's Word says, and do what He wants. They don't have to go to church every Sunday—the word "church" in the New Testament means "called-out-ones," not "building," and we will worship every day if we love Him and really want to do it, not just count it as our duty.

12. ANOTHER REASON THEY DO NOT LIKE US IS BECAUSE WE PREACH THAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD FOLLOW THE BIBLE, and, as the Early Christians‚ have all things common (Acts 2:44,45), forsaking all (Luke 14:33), and preaching the Gospel to every creature; and that if we live for Jesus, we will suffer persecution (2Tim.3:12). If the Church would follow these commandments of Jesus, the whole church organization would fall apart, there would no longer be any need to have big, rich church buildings‚ homes would be adequate, and people would go out and witness, instead of gathering in cliquish little clans at their building on Sunday; there would be no need to spend a lot of money on church maintenance and pastors' salaries, or beautiful clothes to wear to church; but people could then spend God's money—that He provided through new people constantly being saved and becoming soul-winners, too, and bringing their possessions, or money from the sale of them into the group—spend it on reaching the lost for Jesus. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people would do what Jesus said to do?

13. WELL‚ WE'RE TRYING TO DO IT BY THE GRACE OF GOD—AND IT'S WORKING, and many, many young people are coming to know Jesus, and their lives are really being changed, not just changed from staying at home on Sunday to coming to church on Sunday instead, but their attitudes, life‚ and purpose in living—their life's work is completely new—they've really become a new creature in Christ Jesus!

14. THEY SAID ABOUT THE EARLY CHRISTIANS‚ THAT THEY WERE TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN! You know why they were able to do that? Because they did what God said to do, what they could do, and then God did the rest! That's what God's doing with us; we're poor, weak, not very well educated, most of us—but God said He takes the foolish things to confound the wise, and the weak things of this world to confound the mighty‚ and things which are despised and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are. That means that no matter how young you are, no matter how little you know, no matter how few talents you have, or how poorly you speak—that God can use you—in fact, in the Scripture I just gave you about the foolish things (1Cor.1:27)‚ it says that God actually takes this kind of person to use! So if you feel you are nothing, and you're no good—then cheer up!—God can use you, and has a special place for you in His Kingdom!

15. SO GOD IS USING US, RIGHT NOW IN OUR COUNTRY, TO TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN—or maybe it's rightside up—for Him.—Because we're open to His Truth, and we're willing to follow Him, and do what ever He says even if it's hard!

16. WE HAD ONE BOY WHO SAW THE SHOW ON NBC, FORSOOK EVERYTHING, drove his car Texas, knowing only that we were in the State, but having no idea where. He drove around for five days all over Texas with a sign on the back of his car that said "Children of God—Where are you?" He finally met someone who could direct him to us‚ and having found us, he has become a full-time student, knowing that this was what he was looking for all his life!

17. ARCHIBUS FROM NEW JERSEY WENT TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL FOR 10 YEARS. HE SAW THE HYPOCRISY IN EDUCATION AND CHURCH. He burned down his parents' house by accident. He was miserable at college and wanted to commit suicide. There was nothing to love. The first time he walked down Hollywood Blvd., he met Rehab and Israel‚ and they started talking to him about Jesus. He saw the truth, went with them that night, and now sees it's the only way to live. He said the Bible gave him the first happiness he's ever known.

18. TYRUS TOLD US HOW HE HAD FLED TO FRANCE SEVEN MONTHS AGO, THINKING TO ESCAPE IDOLATRY, BUT FINDING FRANCE JUST AS BAD AS AMERICA. He was hitchhiking back to San Diego when he met two of our students, who drove him out to the ranch, but he ended up driving so he could have them read Scriptures to him! He said "Jesus Christ makes life and everything I have thought of as life fall into line. I can't possibly leave. I love everyone!" What made him want to hear those Scriptures? What made them so alive? It was because, for the first time in his life‚ he saw them being lived. He saw a SAMPLE. He didn't just hear a SERMON!

19. WE VERY RECENTLY HAD A MEMBER OF THE WELL-KNOWN "FLEETWOOD MAC" GROUP FROM BRITAIN, who were rapidly gaining popularity there, nearing that of the Beatles, join us, because he said he had been searching all his life—and for the first time, he had found what he wanted! He had wealth‚ fame, everything—but when he really saw Jesus at work—His love overwhelmed him.

20. THE DAUGHTER OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF MOBILE OIL CORP. joined the team several days ago, in spite of the fact that she could have had anything she wanted—anything, that is, except God. She found Him with us—and with it‚ a whole new way of life! We have a new society, a new community, and until you follow God's Way of Living you'll never be happy.

21. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO BE HAPPY, if you want to make your life meaningful, if you want challenge‚ excitement, and change—which I know you're always looking for in your wandering, restlessness, and travels—And if you really want to love God, and live for Him‚ and want to make others happy, and help God change wrecks of lives into wonderful‚ productive, happy, warm, glowing sons and daughters of God, this is it! I think it's your only hope! Try it!

22. YOU KNOW THERE'S SO MUCH MORE IN LIFE. If you've given up searching for it, I'm worried about that! As long as you're calling, you can expect God to answer; as long as you're seeking, God will show the Way, as long as you're empty‚ you'll be able to be filled! God says in Luke 1:53, "He has filled the hungry with good things, but the rich hath He sent empty away!"—And in Psalm 107:9, "For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." "How hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven!" "When ye seek Me‚ with your whole heart, you shall find Me!"

23. DO YOU KNOW WHY SO MANY KIDS WITH DRUG PROBLEMS, MENTAL PROBLEMS AND CRIMINAL, SEX PROBLEMS, ETC.‚ COME TO US? Because they've gotten to the end of their rope—they know they can't do anything—so they have to ask God to help them! They see He's the only answer! Or the ones that have had everything life has to offer—they know there's nothing else—the one thing they haven't tried is God—so why not? They try Him—and it works!—He is the Answer! But as long as you're still looking for the things in the world to make you happy and satisfied, you won't find the Truth! I pray He makes you hungry, as He did me! I realised finally that "church" wasn't the answer—there was something missing there—something more somewhere; education wasn't the answer.—All it was leading to was a piece of paper that said I could try to help people find their way in life—but how could I do the Master's Work without the Master's Power?

24. BECAUSE I TRULY HUNGERED AND THIRSTED AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, HE FILLED ME—and thrilled me—and has set me up upon a rock, that I shall not be moved, and has put a song in my heart, and praise on my lips, and a wonderful, wonderful vision of His world, and His plan, and His love! Praise be to His Name! How wonderful He's been to me!

25. ASK GOD TO ENLARGE YOUR VISION—to show you how much more He has—beyond what you have ever seen, or felt, or heard‚ or known! It's there—but He's waiting for you! "Eye hath not seen, neither hath ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man‚ the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (If ye love Me, Keep My commandments!). But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit! For the Spirit searcheth all things‚ yea, the deep things of God." (1Cor.2:9,10)


27. THERE IS NOT MUCH HOPE FOR THE OLDER GENERATION. They have become satisfied with life, and are taken up in their material pursuits of the competitive, hypocritical society! But for the young, who are seeking‚ hungry, unhappy, and yearning for the spiritual, this is their day! God is pouring out His Spirit upon them, and is making of them a nation that He will be pleased to dwell in! The Children of Israel were kept in the wilderness until the older generation had died off because of their lack of faith, but then the young were allowed to go into the Promised Land!

28. "CAST AWAY FROM YOU ALL YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye!" (Ezek.18:31,32)

29. WE HAVE HAD PARENTS OF OUR STUDENTS SAY TO THEIR CHILDREN, "I'D RATHER HAVE YOU ON DRUGS, than out making a fool of yourself preaching the Gospel" or, "I'd rather have you a prostitute, than join that group." Because they are shown up for their lack in not having been able to make their children happy, or satisfied‚ they would rather their child's life be ruined, than to be exposed and ashamed, or lose their little darling whom they have great selfish aspirations for! Mother and Dad, if you do not encourage your children to forsake all else, and to follow Jesus 100 percent, totally committed to winning the world for Christ, even if you can't approve of the methods‚ and don't see some of the doctrine. I'm afraid the Lord is going to hold you accountable for their lives! "By their fruits ye shall know them"—And you have to admit we have the fruits! I hate to say this to you, and when I do, I say it in love!—I've never talked this way to you before, but when I see your lives going down the drain, I can't help but speak to you about this: It's a pity to live in unhappiness‚ when just around the corner, your lives can be thrilling and filling and wonderful beyond all expectation! I love you, and please believe me, I hate to hurt you, but I've got to tell you! And remember, when you're rebellious‚ and disobedient, and into every kind of sin you were ever warmed against,—remember, that even though you're on your way down, when you hit bottom, that's when you can start on your way up! If you let God.—"Yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them!" "The Lord gave the Word; great was the company of them that published it! Kings of a armies did flee apace, and she that tarried at home divided the spoil. Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." (Psalm 68.) (This movement is God's Army for this generation.—He gave us this Psalm for all those who will share in this great work!)

30. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR LETTERS! I really want to hear more from you. Please don't stop writing me‚ even if you are hurt or angry!—I hope you'll continue to love me anyway! Thanks for you support, it's been a great help. I love you, and hope you're feeling well! Trust God‚ not the doctors!

31. P.S. WE'VE HAD MANY CASES RECENTLY WHERE KIDS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM HEROIN BY THE LORD‚ with no withdrawal, which is so terribly painful! Society is seeing that God is able to deliver, and probation, parole‚ psychiatrists, etc., are referring their people to us—after they've given up! And they're finding that God's not dead.—He's the same as He was in the Early Church! You just have to give Him a chance!