KEYWORDS: lord, children, things, system, thy, thou

Don't Fear the System

Karen Zerby

Maria #110DO 25721/90

—But "Trust in the Lord & do good‚ so shalt thou dwell in the land, & verily thou shalt be fed!"—Psa.37:3.

—By Maria

1. (Mama's Intro: After reading over the Home Educator material about the current child abuse hysteria & the sweeping powers of the Social Services in many countries today‚ I met together with several of our staff members & visitors. We had a long list of detailed questions in which some of our WS personnel were asking about measures that the Family could possibly take in order to protect ourselves from this kind of persecution. The problem seemed almost insurmountable, it was so big & overwhelming. There seemed to be so many different practices & policies of our way of life that could upset & trigger a hostile reaction or attack from the System, I felt as if I hardly knew where to start!

2. (The load felt so heavy & the burden so much greater than any of us, I knew I didn't know the answers.—Nor did I feel up to facing & coping with the almost endless list of questions that faced us. … [T]here were all kinds of other questions facing us regarding sleeping arrangements, usage of bathrooms, qualifications of teachers, strict housing & rooming standards, questions about discipline & corporal punishment, etc., etc.!

3. (Realising how big this problem is, & how the child abuse campaigners are on the rampage, not only throughout the U.S., but in different countries in Europe, Latin America & elsewhere, I just felt desperate, that we really needed the Lord's help! So instead of attempting to discuss & answer every little question or address every potentially dangerous situation, I felt like turning our counsel meeting into a prayer meeting instead.

4. (So we passed around a box of verses on little slips of paper, God's precious promises of protection from the Bible, & each of us pulled out a promise that we specifically claimed aloud in united prayer for the Family & against our enemies. We went around our prayer circle 4 or 5 times, & every time we each would pull out a new verse to claim. Doing this was such an uplift for our spirits & encouragement of our faith‚ PTL! We were not only claiming these verses in prayer, but the Lord was also speaking to us & giving us answers through these verses. Afterwards‚ the Lord spoke further in a beautiful prophecy.)

5. Lord, thank You so much for speaking to us through Thy wonderful promises in Thy wonderful Word, & comforting our hearts with each of these beautiful verses. We ask You now, Lord‚ if You have anything more to say to us, to please speak to us further, in Jesus' name!


6. (Fam: "For I have seen thine enemies, & they have spread themselves like a green bay tree. Proud & pompous are they. But yea, they shall be brought to nought! For the tree of the unrighteous is a tree of death, & the death it speaketh of is not thine, but theirs. For the ax shall be laid to the root of the tree & it shall come to nought. For the same measure that they have wished upon thee & thy children shall be turned upon their own heads!

7. ("Fear not them‚ but rather fear Me, which hath the power to destroy in a moment, in an instant, in a twinkling of an eye! For yea, their death shall be sudden. Have I not spoken these things & shall they not come to pass? But rather fear Me. For I have many to gather unto Me, & yea, that is thy mission.

8. ("Take no thought for the morrow or these things that shall come to pass. For have I not been better unto thee than a known path? And shall I desert thee in thy time of need? No, My children, I shall not. For I am better unto thee than a known way. Trust thou in Me. Look thou in Mine eyes. For have I not spoken unto thy Prophet in days past, of these needles that pierce the skin? And was he not right? Yea‚ & all these things shall come to pass & they shall know that a Prophet hath been among them. (Ez.33:33) Therefore hearken thou unto his Words & the Words that I have ordained to lead My children in the midst of darkness.

9. ("For darkness shall cover the Earth, but My Light shall pierce the darkness & be a ray of light that shall shepherd thee in thy time of need. Only look thou into My face & the face of the Prophet that I have ordained for this age. For yea‚ have not My Prophets of old had enemies? And have not they been delivered? And thou too shalt be delivered!

10. ("Fear not! Neither give place to the Devil nor the fears that he would plague thee with. For yea, I am He Who hath called thee away from fear into My marvellous light! For I am not the God of fear, but the God of Faith & Love, & thou shalt find rest unto thy souls!

11. ("And this shall be thy heritage that thou shalt pass unto thy children, the children of thy womb, & the children of thy loins. Yea, this heritage of faith, this shall protect them in the days to come. Minister thou the faith that I have ministered unto thee‚ & yea‚ it shall comfort them in their time of need. It shall strengthen them in their time of testing.

12. ("For yea, Tribulation shall come upon the World, but I will tribulate them that tribulate thee more than they shall tribulate you! (2Th.1:6). Yea, a time of darkness shall befall the Earth, have I not said in times past? Have My Prophets not spoken it in times past? Is My Word not full of this? And those days shall be shortened for My elect's sake, & thou art My elect. For thou shalt have strength thou knowest not of to protect thee for the day of My visitation.

13. ("Only look thou to Me that thy faith fail not, & I shall succour thee. I shall hold thee to My bosom as a father holdeth an only child. Yea, for what else do I have but thee? Who else do I have but thee? For My church hath forsaken Me, & only thou, the Bride of My youth hast remained. Shall not I protect thee? Shall not I protect thee as a suckling Father in thy time of need? Yea‚ I shall, & thou shalt be blessed. Yea, I will mightily increase thy strength & increase thy numbers till thou dost fill the face of the World!

14. ("For have I not ordained these things & have not these things been written? For I spake it not in a corner, & these things shall come to pass! Thou must cling to Me in thy time of need & look neither to the right nor the left, & the strength that thou desirest shall come from Me, from none else, for I have promised it!")


15. (Maria:) TYJ! Lord, You're so good to us‚ so sweet, so encouraging! TYJ! Thank You for Thy voice! PYJ! Hallelujah! Thank You Lord, You've given us so much‚ Jesus. You don't have to say any more, Lord, we can cling to that & we're filled up, we have all that we need. But if there is anything else that You want to say to us, Lord, please say it & speak to us. Did anyone get anything else, any verses or anything?

16. (Fam: "Neither give place to the Devil, for the ends thereof are the ways of death. But resist the Devil, resist him steadfast in the faith. Lay hold on eternal life whereunto thou art also called & hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.")

17. (Fam: I was also getting a series of verses. "Have I said & will I not do it? For a thousand shall fall to thy left & ten thousand to thy right, but fear not, little children, for ye have overcome them! For greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the World! For I have not given you the spirit of fear‚ but the spirit of power & of love & of a sound mind.")

18. Thank You Lord for this encouragement. You don't want us to fear, we know that, Lord. If we don't remember anything else from this time together, Lord, we should remember that we are not to fear, there's no reason to fear, as long as we keep our eyes on You! PTL! Is there anything else?

19. (Peter: I got, "Have I not said call unto Me & I will answer thee, & show thee great & mighty things that thou knowest not of." It's our responsibility to call unto Him, & it's His responsibility to show us the things we don't know. But we've got to do our part of the bargain too, & really get desperate & call unto Him.)

20. (Fam: In the prophecy several times it says, "Fear thou not." And I thought about how the Enemy is using this child abuse issue to try to get in through fear. Although we shouldn't be ignorant of the Devil's devices, we can't be so constantly aware of them & thinking about them that he uses it to get our minds off of the Lord & His promises, & we get into a state of fear over it all. We've still got to hang onto our faith & have a real trust in the Lord. So I took that as a real warning, to "fear not!")

21. (Fam: I got the verse‚ "Great peace have they which love Thy Law & nothing shall offend them." Even now, in praying & falling back on the Word, it gives you a real spirit of peace. Sometimes there's nothing we can do about some of these threats & dangers. It's the job of the Enemy to offend us, to affect us, to attack us, & all we can do is fall on the Word & trust the Lord to take care of things. The Lord has promised He'd do the protection part. But we can only find that peace if we trust & rest on the Word.)

22. (Peter: I got one other verse when we were praying earlier. The original verse actually says, "Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." But it came to me like, "Thou art My beloved children in whom I am well pleased." And I took it to mean that when we get together & petition the Lord like this, it really pleases the Lord, & it's just real important that we do it.) PTL! All those things from the Lord are so encouraging! It's so wonderful of the Lord to give us more specific direction from Him for this situation.


23. When you realise how the System has such power in some places, & how easy it is for them to come in & snatch your children away‚ you sort of feel like "There's not much we can do about it, so the Lord's just going to have to protect the Family!" Well, that's right, in many ways that's true. But there is something that we can easily do that we shouldn't do, & that's fear & worry. We've got to be careful not to get on a negative channel or start worrying & fretting about all this.

24. Even if there's hardly anything we can do in some of these cases, there's one thing we can always do, & that we have to do.—And that's to have faith & trust the Lord! Even if there's nothing else we can do, that's one thing we've got to do! That's usually when the Lord tests our faith to see if we're going to worry or fear: When there isn't anything we can do. But that's the time when He can really manifest Himself & show His power & protection most greatly.

25. When you realise how easily the System could attack our Homes with false charges of child abuse or neglect (& has already started doing it!), you naturally start looking around for some solutions‚ some way out of the problem. I got to thinking, "Boy‚ if our Homes start trying to conform to all the System's rules & ways of doing things in order to try to save or protect themselves, we'll end up just like the Systemites!" Because almost everything in our way of life is different than the System's!

26. Of course, we should do all we can do to satisfy the System—everything we can do without compromising our convictions. There are some practical things that we can do, & then there are other things that we would like to do if we could—in other words, we don't have any qualms against them & we would be happy to comply with them if we could. For example, we want to avoid overcrowding & poor ventilation & things like that when possible. But with many of these practical things we can't comply, simply because of our living situations.

27. After I heard all of those different conditions & reasons that the System can use as an excuse to accuse parents of "abuse" or "neglect‚" & therefore seize the children, I concluded, "This problem is bigger than any of us. I don't know what to do! We'd better really pray & seek the Lord & forget all of our questions & worries, & let's get some faith about this threat & this problem!"

28. We had just received a lengthy list of questions from Family members who had read all the things the System can get you on, & all the horrible things the System can do to you, & they were asking‚ "What can we do to protect ourselves?" …

29. Well, I thought to myself, "How can anyone have as many people as we do in most of our Homes, & not have kids sleeping in bedrooms with their parents?!—Or how can they avoid having the children seeing the parents … going in & out of the bathroom…? What can we do about these kinds of things unless we completely change our way of life & go back to living selfishly on our own, just like the System does?"

30. Well, we know we can't do that‚ so I believe the Lord's going to bless us for being true to our convictions & going ahead & doing what we have to do, despite such threats from the System. He'll just have to protect us in spite of it all. Besides, there's not an awful lot that we can do in many cases.

31. But we can at least be aware of these things that the System gets upset about, so that we don't flaunt them in their face. …

32. Within our Homes I don't know that there's much we can do about it.—If we still intend to retain our Christian lifestyle & live together communally. There's not an awful lot we can do about the openness, honesty‚ sharing & unselfishness that are all a part of the way we're supposed to live according to the Bible.

33. The main thing the Lord's emphasising to us now is, don't fear. Of course, we do need to "avoid all appearance of evil" as much as possible.—1Thes.5:22.—Not that anything we do is evil, it's just that the System so often misinterprets & misunderstands things, so we need to try to avoid stumbling them when possible. I think the Family has often run into a lot of problems because they've gone outside their Homes & done things that either offended the System or aroused their suspicions.—They've done things like spanking children in earshot or in sight of the neighbours, going outside very scantily clad or having 20 people piling into a van, showing the neighbours how many people were in the Home.


34. We just need to be a little more circumspect & a little more aware of the problems, of all these different things that the System would like to try to get us on. Then just do the best we can & try to be more wise about our going out & our coming in. The Lord said He'd preserve our going out & coming in, but we've got to do what we can to help Him & to give Him some cooperation. He tells us to, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without!"—Col.4:5.

35. We can't change our whole way of life because of their threats or dangers, but we can try to "become one" as much as possible when we have to, & try to avoid the appearance of evil. We should try to be aware of what Systemites would think is strange, & try not to be that way! When you go out to do business in the System, you often need to try to convince people by your words & actions that you're just a normal tourist or Systemite, & nothing unusual or suspicious. You can do it if you try, you don't have to appear odd or suspicious. When & where possible, you should try to relate to people; talk to them, be friendly & don't do anything that they would think is unusual or strange. I think that's about the best we can do, & then we'll just have to trust the Lord to do the rest.

36. But the Family needs to at least be aware of all these things so they are aware of the dangers‚ & so they won't do anything that's going to appear to outsiders as being too strange or suspicious. But you might not always be able to help it if your next–door neighbour figures out that you have 25 people in the house & that you're home-schooling your kids. Of course, you should pray desperately & be nice to your neighbour & try to explain it to him somehow & try to win him. But the main thing you're going to have to do is just trust the Lord.

37. "Man looketh on the outward appearance" (1Sam.16:7), so we need to be concerned about that to some extent. But we can't change our entire lifestyle, everything that goes on inside our Homes. We can try to be conservative when we go out & try to act like everybody else as much as possible.—We don't have to do our witnessing in our local neighbourhoods, we can go somewhere else. Our Homes should at least try to appear as fitting into the neighbourhood & blending in with them as much as possible.

38. When you read those Home Educator magazines on child abuse you'll see that your neighbours can be one of your greatest enemies!—Or one of your greatest allies. It says, "Call in the neighbours & have them vouch for you." Of course, in order for them to vouch for you, they will have to know you & like you, & that might be a problem, too! You'll have to go according to how things are in your particular neighbourhood. If everybody knows each other & talks to each other all the time & they're real open & friendly, you might have to be a little more open & friendly too. If the people aren't very friendly with each other, then you probably don't need to be either.


39. Another important way that our Family can give the Lord some cooperation in order to "avoid all appearance of evil" with outsiders, is to simply obey the many health‚ cleanliness & safety rules Dad has given us in the Letters. For example, one of the main things that the System clamps down on people for & can even use as a justification to take away their children, is when they find that living conditions in the children's home are unsatisfactory, unsanitary or unsafe.—And sad to say, we've heard of an incident or two where the authorities clamped down on Family members when they discovered that their mobile home or house was unkempt, dirty, or dangerous.

40. Whereas if our folks would obey the instructions the Lord & Dad have given us on the importance of cleanliness & safety-consciousness with children‚ then our people shouldn't have any of these kinds of problems with the authorities. Besides, whether there's a threat from the authorities or not, we're supposed to maintain a high standard of cleanliness & safety! Our Homes should all be examples of good, clean, Godly living! (See "The Dirty Dorm Dream," ML #676; "Dirty Homes‚" ML #836; "Cleanliness Is Godliness," ML #1031; "Cleanliness with Children‚" ML #1220; as well as the topics "Cleanliness" & "Safety" in the Cat Book!)

41. So for God's sake, our Family's sake, our children's sake & your own sake, obey the Lord's Letters & keep a clean, safe house! Amen?—And by so doing, you will "give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully" along these lines.—1Tim.5:14. "As much as lieth in us," we are to try to "live peaceably with all men," & to "have a good report of them which are without; lest we fall into reproach & the snare of the Devil!"—Rom.12:18; 1Tim.3:7.


42. … We've had several reports recently of Family members who were visiting their parents with their children, who ran into some real serious trouble. It seems like some of our people sometimes forget that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God" (1Cor.2:14), & that their Flatlander relatives—no matter how well-intentioned they may seem to be—are never going to see eye-to-eye with us on many aspects of our way of life.

43. … [Y]ou should bear in mind that any information a critical & inquisitive Systemite relative can pull out of such a child could possibly be misconstrued & used against you.—So beware!

44. One area in particular that most Systemites disagree with us on is child discipline. Some Family members have unwisely administered discipline to their misbehaving children while visiting System relatives, & it was so misunderstood by a Flatlander relative, they became so angry, the Family members had to flee with their children before the infuriated relative sicced the "Child Protection Agency" on them!

45. Taking our precious children back to our old "Egypt‚" bringing them into the very same Who-Are-the-Rebels environment that the Lord delivered & pulled us out of, is a very sobering responsibility that a lot of our people need to take more seriously, & certainly more prayerfully. Don't forget what Dad said about Deborah, how Mother Eve took her to visit her relatives when Deborah was only one year old…!—And from then on was virtually incorrigible, no matter what was done to try to straighten her out!


47. Corporal punishment is something that is being frowned upon more & more by today's ungodly, anti-Bible authorities, & in some places it's even been made illegal! So you need to find out what the specific laws & regulations are regarding spanking children in your particular country or state‚ as they often vary greatly from place to place. But even where spanking is tolerated by the System, if & when you spank your child, do it out of sight & earshot of any outsiders. And you should, as Dad has always said, definitely avoid using any kind of excessive force that could physically harm him or her. …

48. This is not to say that we should stop disciplining our children, we just need to adapt or alter our methods of discipline in order to avoid endangering our children or bringing reproach upon the Lord's Work. The new Raise 'em Right Childcare Book offers a number of good suggestions on how to effectively discipline a child without spanking, so we know that will be a help & blessing to you, PTL!


49. (Fam: One thing that encouraged me while reading about all this child abuse business was when I thought, "Wow, with all of our enemies & bitter backsliders who really hate us, & worldly neighbours who don't understand us, it's a miracle that we haven't been attacked more along these lines!" The Lord hasn't allowed them to. And I was thinking‚ that's really encouraging, the Lord is doing it! All we have to do is obey & do our part, & the Lord does the rest. It's not like these dangers have just now suddenly arisen. From what I've read, it seems like it's already been going on for years.—Thousands upon thousands of children have been taken from their System parents in the U.S. & other parts of the World‚ but the Lord has protected us & ours. PTL!)

50. Yes, we've had people in the States & Europe & Latin America all along.—The places where it seems the problem is the worst & where we've had big Homes with lots of neighbours, & we haven't had any children taken.—At least not permanently. Some of our Homes in Argentina & Venezuela were recently raided by the authorities, who were sicced on us by our bitter enemies, & they did take away our children there. But after investigating, interrogating & examining them physically & psychologically, the authorities realised that the charges against us were false, absolute lies, & every child was returned to us with a "clean bill of health," TTL! (See FSM 163.)

51. Another case that I remember took place some time ago was with a family in the U.S. who were camping out in a parking lot. (See FSM 154.) The authorities took their kids too, but our people got them back‚ TTL. That should serve as a good warning to the Family against camping in parking lots! Twenty years ago we might have been able to get away with that sort of thing, but it doesn't sound like that's too feasible or safe any more. Also‚ another pretty serious incident took place in N. America some years ago. (See FSM 130, pg.3.) But here again they were able to recover their children after about two months.

52. Of course, Barz' case is a different story, since the children have had to remain in the System for so long, & he has had to remain with them. But other than these few cases‚ the Lord has miraculously kept us.

53. (Fam: From all that we've read‚ Florida is one of the worst States, yet we read a recent report that some social workers went to Seek & Servant's Home because a neighbour had complained. Seek just went on the attack & came out & witnessed away to the lady & brought her kids all out, stood them there & told the social worker that the kids are highly educated & they've been missionaries & everything.—And the social worker never came back, PTL!) You can be sure they did some desperate praying!

54. The same thing happened quite a few times in Europe as well. The social workers came around to look into the home schooling, & they either gave them permission or they never came around again. It's a miracle! (Fam: It's so encouraging how the Lord's been protecting us so far.—Why should we fear? He's already doing it!)

55. The Lord's already been protecting us all along. We just have to keep praying & trusting the Lord. You should be relieved of all the heavy burdens of worry & fear of the future. Why get burdened & pressured & tossed to & fro with all the troubles the Enemy would try to discourage & distract you with? "Cast thy burden upon the Lord‚ & He shall sustain thee!"—Psa.55:22.

56. Look, we're done early, so we can now go to bed & be so happy, we don't even have to discuss all these worrisome, detailed questions. The Lord's answered them all so simply. Amen? See, it pays to trust the Lord & pray! You even get out early from what could have been a long & difficult meeting! PTL! ILY!

57. In summary: Although you definitely shouldn't worry or get fearful about what could happen if the System's "Child Abuse Industry" tries to attack you & your Home, there are some definite steps you should take:

  1. Don't worry or be fearful.—Trust the Lord!
  2. Keep living for the Lord & stay true to His Word & your convictions!
  3. Earnestly pray & claim the Lord's protection!
  4. "Avoid all appearance of evil" with your neighbours & in any contact you have with the System.
  5. "Inform Your Children" so that they're "ready to give an answer". …
  6. Be very careful & prayerful about taking your children to visit System relatives! …
  7. Keep a clean, safe Home!
  8. Use great wisdom when disciplining your children!

Do what you can, & God will do what you can't! GBAKY!