KEYWORDS: heaven, time, father, love, earth

Feast-time Token of Love!, A

Karen Zerby

Dear Family: The following Letter is to be read the evening of February 17. Please don't read it till then! Thank you!

More of Jesus' Personal Testimony

By Maria Maria #471 CM/FM 3226 11/98

Dear Ones,

1. Peter and I love each one of you. We pray that you've been using this priceless time of tanking up on the New Wine during these Feast days to the full. Hasn't it been wonderful to review some of the jewels that the Lord has poured out? We're certainly most blessed of all people on the Earth to receive such an abundance of the Lord's Words! He keeps pouring them out as fast as we can receive them!

2. Now I'd like to present to you what our wonderful Husband called His "token of love" to us this Feast. It's another glimpse into His personal life, and expresses beautifully the love and tender­ness He feels for each of us by His willingness to lay down His life for us. As you read this message, let it touch your heart and move you to do the same for the Lord—to give your life for Him and those around you.

3. It's also a call to make the most of your time, because the days are flying quickly by and the End is fast approaching! You can add this to your prayer list—that we'll all be motivated to press ahead, redeem the time, and keep the Heavenly vision.

Love‚ Mama

4. (Jesus speaking:) Before I left Earth to return to My Father‚ I told My disciples and the many believers who would follow, "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there you may be also." And now, My dear children of David, I want to tell you the good news—that at long last, My mission is nearly complete! Yes, just a while longer and we'll all be joined together for eternity. I tell you this to encourage your hearts‚ for it won't be long now! I tell you this that you might keep your eyes looking upward to Heaven, that you might live in the Heavenly vision—for it is near!

5. At this very moment, I Myself am personally tending to every detail of the final prepar­ations of your arrival and return Home, adding final touches to your mansions and your rewards. I'm adding touches of splendor and glory and brilliance where needed, strokes of extra ­luster, a wee more dazzle and glory and shine—for you, My faithful ones, who are deserving for your jobs well done.

6. As I finish up your Heavenly abodes‚ as I walk down the avenues of Heaven, checking that everything is in order and ready to receive you‚ the anticipation mounts within My heart! All who have gone before you in the Heavens eager­ly await your arrival. Just to think of this glorious moment makes My heart beat with an excitement unmatched by any other. I scarce can contain the joy I have bursting inside at the very thought of your arrival! Oh‚ the thrill in knowing it's only a short while longer till that magic moment when you'll all be Home at last!

7. In the midst of all this excitement, I slip away for a moment of quiet reflection. As I walk the halls of Heaven, taking a few quiet moments alone and in meditation, I pause to reflect a while on that momentous day when My Father called Me to His side to reconfirm My great commission. What a monumental day that was! I knew I was destined since the beginning to fulfill this mission. And I knew that as We were about to discuss the details, it was going to be of great significance. I was about to be faced with the opportunity to fulfill My crowning achievement of all time. I knew that in the decision that lay before Me, I held the awesome power to change the course of world history.

8. So My Father and I walked. We walked and We talked as the refreshing soft breeze of Heaven's gardens sang sweet tunes of melodic praises in Our honor. It was a sobering time as We looked down from the Heavens and observed the children of men and the state of the Earth under man's own rule.

9. Prior to this time, I had watched and observed the ways of man and the consequences he faced in making his own wrong choices. Since the beginning of time, I was very intricately involved and active in the affairs of mankind, yet I knew that unless I became flesh and dwelt among you, as one of you, I would not be able to fully understand human ways and be fully touched with the feelings of your infirm­ities. In order to feel as you do‚ to be tested in all points as you are, I had to become one with you—to take on the form of human flesh in ­order to become a better high priest—your mediator.

10. I looked on man's ways with disappointment. For if man, as a whole‚ had made better choices, they would have not reaped the often­times binding, restrictive and hurtful results. Yet they so often chose a path contrary to the ways of Heaven. As My Father and I walked, We looked and con­sidered all that We had created, and the cries of mankind rose up in Our ears. Heartbroken for the state of the world, We counseled together, for We knew the hour had come that was ordained since the beginning of time—and now We would need to take action to remedy the situation.

11. It was then that My Father and I went over the plan that was ordained from the foundation of the Earth, for We both knew this day would come because of man's own choices, when there would be a dire need—and the salvation of mankind would be at stake. Yet once again, My Father presented Me with the choice and a decision that I alone could make. If you, My loves, were to be salvaged from Satan's clutches, if you, for whom We created all the Heavens and all the Earth and whom We love so completely, were to make your way Home again, action needed to be taken.

12. "What must I do, Father?" I asked. "Am I to become a missionary to Earth that salvation may be given to all mankind?"

13. "Yes‚ My son, precisely. For You alone, as My only begotten Son, hold the key to redemption in Your hand."

14. In that moment the thoughts raced through My head, just to think of all that this would entail. Leave the halls of Heaven for a time to venture out on a long journey? Leave the halls of Heaven to become a missionary to Earth and the Savior of mankind? Leave the halls of Heaven to bear the burdens of all the world on My shoulders, to right the wrongs and break the bands of wickedness that threatened your souls? Leave the halls of Heaven to overcome the world and set you free? Leave the halls of Heaven and undergo physical death that you, My loves‚ might be set free from death forever? Leave the halls of Heaven to win you back, that you might return to My everlasting arms? Yes, this was My mission, a commission that I could not refuse.

15. The task would not be easy, for in order to accomplish it, I would have to take on the cloak of human flesh. I would have to become flesh and dwell among you, become one with you in every way—to live as you live, to feel as you feel, to know joy as you know joy‚ to laugh as you laugh, to cry as you cry, to suffer pain as you suffer pain. I would have to take on every one of your burdens—your pain, all your suffering—on My Own frail human shoulders. I would have to die the death of a sinner so that you might rise and live forever.

16. Looking deep into My Father's eyes and He into Mine, there was no need for further words. Every thought and every intent of My heart was made clear. Neither of Us questioned as We stood in the grace and glory and majesty of Heaven, Our hearts yearning to have all of you, Our precious children, safely Home again. We knew what sacrifice would need to be made. And so unfolded the greatest love story the universe will ever know. For there is no greater love than this—the Father giving His only begotten Son that you might live. And so I prepared for My missionary journey.

17. It was amid the cheers and jubilant praises of My Heavenly sendoff‚ in those last parting moments before My arrival on Earth, that My Father embraced Me in His arms as never before—and We wept. So great a sacrifice was unprecedented in all time, yet We could not change Our minds.

18. Our love for you was pure and steadfast, constant and unchanging, and We had no regrets. Nevertheless, the tears flowed from Our eyes, for the thought of parting was indeed a great forsaking. This remains even now a mystery to you, dear ones, for it will not be until you arrive Home to Heaven that you will be able to completely understand the full depth of this great‚ great forsaking—what is referred to in Heaven as the "ultimate forsaking‚" that you might live.

19. The tears flowed between Us in that difficult moment when it came time for My Father and Me to part. Though inseparable in all Our ways, for a time I would be the Son of Man as well as the Son of God. Yet We knew deep in Our hearts that there could be no price too big to pay in order to save you, Our dear loves. So what seemed bitter tears of forsaking turned to tears of joy, for We knew it would be worth it all—all Our life, all Our love, all Heaven has to offer—to redeem you. Having you by Our sides once again was well worth all We had to give in order to recapture you from Satan's grip.

20. For Me‚ the very thought of leaving the splendor of Heaven and all My glorious surroundings was not nearly as daunting as the thought of leaving My Father's side, for I had always known His direct presence. Although I knew He would always be with Me as I set out on My earthly mission, I also knew that as I took on the cloak of human flesh, I would be venturing out to know Him in a way I had not known Him before. Yes‚ I, your High Priest, stood in those moments on the brink of the unknown in a sense, for it was not until I became a man and walked in human flesh that I was able to be fully touched with the feelings of your infirmities.

21. It was in becoming one with you, as a human, that I was able to feel as you feel, to experience as you experience, and this was to enable Me to be your High Priest. I had to pass the same tests you must pass. I had to be tempted in all things as you are tempted, and nothing was to escape Me nor slip by Me. I knew that I would learn obedience through this experience as a man and through the things I was to suffer as I took on My earthly commission. I knew that as I became one with you in every way‚ I would never be the same.

22. I'm telling you this now, My loves—how I took on the cloak of human flesh, how I am touched with your feelings, how I was tested as you are tested—that this one thought might encourage your hearts. As you enter the great days ahead, let this spark your faith. Think on these things, My loves, and know that if I was tempted in all points as you are tempted, and if I could make it, you can make it too. I held on to Heaven and Heaven held on to Me—just as Heaven will hold on to you, as you call on Me. Though the dark days are falling‚ Heaven will bring you through to victory time and time again.

23. Let this thought encourage your hearts, and remember that in flesh I was no different than you. I had to make the same choices. I was faced with the same tests. I had to experience the same battles and trials. This was My great testing: to become a man, to take on human flesh and all its frailties and weaknesses, so that you could live forever. Think about this, and let it spur you on in the days to come, that just as I resisted the wiles of Satan, so can you‚ through My Word and the eternal victory which I have already given you!

24. I was the Son of God, encased in frail human flesh. I took on your form so that I might better understand you. And in order to understand you fully, I had to make Myself subject to the same weaknesses you battle. I had to know what it was like to endure, to fight, to withstand, to resist temptation, to feel weary. In order to fully understand you, I had to experience these things.

25. And yet I came with another mission as well—not only one of understanding you, but helping you to understand Me and My love‚ and My Father's love. To do that, I had to retain My knowledge of Heaven, My knowledge of My mission on Earth, and the connection with My Father, in order to pass those things on to you and be a sample of the love that we have for each of you. But I had to fight to keep the vision just as you have to fight to keep the vision.

26. When I say that I was no different from you, I mean that at any time I could have chosen to stop what I was doing, to quit the mission of love that I was on. I could have said that it was too difficult, that I was too weary, that I was not received as I should have been. It's much the same with you.

27. You have more of My Word and My promises than any other people who have ever lived. You have more knowledge of Heaven and My will and My ways and My plan than anyone else who has ever walked this Earth, save Me. I have put within you the knowledge of these things, and continue to feed you the New Wine of Heaven so that you might have the strength, as I had the strength, to complete your mission. But, like it was for Me, it is your choice. My Father could not do it for Me. Each day I had to decide anew. I had to rise early when I was tired in order to go out and commune with My Father and receive strength for the day. So it is with you. The same communication with Heaven is available to you, My precious ones.

28. Just as I retained the knowledge of Heaven and of My mission on Earth, even so have I given you a clear knowledge of My plan for you, and your mission to bring others to Me, through laying down your life in love. Even as My Father was proud of Me, so am I proud of you, My precious ones. I love you, and believe Me when I say that I understand. I too was tested and tempted, and I too felt weary and tired. But My Father gave Me strength to hang on, just as I give you strength, as you look to Me. It won't be long now, My precious loves, before you are joined with Me in Heaven, never again to have to experience the severe testings of Earth. I love you.

29. I'm sharing these details with you of how I forsook all and came down from Heaven because I want you to know the great‚ immense love that drives Me to you. I want you to know that though My forsaking was so great, I have no regrets. I want you to know, My dear ones, how greatly I anticipate the day when we will be reunited in our Heavenly Home. I tell you this at this time so that you might keep your eyes on Heaven and let this be the driving force in your lives in the days ahead. For this truly was My key to victory—I had to keep My eyes on Heaven. I had to set My face like a flint and live with the vision of Heaven ever before Me, and this pulled Me through.

30. Therefore look up, dear ones, for the time is near when we will be reunited in our Heavenly Home! And oh, what a day that will be! How My love for you thrives! Therefore‚ draw on this love so that it may carry you through the days ahead, even as I, when I walked on the Earth, also learned to draw on My Father's love and it carried Me through. It carried Me back Home to Heaven. My love will do the same for you‚ as you depend on Me to carry you through.

31. Now, My loves, as I'm putting the final touches on your Heavenly abodes, making ready to receive you Home, you too must continue your preparations. Make them sure, make them steady, and make yourselves ready for that glori­ous day‚ as you prepare yourselves for the final hour.

32. This is your commission now: Prepare yourselves, for the night is falling. And remember, I am near. Open your eyes and look upon the signs of '99, and know that the time is fast approaching; it is even now at the doors. World conditions are worsening at breakneck speed and there is no turning from the course which they have set themselves upon.

33. Now is the time, My brave children of David. This is the eve of the great day of miracles! Though the night falls upon the face of the Earth, these are the days when you will shine; therefore, prepare! This is the eve of the days of great signs and wonders that I will do on your behalf. Therefore, be glad and let this encourage your hearts, for I am here to see you through.

34. Mark your days and use them wisely. Prepare by continuing to read‚ absorb, and drink in all that I have rained down upon you these many months. Prepare yourselves by hearkening to My voice, by receiving My Words in the intimacy of our bedchamber. Let them be your guiding light. Continue to move forward, ever forward, onward and upward. For as you fix your eyes on Heaven, Heaven will shine down upon your faces, and this will give you strength.

35. Be encouraged, for the time is near when I will descend from above with a mighty shout! Every eye will see‚ and every ear will hear as I rock the Earth in that day of great and final victory, final triumph, final overcoming, as we are joined once again, never more to part.

36. It won't be long now, My loves! The day that I have long awaited draws near, and your glory will shine from the ends of Earth and throughout the Heavens. You will shine with the glory of endurance and yieldedness. You will shine with the glory of victory. You will shine as soldiers returning from a battle victorious. You will glow with the light of victory‚ for in Me you will have overcome! Yes, you will shine! Not with your own light, but because of your yieldedness! You, My brave and valiant ones, will be highly honored before all nations, because you held on, as I held on. Therefore be encouraged and prepare to march on strong! (End of message from Jesus)