KEYWORDS: lord, love, people, sheep, things, message

Witnessing and Follow-up Pitfalls!

Karen Zerby

By MariaMaria #490 CM/FM 3245 3/99

Dear Family‚

1. Peter and I are so proud of you for your dedication and commitment to reach the lost with the Lord's message. In this GN, we'd like to share with you‚ in a question-and-answer format‚ some wonderful counsel which the Lord has recently given us on the subject of witnessing. We think you'll all find this very helpful advice, although some of the questions are particularly geared toward you young people.

2. Most of these questions were originally generated by our Family members in Africa, where they have found witnessing and follow-up to be markedly different than in the rich Western countries. While a few points may be unique to Africa or other similar fields, I'd like to emphasize that, for the most part, the principles and lessons in this GN can be applied across the board. These messages are not just for the Family in Africa. I'm sure that most of you will find them very applicable in your fields as well.

3. You may think that some of these questions are a bit simplistic or that you don't have that problem personally or in your Home, but please don't pass over the Lord's counsel. ­Peter and I have heard from quite a number of people over the past few years con­cerning personal witnessing and follow-up, and how overcon­fidence, lack of counsel, prayer or willingness to receive the checks their teammates were trying to give them has landed them in a heap of trouble. Others have struggled with falling in love with the sheep and friends they were ministering to‚ and consequently faced emotional battles and trying times because they didn't keep their emotions under control and keep their ­vision straight from the start.

4. If you pray for an open mind and heart before beginning‚ I'm sure you'll find these ques­tions and the Lord's answers both helpful and convicting. Every point may not apply to you, but I'm sure at least a few of the shoes will fit! As you read this GN, please check your heart to make sure that you're upholding the right standard in your personal witnessing and as a Home.

5. And remember, if you have any questions that are not answered in this GN, you can always go to the Lord yourself—and you'll need to‚ in order to hear more specifically from Him about your local witnessing and the individ­uals you're ministering to. Also bear in mind that these questions are not answered in full and complete detail. These answers from the Lord give general counsel and instruction, but He expects you to get the details for your situation from Him!

Popularity and Attention

Over Being a Foreigner

6. Question: How can I prepare for or cope with all the popularity and attention I get while out, being a foreigner?

7. (Jesus speaking:) If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciple, knowing the truth and staying free from the bondage of the fear of the opinions of men and the lust of the flesh of desiring and hankering after popularity.

8. You must keep your eyes on Me and on My life-giving Words. Only through this and your desperation to remain as My tool will I be able to use you to the full and in the ways you desire to be used.

9. You must remember that it will be Me working through you. When you come face to face with popularity, you must remember to be prayerful and careful, knowing that this is a perverse and sinful generation, and taking into account that I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.

10. As a city set on a hill cannot be hid, so others will notice you, even when you're not trying to be noticed or to draw attention. But not every house on a hill is loved or respected. Some see a city set apart as a convenient place to intrude as a thief. So beware that you do not forget that I want to be Master of the house, and in order to prove that you are a good, fortified, worthy house, you must let Me be just that. The light from this house must be Mine, because without Me you can do nothing good. With­out Me you will end up in a very unpleasant mess.

11. So if you want to know how to prepare for all the popularity that you will receive as a foreigner when going out, this is the key: Keep in close communication with Me. Love and study My Word. Create a habit of turning all of your thoughts into prayers so that I can speak to you at all times. Keep your heart right with Me so that I can lead and guide you. Remaining in close communication with Me is in itself excellent preparation for popularity. And if you're walking with Me and listening to the counsel that I give you, I will be able to mightily use you. (End of message from Jesus.)

Using the Attraction,

Avoiding the Pride

12. Question: Because I'm a foreigner, the locals are sometimes attracted to me. But are they attracted to me or to the Lord in me? How can I keep all the attention from going to my head?

13. (Jesus speaking:) It's not you they're really attracted to—it's Me in you! They that walk in pride I am able to abase. I care for My sheep and I want to use you to reach them, for I have no hands but yours‚ no mouth but the one I have given you. And I have given you My anointing and spirit, which they see and are drawn to. You also possess natural beauty and charm‚ which attracts them to you. But the deeper and lasting attraction is the lure that they feel toward My Spirit.

14. It is easy to get confused between your natural charm and the attraction of My Spirit in you. But My anointing will not be there for you when you ignore Me and think that you are the one they are attracted to, that you are their leader‚ and that only you know them and can minister to them.

15. When you are tempted to get lifted up, when you begin to feel like it is you and your personality to which they are attracted, or when pride begins to take hold in your heart, then seek Me for humility. Remember that every good and perfect gift comes down from Heaven—from Me, the Father of lights—and you can of your own self do nothing. Use the gift of attraction that I have given you for My glory lest the gift become a hindrance, causing you to wander down a dangerous road of pride and mistakes that will surely follow.

16. I am your Shepherd. Ask Me to shepherd you as you shepherd My flock. I can surely speak to you and help you to keep your own strength and power, your own attractiveness, in proper per­spective. Be not lifted up in your own conceit‚ thinking of yourself more highly than you ought. I am strength. I am power. I am attractiveness. It is in looking unto Me that you have such gifts and talents.

17. I tell you, My loves, beware of the Enemy's seductively tempting snare of pride and of trying to attract My sheep to yourself. I want to minister to them and I need you and want to use you to do this. So I have made you to shine forth brightly; this is My plan. I want the world to see Me burning in you. This is a good thing and can be a means to bring more fruit into My Kingdom. But continue to check in with Me, making sure that the light in you is My fire burning and not just smoldering‚ choking flames of yourself that will eventually choke you and My precious lost sheep. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

18. (Mama: ) The above two messages apply to a number of fields where foreigners, especially those from rich Western countries‚ are looked up to, respected, or even idolized in some cases. As the Lord brought out, it's a dangerous thing to begin thinking that it's only you that the sheep are attracted to, since that can lead you down the path of pride and mistakes. It's really the Lord's love and His Spirit in you that people are attracted to. (See also "Glamour of Glory," ML #328.)

Do the Humble Thing:

Become One!

19. You'd probably find it helpful to review Dad's wise words of counsel in the Letter "Become One," where he explains that the most fruitful missionaries are those who try to blend in with the local people and take on their customs and adapt to their way of living, as much as is possible and convenient, while still maintaining our Family standard. (See ML #208.)

20. It's a poor testimony and sample when our people come across as if they're above the people they're ministering to. This is mostly a matter of the spirit that you carry, although wearing inappropriate clothing‚ make-up, etc., can add to it. Your appearance is a big part of your ­witness, since "man looketh on the outward appearance."

21. We've received reports not only from Africa but from China, India and other countries where some of our people—young and old alike—haven't portrayed or shown the best of samples to those they're ministering to. Some talk negatively about the local people, their food, customs, dress, etc., while they bring in and exalt American or other Western-style clothing, haircuts and attitudes.

22. This is a bad sample, folks! We're supposed to be simple samples of the Lord's love—diamonds of dust so that Jesus can be seen through us, not so full of ourselves that Jesus is nearly blotted out! Please check your heart and life personally to make sure that, as the Lord said, "the light in you is My fire burning and not just smoldering, choking flames of yourself that will eventually choke you and My precious lost sheep."

23. It takes humility to become one. Truly blending in with the local people means that you have to forsake some of your own Western ways and maybe even some of your own particular styles of dress‚ make-up or jewelry that you brought with you. Those are some of the ­"trinkets" that the Lord has issued the call to "trash" if you're going to be His missionary. So take up the challenge to again do the humble thing—in this case, by becoming one and being a positive sample and testimony to the local people.

24. Many of the great missionaries and men and women of God of years past won their first souls through their sample. The local people knew that they meant business and truly loved them be­cause they were willing to forsake so much to come to their land and live as they did. But what will people think if they see that you've carried your old life with you to their country? That doesn't show much love or respect for their customs or culture, does it? And it's certainly not going to help convince them that your message is worth very much, if you're not even willing to give up some of your habits, hang-ups, attitudes and lifestyles for it.

25. If this is a problem or weak area in your Home, please unitedly discuss what areas need to be strengthened and make some practical goals to shoot for. Go on a "become one" push. Put your heart and soul into reaching the lost in your field with His message, both through the literature you pass out, your words and witness‚ and your personal sample. Amen? (See also "The Ugly Americans‚" ML #2349‚ Vol.17; "Man Looketh on the Outward Appearance‚ Part 1‚" ML #3124:49–85, Lifelines 24.)

Beasts or Sheep?

26. Question: How can I discern who is worthy and not judge people by their outward appearance, but be able, like You, to look at their hearts? As a young woman, I find it difficult at times to know whether some of the men that I witness to are truly sheep or are just interested in something else. How can I know whe­ther I'm wasting my time or not? And if they are sheep, how can I keep a soft heart and not get annoyed or nasty when I think these men are more like beasts than tender sheep?

27. (Mama:) This next message focuses on the particular aspect of our Family women wit­nessing to System men, and the attraction that the men can show toward our women. When the Lord talks about our women "ministering to these men," He's speaking in spiritual terms‚ about feeding them the Word, not any sort of physical or sexual interaction or affections.

28. (Jesus speaking:) You ask for a soft heart, and I say to you, that which will keep your heart soft is simply My Spirit. For it is not within you to have such a softness and tenderness, because it is too easy for you to look on the outward appearance and see people as they seem to be. It is with My love that you will be able to see beyond to what is truly within their hearts.

29. Although the spiritual principle is simple—to love them with My love, which is greater than your human love—I know that applying such a principle is very difficult, for you dwell within the bounds of human flesh. So I say, first come to Me for My help to see things with spiritual eyes rather than carnal eyes, to see these men's hearts through the glasses of My Spirit. Secondly, I ask you to seek Me continually for My counsel on them—how I view them and how you can best speak to them, help them, encourage them and feed them. These two foundation principles will help you to see things more clearly and to act accordingly.

30. Just because someone appears to be open to your witness, it does not automatically make them a sheep. I know My sheep by their hearts, not by their outward appearance, as must you. Some of these men may not be tender sheep, but may actually be wolves in sheep's clothing. You can only discern this from the inside, not from the outward appearance. This is why it's important to come to Me and hear from Me in prophecy about how I see them. Then you will know what manner of men they are.

31. It is difficult when you are faced with personalities such as these, personalities you may not fully understand. I will give you some measure of discernment, but you must come and ask Me what you need to know, and I can show you the details of what is within these men's hearts. I can show you their sincerity, or their lack of it, if you will but ask Me. This is truly the key if you wish to be sure.

32. If you must know such things when you're with someone or even in the middle of a conversation with them, simply ask Me. I will speak to your heart and give you the witness, the wisdom‚ and the discernment to know which direction to go. The key is still to seek Me, whether you do so while with the men or afterwards when you have time to get quiet with Me and let Me speak. Keep coming to Me‚ for I can show you even if these men's feelings will change‚ or if their heart is not right. I can make things clear to you.

33. Thank you for reaching them, for giving of yourselves, for laying down your lives to bring them closer to Me. I know it comes with great sacrifice. But let us counsel together as to how to approach My sheep. Come to Me and I will answer you and show you the hearts of those you witness to. I will give you the grace, the love‚ and the tenderness to gather them into your bosoms, into your lives. I will give you the determination not to let the little things they do aggravate you.

34. I know you have need of patience with some of these who lag behind, or who try your patience with their ways, but I am the only One Who has the patience you need, and I am willing to abundantly pour it forth. Patience is faith‚ and faith comes from hearing My Word. So as you put yourself in a position to hear from Me about these you witness to, you will hear My Words‚ and this will give you the faith‚ which will bring you the patience that you will need to continue to love and minister to these men.

35. Ask Me, and I can give you the special keys that will unlock their hearts, so that you can see inside and understand them better and see whether they are beasts or sheep. Look through My looking glass, through the channel, the tunnel of My sight. This you will have as you come to Me and hear from Me in prophecy. I love you, My loves. Thank you for being My love for others. (End of message from Jesus.)

36. (Mama: ) The above question and ­answer is good counsel for our women in par­ticular, especially our teen and SGA women, who haven't had as much experience with System men. The Lord seems to give our Family women a mystical beauty that goes beyond the beauty of the flesh, and System men see this and are naturally attracted to not only you, but the Lord in you. It is often the physical attraction of a man to a beautiful woman that can serve as the bait for a witness, and the Lord uses this to bring someone to hear His message. But in order to keep one of the Lord's sheep on the line, there has to be more than just a physical attraction. The Lord has to shine through the woman, as a yielded vessel of His love.

37. Let's say that a woman may meet two men: one who is genuinely a sheep, and another who is only interested in the woman. Both of the men may naturally be attracted to the woman, but the one who is the sheep will soon be drawn to the Lord and His Spirit in the woman. If she's being a good channel of the Lord's Words and love, he'll get hooked on the Lord and the Word, and can be fed and brought along. Whereas, in time, the other fellow will wander off to find the company of other women who will give him the more shallow, fleshly relationship or contact that he's seeking. He won't be interested in hanging around the Spirit, so to speak.

38. But it can be somewhat tricky to in­itially discern who's really a sheep and who is just interested in the flesh or in getting to know you better. It's not always clear during your first meeting or time spent witnessing how someone is going to pan out. And, of course, since our time is precious, we don't want to waste it on someone who isn't hungry or appreciative.

39. While the answer given above doesn't address every angle or possible scenario, it again emphasizes the master key which can open all doors—hearing from the Lord at every turn. It's still important for you women to be accompanied by other Family members when you go out, and to stay in close touch with the Lord and in counsel with the other members of your Home about your interaction with men who appear to be interested in you. Hear from the Lord regularly to confirm that you're headed in the right direction and not being led down the wrong path. It's best for you women to be accompanied by a man when possible.

Letting Others Minister

To Your Sheep

40. Question: It's hard for me when others minister to my friends and contacts. I worry that other people might not understand them well enough or feed them the right things. How can I guard against being possessive or feeling like I should take care of them, since I know them best?

41. (Jesus speaking:) It is nothing of yourself. I am the One Who works through you‚ Who understands through you, Who leads and guides through you. So when you feel that you understand your friends so well, you must realize that I am the One giving you the anointing and the understanding. So I am just as easily able to give a portion of that anointing to another.

42. The secret lies in trust and in prayer. Trust that I am able to counsel through another. Trust that I am able to give help and aid through another. It doesn't all have to come from you. It's good to counsel. It's good to teamwork on these things. For if it all came from you, then you would get proud and lifted up. So I make sure that no one has everything that another person needs. I spread it out for this reason. (End of message from Jesus.)

43. (Mama: ) Another reason why it's so im­portant to be open to others giving your sheep or friends input is because that serves as a safeguard to you—keeping your sheep from, either unknowingly or knowingly, weakening your con­victions or pulling you off the wall. If others are aware of the state of your sheep‚ then they can be a check and a help to you.

44. For example‚ if the person you're ministering to is very strong-willed and opinion­ated in certain areas which you're a little weaker in‚ it can be a problem unless you have other Family members helping you. If these friends have doubts about some of our doctrines that you've battled yourself and are still struggling to get the victory over, then it helps to have co-workers to help you contend for the faith. Otherwise, you might gradually become weakened and lose the con­viction to clearly and firmly explain your beliefs. "Where one can chase a thousand, two can put ten thousand to flight!"

You Pulling Them‚

Not Them Pulling You!

45. Question: How can I guard myself against getting pulled into the world by those I witness to, and instead pull them closer to You?

46. (Jesus speaking: ) First there must be a willing mind and a willing heart. There must be an openness to My will and My Word. You must agree and see the need for someone else to get involved in your life and interaction with the friends that you're ministering to. You must agree to and see the need for checks and balances, and be open to counsel and shepherding. You must ask for this. You must solicit it. And if you do not, then you must be open enough to receive the help of others when they come to you.

47. My help and instruction will often come in the form of another person, or if another person is not immediately available, you can seek Me, and I will counsel you and correct you and keep you on the straight and narrow. You must receive My direct instruction regarding the matter and those you are witnessing to. It is also important that you share this instruction I give you with your shepherds and counselors, so they can help you apply it. As My Word says, in the multitude of counselors, there is safety. So don't neglect either hearing from Me or keeping in touch with your co-workers concerning your interactions with those you minister to.

48. It's a dangerous mission to rescue the hearts and souls of men held captive by the ­Enemy—treading far into the Enemy's territory in order to do so—and to keep yourself from getting ensnared. The way that a soldier accomplishes this, as he heads out into hostile territory, is by having a direct link with head­quarters. They can inform him of the pitfalls and the danger spots, and they can warn him and pull him back if he gets too close to the danger areas. In this way he is able to successfully maneuver through to the prisoner who has been held hostage, rescue him‚ and make his way out again!

49. This is a mission that requires direct contact with headquarters, and counsel and guidance from your teammates, for it is deadly and dangerous. (End of message from Jesus.) (See also "On Guard," ML #1377, GN Book 3; "The Devil's Challenge to Our Garden of Eden," ML #2526:43-92, Lifelines 19.)

Well-meaning Friends and Projects

50. Question: The needs of the people here are so great, and we want to do all we can to help them. Some well-meaning friends have been asking us to help with a project they're involved in. How can we know what project will really help people the most and be the most fruitful in getting out the message, changing hearts and lives? How can we keep from wasting time on things that are less than the best?

51. (Jesus speaking:) The needs of the sheep that I bring across your path are great. They are so great. How I weep for them! How My heart and soul longs for them, as a man longs for drink in a dry and thirsty land. My heart is broken for them, and when your heart is touched, you are feeling what I feel. When you see the great need and the great receptivity of these people, when you are touched and pulled and affected‚ it is because of My love in you.

52. You must remember that it is My love that inspires your love for these people, and then you must ask Me how to go about helping them. If you remember that it is My love that is moving you, then it goes without saying that I know the best way you can help.

53. What happens is that sometimes people feel that it is their own love‚ their own personality, the love of their own heart alone that is touched by these people and these situations. Then they think that they must do something themselves, without Me. But if it is My love that is moving you, then it must be My plans that show you how to express this love. For if you proceed with your own ideas and thus depart from Me, from My Word, or from My Family, then you will not be effective in helping these people. Your love will be squandered; it will be like money poured into pockets with holes. It will be wasted, it will not be effective, and you will not be able to be the help that you would like to be.

54. But if you stay close to Me, if you strive to do My every bidding, if you allow yourself to be shepherded and guided and helped, if you continually seek My face, if you measure what you are doing against My Word, check it with Godly counsel, and above all continually ask Me for My leading in prophecy or through the counsel of others, then you will not be ineffective. Just as I gave you the love that pulls you toward these people and these projects‚ I will give you the way to carry out your desire to help.

55. When you feel your heart pulled and touched and broken for people and projects and situations, then bring those to Me and seek My leading. I will keep you on the right path. I will also cause you to be effective and fruitful.

56. Remember that you cannot help anyone when you are not being well-fed and nourished yourself by My Word. You cannot feed people if your own storage of food is empty. You will be able to help people just as much as you yourself are being helped by Me. So do not fear to let your heart be touched, but stay close to Me in every way so that you can be as effective as possible and as strong as possible to meet the demands of this very important ministry of witnessing to and loving My sheep for Me. (End of message from Jesus)

Staying Away from Compromise

57. Question: How can I keep from com­­promising the message for gain?

58. (Dad speaking: ) To keep from compromising for gain, just keep the message first, the Lord's will and lost souls, and trust Him for the money and material goods you need. He'll never fail you! It's a simple principle, but it's not always easy to practice it. It sometimes costs you in the short term, and in the long term it requires a lot of love‚ wisdom and tact with your friends, contacts and kings. I know‚ because I faced such situations many a time when I was on Earth.

59. Back before the Family began, when I was teaching Christian school and had two houses and a steady income, the Lord tested me on compromise. He told me to go and sell all I had and follow Him, preaching the Gospel full-time. Imagine! Here I had a wife and four young children to support, a stack of bills each month, and the Lord wanted me to give up my job and launch out by faith. Well, I did, and I'm so thankful I did! We witnessed all over the U.S.‚ the Lord supplied every need, and our witnessing eventually turned into the Family. What would have happened if I had put money in front of the Lord's message, material things in front of following Him fully? We wouldn't have the Family we have today!

60. In the early days of the Family we were often faced with situations where we could have compromised for gain. We had to work with kings such as Fred Jordan and Brother Paul, who supplied us with housing or funds or both, and wanted us to do things their way, since they were footing the bills. We did do things their way to some extent, but only as long as we could stay true to our principles and keep the Lord's work as our first priority.

61. We had to make sacrifices in little ways to keep them happy, and use lots of love, wisdom and tact to keep from offending them, but we always kept the Lord in first place. In working with Fred, some of our hippies had to do such things as pledge allegiance to the flag, or dress up and appear on his TV show, or go to fund-raisers and meet his supporters, things that our dear revolutionaries weren't too happy about! But Fred supplied us with places in Texas and California where we won hundreds upon hundreds of disciples and thousands upon thousands of souls, and made news around the world! The Family really took off during that time!

62. Eventually Fred wanted us to compromise our basic principles, so we broke with him. Well, he broke with us. He threw us off his properties and locked us out of some of them, and that's a story I've told you before! But while we worked with him, we bent here and there without breaking. If he wanted us to do something, we prayed about it. And if we could do it without compromising our principles and it resulted in the Gospel being preached, we did it. We were willing to become all things to all men, that we might by all means save some.

63. So when you're working with friends who are helping to support you and they ask you to do something for them, the first thing to do is pray about it. If the Lord indicates it's okay—and it's within the bounds of the Charter and the Letters, of course—then it's fine to do it. But if it's outside the bounds of the Charter and our basic beliefs, or the Lord says no‚ then you'll have to very sweetly and tactfully explain to your friends why you can't do so. Share the Word with them, read the prophecy to them (if the Lord indicates you can), explain why you can't comply with their requests, in a loving way. You don't want to offend them, but you don't want to offend the Lord most of all!

64. Be true to your convictions and stand on the Word. Sometimes your friends and kings will accept it, whether it's gracefully or with grumbles, and you can keep working together. But if they won't‚ then you may have to say‚ like Martin Luther did, "Here I stand; I can do no other." He couldn't deny the Lord's Word, salvation by grace. They wanted him to compromise. In fact, the penalty for not compro­mising was excommunication, and he faced poss­ible death as a heretic! But he was true to his convictions and the Lord kept him and supplied wonderfully for him‚ just like He'll do for you if you're true to Him and His Word.

65. So be sweet and loving with your friends and kings, but if it comes down to a choice between them and their support or the Lord's will‚ then stand strong for the Lord. You won't be sorry! You may lose a king or their support‚ but the Lord will raise up new ones, if necessary, and more than repay you for any lost support. He'll never fail His children who are true to Him. Don't you fail Him by compromising for gain, okay? I love you! (End of mess­age from Dad.) (See also "Mama's Memos!—No.7," ML #3229‚ GN 830.)

66. (Mama:) It can be a temptation for anyone to compromise the message or water it down a little in order to receive the support of those you're ministering to, particularly to kings or queens that help you a great deal. But as Dad has said so many times in the Letters—and as he repeats above—it's not worth it to compromise for material gain, because that only weakens your testimony and causes the Lord to withdraw His blessings.

67. You have to make a decision, both personally and as a Home, that you're going to hold God to His Word and not compromise for material gain—or any other gain, for that matter, even to keep kings and friends. The Lord has access to more wealth than you could poss­ibly need‚ and if you're doing His will and His work, and obeying Him by staying true to His mess­age, then He's promised to supply your every need. Put Him on the spot and He'll answer!

68. You may also be tempted to compromise for the sake of friendship sometimes. Maybe a local person you've been witnessing to has grown close to you and you don't want to strain your friendship by sharing anything that might make them uncomfortable or that they might not agree with. When questions come up about our contro­versial beliefs, maybe you tend to sidestep the issue so you won't risk offending them or losing their friendship. You need to have wisdom and tact, of course, but what can you do in such situations?

69. (Dad speaking:) Yes, by all means use wisdom and tact when you're witnessing, as well as lots of love and prayer! You want to be sure that your words are the Lord's Words, the right words for that needy soul at the right time, which will have the right effect and hopefully bring forth the right fruit in his or her heart.

70. But along with love, prayer, wisdom and tact, you also need to keep your convictions strong. This Family didn't begin by my only telling people acceptable things that would make them happy and that wouldn't offend them in any way. It began with my faithfulness to pass on the Lord's message, whatever it was.

71. Often the Lord's message was different and controversial, and that's how He's made us and kept us. We are unique‚ His called-out church of the Endtime, and there's no one else in the world quite like us! That's what attracts people to us, the wild, free spirit we have, the Lord's love and joy in our hearts that we can share with others, and the wonderful lifestyle He's given us as we have tried to follow Him fully.

72. So when you compromise that message or are afraid to pass it on to others at the right time and in the right circumstances, you're not doing anyone a favor. First, you're not being faithful to the message the Lord has given you to give them, and it makes the Lord sad that you're ashamed of it. He can't bless them with His truth‚ and He can't bless you for passing it on to them.

73. Second, you're not doing the person you're witnessing to any favors, because it's the truth that will set them free and that will help them. Despite how concerned you are about keeping their friendship, you won't keep it through watering down your convictions and not standing up for what you believe. That's not what attracted them to you in the first place, and that's not what will keep them your friend—or if it does, that's not the type of friend you really want or need.

74. Third, you're also hurting yourself when you silence the voice of conviction, the still‚ small voice of the Lord directing you to say something or share something. As you numb yourself to that voice and that conviction, or convince yourself that you'll share whatever it is "later," then you numb yourself to the Lord. And little by little you begin to drift from the Lord, until you find yourself alienated from the life of God, wondering why you should believe in this or that doctrine anyway. That's a path that can lead you right out of the Family if you don't watch out.

75. How can you sell others on your mess­age unless you're sold on it yourself? If you're not convinced of your beliefs and enthusiastic about them, how can you expect anyone else to be? In such a case‚ you'll wind up a poor witness and salesman for the Lord, and you'd do well to examine your own heart‚ mind and motives to see where you stand with the Lord.

76. Stay true to the Lord's message, folks! Stay true to our beliefs! God blesses your ­giving out‚ not your withholding. Those who withhold, it tends to poverty, both spiritual and physical. You only hurt yourself and others by withholding, although you should share everything in love and prayer, of course‚ like I mentioned above.

77. You have spiritual riches beyond compare in the Words the Lord has given you, truth that is so explosive that it can blow the Devil's lies to shreds, and love that is so wonderful that it can change hearts and save lives for eternity! Don't neglect passing them on. Don't be ashamed of the Lord's message. If you're a faithful witness, the Lord Himself will be proud of you, and will reward you with His "Well done" in front of all the saints and angels of Heaven! Then you'll enter into His joy with a clear conscience, knowing that you did your best for Him. And you'll have lots of company in Heaven, souls who are thankful for your faithfulness and conviction. I love you! (End of message from Dad.) (See also "Conviction and Honesty‚" Maria #51, DB 3.)

Who Runs Your Life and Projects?

78. Question: Where do we draw the line and how do we put our foot down when our kings, friends or contacts start wanting to run our lives and projects because they're helping to support us? How can we include them in a loving way, but also stand our ground when necessary?

79. (Jesus speaking:) Kings always want to rule, but you must help them to see that the spiritual must rule above all—My will and ways. Be loving as you present this to them, but let your love be tempered by firmness and conviction.

80. Although they are the kings, and ­worthy of respect, you are the prime ministers, the counselors. You lean on them for your physical needs, but they and many others lean on you for their spiritual needs, which are more import­ant. So in the spirit‚ you are the rulers. Therefore you must seek Me for My will in these matters, for I am the King of kings. I can show you what to do and what not to do, and what to say to your kings and how to say it.

81. They need to know that they are the ones that make the project possible physically, but you are making the project possible spiritually. Kings understand the physical well, but do not always understand the spiritual, so you must help them.

82. Give them the Word, and they will learn and they will understand. Bring them closer through the Word, through counseling with them, through listening to them‚ but also speaking to them‚ teaching them. They are your protectors and providers‚ but you are their prophets and priests. (End of message from Jesus) (For more on working with kings, please see the following Letters: "Kings‚" ML #212; "Problem Kings," ML #217:1-18; "Rules for Rulers‚" ML #218; "Honor the King," ML #2383, Lifelines 18.)

Living Acts 2:44-45 More

83. Question: I have a close friend or supporter who helps me a lot and is a blessing. How can I fight to continue to live Acts 2:44-45 and use the material blessings and funds I receive for the good of the overall work and Family?

84. (Jesus speaking:) Oh, little one, can you not take that step of faith and trust Me? I have kept you, provided for you, guarded you, filled you with talents and training, and have prepared you for this day. I have supplied your needs from My Own riches. Can you not trust Me to continue to supply? I would give you much more than these few meager provisions and supply of needs.

85. I would supply richly and abundantly for My whole Family‚ but it's hard to find a man or woman of faith who will receive My blessings, and trusting in Me, pass them on. It's such a temptation of Satan to cling to the things I give you, to seek to preserve and protect yourself. This is a lack of faith and a lack of trust in Me.

86. Every good and perfect gift comes down to you from the Father of Lights through Me, and I give abundantly to My children. Though some do give what I have blessed them with to others, many more do not. They are thankful for the gifts, but they do not allow Me the chance to multiply them through their sharing them with others. I'm happy to give to My children, but it saddens Me to see the gifts that I've given—when they are more than enough for you—not shared or passed along or used to further My work. It makes Me sad when what I've given for all stops at the one I first give it to; when the streams of My blessings upon all are stopped by selfishness and lack of faith.

87. Where is your faith? You must build up your faith in My most holy Word, for I would supply your every need, all your needs, through My riches in glory. Daily I knock, bringing kings before you and riches to your door, but often the blessings that I give through these ones stop with you. Too often even their gifts and blessings do not increase because you do not let them flow to others also. Gifts do not increase or grow when they do not enrich the giver, and the giver is not enriched when you take the gift to yourself and not as unto Me and My work.

88. Let the giver know that what he gives, he gives unto the Lord and not just to you; that he offers his sacrifice to God and to God's work, that it may accomplish a greater good. Let Me bless both the giver and the receiver of the gift—the giver for bringing his tithes and offerings unto Me, and you as a faithful servant in My household who receives these offerings as a blessing from Me for the good of all.

89. Be not as Hophni and Phinehas of old (1 Sam.2:12-17), or as those who abuse their service to Me, who take the sacrifices brought to My temple as though offered unto themselves alone. Do not be as those who seek to make themselves rich in My service‚ yet look not ­after the people nor the household of God.

90. Seek not great things for yourself, nor be as the hireling who comes only to fleece the sheep. Be good shepherds of My flock and the great herds of My Kingdom‚ for there is great wealth that I would bring into the house of David. But how can I bless all with great wealth if what I bring to your doors stops at you? It must not stop with you but must be passed along. Let it flow through you and not just to you.

91. You must teach men to give as unto Me and not as unto men as man pleasers, that you as the receiver may be free from bondage to them or dependency. I must be lifted up in these matters. For if men give to you as unto men, they will seek something in return from you—your favor‚ your friendship, or your flesh. Receiving such gifts to yourselves will become a snare to you, and I want you free to serve Me.

92. You are not your own or another's‚ but Mine; I have bought you with a great price. Be My priests, faithful with My blessings, for these provisions that I bring to My house are to grow and prosper My work. They belong to Me, and you as My servant should be faithful with the things of My house, for it is the house of God and you are as servants in the household of God.

93. Do I not feed you? Do I not clothe you? Do I not care for you? So do not be overly covet­ous when I send or give extra provisions and extra blessings to you. Rather, share them cheerfully and happily with others, knowing that you are pleasing Me and are being faithful in that which is least and little. And know that through your giving and your sacrifice I will be able to bring many more blessings into My house.

94. Be faithful and not covetous, not selfish, not seeking to save yourself, but lay your life upon the altar of sacrifice in service to Me. This is pleasing in My sight. For if you seek to save your own life‚ you will lose it; but if you lose your life in My service and the service of others‚ you will save it. Freely you have ­received‚ so freely give. He that withholds tends to poverty, but he that gives will increase his riches.

95. Prove Me herewith, and see if I will not pour out such a blessing that your house will not hold it. As you pour out, I will pour in, and you cannot outpour Me. As you give it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together shall it be given unto you. He that is faithful in that which is least shall be made steward over much.

96. Prove Me by trust­ing Me and giving, and see if I will not bless you with more than you can hold. As fast as you give, I will supply. Simply believe. He that gives to his own hurt performs a great act of faith in My sight, for it shows that he has not spared his own life, but has poured it out as a living sacrifice before Me. This is pleasing and brings on My Spirit and My blessing.

97. So why will you be in poverty? Why will you be fearful for the provisions of the day, when I would have you rich and giving, flowing and pouring forth to others? I would have you free from fear of lacking, free from being bound, free from seeking to save your own life. I would have My servants rich in giving.

98. Yes‚ I was tempted as you are by Satan. I was tempted with all the riches of the world. They were laid at My feet and I was tempted to take them and use them for My Own self and to forsake saving you. But I yielded to My Father and gave up My life and all that I had for you; then all was given unto Me. So give, and it shall be given unto you. Seek not to save yourself, but to save others. Receive not gifts as unto yourself, but as unto Me, that you and they might be greatly blessed. Then take what you receive into the house of the Lord and covet it not, but offer it as a sacrifice, and you will be greatly blessed. (End of message from Jesus.)

99. (Mama:) Aren't those beautiful prom­ises? The Lord says He will greatly bless those who give that which they have been given. If you have a close friend or supporter who gives to you personally, whether it's finances or ma­terial goods or needs, the Lord doesn't want those material blessings to stop with you. He wants you to turn around and share them with your brothers and sisters—that's truly living Acts 2:44,45! It's also a good sample and opportunity to teach your sheep and friends about godly giving. (See also "Acts 1-10," ML #1383:71-87, GN Book 3; "Dream About Finances," ML #2937:1-3, Lifelines 21.)

What If Love Strikes?

100. Question: What do I do if my sheep falls in love with me or I fall in love with him? Is that a sign that I should go with him to help draw him close to You and the Family, and keep inspiring him to help? How can I explain to him about my choice to live this way of life and our guidelines concerning relations with outsiders without hurting or offending him?

101. (Jesus speaking:) You are an inhabitant of Shangri-La. However, unlike the story, you are going out into the highways and byways to invite the worldlings to "come and see" the fruits of those who live for Me. Those you meet are falling in love with My fruits of the Spirit—the anointing I give you, the aura of My love and power.

102. Don't be deceived or let your pride lead you astray‚ to where you think these sheep are drawn just to you. They are drawn to Me in you. You are My vessel, My cup filled with the most glorious wine. If you draw them to yourself, the wine will not be replenished‚ and they will no longer see Me in you and will lose their respect for you, and you will lose your power over them. I have given you this power to conquer them and draw them to Me and My Kingdom. You are My ambassador‚ My anointed representative, and it is this anointing which attracts them to Me via you.

103. Like your Father David explained in "The Temple Prophecy," if you go on in your own spirit and your own love, you will not have My anointing or My light, and you will minister in darkness and appear foolish and empty.

104. If one truly falls in love with you and you feel it is My will to commit yourself as his or her lover and mate, it must be done via the rules laid out in the Charter: They must make the commit­ment to become a full-time Family member. They must agree to honorable terms of engagement—to become your fiancé. Would you want to be unequally yoked to someone not com­mitted to Me or the Family? Didn't this happen to the beautiful, young-looking girl in Shangri–La? She left her community and the blessings because she put other things first—and she lost it all, including her lover and admirer.

105. You're like a movie star to these people. Even though a celebrity is admired and adored and even worshipped by her audience‚ she is very selective as to whom she can allow herself to become more familiar with. She must be very particular about who she allows to become her close friends, lest she be hindered from her profession or even stalked and harassed. You must be a fair woman with discretion‚ and have rule over your spirit and be a city with walls.

106. It's a test of the motives of your admirer to be presented with the ground rules of your faith and commission. Don't be ashamed of the Charter, or My Words‚ or the conditions under which you operate. Don't let things go too far without making these things clear, lest you unduly offend and stumble this one, and it cause harm to My work. What you say may be a test and trial for him, but it will cause him to grow, and he will love you in a more balanced way for it, if he receives it. Parents cannot always please their child, but must teach and explain and patiently love their child.

107. Be very open to counsel and prayer about each step you take in caring for those who want to become closer. Once they're past the fork in the road‚ if they go too far down the wrong path, it's hard to backtrack and get onto the right track. How much easier to tell them of the up-and-coming fork, so they're prepared for the decision, and it will be easier and more fair for them to decide and take the correct path.

108. Falling in love is a dangerous thing, as emotions are very powerful. You must stay close to Me so I can harness these emotions and use them to direct you. Don't let them get ahead of Me, or you'll get into dangerous territory which is difficult to get out of. Let My Word and guidelines channel your emotions. Stay on the foundation of My Word and all will go well, and much fruit will be borne in your life and in the lives of those you minister to. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

109. (Mama:) This message about falling in love with your sheep is a general one, and doesn't cover each angle or situation. If this happens to you or to someone in your Home, please take it seriously and ask the Lord for His counsel as often as is needed. As we all know, feelings can be very persuasive and powerful, so it's imperative that you stay close to the Lord and seek Him continually. Most importantly, pray desperately that you'll remain open to the Lord and your shepherds' and co-workers' counsel. Hang on to the Lord, and He won't fail to pull you through!

The Work/Fun Balance

110. Question: How can I teach my close outside friend to respect us and our mission and the guidelines we have as a Home, rather than him pulling me into complaining that I can't do what he or we would like to do? How can I know when it's time to not give in to his pleas and re­quests, but to use the time for the good of others and the overall work, and when it is okay to relax and spend time fellow­shipping with him?

111. (Jesus speaking:) I will continue to lead you as you seek Me and reach out to Me for the day-to-day questions that you face‚ including the question of guiding the sheep in My way. ­Every day you need that answer. It's not always the same answer. Day by day, step by step, My Word will give you the solutions you need. As you reach out to Me, as you tune in to My Word, you'll see step by step what it is that I'm asking of you, what I need you to do, and how you can fulfill My will and My Word.

112. But you need to tune in to what I'm saying day by day. You need to read My Word day by day—that's what will give you the ­vision and the inspiration to be able to portray your mission and the guidelines of your work to ­others‚ because you'll be so in tune with Me and My Word that it will just flow from you. And if you don't know what to read or want confirmation on which one of My Word jewels will hit the mark in your life that very day, just ask Me, and I'll give you some specific suggestions in prophecy.

113. You have asked Me to show you plainly when it is time to not give in to their pleas‚ and to use your time for the good of others and the overall work, and when it's okay to relax and spend time with your close friends and sheep. The answer to this cannot be an overall answer to all situations. I can and will show you when it is time.

114. You'll need to seek Me and hear My reply. You'll need to read My Word and let Me speak to you through the Word, and let Me speak to you through personal prophecy. There is indeed a time when it's okay to relax and enjoy being with them, and being with Me and them. I will be with you in your relationships, in your friendships, in your ministering. I will be with you at all times. But look to Me. Reach for My hand, hold on to Me, and I'll be there for you. Turn your ear towards Me so I can show you when it is time. Day by day, step by step‚ I will show you, I will lead you.

115. You can ask questions about each individual: "Well, what about this fellow who's coming to the house every day? Should I spend more time just enjoying myself with him and relaxing with him? Or because he comes by more, should he be pulled in closer to the Word? Or if he's someone who doesn't come by very frequently‚ what should I do? Because he doesn't come very often, is it important to relax and spend time with him because he needs the love and time in order to know that we care about him? Or is it more important that he be fed more Word?"

116. Step by step you'll have to ask Me, because each person and each situation is different. There's a different reason why that person comes over to your house that day. He may come because he's desperate for counsel. He may come because he's lonely and he needs to know that somebody cares about him‚ that someone is his friend. He may come because he's thrilled and happy with the vision you've given him for serving Me, and he loves to see it fulfilled in you and wants to become a part of it. There are many different reasons that people come‚ or want to meet with you, and each time I will show you what to do.

117. I will show you what to do, because it's very simple—simply getting the guidance from Me that you need. Then you can move step by step as you follow My Words, as you heed My call, and you will know what to do. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

118. (Mama:) This is a good point for some of you young people who have a hard time finding the balance between witnessing and having fun and fellowship with your sheep. There's a time and place for everything. But remember, we're an Endtime army on the move, and our main job is to reach the lost and to preach the Gospel—not to entertain or simply fellowship with people.

119. It seems that many of you need to strike a better balance between just hanging out with your sheep or friends, and giving them the meat of the Word‚ challenging them to witness, and enlisting their help to win their friends to the Lord. They can hang out and fellowship with anybody else in the world, while you're the only ones who have the Lord's truth and light in such abundance. That's what they're drawn to, so don't be afraid to sock it to them!

Resentment Over Sacrificing

For the Work

120. Question: I sometimes find that I'm be­ginning to feel resentful when I have to sacrifice for the Lord and the work and put the needs of others first. I'd like some ammunition so that I can resist the Enemy and keep the vision for why giving to the Lord and others is more important than my own plans and desires.

121. (Departed missionary speaking:) As the poet said, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." It all comes down to that, really. It comes down to what's done for the Lord and for others. Those are the things that are worth giving and making sacrifices for, because they reap eternal dividends.

122. Believe me, I know, because I gave my life in service for the Lord. I was a missionary to Africa in the 1800s. I gave my life in service for those who were lost and did not have the light. They were dark people; they needed so much help. I sacrificed my comfortable life in England, my home and respectable position, to embark on a dangerous journey. But I did it because I knew that the Lord was calling me to obey His call to preach the Gospel.

123. I had to take it by faith, as you do. I didn't see the rewards that awaited me Here in Heaven. Once I gave my life to God's service on Earth, I was a pauper with nothing to my name, but over Here it was all returned to me many times over. I took it by faith that the Lord would someday repay, and I believed that and I looked forward to it. At times‚ that thought was my motivation to help me keep going, to not give up. Or when I had a difficult time forsaking something dear to me‚ I remembered that verse‚ "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon Earth‚ where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal."

124. So I did. And yet‚ even then‚ when I arrived at the pearly gates and was greeted by my dearest Savior and Friend, I was overwhelmed by His love and appreciation for my service to Him. I was humbled by His praise of me and His commendation of me to all in Heaven. Yes, that's right—not just to His Father‚ but to all in Heaven. How humbled I was, because I certainly didn't feel like I deserved it. I didn't think I had given up that much compared to all that He gave me and all that He keeps giving me.

125. How sad I felt for the times that I murmured and resented giving up a little comfort or material goods or desire, when it was dust and ashes compared to the reward I received. I was even somewhat ashamed because it was really so insignificant, so trivial, and as Paul put it, "dung." You might think that's a pretty strong term, but it's really true. Those worldly goods and pleasures are really as dung compared to the riches and the pleasures in Christ Jesus.

126. But I'll tell you‚ I was so thankful that I had held on! I was thankful that I made the right decision, that I gave up those things for the Lord. I was so grateful to the Lord that He had chosen me, a weak and humble vessel, to perform His work and to use me to accomplish His will. It's a lasting happiness that never ends. It's an eternal feeling of joy that fills you and then emanates from your very being, shedding happiness and joy on others as well. It's the most wonderful feeling! I can hardly describe it to you, because it's like nothing you've ever felt before.

127. And you won't feel it down there. In fact, you may feel pretty rotten and terrible at times. You have to fight the Enemy and all his negative emotions and battles. But when you get up Here, you'll be so thankful! It will be worth it all! It will be more than worth it all. It's a sure bet! That's something you can hang on to and remind yourself of when you're going through it.

128. Please don't lose sight of the vision. Be as Moses, who saw the promise and chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Think of the popu­larity he had, the easy life, the pleasures and riches, women and power. Yet he forsook all that because he knew that those things were fleeting, but the true riches of the afterlife were eternal; he believed that promise and left it all behind.

129. Remember that you can never outgive God, and if you're willing to suffer now, you'll reign with Him forever. However, I would hardly call it suffering. There's really nothing you could give up or suffer or go through that would compare to the reward you will receive. As Dr. Livingstone said, "I have never made a ­sacrifice." Well, I can say the same. I promise you that, though it may hurt now to give up something dear to you, whatever it may be, you will be thankful that you did and that you made the right choice and went God's way and followed Him.

130. And when you come over Here, you'll join God's Hall of Fame, all the other mission­aries who gave their lives in His service. There's no better reward, no higher crown than the one given to the true missionary who gives his life in service to the Lord and others. (End of mess­age from a missionary.) (See also "Prophecies on Leadership," ML #3052:61-118, Lifelines 23.)

A Sheep or a Time-waster?

131. Question: Sometimes it's hard to know who is a sheep and who is a time-waster. How can I keep from wasting my time?

132. (Jesus speaking:) The answer is very simple: Avoid people and things that waste your time. It's the little foxes that eat up the vines.

133. There are people who are time-wasters, and you would be wise to watch for the ­worthy and wait for the witness. Be led of My Spirit. The only way that you can know who is a true sheep and who is a time–waster is by asking Me about each one. On the spot you can ask Me for My guidance and leading. I can give you a simple one–word answer to direct you in whether to spend more time talking to them or whether to excuse yourself and move on to someone else who is more worthy.

134. Some people need more time and patience invested in them, and will then be good, strong leaders and bellwethers. So don't get impatient if you don't see immediate results. Some people, like some plants or trees, need more watering, nurturing, and tender care. But then once they've received it, they grow and blossom and bear fruit.

135. Continue to love each one that you meet in a personal way—giving them My love, attention, and most of all‚ My Word. Sometimes they just need someone to talk to, someone who will listen to them. But if they continue to drain you of your time and energy, and after much patience and watering with My Word you don't see any progress‚ then it would be best to commit them to Me and allow Me to work on their heart.

136. It may not be that they've rejected My message‚ but it may be that it's not the right time for them to grow and progress. It's not your job to be concerned about how fast or how slow they grow. You are simply to be My vessel of love and a receiver and deliverer of My Words. And whether or not someone who you've been ministering to shows outward signs of progress‚ you can trust that My Word never returns void, and that in due season it will sprout up and bear fruit.

137. Be careful not to label someone as a time-waster who is in desperate need of love and patience. I will lead you in each situation. It's important to counsel together with those in your Home or on your witnessing team, because in the multitude of counselors, every purpose is established. Through counseling together, you will have the added insight and wisdom of your witnessing partner and/or teamworker. (End of message from Jesus) (See also "Personal Witnessing—Stand Up for Your Rights," ML #2790, Lifelines 20.)

Teaching Them Kindness

And Compassion

138. Question: Some of my new non-Family friends tend to be snobbish and unconcerned about the poor. How can I teach them to have compassion and understanding for the poor and others?

139. (Jesus speaking:) A picture is worth a thousand words. A sample is better than a sermon. They have to see your sample. They have to see in your eyes that you truly believe that inasmuch as you have done it unto one of these—the least of My brethren—you have done it unto Me.

140. This they must learn, and the only way they will learn is by seeing your sample. It would have done little good for Me to go to the Scribes and Pharisees of My day and tell them, "You must learn what the Scripture meaneth when it says, 'I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,'" had I not also followed this up with My sample of reaching out to the poor, the needy, the sick‚ the publicans and the harlots.

141. It can especially be the temptation of some Christians who have come across wealth and have found their lives blessed to rest content in their "abundant life," despising those who are poor, and crediting the poverty of ­others to their sins, looking upon the poor self-right­eously, even as My Own disciples did when they came across the blind man and said, "Lord, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"

142. That is how they see the poor. "These are they who have sinned. These are they who live immorally, who have been rejected by God and cursed by Him. They are as dogs and whore­mongers, who shall not find their way into God's Kingdom." But I say that this is not so, for it is by their ignorance that they sin as they do. This does not mean that they are to be ignored, or that they are any less worthy of My love than those Christians who are rich and increased with goods. The rich have their own sins—those of greed, selfishness, lust, and lack of love, among others—and are just as guilty in My sight. All have sinned and come short of My glory.

143. Your friends must see the truth of this in your sample, in your compassion, in your reaching out, in your giving to the beggars that pass your way. I am no respecter of persons, so take care not to look on the outward appearance, even of those who profess to know My Name, considering them­selves better persons than the poor and humble sinner who, when he prays upon his bed, smites his breast and says‚ "God be merciful to me‚ a sinner."

144. So look not upon the outward appearance‚ not in front of your friends, and not in front of the multitudes. Don't be afraid to show your compassion, even as I accepted the gift of the despised harlot who cried at My feet while I sat to eat with the respectable and wealthy. By such tokens they will know your love and know that you are truly My disciples. (End of ­mess­age from Jesus.) (See also "'Tipping' and 'East Meets West‚'" ML #1105:1-22, Vol.11; "World Currents!—No.86‚" ML #3144:96-109‚ Lifelines 24.)

Sharing Home Problems

With Outsiders

145. Question: I've found myself very tempted to spill out my Home problems with outsiders who I'm close to and quite familiar with. What should I do when I feel that I can't talk to my Home members, but I feel comfortable talking with an outsider?

146. (Jesus speaking: ) Love, humility, and prayer solve all problems. It's not My will that you burden the sheep with the inner workings and problems of your Home. Though you might derive temporary comfort from having someone who is removed from the situation hear you out and give you sympathy, in the long run you'll be tearing down your good works in your field. For a house divided against itself cannot stand.

147. I understand your need to be understood, your need to be heard, your need to feel that there's someone who sees your side of the situation, and I tell you that I am that Someone. I am the Answer Man, and as you pour out your heart to Me, as one would pour much water from a pitcher, I will give you surcease from your frustrations. I will replace the confusion, the hurt feelings, and the walls of disunity with My love through My Word.

148. Communication is the name of the game. As you seek to communicate with your co-workers in an attitude of love, humility, and prayerfulness, I will pour down My Spirit and My blessings to solve your problems and to make things right. Bring your difficulties before Me and let Me answer you in prophecy. This is the new weapon for this new day, and I can give clear, practical, workable, yet simple answers that will make the clouds melt away.

149. I will give you words that will build bridges between you and your co-workers‚ words that will cause the walls of disunity that have been built up between you to crumble. My Words are the magic bullets that will solve all your problems, and you must only ask Me in faith and receive what I give you. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

150. (Mama:) If you find yourself talking to your sheep about Home problems, or are even tempted to, you'd better stop and check your heart. Please don't risk the spiritual progress and well-being of your sheep in order to satisfy your own desire for sympathy. Obviously you're experiencing some fairly serious disunity within your Home, otherwise you would be able to lovingly work things out between yourselves.

151. In such a case, you need to pray desperately and resolve the matter between your brothers and sisters. If you've already spilled some of this out to your sheep, then you'll also need to apologize to them and set them straight, correcting your bad sample. It's probably a fairly good indicator that you've become too familiar with your sheep, or that you're not putting the proper emphasis on the Word, prayer, or hearing from the Lord during your times together. If this is the case, please get the help of others in your Home to either take over the feeding of your sheep for a while or at least have a partner with you during your times of ministering and fellowship, to act as a safeguard and support.

Maintaining Unity

Despite Hurts or Grudges

152. Question: When another Family mem­ber has hurt or offended my out­side friends through their thoughtless words or actions‚ how do I graciously mend the damage and still stay loyal to my Family in spite of mistakes? How can I guard our unity and avoid get­ting pulled into gossip or negative conversations with my outside friends about these individuals?

153. (Dad speaking:) Divide and conquer is the Devil's own slogan. He will try to do this time and time again in whatever way he can—to destroy unity, to sow discord amongst the brethren, to cause one to be unprayerful in his actions and another to condemn him for the mistake. Don't let it happen to you!

154. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has times when they're unprayerful‚ when they make a silly blunder, when they hurt or offend or say things that are out of the spirit. When someone in your Home has hurt or offended one of your friends, it's important to apologize to them‚ first of all. The one who made the mistake can apologize, or you can apologize for them‚ or you can both apologize if it's a sensitive situation. Simply explain that it was a mistake and not the way that we normally speak or behave, and ask for their forgiveness. It might even help if you pray with them and ask the Lord for His forgiveness as well.

155. Then once they've forgiven you, drop the matter, and ask the Lord to help you not repeat your mistakes. You don't need to keep beating yourself over the head with your mistakes, and certainly don't keep running down your brother or sister who made the mistake! Forgive and forget and start anew.

156. Some people might be more prone to such mistakes than others. They might make lots of mistakes, and you may find yourself apologizing a lot. But no matter how frequent or grave the offence was, to condemn your brother and side with the outsider is an offence far worse, and of far graver consequence. Because by tearing down your brother, you are tearing down the very work you claim to be building.

157. Brethren, we must stand together if we are to stand at all. United we stand, divided we fall. It's that simple. It simply doesn't pay to go around trying to make yourself look like the good guy on account of the poor bungling soul who may have made a mistake. These are matters that have to be dealt with within the confidence of your own Family. Sure, you may even hold a serious grudge against the person. But if you can't put that grudge aside when you're in front of outsiders and speak of him as a brother, even if you must apologize for his mistakes for him; if you can't keep your personal grudges out of it, and you find yourself condemning that person‚ then you have no business being on the field.

158. That may sound extreme, but it's that serious. What makes you think you can bring peace and reconciliation to these war–torn and strife-torn countries if you can't even be at peace among yourselves? How can you persuade these people that you have anything better than they do when they see you tearing down your brother as plainly as any Hutu who murders a Tutsi? What are you accomplishing? What are you offering?

159. Instead‚ if they see you loving that person, standing by them and taking their side, trying to lovingly explain and resolve the situation, then they will know that the unity you proclaim is true, that you do stand by your brother even when he's made a mistake, and that you don't cast him out with your words.

160. Of course, when it comes to the point that someone is repeatedly pulling boners, offending people right and left, and it seems like they just aren't fit for a very trying and demanding field, you shouldn't simply wink at their behavior. But you should bring it up in front of the right people—your leadership, the CROs or VSs—so that they can try to resolve the situation within the boundaries of our Family framework. This you ought to do, if you cannot lovingly resolve the situation amongst yourselves. If the person is indeed causing more harm than good, it is your duty to report his or her ungodly behavior. But for God's sake, don't go tearing them down in front of the very people you're trying to win over—that just defeats the purpose!

161. You just have to stay on guard, close to the Lord, and remember that love is the most important thing. Above all, trust that the Lord is able to work things out and work in the hearts of those friends or contacts who may have been offended, as well as show you ways in which the situation can be resolved without any hurt feelings against anyone, or grudges held by one party against another.

162. This continent has seen enough strife, enough grudges, enough bitterness and ven­geance. What they need is for someone to show them a better way—the way of love, mercy, for­give­ness‚ understanding, tolerance, and patience. These are the things that will win them, that will show them that you practice what you preach, and will show them the power of love, the power of God to reach down into a heart filled with darkness and coldness, and replace it with light and warmth and love.

163. That's what this continent needs. That's what these people need to see. That's the sample that will sell the sermon. That's the key to winning the hearts of these people. (End of message from Dad.)

164. (Mama:) Sad to say, we've heard of a number of instances when Family members have not been such good samples in this area—and not only in Africa. I understand that it's difficult enough to forgive and sort out a sensitive issue with another Family member, and that the situation intensifies when the action in question negatively affects a contact or supporter. But once the mistake has been made and the damage done, please try to see things as the Lord sees. In love, humility, and honesty, let's try to repair the damage together.

165. Everyone makes mistakes, and our friends should be able to understand that. The true sample of God's love in us will only be seen in how we deal with those mistakes, and in the amount of forgiveness and grace we have toward one another.

Making Amends

With the Local People

166. Question: When we as a Family have made mistakes due to our lack of understanding of the local people or their culture, how can we best make amends and have a new start?

167. (David Livingstone speaking:) Honesty is the best policy, along with humility. When they see that you are humble, that you are eager to learn their ways and customs, that you are willing to admit your mistakes and your ignor­ance, even your stupidity, they will understand and do what they can to help you.

168. Though you are a teacher, you also have to be willing to be the student. You have much to teach them, but you have a lot to learn as well, especially in Africa. People are different all over the world, but when you as a Westerner and as a foreigner come into this land, you are a stranger, a guest‚ and you have to keep that in mind.

169. You're here at the hospitality and kind­ness of your hosts, the African people. If you act as such, you will be treated with kindness, even when you make mistakes. But if you go in like a colonizer, looking at the people as ignor­ant heathens who are good for little more than serving your own purposes‚ you will find yourselves despised and rejected.

170. It has to be the love of Christ that constrains you in all you do, and this in itself, along with praying and looking closely to the Lord in all that you do, will help to avoid the many kinds of things you can do to offend these people, whose culture is deeply rooted in many small and seemingly insignificant gestures that can nonetheless mean a lot to them.

171. In your present interactions with these people, you're learning to govern entire nations and cultures in the Millennium. This must be your vision. Yes, you are also called to win as many as you can to the Lord today, but another part of your task here is to learn as much as you can about these people‚ their ways‚ their minds, their thoughts, their habits, their ethics‚ their languages. All these things will be greatly used in the age to come when you will have much more power and many more resources to win these people. And one of the keys to reaching them will be the knowledge and experience you are gaining now.

172. I thought I was doing a great work while on Earth, that this was what life was all about‚ to spread the Gospel. But when I died‚ praying on my knees for the people of this great continent, I found out that my real job was only beginning. I thought as I left, "Is this it? Have I run the race and finished the course?" Well, in one way I had. I had finished the qualifying rounds. But it was only in preparation for the greater work I was to do afterwards, directing the enlightening of this dark continent from beyond the veil.

173. And so I worked, alongside my dear old friend Dr. Moffat, whom I discovered had been praying for me and interceding in the spirit for me during many of my explorations and ventures. I worked through many others, helping to turn their eyes towards this needy field, to place the call of God in their hearts, and to bring them to this field that was in such great need of laborers, and to this day still is.

174. I worked through Stanley as he labored to explore Africa so that it could be opened to the Gospel. I worked in the hearts of many others since, both known and unknown, to impart to them the knowledge they needed, to give them checks about things they should or shouldn't do, to show them which tribes and people they were to reach first, and how to reach them, how to understand them, how to relate to them.

175. We're still at it, you know! Our Africa team up Here has grown quite a bit, and we're all eager to be of whatever assistance we can—to speak to you, to guide you, to instruct you‚ to go before you in preparing the hearts of the people you will meet, to set up and engineer the circumstances that will bring you into contact with them.

176. If you want to know what we're up to, where we're leading next—where we're pointing our fingers and saying, "Go here!" "Take this bus!" "Greet this man!" "Knock on that door!" "Talk to that person!"—all you have to do is stop for a moment and ask. And when you get in trouble, when you've made a mistake or offended someone and you want to know what to do to set things right again, well, just shoot up a prayer for wisdom and ask the Lord to give you the solutions. We're standing by to help in any way we can, and between the host of us Africans and Africans at heart up Here, I'm sure we'll be able to think of something.

177. But as a general rule, remember that love is the answer—love, humility and prayer can solve all problems. I learned that saying from your Father David, and it's really true. It works for Africa just as it works in your everyday life. If you need any more specifics, don't hesitate to ask. After all, that's what we're here for! (End of message from David Livingstone.)

178. (Mama:) David Livingstone was talking specifically about Africa, but his message applies to all of us, in whatever country we're living in. It's so important to be courteous and appreciative of the fact that you're being allowed as guests in a country that is not your own. On top of that, you're preaching a message and truth that most consider not their own. So remember, your sample and the sermon it preaches will in large part sell the sermon of your message.

179. Some of you who have lived in a ­foreign field for 10 or 15 years may feel very much "at home" in your field. But each person you pass on the street doesn't know that, and they look at you as a foreigner. So please bear this in mind and let your sample reflect the Lord's love to the dear people in your country.

Explaining the Law of Love

And Personal Arrangements

180. Question: Some of our close friends who visit us often can't help but notice who rooms with who, and how our interactions with each other are not exactly the "Christian norm." How should we explain this to them? How do we agree together on what type of explanations we'll give our outside friends and contacts concerning our living arrangements?

181. (Mama:) I'm sure a number of you, especially those who live in non-Western, conservative fields, have wondered how to explain the Law of Love to your close friends and contacts. Since many Homes now have visitors over often, it can become hard to keep them from noticing some of our peculiarities in that department, such as affection between married and single people‚ single parents who have children, young people who are pregnant, etc. Or in some cases, candid comments our dear children make can lift a few eyebrows, in regards to sharing, children from different marriages that have the same daddy‚ Jesus babies, etc.

182. The Family in Africa has been experiencing some of these dilemmas, and it's particularly important to address them‚ since as you can imagine, any such "hot" news flies around small communities rapidly. I'm sure that other countries can relate to this as well, where such an open display or knowledge of our more radical beliefs might cause quite an uproar. But how do you handle informing your friends about it without being a reproach or stumbling the local people?

183. First I'd like to share with you some excerpts which further explain the question from one of our CROs who visited Africa:

184. It seems that in many places in the Western world, people would at least be more open and understanding of our "alternative lifestyle" of sharing and ­having unconventional relationships. In my recent travels here in Africa‚ though‚ I am finding that people are more conservative about these issues.

185. In Europe‚ some unwise or "radical" moves by a few individuals might blow away some people, but basically things will go on without too much fuss. But in a more sensitive field like Africa, it could ­seriously affect the overall work, as things get around so fast here. The influential com­munity is quite small‚ with links to many other African countries.

186. Some of our Family members here, who are 100% supportive of the Word and all Family doctrines, have taken quite a conservative stance with their friends towards anything outside of the "normal" one couple with kids approach. They explained to me that it is quite controversial and even a stumblingblock for some if you even mention that you are divorced.

187. I asked why, since the Africans ­often have two wives, and usually have quite a liberal stance towards these matters from their tribal background. Also their Muslim friends should be more understanding of some angles of the doctrine.

188. They explained that first of all, the churches have had quite a bit of say. Secondly, although a bit hypocritical, they say, "Yes, it's fine for me to have two wives or be involved with anyone besides my spouse, but not for a missionary; for a missionary it would be quite scandalous." This is also because of the severe punishment they see a church missionary or pastor receive if he does step outside the norm, like excommunication‚ etc.

189. If a Home only consisted of adults and young people, I am sure that they could agree on an approach that could be quite acceptable to all and not flaunt things if it would be sensitive for some. It gets a bit more tricky if kids are in­volved, though. To kids, some of these things can be quite matter-of-fact, that to outsiders might be shocking first time around, especially coming from children. With friends coming over more often to our Family Homes and being more a part of our lives, everything we do is much more transparent than before. So Homes have to agree on a way to explain these situations to the children that would be acceptable to all.

190. In a couple of instances here I have had to correct individuals for unwisely talking about and blowing outsiders away by just "socking it to them" with the whole mess­age, no holds barred. They say "the Africans can take it," and start talking about FFing, the Law of Love, etc., right off the bat, only to blow them away. It shows that it's an area that desperately needs attention, to help folks know how to relate our teachings to outsiders in a way they can understand and digest without choking. It is so much in the presentation. (End of excerpts of report from CRO.)

191. (Mama:) When we asked the Lord about this type of scenario and how to handle it, He sent Dad to give the following wise counsel. This gives overall counsel, but please go to the Lord to get His specific instruction for your personal situation. Each of these matters is very delicate, and it's important that they are handled properly.

192. (Dad speaking:) The Lord has given His Law of Love and is teaching the Family how to live it and grow in love. The Lord has blessed the Family with His love and with the vision to live His Law of Love, but as you know, it takes a good foundation of faith in the Word to begin to take the steps of living the Law of Love.

193. You need to keep in mind that the Family is unique and pretty revolutionary, and the Lord has anointed the Family with a lot of faith to be able to take His revolutions in the spirit and to be able to go through the Endtime as His witnesses. The Family learns pretty fast‚ and that's why the Lord can trust us with so many spiritual principles and new moves of His Spirit. But you need to remember that not everyone has had the heritage of faith that the Family has‚ nor the training of the Word, nor the blessing of such spiritual truths, and many outsiders, friends, and contacts won't be able to understand it as quickly.

194. It took the Lord time to bring the Family this far. Although we understood the basic spiritual principle of His Law of Love years ago, and we practiced it, we've been learning more as time went on. Look at all the new counsel in the "Law of Love" GN series! Although you under­stand it and are taking steps to live it fully, outsiders don't understand it or even know anything about it, so you must be very careful and prayerful in your presentation of the Law of Love. You can't expect an unsaved person to understand something as profound as the Law of Love if they're not even saved yet; you can't expect a new Christian to be able to embrace it before they're well grounded in the Word which will give them faith; and you can't expect non-Christians, people from a totally different religion, to understand something that might even be completely contrary to their religion, or what they've been taught is contrary to yours.

195. The point is that you have to be very prayerful and wise when dealing with out­siders in talking about the sexual side of the Law of Love. You can't just sit them down and give them the whole story and hit them between the eyes with the One Wife vision‚ sharing, single parents, and the whole thing right off the bat! You have to use common sense and be Spirit–led‚ prayerful and wise, and the Lord will show you how to present it.

196. Preaching salvation is our main witness and our main message, and that's what they need to go to Heaven. So before you get into explanations about the more intimate aspects of the Law of Love, you'd better make sure they've got a good foundation in the other basic spiritual principles of faith, such as salvation‚ the Holy Spirit, prayer, prophecy, and healing. Make sure they understand the gifts of the Spirit and the basic fundamental doctrines of the Family, such as preaching the Gospel, Acts 2:44,45, tithing, etc., and that they've been taught how to commune with the Lord and have a good personal relationship with Him.

197. We're proud of the Law of Love and we give Jesus all the glory for this wonderful blessing in our lives, but you've got to be very careful not only for the sake of the security of your work in some of these sensitive areas‚ but also be careful to lovingly handle people's hearts so that you don't blow people away because of your unwise actions. Remember that love is the most important thing, and in many cases it's doing the loving thing to go slow with people, to let them learn the basics first and build a good relationship with them and a foundation of faith before you give them the meat of the Word.

198. If you're in a conservative country with very conservative people, be conservative in your approach when it comes to things like marriage, relationships, sex, etc., when you first meet people. That's showing respect and love for them. You don't need to prove that you're revolutionary and explain everything about your lifestyle right off the bat. You have to take time to get to know the people you're witnessing to, learn about their culture and how to approach them. Learn what sorts of things might be difficult for them to understand, and pray and ask the Lord how to present it. Word of mouth ­travels fast in some of these small communities, so you can be sure that if you tell it all to a few people‚ it's soon going to be common knowledge to every­body. So it really pays to counsel and be prayerful in what you say and how you present these controversial subjects.

199. Remember that your main goal is to win those dear people to the Lord, so if you have to make a few personal sacrifices for the sake of the work and to preserve your testimony so that the Gospel can be preached, well, that's part of the cross the Lord is asking you to bear. You shouldn't want to do things that are going to cause harm to the field or stumble those you are ministering to. Even if what you're doing is lawful in God's sight, it might not be expedient just then, or at the least you might need to adjust your presentation of it so that it doesn't cause reproach to the Lord's work.

200. You need to get together as a Home and discuss, pray, and agree on what your presentation will be, and how much you'll say about this or that. If you have a situation with re-mated couples, or a boyfriend and girlfriend sharing a room, or single parents, you also need to discuss and pray and agree together about what to say about those things and how to present it if you think it could stumble outsiders when they hear about it. Keep in mind that as your friends come over more frequently, there's a good chance that they're going to find out about your rooming situations and the personal interaction between all of you.

201. There are lots of different people in the world, and lots of religious beliefs. Depending on what country you're in, you might find out that divorce is against the law, for example, or anything con­sidered extramarital would be a stumblingblock or embarrassment to them. So please use wisdom and be prayerful in your approach so that you can win them in love and help them to grow in faith. Ask the Lord for His wisdom and counsel. He'll show you what to do and how to handle things, if you'll just ask Him! (End of message from Dad.)

202. (Mama:) Following is a list of tips that you may find helpful when discussing and praying about how to handle matters along this line in your Home.

1) Always give the same explanation to all friends and contacts. Word gets around quickly, and if different explanations are given to different people, they can be soured and feel that they can't trust you.

2) You don't have to explain every detail; just give a general overview of what is happening. In most cases, people are okay with that the first time around.

3) Don't give out information ­unnecessarily. If you're approached, answer candidly, but don't offer more information than you've been asked for. In many cases the question was meant to be a simple one, and the person asking it may not be that interested in more details. They probably wouldn't even expect you to be ­forthcoming with a lot of personal details, as most people just don't communicate that openly about such things.

4) It's taken years for the Family to understand the Law of Love and learn to live it. Your contacts and newfound friends should have a solid footing in the basics before these more "meaty" subjects are explained to them.

5) Rooming arrangements should be agreed upon and the whys and wherefores explained to all the members of your Home, so that all are "speaking the same thing."

6) Generally speaking, put the witness first rather than personal preferences. Remember that your security and welcome could be affected by how you choose to handle these matters.

7) Respect the local customs and traditions. If people are conservative about sex, marital affairs, etc.‚ then be conservative in your approach toward those subjects. It shows consideration and love to go slow.

8) Sometimes it's just a matter of timing. Wait on the Lord and His cue as to when to explain these more sensitive beliefs to your close friends.

9) It's very important that all Home members have faith for their situation and aren't just "grinning and bearing it" for whatever reason, as this becomes quite obvious to both family and friends as a put-on, and hinders your testimony. Strong faith and unity within the Home is very important so that your presentation to the outside is clear and consistent with conviction and love.

10) Pray and agree on what your presentation will be from the beginning, and continue to hear from the Lord regularly about how to bring your friends along. When someone expresses questions about such matters‚ bring their questions to the Lord and ask Him for the answers and for wisdom in knowing how to most understandably present yourselves.

203. I pray that these questions and ­answers have been a blessing to you. If you want to be assured of successful and fruitful witnessing and feeding of the precious sheep the Lord has placed in your care, stay close to the Lord and hear from Him each step of the way! He's the Great Shepherd, and all we have to do is follow close behind Him and obey His instructions in order to be good shepherds and keepers of the lost sheep He's counting on us to reach! God bless and keep your witnessing wise and fruitful!

Love, Mama