KEYWORDS: things, lord, life, people, mistakes

Shooting Straight, Part 4--Letter Links: Avoiding Mistakes!

July 31, 2004

Table of Contents

(ML #3502, GN 1090)

FD/MM July 2004

The Challenge to Change

(ML #2680:2-9, Lifelines 19)

2. (Mama:) Maybe some of you haven't always been given such a good sample of what the Family is supposed to be like. There might be some things in your life that you may look back on & wonder about: "Well, I don't think this was right," or "Maybe that wasn't right." Some of you may even feel like, "Well, I was mistreated, I wasn't given what I needed, & that's why I've now got problems today!—It's not my fault!" Well, it may be true, your Shepherds or parents have probably all made mistakes, your teachers have made mistakes, & of course, you have made mistakes too!—Everybody makes mistakes!

3. But just because others weren't always the best of samples to you in the past‚ or made mistakes with you in the past, is no excuse for you to hang on to your problems today! When you grow up & begin to really mature spiritually, then you no longer place the blame for all your problems on others‚ you begin assuming that responsibility yourself. The Word says, "Every one of us shall give account of himself to God!"—Rom. 14:12. The time comes when you've simply got to "lay aside every weight" from the past so you can begin earnestly running the race for Jesus.—The race that He expects you to run! (Heb.12:1.)

4. "But," you Teens may say, "my parents had a separation, & I don't think it was right! It hurt me & that's what caused me to become bitter & to have my problems!" Or, "I had to go to a System school, & I made some really bad friends there, & they influenced me in a very negative way, & that's what's caused me all my problems!" Well‚ even if some things happened in your life that were difficult & a very big trial for you, God's promise is still true, that "all things work together for good to them that love God!"—Rom.8:28.—And just because you have been around some negative influences is no excuse for you to remain negative yourself!—Or bitter or self-righteous or critical or proud etc.!

5. Besides, a lot of experiences that may have been very trying for you‚ could very well have been the Lord's Will, sacrifices that had to be made for the Lord's Work's sake.—In which case, you certainly have no reason to get bitter & discontented & murmur about it! In fact, if you take hardships, sacrifices & trials the right way, & you see the Lord's hand in them & keep your eyes on Him, then you will win great victories out of seeming defeats, & God can use such experiences to teach you very valuable & priceless lessons.

6. But regardless of who or what has seemed to be responsible for your different trials & hardships‚ difficulties, heartbreaks, etc., you know it's not the Lord's Will that you develop & hold on to serious spiritual problems as a result! In fact, the only one who wants you to develop & hang on to serious problems over such things is the Devil! He's the one who tries to always paint your outlook on your circumstances black & negative, & make you bitter & resentful & rebellious & unyielded to the Lord & to His dealings in your life!

7. Now is the time for us all to "forget those (negative) things which are behind, & reach forth unto those things which are before!—Together pressing towards the mark for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus!"—Phil.3:13,14. It's now time to forget your Shepherds' or parents' mistakes, forget the bitternesses you may feel towards them; forget your teachers' mistakes & your resentment towards them; overlook your Shepherds' faults & any critical attitude you may have developed towards them etc.

8. If you're going to grow & make any real progress spiritually, you've now got to lay aside all the "weights" of familiarity & disrespect & discontentment that you may be carrying‚ & forgive those who have wronged you or you have wronged, & ask them to forgive you too, & all of us trust the Lord to forgive us all, as we renew our dedication & commitment to Jesus! It's time for all of us to turn over a new leaf & start a new life & start having some radical changes as we join together to truly live for Jesus & be the genuine 110% disciples that He's called us to be!

9. It's time to wake up & "not be ignorant of the Devil's devices" (2Cor.2:11), & realize that he's the culprit who is causing us most of our problems! The Lord wants us all to unite against him as we go on the attack for Jesus!—Not allowing any spiritual hindrances or bitterness or resentfulness towards each other or towards the Lord to burden us & drag us down. We all need to forgive one another as we want others to forgive us, & to repent & get on the right track for Jesus, & determine to follow Him closer than we ever have before!

Getting Back on Track for Jesus, Part 3

(ML #2892:82-89, Lifelines 21)

82. (Mama:) Almost all of us can look back on our childhood & our teen years & see situations or periods of time when we weren't handled the way we think we should have been by our parents or teachers. And maybe we're right. Maybe they did make a lot of mistakes‚ because most parents & teachers do. They often have to experiment & see what works best, especially with their first children. Parents are naturally going to fail in some things because nobody is perfect & it's just hard raising kids!—And no matter how good the parents are, no matter how Christian they are, how strong in the Lord they are, they're still going to make mistakes with their kids. Parents are human, & all parents make mistakes‚ & lots of them, but so do the kids. (When I say "parents" I'm not necessarily just referring to your flesh parents. These principles also apply to guardians & teachers & Shepherds.)

83. Almost everybody has something that they could complain about, & some people have quite a lot. I can see many different ways how my parents could have handled me better & could have done things differently. My parents let me eat a lot of white sugar & never taught me that it was not good for me; as a result I got terrible acne, which was one of the major factors in making me feel inferior & shy & lacking in confidence as I was growing up in my teen years. My acne wasn't as bad as that of some kids I've seen, but it was definitely not a light case, & it caused me a lot of distress.

84. My parents could have helped me avoid this very painful time during these sensitive teen years by just being wise enough to realize that all the candy that they allowed me to eat & the rich desserts I ate after every meal were probably the cause of this terrible problem with acne. Not only did all those sweets contribute to a very bad case of acne‚ but also to a mouthful of cavities!—And they certainly didn't help my general health either. I was always getting colds & flus‚ & my weaker physical state throughout my adult life has probably been in some ways a result of the poor foundation that I had to build upon.

85. I could also be bitter because some of my school teachers didn't make things clear to me‚ or didn't make subjects fun for me, or didn't understand the subjects well themselves & therefore couldn't really teach them to me. Or some of us could be bitter over teachers who singled us out for attack, or who didn't like us & didn't encourage us to learn, but instead discouraged us by their attitude. Or some of us could be bitter about pastors & Sunday school teachers who didn't lovingly & wisely present the Gospel. Maybe they didn't present the Gospel at all, the very people who were commissioned to do the job. The list could go on & on & on‚ if we wanted to enumerate all of the things we could have gotten bitter about, & that maybe some of us did get bitter about, until we realized that it was just hurting ourselves & it was no good to get bitter.

86. If I, who had very good Christian parents who loved me and cared about me, could be bitter about those things if I wanted to, how much more could many of our other adults, who have had a lot worse things happen to them, be bitter if they chose to be? Look at all of our folks who grew up not knowing the Lord, which is the worst problem you can grow up with. They could certainly be bitter at their parents for that, & for not being good enough parents to know that they needed spiritual & moral training & they needed to be brought up in the fear & admonition of the Lord. We could all probably collectively come up with tons of things we could be bitter about.

87. The point is, no matter what parents are like, no matter how good they are or how Godly they may be, they are still going to make lots of mistakes & there are still going to be a lot of things they do that their teens don't like & that their teens are hurt by‚ or that even result in problems later on in their adult lives. Everybody could be bitter about something, if they chose to be. So you dear teens & YAs need to really look at things in perspective & not go off the deep end & think that the few little ways that you feel you've been mishandled or mistreated or not handled wisely or lovingly make up some extreme circumstances that only you have been exposed to, or that are much worse than what most people have to endure.

88. Today's teens in the System have much greater reasons to get bitter than you have, since their parents & teachers & pastors & counselors are much less qualified spiritually & morally than yours are. If you think that your teachers & parents have failed you, think of how today's teens in the World must feel about their parents, teachers, pastors‚ etc. A great number of adults in the System couldn't care less & aren't even trying to do a good job with their teens. They don't even care about them, or have just given up & decided they can't do anything anyway, so let them go their own way.

89. I think you teens need to be reminded of these comparisons. You may not like these reminders; it seems we're always telling you how bad the System is & how good you have it, but it's the truth!—And if we don't remind you, your little problems in the Family can get blown up out of all proportion in your eyes.

Be Encouraged

(ML #3047:69-170, Lifelines 23)

Encouragement for Our Adults and Revealing Words for Our Young People!

69. (Mama:) Sometimes the Lord allows us to be discouraged for a purpose, but He certainly doesn't want us to stay that way very long. The greatest factor in pulling us out of our downward spiral is understanding what great, great love Jesus has for us as our Husband and Lover and Friend‚ Who only sees the good and the possibilities in us, and doesn't condemn or criticize us for our failures. Seeing things the way Jesus sees them gives us a much brighter outlook on everything!

70. Now I want to zero in more specifically on some serious, longstanding discouragement that some of you folks are experiencing—namely, some of you adults—and help you to see how the Lord sees things. Now‚ kids, don't leave me! You need to hear this too, so you can understand what some of your parents are going through. You won't want to miss the things the Lord says directly to you further on in this Letter. In fact, there's quite a bit here for you too, so please hang in there. You may learn some things that will surprise you.

71. Okay, adults, we know that the everyday work you have to do for the Lord is quite a weighty matter and keeps you very busy and very desperate. There are children to care for‚ finances to bring in, sheep to follow up on, your relationship with the Lord to invest time in, and a multitude of other details that need to be taken care of. There are often discouragements and setbacks and disappointments and heartaches along the way. But these problems, as monumental as they are, are almost nothing when compared with the discouragement you may feel about yourself—your weaknesses, your failings‚ your heartaches, your lack of progress, your shattered dreams, your failure to reach your goals, your lack of talent or training, your lack of faith in yourself, or someone else's lack of faith in you, and your feeling that the Lord is displeased with you. These are the things which can eat away at you and constantly drain you and bow you down under the weight.

72. By now, the fact that we are no longer able to do and be all those things we once did and once were has sunk in, and along with it may have come a sense of failure, inadequacy‚ a lack of will to keep fighting, a feeling of uselessness, and many other negative emotions. You're tired and weary—emotionally, spiritually‚ and physically—and when you're tired, things seem much more difficult.

73. Even physically‚ things are more difficult. Whereas we used to experience energy and vitality and relatively good health, now many of us have long-term afflictions which slow us down and make us ever mindful of the frailties of the flesh. You may have regular headaches, your back may have gone out, maybe you have stomach problems, or maybe you've found out recently that you have heart trouble. Not only that, but one look in the mirror may make it painfully obvious that age is taking its toll!

74. More discouraging than that is the Devil's voice that keeps whispering in your ear, telling you that your life for the Lord hasn't counted for much. "What have you really accomplished? What do you have to show for all these years of dedicating your life to Jesus?" You look at your counterparts in the System and how successful they seem to be, how relatively easy they have it‚ how they don't have to struggle with a bunch of children, how they can take vacations every year, how they don't have monumental spiritual battles, and you may wonder if all this has been worth it.

75. You may feel that all you have to show for your many years in the Family is a whole bunch of children, some of whom, after you have poured everything into them, have thrown it all away to live for themselves in the System. Now you're back to square one with a new batch of little kids, starting the whole process over, and wondering what's going to happen with these new ones! On top of that‚ you may be a single parent, possibly even experiencing much pain and heartache over a recent separation, and wondering how in the world you are going to make it by yourself. If you feared the future before, now you may be tempted to almost panic!

76. What doesn't make it any easier is that some of the young people around you often don't seem to respect you much, even questioning the wisdom of your having all these children in the first place‚ seeming to belittle your ministry of motherhood or fatherhood, implying that you could have done something more important with your life. Now look where you are!—You're stuck!—With another bunch of children! All you can do is use your last ounce of energy to try to feed them, clothe them, teach them, pray for them.

77. You see your young people go off to pioneer new mission fields, to burn free, to follow their dreams, but that time for you seems long gone. You think the young people are taking over, and while you're happy for them, it makes you a little sad because you don't see any significant place for your talents and abilities. You feel like a has–been. You feel washed up. You feel pretty worthless. You've been through so many heartaches, so many difficulties, so many misunderstandings‚ so many misjudgments of you and your actions.

78. You know Jesus loves you—in fact, you have drawn so much closer to Him through His wonderful intimacy with you—and things have become much easier to bear, just knowing how much He loves you and how much He wants you to be close to Him. You see many blessings being poured out and you're so thankful. But still this lingering sense of failure remains.

79. If this is what you are experiencing, to some degree or another, you don't have to feel this way any longer! Jesus wants to dispel all those feelings of worthlessness‚ of condemnation, of guilt for not having done enough. To do this, He has sent His wonderful Word to heal you and to bind up your broken heart and your wounded spirit. He has sent His loving Words to give you strength and hope and renewed challenge in your life for Him! He has sent the light of His Word to penetrate the darkness of your misunderstanding‚ and to show you that the way He sees things is far different than the way you look at them—and certainly much different than the way your young people may see them.

80. So be warmed by the light of His Love! Revel in the beauty of His commendation! Take fresh hope in His challenge to you. Stand up and be proud of being His precious darling ones, His special loves that are so very dear to Him.

81. And now a word to you young people!—Some of you who have looked down on your parents or the other adults. You love them, but some of you have belittled them in your heart, and told yourself that you would never follow in their footsteps; that you weren't going to get stuck with so many kids‚ or endure the hardship of pounding the pavements giving out lit every day, or struggle under financial difficulties as you have seen your parents and the other adults do! After all, you are much wiser and much more talented and gifted than that. If you're going to serve the Lord, you want to do something great, unencumbered by children and unhindered by shepherds who you have to yield to. You figure the older generation has yielded too much all their lives, and that's part of their problem! They're too meek, they're too humble, they're too broken. They don't have enough individuality. They don't have enough independence. They're pretty unknowledgeable of the things of the world and they're too stuck in a rut‚ wanting to always do things the old-fashioned way.

82. The Lord also has something to say to you in the following message. He's going to tell you the way He sees it. He's going to give you a little picture of how He looks at your parents. There're some big surprises coming up!

83. I love you so much and have been burdened for you adults, so many of whom are struggling with these feelings of failure. I knew Jesus didn't want you to feel this way, so I asked one of our units to pray and ask Him to give you something that would dispel these clouds and bring the sun once again to your hearts. He always comes through for us exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, because He loves us so very much! He's our life‚ our everything. He's our doting Husband Whose every thought is to make us happy and to relieve our sorrows and to kiss away our tears. So here it is, folks!—His beautiful Love Message to you adults, and His revealing Words to you young people, in a series of prophecies which we've separated with subheadings:

Storehouses of Treasure And Rewards Await You!

84. (Prophecy: ) You have looked upon yourselves as weak, as broken, even as forsaken, but I have said, great is your faithfulness! You have looked to Me, you have kept the faith. You have trusted Me year after year, decision after decision, baby after baby, country after country‚ trial after trial‚ persecution after persecution. You have kept your eyes on Me regardless of the circumstances, and even more, you have held fast to the Words of David. You have drunk these in as sweet nectar and honey. You have grasped at them! You have clung to them! You have taken them unto your very soul‚ as one who is thirsty drinks after a long walk through the desert. Your hearts have rejoiced at My Words through My servant David.

85. This has been your manner for year after year after year, in spite of your own weaknesses, shortcomings, or failures. You have clung to Me and to My Words, and for this I do highly honor you. For as it was said of Abraham, that he was blessed because he believed Me, and his faith was counted unto him as righteousness; so has your faith been counted unto you, recorded in Heaven, and never to be forgotten!

86. You have storehouses of treasure and rewards waiting for you! Each hour‚ each day, each week, each month, each year that you have lived for Me will be rewarded. You will be amazed and astounded at the rewards laid up for you‚ for every ounce of faith and trust that you have placed in Me.

87. For I do not look at the vessel, but I look at the heart. I look at the motive. I look at the desire to please Me. I look at the love for Me that you have exhibited in the face of great difficulty and great opposition. You believed when very few others believed. You took hold of My Words when there were only a handful who followed My servant David. When there was no one to support you, you said, "I will not let go! I will cling to the Words of David even if all others forsake me!"—And many did forsake you.

88. There have been wives and husbands and children who have left—but you have held on, and this will never be forgotten! This will be rewarded. I do honor you greatly, not because of your accomplishments or your achievements, but because your hearts have been Mine. You have given your hearts unto Me and you have not been dissuaded. And even many of those who had fallen away have returned stronger than before.

89. You say, "I feel so much weaker. I feel so much less capable." But I say unto you, in this state of humility I am much more able to pour through you than I ever was before. For in your humble, even more broken state, you are more yielded to Me than you were when you had greater physical strength, when you were brash and young, and dashed off here and there.

90. I could not speak to you then as I can now, when you must move more slowly, when you must stop and listen to be sure that you are going the right way. Now you know that if you fall down, it may take you a while to get up! So you look to Me much more than before, and you lean on Me much more than before.

91. I will not forsake you, for you are precious in My sight! Each of you has garnered many, many jewels in your crown and many, many rewards. For you are all as many Sophies‚ the washerwoman, who will not have little hovels, but will have mansions, because of all that you have stored up for Me; because of the many things that you did that no one knew about; the many kindnesses that no one recognized; the many little ways that you gave of yourself that no one could thank you for because they did not know about them; the many times you persevered when you had no more strength.

92. The times you thought you were forgotten, you were not forgotten. I have looked on your heart and I will reward the beauty of your sacrifice in giving and dedication unto Me. For without faith it is impossible to please Me, but you have pleased Me by your faith, by your holding on when you had no more strength to hold on, and receiving strength from Me.

93. There is coming a dark and cloudy day, and in this day, physical strength will be of no help. What will be needed and what will be important will be your spiritual closeness to Me‚ your attitude of leaning on Me, your habit of drawing on My strength. The channels that have been forged of connection with Me will be drawn upon in this time. For now you are learning to hear more from Me than before. The young people also are learning to hear more from Me than before, and this will be your strength. This will show you the paths to walk in. This will protect you in the dark and cloudy and stormy days.

94. More important than the many accomplishments that you have striven for in the past is that you strengthen your connection with Me, that you may hear from Me, and that you may know which way to turn. I will lead you and guide you into the paths of light and safety and protection, for this is My will for you.

What May Seem Like the End Is Only a Bend!

95. You have gone forth as a strong man to run a race, and you have run well! I delight in you, and I am proud of you! But the race is not yet over‚ and what may seem like the end of the road to some is only a bend in the road of this race, which will lead to even greater things.

96. For if you look back at My great men and women throughout history, and even your own Father David, their greatest accomplishments all came not when they were young, but when they were old. For the many years of youth are but a preparation for the greater things that come with age.

97. Fear not and be not discouraged. Do not look at the past, but at the future. Look at the sample of your Father David, how it seemed like he spent his whole life and yet had not reached his greatest accomplishment. But I worked through him more mightily than ever before, and so it will be with each of you, if you yield to Me and you keep your eyes on Me. Do not let the Enemy come in and discourage you and rob you of the victories that are ahead of you. Strength in life comes from Me‚ and I can give it to anyone that I choose, regardless of whether they feel strong or whether they feel weak, or whether they feel used up or not.

Follow in the Footsteps of Your Fathers!

98. And to you young people I say, despise not the wisdom of the ancients, for there is much to be learned from them. Open your ears and open your eyes, and think not that your own arm will save you. Think not that you are strong in yourselves‚ and that by your own self-assurance you will accomplish what you want. For it is I Who work through people. It is I Who work through you. This comes not of yourselves, and there is much to be said for the experience, and for the tests‚ and the trials.

99. This is how I shape great men and women of God. Look at the example of Moses, how he spent 40 years in the desert tending the sheep. I prepared him to be the man of God that I wanted him to be. For when he was young and full of his own ideas and full of himself, he was not useful to Me. But after I had taught him and trained him and brought him through the difficult experiences, the tests, and the trying of his patience‚ then was he fit to accomplish that which I had prepared for him.

100. So it is with you. I have many things that I want you to accomplish, many things that I want you to do for Me. But I must bring you through these experiences, through the tests and the trials, like I have done with your parents. For they have come through as better gold‚ and I am able to use them greatly, and they are precious in My sight. They are My chosen people—not only the ones that I have chosen, but the ones that have chosen Me, and have continued to choose Me, even when the going was rough.

101. So remember that it is I, the Lord, Who give strength and anointing to My people. They that are faithful to Me and to the Words of David are the ones in whom I delight and through whom I accomplish My will. Therefore carefully study these Words and pay close attention to them, that you may also follow in the footsteps of your fathers, and that you may also pass through the tests and learn from the experiences and become the vessels that I want you to be.—Not necessarily vessels of great beauty or great honor, but broken vessels through which My Love and My understanding freely flows.

My Bride Is One Bride—No Male or Female, Young or Old!

102. I say unto you young men: Be filled with faith and courage as you go through your lives. But make not the mistake of surface judgment. For have I not given you a kingdom? Have I not raised up a kingdom? In one day, did I not call them a nation which was no nation? Did I not make a people which were no people, that I might show the praises and the glory and the majesty of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light? Therefore‚ if any man judge, let him judge righteous judgment. For there is a place for the young and a place for the old.

103. Those who have borne the heat of the day and the battles of the days of yore, even as they come with their hearts bleeding and through great suffering‚ they come unto Me, and they shall receive many crowns and much glory. For they have borne the heat of the day. They have borne the pangs of birth of My Revolution. Even as a woman goes through travail and suffers pain that a man child shall be born, even so these suffered great anxiety as they pioneered this mighty Revolution which was born swiftly and quickly, but which was dedicated to speak the Truth and to go against the wave of corruption which did sweep, and does yet sweep across the face of this Earth.

104. Therefore I say unto the young, pattern not your thoughts after the influences of those about you in this evil world. The conversation of those who believe not permeates the air waves about you. Therefore‚ emulate it not, copy it not, inquire not after their gods, saying, "How do they worship their gods? Even so will we do likewise." Make not the mistake that My people made when they asked for a king, when I sought to give them prophets.

105. This is a day when young and old must be married as one, for I have called My Bride as one bride. My Bride is one bride and there is no male nor female‚ there is no young nor old in Christ Jesus. I look upon the heart.

106. Therefore judge nothing before the time. Judge not another man's servant, for to his own master he stands or falls. And if he fall, God is able to hold him up. But judge this‚ that no man put a stumblingblock in his neighbor's way, or judge surface judgment, which would be nothing more than foolishness and criticism. For have I not given you a way of righteousness? And if you serve Me to the day of your death, I will give you a great crown of glory.

107. Therefore‚ boast not, you young ones, as he that shall yet put his armor on. For those who have worn the armor, even though in many cases it be tarnished or rusted‚ used it for My glory. I can simply polish it again until it shines. Even so do I now polish My old ones, and I will polish you, My young ones.

108. Forget not the time in which you live. For I have said unto you, old and young, that you shall go through Great Tribulation, but I will be with you and I will give you grace. But the Enemy seeks to divide and conquer, and there is great need for unity and solidarity‚ that you think and move as one man, as My one Bride, as My one wife. Therefore be married one to another.

109. Look out upon this world. Listen to the messages that permeate the news that you watch, and consider: Does this generation honor those who are of age? No! I say unto you, they do not honor those who have borne the heat of the day. They dishonor their aged and seek to take from them that which is their due. They have not respect unto their mothers and their fathers. But did I not write in My Book that the first commandment with promise was to honor your father and your mother in the Lord? Therefore give honor unto whom honor is due.

110. Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways seek to see as I see, to feel as I feel. My ways are high, as the heavens above the Earth, but you can know them if you will lift up your eyes and your heart with your hands and receive that which I would give unto you.

111. Therefore, rejoice! Doubt not, criticize not, but rejoice that I have given you mothers and fathers and the older ones to guide you‚ the seasoned veterans who have borne the weight of battle and fought against great doubts and fears and criticisms from without, and difficulties from within. For every day that they do persevere and hold fast to their crowns, I the Lord am proud of My older ones. I am not ashamed to be called their God!

Greater Heights of Compassion And Caring!

112. Hark, My children, and count your blessings and the many wonderful things that I have brought you through, and the many wonderful things that I have led you to do for Me. If you cannot see these things, seek Me and I will show them to you. Seek Me, cry out to Me! I will take away the darkness, and the light will shine upon your lives. I will show you the great and mighty things which I have used you to accomplish. For there are many wonderful things that I have accomplished in your lives, but many times your memories have been clouded with discouragement and condemnation and the lies of the Enemy. Seek Me‚ and I will blow away the clouds of darkness, and you will see the truth of the many wonderful things that you have accomplished.

113. Rejoice! Rejoice for all that I have used you for! Rejoice for every step that I have brought you through, including the refining of the past years. Rejoice over the refining of the years of quietness away from the battlefield. Rejoice! For these times are just for a moment, just a moment in your history, and there will come a day when you will see this as a turning point.—Not as a time of discouragement to be ashamed of‚ but a turning point.

114. For it is not by works of righteousness which you have done, but according to My mercy I have saved you. It is not by the zealous works of your youth, of your younger days, that you have been saved. I greatly used your zealousness and I chose you in your young days, so I could take advantage of this zealousness. I was proud of you for stepping out and pioneering and conquering the world and passing out the Words of David, and for giving your wives and your husbands and your children unto Me, for giving your bodies unto Me. I have been proud of you for giving your all to Me, and for the zealous way that you have served Me.

115. But now I am bringing you to a new age, and this zealousness of your flesh is a thing of the past, as I have created in you the zealousness of the Spirit. First, you must be broken. First, you must see that you are useless. Yes, I used this zealousness of the flesh, and you felt great in your accomplishments and in the wonderful things that you had done. You pioneered in India‚ you set off to Thailand, you spread throughout Europe‚ you raised support! And then what happened? "Oh, so many children! Oh, it is time to return to home fields!" And then the discouragement set in. But see‚ this is a time of breaking, a time of putting in the past the zealousness of your flesh. It is a breaking so that I can pour in the zealousness of My Spirit.

116. You are to be born as new creatures in Me! Can you not see the wonderful things that I have prepared in thy heart? As you reach out to your neighbors and to those you are ministering to, are you able to tell them of the wonderful things that you have done? Does this lift their spirits? Are you able now to listen with compassion to the difficulties that they are experiencing, and the hardships that they do not understand‚ and the confusion that they are caught in? Because you have been broken, you are able to listen with compassion. This is a great and mighty tool that I have given to you.

117. I have brought you down. I have allowed this to happen. I do not count it a failure. I count it a step upward, because I have broken each of you. I have broken your pride. I have broken your feeling of tremendous accomplishment. I need broken people to work through! I am proud of you for sticking and standing with Me through this time of breaking. It has not been easy‚ and I see the sorrow and confusion in your heart.

118. You ask, "Why am I discouraged? We have followed the Words of David. Dad said do this, and we did it! Dad said do that, and we did it! We have followed! We obeyed the words in the Black Book and the Red Book and the Blue Book and the FF Volume; we did these things! Why am I discouraged today? Where is my usefulness? Why have I this feeling that I have failed? That I have come to the uttermost ends of failure? That I have wasted my life? I obeyed the Words of David to the best of my ability! Why do I feel like such a failure? Why do I feel strapped down with an older body and weakness and many children?—And even the criticism of my own young people! I feel buried! I feel so many weights upon me! Why do I feel these weights?"

119. I look upon you, and I am looking down upon you now, and I am reaching out My hand! My arm reaches and stretches forth to you. Take hold of My hand, because I am proud of you! I have great pride in you‚ that you have followed the Words of David. I am very proud of you, that during this time of discouragement you have held on and you have not quit, you have not run out the door! You kept trying, and you kept praying, and you kept reading, and you kept pouring out your hearts to those around you, to your little ones, and you did not give up. I am proud of you, and I shall lift you to high and lofty and wonderful works again! Beautiful, lofty works that the world shall see and shall admire! I shall do these things. I shall pour forth My compassion through your broken hearts, and this is what the world will admire.

120. I shall pour forth great, wonderful, beautiful compassion through your broken hearts. I could not pour this compassion through your hearts before, for your hearts were all covered and enameled over with achievements. But now with your broken hearts, I can pour My compassion upon the world and upon the needy.

121. Do not fret or be ashamed, but rejoice! Rejoice and be thankful that you have stuck, that you did not give up during the dry years, that you held on to Me. Be thankful that you did not turn back when the going seemed so rough, and it seemed like maybe you did make a mistake by trusting in the Words of David. Even when these doubts have encompassed you and have clouded your vision, you have not given up.

122. This, My child, is a wonderful, wonderful blessing. As you count your blessings‚ do not look back to the past of your youth only, but look at the wonderful blessings of these dry years and these difficult years, and see the wonderful hand that I have had upon each one of you. See the wonderful way that I have led you and given you faith to hold on in spite of the battle, and rejoice that I have counted you worthy to go through this trying time.

123. Rejoice that I have broken your heart! Rejoice that I have molded you and I have purged you, because this shows that I have a great future for you! Rejoice in the difficulties that you have encountered! Rejoice in the lies that you have heard told about you! Rejoice in the discouragement that your young people have burdened you with, with their doubts and their questions and their self-righteous looking down upon you. Rejoice, because now I can take you to greater heights of wonderful compassion and caring!

124. You have passed through a difficult time, a difficult test. But believe and honor My Word and know that a great victory is in store for you, and great new heights are just around the corner! Count your blessings and gain strength from believing that I have used you‚ and that I have used these difficult years and these cloudy years. As you count these as a blessing and hold on to My Word and continue to pour forth, and continue to hold on and believe My promises, even when they seem to have failed you, I shall bring you to lofty heights again! You shall rejoice, and you shall be happy, and many shall look upon you and say, "If he can do it, I can do it!"

125. They shall look up at you and know that you have passed through these battles and these trials, and therefore you have become a light and a beacon unto them as they pass through their battles and their trials. Do not be ashamed, but continue to hold on by faith to the Words of David, and the wonderful Words and promises that I have given unto you, and you shall see each and every one fulfilled. For none of My Words can fail.

126. Hold on, for the crowns are descending! As you see your brethren receiving their crowns and you wonder, "Where is my crown?", hold on‚ because your crown is just around the corner!

127. I am proud of you! Stir yourself up and hold on to My blessings‚ do not let go! Stir yourself up and do not give up, do not look down! Hold on and believe! You shall be a great strength unto your youth, and through this breaking you shall be able to pull your youth up through the battles that they shall now encounter. Hold on, for I love you greatly and I want to make a great and mighty nation out of you!

Lighten Up on the Old Folks!

128. Lighten up on the old folks! Give'm a break! I tell you‚ these are tops in My book! These are the folks who have endured the heat of the day. I'm proud of them! They're great and have done great things! Everything up until this time has been like practice—they're just getting into stride. The things that I've got in store for them are tremendous! They're not washed up! They've just got enough wisdom now to know what to do in most cases. I'll tell you, I have great things in store for them! I am going to lead them, and I'm going to use them like I have not even been able to use them before‚ because they haven't had all these lessons under their belt.

129. I'll tell you, you young folks, you've got a ways to go. You are pretty smart, and you've got a lot of knowledge and you've got a lot of Word in your heads and in your hearts, but you lack experience. Let Me tell you, experience is what it really takes to make all that Word gel. All those lessons are what you build your wisdom on. You'd better look in the Bible and see what happened to the young men and Rehoboam! Be not like these! They thought they knew better than their parents. They thought they were pretty smart, and ended up losing half the kingdom. (See 1Kings 12.)

130. I'll tell you, these old folks have gone through a lot. They are not that old either! Your father David never took off until he was 49! Most of these old ones haven't even gotten that old yet! They are not washed up! They have hardly begun, so give'm a break! Let Me tell you, I think they have endured a lot. They went through the hard times. They are the ones that took this movement from nothing to something. And look at it now, it's the talk of the world! They are pretty good‚ pretty revolutionary, these old folks, and I really love them. So give'm a break! Look up to them and listen to them. You'd be surprised how smart they are.

131. And all these kids that I gave them, like you, aren't they terrific? You're the best kids in the whole world! How did you kids get that way? It's because of your parents! It's not something you did on your own. And now that your parents have had all this practice on you guys, well, I guess I can trust them to rule the world when the time comes.

132. So, My children, both young and old, remember that it is I Who work through you, and in you, and by you, and everything comes of Me. This is not of yourselves. You don't have to have it in yourself! Boy‚ it takes Me a long time to pound that out of some of you, to make you useful. You don't think I'm going to lose all that good training that I've put into you, do you?—All those years that I have been molding you and melding you and training you? I'm going to use it, and use it even more in the days to come. Then when the Golden City comes, you will really be able to enter it with your heads held high!

133. I'm going to be standing there saying to each of you, "Well done, good and faithful servant‚ enter into the joy of your Lord!" And you will deserve it for all you have done. You will be greatly honored, every one of you! So don't let the Ol' Boy lie to you that you are washed up, has-beens, had it, that you did everything all wrong. Let me tell you‚ that is the Enemy if you think that, and you don't have much of an idea of what I am like, and the ways that I work. Surely you should know better by now!

134. Anyway, I love each and every one of you. You are precious in My sight. And there are great things yet in store for you. Every year is getting better! You'd better believe it! And it is going to get real good one of these days very soon. And then you are going to have a whole eternity to be able to use all this wisdom and all this knowledge and all this training that I have been placing in you. And you're not going to worry about starting to feel old and creaky, because none of that will be any more. So hang in there and know that I love you! Yes, I love you—just you!

The "Over-the-Hill Gang!"

135. Great is your faithfulness, great is the faithfulness which you Family elders have shown unto Me! Cheer up, ye saints of God! So you think you are the "over-the-hill gang," huh? Ha! What is that in thine hand? Behold the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! Come with Me and let's cut the Devil to the heart! Come with Me, and look at My "over-the-hill gang!" Let Me open My book and show you a few of them.

136. We'll start over here in the Old Testament. There is Abraham and Noah, and Moses and Enoch—pretty old folks‚ weren't they? But they were mightily used. I started out with Abraham to build My Church, and though he was old, I fulfilled my promise to Him through Isaac. And remember Sarah? I loved her so much, but she didn't even start having kids until she was past time. How's that for using someone "over the hill"? How much more do you think I love and appreciate all you have done! All you faithful women who have had so many children, don't think you are all spent or all used up and have no worth to Me—you have been used as tools to make My New Nation, and I'm not done yet!

137. For there are dark days ahead and you will be greatly needed and greatly used‚ and you are greatly needed now! Don't listen to the lies of that Ol' Boy when he comes around and tries to tell you that you are of no use. For man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. And remember what it says in My Word: Blessed is the man that has his quiver full of children. Look to My Word and see yourself as I see you, and listen not to the lies of the Enemy.

Victory Through Unity!

138. And you‚ my younger ones, take heed to My Word, for this is how I see it. I do honor your parents and they are precious in My sight. And it is My desire that you work together‚ for in unity there is great strength. In unity you will defeat the Enemy, and you will be the victors! Listen not to the lies of the Enemy who will come in and try to divide and conquer, but rebuke him and repair the breach in the wall. Listen not to the Evil One who would like to take you apart, but stand as one. For we all have need of each other for the body to function. The older cannot say to the younger, "I have no need of you." And the younger cannot say to the older, "I have no need of you." For I have made you both to work together, to make My body strong to defeat the Evil One!

139. And here is a little something that I would like to let you know: It is the Enemy who seeks to divide you, because it is My plan that you work together to defeat him! He is angry, and he wants to get in, in any way‚ to defeat My purpose. But My purpose will not be defeated! Hearken unto My Word, and rebuke the Enemy and resist him, for he seeks to divide you, one against the other. And he seeks to discourage My older ones. Draw nigh to Me, and I will draw nigh to you, and I will strengthen you. Look to My Word, for in it is the Truth, and the principles, and the way that you should go. Unite against this dark Evil One who tries to defeat you!

140. Fear not, My older ones, for I will never leave you nor forsake you! I love you‚ and we are going forth to the light of a brighter day. Do not be tempted to turn off that light ahead of time. Be not discouraged. Follow Me! Continue in the path which you have started on, continue to follow the Words of David, and now continue in the new day and in the new way that I do speak to you through My Queen Maria. Strive for unity, for in unity there is strength. Leave the scoffers behind, and let's go on to the light of that brighter day! On to victory‚ on to victory, on to victory!

Give Honor to Whom Honor Is Due!

141. Behold, this persuasion comes not from above! For this persuasion is a crowbar of the Enemy to pry you young ones away from God's army.—And not only to pry you young ones away from the army, but to pry the older ones away through their being intimidated by you. It is a two-fold device of the Enemy which has come in to pry you away from each other and away from the army.

142. This shows a weakness in your armor. For you have been brought up as a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people. You are the sons and daughters of those who have done what no other generation has done. You are the sons and daughters of those tens, those twenties, those hundreds, those few thousands who have dared to step outside of the web of Lucifer!—Those who have dared to follow Me without the camp. You are the sons and daughters of the officers of My army! You are the generation produced of the leaders of the Endtime!

143. Therefore scorn not [belittle not] as they catapult you into the future! Look not back at them and say, "How rusty the catapult is, how old and worn with pockmarks from the battle. How incapable they are." For behold, they thrust you forward to finish the job—the job for which you were born, the job for which you were conceived, and for which you were created.

144. You are they whom I have loaded with the weapons of war, whose quivers are full of arrows, who do wield the sword of the Spirit with both hands‚ who do hurl stones with both arms! You are they who are girded about with Truth, whose feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel. You are they who have been fitted with the breastplate of righteousness. You are they who are ready to go out into battle!

145. Therefore scorn not [belittle not] your leaders, your mentors, for they are those who wear the stripes and the badges. They are those who have been adorned with the purple hearts. They are those who have been given the bars on their shoulders for victories over jealousy, for victories over battles with self-righteousness. They have been given decorations for endurance, for stick-to-it-iveness. They have been given the ribbon for following Me through the Flirty Fishing Revolution. They are those who have fought the battle of relationships, of many wives, of many mates, of bearing many children, of learning how to raise broods of children in the same room, in the same house. These are they that bear My decorations! These are My generals, these are My officers‚ decorated with ribbons across their chests, with bars across their shoulders‚ with stars on their crowns! These are the officers, the leaders of My Revolution!

146. You are they who have the weaponry, who are battle ready, but have not yet earned the ribbons of victory over jealousy, of victory over self-righteousness, of victory in relationships‚ of being able to raise many children and yet pioneer new fields. Therefore, give honor unto whom honor is due!

147. For behold, I love My Father. (Crying.) He sent Me on a mission, and when He turned His face away from Me, I could not bear it. It broke My heart‚ for I did always the things that did please Him. I did honor My Father. Please follow My example, for I was with Him from the beginning, before the Earth was‚ when there were no mountains, when the seas were brought forth. I was daily by Him, rejoicing always before Him. My Father and I are One. Do not dishonor Me by dishonoring your mothers and your fathers, but follow My example.

148. Again I say unto you, this is a device of the Enemy to pry you apart—and not only you, but to pry them apart from My army. Because you grew up in a family, you did not realize that it was an army, and familiarity has grown, familiarity with your own officers. But many of you have passed the test, and this is one of the first of many tests; to see if you will look upon the uniform and not upon the man; to see if you will see the prophet and not the flesh that it comes out of; to see if you will believe and understand that it is the true sap that flows from them‚ that directs them, that it is I.—Or to see if you will look upon him merely as your father, or upon her merely as your mother. For truly they have been endued with My Spirit.

149. Be not as the kings who looked upon the prophet as merely a man, but be as David who looked upon the prophet as the Spirit of God! For even your David said that in the flesh he was just a funny old man, but in the Spirit, he is the great King David! And so it is with your fathers and your mothers. They are the kings and queens of Kingdom Come, and you are the princes and the princesses. Therefore follow them without the camp. Join them! Become one with them!

150. You shall wage a mighty war, and the Enemy shall not prosper! For when the Enemy comes in like a flood, I shall raise up a standard against him. And this is My standard‚ even My Love. Therefore love one another with fervent love.

My Diamonds in the Rough!

151. Behold the sample of your queen as she did care for the elder, your king, for many years, night and day. There were many other ministries and things she could have done, but she forgot not he whom I called to bring you into being. These, your older generation, are but the dirt clods that shall catch you when you fall. For now you flutter about in My light. You are in open ministries, being used in many ways. You have strength‚ you have youth, you have wisdom of witty inventions. But you need your foundation, these, your dirt clods.

152. What is that in thine hand? As you, when you were younger, opened many doors and were used in many ways by your parents as they ministered unto kings and in many countries, in like manner, your children shall be the key to many doors in times to come.

153. You are all parts of My Body, and you cannot say that you have not need one of another. These look dusty and covered, and look not like jewels, but that is because I have buffed them and ground them down. All I need to do is wash them and blow away the dust, and they are beautiful jewels and gems! You young ones are rough diamonds and I have much buffing to do, and these older ones shall encourage you in the times of buffing and grinding that you shall go through as well.

154. Beware of the leaven of the System! Beware of the leaven of the so-called "generation gap." For there is no younger or older in My Family. Who are these who are arrayed in white linen and have had their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb? They are My faithful ones‚ My called ones! They are the ones who have given what was left of their life to Me, after they left the System. You have all your life before you. You have lived all your life in the Family. You have your strength. You have your health. Use it for Me. Use it also to care for those who have gone before you. Honor them, and I shall honor you, and use you‚ and keep you in the times that are to come.

I See You in the Shadows!

155. The Lord God is no respecter of persons; we are all one in His sight. For there is no rich nor poor, no bond nor free, no Jew nor Greek, no young nor old; for all are one in Christ Jesus. Man may look on the outward appearance‚ but the Lord looketh upon the heart. And though our outward man may perish, yet the inward man can be renewed day by day by faith and obedience and love. For though your steps may falter where once they were strong, I know that your heart is of pure gold and has become of more pure gold through the fires of the years of refinement that I have given you.

156. I spoke to [the Apostle] Peter of this when he was young. I told him, "When you were young, you did go wherever you did want, but when you are old, another will carry you about where you want not to go." I was teaching him the humility of dying daily; of not being able to do in his own strength what he could when he was young; to gracefully allow his life to be given in sacrifice for others, as the lamb lays down his life to be eaten and devoured‚ rather than devouring others.

157. There is great reward and great treasure in humility and lowliness of mind, each esteeming others more than themselves. For when the fruit of your loins does sparkle in the light, I see the reward on your head as well as on theirs. I see you in the shadows waiting to catch them, and will reward you just as much as those who are in the limelight. When you feel unseen or unnoticed, but are faithful and cheerful and rejoice at the progress of another more than your own, this is great in My sight, and I will reward you in My time.

158. For this time is but for a moment‚ and afterwards shall come exceeding great and eternal rewards. Cast not away, therefore, your confidence. Cast not away your crown. For you already have many stars in your crown from your years of service and souls won to My Kingdom which you have accumulated over the years. Your head is heavy with this crown! Now you must allow the others to rise up and likewise reap their full reward, that in the world to come you may both rejoice that you have all run your full course to finish the race, and that henceforth will be laid up for you the crown of righteousness that the Lord will give to every man at His appearing.

159. (Vision:) I saw a picture of the older generation getting their crowns‚ and they were sort of in the shadows. Their crowns maybe didn't look so shiny, but they were solid and very thick and quite large, with lots of different jewels and stones on them. The younger ones' crowns were very shiny with new gold, sort of like when you get a new ring and it is all shiny and untarnished, but their crowns were smaller. It's like when a deer gets horns—they may be sharper, but they are smaller than a full-grown set of antlers. The young people were in the light and had real shiny crowns, but they didn't have that many jewels in their crowns yet. They weren't filled up yet, and that was the difference.

Precious Hearts of Gold!

160. Lift up the heads that hang down and the feeble knees, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, lest that which is older be discouraged, lest that which is weaker give up the fight. Lift up the hands which hang down, and put your arms around them with encouragement and love and faith and compassion and understanding and patience. For they are those that have a heart of gold, yet it is encased within pottery which is chipped and cracked. These are vessels which are old and chipped and cracked, not so shiny and not so new‚ but oh so beautiful. This heart of gold is precious—through the knowledge of the Word and these valuable experiences which can only be gained through time and the school of hard knocks, the ups and the downs, the failures and the successes, the tests and the trials and the victories.

161. There are so many precious lessons in these hearts of gold—lessons of hanging on and of fighting until the end; lessons of trusting Me even when everything looks dark; lessons of desperate prayer; lessons of faith for healing; lessons of faith for finances and My supply; lessons on the need for the Word and prayer; lessons on teamwork; lessons on witnessing and winning disciples.

162. Man looks on the outward appearance, but I look upon the hearts, and I cherish and I value these hearts, for they are precious unto Me. As antiques gain more and more value with age, these precious ones grow more and more valuable in My sight with age. That which they have to offer cannot be bought with money, for it is something that can only be acquired through the life of faith and trust, through the life of breakings and victory. It is so special and so precious and so rare.

163. Despise not these hearts of gold, but cherish them and protect them, value them, make it easy for them to be good. Use them to the full‚ that they may be content, that they may know that while they may not run or jump or fly like they once did, they have a very special place in the foundation of My Kingdom. For they receive My diamonds of dust. They feed and care for and train My diamonds of dust.

164. Give honor to whom honor is due. You younger ones, respect your elders, for they have much to offer you. You must look beyond their idiosyncrasies and little habits or ways which you find bothersome. Look deeper and see the precious things, that you may gain the precious things that these can teach you. For a wise man learns from his own experience, but a wiser man learns from the experience of others. These wise men have much to teach, for they have much experience. They have made many mistakes‚ they have fallen many times, yet they fight on! Even in their weakness, even in their discouragement‚ even in their correction‚ even in their fatigue, they fight on; and this is a great thing in My eyes, worthy to be praised and honored.

165. In the day of My Kingdom I shall lift these up and I shall honor them, and you shall see them as I see them! I shall place My crown of jewels upon their head and all will marvel at these, My faithful ones—these who have stuck year after year after year, these who have borne many children, these who have borne many hardships. I shall honor them and recognize their sacrifice and they shall be rewarded, for I do not forget their labors of love.

The Weak Things Shall Confound the Mighty!

166. Consider the autumn leaves and their magnificent colors. These colors have come upon them through pain and hardship, because of the frost, because of the coming of winter, because of suffering. Therefore you green leaves can look upon them and acknowledge what they had to go through to bear these colors. You may look upon the older generation and wonder, "Who are the conquerors amongst them? Who are the brave men? Who are the world changers? Who are the magnificent ones?" You see them not and you are disappointed. But do you not know that I have called the foolish things of the world‚ yea, the weak things, to confound the mighty? In this, My plan will not be defeated. For it is I Who have made them weak and humble and meek, that in their weakness and in their humility, I may be glorified.

167. They were also young once upon a time, and thought that in their youth and in their strength they could turn the world upside-down! And they have tried. But they have failed in their own strength and have acknowledged that their strength was not sufficient, for they have met battles and difficulties and hardships that they could not bear. But by and by they have learned to lean more and more on Me, and they now know that I am He Who does all things.

168. For it is I Who have called and created this Church. And have I not asked but one thing of them through your Father David, and of you also, that you would be faithful? I have not asked them to be successful, or to be a conqueror, or a mighty man, or a wonder of a personality, and you should not expect them to be so. For these are not what I have called to build My Church. I have called the weak ones who would be willing to lean on Me and learn from Me.

169. Look now upon all that I have done, and consider it not a failure, but a great success! No other church has accomplished as much with so little. Look at the billions who have been reached and witnessed to! Look at the millions of souls that have been won! I have accomplished all these things through your faithfulness. So you young ones, look not upon the older generation to seek great men and great personalities, for I had to break these one by one, that in their weakness and in their littleness I may be glorified.

170. Look not on the outward appearance to see them as weak people, nor even as failures, for I see them not as such. I see them as great and faithful ones who have brought about a mighty success. You see them in their frailty and in their weakness, but I see them in their uniforms‚ bearing the many medals and badges and ribbons of honor that they have won through the many battles and wars that they have fought. You look at this simple cook in your kitchen, who cooks a meal, and yet another meal, and yet another meal. And you wonder, "What is with this man? What has he ever accomplished but cooking?" But I see him in his uniform, shining with the many badges of honor that he has won, for he is a glorious one in My sight! Therefore look not on the outward appearance, but look on the heart. (End of prophecies.)

How to Recognize and Get Rid of Bitterness

(ML #3170:25-62, Lifelines 24)

The Lord Uses Everyone's Mistakes in His Great Plan of Life!

25. (Mama: ) Some of you have some complaints about the treatment you've received from leaders; you were hurt, mistreated, misunderstood, etc. Thank the Lord, most of these kinds of problems happened in the past. But still, the hurts are very real‚ and if you haven't been able to get over them, they're very debilitating. Here's an important message dealing specifically with leaders who have hurt others, but more generally with how the Lord uses everyone's mistakes in His great plan of life.

26. (Jesus speaking:) Yes‚ at times My leaders and shepherds have made mistakes. For no man, no matter how great or how close to My heart, is without fault. I have created all men to be weak‚ to make mistakes, to have faults and problems, and even to make wrong decisions, to fail. Yet even this is part of My plan, for through these things I teach and I strengthen.

27. But though men may make mistakes, though they may fail, and though they may even cause hurt and pain to others of My children, yet know that I make no mistake. Know that even the mistakes of those who love Me‚ even when they affect others‚ still work together for My good and My purpose and My plan. For through these things I work in the hearts of all —of those who are chastened, perhaps even harshly or unfairly, and of those who mete out the discipline.

28. In time, all will come to see the truth and understand all sides of the story‚ when they come to Me and meet Me in My Kingdom. For this life is only the beginning, only the start of the great learning process and the journey of life, the journey to complete spiritual maturity and understanding. You must look beyond this world and this life, and know that I have a greater plan, a more complete and full vision, which you could never even begin to conceive of nor understand. So you must not even try to fully comprehend and understand the workings of My Spirit and My hand. You must simply trust, believe, accept, receive, and go on in faith. You must believe My promise that I know, I care, I do all things in love‚ and I do all things for your good, because I love you and care for you. (End of message from Jesus.)

29. (Peter:) The Lord says everybody makes mistakes, which includes your shepherds, your parents, your friends, your mate, your children, your teamworkers, your Home members, even you! It doesn't matter who you are or how close you are to the Lord‚ you're going to make mistakes. We're basically flawed creations in the sense that we fail, we hurt others, we do things that we shouldn't do. And the things that we should do, we often don't do. Others hurt us and we hurt others, which is why we must forgive and seek forgiveness.

30. Of course, this does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that we should just blow all caution and prayerfulness to the wind, not caring about others or being concerned about how our actions will affect them. The Law of Love is the Scriptural principle that should govern all our actions, and that means we are to love the Lord above all else, and love our neighbor as ourselves. When we're loving our neighbor as ourselves, we won't want to hurt him or cause him pain. The Lord can take our hurts and pain and disappointments and bring good out of them, but it's not like we can foolishly or hatefully hurt others‚ thinking there will be no retribution for our sins or mistakes and it won't matter in the long run because the Lord will cause everything to work together for good. This is another side of Romans 8:28 that I will cover later in this Letter, but right now I want to draw your attention to another very important point.

31. In the prophecy you just read, the Lord is saying that on this Earth, in this life, you'll never be able to understand all the whys and wherefores of everything that's happened to you. You're not going to be able to figure out in your mind why so-and-so did this to you and how they could have done such a thing. You're never going to be able to reconcile it in your mind. You'll never be able to figure out what was going on in everybody's minds and hearts in the situation that allowed these things to happen.

32. But in the life to come, when you see the Lord, you'll come to a complete understanding of it all; perhaps when He reviews your life. Maybe then you can ask about those things you didn't understand‚ and you'll be able to find out all the whys and wherefores. Maybe He'll let you understand what was going on in the minds of others, or He'll help you to better realize what they were going through at that time which caused them to act in a certain way. But for now, you can't and won't fully understand, and you can't let that lack of understanding hold you back.

33. What you need to do now is to put your desire to know and understand all the details about these past hurts behind you, and just let go of them. The Lord says you need to trust, believe‚ accept, receive‚ and know that He loves you and cares for you. Even though bad things have happened to you, the Lord wants you to overcome them. He wants to comfort you in them and help you through them.

The Promise of Romans 8:28!

34. A lot of people have a question about the verse Romans 8:28: "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them that are called according to His purpose." They feel like the Lord is saying that He wanted or planned all kinds of bad things to happen to them so good things will come from it. They interpret that as if to say, "It was the Lord's will, in fact His plan, for my shepherd to be so harsh with me in the past, or for this or that person to do those things that hurt me so deeply." When we asked the Lord about it‚ this is what He said:

35. (Jesus speaking:) My precious children, how I love you! I have designed the mystery of life for you‚ My loves, and I have put within the majesty of choice this safeguard of protection for all My children. It's called the promise of Romans 8:28. It's My promise to you that no matter what happens in your life, no matter what the choices of those around you, I can and will perfect My plan in your life and turn all things for your good, as much as you'll let Me. As you love Me and trust Me in yieldedness, so am I able to take even bad situations and turn them to your good.

36. It's not that I "will" these bad situations—for I wish all men to learn to love and to live in love. But because man is not perfect, and because you have the majesty of choice and you often make selfish choices, I gave you, My children who love Me‚ that promise as your safeguard, to know that no matter what the choices of those around you, I am able to turn them into good for you.

37. As I said to My disciples while I was on Earth, "It must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh" (Mat.18:7). In this world there will be injustice, there will be selfishness, and there will be pain and difficulty inflicted on innocent people. But My promise to all My children is that I have the power to overrule the evil‚ and turn for good any circumstance that you find yourself in.

38. This is one of the mysteries of My Spirit, how I have a plan so perfect that it cannot fail, and yet I give to you the majesty of choice and the power to change things according to your choices. But no matter what the choices of those around you, I am able to give you what's best for you. Do you believe that? Do you believe that I know what's best for you? That even though those around you make choices which are not according to My will, not according to My laws of love and loving life‚ I am still able to use them in your life to bring about the best? I am able, and I will—so long as you love Me and trust Me with your life.

39. I will never cause the mistakes of others to deprive you of My best, My highest. It might be delayed, but I will have My way in your life regardless of the choices of others, if you keep the faith, fight, and don't give up. Sometimes what is "best" to Me is different than what you think of as "best." Sometimes My "best" means more brokenness, more compassion, more understanding of others, more humility. All of these qualities are part of My "best" in your life, and sometimes they come through breakings, and sometimes those breakings come through the wrongdoing of others.

40. My children, it is not that I desire you to be hurt, or that I engineer hurtful situations or circumstances, but sometimes through the attacks of the Enemy or the mistakes or sins or wrong decisions of others, you do suffer hurt. Nevertheless‚ I am able to turn it to good for you. And though I may have to correct others or even punish them for their actions, I am able to turn it to good for them too if they will let Me.

41. Trust in My love, that My plan is perfect, and that even when those around you act outside of the circle of My loving law, yet I am able to shield you and protect you, and only allow to touch you that which I am able to use for good in your life. Believe in this, My never-failing promise, and be set free! (End of message from Jesus.)

42. (Peter:) Did you notice that in the above message the Lord said, "It's My promise to you that no matter what happens in your life, no matter what the choices of those around you‚ I can and will perfect My plan in your life and turn all things for your good, as much as you'll let Me"? I thought the phrase "as much as you'll let Me" was very interesting. It seems to imply that there are some conditions to this promise, or there is something we have to do for Romans 8:28 to be consistently true in our life. The Lord goes on to explain it a bit more‚ saying, "As you love Me and trust Me in yieldedness, so am I able to take even bad situations and turn them to your good."

43. Mama and I were curious to have more information from the Lord on this subject. Also, we were eager to have the Lord speak about the Romans 8:28 aspect of problems or difficult situations that we cause or bring upon ourselves, which are different than the ones others cause us. We realize that a lot of anguish in people's lives is due to their remorse over their own bad choices or mistakes‚ things they alone are responsible for, rather than wrong things that were done to them or where they were the victim of another's wrong choices or unloving actions. Here is the Lord's excellent answer to both of these questions:

44. (Jesus speaking:) The extent to which I am able to use circumstances in your life, and even perfect My will, depends upon you and how much you let Me have full sway in your life. My promise is true and unfailing—that I do all things well, that I will perfect that which concerns you, that all things will work together for good to those who love Me and are called according to My purpose. But the extent to which I'm able to work is up to you.

45. Even as I've promised that I answer prayer—the power of the prayer, and thus the power of the answer—depends upon you. My promise of Romans 8:28—that I will work all things together for your good—is dependent upon the condition of Romans 8:28, that you love Me, and that you're called according to My purpose. If you're not heeding My call and thus not obeying My will, giving your life to Me and letting Me work, then I'm not only unable to turn bad situations for your good, but I'm also unable to bless and reward you, for you're out of My will.

46. But the beauty of the promise is that the moment you come to Me‚ the moment you fulfill your part of the conditions—loving Me and yielding to Me—I begin to work, and use not only the present circumstances, but also all those of the past for your good. I am able to bring good out of all that has gone before, and all that happens presently‚ and all that will happen in the future, as long as you continue to fulfill the conditions of the promise.

47. Thus is the beauty and mystery of My promise fulfilled, that no matter what mess you find yourself in, no matter what wrongs you've committed or what wrongs have been committed against you, when you're loving Me and yielded to My will‚ My purpose in your life, I am able to turn all things for your good.

48. This doesn't mean that whenever something bad happens it's because you're out of My will. There are many times when I allow something specifically for the purpose of teaching a lesson, or to bring about a greater good, and it's through no fault of your own. But there are other times when you bring the difficulty upon yourself through your own foolishness or unyieldedness, or by straying from the path of My will. Other times it's through the wrong choices of those around you, or through your own wrong choices.

49. But in any case‚ no matter what the cause of the wrong, as you love Me and yield to My will, My plan, and trust Me for the victory, I am able to use any and all circumstances to perfect My will in your life‚ and to bring about the victory. The only conditions to this promise are there in the promise—"to those who love Me, and are called according to My purpose." What does that mean, "to be called according to My purpose?" It means simply being in My will, fulfilling My purpose for you.

50. It is not for you to judge My purpose, for sometimes My plan is simply waiting, simply trusting, simply yielding in patience and faith to what's coming next. Sometimes it's passing through the "Valley of Baca" (Psa.84:6) and learning there the lessons I have for you. Sometimes it's heeding My call to a great mission. Other times it's forsaking what's dear to you in order to fulfill My greater plan. Yet other times it's humbly serving in the small place I've given you. But no matter what the circumstance, as you fulfill My purpose for you‚ I will turn all things—even seemingly bad, difficult, wrongful circumstances—for your good! This is My promise to you‚ and it will never fail!

51. If you feel that things have happened in your life that you've not yet seen good come out of‚ check your heart to see if you're fulfilling My purpose. If you are, then simply wait, and you'll see My promise fulfilled in My time. This is part of being called to My purpose—fulfilling the part I've given you to play in My great plan. Some things you'll not see fulfilled immediately, but the reward of the promise will come. It will come, I say. (End of message from Jesus.)

52. (Peter: ) What a tremendous, clear, helpful explanation! I hope this helps to lift some of the burdens of worry, remorse and condemnation that weigh you down, as well as motivate you to stay completely yielded to the Lord.

53. I want to remind you again that of course Romans 8:28 isn't a license to act as you please, thinking that it doesn't matter anyway and it will turn out for good in those people's lives because they love the Lord, and it'll even turn out for good in your life as long as you repent somewhere down the line. People can be hurt by wrong‚ unloving decisions; you can be hurt. And the fact that the Lord can bring good out of it won't take away the fact that someone was hurt. It's not as if that hurt or pain never happened, but the Lord is able to take those circumstances—as dark, sad, hurtful, painful or unjust as they are—and turn them into good‚ eventually.

54. The person who was affected by such wrong decisions or choices, whether it's you or someone else, will still remember that at one time he was hurt, but that hurt will not be the prominent thing in his life regarding that experience anymore. What will overwrite that hurt will be positive lessons—greater understanding or concern for others‚ greater prayerfulness, a desire to seek the Lord more diligently and consistently, greater appreciation for the Lord's blessings or protection, more love and compassion brought about through suffering, etc. There is much good that comes from past hurts. It's not as if the good erases the act that was wrong‚ but the Lord can work in your life to cause even wrongs to be made right. The key words are "made right." It's not like the previous unloving acts were right, but the Lord can help the hurt to be "made right," to be beneficial in some way.

55. Of course, it's better to make loving, Word-based decisions. It's better to have your motives be loving and all your actions loving. But the Lord knew that every person, no matter how loving or wise, will make mistakes. No one's every decision is loving and completely in line with His will. That's why He had to give us the safeguard of Romans 8:28. Yes, we should all strive to do our best‚ but we will fail sometimes; it's inevitable. And the more broken we are through our mistakes‚ failures and breakings, the more we will appreciate the full truth of His promise of Romans 8:28.

56. If you have questions about the Lord's will in your life and how He is causing all things to work together for good for you, please hear from Him in prophecy. You can ask Him your specific questions, and He won't fail to answer you and help you to understand things more clearly.

Holding on to Past Hurts‚ Resentments And Bitterness Damages You and Others

57. As I mentioned earlier, everyone has faults and failings, including you. So when people do unloving or hurtful things to you, you must guard against falling into a self-righteous spirit. Here's a little jewel from the Lord along these lines:

58. (Jesus speaking:) All men have faults and failings. Don't expect more of others than you do of yourself. Don't allow self-righteousness to come in and eat away at your meek, humble spirit‚ because it will destroy you by making you unhappy, unfulfilled‚ dissatisfied, discontent and disgruntled, which is the way of bitterness. You do well to stay meek and simple and humble and trusting. Continue to do so, and you'll find joy and satisfaction and fulfillment. (End of message from Jesus.)

59. (Peter:) You should fight against getting critical toward people who you feel wronged you. You should resist the temptation to dwell on it and think bad thoughts about them. This negative, critical attitude will eat away at you. It will make you unhappy, unfulfilled‚ dissatisfied, discontented and bitter. The Lord tells us to stay simple, humble and trusting—trusting that He's going to work things out‚ trusting that someday you may understand, and even if you don't, trusting that He'll take care of it. If you don't let it go and cast it all on the Lord, it'll destroy you. This is the important point, and the point that you have to understand—that self-righteously holding on to these past hurts, resentments and bitternesses can cause a lot of damage to you, and not only you, but others also!

60. When you feel resentful or bitter about something that someone once did to you, all of that negative emotion may not be directly affecting the other person. In fact‚ the other person might not even know how you feel; they might not even realize that they hurt you. But on the other hand, if the person you're bitter against is living in the same Home as you, your being bitter can make things very difficult for them. Or if they're living in a Home near you—or even if you don't ever see them—your negativity against them affects what you tell other people about them, which can travel through the grapevine and cause them to be unfairly and negatively labeled. Eventually all this can get back to them and wind up hurting them. So bitterness can have a great effect, either directly or indirectly, on those you are bitter against.

61. Bitterness can also hurt other uninvolved people because bitterness affects your outlook on things‚ and can be a cloud of negativity over your relationships with others and your interaction with them. For example‚ if you're bitter against someone who broke your heart, then that can cause you to be closed and cold toward others who might want to get close to you‚ which hurts them. So there are many ways in which bitterness hurts others, not just yourself.

62. I think you'll agree that those feelings of negativity that you have aren't accomplishing anything positive; they only continue to hurt you and others. It's essential that you work on overcoming them.

Issues, Part 2

(ML #3297:36–62, GN 894)



36. I look at my parents‚ and I know that they've been faithful in their service to the Lord, but I wonder what they really have to show for it in the way of solid, lasting, tangible fruit or established work. They're still raising children, they're still out on the streets going door to door, and often struggling to keep afloat financially. I love them very much and I admire them for the sacrifices that they've made in serving the Lord, but at the same time I hope that I don't end up in the same situation that they're in when I'm their age. I'm especially concerned because they're getting older and won't always be able to keep up with such an active lifestyle. They've given a lot, but I'm afraid that in the end they'll wind up suffering for it. They don't have any material assets and I don't know how they're going to be taken care of when they're too tired to keep up the day–to-day, hand-to-mouth routine.

37. When I compare the Family with other missions, for example, or even charitable foundations, who really have something substantial in the physical to show for what they've done‚ it can be very discouraging. It seems like our work has been "hit and miss" by comparison. Most of our missionary families or Homes don't have big mailing lists of regular donors, or even big established CTP ministries that have been recognized by the System, etc. Of course, we've won a lot of souls and helped a lot of people. But why aren't there more visible results?


38. This is a complex situation with many sides, but I'll try to explain more simply and clearly, to put the failures and successes in perspective.

39. It's true that the older generation could have done better. They could have been more fruitful, and they could have been more diligent to have lasting proof of their good works. They could have stayed in one place longer‚ ministering to their friends and loved ones. They could have been more faithful with their follow-up and mail ministries, to generate more regular support. They could have paid more attention to ministering to the poor and needy, to win the appreciation and admiration of the city fathers. They could have had a better balance in training their children in scholastics as well as the spiritual. They could have been more prayerful in living the Law of Love.

40. Yes, there was room for improvement. But I must ask you, My young ones, when is there ever not room for improvement? It can be easy to judge your parents and others of the first generation, especially if you see that there's some validity to your judgments and comparisons. In looking at your parents, their present situation and struggles, you may see the flaws, shortcomings, mistakes, and even failures rather than their lasting fruit. In comparing, you may feel the Family should have done things differently in the past.

41. But I must remind you: You weren't there, walking in the shoes of the first generation. You weren't the ones carrying the responsibility‚ trying the best you could, learning by trial and error‚ feeling your way in the darkness by faith, clinging ever so tightly to My hand for your supply and protection. Until you've walked in their shoes and lived your lives to the full and raised your own big families and pioneered country after country by faith, then be not quick to judge, for in judging others you condemn yourselves.

42. Remember, your parents were once young and inexperienced too. They were learning as they went. They were babes in the spirit compared to what they are today, and yet they carried huge responsibilities in pioneering, witnessing, and childrearing. Those things seem insignificant to you, because you're so used to it that it's no big deal. But you must realize that when your parents were the young pioneers, no one had done it before. With each new revolution‚ new ministry, or new missionary move to some foreign land, it was the beginning.

43. I'll tell you what the lasting fruits of the first generation are: They've pioneered the world and won disciples of many nations. They've raised their kids to serve Me the best they could. They've stuck. They've put Me first and continued to desire My Word. They've shared My message with hundreds of millions of people, one on one. They've led more than 20 million souls to Me, with your help. Heaven is full of the fruits of their witness!

44. Yes, they might not appear to be as "together" as some System churches or outreaches. They might not appear to be as fruitful because you can't see the results in the form of large churches, profitable foundations or institutions, or substantial, recognized ministries. Some of you may even feel their lives have been somewhat wasted and that it's a pity that they didn't do more.

45. But you have no idea of all that's been accomplished by your parents! Their fruits may not be visible to you, but they are glorious and very apparent to Me! You have no idea of the ripple effect of their witness‚ the ones who they led to the Lord who are now serving Me and who have established churches and ministries and works with the poor. You have no idea of the millions who have been touched, influenced, changed and transformed by the ministry of your parents, and have gone on to change the lives of others. You have no idea of the testimony it's been to millions that your parents were willing to have big families and yet they traveled the world, following Me by faith, not knowing where I would lead next.

46. There are other ministers and Christians who have different works, and in many ways they appear more fruitful, like they've accomplished more. They've stayed put in one place, they've worked faithfully to minister to a handful, and in some cases their flocks have grown and they're obviously blessed. I am pleased with these, My servants. But what you must understand is that your parents and you have a different ministry than My children of the churches. Your role in My army is different. My expectations for the Family are different, and I consider your ministry the greater one, as it calls for more sacrifice and dedication.

47. I've called you, the children of David, to be My disciples. You've been called to live together communally‚ sharing all you have. You are to go into all the world to preach the Gospel. You are to live of the Gospel. You are those who carry the meat of the Word, the Words of David, to the world, to those who will receive it. You are anointed with the gift of faith in the New Wine, and you've been rewarded with the new weapons for the End.

48. Your ministry has been a spiritual one, and you have borne great fruits in the spirit—multitudes reached, lives transformed, souls saved! The ministry of others of My children has been more physical in many ways, and their fruits have more often been physical—great churches and cathedrals, large congregations, and more power and popularity.

49. Don't you see? The ministry of the Family is different, and so are the obstacles you face and the rewards you receive. The first generation was on the move much of the time, but that too was part of My plan, so they could win new disciples in the early days that would join and be trained over the years to be national leaders. What if those of the first generation had been unwilling to go South or East, or to Russia or Eastern Europe, or to the Catholics or the Muslims‚ because they wanted to stay put and "build a work" where they were, to keep ministering to the same people in the same place? They were building a work—but it was worldwide! It was to many different people in many different places. What might look like a haphazard, silly approach was My perfect plan, and there were so few who were willing to do it.

50. It seems now when you look back on the history of the Family that the first generation was starting and stopping and moving here and there with no rhyme or reason. But you must believe that I was in control. I allowed David to have the inspirations I knew were needed right at the time I knew was crucial for the advancement of the Family. Yes, there were many obstacles to overcome, because just about the time the Family got one method down, or one language, or had pioneered one part of the world, what did I do but upset the fruit basket and send all the apples rolling to new places, new ministries, pioneering and beginning again!

51. Start, stop! Go here, go there! Do this new ministry; stop that ministry and try this one! It may look like chaos to you, but it was My plan, My way. And through the flexibility and great faith of the first generation I built a tremendously strong foundation for a worldwide work.

52. All those older national disciples you see who now have families of their own—who do you think won them to the Family? Your parents and others of the first generation, of course! They were once babes, single‚ totally untrained. Many of them spoke no English, and your parents might not have spoken their language. But it was due to the faith and perseverance of the first generation that you have a strong national church in so many countries worldwide. That's no small thing. Not many churches have established so many national churches and full-time missionaries who are fully committed to their message and doctrine. We're talking disciples—not just supporters, but those who are fully convinced to the point of giving their lives for the cause.

53. You young people who have won new disciples from your own generation who are now in the Family, strong and full of faith, married with kids and pioneering or running their own Homes, know what an accomplishment this is. You know how much work and prayer it takes. You know what a tremendous feeling of fulfillment there is‚ because you have fruit that lasts.

54. On top of pioneering and witnessing and winning and training new disciples, your parents had and raised you—their kids! I know some of you are of a different mentality and you don't necessarily admire your parents' willingness to have great big families. You feel they have little to show for their years of toiling and living hand-to-mouth and sacrificing to make ends meet while they had one child after another. But you are seeing through a glass that is very dark, and you are in for a big surprise.

55. Even if the children of those FGAs have chosen to leave the Family so that the fruit of your parents' efforts is invisible and seems to have just slipped through their fingers, do you think I'll let their work and sacrifices go unrewarded? Ha! You haven't even begun to see the blessings that will be your parents' because of their willingness to bear children and raise them for My glory. The choice of each child is a personal matter between Me and that child‚ and some choose to follow and some do not. But the choice of the child does not diminish the reward the parent receives.

56. What you may see as foolishness or "bad planning" in having such big families, I see as beautiful yieldedness of the most precious kind. And even if the parents' hopes are dashed when their darling, who they've given their all for, chooses to leave the Family and go their own way, I will not hold that against the parents. They will receive a reward for each child as if that child continued as My disciple, for I know that one day each child will. All that come to Me are Mine forever, and not one is lost to Me. I live in the eternal now and I reward the parents of My little ones according to eternity, not just according to this moment.

57. Besides your parents' willingness to pioneer and raise you‚ their kids‚ their greatest accomplishment is that they've stayed true to the Words of David. They've been willing to continue drinking them in and following. This is no small feat, as you of the second generation are now beginning to appreciate, as you see so many of your own peers choosing to go back and follow no more after the New Wine. The first generation's willingness to love the Words of David is their greatest accomplishment.

58. I'm not saying that you of the second generation haven't been willing to pioneer, raise children, or love the Words of David. I'm not making a comparison here, and My intent is not to make you of the second generation feel inferior. There are those of the second generation who have also done well in these areas. I'm simply answering the question of what the first generation adults have to show for their lives. They've pioneered the world by faith; they have national disciples of over 90 nationalities; they have children who they've raised in My Word and faith; and they've stuck and remained faithful to the Words of David.

59. With these great accomplishments, do you think I'll leave them destitute in their old age? Will I forsake them in their latter years, as they move toward the sunset of their work for Me in this life? Of course I won't. I'll be closer to them than ever, and I'll make a way for them in their old age. I will supply. I'll be all that they need‚ and they will not lack. They've trusted Me their whole lives since joining the Family, and I will not let them down. No good thing will I uphold from these who have walked uprightly. They are My servants, My brides, and I will not leave them destitute. I would be worse than an infidel if I failed to care for My Own. Your parents know this, and have faith in My supply and provision.

60. They trust Me and they know their lives have been invested wisely‚ spent in glorious service, and they're thankful. You should feel the same. You should look upon them with respect and give them the place of recognition they deserve. They're the overcomers, and they've paved the way for you. You may not feel they've done a good enough job and you may wonder what they have to show for their labors. But I say they have done a good job, and I see great fruit from their labors. They're a success in My eyes, for they have obeyed Me and brought forth everlasting fruit, and that's what counts.

61. I knew they'd have to make some sacrifices and that they wouldn't be able to minister to their converts as much as they wanted and as much as those converts needed and deserved. But that sacrifice had to be made in order to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations while the time was right and the harvest was ready.

62. You of the second generation will travel a slightly different path in your service for Me in the Family, but that doesn't mean the one is right and the other was wrong. I have My timing in these matters, and I know when it's time to emphasize new directions and change former directions or mindsets. But let not any future changes cause you to be critical or to despise the great accomplishments of the past. Without the firm foundation that has been laid by the first generation, it would not be possible to build the future upon it. (End of message from Jesus.)

Issues, Part 5

(ML #3322:25-35‚ GN 925)

Throwing the baby out with the bath water?

25. (Jesus:) I put a certain zeal and fire within the hearts of youth. This driving passion stirs you up, moves you forward, compels you to action! You can't just sit idly by and keep your mouth closed when something bothers you, or when you see something isn't right. I've put within the hearts of youth a desire for righteousness and fairness‚ and this is especially amplified in you, My Family young people, because of the great amount of Word and training you have received.

26. During the time of adolescence, the change from childhood to adulthood, so many emotions and attitudes are developing. Your thoughts and impressions of the world around you and of society at large are being formed. Sometimes there is so much to take in, it can almost be overwhelming! You feel a little confused, boggled, and some things that you always thought were right, or never thought much about at all, you are now starting to question.

27. You begin to analyze and observe more, and for some this only increases as time goes on, even once you enter adulthood. You become increasingly aware of your surroundings, of the behavior of others around you, of the trends and customs and mores and rules that are observed by different people or groups of people, and you take all this information in. You try to process it and figure out what to do with it. You have an innate desire to learn and absorb and observe‚ and you are constantly feeding your mind information and input. From that input you create a database that serves as a frame of reference.

28. Different people have different types and sizes of databases, depending on their personal experiences, their upbringing, the people and situations they have been around, etc. When you reach a certain point in life, usually somewhere during the teenage years, most people unconsciously conclude that their database is complete and that they can now use it as a sort of measuring rod to analyze and even judge happenings and people around them. To some extent this knowledge you have acquired does help with this, depending on how much you have in your database, which would include the amount of Word and godly input you have received. However‚ most of the time it takes a lifetime to really fill the database well. Even then‚ if you don't have My perspective and godly viewpoint on things, you can still be off.

29. People cannot be judged the same‚ for all are unique and complex and differ in many ways, depending on their personality, experiences and environment. You know how complex your life is—your mind, your heart, your emotions, your body‚ your experiences, your interpersonal relationships. Expand that billions of times‚ and you've got the world—every single life, every single family unit, every town, city, country, continent, all interlinked, all mixed together and interacting. How can you judge this complex world based only on your own simple little database?

30. On a smaller scale‚ imagine your life multiplied more than 10,000 times in the Family, spread around the globe in many different countries and Homes—another very complex situation. Yet somehow you, with your little database based on your experiences‚ tend to think that you are qualified to make conclusions about other Family members or situations, or about the Family as a whole. Do you realize how much potential there is for error or even very serious misjudgment?

31. I said in My Word, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." No person can fully judge righteous judgment without My help; but it is even more unlikely that you will reach the right conclusions with a very limited database. You might think, "Well‚ I haven't had many experiences, but I have read a lot of Word, so I think I have a pretty good idea of what's right and wrong." Yes, you probably do. But you often lack the wisdom and discernment to know how to apply the principles you have learned. Sometimes in your youthful zeal you are quick to label others or criticize them‚ and to some extent, you are often right in your criticism. It is likely that almost everyone around you is doing something wrong or is not doing or being all they should be. After all‚ they're humans like you, and when was the last time you could claim to be perfect?

32. It's so important to leave yourself open, and that goes for people of all ages and generations. It's so important to realize how much you still have to learn‚ and how much you don't understand. It's important that you realize that you don't necessarily know enough to judge or reach conclusions or form strong opinions or mindsets about situations—because there's more often than not so much to it that you don't see.

33. So many problems, so many conflicts, so much tension would be eased if only people were slower to jump to conclusions‚ if you were slower to formulate your opinions and pass judgment. With the passage of time you usually discover, little by little, how wrong you can be, how far off you can be, how much you can miss. I can warn you, and I can explain this concept to you, and I can prepare you for this lesson; yet most of the time, at least to some extent, this is something that must be learned by experience. But learn by experience you will, and in time you will see the truth of My Words. You will realize that you need Me and My guidance, and that you need the experience and the "databases" of others; that what you know, what you have seen, and your opinions and viewpoints, are only a small part of the big picture, albeit necessary in their own way.

34. It's natural for each person to think they're the center of the universe, that they have a special scope of understanding, or the inside scoop on things. Many people young and old in the world think—whether consciously or unconsciously—that they possess truths or knowledge that no one else does; that no one else really understands or knows about some things but them. For you‚ My children, this same temptation also exists, and sometimes it is even stronger. Sometimes you become confused and think that because of the input and training you've received from the Word, you, unlike the worldly know-it-alls, really do know it all! Well, in a way you could say that you have that potential. You could know it all if you came to Me and desperately and humbly sought My advice and answers. But in your own mind, with your own knowledge and limited experience, I guarantee that there's more you don't know than you do know.

35. It pays to walk in humility‚ to take the low seat, to present your opinions and complaints gently, and to hold on passing judgment until you know you've seen all sides—and that can take a long time. It's an important lesson, and one worth learning. The earlier you learn it, the more it will help you and the less trouble you'll have. Beware of jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts. Beware of throwing the baby out with the bath water, thinking that if one thing's wrong, the whole thing must be wrong. Beware of labeling others because of one incident or rumor—or even several. Beware of criticizing your Home, shepherds, or the Family, just because there may be some things that need work or fixing. Try to contribute as a problem solver. Try to use that zeal and that passion I've given you to build up rather than tear down. Most of all, come to Me for the answers to your questions, rather than relying on your own mind or natural reasoning. That will never be enough. (End of message from Jesus)

Issues, Part 16

(ML #3450:102–126, GN 1040)

God's in control!

102. (Question:) The Family has a history of making some pretty serious mistakes and then confessing later that maybe things weren't handled correctly. If Dad and Mama, or now Mama and Peter, made mistakes in the past, who's to say that what they're publishing now or what they're doing now and the way they're leading the Family now won't later be apologized for, with their saying they should have done things differently, had more wisdom, etc.?

Text box:

103. (Jesus speaking:) This is a question that many of your apostates spread. It's also a question that the Enemy plants in people's minds when they are weakened or critical, or feeling discontent, hurt, or bitter. I know that everyone has at some time suffered hurt from someone else's mistakes. That is the case everywhere in the world, not just in the Family. But the fact remains that the answer is the same—no matter what has happened to you‚ in the Family or out‚ I allowed it, and in each person's life‚ no matter what happened that they feel was a mistake, I will turn it to their good if they will let Me.

104. You simply can't keep being blown about with any little wind or rumor of mistakes—because there are plenty of them. You need to decide why you're in the Family. Is it to serve Me because you want to be My disciple, and this is the place you feel you can do the most for Me? In the course of your life for Me and the persecution that will inevitably come, you'll hear a lot—both true and false—that will or could stumble you. But if you're here to serve Me, then it doesn't really matter what happened in the past.

105. Yes, there were mistakes made in the past, and there will continue to be mistakes made today—lots of them, because the Family and Family leadership is made up of humans‚ fallible human beings. You need to decide whether that's a deal-breaker for you. If it is, then go in peace, and find somewhere else that you can serve Me with conviction. That's the bottom line. (End of message from Jesus)

End of text box.

106. (Dad:) Before I answer that question, let's get one thing straight from the very beginning: This is God's work, His Endtime army, specially created, anointed, empowered and led by Him for these Last Days!

107. Now, having said that‚ let me add that God also uses human beings to lead this work, men and women who sometimes make mistakes, act unwisely, exercise bad judgment, or make the wrong decisions. That's because we're all sinners, and "there is none righteous; no, not one. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." That includes me, Mama and Peter, and every other human being—and that includes you too‚ of course.

108. In considering the Family's mistakes, you need to remember that most of the mistakes that were made were not made by the Family as an organization, but by individuals who took things too far, were selfish, unwise, or disobedient to the Family rules and the Law of Love.

109. Yes, I also made mistakes in the past‚ and I've confessed those mistakes to you time after time. Goodness, I wrote Letter after Letter about my mistakes when I was on Earth, from the very earliest days up until I came home to Heaven. Some of the first Letters I wrote were to confess that I'd been wrong about the Jews being God's people and physical Israel being His kingdom on Earth today. You can read about it in "Breakdown" and other Letters. It was a mistake, a serious one, and I wondered if the whole Family would leave over it. I wrote you about my mistakes, admitted my trials, shared my fears, and asked you to pray for me time and time again. And then I went on for the Lord, and I'm still going on for the Lord!

110. So I've made mistakes, various leaders down through the years have made mistakes, and many Family members have made mistakes. Only Jesus never made a mistake!

111. But, and here I'm speaking for Mama and Peter and myself, when we've made mistakes, we've tried to follow God's plan to make things right again. We haven't tried to cover up our mistakes, like many worldly governments or organizations have, or even many churches. We've confessed them to the Lord and asked His forgiveness, sought the forgiveness of others if they were affected, and then put feet to our prayers of repentance and have changed—and have changed Family policies and doctrines for the better because of these mistakes.

112. In the long run‚ these mistakes have borne good fruit. They've humbled the Family and helped to root out pride and self-confidence. They've made us turn to the Lord and seek Him more fervently‚ knowing that we can of our own selves do nothing. They've reminded us that we bear His Word and spiritual treasures "in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." Through it all, God has been glorified and we've gone on to gain greater depth of spirit‚ make greater progress, and win greater victories.

113. The Lord has often brought good fruit out of mistakes made by His people, and you can read about it throughout the Bible. Almost the first thing after the Creation, Adam and Eve made a terrible mistake and had to leave the Garden—but through it they got much closer to the Lord‚ and I've talked about that before in "Did God Make a Mistake" and other Letters.

114. All the greatest men in the Bible made terrible mistakes, ones that hurt others, but through it they realized how much they needed the Lord and His love and grace and forgiveness, and it changed their lives and the world! Look at King David—he had Uriah killed so he could marry his wife, who he'd already been sleeping with. But when he was humbled, he went on to become one of God's greats, a man after God's Own heart!

115. Look at Peter, one of the Lord's closest disciples‚ who fumbled along and made mistake after mistake, and even wound up denying the Lord three times. But after Jesus' resurrection and the Day of Pentecost, he won thousands and thousands of people to the Lord!

116. Look at Paul—he got his start by persecuting and killing Christians! That was quite a mistake! But once he had his little chat with the Lord on the road to Damascus, his life changed, and so did the world. He went on to become the most zealous of all the apostles, a soul winner who's been an inspiration to millions ever since!

117. We've gotten victories out of our mistakes because we've been willing to change, and we've changed time after time over the years, and we still are! When we realize something isn't working or it's wrong, we change it. We have a metanoia, an about-face, a revolution, and go the other way. And because of that, we've continued to win millions of souls and to change hearts and lives in nation after nation.

118. If you want to ponder something or think about the future, why don't you ponder all the good fruit the Family has borne in the past and continues to bear, and all the miracles ahead for us in the future! Now that's something to think about. In saying that, I'm not trying to excuse any mistakes of the past or justify anything. I simply want to point out to you that if you want to dwell on mistakes, the Enemy will be happy to supply you with a long, detailed list of faults, failings, shortcomings and sins—both real and imaginary—in an effort to stoke doubt, fear, criticism and self-righteousness.

119. What did the Lord say? "Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely‚ and of good report, think on these things." He didn't say, "Whatsoever things are discouraging, negative, unjust, ugly‚ and of bad report, think on those things." He encourages us throughout the Word to be positive‚ not negative.

120. Remember, as I said at the beginning, this is God's work and He's in control and is leading us, and He's going to use even our mistakes for His glory to further His work. The Family is special, called-out, chosen, exceptional, extraordinary, and so is the role He has for us to play in these Last Days! He's made promise after promise about that in prophecy after prophecy, and you're going to see those promises fulfilled‚ and some of them very soon.

121. So it's up to you whether you believe those promises and prophecies, whether you believe this is His work and He's in charge, whether you believe it's God's will for you to be in the Family, and how much you're willing to commit yourself to obey and follow. If you believe this is of the Lord and it's His will you're here, why not give it all you've got? Why not serve Him with all your heart and mind and strength and energy?

122. On the other hand, if you don't believe this is of the Lord or His will that you're here, then why remain in the Family? If you've battled doubts and fears about the future for a long time and you just can't seem to get the victory despite the Word and counsel and prayer and prophecy and your efforts and the efforts of others to help you, then maybe you'd be more content elsewhere. We're not trying to keep people in the Family whose hearts and minds are elsewhere, as we have said repeatedly in many Letters.

123. But‚ whatever your situation or state of mind‚ you need to understand that everyone makes mistakes. I dare say you've made a number yourself, no matter who you are‚ and you need to remember that you'll be forgiven for your sins and mistakes the way you forgive others for their sins and mistakes.

124. When the mote in your brother or sister's eye starts becoming very obvious and apparent to you, then you'd better check for a few motes or beams in your own eye! Remember, you're a mess too, and if you can keep that in mind, it'll help you to avoid criticalness and self-righteousness toward others for their mistakes.

125. Anything good we do has to be God! Any righteousness we have has to be His! Any progress we make is by Him working through us—and I'll tell you, I've seen plenty of progress in the Family and lots of good fruit! Heaven rejoices at it, and the angels sing continually of the souls won and victories gained in the hearts of men on Earth!

126. So as for me and my house, we'll continue to serve the Lord. That's never a mistake. Amen? May you keep serving Him too! God bless you! Love, Dad (End of message from Dad.)

Word Topics: Criticism

Definition: The act of examining or judging the value or merits of something; judging with severity; fault finding.

1. There's a big difference between constructive criticism and being critical.

* Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

* Proverbs 11:9a An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor.

* Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

* Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

* Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

* John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

* Jeremiah 1:9-10 [Although Jeremiah's iconoclastic message was very harsh and critical of the disobedient Kingdom of Judah, the ultimate purpose was to clear away the evil so that it could be replaced with the good.] Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me‚ Behold, I have put My Words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build‚ and to plant.

2. When tempted to criticize others, first consider your own faults.

* Psalm 130:3 If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

* Matthew 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete‚ it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

* John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him‚ He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

* Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

* Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself‚ lest thou also be tempted.

3. A critical spirit is born of self-righteousness.

* Matthew 23:24‚28 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

* Luke 13:13–15 [The spiritually proud Pharisees, blinded by self-righteousness, criticized Jesus even for doing good.] And He laid His hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall‚ and lead him away to watering?

* Romans 2:1,3 [Beware of the double standard!] Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man‚ whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

* James 4:11,12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law‚ but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, Who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

* 3 John 1:9,10 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come‚ I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

4. Criticalness sows strife, disunity and discord amongst brethren.

* Proverbs 6:16,19 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him. ... 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. [See also verse 14.]

* Proverbs 16:28 A froward [perverse] man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

* Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea‚ strife and reproach shall cease.

5. Criticalness views things carnally and is more likely to be wrong than right.

* 1 Samuel 16:7b The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. [See also Isaiah 55:8,9.]

* Isaiah 11:3‚4 And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes‚ neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: 4 But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall He slay the wicked.

* John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

* John 8:15,16 [Even Jesus only judged with God's help and understanding.] Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone‚ but I and the Father that sent Me.

6. Fault-finders lose friendships, as well as favor with God.

* Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

* 1 Timothy 6:4,5b [Paul exhorts the brethren to avoid fellowshipping with faultfinders.] He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings [suspicions], 5b From such withdraw thyself.

* James 2:13 [If we unmercifully criticize others, we forfeit God's mercy on ourselves!] For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. [See also Matthew 6:14,15; Luke 6:37.]

7. We should "watch and pray‚" not watch and criticize.

* Isaiah 29:20,21 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: 21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate [the defendant in court]‚ and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

* Romans 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.

* Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

* 1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.

* James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed [spiritually as well as physically]. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

8. Before voicing criticism, put yourself in the other person's shoes.

* Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

* Romans 14:4 [Watch out about being judgmental. You may not know the whole story.] Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

* Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

9. Those with a tendency to criticize need to learn to hold their tongues.

* Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

* Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

* Ecclesiastes 5:2,6a Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in Heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 6a Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin.

* Acts 19:36 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.

* 1 Thessalonians 4:8–11 [Criticizing others can lead to criticizing God!] He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, Who hath also given unto us His holy Spirit. 9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

* James 1:19,20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren‚ let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

10. God's blessings are upon those who don't fall into being critical or negative.

* Psalm 15:1‚3 Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.

* Psalm 34:12-14 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

* 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

11. Jesus came not to criticize others, but to save them.

* John 3:17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.

* John 8:10-11 [Jesus did not criticize the adulteress as would have the critical Pharisees:] When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

* Mark 9:38-40 [Jesus encouraged His disciples to be less critical and more inclusive:] And John answered Him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy Name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 9 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My Name‚ that can lightly speak evil of Me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

* Luke 9:54–55 [Jesus was not pleased when His over-zealous disciples condemned some unreceptive Samaritans:] And when His disciples James and John saw this‚ they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from Heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

12. The "cure" for a critical spirit is to learn to walk in love.

* 1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity [love].

* Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.

* 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.

* 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

13. Constructive criticism, a form of wise judgment, can help to uphold the standard.

* Exodus 18:21,22 [The judges of old were appointed to offer constructive criticism and judgment.] Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God‚ men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands‚ and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

* Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.

* Deuteronomy 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother‚ and the stranger that is with him.

* 1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?

* 2 Chronicles 19:6b Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, Who is with you in the judgment.

* 1 Corinthians 6:2,3 [If we're going to eventually judge angels in the next life‚ shouldn't we be able to prayerfully offer constructive judgment or criticism now?] Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?

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