KEYWORDS: love, lord, counsel, law, people, things

Shooting Straight, Part 6--Letter Links: Shepherding Sex and Relationships

September 21, 2004

(ML #3505, GN 1094)

FD/MM August 2004

Communication in Marriage and Other Relationships

ML #3196:89–132, 148-168, GN 800.

The Importance of Shepherding in Marriage and Other Love Relationships.

89. (Mama:) In the following messages, [Jesus and Dad] go into detail about how shepherding and opening up your hearts to others outside your marriage can also help your love and your marriage to grow.

90. Although this concept seems contrary to the thought of a personal, private, intimate relationship between the two of you, the Lord and Dad explain how bringing in a third party as a counselor can make your bond of love deeper and give your marriage many benefits that you couldn't have otherwise.

91. (Dad:) If I could get anything across to you newlyweds, young couples and folks who are finding yourselves in relationships, it would be the importance of going to your shepherds for counsel! This is the Lord's Own setup, folks! He's set this plan in place Himself. He's given you earthly shepherds for your advantage, to provide the help and counsel you need so you can get ahead. So use it!

92. Watch out about the worldly way of doing things today. Don't let it creep in and get ahold of you! You know what the trend is in the world today, especially among the youth?—To want to keep things secret, to keep things in. …

100. God's ways are not man's ways, beloved! His ways are completely contrary to the ways of man. Let me tell you, unlike the world—where more often than not young folks are compelled by the conditions of society to be private‚ secretive, and to hold things in—we're encouraging you to be open and honest‚ and to communicate, because this is the way God intended it to be!

101. Being secretive and totally private in your relationships is a worldly concept! It's not the Lord's plan! It's against His Own structure of how He intended for things to be. The Lord intended for you to be open and honest and to communicate. It's the Devil's plan to be closed, secretive, private, and to hide things away in a dark corner.

102. The Devil himself has created all this secretive business, because he knows it's the door by which he can get in and do his work. ... The Devil works in dark corners!

103. He knows that if he can get couples to be closed and shy away from shepherding, then they'll not be able to get the help they need. They won't get the advice they need, and the counsel and tips they need in order to have a good, rewarding‚ fulfilling, fun and happy union. And most importantly, they won't get the prayer that they need.

104. In unity there's strength, folks—in unity with your mates, with your brethren‚ and with your shepherds! How on earth do you expect to have strong unity if you're not opening up, counseling‚ and sharing your heart in all openness and honesty with those who can help you?

105. If you're in unity with your shepherds, as you go to them and get the counsel that you need, you'll be able to benefit and grow in your relationship and in unity. Your relationship will be strengthened in the long run when you benefit from all the wisdom‚ counsel and prayers of your shepherds! That's what they're there for!

Why Be Open About Your Relationship?

106. I know many of you are tempted to think, "Come on, Dad, this is private. I mean, it's a relationship. It's really nobody's business but ours." Well, folks, I'm not talking here about broadcasting all the ins and outs of your relationship to the world. I'm talking about getting good godly counsel and advice from those who care for you, and prayer that will really help you and be a strength to you as you learn and grow in these areas of your life.

107. I'm talking here about wanting shepherding, because this is God's plan. This is the way He Himself set things up and intended for us to live. It's all a part of His plan to teach you, train you, and help you to grow into the role that He wants you to fulfill. …

112. God intended for you young folks to get shepherding as you enter into new relationships! This is the way God intended for it to be because He knew the value of counsel, and He knows you need it! We all need it!

113. Right now, as you young people are getting more and more into branching out with personal relationships, and as we learn and grow and strive to put the Law of Love into practice in our everyday lives, it's important that you reach out to your shepherds for counsel and advice. In fact, many of you FGAs will find it helpful too.

Defeating the Enemy Through Shepherding!

114. As some of you are already experiencing‚ every relationship has its share of rough spots! That's just the way it is! It's not because there's anything wrong with you, and not necessarily because there's anything wrong with the relationship. One of the main reasons is simply because, as in all things, the Enemy is out to get you!

116. But although the Enemy is out to cause you problems, the Lord also has provided you with shepherds who can help you, so you can head him off at the pass! You do this by being open and honest with your shepherds, by homing in on their wealth of counsel and advice, and uniting with them in prayer power when necessary.

117. Shepherds are the shortcut, folks! Why suffer in silence when you can find relief? Why walk around in a muddle and confusion when sweet relief is at your fingertips? God is a wise investor, and He's invested plenty in your shepherds—so take advantage of it!

118. You need it, you'll be better for it, and you'll have lots more fun along the way! Because you're gonna find out that you'll grow quicker that way. Your relationship will grow fuller that way because you'll be able to take full advantage of their experience! If you really want to learn, if you really want to grow and be able to benefit from all that the Lord has for you, you're gonna have to be open and honest with your shepherds in order to get the help you need.

119. I know that affairs of the heart can be very sensitive, but remember, your parents and shepherds are ordained of God to care for your souls! In the early days when your parents were learning, I had to shepherd them and counsel them plenty regarding their relationships! My goodness, Mama and I have written about love, sex, marriage and relationships in loads of older Letters—there's lots of wise counsel on relationships. I think if you'll ask any of the older folks who were around during that era, they'll tell you how much it helped them.

120. If you want to grow, you need to learn the value of shepherding and avail yourselves of it! Use it and benefit from it! Get counsel, get help, get prayer, be honest and open, and you'll save yourselves a lot of trouble and maybe even heartache in the long run! Wise up! Use the shortcut! The Lord put shepherds in place for a reason—to care for your souls! And not only that, but the Lord put'm there to make it easy on you!

124. Where else will you find such loving shepherds and parents in the Lord who are willing to love you, to understand you and your needs, who are willing to listen and to communicate, and who are humble enough to share their own experiences and mistakes so you can learn from them? They're willing to share their own discoveries, their own lessons, and their own tips and secrets for success—all to help you move toward a happy, fruitful relationship!

125. Together you can find answers and pull down new treasures and tips and jewels from the Heavenlies! There's nothing like the true counsel of the Lord, made available to you not only in the privacy of your bedchamber where you're able to receive His intimate, personal Words as He whispers in your ear‚ but also through the multitude of wise counsel—all that He's made available to you through your shepherds.

126. Take it from me, folks, you can't survive without it‚ because it's God's plan—and His plan always works best. Jesus Himself is the Good Shepherd, but He's given us all lots of good earthly shepherds to help lighten our load. If you want to grow and prosper in your relationship, take every advantage of this opportunity! It's there for you—so use it! (End of message from Dad)

127. (Mama: ) That's wonderful advice on shepherding from Dad, but how do you get the shepherding and advice you need if you're the shepherds or if your present Home shepherds can't help you for some reason? Well‚ there are always others you can turn to in the Family, thank the Lord! Maybe your parents are in a nearby Home and you can pay them a visit. Or maybe you'd feel more comfortable talking with the shepherds of a neighboring Home that you're close to and who understand your situation. Or maybe you have a close friend in your Home or nearby who's also married that you can counsel with and pray with. Or, if nothing else, you can always pour out your heart via mail or e–mail to your parents or other shepherds you know or friends you're close to who might be able to help. If there's no one in your Home or nearby, you can always reach out to others in this way for the help you want and need. Pray and the Lord can show you who to contact and what to say‚ or even bring someone along for a visit at just the right time!

What If It's Hard for You to Open Your Heart?

129. (Jesus:) When you seek counsel from Me, you know that I understand your heartcry; I understand even the things that you can't verbalize, and then I answer them in My counsel to you. But with earthly shepherds, My shepherds that I have placed on the Earth for you, it may take them a while to understand exactly what your trial is, and therefore a little while for them to know what to say, what Word to point you to, or what is the best solution for the problem you are facing.

130. Many times it just helps to have a listening ear and prayer. This is a great help, for all the reasons I have given. But you young people will be disappointed if you expect your shepherds' counsel to be perfect and to be straight as an arrow every time. They will fail, just as any humans fail. Yet I tell you that even in spite of your shepherds' imperfections and in spite of how you may feel they don't measure up sometimes, it is still better to counsel with them than to work things out on your own. That is why I give you shepherds, a third party who is wise and strong in Me, who can be a help.

131. Your shepherds love you greatly‚ and it is a great help just to have someone on your side who is loving you, supporting you, praying for you, and holding you when you are emotionally spent and in need of comfort.

132. It is a help because I bless counsel; I bless your opening your heart and sharing it with someone else. Because you do this, because you make this sacrifice to communicate, My treasures are opened up and My blessings flow. I have said, "If any two of you agree on Earth as touching any thing, it will be done of My Father which is in Heaven" (Mat.18:19). So if you and your counselor together agree to ask that I give a solution to a certain problem, I will do it! It is simply more effective than praying and working things out on your own. (End of message from Jesus.)

Shepherding and Counsel in Marriage—A Threefold Cord!

148. (Jesus:) I use the illustration of a threefold cord which is not easily broken in many situations and as an example of many things. And now I wish to use this illustration again with you. I want to illustrate marriage and relationships and the need for a third party, an uninvolved member, a shepherd or a friend who's strong in My Spirit.

149. I know that you've often heard the term "threefold cord" used before, especially when I've talked about marriage and how your marriage or relationship will be strong and secure if you have a strong connection with Me and if I am the center of everything. Now I wish to show you another angle, which has been neglected in recent years. That is the need to have shepherding and counsel in your relationships or marriages.

150. I know that there are many things that hold you back from receiving outside help for your relationship or marriage. Probably the biggest hindrance is pride. It's embarrassing and humbling to admit that you can't solve your personal problems on your own. It's humiliating to come before another and express your weaknesses and ask for their counsel. It's real tough to admit that you have problems and that you need prayer.

151. Another reason for not counseling is fear that your confidence won't be handled with care, that people will talk about your problems in an unloving way with others, and that the situation will not be represented fairly or accurately. Sharing confidences can sometimes lead to gossip, if not done with someone who is trustworthy and who will handle your heart with care. It's unfortunate that this can happen, but you still need to counsel, as you need the help and healing that it can give. The Bible says, "Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another, that you may be healed" (Jam.5:16). When you confess your faults to your shepherd and ask him or her to pray for you, the Bible says you will be healed. Your personal and emotional state will experience healing as a result of your being obedient and seeking counsel.

152. There are also other problems that come up: Perhaps no one's available that you feel comfortable talking with, so you just put it off. You get too busy and don't make your marriage or relationship a priority. There are many, many reasons why it's difficult to seek the help of others.

153. You want to be independent, self-sufficient, strong, and you don't want to be looked down upon as weak or in need of support. Well, even the best of marriages need some kind of outside input, some kind of third party that helps them to work out their difficulties and problems, together with Me.

154. When you're involved in a relationship or marriage, it's easy to get discouraged or in an uproar about little things, because you're so close to the forest that you can't see the trees. Therefore, you need others who can help you to see things in your life more clearly. Often when your emotions are so heavily involved, as is the case with marriages and relationships, it's just really difficult to find My will or to strive to do what you know I want you to do, especially when your emotions and feelings are pulling in the opposite direction.

155. I have allowed this feeling of inadequacy, this weakness, this flaw in marriages and relationships so that you would not only come to Me and receive My answers and instruction‚ but so that you would also go to those around you for counsel and instruction. You may wonder why I say that you need both‚ and that's a good question. You need both because marriage or other love relationships are just too complicated and too detailed for only two people to handle by themselves.

156. I've allowed you to have this feeling of inadequacy so that you would come to Me and to others. I have allowed marriage problems so that you'll be drawn closer together with the one that you love‚ so that you will come to Me and receive My specific instruction‚ and so that you will also include others in your marriage and receive their input and help, too. It's a threefold cord: you and your lover or you and your mate [who are "one flesh," as the Word says]‚ Me, and a third party—a friend who's strong in the Word‚ or a shepherd.

157. It's vital that you have links to others‚ so that you can vent your trials and frustrations to them, if need be. Instead of getting worked up and lashing out at your partner, you could go and talk to your shepherd or a counselor. Often you'll find that with a little communication and prayer, you'll be more calm and serene. Then you'll be able to go and talk with your partner in meekness and faith.

158. Sometimes you just need a listening ear when you're having emotional problems. You just need someone to fight with you in prayer‚ and this is what I want you to do when you have the need. It strengthens your ties with the others in your Home, or with the close shepherd or friend that you counsel and pray with. It strengthens you and strengthens your partner. It also strengthens the third party, because they're getting valuable experience; they're learning to make prayerful wise decisions, hear from Me, and exercise their gift of prayer. There's nothing but benefits when it comes to opening up your private relationship and receiving the help of another.

159. Sometimes I will be able to shepherd you clearly without another's help, as you hear My fresh Words of instruction. But there will be other times when it will be necessary to call on another. If you're very emotional or are having a hard time receiving My Words or applying My Words due to the emotional struggle in your life or mind, then it's always helpful to have someone else there who isn't physically involved—someone who can help you to apply My Words and give you wise, loving counsel.

160. It does take a lot of faith to open up to another at first. You have your little private relationship and you seem to be able to struggle through the problems and make it through okay. But if you would open your lives to counsel and shepherding and instruction, then you'd find that your relationship can actually grow and blossom. Your relationship will not just survive and barely eke out an existence, but it will become fuller, richer, more meaningful and deeper.

161. It takes humility. It takes faith and trust to share your heart with another, but you'll find that you really can't live without it. If you don't have someone that you're close to that you can confide in and share your heart with, then you'll find yourself getting familiar with your mate or partner and thus having a hard time making progress in your marriage or relationship.

162. There's also great power in united prayer together. If you can simply get together with someone to pray, if you're having problems or battles, even this can be a real strength. It doesn't matter whether you're newlyweds, whether you're a "vintage" couple, or whether you're just in a relationship and are not planning on getting married—all of this advice is for you.

163. I'm the best Marriage Counselor there is, and I counsel you to be open! Share your heart and receive the help of others! You may find out that some of the dear ones in your Home have been through the same things you're going through. You'll be able to wisely learn from their mistakes rather than having to go through the painful experience of making your own set of boo-boos.

164. There's really a lot that you can learn from each other. I work in every individual's life in different ways and each of you has a wealth of information, experience‚ and good advice under your belt. You don't have to be a designated shepherd or leader, because each one of you has a great deal of wisdom and knowledge that you've accumulated through the years of battles and trials that I've brought you through.

165. So be wise and communicate, for with such sacrifices I am well pleased. I will bless your obedience and I will cause your marriage to prosper, grow, blossom, and spring forth into a strong branch that will really last.

166. You must have My Word, you must have Me‚ you must also communicate with others—you must have all these. One cannot stand on its own‚ if you want your marriage or relationship to be a successful one. But all three combined will really cause you to go places and do things and grow in areas that you never before thought possible.

167. There's a threefold cord that's not easily broken, and that's Me, you and your partner, and godly counselors. Don't neglect to dip into the wellspring of knowledge and good counsel at your fingertips—the written Word, as well as the knowledge of others who have been through much, that they may be an encouragement and comfort unto others. It's part of their reward and it's part of yours too.

168. Don't neglect to draw close to one another and receive the help and support you need through communicating heart to heart with those that I have placed in your path. (End of message from Jesus)

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 4

ML #3204:11-20, GN 807.

The Need for Shepherding

11. (Mama:) One of the main points the Lord brought out when giving you 16- and 17-year-olds the freedom to share sexually was the need for you to have shepherding in this area of your lives. Many of you who have turned 16 since the Charter went into effect have mistakenly gotten the idea that once you become voting members, you no longer need to pay attention to the counsel of your parents or your shepherds. Many of you buck against it when either your parents or shepherds try to correct you, counsel you, or become involved in your personal lives. However, the Charter specifically commissions the teamwork to shepherd those in their Home. (See the Charter, Responsibilities and Authority of Home Officers, B.)

12. I also talked about the need for shepherding not just you young people, but the adults as well, in my epilogue to the Charter‚ "Serve One Another in Love!" (See ML #2978:110-127‚ GN 623/Lifelines 22.) On top of that‚ at the time of the Charter, the Lord gave specific instruction to the shepherds and the senior teens about the need for shepherding and involvement by both your parents and the shepherds as you began having sexual contact with one another. (See "The Law of Love and Senior Teens," para.28-32, GN 649 or Lifelines 22.)

13. The Lord wasn't trying to stifle your sexual sharing when He commissioned your parents and shepherds to counsel you in these matters. Instead, He was trying to keep you from hurting others and from being hurt. Sex‚ relationships, and the emotions that come with them can be very turbulent. It takes time to learn how to handle these things in love, wisdom and faith.

14. It's a bit like circus performers who walk the high wire. When they're first learning, they do it very close to the ground, so if they fall they don't hurt themselves. Later, when they raise the wire higher, they put a net underneath so that if they fall, the net will catch them. It's only when they become experts that they walk across the high wire with no net. And believe me, there are very few experts in this world. Most circus performers regularly and happily depend on that net! In sexual sharing, shepherding is the net. Allowing your parents or shepherds to give you guidance and counsel can keep you from tripping, falling, and hurting yourself or others.

15. You may resent the idea of others getting involved with your personal lives, especially anything having to do with sex. But rather than complain about it, you should be thankful that the Lord is allowing you to share sexually at all. Remember, there are few, if any, other Christian groups or churches who allow their 16- and 17-year-olds to have sex with one another.

16. As I explained in the first GN of this series, Christians do not generally believe as we do about having sex outside of marriage, either with your partner before you're married or with someone other than your mate after you're married. They consider it a sin. Even in non-Christian homes, parents don't usually agree to or give permission to their 16- and 17-year-olds to have sex.

17. These restrictions in both Christian and non-Christian homes don't mean the parents have more concern for their kids than we do in the Family. The religious parents oppose their kids having sex outside of marriage mainly because of their religious beliefs; they feel it's morally wrong. But many parents who don't care anything about religion are usually just as intolerant or vehemently opposed to their teens having sex outside of marriage, not necessarily because they feel it's morally wrong, but for many other reasons, some of which might be common to religious parents as well, such as: They feel their kids aren't mature enough to make a responsible decision regarding sex, they don't like the guy or girl their kid is dating, they aren't prepared to shepherd the complications of teenage relationships and possible teenage pregnancies, they don't have the faith to face peer pressure in their neighborhoods and workplaces if their kids get pregnant. Also‚ they feel it takes too much oversight and counsel and involvement on their parts to let the kids have sex and to teach them how to be mature and responsible about it. So instead, the parents opt to just say the teens can't do it.

18. The Lord, however, has allowed you young people in the Family to share sexually because of the full truth of the Law of Love that He revealed to Dad. But with this freedom also comes responsibility‚ and the restriction of some shepherding. The point of this shepherding is to help you, to make your experiences with sex and relationships more pleasant. It's not a punishment. The older adults in the Family are not bothered or upset if you have sex or get pregnant or have complications in your relationships that require their help and time in counseling. Your parents and shepherds are happy to help you through these things, and they consider it their God-given duty to be there for you, giving you the guidance, counsel and prayer you need, as the Lord intended. So what would you rather have—sex with some shepherding‚ or no sex at all? I bet I know your answer to that question! Ha! Hopefully that helps you to see things in perspective‚ and puts a more positive light on the responsibilities and restrictions that you must be willing to accept.

19. If you're going to have the blessing of sexual sharing with one another, then you're going to have to be open to shepherding from your teamwork and/or your parents. The Lord made this quite clear when first giving you this freedom, and it's important for you to accept it. The Charter explains this point as follows:

20. Permitting you [senior teens] to choose whether or not to become involved sexually with your peers is a sobering step for everyone involved, both for you as well as for the adults. As adults‚ we better understand the potential emotional pitfalls of sharing sexually with one another and the difficulties which can arise‚ the battles of jealousy, of feeling left out, of unloving actions, etc. We realize that we will need to help you overcome these battles‚ that you will need shepherding, understanding, and a listening ear. But because we believe that the Lord wants you to grow into spiritually mature Christian adults, we are willing to take on the extra burden of helping you through these lessons. We are permitting you to partake of sexual sharing within the 16- to 20-year age range with the understanding that you will agree to be shepherded by your parents and other adults, and that you will be open and honest about your questions, tests and trials. (The Charter, Sex and Affection Rules, G.)

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 10

ML #3210:4-38, GN 813.

The Benefits of Shepherding.

4. (Jesus:) If you're desperate‚ and you desire to do My will and yield yourself to Me, if you want to live the Law of Love and you don't want to harm anyone, if you truly desire to see My love manifested in your heart and poured out to others to bring good—to bring love and light and joy to others, and to harm no one—then I will help you and I will guide you. I will help you to channel your love.

5. The key is the motivation of your heart. If your motivation is to do My will, to lay aside your own life and your own will and your own wants and desires to truly follow Me, this is the key. For I will have control of your heart and your life, and I will direct your love. As it is written, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luk.9:23). So if you will deny yourself and your own wants and wishes and your will, and sincerely and desperately seek Me for My will, then I will guide you, I will take control of your emotions, and I will help you.

6. Two are better than one, for they have a good reward for their labor. So to have a prayer partner, a counselor, to help you in these relationships, to help you stay steadfast in prayer‚ to be a safeguard and a balance to keep you within the boundaries of My Law of Love, is one way to keep your emotions in check.

7. This will accomplish many purposes. It will draw you and your prayer warrior close together. You will need to trust them and be submitted to them. It will be humbling to confess your feelings, but this will bring unity, and in your weakness you will find My strength.

8. So if you'll open your life, if you'll humbly confess your need and your desire for My help to keep you‚ to help you to live My Law of Love, to experience the emotions of My love, and yet to stay within the boundaries of My Law of Love so that you harm or hurt no one‚ then seek out a companion‚ a helper, someone close at hand‚ someone that can be your prayer mate and counselor. (End of message from Jesus)

9. (Mama:) As you can see, besides prayer, desperation, unselfishness, consideration‚ the motivation to do the Lord's will, and a willingness to let Him control your emotions, it also helps to have a counselor and prayer partner who you are willing to listen to and yield to. When you have strong emotions it can sometimes be very difficult for you to gauge whether or not your actions are extreme or are hurting others. The intensity of the emotions or sexual attraction you feel for someone can cause you to focus almost all of your attentions on that person without your even realizing it. This is why it helps to have someone who you can confide in, who can pray for you and also give you counsel when they feel you're hurting others or stepping over the boundaries in some way or another.

10. If you're married, sometimes your mate can be your counselor and prayer warrior—though that doesn't always work, especially if your mate is battling severe jealousy. Someone on the teamwork could be your prayer partner, as could some other prayerful, mature, spiritually strong person in the Home. As the Lord said, it will be humbling, but it will bring unity and will give you the strength to handle these emotional matters maturely and prevent your hurting others. Also, counseling not only with your mate but your shepherds helps them to be aware of your situation so they can support you in prayer and help in whatever way possible.

11. You can also hear from the Lord in prophecy together with this person. Prophecy is an important tool which should be employed regularly to know the Lord's will regarding how you personally can live the Law of Love fully and handle any relationships that might develop as a result. On this, Dad said:

12. (Dad: ) A real important key is hearing from the Lord in prophecy as you enter in to practicing the Law of Love. Hear from the Lord early and as you go along. Don't wait until things have become a big mess and then ask the Lord to unravel the situation and sort it out for you, but rather hear from Him each step of the way. Get His directions right from Heaven. He'll tell you exactly how to proceed, or how not to proceed, as the case may be. (End of message from Dad.)

13. (Mama:) Besides having a prayer and prophecy partner who can help keep your actions within the boundaries of the Law of Love, there are many other advantages to seeking the counsel and support of your shepherds. There are specific benefits that the Lord gives when you communicate, ask for prayer and seek others' advice that He is not able to give as easily if you try to struggle through on your own. You might feel you're strong enough, that you've got things under control and you know what you're doing, so you don't really need the help of others. If that's the case, please check out this next message from the Lord which shows the many ways you could be missing out by trying to be so self-sufficient.

14. (Jesus:) One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight! In unity there is great strength and in wise counsel there is safety. When you do not seek counsel, I am not able to bless you as fully as I would like, and you who would try to manage on your own will be found lacking in strength‚ power and direction. You will miss out on the extra boost I will give through sweet counsel together with a shepherd, a parent, a friend—one of understanding who is able to give helpful counsel.

15. Through wise counsel‚ I give strength. In the multitude of counsel I establish purposes. I am able to define goals and lead you to bear good results, good fruit in your relationships. I am able to clear away any rubble or confusion‚ and give sound wisdom. By seeking counsel, you are able to be instructed, and when you do this, you become wise.

16. When there is no counsel you are apt to make mistakes and fall, but as you seek counsel, you guard against mistakes‚ for in wise counsel there is safety. If you will hear instruction, you will become wise. For I did not make man to live alone, but to need each other, to counsel together, because in this unity there is strength. This is the law of My Spirit, that in the multitude of counsel there is safety‚ strength and sound wisdom‚ and purposes are established. (End of message from Jesus)

17. (Mama:) Wow, there are all kinds of benefits to be had through counsel and shepherding! So even if it's humbling and you're not used to sharing such intimate details of your life with others, I think you'll agree that the benefits are worth it. The Lord says you stand to gain strength, wisdom, power and an extra boost from Him. He'll protect you from falling or making mistakes. He'll cause your efforts to bear good results, and He'll help to define goals and clear away any confusion. So those are very hefty dividends on a pretty small investment of your time and effort. And besides all that, to seek counsel is to do the humble thing, and this pleases the Lord.

18. Shepherds, parents and wise counselors can be a shortcut for you, and you stand to gain a lot if you'll be open to the shepherding, help, counsel, and mostly to the support and prayer you're able to get. If you're in the habit of going to your shepherds and counselors when things are going okay in order to get good advice‚ tips, suggestions, instruction, moral support and so on, you'll find that many times you may be able to avoid problems before they even start! And if some rough spots do crop up, it will be easier to get the guidance you need to make it through those times because you'll already be accustomed to receiving shepherding in these more personal affairs of your life.

19. You of the younger generation are at a great advantage in having shepherds, parents and friends of the older generation who are at your disposal—so use it! That's what the older generation is here for—to listen, help, share tips and lessons, to support you and to pray for you. So don't miss out on all they have to offer!

20. Many people shy away from allowing anyone to counsel or shepherd them in regards to their emotional attachments. If they're involved in a relationship or if they have feelings for someone, they feel it's their own business and others shouldn't be involved. However, if the relationship or the emotional attachments are having a negative effect on a marriage or other Home members, or if the situation is proving to be detrimental to the Home, then the shepherds are responsible to get involved.

21. It's the Home teamwork's job to help the parties involved to resolve their differences and gain victories. As is stated in the Charter: "Should the teamwork feel that a particular sexual relationship between Home members is hurting others in the Home, or causing problems, the teamwork is, of course, free to shepherd and offer counsel in order to help solve the problem or help things to improve" (The Charter, Sex and Affection Rules, B).

22. When we asked the Lord about the type of shepherding needed when emotional or romantic feelings are involved, He gave the following message:

23. (Jesus:) The shepherding that I seek is for shepherds to lovingly help those that are battling to overcome the areas in their lives which they need to overcome. If one mate is jealous, the shepherd should work on helping them to overcome their jealousy. If one mate is unloving and doing things that are unkind and hurtful, then it's the shepherd's place to help this one to see it, and to try to help them overcome their unloving acts. With this kind of shepherding, good fruit can come forth, for the good shepherd is helping his sheep to overcome their problems.

24. It's the shepherd's job to try to help people overcome their problems and to overcome the things they do that hurt others. It's the shepherd's role to help people to see that they should do the loving thing, the godly thing, the kind thing. It's up to the shepherd to point out the areas in which people are falling short. But only in very rare, exceptional cases is it the shepherd's job to demand that the sheep put an end to some relationship. This should only be done in specific counsel with the overshepherds, and all parties involved should hear from Me for the situation.

25. It's within the Home shepherd's responsibility to help people live in love, to point out when they are not, and to help them overcome the weaknesses which cause them to do unloving things. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Shepherding of Relationships Under the Charter

26. (Mama:) I now want to explain what the above message means when the Lord says the shepherds can ask parties involved to put an end to a relationship that is very problematic. The Charter notes that as Charter members you must "Endeavor to live by the principles of the Law of Love: To love and care for‚ and interact lovingly and harmoniously with all members of the Home in which you reside and with Family members at large" (The Charter, Responsibilities of Individual Charter Members, E).

27. This is one of the most important clauses in the Charter, because it shows that if Family members do not live by the Law of Love (in this case meaning the general overall concept of "love thy neighbor as thyself") and they hurt others—which includes their mates, loved ones, or children—or if they cause a major disruption in the Home or the work, they are contravening the Charter. So if a personal relationship gets so out of hand that it's continually harming others, causing a disturbance in the Home‚ and the people involved refuse to be counseled and are making no effort to change or work on the areas of their relationship that are causing problems, then the people involved in that relationship are contravening the Charter. Remember, an important and key responsibility of Charter members is to "endeavor to live by the principles of the Law of Love‚" which specifically includes to "interact lovingly and harmoniously with all members of the Home."

28. The Charter states that it's the responsibility and authority of Home officers to "Lovingly and faithfully correct and discipline individuals who fail to fulfill the Responsibilities of Individual Members, or who violate or contravene the 'Fundamental Family Rules‚' and any agreed–upon Home regulations‚ in a manner appropriate and proportionate to the offense" (The Charter, Responsibilities and Authority of Home Officers‚ C).

29. This means that Family officers have the authority and responsibility to shepherd people and to correct them when they're doing things wrong, when they're hurting others, or when they're slowing down or hindering or disrupting their Home and the Lord's work. Such problems need to be corrected, and should not be allowed to continue. Family officers are responsible to faithfully correct and discipline individuals who fail to fulfill or violate the Charter, and that includes those who do not live up to the Responsibilities of Individual Members.

30. Let's now make this more specific regarding personal relationships: If a relationship is really out of line, the shepherds of the Home would be responsible to talk to the individuals involved, letting them know how they are not living the Law of Love, and pointing out how they are causing hurt to others through their relationship. The Home shepherds would need to lovingly counsel them about how to overcome the problems and improve the situation. It's acceptable that the Home officers would suggest that those involved in the relationship make things right with the Lord and others through desperate prayer, counseling, communication with one another, and hearing from the Lord in prophecy.

31. The Home teamwork is completely within their realm of responsibility and authority to ask that a personal relationship be reined in. In other words, it can be suggested that they "cool it off" by having it limited through safeguards, so that others are not being hurt and it's not causing harm to the Home. The Home officers can also ask that the relationship be discontinued if it can't be reined in sufficiently and brought within the appropriate boundaries of the Law of Love, which includes the counsel put forth in this [Law of Love] series of GNs.

32. If the people involved refuse to follow the counsel of the Home teamwork and the problems continue, the Home officers can discuss the matter with the Home council. In such a case‚ the shepherds must explain to the Home the reasons why these individuals should either change their behavior or not be allowed to continue their relationship in their Home. If a simple majority of the Home council agrees, then they must either change the things that are causing harm or they must stop their relationship; or if they refuse to follow the counsel, then the Home council can vote that one or both people involved in the relationship leave the Home.

33. Of course, the members in the relationship also have the right, if the Home officers ask them to bring their relationship under control or break it off, to bring their case before the Home council and explain their side and get a vote from the Home. (See The Charter, Responsibilities and Authority of Home Officers, C.1.) If the Home still wants to proceed with them restricting their relationship or breaking it off, or even leaving the Home, then those involved in the relationship have the right to appeal even higher in the form of a right of redress. (See The Charter, The Right of Redress.) If the people involved in the relationship do not want to follow the counsel of the Home officers or Home council, they are free at any time to give their notice and move out of the Home. (See The Charter, The Right of Mobility.)

34. So as you can see, within the Charter, unfruitful‚ runaway, disruptive relationships can be shepherded and corrected. But I want to caution all of you about not moving too fast to enact any drastic measures of requiring that people discontinue relationships or voting people out of your Home. Yes, that is an option, but it should only be used as a necessary last–resort stance in very rare, exceptional cases.

35. I'm sure you're all aware that growing in personal relationships, learning to live the Law of Love and overcoming jealousy take time. Please don't be rash or overreact. Take time to hear all sides of the story, and especially to hear from the Lord about how to help people who are struggling! Give situations time, give people the benefit of the doubt. Let the Lord work!

36. If a relationship is temporarily weakening those involved, or causing them to have some battles and trials‚ this is not reason enough to try to put a stop to it. It is reason enough to try to help those involved through counsel, understanding, prayer, etc., but it's not wise to step in prematurely to try to "rescue" those who are learning, though struggling, when the Lord may be trying to use the situation to teach them very valuable and needed lessons that will help them grow. Also, just because the shepherds of the Home or even the overshepherds feel that people are not compatible for one reason or another, that is not reason enough for them to insist that a relationship be stopped.

37. First try to shepherd the people involved through their problems. This should be done through prayer, counsel and seeking the Lord. The shepherds must try to show the people involved in the relationship the problems in their relationship and the problems that it's causing to them, the Home, other members, and the work, so that they of their own choice will work on overcoming those problems.

38. Again I stress that love is the answer—loving shepherding and taking the time to pray and seek the Lord for wisdom, love, and His Words to direct and help people through relationship problems. In most cases, with the Lord's help, this will be successful and will strengthen the individuals and the Homes involved. Remember, as shepherds it is important that you handle people's hearts with a great deal of tender loving care, keeping their personal affairs confidential‚ and being mindful to not overreact to things that someone has entrusted to your confidence.

Issues, Part 4

ML #3306:38-55, GN 909.


38. (Question: ) It's hard for me if I find out that one of my friends has said something about me, and I've had people tell me that if I want to stay friends with them‚ I can't ever say anything. I want to do what's right, but I'm caught in the middle and I'm afraid if I do say something to my shepherds, I'll lose that friendship forever.

39. (Jesus: ) Friendship is many things, but real friendship will always do what's best. This can sometimes mean overlooking faults when they're minor, or if you ask your friend to tell you the truth about your NWOs or something personal, that they'll be upfront with you. Friendship is also forgiving. It's unconditional love. It's offering advice. When a friend knows a friend needs outside help for something that really is important for his spiritual or physical well-being or service for the Lord, then it includes seeking this help.

40. A lie that the Devil often tells you is, "They told on me because they're mad at me or have it in for me." Or he'll tell you that they've betrayed your confidence, they've misrepresented you‚ that you can't trust them anymore, and all sorts of other things. These are some of the Devil's classic lines he'll feed you, because his job is to divide friends and cause disunity. But even more than that, he'll try to put up a roadblock to your getting the help that you may need or that is crucial to your service to Me. If the Devil can get you to think that your friend is just "telling on you," then that, in your mind, will justify rejecting any counsel or advice that someone may try to give you, stunting your progress.

41. The Devil is the accuser of the saints—that's what he does all day long. He's the accuser of the brethren, just like it says; he stands before God to accuse you day and night. So don't believe the Devil's lies about your friends when they go to your shepherd expressing their concerns and trying to help you. They're doing the right thing, because they're not sure how to help you, or what to say or how to present it. So they're very wise in going to someone else to pray about it, or to get the help they need, and that you need too.

42. This is a true friend and the best kind of friend you could have—one who will try to help you even if they know you might get mad at them, which will hurt them too, but they're willing to bear that hurt in order to help you. Now that's real love. That's the kind of friend that will not only get outside help for you when you need it, but will also forgive you, help you out of a tight spot, sacrifice for you, and even die for you.

43. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. And that's what someone is doing if they ask a shepherd to help you. They have to lay down their life, because it's not an easy thing to do what some people may call "rat on their friend." That's why it really is a sacrifice for them, because reporting on a friend has such a bad connotation, it's like being labeled a traitor. So it takes them laying down their pride to go to a shepherd. It takes courage and humility. It takes love. They have to count the cost. They have to be willing to be hurt‚ thinking you won't like them anymore or won't trust them anymore‚ and it can be quite painful for them. Anyone who's willing to lose a friendship that is very dear to them, risk putting the friendship on the line in order to help you‚ well, you could hardly find a better friend than that.

44. It's all in how you look at it. Would you rather have friends who didn't have the courage to speak up if they saw something wasn't going to be good for you—or someone who would have the guts to stand up and say something even if they knew you might be mad at them? True friends will tell you the truth no matter what, and they're not really true friends if they don't. True friends speak the truth in love‚ because they love you and they love Me. (End of message from Jesus)

There For Him...

45. (Question:) In the S2K Letters it talks a lot about being your brother's keeper. We have a problem with that in our Home, but in thinking about how we're going to get over it, I'm not sure what steps we should take. It's tricky when you want to do the right thing‚ but you also don't want to offend the others in your Home. Sometimes the truth can be pretty offensive! We need a balance, but how do we get that? I need it real simple—1-2–3 type steps.

46. (Dad:) Good for you for asking! That's the first step right there—to want to improve, to see the need to do better, to recognize there's a problem. If everyone in your Home sees it, all the better! Unfortunately, that probably won't always be the case. Sometimes you have to try to make progress even when everyone doesn't see the need for it—because as an individual, the Lord expects you to keep growing and changing and making the steps that He's asked of you personally, whether everyone else is coming along or not. It makes it much easier, though, when you're all in unity about lifting the standard in an area like this one—being your brother's keeper.

47. What does "being your brother's keeper" entail, anyway? It means praying for one another, encouraging each other, being there as a friend to help share the load and the ups and downs of life. It means helping your brother when he needs help, pulling him up when he's down, and being willing to sacrifice what you want to do when he has a need. Being your brother's keeper also means correcting each other if you see something isn't right. It means pointing things out to your peers, which is never easy. It's not easy to give, and it's not easy to take. It means talking to your shepherds when you see one of your peers needs help. It means being honest and standing up to one another.

48. Overall it means being a lot more honest and open, which is just difficult, period. It's difficult because it's humbling. It's difficult because you find out things that can be hard to take, that can threaten to hurt your friendships, if you don't take them the right way. If you're sensitive, being honest and open or having someone be honest and open with you is very painful—it's a real fight to overcome your sensitivity and see things objectively.

49. At first‚ learning to be your brother's keeper in all aspects, including being more honest and open with one another and with your shepherds—can seem to be hurting your unity more than helping it. If your friend tells your shepherd something that you said in a casual conversation, and your shepherd comes and talks to you about it‚ it's easy to feel like you never want to speak honestly with your friend again. But recognize that for what it is—it's the Enemy trying to make you feel that way‚ and thus destroy your unity! I know that's hard to do at the moment‚ because you hurt‚ you feel that you've been betrayed‚ and you wonder what your friend's motive was for doing it.

50. But stop right now and remind yourself what you're in the Family for. It's for Jesus‚ right? It's to serve the Lord and to do the best job possible for Him. What's the purpose of the Word, living by the Charter, and abiding by the standard that the Lord has set down for us? It's to enable us to do a better job for Jesus. So take it right back to the basics and remind yourself where your first loyalty should be, and where your friend's first loyalty should be. That will help to put things into perspective. Then go to the Lord and ask Him what He wants you to learn from the situation.

51. It's not easy; it kills your pride to humble yourself like that, to accept things and learn from them. But it's good for you, and if you can believe it, it will strengthen your relationship not only with the Lord, but with your friend—because you'll be basing your friendship on the policy of "Jesus and His Family first," and the Lord will bless that. You'll learn to have more honest and open communication together, and that will also strengthen your friendship.

52. The same principles apply when you have to be the one to correct your friend, or go and mention something to your shepherd that you just don't feel is right. First of all, check your motives for doing so. Is it to lift yourself up, or to try and avoid getting in trouble yourself? If so, you'd better stop and pray and ask the Lord to help you have the right motives.

53. Your motive should be that you really love your friends and want to see them make it. You might not think that a little thing like reporting on them or correcting them will help them make it—in fact, it might seem quite the opposite. But you have to obey‚ because the Lord said that it's your duty of love, and trust that He will work it together for good. Then take it back to the basics—remind yourself of your loyalty to Jesus above all, and to His work next. Then ask the Lord to help you present things lovingly, fairly, objectively and wisely. Even if you're just reporting something to your shepherd, who you think should have a good view of the big picture and should take your report wisely and pray over it before doing anything about it, it's still your duty to pray and present it wisely.

54. Those are some of the basic ground rules. And then you just have to do it. Pray and ask the Lord for His love. Pray together, as a Home, and ask the Lord for His love and grace. And then be willing to talk about things together when they come up. If you have to mention something to someone and it doesn't go so well, go back and apologize. Or, if someone mentions something to you and you're hurt and offended by it, or you have a bad reaction, go back and apologize, and talk about it. Get things worked out. Get things out in the open. Really pray and ask the Lord to give you His love and help you see things as He sees them, and then ask the other person how they see it.

55. Open communication will solve so many problems. Granted, you've got to implement that with a lot of love and wisdom. And you might feel that you don't have that love and wisdom personally. But that's okay—you don't have to! Thank God for the new weapon of prophecy, by which you can have all the wisdom that you need—simply by asking the Lord what to do, what to say, and how to say it. He's more willing to pour out the love you need than you are to receive—literally! So try it! Okay? I love you! Love, Dad. (End of message from Dad.)

Are You a Disciple?

ML #3365:183-239, GN 963.

183. (Mama:) There have been hundreds of pages published on the Law of Love, and yet there are some serious problems in the implementation of the sexual side of it. Some of the most problematic issues have to do with:

184. 1) Not enough shepherding of unfruitful or out-of-control relationships. There are very specific guidelines in the "Law of Love" series. There are rights, responsibilities, and rules spelled out clearly. But it's clear from many specific situations that we've been informed of, and from situations that have come up in our own Home, that to live the Law of Love happily and for it to bear good fruit, problem situations have to be shepherded. "Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 10" (ML #3210, GN 813) explains clearly that such shepherding is valid and necessary, and yet there is still very little counsel or help given, even when serious problems come up with the sexual sharing amongst singles or married people.

185. Part of the problem is because often one of the people involved doesn't want to cause trouble, so he or she covers for the errant person. For example‚ there are married women who endure very unloving, selfish, and wrong actions by their husbands, but these wives are not willing to expose their husbands' behavior and ask for help because they know their husbands will retaliate and make life miserable for them. There are singles who would like help, but they know their steady boyfriend/girlfriend will go ballistic with jealousy and take it out on them‚ making them feel like they betrayed the one they love by asking for help.

186. If you need help, but you don't ask for it, or if you do explain the problem but say, "Don't say anything or let him/her know I told you," how are you going to get any help? No wonder there's so little shepherding, and the lack of shepherding makes it possible for unfruitful relationships to go unchecked and continue to hurt others.

187. 2) People misusing the Law of Love to get what they want. Some people pursue relationships that are not the Lord's will, or they make "demands" on others that are not appropriate, and they excuse their behavior by saying they're "living the Law of Love."

188. There are situations where men threaten to leave their wives if they can't have what they want. These husbands are blatantly disobeying the counsel to put their primary relationship first‚ their marriage‚ and to consider their wives' feelings, etc. But often the wife in such a situation feels there's not much she can do, because if she makes it hard on her husband‚ he'll threaten to leave her.

189. Many of these marriages have kids, and of course the wife doesn't want to be left a single mother, so she endures it, often being blamed for the problems in the marriage because "she's jealous." All the while the husband does such things as womanize and carry on relationships behind her back; doesn't honor her as his wife publicly; doesn't give his wife sufficient sex, affection, and emotional support; refuses to stop an outside relationship even when she doesn't have the faith for it.

190. Some sexual relationships are pursued not out of sacrificial love and genuine concern for the other person, but out of lust and selfishness. Even if no official Law of Love rules are broken, lustful, selfish behavior breaks the spirit of the Law of Love and the principle by which our lives should be governed!

191. These things are wrong! This should not happen! This is not living the Law of Love! This is abusing the freedom God has given us in the Word. These problems are not the result of the doctrine, but of people making bad‚ unloving, selfish decisions!

192. Some of these pitiful, problematic situations cause the one or ones involved to really go to the Lord—usually the one that's hurting and left out—and though we do not condone the actions of those not acting according to the Law of Love and the Lord's will in this way‚ there is at least good fruit in that person's walk with the Lord. But there are situations where that doesn't happen, and it just results in pain, heartache, and a loss of faith and self–esteem, which is so sad!

193. 3) People taking advantage of our sexual freedom and wrongly applying it to have sex with outsiders. There is a lot of sex going on between Charter members and outsiders. Some people confess, many don't. Anyone can see that this behavior puts the Family at risk, especially when people continue to have sex with members of the CM Family after having had sex with outsiders.

194. Someone recently wrote me, saying, "This is a matter that I believe concerns the well-being of our Family. One of the reasons that we have the 'no sex with non-CM members' rule is mainly because we would rather not have sicknesses, such as AIDS [or other STDs], in our Homes. Unfortunately, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and being so, as you're most probably aware, many of us have broken this rule. Some of us have confessed and MANY haven't‚ and MANY of those who haven't talked to their COs and/or VSs are still in active sexual activity with other CM members who are unaware of their adventures."

195. This is no surprise to Peter and me. We know of the many Charter infractions concerning sex with outsiders‚ and often when the person finally confesses‚ it becomes known that he or she has continued having sex with members of the CM Family. Judging by the pattern, it's not surprising, nor do I feel it would be inaccurate to assume that there are plenty of CM members who have had sex with outsiders who have not confessed, and therefore are putting others whom they share with in the CM Family at risk.

196. This is wrongly applying the sexual freedom of the Law of Love! This is a serious problem that we have grappled with and prayed about for years. What can we do? Home shepherds and area officers can't watch people every minute of the day and night! We can't make people confess. We can't make people feel convicted and have a conscience. We can't make people see the seriousness of their actions. Peter and I are presently in counsel with the COs regarding this and will continue to seek the Lord for solutions to this problem.

At the Heart of These Unloving Acts Is Compromise

197. You might wonder why in the world I'm talking about these specific Law of Love problems in a series on conviction versus compromise. This might seem off the subject‚ but it's not. It's very much on the subject, because at the heart of these unloving acts is compromise!

198. When you disobey the Word, when you lack the fear of the Lord, when you harden your heart to others' needs, when you blow off the Lord's checks because of selfishness and lust, when you disregard the spirit of the Law of Love and selfishly wrest the Word to your own advantage, it results in compromise. You who are guilty of misusing the Law of Love as mentioned above have compromised the truth of the Word. You've compromised for gain—to get what you want or to protect yourself. Whatever your reasons for doing what you do‚ it's definitely not putting the Lord and obedience to the Word first.

199. If you were really desperate to be right with the Lord, if you wanted more than anything to be obedient and yielded, if your motivation was pure—to show sacrificial sincere love to all involved or affected by your actions—if you were truly concerned about the sample you were setting for your children, younger members, Active members, etc., you'd certainly not engage in these wrong activities or attitudes. All of those things I just talked about are wrong, and if you're doing them‚ you're sinning, you're disobeying‚ and you're compromising.

The Doctrine Is Sound—It's the Implementation That's in Question!

200. People in our Family and even Active members have been stumbled, not so much by the concept of the Law of Love or the doctrine, but by the samples they've seen. People have been burned, disillusioned, and some have eventually even rejected the doctrine of full freedom in the Law of Love because they feel it's hurtful, it doesn't bear good fruit, and people use it as an occasion to the flesh. This is very sad, because what happens is that the Word, Dad's teachings‚ the Lord's truth about the Law of Love is what gets blamed for the wrong, whereas it's people who are to blame; it's those who are not really living the Law of Love at all, but who say they are! Then when things go awry and people are hurt, it's the doctrine of the Law of Love that takes the rap! That's not fair. The Lord said:

201. (Jesus speaking:) People argue against the Law of Love, saying it only bears bad fruit, or that because it bears some bad fruit, it's no good. Because there are many individuals involved in complicated relationships, and there are so many different situations and different levels of dedication, love, and obedience, of course there will be a huge variety of "fruits" borne from the implementation of the Law of Love.

202. Where there is perfect love and obedience, there is perfect good fruit—but usually there is a mixture of both good and bad fruit. But even though there are problems and even bad fruit at times, that still shouldn't be blamed on the doctrine. The doctrine is not on trial here; it's the people's implementation of it that must be judged. The question is not whether the doctrine is right. It is. The question is whether the people can be trusted with it.

203. There is no doubt about the validity and truth of the full freedom of the Law of Love. David received the truth from Me, and he was faithful to give it to the Family. Maria and Peter have built on that truth. There is no doubt that the full freedom of the Law of Love is of Me; that is not in question. (End of message from Jesus)

204. (Mama: ) What this means is that there will be a variety of fruit borne from people's living the freedom of the Law of Love. In some cases it's good‚ in some cases it's bad‚ and in many cases it's a mixture of good and bad. But the hurt and bad fruit of some people's living the Law of Love shouldn't be blamed on the doctrine itself. The doctrine is sound, but it's the implementation by some that is in question.

205. About judging Law of Love relationships: Even in situations or relationships where the fruit is good overall, there will probably be some mistakes‚ slips, or wrong decisions. This happens because life is complicated and people aren't perfect. Even when people are trying to do the right thing, they don't always make it 100%. So you need flexibility when judging the fruit of something, because just because there are some wrong things‚ boo-boos or hurts, that doesn't cancel out all the good. And if there is more good than bad, or if there is a preponderance of good and some bad, then generally you could consider that it's good fruit. Perfection is not required for a relationship or situation to fall into the "bearing good fruit" category.

Suspend Sexual Freedom?

206. Besides the problems mentioned earlier, there is also a general contempt for the Law of Love in the Family today. I often get letters lecturing me about how I shouldn't be "pushing" sexual sharing. I receive Bible classes in which some of you are trying to disprove Dad's teachings on this subject. I receive reproofs from those who think we shouldn't be preaching the sexual aspect of the Law of Love, lest we stumble some poor, unsuspecting church person. And there are lots of upset young people who think living the Law of Love does nothing but wreck marriages‚ so you're taking the stance that you'll have a monogamous relationship, since you feel that's the only thing that will last or work.

207. I readily admit that there are serious problems in how the Law of Love is being lived, especially because people are being hurt and stumbled! And I'm not talking about "good hurt" where you allow yourself voluntarily to be hurt. I'm talking about bad hurt! (See "Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 2," ML #3202:177-195, GN 805.)

208. It becomes quite puzzling after a while to try to know what to do about these ongoing problems, how to improve them. We've published about everything we can as far as specific guidelines, tips, and rules. We've put various amendments in the Charter regarding the Law of Love. We've tried to educate the Family. But still, these serious problems persist.

209. I finally reached a point where I seriously wondered if we'd have to suspend the sexual freedom of the Law of Love for the whole Family. I mean, if these relationships can't be shepherded, if the rules can't be enforced, if the Family can't be ruled by love and make good decisions according to the full counsel of the Word, then what can we do? I began to wonder if we hadn't reached the same point the Apostle Paul had when he recommended that the celibate stay that way, or get married if they must, but avoid any other sort of sexual freedom or liberties whatsoever.

210. If the Family couldn't handle the freedom, if you couldn't be trusted‚ then I wondered if maybe the Lord would take it away. I thought, "Well, if many of the Family continue to disobey, compromise, hurt and stumble others, then possibly we need to just do away with the sexual freedom totally, for everyone, so we can get on with our main job of winning the world." We've been getting so many complaints about the Law of Love, about how it's causing nothing but harm, that I thought maybe we had reached the point where the Lord could no longer trust us with it. That was a sad thought, but I honestly considered it and pondered it.

211. Peter and I are both personally convinced that the full freedom of the Law of Love as Dad taught us, including the sexual freedom, is the truth, and for those who live it in love it's a wonderful blessing of God. We feel very privileged to know this truth as Dad taught us. But we are also realists and we aren't closed to the idea that if the Family comes to the point where it's obvious that you're not learning to live the Law of Love in the right spirit, if it's consistently causing more harm than good, if it's being misused and causing nothing but hurt, then we will stop it. We could amend the Charter so there would be no sexual contact or sexual activity between any individuals of any age who are not officially married to each other. Then we'd be back to where we were before the revelation Dad received about the Law of Love, and back to where most churches (and certainly most dedicated missionaries) are today.

212. I asked the Lord if it was time for this, or what we could do to solve these problems. Here is His reply.

God's Hands Are Tied—The Choice Is Yours!

213. (Channel describes a vision: ) I see Jesus and His Father up in Heaven. It's such a sad‚ sad picture. I can't help but cry. Jesus looks very sorrowful. Oh, Jesus, help us! Forgive us, Lord‚ for making You so sad.

214. The Father is sitting on His throne and Jesus is kneeling before Him with His head down, His arms are stretched up toward Him, as if He is making a plea to His Father. He's interceding on our behalf. Jesus is weeping almost uncontrollably. He's asking His Father‚ "Is there no other way?"

215. God is also weeping. He is very majestic‚ very kingly‚ very powerful, but it's almost as if all that hardly matters. He looks very sober‚ very sad, just like Jesus. God is looking down, and He is slowly shaking His head back and forth, and He's crying.

216. God stands up, looking down at Jesus, shaking His head, extremely sad. His arms are in front of Him‚ and His hands are tied at the wrists with a big thick rope.

217. God reaches down to Jesus, and with His tied hands He lifts up His Son, and Jesus embraces Him. It seems they are trying to comfort each other.

218. They're standing there in an embrace, and God says, "Son, You know I desire nothing more than to change this situation, but My hands are tied. Only the Family themselves can untie these cords. Only they can turn this tide that is upon them. The decision is theirs."

219. Now both God and Jesus are standing side by side looking down at this giant 3-D TV screen. God still has His hands tied; Jesus has His arm around His Father's shoulder, as if to comfort Him. They're watching the Family on Earth. They both are still very, very sad; tears are rolling down their cheeks.

220. A huge black cloud is closing in, hovering over the screen. God's hands are still tied, and He's holding them out over the screen, the dark cloud hovering above, and He says:

221. "My hands are tied. According to the choices of My people will their future be determined. Those who choose to live according to Our Law of Love will reap the blessings; they will grow and progress, and walk on to fulfill their destiny. Those who choose not to obey the truth they have been given, and those who choose to abuse the freedom they have been given, those who make a mockery of the Law of Love, the shadow of troubles and sorrow will cover them. They will not reap My blessings; they will not have the power, but will have to face the consequences. They are accountable, for they have heard the truth.

222. "According to the choices of the people, it will be done. I am a righteous God and so I honor the majesty of choice that is given to mankind. My Son, pray for Your brides, that their faith not fail, for the future is in their hands." (End of vision.)

223. (Jesus speaking:) My heart and the heart of My Father are broken with the sight that we see. You have been given precious riches of truth. This knowledge of the full freedom of the Law of Love is a rare treasure. It has never been entrusted so fully to man, and there you are, spitting on it, trampling it under foot, throwing it in the trash can and telling everyone who will listen how ugly and useless it is. So foolish! This is a pitiful state of rebellion, pride, and arrogance of those who feel you know better than God! Rather than receive this revelation from David with thankfulness of heart, you take it upon yourselves to lecture and set straight your queen. You have the audacity to try to teach My anointed prophetess about adultery and sin!

224. This hurts Me deeply. It saddens Me more than you can know. I feel rejected and scorned. For this truth of the freedom of the Law of Love represents the beauty of My Kingdom. It is a foreshadowing of Heaven. This is the essence of the freedom of My Spirit.

225. Though some of the children of David deserve to have this freedom revoked‚ due to your misuse of it‚ or due to your hateful disrespect and lack of appreciation, I will not stoop to that level. I will not take back My Word, for the truth is the truth. I will not recant, for what has been said is right and Godly and Heavenly. Though you tarnish the truth of My Word and freedom of love with your lust and selfishness‚ though you mock My truth and spit in My face with your murmurs and the stance you have taken in opposition to My Endtime teaching, I will not be moved to retract. I never will‚ for I stand by the truth of Heaven, as do your king and queen.

226. You have been taught and guided, and the boundaries to safely and lovingly live the totality of My Law of Love have been securely put in place. There is no excuse for continued bad hurt and the sins of pride‚ selfishness, lust, rebellion, and for not making the effort to fight and overcome jealousy. The fault is in your own lack of love, your own lack of fear of Me‚ which makes you feel you can have the pleasure and freedom on your own terms, in your own way‚ without acting in love, humility, and prayerfulness.

227. You who hurt and stumble others, who speak in arrogance and pride against this great gift, who vow to "never stoop to partake of such freedom," are those who are wrong, not My Word. It is the epitome of pride and self-righteousness to think that you can instruct God on this, the ways of Heaven. I and My Father are One‚ and We have bestowed this truth on the children of David with open hearts, expecting and praying for the best. This has been a test, an experiment. Even as your David warned you from the beginning, can you be trusted with this? Will you use it for good or for your own ends? Will you lay down your life to benefit others, or will you take and devour and cause pain?

228. You judge yourselves. How have you fared? What has been the depth of your love? What have been your motivations? How much have you loved others as you love yourself? Have you recognized the value of the treasure of the Law of Love?—Or are you amongst those who have mistaken My jewels for cheap glass and tin, to be tossed out?

229. Whether you realize it or are willing to accept it, the truth of the Law of Love is a key factor in the Endtime. I will let this truth be known, and if necessary, I will raise up another ecclesia to live it, to be the earthly sample of that which is to come when I rule and reign. My plan will not be defeated. The choice is yours as to whether you will be the ones who are privileged with that honor, or if you will cast off the crown. I will not force you, but neither will I remove your chance of receiving the blessing by recanting on this truth of the Words of David.

230. My Father and I are deeply hurt by the pain We see. If We could change it ourselves in some way, if We could right the wrongs, We would, as would your king and queen. But We must restrain Ourselves; in fact, My Father's hands are tied, because We will honor the majesty of choice.

231. The fruit of living the Law of Love is in your hands. You are the ones who will determine the outcome. I leave the choice with you, and it will be clear whether your actions are in love and sacrifice, or in lust and selfishness.

232. I cannot and I will not recant. This truth of the Law of Love must be given and it must be lived—if not by the children of David, then by someone else. I have no choice but to allow this full freedom of My love to be made known to the world, for this must come to pass, and then will the End come.

233. But you, My children, do have a choice. It is you who determine the future and how your lives will be lived. You personally have control of your choices, actions, attitudes and relationships. What you decide‚ individually and collectively, will change the course of your future, for it will prove your worthiness of this precious treasure that has been placed in your care.

234. I weep‚ I lament. It breaks My heart to see the division, confusion, rebellion‚ hatred and contempt for My law. What a sad and pitiful state! If it were a different time in world history, maybe I would withdraw this blessing to prevent the hurt and misuse. But there is no time now‚ for the clock races forward and this testimony and truth will be put forward in the Endtime in fulfillment of My promise.

235. I give My children of David the opportunity to get right with Me. I am merciful and I will have mercy upon those who are loyal and true in spirit. I will not punish the whole because of the sins of the rebellious. My Father and I pray and watch‚ for the future of the Family depends on whether you return to your first love in simplicity‚ humility‚ and consecration.

236. I will not take this blessing from you at this time. But know that if you choose to not live this truth, but rather to despise it, or if you choose to misuse this truth and use it as an occasion to the flesh, I will raise up others who will take your crown. I say this with great heaviness of heart. This is not My desire, and I find no pleasure in giving this warning. Even now the dark clouds of sorrow hang heavily around My Kingdom.

237. I beg you, My darlings, to reconsider, to search My Word, to ponder these things with open hearts. I implore you to cast off the unfruitful works and ideas of the Evil One. I pled with My Father, but His hands are tied. He is powerless to deliver you from your waywardness unless you seek His forgiveness and repent. He cannot overrule your personal choices; neither can I.

238. We wait in soberness of heart, with tear-stained faces, watching and praying. We want to bless the children of David with great happiness‚ freedom, and unity. We want to use King Peter and Queen Maria and their followers to show the world the ultimate love of Heaven. You are in possession of a great treasure. What will you do with it? (End of message from Jesus.)

239. (Mama:) What a sad picture and message. Please, dear Family, take this to heart. Don't let the conviction slip away. Take the time to think, ponder, and search the Word. Read past Letters on the subject. Get educated if you don't understand the Law of Love. Don't just rely on what you think you remember. Study, read, seek the truth. Ask the Lord your questions. Realize that you have a lot to lose!

Choices and Consequences, Part 2

ML #3485:132-167, GN 1070.

Spirits of Seduction

132. (Mama: ) The Lord has revealed to us another band of spirits that fight us. They're called the spirits of seduction. As you'll see from the Lord's counsel that follows, they use many different tactics and try to influence us in many different areas of desire, but their goal is the same: to draw us away from the Lord‚ to ensnare us in evil, to get us so distracted or focused on some physical or mental desire that we are open to being attacked by the Enemy. These spirits played a big role in the mistakes that both Joe and Megan made that opened them up to the Enemy's attacks.

138. (Jesus:) The Tempter uses many approaches to lure My children away from My ways and away from My Spirit, so that they are led of their own spirits‚ or led of him and his underlings.

139. In these, the Last Days, there are many seducing spirits that have gone out into the world, more than the sum total of all time. As with all of Satan's regime, these seducing spirits focus their energies and efforts on those with the greatest potential to do their dark kingdom harm. It's the live ones, the ones who are Mine‚ the ones who have great promise and potential to really go places for Me that the spirits of seduction target. Who else would they target rather than My Own? Those who are not dedicated to Me‚ or have the potential to be so‚ are already caught in Satan's trap. It is not the mindless zombies, those who sleep under a blanket of conformity to the world, that the spirits of seduction are after. It is My Own, the children of David‚ and other active Christians, who they are after.

140. The spirits of seduction employ many tactics, varied strategies in their enticements. There is great variety in what they use as their allurements, yet at the base of them all is desire. They play on desire in many forms, such as desire for power, desire for money, desire for recognition, desire for love, desire for sex, desire for pleasure—especially forbidden pleasure. Everyone wants to be loved; it's part of human nature to want to be recognized. Not all desire is bad, and I have promised to give you the desires of your hearts.

141. But these seducing spirits play on desire with the goal of blowing human desire way out of proportion. When desire becomes inordinate, when the desires of one's heart are not in line with My Spirit and My will, things can quickly get way out of balance‚ and this is where the danger lies. Anything in your lives that is not kept in check and balance by My Spirit has the potential to become dangerously deadly. When you want something so much that you're not cautious and prayerful, you're not willing to keep your actions within the boundaries that I've set for you, or even the common sense boundaries that you could know if you were thinking about them wisely, then you're on dangerous territory. This is the goal of the spirits of seduction—to lure you outside of the boundaries of My Spirit.

142. I am the author of coordination, balance, harmony, and moderation. I detest a false balance; it is an abomination to Me. These are strong words, and it's imperative that My brides take heed to them, for once your equilibrium gets off balance through the guile of the spirits of seduction, the end result can be tragic.

143. The spirits of seduction work through attractions. They seek to capture one's desire, causing it to grow out of proportion and out of the boundaries of My will, until they have a greater hold on their subject than is safe, both for your spiritual and physical health and well-being. Their goal is to get you to cross the line into disobedience, unwise behavior, thinking about nothing but satisfying your desire. For then you are open prey for the Enemy's attacks, and in that unaware or even blinded state, you make decisions that seriously endanger yourself and others.

144. Among the prime areas in which the spirits of seduction work is that of sex, but that's not the only area by any means. Sexual desire and pleasure is one that Satan knows is easy to play on and blow out of proportion.

145. As I have warned you many times, you cannot guard yourself from everything‚ but the key is to stay so close to Me that I am able to protect and guard you from the evil in the world. The key is to be so full of Me that the spirits of seduction can have no hold on you.

Vision of the Seducing Spirits

146. (Vision: ) I can see right into the core of the Earth—its blazing, raging, red-hot fire. Now I see thousands of figures rising up. They are coming up from the very core of the Earth, rising up through the strata and coming right up through the ground. When they're in the core of the Earth, they look like hazy figures of different shapes and sizes‚ but as they rise, some of them morph into human form. They're not human, they're many different kinds of spirits, but some morph into human form.

147. They're coming right up through the ground. I can see them enter the world on every continent. When they punch through the surface of the earth, they blend right in, either with people or with objects. Those who come up through Japan, for example‚ blend right in with the Japanese people and things, and those who come up through Latin America blend in with the Latins, and those in Europe with the Europeans, and so on. Wherever they come up through the ground, some blend in with the people and others go into objects. For example, I see some go into a huge billboard‚ an advertisement of some sort. Others go into a TV set, and still others into a computer. It seems as if they just become part of society in different ways‚ morphing into human form or entering into objects.

148. (Jesus:) I show you the seducing spirits that have gone out into the world. These spirits have been imprisoned in the heart of the Earth, but now are set free in the Last Days. Their mission is to try and to test the children of David and others who are close to Me. Free rein is given them to come and go as they please.

149. (Question: ) Haven't there always been seducing spirits in the world who tempt Your children? Is there something different now? Are there more now?

150. (Jesus:) The number of seducing spirits in the world is now increased. The gates have been opened; tens of thousands new to the world have gone out. What you see are those who have been in specialized demonic training. They have entered the Earth's atmosphere. Their focus is to try and to test, and, if possible, to deceive the very elect.

The Tactics of the Seducing Spirits

151. (Question:) How are they going to try and test? What are their tactics?

152. (Jesus: ) They use many appeals and many tactics. They target those who are led by the desires of the flesh and by carnal thinking, those who are ruled more by human feeling and emotion than by Me.

153. These are special forces from the Enemy's realm. They have been trained especially to target My true disciples of the End. This is their mission. Their goal is to lead My children astray, to lead them away from My truth, away from their duty to Me, away from the calling I have given them.

154. They hope to accomplish this every way and any way they can. They hype up fascination with things of the world. They try to get you addicted to a certain pleasure so that you're tempted to put it before your time with Me, or be distracted by it when you're supposed to be working or doing something more valuable.

155. They try to enhance the pleasures of the flesh while playing down the pleasures of the spirit. They will try to get you to focus solely on physical pleasure, and make it seem that if you bring Me into your times of fun, they will be less exciting or fulfilling. They give many false promises. They promote selfishness. They try to steal time away from things that are important. They tempt you to cover up your desires, to keep them hidden and satisfy them in secret, because then they can pull you further over the line and know that you'll continue to be drawn away from My Spirit.

156. They promote the artificial highs, and they bring low lows in the hope that it will make you reach out again for whatever they're tempting you with, promising that this time it will make you happy. They entice with worldly knowledge. They will use enchantments to try and pull you away from the work in My fields. They will arouse fascination for evil within those who leave themselves defenseless. They make the forbidden fruit almost unbearably appealing in an attempt to get you to disobey. These are but a few of the many tactics they employ.

Weigh Your Desires Against the Word

157. (Question:) What else do You want to tell us about the spirits of seduction?

158. (Jesus:) Unbelief in Me is the creed of these seducing spirits of the Latter Days; lies are upon their lips, hypocrisy pervades their spirits. I have warned you of their devices.

159. These specially trained ones are on duty. They are released into the world and they go after the children of David; the hour is come.

160. Try the spirits, My children. These spirits want to entice you, but I am greater than all their forces put together. Call on the keys of discipleship, commitment, and dedication. If you feel a strong urge to do something‚ weigh it against My Word and see if it's My will for you. If not, if it has potential to hurt or harm, or if your feelings of desire for this thing are surprisingly strong and tempting you to throw caution to the wind, to compromise the standard in any way or to go back on instruction I've given you personally, you can know that you're under attack by the spirits of seduction.

161. Many false spirits have gone out into the world. Even now they show signs, they perform wonders. This will increase as the days go on, as they try to seduce My chosen, but what is this when compared to the power of the keys? I tell you these things, for to be forewarned is to be forearmed. I am your guard. I am your defense. Call on the keys and follow Me. (End of message from Jesus)


162. (Jesus: ) Be warned‚ My loves. Because these spirits play on the emotions‚ enhancing the ones that will serve their purpose‚ it can be hard to detect their work. You don't need to be fearful, because the solution is really very simple. You know My Word‚ you know the standard, you know My Law of Love, and you have My personalized counsel through prophecy. If something tempts you to go past those guidelines and barriers that I have set up for your own good and safekeeping, if you're being drawn to something that I've warned you isn't good for you, then you can be sure that those emotions and those desires are not of Me.

163. Pray and ask Me to help you desire the right things. For then I love to satisfy your desires, and you'll find that I am the genuine article. I give true and lasting satisfaction. My highs are not accompanied by low lows. So don't fall for the imitation. Don't let your emotions run away with you. Keep bringing them back in line with the Word. Discipline them, and you will be safe from the spirits of seduction. (End of message from Jesus.)


164. (Jesus: ) The seducing spirits have the power to do small "miracles," as it were, to engineer situations, to manipulate emotions in order to seduce their prey. You shouldn't be surprised at this, for the Enemy always tries to imitate My power and use it for his own evil purposes. That's why in these Last Days when so much evil has been released on the world, I have given My children the gift of hearing from Me directly, so that you don't have to be led by chance, by your emotions, or even by things which seem right or "too good to be true." You don't have to be deceived or led astray, no matter how convincing the Enemy's shows of power become. You can just ask Me and I'll faithfully tell you to walk where you will be safe and blessed by Me. (End of message from Jesus.)

165. (Mama:) Someone who read an advance copy of this GN commented, "How can you tell when it's the Lord if something happens? It says we can ask Him, but if it is dealing with our emotions, sometimes we have a hard time putting aside our emotions and thoughts and really being open enough to get the right answer. We won't always have our shepherds to counsel with in such situations."

166. (Jesus:) As I said in the preceding message, it's very important not to go by appearances, by emotions, by feelings, or even what you think might be "leadings," but rather to seek Me and ask Me. And as for situations where you feel you'll be led astray by your emotions if you don't have anyone to counsel with, know that I take that into account. If there is a situation where there's no one for you to counsel with and you have to get your instructions solely from Me, know that as you do your best to seek Me with an open heart, I will lead you clearly and precisely. However, when you can counsel with your shepherds and others, then I expect you to do so, and through these various avenues I complete My counsel. But you have no need to worry or fear.

167. Knowing of the evil and deceiving spirits that are running rampant in these Last Days should cause you to feel sobered, but there's no need to fear‚ for I am a good Husband, a faithful Father, a knowing and discerning Shepherd, and I will not lead you astray if you come to Me with an open heart and humbly seek My will and My counsel through all the avenues I have made available to you. (End of message from Jesus)

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