KEYWORDS: internet, word, lord, world, time, things

Shooting Straight, Part 9--Letter Links: The Internet

November 27, 2004

(ML #3513, GN 1101 )

FD/MM/FM November 2004

Mama's News and Views!—Part 3

ML #3053:91-135, Lifelines 23

The Perils of the Internet!

91. (Mama: ) Some Homes are beginning to use the Internet for communications (electronic mail, also known as e-mail) and educational reference material. For those of you who may have heard of the term "the Internet‚" but are not familiar with what it is, following is a very simple explanation:

92. The Internet is often described as a giant web, with each connecting point representing a computer (or "host"—also referred to as a "Web site"). There are millions of these hosts, and all are interconnected via phone lines‚ satellite hook–ups, etc. So by accessing one host, also known as "logging on" to that host, you then have access to the other millions of hosts and the information they contain. It's as if millions of libraries in the world were interconnected and you could access any book in a library anywhere in the world from your computer. The Internet host computers are run by universities‚ government agencies, and private organizations or individuals, and the main purpose is to make information they have widely available to the public. This information covers a very wide range, from helpful educational material to demonic propaganda—the "good, the bad and the ugly."

93. Stories abound in the media of college students who've gotten so into the Internet that they've neglected their studies and been kicked out of college; husbands or wives who've neglected their mates for the Web, and suffered separation or divorce as a consequence; and growing numbers of young people who are virtually addicted to the Web, which affects their health‚ peace of mind and relationships with others.

94. Of course, like the rest of the mass media, the value of the Internet depends on how it is used. We use our Family Web site for witnessing and getting out the Word. Others use the Web to pass on helpful news and information, exchange ideas, or sell products. And others use the Internet for such evil practices as promoting ungodly or perverted sex, proclaiming the virtues of Satanism and the occult, and promoting every sort of vile, anti-God philosophy imaginable!

95. Due to the obvious dangers of this "information superhighway," as it is now referred to‚ I recently asked some folks in my Home to pray and ask the Lord about the Internet—how He looks at it, about our Family's use of it, and for any counsel He wanted to give concerning it. I think you'll find the prophecies the Lord gave to be very interesting, but before you read them, I'd like to share with you some comments written by one of the second-generation adults who recently joined our Home. I believe her initial reaction may be similar to how many of you young people might feel. She said:

96. "Oftentimes, when on the field, or for that matter, even now that I'm in WS, when I read a pub that contains some new counsel from Mama or a prophecy from the Lord that I feel talks 'negatively' about something, such as this section on the Internet where the Lord and Mama are cautioning us about the dangers and kind of putting the brakes on, so to speak, I have found that I can take it in the wrong way. If I don't read it in a prayerful spirit and with an open heart or mind, I tend to feel that the situation is being misjudged, or that we young people are being unfairly looked upon. When I saw this section of the GN, I felt like, 'Oh no! Here goes all access to the Internet, and now all the adults and shepherds are going to go to the extreme and crack down in this area, and it'll be out!'

97. "I personally like the Internet. It's amazing to me, and I very much enjoy learning about it. Before coming to WS I spent a fair amount of time witnessing over the wires, and I think it has tremendous potential to enable us to reach folks that we otherwise could never reach. Additionally, particularly in the U.S.‚ using the Internet is very widespread. It's a real craze. It comes up in conversations with non–Family people all the time‚ so I've found that being knowledgeable about 'the information superhighway' and having some experience with it can be helpful in relating to others. I think it can also be a good opener for witnessing.

98. "When I glanced over this section of this GN, it didn't particularly turn my key. In fact‚ I honestly almost didn't want to read it‚ because I didn't really want to hear what it had to say. I thought, 'Well, this is great! Here Mama asked me to read this GN and comment on it, and I don't even want to read this part!’ So I just stopped and prayed that I could see this section in the right spirit, as the Lord does‚ and not go overboard about it. Then when I read it, I tried to put aside my personal thoughts, feelings and experiences, so I could read in faith what the Lord is saying about the Internet. And after reading these three prophecies in that frame of mind, I didn't have a problem seeing that what the Lord says is definitely very true!

99. "I've had quite a bit of experience 'surfing the net' and I already knew some of the things brought out in the prophecies. It's not like I didn't know that there is a lot of evil out there and that the Internet provides basically unlimited access to the Devil's kingdom. So I agree 100% that this warning from the Lord is very needed, and it's very true. When on the Internet, I would try to be prayerful, and also wouldn't go surfing around in obviously negative places. However, in spite of that‚ at times I have stumbled across or read very negative things, and I have to say that it affected me in some way, like making me question, or making me feel confused or depressed.

100. "Additionally, I have seen the very bad and negative effects that unlimited access to the Internet can have on people. Someone who I was close to is now out of the Family, and I believe that his doubts and confusion were largely fueled and fed by his several-hours-a-day Internet diet and 'Web time' (which replaced his Word time), and his indiscriminate reading of the material that's accessible there. I agree that ultimately your heart has to be right, and in your using and browsing of the Internet you've got to have the right motivation and goals, otherwise obviously anyone can get into trouble and end up on the Enemy's turf with very little effort.

101. "I can see this section being taken by some as being a bit hard-line or just 'more rules and regulations.' I don't see how this message could be better presented, though, as it's probably not something that can be said in words, but has to be a work of the Lord's Spirit in each one's heart. I hope that we young people can see the dangers of the Internet and take this warning to heart without feeling like we're losing another freedom or something we enjoy doing, or without feeling like too many rules are being imposed on the use of it. If our attitude and motivation are right, then the rules don't bind us from accessing the Internet prayerfully for a good reason, in the right spirit; and hopefully, we should have that frame of mind and spirit in all that we do." (End of comments).

102. (Mama:) I pray you'll all be able to do as this young woman did when you read these prophecies. Please try to lay aside your personal feelings, thoughts and experiences, and read the following message prayerfully, with an open heart and mind.

A Serious Warning About the Internet!

103. (Jesus:) Beware of Oplexicon, for he is the master of confusion, the master of confusing intricacies, a demon of great power! Beware of the demons of the netherworld who seek to infiltrate the hearts and minds of men, who seek to come in through every means possible—through books, through movies, through television, through the Internet.

104. Beware and stand strong, lest you be consumed! It can be a force for good, but it can be a force for much evil. You must walk circumspectly. This is a door that he who is weaker should not enter alone, but he must be accompanied by one who is stronger‚ that the stronger may be a safeguard, that he may lead the weaker in the right path‚ that he may hold the sword of My Word and the shield of faith to resist any darts and attacks of the Enemy.

105. Even as you would not allow anyone to sit and watch anything they want on the television‚ so you should not allow anyone to enter this maze, this intricacy, unless they are accompanied by one who is strong.

106. I say again, beware of Oplexicon! Beware of the demon of subtleties. Be not lured away through doors which you should not enter. Pray diligently and fervently whether you should enter this maze at all, for it is not for all. It is for those who are strong, who know their way, who will turn neither to the right‚ nor to the left.

107. Pray and pray, and counsel together, for this is a serious thing. This should not be done in a corner‚ but it must be done in prayer and in counsel with those who are strong. If you heed not these warnings, if you heed not My Words‚ you shall reap much sorrow, you shall reap pollution of the Enemy. Even as the Enemy pollutes with his music and with his movies and with his television, even so does he pollute with the Web.

108. Therefore walk circumspectly that you be not subject to his pollution. For unto him who does not have faith, unto him who does not walk circumspectly, it is a sin and an abomination unto Me. Hear, therefore, the word at My mouth, for I have given My warning, I have given My Word. It is now up to you to obey it. (End of prophecy.)

Beware of the "Information Superhighway"!

109. (Jesus:) Much evil lurks on this "information superhighway." The forces of evil, the mass media moguls‚ and the other AC-inspired forces are working behind the scenes to pollute My sheep, to confuse them, to defile their spirits. The Devil, in his wisdom and his evil machinations, has designed a great evil. And although there is good to be found on this information highway, the evil lurks behind every rock and every bush. Mixed in with the good is the evil.

110. Warn My children! Warn My soldiers that this is a dangerous battlefield, a minefield, and that it will surely destroy them if they do not heed My admonitions and warnings concerning this evil minefield.

111. As Solomon discovered, of the making of books there is no end, and with much knowledge is much grief. These things can pollute your mind and your heart, as well as the hearts and minds of your children, unless you continue to wash yourself clean with My Word, My simplicity, and My Truth. For My Truth is easy. My way is simple. It is easy to find My ways and My simple truths.

112. Beware of the tricks that the Devil will use! Watch your children's hearts and minds. Guard them as you would the greatest treasure that you have ever had, for indeed they are. You would not put them amongst garbage and poison and evil and murderous people and creatures; likewise‚ you must protect them from these same evils that are on this highway. For it is an evil highway! There is great peril to anyone that travels it if they are not prayerful and washed in My Word and full of My Love, with strong faith and courage to search for the good that is amidst all this evil that has come upon the world.

113. This highway is only for the strongest—not mentally, but spiritually. Those with Godly wisdom. Those who have a perfect hatred for the Devil and his evil. Those who know the evil machinations of the Devil. Those who are aware of his traps and his treachery and his deception. So guard your children well, guard your sheep well, and guard your own mind and heart well. A true shepherd will heed this warning and watch over his flock by day and by night.

114. You cannot stop the evil that is in the world, but as I prayed, "Father, keep them from the evil," so you should pray for your children and your flocks and for your own self. For as the times wax worse and worse, and the evil and the darkness fall heavily upon the Earth, you must fall heavily upon Me and upon your knees in prayer.

115. Keep yourself pure. Keep yourself simple and full of the Truth. Avoid the glitter and the hype of the System, for it will drag you down. No matter how strong you may feel or think you are mentally, physically or even emotionally, your spirit will be affected badly if you do not prayerfully walk this road.

116. Just as a soldier walks cautiously down a lane full of snipers, you must do the same. You must discipline yourself, your children and your flocks, and keep them from the evil, for this is your job as a shepherd. I speak to all of you shepherds and all of you parents. These children I have given you are a gift. They are My children and I wish them to be pure and full of love, simplicity and truth—not to be filled with the evil, the lust, the greed and the vanity of the System.

117. After all of his attempts to learn everything about the world, Solomon's final words were: All is vanity and vexation of spirit, and the most important thing is to fear God and to live a simple Godly life. So use these things, but use them cautiously and wisely. And if you are not sure‚ don't use them at all; or pray and seek My face.

118. You can never seek My face too much about any question. You should pray and hear from Me about anything that will affect your spirit, and be sure you are not taking poison into your body, or allowing your sheep or your children to be poisoned. This is a true shepherd—one who oversees his flock by day and by night‚ in every aspect and in every area.

119. I warn you that this is one of the most dangerous areas for your sheep to enter. For though the grass seems so green and so rich, it is full of deadly poison, vipers, and all manner of evil beasts dwell there. So look to Me. Follow closely and I will lead you to the green pastures‚ to the safe pastures where you will find good food for yourselves, for your children, and for your flocks. Your spirits will be nourished and strengthened, and even your minds and your hearts, if you will follow Me closely as you travel down this highway.

120. But it is not for all! Be prayerful. Be careful. Be loving. Be wise. (End of prophecy.)

The Jangled Lines!

121. (Jesus: ) Jangled lines! Mangled‚ tangled, jangled lines! Complexities! A great web of complexities, all tangled and snarled and intertwined—in and out and over and under, fumbled, mumbled‚ garbled, the great web of jangled lines. They are jangled and complex. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophies and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world and not after Me.

122. My Truth is simple and easy to obtain, easy to put into practice‚ even in the complex and tangled world in which you live. Simplicity is My law! I do not put the doorknob too high for My children of all colors and creeds and races to reach. I speak not only of My Salvation and of My Love, but of all spheres of your life. My will is simple. Simplicity is My law.

123. So beware of the tangled lines, for the Evil One walks about as a roaring lion, seeking to entrap and snarl you up in the web of complexities. He advertises his propaganda far and wide through the network of jangled and tangled lines.

124. Things are revving up now, going faster and faster, speeding along the highway in a downward spiral that is going down, down, down, headed for a crash! But I get My greatest victories out of seeming defeat, and I say unto you, there is a glorious rainbow at the end of this dark night.

125. You, My children, must walk in wisdom toward them that are without. Although I give unto you these devices of modern technology which you can also use to further My Word and to fulfill My will, remember that I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. You must be wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves. And just as you must try the spirits to see if they be of Me, so you must try the information that comes across your path, by praying and seeking Me in all things, to see if it be of Me. Be wise as serpents‚ praying and seeking the wisdom that is from above, and be harmless as doves as you proceed down the path of My will.

126. Continue to seek Me in all things, that you may know what is from Me. Satan is very wise and very sly. He mixes much truth with the lie so that it is desirable, delightful, appealing to the eye, soothing to the touch, yet poisonous within. Did not the serpent beguile Eve in such a way—tempting her with a believable story? He is the same old Satan today! He does not always come around in a red suit with horns, pitchfork, and a tail, but with smooth words, pretty pictures, desirable appeals, even miracles to some degree.

127. You must try the spirits to see if they be of God. Continue to stay close to Me and My Words with your eyes fixed upon Me, seeking Me desperately in all things big and small, that you be not led astray from My simplicity.

128. This is the day of information, the day of knowledge. Did I not say that in the Last Days knowledge would be increased? It is the grand finale, and the stage is set for the final scene. Seek the knowledge that is from above, that is pure and peaceable, easy to be entreated.

129. Satan is the author of half-truths. He mixes truth with lies that are designed to trap and ensnare in the web of the jangled lines, and he is becoming bolder and bolder in these Last Days. You must walk circumspectly. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without. Log on to the Web with much prayer and caution. Pray desperately lest you fill your mind and heart with much information and confusion of Satan.

130. Though it is necessary to stay informed, to keep up with the latest‚ it is for this very reason you must stay filled with the antidote of My Word‚ the inoculation of My Spirit, that you may know how to choose the good and eschew the evil. Continue to fill up with positive, faith-building, encouraging‚ strengthening things from My Word, that you may hear My still small voice within you saying, "This is the way‚ walk ye in it," or‚ "This is not the way, turn ye away from it‚" that you may stay pure and undefiled in this wicked and perverse generation. (End of prophecies.)

131. (Mama:) Those are some very sobering warnings about the need to be wise‚ prayerful and in the fear of the Lord when traveling down the "information superhighway!" Like driving itself, it can be both helpful in getting you where you're going, and hazardous if you don't watch out while you're on your journey. If you consider logging onto the Internet for a needed purpose, please take heed to the Lord's instruction in the above prophecies.

132. This is serious business! The Lord likened the Internet to a dangerous battlefield, a minefield, an evil highway where there is great peril, one of the most dangerous areas to enter. He said you must walk down this road prayerfully, just as a soldier walks down a lane full of snipers! He said, "If you heed not these warnings, if you heed not My Words, you shall reap much sorrow, you shall reap pollution of the Enemy. Even as the Enemy pollutes with his music and with his movies and with his television*, even so does he pollute with the Web." (*See further comments from the Lord on television in ML #3056.)

133. The counsel Dad gave many years ago in "Use It" applies to our use of computers‚ the Internet or viewing of the mass media in general: "God always makes the System serve His servants, whenever it suits His purpose, if they have what He needs. 'As using this world [or System] but not abusing it' (1Cor.7:31). Own it and use it, but watch out—don't let it own and use you ! You're in it, but not of it! You're surrounded by it, but not part of it! You're drop-outs from it, but you can still use it! Just don't let it use you!" (ML #27:20,21‚26).

134. How do you go about using it but not letting it use you, choosing the good that's there but "eschewing" (avoiding) the evil? Following are some tips that you might find helpful:

  1. To begin with‚ please pray together as a Home and ask the Lord whether you even need to access the Internet. By publishing the above explanation and prophecies and these tips, I am in no way suggesting that all Homes immediately begin to take the necessary steps toward logging on to the Internet. It may not be the Lord's will for your Home to get involved with it at all. Pray and ask the Lord! He says in the prophecy above, "Pray diligently and fervently whether you should enter this maze at all, for it is not for all."
  2. If the Lord confirms that it is His will that your Home access the Internet, next you should decide‚ through prayer and counsel, what you want to use the Internet for (your goals)‚ which of your Home members should do so, and for how long (how many hours each week). I would even go so far as to suggest that your Home discuss and vote on a Home rule to govern Internet access—what reasons, who, when‚ and for how long, etc. That way everyone will be clear on what is allowed in your Home, and everyone will be expected to obey your agreed-upon Home rules as stated in the Charter. (See "Responsibilities of Individual Members," point M, page 7 of the Charter.)
  3. Do your "traveling" two–by-two if possible. As the prophecies said, "Even as you would not allow anyone to sit and watch anything they want on the television, so you should not allow anyone to enter this maze, this intricacy‚ unless they are accompanied by one who is strong." Even you adults shouldn't log on unaccompanied unless you're strong enough spiritually to not get sidetracked—and this advice certainly applies to you young people! If for some very good reason it's not possible to go two-by-two, then make sure whoever logs on has strong determination to stay on the "straight and narrow path," not the broad one which leads to destruction.
  4. Pray first. "Log on to the Web with much prayer and caution. Pray desperately lest you fill your mind and heart with much information and confusion of Satan."
  5. Stay in the Word. "You must stay filled with the antidote of My Word, that you may know how to choose the good and eschew the evil. Continue to fill up with positive, faith-building‚ encouraging, strengthening things from My Word."
  6. Have clearly defined goals. The greatest danger of the Internet is when you don't know where to go, so you wander around checking things out without much rhyme or reason, also known as "surfing the Internet." Because the Internet is such an enormous maze of web sites, it's easy to get lost and not accomplish much. Or else you happen upon some web site that looks interesting and you end up getting engrossed in reading something that is terribly unedifying or actually poisonous to your spirit!
  7. Limit your time online. Besides running up a phone bill, which can be expensive, the Internet can be a tremendous time-waster even for those with good intentions. If you know you only have a limited amount of time to find the information you need, or research the topic you're interested in, it does wonders to help you focus your mind on the subject at hand!
  8. One practical way to keep an eye on Internet access is by limiting the availability of the modem, since that's the door. In other words, if the person in your Home who is responsible for Internet access has the modem, then the young people or other adults won't be able to get on without permission.
  9. If your Home is going to access the Internet‚ I suggest at least one adult learn the basics of how to do so, rather than leaving it all up to your young people, many of whom are zealous "computer whizzes." It's good that our kids have a knack for learning computers. There is nothing inherently wrong with that; in fact, it can be very helpful. But the point I'm making is that it can be a problem when it comes to shepherding, if none of the adults have a basic understanding of the Internet and know how to get around on it.
  10. Remember that whatever you do on the Internet is logged by your Internet Service Provider‚ including the web sites you visit‚ and possibly (if it's a controversial site) even by government agencies. Just as your phone bill lists your long distance calls, you also leave an "electronic footprint" wherever you go on the information superhighway. If you communicate with another Home by e-mail, that may well be logged. Also, you need to be aware that downloading or using some encryption software is illegal in some countries. This is not to alarm you, but simply to let you know that you need to keep security in mind.

135. May the Lord bless and protect you if He leads your Home to use the Internet. Don't let it use you!

Goals for 1998

ML #3160:176–184, Lifelines 24

176. You've probably noticed that recently there's a trend in the Family of becoming more worldly in many ways. By worldly‚ I mean closer to the world. It appears that some feel it's quite acceptable to not stay so far removed from the System; that it's possible to serve the Lord with one foot in the Family and the other in the System. I'd venture to say that such an attitude seeps in very slowly. Rarely does a person go from being completely dropped out in spirit to immediately being compromised and polluted with the ways and attitudes of the world.

177. When the Charter was first implemented, there was a problem with excess freedom, much of which bordered on worldliness. This was to be expected. It wasn't a surprise that there was such a backlash, as many of you were reacting to previous restrictions. Thank the Lord, many of you have now come back to a more happy medium in your freedoms‚ and you've put more emphasis on your responsibilities to the Lord and the Family as they're put forth in the Charter.

178. However‚ there is still a fairly large pull on the Family from the System. This is manifested in many different ways, such as: excess System influence from videos, System music, the Internet, or watching too much sports on TV, etc.; unfruitful ties and friendships with outsiders that are not based on witnessing or the Word; dead-end System jobs that afford no open doors for witnessing or ministering to others; and relationships with overbearing System relatives in which the Family members involved are compromising for gain or to be accepted.

179. It could be that the Lord allowed this time of fluidity regarding our relationship with the world as a test of each person's resolve, and also as part of "floating your faith." But the Lord makes it clear in the following message that there will be an inevitable division in the Family between those who seek to stay dropped out and revolutionary and those who continue to desire and compromise with the System.

180. As you read the following message, I ask you to check your heart and see which category you fall into. Regardless of where you've been up to this point, it's still possible for you to forsake all once again and get back to your First Love—the Lord and the Revolution for Jesus! Let's each make it a personal goal … to be one of His dropped-out Endtime soldiers!

181. (Jesus: ) In order to walk in unity you must be of one mind, your standards and obedience to the Word must be in sync, and you must be on the same wavelength when it comes to resisting the worldliness of the System and keeping yourselves pure and dropped out and separate from the Great Whore.

182. There cannot be great unity between those who are compromised and those who are true to the message. Those who have moved toward the System and partaken of her evils, and who have allowed their thoughts and actions to become polluted and compromised until there's hardly any difference between them and the children of the world, cannot be in unity with those who seek to stay dropped out, who want to be different, and who are willing to stand up for the truth and be counted.

183. I warn those who've moved closer and closer and closer to the ways of the world, those who have lost their pureness and innocence as they've become deceived, thinking that it won't hurt them because they can "take it"—that they are in danger of slipping away altogether. The flame of their faith burns dangerously low, and they must be pulled back to the pillar. They must make a stand to strengthen their convictions against the ways of the world and the sirens of the System. Those who partake of the evils of the Whore and drink in her delicacies with great enthusiasm, losing sight of the vision, the Word, the goal, cannot be in unity with those who continue to give their all to Me and who seek not to be encumbered with the ways of the world, the flesh, the System.

184. You cannot be equally yoked with unbelievers and those of the world and yet hope to stay in unity with the red-hot, dropped-out children of David. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)

Don't Get Caught in the Web

ML #3174:4-27, GN 779

4. (Dad: ) The Internet is like a magnet‚ and it's got an almost hypnotic drawing power. It sucks in and draws in everything that comes close to it. It's like a magnet that pulls those who aren't strong in the Word or the Lord into its center of knowledge. Even those who are strong in the Lord need to watch out‚ because the pull is so strong. It's like trying to pull apart two heavy–duty magnets that are drawn to each other!

5. The Web is a tangled mass of confusion that the Enemy has spun in order to catch his prey—just like a spider spins its web and waits for passersby to get stuck in it, and thus they're no longer just passersby, but they're lunch! The spider doesn't hesitate to gobble the insect up, because that's the spider's whole purpose—to catch its prey. And so it is with the Enemy's web—his whole design is to catch the passersby, the browsers, those who get stuck in this web of idolatry.

6. Oh yes, the Web is beautiful, just like a spider's web that shines in the sun. There may even be nice juicy drops of dew that rest upon the strands and shine like diamonds. But this is only a faèade. This is only the lure to attract you into the clutches of the Web. There may be nice fun things on the Internet, and these things attract you and draw you in‚ but once you're in, the pull is like a magnet that's almost too strong for you to humanly pull away from. Once you're in, you're stuck, and pretty soon the Enemy's going to have you for lunch!

7. You start off very casually. You're interested in the knowledge, in the easy accessibility of the facts, stories, and goodies that are contained in this massive Web, but you don't stop there. You go on‚ you explore, you search deeper and lust after the knowledge of the world—that which has been carefully guarded from you young people during your life, because your caretakers knew of the dangers lurking within these dangerous vices and devices of the Devil. You dig deeper and deeper and fill your mind with polluting pornography or perverted sex‚ ungodly attitudes about love and marriage, witchcraft, communicating with evil spirits, the occult, and much, much more. You'll find it wasting your Word time, robbing your witnessing time and destroying your conviction! Once you've stepped into the Web, there's no limit to the dung of the Enemy that'll come flying your way!

8. Sometimes even the so–called good stuff, articles from other Christians or religious leaders, can be dangerous. I'm not saying that it's evil, but if it's something that causes you to water down your convictions and doubt our Family doctrines, beliefs and lifestyle, then it's bad for you! It's brackish water from a tainted well and it'll make you sick in the end. Or even if it doesn't make you sick, if you try to get your spiritual nourishment from it, you're gonna wind up getting malnourished!

9. You can't just feed yourself with worldly knowledge and wisdom and not suffer for it too. It's the same temptation the Devil used with Eve—fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Well, the Serpent's fruit and knowledge is all evil. It may seem pleasant to the eyes and sweet to the taste, but if you walk the path of man's wisdom without seeking the Lord, you'll find it is foolishness in the end. It's a subtle deceit, these words of men. You absorb more and more of them, and after a while you start wondering why you need to live and love and believe the way you do. They eat away at your foundation and your structure little by little, like termites do in a house, unseen. And before you know it, the house just collapses!

10. This web of worldly knowledge clouds your mind and goes to work right away to change your thought patterns. It's like you're literally linked to the computer and it goes to work on you and it starts to control you. You alone will no longer completely control what you think and feel, and the Lord no longer completely controls what you think and feel—the computer controls what you think and feel! And, if you keep it up‚ eventually you no longer own the computer or the Internet‚ but the computer and the Internet will own you and it will control you! Remember Huddersfield! Only this time‚ the goal is complete takeover. This time, the Devil's not gonna be content to only own a small corner of your Huddersfield—he wants it all! You start out entering into a joint ownership, but the computer, the Net, is out to own all of you. It's not going to stop at having just a small part‚ but it wants to take over the whole territory! It wants full ownership; it wants to control you!

11. This is Satan's propaganda, Satan's desire, to get you to stop thinking for yourself, to stop thinking the way the Lord wants you to think. Satan's whole desire is to control the hearts and minds of mankind, and with this tool of destruction, he is slowly but surely accomplishing just that. It's a tangled web he's woven, and many are falling for his trap. It's a powerful magnet that's attracting many who aren't firmly attached to the most powerful magnet known to men or angels—the Lord! If you're not firmly attached to the magnet of God, then it's only a matter of time before you're drawn to the Enemy's magnet‚ because his pull is very strong.

12. This tangled web of the Internet is one of his most powerful, heavy-duty magnets, and it's attracting millions and billions to its core. And sad to say, it's also attracting some of our Family members. In fact, some are pretty deeply embedded in the Web‚ and it's going to take a miracle to salvage some of these lives for the Lord. The Enemy's having a heyday with his little distractions and chocolate-coated poison that he has distributed to the nations, and he's not stopping anywhere. He wants complete control. He wants to rule the hearts and minds of men‚ and seeks to do this through sucking in those who aren't on guard, who aren't firmly attached to the magnet of God. The Lord's children have a clearer sense of what right and wrong is, and the wrong has an even greater effect on them.

13. You wonder where all of these wrong attitudes are coming from? Where do people get their ungodly views about sex? Where do people get their screwed-up ideas about relationships? Where do people get their System ideologies? Where do people get their knowledge about the dark side? Where are all of these doubts coming from? Where is your love for the lost? Where is your desire to serve God and fight for freedom no matter what? Whatever happened to the Revolution that we once had? Have our folks just gotten so damned lukewarm and cool in their convictions that they don't want to stay dropped out of the System?

14. Why are our young people hungering and thirsting after the knowledge of Babylon? Why are our kids fucking the Whore and having her babies, when they ought to be fucking Jesus and bearing His children? My God, it's really going to take something drastic to get some of our kids to wake up! That's their problem—they're asleep in the spirit, and some of them are pretty deep sleepers! What's it gonna take to get them on-fire for the Lord and dropped out once again?

15. I hated the System with a perfect hatred and I didn't want to have anything to do with the world and its ways! I knew where it led to. I knew that thriving on the pleasures of the System would only weaken me and make me useless‚ dry, cold, lifeless and dead in spirit! I've always tried to impart that same revolutionary spirit to my children, and I think I did a pretty good job.

16. What do you kids think this army is? Do you think that just because I'm in Heaven now, you can do your own thing and water down your convictions? If I'd heard about things like this happening when I was there with you, do you know what I would have done? I would've given you a tongue-lashing! I would've told you to "get with it, or get out!" Well, I'm Here now, but things like that haven't changed.

17. Maybe you think that I can't see the traps some of you have fallen into, the lack of conviction you have and the ungodly System things you're allowing into your lives. I can see not only in the physical, but I can also see in the spiritual. I can see that some of you are getting weaker and weaker, and if you don't pull out of the downward spiral that the Enemy's gotten you trapped in, pretty soon you're not going to make it in this Gideon's band.

18. Get with the spirit of the Family! Get with the Spirit of the Lord! Get with the spirit of the Revolution! To Hell with what the System thinks! To Hell with their views on social issues! To Hell with the Whore and all her little whorelings! You've got to get stirred up and realize that we're fighting a war, and you don't have hours to waste doing your own thing, reading System publications, watching hours of TV, playing endless computer games, fiddling around with the vices of Hell, and certainly not wasting your time getting trapped in the tangled web that the Enemy's spun to catch you and destroy your usefulness for the Lord!

19. Whatever happened to our perfect hatred of the System and her ways? Have you forgotten about the verse that says, "Come out from among them and be ye separate"? The Lord didn't say, "Wallow in the mire, but you can still stay separate." No. If you're wallowing in the mire with everyone else, how are you going to be able to reach out a helping hand to save them? You're not going to do anyone any good by getting all dirty and tangled up yourself. You've got to come out from among them and be totally, completely and revolutionarily separate!

20. This world's going to Hell, along with all of its wicked ways! The Enemy's leading the world on the pathway to destruction, and it's your job to show the world a little bit of Heaven. The Enemy knows that the little bits of Heaven that you show people are going to shine as a bright and glorious light, especially in these Last Days when things are waxing worse and worse. So don't you see why it stands to reason that the Enemy is fighting so hard to cool down your convictions?

21. He's fighting to dim your light and snuff out your fire, so that the world won't come out to see you burn. He knows that God's Spirit is going to attract the duped people he has within his clutches. He knows that God's magnet is stronger than his, and if people will only see the truth, they'll come running to find that same power, that same joy, that same freedom! Do you want to give the Enemy one more victory? He's trying to water down your convictions and turn off your light. Do you want to give him that satisfaction?

22. The Internet is one of the Enemy's weapons of destruction, as he seeks to lure you with the riches and knowledge of this world. He robs you of your time reading the Word, witnessing, loving, or being a blessing to those in your Home. He draws you into his web ever so slowly, and pretty soon you're digging deeper and deeper into the deadly depths of destruction.

23. As with all of his weapons‚ it looks good from the outside‚ and is even good and useful as a tool to get out God's Word and to warn the world of impending doom, as well as proclaim the glorious future. But deep inside there are dangerous traps which the Enemy uses to ensnare the multitudes. Remember the verses about how in the Last Days there would come a falling away from the truth‚ and the Enemy would seek to deceive even the very elect? (2Thes.2:3; Mat.24:24). Well‚ this is a perfect example of him trying to deceive the very elect!

24. Please don't you be his next meal! Please don't let him eat away at your convictions and foundation by reveling in this web of knowledge that is set to ensnare those who do not walk prayerfully and carefully within. Please stay revolutionary, dropped out, and free from his diabolical ways that we don't want to have any part of!

25. If this shoe fits, wear it! You know who you are. You know who I'm talking to. You know if I'm talking to you or not. You know whether or not I'm asking you to forsake this lust for worldly knowledge and sever all ties with the System. And if you're one of the ones I'm talking to‚ I pray with all of my heart that you'll have the conviction and the guts to take a stand and be counted with our Gideon's band! If not‚ you'll have Hell to pay in the future‚ and it's not a pretty sight when you become the Devil's prey! He has no mercy or justice, and only uses you as his pawn until you're of no use to him anymore. Then you're wasted.

26. So don't become the Enemy's next meal! Stay mighty close to the magnetic pillar of the Lord's power and knowledge. Stay separate, dropped out, revolutionary and single-minded, so that you can reach out and pull others toward the light! Keep your heart clear and free from the hazy distractions and brain clouds of the Enemy, so that you can pour forth the Lord's Words and quench the thirst of the world! Stay radical, uncompromising and unfaltering in your convictions, so that the Lord can use you as one of His mighty leaders of the End—and He will!

27. If you want exciting new information, the Lord's got it! All you have to do is ask Him for a prophecy, a message straight from Heaven! If you want eye-popping graphics and gorgeous colors that will send you out of this world, ask Him for a dream or a vision! If you want something that will really change the world and make a difference for the better, serve the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, loving Him and others with all that is within you, and there'll be eternal effects and Heavenly rewards! God bless and keep you whole-hearted—single–minded lovers of the lost and your Lord! I love you! (End of message from Dad.)

Charter Responsibilities

ML #3197:65-68, GN 803

65. (Peter:) It is very clear from the Word, both old and new, that some things are unedifying, and a steady diet of them is an ungodly influence. There have been a number of GNs that touched on movies, music, foul language, Internet usage and other aspects of worldliness, both specifically and generally, and that have clearly stated the Lord's views on them. Whether you realize it or not, regular intake of things of the world does have a detrimental effect on your spirit, and will affect your service for the Lord and loving interaction with others if it hasn't already—all the more so if you're not getting a steady diet of Word to counteract and cleanse you from the System input.

66. Since the Lord's counsel on these matters has been published in the Word, and since you as a Charter member are expected to read and believe the Word, it is expected that you'll accept what the Lord and we have to say about these things. Whether you personally feel that these affect you negatively or not, God's Word says they do , and as a Charter member you should avoid and minimize them in your life.

67. If you have an inordinate desire to watch violent videos or movies, or you enjoy a constant diet of System music, or you're extremely desirous of the world and its ways, and you do not want to minimize them in your life, but instead you want to fully drink of these cups, then you need to ask the Lord to deliver you. If you can't let go of them, then you need to ask yourself, "Why am I a Charter member? Why don't I move to Fellow member status where I can do these things and still serve the Lord and be a member of the Family?"

68. If some of these things are so important to you that you can't bring yourself to minimize them in your life, then you should voluntarily choose to become a Fellow member‚ where the requirements for membership are less stringent. As a Fellow member your negative influence and the negative influence of the movies, videos, computer games or whatever won't be damaging others in your Charter member Home. But if you want to be a Charter member and receive the physical and spiritual blessings of Charter membership‚ then you are expected to minimize these ungodly influences in your life.

Living the Lord's Law of Love!—Part 5

ML #3205:152, GN 810

152. (Mama: ) You need to be particularly careful about the horrible demonic material about sex that can be found on the Internet. Don't let the Devil's evil seeds be planted in your heart or mind through unwise "surfing" on the Net! We've heard of plenty of cases where men have gotten tripped off and gotten into some pretty bad stuff on the Internet‚ which really affected their spirits and thoughts. I'm talking about such things as sodomy, anal sex, bestiality, violent sex‚ sadomasochism, etc. Reading about‚ talking about or even joking about unclean sex can make you desire it! Beware of the inroads of the Enemy!

The Weakness Revolution‚ Part 3

ML #3219:130-133, GN 821

130. (Jesus:) You spend time on the Internet, gleaning‚ researching, looking for material for your pubs and layout work. This is fine, and I'm pleased with the way you have eschewed the evil and been on guard. But because of the potential dangers, I would that you would take good Word before and after. It doesn't have to be long, just a couple of pages, or take praise time and earnestly seek Me to cleanse your mind of those things which you have seen.

131. The Internet is a trap, and you have to walk circumspectly in order to avoid falling into the snares and time-wasters of the Evil One. But if you partake of the Word before and after, this will help ensure that you don't walk away thinking and meditating upon the things of the world. This will wash and cleanse you of the things you've had to wade through.

132. Also beware of too much news on the Net. This can also be a device of the Enemy to block out your time with Me. This is a tool the Enemy often uses: He gets My children so busy reading other material that they have no time to hear My voice or read My love letters. Don't let him get ahold of your time. Do what you have to do and get off-line.

133. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth. So don't stuff your head with knowledge and stop your heart from loving. Love, that you may gain the knowledge of My Kingdom. Give, that you may be given to by My hand. Sacrificial giving will also ensure that you are staying in tune with Me, because you will have to ask Me for the strength to make the sacrifice.

Worldly?—Or Free?

ML #3233:27-29, 45-46, GN 836

27. (Dad:) Nowadays you especially had better watch out, because you don't have to go to a bar or a club anymore to have fellowship with the world. The Devil is making it easier and easier to fellowship with the world all the time, so you'd better watch out! You can fellowship with the world anywhere, any time, because the various means of communication are so advanced these days.

28. That's why our folks have got to stay close to the Lord and on His channel, because fellowship with the world is all around. You can fellowship with the world while surfing the Internet if you don't pray. You can fellowship with the world while watching the evening news or flipping those TV channels, or while doing your weekly shopping right there in the supermarket with all those sights and sounds and trinkets of Egypt, and all that propaganda around you. Of course, shopping is necessary, but the Enemy will try to use it to get to you if you're not on guard—to make you dissatisfied with our frugal and simple lifestyle as you look around at all the goodies of Egypt, or slant your thinking into feeling that you need more of it to be happy. That's what advertising is designed to do—by the Devil himself!

29. All that can give you plenty of fellowship with the world‚ depending on how you receive it or how you balance it all out with the Word. You can fellowship with the world day after day in your witnessing and outreach and work for the Lord if you don't stay close to the Lord and keep your heart right.

45. Our folks have got to be more prayerful and careful about all the propaganda of Satan that's flying around them today through movies‚ TV, material they read in books or on the Internet—all the sights and sounds and advertisements surrounding them.

46. The Devil has infiltrated everything; he owns the world, in a way. Not really, because the Lord is the Owner of the universe, but Satan has free rein on Earth right now. He's promoting his lies, his thoughts, and his attitudes through every means available. Brainwashing is his business. They accuse us of brainwashing—ha! Choose who you would rather be brainwashed by—the Devil or God!

More on 'The Shakeup 2000

ML #3262:40­–41, GN 863

40. (Mama: ) It's clear that some of you in the CM Family have been weakened because of your not minimizing or resisting ungodly and unedifying influences. You've eaten the poisonous grass and drunk of the evil wells from the System, and now some of you are quite sick. Probably the most common of such negative influences are watching bad movies, videos or TV shows; visiting sites on the Internet that are not profitable or educational or helpful, but which promote ungodly views that are contrary to the Word; reading novels that are obviously full of very negative propaganda or subtle wrong attitudes that are spiritually detrimental, or that have not been approved by your Home; reading pornographic material; playing violent computer games; participating in ugly‚ divisive e-mail communications; failing to follow the counsel given in the MLs and Family publications regarding listening to System music; using foul language, and going overboard on drinking alcoholic beverages.

41. It is absolutely necessary that you make a definite effort to minimize and resist these influences in your life by applying the New Wine practically and spiritually to your life, and if you fail to do so consistently‚ you're contravening the Charter and the Charter membership contract and you will be asked to move to Fellow member status.

Issues, Part 3

ML #3302:84-88‚ GN 904

84. (Dad: ) Some of our members think they need to have unlimited access to the world, either via the Internet, books, movies, music‚ etc., so they'll be abreast of what everyone else in the world is thinking and believing. They feel this is their right as a living human being, and they don't want to be restricted by the Family!

85. Well, let's step back a bit and look at things from outside the reference point of the Family. Let's talk about discipleship. Let's talk about following Jesus. Let's say you're not even in the Family; you're simply a disciple of Jesus. So what did Jesus teach?

The disciple [should] be as his master. (See Luk.6:40.)

If any man serve Me, let him follow Me.

I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.

No man can serve two masters: he will hate one, and love the other ... hold to one and despise the other.

If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples.

He that forsaketh not all ... cannot be My disciple.

Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

No man ... looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.

Whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.

If any ... hate not his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

If any man come after Me, let him deny himself.

Come, take up the cross, and follow Me.

He that loveth his life shall lose it.

Why call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?

Whosoever doth not ... come after Me, cannot be My disciple.

What is that to thee? Follow thou Me.

Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.

They are not of the world, even as I (Jesus) am not.

Not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but ... keep them from the evil.

(Mat.10:24,25; Jn.12:26; Jn.13:15; Mat.6:24; Jn.8:31; Luk.14:33; Mat.6:24; Luk.9:61,62; Mat.16:25; Luk.14:26; Mat.6:21; Mat.16:24; Mk.10:21b; Jn.12:25; Luk.6:46; Luk.14:27; Jn.21:22; Jn.15:19; Jn.17:14-15.)

86. Now who are you going to blame for the so-called narrow-mindedness, the required obedience to the Word, the lack of contact with the world—the Family, or Jesus? Who's really calling the shots around here? If you think, "Oh, the Family is so narrow, so conservative! I need my freedom, I need more access to the world, I need to be a free thinker, I need to not be restricted in what I do or see," then maybe you need to reconsider whether you want to be a disciple of Jesus, because He's the One Who drew up the original discipleship standard! All the original disciples had to decide if they wanted to follow the Lord's teachings‚ which became their fundamental rules or their "contract of Charter membership"! And you need to do the same.

87. If you don't like it when you're expected to believe and obey the Word, to witness‚ to forsake all, to minimize ungodly and unedifying influences, don't blame Mama or Peter. Don't blame me. Don't blame the Family. Blame the Lord! He's the One Who wrote the original discipleship "mission statement." He built the company and laid the foundation‚ and those are the rules! It's ridiculous to stay around spitting and cussing and complaining about the teachings of the Family, which really are the teachings of Jesus! If you don't like it, get out! That was the whole point of the S2K. If you really feel that serving the Lord in the Family is robbing you of some important freedom of thought or individuality, then maybe it's not the place for you!

88. So you have a choice: You can take all that's in the Letters and the Charter‚ and all that the Lord shows you through your personal gift of prophecy‚ and really go for it and become the unique, beautiful individual He wants you to be for Him. Or you can go the other route: You can resist the unity and oneness that comes from receiving and absorbing the Word and yielding to the Lord—which unfortunately means you'll also miss becoming what you could have been, the one person on Earth to have your unique application of the Word and your special way of manifesting the Lord's love. It's up to you. No one's twisting your arm. You either choose to be a disciple or you don't! That's your freedom of choice‚ your freedom of thought. Take it or leave it. (End of message from Dad.)

Issues, Part 5

ML #3322:80-99, GN 925

80. (Mama: ) There's a general trend in the world today toward "open-mindedness," with a multitude of opinions and a large quantity of information floating around—often facts mixed together with theories. Through movies, TV, the news media, the Internet, and even in your witnessing and ministering, this abundant input from all kinds of worldly sources seems to surround you sometimes. With so many available options, how do we know that the Word is the right opinion?

81. (Dad: ) The Word is what I built this Family on. The Word of the Lord is what brought this whole revolution together! I was nothing. I didn't think I had what it took to be a great leader, teacher or prophet, and I didn't—I just followed the Lord! I gave His Word, come what may, and that was the foundation of this Family. And the foundation of the Family hasn't changed.

82. Our Family was built on the firm rock of the Word. We weren't built on the sand; otherwise when the winds and storms came, we would have fallen flat on our faces. This Family was built on the pure solid rock of the Word of God, and that's the only reason why we've made it thus far, why we've survived so many revolutions, so many persecutions, so many changes, so many time periods, fads and trends.

83. The Family is like a house that was built on the good foundation of the Word. Over the years we've replaced different things in the makeup of the house. We've changed procedures, we've changed the way we did things—like changing the windows, giving the house a new paint job, replacing tiles on the roof, or putting in new carpet. We've changed and moved with the Spirit of God, but we've never taken away the foundation of the Word‚ because that's what really keeps the whole house of the Family together.

84. The Word is the only sure factor in the world today. This Family is not based on anything else save the Word of God. I always preached that and lived that, and now Mama and Peter are preaching that and living it more than ever before. They're pumping out more Word than ever before, getting out the millions for the billions—Letters and wonderful counsel from Heaven about every topic under the sun.

85. How on earth can some of you think that you can do without the Word? Maybe you think that you know better or that you've become intelligent and smart by increasing your knowledge through avenues of the Enemy—worldly books‚ movies‚ TV‚ the Internet, etc. Some of you have let yourself become deluded into thinking that your opinion, or the opinion of some worldly author or celebrity, is just as good as the Lord's opinion and Word‚ or the words that He gave me and Mama. Let me tell you, opinions are one thing but the Word is another! Maybe it's because you haven't been around long enough to know that everything can change—the Family can change, the whole world can change—but the only thing that's going to last forever is the Word!

86. If you don't respect the Word, you'd better watch out! You're poking your finger directly in God's eye, and He won't stand for it. You're not just personally offending Mama and Peter when you doubt the Word or count it as simply another opinion and store it away in your memory banks and information files, but you're offending God ! He's not going to stand for your indifference for very long. He'll stop talking to you if you won't listen.

87. His Word is not like a newspaper where you can pick and choose and decide to believe what you want and then throw the rest in the trash can! How can you hold the knowledge that you receive from books, movies, System magazines‚ Internet pages and other information sources of the System in higher regard than the Word of the Lord? Don't you think that's a pretty dangerous position to be in? Don't you see that this is a deadly attack of the Enemy on your soul? He's planting his evil seeds of indifference‚ "open-mindedness," and a wishy-washy, string-for-a-backbone type of lukewarm conviction.

88. Are you like a jellyfish that's going to get beat around by the waves and go with the flow, wherever the currents of this world lead you? Are you going to be as flabby and see-through as a jellyfish, with no real substance or purpose in life? Are you being duped by the knowledge of this world, and is it alienating you from the life-giving Words of the Lord? Or are you aboard our ship that is firmly anchored with the Word and will not be moved, even though the waves will no doubt beat upon it?

89. I'll tell you, if you're not fully on board the ship that is anchored with the Word, you'll not last long out there in the open sea of knowledge. There are sharks and other predators out there! You'll soon find yourself starving for lack of nourishment. Without the life‚ light, warmth and spirit of the Word, you'll soon start to slowly die and lose your usefulness to the Lord.

90. Folks, the Word is not just another opinion in the polls! You can't just take the Word and pick and choose what you believe and what you don't believe. The Lord gives us well-balanced meals, and if you're picking and choosing what you want to eat—throwing some away and supplementing it with junk food—you'll soon find that your hankering for junk food will grow and grow until you no longer desire the pure, fresh Word of God.

91. There are a lot of theories in the world today and a lot of information, but not all of it is true or good. The Enemy has designed this "information overload" to confuse people as to what's right and wrong, good or bad, truth or deception. Since the boundaries are no longer so clear to them, they become willing to take in a little bit of almost everything. One of his biggest devices is to cause people to become so open-minded that they begin to believe that there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. As rampant as this "anything goes" attitude is in the world today, it's no wonder it's also creeping into the ranks of our Family. But you should sit up and take notice and become aware of the Enemy's devices!

92. I'm not meaning to declare that you can never read other informative books or receive added information from other sources besides the Word. The danger comes when you start replacing the Word with worldly knowledge and turning to its wisdom and solutions, esteeming it above the Word.

93. Everything you read and everything you hear should be balanced and judged by the Word. You can research the Letters, or if there's nothing in the Word already about it, you can hear directly from Heaven. There's a lot of information in the world today, and that's the danger. It all looks so good and is presented so well, it's very enticing and appealing to the eyes, but some of it is just plain wrong or misleading, especially when it leads you away from the Lord and His Word. You have to be more aware than ever that the Enemy is out to destroy your faith in the Word.

94. If you're one of the ones who's been duped by the System's knowledge and has given it a higher place than the Lord's Word, then I'd strongly suggest that you have a fast from all System input for a while until you get fully rewired and plugged into the Source once again. Otherwise, if you're not honest with yourself and if you don't take this stand to keep your feet firmly fixed upon the only absolute in the world today, you're going to find yourself getting weaker and weaker, to the point where you won't even be able to tell right from wrong anymore. That's what's happened to millions of people all over the globe. They don't even know what's right and wrong, truth or fiction, real or unreal, good or evil—they're brainwashed by the System's indifference and lack of discernment and spiritual principles.

95. If you catch yourself looking to the word of the System above the Word of the Lord, you'd better sit up quick and pray desperately for the Lord to help you see things as He sees them. When you receive so much worldly input on a regular basis, your eyes can become blinded to the evidence of the spirit world and the beauties and answers that come from the halls of Heaven. You'll become alienated from the life of God if you don't watch out, because these other avenues of information slowly creep in and take the place of God's Word in your heart. It's never something that happens overnight; it's a gradual process, and if you don't put a stop to it, it will destroy your usefulness to the Lord.

96. Like I said, the foundation of this Family—and the foundation of any Christian, for that matter—should be the Word. If you don't hold on to the Word for dear life, you're going to find yourself slipping into the oblivion of little or no usefulness to the Lord. He wants to use you, each and every one of you, but He can only do so if you keep your mind stayed on Him and His Word, rather than forming your thoughts‚ conclusions‚ and philosophies based on the world's mass of information confusion.

97. If you want your tree to continue bearing fruit, then you'd better remain planted by the rivers of His water, rather than letting parts of your roots drink from the sewers of the System. You can test the waters here and there to see if they're good, but your measuring stick should always be the Word, the Word, the Word!

98. Okay, have I hammered this nail in long enough? Have I driven the point home? I think I've said all that needs to be said‚ but it's up to you what you do with this counsel and warning. You know your heart and you know whether you're drawing your conclusions from the Word or from other System ideologies. So I'm trusting that you'll all be honest with yourselves and make sure you're drinking in the pure waters; not the pollutants of Satan, or even that which may seem and taste good and pure, but is filled with chemicals that will eat you away from the inside out.

99. The Word is not just a source of information; it's the only thing that will keep you alive and filled with the truth of the Spirit! The Word is not just somebody's views or opinion; it's the truth of God, and to survive spiritually you'd better read it and live it! (End of message from Dad)

Full Possession

ML #3376:44–52, GN 973

44. (Jesus:) Many of you hold on to carnal–mindedness in some areas of your lives. These are hindrances that prevent Me from possessing you as I need to if you are going to hone the gift I wish to give you.

45. What you spend your time doing tells the tale. How much do you delve into the knowledge of the world over the knowledge of God—through movies‚ books, magazines, music, the Internet, the news media, through study of worldly knowledge and man's wisdom‚ through listening to the philosophies of men of the world that are not in accordance with My Word?

46. I am not asking you to put away all forms of recreation that involve the world, or always forgo or shun movies, books, magazines, the Internet, etc. But what you need to ask yourself, and ask Me above all, is how much these things influence your thoughts. How much time do you spend relaxing with those things, and how much time do you spend relaxing with Me? Do you take time in My Word to cleanse yourself after partaking of the things of the world, even when it's for simple relaxation? There probably is no more important time to seek to be cleansed than after delving into the world for relaxation and entertainment, because if you're on the job and doing research, you're more likely to be on guard and prayerful, and thus the Enemy cannot come in as much. But when you're relaxing, this is a time when the Enemy can often get in wholesale with his ideas and thought patterns and mindsets, because you're "just relaxing," so you take it all in without filtering it or measuring it against the yardstick of My Word, and without taking time to be cleansed afterwards through prayer, communion with Me, and even seeking Me about specifics that stick in your mind from those things.

47. There are also times when it's necessary for the sake of the work, and I give you the go-ahead to immerse yourselves in some of these things, when it's necessary to pass through the waters of worldly wisdom and knowledge. But I want you to ask yourselves, what care do you take to filter this input through the sieve of My Words during those times, both written and My Word in prophecy for you personally? Do you delve into the knowledge of the world and the ways of the world without following through with the cleansing process of My Spirit afterwards? Do you delve into worldly wisdom without proper inoculation and detoxification? Do you delve into worldly knowledge and let it linger? Or do you shun that which is carnal and put on My mind? Do you ask Me what I think about the conclusions you come to after talking with people of the world or reading their material? When you look something up on the Internet, do you stop to ask Me what I think of it, or if I agree with their conclusions, or if their information is even accurate by My standards and the way I know things to truly be? These are habits you must build if you are to be able to receive this gift I want to give you.

48. Or is your reaction when you read a GN or message from Me to weigh it against other so-called "facts" that you've learned from worldly sources, to see if My Words really "hold water" or are accurate? Do you judge the worldly knowledge or information or thoughts that you take in against My Words, or do you judge My Words against your own thoughts and other sources of information? If other sources of information are your yardstick, you need some serious adjustment in your mindset if you are to take on My mind and be ready to receive this gift I am waiting to give you.

49. What care do you take to filter carnal thoughts and wisdom through My Spirit, without fail? You must filter what contact you have with the world through Me, without fail, if you are to stay pure and undefiled, ready and able to be conductors of My full power. I have spoken to you of this need to filter all things through My Words and Spirit; now it must be put into continual practice.

50. In order for Me to have full possession, you must not only give Me your mind‚ but you must clear your mind and thoughts of all that is not of Me‚ of all that is worldly or carnal. You must be willing to relinquish those ideologies you hold so dear if they don't match up with what My Word says. You must be willing to believe Me above all‚ even when all your research and everything the world says seems to contradict it. These are sacrifices you must be willing to make if you are to truly put on My mind. When I gave you the greatest commandment, I said you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This means you are to give all your mind to Me. Giving Me all your mind means you are not to give place to carnal–mindedness through retaining worldly wisdom and letting it become part of you.

51. The natural mind of man does not receive the things of My Spirit. Those who would be vessels of My great and awesome miracle-working power must retain My knowledge in all their thoughts. Worldly knowledge and carnal-mindedness surround you, it is true; you cannot escape being aware of it. However, there is a definite difference between awareness and allowing it to become part of you.

52. I have put you in the world, My loves‚ yet you are not to be of the world. To activate the new gift I will give you, you must come out of the world, be separate in all your ways‚ and touch not the unclean thing—that is, in your mind, in your thoughts, in your spirit. You can be in the world, but not of the world, only by putting on My mind. You may need to be aware of the worldly wisdom, yet you are not to let it become part of you, nor let it use you and guide you.

The Professionals

ML #3399:108-117, 273–277, GN 993

108. (Peter:) Considering all the Lord has said, it's understandable that people are concerned about Internet usage. The Internet has both its "evil influences" and a lot of very useful information, as well as things to do and places to go that are interesting, entertaining, and informative. There's both good and bad.

109. Is all time on the Internet a waste? No, it's not, even when some of the time is spent as free time. People spend free time watching movies, reading books, playing games, chatting, and a variety of other things, and generally those things aren't looked upon as bad. Of course, some of those activities can be bad for you‚ if you're watching the wrong kind of movies, reading the wrong kind of books, etc., just like some Internet activity is bad, such as chatting with the wrong people, going to the wrong sites or spending too much time online.

110. Do you know anyone who is addicted to some Internet activity? I do. I know of people who've gotten hooked on certain websites and activities, and have spent an inordinate amount of time at these sites. They've stayed up until the wee hours of the morning playing computer games, surfing, or hitting porno sites. They've done it night after night, even though it meant they could barely pry their eyes open for devotions and could hardly function throughout the day because they were so tired. Yet the next night they were back at it, getting high off the Internet.

111. Do I think that's good? Nope. Do I feel it helps them be a better disciple or that it's good for their service to the Lord? I sure don't. See, the Internet itself isn't the problem; it's the misuse of it that causes problems. It's the time wasting, the negative input, the addiction, the unedifying sites that are wrong. It's wrong when it draws you away from being a disciple, from fellowshipping sufficiently with others, from keeping a close relationship with the Lord‚ by either taking large amounts of your time or by filling you with things of the world.

112. Can the Internet be useful? Definitely yes. Can it be entertaining? Yes, it can. Is that always bad? No‚ but it can be bad. It can be spiritually unhealthy if you're spending too much time at it or if you're surfing sites that aren't good for you.

113. Should FGAs be concerned about it? Yes, and so should SGAs. If someone is getting addicted, if they're beginning to live for Internet use‚ then you should be concerned.—Just like if someone were spending all their time eating and were becoming obese, or if they were spending all day reading novels and didn't do much of anything else‚ or were drinking heavily‚ or watching movies, even good ones, every night. The excess of any enjoyable thing can lead to spiritual trouble‚ and we need to be our brother's keeper; that's why we suggested years ago that the rules regarding Internet use be established and agreed upon together, as a Home. (See ML #3053:134.)

114. Do I think FGAs should make comments every time they see someone using the Internet? No, they shouldn't, because they should understand that there is a legitimate use for it; but that doesn't mean they should never be concerned. What if someone in the Home is at it all the time? What if they are online half the night most nights of the week and can't do their job the next day? What if they are filling themselves up with the world and it's coming out their mouth when they are teaching the children or witnessing? Should someone be concerned? You bet they should be.

115. Here again there can be an attitude problem. Some FGAs might have a rather condescending attitude in regards to young people using the Internet. This could be because they've misinterpreted‚ misunderstood or misapplied some of the prophecies in which the Lord has given serious warnings about the dangers of unwise Internet use. (See ML #3053:91-135, Lifelines 23; ML #3174, GN 779.) In those messages the Lord warned of Internet overuse as well as the many sites that are ungodly, faith-destroying, and damaging. Let's face it; those sites exist! We should be warned about them, and parents should know they are out there so they can protect their children from them.

116. In those same prophecies, the Lord also said that there are useful reasons to be on the Internet, that there is good there too. Perhaps some FGAs forget those parts of the messages therefore and they look down on the younger ones who want to spend time on the Web. They shouldn't, if the young ones are using the Web in a responsible manner.

117. On the other hand, some teens and young people do misuse it; they go to sites that are detrimental to their spirits, or they spend too much time online, and it shows in their lives and their interaction with others in the Home. Other young folks seem to feel that anything they do is okay and no adult should ever question them, and when they are questioned, they get all riled up and angry. That's not right either. They need an attitude change just as much as some of the adults do.

273. The Lord does want us to have fun. He does want us to enjoy ourselves and to have times of relaxation, but that's not our calling‚ that's not what we have committed ourselves to. We're disciples. We're professional Christians who take our work for God seriously. We've devoted our lives to His service, to reaching the world with His message, to living His Word, to being a sample of full-time discipleship, to preaching the meaty Endtime message of the Words of David, to loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, body, and strength. That's what being a disciple in the Family is about—not movies, music, sex, drinking, Internet use, computer games, food, entertainment, fashion, free time, money, hanging out, etc. As disciples we get to partake of those things‚ but that's not supposed to be the most important aspect of Family life.

274. My profession‚ like that of thousands and thousands of other Family members, is discipleship. That's what I do, that's what I am, that's what I live for, that's what I'll die for. If tomorrow the Lord sends me to a place where there's no videos, no Internet, no music‚ no pleasures of this life‚ then I'll still serve Him, because I love Him and because that's what I'm committed to.

275. Discipleship is a tough profession. It requires a high standard in spirit and behavior. It requires forsaking all‚ obedience, yieldedness‚ and willingness to do the job even if everything isn't to your liking—even if nothing is to your liking! As a disciple, sometimes you have to carry on when everything and everyone seems to be against you‚ when you feel so down you don't see how you can last one more minute. On top of it, you have the Devil and his minions such as Lethargy, Pan, Bacchus, Selvegion and Apotheon (see ML #3400:169-187, GN 992) trying with all their might to convince you to give up, and if they can't get you to do that, then to compromise.

276. Discipleship is a hard profession. Not many take it up, and many of those who do, eventually give it up. Why? Because it's a difficult life. It's extremely rewarding, but at times extremely difficult. Even in Jesus' day, when the going got tough and the message got strong, "many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him" (John 6:66). When Jesus asked the 12 if they'd go too, Peter answered succinctly, with a powerful message as to why we are disciples, why we serve God every day, why we have chosen such a difficult profession: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:68-69).

277. That's what we believe. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He has called us to serve Him unconditionally as disciples at whatever price He asks. That's the commitment‚ that's the job, that's the profession.—And we're proud to do it because Jesus, Who is our King, Savior, Best Friend, and Husband, has asked it of us.

Exposing Bacchus

ML #3402:28-39, 90-115, Post-it GN #4

Online Distractions

28. (Jesus:) Bacchus causes you to get your eyes on the things of this world, and your attention and focus away from the things of the Spirit and from doing My will.

29. You can see where time spent online easily falls under this category. Since you work at your computer, this is where most of your distractions come from, and what Bacchus uses to sap not only your time, but your energy and spiritual reserves. Taking in this worldly input—no matter of what sort or nature it is, how seemingly innocent, or even if merely technical—still affects you and fills your mind with the thoughts and principles of this world.

30. This, working together with the influence of Pan keeping you from getting the Word and the spiritual input you would need to counteract this‚ has weakened you spiritually, and weakened your conviction to put a stop to these things. You don't even see a need to put a stop to them, because you've become blinded to how they're affecting you.

31. And so these two demons carry on, silently and stealthily sapping your strength and curbing your usefulness‚ and in essence defeating you by keeping you from becoming all that I need you to be, accomplishing all that I need you to accomplish, and reaching all those I need you to reach through your witness and your work.

Defeating the Spider
At the Center of the Web

32. I know Bacchus‚ and I hate him. I hate him for the evil that he does to My brides, which I take very personally. When he gets his tentacles of addiction around My chosen children, My brides, he gives them things which slowly but surely replace Me in their lives. For this reason I hate him severely, and when My day comes, I will destroy him with all other works of the Enemy. I will beat him down with great wrath and furious anger!

33. But until that day‚ you must fight against him. For you face choices and must make decisions every day, whether to accept him and his addictions and counterfeits, or to obey and accept Me‚ your Husband.

34. It deeply hurts Me when I lose you, even a part of you, to this demon. It's a slap in My face when you choose a worldly habit, addiction, or desire over Me and the things that I have offered you. It's as though I have given you great treasures and spent My time and money to buy precious things for you, but you instead run off with another to enjoy their trinkets. You spurn and scorn the things that I have worked so hard to bring to you.

35. All the ungodly influences that you have such trouble overcoming are the trinkets of Bacchus. Those are the traps and nets he spreads before your feet‚ hoping to pull you off of My path. And in some of these he has succeeded. His greatest success in your life has been the Internet. Cunningly disguised‚ he is the spider at the center of "the web." It is he who spins the traps to make it all look so enticing, and he has trapped you.

36. The Internet is an area of your life that you seemingly cannot control. Even when I chide, preach, and cajole, you still disobey. You feel a compulsion pulling you toward certain things and places. You've made very tough habits out of your online use, and it's getting harder and harder to break them.

37. It's because, like a spider, Bacchus doesn't like to give up his prey once he has you ensnared. Truly, if you were alone in this fight, you would never escape from his grasp, because he is stronger than you.

38. Remember that, if you're ever trying to break a habit in your own strength: He is an arch-demon and you are but a puny human. Without the powers that I have given you‚ he will beat you every time. But greater am I in you than Pan or Bacchus or any other puny demons! I will beat them down every time, and you can beat them down with the power of the keys and the new weapons.

39. The new weapons are strong and they are powerful, and when you have used these against Bacchus, he has had to relinquish control in your life. But when you have let your guard back down, he has come back to claim territory again. But now I will tell you how you can have a final victory against this one:

  1. As any general will tell you, the primary requisite for waging war is to know your enemy. Before you had only vague ideas, but now you know your opposing force by name. It is Bacchus, the fat prince of addiction. I have revealed him to you, and now you can call him out by name, and cause him to kneel and cower at the mention of My Name and with the blinding light of the keys of the Kingdom.
  2. This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. You have allowed him many entrances into your life and his hold is deep, but not too deep to be rooted out. If you can be delivered from that trap, you will be so much happier and more productive and more useful for Me. So fast and pray and cast out this demon in My Name.
  3. Every demon has his nemesis which will cause his downfall. The nemesis of Pan is the Word, the Scriptures, the New Wine, anything that builds faith. The written Word will send Pan screaming! The nemesis of Bacchus is loving Me intimately and calling Me to your side as your Husband. When you do that, you show Bacchus that his addictions and trinkets are nothing in your life because I, as your Husband, satisfy all your needs for pleasure.

The Point: To Be a Happy, Vibrant Disciple!

90. On the fast day, I was as a king who grants large requests to all petitioners on a special day of celebration. I gave you victory, and it's up to you to stand on it, claim it, and believe it.

91. I'm referring to a lot of your victories, but specifically this problem of ungodly Internet use. It has plagued you for many years, and it may be hard to believe that I can relieve you of that problem overnight, but I did it. I have made you free! If you can believe it and claim it, you will be fully delivered. I have a point here, though‚ and it's very important that you understand it clearly.

92. Just because you have been delivered does not, I repeat‚ does not mean that you won't ever be tempted again, that you won't ever feel the lusts and desires for your old habits. You will feel these temptations. So don't be surprised or get discouraged or overwhelmed if your old habits and lusts come knocking on your door once again. Don't fret or fade away or cast away your confidence. You will feel the desires well up again, but you must not give in. If your faith fail not, you can slam the door, and tell Bacchus to be gone!

93. But you must believe. You must know that he will use every trick in the book to make you think that you're not delivered‚ that the circumstances must not have been right, that you've made mistakes and are no longer worthy of My protection or deliverance‚ and that you're bound to fall. These thoughts, temptations‚ and doubts are the words of Bacchus.

94. He will come to your door to once again peddle his wares and addictions. But this time, he is on the outside. You and I have kicked him out, and though he can knock and knock and ring your doorbell like an annoying salesman, he does not have any entrance into your heart that you do not allow. So expect his attempts, but have the faith in Me to resist.

95. No weak‚ half–hearted attempts at resisting him will do, though. You will have to get desperate at the first sign of your old habits returning. When you feel the desire to go online and do what I have asked you to forsake, you need to get extremely desperate with Me.

96. Call on the keys, pray, get help, confess, get support, do whatever you have to do, but do not give in! If you give in, all will be lost. You will not be without hope, but you will have lost the progress made, and it will be very difficult to get back to the same level again.

97. Remember that you fasted and prayed; the whole Family prayed; the whole Home here prayed; you got united prayer—and all these things are powerful weapons. They really gave you a boost in the Spirit, and you made progress by leaps and bounds. So if you backslide‚ you're going to need an equal or even greater boost of power to start moving forward again, and it will be harder to do so. That's why it's of dire importance that you meet any attempt, however small, with an overwhelming force of the new weapons.

98. If the Enemy comes at you with a baseball bat, meet him with a machine gun! If he comes with a sword or fiery dart, show up with a tank! If he comes with a gun, drop a firebomb on his head! Blast him, crush him, defy him, resist him, burn him, and give him no place! I'm not trying to encourage overreacting; I'm just saying that if you have these powerful weapons available to you, it makes sense to use them.

99. Don't try to slip by with just a little prayer. Get all the help available to you! Use every weapon in My arsenal to make sure that you win! The Enemy doesn't play fair, and you don't have to either—use whatever tactics are necessary to defeat him! I've already given you every advantage and stacked the deck in your favor, so take that advantage and run with it.

100. It's plain as day in My Word: "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." That doesn't sound like a fair fight to Me, and it isn't! I am greater, and you are greater if you have Me in you and the power of Heaven and the keys at your side. So there's no reason or way that the Enemy can win unless you surrender!

101. Now, along with all that I've told you to do to keep the Enemy out and his demons at bay, there is also a lot you need to do to replace the holes left by the old compromises and addictions. We can't leave you empty‚ swept and garnished, because nature abhors a vacuum and something is bound to fill that empty place. If it isn't Me, it's gonna be the Devil. He that is not for Me is against Me. So you can't just concentrate only on holding on to the ground gained‚ but you must make more progress to replace the old habits.

102. You need to press forward in the good, spiritual input to replace the System stuff. You need to be faithful with Word time daily. Continuing with prophecy is another important step that should occur daily. There is always tons to ask Me about, and it's only through asking that you can take your spiritual temperature and find out where you're strong and where you're getting weak.

103. One thing that really breaks his chains is having Me more in your life as your Husband and Lover. You need to be faithful to love Me intimately every day in some form or another. I am pleased with the time that you have tried to work into your schedule for this‚ but you need to make sure you get it in regularly and that you continue to progress in learning to love Me in new and deeper ways. It's something you should bring before Me regularly. Come to Me and check in on our love times and ask if I want anything new or different or if I have any new ideas to implement.

104. The same goes for your prayer vigil times. They need to be done daily and with check-ins every now and then to ask Me how they're going and if I need you to make any changes in your procedures.

105. Another great way to break bad habits is to concentrate on forming new ones. To form a greater habit of asking Me everything would go a long way in replacing some of the old bad habits that you're trying to break. Instead of doing the things you don't want to do, such as compulsively using the Internet, wouldn't it be nicer to compulsively ask Me everything?

106. To be compulsively hearing from Me would do you so much good! Although it doesn't directly affect your older bad habits, just the fact that you're working hard to make new ones gives you strength against the old bad ones‚ and shows Me that you're willing to make the effort. Then I feel more like making the effort for you and doing what you cannot do by delivering you from the bad ones.

107. One last thing you can do is to more fully immerse yourself in work. I know that the focus has been a lot on the spiritual lately‚ but that doesn't mean that the work is any less important. There is no reason why you can't marry the two and work on making physical and spiritual progress at the same time.

108. Ask Me about progress to make in your physical work. Ask me if I want you to work harder, or longer, or devote time to learning new things, or for whatever I have to say. There are work-related changes I want you to make to replace some of the time that was spent in bad habits before.

109. Then there is the obedience side of things, the daily putting into practice all the tips I've given, all the changes I've asked you to make and to be working hard on each and every day. There truly can be no standing still. Every day should be a little tough‚ a little bit of a struggle, a little bit of you stirring yourself up and not getting comfortable.

110. Don't ever just lope through a day doing as you please. Every day you should be measuring your actions, asking yourself and Me if you're living as a disciple would live, if you're saying what a disciple would say, if you're spending your free time as a disciple should, and if you're working like a disciple should be working.

111. To facilitate this obedience to My Words‚ you need to be very familiar with My instructions to you. That means taking time to reread My counsel, and taking time to pull out quotes, make to-do lists, and get prophecies putting skin on those quotes and counsel.

112. Don't approach these changes with a feeling of drudgery and like it's crushing your fun. Remember that if you're in My will‚ I give you plenty of fun and opportunities to really enjoy yourself. Within the tunnel of My will there is plenty to satisfy you, to make you happy, and you don't need to feel bad about having it.

113. It's like the Garden of Eden. There are many fruit trees that I am happy for you to eat from and enjoy, but you have to be obedient to Me and not eat of the ones which I forbid. Be thankful and count your blessings. If you're full of praise to Me and enjoying all the trees you can have to the full, you'll miss the forbidden trees less and in time forget them altogether.

114. So the point isn't to be a miserable monk. The point is to be a happy, vibrant disciple who does what I say, and also has a lot of fun doing it. When you're on My channel, when you're in line with My will for you, almost everything seems fun. You can have such joy in living and such a bounce in your step.

115. It's when you're pulling against the reins and fighting My hand in your life that things seem dreary and boring and restrictive. If you accept the boundaries as being there for your own good and you touch not the unclean thing, then I will receive you and make you extremely happy in the process.

Gems and Jewels, Part 1

ML #3416:55-60, GN 1003

55. (Jesus:) Of all things the Enemy would love to try to steal, it is your time! His purpose in using the Internet, television, entertainment, video games and movies is to fill the world with action and eat up time, deceiving man to think he's using it well. As the days grow worse and worse, so does the Enemy use these avenues more effectively—to distract, to hypnotize, and to cause life to be a passive thing.

56. I give each soul years, days, and hours to be spent in caring for others, being of assistance, showing love. Yet the Enemy seeks to sap each potential moment of renewal by eating up the moments with garbage, pollutants, and waste.

57. Thus is your struggle in these days of the End—in many ways, far more difficult than in My day. Thus will it be said of you that "greater things shall ye do," because it will take greater conviction to stand against the pull of the Enemy on your time. It will take greater guts to resist the urge to do that which seems to be interesting to the neglect of that which is best—a quiet moment of renewal with Me.

58. The time robber is lurking about‚ seeking whom he may destroy. Be not his next meal, My loved ones!

59. Listen to Me‚ My children, and be not afraid of making times of rest. Fight against that which would clutter your lives with obligations to the point of exhaustion. I often walked in the hills above the town to drink in of My Father's creation, of His love for Me, and to pour out My soul to Him.

60. Find your hills! Seek for those moments! Call out to Me to show you that which has to be done and that which can be committed to Me. For if you can become conquerors in this matter of using your time‚ if you can resist the Enemy's entrapments and ambushes to fill what could be precious moments of renewal, then you will be more than conquerors! You will be some of the few able to rise above the most effective wiles of the Devil in these Last Days. (End of message from Jesus)

Feeling blue? Log off

END 16

By Angela Gunn‚ ZDNet

Is your time online making you blue? I'm speaking of the recent survey which says that even normal folk like us feel increasingly lonely, isolated‚ and depressed as we use the Internet more and more.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University tracked 169 people in 73 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, families during the course of two years and concluded that, whatever benefits the Net offers us‚ the cumulative effect of online socializing is "junk relationships," with bonds weaker than those we would make if we'd log off and go outside, or to the dinner table, or to visit a neighbor. They titled the report "Internet Paradox," meaning that the technology that's supposed to bring us the world is actually shutting us away from it.

They're right. The Internet isn't the town square, or even the backyard fence. To make the Internet a useful part of our lives, we have to leave it and talk to people in the flesh. We have to accept that we are never off-line from the physical world around us.

Is your Net use strengthening your friendships? Improving your town? Teaching your children how to act at school, in the family, around strangers?

You can't download quality of life. You can't download respect for elders. You can't download the ability to interpret the thousands of nonverbal signals that we all rely on to get through the actual, nonwired day. If you want to do better online‚ make sure you know how to get around off-line.

Don't let the Internet control your life

END 32

From Hidden Dangers of the Internet by Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D. with Ann McMurray

Internet use is catching on faster than any form of technology ever invented. Its potential for benefit is great, but it is not without problems. More and more people are becoming addicted to Internet use and cannot limit their online time. The problem is a measure of degree.

How do you answer these questions?

Do you surf the net determined to learn everything you can about a certain subject, becoming daunted by the amount available?

Do you need e-mail for a happy life? Are you filled with anxiety if you cannot access your e-mail at least once a day?

Do the relationships that count happen only online?

Do you spend your time playing games? Do you want to play just one more game?

How to change:

Track your time. Although burdensome, keeping a log may help you keep track of the time you spend online and may become an accountability tool. Compare it to the amount of time you spend on other worthwhile activities.

Take a walk. If you find yourself sitting at the computer desk for hours, get up and get out. There's something about being outdoors, walking at a steady rhythm, that also invites self-evaluation.

Get family input. Ask family and friends for their reactions to your computer use. Listen to them. Have them tell you what it feels like when you reject time with them to spend time online.

Set a schedule. This discipline will let you—and others around you—know when you're going to be online and for how long.

Reconnect after disconnecting. After you've logged off, spend time talking with family or friends, playing with your children, or reconnecting with loved ones.

Mentally disconnect. When you're off, you're off. Spend your off-time in something that will engage your mind.

Find something new to do that does not involve the computer or the Internet. Be honest. If you find you're using the Internet to escape from your life, as a sort of remedy for inner anxiety, find someone to talk with about it.

Gain access to God's perspective. Your Internet use may be more difficult to control than just dealing with a bad habit. You cannot always trust your own perspective on your behavior, so trust His. He knows your situation and can best help you bring yourself back into balance.

(Dad:) Let your moderation be known to all men in this, just like any other aspect of your life. The Internet can be a helpful tool in your work, in your education, in gathering information or in helping you in your outreach. But like other tools, if you become more focused on the tool than the results, on the high-tech rather than the Heavenly purpose, then you'll start to go astray. Your relationships with the Lord and others will suffer as a result, the Lord's work will suffer, and you'll suffer as well, if you keep going that route. But you can't go wrong if you keep Him in first place and keep your eyes single, fixed on Him, asking for His help to keep a proper balance in your work and your life. Then your whole body will be filled with His light.

Worrywarts find new fears on the Internet

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(US News ' World Report) You've got heartburn. You go on the Internet, and within minutes, you determine that you're at increased risk for esophageal cancer. Or your foot has fallen asleep again—it seems to be happening every day. You key your symptoms in to a Web site and become convinced that it's multiple sclerosis. New Internet-era terms—cyberchondriac, disease hobbyist—are being coined to keep up with the 41 million people who have gone online for health information this year‚ according to surveys by Cyber Dialogue. More than half of them, 55 percent‚ are looking for information on a specific disease. Most are seeking advice and reassurance, but others end up preoccupied, an overload of information only fueling their fears. "People who start out anxious about their health and try to learn more are almost never reassured," says Arthur Barsky‚ professor of psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School. "You can always find at least one case of the worst thing that you can imagine."

Many kids solicited sexually online, survey shows

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(Reuters Health) Nearly one in five adolescents who regularly go online—some as young as 10 years old—have been sexually propositioned over the Internet, according to a new report. "Parents, educators and practitioners need to add (Internet solicitation) to the list of perils youth may face," Dr. Kimberly J. Mitchell from the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham‚ told Reuters Health. "Young people who stay away from chat rooms and are cautious about corresponding with strangers on the Internet appear to be solicited at lower rates," the research team points out. "Parents and practitioners may wish to establish such rules and to give such counsel to teenagers." Indeed‚ children whose parents made them ask permission before going online, who had rules about how much time they could spend online and which sites they could visit, and who checked the computer history function as well as files or diskettes were less likely to be solicited, results show. (Dad: ) Take note, parents.

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