KEYWORDS: time, home, enemy, year, homes, war



GN 1112 FD/MM/FM Year-end GN

Becoming an Offensive Army

By Peter A. FD/MM/FM 3521 12/04

Dear Family,

1. Mama and I love you dearly, and can't say enough how proud we are of you for how you have answered the Lord's call to full commitment. The Lord, and we‚ asked a lot of you in 2004‚ and you rose to the occasion. Through His Word, prayer, and the power of the keys, you were able to make many changes, both spiritual and practical, which helped bring about so many victories this past year.

2. I want to talk with you about what's ahead and what you can expect during this year of strengthening. In order to do so, though, I need to say a few words about last year. As you know, during the last summit in October 2003, the Lord warned us that we must make major spiritual changes within the Family. For a number of years before that‚ the Family as a whole was giving ground to the Enemy. He would attack us with compromise, disunity, disobedience‚ worldliness, etc., and instead of fighting back and overcoming him‚ we basically retreated in spirit and allowed him to overcome us.

3. The Devil was on the attack against us, and we were reeling from his attacks. We were being pushed back and pushed back. He was winning. We were losing, big time. We were in disarray, an army in retreat. We were, according to what the Lord said, on the verge of total defeat, on the brink of becoming ineffective and no longer able to do the job. The situation was so serious, and we had reached such a point of crisis, that the Lord told us that if we didn't radically change things He was going to have to raise up a completely new army from some other source to fight the Enemy and win the victory. We were about to forfeit our place in world history and let God give it to someone else.

4. In blunt terms, that was the situation in the latter part of 2003. We weren't winning; we were losing! We had fought the battle for Brazil that year and had some victories there, but the overall war was going badly.

5. We were in a situation similar to the Europeans in the beginning months of World War II. Within nine months of Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand and Canada declaring war on Germany, Hitler's army had basically taken over all of Europe. The Allied forces were pushed back to the sea and had to be evacuated from Dunkirk, across the English Channel to Britain.

6. In spiritual terms, that's where we were at, as a Family, at the time of Summit 2003. Thankfully, the Lord got through to Mama and me, and He gave His warnings very strongly. He made it clear in no uncertain terms that we needed to make drastic changes in the spirit, and that we‚ as a Family, had to get serious about fighting and winning, or we were going to be totally defeated.

7. Our RS leadership agreed that the situation was desperate‚ and the Lord told us to make sweeping changes that are having a major impact on the Family, and on each of you individually. The Lord instructed us to go through a period of renewal. He's given the "Shooting Straight" series. We've made changes in Home size. We've instituted the Missionary membership category. We're instructing you to set up Steering Councils, elect Home shepherds and Home managers, be accountable as a Home, apply the board criteria‚ elect the criteria monitors, accept the new coach program, get prepared for your biannual Home reviews, etc.

8. All of these things are causing major changes within the Family, and these changes are designed to make a fundamental difference in the way we as a Family operate. These changes are being made to protect our discipleship, to keep us from compromise, to safeguard our spirituality, so that we can keep from ever again falling into the weakened, defeated state we were in just one short year ago.

9. All of these changes, in such a short period of time, are probably overwhelming for you. I imagine you might be wondering how you will keep up, how you will be able to implement it all. Some of you are probably wondering if Mama and I and the RSs have any idea how much we are asking of you. We seem to be pushing, demanding‚ and expecting a great deal from you, as individuals, as Homes‚ and as a Family.

10. Believe me, we do understand. We know we are asking a lot, that we are forcing you to make changes, that we are making demands and are expecting you to meet them. It's wartime! We've been losing—and that is unacceptable! So we will push or pull you along in any way necessary to win this war!—Not because we enjoy it, but because the alternative is spiritual annihilation, the death of the Family and the Revolution at the hands of our Enemy.

11. And you're not the only ones we're pushing. Mama and I are pushing ourselves to the limit. This past year has been the most difficult ever for us. We are exhausted. The RSs have been pushing, and they are exhausted. The International Board Chairpersons have been pushing, and they are exhausted. WS has been pushing, and they are exhausted as well. But we have no choice. We can't stop or we'll lose.

The nature and reality of war

12. Someone in WS, who is very involved in all of these changes, was very desperate about the pressure and the demands of the work. She was wondering if she would be able to hold up and if it would ever end. She asked the Lord about it, and in short He said:

13. (Jesus: ) You are at war with the Enemy. The war has heated up as never before, and this time is the make-or-break battle. This is a defining moment for the Family. This year is a make-or-break year. You're not at a place where you can wait or stall. You have to move forward‚ and you just have to do the best you can with what you have.

14. Many battles are won with bedraggled, wounded soldiers. Usually the winners who raise that victory flag are dirty, exhausted‚ injured, weak, and barely able to take another step. That's because that's what it takes to win. Any soldier on the front lines who is out to win has to give it his all. He knows no hours, no comfort, no relief. He only knows the fight, the vigilance, and the slow forward movement, with each step bringing the victory a tiny bit closer.

15. That's how you should look at this time of war. I'm sorry, this isn't encouraging, and it isn't what you want to hear. But if you can accept this, if you can yield to this, then you'll be much better prepared for what is to come.

16. It will be a very hard year. It will be trying and long. But just remember that you're at war, and while reinforcements might come later‚ they're not around the corner. So you need to work with what you've got and make the best of it.

17. It's war, and it's never pretty. Lots of soldiers die or are wounded in battle, and those who survive often aren't in very good shape. That's because it takes everything they have. Yes, you have the keys, you have My promises and spirit helpers, but that doesn't change the fact that this will take all your spiritual weaponry and everything you've got.

18. It's a make–or-break year. If you want to survive it, you'll have to prepare, plan‚ be obedient, use everything at your disposal, rest when you can‚ and be constantly inching forward. You won't move ahead by leaps and bounds. Progress won't come easily, but it will come, if you don't surrender.

19. I will keep you‚ I will provide. But no matter what happens or doesn't happen, you have to fight. And realizing that this time is the defining moment will remind you of what's happening in the spirit world. (End of message.)

20. (Peter: ) Because this is a make-or-break year, yes, we are pushing and demanding. We've restructured many aspects of the Family, and some of this restructuring is just hitting you now. By March, you need to be ready to elect your Home shepherds, your Home managers‚ and your criteria monitors. You're probably wondering who in the world is going to be able to fill these positions. Who's trained for these jobs? You're probably overwhelmed.

21. Well, in war, people are killed. Some fellow who is a lowly sergeant is made a lieutenant from one day to the next because his former lieutenant is now dead. He's now an officer and has to assume command, even if he's only had a little training. He now has to make the life-and-death decisions his lieutenant had to make yesterday. Does he want the job? Probably not. Is he properly trained? Probably not. But that's war. Assuming the greater responsibility and the new role, and doing his part to win the war, is what he has to do. Because if he doesn't, then chances are he'll be dead soon too.

22. So maybe you don't have people you feel are sufficiently trained for these new positions. Maybe you feel these changes are coming too fast and are too difficult. We're sorry if that's how you feel‚ and it's perhaps even true. But that's the nature of war. We have to stretch; we have to go beyond our abilities, by God's grace, if we are going to win this war. We have to be willing to change direction at a moment's notice and to do whatever is necessary so we'll be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing in order to defeat the Enemy.

23. These are difficult times. Yet we are being called on to rise above the difficulties by faith, so that we can defend ourselves from the vicious attacks of Satan.

24. Mama and I know that it's been hard; it's been hard for us too. We know that we—and our Commander in Chief—are demanding the seemingly impossible. We know what it's like to feel like you can't go on another day, and we're sorry if you're feeling weary, frightened, and wondering if you'll make it. We're truly sorry, because we understand. But when we consider the alternative, the spiritual defeat of the Family‚ then sorry or not, difficult or not, we're going to have to continue, as the Lord has instructed us‚ to push, to fight, to win—together!

We've stopped the Enemy and are preparing our counterattack

25. The changes made throughout the year of restructuring have had a positive impact. The Enemy is no longer pushing us back and defeating us as he was for so long. Through our obedience to implement the changes throughout 2004‚ the Lord has put a barrier between us and the Enemy. He no longer holds sway in our hearts and minds and Homes through compromise. We've made the decision to fight. We've taken a stand. We've stopped retreating and we've stood firm, challenging the Enemy's forces.

26. This has kept the Enemy from gaining any more ground. We've stopped his forward progress. We're no longer being pushed back and defeated. This in itself is a wonderful victory. It is a battle that we've won. We've stopped the Enemy dead in his tracks and he's much more hesitant to attack now that he sees we're no longer on the run. While this is a victory, it's not enough to win the war.

27. In a sense‚ we're a bit like where the Allies were at after they were pushed out of Europe. They were relatively safe in Britain, and Germany was reluctant to attack. At least the Allies weren't losing men and equipment; they weren't running away. But neither were they going on the offensive‚ at least not in relation to retaking Europe.

28. It was during these years that they, along with the Americans, began to plan how to retake Europe. But planning was only the beginning. The army had to be trained and equipped for the invasion. Guns, ammunition, landing crafts, ships, and airplanes had to be built. Men had to learn new skills—how to use the weaponry, how to fight‚ how to begin thinking and acting like winners. The women had to play their part and take on new jobs they'd never done before, to help the war effort. It took years of preparation and training to get them to the place where they could counterattack and win.

29. This is where we are at. We have stopped the Enemy. We're now in our year of strengthening, and it's in this year that we will work to strengthen our forces, to prepare ourselves to invade the Enemy's territory, and to take back not only what is rightfully ours‚ but what the Enemy has been usurping and controlling as well.

30. Throughout this year the Lord will continue to push us all, to demand more of us. He will continue to raise His level of expectation. He's our Commander in Chief and His orders are that we get strengthened for the fight ahead. It's not going to be easy. We're going to see more of the same throughout this year—more work, more change, more sacrifice—but all with the purpose of getting stronger, of becoming a true and formidable fighting force. We're in training to become an offensive army, not just a defensive one. Our goal isn't just to keep our own land, but to go and conquer the Devil's territory. We need to liberate those who are under his control. We need to keep pushing him back until we push him right back to Hell.

31. But we're not ready and strong enough to launch that offensive yet. At present we've stopped the Enemy. He's no longer defeating us. But we've got to get stronger and better prepared in order to launch our offensive against him.—And that's what this year is all about.

32. Your commission throughout this year is to fight to make your Homes winning Homes. You've got to make your Steering Councils work. You need to make sure your Home shepherds are shepherding you, and that you are accepting their shepherding. You need to make sure your Homes are well managed. You need to fight to raise your Home's standard in each of the six board pillars. You need to fight to progress so that you will pass your Home reviews. You need to fight to keep unity, to become proficient as individuals, and as a Home, in the use of the new weapons of praise, intercessory prayer‚ prophecy, Loving Jesus, the keys of the Kingdom, the Law of Love, weakness and meekness and humility, unity, and working with your spirit helpers.

33. The war isn't over. We must still fight to get ready to attack and defeat the Enemy and his forces. We must work, and work hard, to become stronger in spirit, to become warriors, so that when our Commander in Chief gives the signal, we will be ready to win. In short, we have this year‚ 2005, to train to become winners. We must give it our all.

What the Lord is asking of us in 2005

34. 2005 is going to be a year of strengthening, of exercising our faith, of stretching our spiritual muscles‚ of making the most of our spiritual resources, of learning how to use our spiritual weapons of war with accuracy‚ of preparing for the battles ahead, battles which will help us to win the war.

35. To this end we will continue publishing more "Shooting Straight" GNs. Mama is working on a series of GNs with counsel from the Lord on how to become an expert in the spiritual warfare. We are developing a program for training the Home shepherds to become the spiritual shepherds they need to be. We're working on publications to help the Home managers do the job. The international boards are in the process of publishing the board handbooks, which will contain what you need to know to become proficient in each of the pillars, and will help you to pass your Home reviews with flying colors. The Coach Training Program is being developed, and the potential coaches will begin their training in a month's time, so as to be ready to coach the Homes by the middle of the year.

36. The goal of all of this is to strengthen you as individuals, your Home as a body, and the Family as a whole. The purpose of all of this input and all of these changes and initiatives is to make us into a strong and offensive fighting force that will defeat the Enemy.

37. The victories of 2004—and there have been many—have started us on the road to ultimate victory. The strengthening of the Family in 2005 will, by God's grace, prepare us for going on the offensive. We'll be a stronger force. We'll be transformed from a retreating army to an attacking one. And while that‚ too, will be a major victory‚ that will not mean that we've won the war. However, it will put us in the position to win it.

38. You see, getting over our compromises, or building unity‚ or living the Word, or making our Homes function well, or getting rid of worldliness, are necessary for winning the war. That's because when we do these things we get stronger, and we receive the power to become winners. However, the ultimate goal is not to perfect ourselves or our Homes. The ultimate goal is to preach the Gospel to every creature, to make disciples of all nations, to proclaim and spread the radical truths we have been given as the children of David. The goal is to overrun the Enemy's strongholds, to defeat him by marching to the very gates of Hell itself.

39. We need to overcome our internal problems so that we can win the world. We need to become the samples of living the Word so that our Homes will become beacons of light and truth that shine within the nations. We need to win converts, disciples, and members who will join our army and who will fight with us to defeat the works of Satan. We need to become leaders in order to train more leaders, so that as time grows worse and worse, we—and those who join with us—will show the world that there is an alternative to the hellish System and the Antichrist that runs it.

40. Winning the war is not just talking about it‚ not just preparing for it, not just training to do it. Winning the war is actually doing the job the Lord has called us to do. Winning is gaining ground against the Enemy, and pushing him back. Winning is liberating his captives, and destroying his strongholds.

41. This won't happen overnight. When the Allies finally invaded Europe, they only had a small beachhead on the Normandy coast. They only held a few square miles of land, and had a whole continent to conquer. But in time, they slowly pushed their enemy back a town at a time until they retook Western Europe, while Russia defeated the Germans in the East.

42. The years of their strengthening were a major step in winning the war, but the strengthening in itself wasn't the final victory. They still had to go on the offensive; they had to fight the final battles. So it is with us.

43. This year is our year of strengthening. We will all have to work very hard to prepare for our offensive against the Enemy and his strongholds. We will need to keep the vision of why we are being trained and strengthened. We need to realize the connection between our preparations today and our conquests tomorrow, and understand that the year of strengthening is the next vital step to overall victory.

44. Throughout this year we will focus on training and strengthening. We will focus on making our Homes the tightknit, unified units they need to become. We will build on the spiritual victories won throughout the renewal. We will continue to forsake the things of this world. We will exercise our discipleship so it becomes honed. We will train leadership. We will get stronger individually, as Homes, and as a Family.

45. By this time next year, God and us willing, we will be an offensive army, one ready to go on the attack. From that point on‚ Mama and I hope we never again have to readdress the issues of internal Family problems in the way we have had to in the past several years. From that time forward we must focus our energies on winning the world, on actually doing the job we've been called to do. From that point on we pray that every Home will be building their work, winning and training the lost, making disciples‚ becoming the teachers and leaders of those who will follow us into the future the Lord has prepared for us.

46. From then on we must mobilize. We must become an army on the move, a victorious army, an army that conquers the Enemy! That's the goal. That's the victory. That's winning the war.

47. So you can expect the Lord—and Mama and me and your RSs—to push you this year, to demand that you make progress‚ and to challenge you to get stronger and better trained. You will be expected to participate in making your Home a winning team, and making yourself a winning player on that team. We will expect you to follow closer, to obey the Word, to apply it in your life. We will push you to grow in leadership, in the use of the new weapons‚ in making constant and regular progress as a Home. We will not accept mediocrity; we will demand excellence.

48. We must do this in order to prepare you for the fight ahead. We must become a winning army. We must be ready to fight the battles that we will face in the future. Because although we have held the Enemy at bay through our obedience to make the changes the Lord demanded in 2004, the Enemy is not yet defeated. Any hesitancy on our part, any obvious weakness, any chink in our armor will be exploited by the Devil, and could still lead to our downfall.

49. Mama and I are determined that we will not allow the Family to be defeated. We are determined to mold today's Family into the fighting force of tomorrow. We, the RSs, and WS will work day and night to give you the tools and training for the job. We will ensure that you use those tools and apply that training, so that when the time comes to attack, you will be ready.

50. Our prayer is that you will understand the need to get stronger and that you will do the necessary work to achieve it. We pray desperately, calling on the keys, that you will build on the spiritual victories you won during the renewal and the commitments you made in 2004. We pray that you will keep the vision and work hard to change, to grow, to be challenged, and to desire forward spiritual movement in your lives. We pray you will identify the weak areas in your life and in your Home‚ and that you will work to strengthen them. Much will depend on your personal initiative‚ on your desperation, on your obedience to the Word. We're counting on you, and so is the Lord.

Time is short

51. You may ask‚ "What's the hurry? We've stopped the Enemy from overtaking us, so why do we have to press in so much in this year of strengthening? Why can't we get strengthened over a two- or three-year period? Why rush it?" Mama and I had that question too, even though the Lord had put on our heart a sense of urgency. So we asked the Lord about it, as we don't want to be pushing the Family forward unnecessarily or operating on a rushed timetable unless it's the Lord's will.

52. (Jesus: ) Time is of the essence. Many wars are won not by the strength of an army, but by the timing, by the army being in the right place at the right time to exploit their enemy's weaknesses. This works both ways. In your case, if you are ready and prepared at the right time‚ you can exploit the Enemy's weaknesses. You'll be ready to attack at the time of My calling, at the time that I give the order, at the time that I know is best.

53. On the other hand, if you lag behind My timetable, if you don't keep up the pace that I have set, then when the time is ripe and ready for attack, you will be unprepared and you will not be able to exploit the weakness of your Enemy. This will give him time to fortify his defenses, so that when the time comes to fight, you could actually be defeated instead of being victorious.

54. So much is dependent upon timing. I know that you would prefer a slower buildup, a slower strengthening of your forces‚ that you would like to devote more time to preparing My children, to getting them stronger. At a different time this would be acceptable, but at this time it's not. You don't see the overall battle plan. You don't see the future as I do. I am preparing you now and getting you stronger now because I know when the battles will need to be fought. Any delay will cause you to not be fully prepared when the battle cry is given.

55. There is a lot to be done throughout this year of strengthening. You have programs planned, changes to be made‚ and then reinforced. You have put forth many new procedures for the operating of the Homes, and even in the leadership structure, that need to take root. But most of all, the thing that has to happen is the mindset change that must take place throughout the Family—the shift from the peacetime to the wartime mentality, the shift from the "everything continues on the way it was" state of mind to "things within the world are going to be changing rapidly" attitude‚ and the knowledge that you must be ready for those changes.

56. My loves, things aren't going to continue as they were. Look around you. See the signs of the times. Things are changing. The world is changing. It's becoming more polarized. There are wars and rumors of wars. The simple fact is, if you're going to do the job, you've got to start on it soon. You've got to fight the war. You have to get aggressive. You have to move from being passive to active. All of this is a change of mindset, a change of heart, a change of attitude.

57. If you as a Family do not make this change, then you will not be prepared. I have led your queen and king to give you this vision of war, to tell you what is ahead‚ because I have put in their hearts this sense of urgency. The world is changing rapidly, and you must change rapidly as well. You must take on the new mindset of being a winning team, a winning army‚ an active, advancing army. To achieve this you must press in, now. You must work the works of Him Who has sent you while it is day‚ for the night is coming when it will be much harder to do the work that I have called you to do.

58. You ask why you can't have more time to prepare. It's because time is short. Thus I am giving you this time to prepare, this year to prepare, because I know the battle call is soon to be given. So use the time wisely. Work hard at getting ready and strengthening your spirits, strengthening your Homes, strengthening your works, so that you will be able to be the fighting force that I need in the days that are soon coming.

59. You do not want to be found wanting. You do not want to be found weak when the time of battle comes, because weak or strong, prepared or not, the battle will come, and you will have to fight. What you do throughout this year of strengthening will impact what you will be able to do in the time of war, and whether you will win or lose.

60. I'm counting on you‚ My loves. I put My first challenge before you a year ago and you took up that challenge and you have made many changes. Now I must challenge you again to become strong warriors, fighters, ready to do battle. I'm calling you to put on the whole armor of God and to prepare, so that you will not only be victorious in the battles to come, but so that you will be the leaders of My children all around the world because you have prepared with a vision, you have made yourselves ready.

61. You understand the battles that are ahead and you are prepared to go on the offensive. There are very few of My children throughout the world who are making these preparations, and because you have taken up My challenge I will anoint you in this role that I have called you for. Prepare now so that you will be ready for the fight of the future. If you prepare, if you do your part‚ then you can know with a certainty that I will do Mine. You will be ready to receive My anointing and the power that I will give you as My mighty warriors, and I will bring you through to glorious victory. (End of message.)

62. (Peter:) Dear Family, we're all in this together. We're all members of the Lord's army. It doesn't matter if you're FD, MM, or FM, the Lord's challenge to get strengthened applies to every one of us. We each have our place or position in the army. We all must train and prepare to fight the upcoming battles. So let's put forth the effort. Let's be desperate. Let's have the mindset change the Lord says is imperative. Let's get ready to beat the Enemy and to win the war. Amen?

Home reviews: Getting stronger takes time and work

63. We've heard that some of you in the FD Family are very worried about the upcoming Home review in April. After studying each board's criteria during the study month, you may be feeling even more overwhelmed, wondering how you are ever going to be able to accomplish all that you are supposed to in each of the six pillars by April. Maybe you're a new Home and you're just getting organized and haven't even begun to fulfill the criteria.

64. So if you're feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, I want to remind you that this is the year of strengthening‚ not the year of strength. We are heading into this year with the goal of getting stronger. If we were already strong, we'd be ready to fight now. But we're not; we're rather weak.

65. Over the past six months I've been doing some mild weightlifting for upper body exercise—which has been possible‚ in great part, due to your prayers for my arm, which the Lord has significantly healed. I'm so thankful to you for your prayers‚ and to Him for His healing touch. When I started the weight training, it was rather embarrassing to put the little-bitty weights on the bar and do bench presses with them. They were about 30 centimeters across and weighed very little. Others around me were bench-pressing weights that dwarfed the ones I was using. They were strong; I was working at getting strong. There was a difference.

66. Over the months I've been able to increase the weight, a little at a time. Now I can press four or five times the weight I started with. Over time I got stronger. I wasn't strong to start with, and I want to get stronger still, but I have increased my strength by working at it.

67. My point is that at this first Home review in April, you will probably find that you are pretty weak in many aspects of the board criteria. Most FD Homes will have a long ways to go in fulfilling all the criteria, and that's to be expected. This first Home review should be looked at as a placement test. When you take the test and then clearly see what your weak areas are, it will be a bit like my weightlifting—rather embarrassing at first. You won't be doing excellent or even very well in all pillars. At the least you will probably need definite improvement in some aspects of every pillar. That's okay at this point, because the purpose of this first Home review is for you to be able to see where you stand and exactly what you need to work on as a Home.

68. It will give you a picture of your present strength so you will be able to target your weak areas and measure your progress. Just as with my weightlifting, I know I'm getting stronger because I clearly see the progress. I know how much I could bench press when I started, and I know how much I can press now. So it's clear that I've gotten stronger, and by how much. Similarly, this first Home review will give you FD Homes a clear starting point by which you will be able to measure your growth throughout this year of strengthening.

69. In October there will be what we will call the midterm review. This will be the first official full evaluation and measurement of your progress. By that time you will have been progressing in each of the pillars for six months‚ and you will be tested to see how much you've progressed. We will expect progress; we will expect that you will be doing better in the six pillars than you were at the first Home review. You might still need to improve, you might still have weak areas‚ but at that point you will still have another six months to continue to grow and reach the level of strength expected of you.

70. We are pushing you to grow stronger‚ but we want to be realistic as well. We understand that you don't have the strength now that we expect you to have by the end of the year of strengthening. However, we definitely expect you to be working toward being strengthened, to be making progress. Any FD Home that isn't progressing will be moved to Missionary membership. But please be encouraged if you are continuing to move forward, knowing that we expect progress and growth, not perfection.

71. Folks, we have one year to get strong. That's enough time if you use the time wisely. You might feel disappointed, thinking, "Hey, I'm in an FD Home, we raised the number of our adult voting members‚ we're really working hard, so what's all this about getting stronger and doing even more? What is the FD standard anyway?"

72. Yes, you have made good changes and improvements. The RSs have determined that those Homes that are presently FD are living the standard in that you have fulfilled the various requirements that were the measuring stick of 2004. But surely you have realized by now that the standard in the New Wine, the CvsC series and the Charter‚ has now been articulated with more detail and precision than ever before through the criteria GNs. Previously the direction, requirements, and various "to-dos" for each of the six pillars were scattered throughout hundreds, even thousands‚ of Letters. Of course, it was humanly impossible for you to remember all those instructions in detail and formulate an orderly consistent manner to follow up on them. Likewise, it was impossible for the RSs to keep all those many aspects of discipleship in mind when evaluating the Homes in their areas.

73. Now, however, things have changed with the creation of the criteria GNs. Not only have the counsel and instruction been boiled down into clear summaries put forth in the various criteria, but also there is a way to measure your Home's obedience, and there are consequences for not complying with the criteria, and there are regular times via the Home reviews during which your Home will be assessed fairly.

74. What this means is that while the standard of discipleship has been articulated in the New Wine and the Charter over the years, and the FD Homes were judged by that standard throughout 2004, the Lord has now provided a way that our FD Homes can be more focused on that standard‚ understand it better, and consistently work to improve in each pillar. Because there are actual requirements in each board that are represented in the Home review questions, and each FD Home will be evaluated regularly, the natural progression is that our FD Homes will improve.

75. The end result of that gradual improvement is that our FD Homes will look much different in 2006 than they do now. Where there was previously a vague, irregular approach to living the standard in the Word, now there will be a precise, consistent, and fair process in place to not only measure each Home's progress, but also for those Homes to see their weak areas, set specific goals to ensure progress, and have a well balanced approach to doing those things that will make their Home a powerful sample of discipleship as per the Words of David.

76. The standard was in existence before in the Word and the Charter; it's not that we've created a whole new foundation or "standard" for our FD Homes. But the standard is much clearer now and thoroughly articulated in detail. There is a mechanism in place to evaluate each FD Home. There is consistency that makes Home accountability fair. The result is that we all have a much better understanding of where we're going, how we're supposed to live, and what our FD Homes should be like regarding each pillar.

77. Now that we have these new tools of the board criteria‚ Home review questions, criteria how-to aids, board handbooks, etc., each Home will become obviously stronger and more obedient. You'll start living more of the details of each set of criteria and all that it entails.

78. Not only do you have the advantage of this precise articulation of the standard for Family discipleship Homes, but you also have a better arrangement for the management of your Home through the Steering Council and the criteria monitors. So you now have a lot of advantages and improvements. In light of that, the Lord will expect more of FD Homes than He did six or 10 months ago. We're more accountable now, we understand what's required of us, we understand how our Homes should operate, and we have the blessing of consequences when we don't follow through on what is expected of us. Put all that together and the end result will be a lot of progress!—So much so that what we were "satisfied" with last year will not be enough for 2005. Now the Lord expects that we'll use all that new information to the full, we'll take advantage of the new setup for the running of our Homes, we'll let the knowledge that our Home will be reviewed spur us on to make progress in our weak areas.

79. Those Homes that are presently FD lived the FD standard the best they could in 2004, with the information and tools that they had. The RSs judged the Homes the best they could in 2004, with the information and tools that they had. Mama and I trust that there has been good judgment and wise placement of Homes and individuals in the various categories of membership. But we can't stop there; we can't become complacent and settle down when we've only just begun. Now we know a lot more, we have precise up-to-date information and new tools, and we need to take advantage of that.

80. Now it's up to you FD Homes to make the most of the position you find yourselves in‚ which is greatly improved. Now you have a lot better chance of growing into a full, complete sample of discipleship, and staying strong. Now you really know what's expected of you, and while the sample you're presently giving the world of discipleship was okay for its time when that's all the Lord expected of you, now He wants you to be even stronger, even more powerful, and spot–on in all aspects of all the boards. He has clarified, articulated‚ and expanded on the standard which has been present in the New Wine, Charter and CvsC series, so that it's more practical; there's skin on it. Now He'll hold you accountable for that and expect further growth. That's the place where we're at now. We're heading into the year of strengthening. Now you'll get even stronger, and the sample of discipleship that your Home gives the world will be solid, without holes and weaknesses here and there.

81. I hope that explanation helps you not to worry, not to think that the Lord or your shepherds expect you to be fully strong, totally fulfilling every aspect of the criteria now, today. That wouldn't be possible, that wouldn't be fair. You're only just now starting to understand the criteria, you've only just now studied the Home review questionnaires, you haven't yet elected your new Steering Council and criteria monitors. You're only now putting the pieces together so that you can use this new information and tools that have been provided. Because there are all these new factors‚ new requirements to aid you in fulfilling the standard that's been in the Word all along, it would only be fair to give you time to utilize these aids in order to strengthen your Home and bring it into full alignment with the newly articulated FD standard.

82. As I said earlier, we will do all we can to assist you through the pubs, the programs‚ the handbooks, the coaches, etc., but the onus is on you, as an individual and as a Home, to make the effort to grow stronger. We can tell you how to do it, we can give you the tools to do it, but you are the ones who need to make the right decisions and get down to doing the hard work.

83. Your Home is your team‚ your unit. You will make the grade, or not make the grade, together. Home accountability is in play now, so you need to decide together to become a winning team. You need to work together‚ pray together, yield together, obey together‚ unite together, help each other grow, and correct each other in love. You need to grow strong together, build your winning team together, and be ready to go on the attack against the Enemy together!

MM Homes returning to FD must also grow stronger

84. Regarding how this works for any MM Homes that might want to consider rejoining the FD category: Regardless of why your Home was placed or moved to MM before 2005, if you wish to once again be an FD Home, you will be judged on the same grounds as the FD Homes at the time of your application. If you are granted permission to begin the process back to FD membership, it will be with the understanding that you are, at the time of that decision, on par with the overall condition and level of strength of the FD Homes at that time. If you begin the process to become FD you will be expected, like the FD Homes, to continue to be strengthened. You will not be able to reenter the FD category at a certain level of obedience and then settle down there. You will be expected to be living the FD standard and to improve in that throughout 2005, as is expected of the present FD Homes. We will not expect you to immediately have perfect scores in all pillars; we know you will need a time of strengthening, too, as you also have just received access to all this new information that clarifies and articulates the standard more clearly.

85. As time passes in 2005, the Homes that remain FD will continue to grow stronger. Their level of obedience will be higher and the fruits of that obedience will be more obvious. The same will be expected of you MM Homes who wish to become FD Homes. As time passes‚ more will be expected of you upon your application to FD membership. If you apply in March of 2005, you will be evaluated the same as the FD Homes at that time. If you apply in October of 2005‚ you will be evaluated the same as the FD Homes at that time, and you must be living the FD standard at the time you apply for FD membership. Please bear this in mind and understand what will be expected of you should you choose at any point to apply for FD membership.

Learning how to go on the attack—and win!

86. So, as you can see, dear Family‚ the Lord is expecting all of us to get stronger, and He's giving us this year (2005) to do so. We're all going to be faced with challenges, but they're challenges we will be able to meet with His help, anointing, and determination. So let's do our very best to obey Him, to apply His Word, and to become the strong soldiers that He will be able to use to go on the offensive and to defeat the Enemy. And to give you some extra encouragement that you can make the grade and go the distance, here is a message from our Commander in Chief—the only One strong enough‚ smart enough, and brave enough to help us as we put forth the effort necessary to grow stronger, and then go on to win the war.

87. (Jesus:) You are at war with the Enemy, and the year of strengthening is when you need to gather your forces‚ pool your resources, make plans and strategies, prepare your weapons and ammunition, and do whatever you can so that you will have an advantage over the Enemy when the upcoming battle begins.

88. You have a year to get strong. You have a year to prepare. You have a year to set yourselves up to be winners. There will be battles you will need to fight here and there as you prepare for the big war, but your major focus should be on strengthening your defenses, preparing your offensive weapons, making plans and strategies that will defeat the Enemy, and molding your Home and team into a force to be reckoned with.

89. In wartime, every man, woman, and child is somehow involved in the war effort. Everyone contributes to something that's going to help save their country and win the war. The men are training or fighting. Some are taking on positions as generals, officers, or leaders of various sorts. Some are in the factories making the weapons and ammunition and war equipment. Everyone contributes and gives their all‚ and that's how wars are won.

90. You've won a major victory over the Enemy, and now he's gathering his forces to attack again. He's planning his strategies, preparing his weapons, and readying his hellish army. That's why you, My Family, must work double time to prepare, to get strengthened, to ready yourselves for what is to come. You will defeat him when the time comes if you do what I'm asking you to do today‚ without delay.

91. This is not vacation time or peacetime. This is wartime!—A time when every single last one of you must be devoted to doing whatever it takes to ensure the future victories I speak of.

92. I want you to work day and night to ensure that your Homes are winning teams, so that you will be able to stand strong against the Enemy when he attacks. I want you to work hard to hone and strengthen your use of the new weapons. I want you to fill your hearts and minds with the ammunition of My Word to defeat the Enemy and his hordes. I want you to learn what it means to use the new weapons to actively fight the Enemy, to go on the offensive, and to destroy him.

93. Many of you use the new weapons as self-help measures, or to defend yourself when the Enemy attacks, but I want you to learn how to use the new weapons as offensive weapons. I want you to learn what it means to use them at all times to push back, defeat, and destroy the Enemy and his strongholds!

94. Yes, the new weapons will protect you from the Enemy's attacks when you use them, but just being protected isn't enough. Hiding out in your bunker or your trench and avoiding the Enemy's fire is not enough. You need to use the new weapons of the spirit that I have given you to launch attacks‚ to go on the offensive. You need to use the new weapons to the full—not just to survive, but to fight and win!

95. This is one important way you must train this year—and by training, I mean doing. Not just talking about it, not just thinking about what this means, but actively beginning to do what I'm instructing you. Find out how to use each of the new weapons in an offensive way, to destroy the Enemy. Take every single weapon and turn it from a defensive weapon into an offensive weapon. There's a big difference between what I'm talking about here and how you've fought in the past, and learning this difference and how to use the spiritual weapons in new ways is going to be a big part of your success as an army.

96. You've got to learn during this year what it means to attack, to go on the offensive, so that when the time comes, when I shout the battle cry, you'll be ready and prepared and trained. You can't be trained to simply withstand the forces of Satan and Hell firing at your defenses; you're never going to win the war that way. At the end of the year, you're going to need to be in the position where you are prepared to beat down the walls and defenses of the Enemy, destroying his encampments, and taking over the land that he has claimed.

97. Prepare now and throughout the year to come. Invest your time and energies into getting strong. You need to be strong as an individual, strong as a Home, and strong as a Family. You're not strong now. You've just stopped the Enemy from defeating you. You've pushed him back, and this is a mighty victory. But you're still very weak, and you've got to get strong—not strong in yourself‚ but strong in Me, and strong by the power of My Spirit and with the help of My spirit helpers and warriors. If you think you've won the war now, you'll be defeated, because you won't work like everything depended on working in order to prepare for the bigger battle to come.

98. You have fought some battles and you've won them, and I'm proud of you for this. You now still have a chance to be the fighting force, the unstoppable army I have destined you to be. But you're not that force and that army yet. You haven't won the war. So don't let the Enemy kid you into thinking the war is over because you've won a few battles‚ and that you can now relax and enjoy the greater unity you feel‚ the stronger and bigger Homes, and the new changes that have made things better.

99. Yes, you have grown in unity. You are stronger as individuals and Homes than you were before, but you're still not strong enough. You have to keep fighting for unity, for progress‚ for the changes I'm asking of you. You've started climbing the mountain of victory, but you're not at the top yet. The war effort has begun, but you're not yet the victors. You are destined to be‚ if you do the things I'm asking of you, but it is not guaranteed. Your choices, your efforts this year, and your obedience to what I'm asking of you will be the determining factors.

100. When the war begins, you can't expect that you'll be ready if you haven't prepared. You won't be ready. That's a fact. You have to go on the attack—not just down the line when the offensive begins and war breaks out, but right now, today. Go on the attack to build unity within your Homes. Go on the attack to implement the Word, even if it's just plain hard work and requires a lot of sacrifice. Go on the attack to make your Home a winning team that will not be defeated. Go on the attack to not just become new weapon users, but new weapon offensive warriors. You've got to know your weapons like the back of your hand! Then you'll be ready when the time comes! Then you'll have what it takes to be victorious!

101. In wartime, everyone has to be working together for the same goal, to save their country. That's the way you've got to look at things as well. It's time to put away your personal problems, your personal differences, your personal pet peeves, and your personal agendas. It's time to realize that if you're going to save the Family, you've got to forsake anything that's holding you back in order to devote your time and energies and efforts to reaching that goal. You've got to give it all you've got, and you've got to work together in unity for a common purpose. That's how wars are won—by everyone doing their part, and everyone contributing to the goal that's worth fighting and dying for.

102. The Enemy has the power to wipe out the Family if you are not obedient. He almost did. It's not that his power is greater than Mine by any means; his power is puny and weak in comparison. But if you're not using My power, if you're not availing yourselves of My strength and anointing, if your ranks are being destroyed by disunity and compromise, if you're in confusion and disarray and hardly using the weapons I have given you, then of course the Enemy will win.

103. He does have power, but his power is no match for Mine. But in order to be victorious over him you have to use My power‚ you have to obey My Words, and you have to do the things I tell you to do. The Enemy is more powerful than you, but he's not more powerful than Me. So if you fight him in your own strength, you will lose. That's a fact. You almost did lose. You were almost defeated.

104. I'm making available to you everything that you need to win the war. I'm your Commander in Chief and I'm your Strategist. I'm telling you what to do and how to do it. I'm telling you how to arrange your Homes so that they can be winning Homes. I'm telling you that you need to be shepherded, and I'm commissioning you to elect Home shepherds as well as Home managers, so that your shepherds can do the necessary shepherding. I'm telling you that you need to make your board pillars strong. I'm telling you that you need to use the new weapons. I'm telling you that you need to be doers of the Word. These are the things you need to do in order to win this war. If you do, then you will not lose. There's no possibility of defeat if you employ My power and do the things I ask of you.

105. Remember that the Enemy's full-time job is to destroy My children‚ to bring defeat to My plan, and to annihilate the Family. This is what he invests all of his energies, efforts, and power into. So just as right now he is gathering his forces and preparing to do battle against you, so should you be preparing to do battle with him. You are the ones who need to be stronger and more formidable both today and when you engage in future battles—and you will be if you do the things I ask of you.

106. For every bullet Satan produces, you need to produce ten. He's strengthening his defenses, so you need to make your defenses ten times stronger. For every weapon he has in his arsenal, make your spiritual weapons ten times stronger through your active and offensive use of them. No matter how strong his forces are, you can be ten times stronger—and even a hundred times stronger—through My power and the power of the keys!

107. The Enemy is limited and disadvantaged, because no matter how hard he works, no matter how much he invests in his evil forces‚ his power will never even come close to My power in you. But if he can get you busy with other things, or stop you from obeying My Words, or make you lazy and lethargic in your preparations, or cause you to think that you've already won, so there's no reason to fight so hard anymore, and even weaken you further, then he knows he might have a chance.

108. The Devil's only chance of victory is in getting you to forget that you're in wartime. He only stands a chance if he can get you to invest your energies and focus your attention on things other than getting stronger in this coming year. If he can distract or delay you‚ he has a chance‚ because you won't have My full power and strength.

109. The key to victory is active obedience‚ active strengthening, active yielding, and actively using the new weapons! The key is to ensure your mindset is one of vigilance, so that you invest all of your energies and resources into this year of strengthening. You're not strong now, but you will grow stronger as you do the things I'm asking of you.

110. Everyone must play their role, their part; that's how wars are won. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, you have an important part to play‚ and if you don't do your job, the whole army could suffer. When it's wartime, all jobs are needed. The guy who drives the vehicles is just as needed as the general. The guy who does KP* is just as needed as the soldier on the front lines. The guy who works in the factory to make the weapons is just as needed as the teacher who continues to educate the children. So play your part well, whatever your part may be‚ because it takes all kinds to prepare for war, and to win. *[KP: kitchen police—enlisted soldiers assigned to work in a kitchen.]

111. Don't feel bad if you aren't called on to be a coach, or a Home shepherd, a Home manager, or a board member‚ or whatever other position you'd like to hold. Just do your job with joy, and fight to do your part to help your Home and the overall Family to make it. This war has to be won together, with everyone working together for a common goal. There's no time right now for hotshots or personal glory. You're one army, one team, and you've got to fight to get strengthened together.

112. Ask Me to give you the mindset of a winner, a conqueror, one who will not accept defeat—not right now when you're getting stronger, and not when you are in the midst of the battles to come. You have what it takes, with My power and strength and anointing and ammunition and weapons, to be more of a winner than the Enemy will ever be‚ more courageous than he has ever dreamed. Know now, today, that you will defeat him! You will overcome!—Not by any great might or strength in yourself, but by the blood of the Lamb and by My power vested in you.

113. Through the strength of obedience, the anointing of victory will fall. Call on the keys, and claim My full power, and you will gain the strength you need to win. Take on the mindset of victory today! Then when the time comes to become more offensive and to start pushing the Enemy back, you'll be ready, equipped, and stronger than the Enemy could ever hope to be. You will crush him with My power. You will destroy him with My offensive spiritual weapons. Satan's forces will tremble and fall, and the Family will press forward to your future and your destiny. (End of message.)

114. (Peter:) So what do you say? Let's get strong, folks. It's wartime. Let's prepare for the offensive. Let's prepare to win! Let's do everything we can to become the spiritual warriors our Commander in Chief is calling us to be. We have a year. Let's use it to the utmost, so that when we hear the battle cry, we will be ready to fight and conquer. May God help us to be ready!

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