KEYWORDS: family, lord, love, god

Shooting Straight, Part 12

Karen Zerby

GN 1125 FD/MM/FM

God's views on current issues and attitudes in the Family

By Maria FD/MM/FM 3534 8/04

Note: The "Challenging Thots" in this Letter address commitment and discipleship in general and aren't always related to the issue being discussed.

Quick to Believe the Logical?

The issue:

1. Faith is a wonderful thing!—But it seems that some people's faith in System facts can at times be stronger than their faith or belief in what the Lord has to say. For example, one might read a System book, watch a TV talk show, or listen to a worldly person's idea or theory—whether it's regarding a health issue, a current event, or some other theory —and swallow it hook, line, and sinker. Worldly knowledge and information often seem to be accepted without a second thought and viewed as gospel truth, but then the Lord's Words are taken with a grain of salt, analyzed, or doubted. The irony is that the worldly facts become the information from a "correct and reliable source," while your faith in the facts of the Word or the Lord's truth is much weaker.

God's mind on the matter:

2. (Dad: ) As the Bible says, the carnal mind is enmity against God—hostile to God (Rom.8:7). The carnal mind's first reaction is to resist God's truth if it's something that doesn't fit into the confines of natural human logic. That's the way we were made—the way God created us, as odd as that may seem—because He wanted to introduce the notion of believing by faith. Something that you see, understand completely, touch and feel, doesn't require faith. How much faith did those who saw Jesus perform miracles before their eyes need? Not very much. But those who just heard about it from others or read it in the Gospels needed a lot more faith! That's what the Lord wants to teach us—to have faith!

3. To understand that concept better, think about how important trust is to you. How important is it to you that your friends and those you love trust you‚ even if they don't understand you? I'd venture to say it's pretty important. If you felt that you had to prove everything to them, they might believe you because of the proof‚ but you wouldn't feel it was real trust, and you wouldn't feel that they were real friends who were going to stick by you when things went wrong. In a way, it's the same with God. That's why He deliberately created us with a carnal mind, so that we would have to make an effort to overcome and accept things by faith, thereby manifesting our love and trust in Him. Trust is one of the greatest manifestations of your love for someone.

4. This doesn't answer the issue directly, but it's related and important to understand. Otherwise you can begin to question why it's so difficult to believe and accept certain things in the Word or certain spiritual principles—and if it's so difficult‚ then you start to wonder if perhaps those things aren't really true. After all‚ if the facts of God's Word and His heavenly principles were really true, then wouldn't they be easier to understand and accept? Doesn't God want to make it easy for us to believe in Him and His Word? In a way, yes, He does make it easy when we call on Him. But no‚ He doesn't want to make it too easy‚ because then the element of faith and trust would be lost.

5. This explains why it's sometimes easier to believe what someone in the System says—some magazine article, a writer, or even someone's opinion stated on the Internet. When people are thinking with their carnal minds—which many do sometimes, or much of the time, depending on how desperate they are with the Lord—then the things that are said or written by other carnally minded people will seem easy to understand and accept. The carnal mind is naturally at enmity with God, but it isn't necessarily at enmity with other carnal minds. That's why people are so easily duped by what other people have to say instead of believing what God has to say.

6. Now that's not to say that other people don't have good things to say. Sometimes what they say is in harmony with God's Word in some way; the Lord inspires many people to speak the truth‚ because He wants to plant the seeds through many sources. But if the "good" things worldly sources say don't agree with God's Word, then you have to make a choice. To your natural mind, the easiest choice to make is the one that you best understand, the one that makes the most logical sense. But does that make it truer?

7. Let me give you a little example from nature. Let's say one person tells you that salmon are born in a river, then swim out to the ocean and spend their whole lives swimming around in the ocean‚ then swim back and happen to find the very river where they were born. Someone else tells you the same thing, except that the salmon can't find their way back because they get lost and have no means of finding their way, no navigational tools like we do, and therefore mathematically the chances of them reaching the same river they were born in are slim. Which sounds more logical? The second one, of course. But the first one happens to be the truth, even though no one understands it or can fully explain it. And there are many other examples in nature that don't make logical sense‚ but are indeed true. So why wouldn't it be the same for the things of the spirit?

8. So when you read something from the System, don't be so quick to believe it just because it makes sense to your carnal mind. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't. Certainly you should be more skeptical of such input from the world than if it were something you read in God's Word that you thought didn't make sense. It's your natural human reaction to reject God's Word if it doesn't make sense to you, but the Lord can help you change this reaction.

9. You may say that your problem isn't that you don't believe God's Word—you do. However‚ you're just not sure whether what you're reading is actually God's Word. You wonder if maybe the person who got the prophecy got it wrong or made it up. Well, again, that's where faith comes in—and not just faith in God‚ but faith in me and in Mama. If Mama believes it‚ or I taught it, then you should have faith that we're God's prophets and we're hearing from Him. I realize that's not easy. It wasn't easy for people to believe Isaiah was hearing from God, or even Jesus, for that matter. But it's necessary!

10. If you can't find that faith and trust in Mama and in me, then you're in the wrong group and you should serve the Lord with someone who you feel is hearing from God. But if you do trust me and you do trust Mama, then if Mama puts out something in a GN that she believes is God's Word—then you can believe it too. Even if you don't understand that particular message and it's difficult for you, wrap it in a bundle of faith and just have faith in Mama's faith in it. And the Lord will bless you for that, too!

In summary:

11. (Mama: ) Just because something appeals to your carnal understanding doesn't necessarily make it true. And just because you don't understand something—like a new revelation in God's Word—doesn't make it false! If whatever you understood was the truth, you'd be God‚ because you'd understand everything! But obviously you're not God! Ha!

Key promise:

12. The keys will dash into pieces the ways, thoughts, and ideals of the world that keep you bound in chains of conformity, and give you wings of freedom to fly in the spirit to heights those of the world will never know.

Dig deeper:

*"Did God Make a Mistake," ML #35:10-13, DB 4

*"Flatlanders," ML #57:2-13, Vol.1

*"Believing Prophecy," ML #3130:194–196, Lifelines 24

*"Seekman and the Treasures," ML #3131, Lifelines 24

*"Issues, Part 5‚" ML #3322:64-99, GN 925

*"Focus on the Power," ML #3374:27-31, GN 971

*"Full Possession," ML #3376:5-8, 21–52‚ GN 973

*"The Mysterious Keys, Part 1," ML #3472:25-32‚ GN 1060

*"God's Peculiar People‚" pages 155-164, Treasures

*FJWL 1: #224, 261

*FJWL 2: #186, 196, 350, 545

*"Faith," 1-2, 7, Word Basics

*"Reasoning, Carnal‚" Word Topics

Challenging Thot:

13. (Dad: ) The Devil has made the words of the world sweet, the sounds of the System appealing, and the ideas of worldlings logical in order to attract the masses! But don't be a sucker for the System and its ways! Although God's ways and Words are often illogical, unconventional, and downright crazy, be radical and follow them anyway!

Don't Throw the "Baby" Out With the "Bathwater!"

The issue:

14. (Mama:) We are living in a new time in Family history, but sadly we've lost some of the revolutionary aspects of the way the Family lived and operated in the past. For example, in the early days of the Family there was lots of freedom in the spirit—praising the Lord was the norm‚ speaking in tongues was a regular occurrence, being on fire about memory work was the "in thing," and quoting the Word was cool and part of life. But the attitude of some people today seems to be that some of these revolutionary aspects of our past are outdated, no longer needed, "uncool," or not the way of today, much less the way of the future.

God's mind on the matter:

15. (Jesus:) Failure to learn and draw from the past would be a huge mistake! Of course, it's generally better not to continually dwell on the past or get too stuck on old ways, but at the same time it would be a sad waste to throw it all out the window.

16. Sure, silly mistakes happened in the past that you don't want to repeat. But if you find yourself dwelling on those aspects to the point that a lot of your conversation consists primarily of stories about silly mistakes people may have made long ago, or ways you feel you were mistreated by Auntie so-and-so 10 or 20 years ago, or large combo methods and rules that would never apply today‚ then something might be wrong. In a way, it's good that you can look back with a sense of humor and laugh at the funny things the Family did, in the same way that you might look back at the funny things you did as a child. But be careful if this sort of thing becomes your primary course of casual conversation.

17. Rather than reinforcing the negative events of the past, why not discuss how you can apply the many positive aspects? For example, you don't have to feel obligated to wear hippie clothing every day, but what's wrong with a good old rousing inspiration where everyone has a chance to really burn free in the spirit? In some places and for some people this is a lost art, and that's very sad, because you're missing out on some serious fun and intoxication in the spirit.

18. While it's true that during a time of growth many Family members went overboard with rules in the school and combo days, that doesn't mean there weren't some really great times. It might be easier to talk about and dwell on the many demerits you might have received as a teenager, or the long hours spent doing JJT. But there were also some amazing, unifying Home-sponsored special activities that you might be able to adapt for your Home. There was often tremendous love shown by some teen shepherds as they devoted their full time to teach and train the young people. And don't forget the great skills displayed by teachers! And if you teachers (or even those who were kids some years back) have some positive discussions, you might be reminded of a shiner system or schoolroom setup or some other organizational method that could benefit the kids in your Home today.

19. There are countless examples from every single Family period. The Family may no longer practice any form of FFing, but you could sure learn a thing or two from many of the Family's FFers about loving the unlovely and giving of yourself. The current political climate may not be identical to that of the '60s or '70s, but the art of fervent witnessing and anti-war protest is by no means outdated.

20. So start talking about the positive and see how you can spice up your modern Family life with lessons from the past. While you definitely need the New Wine of the Spirit for this modern day, don't forget that sometimes the vintage wine can be mighty tasty!

In summary:

21. (Mama: ) Lord help us not to turn so far away from the way things were done in the past that we tone down our fires of revolution today! There are so many good, wonderful, revolutionary‚ radical things from the past that should still be a part of our lives today! We are living in a different time in world history, but we're not supposed to be dead, cold, and lifeless! May we always be revolutionary, free, radical, on fire‚ and full of the wild and free Spirit of Jesus in all that we do!

Key promise:

22. Everything you need to make you a radical, revolutionary, off-the-charts disciple is found in the keys!

Dig deeper:

*"Let's All Get on Fire for Jesus‚" ML #2678:8, 12-21, Lifelines 19

*"Mama's Love Story, Part 7," ML #3002:76-95, Lifelines 22

*"More on the S2K," ML #3262:252-264, GN 863

*"You Can Make It, Part 1," ML #3277:82-92, GN 880

*"Be True to the Revolution," ML #3364:34, 85-104, GN 960

*"Issues‚ Part 16," ML #3450:142–154, GN 1040

*"Deliverance," ML #3455:270-290‚ GN 1039

*"Wholeheartedness," Word Topics

Challenging Thot:

23. (Dad:) It would change your life if you employed some of the radical elements of our past history—especially anything that promotes the Lord and the Word, brings to life the things of the spirit‚ smashes your pride, gets you wild and free, makes you drunk on Jesus, and helps you to forget yourself and the things of this earth! Why not give it a try?


24. (Jesus:) Just because you have worn a diamond or other jewel before doesn't mean it loses its value!

GNs and Boards

The issue:

25. (Mama:) New Family policies and direction are put forth via the GNs, but some people are wondering if things should be different now since the boards are in place. The line of thinking is that since those on the boards are professionals in their realm of expertise and they're at the "grass roots," they should be the "policy setters" and the ones who determine the direction of the Family, rather than enacting what the GNs dictate. The attitude is that the boards don't have any "real power," and because of this the Family isn't making sufficient progress.

God's mind on the matter:

26. (Jesus:) Change is needed in the Family. My Family needs to move forward and take real steps of progress if you are going to continue to move on to the future that I have for you. This is not a time to sit still and spin your wheels or just rest on your laurels. The boards must be boards of action. The boards must help make these changes come to pass. That's why the boards were set up, because I know that without the help of every Family member, and a large base of Family board members who are willing to do their part‚ the Family won't make the progress that it needs to make.

27. The question is: How do you make that change and where does the change come from? How can the Family move forward? How can the Family take the radical steps that it's supposed to take to be all that it needs to be? David wasn't afraid to be radical and different and move the Family in a new direction if that's what I showed him to do. I showed him some pretty radical things and the Family went in a lot of different directions because that's what's needed in a revolution. You've got to change‚ you've got to keep moving, or the movement will just settle back into the morass of System immobility and the revolution will die.

28. The key to all this past change, and all the revolutions, was that I was the One leading the Family. David never took the credit to himself and said that he was the one leading the Family, or coming up with all the ideas and new ways of doing things. He gave credit where credit was due—and that's to Me. It's My Family! It's My movement! It's My revolution‚ and that's what it comes down to. Every big change and revolution in the Family was something that I initiated, and that's still how it needs to be today.

29. I'm still needed‚ My Word is still needed, and the revelations and direction from Me are still what's needed to run this Family. But I also need the Family members themselves to help out, and that's why the boards are necessary. I need the boards—not so they can be "activity boards" that just entertain the Family, but so they can be powers in the movement of the Family. I need them to get involved, and I've given them the authority to do so. I didn't just set up a "puppet" structure in the Family of people who don't have the ability to think for themselves. I set up the boards so that they can come up with their own plans and ideas and programs and then put those into action.

30. But above all else is My Word. That's what's led the Family and kept the Family so far. The Letters and GNs—the Words that I give—give the general, and sometimes specific, direction that I want the Family to go in. They are the guideposts that show the way. How you follow, how each area implements My Words according to the circumstances you are in and the faith that I have given you, is up to you. But My Word must be the lamp unto your feet and the light to your path.

31. David said over and over that the minute you think that you can get along without Me, and specifically without the Word, then you are in trouble. The boards have to follow the instruction that I give in the GNs‚ but they also have the opportunity to give their input on what needs to be done and how the Family needs to change in order to progress. So in this way the boards do affect the Family's actual policy—both what's published in the pubs and amendments to the Charter.

32. The Word and the boards work hand in hand. I haven't set things up so that the boards can't affect policy or do anything on their own. Look through all that I have said about the boards. The boards are real; they have real authority to help shape Family policy in their area of expertise. All those GNs about the boards are not just pretty words; they are meant to be lived, and it's happening today! The boards are having an impact on the Family and Family policy. It just takes time and patience. Changes in the Family don't happen overnight. But believe Me, things are changing.

33. The boards are speaking up, WS is listening‚ and the pubs are reflecting the needs of the Family as the boards see them. It just takes time! If the boards don't speak up, change will be a lot slower. If the board members, people and individuals in all kinds of situations around the world, don't really think and pray about the needs and problems in their areas, then not much is going to get done. It takes everyone working together.

34. The Word gives the direction for the Family‚ the boards seek Me about what they can do to help the Homes put My Word into action, and they also are meant to speak up about what they feel are the needs and problems in the Family and what can be done to help the Family.

35. There is no limit to what I can do through yielded vessels! It's only when the boards put limits on themselves that they are limited. Following My Word is not a limitation; it's freedom, because it opens so many wonderful and marvelous possibilities. With Me—and that means My Word too, because I am the Word—nothing is impossible. The sky is the limit for the boards and there is more that can be done than any one of you can imagine. Some boards are sitting around waiting for someone to do something, while others are going out and doing it, and they are proving that anything is possible with Me!

36. The boards have a voice‚ and that voice is being heard! Change is happening right now. Not all boards are living up to their full potential, but that doesn't mean that the structure is flawed. The structure is solid, the foundation and principle is sure. Yes, there will be changes and tweaks here and there, but those will only build on what's already been laid. The structure is there; it's set up and it's ready to explode and really change the world. Now it's up to you, My Family, and the board members around the world, to live up to your potential and make change happen. It will happen if you make it happen, because you have the power to help make it happen!

In summary:

37. (Mama: ) With the boards in place, programs and policies are being instituted (in counsel with our Boss) as a result of ideas and suggestions from the "grass roots." That's the whole purpose of the boards‚ to help spread out the decision-making responsibilities of the Family onto as many shoulders as possible, so that the decisions being made are good ones that have taken all sides into account and considered the needs of all. But as needed and important as the boards are, our Husband's divine guidance is still needed, His Word is still essential, and the Family won't survive without His revelations and directions. The Word is what has led us and kept us so far, and it will continue to be our compass and the "lamp unto our feet" in the future.

Key promise:

38. You will have every gift of the spirit and every spirit helper you need as you play your part in strengthening and changing the Family, as you depend on the keys of empowerment and full possession.

Dig deeper:

*"For God's Sake, Follow God," ML #4:1-28, DB 4

*"Looking Unto Jesus," ML #126, DB 4

*"The Board Vision, Part 1," ML #3352:69-85, 130-135, GN 949

*"The Board Vision, Part 2‚" ML #3353:6-13, GN 950

*"The Board Vision, Part 3‚" ML #3387:12-31, 196-200, GN 983

*"Board Vision Training Videos, Part 2," ML #3407:12-40, Post-it ML

*"Board Vision Training Videos, Part 3," ML #3408:58-71‚ Post–it ML

*"What Is Jesus Worth to You?" ML #3433:4-47, 213-225, GN 1016

Challenging Thot:

39. (Dad: ) Family progress and change is a teamwork effort! The Lord can't lead the Family on His Own, because He needs yielded vessels to work through.—Not just Mama and Peter, but also those on the boards, as well as every Family member. Every single person in the Family plays a part in making the Family what it is! But ultimately, at the end of the day, the Lord is the One in control! He's calling the shots, and it's His Word that's going to keep the Family on track and going in the right direction!

Promoting Our Meaty Doctrines!

The issue:

40. (Mama:) A concern and question that seems to be unresolved for some of you is why we, as a Family, should publicize or promote our radical, "meaty" beliefs—such as our beliefs regarding the Law of Love—to those who will possibly be stumbled by them. Some sincerely feel that the work would prosper and flourish more if we didn't share our controversial issues with our sheep or friends, especially since we're not expecting them to practice and live them.

God's mind on the matter:

41. (Jesus:) I have given you, My Family‚ deep and radical truths, the heaviest of the heavy meat, and I have asked you to believe them, accept them, live them, and not be ashamed of doing so. I have also asked you to not compromise your convictions‚ and to share the meat of the Word with those of your flock who need it.

42. As for the specific issue of sharing your beliefs in the Law of Love: It is My will that you stand up for these beliefs when asked, and it is My will in most cases that you bring up the topic and share it with those who you are feeding—your flock. The truth is that they can live it, in principle at least. There are even those for whom it will turn their key and win their heart! They may not be able to share sexually outside of marriage, but if they are single and having sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend, it may in fact prove quite liberating for them to realize that they aren't living in sin in My sight. There are also some who I would in time call as disciples, and when that time comes, they should be prepared for live–in Family life, which includes the sexual aspect of the Law of Love.

43. A key, however, is that there is a time and place for everything. If you are winning someone to your "flock‚" there will come a time when you will need to present these beliefs to them—either because I show you they are ready, or because they hear about it from elsewhere anyway and ask you about it. As I said in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series‚ I am not pleased when My children refuse to admit to their beliefs in these areas, or deny them, or compromise in them. That doesn't mean, however, that you need to go around telling everyone you are ministering to about the Law of Love as part of your basic follow-up program.

44. It is an advanced message, for those who are sufficiently advanced spiritually to receive it. It is important for those considering joining the Family to understand. It is also important for those who are live-outs‚ or Active members‚ or those who are over at your Home regularly, who interact with you on a personal basis, and who at some point will notice certain things about your interactions with each other. You can't expect that they never will, and you should be prepared to share something with them when they're ready.

45. You should also give classes about the general concept of the Law of Love even in the earlier phases of your follow-up—not the sexual aspect, but the overall concept of doing unto others as you would want them to do unto you, of looking out for the needs of others above your own, of acting and behaving as if you were all one Family, and caring for each other that much. The sexual aspect of the Law of Love is more advanced and something for those who are on a higher level of discipleship.

46. You can't win someone to the Family as a member without them agreeing with the principles of the sexual aspect of the Law of Love—because at some point they'll either practice it themselves if they become a full-time Family member, or they'll be close enough "in" that they may have to account for it and answer about it to others. It's good for them to understand, believe, and accept the principles of the Law of Love—including the sexual aspect—even though they won't be practicing it in full until they join the Family as full-time disciples. If they are associating with you and considering themselves Family members, even if they're not live-in disciples, then it's your duty to let them know about all of our radical beliefs and teach them the scriptural background. It's simply not fair to hide them.

47. For those in a more outer circle—those who are visitors, Activated subscribers, and those just learning about the Family—it is not always necessary to bring up the radical doctrines. You certainly don't have to feel you have to work it into their introductory classes. You have to be Spirit-led and bring people along step by step, not dumping the whole A-Z ins and outs of the Law of Love on them all at once.

48. What I said in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series is the standard. You should not be ashamed of your meaty doctrines. You should not deny them or pretend they don't exist, and neither should you ignore their practice yourselves as disciples‚ possibly out of fear of being "discovered" by your friends and sheep. Those are the compromises. But to delay sharing these meaty truths with those whom you are following up on is not automatically compromise. There's a difference between compromise and using wisdom in your presentation and timing, and it is a difficult balance to find. It has to be found by seeking Me, by getting My guidance in your situation. A key is being yielded enough to truly be open to what I have to say, and to obey My counsel.

49. Some are such extremists and so over-zealous that they feel that to live up to their convictions they have to tell everyone they know about every meaty doctrine as soon as possible; whereas in some cases that could merely show a lack of wisdom. Others are such extremists in the other direction that they don't want to even let their sheep dip their toes into the milkier or more delicate aspects of the Law of Love for fear that it will stumble them. I am not calling for either extreme. I am calling for you to believe in and live these doctrines, as Family members. I am calling you to not be ashamed to, in time, share these doctrines and stand up for these beliefs to your flock.

50. Some of your sheep may be so steeped in churchy doctrine that, no matter how long you've been feeding them‚ the Law of Love—and our other radical beliefs—will stumble them. There are some who will even be stumbled at the basic concept that sex is not a sin! But the way you need to look at it is that you'll only be able to bring some people along so far spiritually, and they won't go any further. Some of those you minister to will grow in My truth and Word, but only to a certain point. At that point you then have to realize that you've done your part, you've fed them as much as they would receive, you've brought them along as far as they were willing to go spiritually, and your job is complete.

51. Then you need to continue looking for those who are willing to go further, who are revolutionary enough to receive the meat of the Word‚ and who are made of what it takes to be disciples. It's really to these people—those who are radical enough to receive My meaty truths—that your primary commission as the children of David lies. You are sent to the radical‚ to the iconoclastic, to those who are dissatisfied with the System and its ways—and those who are dissatisfied with the churches. If you lose some because of a meaty doctrine, well, that has always been the case with all children of God, with all My prophets and apostles throughout the ages.

52. If you blow sheep away through lack of wisdom, that is sad. But if you bring them along wisely, slowly, step by step, building their foundation on the Word, and they are still stumbled, then they are weak, and not meant for discipleship or membership within your ranks. I do not fault them for that, and I love them no matter what‚ and I will find a place of service and usefulness for them elsewhere if they so desire. But your ministry, as the children of David, is to build a radical‚ strong, dropped-out church that lives completely outside the confines of System and church doctrine. That should be your goal in the training of your members. With some you'll have to move very slowly, but you should still be moving forward.

53. If you are wise, prayerful, and build their faith in the Word step by step, then you don't need to fear that at some point you will lose your church of believers and they will all be stumbled and desert you. You will lose some, yes, because it's a scriptural principle that "many are called, but few are chosen." But there will always be those, who, like the twelve disciples when all others left, said, "To whom shall we go? Thou alone hast the Words of eternal life" (John 6:68).

54. Those who you have been feeding My Word for years, who you have been bringing along and strengthening, who look to you as their shepherds and who have seen the good fruits of My Word and the Family doctrine in their lives already, will most often weather the storm when faced with more difficult doctrines. That doesn't mean they won't struggle or have a hard time with it at first. There are few people whose first reaction will be, "Wow‚ cool! I want to do that too!" There will be many more who will at first be shocked and amazed. But if you've led up to it properly in the first place and if you take the time to answer their questions, teaching from both Scripture and personal example and experience, they will weather the storm and come out the stronger for it.

55. That's what I'm after: strong disciples, followers of the meaty truth. That is your calling. That's what the Family is all about.


56. (Dad: ) We have a radical Jesus! We have a radical God! We have a radical Family! And if you've gotten away from that, you might want to check your spiritual pulse to see where you're heading.

57. The Church was once a radical movement. They once were persecuted and broke the mores and traditions of their day, but they began to settle down. They got popular and became afraid to uphold their more radical doctrines for fear of losing their friends and their support base. They became more concerned about the money than the message, so they began to settle down. Is that what's happening to you? Are you becoming so concerned about the finances your friends give you each month that you're not telling them the truth? Are you withholding the beliefs you feel are too radical because perhaps you don't believe in them anymore?

58. Of course our beliefs are controversial! That's what people love or hate about the Family. We are not mainstream! If you want to be mainstream, you're in the wrong outfit! The Family is not a mainstream Christian movement. The Family is God's voice to the world in these Last Days! You are His ambassadors and missionaries to the world at this time. The Family is where the Lord is resting His anointing and where He is resting His full weight. He can't rely on the other Christian groups because they all have something holding them back. Do you have something that is holding you back, to where the Lord can't rest His anointing on you? Think about that for a minute.

59. Are you so concerned with the opinions of man that you can't preach the meat of the Word and the Lord's radical message? Your friends are going to find out anyway, believe it or not. You can't hide your beliefs forever!—And who better to hear about it from than you? They'll hear about it, and when they do they'll be very offended that you didn't tell them yourselves.

60. How would you like to find out that your wife was pregnant from someone else because she was too ashamed to tell you? Wouldn't you feel cheated? Well, that's how your friends will feel. They will feel that there has been a very serious breach of trust, and then the fruit will be far worse than if you'd had the guts and the humility to tell them yourselves.

61. Yes, you're supposed to build a foundation. Yes‚ you're supposed to build a work!—But a strong work, a strong foundation, one that will not be moved or budged by the winds of persecution. And if you haven't been wisely open about your beliefs with your friends, then don't expect them to stand by you when you need them. Don't expect them to stand by when your enemies tell them what you believe and put their negative and ungodly spin on things.

62. I find it hard to believe that you have conviction about your beliefs if you're not willing to explain them to your friends. There is a time and a season to everything, and God knows this must be handled wisely. You can't just dump it all on them, but neither should you withhold from them your controversial beliefs for fear that they'll stop supporting you. You can agree to disagree on those points, but they should still hear about it from you.

63. Have you become so wishy-washy in your convictions that you don't even have the faith to explain these things to your friends? Have you forgotten what it means to be truly revolutionary? Have you forgotten why we practice the Law of Love? Maybe you should be shaken down to your foundations to find out what you are standing on and if you really believe it or not.

64. The Family is not just a nice way of life. It is a revolutionary movement, and if you can't accept and believe that and keep up with the revolution, then maybe you need to ask yourself some questions. Maybe you need to find out if you really believe what the Family is all about. You need to ask yourself if you have faith that the Lord's Word is true and that He knows best. I seriously question your foundation if you cannot lovingly, and with prayer and counsel, explain and feed your flock the meat of the Word.

65. They had better know what you are about, what you believe—and they had better hear it from your lips in a prayerful and wise presentation‚ rather than from the lying tongues and vile views of our enemies. It's your choice, but it will destroy your work one way and strengthen it the other. You choose how you want your work to continue. Those of you who have so little faith and conviction and are too lazy to put the time and effort into explaining these things to your friends should really check your hearts now. When persecution hits and your friends are reading about you in the papers and finding out more there than they have from you, you will be sorry then.

In summary:

66. (Mama:) Use wisdom‚ prayerfulness, and prophecy, and the Lord will show you what you need to do as a Home to teach your sheep and friends the meaty Family doctrines—and when‚ where, and how. If you're convinced in your heart that you are meant to be a Family member, and you adhere to the Family's beliefs, then trust the Lord to help you present this to your flock at the right time and place‚ because not being willing to teach and preach our radical beliefs is compromise. Or if in evaluating your heart and mind you see that you don't have this kind of faith and belief, then you are free to live another lifestyle, to build your own church that is not the Family church.

67. You can do good works and not be in the Family. You can live a similar lifestyle—teaching Bible classes‚ even building a flock that will support you in your old age, considering the poor, and so forth, without being a Family member and believing in Family doctrines. But if you are a Family member and if you believe in Family doctrines, then at some point in time you have to be prepared to share those doctrines with your friends and to handle the fallout.

68. There is always a place for devoted witnessers and soul winners. There is a big world out there to reach. The Lord appreciates and needs every single person who is preaching His truth and Word, in whatever form. He hasn't asked everyone in the world to believe or teach His meaty and radical doctrines. That is, however, a special calling that He has given the children of David, and if you are in the Family, that is part of your creed. It's your responsibility!

Key promise:

69. Claim the keys of revolution so that you will be humble enough to be a newsboy or newsgirl for Me, willing to proclaim My truth and radical Words in these Last Days!

Dig deeper:

*"Witnessing and Follow–up Pitfalls," ML #3245:57-77, GN 847

*"None of These Things Move Me," ML #3307:132–149, GN 906

*"Coming Persecution?" ML #3361:57-58‚ GN 957

*"Be True to the Revolution," ML #3364:37-122, 162-205, GN 960

*"Putting 'Skin' on Sin," ML #3453, "Addressing the Follow-up Shepherds," pages 18-21, GN 1038

Challenging Thot:

70. (Dad:) The ranks of the Family must be strong‚ radical, believing, receiving, and revolutionary! Your sheep and friends and potential disciples who are made of the "right stuff" should thrive on the new, different, odd, unique, and even crazy "strange truths" from the spring of God's Spirit! The spiritual "sea horses," "shellfish," and other "creatures" that make the Family unique are for a purpose—to keep us called-out, separate from the world, and ensure that we remain a Gideon's Band.


71. (Dad:) The Lord is in control! This is His work! Don't ever forget that! The moment you start thinking it's you‚ and how great you are, and how you are winning so many people to the Lord, and how you are making your work something, watch out! The Lord will knock you flat on your back and take it all away so you'll see Who is really Boss, Who is really in charge! Let me tell you‚ beloved, you don't want to be in the seat of arrogance when the Lord comes knocking! It's a hard and sad and painful road to go down‚ and the Lord will have to take it all away to teach you a lesson, so you see Who is really the One Who is doing all of this.

72. Don't let your pride destroy your work for the Lord. And don't think it won't happen to you or in your area‚ because the Lord is no respecter of persons. It doesn't matter who you are, if you get lifted up in pride and start thinking you know better, the Lord will set you straight. Amen? Don't let it happen to you!

[End of box]

Bible Knowledge

The issue:

73. (Mama:) Because some of our children and young people don't have as good a foundation of Bible knowledge as they should—and I've heard from some of you who feel that they are completely lacking in this regard—some people are wondering if this is the fault of all of the New Wine they receive on a regular basis, and if we should downplay the importance of the Letters and new Word for the children and young people in order to strengthen their basic Bible foundations.

God's mind on the matter:

74. (Jesus:) The Bible is the basis of Christianity! It is Christian history, and it contains the foundation of all the basic spiritual principles of living for Me. So, of course your children and young people need a good foundation of Bible knowledge! In fact, it's the responsibility of you parents and teachers to see that they get it. It's important for their spiritual life, it's important for their sample as Christians and disciples, and it will aid them in being better witnesses for Me.

75. But don't fall for the Devil's lie that some of your children or young people's Bible foundations are shaky because of the New Wine. That's not the case at all. If their basic spiritual foundation, including their basic Bible knowledge, is weak, that's not the fault of the New Wine. It's the fault of you parents and teachers, if you failed to give them sufficient training in this area of their lives. The New Wine—and the New Wine pubs for young people and children—are not the cause of a faulty foundation. The New Wine strengthens their foundation, adds to their spiritual stature‚ and gives them My fresh Words for today!

76. Your children and young people need to know their Bible‚ at least generally. They should know where to find the major stories in the Bible, and they should be pretty familiar with the New Testament‚ in particular the Gospels and Acts. They should also commit to memory all of the verses in the Memory Book and know some of the key chapters—such as 1 Corinthians 13, some of the Psalms, etc.—or be working toward this goal. They should be familiar with the Endtime prophecies in Daniel and Revelation and elsewhere. But they don't need to know the Bible like the back of their hand in order to have a good foundation. They need to know the basics and have the basic verses memorized, but they don't need to be Bible scholars.

77. Young people and children are sponges for information—and the younger they are, the more they can take in and learn. They definitely have the capacity and aptitude to learn all they need to from the Bible—their basic knowledge‚ as well as memory of the important verses and chapters—as well as keep up with the New Wine pubs for today, including their memorization of the key promises. There's no need to downplay the New Wine for today in order to strengthen the young people and children in their Bible knowledge. They're more than able to handle both the Old Wine and the New Wine—if you pour both into them.

78. Feeding your children and young people only the New Wine to the neglect of their Bible foundation isn't going to work, but neither will focusing solely on the Bible to the neglect of the New Wine. Downplaying the new Word for today will only weaken your children and young people, not strengthen them. They need a good balance in their Word intake and spiritual strengthening, and you parents and teachers are responsible to ensure that no aspect of their spiritual foundation is neglected.

In summary:

79. (Mama:) Our children and young people need a good, basic foundation of Bible knowledge and they need the New Wine for today. Those of you who need to dust off your Bibles and take a refresher course on Bible knowledge—or put your children or young people through such a course—should do so. But in the process, don't neglect the GNs and the New Wine pubs for yourself or your children and young people. The New Wine, God's Word for today, is a big part of their strengthening—as well as yours.

Key promise:

80. Through the power of the keys you will have the faith to give your children the spiritual input, Word, and truth that they need for the present and to equip them to fulfill their future destiny.

Dig deeper:

*"The Monster," ML #175:16,18-20‚22–23, Vol.2

*"Old Bottles," ML #242:38-39,42,47–49‚ Vol.2

*"War and Peace," ML #255:41-45, Vol.2

*"Grace vs. Law," ML #635, DB 1

*"Bible Basics‚" ML #1381:7–9,35-37, Vol.18

*"David-Daniel," ML #1501:2-5, 11-14, 69-72‚ GN Book 7

*"We're Still the Jesus Revolution," ML #1592:1-6, DB 2

*"Forget the Past," ML #1598, DB 2

*"Don't Forget All the Past," ML #1691, DB 2

Challenging Thot:

81. (Dad:) The New Wine is what the Family needs, probably even more than the Bible. The Letters are what make the Family different. Naturally, you of today's generation have more New Wine than ever, because the Lord has finally found a group of believers who really believe in hearing from Him today. He's thrilled and excited and is pouring out volumes from Heaven like never before, because He's got those who will not only receive and listen, but who are willing to act on His Words!

Family Reunions

The issue:

82. (Mama: ) Big family reunions seem to be pretty popular these days. Sometimes they become expensive extravaganzas and endeavors, and appear to be promoting an overemphasis on flesh family ties. Some family reunions have even been a hodgepodge of all kinds of people—full-fledged Family members, former members, System relatives, and even antagonistic ex–members. Certain people feel that such family reunions are vitally important, but overlook the fact that in some cases they might not be bearing the best fruit‚ or may even be bearing very bad fruit, especially if such reunions are going to weaken or be a drain on those who are in the Family, because of the added element of relatives who aren't supportive of—or in some cases are trying to actively tear down—their service to the Lord.

God's mind on the matter:

83. (Jesus:) I am grieved that many of these reunions—some of them taking place on a regular basis—have become an open avenue and platform for the Enemy's propaganda and attempts to derail My children through disgruntled ex-members and apostates. Many of these reunions have continual sad spiritual fallout, and yet that sense of responsibility and compulsion to continue such reunions remains strong. My children have not weighed the fruits according to My standards and My Word. Their measurement has been a fleshly one rather than a deeper spiritual weighing and evaluation.

84. It's a sad tale that many Family members have partaken of this worldly need to have frequent reunions—without knowing My mind and without confirming their plans sufficiently with Me. They have fallen prey to this worldly mindset and inordinate need and desire for the constant bonding and strengthening of the ties of the flesh. Beware, for this has become yet another tool in the Enemy's hands in his constant attempts to pull you off the wall of My service. He will use anything, and he has found the ties of the flesh—the emotional attachments and feelings of responsibility—a particularly effective tool with many, even My Own.

85. This worldwide System promotion of the family unit and family values is another ploy and tool of the Enemy to accomplish his evil purpose and plan. He's working on a subtle agenda to strengthen fleshly bonds and ties in an attempt to thwart My plan of calling out disciples from all nations and families, and raising up a strong Endtime army and One Wife Family who are prepared to love and follow Me above all else this world has to offer. His is an attempt to lift up the fleshly family unit and strengthen these ties of responsibility in an attempt to tear down and break apart My design of the greater Family unit.

86. I am the promoter and giver of love, and have given you parents, loved ones, sisters, brothers and children. But still, as one of My disciples‚ even these cannot be placed above and before My will in your life and following My call and what I know is best for you. I am amassing, restructuring, and outfitting My army of the future, and that army is made up of individuals. Those individuals are frequently "broken pieces" of a personal family unit, just as it was at the very beginning of the Family‚ and since the beginning of time.

87. The Enemy is a counterfeiter, and his goal is always to attempt to delay, hinder, or destroy My plan. His hope is that My children will feel a greater tie and responsibility toward their flesh family and siblings, even at the risk of their own spiritual health, faith, convictions, and service for Me. He's in the business of promoting the sanctity of the flesh above the spirit.

88. Let Me rephrase for you today the principles I gave your Father David many years ago in "One Wife‚" which still stand today: "I do not minimize family ties. But your ties to Me and the larger Family are greater and more important. And when the private family ties interfere with your responsibility toward Me and My service and even your spiritual well-being, they can be readily abandoned for My glory and the good of the Family. I am not forsaking the family unit. I'm just adopting a greater and more important and far larger concept of the family unit and family ties: The totality of the Bride and her marriage to Me‚ the Family and My service!"

89. I give you the same Words I gave My disciples on earth when they questioned Me concerning My Own mother. I replied, "Who is My mother, or My brethren? Whosoever shall do the will of God" (Mat.12:48-50). I didn't mince My Words then‚ and to you, My called-out Endtime disciples, I can do no less. Those Words were a hard saying then, and many were offended, not understanding the principle behind them. The principle was not an easy saying for many then‚ and it's still not an easy one today.

90. This issue of family reunions is one of those commitments I want all My disciples to review and reevaluate. Even the time, energy, and expense you invest in such connecting, bonding, and regular reunions should be brought before Me and seriously reviewed and weighed up in counsel with Me, the Word, and your shepherds.

91. What's your personal commitment in this area of your life? Do you love and value your service to Me more than your feeling of responsibility toward such reunions‚ especially when there are antagonistic ex-member relatives and loved ones present who you know will only infect and pollute your spirit? Are you putting such ties of the flesh above the ties you feel toward Me‚ your Savior and Husband, your greater Family, and your service to Me?

Additional reading:

92. (Mama: ) It's important to hear from the Lord regarding any family reunions or relative visits you plan. But it's even more important that you desperately seek to know the Lord's mind on the matter‚ and solicit godly counsel from your shepherds or those who are strong in the faith, if your get-together involves anyone in your family who is an antagonistic ex-member, apostate, or even simply unsupportive of your decision to be in the Family and serve the Lord. Our Husband made it clear in the message above that He is very often not in agreement with these types of reunions, and you should seriously evaluate whether you should even participate in such a reunion at all—or if you're planning and hosting it, you should reevaluate who should attend.

93. However, there will be times when the Lord will give the green light for a family reunion even when the situation or circumstances are not ideal, or when someone attending is less than favorable. In these situations He wants to be very involved in the details. He wants to give you counsel and instruction on how to make the most out of the reunion, without your faith getting hurt or damaged in the process.

94. The following message is counsel the Lord gave for family reunions or visits that involve unfavorable relatives. But it's only to be applied if you have already prayed, counseled, and heard from the Lord that the reunion is His highest will for you. It's important that you understand that, as otherwise it could seem like the Lord is saying in this message that Family reunions with unfavorable relatives will always be okay if you take the necessary precautions and follow this counsel. But then in the preceding message the Lord is strongly instructing you to be very sure that holding or attending such a reunion is His will‚ and letting you know that the drawbacks very often outweigh the benefits. So what you need to determine first is: Is this reunion or visit God's will? If He does confirm it through prophecy and godly counsel, then the following message holds some important information for you.

95. (Jesus: ) Getting together with your flesh family for reunions or vacations can be part of your testimony and sample of My love. When your family includes those who have left the Family and are perhaps bitter and antagonistic—but yet I have confirmed through the voice of prophecy and wise counsel that it is My will that you spend time fellowshipping with them—it's important to invest some time in prayer in order to plan your get-together.

96. If you pray and ask for My counsel, your reunion will flow much more smoothly. If you simply go ahead with your plan without any safeguards in place when needed, then it could end up spiritually draining and discouraging. At the end of your reunion‚ you could end up in a weakened spiritual condition, battling questions and doubts that could have been prevented, or at least minimized, if you had taken the time to seek Me for My plan for your family reunion. It pays to take some steps in prayer beforehand.

97. In most cases it's My will for you in the Family to stay in touch with members of your flesh family who are no longer a part of the Family—as well as those who were never in the Family. But at the same time it's not My will that you become discouraged as a result of the innuendoes or outright attacks of antagonistic or bitter ex-members or unfavorable relatives. It's not My will that you come to the end of a family reunion feeling heartsick, battling with doubts and questions, and needing to spend days or weeks receiving shepherding to strengthen your faith and put the pieces of your spiritual life back together again.

98. If you've experienced visits with your flesh family or family reunions that had a negative effect on you, then come to Me for counsel about the steps you should take before you plan another visit or reunion. There are practical and spiritual things you can do that will help to make your visits more uplifting and minimize any controversy or debates. If you're going to invest the money and your personal vacation time, you want it to be good for you and something that you enjoy and look back on with good memories. And it can be, in most cases, with My help and the power of the keys‚ and with some planning and preparation.

99. 1) First of all, ask Me if it's My will for you to attend, or host, a reunion. Then, if it is My highest will, ask Me for solid counsel on what to expect, how to handle antagonistic questions from family members, what answers you should give, and what your attitude should be. Being prepared ahead of time and having My counsel under your belt will give you faith and make it much easier for you. You won't be caught off guard and shocked by any attitudes of bitterness, or be hurt by outright attacks on your faith.

100. You need to have My Words in your heart and mind that will give you the conviction and faith to meet any situation and any question. You should be prepared spiritually and know how I want you to handle any potentially difficult situations. If you don't have the conviction and faith you need, it might be wiser not to attend, or host, the reunion until you feel prepared to stand up for your faith.

101. 2) Along with the safeguard of being personally prepared in the spirit before a family reunion, you can put in place safeguards during the reunion that could prove helpful, such as being involved in the planning and decision-making‚ rather than just being swept along and ending up in a situation or place that could make it more difficult for you. Offer to help with the planning‚ to pray about things concerning the location, the timing, the order of events, etc.

102. 3) Prayerfully consider the location of the proposed reunion and whether or not it's a good situation for you. If you don't feel it is, offer another suggestion. If you have to travel and it's too costly to get to the proposed location‚ or too close to a known group of active Family antagonists, or if it means you'll be living with personal family members who are difficult for you to get along with‚ then try to change things before you even get there. Seek Me and I'll show you how to approach it, and what alternative would work better for you—and everyone else involved.

103. You don't want to end up staying with someone who will just berate you the entire time and belittle your service to Me, and your faith and beliefs and convictions. Even if they are your flesh and blood, you're not obliged to live in their house for the duration of the visit. Many family members visit their kin, but don't stay in their house for similar reasons. If they simply don't get along, they opt to stay in a hotel or some other place, and visit throughout the day or evening.

104. If you need someplace to get away from your flesh family, then find a way to make it happen. Ask Me and I'll show you how to do it and what to do. You should not feel obliged to stay with them 24 hours a day. Just explain you need a break, and take off for a few hours, a day, or however long you need, and spend some time alone with Me.

105. 4) Think about what you will do. If your reunion is a long one, it's wise to plan some activities and have some constructive ideas to contribute to an inspiring time together. Ask to be involved with the activity planning, and don't just leave it up to others and flow with whatever they want to do, especially if it means days and days of worldly input. This will only be draining on your spirit, and you will feel less and less inspired to fight for your faith and be a testimony for Me.

106. If you expect the situation to perhaps lean more toward spending lots of time watching movies and TV, going to Disneyland or some other such amusement venue, reading books, drinking alcohol, going to the game arcades or malls or movie theatres—in other words, if the tendency is worldly input and very little Family input—then you need to be prepared with some activities that can bring in a bit of unity, My Spirit, and fellowship. Suggest activities that will promote the unity of your family, even if you have different interests, such as a family history map or tree, a photo gallery, a family reunion video, skits and games, etc.

107. If children are involved, it's a good idea to have activities to keep them occupied and happy. Ask Me for activities and I'll show you what to do.

108. 5) You have a right to give your input and wishes, especially if you expect certain situations to be difficult to handle. It's not unreasonable to make it a stipulation that you will attend on the understanding that your siblings (or your parents, or your children—whatever the case may be) don't try to undermine your faith or use you or treat you as the victim of a cult. There should be an agreement to no verbal abuse of your faith—and vice versa, that you will respect their decisions and won't verbally undermine their personal choices. The purpose of your family reunion should be clear in people's minds—that it's to enjoy each other, to celebrate your family‚ to encourage and love one another.

In summary:

109. (Mama: ) Flesh family reunions can bear good fruit or bad fruit. If they bear good fruit, the Lord allows them as a gift of love to those involved, and they are His will. But if they bear bad fruit and become a platform for tearing down your discipleship life, weakening you spiritually, or watering down your convictions, then the Lord said He is "grieved" with those types of reunions.

110. If you're easily swayed and swept along by your relatives‚ instead of standing up for your convictions and bucking wrong attitudes, then strengthen yourself spiritually before attending a reunion. Strengthen your faith and conviction in the Word and be prepared to give an answer to any man—even your flesh-and-blood relatives. You don't have to change their mind, but you should be able to stand up for your faith in your own heart and mind. You shouldn't leave a reunion questioning your faith; you should have a firm conviction about your faith no matter what anyone says.

111. Your flesh family is important to you‚ and they're important to the Lord. There's nothing wrong with loving your flesh family, being bonded with them, and wanting to spend time with them and have reunions from time to time. But if your ties and responsibilities to your flesh family are stronger and more important than your ties and responsibilities to the Lord and the Family, then something is wrong. Remember that God's call to us as disciples is to put Him first!

112. (Note: While most of the counsel in this section addresses family reunions where there are a variety of different people [some Family, some relatives, and even negative ex-members], there's a lot of counsel within the messages that can be applied to family reunions comprised solely of Family members—the counsel about making sure it's the Lord's will, praying about the details, making the time meaningful‚ etc.

113. (Sometimes you will want to get together and have some fellowship with your flesh family, within the Family, especially if the Lord provides the funds or the opportunity. Of course, such reunions are often more uplifting and aren't draining on your spirit—because you're all Family members. But, nevertheless, it's still good to confirm them with the Lord‚ ensure that it's His will, see if there are any others who aren't a part of your "flesh family" that the Lord might want you to include, and get any counsel He may have for you, etc.)

Key promise:

114. Difficult decisions are made easier when you unlock and unleash the wisdom and insight and foresight of My Spirit through the power of the keys.

Dig deeper:

*"More on the S2K," ML #3262:29-32‚ GN 863

*"Issues, Part 2," ML #3297:66-89, GN 894

*"United Prayer Power," ML #3404:172-181, GN 994

Challenging Thot:

115. (Dad: ) When you want to do something badly, but you're not sure if it's the right thing to do, ask yourself these questions: Is it going to make me into a better disciple or somehow improve my service to the Lord? Is it going to be good for me? Is it going to strengthen my convictions and resolve or weaken them? If finances are involved, is it a wise and worthwhile investment of the Lord's money? Is this the Lord's highest will for me? Will I receive the Lord's full blessings for making this decision, or am I choosing His second best?


The issue:

116. (Mama:) There is a subtle attitude within the Family of unhealthy favoritism toward flesh family members and relatives within the Family—favoritism toward parents, or children, or brothers or sisters, or other flesh relatives. This attitude is usually not intentional, but it exists and has grown to be a problem and a cause of disunity in some Homes.

117. Of course, you naturally spend more time with your flesh family—especially parents with your children—and you will always love them in a very special way. That's not wrong. However, when others in the greater Family, or in your Home, are neglected, or overlooked‚ or their needs aren't being met, or they're being hurt by your overt actions, favoritism becomes a big problem. For example‚ it is not God's will, nor does it build unity and promote the One Wife spirit when families become exclusive and only do things together—with just their own family, or maybe their extended family—but hardly ever think to include anybody else in their Home or area.

118. It's ungodly and not according to the Word when you become so focused on your personal family and relatives to the neglect of others, when you grow selfish and secluded in your personal family's world‚ when you become dull to the needs of others, and when your natural ties with your flesh family grow to the point where they become unhealthy and ungodly and you are no longer aware of your responsibilities to your greater spiritual Family.

God's mind on the matter:

119. (Jesus:) My dear ones, what is My Law of Love? Can you state it? "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart‚ and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40). This is meant to be the guiding principle for all My children, and it is one which you in the Family have embraced as your own and try to live on a daily basis. It is very familiar to you, and I know you wonder why I am repeating this.

120. The reason‚ My loves, is that I want to make sure you understand it so that you can live it more fully. Sometimes you assume that you are living and fulfilling some portion of My Word just because of your very familiarity with it‚ because you know it so well and are living it at least partially. You figure, "Well, of course I'm living the Law of Love. Naturally, I know I could do better, but the Lord doesn't expect us to be perfect."

121. And you're right. I do not expect perfection. I know that you are human and I know the state of man, as well as his heart. But I am sad that you do not seem to understand the Law of Love and be living it as you should, in particular the part that says‚ "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

122. Don't misunderstand Me. I see a measure of obedience to this. I see you trying to love your neighbors in the world by giving them My love. I see you living communally so that you can do this most effectively, and I see you trying to love others in your Home. But I also see much favoritism and partiality that works against and even negates your efforts to love your neighbor as yourself.

123. Are you truly loving your neighbor as yourself? Or are you only loving your mate, your children, your brothers and sisters‚ and your parents as yourself? Your "neighbor" is not just those to whom you preach the Gospel. He or she lives with you in the same Home—the other couples with their children, or the single moms, or the single people. These are your neighbors, those whom I ask you to love just as you do yourself, just as you do your own loved ones—and in fact, like you love Me. This is My second commandment, like unto the first, and on it hangs all the law and the prophets, all My Word.

124. When you so often prefer or favor your mate, children‚ or relatives over others in the Home, then you are not loving those others as yourself. You are being partial in your love, selective in who you care for and are concerned about, just as those in the world are. Be not like the man who asked Me, "Who is my neighbor?" Your neighbors are all who dwell beside you and with you, and I ask you to rid yourselves of partiality and favoritism.

125. Observe the same charge given in My Word to My disciples of old: "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels‚ that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality" (1Timothy 5:21). My love and My wisdom is "without partiality" (James 3:17). I ask you to love one another as I have loved you—without partiality and favoritism. I do not love one above another. All are precious to Me. Be likeminded, having the same love, the same care and concern and kindly affection for others, not just for those of your own flesh and blood.

126. Please do this for My work's sake, for the sake of your neighbor‚ and even for your own sake, that you might live in harmony and love. It is important that the others in your Home feel one with you, loved by you, important to you. You pass on this love and concern to them not just by what you do, but by what you don't leave undone. You manifest your love not just by doing your necessary duty, but by going the extra mile, taking the extra step, making the extra gesture.

127. In other words, dear ones, you don't just show your love for your neighbor by helping to raise support for the entire Home, teaching and caring for the Home's children, cooking the Home's meals, doing the Home's business, or maintaining the Home and caring for its vehicles. These are good steps‚ and I commend you for taking them. I am pleased that you are willing to do so. But in some ways these are your necessary duties, for your neighbors are doing the same for you.

128. Do you go beyond your necessary duty to love your neighbor as yourself, as your own flesh and blood? Do you do things to make them feel loved and important to you, needed and cherished, just as you do your wife and children, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your brother or sister? If you get something or do something special for your children, do you think of the other children in the Home as well? It doesn't take much to make children happy; they appreciate very little things. Do you make that effort and reach out to them? If you're going on an outing with your family, do you think of other families, or of lonely singles? Or, if you're a single, do you reach out to other singles in the Home, or are you just interested in spending time with your boyfriend or girlfriend, your brothers or sisters, or your parents?

129. There are so many things you can do to include others—making a snack for someone else at the same time you make your own, inviting someone to go for a walk with you, getting a prophecy for them when they need comfort or guidance and counsel, and the list goes on and on. You will find a great many examples in the Words of David and Maria, and many admonitions to do these things so that your Homes will be true Homes of love, families of love. I encourage you to read these things, and most of all‚ to do them.

130. For lack of these things‚ there are many in your Homes who languish and feel unloved, unneeded, not cared for, wanted or desired. They, like you, do their part in the Home—the outreach‚ the childcare‚ the business, and all that goes into running your busy Homes. But at the end of the day, or on weekends or during free time, they see others concentrating on their own mates and children, their brothers and sisters, their fathers and mothers, and they feel left out, excluded because they're not your flesh and blood. They are of the same spirit and should be considered your family in spirit, your own husband or wife or child or relative in spirit, but they are not.

131. This is a cause of heartache and heartbreak for many. Although they try to be brave and keep up a good front, I count many tears and catch them in My cup, pouring out comfort and consolation in return. But how much easier it would make My job, dear Family, if you would reach out to others beyond those of your own flesh and blood, to show them your love and My love in the many big and little ways that I have taught you over the years. Then your Home would be one where all feel special and needed, not just a cog in the machinery or an anonymous worker in My fields, one who does his job but who thinks it makes little difference if he's here or there or elsewhere, because who cares anyway? I care, and so should you.

132. Reach out to others to build a true Home of hearts, where all feel needed and special and loved. Love others as you do yourself‚ as you love your own flesh and blood. If you do‚ you'll see new life and growth springing up in those in your Home, unity and harmony will flourish like cherry blossoms in the springtime, and those of the world will be drawn to your love and warmth and wholehearted unity like never before! You'll truly be one body, with each member having the same care for each other, and no schisms and divisions among you. You'll be living My Law of Love as I would have it lived‚ and I'll be proud of you.

133. You can do it, dear ones. You can do anything in the power of the keys. Resist and rebuke the attitude that you can't, that you don't have time, that it's too hard, and that the other person isn't one you get along well with or even like. Just do it, and ask Me to help you like it. Ask Me to change your heart and attitude and personality so it comes more naturally to you. Ask Me to replace partiality or selfishness with impartiality and love. Ask Me to make you a new man or woman, a new creature, with a new heart. I can do it. I want to do it. I will do it.

In summary:

134. (Mama: ) It's natural for your personal feelings and love for your flesh family and loved ones to be strong and extra special. That's nothing to be ashamed of or condemned about. God gave you a personal family, as well as your feelings for them, for a reason. The Lord doesn't want you to put your personal family in a lesser place or love them any less. But the goal is to be striving to love your greater Family as much as you love your relatives and flesh family. You may never reach that goal perfectly, but it's what you should be aiming for‚ and you start by extending the borders of your tent to include others in your circle of love‚ according to the Lord's plan for you.

135. It's human nature to be private and exclusive and to get focused on your personal family's needs, but the Lord can give you the supernatural love you need to grow to be as giving, loving, and unselfish with those in our greater Family as you are with your own personal flesh family. This kind of love is what He will bless beyond measure—and the blessings will benefit you‚ your personal family, and your greater Family! Everyone will be happier as a result.

Key promise:

136. The supernatural love and unity that I will give you through the keys of camaraderie will transcend the boundaries of the flesh.

Dig deeper:

*"One Wife," ML #249:22-26‚ Vol.2

*"Love Is the Answer," ML #1396:12-19, GN Book 18

*"The Need for More Affection in Our Homes," ML #2857, DB 11

*"Family Discipline Guidelines," ML #2919:101-104, Lifelines 21

*"Libby's Homegoing," ML #2936, DB 12

*"The Summit '96 Letters, Part 1," ML #3063:86-92‚ Lifelines 23

*"Living the Lord's Law of Love‚ Part 5," ML #3205:117-133, GN 808

*"Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 7," ML #3207:112, 145–146, GN 810

*"Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 11," ML #3211:49-93‚ GN 814

*"Jewels on Comparing," ML #3326:82-84, GN 932

*"Partiality and Favoritism," Word Topics

Challenging Thot:

137. (Dad: ) Anyone can love‚ care for, and feel responsible for their own flesh and blood. Even those in the System do that. But it takes the supernatural Spirit of God and the power of Heaven's love to help you to care for your spiritual Family with that same measure of concern and responsibility. It's not normal in the world to have this kind of love that overlooks physical boundaries, but it must be a way of life for God's children!

First Place

The issue:

138. (Mama: ) In the early days of the Family, a lot of people didn't have much contact with their System relatives. This didn't always bear the best fruit‚ and in some cases backfired and was a very bad reflection on the Family when members weren't wise and prayerful and loving in their interactions with their System relatives.

139. However, today it seems that the pendulum has swung way far over to the other extreme. Many Family members are overly concerned about pleasing their System relatives, to the point of putting their wants and desires above the Lord's will and desires. Some people's ties with their System relatives are so strong that they end up compromising—in big and little things—in order to keep their relatives happy, receive their approval, or keep the "flesh family bond" strong. Another problem is that obligations to System relatives can become so important that they overshadow time spent fellowshipping with or meeting the needs of their spiritual Family.

God's mind on the matter:

140. (Jesus:) I must be your First Love. What does that mean? Does it mean you spend time with Me? Yes. Does it mean that you draw help and strength from Me? Yes. Does it also mean that whatever I say to you holds highest priority in your mind and heart?

141. You say I'm your First Love and I hold first place in your heart. But, "What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" (1Samuel 15:14). Your words of praise to Me do not show what is in your heart in its entirety. What shows what you truly believe and feel are your actions. Am I in first place only as long as some other person you love doesn't disagree with what I have told you? Is My Word the truth, but only if it doesn't contradict the opinions of someone you want to please?

142. When I said that I am a jealous God and will have no other gods before Me, did that mean even parents, children, relatives, the opinions of others, and the monetary gains you stand to get by not standing up for the truth? My loves‚ there are no conditions to total love. You either have Me in first place or you don't.

143. If the opinions of men, even if they are those dear to your heart, alter your convictions‚ then you have not yet put Me in first place in your life. Or you have allowed Me to be pushed out of that place. This is a hard saying for some to bear, and some will go back and walk no more with Me for it. But it is not an option for you to put Me in second, third, or some other place down the line. I will not accept second place. My blessings and your place as one of My disciples cannot go hand in hand with putting others above Me.

144. It's all or nothing. If you place others above Me‚ I will withdraw My blessings and you will lose that which you have made an idol of. If you worship System relatives and deny the truth I have given you for popularity or acceptance or monetary gain, or even because you crave the acceptance of the ones you love, then you have failed in giving Me the place in your heart that I require. Repent and return to your Husband, or all that you have placed above Me will become husks between your teeth.

145. I have been very longsuffering with some who have not valued My love as they should, but now is the day of repentance and I will not tolerate it further. Be warned by the sample of Saul, My loves. He thought he loved Me, but his love for Me was superseded by his love for the praise of man, till he lost his place. And though he often sought forgiveness with tears‚ yet he could not find it, because he would not give Me unconditional first place in his life.


146. (Jesus:) "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Luk.9:23). If you love your System family more than Me‚ you're not worthy of Me. "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Mat.10:37). That's the bottom line. You're not worthy of My love, My care, and My giving to you if you can't love Me and put Me before your System family.

147. By comparison, you must love the one and hate the other! No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other" (Mat.6:24). That's how it works; you must put Me and My work, without a question, before your relatives and System friends, in order to be worthy of Me.

148. You must decide what is more important to you. You cannot serve two masters. That's the bottom line. You cannot serve Me and your System relatives. Period. That's the way it is. Either you love Me all the way or you love them all the way. You cannot give 100 percent to both; you must choose. It will hurt‚ it will be difficult, but that's what it costs to serve Me.

149. You don't need to be unwise and hurtful. But when it comes down to it, you have to take a firm stand for Me and My work and put that above the wants or wishes of your relatives in the System. That's what it means to take up your cross and follow Me. You have to be willing to leave loved ones behind. You have to be willing to "come out from among them and be separate" if you're going to get the job done.

150. Who do you love more? If you love your parents and relatives more than Me, then you are not worthy of Me and the high calling I have called you to. And if you can't separate yourself and "come out from among them," then please go home to them. Go home and devote your time to loving and caring for them. But don't try to do both—it's not possible.

151. You can be loving and sweet, but you must be firm about your commitment to the work and calling I have for you. One or the other must have your complete dedication—not both. Choose this day whom you will serve—your parents, your System relatives‚ or those who are serving Me, following Me, loving Me‚ and doing My service in your Home every day.

152. Your System relatives are not going to make you the revolutionary disciple you need to be. They can help, they can support, but if your relations with them have become unfruitful and are dragging you down and causing you to compromise, then it's time to seriously examine them and consider a break from them.

153. Is your service worth it? Then it's worth that sacrifice. If not, then go home to them and stay close beside them. But don't try to be a completely dedicated and sold-out disciple and the perfect child/sibling as well. It's My way or your relatives' way—you must choose!

In summary:

154. (Mama: ) There's nothing wrong with being in contact with your System relatives. In fact‚ the Lord can use you as a wonderful testimony and witness of His love when you interact with them, and cause you to be a real blessing in their lives. If your contact with your relatives is bearing good fruit, and you're seeking to please the Lord first and foremost in all of your interactions with them, and you're not compromising your convictions for their sake, then it's a good thing. But if you begin to compromise your faith and convictions, or put the wants of your relatives before our Husband's will, or neglect the greater Family and your calling as a disciple—then you're in the danger zone! God won't take second place to anything or anybody!

Key promise:

155. Activate the keys of conviction, and I will realign your priorities and loyalties and give you the strength and faith to keep Me in first place.

Dig deeper:

*"Revolutionary Discipleship‚" ML #1965:1-33, DB 8

*"Goals for 1998‚" ML #3160:176-184, Lifelines 24

*"More on the S2K," ML #3262:24, 25, 29-33, GN 863

*"Understanding Prophecy, Part 2," ML #3304:100-110, GN 905

*"Renewal: The Big Picture‚" ML #3489:68-69, GN 1073

*"The Christian's Relationship to Worldly Society‚" 1-5, Word Basics

Challenging Thot:

156. (Dad:) Jesus said, "Who is My mother or My brethren? Whosoever will do the will of God, the same is My mother, sister, and brother!" It doesn't mean you don't love your flesh family. Of course you do‚ and you always will. But your greatest obligations are toward those who are doing the will of God! That's strong meat! But it's the truth! Can you handle it? Can you believe it? Can you live it?


157. (Dad: ) You've got to recognize compromise as the destructive device of the Enemy that it is! I don't care what your reasons are for wanting to compromise—whether for gain, for approval, to please man, to make others think well of you, for power, for riches, for pleasure, or because you're lazy and can't be bothered upholding the standard. Compromise is never an option!

Hanging Out in the Family!

The issue:

158. (Mama: ) Some people feel that Peter and I are living in a dream world when it comes to the dedication of those within the Family—that we think the majority of Family members are in the Family with their whole hearts and support the direction the Lord is leading us, but that in reality there are a lot of Family members who choose to remain in the Family because they are just comfortable with the lifestyle, even though they don't believe in what the Family stands for. The thinking is that the majority of those in the Family stick around and "endure" because they don't have anywhere else to go—the Family is all they've known their whole life‚ or most of their life—so even though they don't wholeheartedly support everything in the Family, they remain. Thus, Peter and I have the wool pulled over our eyes and don't really know the "inside scoop," the way people really feel.

God's mind on the matter:

159. (Jesus:) This thinking is not only completely inaccurate, but it's also an attitude that tears down personal faith. It's a lethargic, lazy attitude, and you who think this way are probably severely lacking in faith and conviction. You who are of this mind are being lulled to sleep by the Enemy, because in thinking that the Family is full of half-hearts and wimpy people who don't believe and don't have conviction, you then excuse yourself for your own laziness‚ spiritual slothfulness, and lack of conviction.

160. Of course the Family has problems! Of course there are those in the Family who need to strengthen their spiritual lives and solidify their convictions! The whole Family needs to be strengthened! There's no doubt about that. That's what the restructuring of the Family is all about. Mama and Peter aren't living in a dream world, thinking the Family is all white and perfect and holy. They know there are problems, and they're working harder than ever before to do their part to effect change. The notion that they are walking around with blinders on, thinking that everyone in the Family wants to be in the Family, but that in reality the majority hate Family life but just don't have the guts to say so, is also ridiculous!

161. Yes, there are a small handful of people within the Family who really shouldn't be in the Family—they don't believe the Word, they doubt the anointing of their leadership‚ and their hearts are not in the Family. But it's not anywhere near the majority; it's by far the minority. It is often a very vocal minority, however, and they spread their discontent far and wide. In contrast, the great majority of the Family are content and happy, dedicated and loyal, but their positive attitudes don't make news, whereas the negative attitudes of the minority do.

162. For the most part, all of you within the Family are in the Family because you want to be here, you know it's My highest will for you, and you're doing your best to love and serve Me. You're imperfect‚ and there is much room for improvement, as you well know, but your hearts are right and your desire is to please Me and be a part of the Family.

163. It's pretty wimpy to stick around in the Family just because it's a comfortable life! There are very, very few people within the Family who fit into this category. I've weeded out most of those who were "here for the beer." And believe Me, if there are any such people left, they won't want to stick around for much longer. That's because life in the Family is getting pretty uncomfortable—at least for those who are compromised, doubtful, and living in disbelief.

164. The Family is not the place to be if you want a comfortable life. It's the place to be if you know it's My will for you, first and foremost. It's the place to be if you want action and change and freedom, if you want challenge and fulfillment and goals, if you want to be revolutionary and a radical iconoclast, if you want to come out from among the world and be separate, if you want to receive‚ believe, and obey My New Wine for today. The Family isn't a comfortable nest; it's a revolutionary racer, and its engines are revving up for the next big race. Are you with Me?

165. The Family is for the stalwart, the brave, the strong in Me, the fighters and warriors of the spirit, the David's Mighty Men! It's not for the faint-hearted or the wimpy weaklings!

In summary:

166. (Mama: ) The Family is being restructured and strengthened‚ and more than ever the Lord is stressing the importance of each Family member being in His perfect will—in the place of service that you are best suited to and have the faith for.

167. There's plenty of change and progress needed in the Family, as shown by the many GNs you've been receiving lately. And, I'll reiterate that Peter and I appreciate and need to hear from you when you have ideas, suggestions, or even questions, so that we can pray and hear from the Lord about how to improve things within the Family. But there's no point in staying in the Family if you don't agree with its goals‚ believe its doctrines, and know this is the Lord's highest calling for you. "Hanging out" in the Family—in a state of disbelief, compromise, doubt and disobedience—is unacceptable!

168. However, Peter and I believe, and the Lord confirmed in the preceding message that this is not a naïve assumption, that the majority of you are in the Family with your whole hearts. You may have problems, weaknesses‚ or areas in your life you need to work on, but your hearts are with the Family and you believe and receive and live the Lord's Words for today. You don't have to be perfect to be in the Family, but you do have to have conviction that it's where God wants you to be.

Key promise:

169. If you're hanging out in the Family or sitting on the fence‚ claim the keys of conviction to either get with the spirit of the revolution or to move on to a place that is more suited to your level of faith.

Dig deeper:

*"The Action Series, Part 1," ML #3298:77-93, GN 895

*"None of These Things Move Me," ML #3307:213–226, GN 906

*"The Way Things Really Are in WS," ML #3309:28-44, GN 910

*"Heading into 2003, Part 1," ML #3382A:126-140‚ GN 978

*"Pray‚ Obey and Prepare," ML #3420:96-99, GN 1007

Challenging Thot:

170. (Dad:) That's one thing I could never stand—people who sat on the fence, tried to be neutral, or those who were wishy-washy, lukewarm, or dishonest in their convictions. Like I always said, I'd rather the Family was a Gideon's band, with only those who are here wholeheartedly!

(End of File)