KEYWORDS: church, jesus, lord, god, world, system

Shooting Straight, Part 16—Letter Links: The Disease of Churchianity

June 22, 2005

(ML #3542, GN 1139)

FD/MM/FM April 2005

Declaration of Revolution

ML #1336:1–9, DB 1

1. WE BELIEVE WHAT JESUS SAID, NOT JUST WHAT THE PREACHERS SAY! The preachers say, "Go to church on Sunday and don't forget to bring your money!" Jesus said, "Go out into the highways and the byways and compel them to come in!" (Lk.14:23) And He wasn't talking about a building, He was talking about the Kingdom of God!

2. Today's average church preachers say, "Be sure you feed me." Jesus said, "Feed My SHEEP!" (Jn.21:15-17) The average church today says, "Let's build a great building." Jesus said‚ "Go out and make disciples of all nations!" (Mt.28:19,20) The average church today says, "Let's organize a big denomination." Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them." (Mt.18:20)

3. The average church today says‚ "Be good! Go to church and you're a Christian!" Jesus said‚ "He that keepeth My commandments, he it is that loveth Me." (Jn.14:21) They asked‚ "What are the greatest commandments?" He said, "To love God and love thy neighbor as thyself." (Mt.22:37-39)

4. I'M HERE TO START A REVOLUTION! I'm here to turn that System upside down and do what Jesus did, and show you what real Christianity is and what real religion is! And it's not going to church on Sunday!

5. In fact, the church today is about as far away from what Jesus preached as Capitalism is from Communism! Jesus never said to build one single building and He never said to go to church on Sunday!

6. He just said, "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself, and get out and tell'm all about it! GO!" "Pray the Lord of the harvest that He shall send forth laborers into His harvest, for His harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers, the workers, are few." (Mt.9:37,38) But the church's buildings are full of a bunch of benchwarmers!—No workers, no laborers, a bunch of pew-sitters! Pew! Pew! They've sat there so long they stink!

7. I'm here for REVOLUTION!—The RIGHT kind.—Not violence, not guns, not swords, not that kind of revolution, but a Revolution by the Sword of the Spirit! (Eph.6:17) This Sword doesn't kill, it gives eternal life! And that's the only kind of revolution that's going to work and last and accomplish anything that really means anything.

8. So TUNE IN with the Word of God, Jesus Christ, TURN ON to the power of the Spirit‚ and DROP OUT of the traditions and the folderol that has nothing to do with Christianity whatsoever, and get out and love one another and feed My sheep!—That's what Jesus did!

9. JESUS WAS A REVOLUTIONARY! Jesus rebelled against the status quo.

Expensive Bargains

ML #1401‚ DB 1

1. THE CHEAPEST THING IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST THING. Bargains frequently aren't worth it and may turn out to be a bigger gyp than the higher–priced real thing. You may even get less than what you paid for in buying a bargain. You may have paid less for it but gotten very much less than if you'd paid a little more and gotten quality!

4. IT REMINDS ME OF WHAT MY MOTHER USED TO SAY ABOUT BARGAIN COUNTER RELIGION: IT DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING. David said, "I will not give unto the Lord of that which hath cost me nothing." (2Sam.24:24) His religion had to cost him something, it had to be worth something.

5. MOST CHURCHES THAT I KNOW OF ARE GYP JOINTS where they're claiming to sell the people valuable goods, worth something that's going to get'm to Heaven, when actually it's a gyp! But the people are willing to buy it because it doesn't cost them very much, it doesn't require much sacrifice!

6. They can go and selfishly live for themselves and never witness, never help others, never help the missionaries, never really give, never really do anything for the Lord, living completely for themselves and for Mammon and giving virtually 99% of their time to their own selfish pursuits and maybe giving less than 1% of their time to the Lord!

7. They figure, "That's pretty cheap religion, doesn't cost me very much. Doesn't cost much of my time, I don't have to pay much money for it‚ and yet it looks grand and great!" They go to a pretty building and they have pretty services, and they think they're getting a bargain because it costs them so little!

8. AND OF COURSE THE WORST GYP IS BARGAIN SALVATION THAT DOESN'T SAVE YOU and you wind up in Hell when you thought you'd paid your way to Heaven, like a lot of these religionists.—Whether they pay with money or penance or church-going or whatever.

9. It cost a priceless gift to get saved, and that was Jesus and His blood, and receiving Him for your salvation is the only thing that's going to save you. That's the highest-priced gift anybody could ever receive, the highest cost anybody could pay for your salvation, and only Jesus could do it. Anything less is bargain counter religion that won't save you, and is not even worth what you pay for it!

10. No matter how much you sacrifice and pay for it by your own works, it's cheap, it's too cheap, because you won't get the real thing, and you'll wind up in Hell after all your hard work and all your sacrifice and all the cheap price you paid for it. It still wasn't enough, for only Jesus could pay for it, because the price was too high for you.

11. It applies to everything.—No matter what field of life, don't trust bargains. They may not even be worth what you pay for them, especially if they're worth nothing, like bargain counter salvation, which isn't salvation at all!

12. A LOT OF EX-FAMILY MEMBERS FIGURE, "Why should I pay so much for my religion and have to give up my whole life, forsake all for Jesus and live like a foreigner and a stranger in a strange land?

13. "Why should I pay such a big price for my religion when I can go home and have a nice comfortable job, comfortable home, fancy appliances, new car, and live comfortably and go to church an hour a week? I'm getting by cheap! It's costing me very little and I'm reputable in the eyes of the community. Easy believism, easy religion!"

14. But they're going to find out when they get to Heaven that it was pretty costly!—Very costly!

15. We give everything we've got but we're going to find out that that was really a pretty cheap price to pay for the reward we're going to get! So we're the ones who are actually getting the bargain! By giving our all we're going to get everything. They're giving almost nothing and that's just what they're going to get!

18. TIME WASTED IS GONE FOREVER, and though it was easy to waste, it can be pretty expensive. Time well-spent may have cost a lot in effort and strength and sacrifice and love and whatever, but when we see what our reward is going to be even here and now as well as hereafter, it's a bargain.

19. We may find out that a lot of the stuff we did and the time we wasted was no bargain. We paid several times what it was actually worth for that pleasure or that time wasted, it was pretty expensive. And this religion some of our backsliders have, when they find out how much they're losing by this easy religion, they're going to find out it was pretty expensive religion!

20. Whereas the people like you and me for whom it has cost everything, when we see what we're going to get in return‚ are going to figure, "Wow, what a bargain! We gave everything‚ but what we're getting in return is worth so much more than everything we could possibly give!" That's what I call a bargain!—When you get back a whole lot more than you paid for! Amen?

Churchianity Today

ML #1964, DB 8

1. JESUS CHRIST NEVER, IN THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT, EVER SAID TO GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY! But that's the first commandment and the cardinal primary law of so-called Christianity—or what I call Churchianity—today: "Go to church on Sunday!" If you obey that one law, it doesn't matter what else you do during the rest of the week! It doesn't matter how you treat your wife or children or neighbors, or if you cheat at business, or whatever you do!—As long as you go to church on Sunday you have fulfilled the major law of the church and they will forgive you for anything else, particularly if you put enough money in their waste basket or "offering plate"!

2. THE CHURCH SYSTEM OF TODAY, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO PAY THE PRICE OF OBEYING GOD and FOLLOWING HIS WAY, HAS BEEN DECEIVED into thinking that their own way is right! The Bible says, "Because they received not the love of the truth, for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie!" (2Thess.2:10‚11) You have to believe something, so if you don't believe the truth, God will let you believe something else.—And if it's not the truth, it must be a lie!

3. SINCE THEY WERE NOT WILLING TO REALLY FORSAKE ALL TO FOLLOW JESUS and GIVE THEIR LIVES TO REACH OTHERS WITH HIS LOVE, they cooked up church buildings and church attendance instead, something Jesus never advocated or said to do! They first got into this "Churchianity" rut way back in 222 AD in Rome, when they cleaned out an old pagan temple and put up new idols and new pictures and a new priesthood and called it "Christian"!—A sad day for the church! Up until that time they were doing a pretty good job, but that first church building was the beginning of the end of their effectiveness and obedience to God!—And they've been in the same rut ever since!

4. WHY DID THE CHURCH REVERT TO TEMPLE WORSHIP BACK THEN IN THE ROMAN ERA?—It was a trick of the Devil to get them back into ancient place-worship, that you've got to have a certain place and a certain building in which to worship. Why?—Because this would put God and His message in a closed box‚ within four walls and under the roof of a building, and keep it there, instead of out where it's needed, where Jesus preached it and where He told His followers to take it!

5. I AM CONVINCED, THEREFORE, THAT THE CHURCH BUILDING SYSTEM IS OF THE DEVIL, because while the churchy Christians have been spending billions of dollars on church buildings and temples throughout the ages, they have let the unsaved Gospel–ignorant peoples of the world go to Hell! Jesus said to "lift up your eyes and look on the fields"—of this world, of the souls that need the Gospel—"for they are ripe and ready to be harvested". And He said that we should "pray the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into the harvest." (Jn.4:35; Mt.9:37,38)—But the churches have put barn-building first, and have built big fancy barns where they sit around singing songs, having ceremonies and praying that the stalks of grain will walk in to them!—Instead of getting out into the fields to witness and reap and preach the Gospel as Jesus commanded!

6. AND THEY'RE STILL BUILDING GREAT TEMPLES OF WORSHIP‚ WASTING MILLIONS and BILLIONS OF DOLLARS that could be used to feed the hungry and clothe the poor and give them the Gospel! They're letting the rest of the world starve without food and be damned without salvation, without the Gospel, because they want a prettier church building, more beautiful stained-glass windows, central air-conditioning, hundred thousand dollar organs, etc.!—Not that these things are bad in themselves, but if people are dying of starvation while you're putting silken pads on the pews, something's wrong with your Christianity!

7. IF CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT REACH DOWN INTO YOUR POCKET, if the love of Jesus Christ doesn't cause you to share what you have with those in need, then it is false Christianity! I'll never forget the time I was with a little group of tourists in Mexico City at the famous Shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, a religious statue that is supposed to be one of the most costly in the world, encrusted with diamonds, rubies, pearls, gold, etc. It's supposed to be one of the most expensive icons in the world and this tour guide was bragging about how wonderful it was and how many millions of dollars it was worth‚ and so on.

8. OUTSIDE THE HUGE CATHEDRAL THERE WERE THRONGS OF POOR HUNGRY PEOPLE, DRESSED LITERALLY IN RAGS, crawling up the huge stairway on their bare and bloodied knees, to get into the church to confess their sins and adore the statue. The guide was going on and on about how valuable this statue was, and finally I just couldn't take it anymore and I piped up and said, "Well then why the Hell don't you sell her and give the money to these poor people to feed them?!" They immediately called the cops, "You're disturbing the peace!"—And I had to run and go hide in the restroom! Apparently that was dangerous doctrine to these "Christians," to share their wealth with the poor!

9. JUST THINK OF ALL THE PEOPLE WHO COULD HAVE USED THE BILLIONS THAT THE CHURCHES HAVE WASTED ON THEIR FANCY BUILDINGS with cushioned pews and stained-glass windows and lovely pipe organs and ornate pulpits so they could lull the people to sleep with lovely Sunday morning lullabies!—So many of those churches were built with the blood and sweat and tears of the poor! Personally, I'd rather have my church out on the grass under the trees before I'd rob the poor to build it!—After all, that's where Jesus met with His flock!

10. SO I BELIEVE CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE OF THE DEVIL and THE CURSE OF SATAN and a distraction from the main job Christians have, which is to get out and be missionaries and evangelize the world! God never once said to build church buildings! He never once said to establish big fancy Bible colleges and seminaries! He never once said to build great and costly cathedrals! He simply said to "go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!" (Mark 16:15)

11. ALL THE GORGEOUS CATHEDRALS and SYNAGOGUES and MOSQUES and TEMPLES and ALL THE REST ARE NOTHING BUT EMPTY SHELLS! They are not the houses of the Lord, they're not the temples of God! The only temple God has today is the human heart!—Your heart, my heart and the hearts of all those who know and love Him!—That's where He dwells! If Christians would just read their Bibles they'd see that "God dwelleth not in temples made with hands!" (Acts 7:48) He dwells in life! He dwells more in one little sparrow than He does in all the damn cathedrals and empty, lifeless church buildings put together!

12. SO TEMPLE-WORSHIP, PLACE-WORSHIP, CHURCH BUILDINGS and CHURCH-BUILDING and CHURCH–WORSHIP, WHICH HAS BECOME THE FOUNDATION OF THEIR CHRISTIANITY‚ IS A FALSE DOCTRINE! I would even call church-building and church-attendance a false cult!—Literally!—Because it's not true Christianity, it's not genuine Christian faith and religion or practice! Sitting around in church buildings once a week singing hymnal lullabies and litanies to lull themselves to sleep is not Christianity!—It is the false cult of Churchianity!

13. THE BIGGEST DECEIT THE DEVIL EVER BROUGHT UPON CHRISTIANITY WAS THAT THEIR FAITH COULD BE UPHELD BY BUILDING BUILDINGS and ATTENDING THEM! THIS IS CHURCH-WORSHIP!—NOT WORSHIPPING GOD, BUT WORSHIPPING THOSE BUILDINGS! That's literally what the Christians worship! Who are they serving when they're spending billions of dollars on church buildings? They think they're serving God, but they're actually serving those buildings!—And in so doing, in serving the material‚ they're serving the god of the material world‚ and that's the Devil! They think they're serving God, when by not obeying the Lord and getting out into the whole world and preaching the Gospel and witnessing and winning souls, they are trapped in the Devil's own church trap!

14. THEIR FORM OF CHRISTIANITY HAS BECOME NOTHING IN THE WORLD BUT A FALSE CULT OF CHURCHIANITY! By their false faith in this false cult of Churchianity, they have rejected the truth and accepted this lie of Churchianity instead of true Christianity‚ which is being born-again and filled with the Spirit and going out into the whole world to preach the Gospel!

15. IN FACT, THE DAMNED DELUSION OF CHURCHIANITY and ITS CHURCH BUILDINGS and CHURCH SERVICES and SO–CALLED CHURCH WORSHIP IS SO DANGEROUS and DECEPTIVE THAT JESUS CONDEMNED IT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE! If you don't believe it, just read the 23rd chapter of Matthew and see what He had to say about the religious system of His day! The only people Jesus ever called names and said the most horrible things He could think of about and practically cursed were not the poor drunks who drank, nor the hard-working harlots who prostituted themselves, nor the tax collectors who robbed the people, nor the sinners who did everything else in the book.—But the ones He cursed and damned and publicly condemned and exposed were the damned hypocritical religious leaders of the hellish religious system of His day!

16. WHY?—BECAUSE THE GREATEST DANGER IS THAT WHICH PRETENDS TO BE WHAT IT'S NOT!—Pretends to give salvation but does not, pretends to save the damned but does not, pretends to offer Heaven but sends them to Hell! Jesus Himself said, "If the light that's in thee be darkness‚ how great is that darkness!" (Mat.6:23) It's the most horrible darkness of all when you think it's light, but it's really black darkness! It's the most horrible heinous lie and delusion of all to think you're saved, when you're really damned! And that's what the Church System is teaching its poor pitiful victims: That they're saved just because they go to church on Sunday morning and help to build a building!

17. I BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT THE CHURCHES HAVE SENT MORE PEOPLE TO HELL THAN ANYTHING ELSE in this world, because of their God-damned counterfeit religion and their God-damned hypocrisy! Most folks cannot help but identify God with the hypocritical religious systems which were supposed to be teaching them about Him. So when they become embittered against the religious system, they usually become embittered against God Himself!—"Because," they say‚ "if that's what God's like, I don't want anything to do with Him!" So it's a hell of a system!—God damn it!

18. THE COMMUNISTS ARE ONLY TOO RIGHT WHEN THEY SAY THAT RELIGION IS THE OPIATE OF THE PEOPLE. The kind of religion they have seen is exactly that—a horrible drug which puts them to sleep, makes them oblivious to the conditions around them, lethargic and senseless to the needs of mankind. There's only one thing worse than a drug addict, and that's a System addict!—And that kind of systematic religion is an opiate! It just drugs them and puts them to sleep, makes them like a bunch of zombies walking around with their eyes shut and their ears shut and their mouths shut!

19. THAT DAMN CHURCH SYSTEM HAS GIVEN LAZY CHRISTIANS AN EXCUSE TO IGNORE CHRIST'S CALL TO SERVICE, His admonition to love God with all their hearts and to love their neighbors as themselves, because they are satisfied with just sitting in their pews a few hours or a few minutes a week on Sunday morning: "Let the preacher do the job!—Let the missionaries do the job!—That's what we pay them for! We'll live our own lives as we please all the rest of the week, live selfishly for ourselves and our own families and our own homes and our own jobs and our own money and our own luxuries, and let the rest of the world go to Hell as far as we're concerned!"—That's how they think and live!

20. "OH, WE'LL GIVE A FEW PENNIES TO THE MISSIONARIES and we'll give quite a few dollars to our church and its pastor for our beautiful building and his lovely sermons that tickle our ears on Sunday mornings and all this gorgeous music and choir singing and comfortable cushioned pews in such a heavenly, air-conditioned atmosphere‚ but we're certainly not going to waste much of our money on the heathen, the foreigners, the pagans and unsaved in far-away lands that we don't even know anything about!" In fact, most churches only give about 5% of their entire income to foreign missions and the poor missionaries, who are really the ones who are doing the biggest job of all that God has called us all to do!

21. IS THAT CHRISTIANITY? How like the Bible are such churchy Christians? How like Jesus are they? Are they following the teachings of Christ?—Huh? What the Hell is the matter with them? Jesus said to the religious leaders of the churches of His day, "By your traditions of men‚ your own laws, you have made the laws of God of none effect!" (Mark 7:9,13) In other words, He said that by their churchy laws they defy the laws of God!—And that's exactly what the Church System and its Systemites have done today!

22. THEY ALL HAVE SECULAR JOBS and THEY'RE ALL MORE INTERESTED IN MAKING MONEY THAN IN ANYTHING ELSE! They work six or more days a week for themselves and for the Devil, and then they pat themselves on the back for coming and listening to a little sermon for perhaps one hour each week!—Is this loving God? Is this giving all to follow Jesus?

23. 99% OF THE CHRISTIANS IN THE WORLD GO HOME AFTER SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE and PAT THEMSELVES ON THE BACK and say, "I've done my little duty for God! I made a real sacrifice today coming here for an hour‚ or an hour and a half. I'm a good boy, I'm a good girl, I really paid for this! I came along and put my 10 cents or my dollar in the waste basket!

24. "I DROVE ALL THE WAY TO CHURCH IN MY NICE BIG CAR. I dragged myself out of bed this morning instead of watching my favorite TV show. I sat on this nice cushioned pew in the air-conditioning and bore with that lovely pipe-organ music and lovely songs, and I stood that ten minute sermonette, all for God. And then I was real religious when the pastor had them pass the plate!—I really sacrificed! Out of my whole week's salary of 200 to 1,000 dollars, I put in one whole dollar, or even five, or maybe even ten!" In fact, when they put in a ten, they go home feeling like there's a halo around their head, that they're an absolute saint, a real supporter of the Kingdom!—Ha!

25. AND THAT IS WHY THE MODERN CHURCH SYSTEM IS SUCH AN ABOMINATION TO GOD, because it's such a horrible substitute for reality, such a damn counterfeit‚ such a subtle deception! It is a "form of godliness, but without the power thereof." (2Tim.3:5) It is a low-cost religion‚ cut-price religion, bargain-counter religion‚ 10% or less instead of 100%, for those who want a fire escape but don't want a ruler!—Who want a Savior, but don't want a Lord!

26. THE CHURCH DIDN'T START OUT THAT WAY, by inviting the sinners into fancy buildings to have a meeting! It started out with twelve motley-looking beggars hoofing it on the dusty roads with their dirty feet out amongst the sinners where they were taking them the Word in person, and they had no place to take them to but Jesus! Yet the preachers today say, "Come to church on Sunday‚ and don't forget to bring your money!" Jesus said, "Go out into the highways and the byways and compel them to come in!" (Luke 14:23)—And He wasn't talking about coming into a building, He was talking about coming into the Kingdom of God, into the Love of God!

27. JESUS SAID, "YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS," for each one will want all of your time and devotion! "You're going to love one and hate the other," one way or the other! You cannot do both! "You cannot serve God and mammon!" (Mat.6:24) But they insist that they can somehow work for the Devil six days a week and still be a Christian on Sundays! That's a lie!—And it makes God sick to His stomach—lukewarmness!

28. HE SAYS, "I KNOW THY WORKS, THAT THOU ART NEITHER COLD NOR HOT: I would thou wert cold or hot! So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth! Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable‚ and poor, and blind, and naked!" (Rev.3:15-17)—What a picture of "Churchianity" today!

29. IT'S THAT SICKENING LUKEWARMNESS THAT MAKES CHURCHIANITY SUCH A DAMNABLE DECEPTION and SUCH AN ACCURSED COUNTERFEIT!—Because it puts'm to sleep and doesn't wake them up‚ like dousing them with either hot or cold water would! Even a completely cold unsaved person, like the publicans and sinners and drunks and harlots that Jesus dealt with‚ knows he needs something. But the lukewarm Scribes and Pharisees thought they were rich and increased with goods and had need of nothing, and therefore rejected Jesus and His liberating doctrine of love and wound up crucifying Him for exposing their hypocrisy!

30. I'M NOT SAYING THE CHURCHES HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING GOOD.—They've at least kept alive the memory of Christ and gotten some people to think about God once a week for a few minutes, and sometimes they give to some worthwhile cause, welfare or charity. Some have even promoted and supported a few missionaries to do the job that all Christians are supposed to do, and that is to preach the Gospel to the lost! (Mk.16:15)

31. THEY ARE NOT ALL HYPOCRITES.—Just like in Jesus' day‚ there were many sincere Jews, many sincere believers within the religious system, even a great company of the priests. (Acts 6:7) But it was their self-righteous leaders who were the "wolves in sheep's clothing," the "blind leaders of the blind," that ran the religious system and led their followers astray! (Mt.7:15; 15:14; 23:16,17,19,24‚26)

32. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF SAVED BELIEVERS AROUND THE WORLD WHO LOVE THE LORD and are doing the best they can in spite of the churches.—In spite of how little they've been fed, in spite of how little they've been taught, they love the Lord! And many of them are following Him the best they know how, even in the churches.—I know, I fellowshipped with them for 50 years. That's why I know them so well, including all of their faults and failures and shortcomings.

33. SO WHEN I CURSE THE SO-CALLED CHURCHES AND THEIR PHARISAICAL RELIGIOUS LEADERS, as Jesus did, I'm not cursing the poor pitiful victims of this horrible Churchianity System: I feel sorry for them! Most of them are like spiritually retarded children, whose growth and spirituality have been stunted because the preachers withheld the truth of God's Word from them! The churches have become more like nurseries or hospitals for spiritual invalids, instead of the army camps for the Lord that they should be!

34. MANY OF THEM DO LOVE THE LORD, BUT ARE PITIFULLY TRAPPED WITHIN THE FALSE CHURCHIANITY SYSTEM! So they build those buildings that God never told them to build, make religious organizations that Jesus never intended, and they sit around with pretty little programs and "services" that have nothing to do with Christianity or reaching the world with God's Love!

35. MANY CHRISTIANS JUST SAY, "JESUS HAS CHANGED MY HEART," and YET THEY DON'T CHANGE THEIR LIVES!—They don't "come out of her (Babylon, the whorish anti–Christ System), lest they be partakers of her sins" (Rev.18:4), and forsake that damned‚ cursed System of Mammon worship, anti–Christ education and false churchianity! Anybody who really follows the teachings of Christ—which is what a disciple is, from the Greek word "disciplos" which means a "follower of the teaching"—will be an absolute misfit in this present evil System and an utter revolutionary, a radical, fanatical extremist for Jesus!—If you really believe and teach and do what Jesus and the Apostles did!

36. JESUS SAYS TO HIS DISCIPLES, "SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and all these things"—whatever material things you need—"will be added unto you!" (Mat.6:33) He says, "Don't worry about what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink or what ye shall put on!—Don't worry about all these necessities! But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you!" Just put God's Kingdom first and trust Him to supply all your needs.—In other words, live by faith!

37. "FOR WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, and LOSE HIS OWN SOUL? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36,37) Everything in this life is so temporary! This world is temporary, it's all temporary, temporal, just for a time, that's all!—Everything you can see is temporary. "The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen are eternal!" (2Cor.4:18) So He says‚ "Set not your affection on things on the Earth, but on things above"—the Heavenly! (Col.3:2)

38. WHATEVER THIS LIFE and THIS WORLD HAS TO OFFER, IT'S ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE! But service for the Lord is forever, it's eternal! "For this world passes away and the things thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever!" (1John 2:17)—Hallelujah! So "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For he that loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him!" (1John 2:15)

39. "FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP!" (Gal.6:7) If you sow to the flesh and materialism and the pride of man, you'll reap the decay of the flesh, the destruction of materialism and the final humbling of man! Whereas if you sow to the Spirit, you'll reap life Eternal! If you sow to the Spirit rather than to materialism, you'll sow that which can never be destroyed, the spiritual!

40. ARE YOU COMPROMISING WITH THE FALSE CHURCH SYSTEM? Are you conforming to the damnable commercial system? Are you conforming to and compromising with the hellish, fiendish, Devil's own, Satanic educational System? God says "be not conformed to this world!—But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind!" (Rom.12:2)—"For whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God!" (Jam.4:4)

41. SO "CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE! IF GOD BE GOD, THEN SERVE HIM!" (Joshua 24:15; 1Kings 18:21) Or if Mammon be your god, the lust of riches that never satisfy, then serve him! Or if Moloch be your god, the pompous pride of man's learning and education that is only foolishness to God, then serve him! But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! And if you too want to serve Him, you can come with us, work with us, join us, live with us or help us spread His Love and wonderful Words to a waiting world!

42. WE ARE A MIGHTY ARMY OF CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS FIGHTING A RELENTLESS WAR for the truth and Love of God‚ against the confusion of Babylon, the anti-God, anti-Christ Systems of this world!—Whether godless education, Christless religion, vicious economies or Hellish wars of the traditions, boundaries and prejudices of selfish, greedy and godless man!

43. UNLIKE THE CHURCHES, WE ARE NOT MERE MEMBERS, BUT FULLTIME FIGHTERS!—And we have proven that we can be real disciples and better Christians outside the present corrupt Church System.—That we can still believe and preach and live like Jesus' original disciples and witness and win souls and get the job done like they did, by forsaking all, sharing all, living together, putting God first and spending our full time serving Him and trusting Him to meet all our needs by faith!—Praise God! Why not try it?—It works!

44. ARE YOU WITH US? If not, why not get with it and get with us and help us take the world for Jesus! C'mon!—Let's go!—"Into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature!" (Mark 16:15)

We're One of a Kind

ML #2770‚ DB 11

1. (Mama:) From all that we've heard and read and even seen in the news, there is a lot of activity going on right now with different churches and Christian groups all over the world. At first glance, it could sort of look like System Christianity is really something; it appears to be alive and well and thriving! Big revivals and renewed interest in religion are taking place in the U.S., Britain, Eastern Europe, Brazil, Africa, China and all over the place!

2. Family members who see all of this sort of thing may wonder about it, since Dad has blasted the churches so much for their do-nothing churchianity. Well, for one thing, this big revival of renewed activity among so many churches has happened just recently, it's only in the last few years that a lot of these church people have awakened out of their lethargy. I believe that part of the reason for it is because where "sin doth abound, grace doth much more abound" (Rom.5:20). The world has become so wicked, is getting so bad, the Devil has been having such a heyday, it has awakened a lot of the Christians from their lethargy and gotten them stirred up to at least do something for the Lord.

3. But despite all this renewed activity, all of the churches in the U.S. put together only have about 40,000 full-time foreign missionaries worldwide‚ and it seems the vast majority of these 40,000 do social work rather than evangelize! So few have chosen to make preaching the Gospel in all the world their career! So in proportion, we have many, many more! For the entire U.S., a country of 250 million people, to only have 40,000 full-time foreign missionaries is quite shameful!—Especially when you consider that they're one of the richest countries on Earth, and are supposed to be the most Christian and missionary-minded.

4. Nevertheless, I think we need to be honest and say, "Yes, some of the Christians are doing something now, thank God!"—But we also need to point out how little it is and how lacking they are and also how most of them absolutely fail to relate to the rest of the world.

Showing Our Kids the Difference Between the Churches and Us!

5. (Fam: From the few things I've seen, my feeling is that the church at its best is still much, much worse off than the Family at its worst! A church Systemite is a church Systemite. "They draw nigh to Me with their lips‚ but their hearts are far from me. And by their traditions they make the Word of God of none effect" [Mat.15:6–9]. Even when what they say sounds good, they never seem to have any lasting fruit to back it up. And I think our adults understand that, but I think maybe our kids might need more of an explanation.)

6. If any of our young people are overly impressed with what all of these other Christians are doing, my message to them would be, "Look, there is quite a bit of church activity nowadays, and there are a lot of different church ministries‚ and if you'd rather work with the churches who are fighting and demonstrating against abortion, or you'd rather work with the refugees, or you'd rather work with the migrant workers or who knows what‚ if you want to join those churchy groups, you can. But the thing is, you were born into this Family, and this is what God has called you to. Just the fact that you were born into the Family couldn't be any better proof that God wants you where you are.

7. "And though we may be small, we're a special, elite, highly honored‚ privileged group who may not have much of the world's recognition or credit, but God has said wonderful things about us! And if you'll just hang on, if you'll stick to it, if you'll stay where you are and labor for the Lord where He has placed you, then He is going to do great things with you and for you, and He will reward you wonderfully!

8. "But if you forsake the 'high calling of God in Christ Jesus' which He has given you by placing you in this Family (Phil. 3:14), and you choose to go the route of the compromising churchy Christians‚ you'll probably have to get a System job, which will take up almost all of your time and energy, as is the case with almost all church Christians. They have to spend much more of their time slaving away at their System jobs than the little bit of time that they're able to spend doing anything for the Lord."

9. In some places‚ that's what you kids are going to encounter—a lot of church Christians and groups and programs, many of which will appear on the surface to be very active and on the attack! So I really think that this is something that we need to face, just like we've faced a lot of other things with you. We don't need to try to hide the facts from you; we'd much rather try to get any questions you may have and answer them. I think it's best to address this sort of thing with you.

10. You're probably going to be out witnessing DTD, for example, and you're going to be meeting lots of Christians who are going to be extolling all the virtues of their particular church or denomination, "Oh, I go to so-and-so church‚ and we're doing this and we're accomplishing that, and we just had a huge healing service and there were all kinds of miracles, etc." Or you're going to open the newspaper and see big ads for church rallies and things like that.

11. I don't think the churches and their ministries hold much appeal for our adults at all. And for our kids it probably won't have much appeal either, but it's one of those things that I think we should address so it doesn't allow the Enemy to get any of his doubts in.

12. I just feel that after all that Dad has said against the church system for many years now, all that he has said about what they aren't doing, now that some of them are doing something, now that a few of them are active and showing themselves to be alive, we need to address it. We don't want our kids to doubt Dad and think, "How could Dad be saying this?—These Christians are doing something and a lot of it is good!" By addressing it, it will make them even more convinced that they're in the right place and that they're doing the right thing and that the church system just isn't where it's at!—In spite of how great some of it may be looking now.

13. (Fam: I think we could have our kids read, "Jesus People?—Or Revolution!" [ML #148]. That would be a good pow-wow that could be pretty easily adapted‚ putting the modern evangelical movement of today in place of the Jesus People of yesterday. "But what is behind that front and long hair?"—Or in this case, the churches' somewhat radical stances against some things. It's still the same old lukewarm church!)

The Churches Still Refuse to Give All!

14. Yes, because let's face it‚ they're still not giving their whole lives; they're just giving a little. Well, the Lord will take what you give Him and He'll use whatever you give in whatever way you want to give it. But what the churches are giving is still too little and too late, and it's so sickening, really, because most of them are so wishy-washy and they're so selfish!

15. (Fam: I would venture to say that the appeal that such church groups might have to some of our kids would not so much be that those churches are doing more for the Lord than the Family is, but that these System Christians are supposedly serving the Lord and driving around in their own fancy cars at the same time.) Yes, our kids could get the idea from them that, "You can serve the Lord without having to give up everything and forsake all. Look, we're serving the Lord, and we don't have to work at it nearly as hard as you do! You don't have to go out witnessing all the time! And you don't have to live under all those rules. You can have your own little house and your own little private family and you can do your own little thing.—Just like we do! And you can still accomplish something for the Lord!" Of course‚ they don't tell you how difficult it is to be a slave to a full-time System job or education. And even if they wanted to‚ they wouldn't have time to serve the Lord full-time.

16. Even though some of these churchy Christians are finally starting to wake up and do something for the Lord, when you consider how many of them there are‚ the millions upon millions of church members there are, then you begin to realize that the vast majority of them are still doing nothing!—And that everything Dad has said about the churchianity system is as true today as it ever was!

17. But at least some of them are now starting to do something, which is a lot better than what most of them have been doing, which is nothing! And because of their sheer numbers, their activities—whether protesting and fighting the abortion clinics, helping the homeless, passing out tracts, televangelism, holding prayer rallies, or whatever—are starting to have some impact and effect on the world.—And you're probably going to either see or hear about them.

The Churches' Collective Results, and Our Per Capita Results!

18. Dad has often said that our Family is accomplishing more than any other religious group in the whole world, and that's absolutely true! Dad has also made it clear that the way we're accomplishing more than anyone else in the whole world is per capita. Per person we're accomplishing more than other Christians. And as an organization, we're certainly doing more than any other organization in the world of our size.

19. But if you would take all the rest of the Christians in the world, all of the millions upon millions of them together, of course they can't help but be doing more collectively than we, as a very small organization‚ are doing. We are just a tiny little group in comparison to all of them, almost like the "voice of one crying in the wilderness" (Mat.3:3). But thank the Lord, the world has heard our voice, and the voice of the Lord through our message! And they will continue to hear it even more loudly as time goes on, if we are faithful to fulfill the commission the Lord has given us! Praise the Lord!

Big Differences Between Our Ministry and the Church's!

20. However, our ministry is much different than the ministry of the rest of the Christians. No matter how much some of them may be doing, the Lord has given us a very special ministry of preaching the Endtime message and of showing the world the wonders of the world to come in the Lord's Heavenly Kingdom on Earth! In fact, the Lord specifically told Dad that He had reserved that ministry for us! (ML #1578:13,14).

21. Of course, we have a great advantage over all of the other Christians because God has blessed us with a prophet, His man who gets fresh messages and leadings and revelations from the Lord for us today! We've got the Words of David to feed on and be strengthened by, and to pass on to the world, giving them God's views on all kinds of subjects, and warning them of the coming judgments of God, as well as to prepare them for and inspire them with the wonders and beauties of Heaven!

22. Although most of these other Christians believe that Jesus is coming soon‚ their idea of "soon" is subject to quite a bit of interpretation! Some of them think 20 years, some 30 years, some think much later than that. They don't seem to put it anywhere near as close as we do, neither do they act like it's anywhere near as close as we act, neither do they push it like we do! Some of them believe it, but that's not their main message by any means. And most of them certainly don't live as if they expect the Lord to come back soon!

23. Our message is not only about the Endtime, that Jesus is coming back soon, but our message is also one of practice and of sample. Our sample is our message in some ways. There are very few other Christians in the world who are living together communally and trying to obey and forsake all, have "all things in common."—Very few people. I don't know of any who do it the way we do! I know that there are isolated people here and there who try it‚ but I don't know of any other entire group or organization that does that.

24. Even in years past, when different missionaries tried to band together and live communally on the mission field for the sake of winning the lost, there was usually such serious dissension and disunity among them that their efforts were thwarted. (See "Great Men and Women of God," Part One, page 17-19 about William Carey and the Serampore mission station.)

25. Some missionary organizations have tried communal living in their small way, but it's not one of their main foundations and they don't emphasize it very much, and therefore it's too difficult for them to put it into practice.—And as a result, even their missionary work itself often crumbles and fails.

26. Another major difference between us and almost all the other Christian groups and missionaries is the way we train our children. Churchy missionaries frequently use the need to teach, train and care for their children as an excuse to neglect or abandon their mission fields and the calling the Lord has given them to witness to and win others. Whereas we don't look on our children as a liability to our ministering to others, but as a tremendous asset! Our children play a very important part in our ministry and in our witnessing, probably more than the children of any other religion, any other group in the world!

27. So I would say those are a few of the main differences in our ministry: Our emphasis on the Endtime message, our preaching and showing the world about Heaven, and our sample of full-time forsake-all service and Acts 2:44–45 communal living, which is something that hardly any other Christians do. I think those are some of the main things that make us different from the majority of other Christians.

28. Of course, another very major difference between us and almost all of the other Christians is that we operate and flourish completely outside of the church system.—And this is undoubtedly one of the main reasons that the Lord raised us up in the first place. Our very existence is a strong witness to the world that the church system just isn't necessary! We have proven that loving Jesus and living for the Lord does not have to be equated with being churchy and bound to the church system and all of its traditions and so much that is shallow and hypocritical. We show the world that people can live for Jesus outside of the church system.

29. Another notable difference between us and the churches is our simplicity. Dad has always taught us to put the "doorknob" down low enough that the simplest babe in Christ can understand the message of God's love and salvation. This simplicity is reflected in our posters and Letters, our personal witnessing, our songs, and in just about everything we do!

30. And speaking of our songs, we are probably the most musical bunch of missionaries there ever was! As a group, I'm sure we actively use more music outside of Homes and churches on the streets and in the parks and wherever we can witness than any other church or denomination! And we probably have a higher percentage of people who play guitar and sing and use music in their ministry than any religious organization in the world! PTL!

Family Members Faced with So Much Christian Activity!

31. Dad's absolutely right when he said we've done more than any other religious organization. We have‚ per person. And even as a small organization, number for number, we've done more than any other organization of our size in the world. So I think it's good to make this clear, because I have a feeling that a lot of our [people] are going to be faced with this.

32. They may see Christian preachers on TV, and some of them are impressive! The problem is that most of their followers and congregations could certainly be doing a whole lot more for the Lord. The majority of them are only too happy to pay the preachers to do all the preaching for them, so they don't have to personally witness or try to win others themselves. And the preachers promote this. Like Dad has often said‚ most church pastors don't believe in "Go ye‚" but "Pay me!"—Pay the preacher to do the witnessing for the whole congregation!

33. Also‚ it's too bad most of these preachers and evangelists concentrate so much on their own country. Think of all the evangelists that are reaching the same people over and over and over, when there are all the unreached in the rest of the world that they could be concentrating on! It's too bad they don't work more elsewhere!

The Key to "Fruit that Remains" and Winning Disciples: Forsaking All!

34. I've been impressed with some of the Christian authors and writers and articles and books that we've been researching. A lot of them really have the right message. But the problem with them is that even though the Lord speaks to them and tells them the right things and they may preach it, they haven't really persuaded very many other people to follow them to do the same things and to really commit their lives to full-time service for the Lord.

36. So even though a lot of their teachings are good and right, many of them preach the right thing, teach the right thing, but they're just one voice and they haven't borne fruit, "fruit that remains" (Jn.15:16), probably because they haven't really been willing to forsake all and fully live it themselves, or put the right emphasis on winning souls, and challenging and teaching others to win souls and to give up all else to lead others to salvation.

37. So that's certainly another major difference between us and the majority of other Christians; most of them have System jobs and believe it's perfectly all right to spend most of their time and strength toiling away for Mammon, whereas we feel that "No man can serve two masters; ye cannot serve God and Mammon!" (Mat.6:24). We believe that, for the most part, we can be more effective in our work for the Lord if we don't get tied down with System jobs; although in very rare cases, a System job could be our work for the Lord, if we were able to witness fully and freely, winning souls and disciples.

39. Our Family could be very impressed with all the religion going on nowadays. But the bottom line is, although there are thousands of kids in these Bible colleges, and sure, they're sending out some missionaries, where are they? What are they doing? Why haven't we seen them in all the rest of the world? We've seen a few missionaries here and there, and most of them have been our enemies—like the Assemblies of God and the Alliance in Southeast Asia—but what are they really accomplishing? We sure don't see much. Why don't we run into them more? Why don't we see their results more if they're so strong on going into all the world? Some of them seem to spend so much time fighting us that they couldn't possibly have much time left for winning souls!

40. Just as Dad has always said, not very many of these dear Bible college students ever make it to the mission field! They usually get married and they settle down into a nice comfortable church in the U.S. That's what happens to the vast majority of them.—Only a measly 2% of Bible college students ever make it to the mission field—2%!

Uncommitted Part–time Christians!

41. These religious revivals really excite people and thrill them and make them sit up and take notice and think, "Wow‚ they really are doing something for the Lord! They're really on fire! These church people all have so much love, and they're all so sweet and so filled with the Spirit!" Well, as long as they can live in their own nice little homes and attend their church services and be thrilled with the ecstasies of the miracles and the tingling of the Holy Spirit and the vibrations as they praise the Lord, being fed with all these spiritual highs and even maybe doing a few miracles themselves, they're very loving.

42. But when their religion is put to the test of really serving Jesus, of really doing something for the Lord and leaving all that luxury and forsaking their fancy homes and their jobs and their selfish lives, going out on the street every day, even in the U.S., let alone foreign mission fields, and winning people to the Lord and just concentrating on getting people saved, I think they might have a different reaction and you might not see quite so much love and peace and everybody being so wonderful!

43. What are they accomplishing by sitting in those meetings and getting their own souls fed? They're not really going out and doing the job that Jesus said to do, it still comes down to that. Because while there may be a lot of Christian activity going on in the U.S., most of it is being done by just a few individuals via television, or a few healing evangelists. If you would add up all the Christians in the U.S. by number, and then you would take from that the number of people who are really serving the Lord full-time and really accomplishing something for the Lord, the number would be very infinitesimal, very, very small compared to all the Christians who claim to be saved.

44. Of course, there are also quite a few little groups that are trying to witness a little and trying to do something nowadays, and there is a lot of Christian activity, but it's very partial, it's very part-time on the part of most of the people who are Christians. In fact, if they do any kind of soul-winning or Christian witness or service at all, it's usually very small compared to what they spend most of their time doing! They only give a very small part of their time to the Lord and His work. Almost all of them have secular jobs and support their family, although a few of them do try to witness and do some active Christian work on the side.

45. In the meantime, their kids are in System school being absolutely polluted‚ perverted‚ corrupted and contaminated! So one of their main ministries‚ their children—which is why the Lord gave them kids—is being neglected and they're letting them go down the drain while they pursue their secular careers and do a little here and there!

Our Special Calling and Unique Ministry!

49. If you are ever tempted to feel down or discouraged because some of these System Christians' ministries seem more accepted or popular, and they seem to be accomplishing so much, then you need to remember that we've been called unto a very special ministry, and we're following the exceptional calling that the Lord has given us.—The "high calling of God in Christ Jesus" for you and me to be a part of this Family! We have a wonderful work for the Lord to do, and we should be happy and thankful for what He has given us. The Lord has said He regards us very highly, as a privileged and honored army of Endtime soldiers for Him. We have a very special place, close to His heart. (See "We Are It!" ML #2222, DB8, and "Our Family" in the MOP.)

50. For example, our ministry with the posters—especially our Endtime posters and our Heaven posters—has been a very special and unique one and has reached millions and millions of people and influenced the world in ways which we will never know in this life.—And I'm sure has influenced top officials and top world policy!—And I think we should continue the unique ministry the Lord has given us of presenting the Endtime message to people!—As well as the wonderful message He has given us about the world to come!

51. Our Acts 2:44-45 sample in our Homes is another very unique part of our work and ministry, and is something that we're way ahead of any of the other Christians in. It's difficult! But we're all learning to help one another and to love each other and live together unselfishly. Whereas most of those other poor Christians would never even think of living and cooperating with others like we do!

52. We're even learning to handle our kids on our own. In fact, we're becoming experts and specialists in childcare! Virtually all of our adults are involved in training our kids because most of our Homes pretty much revolve around our children!—From the tiny tots clear up to the teens and young adults. We're all learning to teach and train and communicate and relate to our children, helping them to grow up in a loving, secure and Godly atmosphere.

Communal Living and Sharing: The Real Test!

53. Most of the churchy Christians are living selfishly, trying to perfect themselves! If they're typically "good" Christians, most of their supposed religious service is spent in trying to make themselves perfect, trying to become more "holy" and loving and to have more of the fruits of the Spirit. But I'll tell you what would really test their religion is if they had to move in with four or five or six other families and live together, share everything together, and then we'd see how many fruits of the Spirit they have! That is the real test, when you're thrown in with people from different backgrounds and cultures with different likes and dislikes‚ with different habits, different languages, and all kinds of ages, shapes and sizes! Everything's different!

54. You have to all live together, you have to all conform to an army-type of lifestyle in order to cooperate to reach the lost and to be a living and loving sample that the Lord's love works!—To show that He can really unify people and give them love and harmony and true peace and cooperation together. You also have to all yield to the Home's leadership. Talk about making your religion work, that is the thing that tests you the most: Letting other people correct your kids, trying to straighten out misunderstandings that come up every day, trying to work together in every area‚ and counsel on every decision together! If you'd put those Christians together like that, they couldn't stand it! Not only are they not used to it, most wouldn't ever want to get used to it!

55. So ours is a unique ministry and preparation for what the Lord is trying to get us ready for. Maybe you'd consider it "perfecting ourselves" too‚ with all our emphasis on NWOs and all. In a way, I suppose it is, but we're doing it for a real purpose—to be more effective in our witness! We're doing it to show the world that God's plan of loving cooperation as outlined in the Book of Acts still works! And we're also doing it so we can be a more effective and economical team that can get out there and win souls and spend our full time on the job the Lord's given us.—Not just to tickle our spiritual pride. (Fam: Plus, we're getting prepared for the Tribulation and living by faith when there won't be any alternatives and there won't be any church you can go to, like Dad talked about in the "Endtime Whispering Vision" [ML #334].) Right, and we're preparing for the Millennium too, for teaching others and helping them to live together in love.

We Are Unique!—God's Special Endtime Army!

56. So we have a very unique job to do and a unique ministry, and we shouldn't feel like we're inferior after we find out about all the Christian activity going on in the U.S. and some of those other countries. We shouldn't feel like, "Boy, here we were under this illusion all the time that we were so great!" Well, we are so great, and we are doing something! We are God's special Endtime army!

57. But there are simply not enough of us that He could possibly work just with us, He has to have lots of others! He has to raise up others too to win the world in this last time when things are getting so evil! He has millions of other people and He's gotta use them too to some extent, as much as He can, as much as they will allow themselves to be used. So we should just be thankful that they're doing the job that they're doing, and not be jealous of them.—And thank the Lord for the job we have and the ministry He's given us! PTL!

Why We Forsook the Church System

ML #2772, DB 11

3. (Mama:) It's sad when you realize that a lot of those very precious System teens who are so on fire for the Lord and heading up some of those church youth groups will eventually just be totally discouraged and sort of fizzle out and give up! Because what are they going to do with the kids that they reach, who get saved? They lead them to the Lord and maybe they have a youth club for them to come to once a week, and they try to give them a little inspiration and encouragement to go on for the rest of the week, but what real progress are they going to make with them?

4. How are those kids they win going to grow? How are they able to be fed? They just end up becoming like the church again, just another church. Their club becomes their once-a-week feeding ground, just like the churches. They come once a week for their food and nourishment, and that's not enough!

5. What can a youth group like that do with the kids they've won to the Lord? They can't bring them to the church, because the kids are going to look around and say, "Sorry, this is dead! I'm not getting anything here!" They can keep bringing them to their club, but again, it's only once a week. Those on-fire young people either have to be full–time students or have jobs. They have to have something to support themselves, so they're definitely not able to spend much time with their new converts.

6. Sure, they're getting some of these poor doped-up street kids saved, but I'm wondering what's happening to them after that. If the truth were known about all those wonderful testimonies you heard on the video of street kids being delivered from drugs and alcohol, most of those poor kids are probably going right back into it again!

7. Where do they get the strength to pull out of it all and really make the break with their old lives?—Certainly not from one night a week at a club where they have some singing and maybe some Bible reading and a pep talk‚ but then they have to go out again to live in that old environment all week long! They go back to their old haunts, their old friends, to be with the same crowd, the same temptations. So how are they going to keep those people? It must be terribly discouraging!

8. How would you do on a once-a-week feeding? How would you guys do if you only had a little Word once a week and the rest of the time you were out there in that environment of drug addicts, having to go to school with all those kids, most of whom couldn't care less about the Lord! All they want to do is get into all kinds of shenanigans and drugs and Satanism and alcohol and dirty language and all the stuff that unsaved kids want to do! The pull is so strong! Without daily feeding, without Christian friends and brothers and sisters, what can they really do?

9. The only solution is to do what the Lord had Grandpa do when the Family first began back in Huntington Beach! We can say to all our new converts, "Okay, come on and join us! Let's all live together!—Then we can study the Word together every day‚ we can go out witnessing every day, we can have the fellowship of each other! We can bear each other's burdens!" But it just doesn't work when they're off on their own in the middle of the world. When the Word says to "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" (Heb.10:25), it doesn't mean just once a week, because that's not enough!

10. The churches can't really care for their new babes unless they would do like we do and say‚ "Come on, join us and let's all live together and let's all work for the Lord together! Drop out of the System and then we can spend all of our days in feeding and witnessing!" That's the only way to do it! How are they going to get what they need by just going to church once a week?

On-fire Young People in the Church System Eventually Get Discouraged and Give Up!

17. That's why Grandpa has preached against the church system all these years, because instead of obeying the Lord's commands to preach the Gospel and to feed and really take care of the sheep, they've created their once-a-week churchianity system which has so little to do with what Jesus said to do! Instead of really serving the Lord‚ most church people consider their little trip to church once a week their service for God. In fact, that's even what they call their church attendance—a "service"! They say, "We went to the service this morning." They actually think that going to a church building to hear the preacher's sermon is their "service" for God!

18. The very few people in the church system who do really want to do something and are on fire—like some of those young people you've seen on video—after a while, after trying and trying and trying to get the rest of the church people stirred up and get them to join and get on fire and inspired about witnessing, they finally just get discouraged and give up! You can hardly blame them.

19. Before I joined the Family I had a girlfriend who really wanted to serve the Lord. She was a newly saved Christian; she hadn't been a church person all her life. She got saved at college and was a real precious girl, my best friend for a while. She really got turned on to the Lord and sincerely wanted to serve Him. It was just about the time I was deciding to join the Family, and she decided that she would go off to Bible college, because that's what the church system says you've got to do in order to go into full-time service for the Lord afterwards.

20. So she went to Bible college, and the last I heard was that she'd gotten so disillusioned with the frivolousness and shallowness of the students and their lack of dedication to the Lord—many of them are there just to find a husband or to get away from their parents or whatever—that she actually backslid! She started off being so dedicated‚ she was so on fire for the Lord, but when she found out the hypocrisy of those typical Christian young people in Bible college, she just gave up! I heard she even had a nervous breakdown, it affected her so badly!

21. Of course, there are some young people who go to Bible college with a sincere desire to get into full-time Christian work. They're not all there just to waste time, have fun or to try to find a mate. I think their main problem is their standard of dedication. If you were to ask them, they usually consider themselves to be very dedicated and very sold-out. "After all, I'm going to Bible college to become a preacher, aren't I?"

22. But the problem is that most of the preachers and other Christian workers—maybe with the exception of some missionaries—are not so different from the rest of the worldly population. They look on their preaching or pastoring as a job, as their particular career‚ and they prepare for it and enter it just about the same way that most other Systemites go into their occupations, and they don't really feel the need to be that much more dedicated or sacrificial than anyone else in any other job.

23. So even though most of them feel that they are pretty sold-out and dedicated to serving the Lord full-time, for those who are genuinely sold-out to the Lord and really have a burning desire to serve Him, that System level of dedication is not enough; it's not enough commitment and it seems very superficial and hypocritical.

24. But they're so much a part of the System, the materialistic, shallow and superficial System of this world, and so little of their time is actually going into studying the Word for the sake of really feeding on the Word and getting close to Jesus‚ or praying or witnessing and winning souls. So little of their time is devoted to these things that it certainly appears to a new convert whose main motivation in life is to be like Jesus and to tell others the wonderful news, that these people are extremely shallow and extremely hypocritical! They say they love Jesus, but they're not doing anything to really show it!

25. Of course, we know that you don't have to go to Bible college in order to serve the Lord, but the System young people are told that that's what they have to do in order to become missionaries or preachers of the Gospel. My girlfriend had been told that's what she was supposed to do, so she went, and then she wound up just backsliding completely. She was so disillusioned that she lost her fervor and her enthusiasm and didn't want to serve the Lord at all any more.

26. That's the problem with the church system. That's why Grandpa's preached against it and railed against it for years now! —Not that there aren't some very wonderful people in it, people who really try, but by and by, they all sort of do the same thing. They don't have any help or any support and they just sort of get tired of bucking the tide and fighting to try to get people stirred up, so they just sort of shrivel up and die!

27. What are the poor kids that they win to the Lord going to do? They don't get the feeding and the strength and the support that they need, so they go back into the System. Well, they're already in the System, but I mean back into the world. That's why the only way for Christians to successfully not only reach and win others, but train and teach them to be disciples is to live together and to support each other and to be together day in and day out, counseling together and learning the Word together and witnessing together and working together!

28. That's the principle of the Book of Acts. That's what the Lord laid down for the Church in the New Testament. That's what they did in the Early Church, and that's what the Lord intended to keep happening, but it doesn't happen in today's church system.—Which is why they've gone so far astray. There are a lot of nice people in the churches, but they're certainly not serving the Lord much and they're not doing what the Lord has told them to do. They're pretty dead!

29. Think of all the church people there are, thousands sometimes in one church, and think how many churches there are! And look how the world is going to pot! People are going to Hell, and all those church people just sit there on their pews doing nothing! That's the saddest thing, isn't it? Lord help us to do what we should and do what we can!

Thank God for the Family!

30. (Mama prays:) Thank You Lord for the Family! TYJ! Thank You for Grandpa and his conviction to pull us out of that horrible System and keep us pure and keep us on fire! Even with all our mistakes‚ Lord, and our cooling down sometimes‚ the deadness and the lack of conviction of the church system is so much worse! Forgive us when we've cooled off and we've become weary and not done as much as we should, but Lord, we're thankful You've stirred us up! Time after time we've had revolutions to really get us back on track and keep us going!

31. But even our slowing down sometimes is really moving in the fast lane compared with what the church is like! Like some of our people who have backslidden and then returned to the Family have said, even the worst of the Family is so much better than the best of the System! We've had backsliders say that time and time again, who have realized that after they've been out there a while and experienced it.

32. So thank You Lord! Help us to appreciate what we have, and to be so thankful for all of our blessings‚ and never to be tempted by any of the allurements or enticements of the churchy system! Thank You that the kids were able to see these videos and for the few precious System kids who are at least trying to do something for You and are really on fire!—To see that You, Lord‚ are the same, and if people will listen to You and hear Your voice, then You will speak to them wherever they are! It doesn't matter where they are, in the Family or in the System or wherever. The thing is‚ Lord, it's pretty hard to do what You say within the System‚ because they're all against the plan You've given us in Thy Word, and the whole System is built to resist and oppose and fight against Your will. Your Word even says that "friendship with the world is enmity with God!" (James 4:4).

33. So thank You for making it easier for us to do Your work by helping us to live together and work together for You, Lord, and do what You want! Thank You for Grandpa and his willingness to take the persecution of the System and the attacks of the Devil and his people who don't want us to live this way and don't want us to show that there is another way! Thank You Lord for Grandpa's sacrifices and his obedience to You. You said‚ "Through the obedience of one, many were made righteous" (Rom.5:19). Thank You Jesus for the wonderful privilege we have! Help us to do our best, Lord, to do what we can in our small way, whatever You show us, to win the world for You, in Jesus' name. Amen! (—AMEN!—GBY! TYJ!—Love, D.)

The Dangers of System Influence

ML #2967:1–4, 7-11, Lifelines 22

1. (Mama:) This man our folks have been in contact with in the U.S. is someone who seems very readily available‚ willing to talk and very potential, but I think he needs someone to explain to him that, while we appreciate his efforts and suggestions on how to make us more presentable to the public, we can only go so far with this. We can't stop being radical and controversial, as he has advised.

2. Dad's Letters, revolutions, radical moves, and willingness to follow the Lord, regardless of what anybody says, have been what has made us the Family. Without all of our "strange" doctrines‚ we never would have been any different than the churches. Without our radical sex doctrines, nobody would have even been interested in us! If we weren't preaching the Endtime and so militantly exposing the plan of the Antichrist, we would not be getting all this persecution, and therefore would not have been pushed into these battles which have brought us to the forefront and put us in the public eye.

3. Dad is what has made the Family, and there is more strong meat to come! We are going to continue to move and change and revolute! But there are a lot of people who don't like revolutions. Revolutions are often hard to take, even for those who recognize the value of them.

4. Even though we have won some wonderful victories, we can't get settled down and think that from now on everything is going to go smoothly. I don't believe the Lord wants us to, nor will He allow us to get too comfortable or approved by the System. Even if the churches or our enemies or society at large would endorse us today, I'm sure He would make the appropriate moves to keep us separated and called out to do His work more efficiently.

7. Our folks need to tell this man that our main objective is not to get the System to like us, but to give God's message for this day—which is not something that most people are going to like or accept! We should prepare our friends that associating with us is never going to be a very easy road, and if they are afraid of controversy and want to be part of an accepted cause, they are associating with the wrong people! If they don't like to buck the System and fight for unpopular causes, they'd better disassociate themselves from us now.

8. This dear fellow suggested that we don't talk about our "Law of Love" doctrines because he thinks they get us into trouble. But somebody is going to have to tell him that talking about the "Law of Love" is part of the message that God wants us to give to the world, and we are not going to stop preaching the message just because it gets us in trouble.

9. We've got to help this man realize that our first and foremost need is not to be accepted by the System‚ but it's to give out God's message! No matter how radical the message may be, getting it out is our objective. That's what we're trying to do most of all!—Not trying to get the System to like us. We would, of course, like to at least be tolerated by the System, but the more they accept us, the less sensational we will be, and the less they may listen to us if we aren't stirring up the pot with our controversies any longer. When they begin completely accepting us, that will probably mean that we will be telling them things that they like to hear, which means we would be compromising our calling as God's Endtime prophets and refraining from telling them the things they do not like to hear, which of course we can't do.

10. This doesn't mean that we are to go out of our way to purposely offend people, because Dad has often told us to be winsome. However, neither can we compromise by not preaching our message and our doctrines just to make or keep friends.

11. Please remember that "a false balance is abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight" (Pro.11:1). The above counsel is not to tell you who are pursuing fruitful ministries with these types of people to stop ministering to them, but is simply a caution to stay on guard as you do so.

Churchianity, Worldliness and Religion

Thots 1, #9, 28, 51, 55, 68, 74, 76-77‚ 90

9. Nine percent of the world's population speak English.

Ninety percent of the world's Christians come from the nine percent who speak English.

Ninety-four percent of the ordained ministers in the world serve the nine percent who speak English.

Ninety-six percent of the church's income is spent among the nine percent who speak English.

28. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.

51. The modernistic preacher had been preaching for some years‚ and as the preacher got ready to leave for another pastorate, his congregation were out at the train bidding him a fond farewell, his little sheep out there—most of them stray sheep because he'd led them astray as an unbelieving, modernistic preacher.

The elder was bidding the preacher goodbye, the modernistic preacher that he'd been studying under for years, and he had a nice little package all wrapped up as a parting gift for the departing preacher. He handed it rather solemnly to the preacher and the preacher took it and eagerly started unwrapping it.

He said, "Oh my, my leading elder of my church all these years, you're such a faithful student and listener! What kind of a gift could you have given me? It must be something very special!" And he unwrapped it, and you know what he found inside? He found nothing in the world but just the covers of the old Bible he'd been using‚ just the bare leather covers, nothing else, not a page! The preacher looked at it shocked and said, "What is this? What do you mean by this‚ elder?"

He said, "Well, preacher, you know when I sat in your sermons and Bible classes and so on, every time you said this was a myth and this was a legend and this was an allegory and this was just a tale, this was only a parable, this wasn't for you, this was for the Gentiles, this was for the Jews, this was for the Apostles, this was for the past, this is for the future‚ this does not really mean what it says, this is just poetry—I tore it out! I figured if it wasn't for me, why should I keep it? And I tore out everything related to it!

"Everything you said was a myth I tore out, I tore all the legends out, and all the things you said were allegories and parables, and if it was for the Jews I tore that out because I'm not a Jew. And I kept tearing everything out that you said wasn't for today and it wasn't for me, so I tore it out‚ and I tore out everything relating to it. By the time you got through‚ preacher, this was all I had left‚ and I thought you might just as well have these too, the covers, all the rest is gone, you destroyed it, and my faith in it—that's all I've got left, just the covers."—Dad

55. Are we evangelical Christians afflicted with spiritual schizophrenia? Let's take a few minutes to think about it.

On Sunday we sing, "I serve a living Savior."

On Monday we act as if He is dead.

On Sunday we sing, "My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine, for Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign."

On Monday we pitch our tents as near as we can to Sodom.

On Sunday we sing, "O the best book to read is the Bible."

On Monday we spend our time poring over Sears' Catalogue.

On Sunday we sing, "He's the Lily of the Valley, the bright and morning star. He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul."

On Monday we listen to a godless media cursing His name, and attacking His attributes, and we never lift our voices in protest.

On Sunday we sing, "Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave."

On Monday we do not care enough to even hand out a tract.

On Sunday we sing, "Stand up! Stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross."

On Monday we are ashamed to identify ourselves with someone who is standing up for Jesus, especially if that person lives within a hundred miles of us.

On Sunday we sing, "Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it."

On Monday we chicken out before our next door neighbor.

On Sunday we sing‚ "None of self‚ and all for Thee."

On Monday we are so tied up in our own little box, we wouldn't take ten minutes to phone some lonely shut–in, who is pining in loneliness for a little bit of love.

On Sunday we sing, "I love to tell the story. 'Twill be my theme in glory."

On Monday we are either too cowardly or too proud to tell the story to our own relatives.

On Sunday we sing, "Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone."

On Monday we brand anyone who dares to stand alone as a troublemaker.

On Sunday we sing, "Dearer than all, dearer than all, He is my King, before Him I fall."

On Monday we take up our cudgels to defend our worldly churches, and apostate denominations.

On Sunday we sing, "Let goods and kindred go."

On Monday we expend all our time and strength polishing our materialistic gods, and compromising with our kindred.

On Sunday we sing, "I'm not ashamed to own my Lord, nor to defend His cause."

On Monday we tremble lest some religious fanatic should talk to us about His cause on our party-line.

On Sunday we sing, "Take the world‚ but give me Jesus."

On Monday we spend our afternoons watching sensual soap operas, and our evenings watching the games.

On Sunday we sing, "Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold."

On Monday we wouldn't buy a postage stamp to write to some lonely missionary.

On Sunday we sing, "Faith of our fathers, living still, we will be true to thee till death."

On Monday we take sides with the apostates against anyone in our midst who is contending for that faith today.

On Sunday we sing, "All to Jesus I surrender."

On Monday it would require a blast of dynamite to uproot us out of our regular routine.

On Sunday we sing, "Not for ease or worldly pleasure, nor for fame my prayer shall be."

On Monday we blow our budget buying that status symbol which will up us on the social ladder.

On Sunday we sing, "O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me."

On Monday we court the favor of a godless world, cower before it, and boast about the good rapport we have with it.

So while the church wallows in apostasy‚

And the world heads for damnation, we settle for singing:

Onward Christian soldiers

Marching as to war

Within the safety of our sanctuaries

Until time shall be no more.

My Heavenly Father: I confess that I have substituted Sunday ritualism for daily Biblical Christianity, and that I am a big, religious phony. O God, deliver me from my self-deception.

Thy Word says that God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. O God, I confess that my worship has been little more than hollow humbuggery. I confess that I have been worshipping Thee with my lips while my heart has been far from Thee.

Forgive my play-acting, forgive my pretense of worship. Forgive my namby-pamby sentimental devotion, my canting ritualism‚ and my sham piety.

I confess my moral insensibility, my spiritual inertia, and my supine professionalism.

O God cleanse me from my sin. Deliver me from being an evangelical schizophrenic. Enable me to have Thee, and Thee only as my goal. Enable me to accept Thy Word as final authority in my daily life, and not my own reasoning.

Enable me to submit myself daily to Thee to believe Thee. Enable me to submit myself daily to Thee to obey Thee. O God‚ unite my heart to praise Thy Name, and make me a genuine Christian for Jesus' sake. Amen.

68. You can't please the churches! You'll never please'm, so quit trying! You can be polite and be courteous and be kind and be Christian‚ but for God's sake‚ avoid'm like the plague most of the time because they can be your worst enemies! The "holiest", most religious people were Jesus' worst enemies.—The Fundamentalists, the conservatives, the Evangelicals of His day, the Scribes and the Pharisees, those who believed in keeping the jot and the tittle of the Law. The holiest of the holies of the Holiness people were His worst enemies and the ones that finally killed Him!

74. Church-building has damned more souls to Hell than any other activity the church ever engaged in, because it has robbed the mission fields of millions of Dollars and millions of missionaries! Going to church makes Christians satisfied and contented and feeling like they've accomplished their purpose in staying at home and sitting in church instead of doing what they're supposed to do!

76. Churchianity is a cult! Building church buildings and attending church all the time is totally contrary to what Jesus intended. He did not intend for people to hide and isolate their faith and their prayer and their worship and their practice and their good sample and their adoration of the Lord in a building!

77. Although they brand you as a cult, these big denominations and other religions are the biggest cults on Earth!—And they're the worst cults on Earth because they have confined the message of God's Love in Jesus Christ and His free salvation through His death to church buildings! If the Devil couldn't stop it any other way, if he couldn't keep them from preaching the truth, he managed to make'm put it inside a building and shut the door and keep the Christians there to prevent them from witnessing outside on the street corner, door-to-door, office-to-office, in the bars and whorehouses and hostels!

90. You can't tell me that you worship God with all your heart and all your strength when you are worshipping Mammon and money and things and your home and your car and your TV six days a week and half of the 7th, and only worship God and give Him an hour or two of your time a week! Don't tell me you're serving Him with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength! Don't tell me you're serving Him with single-eyes and single–mindedly, that you're really all-out for the Lord!

Persecution, Yesterday and Today

Treasures, pages 165-170

1. One outstanding feature of Jesus' life that most of His followers today tend to overlook‚ is that He was almost continually PERSECUTED! Imagine, Jesus was PERFECT, He never made a mistake, He was GOD manifested in the flesh! (John 1:1,14) Yet His enemies relentlessly accused Him of all kinds of horrible crimes, sins and wrong-doings, and finally arrested and CRUCIFIED Him!

3. The first time that Jesus returned to His home town after beginning His ministry‚ the Gospel of Luke tells us, "He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue (the Jews' religious building)." (Luke 4:16) When He arose and read from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, a prophecy about the Messiah that was fulfilled in HIMSELF, He told the wide–eyed congregation, "'TODAY this Scripture is FULFILLED in your hearing! ... But I tell you the truth, no Prophet is accepted in His home town!' (Luke 4:21,24)

4. "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things‚ were filled with WRATH, and they rose up and thrust Him out of the city‚ and led Him to the edge of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw Him down the cliff! But He, ESCAPING through the midst of them, went His way." (Luke 4:28–30)

5. All Jesus had done was tell them the TRUTH, the good news that God was fulfilling His promises and prophecies, and had at last sent the Messiah to His people. But they REJECTED this revelation of truth and tried to KILL the Messenger Who was delivering it, saying, 'From WHERE does HE get such Words and authority?—Is not this the Son of Joseph the carpenter?' And they were OFFENDED in Him." (Luke 4:22; Matthew 13:55,57)

6. As Jesus' ministry continued to prosper, the false accusations against Him mounted and multiplied as His jealous enemies attempted to discredit Him. One of their prime accusations was that He had fallen in with bad company. During Jesus' time, Israel was occupied by Rome‚ and the most despised persons among the Jews were the PUBLICANS, Jewish tax collectors who worked for Rome, who made their Jewish brethren pay their taxes. Jesus, ignoring all customs and prejudice, befriended such despised publicans, and actually chose one of them to be one of His Apostles, Matthew! (Matthew 9:9)

7. When the Jewish religious leaders found Him actually entering publicans' houses to DINE with them, in horror they asked His disciples, "How can your Master EAT with such PUBLICANS and filthy SINNERS?" (Matthew 9:11) Jesus acknowledged their accusations‚ saying‚ "John the Baptist came neither eating or drinking wine, yet you say, 'He has a DEVIL!' The Son of Man is come eating and drinking, and you say, 'He is a GLUTTON and a DRUNKARD, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is proven right by all her children (by their life, character and deeds). For by their FRUITS ye shall know them!" (Luke 7:33-35; Matthew 7:20)

8. Jesus' Own RELATIVES also misunderstood His Words and actions, and on at least one occasion they felt He'd actually gone CRAZY: "And when His family heard of His deeds, they went out to lay HOLD on Him, for they said, 'He is OUT OF HIS MIND!'" (Mark 3:21)

9. Although Jesus made it clear that He came to bring PEACE to the lives and hearts of all who would RECEIVE and BELIEVE on Him (John 14:27; 16:33), because He knew that many would REJECT Him, He said, "Do you think I am come to bring PEACE on Earth?—NO, I tell you‚ but rather DIVISION!" (Luke 12:51)—And certainly this was the case. Wherever He spoke, there was always a clear division drawn between those who RECEIVED and those who REJECTED His message:

10. "Many said, 'Of a truth, this is the PROPHET.' Others said, 'This is the CHRIST!' But some said, 'Shall Christ come out of GALILEE?'... So there was a DIVISION among the people because of Him!" (John 7:40-43) Another passage tells us‚ "There was a DIVISION therefore among the Jews for His sayings. And many of them said, 'He has a DEVIL and is MAD!—Why do you listen to Him?' But others said, 'These are not the words of him that has a devil!'" (John 10:19-21)

11. When the religious hierarchy heard how Jesus was healing the sick and curing those who were possessed of evil spirits, "The Scribes came down from Jerusalem and said‚ 'He has BAALZEBUB, and by the PRINCE of the DEVILS He casts out devils!'" (Mark 3:22) Imagine‚ the most RESPECTED religious authorities of His day accused the Son of God of being POSSESSED by SATAN!

12. Frequently Jesus was criticized not only because He consorted with "publicans and sinners", but also due to His association with WOMEN of very questionable moral character. Once, while dining in the house of a prominent religious leader, a PROSTITUTE suddenly burst into the room where they were eating, fell at Jesus' feet, weeping and washing His feet with her tears as she wiped them with her hair. As she began kissing His feet, the skeptical religious leader thought to himself, "This Man, if He were REALLY a Prophet, would know WHO and what KIND of a woman this is that's TOUCHING Him!—For she is a SINNER!" (Luke 7:36-39) But Jesus loved that woman‚ forgave her sins and sent her on her way with His blessing.

13. His Love and mercy put His religious enemies to shame because it exposed how LITTLE love and mercy THEY had! Their religion was based on their OWN good works and SELF-righteousness, whereas Jesus taught the common people that FAITH in God's Love and mercy was all they needed to be saved. He added insult to injury by telling the chief priests and elders to their faces, "Truly I tell you‚ the PUBLICANS and the PROSTITUTES are entering the Kingdom of Heaven before YOU!" (Matthew 21:31)

14. On another occasion, the religious leaders brought a woman to Him whom they had caught in bed with someone else's husband. St. John tells us that they demanded of Him, "'Master, this woman was caught in the very ACT of ADULTERY! Now MOSES in the Law commanded that such should be STONED‚ but what do YOU say?' This they said TEMPTING Him‚ that they might have something to ACCUSE Him with. But Jesus acted as though He heard them not.

15. "But when they KEPT asking Him, He said to them‚ 'He that is WITHOUT SIN among you, let HIM cast the FIRST stone at her!' And when they heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, they went out one-by-one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus was left alone with the woman, and He said to her, 'Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?' She said, 'No man, Lord.' And Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.'" (John 8:4-11)

16. One reason that His enemies were so infuriated with Jesus was because He was always BREAKING their RELIGIOUS LAWS and TRADITIONS. Once, He entered a synagogue on the Sabbath (the Jewish holy day in which no one is supposed to work), and found a man whose hand was deformed and withered. The Bible says, "The Scribes and Pharisees WATCHED Him closely, whether He would HEAL on the Sabbath day, so that they might have an ACCUSATION against Him." But Jesus ignored them and healed the man anyway‚ and it says, "They were FILLED with MADNESS and held a council against Him, how they might DESTROY Him!" (Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11)

17. One story that clearly shows how His enemies worked against Him is found in St. John, chapter 9, where Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth. The fact that this formerly blind man could suddenly see caused such an uproar in his neighborhood that his neighbors brought him straight to the religious rulers, the Pharisees, who after interrogating him, snapped, "'This Man Who healed you is NOT of GOD because He doesn't keep the SABBATH day!'

18. "Others wondered, 'But how can a man that is a SINNER do such MIRACLES?' And there was a DIVISION among them! Then they said to the man who was blind, 'What do YOU say of the Man Who opened your eyes?' The man answered, 'He is a PROPHET.' They then told the man who was blind‚ 'Give GOD the praise; we KNOW that THIS Man is a SINNER!’ But the man answered and said‚ 'Whether He is a SINNER or NOT, I don't know; but one thing I DO know, that, once I was BLIND, but NOW I SEE!'" In the eyes and minds of the religious rulers‚ Jesus COULDN'T have been of God, because He broke their hallowed traditions and did not observe their rigid religious rules, regulations and laws! In fact He often did things completely CONTRARY to what they would expect from a "righteous" man!

19. Furious and concerned about Jesus' mushrooming popularity, the Pharisees debated among themselves, "'We have not been able to stop Him.—Look how the whole WORLD is going after Him! What can we DO? For He does many MIRACLES. If we let Him alone‚ ALL men will soon believe on Him, and the Romans will come and take away our position and our authority!' Then from that day on," the Bible says, "they took counsel together how to put Jesus to DEATH." (John 11:47-54; 12:19)

20. Knowing that their Jewish RELIGIOUS accusations would bear no weight with the Gentile Roman governor, Pilate, they decided the only way to get rid of Jesus was to frame Him on some POLITICAL charges. Thus they told the governor, "'We have found this man SUBVERTING our NATION!—And He OPPOSES payment of TAXES to Caesar, and claims to be a KING Himself, the CHRIST!'"

21. But after personally questioning Jesus, Pilate replied to Jesus' accusers, "'I find NO FAULT in this Man.’ For he knew that for ENVY the chief priests had brought Jesus to him." (Luke 23:2-4; Matthew 27:18) Upon hearing this, "They were even MORE furious and said, 'But He STIRS up PEOPLE all over Judea with His false teachings!’ Then the chief priests and the religious elders swayed the MULTITUDE to destroy Jesus." (Luke 23:5; Matthew 27:20) But Pilate, still convinced of Jesus' innocence of any real CRIMES, sought to release Him.

22. The elders then cried out before the crowd, "'If you release this Man‚ then you are no friend of CAESAR! Because whosoever makes himself a KING is speaking against CAESAR!'" (John 19:12) Pilate, like a typical POLITICIAN, then yielded to this political pressure, and turned Jesus over to His vicious enemies‚ symbolically washing his hands before the multitude, saying, 'I am innocent of the blood of this good person; see YE to it! It is YOUR responsibility!' And the people answered, 'Let His blood be upon US, and upon OUR CHILDREN!’" (Matthew 27:20-25)—Pilate lacked the moral COURAGE and CONVICTION to RESIST these false accusers‚ and therefore an INNOCENT Man, a PERFECT Man, was cruelly CRUCIFIED!

23. But, thank God, only three days later, Jesus AROSE from the dead, and led His tiny band of followers to ultimate VICTORY!—And the Love of God rolled over His jealous enemies like a gigantic tidal wave to cover the whole Earth with His Gospel of God's Love!—And His foolish foes were left far behind, as dead and dry as He said they'd be!