Choices and Consequences, Part 1
--By Mama, Maria #672 FD/MM/FM #3484 January 2004
Note: Dear Family, Unfortunately, due to pressing business related to the restructuring of the Family and other emergencies, we weren't able to get this GN out to you as quickly as we had hoped. We prepared it for you in December, and because of that, it's written as if the situations mentioned were very recent happenings. In order to avoid delaying it further, I'm not going to change all the times where it sounds like these situations were still unfolding, because the lessons and principles remain the same regardless. We have also included updates where necessary and appropriate, so in that sense it's up to date, even if most of it was written as things were still taking place. Thank the Lord, His Word endures forever, so a few months don't change the principles and lessons that He wants to get across. We need them just as much today as we did three months ago--probably even more so.
With love in our Husband, He who does all things well,
1 Peter and I love you. We're praying for you and are thankful that you're hanging on through these times of change. Undoubtedly you are feeling the attacks of the Enemy, but also the wonderful victories brought about through faith, prayer, obedience, perseverance and not letting go. We trust that you are continuing to grow stronger with your mastery of the arsenal of power that our Husband has put at our disposal--the gift of prophecy, the weapon of praise, the keys of the Kingdom, heavenly thought power, and full possession. What a challenge it is to stay fresh and on the attack in our spiritual lives! Each of us has to continually fight the lethargy and laziness that naturally creeps into our habits and reactions. It's a daily struggle, but with the Lord's help we can know we're improving day by day.
2 You are starting to get a picture of the changes coming to the Family in 2004 and 2005. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, and the details will be clearer with time. As we often tell you, it's a step-by-step process, in which the Lord gives us what we need when we're ready and when we can receive it. He builds on the lessons and wisdom that we've gained from past revelations and instruction. There will be much new instruction throughout 2004, and a lot more will be expected of each of us, especially those who wish to stay in the Family as full-time disciples.
3 Besides all the good news and positive directives you will be receiving over the next months, the Lord also has a warning for you, which is extremely important. Our hearts are heavy with a sense of responsibility, as Peter and I must deliver to you some very sobering words from the Lord.
4 As you all know, we are fighting for the survival of the Family. But for some reason, that concept can sound so distant, as if it were only related to a large, impersonal organization or even just a name or handle given to something that doesn't really affect us personally. And given the fact that we've talked so much about the need to "save the Family," it can become almost a cliché, where you lose sight of the possible loss or how it could affect your life and your future if the Lord were to let the Family sink into oblivion.
5 To bring this home a bit more, we need to talk about how each individual has the potential to "sink." When you think about it, it's not that we or even the Lord can keep the Family afloat or preserve it as a body. The Family is made up of many people, of individuals, of you, your family, your friends. And when you get right down to it, the saving of the Family is dependent on the decisions of each individual. We, the leadership body of the Family, can institute changes in policies and the Charter. We can restructure the Family. We can put into place the procedures and a timetable and plan to review the Homes regularly. But we must all realize that that's not enough. Those are practical measures, and they're absolutely needed. They must be put in place and implemented to restructure the Family and lead to greater strength and purity. But that's not enough.
6 We all have to realize that the true change the Lord is desperately searching for comes in people's hearts. The Family has always been and still is a spiritual entity. It's a creation that thrives in the hearts of real live people. It's not made up of words, rules, regulations and procedures. It's not the result of publications, boards, initiatives or fellowships, but rather it's the result of the truth that has become alive in individuals and has burst into a flame of passionate dedication to a living Savior, which results in actions by individuals.
7 Unless we realize that the changes the Lord wants to bring must be wrought in each of our hearts‚ unless we reach out to take hold of the revolution in our hearts, unless we want the rebirth of spirit with everything within us‚ then all that we as the leadership of the Family try to do will be in vain. The saving of the Family is all about what happens in each one of your hearts and minds. It's about the decisions you make today and in the days, weeks and months to come. The future of the Family rests in the hands of each one of you.
8 Peter and I and the leadership of the Family are doing all we can to direct and provide the changes and safeguards needed. But we must bring the reality of what is needed to the very grassroots, to each of you, if we hope to be successful. Peter and I can't save the Family‚ neither can your COs, VSs or boards. The only thing that will save the Family is if enough individuals--enough of you who are reading this GN--make the right decisions. So really, the future of the Family is in your hands. And what that means is that you control your own destiny. You call the shots. The power is in your hands to save or destroy. And I don't mean that a great big blob of thousands of people has the power; I mean that each of you has the power to save the Family. Your decisions make a difference.
9 The Lord has entrusted the future of the Family into your hands, and that's a lot of power. With that responsibility and ability to change things, to actually determine the future of the Family, He has also made you accountable.
10 We've talked a lot about accountability recently, but I'm not sure you understand what that means. Accountability, as the Lord defines it, means that you have been given truth and you are expected to obey it, and if you don't, you will suffer consequences. Accountability means that it's fair for you to experience some loss if you fail to do what you know is right. (See Luke 12:47,48.)
11 We in the Family are rich in truth, much more so than anyone else in the world. But don't be fooled into thinking that the Lord won't expect us to do something with that truth. And if we don't, then we should expect to suffer some kind of consequences. By consequences, I mean losing something good.
12 A word that we haven't used much in the Family, at least not in recent years, is judgment. This is similar to what the Lord told the Family in Brazil about the word sin (ML #3453:8–10, GN 1038). We got away from talking about sin, and instead we preferred to say weaknesses, NWOs or battles. As a result of these much more comfy, cozy words, these sympathetic ways of referring to our disobediences or failures to obey and be all that we need to be, we had forgotten that God is displeased with sin and that He expects us to do all we can to not sin.
13 Similarly, we have forgotten that God is not only a God of love, mercy and patience, but also of judgment. There comes a time when He tires of telling us over and over, of waiting for us to forsake our sins and get right with Him, and after years of warning, instruction, and delivering His soul through countless Letters of instruction and warning, if anyone continues to disregard the truth, He finally has to resort to action‚ to chastisement, to judgment.
14 Now Peter and I must make it clear that we are entering a higher level of accountability, which means that God isn't going to be as patient with ongoing disobedience and flagrant disregard for His Word. In times past, the Lord might have winked at disobedience and rejection of His Word, because He knew you were still learning and therefore He was willing to give chance after chance, without your feeling serious loss for your waywardness. Things are changing.
15 The Lord has said He's no longer able to hold back the consequences of our disobedience. We are accountable. Now there will be judgment for sin. It will come in the form of loss, punishment, chastisement, and it's going to hurt. We are entering an era where we will see another side of Jesus. He has been our loving, intimate Husband, caring for us and providing all our needs. He's been so gentle that many now see Him as quite a passive God, thinking He's so tender and doting that He probably wouldn't even hurt a fly!
16 Well, I have news for you: God is not passive. He is our King and Savior, the ruler of the universe‚ and if you have thought up until now that He's so gentle, caring, loving, and endlessly forgiving that you don't need to worry much about Him letting you have it, you had better take note of this warning, because we will be seeing a different side of Him. We will see that He is also a consuming fire, a living God, and He doesn't take kindly to those who know better blatantly thumbing their noses at Him in ongoing disobedience, defiance, pride, arrogance and sin.
17 You might not think you're doing this, and in fact, you might not think anyone is doing this. You might think everyone is more or less trying to stay in line, so what's the big deal? You might think this warning is extreme, especially you young people who don't remember the early days of the Family and the strong warning messages from Dad and the Lord, given regularly. The problem is that a lack of fear of the Lord has entered the Family along with the "minimizing" mentality, the idea that you can do the very least possible, or even do the opposite of what God has told you, and get away with it. That's why you might think everyone is doing okay, and if so, you risk missing the point of this warning completely.
18 God is not kidding, and to drive that point home, in this GN He is highlighting two instances of His judgments which He has allowed to come up in recent months involving young people. I'm sure the warnings are for all the Family, that every single person needs them, but you young people are especially weak in the fear of the Lord and prone to familiarity with God and His Word‚ so He has let His hand of judgment fall in a couple of visible, shocking, extreme, and very sad ways. I am talking about what happened to two of your peers: Megan and Joe. There have been other sad and serious situations over the last couple of years, but the Lord has chosen to highlight these two.
19 I don't know how much you've heard of the details of their situations, but I will include a summary here. There were a couple of prayer requests posted on the MO site very early on while these two situations were playing out, and they raised quite a few questions. I'll try to answer some of those questions in this GN, and more detailed answers will be coming in the GNs that follow in this series.
20 I am sorry to have to use these examples publicly, as these are two very sad situations that have brought a lot of grief and heartache to Megan and Joe's loved ones. I love Megan and Joe very much, as well as the others involved in these situations, and I don't want them to feel condemned or hopeless. I want them to know that we and the Lord have great faith and hope for them and their future. I wouldn't normally do this, but now there is a need for me to use Dad's approach a bit more, even at the risk of hurting some and offending others. Dad's warnings were clear and he used specific situations to warn everyone, and because there were details given and the lessons involved real people whom we knew and loved, we seemed to take note and understand the point more clearly.
21 Of course, I don't know all the details related to the situations with Megan and Joe, but that's okay. I don't need to know every single detail, because we have heard from the Lord and He knows the details! He knows these young people's experiences, and He wants to use them to get across some important principles. I will explain the two situations briefly, and then we will get into more application of the point and what it means to all of us.
22 This message is particularly for you young people, not because you are the biggest sinners, but because these are your peers that we're talking about, and also because, as I said, you missed the early days of Dad and many of you probably haven't read a lot of the Letters where Dad called a spade a spade regarding the Lord's judgment on Family members because of their sins and disobediences. This is an aspect of the Lord that you young people need to understand and believe, because if not, you could very well find yourself feeling the Lord's hand of chastisement up close and personal.
23 There are also lessons for the first generation in all of this, of course. I'll be working on some GNs along those lines, which I hope to get out in the coming months. I'm telling you that now because much of this GN is directed to you young people, and I don't want you to think that I'm putting all the blame on your shoulders. As the Lord has told us many times, we each stand as individuals before Him. We can't blame our parents, our children, our situation, our friends, our loved ones, our husband or wife or anyone for our lacks. We all have the Word. We can all live it if we choose to. So when we talk about the lacks and problems of the second generation, please take it in that perspective--that you need to remedy the problems that you're responsible for, and the Lord is holding others just as accountable for their part of the problem. Okay?
24 We'll first talk about what happened to Megan. Megan was born in the Family. When she was two years old, her father left the Family and took her and her siblings with him. She then rejoined when she was 20, and was in the Family for nearly two years. During those two years she was on fire, a good witness, and had great potential. (See her testimony, "Real or Not," in Xn/FSM 404, 9/03.)
25 On Monday night, November 17, she decided to relax in her CM Home in the States, with another young person who had recently rejoined the CM Family‚ Gabe. They were apparently drinking beer, and then in the course of their time together ended up taking some drugs. Your initial reaction might be, "Yeah? Well‚ what's the big deal?--Some beer, a few drugs. People in the System do that all the time. Our parents did it when they were hippies. Harmless experimentation. After all, we young people have to at least try some of these things."
26 That might sound well and good, and that's probably what Megan and Gabe thought too. But that's not what the Lord thought.
27 Megan passed out, and then threw up. Gabe was sick a couple of hours later, but recovered completely. Megan didn't wake up for four hours, and when she finally came to, she was in a stupor. Her eyes were glazed and her pupils were dilated, she could hardly move, and could only mutter a few words.
28 She was admitted to emergency care Tuesday morning, and the doctors struggled to find out what had happened to her. After many tests and many days, they concluded that her reaction was caused by four massive strokes to the brain, likely caused by the mix of alcohol and the drugs suddenly lowering her blood pressure to a dangerous level that cut off the oxygen and destroyed the brain. On December 4, after 17 days in the hospital with the doctors trying to do all they could for her, Megan passed away.
29 Obviously, the Lord was not happy with what took place that night of November 17. He didn't wink at it and just turn a blind eye. Their blatant disobedience cost them something. It cost Megan her life.
30 Clearly you don't go immediately from a life of dedication and fear of the Lord to overdrinking and taking drugs. Something like that happens when there's been a pattern of disobedience and ongoing disregard for the rules and what the Lord has instructed us to do, or else you fall prey to wanting to please others‚ negative peer pressure, not wanting to say no, so you compromise and don't live up to what you know is right. We all know it's against God's laws for Family members to abuse their bodies through overdrinking and taking drugs. But the problem is that many of you think you can do it anyway and get away with it. Well, maybe you could have in the past, but not anymore. Things are changing, and that's one thing you need to learn from this GN.
31 We don't know how much alcohol was drunk by Megan and Gabe in that one instance, but we do know that in that Home there were regular occurrences of overdrinking. We have also heard that Megan had a very low tolerance to alcohol, and so it wouldn't take all that much for her to be "overdrinking." Alcohol abuse--besides being harmful for your body, and hurtful to your loved ones when you act unwisely due to the influence of alcohol--is a disobedience that takes you outside the boundaries of the Lord's protection. And obviously, drinking too much impairs your judgment and ability to have conviction, to say the least. In this case, it was one of the disobediences that contributed to Megan's death. Gabe and others were used to overstepping the bounds by drinking too much, so maybe didn't think too much of adding drugs to the mix as well.
32 Another sin that contributed to this premature sad death of Megan was a pitiful and deplorable covering up‚ after Megan became unconscious. Gabe didn't seek help right away, and didn't even alert anyone that something was wrong until hours later, even then not confessing what the cause of her unconsciousness was. I suppose he was hoping she would just get better and no one would even know what had happened or that they had been disobedient. It's also possible that Gabe was too loaded himself to have his senses about him. That's no excuse; the Lord and I still hold him accountable.
33 Because Gabe was afraid of the consequences, or thought everything would be fine, he didn't speak up about what had happened to Megan until much, much later, after the damage had already been done. And even now, it's hard to know if the whole truth has come out. Even after she was admitted to the hospital, Gabe didn't come out with what had happened until he was literally threatened by a doctor that she would call the authorities if Gabe wouldn't be honest and tell them what had happened, so that they could attempt to save Megan's life. What a terrible testimony and sad representation of the Family!
34 We all realize that these kinds of situations are complex; there are often many circumstances that contribute to the chain of events that lead up to the actual catastrophic event. What kind of shepherding were the young people receiving? Why did they not seek help? Was their Home in disunity? Was there a lack of good communication amongst the Home members?
35 There are a lot of questions surrounding this event, and I'm sure as time passes there will be many lessons learned by all involved. I'm not trying to oversimplify or to say it was all Megan's fault or all Gabe's fault. But after extensive prayer about the situation, we've come to the conclusion that the Lord wants to use this as an avenue to drive home some very important lessons to you young people.
36 It saddens me deeply to see that this beautiful young woman had to lose her life through such senseless mistakes. This wasn't just some isolated incident which we should now dismiss with, "Oh, poor Megan, she got some bad drugs." This came about as a result of ongoing disobedience and flagrant disregard for the rules that have been established by God, to the point that when they faced a choice of taking drugs, which is obviously wrong and dangerous, they didn't think much of it, and certainly didn't think anything really bad would happen. That is what happens when you disobey regularly. You think you'll get away with it, that nothing will come of it.
37 These young people spit in God's eye through their blatant disregard for the truth. They slapped Him in the face, and I'm sure this wasn't the first time. Through their actions and foolish lack of fear of Him, they in essence dared God to do something, wrongly thinking they would naturally be "protected" because He's a God of love and mercy‚ and they had been protected before. They didn't think anything would happen this time.
38 Well, it did. A lot happened. It was a terrible death, a very great loss. If it hadn't been for that disobedience and terrible consequence, Megan could have gone on to do a wonderful work for the Lord. She had potential, but now that's gone, never to be retrieved. Some things don't come around again. Sometimes there are no second chances. While Megan now has a ministry in Heaven and the Lord will use this situation for good and allow her to be useful for the Family from beyond the veil, that doesn't mean that He wanted this to happen, that this was somehow part of His highest will. God did not intend for Megan to get drunk, take drugs, and die!
39 God can, however‚ use this situation for good, because of our prayers and His mercy. We know that Heaven is not the end, but we also have to realize that God brought Megan back to the Family to serve Him, to witness, to be a soldier in His army. He didn't plan on her dying from alcohol and drugs! What kind of a plan would that be?!
40 Now He will take this situation and use it for good. He will cause this to be a lesson to all of us, and especially to you young people. She was one of you. She had the same temptations and weaknesses that a lot of you have. She was flippant about disobeying, she was influenced by others, by guys she liked. Her mother said that she got emotionally involved easily and then was easily led astray by the guys she liked. Was that what happened that night, Gabe? Were you the bellwether you should have been? Were you your sister's keeper? Were you a help and strength to her, a friend who stuck closer than a brother, and who helped her stay close to the Lord and obedient? No, obviously you weren't. (Note: Gabe has since been excommunicated as per the rules of the Charter.)
41 The initial prayer request for Megan indicated that she was one of the best bellwethers in the area, with great potential. I'm sure that was quite confusing for many who read that prayer request, because if that were true‚ what was she doing taking drugs?! Well, people can be bellwethers at one point in time, but they can weaken‚ they can be influenced wrongly by others, and they can compromise and look back. From what we have been told, Megan had a lot of potential. But having potential to be a bellwether and actually being one are two different things. Or sometimes people are bellwethers at one point in time, going the right way themselves and leading others to do likewise‚ but as we've seen happen with both FGAs and SGAs, such potential people can at any point start making wrong decisions‚ compromising‚ going the way of the world, and then they're no longer bellwethers. It can happen to anyone, it can happen quickly, and it has happened to plenty of very potential leaders.
42 When people weaken and change and make wrong decisions, it sometimes happens because they fall in with the wrong crowd, or they stop diligently caring for their spiritual lives, or they harbor some kind of unconfessed sin in their lives. Perhaps she took in a lot from ex–members, or maybe she even allowed herself to be wrongly influenced by people in the Family. At times she must have put her carnal desires above her spiritual commitments.
43 As Megan and Gabe partied that night, you can be sure that they didn't think anything bad would happen. They were accountable according to the training they had received and their knowledge of the Lord and His Word, but they were willing to take risks because they didn't think things would go wrong--and that's representative of what many of you think. They thought they could get away with it, like all the other times they had compromised or disobeyed, and that they'd wake up in the morning and go on with business as usual. Isn't that what many of you think when you do something you know you shouldn't? "Nothing will happen. I'll get away with it."
44 Some of you yield to a disobedient spirit that convinces you to think, "So what if I disobey? Nothing happens. I do it all the time, I'm still serving the Lord." But you see, things do happen.
45 This is a pretty shocking example of the sad consequences of disobedience and lack of fear of the Lord. But I know there are a lot of you young people in the Family who are doing the same things--not necessarily taking drugs in every case‚ but disobeying consistently. I know that to be true because God showed me! And that's why He wants to use this example to wake you up, to show you that you won't get away with it anymore. Not that He's going to kill you or allow you to suffer the same thing, but God is a God of chastening and even judgment, just as He is a God of love and mercy. (See Gen.6:3a; Psa.89:30-32; Pro.29:1; Acts 5:1-11; Heb.10:26, 12:6-17.)
46 As I said, there are other factors in this situation with Megan that also weigh into the overall equation. We don't know about the quality of the shepherding Megan and Gabe received; we don't know how much contact they had with ex-members and people who were trying to pull them away from the Family; we don't know about their personal Word and prayer habits; and we don't know how much other unconfessed sin they harbored in their hearts. We could really dig deep and get all the nitty-gritty on this, as I'm sure there's more to it than the events of just that one night. But that's not necessary right now.
47 The reason I'm telling you this is not just because of what happened to Megan‚ but because of what might happen to you! This GN isn't just to give you information. If that were the case, then we could have just put a notice in the Grapevine explaining about Megan's death and the circumstances that surrounded it. The point is so that you can be warned. The point is that God allowed this to happen now. He took Megan's life when He could have healed her. And the reason is that He wants you to wake up, to be warned, and to change.
48 It would be terribly wrong of Peter and me if we didn't tell you what God has told us about Megan's death. We would be false shepherds if we didn't deliver to you the Lord's message about this. Some of you will believe it and others of you won't. But you all will have heard.
Why Did the Lord Allow Something So Severe?
49 You might feel that what happened to Megan seems too severe. Even knowing that Megan and Gabe were disobeying in taking drugs and overdrinking, you could easily feel that they probably deserved some consequence, since it's something that they obviously knew they shouldn't be doing, but still, it seems a bit extreme for Megan to lose her life over it!
50 Here is an explanation from the Lord on this. It's more important that you relate this to your life than thinking only about Megan and Gabe.
51 (Jesus:) It is the day of accountability, and therefore the day of reckoning and of judgment. This example and that of Joe's experience bring to life, in clear and living color, the principles that I have been putting forth in the GNs--that I am expecting that you, the children of David, will truly live by the Words and standards that I have put forth.
52 From almost the beginning of the Family you have known the principle that obedience brings My blessings, and disobedience opens your lives to problems and the attacks of the Enemy. You know that the Enemy is the accuser of the saints, that his job is to try to attack and find fault; and that as long as you are close to Me and obeying Me, he has no power over you, but that when you disobey, he is allowed to hinder and even harm.
53 The situations with Megan and Joe put some serious "skin" on these very basic principles that you have known but have not truly believed. If you had truly believed them, you would be living your lives in greater fear of Me and in greater obedience to Me than many of you are, or have been.
54 I must keep the children of David on the cutting edge of discipleship and spirituality. I must keep you alive, stirred up, and at the forefront of the battle against the Enemy. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that. In these cases, although it might sound severe, because of the choices they made and the consequences that followed, I have chosen to highlight their experiences for your sakes so that you might learn from their examples what can happen when you go down the path of disobedience and when you act in ways that displease Me.
55 Through your own doing, through your own choices, you lower the protective spiritual and physical force field around you, by which I protect you from the Enemy's attacks, and you let him in. Megan and Joe are special to Me, and I love them; but because I love them, and because I love all of My children and want to teach them what I know they need to learn, I could not let them continue on in their disobediences. And it was not one brief disobedience or moment of weakness that brought on these severe attacks of the Enemy; it was a step-by-step path of little choices, little sins, and little compromises, which finally brought them to a place where they were fairly far away from My charmed circle of protection, and allowing bigger sins and bigger compromises in their lives.
56 For many years I have allowed extra mercy and grace, and even in cases where the Enemy has had every right to attack and afflict you in My Family because of your disobediences, I often held him back and stayed his hand. Even in cases where he was entitled to punish you, I have usually chosen to show extra mercy. I have chosen to give many chances. I have chosen to give you much time to understand My ways and My principles. But the time is such that I will no longer be able to allow such extensions of grace from deserved consequences.
57 I am not becoming harsh and legalistic; I am still a God of love and mercy and forgiveness. But it is part of My love to teach you these lessons, to show you the truths of the spirit world, and to help you believe them so that you might obey them and that you might walk in the fear of Me, and you will therefore be the strong army, the weapon of war in My hand that I need in order to defeat the Enemy.
58 (Jesus:) With the days of tribulation coming upon all the world and the miracles that I call on you to perform, I must get you in the habit of obedience and being fully within the circle of My will. The only way I can do that, like a parent training a child, is to let you experience the consequences when you step outside that circle, or to see what happens to others when they step outside that circle. It's not that I no longer want to protect you. It's that I need you very soon to begin to perform miracles that will be part of your witness in the Last Days, wonderful signs--not just healings and those types of miracles, but the showy, supernatural type that will make headlines and news, and will draw people to My message, to your intimacy with Me, to your level of obedience. These miracles will only be possible if you are humble, if you're completely within My will, if you're walking the straight and narrow, if you're the sample to the world of discipleship that I need you to be. Thus I must train you, so that you will be in the spiritual shape necessary in order to perform these miracles, lead people to Me, and be My witnesses of the Last Days.
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59 As it does with any good parent, there comes a point at which I must draw the line and say, "Thus far and no further." This is what is happening in the spirit now. There are others, in the Family and certainly in the world, who are perhaps more deserving of being punished by the Enemy's attacks than dear Megan and Joe, but, due to the choices that Megan and Joe made, their accountability, and the natural and spiritual consequences that followed, I chose to use them to teach you lessons about these important principles--very basic principles, really. And Megan and Joe are not the only ones, nor will they be. You will all begin to feel My hand more personally in your life–-both the blessings of obedience and the lifting of My protection when you disobey. It is the era of accountability and obedience‚ My loves.
60 There should be no confusion in your mind as to why something like these events would happen. You know the principles that explain them. The problem is that because for so long you have gotten away with not following and obeying the principles‚ and you didn't see clearly what happened as a result, you have become confused.
61 You have built a false reality for yourselves in many cases, a false perception of My ways‚ a false expectation of how I work and how I react to ongoing deliberate disobediences. For many of you, My mercy has become a given. You expect it, you take it for granted, and so you lack the fear of Me. That affects your respect and desire for My Words and your implementation of them. You give yourself so much leeway, thinking that I will have abundant mercy and continue to give you more and more time and more and more chances, that you don't take it seriously anymore when I tell you that now is the time to do something. That is why I'm now warning you that you're not going to have that much time. You're not going to be given so many chances.
62 Although you might feel that you can get away with doing something against My will for a time, know that as surely as the sun rises each morning, what you do will come back to you; you will reap what you sow and bear the consequences of your decisions. When people begin to take My Words more seriously, they will strive to obey them. This increased fear of Me will bring about the atmosphere that is necessary if you are to be My miracle workers of the End‚ because you will have more faith, you will manifest more obedience, and you will receive more of My power and protection and blessings. It's a chain reaction. You needed the time of preparation. But now is the time of accountability.
63 I forgive all sins, yes. I love you no matter what you do, yes. If you are saved, you have a guaranteed place in My Kingdom, yes. Yet none of that grace and mercy negates the fact that I am also a God of righteous judgment, and I will "give unto every man according to his works," as My Word says (Pro.24:12). It is time for you to wake up, sober up, and believe these principles of cause and effect, decisions and consequences. That is in essence the key lesson and principle I wish to highlight for My children as they hear of these extreme attacks of the Enemy. (End of message from Jesus.)
64 (Mama:) I want to clarify before we go any further that not all bad things that happen are necessarily a result of the Lord's judgments. The Lord's wisdom and understanding and foresight go so very far beyond ours that it's impossible for us to put Him in a box and automatically assume why anything has happened. We must ask Him.
65 We do know for certain, however, that everything He allows to happen to us or to our loved ones, or that in any way touches our lives, happens for a reason (Pro.26:2). There's never a time that we can just shrug off something that happens as "coincidence" or "fate." There's always a lesson, a purpose, something the Lord wants us to get out of the situation. That's the way He works. He doesn't allow anything--and certainly not anything difficult or sad or bad--for no reason.
66 Sometimes He has to allow bad things to happen, and when they do, we should stop and seek Him for the reason. Sometimes something difficult, sad, or trying might just be an attack of the Enemy that the Lord allowed to wake us up, to help us tighten our spiritual defenses, to spur us to greater prayerfulness, to remind us of the spiritual warfare, to make us more desperate, or to get us moving in a certain direction. Other times it's a direct result of wrong decisions, disobedience, or sin, and He has to allow those consequences as chastisement. And there are many other reasons or possible scenarios as well.
67 It's not always that He's chastising us or judging us, but there is always a lesson to be learned. And in these two cases of Megan and Joe, the main lesson He wants to drive home to all of us is that He can no longer wink at blatant disobedience. Especially now that we've entered the era of accountability and obedience, the Lord wants us to realize that He's serious about what He tells us, and that it's for our own good. He promises that we're going to see the results of our actions--both good and bad--much more clearly. If we're wise, we'll take serious heed to this warning and seek the Lord about what it means for each one of us personally.
68 As you read this next message from Jesus, think about what it will take to turn your life around and become a strength to your fellow laborers, a strength to those who maybe haven't yet decided what to do, a strength to those who are new to the Family or young in the Lord and need an example to look up to.--Not an example of perfection, self-righteousness, or goodness in yourself‚ but an example of someone who loves the Lord and is willing to sacrifice in order to be His love for others.
The Need to Preserve the Sanctity of the Truth
69 (Jesus:) There is only one right way to look at the situation with Megan, and that right way is to look at your own heart, your own life‚ and see what I wish to teach you as a result. I allowed it, because you needed to see clear and undeniable consequences to shake you up, to wake you up, and to show you the fragility of life, as well as the fury of the Enemy of your soul. I allowed it to show you the reality of the spiritual warfare, and that the Enemy's power is real and must be fought and resisted at all costs. But isn't it very sad that I had to allow something so drastic?
70 I tell you plainly, My young ones, that your ranks are not as strong as they should be. I see many of you are weak, aimless, directionless, lacking conviction, and floating on the ocean of life. Why aren't you swimming? Why don't you know where you're going and how you're going to get there? Where are your guts to do what's right, to do what you know and are accountable for? If you don't start swimming with all your might, the currents of the Enemy will drag you down, and the riptides of the ocean will pull you under--down, down, down to spiritual or physical death.
71 My dear bride Megan was not as accountable as most of you young people in the Family are. She didn't have the heritage of faith, the life filled with truth that you have had. She was in the Family less than two years, and she was struggling to survive. But instead of joining the ranks of the bold, brave, unswerving children of David, the kind of ranks that would have strengthened her, bolstered her faith, and given her the spiritual support she needed, she joined the ranks of the half-hearted. So sad! And I'm not just talking about those she knew personally; this is a worldwide problem.
72 She was disillusioned because many of the young people she saw within the Family were gutless, half-hearted, struggling, and weak. She started to wonder why she had joined the army of the children of David. She started to wonder if it was really worth all the sacrifices. She started to wonder if she really wanted to be a disciple. After all, she hardly saw a sample from her peers. If most of the other young people around her weren't showing her what it meant to be a disciple for Jesus, a sold-out follower of the Words of David, then how can you blame her for weakening, for falling back into the ways of the world and seeking its pleasures?
73 The ranks of the youth of the children of David are weak; the walls of defense are crumbling. Many of you young soldiers don't even know what you're fighting for. You swing your sword a little here and you whack a few demons there, but for the rest of the time you're languishing in the trench of indecision, not sure if you want to fight or surrender. Where are your guts? Where are your fighting spirits? Have you actually joined the army? Why aren't you stronger? Why have you been so weakened? Why have your convictions waned so drastically? I want you to ask yourself these questions.
74 Megan is teaching you a lesson I pray you will never forget. You are the ones I'm talking to now. I'm holding Megan in My arms. I'm comforting her.
75 Megan pleads with you. She lost her life, and she doesn't want to see others lose theirs needlessly. She lay at death's door for so long so that you might have time to think, time to meditate, time to reflect, in the hope that your lives will never be the same. She wants her death to make a difference in your life, and it will if you get serious with Me. Her passing could have been swift and painless, but not nearly as powerful a testimony, as sobering a warning–-and as she lay in a physically unconscious state, I communed with her spirit and gave her a choice, and she chose the more difficult road--for you. Don't let her experience be in vain. Take stock of your life. Get desperate with Me. Take a good, hard look at yourself and see how you are failing, how you are weak, how you have been disobedient, and how you need to change in order to be what I need you to be.
76 Megan was as a lost sheep, seeking the truth, seeking answers. And then she found that truth and those answers in the Word and the truth of the Family; but among her peers she experienced disillusionment and confusion.
77 Her message to you is that there are many in the world right now who, like her, are searching for answers, searching for meaning, searching for truth. And you have the truth. But unless that truth is lived, upheld, and cherished with conviction by those within the ranks of the children of David, there will never be the great harvest I have spoken of, the great harvest I have promised. If the sanctity of the truth is not preserved, if the sample of discipleship is not upheld at all costs--by you, the youth--then you will fail. The lost sheep, the youth of the world, will come knocking on your doors and will even enter your midst, but will then experience confusion and disillusionment if you do not change things in your hearts, lives, and Homes.
78 The sheep who join the Family want to see youth who have broken away from the System, not those who are lusting after the world and its ways. Those who will flock to the children of David in the days to come want to see the youth of the Family as dedicated, conviction-filled revolutionaries, not namby-pamby, flimsy, see-through Christians who let all their bad habits and vices hang out. The youth harvest of the world who are ready to be reached want to see fire, devotion, strong goals in life, and determination in the young people of the Family, so that they can be proud to be a part of a powerful Endtime army, and so that they can be supported as they are strengthened in their convictions and learn to live the life of a disciple.
79 You can no longer languish in the valley of indecision. In the days to come, more "Megans" will enter your ranks--hoping to find the truth, seeking fulfillment and true freedom in the spirit, and wanting to go all the way for Me. But when they come, what will those new disciples see? Will they turn away in disillusionment? Or will you young people be strong in the power and might of My Spirit, strengthened in the Word and unbendable in your convictions and devotion to the truth? Will you be a band of brothers and sisters who will support and welcome and strengthen all of those who join in the days to come? Or will you grow weaker, till the ranks of the youth of the children of David crumble because of the ways of the world, the inroads of the Enemy, and the disobediences that eat away at your convictions? Think about it.
80 I cannot force you. I can only beg and plead, and this I do now. I say, if I am your God, then serve Me. But if the world and its ways be your passion, your desire, your longing, then go your way. How many times must I bring you to a point of decision? How many times must I tell you to count the cost? How many times must I beg you to make your calling and election sure? How many times, My young people, must I bring to your attention the spiritual warfare and the reality of the Enemy's power? What must I do before you will wake from your lethargy‚ before you will realize your calling in My army, and before you will take on the responsibility of wearing the whole armor of My Spirit, so that you will be able to withstand the attacks of the Enemy on your heart, mind, and spirit in these evil days?
81 There is no time to fiddle around, to dilly-dally, or to "wait and see." Your next day could be your last. Your next choice could be your last. So when you're faced with a choice‚ what are you going to do? Please, please make the right choices--the choices that will strengthen your spirits‚ the choices that will keep you on the straight and narrow. The straight and narrow road is getting narrower all the time, and the broad, wide road is getting easier to travel by the day.
82 You think you're too young? You think you'll make your commitments another day? I tell you that you're all old, because you could be gone tomorrow.
83 You've heard My calls. You've heard Me challenge you to make decisions before, and so often it rolls off you like water off a duck's back. But no more! I mean business! I'm serious! Do something today! Make solid decisions to turn your life around, to strengthen your spirit, before it's too late. (End of message from Jesus.)
Megan's Decision to Help the Young People
84 (Mama:) The Lord mentioned in that last message that He talked with Megan after the incident, before she passed on, and she was willing to let this be used as an example to all of us. Another channel received something very interesting along the same lines, before Megan went to be with the Lord.
85 (Note from WS member:) Dear Mama, I was taking prayer vigil time for Megan, and as I was praying, I was overwhelmed by this feeling or impression that she's about to pass on any time now. I just started crying and crying for the whole situation and those involved, and then received the following. Of course, Megan is still alive and fighting for her life, and I know that so much is dependent upon our prayers and decisions of the spirit and all sorts of things. So sending this to you is a step of faith, but I thought I'd send it anyway, for what it's worth. The Lord's perfect will be done.
86 (Jesus:) My dear Megan is about to come into My arms. She is as My Abner for today. Just as Abner was called upon to stand in the gap for the children of David so many years ago, so Megan will stand in the gap for the young people within the children of David.
87 Much hangs in the balance in the coming months within the ranks of My young people. Much prayer is needed, much intercession within the heavenly realm is needed‚ and so I am about to call My dear Megan to take her place among her predecessors as one who stands in the gap.
88 Some will question the way in which she passed into My arms. But even her manner of death is allowed by Me, as a great lesson, a great awakening to the seriousness of the times you're living in. Her passing will test the faith of some and stir the hearts and spirits of others to greater desperation and dedication of spirit.
89 So rest in My perfect ability to turn all things for your good and to get great victories out of even serious attacks of the Enemy. Already it has accomplished such great things in the hearts and spirits of many.
90 Soon she will have the wonderful release of being embraced by Me in mind and spirit, so that she will know her role, and as a true warrior‚ she will rise to the occasion! (End of message from Jesus.)
91 (Mama:) Here is another message the Lord gave around the same time that further explains the choice that Megan made in the spirit while she was in the hospital. The Lord knew in this case that just having an accident of someone getting sick on drugs and alcohol was not going to be enough. He could have chosen to heal Megan in answer to our prayers and used it as a testimony that way. But I don't believe some of you would have gotten the point. It would have been just another miracle that you blew off as‚ "Oh, thank the Lord that worked out okay. It wasn't too bad after all."
92 That's not the point the Lord wants us to get. Yes, He is all-powerful and can heal anything. But sometimes there are consequences for disobedience, and He has warned us that more and more we will be feeling the consequences when we disobey. That's why in this case, He asked Megan if she would be willing to come Home to be with Him to drive home the seriousness of the situation. And Megan chose to give her life for each of you. That's something to take to heart personally.
93 You should also examine your own heart and ask yourself how willing you are to obey, whether you feel the consequences of disobedience or not. Maybe you've been disobeying in some area and haven't suffered for it yet, other than a guilty conscience, and you wonder if you can keep doing it without feeling the consequences. In a separate message on this point the Lord said: "It comes down to your personal faith and belief. If you're only obeying to avoid the consequences of disobedience, that might not seem to you like a good enough reason, but neither is it a bad reason. That's what the fear of God is–-being afraid to disobey. Ideally, of course, your obedience should come from a personal commitment and dedication to Me‚ and it should come from love, from the heart, and from a healthy fear of Me, knowing that I know best, and that I hold you accountable for what you have been given, and that I will give you what is best for you if you will trust Me."
94 Here's the message explaining Megan's choice in spirit while in the hospital:
95 (Jesus:) Megan is even now deciding what to do. She knows that if she decides to give her life‚ many of My young people in the Family will be saved, for they will realize how serious it is. And yet it is a hard decision, one that she has spent many days contemplating and deciding, for it will affect her natural life forever. She must decide whether to give her life to you young people as a sacrifice to wake you up and get you to realize the dangers of disobedience--or whether to come back and be a living testimony of the effects and long-term damage that disobedience and abuse can have.
96 It's not an easy decision, for she loves her family and friends and doesn't want to hurt them. She cries with them, for she knows that the pain is very great. She feels nothing right now in her physical body, but her spirit groans and aches with great anguish. The call is hers and I am helping her, but the outcome will have an effect on you, My children of the children of David.
97 How many more must be given up? How many more of your brothers and sisters must lay down their lives so that you all may see the seriousness of this battle and the ramifications of your dedication or lack thereof? Must I cull a percentage? Must I suffer you all to be afflicted and to feel the pain that Megan's family and friends feel now? How much must be done for you all to wake up and realize that this is no longer a game? (End of message from Jesus.)
98 (Mama:) The Lord's warnings are sobering, and He wants us to gain a healthy fear of Him. He wants us to realize how serious it is. We can't just keep walking along, thinking everything's going to be okay, when we're walking right into the Enemy's line of fire!
99 I want to thank each of you who fought in the spirit beside Megan and her parents and all those involved in the situation. Your prayers, the messages from Heaven that you sent, your words of encouragement that you were fighting by their side in the battle, all of it was a tremendous boost and blessing. Your prayers opened the windows of Heaven to pour out the grace and strength and miracles that were needed. Even though the Lord chose to answer in a different way than most of us were probably originally praying, He did it in the way He knew best. And now we have Megan as a spirit helper and intercessor to help us from the other side. Thank You Jesus!
From Mama to Gabe
100 Gabe, I want you to know that we love you. I heard a tape of a meeting that Megan's mom, Gwen, had with some of the young people in the Houston area, explaining what had happened. This was while Megan was in the hospital, being kept alive by life support. Someone asked Gwen if she was mad at you. She responded, probably through her tears, that she wasn't angry, that she had forgiven you. That's a lot of love, coming from a mother who is caring for her dying daughter.
101 I want you to know that Peter and I love you too, very much. If we could, we would hug you and hold you and tell you that we have faith for you. We have hope that you can learn from this and go on to be a great witness and testimony for the Lord--not a testimony to your own goodness or strength, but a testimony of the Lord's forgiveness, and His ability to bring forth beauty from ashes. You probably feel that your life is in ashes right now, and it is. But good can come of it if you choose to hang on to Jesus, really sacrifice to make the needed changes, let go of all your pride, and let Jesus give you a new start.
102 Don't give up in despair--that would be a cop-out. Think of King David, who had Uriah killed, and then the Lord chastised David and slew his son. It was after this that David went on to be called a man after God's own heart, because of his great repentance. And remember, repentance isn't only being sorry. It's changing your life, not doing those wrong things anymore, and really turning around. I know you can do it. We have faith for you.
103 Find the place of service the Lord has for you. If you feel it's with the Family, then accept your excommunication period humbly, and even if you can't live in a Home, live as if you were in one. Get ahold of the Lord. Get connected to Him. Make Him your first love, and obedience to His Word your priority. Live as a disciple. And when you can rejoin, do it with all your heart.
104 We love you, Gabe, and we're praying that you'll make the right choices. We know you can go far for the Lord if you choose to, even after something like this. Read "The Benefits of Backsliding" (ML #312, Vol.3). As Jesus told the woman in the New Testament, "Your sins are forgiven. Go, and sin no more" (John 8:11).
105 We also know that there are many in the Family today who are in just as bad spiritual shape as you were, even if they haven't yet felt the Lord's hand so strongly. What you experienced is the Lord's love for you in helping you wake up and get back on track so that you still have a chance to live a life of usefulness to Him. It is our prayer that everyone who needs this wake–up call will hear it and take note.
106 Almost at the same time that Megan lingered between life and death, another very unusual situation came up with Joe, an SGA living in Romania. We received a prayer request that he had virtually lost his mind. Of course, that's almost unheard of in the Family. We, together with all of you, prayed desperately for him, and thankfully he is recovering very well. (Update: You can read the most recent answers to prayer for Joe on the MO site, in a post from his dad in the classifieds section.) Praise the Lord! But the battle was very long and intense for him and his loved ones, and through it we have learned a lot.
107 While this was a very different situation and the problems were not fatal, the spiritual cause of this mental breakdown is founded on some of the same weaknesses that brought about the situation with Megan. Now that we have heard extensively from Joe's shepherds, we realize that Joe had not been doing well for a long time. He was very potential, like Megan, but he had a history of ongoing sins and problems, especially along the lines of pride‚ covering up‚ being influenced by an unfruitful relationship, being a hearer of the Word rather than a doer, etc. The important thing to see is that the problems were ongoing and he was not seeking the help he needed because he wasn't honest, and he also kept going back on the commitments he made to the Lord.
108 Joe has received medical attention and he has been diagnosed as manic-depressive. This is considered a hereditary illness, and there is someone else in Joe's extended flesh family who also suffers this same weakness. Usually, barring a miracle of the Lord, it is controlled by medicine. Joe is presently taking medicine daily. In a little bit I'll share with you portions of the recent letters we received from his dad, which give a hopeful update on how Joe is doing now.
109 We are very thankful that Joe has recovered to the extent he has! Thank you for your prayers. We do‚ however, want to explain the spiritual side of this incident as well, because there's much more to it than a lack of natural chemical balance in the brain and being "stressed," as the medical profession would tell you. As we have been taught by Dad, these things are often spiritual; they're the workings of the Enemy. But that raises a lot of questions in our minds, naturally, since Joe was in the Family, serving the Lord, and even seemed to be a bellwether and potential leader. So it's possible that you'd wonder what in the world happened and whether it could happen to you.
Background on Joe's Situation
110 I also realize that the prayer request that was posted on the MO site for Joe was probably alarming and a bit unsettling for many of you, as there weren't many details provided, and it's scary to think that someone could lose their mind out of the blue, or be subjected to an attack of the Enemy of that magnitude with no warning. There was a lot of background that we have received from his shepherds and father, which I'll try to put in a concise form for you here. In sharing these details, we're not being critical of Joe. We're not saying, "He deserved it." We love him; we're right beside him in the battle in the spirit through our prayers, and we hope you are too.
111 The fact is that he suffered a serious attack of the Enemy due to spiritual weakening and disobedience. But if you will take the lessons maturely and apply them to your own life, I think you'll come away from hearing about this situation very thankful that we're sharing the details, so that you can learn from them and benefit from Joe's experience. You won't come away pointing the finger.
112 Joe was born and raised in the Family. Joe loved the Lord, was dedicated when yielding to Him, and was outwardly quite on the ball in many areas. He went through a very difficult time in his personal life when, over the last year and a half, he was in an unfruitful relationship with a young woman who did some unwise things‚ blatantly contravened the Law of Love on many occasions, going after others with the intent of making him jealous and getting attention, and it really broke Joe's heart--not just once, but repeatedly. These weren't occasional slips that we all make from time to time out of ignorance, or selfishness, or unintentional mistakes. She did these things repeatedly‚ knowing the hurt it was causing.
113 Joe tried to be strong and deal with it, but he was very proud, and his pride kept him from admitting how much it was affecting him and asking for the help and prayer he needed. It kept him from admitting the battles he was having. He wasn't open with his teamwork and shepherds, and he covered up for his girlfriend and tried to excuse her behavior and deal with it on his own. He tried to show that he could "handle it" and that he was strong enough to "live the Law of Love," when in actuality‚ what was happening was anything but the Law of Love. That prolonged lack of openness, honesty, and humility, and his struggle to appear strong or good enough to not be affected, are major points to take note of.
114 After this had been going on for a few months, the Lord showed him through personal prophecy (that he himself received) that he needed to end his relationship with this girl, as it was not good for him and it was weakening him spiritually. His shepherds confirmed this and encouraged him to follow through and obey the Lord's counsel. He made some attempts, but kept going back on his commitments.
115 This young woman whom he was involved with was way out of line in her actions, was not open to shepherding, and didn't see the need for the big changes she needed in her life, but rather continued on with the way she wanted to act. She has since received discipline according to the Charter, is on PS for six months, has moved to a situation where she is receiving closer shepherding, and is writing a letter of apology to the area and people she affected. We're sorry that she wasn't able to receive more shepherding earlier, as it could have greatly helped both her and Joe. Those are lessons for the shepherds involved, and something that many shepherds in the Family are going to be learning about during the restructuring period--what the Lord really means when He asks them to be shepherds, and how to be good, loving, wise, and consistent shepherds in order to help and protect their flock.
116 During this time leading up to his breakdown, there were many contributing factors that made things very tough on Joe. But if he had humbled himself and asked for help and prayer, if he had been obedient to what the Lord was telling him in personal prophecy and through the Word he was reading‚ things would not have reached such a serious state in his mind and heart. He would not have been so terribly weakened.
117 The Lord was also speaking to him personally all throughout this time period about his spiritual pride, which was getting quite out of check. He was the personnel teamworker for his Home and also on a national board, and this ministered to his pride. The Bible warns us, "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the Devil" (1Tim 3:6). He didn't want to confess that he was having jealousy battles‚ that he was being seriously influenced by his girlfriend to the point of disobedience to what the Lord was telling him, and other things. He tried to be "strong" in the arm of the flesh and in appearances, and kept all the difficulty inside. He was also very self-righteous in regards to the standard of the Word and his application of it with others.
118 Pride and self-righteousness should be automatic warning signals that something isn't right and needs to be taken care of in your heart and life. However, often these weaknesses, which are some of the most serious and devastating to your spiritual life, are hard to see because of their very nature, because they are rooted in carnal-mindedness and a lack of being spiritually minded and seeing things in the spirit. So please be open to help from your friends and shepherds if they point out your weaknesses in these areas.
119 I have some messages to share with you later in this series about the spirits of seduction, which are spirits the Lord has revealed to us that seriously fight the children of David, and in many cases are able to influence you into making very unwise decisions. I believe that the spirits of seduction played a big role in making it very difficult for Joe (and Megan too) to make the right decisions, and in this case he didn't make the right ones.
120 In hindsight, and from our point of view, the right decisions seem obvious--he should have gotten out of that situation and not let it continue for so long. But even though he received very clear counsel from the Lord through personal prophecy, and through his shepherds being direct and honest with him at times about how they saw things, he didn't get the point. He didn't obey. He wasn't able to make the break and remove himself from that weakening, draining, compromised situation. He didn't take the steps needed to humble himself and get deliverance from his pride, which was growing increasingly stronger. I hate to bring up all these personal details, but this is the background that's necessary to understand what happened, so that you realize there was a lot more to the story than just a love relationship gone bad.
121 The situation finally escalated to where he had what was basically a mental breakdown, although this first breakdown was very brief and mild by comparison. He recovered after just a few hours, and those around him tried to lighten the load of the pressure he was carrying and make it easy for him to regain his mental strength. He had lighter Home duties, he had brethren with him when possible, etc. But he remained in the situation that was making things difficult for him, and he continued making wrong decisions to remain in his relationship with this girl. He did not forsake it and move on as the Lord had shown him. He continued yielding to his pride, and he continued to compromise and disobey the counsel the Lord was giving him. He needed to humble himself. He needed shepherding and better safeguards. He probably should have moved to a different situation altogether to get away from the temptation that was making things so hard for him and tempting him to repeatedly disobey the Lord's words to him.
122 After his first mental breakdown, over the next couple of months he started showing more and more signs of mental instability--receiving loud and unwise "prophecies" on the street while witnessing, "snapping" at times into a very foolish spirit, mimicking someone who was mentally unstable, and other things. During this time his pride was also getting more and more out of check. He developed an image of himself as a great evangelist rather than a normal Family witnesser and shepherd, and his attitudes and misconceptions carried over into his Home life. His perception of reality was becoming skewed.
123 There were other factors involved too, such as a lack of shepherding of the problems he and his girlfriend were having, of his spiritual pride and self-righteousness; insufficient shepherding during his first mental breakdown; an inferiority complex and need to impress, discontentment with the way the Lord made him; covering up and deceptiveness to excuse his girlfriend and her antics, a weakness in the area of lust and perverted sex, manifested in engaging in sexual practices that are forbidden in the Charter (anal sex and sadomasochism), to name some of the main factors. Of course the Enemy played on these things, and all together they resulted in serious spiritual weakening that brought him to a very sad state.
124 About two months after the first mental breakdown, he suffered a complete mental collapse. He became violent, the things he said didn't make sense, and he was obviously being influenced by many dark spirits that would bother him and speak through him. He had to be physically restrained to keep him from hurting people and property, and after prayer and counsel was admitted by his dad to a mental institution for professional care, where he was sedated and given treatment.
125 We have full hope and faith that if Joe will continue to make the right decisions to resist his pride and forsake these spirits that had such easy access to his thoughts and words and actions, that his mind will be sound and he will go on to be very useful and fruitful for the Lord. He has already recovered greatly, and is being a blessing in his Home. Later I'll share with you more of what the Lord said about Joe's situation‚ which will make things even clearer.
Obedience Is Your Protection; Disobedience Can Be Your Downfall
126 I believe the Lord wants to use this as an example, because many of you are compromising in similar ways, and through compromise and disobedience you effectively destroy the shield of protection the Lord has given you. The Lord's power is plenty strong and easily capable of neutralizing the Enemy's attacks and making them powerless against us. We just have to use that power!
127 Even if you have some kind of so-called hereditary problem, it doesn't have to come to the fore. And in the case of mental illness that "runs in your family," if you stay very close to the Lord and keep your mind close to Him, He can keep it in check or cause it to not show up at all. God is greater than the Devil. He is greater than your natural man! We'll talk more about that in later GNs in the series. But the main point that I want you to grasp now is that what happened to Joe was not inevitable, even if such illness does supposedly "run in his family."
128 We all have different natural tendencies or weaknesses that could be "inherited," but we don't have to be affected by such things, because God is greater. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold‚ all things are become new" (2Cor.5:17). God can free us from such natural laws and cause them to have no effect on us if we're obedient to Him. He can bless us supernaturally to where we don't have to be subject to what would normally be expected in the flesh.
129 This means that Joe's illness was not entirely caused by some hereditary process. He might naturally have such a weakness, but he could have been protected had he not strayed so far and so long from the Lord. His own rebellion and ongoing disregard for the truth caused the Lord's force field of protection around him to collapse, and then he was open to the attacks of the evil spirits. But had Joe not been in such a sad state spiritually, the Enemy would not have been able to harm him to that degree.
130 So you see, it's the spirit that calls the shots, not the physical. The spirit reigns supreme‚ not what is supposedly hereditary. Joe's poor spiritual state empowered the Devil's evil spirits and actually opened the door to their attacks. Had Joe stayed obedient and close to the Lord, the Devil could not have done what he did, regardless of whatever "runs in Joe's family."
131 If you stay close to the Lord in obedience and humility, even natural weak points--whether physical or mental or spiritual--don't have to pull you down or hinder you greatly. The Lord has a reason for allowing these things to flare up. Often it's a consequence of our own straying outside of the Lord's protection, or allowing ourselves to be weakened through ongoing sin and disobedience, that the Enemy is allowed to take advantage of those natural, physical, or so-called hereditary weaknesses. That's what happened to Joe. There are, of course, many other reasons that the Lord allows physical affliction. (See "Comfort in Affliction, Part 2," ML #3396, GN 989.)
132 Some of you who know Joe, or have heard about this through "the grapevine," have wondered why this happened to Joe, of all people. Apparently he got at least two hours of Word time every day and was outwardly very dedicated. It's easy to wonder, "How could this happen to him? And if it happened to him, what hope is there for me?" This conflict between his outward "good sample" and his losing his mind temporarily has been confusing for some of you.
133 Some of the messages that will follow explain the spiritual principles that were at work in this situation in more detail. But the brief is that you can read all the Word in the world, but if you're not obeying it, it's not going to do you much good. You must be obedient in order to benefit from the spiritual strengthening the Word gives. You must be obedient in order to benefit from the Lord's protection. You must fight to minimize your pride and self-righteousness.
134 Pride will weaken you spiritually faster than almost anything. Yes, the Word is extremely important. It's our lifeline, it's our spiritual strength, it's what keeps our shield of faith energized against the Enemy. But staying close to the Lord and His Word includes obedience. You have to be obeying the Word. Part of obedience and staying close to the Lord is found in humility. Humility is a real key to applying the Word correctly, absorbing it, letting it change your spirit and strengthen you.
135 When you allow your pride and self-righteousness to get out of hand, you are spiritually weak and vulnerable to attack. The Enemy's attacks don't always come in the form of insanity, as happened to Joe. Sensitivity‚ jealousy, resentment, bitterness, doubts--these are all milder forms of the Enemy's attacks. When you don't deal with those, then the attacks increase and become stronger. That's what happened to Joe. He was too proud to admit he had messed up and needed safeguarding. He was too proud to backtrack and show his weakness, and admit how he had been buffeted for some time. So he was eventually wide open to a much stronger attack from the Enemy.
136 What you need to realize is that no matter how much Word you read, if you're not applying it to your life and heart in a spirit of humility, and if you're not following through in obedience, it's not going to do you much good. Yes, the seed is good, but if the ground of your heart is full of pride, unconfessed sin, disobedience, etc., then, like the parable of the sower, the Word won't take root and grow and bring forth fruit, it won't benefit you spiritually, and it won't protect you or keep you on track.
137 Joe was trying very hard throughout this whole difficult time period. He was trying to cope with things. He was trying to be a good sample. But he was trying so hard in his self-righteousness and pride that he couldn't see the simple truth–-that despite all of his good works, he was being disobedient to what the Lord had told him. He was covering up. He was compromising. He was harboring sin in his heart, which tore down his force field of protection. His pride was keeping him from getting the help that he needed. It's similar to the story of Cain, who tried so hard to please the Lord that he didn't realize he was completely disobeying.
138 Pride is so dangerous. And we all have it. The Lord said one time that it's like a virus that resides dormant in the heart of every person, and will stay there as long as you live. The only way to stay spiritually healthy is to realize that it's there and fight to keep it in check regularly, fight to do the things you need to do to stay humble before the Lord and your friends and co-workers. Otherwise, it will pop up and make you spiritually sick, weak, and unable to withstand the Enemy's attacks. It's as simple as that. We all need to pray desperately for the Lord to help us keep our pride and self-righteousness in check; otherwise it can lead to a serious breach in the Lord's protection and open the door for very dangerous attacks of the Enemy.
139 You might wonder what spiritual pride is and how to recognize it. There's a lot in the Word about it, which I suggest you look up. (Note: See the reading list on pride in GN 1058, page 7.) And you can ask the Lord for personal counsel too. But one symptom was clearly expressed by a shepherd involved in Joe's situation who said, "There was much about Joe's spirituality that was convincing and sincere, but then there was a side of Joe that was hard to take, as his spirituality tended to put down others." That's self-righteousness.
140 Another confusing factor in Joe's sample is that he was apparently very into talking about our spirit helpers and the demons that fight us, and the spiritual warfare. That has made some people wonder whether it's even good to really get into that topic, because, "Look what happened to Joe." The Enemy wants you to draw that conclusion, because he'll do anything he can to keep you from receiving, believing, and using the Lord's counsel about the spiritual warfare and the specific demons that fight us. The Enemy doesn't want to be defeated‚ obviously, by us rebuking his imps by name and calling on our spirit helpers to aid us in the fight!
141 The problem was not that Joe was into the spiritual warfare. The problem is that his spiritual defenses were all but destroyed through repeated disobedience to the Lord and through spiritual pride. Because he was a wide-open target for the Enemy, the Enemy was able to come in very strongly and influence his mind and heart and thoughts. I'm sure the way the Enemy came in at first was much more discreet, appealing to his pride, distorting his sense of reality to make him feel better, etc. But after a while, Joe didn't recognize the Enemy's voice for what it was, and his mind became fully open to the influences of the spiritual realm, because he was so weakened.
Don't Let the Little Things Slide
142 I'm going to share with you some excerpts of a message that someone in WS got about Joe's situation before we received the reports from those involved that made the details clear. We later received many pages of reports that confirmed what the Lord had already told us in this initial message. This message is very sobering‚ but it's also very encouraging. If we are doing our best to stay close to the Lord and the Word in obedience, openness, and humility, then we're under the Lord's shelter of protection. It's only if we allow our weaknesses to get out of check and we start yielding to our pride more than to the Lord‚ especially on the long term, that we become very vulnerable and open to the Enemy's attacks.
143 (Jesus:) Serious attacks of the Enemy are rarely allowed to come out of the blue. I always give you warning. My Spirit is faithful to whisper to your heart and check you concerning any areas of your life that are vulnerable to attack. If you've been faithful to stay close to Me with your quality Word time and hearing from Me in prophecy, if you've been obedient to the things I've told you‚ if you're working to minimize your pride and stay open to the godly counsel and checks of My Spirit and of others, then I have an open channel to speak to you and counsel you about any weak areas that you need to strengthen. Every one of My brides has weak areas, and if you know you're weak in a certain area, then it behooves you to stay close to Me and take the steps you must in order to never allow that weak area to be used by the Enemy.
144 The Enemy knows your weak areas too and is able to use them against you if you don't keep your spiritual guard up. The Enemy can attack, but he can't win or make any progress in your life if you have your spiritual shield up. If you have a tendency to be jealous, for example, then you also know you have to fight against those seeds of the Enemy and keep your guard up.
145 If you let things slide and you don't stay obedient and very close to My Word, and continually cleanse your mind and heart from the attacks of the Enemy, you could set yourself up for a major attack of the Enemy. You can't take it for granted that when the big battles come you'll have the strength and anointing to fight them if you haven't been fighting the little battles along the way. You fight those little battles with My Word and claiming the keys and staying close to Me in the spirit.
146 Joe is young and still has much to learn, but he knew enough to realize that he needed to fight the mind battles, the spirit of pride, and the attacks of lethargy and compromise long before the major battles hit. He knew when the little battles kept coming his way that he should have been counseling with Me and his shepherds, that he should have been honest about how the Enemy was attacking him, and he should have humbled himself, confessed his battles, and asked for prayer, repeatedly if necessary. The more he tried to work things out on his own, the less he was able to cope.
147 He wasn't humble or honest about his need for help. He was embarrassed by his weakness and kept it hidden. He never thought it would come to this. He thought it would somehow work itself out. The more he let it slide and tried to mend things his own way, the worse the battles got–-until he couldn't even understand what was happening to him. Joe let one little battle slide, then others, until the Enemy was soon able to come in with everything he had and knock Joe for a major loop.
148 Joe's pride kept him from confessing and being honest and asking for help. His pride kept him from staying close to Me in the first place. If he had fought to be humble and yielded to My Spirit, and honest and open about his weaknesses, his spirit would have been much stronger to fight this attack of the Enemy. He might have gotten hit and knocked for a loop, but it would not have been anywhere near as drastic as it is right now. If you're not being obedient to My Word in your life on a daily basis, and if you're not fighting against whatever natural weakness you may have, I can't strengthen your spirit, and if your spirit is weak you're open to attack.
149 Matters of the heart are very humbling for some people, which is exactly what I intend. It's one of My ways of giving you the valuable training in the spirit that will make you a better disciple, more dependent on Me, with less of yourself and less pride. My dear Joe is in the middle of a spiritual battle which could have been much less severe and much easier to handle if he would have taken the precautions he should have to protect himself and guard his weakness.
150 If you have a weakness, whatever it is--strong pride, jealousy‚ even emotional or mental weaknesses--don't be embarrassed by it. It's My way of working in your life, and I will use it for My glory if you let Me. But you must safeguard yourself by always staying strong in My Word and obedience and humility. You can't let down your guard and just hope everything will work itself out. Realize that the Enemy knows about your weakness too, and he will use it if he can.
151 (Mama:) Following is a beautiful promise from the Lord for Joe and all of us, that we're hanging on to and claiming in prayer.
152 (Jesus continues:) When you hear of someone, like My dear Joe, who temporarily lost his mind, don't be afraid that it will happen to you in a weak moment out of the blue. It won't if you've been faithful with your spiritual life--keeping your protection against the Enemy's attacks strong through humility, obedience, and faithfulness in My Word.
153 Joe can recover and be restored to a sound mind and go on with a sound mind as he yields to Me. He can live his life and be as mentally stable and sound as the next person, but he will always have to be careful to keep his mind close to Me. Some people see that as a terrible weakness, but I see it as a good thing, because through his desperation to stay connected to Me I will be able to use him even more. (End of message from Jesus.)
Updates from Johnny and Joe
154 (Mama:) Following are excerpts of a letter we received from Joe's dad, Johnny, after he read an advance copy of this GN:
155 (From Johnny, of Sunny, Taiwan:) "Children can be delivered of every evil work of the Devil through the keys. There is no habit, addiction‚ or hatred stronger than the power of the keys of the Kingdom."
156 Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you have put into Joe's (and Megan's) situation. Of course I know you need to for the sake of the larger Family, their need for explanations, getting all the mileage the Lord wants to get on these incidents to teach our Family's young people, etc. I know as well that you dearly love Joe personally, as I can feel it through the advance copy GN I read concerning Joe.
157 I was very impressed with the accuracy with which the details were expressed in Joe's case. All that was represented in the GN collaborated well with the experiences which I have been personally involved [with in Joe's situation]. I am very satisfied with the explanations the Lord has given, as far as how I saw things happening as well.
158 Joe is doing much better already. At the time of writing this letter, it's been about one month since he came out of the hospital and has returned to our Home in Taiwan to rehabilitate/recuperate. He has said that he is very willing to share his example with others so that they can learn from his mistakes.
159 His recovery has been pretty much an encouraging one so far. By the time he was living with us for over two weeks, we felt he was "there" enough to have another basic deliverance, which he was very willing to do. This time we felt his mind was strong enough to resist the Enemy and begin the fight of faith. The doctors told us that after time, as Joe has become like a little child in some ways, he has to relearn some of his traits, characteristics, etc. The Lord gave me a lot of encouragement that He was breaking Joe down, particularly his pride, in order to remake him, like the potter with the clay.
160 At this point, Joe is 100% coherent; he fully understands and absorbs what he reads. We are working through the latest GNs on discipleship right now, and he is totally there and knows the score. He personally really wants to learn his lessons concerning humility, as well as being open to shepherding, talking about discrepancies in his behavior willingly, and not grudgingly. He's working on memorizing many verses/quotes/keys on humility/pride, and is giving the Lord the credit for every little thing, etc. His memorizing is a bit difficult due to the breakdown, but he's working on that as well.
161 We've been introducing things to him a step at a time, such as fellowshipping with others, going out as a witnessing partner, etc.‚ with supervision, all of which so far he has done very well with. He's even been able to use his experience as a witness to some of our sheep‚ and it has opened amazing doors, as we find out that others have had similar experiences, or loved ones have, etc.
162 Clinically his condition is diagnosed as "manic depression." They say this mental sickness is hereditary, and incidentally one of my older sisters who isn't in the Family also suffered from it. What Joe experienced after he "cracked" and lost control is known as an "episode."
163 Anyway, I don't know how much we [should] get into the clinical side of these kinds of things, as we know that it was a definite spiritual attack. I do believe that everything in the GN explaining the avenues through which the Enemy got in was totally right on. A verse I got about Joe's episode, when he was not in control and the evil spirits were allowed to come and go, was: "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down‚ and without walls" (Pro.25:28).
164 We sure love you lots and appreciate all you are and do. I remain committed to the Lord and the Family, and am so thankful for all the Lord has been doing in my life here, with His raising up Active members, the Activated vision, etc. I need to do better with the keys memorization, and keep working to apply the New Wine and weapons the Lord is pouring out! I'm proud of you both, proud to be in your service! Keep going for our Lover and King!
Love you lots, Johnny Servant
165 (Mama:) Then‚ about a month later, Johnny wrote (his update was posted on the MO site in full; the following are just excerpts):
166 (Johnny:) Joe has been here with us in Taiwan now for 2 months, and he's totally "there," helps out in the Home in night singing, with teaching the younger children in the Home, and being a partner on follow-up, etc. He has also seen a local doctor, who is doing follow-up (minimal), and has told us it's not necessary to keep seeing him unless something comes up.
167 Joe is learning to "despise not the day of small things" in the Home, and is happy being a "little person," knowing this is part of the training and lessons the Lord wants him to learn at this time. The whole experience has been a major breaking for him, as you can imagine, but as in Rom.8:28, the Lord is really using it to remake him as a more humble, yielded vessel for Him. Thank you for your prayers for him!
168 (Mama:) We asked Johnny and Sunny to share an advance copy of these GNs with Joe, as we wanted to be sure he was in agreement with the way things were presented, and okay with sharing these lessons with the whole Family. After reading over all three GNs in the series, Joe responded,
169 I just read "Choices and Consequences," and I have to say that I'm very thankful for the Lord's words to me and His counsel for all of us in the Family.
170 I feel that what the Lord said was very true, and the prophecies received for me really hit the nail right on the head. As I look back, I now very clearly see the areas that this Letter brings out, and hope and pray that the Lord can help me to keep fighting the good fight in the spirit, and obeying Him in the little things.
171 It's a bit difficult to hear all of my mistakes and sins published for others to read, and it's very humbling for me, especially for all those who I've known to know the naked truth about the real me. I'm glad‚ however, that others are able to understand why it happened to me and prepare themselves spiritually and see that "a curse causeless shall not come," and that the line is drawn.
172 I really want to thank you again for taking care of us all, and am happy that others can be warned of the consequences of my wrong choices.
173 On a personal note, I really agree with the letters at the end of GN number 3, and really try my best, with the Lord's help‚ to fight to serve Jesus and not drag the Family down.
Much love, Joe
174 (Mama:) God bless you, Joe! We are so proud of you, and so thankful to have you serving the Lord together with us. Through this breaking, you have come out a more humble‚ and thus stronger and more dependable, soldier. We need you, and really appreciate the sacrifices you have made to win these victories and what it has cost you. It is Peter's and my prayer that everyone in our Family can benefit from your lessons and your love and willingness to share them. Thank you very much.
175 We'll talk more about Joe's situation later in this series, and I'll share with you some answers that we've received in response to other questions that some of you have written us, and that others of you might be wondering about. I'll also share with you some beautiful encouragement the Lord gave for Joe.
Was Joe Actually Possessed by Evil Spirits?
176 Some of you will wonder, from what you've heard about Joe's situation, if he was not just spiritually oppressed but actually demon possessed at times. From the Word it sounds like it's not possible to be possessed if you're saved, but when hearing about a situation like Joe's it's easy to wonder how something like that happens. Clearly, as the Lord said, he had been yielding to the Enemy in some areas and wasn't keeping his guard up, but you figure that at some point there must have been a definite decision that Joe made in order to allow the Enemy so much control over him. In other words, it wasn't just a few wrong decisions or instances of not yielding that cost him his mind.
177 In Megan's situation, it initially seemed to be more a case of the "unguarded moment," although the Lord has since revealed to us that there was more background on it, and that earlier decisions played into the situation and paved the way for such a serious disobedience. But in Joe's case, for Joe to allow such a huge breach in the spirit, you can't help but feel that there must have been quite a bit leading up to it, as well as a very deliberate decision and willing yielding to the Enemy on Joe's part. Some questions that come to mind or that some of you have asked are: "Can't something like this only happen to someone if they make a definite decision to yield to it‚ especially someone who's saved? Can someone who's saved even be possessed? I always thought Dad said they couldn't--they could be oppressed, but not possessed, as once you're saved, you're the Lord's forever."
178 The Lord gives some very interesting counsel in answer to these questions, and explains how, although a Christian can never be fully possessed by the Enemy or evil spirits, he can be temporarily given over to them, according to the choices he makes. This is something that Dad often puzzled over and wondered about. He usually felt that it wasn't possible to be possessed if you have the Lord. But during his later years he opened the door to the possibility several times, saying it was rare, but that it does happen. I'll include a couple of comments from Dad at the end of this message.
179 As you'll see in the following prophecy, the Lord makes a distinction between being fully possessed by the Devil and being partially possessed or temporarily given over. Once we're saved, which we know Joe is, we're the Lord's forever. The Enemy can never take us away from the Lord. But he can control the part of our life and mind that we give over to him. That's what happened in Joe's case. Through many wrong decisions, Joe gave a lot of his mind over to the Enemy to control.
180 (Jesus:) Yes, things of this nature happen as a result of a definite decision to yield to the Enemy. These are very good questions, and to properly answer them, let Me set the record straight on a few points.
181 It is not possible to be fully possessed by Satan if you are a true child of Mine. Once you are saved, you are Mine--you belong to Me. But the crux of the matter is that, although you cannot be fully possessed by the Devil if you belong to Me, you can be partially possessed or temporarily given over, according to the choices you make to give room in your mind and heart to evil.
182 Satan's demons are always trying to take control of whatever they can get. The choice belongs to the individual to give in or to send them away.
183 Don't get too hung up, however, on figuring out the difference between being oppressed or possessed, and partially or fully, lest the Enemy deceive you into thinking just a little bit of giving in or giving over part of your territory is okay. You don't want to yield any part of your life, your mind, your thoughts or your will to the Devil. Give no place to evil!
184 Joe made many wrong decisions, some smaller and some you would call bigger. From My perspective I can see that the smaller decisions he made were actually the most important ones. If you keep making the wrong decisions in small things, you will never be able to make the right decisions in the bigger things. If you're trying to find the one trump card, the final decision that clinched the deal for Joe, you're not seeing this picture in the right perspective. Joe's state is the result of many wrong decisions. Don't be fooled into thinking that just a few wrong decisions or failures to yield are not too serious, because in this present day, it is deadly serious! That one tiny choice might seem small in itself, but it can lead to bigger matters which really count, and you cannot separate the two. Every big decision started out as a small decision.
185 Let Me explain one whopper of a lie that My children are hearing these days--that little things, little choices, little compromises, and little disobediences aren't so important. Satan tells you things like, "It's only a small thing." "Go ahead just this once–-after all, you have to try it." "It's just a tiny wrong decision, a little unyielding." "It's not really a big deal; no one will even notice." "Don't worry, you can stop doing this any time you want; just one more time won't hurt a thing." "What's a little disobedience going to do?" "What's a little bit of pride going to hurt?" "I deserve to feel just a little bit discouraged." "Not yielding just this once won't cause any harm," etc.
186 This is nothing you haven't heard before--that little things are important. Many of you have heard it your entire lives. But before you brush this aside as an all-too-familiar statement, let this situation with Joe put a little "skin" on how important little things are.
187 Yes, Joe did make a "bigger" wrong decision that flipped the switch, so to speak, but it's not the kind of decision most of you are thinking of. If you are expecting Me to tell you that the Devil walked right up to Joe and tempted him with power and riches if Joe would fall down and worship him and let the Devil have control over his mind, no, that's not the case.
188 Joe's big decision that got him to where he's at was the first wrong decision he made to not yield to Me in a little thing. That was the biggest decision in Joe's life--a big decision in a seemingly little thing that led to big consequences.
189 Everyone makes wrong decisions. This is not to say if you make one wrong decision you'll end up the same, but the key is that when you make the wrong choice, you've got to do something about it. It's whether you learn from it and move on that matters. You've got to keep checking yourself, and in the case of little disobediences‚ you've got to keep coming clean if you want to move forward. You've got to correct the mistakes, confess your sins, and not let one wrong decision lead to another. If people think they can just stop making mistakes and move on without remedying the problem‚ then they're likely to continue making them.
190 Once Joe made the first little wrong decision and then continued to make "little decisions" to not correct things along the way, to not confess and get help, to not get things out in the open--all these "little decisions" added up, and have gotten him into the state he's in. I do not expect perfection, but I do want you to lean on Me‚ confess when you've made a mistake, get help, and make progress. Joe didn't think these little things were important. He was more concerned with looking good on the outside and preserving his pride. And look where it got him.
191 I did not cause this breach in the spirit with Joe. Joe brought it on himself through his consistent ignoring of My little checks--checks to give Me praise, to do the humble thing‚ to not entertain proud or negative thoughts; checks to not give in to condemnation; checks to reach out to others‚ even the difficult to love; checks to give, to pray, to obey in all things; checks to be honest about his battles and get prayer; checks to give Me all the glory.
192 You say, "Can't something like this only happen to someone if they make a definite decision to yield to it?" Yes, but in Joe's case, the definite decision in his life to not yield to Me in the little things is what led to his present state, and gradually took him further and further away from My protection and further and further away from Me. A conscious choice to not yield to Me is a choice to yield to the Enemy.
193 You can give the appearance of following closely in the majors, of obeying in the things that seem to count the most, such as dedicating enough time to the Word each day, but if your actions in following through in the little things I tell you to do don't match up, it'll all catch up with you sooner or later. There are no little things in My sight. (End of message from Jesus.)
194 (Mama:) Here is a little clip from Dad where he's discussing whether it's possible for Christians to be possessed. As you'll see, it's a rather fine line. In the preceding message, the Lord says that it's not possible to be fully possessed, but you can be temporarily given over to the Enemy. In Joe's case it was many small decisions that eventually let the Enemy in to such an extreme state that he was temporarily given over to the Enemy and many evil spirits, as the Lord says earlier.
(From "Everlasting Shame and Contempt")
(Maria: I don't think it's 100% clear in the Bible whether backslidden Christians--formerly dedicated, devoted to the Lord--can be possessed or whether they're just oppressed or obsessed. But either way‚ they're taken over by the Enemy and used for his purposes. Are there any cases in the Bible of people who were dedicated, devoted to the Lord, and then went back all the way and yielded completely to the Devil?)
Judas was completely possessed of the Devil! In the original Greek it says, "One of you is the Devil--Satan" (John 6:70; Luk.22:3). (See ML #2054:40.) He was completely taken over. (Maria: And it doesn't seem that Jesus would have chosen him as one of His disciples if he hadn't been saved, right?) That's always another question. He said, "Have I not chosen you and yet one of you is the Devil?" (Maria: But does that mean he could've become the Devil at the end and not been that way all along? Afterwards he repented, and the Devil himself wouldn't have repented, right?) He repented in remorse, and he hung himself. (Maria: So that sounds like he was temporarily possessed, right?--But really possessed and not just oppressed or whatever. It's a difficult subject, I don't think anybody exactly knows.) It's a very difficult subject.
I know I have said in the past that I didn't think it was possible for someone who is really a Christian and filled with the Holy Spirit to be possessed. They're not likely to be possessed. More often they're probably obsessed or oppressed and can sure be used as a real tool to do the Devil's dirty work! The Devil harasses them and gets in and leads them to do some pretty bad things, but it's rather rare that he takes over completely. For a Christian it's rather rare, let's put it that way. (Maria: Probably if that person makes a definite decision against the Lord and to just give everything to the Enemy, then they could be.) Oh, they make marvelous tools for the Devil! And whether people are possessed or oppressed or obsessed, it's rather difficult to tell the difference sometimes, since the symptoms can be so much the same.
Of course, it all starts, as we said before, with pride and self, just like it did with Satan. . . . God help us all to be loyal and true to Jesus and His work! How are you? (ML #2842:12,14-16, Lifelines 20). (See also ML #1664:25-31‚ GN Book 18.)
End of text box.
Is God Unfair?
195 (Mama:) Now let's pull back from the details of Joe's situation. That's not what I want to dwell on. The message from this is that if you choose to regularly sin, to repeatedly disobey, to disregard the truth, and don't walk in the fear of the Lord, being afraid to not obey, then you will suffer the consequences of your sins and the resultant wrong decisions. You know the truth, and from this point on you will not get away with sinning as you have in the past. No one will.
196 Let's put this into perspective: God is about to put an end to the special calling of the Family as a whole if we don't change. That means He's willing to let go of all the training and promises that He has given the children of David, if we don't repent and change. So do you think He'd have a problem with judging individuals if they're not living up to the truth they know? No, as much as it hurts Him to chastise us, He won't have a problem with it, just as He didn't have a problem with allowing Megan to die and Joe to lose his mind temporarily. And just as God has done numerous times in the past‚ which you can read in both the Old and New Testaments, He will allow some of His judgments to be very public and shocking, as a warning to others. That's what this GN is--His warning!
197 We all have to let go of the idea that little things‚ little sins and disobediences, don't make God mad, that it has to be something "big" before He'll get angry and chasten us. That's not the case. If you were to study the Bible, it might shock you to see how God often caused armies to be defeated or whole generations to die as a result of someone's seemingly small sin. Those historical accounts are pretty shocking to look at now, especially since we're so unaccustomed to that side of God. But we need to see that side of God, and we need to be afraid to not obey Him. (See Gen.19:26; Num.20:7-12; Josh.7:1-12; 1Sam.13:9-14.)
198 You might think it's unfair for God to hold us to this high standard, that it's very un-New-Testament-like of Him to be so extreme and harsh and angry. A young person in WS who was reading an advance copy of this GN felt this way when she learned that God actually allowed Megan to die because of Megan and Gabe's sins. She was also surprised that He intended to use it as a warning to others, that He had allowed it to show what can happen to others if they blatantly disobey, especially with ongoing sin and disregard for the truth.
199 This SGA wrote me, saying: "I was reading this GN and was having quite a tough time with it. It just seemed so harsh and I had so many questions about the whole concept of it. It just didn't sit well with me at all. I stopped and, gratefully, asked the Lord about it. What the Lord gave me really helped to clear things up for me, as did reading the accompanying Bible case studies (posted in the "Bible Studies" sub-section of "Pubs" on the MO site), which helped me more than anything to see that in so many ways we've just been spoiled by the Lord's care, love, and goodness, and now we can almost hold Him to a certain level of perfect fairness in our eyes, rather than His. It's like forgetting who's really God because we're so demanding and idealistic. I felt the Devil was really fighting me getting behind this and accepting it and even agreeing with it, feeling that now 'it's going too far,' so I can only imagine that he'll do his best to attack other young people around the world as well." (End of comments from SGA.)
200 (Mama:) Here is the prophecy the Lord gave this SGA.
201 (Jesus:) This coming year will be a year of fight and fury. The Enemy rages, and his attacks will come to light more clearly and will be more visibly manifested throughout the Family. You must be on guard for this, and if you wish to experience the same degree of protection and supernatural care that you have enjoyed until this time, you must step up your alertness and guard your spiritual and physical lives more carefully, because you are now higher on the Enemy's hit list. It's not just hype that this GN is promoting. It's promoting a very real and serious warning of impending danger, and that danger will come whether you prepare or not. Those who prepare will be spared and protected; those who do not will be those who succumb to the Enemy's attacks.
202 The lines of warfare are being drawn, and as 2004 draws to a close, you will see many casualties of war. So watch and be warned, and know that I foretold this at the start of the year, so that you will not turn around and blame Me for it. I cannot protect and keep and guard you when you blatantly disobey, or even when you disobey out of ignorance--just because you are ignorant of My Word or warnings through your neglect of My Word or lack of taking it seriously. Heed this warning and study My Word as a result, so that you know how to protect yourself in the spirit, and how to avail yourself of My protection and supernatural care.
203 Throughout history, I've had to use examples to show My people the seriousness of the situation or to put "skin" on My warnings or promises. Human nature often tends to just not "get it," and when something is critical, then an example is often in order. When you teach your kids, you use examples; otherwise they don't understand, they don't get it. When you're trying to teach them to obey or to not disobey, you use a made-up story to show them what could happen to them if they disobey--what loss could come to them. But sometimes they still don't get it, and they have to experience it themselves for it to really sink in.
204 I have to do the same with you, and in this case, I have taken one of My Own back to Me for a variety of reasons--a main one being so that the rest of you can clearly see and understand what is going on in the realm of the spirit, and how you could find yourself in the same boat if you disobey and aren't committed to closely following Me.
205 There is nothing unloving about My taking Megan. Megan is happy and has received much reward. She's not sad. She understands and has learned her lesson and is now able to move on. She pleads for your spirits--the spirits of you Family young people who remain--so that you will be able to do the job you are called to do. She prays that you will see and understand where she went amiss, and she's thankful that I brought her Home so that you could more clearly see through her story the lessons that so many of you need to learn.
206 It's the way of the world to feel that "things have to be so fair," that "it's unjust or unloving or harsh that I took Megan." I gave Megan her life, and at any point it was within My power and right to take her back, just as I hold each of your lives within the palm of My hand. Your lives are but a vapor‚ but so often you feel they are "your" lives, that you "own" them, that you can make your own decisions and do whatever you please--and you can, but you would do well to realize that the consequences will follow you. And an added factor that I've been trying to explain to you over the past several years is that the ante has been upped and that you're now in wartime, so the consequences are much different than they were in peacetime, or even in training time.
207 I've warned you, you're accountable, so don't point the finger at Me when all of a sudden you take the hit. I've told you. I've begged you to change your style of operation. I've pled with you to get serious with Me and to take the needed spiritual precautions in your life, to use your training, to hone your skills with the new weapons, to protect your weak and vulnerable spots. But I can't force you. I can't do it for you. This is where we're at now. You have another opportune chance to change as you see where Megan and Joe's choices led them, and I'm highlighting their lives so that you can have this chance to again "get it." Won't you please? (End of message from Jesus.)
208 (Mama:) We are going into the era of obedience. That means we're supposed to be obedient‚ we're supposed to do what God says. To be what He wants us to be can only be accomplished by His power. We can't work it up. We can't get into a big works trip and give ourselves nervous breakdowns through trying so hard to obey every jot and tittle of the law.
209 The Lord looks at our hearts, our lifestyles, our relationship with Him and others, and if we're truly desiring to obey, if we're receiving His checks on a regular basis, if we're not being fools and thinking nothing will happen if we deliberately spit in His face through blatant repeated disobedience‚ if we are willing to forsake our sins, ask for prayer‚ stay in the Word and do what He expects of us to the best of our ability, then He is pleased with us, blesses us, and more than fulfills His end of the bargain, rewarding us abundantly in return.
210 It's not as if He begrudges us His blessings, or is standing there with a big stick‚ just waiting for us to slip over the line so He can show His power. It's rather that we've become spoiled and haven't been used to Him holding us accountable, and have gotten in the habit of being so disobedient that to us it can seem unfair when He finally follows through on one of the many warnings He's given.
211 Each of us must be fully dependent on the Lord if we want to have a spirit of obedience. We can't do it ourselves. We need the Lord, the keys, our spirit helpers, and everything He can give us to help us. You might feel pretty insecure right now, thinking you can't do it, that you don't have it in you. You might actually be worried now, wondering how you can possibly be more obedient‚ if you're doing everything you can but you're repeatedly tempted or your convictions weaken.
212 Don't worry! The Lord knows you intimately‚ He knows your weaknesses, and He's going to help you. In fact, He has a special gift for you. Here's a little background.
The Anointing of Obedience
213 At the end of the Summit, the Lord gave each one attending a new anointing of the spirit of obedience. Peter and I held a simple ceremony in which each attendee came up and was anointed with oil. As I was preparing this GN for you, the Lord showed me that now was His time to give this anointing of obedience to each person in the Family who wants it, and He is going to do it without any formality or ceremony. The only requirement is to really want it, to want to be obedient, and then to walk in your anointing. After the message from Jesus that explains this special gift, I'll share more about what it means to "walk in your anointing," what you can do to show you're serious and really mean business with the Lord.
214 Following are excerpts of the message the Lord gave about the anointing of obedience. As you read this, stop and picture the ceremony the Lord describes. It's a spiritual event, a ceremony between you and Him. You'll probably want to read this over again after you've prayed about it and made your commitment in the spirit that you want this anointing, and are determined to walk in it and fulfill your part of the bargain.
215 (Jesus:) Picture yourself now coming and kneeling before Me. I have passed on to you many Words of instruction. My will is clearer to you than it has been for a long time. You know what you need to do, but you're not sure if you can actually do it. It's a huge challenge and responsibility, and you know your weaknesses all too well.
216 But now I call you to come, kneel before Me, and receive the anointing of obedience.
217 Obedience sums up what I am asking of you. A lack of obedience to My Word is the crux of the many varied problems in the Family. Obedience is what will bring the solutions to those problems.
218 I anoint you with the oil of My Spirit. I am pouring out this anointing today in great measure to all who ask for it, to all who come up and commit themselves, as weak as they might feel, to the calling of obedience. This anointing will give you the wherewithal to fulfill your calling. It will give you determination when you wouldn't naturally have it. It will give you grace when the sacrifices are great. It will give you peace and faith to obey even when it doesn't look logical. It will give you strength when the going gets tough.
219 This anointing of obedience is yours, My darlings. Of course, you will have to use your anointing, walk in your anointing, claim your anointing, and then proceed to do what I call you to, regardless of how you feel. That is when you will see this anointing activated.
220 You need this anointing for what lies ahead of you in the coming months. You need it in order to follow Me into the era where I am calling you, My Endtime Family--the era of obedience. It is this obedience that will give you the great faith that you are now lacking--the faith to pull down the wonderful miracles I have promised, the faith to use the keys in the way they were really meant to be used, for those great and impossible situations where something supernatural is needed. It is this era of obedience that will bring the mighty manifestations of My power. In obedience to Me there is great faith, and great faith pulls down the things of the spirit.
221 In certain times and situations in recent years there was a high level of obedience, but it was generally maintained out of fear of man, or man pleasing, or some other outside pressure or force. But in cleansing and restructuring the Family, those who remain will find a new level of obedience out of love, out of fear of Me, out of a healthy respect for My Words, and a sense of urgency to get the job done. These motives will bring on a high level of obedience to Me and to My Words, which will in turn generate great faith among the children of David to believe and use those gifts I have put in your hands, and only then will the Family's destiny be fulfilled.
222 Obedience is the first step. That is the anointing I am giving you today, My loves, as you commit to Me. I am giving you the anointing of obedience. I will repeat: You must use this anointing, walk in it, and exercise it, in order to benefit from it. But you will notice a difference. You will notice that as you use this anointing, obedience even in very difficult situations will be easier for you. This will be a tangible anointing, one that you can feel and sense. And the more you use it, the stronger your anointing will become.
223 So come now, and receive your anointing of obedience.
224 Always remember that this obedience must come from your heart--your love for Me, your love for the lost and desire to get the job done, a sense of urgency, a fear of Me, and a respect for My Words. These things will give you not only the sense of a need to obey, but they will also give you the wisdom to know how to obey. Without pure motives, the wisdom is lacking. But with these motives, My wisdom is available to you in great measure, and will give you love and temperance and grace and wisdom in your implementation.
225 This obedience, coming from your heart, will make your life a testimony and appealing to those who truly love Me and want to follow Me, and convicting and motivating to those who haven't known how to apply My Word. You won't come across as self-righteous or legalistic. You'll come across as someone who is so in love with Me and My Words that you're willing to do anything for Me, and to do your best to obey. This is the example that's needed.
226 All of this is part of your anointing, as you commit to this calling of obedience out of love for Me. Come now, receive your anointing. And then, begin immediately to walk in that anointing. Sense it; learn to use it. The more you do, the stronger it will become, and the easier it will be for you to carry your commission even through the times that would normally be very difficult.
227 I love you, and as always, I give you what you need when I call you to something new. You will now have what you need to enter this new era. I anoint you with My love, My Spirit, My faith. I give you the anointing of obedience. (End of message from Jesus.)
228 (Mama:) This anointing of obedience is for each person who's serious about wanting to obey the Lord and learning to walk in the fear of Him. He is providing what you need to make it. He wants you to make it. He wants to make it easier for you. So He's willing to give you this precious gift in the spirit.
229 I know many of you will want it and will want to start using it right away. The Lord says that it will help make the hard decisions easier, and that is a wonderful promise to hang on to!
230 (Jesus:) In truth, the anointing of obedience is yours the minute you ask for it after reading the preceding message on the subject. All you have to do is ask Me for it. Tell Me that you want it and need it. Take whatever steps I show you to get your heart right with Me, and to open the windows of Heaven fully to pour out on you My blessings. So often it's your lack of obedience and faith that keeps them shut. So make the conditions right on your end, knowing that they are right on My end, and I want to give you the strength, faith, determination, and all that you need to carry out your calling.
231 After you've asked Me for this anointing of obedience, then trust that you have it and begin to walk in your anointing. Use it, remind yourself of it when you're faced with a hard decision, and then go ahead and make the right choice!
232 This anointing of obedience is another of My gifts of love to you, and the more you use it, the more you'll feel it and benefit from it. It is available to all who ask and desire to fulfill My highest will. (End of message from Jesus.)
233 (Mama:) In order to receive and maintain this anointing, you will want to show you're serious by doing the following:
234 * Cleanse your heart. Confess your sins. If you have been disobeying, disregarding the Word or the Charter, confess.
235 * Stay right with the Lord by not committing the same sins. "Go and sin no more."
236 * Live the Word revolution.
237 * Get the right kinds of friends who will help you obey and not let you get away with sin, and who certainly won't push you to disobey.
238 * Don't cover up for your friends. Be your brothers' keeper by helping to guide them the right way, and if they won't listen to you, get help.
239 * Fellowship with people who are serving the Lord. Don't hang out with people who aren't hungry for the Lord's Word and Spirit or who would encourage you to compromise, as they'll only weaken your convictions.
240 * Find out from God what He wants you to do, and do it.
241 This message is especially applicable to those of you who hope to be full-time disciples. The Lord is making the requirements for that privileged place of service stricter, and unless you are really dedicated at heart, you won't pan out; not only that, but you'll weaken and pull your Home down.
242 For those of you who really want to be disciples, no matter what the cost, it will be difficult. No one is thinking it won't be. Plenty of your friends might decide they don't want to be disciples; they might have it pretty good with an apartment, car, job, and girlfriend or boyfriend from the System. And if they still fellowship with you, that will be quite a pull for you, and even a source of discouragement. That is very real, and we are expecting that that will be the case for you young people who remain in the discipleship Family. You have to prepare for those battles, and this new anointing of obedience will be imperative for you. The Lord promises that it will give you the strength you need when you have no strength; it will put a vision before your eyes that will give you determination and a willingness to make the sacrifices needed, and it will be a blanket of comfort and happiness.
243 The warning from the Lord in this GN is especially for you who choose to be disciples, as He will hold you to the highest level of obedience and dedication. But this anointing of obedience is also especially for you disciples, and will make it easier and possible for you to fulfill this level of obedience that the Lord is asking for. This is a very precious privilege, and it's yours for the taking, if you're willing to fulfill the preceding requirements.
244 Thank you for taking this message and warning to heart. Again, please know that it's not easy for me to share the details of these young people's problems with you. My heart goes out to them, their loved ones, and all those who have been affected personally by what has befallen them. I pray you will not hold anything against them, that you won't talk about them behind their backs, that you won't get critical, but that you'll ponder these things in your heart and be wise by learning and changing yourself. Walk in the fear of the Lord and be blessed. We are praying for you and claiming the keys of conviction and obedience for you.
Much love and prayers,