"SECOND EPISTLE TO PASTORS--Romans Chapter One"--MO February 9, 1971 NO.48
1. My dearly beloved children in the Lord: Greetings in Jesus' Precious Name! WE THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE WELL, PERHAPS AS AN OPENER EACH TIME, WHEN POSSIBLE, TO SHARE WITH YOU OUR DAILY MORNING BIBLE STUDY, AS WE USED TO DO IN OUR LITTLE FAMILY CIRCLE IN THOSE EARLY DAYS WHICH SOME OF YOU REMEMBER! This way, if we take it chapter by chapter and hit the highlights of the important verses on the subject, we can build a solid building of the knowledge of Paul's Epistles, brick by brick, as he built their faith on the only sound Foundation, Jesus Christ, fact by fact, and truth by truth, in his great crusade of Faith against Works, which is the principal theme of all his writings, because it was the principal battle within the Early Church!
2. He not only had to wrestle with the Jews on the subject, the unsaved Jews who were trying to work their way to Heaven by their own good works and the keeping of the Law, which of course they could not keep, but also with the saved Jews, Christian Jews, who even believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and that accepted Him as their Saviour, the Concision, or Circumcision, of Legalists, LIKE MOST CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS OF TODAY, WHO WERE THEN, AS NOW, STILL TRYING TO ADD A LITTLE WORKS TO THEIR FAITH TO AT LEAST PARTLY EARN THEIR SALVATION!
INTERPRETATION OF THE WORD
3. After all, what credit could you get for being a good church member, if Jesus paid it all? As I once said to a dear Catholic girl who was worrying about the difference between mortal sin and venial sin, the kind, that according to Catholic doctrine, can either send you to Hell, or be forgiven: what difference does it make? "THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, HIS SON, CLEANSES US FROM ALL SIN!" 1 John 1:7.
4. She said, "No, Jesus only forgives you for some sins, and others you have to pay for yourself with penance!" But I said, "But it says all sin! A-L-L--ALL sin! That means mortal, venial, or otherwise--ALL sin! Look at it here! Read it for yourself--and she did! After a long pause she said, "Well, it does say all, but it must mean something else! There must be some explanation! I'll have to ask my priest!" I don't know how he explained it away, but I'm sure he must have had some way to misinterpret it, since most Catholic priests are given seven years of theological training in the dogmatic doctrines of the church, before they're allowed to read the Bible! So that, by that time, the verses no longer mean what they say--only what the church says they say, so that they have this automatic mental interpretation, like the commentaries of the Scofield Bible--and the Protestants are just as guilty: they do the same!
5. LET'S FACE IT: MOST CHRISTIANS DON'T STUDY THE BIBLE! They don't really know what it says--only what the preacher says it says, so they're all in the same boat with all the rest of the poor benighted idiots who don't search the truth out for themselves by the Spirit of God, searching the Scriptures to see if these things be so, like the Bereans, who were, therefore, more noble than the Thessalonicans, who must have swallowed everything they were told, hook, line, and sinker; without question they follow the partyline, get hooked, and are sunk, because all they can see is the bait, the sugarcoat on the poison pill! They don't think for themselves, but are like hypnotised zombies under total control of their leaders' hypnotic suggestions! They don't ask God, they don't pray about it, they don't check it with the Word, they don't measure it with the yardstick of the Scriptures, they don't weight it in the balances to find that it's wanting, they don't check it out with the Department of Weights and Measures, the Bible, to see if it's giving an honest reading! If what we tell you doesn't check with the Bible, don't believe it! It might be true, but then again, it might not! I've never asked you to believe my theories, my guesses as to what something might mean! I've only suggested what it might possibly mean, and let you decide for yourself, according to your own personal preference, when it came to something unproven or unprovable, but the absolute facts, the clear Scriptural doctrines which are so plain even a little child can understand them, such as Jesus' statement, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (Jn.14:6)--These, we can get dogmatic about! They are unchallengeable, incontrovertible, immutable, unchangeable, and "forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven." (Ps.119:89) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall never pass away." (Mt.24:35) It is the Bureau of Standards by which we measure all truth and all error!
TEACHING BABES THEORIES OR FACTS
6. Our personal theories can lie somewhere in between! They are mere guess work, our own personal opinion, and you don't have to believe it! We only suggest possible and alternative interpretations for difficult passages for which we have no clear Scriptural explanation, and are found little or nowhere else in the Scripture!
7. On these you can take your choice. It's merely a matter of opinion, and they are usually not of any earthshaking importance, but merely minor controversial details, not worth arguing over to the subverting of the hearers! I sometimes throw them out, like a little bomb, just to wake you up and shake you up with a minor explosion, and make you think, to see if you're listening!
8. I knew somebody was going to pick me up--one of you technical, theological hairsplitters--on the chronology of something I said recently about our dear Brother Elijah--the one in the Bible, I mean! And, of course, our dear and excellent lawyer of the Word immediately, but gently and tactfully, took exception to it, as he should! As it's my own little theory that Elijah was still probably living with the widowwoman whenever he was in town, off and on, throughout this whole series of events. After all, why not? Hadn't she befriended him and saved him from starvation in the first place? And hadn't he done a lot for her--the same, and more? So why not! I would have--and I challenge you to prove that he didn't! Nevertheless, I can't prove that he did--it's just my little theory, so you can take it or leave it! I didn't intend for you to take it chronologically, anyhow! But some of you are sticklers for details; I'll leave the details to you while I hit the high spots!
9. Thanks anyhow for being so observant. It shows you were paying attention! Frankly, I've got a lot of theories like that, but you don't have to swallow them, and I don't have to swallow yours, either! We'll just accept each other's facts, and try not to dwell too much on the theories! Babes may not be able to tell the difference, so we have to watch what we feed them, and differentiate between the two! Babes have to take whatever you give them, until they're old enough to know the difference! So let's look out what we feed them, and be sure to explain the difference between facts and fancy, truth and fiction, doctrine and theory!
10. For example, Elijah was obviously living with this gal for some time, like Elisha with the Shunemite woman, who built him a cozy little room on her house, and like Jesus, with Mary and Martha, whom He often visited! But just how far you take that is anybody's guess, and makes highly controversial, if not dangerous, speculation--unless you've got it by special revelation, as I have! I have my own conviction, and you're welcome to yours--but let's please not push these onto babes! Let's stick to the facts, basic fundamentals, essential doctrines, provable truths, and leave the guesswork to older brethren who can take it and not be upset by it! Milk is for babes, strong meat for men! God help us teachers to know the difference! Amen?
11. But even here, you see, I've already dropped a few more bombs that may cause some minor explosions, to make you think, and dig, and study, to see if these things be so--and this is good! Even if you don't find the answers, you'll learn something! If I don't do anything but arouse your curiosity, I've made you want to know, and that's half the battle for any teacher! Amen? Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
12. I GUESS I LIKE THE SHOCK TREATMENT! I LIKE TO SHOCK PEOPLE, CHALLENGE THEM, STIR THEM UP, AROUSE THEM, AWAKEN THEM OUT OF THEIR LETHARGY, EVEN CAUSE THEM TO EXPLODE OVER SOMETHING I'VE SAID AT LEAST GET THEM TO DO SOMETHING to spur them into action one way or the other, like I said about our songs--and I've done it a lot with you! That's one reason why you're awake now; even if you didn't believe it, and it was a shock to you, you had either to try to prove it wasn't true, or find out that it was, or that you couldn't prove it wasn't!
13. LIKE THE TIME I DROPPED A BOMB IN A CLASS, BY ASKING THE OLD PROVERBIAL QUESTION that you've seen on some so-called Gospel tracts written by very well meaning witnesses, "Where will you spend Eternity?--Heaven, or Hell?" And then, instead of giving the usual prosaic, traditional, fundamentalist answer, which nobody had dared to question, I said, "I'm not going to spend it either place, and I hope you aren't either," and went on to try to prove from the Bible that our only Scriptural description of the place we're going to dwell with the Lord forever hereafter, is not some fanciful dreamland way off in outer space, but an even more amazing dream city that's going to come down from God, out of Heaven, to a new earth, and God's going to come down and live with us, and us with Him, in that beautiful dreamtown, described in Revelation 21 and 22! We're not going to go away to some far-away place called Heaven, where God is supposed to live, but we have a real down-to-earth God, who's going to come live with us, and make Heaven on earth, both in the Millennium and thereafter! NOBODY'S GOING TO GO TO HEAVEN, EXCEPT THOSE WHO DIE BEFORE JESUS COMES, WHO GO TO BE "WITH THE LORD" and when we go with the Lord to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb during the Wrath of God, just before we return to earth for the Millennium, when we will rule and reign with Him on the earth! We're not going to Heaven; Heaven is coming to us! This is provable, Scriptural, fact! if you don't believe it, read it.
14. But when I said "I'm not going to Heaven", a new babe in my class leaped to his feet and shouted, "Maybe you're not, Buddy, but I am!", and stomped out, and never even gave me a chance to prove the point! I had lit the fuse by challenging his traditional, churchy, belief, and childish fairy-story conception of some far-off place called Heaven, that the misguided preachers are always telling us about, but know nothing of, and he couldn't stand the shock of the truth! It shattered his frame of reference, his cherished traditions of men, it threatened his faith in the church and its traditional doctrines, and he tottered on the brink of the abyss of the chasm threatening his so-called faith, it left too big a hole in his nice little preconceived notions, and he hadn't enough truth to fill it, so he was terrified by the sight, exploded and walked out! At least it made him do something!--He'd sat for years in church without moving! It actually started him thinking, so much so that he later returned and apologised, and asked to know more! Hallelujah! THAT'S WHAT I LIKE--THE SHOCK TREATMENT! IT'S RISKY, BUT SOMETIMES IT GETS RESULTS--and you're one of them! JUST BE SURE IT'S THE TRUTH! BE SURE YOU'RE RIGHT, THEN GO AHEAD! GOD CAN DEFEND HIS OWN REPUTATION! AMEN!
15. Well, how's that for the first chapter of Romans? I don't know what it has to do with it, but maybe you can figure it out! I know the Lord knows what He's doing, even if I don't! I think if you'll study it, you'll find it has some connection--but I'm afraid we'll have to get into the actual text next time! You'll have to take that as another one of our introductions to the Book! As my children will have to explain to you, one of our old family jokes: "Dad's wee word of introduction", for which they used to settle down comfortably, knowing what was coming! Forgive me, but I just can't help it! That's just the way I am--and God is! For some reason, He just doesn't seem to follow my plans, but often has other ideas! We'll get around to Romans later! Thank you for your patience--maybe one reason is that God wants to bury any personal or confidential material in these writings, so deep under all the rest, that any nosy people will not get to it before they get tired or reading, for I have many important things to say unto you, PTL!
SECURITY FOR LEADERSHIP
16. One of the most urgent, before I conclude this letter, is to CAUTION YOU TO USE GREATER SECURITY FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP! I consider L.A. and Cincy front-line battlefields, and NO COMMANDER IN HIS RIGHT MIND RISKS HIS CHIEFS-OF-STAFF ON THE BATTLEFRONT, IF HE CAN HELP IT, EXCEPT ON THE RAREST OCCASION OF DIRE EMERGENCY! You never knew me to go to the door or the gate without using several of you first as shock absorbers in-between, and then it often proved that it was really unnecessary for me to go at all, to put in any kind of risky personal appearance! I believe it's time for our top leadership to begin practicing to stay underground as mush as possible, unknown, unheard of, unseen, and unmet, to avoid serious and dangerous personal confrontations, such as with Mt. 10:36ers'. If possible, they should not even know that you exist! You should run things from behind-the-scenes, as I have been doing for sometime now, and should entrust these public personal appearances, public relations and confrontations to your chief executive officers and front men!
17. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO DO THIS IS TO SIMPLY NOT BE THERE ON THE SCENE AT THE BATTLEFRONT, OR AT LEAST, NOT KNOWN TO BE THERE, SUCH AS OUR INCOGNITO OBSERVERS and reporters, and even executive officers at vigils! Even more so, in the case of 36ers or perhaps even the Romans! YOU TOP LEADERS MUST BE SAVED AND PROTECTED FOR LEADERSHIP, DIRECTION, TEACHING, DECISIONS, INSPIRATION, PLANS AND GUIDANCE, BUT OUT OF SIGHT, KNOWN ONLY TO THE FAITHFUL, SEEN ONLY BY THE FOLLOWERS. Even every business executive worth his salt knows better than to expose himself to the general public, but has several offices and secretaries between him and the reception desk, so that his exact whereabouts is frequently unknown, and can be made to be unknown by the many officers in between! That is the job of the receptionists, secretaries, and executive officers! That's why there's so often some poor weak woman, or pretty girl, with soft soothing voice that no one has any reason to get mad at! I know! I dealt with the business world for years--and no receptionist or secretary in her right mind ever puts you through immediately to the boss, even on the telephone, unless she knows exactly who you are, what your business is, and if it's necessary! The usual and acceptable stall procedures are these: "I'll see if he's in." Then she calls him on a private line, or steps into his office personally and finds out if he wants to see or talk to the caller or visitor! If not, she returns to the phone or her desk, and politely, kindly and soothingly says, "I'm terribly sorry, but he's in a very important business meeting (or recording session, executive meeting, conference, prayer meeting, or what have you) and cannot be disturbed at the moment! Can I help you?" Or, "I'm terribly sorry, but he's away on business! Can I be of assistance?" or, "Could you please call back later?" Or, "Could we have your number, and let him call you?"--In other words, don't call us; we'll call you! Also, standard office procedure is to politely inquire "Could you please tell us who you're with, or what is your company, and what you would like to see him about, and I'll make a note of it?" NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SUMMON A LEADER TO THE PHONE, DOOR, OR GATE, WITHOUT GETTING THE CALLER'S NAME AND PURPOSE, so the boss can decide whether he wants to see him or not! Remember, you don't have to see anybody you don't want to--and some of the prophets of God even refused to greet kings when they didn't feel like it! They sent their servants to the door! Read it and see! Some of you have been hassling with people you shouldn't even have to meet face to face! Most people are not going to bop some poor little defenseless girl over the bean with their purse, or throw a punch at her--but they probably will, if they can get their hands on you--the one they really blame for it all! So don't be a fool, and stick your neck out, and your chin out, just asking for trouble, by seeing troublemakers face to face! Nehemiah didn't do it! He said, "Sorry, I'm doing a great work, and I cannot come down," (Neh.6:3) when they tried to lure him off the wall into a position of vulnerability! Stop letting it happen to you! We can't afford to lose you! Let one of your men volunteer for suicide duty to spare you, as David's men did, and many soldiers have, throughout history! "No greater love hath any man than this!" (Jn.15:13) You've done it for me--now train others to do it for you! It's an absolute necessity for survival! Let them say, "I'm the leader"--not you!--BETTER TO LOSE AN ARM OR A LEG THAN THE HEAD! Think it over! Selah.
18. It is no wonder, therefore, that some of you leaders have been ill, particularly those of L.A. and Cincy, where you're living right at the battlefront, virtually on top of a volcano that could blow at any moment, but for the Grace of God! It IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO HAVE A SINGLE MOMENT OF PRIVACY OR REST AND QUIET TO GET ALONE WITH GOD, WHERE YOU ARE, WHEN YOU ARE LIVING SO CLOSE TO YOUR WORK AND WORKERS, continually at their immediate beck and call for every little detail, with hardly a moment of peace! Only the sergeants and corporals sleep with the troops, seldom the lieutenants or majors, and whoever heard of a colonel or general, much less the chiefs-of-staff, quartering in enlisted men's barracks! You, too, need to get away as Jesus did, with only a few of His top men, sometimes only one or two or three, as well as Paul and his--alone, to the top of a mountain, or in a desert place! YOU CANNOT LIVE CONSTANTLY WITH THE MULTITUDE, WHO WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU ALONE, FOR THE POOR YOU HAVE ALWAYS WITH YOU, AND THEY ARE ALWAYS IN NEED, OR YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF WITHOUT TIME TO SO MUCH AS EAT OR SLEEP--AND NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FOR LONG!
19. NOT EVEN JESUS COULD STAND SUCH A MARATHON OF MINISTRATION, spending most of His time with only His most intimate disciples, and many times, even apart from them! The men in the Bible did it, and EVERY GREAT MAN AND WOMAN OF GOD I EVER KNEW HAD TO GET AWAY FROM THE MOB MOST OF THE TIME IN ORDER TO GET ALONE WITH GOD, BE INSPIRED, RECEIVE THE REVELATION OF HIS PLANS, AND BE BOTH SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY REFRESHED, AS WELL AS SECURELY PROTECTED FOR THEIR OWN HEALTH AND SAFETY, so they could survive themselves and be able to continue to minister in their most important tasks!
20. I HAVE OFTEN TOLD YOU THAT A GOOD LEADER NEVER DOES ANYTHING SOMEONE ELSE CAN DO, THAT HE SHOULD SAVE HIMSELF FOR THE MAJOR DECISIONS AND HEAVY BURDENS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEADERSHIP THAT ONLY HE CAN HANDLE--THE THINGS NO ONE ELSE CAN DO! Let your babes do the pick-and-shovel work, let your troops handle the hand-to-hand conflict, and your executive officers their immediate and direct supervision! Remove yourself as far as possible from the scene of the battle, not only for your own protection, but for the welfare of the Kingdom, and the many who depend upon you!
21. Use the telephone, messengers, secretaries, and executive officers to handle the direct administration and carrying out of orders, lest you become so involved in detail and constant direct administration, petty problems, personality questions, etc. that YOUR OFFICERS WILL CONTINUALLY RUN TO YOU FOR AS LONG AS YOU'RE HANDY WHEN THEY SHOULD BE LEARNING TO SEEK THE LORD ABOUT SOME OF THESE THINGS THEMSELVES, AND LEARN SOME OF THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHICH GOD IS TRYING TO TRAIN THEM TO TAKE YOUR PLACE--OR THEIR OWN, AS THE LEADER IN SOME OTHER FIELD!
22. USUALLY THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN DO THIS IS TO BECOME COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UNAVAILABLE, AT LEAST SOME OF THE TIME, IF NOT A GOOD DEAL OF IT, TO FORCE THEM TO MAKE DECISIONS, FIND SOLUTIONS, SEEK GOD AND HANDLE SITUATIONS WITHOUT YOU, so that you will be freed for the things they cannot do, and so that they will be trained to someday be free to do the same!
23. AS LONG AS YOU ARE THERE WITHIN REACH, THEY WON'T DO A THING WITHOUT YOU! But look what has happened since I left you! You have gotten along as well, if not better without my immediately available presence! TIME SOLVES SO MANY PROBLEMS, A FEW MINUTES, A FEW HOURS, A FEW DAYS, AND WE FIND THAT GOD HAS SOLVED IT WITHOUT OUR HELP! GIVE GOD A CHANCE! GIVE HIM TIME! WAIT ON THE LORD! You'll find as did Mark Twain, that most of his troubles never happened! He was either worried about things which never happened, or resolved themselves in time!
24. This is one reason why it is so important that you do not come face to face with the Enemy at the drop of a hat! Try to create buffers of personnel, time, and distance, between you and the opposition, particularly unfriendly callers! Out of sight, out of mind, and familiarity breeds contempt! As in every man's army, and even in the early days of the Soul Clinic, IT IS FOUND TO BE UNWISE, AND EVEN DANGEROUS, FOR OFFICERS TO FRATERNISE TOO CLOSELY WITH THE TROOPS, MUCH LESS YOUR ENEMIES! I never had much respect for any businessman who was not busy enough to do everything he could to keep from seeing me unless he had to--stalls, excuses, secretaries, delays, appointments, or just the plain brush-off, if he wasn't interested! Some people are so stupid, it takes quite a few of these to give them the point that you don't want the books!
25. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO OFFEND! As with children, you don't always have to say "no"! Your officers can tell them, "Maybe" or "Later" or "Not now" or "We'll think about it" or "We'll have to pray about it". YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO GIVE PEOPLE AN ANSWER ON THE SPOT, OR MAKE AN IMMEDIATE DECISION! IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO, BE HONEST AND HUMBLE, AND ADMIT IT, AND SAY, "I'M SORRY, BUT I DON'T KNOW"! That's one of the best answers in the world! You can answer every question there is--"I don't know", or, "You'll have to ask someone else", or, "Sorry, that's not my department", or, "The man that handles that isn't in today." That's why MAJOR LEADERS NEVER HAVE A LISTED TELEPHONE NUMBER!
26. I ONCE TRIED TO SEE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, but days of going through various channels, agencies, representatives, secretaries, directors, and what not, I never did get to see him! But the highest official I finally did get to see told me I didn't have to go any further--he would handle it, see that the matter was brought before the proper authorities, and be sure to take care of it! His confident assurance reassured me that he meant it, and that I could rely on him to take care of it, whatever it took!
27. YOU NEED OFFICERS LIKE THAT, WHO CAN MEET THE PUBLIC, AND TAKE CARE OF THEIR PROBLEMS WITH CONFIDENCE AND REASSURANCE! Some people just want somebody to sound off to! I had a complaint about a federal publication, and he was the Director of the Commission on Civil Rights! I thanked him, shook his hand, showed that I trusted him, and went my way; he inspired such confidence, I didn't keep on screaming! HE ACTED LIKE HE SYMPATHISED WITH ME AND WOULD DO EVERYTHING HE COULD, OR THAT WAS IN HIS POWER, TO CORRECT THE TROUBLE, and believe it or not, he did!
28. Within a few weeks an investigating committee had cut off millions of dollars in federal funds from this federal agency, stopped the publication of the book, and threatened to sue its officers if they did not make amends, and it even made national headlines, and, the last I heard, the guilty parties were having to fish the misused funds out of their own pockets to reimburse the government! Shows what one lowly taxpayer in a free country can do, and I went away happy, and never complained about not getting to see the President! Think about it! Selah!
29. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS THAT I KNOW OF DOING THIS, IS BY REMOVING YOURSELF FROM DIRECT CONTACT, even by removing yourself from the vicinity, SEPARATING YOURSELF BY ACTUAL DISTANCE, as David did, who then fled to Gath, so that Saul "sought no more again for him!" OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!
30. They shipped Paul to Tarsus, and he's not far from there now! It's the only logical, practical, and safe, thing to do, and we'll all profit from it in the long run! OUR TOP LEADERS MUST SEEK PLACES OF REFUGE NOW, and retire from the scene of action as much as possible, to restful retreats WHERE THEY CAN GET THEIR WORK DONE, and let their lieutenants carry on the immediate care of the troops, until, they too, are ready for the same, and have trained someone to take their place!
31. YOU MUST DISAPPEAR AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE FROM THE PUBLIC EYE to parts unknown, even though it only be a few miles, and a short phone call, away! It must be away! Someone else must be left in charge, a public relations man who can meet the public for you, and make all minor decisions! To all intents and purposes, ostensibly known as the leader of the work! The public must not even know that you exist, or at least, that you have faded from the scene, they know not where nor when! AND THOUGH YOUR RETREAT MAY EVEN BE NEARBY, IT MUST NOT BE KNOWN TO ANYONE BUT YOUR MOST INTIMATE, NECESSARY ASSOCIATES! This is the way we began this work; this is what I am doing; and this is the only way that you will be able to carry on effectively; and THIS IS THE WAY IT HAS ALWAYS HAD TO BE DONE IN ANY OTHER ORGANISATIONS OF THIS SIZE, with a staff of hundreds, many locations, and large responsibilities, especially considering the serious nature of our work!
32. God is providing the means!--These new farms, ranches, houses, cottages, apartments, and even buses! Many a college president has wished he had never situated his office in the administration building, and has wound up doing most of his work at home, including my brother! Most major executives only make brief visits to their business offices and are "out on business" most of the time, and nobody is surprised! Why not you? Call it your "rest retreat for tired personnel", if necessary, to explain anything to anybody! Take your writing, printshop, and other tools of your trade with you, and get a telephone! LET SOMEONE ELSE BE YOUR FRONT MAN TO SUPERVISE THE ABOVE-GROUND OPERATION UNDER YOUR LONG-DISTANCE SUPERVISION, while you work in the writing, translating, publishing, classes, reports and what not, coming in only a few times a week for classes, counsel and fellowship! Your top personnel must also be given a chance to rotate to this retreat for vitally essential rest, before they break down, as you did, and as you will, if you don't get out of there! You could take turns, so they'll never really know who is the leader! You could tell the king you need a few days rest, and break him in easy on the idea that way. GO AWAY A COUPLE DAYS, COME BACK A DAY OR TWO, NEXT TIME STAY AWAY 3 OR 4 DAYS, AND ONLY RETURN FOR CLASSES OR CONFERENCES, AND STILL STAY AWAY AT NIGHT! Pretty soon, when both he and you find that the whole work will not collapse without you, that God will continue to help the little ones to carry on in your absence, everybody will get used to the idea, and everybody will be better off! You'll be as near as the telephone--be sure you have one! If you can't do anymore than take a hotel room somewhere, even downtown a few yards away, where only a couple of you can take turns at a time, do it! YOU'VE GOT TO, TO PRESERVE YOUR SANITY AND YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, AS A LEADER!
33. Better yet, don't be too easily accessible--maybe even where they have to call you long distance--so it would have to be urgent, before they did, only immediately and easily accessible by telephone to your EXECUTIVE OFFICERS, IN CASES OF EMERGENCY, counsel, or major decisions--but never where the public can find you, or where your location is known to any, but your top personnel, and even they need only know your phone number!
34. My mother used to do this frequently--it was the only way she could get her work done! It's the only way you're going to survive, and the only way the work is going to survive! We need you! You must be protected! THE PROBLEMS OF LEADERSHIP ARE SO LARGE, THEIR BURDENS SO HEAVY, THAT THEY MUST BE RELIEVED OF ALL ELSE, IF POSSIBLE.
35. You and your co-worker and your wives COULD TAKE TURNS DIRECTING OUTSIDE WITNESSING TEAMS, STAYING IN HOMES OR APARTMENTS IN SUCH PLACES, as long as your personal whereabouts was not known, and you did not make your residence a place of public activity! The Lord showed me this a long time ago! I tried to practice it, and did so with considerable success, even while still in the Ark, before ever leaving California; and after leaving, He showed me this was definitely going to have to be our mode of operation hereafter in every location, to TRY TO KEEP OUR RESIDENCE, OR HEADQUARTERS OFFICE, UNKNOWN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, IN EVERY LOCATION, AND ONLY USE IT AS A BASE FROM WHICH TO OPERATE, A PLACE TO LIVE, EAT, AND SLEEP, like a small home office colony, particularly for the Leader, not a gathering place for the general public, who could be contacted, even taught elsewhere! WE HAVE TO DO IT TO PROTECT THE WORK!
36. Perhaps even you and your wife COULD EXCHANGE SHIFTS WITH THE LEADERSHIP in your H.Q., for a change, and a retreat, and keep shifting things around so much that people will never know who's who, and you can always blame it on the other fellow, or say he'll take care of it when he gets back! You're not the boss; you only work here! That always engenders sympathy and excuses you of almost anything!
USING OFFERED PROPERTIES
37. This will also PUT TO WORK ALL THESE NEW PROPERTIES WE ARE BEING GIVEN THE USE OF--AND IF YOU DON'T OCCUPY THEM IMMEDIATELY, DONORS WILL CHANGE THEIR MINDS AND GIVE THEM TO SOMEBODY ELSE WHO WILL! I know--I've seen it happen many times--even with the king, when he was offered property he didn't immediately put to use! The people figured if he wasn't going to use it, they'd give it to somebody who would--some other organisation that would appreciate it, and use it now, not in the sweet sometime! We need them now--let's use them now! WE DON'T EVEN NEED TO OWN THEM--ALL WE NEED IS THE USE OF THEM! LET THE OWNER WORRY ABOUT TITLES, DEEDS, TAXES, INSURANCE, AND LIABILITIES! We'll just pay the utilities, and he can pay that too, if he wants to, as long as we have a place to crash, and can use it for God's glory! Let him have the worries of ownership! You just make out the papers for dollar-a-year leases, long low-term rentals, and what not, if possible! IF THEY INSIST ON GIVING IT TO US, O.K.; WE'LL HAVE TO ACCEPT IT AS FROM THE LORD, AND FIX UP THE PAPERS ANYWAY YOU CAN! BUT LIKE THE VEHICLES, IT'S BETTER NOT TO PUT THEM IN THE NAME OF THE ORGANISATION! BETTER IN THE NAMES OF VARIOUS INDIVIDUALS THAN THAT, TO SPREAD RESPONSIBILITY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, AND NOT REFLECT ON THE GROUP IF ANYTHING HAPPENS! God will guide you! He knows best! Pray before you act!
38. Properties which we do not need for retreats for leaders from nearby bases can be used for quartering teams for additional outreaches in that area! I told you we were going to have to start sending out teams to start scattering, and I believe God is indicating by these openings that the time is now! DO NOT, HOWEVER, ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL! DO NOT AGAIN STRIP A HOME BASE OF ALL ITS BEST LEADERSHIP, LEAVING ALL THE BABES TO SHIFT COMPLETELY FOR THEMSELVES! YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRINCIPAL TRAINING CENTRE WITH YOUR BEST TEACHERS PREPARING TEAMS FOR THE FIELD. Start choosing up sides now for the next inning, or outing! You can have main field training centres, with preliminary indoctrination, courses, and other places as outposts.
39. A donated Farm could be a base from which to reach nearby cities and other areas, a stepping stone in that direction, a base from which to send teams there. Toronto would be a good place to train those interested in London; and Montreal, for those for France! In New York, you could train nearly anybody for anything--you name it!--And it's the best jumping off place, the launch pad for Europe! I agree with Josh that California is the major harvest of the moment--LET'S GET THE TEAMS OUT IN NEW AREAS AS SOON AS GOD OPENS THE WAY; AND HE WILL, AS SOON AS YOU HAVE THE PERSONNEL READY! THE FIELDS AND THE DOORS ARE ALWAYS OPEN, ONLY THE LABOURERS ARE FEW. "PRAY YE THEREFORE THE LORD OF THE HARVEST THAT HE SHALL SEND FORTH LABOURERS INTO HIS HARVEST." "THE HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS." (MT.9:36-38)
TRAINING LEADER BY TRUSTING THEM
40. WE ALSO SEEM TO BE GETTING DISCIPLES FASTER THAN WE ARE DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP TO TRAIN THEM! It seems there's a tendency toward a generation gap between the older brothers and the newborn babes! Brethren, this ought not so to be! We are either not trusting those who have been with us for a long time with sufficient responsibility to assume positions of leadership, or we're not getting the right material! I doubt the latter, for I believe God is giving us what we need! I think perhaps we're not pushing them along fast enough, or having enough faith in them, or in God for the results! I notice by your reports, that some of our oldest and most trusted brothers and sisters, even those already in positions of extreme responsibility, are not even permitted to attend your leadership meetings! How come? HOW DO YOU EVER EXPECT TO MAKE LEADERS OF THEM IF YOU DON'T TRUST THEM, AS I TRUSTED YOU? I FELT MANY OF YOU WERE A REAL RISK, AND SOME SEEMED TO HAVE NO POTENTIALITY AT ALL! MAYBE I COULDN'T TRUST YOU, BUT AT LEAST I TRUSTED GOD, and that He knew what He was doing in giving you to me, and therefore, He knew you'd make it--and He was right! You did! God gave you and He kept you! Maybe you need more faith in God to keep your new ones--or will God have to force us out, so you'll have to trust Him, like you did with the first teams across the country! I didn't know if any of you could make it! I just had to trust God to take care of you, that you were trying to obey Him, and therefore, He was bound to protect and provide--and He never failed, and so, seldom did you!
41. EVEN YOUR MISTAKES WERE PART OF YOUR TRAINING, AND HE GETS SOME OF HIS GREATEST VICTORIES OUT OF SEEMING DEFEATS, VICTORIES OF BROKENNESS, HUMILITY, AND MORE UTTER DEPENDENCE ON HIM, WHICH YOU MUST HAVE TO BE A LEADER! My Mother once asked the great evangelist, Paul Rader, "Why are the labourers always so few?" And he answered wisely, "I guess God can't break them fast enough." How true! GOD ONLY USES BROKEN MEN AND WOMEN--NO OTHERS WILL DO! OTHERS ARE TOO SELF-CONFIDENT IN THEIR OWN FLESH! God has to break them, melt them, and mold them again in the hands of the Potter, to make them a better vessel, but He won't force it! THE BREAKING DEPENDS UPON YOU AND YOUR YIELDEDNESS, AND WILLINGNESS TO BE MADE WILLING, TOTAL HUMILITY, WHICH IS SYNONYMOUS WITH TOTAL LOVE, SO YOU'RE WILLING TO GO ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, AND DO ANYTHING, FOR ANYBODY, AND BE NOBODY, TO PLEASE HIM, AND HELP OTHERS! Are you ready?--Or does God have to push you out, so He can push them in, or push them out, so He can use them, because you won't?
42. It seems to me that, again I say, YOUR TEACHERS, MUSICIANS, SECRETARIES, AND THOSE ALREADY IN POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD SURELY BE TRUSTED TO ATTEND YOUR LEADERSHIP MEETINGS! HOW ELSE ARE THEY GOING TO LEARN, unless God takes them from you and puts them where they can--or you from them, and puts them where you are! Think about it! We gave you a chance! What about them? Is God able? He never fails!
PREPARATION AND SENDING OUT OF TEAMS
43. How else are we going to be able to take advantage of the new doors and fields that God is opening, if out of 500 people we still can't spare the teams, or we haven't the leadership, or we haven't trained them! ASK GOD TO PICK THEM OUT! HE WILL LEAD! GIVE THEM A CHANCE! PUSH THEM OUT--AND EXPECT GOD TO TRAIN THEM WHERE YOU HAVE FAILED! He won't fail, and they can't fail anymore than they are now by not going! We have the labourers! Let's put them to work, and heed not the objections of those who were hired first, and have borne the heat of the day, that it's not fair, that these are too young, they've not worked with us nearly long enough, as long as we have! Why should they receive equal honour? You'd better note the Parable Jesus tells along this line in Matthew 20, and follow His example, because there's a big job to be done, and we've got to get anybody we can get to do it! That's what we're here for! Let's start getting them out now! START MAKING UP YOUR TEAMS, GIVING THEM THE VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT THEY NEED, AND INSTRUCTION ON WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO, AND HOW AND WHERE TO DO IT, AS I TOLD YOU BEFORE, AND SEND THEM OUT BY FAITH, AS JESUS DID, and expect God to take care of them--and you all made it, every single time, without fail! God never failed! WE GAVE YOU WHAT WE COULD--OUR BLESSING AND THE WORD OF GOD, AND SENT YOU OUT ON HIS OWN! And you came in, team by team, rejoicing at how the Lord had guided and provided!
44. IS GOD DEAD NOW, THAT HE CAN'T DO IT AGAIN! OR IS OUR FAITH DYING, SO THAT WE'RE AFRAID TO SEND THEM? WE SENT SOME OF YOU OUT WITH ALMOST NOTHING--a car, a van, a little trailer, an old bus, a handful of inexperienced disciples, some of them as raw as the new recruits you're getting off the streets--BUT YOU MADE IT, BECAUSE GOD HELPED YOU, BECAUSE YOU'RE HIS CHILDREN, AND HE'S YOUR FATHER, AND HE'S BOUND TO TAKE CARE OF YOU! He has never failed in one of His good promises! Is He the same today, or only yesterday, and not forever? Can He do it again? Yea, and I say unto you that He will do it again, if you will but trust Him to care for His sheep! That's what I had to do with you! I just said, "Lord, I can't take care of them! They're yours, and you'll have to, and I know you will"--and He did! And they that did know their God did exploits, and they that understood instructed many, and very few fell, thank God! Hallelujah! Are you ready? Let's go! The time is now!
45. BUT DON'T SOME OF YOU TOP LEADERS MISUNDERSTAND ME, AND START TAKING OFF FOR PARTS UNKNOWN, SO DISTANT THAT YOU NEGLECT HOME BASE, LEAVING IT AS WEAK AND INEFFECTIVE AS YOU DID BEFORE! WE NEED YOU STRONG VETERANS AT HOME TO TRAIN THE NEW! YOU'VE BEEN THERE! NOW SEND THEM! ONE OR TWO VETERANS TO A TEAM FOR LEADERS SHOULD BE ENOUGH. THE REST CAN LEARN AS THEY GO, LIKE JESUS' DISCIPLES. AMEN? HAVE FAITH IN GOD!
46. Dear Kids: thank you so much for all your personal notes and letters, and so on, and we hope to answer them by name as soon as possible! However, we've been busy moving and getting settled in our new quarters, getting adjusted to a new country, a new situation, a new people, and a new language, a new monetary system, and even new food, so the mail has stacked up a little again, because WE HAVE BEEN DETERMINED TO PUT THE SPIRITUAL AND INSPIRATIONAL FIRST AND GIVE YOU THE MAJOR BURDENS OF OUR HEART ALONG THE INSPIRATIONAL LINE FIRST, INCLUDING ADVICE AND COUNSEL, WHICH APPLIES TO ALL OF YOU; so although we've read your letters, reports, and so on, with great interest, many thrills, some tears. and much praises, we will have to save mentioning them personally for next time, God willing, as we must add just this one more page to the enclosed Epistle, on some very vital subjects! I hope you'll read it as soon as possible, because it has some vital information in it for you!--And contains some major changes and suggestions for your modes of operation, which I think are essential to our preservation and continuity! But here are few items which are important to send to each of you now, without further delay, along with this letter:
NEED AND USE OF TELEPHONES
47. LOS ANGELES: Josh and Faith, we just heard the news this morning for the first time about the earthquake, and tried to get a hold of you immediately through the only telephone, or, I should say, one of the two phones, in all of our colonies! THE LACK OF PHONES in both Los Angeles and Texas, PHONES AT LEAST THAT WE CAN CALL FROM ABROAD, SEEM TO ME A VERY SERIOUS HANDICAP IN OUR COMMUNICATION SYSTEM, AND SHOULD BE REMEDIED AT ONCE! You top leaders must have a telephone; your own private line, for use in case of just such emergencies! Incidentally, let me PLEASE BEG ALL OF YOU NOT TO STALL THESE LONG DISTANCE INTERNATIONAL PHONE CALLS WITH ANY KIND OF DELAYS, no matter how important you think your recording or amplifications systems are! You have to actually make appointments for these calls over here, it takes hours to get them through, and once your turn comes, the operator is very impatient to get you on the line, because many others are standing in line waiting, and if you delay in accepting the call too long, she is apt to get impatient, cut you off entirely, and say, "Sorry," as has happened sometimes, "They have left the line," and pass on to somebody else! You have no idea how agonising these delays are, when the operator has already got you on the phone, and then you stall around until you get set up, while we are very anxious to talk to you! We're just apt to lose the call entirely, and have to wait more agonising hours before we can get you again! Everyone of you have done this to us at some time or another. The operator also hates to have to wait so long for you to come to the phone, and I was holding my breath, hoping and praying she wouldn't cut us off before you got there! Maybe you just had a tough time dragging out, or maybe you were trying to get set up, but whatever it was, for God's sake, Folks, please get on the phone in a hurry, when I call from abroad! At least one of you start talking, while the other one sets up, so we won't lose the call. Tks. TO MAKE SURE I GET YOUR CALLS, I HAVE SOMETIMES JUMPED OUT OF BED STARK NAKED, DIVED INTO MY OVERCOAT, AND SLID DOWN THE BANISTER TO GET TO THE PHONE ON TIME, even if I had to sit there and talk to you in a cold, unheated, hotel lobby in nothing but my topcoat, quite a spectacle to other guests--rather than miss your call!--so please, try to have as much consideration for us when we call! Get on the phone, and hang on to it, and start talking, so we don't lose the call! I have gone thru this procedure as much as two or three times on some of your calls, dashed down a flight of stairs in nothing flat, after jumping out of a sound sleep, to try to grab the phone before the operator gave up--and they give up awful easy over here! PHONES ARE SCARCE, LINES ARE FEW, AND THE CALLERS MANY, AND OFTEN, "OPERATOR RINGS BUT ONCE", AND THAT'S IT! If you don't make it, you've missed it. So I don't know what all those delays are that all of you have been guilty of, but please don't let it happen again! I DON'T LIKE PHONE CALLS ANYHOW, AND I ONLY USE THEM IN EMERGENCIES, BUT EMERGENCIES USUALLY DEMAND HASTE, LIKE THE "KING'S BUSINESS".
48. Thank you very much for your quick action in being faithful messengers in contacting the others! The Lord really pushed those calls through in a hurry. PTL!
49. LOS ANGELES: Thank God for the good news in your quick response to our call! We had been particularly burdened for you at that very time, about 6:00 a.m. your time, and after that morning. We heard the news on BBC this morning, we were of course greatly concerned, but knew God was taking care of you, and got those verses in prayer, Ps. 91. This quake sounds like the one the Lord warned us of, which we knew was coming, and may be followed by more, and worse, as He predicted! They usually come in series! Next time it may not be so easy to get out! If I were you, I believe I'd try to start moving teams out as soon as possible, in installments, to our various new locations, and some of the old ones, including the road! When I got this warning recently, it came with Matthew 24:20. Verse 19 is for babies! Beware! More later! Love, Dad.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family}