"THIRD EPISTLE TO PASTORS"--MO February 14, 1971 NO.49--LTA
Copyrighted February, 1971 by The Children of God
P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or GPO 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
1. To my dearly beloved children in the Lord: Greetings in Jesus' Precious name!--And Happy St. Valentine's Day to you all! Will you be my Valentine?--Whatever that is! I don't even remember who St. Valentine was, or why we associate him with love and cupids, but he must have been quite a character along that line, to warrant this day being held in his honour! God knows, we all appreciate love, and lots of it, but I don't know why St. Valentine should be given credit for it!
2. Anyhow, here it is, a bright, sunny, St. Valentine's Sunday morning, and what better could I be doing than ministering to my favorite congregation of valentines! I want to particularly mention some of my favourite Valentines along this line, who have written me very good personal letters recently on various good news, plans, and problems, such as you, dear Mom, Martha, Deborah, Lydia, Esther, Faithie, Vashti, Hannah, Carmel, Tabitha, Rahel Miriam, Jael, Christian, Becky, Ami, Shua, Shifra, Grace, Ruth, Naomi, Hazadiah, Tzaddi, Chebar, and others, whom I may have overlooked for the moment; plus those of you who have written me before, such as Rachel, Adria, Abigail, Bathsheba, Diane, and so on; as well as a few more that I would like to hear from, but haven't heard from recently, such as Shula, Shiloh, Rebecca, Salome, Hepzibah, Joanna, Belt's Ruth, Adah, Macedonia, Achsah, Jerush, Rhoda, Tamar, Mara, Magdalene, Moriah, Endureth, Leah, Hodiah, Vikki, Keturah, and all the rest of you who should have written me a love letter by this time. My sincere regards and sympathies to all your good husbands and boyfriends, as well, and my apologies to Rahab, and all the rest of my dear daughters whom I may have momentarily overlooked, for lack of time, space, and a good recent list of personnel, which we have requested many times, but have yet to receive from any of the colonies, except L.A., who listed top leaders only. We'd like to know what you're all doing, and who's doing it, and to let you know we love and appreciate you all! God bless you. I love every one!
ADVICE ON MARRIAGE--HONESTY AND HUMOUR
3. Since this is Valentine's Day, and you are all my dear, precious valentines whom I love very dearly, with only the degree of our relationship varying somewhat, I THINK IT MOST APPROPRIATE THAT WE SHOULD DEVOTE THIS PARTICULAR EPISTLE ESPECIALLY TO YOU DEAR GIRLS, WIVES, AND PROSPECTIVE WIVES OF OUR LEADERS!
4. AS YOU CAN SEE, EVEN THOSE OF YOU WHO THOUGHT YOU WERE NOBODY IN THE BEGINNING, ARE NOW SOMEBODY WITH A VERY IMPORTANT JOB, AS ALL OF YOU WILL BE IF YOU'RE FAITHFUL.--AND IT IS REQUIRED ABOVE ALL THINGS THAT A HANDMAIDEN OF THE LORD BE FOUND FAITHFUL. LOYALTY IS THE PRIMARY REQUISITE IN ANY MAN'S ARMY, and in the army of you women, as well--the Lord's Army, of Christian Soldiers' all.--FAITHFUL, FIRST OF ALL TO JESUS AND HIS WORK, AND THE OTHERS TO WHOM YOU MINISTER, AND LAST OF ALL, BUT NOT LEAST, TO YOUR MATE AND YOURSELF. As Shakespeare said, "If thou canst to thy own self be true, thou canst not be false to any man." How true! IF YOU'RE HONEST WITH YOURSELF, YOU WILL BE HONEST WITH THE LORD, YOUR MATE, AND THOSE AROUND YOU!
5. THE HARDEST ONE TO CONFESS YOUR FAULTS TO IS YOURSELF! I oughta know! We hate even to admit to ourselves our own mistakes, sins, and shortcomings, it is sometimes so discouraging, humbling, and humiliating. So we try to excuse ourselves to ourselves, and defend ourselves from ourselves, and exonerate and absolve ourselves from all sin, so that we can stand to face ourselves--but this only tends to make matters worse, because WHEN WE'RE NOT HONEST WITH OURSELVES, AND WE KEEP ON TRYING TO FOOL OURSELVES, WE TRY TO DO THE SAME WITH GOD AND OTHERS, AND THE RESULT IS ONE AWFUL MESS--YOU MAKE A MESS OF YOUR OWN LIFE, HURT ALL THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH YOU, AND HURT GOD MOST OF ALL, AS WELL AS HINDER YOUR TESTIMONY AND MINISTRY TO THOSE OUTSIDE! May God help us all to be honest with ourselves, others, and God! It will help us to keep from being false to any man! Falsification is the product of pride, an effort to hide the awful truth of which we are ashamed!
6. I DON'T MEAN WE'RE TO GO AROUND BRAGGING ABOUT ALL OUR SINS AND FAILURES to everyone that comes along, including the whole congregation, like those damn confession sessions, just to show how honest you are and how humble you are! This is pride, too! HE THAT IS HUMBLE KNOWETH NOT THAT HE IS HUMBLE, BELIEVE IT OR NOT! IF YOU THINK YOU ARE, YOU PROBABLY AREN'T! "LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH TAKE HEED LEST THE FALL!" (1Cor.10:12) Just about the time you think you've got it made, God will stick a pin in your little balloon, all the hot air will vanish, and you'll fall flatter than ever before, because you'll be exposed for the nothing you really are to the multitude around you, to your mate, to God, and sometimes, worst of all, to yourself! PRIDE MAKES IT EVEN HARDER TO FORGIVE YOURSELF, EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU! People have even committed suicide for such reasons, preferring to have to face God than themselves or others! God help us!
7. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF! CONFESS TO YOURSELF CONTINUALLY WHAT A FOOL YOU ARE, HOW STUPID YOU ARE, HOW DUMB YOU ARE, HOW SLOW YOU ARE, HOW THOUGHTLESS YOU ARE, HOW SELFISH YOU ARE, AND HOW INCONSIDERATE YOU ARE, AND HOW HOPELESS YOU ARE, WITHOUT GOD! GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY FOR ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT YOU, AND YOURSELF ALL THE BLAME FOR ANYTHING BAD! That's usually a pretty good rule, because it's usually right! "What hast thou that thou hast not received?" (1Cor.4:7) ... "Every good and perfect gift cometh down from above." (Ja.1:17) Give God all the glory! Remind yourself that you're nothing without Him! Even make fun of yourself! Make a joke of it! Get a kick out of how ridiculous you are, and what silly things you do, as my mother used to do about her absentmindedness! She was always telling funny stories on herself, and of the crazy things she did, to remind herself and you the only good thing about her was God!
8. GET A BIG LAUGH OUT OF YOURSELF! HELP OTHERS TO LAUGH AT YOU, TOO! Even remind God of what a joke you are! "He remembereth our frame, that we are dust" (Ps.103:14) ... "As a Father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him." (Ps.103:13) God has a sense of humour, too, and maybe you can help Him laugh it off, if you're honest about it, confess it, tell Him you're sorry, you'll try not to be such a stupid idiot next time!
9. A SENSE OF HUMOUR IS A GREAT ASSET IN LIFE! HUMOUR IS ENJOYING THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE WAY THINGS ARE AND THE WAY THEY OUGHTA BE, AND BEING ABLE TO LAUGH ABOUT IT, WHEN IT'S NOT TOO SERIOUS! I once heard a missionary, who had spent 25 years in Tibet, four of them behind Communist lines, say that ONE OF THE GREATEST ASSETS ANY MISSIONARY CAN HAVE IS A STRONG SENSE OF HUMOUR, WHICH CAN HELP RELIEVE THE TENSION IN MANY A TIGHT SITUATION! It helps relax you and show you how funny things really are sometimes! This is known as "comic relief," and a good laugh is good for your digestion, and sometimes it helps you get a much better and more honest perspective on things, reminding you how funny you and things can sometimes be, except for the grace of God. So be able to laugh at yourself, and help others to laugh with you! It will make it easier for them to forgive you, and to remember how laughable they are, too, even your dignified husband! "There is a time for everything," including a time to laugh at yourself, your mate, others, and even God is funny sometimes! He sure made some funny creatures, including you and me! When I look at some people, I know God has a sense of humour!
10. AS SOBER AS MY MOTHER WAS ABOUT SERIOUS THINGS, INCLUDING GOD'S BUSINESS, SHE KEPT US ROARING AT HER ABSENT-MINDEDNESS, AND USED IT AS A VEHICLE TO GLORIFY GOD, showing how God could use anything, even her! How about you? And me? Aren't we funny? We're a real laugh, let's face it! If it weren't for God, we'd be one big joke, and a hell of a mess!
11. Of course, some laughs are not so funny, and God is even going to get a laugh out of the end of the foolish wicked one of these days! Poor fools! What a joke!
12. BUT HONESTLY, I BELIEVE ONE OF THE GREATEST ASSETS TO A GOOD MARRIAGE IS HONESTY, ALONG WITH A SENSE OF HUMOUR! DON'T HIDE ANYTHING FROM EACH OTHER! SHARE ALL THINGS, AND BEAR ALL THINGS, AND TAKE NO ACCOUNT OF EVIL, AND BE ABLE TO LAUGH AT THE FUNNY PARTS! Some women even get tickled while making love! I remember the night we heard a couple nearly splitting their sides in a love-making session! I don't know how they did it, but it sounded like a ball! My brother once said, "You take yourself too seriously," and this is possible sometimes! You may be taking the whole thing too seriously, it may not be half as bad as you think, and it might be better just to see the funny side of it all!
13. Some of you are born comedians, anyhow, and you always give us a laugh which is usually good for us, and you use your talents to help cheer us up! Of course, some of you are just naturally funny without knowing it, and sometimes that can be a little hard on your pride! Like a friend of mine they hired for the circus as a clown, and when he asked them what he was supposed to do, they said, "Just act natural". So to be honest with yourself, maybe you just oughta act natural! Quit trying to "put on" and kid yourself and others that you're something you aren't! JUST BE YOUR OWN SWEET SELF, OR BETTER YET, BE LIKE HIMSELF; BUT, WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T TRY TO FOOL US, OR YOUR MATE, OR GOD! YOU'LL ONLY WIND UP DECEIVING YOURSELF!
14. Praise the Lord! Amen? I think women are not only beautiful, wonderful, soft and warm, but they're really funny! This is part of their being a help! Do you agree? And all the men said, "Amen!" Of course, men are funny, too, aren't they girls? And all the girls shrieked, "Hallelujah!" So the feeling's mutual! Ho, ho, ho! Thank God for a funny husband or wife! You'll get a good laugh every day, and really enjoy life! ASK GOD TO HELP YOU TO KNOW WHEN TO LAUGH, AND WHEN TO BE SOBER, AND HOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! Some of the funniest times are when you're trying to be the most sober! ASK GOD TO HELP YOU TO BE TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS, AND BE WELL-BALANCED BETWEEN THE TWO! "LET YOUR MODERATION BE KNOW TO ALL MEN!" (PHIL.4:5) DON'T BE TOO SOBER, OR TOO SILLY, EITHER ONE, AT LEAST, NOT ALL THE TIME!
15. I DON'T MEAN BY ALL THIS THAT A WIFE IS A LAUGHING MATTER, but I say it to try to cheer you up a bit, and help you be honest between yourselves. Oh, so you thought you were pretty hot stuff, huh? Well, ask your mate and see!
16. So much for advice to the lovelorn. I'm not "Dear Abbey" or "Ann Landers", but maybe this will help some of you have a little more practical down-to-earth relationship, and know that you're both human beings, and nobody's perfect--he's not the hero you thought he was, and you're no angel either--with the exception of my wife, of course! Of course, she may be, like the man who said he knew his wife was an angel, because she was always up in the air about something, always harping on something, and never had an earthly thing to wear! Are you that kind of angel? I hope not! God forbid, and help you to love him, be honest with him, and have a sense of humour!
PUTTING GOD FIRST IN MARRIAGE
17. Of course, some of your situations you have written me about are not so funny and must be taken very seriously! Some of you have gone to one extreme, and some of you to the other! SOME OF YOU IN TIMES PAST HAVE SACRIFICED THE WORK FOR YOUR HUSBAND, AND OTHERS OF YOU, IN TIMES PRESENT, ARE DOING JUST THE OPPOSITE! The characters in this epistle are purely factual, and any resemblance to personalities now living is positively intentional!
18. THE RULE OF THUMB IS VERY SIMPLE--the solution is plain, but not always easy! God's Word makes it very clear, and it's summed up in the little slogan on priorities, "JESUS AND OTHERS, THEN YOU"! If you'll follow this simple rule, it'll keep you out of a lot of trouble! Jesus comes first! The first commandment is to love God! "For I the Lord, thy God, am a jealous God, and I will have no other gods before Me." (Deu.5:7,9)--Not even His Work, or your mate, much less yourself! Some of you thought, that by seeking first the Kingdom of God, that you were putting the King first--the King of Kings, that is, but this is not always necessarily so! SOMETIMES YOU CAN NEGLECT YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE KING OF KINGS, BECAUSE YOU'RE SO BUSY WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THE KINGDOM, AND THIS CAN BE DISASTROUS TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE AND COMMUNION WITH THE LORD! YOU CANNOT DO THE MASTER'S WORK, WITHOUT THE MASTER'S POWER AND GUIDANCE! You can't make bedroom slippers for God, above His fellowship! Some of you have been guilty of this--and it's had serious consequences, however sincere and faithful you were to His Work! YOU MUST PUT HIM FIRST--GOD, THAT IS, NOT THE WORK, NOR YOUR HUSBAND, NOR YOUR WIFE, NOR EVEN OTHERS, ONLY JESUS! HE DOESN'T FIT SECOND PLACE, AND HE WON'T TAKE IT! HE WON'T STAND FOR IT, AND YOU'LL HAVE TROUBLE!
19. OTHERS HAVE PUT THE WORK BEFORE YOUR HUSBAND, BUT IF YOUR HUSBAND 'S MINISTRY IS YOUR WORK, THEN THIS WON'T WORK, EITHER, and what you're really trying to do is seek a self-glorifying ministry of your own, instead of being a helpmeet, as God intended for you to be! You'd better get with it, Sister--with him, I mean! Get it? Need I mention any names? I hate to have to do that, because it fits several of you and I don't like to embarrass you before all who are reading this Letter, but you know who you are, and so does God, and so does everybody else, probably--everybody but you? I hope not! I hope you know who you are, and ask God to straighten you out!
20. WORSE YET, STILL OTHERS OF YOU HAVE SOMETIMES PUT YOUR HUSBANDS BEFORE THE WORK, AND THIS IS INTOLERABLE IN ANY MAN'S ARMY! YOU'VE FORGOTTEN WHAT YOU JOINED THE ARMY FOR, AND YOU'VE BEEN PUTTING HOMEMAKING FOR HIM, FIRST. This is deplorable and intolerable, and we have even lost a husband or two, who demanded such attention, insisting on putting himself above both God and His Work! YOUR WIFE BELONGS FIRST OF ALL, TO GOD AND HIS WORK, AND LAST OF ALL TO YOU--AND IN THIS BUSINESS, YOU CAN BE THANKFUL IF YOU GET ANYTHING OF HER AT ALL!
21. But instead, some of you have been so demanding that you've been insisting on being treated like a god yourself, and IF YOU CONTINUE TO TRY TO TAKE THE PLACE OF GOD IN HER LIFE, GOD IS JUST APT TO TAKE HER AWAY FROM YOU COMPLETELY, UNTIL YOU LEARN YOUR LESSON, as He's had to do with some other husbands--and you're no exception, I don't care who you are! You know who you are, and she knows who she is, and she has written to me recently about this! She has not complained about you, and she loves you, but she's confused about your attitude, and concerned about your spiritual state, when you will not let her put God first, particularly when her training, calling, and ministry are apt to exceed and outshine yours! IT'S JUST PLAIN, PURE, MASCULINE JEALOUSY, DAMNABLE, HELLISH PRIDE, and you're going to wreck her life as well as yours, and maybe even some of God's Work if you persist! I have told you before that when it comes to God's Work in the realm of the Spirit, and the ministry of the Church, there is no male nor female in Christ Jesus, neither bond nor free! Here she is no longer yours, but God's, no longer yours, but her public's, no longer bond, but free, no longer even female! IF SHE HAS TRAINING, SPIRITUAL EDUCATION, TALENTS AND GIFTS WHICH FAR EXCEED YOURS IN THE SPIRITUAL MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH, THEN YOU MUST NOT TRY TO HOLD HER DOWN! You cannot keep her back, or you're in trouble! You're apt to break her spirit, crush her heart, smother her zeal, destroy her ministry, and displease God! Watch out!
22. NOW WATCH OUT THAT THE WRONG PEOPLE DON'T TAKE THE WRONG MESSAGE TO HEART! You may be the very one I'm talking to, but in your listener's generosity are passing the buck to somebody else, a very human custom, which began with the first couple in the Garden of Eden! God means you, not the other fellow! Are you guilty? IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT! IT'S THE HIT DOG THAT USUALLY HOWLS! IF THIS HURTS, YOU'RE PROBABLY GUILTY! On the other hand, it might hurt because you think I think you're guilty, but frankly, I'm inclined to agree with you, and your letters that I have received, so don't take this the wrong way! Ask God to show you the truth, and He will!
23. But what I say unto one, I say unto all, because the problem is not confined to you alone! It has cropped up before and may again, so we might as well deal with it generally, so that all may fear! Don't let it happen to you!
EQUALITY OR SUPERIORITY IN MARRIAGE--WOMEN LEADERS
24. THE SUPERIORITY OF A WIFE OVER HER HUSBAND IN SPIRITUAL THINGS, IN THIS DAY AND AGE IS NOT RARE! MY MOTHER WAS ONE, BUT THEY MADE A PERFECT TEAM BECAUSE MY FATHER HUMBLY AND RIGHTFULLY ACKNOWLEDGED IT, AND SUPPLEMENTED HER MINISTRY WITH HIS OWN GIFTS, WHICH SHE LACKED! She was a brilliant prophetess of God, an inspired leader, with many mighty spiritual gifts, and a strongly appealing public personality. She had the background for it, and was the rightful heir to her famous father's public talents, with a lifetime of training in the field from childhood! This is a tremendous heritage, which is hard to beat, if yielded to God, and used by the Spirit! My father was a handsome singer with a beautiful voice, and a brilliant and analytical teacher, with a terrific knowledge of the Word, as well as being practical and conservative in material matters, so that together they made a wonderful team, just as God had designed--as long as he was willing to let her lead in the field of her own talents, and not stand in her way! As a result, God gave them a mighty ministry, tens of thousands were saved and healed and helped, and hundreds went into a full-time ministry for the Lord, many to mission fields abroad, and their influence still carries on in me and my children, and you, my children!
25. But there was a time in their lives when his relatives and WELL-MEANING FRIENDS PERSUADED HIM THAT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WAS NOT RIGHT, THAT HE SHOULD TAKE OVER AND TAKE THE LEAD, SPIRITUALLY AND EVERY OTHER WAY, AND MAKE HER TAKE A BACK SEAT, SQUELCH HER GIFTS, AND SILENCE HER WITNESS--AND THIS NEARLY RUINED THEM BOTH! She tried to do it, but like Jeremiah, couldn't! He tried to domineer, but only got in God's way, and God's Work rolled right on over him and left him far behind, using me, to help carry on her ministry, and he wound up a broken, disheartened man; whereas, I went on in a sense, to steal his crown, sad to say! I'm sure he'll be rewarded for the days he was faithful, and the wonderful Christian heritage he gave to me, which made it possible, but he lost part of his reward in the end, and instead of becoming a great teacher and flaming evangelist, as he had hoped, his friends had only lured him from the Great Wall that he was building with my mother and he came down to almost nothing in the end! Don't let it happen to you! DON'T STAND IN GOD'S WAY, EVEN IF IT'S GOD IN YOUR WIFE, OR YOU'LL BE SORRY, AND SO WILL SHE, FOR SHE MAY HAVE TO GO ON WITHOUT YOU, AS MY MOTHER DID, RATHER THAN FAIL GOD, AND GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE, IN THESE EXCEPTIONAL CASES, TO SUPPLY HER WITH A BETTER CO-WORKER, WHO WILL ACKNOWLEDGE HER GIFTS, GIVE WAY TO HER MINISTRY, AND DO EVERYTHING HE CAN TO HELP HER PERFORM IT, as I did, for I took his place! DON'T FAIL GOD, SO THAT HE HAS TO LET SOMEONE TAKE YOURS! AND DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF, AND TRY TO BLAME IT ON GOD, AND QUIT! SELF-PITY IS PRIDE: HURT FEELINGS ARE DAMNABLE STINKING SELF, AND AT THE ROOT OF EVERY DOUBT, THERE IS SIN, THE HEINOUS, DIABOLICAL SIN, OF REBELLION AGAINST GOD'S WILL! This is why people doubt! They're not willing to accept the truth, but prefer strong delusion, rather than obey the will of God! Don't let it happen to you--and you know who I'm talking to! Snap out of it, quit feeling sorry for yourself confess your faults to yourself, your wife, and God; and if the whole congregation already knows it, to them, too! BUT IF YOU PERSIST IN STANDING IN GOD'S WAY, BECAUSE OF YOUR PRIDE AND UNYIELDEDNESS TO HIS WILL, YOUR DISOBEDIENCE WILL BRING ON AN OVERWHELMING FLOOD OF DOUBTS AND DELUSIONS, WHICH MAY LAND YOU ON THE SCRAP HEAP, WHILE GOD'S WORK GOES ON WITHOUT YOU, AND SHE GOES ON WITH GOD! Which will it be? May God give her the guts, with or without you!
26. A shining example in our midst, of just one of the husband and wife teams that has made this combination work, of a gifted husband and wife, both talented in public ministry and faithful in the Lord's service, in which the husband is willing to let his wife perform her spiritual public ministries, in both inspiration, teaching, leading, and witnessing, while at the same time exercising his own outstanding talents in the same fields, as well as others that she does not have, are our own dearly beloved Josh and Faith in L.A.--And look at the tremendous, phenomenal results! What a glorious example of humility and yieldedness and cooperation on the part of both! Look what God can do with such a combination, and beware that you don't fail His Plan by standing in His Way! The days of your ignorance God winked at, but now He calls you to repent before it is too late! You have stood in her way before, and not only failed God yourself, but caused her to fail God, too! God has been patient with you and given you great space to repent, having been warned by both me, and even others before me--but now it's later than you think! THERE'S NO MORE TIME FOR FOOLISH PRIDE, AND YOUR FLESHLY, MASCULINE, DOMINEERING! GET OUT OF YOURSELF, AND GET IN THE SPIRIT! LET GO AND LET GOD WORK THROUGH YOUR WIFE--NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, OR BOTH SHE, AND GOD, WILL LEAVE YOU BEHIND! This is a final warning! You've come close before--don't fool around any longer. WE NEED BOTH OF YOU, EVERY ONE OF YOU, BUT NO ONE IS INDISPENSABLE! Selah!
27. Together you can make a tremendous team, like my mother and father, or Faith and Josh, and a number of others! DON'T HINDER THE WORK OF GOD BY HOLDING HER DOWN! GIVE HER A CHANCE; THAT'S ALL GOD ASKS! You need her, and His Work needs her, but she can have no other gods before the Lord! I hope she can have the courage to dare!
28. God bless you both! I love you dearly, and so does God! Let nothing discourage you! You're doing a great job, but there's still greater work to be done, and God needs every ounce of talent that both of you have! DON'T EITHER HINDER THE OTHER! OBEY GOD! WORK TOGETHER! KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS! USE ALL YOUR TALENTS!
29. Praise God, I hope you get the point! What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander! You've dished it out, now take it! God bless you! We love you and are praying for you! Please don't fail us or God--or each other! God's will be done--and it will, in spite of any of us; but don't miss the blessing by missing your part! God needs you! Millions of lost young people need you!
30. Well, praise the Lord! I guess you hate to hear from me, because it' usually about trouble, but that's because trouble is my business, such as you'll find in many of Paul's Epistles! They were largely dealing with problems, personal and otherwise, and that's a father's job! What do you remember your father most for? If he was a good father, as someone here just mentioned, you probably remember having a good healthy respect for his warnings, lectures, scoldings, and spankings--not always the most enjoyable things, because that's a father's job, to train up a child in the way he should go; and the word for child-training is chastening! SO MAY I GIVE YOU THE PASSAGE THAT ALWAYS ENCOURAGES ME THE MOST AFTER SUCH A SESSION WITH THE LORD, AND WHICH THE LORD IS ALWAYS GIVING ME TO ENCOURAGE ME, AFTER NEARLY KNOCKING ME FLAT WITH ONE OF HIS GOOD, SOUND, SPANKINGS, OF WHICH I'LL TELL YOU IN ANOTHER LETTER, A VERY RECENT ONE, from which I learned a lot, and which did me a lot of good.
31. But the passage is the TWELFTH CHAPTER OF HEBREWS, PARTICULARLY THE THIRD THROUGH THE FIFTEENTH VERSES, AND ESPECIALLY THE FIFTH, SO TAKE IT TO HEART; "Lest ye be weary and faint in your minds ... or faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." And verses 11, 12, and 13; are especially appropriate: and there's a serious warning in verse 15; against any adverse results of bitterness, a very poisonous root that can defile your whole spirit! PLEASE READ THIS PASSAGE RIGHT NOW, AND GET THE MOST OUT OF IT FOR YOUR OWN ENCOURAGEMENT--THE WHOLE FIRST HALF OF THE CHAPTER! I think you'll find it a blessing!
32. A few more minor items before we get into some heavier ones! For the benefit of you in the East: PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE DANGERS OF ICY ROADS TRY TO STAY OFF OF THEM, EXCEPT IN CASES OF EMERGENCY! Thank God for keeping you, but try to give Him a little cooperation, and don't travel unless you have to! It's wonderful to me how you've survived that cold, especially in such high spirits! Surely the Lord is with you! I was reared in the Tropics, so real cold weather, and ice and snow actually scare me, as well as freeze me half to death, as I've never been able to stand much of it, having always been a physical weakling, so I'm always concerned about you! Please take good care of yourself! And Kentucky, if you get too cold down there, please climb in bed with Ohio, and snuggle up and keep warm! I love you! Your reports are always such an inspiration, just like the thrilling stories of the early American pioneers, even right down to the Indians!
33. And Ohio, your accomplishments there thrill us to pieces, and we know that only God could do such glorious things in such a miraculous way, with such good results. You are both two exemplary pioneer outposts, of whom it would be well for all to heed!
NEW TEAMS--PREPARATION AND PLAN
34. EACH NEEDS TO COMPLETE THEIR TEAMS WITH A FULL-TIME SECRETARY, TO KEEP ALL COLONIES POSTED, INCLUDING US! Please! Thank you! These new outposts are the beginning of our new teams, and should each have a full complement of the Lord's suggested dozen workers of all kinds, from the Apostle, or Prophet and/or Teacher--Head through the musicians, mechanics, typists, first aid--midwives to the procurers, valid drivers, cooks, and so on, according to the checklist we made in Laurentide! Remember? God showed us this a long time ago, but now at last we're going to have to do it! Let's get busy! If we organise and equip each of these teams wisely now, each could be the seeds of an ENTIRE NEW COLONY, SELF-SUFFICIENT, SELF-PROPAGATING, SELF-SUPPORTING, AND SELF-GOVERNING, TRULY INDIGENOUS IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD!--ONLY SUBSTITUTE GOD FOR SELF.
35. IN THIS CONNECTION, WE NEED TO IMMEDIATELY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL NEW PROPERTIES THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED US, TO SEND IN TEAMS QUICKLY TO POSSESS THE LAND, BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES! Do it now! Get them out now, today, not tomorrow! Tomorrow never comes, and may be too late! It's later than you think! Your recent shake-up in LA. should have shaken you up in more ways than one! It is time to get on the move--to scatter our personnel and Message across the nation; yea, the world! This will not only obey His commandments but solve a lot of your problems, such as overcrowding, housing, water supply, food supply, parent, Selah, and Roman problems, etc.!
36. I know you hate to push the little eaglets out of the nest, but if you don't, the skunks, coons, weasels, and other varmints will! Better to have the Lord get them than the Devil! A TEAM DOES NOT HAVE TO BE COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF OLD-TIME LEADERS WITH LOTS OF EXPERIENCE, AND MONTHS, OR YEARS OF SERVICE! ONLY ITS HEAD NEEDS THESE QUALIFICATIONS! YOU CAN TRAIN THE OTHERS ON THE WAY, AND TAKE A GOOD SHARE OF THE BABES WITH HIM! That's what Jesus and Paul did They didn't wait till they graduated under somebody else: they took 'em out and trained them on the road themselves, like we did you! What are we afraid of? Why don't we start now! The weather in Calif. and Florida and some other places is already good enough for travel, camping, and outdoor witnessing! What are we waiting for? What is God going to have to do to us to get us out?--Another quake, or the Roman sword?--Or even worse? DOES HE HAVE TO USE PERSECUTION TO FORCE US TO FLEE TO CARRY THE MESSAGE TO OTHER CITIES ALSO, AS HE HAS BEFORE? DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO LEARN THE HARD WAY! DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE DRIVEN TO DO HIS WILL? WHY DON'T WE DO IT NOW WHILE WE HAVE TIME TO ORGANISE THE EQUIPMENT AND THE PERSONNEL PROPERLY, AND TO PLAN THEIR TENTATIVE ITINERARY WITH THOROUGH INSTRUCTION ON TACTICS, METHODS, SURVIVAL, WITNESSING, CONTACTING AND REPORTING! WHY DON'T WE DO IT NOW, BY EASY STAGES, AND IN INSTALLMENTS, INSTEAD OF SUDDENLY, AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE, and in chaos, such as could have been the case as a result of that earthquake, or some other sudden change which could dump out the whole nest and leave the fledglings scattered helter-skelter, flopping all over the ground, with no mother or father to guide them! Again I warn you, do it now! Start now! GIVE THEM THOROUGH INSTRUCTION IN EXACTLY WHAT TO DO FROM A TO Z, FROM THE TIME THEY HIT THE ROAD, SAYING GOOD-BYE TO HOME BASE, TO THE TIME THEY HIT THEIR FIRST OBJECTIVE, AND BEYOND, TRAINING EACH TEAM TO BE COMPLETELY SELF-SUFFICIENT, THAT IS, GOD DEPENDENT AND INDEPENDENT, with only advice and counsel and such emergency help as may be necessary from home base! We are beautifully set up for this now, and with our present diversification, are wonderfully prepared to carry on this way in the future, with enough regional bases for contact and communications, for an entire network of mobile units!
37. The prospects are exciting, the experiences will be thrilling, and the results will be glorious! You know it! It's God's commandment! All we have to do is obey, now that we're ready, and He's promised to take care of the rest! Hallelujah!
38. I'm hearing all kinds of reports of new places we're being offered the use of! None of them should sit idle for a moment! The donors should know we appreciate them, need them, and are using them for His Glory--NOW, not a week, or a month, or a year from now, but TODAY, if ye will hear His Voice. PTL!
39. SUCH OFFERS OF THE USE OF SUCH PREMISES SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED IMMEDIATELY BY THE TOP LEADERSHIP, AND INVESTIGATED IMMEDIATELY TO ASCERTAIN THE POSSIBILITIES AND PRACTICALITY, AND TO ENCOURAGE THE DONORS WITH OUR ENTHUSIASTIC INTEREST! You'd better read your Visitor's Logs, Leaders--A lot of these offers appear there! Are they being followed up immediately by the proper authorities? Or are we too busy with a little here and there, till the man is gone, and the opportunity with him! LET'S NOT NEGLECT ONE OF THESE OPEN DOORS OR WE MAY BE SORRY! ANYTHING WILFULLY WASTED WILL BE WILFULLY WANTED! LET'S NOT BE FOUND WANTING!
40. If you leaders are afraid to appoint them, the new team leaders, that is, or you're afraid to lose them, WHY DON'T YOU CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS, AND LET THEM ASK FOR THE JOB, AND SELECT THEIR OWN PERSONNEL UNDER CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS, the primary one being, that no team should have more than one elder brother and/or sister, preferably his wife! Then let them draw on the raw babes for their personnel, if need be, and see what kind of officers they will be in choosing their own, just like Jesus did! His hadn't as much training as our babes have had--they hadn't even forsaken all yet! He had to go out and get 'em and train 'em on the road! How's that for efficiency and mobility and ingenuity, vision, courage, faith, and initiative, as with all true pioneers! What's the matter with us that WE'RE SO BOGGED DOWN WITH SO MUCH PROGRAMME, AND SO MANY MEETINGS AND CLASSES, JUST LIKE THE CHURCHES, THAT WE CAN NO LONGER GET OUT AND GET THE JOB DONE? What's happened to our old pioneer spirit--The High Ways and Hedges Commission?--the compulsion to get out, to compel them to come in? ARE WE SO HUNG UP ON FELLOWSHIP, LIKE THE EARLY CHURCH IN JERUSALEM, THAT WE JUST CAN'T STAND TO LEAVE OUR LITTLE EARTHLY HEAVEN TO GET OUT AND BRING HEAVEN ON EARTH TO OTHERS? I'll never forget when the Lord said to us, "You must divide, divide, divide!" We've had enough bunching up--it's time we scattered and spread the tidings all abroad, lest the Lord have to scatter us by force, as He did the Jerusalem Church! I believe the earthquake was a warning! I know I've felt a terrific warning about this for some time now, and was terribly burdened for you at the very hour of the quake, and you know I'm usually right! Let's not have to miss the boat and do it the hard way! God said the first would be a warning; after the second you could still walk, but you'd have to run when the third came, and you might have to leave a lot behind! Can you imagine how crowded the highways would be, how difficult it would be to get over some of those fissures, or across collapsed bridges, and with a shortage of food and water, not to speak of gasoline, and the near hysteria, panic, rioting, pillaging, looting, anarchy, or even Revolution that might ensue?
OUR COMMISSION TO REACH THE WORLD
41. God has warned us! We'll have nobody but ourselves to blame! Let's get out while the going's good! You've delivered your souls in that area! It shouldn't take 200 people to keep doing it! You originally had a tremendous impact with only 29--now you've almost 10 times as many! Why not keep one in the fold, and send out the ninety and nine?--or keep at least 29 for a skeleton crew to continue the local outreach and all the rest split, in well-organised, equipped, and instructed teams, to the four winds! Yes, westward too, to Hong Kong and Korea; northward to Northern Calif. and the Pacific Northwest, and Canada; and Southward, into Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America; and on Eastward, to the other major cities of the East, and across to Europe, Asia, and Africa, not to speak of Australia and New Zealand, where they all speak English! Who said we had too many people? LET'S SPLIT AND START OVER AGAIN, LIKE WE DID IN THE BEGINNING! I'll take my six, eight, or ten; you take your dozen, or two, and LET'S START ALL OVER, AND START ANOTHER FIFTY REVOLUTIONS, OR A HUNDRED, OR A THOUSAND! PRAISE GOD, THERE'S NO LIMIT TO WHAT GOD CAN DO IF WE JUST MOVE, INSTEAD OF SITTING AROUND ON OUR FANNIES, COMPLAINING THERE'S NO MORE ROOM OR WATER. Let's make room! Let's occupy the whole world! Don't hand me this bologna about a population explosion! WE DON'T NEED BIRTH CONTROL--WE JUST NEED MORE FAITH! AMEN? LET'S GO! I don't want to hear any more belly-aching about not enough housing! To Hell with housing! Let's get this show on the road! What do I have to do--come over there and build a fire under you myself? You'd love that, wouldn't you, so you can cuddle up in the arms of Dear Old Dad, and go back to sleep! Let me tell you, Dear Old Dad's not going to do it for you! You're a big boy now, and a big girl, old enough to shift for yourselves and get out and earn your own wings, which some of you already have--without me, God bless you! You've done a tremendous job, all of you! I'm proud of you--all my disciples!--"And Peter"--including Texas, one of the biggest, most phenomenal jobs of all!
42. Now, let's get rolling! Let's start doing what we joined the army for! Enough of this basic training! We've been playing at war long enough! Now it's time for the real thing! LET'S TAKE THE WHOLE NATION--TOMORROW THE WORLD! YOU CAN DO IT--FOR GOD IS WITH YOU, AND NO MAN CAN STAND AGAINST YOU, OR YOU'LL ROLL RIGHT OVER HIM!
43. LET'S BELIEVE IT! ACT ON IT! IT'S D-DAY! Start moving out now! This circus has been in winter quarters long enough! It's time we hit the bigtime, instead of piddling around with a few little TV shows, newspaper articles, and magazine publicity! It's time we shook the world, rocked the nation, and made Heaven reverberate! There's no limit to what we can do, with God! Now's our hour! Our time has come! Attack, Attack, Attack! (Strong tongues and weeping)--"AND NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST THEE SHALL PROSPER, NONE SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THEE, AND I WILL GIVE THEE A MOUTH AND WISDOM THAT NO MAN SHALL BE ABLE TO GAINSAY, AND THOU SHALT OVERCOME BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE WORD OF YOUR TESTIMONY, AND LOVE NOT YOUR LIVES TO THE DEATH! FORWARD! MARCH! IT'S THE HOUR OF YOUR DESTINY! AND THEY THAT DO KNOW THEIR GOD SHALL BE STRONG AND DO EXPLOITS, AND THEY THAT UNDERSTAND SHALL INSTRUCT MANY, ENLARGE THY TENTS, STRETCH FORTH THY CORDS, AND STRENGTHEN THY STAKES, FOR I SHALL POUR OUT SUCH A BLESSING THAT THERE SHALL NOT BE ROOM ENOUGH TO HOLD IT, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH, WHEREFORE DOST THOU DOUBT?" Let the kings of armies run apace, and only let the women stay at home to divide the spoil, the children, and those that must care for them, and operate our bases and business. "Spare not, for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left hand, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited!" "Lead on, O King Eternal, the day of March has come; henceforth in fields of conquest, thy tents shall be our homes; Through days of preparation, Thy grace hath made us strong; but now to fields of battle, we sing the Victor's Song! Praise God! Hallelujah! There's no stopping us now! Amen! (Isa.54:17; Lu.21:15; Rev.12:11; Dan 11:32,33; lsa.54:2; Mal.3:10; Mt.14:31)
44. I HAD A DREAM ABOUT THIS, AND WE GOT SOME OF THESE SCRIPTURES WITH IT! WE WERE BEING GIVEN WHOLE TOWNS TO INHABIT, BY THE THOUSANDS, WHOLE VILLAGES, BY THE HUNDREDS, DESERTED PLACES, AND SO ON! The only problems was figuring out who should live where! We were running whole cities! Praise the Lord! That's not imagination, not "Image-A-Nation", but we're God's New Nation, and we're going to take the world for Christ--not some little old kibbutz in some earthly heaven, but a fifteen hundred mile square City in God's Heaven on earth, Hallelujah! Don't stop short of that! Don't settle for anything less! Earthly Israel is nothing compared to that! The earthly Jews are nothing compared to the "Jesus Freaks." Read the latest February issue of NOVA Magazine and see! It's the biggest feature article in the Mag., with the most gorgeous colour pictures and nothing but compliments for the Children of God--five full pages, eight gorgeous photographs, some of them full page, half page, and more: the title: "Turn On to Jesus, Baby" by Anne Leslie, photos by Curt Gunther, with a central headline on the cover "Hallelujah, They're Turning On to Jesus," the biggest article in the book, closing with a gorgeous shot of Faith in the doorway, as though opening the gateway of Heaven to the world! There's a vigil shot with Lela, big as life, a page and a half full colour shot of a Hallelujah, hands raised, Glory-to-God prayer meeting of mostly new baby boys, we've never even seen before; some small, uncomplimentary remarks and photos about the "God Squad" by comparison; and a big colour photo of a big demonstration march, complete with placards of the Children of God, led by guess who, of all people, dear Arthur Blessitt! I bet he won't like our getting credit for that; including one of a biker, carrying a sign, "We are all the Children of God." The article speaks of you with such glowing praise and complimentary terms that it's almost unbelievable! The writer must have been positively enthralled with you! You must have really won her heart! The last part of the article is very favourable to Arthur too, and he sounds like he's one of the leaders of the Children of God! The first part gives some guy by the name of Jonathan from Mississippi, the credit--a perfect piece of security, if I ever saw one! Not a soul really knows who's who or what's going on, except your glorious accomplishments! We've even almost got a base in New York and Europe, and then some, and God knows we do! Let's fulfill it! "Nova's" nothing to what we're gonna do! Let's go! It's NOW!
45. FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE IMMEDIATELY OCCUPY ALL PREMISES THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED US, WITH WELL-ORGANISED AND EQUIPPED TEAMS THAT CAN GO-IT ON THEIR OWN, OR GOD'S OWN! THEY CAN'T DO ANYTHING WORSE THAN FAIL, WHICH IS NO WORSE THAN THEY'RE DOING NOW, EVEN BETTER, AT LEAST THEY WILL HAVE TRIED! NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED! Give them and God a chance! I believe these babes will surprise you with what they can do! At least you're obeying God, and the rest is up to Him! That's my soul!
PIONEERING MAJOR CITIES FIRST
46. I believe each team should have a least a dozen members, as Jesus' did, although Paul did pretty well with even less, sometimes, and should be given at least a couple of road-worthy vehicles, according to its size--THE LARGER VEHICLES FOR THE LARGER TEAMS FOR THE LARGER CITIES, SMALLER VEHICLES FOR SMALLER TEAMS FOR SMALLER CITIES, EACH ASSIGNED SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE CITIES IN AN ASSIGNED AREA, AND EVEN POSSIBLY A DEFINITE ITINERARY, OR ROUTING, SO THAT THEY WILL NOT OVERLAP OR DUPLICATE EACH OTHER! THE GOAL OF EACH TEAM SHOULD BE TO SET UP AN OUTPOST IN A SPECIFIC MAJOR CITY FROM WHICH IT CAN REACH THE SURROUNDING TERRITORY, as the Early Church did with Antioch, Ephesus, Athens, Rome, and so on! Don't fool much with the smaller towns, which are usually ultraconservative and antagonistic, and give you the biggest trouble! Both Jesus, Paul, and the early Apostles put their major emphasis on, and had their greatest successes in the major centres of population, the big cities, from which their converts there reached the surrounding territory themselves!
47. This is what Jesus did with Jerusalem, the Early church did with Antioch, and Paul did with Ephesus! THEY HIT THE TOWNS THEY PASSED THROUGH ON THE WAY, BUT THEIR GOAL WAS THE MAJOR CITIES FROM WHICH THE WHOLE COUNTRY COULD BE REACHED BY CONVERTS! Paul spent only two years teaching in Ephesus, apparently, without even leaving the School of Tyrannus, and "all Asia heart the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 19:10). Most people in a given area, or state, usually visit the capital city or major commercial centre on business or for shopping at some time or other, and their young people visit it for pleasure! You can reach them there as we have in the past, and they carry the news back with them to their hometowns!
48. THE MAJOR CITIES ALSO USUALLY ARE MORE LIBERAL, LENIENT, AND TOLERANT, have more young people, educational institutions, and gathering centres from which to reach them, also more publicity media, such as TV, radio, newspapers for your message.
49. Cincy is a good example of how to reach a fairly large area from an outpost base, with many large cities within a few hours' drive! They are also a very good sample of how to operate efficiently and economically, with a fairly limited, but versatile personnel, all the essential gifts and talents being present in the group! Good job!
50. BUT TO START WITH, UNTIL THEY GET LOCATED, EACH OF THESE SMALL TEAMS SHOULD HAVE at least one camper, or trailer, bus, van, or tent, in which to live, or cook out of, and all the necessary camping equipment for camping out, until they find a place, or reach the one which has already been offered! Even after occupying a specific location, contact, house, farm, or outpost base, the camping equipment and campers will be handy for short missionary tours in the area, of several days' duration away from home base, after they have become established, to further evangelise the area!
NEED FOR NEW PUBLICATIONS
51. EACH TEAM SHOULD, OF COURSE, HAVE ALL THE OTHER EQUIPMENT THEY NEED, IF POSSIBLE, SUCH AS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, TYPEWRITER, CAR REPAIR TOOLS FOR THEIR MECHANIC, AND PLENTY OF LITERATURE FOR DISTRIBUTION! This brings me to some of your suggestions for improvement of our publications! One woeful need which we have found seriously lacking out here is a TIDY LITTLE SYSTEMITE BROCHURE, WITH PICTURES, AND SO ON, TO EXPLAIN YOU TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD IN LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND!--a little about your history, your schools, purposes, and so on!--something different and new, showing we have a new and much more effective approach, methods, and significant results than the usual--the genuine solution to the problems of youth!
52. I would say this is our most urgent publication need of the moment! It can be used by your front men for visitors, by procurers for donors, by public relations for the authorities, and so on! This is a desperate and immediate need, and we ourselves could have used hundreds of them by this time! It could even include a little coupon with a place for their name and address and request for more information--even the postcard type, to make it easy for them to write! Even if people are not interested in joining, they could be interested in helping! I don't believe we have begun to tap all the possible sources of supply!
53. You now have an excellent excuse for wanting to get out of the city! You could still send teams in to witness from the outside, without having to live on top of it, like living on top of a volcano, wondering when it's going to explode! Use it! Not only outside the city, but on the other side of that earthquake fault would be good, so it wouldn't be so hard to run when it happens next time, even for the small team you're going to leave at home base after this big split of road teams!
54. I think your suggestion to have our notes printed up in pocketbook form is excellent, and would be certainly easier for the road teams to transport, and any students to carry and study! I believe we now have the equipment for printing them--All we need to do is procure our own book binding equipment, since I don't think it would be safe for anyone to publish them but ourselves! Shem and Miguel are burdened about this, too, so we can all pray for a book binder! I even knew a man who mimeographed a book once and merely stapled it together! You run it off on legal size paper, 8 pages to the sheet (four each side), cut them in half, and fold and staple the halves together--if you can figure that one out, or sew them, glue them, or whatever the Lord supplies, with your book binder! We already have such a big operation and need so many publications, it will be worthwhile--and this is nothing to what we're going to need in the future, PTL! Get to work on it! SOMEBODY'S GOING TO HAVE TO BOIL DOWN THESE CLASSES TO BARE SKELETON OUTLINES, OR CONDENSATIONS INSTEAD OF THESE VERBATIM DIATRIBES OF BOOK LENGTH! WE DON'T NEED EVERY SINGLE WORD OF A TEACHER that rambles on for hours, like me, to be included in the class outline! If you want to tape-record the original for class auditions, O.K., but certainly not in a book of lesson outlines and bare-bone information! Josh has some excellent new lessons for babes and counsel to leaders--he's a real pastor! I think your suggestion to print them in separate classified volumes, according to subject matter, is a good one! This might even leave room for a separate volume of my stuff for their edification and amusement! If Reader's Digest can do it, we can do it! Let's get with it! We need it yesterday! God bless!
EQUIPPING NEW TEAMS
55. Jeth, instead of building more buildings there in Texas, that you may only have to leave behind some day, why not buy some camp trailers for your road teams, or fit some old buses for campers for same! You don't need any more population in Texas! Send 'em on the road! Just give 'em the tools to do the job! As I said, this will solve both your housing and water problem! I think God's trying to show you something! INSTEAD OF BUILDING BIGGER AND BETTER BARNS, BECAUSE WE'RE RICH AND INCREASED IN GOODS AND PEOPLE, LET'S START DISTRIBUTING IT TO THE POOR in trailers, vehicles, and campers, and share the wealth of the Gospel that God has given us!
56. WE SHOULD NOT ONLY FURNISH THESE TEAMS WITH VEHICLES, CAMPERS, AND CAMPING EQUIPMENT, INSTRUMENTS, A TYPEWRITER, ETC., BUT DON'T FORGET A CAMERA FOR PICTURES, AND A RADIO FOR NEWS, even CB or shortwave for communication, if possible, but certainly instructions on how to keep in touch with home base, preferably by mail, and only by telephone in case of emergencies! With 50 teams on the road, that could be a hell of a phone bill! I never call you if I can help it, only in emergencies!--And I've got a lesson in photography coming up soon! I'll give you a Scriptural preview of a Bible text for my pet photographic peeve. (My dear little secretary just lamented, "Our dear photographers are doing so good with everything, why can't they take pictures?"--God bless 'em, that sort of sums it up!) My Scriptural suggestion is found in Jeremiah 1:8: "BE NOT AFRAID OF THEIR FACES"! PEOPLE ARE THE MOST INTERESTING THING WE HAVE TO PHOTOGRAPH, AND THE MOST INTERESTING PART ABOUT A PERSON IS HIS FACE, AND TO GET THIS, YOU CAN'T BE AFRAID OF GETTING IN CLOSE! Don't include anything that hasn't got to do with the subject, or tell the story! Buildings, garbage cans, vast sand wastelands, huge crowds a half mile away, long distance shots without a telephoto lens, and multitudes of backs just don't interest me! And why boys are always half naked in these shots, I don't know! That's great for hippies, but it offends Systemites--but if you're shooting for hippies, why don't you include a few half naked girls! That would be far more interesting! Take a note from Playboy! And if it's distant scenery in which the people are so small you can hardly find them--if this is your desire, why not just by colour postcards: they're cheaper! But if it's people you're shooting for God's sake, get in there tight, and shoot 'em in the face, so we can see what they look like, or at least tell who they are! Take the advice of that early American revolutionary commander whose ammunition was in short supply: "Wait till you see the whites of their eyes!" This is a pretty good rule, because then you sure can't miss! Your portrait photography was beautiful, but your landscapes are lousy! If you must take a crowd shot, get in the middle and shoot their faces, not their backs! IT TAKES GUTS TO BE A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER! YOU GOTTA BE FOOL ENOUGH TO RUSH IN WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD--NO MATTER WHAT'S GOING ON, AND STICK YOUR CAMERA RIGHT IN THEIR FACE, NO MATTER WHAT THEY'RE DOING! People expect it of a photographer! More later on this! I love you! You're doing great--Just do better! We need you desperately! Get those pictures!
57. We can't go into every little detail for these teams now, including Band-Aids, etc., but surely you can think of a few of these things yourselves! Just try to be sure they have everything they need before they leave, probably including a gasoline credit card! The Lord could help us to help them with gas and oil--at least to get started on, to encourage their faith, while they trust Him themselves for their daily bread! If we send them forth with all the vehicles and equipment they need, and even their gas and oil, they should be able to trust the Lord for the rest! This will be home base's part--Jerusalem's share in their investment! Also, BE SURE THE TRUSTED TEAM LEADER HAS AT LEAST THE REGISTRATION CARDS FOR HIS VEHICLES, IF NOT THE TITLES! IT MIGHT EVEN BE BETTER TO SIGN OVER THE TITLES TO HIM AS WELL, TO GIVE HIM FULL RESPONSIBILITY, and not the organisation! I'm sure you can see good reasons for this! Ask God to give you wisdom! EACH TEAM SHOULD INCLUDE PLENTY OF GOOD LICENSED DRIVERS as well, of course, WITH SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CONVOY WITHOUT LOSING EACH OTHER, which can be a minor calamity! There are so many things involved, I couldn't possibly include them all in this letter: I'M JUST HITTING THE HIGH SPOTS--YOU'LL HAVE TO FILL IN THE GAPS! If you have any questions, let me know! Our year on the road, and our other pioneer works should have taught you enough to know what is needed for these teams. All you major leaders have been through the mill, and should know what you're talking about enough to GIVE SPECIAL COURSES OF INSTRUCTION TO THESE OUTGOING TEAMS in both California and Texas--but don't all of you take off and decide to go with them, or who's going to watch the folds, tend the lambs, and teach the new recruits that these teams will enlist, as well as take care of the business matters involved, communication, coordination, finances, etc. Generals Joshua, Jethro, Hosea, Aaron, Joel, and other top executives, teachers, and managers, and secretaries, and base staffs must stay at home to stand by the stuff, mind the store, and keep things going, for if you destroy the foundation, the whole building will collapse! SOME OF YOU LEADERS WHO WOULD LIKE A CHANGE, OR A FEW DAYS OFF TO SHOW THEM HOW TO DO IT, MIGHT BE SPARED TEMPORARILY, BUT EVEN THIS COULD BE DANGEROUS, RISKING CHIEFS-OF-STAFF AT THE BATTLE FRONT, AND SHOULDN'T BE NECESSARY, if each team has an experienced leader, just one, who's done it before, and he can teach all the rest!
58. And that brings us to lastly, and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, THE TEAM LEADERSHIP: HE SHOULD BE ONE OF OUR ELDERS, WHO HAS TRAVELLED WITH US BEFORE, if possible, and KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING, TRUSTED AND RELIABLE, FAITHFUL AND LOYAL, A SPIRITUAL LEADER, TEACHER, A TRUE APOSTLE, A LOVING SHEPHERD OF HIS SHEEP, WHO KNOWS HOW TO CARE FOR THE FLOCK, AND HAS A BURDEN FOR THE JOB. If we haven't the burden, we'd better get it, or God will thrust us out, whether we like it or not in order to get the job done! PTL? Amen! Everyone should be training an understudy, or apprentice, now, to take his job, when he has to go! Remember, that with most of your people on the road, you shouldn't need nearly as much staff at home--you're sending your staff with them, it's as simple as that! Jesus and Paul planned it that way, and set the example! And when Moses put his show on the road, he didn't leave anybody behind--but we need to, in this case!
59. SO IT'S TIME YOU BASES GOT TELEPHONES INSTALLED, SO YOU CAN KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PEOPLE! I can't even call you! Sorry, but the time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things! Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings--and this certainly includes telephones!
60. NOW'S THE TIME TO PLAN, PREPARE, AND GET EVERY DETAIL WORKED OUT, EVERY TEAM FIGURED OUT, WITH ITS PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, ETC., APPORTIONED, NOW WHILE YOU HAVE TIME AND PLACE TO DO IT, AND ARE TOGETHER FOR IT! As soon as you have each team ready, start sending them out, even on a trial basis! You don't have to wait until you've got everything ready or you'll never send anybody! Send them out one by one, team by team, day by day, carload by carload, town by town, until you're experts at it, and you won't have all the problems arising at once! You can handle them little by little; here a little, there a little, until the job is done! Rome wasn't built in a day, but stone by stone! Start now, or you'll never get done! Your present field teams are already a good start--keep up the good work! God will guide! Hallelujah! PTL! And where He guides, He will provide! He never fails!
61. I believe some of you top leaders are too valuable to the home bases, for basic training, management, inspiration, teaching, leading, and overall supervision, to spare for the road right now! Sorry, I believe some other team leadership could do the job, especially those unknown to our enemies there! If you top leaders need a change, you could exchange places awhile with other top leaders at their base! It might do you good, and the work good! God Bless!
HELPING WEAKER BRETHREN AND ASSOCIATES
62. Speaking of bases, our basic training camp headquarters, like California and Tex.: even the worst and most ungodly societies have some mercy on the weak, the handicapped and the feeble-minded! The early Church obviously had them, as the Bible has quite a bit to say about them: TO GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE WEAKER VESSELS, COMFORT THE FEEBLE-MINDED, AND THE LAME OFTEN TAKE THE PREY, and I agree with Faith, I DON'T SEE HOW WE CAN TURN THEM DOWN! BUT NEITHER DO I SEE HOW WE CAN PUT THEM THROUGH THE SAME RIGID REGIMEN THAT WE EXPECT OF THE STRONG! Surely there must be some place for them, some easier curriculum we could give them, something they can do! They certainly cannot keep the same rigorous schedule, or be expected to have the same mental aptitudes, or responsibilities, as the hardy! Even the army is now taking in men unfit for fully active duty, for limited service--even women! What about us? We've had some outstanding examples of miracles along this line in our midst, whom I could name, if it were not for embarrassing the parties involved, including you, and me! We have also had some sad disasters in this area, when pushed we the weaklings too hard! MAYBE SOMEBODY COULD GET A SPECIAL BURDEN FOR THIS MINISTRY, AND A SPECIAL AREA COULD BE USED FOR ITS LOCATION, such as your top floor, boys' Ranch, or something! You should have plenty of room, when you get these teams out on the road! WE'VE LOST SOME PRECIOUS CHILDREN BECAUSE WE WERE TOO HARD ON THEM, AND EXPECTED TOO MUCH OF THEM! Maybe God is trying to show you something through one of our physically ill tiny flesh-and-blood babies! We haven't thrown it out just because it wasn't normal, strong, and growing, and responding to treatment like the others! Instead, we've given it special, extra, care--more love, more time, more attention even than the others, like the Scripture says!--On our most uncomely parts, we do bestow the greater care, and "him that is weak, receive ye"! How can we refuse and disobey! (1Cor.12:23; Rom.14:1)
63. I know that in the early days, even I advised against it, as it just didn't seem we had room for them, and we just couldn't handle it, with everybody cooped up together in tiny quarters, vehicles, and what not, and without the facilities and personnel to care for them--but what about now? Isn't time we considered them? As you said, Jethro, in your letter, we're going to get lots of appeals from parents to try to help their handicapped kids, and WE DESPERATELY NEED SOME PLACE FOR THESE REHABILITATION CASES! PLEASE CONSIDER IT, AND PRAY ABOUT IT! I BELIEVE WE MUST DO IT!--God does it for us! We won't lose, God will bless us for it!
POINTERS ON SECURITY
64. Amongst these I would include our Selahs! We urgently need a place for them now, and I think you know where that is! Some of them need to go there anyhow, because of their status, and this could take care of our ministry in that country! This is an emergency! Maybe it should be your first team! What have they got to lose? What better place for them--certainly better than what might happen, if they don't! It's a little cold now, but I don't know if you can wait till summer! Pray about it!
65. And SPEAKING OF SECURITY, I think it's absolutely foolhardy for you to put certain people on TV, even some top leadership, when it might jeopardise! It just isn't worth it! Also, I was horrified to hear that you were actually challenging even unfriendly visitors on the public country road in front of the ranch, with a carload of guards and a spotlight, of all things, strictly forbidden in the vehicle code; and I strictly forbade it while I was there with you! I REALISE, THAT GOING TO THE ATTACK, TAKING THE INITIATIVE, AND GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE IS THE BEST MILITARY STRATEGY FOR WINNING A WAR, BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE, LET'S NOT HAVE A WAR, for you're sure to get one if you keep that up! You're coming down from your wall and putting yourself at the mercy of the Enemy! Don't ever do that again! It's a miracle of God the sheriff didn't arrest you for using that illegal spotlight! He might have even thought you were out hunting with it, which is also forbidden by the game laws! For God's sake, your own sake, and the Work's sake, don't ever do that again! I hope I'm not too late with this admonition! Surely only God has spared us! We are crazy! Stay on the Wall, but keep an eye on them, but only challenge them if they come to the gate, or onto the property, on either side of the road! Otherwise, they have a perfect right to be on the public right-of-way, and this includes 20 feet in either direction, ditches, and right up to the fenceline, except in front of the gate, or over the fence! You could then legally start shooting, but don't! That's just what they're waiting for, some excuse to shoot back! Pray; trust God! Keep sweet! LET THEM SLAP FIRST, EVEN TWICE, AND GOD WILL LEAD YOU WHAT TO DO AFTER THAT! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO PROTECT YOURSELF IF ATTACKED, AND ESPECIALLY TO PROTECT OTHERS, particularly your women and children--but I believe God can do it, if we trust and obey!
66. Incidentally, anything I have written you about a certain country or its people is strictly classified information, not to be publicised, broadcast, or even shared with outsiders! The people in question wield tremendous influence and power in your country, controlling the news media, industry, banking, motion pics, publishing, and nearly everything where there's money, including education and gov't--so don't say anything derogatory about them, because if they get it in for you, they can finish you, and I could tell you some personal experiences about that! They kidnapped and nearly killed my mother, closed our church, ran us out of town, and even followed us elsewhere! DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THEM! JUST LOVE THEM, PRAISE THEM, AND CONTINUE TO BE AMAZED AT GOD'S MERCY TO THEM! DON'T LET ANYONE THINK OTHERWISE! BLESS THEM AND THEY'LL CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU and don't write on outside of letter forms or envelopes, or argue over meats!--you're wrong! And I don't know if I could take your sharing from packages procedure! Why not voluntarily? Love, Dad
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