"OTHER SHEEP"--MO June 1, 1972 NO.167--GP
Copyrighted June, 1972 by the Children of God
Box 31, London WC2E 7LX England, or B. P.752 75123 Paris Cedex 03 France
1. I WAS REARED IN THE CHURCH. My Mother and Father, my Grandfather, and some of my uncles were all ministers, pastors, and evangelists, and some of my earliest memories were of church meetings. And yet from childhood I had this feeling that something was wrong with the churches. We just weren't reaching the vast majority of the people, the poor souls who were left outside of the churches!
2. WE TRIED EVERYTHING WE COULD DO TO GET THEM IN: famous preachers, big programmes, musicals, dramas, movies, pictures, magic shows, and all the typical Gospel entertainment business to try to bring the people into the Church. The church with the biggest show and the biggest advertising got the biggest crowd. The trouble was that the people we were getting were mostly other Christians from other churches who simply came because we had the most entertainment or the biggest healing evangelist, etc. We were still not reaching the lost sheep!
3. AS A YOUNG PREACHER MYSELF WITH A REAL LOVE FOR THE LOST and a sincere desire to try to win the poor lost sheep outside the churches and which the churches were not reaching, I tried everything I could think of, dreamed up every method I could imagine to try to carry the Gospel to them outside of the churches; I preached on the streets and in the parks, I sang at the top of my voice, I showed pictures in their schools and trailer parks, I showed movies on outside walls in the streets and parking lots of their towns and villages, and even in such places as State and National parks, hotel lobbies, barrooms, etc.--anywhere I could reach the people outside of the church with the message of God's love! But it was still the meeting method and the mass evangelism approach which only had moderate success.
4. MANY WHO WOULD NEVER DARKEN THE DOOR OF A CHURCH WERE REACHED with the Gospel, and many were saved, but they still didn't want to go to church, and I didn't know where else to put them because, of course, there was no place else to serve God but "in church". Where else was there? What else could a young Christian do to serve the Lord but go to church or to Bible School and become a church minister, pastor, evangelist, or missionary?--But surely everybody couldn't be preachers!
5. --OR COULD THEY? ONE DAY I FOUND OUT THE EXCITING TRUTH AND THRILLING FACT THAT YOU COULD WIN MORE SOULS WITNESSING INDIVIDUALLY to individual people wherever you could find them, without a church, or a pulpit, or a meeting of any kind, anywhere any time and all the time, everywhere to everybody! This was tremendous! We nearly went wild witnessing! It was glorious! It was wonderful! We won sheep all over the place and scattered them all over the place, but had no place to put them and didn't know what to do with them!
6. IN MY FIRST PASTORATE, WHILE BUILDING MY FIRST CHURCH BUILDING WITH MY OWN HANDS, I kept having that same sneaking feeling that something was terribly wrong with the Church System: It just wasn't reaching the people who needed Jesus most, and it didn't even slightly resemble the things I read about the Early Church in the New Testament! It was more like the Temple worship of the Old Testament! But Temple worship only reached a few Jews and didn't do much for the Gentiles, the vast majority of the world's population. I also found out that most of these Temple worshippers in our churches didn't even faintly resemble the Early Christians! They weren't mostly poor, persecuted, dynamic, on fire, flaming witnesses of the New Jesus Revolution, but dead!
7. MOST OF THE CHURCH MEMBERS WERE A BUNCH OF OLD HYPOCRITES who weren't the slightest bit interested in getting the Gospel to the lost, but much more interested in getting a fancier church building, swankier preacher, and more high-falutin' fancy choir and organ music, and showing off fancy clothes at fancy meetings. Church membership had become a status symbol and a business necessity for the affluent society, a social club for the rich and well-to-do, to do their dainty little duty for God to the tune of dainty little ditties to God! Church was disgusting and a bore, and the sermons as dead and monotonous as the preacher and the members! Even the few spiritual churches were more interested in having a good time amongst themselves than in reaching the lost, more interested in enjoying God to themselves than in sharing Him with others. Most of them were whited sepulchres full of dead men's bones, and the only way they reached Heaven was by their spiritual stench!
8. I CERTAINLY DIDN'T WANT TO SEND MY NEW CONVERTS TO THESE MAUSOLEUMS, these religious refrigerators filled with cold, dead, corpses, where they, too, would become frozen and dead! I didn't even want to send them to the redhot, on fire, Pentecostal-type of incinerators to cremate all their life and energy on some funeral pyre to God alone, like the Pariahs of India, whose loved ones were supposed to cast themselves onto the crematory fires of their dead mates to manifest their love and devotion! What a waste of life!
9. WHAT I WANTED TO SEE THEM DO WAS BECOME LIKE THE EARLY LITTLE BANDS OF CHRISTIANS WHO MET AND LIVED TOGETHER IN HOMES, and not only worshipped the Lord in the Spirit and studied His Word avidly, but also spent most of their time out witnessing sharing the love of God with others, and winning souls to Jesus and adding to the Church daily new, alive, on-fire members of their little Christian families, and setting the whole world on fire with the love and Spirit of God!
10. I TRIED THIS IN MY OWN HOME WITH THE OLDER GENERATION OF CHRISTIANS, BUT THEY WERE SO CHURCHY, church-indoctrinated, and church oriented I could never really blast them far enough away from their former churchianity to really get them into orbit for the Lord, they were too old and set in their ways and too hard to change, just old bottles that would always split somewhere when you tried to pour in such new wine!
11. I FINALLY GOT SO FED UP WITH SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS, CHURCHIANITY, AND DENOMINATIONALISM, THAT I NEARLY GAVE UP AND BECAME A COMMUNIST. But then the Lord gave me four little children, little babes, tiny lambs that I could raise and train from scratch myself in the way I thought they ought to go without the Church, without worldly educational systems, without commercial employment, and with nothing but a home and family of Christians who just wanted to study the Bible, praise the Lord, witness, and win souls!
12. ALTHOUGH AS YET WITHOUT LONG HAIR, MY LITTLE REBELS WERE REAL FREAKS OF A NATURAL REVOLUTIONARY DOCTRINE of simple Early Church Christianity, and they began to turn the world rightside up and set everybody else around them on fire for God doing crazy things like passing tracts at the age of two, witnessing at the age of three and four, standing on street corners playing their little ukuleles and singing Revolutionary Gospel songs at the top of their voices, attracting crowds and testifying of the love of Jesus everywhere from Miami Beach to Times Square, and Bourbon Street to Hollywood Boulevard! They were really radicals and created a sensation everywhere they went!
13. BY THIS TIME WE WERE SO BITTER AGAINST THE CHURCHES FOR THEIR HYPOCRITICAL DO-NOTHING RELIGION, their multi-million dollar Gospel entertainment business, and their multi-billion dollar fancy church buildings that were robbing the rest of the world of Salvation and sending millions of poor lost souls to Hell, that we were ready to declare war on the Church System!
14. WE BEGAN WITH AN ALL-OUT ATTACK IN CALIFORNIA IN 1968, where we at last found some on-fire radicals like ourselves amongst the outcasts of society, the Hippie Generation, the fed up youth of America! Our militant attacks on System-Addict religion and the Educational And Commercial System in general with invasion, sit-ins, demonstrations, marches, picketing, beach baptisms, Revolutionary shouts, wild worship, and real, redhot, subversive, radical, Bible teaching, with the bare and naked flashing Sword of God, really turned the kids on! The Hippie Generation was ready for the Jesus Revolution! Hallelujah!
15. AND IT BEGAN! THE REVOLUTION FOR JESUS WAS ON ITS WAY! THE KIDS ATE IT UP AND THE HIPPIES LOVED IT! We thumbed our noses at the churches and the Establishment, and rolled on in a wild melee of fanatic witnessing and an orgy of the love of God! The whole Hip Generation was going crazy--about Jesus! And it all started with a little flame of faith kindled in the hearts of four little kids by their religiously weirdo Dad whom God and His Word had convinced that real Christians could still live like those radical, religious Revolutionaries of the Early Church and Jesus' Disciples!
16. MOST OF THE OLDER GENERATION LOOKED ON WITH DUMBFOUNDED AMAZEMENT AT THEIR RADICALLY CHANGED YOUNG PEOPLE, now high on the Holy Ghost! That their children could be involved in drugs, sex, crime, politics, and Hippyism was more understandable than this! Most of them could have tolerated anything but this, but this was almost totally incomprehensible, that their dear little darlings had absolutely flipped out on a genuine Jesus Christ!
17. MOST OF THEIR PARENTS WERE JUST SIMPLY PARALYSED with mystification! A few accepted it as at least a welcome relief from the other, more detrimental binges their children had been indulging in! But still others fought it tooth and toenail, like the Devil himself, as though it were the worst possible fate which could ever have befallen their offspring, the veritable last straw in a decadent world that was already tumbling around their ears!
18. SOME CHURCHES AND PARENTS TRIED TO ACCEPT US as at least something that might portend a little good, that was better than the evil that had gone before. But a good many took up the cudgel to try to stamp us out as even more dangerous than drugs or Communism. These rigid, unbendable, self-satisfied devotees of the status quo, the unchangeable System-Addicts, the implacable foes of anything that's different, began to land us frequently in jail, persecute us, harass us, bully us, and threaten us, until they finally drove us out of town!--In fact, completely out of the State of California!--And the militant "Teens For Christ" were no more--they thought!--(That was 1969!)
19. BUT THE HALF-AN-HUNDRED TEENS FOR CHRIST REFUGEES SOON BECAME AN HUNDRED MILITANT CHILDREN OF GOD, AS THEY SWEPT ACROSS THE NATION LIKE A PRAIRIE FIRE, setting other young people on fire wherever they went, as the red-robed Prophets of Doom, until they finally came to rest a year later on an old, Texas ranch where they recuperated and re-grouped for new battles ahead! The War was only begun!
20. THERE, ON THE DEAR OLD TSC RANCH, THE CHILDREN OF GOD BEGAN TO LEARN THE PLAN THAT GOD HAD IN STORE FOR THEM: Not only how to live together by faith, forsaking all in order to share all things so they could live fulltime for God and share His love with others, but also His Plan to reach the whole world with the Good News that you could still live and witness like the Early Christians by loving and obeying like the Early Christians and spreading such Colonies of youthful zealots throughout the whole world! That was 1970.
21. MEANWHILE, BACK IN DEAR OLD CALIFORNIA, where they had started their Revolution for Jesus, some of the very Christians and churches who had condemned their methods of militant demonstrations and aggressive witnessing and thrown them out of their churches began to see how successful the results were that they had left behind in such places as Calvary Chapel, House of Miracles, Redondo Tabernacle, etc. A real Revolution for Jesus was sweeping throughout their own youth, so they began to imitate the Message and methods of the erstwhile despised Teens for Christ in an effort to climb on the bandwagon of the Jesus Revolution begun by the Lord through the little motley crew of longhairs at the Huntington Beach Light Club!
22. THEY BEGAN TO MIMIC EVERYTHING WE HAD DONE, even to the finger signs and shouts of "Revolution!"--which before they had abhorred and condemned. But they either had to get on board or get left behind, and though many of them were sincere, many were mere opportunists who decided since they couldn't lick it, they might as well join it to keep from losing the youth from their churches.--Indeed, to even increase their youthful audiences and their beloved church memberships!
23. BUT THOUGH THIS NEW CHURCH-SPONSORED JESUS PEOPLE MOVEMENT, with Church backing, Church encouragement, and Church financing, began to boom, much of it was only superficial, a new fad, and about as skin deep as the religion of the church members themselves! Although the Message sounded the same: "Jesus Saves!" and "Jesus is Coming Soon!"; and the methods similar: from marches and beach baptisms to shouts and finger signs, a great deal of it was only a hypocritical show put on by the churches to try to keep their young people!--Especially to keep them from joining us, who had by this time re-invaded California under a new name at the old Los Angeles Skid Row Mission.
24. HOWEVER, MUCH OF IT WAS A GENUINE MOVE OF GOD'S SPIRIT AMONGST THE YOUTH WE HAD LEFT BEHIND and who had caught it from us, in spite of this Church effort to dominate it, and the genuine conflagration of the Jesus Movement amongst youth was beginning to sweep the Nation, having caught fire from the tiny spark ignited by those Christ-crazy Jesus Freaks, the original Teens For Christ of Huntington Beach, the genuine original Revolution for Jesus of today!
25. AS THE CHILDREN OF GOD'S REVOLUTIONARY COLONIES BEGAN TO SPREAD, OTHER JESUS PEOPLE HOUSES OF YOUNG, REVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIANS BEGAN TO MULTIPLY ALSO as a result of this great revival of faith in Christ amongst the youth of America, most of it still outside of the churches in spite of the churches' attempts to take it over. Many of these groups and houses joined the Children, like Linda Meissner's Jesus People's Army of the Northwest and David Hoyt's Ministry in the Southeast, as well as many individual young Jesus People and individual houses. However, the vast majority of the Jesus People still remain outside the folds of either the churches or the Children of God.
26. MOST OF THESE INDEPENDENT JESUS PEOPLE HOUSES DO NOT CARE TO RETURN TO THE OLD CHURCHY SYSTEM, with its filthy folds, decrepit sheep, and false or hireling shepherds. They are just as sick of the churches as we are! But they've heard all kinds of horror stories about the Children of God and their fanaticism, so they're afraid to join us also.
27. SOME HAVE EVEN COME SO FAR AS TO VISIT US HUNGRILY TO SEE WHAT WE'RE LIKE, BUT WERE TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY BY THE EXCESSIVE EXCLUSIVISM and unChristian intolerance and lack of love of some of our own disciples who gave them the impression that we thought that nobody was a Christian or a Child of God unless he was a member of the Children of God Colonies! This was so obviously a wrong, unChristian, and unloving attitude that many of them were led to believe that we were not the answer to their problems of lack of leadership and fellowship, but they would have to seek for another.
28. THIS IS INDEED TRAGIC, FOR MANY OF THESE HAVE BECOME DISCOURAGED, disheartened, and disillusioned by the shallowness of the rest of the Movement, and have either drifted back into the churches or fallen back into their former rut and given up trying to serve the Lord at all. For the Children of God offer the only dynamic leadership and cohesive fellowship and workable programme of world youth evangelism of any extensive group within the Jesus People Movement of today's youth!
29. AS HAS BEEN RECOGNISED BY MANY OUTSIDE AUTHORITIES, and even our enemies as well as our friends, we are the only highly organised, strongly disciplined, doctrinally integrated, unifyingly led, militantly progressive, and rapidly expanding co-ordinated and synchronised body within the Jesus People Movement of today! As even our enemies proclaim, we are the greatest living danger to the Church System and look more likely to survive, grow, and perpetuate than not only any other part of the Jesus Movement, but also of any genuinely Christian group outside of the Church System of today! Hallelujah! That's us!--And that's exactly what God intended, for we're the only kind of Christians whose faith and fervour are going to be able to survive the days to come! Praise the Lord! True Christianity and sincere youth have had to drop out to survive, and in order that true Christian faith might survive during the Last Days, because the Church System will be destroyed! We're just a part of God's Plan.
30. EVEN THE NEWS MEDIA HAVE CALLED US THE EXTREMISTS, the Storm Troopers, and the vanguard, or leaders, of the Jesus Revolution, with the best method of training for the reproduction and multiplication of such leadership. This means the rest of the Jesus People are either going to have to follow us or rejoin the churches if they don't want to peter out or fall by the wayside!
31. THE SOLIDLY CHURCH-ORIENTED WESTMONT SYSTEMITES, ENROTH, ERICSON, AND PETERS, IN THEIR EERDMANS' "THE JESUS PEOPLE", the most extensive, historical, analytical, and erudite thesis so far published on the subject of the Jesus revolution, spend more of this most lengthy volume thus far written on the subject, describing and documenting the history and characteristics and potentials of the Children of God than any other group within the Movement--a total of nearly a hundred pages all told out of 249, with thirty lines of indexed references alone devoted to us! In their grand conclusion they declare that the Jesus People have no other choice than to join us, go back to church, or fade away! Which they decide to do may depend on us!
32. WHILE PRAYING ABOUT THIS PROBLEM TODAY, THE LORD SHOWED ME A PICTURE OF A SHEEPFOLD WITH HIGH FENCES AND TIGHTLY BARRED GATES and many sheep secure within under good and faithful shepherds in the gathering gloom of an approaching storm. But outside of the fold, scattered on the hillside, were many other fearful shepherdless sheep which were not of this fold, and many of which even huddled together close to our fences seeking protection, as the wolves ravaged the stray flocks in the distance, and the stormy winds began to blow in the growing darkness.
33. BUT WE HAD MADE OUR FENCES SO HIGH AND OUR GATES SO TIGHT THESE POOR LITTLE STRAY SHEEP COULD NOT GET IN or join us, but only huddle pitifully outside, as though hoping for some protection from their proximity to us. Even those who had shepherds were being driven away from us and seeking refuge in less secure shelters from the storm. Even though the sheepdogs, like the Spirit of God, were trying to herd them toward our folds, the shepherds were driving them away, even some of our own shepherds!
34. BELOVED, THIS OUGHT NOT SO TO BE! We have revolted so radically against compromising, wishy-washy, do-nothing Churchianity that we have gone to the opposite extreme in which some of us have become so exclusive, self-righteous, and pharisaical in our own doctrines, practices, and certainty of being right that some of us seem to have gotten the idea that we're the only Christians alive, that no one is saved unless he's one of us, and no Christian is serving God unless he's joined us! This is a damnable lie of the Devil!
35. IF THIS WERE TRUE, THEN ALL THE SAINTS OF GOD BEFORE US WERE UNSAVED AND NOT SERVING THE LORD, including my own Mother, who didn't agree with my separatism from the churches! This is certainly not true, as there have been many genuine Christians and true saints of God giving their whole lives in fulltime service even unto martyrdom, both in and out of the churches, ever since the time of Christ!
36. EVEN SO TODAY THERE ARE MANY OF GOD'S CHILDREN WHO ARE GENUINELY SAVED, LOVE THE LORD, AND WANT TO SEE OTHERS SAVED throughout the world, both in and out of the churches! Do you count them as brethren or as heretics?--As sisters or as whores? Do you look upon them with love and compassion and would that they were as we are, as the Apostle Paul did on a foreign king, and try to woo and win them into the fold, our fold, God's best fold, or do you curse them, blast them, condemn them, and blow them away as "Systemites", "Members of the Whore", and "Servants of unrighteousness!"
37. MY LITTLE CHILDREN, THIS OUGHT NOT SO TO BE! I truly believe with all my heart that we are the best Christians in the world today, living the way God wants His People to live, like the Early Church lived, God's ideal, and accomplishing more per capita for the Lord as evidenced by the results and our wonderful wave of worldwide witnessing, more than any other Christians of today that I know of, outside of perhaps a few real soulwinners, evangelists or missionaries still in the Church System.
38. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT OUR MESSAGE AND METHODS AND DOCTRINES ARE MORE SCRIPTURAL, AND OUR LIVES MORE BIBLICAL, than those of any other major Christian group; and this is why God has blessed us so, prospered, protected, and favoured us with such miraculous progress! We have accomplished more for the Lord with fewer people in the past few years, proportionately, than most of the Church seems to have accomplished in a good many more! So we must be the best so far!
39. BUT IS THIS ANY REASON TO THINK WE'RE THE ONLY CHRISTIANS ALIVE, AND SAY WE'RE THE ONLY ONES SERVING GOD?--THIS JUST ISN'T SO! There are multitudes of other Christians in the world, truly born again Children of the Lord who love Him dearly and are doing the best they know how to share His love with others, many of them even witnessing and winning souls and serving the Lord to the best of their present knowledge! How can you condemn them as not being Christians nor serving God? This is as self-righteous and hypocritical as the Pharisees themselves!
40. OTHER CHRISTIANS MAY NOT BE THE BEST in the world, and they may not be serving God as much as they should or could, but this does not mean that they're not saved or serving Jesus at all! You are very wrong if you have such an attitude toward these "other sheep" which are not of our fold! Even Jesus rebuked His own disciples for this kind of a churchy, exclusivist, holier-than-thou, self-righteous attitude when they came to Him and wanted Him to stop someone from preaching in His Name who was not a member of their little clique!
41. JESUS SAID TO THEM, "HE THAT IS NOT AGAINST ME IS FOR ME!"--And some of you "No Neutrals" folks need to learn that Scripture, too! He also said in that beautiful "Good Shepherd' Chapter of John 10: "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd!" You need to study that chapter and see how lovingly the Good Shepherd cares for His sheep and yearns for the others which are not yet in the Fold!
42. HE DOES NOT MAKE HIS FENCES SO HIGH AND HIS GATES SO NARROW THAT THEY CANNOT GET IN, but He even leaves the ninety-and-nine safe in the fold while He goes out Himself on the mountain to search for the lost ones, many of whom are trapped in false folds under false shepherds, or caught in the brambles of this world, or wandering about dazed and lost, sometimes even under other sincere shepherds trying to find the right fold!
43. WHAT ARE WE DOING TO HELP THEM COME IN? As I dreamed this morning of a Colony in Canada of Hutterite children who are calling themselves the Children of God and following our teachings and considering joining our fellowship, in my dream I suddenly saw a rod, or branch, growing out of the ground all by itself. As we stood around considering it, someone said "Let's call it an Associate Colony!"
44. AS THERE ARE MANY KINDS OF CHRISTIANS and many degrees of their service for the Lord, so there are various kinds of Christian Colonies today, varying from Jesus People houses to sincere religious communities of the Catholic church, such as the Sisters of Mary, the Little Sisters of Jesus, the Franciscans, etc., containing many true children of God who wish to fellowship with us and learn of us, but are not yet ready to join us, or may never do so.
45. SOME TIME AGO, THE LORD PROPHESIED THAT MANY WOULD WANT TO FOLLOW US, BUT NOT ACTUALLY JOIN; associate or fellowship, but not forsake all and enter in. He said they would lay hold on us as in Isa.4:1, but eat their own bread and wear their own apparel: "Only let us be called by thy name"! Read the rest of the chapter if you want a thrill!
46. I HAVE ALREADY SAID THAT WE NEED TO ACCEPT MANY OUTSIDERS AS ASSOCIATES AND FRIENDS. May I suggest that we do the same for Jesus People who are interested in us: Welcome their fellowship, share our literature, songs and disciples' visits and overnight hospitality, tapes, etc. and call them brethren as long as they love Jesus and souls! Ban doctrinal arguments, condemnation, and accusations! Love never fails!
47. WE HAVE BEEN VERY EXTREME IN THE PAST! We've had to go to extremes to pull others even half way! We have proved that the ideal of the Scripture works! We have proved our point: That you can be a real disciple and a better Christian outside the present Church System.--That we can still live and preach and believe like Jesus' original disciples and witness and win souls and get the job done like they did, by forsaking all, sharing all, living together, putting God first and spending our full time serving Him and trusting Him to meet all our needs by faith! Praise God! Hallelujah! It works!
48. SO WE SHOULD NO LONGER HAVE TO ARGUE THE POINT--OUR LIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS HAVE PROVED IT! Now we need to be a little more generous, tolerant, patient, loving, and forgiving with those who have not yet come as far as we have, but are on the way--even with those who have probably gone as far as they can and may never get any further, as they are too old or set to change, or are too late--particularly the older generation! We should accept them as Friends and Associates as they are and where they are if they like us and want to help us or fellowship with us--especially the Jesus People, the "other sheep".
49. THEY KNOW WHAT WE BELIEVE AND HOW WE LIVE AND WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED.--It's been in every newspaper and on every TV screen, as well as many periodicals. We can continue to share our literature, lessons, newspaper, magazine, songs, etc. with them without beating them over the heads with them or trying to shove them down their throats! We've proved our point!-They can take it or leave it, but we're not going to try to force it on them! We're just going to show them love and patience and a good example, not a sermon, and hope they see the Light!
50. SOME OF YOU SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT WHEN PAUL WALKED INTO THEIR SYNAGOGUES TO GIVE THEM THE GOOD NEWS, HE CALLED HIS FELLOW JEWS "MEN AND BRETHREN", NOT WOLVES AND VIPERS, or he wouldn't have gotten very far with his message! He tried to woo and win them, not blow and blast them, and be such wise behaviour, he usually managed to walk off with half their congregation by the time the other half rejected him and threw him out! He would then move to the house of one of the followers and carry on there, teaching and establishing the new brethren and appointing elders over them, until the opposition raised such a stir that he was run out of town, leaving behind him a nice new Colony of believers! Would God we could follow his example!
51. WE COULD INVITE THE JESUS PEOPLE TO COME AND SEE US, visit with us, fellowship in our meetings and classes, and even stay over a day or two and get a good sample of our love and happiness and disciples' doctrine instead of blowing them away at the front door if they don't accept our explanation of Eternal Salvation or interpretation of Bible prophecy on the spot! We should avoid these controversial issues, and rather, try to emphasise our brotherhood in the Lord and common desire to see souls saved whether they believe in Eternal Security, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or the Post-Trib Rapture or not--or even KJV!
52. "HIM THAT IS WEAK IN THE FAITH RECEIVE YE, but not to doubtful disputations... let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not ... for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?... God is able to make him stand... Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Don't push him!)... Everyone of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more... Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died." (Romans 12) How about it? Jesus said, "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out!" Maybe we'd even win former brethren by calling them "Graduates", not backsliders!
53. WE USED TO HAVE THREE GRADES, OR CLASSES IN OUR FIRST SCHOOLS for witnessing: Each was three months long and they were called Basic, Advanced, and Leadership. The Basic Course was Comparable to our Babes classification of today, the Advanced were the Older Brothers, and the Leadership Trainees were understudy leaders. If the Basic students completed their Three Months Course and wanted to stay, we let them teach the next incoming Basic Class of Babes, acting as Older Brothers or Advanced Students. If after teaching the Babes for three months, these Older Brothers proved to have real leadership potential, we invited them to work directly with the older leadership of the school and learn the jobs of the top leaders, as understudies who could replace them when needed, so the leaders could go on to pioneer other schools or Colonies.
54. IF AFTER COMPLETING ANY ONE OF THESE COURSES OR STAGES, A STUDENT DID NOT WISH TO CONTINUE IN OUR SCHOOL OR WAS NOT EVEN SUITABLE or capable of continuing to a higher level of leadership, and wanted to go home, we didn't call him a "Backslider" and send him away with curses and threats, but we called him a "Graduate" and sent him home with a Graduation Certificate and our blessing to show he'd done the best he could, and we hoped he'd be a better Christian and a good witness for the Lord, even at home or on his job or in his church, even though he didn't qualify for all-out fulltime service.
55. AS A RESULT, WE KEPT MANY OF OUR "GRADUATES" AS FRIENDS and co-workers, who continued to fellowship with us, pray for us, root for us, and even help to support us for years afterward, some of them even returning to go on with the Lord later.
56. WHY CAN'T WE DO THE SAME TODAY? THE SISTERS OF MARY HAVE A SIMILAR PLAN to this: They divide their followers into three classes:
(1) Fulltime disciples who take their training and go on into fulltime service.
(2) Those who take the training, but return to outside homes or jobs, but continue to fellowship with them and help them.
(3) Then there are those outside friends who have never taken their training or lived in, but love and favour them and help them in their work, and fellowship with them. They still keep them all as friends and helpers!
57. WHY CAN'T WE DO THIS? WHY CAN'T WE HAVE:
(1) DISCIPLES--Full time members of our Colonies, the 100 percenters who have taken our training and are serving the Lord fulltime with us.
(2) GRADUATES--Those who have gone as far as they feel able, but don't feel suited to our type of life or ministry, and, hopefully, go back home to serve the Lord as best they can
(3) ASSOCIATES--Those who do not feel able to forsake all and join us, but love us, like to fellowship with us and help us all they can.
(4) FRIENDS--These may not even be saved, but like our work, stick up for us, and help us.
58. A LOT OF THESE FOLKS HAVE NO OTHER CHURCH OR FELLOWSHIP, and would really like to feel they belong somewhere or to something, so we might even give them some kind of Certificate of Membership so they can really feel like they're one of us and part of the Family, even though they live outside. Systemites are geared to this sort of thing, so they could come to our meetings like going to church and give to us like putting their offering in the plate. We should have at least one special meeting each week for this purpose for these people--a meeting full of music, good positive songs and testimonies and inspirational instruction, but not necessarily any of the heavy stuff. You could even read them the lighter MO Letters designed for Babes and the general public! You could either have an offering box by the door where they can't miss it as they leave, or pass a plate--They're geared for this!
59. THE DISCIPLES WERE NOT THE ONLY CHRISTIANS! They had many part-time members, secret believers, and even just pro-Christian friends, like Joseph of Arimathaea, Nicodemus, Gamaliel, etc. And who were the Five Wise Virgins who got into the Wedding? Were they all brides?--Or were they the bride's handmaidens? The Lord has called us "The fairest of all the daughters of Zion"--But not the only daughter!
60. OUR MAIN REQUIREMENT FOR ASSOCIATES, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS OR ASSOCIATE COLONIES, should be simply that which unites us all in the Body of Christ: The love of God and others. They're saved and believe in witnessing and winning souls, even though they may not spend most of their time doing it, and they want to actually fellowship with us!
61. THE FRIENDS COULD INCLUDE ALL OUR OUTSIDE FRIENDS, PARENTS, BUSINESSMEN ETC. WHO ARE FOR US, favourable, and may even help us, whether saved or unsaved or members of other churches or not. Some of our friends may not have forsaken all, but they've given all they can, but we haven't been faithful to minister to them spiritually, haven't fellowshipped with them or given them classes or MO Letters, our newspaper or magazine, etc.
62. OUR BROTHER PAUL, ADVISOR OF OUR CATACOMBS COLONIES of those in Bonds, is definitely an Associate Member, and gives all he can. Nevertheless, after giving tens of thousands of dollars to help us, he said it was nearly a year before he was given his first MO Letter! Beloved, MO Letters designated for Babes are usually good for our outside friends also, and we're even making up a book of some of them to publish for the general public! So we should certainly be able to give some of these to our associates and friends. Choose accordingly. Incidentally, those catacombs Colonies should not only include prisoners, but members of the military, underaged school students, and other imprisoned, institutional inmates of various kinds.
63. JUST REMEMBER: NO REVOLUTION HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO GET ALONG WITHOUT OUTSIDE FRIENDS! Every one has had its patrons, supporters, and co-workers, whether willing or unwilling members of the System. If we insist on being so exclusive that we exclude such outside Associates and Friends, and despise their help and friendship, and pour contempt on their supposed lack of dedication, and reject their fellowship, we will never get very far. We need those Kings, Queens, Captains, Judges, Widows, Pensioners, etc. We need their prayers above all!
64. --AND IF YOU THINK WE DON'T NEED THEIR MONEY, AND YOU'RE SO DAMNED INDEPENDENT YOU THINK YOU CAN DO WITHOUT THEIR HELP, YOU'RE MISTAKEN! You may not be working for money, but you're going to need plenty of it to survive and accomplish your work for the Lord! Some Colonies right now are hurt and handicapped for lack of funds because they've had such an arrogant, haughty, proud, insolent, and independent spirit they have offended their friends, their Kings and Queens, and other helpers, and failed to minister to them as they should, if they minister to you materially, you owe them a spiritual ministry of encouragement, inspiration, and fellowship. If you don't, you'll never amount to much!--You'll just remain a "sect" a little, cut-off piece!
65. AND YOU GUYS WHO CLAIM YOU DON'T WORK FOR MONEY, AND ARE SO DAMNED SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND HOLIER-THAN-THOU TOWARD THOSE WHO DO, had better think twice before you condemn the poor labourer who's working for his hire, because you work for hire, too! The Lord, your Employer, may not always pay you in cold cash, but He rewards you in many other ways!--And when you're working your specified 3 or 4 hours a day of manual labour around your Colony doing the chores necessary for survival or in exchange for rent, goods, or services, what do you think you're working for, anyhow, if it's not some form of material help, even though not in the form of money? You're just not putting those things first, or devoting most of your time to working for your needs, like the rest of the Christians. But don't say you're not doing it at all, that you're not working for material things at all! Every time you grow your own food, make your own things, or furnish your own labour, you're saving, or earning, money!--And a penny saved is a penny earned!
66. AND THE SAME GOES FOR SOME OF YOU GUYS WHO ARE SO DAMNED SELF-RIGHTEOUS, HOLIER-THAN-THOU, SANCTIMONIOUS AND PHARISAICAL, about some of your hairsplitting, controversial theological doctrines such as Eternal Salvation, the Holy Spirit, and Bible Prophecy. A lot of you have blown people away by insisting on arguing about these minor issues instead of fellowshipping with them in Jesus and witnessing, the two things nearly all Christians can agree on! You don't even have to insist and demand that they either live or approve of your way of life in order to fellowship with them in the Lord and work with them in witnessing and soul winning!--Believe it or not!--Crash! Old Bottles!
67. AS WE WERE GIVING THIS, WE SUDDENLY GOT THIS IN THE SPIRIT as a prayer in tongues, with interpretation: "Lord help us to be more merciful to those who heed the words of David!" So you can take that for whatever it's worth, and I think it's worth a lot, like every little word from the Spirit! It always means something important! What do you think it means? I think it means we should be as merciful and patient as possible with those who are following as far and as fast as they can, even though they may seem far behind us.--At least they're heeding, trying to obey and follow as best they know how or can!
68. WHILE DISCUSSING THIS REVELATION ABOUT INCLUDING THESE "OTHER SHEEP" INTO GREATER FELLOWSHIP, sympathy, patience, understanding, and receiving them into our arms and hearts as co-labourers in His Vineyard even though they might not live with us, I asked the Lord if this wasn't getting too broad-minded and too tolerant. Immediately He reminded us of the Scripture in Isaiah 54 which He had given us long ago in our beginnings in California, through Grandmother:
69. "ENLARGE THE PLACE OF THY TENT, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited." Hallelujah! I would often have hesitated to take greater steps of faith in our history if the Lord hadn't reminded me of this prophetic commandment to forge ahead!
70. TO ENLARGE, YOU HAVE TO TAKE IN MORE TERRITORY. To stretch forth your curtains, you have to have more habitations, more Colonies. To lengthen your cords, you can't be skimpy or chintzy.--And to strengthen your stakes, you've gotta really pound them in solid, really establish your Colony. The rest is obvious: If you do these things, you'll be bustin' out all over, winning the world and taking it over! Hallelujah!
71. I WAS ALSO REMINDED OF ONE OF GRANDMOTHER'S FAVOURITE LITTLE POEMS. I can't remember the rest of it, but one line, its theme, has always stuck with me: "He drew a circle that shut me out, But I drew a circle that brought him in!" Beloved, can't we do this with the Lord's "Other Sheep"? He even went to Hell to bring us in! Why can't we permit these "Other Sheep" in our folds if they heed His voice? Amen!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family}