To stay alive, everyone must have movement! There must be CHANGE, MOVEMENT, MOTION, and the signs of LIFE are principally manifested by MOTION, ACTION! There are only two directions in which you can move. THERE IS NO STANDING STILL. YOU ARE EITHER MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD, which is backsliding. So if you're not progressing, if there's any disciple who is not making progress, he is already backsliding, and any leader who is not making progress is already a backslider, because if he's not going ahead, he's going backward. And that's WHAT IS WRONG WITH A LOT OF OUR LEADERSHIP. THEY ARE NOT GOING AHEAD, but settling down.
Every movement has to have constant change, revitalisation, movement, action to stay alive!--There's plenty to keep us alive and moving till the Lord comes! Just because we have Homes in many countries of the World, some people think we've arrived: "Now we've got Homes in all these countries, there's no place to go.--There are no more worlds to conquer!" They say ALEXANDER THE GREAT DIED WEEPING THAT THERE WERE NO MORE WORLDS TO CONQUER!--The big joke was that he hadn't even begun to conquer THIS World!--Half of the World hadn't even been discovered yet!
So the reason some of these people sit down and quit and begin to sit back and fall out, is simply because they have lost their vision. And when they lose the vision they lose faith. And when they lose faith they no longer have any initiative to do anything. Backsliding is the reverse of pioneering, and when you stop pioneering you start backsliding. So these people who stop pioneering because they no longer have any faith to take the initiative, to do something different or pioneer a new field, it's because they have lost the vision, and WITHOUT A VISION THE PEOPLE PERISH. They backslide and sink back into oblivion.
So when you stop pioneering it shows you have lost the initiative. Any army which ceases to attack loses the initiative, and attacking initiative is what wins a war. IT'S GOING ON THE INITIATIVE, TO THE ATTACK, THAT BRINGS VICTORY! The minute any army stops attacking and just settles down, it will be defeated, because the Enemy will then launch a counter-attack.--Or the army's very IMMOBILITY and ITS VERY LACK OF VISION and PROGRESS and INITIATIVE WILL CAUSE IT TO HAVE A LOSS of faith in its own cause and to quit and give up without even losing! This is one of the Devil's favourite tactics. THE DEVIL CAN NEVER WIN. THE ONLY WAY HE CAN GET THE VICTORY IS TO PERSUADE YOU TO QUIT, that you have a hopeless cause, so you might as well give up and quit and surrender and leave the field to him.--It's no use, he says.
That's the only way we can ever be conquered, if we stop attacking and give up and stop having the faith to take the initiative, stop attacking and winning new publications, new disciples, new tactics, new fields! Then you are doomed to defeat. You've already lost. ANYONE IN OUR RANKS WITH THIS ATTITUDE IS ALREADY LICKED BECAUSE HE HAS LOST THE BATTLE OF THE SPIRIT! He's given up and fainted in his mind and his body will soon faint with it and he'll quit and backslide. YOU'LL GO BACK DOWN THE CHAIN REACTION IN REVERSE FROM WHAT MAKES A PIONEER and you'll stop pioneering because you have lost the initiative, the spirit and courage, because you have lost faith; and you've lost faith because you've lost the vision!
What are the four things that make a pioneer?--First of all VISION! Because of the vision you have the FAITH. Because you have the faith, that gives you the COURAGE, and therefore with the courage you take the INITIATIVE and you PIONEER and make PROGRESS! Now if you STOP pioneering, it shows you have lost ALL these things. Why have you lost the faith and the courage?--Because you've lost the vision! Without a vision the people perish! If you're defeated, therefore, and your surrender and YOUR BACKSLIDING CAN BE TRACED ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LINE TO YOUR LOSS OF VISION, WHERE did you lose the vision?
How do you lose the vision?--Somewhere there's been a break in the contact with the source of power. Somehow these backsliders HAVE LOST TOUCH WITH GOD, direct personal intimate contact with God, that direct hotline!--They've gotten out of touch with it somewhere. Now in every Bible Kingdom God always had a Prophet and always used some man, God's man. If the people have lost the vision, just like turning a television off, it's because somehow or another THEY'VE GOTTEN OUT OF TOUCH WITH GOD, SOME BREAK HAS COME IN THE CONNECTION OR THEY'VE LOST THE VOICE OF HIS PROPHET. What is the people's connection with God? Well, each can have his PERSONAL CONNECTION. If he loses that, he's in bad trouble. But he can still have THE PROPHET. His individual TV set can go off and he can personally lose the vision because of his break, but that doesn't mean the station's quit broadcasting. The power's still there and all he has to do is tune in.
What's our connection with God? Well, God has so seen fit and chosen to choose for you A VOICE and A MAN THROUGH WHOM HE SPEAKS TO GIVE YOU THE MESSAGE, WHICH GIVES YOU THE VISION, WHICH CREATES THE FAITH, WHICH GIVES YOU THE COURAGE TO TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO ATTACK and PRESS ON and PROGRESS and CONTINUE TO GROW! But I dare say a good many of our BACKSLIDERS ARE PEOPLE WHO LOST TOUCH WITH GOD and/OR ME! THEY GOT OUT OF TOUCH WITH GOD'S MAN and THEREFORE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE MESSAGE He had given the man to give them.
That's the trouble with some of our leaders. They've gone as far as they want to go and they're stuck in a rut, not really interested in reaching even the souls NEAR them, much less the REST of the World or any NEW field! THEY'VE ARRIVED and HAVE THEIR NICE LITTLE FOLD and NICE LITTLE FLOCK and ARE NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN WHETHER THEY BEAR ANY NEW LAMBS OR NOT or bring in new sheep. They're satisfied with what they've got, so they stop.--And there's no such thing as stopping!
If you have lost the pioneering spirit and you're not going forward to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth and you're content short of that goal, you're satisfied with what you've already got and you're not interested in progressing until you see the Kingdom of God really established on Earth and righteousness covering the Earth as the waters cover the seas and the Coming of Christ, THEN YOU'RE BACKSLIDING!
The minute anybody in our outfit comes to the conclusion that he has arrived and he's satisfied and has come as far as he wants to go, WATCH OUT! I'll tell you, it's not ME! I'LL NEVER BE SATISFIED UNTIL EVERYBODY ON EARTH IS SAVED, which will never happen, of course.--But that's a long way off! Brother, "WE'VE GOTTA LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR", BUT WE'VE STILL GOTTA LOT TO DO! We haven't just a few years--we've got THOUSANDS to go!
If you think just because people have gone on to be with the Lord that their job is over, we can prove from the Bible where their job is far from complete! We have a long way to go and the Spirit World is a heaven of a lot busier than this hell on Earth! We will have a rest in a sense, you might say in the Spirit--at least some will, it depends on how much they deserve it!
But we're a long ways from the end of the road, and all these people who look forward to death as the END are going to get a big surprise! DEATH FROM THIS LIFE IS JUST GRADUATION FROM THIS GRADE, and praise God for that! You've graduated from this grade of this earthly life. But WHEN YOU GRADUATE FROM ONE GRADE TO ANOTHER, THE WORK IN THE NEXT GRADE USUALLY BECOMES A LITTLE MORE DIFFICULT WITH A LITTLE MORE ADDED RESPONSIBILITY, NEW and ADDED DUTIES WHICH YOU DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE, WITH NEW POWERS, NEW RESPONSIBILITIES. WITH NEW ABILITIES COME NEW RESPONSIBILITIES and YOU HAVE NEW POWER TO RESPOND TO THESE NEW RESPONSIBILITIES.
It's only the beginning, Folks! HEAVEN IS NOT THE END: IT'S ONLY THE BEGINNING! God only knows how much more we'll have to conquer after we've conquered the Earth and all the souls who have ever lived on it and all the problems! Who knows what OTHER Worlds we may have to conquer, what other Universes we may yet have to learn to rule! MY IDEA OF HEAVEN IS NOT FLOATING AROUND ON A CLOUD STRUMMING A HARP by some gift of God! That would be my idea of DEATH!--TOTAL INACTIVITY, CESSATION OF MOVEMENT, TOTAL REST IS TOTAL DEATH! And it doesn't seem to be God's idea of Heaven either! HIS UNIVERSE IS FULL OF MOVEMENT and HE'LL NEVER STOP!--We'll go right on through the Coming of Christ and the Millennium and Space City and right on out to Outer Space, and God only knows how far we all have to go!--AND WE'LL ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT IF WE'RE FAITHFUL SERVANTS!
When we stop pioneering the World, we're licked! We have failed! WE'RE DEFEATED BECAUSE WE DEFEATED OURSELVES BY GIVING UP! Therefore these disciples, whether they be babes or leaders, who have ceased to progress and have stopped and are satisfied to enjoy their little bit of this and that daily in their little bitty Home and their little bit of Heaven on Earth, their little "me, thee, thou and no other" and their few little sheep and their little fold--now they're the Shepherd, so, "Where else can I go but to the Lord?"--They've totally ceased to move and progress and go on and pioneer! ONCE THEY'VE GOT ONE HOME OPEN and ESTABLISHED, THEY SHOULD GO ON TO ANOTHER. When you finish giving out the Message in ONE town, you should go to ANOTHER!
But some of our leaders quit long ago: They no longer have any desire to go any further. They're perfectly satisfied with where they are. THEY'VE SAT DOWN and QUIT and LOST THEIR LOVE OF THE LORD and SOULS and THEIR DESIRE TO WITNESS and WIN and GET NEW DISCIPLES and INVADE NEW FIELDS--WHICH MEANS THEY'VE QUIT!--And they think when they've quit they are going to keep what they've got. But GOD'S LAW OF PROGRESS IS, IF YOU DON'T KEEP ON GETTING MORE, YOU'LL LOSE WHAT YOU'VE GOT!--"To him that HATH, it shall be GIVEN (to have MORE, make PROGRESS!), but to him that hath NOT, it shall be taken AWAY, even what he THINKETH he HATH!"--Luk.8:18. The minute you think you HAVE it and you SIT DOWN to enjoy it, that's where you LOSE it! That's why many a great business, many a great nation, many a great civilisation and many a great religious movement has vanished from the face of the Earth, because they thought they had arrived and had all they wanted and they sat down to enjoy it, and whooosh!-GOD BLEW UPON IT and IT CAME TO NOUGHT, BECAUSE THEY QUIT ADVANCING and PROGRESSING, INVADING and ATTACKING and moving!
We can't stop or we're dead!--If we don't keep on doing more and more every day and progressing, or if we can't sit down at the end of the day and sum things up and keep books with our soul and weigh up the accounts and say, "Now WHAT DID I DO TODAY THAT I WON'T HAVE TO DO TOMORROW?"--IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT PROGRESS, WHAT MOVE OR ACCOMPLISHMENT OR NEW THING OR DIFFERENT THING OR WHAT MORE HAVE I DONE THAN THE USUAL THINGS I ALWAYS HAVE TO DO EACH DAY?" IF YOU COME TO THE POINT WHERE YOU'RE JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS BY HABIT and you're just coasting along on former momentum, ONCE YOU'VE GONE TO SLEEP and LEFT YOUR ENGINE GOING, YOU'LL SOON RUN OUT OF GAS and even the engine will go dead for lack of new fuel and YOU'LL SOON COAST TO A STOP and LACK OF MOTION!
I CHALLENGE YOU REGARDING THESE LEADERSHIP and DISCIPLESHIP PROBLEM CASES, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BECOMING OLD BOTTLES: I DARE SAY THAT YOU WILL FIND THAT THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO NO LONGER HAVE ANY INTEREST OR FIND MUCH PLEASURE IN READING MO LETTERS-and CERTAINLY NOT IN OBEYING THEM! They are no longer interested in drinking in the Water of Life, fresh water and food. You'll find they are not reading and studying themselves and therefore, of course, are not interested in giving them to anybody else either! YOUR PEOPLE, YOUR FLOCK, ARE ONLY GOING TO BE AS INTERESTED IN MO LETTERS AS YOU ARE, unless they're unusual.--AND THE FLOCKS WILL USUALLY BE NO BETTER THAN THEIR LEADERSHIP, sad to say. Although I HAVE MORE HOPE FOR SOME FLOCKS THAN SOME SHEPHERDS, BECAUSE OUR FLOCKS THAT READ THE LORD'S LETTERS KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH OR WITHOUT THEIR LEADERS! They know where to get the nourishment and what to do about it and where to give it out!
Sometimes I can't help but wonder about some of these cases of BACKSLIDERS and PEOPLE DISSATISFIED IN A HOME, but who still want the MO Letters and to witness and make progress: Why blame it all on THEM? How do you know it's THEIR fault? HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S NOT SOME LEADERSHIP OLD BOTTLES WHO HAVE GOT THE HOME ALL BOTTLED UP and are not allowing for anything new or different and the whole thing's gone to SEED and they're in a RUT! I'D BE MORE INCLINED TO BELIEVE IT'S THE FAULT OF THE LEADERS, the fault of the leadership, that a Home is in such a rut and hasn't got the power from God's Message and think they have to live in a Home or they can't do ANYTHING! These people are the kind of PEOPLE WHO THINK THE HOME IS THE LIVING END!--And the people that think this ARE GOING TO FIND THE HOME IS THE DEAD END!
Just establishing Homes is not our end!--Our end is getting the Message to the World--the Words that work to the WORLD! So if THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK and TIRED OF JUST SITTING AROUND IN ONE HOME and people who have some initiative and WANT TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE and STILL WANT TO TAKE THE MO LETTERS WITH THEM and DISTRIBUTE THEM, WHY NOT? If there are even some people who say, "Well, we have got some of our own set doctrines that some people don't think can be changed"-watch out!--ANY ARMY THAT FAILS TO BE MOBILE and VIABLE and PLIABLE and MOVEABLE SO IT CAN CHANGE ITS TACTICS and METHODS FROM DAY TO DAY IS A DEAD OR DYING ARMY!
We used to be so narrow-minded that, if anybody didn't forsake all and join lock, stock and barrel on the spot, HE WAS HARDLY SAVED and we weren't too sure he was even a Christian!--And IF WE DON'T BREAK OUT OF THAT OLD OVER-STRETCHED BOTTLE WE'LL FIND OURSELVES IN A BOTTLENECK where we'll NEVER reach the MILLIONS who can NEVER join our Homes! The people who think that joining a Home is the END, it WILL be for THEM and they'll DIE spiritually right THERE!
I've got more faith for the guys with enough gumption to break out of that old-bottle mold as long as they want to take the Letters with them!--And give them to OTHERS EVERYWHERE who NEED them! If they still WANT the LETTERS, it must mean they're still going to want to give them OUT and I don't give a damn if they belong to ANY HOME or not!--DOES THAT ROCK YOUR BOAT OR BREAK YOUR BOTTLE or blow your damned old-bottle doctrine to damnation?
If we're going to tie ourselves down to nothing but these little podunk Homes with NO VISION, and some of whom have stopped DEAD in their tracks and aren't accomplishing much and where their leaders are satisfied and just going through the motions, if we don't break out of that old-bottle mold we're not going to get any further!
Our Homes are only a means to the end, a drop in the bucket, a WAY, a PART of the body, a place to GROW and a place to put the babes in a NURSERY spiritually and bring them up, grow them up! BUT IF THAT NURSERY TURNS OUT TO BE LIKE THE CHURCHES, where they don't want them EVER to grow up and merely keep them as BABIES and keep them FOREVER, MAY GOD HELP THEM TO GET OUT OF SUCH A HOME!
THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING IN THE PAST ARE OLD BOTTLES! You know what my Grandfather said to me once?--"David, Son, DO YOU KNOW HOW YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE GETTING OLD?--WHEN YOU START LIVING IN THE PAST!"
If we've got any old bottles still living in the past, may God have mercy! I don't give a damn how we used to do it, if it's not the way we ought to do it now! And I don't care HOW we did it YESTERDAY, if we should do it DIFFERENTLY TOMORROW! But some of these oldbottle guys are still insisting on a rigid pattern of TOTAL CONFORMITY to the PAST and living according to the tactics of the PAST!
Anybody in this outfit who's stuck in a rut and wants to continue to do things the same way we did them on the road or in Huntington Beach or last year or yesterday, THEY'RE AN OLD BOTTLE and something's WRONG with them!
Old bottles like it like it was: They love the old, dislike the new, resist change and therefore they've solidified and THAT WHICH RESISTS CHANGE IS NO LONGER PART OF THE REVOLUTION, BUT HAS BECOME AN OLD BOTTLE, A PART OF AN OLD SYSTEM! But a REVOLUTION keeps MOVING and CHANGING and REVOLVING and REVOLUTING! TO REVOLVE YOU HAVE TO GO CLEAR TO THIS SIDE, THEN TO THAT SIDE, and FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER, BUT YOU NEVER GET ANY FURTHER FROM THE CENTER, Jesus, no matter how MUCH you revolve or how FAR or FAST or SLOW you go! But you're constantly changing POSITIONS. Either that or you're NOT REVOLUTING, and WHEN YOU STOP REVOLUTING, YOUR ENGINE IS DEAD and YOUR VEHICLE IS MOTIONLESS and your motor's quit and you've quit and you're DEAD, lifeless, motionless and useless!--And that's what's wrong with some of our people!
We've developed our own liturgy and traditions and old system! Why, some of our leaders' attitude is: "If you don't sing 'Thank You Jesus for this food', you have broken our holy tradition and abandoned our sacred liturgy! If you don't wind up the meeting singing the Lord's Prayer, you're a backslider!"--My God! MAYBE YOU'RE A PIONEER and WANT TO STEP OUT and TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT!--FOR GOD'S SAKE GO!--JUST TAKE YOUR MO LETTERS and RUN!--BUT WRITE!--GBY! I'm not saying you shouldn't do these old things, but you don't always HAVE to do these same things, as long as you do thank the Lord for the food and pray that God will keep you as you leave! You can't get any further from the Center, if you stay equidistant from the axis, axle, shaft or hub, but an engine can run either FORWARD or BACKWARD as long as it's RUNNING! It can run in SEVERAL directions.--A WHEEL CAN GO AROUND AN AXIS IN SEVERAL DIRECTIONS and NOT NECESSARILY BE BACKSLIDING. Some can run in EITHER direction. As long as it RUNS, so what!--As long as it's getting the JOB DONE!
But if you're an old bottle stretched as far as you can go and you can't bulge one more bulge, THE NEXT TIME I COME ALONG and DROP ONE MORE DROP OF NEW WINE INTO YOU, IT'LL BREAK YOUR BOTTLE and EVEN WHAT YOU'VE GOT WILL BE LOST and you'll lose even what you THOUGHT you HAD! "To him that HATH it shall be given."--To him that hath WHAT?--Him that hath a NEW bottle with lots MORE room! But him that hath NOT a new bottle, it will be taken FROM him even that which he thinks he HATH!--Luk.8:18.
So to hell with your customs! As long as you've still got Christ and love the Revolution, may God deliver you from old worn-out Bible studies and old worn-out prophetic interpretations and old worn-out endless Scripture memorisation and old boring ancient classes, if it means you haven't got time to LISTEN TO WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY NOW or you're not ready to CHANGE your method of operation according to what God is doing NOW instead of the way He did it YESTERDAY!
IF WE'RE NOT GOING TO CONSTANTLY KEEP CHANGING OUR TACTICS and METHODS and MODES OF OPERATION JUST LIKE GOD DOES, to what He knows will WORK and what WON'T with a new day and new situation and new people, THEN WE'RE GOING TO BECOME AN OLD HAS-BEEN BOTTLE JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE CHURCHES and the Revolution will have died!--Well, YOU can if you want to, but I'M not! "Morning by morning NEW mercies I see! Great is THY FAITHFULNESS dear Lord unto ME!" "ALL THINGS CHANGE, but Jesus never" and HE EVEN CHANGES SOME OF HIS TACTICS and SOME OF HIS MESSAGES and SOME OF HIS METHODS, DEPENDING ON WHAT SUITS THE SITUATION! Paul said, "I became ALL things to ALL men!"--1Cor.9:22. If we're not flexible, pliable, able to stretch or shrink or bend to accommodate the NEW wine, then we're going to break, shatter and lose even what we've got!
Some of our leaders are still running around with the same old mold in their hand trying to make all our new disciples into old bottles! And the kind of bottles they're making won't be able to hold the NEW wine, because they're OLD bottles!
If this thing has been anything, it's been a Revolution from the beginning, and every time I come around I BREAK A FEW MORE OLD BOTTLES and THE NEW ONES JUST HAVE TO CARRY ON WITHOUT THE OLD ONES!--The new young bottles that can hold the new wine! That's what God did with us in the first place: He took us fresh young bottles OUT of the churches with their old unstretchable bottles, and that process has not stopped! GOD IS STILL POURING OUT NEW WINE, BUT SOME OF OUR PEOPLE HAVE BECOME OLD BOTTLES and CAN'T TAKE IT, just like the old churches and He is STILL saying, "Come out of her, ye My people!" (Rev.18:4)--And He's constantly drawing out a NEW church and leaving an OLD church behind! Some of our people are still back where we were two or three YEARS ago and the way we're going or SLOWING, they'll NEVER get any further!--WHILE THE REST OF US EVER-RENEWING BOTTLES ARE ALREADY 10,000 MILES FURTHER OUT IN SPACE IN THE WORLD OF THE SPIRIT and THE OLD BOTTLES STILL HAVEN'T LEFT THE OLD PAD!
If your bottle is full and can't hold any more, you know what's the matter with it?--It hasn't been pouring OUT! EVEN an OLD bottle can hold MORE if it keeps pouring OUT! They can even hold NEW wine if they keep POURING OUT the OLD stuff! They've gotta give it up and FORSAKE ALL, including some of their OLD wine they cherish-the old vintage we vinted back in TSC or Huntington Beach or on the Road!
We'd better take this new wine God is giving and get out and find some new bottles who can TAKE it! The day of old-bottle usefulness is passing!--Not that God won't give them credit for the job they DID. But they are old, disposable, fragile containers that can't take the new wine any more.--And if we're going to depend on those old bottles to take the new wine, we'll FAIL! We have to FORGET THE OLD BOTTLES and FIND THE NEW! IF THE OLD BOTTLE CAN'T TAKE IT, CAST IT ASIDE and GET OUT and FIND A NEW ONE THAT CAN!
So are you an old bottle or a new bottle? Well, it all depends on whether you can hold the new wine or not! Whether you ARE or NOT will probably depend on whether you've DUMPED OUT your LAST load and come BACK so you can hold some MORE! But IF YOU'RE GOING TO SIT AROUND ALL FILLED UP till you stretch your limit and get all bent out of shape to where if anybody just pokes their finger at you it will poke a hole in you and spill what you've got, then you're a has-been, an old bottle!--The days of your usefulness are ended!
SO FOR GOD'S SAKE, HELP US GET OUT and FIND SOME NEW BOTTLES! THAT'S what's wrong with the Revolution. NOTHING'S WRONG WITH GOD'S SUPPLY. Nothing's wrong with God's hotline or channel! It just keeps flowing!
I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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