Excerpts from a talk given to the Children of God while they were in Laurentide, Canada, in 1970
We (the early Children of God)are doing something that is phenomenal, almost unheard of, the way we're doing it is almost unheard of. There have been all kinds of communal groups before, but none with such a militant and active type of witness as we've had and continue to have. I wonder how many other kinds of communes have had nearly 1,000 visitors in a little more than three months come to their gate to see what's going on, having helicopter pilots breaking rules and dropping out of the sky to see what's happening--already over 100 of them. And frequent Salvation's, and people getting filled with the Spirit.
We are accomplishing as much, if not more, right here right this minute as far as our witness population-wise, as we did when we were on the road witnessing every day. Anybody and everybody can talk about Jesus. There's nothing new about Jesus. The churches have been talking about Jesus for thousands of years and it hasn't done much good, but the way we are living and practicing Jesus is making news.
People don't come out here to get sermons, they come out here to see a phenomenon that they never heard of before. Nine out of ten people that come to this gate already claim to be Christians, so what are they coming out here for? What do they need? You know what the Lord said to me in my call? He told me I was to be a witness to the House of Israel. This was to be my main ministry, and you can believe it or not. I think that's what it still is. I believe we are famous among the church people--if for no other reason than what Jeremiah and Ezekiel were famous for--as a testimony against them because the people didn't repent. And when they stand in the Judgment they will have not one damned excuse, because Jeremiah and Ezekiel had told them. And that's what we're doing.
The church in general says, "Yes, that's what they did in the early church, but it's impossible today. It wouldn't work now." That's the excuse the Church has used for thousands of years, so they can live as they damn please and live selfishly to themselves and do their own thing. Ninety-nine of the preachers have told them, "You don't have to do it now. Anyway you couldn't do it now. This is a different day and it's impossible."
The Gospel has been preached for thousands of years. The whole world in a sense has heard about salvation, but our major witness is actually in this nation right now and our major witness is condemnation of the so-called church of Jesus Christ. We are a testimony against them. Just as Jesus Christ and His disciples were a constant testimony and final one, too, because as soon as they were gone the judgments of God began to fall upon them. They knew everything. They had the Old Testament. They thought they knew all about Salvation. Nobody could tell them anything. But the thing that was really the testimony against them was the different way in which Jesus and Paul lived, as well as what they preached. You never heard of any Scribes and Pharisees telling people to go about dropping out.
This is in effect exactly what Moses said, "Drop out; forsake all; follow me. You don't need Egypt. You don't need the System." They could have said, "Why that's impossible. If we get out in that desert with you, we'll starve. We won't have our jobs, we won't have our homes, we won't have our churches." But Moses said, "You can follow me in the middle of the desert, and God will take care of us."
Noah preached the same thing. "Forsake everything. Come into the ark and God will protect and supply for us," and they probably said, "You fool; it never has rained. You can't get along without this world." He invited them to repent. They could have gone along with him. His whole message was to drop out, live full-time for God and He'll take care of you--and he lived it. We're living witnesses against them. Ninety-nine percent of the church says, "It can't be one. You shouldn't do it. It's not for today. Do your own thing, and just go to church on Sunday."
It's not by our preaching salvation, or Jesus or healing or the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but what makes us unique is that we are living like Jesus intended for His Church to live. We are proving that it can be done and we have got to make it work. we've got to live it and make it work. The average church couldn't have had 200 of their people living together the length of time we have been without having a hell of a fight by this time. Do you realize what a miracle it is that we have no violence in our camp--no one ever coming to blows. It is the Lord and the way we are obeying Him and the way we are living. We are a living example.
My name is James Arendt. 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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