To our own Dear Loved Ones, Family, Friends, Associates, Co-Workers, Helpers, Parents, Grandparents, and even Strangers and Enemies of The Children of God:
Dearly Beloved in the Lord: Greetings in Jesus' precious name! It has been a long time since some of you have heard from me directly, personally, and most of you have never heard from me before, although many of you may have heard about me, either through your own children or friends or even from enemies who have given us widespread publicity during the past few months!
IT HAS BEEN OUR OWN PERSONAL DESIRE TO REMAIN UNKNOWN in person and in name to the world at large, and known only in the Spirit by our fatherly counsel in the form of our letters and writings to our own children, now known as the Children of God. We have felt it better to remain anonymous in this way as long as possible in order that we might fulfill the words of the great and courageous St. John, predecessor and introducer of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease!"--John 3:30.
IT WAS MY OWN PERSONAL PREFERENCE TO REMAIN AS UNKNOWN AS POSSIBLE, and that personal knowledge of me and personal acquaintance and contact with me should decrease as much as possible in order that we might glorify our Lord the more, and encourage our children the more, that He is with them even when I am not, in order that they might learn to depend more on Him rather that on me, as this is their only hope of survival, of which we're going to speak more later in this letter.
WE HAVE ALSO SEEN MANY GREAT MEN OF GOD AND THEIR MINISTRY DESTROYED THROUGH TOO MUCH EXALTATION by either their followers or the general public. It has therefore been our personal desire to minimize the possibilities of such glorification of the cult of the personality and to virtually eliminate it if possible by remaining almost unknown, both in name and in person, in order that we might say indeed: "To God be all the Glory!"
IT HAS ALSO BEEN OUR FEELING THAT, IF ANY CREDIT WERE TO BE GIVEN AT ALL BY OTHERS AND OUTSIDERS, IT SHOULD NOT ONLY BE GIVEN TO THE LORD BUT TO THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES, if to any, for it is they who by the help of God have done such a marvelous work in the world today in helping to rescue the youth of their own generation from the evils of their time: Godlessness, unbelief, confusion, paganism, drugs, violence, crime, and anarchy!--as well as shame, death, and despair!
THE ANSWER TO ALL OF THEIR PROBLEMS HAS, AS USUAL AND AS ALWAYS IN EVERY AGE AND EVERY GENERATION, BEEN A VERY SIMPLE ONE: LOVE!--True Love, the Love of God and the love of their fellowman!--The Spirit of God's divine Love which helps us all to fulfill His Great Commandment to love one another! Jesus said the greatest commandments in the Mosaic Law were first to love God and then to love thy neighbor as thyself! Herein, He said, are all the Law and all the Prophets, or as Solomon said, herein is the whole duty of man: to love God and to keep his Commandments! Herein is the Children's Salvation and Message!
GOD'S ANSWER TO THE PROBLEMS OF TODAY AS WELL AS TO THE PROBLEMS OF THE PAST HAS ALWAYS BEEN SO SIMPLE, so childlike, so easy that many could not even believe it!--That the simple Love of God and each other could solve all of our problems! But that is still God's solution for today, even in such a complex and confused and highly complicated society as that of the world of today! It's still just that simple: If we love God, we can love each other, and even respect ourselves as His Creation! We can then follow His rules of life, liberty, and the possession of happiness, and all will be well and happy in Him!
THE WHOLE IDEA IS SO SIMPLE AND SO CHILDLIKE THAT JESUS HIMSELF SAID THAT YOU MUST BECOME AS A LITTLE CHILD to enter His spiritual Kingdom of joy and happiness, a blissful state of mind and spirit and even physical and material well-being--the spiritual Kingdom of God on earth! In fact, He told a learned Doctor of the Law, "Except ye become as a little child, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven!" He even said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot even see or understand the Kingdom of God!"
THIS, OF COURSE, WAS QUITE AND ENIGMA TO THIS OBVIOUSLY LEARNED AND LITERARY OLD GENTLEMAN, a "rabbi of Israel" to whom Jesus was speaking. To this very well educated teacher of the Law, Salvation was apparently in knowledge and great education and the wisdom of the ancients, such as the Torah and the Talmud. But here Jesus was telling him very simply, as our Children sing in their very popular theme song around the world: "You Gotta be a Baby to go to Heaven!"
IN OTHER WORDS, YOU MUST ACCEPT GOD'S SIMPLE AND UNCOMPLICATED, UNADULTERATED, UNEDUCATED LOVE AND TRUTH AS THE WORD OF YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER TO HIS LITTLE CHILD--YOU!--and through the acceptance of this Good News of His Love as manifested in His Son, Jesus Christ.
THAT THIS SIMPLE CHILDLIKE TRUTH WAS VERY DIFFICULT FOR THIS OVER-EDUCATED RABBI TO UNDERSTAND WAS OBVIOUS FROM HIS REACTION and overly-literal interpretation, wondering if Jesus was speaking of some kind of physical miracle of material rebirth. But Jesus quickly explained that he was not speaking of a physical rebirth from a fleshly bag of water, but a spiritual rebirth of man's spirit and spiritual attitudes performed by a supernatural miracle of the Spirit of God Himself!--the gift of a new spiritual heart, so to speak, from the Lord.
WHAT JESUS WAS DOING BY THIS WAS MAKING IT VERY PLAIN AND SIMPLE THAT WE CANNOT SAVE OURSELVES BY OUR OWN WORKS, OUR OWN GOODNESS, even our own attempts to keep His laws and to love Him, even our own endeavors to find and follow His truth. He was saying that Salvation is a gift of God performed by a miraculous transformation for our lives when we accept His truth in the love of His Son Jesus by the work of God's Spirit. All we have to do is receive Him, and His Spirit in us will then cause us to do the humanly impossible: Love God and man!
"FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD!--Not of works, lest any man should boast! For we are His workmanship!"--Ephesians 2:8,9. So you cannot save yourself no matter how good you try to be. You can't be good enough, you can't be perfect enough to earn merit or deserve the Heavenly perfection of His own holy Salvation by His own Grace, Love and Mercy!
"FOR ALL WE LIKE SHEEP HAVE GONE ASTRAY! We have turned every one to his own way; But God hath laid on Him (Jesus His own Son) the iniquity of us all!" Read the rest of this 53rd Chapter of Isaiah, the Old Testament Prophet, if you want a beautiful picture of the Love of God as shown in His Son Jesus taking the punishment of our own sins in Himself on the Tree! "For He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people!... when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin... and hath poured out His soul unto death... and he bare the sin of many!"
"AS MOSES LIFTED UP THE SERPENT IN THE WILDERNESS, EVEN SO MUST THE SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!"--John 3:14-16.
SALVATION IS JUST THAT SIMPLE! All you have to do is receive Jesus, God's Son, as your Savior by asking Him into your heart! You can do it right now, if you want God's answer to all of your problems and His love and happiness to fill your heart and life with joy unspeakable and full of glory with a new plan and purpose in living! He'll meet all your needs and solve all your problems! He's just that wonderful, and it's all just that simple! Why not try Him?
AS I USED TO TELL MY OWN NATURAL CHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE: "God is our great Father in Heaven and we are His children on earth. We've all been naughty and deserve a spanking, haven't we?--But Jesus, our Big Brother, loved us and the Father so much that He knew the spanking would hurt us both, so he offered to take it for us! So God let Him and promised to forgive us if we would love and thank Jesus for it and let his Spirit live in our hearts and lives from now on and obey His Word by letting Him love others through us." It's that simple!
THEN I WOULD LEAD THEM IN A SIMPLE CHILDLIKE PRAYER, and you can pray it with us if you wish: "Dear Lord, please forgive me for being bad and naughty and deserving a good spanking! Thank You so much for sending Jesus, Your Son, to take my spanking for me. I now receive Him as my Savior and as Your Son and ask You to come into my heart and make me be good and love You and others by your Spirit. Help me to read Your Word and obey it and try to help others. In Jesus' name. Amen."
THIS IS THE PRAYER WE FIRST PRAYED AS A LITTLE TINY FAMILY OF SIX, just so simple and childlike, without a church or a building or a preacher, in the quiet sanctity of our own little home, a tiny little house trailer, with nothing but the Word of God and His Spirit as our Teacher!--And look how God has answered! Look how He's helped my children to help your children and the children of others to become God's Children--Our Children--Yours and Mine and God's! Hallelujah!
GOD BLESS YOU FOR BEING WILLING TO YIELD YOUR CHILDREN TO HIM FOR GOD'S USE, THAT HE MIGHT HELP THEM TO HELP OTHERS and in so doing give you and us both many more children in His Spirit for His Kingdom! This has made both Him and them very happy, as well as bring joy and happiness and His wonderful Salvation and Love to many, many others! How thankful you should be for them and how proud you should be of them for their self-sacrificial love and service in saving multitudes of other young people by helping them to find the Lord and showing them the joy of a life of service for others! Thank God! May you never regret your own personal sacrifice in letting them go for God!
WE REALIZE THAT MANY OF YOU MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD THIS INSTANTANEOUS, MIRACULOUS, AND SUPERNATURAL CHANGE of mind, heart, and life which occurs by the power of God's Spirit in this spiritual transformation which God calls being born again, or a spiritual rebirth, it is such a drastic change! Some of you have even been misled to believe that because of this sudden change and desire to live an entirely different kind of life that your children must surely have been drugged, hypnotized, brainwashed, kidnapped, or imprisoned, or they would not have so suddenly and somewhat dramatically left home, loved ones, school or job and entered upon such an entirely new and different kind of life!
HOWEVER, IF YOU WILL RECALL SOME OF THE BIBLE STORIES YOU MAY HAVE HEARD ABOUT SOME OF THE INSTANTANEOUS TRANSFORMATIONS of life, mind, and heart which befell some of God's greatest characters at some crisis time by the power of God's Spirit such as Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, some of the folks Jesus Himself called or healed, and his own Apostles, as well as many other men of God throughout history, you will realize that this is actually nothing new, but something which God has been doing throughout the ages in the lives of men!
SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS SO SUDDENLY AND SO COMPLETELY AND THERE IS SUCH A DRASTIC CHANGE THAT IT CAN BE VERY DRAMATIC AND MUCH MISUNDERSTOOD! Many have even been thought, like the Apostle Paul, to have suddenly gone mad, or "driven crazy by religion", there has been such a sudden change in their lives and their way of thinking, speaking, and living! Their whole attitude toward life and others has changed, and changed so suddenly that their friends, loved ones, or others have thought them to have suddenly had some traumatic psychological experience which has made such a personality change as to make them seem even schizophrenic!--and in need of psychiatric care!
SOME HAVE EVEN GONE SO FAR AS TO HAVE HAD THEIR OWN LOVED ONES PLACED UNDER A DOCTOR'S CARE OR IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION for observation to try to find out what's happened to them to make them such a different person! But let me remind you and reassure you that this has been a very common miracle of God throughout history! Jesus called it being born again of His Spirit, and Paul called it the new birth in which "old things are passed away and all things are become new" and "ye are become new creatures in Christ Jesus"! The Bible calls it "putting off the old man and putting on the new" and it is often such a remarkable transformation and actual personality change that God's Word often likens it to the death and burial of the old and a resurrection of the new to an entirely new life and way of living!
SO SALVATION, OR THIS DRAMATIC "CONVERSION" AS IT'S SOMETIMES CALLED, IS SOMETIMES QUITE A SURPRISE TO OUR LOVED ONES and former associates! The great St. Augustine had been a libertine and a profligate while in college. But then one day after his conversion, as he tells it himself in his own writings, he was walking down the street when one of his old girlfriends passed him by, and he didn't seem to recognize her. So she turned and called after him, "Augustine, it is I!" To which he replied, "Yes I know!--But I am no longer I!" As the Apostle says, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me, and the life that I now live, I live by the grace of the Son of God!"
SURELY YOU MUST HAVE HEARD OR READ SOMEWHERE in your life by this time of some of these remarkable conversions of great and famous characters, both in the Bible and out! Believe it or not, God is still alive today and just as powerfully changing your children!
THIS IS ACTUALLY THE SAME CHANGE WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN YOU or me or others upon the declaration of our individual faith at the time of either our Bar-mitzvah, Confirmation, or Salvation, or Baptism. However, with some, these occasions are, merely traditional ceremonial formalities or customs and they do not really have a change of heart. With others, the change which has taken place is not as noticeable or is more gradually noticeable because they were already living a fairly clean, good, or exemplary life and this experience did not make a great deal of change in their looks, manner, or way of living.Continue on to part 2 ....
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