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May 7, 2003

Novel reading

By MariaMaria #640 CM 3442 12/02

Dear Family,

1. Here is some counsel that our dear Husband has given us on novel reading. And before those of you who like to read novels get scared and think that the Lord is going to ban all novels‚ let me assure you that this is not the case. There are times when the reading of novels is okay, as you will see as you read further. Still, this subject is most likely a sensitive one. If you enjoy reading novels, you may feel that any guidelines on the subject are a clipping of your wings of personal freedom. If you're tempted to write this GN off as "just more rules" that you don't want to hear, think again and resolve to have an open mind, because the rules are not just for the sake of rules, but for a much more important reason.

2. As you read on you'll get a clearer picture of the Lord's counsel on the subject. Basically, the Lord gives guidelines and counsel about how to prevent reading novels from becoming a negative influence in your life. Now, you may have heard this warning about "negative influences" scores of times, but the fact is that if you love Jesus and want to do your best for Him and remain in His Endtime army, then you will welcome any guidelines that will help you to climb the mountain more easily. The Lord wants you to be happy serving Him, and He does this in part by helping you to minimize the negative influences in your life, which keeps you from carrying around a heavy load of baggage that just tires you out‚ weakens you, and wears you down.

3. I'm not going to all the trouble to make these Words of wisdom from the Lord available to you because I want to make your life more difficult or because I don't want you to be happy; instead, I'm doing it because I know that it can make your life much easier and happier in the long run.

4. If you want shepherding—which you should if you want to stay close to Jesus—you can benefit from some of the shepherding that others have received. I'll share with you excerpts of personal prophecies from some of those in our WS units, as well as other prophecies that have been sent to us on the subject, where in some cases the Lord laid down conditions for people to fulfill so that reading novels would not have a detrimental effect on their spiritual life and health. These messages were received over the past four or five years, and as you'll see, He's given very wise counsel that can be applied to each of your lives.—In fact, perhaps more than ever, due to His challenge of Feast 2003 and our united commitments to put Him and His Word first and actively minimize anything that distracts and pulls us away from doing so. I pray you'll find these helpful and that they can give you an idea of some of the things you can ask the Lord personally. Please try to absorb and receive as much of the Lord's counsel as possible.

5. Before my eyes became so bad, I read a lot. I've always loved to read. After joining the Family and helping Dad, my time was more limited, but I still found time to occasionally read books—mostly books that I thought would be helpful for the Family in some way‚ but nonetheless System books. So I understand and can relate to those of you who love to read. I love to read too, although now I do most of my "reading" by listening. I hardly have time to keep up with all the correspondence that comes in and all the prophecies the Lord gives, so I don't have time to read novels or other System books. But I did at one point, so I can understand the appeal that they hold. I enjoyed them too.

Text box:

Home Life Rules, 51.M.

Members who wish to read books or have their children read books other than educational textbooks, or those on the recommended book lists‚ must receive the agreement of a simple majority of their Home.

End of text box.

6. In the Charter‚ there is a rule about book reading. It states that if you want to read a book, you must receive approval from the Home before doing so. This rule seems to often get overlooked or bypassed, so I asked the Lord for some solutions on how it can work. You might wonder why we have to have it as a rule at all. When I asked the Lord about that, here's what He said:


7. It's important to have a safeguard in this area. Book reading is a lot like movie watching or computer games. It's a form of relaxation and entertainment which can be fine in its place, but can easily become addicting and a distraction if not kept in check. I allow it for My children when they're keeping it in its place and abiding by the guidelines I give. But if it gets out of hand, it can quickly become a hindrance—not only to the spiritual life and health of that one person, but it also eats away at the unity, fruitfulness‚ and happiness of the body. Because when one member is being influenced negatively by ungodly influences, this affects their Home, whether directly or indirectly. That's why it's important for there to be a way to shepherd this form of entertainment, for the good of the body and the fruitfulness of My missionaries. (End of message from Jesus)


8. The Lord brings out an important point in that short message. He said that it's "important for there to be a way to shepherd this form of entertainment for the good of the body and the fruitfulness of My missionaries." That's good to keep in mind as you read this counsel. Our number one reason for being here is to win others to Him. If there's something that He feels is hindering us in that mission—or has potential to hinder us—then we should be open to hearing about it and adjusting our habits, lifestyle, or mode of operation accordingly.

9. Keeping things in perspective also really helps. Even though something—such as novel reading—seems all-important and consuming at the time, our life here on Earth is relatively very short in comparison with eternity. These issues can seem large now, but in the overall picture, they're extremely minute. What is important are the souls we win to the Lord, who are going to last forever; the love that we share with others, which is what we're here to learn; and the love we give to the Lord, our Husband and King. Those are the important things in life.

10. Keeping that perspective, hearing the Lord's counsel about something like novel reading takes on a whole new light. It makes it clearer how wonderful and valued it should be to us that the Lord would be concerned about our spiritual lives and would take the time to share His thoughts with us and give us counsel to keep us on the right track so that the truly important things are the things which remain our priority. The Lord isn't trying to clip our wings or make us feel miserable or confined; He's just trying to coach us so that we're as fruitful as possible during this short time we have on Earth, so that the things we do are of lasting value.

11. Back to the Charter rule: In order to make it more workable, we're amending the Charter to include the possibility of the Home appointing a book-reading committee by a simple majority, who would then handle and have the authority to decide on any requests to read a book. It's recommended that at least one of your Home teamworkers be a member of this committee.

Here is the Charter amendment:

Text box:

Change in "Home Life Rules‚" 51.M:

Members who wish to read books or have their children read books, other than educational textbooks or those on the recommended book lists, must, after personally receiving a confirmation from the Lord to read the book‚ submit their request to their Home and receive the agreement of a simple majority of voting members.

If the Home wishes, in place of having the entire Home vote on the matter, they may appoint a committee of at least three members 18 or older to decide which books Home members can read. The Home member‚ after receiving a confirmation from the Lord, would submit their request to the committee and receive the agreement of a simple majority of the committee. It is recommended that, if possible, a member of the Home teamwork be on the book committee.

End of text box.

12. Here are some suggestions or ideas of how you could possibly make this rule work in your Home, but please feel free to ask the Lord for counsel about what would be best for your situation.

13. * You can bring up the topic in a Home council meeting and ask the Home to vote on whether you can read a certain book or not. (Most people might not feel comfortable doing it this way, but if everyone in your Home does, more power to you!)

14. * Print or write out your request to read a book, the message you received from the Lord about it, and some sort of idea of what the book is about (or put the book with the memo you pass around, if you have it on hand), and let people vote on paper regarding your request.

15. * Make it your Home policy that if someone wants to read a book, they're responsible to pray about it and turn in the message they receive from the Lord, along with the book (if available), to a book–reading committee that has been appointed by the Home. If they don't hear otherwise within a reasonable amount of time (for example, three days or a week—you can agree on the time period together as a Home), then they can go ahead with it, either obtaining the book or getting it back from the book committee. In some cases, you might not have the book available, if English books are not widely available in your area, and so you might want to get approval before you go to the trouble of borrowing it from a library or purchasing it online‚ or whatever your plans are.

16. There are many more options along these lines‚ involving ways to either bring it up to the Home for a vote, or else decide (by a majority vote) as a Home to create a book-reading committee, and then set up guidelines within which they make the decisions about book-reading requests. It's up to you as a Home to set your policy in regards to how people can go about getting a book approved that they want to read. Please pray about it, discuss it, and decide what would be best in your situation. The main point is that everyone should be praying and hearing from the Lord about what they read‚ and there should be a check and balance system so that if shepherding is needed or someone is going overboard or getting off track, they can receive shepherding.

17. Following are some questions and the Lord's answers about book reading. Some of these questions were sent in from the field, and others were generated from our WS units, as some of our folks like to read books too. Like we covered in the GNs about life in WS‚ most of our folks don't have a lot of time to read and they're not into it excessively, but some people enjoy reading for recreation and have received good counsel from the Lord in their personal prayer and prophecy times, excerpts of which they've agreed to share with you in this GN. I pray it's a blessing to you.

Lesser of two evils?


18. Wouldn't it be less damaging for your spirit to read a book than to watch a movie?


19. The answer to this question is yes and no. It depends on the movie, it depends on the book, and it depends on the person. It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in many cases that's true; but on the other hand, there are so many things that you can express or depict in writing that can't clearly be shown in a movie.

20. One short scene in a movie could take up quite a few pages in a book, and thus the book will be more detailed than the movie, which tells the same story. Most movies aren't longer than two hours, but if you sat down to read a book of the same story it would probably take you at least ten hours, and that's one of the main drawbacks of reading books: the time that it takes, the hours that are spent. I allow for some recreational hours, and I understand the need to relax and get away from thinking—and in some cases, for some people, they would prefer to do that by reading a book. But when the input is harmful to your spirit, or when you take in worldly input to the neglect of your spiritual input‚ or when you spend too much time taking in this worldly input, that is when I consider it a waste of time.

21. There's really no black–and-white answer to this question, because what may be bad for one person's spirit may not affect another person quite so much. Perhaps you're the kind of person that's more affected by the things that you see, and seeing something graphic or disturbing could affect your spirit negatively. In such cases, maybe it would be better for your spirit to read a book than to watch the movie with all of the sound effects and visual effects.

22. Then there are other people who are very attracted to reading. They read and their spirits are almost completely engulfed in the story, the plot, the characters, and the world depicted within its pages. It's almost like they become a character in the story, and everything is very real to them. This can be detrimental to such a reader, because they get sucked into the world of fantasy, and perhaps for them it would be less damaging for their spirit if they were to just watch a movie; it's shorter, less detailed, and wouldn't engulf them as completely.

23. Both books and movies can be hazardous to your spiritual life and walk with Me‚ and that's why I'm repeatedly emphasizing the need for you to minimize these worldly influences. It goes without saying that some movies and books are better than others, and that's why you have to be in tune with Me, constantly checking in with Me to make sure you're doing the right thing, watching the right thing, or reading the right thing, whatever the case may be. Only I know what's best for you personally, and I'm more than willing to reveal these secrets to you when you call upon Me with no will of your own. (End of message from Jesus.)

Using protection …


24. Why is it good to pray before reading every book?


25. I've been emphasizing the need to pray about everything. I've been teaching you the art of prayerfulness for years now, and slowly but surely you've been making it a habit in your life. I haven't emphasized greater prayerfulness just to make life more difficult or complicated for you; I've been emphasizing the habit of prayer because your obedience to do so ensures a greater measure of protection from the Enemy and his attacks.

26. You should definitely pray before deciding to read a book. You should sit down and officially ask Me if I want you to read that particular book. If I say no‚ then I will explain the reasons why. If I say yes, then continue to listen and I will give you further instruction and words of caution, as well as suggestions of how much time you should spend reading it, followed by a good reminder to have a refreshing bath in the water of My Word before and afterwards.

27. After hearing Me speak to you directly about the book, if I've given you My stamp of approval, you should then pray earnestly that I will keep and protect your spirit. Pray that I will help you to draw the positive and good things out of the book and cast aside and forget anything that is negative or unnecessary. And after you have received My approval and begun to read, if you are wise, you will want to periodically check in with Me to see how the book is affecting your spirit, and whether it would be wiser at any point to stop reading it, or to cut down on the time you are spending on it, or balance it out with more time with Me.

28. This is a sacrifice, for once you start a book, it's often intriguing and draws you in even more. But if you value the health of your spiritual life, you will continue to check in with Me to ensure that it's not poisoning your spirit or causing you spiritual ill health. Your hearing from Me and the specific prayer requests that you bring before Me work together to protect and keep your spirit. That's why it's vital that you pray before, and during, reading each and every book. (End of message from Jesus.)

Type and style … ?


29. Is there a type of book that we should stay away from‚ and why should we stay away from it?


30. The books you should stay away from are those which are unnecessarily or graphically violent, heady or promote a "mind trip," glorify the works of Satan, mock the things of My Spirit and My ways, or those that promote pride and other attitudes which are opposite to My Word. How will you know which ones would have this effect? You must ask Me and be open to shepherding.

31. I will be your Heavenly Librarian, and I'll tell you which books are worth your while and which are not, but you must be willing to take "no" for an answer. Sometimes I'll say that it would be fine for you to read something‚ but since most of the books around are of this world and glorify the world, I will often tell you to refrain from reading many of the books that you would initially like to read or feel an attraction to. There will also be times when maybe you feel a book is fine‚ but the book committee in your Home or your shepherds don't feel that it would do your spirit good. In those cases‚ you would be wise to listen, for it is very possibly My voice speaking to you through another means, telling you it would be better to wait or refrain completely.

32. It's practically impossible to know with your carnal mind whether a book that you haven't read is worthwhile or not. Sometimes the plot will seem interesting and intriguing, or something about the book will grab you, but within the pages you will stumble upon the snares and traps of the Enemy. While other books may look rather boring, maybe I know that you would enjoy or be edified and even surprised by what's contained therein.

33. Some books are obviously bad and evil, which you wouldn't read, but it's the ones that appear within the neutral category that you have to watch out for and be extremely prayerful about. There's no way that you'll know whether or not a book is worthwhile from looking at the cover or skimming through the pages. The only way you can be sure that you're feeding your spirit the right material is to let Me show you. And don't just give Me a sheet of paper with your wishes, expecting Me to sign it. You have to come with a blank sheet of paper‚ being willing to accept whatever answer I give you. (End of message from Jesus)

34. (Mama:) You teens who are under 16 aren't yet voting members and haven't yet signed the Charter membership contract‚ so you're under slightly different rules when it comes to what you can and cannot read. In your case, you should counsel with your parents or guardians before you pray about whether or not you can read a book. Once you have received their permission to pray about it—or in some cases, they might want to pray about it themselves—then you can proceed accordingly with praying about it and receiving the permission of the book committee, or whoever makes the decision in your Home.

Willing to take no for an answer?


35. A key in being able to shepherd yourself and enjoy the recreational activities that you like to engage in, while still keeping your spiritual life healthy and clean, is to be willing to ask Me about all your activities and to accept the answers I have for you.

36. If you truly want to be trusted, if you want to be fruitful for Me, if you want to accomplish the most possible in the short time you have on Earth‚ you must be willing to put aside those weights which would slow you down and hinder you from the mission I have for you. How will you know what the weights are? You have to ask Me with an open and yielded heart.

37. I mean for you to enjoy life. I mean for you to enjoy and benefit from forms of relaxation, even ones that are produced by the world, if you're willing to let Me direct you to the ones that will not harm you, and if you let Me protect you from the ones that would be harmful. That's the key—to be open to My answers.

38. If you find that you don't want to ask Me about something because you're afraid I'll say no, or if you find that you always receive a yes and never a caution or a no‚ then you probably need some outside help in praying about your decisions. But if you're willing to hear from Me with an open channel‚ willing to accept whatever I want to tell you, even if it's a no—when you were really hoping to be able to read that book or engage in that activity—then you'll find that through My Words I'm able to keep you on track for the most part, and you'll make your shepherds' job—and My job—a lot easier.

39. It will be easier on you, too, because you'll be open and yielded and used to hearing from Me and even receiving correction from Me. So when the times come up that you need to receive it from your shepherds‚ you'll be used to it, and it will be easier to receive. And that is an important point: even if you think you're being open in your times of hearing from Me, you'll still need to be open to the counsel of your shepherds, and willing to let others pray and ask Me about things if a question comes up.

40. So keep that in mind as you pray and ask Me about things. It's crucial that you're willing to receive a no‚ if that's what I want to tell you. Otherwise, you're just going through the motions, you're not really protected, and the Enemy will see you as an open target to get you off track and harm your spiritual health and fruitfulness. He'll use the little things—little things that I could protect you from easily—if he knows that you're not really willing to receive My full counsel, and thus are somewhat "on your own" in trying to stay on track spiritually. So pray for openness.

41. And if you feel that you may be going through a time when you're not as open to My counsel, go on the attack and ask for prayer. When a question comes up, ask others to pray for you or with you about whatever issues you're struggling with, and get a well-rounded answer. If you do that‚ I am able to protect you fully and lead you to forms of recreation and entertainment that are not only fun and relaxing and enjoyable, but also won't harm your spirit or steer you away from My highest will for you. (End of message from Jesus)

Double standard in regards to book reading?


42. Why are adults allowed to read books that they like to read, and then young people can't read the books that they like?


43. Everyone should use the same amount of caution and prayerfulness when determining whether or not to read a book. Even self–improvement or self-help books can be as damaging as some novels—in fact, maybe more so. No one should pick up a book of any kind without first asking Me whether it's good or bad, necessary or unnecessary, feeding and uplifting or damaging and depressing.

44. The point is, you have to watch what you feed your spirit. The standard is the same across the board, for young and older alike. There's no double standard; the same standard of checking with Me about everything goes for everyone. The standard for reading a book is the same for all. No one should read a System book of any kind unless you first have My approval, My instruction, and the protection of My Spirit surrounding you. (End of message from Jesus)

What's the big deal?


45. Why do some people get so worked up about the fact that you're reading a novel? Is it because they don't know what the book entails, and therefore they just label it as being bad or negative, even if they don't know what the contents are?


46. If they don't know what the book is about, they wonder whether it's good for your spirit or not. They love you and they care for you and they want what's best for you. Sometimes it may seem like they're a little uptight or on your case, but it's because they watch for your soul and they're concerned about what you're feeding your spirit, as am I. There may be other reasons in some cases, but this is one of the most common.

47. To prevent this from happening, all you have to do is simply share with the shepherds the messages that I gave you in prophecy regarding the book you plan to read, and show yourself open to counsel—as there shouldn't be a time when you read a book without first officially getting My seal of approval and My counsel and instruction, and following the Charter rule about getting approval before you start reading. Your shepherds or the others in the Home will then feel at peace about you reading the book or novel, because through reading My messages to you they'll know that I'm shepherding you and you're looking to Me each step of the way. (End of message from Jesus)

The slow poisoning is the most dangerous …


48. I have led to put the clause in the Love Charter that one must counsel and receive permission from the Home in order to read a book or novel‚ because in the multitude of counselors there is safety. In the multitude of counsel, one is often spared from sin and many troubles.

49. You are what you read; the words that you read and take in are spiritual food for your soul. Among the many books in the world‚ those with obvious negative propaganda will pollute and tear down. Yet don't be ignorant of the Enemy's devices‚ for those that are strewn with subtle wrong attitudes are often the most dangerous. As you can't always judge a book by its cover, so you must not judge in carnal reasoning by the obvious content—the obvious subject matter—for it's the less obvious to carnal reason, it's the subtleties, it's the twisted wrong attitudes, that work to chip away and to tear down that you must be aware of.

50. If you should read the obvious propaganda, then the blatancy, the forthrightness, and the outright lies are easily seen, and because of that, they are in many ways more easily fought. I don't recommend that you read the obvious propaganda, because taking in lies is not good for your spirit, even if you think you're resisting them. But it's the more subtle attacks, the subtle wrong attitudes, that linger and slowly poison and harm. It's the subtleties that go right to work on the spirit and then, little by little, step by step, drop by drop, they chip away and tear down.

51. Oftentimes it's the slow poison that poses the greatest threat. For when the poison seeps in slowly, it's apt to go unnoticed for the longest time, until finally, when detected‚ it's much more difficult and sometimes too late to ward off its deadly threats to your spiritual health and well-being. (End of message from Jesus)

See it in the spirit …


52. This next message was given for a young person in one of our WS units. I'm sharing with you the Lord's counsel about him because it brings out a very important lesson: No one is immune to being affected by the influences of the world. The only protection is to stay very close to the Lord and obedient to the guidelines He gives about minimizing these worldly influences in our lives.


53. This dear one is a good boy, and because of that, has a propensity to self-righteousness. He has a genuine desire to do good and accomplish good things for Me and the Family. He also feels he's good enough to be able to be impervious to the bad effects of System influences. In a way he's right; they don't outwardly affect him that much, so he has "evidence" of his feelings. He is outwardly able to stay positive.

54. However‚ what he doesn't realize is that there is a spiritual toll on his life caused by these influences that is subtly undermining his spiritual walls. It's somewhat like a siege of a castle in old times where they dug under the walls. Even though the walls remained looking strong and secure, the bedrock that was underpinning them had been removed and replaced by supports that could be yanked out quickly so that the whole wall could come tumbling down. That castle that seemed to be standing so strong one day, suddenly comes crashing down, to the total shock and consternation of the occupants.

55. The bedrock, of course, is the Word. If those principles have been removed and replaced by other things, then everything on the outside may still look pretty hunky-dory, until those other things suddenly give way‚ and then in one moment, everything is turned into a pile of rubble.

56. The bedrock principles are Me—that is Jesus, the Cornerstone—faith, love, trust. If any principle of the world, whether it's worldly wisdom, philosophy or the like, eats away at the bedrock and takes its place as a false or flimsy or temporary support, then the whole tower will fall when this support crumbles or is yanked out.

57. There are a lot of interesting and at least partially truth-based principles among the things that he reads. What is insidious about these things is that they can be attractive to think and dwell on and even to espouse. But they're a foundation of sand and they cannot be relied on to uphold you in a crisis.

58. A lot of novels have characters in them that seem wise. Often they are the author, or their alter egos, projected into the book as a character, portraying the author's thoughts and philosophy. Authors have usually had quite a bit of education, studying subjects such as psychology or philosophy, so they're full of the world's wisdom and they regurgitate a lot of that in their works. So even though the reader is not necessarily consciously filling their head full of man's wisdom‚ by reading the heavy tomes connected with these sciences or disciplines‚ they can still be imbibing the principles through this secondary means. And the wisdom of the world can be appealing; otherwise, why would so many people be into it?

59. Often the reader identifies with one or more of the characters, and without even realizing it, puts himself in their position and is influenced by their experiences. He will sometimes start mimicking the character in his thoughts, speech, or mannerisms. This is also true for movies; but usually in a movie there's not enough time to fully develop a character's personality. But a book can really get the reader into the mind of the protagonists [main characters]. Then the character gets into the reader's mind and it almost becomes like a possession. For some weak individuals who don't have the Lord, it can become a complete possession. In those cases, the Enemy can move in fully and rule their minds, and it all began through something they were reading and threw their thoughts and imaginations into.

60. Some characters are good and some are blatantly bad, but the majority are somewhere in between. That's why I enjoin you to dwell in the Word and let My good character possess you. By getting into novels, you're opening your mind to let another person or spirit manipulate you. It might seem far-fetched, but anyone honestly assessing themselves would come to the conclusion that they have been influenced by the novels they've read—some to altruistic purposes, but most to other purposes that are irrelevant‚ meaningless, or even negative.

61. So all that to say that this dear one is opening his heart and mind to lots of influences, many of them wrong influences, in reading so many of these books. A novel once in a while‚ if prayed over and approved by Me, may be all right to read, but a steady diet will undermine faith and be a drain on one's spiritual resources. It would be better for him right now to put those novels aside and concentrate on shoring up the bedrock. (End of message from Jesus.)

Putting skin on it …


62. Following is a potpourri of excerpts of personal messages that some of our dear folks in WS units have received on the topic of their personal System input, including reading, as well as movies, etc. Not every message can be applied across the board, but there are some good lessons in here that I think will benefit you and help you to see more clearly how the Lord views these things.

63. In some messages, the Lord is strongly urging the person to lay aside novel reading—or whatever form of System entertainment they're asking about—completely. Just because I'm publishing them for you, that doesn't mean that I or the Lord are asking you to give up everything. There's a time and a place for everything, as you'll see in some of the other messages where the Lord gives His permission for the person to read a book, or gives counsel on what types to read or guidelines on when. It's not that the Lord is against all these forms of recreation. But He does want our cooperation to minimize the ungodly influences in our lives, so that we can be as fruitful for Him as possible.

64. The key is to ask the Lord and be open to whatever counsel He wants to give you at the time. There will probably be times when He knows that you're not strong enough to engage in a certain activity without being affected or weakened by it. At those times, it's very important that you're yielded and open enough to receive that message and obey it. At other times, He'll give His permission‚ probably with some guidelines to follow‚ which also grants you His protection as you obey.

65. The most important lesson you could get from this GN is to ask the Lord for His counsel and stay open to the counsel of others, especially your shepherds. That's not to make things more difficult for you or restrict your life or personal freedom. It's to make things easier for you so that you don't have to spend time cleaning up or getting back on track later; or worse yet‚ failing the Lord because you were weakened and thus could not fulfill the plan He had for you. It's not worth it, folks! Stay yielded; stay open. That's the easy way!

Keeping first things first

66. (Staff member prays:) When rereading "The Shakeup" and "More on the Shakeup," I was convicted that I should pray further about my own life, about worldly influences and nonessential pursuits, and ask You, Lord, how I'm doing and if there are areas I need to pull up my socks in. I've decided to start asking You before watching movies‚ and in general not watching them as religiously as I always have; also, to discontinue reading novels, at least for now; and pray about the other recreational activities I enjoy, such as card playing, and ask You if that's the best thing to be doing at the time.

67. Those are the obvious types of things, and even in them, it's not like I'm always so faithful and prayerful yet. I'm sure there are other attitudes and things that I need to improve in. I'm sure You'll continue to show me more as time goes on, and just being stirred up in the spirit and trying to keep the right attitudes and priorities is going to help. Yet I know You must have something to say to me personally about all this and about ways I could do better. In general, how's my attitude? What's right and wrong about it? Is there anything that I should forsake that I'm not aware of?

Text box:

From "More on the Shakeup":

(Jesus:) I don't mean for you to give up everything that I've supplied for you. I don't mean for you to forsake watching movies, eating decent food, having showers‚ or listening to music. But the question you have to ask yourself is‚ "Would I be willing to give all of that up if the Lord asked me to?" If your answer is yes, if you would drop everything if I asked it of you, then that's a safe attitude to have, a godly attitude.

If you put anything in first place before Me and My Word, if you consistently—in fact, almost all the time—enjoy other things more than you enjoy Me, then that's a danger sign. You need to get back to the basics, back to the beginning, back to the beauties of loving Me and being on-fire for Me.

I'm talking about that revolutionary, do-or-die spirit! I'm talking about being drunk on the Spirit! Yes, I can allow you to watch movies or do whatever it is that you enjoy, but if you put that before Me or you always like it more than you like spending time with Me, then that's the time to forsake it‚ at least for a while, and get back to your First Love.

If there comes a time when you realize that something in your life is more important to you than Me‚ then you should right away, without delay, forsake it. Only by putting Me first and keeping Me in first place above everything else—your desires, your ambitions, your work, your relationships, your fun and entertainment—will you keep that revolutionary spirit, that "I-could-lose-the-whole-world-cause-I-have-Jesus" heart‚ soul, and spirit (ML #3262:255,258,259‚264, GN 863).

End of text box.


68. I'm very happy, My darling, that you're willing to take a serious and earnest look at each little corner of your life and yield anything that's not fully yielded to Me. I know that some of these forms of entertainment that come from the world are very special to you in a way. They haven't gotten out of hand in your life to the point that you spend more time with them than with Me, or that you give them more priority than the work you have for Me. Your loyalty and dedication are sound, and you're a good, faithful worker, and diligent to take time with Me every day. Nevertheless, even if these things are not way out of place, the way to keep them that way is by acknowledging that I am most important to you, and that you want to get anything that would keep you from Me, or from receiving all that I have for you, out of the way.

69. The ideal would be if all My children were so tuned in to the realm of the spirit and so high on Me that you didn't need so many carnal forms of entertainment. Yet, just the same, I am the One Who made your mortal frames weak and only able to contain so much spiritually, and I know that you need times to wind down, to relax, to get your mind off your work. Not that you should just zonk out and go into neutral and totally get off a spiritual wavelength, but you can and need to turn down the level of intensity to some degree at times; otherwise your mortal mind and body would not be able to withstand the constant charges of spiritual and mental energy that come through when you're totally tuned in to Me and focused on your work‚ or even on being fed through My Word.

70. There are many ways to meet this need for diversion and relaxation, and the most edifying and uplifting ones are those that involve My Word, or loving Me, or songs of love to Me; or that involve fellowship and interaction with your brethren, getting to know and understand them better. This could mean dates, walks, just talking, or even relaxing and chatting together, bantering and playing.

71. Sure, you occasionally get a little silly, and I know you might wonder how that could be more edifying than a good movie. Basically it's because it's human interaction, and in a way a form of affection and communication. Of course your times with your friends should be balanced‚ with times for deeper communication, loving Me together, and enjoying the things of the spirit, and should not all be light or frivolous. Just remember, though, that fellowship with others of any kind—with the exception of sharing your doubts or negativity with each other and not bringing out the lesson or positive side—is generally the most productive way to spend your free time.

72. I'm glad that you've decided to set aside novel reading. There are some edifying ones, like the last one you read, that had a good message. I understand that reading is a special form of entertainment for you‚ because you find it fascinating as well as educational, and I won't say that there will never be times when it won't be appropriate to read a good book. But the emphasis should be on good book—and not just good because it's gripping or fascinating‚ but good because it's not going to pollute your spirit or impart bad attitudes or pictures.

73. As for movie viewing, while you haven't cut down drastically in the amount you watch‚ there's been some degree of de–emphasizing the importance you place on it. I'm happy with that, and would encourage you to continue in that direction. You haven't been so quick to make up a missed movie, and have considered or done other things, like having a date or fellowship instead.

74. It's not that movies are bad; it's just that they, being one of your "hobbies," can tend to take on too much importance if you get too into it. Whereas by distancing yourself a little bit—and especially by praying and asking Me before viewing—you'll keep it in a better perspective.

75. Here are the cardinal rules for you to keep:

  1. Put Me and My Word first, and don't even consider these other things unless you've had good Word time.
  2. Keep My work as your priority and don't get into recreation or entertainment to the neglect of something important at hand.
  3. Ask Me everything. Check in with Me, asking Me to help you to be open and willing to receive whatever I want to tell you, and you can't go wrong. (End of message from Jesus.)

More guidelines

[Note: As mentioned earlier, these guidelines were given to an individual in one of our units. While the principles are good, the Lord also tailored them to that particular person to meet their specific needs at a specific time. So for your own personal guidelines, be sure to seek the Lord personally!]


76. It is okay that you read from time to time for entertainment, but you should be keeping to some guidelines.

  1. Reading a novel is not an option unless you've already had your hour and a half to two hours of Word time that day, and your prayer vigil.
  2. It should be something that replaces other System input, such as video viewing, and not additional System input.
  3. If there is an option at that time to fellowship with someone else or do a united activity, that should be the priority.
  4. Pray and get My confirmation on each book that you plan to read.
  5. Don't advertise or promote reading novels to others, telling them about this or that "great book." If someone asks your opinion or advice on a certain book, you can tell them what you think, but the main thing is to advise them to hear from Me about whether it's good for them. (End of message from Jesus.)

An example of your end of the bargain


77. Lord‚ is it okay for me to read a book? I've been in the Word a lot during this time I've been sick, as I haven't been able to work, and so have had many hours of Word time. It's difficult for me to stay in bed so much‚ because I get bored, yet I don't have the strength to be up and around for more than about a half hour at a time. I found a book by a good author, and they made a rated movie out of it. Is it okay for me to read? Please help me to be a clear channel. Please override my own ideas or preferences and help me to receive Your full counsel, whatever You want to tell me‚ sweet Lord.


78. Yes, My love, this book is fine for you to read. It's interesting, although not entirely gripping or fast-moving. But you will find it interesting, and it will help you to pass the hours while you rest. Only make sure that you balance your reading of it with the Word.

79. You've been getting good Word time, so I give you My permission to read this book as well. But if it starts to take the place of your Word time, or your times of prayer and intercession for others, or times of communing with Me‚ or times of fellowship with others, then you must heed My checks and put it away. I trust you to do this; that's why I give you My permission. If you keep your end of the bargain, I will bless and make it an enjoyable recreational activity, and will not allow it to do you harm. (End of message from Jesus.)

Sifting …


80. Another time, one of our staff members, who happened to be receiving a long spirit story at the time, asked the Lord about reading a book related to the history of the spirit story she was receiving, and the Lord said:


81. There's a very tricky balance to keep. Normally I would tell you that you're right‚ that reading this book is going to hinder your channel‚ because you'll either compare with this writer or you'll get tangled up because things I give you in your story don't quite jibe with the things in this book. Or simply because reading a book like this will take away from your Word time, which is essential to your channel in receiving this long story, among other things.

82. Another thing to remember is that though this is a wonderful story and I used the writer to get this message out in his day, he was a church Christian, and as a result, his perspectives were tainted by his churchy upbringing. He knows better now the freedoms of My love and My sexy‚ wild spirit, and has embraced these freedoms wholeheartedly. He's helping you with the story too, as are other writers.

83. However, I will make a concession‚ because this next week you have some time off. I will say that you can read the book, but only during this time. Whether or not you finish it by the end, I would ask that you put it aside so that you are able to concentrate fully on the task at hand. Also, the book can't take away from the time that you would have spent with Me. In other words, during this break why not make it a goal that from the time you wake up in the morning until the middle of your day you won't touch the book, but will only take time with Me in the Word. Then, if you've had that time with Me, you can feel free to take the book on whatever outing you go on and read it to your heart's content.

84. Does that sound like a good arrangement or plan? I know you've been looking forward to reading that book and had prayed for it. I'm grateful that you acknowledged Me as to when to read it. Pray‚ too, that I will help you to sift out those things that are not of My Spirit.

85. Be on guard and be vigilant. Don't just drink things in without judging and discerning according to the standard of My Word and according to My Spirit‚ which is always present with you. (End of message from Jesus.)

Becoming more selective …

(Excerpt of a note from a young person in WS to Mama:)

86. One thing that was convicting for me was about novel reading. You probably already know this about me, but I love reading. I love the input, I love learning new words‚ I love the English language. Of course, I give the Word first priority. I make sure I get my hour-and-a-half or two hours a day, I keep up with all of the pubs, have my daily prayer and prophecy time, etc. But I do read novels too. I've only read pretty good ones, I think.

87. I don't feel it's necessary at this point for me to make a decision to never read another novel, though of course if you and the Lord were to tell me to, I would. But I will certainly be more prayerful about it now and try to keep it to a once-in-a–while thing, and watch out about it becoming a steady diet. I prayed about it, to ask the Lord if it was something I needed to cut back on, and here's what He said:


88. Regarding your novel reading and other System input, you did need a check at this time in your life to keep it in balance. You enjoy relaxation and entertainment, and in particular, both movies and books hold a special place in your heart. It's okay for you to enjoy both of these in moderation, but moderation is where it must be kept.

89. You should still be praying about the movies that show in the Home and check with Me whether you should personally watch them. This is one thing you haven't done much, except with a few very heavy movies. You should do it more. I know you fear doing it because you don't want to miss out on movies since you enjoy them so much; but in the long run you'll be thankful. There have been a few movies here and there you've regretted seeing; or others that you wish you would have been forewarned about some particular aspect that affected you badly. You've just got to be more careful with your System input, and that's what I'm asking of you now.

90. As for your reading, I will not ask that you never read another novel, but I would ask that you become more selective and only do it at certain times. It would be okay to finish the one you're reading now, which I said you could read and which is an interesting and in some ways even uplifting and faith-building story. Reading books of rated movies is generally the safest‚ but even that isn't a sure bet. Please do continue to pray and ask Me about each one that you read.

91. Also‚ it would be better for you to stick to reading them only on free days, or at times like when you're out and have to wait for someone. In the evenings when you're lying down to sleep, it would be more edifying and strengthening if you would instead stick to reading My Word or other Family pubs like the Grapevine, Eve, etc. You battle sometimes at night with your thoughts and even in your dreams, so you need all the protection you can get, and part of that protection comes through giving yourself only pure input at that time.

92. You could take something to read during your upcoming break, but make sure that your primary focus and priority while away during that time is getting tanked up on My Word and enjoying intimate and special times of communing with Me, loving Me‚ and listening to Me. If you always keep this as your priority‚ you'll have the key to staying on track and making sure you're not wandering away from My highest will in your work or in your personal life. (End of message from Jesus.)

The lures of distraction

(Received by a young staff member who had just finished playing a rather lengthy and involved computer game and was praying about the nature of input he was exposing himself to during his free-time activities:)


93. You have to set your eyes even more on the operations of the spirit and pull away from the pitiful imaginations of man, whether in books, computer games, movies, or whatever else so easily fascinates you.

94. The imagination of man is prolific. There are many writings, many imaginations, many pictures, some painted better than others, but all stemming from the same imagination of man, which is limited, and which is rooted in unbelief and ignorance of the truth, serving only to starve the soul of man.

95. Why do you think books like the Chicken Soup series get so popular so quickly? Because when people read them, they are being fed spiritually, even if in a small and limited way. It satisfies, even if in a very limited way‚ a spiritual yearning for inspiration‚ faith and hope, so they cling to the book. They cling to whatever morsels of truth and goodness they can find.

96. But to you and to all My children is entrusted the task of leading man to the abundance of truth and spiritual feeding that I have placed within your hands. That is your heritage, the foundation that your Father David left you with. It is not for you to pollute your heart and mind with the imaginations of man. It is for you to use your mind and heart‚ and all your might, all your soul, all your strength, to seek to serve Me and do My will.

97. In order to be the pure, clean channel that you need to be, you're going to have to lay aside these youthful and sinful lusts. I know you like to get away from thinking every now and then. But what you must learn is to guard your time and heart from those influences that dull you to the voice of My Spirit, to the reality of My constant presence.

98. Haven't you found that as long as you're engaged in such activities‚ whether it's reading a book that comes from this world, playing a computer game designed by the world, or watching videos made by this world, that it's more difficult to think of Me, to acknowledge Me, even to tune in to My Spirit? And if these things distance you from Me, how can you then receive My words of feeding, direction, and guidance without problems?

99. As times wax worse and worse, it will be even more dangerous to lose even a fraction of your connection with Me and My voice and the things of the Spirit. And this is what you must guard against. The loss of connection, the loss of interest, the loss of desire and appetite for the things of the Spirit is unacceptable. In order to put these things first, you're going to have to seek Me all the more earnestly before indulging in something that could potentially cause these losses.

100. So will you let Me help you? Will you let Me tell you what things are and are not good for you? Will you accept and even actively seek My counsel and advice to you on how you can make the most out of your life? Or will you seek your own way, following the abundant temptations of your desires, the myriad little lures of Satan with which he seeks to distract you from your main purpose‚ from making of your life‚ of your days, what they're meant to be?

101. You know the answer. Let Me help you make that answer a reality in your life. This will happen through your coming to Me, depending on Me‚ your acknowledging Me in all your ways and asking Me everything‚ as I have asked of you.

102. Let this be your goal. Let this be what you strive for in this new year, in this new era. Don't let it go by filled with distractions and a little here and a little there. Seek to make the most of it. Strive to fill each minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, and strive to stay away from the entrapping and ensnaring distractions and lures of Satan, of the world.

103. You are My chosen one, but like My chosen people, you must still choose to serve Me. Only then can I pour out the blessings and promises that I have spoken concerning you and your future.

104. The choices‚ like your life, are in your hands. What are you making of them? (End of message from Jesus)



105. It never hurts to practice moderation. In your case, you can easily become absorbed in a hobby, particularly if it's a pleasant distraction, to where it starts taking up more time than it should—and of all things, your time is something you should guard most carefully.

106. If you were to guard your time more carefully and apportion it out more conscientiously‚ the effect of System influences would automatically be minimized—simply by the fact that you wouldn't spend as much time exposing yourself to things like computer games, books, comics and movies.

107. These are not all bad, and in many cases can be used for good. But it's the time you spend doing these things versus the time that you spend with Me, seeking Me, and giving your all to your ministry and calling, that makes all the difference. (End of message from Jesus.)

Laying aside the weights …


108. It's no longer the day of imagination, but a day for reality—a day to prepare for the time and events that will surpass even your imaginations in the power of My Spirit.

109. Yes, you have some physical baggage—your knickknacks and little things that you still hang on to. And yet these mean nothing to Me so long as they don't stand between us. It's the spiritual weights I would have you shed. These are much more subtle and difficult to see, but they inflict infinitely more damage than these little physical weights ever could, because they keep you from following Me all the way. These are much more difficult for you to put away.

110. I know you would obey Me if I asked you to cast away your special little physical belongings‚ or even your books and book reading. Though you would feel it was a sacrifice, I know in your love for Me you would obey.

111. Yet what I ask will be even more difficult—to forsake your pride; the mind that stops you from receiving in the flesh what has been spoken in the Spirit; the thoughts that keep you from following My Word and obeying it with all your heart, without reservation, without compunction. (End of message from Jesus)

Seeking first the Kingdom


112. Lift up your eyes to those things that are unseen and eternal. They are the true treasures of life, and the things you will be glad you invested in when you come back here.

113. In the case of books, they take your time from other things‚ as is the case with many of the Enemy's devices. They may not be bad in themselves, but the fact that they take time that could be better invested in the eternal things of the spirit is what makes them bad. They can be fine in moderation, but I recommend against trying to read them during this time when greater and more important things are happening in the Spirit. You can't afford the time.

114. There are other things to be read, truths to be learned, and even stories to be gotten. But most of all‚ you must let go of your own desires and impulses. You must learn what it means to seek first My Kingdom and My righteousness, and then these other things will be added to you. It doesn't work the other way around. If you put Me and My work first—in your time‚ your schedule, and in your heart, your mind, your thoughts—then these other things won't matter so much. You can use them in perspective. But your focus will remain on Me and what I want you to do, how I want you to be, what I want you to be, and how you can become that. (End of message from Jesus)

Making wise choices


115. The things that are seen are temporal. Learn to see them as such; to see them for what they really are—nothing! They are as dust, as the grass of the field that withers‚ that today is, but tomorrow is cast into the oven.

116. But the things that are not seen, these you must open your eyes to, and learn to see them as though they were real—for they are. They are true reality. These are the things that are eternal. These are the things of value. These are the things you should be striving for, living for‚ dying for.

117. Bringing it down to brass tacks, this means you seek to shed the things of this world that encumber your spirit. You must take care. There are many choices ahead of you, and only a few lead the way down that straight and narrow path. Many others, the majority of choices, are designed by the Enemy to lead you into a trap, and these traps are becoming more and more deadly, more and more vicious the further you go along.

118. The Enemy knows that this consecration, and the path I'm calling My children to follow, will make them vastly more powerful‚ and he fears this. So he musters all his forces, all his lures, any temptation he can think of to get you to take one of his paths—and he springs the trap much sooner than he might have before. This is what I mean when I say that the battles are becoming more intense.

119. You must take care to follow the choices of My will, and often the only way to find that choice in that moment is to look to Me. There are many options, even many good and acceptable things that can be done. But there's usually only one thing that is best, My highest will for that particular moment, and that's what you should strive to find and follow.

120. Yes, it will be a sacrifice; at least it will seem that way at first. But as you shed the choices of the flesh and become attuned to the choices of the spirit, you'll begin to realize that the rewards‚ the joy‚ the fulfillment and satisfaction of the spirit is so much greater than what those little worldly enticements promise but never give.

121. Your choices determine who and what you are. You can choose to be strong, just as you can choose to be weak in these areas. They're choices that are made one decision at a time. So look to Me, and with My help and the strength and resources of a full larder of Word time, prayer time, praise time, love time, and prophecy time behind you‚ you'll know just what to do, no matter what the Enemy might try to use to convince you otherwise. (End of message from Jesus)

See the difference …


122. You've seen that while System books can be enjoyable, they're not always uplifting. But I've allowed you to see this so that you can see the difference between the stories I give My children and the stories the Enemy gives his children. Some novels contain a little light, yes—some good morals, love‚ honor, bravery, and sometimes even touch on commitment to Me. But the Enemy doesn't promote the light.

123. But they can never equal the true knowledge of light that I have revealed to you, My brides‚ My children of David. To you have I given the greatest secrets!—Not so that you could keep them to yourself, but so that you could seek after a greater understanding of them, and then bring this understanding to many others through your labors, your works‚ and the ministry I've given you. (End of message from Jesus.)

Follow the Light


124. Let My Word be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. If it doesn't shine where you plan to walk, then don't walk there. Follow where the light of My Word leads or you'll stumble and fall into the dark pits of temptation. And every time you do, you become weakened and more susceptible to the next one.

125. You don't have to try that computer game, read that book‚ or listen to that music. What you do have to do is minimize and eradicate the many ungodly influences you've allowed into your life. Minimize those that are not too bad, and eradicate those that I've forbidden you to indulge in. Only once those steps have been taken, once those victories have been won, will you have the strength, both of will and of the spirit, to tackle the next battles and go on to greater victories, greater yieldings, greater rewards, greater power, and a more powerful connection with Me. (End of message from Jesus)

Alternatives …


126. Here's an interesting message, although somewhat off the subject‚ of some recreational alternatives to movies or books, which you might find helpful. Earlier the Lord said that anything which involves fellowship with Him or your mates is generally more fruitful and a higher priority than watching movies or reading books. He gives lots of ideas here, and I'm sure He has more which would be perfect for your situation, if you'll ask Him.


127. What can we do during free time that would be recreational, relaxing, and fun, while at the same time is of Your Spirit? Like someone said, "It's not like I love watching movies so much; there's just nothing else to do." And sometimes it's easy to feel like our recreational options are limited. What are Your solutions to this problem?


128. Where there's a will, there's a way. If you were stuck in an environment where System movies and books were not just rare but nonexistent, would it mean you'd skip having free time for lack of something to do? Probably not. So think creative‚ think different‚ think fellowship, think laughter!

129. Here are a few ideas, and while some entail a little more effort than plopping down in front of a movie, you have to remember that by doing other things together you're investing in your unity. In unity there is strength. Unity pulls down My blessings. Your unity will make you a force to reckon with in the dark days soon to come.

130. Okay, so here are some ideas:

131. * Have one evening a week when whoever is interested meets in the living room and you read through a long spirit story. You can assign characters so that the reading stays lively and it's easy to differentiate who's who.

132. * Have a "game" night, taking suggestions from your Home members on enjoyable ones to participate in, or play charades acting out the Letters. Invite everyone who's interested to come! This gives you an opportunity for interaction, to exercise your mental capabilities, and just have some fun.

133. * Have more dates! Just think how much more love I'd be getting if you were reaching out more to share with others. How many times have you had to postpone a date till another week because you simply couldn't fit it in on top of your late night spent watching some movie? It takes work to reach out to others, but it's well worth the trouble.

134. * To go along with that idea, have some night in the month where you just decide to do something fun with someone you don't normally fellowship with, and it doesn't have to be sexual. That's living the Law of Love.

135. * When the weather permits‚ sit outside for an evening based around star-gazing and fellowshipping. Here I provide you with nice places to live, with My creation visible in the sky, and instead you choose to burn your eyes out in front of a TV screen watching videos.

136. * Designate a night every once in a while when you all have a slightly more special meal. Make a point of having a relaxing meal‚ with music playing, and sit around and just chat and fellowship. Mealtime is one of those things that you have to have, so take advantage of it. Make dinner time slightly later on that night; everyone can work up till dinner‚ then knock off and have a dinner party! Feed the children separately or earlier, and let them watch a video while the adults fellowship. Or people can take turns being with the children. Where there's a will, there's a way!

137. * Have short praise time dances. It doesn't have to be long; it could just be half an hour after your special meal where you dance a little with everyone and praise Me for each other. It'll strengthen your unity and can provide a little fun.

138. * Have testimony nights, where you have a fun snack and someone who's been prepared in advance gives a testimony about their life. Or put a bunch of fun questions in a hat and people can take turns pulling one out and answering it, since it's easier to share something about yourself when you actually have a question to answer. Then everyone gets a sprinkling of everyone's stories, and it's fun and lively and upbeat.

139. * Organize a little variety night for a special occasion party or just for fun, where everyone brings a little something to the evening, whether it's a short story they received, a poem, a funny joke, or a card trick—anything entertaining and fun.

140. There are so many more things you can do‚ but this is a start and could keep you busy for months if you wanted. But keep coming to Me, and don't just assume that there couldn't be anything more fun than watching a movie or reading a book, because it simply isn't true.

141. And here's something far-out to top it off: Have some night where you gather together and decide you're going to ask Me to take you on a spirit trip! Then get real quiet and see how I provide everyone with a tiny piece of the puzzle, a little description of where I'm taking you. That kind of experience is quite a rush‚ because you're all humbling yourselves before Me and enjoying Me together. It's like reading some fascinating novel‚ only it's a virtual reality prophecy experience and you're the ones who make it happen!

142. Okay, get started with those [or ask Me for others specifically tailored for your situation]‚ and as you humble yourselves to join in on the fun and fellowship‚ to love one another and accept each one regardless of their age or personality, I will melt you together. You will be amazed as to how it's possible to have so much fun without some kind of movie [or book] in front of you! If you're yielded enough, open-minded enough, and really give Me the chance that I deserve, I can keep taking you places you never imagined, and showing you things you never dreamed of! (End of message from Jesus.)

The Counterfeiter


143. I understand the frustrations that you feel sometimes in just wanting to relax and do something which is appealing and entertaining and fun, and also seems harmless—but yet the Lord asks you not to‚ or your shepherds recommend that it wouldn't be best. The Enemy really likes to take away the vision of why the Lord has asked us to minimize ungodly influences in our lives. He likes to magnify the sacrifices and cloud our eyes to the benefits, or what we're really gaining from those sacrifices. Of course, there are many benefits—such as being clean in spirit and able to hear from the Lord clearly and be good channels, being in tune with Him rather than distracted and weighed down with the things of the world‚ keeping our attitudes in line with His so that we can put on His mind and receive His Heavenly thought power, being a sample to the world in our witness, being in unity with our fellow mates, etc.

144. But the ultimate goal of all of that‚ which may often be forgotten, is that we are the Lord's Endtime army, who He has called and chosen. We have a special purpose, a special mission—we are His representatives on Earth in these Last Days. He's counting on us for incredible things. He's asking us to be His witnesses, to carry the full truth, to give the meat of the Word, to hold back nothing! We can't do that if we're weighed down with the things of the world, if we're not hearing clearly from Him‚ if we're not willing to make the sacrifices that He asks of us, if we're not personally obeying.

145. These days of being in His army on Earth and the sacrifices we have to make are not forever—but the battles which are won or lost in these days will affect lives and souls forever. It's important to keep that perspective in all of this, otherwise it can seem extreme and too difficult and really not worth it. But when you remember the calling that we have been given and all that the Lord is expecting of us and promising us, these sacrifices fall into perspective and are not such a big deal anymore in comparison.


146. These are principles and dynamics of the spirit of which the Enemy is aware but can do nothing about. He has to keep finding ways of keeping his subjects happy without Me, which is as futile an endeavor as trying to keep a battery charged without electricity. It just won't work. But they keep on going, and the Enemy keeps on trying to woo their hearts with this allurement, this entertainment, this blockbuster, this bestseller, this theme park, this mall‚ this product—all to keep them from looking around themselves and wondering what the true meaning of life is, and realizing that, as I said so long ago, a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things he possesses.

147. But for you‚ My children, I offer the real thing. All these others are but imitations. And do you know what the Enemy is trying to imitate with these things? He's trying to imitate the ways of My Spirit. My Spirit is always moving, always changing‚ always finding new things and new ways in the infiniteness of My realm—the realm of positiveness and light and eternal power and life that I am. When you tap into this realm, you become partakers of this newness, of this movement‚ of the thrills and joys of new discoveries, new messages, new words, new stories, new revelations of the spirit.

148. You think the Enemy's attractions are fascinating? They're just cheap imitations of the greater and much more powerful eternal attractions I have here in the spirit world. The Enemy can only reproduce his pitiful little creations in the realm of men, so he does his best to produce as many as he can. But he can't fathom the principles of spiritual creation, so the eternal joy that he forsook when he left My side is forever out of his grasp—though he tries hard to deny this to himself, and attempts to seek it anyway, along with his followers. But it's all a hoax, a crude attempt to try and outdo the things of My Spirit with the seemingly more real and obvious pleasures of the flesh.

149. But I give you both! And even the pleasures of the flesh I give you are enhanced to much greater levels than the Enemy's ever could be, because you enjoy them in the spirit—the spirit of My love and power. You worship Me through My creation, and you worship Me personally in your heart. So you can enjoy the thrills of the flesh and the thrills of the spirit.

150. But watch out when you begin looking more to the thrills of the flesh for your satisfaction, and start neglecting the realm of the spirit. Because that's when and how the Enemy finds those inroads into your life, diluting My power within you and seeking to sidetrack you from the eternal things of the spirit through the more tangible things of this world.

151. But it all has a price—even in this physical realm. Satan's pleasures serve Satan's means, and the price you pay serves the greed he inspires in man. Whereas My pleasures serve My means, and though it sometimes seems like there's a price to pay as well, it's a price that serves to bring you closer to Me and further away from Satan—to increase the power of your attraction to Me and diminish the hold of Satan's fascinations.

152. That's why he fights our closeness and our connection as hard as he does, through any means he can find.—Whether it's to distract you from your main task or goal by other things, or by weakening you in spirit through exposing you to his influences and the things of this world, or by causing you to chase after the things of the world for a satisfaction he persuades you that you're not getting through Me.

153. And this is true; I don't give the kind of satisfaction Satan seeks to make you think he can give you. I give you a better satisfaction‚ a purer pleasure, one that he could never imitate and that you will never find by looking anywhere else.

154. There are pleasures—the greatest pleasures—that I have given to you‚ My children of David, that I have never given to any other group of My children. You enjoy the greatest of all spiritual gifts this world has ever known, the greatest of all freedoms, and there are yet many more to be given and revealed to you. But you can only enjoy them at a price, and that price is the conditions that I have set for these pleasures.

155. The greatest thrill you'll ever know in this world will be when you fight on My side during the dark days to come. This is the grand finale‚ the great climax of mankind's history on Earth, and you are set to be some of the key players in it, those who will stand out for their brilliance and power—spiritual power and even physical power. You'll be the stars of that day‚ those who the lost of the world will look to and admire, like you admire the celebrities of this day.

156. In those days, you'll be the celebrities! You won't be able to help it. The Devil won't be able to control it. You'll be beyond his control—his ability to put down one star and exalt a new one at his whim, at his pleasure, depending on how they're pleasing him. I'll be the One raising you up, no matter what slander the Enemy would seek to launch against you. I'll be the One causing you to shine with the brilliance of My truth and power in a world that has been flooded with darkness and fake truths—the lies of Satan.

157. It's all starting now in the simple things that I require of you, these seemingly inconsequential requirements, the things you can't even understand or comprehend with your carnal mind, but that I require you to do and fulfill in the spirit. All this is the necessary training to get you ready for the powers that will be bestowed upon you in that day, if you're ready. All these things are designed to teach you to lose sight of the things of the flesh and to recognize the much greater powers that are waiting to be unleashed in the spirit.

158. No wonder the Enemy seeks all the harder to get you to cast your eyes on the things of man, the allurements of the world designed to keep people from hungering after the things of the spirit. Their minds and ears and eyes are kept so full of the fodder of Satan that they have no room for those things that are truly meaningful and nourishing, no matter how scant they may appear on the surface, in the carnal.

159. But I give them to you. You've asked for bread, and I haven't given you a stone. But the Enemy will, so beware of his entrapments and allurements, and look to Me. For as you look to Me and keep your eyes turned toward Me, you'll find that the things of this world grow strangely dim and inconsequential compared to the greater truths and eternal rewards that await My faithful servants and children of these Last Days. (End of message from Jesus)


160. The Lord is so sweet. He doesn't forbid us from doing these things that are enjoyable, but He gives us plenty of good counsel and guidelines so that if we abide by them, we won't hurt ourselves or the work by being weakened and drawn away spiritually.

161. The bottom line about reading books is: Ask the Lord, and be open to what He wants to tell you. As you can see in the preceding messages‚ there's a lot of variety in what He might say. Sometimes it's "yes," with guidelines and conditions; sometimes it's "wait," now is not the time for whatever reason; and sometimes it's "no"—that this would be harmful for you, so please don't do it.

162. Especially these days‚ with the gift of Heavenly thought power and all that the Lord has promised us if we put on His mind and learn to use the keys, I really don't want anything to stand in the way of my ability to hone those spiritual gifts the Lord has given us‚ and you probably don't either! And as our Husband has asked us to give Him our prime time and put the Word first, we all have to make sacrifices in order to do so, but receiving His blessings as a result is something I sure don't want to miss! Lord bless and keep us all close to Him, willing to do His will, even sacrificing our own desires if necessary‚ so that He can use us to the full extent possible in the time we have left to win the world for Him!

With much love and prayers, and thankfulness for your faithfulness to our Husband,


Quotes added throughout the GN:

(Jesus:) It's the little things that are allowed to come in that begin to eat away at your spiritual strength. One person reads a book, and then another. First it's one book and then it's another. Then it becomes something that's even done in public. Then it spreads further to watching any kind of movie‚ and on it goes. But if one person will stand up and ask for prayer against novel reading, and share their lessons, it raises a standard. And if another one will do it, not only do those members become more strengthened, dedicated, and committed, but it will strengthen the whole Home and your overall level of dedication and spiritual strength.

You don't always have to have the qualities of a leader—in the usual way you think of leaders—to lead others. All you have to have is conviction to stand up for what's right.

(Jesus: ) The more System input people get, the more spiritual input and godly input they need to counteract it.

Copyright © 2003 by The Family

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