March 17, 2004

How to Avoid Being Pulled Down by Loved Ones Who Have Left the Family

By MariaMaria #653 CM/FM 3459 5/03

My dearest Family,

1. Peter and I love you so much. We're so proud of all of you who are holding on to your faith‚ fighting to obey the Word, and recommitting yourselves as the Lord's disciples every day.

2. We're facing some storms as a Family, but that shouldn't surprise us. The Lord forewarned us from our beginning that as we got closer to the End, things were going to get harder‚ that we were going to face more of a struggle.

3. A key to keeping the Lord's perspective on the storms and struggles that we face—and it's crucial to keep the Lord's perspective, as otherwise the difficulties and troubles can be overly wearying—is to remember that we're in a very great spiritual battle. I know we've talked about that so much that it sounds redundant or like a cliché. But that's the reason we're going through the things we are—both as a Family as well as each of us in our personal lives.

4. That is the big picture: We're in a very intense spiritual battle. We've chosen to invade the Enemy's territory, we're actively witnessing our Savior's love and salvation, as well as exposing the Enemy's plans, and so naturally we're prime targets for the Enemy. He really fights us hard. And he's smart, too. He doesn't choose tactics that are easy for us to resist and not be fazed by. He studies our weaknesses‚ the things that really mean something to us, and he fights us in those areas.

5. One of the struggles that many of us are facing‚ which is a very painful personal battle, is that of our children, friends and loved ones who have left the Family turning against us. It's a difficult subject to even talk about, because there are many sides, many factors‚ many differences in each instance, and it's sensitive—because those who have left are our loved ones, and they're dear to our hearts. I would venture to say that just about everyone in the Family has probably had a relative or close loved one leave. So this affects all of us. But we have to talk about it, because the Lord has answers that He wants to give that will make the battle easier—both for us and for them.

6. There's a huge range of attitudes and relationships among our children and loved ones who have left. Some are bitter, angry‚ and vindictive. Others are unhappy and struggling. Others are indifferent toward the Family, or fairly content in their new lifestyle. Others remain very hungry for the Word, counsel, love and fellowship.

7. I don't like to dwell on the negative, but this GN is going to focus mainly on your relationship with those who have bitterness or grudges against you or against the Family, or who even go further than that and are actively working against us. But before we get into that‚ let me say that there are many former members who don't fall into that category at all. In fact, in comparison to the many thousands of former members, just a very small but very vocal minority fall into that category.

8. We have many former members who still appreciate our love and communication, and do their best to stay positive and dwell on the things we have in common. We are proud of them, and urge you to help and encourage and support and feed them spiritually in whatever ways the Lord shows you are appropriate in your situation.

9. It's not easy for our young people who've left the Family to be out on their own, surrounded by so much negative influence and bitterness, especially now that our enemies have launched an all-out attack to pull more of our young people over to their side—barraging them with negative input, and in some cases even offering financial payment to speak against us. Those who have withstood that and stayed true to what they know is right deserve a tremendous amount of credit and appreciation. They are on Peter's and my daily prayer list, and we hope they're on yours, too. They really need our prayers and a firm support base of unconditional love‚ as the battle is very intense and they have to face it alone. We want them to feel our love and our prayers, we want them to have their needs met, and we're very proud of them for choosing to do something productive with their lives rather than dwell on the past and any bitterness they might have.

10. However, in this GN we're going to talk more about the subject of our young people—children and loved ones—who have left and are antagonistic, negative, and want you to know about it. I'm sorry we have to talk about this topic, but as I said earlier, the Lord has solutions He wants to give us. He doesn't want us to be estranged from them, and He doesn't want walls of bitterness or hurt to exist between us. Of course, all we can do is our part‚ and they also have to do theirs. But the Lord gives counsel in this GN that I think will help to put things in perspective for many of you, so that you can be doing your part—both of loving and forgiving and communicating wisely, as well as staying on the wall of your high calling and not being pulled down by the guilt, condemnation or discouragement that the Enemy would like to place upon you.

11. That's the way the Enemy would love to use these difficulties the most. If he can't weaken your faith or cause you to give up serving the Lord, he would like to make the burden of guilt and condemnation and discouragement so heavy that it completely snuffs out your joy and your faith, and pretty soon you won't be able to carry on with the same strength and determination.

12. If he can get you listening to everything that those who have left and are bitter say, and get you to take it personally‚ accepting the blame and guilt he wants you to feel and dwelling on it—which is easy to do if they're your children or loved ones and you feel responsible for what they went through or are going through—then it destroys your faith to continue on for the Lord. You'll wind up feeling like a failure, and that train of thought will continue until your faith to keep on serving the Lord, putting Him first and following His lead even when it means sacrifices, will be completely destroyed, kaput‚ nil!

13. I'm not saying that there's no element of truth in what those who have left and are bitter say. I know that we have all made mistakes—there isn't a parent on this Earth who hasn't made mistakes in the rearing of their children. And some of those mistakes did affect some kids negatively‚ which is very sad. I'm not minimizing that. We have apologized many times for the mistakes that we made as leadership in the Family‚ when we didn't put in place good safeguards and rules or emphasize more of a balance to some of the extremes that people tended to. We are genuinely sorry. And I'm sure that there are personal mistakes that you as a parent or loved one made which were also hurtful, and you should be willing to apologize for those and do what is necessary to make things right again.

14. But you have to go to the Lord to find out what those were. Not everything that a young person wishes was different about his or her childhood is necessarily a mistake on your part. And especially once people become bitter‚ their recollection of the past becomes very different and is sometimes distorted. So that's where you have to go to the Lord and let Him sort out for you what things could or should have been done better, what things you should apologize for, and what things are just lies of the Enemy, distortions of the truth, and the voice of bitterness speaking. Our Husband and Good Shepherd will then also be able to encourage you and show you how to rectify things‚ what you can do to make the situation better, or what steps you can take toward helping your child or friend to find closure, so that they can move on with their life and find something that will make them happy.

15. Please remember that we in the Family are not the only ones who have rifts with our children, or who have people leave their group and become bitter. We're not the only parents whose children wish they had been born into a different situation. But who in the world gets to choose what situation they're born into? I'm sure that many of the poor children in India or Africa wish they had been born into rich families in the U.S. or the western world. I'm sure that those born to military parents who have to travel and live in places they don't like wish that they had been born to some more settled and stable profession. And there are thousands upon thousands of other missionaries of all different faiths and religions who have also chosen to raise families in the ministry they have given their lives to, and some of their kids come to dislike it as well.

16. The life of a missionary isn't for everyone. And especially in a group like ours, which academics call a "high commitment" group, there will be people who wind up leaving and being bitter or unhappy about things, because we're different from mainstream society. But that's the life that we have chosen as disciples, missionaries, and professional Christians.

17. In parts of this GN I'm going to talk quite strongly about resisting the Enemy's attacks, being militant against them, and not giving the Enemy your ear. I want to clarify right from the beginning that I'm not talking about our young people or other ex-members as being "the enemy." The Enemy is the Devil, Satan, Lucifer, the accuser of the saints. He will try to get in in any way he can. He'll use anything or anyone to try to hinder and stop the work of God. That we know. We also know that we love our children and loved ones who've left. That has not changed. We may not see eye to eye, and in some cases‚ if we can't resolve things to reach a state of being amicable, we might choose to not have as much contact or communication as we'd like for the time being. But that doesn't mean we think they're "the enemy" or that we love them any less.

18. It also doesn't mean that we'll stop fighting the Enemy, even if he tries to use our loved ones and children to get us to come down off the wall of our calling or compromise our faith. We'll continue to fight the Enemy with all we've got‚ and we'll continue to love our children and those who have left the Family just as much. We must make that distinction clear. Otherwise it can be almost unbearable to talk about if it's not clear who we're fighting and who we're against.

19. While we're on the subject of who we're fighting, we know that there are some very powerful principalities of the spiritual world that are fighting us. The Vandari, for one, are constantly looking for any way to hinder and stop our work for the Lord. Some of our young people out of the Family have the impression that we call them the Vandari. That is not the case. As you know, if you read the Letter carefully (see "Pray, Obey and Prepare," ML #3420, GN 1007), the Vandari are spiritual beings‚ demons that look for any way possible to cause trouble. In some cases our young people outside the Family who have allowed themselves to become very bitter and hateful are manipulated or influenced by the Vandari to try to hurt others of the Lord's children. But the Vandari are a spiritual enemy that we have to fight in the spirit—just like Pan, Bacchus, Lethargy and all the rest—and they sure try to cause us trouble. They also try to use our ex-members against us—except that in many cases, because of their bitterness and hatred and rejection of the truth, some ex-members are much more susceptible to their attacks, and are easier prey.

Sorting the Truths

From the Untruths

20. One of the main topics I want to address in this GN is the condemnation and guilt that many of you parents feel because of the bitterness of your children who have left, and the way they blame you for so much that they don't like. Central to being able to deal with the situation, put it in perspective and handle things in a way that generates a positive outcome, is realizing that the Enemy is using this as an attack on your faith and your service to the Lord, plain and simple. I know some of you won't like me spiritualizing it like that‚ but that's the bottom line. That doesn't mean our former members are the enemy, or even that they all have malicious intent in their accusations and blame. Some do, but some are just genuinely unhappy and need help. But the Enemy wants to use all their unhappiness, accusations‚ blame and bitterness against you, and he will, if you let him.

21. Something that's very important to remember in your interactions with former members‚ especially if they're bitter, is that in order to be able to answer them wisely and help them pull through to have happy, productive lives, you must keep your faith strong. You have to take the high moral ground of not being pulled down into their bitterness and doubts. If you allow your faith to be weakened or destroyed, both of you will have lost your perspective on the issues, and you won't be able to help them.

22. That's easier said than done when you feel for them‚ and especially when they make you feel guilty or like all their problems are your fault or the Family's fault. But that's where you have to take things to the Lord and ask Him to help you put things back into perspective. While you're under the Enemy's heavy cloud of guilt and condemnation, everything is wrong, everything is bad, everything you ever did was a mistake—and when you believe that, it's impossible to sort the good from the bad or put things in perspective.

23. So first you have to realize how the Enemy is trying to cripple your usefulness through this attack. And he uses the bitterness of some of our former member children or loved ones to make it very personal, very painful and believable. That doesn't mean you didn't make mistakes or that you're exonerated of all responsibility. It just means you have to recognize this device of the Enemy so that you can have faith to do what the Lord shows you to make things right, and continue on for Him.

24. Again, I'm not saying that there was never a mistake made or something that shouldn't have happened. Mistakes did happen. Some of the mistakes were very serious and hurtful‚ like the ones involving sexually inappropriate behavior or harsh discipline—both of which should never have happened. (See "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us!" ML #3016, Lifelines 22.) I'm not trying to justify or gloss over the mistakes with a "who cares" attitude. It would have been so much better if mistakes hadn't happened. We are truly sorry for them, and you should be too, if you were involved. But sometimes they do happen—everywhere in the world, in every circle of society, not just in the Family. And a lesson that everyone on Earth has to learn at some point in their life is: When you're wronged in some way‚ when a mistake happens that affects you, there are ways to get over it. There are ways to rectify the problem. There are ways to bring it to closure. The test of a person's success isn't their ability to eliminate all the problems in their life, but their ability to work out and work through the difficulties as they arise.

25. In the case of some of our former members who have become bitter and are turning and railing on you as their friends or parents or others in the Family for mistakes and problems in their lives, there is no all–encompassing act that can be done to help them over the bitterness they feel, right the wrongs they feel have been done to them, and clarify their perception of how they were treated or what happened to them. Every situation is different and every problem that happened in anyone's life has to be handled individually. That's where you have to seek the Lord as to what He wants you to do. Peter and I have apologized for the mistakes of the Family as a whole. There are likely some things that you'll need to apologize for personally as well.

Putting Things in Perspective

26. Following is a message from the Lord for you parents that helps to put things in perspective as far as what were mistakes and what were not. Some former member young people feel that you were negligent parents because you didn't allow them to go to System school, have System friends, listen to System music, explore other religions or ideologies‚ etc. Some even complain that they didn't have a choice about being in the Family, or what country they wanted to live in as they were growing up. Others complain that they were brought up in such a trusting environment that they weren't prepared for the deceitfulness, selfishness, and lack of trust in the System. It's becoming a more common thread that comes up, most likely because they talk to each other and communicate online, validate each other's complaints, and often adopt the gripes of other former members as their own.

27. But to put things in perspective, since when do any underage kids in the world tell their parents what to do in these ways? Kids of all walks of life have no choice in where they live, what jobs their parents have, where they go to school‚ or how much they see or don't see their parents.

28. This mentality that some of our former members have taken on of "being wronged" because they weren't given the choice of what lifestyle they were raised in causes them extreme heartache. And the Enemy uses these feelings from your former member children to make you feel bad and guilty‚ like you failed your kids. But you've got to step back from the forest a little bit so that you can see the trees. Of course, mistakes were made, and some things that you did were probably not the best. But who ever had an idyllic childhood? It's unrealistic for your former member children to be accusing you and saying you were terrible parents, just because some things weren't perfect or to their current liking or way of thinking. The message that the Enemy would love to make you believe is that you were irresponsible, unfit, coerced by "the cult‚" blind followers who damaged your kids, etc. The Enemy is using this train of thought, these accusations‚ to weaken you parents, to try to hurt your faith, to make you feel guilty.

29. Going back to what I said earlier, I know that mistakes were made, and I'm not discounting those or trying to gloss over them. Dad‚ Peter, and I have apologized for the things that were our responsibility as the leadership of the Family, and we have taken concrete steps to ensure that those things never happen again. And if there are issues that come up from your past, each of you will need to seek the Lord about how to rectify things and if there's anything else you should do to make amends for things that were wrong or handled badly. We'll talk more about that later on. But first you need to realize that the heavy feelings of guilt, despair, and "everything's ruined" are from the Enemy. Here's what our wise and loving Husband had to say on this matter.

30. (Jesus speaking:) You've heard this before, but let Me remind you of it again—feelings of condemnation are of the Enemy. If you're ever tempted to feel under condemnation about something, or if others make you feel guilty and condemned by their words or actions, you can be sure this is not of My Spirit.

31. The spirit of placing blame and accusing, causing guilty feelings and condemnation is not of Me, but is of the Enemy. You must recognize it as such and not allow yourself to accept it and fall under the condemnation of the Enemy. It's natural to feel you could have done more as a parent, that you should have given more of yourself‚ your prayers, your time, your everything. It's because you are good parents that you wish you had done more. It's because you genuinely love your children and are concerned about their happiness and welfare.

32. At the same time, I ask you not to beat yourself up for any lacks, and especially don't blame yourself for your grown children's problems today. Your children have to make their own choices in life, and if they choose to be bitter‚ you can and should try to help them, but in order to get over it, they must make a conscious personal decision to do so.

33. Everyone has problems. Problems are part of life and part of My plan to give people the opportunity to draw closer to Me through their desperation and seeking of Me, and also to teach them lessons of life and maturity and give them opportunities for growth. If you of the first generation had not had problems growing up, you wouldn't have felt such a need for change in your life and such a strong attraction to My Spirit. Your problems worked together for good to bring you into the Family and full-time service to Me. It's the same with today's younger generation, both in and out of the Family—I allow them to have problems, and I hope that they will draw closer to Me through them. The spiritual principle is still the same—battles can equal good; battles can equal growth and victory. That's not to excuse you or anyone else for mistakes that were made‚ but the point is that your kids would have problems and face difficulties in life even if you were perfect. I allow problems to test the human spirit, and everyone on Earth has to learn to deal with problems, mistakes and difficulties.

34. I know it's more difficult to remember that when it involves your own children, especially when they voice their bitterness toward you and blame you for their situation and problems. But remember that you are not responsible for your adult children's actions. You're not responsible for any bitterness or hateful attitudes, even if they want to place the blame on you, even if they tell you you're responsible—you're not responsible for their bitterness and unhappiness. You might be responsible for the things that they're bitter about, but no one has to be bitter and unhappy about the past. You can get over it. There is deliverance from bitterness in Me, but it's up to the individual to reach out for it and accept forgiveness.

35. My childhood upbringing wasn't perfect either. I had to go through childhood like other children do in order to understand human nature and difficulties. I had to let go of what I considered unfair treatment by My earthly parents. I had to choose to accept what I considered unfair rules and discipline and boundaries by them. All children go through a period of rebellious behavior toward rules and what they consider the lacks in their upbringing.

36. Through My Own childhood I learned that it's often natural for older children and junior teens to feel their parents are unfair in some aspects of their upbringing. It's part of growing up. But most teens get over these resentful feelings once they take on more responsibility themselves‚ or once they become parents. It's when they don't get over it and they continue to hold grudges and ill feelings toward their parents that the Enemy can use it to make them very unhappy, bitter, and to take on a sour perspective on life. He will also use it to try to condemn or discourage the parents in some way and separate you from your children.

37. Especially with you parents in the Family who have given your lives to Me, he'll try to use such situations to hurt your faith in Me and the Family, and cause you to feel so condemned and guilty that you even consider putting down your crown of service. He'll try to persuade you to give it all up—your ministry‚ your service and place on the mission field‚ your faith and beliefs, your calling—all of it in order to somehow prove that you've seen the light, and as some type of restitution to your antagonistic children.

38. But this is an outright attack of the Evil One! You do not owe your children penance because you weren't a perfect parent. You don't deserve to be punished and made to feel guilty because their childhood wasn't perfect. You must believe Me when I say this, because otherwise the Enemy will continue to use your bitter, backslidden children to make you feel condemned and guilty and awful no matter what you do, when you should feel proud of the wonderful Christian upbringing you gave them.

39. They may wish they'd had a different upbringing, but that's not grounds for false accusations about their upbringing—how "evil" it was‚ etc. They might feel that way, but it doesn't make it the truth.

40. Dear parents of antagonistic children, you must recognize where accusations and blame throwing come from—they spring from a well of bitterness‚ and the source of that condemnation and bitterness is the Enemy. So when you hear your own children accuse and berate you, blame you, and try to place guilt upon you, remember that it's not the whole truth—even if they think it is. Ask Me to explain the situation to you, to talk to you about the particular accusations leveled against you and to show you how I see it and what really happened.

41. It's very important that you don't just accept everything that antagonistic former members accuse you of without asking Me to give you the truth. This is especially true when it comes from your own children, because naturally you feel for them and want to believe them and help them. So you must be extra prayerful about the things they tell you if they cause you to feel guilty and condemned, or to waver in your convictions and faith.

42. Some of your former member young people are of the mindset that their problems today are directly related to their upbringing in the Family‚ and in fact, that their parents, teachers, and shepherds are to blame. Some former member young people openly accuse their parents and blame them for such things as not having the material possessions they wanted; not having their parents' attention and time as much as they wanted; being restricted in what friends or teachers they had‚ what schooling they had, what country they lived in, what they were allowed to do with their free time, etc.

43. These former member young people are of the mindset that if they'd had the type of upbringing they wanted, things would be different for them today, their future would not have been "ruined," etc. They also feel justified in blaming their parents for what they consider lacks in their upbringing, saying that it's because of their parents' choice to put Me first and obey Me that they, their children‚ suffered. This mindset and way of thinking is not only inaccurate and wrong, but it's also just plain unfruitful and will only lead to more bitterness and resentment—which, as you know, only serves to hold the person back and stunt their happiness and spiritual growth.

44. The first step for you to take is to realize that you are not obligated, nor is it even a good idea, to accept and bear all of their complaints and bitterness. Next, you should ask Me about them, and let Me sort the good from the bad, the truth from the distortion or misconception or outright untrue. You'd be amazed just how much that one step of hearing from Me will help. After that, you will be more ready to go on to the next steps of apologizing, making things right, and doing your part to help them move on. (End of message from Jesus.)

"My Life Is Ruined!"

45. (Mama:) Marc and Claire, who read an advance copy of this Letter, commented on the tendency of some former members to feel victimized, and suggested that they're using the wrong standard of comparison.

46. "My life was ruined" or "I have seen many lives ruined" is a typical statement that we run into a lot with apostates.

47. When we hear former members saying their lives are "ruined," we can't help but wonder what measuring stick they're using. Certainly, if a young person gets caught in the very sad lamentable cycle of drugs, alcohol abuse and crime that is such a problem in society itself, that can become a ruined life and is very heartbreaking and a matter of great concern. But when a young person who has a scholarship in university‚ has a great job‚ girlfriend or boyfriend, and is moderately successful in the System says their life was "ruined" because they grew up in a high commitment religious group, we just have a hard time buying into that western mindset.

48. Many seem to believe that every child born in the Family is supposed to live in a western upper middle class standard, and if not‚ they are deprived, abused, dysfunctional and handicapped for life. That just isn't realistic, in our opinion. Actually, only by the grace of God do our kids have such a wonderful, protected, nurtured life, as if you go by the odds of statistics‚ any one of our kids could have been born in Afghanistan to a poor goatherder with no future, or to a poor family in Mexico, where many kids have to go out to the streets every day to support their parents' alcoholism, meanwhile walking around with no shoes. Or they could have been raised in a cycle of discrimination and poverty so prevalent in ethnic slums in the United States.

49. It's sad that some of our kids who leave make their parents feel that their lives were so bereft of their basic needs instead of counting themselves amongst the fortunate minority in the world! Recently, when visiting relatives in Argentina, we went to visit our nephew there (he is native Argentine). At 30 years of age, he is still unemployed, with no hope for the future, and has never even traveled outside the city area he was born in. He can't get married to his girlfriend because he can't find a job, and his parents survive in part thanks to the generosity of their relatives in the Family who continue to provide for them through these difficult times. His parents are good, hard-working people, and he is a decent fellow.

50. Sometimes we ask ourselves why some of our former member kids feel that just because they run into difficulties in life, somehow they "deserve" everything and more that many kids can't have out there. Our nephew never complains, and is a loving, caring son who wouldn't think of berating his parents. Surely he could complain that it is their fault that he wasn't born into an upper middle class family where he could have more opportunities?

51. This can even apply to the States itself, as the golden picture of ease and success for all is quite an illusion that some of our apostates have bought into. We recently came across an article outlining a study performed by a team from Northeastern University in Boston. According to this study, joblessness amongst young people ages 16 to 24 in the United States is reaching dangerous levels. The findings reveal that "the figure is a staggering 5.5 million and growing. This army of undereducated, jobless young people, disconnected in most instances from society's mainstream, is restless and unhappy, and poses a severe long-term threat to America's well–being on many fronts" (Excerpted from an article in the New York Times by Bob Herbert, February 6, 2003).

52. Thank the Lord, from the statistics we have gathered, it would seem that a high percentage of our former member young people are able to find jobs, careers and professions‚ with a minimum of difficulty. Their training as missionaries gives them problem-solving tools that a lot of young people in society are sorely lacking. We don't want to minimize the difficulties they go through in transiting from the Family to the System, but on the other hand, we would have to say that many of the "my life is ruined" stories that are so devastating to parents just aren't borne out in the lives most of our kids are able to lead after they leave the Family. This really bears out the spiritual principles at work behind these attacks. (End of comments from Marc and Claire.)

The Key of Destiny

53. (Jesus speaking:) Claim the key of destiny for your children—both those in the Family and those out of the Family. The key of destiny works within the choices they make and can help to guide them through life. Of course, the key of destiny has much more power to help and intervene when someone makes their choices based on the Word, love, sacrifice and obedience to Me and My calling for them. But it can also help those who have strayed, gently leading them to find purpose and meaning and to learn through life's experiences, so that they are later ready to fulfill their destiny. It will nudge them and gently lead them to make choices that will better their life and help them to find more purpose and meaning and clarity.

54. Life as a whole is difficult. And life in the System is very difficult—especially for those who have abandoned their faith. But they still must get to the point where they accept the choices they've made before they can have peace and make progress in life. The key of destiny can help to propel them out of the negativity swirling around their lives and permeating their minds, and put them on a path where they can start to do something with their lives and learn from their experiences, rather than remaining embroiled in fighting a losing battle of blaming others for their problems and lacks in life.

55. Pray for the former members who are bitter. Pray against the Enemy's influence in their minds and for the key of destiny to work for them. I love them dearly. I have never stopped loving them. I know that for most of them, beneath the brittle, confident exterior beats a lonely human heart consumed by their solitary rage that they haven't been treated the way they desired. Right or wrong‚ the frustration and hurt are real to them. So pray for them, for the deliverance of their souls and minds. Pray against the demon of bitterness. Claim the keys of acceptance, humility, motivation and godly perspective. Claim the key of destiny to help them find their way. (End of message from Jesus)

56. (Mama:) We asked the Lord for more information about the key of destiny. Some people had a question about whether claiming the key of destiny for our children who are no longer serving the Lord meant that it wasn't their destiny to serve the Lord. His answer is beautiful, and just shows how much broader His perspective is than ours.

57. (Jesus speaking:) You're merely looking at the present‚ thinking they're not fulfilling their destiny here and now, and that's why you wonder why I've asked you to claim the key of destiny on their behalf. I'm looking at eternity!

58. I have created the key of destiny to help anyone to find and fulfill their destiny. Your children will eventually fulfill their destiny; they will come to recognize the worth of their heritage and will take up their calling. They are Mine, and eventually they will return to Me and to My plan for them.—Not necessarily on this Earth, but what happens now on this Earth is not by any means the be–all and end-all.

59. So by claiming the key of destiny for them‚ you're not saying that they are not eventually destined to be in My arms, in My service again. You're just claiming the key of destiny to move them along the path of lessons, experiences and growth, so that they are again able to recognize their destiny when they're ready, and do something about it. Even if it takes years and years, or the rest of their time on Earth, it doesn't mean that the key of destiny has failed—for through its influence and your prayers‚ they will be better prepared to again take up and find their destiny when they are ready to. (End of message from Jesus.)

Text box:

Prayer Works!

By Joy (of Jareb), Dominican Republic:

Prayer (and lots of it) has been the major factor that has helped our two kids [who left the Family] make it through all of this as well as they have. They both have been very faithful to ask for prayer and prophecy through the years, and it has helped them so much in the decisions they have to make. (From FSM 403).

By Claire (20‚ of Lynn), Sydney, Australia:

I can say that prayer is one of the most important things that helped me. I knew my mum was praying for me, and I don't know where I'd be without those prayers—possibly even dead. I'm glad to be back in the Family! (From FSM 404).

End of text box.

More on How to Pray for Your Kids

60. (Jesus speaking:) I understand that sometimes it's difficult to know how to pray for your children—because while on the one hand you want them to be successful and happy and safe and protected and provided for in every way, at the same time you don't feel the System will ever really satisfy them. You know they have a heritage as children of David, and you don't want them to be settled down and comfortable physically‚ while suffering spiritually.

61. I understand this dilemma, and I have the perfect solution—to pray for My hand to be manifested in their life. If you pray for My hand to be evident in their life, I have all the leeway I need to do what I know is best—whether to protect and provide and bless them in miraculous ways that prove My unconditional love to them, or whether My love is better manifested at times by allowing things that show them the System will not satisfy, and that their true calling and destiny is in My service.

62. The future for your children is contingent on many factors—their decisions‚ how they respond to My hand in their life, your prayers, etc. There are some who will never return to My service on Earth, and I will bless them in their secular lives to some degree, and continue to prepare them for the day when they will return to My service in the next life. There are others who I am working on to bring them back as quickly as possible. Each life and path to their destiny is different, and combined with their choices and the way they react to the things I bring into their life, the outcome varies greatly.

63. So the best you can do is to pray for them to draw closer to Me, and for My hand to be obvious in their life. Whether that means protection or chastisement, miracles of supply or miracles of humbling and repentance, I will bring it about in the loving and merciful way that I work. (End of message from Jesus)

Text box:

64. (Jesus speaking:) It really is a toss-up, because while on the one hand you want them to be happy and content and productive and do something good with their lives, you will forever be sad for the blessings and true happiness and fulfillment that they're missing out on by reason of their taking the road of lesser blessings.

65. But you must also understand that it's not always My highest will for them to come back to the Family in this life. In some cases I know that it will serve their spirits better if they wander in the world and go through the Tribulation and realize the great difference. Some of them are so spiritually blind and dull in their understanding and have such a low spiritual standard that it doesn't really bother them to wander in the spiritual wilderness now. And if I were to bring them back now, they still would not have that deep conviction and dedication that is needed in order to serve Me full-time and all the way. But when the days get darker and darker, and signs and wonders are performed by the Enemy and by the children of Light, and the war heats up, then they will truly start to see the difference‚ and it will seal within their spirit something which can never be shaken or doubted.

66. So, because of the choices that some of them have made, it is My will for them to follow the path those choices have led them down, even though it results in wasted years. Nevertheless, the payoff will be worth it; they will return when they are fully convinced in their minds and hearts, and the benefits will far outweigh the losses. That's not to say that they couldn't have stirred themselves up while they were still in the Family and called on the keys to open their eyes of the spirit. But I have to work within their choices, and for some of them, I know the only way they'll truly learn is by their own hard experience. (End of message from Jesus)

End of text box.

Making Things Right

67. (Mama: ) There are situations where your actions, decisions, mistakes or problems as parents have had bad effects on your kids. I think if you took it to the Lord and then talked it out with your kids, you'd be amazed at what can be rectified. It's amazing how far a humble apology can go toward erasing some bitterness, and it's very possible that some of you may need to do some apologizing. Dad and Peter and I have, and the Family has, for any mistakes in our past. Now it may be time for some of you parents to do so, if you haven't already. In some cases it may simply mean opening a dialogue and communicating to try to help your loved ones get past the bitterness that is causing them harm and probably hurting others. In some cases, the Lord might show you other things that you should also do to make things right. Reconciliation is a good thing.

68. Don't get me wrong. As the Lord and I said earlier, not everything your former member children are bringing against you or other people in the Family are real problems. There is a lot of hype, distortions of the truth‚ and misconceptions or misunderstandings mixed in. Also, a lot of it probably won't have anything to do with you personally, but is just bitterness about the past or some nebulous unhappiness that they have. So I'm not saying that everyone needs to start feeling responsible and apologizing for every accusation or problem that our former member loved ones have. The Enemy would love it if that happened. But rather each of you in your individual situation should assess what's being leveled against you, take it to the Lord‚ and ask Him to cut through the hype and the bitter exaggerations and see what's really at the core of the matter.

69. As much as you want to make your loved ones feel better and help them to get over things and be happy, they also need to know that not everything was wrong about their childhood or the Family's past. Even though they may not have liked it, that doesn't mean it was wrong. That's where you need to simply stand strong on your convictions for your work‚ your faith, your love for the Lord and the Family. Be sorry for the genuine mistakes and times you could have done better, and leave the rest behind.

70. There are situations where maybe you should have been with your kids more‚ or you could have explained things better, or in 20/20 hindsight, maybe you wouldn't even have done some of the things you did. But that's very natural. There's no one in the world who can look back with 20/20 hindsight and say that they would have done everything the same, because no one is perfect.

71. But at the same time, some of the things they have gripes about are not the problem. Your being a missionary and working for the Lord isn't the problem. Your beliefs and faith in the Lord and your life of discipleship isn't the problem. That might be a big part of what they're unhappy about, but you don't have to apologize for those things. It's the human mistakes, frailties, misjudgments or times of misunderstanding, etc., that you need to apologize for.

72. Even some of the things that were mistakes, or maybe could have been handled better--such as their feeling that they didn't have enough time with you, or the difficult time they went through when you as their parents got separated or remarried‚ or what have you—while you can be sincerely sorry for the difficulty it caused them, it's nothing to beat yourself up about, or that they are justified in blaming the Family for. Parents all over the world face those same choices, and there's certainly as many, if not more, absent parents, divorces, separations, and difficult times in the world as there are in the Family.

73. Many people throughout history have not had as much time with their children and families as they would have liked. Look at many of the famous missionaries and explorers‚ pastors, evangelists, even doctors and scientists, who chose to be away from their families in order to carry on what they felt was their life's work. I know that none of you who separated from your children due to your ministry took it lightly. And while perhaps sometimes it could have been avoided‚ other times it couldn't have—it was the right decision. That's just one example of what might be one of your children's complaints, and the different ways there are to look at it. We have all made mistakes, and you can sincerely apologize for those mistakes. But don't let the Enemy condemn you or make you feel like you should carry the weight of all your child's problems today because of something that happened in the past.

74. So you need to assess what your former member children or loved ones are saying and get to the core of the issues bothering them. And if you have fallen short, then you should apologize for those things. Pray and ask the Lord what you can do to help bring closure to those areas of your loved ones' lives that are bothering them so that they can put things in the past and move on!

75. Whether or not you think there's anything you can do about it, you need to get the Lord's mind on the things that your bitter loved ones tell you. You can't take all of their bitter tirades onboard or it will sink you! It will only cause you to stumble—because there is no way to rectify all the exaggerated blame and hurt that someone who's bitter will throw in your face. If you try to handle it all or make it all right‚ all you'll feel is pain, confusion and discomfort as a result, that will discourage you to the point of failure. So take it to the Lord, ask Him how He sees things‚ and let Him help you sort out which things you should apologize for and try to make right, and which things are simply part of your faith that you need to stand strong on, and that you can ask the Lord to help them get over.

76. In most cases, it's the bitterness that the person is carrying that is making them unhappy rather than some event in the past. They can move on if they choose to, and you can and should make it easy for them to do so. But whether they do or not is up to them.

77. There will be the times, too‚ when you give an apology and the person doesn't receive it. They might be so wrapped up in their bitterness that they can't see the forest for the trees. In those cases, there's really not much more you can do. You must do what you can, but what they do with it from there is up to them. You pray for them, you talk, you try to reconcile, and if they don't accept it, that's up to them. Eventually it will pay off; they'll remember that you tried, and that will help them come around when they're ready to. So just do what you can, and trust the Lord for the rest.

78. (Jesus speaking:) Here are three steps you should take to help make things right with your children:

  1. First, ask Me to speak to you about their accusations, explaining what things were genuinely wrong or mistakes. Hearing about your mistakes and failures might not be so pleasant, but remember that I do not condemn you, and it will be easier than taking the Devil's word for it—which is total condemnation, failure, defeat, and guilt. Letting Me sort things out and put them in perspective will help you not to be pulled under by the Enemy's attack of condemnation, grief, and guilt, and it will also help you learn for the future, and will give you a clearer understanding of what you can do to help your children from here on.
  2. Ask Me what you can do to make amends for those things that were mistakes or wrong. I might simply tell you to apologize and communicate about it‚ or I might have some ideas for you of how to go about making things right.
  3. After you have done these things—sought Me about your mistakes and done what you can to correct them and make amends—if your former member loved ones continue to hang on to the past and their bitterness and unhappiness, seek Me about how you can help them to get over it, move on, and realize that they must stop blaming others for their unhappiness. (End of message from Jesus)

Ask the Lord for His Counsel

In How to Word Your Apology

79. (Mama:) While we're on the subject of apologizing, I want to remind you that it's very helpful to pray in advance and ask the Lord what to say and how to say it—especially if you're writing a letter. You can even ask the Lord to help give you some of the wording in prophecy. Not only will your apology be better presented and better received, but the Lord can also help you to be wise in your words in what could be a pretty touchy subject.

80. It can be easy to get carried away in the emotion of the moment and go overboard when apologizing. You want to apologize for anything and everything and really make things better for the person who is upset, which is understandable. But especially in this scenario‚ you don't want to apologize for things that are exaggerated or untrue or didn't really happen. Just because your child or loved one is upset about something, that doesn't mean you have to take responsibility for it and apologize for it.

81. Of course, if they're upset or bitter about something you did that you know was the Lord's will, you can still sympathize with them and say you're sorry for how difficult it was for them and how it has affected them, explaining that you did it because you knew it was what the Lord had called you to do. You can sympathize and say you're sorry for how something affected your child or how they feel about it without saying that it was wrong that you did it.

82. It's especially important to keep this in mind because some of our former member young people are attempting to gather "evidence" to validate their cause and complaints. Several have written their parents in a way that was baiting them to confess via an apology to something that wasn't true or not their fault. All that to say, please be prayerful in the way you word things, so that you don't unwittingly lend credibility to the cause of those actively fighting the Family.

83. As an example on that point, here is a clip from one of the ex-member sites that we came across as we were finalizing this GN: "Just keep sending in names, locations, dates, and patterns will appear. It is worth the fight to bring those ultimately responsible to justice. Write your parents about when you were abused and by whom and if anything was done about it‚ and save their answers as this will back up your story."

More Counsel Regarding

Making Things Right

84. (Jesus speaking:) There will be times when I know that it's important for you to make an appearance in person and spend some time with your kids communicating and doing all you can to help them understand, and have the peace and closure that they need in order to move on with life.

85. In some cases‚ simply writing a humble and honest letter will be sufficient. In some cases I might show you to call them and talk on the phone. In other cases‚ maybe just writing more often, sharing your lives through photos or news and open communication will repair things. In other cases all you can do is pray. There are a great variety of solutions I can give, and if you seek Me, I'll tell you what's most important in your situation.

86. I do want to help your loved ones get over their bitterness. I want them not only to be able to benefit from your love but also to receive My love; for when someone is bitter, they are closed to My love‚ and rarely experience it in the way that I would like.

87. So if you have a loved one who's bitter, seek Me about what you can do to help them. Whether it's praying for them, writing them, apologizing, or in some cases even going personally to spend some time with them, I'll show you clearly. (End of message from Jesus.)

88. (Mama:) On the subject of writing your children, something I learned in communicating with Pete (David)‚ that might be helpful to some of you, is that it was better not to send him prophecy. To my way of thinking, it was a great gift and a lot of love to get something from the Lord for him. But the Lord told me not to send him prophecy, because he didn't really believe in prophecy and wouldn't accept it, and it would just be emphasizing our differences. So instead in my letters to him I've tried to not even talk so much about spiritual things, but just let him know that I love him, and encourage him in his new life.

89. Every situation is different, and in some cases the Lord might show you that your kids would appreciate a message from Him. Certainly many of our former member young people who aren't bitter or apostates really do appreciate prophecy—and that's great. We can then feed and encourage them with the Lord's specific words of love and encouragement and guidance, and it's a great benefit for them. But for those who are pretty negative or antagonistic, it would probably be like rubbing salt in a wound to send them prophecy. They probably won't appreciate it so much. So just seek the Lord as to what's best in your situation.

90. Following are excerpts of two messages that were received for one of our dear parents who hasn't been with his children for about 15 years. Several of his kids have left the Family, and have some issues and bitterness about their past and his being away from them while they were growing up. He was planning to make a trip to see them‚ and following are excerpts of the counsel the Lord gave for him. Besides the very personal encouragement and instruction the Lord gave him, I think these excerpts will be helpful for any of you who are in the position of needing to apologize or do whatever the Lord shows you to make things right with your former member children. The circumstances in your case are undoubtedly different, but the general principles might be helpful to you, and a good start in helping those of you who have unhappy or bitter former member children that you need to communicate with, to pray about your own situation.

91. I can't stress it enough: Please go to the Lord to receive His comfort and perspective so that you don't fall under condemnation, so that your faith and trust in our Husband remains strong, and so that you can be a blessing to your loved ones and help to pull them out of the Enemy's pit of bitterness, rather than being pulled down into the confusion and unhappiness as well.

92. In anything the Lord shows you to do to reconcile with your children or help them‚ it's likely not going to be easy. You're going to have to go to the Lord yourself and receive His answers for your personal situation. Otherwise the battles will be too overwhelming, too difficult, and you'll find yourself under condemnation, feeling guilty and spiritually weakened.

Reconciliation Requires Time
and Patience

93. (Jesus speaking:) I'm leading you to make this visit to try your best to rectify any situation that needs your attention and help. Yes, as you go there and see your dear ones, there will be tears to dry and situations from the past to smooth over. There will be hearts to claim and win through My power of the keys, and if anyone feels you have done them wrong‚ you will have to give them your apologies. Even if you know and feel that I have led you and guided you into other situations and decisions in your life that didn't take you back to your loved ones earlier, you will have to remedy any bitter or ill feelings by taking the humble seat and apologizing and loving them.

94. Since many of your children are out of the Family now, there are many things they will not understand, but love covers a multitude of sins and you can do a lot in loving them, showing them attention, and letting them know that you do love and care for them. You will have to allow enough time for each one you need to see, to find out how you can meet their needs and how much time you need to spend with them.

95. Before I go any further into what I want to tell you, let Me say how proud I am of you and how much I love you. Even if right now your children aren't "proud" of you and aren't able to tell you how much they love you, trust Me that these things will change, and most of all, know that I'm very proud of you. You've given everything to Me and not held back anything that I've asked of you. You've not only given Me your life, your service and talents, but you put your own beloved children on the altar before Me. So‚ like Abraham of old, have faith and trust that I will give them back to you in My time.

96. The ill feelings in the hearts of some‚ even the feelings of hatred and rebellion‚ are mainly on the surface, but deep down in each one's heart they love you dearly. They've just been hurt, they feel misunderstood‚ and are longing to have it all—everything they feel they "need" to be happy, and in their mind that includes you.

97. Your children are looking at life and their problems through the only pair of eyes they have, and from their perspective they feel that having their dad around would solve all their problems. You know that's not completely true, and even if your presence would help a lot and solve some problems—and it would—the truth is, even you can't solve all the problems. In fact‚ your family might be somewhat surprised that instead of all their problems finally being taken care of as a result of dad arriving on the scene, they have new problems.

98. Even if your kids act like they hate you, even if they say they hate you—no matter how irreconcilable things look on the outside—love is still the greatest force in the world. Even if your heart breaks when you "feel" their hurts and heartcries, still, the healing balm of My love will give you strength and help you to handle each situation.

99. I understand that it's a desire of your heart to be able to show and prove to your family that you do love them‚ you do care, and the only reason you weren't with them all these years is because I asked you to do something else. You didn't leave your family with the attitude of, "So long!" You left them with a broken heart, and you've never stopped thinking about them‚ praying for them, and loving them. Your kids need to know this. They need to hear you tell them how it hurt you to have to go away, but you only did it in obedience to Me, because I asked it of you.

100. Your children have built up their own scenario in their minds of what really happened, how you feel, and why you went away, in spite of what they've been told—and much of what they think is wrong. They don't have the whole picture or the whole explanation. They've created their own images and answers, and much of it is off. If bitterness is allowed to grow unchecked, it turns into bitterness toward the Family, and ultimately toward Me. Bitterness is not an easy attack of the Enemy to fight, but it's much easier to deal with before it becomes deeply rooted.

101. It will take time, much time and patience. Some questions will be answered quickly‚ some hurts will be healed quickly, but other things will take time, and the only way to really make a difference in their eyes is to give of your time.


In the End, the Choices Are Theirs

102. My son, I know the load you carry seems very heavy to you. The emotions and affairs of the heart—whether it be a love relationship, a sibling relationship, or a parent-child relationship—are some of the strongest and can affect your spirit and emotions almost more than anything else can. Come‚ My son, put your load down for a moment and sit at My feet, and let's have a chat. Come rest your weary head, and let's commune together and discuss these heartaches and heartbreaks and the emotional turmoil you feel is hindering your being able to see the situation the way I do.

103. I know the biggest thought and burden on your heart is‚ "What if?" "What if I had gone back to [be with them] at any time during the last 15 years? Would things have turned out differently? Would my kids have done better? Would they have left the Family? Would they have turned out so bitter and hateful?"

104. My answer to that is, each individual I place on Earth has the majesty of choice. The thing you have to realize is that your children were presented with a choice—the choice as to whether to stay in the Family or leave and try something else, and the choice as to whether they would accept that their father was a missionary elsewhere, or reject him because he was not there for them while they were growing up. I know that you feel things might have turned out differently if you had been there for them‚ but how do you know? Can you say for certain that they would not have still made the same choices they did, even if you had been there for them during their formative years?

105. There are many families [in the Family] who have lost some, most, or all of their children to the System, and these were faithful, loving parents who were with their children most of the time, and poured into their kids and tried to do their best to give them the love, attention‚ and training they needed. But there comes a point where the child starts to be accountable, and they start making their own choices, and the choices they make are not necessarily dependent upon their upbringing or the fact that they had both their parents.

106. You see, the Devil knows what will get to you emotionally. He knows what buttons to push to get a response. He whips up these sentiments, these ideas that, "I grew up without a father, therefore I am damaged goods and all my problems are a result of the fact that my father—or mother‚ or whatever the case may be—abandoned me when I was little, and that's why I am having so many problems now," and casts them forth to those who are his targets, and unfortunately, most of the time it gets swallowed hook‚ line, and sinker.

107. Let's face it, a lot of people, especially young people, who leave the Family and go to the System, find it quite a shock and quite difficult. They start having to face pressures they never had before, deal with people who are not yielded to Me, get lied to, cheated‚ and stomped on. They become depressed, angry, and bitter, and they need something to place that blame on. In their pride, they can't put the blame on their present circumstances, surroundings, or fate, for this is where their own will brought them. So the only other place they can put the blame is on the Family, or their parents, or the "bad leaders" who were so mean to them, or the victor camps they attended‚ and the list goes on and on. And unfortunately their loved ones who remain in the Family are the ones who have to deal with the fallout and the resultant emotional heartache and heartbreak.

108. So you see, you could have been with them in their formative years, pouring into them, training them, loving them, and they still would've had to make the choice themselves whether they wanted to stay in the Family or try the System. How do you know they would not have accused you of being an unloving father, disciplining them too harshly, or "forcing" them to go busking or to "beg" on the street‚ or that your ministry kept you from being with them as much as they would have liked, or any of the other myriad of accusations the Enemy uses upon their hearts and minds?

109. Even the ones who did visit you for a time and had the opportunity to connect with you eventually left the Family—not because of you or because of the circumstances, but because of the final choice they made. And remember also, you have children who had the same upbringing who did decide to stay and serve Me. So what was the difference? The difference is only in the choices that were made.

110. I want to tell you that I recognize and realize what a sacrifice you have made these many years in being away from your children. I know that it was a big battle and trial for you. I know the many times you felt guilt-ridden and a failure as a father because you weren't there for them. But what you forsook for Me, I have and I will give you back an hundredfold. You touched and reached many lives you would not have reached if you had stayed there, and you fathered many children through your teen shepherding and training and pouring your heart and soul into the lives of many of My Family children.

111. For this I say to you, "Well done, My good and faithful servant‚ enter into the joy of thy Lord!"—And that joy can be yours, knowing that you put Me first, you heeded My call, and you bore much fruit through your years of sacrifice for Me. For that, you will be rewarded an hundredfold, both in this life and the life to come.

112. Remember‚ even if your children do not receive you with open arms, even if they never forgive you, even if you're estranged from them until the day you die—once this life is past, there will be no more tears or sorrow, and your children will receive you again with open arms, for they will then know and understand and all will be made clear. (End of message from Jesus.)

113. (Mama:) Reconciliation requires time, love, patience, humility, apologies for past mistakes, forgiveness for failings, and sometimes even a personal visit to heal the hurts and make things right. I'm not necessarily recommending that everyone should take time away from their mission field to visit their former member children and work out the past. But in some cases, the Lord might know that it's important and is worthwhile enough that He'll ask it of you. If He does, please seek Him about how to make the time as fruitful and profitable as possible. And ask for prayer from your Home and loved ones too, claiming the power of the keys of reconciliation, communication, wisdom, and all that is needed to make your time fruitful and worthwhile.

Bitterness Is Often a Factor

114. As we talked about earlier, in trying to reconcile with your kids‚ or at least do your part to help them, bitterness is something you'll likely come up against. It's a problem that is making some of our former members' lives very difficult and miserable. Bitterness contorts what you think and then distorts your outlook on life and others, and makes you cynical and resentful.

115. It's incredible how bitter people think that only they see the world as it really is, and that others are only looking through rose-colored glasses. They feel they have a better grip on the realities of life than those who aren't bitter like themselves, so they are usually very sincere in their accusations and negative perspective on things. Bitter people also tend to congregate and flock together to build on and validate each other's bitterness. They actually believe the distorted lies they are thinking, and have yielded themselves to its strong delusion.

116. This is where a lot of the problems of former Family members stem from—a root of bitterness that took hold somewhere in their life after something happened to them. Whether this incident was a mistake or not, it was something they didn't like, or didn't understand, or felt they couldn't handle properly and just couldn't forgive. So they grew bitter instead of getting prayer or counsel or help, or going to the Lord and the Word.

The Demon of Bitterness

117. It's scary to see how much bitterness can deform and cripple a person's mind and thinking. When we asked the Lord about it, He revealed that there is a demon of bitterness‚ which makes it more understandable how someone can change so drastically and become so unhappy and have such a different perspective on life. Knowing this makes it possible to pray against this demon by name and hinder his efforts to hurt and poison our loved ones.

118. (Jesus speaking:) You may call him Bitterness, for he carries the most sour, bitter spirit you have ever imagined. He carries this by choice, not by destiny. He works together with Pan and the demon of Rejection to turn the sweet things of life—or things which I intend to bring out the sweetness—into bitter, sour, sad memories.

119. He cannot make anyone become bitter. He can only come in when pride and resentment are allowed to grow in a person's life, to the point that there is an opening for him, a virtual invitation for his infestation. There he works together with Pan and the demon of Rejection to actually influence or change a person's memories and perspective on life, so that they feel justified in carrying around the weight and poison of bitterness. It's as if he convinces them that they need that poison of the spirit that he feeds them in order to be happy, or that somehow by carrying it around, it will rectify the situation and make things better or at least bring revenge on those whom they feel have done them wrong. Neither is true.

120. A person's spirit will only become more and more crushed, sick, and sour, if they continue to let bitterness reside in their heart. In saying this, I don't mean the actual demon of Bitterness can inhabit the heart of one who knows Me, for I am in their heart. But he continues to influence their mind and thoughts whenever they give him entrance through pride, and he leaves traces of his poison behind that continue to grow in his absence. It's very sad to see a spirit crushed, sickened, and weakened to the point that they don't even long to recover. Those who really know what bitterness does to you avoid it like a plague—because it is.

121. Of course, I have the antidote and can help anyone to cleanse their spirit and be made anew. But they must be willing to forsake their pride, forsake their sense of being wronged, and let Me cleanse even their memories of what they think happened. For whenever someone is influenced by the demon of Bitterness‚ their memories are always distorted.

122. You can pray against Bitterness, because like any spiritual entity fighting you, he is bound and hindered by your prayers and calling on the keys. You can pray on behalf of your loved ones who are not in the Family. But as long as they yield to pride, resentment will soon follow, and the door is left open for bitterness. So you must also pray for them to humble their spirits before Me, or that they'll receive My humbling and My perspective on things, so that they're not constantly easy prey. (End of message from Jesus)

Text box:

123. (Jesus speaking:) Pride keeps you from seeing things as I see them. Pride opens the door for resentment, because you automatically feel you deserve better. It keeps you from humbling yourself when I allow things in your life to break you or soften you or teach you things, and instead it causes resentment. That's why I say that when you yield to pride, resentment will often follow. Everyone goes through situations in life that they wish hadn't happened, or that had happened differently, or situations when they are wronged.

124. If a person is humble, and can accept things from My hand, and learn to see things the way I see them, those negative circumstances are steppingstones for good, and don't derail them in any way. But when a person yields to pride, it's not long before something comes up that they can't get over, that they can't understand, or that they assume the worst about—and then resentment begins to build in their heart.

125. It's the natural, sinful, rebellious nature of man to think that he knows better than Me. That's why you have to constantly pray for My humility, because it's not something that comes naturally. It's something you have to want, cultivate, and fight for. But along with that humility comes grace, peace, understanding‚ acceptance, and many gifts that make life pleasant and a wonderful learning experience, rather than a journey of pain, unhappiness, resentment and bitterness. (End of message from Jesus.)

End of text box.

Message About Recognizing

Bitterness and Getting Over It

126. (Mama:) Following are excerpts of a little pep talk from Jesus about moving on with life and not letting people or situations or the past hold you back. Of course, whenever the Lord would personally tell anyone something like this, it would be prefaced and surrounded with lots of love, understanding and compassion for the difficulties they face, and it would be at a time when He knows they are ready to receive it. This is just the "meat" of the matter. But I'm sharing it with you because it helps to put things more in perspective regarding how the Lord sees things, and will help to strengthen your convictions personally.

127. If the Lord leads you to share any of the concepts of this message with your former member loved ones, please do ask Him to help you do it lovingly, gently, in the way that He would do it, with great understanding for their difficulties, and compassion for the things that have hurt them or made them sad. The Lord loves them so much—just as much as He loves you. And the only reason He would share with them this "tough love" is to help them to be happier and feel His love more, not less. So please do convey the Lord's love and understanding in your communications and letters or conversations with your former member loved ones. Remember that this is just the "pith," not the whole package.

128. (Jesus speaking:) My dear one‚ I love you. I've always loved you and always will love you, and out of love, I want to share something with you. You may call it tough love, but it's love nonetheless. If you're blaming your parents for your upbringing and you consider that the source of your problems today, let Me help you see things the way they are in the world.

129. Ask anyone—a friend, a co–worker, even someone on the street about their childhood and whether they're perfectly happy with every aspect and feel that everything was how they wanted it, and you'll find that no one has had a perfect childhood. There is no ideal childhood! Even the best possible upbringing isn't perfect. Every child‚ teen, or young person will tell you about something that they wish had been different in their childhood.—Something they wish hadn't happened‚ the ways they wish their parents had been different and had treated them differently.

130. If you're looking back at your childhood and blaming your parents for not being exactly the way you wanted them to be, that's very unrealistic thinking. First of all, what's past is past, and there's no progress to be made by dwelling on the past and wishing it had been different. If you want things to be different in your life now, then work on it. Accusing your parents of not giving you the childhood that you feel you should have had is going to get you nowhere. It's now up to you to change your mindset and get rid of any bad feelings and resentment and stop blaming your problems on the past or on someone else.

131. Your parents have made the choice to live in the Family and serve Me—that's their right. Just like you, they're free to do whatever they want to do with their life. If you really want your parents to be happy and to have good relations with them, it would be wise not to try and make them do what you think they should do. Like you, they should be given the freedom to choose and be shown respect for the choices they make. They should not be condemned for their lifestyle, whether you personally agree with it or not.

132. Secondly‚ your mindset is off in thinking that because you were raised in the Family you didn't have ideal parents or an ideal childhood. Why? Because for one, it isn't true, and two, it's futile thinking. It doesn't do any good to mourn your past, your upbringing, who I chose to be your parents, what country I chose for you to be born in and live in, how you were schooled, what friends you were allowed to have, or what rules you had to abide by—these are things every child has to go through.

133. In the world, children do what their parents expect of them, even if they don't like it. They go to the type of school their parents select for them. Granted, some parents in the world are stricter than others, and have different methods for teaching and protecting and training their children, but for the most part, parents in the world also have guidelines for their kids that their kids consider unpleasant or unfair‚ as far as dating, staying out, where they go, whether they're forbidden to hang out with certain friends, etc. It's not until you're grown and of age that you can leave home and make all your own choices.

134. So it's unrealistic to blame your parents simply because they're in the Family, and accuse the Family and your parents for not giving you the type of childhood you wanted. It's not your parents' fault that you were born to them in the Family—that was My doing. You are no worse off because you were raised in the Family; in fact, you're better off‚ even if you don't accept it right now. Your problems today are not a result of your Family upbringing, and the sooner you get rid of that mindset‚ the sooner you'll be able to get on with your life, because you'll have stopped blaming others for your lot in life.

135. It doesn't matter what your walk in life or your background is—the only way to get on with your life and do all the things you want is to do just that. Blame-placers are never successful. It's only those who forget the past and move on that can climb mountains!

136. Your parents give you freedom to choose your own lifestyle when you're of age—which, by the way, is the same as society at large does—and then it's up to you to make your life whatever you want it to be. Blaming your past, your childhood, your parents, is counterproductive. Live the life you want and be what you want to be, and let others live the life they want.

137. Things weren't perfect in your past and in your childhood, but what you've got to realize is that it wasn't perfect for anyone else either‚ whether they were raised in the Family or not. Life is both good and bad, with both victories and problems, and the wise and mature learn from it and go on. It's My hope, and your parents' hope‚ that you'll move on into the life you want and be happy and productive. Do what you want to do‚ be whatever you want to be—and let others do the same. (End of message from Jesus.) (See also "The Benefits of the Family," ML #3172‚ GN 777.)

What To Do If Things

Can't Be Reconciled Immediately

138. (Mama:) If your children or loved ones are bitter‚ it's likely that things won't be resolved overnight. It will take time and a lot of prayer, and ultimately it's in their court to choose to forgive and move on and be happier and more fulfilled in their lives.

139. In the meantime, we need to address the issue of what to do in situations where your ex-member children have become bitter and unreasonable and are actively trying to get you or their siblings out of the Family—cases where they continually speak against the Word and those of us who give it, where they are involved in anti-Family activities and do not respect your lifestyle choices, religious beliefs, or your requests that they not voice their complaints and bitterness to others in your Home and your children.

140. It's a difficult situation to address, because they're our children. We love them. It's difficult to see them so unhappy and bitter, so miserable, and hurting themselves. It's also infuriating as a shepherd when you see what they're doing to your flock, and how they're hurting or stumbling others, or have great potential to.

141. This is a problem that we've been hearing about with increasing frequency. Quite a few of you have received pretty nasty and difficult letters from your kids or loved ones who've left the Family. Several of you have sent copies to us‚ and Peter and I realize how difficult it must be to hear those very personal accusations and bitter statements from your kids. We're praying for you, and we're sorry that you have to go through that.

142. We know a lot of these really horrible letters from our apostate kids are inspired by the Vandari. You see the same accusations repeated over and over, just from a slightly different angle, with enough personal detail added to make it believable, and therefore intensely hurtful to you parents. The attacks are subtle, making you feel extremely guilty. Some of these former members say they don't care about anyone else in the Family except their parents‚ and they talk as if they have the best interests of their parents at heart. But we know that even if they're sincere in thinking that, the Enemy isn't. He's out to hurt your faith, tear it down, and make you feel so guilty and condemned that you lose your strength to keep serving the Lord.

143. So no matter what your kids intend in writing bitter, accusing letters, the Enemy's goal is always the same—to hurt you, to hinder you, or stop you from serving the Lord, and also to tear down whatever is left of a loving relationship with your kids. He doesn't care about them either! He wants to completely alienate them and make them feel totally alone and forsaken! He is out to hurt both sides. Horrible!

144. It's a highly emotional situation‚ because as parents, you naturally want to love, protect, and nurture your kids. Of course you want to be close to them‚ to see your grandchildren when possible‚ and to be a part of their lives in some way, even if it can only be through good, friendly communications, etc. You don't want to be seen by your kids as brainwashed zombie members of some cult. You want your kids to be proud of you, just as you want to be proud of your kids. So the tactic of these accusatory letters is an especially powerful attack on a parent's faith.

145. At the same time‚ through these attacks the Enemy is targeting your other children and young people who are still in the Family. And that's something you need to be aware of as shepherds, and pray about what to do and how to best protect your sheep.

146. As we all know, the Enemy really hates our children and young people. He will use anything to weaken their faith and take them out of the Family, because he knows how much they're destined to do for the Lord, now and in the days to come. He will try to use the kids who have left to take more of your kids out of the Family—or if they're not of age yet to leave, to weaken them and make them unhappy and wanting to leave. Whether your former member kids have this as part of their conscious agenda or not, the Enemy does.

147. Sad to say‚ some of our former member young people do have this as part of their thought-out plan.—They want to get as many of their brothers and sisters and other young people out of the Family as possible. I know that might be hard to believe, and it's also hard to know what to do about—because what can you do? Cut all contact? It sounds cruel and extreme to say that you're not going to let them come around or communicate with your other kids. But at the same time, you can't just stand by and allow them to repeatedly voice their complaints, bitterness‚ and doubts—because those are contagious, like a spiritual disease!

148. It's something that you need to pray and seek the Lord about. It's part of your responsibility as parents and shepherds to guard and protect your sheep, and you need to ask the Lord how you can best do that, while still fulfilling your love and obligation as parents to your former member children who are negative and antagonistic at the moment.

149. Here are some clips taken from one of the ex-member sites that put into words what some of our apostate young people would like to see happen, which I think will open your eyes to the Enemy's evil agenda that they're unwittingly a part of:

I was thinking about starting somewhat of a Email group, targeting in particular teens that are still in the Family. I know this has been done before, but I have in the past, simply by pulling out the James Penn letters, emails from my friends, and recounting true to life stories, successfully led more than one good person out of the Family. …


I have always maintained that the way to interest someone in leaving The Family is not to come on hard sell (we were always conditioned against that), but rather to show the other side. In my successful efforts to extract my siblings, I have neither built up everything outside the Family, nor have I hit very hard against the Family. I tried to show that it is possible to have a good‚ fun, intelligent life outside the group. … The Family is right to worry about "doubts." I think that whether they admit to it or not, those seeds planted will eventually have an effect when the inevitable "doubts" come. I know they did for me.


I also of course wanna see my siblings—and naturally I hope that all children in the Family—wake up and realize and get themselves a lifestyle that will benefit them in every way‚ from emotionally and financially, to educationally.


… I will never "move on" completely until they [the Family] are no longer functioning as an organization. … I will do whatever I can to get people out and bring justice.

150. As we've talked about many times, the Enemy's words have power. When you hear doubts and lies and complaints and bitterness, they affect you, no matter how strong you are. How much more so our children or young people who are already battling a lot themselves. It's not fair to subject them to that. It will have a negative effect on them.

151. It's understandable that you don't want to further alienate or antagonize your young people who have left the Family. You want to be accepting and not self-righteous; you want them to know that you still love them. That is important. And like we talked about at length earlier in this GN, it is important to be willing to talk about any sincere questions that they have‚ be willing to apologize for things that were mistakes, and make amends for those things which were wrong.

152. But there comes a time when you have to draw the line. If they won't respect your beliefs and right to live your life the way you choose, and insist on talking about their gripes or bitterness in your Home or with your children; if they continue to harp on issues which you have already addressed; if they can't move on and, if nothing else, "agree to disagree"; or if they go even further and try to persuade you that you're doing the wrong thing with your life, or try to influence your children and other young people against the Word and the Family—then you have to know where to draw the line and say, "That's enough!"

153. You have to seek the Lord about this, because the solutions and rules that He might give will probably vary from situation to situation. But the bottom line is, you are shepherds. You are responsible not only for your wayward sheep, but you are responsible to protect your healthy sheep from being poisoned and becoming sickly through this type of repeated exposure to the Enemy's doubts and lies and negativity. How you do that is something the Lord will have to show you, because they're your kids; it's your call.

154. You still need to love your former member children unconditionally; it's your duty before the Lord as parents. But that doesn't mean that you have to stand by and listen to their doubts and lies repeatedly, much less let them spread them to your other Home members and children. If they don't love and respect you enough to refrain from bringing up your differences, especially in front of the children or others, then you need to seek the Lord about how to minimize that negative exposure‚ and you'll have to explain it to your former member children. It's as simple as that. You don't have to make it into a big spiritual sermon—it's really very reasonable and practical.

155. Families in the world go through things like this too, when someone makes a lifestyle choice that someone else doesn't agree with. They either have to agree to disagree or else they rarely see each other. Or when they do‚ it's pretty miserable for everyone. So you don't even have to give a big explanation about the spiritual warfare and how the Enemy's lies are poisonous, and all the rest. That's really beside the point for them, since they probably don't believe in the spiritual warfare anyway. You can simply explain that if they can't be civil and respectful and positive when they're around you and the other kids, then you're not going to see each other for a while—or whatever it is the Lord shows you to do.

156. I'm not saying that you should cut all contact with your former member children if they don't have an immediate change of heart. But if they can't at least respect your beliefs and lifestyle enough to stop talking disrespectfully about it‚ mocking it, and arguing about it when they're around you and your kids, then you need to pray about what kind of contact you should have with them so that it doesn't affect and hurt your other kids and young people in the Home.

157. The ideal is that you can have good communication with your kids who aren't in the Family, that you can help them and support them, and show mutual respect for each other. That's the goal. The Lord wants us to reach out to them—even the ones who are troubled or causing trouble, and show them unconditional love. He wants us to try to help them over their doubts and questions and help them find closure to the past if they are sincere in wanting help. But if they don't want help and aren't yet to the stage where talking about these things actually helps to resolve issues and helps them to move on, then there's no use repeating things over and over and over again, and rehashing issues that are difficult for both of you. The Enemy would love to use that to weaken you too‚ tear down your faith, discourage and condemn you, and all the rest.

158. It's something you need to seek the Lord about and find out what His solutions are for your personal situation. Here is some counsel the Lord gave‚ general guidelines that will help you in formulating further questions to ask Him.

(Jesus speaking:)

159. Determine if they are sincerely seeking answers about things that happened in the past, things in their own lives, or other unresolved issues. This is something you should seek Me in prophecy about‚ for only I know their hearts and the deep questions that they have—whether they are rooted in sincerity and a desire to know the answers, or whether they are simply seeking to argue and their minds are closed to the truth at this time.

160. If you have gone over things of the past, if you have endeavored to help them resolve painful or difficult issues, if you know you have done what you could but they are insistent on hashing over and over the same old things; if they are determined to lash out at you even if only verbally‚ you may have to put your foot down by taking a firmer stance. You can let them know, "Look, Honey, we've been over this before. What is the point of hashing over the same things?" Unless they show signs of truly wanting answers, of truly wanting to listen‚ haggling over the issues will bear little fruit. Those who do not want to listen and who make no attempt to resolve the issues, but simply keep repeating their side of the issue, put themselves in a different category altogether.

161. It's wise to avoid confrontation, but you don't have to sit and allow them to walk all over you or your other children, spreading their doubts and murmurs. Be loving. Tell them you love them, assure them you love them, but let them know there is not much point in interacting if they insist on tearing down you and your beliefs and faith. If they want to find common ground to communicate on, that's fine.

162. Remember that as in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man is reflected to man. Claim the keys and lean on your key power to stay calm and patient and show a large measure of love. You can let them know, if you have specifically asked Me and I give you the okay, "Sorry, that isn't the whole truth." Or say, "Sorry, but that is one interpretation; there is another side to that." And follow it up with‚ "I'm so sorry you feel this way, but I love you…." The key here is to hear from Me in each instance so that I can give you conviction‚ tempered with love and wisdom. You do not have to provoke a confrontation, but you can show your sadness at being berated.

163.  Be sweet and sympathetic, but be realistic as well. If you are faced with allegations which you know nothing about, terrible things which supposedly happened to others, you may not be hearing the truth of the matter—at least not the full truth. Stories of atrocities or of atrocious behavior take on a life of their own after a while, and grow with each retelling. So, while you can express sympathy‚ skepticism may also be in order, as well as a few questions as to whether the person who is retelling the story was actually there and saw or heard it take place personally.

164. Seek Me for ways to show them love, and at the same time, how to avoid being put in a position where they let loose and blast you.

165. Most of all, keep praying desperately for them. Keep claiming the keys. Ask others who can also help you to pray for them. Through the keys I am able to change any heart, spirit‚ or mind. You must not give up the fight in prayer.

166. Realize that prayer is the most powerful thing you can do. With some, you may have to step back for a time, as far as having personal contact with them, but all the while you must keep committing the situation to Me in prayer.

167. It is vitally important that you continue to seek Me at every turn on what to do, how to communicate, how to show your love, how to handle these who hang on to resentment, anger, bitterness and rebellion.

168. I have all the answers. Continually remind yourselves that behind these attacks are strong spiritual forces, but you can know that these forces are nothing compared to the power of the keys you hold in your hands. Practice with the keys and learn to wield them precisely and accurately now, in faith and confidence in Me.

169. Keep using the keys, keep trusting, keep putting the keys to the test and they will not fail you. Keep committing your children and loved ones to Me in the power of the keys and stand back and watch Me work. (End of message from Jesus)

170. (Mama:) Here's another message from the Lord that helps to put things in perspective.

171. (Jesus speaking:) Let Me comfort your hearts, My dear parents. I know how difficult it is as a shepherd to have to close your ears to the bleats of one of your sheep. And in most other cases when a sheep is lost, as good shepherds it's your job to go and seek and save them, rather than let them be. But in cases where the sheep doesn't want to be rescued, when they are not yet ready to let the shepherd pry them from the brambles, or even be open to being friendly or amicable‚ then it is time to commit them to Me, place them in My loving, strong, and gentle hands, and keep your other sheep from being lured into the brambles by their bleating and calling.

172. Remember that they are Mine, and they always will be. I will care for them‚ even if it's not possible or expedient for you to have the kind of contact with them you would like. I will be there for them. And if you are faithful to check in with Me regularly, I will let you know clearly when they are ready to again resume contact with you in a fruitful and positive way. You want to "be there" for them as soon as they're ready—at least in spirit and loving communication and support—but trying to help them before they're ready to be helped can just prolong the process, and pull some of your other kids out in the meantime.

173. So seek Me as to what the situation is in your case. Ask Me to speak about the hidden issues, the things that you don't understand, the things that are going through their minds and hearts, what their motives are, and I will. I am the revealer of secrets, and you can grow to understand the situation from My perspective, which will give you faith and peace. I can show you what to do, what would be most effective and wisest in your particular case. I will not fail to give you promises that you can stand on and claim.

174. The end of the road you already know—your children are Mine. They have been Mine from before the foundation of the world, and each and every one will eventually return to My arms and My service‚ whether in this life or the next. [See "The Silver Lining," ML #3166:90-109, Lifelines 24.] In the meantime, you must help them all you can to see the truth. But there are times when the best way you can do that is by praying for them and letting Me work in their lives in the way that I know best.

175. You also have a duty to the flocks that are within your fold, to protect and nurture and strengthen them, and not allow them to be weakened through what you allow into the fold. Of course, once your sheep are of age, it's their choice if they want to go out and find these things for themselves. But what you allow into the fold is another matter, and I hold you accountable for it.

176. So seek Me and I will give you answers for your particular situation. I will make your way clear. I will comfort your hearts and give you peace. I love you, and will continue to care for you and your little ones—both in and out of the Family—for I am your Good Shepherd. (End of message from Jesus.)

Text box:

177. (Mama:) Following are a few promises from the Lord about the good spirits and angels which are assigned to our children who aren't in the Family. Thank the Lord we can call on them and pray for them as they watch over our loved ones.

178. (Dad: ) The Lord won't leave her‚ and He'll be with her each step of the way. Her special guardian angel is going to be right there with her‚ trying to help her make the right decisions. Even outside of the Family, the Lord still tries to help us just as much. He still tries to help us make the right choices in our lives so that we can help and love others. (From "The Silver Lining‚" ML #3166:115.)


179. (Jesus:) I give great attention to My children who have departed from their physical parents and from the faith-giving atmosphere of the Family. When they cry‚ I hear, and I give to them. I attend to them very carefully. I watch over them. They have ministering spirits who are there to protect them, to speak to their hearts and minds and spirits, and to teach them and guide them. Their teachers and caretakers were there [when they were in the Family] to nurture them and guide them and train them in My ways, and now My ministering spirits attend to them and guide and train them in the spirit. (From "The Silver Lining‚" ML #3166:189.)


180. (Spirit helper speaking:) All of Jesus' wandering children have special guardians like me who are by their sides at all times, no matter what they do or how far they stray. (From an unpublished message.)

End of text box.


181. (Mama:) No matter what state our kids are in or what they will or won't receive from us‚ we can pray for them! We can pray fervently, desperately‚ and wield the keys on their behalf!—And that is something that the Enemy can't stand against! Even if your loved one who has left the Family doesn't believe in prayer anymore, it will still work on them and for them! It's our secret weapon, and we know how to wield it! Remind yourself constantly, it's not the least you can do for them, but the most! At the end of this GN are some brand-new key promises specifically for praying for our young people who are not in the Family. They're beautiful and positive and very encouraging. Hanging on to them and claiming them will be a huge strength to you, not to speak of a powerful force in the spirit to effect change.

182. On the subject of praying for our young people, the Lord also revealed another evil spiritual entity who fights our young people who have chosen not to be in the Family. Thank the Lord for revealing this so that we can pray against him specifically! Following is an excerpt of a letter I received from one of you.

183. (Excerpt of letter from a Family mother:) I wanted to tell you about the name of a demon that I received while praying for my son who lives with us, but is not a part of the Family. I received the name Obtherion [pronounced Ob-ther-on], related to Apotheon. This was the Lord's answer to my prayer for us to know exactly who is fighting him. When I later checked the meaning of the prefixes and suffixes, I found that "ob" means "against," "theo" means God‚ as you know, and "ion" means "the act of." So this adds up to a spirit working directly against God, against love and faith. I thought this might be relevant to other young people who are so closed off to the Lord's Spirit—this cold and relentless attitude of disbelief that seems to come over them.

184. (Mama:) We asked the Lord to reveal more about this demon, as having this demon exposed and being able to fight him through prayer seems to be an important piece of the puzzle in knowing how to help our young people.

185. (Jesus speaking:) I'm going to give you a picture of Obtherion. Don't be surprised by his appearance, for he is one of the masters of disguised intentions. His spirit is a seducing one—of trickery‚ persistent flattery, and enticement. He is of the same nature as Obstacon—a sly‚ deceptive demon in appearance. His goal is to seduce and beguile until he has My children in the state and position he desires: that of an active and unrelenting apostate!

186. (Vision:) I'm seeing the form of a man appear‚ with a wispy, almost delicate frame. He looks very young, and has short blond hair. His face has a very definitive line down the middle of it—half of his face appears to be painted white, and the other half is painted blue. Then around his neck is this tight choker, a double band of white beads. For lack of a better description‚ he appears to be very "artsy" in spirit. But it's not an uplifting or creative sort of artsiness, but one that's sort of revolting. He's holding this white handkerchief in his hand—dangling it in front of me.

187. Now his features are changing to reveal more of his wicked, evil spirit. He's clearly homosexual. And he's not the sort of friendly or subdued type of homosexual, but the type who's very blatant about it, very evil and rebellious, one who manifests a defiant and in-your-face form of rebellion against godliness and God Himself.

188. He has a wicked smirk on his face. Now he appears to be wrapping this white handkerchief he was holding around someone's eyes—effectively blindfolding them, and he's writhing and prancing around them in wicked glee! We rebuke you‚ Obtherion, through the power of the keys! (End of vision.)

189. (Jesus speaking:) Now you have seen this one who has attracted, cajoled, and sweet-talked My children who have allowed him entrance through their pride and rebellion. He is a master of charm, coaxing and baiting My unwary children until he has ensnared them, blindfolded them in spirit‚ and sucked them into the same blatant rebellion against Me. That's his wicked goal—to turn those who have left the fold utterly and completely against Me! Strong pride gives him entrance, and from there he does his damage through flattery of that same pride that caused My children to stray in the first place.

190. This one has been around many ages. Lucifer was the original apostate, and Obtherion followed fast on his heels, as one of the initial legions of angels who fell with Lucifer. He, like Lucifer, fell due to choosing rebellion and defiance of Me. Pride was his downfall, as was Lucifer's. And he, like his master, was one of the original miscreants and heretics—a recusant*—choosing self above Me, and refusing to obey My authority. (*recusant: somebody who refuses to obey authority)

191. Now he works in the underworld as one of Lucifer's—in open, disgusting defiance and disrespect of Me and all that is godly. His blatant homosexuality is indicative of his wicked rebellion‚ as he lures and beguiles the mind—through pride—into strong disbelief. He is the master of both illusion and delusion. It is when My children turn from Me and succumb to strong pride that Obtherion, the master of delusion, gains entrance. His goal?—To gather more and more into his wicked fold as apostates, deceived into rebellion against Me and My ways through the pride in their heart.

192. He is one you must actively and persistently rebuke through the power of the keys! You must be the strong defense and wall against him gaining entrance into the lives and hearts of your loved ones who have departed. Pray for your own, that their pride will be contained, and that they will not be open prey to Obtherion's lures and seduction. (End of message from Jesus)

Text box:

193. (Jesus speaking: ) Not all homosexuals are acting in blatant rebellion against Me. Some are simply deceived and spiritually ill, in need of My cleansing and healing‚ like any other sinner. But demons are different, and when a demon chooses homosexuality as his trademark, you can be sure that it is in blatant defiance of Me, reveling in something I hate, for in the beginning I created them male and female, and told them to be fruitful and multiply. The beautiful union of man with woman is ordained by Me‚ a symbol of Me and My church, My beautiful Bride who makes love to Me and bears Me many spiritual children, souls who will dwell with Me forever. Homosexuality is the Enemy's perversion of My plan, man with man, bearing no fruit, no new souls, and often leading only to disease and death for those who take part in it. It is a sin, a willful defiance of My ways and a rejection of My love, and though I love the sinner‚ I hate the sin itself. Rebuke Obtherion in the power of the keys, and he must flee. (End of message from Jesus.)

End of text box.

Helping Your Kids Who Are in the

Family to Be Prepared for the

Decisions They'll Make

194. (Mama:) The Lord recently gave some good counsel about shepherding our kids who are in the Family and growing up serving the Lord with us‚ and how to better prepare them for the choices that they will make one day—whether to continue on as missionaries or to pursue other paths in life.

195. (Jesus speaking:) I want to give you some updated counsel regarding preparing your children for the decisions that each one of them must make one day.

196. Times are changing. And just as the Family has had to adapt and adjust many times through the years, so now is another one of those times‚ where I'm leading in new ways and doing new things. Those who want to continue to be My disciples must remain new bottles—ready to receive and practice the New Wine, without becoming critical of the past and doubting the way I am leading today. It takes faith and humility to do so. But each and every change that I have brought about, I have brought at the right time.

197. It's easy to look back and say, "Oh, I wish we had known then what we know now." But the fact is‚ if you had known then what you know now, things likely wouldn't have turned out the way I wanted them to. I have used even your extremes, even your naivety to accomplish My will.

198. What if your Father David had tried to start the Revolution with a bunch of you who knew then what you know now? Would you have been willing to follow in the same way? Would you have gotten out the message in such extreme ways, which was My way for that time? Would you have trusted Me for all that you trusted Me for? Each time and mode of operation has had its purpose. Yes, there have been some human errors and mistakes, but that's the wonderful thing about following Me and trusting Me with your life—even mistakes and errors I have made to work together for your good. I didn't will them; I didn't make them come about. But because I'm the great God of the universe, I have been able to use even mistakes, misunderstandings, misinterpretations and misjudgments for your good, and I will continue to do so, as long as you love Me and are "called according to My purpose."

199. So will you continue to trust Me now? Will you remain a new bottle‚ ready to follow the new directions I take you‚ without looking back with criticism of the way you were going before? Can you trust and believe that when you give your life to Me, I use it in the best way possible? I allow nothing to be wasted—nothing that you go through, nothing that you give, nothing that is given to Me. I use it all in the best way possible. Many times that's hidden from your view‚ but it's where faith comes in—faith to believe My Words, faith in My love and care for you.

200. Back to the subject of needing to see some things in a new way: I want to give you some insight into your children who you are raising now that will help you to relate to them better. Some of this might be a test, for you might think that if I had clarified this long ago, you wouldn't be having some of the problems you're having today. But remember that this is My answer for today—not for yesterday, not for tomorrow necessarily, but for today.

201. You know that not all your children will grow up and decide to take up the high calling of being missionaries. Some of them will choose other paths. I have told you and comforted you many times that no matter what path your children choose, they will always be Mine. I will never leave them, even if they leave Me. And one day you will all be united again. All misunderstandings will be clarified. All tears will be wiped away. All the pain of separation will be gone forever. You have done well in trying to prepare them for whatever path of life they choose. And this you should continue doing, for it is a sign of love and trust in them, and it frees them to make their decisions without pressure or condemnation.

202. Besides ensuring that their education is documented and complete so that no matter what decision they make, they will be well equipped to face life, here are some other things you can do to help prepare them, and to let them know that no matter what they choose, you love them and will always love them. That security of love will help them greatly in their decision-making here and now‚ and will also help them to have the humility to make the right decisions later on, whether they choose to stay in My full-time service or pursue another life. (See also "Charter Amendments 2003," the section on "High School Education," pp. 31-35, GN 1033.)

203. 1) Emphasize to them that the most important thing is their relationship with Me. No matter what they decide in life, that will carry them through, make things easier, and give them the strength to face the difficulties of life. I never change. No matter what changes in your lives, I never change. I am always there for them, for you‚ for all My children. That is the goal of the Family—for each person to know Me, and to help all those who don't know Me to come to know Me. But sometimes that gets lost in the multitude of details and counsel and pushes and priorities. So especially for your children, you need to make it very clear that that's the most important thing, regardless of what else happens in life—and it will do you good to refocus on that as well.

204. Let them know that your heart's desire for them, above anything and everything else, is that they know Me personally and have a close and intimate relationship with Me. Of course, this is what you've always been trying to give them. But making it really clear like that will help them understand how important it is, regardless of what they want in life.

205. Most Family children know that one day they will have to make a decision about what they want to do with their lives, and you can bet that the Enemy is on their case, trying to pull them away from the lifestyle of service to Me. Those who are undecided often think that if they're not going to be in the Family, why should they work on their relationship with Me. It needs to be emphasized and made clear to them that their relationship with Me is the foundation to a happy life, no matter what career or path they choose. That is something they won't really grasp until they have more life experience under their belt, but it's something that should be made clear to them early on, and that you should emphasize.

206. 2) It doesn't hurt to sometimes bring up that no matter what path in life they choose, the spiritual principles they can learn now in their Family training if they apply themselves will serve them well throughout life. Each person on Earth faces the spiritual battles‚ the struggles of life; thus concepts like obedience and fear of Me, making the right decisions, standing up for your convictions, honesty‚ love and respect for others, humility and willingness to admit when you're wrong‚ communication skills, prayer and prayerfulness, even rising above and praise, are vital to having a happy life.

207. So as you're emphasizing these concepts and teaching them to your children and young people, besides making it clear to them that your goal for living is to reach as many as possible with My love, remind them every so often that these lessons of life will serve them well no matter what walk of life they choose. That will help them to see that it is important to apply themselves to learning these things, even if they're not planning to be missionaries.

208. Many of your kids aren't planning right now to be missionaries when they grow up. And all of them will at some time go through a phase where they're sure that's not what they want to do. It's part of the testing and decision-making process that all My disciples go through. But depending on how you handle it, it can either be a passing phase or it can turn into a set rebellion and determination that will push them to carry it out. Responding openly, lovingly‚ with understanding, but still setting boundaries, is the way you need to react.

209. 3) Talk about things openly with your children. Before you do, really pray and seek Me as to what the key is to the conversation, to their hearts, and ask Me to reveal to you, even before you start, what questions they have. I can then help you to approach things from an angle that will encourage honesty, and yet provide them with good answers to help them in their thought processes and stages of growth.

210. It helps to talk about the future sometimes, to acknowledge that they probably don't know yet what they want to do. You can be honest about your feelings, and how you want them to be missionaries, because that's what you've found to be the most fulfilling life on the face of the Earth. But it's not because you're trying to push them into anything, and no matter what they choose‚ you'll love them and do all you can to be there for them when they need you.

211. Just talking about it openly can help relieve a lot of the pressure. The Enemy uses that feeling of pressure to make them feel trapped‚ like they have to break out and rebel. But really it's the Enemy trying to tear them away from the life where they'll be truly happy and fulfilled serving Me, and the most useful in winning souls for My eternal Kingdom. The point is, the Enemy exaggerates the normal teen feelings of wanting to be individualistic, the inborn rebellion against the status quo, the desire for change and excitement, and he tries to use it to convince them and you that they'll never be happy in the Family. But if you can seek Me about how to release that pressure, meet their needs, and let them burn free, they'll be much more content, and also much more rational and mature in their decision-making.

212. 4) Realize that you're going to have to spend time with your children and invest in their future‚ whether you do it now or later. If they're having problems now, it's sometimes easy to blow it off or think that whatever else you have to do with the running of the Home and all that comes up each day is more important. But stop and think about it—if they choose to leave the Family and need help to get set up, and you have to leave your Home and mission field for several months to help them, that's going to take you completely away from your ministry.

213. It's always better to invest the time now—not just because it's wiser business policy to take care of problems when they're small, but because they're your children, the most priceless gift and greatest responsibility I've given you personally. Seek Me about what they need. Maybe they just need to know that they're important to you and that you love them and want to see them happy. Maybe you need to rearrange your schedule to accommodate their needs. Maybe you need to just take off on the road with them for a while for some quality time together with Me and each other and the sheep, without all the other things that interfere with the true priorities. I have a solution in each case‚ and almost without exception, investing the time and whatever is needed to help meet their needs now—whatever those needs are—will wind up saving time in the long run.

214. 5) Give them to Me in your heart and remind yourself continually that they are Mine, and I will care for them. This will help you to have a better balance in your actions. If you're trying to make them do what you want them to do, or if you're trying to make them be the kind of missionaries you think would be ideal, or if you're trying to save face in front of your co–workers or shepherds by making them behave in a certain way, it's going to put unnecessary pressure on your kids. Even if you don't realize it, they'll feel it, and it will affect them.

215. Regularly giving them to Me in your heart, reminding yourself that they're Mine and I will care for them, and that whatever they choose in this life, they will come back, either in this life or the next, to Me and My service‚ will help you deal with things more objectively, and therefore handle things better, and communicate a more balanced, stable, secure attitude of unconditional love to your kids. It starts in your heart. Give Me your fears and your worries so that I can give you peace. Then you will communicate to your children the perfect balance of acceptance and dedication. (End of message from Jesus)

Acid Tests

216. (Mama:) Going back to the subject of our kids who are out of the Family and negative, even if you really try, really pray, and do all you can, it's not guaranteed that your kids will reconcile with you or that your relationship will become amicable immediately. That's not something to be condemned about or think that you failed in. They have a choice too‚ and in some cases they probably just aren't ready yet to humble themselves and apologize for their part in the matter. But if you've done what you could, then you can trust the Lord that He will help them come around when they're ready to humble themselves, just as you had to humble yourself.

217. Staying positive in your communications with them and continuing to love them even if you're not seeing the fruits, and yet remaining focused on the goals the Lord has shown you to strive for in your life on your mission field, while not letting the Enemy's attacks through them weaken you, can be a challenge. The Lord gives some beautiful counsel and encouragement in the following message that really sums it all up.

218. Remember‚ they are the Lord's, and always will be. That will never change. And even if you're not able to help them come around, our wonderful Husband, Shepherd‚ and great God of the universe is in control, even though they've temporarily turned away from Him, and He will eventually bring them back to the fold—here and now on Earth, or there and then in Heaven. So comfort yourselves and others with those words, and continue to commit everything to Him, all the while staying faithful to your calling of winning the world for Him.

219. We asked the Lord to give counsel about how you can handle this attack, how to best overcome it. I pray His counsel will be strengthening and encouraging for you.

220. I love you very much, dear ones. I understand these difficult feelings and emotions, and Peter and I pray for you very desperately. Our hearts are broken too, for all our children and loved ones who are in this apostate state. We're praying for them too‚ and trusting our Good Shepherd to care for them and bring them around in His time. We know He will. And through our prayers, He can work in their lives and do things we could never do.

Much love in our vigilant, loving, wise Shepherd and Keeper of our loved ones,


221. (Jesus speaking:) Guilt is an extremely debilitating bondage and a very powerful weapon and tool in the hands of the Enemy and those listening to and dancing to his tunes. And that's precisely why the Enemy is using it more than ever—particularly through apostate children upon their Family parents—in an effort to derail our dear FGA parents by weighing them down with heavy feelings of guilt laid upon them by their own departing children.

222. Of course‚ you of the first generation have felt the impact of this weapon before. Many of your own System parents used it on you to a degree: The emotional guilt laid on you for "leaving" or "deserting" them to serve Me. When all other attempts failed in their efforts to dissuade you from forsaking the world to follow Me, their last resort—and one of the most emotionally charged and powerful ploys of all—was to lay a guilt trip of one sort or another on you. "Look what you're doing to your mother! You're messing up her life! That's not very Christian, that's not very loving! How can that be right? She's distraught, having a breakdown because of what you're doing!" "We've poured everything into you, given our lives for you, and is this how you repay us?" Most of you have heard these lines or similar ones before. You've all felt this ploy to one degree or another. And if you didn't feel it with your own parents, then most likely you'll at some time feel it to some degree from departing children or other loved ones.

223. The Enemy will use anything at all to pull you away from fulfilling your destiny and My highest will in your life. He plays low and dirty—about as dirty as you can get—and at the drop of a hat won't hesitate to play the puppeteer and pull on your emotional heartstrings regarding your children. It's one of the most effective tools he has, because emotions and feelings of commitment and responsibility toward your children as parents are some of the strongest bonds and attachments there are. So when confronted with these emotions, not only does it distract you and draw your attention away from the harvest before you, but it lays guilt on you.—Something which is very difficult to shake and deal with, especially when it has to do with your own children—the most sensitive part of your heart and emotions.

224. The Enemy will condemn you left‚ right, and center, all with the purpose of derailing you and making you feel so bad for serving Me and having raised your children in the Family and what they're supposedly going through because of it, that your only possible hope of redemption and helping your children is to pack up and leave as well!

225. You have to remember, the Enemy's not a bit concerned about your children and their welfare, but he'll use any means he can—including these same ex-member young people—to twist the truth, to wring and twist your emotions and get you so consumed with guilt and your obligation and duty toward them that you'll virtually be ready to do anything for them—including deserting your plow. That's his goal—plain and simple.

226. And this sort of thing will only increase as times wax worse and worse and the Enemy's lies and accusations increase, and those given over to him—including apostate children and apostate loved ones—increase in numbers. This is a sad truth, and you'll continue to see My Scriptures fulfilled as the days go on in seeing "daughter turned against mother," "mother against daughter," and even they of your own flesh and blood and household shall turn against you and persecute you‚ thinking they do Me and mankind service (Luke 12:53, 21:16-17; John 16:2). This Scripture was not just given for the first generation in departing from their parents and the System of their day. It's a Scripture that will continue to be fulfilled generation after generation, and unfortunately as the days grow darker and darker, this Scripture will be fulfilled more than ever.

227. Certain things have not changed over time, and one of them is the Enemy and the same old tactics and tricks he's always used. Your apostate children may say they have your best interests at heart—and some have sincerely deluded themselves into thinking this way—but that's not the case, nor will it be in your best interests. Many of these active apostates have become consumed with the Enemy's lies and their own bitterness and selfishness. All they really want is vindication, attention, and support of their lies and the lie they are living. And what better way than to get their parents' support and sense of responsibility focused solely on them? Of course‚ these ones are so taken by the Enemy's delusions and lies, they don't see it as pulling their parents down from the wall—in fact, quite the contrary. But that is the truth and reality behind this renewed ploy of the Enemy.

228. You have to remember, My dear FGA parents, that once your child or children have allowed bitterness or the Enemy's lies to consume and overtake them, then they will no longer give you the respect you deserve for the life of sacrifice you lead. Instead the finger of blame will be pointed your way—either directly at you, the Word, the Family or leadership. A scapegoat will be needed. In following the Enemy's train of thought, he will demand it of them, all the while very skillfully pointing any blame away from themselves and at the scapegoat the Enemy wants the blame really focused on—Me! He wants to slander Me and all that I stand for through your apostate former member children.

229. Your apostate children's vision and attitudes have become warped and distorted, and to expect them to be proud of what you do is unrealistic. It's an expectation you can no longer have, because they are no longer seeing things with the same eyes. In many cases their spiritual eyes have become closed. They revert to the state of their natural man, who receives not the things of the spirit. Their eyes have become clouded with selfishness, their own interests, and the distortions and lies of the Enemy.

230. So, My dear loves—you who bear the weight of having apostate children—I know this is a hard saying, one I am even grieved to lay upon you, but this will be the cross you will have to bear for Me as you continue to follow Me. It may mean living with the scorn and disdain of your own children—those who you trained and poured your heart, soul, and life into for years and years. It may mean having to continue to bear the brunt of their allegations, inflamed emotions, and accusations against you, the Word, and the Family‚ and yet continuing to show them you love them and are interested in them, and supporting them in whatever way you can in spite of all these things.

231. In short‚ it may mean taking up your cross—continuing to love and try to help your apostate children in the ways that I show you, even if they don't receive it—and yet continuing to love and follow Me anyway. I know this is a heavy and sorrowful cross to carry, because for many that cross can grow heavier and more draining and time-consuming over time, as the days grow darker and darker, and as some of these ones give themselves over more and more to the spirit of the Enemy and the world.

232. In your love for Me and your service for Me as My Endtime soldiers, there will always be such acid tests—tests of your love, devotion, and loyalty to Me and your calling above all. Always to you, My Endtime brides‚ there will be the question and call before you of, "Lovest thou Me?—Feed My sheep," and "he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me" (John 21:17; Mat.10:37-38). This is discipleship. This is what it costs and what it will always cost. Frequently—and it will become even more so with time—it will strike at the heart and emotions heavily. I'm sorry for this, My loves. If there were any way around this, or over this, or under this‚ I would find it for you, because I love you so very dearly and would withhold nothing from you. And I love these apostate children dearly. They are Mine and always will be.

233. What remains is that you must continue to love them, continue to support them in whatever way you can, but you must recognize when the Enemy is attempting to derail you, even through your children. This is when you must draw the line in the spirit and know just how far you can and cannot go in your convictions and stance as My fulltime disciple. It's the same stance every Family member must have. It's the same stance of faith and conviction your king and queen have of following Me no matter what. So this is when you must continue to commit your apostate children to Me in full faith and trust, as a true and faithful Father, knowing you have done what you could, and then … you go on for Me. (End of message from Jesus)

Text box:

(From "Mama's Birthday 2002, Part 1," ML #3443:35-42, GN 1024:)

(Vision: ) Coming forward is a simple but beautiful girl. She's very demure and nondescript in appearance. There's nothing outstanding or dramatic about her appearance at all. It seems that she is not of importance, but what she bears in her hands is of importance.

She's holding and gazing into this beautiful, glowing crystal ball. I say crystal ball because that is the closest description I can give, although it really doesn't do it justice. Inside this supernatural ball, which resembles a ball of moving liquid light‚ is a beautiful rotating golden key.

(Spirit being speaking:) I bear the key to strengthen your heart‚ Queen Maria. You ask, "What is this liquid light? What is this key?" This is your Husband's personal gift to you—His special and chosen love, His Own dear Maria.

This is the ball, the spiritual circumference, as it were, of your personal and collective tears and prayers that have reached our Husband's ears and heart over the departing of your young ones, and even that of your own flesh son. This golden key is suspended within the "liquid" of your tears and prayers. And the supernatural glow you see enveloping and surrounding this ball? This is the power that your tears and prayers have generated for your young ones.

I come now on this day of celebration of your birth to bear this gift to you, Maria, and the children of David. This key has been created and is empowered by your tears and prayers, and that of your children. It is the key specifically designed to strengthen your heart and your emotions and to give you the resolve and fortitude to fight on despite the natural heart of man. This is the key to help you rise above your emotions and above the natural heart of man. It gives you access and entrance to the lock of the heart of God—the Creator of all living things‚ the heart of all that is and ever shall be. This is the key to the very heart of God, which sees and knows and comprehends all things.

This key has the power to help you and all your children see things as they really are‚ to see beyond emotions, beyond the heart of man to the very heart of God. This is the key of all-knowing love. You will need this key in the coming days. Its power lies in its magnitude, its foresight‚ its ability to see beyond human love and emotions to what lies ahead, what lies within the realm of the spirit, which is so far beyond the flesh and earthly life. Just like love, it has an extra spiritual eye which sees beyond the flesh and the carnal‚ and transports you instantly into the realm of the spirit and how the Lord sees things.

So take this key, my Maria. You and your children will need it. It is generated and activated by prayer, so see to it that it remains empowered through the heartfelt prayers of your flock for your young ones—those who have departed and wander in the wilderness of this world. (End of message from spirit being.)

(Mama:) The grace that the Lord gives us is really an ability to see things the way He sees them. It's something to be sought after, so that you can see the Romans 8:28 in a situation, even in something as personally devastating as one of your loved ones departing. Accepting the Lord's mercy and grace helps you miraculously not to feel so bad‚ because you can then see things the way He sees them, the "silver lining" in the dark clouds overhead. (See also ML #3166, Lifelines 24/GN 762-63.)

End of text box.

Keys promises to claim when praying for yourself, your kids who are out of the Family, and your kids who are still in the Family:

I am all-knowing, all-powerful‚ all-present, and the keys of the Kingdom give you access to all of these qualities. Call on the keys and I will give you the answers, the guidance, and all that you need to make things right that have turned out "wrong."

(Jesus speaking:) If you try to analyze this promise, it doesn't make a lot of sense. But if you think about it with your eyes of the spirit, you will see that through the gift of prophecy‚ through your prayers, through claiming the keys for My Spirit to be there with your loved ones and comfort and help them, you do have access to all those qualities. It's a promise that I intend to be claimed and used in context. (End of message from Jesus)

I have pardoned you for your sins. Pardon others as you would want pardon for your wrongdoings. Call on the key of pardon and My power will turn this key into a sword that will break the chains of bondage that hold you back and will give you spiritual freedom to both forgive and accept My forgiveness for mistakes and shortcomings.

Call on the key of spiritual enlightenment for your loved ones who have left My service, and I will be faithful to expose the deceitfulness of the Devil to them.

Call on the key of hope, which is ready to be wielded to defeat the Enemy's voice, giving words of strength and guidance to those who I have called to return to My service.

Claim the key of spiritual closeness, and I will use the experiences your loved ones go through to draw them nearer to Me.

Call on the keys of truth that will reveal My mighty hand and expose the lies of the Enemy. The keys of truth can break through any barrier. It may take time, but they will not fail.

When those you love turn against you, remember that you are doing My will. There is no greater calling than to follow Me. Call on the keys of comfort and conviction that will replace discouragement and worry.

When your good is evil spoken of, look to the keys of steadfastness. No accusation of the Enemy, even from your loved ones, can permanently hurt you when you call on the protective power of the keys.

Let the lies and accusations of the Enemy roll off you like water off a duck's back by calling on the keys of Heaven. They have special power that the Enemy's lies can't penetrate. Claim their "lie proof" coating.

Call on the keys to light the path of your child who has gone astray, and then trust that it will be done. The keys are more powerful than the darkness of this world.

I'm a permanent part of your loved one's life. Even if they try to ignore Me or bury Me, I'm still there‚ hidden, waiting‚ ready to be accepted. Ask the keys to keep on their trail and remind them of My love, and one day they will come back to Me.

The keys can work in the hearts and wills of these young ones, and cause them to want to search for light and truth.

Vandari spirits will seek to lay hold on all available vessels, but your full-of-faith prayers—using the keys—can repel them.

The key of motivation is yours to claim. Use it to help these young ones to become productive and useful. This key can give them new vision.

The dying embers of faith in any heart can be rekindled into a roaring fire when ignited by blazing key power.

The keys of the Kingdom will be a light to guide these prodigal ones back to their Father's house. Keep this fire always burning through your intercessory prayers.

No matter what walls have been built around a person's heart, there is nothing too high or too strong or too wide that My keys cannot scale‚ break, or bridge. My love can reach even the hardest of spirits.

The choices of these wayward children can be affected through key power. But it waits for you to activate it and focus it in the right direction.

The Enemy seeks to fill minds with hate and bitterness, whereas you seek for them to remember their time with you with love and fondness. The keys of the Kingdom can break the tie. Call upon them and they will reset their memories, painting a picture of light and happiness, and preventing the ugly forces of darkness from twisting and perverting what was good.

If you feel that anyone is beyond hope, claim the keys of hope and faith to renew your love for the lost, and your vision that any and all can return and be accepted in My fold.

When you call on the keys‚ you can be the difference between someone becoming an outside friend or a vengeful enemy.

The keys of the Kingdom are a strong "pesticide," which will kill any roots of bitterness that the Enemy may plant.

Claim the keys of faith to help you never give up hope, and then claim the keys of miracles that can turn your hopes into reality.

So much depends upon the choices of the heart. Call on the keys and they will loose the angels which can influence wills and soften hearts.

No matter how estranged you are from your children, the keys can work miracles in their heart and cause them to be receptive and open to you and your love once again.

As you communicate with your child, call on the keys of wisdom, discernment‚ and understanding, and I will help them feel your love and care, even though they may not acknowledge it.

Call on the keys to open your child's eyes, that they may see things more in the spirit and recognize My hand in their life and how I am still in control, even though they may not want to admit it.

The keys can help your child feel My love, not only through you and your love for them, but through the good things I allow to happen in their lives. Pray for the keys to reveal to your child that it is of My doing when something good happens, and not just "good luck."

The keys of discernment can hold at bay the poisons of the Enemy that try to make the lies as truth and the truth as lies.

Pray desperately for the keys to rip out bitterness by the root, so there is nothing left but submissive and fertile soil that I can fill with forgiveness and understanding.

Claim the keys of forgiveness and starting over, that your child will forsake any bitterness or resentment and not allow the Enemy a stronghold in this area any longer.

Ask for the keys of motivation, inspiration‚ and productivity to help your child find a job or career or cause to sink their teeth into and be inspired by, rather than drifting and being lethargic and unproductive.

The keys can open your children's eyes to the lies of the Enemy and help them be spiritually astute and in tune, so that they can clearly see what is a lie and what is the truth.

Pray for the keys of enlightenment to help your children see things as they really are, and not allow the Enemy to cloud their mind with half-truths, accusations, blame and justification. The keys can open their eyes to the truth and help them accept responsibility for themselves and the situation they find themselves in.

Ask for the keys of conviction to spur your child on and cause him to speak up and speak out when lies are spewed forth and gossip and rumors are spread abroad. The keys can help him pull out of these evil machinations rather than sink in to them.

Pray for the keys to activate your child's helmet and cause him to have a burning desire and motivation to be a witness for Me, even if his carnal mind opposes it. Through the keys I can override any mindsets and cause your child to give forth the truth, in spite of his conscious efforts to withhold it.

The keys can open your child's heart once again to Me and My Spirit, and cause him to recognize My hand in his life again and My guidance in all he does. This acknowledgment and recognition of Me will cause him to remember the sweet times of fellowship we had together, and he'll want to regain that close communion and peace and comfort he once had.

Call on the keys of restraint and they will confound any who wish to do harm to My work and My children. These keys will not do harm to your backslidden children, but will cause things to come along that will occupy their minds and hearts and will draw the focus of their attention elsewhere, away from doing the Family harm.

Pray against pride and for the keys of humility to help your child receive what I'm doing in his life and the lessons I'm trying to teach him. For when he accepts the keys of humility I can open his eyes to what I am doing and guide him on the path I wish for him.

The Vandari are in fear and trembling of the keys. All you have to do is reach your hand in your pocket and rattle the keys and they will start to tremble and shake. The keys have all power over them, and as you concentrate your key power on your children‚ the Vandari will flee.

Pray for your child to feel the keys of the Elixir of Love pouring their soothing balm of love, faith, and acceptance upon her, and for her to receive this gift. The Elixir of the Holy Spirit can help your child find the faith and courage to humble herself enough to come back into the fold.

(Jesus speaking: ) The Elixir represents My Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and all good things—love, humility, grace, peace, etc. When one is so proud and has gone so far astray, pride has become a huge part of their life. When they start to want to be free of it, it's very important for the Elixir to pour in and fill that empty space so that they don't again immediately reach for their pride to feel "whole." This is where your prayers for My Spirit and the Elixir are so important, so that as soon as they make the choice to let go of their pride, My Spirit is there to fill them and make them whole again. (End of message from Jesus)

The keys of faith will help you over the rough spots and times when all appears hopeless regarding the situation with your child and your relationship with him or her. Claim the keys of faith to help you rise above and keep going, in spite of any personal attacks on you by your children.

The keys will help you to know when to speak and when to be quiet. They will give you wisdom and discernment to know how far to take a topic and when to let up.

Call on the keys for good communication with your children, and the keys will be as a watch before your mouth and as a door to your lips.

When all seems lost and the situation seems hopeless, that is when key power comes to the rescue. The keys will soothe your troubled spirit, restore your joy and happiness‚ and give peace to your mind and heart that everything is in My hands and I will work things out.

I know it's easy to get frustrated, upset‚ angry and offended. When these emotions rise to the surface and threaten to engulf you, grab on to the keys of patience, faith, understanding, and unconditional love, and they will come through for you and calm your troubled spirit.

Condemnation and guilt are not of Me, and when you are feeling overwhelmed by them, it is a sure sign the Enemy is throwing fiery darts at you. Pull out the keys turned to swords and cut the Enemy down to size and watch him turn tail and run.

The keys will help you not to compromise your convictions, and to know the fine balance between being understanding and sympathetic and standing up for the truth. They will help you not to waver or water down your convictions. But you'll need to claim them with desperation, especially when in a face-to-face confrontation.

The keys will help you to see things the way I see them and help regulate your own parental emotions and feelings. Ask for the keys of perspective and they will come to your rescue and open your eyes to the way I see things, and open your mind to My thoughts.

The power of the keys can enable you to put the past behind you and go on. They can supernaturally deliver you from remorse, sadness, or heartache over the past and cause you to move forward in My Spirit.

The keys will give you insight into your child and help you know what to say, what to do, what will help and what will not help in reconciling with your child and restoring the bond of love between you.

Claim the keys of remembrance, and every time your children come to mind, the keys of remembrance will remind you to pray and claim miracles on their behalf.

Claim the keys of protection for your children still in the Family, and through your prayers and the faithful times in the Word they receive, I will encompass them in a bubble of protection, so that when the fiery darts of the Enemy are launched at them‚ they will just bounce off and fall to the ground.

When you look at your child's situation and you feel yourself wavering, call on the keys of faith and conviction to help you to see things as I do, and not as the Enemy would like you to.

Claim My keys of adjustment, and I can help your children to fit into the new place and role they have chosen and to be content.

Through the keys, I can communicate with My children via the helmet they all wear, directing them to paths of peace and plenty and away from depravity and danger.

You can influence your departed loved ones for good through the power of the keys, helping them to make decisions and choices in accordance with My will for them.

I can convert the fervent yearning of your heart for your loved one into help for them as you call on Me through the power of the keys. I transform your earnest desire and prayer to fill their greatest need.

No matter how far they stray, I know My sheep and can deliver and help them as you seek Me, calling on the keys.

There is a way which seems right unto a man, but I can direct the wandering youth down the way which is truly right as you call on the keys of guidance.

The prayers of a father or mother wield even greater power and influence when energized by the keys of the Kingdom.

Through the power of the keys you can reach out to every prodigal son or daughter and deliver them from the husks, turning their eyes toward the Father's heavenly house once again.

The keys can be your lifeline to your struggling son or daughter, helping them to stay afloat in an ocean of trials and troubles.

With the power of the keys, all obstacles can be removed‚ any spiritual problem can be overcome, and any hurt or bitterness can be healed. With My love and your patience and faith, and with the keys, nothing is impossible.

P.S. Overcoming the Hurts of the Past

234. (Mama:) I received a sweet letter from someone who read an advance copy of this GN, and I'm sharing excerpts of it with you, as I think it will encourage you that we're all in this together. Please do pray for each other; pray that we'll each have the strength and humility and love to do all we can to help our children and to continue on for the Lord.

Dearest Mama,

235. After reading through "Keep the Faith‚" I wanted to let you know what a strength and blessing these words of encouragement and conviction were to me. The message from our dear Husband that was given for the parent who hadn't seen his children in 15 years was a tremendous comfort to me and confirmation of the messages that I have received from the Lord over the years when battling with my kids being out of the Family and seeing them struggle so. The battles that ensue, which the Enemy does all he can to intensify, can almost be unbearable if it were not for the power of the keys and the limitless grace and strength that our dear Love pours out in these especially trying times.

236. As it's been more than five years now since all my kids left‚ I felt that sharing a small part of what I have experienced through the garden of Gethsemane may be a help to others.

237. In my situation, I've been very blessed in that none of my children are antagonistic or have gone the way of some others down the road of apostasy. Although some of them have been contacted by those from the apostate camp who have encouraged them to join in their anti-Family activities, they have remained firm in their convictions to not go down that road, and have instead opted to move on with their lives by getting married, having children, and doing the best they can to use what they learned in the Family to help them along the path that they have chosen.

238. As you said, Mama: "Those who have withstood that and stayed true to what they know is right deserve a tremendous amount of credit and appreciation ... we're very proud of them for choosing to do something productive with their lives‚ rather than dwell on the past and any bitterness they might have." And I am also very proud of my kids and pray for them daily. This is not to say that they don't have questions and even hurts about the past, as do most children, but they've made the decision to move on and get on with growing up and becoming adults.

239. So as not to make this too long, I'll react on just one part of the prophecy to this dear parent, which says: "I understand that it's a desire of your heart to be able to show and prove to your family that you do love them, you do care, and the only reason you weren't with them all these years is because I asked you to do something else. You didn't leave your family with the attitude of, 'So long!' You left them with a broken heart, and you've never stopped thinking about them, praying for them, and loving them. Your kids need to know this. They need to hear you tell them how it hurt you to have to go away, but you only did it in obedience to Me, because I asked it of you."

240. Although this may not apply to everyone, it certainly did in my situation. I knew I needed to talk with my kids about the time that I had been apart from them and the reasons for doing so, but each time the "areas of hurt" came to the fore I would simply apologize and try to move on in the conversation, as it was just too painful for me to continue. Even when I wasn't visiting with my kids, the Enemy would at times hit me sideways with fiery darts of condemnation and remorse when I would think about them and pray for them. These attacks would have been overwhelming had it not been for the prayer and support of those around me, and in more recent times‚ the power of the keys.

241. This breakdown in communication between me and my children was my fault, as I should have been more desperate in seeking the Lord for His strength and asking for His solutions, etc.‚ which I later did, as I knew there was an answer and I needed it to help do my part in applying the healing balm of the Lord's love in the lives of my children.

242. It was at this time that I went to visit one of my daughters. Although we had a very happy and wonderful time together, at one point she again brought up the hurts that she and my other daughters had been talking about. I was determined this time to see the situation through to a resolution as I was desperate to understand not only what the hurts were, but also to sort out what was my fault‚ what wasn't my fault, and clarify the issues the best I could, as I so wanted her to understand what had happened so she could in turn move on and not be weighed down with all the weights that the Enemy was putting on her shoulders.

243. After talking about some different situations and sorting through them, she came to the issue that was at the heart of her battles, and that was that she wanted to know whether during the time we were apart if I had left with, as the prophecy said, the attitude of "So long!" and hadn't really cared about them after that; had it been my choice to leave them, and why had I left them; and what was it that I had needed to do that was so important?

244. It was at this point that I understood how in the dark my children had been regarding the time that I'd been away and all the questions that had been left unanswered in their minds. God bless them, even though the hurt was so deep, they still continued to love me anyway. As the Lord said, "Deep down in each one's heart they love you dearly."

245. By God's grace I explained all I could of what had happened during that time, how much I still had loved and prayed for them, the choice I had made to put the Lord's work first even though it had been very difficult to be away from them‚ what the Lord's work was at that time, and the reason I needed to be away, etc.

246. After explaining the situation to her, I could see a tremendous burden being lifted from her heart. It wasn't that the hurt was immediately healed, but at least she now had her questions answered and she was able to then pray and sort things out in her heart so she could move on without the burden that she had previously been carrying. Later I found out that she had discussed our conversation with my other children, which was also a help to them.

247. To conclude, I want to say that although it hasn't always been easy to trust the Lord for my children, and the battles have been very intense at times, I have never regretted the decision to put the Lord and His service first, trusting Him to care for His Own (and my own) as only He can do. As He said, "You've given everything to Me and not held back anything that I've asked of you. You've not only given Me your life, your service and talents, but you put your own beloved children on the altar before Me. So, like Abraham of old‚ have faith and trust that I will give them back to you in My time."

248. When praying about it further, the Lord said that it was because of my decision to remain in His highest will for me that my children were doing so well and that enabled Him to in turn keep, protect, and prosper them as He has so faithfully done.—Just the opposite of what would seem to be the logical solution to such a situation.

249. One last point is to stay in touch with your children, even if you have to snail-mail your letters, birthday gifts, etc. It makes such a difference in our children's happiness and continuing to feel close and cared for, which all of us parents want for our kids.

250. Anyway, I just wanted to share that as a confirmation to all the counsel that the Lord and you gave in this very needed GN.

Copyright © 2003 by The Family

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