He "Determines the Exact Times And Places Where Men Should Live"
Friday Morning, May 25, 2001
Question: Brother, I am receiving a blessing from the Lord in the articles sent me. Thanks. I get the impression you don’t try to get people moving up there to join in communion with the believers in Indianapolis. What is a “loner” to do who cannot in pure conscience expose myself and my family to the wickedness in the institutional church, and doesn’t want the “home meetings” if they are more of the same. I am going to have to move soon and desire to relocate to be around some elders of the faith. What is the reason that you all aren’t trying to get people to move there? Are you exclusive, or wanting to avoid corruption, or something altogether different?
Hi Roy… As for moving here? I’d like you to read, “Are You Exclusive?” I’ll send it along again, if I haven’t already sent it. It is seriously important that “the Lord add to our number” rather than any humans doing it. We could have easily many hundreds here (many, many hundreds—based on the number that have expressed the desire) if we did what most do: recruit—or advertise or promote or allow folks to move here based on anything external. Many have moved here, over time, but it is a very important issue to consider wisely. God’s House “is built with Wisdom.” And, “Unless the LORD builds the House, its builders build in vain” (Ps. 127:1). What a crummy thing that would be!!
Something I said years ago, to a brother who was a “pastor”/“elder” of a large body of Believers, on the subject: “What if you woke up tomorrow morning and you had an extra ten children sitting at your breakfast table? Would that be “exciting” or “heart-warming” or “ego-stroking” for you? Or would it be frightening???!!!! If we’re talking about “joining an organization” (a program, an orphanage that pays by the head)—then recruit away. Nearly all do, because nearly all are. More bodies equal more talent, more money, more power, and more prestige. Jesus didn’t seem to see it that way, did He? Ozzie Chambers once said that everything Jesus seemed to accomplish on earth before He was killed…could fit in a rowboat. And yet, the world was changed because He built well. He wasn’t “recruiting” numbers. See John 6, for example, where He intentionally scared off the numbers! And the “rich young ruler” could have brought so much to the table! Now who would have intentionally done that to a recruit of that caliber—except Jesus? As Paul would say, “It is the same now.” An organization desires numbers, influence, money, and talent—so recruit away! But if you’re a Family—there is a responsibility that is off the scale in caring for them and all that they are and all that they’ll become. You had better make sure “the LORD added to the number”—or you are committing suicide, and homicide (for others who will be harmed) by “recruiting” people.
Hebrews 13:17 speaks of “giving an account” for the outcome of a person’s life. That is not something to take lightly. I can give no “account” or “vouch for” anyone that does not LOVE THE LIGHT. They are destined for much harm. And how do we know if they “love the Light”? Only through relationship. There is nothing to “attend” in the Church here. There are NO “services” per se, here. There is zero on the “calendar” for “scheduled” anything! Most folks in most cities, content in their middle class soccer and piano lesson and occupational/recreational worlds don’t even want a life that is fully given over to “doing nothing that the Father is not doing.” They think they do—but they would chafe when it comes down to it. “‘Religion’ is supposed to be comfortable and fun and without cost or pain, and is meant to serve me on my schedule.” Well, that’s not how family is, though, is it? Right? (Though, Families can have much fun, and we surely do!)
Yet, mostly, it is about mutual concern. See 1 Corinthians 12. Mostly, it is about “wrestling to present one another complete in Christ.” Mostly, we are “in the pains of childbirth until Christ is fully formed” in one another, and they are “no longer infants tossed to and fro,” but exhibiting “the full measure of the stature of Christ.” And we pay a very high price to see that in one another, as Paul said, and he and Jesus demonstrated. In Family, that’s just how it is. Doesn’t a mother or a father lose sleep at the slightest choking sound from their child’s room at night? They’re there, and they care! How many parents (“I write to you fathers, because you have Known Him who is from the Beginning”) have sacrificed immensely for their children’s well-being, care, clothing, housing, training, education…and the child never even knew it was happening because the parent suffered in silence, out of love. A family is a costly thing. An organization—well, that’s another story. And we’re all familiar with that story, as well as the outcome, the fruit of that particular unBiblical thing (services, programs, hierarchies, choreography, “ministry” ego stuff, youth groups, etc.) whether in a home or in an edifice.
God’s desire is that we be true Family. “A hundred” close relatives, not third cousins. “I was like a father to you; I nurtured you as a mother…night and day, house to house, with tears.” “You have 10,000 tutors—but you know the real thing is about Fathering,” said Paul to his Family. Jesus said, “I didn’t lose any that you have given Me, Father.” Jesus “lost” almost everyone he met (“Jerusalem, Oh, Jerusalem! I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks, but YOU would not!”). And yet some the Father “gave” Him—and He didn’t lose ANY of those. The FATHER builds our lives together, at HIS discretion. And we need to be listening, not reacting or getting our human fingerprints on His Things. Make sense?
So, approximately 108% of the time, we strongly encourage folks to Work very hard in the relationships that they currently have. Very seldom are folks really working hard to make certain that everyone in their current world has every chance to consider the Truths that they have come to Experience! Why should God’s People, wherever, not have every chance to consider Truths that you or I have had Opportunity to consider? To pull up and leave before every effort has been made, would be like leaving an apartment building to move somewhere else. You or I sneak out and load the moving truck in the middle of the night, pull the children out of bed and vanish. Maybe you have discovered that toxic radiation is leaking into the building where you have lived from a waste dump the apartment was built on. To leave? That may make sense, if you love your family. But to NOT tell your neighbors, and make every effort for them, too? How wrong that would be! SO, for those who are working hard in their locales for Jesus, we may work some with them to help God’s People, if that seems “good to all, and to the Holy Spirit.” If, in the end, we get to know a person in another city better by co-laboring with them, and it appears that Father wants them (maybe months or years or decades later) to move here, so be it. That’s HIS Business. BUT, it comes out of the dynamic of Life shared, and Relationship—not a cool thing to do or an escape from anything.
There may be, and have been other scenarios, but you get the idea. Family is a serious matter, and we’ve got to do it all God’s Way, or we have nothing and can be of little Use to Him. Wood, hay, and stubble—does the religious world need to be any more flammable than it already is??!!
Is it important to be careful for the other reason you mentioned, too. Sure, “a little leaven leavens the whole batch.” Of course, we have no interest in charlatans, hyper-reactionaries, or egomaniacs that are looking for a “platform” for their so-called “ministries,” or anything like that to “corrupt” (as you put it) the Lambs. Of course not! “A little leaven leavens the whole batch.” Would you invite unknown people randomly into your home and let them hang out at their whim, doing as they please with your wife and children while you’re at work? Surely not, if you loved your family, “those the Father has given you.” You would be “worse than an infidel” if you were that careless with your family’s well-being. And “many will say to Me on that day” that they are fine Christians—who “never knew Him.” It happens. Jesus said that “many” would be in that category. As I said, in an “organization,” that doesn’t really matter. Nickels and noses are what it’s all about, and since consciences are seared from bad building and disobedience (Heb. 3:12-14), no one much notices. And those who notice are ostracized, generally. So, with no conscience about, “Without Holiness, no one will see the Lord”—the organizations (houses or temples) can recruit. “Come to our great building and mega-pastor and programs and pre-practiced Spirit-led Worship!” or, “Come move to such and such place and see real church life in action, as you’ve never seen it before since the beginning of time and before that!!” That is just a shame. There is NO Jesus of Nazareth in that. Ohhhhh, sigh. You’ve probably not witnessed anything as blatant as that, but it’s out there. And YES, we are willing to be ridiculed and slandered if necessary, to avoid that and find Peace with Jesus, the Builder of the House. Is that more answer than you wanted, my brother??!! : ) It’s your fault—you asked!!!!!!!!!