Are you “Dying Daily”?

By David, September, 1972.

Do you really feel we’re right without a shadow of a doubt about all of these things? Do you really think our message is the right message? Do you really think our method is the right method? Do you really feel it’s God’s will–both our message and our method? And if so, what do you have a vision for? What do you have faith for? What do you really yourself expect God to do this year, not next year, through us? What can you see happening right now and from now on? What do you personally plan to do about it? What do you personally hope to do about it and want to do about it?

STOP right now and think out your answers carefully and prayerfully! Now discuss them with the rest of the body.

We are at a turning point in our ministry. We cannot go on “business as usual”! I have a feeling that we’ve reached a crisis–a turning point where you’re going to go either one way or the other. You have just two choices. If you recall “Dropouts”, I traced the history of denominationalism. If we don’t obey God, the same could happen to us, and the spirit I feel creeping in, is the feeling that we have arrived–that we’ve made it!–And we’re satisfied with what we’ve accomplished. Because the minute you get that feeling, that’s as far as you get! You never get any further.

The most uncomfortable place for a Christian is a comfortable place. One of the greatest dangers you have right now is the feeling you’ve really accomplished something; and, so much so, that you no longer have that driving motivation which makes you feel like you cannot stop, that you’ve go to keep going even if it kills you!

How like death moving is! It’s the ending of one life and the beginning of another. Moving is hard to do. I’m even having a real battle moving on to the next place. If I have to keep moving, I have to keep dying! You can understand why Paul said, “I die daily”!

It’s not a matter of looking off in the future like the Church. If they’re not willing to die daily right now in order to get the job done, they’ll never be able to die someday as a martyr, as they claim. And if they’re not willing to deny themselves in all the little ways every day to reach the lost, they’ll never be able to deny themselves in the end by a martyr’s death!

The church will eventually have to forsake all, but they’re not going to get any credit for it then, because they didn’t do it today when it was purely voluntary! They’re going to wait until God takes it all away and they’re forced to live like this–all together, like we do, sharing with each other, and dependent on the Lord and their brothers and sisters.

If you’re not willing to go and choose to be missionaries throughout the world and die daily for Jesus right now, you never will be!–And that begins on your block, getting out in your neighborhood; in your part of the world. Like the lady said, “Oh, this just kills me!”, when she had to go out witnessing

Well, that’s exactly what it should do–it should kill your pride, your self, your selfishness, your egotism, and may even cause some considerable physical sacrifice and strain. if you’re not willing to do it now, one of these days God is going to see to it that you do it anyway–in chains, involuntarily, as captives and slaves, because you are forced to do it!

If you have lost that compulsion–that feeling like you just have to get out there and make progress and keep moving or you’ll die, and if you don’t have that feeling anymore that you’d rather get out there and die for something rather than live for nothing, then you’ve lost the martyr spirit. That’s the real martyr spirit!

This daily dying is the hardest kind because you it a thousand times, whereas at the end of your life the final death is nothing by comparison. Your final death is your graduation! This slow death of dying a little each day–that’s what takes a lot of guts!

A young reporter asked the leader of a well-known Eastern religion about his young followers and if he thought they were old enough to understand what it was all about. He wisely answered, “We’re all old. You’re old. You may die tomorrow! They’re old because their lives may be over tomorrow! So today we’re all old.” In other words, they’ve got to be old enough! Their lives may be over tomorrow!

Boast not thyself of tomorrow! It may not only be later than you think, but you may be older than you think! You’re counting on doing the job some day soon, but we’d better do it quick and now!–Or we may never get it done! Some people have already said the Jesus Revolution is running out of steam! They’re going back into their churches and sitting in their pews.

The shocking question I want to ask you children of God is: Is this happening to us! Are we getting in a rut? Are we turning sour, losing our fire, our convictions, our vision, our faith, our courage?–And where is our initiative? We’re closing down homes in the U.S., it’s true; but are we opening up new ones?–For every fellowship we close down, we ought to be opening up a new one somewhere outside the U.S., and we had better do it quick or we are going to run out of steam!

There’s nothing that succeeds like success!–But at the same time, there’s nothing that fails faster than failure! You’re never so near the abyss, the pit, the deep bottomless pit, as you are when you’re standing on the brink–on the mountaintop! But that mountain is a steep mountain, it’s a cliff, and you’re hanging over the edge, and there are plenty of people who are doing their best to tromp on your fingers, and push you over or pull you down and kick you off if they can!

When you’re on the top, it’s not only the most victorious place to be, but it’s the most dangerous! When you’re on the bottom, you have nothing to lose. There’s no way but up, and the bottom is the safest place in the world. You’re nobody and nobody cares what you do. But now you’re getting to the top there’re going to be 10,000 people trying to pull you down and keep you from making it, including most of the Church and the Christians!

The pharaoh of Egypt never worried about the Jews until they began to be numerous and powerful! The Egyptians did not really become their enemies in earnest until they had gotten to be about three to six million and spread out all over the land of Goshen. But when they began to really threaten the status quo, and began to appear to be a genuine threat to the System of the day, the Pharaoh and his little devils got busy to try to put a stop to the Jews!

If we don’t hurry up with our exodus and get moving to our promised land, the present day pharaoh could very well delay us! Obey God and get going! I’m not blaming it on anybody in particular–we’re all to blame. I don’t know that I’ll take as much of the blame as I’ll place on you, though, because I’ve told you for at least two to three years what God wanted us to do.

In a way, I have the easiest job in the Revolution. All I have to do is listen to God and pass it on to you; but for you to carry it out is not always so easy, and I know it’s hard for you. But that’s my job, and easy or no, I still have to tell you. We had better make it pretty soon or we may not make it at all! Things are already beginning to tighten up even in Europe–borders, visas, and permits. It would have been ten times easier last year!

I know you guys are nearly working yourselves to death–you’re really killing yourselves! I was telling you you have to take a vacation. God’s Word even tells us to. God couldn’t even trust them to stop their work one day a week and take the rest they needed. He had to make it a commandment, and say, Just take it off because I said so! You’re going to burn out if you don’t.

Iif you drive these kids too hard and fast, you may never get there! Because there’s also such a thing as trying to go too fast. You get out of touch with the Lord and Headquarters. I’ve said this so many times in “Stop, Look, and Listen!” and “Squeeze, don’t Jerk!” and many other times.

I want to see you die daily, but I don’t want to see you die completely right now! It’s your business for God’s sake to stay alive so you can carry on, and this hypocritical attitude of trying to kill yourself off quick instead of trying to live as long as possible is not what God wants. Because you’re going to have to try to live a little longer to carry out what God wants.

The gruff, blustery, colourful, dramatic, outspoken but highly successful General Patton is credited to have once said, contrary to popular opinion, that “It is not the duty of every good soldier to die for his country, but to see to it that the other damned bastard dies for his country!” In other words, although a good soldier must be willing to die for his cause, if necessary, it’s far better for him to learn how to live for it, how to stay alive and keep fighting, as you won’t be much good to us dead!

We have reached the stage right now where you have so much to do and so little time to do it in–so many things to take care of, so many people to take care of, you’ve created a machine–a Frankenstein’s monster which is nearly driving you wild and you’re beginning to let it get out of control: so you work yourself to a frazzle and a frenzy trying to get everything done and take care of everything and everybody of what you already have, that you’re going to find that you may very well be neglecting both God and God’s will.

Our business is not trying to preserve these old bottles who’ve gotten old in just three years or less! If they’re not able by this time to stand on their own two feet, but collapse instead, it’s time we walked off and left them to stew in their own juice. They’ve had mamas and papas taking care of them for one to three years, and if they can’t make it by this time, for God’s sake let them go! If they can’t stand by this time, we’ve failed Let them go! It would be better to lose them. If you’re still just counting the quantity, you may be highly disappointed when you find the numbers are going down instead of up. But if those numbers were inflated old bottles and people who just aren’t army material and fellowships who have lost the fire, the vision, and the martyr spirit—they’ve forgotten what they joined the army for–it would be better to lose them!

I would rather see our little Gideon’s band of 300, or 100, on the march and doing something and getting somewhere and still making news invading the Enemy’s territory–even if it’s nothing but a caravan in somebody’s park living in tents–then weighted down with a bunch of damned churches dragging us down! We cannot take care of them any more. It’s time we shoved those fledglings out of the nest! They can grow up real fast when they have to. They can start foraging and shifting for themselves and finding their own bugs. By the time we’ve had a new disciple in our ranks for three months, he ought to be able to stand on his own, and if he’s not, he’s not worth the trouble. If he hasn’t gotten the point by that time, he’ll never get it. I went through the three months’ basic course, and I got the point in those three months. He may not yet be a leader and able to lead others, but he ought to at least be able to follow or at least get out witnessing on his own. We have nursemaided him for three months, and at six months he ought to be a leader. In our school in Miami we took the three months’ graduates and turned them around facing the incoming class and said, “Here, you teach them what you learned!”

If we’ve gotten the idea, like the churches, that the main job is to pile up churches, keep disciples, and grow in numbers, we have lost our whole goal! You have forgotten what you joined the Army for! If you think that just keeping churches and disciples is our main objective, you have forgotten what it’s all about!

Our job is to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel–to get the Message across. That’s our job. And if 3000 disciples and 200 fellowships is going to keep us from attaining that goal and keep us from marching on to spread the Revolution over the earth, then we’d better get rid of those churches and disciples, believe it or not!

You know what happened to the Church? She got so interested in accumulating properties and members that she forgot what her job was! If we have gotten to the point where we cannot continue to march ahead because our churches and disciples are holding us back, we better cut the apron strings and get rid of them rather than let them hold us back and prevent us from doing the job! More churches and more disciples are more burdens to carry!

I’d rather see a few real soldiers again who really like to fight and like the battle and cannot stand to be tied down in a church, but want to hit the road and reach the ends of the earth , and all they want is the tools to do the job and a little organisation to tell them how to do it most effectively! God helping us, I want to see us not fail, and I want to see us give them the ammunition–the literature to do the job. There’s one thing we can do for them and that’s print their literature!

We’re holding them back because we want them to pull the whole load with them. If that load won’t move, just cut them away! I’d rather have someone make it up the hill than nobody! Let the old deadheads slide back into the abyss if they can’t pull their own weight. Maybe if we’d lose 50 or 100 fellowships and 1,000 disciples, the rest of the world would stop worrying about us, that we were getting too big, that we were going to take them over, and we could go quietly ahead and finish the job–whether they liked it or not!

The Soul Clinic used to kick them all out at the end of the three months! Almost our top priority task is to get out the literature! We’re getting just like the Church sitting around on our fannies doing nothing, maybe studying the Bible a little, but not obeying it! The best way, after the theoretical, is on-the-job training. When we send’em all out, maybe we’ll lose a few. But we’re going to gain some good workers instead of loafers, and we’ll find out real quickly who’s there just for the loaves and fishes!

If what we have taught these kids is right and Scriptural, we can kick everyone of them out of the nest and some of them are bound to make it! If you really believe our message and have faith in the Lord, it’s time you get all of them on their way reaping and gathering the Harvest! Our living in fellowships is not the end; it’s just the means to an end! A lot of those communes have become dead-end streets! They study a little, witness a little and praise a little and eke out enough to eat and live on. But these kids are never going to be happy staying in one church for the rest of their lives! They’re going to get restless even after a few weeks or months. They want to go and see the world and travel! That’s what they hated about home–too many restrictions, monotony, same ugly mugs all the time!

You had better remind your kids that no church is ever permanent! We are only there to sow the seed and reap the harvest and then be on our way! We’re just a-passing through! We never intend to stay anywhere for very long, and we intend to sent that harvest we reap on its way to reap other fields.–No point in sitting around in a harvested field! We’re not sitting around–we’re on our way somewhere! Our goal is not accumulating churches and disciples! It’s passing, like an army, with the rich fields in front and the scorched earth behind, and, in a sense, devouring the land as we go–reaping the harvest and the fields, getting the souls, bilking the System, and we’re on our way! You’ve got to keep that point in mind, and that strategy and procedure in mind.

We’re like a great army. We first conquered America, then England. when we have been publicised far and wide throughout a country and reaped a lot of disciples in that country, we have really in a way finished our job there. If they’ve heard about us, they’ve usually heard our message–at least what the Jesus People believe. They’ve heard that we live together and forsake all and witness. And when they’ve heard that, they’re responsible, because if they’re concerned enough, they can look you up and find you! His sheep know His voice and they’ll follow. Organising churches and getting kids into those fellowships is not our main job, but getting the message to all the world is our main job!

We have failed to train the leaders, to equip them, to organise them, to get them out into the field. We’re sending them out without proper training, instruction, equipment and ammunition and battle plan for organisation whatsoever. We are approaching the state where the Russian Army lost the war in World War I!–Where Napoleon lost it in Russia!–Where Hitler lost it in Russia!–Too little, and too late!

The day to organise old fellowships is past! We are in an international worldwide emergency! We have declared war, and we’ve been summoned to the front, and we’ve sent out the army, and we’re not prepared! The best we can hope to do now is to give them the tools and ammunition to do the job!–The tracts, papers, magazines, lessons, letters, etc.

Our major urgent immediate needs, as far as specific ammunition to place in the hands of every disciple, are an adequate variety of tracts; the Bible, and the newspapers!–Etc. Amen?

Copyrighted September, 1972 by The Children of God P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or GPO Box 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936 Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family

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