VOLUME ONE THE CHILDREN
BRINGING GOD'S EXPRESSION AND AUTHORITY INTO OUR FAMILY
(Gen. 1:26-28, 2:8-10)
GOD'S PURPOSE: TO HAVE A CORPORATE EXPRESSION OF LIFE ON THE EARTH
The Lord's purpose is to have a corporate man to express God in life, to represent God with God's authority on the earth. This is to bear God's image and to have God's dominion. God's purpose is image and dominion that God could have a corporate expression in life and that God could have a corporate representation with His authority on the earth to fulfill His purpose.
RAISING OUR CHILDREN TO BE A PART OF GOD'S PURPOSE
When we come to talk about the children or any aspect of the church life it is not something apart from God's purpose. It has to be something according to God's purpose. It has to be something for God's economy, which is for the carrying out of God's purpose on the earth.
In Christianity there is a lot of talk and a lot of books written about families such as; how to raise your children and how to have a good family life. But the lack there is that it is not related to God's purpose. Instead the family becomes the purpose. The goal is to have a good family life so that we can have a peaceful life on this earth. It is much better to have a good family life than a bad family life, for it is more peaceful and more enjoyable. Yet I am a little concerned lest unconsciously we drift into the concept of our family being the purpose and goal.
Saints, we are not here for anything other than God's purpose; which is that God could have a built up corporate expression of life, in life, on the earth. The words of song #539 in the Hymns are wonderful, "O Lord Thou art in me as life and everything to me." But Christ is our life in order that there should be a corporate, built up, organic expression of life.
When we come to the matter of the children we are not departing from God's purpose. We need to raise our children in life so that they can be part of this corporate built up expression in life. Actually, how we raise our children has a lot to do with whether the Lord will have a way in the next generation.
RAISING OUR CHILDREN FOR THE INCREASE OF THE CHURCH
We have all these children that God has given us. If we lose them and have to go to the world to get increase that is not very efficient nor is it very honoring to the Lord. In one of the fellowships that Brother Lee had with the leading ones, he said that if we do a good job with our children we could spontaneously get a 10% increase in the number year after year.
GOD'S DOMINION IS GOD'S AUTHORITY OPERATING WITHIN A SPHERE
Our purpose with our children is not family centered or children centered. We are here for God's economy, for God to have an expression in life, and for Him to have His dominion on the earth. He created man in His own image as a container to contain and express Himself as life. Then this corporate man was given God's dominion, to exercise God's dominion on the earth. There is an enemy in the universe that has usurped this earth, and God wants to regain the earth. He wants to regain a sphere in which His authority operates on the earth. Without such a sphere He has no way to come back to the earth. He needs a landing place, a beachhead on the earth, a sphere carved out in which His authority rules. That is His dominion, a sphere with authority. It is not just authority, but authority operating within a sphere. The Dominion of Canada is a sphere in which a certain authority operates. God's right to this earth has been usurped by a usurper and His right to man has been usurped.
THE NEW MAN TO EXPRESS GOD'S IMAGE AND EXERCISE GOD'S AUTHORITY
The first man failed in his responsibility as the fulfillment of this corporate man. But the second man came, a new man, to fulfill what the first man did not; to express God's image and to exercise God's authority. This man is to represent God's authority on the earth and to drive back His enemy. This is God's purpose and this is God's purpose for our children.
OUR FAMILIES SHOULD BE A SPHERE IN WHICH GOD'S AUTHORITY OPERATES
God's eternal purpose is not one thing and then we do something different with our children. What we do with our children has to be to bring God's expression into our family life. God has to be expressed in life in our families. God has to be represented and our family should be a sphere in which God's authority operates, where the enemy is driven out. Dominion is to subdue, to conquer at least a portion of the earth. The whole earth will not be conquered before the Lord returns, but at least a portion of it has to be. That is the churches' corporate responsibility. As members of the living body of Christ there should be that expression of the divine life in our family life and the operating of the divine authority, so that God's sphere and dominion are expressed there.
GOD'S WAY IS FOR US TO BE FILLED DAILY WITH CHRIST AS OUR LIFE, REALITY AND CONTENT
We have to bring God's expression and God's authority into our family, just as the church has to bring it from the heavens to the earth. The rule of God that is carried out in the heavens has to be brought from the heavens to the earth by life. God carries out His purpose by life. After creating man in His own image and after giving man the dominion and promising man the blessing He put man in front of the tree of life. This indicates that you need Christ as your life to fulfill God's purpose.
To raise your children you need God as life. You need your vessel filled with the reality of Christ, with the content of Christ. Our own wisdom is not adequate, it is merely the image. It needs the content and the reality to fill it. We do not have the wisdom with our children. Our wisdom is like the empty finger on a glove. It has the right shape, but sometimes it gets a little twisted, sometimes it gets bent over. It needs the reality to fill it, then the reality and the image are one and then there is the expression of Christ as life and as wisdom. Christ is made to us wisdom from God. That means that we need Christ to fill this empty image, this empty vessel. We are created in God's image. This means we have something called wisdom, but our wisdom without the content and the reality will not work. Our wisdom is empty, vanity. For this we need Christ to come in and by being one with Him, Christ becomes our very wisdom, especially toward our children. We need to experience the Lord as life in a daily continuing way.
THE PROBLEM IS THE SHORTAGE OF THE EXPRESSION OF THE DIVINE LIFE IN OUR HOMES
We need a daily revival in life to express the Lord on this earth, especially in our families. If you are parents, do not be offended, but the problem is not with your children. The problem is that there is no expression of the divine life in our homes. We are exercised when we come to the meetings, but are we exercised when we come to the table with our family in the same kind of way, to express something of the divine life in front of your children? In the meetings you can fake it, but at home you cannot. You are with your children too much. The big shortage is that our children grow up without seeing that much expression of the divine life. Then we wonder why they have a problem. It is because they do not see that much at home, and when they come to the meeting they see we are very exercised and active to express Christ, to be in our spirit. We do express Christ, but we do not live that kind of life in our homes. They see a big discrepancy. Even little children are very sharp in knowing what is real and what is not real. We cannot fool them for long because they are with us all the time.
When I look back and see if there was a shortage in the raising of my own children, it was in this area; not enough concern about the expression of the divine life in the family. We are always concerned about this and that, about this problem or how to handle that situation. We do need the fellowship on practical matters but if our family life is not in the reality of the expression of the divine life according to the divine image, with which we have been created, then it is hard to say much about practical matters. God's way and His means to carry out His purpose is by life. He set man in front of the tree of life showing that this image needs the content and reality of God as life to fill it.
GOOD RESULTS WITH OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE ARE FILLED WITH CHRIST
What kind of life do we have at home? It is not a matter of what way we use with our children, whether it is this way or that way. Different ways work. There is not just one way. But, whatever is life works. We all have our disposition, our makeup. We are strong in this point and not so strong in another point. Some parents are this way, some are that way. Different kinds of parents have a good result with children as long as this empty glove is filled with the content and reality of Christ, as long as Christ is expressed. It is not a matter of certain rules and if you do not get the right rules then it will not work. It is not that way. It is altogether a matter of life. To take care of our children the first requirement is we have to take care of our life.
PROPER RESULTS WITH CHILDREN REQUIRES THE PARENTS' PROPER DIET
The angel came to tell Sampson's mother that she was about to conceive. Afterwards her husband Manoah asked, "Did you ask the angel how we should raise the child?'' She said "No." Then Manoah told his wife that if the angel came again to call him. The angel did come again and Manoah asked the angel what they should do. The angel said,"Be careful what goes into you. Be careful what you eat. Do not eat any unclean thing and do not drink any strong drink."
The same thing was true with Samuel's mother, Hannah. She was charged concerning what she should eat and drink. To have the proper result with the children requires that we need to be a certain kind of person with a certain kind of diet.
STRAIGHTENING THE IMAGE FOR FILLING
This was a type. We need to be seeking very much to have this reality as Christ as life ruling every part of our inner being. Sometimes it is difficult because our image has gotten twisted like a glove. If you twist the finger of the glove around and then try to stick the hand into it you have a little difficulty. The glove needs some straightening out. With us there are some twists that need some straightening out so Christ as the reality and the content can fill us. Without this then what we are doing is merely something human with our children that will not be that fruitful. Even when we talk about taking care of the human vessel in our children this must be by the divine life.
GOD'S EXPRESSION BRINGS IN HIS AUTHORITY
We need to bring God's expression in life into our family, then God's dominion follows. Wherever the expression in life is, there is the divine authority. The divine authority is not to say, "I am the husband, I am the head, I am the father and you have to do what I say." If you have to say that you have already lost your authority. If you have to insist on your authority you have lost it.
The Lord Jesus did not come saying "Don't you know I am the King? You all have to do what I say!" He came in a meek and lowly way. Because God was expressed so fully through Him wherever He went the demons, sickness, and in fact everything was subject to Him. His coming was the coming of the kingdom of the heavens. When He came the kingdom came. He did not come ruling in power, but expressing the divine life. That expression became the authority subduing everything. When the expression of the divine life is there, the divine authority of God and its proper representation are there.
THINGS OUT OF CONTROL?
CONTACT GOD AND DEAL WITH THE ENEMY
Why are so many things out of our control? Because this sphere of the divine authority has not been regained from the enemy. The enemy has too free a way with us. Even in our relationships as husbands and wives this is the case.
Brother Lee gave a good example of this. He said, "Either the husband or wife will be a scorpion to the other one. The husbands try to subdue "the scorpion," but that will not work. What works is going to your room, kneeling down, contacting God and dealing with the enemy."
Very often the enemy is in me. He has gotten some ground that has allowed him to come into my family situation. Then I need to bring myself, in life, under the Lord's ruling. Then I need to deal with the enemy and take the ground back from him. This way works. It is vain to go to deal with situations, trying by whatever we have to remedy them. All that we have, all that we are, and all that we can do is vanity without the content of reality of Christ as life. But all that Christ has and all that He is and all that He can do is wonderful. This is the key to the expression of the divine life, to the expression of Christ. We have to bring this expression into our family life. Then the divine authority will be there. This will become a dominion, a sphere in which God rules by life.
A DAILY REVIVAL IN LIFE SUBDUES REBELLION
We have to exercise some power or restraint at times, but if we are always having to deal with things by power we are missing the mark. I found out most of the time that only works temporarily. You can subdue a rebellious child with power, but you do not change the rebellion. But when the divine life comes in and the divine representation of authority is there, there is a real change. Then you touch the thing behind the rebellion and that is the enemy. Then you take the enemy's ground away from him. Our children are usurped by Satan because in our family we allow some ground to the enemy. If in our home life and our family life we could experience this kind of daily revival in life so there is the expression of Christ in our homes, there will be the dominion and the enemy will be subdued. Satan will have no way.
AN ORGANIC FAMILY LIFE
This way of daily revival in life is effective. Though it seems slower, yet it is more effective, because this way is organic. (Brother Lee has been sharing recently about the organicness of the body of Christ.) We need to apply the ministry to every situation. Even our family life has to be organic, not organizational.
I can organize everything because I am good at it. I can subdue everything. I am a strong character and have a strong will. I can subdue all my children, I can get them all lined up to do what I want. But eventually that does not work because I have not gained the ground back from the enemy by the expression of life. That is just organization. It seems quick and effective, but it does not work and does not last in the long run. At the first opportunity the children will go away.
But the organic way is for you to put something of life in them year after year after year. It is for you to bring them up in an environment of life, in the expression of the divine life of Christ. In that environment there is the divine authority. I do not say they will never be naughty. They have a fallen human nature and we still have to bear our responsibility to take care of that along the way. But in this type of environment and context of life, our way with our children is organic.
I do not mean we never discipline them. For their sake and safety we have to teach the children, Do not run in the street, you will be killed. We have to give them some training. If we train them in such an environment of life, in which the enemy's ground has been conquered and taken back, then the Lord could have a way.
Saints, we have to realize this matter is very much related to us and to our spiritual condition day by day. When I look back over the years we were raising our family, I know exactly why certain things happened with our children, why certain things got off and why we got into certain difficulties with our children. It always had to do with what my wife and I were eating and what we were expressing.
God's purpose is image and dominion and God's way is life. This is the blessing. After God created man in His image He blessed him and gave him dominion over the foul of the air (all the fallen angels) and over the fish of the sea (the demons in the sea) and over every creeping thing (the creeping things on the earth) and over the cattle and over all the earth. God wants to regain the earth in His dominion. Then He said "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth", and "conquer it". The image and dominion bring in the blessing. Genesis 2 tells us the way to be in the reality of the image is by God's life. To carry out God's purpose, to express His image, and to represent His authority is altogether by the way of life. That is the way of our spiritual life.
TAKING CARE OF WHAT WE TAKE IN AND ALLOW INTO OUR FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
Saints, if we do not have this kind of foundation then all our other talk is just so much talk. Do not misunderstand me, for I am more than willing to talk about the practical things concerning children, but it has to be in this type of context. Actually the first thing we need to do is to go home and take care of what we "eat and drink"; what we take in and what we allow to come into our family environment.
THE TIDE OF THIS AGE HAS INVADED THE CHURCH
The tide of this age has invaded the church, even in the Lord's recovery. We do not realize that the tide of this age has come in. It is a little here and a little there. Our kids come to us with, "Oh, everybody's doing it dad, why cannot we? So and so is doing this, so and so is doing that..." We get the wrong idea that if we are strict then we will drive the children away.
THE PROPER CARE AND STANDARD RELEASES OUR CHILDREN
IT DOES NOT DRIVE THEM AWAY
I have given a lot of consideration to this matter. I thought back over many many years with my own children and with other children. Saints, if we have a proper environment of life, a proper love and care in life for our children, being strict will release them - not drive them away. It will make them happy. The children that have been lost in the Lord's recovery were a result of the lack of proper care in life and in love. The other side is, if we are just demanding of them with no supply, that will not work either. But mainly the children who have been lost over the years were lost from a lack of care and the lack of a standard. The world got all mixed in, and once you let the first encroachment get in, then there is no stopping it. Once we allow the world to come in in any way, then it will come in in another way and another way. It is like the story of the boy with his finger in the dike. Once you release that little trickle, the flood comes.
PARENTS USURPED BY THIS AGE
NO MORE DOMINION IN THE HOME
We have to be very exercised about the tide of this age that has usurped us, for it means the dominion is no longer there. If we have been usurped, then how could we establish God's dominion with our children? That is somewhat hypocritical for we are expecting of them what we do not live ourselves. This is not right. There is an old saying, "The apple never falls far from the tree." The big problem is our children are just like us. We parents just know how to perform a little better, but they just let it all hang out. The problem is with us. This divine image is not filled with reality, with Christ. There is not much expression of the divine life, and there is not much authority.
Some of the saints in Anchorage brought this problem of the "tide of the age" up for fellowship. They confirmed this problem to the uttermost with specific things. But they began to deal with the Lord concerning what they had allowed to come in. By having not been exercised in life, a little bit here and a little bit there of the world had come in. Thus the enemy had been allowed to bring this age into the homes. It is appalling. We would never let our children go freely to see all these sinful movies, but then we bring video movies into the homes. This is the world invading. It is no wonder that there is no dominion. Because we have been usurped, there is no image. We think we can use the video movies as a baby sitter.
THE TV BABYSITTER
NO STANDARD AND NO CARE DRIVES CHILDREN AWAY
More than fifteen years ago I went to visit the home of a brother and his wife. They were never home but their four little children were there with the TV as the baby sitter. I went a number of times looking for this brother or his wife. They were never there. After about fifteen years all their children had gone to the world. I am not being too much for I could spend hours telling you about these kinds of cases. Do you think it is a small thing? It seemed good; they were serving the Lord and serving in the church. They were in every service, in everything, but they were not caring for their children and they had no standard. It is not the standard that drove the children away; it is no standard and no care. Children need care and attention. I do not mean that we do not go to the meetings and we do not serve.
A TESTIMONY OF SERVICE AND CARE
My wife and I have gone to meetings and served for years. We took our children to the service meetings. In 1964 when we built the meeting hall in New York no one had the concept of serving. My wife and my three children and I went every Saturday and did the gardening, the cleaning, and the maintenance. We spent several hours of the day in that little meeting hall taking care of everything and my children had a good time. Then we would take them to the park and have a picnic and spend the afternoon with them on Saturday. We took care of them. They grew up thinking it was quite normal to go. They loved to dust the chairs in the meeting hall and rake the leaves. Whatever we were doing they did. I know what I am talking about. We do not have to neglect the church, but we cannot neglect the children. We have to bring our children into the church.
The other factor that has caused the children to go away is where the husband and wife do not agree, where there is no oneness. This is altogether a matter of life too. How can two be one? How can a husband and wife be one? It is only by the divine life.
SALVATION IN THE FAMILY IS JUST TO BE FILLED WITH THE DIVINE LIFE
These are the factors that cause the children to go away when they get their freedom, especially in their teenage years. I tell you the truth, it would be hard for you to be as strict as I was. But my children did not go away. Now that is the Lord's mercy and I am not being proud. My father was ten times stricter than I was, yet during all our growing up years until college all four of us children were in the church loving the Lord. As adults only one out of four of us went to the world. But that was not a rebellion to our upbringing. Strictness is not the problem that drives our children away.
I am not telling you to go home and tighten the screws. I do not mean that. That is why I started off like I did. Go home and express Christ. Go home and live Christ. The image is just the container, it needs the content and reality for the expression. The image is for expression, but to get from image to expression you have to be filled. The content and reality has to fill this empty glove.
We go preach the gospel using the illustration of the glove, but now I am preaching the gospel of salvation in your family. If you want God's salvation to be in your family, then you need to be filled. All the things and characteristics of our created human image need the divine content and reality to make them real. Then the Lord's dominion is there. Then there is a sphere in which He can exercise His authority. Then when we pray the enemy has no ground.
NOT JUST WORDS BUT THE RIGHT PERSON
We have been praying, sometimes for years, "Bind the enemy and release our children!" and it does not work. Is it a problem with the prayer? No. It is a problem that there is no expression or image and therefore there is no authority. Our prayers are without authority. It is not merely the words that give authority rather it is the person. It is not just saying certain words, "Lord, bind the enemy, and release our children from the world!" We may pray that until the kingdom comes and it will not work if we are not the right person. If with us there is not the divine expression there will not be the divine authority. It is not the words!
The Lord Jesus was such a person so all the works of Satan got subdued. Everything was subdued very easily. It seemed like there was nothing to it for Him. That was not just because He was God, but He was a man expressing God fully and completely. He expressed God to an extent we probably could not reach in this life. But we have to be on this way. The more there is such an expression the more there will be the subduing of the enemy's damaging tactics, especially from the tide of this world.
I would like to share with you a little about the saints in Anchorage, because it was encouraging. Between the morning and evening meeting they went home and prayed and came back and testified how they had gotten the realization that some things had come in. The reason they were having problems with their children was some things had been allowed to come in. They had begun to pursue material things and had let the things of the world come into the homes. Then they got quite enlightened. They realized in the beginning in the Lord's recovery it was not so.
THE RIGHT PRINCIPLE
I do not know if you have heard the stories concerning the beginnings of the Lord's recovery in this country when someone moved to Los Angeles for the church life. When they moved into a new apartment the saints would go with them room by room cleansing the atmosphere, subduing the demons and driving them out. That is not just a ritual. Whether we should do that or not, they had the right principle. They were claiming this apartment for the Lord. They did not know what had been there before. They went to cleanse it with strong prayers from room to room.
Sometimes when saints, such as a sister, began to have troubles, one or two sisters would come and pray with her. They would go through her house with her to see if there was anything that had gotten in that should not be there. That attitude is right. I am not teaching this as a practice, as a formality, but the attitude is right.
Things have come in not only in our environment, but into our being. When I have realized this I have repented and prayed that the Lord would cover my children from bearing the effect of my sin.
TO EXPRESS GOD AND DEAL WITH SATAN IN OUR HOMES
We need such an expression of life. This would bring in the Lord's authority and blessing into our homes. Life is the way for our expression and dominion. Read the Life Study of Genesis, messages #6 - #10. Brother Lee says a number of times in these messages such things as: "We need to express God and to deal with Satan in our home life. Many times the husband comes home and immediately the wife does not express Christ, she expresses the serpent. The wife's face has the appearance of a subtle serpent. Many times the husband also expresses the serpent. I've learned this from experience. Sometimes when I saw Satan expressed in the members of my family I did not say a word, but I went to my bedroom and prayed, ''Lord bind the serpent''. A number of times I realized I myself was expressing the serpent. Again I ran away to pray, ''O Lord, forgive me, bind the serpent''. On many occasions the divine authority of God is not exercised, the evil power of Satan is expressed instead. We all must realize that God has this double goal to accomplish: to express Himself, and to deal with His enemy."
It is not really your husband who loses his temper, it is the serpent. You should have this view. Brothers, it is not really your wife who says something to provoke your temper, it is the serpent. Do not deal with the husband and do not deal with the wife for it is not their fault. You must deal with the serpent that is behind them. Exchanging words can never deal with Satan. The more we argue the more Satan gains ground. The only way to deal with Satan is to go on our knees, pray, call on the name of the Lord Jesus and ask Him to bind the serpent. All these things are in these Life Study messages given so many years ago in 1974 and we still have not had much experience in this realm.
I am not trying to lay something heavy on you. Just go to the Lord. I entreat you. Ultimately life is the only thing that works. God's purpose is by life, by the divine life filling every aspect of our created being. Then God's authority is brought in.
EVERY AREA IS A BATTLEFIELD
Brother Lee goes on to say there is a battle and this battle is in every area of our lives; in our school life, work life, family life, and church life. In all these areas the enemy never sleeps. Every area is a battlefield. All day long Satan is on the alert, not only in the family life, but also in the church life Satan and all his messengers are busy. On the earth a warfare is raging.
God's intention is to recover the earth. God needs the church. The church must fight the battle to regain the earth. If not the whole earth, at least gain some stepping-stones, some outposts for the Lord Jesus to put His feet upon. The earth is crucial. The key to the children is for us to see that behind all the trouble with the children is the enemy, the usurper. He is usurping us, and then usurping our children, thus gaining ground in our family life. Therefore the problem in the first place is not the children, the problem is us.
In Deuteronomy 6 it says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you shall diligently teach them unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up." In other words if we have a heart to love the Lord and if the Word fills us then God's expression is there all the time. This is the expression of the divine life. Then we will get a good result; the blessing will be there with our children. We need to bring in the divine^ expression and the divine authority into our homes. This is the basic answer.
If we have gotten off we just need to repent. Brother Lee said, "Do not regret (for the past), just repent." That means just have a change of mind. We were going in this direction now just start going in another direction. I do not mean to get the family together and say, "OK, this is the way it is going to be from now on!" I mean YOU have a change, and then you bring your spouse into such a change. You two have a change and you two be one and you two express the divine life. Then the divine life will be there and the divine authority and the blessing will follow. This is how to have God's blessing on your family life.
The reason the church life is weak is because the family life is weak. The unit of salvation in the Bible is the household, and if the households are strong the church life is strong. Do not blame the church saying, "The church is weak so our family is weak." It is the other way around. The church is weak because our family is weak. We really need to go to the Lord. Do not regret, just have a turn and the Lord will honor and bless that.
When we have a turn to the Lord, life will be there and the divine reality will fill our human faculty of wisdom. We have a human faculty of wisdom that is. empty in ourselves and what we are. We have been exercising our wisdom for years and have not gotten good results. Our wisdom needs the divine content and reality of Christ. Then Christ is made to us wisdom from God. When we deal with the children we do not deal with them according to our disposition or even with our natural understanding. We deal with them according to Christ as wisdom. We need to believe that Christ as wisdom can deal with our children.
The same things that build the church build our family. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. We have to sacrifice something for our children. We have to nourish them and cherish them, not in a natural way, but by the divine life. Then in that environment there is a standard, but it is the Lord's standard not our dispositional standard. This is what works with the children.
WHAT TASTE ARE WE GIVING OUR CHILDREN?
To be loose surely does not work for it lets the world in. Our children will go to the world because we give them a taste for the worldly things at home. Where did all these things like birthday parties and showers come from? You will have to forgive me, but I have a very heavy burden... where did all these things come from. that give the children the taste for these kind of things? Then we wonder why, when they become teenagers, they go to drinking parties. It is because we raise them on parties.
I am very concerned when a sister gets married in the church life. The sisters ought to have a concern to go to pray, to have some fellowship, to read some word, to give some encouragement. But, I checked and that is not what is happening in a number of places. What do you do when you have these so-called bridal showers? You just follow the custom of the nations. No prayer, no singing, no Word, no fellowship, no testimony and no GOD! Then we wonder why our children go to the world.
Sorry, I am too much. Nobody has cared for the saints getting married more than I have, but not in that way. I have sacrificed my own family's pleasure to help the saints getting married, but not in a worldly way. I am not boasting I am just telling you the truth in these matters. Sorry, I may be too much, maybe I went too far, but do not be offended, just go to the Lord.
THE BIBLE SPEAKS ON THE PRACTICAL THINGS OF LIFE
Saints, we have gotten off in these kinds of things. This is all related to the raising of our children. Believe me it is all part of the package. We need to come back to the purity and simplicity that we had when we were first pursuing after the Lord. We did not care about any of these things.
Look up birthday parties in the Bible. They are not so good. There are two cases. One was Pharaoh's birthday party. He restored the cupbearer and hung the baker while Joseph remained in prison. What kind of birthday party was that? A hanging party! The other birthday party was Herod's when he beheaded John the Baptist. Herod got so stirred up in his lust by one girl's dancing that he had John the Baptist beheaded against his better judgment. It was looseness, lust, and indulgence that caused his poor judgment. This is the meaning of parties in the Bible. The Bible has a lot to say to us about the practical things of life.
God's purpose is carried out by life. This is the meaning of Genesis 2 with man there in the midst of the garden with the tree of life and the flowing river. It is by life we have the image, by life we have the dominion, by life our families can be preserved, by life we can be a proper husband or wife to each other. By life we can be one and in this oneness there is power. This is the way to care for the children. This is each parent's responsibility; to care for their children by life. This way the children can be preserved, not for a good family life, but for the Lord's interest.
THE NEXT GENERATION CAN GO FURTHER THAN WE HAVE GONE
The next generation can be raised up among us and they can go further than we have gone. I believe this with all my heart. I pray to the Lord that this younger generation would go further than I was able to go. I expect them to stand on our shoulders. We are on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, but I expect them to stand on our shoulders and go further and reach higher and carry out the Lord's purpose more than we have been able to do. They can take the whole earth.
We have 400 hundred young people in Taipei right now who are going out and preaching to hundreds. After they take care of Taipei in two years, they are going to Central and South America. Here are some young people who have been trained and raised up in the church. One hundred every six months will go out. There are some 226 villages in Taiwan that do not have a church and they figured that in two years they can have a church in all 226 villages and towns. Then after those two years, a good number of them have already consecrated themselves to go to other parts of the world. Right now the burden is for Central and South America. The Chinese young people are learning Spanish besides English. This is the future of the Lord's recovery we are talking about.
Our young people can be this way too. Do not think just Chinese young people are diligent, smart, and all that. They are just the same as ours. Children are children. Young people are young people. We can have a bright future for the Lord's recovery with our own children. It is a shame to lose our children out the back door and struggle so hard to bring someone in the front door. How many doors do you have to knock on to get one baptized? But you have two, three or four in your own family. Just keep them for a few years and the recovery will naturally increase.
I do not mean we do not need to go door knocking and preach the gospel, but if we begin to have this kind of daily revival in our family life we will take it to the office, to the schools, to the supermarket, and to our neighbors. If our children start to get recovered other people will be touched by this life expressed. Wherever we go, we will take the Lord's dominion with us.
THE ORGANIC WAY
I hope we could all come back to the Lord in this kind of way, seeking Him. I have been spending a lot of time in the Life Study messages in Genesis that I mentioned. My intention is to get the burden into me. I am very burdened with this matter of image and dominion in so many areas. This is what makes our church life organic and fulfills God's purpose by the divine life. This is the organic way to build up the church and it is the organic way to preserve our family life and bring all our children into the Lord's purpose.
See the Genesis Life Studies, messages #6- #10, by Witness Lee, published by Living Stream Ministry, where the matter of image and dominion is covered thoroughly.
Transcribed by permission. Edited for grammar and to facilitate reading. Headings have been added. Not reviewed by speaker. Fellowship by Gene Gruhler with the parents in Seattle, Washington on October 27, 1988.