TRAINING FOR THOSE SERVING WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE
THE PERFECTING OF THE SERVING SAINTS
THE SPECTRUM OF THE WORK
There is a spectrum of work with the children, the young people, the college students, and the full-timers. The children's work includes all the children up through the sixth grade that is before they go to junior high or middle school. We have decided to use the term young people's work to cover the junior high and high school work. After that we have the campus work and then the full-time work.
AS SERVING ONES WE NEED TO GET THROUGH FIRST
The materials and outlines are for your use and not for the use of the young people. Do not just go back and copy these sheets and hand them out or tell all the points to the young people. That will not be helpful. If we serving saints can get through ourselves on many of these points, then what we get through on will have its effect on them. But I would encourage you to go back and give a copy to the leading brothers in your locality so they know what we have shared here.
THE "CHILDREN AND STUDENTS” COURSE IN THE FULL-TIME TRAINING
The full-time training in Anaheim has a course called "Children and Students" which covers the whole spectrum from the children's work all the way up through the campus work. In the fall of 1990 we had sixteen messages on the children's work beginning with some very basic concepts and very basic principles, which apply to all the work.
ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET VIDEOS OR AUDIO TAPES
If you have not seen the videos or listened to the audios and read the outlines of these messages, they are available from Living Stream Ministry. Since they are not on standing order, they have to be specially ordered. Anyone involved with the children or the young people's work would be greatly profited by hearing those tapes or watching those videos. Be sure you get a set of the very detailed outlines.
It is awkward to encourage you to get my tapes since I am the one speaking. But this course is Brother Lee's burden. He wants the course, and he wants it repeated every term. This last term he said he wanted it recorded on video and audio tape so that it would be available to all the churches. He is very burdened for this work. It is the only course in the full-time training that is being taped other than Brother Lee's speaking. We hope it may eventually be put into writing.
If you heard the audiotapes or read the outlines from last year's course this year’s course is quite different. Some of the topics may seem the same, but the development is much more thorough and much more systematic. So I would just encourage you to get the tapes.
BASIC PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPTS
In the "Children and Students" course we start with the importance of the children and student work. Then we see how children are God's gift and we are God's stewards. We have to sanctify ourselves and sanctify the children. We have to take care of both the divine treasure and the earthen vessel. We have a lesson on training the children's conscience, a lesson on believing and infusing the promise, and a lesson on diligently teaching the Lord's word. These are the basic principles and concepts, which apply across the board to all our work. Then we go into the neighborhood children's meetings and household salvation. We have a special message on the origin of special days such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day. Then we have a lesson on the Lord's Day children's meetings and four detailed lessons on the basic content of the children's work: Knowing God, Knowing the Bible, Knowing Man, and Knowing Christ. This lays out the view we have concerning children and young people's work. In the 1991 spring term of the full-time training we will pick up some of these points and go through them systematically and with some further development. After one year there will be a complete course covering the spectrum from birth to full time training.
JUNIOR HIGH: A TIME TO PRESERVE, INFUSE, AND DEPOSIT
In the six years from when the young people come out of the sixth grade up to the time they finish high school, there are big developmental changes going on in them. The basic difference between the junior highers and the high schoolers is that the junior highers are very self-conscious and very insecure.
In elementary school, the children have been nurtured. It is very often a big shock to them when they get into junior high. It is like coming out of a warm cozy environment into the North Pole. It is actually like going into hell.
NURTURING, CARING, ACCEPTING, PRESERVING, INFUSING AND DEPOSITING BUT NOT DEMANDING
When the young people get to junior high, it is very crucial that we nurture them, that we care for them and accept them. Do not "lay it on them," demanding them to do this or that. Our main job during the junior high years is to preserve them, to keep them, to infuse them, and to deposit some riches of life and truth and Spirit into them. If we do this job, spontaneously this life will work to produce in them some proper expression and function. We do not need to teach them how to perform.
NOT TEACHING THE YOUNG PEOPLE TO PERFORM
The first time I moved to Anaheim in 1976, there was a group of junior high boys who performed in every meeting. When I asked the serving brothers, if they were saved, nobody could tell me whether nor not the boys were definitely saved. The junior high boys could all "release their spirit" by standing up and shouting. They were taught to perform but the inward reality was lacking. Later, every one of them had serious problems. One of those boys said that none of what he had done was real to him including calling on the name of the Lord and the pray reading. Another one of those boys is an atheist today. Still another boy went through a lot of turmoil and wrote me many letters in the succeeding years.
PATIENTLY PUT SOMETHING INTO THEM THAT IS LASTING AND LIVING
I have got case after case after case to show that if we teach the young people to perform, it is just like trying to make men out of monkeys. But if we put something into them that is lasting and living, eventually they will have some proper expression and some function. We should be patient, for this is a life matter. We do not expect a baby to walk at one month old.
My youngest granddaughter is just taking the bottle, and is being swung and rocked. Nobody expects her to walk yet. Nobody expects her to do anything because her life capacity is not there. But my grandson is two and a half and is running all over the place. He loved the trains that I brought him, and he even learned how to throw the switches. He was not careful, and stepped on the track and knocked the trains off because he is only two and a half and becomes over excited.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL
With the junior highers we have to do our best to make them feel comfortable, accepted, and warm. We just need to deposit the truth into them. The difference between junior high and high school is that junior high is a time of preserving and supplying whereas, by high school, you should begin to see some expression, and function. I have no hesitation with high schoolers to encourage them to exercise their spirit, to read the word and to preach the gospel provided they have been brought along this pathway, this spectrum.
Do not force, but feed the junior highers. Gradually over this period of time something will begin to work in them, to grow, and be expressed. In high school we can then begin to channel that expression and help them in their function.
The young people's work is not an isolated work. This is one continuum from the cradle up to the full-time training. We should do a good job year after year with the children in the children's meeting, helping them to be definitely, personally, and individually saved in a solid way before junior high. Then we can use the junior high years to deposit something into them and to preserve them.
A TESTIMONY OF NOT “PUMPING A DRY WELL” BUT OF FILLING IT UP
We had a group of twenty junior high boys in Anaheim years ago. By laboring on them for less than a year, they were so full that something just flowed out every time they met. They had no problem singing, calling, praying, and speaking. Those junior high boys would stand up and sing solos to one another. One would sing one verse of a song, and then he would call another boy to sing another verse. This was just by constantly putting something into them. Nobody pushed them to do anything.
I charged the junior high serving brothers, "You may not push them to do anything. You just put something into them. You cannot pump an empty well. You cannot get water out of an empty well. But if you fill it up, it will flow out." The brothers took my charge. Now I have the proof that this way works. The principle was right, and the results came out far beyond, and much more quickly than what I expected.
Of course, once that meeting was over they were running around the meeting hall, knocking over chairs. I have no problem with that because they are kids. But in their class, they were secure and not self-conscious because they were with a couple of serving brothers. No girls were allowed. They were in their own room.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BOYS AND GIRLS
There is a difference between the boys and the girls. If you have a sufficient number of each at the stage of the seventh grade it is very good to separate them. At this point the girls are generally two years ahead of the boys socially. The seventh grade girls are noticing the boys and are always trying "to fix their hair" for them. Girls can be more difficult. You will have different kinds of problems with them. In our experience, in the church life, the boys are still a little bit naive and are mostly oblivious of the girls.
It is really hard to say whether these years of junior high or the years from high school through college are the times of the greatest changes in young people. There are big changes going on in these years. There are things going on in their bodies, in their soul, and hopefully in their spirit. If we do a proper job of leading and directing the young people, they will develop properly.
WE MUST HAVE A SERVING SPIRIT (Mark 10:42-45) CHRIST WAS A PATTERN TO US
"And calling them to Him, Jesus says to them, You know that those who presume to rule the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it is not so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10: 42-45). "I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, you may do also" (John 13:15). "Christ also suffered—leaving you a model that you should follow in His steps" (1 Peter 2:21b).
NOT RULING OVER BUT SERVING AS A SLAVE
I would encourage you to pray-read these verses. The first thing in our perfecting in the young people's work is that we must have a serving spirit. The Lord is the premier example and pattern for us in this matter. When the disciples were striving over who would be on the right and who would be on the left, the Lord pointed out that contending for position is the way of the Gentiles who like to rule and to exercise authority over others. But the Lord said, "It is not so among you." Our burden and our charge are not to rule or to exercise authority but to serve. The Lord also said, whoever wants to become great must be the servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all.
WILLING TO POUR OUT
If we do not have this kind of attitude and spirit in any service, particularly in serving with the young people, then we are finished. The young people are very perceptive. They know whether or not you are there to serve or if you are there to do something else. Hopefully, nobody would consciously have the concept to rule or to exercise authority, but desire to do so is in our fallen nature. When something is put into our hands, then we like to rule it, to control it, to lord over it. This is under us now, the brothers gave us the responsibility." — If we have this kind of attitude, we will not be fruitful in producing what we are after with our young people. The Lord tells us very clearly, "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." We know that the Lord did not love His soul life even unto death. He poured out His soul life. This is the secret and the key to a serving spirit. We have to be willing to pour out our soul life. That does not only mean our time and our energy, but our soul life. If we do not experience the Lord and the cross in dealing with ourselves, then we will not be the proper serving ones, and we will not have a proper serving spirit.
TESTED TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF
Young people will do a lot of things that will irritate you. Sometimes they will deliberately try to provoke you. Sometimes they will go out of their way to deliberately test you to see what you are made of. Frankly, I have had more problems with the girls than with the boys. Maybe that is because of the way I am, so I do not blame the girls.
AN EXAMPLE OF A SERVING SPIRIT
One Saturday night we had a high school meeting in my house. Afterwards, a group of girls went outside. Their talk was very, very bad. When I went out to talk to them in a nice way, they let me have it! By their attitude and by their talk they were testing to see what I was going to do. Praise the Lord I received the grace not to react in my German disposition, but to have a serving spirit. When they were done, I said, "Is that all you have to say?" They said, "Yes." I said "Thank you." I turned and walked away. That was surely not me that was the Lord's mercy.
WHAT SPIRIT ARE YOU OF?
When I first took the junior high work in Anaheim, the brothers charged me that we needed to make a dramatic change in the way we were doing things. The very first time I went into the children's opening room, two junior high girls got up to challenge me. Saints, you have to realize that the young people are going to find out what kind of spirit you have. They will find out what you are made of. They will find out quickly and that is going to affect them more than anything you say or do.
When James and John wanted to call down fire on the Samaritan village, the Lord said, "You do not know what spirit you are of." The young people are going to find out what kind of spirit we have. Are we there just to deal with them, to straighten them out?
I have a reputation of being strict, but over the years, by the Lord's mercy, I have had a serving spirit to pour myself out, to deny myself. We need such a spirit, to deny ourselves, to pour ourselves out, to serve, and not to be served. If this is not our basic view and attitude in coming to this work, it is better not to do anything. We need to be willing to have such a spirit even as the Lord had to give His life, to pour His soul life out, and to lay down his physical life. The Lord poured Himself out both physically and psychologically, as well as spiritually. This is what I mean when I say we must have a serving spirit. We need to go to the Lord very much, for we are dealing with others' lives. Frankly, it is better to do nothing than to mess it up. Once it is messed up, it is harder to recover. If we do not have a proper spirit and attitude in coming to the young people's service, it can really create problems. I know some serving ones who have disqualified themselves in the eyes of the young people because of their improper spirit and attitude. They still persisted, but eventually their work was not fruitful because they did not have a serving spirit.
LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES TO POUR OURSELVES OUT
One time in New York I was awakened by the doorbell at two o'clock in the morning. It was a young brother at my door. He said, "I am sorry to bother you in the middle of the night like this, but I guess that is what you are here for." That was not a bad realization. You may say the young man had a pretty arrogant attitude to get you out of bed in the middle of the night. But actually it was his feeling that I was there to take care of his problem. I brought him in, sat him down, and spent the time that was needed. After I listened to him for forty-five minutes, it turned out that his problem was nothing that could not have waited until eight o'clock the next morning. But to him it was important. I have also gotten a call in the middle of the night to get a kid out of jail. I got another call in the middle of the night concerning a teenager who had not come home, I got out in my car and cruised the neighborhood to find him.
WHAT WE ARE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOW WE DO IT
There are a lot of opportunities for us to pour ourselves out, to deny ourselves physically, to lose our sleep and to deny ourselves psychologically. We can take the cross and pour out spiritually. This is what I mean by a serving spirit. Before we touch anything else, such as how to do this and how to do that, it is what you ARE that I am more concerned with. That is why message number one in this series is the perfecting of the serving saints. I want to stress that this is very crucial and that we need get into this point. If you want to serve, then you must have a serving spirit. This is not in us, but we have such a Christ who denied Himself and who gave His life a ransom for many. He did not come to be served, but to serve. The whole pattern of His life is one of service. The training of the young people's work begins with having a serving spirit.
A. BY PRESENTING OURSELVES A LIVING SACRIFICE (Romans 12:1)
A serving spirit is not something you get suddenly one day. It is not that suddenly - zap -from the heavens lightening strikes and now you have a serving spirit. How do you get a serving spirit? First you present yourself. You present your body, the totality of your being. You get a serving spirit when you give yourself for this service. Yes, the young people's work is in the sphere of the church life, but it is a particular kind of work. We are going to work on this group of junior high and high school young people, so we have to give ourselves.
When you go out to get a job, you give yourself to a certain amount of pouring out of your time, your energy, and your effort in return for some material supply. The care of the young people is a work, a job that needs to be done. We have to present ourselves as a living sacrifice. This means that eventually nothing that we are or nothing that we have is acceptable. Only Christ is acceptable to God. We need to be the sacrifice that eventually just becomes ashes, until Christ is the serving one in us. If we do not give ourselves, then the Lord has no way.
B. BY A SPECIFIC LONG TERM COMMITMENT TO A PARTICULAR SERVICE, RECEIVING A BURDEN FROM THE LORD
A PARTICULAR BURDEN AND A PARTICULAR GRACE
In Romans 12:6-8 you will find that there are gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. But then Paul says, "Let us exercise them accordingly: whether prophecy, according to the proportion of faith; or service, in the service, or he who teaches, in teaching; or he who exhorts, in exhortation; or he who gives, in simplicity; he who leads, in diligence; he who shows mercy, in cheerfulness." The young people's work is a particular service that we are undertaking. For a particular service we need a particular grace from the Lord. These gifts in Romans 12 are according to grace. Our capacity to serve comes out of our receiving of grace. But in Ephesians 4 grace is given according to the gift. Grace is needed to give us the capacity to serve, and when we're serving, grace becomes the supply for that service. Grace is the supply to initiate and qualify us for the service. Grace is also the supply to sustain us in a particular service. What we are doing here is not a general church life work, but the young people's work as a particular service. We need a specific long term commitment to do this work over a period of time.
NOT DAMAGING THE YOUNG PEOPLE
BY PICKING UP AND DROPPING THE BURDEN
When I began to do the young people's work in Anaheim in the earlier years, a problem occurred. Many saints got stirred up to help with the young people. They said they had a burden, and would do something for only a month or so, and then they would not have a burden anymore. The young people in Anaheim in 1976 had been picked up and dropped so many times that you could not get them off the ground. They were not about to let anyone pick them up anymore.
Earlier, there had been someone in Anaheim, who just before the trainings would gather the young people together, stir them up, and get them all excited. He did this so that when the saints came from the other localities for the training, he could say that the young people in Anaheim were doing great. Then he would not do anything with the young people for six months until just before the next training. Other saints also did this. Some would come and say they had a burden for the young people, and they would start to do something. A month later they would migrate, or they would get a burden for something else. So, I said, "Anyone who wants to touch the junior high or the high school work must make a commitment for three years." This is not a legal thing, but you must have the definite intention that you will carry the young people through a three-year cycle. I told the serving ones at that time that they couldn't migrate, and that was in the days when migration was a hot item". I told them, "I don't care. It is better not to do anything than to pick up the young people and then drop them." This matter of a specific long-term commitment is measured in years, not in hours, weeks, or even in a few months.
A SPECIFIC COMMITMENT OF THREE YEARS
You have to have the full intention to give yourself to bring these junior highers through their three years, pass them on and then bring the high schoolers through their three years. Three years is not too long a time. To me, that is about the shortest time you can accomplish anything with young people. You spend a year struggling, a year sowing, and then a year reaping. You have to have a specific long-term commitment to a particular service, that is, the young people's work, concerning those in junior high or the high school.
A DEFINITE COMMITMENT PRODUCES A BURDEN
It is this commitment that produces a burden. When you commit in a definite specific way to a particular work, then that becomes a burden. Please forgive me, but I do not trust those who say they have a "burden from the Lord" which came suddenly out of the blue and they had no consideration about it. Looking back over my thirty years of being in the church life, from 1958 to 1991,1 realize that most of those kind of "burdens" are just figments of the imagination. I do not mean that the Lord cannot burden you. A real burden comes when you commit yourself to a particular service, then that becomes a burden. A burden is simply what you pick before the Lord seriously, with commitment and with the intention to see it through. That commitment becomes the burden, then the Lord burdens you.
In New York, I was never involved in children's work because we had very capable sisters and brothers who did a wonderful job. When I first moved to Anaheim, the brothers told me that the children's work was a mess, and they asked me if I would do something. I had no burden, but I recognized it as a real need. I said, "O.K. I will do it." By picking up the burden I am still burdened today for the children.
The young people's work in New York was the same. I was one of the young people who gradually found out that I was not a young person anymore. I had many others who were coming up behind me and were following me. I got concerned and began to take care of the young people by picking up the need. Now I am more than burdened for the young people. I have often told the brothers that if all I had to do in the Lord's recovery were take care of the children and the young people, I would be in "heaven" because that is what I am burdened for. I got burdened just by picking up the need.
THE PROPER WAY TO PICK UP A BURDEN WITH MUCH CONSIDERATION, PRAYER, AND FELLOWSHIP
A burden should not be picked up in a careless way. One cannot just see what looks like a need, and then jump in and do it. A burden needs to be with a lot of consideration, a lot of prayer, and a lot of fellowship. Once the commitment is made, it is for the long term. This is the kind of serving spirit we must have.
C. BY NOT BEING SLOTHFUL, BUT BURNING IN SPIRIT, SERVING THE LORD AS A SLAVE (Romans 12:11)
To serve requires all the diligence and all the exercise of which we are capable. Romans 12:11, "not slothful in zeal, burning in spirit, serving the Lord as a slave" puts all these points together. Yes, there has to be zeal, but the burning has to be in the spirit. We have to serve as a slave. It is not that, we just come to do something, make arrangements, manage things, and have programs and plans. It is not like that, but it is to serve as a slave, who is not slothful. We need to be very diligent, but we also need to be burning in spirit. This is a serving spirit, serving the Lord as a slave.
D. BY SERVING IN THE COORDINATION OF THE BODY
In the context of these verses, all the service is in the coordination of the Body. God's economy is to dispense Himself into man making sinners into sons, making them into members of His Body for the building up of the corporate expression on the earth. Our service has to be according to the same principle as God's economy. If God's goal is a corporate built up expression of the Triune God, then our service has to be a corporate built-up service. This matter of serving in coordination is very crucial. What will change our being eventually is serving in coordination with others. Coordination seems slow, and it is frustrating, for it seems we could get things done much more quickly if only we would be left alone. But the only thing that will eventually deal with our natural life is the Body. We need the Body. Even our individual seeking of spirituality or bearing of the cross is not that effective until we come to serve in the Body. In the body everything works. The cross is in the Body. The life supply is in the body. The Spirit is in the Body. Everything is wrapped up in the Body, and God's goal is the body. How can service which is not according to this principle end up for the building up of the Body? Individualistic service produces individualistic fruit.
Eventually your young people will be like you. If you cannot serve with anybody, and you cannot get along with anybody, neither will they! They will be just like you.
This scared me to death when my children were little. I spent a lot of time praying, "Lord, save my children from being like me." I prayed specifically about all my shortages and all my weaknesses. I said, "Lord, save my children from being like this, because I know they are going to be like me."
Do not be condemned today by this kind of fellowship, for it is a relative matter. Do not say that none of us are qualified to serve or that none of us can make it. The point is that we can enter into this way of serving in the coordination of the Body together. This is a very crucial point.
TO SERVE IN THE HUMAN SPIRIT
There is a very good book by Brother Lee that came out a number of years ago, To Serve in the Human Spirit. If you've never read that book, go through it slowly and prayerfully. Pray-read it and pray over it. The big points in that book are serving in the Spirit and serving in the Body. There are excellent tests in that book of whether or not we have seen the Body and whether or not we are serving in the Body. The serving spirit is in and for the Body.
II. WE MUST HAVE A CLEAR VISION AND A DEFINITE GOAL FOR SERVICE
NOT THE NATURAL, WORLDLY, OR CHRISTIANITY WAY
I am afraid that very often when we come to the young people's work, we come in one of two ways. Either we come according to our natural thought, our particular background, culture and natural way, or we come according to our Christianity background. Even if you have never been in Christianity, this religion is in our blood.
Therefore we reject these three things: The natural way, the worldly way, and Christianity's way because it is altogether a mixture of the natural way and the worldly way. We need to have a clear vision of what we are doing. We need to have a definite goal. We have to be clear, and we have to be definite.
A. TO PRESERVE AND RESCUE THE YOUNG PEOPLE FROM THE USURPATION OF SATAN
AND THE CORRUPTION OF THIS EVIL AGE
The first thing is to preserve and rescue the young people from the usurpation of Satan and the corruption of this evil age. I will never stop speaking about this. Those of us who are a little older often have no idea how fallen this age has become in just a few short years.
NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN 1949
When I was an elementary kid in New York City public schools in 1949, every classroom had a Bible, and every assembly was opened with a reading from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Every graduation was addressed by a priest, a rabbi, or a minister. When I graduated from the eighth grade in elementary school (we did not have junior high then) an unsaved Methodist minister gave the graduation address. Because one third of the students or more were Jewish, he was wise and chose to speak on, "Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God," a portion from the Old Testament. He gave us a clear standard of morality and fearing God. He encouraged us to love justice, that is to be fair, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. In those days, everybody believed in God. The rabbi, the priest, the minister, and the teachers believed in God. We were all encouraged to walk before God in a kind of moral, ethical way. Back then in the New York public schools, the principal opened every assembly with a reading from the Old Testament and a reading from the New Testament, mostly from the gospels.
THE TIDE OF THIS AGE UNDERMINES THE FOUNDATION OF THIS COUNTRY
Just in these forty years, what a change you see! Now you cannot even mention God in the schools. The tide of this age has come in to undermine the whole foundation upon which this country was built. Our American constitution is based upon the law of Deuteronomy. So many things of this country's foundation can be traced back to the Bible, but all these things are being rejected.
Therefore, the first thing to realize is that we have to preserve from birth the young people who are in our hands. We also have to rescue them from the usurpation of Satan and the corruption of this world. If the ones that are in our hands get away, we have to rescue them and get them back. We have to preserve and rescue. If we do a good job of preserving our children from birth all the way through, then we will not have to rescue them back. But we still have to preserve them because the tide of this age is very subtle.
THE TERRIBLE SITUATION IN TODAY'S SCHOOLS
Now in some elementary schools they teach alternative life styles. I read an article the other day on teaching about homosexuality in elementary school with role-playing by the children. It is terrible!!
A BIG JOB TO PRESERVE THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S HUMANITY
We have a big preserving job to do. The enemy is altogether out to corrupt the humanity created by God so that it cannot be useful to God. When humanity is so corrupted and so damaged, it is hard for even the saved ones to be useful. To be preserved does make a difference.
I am not teaching some kind of perfectionism, but the more we can preserve our children from that corruption, the more useful they will be to the Lord. I fully hope and expect this generation of young people can be more preserved than I was. I did not get corrupted by the evil things when I was young, but we all have black marks in our past. We all have them, so don't be condemned. The Lord's salvation is able to save us to the uttermost.
If we do a thorough job from birth all the way through to the full-time training, we can preserve a generation of young people whose vessels are more useful than ours have been. Our usefulness has a lot to do with our earthen vessel. (See Children and Students' message in the full-time training, entitled 'The Treasure in the Earthen Vessel")
In the Lord's recovery, because our burden is concerning life and Spirit, this matter of taking care of our humanity may be somewhat new to us in this country. But if you go back to all of Brother Lee's messages, he has a lot to say about our humanity.
When we had the high school graduation dinner last June with the Anaheim graduates, Brother Lee gave them a strong word about building up a proper being, humanly and spiritually. They need Christ, and they need to build up a proper being with an excellent character. This is to have the proper vessel to contain the Lord as the treasure. For this building up we need Christ and the Spirit.
We do need to rescue them, for even our young people are usurped by Satan in some areas. They are usurped by so many things that they are kept from the enjoyment of Christ, from the Lord's purpose, and from the church life. Satan has a bait for every human being to match his disposition and his make up. Some bait seems good and some seems evil, but it is all Satan's usurpation just to bring us into the corruption of this evil age. We must have a clear vision of what we are doing with the young people.
I would not want to be a junior higher today. I am very concerned for my grandchildren. My children got through school in the 60's, just at the tail end of one age and the beginning of another age. The old-fashioned, conservative teachers with proper morality and teaching were retiring; and the generation of the sixties was coming in. We saw a big contrast between these two groups of teachers while my children were growing up.
AN EXAMPLE OF PRESERVING
A brother in one locality goes every year to the children's principal. He tells the principal, "We are conservative Christians who believe in morality, and we do not believe in alternative life styles. I would like you to put my children in classes with teachers who share our values and will not tear them down." The principal says, "I know what you mean, and this old teacher is the one you want." His kids get put in those classes.
TO LEAD AND INSPIRE THE YOUNG PEOPLE TO KNOW
AND EXPERIENCE CHRIST IN AN INWARD WAY,
NOT JUST IN AN OBJECTIVE WAY
We have to lead and inspire the young people to know and experience Christ in an inward way and not just in an objective way. With these young people we need to develop the sense of the Lord living in them, the sense that Christ lives in them. We have to lead them to know He is not just an objective Savior who died 2,000 years ago for their redemption, but to know He is living in them inwardly. If we do not have this experience ourselves, we cannot lead them into it. Our job is to lead and to inspire the young people to know and experience Christ in an inward way.
TO MOTIVATE AND STRENGTHEN THE YOUNG PEOPLE
TO BUILD UP THEIR BEING AND TO CULTIVATE A PROPER, EXCELLENT CHARACTER
We have to motivate and strengthen the young people to build up their being and to cultivate a proper excellent character. Brother Lee told the high school graduating seniors in Anaheim to build up their whole being - spirit, soul, and body - and to cultivate a proper excellent character. In the book Character Brother Lee said it is hard to say whether character is a matter of the body, the soul, or the spirit. He said it's a matter of all three. If our body is lazy, if our mind is disorderly, and if our spirit is flat and dead, we will never have a proper character. The building up of a proper character involves our spirit, soul, and body -our whole being. It is an important thing not only to know and experience Christ, but also to build up a proper human being.
The present American culture does not pay much attention to the matter of building up a proper character as earlier generations did, like in the previous century. Many of the Chinese-speaking saints pay more attention to the building up of a proper human being with their children than we Americans do. This is our job in serving, to build up a proper being and excellent character.
NOT LETTING THE WORLD COME IN
In the recovery some have had the slogan, "Life takes care of everything." That's true if you understand it properly. But that slogan has become a "cop out" for not dealing with a lot of things in ourselves and in our situations. Therefore, we have let a lot of things of the world come in.
Two or three years ago it was taught by some that it doesn't matter if you go to the movies, for you can still enjoy the Lord there. It was spoken that it does not matter if you participate in worldly amusements. Just as long as you "enjoy the Lord," everything is all right. This is wrong!
After a recent young people's conference some of the sisters called me and told me that some serving ones had said, "You can be in the world and still love the Lord." One serving sister had said, that to find out you can be in the world and still love the Lord was a great liberation to her. This is terrible! First of all I would question whether you really love the Lord when you are in the world. You definitely can never serve the Lord's purpose in the world. You can never be built up with others in the world.
THE NEED TO BUILD UP PROPER HABITS FOR A PROPER CHARACTER
Brother Lee, in the book Character said that character is seventy percent formed by our habit and thirty percent by our inborn disposition. Character comes out of habits, and habits come out of behavior. Therefore behavior matters. Our inborn disposition gives us a tendency in a certain direction but every tendency can be overcome by building up a proper habit. My metabolism may be very slow, so I am a very lethargic person, but by building up a proper habit, I can overcome this.
I can testify to you that in my inborn disposition I have a very large melancholy depressed element, subjective depression. I am very subjectively depressive in my inborn disposition. I am not being proud, but by exercising myself, my spirit, my soul, my mind, my will, and my emotions, I have learned by the Lord’s mercy how to overcome that inborn disposition, to a great extent. It is by forming proper habits. It really makes a difference what kind of habits you form. Nobody has to be burned out or depressed. Every weakness can be overcome by building up a proper character. We need to take care of this with ourselves and with our young people. It does matter what they do. With my children I am not so concerned about an incident that happens, but I am very concerned about a pattern of incidents.
If we are on our children every time they do something wrong, then we would be on them all the time. The same is true with us. Suppose the Lord hit us every time we did something wrong. We would be black and blue all the time. What I learned to watch for with my children was not just whether they did something right or wrong, but whether something becomes a pattern or a habit. A pattern of behavior becomes a habit. That habit shapes a character. I am much more concerned with the pattern of behavior, even with the young people.
Look how wrong David was, but it was not his habit to be wrong in murder and adultery. I am not justifying murder and adultery, but my point is that David is not called an adulterer or a murderer. He is called a man after God's own heart. Yes, he fell into sin, that was terrible, but he had a thorough repentance. But somebody who practices something over a period of time becomes that. This is the difference, and this is what we mean here.
We have to motivate, to speak to the young people, and to infuse them just as Brother Lee did. "You need to build up your being with Christ, with the spirit. Your whole being, your spirit, soul, and body need to be built up to have a proper character." We need to motivate and strengthen the young people.
D. TO PROMOTE AND ENCOURAGE THE YOUNG PEOPLE
TO OBTAIN THE BEST EDUCATION FOR BOTH THEIR SPIRIT AND THEIR SOUL
We need to promote and encourage the young people to obtain the best education for both their spirit and their soul.
OUR JOB SUMMARIZED
We can summarize each point of our job with one word: The world, Christ, character and education. Our job is to rescue and preserve them from the world, to lead and inspire them to know Christ in an inward way, to motivate and strengthen them to build up their being and cultivate an excellent character, and to promote and encourage them to obtain the best education for both their spirit and soul.
With some in the recovery, they only emphasized on the Spirit and life, and with them there was a great neglect of the truth. But whenever Brother Lee mentions life he mentions life and truth. Our job is to teach the truth. In the elders meetings Brother Lee said two things are needed for building up a local church: (1) The teaching of truth according to the apostles’ teaching, and (2) The eldership. That is what he told the elders. His number one emphasis is the teaching of the truth, the apostles’ teaching. The number two emphasis is the eldership. Brother Lee's emphasis has been very much this matter of the truth, especially in these recent years. It is a lack of truth that has caused a lot of problems and has gotten us into a lot of difficulty. The education of both the young people's spirit and soul needs to be promoted.
One day during the full-time training there were some young people at my dinner table. I had a good talk with them about how much education they had and how much more they were going to get. A few days later a brother told me that after that talk he went back and began to pray to the Lord and realized he needed to get some more education. If the mind is not trained, if the emotions are not subdued, if the will is not strengthened, how can we be useful to the Lord? We need to promote education, for it is needed to shape and make a useful human vessel.
You do not have any ignorant people who are useful to the Lord in the Bible. Even though Peter was called as fisherman, he was not ignorant. When he stood up on the day of Pentecost, he gave a marvelous message, taking a prophecy from the Old Testament and applying it to the New Testament. His message did not just come by inspiration, but by education. Peter was educated.
Look at the prophecy of Mary, the mother of Jesus. There was inspiration, but there was education, the proper knowledge of the Bible, before the inspiration came. What she said was inspired, but if there was nothing with which to be inspired, then how could she come out with anything? If you do not know the verses, the Bible, that Moses came after Abraham, that Enoch came before Abraham, what the brass serpent means, or what happened in the Old Testament, how can you have anything? There needs to be both spiritual and human education for both the spirit and the soul.
III. WE MUST HAVE A SANCTIFIED SERVICE (John 17:14-19)
"I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth" (John 17:14-19).
John 17, foot note 19-1 says the Son was absolutely holy by Himself, but He still sanctified Himself in His way of living while He was on the earth to set an example of sanctification for His disciples. The Lord sanctified Himself for the sake of His disciples.
A. WE MUST SANCTIFY OURSELVES FOR THE SAKE OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE
I would like “For their sakes I sanctify Myself” to be a motto on the wall of every serving one with the children and the young people. We have to have a sanctified service, a service separated from all the factors of the world including all the earthly pleasures and enjoyment. To be holy means not to be common, but to be separated and sanctified from the world and from all its involvement.
B. WE MUST BE SEPARATED FROM THE WORLD WITH ITS EARTHLY PLEASURES AND WORLDLY ENJOYMENT
(1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; Num. 6:1-12)
In the little booklet, The Principle of the Nazarite, the consecration of the Nazarite shows us that if we are going to have a sanctified service, we have be separated from worldly enjoyment, self-glory, natural affection, and all kinds of spiritual deadness. For this we really need to go to the Lord.
If we are not really sanctified, that is separated from all the worldly and natural factors, then all we will do in our service is to put the worldly and natural factors into these young people. This is very serious. Eventually the young people will be as we are. We may be able to say all the right things and use all the right terminology, but eventually the young people will be what we are. We must be separated and sanctified from the world by the word and be built up into a holy priesthood.
Sanctification has the saturating element, but you can never saturate what is not separated. In one of the Life Studies of the New Testament, Brother Lee uses this phrase, "separation is for saturation." Anything that has not been set apart, separated, offered to the Lord, and cut off from all the worldly involvement, can never be saturated with the Triune God.
OUTWARD SEPARATION FIRST, THEN INWARD SANCTIFICATION
When I first came to Anaheim I heard such private talk as, "The Lord can still sanctify you even when you are in the movies." All the Lord will do to sanctify you when you are in the movies is say, "Get out! Get out! Get out!" The real sanctifying work is to separate you.
Gradually over the years so many worldly elements have come into our homes and into our lives. So many things have snuck in. Many things that were cleared out and thrown away twenty years ago have gradually come back through the side and back doors. I have been traveling and fellowshipping with saints concerning the children and I have heard, "When we came to the Lord's recovery we dealt with this, and this, and this, and this. We were so released and filled with the Lord and filled with the Spirit but now everything is flat." We have discovered that this is because all those things we threw out the front door have snuck in the back door, under all kinds of guises and excuses.
Sanctification is first a separation, a being set apart for the Lord's use. This is to be rescued from Satan's usurpation. Anything not sanctified is in Satan's realm, including us. When we are not sanctified, in whatever area in which we are not separated, we are under Satan's usurpation.
C. WE MUST BE SANCTIFIED BY THE FATHERS HOLY WORD
(BOTH CONSTANT, vv. 14,17, AND INSTANT, v. 8 [John 17:14-17, note 17-1])
This sanctifying comes by the Father's holy word. This word is both the constant word, the logos, and the instant word, the rhema. In John 17:14 and 17 the word is logos and in verse 8 the word is rhema. The Father's word has these two factors.
I have met saints who misunderstood the two factors of the Lord's word. They thought that they did not want to be "legal" so they would not take care of the words of the Bible. They would just wait for the Lord to speak. They just wanted the rhema. A couple of years ago a sister and a brother just talked about, "the rhema, the rhema, we want the rhema, the instant word, the instant word." But here in John 14:14 and 17 the word is logos, the constant word, the word of black and white in the Bible. To read the Bible and take the word of the Father is not to be legal. It is to take the logos, the living word and let this word become the sanctifying element in us.
In the Life-study of John Message 40, there is a very good section on the world. Every aspect of the world, regardless of what it is, belongs to this satanic system. There is a good section on the instant word and the constant word. Both kinds of words are holy, having a sanctifying power to separate the believers from the world. This Sanctification changes our position and our disposition, our inward being. There is also a good section on the Son sanctifying Himself. I encourage you to go back and read this section of the Life-study of John, Message 40.
D. WE MUST BE A HOLY PRIESTHOOD (1 Peter 2:5, note 5-5)
This sanctified service eventually ends up being a corporate matter, where we must be a holy priesthood. "You yourselves also, are being built up a spiritual house, into a holy priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:5).
IV. WE MUST BE A PATTERN AND EXAMPLE IN SERVING
(John 13:15; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Tim 4:12; Titus 2:7-8)
A. WE MUST BE PROPER IN OUR BEING, OUR CHARACTER (1 Thess. 1:5-7)
We must be a pattern and an example in serving. In John 13 and 1 Peter 2, we see how the Lord is the pattern and example. In 1 Timothy 4 and Titus 2, we see how Paul charged Timothy and Titus to be an example.
Some of us brothers were talking about who should be involved in the service with the young people. Eventually I said, "Brothers, the principle is this: you have to ask yourself before you put someone in this particular service, Do you want the young people to be like that person? I do not care how gifted they are, I do not care how much they can say the right words. Do you want them to be like that person?"
Eventually the young people are going to be as we are. They will follow our example. They will follow the pattern that we set for them. This is very sobering to me. That is why I tell you the truth again and again; we all need to get saved. When we come to touch the young people's work, we need to get saved. That does not mean we are perfect, or that we have no shortcomings, but we need to pray, "Lord, save the young people from my shortage, from my shortcoming. Do not let those be an example to them." We need to build up this kind of pattern and example in our serving, in a number of areas. We have to be proper in our being, in our character.
First Thessalonians 1 has a very good verse where Paul says, "You know what kind of men we were." He said, "Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake." Paul also said, "And you became imitators of us and of the Lord." Paul and the brothers with him were built up in a proper way and the Thessalonians imitated their example. Verse 7 shows that the Thessalonians became a pattern to others. What we are doing is like dropping a stone in the middle of the pond and watching the ripples go out. It does not just affect those few young people that we are with, but they are going to imitate us. Then others are going to imitate them, for good or for evil. It really matters that we have to be built up in our character. But we need to spend enough time with the Lord for the building up of our proper character, our being.
B. WE MUST BE HOLY IN OUR CONDUCT, OUR MANNER OF LIFE
(1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 Tim 2:8 [See Life-study of Peter, Message 11, pg. 91; Message 12;
Life-study of 1 Timothy, Message 4, pp. 33-35])
These verses above, and the sections of the Life-studies of 1 Peter and 1 Timothy, show us how we have to be holy in all our manner of life. Inwardly we have to be holy. Then in our manner of life, that is in our conduct we have to be holy. Brother Lee says in Message 12 of the Life-study of 1 Peter, "Others should be able to see a certain manner in our living, and this manner should be holy." Why? Because we have been redeemed from a vain manner of life handed down from our fathers. What we got from Adam and from our fathers was a vain manner of life and we've been redeemed from that. There's a very good section on the redemption from the vain manner of life. The point eventually is that this is all to make us, the redeemed ones, holy and able to live a holy manner of life. I would encourage you to also read the references to these Life-studies and those on the manner of life, that is our conduct. What we do makes a difference.
PRAY IN EVERY PLACE
"I will therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands without wrath and reasoning" (1 Timothy 2:8).
In Message 4 of the Timothy Life-study, Brother Lee points out that in other places Paul says that we should pray at every time. Here he says that we should pray in every place, lifting up holy hands. He said the requirement to pray in every place is more demanding than to pray at every time. If we can pray in every place, we can surely pray at every time. But even if we are able to pray at every time, we still may not be able to pray in every place. For example, it is not possible to pray in certain worldly places. Since you cannot pray in those places, you should not go there. If you can pray in a particular place, it is permissible for you to be there, but if you cannot pray in a certain place, you should not be there. This verse in particular applies to the brothers, but, of course, it applies to us all. If you pray in every place your living will be transformed. Why? Because it will keep you from certain places. Then he said, "Hands are a symbol of our doings. Hence holy hands signify a holy living, a living sanctified and separated unto God." This verse also says to be "without wrath or reasoning’s." This verse applies mainly to the brothers who get involved in disputatious reasoning’s and who become angry. Brother Lee continues with, "By the Lord's grace that is in our spirit, we must exercise a strict control over our emotion." This is to live a holy life.
C. WE MUST BE SANCTIFIED IN OUR APPEARANCE (1 Tim. 2:9-10)
[See Life-study of 1 Timothy, Message 4, pp. 36-40]
MODESTY THE LEADING FEMALE VIRTUE
First Timothy 2:9, 10 are particularly addressed to the sisters, that they would adorn themselves in proper clothing with modesty and sobriety, not with braided hair or gold or jewels or costly clothing. Proper clothing denotes what is fitting to the sisters' nature and position as saints of God. Brother Lee has a long section in the 1 Timothy Life-studies concerning this matter. He says, "In this message I am especially burdened concerning modesty, the leading female virtue. In some families there is not adequate stress on modesty. Rather, both boys and girls are brought up and instructed in the same way. Modesty is a virtue which emphasizes the difference between male and female...Modesty is a great safeguard and protection to a female...All the sisters in the church life should have the virtue of modesty...The sisters should dress according to the principle of modesty. This principle does not allow the exposure of one's body. For a woman to expose her body is to go against the principle of modesty...The sisters should never forget that they are females—They should be careful not to allow any evil thing to defile their holy body..."
"I advise all the young sisters to wear a heavenly cloak to cover themselves from the influence of this evil age. Then they will be preserved for God's purpose. At the time appointed by God, He will arrange for the right brother to marry a young sister as a virgin. Again and again I would remind the sisters to wear a cloak of modesty."
Along with modesty, the sisters need sobriety. In the First Timothy training when Brother Lee spoke concerning these matters it was a most sober word and with a very heavy burden. Sobriety and modesty have to do with our appearance, with the matter of our clothing.
I can testify to you that as a man I am ashamed to see the way some of the young sisters dress among us. When another brother and I once went for a young people's conference, I was appalled at the way the young people, especially the girls, in the Lord's recovery dressed. You may say, "Oh, that is just outward." Yes, but the outward is an expression of what is within us. Appearance does make a difference.
GOD PROVIDED CLOTHING AS COVERING (Genesis 3:21)
PROPER CLOTHING MAINTAINS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN MAN AND WOMEN (Deut. 22:5)
Go back and read Brother Nee's Do All To the Glory of God (Chapter 36). The principle of clothing is to cover our nakedness. The Lord's word is very, very clear. Then the principle of clothing in Deuteronomy is to maintain the difference between men and women.
A STANDARD FOR THE FULL-TIME TRAINEES SERVING WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE
The additional outline is from an unrecorded special message given to the full time trainees before we went to a young people's conference. I wanted to prepare all the serving ones. Frankly, I have not been happy with the appearance of the serving ones in the young people's conferences. The trainees are under the training. So we brothers fellowshipped and agreed that I would give this word, that we would set a standard for all the trainees in the full time training. If they want to come and serve in this work, they must follow the standard in this outline on being a pattern and an example, which included the matter of clothing and ornamentation.
THE BIBLICAL SIGNIFICANCES
It is appalling to me the way the worldly ornamentation in jewelry, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets have come into the Lord's recovery. If you go through the outline concerning being a pattern and example, you will see the biblical significances of all these things. You will be shocked to see that these things are related to idolatry. You will see that as Brother Lee says in these messages, that self-beautification leads to idolatry, which leads to fornication.
JACOB'S HOUSEHOLD PURIFYING THEMSELVES
BY CHANGING THEIR GARMENTS AND BURYING THE IDOLS AND THE EARRINGS BEFORE GOING TO BETHEL
When Jacob and his household were going back to go up to Bethel they purified themselves. They put off their garments and they buried their earrings before they could go to the house of God. In this Life-study, Brother Lee said that this is not something related to evil, it is something related to the church, the house of God. The standard of the church should be different from that of the world.
One little girl came up to me in the young people's conference and said, "Do you know who I am?" I told her, "No, I don't." She said, "Do you know who my father is?" And I answered no. When she told me I was shocked, because her father was a good brother in the church life. How could he let his daughter look like that? She looked like what we used to call a tramp, all made up, painted, big dangly earrings, her hair fixed up and the clothing open. I honestly couldn't believe it. It is appalling to me. Saints, this is a real shame to us.
ISRAEL MAKING THE GOLDEN CALF FROM THE GOLDEN EARRINGS
SHOWS THAT SELF-BEAUTIFICATION LEADS TO IDOLATRY
(Exodus 32:1-6,22-26 [See Life-study of Exodus, Message 173])
Go through all these cases in the word and you will find out that earrings were the material of which the golden calf was made. The gold, which came out of Egypt, was for the building of God's house, but it got usurped by the Israelites for their self-beautification. Eventually self-beautification led to idolatry. That idolatry led to fornication as seen by the fact that the children of Israel danced naked around the golden calf made of their earrings. This is a shame.
Earrings are self-beautifying items. These were dealt with in the same way as the idols. Many people’s earrings and jewelry are equal to idols in the eyes of God. When those in Jacob's household were putting away the foreign gods, they also put away their earrings. This indicates that to their conscience, their earrings were as abominable as their foreign gods. After touching the church, many sisters have had the same conviction and have put off these kind of abominable ornaments. This is not something related to morality but to the house of God. We must be purified, not only because we are going to Bethel, but also because we are to be Bethel, the house of God. Many sisters in the past did put off these things, but sad to say, many sisters have picked them up again.
In Message 173 in Exodus, Brother Lee wrote a whole section on how self-beautification leads to idolatry. He goes through the Lord's word in a very clear way to show how the jewelry was used to make the golden calf and how today's culture promotes self-beautification.
The principle of an idol is self-beautification. An idol therefore is the consummate expression of a person's self-beautification. Another principle related to idolatry is that idolatry is Satan's usurpation of what God has given us in order to make it a waste. Brother Lee then strongly points out the Egyptians gave the children of Israel the gold and other things for the building up of the tabernacle, but Satan came in to usurp the gold and used it to make an idol. Actually before the golden calf was made, "Satan had already usurped the gold so that it might be used to make earrings. If the children of Israel had loved the Lord to the uttermost they would never have wasted the gold by using it for earrings. Instead they would have kept it for the Lord's use."
God has given us many things not for self-beautification but for us to worship God and glorify Him. But before we use these things to worship and glorify God, the enemy tries to come in to usurp what God has given us, and to waste it. This is the second principle of idolatry and it is an offense to God.
ISRAEL PUTTING OFF ALL THEIR ORNAMENTS FROM MT. HOREB ONWARD
(Exodus 33:5-6 [See Life-study of Exodus Message 177, pp. 1877-1878])
After this they put off the ornaments and earrings from Mount Horeb onward. In order to be cleansed, it was necessary for them to put off all their jewelry. Even after the golden calf had been destroyed and three thousand of the children of Israel had been slain, the people still had their ornaments, but when they heard the evil word about the Lord's not going up in their midst, then "no man put on his ornaments."
"The people, however, still had their ornaments. When they heard this evil word, they began to realize they could no longer wear these ornaments. Therefore, we are told that the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb onward." This means that God caused the people to repent and put off their ornaments as a sign of repentance. "The people gave up their self-beautification. This is the outcome of Moses making propitiation for the stiff-necked and idolatrous people." I would encourage you to go back and read the Exodus Life-study Messages 173 and 177.
THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCES OF MAKEUP (PAINTED EYES)
If you want to know the spiritual significances of painted eyes and makeup just read these four sets of verses:
2 Kings 9:30 - Jezebel painted her eyes. She was the pagan wife of king Ahab, who brought the worship of Baal to Israel and killed the prophets of Jehovah. She is the evil woman spoken of in Revelation chapter 2.
Ezekiel 23:40 - The lewd harlots, Aholah and Aholibah painted their eyes and decked themselves with ornaments.
Jeremiah 4:30 - Israel was judged by God for playing the harlot with scarlet clothing, ornaments of gold, and painted eyes.
Proverbs 6:24-26 - Young men are warned not to be enticed by the eyelids of a prostitute or by an adulteress.
What I see as common dress today was the attire of prostitutes when I was young. Would you like to know what New York prostitutes looked like in the forties and fifties? Just look around today. That is what they looked like. How we dress is a serious matter. It is not a small matter. If we want to be sanctified in our service, we have to deal with all these things.
D. WE MUST FORSAKE EVERY FORM AND APPEARANCE OF EVIL,
AND WE MUST NOT BECOME AN EXAMPLE OF DISOBEDIENCE
(1Thess. 5:22; Heb. 4:11)
"Abstain from every form [and appearance] of evil" (1 Thes. 5:22).
"Let us therefore be diligent to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience" (Heb, 4:11).
In Hebrews 4:11 there is an example of disobedience, of not entering in, the good land, into what God had promised. We should not fall after the same example of disobedience.
WE NEED THIS KIND OF PERFECTING
I realize what I have shared is quite serious and quite sober. I have been burdened for a long time to share these things not only in southern California, but also in other parts of the Lord’s recovery. If we are going to be those who serve our young people, we need this kind of perfecting in all of these areas. I have given you all the references and all the points. I would beg you to go to the Lord and bring all of these to Him.
Sharing by Gene Gruhler in Anaheim, California, on January 21, 1991 with ones from Southern California who were burdened to serve with junior high and high school young people. Briefly edited from a transcription, with headings added. Not reviewed by speaker, but used by permission. This document is also available online at www.OurSecondGeneration.com