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I've been thinking for some time about the 144K vision, and the need to do something to help people who are struggling with it.


What I have arrived at, however, is that we do not really need to have more written on the subject, but we do probably need to do more sharing about it with one another. The reason I say that is because I think what happens when people start to lose the vision is just that the devil has gotten in and clouded our thinking about how simple the vision really is. He makes us think that the 144K vision is something that it is not... that it is, in fact, a bit unreasonable.


I think that most of you are smart enough and informed enough that if you just sat down yourselves and tried to write something on the topic, or if you started to share with one another about exactly what the 144K vision is, you would find your percentages picking up almost automatically.

In other words, it isn't so much a matter of our commitment to the vision that is fading as it is our understanding of the vision that is fading.


One problem is that we just talk each week in terms of "What is your 144K percentage?" It is almost like asking, "How horny are you?" And, without thinking things through clearly, people pull a figure out of the air. I have mentioned how some people can pick a very high figure without recognising their limitations; but they can also pick a very low figure without recognising how easy it is to maintain a higher percentage.


If we allow ourselves to get into the system mindset, which is that everyone is more or less entitled to a lifetime of sexual activity with one or more sexual partners, then the idea of a lifetime without sexual activity sounds like an almost impossible sacrifice.


On the other hand, the true 144K vision does not eliminate all sexual activity (i.e. It does not eliminate masturbation.) but it does take a very long, hard, cold look at exactly what sexual activity with a partner involves. Obviously, someone who is masturbating could easily think that it would be great to have the real thing. If that was the only concern, then the answer would, of course, be "yes". If you can find a sexual partner, then do so. It's more fun.


But from the Christian perspective, even if we did have the "real thing", it would involve some overwhelming sacrifices and disciplines that do not often enter our heads when we are just thinking about all of the "cuddlies" that we are missing. That is the deceptive power of the cuddlies. That is the real Jezebel spirit.


Maybe we need to do an article on the "pricklies" (no pun intended!) or something like that, which reminds us of all the discomforts that come with a married commitment. There is the lack of freedom because you are tied to someone else ("for better or for worse") for the rest of your life. There is the pain that comes when the other person does not live up to your expectations. There is the heartbreak that comes if the other person backslides (in which case you lose your freedom to ever consider marriage again). And, of course, there are the restrictions on your usefulness for God, possibly even meaning disqualification from the Virgin Army (although we are not certain that we know what that means).


Of course, knowing that marriage is not forbidden should actually make it easier to maintain the 144K vision too. (Think how much harder it must be for a divorcee, for whom remarriage IS forbidden!) At least while you remain single, your options stay open. Once you are married, there is no turning back.


It does seem to me like any sincere Christian, with any understanding of what the Bible (and what Jesus in particular) says about the advisability of remaining single, who then says that they are totally indifferent to whether they stay married or single (i.e. that they have a 50% burden for the 144K vision) or who is actively seeking to get married (i.e. that they have a burden below 50% for the 144K vision) must not have really thought the issues through. It's almost like saying that I am indifferent to using drugs, or that I am actively looking for opportunities to use drugs. I know that the drugs are not immoral in themselves; but why on earth should I be indifferent to something that I know is not going to be good for me?

An ex-member left the community when his wife left. But while in the community, he never registered himself as having anything more than a 50% burden for the 144K vision. Because he never braced himself for being single, he failed when she failed.


Likewise, I wonder about marrieds who choose to ignore the scripture about it being time for those who are married to be as though they were not. (1 Corinthians 7:29) We may not all come to the same conclusion about how to apply that passage, but to ignore it altogether seems strange for anyone who is sincere.


A similar problem happens with regard to Bible prophecy in general. We are almost certainly wrong in some of our expectations with regard to how it is all going to be fulfilled. But the answer is not to ignore Bible prophecy altogether, as so many have done. And yet almost everyone who backslides from the group does so by first allowing doubts to creep in with regard to our thinking about Bible prophecy and the 144K vision. Before long, they are completely turned off to anything that has to do with Bible prophecy and the 144K vision.

Their thinking is that, because we do not know everything about those two subjects, then we are entitled to ignore them altogether. Wrong!


There is room for opinions with regard to some of the details, but there is not room for tossing either issue (celibacy or Bible prophecy) out. Yet it is so easy to start thinking that way when we let the devil come in and cloud the issues. It is one of the easiest areas of deception that he has, where he lures you into a more "respectable" approach to marriage and the second coming, and then leads you, step by step, away from any discipline at all that you find irritating or inconvenient.


I have ended up writing an article here, but I hope that people will not just read it and forget it. I hope that it will spark discussion and thought amongst yourselves about what the 144K vision really is... not discussion about anything new or complicated or bizarre, but discussion about how simple the vision is, i.e. that, of the two choices, married or single, the preferred option is to remain single.


Love, Dave


(See also The Cuddlies.)

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