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I should address some problems relating to the 144K vision. I am particularly concerned that people may think we need to tolerate other points of view within our own fellowship which do not support the 144K vision; or that celibacy is not necessarily the preferred option, and the ideal toward which we should all be aiming.


If people start thinking this way, then it is quite likely that such people would only stay with the community until such time as they are able to find a wife anyway, and then they would leave... not because we would kick them out, but because they simply would not feel comfortable within the community, even though it may be more comfortable for them to stick around at the moment.


We have seen it happen too many times in the past to think otherwise. Just take a careful look through the ranks of all those couples who have left us and tell me how many husbands are really wearing the pants in those families. You cannot be free to follow the Lamb withersoever he goes if you are busy trying to follow your wife withersoever she goes. As soon as such men have the power that comes with having a "disciple" of their own (i.e. a wife), they shoot through. The only couples who have stayed on in our fellowship are ones who are not baulking at the 144K vision even though it puts us married people down as being second-class Christians.


We should be clear about what the standard is, and also be clear about our opposition to anyone teaching otherwise, whether publicly or privately. Celibacy is the ideal.


Marriage is an option; but it is an inferior option. If anyone doesn't like it, they can leave now. I am serious about this. I am prepared to go right down to the last two people remaining in the community with this issue in order to keep only those people around who are 100% red-hot sold out warriors for God. My goodness, we have taught from our earliest days that we must "forsake all", right down to the point of laying down our lives for Christ and for each other; and yet every time it starts to get even close to costing us something far less than this, people seem to think that we have gone off some deep end and they panic or leave.


As one ex-member put it, he felt that, despite what people say, each person in the community has what he had, which he called a secret "contract". His contract definitely did not involve laying down his life for anyone. In fact, for him, it did not even include anything so hard as distributing tracts in the Sydney CBD. For others, their secret contracts did not include being criticised publicly, or staying single, or cutting their hair, or standing up to their wives, or disciplining their kids. When you look at it, we are only kidding ourselves that we are ready to lay down our lives for God and for one another if we let these little things stop us. These people did not even come CLOSE to the commitment that Jesus requires of his followers, and we are better off without them.


So where is the line being drawn on your secret contract at the moment? The 144K vision is that even if we are not 100% ourselves, we are going to teach it and strive toward it until the day that we die. I hope that at least some of us have that as our contract, both secretly and publicly.


Now for the subject of marriage. Lest people think that I am forbidding marriage here, let me explain. For starters, you will always have your free will. Just as you can leave the community at any time, so you can also get married at any time. I don't think I have ever said that we would kick a person out for getting married. After all, I am married myself. But we will still insist that the marriage must be second to the work of the kingdom, and there will be times, as your commanding officers, that we will require you to do things which will force you away from the selfish comforts of your marriage relationship. If the marriage relationship stops you from being able to perform your duties as a soldier, you will not be kicked out for being married; but you may be kicked out for not being able to perform your duties.


Much the same can be said for having children. We do not forbid it, but we will make demands that will jeopardise your sovereignty over your children, and it will take a very strong commitment to the 144K vision for people to submit to those demands. If you do submit, I believe that you will be much happier for it. And if your partner and/or children submit to those demands, then they too will be much happier for it.


This 144K vision is an important one, and it is definitely not optional. If people are to be a part of an auxiliary of some sort, it will only be on the terms that the auxiliary totally supports the aims of the army, and not that the auxiliary represents some sort of an opposing army. It must be the aim of the auxiliary to recruit people for the army, rather than recruiting people for the auxiliary.


Someone saw a vision of a very big ring on a pointing finger. I think the size of the ring indicates our need to emphasise our marriage to Jesus very clearly... to draw people's attention to it... to harp on it until people accept it or get out. A very large stone on an engagement ring is intended to draw people's attention to the fact that the person wearing it is engaged. And we want the biggest stone possible on our engagement ring to Christ. The fact that the ring was on the pointing finger is because this vision is what will point us to Christ, to heaven, and to the Virgin Army.

As I said before, we won't stop someone from getting married. But Paul warned about the distractions of a young widow who might join the community to look for a husband (1 Timothy 5:11-14), and he suggested that such people should go ahead and get married if that's what they want, and then go live on their own. I think this could have relevance with regard to single men who are looking for wives as well as for single women. Paul saw this as a distraction to everyone else in the army. At least for now, the singles need to declare their intentions. How far are you single guys prepared to go in making it clear that you want to be married to Christ?


We have made allowances for married couples to stay on in the community; but the success rate is very low. And the reason is the Jezebel spirit. The wives are not evil in themselves, nor are the children. But the Jezebel spirit uses them both to tear us away from being totally sold out to God. God is a jealous God, and he will not have that.


Jezebel, go to hell! And let's follow the Lamb wherever he goes!


(See also The Virgin Army.)

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