The Truth is Getting Its Boots On

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A speech by Gene Spriggs dated June 22nd,2000. The Occasion was the 16th Anniversary of the 1984 Raid on the Community in Island Pond, in which 112 children and their parents were taken into custody by the State of Vermont, in an effort to prove allegations of child abuse. The children and their parents were returned to their homes late that evening, after Judge Frank Mahady ruled the state’s actions were unconstitutional, and stated on record that the raid was “The worst state sanctioned violation of children since Herod the Great.” Many of those children taken in the Island Pond Raid are raising families of their own in the Twelve Tribes Communities around the world, living their lives according to the beliefs of their parents and trusting in the same God who delivered them all those years ago…

First of all, I would like to say to you that with all of our heart and all of our soul (with everything in us) we want to do our Father’s will in heaven. We want His name to be great upon the earth. This is what we live for; it’s what we breathe for. We want His kingdom to come and His will to be done. We want to carry out His will upon the earth.

I don’t want to validate ourselves by saying what a religion is or isn’t, but James (who wrote the Epistle of James) said what true religion is. I know there are many religions in the world. And just because we do what James says doesn’t necessarily make us a true religion, but religion simply means those who are re-linked to God, re-linked back to Him in order to do His will on earth. Unless we’re re-linked to Him, we can’t do what James 1:27 says a true religion actually is. That is to be unstained by this world

It’s an evil world, and our Father has saved us out from this wicked and perverse (miscreant) generation. And here we are in a secure, wonderful place where we can raise our children in peace, and live in tranquility and peace, submitting to the governments of the earth.

In James 1:27 it says: “True religion (those who are truly re-linked to God) will care for orphans and widows and be unstained by the world.” 

With all of our heart we want to bring orphans into our communities and care for them — those who don’t have mothers and fathers or whose mothers and fathers did not come with them into the Community. We care for them as orphans, and also for widows who have no husbands to protect them. That’s why good government must come forth in the Body of Messiah in the last days for the restoration of all things to come about as prophesied by our Master Yahshua in Mark 9:11. 

Also, not to validate ourselves, but we’re not a religious group or a special interest group that lobbies Congress in order to keep from paying taxes. We are commanded not only to discipline our children, but to pay taxes. We don’t get out of paying property taxes. We pay property taxes everywhere we go — we pay all taxes because we’re commanded to pay them. I’m not trying to validate ourselves by that, but at least we’re not lobbying Congress to get out of paying taxes. We want to pay taxes with all of you good citizens of the United States of America where we’re privileged to live. 

The Purpose of Government

1 Peter 2:14 says, “Government was established to praise those who do good and to punish those who do evil.” 

We agree with that. Unless the government does that, they themselves become miscreant — not a true government like Thomas Jefferson said could possibly happen. We don’t want to be a miscreant religion, or we don’t want to have a miscreant government over us either, but we pray for the government. We pray for the officials in authority that our Father would have good men of good conscience (statesmen, not politicians) come forward and rule in a godly way.

Therefore, when we come here today, we are expressing our God-given right, our constitutional right of free speech. Free speech, whether you like it or not, or whether you know it or not, means freedom to tell people what they don’t want to hear, or what they don’t necessarily want to hear. And we have that right to say that. We want to be able to express ourselves. Our human voice should not be silenced. Paul’s was not silenced, the apostles’ voice was not silenced — they preached the good news even though the authorities told them they could not preach anymore in the name of the Son of God. They did anyway, and they were put in jail and beaten. They were beaten. 

Discipline is Vital to a Child’s Self-Esteem

If  you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. (Heb 12:7-8)

We understand from reading this that discipline is essential. It’s vital to a child’s self-image, his self-esteem, and his self-worth. I know myself that if my Father in heaven doesn’t discipline me, it means I’m not a true son. “Those whom He loves He disciplines as sons.” If we don’t have fathers in the world who have disciplined us, it means they weren’t really fathers to us, and we weren’t really sons to them.

We don’t want our children to be raised up or to grow up in the Community feeling that nobody cares about them or how they behave, especially not even God, because God gives us the right to raise our children in a godly way — correcting them when they need correcting, and disciplining them when they need discipline — but with the loving, warm, tight hands we have upon our children. We all make mistakes — we’re not all there yet. We’re not on our thrones, but we’re still in the process of becoming what our Father wants us to be. Discipline is essential to this end, which is vital to our children’s self-image.

The state today is allowing a Prozac nation to come into being (talk about abuse!). 1984 has passed and enter Brave New World. If you’ve never read those books, you’d better read them and see what’s in store for you. I know that most of the people today are going against the everlasting covenant that our Father has established for people in the nations who never heard about the name of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or never even knew He existed. 

But some have lived by their conscience and kept the everlasting covenant — knowing the difference between good and evil. They’ve lived in far-out places. They tried to do good even though they had hardships in their lives, and even though their children might have been killed or had to go to war, or there was drought or famine, but they didn’t curse God and die, as Job’s wife told him to do because of their hardships. Our Father has a certain place in store for them in the nations someday in eternity for those who’ve lived according to their conscience that never knew the Son of God — they never had the opportunity. We’re thankful we can justify the name of our God, our Father in heaven, who doesn’t just cast everyone into hell as John Calvin and Augustine said.

A Lie Can Get Halfway Around the World…

We all know Mark Twain; we all grew up knowing about Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain once said, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” He said that and we know that it’s true. He said that in his day, and how much more today, how much faster today than in the day that he lived — due to the press, TV, and the Internet. Slander can come in one second, to slander a good name. We’ve tried with all of our heart and soul to maintain a good name and a good reputation. And you can ask the people who haven’t rebelled against what the Word of God teaches. You can ask the people who are here. And you can see what we actually do and what we believe. You can’t believe those who have left this place because of their rebellion.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than all the gold and silver and great riches of the world.” Your reputation is everything. Your name is everything. Our Master’s name is everything. Our Father’s name is everything, but He’s got a bad name today. And we want to justify His name. We want to bring His name back, so that people can really know that He is a good God and not an evil god. If you go to England today, they will curse God in our Open Forums thinking He’s the most horrible god they can think of. They curse Him right to His face. And this is how the world is going today.

Proverbs 17:4 speaks about, “If I am a liar I will listen to an evil report, I will listen to a slanderous report, I will take interest in it, I will pay attention to it and I will believe it.” 

Proverbs 21:28 also says, “A false witness shall perish, but the man who hears him will speak endlessly.” 

Even though the false witness will perish, no matter what, the people who hear him and listen to him and are liars (their nature and character are that of a liar), they will speak endlessly what they’ve heard. 

The Truth is Getting its Boots On

Regarding our children in 1984 (even with their booties on, when they were babies), the people who took them to a gymnasium in Newport were astounded at their peace — even with their booties on, but wait — how much more when they get their boots on? Like Mark Twain said, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” 

And today, you’re going to see our children and they have their boots on. They are going to be speaking and they’re going to let you know what it’s all about. And they are not liars. They are going to tell you the truth. That’s why we want to do this, so people can know the truth. Back in 1984, no matter what we said, people wouldn’t believe it because they believed the reports that were said about us. But now our children, sixteen years later with their boots on, are going to tell you what the truth is. And that’s why we’re here today.

I know that some of the Old Testament writings are pretty harsh (hard), but now we take them in a spiritual way concerning disciplining our children. We also use the rod — an actual balloon stick — and we discipline our children. And if we’re not disciplined, it means that we don’t have a father. If a child is not disciplined, it means he’s not a son and it calls him a bad word. We don’t want to be raised in a generation of that bad word — illegitimate offspring. 

Proverbs 22:6 is a command “to raise our children up in the way that they should go and when they’re old they will not depart from that.” 

Verse 15 says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” 

Our children have been raised up with the rod of correction. We do not deny that. And if we get put in jail for it, then we’ll go to jail because we know we’re doing right and we’re disciplining our children in love, not in a harsh way, or anger, or anything like that. In the past in the communities, we’ve had all kinds of people in the beginnings, all kinds of miscreant, false people who’ve come in, but they’re all gone. They couldn’t exist. And they have brought a bad reputation in some ways. But it’s not our heart.

In Proverbs 23:13 it says, “Do not withhold correction from a child. If you spank him with a rod he will not die (don’t be afraid he is going to die), but if you spank him with a rod, you’ll deliver his soul from eternal death.” 

We want to love our children. I know I won’t have time to go into them all today, but there are so many Proverbs like this. Proverbs 13:24 says, “Spare the rod...” We’ve heard that all of our lives — spare the rod and spoil the child. Sparing the rod is tantamount, which means having the same essence, as hating your children. Proverbs 13:24 says, “Sparing the rod is tantamount to hating your children, but love is tantamount to disciplining your children.” And also disciplining them diligently — being painstakingly diligent to discipline them, to reprove them, but not blasting them, not wearing them out with our tongues and giving them a tongue-lashing. That exasperates our children and provokes them. We don’t do that, either.

A Child Left To Himself Brings Shame

So, discipline is vital to a child’s self-image. It makes him feel worthwhile. What makes for appalling behavior is the feeling that no one cares about you, nobody gives a damn about how you behave, not even God. But obviously, these young princes you will see filing off the buses are in no danger of that, for they have been trained up under discipline. Discipline is essential to this end, to fulfill Psalm 16:3, “As for the saints who are on the earth, they are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 10:13 and 11:3).

I could read many, many Proverbs about this, but we aren’t going to go into this today. We will have a publication for you on all that we could say here. The prime example of Proverbs 29:17 is Columbine in Colorado. It says, “Correct your son and he will give you rest.” But verse 15 says, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child neglected or left to himself brings shame to his parents.” 

A child left to himself — neglected, not cared for, or loved, not thinking about his future and training him up in the way he should go and when he’s old he shall not depart from that. The two boys that did all those horrible things in Columbine High School were left to themselves. Proverbs 29:15 speaks of them. They were left to themselves to make those bombs right in their own homes. They made everything right there. And their parents did not discipline or correct them. They brought their parents shame (well-deserved shame). A child properly trained and disciplined will give their parents rest, but not so with the parents who hate their children.

Proverbs 29:16 also says, “When the wicked are in power or the wicked rulers are multiplied, transgression increases. But the righteous will see their fall.” 

Today, we’re seeing that the people the Bible calls wicked do not believe in child discipline. And when they come into power like in the Scandinavian countries and everyplace else where parents’ rights are eroded and taken away from them, transgression will increase. 

From when I was a child until now, transgression has greatly increased. I was spanked in school (almost daily, but not quite — but almost!). I was spanked quite a bit and I respected every teacher. I loved my principal with all of my heart. I loved Coach Farmer with all of my heart. I loved Mr. Olinger with all of my heart because he corrected me when I needed it. And he told my daddy, and when I got home he’d spank me again. I loved my daddy because he cared for me. And I loved my teachers who cared for me and kept me from going that errant way. I went my errant way, yes, I did, but what would have happened if not for them? I would have totally gone over the waterfall if I hadn’t had some restriction in my life, someone who cared for me and loved me enough to do that. 

So, here we are today. And I know that if a father’s heart is not turned towards his child’s heart, his child’s heart will never be turned back towards his father’s heart. And if that doesn’t happen, God will come and strike the land with a curse, He said (Malachi 4:6). This is what we’re doing today. We want to cause the fathers’ hearts to be turned to the children. We can see the way it is in the world today. No one has to tell you that something has gone awry. 

Why don’t we send our children to public school? They’re not disciplined there; they’re not cared for, and everything else under the sun is happening in public schools. It’s dangerous to send your child to public school. We want to save our children. We love them enough to home school them and to care for them in that way. A child left to himself brings his parents shame. How much shame do you think that those people in Columbine are suffering right now? Therefore, that’s what makes for appalling behavior. That was appalling behavior, because the children weren’t cared for.  

The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; but the righteous will see their fall. (Proverbs 29:15-16)

Proverbs 29:15-16 — In verse 16 there will be a prohibition as transgression increases due to the government that listened to Dr. Spock. But this was Dr. Spock’s grim realization at the end of his life:

“We have reared a generation of brats. Parents aren’t firm enough with
their children for fear of losing their love or incurring their
resentment. This is a cruel deprivation that we professionals have imposed
on mothers and fathers. Of course, we did it with the best of intentions.
We didn’t realize until it was too late how our know-it-all attitude was
undermining the self assurance of parents.”

Dr. Spock could see the result of it already: increases in encroaching upon the rights and privileges of the good people of the world. Ps 11:3 says, “If the foundations [of a man’s conscience] are destroyed, what will the righteous do?”

When the wicked are in authority, prohibiting good parents from their God-given right to spank their children, transgression increases as well. We are thankful we can be here today. With all of our heart we believe. We don’t want to be misbelievers — miscreant — and not doing what believers do. We want to be a true religion, truly religio — re-linked to God, a re-ligament to God, in order to care for widows and orphans — people who are usually neglected. We don’t want to be stained by the world. We want to keep our garments pure. A good conscience is what we want. We want to maintain a good conscience.

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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