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Dear Partner,

History tells us that the apostle John wrote his first epistle (1st John) when he was nearly a hundred years old. John had been a faithful witness for Christ all the days of his life, even though he suffered much persecution along the way. It seems that John matured in the love of God more than any other apostle. For that reason, Jesus entrusted the care and well-being of His mother Mary to John for the rest of her natural life.

John 19:26-27   When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

History also tells us that John was the only apostle from the original twelve who died of natural causes. All of the other apostles were martyred. It is recorded that the authorities tried several times to martyr John as well, but they were never successful in putting him to death. Is there a correlation between how developed we are in the love of God to our being free from fear? John was highly developed in the love of God. At about one hundred years old he wrote in his first epistle:

1 John 4:18   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Notice the relationship between love and fear. During the recent October Prayer and Power Conference here in Tulsa this word came forth from the Lord:

"Fear Not" is My message for this hour. Things that are coming upon the earth will increasingly cause the hearts of many to fail because of fear. Freedom from fear is a fruit of love. No fruit comes to maturity overnight. Fruit is cultivated, nurtured, and it slowly ripens to maturity. Be not as the foolish virgins who waited until their hour of desperation to begin seeking for that which they needed. Seek Me now!

As you fellowship with Me, My love becomes one with you. "Trying" to be fear-free is of little use. Receiving more of My love makes the fruit of "fearlessness" automatic. Perfect love casts out fear!

John was fearless because he was absolutely secure in the love of God. Jesus, our example, was fearless in the face of death when He went to the cross. Jesus told us that many men's hearts would fail them for fear regarding those things that would come upon the earth in the last days.

Luke 21:26   Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

During the same week of the Conference there was major news breaking on CNN and FOX concerning the potential outbreak of a pandemic spawned from the Asian Bird Flu spreading across the earth and killing millions of people before a vaccine could be developed. This morning I heard of another major earthquake, in Pakistan this time, and they do not know yet how many thousands may be dead. These things, and many more terrifying things, will be "coming on the earth" in the last days. Are we to live in fear? No! No! A thousand times, No!

"Perfect love casts out fear." Freedom from fear is a fruit of love. The more highly developed we are in the love of God, the more fearless we become. Notice how the Holy Spirit emphasized that "fruit" develops slowly. No fruit comes to maturity overnight. As we spend time in fellowship with God, the more we come to know Him and His great love for us. We become more and more "eternity-minded" and less "earthly-minded" as we spend time with Him. We all know we will each face death one way or the other if the Lord tarries. But we progressively lose all fear of death as we develop in the love of God.

I think about the love Sue and I have for our four grandchildren. All of them are secure in our love and have no fear that we would ever harm them. They are developed in the "love of their grandparents" and they know we only do that which is in their best interests. How do they know that? From a book? From somebody simply telling them that we love them? No, they know we love them because they have spent time with us. We have fellowshipped together over the years and they have "known and believed the love" we have for them. John said we could "know and believe the love of God for us" the same way:

1 John 4:16   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God doesn't just have love. God IS love! As we spend time with Him (in His Word, in prayer, in worship) we become more highly developed in His love for us. Perfect love casts out fear!

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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