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The Benefits of Backsliding

--by David Brandt Berg, August 9, 1972
--God's Way Up Is Down!

QUESTION: AFTER BACKSLIDING, DO YOU EVER GET BACK TO THE LORD AS CLOSE AS YOU WERE BEFORE?
Answer: Closer!

Question: But after Eve ate the "apple" she knew the evil and couldn't be simple again.
Answer: But she was a lot wiser and humbler! She believed a lot more, had more faith, and now knew the Lord was right!

QUESTION: BUT ESAU LOST HIS PLACE!

Answer: Same as last answer above: Defeat teaches you a lot. Like the Prodigal, he lost his birthright, but he gained many other valuable lessons, and the Lord promised to make many nations of Ishmael and Esau (Gen.27:39,40).The sons of Ishmael and Esau became the Arab nations!

YOU LOSE THE INNOCENCE YOU HAD BEFORE THE "APPLE", BUT LESSONS OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE THAT ARE ACTUALLY MUCH MORE VALUABLE ARE GAINED.

Question: But when you have so much knowledge and get away from the Lord, many times it's hard to get back.
Answer: It was a hard road for David, but look what it taught him. Compassion, humility and gentleness.

BACKSLIDING IS A HARD SCHOOL Look at Jacob in the school of Laban: Jacob was really crooked until he had to work under someone even more crooked than he was! But it finally broke him, and look what he gained. Before his downfall, he was only "Jacob the Deceiver" But afterwards, he was a "Prince of God and Man"!

IT'S FUNNY HOW WHEN PEOPLE LOSE THEIR INNOCENCE THEY DON'T FEEL THEY ARE AS CLOSE TO THE LORD AS BEFORE. That's because they don't really realise what God's righteousness is. Their idea of righteousness is so different from God's. When you feel so righteous and good, it's because you're self righteous and not closer to God, but closer to your self! It's a perverted idea from the churches--a kind of "sinless self-perfection."

Laban with Jacob

DAVID WAS FAR MORE RIGHTEOUS AFTER HE BECAME A GREAT SINNER--than he was when he was so haughty and self-righteous! One reason why I really need to confess my sins and tell everybody about them, is because it really helps keep me humble! It helps you to be honest with yourself and with others and with the Lord.

CONFESSING THAT YOU'RE A SINNER, really exposing yourself and your sins, reminds you you're no picture of purity and innocence! You no longer feel quite as angelic, but you're a whole lot more saintly according to God's idea of saintliness!

Jesus and church

THE WORLD EQUATES GOODNESS WITH GODLINESS, BY WHICH THEY MEAN SELF-RIGHTEOUS PERFECTION. Sinfulness they equate with Devilishness. But the Lord said the sinner was closer to God than the so called sinless self-righteous perfectionist!--The drunks, harlots and drug addicts are closer to God, for God's way up is down.

GOD GETS HIS GREATEST VICTORIES OUT OF SEEMING DEFEAT. Jesus said, "To whom much hath been forgiven, the same loveth much." David sinned a lot, but God called him a man after His own heart!--He was after God's heart!

YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO BAD FOR JESUS, ONLY TOO GOOD! And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Mat.23:12). The Prodigal was closer to the Father when he was wallowing in the mire than he was when he was first at home, because in the mire for the first time he began to appreciate home!

THAT SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A WORKS TRIP! It's a deceit of the Devil that you were closer to God when you were pure and ignorant! It's a lie that Adam and Eve were closer to God when they were living in the Garden!--They weren't driven from the presence of the Lord--they were driven into the presence of God to know Him in a way they'd never known Him before! They were driven out of the Garden in to a position where they had to get closer to the Lord to survive and to be saved!

What do we do now?

THE GREATEST MEN IN THE BIBLE WERE GUYS THAT MADE TERRIBLE MISTAKES and realised they were sinners, that they needed God. Some people have said that Joseph was the only guy in the Bible about whom there was no recorded mistake. But I can remember when I was little boy in Sunday School thinking: "What a stupid idiot he was to go and tell his brothers when having dreams like that! He was a typical little spoiled brat, and if he hadn't bragged about his drams, showing off to his brothers about how he was so superior, he wouldn't have gotten nearly killed and thrown into the pit and sold into slavery in the first place!"

Sassy Jacob

BUT THAT'S WHAT THE LORD HAD TO USE TO TAKE HIM DOWN--the Lord had to make a slave and prisoner and criminal of him to humble him, before he was able to be exalted and become the Saviour of his people. He was a real spoiled child!--What was he doing at home with his father instead of out helping his brethren take care of the sheep? Obviously his dad didn't make him work very hard!"

THE DEVIL'S IDEA OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS TOTALLY THE OPPOSITE OF GOD'S IDEA. The Devil's idea of righteousness is the self righteous, holier-than-thou hypocrite--the supposedly sinless perfectionist!

Self-righteous church people

WHEREAS GOD'S IDEA OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE PITIFUL, HOPELESS, LOST, HUMBLE, LOVING, SINFUL SINNER who knows he needs God! Those He came to save! He came not to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners! There are churchy people who give into the gratification of the flesh in overeating, for example, but don't think a thing of it! But in gratifying the flesh sexually they think, "Oh, that's a sin, so terrible!" But you can't find any place in the Bible where normal sex is counted as a sin!

ACCORDING TO THE MASTERS AND JOHNSON'S REPORT ON HUMAN SEXUALITY, some of the most scientific research done on the subject of sex so far, they came to the conclusion that people who released their tensions even through normal masturbation because they couldn't find sexual satisfaction any other way, were actually more adjusted and peaceful and content and were less apt to become neurotic and go haywire mentally, etc., than those cases where there was such strong religious training against sex that they developed tremendous guilt complexes which affected their mental condition!

SO GOD'S IDEA OF GOODNESS IS GODLINESS--A SINNER WHO KNOWS HE NEEDS GOD and depends on Him for Salvation--not the Devil's church, self-righteous, hypocritical Pharisees who think they can save themselves by their own goodness! So sometimes backsliding can actually be good for you to wake you up to what a hopeless helpless sinner you are without God's help! Then there's hope you'll turn to God for help--whereas the self-righteous think they don't need His help, and are lost!

BUT WHILE THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE. Isaiah says: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him and to our God for He will abundantly pardon" (Isa.55:7).

I BELIEVE EVERYONE WILL GET THE KIND OF REWARD THAT HE REALLY APPRECIATES AND DESIRES. How can you judge the reward? The body and the material are satisfied with the material things of the world, but the spiritual ones have to have spiritual reward to be satisfied.

Let's build another barn!

NEVERTHELESS, IF THOSE DEACONS WHO ARE MATERIALISTICALLY-MINDED ARE REALLY DOING IT FOR THE LORD and the sake of God's children and the glory of God then I believe the Lord will reward them accordingly. That's the sort of thing they like, so God will reward them greatly materially and will treat our kings like kings! God will give them their heart's desire.

GOD GETS SOME OF HIS GREATEST VICTORIES OUT OF SEEMING DEFEATS! God's way up is down to the defeat of self and self-righteousness!--Up to the victory of the cross and death to self for others!

DO YOU FEEL DEFEATED AND AT WITS' END CORNER?--Turn to God!

Are you at the end of your rope?--
Let go and let God!--
Just can't cope?
Take God's dope!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family International


Request
James Arendt
James Arendt

Dear Visitor, if this article or website has been a blessing to you, would you please consider to send me a gift through Paypal for my support as a missionary in Japan? I am 66 years old with no steady income. I am also the webmaster of jamesjpn.net and you can read my bio on it.

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Sincerely in Christ,
James Arendt
Webmaster of Deep Truths in Niigata City, Japan.

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