The following are quotations from the writings of David Brandt Berg. I pray you find them inspiring and useful to your life and service for Jesus Christ. I sure do!
As in all of Pastor Berg's writings, he liked to capitalize the first line of each paragraph he wrote. He wrote them way before the Internet was even imagined. Please know in this case the ALL CAPS do not mean shouting as it does in email and on-line chats.
IF YOU OBEY WHAT YOU KNOW GOD WANTS YOU TO DO, THEN HE WILL SHOW YOU MORE TRUTH; and WHEN YOU OBEY THAT, HE'LL GIVE YOU A LITTLE MORE, and STEP BY STEP, AS YOU FOLLOW HIM, He shows you more and more. The trouble with most Christians is that they stopped obeying the little truth they did have, and, as a result, God hasn't been able to give them any more.
WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL IF PEOPLE WOULD DO WHAT JESUS SAID TO DO?
HE NEVER LET ME DOWN, EVEN IF HE HAD TO PICK ME UP BY THAT HAND and LIFT ME ACROSS TO THAT NEXT MOUNTAIN PEAK, without any visible, natural, normal, logical, reasonable means of help!
“PROVE ME NOW HEREWITH, SAITH THE LORD, and SEE IF I WILL NOT POUR OUT SUCH A BLESSING THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ROOM ENOUGH TO HOLD IT.” You don't see the blessing yet. How do you know He's going to pour it out? You've only got His Word for it--you've got to prove Him! You've got to try, you have to literally test it, you have to challenge God. You have to take a step in the direction He said to go, to find out what He's going to do. Because if you don't go, He can't show! If you don't obey, He can't make a way! If by faith you don't “be,” you'll never “see!” For believing is seeing, in this business--in God's business!
THE PROVISION IS THERE FOR YOU! There are lots of Scriptures in Grandmother's (Virginia Brandt Berg's) books on healing, all the way from the Old Testament references: “I am the Lord that healeth thee,” “I will lay none of these afflictions upon thee, that I have laid upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” But it also says there; “If thou shalt keep My commandments.” (Ex.15:26)
LET'S KEEP THE CONNECTION STRONG WITH HIS WORD and HIS SPIRIT, His truth and His love, in humility and obedience.
“God's His Word, won't do you any good unless you read it, and even then you must obey it to bear fruit.
IT REMINDS ME OF THE STORY OF THE CHILDREN PLAYING IN A SMALL BOAT ON THE NIAGARA RIVER. The boat was drifting closer and closer to a warning sign called “The Point of No Return.” Once past this point, the current would be too swift for them to escape it, and they would be swept over the raging cataract to the rocks below! If they had started to row their little boat toward the shore before reaching this point, they could have been saved; but although the man on the shore called as loud as he could, the children were too busy playing, and their own voices and the roar of the falls drowned out his warning voice--and they were swept to their doom!
If you don't receive and obey the truth when you first get it, you're about to be deluded by a lie, and wind up in utter confusion.
HE NEVER FAILS IN ONE OF ALL HIS GREAT PROMISES, IF WE KEEP THE CONDITIONS and OBEY and ARE FAITHFUL!
AS WE BEGIN TO OBEY and CONTINUE TO OBEY, GOD WILL SUPPLY ALL THE NECESSARY NEEDS--and more--and will bless us beyond measure for our faithfulness in fulfilling His Word!
IT ALL DEPENDS ON GOD and MAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO HIM!-HIS story makes history! His Word and man's reaction to it decide the course of world events!
MAN CAN BELIEVE THE LIES OF THE DEVIL and rebel against God and disobey Him and refuse to believe His Word and go their own way and suffer the consequences of violating His health rules and His mental and spiritual laws, rebellion against which and disobedience to which bring ill health, misery, pain, suffering, mental anguish, insanity and finally death and Hell hereafter, as punishment for violating God's laws and His rules which were made for our health and happiness.
YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER AS MUCH AS YOU PRAY, you believe in your Bible as much as you read it.
I THINK SOME OF SADDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WERE FOUND WRITTEN ALL OVER THE CELL WALLS OF A CRIMINAL who was executed for his crimes!--They found that he'd spent his time while waiting for execution writing the words all over his cell walls: “If I only had! If I only had!”--If he only had what?--If he had only listened!--To God's Voice or his conscience or the warnings of his parents or preachers or teachers or leaders?
BECAUSE THEY HAVE REJECTED THE TRUTH GOD LETS THEM BELIEVE THE LIE that they might be judged accordingly, “that they might be damned.” Damned doesn't always necessarily mean sent to Hell. It's many times the Greek word only for “judged or punished.” It's not the word used for “chastened” like a child of God , but it speaks of specific judgement or punishment for something.
IF YOU'RE WEAK IN FAITH IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE WEAK IN THE WORD!--And it's your own fault if you're weak in the Word, because you're either not reading the Word, you're ignorant of the Word or you're not receiving the Word!
“WHY CALL YE ME, 'LORD, LORD,' and DO NOT THE THINGS WHICH I SAY?” (Lk.6:46) “And they said to Him, 'But Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? And in Thy Name have cast out devils? And in Thy Name done many wonderful works?'” (Mat.7:22) The whole idea was, “Yes, but you didn't obey Me!” They did all those things apparently in their own strength and their own will and their own way, but they didn't do what God wanted them to do.
BUT THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS FAITH; FAITH IN GOD and HIS WORD and OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD. That's what counts! Not whether you are circumcised.
WITHOUT OBEDIENCE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE FAITH, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE GOD, and it's certainly impossible to please God, He says so! “Without faith it is impossible to please God!” (Heb.21:6)
LET'S GET BUSY IF YOU WANT TO KEEP HEARING FROM THE LORD! For what's the use of hearing if you are not doing? He said, “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only” (James 1:22), and He gives a sad illustration of the difference between the man who builds his house upon the Rock of the Word, Christ Jesus, and that can stand the storm, and the one who builds his house on the sand of disobedience, and “Great was the fall thereof” (Mat.7:24-27)!
If you never get a revelation, if you never hear a voice, if you never hear a tongue, if you never get a prophecy, if you never have knowledge, if you never have wisdom, if you never have discernment, if you never have healing, if you never have miracles, if you'll just operate according to this Word of God, you'll accomplish a whole lot!--And you'll probably get all the rest in the bargain, while you're at it!
It's better that you had never heard the Word, than to have heard and rejected it and disobeyed it! II Pet.2:21: “For it had been better for them to not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them!” God help you to repent!
(From the story of Samuel and Saul) “WELL, I CAN'T STAND AROUND HERE WAITING FOR THAT PROPHET OF GOD! I can't stand around here doing nothing while we're destroyed and while we're being defeated; I've got to do something! Whether God or the Prophet tells me to do it or not, I've got to do it! I'll do it my own way!”--And he did, and crash! And God dethroned him and destroyed his kingdom! He lost his birthright, he lost his throne, he lost his crown, he lost his family, he lost everything!
EEP ON THE RIGHT TRACK FROM NOW ON--which is in His Word and obeying it!
Jesus never fails! Are you complaining and blaming your trouble on Him and others instead of yourself and your own willful disobediences in failing to heed His Word?--Are the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches clogging your engine and hindering your fruitfulness? (Mk.4:19)
I'VE HEARD MY MOTHER COUNSEL BY THE HOUR, but she simply hammered away on the Word. My Mother constantly passed the buck to God and the Word and said, “Well, there it is. It's your business to obey the Word, that's what it says.”
GOD'S WORD and HIS GUARANTEES HAVE NO RESTRICTIONS, no limitations, no qualifications except your faith and our faith. He is not bound by time nor space nor land nor place! “Forever His Word is settled in Heaven” and His promises are forever! (Ps.119:89) Our future is as bright as the promises of God, regardless of where or when, as long as we obey and trust Him.
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Heb.10:26,27)
THERE'S NOTHING SMALL TO THE LORD! There's no really small sin and there's really no such thing as a little “white” lie. Sin is sin and even “he that breaks the least of one of these commandments shall be called the least in the Kingdom of God!” (Mat.5:19)--But still in!
I'LL TELL YOU, WHEN YOU MISS THE POINT, when you miss the pattern, when you miss God's plan, you miss God's will, you're disobedient and you won't listen to His Word, you're such a sad case, so sad, so sad, so pitiful!
THEY BECOME DARKENED IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING. The only way you can get darkened in your understanding is by resisting the Spirit, rejecting the Word and being filled with the lies of the Devil! Because they had no love of the Truth and they rejected the Word of God, the Lord sent them strong delusion that they might be damned, judged. (2Thes.2:10-12)
I'LL TELL YOU, IT'S DANGEROUS TO NEGLECT THE WORD! The minute you start crowding the Word out of your lives, you are getting too busy! Or you lose confidence in the Word because of your own double-mindedness and double-heartedness.
“BE YE NOT ONLY HEARERS OF THE WORD BUT DOERS ALSO,” otherwise you're like the man who built his house on the sand, and when the tough times come it will be destroyed.
With every promise there have to be some conditions. God makes promises, but His promises are contracts. He's the party of the first part, you're the party of the second part. He says, “I will do thus-and-so and such-and-such for you, providing”-provisions of the contract-”if you will do so-and-so for Me.”
You have to not only hear, but you must obey and do. Because God's Word says, “Be ye not only hearers of the Word, but doers also.”
WE ARE SENT TO LIBERATE and FREE THEM THROUGH THE WORD! “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free!” (Jn.8:32) But this only comes through living in the Word, knowing the Word and following the Lord.
I had to make an effort of faith on my own part, just as we have to receive the gifts of God by the effort of faith. Even salvation, we must reach forth the hand of faith to receive it; and His blessings we must obey to receive them; we must run the race to receive the crown of life; we must keep His will and His Word in order to merit His healing.
IT'S JUST LIKE THE VOICE OF THE LORD: If you resist it and you refuse to listen to it and you turn a deaf ear to it, it begins to fade too, and you get a little more deaf all the time. The Lord just may refuse to shout at you if you don't pay any attention to what He's already tried to say, and He's not going to keep on yelling when it does no good and you don't receive it and you don't act on it! Because when God speaks, He expects you to listen and to receive it and remember it and to do it!
SO HIS WORD IS VERY IMPORTANT, BELOVED, and YOU HAD BETTER NOT FORGET IT OR NEGLECT IT OR IN ANY WAY FAIL TO RECEIVE IT, BELIEVE IT, ACT ON IT and OBEY IT!--And record it, if necessary, and pass it on to others, whatever God's purpose is in having given it.
GOD'S WORD IS STILL JUST AS GOOD TODAY AS IT WAS 2000 YEARS AGO!--It still works if we obey!
ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIS WORD, GOD COMMANDED MEN and MAN HAD TO DO SOMETHING FIRST BEFORE GOD MET HIM.--God told Moses to strike the rock and then He'd bring forth water. He could have said, “Well, Lord, I don't think there's any water in that rock, and this is kind of crazy! Besides that, Lord, I'd rather just see You do it!” But he went ahead by faith and took an old stick and hit the rock, expecting God to do the rest, and God did! (Ex.17:5-7)
HERE'S PLENTY IN THE BIBLE THAT PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND, in fact, as I've often said, the reason most Christians don't really study the Bible and most people don't read it, is not for their excuse that it's because they can't understand it. The reason most people don't read the Bible is because of what they can understand and they don't like to hear it, because they're unrepentant and unsaved or disobedient Christians! It's not that they don't read the Bible because they can't understand it, they don't read it because they can understand it!
THERE'S A DIFFERENCE IN THE HEARERS, BETWEEN THEM THAT MERELY HEAR, and ARE HEARERS OF THE WORD ONLY and NOT DOERS ALSO. (Ja.1:22.) Jesus even said to some, “How say ye unto Me, 'Lord! Lord!' And yet do not the things that I ask? He that loveth Me, keepeth My commandments.” (Mt.7:21, Jn.14:21.) That's the acid test as to who loves Him: Do you keep His commandments? Do you obey His Word? Do you follow Jesus? Do you hear His voice and follow and heed and obey and submit?
IF YOU STICK TO THE WORD YOU CANNOT FAIL, because “My Word shall never pass away! Heaven and Earth shall pass away, b ut My Word shall never pass away!” (Mat.24:35)
AND IN ORDER TO HAVE SUCH GOOD ORGANIZATION, WE MUST HAVE GOOD COMMUNICATION first of all with our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ, the Head of our Army. We must have this communication personally, each one individually, directly with Him to know that we are aware of His Word and pleasing and obeying Him and following His directions and His orders.
THE EASY WAY, THE SHORT CUT IS TO BELIEVE THE TRUTH and what your good teachers tell you and not learn by hard experience, the school of hard knocks. Believe God's Word, believe your teachers, then you don't have to learn by bitter experience and by trying.
IT'S EITHER ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL WITH GOD! Either you are obedient or you are disobedient, and God will not tolerate any percentage of disobedience! It's all or nothing at all! God's Word says he that breaks even the least of these commandments and shall teach men so, shall be the least in the Kingdom! (Mat.5:19)
GOD IS TRYING TO SAY, “WHY DON'T YOU LISTEN TO WHAT I'VE ALREADY SAID? Why don't you read it? Why don't you do it and obey it?”
I WANT TO TELL YOU, IT'S THOSE LITTLE FOXES THAT EAT THE VINES! (Song of Solomon 2:15.) In the early days, Saul was head and shoulders above his brethren, a man of talents, big man, a man of ability, great leader, good organizer, a tremendous king, and God said to him, “When thou wast little in thine own sight, I did highly exalt thee.”(1Sam.15:17) But the day came when Saul thought he could get along without obeying God's rules and without obeying God's prop het, he could do it his way. He didn't have to listen to the prophet, he didn't have to pay any attention to his rules and his orders--in this case his Letters--and he went ahead and did it his way.
If you allow the Devil to get in, in one little tiny thing, in the least disobedience to these rules we have laid down, it shows that you have a chink in your armor, a crack in the dyke. You've got a little place for the Devil to get in. And if you disobey the least of these commandments you are going to be guilty of all! God's Word says so: “He that shall break the least of these commandments is guilty of all.” (Ja.2:10.) “And he that shall break the least of these commandments and shall teach men so”--even if you're saved--He says, “shall be the least in the Kingdom of God.” (Mt.5:19.)
NOW BLESS US AS WE GO TO SERVE THEE, TO OBEY, and TO DO THIS THY WILL.--Be not only hearers of Thy Word, praying or speaking, but doers also. Help us not to be guilty of the very things which we are ashamed of in others!
Cain was self-righteous in his own type of religion and he was going to offer a sacrifice to God his way and his kind of sacrifice. Well, if you're not obeying God and you're not doing what God told you to do, the way God told you to do it, then you're not worshipping God!
YOU CAN'T TELL ME THE CHRISTIANS WHO CLAIM THEY'RE WORSHIPPING GOD and THEY DON'T OBEY HIM ARE WORSHIPPING GOD! How can they say they worship God when they don't do the things that He asked? Jesus Himself said, “How say ye unto Me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not the things that I ask? He that keepeth My commandments, he it is that loveth Me!” (Mat.7:21, Joh.14:21)
HOW CAN THEY LOVE GOD WHEN THEY DO NOT THE THINGS THAT HE ASKS? How can they say, “Lord, Lord” when they keep not His commandments? It's a lie! It's a farce!
LAZARUS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD, A SICK BOY CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD and A GIRL CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD! I mean, He gave them plenty of chance to believe! A lot of people came back from the dead even during Jesus' life and they still wouldn't believe! All the Old Testament saints were resurrected at His resurrection and went to be in Heaven. Did the Jews believe?--No! If they reject the Word of God, if they reject God's Own Word, they'll not believe even though one came back from the dead. They used to taunt Jesus and say, “Prove it now, show us a miracle, do something, raise somebody from the dead and I'll believe!” (Mk.8:11-12) He said, “They won't believe, not if somebody came back from the dead!”
So in that sense of Salvation, they are “believers” in Salvation. But as far as being true believers in the way we mean, and in the way the Bible talks about it, it's a whole different thing. The Bible is talking about both, of course. But the true sense of the Word, and the application for us is that “believers” means believers and receivers of everything the Bible has to say, and practicers of it as well.--Believers in the Bible who then act on it and do it!
Many people, when they first get saved, don't even feel differently at all! Others, like “the Jews (who) require a sign” (1Cor.1:22), have some kind of dramatic revelation to show them that Salvation in Jesus is the way. But some people just have to accept it by faith without feeling anything at first. In fact, many don't even feel different for a long, long time until their spiritual processes are activated, until they start actually getting in the Word and start praying and obeying.
You say, “Why would He ever want to be close to me?” I don't know why He'd want to be close to any of us! But He does, and He's said so over and over in His Word. You just have to believe the Word, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God!”--Rom.10:17. You've read the Word and it's all there and it's been saying that to you for years and years now, but there must be something that's preventing you from getting the faith you need. Even though you've read the Word, you still feel, “Why would He want to be close to me?”
Why would the Lord want any of us? We're all in the same sinful category. It doesn't matter if some of us are a little more or a little less sinful than others, we're all in the same boat as far as the Lord's concerned! But the Lord knows that and He still loves us and wants to be close to us because Jesus came to save us, and that's God's plan.--He loves us! We don't have to know exactly why. I admit it's a little difficult to understand why He would want any of us. But He does, and that's what He says in His Word and that's what you have to believe. You just have to believe the Word, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word!”--Rom.10:17.
But it seems that somehow you haven't gotten the faith from the Word that you should have. There's some kind of blockage there. Maybe your sins of negative thinking and bitterness have made it impossible for the Lord to get through to you like He wants to. You were reading the Word, but not really hearing it with the ears of faith. The Word says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. When you're listening to the Lord and also listening to the Enemy, you can get pretty confused, and the Lord says, “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord.”--Jam.1:7.
He just wants you to believe that He loves you, and He wants you to read His Word and believe it and receive it and yield to what He wants You to do. It's so simple, but I'm sure you can make it pretty complicated if you try to figure it all out. But that's really all you have to do; just read and accept and believe and obey and yield and claim His Word for you, and apply it to yourself.
Regardless of how we may happen to feel, if we love the Lord and are walking by faith and obeying His Word, then we know that our relationship with the Lord is still firm. And we certainly know that His love for us is unchangeable, unwavering. He says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.--For though the mountains should depart and the hills be removed, My kindness shall not depart from thee! For I will never leave thee nor forsake thee!”--Jer.31:3; Isa.54:10; Heb.13:5.
So how can you know if you're close to the Lord? You can know by His Word, that says if you “draw nigh to God”--by your submission and obedience to Him--”He will draw nigh to you!”--Jam.4:7,8. Even if you can't feel anything, any closeness at all, you can still know you're close to Him if you're doing your best to love the Lord and please Him and obey His Word and do what you know He has said.
We've got to just go by the Facts, by the Word. And your faith in His Word and your obedience and yieldedness have nothing to do with your feelings! So it doesn't really matter whether you feel close to the Lord or not. You don't have to feel that emotion!
So regardless of any feelings of discouragement or condemnation that the Enemy may try to barrage you with, if you know you're truly seeking to lo ve and please the Lord, to obey His Word and follow Him, then you're close to Him!--Whether you happen to feel close to Him or not!
So how do you know if you're close to the Lord, how do you get close to Jesus? You get close to Jesus by obeying His Word and by yielding to His will!--That's how you get close to Jesus! Jesus says, “If a man love Me, he will keep (obey) My Words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him.”--Jn.14:23. So if you're obeying and keeping what He says in His Word, then of course you're close to the Lord!--He'll come and make His abode with you.--That's pretty close! It's as simple as that. It's not a matter of feelings at all.
Those of us who don't feel so much can't rely on our feelings, and therefore we're more apt to rely on more stable and solid sources--like the Word and our faith and obedience to it --to determine whether or not we're close to Jesus.
You can know you're close to Jesus if you're doing His will and being obedient and yielding and doing all the things you're supposed to do.--Especially if you're feeding on His Word and trusting the Word and drinking in the Word and applying the Word and doing your best to live the Word. Then you can know you're close to Jesus, which is a whole lot better than just feeling close to Him!
THE SAME PRINCIPLE HOLDS TRUE WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE STRONG IN THE WORD. Just because you know a lot of Word doesn't necessarily mean you're strong. Just because you memorize hundreds of verses and you can quote every verse by reference doesn't mean you're so spiritual or so strong in the Lord! It doesn't matter how much Word you know, it's what you do with it and how it affects you that counts! What is spiritual strength but being obedient and yielded to the Lord and His Word?
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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