KEYWORDS: test, kind, maria, russians, faith, lord

Russian Faith Test, The

David Berg

—By Father DavidDFO 10052/2/81

1. THIS IS THE MORNING OF FEBRUARY 2, 1981 & I'M STILL A LITTLE SLEEPY. I feel like one of those days when I feel like one of those days when I feel like sleeping all day. But I've been trying to stay awake so I could remember to tell you this dream. I was thinking of what a beautiful voice you had last night on the video when we were running it back & reviewing it to see where we made our mistakes on our camerawork. Several times you spoke in the background & your voice was so rich & deep & vibrant & beautiful, just beautiful!

2. MOST OF THE TIME THE FOLKS DON'T GET TO HEAR YOU EXCEPT ON TAPE WHEN YOU'RE IN BED, little squeaks & little tiny things, but not in public all dressed up so pretty & queenly! When you spoke you had such a deep, beautiful, mellow, vibrant voice it really, ooohh, thrills me!—It's so pretty! Honey‚ we've got to get more of you on tape or radio or TV or something! You're so pretty & have such a pretty voice! You're going to be a terrific prophetess, Honey! Terrific! PTL! TYL! I can hardly talk for yawning, but praise the Lord anyhow! TYJ!

3. IT REALLY WAS AN INTERESTING DREAM! It was really a very pleasant dream, & as usual I dreamt it apparently shortly before I woke. First of all we'd been at some kind of symphony concert. It seemed like we were in Moscow at some official state visit or something, like we were official guests, & we were being shown the city etc. & pretty much being given the red-carpet treatment!—Red carpet!—Ha!

4. WE HAD BEEN TO THIS AFTERNOON SYMPHONY CONCERT & THEN WE WERE BEING TAKEN ON A TOUR OF SOME KIND OF A HOSPITAL or a medical institution or laboratories where they were conducting some kind of medical research & experiments. We were being led by this group of Russian scientists, the leader of which was a very pleasant fellow I liked. His name sounded like Tianan. That may not be exactly right but that was my impression, Mr. Tianan. He was the one that was guiding us around & lecturing or sort of describing things. They'd been very nice & very kind to us & were treating us very well.

5. WE CAME TO THIS ONE ROOM WHERE THERE WAS THIS HOG IN A SORT OF A CONCRETE PEN, & they were feeding it these scraps of meat, some kind of a roast or something in a dark brown sauce, & Tianan looked at me kind of impishly, almost teasingly, like he was trying to see if I believed him. He said, "This is the cyanide test. We're trying this on this animal to see how effective it is. You see, the sauce is made with cyanide & we want to see how quick & how effective it is."

6. SO THEY THREW HIM THESE SCRAPS OF MEAT & HE STARTED GOBBLING THEM UP‚ & it seemed like he hardly took the first bite when he just slumped down dead! It was so quick, almost like it was painless, so quick! Well, I've always heard that cyanide poisoning is pretty painful. Wasn't that what they used at the Jonestown suicide?

7. WELL, WE WERE A LITTLE BIT SHOCKED AT THIS FRANK SORT OF SEEMINGLY BRUTAL COLD SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO POISONING, when everything else that day had seemed sort of pleasant & they were trying to make a good impression on us. But he just smiled & looked sort of like he was just really watching very carefully trying to see our reactions. And he went out of the room for a minute along most of the group, & you & I were standing there waiting for him. We seemed to feel like he was our personal friend & guide & we didn't want to go without him, so we sat down at this little table to wait for him to come back while the rest of them went on with some other guide.

8. PRETTY SOON HE CAME BACK WITH THIS LITTLE ROUND WHILE PLATE about the size of a dessert plate & there were these little slices of meat on it, four little slices of this roast. With a real impish little grin he said, "You look rather hungry, would you like to try it?" It looked like the same thing that the hog had had except there didn't seem to be the sauce on it.

9. HE SAID, "OH‚ IT'S ALRIGHT, IT'S WITHOUT THE SAUCE!"—As though he was really testing me to see if I'd believe him, you know? And I looked at him & he smiled & grinned really teasingly‚ & I looked at you & he put it right down in front of us on this little table & said, "Go ahead‚ try it! It's really very good. You look like you're a bit hungry & it's not quite dinner time yet." And we both, I think, kind of gulped a bit & hesitated. (Maria: And then got the verse: "Eat what is set before you!"?)

10. WELL, NO, THE VERSE I GOT WAS THE ONE ABOUT, "IF THEY SHALL TOUCH ANY DEADLY THING IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM!" (Mk.16:18.) So I figured this: He's either testing our faith in him & his friendship, or he's actually testing our religion to see if it will kill us‚ one or the other!—Although he seemed to be quite amused about it & taking it awfully lightly if he was really testing to see if it was going to kill us! So I was inclined to believe him, that they were some pieces that hadn't been sauced with cyanide.

11. SO YOU & I EACH PICKED UP A LITTLE PIECE & SORT OF TASTED IT GINGERLY, it smelled good, tasted good & we each ate both pieces. There were four pieces so we each ate two pieces—& he just stood there smiling & sort of looking very impishly amused. And he said, "It was good, wasn't it?" And we agreed, "Yes, it was good"—kind of wondering when we were going to drop dead, or if we were, but reassured by the fact that it tasted very good & didn't seem to have any tang to it or any bite or anything.

12. HE SAID, "SEE, I TOLD YOU, IT'S REALLY GOOD!" & he sort of chuckled like he was really amused at our hesitancy, but as though he was really pleased too that we had trusted him. Oh yes, one of the things he said was, "Don't you trust me?"—That's one of the things he said when he was offering it to us, as though it was a test of our trust & faith in him. We said, "Well, of course!" It was really a test! Ha! I mean, it was quite a test! I don't think I ever went through such a thing before!

13. I THOUGHT, "WELL, LORD‚ HE IS A NICE FELLOW & DOES SEEM TO BE A REAL FRIEND & it would certainly be insulting if we didn't eat it & acted like we didn't trust him. It really is a test‚ he's testing our faith in him & our friendship & he really wants to see if we really do trust him. And it certainly would be insulting if we'd refuse it, & it would be really indicating that we didn't trust him & that we were suspecting him of trying to poison us."

14. SO I THOUGHT, "WELL, LORD, WE'LL JUST HAVE TO GO AHEAD & EAT IT, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS! If we drop dead, well, praise the Lord! Sudden death, sudden glory! We go to be with You, Lord! And if not, he's certainly proven he's trustworthy & a friend & we've proven our faith in him‚ that we trust him & his word." So we ate our two little pieces each of these little strips of nice roast without the sauce. But that sauce really looked very good! I would have liked to have some sauce on it, but after the effect I saw it had on the pig, I wasn't too keen on trying it!

15. BUT THEN AFTER THE TOUR OF THESE LABS, SOME KIND OF A MEDICAL RESEARCH HOSPITAL, HE TOOK US OUT‚ just him & us alone, to dinner at this swanky restaurant, real nice restaurant, real exclusive place. I didn't know they had anything that nice in Moscow. From what I've heard, their eating places aren't too hot. It was a delicious sumptuous dinner & we were having quite a jolly time. We were talking about all kinds of things.

16. HE FINALLY KIND OF CHUCKLED & REALLY LAUGHED & SAID, "YOU REALLY WERE WORRIED A LITTLE BIT THERE AT THE HOSPITAL‚ WEREN'T YOU?" Ha! And he looked at me with a twinkle of mischief in his eye! He said‚ "I really did want to see if you trusted me, I was just really testing you!" And I agreed with him! I said‚ "It was quite a test! You really were expecting quite a bit for us to trust you that much after watching that hog drop dead!" He said, "Well, I was really interested to see if you really believed in my friendship & if you really did trust me & took my word. I was pleased to see that you were willing to trust me & go ahead & do it!" And that was the dream! Isn't that funny? (Maria: Did it end in the restaurant?) Yes, we were in the restaurant eating pleasantly & fellowshipping & having a nice time.

17. YOU WERE DRESSED SO BEAUTIFULLY, JUST LIKE A QUEEN, in one of your beautiful evening gowns, & you had your hair done up & all, beautiful, sparkling, a little bit of jewelry & everything like you used to look when you went to the club‚ with your usual charm & smile & I think he was quite charmed! Beautiful! Praise the Lord! So, amen, thank You Lord! It was an interesting dream anyhow, huh? (Maria: Yes!) It was really quite an experience!

18. I'LL NEVER FORGET, WE SAT DOWN THERE AT THAT LITTLE TABLE & HE PUT THAT WHITE PLATE IN FRONT OF US, just this one little round plate, like a dessert plate with these four pieces of meat on it, & he said, "You look kind of hungry, would you like to try some?" And he kind of grinned & looked real teasing & impish! He said, "Don't worry, it's without the sauce!" Ha! Well, after watching that hog drop dead, it wasn't exactly too easy to try it, even if it was without the cyanide sauce. But he seemed quite pleased that we trusted him, & he took us out to dinner & we had a nice time.

19. THAT WAS A VERY PLEASANT DREAM ABOUT RUSSIA & BEING WITH THE RUSSIANS & that they were being nice to us. So, PTL! (Maria: I really like that news commentator that they have in Russia, that we see on BBC sometimes. He's beautiful!) Yes‚ very pleasant & charming. He lived in the U.S. for a long time, remember, & he speaks with really an American accent, did you notice? (Maria: Uh-huh.) He's real handsome! (Maria: Yes!) I'd say he's about 45-50‚ something like that. And he certainly is wise, very very wise in his answers & comments, etc., really shows real common sense, shows that they're human.

20. IT'S AMAZING HOW THEY NEVER HAVE ANYTHING LIKE THAT ON AMERICAN TELEVISION! They hardly ever want to show you a Russian! The only Russians you ever see are the distinguished diplomats or officials & they all look a little bit gruff, & from the distance or something you see a few Russians walking down a street of Moscow or they give you a shot of the Kremlin. (Maria: All the red!) But they never really show any pictures showing Russians in their natural habitat or at home or anything that would make them look the least bit human or natural or arouse your feeling of sympathy or comraderie or any feeling that they could be human or intelligent or anything but some kind of freaks or weird animals or something.

21. TALK ABOUT PROPAGANDA, THE U.S. REALLY ISSUES THE PROPAGANDA! They really really propagandise in the movies particularly, you notice, against the Russians. Very few movies you ever see where the Russians aren't the villains, or the East Europeans or even the West Europeans—or nowadays particularly the Arabs. That was a rare picture, that "Long Journey" in which Deborah Kerr & Yul Brenner starred, in which he was a Russian officer & she was in a group of British tourists that got caught at the border without proper papers or something & they were put up at that little inn. They more or less fell in love & he finally helped them to escape at the cost of his own life. It really portrayed him very sympathetically as a fine noble idealistic Russian officer who was trying to do what was right & trying to help these people. (Maria: That was beautiful!)

22. BUT HOW MANY PICTURES DO YOU EVER SEE LIKE THAT IN THE U. S.? Anything sympathetic? Even "Dr. Zhivago", remember that? We had seen it two or there times in the U.S., the kids liked it‚ but to our amazement when we saw it in London there was a scene there at the end we had never seen before in which Dr. Zhivago's brother goes back to find his daughter. He was working on this Russian dam or something & the officers were very sympathetic & were helpful, trying to help him find her. Then at the end she walked off hand-in-hand with her boyfriend & the Russian officers were smiling like they were pleased with this little romance.

23. IT SHOWED THE RUSSIAN OFFICERS & OFFICIALS TO BE VERY HUMAN, very sympathetic & sort of warm in their interest in this little romance‚ & they did their best to try to help him locate her. That was definitely not in the U.S. version, they never showed that there! It was only when we saw it there in London that we ever saw that part.

24. THEY NEVER SHOW ANYTHING SYMPATHETIC TO THE RUSSIANS AT ALL or anything that would show that they were human or understanding or warm or interested in romance or at all human beings just like we are or anybody else. They're always depicted as some kind of brutal monsters, absolutely insane or diabolically clever in their ways of devising tortures or death or whatever. Well, some of them may be, for all we know, but there are bound to be some human Russians! Thank God we've seen a few in some of these films we've gotten from BBC. (Maria: There are some Christian Russians, too!) Yes, of course! (Maria: Of course, it doesn't look like they treat them too kindly.)

25. THERE'S BOUND TO BE SOME CHRISTIANS, & FROM ALL WE'VE HEARD THERE ARE LOTS OF CHRISTIANS LEFT IN RUSSIA. (Maria: But a lot of them are in the concentration camps.) Yes‚ lots of them are in prison for being active witnesses. And the Pentecostal women who rushed the U.S. Embassy there were quite forceful demonstrators who rushed past the guards & went into the Embassy & were there for‚ I think, weeks before the U.S. finally put them out under agreement with the Russians that they wouldn't prosecute them or anything. Of course, how do they know? They don't know. But anyway, the Americans normally don't depict the Russians as being very human.

26. SO ANYHOW, THAT WAS AN INTERESTING DREAM ABOUT THE RUSSIAN. I don't know what you'd call it, "The Cyanide Dream" or "The Cyanide Test" or the "Russian Cyanide Test"! It was sure a test of my faith! It wasn't just a test of my faith in him‚ but of my faith in the Lord! Ha! Because I must say, I took my first bite a bit gingerly & I was just really claiming that Scripture‚ "That if they touch any deadly thing it will not hurt them!" (Mk.16:18.) And he stood there sort of grinning like he was enjoying every moment of it! Ha! That was a rather grim sense of humour!

27. IT CERTAINLY WAS A TEST OF OUR FAITH IN HIS WORD, & he seemed to be real pleased that we went ahead & trusted him. He took us out to dinner afterwards, a real nice dinner after the tour was over. Took us out that night to a real nice restaurant & chuckled & laughed & we all had a good laugh about it! So PTL! Thank you Lord that we passed the cyanide test! Hallelujah! That's it!—A real test of faith!—Could you pass it?