KEYWORDS: rules, lord, time, army, god, family

We're an Army

David Berg

—A Sobering Lesson on Obeying God's Rules!DO 25226/89

1. PTL! TYL! TYJ! (Sings:)

"Trust & obey, for there's no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust & obey."

Amen! PTL! TYL! Do you believe that? Amen, PTL! I'm sorry to have to call you all away from your various activities. I'm also busy & have lots to do, but when I find that people are forgetting the rules & making up their own rules, then I have to sort of jerk you up a little bit!

2. Amen, Lord, give me wisdom, give me patience‚ give me love, but also give me firmness as Thy officer to enforce the law! For the law is good for us, Lord, & the law is established for our safety & for our proper organisation. We are an army, Lord! We're not here on some kind of vacation. We're not here just to do as we please, but we must be guided by some rules & regulations that are for our own good. And if we don't keep them, Lord, as Thy Word says, if we disobey, "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, & scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."—Heb.12:6.

3. What do you folks believe that we are? Are we just some kind of a social club? What are we? (Fam: An army.) We are an Army of the Lord! And what does an army have to have? (Fam: Discipline.) Yes, which means what? (Fam: Rules.) Rules to ensure that everybody can work together in harmony, cooperation & safety. Does the Lord have an Army? Does He have rules? (Fam: Amen.) Does He tolerate disobedience? Does He excuse & forgive you just because you forget the rules? He will eventually‚ yes, if you're sorry & repentant.

4. But does He just ignore it when you just happen to forget the rules? Maybe you think you're here on some kind of a vacation or this is an outing of some kind?—"Since we are who we are, we don't really have to keep all those little old rules we used to keep back in the other Homes‚ that was for beginners." Are the rules just for the bootcamp people in the very beginning, & when you arrive here‚ you're so important & you're so very high & mighty, you can just run off & forget the rules? Does being a member of my personal family mean you don't have to keep rules any more?

5. I want to tell you something, this outfit started as an Army, first with my own little family‚ & I ruled that family & those children with a rod! And I thank the Lord that as a result, most of them turned out very well, except the eldest one who was prevented from being ruled with the rod by her mother who was just like her & has almost gone the same way. But the others turned out pretty good, I think, at least the best they could, they tried. But Deborah, the one little rebellious one who was impudent, rebellious, disobedient, defiant, independent—just like her mother—she didn't turn out so good, did she?

6. You say, "But I haven't been rebellious or disobedient or defiant or independent, I just broke the rules! I forgot we had any! I didn't know they applied here!" Well, I want to tell you something, this outfit began as an Army!—And I was tough! If anybody got out of line in the slightest way, I cracked down on them with the rod! Is that how God is?—Absolutely! We cannot have any kind of an outfit run without rules & without obedience to those rules or remembrance of those rules! Is that clear?

7. Just because you're here is no excuse to think that you no longer have to keep the old rules, & that I'm not going to get tough about it because I've been such an easy mark‚ such a pushover & so lenient with you, & familiarity has bred contempt for your boss! If you think that‚ you're going to find out something different, that I'm just as tough as I ever was & I'm going to crack down on you just like I always have! And if you think that just because you're in a top position in this Family, in the most important domestic staff as a member of my personal house, or because you're a top leader, that you no longer have to keep the rules because the rules are just for beginners‚ you're going to find out something very different! Do you get the point?


8. When you first joined this Family, what were two of the most important rules that were made for your own safety, for your own good, & to keep things well-organised so that everyone didn't go wandering off doing their own thing? Can you remember two of the most important rules? (Fam: Going two by two.) Never go anywhere alone! Is that clear?—Never! And the other, like unto it & next to it, never leave this house or any house, without telling people where you are going & who with!

9. I don't care if it's only down the block! Well, maybe it's OK as long as it's right out there where we can see you from the window, & we therefore know where you are.—Although it's a good habit to let people know where you're going & it would certainly be a help. Often we're looking for you & we can't find you, we have no idea where you are.

10. What do you think those rules are made for? (Fam: For safety.) I used to tell my children in my first family‚ "Why did Daddy tell you not to go across the street?—Because I want to be mean to you & I don't want you to have any fun? Why?—Because I don't want you to get killed, that's why! Because I love you!—And I am going to whip you the next time you go across the street without permission & without anybody with you!" Why was I going to whip them? (Fam: Because you loved them.) Exactly, that's the main reason. I want you to keep the rules for your own safety & your own good!—Because I love you! Isn't that the way God is too?

11. So don't go wandering off somewhere completely out of sight, out of sound, all alone & without telling anybody where you're going, where nobody knows where you are! We wouldn't have even had the faintest idea where you might have gone this morning, except with pretty good guesswork.—Do you think that's how it should be? Is that putting safety first? (Fam: No, Sir.) Then why would you ever leave this house without telling anybody where you're going? Even if you're just going down there where I can't see you, you should never go completely out of sight & out of sound like that without telling someone first. You're not out of mind!—Unless you're out of your mind for breaking those cardinal rules that you have known ever since you joined this Family!

12. I want to go around this circle & I want to know how long each of you have been in the Family. Do you ever remember hearing those rules before? I want to find out where you first heard those two cardinal safety/security rules of this Family about never going anywhere alone & never leaving the house without telling others where you're going. (Dad asks each staff member when they first heard these rules, & all affirm they heard them when they first joined the Family.)

13. So you must know by now that they're pretty important rules & they've been around a long time!—In fact, they were around a long time before you even joined with my own little personal family.—But my first wife broke those rules I don't know how many times, just consistently! That was almost her principal occupation—breaking rules & disobeying & being rebellious, independent, going her own way, & she made her first daughter the same way, & look where she's at now.—Look where they're both at now!

14. If you don't want to be a member of this Family, that's up to you! You can take off any day of the week & do as you please & go where you want to go if you don't like the rules, if you don't like to keep them, if you think they're too tough! But God have mercy on you! "The way of the transgressor is hard!"—Pro.13:15.

15. How long have you been in this Family, Son? (David: 14 years.) When did you first hear those rules? (David: I don't remember the exact time.) Have you ever heard them before today? (David: Yes‚ especially when I was little‚ they always told me that.) How about you, Techi? Have you heard of those rules before? What are they again, tell me. (Techi: To go two-by-two & not leave the house without telling anybody where you're going.)—Exactly.

16. Those are two of the most important rules we ever made!—In fact, in some of our larger Colonies where they grew to be about 300 people, you know what we made them do in those days? We had a … registry book where everyone had to sign in & sign out! They had to put down the names of the people who were going, never less than two, where they were going, what time they were signing out, what they were going for, & how long they estimated they'd be gone! It's a little difficult to keep track of 300 people, but I learned those procedures in the Army, that's what they did! You didn't go out that gate without having signed out. Of course‚ they also had the number of your pass that you had to show to prove that you even had the right to go out! Well‚ I've never quite gotten to the point that we had to carry passes!

17. Now I have never been known as a very patient man. I never heard of any man or woman who ever started a revolution who was extremely patient, because if they were so patient they would have waited for the System to change! But they were impatient, they wanted it now, they wanted to change the World now & change you now & therefore they had little or no patience!


18. When I was in the Army, let me tell you right now, when the officers gave us an order of any kind, we didn't just stand there & say, "Okay, I'll do it sometime"! You know what you did? You were always already on your feet, because no officer ever came into the room but what everybody, no matter what they were doing, had to leap to their feet! He'd say, "Attention!"—And you leaped to attention!—Heels together, saluting, stiff & half scared to death‚ especially when you were a new recruit! And when they said‚ "Do this or do that," what did you say? (Fam: "Yes Sir!")

19. A lot of our people, even my own children, got a little sloppy about that. They'd say, "What?" Boy, I was taught by my Mother to say‚ "Yes, Sir! Yes, Ma'am!", as a term of respect. Not, "Huh?" or "What?", but "Yes, Sir! OK, Sir!" My Father ran his family like an army. Do you think I'm wrong in running mine like that? Well, I think it's worked & we've recruited an Army for the Lord that has learned to obey & do God's Will & what the Lord said to do! I've merely told them about it, it's already in the Bible, & it's worked! And we have an Army today of about 16,000-some people. Of course‚ half of them are children, but I hope they are learning the rules just like the rest of the Army!—And I hope they haven't forgotten them like some of the Army apparently has!

20. So I don't want you to think that just because you're a part of my little Family here that you don't have to keep those rules! Of all the people on God's Earth that ought to set an example of keeping these rules & fearing to defy them or break them, fearing chastisement, you should! We are to fear God, & you're to fear your officers in the Lord as well as love them, & if you really love them you'll fear them‚ & you'll fear their wrath if you break the rules & show you don't love them by disobeying‚ or even forgetting.


21. You know what the saying is in law?—Ignorance of the law is no excuse! But for God's sake, if you've been taught them for years—most of you here have been with the Family over ten years, some of you 17 or 18 years—you certainly have no excuse! Have you forgotten the rules? Those rules are for your own good & your safety & our close cooperation & organisation so we'll know where you are all the time at any time! Is that clear?

22. We used to have 400 acres at TSC.—Do you suppose I meant by those rules then that when you left the camp, that just meant after you crossed the border a half-a-mile away? It meant that no one was to leave the tight‚ close–knit immediate camp without checking out!—And the little tiny camp there amounted to nothing but the official house of the camp manager & a row of what they called "Splinterville," little wooden shacks, & another row of nice little rough stone cabins. But they were all grouped right tight together on one little hill. The whole camp of all the cabins put together was probably not more than 50 yards wide either direction—half a football field.

23. So when we said, "Don't leave the camp without permission, sign in, sign out, who you're going with, where you're going, what for, how long you expect to be gone‚ etc.," what do you think we meant? Would you have said, "Oh, I thought I could just take a little stroll across the field & hike down to the other end of the Ranch‚ 400 acres away.—I didn't know that required permission!" I'd have said, "Well, how the Hell did you expect us to know where you were or what had happened to you? When you strolled off alone & didn't tell anybody where you went, we didn't know what happened to you! Maybe you got bit by a rattlesnake or kicked by a horse or fell & hit your head on a rock!"—Like one fellow did & got killed! Thank God‚ at least somebody was with him & could call for help.

24. Do you think those are still good rules or not? Do you think that's too tight? Do you think that's just to be mean? Is it too restrictive? Too tough? Is Dad too hard? I'll tell you something, if you think I've gotten any softer than I used to be, you're going to find out otherwise, & if you don't like it, then you can just lump it & get the Hell out of here!

25. I have looked for people time & time again—I'm not talking about just one person, this applies to all of you—and nobody knew where you were! So even if you're just going outside nearby for a little while, that doesn't mean we don't need to know where you're at! Tell somebody! For God's sake, at least tell somebody in the kitchen as you step out!—That's base!

26. Don't you think it would at least be thoughtful & considerate to give people some idea where you're going to be? Don't you think it might even be a good idea for your own sake to at least tell somebody, "I'm going to step out for a minute to do such–&-such."—So we'll know where you are in case we need you in a hurry in case of an emergency or something. TYL!

27. "Oh Dad, you're getting tough again." I think most people who live with me have found out that I never ceased being tough when it came to enforcing the rules & reminding you of your obligations & your duties & what time you're supposed to be on duty!

28. Maybe you feel that you've reached the top, that this is some kind of a place of vacation & you can do as you please now? Are you such a bigshot & so important that you don't have to keep the rules any more? You don't have to be at work on time? You're top stuff, top dogs! Is that it?


29. Well, what does the Devil's own System require of their slaves? Do they have a time when they're supposed to be at work? Are there any rules at System jobs regarding what time they come to work & sign in, & what time they knock off & when they can take their coffee breaks, etc.? Does he enforce such rules or not? Does he require certain hours of labour or not?—And give them certain times to report for duty & when they can knock off & go home etc.? Well, would you do any less for the Lord?

30. You're God's slave‚ believe it or not! He's called you that in the Bible! In the New Testament, where it says "servant," the original Greek meaning of that word is slave! But we are love slaves! You're not here just because of the rules, you're not required to perform certain duties just because you're a slave. In fact‚ you're perfectly free to leave whenever you don't want to be a love slave of the Lord any longer!

31. I have told that to some people who took off & left! They didn't like it! "It's too tough, like an army, we're like slaves!" Well‚ I'll tell you‚ I'm a slave too, of the Lord, & I'm afraid not to keep His rules & I am afraid to disobey Him & I am afraid to just take off on my own & do as I please! I don't do anything without asking the Lord about it!—And may God forgive me if I ever have. I believe in safety first, & the first thing you can do to be really safe is ask the Lord.

32.And you should obey the already-established rules set down by your officers in the Lord. They are the Lord's rules, & you should obey them just as much as you would if you heard it direct from God Himself! We are His messengers, we are His officers, & if you want to obey God, you'd better obey us, & not just think it's some kind of an optional thing once you've joined the Army. Paul said‚ "Be ye followers of me even as I am of Christ!"—1Cor.11:1.

33. Everybody here has a job.—Do you feel it's your obligation to do that job? It's not just some kind of a nice thing that you do just because you enjoy it & it isn't as hard as working for the Devil, it isn't as hard as being in Man's or the System's Army! You didn't decide to join the Family just because you wouldn't have to work so hard & you wouldn't have to keep rules & you wouldn't have to work certain hours, did you? Is that why you joined the Family, because it was easier than working for the System? Well, in some ways it should be easier because you should be doing it for love & because you like to work for the Lord, & you like to obey His Will.


34. But I'm just jerking you up today to remind you that you are still in an Army & you are to report to duty at certain times that you have been given. And you're not just to think, "Well, it's not really important whether I get there on time or not." Because whether I've kept tabs on you & found out whether you're doing that or not‚ I will find out sooner or later! If you're slovenly & sloppy about getting to work on time & doing your job & keeping in touch & reporting, do you think that's being a good, faithful servant of the Lord? Do you think that's being a good member of this Family?

35. This is not a Summer Camp! Even Summer Camps have rules. How many of you went to Summer Camp? Weren't there certain rules about what time you were supposed to get up & eat breakfast & go on a certain hike or whatever, & what time you were supposed to get back & eat supper, & what time you were even supposed to get to bed & turn your lights out?

36. I think you guys have an awful lot of privileges & an awful lot of freedom! We don't follow you around all day like some kind of Camp counsellors to make sure you're obeying the rules. By this time, as long as you've been in the Family & as loyal & obedient as you should be, we expect you to be obeying all these rules all the time in love whether we ever see you or not! And, thank the Lord‚ all of you do most of the time, as far as I know.

37. So I want to let you know right here & now, that these rules are still in effect & are going to be enforced if you don't keep them voluntarily! There is nothing that offends a good Army officer more than a soldier who is independent, who likes to do things his own way, in his own time, as he pleases, & doesn't feel obligated to keep the rules. How long do you think a guy like that is going to last in the Army? Well, I'll tell you the first place you'll land if you persist in that sort of behaviour, if you're in the Navy you'll land in the brig, or if you're in the Army in the... (Fam: KP?) Well, yes‚ perhaps you'll be put on KP (Kitchen Patrol) first. But if you persist in that kind of behaviour you'll land in the stockade!—A little prison with bars & locked doors, & you'll soon be out of the Army with a dishonorable discharge!

38. Now I have called this special meeting today for this reason: To remind you that you are still in the Army & you still have a job to do which you must fulfil if you want to keep this Army running right!—And you still have the same rules as we've always had for years! Violation of those rules is going to bring you reprimand &—what does the Lord call it in His Word? (Fam: Chastisement.) "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, & scourgeth every son whom He receiveth!"—Heb.12:6.

39. You're going to get a tongue–lashing if you don't keep the rules!—If you think you can just prance off any time you please, without reporting‚ without telling anybody where you're going, & clear out of sound & out of sight somewhere.—Even if you're doing a job that you're expected to do.

40. If you told no one where you were going or what you were going to do, & you went off someplace where nobody knows where you are & has a hard time finding you, do you think that's keeping the rules? So don't let me catch any of you doing that again! Somebody did that this morning & it just made me furious that they would be so thoughtless & inconsiderate of us, of me, when I'm the one who works with them the most! They just took off! Well, because we know that you're a good worker & a hard worker & you're usually doing what you're told & what's expected of you, we suspected where you might be‚ & we had to send somebody who finally found you.

41. Now don't you ever do that again! Don't leave this house without telling somebody where you're going & what you're going for! And for God's sake, don't ever go wandering way off someplace out of sight & out of sound without somebody with you as well.—Somebody! Even someone Techi's age can run & call & bring help if you need it.

42. You're also not supposed to work aloneespecially in dangerous maintenance work—without somebody with you. And you're never to leave this house & go out of sight & out of sound where you can't be seen & you can't be heard & where we don't even know where you are or what you're doing!

43. Is that clear to you that those rules are still in effect now as much as when you joined?—And that you cannot disobey those rules just because you've now been in the Family for ten years? Because those rules are good & necessary safety & organisational rules. If we need you suddenly & nobody knows where you're at, & there's nobody with you, is that very good organisation? I'll tell you, in the Army they knew where you were at every moment of every day because you were exactly where they expected you to be & where you were supposed to be!—And if you weren't, you were in deep trouble!

44. So what do you think about those rules now, Son? (Fam: I know the rules & I'm sorry.) Well, the same applies to every one of you, every single one of you. He just happened to be the poor goat that had to get it today because he was the guilty one, & for some reason or other he thought that the rules didn't apply here any more!

45. What if something had happened to you? How would we know where to look for you if we got worried about you? You went alone & unattended & untold‚ you never told anybody. If you got hurt or something, who's going to come tell us & summon help? Well, I'm sure the Lord would at least, in spite of your infraction.

46. But I'm going to have to get tough & let you all know that the rule is the same as ever! Of all the people who ought to keep the rules & obey even more strictly & prayerfully than anybody else in this whole Family worldwide, it is you! So never let me catch you doing that again!

47. If you want to take a walk‚ you can walk together with someone. "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall‚ the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."—Ecc.4:9,10. I don't know why you'd think you're so much better off if you're alone. There are some times we need to be alone with the Lord, but I'd suggest that someplace in the house would be a lot safer place for you to be alone, not wandering off somewhere out of sight & out of sound. Is that clear? Now I realise there may be occasional exceptions to going 2 x 2 if there's definitely no one else around, but those should definitely be exceptions.—And in your case, you had opportunity to have a partner with you, as well as letting someone know where you'd be!

48. Now those rules are common sense & for your safety & for our help & cooperation so we'll know where you are & know where to get you if we need you, & know that you're with somebody, especially when you're gone off the property somewhere. Amen, thank You Lord. David, do you want to close in prayer?

49. (David prays: Amen‚ thank You Jesus so much, Lord, for this time that we got to spend together, and that You anointed Grandpa to refresh our minds, Lord, about these basic rules of the Family. We're really sorry, Lord, for disobeying in some of them, but we really pray that that will never happen again, Lord Jesus. We pray that we'll be able to remember, Lord, & follow each & every little rule to the tiniest thing. Please help us to hide these things in our heart, Lord, & always remember them, Jesus. Help us to remember to do what we're told, Lord, so we can stay out of trouble. Thank You so much that Grandpa's concerned about us enough to tell us these things, so You don't have to punish us, Lord, in some way that could hurt others. Please help us to remember these things, Lord, & follow them, in Jesus' name, amen.) Amen, PTL! TYJ! Help them to remember, Lord, help them to obey. It's for their own good‚ their own safety, & because we love them & we want to make sure they're safe, in Jesus' name. We also want to be able to find them when we need them. TYL!

50. Now, are those rules clear? Anybody want to volunteer to give us those rules? (Fam: To always go 2 x 2 & do not leave the house without letting somebody know where you're going to go.) Right!

51. We don't want to restrict you so that you have no freedom of movement or liberty of any kind, it's just common sense & safety to not go out of sight & out of sound without somebody with you, & certainly not without notification of someone here as to where you've gone. To go out of sight, out of sound, you must be accompanied, & must go with notification of where you're going. Is that clear? I don't care why it is you've gone out, to work or whatever, that's the rule, OK? PTL!


52. Amen, let's pray the prayer He taught us to pray. I want to remind you concerning that phrase about "Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"—what do you think the rule is on those points in Heaven or in the Millennium? (Fam: Right now.) That's the way God's Will is done there, right now! And what do you think His Will is going to be in the Millennium?—Everybody wandering off doing their own thing in their own time at their own choice wherever they please? I think you're going to find that the rules are going to be even stiffer & the discipline even tighter, & there's not going to be any such thing as disobedience in Heaven, at least not with God's children! We're still going to have a lot of people around during the Millennium who are going to need a lot of teaching & a lot of organising & a lot of discipline, & even punishment if they don't obey!

53. We've got a tough job ahead! If you think it's all going to be floating on a cloud playing a harp in the Millennium, you've got other things coming to think about! It's going to be the biggest job we ever had! We're graduating from here. When you graduate, how much easier is the next grade? Did you always find that the next grade was easier? That would be ridiculous! You're prepared to go into something harder & more difficult & a bigger job, a higher grade, where the requirements are even stiffer!

54. We'll have to organise this whole World full of a bunch of people who are still not saved! But, thank God, we'll have supernatural bodies & abilities & transportation & no visas & a lot of other advantages we don't have now.—And we will be the rulers! And they will have to snap quick to attention, "Yes Sir!", or else they're going to be in trouble!

55. But it's going to be a bigger job than ever, that's why it's going to take a thousand years! Because by the end of the Thousand Years, some people still aren't going to be persuaded or saved‚ and are going to be just as ready to return to the Devil & rebel again when he's let out of his prison!—Rev.20:7-9. Think of it! So what's the Thousand Years for? Why do we have to put up with that for a thousand years, why don't we just wipe them all out as soon as we come back in Armageddon? Well, we will wipe out the Antichrist people, the Mark-of–the-Beast people, but there will be a lot of other people who deserve not another chance, but their first chance.

56. Besides, the church needs to learn to do the job they failed to do in this Dispensation which they are going to have to do in the Millennium, & that is to get out & preach the Gospel & teach & train people to love the Lord!—Something they failed to do‚ as you can obviously see in this generation! They're not doing it. That's why we had to get organised & get out & do it ourselves & set an example, & we have done it! PTL! And they have been affected by it‚ & they show all kinds of signs of having heard our Message.—They're having more fellowships now, they're holding hands & praying together now & letting the Lord speak—even calling'm a Family!—And they're getting out door-to-door & canvassing more—in their own countries at least. Of course, not very many of them are going to the foreign field.

57. But we have done it, thank God! And if you think that was tough, the next job is going to be even bigger! But the Lord is going to give us certain powers & abilities that are going to make it much easier, thank the Lord, or we couldn't take it. But God's discipline is going to be even tighter. "Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." We're trying to do it right now on Earth, but let me tell you‚ when we're in charge‚ it will be done on Earth!

58. Did you know how Army orders are written? In all those Army notices they don't say, "Please, will you do so-&–so?" They don't even say, "You are supposed to do so-&-so." Does anybody know the language of the Army? "You will do so-&-so at a certain time, such & such a thing! You will do so-&-so!" That's it! You will do it or else! That's like "God's Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"! God's Will will be done!

59. So remember that point when you pray this prayer, "Thy Will‚" it means, "Thy Will will be done!"—And you're going to help enforce it! But it's going to be a lot easier in some ways. It's going to be a bigger job, but God's going to make you much more powerful to do it! TTL! Okay, let's pray the prayer that He taught us to pray: (Prays the Lord's Prayer.)

60. Do you have a job? Do you know what you're supposed to be doing? Do you know what time you're supposed to start doing it?—When you're allowed to knock off & when you're supposed to be back on duty again? (Fam: Yes, Sir.) Are you treating it like God's job, & doing it as faithfully as the Lord would expect you to do it? Well, please don't forget that this is a job & you are supposed to be working & doing something, & at certain times in particular, & you are not to do some other things. "For ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price!"—1Cor.6:19,20; 7:23.

61. Any questions? Any unclearness? Are you going to tell me, "Well‚ it wasn't clear?" (Fam: No Sir!)—Or did I make it clear enough? (Fam: Yes Sir!) All right then, next time you're without excuse! I love you! "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, & scourgeth every son whom He receiveth!" Don't go thinking I don't love you just because I give you a good tongue-lashing! PTL! ILY!—Amen?