KEYWORDS: god, way, experience, lord, world, word

Wise Man Will Hear, A

David Berg

—Pro.1:5. DO 2543 Comp. 8/89

1. It's been said that a wise man learns from experience, but that a wiser man learns from the experience of others. Well‚ this is certainly true: If you're really smart, if you have real wisdom, you'll listen to others & learn from them & their experience! "A wise man will hear & will increase learning, & a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. Give instruction to a wise man, & he will be yet wiser."—Pro.1:5; 9:9.

2. I've often said that one of the main reasons God has put us here on this Earth is to teach us to make decisions, so we can learn to choose between good & evil, to do right or wrong, to serve God or ourselves & the Devil. One way or another, God will teach each of us these major lessons of life that we're here to learn.—How it pays to love & believe & serve & obey Him, & how we will pay if we doubt, disobey & rebel against Him!

3. From the very beginning God has always given Man the opportunity to learn the easy way, by simply believing & obeying His Word & the testimony of His Prophets, even if he doesn't always understand why. If Adam & Eve had believed God, they would have heeded His Word & warning & therefore known—by faith—that God was right. But they chose not to learn the easy way of faith & obedience, but instead chose the hard way, so God let them go ahead & disobey & learn by bitter experience. They refused to learn the easy way, so they had to learn the hard way!

4. The Lord still works the same way with us today, & He will see to it that we all learn our lessons, one way or the other.—Either by the easy way of simply heeding His Word & the good direction & Godly advice that others pass on to us, or by the hard way of experience, which is the most expensive education you can possibly get, as it usually hurts!

5. When a child is warned by his parents to look both ways before crossing the street, or to go slowly & cautiously through intersections on his bicycle, the easy way for him to learn is for him to listen & believe his parents who are teaching him what to do & what not to do from their experience or others' experience. But if he refuses to heed their warnings & advice & he runs out into the street without looking, or he races through intersections on his bicycle without looking, he will still learn!—But he'll learn the hard way, by bitter experience!—And he may not survive the lesson!—His last!

6. The easy way, the shortcut‚ is to believe the Truth & what your teachers tell you, & not to have to learn by experience, the school of hard knocks. If you believe God's Word & believe your teachers‚ then you won't have to learn the bitter lessons taught by the harsh school of experience.

7. What happened to Adam & Eve for their rejection of God's Word & consequent disobedience is the same thing that happens to us when we refuse to heed the Lord's warnings & insist on going our own way. God cracked the whip & let them really suffer for it! But through it all, Adam & Eve & all of their descendants ever since have learned by comparison the difference between disobedience & obedience. We have learned the judgements of God & the horrors that we suffer for disobedience, & we have learned the blessings & rewards of obedience.

8. This is God's standard procedure by which He operates: He gives us His Word & tells us what He wants us to do, & warns us about what not to do. But if we flatly refuse to learn by listening‚ He has to let us learn by bitter experience. If we refuse to learn by the shortcut of obedience, then we have to learn by the hard knocks of disobedience‚ & by His consequent chastisements, spankings & judgements! When we go astray‚ He is then forced to chasten us with the rod to rescue us from the ruin of our own folly!

9. So when we warn you teens about what a cesspool & slime–pit & stinking Hell of a God-damned mess the System is, if you're really smart, if you're wise, you'll believe God's Word & heed our warnings & learn from the experience that we have gone through! The easy way to learn is via teachers, they are a shortcut to learning. If you listen to your Shepherds & teachers, you can avoid the snares & pitfalls of which they warn you.

10. Although serving the Lord can sometimes be a rough & a rugged road, serving sin, self, Satan & the System is a Hell of a lot rougher! Jesus promised that His yoke is easy & that His burden is light. But "the way of the transgressor is hard!"—Mat.11:30; Pro.13:15. I know that's so true because when I've stepped out of God's Will & left my calling, I had nothing but real trouble, & barely escaped with my life! I've found out by bitter personal experience exactly what happens when you don't heed the Lord's warnings, when you don't stay true to Him & His calling. I'll tell you right now, when you know better & you're accountable, yet you still wilfully go against the Lord‚ it's a very dangerous business!

11. The worst time for me was when I joined the U.S. Army because I wanted to get out of working for my Mother. I was tired of being in the Lord's Army, I wanted to do something different. I'd never really had a taste of the World, never really gotten out there & seen what it was all about & had "freedom," I always felt like I was tied to my Mother's apron strings. Maybe you kids feel like that sometimes too‚ "I wish I could just go out there & see what it's like!" Well, all that glitters is not gold. It may look interesting & fascinating, like it might be a lot of fun, but it's a garbage pit, it's filthy, it's a dung-hill!—Just ask any of us who have been out there in it!

12. But the cow is never satisfied & the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, & I wanted to try it. So the Lord let me have the desire of my heart, but He sent leanness to my soul!—Psa.106:15. I hadn't been in that Army one day when I knew I was in the wrong place & shouldn't be there! But the Lord let me sweat it out for months to learn my lesson good before He let me get out of it!—But then He delivered me! And I was sure thankful, even though it took nearly killing me to get me out!

13. I learned that indeed, "the way of the transgressor is hard!" I found out then that experience certainly is a good teacher, but the worst teacher & the hardest & caused me the most pain & suffering & grief! When you go through the cruel school of experience, you know it.—And then you can warn others about it!

14. We've had our share of backsliders, people who thought it would be great if they could get out there in the System. They wouldn't have to follow the dictates of Dad any more, they could go out & have their freedom & not have to be witnesses or missionaries or suffer on the mission field. They thought they could just go into the System & make money & buy gadgets & live in luxury!—But it doesn't usually work that way, & they always sadly discover that it didn't pay. They put their money in a bag with holes in it, & God blew upon it & it came to naught! (Hag.1:6).

15. Sooner or later they always realise that having left the Father's house, like the Prodigal Son, they inevitably wind up in the swine pit under the Enemy & at his mercy, which is none! (See Luk.15:11-16.) "It is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."—2Pet. 2:22. They find out just how hard the way of the transgressor is! Thank God for those who wake up & come to their senses & return to the Lord & His Will & the Family!

16. But those who are still out there in the System, why is it that we hardly ever hear anything from them or about them?—Except for the relatively few outright Judases who have viciously & vocally turned against us. But why don't we ever hear from the rest of them, the glorious testimonies of how wonderful it is to backslide & how marvellous it is to be back in the System, of how happy they are & how wonderful it would be for others to backslide with them?!

17. What little we do hear from them is almost always nothing but complaints & troubles & problems, & woeful tales of sickness & accidents & all kinds of other troubles! As I said, I know from personal experience what it's like to get out of God's Will, & as soon as I saw how bad the World is, how rough it is‚ I looked back to my former days in God's service, in God's Family, & knew that I had had Heaven on Earth! And that's how it is with most backsliders! They wind up going through Hell before they appreciate the Heaven they once had!—How sad!

18. I am fully persuaded that you can go through the fires of Hell here & now in this life! You can suffer the flames & the fires of Hell on Earth right here & now for your sins, for the hand of God can be very heavy & His chastening can be very severe, & "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God!"—Heb. 10:31.

19. They say that if you run with wolves, you'll soon learn to howl with them. But if a sheep leaves the Shepherd's Fold, he may not even have time to howl! If despite all of the Shepherd's warnings, & in spite of the sheepdogs yapping at your heels, if you still wilfully wander away from the Fold & wind up in the woods amongst the wolves‚ then it's your own fault if you are devoured!—You may not even have time to bleat‚ only bleed, & that's usually the end!

20. How can you expect God to protect you or prosper you or bless you in any way if you knowingly leave His Will & are running around outside the secret place & out from under the shadow of His wings‚ outside of the fortress of perfect fellowship with Him? When you do this, you can no longer claim His protection & defenses outlined in Psalm 91‚ & He may even allow you to fall prey to the Enemy because you're playing with fire & living so close to Enemy territory!

21. So why not take God's & our word for it?—That the System is a Hell-hole & a Pit! For God's sake & His Eternal Kingdom's sake & your own sake as well‚ heed our warnings & stay faithful to the Lord, His Word & His Work!—Be watchful & prayerful & mindful & spiritually attentive to His Words of Truth & Warning!—Amen?

22. "A wise man will hear!"—Are you wisely listening, hearing & heeding God's loving Voice that calls you to ever-brighter horizons & realms of service for Him & the Salvation of eternal souls? Have you‚ like Moses, forsaken the Egypt of this World, looking beyond its temporal temptations because you see Jesus & have an eye on Eternity & its great rewards?

23. Moses counted the riches of Christ greater than all the riches of this World, "for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." He knew the riches & rewards of Christ were far greater than all the riches of this whole World combined & all of its selfish pleasures & selfish interests. TYJ! So "he chose to suffer affliction with the children of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of this life which are only for a season." Heb.11:25-27.

24. Whatever this life & this World have to offer, it's only for a little while! But Salvation, souls & service for the Lord are forever, they are eternal! "For this World passes away & the fashion thereof, but he that doeth the Will of God abideth forever! For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."—1Jn.2:17; 2Cor.4:18. Hallelujah! So "love not the World, neither the things that are in the World, for he that loveth the World, the love of the Father is not in him!"—1Jn.2:15.

25. "Only one life, 'twill soon be past!—Only what's done for Christ will last!" What are you doing?—For whom?—Will it last forever for Jesus & others? He's coming soon! Will you be glad?—Or ashamed forever?—Sorry forever! "They that be wise shall shine! And the wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools!"—Dan.12:2,3; Pro.3:35.

26. God's called you!—Have you chosen His highest & best?—Or will you disappoint Him & fail Him? May God help you to be faithful to the End! "Be thou faithful unto death, & I will give thee a crown of life!"—Rev.2:10.—In Jesus' name, amen!