KEYWORDS: lord, god, time, jeremiah, people, verse

Encouragement from the Lord

David Berg

—From a Talk to the Family on New Year's Day!

DO 2846 1/1/93

Daniel 3—The Fiery Furnace!

1. This wasn't what I was planning to read you, but I picked up this Bible a few moments ago, & I opened it to this passage—Daniel Chapter 3! My eyes fell right on it! I was going to give you a lesson on the Antichrist, but I guess this is what the Lord wanted you to have!—So that you know the Lord can deliver from anything!

2. (Daniel 3, verse 26:) "Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace‚ & spake‚ & said, `Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego! Ye servants of the most high God‚ come forth‚ & come hither!’ Then Shadrach‚ Meshach, & Abednego came forth of the midst of the fire." This does bear a great resemblance to what they've tried to put us through! They've really tried to put us & our kids through the fire!

3. (Verse 27:) "And the princes, governors, & captains..."—& the lawyers & the judges are all amazed at what God has done! "...And the king's counsellors, being gathered together‚ saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed‚ neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them." You know that when anybody's even been in the kitchen, when they come out you can smell them & you can even tell what's cooking! Or if you even come out of the bathroom where you've struck a couple of matches, you can smell it.

4. (Verse 28:) "Then Nebuchadnezzar spake & said, `Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, Who hath sent His Angel, & delivered His servants that trusted in Him!'" Here's the king doing the witnessing & testifying for'm! Think of it, what a witness! "And have changed the king's word!" He was the king, & he's making a confession: "This God even changed my word! I said, `Kill'm, burn'm!', & God changed my word." He's confessing he was wrong. How about that! "... And yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God."

5. (Verse 29:) "Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, & language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, & their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

6. (Verse 30:) "Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the province of Babylon." Do you think that's going to happen to us? Well, in a way it's already happening! Persecution has promoted our message already! We've won more friends in high places through these court cases than we've had in a long time! And it's made them marvel, even made the governments marvel, so that in Australia‚ the government in the next state is really gearing up its guns, hoping to really shoot us down this time! "We're not going to let them overcome us like they did the other government!"

7. Our enemies are getting armed to the teeth with lies & false allegations, & our backsliders are supplying them‚ trying to make sure we don't get off this next time! Their defeat in Sydney was a real big mark against them, & they can't have these things noised abroad all over the World! They can't have people think, "No use trying to attack the Family, they always win!" If that happened, then they'd stop attacking us‚ & we'd stop standing up & this wouldn't go on. We'd wind up like Shadrach, Meshach‚ Abednego, & like Daniel‚ who was running the whole show! Well‚ I'm not saying that's going to happen with us, but in some ways it's already happening.

8. We have been through the fire & the people are marvelling, even the media‚ that we came out so victorious over this government & its vicious officers. And they were made such fools of that they were put to shame! So now they're plotting & planning to make sure it doesn't happen again this next time in the next court case.

9. We don't know what God's going to do, but if we keep winning, they're apt to stop attacking, & we may stop standing up! So don't expect us to win them all. I think the Lord's given these initial victories as a big encouragement, & all the good media we got as a result, & friends & public sympathy & all the rest. So now the Devil's pulling out all his big guns—these really "little shot" backsliders with their lies & fairy tales & whatnot, & even twisting the Truth & turning good to evil.

10. It's horrible how some of the people who were the biggest trial & we worked the hardest on & did the most for & took the most time with, & put up with the most from them, have the nerve to turn around & stab us in the back! Now they've even got the nerve to try to stab us in the front!

11. Well, those Hebrew children won a big victory that time‚ I'll tell you! That was one of the first victories, in the Book of Daniel. I wasn't planning to turn to that at all! I was planning to turn to Daniel, but not to Chapter 3. How many times do you ever do that, that you just open the Bible & turn right to the Book you'd planned to read?

The Message of Jeremiah!

12. I think that only happened to me one other time, when I was very sick with the flu in Miami many years ago. I thought maybe I was even going to die, & I asked the Lord, "Am I going to live or am I going to die?" And He seemed to encourage me that I was going to live. So I said, "Well, Lord, what for? To what purpose? What do You want me to say? What do You want me to preach? Why are You going to save my life?"—And He told me to open the Bible. I'll bet I can't cut to the same place this time, although I know approximately where it is. This isn't even my Bible, but let's see if I can open to the right Book. (Dad cuts the Bible:) Jeremiah! The same Book! Only that time in Miami I opened it to the very first Chapter of Jeremiah, let's see what I opened to this time!—Jeremiah 31!

13. When you've gotten as far as Chapter 31 of Jeremiah, you're over halfway through the whole book! Maybe that means we're halfway through! Jeremiah has 52 Chapters & then five Chapters of Lamentations. Goodness, that's 57 Chapters! I don't know whether it's significant that I opened to Chapter 31, but maybe it means we've still got a lot of Jeremiah to preach!

14. The Lord told me that time I was sick in Miami to "preach the Message of Jeremiah!" Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! And I started preaching it, & you heard it! And that's what they quoted on those banners & those signs that our red-robed prophets later carried.—Prophets of doom! We were to go out & preach the doom of America! But I got the Message of Jeremiah even before we had our red-robed prophets of doom!

15. And that was my message from then on, every place I went, every church they invited me to, I just preached doom. Some of those churches said that it sure was a terribly depressing message! The churches didn't take it too well.

Jeremiah 31!

16. Let's see what this Chapter says! Maybe the Lord's got something here that He wants to tell you. What in the world does it say in the 31st Chapter of Jeremiah? (Fam: The last two verses of Chapter 30 are about the Last Days.) How about that! (Jer.30:22–24:) "And ye shall be My people, & I will be your God. Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury‚ a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return until He have done it, & until He have performed the intents of His heart: in the Latter Days ye shall consider it." That sounds like the judgements of God, right?

17. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet‚ but if you ask me‚ he was a shouting prophet! He was a prophet of doom, bawling the people of God out for their sins. This Book fits whichever way you look at it! It fits the Jews & the churches.—The people of God of yesterday & the people of God of today. God says more things against His Own people in this Book than He does even against their enemies, about how they failed, & His impending judgements.

18. (Jeremiah 31:1:) "At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people." The Lord must be trying to speak something encouraging to you here. I was ready to give you a sobering lesson about the Antichrist today, but I guess He wants to cheer you up a little bit!—First of all with that passage about Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego, showing that it doesn't matter what they put you through‚ you can come out of it! And now He wants to encourage you that, "I will be the God of all the families of Israel, & they shall be My people."—And Israel‚ of course, is us‚ not the Jews.

19. (Verse 2:) "Thus saith the Lord, the people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest." "Left of the sword"—what is He talking about here? Those who escaped the persecution, where did they run? (Fam: The wilderness.) How about that? That's in this Book too, & we've preached that before.

20. You say, "This isn't the wilderness!" Well, we may have to flee to the wilderness before it's all over! This is the calm before the storm, Beloved. Thank God for the peace & rest that we've had, & that we've had a chance to get so much work done & to be such a blessing to feed God's sheep around the World. Thank God for the time we've had undisturbed, unhindered, unpersecuted! Those out there at the battlefront are standing in the heat of the battle! But we're making the ammunition & sending it to them. Hallelujah? Praise God! He says He's going to cause us to rest.

21. (Verse 3:) "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying‚ `Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.'" Look, He's trying to comfort you. I was about to frighten you & scare you half to death about what's going to happen, & the Lord wants to comfort you.

22. (Verse 4:) "Again I will build thee, & thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel." He's talking to you. "Thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, & shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry." You're going to play musical instruments, a tabret, & going to have dances & make merry!

23. (Verse 5:) "Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria."—The neighbours' mountains. Maybe it's talking about the Millennium. "The planters shall plant, & shall eat them as common things."—In other words, have lots to eat!

24. (Verse 6:) "For there shall be a day that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, `Arise ye, & let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.'" The Lord's doing nothing but trying to encourage you here, when I was going to really terrify you with the things to come! Ha! The Lord is so good! He's trying to encourage you.

25. (Verse 7:) "For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, & shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye!" How about that? He likes what we're publishing! "Publish ye, praise ye, & say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel." Well, that's what we're publishing. We're trying to save what's left as long as we can, amen?—Even though now we're being attacked openly & in court, arrested & our kids literally thrown in jail! Children‚ think of that! What dirty, low-handed scum would do a trick like that, taking little two-year–old kids & yanking them out of bed in the dark of the morning, breaking down a door they didn't even have to break down to get in when we would have opened it up!

26. It's just like the worst kind of dictatorship you could imagine, the kind of stories you've heard about Communists & Nazis & whatnot doing tricks like that, horrible! Even the public were shocked & condemned them for it! And the judge even came out on the court house steps to let the kids go, to wash his hands, like Pilate. "I didn't do it, I didn't have anything to do with it." He was ashamed of the police & the social workers, & he let the kids go! What a testimony! So the Lord's going to save His people.

27. (Verse: 8:) "Behold, I will bring them from the north country, & gather them from the coasts of the Earth, & with them the blind & the lame, the woman with child & her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither." What do you think that means? We have a lot of women having babies, don't we? It sounds like, "Don't worry, if you get run out, some day you'll be coming back & it will all belong to you, even the neighbours' gardens." Praise the Lord! The Lord wants to tell you the happy end here, before I start telling you the unhappy ending! Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus! You're better to them than I am.

28. (Verse 9:) "They shall come with weeping, & with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way‚ wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, & Ephraim is My firstborn." Praise God! Well‚ I'm not going to go on commenting on this Chapter, but at least you have it & you can read it, & maybe have a class on it yourselves. I'm sure the Lord can give you the interpretation as well as me! So Lord, they can read this message, & You can give the interpretation. Or maybe I can give it to them later.

29. We've made a lot of progress through Jeremiah! The first time I opened it when the Lord originally gave me the Message of Jeremiah, it was the first Chapter, & now we're already to the 31st! We must be making some progress! It's been about 30 years since I first got that message. Ah‚ 30 Chapters to the 31st Chapter! I bet if I figured it out it would be about 30 years since I first got that message in Miami. (Fam: 1961.) How about that! It's been more than 30 years! So at least we've covered 30 Chapters. The Lord is patient, & sometimes He's a lot more patient than we are! God bless you! Thank You Jesus! (—ARE YOU "REDEEMING THE TIME"? GBY!—D.)