KEYWORDS: god, lord, backslider, people, back


David Berg

—MOOctober, 1974DFO No.313C

P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or GPO Box 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936

1. AS YOU SO WELL KNOW‚ I DO EVERYTHING LIKE MAD: whatever I do, right or wrong, I do it furiously! I love like mad, kiss like mad, make love like mad‚ drink like mad, walk like mad and talk like mad—and Maria says I work and dance like mad, too! And sometimes when I talk‚ I talk like I am mad at somebody—and sometimes I am!—Because God gets mad too, with some people, especially backsliders, waverers and the lukewarm.

2. THE PILGRIM WHO NEVER REACHES HIS GOAL IS NOT ON A PILGRIMAGE!—He's just a wanderer who doesn't know where he's going‚ so how can he ever get there! I'm sorry, but I just don't have much patience with such people! As God Himself says: "My soul abhorreth him that turneth back!"

3. GOD HATES TO SEE PEOPLE'S BACKSIDES, and when He does, He usually gives them a good quick hard stiff kick in the butt that sends them sprawling back into the slimepit from which they came for another good bellyful of it, hoping they'll get so sick of it this time they'll never look back at it again!

4. ONE REASON WHY GOD GETS SO ANGRY WITH BACKSLIDERS IS THAT THEY'RE SUCH A TERRIBLE TESTIMONY AND SELDOM EVER BACKSLIDE ALONE!—They always take others with them! The backslider's a real soul winner for the Devil! He's always got the most convincing arguments to justify himself and to persuade others to do the same so he can defend his own backsliding. Like some churches‚ he believes in backsliding and practices it, too!—And always tries to get others converted to his cause, since, of course, it's the right one! Ha!

5. THEY ALWAYS LOUDLY MURMUR, COMPLAIN AND CRITICISE AND PROCLAIM THEIR DOUBTS AND FEARS TO ALL who will listen, especially the already weak and wavering, particularly babes and beginners! Backsliders are the greatest proselytisers in the religious business! As Jesus Himself said, they'll compass the world to convert one person to their cause, and then make him more of a child of Hell than they are themselves!—Like the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees who crucified Him! They become your very worst enemies and the most diabolical traitors to your cause!

6. LIKE JUDAS, THEY NOT ONLY BACKSLIDE, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE TO FIGHT AND BETRAY YOU to prove they're no longer one of you. To try to get re-accepted by the System, they now lead the fight against you because they're now so ashamed they were once fool enough to be one of you! They become your most dangerous enemies because they know you and your operation so well!

7. THIS IS WHY GOD GOES AFTER THEM SO HARD WITH SUCH SEVERE CHASTENING to try to get them to repent and come back to Him before they've done too much damage. He sometimes wields the heaviest rod on the backs of His Own children when they backslide because they know better and are without excuse! Then if they will not soon repent, He usually destroys them so they can do no further harm! I've seen it happen so many times! Almost the worst things I've ever seen happen to Christians, I've seen happen to backsliders in the hands of an angry God!—And I've seen it happen so often and in so many cases, more than I can possibly number!

8. SO BACKSLIDER, BEWARE! YOU'LL NEVER MAKE IT UNLESS YOU RETURN TO THE LORD AND HIS SERVICE!—And if you do repent and return‚ He'll expect more of you than He did before to undo the damage you've done, make restitution for the losses you've caused and to work harder and more faithfully than ever before to prove your loyalty which has become somewhat doubtful and untrustworthy from past experience. The trust that was once placed in you by grace will now have to be earned by works to the utmost to prove you are no longer a traitor and will no longer backslide. You will find it very hard to restore people's confidence in you once you've lost it. They're afraid to trust you again unless you prove to the utmost that you're worthy of it! It's a hard road back for the backslider!—Which is another reason why they so seldom come back. It was so easy to backslide but so hard to return!

9. YET THE LORD SAYS HE'S "MARRIED TO THE BACKSLIDER," and begs the wicked to forsake his wicked way and promises to forgive him if he'll only turn from his sins which He promises to wash away and make him whiter than snow! So if the backslider does make it and does return to the Lord and His service‚ he will usually make one of the best men you've ever had, because he'll do his best to prove that he can make it, and work harder at it than almost anyone else, for which God will even seem to bless him sometimes more than others.

10. THE BIRD WHOSE PINION WAS ONCE BROKEN, BY THE GRACE OF GOD WILL FLY even higher than before, and the straying sheep whose leg had to be broken will have to remain in the Shepherd's bosom so long he will never stray again! He knows the price; he's been through that hell of backsliding and he wants no more of it ever again! He'll work harder than he ever did before and he'll hate backsliding more than ever and will have less patience with the backslider than ever before!—I oughtta know: I was one!—And who hasn't been at some time or other? Maybe this is why I've overreacted and gone so far by overcompensating to the opposite extreme in my revolutionary turnaround to go the opposite direction in my fight upstream against the System and all the Devil's tricks, especially backsliding!

11. SO I'M SORRY: I HAVEN'T MUCH MERCY FOR THE BACKSLIDER WHILE HE'S STILL BACKSLIDING: Like the Lord, I really sock it to him to try to get him to repent fast before he does himself and others and the Lord's cause too much damage, because that's the first thing he tries to do, to vindicate himself. That's why I've always said to get rid of them quick, because they often want to stay right there with you to do as much damage as possible from the inside and take others with them when they go! This is why I've always insisted on a period of probation of a few weeks before taking them in, to make sure they can make it, as the first few weeks are usually the hardest and you'll usually know by then whether they can make it or not.

12. IT'S BETTER FOR THEM TO BACKSLIDE BEFORE JOINING THAN AFTERWARDS. It'll be easier on you and them both and God won't hold them quite as responsible since they don't yet know too much and are still pretty ignorant. But woe unto those that are with you a long time and the closest to you! Like Judas, they'll be the worst of all and usually do their best to betray you and are in the best position to do it and therefore are the most dangerous of all! That's why most people have to be with us for years before we trust them enough to let them get near the top!

13. EVEN IF THERE ARE MANY PROBLEMS AT A COLONY, GOD WILL HOLD PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR GOING BACK even if they do have some very good excuses sometimes. The Lord says‚ "my soul abhorreth him that turneth back!" There are so many Scriptures against turning back: He that puts his hand to the plow and turns back, even looking back, is not worthy! Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt! The worst things I've ever seen happen to people were to people who went back on the Lord—backsliders!

14. GOD JUST SEEMINGLY WILL NOT TOLERATE BACKSLIDERS! Like God chastised Israel more than the heathen around her! Israel in the wilderness is a very dandy bad example of backsliding when she was right on the threshold of the Promised Land, and she went back! Millions of people were backsliding and God slew them all! [Psa.78:31]. From the world's standpoint you could say they had very good excuses: "After all‚ there were giants in the land, they had a lot of problems in their Colonies and Moses wasn't perfect, and God shouldn't have expected so much of them!"—That's the way the world reasons and their family and relatives reason. Paul said the Lord even turned their flesh over to the Devil that their soul might be saved, in cases of backsliders! [1Cor.5:5] He said in one case, it is better that they had never even heard than that they had heard and turned back. Jesus said in one case it was better for that man that he had never even been born!

15. NOT MANY PEOPLE WHO GO BACK REALLY SEE WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO. They think they're going back to the easy way, but they never realise what they're getting into by going back.—A terrible letdown! It's like mountain climbing. You have a peculiar feeling like you don't want to leave the mountain. No inspiration in it. There is a certain drive, almost a spiritual thing going up. You'll risk anything! But going down? No inspiration, no goal, no accomplishment. You're just sliding back down into the slough—back into the morass of humanity and mire of the multitude.

16. THE REASON SOME OF THESE PEOPLE SIT DOWN AND QUIT and begin to sit back and fall out is simply because they have lost their vision. And when they lose the vision they lose faith. And when they lose faith they no longer have any initiative to do anything. Backsliding is the reverse of pioneering, and when you stop pioneering, you start backsliding!

17. SOME GO BACK BECAUSE THEY DON'T BURN THEIR BRIDGES BEHIND THEM. They don't sacrifice the plow and the oxen! (1Kings 19:21). They hold a little reservation in the back of their mind of what they plan to do in case God doesn't work! They didn't really cut all ties by faith. They still have a few strings attached—a few things they're holding on to.

18. AND YET THERE ARE OTHERS WHO, LIKE DEMAS OF OLD, HAVE SIMPLY GONE BACK BECAUSE THEY STILL LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD, and when the real testing and showdown came they proved they were not willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for either their flock or the Lord, and did not love the Lord that much, and therefore deserted their post, even in the midst of battle‚ like the hireling that fleeth when the wolf cometh, having no real love for either the sheep nor the Shepherd, but was only there for the hire or the glory and when the going got rough he ran! It's these tests which tell the tale between a good shepherd and an hireling!

19. JUST REMEMBER THAT WHEN PEOPLE START TALKING ABOUT GOING BACK, THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT for a long time‚ and by the time they have started talking, it is already too late! They have already made up their minds in their own hearts to go back. And the longer you let them stay in the Colony, the more they will poison others with the same disease, like a traitor in the camp! This is why Jesus said, "He that having put his hand to the plow and looking back is not worthy of Me"!

20. IF A PERSON WANTS TO GO BACK to the pit, and a little loving, patient, prayerful persuasion and Scriptural admonition of not more than an hour won't dissuade them, for God's sake‚ let them go! They'll have to learn the hard way!

21. EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER‚ BUT THE HARDEST ONE—but if that's what they need, let 'em have it! I don't think I ever dealt with a potential backslider for more than a few minutes, except for a few rare cases by special revelation! As soon as I had talked to them long enough to find out that they really wanted to go back, I helped them to leave as quickly as possible, without talking to anyone else, as one bad apple can rot a good many others!

(Referring to a certain boy's case:)

22. I WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GUY HE TOOK BACK with him? It could have been a babe. Matthew 18:6 says "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea!" I don't know the details of the case so I can't judge it, except that he was in the Colony and he left it. … "According to your faith be it unto you." ... "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin!" If he didn't have the faith that he was doing the right thing in leaving, if he had any doubt about it at all, to him it was sin!

23. IF IT WAS CONSIDERED A SIN IN THE COLONY, THEN IT WAS A SIN TO HIM, and if so, the Devil probably just moved in and took over. Any life or territory not yielded to the Lord, when they make a definite decision of some kind, like going back, then immediately the Lord allows the Devil to take over: The Devil has won!—They've decided in his favour. Like the man whose house was swept and garnished and empty and because he didn't fill it with the Lord and the Holy Spirit, it soon got filled with devils, and his end was worse than the beginning! I don't know the case or all the details so I could hardly judge it fairly, but just the fact that he was in a Colony and apparently backslid at that time and took somebody else with him, that was pretty serious. I can't say this is all true in his case because I just don't know.

24. HOWEVER THIS I DO KNOW, THAT ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS THINGS IN THE WORLD TO DO IS TO RESIST THE HOLY GHOST, which you need now more than ever to help you make the grade. As the Lord Himself said, if this resistance continues unrepentedly, it will not be forgiven, and your latter fate will be worse than your beginning!

25. SO YOU CERTAINLY NEED THE BAPTISM OF GOD'S LOVE AND POWER TO BE FILLED TO OVERFLOWING with His precious Holy Spirit in order to have the strength to pull through! Because spiritual resistance causes spiritual callousness!—Every time we resist God's Spirit our hearts grow harder, until He will strive with us no more and we are "destroyed without remedy!"

26. SO MAY THE RESISTER BEWARE! The Lord nevertheless says He is married to the backslider and there is always time to repent, and even the Lord's chastisements and tribulations are signs of the Lord's love, to get you to repent and come back, not necessarily to the Colony but to serving the Lord, witnessing and winning souls. There is no sin that is unpardonable except resisting the Lord: In other words, the unrepented sins. I'm sure the Lord loves you and is waiting to forgive you if you'll return to the Lord and His service.

27. Are you a potential backslider?—Beware! "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord‚ and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isa.55:7)

"Too late! Too late!

He was on the downgrade and couldn't find the brake!

So they hurtled downward at an awful rate

And many were the souls that day

That met a fearful fate!"

—(from an old song; Author unknown)

—You'll always take others with you!

28. I'LL NEVER FORGET WHEN I WAS A BACKSLIDER AND LEFT MY COLONY!—It was TSC when still under Fred's Soul Clinic, and I didn't like some of the way things were done and run‚ and I didn't like their antagonistic attitude toward the churches!

29. I SAID GOD COULD STILL USE THE CHURCHES TO SAVE AND WIN SOULS and I was gonna go back and teach them to and they'd receive it! So I tried and they threw me out!—They didn't wanna work!

30. SO I SLID BACK INTO THE SYSTEM FOR THREE YEARS of hard knocks and failures until I finally woke up and tried to rejoin my Colony, TSC, but they wouldn't have me!—They said, "Once a traitor, always a traitor!—We can't trust you!"—But I had to go back where I'd left God and repent!

31. BUT WHEN I REPENTED, GOD TOOK ME BACK and started a greater work than Fred ever had—and right at the same ol' TSC! Hallelujah! So I actually benefited by being a backslider for awhile!—It sure taught me some lessons I needed to learn! PTL! The backslider can return and he can do even better than before!

32. Are you one? If so, cry out for God's help and He'll save you! Do it today!—Tomorrow may be too late!—Write us and we'll tell you how to get back to God!—Or visit our Colony or Disco for help. God has never left you and we still love you!—Please come back today!—Love‚ MO