Dr. Tom Berry

Psalm 81::1-16; Psalm 106:13-15
 One of the most sobering thoughts that ever gripped my mind and heart was that God would allow people do what they really want to do, to have what they really want to have ---whether it results in their blessing or their suffering.  Sometimes that is the very worst thing that can happen to them.

 Psalm 81:10,  “I am the Lord your God Who brought you  out of the land of Egypt.  Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.  But My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would none of Me.  So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.  Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would  walk in My ways.  I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.”   This is true of the people of God in the twentieth century.  If the people of God would truly walk with the Lord God would turn His hand against the enemies of terrorism, atheism and ungodliness.  The answer is in God’s people being right with God.

 “I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.  The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, but their fate would endure forever.  He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

 Psalm 106:13-15, “They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert.  And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.”

 Would you bow with me please for a moment of prayer.  “Our Lord, we have read in these verses the very sad experience of how You wanted to bless; how You wanted to be good; how You wanted to do great things for Your people.  But they had other desires; other ambitions and goals.  You let them have what they wanted, but it was to their sorrow and to their heartache; it was to their great dismay.  Lord, teach us to learn to desire what is right and what is proper.  We ask in Jesus name and for His sake, Amen.”


God Let Adam and Eve Go Into Sin
God could have made Adam and Eve so they would not have been able to sin.  But if God had made them that way they would have been robots of the mind of God.  I do not believe that Adam and Eve would have wanted to be that kind of creature.  You would not want to be that kind of creature.  God created Adam and Eve with the ability to choose.  God wanted them to desire His fellowship.  God wants you and I to desire His fellowship.  But if we do not want to fellowship with God; I have other things to do, I have other goals and ambitions, God will let us go into sin just like He did Adam and Eve.

 God Let The People of Noah’s Day Go Into Sin.
The Bible says that God looked down on man and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  Man did not want to think about God.  Man did not want to think of things that were good and wholesome and right and decent.  Man wanted to think of evil things and do evil things, and God let them do just exactly what they wanted to do.  It led them down a path of such corruption and such violence that it ultimately brought the judgment of God in the terrible flood that destroyed the nations from off the earth.

 God Lets All Lost Sinners Go Into Sin If That’s What They Want To Do.
I want you to notice in Romans 1 the downward path that sinful people walk.  In verse twenty-one it begins with this particular point:  “…although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God…”    A person born into this world, if they are not taught wrong by some humanist or atheist teacher, will recognize that behind creation there is a Creator;  that behind all of this life (that must get it’s existence from pre-existing life), there is the Eternal Giver of Life, Almighty God.  The Bible teaches that when people know this God, and refuse to give glory to God, they begin to walk a downward path.  You can read the consequences of walking that downward path in Romans 1:24.  Notice especially verse 24 where it says, “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts…”   Look at verse 26, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.”  Verse 28, “…even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind…”  God gave the up! 

In Ephesians 2:3, Paul brings to bear the testimony that every Christian who is honest will admit.  He says we were dead in trespasses and sins, in verse one.  In verse two he says, “…in which you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”  But look at verse three:  “…among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”    The course of our life before we were saved was a fulfilling of the desires of the flesh and the mind.  If you say “I want to get drunk”  God will let you get drunk.  If you say, “I want to do drugs!”   God will let you do drugs.  If you say, “I want to commit immorality.”  God will let you commit immorality.  God will let you steal.  God will let you hate.  God will let you murder.  God will let you do anything that your mind and heart desires, but the day will come when God will have to judge you for the sin that you have chosen.


He’ll Let You Live For Riches
Luke 12 tells of a very rich man. His ground brought forth abundantly.  He said, “I have no room to bestow my goods, I know what I’ll do, I’ll tear down my barns and build greater barns and there will I bestow all my goods, and I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, thou has much goods laid up for many years, take your ease.  Eat, drink and be merry,   But God said, ‘Thou Fool!  This night will thy soul be required of thee.  Then whose shall those things be that thou has provided?’”

 There was a rich man in Luke 16.  Lazarus came to eat of the crumbs with the dogs, the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.   The Bible says that this rich man was clothed in purple and fine linen and dined sumptuously every day.  The Bible says that when Lazarus died, he was carried by angels into the bosom of Abraham.  But when the rich man died he was carried into the place of torment, and he lifted up his eyes in hell.  You can say, “I’m going to live for this world.”  God will let you live for this world. If you leave God out of your life, the end will be horrible. 

 God Will Let You Live For Material Possessions
God will allow you to heap together great accomplishments, great material possessions, if that’s your goal in life. That’s what Solomon’s goal was for a period of time.  In Ecclesiastes 2:10-11. Solomon said, “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.  I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor.  Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.  There was no profit under the sun”.    Solomon not only built the
Temple of God and his royal palace, but he built throughout the length and breadth of the land.  Solomon thought, “if I can just walk around and look at my palace and the Temple, and the stables, and the great armory and all the other great buildings I have built, then I will receive a great satisfaction out of life.  But Solomon said it left me empty and life was meaningless as long as this was my goal in life”

 God Will Let You Live For Popularity, Pleasure, Position, Power.
God will allow you to pursue popularity, pleasure, power and position, like He did Lot in the city of
Gomorrah.  But you will find the praise of man the most fleeting thing the world has to offer.  If you don’t believe it, ask Richard Nixon.  In 1972, Richard Nixon was elected to the presidency by the biggest landside of votes in all history.  He achieved some 63% of the vote and was riding the wave of tremendous popularity.   Is he popular today?  No, his name is associated with shame.  Ask him what it is to strive and achieve popularity and to get it in your grasp, and then find that it is the most fleeting thing on earth.

 Ask the entertainers.  A few years ago they were household words.  Their names were on the lips of every young person in the land.  Ask those who achieved great notoriety in the sports field. Just a few years ago they were the most preeminent names on the face of the earth but now their names are rarely spoken.  Dear friends, if you want to live for these things the world offers, you can but they won’t satisfy.


That’s what God promises to do in Proverb 1:24-29.  Wisdom is speaking, but Wisdom is Jesus Christ in a personified way.  Christ is The Wisdom of the Ages.  He speaks, “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind when distress and anguish come upon you.  Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the lord…”  Dear friends, you can say, “I don’t want God.  I don’t want Christ.  I don’t want the Bible, I don’t want Christianity.  I don’t want any of it!”  You say that in your strength, He’ll leave you alone in your weakness!  You say that when you have health and strength, and you feel you have the world by the tail with a downhill pull.  The day will come when the stars will fall out of your sky and you’ll hit bottom and feel lower than a snake’s belly.  You cry out to God.  The Word of God says, “if you don’t want Me, then you won’t have Me”.  A person CAN say, “I don’t want God” and God will say, “Okay”.

Is there another place where this is taught?  Turn in your Bible to 2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12.  I believe that these verses are speaking primarily to people who are living right now. Because these verses are written to people who live just before the anti-Christ comes on the scene; just before the church is raptured out of the world, and the world political ruler comes with great power to rule over the face of the earth. These verses teach us this:  “…And with all unrighteous deception (that is how this fellow comes) among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 

God says, “you have heard about Christ; you have heard how He died for your sins; was buried and rose again; how He offered to save you.  You heard that again and again, but you wouldn’t receive a love of the truth that you might be saved.  You desired unrighteousness. Because you turned your back upon the truth, you loved unrighteousness”, God says, “when I take my people out of this world, and that man of sin is revealed, I’ll send you a delusion, and I’ll cause you to believe his lie, and you’ll accept him as your Christ.”  God says the one reason is:  that you might be damned because you wouldn’t receive a love of the truth that you might be saved.  My friends, God will let people have what they want to have.  He is an accommodating God.


Israel Asked For Flesh To Eat
In the book of Numbers 11:4-6, we have the story of how
Israel has come out of Egypt. With them came the mixed multitude (which were probably Egyptians) who had seen the ten judgments of God. They had seen the Red Sea open up;  the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.  Because of what they have seen with their eyes, they go along with the people of Israel, but they haven’t really been saved or had a heart change. Numbers11:4, “Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat?  We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;…”  They began to complain because all they had to eat was angel’s food!---the manna that God supplied day by day.  So God says, “All right!  You want flesh to eat, I’ll give you flesh to eat.”  And God sent the quail, so that the people could gather all wanted.  But notice in verse 33,  “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague.”    They wanted flesh and God gave them flesh.  But there was not one word of thanks, or one word of praise, or one expression of gratitude to the Lord God.  The Lord God says, “I’ll give you what you want, but I’ll judge you for it”. 

 God Let Israel Have a King When It Was Not His Will. 
In 1st Samuel 8:5, we notice the people of
Israel came to Samuel, the judge and prophet of Israel, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways.  Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations”.  And in verses 19, 20:  “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, ‘No, but we will have a king over us. That we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”  Israel wanted a king.  Samuel said it’s not God’s will for you to have a king.  Let the Lord be your ruler.  They said, “No, we want a king!”.  God said, “All right, give them a king.”  Now read 1st Samuel 12, “Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired.  And take note, the Lord has set a king over you.”  In verse 17, notice that even after God gave them a king, Samuel says, “Is today not the wheat harvest?  I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.”   And he prayed and God sent the thunder and the hail.  The people realized that they had sinned a great sin.  God gave them a king, though it was not of His choosing.  A king whose name was Saul, whom God had to reject and replace with another by the name of David.  Even though this was not God’s primary will, God let them have what they wanted.  Jeremiah 2:13 states that God will even allow His people to forsake Him, the living waters, and hew them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.  God will allow us to have what we really want to have even if it brings His chastening upon our lives.


Blessings Can Become Idolatry
I believe that I can have the blessing of God if no one else in the church has the blessing of God.  I can have the blessing of God even if the deacons don’t have the blessing of God.  Our church can have the blessings of God even if no other church in the world has the blessing of God.  I believe people can have the blessing of God if that’s what they really want.

Once again, I want to give you a warning. It is dangerous to want the blessing without giving thought to the One Who is giving the blessing.  Often we say, “I want God to bless me”, but we have  not given thought of wanting to please God and give Him glory. It is possible to make idols out of blessings.  I believe that if we are willing to give the God His place in our heart and life; if we give Him the honor and the glory that belongs to Him, and we are willing to be close to Him as we ought I believe He will give the blessing. 

 We Can Desire Revival
We can have revival.  2nd Chronicle 7:14 is as good today as it ever was.  When God says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”    That verse is as good for the people of God today as it ever was.  If we are willing to follow that revival path we can have revival blessing as an individual.  If we are willing to follow that revival path as a church we can have revival blessings as a church.  We can have the power of God upon us in this very hour in which we live.

 Notice in 2nd Chronicles 15:15 the revival of King Asa’s day.  “And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them and the Lord gave them rest all around.”    All the land had departed into sin and into idolatry.  The Lord had brought His chastening hand upon them.  They had suffered bondage, heartache, sorrow, and all sorts of misery, agony, and remorse. They were the tail and no longer the head.  They were under the judgment of God, not under His blessing.  But King Asa called them to repent and turn to God.  They did.  God gave them great joy and blessing, because they sought the Lord with all their heart.  

God Will Give Us The Desires Of Our Hearts
Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”   What should the desires of our heart be?  Notice the desires of David’s heart in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”    David said, all of my life right down to the very end, I want to live for God, serve my God, attend the house of God, pray to God.  I want to inquire of the Lord and seek His blessing upon my life to the very end of my days.  David said that is my desire.  “Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”    

In the New Testament, the Bible says concerning new babes in Christ, 1 Peter 2:2, “…As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”   The picture is of a new born baby. There is one thing you don’t have to teach a baby, that’s how to be hungry.  You don’t have to say, “Now baby, you must learn how to be hungry so you can eat.”  When that baby comes into the world, it’s mouth is sucking for food.  He’s looking for dinner.  The Word of God says that as we are born into God’s kingdom, we are babes in Christ. We are born into God’s family with the same compulsive desire for the milk of the Word of God that we may grow and become strong Christians.  So God will give us the desires of our heart if we want His blessing.


I’m not much of a five point Calvinist.  I believe if a person is one of the elect of God and asks God to save him, God will save him.  I believe that if a person is not one of the elect of God, and he asks God to save him, and he is sincere about it, and believes God will do it, I believe God will save him, too.  Jeremiah 29:13,   God says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  I believe that any human being on the face of the earth who searches for God with all their heart, they will find God.  Jesus said, “He that comes unto me I will in no wise cast out.”  

 The Most Wicked Man Who Ever Lived
A story that it would do you good to read is in 2nd Chronicles 33:1-20.  It is the story of Manasseh, probably the most ungodly man,--the most wicked man who ever lived on the face of the earth.    One preacher preached a sermon on “The Most Wicked Man Who Ever Lived”, and Manasseh probably was the most wicked man who ever lived on the face of the earth.  You will find that this man was guilty of idolatry, including human sacrifice. He took his own baby, walked up to the iron god, Molech, whose arms were outstretched, made of iron and heated to a white hot pitch, and laid his baby on the outstretched arms of the iron god.  As the baby was consumed with the searing heat of that iron god, screaming in pain, he turned to the rock and roll music in the grove and entered into the rejoicing and the worshipping of the idol. 

He was guilty of astrology.  You say, “What’s wrong with that?”  The Bible says it is infiltrated with demonism.  Deuteronomy 18, warns,  “Don’t be a consultant of astrology.”  If you mess around with those astrological charts in your newspaper, you have the curse of God on you, according to Deuteronomy 18.  The Word of God says it is wrong.   You say, “I have seen predictions  of astrology that seemed to turn out right”. It will turn out as right as the demons of darkness can make it turn out right.  God says, don’t mess with it.   We find that Manasseh was a consulter of astrology.  He was involved in spiritism.  You may call it spiritualism.  These people call themselves spiritualists and mediums.  You go to this so called spiritualist (---they’re not spiritualists, they are spiritists).  They have that place all darkened down so you can hardly see. It doesn’t make any difference if she (usually it’s a woman)  is looking into a crystal ball or going through some kind of incantation, whatever it is, she conjures up old uncle Pete or some other relative who has died.  You say, “It had to be Uncle Pete, it sounded like him.  I recognized his voice.  He told me things that nobody else knew but Uncle Pete!’  I have news for you, folks.  It wasn’t Uncle Pete.  It was a demon impersonating Uncle Pete.  He knew everything about uncle Pete that there was to know.  He could impersonate Uncle Pete’s voice.  He could tell you all the things that only Uncle Pete would know  in order to get you more and more sucked in to that spiritism. That is exactly what Manasseh had done.  He was involved in it all.  He desecrated the Temple of God and the things that were dedicated to the worship of God.  After all of this God allowed Manasseh to be taken in chains of slavery to the land of Babylon. There with chains on his arms and chains on his feet and behind prison bars, the king, --wicked and ungodly as he was, got down on his knees and repented.  He asked God to forgive him, and returned to the Lord.  God forgave him.  God even restored him to the position of being king once again.  This teaches us that no matter how ungodly a man becomes, if he will come to God and seek God with all of his heart he will find God.

 The Prodigal Son, A Thief, A Sinful Woman
The prodigal son was able to find the father because he sought for him with all of his heart.  The wicked publican, a tax collector and probably guilty of graft and oppression, found God because he searched for Him with all of his heart.  The thief who was dying on the cross found Christ and the salvation of his soul because he sought Him with all of his heart.  That sinful woman of Bethany who came in and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with the hair of her head, found Christ because she searched for Him with all of her heart.  My friend, if a lost man or a lost woman wants to be saved, I believe God will save them, if they will seek for Him.   Seek for Him with all their heart.


In your Bible, the book of Haggai 2:6-7;  (That’s way close to the end of the Old Testament)   “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;.”  This verse was written more than 2500 years ago.  God said, “One more time” “In a little while”.  That “little while” has been 2500 years. Notice verse 7, “…And I will shake all nations and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of hosts.”  I believe that God is saying this rebuilt temple may not be much in the eyes of man.  It will even go through a time of destruction, but God says I see this rebuilt temple in My program as one of the steps, one of the processes that will lead to the day when the temple of God, located on this very spot, will be filled with the glory of God.  And it will be filled with the glory of God because the Desire of All Nations will come.  Jesus Christ is the Desire of all His people right now.   Saints of God in the glory, as they go home, one by one, are still looking for the day when Jesus Christ  will come and rule and reign upon the earth.   I believe the desire of God’s elect during that awful time of tribulation period, (when to stand up for Jesus Christ means to be a candidate for the guillotine), will be a desire for Jesus Christ to come.  The Word of God says the day will come when the house of God will be filled with glory and the Desire of All Nations shall come.  Jesus taught us to pray in the model prayer in the book of Matthew 6:10, you are to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  We are to have a great burning desire for the will of God to be done and for the kingdom of God to come.

  I believe we can have an effect the coming of God. 2nd Peter 3:10  “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells…”   How can we hasten the day of God?  Verse 9 tells us that God “…is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”   God knows everybody who is going to be saved before Jesus comes at the end of that great tribulation period.  The only thing that keeps Jesus Christ from coming is the fact that there are still some people who are not saved.  The Word of God teaches that if we’ll do our part and witness, give out the gospel, win people to Christ, then when that last person is won, Jesus will come in power and in glory.  We can literally hasten the coming of the day of God by winning those people to Christ that God knows will be won before He comes.


Hebrews 11: 13-16 refers back to Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah.  It says, “…These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen them afar off and were persuaded of them and embraced them  and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth”    We are strangers here  The world doesn’t know us because we know God and are known of God.  Therefore we are strangers to the world, and that makes  us pilgrims. This world is not our home, we are just passing through.  Our treasurers are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.  We’re pilgrims on our way.  “…For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.  And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return, But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” 

 Are you satisfied with where you live on the face of this earth?  Are you willing to say, “It has everything I want.  I am willing to be satisfied with this for the rest of eternity.”   I haven’t seen anything I am satisfied with, yet.  I am looking for a city, whose foundations are made without hands, whose builder and maker is God.  I am looking for a city where the foundations are precious stones and the wall is of jasper and every one of the four gates is a great huge pearl.  And the street of this city is pure gold, so pure that it is transparent as glass;  city that has no need of the light of the sun.  It does not need the moon or of artificial light, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the light thereof.  I am looking for a city into which gates I may enter and visit my King and love Him and serve Him and worship Him for all eternity.  If God’s people desire a better city, God will give it to them.


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