These messages or prophecies, especially those received from Jesus, were commonly in Old English, although starting in the mid 1990s these prophecies adopted Modern English and are generally more casual or colloquial in tone. The Family International believes that when receiving a prophecy, the mouth of the person (or channel) receiving the prophecy is taken over by the spirit helper delivering the message. If the channel feels that the spirit helper speaking is not fluent in English or speaks with an accent, they will often reflect this in their own speech as the prophecy is given. These messages are often accompanied by visions or spirit trips.
When Old English was more commonly used in prophecies, it was often misused and the messages interspersed with Modern English. World Services once published a primer on Old English grammar to assist Family members in delivering their prophecies correctly.
Many Family members are convinced they are having a spiritual experience when receiving a prophecy. Many former members claim the prophecies they personally gave while in the group were made up, or they spoke whatever related thought came to mind.
A recent Family doctrine, referred to as the "Ask Me Everything revelation", teaches that Jesus wants Family members to make every single decision, no matter how trivial (e.g. whether or not they should cross the street), based on instantaneous prophecy. This doctrine is considered among The Family's new spiritual weapons.
In answer to questions about how members around the world might receive different messages from David Berg simultaneously, Karen Zerby has explained that the deceased Berg is able to repeatedly travel through time to the same moment at multiple locations, effectively making Berg capable of omnipresence.
List of notable Family prophecies
David Berg, as well as many other "Family prophets", have made numerous, well-documented prophecies over the years. Many of these prophecies have already failed. Below is an incomplete list of the more well known prophecies within The Family:
|David Berg||Christ returns in 1993||ML 456||Failed|
|David Berg||Comet Kohoutek heralds colossal doomsday event in the USA in January 1974||ML 269, ML 280||Failed|
|David Berg||Karen Zerby and Ricky Rodriguez are Endtime Witnesses during reign of the Antichrist||DO 707||Failed|
|David Berg||Berg dies at age 70 in 1989||GP 156||Failed|
|David Berg||Single European currency called "Euro Units"||DFO 738||Partially fulfilled|
|David Berg||Imminent, total, global economic collapse||GP 284, DFO 854, and others||Pending, more than 30 years later|
|David Berg, WS||Antichrist rises before Zerby's death (most recent timeframe given for Christ's return)||||Pending|
The Family has published a list of David Berg's prophecies, dreams and prayers they claim have been fulfilled. Many of these, however, are vague, generalized, or unverifiable, others have arguably not been fulfilled as predicted, and some foretell common events such as travel. The full list is provided below.
- Teen CD #28, Track 1: "Prophets of MO" — Editor's Note: "MO" refers to Berg's pseudonym, Moses David. (By Jay [rap], Godfrey [vocals])
- Communicating with Heavenly Messengers — Doctrinal Paper from the Family International
- Hearing From God — 1992 article by former member Edward Priebe, who encouraged the use of prophecy by non-leadership before this was sanctioned by The Family
See also: Golden seeds, Channel, Tongues, Prayer, Spirit trip, Vision, Endtime Prophet