SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
We are entering into the 3rd part of our message, hoping that we can say something that will help clear up much of the misunderstanding that is associated with the late ministry of God’s prophet messenger to this age, Bro. William Marrion Branham. In the 1st part, we established, by the scriptures, that this age of grace to the Gentiles started with apostles, and certainly, the scriptures will testify to the fact that it will end with the apostolic ministry that God has set in the church for the perfecting of the saints, in the lead.
Through the seven church ages since the day of Pentecost, the gospel has been subjected to every kind of a spirit that Satan was capable of sending forth. It was because of Satan’s attack against truth, that God sent His prophet, to this age. His ministry was a unique one, for he was charged with the responsibility of calling God’s people out of the many denominations that they were scattered through as a result of Satan’s attack against truth. He fulfilled his part, as he traveled around this world, preaching a message that would have the effect of turning the people of God back to the gospel, as it was declared by the apostles. The sad part is that most of those who were called from these systems are just as confused now as they were then, yet, they will say that they have been turned back to the faith of the fathers. I find that rather strange, knowing that the apostles of the first age all believed the same way.
ACCOUNT OF GENTILES RECEIVING GOSPEL
In part 1, we spoke of how God dealt with the apostle Peter through a vision, to get him to unlock the kingdom of God for the Gentiles. Upon returning to Jerusalem, he was confronted by the other apostles and brethren who said, you went in to men who are uncircumcised, and did eat with them. In other words, they began to contend with him because he had gone contrary to their former customs. (The leading of the spirit of God will always cross over our traditions.) Peter seized the opportunity to tell them how God had showed him, (by a vision), that he should not call anyone common or unclean, that he, (God), had cleansed. He rehearsed the whole matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them. He told them all of the details of how God had led him to the household of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, to preach the gospel unto them. He told of how the Holy Ghost fell upon those Gentiles while he was preaching to them. The he asked the question, “What was I, that I could withstand God, seeing that he gave them the same gift, as he did us, in the beginning?” He reminded them that he had taken six brethren with him, who would testify to the things that had taken place. Upon hearing those things, the brethren held their peace, and glorified God, saying, “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” This is how men who are genuinely filled with the Holy Ghost will respond to a true witness. If they had not responded in such a way, there would have been trouble in the church at Jerusalem for sure. It was quite different in that day, than what we find in our day. Those men were not trying to prove to anyone, how much they knew. They were interested in one thing. That was to please God in all that they did. No one was trying to make a name for themselves, for we see in the Bible that they moved, as they were led by the Holy Ghost. It was the Holy Ghost that directed their activity, and caused that apostles’ office to hold authority over the word of God. It was that office that Satan attacked, for he knew, if he could destroy that office of authority, he would really have things going his way, for an apostle is just like a police chief, or fire chief. Anyone can recognize that a policeman, or a fireman is what they are, regardless of the rank they hold within their department, but it is the rank they hold that reveals their authority to direct the affairs of their particular outfit. That is exactly why God placed within the church, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. He knew that there would need to be some offices of authority to direct and lead the people of God as Satan sought to destroy them, through the ages. These men were all different. They each had their individual makeup. Their personalities were different, and their offices within the body of Christ were different, but they all believed the same thing. There were no divisions among them. Every last one of them believed in baptism by immersion, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They all believed in the Holy Ghost experience. They all had the same revelation of the Godhead. They believed in the same holy walk of life, and death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They believed that he was born of a virgin birth, and that He was going to return again. They also believed that He was going to rule and reign on earth.
PLAYING WITH THE GOSPEL
It was when men began to play with the word of God as time progressed, that the true revelation began to be perverted. In that first church age, it was not permitted, that every kind of a preacher that might come along, get involved in trying to explain, and teach the word of God. No, it lay within the ranks of those men who held an office of authority, to do the teaching.
I do not say these things to try and puff myself up, or anyone else, but we are living in that much talked about, year of 1977, and it seems that just about everyone, is trying to be a voice. Each man seems to have his own revelation of how things are supposed to be. Some will come out alright, but I want you to know that, not everyone is going to come out alright, for some will sink with their revelation, and take others with them. The year is almost past, and I am sure that when it is over, and the events of it have become history, there will be a great host of people left with nothing to hold on to. Some of them, who are honest hearted, and just been led wrong, will repent and apologize for their carnal ways in the past, but there will, no doubt, be a great number who will go back to the world, and turn completely against all that they formerly stood for. That is the tragedy of setting dates for God to do certain things. If it doesn’t happen according to the projection, it usually always leaves a group of people confused, dissatisfied, their confidence destroyed, and with nothing to turn to. There is, however, something taking place in this year of 1977, and the history that is written in 1978, will record the events of it all.
TYPE OF SEVEN CHURCH AGES
I want to reflect back to something that I mentioned earlier. It concerns the six brethren that accompanied Peter to the house of Cornelius. These six, along with Peter, made SEVEN. Where did they go? Into the house of Gentiles. This set a perfect type. As the gospel would come in its completeness, over to the Gentiles, there would be seven Gentile ages, and there would be seven messengers. We find this number of men represented in the events recorded through the 19, 20, 21st chapters of Acts, but aside from that, and the account of Cornelius receiving the gospel, there is no other place throughout the book of Acts where that number of men was ever represented. It was not like that when Peter and John went down to Samaria, or when Barnabas went to Antioch, for their ministry was not designed to set a type. But it was when Peter was led by God, to go completely contrary to his Jewish nature, that we see such a thing.
GOD IS LOOKING FOR OBEDIENCE
It had come time for God to give His precious word to some Gentiles. Brother, he wanted it to go, through an office of authority, and Peter was the man that was to be used. He had stood for the word of God through the months, and years, (since his conversion), in the streets of Jerusalem, in the face of much criticism and persecution. He had been thrown in jail for what he stood for, and been delivered from the jail by an angel. His Jewish nature, (as was portrayed in the vision), was as carnal as carnal could be, but that did not change his office, and God overrode that carnal nature in order to use his office, because he had a loyal spirit about him. He loved that gospel truth. In the light of what we know about God and his works, we would have to say, “God doesn’t need help, all He needs is believing hearts, receptive minds, and obedience.” When God finds a person who has a believing heart, and a receptive mind, He can do anything through that person.
GENTILE NATURE IS PAGAN
Now, just for a moment, to show you what the Gentile nature was like, and for the most part, still is, as soon as Peter entered the house of Cornelius, that Gentile was ready to fall down on his face and worship him, all because an angel had appeared to him and instructed him to send for Peter, who would tell him what to do. That was a Gentile’s nature in that hour. Anyone they believed to be associated with deity in any way, they were ready to fall down and worship that person. This was the case with Cornelius, but Peter took him up, and said, “Stand up, I myself am a man also.”
Just to show you that God does not need help, I want to call your attention to how He worked His plan on this occasion. I am sure Peter must have been wondering as he stood there preaching to those Gentiles, just how are we going to do this? He knew how they had done it at Samaria, and how they had been doing it at Jerusalem, but this was different. These people were Gentiles. God just overrode his nature, and filled those Gentiles with the Holy Ghost while he was still preaching to them. He did not have to make an altar call for those who wanted to be filled with the Holy Ghost. God filled every one of them as they opened up their spirit to him. You will notice that the Holy Ghost fell on all them which HEARD . . . the word. I believe that implies more than just hearing the words from Peter’s mouth with their natural ears. I am speaking of the account as recorded in Acts 10, and particularly to the 44th verse. Brothers and Sisters: I do not believe that apostle had any trouble recognizing what was happening to those people as they began to shake and speak with other tongues. He certainly did not instruct the other six to jump in there and pray with them, or to pat them on the cheeks and try to help them speak, as we see it done in our day. If Jimmy Swaggart had been there, he would have been encouraging them to send for his record which would teach them what they ought to know. God doesn’t need any of that to fill His people with the Holy Ghost. I know that some of you are saying, “That Raymond Jackson’s church doesn’t believe in any manifestations at all.” You are wrong. I want you to know that before you get out of here, you are going to need some kind of a manifestation, but you will never judge me, nor the gospel that I preach, by how high I can kick my heels, or how I climb the walls, nor by how much I scream and yell. You just do not judge the scriptures like that. I do not say these things to be funny, nor to make fun of anyone, but there is a lot going on among the ranks of those who are supposed to be men of God, that just does not measure up with the scriptures. They may send you a charismatic course on record and such like, to teach you how to speak in tongues, but they can not give you the Holy Ghost. I know that most of you who are on our mailing list would not participate in anything like that, but there are some of you who still support the people who do, by sending them offerings and ordering their literature. Nevertheless, in spite of all this, God’s elect is getting through all this and finding the real thing. That is why I keep saying, “If they are getting the real thing, they will not stop until the gospel net gets them and leads them to a proper revelation of the word of God.”
EVERY MAN TO HIS CALLING
Praise God, I can hear old Peter, as he observed what was happening to those Gentiles that day, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” Peter recognized what God was doing, and he did not try to stop them from speaking in tongues to rush them down to the water hole. He just waited until things leveled off, and then he took them all to the water hole and baptized them. Each man, (in that first age), who had an office to fulfill, remained faithful to that calling. None of them tried to make of himself something more than he was called to be. Neither did they covet the other man’s office or become jealous. When Phillip went down to Samaria and watered the seed that Jesus sowed that day, as he spoke to the woman at the well, he saw a great move of the spirit of God, with many miracles, but he knew where his ministry should stop. As we said earlier in this article, that is when he called for those apostles to come down, and lay hands on the people that they might receive the Holy Ghost. Phillip did not take it upon himself to fulfill the part that God was using the apostles to establish. I realize that, as time moved on, and those early apostles passed off the scene, God still filled people with the Holy Ghost, but the point I am desiring to establish is this, it is not the will of God for all men to run everywhere, playing with the revelation of the plan of God. If we believe that God sent a prophet to this age to get us back in the word of God, then it behooves us to take stock of the order that God used, in that age, that established the gospel, that we are to be turned back to. In that age, the apostles held a line on the revelation of the word, and that produced harmony among the believers. Therefore, good common sense ought to teach us that, we, in this age, will never have the kind of unity and harmony, that will be acceptable to God, until we get back to the place of recognizing and giving place to God’s ordained ministry. It will take the office of an apostle to get this end time message straightened up and fed to the saints sufficiently to produce that harmony. That does not make the man who holds that office a bit better, in the sight of God, than the least among the saints, as far as the human side goes, but the office is to be recognized and given place in the body. I am not pleading with you to give place for these offices. God has already set them in the church for the perfecting of the saints. I am merely reminding you that you are not going to progress any further in the plan and purpose of God until you bring your life in line with the ministry of this late hour.
ORDER IN THE CHURCH
I will remind you of something that you may read in the 14th chapter of I Corinthians if you wish. This particular writing was necessitated by the fact that certain ones had began to get little ideas and revelations, and spread them through the church, to the extent that the church had gotten in a mixed up mess. This was just seven years after the church was established. We find the apostle Paul writing to them, explaining the gifts of the spirit, and the operation of such gifts. He explains to them what proper conduct, and order in the church is to be like. You will notice that I said ORDER IN THE CHURCH, and not CHURCH ORDER, there is a great difference. Now, when we get down to the 37th verse, we find him saying, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, OR SPIRITUAL, let him acknowledge that the things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” Paul did not have the right to challenge any man’s call of God, for it was Paul himself, who said, God has set in the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, who had said, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? All workers of miracles?” etc. etc. It was he, who said, “Who is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man.” Therefore, we can see that the apostle to the Gentiles was not trying to establish a one man route. He just wanted all men, everywhere, to know that you just do not play with the revelation of God like children playing with toys. That is the way a lot of people are doing in this age. They will believe certain things for a while, then they will throw them down and look for something else to play with for a while. That proves that they do not have a revelation, when they just play around with the word of God. That revelated word has life, and when that life comes to an individual, it gets rid of those playful ideas and causes that person to become serious about the word of God. Those early Christians received revelation of God that they were willing to die for if necessary, and many of them did have to die for their faith, but God gave them grace to die with. Those martyrs have a special crown awaiting them.
LOYALTY OF GOD’S TRUE MINISTRY
We will get back to the apostle Paul, who stood so staunchly for the word in his day. He did not have to take 2nd place to any man’s ministry. He held a tight line on the word as long as he lived. I will say also, that as long as there was one of those apostles of that first age, alive, they maintained an image of loyalty and respect, and held to a consistency of revelation that we will say, rode herd on, or kept a straight line on the word of God. In the face of hard trials and testings, those men remained loyal and true, and their revelation was unwavering. You take the apostle John, who was placed out on the isle of Patmos, because of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, by 96 A.D., he may have been gray headed, or bald, wrinkle faced, and hump shouldered. In other words, physically, he might not have been in very good shape, but he had a good spiritual insight. Though the devil tried to shut him up by placing him out there on that island, God took the occasion to show him things that became the last supernatural revelation the church received, until a few short years ago. Through the revelation that God gave to John, the seven churches of Asia were exemplifying the spirits that would project through the grace age, (the seven church ages), was brought to light. Those churches had been in existence about 40 years, by that time, and we find, in the letters written to the individual churches, that God found quite a few things wrong with them. We can see from those letters, where the churches had drifted to. That will help us to understand the importance of that apostolic office, by observing the condition of those churches, so soon after the apostles had passed from the scene.
THE REFORMERS – HOW THEY CAME TO BE SUCH
We will try now to bring the message up to our present day setting. Down through the ages, God has had a man in every age that has been dealt with in a special way. The man himself, did not have to try to make himself anything. No, if you will study the life of the men that God has called, through the ages, to stand for truth, you will find that the man had quite a struggle with himself. Until Luther started preaching what he did, he had a terrible struggle with himself. His struggle was because he had a deep longing in his soul to find a closer walk with God. He wasn’t even trying to be a reformer. That thought had not even entered his mind. He just knew that he must find some peace in his soul, and he did not have the least idea where to look for what he needed, but the great God that had put hunger in his soul, spoke to him in a special way, “Martin Luther, the just shall live by faith.” From that time forth, Martin Luther, searched the scriptures. There was no more self condemnation because of being sick of the system that was holding him in bondage. There was no more wondering if the system could be right, and all the fault was with him. Now he was finding, (in the scriptures), what his soul had been searching for so long. There might have been other monks who could have quoted more scripture, or prayed the rosary better, or held higher rank, and would have enjoyed being made somebody, but God chose Luther. What Luther found in the word of God, gave him the peace that he had searched so desperately for. As a matter of fact, every man that ever got anything from God had to go to the scriptures to find it. When Luther made his soul satisfying search of the scriptures, it automatically put him in line to be a reformer; he could no longer hold his peace, and go along with the system. When he began to speak the move was on.
When you read the story of the life of John Wesley, you will discover that he was not trying to be the messenger to an age. All he wanted was to be a missionary to some poor Indians, but in tying to be that, he had a terrible battle with himself. He had a hard time getting them to listen to him. He went back home, feeling so miserable and dejected, in his rejection, but then, he had an experience that changed his whole life. He described it as the inpouring of assurance that God, for Christ’s sake, had forgiven him all his sins. It was so vividly impressed on his consciousness that he could tell the very moment when it happened, “about a quarter before nine,” on May 24, 1738. Thereafter, his doubts and fears, and inner conflicts, gave way to the inexhaustible confidence with which he preached the gospel. After that experience, his soul was so aflame, that he could not help but be what God had ordained him to be.
NO ONE UNDERSTANDS
When we come on up to the last church age messenger, (the messenger to this age), Bro. William Marrion Branham, we find the same thing. He did not have to try to make something of himself. His early childhood was a struggle, and as he grew up, he had a constant battle with himself. Feeling rejected and out of place with just about everyone that he ever tried to associated with while growing up, because of not being able to do the things that they would do, without that constant reminder of the wind sound in the tree, he felt like a black sheep. His confession was, that, “no one understands me, and I do not understand myself.” Certainly, he had no thoughts of every being a church age messenger, much less a prophet, but God works in strange and mysterious ways to accomplish His wonderful purpose. Bro. William Branham’s peculiar life was such, because God was molding his life to fulfill a very important office. God works circumstances to get His chosen men in the place of their calling. We all know that Bro. William Branham was no exception to that, for we have read, and heard his testimony of the moving of God in his life. He came on the scene, and his life and ministry was used by God to pull down many of Satan’s strongholds, while calling the people of God out of Babylon. Now he has left the scene, to return no more until the apostles Paul, Peter, James, John and all the rest return; even in spite of the hopes that so many of his followers still hold for his special resurrection. His ministry, and calling of God, was to turn a people back to the apostolic way that the Bible teaches. We would have to say that he fulfilled that calling. There is a people on the earth today that has been turned back to the Bible, but the greater percentage of the people that followed his ministry have given themselves over to a spirit that is more deadly than the one they were delivered from. Idolatry, after having heard the truth, is worse than the pagan practices we were mixed up in before. Nevertheless, Bro. William Branham, cannot be blamed for that any more than the apostle Paul can be blamed for the Nicea Council, and Roman Catholicism, that came out of it. A man can only do what he is called to do. Bro. William Branham was not called to hold a line on the word throughout the rest of the grace age, His calling was to deliver a message that the five fold ministry would stand by, as the age closes out. It will be that ministry, that holds the true revelation for the bride of Christ.
BOOK OF ACTS NOT COMPLETED
The bride will accept the biblical five fold ministry in the end time, but she is the only people who will. She will love it, hunger for it, and cherish it. She will delight in the office of an apostle to guide her through her testings, but the movement that follows the messenger to this age, will never accept any man as an apostle. It wouldn’t matter if he was 7 foot, 2 inches tall, with a degree a mile lone, that movement will never accept an apostle’s office. You ask why? It is because they are just like all other systems. They put a period at the end of what Bro. William Branham said, just like every denomination did when their leader passed on. That closes the book for them. What they fail to realize is, that the messenger to the age was to put us back in the Bible, and especially, back in the book of Acts, which is still an open book. You will not find any, Amen, where the book of Acts leaves off in the Bible. That is because God has not finished writing the Acts of the apostles. That is why I say that it will take the office of an apostle to straighten this message out, and the five fold ministry to preach it, for those who follow the system that has formed from this message, have perverted and polluted it beyond recognition.
THE WORLD KNOWS
No sooner had God taken His messenger off the scene, than men began to rise up and play with the message that he delivered to this age, as I said earlier; just like children playing with toys. I have accepted the fact, to a point, that God permitted this, and I will tell you why. At least, (by men being allowed to run all over the world, preaching the prophet, instead of the prophet’s message), the world has been testified to, that God sent a prophet to this age, Now the world is without an excuse. God wanted that done, for as I have said before, so say I again, the living element of the bride of Christ will not leave here in the rapture to meet the Lord in the air, before she knows that God has fulfilled again, Malachi 4:5-6, having sent that Elijah spirit. Some of you are bound to say, “that is being too dogmatic.” I say, it isn’t being dogmatic, it is being scripturally sensible. Let us be practical, or maybe I should say let us be scriptural. You will have to agree with me, that everyone in the first church age knew that God had sent a man by the name of John, but you will also have to agree that those apostles did not go around preaching about John. They put the message of John in its proper place, and preached Jesus Christ. Take, for instance, the account we read in Acts, chapter 19, where the apostle Paul goes to Ephesus, and found certain disciples there. These were men who had become disciples the year before, as a result of the ministry of Apollos, another Jew. He had come from Alexander, Egypt, up to Ephesus the year before, and now Paul comes along and find twelve men that Apollos had baptized. Naturally, Apollos was preaching John’s message at that time. That message was to get men to believe on the Christ that was to come. There they were, sitting there at Ephesus, waiting for Christ to come. Then there came another Jew by the name of Paul. I want you to notice how that apostle’s office straightened up those men in their revelation, and baptized them properly. Notice the first question Paul put to them, verse 2, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” When they confessed that they had not even heard of the Holy Ghost, Paul responded, by saying to them, (3) “UNTO WHAT THEN WERE YOU BAPTIZED?” This question opened up their experience to Paul, for they answered, “UNTO JOHN’S BAPTISM.” This apostle was getting right to the point with them. We learned from the previous chapter, that a Jew, named Aquila, and his wife, Priscilla, had taken Apollos unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. In other words, they had straightened up the revelation that Apollos had, but they did not take it upon themselves to say anything to his disciples. They left them alone. Now we find the apostle Paul on the scene, ready to straighten up their revelation. He said, (4) “John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Did you notice, as we read those verses, there is no indication of any kind of a struggle. When the apostle had properly instructed them, they were baptized, and then he laid hands on them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking tongues, and prophesying. Now there are twelve men in Ephesus who are filled with the Holy Ghost, and have a right revelation of the message for their age. All they needed was proper instruction in the word. They did not hold on to John after more truth came. You will also notice, that Paul did not try to discredit John. He knew exactly who John was, and what his ministry fulfilled. But he pointed those men past John, so they could see Jesus, the one that John was preparing a people for. The messenger is not the message. I know there are a lot of people in our day who will tell you that the message is William Marrion Branham, but I am here to tell you that the message is the same one Peter and Paul preached. The difference is in the season. Those apostles lived in the sowing season, and now we are living in the season for harvesting the crop. I will quickly add this, though, the next order of business is for some people to get their revelation straightened out. It is a matter of getting back in step.
SCATTERING THE CHURCH – FULFILLED THE COMMISSION
For the last twelve years, since Bro. William Branham’s death, certain men have run all over the world preaching the prophet, rather than the prophet’s message. I have heard many of them, listened to their sermons, and I believe many of them are sincere in what they are doing, but they are out of step. They want the world to know who Bro. William Branham was, and that they knew him personally. They have almost given the name of Jesus, second place. Nevertheless, it is all serving a purpose in the plan of God. Take, for instance, the commission that Jesus gave to His disciples. He told them to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Now tell me, did they go as a result of Him telling them to do it? No, they did not, they all stayed right there at Jerusalem where He told them to begin. The church at Jerusalem was growing by leaps and bounds, but no one was planning any missionary trips. What was taking place at Jerusalem was a wonderful picture, but God saw that none of them would take any steps to fulfill the rest of the commission unless He did something. Do you know what He did? He let one, from the ranks of their leaders, get martyred, and great persecution come against the church. That is when they began to scatter. We read in Acts 8:4, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the gospel.” There had to be a reason for them to leave Jerusalem. The great persecution furnished them with a reason to go, and as they went, the world received the gospel. I wonder what the picture would be like here in our day, if God had let everything continue to run smoothly, with all of us, and we had stayed in the same frame of thinking for the past twelve years. There would be scores of us here in Clark County, with the rest of the world virtually untouched by the message of God’s prophet.
SEPARATING – SPIRITS
Listen carefully to what I am going to say now, do not run ahead of me. I believe God has allowed these men to run everywhere, preaching the prophet, first of all, to catch the attention of the world, and cause them to know that God HAS sent a prophet to this age. Then, secondly, it has turned loose all of those spirits, and put them in circulation. They will serve as a separating factor. There has to be a separator in motion, to fulfill something else that Jesus said. He said that only a few would find that strait and narrow way that leads to life. I will have to say also, that of all the time that men have been playing with the gospel, God has been marking time. (God is the time keeper, you know. He is the one that actually closes the curtain on an age, and opens up another.) Now, by the time we reach the place in God’s plan, for the five fold ministry to come fully, on the scene, there will have to have been the office of an apostle established and recognized. If there is going to be a five fold ministry, that office has to be there. It is not an office to be coveted, but if God has laid that calling upon a person, He will work circumstances to manifest it, for the benefit of those who are looking for such a ministry.
LETTERS OF THANKS
I have told the dreams that God has used to guide my thinking over these past years, and I have received much criticism because of it. Nevertheless, through the years that we have been publishing the Contender, we have been able to print articles that have served to stabilize, and establish many people. I have sacks full of letters that have come in from all over the world expressing gratitude for these articles, that have guided them in their search for truth. Many of them just simply say, “thank you for helping us better understand the message.”
CONSISTENCY PAYS DIVIDENDS
While some were running everywhere preaching church order, I just endeavored to keep order in Faith Assembly. While others were preaching the seven thunders, I have been waiting for the time when the thunders will truly be sounded. There have been others declaring for over eleven years now, that Jesus is off the mercy seat, and there can not be anyone else saved; yet those same people still claim to be preaching the gospel. How foolish can anyone be? That is just plain childish to talk like that. I know it has only been because of the grace and mercy of God that has kept me from drifting into some of this, and I thank God for it, often.
Many of the people that have broken fellowship with me because of my uncompromising stand on these issues, have been people that I had a great love and respect for over the years, but I always try to remind myself that Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword,”(Matthew 10:34). As I began to hear these various things that were so contrary to what God had taught me from His word, I said, “Lord, if this call on my life is of you, then, I ask you to bear witness to it, but if it is not, then, wrap me up and ship me off some place to get me out of the way. There is too much going on already.” But down through the years God has enabled my soul to see things out of His word, that has not only helped to keep myself stabilized, but also has helped others who were saying, “God, there has to be an answer somewhere, to all of this foolishness.”
GOD TALKS TO MY SOUL
When others were preaching, BRANHAM . . . BRANHAM . . . BRO. BRANHAM said this, and BRO. BRANHAM said that; they said I had quit preaching the message, because I would not do that. I am glad, and deeply grateful that I was privileged to hear a man named William Branham that preached to me out of the Bible, for he made the Jesus of that Bible to have the preeminence. I believe the spirit of Jesus Christ lives in my soul, according to the gospel I heard that little man preach. He put me back in a book, (the Bible), and out of that book, God talks to my soul. I know also, that he was the messenger to this age, but when God took him from the scene, I realized that a person cannot stand and look at a tombstone, and get anywhere with God. A person must have the abiding presence of the great God that Bro. William Branham preached about in order to keep stable when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Those disciples which stood looking up toward heaven after Jesus had been taken from them had to have something to take over. There had to be something within them that would take over, or they would have kept standing there looking up, probably saying, “Oh, I wish He would come back.” Do you know what they had within them? They had the words of Jesus ringing in their soul, “Wait in Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high, (the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Ghost), then you can be witnesses of these things that you have seen and heard.” That is the reason so many are experiencing defeat in these days. All they have to hold to is some statements made by God’s prophet. He did not tell them to hold those statements above the word of God, but they have; to their hurt. For over eleven years, many of them have been saying, “God will no longer speak by prophecy, nor by tongues and interpretation, nor by dreams, for the interpreter is no longer with us.” They have, (as I said earlier), preached that Jesus is off the mercy seat, that the 7th seal is already opened, that we no longer need the gifts, and such like, but now it seems that, (some of them at least), are beginning to see the error of their ways, and we thank God for it. I do believe that these people that have been so strong against the gifts of the spirit operating in the church, for the past 12 years, are going to be required, (by God), to go to the people that they have stood in the way of, and say, “Dear brother, Dear sister: I am sorry that I have hindered your spiritual growth for so many years, please forgive me this wrong.”
1977 – THEN WHAT?
I believe there is going to be a need for some apologizing when the year of 1977 has come and gone, and those who have held so staunchly to the statements that all will be over by 1977, are still here, and the year of 1978 has been ushered in. I wonder what some of these people are going to hold to then? Will they admit the error of their ways, or will they go on to destruction? Some of them are beginning to change their ideas about the 70 weeks of Daniel. It is strange how time changes things, but I always did say, “If given enough time, God will reveal who, or what, is right, and likewise, who, and what is wrong.” God, (in time), is going to wear some things, and some people out. God, (in time), is going to cause some people to want HIS . . word. He will create a necessity in their lives, that will be resolved by nothing less than THE WORD OF GOD . . . He will create a hunger in their souls that will cause them to cry unto Him for every true ministry that there is around. By that time they will no longer be children playing with the message, neither will they want to hear anyone who is limited to saying, Bro. William Branham said this and that. Bro. William Branham would have been the first to say that a thing like that is childish, if he could have. He would have said, “Read what Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapters 1:3 ” who is Paul, who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you have believed. Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in his name?”” The obvious conclusion is that, these men were lifting up the name of Jesus Christ as the answer to peoples need. Likewise, Bro. William Branham spent his whole ministry lifting up the name of Jesus, and while doing so he brought a message to the world that was destined to be the last message to this age. The true ministry will take that message, and lead the people of God right back to the Bible with it. But the rest will run with statements until there is no place left to run.
During the course of Bro. William Branham’s ministry, he touched every major doctrine of the Bible, but practically every major point of doctrine of mystery was spoken in plural language. Take for instance, the 70 weeks of Daniel. I happen to know that, before he ever preached the original 70 weeks of Daniel message, he leaned toward the idea of there being only three and one half years left, of the seventieth week. I remember one time while we were out rabbit hunting, he brought the subject up. I did not mention it. As a matter of fact, until that time, I had never even made a study of the subject. Nevertheless, for some reason, he made the remark that there was only 3½ years left. At the time, I did not think too much about it, but after quite some time had elapsed, I became interested in the subject, and sat down to prayerfully study it. I began to pray, asking God to make this thing known unto me. About that time, I happened to fall in line to receive some history books. Using those books, along with the Bible, I began to compile history and time factors, working them together, until I was completely satisfied that there had to be a full week left of the seventy weeks. That, of course, meant 7 years instead of 3½ years, but I thought to myself, “Now wait a minute, he is God’s prophet, and he has said there is only 3½ years left. I will not say anything contrary to that.” Do you think, I carried that in my heart until the time when he preached on the 70 weeks as a subject, how it made me feel when he proved by the scriptures, that there had to be a full 7 years left to the Jews. Not just 3½, but 7 years. I said, “Praise God, I am not crazy after all.” But then, we sat there through that wonderful week, while he brought to us, the revelation of the seals, and during that time he made reference to the seventieth week of Daniel, saying, that there was only 3½ years left. I thought to myself, “Oh, my, what in the world has happened now?” I knew that he had leaned to that previously, but, after proving by the scriptures that there was still 7 years left, I could not understand him saying 3½ again. Then some brother from down south wrote the question, asking Bro. William Branham, if he had not taught that there is still 7 years left to the Jews. Bro. William Branham answered that brother’s question by telling him that he must have got a little mixed up on what he had said. If that brother was mixed up on what he had said, then those who printed the book of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, teaching, were mixed up too, for you will find it right in there, laid perfectly in line with the scriptures. I am not pointing out these things to find fault with God’s prophet. I believe he did exactly what he was called to do. God allowed these dual statements to be made, in order to set in motion, all of those contrary spirits, that will serve as a separating factor to shake the rotten fruit off the tree.
WHAT THE MINISTRY IS FOR
If there is a brother who would criticize me for pointing out these dual statements, I want to say this to you, I am doing it for the benefit of those dear people who have honestly studied the messages of Bro. William Branham, desiring to find the truth, and having read these various statements that are contrary, one to the other; do not know which one is right. Not every one who desires to follow truth is able to take the scriptures and search out these things without some help. That is what the ministry is for, to help people get their lives in line with the word of God. I do not claim that knowing the right version of these many dual statements is essential, to make it in the rapture, but I do claim that our understanding of the truth, in its restorational revelation is essential to bring about the unity and understanding between brethren, that the Lord requires. Many of you will remember that I said, over 11 years ago, when God took his prophet off the scene, and all these conflicting ideas began to be circulated, that it is possible we could all be wrong, but it is impossible for all of us to be right. That is why we have had to wait for time itself to prove the right or wrong of statements, as well as people. I say, God willed the man to speak in these plural terms, for He knew that there would be carnal minds that would feed and live off of these things. It is hard to realize how many people have built their little private revelations off of these things. That is why, for over eleven years, many have been setting dates for the rapture, and the ushering in of the millennium. By the time you read this article, all of their projected dates will have come and gone, and every last one of them are still here, unless there be some who have gone by the way of the grave. The only people who are going in the rapture, when it does take place, are the ones who have come to a proper understanding of the purpose of God, and a oneness of faith. They will all be looking at the same thing.
GOD REQUIRES UNITY
I realize that there will be people all over the country who will say, “Just who does that Raymond Jackson think he is anyhow, talking like that?” I am nobody, but you can not sell me everyone’s teaching. When I hear one man teach a subject one way, and then hear another one teach the same thing a different way, and on, and on, then I know that there is definitely something wrong. I know also, that everyone of us who sat under the ministry of that prophet, is going to have to come back to a oneness of what he taught, if we are going to be acceptable to the Lord.
You take the lives of those disciples that followed Jesus for 3½ years. They did not have tape recorders, printing presses, nor any of the devices we find so handy today. All they had was the ears to hear, yet when the 120 disciples came out of that upper room, filled with the Holy Ghost, they all had the same revelation. What they had heard, produced a consistent unity, that brought them all out into the streets of Jerusalem speaking the same thing. Peter was not standing on one corner preaching, “Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” while James or some of the others were on the other corner saying, “Now wait a minute, that is not the way I heard it, Jesus said so and so.” That is the way it has been in our day. It has brought confusion on every hand, but it did not start out like that, and before we can get away from here, to be with the Lord, we will have to see that the Lord Jesus Christ is to have the pre-eminence. Everything we preach or testify to must point to him. Many of these who are constantly harping on the fact that they heard the prophet also, and he said this and that, I simply say to you, “Did you really hear him, or did you just hear words that came from his voice box?” There is a difference, you know. If you really did hear him, you would be back in the Bible by now, with nothing left to argue and fuss about.
YOU WILL KNOW SOMETHING
Bro. Branham was a prophet, we all acknowledge that. He was the messenger to this Laodicean age, we all acknowledge that. But he was not a prophet sent to add more to the Bible. He was sent to help us understand what was in there already. We do not need anymore added to the book, what we need is to line up with what has been in the book all along. Let me tell you this, also, being a Christian, is more than just saying, “Thank God I am saved, I am sanctified, I am filled with the Holy Ghost, and I am on my way to glory.” If you are a Christian, you are going to know something before you leave here. You are going to know why you are a child of God, and what goes with such a privilege, in the way of honor and responsibility. None of us are worthy, that is true, but there is one thing for sure, we are not going to nurse on a milk bottle forever. Listen to what the apostle Paul wrote to the Hebrews, chapters 5:12-6:2, (12) “For when the time came that ye ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again, the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (13) For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Chapter 6) (1) Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection: not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (2) Of the doctrine of baptism, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” It is interesting to note, that the apostle said, “When the time came that you ought to be teachers, you still have need to be taught.” That is exactly what we have been experiencing for the past twelve years. Many of those who have had opportunity to hear enough that they ought to be able to teach, or instruct others, still have need themselves, to be taught, if they were teachable. Paul said, “let us go on to perfection.” In other words, let us gain an understanding of the whole word of God, of the things of God, the mysteries. Not in the sense, or to the point where we would walk down the street ready to demonstrate how much we know, for we are only what we are, by the grace of God, but there comes a time when we ought to have these things settled. Head knowledge will cause a person to be puffed up, but heart knowledge, (or spiritual revelation), will humble a person. It will cause you, more and more, to realize, just how wonderful the grace and mercy of God really is. As I said before, it is only for the grace of God that any of us have been able to keep our head on straight.
Now, I would like for us to consider, for a little while, some of the statements that Bro. William Branham made, concerning the garden of Eden, and man’s original sin. First, let me say this, the Catholics believe in original sin, but they do not know what caused it. They say Eve ate an apple. That is just about as far from the truth as a horned toad riding water skis. Brothers and Sisters: you do not find horned toads in the Ohio Valley, you find them in the desert, and there is no water in the desert for them to ski on. You may not like the illustration, but I am sure you get the point I am making. People from all over this world have fought against the true revelation of what happened in the garden of Eden to cause the fall of man. I am not going to take the space here, to defend what we have printed on that subject, but the prophet to this age taught that Eve had an intimate relationship with the serpent that brought about the original sin. Many of the critics in denominational circles have accused Bro. William Branham of teaching that Eve had a relationship with the devil. Let me say this to you, Eve did not have a relationship with the devil. He is a spirit, a fallen angel. He is the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air. His imps are everywhere, but Eve’s disobedient act was not with Satan, though it was because of him. There was however, a creature in the garden, called the serpent. He looked like man, talked like man, walked like man, but he was not a son of God. He was of the animal family that God had given to Adam, to be a servant to him. The devil got hold of that serpent, took over his impulses, and controlled him, to lay a trap for Adam. God made him to be able to talk as well as understand, in order for him to be able to receive instructions from Adam and Eve. God did not make the chimpanzee to talk, or the gorilla, the baboon, the ape, nor any of the rest of the animal family, but this serpent stood next to man in his makeup. That is why scientists have failed to find the missing link between man in his lowest form, and animal in its highest form. They have not known where to look. They do not believe the Bible, or they would know that God cursed that serpent, taking off his arms and legs, and placed him in the reptile family because of what he did in seducing Eve to commit a sex act with him. Now he crawls like a snake, and catches flies for his food. Every one of those animals were created for Adam, for his helpmates, before God ever fashioned the woman from one of Adam’s ribs. Before there ever was an electric crane, man had the elephant, with his long trunk. The elephant was used in India, and Africa, in the log woods to carry those big old logs. They served man for centuries in the capacity of a crane, before the crane was invented. I have heard it said that when an elephant gets attached to his master, he will fight for him, and he will walk for miles to find his master. When his master dies, he grieves, and mourns. Why? Because he was made to be a helpmate. Adam never would have had to do any of the toiling if he had obeyed the word of the Lord. The serpent would have done the toiling, or had it done.
God wanted his beautiful plan to be tested, though. That is why He permitted the devil, (Lucifer), to put the impulse, or desire, upon the serpent, to approach Eve, and introduce this relationship to her, strictly for pleasure. That is where the word fornication had its origin, for the word fornication is applied, when the act is strictly for pleasure. It has no marriage possibilities, and there is no objective to have children involved in the act. God knew what the result would be, but He had worked out a plan, whereby, all of His attributes could be expressed, through the span of time, from the creation to the millennium.
THREE STATEMENTS – ONE RIGHT
Now, I will say what I started to say earlier. When God’s prophet began to deal with this subject, he made three different statements. I do not have the time, nor space, to take you back to the original message where he taught these things, but my critics will know, for they will look it up, and the children of God will already know what I am talking about. In one message he would say, “Now the tree of life was Christ.” Then in another message, Marriage and Divorce, he said that it was not through sex that God intended to bring life into the world, it was by the spoken word. Then in another message he said, before Adam could come to Eve, she was already defiled. The devil beat him to it. There you have three statements. One of them will lead you right to the word of God.
When I am called upon to explain the reason for such plural terms, or dual statements, I always say, “God permitted that man to speak in that way, concerning the mysteries hidden in the Bible, for God knew that some of these statements would be a means of separating some from the scriptures. But he knew also that the true Holy Ghost child of God could never be separated from the scriptures.”
THE TREE OF LIFE
I put all of this together like this; if the tree of life was Christ, then, in what form? It could be none other than the presence of eternal life in the garden, to overshadow a law of reproduction, which was God’s perfect plan for bringing life into the world. For Adam to come to Eve meant this, he never would have come to her for pleasure only, as man and woman do in our day. Their union would have been for the purpose of reproduction only. It would have been up to the woman to know the time for that law to be activated.
I am a farmer. I have studied the breeding cycles of horses, cattle, and other domesticated animals, as well as wildlife. I have not found any species among animal life that live in pleasure, as man and woman. The act was to be a sacred thing. It was the way God chose to reproduce another son, but the devil has taken over and drug it down to the gutter. That was his way of taking another slap at God. The whole world is defiled through the very thing that God ordained to bring life into the world. A thing of beauty, turned into a disgraceful act, because of wrong use. That is the devil’s way. If he cannot destroy something, he will try to pervert it. Many of you have gone through school without ever reading anything like this. It is all foreign to you, but this is where sin started. Now, I would like to say this, for the sake of the message, when that prophet to this age began to touch on these things, I said, (in my heart), “I know there is a nugget of truth in those statements, and it is not that Eve ate an apple. It has something to do with sex life.” But because I did not know what the tree of life was, it was not revealed. He would say that the tree of knowledge was sex, but I knew, if the tree of knowledge was sex, then the tree of life would have to be that also, and there was not two trees standing there in the midst of the garden. That is spiritual language. That is a language of God to hide a mystery from the eyes of the wise and prudent. If they were natural trees, they would have been trees of plant life, and I want you to know that every other tree that was there in the garden, regardless of what kind it was, is still in the world today, but you will not find one of them to be the tree of life.
For 6000 years now, man has been looking for a tree of life. He has looked for a fountain of youth, he has dug holes in the desert, and even thought he found it in rocks, and minerals. He even thought he found it in the hot springs of Arkansas, but it is in Jesus Christ. I hope you are understanding me. Let me say it once again. To partake of the tree of knowledge, was to come to an understanding that the act could be used for pleasure, bypassing the original plan to use it only for the purpose of reproduction. The act, originally, was strictly for the purpose of bringing forth life. It is a divine law of God, and it lay in the female to control it. If Eve had told that serpent to get lost, and waited for that law to work in her body, she would have called to her husband and told him that it was time, then women would not be experiencing the nervousness, frustrations, and tensions, that go with that period. It would have been a period, but without all of those discomforts. They were added because of the disobedience.
Adam was not deceived in all of this, he knew what he was doing. Even had found that the act would be used for pleasure, then she began to put pressure on Adam to partake also. That is why, when God cursed the ground for Adam’s sake, he said, “because you harkened to the voice of thy wife, (the word harkened, means listened. She begged and pleaded until Adam finally consented), and hast eaten, (or partaken), of the tree of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” (Genesis 3:17) Adam gave in to her pleadings, and the result is that the whole world is living under the penalty of Adam’s deed.
THE SPOKEN WORD
Certain men have gone galloping all around the world harping that sex was the original sin, and that God never intended to produce life in any way other than by the spoken word. They claim that to be something that prophet revealed to them. I will simply ask such a one, who was supposed to speak the word, Adam, Eve, or God himself? If God was going to speak the word to produce his sons, Adam sure gave a false prophecy in Genesis 2:23-24, when he said, (23) “This is now bone of my bones, (speaking of Eve), and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. (24) THEREFORE SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER. . . AND HIS MOTHER, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Can you see where such a revelation winds up? If every person had been spoken into the world, then where would the father and mother come into the picture? On the other hand, knowing that the world was to be populated through the sex act; if Eve had waited until her time, when that perfect law of God had set up in her body, then every child, that every woman would have birthed into the world, would have been exactly like that little baby that Mary gave birth to in the manger, in Bethlehem. There was that tree of life. He was the righteous branch, according to Isaiah and Jeremiah. He was the little branch, broken out of the tree of life, and grafted into human flesh, but brother, that flesh was perfect. It had no sin in it. There was eternal life. So you can see what Bro. William Branham meant, when he said that the tree of life was Christ. It was not Christ, in the essence of man, it was Christ, in the essence of eternal life, overshadowing that law of reproduction. Brothers and Sisters: there is the truth of God’s word, for it takes us back to the Bible.
THE NEW BIRTH
The new birth was another subject that Bro. William Branham spoke of in more than one way. We know that the new birth is God’s provision for lost mankind. We do not disagree on the fact that the Bible teaches we must be born again in order to enter into the kingdom of God, or even to see it. Where the disagreement comes in, is, what constitutes the new birth? Jesus told Nicodemus, who came to him at night, for fear of the Jews, “Ye must be born again.” Nicodemus thought he was speaking naturally, and answered accordingly, but Jesus told him, “That which is flesh, is flesh, and that which is spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (In other words, do not get confused.) Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” That is not an exact quote, but you can read it in the 3rd chapter of John. The point of it is, the new birth is the essential ingredient, in order for a person to see the kingdom of God, or to enter in.
I still remember the early years when God first began to lead us to the tabernacle to hear that wonderful man of God preach. There would be times when you would hear him say something like this, (I am paraphrasing), Brethren, you know how this religious world is, we all have our different denominational and theological beliefs. He said, “some will say that we are not born again unless such and such, and so forth. You are born again the minute you believe. You receive the Holy Ghost as power for service.” Then he would quote John 5:24, the words of Jesus, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life,” then he would say, “Then is when you are born again.” Then again he would be preaching away, and say, “The Holy Ghost is for every child of God.” Then he would quote Ephesians 4:30, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” I will never forget though, how beautifully he laid it all out when he preached the message on the Token. When he preached the church ages, he laid it all out perfectly. He said, “We are not even born again until we receive the Holy Ghost.” He would illustrate it like this, there are three works of grace, and it takes all three to constitute, and make up the whole new birth, JUSTIFICATION is like conception, SANCTIFICATION is like pregnancy, and the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST is when life actually comes forth. On and on, I could go, taking you to different messages, showing you the many different statements that were made on this one subject, but I believe this will be enough for any honest hearted person to realize that we are not to base our salvation experience on EVERY WORD . . ., spoken by the prophet, but only on that which he spoke that points us back to the Bible, to a spiritual revelation. I am sure that some of you will say, John 5:24, IS…in the Bible. Yes, it is in the Bible, but, what did he mean by heareth my word? Surely you do not think he was talking only of hearing the words that he was speaking, with the natural ears. Actually, what he meant was, HE THAT HEARS MY WHOLE MESSAGE, will have the benefits that are set forth in that message, for to hear, the way Jesus meant hear, would be to obey his words. Even the Scribes and Pharisees, heard the words that he spoke, and they believed, (at least with the mind), on Jehovah God, (and that is the one that sent Jesus), but they did not have eternal life abiding in them. Can you begin to see the difference? It is one thing to hear with the ears, but it is quite a different story, when you hear with the heart, that is, catch a revelation.
REVELATION DEMANDS OBEDIENCE
That which becomes revelation to you, demands obedience, and the obedience, brings the benefits provided in it. You will notice, as you follow all that Jesus said, and did, that after His resurrection, when He was assembled together with His disciples, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. (John 20:22) Now some think that is when the disciples received the Holy Ghost, but that is not correct either. That was a preparatory command. If they had received the Holy Ghost then, why did Jesus turn right around and tell them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they were endued with Power from on high? (Luke 24:49) Both events took place at the same gathering. To further illustrate the fact, let us return to the gospel of John, chapter 21, verses 15-17. This took place at another gathering of Jesus and His disciples. He had breathed on them, and commanded them to receive the Holy Ghost, the first time He showed Himself alive to them, after the resurrection. Now the occasion of this gathering, is where Jesus prepared a meal for the disciples who had been fishing all night. The meal was finished, and Jesus looked over to Simon Peter and said, (15) “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He said unto, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, FEED MY LAMBS.” Then, He said unto him the second time, (16) “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP.” Then Jesus said unto him the third time, (17) “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP.”
Now you may be asking, (within yourselves), just what does that prove? Nothing, by itself, but now, I will ask you to turn back to the gospel of Luke 22:31-32. Here we find Jesus talking to Peter right before his crucifixion. (31) “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: (32) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED, strengthen thy brethren.” Peter had walked with Jesus for 3½ years already, and here He is telling him, after you are converted strengthen your brethren. Peter was feeling real good about everything, for he said, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. That is when Jesus told him that, before the cock would crow, that following day, he would deny him three times. It happened just like Jesus said it would. When Jesus was arrested, Peter followed at a distance, then when someone tried to identify Peter with Jesus, he denied that he knew Him. This happened three times, and then the cock crowed. Jesus looked at Peter, and Peter was ashamed, as he remembered what he had said to him earlier. Brothers and Sisters: he was not yet converted. He was afraid of the crowed that night, but it was quite a different story, some 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, when Peter and the rest of those disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost in that upper room. All fear had left Peter by the time he came down into the streets, for we see him in Acts 2, ready to take on the whole crowd if necessary. He was now converted, and ready to fulfill what Jesus had told him to do. He was now, ready to feed the lambs, as well as the sheep. Brothers and Sisters: you must be born again. You must be converted. I hope you get that. The very disciples that He had breathed upon, telling them to receive the Holy Ghost, were standing there with Him when he was ready to ascend into heaven. That is when He told them not to leave Jerusalem, until they had been endued with power from on high. There is no need for me to go any farther with statements about the new birth. I am sure that you who are spiritual can see the point of it all by now. The prophet made all of those statements, and many of my critics will say, yes, and I believe every word that the prophet uttered. No you don’t, you do not…. believe every word of it, or you would know how to take it and get back to the Bible with it. You are just like a child playing with toys. You go to your box of statements and take out a few to play with, until you get tired of them, and back you go, to get another bunch, and on you go, until you have them scattered all over every place you have been. That is the way children do their toys. If they are not taught how to use them, it keeps someone busy straightening up after them. For over eleven years, it has been like that with this message of truth. Some of you are so anxious to be a voice of authority, that you have run all over the world spreading statements, without having any revelation as to the application of such. The results is, MASS CONFUSION. It keeps others busy, straightening up your mess.
I have been accused of saying that Bro. William Branham made a mistake in saying certain things as he did. I want to restate something that I have said many times before, BRO. BRANHAM DID NOT MAKE A MISTAKE, WHEN HE MADE DUAL STATEMENTS ON CERTAIN MAJOR SUBJECTS OF THIS MESSAGE. God willed him to say it as he did. That man, not only brought a message of truth for those who were seeking truth, he also carried a fan, to fan away those who had other motives.
We published a message in September 1972, titled, The Fan in Christ’s Hand, Vol. 4, No. 7. It explains the statement made by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11-12, where he said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (12) Whose FAN is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” In that message, we go into detail, showing how these dual statements made by Bro. William Branham, are actually the fan in Christ’s hand, purging his floor. The reference, naturally, points to the ancient threshing floor, where the reapers would pile the harvested wheat for the winnowing process. The same reapers who brought the harvested crop into the threshing area, were the ones who would go in there and keep pitching it up until all the straw and hush were blown away. That is what the dual statements, made by Bro. William Branham, have been doing with many people for over eleven years now. They are getting up in the air over them, and only God knows how many of them will actually fall back on the word of God when they come down.
THE PREHISTORIC AGE
Of all the preaching that Bro. William Branham did, you will find very little reference made to a prehistoric world, or age, but I would like to refresh your memories on two particular statements that he did make, concerning such. In the preaching of the fourth seal, Bro. William Branham told of being approached by a man who, more or less, tried to shame him, saying, “Aren’t you ashamed to say that God created the heavens and earth in six days?” Bro. William Branham replied, “That is what the Bible said.” Then the man said, “We have evidence, and can prove that the world is millions of years old.” Bro. William Branham said, “That didn’t have anything to do with it. In Genesis 1:1, it says that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth,” period. Now the world was without form and void, I believe every seed was laying right there from some other civilization or something, and as soon as the water lifted off, and the light struck it, up came the trees and everything.” Now that is what I wanted you to catch. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to let me know that he believed in a prehistoric age, and that lines up with many other scriptures. God did not have to create trees, grass, flowers, etc., all over again. Brothers and Sisters: When God judged the prehistoric world, and froze it up, no doubt, it hung in space for hundreds, and thousands of years. I will say this also, scientists may have their carbon tests, and all of the other processes that they use, in trying to determine how old this planet is, but there is no test, that can determine what happened during the time that God had it froze up. They can only measure where it started, and when it thawed up. God has a way of concealing his mysteries from natural man. He will not let scientific gadgets reveal them. He keeps that for spiritual revelation to His children.
Now, after having said what he did, in the fourth seal, about the seed laying there from some other civilization, we hear him in another sermon, say something that leaves the thought that there were dinosaurs in our garden of Eden. I have showed you these two statements. One of them will line up with other scriptures. When I heard him say what he did about the seed being there already, that rung a bell with me. It let me know that there had to be a revelation lying there somewhere, and I rejoiced because of it, but when I heard him preach another message, leaving the impression that there were dinosaurs in our garden of Eden, then, brothers and sisters; I knew that he was merely making a human statement. We all do it, but there are those who will not admit to the fact that Bro. William Branham was capable of saying anything other than, THUS SAITH THE LORD. Be that as it is, I am ready to challenge my critics to prove that there were dinosaurs in the garden of Eden that we know. According to the word of God, as well as history, and geology, I say to you that there were no dinosaurs in our garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. As I said before, every animal that was in the garden with Adam and Eve, was represented on the Ark with Noah, male and female of every species. You will never find any trace of dinosaurs on the Ark. That all belonged to another era of time.
I have said enough on this subject for the benefit of those who would want to know. Any Holy Ghost person will understand, and the others will fuss and stew just like they did in their former denominations. It is not enough just to quote Ephesians 4, that God has set in the church a five fold ministry. A person must have enough of the spirit of God in them to recognize that ministry in its proper calling. Some have said that they believe in apostles, but the truth of it is that, they would never allow an apostle’s office to touch this message if they could stop it. Brothers and Sisters: let me say to you, you need that ministry to sift this message and line it up in digestible order. Do not fight against it, or you will be found to fight against God. He is the one who set the five fold ministry in the church, for the perfecting of the saints. I did not have anything to do with it. I only try to fill the place that God has called me to fill. The Bible says apostles, plural, prophets, plural, and so forth, but let me tell you, the ones that God set in the church will all have the same revelation, and be speaking the same thing, there will be no division among them, doctrinally speaking. Of course, they will have their human differences, but that will not affect their teaching. The ministry that God has set in the church will not be running every place saying, that each man ought to be able to teach the message as he sees it. That is the attitude that we find among many in this day. God will leave all, such as these, until they run their legs off. That is not why he sent a prophet to this age. The prophet was set to rescue us from our mess, and bring us back to the word of God, back to revelated truth.
CALLING GOD’S ELECT
Bro. Branham had a vision. He had a love for people, and he had a desire to help people. That is why I said, “he could not love a Pentecostal any more than he could a Catholic.” I will tell you why. God saw that there were Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, and such like, scattered throughout the religious world, that were elected people. Therefore, that prophet carried a message that the love of God had laid in his heart, to reach into all those places, pulling out those who would hear his message. God knew that the man’s personal ministry would not perfect the bride of Jesus Christ. It did not do it when he was alive, and it still would not do it if God raised him from the dead. I will say this to my brothers and sisters who may hear me on tape or read the message in print, if you ever saw Bro. William Branham in this life, you will never see him again, until you see him at the wedding supper, at the judgment seat of Christ. Therefore, if you ever reach perfection, as it is written in the word of God, it will be because you have settled yourself down and listened to a man of God, who had truth in his soul, a man who will not stand with a handful of Bro. William Branham’s books, to do his preaching out of. He will not be preaching a denomination, neither will he be preaching a cultish message. He will be preaching the unadulterated word of God.
ELIJAH WAS A MAN – NOT A GOD
I said before that God willed for Bro. William Branham to make those many dual statements, for he knew that among those who would come out of denominational systems, there would be those who would deify the flesh of the prophet, all because they had never seen anything like the gift of God which operated through him, and the dual statements act as separating factors. We not only had to be separated from our systems, but the unbeliever, or make-believer, had to be separated from the truth, and also, from the true children of God. Therefore, do not say that I, Raymond Jackson, said that Bro. William Branham made a mistake. He did not make a mistake in that. That was the will of God. By the same token, I am not saying that he did not make mistakes in life, as any mortal man will.
Let me refer you to something that James wrote, concerning the man Elijah. He said that Elias, (that is another term for Elijah), was a man, subject to like passions as we are. What did James mean by that statement about the very man that set the pattern, and example, of all those prophets who would walk on earth in that same anointing? The character, principles, conduct, and nature, of that man, Elijah, was to be recognized in those who would later walk in that same anointing. James pointed out the fact that, even though Elijah prayed and caused there to be no rain on earth until he prayed again, and asked for it, he was not God, He was a mortal man, subject to the faults and failures of any other mortal man. Some of you will say, “that is not what James was showing at all.” I say, “the point is made.” He was not God, he did not act like God. He did not believe himself to be God. He did act like a prophet though, and he lived, walked in life, thought, and talked like a man. Then, when God anointed him, he would talk like God. But notice, when Jezebel got after him, he ran like a man, a scared man. He ran so far away, that God had to send an angel to feed him. When he stood on Mt. Carmel, and challenged the prophets of Baal, it would have been easy for some to think that he was a god, for he displayed something beyond the natural makeup of man, but a little later, when he was running from a woman the picture was different. Who would want a god like that?
This is all being said to point out one thing, God can anoint a man so that the man can display the very attributes of God, but when the anointing is lifted, he is a natural, mortal man, just like anyone else, as far as human weakness, frailties, and mistakes are concerned. That does not mean that Elijah was a cheat, or a thief, or that he went around lying. Neither did John the Baptist, and neither did William Marrion Branham. The one who comes next, as one of the two witnesses to the Jews, will not be a liar either, but he will be a man, and he will be a man subject to mistakes, and as James said, “like passions as we are.” The anointing does not play around with statements. It goes right to the word of God every time.
THE EVIDENCE OF HOLY GHOST BAPTISM
Another subject that I have heard Bro. William Branham speak in more than one way on is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When we first began going to the tabernacle, he would look down at you and say, “Brother, you need the Holy Ghost, Sister, you need the Holy Ghost, Brother, you need the gifts of the spirit in the church,” and statements such as that. Then he would talk about evidence, what Pentecost called the evidence. He would say, “Brother, speaking in tongues is not the evidence.” Then he would quote St. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” How many of you have heard that statement? I remember it so well. It is on tapes, and in books. Is that not what Jesus said to his disciples? What did he mean? He meant, if you really follow what I am saying to you, and if you really live like I tell you, according to my teachings, you can not help but have love one toward another, and that kind of love displayed in you, will point right back to the fact that you are my disciples, or followers. There will not be one group going one way, and another group going another. You will all believe, and embrace, the truth that you receive from me. That, in itself, will separate you from everyone else, and their teaching. You will be squeezed together, and the love that you have will be different from the kind the worldly crowd knows about. Now, what does it say about them, over in Acts? They all continued, in everyone’s doctrine, is that what it says? No, they all continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, the apostles teaching. It consisted of oneness. Yes, sir, it was oneness. He would talk like that, after quoting that scripture verse.
Sometime later on, we were sitting there, and that same little man said, “Now love isn’t it”. I will never forget an illustration he gave on that. He said, “Now, you take the Catholic priest, he shows such great love, there is no greater love than the Catholic people show to some other people, they minister first aid, they build hospitals, and many things like that.” I thought to myself, “You are saying that, but that sure isn’t the love of God.” Nevertheless, God let him say those things, and God will use every one of them in is sifting, and fanning, process, here in the end of the age. In other words, as we would sit there from service to service, you would hear the prophet say, in one service, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, when you have love one for another,” and then he would come right back in another message and slap you in the face by saying, “No, it isn’t love. It is believing the word.” Therefore, some would catch one statement and run with it, while others would catch another statement and run with it also. I will say to my critics, (for I know how they resent my talking like this), it is one thing to know verbally, what he said, but it is quite another thing to know spiritually, what he meant. If we ever get the spiritual understanding of what he meant in our souls, the Holy Ghost will illuminate that message to the point where it will cease to be QUOTES, QUOTES, QUOTES, but rather, it will be a consistent flow of revelation.
WHAT ABOUT CHURCH ORDER
Brothers and Sisters: I am not challenging what Bro. William Branham said. That is not my purpose in pointing out these things. My purpose, and motive, is to show my brothers and sisters, as well as my critics, that, for over eleven years, certain ones have been riding their hobby horses, quoting statements, and they are right where they started. They have gained nothing. I will say, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul never taught church order, but he did teach that there should be order in the church. He taught that the Holy Ghost was to have the pre-eminence, and that the worshipers should conduct themselves in decency, godliness, and in adult like manner, but there is a long way from a church order. We realize also, that a church order can be a corrective thing, but certainly, there is no place for carnal minded men to make it a doctrinal yardstick, and whip, to measure and beat others with. Every carnal preacher that put church order in his assembly just because Brother Branham did at the tabernacle, drove the spirit of God out. God will not be tied by your church order. There is nothing in this message that has ever told anyone to stop manifesting the gifts of the spirit, that God placed in their lives. I think of the many, who had the gifts operating through them until the church order came into being, and how they began to feel like they were not to speak in tongues, or interpret, or prophesy anymore. Then I remember hearing some of those people say, especially preachers, “I believe in the gifts of the spirit, but I want the real thing.” Let me tell you, I want the real also, but I find that to be a feeble excuse to hide behind, while you try to justify your church order. You are completely out of the scriptures.
WHERE FALSE DOCTRINE STARTS
The church of the Living God was not built upon tongues and interpretation, nor prophecy, nor any other of the gifts of the spirit. It was built upon divine revelation of the word of God. But I will have you to know that there was a place in the church for all of the gifts to operate, and it was not in a back room. Furthermore, I will say that it was not tongues and interpretation that let the antichrist get in the church 1900 years ago, it was preachers. Do not lay the blame in the pews, lay it right where it belongs, on the pulpit. The false teachings did not, and do not, come from the congregation, they came from the preachers, those who wish to be known for their great revelation. It is true, we can have a false tongue and interpretation in the congregation, but most of the churches that have been wrecked through the years, were wrecked because of something that came from the pulpit. It was not a false prophecy that started the Catholic church, it was started from many revelations that came from the leadership. Let me give you an example, of how, many things get started. In the days of Bro. William Branham’s ministry, he referred, many times, to what God is doing in this Laodicean age, using the scripture in Luke 17:30, that speaks of the Son of man being revealed. That began to give certain preachers the idea that HE…WAS…the Son of man. Some would say, “This man is none other than Jesus Christ, or this man is the word.” It wasn’t too long until they had others believing the same thing, and then it became a spirit, a strong spirit, that has captured many souls. Let me say to my brothers and sisters, who will hear this tape, or read this message, our brother, who lived in this generation, and spoke to us of the wonderful things of God, was truly a man, just like any of us, but he was filled and anointed with the Holy Ghost, to the extent where God manifested the spirit of Jesus Christ through him a major capacity. That did not change his flesh one bit whatsoever, but I thank God that his flesh was subject to the revelation of God’s spirit in his life. That ties right in with what the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians. He said, (1:11-12), “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (12) For I neither received if of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” He went on to tell of his former way of life, and how he profited in the Jews religion above many, and then when we get down to the 15th verse, we read this, (15) “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, (16) To REVEAL HIS SON IN ME, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (17) Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia.” There is two things I would have you see from this scripture. The first is the reference he made of the Son of God being revealed in him, and the other, is the fact that he did not get his revelation from any other man. Can you see the likeness between Paul and Bro. William Branham in those two areas? Jesus Christ was manifested through them both in a major proportion, and neither one of them received their revelation from any other man. Now, maybe you can see what I am getting at. Though the apostle Paul had the spirit of Christ to such a great degree, he never did claim to be God, or in any way lay any claim to deity. Neither can we find any record where his followers deified him after he had passed off the scene, as some have Bro. William Branham. I say these things to sound a warning to those of you who have an ear to hear, please do not entertain thoughts and ideas that are not consistent with the scriptures. Some have done so, and now they are having hallucinations, imagining all sorts of things.
THE CHURCH IN TRIBULATION?
Let me call your attention now, to another subject that has caused much controversy in this message. There were times when Bro. William Branham would say, “The church will go through the tribulation, but the bride, the elect, will be raptured.” I was challenged by a certain brother one time, in connection with that statement. You know what the apostle Paul said in Ephesians5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, even as CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH….and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT, (THE CHURCH) TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING; BUT THAT IT, (THE CHURCH), SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH.” He goes on, (in verse 30), to say that, “we are members of his body.” Therefore, when I used that scripture, and stated that the church is the body of Christ, which He is washing with the water of His word, and will come for one day soon, this brother said, “But, Bro. Jackson, the prophet said the church would go through the tribulation, and only the bride would be raptured.” I thought to myself, you poor child, what did you hear?” I read until I found the two statements, I knew was there, then I showed them to the brother. First, the statement that the church will go through the tribulation, and only the bride will be raptured, and then, in another sermon, the statement where he said, “THAT CHURCH WILL BE RAPTURED.” I laid the two statements before the brother and said this, “When the prophet was speaking in respect to the first statement, he was speaking according to what the world calls, the church…But, in reality, those denominations are not the church at all, and the real church is made up of that group of people that the world looks upon as holy rollers, religious fanatics, not fit to be associated with. There is where you will find the true church, the body of Christ. That is where the second statement belongs. The church will be raptured, for she is the bride of Christ, but the denominational lodges will go through the tribulation. Out of that group will come the foolish virgins, spoken of in Matthew 25:1-13, and seen over in the 7th chapter of Revelation as that great multitude that had washed their robes, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb. When? In the great tribulation. Revelation 7:9-14. We must remember that, Bro. William Branham, being the prophet to the age, and his ministry being to the world. God has to allow him to speak in such a way, as to catch the attention of all those who heard him. He cast out the large net, and drew in some of every kind, but if you have fished with a net like that, you know that there is always some that must be thrown back. After the catch is made, it is necessary to go through a sorting process. That is why we say, “the dual statements made by Bro. William Branham, serve the same purpose in the following of this message, as the winnowing fan did on the wheat threshing floor in days of old. Everything got pitched up, and only the grain, which was heavy, could withstand the wind and fall back on the threshing floor, free of the straw and husk. That is how these dual statements are working in his message delivered by the prophet. Many people are being heaved into the air, so to speak, and only those who are heavy with the word of God are able to withstand those winds and return to their sure foundation. The rest are blown away, too full of pride to even admit they are wrong, even when it becomes obvious.
SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL
Knowing that the teaching of the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy concerning Israel, and the references made to it at other times by the prophet messenger, has become the greatest divider, or separator, among the people of this following, I would like now, to go back to that subject, and just briefly deal with the time element involved in the whole 70 weeks, or 490 years. Now, to familiarize you with the setting, let us read a few verses from the 9th chapter of Daniel. Daniel is in Babylon, in captivity, and he has become very burdened for his people, which are the children of Israel. They have been in dispersion for many years already, at the time Daniel becomes so burdened in prayer for them, that God sends an angel to talk to him. We will begin reading in the 21st verse, “Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. (22) And he informed me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. (23) At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee: for thou art greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. (24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” We note in verse 24, that there are six things mentions, that must be accomplished in those seventy weeks of God’s dealing with the children of Israel, each week being a seven year period, making a total of 490 years that God will actively deal with them to accomplish these things. The time did not start with the building of the temple, but with the building of the city, when Nehemiah was granted permission to go to the land of his fathers for the purpose of rebuilding the city itself. The first group that had returned under the decree of Cyrus, had only built the temple, but the city was still lying in waste. Therefore, most all of your historians will agree that the seventy weeks had their beginning in the year 445 B.C., when Nehemiah received permission from the king to go build the city.
We do not have the space to go into much detail at this time, but will just give you the key points to a proper understanding of this scripture. Let us now read verse 25, and you will see that the command to restore and to build Jerusalem is the starting point for the seventy weeks. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be SEVEN WEEKS, and THREESCORE and TWO WEEKS: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” We can see a seven week period, which is seven weeks of years, totaling 49 years. That is the length of time that Nehemiah and his crew used in rebuilding the walls and the city. This was a time of great revival among those who were back in the land, but no sooner than the 49 years were completed, we find the prophet Malachi on the scene, rebuking Israel for her apostasy, and corruptness. Malachi was the last prophetic voice in Israel, until John the Baptist came out of the wilderness with, “THUS SAITH THE LORD.” The commonly agreed upon date of Malachi’s short prophecy is somewhere around 397-400 B.C. It was at a time when the revival first had gone out, and the priest’s were offering polluted bread upon the altar of God. They had drifted so far from God that they were offering the sick and lame animals to God, and acting as though they could see nothing wrong with it. This prophecy was squeezed in between the 7 week period, and the 62 week period of the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks. Then for almost 400 years, Israel was without a prophetic voice of God, until John arrived, preaching, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Remember now, God only marks time against the 70 weeks, when He is dealing directly with Israel as a nation. Therefore, verse 25, of Daniel 9, is referring to a 69 week period of time that was to begin in 445 B.C., and run until the Messiah was cut off, as we will see in the next verse, with the exception of the short period of time that Malachi’s prophecy covered. This put approximately 2 years in between the 7 week period and the 62 week period which Israel was completely in apostasy. Now, pay attention to verse 26, “And AFTER THREE-SCORE AND TWO WEEKS, SHALL MESSIAH BE CUT OFF, (Now where is the one half week that so many of you talk about?”) BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF: and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Please notice verse 27, when we read it, for it will furnish you with the key that can open your understanding to this great controversy. We read in verse 26, that the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city. Now we know that the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary, were Romans, led by Titus, in 70 A.D., therefore the prince that shall come, will be a Roman prince, and he, (verse 27), shall confirm the covenant with many for ONE WEEK. (Remember now, Jesus never did make a peace covenant with anyone for one week.) “AND IN THE MIDST OF THE WEEK, HE, (the Prince that is to come), SHALL CAUSE THE SACRIFICE AND THE OBLATION TO CEASE.”
If you have observed carefully as we read, you will have been convinced, by the scripture itself, that it does not say, that Jesus, the Messiah, was cut off in the middle of the week for a sacrifice for the people. It does truly say that after 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off, and we all know that He was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and agree that He was not cut off for Himself, but for all of us. However, that does not give anyone the authority to change what the scriptures teach so clearly on the subject. Furthermore, when Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33, the sacrifice and oblation did not cease; they continued to offer up sacrifice until Titus and his Roman army, destroyed the city, around A.D. 70.
With that much for you to consider, I will now open Bro. William Branham’s teaching on this subject, and we will see if he did not teach it according to the scriptures, on August 6, 1961. I know some of you will say, “oh, but he changed that when he preached the seals in 1963.” I will have to say to you, as the apostle Paul did to the Galatians, when a man of God teaches a subject, and proves it by the scriptures, not even an angel from heaven has any authority to change it. Please do not be one of those who say, “I just do not see that it makes any difference whether there is a three and one half, or a full seven years left to the Jews.” It must be terribly important, for the Devil to fight it like he does. This one subject has broke more fellowship than any other that I can think of in this message. Now, from the Seventy Weeks of Daniel booklet, page 69, paragraph 113, I will read you what Bro. William Branham said about the prince that is to come. Bro. William Branham speaking, “Now, remember, when we get in the Seals, that antichrist rides right out over in those Seals. Daniel spoke of it here, the Prince that would come, He would be cut off, Jesus would, to make reconciliations for the people, But that prince that would stand up, that would cause the abomination to make desolation, that was Rome through Titus; and this time it’s a prince coming out of Rome, (Here he is actually combining two scriptures in one sentence, or maybe it would be more correctly stated if we just say, we know it was Titus with his Roman army that destroyed the city, to begin that period of time mentioned in the 26th verse, and leading into the 27th, but the abomination that maketh desolate, pertains to the time of the end, when another Roman prince is on the scene, the antichrist), that will do it. And he will be revealed in the last days, (now listen), making himself God, as the Holy Ghost warns us in II Thessalonians 2:7-12.”
We will leave that statement right there and go to page 80, paragraph 139, in the same booklet, to see what Bro. William Branham taught about the two prophets and who broke the covenant, in the middle of the week. “There will be two prophets like Elijah and Moses, who I think it is. And they will bring great curses, after they have seen that they have consolidated, and Rome has broke its covenant, (that Prince), in the middle of this SEVENTIETH WEEK. It will break its covenant with Rome, or Rome will break it with Israel, and that will cause the abomination to begin to scatter. And there will be a great flood, when the Gentile remnant, the sleeping virgins.” This is in reference to Revelation, chapter 12, but the statement was not completed. The part about the covenant being broken in the middle of the week is what we wanted to see there, so, now, let us go to page 81, paragraph 141. “And Rome will break it in the middle of the seventieth year, (he means week), three and one half years, he’ll break that covenant with them, and cause the abomination that maketh desolation to spread to the consummation. Then he will take both Protestant and Jew, and persecute them, and that time these two prophets will stand up and curse the earth that she will not rain in the days of their prophecy; They will call fire out of heaven and everything else. You just wait, We have got a lot laying here in store for us.” The two prophets will do that in the first half of the week, as Bro. William Branham establishes in another place which we will show later.
Let us go now to page 101, paragraph 61, “Now, now, let’s outline Daniel’s seventy of weeks. Now I might repeat here again: Ministers of the Gospel, if you disagree with this, all right. They are divided in three periods, as we find out in Daniel chapter 9 – three periods: First, a seven week period; then, a threescore and two week, which is sixty two weeks; and then a one week period. They are divided in three different periods.” Now go to paragraph 63, for a further clarification. “Now, we know by all the gospels that Paul taught, and the others, that God will return again to the Jews. Well then, if He is going to return again to the Jew, how can we apply it back in Daniel’s time? We have got to apply it in this late age, and it is after the Gentile church has been gone, cause He deals with Israel as a nation, and we are individuals.” We are using Bro. William Branham’s own teaching, hoping that some of you will care enough to sit down with your Bible and let the Holy Ghost reveal to you, the straight facts of these things. Go to page 124, paragraph 165, I might say, before reading this, we have passed over more references than we are actually using, but if you like, you may read them in the booklet printed by the Spoken Word Publications. Now, the words of Bro. William Branham, “And in the middle of this week, now here is the seventy. Now if these exactly was seven years, each one of the weeks, and we have already had sixty nine weeks, then, we have the Gentile age, and we know we are at the end of the Gentile age, then there is one more week left for the Jew. Is that right? And that is exactly seven years. If this was seven years, that is seven years, ‘cause he said, “There is seventy weeks determined upon thy people.’ So we know we get seven years for the Jews. Is that true?” We will go right on over to page 136, paragraph 215, “Watch these two prophets, when they raise up here. And in the middle of the week they are cut off like that.” Now this lets me know that in the original teaching on this subject, he knew the two prophets would minister in the first half of the week, smiting the earth with all manner of plagues, and curses, and so forth, and in the middle of the week, when they have finished their 3½ years of ministry, (1260 days), they would be cut off. On the next page, paragraph 221, “But these three prophets – these three and one half years rather, and that is Revelation 11;3 – you have read it many times – I give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days. How many is it, a thousand two hundred and three score days? Three and one half years. And then they shall be killed in the streets, right in the midst of the seventieth week, So you see where we are at. We are at the end, my beloved friends, we are at the end.” I believe that will be enough from this book for you to see where the seventy weeks of Daniel have their fulfillment. We should be able to see that the seventy weeks definitely link up the sixth seal of Revelation, chapter 6, with Matthew, chapter 24, and Isaiah, chapter 13, which all lay in perfect continuity. However, when we go to the seal book and read those messages which were preached little more than a year and a half later, we are left with the impression that Bro. William Branham has now gone back to his former way of looking at the seventieth week. In other words we find him saying in the seal book, that half of the seventieth week has been fulfilled already, even after proving by the scriptures that there is still one full week left to the Jews.
I am not trying to cast a reflection on God’s prophet, but I am convinced that it is time for some of you to get your heads out of the sand, and face some issues while there is still time. For this reason, I ask you to bear with me while I read a little from the sixth seal. I am on page 420, in the third paragraph, “All right, notice these messengers now, (he is referring to the two prophets), these messengers of Revelation 12, (he really means Revelation 11), these two prophets, they are going to preach, ‘The Kingdom is at hand!’ The kingdom of heaven is to be set up. The time – last three and one half years of Daniel’s seventieth week promised to the Jews, His people. Remember now, that to prove that, that this is Daniel’s past part of the seventieth week….I got a question on that for tomorrow. Now, seventy weeks was promised, which was seven years. And in the midst of the seven weeks, (he means years), the Messiah was cut off to be made a sacrifice. (The scripture does not read anything like that. The scripture reads like this, ‘And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.’ There is nothing about him being cut off in the midst of the week.) He would prophesy three and one half years, and then be cut off for a sacrifice for the people, and there is still a determination that three and one half years is still determined for Israel.” We will go right over to page 422, at the bottom of the page where we find him saying, “And while the tribulation is falling, in there comes these two prophets of Revelation 11, to preach the gospel to them. And they preach a thousand, one hundred, (he means two hundred), and threescore days. See? (Notice that he keeps emphasizing the two prophets appear in the last part of the week in this book, but in the other book he had them as it should be, that they were smiting the earth with all sorts of plagues in the first half, and were cut off in the middle of the week. Brothers and Sisters: the scriptures will bear witness with that version.) Well, that’s exactly, with thirty days in the month, like the real calendar has, is exactly three and one half years. That’s Daniel’s seventieth…last part of the seventieth week.” Brothers and Sisters: it takes a carnal mind, void of any kind of revelation, to read those statements that completely opposite from each other, and say, “I believe them both, or, I do not see any difference.” I have heard both statements, made by various ones, over the years, people like that would drive a mathematics teacher to a nervous breakdown. How foolish it is to say that 3½ is the same as 7, or even that it does not make any difference. You may be that careless with the word of God, but God is not. He watches over His word, to perform it, exactly, to the smallest detail.
I will say this and then close. Even though the seals were preached after the original 70 weeks of Daniel, the reference here in the sixth seal itself, about 3½ years, has no continuity at all with the revelation of the sixth seal. The sixth seal is exactly what it says there in the 6th chapter of Revelation. It is dealing with a time when the sun is darkened, and the moon becomes as blood, it coincides exactly with Matthew 24, and Isaiah 13. The prophets of old, spoke of a day when the sun would be darkened, and would withdraw its light, the powers of the heavens would be shaken, and so forth. That is the sixth seal, and you must remember that Christ comes to the earth, under the sixth seal, which is definitely at the end of the week, therefore, the two prophets must minister in the first half of the week, sealing the 144,000 Jews, and at the same time they will be smiting the earth with plagues, just like Bro. William Branham preached it in the original Seventy Weeks teaching. When the days of their ministry is fulfilled, that antichrist, the false prince, the son of perdition, will rise up, taking control of everything, kill the two prophets, and break the peace covenant that he had made with many. The two dead prophets will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3½ days, then they will be resurrected and caught up to God. This is all to take place in the middle of the week. At the exact same time the woman, (Israel), of Revelation 12, is fleeing the land to get away from the wrath of the beast. Now, I would invite you to explain to me, how the two prophets could possibly preach for three and one half years, (1260 days), sealing 144,000 with the spirit of God, over in the last half of the week, when the woman, (Israel), is out of the land hiding. I will say no more. I leave it now for the Holy Ghost to deal with those who are Holy Ghost filled. The rest could not receive spiritual revelation, anyhow, no matter how much we might try to feed them.
Brothers and Sisters: it is my sincere prayer that this message will be of some spiritual help to you. I do not enjoy pointing out these things, but the devil would like nothing better, than for me to keep quiet and let his crew work on the minds of people who do not know exactly what to believe. I do not try to be offensive, but there are times when being honest, and telling the truth, makes it seem so. I loved Bro. William Branham, and cherish the memory of former days when we fellowshipped together, but we can not let personal feelings prevent us from standing for a true revelation. I respected Bro. William Branham, as God’s prophet, and as the 7th church age messenger. I believe that he fulfilled the last part of Malachi 4:5-6, and I am convinced that he delivered to us a message that will put us all back in the Bible, when we understand what the message is. It will point us back to the faith of our apostolic fathers, and cause us to recognize, and appreciate, every true man of God in these last days.
As the apostle Paul said to the Romans, so say I to you in these last days, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil: cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” We are living in the last days, and Jesus is coming for a church without spot or wrinkle, one that has no blemishes. We must be washed by the word, and Jesus is the one who will do the washing. The spirit of Jesus Christ in His end time ministry will wash the church and get her ready to go, by keeping her bathed with His revelated word