AS WE GO INTO THIS PART OF OUR MESSAGE WE WANT TO SHOW HOW THE AUTHOR OF LIFE DWELLING IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS ACTUALLY CAUSED THEM TO EXEMPLIFY JESUS CHRIST IN THEIR DAILY LIVES, AND SPEAK WITH THE SAME AUTHORITY HE SPOKE WITH. WE WILL FOLLOW THE ROUTE OF THAT ORIGINAL CHURCH AS IT GOES THROUGH ITS PROCESS OF REPRODUCING ITSELF AND RETURNING A PRODUCT JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL. WE WILL SHOW WHY WATER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DEFINITELY IS A PART OF YOUR NEW BIRTH EXPERIENCE, AND IF YOU REFUSE IT, YOU HAVE MISSED THE MARK. YOU WILL ALSO SEE HOW THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND WHY THE WORD ITSELF WAS NOT FLESH.
FIND OUT HOW TO RECEIVE THE PROMISES OF GOD, AND WHY SO MANY FOLKS FAIL TO RECEIVE, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT MEET THE CONDITION THAT PROCEEDS THOSE PROMISES. WE WILL ALSO SPEAK OF WHAT THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE HOLY GHOST ARE, AND ENDEAVOR TO SHOW HOW SATAN HAS COUNTERFEITED THEM AND DECEIVED GREAT MULTITUDES. WE SHOW THE TRUE REVELATION OF A PARABLE THAT HAS BEEN MISAPPLIED ALL THROUGH THE CHURCH AGES WHILE IT WAS USED BY SATAN’S HYBRID CHURCH. THEN, LASTLY, WHAT THE MESSAGE DELIVERED BY BRO. BRANHAM TO THIS AGE WAS MEANT TO ACCOMPLISH.
To continue our message on “Certified Seed,” let us just pick up right where we left off in our last issue. We were talking about what the second Adam (Jesus Christ) was commissioned to do upon the earth. The first Adam failed to carry out his commission upon earth, and that is what necessitated the second Adam’s presence. The first Adam was supposed to reproduce seed with all the qualities that God had created in him, but by the time he reproduced seed, the most important quality of all, was missing. His sons did not have eternal life abiding in them. Why? Because God had replaced it with death, in Adam, and he could only reproduce from what he himself was. He was a son of God because God created him; therefore his sons were sons of God also, but that eternal life of God was not present in them. Instead of reproducing miniature creators that would know how to rule the rest of God’s creation, Adam fathered earth bound sons with a death sentence hanging over them. Now we all know that death is the opposite of life, evil is the opposite of good, and dark is the opposite of light. God is life, God is light, and God is good, but He has an adversary named Lucifer, who is also called Satan, and the devil, who is always represented by darkness because his deeds are evil, and there is no good in him. He was not always such, for God created him perfect, just like He created Adam, perfect. According to Ezekiel 28, he was a beautiful angel of God that allowed his great beauty fo fill his heart with pride and self esteem. His great wisdom was corrupted by his iniquitous motives, to the point where he proclaimed, “I will (I WILL) ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” God cast him down to earth from his high position, never to be restored again, and from that moment on he has worked against God in every way he has imagined to do, and God has allowed it (with certain limitations) to test the faithfulness of every son of God that would ever set foot upon earth. The first son of God that was placed on earth with a certain command, yielded to one of Lucifers evil schemes when he was tested, but in process of time, another Son of God was tested in every area that a man could be tempted, and He yielded not, and therefore became the Redeemer of all God’s lost children. He did not redeem any of the devil’s children; but He paid the price of redemption for every child of God that has been held captive to sin all their lives because of the first Adam’s disobedience. If Adam and Eve would have held to the word of God when they were tested, like Jesus did when He was tested, there never would have been anything running wild and uncontrollable upon earth. God created everything perfect, and only Adam and Eve were given a free will whereby they could choose between the perfect will of God and their own will. Every other living thing was to be controlled by them. Under their control, there never would have been any downbreeding of any seed; neither plant life, animal life, nor human life. When Adam lost control to Satan, everything plunged into a downward trend, and has continued so ever since, with little exception. Only those who have been redeemed through the ages have been checked from their downward course. All of this is a result of death that was imputed to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God’s word. Jesus Christ, the second Adam, had no death in Him, yet He had to taste death for everyone else who would ever be redeemed. There was no perverted nature whatsoever about Him, yet the Bible says He was tempted in all points where we are tempted, yet He yielded to none of it. Satan was allowed to come against the physical side of Jesus in order that he (Satan) might be convinced that there was one Son of God that would not forfeit His original, God qualities. He overcame Satan the exact way that each and every believer is authorized to overcome him; using the written word of God. When Satan tempted Him to turn stones into bread when He was hungry and weak from a forty day fast, He overcame, saying, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” When the devil tried to get Him to cast Himself down from a pinnacle of the temple in order to prove that He was the Son of God, he (the devil) even quoted scripture saying, If you are truly the Son of God, cast yourself down, for it is written, He (God) shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus came right back and said, “It is also written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” That would be just like jumping out into the pathway of a speeding automobile in an effort to prove to someone, that you have a guardian angel watching over you. When you go against the word of God to do a thing like that, you actually forfeit your right to such protection, just like those people who handle snakes trying to prove that they believe St. Mark 16:18. Some of them may handle snakes without ever being bitten. I do not know about that. However I do hear about some of them that do get bitten. You take my word for it, that scripture is not a provision for you to play with snakes. God does not give one scripture that contradicts another one that is already written. Do not allow Satan to trick you into trying to prove that the word of God means what it says. You are not required to prove that God will keep His word. You just obey it, and let God Himself do the proving. If you want God on the scene, just obey His word and He will be there. He never needs to be forced to honor His own word.
WORDS OF AUTHORITY
Jesus Christ the second Adam was man according to the flesh, but He was every bit God in essence of Spirit. He looked no different than any other normal Jew of His day, yet we know that He was not a Jew. He walked the same, combed His hair the same way, wore His clothes like other men, and made no attempt to glorify His flesh like we see so many doing in our day. What was it then, that made people sit up and take notice? It was the words that fell from His lips. Just about every time He spoke, those old scribes and Pharisees would get riled up and cause trouble. How does he know words like that? He never attended the seminary. Praise God! He had the Spirit within Him that all words originated from. He could have gone to their seminaries and taught them a few things. Naturally they did not have anything in the days of Jesus that they called seminaries, but they had that same spirit that today is found in man’s great schools of religion. Those proud Pharisees thought it would be altogether impossible for a man to teach anything about God, if he had not graduated from one of their schools. That same spirit is on your great “Doctors of Divinity” in our day, yet they are the ones that are missing God completely. They have a head full of theories, but no revelation that can get them down from their self-esteem, to the place where God is. Martin Luther was a man that tried desperately to find the peace of God through education. He had a “Doctor of Divinity” degree bestowed upon him, but it was only after he heard the voice of God, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH,” that he began to find out where God is. That eventually caused him to be branded as a heretic, and put his life in danger, even to the point where many thought he would be burned at the stake, but his soul had found refuge. His greatest degree was bestowed upon him by God Himself when He spoke to him by the audible voice. This of course was the beginning of what we call “The Reformation,” as Luther began to protest that system of Catholic dogma. This was God’s avenue whereby He would restore lost truth to the body of Christ, for many others followed Luther’s example and protested that system of religious dogma. It took more than four hundred years, but little by little God restored the church to the place where she would accept a prophet messenger that could set her on a straight course, and get all of this restored truth sorted out, and put together into a pure revelation. Naturally my use of the word church, applies only to those who are willing to be led by God’s Spirit, and definitely not to the church systems of our day. These systems teach that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, but they have no revelation as to how He was God in the flesh. They are hung up on the idea that God is three persons, and they try to reconcile the scriptures which teach that God is one, by saying that all three persons of the god head, agree in one. That is just as pagan as it can be, and yet I was one of them until God got hold of my life and turned me around.
THE AUTHOR OF LIFE
The man called Jesus Christ was God’s original seed for redemption. He lived God, He talked God, He demonstrated God because He was God. Nowhere in the Bible will you ever find any authority to call Him the second person of the Godhead. He is the only PERSON of the Godhead. God, who created all things, is a sovereign Spirit, and not a person. (John 4:24) Of course we realize that the natural mind will not receive divine revelation. It is only the mind that God has dealt with, that can grasp spiritual truth. Anyone that has a sharp mind can memorize what they hear, and tell it as often as they wish. That is what a tare will do when they are sitting among true believers; therefore you cannot tell for sure about a person, by what they say, and God Himself is the only one that can search the heart of man. But time itself reveals a lot to us, for a genuine born again believer will not throw their convictions aside every time the going gets a little rough for them, or when they are faced with a temptation. God never promised us that living for Him would be an easy life, and neither did He promise that we would not be faced with temptation as long as we live. He did promise that we would never be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, without Him making a way for us to escape. (1st Cor. 10:13) Our way of escape from Satan’s temptations and snares was secured for us at Calvary, when Jesus Christ who submitted to none of Satan’s temptations, yielded Himself to be taken by an angry mob and delivered up to be nailed to an old rugged cross. He tasted of death for every man. Not because He yielded to temptation, but because He yielded to Satan’s boastful brag, “I dare you to lay your life down.” By yielding Satan’s terms there, He proved once and for all that He was God, in the flesh of a man. Only the author of life can raise a dead body from the grave, and put life back in it. Jesus said to Martha concerning her brother Lazarus, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) In the verses we just read, and in the verses we are going to read, the sovereign voice of God is heard proceeding from the lips of Jesus; that same “I AM” that spoke to Moses at the burning bush. (Exodus 3:14) In John, chapter 10, beginning with verse 14, we read, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE. (His true sheep do not call Him the second person fo the trinity.) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, (that is all of us Gentiles who believe) and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I LAY DOWN MY LIFE, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I HAVE POWER TO LAY IT DOWN, AND I HAVE POWER TO TAKE IT AGAIN.” Is it any wonder that He could appear to the aged apostle John, when he was banished to the Isle of Patmos because of his personal testimony, and say to him, “I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the first and the last?” (Rev. 1:11) Then in verse 18, we read, “I AM HE THAT LIVETH, AND WAS DEAD, AND, BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN; AND HAVE THE KEYS OF HELL AND OF DEATH.” John was an old man when Jesus appeared to him there on the Isle of Patmos, but one thing is sure; he had carried a revelation in his spirit ever since the days he walked with Jesus through the land of Israel, witnessing the miracles, and hearing what Jesus taught the people that followed Him, so he did not stagger in unbelief when that sovereign voice began to speak from behind him. Brothers and sisters, if you could only realize how important it is for every child of God to have a genuine revelation in these last days, you would not wonder why we dwell so much on certain things. Satan is going to throw everything he has, at you, in these closing days of Gentile time, and your faith in God’s word is going to be put to the test as never before. Much heartache and despair could be avoided if God’s people would just get His word settled in their hearts once and for all. It is sad when God has to turn one of His sons and daughters over to Satan and allow him to destroy their flesh, so to speak, in order to wake them up to the importance of a life of righteousness. Do not allow your understanding of eternal security of the believer, to cause you to be careless with the way you life. Eternal security is a precious doctrinal truth, but it is only applicable to those who believe and obey the word of God. In other words, It is not for those who are forever premeditating to do something that is right on the border line between good and evil. Those early Christians made every effort to depart from everything that had an evil appearance. They did not look to see just what they could get by with. Their faith in Christ set their souls on fire, and they sought to separate themselves from their former ways. It is just like the scripture that says, How can two walk together, except they agree? Saints it does make a difference who you pal around with, both religiously and naturally. Running with a religious person who is sold out to an Antichrist spirit, can be just as harmful as running around with a worldly minded, carnal thinking person. Jesus said, I came that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly. That simply means that a genuine faith in Him will give a person more than just fire insurance to keep them out of hell. I could never make anyone into the image of Jesus Christ, but I can assure you of this much; His word can, if you will obey it from your heart.
ORIGINAL CHURCH REPRODUCING
Jesus said, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, I am the door; therefore whatever can be seen in Him, the church is to be a reproduction of that. Once Jesus arose from the dead, blood had been made available, water had been authorized, and all that was needed then, was the Spirit to quicken it, giving it life. That took place on the day of Pentecost, first with the 120 that had waited in an upper room, and a little later with three thousand other souls that gladly received the gospel. The great eternal Spirit looked upon that 120 that obeyed the voice of Jesus. He knew they truly had come through the blood; they knew why it had been shed. They stood right there and watched it, and in their hearts, they wanted to do exactly what He had told them to do. All they needed was the Spirit, to give life to their revelation, and once they received it, you could not have persuaded them to sell out, for anything in the world. They were originals. They were the absolute first to receive the “born again” experience. They were reproduced from the very living Christ Himself. Let us watch now, how this seed was to reproduce, and keep on reproducing itself. Not genetically, but redemptively. Peter who preached the first sermon after the Spirit was given, did not go to school to learn how to preach. He was an ordinary fisherman before Jesus called him. He talked like a fisherman, and probably smelled like one. In other words, he had no theological degrees. But when he finished preaching his first sermon under the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, three thousand Orthodox Jews were pricked in their hearts. They were educated men, schooled in all the orthodox teaching of Judaism. None of them came expecting anything like that, but after listening to Peter, they became troubled in their souls. Their Judaism could not comfort them. Therefore they cried out to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? If Peter had been like so many preachers I could name, he would have just said, Shake my hand, sign our church register, and be sure you start paying your tithes, and everything will be all right. What did he say? Repent! “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” That is the only salvation formula you can find in the Bible, this side of the cross. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Those that gladly received his word were baptized: and that original church had already reproduced, and grown to more than three thousand souls. Do you think they took any pride in their theology after that? I can just hear them now, as they went back home to their own country, (They were there from at least 16 nations of the world) telling what had happened in Jerusalem, during the time they were there, and how their own lives had been changed by what they saw and heard. Just reading between the lines, you know they had some trouble back home. But what they got was real, therefore they did not chuck it aside, just because of persecution. That is how the Christian faith was carried to many areas of the world, strictly by those who heard the gospel from Peter, there at Jerusalem.
WHY PROPER WATER BAPTISM IS NECESSARY
Now for you that always have the question, Why is baptism essential to our salvation? Let me just plainly remind you that the word of God says it is for the remission of sins. The sin of unbelief is not used in the plural sense. It is always singular, and that is what the shed blood of Jesus Christ cancels out when you become a believer, but the baptism in water is to remit, or cancel out all those sins of your natural life, all those things that you did, and allowed that were contrary to God’s pure way of life. That is why it is reasonable to assume that if a person refuses to be baptized in water, in the name of Jesus Christ, that person has not fully believed the gospel. Repent, and be baptized was Peter’s answer to those who inquired, What shall we do? That was the two conditions layed out to them, and verse 41, tells the rest of the story, there in Acts 2. “Then they that gladly received the word WERE BAPTIZED.” Some have said, I have always lived a good life, and do not feel that I need to repent of anything, nor to be baptized for that reason, for I do not have any of those bad habits. Romans 3:10-11 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Verse 23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Let me just say this straight out, If the Spirit of God is dealing with you, Acts 2:38 should be all you need, to get you started in the right direction, but if you have a self-righteous attitude, you evidently are not being wooed by God’s Spirit, and to immerse you in water would be of no benefit to your soul. When the apostle Peter wrote later, concerning the answer of a good conscience before God, his application was to those who have been under conviction because of sin, and from the heart, they have obeyed the gospel; therefore they have the answer of a good conscience before God. The scriptures teach that we were born with the nature to do wrong. It is hereditary, and there are no exceptions. If it had been possible for men to settle their own sin debt with God, then Jesus gave His life in vain. His sacrificial offering paid the sin debt for lost mankind, all the way back to Adam and Eve. All those of the Old Testament era that obeyed from the heart, the word of God for their day, received the benefit of the redemption price Jesus paid. They looked forward to their promised Redeemer, and since Calvary, all men look back to that finished work that was accomplished there.
GOD AND MAN IN ONE
Modern science is forever studying the chemistry, the biological identity of every living thing, so let us just analyze the New Testament church, and see what it is made up of. It was the product of originality, a produce of God’s own law of redemption. Jesus Christ was none other than the incarnate God, God manifested in human flesh. His sole purpose in taking on that robe of flesh was that He might redeem His people from their sins. You will find that in Matthew 1:21, where the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, concerning Mary’s conception. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” God in human flesh, lived as a man, walked as a man, preached as a man, displayed the characteristics, love and power of God, then willingly went to the cross to die like a man, in the place of fallen man, to become the God of redemption. Naturally it was only the body of flesh that died, for that is what death is, the condition of the body, after the spirit of life has departed from it. People have a tendency to forget that many times, when they hear someone say that Jesus was God. They think only of the flesh, and say, If He had been God, He could not have died. Now, Friend: You must understand first of all, that God is a Spirit. He has never been anything else, and He will never be anything but Spirit. It was not the flesh of Jesus that was God; it was that Spirit of eternal life that was in Him that made Him God. He was both God and man. We have already explained how God created within the womb of Mary, an embryo, that had neither the genes of Mary nor of any man. (She was a virgin.) She carried the child through a normal period of pregnancy, furnishing the necessary elements for its physical body. That gave this Son of God physical substance just like any other human, and from the same source as any other human, yet from the genealogical standpoint He inherited nothing from Mary. His life was the very life of God; therefore it is perfectly accurate to say that He was God and man. Let us notice how John expressed it in his gospel. (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” When you examine those first three verses, all you can possibly find there is a sovereign Spirit, speaking, Let there be light, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, Let there be this, Let there be that, and so on, through six creative days. John laid the foundation there, then moved right on to speak of Jesus Christ who is a full expression of the omnipresent God which created all things by speaking. We pick up with verse 11, and hear John say, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, even to them that BELIEVE ON HIS NAME: (Notice now) Which were BORN, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Now we come to verse 14, (“and the Word was made FLESH, and dwelt among us.”) and that causes a lot of people to associate flesh with verse 1, but there was no flesh in the picture until Mary gave birth to Jesus. The way the Word was made flesh was by God’s spoken Word that created that embryo in the womb of the virgin, Mary. “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Now as many as believe on Him, or receive Him, are given power to become the sons of God, and it is by a birth that is completely of the will of God. That is exactly what happened to the 120 that first received the Holy Ghost. They had believed on Him, but they did not at first have that Spirit of God to give life to what they believed. When they did receive it, that completed their “born again,” by the will of God, experience. From that time on, receiving that life giving Spirit has been automatic to all who obey Acts 2:38, from the heart. Of course we all realize there are a lot of people immersed in water, that never receive the Holy Ghost, but that is because God searches their hearts. God will not give His Spirit to a tare, just because he goes through all the proper channels in a visible way. Jesus expressed it clearly in Matthew 5:6, where He said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” That 120 were hungering and thirsting, and they were filled, and a little later, another 3000 were filled. How do I know? By the word of God. If you believe what is written, every little detail does not have to be spelled out. They asked, “What shall we do?” Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” We then look at verse 41, which says, “Then they that gladly RECEIVED HIS WORD were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them (unto who? The 120 of course) about three thousand souls.” Two things stand out. First they met the condition. That puts the obligation over on God. He then must honor His own word of promise, which we know that He will never fail to do. Secondly they were added to the church, which is the body of Christ, and 1st Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body, (the body of Christ) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
MEET GOD’S CONDITION – RECEIVE HIS PROMISE
Listen to me, Saints: That early church knew who Jesus Christ was. They never argued about whether He was the second person of the trinity or not. If you asked them who He was, you would hear, He is the very God of heaven. There was no such thing as a trinity in those days. It took that Antichrist spirit which came later, to introduce that heathen concept of God. In one of the little epistles of John, he wrote, “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” To break that down, it simply means that anyone who denies the deity of Christ, is of the Antichrist spirit. Paul wrote to the Colossians, (2:9) “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Every characteristic of God was expressed through Him. He was the very manifestation of the invisible God who could not be seen with the natural eye, but for 3 ½ years His disciples walked and fellowshipped with the very God Jehovah, that no man had ever seen. The apostle John opened his first little epistle, talking about that life which was in the beginning, how it was manifested, and how they saw with their own eyes, and handled with their own hands that Word of life. They soon learned that He was the master of every situation, and came to lean upon Him completely. He became their crutch, because they were just natural men who recognized that they were privileged to fellowship with deity. Yet in spite of all that they knew about Him, if He had not sent His Spirit back to indwell them, they would have very soon been scattered to the four winds. Even Peter, the most outspoken one among them, became afraid and denied that he even knew Jesus, the night Jesus was arrested. But ten days after He ascended to heaven, Jesus fulfilled a promise He made to them. (Luke 24:49) ‘And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” They received that promise on the day of Pentecost, a feast day of the Jews that drew people to Jerusalem from many areas of the known world at that time, and when that Spirit got inside of them, suddenly there were 120 disciples of Jesus, who were as brave as lions. No more would Peter hide from the crowd. No more would he deny that he even knew Jesus. When they stepped out into the street speaking in tongues and glorifying God, some of those pious Jews began to mock, and accuse them of being drunk. What did old Peter do? He stood right there in the midst of them, and said, “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” He quoted scriptures to them until he got their attention. Then he came around to Jesus of Nazareth. He said something like this, (You can read it in the 2nd chapter of Acts.) Jesus was approved by God by the many miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you. Yet ye have taken Him, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain, but God raised Him up, loosing the pains of death. Now He is seated at the right hand of God and exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Hearing all that Peter had said in those few minutes by the anointing of the Holy Ghost which was then inside him, the hearts of those three thousand orthodox Jews were pricked with conviction. They knew they had been listening to a voice of authority therefore they cried out, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Their question was the same as what the old Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, twenty years later. Not the exact words, but the same question. He said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They answered, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. They took that opportunity to preach the gospel to him and to all that were in his house. We are in the 16th chapter of Acts right now, and I want you to pay close attention to this next verse, (33) for to me it proves that those early Christians emphasized the importance of proper water baptism in the salvation experience. Notice now. “And he (the jailer) took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” His whole household believed, and was baptized that very night. It was the same with the Ethiopian eunuch that Phillip preached Christ to. The first thing he wanted to do was get baptized. Then those modern day preachers have the nerve to stand up and tell folks that baptism is not essential to their salvation; and that it is just a testimony of what has taken place in their life. Tell me this, Who was this eunuch testifying to? There was no one else around except Phillip. Brother! When you leave out baptism, you have left out an essential part of the gospel. That is why we should not hesitate to answer just like Peter did, “Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, (That is the absolute condition upon which you are promised the gift of the Holy Ghost. First you repent, then you get baptized for the remission of all the unholy deeds of your life.) And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” You do not have to beg God to keep His word. You just meet the condition, and He will automatically perform His part, without you even asking Him to. Genuine faith in God, will lay hold upon a promise from His word, just like Abraham did concerning the son God promised him. Also, genuine faith will see Jesus Christ like Thomas finally did. After he got a chance to see the pierced hands and side of Jesus, he cried out. “My Lord and my God.” Jesus then said to him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: (Believed what? That He is both Lord and God.) Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Every person that has experienced the new birth since those early days of Christianity, has had to depend upon the written testimony of those who did see with their own eyes, but they all had to know who Jesus is, in order to have such an experience. In verses 30 and 31, of the 20th chapter of John, after telling about Thomas, John goes ahead and says that Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, that are not written, “But these are written, that ye (you and I) might believe that JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD; and that believing ye might have life through HIS NAME.” We are living in a day when great multitudes of so called Christians are proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and they are deceived into believing that they are born again because of it, but when you examine their testimony, you find that they look upon Him as the second person of a trinity of Gods, and we know that such a belief about Him in our age, after God has restored the truth of His word, will not produce the new birth. You can turn on your radio or television on Sunday morning, and hear a dozen different versions of what they call the gospel of Christ, yet there is only one true revelation to be preached about Him.
PERVERTED SEED MARS PURE REVELATION
In the first age of Christianity, every apostle, every prophet, every evangelist, pastor and teacher that went out, preached and taught the same thing. Of course they used their own words, but the revelation was exactly the same. They sowed good seed and God’s law of reproduction produced a good crop. They had no Christian seminaries to go to; any man who felt a true calling of God upon his life for the ministry, just sat right in his local assembly until such time as his calling was vindicated by God. He did not have to run off to a school somewhere, to learn how to preach; he just kept his place in his local assembly until his revelation of the gospel was complete, and then, the Holy Ghost in him already knew how to preach, or teach, or whatever his ministry was to be. Every local assembly was taught the same thing; therefore it was not necessary for anyone to go looking for a better place to learn about God. In those days the devil tried to use Judaism to kill all the Christians, and when that did not work for him, he used Paganism in an effort to kill all of them, but the harder he tried, the more they ran into the arms of Jesus. As many of those Christian martyrs died, they could be heard crying out, “Jesus, forgive them, they know not what they do.” The stubborn will of those old pagans began to be broken down, and the Holy Ghost would get hold of them, and bow their heads, and bend their knees, and bring them to the plan of salvation. They could not conquer that early church, because Christ was in it. They lived and demonstrated the power of God just like Jesus did, before the devil finally succeeded in his plan to sow perverted seed among them. That is what I meant earlier, when I said, that the devil did the same thing to the body of Christ, the second Adam, that he did to Eve who was from the body of the first Adam; he managed to plant a wrong seed in her, that kept her (the church) from reproducing herself according to the original pattern. We have said many times, that the church at Ephesus was the model church. Those other six, found in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, were all lit from the gospel fire that burned at Ephesus during the more than two years Paul preached there. In Acts 19:10, we are told that all Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus during that time, both Jews and Gentiles, so Ephesus was the model church. But by 96 A.D. when the Lord appeared to John, on the Isle of Patmos, the church at Ephesus had already begun to depart from their pure revelation. Something had drawn their attention away from their first love. They were instructed to remember from whence they had fallen, and repent, and return to their first works; or else. They had already been receiving seed from that Antichrist spirit, and it was seed of death, just like Eve received through the serpent when she was still pure. That Nicolaitan doctrine, through a gradual process, sowed death among them until by 325 A.D., the church was in so much confusion and turmoil, that the old Roman emperor Constantine, called together a council to establish doctrine for the church to be guided by. That is commonly referred to as the Nicaea Council. What a tragedy! There they had a carnal minded old Roman emperor presiding over a disputable number of bishops, somewhere between 270 and 318 in number, and they had met there at Nicaea to deal with Arianism, which is referred to as a fourth century heresy. The trinity teaching did not originate at the Nicene Council, for in 318 A.D. a fellow named Arius began teaching a doctrine that became known as Arianism. He denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, and claimed that He was only a creature, made out of nothing like all other created beings; therefore He could not be God. He asserted that there is only one person in the godhead, and that one person is the Father. He said very little of the Holy Spirit, except to deny that He is God. It is easy to understand why there was confusion in the churches, when a fellow teaching something like that, had already gained a following. It just goes to show how the devil can pervert things when he is given any right of way at all. Now Arius had something in him that caused him to know that God was not three person, but he no doubt, tried to straighten it out by carnal reasoning; therefore his doctrine was just as detrimental to the truth, as the trinity teaching could ever be. Christianity is founded upon the revelation that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh. If you take away His divinity, you have no foundation left. Even Constantine knew that, and he thought he would get it settled once and for all. That is why he called the council together at Nicaea. They branded Arius as a heretic, and adopted terminology that declared the Son of God to be of the same substance as the Father. Over a period of years they finally got their trinity doctrine worked out, but we always point back to 325 A.D. as the year that Satan struck what he thought was a death blow to the church. He succeeded in getting all those bishops to sign a universal creed, that was void of revelation, and only a half truth, and therefore such a church could never again reproduce anything that would resemble the original church in Acts. Death has struck the church. You all know what happens when seed is cast into the ground; it dies. God’s law makes that a natural process. It dies from its original identity. Now let us go right back to St. Mark 4:26, and read that scripture again. Then we will go to St. John 12:24, and catch another one to complete the thought. Notice, “And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” There are some key words in these four verses that can open your understanding. First, He said the kingdom of God is like this. Now we have already settled it; the kingdom of God is His church. Alright, so God knew, when He planted the church on the day of Pentecost that it would go through a process of death, but He also knew He had set a law of reproduction in motion. Any seed planted in the ground would eventually reproduce itself back to the original. (Now saints if you are following the thought, you are beginning to see that what happened to the church was no surprise to God.) What did Jesus say? First comes the blade, or stalk. No farmer ever plants corn or wheat just to harvest a stalk that springs forth from it. That simply points to the fact that Jesus was not going to return for the rapture of the church in the days of Martin Luther, nor John Wesley, nor any other of those leaders of the Reformation. That was the stalk from which a replica of the original church would come later. But please notice the real point of verse 29. “When the fruit is brought forth, IMMEDIATELY he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” When the true church of the living God is finally restored back to the very image of the original seed that was present in the book of Acts, she will not be left around very long for Satan to tamper with. “IMMEDIATELY HE PUTTETH IN THE SICKLE, BECAUSE THE HARVEST IS COME.” Remember, Jesus used this parable to show what the kingdom of God would be like.
MULTIPLICATION OF A GOOD SEED
The more I think about how hard the devil has worked for 6000 years, against the plan of God, the more wrapped up I become, for I can see that in spite of all the efforts of Satan and his carnal gang of perverts, God is still going to have what He set out to have in the beginning. Satan has made a mess out of everything along the way, and in the midst of all of it, God has still been able to receive glory and honor unto Himself, in one way or another. It thrills me to see how God is going to have a finished product, just exactly the way it is portrayed right here in His book. When you read and realize how much of what at one time was prophesy, and now it is history, it makes those prophesies that are yet to be fulfilled even more exciting. We are living in an age when just about every time you turn on the national news, it just makes the prophesies of the Bible come right up before your eyes, and when you take a good look at this world of religion, you can certainly understand what Jesus was talking about in the parable of the tares that was sown among the wheat, or the children of the wicked one, that was planted among the children of the kingdom of God. Let us read that one verse from John 12:24 now, and see if we get it connected up with our thought. Jesus spoke these words just a short time before He was to be arrested, and later crucified. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” This parable spoke of His own death that would soon be a reality to those that loved Him, yet there was no way for them to know that at the time. We read it, and it is so clear to us. He was God’s original seed that was to be planted in the earth, and from that one seed, God’s law of reproducing with increase, would raise up many seed in His place. A grain of wheat just laid up someplace, would never reproduce itself. It would remain singular as long as it was left there. Yet if you take it, and plant it in the ground, a law of God will go to work on it, and the first thing you know, you have a whole handful of seed from the life of that one seed. Do you see what a beautiful picture Jesus actually painted here? The first crop from that one seed amounted to one hundred and twenty, and the first crop from that 120 amounted to about three thousand. Praise God! This was CERTIFIED SEED. It was guaranteed to reproduce a good crop. Hallelujah! There the life went out of Jesus, as He hung there with a cruel mob watching, but just a little over seven weeks later, that life was being demonstrated through 120 souls that were exemplifying the very likeness, the very characteristics, and attributes that were in Jesus. This is what the seed of the woman had reproduced. They were certified, just like He was. Their parental background was registered in heaven. Through redemption they were exact copies of the original seed. Their revelation was pure, their motives and outlook on life was the same as His, and God was so interested in keeping that seed pure in those days, He even killed two people just for lying. Satan could not tamper with the pure revelation that was in that first generation of Christians. He killed a lot of them, but he could not pervert their revelation. They went into the ground glorifying God. Jesus Himself had demonstrated to them how to die with dignity. Hanging there on the cross, He cried out, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. It must have tore the hearts out of His disciples who witnessed the events of that day. The very one they had placed so much confidence in, coming to such an end. What they failed to understand from what He had taught them, was that this was not the end; it was the beginning of God’s great redemption process. He knew that He must die, in order for that life in Him to spring forth in others, but they had not understood that.
MEETING THE RESURRECTED JESUS
Those two fellows that Jesus communed with on the road to Emmaus were a good example of how His disciples were affected. Jesus came up beside them as they walked along talking about all the things that had happened, and said to them, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? Cleopas answering Him, said, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast thou not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And He said unto them, What things? (He was really giving them a chance to tell it all.) And they said unto Him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” (They had their mind on a material kingdom, and their hopes were shattered by His crucifixion.) Jesus let them talk on for awhile, and then He said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” Then He started with the writings of Moses, and expounded the scriptures to them of all the things that were written of Him, and they still did not recognize Him until He sat down to eat with them, and when He blessed the bread and brake it, and gave some to them, their eyes were opened, and they knew who He was. He then vanished out of their sight, and left them to talk among themselves again, but now their conversation is different than before. Listen to them. “Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” They are all stirred up now, and head right back to Jerusalem, to all the apostles. Then while they are telling what happened, Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of them saying, “Peace be unto you.” But it scared them half to death. They thought they had seen a Ghost. He finally got them settled down a little, by showing them His hands and His feet, where they had been pierced. He ate some fish and honeycomb they gave Him, and then He took them right to the scriptures saying, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.” After taking them through the many scriptures that spoke of Him, He then opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, (we are in Luke 24:46) “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that REPENTANCE and REMISSION OF SINS should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” After telling them what was to be done for the benefit of lost mankind, He reminded them that they were witnesses of all that had taken place in those days, and then said unto them, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” After speaking these words, He led them out as far as Bethany, lifted up His hands, and blessed them, and while He blessed them, He ascended up into heaven. He left those disciples standing there gazing up into the heavens. Two angels, which were in their midst also, said unto them, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) It is no wonder all those first century saints expected Jesus to return in their life time. After witnessing the fact that He had risen from the dead, why would they not expect Him to return immediately to finish all that they knew the Messiah was supposed to do? Nevertheless they returned to Jerusalem according to His instructions, to wait for the promise of the Father, and during those days they chose Matthias to take the place of Judas with the other eleven apostles.
ENTERING THE BODY OF CHRIST
In the first chapters of the book of Acts we see this great process starting. These disciples of Jesus have a commission to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name, among ALL NATIONS, beginning at Jerusalem, but they had to wait for something they did not yet have. In Acts 1:5, we read where Jesus said to them, concerning the promise of the Father, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” When they began questioning Him about the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, He answered, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” By this, they knew they were to receive the Holy Ghost, but they still did not know what kind of an experience to look for, so they just went back into the city and waited, like He told them to do. I do not know what they did with their time, while they waited, but I imagine they spent a lot of time rehearsing the events of the past few days, and in prayer. One thing we do know, though, ten days later, when the day of Pentecost had dawned, they were all assembled together in an upper room, (about 120 souls) and they were all in one accord, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing might wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Here comes the promise of the Father, so let us notice what happened. (Acts 2:1-4) “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, (not unknown tongues) as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Now they were ready to preach. They had all the degrees and diplomas they needed. Jesus had taught them for 3 ½ years concerning the scriptures, and now they have the same Spirit in them, that was in Him. When they went out to preach, it was actually Jesus Christ still working. The only difference was that He was using different vessels. It was His Spirit, unfolding His nature, displaying His characteristics, His attributes, and such like, and wherever they went, people knew they had been with Jesus. Furthermore, not a single one of them had been to school to learn how to preach. They had the preacher inside of them; all they had to do was let him do the talking, just like Peter did, when he went to the house of Cornelius, in Acts 10. No one had instructed him, how he should preach the gospel to this group of Gentiles. Up until then, Jews and Gentiles had no dealings with each other, but the spirit had said to Peter, Arise and go with the men that seek thee, doubting nothing, for I have sent them. Brothers and sisters, it is such a shame in our day, if you even mention being a minister, the first question you hear is, What school did you go to? I will never forget something that happened while we were still in the Methodist church. Our student pastor was going to take another church, and that would leave us to get someone else. Some of the people said to me, Bro. Jackson: Would you take the pastorate, if we talk to the district superintendent, and get his approval? I said that I would, and when Sunday afternoon rolled around, time for the spring conference, the district superintendent came down. The men from different churches talked to him, and finally, some of them came out where I was, and said, we are sorry Bro. Jackson, but he would not consent to it. He said the Indiana Methodist conference had ruled that all upcoming preachers, seeking a pastorate, must have at least two years of college, or so much seminary training. In other words, they must be trained for the job. I went home from that meeting, very discouraged, knowing that I had no educational degree to offer on my behalf. I did not know any Greek, nor Hebrew, but I did know what my Lord had done in my own life. So down in the old cow stable that evening, just before time to get ready to go to church that night, I looked right up through all the spider webs, and everything in that old barn, and said, Lord, if that is the way it has to be: I will never preach again as long as I live. But I will do my best to live for you, no matter what. I said, Lord, I just do not believe I need to go off to school somewhere, in order to be able to tell people how to become a child of God. That very night, I had a dream from the Lord. Jesus came to me in that dream, and let me know that I was going to receive the Holy Ghost. Days passed, and I did not know for sure what it was all leading up to. Then it began to dawn upon me that I was on my way out of the Methodist church. In reality, I was really on my way in, into the body of Christ. You know what 1st Cor. 12:13 says. We have read it many times. “For by one Spirit (the Holy Ghost) are we all baptized into one body, (the body of Christ) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” If you have never had that baptism, you are not in the body of Christ. Saints, I am so glad He saw fit to deal with my life like He did. I appreciate it from the depths of my heart. It just goes to show, that God is still running His program; man only thinks he is running it for Him. Natural men take the time to get the whole program legislated, and recorded on the books. They set up their rules and regulations, how the whole system is going to operate and be disciplined, and by the time they get all of that done, God has already gone off and left them. But by then, they are so busy with their rituals, they do not even realize that He is no longer among them. That is why Revelation 3:20, portrays Jesus standing outside the door of Laodicea, knocking. The Laodicean age has programmed the Spirit of God right out of the picture. It has come down to an individual thing. Notice what He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any MAN (or person) hear my voice, and open the door, (that would be the door to your heart,) I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” The church systems will not let Him in. He is locked out. But, thank God, those who are on the inside, and hear Him knocking at the door, can let Him into their own personal life. That would be those who, even though they are still sitting in those systems, they are disturbed, they have a gnawing hunger in their spirit for something they are not receiving. They hear what is going on, but they have their ears tuned for some other sound, somewhere, and when they hear that knock on the door: praise God, they are ready to respond. “Raymond Jackson, you come, and go with me.” That is exactly how it happened. He let me know that I could no longer stay in that Methodist church, going their way, to serve Him. “God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit, and in truth.” You just simply cannot do that, as long as you are trying to keep up with the programs of some church system. When you find that straight and narrow way that leads to life, it will always lead you out of spiritual Babylon.
MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST
As we return to our main thought now, just remember this; when you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you have received the selfsame Spirit that was the life of Jesus Christ; therefore it ought to begin to do in you, what it did in Him. It caused Him to order His whole life, completely submitted to the will and purpose of God. When that 120 disciples came out of that upper room speaking in tongues and glorifying God, no one looked at any of them, and said, There is Jesus Christ. No. Physically, they were still who they always were, but inside them, was the same God that had been in Jesus, when He walked with them. The only difference was in their genetics. Physically they still had fallen attributes, but spiritually, they were just like Jesus, “CERTIFIED.” In them, was God’s Spirit, God’s life, God’s nature, God’s characteristics, and it was all being demonstrated wherever any of them went. When the apostle Paul told the Romans that the kingdom of God was not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, he said a mouth full. There is no real comparison, that the human mind can comprehend. Trying to visualize how a sovereign, holy, righteous God would pick up an old drunk, out of the gutter, clean him up, and allow him to become a temple of God, is almost more than the natural mind can cope with, but, Glory to God, it is a reality. Those twelve apostles of Jesus were just plain men, fishermen, tax collectors, and such like. The religious people of their day probably would not have given them the crumbs from their table, to keep them from starving to death. Yet Jesus, knowing their hearts, called them to follow Him, and in three and one half years of time, they became spiritual giants. They knew more about God than all the Scribes and Pharisees put together. They never found it necessary to put on long robes, and stand on the street corner, praying long prayers, nor any of the other ritualistic practices of those pious religious leaders who were supposed to be representing God to the people of their day. None of these men stood out in any great way until after they received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. After that, the picture really changed. We have already talked about Peter’s sermon there in the streets of Jerusalem where the first three thousand believed and were baptized. Next we see Peter and John, on their way into the temple to pray, and they stopped to heal a lame man that had been lame all his life, and that gave Peter an opportunity to preach another sermon. It got them locked up over night, but another five thousand souls believed the gospel. The following day, when they were brought before the high priest and his kindred for questioning, the rulers of the Jews asked them, “By what power, or by what name have ye done such a thing?” Just listen to the fellow that tried to hide the night Jesus was arrested, for fear of these same rulers, but here he is a short time later standing right in the midst of the whole gang of them, full of the Holy Ghost, and ready to meet them every one head on. Acts 4:8, we pick up his answer. “Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. (Notice how personal he gets with his words.) This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Peter laid the word on that gang of seminary graduates, just like Jesus did, over in the 8th chapter of John. When the session was over they turned Peter and John loose, but they commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, Judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Brother, they had something shut up inside them, that would not let them keep quiet. Every time a door was opened, out came the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just to show you how these “certified seed” reproduced, let us notice two or three verses in the 5th chapter of Acts. After Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost, and were struck dead in their tracks, great fear came upon the church, and upon all that heard of their fate. Those people knew that if they were not genuine, they had better stay clear of what was going on. There were no make-believers in that crowd. Verse 12, “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (just like it was when Jesus walked among them. He was still doing the same works among the people, but through many different vessels of clay, instead of just one.) And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them; but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” We will not read any farther, but this is where they brought their sick folks out into the streets on beds, hoping that at least the shadow of Peter might overshadow some of them as he passed by. People possessed with all kinds of unclean and evil spirits were brought into the midst of them from other cities round about Jerusalem, and they were all healed. By this time the church numbered into the thousands. But you know what happened; Satan’s gang arrested them again, put them in prison without even a trial. That night, the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said to them, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” Early the next morning they went right to the temple and taught the people, just like they were instructed to do. Later, when the high priest and his council finally found them, and had them brought before the council, the high priest said, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? Now you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Do you know what their answer was? “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Those apostles started right in, and preached another little short sermon that cut those pious Jews to the heart. This gang did not repent though; they had murder in their eyes. They began trying to find a way to slay them. They could not do it openly because of the multitude of believers. By the counsel of one of their notable doctors of the law, they decided to just beat them, and turn them loose, commanding them not to speak in the name of Jesus anymore. They left that council rejoicing because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. Then they went right back to the temple, and in every house where they could, and continued to teach and preach Jesus Christ. The only thing that could stop those first age Christians from preaching and testifying about Jesus Christ, was death itself. Satan did not have enough threats to shut them up.
LIFE ITSELF DOES NOT DIE
Some people feel that the church is already restored back to its original image, and others believe that we are foolish, even to expect that it ever will be. I have news for both groups. What we have just read, showing the reality of the living Christ in those early disciples is all we need, to know that the church has not yet been brought back to its original image, and the scriptures we are using from St. Mark 4:26-29, is all we need to know that it will be restored to that image, before the rapture (harvest) takes place. I am criticized and ridiculed because I teach like this, but I am fully persuaded by the scriptures, that before the church of the living God is ever taken to glory, she will again have literal, living apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, just like she did in that first age. She started out a perfect church, and she will end up a perfect church. That is exactly what Jesus was setting forth in that parable. Brother Branham did not have to say so; Jesus had already said it. We are going to take that parable step by step, and by the help of God, show you exactly what Jesus meant by what He said, and show you what part Bro. William Branham’s message to this age, played in the overall picture. Some of you believe that Bro. William Branham’s message was to perfect the church, but I hope to show you just exactly what it did do, as we once again look at this parable. (Mark 4:26-29) “So is the kingdom of God, (the church) as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Since Jesus used this agricultural parable to set forth a spiritual truth: if we are to understand that truth, we must follow the life of that seed corn through its process of reproduction. Literally, when you plant corn, it is just a few days until you see the little green shoots coming forth from the ground, so to make an application to the church, that sleeping and rising night and day has to be that people from generation to generation will fall asleep, and others will rise to fill their place, and then they will fall asleep in like manner. But through the whole process, the life of God which has been set in motion, never dies. It is destined to bring forth life in some kind of identity. Alright, so it should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how. When you study the natural vegetative life, you do not know exactly what goes on, down there in the soil. About the only thing you know about it, from the time you plant it until you see it coming up again, in another form, is that it first dies. Once it dies, then that life that was in it comes back in another form. It never looks like the original at first; any farmer knows that. But you give it time, and I promise you, it will return to its original likeness. “The earth bringeth forth fruit of herself.” That means that the earth has within it the potential, the elements, the nutrients, so that when certain established seed laws are met, those elements will respond and give forth that which is required. God knowing that there were other predestined souls to come forth in this world of lost mankind, just let the right seed fall to the ground. Hallelujah! From that original seed, others are destined to come forth, that will rise to walk in newness of life, and in the fellowship and likeness of Jesus Christ.
EXAMINING A STALK OF CORN
Two thousand years ago when the true gospel hit this pagan, Gentile world, sinners began coming to it, because the elements were lying right there. The Jews had already received it, for it was presented to them first, according to the foreknown plan of God. Not every Jew, but those that were predestined. As we examine this parable, we immediately discover that Jesus did not break it down to show every detail. He just gave a general picture. “First the blade.” That is not to mean that it has just one blade. No matter whether you are talking about wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, or whatever, the blade here, mean, the stalk. A stalk of corn will usually have 4, 5, or 6 blades on it. A little stalk of wheat 3, 4, or 5, but never just one. He simply uses the word blade to show that the stalk comes before the ear, and the ear is the head, where the grain is going to appear. The ear itself is a general term, whether you are dealing with wheat or corn. With corn you are dealing with a cob, but with wheat, oats, or barley, you are dealing with what is called the head. This is the area where the kernels will form, which is actually the multiplied seed that you are waiting to harvest. Again, I ask you plainly, Why would Jesus use such an infallible, parabolic illustration, to tell us what the church is likened unto, if in reality the church is not going to return completely to its apostolic likeness? Any preacher who has the Holy Ghost ought to be able to study the parables of Jesus concerning the kingdom of God, and settle his mind on the fact that God is going to harvest a church that is exactly like the one that we read of in the first chapters of the book of Acts. Not only doctrinally, but every fiber of it, all of what it is made of. “First the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear.” There are two different realms of vegetative growth involved here. Once the law of nature establishes that last blade on the stalk, you could never pour enough fertilizer and water around it, to cause it to put forth another blade. The law of life in that stalk will not allow it. The next thing is the head or cob, whether it is wheat, or corn. But even after the complete ear or head is formed, it still has a cycle of maturing to go through before it is harvested. Let us just look at a stalk of corn for a minute. After the last blade has formed on the stalk, and you see a little tassel forming in the top, look down below the top blade and you will see a little thing forming there. We call it a shoot. Right there, is where the ear is going to be. As you watch from day to day that little ear gets larger and larger. Do you know what is happening? There is a little hard thing forming inside, called a cob. We do not plant corn just to get a cob, but we have to accept the cob as part of the reproductive process. Neither do we plant corn, to get a tassel, but we have to accept it anyhow. Farmers have to be able to recognize what is taking place, lest they become disillusioned by what they see in their fields. It is the same with this parable. The Holy Ghost in any born again believer, should cause them to realize that we are living in a day when there are changes taking place in the realm of religion, and those changes are not giving life to Catholicism. Neither are they giving life to Protestantism either. You can pray and fast until you drop dead, but you will never see those denominational church revived again. Methodism is dead. It is a dead blade. So is the Baptists. Oh, Brother Jackson, you must be wrong; we just built a new church building, and we are getting new members every week. I don’t care if you did, nor if you get ten thousand members, your system is a dead blade; it will never have life again. You cannot force something beyond the laws that God has set to govern it. Looking right back to the parable and to the stalk of corn, I promise you this, When the kernels begin to appear on those corn cobs, death is striking that stalk. It starts at the bottom and works its way up. Then, “When the fruit is brought forth, (that means when it reaches its matured stage) immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Brothers and sisters, that word harvest has no reference whatsoever to lost souls. It applies to the reaping of the finished product. The finished product incorporates lost souls; that is what it is all about, but it is lost souls that have been found by the preaching of the gospel, and they have been washed by the water of the word of God, and brought to a perfected stage. Therefore we must establish in our minds, the fact that Jesus used this parable in reference to the overall kingdom of God that would go through such a cycle of death, and then be restored to its original perfectness and caught up to heaven. Naturally when we speak of the early church being perfect, we are not speaking of perfect flesh of anyone other than Jesus Himself. But their revelation, their doctrine, their outlook and potential was just exactly what God wanted. That is why we can say that the seed that was planted back there was certified. It was pure in every aspect, because it came right out from the life of God. As for the flesh side of the individuals that made up the church, it will take on its perfection in the resurrection, when He harvests the whole church. Therefore let all who read this message; be aware of the fact that God’s first concern is to get our inner man cleaned up and get us looking heavenward. Then He can talk to use and lead us so that we bear fruit of the Spirit of our creator. That is just the opposite of our former estate where we were on a continual downward course of decay and debotchery, following after Satan’s evil devices. When He gets us looking up, yearning and thirsting to be more God-like, then He can talk to us supernaturally. He never talks to anyone through theology, He has nothing to do with any of that.
SATAN’S HYBRID RELIGION
After poor old Martin Luther had completely exhausted himself studying Catholic theology, and wore out ever so many pairs of pants crawling around, in his prayer rituals, he became so disheartened that he was actually weeping inwardly, and that is when God spoke to him supernaturally, “Martin Luther: The just shall live by faith.” It had been right there in the Bible all along, but it had to be quickened (made alive) to him. That true revelation made all of his theology useless. That is why he went and sold everything, and bought the field where the treasure had been lost. He no longer needed all that ritualistic junk. In other words, we could say he had a yard sale. Of course we get this from one of the parables Jesus spoke, found in Matthew 13:44, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” You remember when we were explaining the hybrid process with corn, I said that every now and then you would find a stalk in a field of nice corn, that had actually produced a little bunch of kernels that looked just like the maize the Indians raised. In other words after all that hybridizing, every now and then, out comes something that resembles the original product that you started with. After Satan had hybridized the church for over a thousand years, trying to breed out any genuine Godlike quality that was in it, out popped Martin Luther with something that resembled the original. If the devil had not been allowed to throw the church off course, she would have been gone a long time ago, but it was in God’s purpose to allow it to go like it did, because of predestined souls of this 20th century. Satan crossbred the original seed as it began to die, and as a result he came up with a church system that has been a mockery to God’s original for over a thousand years. When we were talking earlier about how you get a hybrid seed, you will recall that I said, a hybrid seed is not produced in just one year; you have to keep replanting and remating with something that has the desired qualities you want in your seed. That is exactly what Satan did with the church. He kept on planting and replanting until he bred out the one God revelation, and came up with three Gods. That fulfilled the parable where Jesus said, Let them grow together, or we will say, It put the parable in effect. There you had a condition where true seed and perverted seed had to exist side by side, but Satan saw to it, that Christianity was pollinated with every kind of perverted doctrine that his evil mind could produce. Out of his cross breeding emerged the Catholic church. Catholicism is Satan’s hybrid religion. There is very little, if anything at all, that resembles Biblical Christianity. You certainly cannot say that the five fold ministry in the apostolic church was a priesthood, so how come Catholicism produced one? You do not read where the early apostles imparted the Holy Ghost to believers by placing a little wafer on their tongues, so why do the Catholic priesthood go about it that way? If those poor souls receive any spirit at all, it is a spirit of paganism. Catholicism is a cross between the foundation of Christianity and ancient paganism. They took the original gospel and just kept on pollinating it with perversion until a trinity came up in place of one God. Sprinkling in the titles of their trinity came up in the place of immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every major doctrine of the Bible was bred out of that hybrid seed. Predestination, eternal security, holiness, baptism of the Holy Ghost, true repentance, all of what made that early church perfect, had been bred out of what stood in the place of that early church. As a result, the world went through the darkest period of human history, commonly known as the Dark Ages. They laid down the sword of the Spirit, (the word of God) and took up a literal sword. You have read of the so called Christian crusades. Those poor souls either had to become a Catholic, or have their heads cut off. About seven miles from where Bro. Strommen lives, in Norway, is where the king of Norway fought against the Catholics that had been converted. (Every year they have a reenactment of that.) Those that had been converted to Catholicism were going to force Catholicism throughout all of Norway, and their king refused to become one of them. That is how carnal minds read Matthew 28:19-20. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” They went out with literal swords instead of the sword of the Spirit, to make disciples of every nation. But like every other hybrid seed, if you keep on planting it, every now and then an odd ball will pop out. That odd ball that popped out somewhere around 1480 and 1490, was Martin Luther. That just goes to show that no matter how dark it gets, God will always preserve a little glimmer of light somewhere. Out of all that hybrid seed, here was one that showed traces of that ancient nature of the original seed. He was going back to the old open pollinated nature, which is God’s law of genetics in force. The church that died way back there, had put out a new shoot from the ground, and here was the first blade. Brothers and sisters, let me remind you again, as I have before; that a parable does not cover every detail of what it is setting forth, so just remember this, take the profile and allow the Holy Ghost to fill it in for you. With this stalk of corn we can only give you a profile of the route the church followed from its inception right on through the ages, but I am persuaded that there is much truth revealed in these parables. Pay close attention to the process of growth and maturity, and you will be able to understand why some of the people you have had so much confidence in, through the years, have fallen by the way side. You must remember, that if Jesus used such a parable to show the route of the church through time, there has to be people fulfilling every phase of this reproduction process. On a stalk of corn, you have the blades, the shucks, the cobs, and the tassels that will never be harvested as the product for which you planted the seed. Even the pollination that once had its place right at the top of the stalk, after it has served its purpose, falls to the ground and rots. I am telling you this ahead of time in order that you can be more mindful of what is taking place as we follow the growth of that stalk of corn.
BLADES AND SHUCKS
Satan had his Millennium; one thousand years of darkness, death to the true church. That original seed laid in the ground a long time, but just as the parable says, “The earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, (stalk) then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” What is it? It is that law of life recycling, and brother, you can never get reincarnation out of this, for it comes back to exactly what it was in its original. All right, so here is Martin Luther, the first blade on that stalk, with justification by faith. A little later, you see another blade on the stalk. That is John Calvin, with eternal security of the believer. Then another, John Knox with predestination. Then around 1700, John Wesley with sanctification of the believer. Now none of this actually measures up to what it was in the book of Acts, but within it is that potential. Just let it grow and watch what happens. If you will try to visualize an actual stalk of corn, you will get another lesson, for each of those blades go in their own direction out from the stalk. Is that not what happened with these restored truths that all belonged to the same body of believers? Each reformer had a following that took his revelation, and pulled off to themselves and built a fence around what they had. But that was right in line with the parable, for the blades on a corn stalk stand out there nice and green and full of life until that life is needed in the actual ear of corn that will form on the stalk later. God used those various movements to carry the life of that original church, though none of them had anything more than just fragments of the original. Out of every one of those movements, came some genuine believers that walked in all the truth that was available to them in their day, and God accepted them. Like we said earlier in the message, God never requires more from anyone, than what they have access to. It is those that flatly refuse to move on with God, that He goes off and leaves. He just lets them run their little programs and reproduce as many like them as they can, but they can never produce a son of God. Most of what you see out here in this world of religion is nothing more than spiritual abortion and miscarriages. The birth that they get so excited about is illegitimate birth. They have been playing around with Satan. Bro. Jackson, why would you say a thing like that? Simply because the apostle Paul said it first. He was the apostle to the Gentiles, and wrote more of the New Testament epistles than anyone else, and when he wrote to the Hebrew assembly, (Heb. 12:6-8) he said this. “For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” That simply means, you are church members, with a religious philosophy, and religious ideas, but it is all carnal, you do not have the reality of the Spirit of God that it takes to give life. I do not say that to deliberately hurt anyone; I am only interested in telling you what the Bible says. Time has proven that you can take any truth, and go to extremes with it, and miss God altogether. Therefore some took Calvin’s eternal security, and allowed the Spirit of God to keep them in the middle of the road with it, and God accepted them, but those who just made a legalistic doctrine out of it, God rejected. It is as simple as that. It was the same with Knox’s predestination, and Wesley’s sanctification. Wesley accepted what God had been restoring through these other men, but he added, “We believe also, that without peace and holiness no man shall see the Lord.” A man who truly believes, should separate himself from the filthy practices of the world and live a holy life before the Lord. That is what Wesley taught and it sparked a great move of God. That was your fourth blade pushing out there on the stalk. It wasn’t very long until that blade fulfilled its purpose and came to a standstill though. When it became obvious that Methodism wasn’t going any further, out came another blade, the Nazarenes, which actually came out from Methodism, and then, another, Pilgrim Holiness. All the blades were getting into position on the stalk. What is it? The church of the living God, coming back to its original. Hallelujah! Back to its open pollinated identity. She is no longer a hybrid; she is leaving that. Oh, Satan is still planting, but he did not get these others cut down, and they kept on growing. Then out on the end of all that, came what is known as the Pentecostal revival. This was not blades. This was the little shucks beginning to appear on the upper portion of the stalk. (Follow my thought now.) As these little shucks begin to appear we can say, Right there is where the corn will be. But in reality: there is nothing at all present yet, that even resembles corn. For years though, Pentecost actually believed they were that actual original, in likeness, all because they spoke in tongues. Brother, the world is full of people who speak in tongues, today, but they are a far cry from any apostolic identity. That original church did not major on speaking in tongues; their main objective was to be just like Jesus.
TONGUES AND EDUCATION – TWO DECEIVERS
Saints: There are two or three things that I mention quite a bit, and some of you may get the idea that I am against them completely; therefore let me take a moment to assure you that, first of all, I am not against a person getting an education. Everyone should, if they have the opportunity. I am only against the idea that education means anything to God. There are not enough educational degrees in this world to draw you any closer to God than someone else who maybe can just barely read and write a little. That is all I ever mean to imply when I say something along that line. Secondly, I very often say something about all this emphasis that is placed upon speaking in tongues, and some of you may think I am against that, but I am not. Speaking in tongues is a genuine gift of the Holy Ghost, and it has its place in the life of a born again believer, but shame on you, if you believe speaking in tongues proves that you have the Holy Ghost. Demons speak in tongues more than the Holy Ghost ever does, because it is one of Satan’s avenues of deception. Even this character that publishes one of these smut magazines, speaks in tongues and thinks he received the Holy Ghost, but how much is their tongue speaking changing their lives? That is my question. If what they received was a new birth experience, it will clean their lives up, pull them out of spiritual Babylon, and away from sodomy, and every other perversion of God’s original. God does not need pictures of naked women and men, and all those filthy stories to return His true church back to its original identity. The sad truth about it all, is that Christendom as a whole has drifted so far from God, they do not even care any more. That is why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that God would send strong delusion on those that have no love for the truth, that they might believe Satan’s lie and be damned. When people get so careless, or so obsessed with their religious rituals, that they have no love for truth, nor for God’s standard of holiness, God Himself will send delusion upon them, and they will think everything is alright, when in truth, they are on the threshold of spiritual disaster. I hate to say it, but there are thousands like that, all around you, wherever you go. They will talk religion with you, but they will not accept revealed truth from you. That is why I say, we ought not try to tell everything we know, to just anyone who wants to discuss or argue religion, for many times, you will be casting your precious pearls before swine, if you do.
Let us return to our parable now. We have the little shuck on the stalk, so next comes the tassel. Are you following me? Do you remember what the tassel does? I know you farmers do, but have any of you made a spiritual application here, yet? It takes the pollination from that tassel to drop down on the little silks that protrude from the shucks if you are ever going to harvest corn from those stalks. Therefore I ask you to pay close attention to my next remarks. Brother Branham’s message to this church age did not, and will not perfect the true church, but it took his message to pollinate Christendom. Did you hear me? I said Bro. William Branham’s message pollinated Christendom. That is why Christ was exemplified in it, as it was. In a stalk of corn or wheat, you have both the male life and the female life. The only thing is, the male life does not show itself until the pollination takes place. When you see that tassel appear up here on the stalk, it is only a few days until it begins to drop a little gummy substance down upon the little silks protruding from the shucks. It has the very genetics of, the male life in it. The male life carries the law of reproduction for that stalk of corn. If it is allowed to pollinate that little ear without interference, it will yield an exact likeness of the grain that was planted in the ground. If you cut the tassel off, and it has nothing else to pollinate it, all you will get is a cob. You can use a corn cob to start a fire in your stove, but you do not plant corn just to get a bunch of cobs. You know what? Hallelujah! You just leave that tassel alone, and I guarantee you, it will carry a message to that whole stalk. Remember now, that corn stalk represents denomination church structure this side of the Dark Ages, and it has to produce something before harvest time. Where did God get the pollination? He reached down into the Baptist, down here in one of these blades, and called out a little man to carry that pollination message to the stalk. Pentecost never did get over that. They were way up here in the top, you know. They were more important than all those blades, so they thought. Every movement that ever came out of something else, always felt that they had finally arrived at the last thing that God had to offer. You know God does not like that kind of spirit; He always reaches back down below them on the stalk when He needs an instrument for some special ministry. He reached down and got this little Baptist man, filled him with the Holy Ghost, and sent him with a message that he was predestined to carry. Oh, Pentecost was singing her songs, “Jesus is Coming Soon,” and such like. He sure is. But the whole thing needed to be pollinated. The life of that whole stalk has to move up there into that shuck before it can ever be harvested. Pentecost thought she was like the original, but all that was there was a bunchy of empty shucks. They were not completely empty, but they did not have what they thought they did. They had bypassed too much of the original doctrine, to be the original church. Do you know what happened? When that pollen started dropping, little whiskers were reaching out of the shucks to grab it. Now there is reason to expect an original reproduction, but it will not be the shucks. It will form within the realm of the shucks, but eventually that shuck will be stripped off and disposed of. Those little whiskers sticking their heads out of those shucks to grab that pollen, represent hungry souls reaching out to grab that 7th church age message. There was Raymond Jackson, down there in Rogers Campground church, hungry, sticking his little old whisker out. I see a lot more sitting here before me. You were sticking your little whiskers out from somewhere. You didn’t exactly know why, but you needed something more than what was in there where you were. Something was going to fall from heaven and pollinate your innermost being.
EVERY BLADE DIES
I mentioned earlier how those little whiskers (silks) come right out of the end of that bunch of shucks. They certainly do not look like corn. Actually they are hollow. They are there to absorb something. They are little feelers, hanging out there waiting for something to fall from heaven. Hallelujah! How many of you remember when you were like that? When the tassel begins to drop its little blooms, those little old whiskers are hanging out there absorbing all they can. Now you can look at the stalk of corn during this process, and you can see the whiskers, and you can see little nodules of pollen lying there, but with the natural eye, you cannot see what is taking place inside that shuck. Those little whiskers are anchored to the cob that has formed within the shuck, and the pollinating message is penetrating right down to the cob, where the grain will form as a result of it. That pollinating bloom only falls for a certain duration of time, and while those little whiskers are pulling it in, all the blades are still green. They still have life in them. Hallelujah! Do you know what that means? God kept light in all those systems to protect his predestined seed until they were pulled out. The systems themselves were already dead, but God stayed with every predestined seed until they were pulled out. The systems themselves were already dead, but God stayed with every predestined soul that was still in them. Now these little whiskers running to the cob, and carrying the message that forms the grain into a body, represents getting back to the word of God. It will pull every predestined soul from the Baptist, the Methodist, the Presbyterian, the Catholic and every other church system, and when that is fully accomplished, there is not one ounce of life left in any of them. The life from that whole stalk goes to the body that has formed in the shuck. Even the shuck dies, so where does that leave Pentecost? Both oneness and trinity alike, just dry up and die when they reject this pollinating message. That is making a general application to the overall picture of religion. As those blades die the little kernels of corn on the cob are filling out. They are still in their milk stage, of course. You press them, and they are easy to injure. That is why you just leave them alone until harvest time. Furthermore some of you may think that pollinating message has already served its purpose, maybe because you heard it twenty years ago, or so. Need I remind you that it has to circle this whole globe, and pull every predestined soul out of every church system, before it has completed its purpose? I hope you are able to see that Bro. William Branham’s message was never meant to perfect the church, but that it was God’s means for calling people out of their systems of spiritual bondage, and back to His original word. Let me remind you also, that when you are watching death strike that corn stalk, the shuck is the last thing that dies. That means Pentecost still has some life after all the rest are dead. There is no question as to whether they will die or not; they are destined to die because they refused to go any further than their predecessors, in doctrine. Besides that, Jesus is the one that gave the parable. I didn’t make all that up out of my own head.
PREDESTINED TO LIFE, OR DEATH
As that cob of corn reaches maturity, the old dead shuck begins to open up and pull away from it. When you see that taking place, you know that the product inside is getting firm and settled. The pressure is off. It is almost time to harvest. I will say this now, a lot of the pressure against God’s true people, from the various elements of this message will only result in the hurt and destruction of themselves. Do you know why I can say that? Because of the parable. Have you ever walked through a corn field and noticed what happens to the pollen that falls to the ground. It just dries up and turns to dust. That is the destiny of a lot of people who have actually been carriers of this message. They served a purpose just like the pollen and the whiskers on the corn stalk, but they never receive the Spirit of eternal life; all of their efforts have been put forth without them having the born again experience themselves. Yes, even the little whiskers die, but they stick with the corn until the very end. Facing reality though, we know that Jesus is not coming for a bunch of whiskers. Neither is He coming for a bunch of sticky little nodules that fell from the tassel. What He is coming for is the product that received the life that was in every bit of that stalk. That has to be the part that is in every way, just like the seed that was planted in the beginning. Hallelujah! He planted one grain only. He did not plant a cob, but He will take the cob, because that is what holds the rest of it together. He planted ONE to get many. Brothers and sisters: If you will allow this little parallel example to draw you a profile of what God has been doing in the earth for the past two thousand years, and not try to make a literal application of every little detail you might think of, you will no longer have a question in your mind about what Jesus is coming back for. Do not measure yourself by anyone else you may be looking at; you measure yourself by what you see in the scriptures. That original seed (Jesus) produced a crop that was just like Him. They were every one just like the original. They were every one good seed, and that is the planting that He is going to reap from. He is not the least bit interested in reaping a crop of Satan’s hybrid. He has waited patiently for open pollination to return it all back to its original parental likeness. One thing we are sure of though; the crop that is coming to maturity in this Laodicean age, is the crop He has waited for. Revelation 8:1, and 10:1-6, are soon to be a reality to this living generation. There must come a time when that last predestined Gentile soul is pulled back to the word of God by the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. When that hour arrives God will be ready to move on the scene in Israel through the witness of His two prophets of Revelation 11:3. In the meantime you are still going to witness a lot of child like carnality in the realm of this end time message. Like down in Georgia, this one preacher (I know his name, but I have a little more common respect for some of them than they do for me,) said, If you hear some preacher preaching on the thunders, check, and see if he is carrying a violin case. Now saints, that does not hurt me one bit whatsoever. I am just as happy as if I had my right mind. (They think I am crazy.) But can you imagine Peter, or Paul, or any of those early Christians being so childish? These carnal characters use the same tactics the Catholic church has always used, and also her protestant daughters. Some poor soul hears a truth preached somewhere, and goes to Dr. So and So, to ask his opinion, and what does he hear? You had better stay away from those people; they are a bunchy of fanatics. The priest tells his group, the Pope has never said anything like that; you had better leave that alone. These carnal characters (they will know who they are) say, You had better stay away from that Jackson; he says too much that the prophet never said. Well, Hallelujah! Glory to God! If the Bible says it, the prophet did not have to. God called me to preach His word, not the prophets words. No one ever appreciated Bro. William Branham any more than I, but that brother left the scene before Gods crop was brought to maturity; (perfection) therefore there remained much to be done in the years between 1965, and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and furthermore, I still believe what the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians. (4:11-13) “And He (Christ Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (For what?) For the PERFECTING of the SAINTS, for the WORK OF THE MINISTRY, for the EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST: (For how long?) Till WE ALL come in the UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the KNOWLEDGE of the SON OF GOD, (not the knowledge of Bro. William Branham) unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.” Let someone tell me that the church has already reached that place, and let them prove it to me by the word of God, and then I will wonder why the church is still here. Why would Jesus use such an illustration to show what the kingdom of God is to be like, and then allow it to turn out some other way? Redemption would not be redemption, if God did not get back what He had in the beginning. Jesus was the pattern God gave this dispensation, to show what the first Adam was, and fell from. Paul said, He was the first born among many brethren, and that means, many more just like Him. You may not see it yet, but this message has called a lot of people out of denominations, that will never be in the bride of Christ. You can take that right back to the parable we have been using, and then you can go out into the corn field along about July, and you will see the wind blowing pollen every which way. That is exactly what we are seeing in this pollinating message; preachers running every which way. All of them supposedly, are carrying the prophets message, but each one of them has chosen his own set of the prophet’s statements, and compiled them in such a way as to make the prophet say what he wants said. If you could just gather up all the different versions of this message, that are floating around, I hate to think what kind of mess of confusion you would have, and that is what they say, is supposed to perfect the bride of Jesus Christ.
TRUE REVELATION DOES NOT CHANGE
Faith Assembly: I am going to speak very plainly to you. Don’t you ever think you can follow a revelation of truth, and just coast on through to the end. If you are really standing for truth, you can expect to be bombarded and harassed by every carnal thing the devil has, that he can throw at you. I hope none of you think you can just follow my flesh, and be ready to meet Jesus Christ in the rapture. You are in for a shock, if you do. You will either follow Jesus Christ by your own personal revelation, or you will be left here to meet the Antichrist. Now I want you to hear my next words, and hear them well. If you sit in this assembly five years shouting, Hallelujah! Amen! Then, all of a sudden you jump up and say, All of this is wrong. There is something wrong with you. If it is wrong today, it was wrong five years ago, so why did you stay? Why have you stood thanking God for bringing you here, if what you have been hearing is not the word of God? If you feel that you have wasted five years of your life, don’t blame me. I didn’t drag any of you in here, and I will never follow you, and try to drag you back when you leave. You can be sure of that. If God does not keep you here, I do not want you here. I am not running a popularity program. As a matter of fact, if you are not genuinely serious with God, most of what I preach and teach will be very distasteful to you. If you used to enjoy coming here, and now you do not, What happened? I am still preaching the same as I preached ten years ago; I haven’t changed. I haven’t found anything better to preach. I do not say that to sound boastful, but to give every one of you a reason to search your hearts. Search your hearts, search the word, and choose. That is your part; you have to do it. God has supplied every one of us with everything we need in order to follow Him in our daily walk of life. If we stumble and fall, it is simply because we have not taken advantage of all that is available to us. Naturally the promises in this book (the Bible) are made to believers, but in order to bless His own, it is sometimes necessary for God to send showers of blessings upon others also. That is what Jesus was having reference to in Matthew 5:45. Sometimes it even seems that others are blessed even more than the children of God, but that is when we are looking only with natural vision. Spiritual vision will cause the true believer to look beyond these natural appearances, and consider the final reward of both. One reward is eternal bliss, and the other is the lake of fire. James said this life is only a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanishes away; therefore realizing how true that is, our full attention ought to be devoted to making sure we are on the eternal bliss side, when final rewards are handed out. Do not ever get the idea that just because you believe in predestination and eternal security, you can be deliberately careless with your life and still enjoy the benefits of those two scriptural realities. If that is the attitude you have, you may just find out one day, that you are not a believer after all, for a true believer wants to make sure his life measures up to what he believes. That is the reason that, “By their fruit, ye shall know them.” But you have to be a true believer in order to be a fruit inspector. Otherwise you will just judge according to your traditional ideas of what a Christian should be like. God has this whole thing laid out so perfectly, that natural reasoning misses it a million miles.
GOD COUNSELED WITH HIMSELF
Open your Bible to Ephesians for a few verses, and then we will bring this to a close. Beginning with verse 3, in the first chapter, we will see how God counseled with Himself before He ever started to create anything, so that every person who would ever believe His word, was known of Him, before the foundation of the world. That is why we can say we are predestined. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Paul knew he was not speaking of two persons here; this is just his way of expressing his revelation of God in Christ) who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as He hath CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children (How?), by Jesus Christ to Himself, ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, according to HIS GOOD PLEASURE which HE hath purposed in HIMSELF: That in the dispensation of THE FULLNESS OF TIMES He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in Him. (Notice now) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being PREDESTINATED according to the purpose of HIM who worketh all things after the COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL.” Hallelujah! Brother! We are not believers because of some chance; we are known of God before the foundation of the world, and He is the one that worked all the circumstances that led up to your own personal salvation experience. Paul goes on to say, that after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Ghost of promise. That seal is what gives you your eternal security, and those who truly have that seal are not deliberately careless with their lives. That is why we need to examine ourselves, to see if we truly are in faith. If you are without trials and tests, and everything runs smooth for you all the time, Don’t rejoice about that. These are not good signs, for we are living in a day when Satan is using every trick in his evil book, trying to defeat the true people of God in their determination to live a holy life. God has promised to supply your needs; that is true, but He has not promised that everything will run smooth for us all the time. No. He promised just the opposite; but the reward for overcoming makes it all worthwhile.
BECOMING FIRM AND ANCHORED
Having settled in our minds the fact that God is running this whole redemption program according to the counsel of His own will, and knowing that His reproduced seed must mature until it is just exactly like the original, let us take one more little look at our parable, the stalk of corn. All of the vital substance of the whole stalk comes to form the little kernels of corn on the cob. Moisture from that whole stalk is drawn to the kernels, carrying elements, protein, starch, carbohydrates, all of which goes to make up the kernel. As the moisture goes to the kernels, the old stalk just gets drier, and drier, and finally, as it gets close to the end of its process, the old husks turn loose. When the moisture is all gone you can hear a lot of rattling among those old stalks, but I promise you, there is not one ounce of life left in them. (I will let you make the spiritual application.) As the hot sun beats down, in the fall of the year those little kernels really get anchored to that cob. It really takes some effort to get them loose. That is exactly the way true believers get anchored to that cob. It really takes some effort to get them loose. That is exactly the way true believers get anchored to that true restored word of God. They become so firm, so set, so absolutely sure of what they believe and stand for, the devil and all of his little demons together, can never pull them off of that word. As time moves on, and we get closer to the end, true believers will have been tested in every area of their lives, in one way or another, and God’s true ministry will be ironing out all the wrinkles, getting everything in order for Jesus Christ to present the church to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; It will be holy and without blemish. Meanwhile just be patient, love one another with a pure heart, and do not make judgments about your brothers and sisters, when you do not know all the details about something you may have heard. The pollen is still falling, and some of it is falling to the ground, to rot, not having pollinated anything. But above all, May God be glorified, and every believing soul be comforted by the Holy Ghost which is in us for that purpose, as well as to lead and guide us into all truth. Amen.Click here to download a copy of this Contender