WITH GOD’S HELP, I AM GOING TO PRESENT TO YOU A MESSAGE THAT MAY BE QUESTIONED BY SOME WHO HEAR, OR READ IT, BUT THE LORD GAVE ME A DREAM, ON THE NIGHT OF NOVEMBER 22, 1981 THAT CONVINCED ME OF THE NEED FOR SUCH A MESSAGE AS THIS. I WILL TELL THE DREAM AT THE END OF THE MESSAGE: THEN YOU WILL NOT BE THINKING ABOUT THE DREAM, AND FAIL TO HEAR WHAT IS SAID IN THE MESSAGE. I HAVE REALIZED FOR A LONG TIME, THAT EVERY OTHER MAN THAT PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE REFORMATION, HAS BEEN GIVEN A SCRIPTURAL PLACE IN THE HISTORY BOOKS, ENCYCLOPEDIAS, AND OTHER PLACES, WHERE MANKIND COULD READ A TRUE ACCOUNT OF WHAT THEY DID, BUT BRO. WILLIAM MARRIAN BRANHAM, GOD’S PROPHET MESSENGER TO THIS LAODICEAN AGE HAS NEVER BEEN GIVEN SUCH A PLACE. MOST OF WHAT THE WORLD HEARS ABOUT HIM, HAS REACHED THEIR EARS THROUGH WHAT THESE FANATICAL PREACHERS OF OUR DAY HAVE SAID ABOUT HIM. SOME OF THEM SPEAK EVIL OF HIM, WHILE OTHERS TRY TO PRESENT HIM AS GOD. VERY FEW SEEM WILLING TO ALLOW HIM TO BE EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS, A TRUE MESSENGER, WITH A MESSAGE FROM GOD TO THE TRUE CHURCH. NOT ONLY WAS RE A MESSENGER, HE WAS A CERTAIN PROPHET MESSENGER, WHICH THE SCRIPTURES DECLARED, MUST PROCEED THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST. IF THE SCRIPTURES DID NOT GIVE HIM A PLACE, THEN I WOULD NOT FEEL SO CONVINCED THAT HISTORY SHOULD ALSO GIVE HIM TRUE RECOGNITION, BUT THE SCRIPTURES DO GIVE HIM A PLACE, AND HE HAS ALREADY FULFILLED HIS PART OF ALL THAT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. THEREFORE I ASK FOR YOUR PRAYERS, AND YOUR PATIENCE, AS I ENDEAVOR TO GO BACK IN TIME, AND GIVE A LITTLE OF THE HISTORY OF PENTECOST, WITH THE PURPOSE OF SHOWING WHY IT WAS NEEDFUL FOR GOD TO SEND A MESSENGER TO THIS AGE. THE APOSTLE PAUL TELLS US, IN EPHESIANS 5, THE KIND OF CHURCH THAT JESUS IS GOING TO RETURN FOR. AND ALSO, WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO PREPARE SUCH A CHURCH FOR HIM TO PRESENT TO HIMSELF, SO LET US GO BACK A FEW YEARS, AND FOLLOW THE SPIRITUAL PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH UP THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS OF THIS AGE. BY ALLOWING YOU TO SEE JUST WHERE THE CHURCH HAD STOPPED, YOU CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT IT TOOK TO GET HER MOVING AGAIN.
TEXT JAMES 5:7 MATTHEW 11:2-6
Denominational church people only saw Bro. Branham as a man with an unusual gift of healing, and the Pentecostals enjoyed that, but none of them ever saw any more than that to his life and ministry. A few individuals saw more. and came out of their systems, but most of them just accepted him on the basis of his gift of healing, but rejected his doctrine. Pentecost was so filled with the ecstasy of their experiences, and what they saw the Spirit doing, they could never accept any doctrinal leaching that went beyond the bounds of their immediate circle. They had the same attitude about anything beyond their little circle of beliefs, that the other denominational churches did about what they were enjoying so much. speaking in tongues, and divine healing. Then when certain ones of them began to see the truth about one God and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, they faced that same old spirit again. Trinity Pentecost rejected them, and on and on the arguments went That is why I believe that anyone who examines the course of events that took place around the turn of the century, and on up through the years until the end of WW2 will see why it was necessary for God to do something else in order to get the church ready to meet the Lord. I want to read one verse of scripture from the 5th chapter of James to give a scriptural foundation for those remarks. Verse 7, “Be patient therefore brethren, UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” This lets us know that James was saying, The Lord will not come until there has been both the effects of the first outpouring as well as the latter outpouring of His Spirit upon the church, for it takes both, to bring the fruit to perfection, or maturity. Of course I could never present to you, all the writings of various men who wrote just prior to, or about the turn of the century, concerning certain segments of Christianity that were hungry for God in various areas of the world. Even among the Baptists, certain one’s were experiencing a deeper walk with God. They were referred to as fire baptized, because they had unusual experiences of being slain in the spirit, and feeling the power of God surging through their bodies. They testified that it felt like fire, and that is why they called it that. Some of you have heard me refer to the Shaker movement. There is a memorial of it down here in Kentucky; It is a memorial of a bygone era. Those people definitely did experience the power of God, but they, like a lot of others, just simply could not realize that what He was doing for them was not the last thing that God would do, to get His church ready to leave this world. If every Christian could study from a doctrinal standpoint what all those various groups truly did experience, and believe, you could see from the scriptures themselves, why none of those movements could ever produce the matured, perfected body of Christ. That in no way would annul their experiences, but compared to the church in the book of Acts, they only had a small portion of what the church is to have.
THE WELSH REVIVAL
Coming into the twentieth century there were many little groups scattered around the world that were hungry for God. and that were experiencing sensations. As a matter of fact, what took place out in California was really a follow up of what had already been experienced in many places as a result of the Welsh Revival in Wales, in 1904. A man by the name of Frank Bartleman wrote the account of “What really happened at Azusa Street,” from which we learn that in 1905, he began corresponding with a man named Evan Roberts in Wales, and they agreed in prayer as Bro. Bartleman, and others in Los Angeles spread the message of the Welsh Revival and exhorted Christians to pray and seek God for such a move of His Spirit among them. The Welsh Revival did not emphasize speaking in tongues. The emphasis was upon a closer walk with God, and upon sinners being led to repentance. It is said that the power of God was so present that just getting close to those people would cause sinners to fall under conviction. Critics, who came to make trouble, would either repent, and get right with God, or they would have to leave, because His presence was so real.
FORERUNNER OF AZUSA STREET
Now before going too far, I want to inject a little of what took place in Topeka, Kansas, January 1, 1901, for it all weaves together to produce the Azusa Street experiences. A man by the name of Charles F. Parham, had acquired the use of a building called Stone’s Folly, there in Topeka. Kansas. His objective was just to provide a place where people could gather, and pray, and study the word of God, and seek a deeper walk with God, not really knowing exactly what to expect. They were mostly Methodists that had determined to fast and pray together, because they were hungry for more of God. The first person that was filled with the power of God, and began to speak in tongues, was a woman, and Bro. Parham was not present at that time. She spoke only a few words in another language at the beginning, but when Bro. Parham returned, she felt led to ask him to lay hands upon her, and no sooner than he did, she began speaking fluently in another language. None of them had ever heard of this kind of experience outside of what they had read in the Bible. But they continued fasting and praying, and three days later, Bro. Parham, and others of them, also began speaking in tongues just while they were there in prayer. No one had to lay hands upon them. It was a genuine move of God. As a matter of fact, in all of the accounts I have read of the early move of God in this century, very few people ever had hands laid upon them to receive the Holy Ghost. That in itself, lets me see that a lot of what is taking place among the Charismatics of our day, is nothing more than a counterfeit of the real thing. God does not need someone to shake your chin and beat your back, in order for Him to fill your hungry soul with His presence. If you have a genuine hunger for more of Him, and you will obey His word from the heart, that is all He requires. Nevertheless for the next five years, Bro. Parham, and a group of these folks traveled around the country witnessing and testifying wherever doors were opened to them, and nowhere do I find that they ever lined people up, and prayed for them to receive the Holy Ghost, Most of the time they would just be sitting looking at each other when the power of God would fall upon them. I cannot take the time to relate individual experiences except for maybe just this one. I read where twelve people that had been in one of these meetings and believed what they heard taught from the scriptures concerning this experience, were later riding on a train, going to another city to attend another meeting, and while sitting there in the train, they all began to speak in tongues. This was definitely a sovereign move of God. Charismatics of our day, could never produce such an original and genuine experience, just like what happened in the upper room, and recorded in Acts 2:4. This sort of thing occurred from place to place in the first 5 years of this century, before Azusa Street ever came into the picture; But this all led right up to the Azusa Street outpouring.
PENTECOST ON THE MOVE
Bro. Branham, and his group were constantly on the move. They rented a building in Houston, Texas, and he began to teach from the scriptures, concerning this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is where old Brother Seymour, who belonged to a holiness group much like the Nazarenes, first heard of this experience, and began to seek it himself. He saw it in the scriptures, and became convinced that he should have it and he observed how that most of the time those who received the experience, did so without anyone laying hands upon them. He knew this was a supernatural move of God. There was also a lady in those Houston, Texas meetings that had traveled from California, right from the area where Bro. Bartleman and a Brother Joseph Smale, a Baptist pastor, had been praying together for a move of God among them. Bro. Smale had been in the revival at Wales, and knew first hand what God had done there, so he and Bro. Bartleman had joined together in prayer for a similar thing among their people, there in California. This lady, while in the Houston meetings of Bro. Parham, became impressed with the humility and sincerity of Bro. Seymour, and felt impressed to invite him to come to California, to speak in the holiness meetings there. He felt led to accept the invitation, and he knew that if he went, he would have to preach what he had been hearing, even though he himself had not yet received the experience. He knew that it was scriptural, and that every Christian needed it, and that was all the authority he needed to preach it. This was coming into the spring of 1906, when he arrived in California, and preached his first sermon in a Nazarene church on Sunday morning. Now these people had been praying for a closer walk with God, and they had even experienced prophecy in their meetings, but Bro. Seymour’s message on this outpouring of the Holy Ghost, and the speaking in tongues, was rejected. When he arrived at the church that night, the door was locked against him. Their verdict was that the new doctrine was heresy, and if he was to preach it he would have to preach somewhere else, he slowly turned away, but was resolved in his heart that what he had preached was right. A man standing there, by the name of Lee, couldn’t bear to see him turned away homeless, and invited him to come home with him. After several days of prayer, there in the Lee home, a Baptist couple, Richard and Ruth Asberry invited Bro. Seymour to conduct prayer meetings in their home at 214 Bonnie Brae Street. Things began happening in those prayer meetings for those who met there were hungry for God. They prayed for a deeper walk with God, and for the Acts 2:4 experience. Then on April 9, 1906, Bro. Lee and six others were filled with the Holy Ghost, and spoke in other tongues. From that beginning, it began to sweep out to others just like a prairie fire, and for three days and nights the service continued, with hundreds of all races pushing into the house, to see what was going on. Many of them, the very moment they would step inside, would start speaking in other tongues. Sick people were healed, and sinners would repent, even as they came in the door. Many would fall under the power of God, and lie on the floor speaking in tongues. Then on April 12, 1906, Bro. Seymour received the experience he had so earnestly prayed for and taught to others. In just three days time, the whole city had been stirred by what was happening at 214 Bonnie Brae Street; But then Bro. Seymour realized they would have to find somewhere else to meet, for the crowds were just too large for them to continue on there.
BIRTH OF AZUSA STREET
After a diligent search, they found an old building at 312 Azusa Street, which had at one time been a Methodist church, but was now just an old catch all building where old lumber and plaster, and so forth were piled. They cleared a place where they could lay some planks across some empty nail kegs for seats, and this is where they moved to, from the Bonnie Brae Street home. It was not the type of place where you would expect the elite of the city to come. They started out at the Azusa Street address with crude seating for only about 30 persons, but as the Spirit of God began to move among them, it wasn’t long until they had the same situation there. People from all races, and classes began to flock into the place, some seeking God, and others just to cause trouble. Bro. Seymour was the recognized leader in the early months of that three year revival that eventually spread far and wide. He was a humble man, colored, and blind in one eye. He usually sat behind two empty boxes, one on top of the other, and would keep his head in the top box in prayer, during the meetings. The meetings were kept very informal, and much emphasis was placed upon letting the Holy Ghost lead the services. Spiritualists and hypnotists tried to inject their evil influence, but the power of God was too strong for them to succeed. No one stood to minister in these services unless God put him up. No musical instruments were present, and there was no formal song service. But it was not unusual to hear a heavenly chorus echoing from the place. They said they found that when they tried to control the service, the Spirit of God would just stop working.
It was the night of April 19, 1906 that Bro. Bartleman attended his first service at the Azusa Street address. He and Bro. Smale had worked and prayed together, and had already experienced many things in their meetings. They had even received a prophecy stating that a great move of God was coming to California, but speaking in tongues was not manifested in their meetings until about the middle of April 1906, when a colored sister began to speak in tongues. That caused a great stir among their ranks for it was new to most of those present. By this time Bro. Seymour’s meetings were moving to the Azusa street address, and about four days later, Bro. Bartleman attended the meeting there for the first time. (He had already been in meetings with them in the little cottage.) In the days just ahead, things really began to happen at Azusa Street; But like every other move of God, as soon as it was noised abroad, people from every walk of life began to flock to the meetings, and Satan came right along with them. They began to be persecuted from without, and certain one’s from within tried to take over the meetings, spiritualists and hypnotists, and many others. The power of God was too much for them though. They would either fall under conviction and repent, or God would just run them off. It said that many of those who came to criticize and heckle, found that they could not get their mouth open. Many would just fall down, paralyzed and helpless. (Brother! You do not fake a thing like that. You can fake most of the gifts of the Spirit of God, but when the Spirit of God slaps you down, or just plain withdraws the breath of life from you, that is the real thing.) All the denominational churches fought against what was happening at Azusa Street, but the more they fought it, the more their people were stimulated to come. As Bro. Bartleman said, They got a lot of free advertisement because of the efforts of those who opposed them; Other churches finally had to close up for lack of attendance. Their members were all at Azusa Street. Those who came with the right attitude and motive were not there long until they began to speak in another language. Even Bro. Smale had to come to Azusa Street to find his members. Very little personal ministry was ever evidenced in those meetings; for God was truly in control. Missionaries gathered there from all parts of the world, received their experience, and went back to their area preaching it. Preachers in the states did likewise, and in no time hardly, it had spread all the way to the east coast, but the book of Revelation was never even brought into the picture. Most of the time, there was very little preaching done anyhow. God just used people to bear witness of what He was doing, and then, it seemed like He would just take it from there and go ahead without much preaching being done. Some preachers still try that, but most of what they have is a lot of flesh displayed, as people produce their counterfeit experiences. We are living in a day and hour when God has the greater emphasis on preaching and teaching revealed truth, in order that His church may be washed by the water of His word. Everything has its season, or time, just like Ecclesiastes 3:3, and James 5:7, says. In other words, true Christianity requires an experience, but if your life never moves beyond a certain experience, you do not have true Christianity in your soul, for true Christianity is much, much more than just an experience.
GROWING TO MATURITY
Every living soul has had an experience, for even your natural birth was an experience. But plain common sense tells you that you cannot just live on the mere fact that you know you have been born. Growing up and maturing demands that something else be built upon that fact, and so is it likewise with spiritual birth. You are only born once, but from that birth and onward there should be steady growth and maturity, and stability. This is where Pentecost missed the boat; they had their experiences in the spirit, but it takes more than just reliving those experiences to produce the new birth. The new birth and growth comes only by the word of God, that incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth forever. The years came and went 1907, 1908, 1909, and it seemed like every preacher in the city tried to get in the act, and demonstrate what he knew about what was happening. They had their fanatical preachers popping up with every sort of wild idea, just like those that followed Bro. Branham. One man said that he did not know there was so many preachers in that one city. He said, They were just like last year’s bean shucks; all you could hear was a lot of rattling. They would come, just for a show, but most of the time the Holy Spirit would just make a fool out of them. They would have to go away humiliated.
LIGHT BREAKS THROUGH
As time passed, various groups were formed. They tried to keep their fellowships open, but the devil’s crowd was forever trying to take over. Nevertheless, God continued to move. But around the year 1913, something else began to move among those who had been touched by this great move of God. Many of them gathered from various areas of the country, for a Pentecostal fellowship. This was for the purpose of reminiscing about what God had done, and to refresh themselves for the days ahead. Among them, came a well known evangelist by the name R. E. McAllister. He had been studying on the subject of water baptism, and how it was administered in apostolic days. They chose him to speak at this great convention, and he preached a message that led right up to early Christian water baptism, and stressed how it was always administered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. A hush fell over the great crowd, and everything became completely quiet. One minister then stepped up to the rostrum, grasped him by the shirt, took him aside, and said, Do not give reference to that any more. Everywhere that has been taught, it has always caused trouble. Bro. McAllister stepped back to the rostrum, gave a little explanation, and continued his message. Sitting in the meeting was another brother by the name, Frank J. Ewark, and when he heard those scriptures on apostolic water baptism, something leaped within him. He later got with Bro. McAllister to discuss it, and they began praying together about it. As they studied Acts, Colossians, and Ephesians, they became convinced that God is one, and not three persons, and that water baptism should be ministered only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Bro. Ewark then, is the one that really began to preach this newly discovered truth. His speaking ability soon gained him recognition as, “The man who preaches meat in due season.” Up until this point, that scripture about meat in due season, had not even been in the picture, but because of this teaching, the year 1914, brought about some drastic changes among those who had been enjoying all those experiences in the spirit. Those who held to the trinity concept of the Godhead, began to feel the necessity to organize, in an effort to control this oneness teaching. This of course gave birth to the Assemblies of God Pentecostal churches that now stand so tall, right in the midst of Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and all the rest. Bro. Ewark, and another man who was ministering along with him in a tent they had set up. had neither one been baptized according to the apostolic formula, so they decided to baptize each other. Afterwards they began a meeting, and people came by the hundreds. As they sat listening to these brothers explain the authority and power in the name of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost would fall upon them. Many notable experiences came out of those meetings there. Many of those who were still seeking the Holy Ghost, the very minute they obeyed the Lord in water baptism, they would automatically come up out of the water speaking in tongues. One lady who had been fighting against the one God teaching, came to a meeting, passing out tracts criticizing their teaching, and God got hold of her. She was afflicted in body, and while she was there to fight against them, God spoke to her on this wise, Go into the water, and be buried in my name, and I will heal you. She threw everything aside, and surrendered, and as she came up out of the water, God did a complete work of healing in her body, even though she actually came to the meeting with the Idea of causing trouble. That just allows one to see exactly how much God was in control. It was His purpose that was being worked out, and He worked it through human vessels as He always does, when He begins to break through the barriers of human ignorance dispelling darkness with His glorious light.
GODHEAD TEACHING DIVIDES
Another person that entered into the picture along about this time, was G. T. Haywood, a colored preacher from Indianapolis, Indiana. He had previously been to California and received the Holy Spirit experience, but about this time he felt impressed to return to California and see how things were progressing, even though he himself had a great work in Indianapolis. He got with these two brothers that were preaching the one God, and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, message, and God revealed it to him. After being baptized he returned to Indianapolis, and began to preach this truth in his church, and they accepted it by the dozens. Shortly afterwards, a preacher that knew him, and also knew about the trouble that was being stirred up. in the Arkansas area, over this teaching, phoned G. T. Haywood. to warn him of a certain man that was leaving that area, heading for Indianapolis, to preach this to them. He warned G. T. to stay away from him, and his doctrine, to avoid trouble in his church. G. T. Haywood replied, You are too late. I have already accepted it myself. Naturally a situation like that sets up a warfare, and on top of that, they had the World War I situation to deal with, for a world war like that just sort of brings everything to a standstill, since people are faced with situations that limit their moving back and forth from one place to another. Nevertheless, when the war had ended, the spiritual warfare was still raging. The Assemblies of God were organized, and the oneness people were plagued with individuals that wanted to show themselves. They were constantly coming up with new revelations, which they would jump up and start teaching. It was from the ranks of these oneness people that the Jesus-only teaching emerged. Maybe I should take time at this point to give a little explanation of this term, for even today there are a lot of folks who simply do not know the difference between a one God revelation, and what is referred to as Jesus only. Believe me, Saints. There is a great difference.
ONE GOD, OR JESUS ONLY?
Those who teach Jesus only, have a much used, favorite scripture verse they use as their authority. It is John 14:19, where Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure, promising them a Comforter that will abide with them for ever, and says, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” They just grab hold of the part, “The world seeth me no more,” and put all the emphasis on two words, NO MORE. I had an experience with this myself, down in the state of Florida. I announced in the morning service that I would preach on the second coming of Christ in the evening service. I did not know at that time that their pastor was of the “Jesus only” belief. But that night, right in the beginning of the service, he stood up and forewarned the people, not to look for, or expect that Jesus would ever come back to earth in bodily form again, and he quoted that par-ticular verse of scripture. This let me know just what sort of spirit was faced with. They believe that God (the great eternal Spirit) was in Christ Jesus in the fullness of His very being, and therefore when Jesus went back to glory He just diffused Himself back into Spirit form. In other words, all of His natural substance was dissolved, therefore the world could never see Him any more. Saints, you have to overlook a lot of other scriptures to believe a thing like that. On the other hand, when you receive a true revelation of the Godhead, every other scripture in the Bible will be compatible with it. They look at the second coming of Christ as the time when He comes to indwell a believer. “I will not leave you Comfortless: I will come to you.” I am ever so grateful for that promise, and for the fact that He has kept His word concerning all that He promised, but I am also very grateful and thankful that we do not have to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, trying to make a place for a promise of God to fit into our lives. If we will just believe God’s word, and follow the revealed truth of it, every promise will just automatically fall into place. Where you and I look for the second visible appearing of Jesus Christ in reference to His Millennial reign upon earth: they look at it from the standpoint that He is constantly coming more and more into the church, and that the Millennium is when He has finally come into the church in the fullness of all potential. Many extremists have sprung from the ranks of the oneness movement; and therefore you will find many little branches leading back to the original truth of that movement. That in no way minimizes the truth that God is ONE, and that water baptism should be administered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them will say, Do not use the word Lord, and do not use the word Christ, just say Jesus. It seems to me that any person with even half a mind would know that the name Jesus, has been a very common name among Spanish, as well as others, and that it requires either Lord, or Christ, to distinguish this Jesus from all those others. It is just that old spirit of Antichrist, forever trying to muddy the water in an effort to keep hungry souls from seeing the truth.
TRUTH LOCKED OUT
Another branch of those Jesus name people went off into adventism. Satan shot them in the arm with the doctrine of (Saturday) Sabbath keeping, and refraining from eating swine, and all those little picky dos and do nots that go along with that teaching. We have that same spirit running rampant among those who claim to be following the truth restored to the church by God’s prophet messenger William Marrion Branham. About the only difference is, both elements of Pentecost, (trinity and oneness) held on to their women preachers, simply because God gave them an outpouring of His Spirit without correcting their doctrines at the same time. In other words, God did not at that time say, Now get rid of your women preachers. As a matter of fact, there were some outstanding women preachers at that time that carried the message into their particular areas, and God honored it. Simply because He had not begun to set the church in order yet. First things must come first with God. The people needed the Spirit of God in their lives first; then they could be set in order doctrinally. On the trinity side of Pentecost were organized groups such as Assemblies of God, Church of God, Pentecostal Holiness and others. The oneness side tried to keep a free movement for a while, but fanatical teachings springing up from within, caused them to feel the need to organize in an effort to stabilize what they initially believed. (They were referred to as those of the Apostolic faith.) From that, came the organization called, The United Pentecostal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ; (UPC) as they really began to organize and tighten down to control wild fire. But their main doctrines were one God, and water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the years between WWI and WWII, both the trinity as well as the oneness groups, continued to have a great move of God among them, but both groups had their fanatics, and that just caused them to tighten down more and more with their organizational teachings. It was almost an impossibility for any further truth to penetrate their organizational doors. There were men like F. F. Bosworth, that God mightily used praying for the sick back in those days. As a matter of fact, F. F. Bosworth was still on the scene when Bro. Branham’s hour arrived, and they frequently ministered together in the same campaigns. I have seen him myself. There were also other men who were mightily used in praying for the sick, but we will not take the space to elaborate, for we are endeavoring to bring the general history of Pentecost up to the hour of time that Bro. Branham entered the picture. Another thing I might mention just for the sake of showing how unstable certain things were, is a book that one of these men wrote, right at the close of W.W. 2. It was a book proving that Mussolini was the Antichrist. Mainly because he was an Italian, out of Rome, and so forth. The book titled, Proof that Mussolini is the Antichrist, was just off the press, and he was going to bring it to the platform that night for distribution, and the word came that Mussolini and his mistress had been shot, and hung in the public square for all to view. Instead of presenting his newly published book, he stood up and said, This is proof that a man can be wrong. That is what happens when you stick your neck out without scripture to back up what you are teaching. We know the Antichrist will come out of Rome, and we are persuaded that he will be the pope of the Roman Catholic church, but we are not going to name the man, for we do not know who the pope will be when that hour arrives for him to be manifested. My real point for telling that, was this, it was too early in time for the real truth about the Antichrist to be made known. By the end of W.W. 2, many of the older folks who knew of the working of the Holy Spirit from personal experience ranging all the way back to the turn of the century had passed from the scene, leaving the doors locked on organized Pentecost, both trinity and oneness. In the years following, trinity and oneness fought each other like cats and dogs, and neither side ever came up with enough Hebrew and Greek words to convince the others they were wrong. I hope this statement will speak to the hearts of some of you who still place so much importance upon theology, and are forever trying to establish a truth simply by the use of your Hebrew and Greek languages. There are times when terminology can be clarified in this manner, but only the Holy Ghost can plant a revelation in a person’s spirit, and He does that without the use of Hebrew and Greek, and all those theological terms that some like to use. Revelation comes to us when various scriptures are lined up by the Spirit of God to our understanding, and it is very seldom that arguing over one word would ever be profitable to anyone. We will refer back to this later, as we look at some of the ways Bro. Branham was criticized.
GOD IS NOT A BEGGAR
Religion has taken many crooks and turns as the old soldiers of the faith would pass from the scene, and leave the work in the hands of a younger generation that did not have what they had. That is why so many of them turned out to be beggars and promoters; they did not have that flame of the Spirit of God burning in their soul. I have read that many of those places, like the work of Azusa Street, never even took an offering. They would just let the people give whatever they felt led to give, and when they were led to give it. I did not know that, years ago, when I started this work down here in New Albany. But I had seen how the Methodist church would manipulate their programs, and I had seen some of what was done, out in those deliverance campaigns, and to me it stunk. I just could not see God having to stoop to such levels in order to support His work. When I felt persuaded in my heart that I should start this church I said, God: Believing that you have told me to start this work, I will do my best to open the doors, but I will depend upon you to keep them open. I said, Lord: I will just set a box back there, and if this is of you. I will not have to beg the people to support it. Brothers and sisters: Today I am able to testify to the fact that in almost 27 years since we started, we have never had to pass an offering plate, nor ask for money in any way. God has supplied our needs right on through the years, without all that. In my observations through the years I have found that every true work of God, that just left it up to the people to support it as they felt led to do so, their testimony was. that they never had need of anything. I look at all this mess on TV from time to time. for various reasons, and I have to ask myself. Is this what represents Pentecost in our day? Some of them use up most of their allotted time on the air soliciting funds to keep their program on the air, so they can solicit more funds. If this sounds like an exaggeration, perhaps it is just to emphasize what people must stoop to, in order to carry on their man made programs, after they reject the word of God for their day. They claim that doctrine divides. and only the Spirit can unite the church, and they have fought doctrine with such fervency, it has drained them of whatever measure of the Spirit they once had. God’s word, and God’s Spirit are inseparable. You cannot accept either one while rejecting the other, and have the kind of life in you that will make you ready to meet Jesus Christ in the rapture. It is utterly impossible for the church to be in unity, and without spot and wrinkle unless she opens up to receive all the fullness that the word of God is able to feed her with.
WHAT BRINGS UNITY?
Some of those who began praying for a deeper walk with the Lord in the years prior to Azusa Street. sort of had the idea that doctrines divide, and only the Spirit can unite, but actually, the truth is, without the doctrine you do not have anything worth uniting around. In the years prior to Azusa Street there had been many revivals, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and ever so many more, and all these were dealing with a certain Biblical doctrine, and God did not move outside of that Therefore when Azusa Street and all of that began to take place, it meant that the hour had arrived, that the overall plan of salvation had been restored and the church had been separated from the political clutches of Romanism, and such like. But those who held those restored truths were separated from each other also, and only the Spirit can pull all of them together into the same body, and produce the kind of unity we find in the scriptures, the kind the early church had. But most of you know what happened, just as I do. When God began to put emphasis on the Spirit, divine healing, and the supernatural, they began to kick their doctrines out of the way, because they divide. God was not going to kick them aside though; He just began to stir men’s hearts and reveal the Godhead to them. This is the greatest doctrine of them all, for without it men’s concept of God is very vague. Furthermore without a revelation of the Godhead, the Bible formula for water baptism is all muddled up in a person’s mind, so it is a beautiful thing to observe how God just gradually restored all fullness back to the church. She lost it gradually, going into the Dark Ages, and God restored it back in the same way, just gradually. But even though it was all restored, look where Pentecost stood with it. The trinity side was organized in their trenches, and the oneness side was organized in their trenches. They both built their Bible schools, and their seminaries, and they turned out theologians with every sort of degree imaginable. They could take their Hebrew and Greek, and really defend their system of religion. They sent missionaries all over the world, preaching and teaching from their articles of faith. Each group would sing songs of the soon return of the bridegroom to catch His bride away. But He could not come for a church that was so divided and mixed up, so there they stood. It was necessary for God to do something else still, if Jesus was ever going to come for a church of the caliber Paul spoke of, in Ephesians. As I said a little earlier, many of the old soldiers of early Pentecost have left the scene. Wigglesworth is gone. Charles Price is gone, but God never leaves Himself without a vessel to work through. This brings us to a little man by the name of William Marrion Branham, a man who had an unusual birth, down in the state of Kentucky, April 6, 1909.
WILLIAM BRANHAM’S HOUR ARRIVES
I will not go into details of the unusualness surrounding William Branham’s birth, for all of that can be read in the book that deals with his life story. These books have been around the world, and they can be found in many libraries, by the title, “A Man Sent From God,” by Gordon Lindsay. Let me say also, organized Pentecost as it exists today is well aware of the fact that this man lived, and that his life and ministry did truly shake religious structures of the world, but their opinions of him are varied. Some say, He was right in the heart, but wrong in the head. Others have called him a devil, and others have said that his teaching was from the pit. But those who truly knew him, know that he was God’s prophet messenger to this Laodicean age, endued with the Elijah anointing for the purpose of fulfilling the B part of Malachi 4:5-6. “BEHOLD, I WILL SEND YOU ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD: AND HE SHALL TURN THE HEART OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, AND THE HEART OF THE CHILDREN TO THEIR FATHERS, LEST I COME AND SMITE THE EARTH WITH A CURSE.” John the Baptist fulfilled the first part of each of those verses, according to the very words of Jesus, in Matthew 11:14. But John did not fulfill the last part of those two verses, for they pertain to the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Elijah anointing had to come upon the scene in these last days, before the DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD, when He comes back in judgment, to prepare, or turn the heart of the children, back to that of their apostolic fathers. which we read of, in the book of Acts. Bro. Branham’s ministry did exactly that. Up until the hour he stepped upon the stage of time, there had been no other man this side of that first church age, who would stand before vast audiences of thousands of people, and challenge the devil like he did. There have been other men of great faith and spiritual boldness, and God honored them, but never was there another man that would stand and challenge every satanic spirit like he did. Neither was there ever another man that devil inspired men tried so hard to trick and make a fool of, as they did him, but the power of God was always present to take care of every situation. These are some of the things that I want to bring into this message, as we try to defend this man’s purpose and image. Furthermore, nothing we will say about him should be taken in any way to make him anything more than he was, nor should it give anyone any thoughts or feelings of worship toward him. Let us worship God only, but give His servants their due respect.
As I have opportunity to observe some of what is taking place in the realm of religion, I am not surprised at the way some folks react at the mention of the name William Branham. All that some of them know about him, is what they have heard from these extremists who have presented him as deity rather than a natural man with a gift of God, sent to this age. Then there are others who actually sat in his meetings and enjoyed the healing and discernment that God manifested through him, but they rejected his teaching on Bible doctrines. The very minute he touched their denominational organizations, and their doctrines, they reacted just like those Pharisees Jesus spoke to, when He said, You teach (or doctrines the commandments of men. Those Pharisees could not bear to hear the truth about themselves, and neither could the Pentecostals of this age. They had their speaking in tongues as the initial evidence that they had received the Holy Ghost, and they could not bear to hear a man of God tell them that speaking in tongues is not necessarily proof that one has the Holy Ghost, for even demon possessed people speak in tongues. Furthermore if what happened in Acts 2:4 is to be considered the initial evidence of the Holy Ghost, then just jabbering as some of them do, would not even qualify as even that, for on the day of Pentecost, all those who spoke in tongues were understood by someone else that heard them. You can check that for yourselves just by reading on through verse 11, in the ltd chapter of Acts. Therefore it is not necessarily the Baptists. nor the Methodists and such like, that fight so hard against the teaching of Bro. Branham. It was those Pentecostals that had already arrived at what they considered was the last thing that God would ever do for the church before taking her to glory. They had it all organized and their doors locked, and there was no place for any further revelation within their structures. That is why God’s call was. “Come out of her my people.” God knew the systems would never accept the truth, but there were hungry souls locked up within those systems that needed to be released; therefore He demonstrated that Bro. Branham was His anointed prophet messenger, by many infallible proofs, and with His help and guidance, we wish to present some of them to you in this message. I am not preaching as I normally do. I am merely talking to you, presenting personal testimony, along with recorded testimony of others.
THIS IS THAT ELIJAH
When I first heard of Bro. Branham, I was still in the Methodist church. I did not have the Holy Ghost experience, and did not even know what God had been doing in that realm ever since the turn of the century. I only knew that I had trusted the shed blood of Jesus Christ for my soul salvation, and I was doing my best to present myself in a Christian manner. But even back then God had already showed me from the scriptures, that if we were living in the last days just before the coming again of the Lord, He would have to send again that spirit of Elijah before His appearing. Then when Bro. Glenn came down home, and began telling me about Bro. Branham. about his experience at the Ohio River while baptizing, and about his trip to Africa, and how God wrought miracles through him during that time, I said. Then if this be true, this is that Elijah that is to come. I only had to hear him preach one time to be completely convinced of that, but from then on, I took advantage of every opportunity to be present in his services. He was the first man I had ever heard that would take a text from Genesis, touch every major doctrine in the Bible, and finish up over in the book of Revelation, leaving that word of God burning in your soul while he called a prayer line to minister to the sick and suffering physical bodies present. Thousands upon thousands have professed Christ as their Savior in his meetings, and thousands more have been healed through his ministry, but I ask you sincerely. Where are they today? If you could gather from around the world, those who caught a genuine revelation of his life and ministry to this age, I doubt if you would need a very large building to hold them all. He truly made that Bible live, to me, yet others that sat right there and heard the very same words I heard, have gone out preaching Bro. Branham’s sermons, and laid their Bibles aside, feeling that what he said is all they need to know, or preach. I just have to say, They did not get the right spirit. They did not see the right thing. They heard his words, but they did not receive his message. They will quote Malachi 4:5-6, and tell you that he was that Elijah that was to come, to turn us back to the faith of the apostolic fathers, but then, instead of taking up their Bibles and preach-ing from what those apostolic fathers wrote, they take Bro. Branham’s sermons and quote little excerpts from them, and lead the congregation a million miles away from the scriptures that Bro. Branham was sent to turn us back to, and by the time they finish, they have presented him as God instead of God’s messenger. This kind of thing has brought most of the reproach that has been heaped upon Bro. Branham’s name for the past number of years. Nevertheless history has confirmed the fact that every great move of God has always been plagued with extremists and fanatics of every sort. It is said that after the Wesley revival had about died out. John Wesley prayed. “Oh, Lord, send us the old revival, without the defects; but if this cannot be, then send it with all its defects. We must have the revival.” It is still the same today. Whatever God does anywhere, it has to be done with tares, and shucks, and husks, and fanatics of every sort right in the midst of it all. God eliminates them in due season through a separation process, but not all at the same time.
PURPOSE FOR THIS MESSAGE
We have received a letter recently, explaining how a certain man in that particular area has challenged any man of this message to debate certain statements and things that Bro. Branham brought out in his teaching. Now Saints: I would not walk five feet, nor give two minutes of my time, to debate with anyone on any subject. That sort of thing is vain. I will exert much effort trying to help someone understand a true teaching, but most of these who are forever trying to get a debate going, are not the least bit interested in learning anything themselves, they are just hoping to make a fool out of those who accept their challenge. I have better things to occupy myself with than that. Search the gospels and see if you can find where Jesus ever troubled Himself arguing and debating with those who were forever gouging at Him. Whatever He did have to say, always put His critics in their place, and He did it with simple truth from the word of God. Now my purpose is not to try to put some critic in their place, but rather, to present to you, some of the actual documented occurrences in the life and ministry of my dear departed brother in the Lord Jesus Christ, and testimonies of some of those whose lives were changed by what God wrought through him. But most of all, I want to emphasize the purpose of God in all that was done. There are two books available that more or less deal with his life story. One by Gordon Lindsay titled, “A Man Sent From God.” and another by Julius Stadsklev titled, “William Branham. A Prophet Visits South Africa.” Each of these portray some of his early life, but when you go beyond that, virtually little is recorded. that would ever allow denominational leaders to see and understand how he strived to get the people of God back into the Bible with their faith. Most of what they have heard, especially since Bro. Branham’s death has caused a lot of them to call him a false prophet. To those who had an ear to hear, he was anything but a false prophet. That is why I feel that we should take this opportunity, and try to give his image a resting place in the scriptures. I feel that when the scriptures make a place for a man, society should be able to do likewise; and this will give them their opportunity.
JOHN’S QUESTION FROM JAIL
Let us open the Bible now, and read some scripture that I feel can clear a lot of minds, if it is applied properly. It will help you see that scriptural acts and deeds are what truly establishes those who are genuinely sent of God for a purpose. Matthew 11:2 is where we will begin reading. “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” Notice the setting here. John is in jail, because he preached something that got him in trouble with. Herod’s wife. He knew that he would undoubtedly be leaving the scene very soon. He also knew exactly what he was sent to do; and I might add, so did Bro. Branham. Neither one of them had any need for some theologian to tell them where and when to go, and what to do when they got there. John had introduced Jesus to those that stood by when Jesus had approached him, with these words. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” But sitting there in prison, he began to question himself, Is he really the one? He had seen the Spirit descend from heaven to Jesus, and that was the sign he was to look for, but as he sat there in prison it had ceased to be so clear in his mind as to whether this was truly the one he introduced Him to be. But when his disciples asked Jesus, Are you the one we have been looking for, to come? What did Jesus do? Did He pop right up, and say, Sure, I am. No, That is not how he responded. He simply allowed the scriptures to testify of Him. That way He did not leave Himself open to be accused of claiming Himself to be something. Notice how He answered them. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do HEAR and SEE? The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up. and the poor have the gospel preached unto them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” By answering like that, those who knew the scriptures that spoke of what He would do when He came, had their answer, and the rest were just left to ponder it in their minds. In other words, He just placed Himself in the scriptures, and let the scriptures testify as to whether He was the one they were looking for, or not.
PREPARATION FOR THE LORD
Brothers and sisters: If our ideas do not have a scriptural foundation, they are not worth two cents for anything. John had fulfilled Isa. 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” But Jesus was fulfilling Isa. 61:1-2, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of OW God, to comfort all that mourn.” When John’s disciples were gone, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes, (all those that were now following Him instead of John; concerning John.) What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea. I say unto you. and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” When you read Isaiah 40:3 it sounds like old John was out there building a road across the desert, but I want you to know that the road he was building. was a highway right down through the soul of man In other words, the Messiah was not just going to come walking along one day. without preparation being made first. in the hearts of those that were ordained to receive Him Likewise, He would not just suddenly show up for the rapture of the bride, without first having some preparation made in the hearts of those who are ordained to go with Him. Oh, How thankful I am that He did not come while I was still sitting down there in that Methodist church. We sat there Sunday after Sunday, chewing on that same old denominational pacifier, not even knowing what God was actually doing in the earth in our age. Brother, they do not like to hear it, but believe me; He is not coming for anyone who is still tied to a system of religion when that day arrives. Only those who have counted the cost, separated from those systems, and followed revealed truth, will be prepared to go with Him. That is why it was necessary for God to send us that Elijah anointing ahead of time, for that Elijah spirit always deals with apostasy. It is a God identifying spirit. You will never find that spirit cutting God up into three pieces, making a trinity, of three distinct persons out of Him. All of that trinity teaching is a hang-over from paganism, and Jesus is not coming for a bunch of educated pagans, if you know what I mean.
A FULL TIME BURDEN
All right, so in Malachi 4:5-6, Elijah is associated with two advents of the coming of Jesus Christ, the great day, (His first advent,) and the dreadful day, (when He comes in judgment, after which, He will rule on earth.) We know that John the Baptist fulfilled that Elijah coming, before His first advent. He prepared the heart of some of those fathers to receive Jesus, and accept the gospel like little children that accept your word without doubt and suspicion. But John did not prepare anyone to receive Christ before that dreadful day of the Lord. Like we pointed out in the earlier part of this message: God had used various vessels, restoring lost truth back to believers, through the years of reformation, and in supernatural ways. He restored His Spirit, and the revelation of His oneness, but those who were partakers of His blessings were never able to put it all together; therefore believers were divided up into various segments, each segment holding on to a truth that belonged with all the other truths that had been restored since the Dark Ages. Something had to take place, in order to get all of the true body of Christ together, and made into the image of Jesus Christ before His coming, and that is what brings us to Bro. Branham. No man ever preached against apostasy any harder than he did. And no man ever exemplified the love and compassion, and the gifts of the living Christ, any more than he did. He would preach his heart out, to them, and then stand and pray (or them until he was completely exhausted, even to the point of having to be helped from the platform It was as though he just simply could not say no to a needy person, even when his own health was threatened by the constant state of exhaustion. It was a genuine demonstration of his love and compassion for suffering souls. His great burden to see lost sinners saved, sick bodies, and sick minds healed and saved people joined together, with the unadulterated word of God as their standard, was a 24 hour a day burden. seven days a week. It was not just something he could turn on and off on service days, and forget about the rest of the time. I might also add the timing for such a ministry was not just by accident; it was perfectly scheduled by almighty God. That Elijah anointing of Old Testament times, did not come when Israel was really spiritual It was in an hour of great apostasy. when Israel was worshipping Baal. and every other kind of idol; Likewise when it came in the person of John the Baptist. It was after Israel had been through 1400 years of law. and they had interpreted it into ever so many sects and beliefs. They had the Scribes, the Pharisees. the Sadducees, the Essenes. the Zealots, and the Nazarites, and every last one of them got their doctrines from the same scrolls: they just interpreted them differently. That is exactly the same picture the Gentile church world portrayed in this age of Laodicea. We have church buildings of every size, shape, and description, and enough to accommodate the whole society, but among them, you can find every man made doctrine and ideology that the human mind is capable of coming up with. Yet most of them base their beliefs upon someone’s interpretation of the very same Bible we are all familiar with. It is all a result of using certain scriptures to establish a point, when there was no revelation as to the true meaning of the scriptures used.
MOUNT CARMEL SHOWDOWN
Let us see first, how Elijah of old, dealt with apostasy. He asked king Ahab to gather all the children of Israel, along with all the prophets of Baal, and the others, unto mount Carmel, where he met with them. There he stood up in the midst of them, and said, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21) He then proceeded to set the stage for a showdown. He said, I alone am the only true prophet of the Lord, and Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty, but we can settle this very simple like. Just bring us two bullocks; one for them, and the other for me. They will prepare their altar, with the offering thereon, and I will do likewise, but we will put no fire under the wood. Let them call upon their gods, and I will call upon the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let Him be God All the people agreed, and everything was set in order. Elijah allowed Baal’s prophets the first opportunity, and watched them, all day long as they called upon Baal. They begged and prophesied, and cut themselves with knives, but no answer came from their gods. Elijah just laughed at them, and told them they ought to cry louder; their gods might be sleeping But as it came time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah got busy and repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. Then when he had everything in place upon the altar, he had some of them that stood by, pouring 12 barrels of water upon the altar. Then when everything was completely soaked, he came near the altar, and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me. O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.” That man of God did not have to plead and beg, and cut himself, and jump up and down on the altar to get his answer. He prayed a very short little prayer, (about 63 words) knowing that he was in the will of God. We are still in 1 Kings, in the 18th chapter; so notice verses 38 & 39, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it. They fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, He is the God. the Lord, He is the God.” Then Elijah had all those prophets of Baal gathered up, and he took them down to the brook, and slew them everyone. according to the law. (Deut. 13:9) He did not have to waiver. nor be afraid of public opinion. He was obeying God completely: therefore he knew God would back him up. Hallelujah! Brothers and sisters: Elijah was just a human like you and I – subject to faults and weaknesses. But when the anointing of the Lord was upon him, he could do no wrong. He was as bold and unfearful as a lion in the jungle. But if you will read the first few verses of chapter 19, after that anointing was lifted, you will find him scared half to death, and running for his life, simply because one woman (Jezebel) had threatened to do to him, what he had done to the prophets of Baal. Things like this allow us to see that even though he was God’s anointed prophet, he was still just a human vessel, very subject to the faults and failures of human flesh. It certainly was no accident that these other details were recorded in the scriptures, for God did not intend that His human vessels should be worshipped because of what they did while under the anointing. I hope these words will speak to the hearts of some who may read this message.
REVELATION MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Now just as Elijah was bold and unfearful while under the anointing of God, so was John the Baptist. He looked straight into the face of those Scribes and Pharisees, and said to them, “O generation of vipers, you bunch of poisonous snakes, that have poisoned the minds of God’s people Israel (who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: (Those educated ecclesiastical trees) every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit (spiritual fruit) is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Luke 3:7-9) You would have to say that John was really laying it on the line to them, and without fear of them, for he was anointed to do what he was doing. Likewise when he stood later, and saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” there was not one ounce of doubt in him, that this truly was who he said He was. But, What happened later, when he was in prison waiting to have his head cut off, and that anointing was no longer upon him? His human weakness got the best of him. He started to question whether Jesus was truly the one he had introduced Him to be. We have already read the scripture from Matthew 11, bringing out another point, where he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Art thou He that should come. or do we look for another.” Do you think for one minute that John’s human weakness and doubts had any affect upon those who had already caught the revelation of who Jesus was? Absolutely not. Once God’s messenger points you to a revelation, and you see it in the scriptures, even if that messenger speaks something different, at a later time, it can never rob you of a true revelation you received from his first statement. As I said before, That is why everything we teach must be grounded solidly in the scriptures, so the Spirit of God can take it, and make it a revelation to your heart. That way, it does not rest just upon the word of God’s messenger. No matter who a hungry soul might hear it from at a later time, if it is grounded in the scriptures, it can have the same revelatory affect. I do not believe that John the Baptist fulfilled the first part of Malachi 4:5-6. and Bro. Branham fulfilled the second part, because I heard him say no. I did not need to hear him, or anyone else say so, I had already been convinced by the scriptures; Neither John nor Bro. Branham were writing prophets. They were revealing prophets, revealing that which could be established from the scriptures which were already written. Otherwise we would be able to say, Now let us open our Bibles to the 1st chapter of John the Baptist. I hope you catch what I mean.
THE MESSAGE LIVES ON
Elijah and John were both sent to the house of Israel, in their respective hour of time. Therefore their message was to the house of Israel, and only they needed to hear their message. Furthermore their message accomplished its purpose while they were still alive. Elijah identified the true God to them, and they turned from serving Baal to serve Jehovah. John introduced Jesus to them, and those who were ordained to do so, followed Him, and the rest perished in their unbelief. That brings us to a point of much controversy, concerning the words spoken to Bro. Branham, by the angel of the Lord that day in June 1933, while he was baptizing in the Ohio River at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana. While some claim that the angel spoke these words, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of the Lord, so are you sent to forerun His second coming.” Others realize that Bro. Branham world.” But sitting there in prison, he began to question himself, Is he really the one? He had seen the Spirit descend from heaven to Jesus, and that was the sign he was to look for, but as he sat there in prison it had ceased to be so clear in his mind as to whether this was truly the one he introduced Him to be. But when his disciples asked Jesus, Are you the one we have been looking for, to come? What did Jesus do? Did He pop right up, and say, Sure, I am. No, That is not how he responded. He simply allowed the scriptures to testify of Him. That way He did not leave Himself open to be accused of claiming Himself to be something. Notice how He answered them. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do HEAR and SEE? The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed. and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up. and the poor have the gospel preached unto them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” By answering like that, those who knew the scriptures that spoke of what He would do when He came, had their answer, and the rest were just left to ponder it in their minds. In other words, He just placed Himself in the scriptures, and let the scriptures testify as to whether He was the one they were looking for, or not.
MORE THAN A PROPHET
Jesus did not say that John was more than a prophet, because John was more spiritual than Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the others. Neither was it because he was morally better, nor because he was considered deity. It was none of those things. He was more than a prophet, because he had a greater mission. None of those other prophets had been chosen to personally introduce their Messiah to the children of Israel. But John was; therefore he was more than a prophet. Many who followed Bro. Branham allowed their carnal minds to run away with wild notions of this terminology, when applied to Bro. Branham gave him a place of deity. Some of them have even gone so far as to baptize in his name. But, Saints: Listen to me. Bro. Branham was more than a prophet, only in the same sense that John the Baptist was. Anyone who gives him any place of deity is an idolator. and the Bible says God hates idolatry, and that those who are idolaters shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who have the Spirit of God in them could never do such a thing in the first place. Rest assured, being more than a prophet simply meant that there was a little more required of him, Jesus speaking of John in that way, went on to say, “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” John did not live a cleaner life than Malachi who prophesied of him. That is not what made him greater. He did not live a cleaner life than Isaiah who also prophesied of him. It was just the fact that he had a greater mission. He was privileged to introduce royalty. He introduced the King of Israel. But those Old Testament prophets, even John, spoke as the Holy Ghost moved them, but they did not have the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost, like those who experienced the new birth, after Pentecost. This very indwelling presence of God in those who are born again, is what makes every last one of them greater than John. It certainly does not mean that they will make a greater messenger than John. It was simply that God would take of Himself, and give of Himself to those of His kingdom. Nevertheless, Jesus did give John’s image a resting place in the scriptures, and wherever the gospel was spread as those early Christians moved out, John’s image was always dear in the hearts of every Christian, because he was the forerunner of Christ. He did not have to be made anything more than what he was, in order to have later generations recognize what part he played in God’s great plan of redemption. He has his proper resting place. I know there are those who will never think a good thought about Bro. Branham, for they see him as a devil, and nothing anyone could say, will change their mind. But on the other hand, I believe there are those who will appreciate hearing some simple down to earth facts about him, and the place he scripturally fulfilled in God’s redemption program. There are many places in the world where his name was actually known better than it was right here in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he grew up. That is understandable though; it was the same with Jesus. Some have even placed him in the same category as Jim Jones, and look upon all who follow his message, as a cult. But I am here to tell you, that what he did in this generation, was not hid in a corner. Therefore I am asking the Lard to help me, as I endeavor to present to you, some of his life and ministry in a meaningful way. Then anyone with a spiritual mind who may read this will have an opportunity to judge for themselves, whether he was a devil, or a true servant of God with a message for this generation.
A CHOSEN VESSEL
Bro. Branham lived here in the Jeffersonville, Indiana area, but he was born in the state of Kentucky, near a place called Burkesville, Kentucky. He was very young in life when his parents moved here to Southern Indiana, near Jeffersonville, where he grew up. Those who knew him. and those who have read the book dealing with his life story, already know that God began dealing with him at a very early age, in supernatural ways. As a boy, growing up, he did not just go out and start living for the world, like so many do. That is better understood when you know what I am going to relate next. When he was about seven years of age. having just entered school in a rural section a few miles north of Jeffersonville, God spoke to him about his life and conduct. Bro. Branham told of the incident many times, through the years of his ministry, saying, “I was on my way one afternoon to carry water to the house from the barn, which was about a city block away. About half way between the house and the barn stood an old poplar tree. I had just gotten home from school, and the other boys were going out to a pond to fish. I was crying to go along, but dad said that I had to carry water. I stopped under the tree to rest, when all of a sudden I heard a sound as of the wind blowing the leaves. I knew it wasn’t blowing any place else. It seemed to be a very still afternoon. I stepped back from the tree and noticed that in a certain place about the size of a barrel, the wind seemed to be blowing through the tree leaves. Then there came a voice saying: Never drink, smoke, nor defile your body in any way, for I have a work for you to do when you get older. Of course that frightened the young boy at the time, but he was reminded of the incident many times as the years passed, for the hand of God had truly been laid upon him for a definite purpose. That is why I have said many times, We read all about these dope addicts, alcoholics, and prostitutes and all such like, that have been converted, and how the world of religion capitalizes upon their testimonies and builds them up as though they are the greatest gift to mankind ever, (and we all know assuredly that God can save to the uttermost, the vilest, filthiest sinners that have ever lived) but church history reveals that anytime God has had a message out of His holy word, to be delivered for the purpose of shaking up religious structures, He has always had a chosen vessel to deliver it. He has never had to use an ex-alcoholic, nor dope addict, nor an ex-convict. He does not entrust such a ministry to men who have stooped so low in life. If you could go back and examine the lives of Peter, James, John, Paul and all those other apostles of the faith, chosen by Jesus Christ Himself, you would not find any such background. You say, What about Paul? He consented to the stoning of Stephen. That did not place him in such a category. He was a member of the Sanhedrin court, and actually thought he was doing God a service when he was persecuting Christians. He later testified that he did all that in ignorance, and other than that, his life was free of all such. You can examine the history of the reformation, and you will find that God’s chosen vessels were men whose early lives had not been wasted in the gutters of sin and degradation. Take Martin Luther, the star of the Reformation. He was not a drunkard. He was not an alcoholic, nor gambler, nor murderer, nor robber. But I am convinced of one thing. When he preached, there were many of such characters that got right with God. It was the same with Wesley and all the others. God did not pick them up out of the gutter, and give them a message to take to the world. But, Bro. Jackson: Don’t you believe God would use the testimony of people who have been delivered from such a life? Yes I do. I believe God receives glory, honor, and praise from every genuine testimony that such a person is unctioned by the Holy Ghost to speak, but that is all it is a testimony, and even that can become a reproach, rather than a blessing. when it is promoted and publicized, and used for selfish motives and purposes, like we find throughout the Charismatic move of this generation. A person never gets so low that the grace and mercy of God cannot reach down to them, and save them, and give them a new birth, but what I want you to understand is that God will never choose such a person to carry a major message to His church.
BAPTIZING IN OHIO RIVER
Time and space would never allow us to record all the things that transpired in Bro. Branham’s young life, but I trust that we may be able to pray enough to spark the interest of many of you, so that you will obtain the book on his life story and read of many things that we cannot include in this article. Nevertheless God dealt with him in many ways through the years as he grew up, and finally brought him to a place of conviction where he surrender-ed his heart to God. Out in the old wood shed he really prayed through and got victory, and God gave him the Holy Ghost. After that, God began to lead him. He set up a tent and started preaching in the year 1933, and as a result of those meetings many people were baptized. On a hot Sunday afternoon, June 11, 1933. Bro. Branham was baptizing some of these folks in the Ohio River, at the end of Spring Street. (There used to be an old boat dock there, where the old ferry boat would come across the river.) Baptizing there in the river gave a setting much like where John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan almost two thousand years ago. I believe it was while he was baptizing the 17th person, that a voice spoke to him and said, Look up. Look up. Look up. When he looked up, there was a great light (he called it a star) hanging right over his head. Then a voice spoke, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of the Lord, so are you sent with a message that shall prepare the way for His second coming.” He testified how God later confirmed this commission on two different occasions, through tongues and interpretation and prophecy. Of course you will hear different versions of what various ones have thought the angel said to him that day, but I have already explained why, in the case of Bro. Branham, it would have to be his message that would circle the globe preparing the way for the second coming of the Lord, for Bro. Branham in person, never had the opportunity to completely fulfill such a commission. On the other hand, his message is still accomplishing that purpose, sixteen years after his death. Many have vainly expected God to resurrect Bro. Branham, saying that he must return to fulfill other things he was supposed to do before Jesus returns for His church. But I say to you, That is out of continuity with the scriptures. You need not expect Bro. Branham to be resurrected before Paul. Peter, James and John, and all the rest who have died in the faith. Bro. Branham, as a person, fulfilled his mission, for God’s purpose does not fail. God is not bound by what others have felt that Bro. Branham was supposed to do, and never has He needed to call anyone from the grace to minister to His people. If anyone who may read these words, has ever expected a thing like that, I pray that we may say something in this message, that will help you get your expectations in line with the scriptures. Otherwise the conclusion will be that you never received the message delivered to this age by Bro. Branham.
1937 OHIO RIVER FLOOD
The next phase of Bro. Branham’s life, that I wish to speak of, concerns the time of the great Ohio River flood of 1937. I wasn’t very old, just a teenage boy, but I remember it well. We lived out near Borden, Indiana, at that time, but I well remember the impact of that flood upon cities, towns and villages far and near. I remember how they hauled people out, and put them in the school building at Borden, Charlestown, and wherever they could find room for them. During that time Bro. Branham ran a boat, helping to rescue the victims of the flood. His own wife took ill and died, as a result of exposure during that time, and his little daughter Sharon Rose died the very night after the funeral of her mother Hope that had been earlier in the day. They opened up the grave and placed the little casket of Sharon Rose right on top of her mother’s. Bro. Branham was just like anyone else, in this respect; the loss of both his wife and his little daughter at the same time, threw him into a state of deep depression. They had not had much of this world’s finery in the way of material goods, but they had a genuine love for each other, and therefore they had a happy home. But this sudden loss was almost too much for him to bear. He was still working for the utility company, and while upon a light pole he became so burdened and grief stricken, he thought he would just take hold of those hot wires and end it all. But the next thing he remembered, he was sitting on the ground at the foot of the pole, just crying, with a broken heart. God never allows us to be tested beyond what we are able to bear though, before He does something to relieve the pressure. During this terrible state of heartbreak and despair, God mercifully gave him a dream that comforted him. He dreamed that he was back out west where he had been a few years prior to that. He was walking along whistling, when he was suddenly startled by the appearance of a young lady that looked to be about 17 or 18 years old. She was walking toward him, so he just said, “Good morning, Miss,” as they met, but she said, “Hello Daddy.” He did not understand that, but when she repeated it, he asked, “How could I be your daddy? You are almost as old as I am.” She replied, “You just don’t know where you are, Daddy.” She then told him that down on earth, she was his little Sharon Rose. Then she took him to see where she and her mother resided in heaven, and inquired about her brother, Billy Paul. He went to the place he described as a beautiful mansion, where he met Hope, his wife, and talked to her. Now Saints, we know that his wife and daughter were not living in a mansion, nor even in a little cabin up in glory. But God knows how to comfort a heart that is grief stricken, and pressed down. He just uses symbolic surroundings that you can identify with, while you are still living here on earth. By that, Bro. Branham was strengthened and encouraged to carry on. Through the years that followed, leading up to the end of WW2, many people in northern Kentucky, and southern Indiana were healed by the power of God, as God would show him a vision in advance of the healing that would let him know exactly what to do. Through the years, God had dealt with his life through various visions. Even when he was just a young boy, he had a vision where he saw a large bridge being built across the Ohio River, and a number of the workmen falling off of it. He saw exactly how it was constructed and where it would be. Years later, he saw that vision fulfilled. Space would never allow anyone to record all of the miraculous events that took place in his life, but I want to mention some of them as we go along, in order that you may know assuredly that God was preparing him to fulfill a major role in uniting the church of the living God under one banner. One such healing was that of a young lady by the name of Georgia Carter, of Milltown, Indiana.
HEALING OF GEORGIA CARTER
Through a vision given to Bro. Branham in the middle of the night, he was made to know that someone in a place called Milltown, needed help. He did not personally know the place by that name, but as he began to tell of the vision, and inquired of the place, a brother by the name of George Wright was able to direct him to Milltown to answer the call for help. The young lady had been bedfast for almost 9 years with tuberculosis, and the doctors had already given her up to die. She was 23 years old, and weighed only about 40 pounds. But when Bro. Branham prayed for her according to the vision, God raised her up, and completely healed her. Later, when her father came home and saw his daughter sitting at the piano playing, he almost fainted. I have been personally acquainted with many of these people who were healed in this manner, and have heard the testimonies of others that I did not know personally, and if they were all alive yet today, it would take a long time for them all to tell what the ministry of William Marrion Branham meant to them. George Wright himself was another person who could give personal testimony about his own healing. Bro. Branham became acquainted with that family; I believe it was while he was walking the power line right of way for the Public Service Company of Indiana. They lived out near Depauw. Indiana, and many times he would stop by their home and fellowship with them. Some of their neighbors out there got to criticizing them because they believed Bro. Branham’s teaching. Then as time passed Bro. George Wright took seriously ill, and it looked like he was going to die, so Sis. Wright contacted Bro. Branham, and asked him to come and pray for him. Then Bro. Branham had a vision, in which he saw that many of those who had been criticizing Bro. Wright’s family would die before he would. He saw the cemetery with the graves dug and the dirt piled up. Needless to say, Bro. Wright outlived those critics, who like to make fun of all that healing stuff and holy roller religion. He just passed away not too long ago. History proves that any time God has ever done anything different than what the general mainstream of religion was practicing, it has always brought about a protest, and much criticism. They will scream heretic, fake, counterfeit, and some of them will even violently attack those who teach something different than their pet doctrines. That was the case many times during the years of his ministry, for people are prone to find fault with what they do not understand.
Bro. Branham was working for the state of Indiana as game warden in 1946, when he felt a desperate need to get off alone where he could pray and read the Bible undisturbed. After saying goodbye to his wife and baby, (He was married to Sister Meda by this time, and Rebekah had already been born.) he went to a secret place where he became deep in prayer. He had always had to work for a living, never took up offerings, but more and more he was coming to the place where he felt he just had to find out exactly what God wanted him to do. Lying there with his face to the ground crying out to God, he felt that if he did not get an answer, he just simply could not go on. Along in the night, after he had finished reading and praying. and was just sitting there, he noticed a light flickering in the room. He first thought someone was coming with a flashlight. Then the light began to spread out upon the floor, and since he could not see anyone coming in, he became excited and started to get up from where he was sitting. But then he looked up, and there hung a great star, more like a ball of fire or light than a star, but he called it a star. Then he heard someone walking coming toward him, and saw the feet of a man. It was the angel of the Lord, and he said to him. “Be not afraid, I am sent from the presence of Almighty God to tell you that your peculiar life and your misunder-stood ways have been to indicate that God has sent you to take a gift of divine healing to the peoples of the world. If you will be sincere, and can get the people to believe you, nothing shall stand before your prayer, not even cancer.” The angel spoke also of two signs that would be given him to vindicate the gift of healing, one of which would work in his hand. I was privileged to see how that sign in his hand worked, when he prayed for my wife for a serious infection in her body. a will relate that later in the message.) The gift was in a way conditional, for the angel had said, IF YOU CAN GET THE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE, nothing shall stand in the way of your prayer, not even cancer. The other sign was to know the secrets of men’s hearts, whereby he could stand and look at a person and tell them where they were from, city, state. street address, and all, and even tell them what they had been praying for, and pronounce it done. When you saw and heard that, you knew it was not mental telepathy promoting some man’s program, for immediate results were forthcoming. People who were not sincere were discerned and told so. He made Jesus Christ stand head and shoulders above anything those doctors of divinity could produce, and he made the whole Bible come alive right before your eyes. I have heard great men of theology stand and spout off their fancy words, and their Greek and Hebrew, but when I heard this little man that did not have more than a fifth grade education handle those scriptures, I knew I had heard something more than just the words of a man. You would see the Christ of the Bible revealed, right out of His word, for when Bro. Branham presented that word to you, it was something more than just a little Bible story.
HEALING OF BETTY DAUGHERTY
Coming back to his own congregation in the Branham Tabernacle, Brother Branham testified how the angel of the Lord had appeared to him, and what he had told him, and even as he spoke, a telegram was handed to him, from a Rev. Daugherty out in St. Louis, Missouri, asking him to come and pray for their little daughter. She seemed to be dying from some unknown cause. The doctors had done all they could do, and many of their friends including many ministers and their congregations, had fasted and prayed for her without any visible results. Bro. Branham was willing to go. but did not have the money to make the trip, so they took up a collection in the tabernacle to get his train ticket. Near midnight they put him on a train for St. Louis. Upon arriving, he was met by Rev. Daugherty and taken to their home. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he looked at that little curly haired girl lying there, nothing but skin and bones, screaming at the top of her voice and clawing at her face like an animal. He knelt down there with some of the other folks and prayed for her, but seemingly nothing changed. He then asked for a quiet place to pray, and they took him down to the church. They prayed for three hours. then returned to the house to find that the situation had not changed. Bro. Branham then went into a room by himself to intercede for the child, and afterwards walked up and down the street, and finally stopped and sat in Rev. Daugherty’s car that was parked nearby. While sitting there in the car the Lord gave him a vision, showing him exactly what to do. and immediately, he was seen coming back into the house. The little girl’s father and grandfather met him at the door as he came in, and he asked them, Do you believe me to be God’s servant? Yes was their reply. He then gave instructions to the family members saying. Do exactly as I tell you. doubting nothing When everyone was in their place exactly like the vision had showed it. he prayed, “Father, as thou hast shown me these things, so have I done according to the vision that thou hast given me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, I pronounce this child healed.” The child was healed immediately, and I had the opportunity to have them pointed out to me by Bro. Branham. in a service at the Branham Tabernacle later. The tabernacle was very crowded, and they had to stand up along the wall. Rev. Daugherty’s letter of testimony can be read in the little book titled, “A Man Sent From God.” I realize of course, that many who read this article will never have the opportunity to acquire that book: therefore, it is unfortunate that we cannot go into a more detailed account of Bro. Branham’s life and ministry, but I trust that our reason for not doing that will be understood, for just to give a little profile of it will no doubt take at least three issues of the Contender. We do feel though, that what we have to say can be of help to some who still stand in a place of indecision because of the many different voices they have listened to.
REVEALED TRUTH VS. MAN-MADE CREEDS
Some people have referred to him as a divine healer by the name of Branham. That is all they actually know about him. But Bro. Branham did not refer to himself as a healer: rather, he was very quick to confess that Jesus Christ whom he served was the one who did the healing. As I said earlier, a number of other men had great healing ministries: that is an indisputable fact. But those other men were not ordained of God to carry a message to this church age, a message that Laodicea will be judged by. Why do I say that? Simply because his major message was, for believers to get back into the Bible, back to the apostolic gospel by which the apostle Paul said the world would be judged. God will not accept you just because you have been faithful to your church creed; He will only accept those who have received His word when it was, or is presented to them. I have been in services where dozens of preachers would sit back there on the platform with tears streaming down their cheeks, as they watched that little man pray for the sick, diseased and crippled that came through his prayer line, when they would be healed. But where are they today? They were just like a lot of the multitude that followed Jesus; they enjoyed the loaves and fishes, but they did not want to hear any of the doctrine of Christ. They knew it would tear down their little denominational playhouse if they tried to accept something that was not already in their articles of faith. Some of them are so pious. They will stand before their congregations, and with great swelling words go through, what we believe as Baptists, as Methodists, as this) and that, and so on. If there was an ounce of genuine faith in them, why would they not just say, We believe the Bible exactly as the early church in the book of Acts? Those characters look at people like us, and scream cult, simply because we try to obey the word of God as He reveals it to us. They do not know a cult from a hole in the wall. They look at Bible truth in action, and call it a cult, and sell themselves to some man made doctrine of some great denomination, that truly does fall into the category of a cult, by a scriptural definition. It is the same old spirit that followed Jesus. just waiting for Him to heal some poor sick soul on the Sabbath day, or to catch His disciples eating with unwashed hands. My Bible tells me, in the very words of Jesus. that the children of the kingdom are to be wise. Right? Wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Yet these murderers of the truth will walk around with their religious blindfolds on, caring for nothing but to hurt someone who is trying to uphold that truth they have no love for. That is why God is sending them strong delusion, just like Paul wrote of, in his second letter to the church at Thessalonica, chapter 2, verses 11-12. It just boils down to the fact that if you are not following revealed truth, your religion is founded upon Antichrist doctrine, and all the good works and deeds that you seem to be occupied with are a stench in the nostrils of God. You cannot possibly do a good work for God outside the bounds of His revealed word. For with God it remains as it was with King Saul, when Samuel told him. To obey is better than sacrifice. God winked at much of man’s ignorance through the years of Reformation, but we are living in an hour when there is no possible excuse for ignorance in the civilized regions of the world, for the truth has been made available, and it has been rejected. That is why I am determined to say enough in this message to let every critic know assuredly, that there are some people in the world today that truly did hear the message of God’s prophet, and they are following the true message, and they are not fanatics. Neither are they foolish people; they are wise people. Many of us have had denominational backgrounds just like a lot of you, but when the truth of God’s word becomes a reality to a hungry soul, denominational soda crackers will no longer satisfy. Furthermore, when you begin to see the light on the oneness of God and scriptural water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, it vexes your spirit to be in a place where trinity doctrine is taught, and water baptism is nothing more than a man made ritual. That is why Bro. Branham would cry, “Come out of those systems! Come out of spiritual Babylon!” The word Babylon is properly applied to all these systems of religion, for Babel and Babylon are both derived from a word that pertains to confusion, and brother, I want you to understand that if you are not following revealed truth, you are in confusion, if you are in anything at all. Many of your major denominations are overrun with people who look upon the Bible only as a book of theories, or a book of mythology. Yet to those who know the truth, the Bible is the only book in the world today, that a person can put complete confidence in. It is the only book in the world that has stood the test through the ages. No wonder Hollywood likes to indulge in its pages, taking certain stories and events to dramatize and make into some great movie. Because there is probably no other book in the world that is filled with more sin. and yet shows just as much of the opposite of sin, righteousness. There is not another book that describes as many wars as the Bible, and then declares what true peace is, and how to obtain it. It exposes natural man in his sinful inherited makeup, and declares that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But it also makes very clear how sinful mankind may be reunited with their creator, and sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. You do not have to be a theologian to discover the true peace, the true joy, and the glorious privilege of walking hand in hand with our wonderful Savior. As a matter of fact, theology is the greatest hindrance there is in really coming to a revelation knowledge of God’s truth, for genuine faith and carnal reasoning cannot possibly dwell together. It is the same with science. Many of you have heard me say, Genuine Bible religion will always make a place for true science, but your scientists of the world do not seem to be able to make a place for genuine Bible faith. They would rather believe their ancestors crawled out of a slimy frog pond somewhere, than to believe the Bible account of creation. They are aware of various discoveries that date back for a million years and more, and they have no authentic concept of a prehistoric population upon earth prior to that of Genesis 1; therefore they are forced to denounce the creation account that only dates back about six thousand years of the history of man. By revelation we understand man. By revelation we understand that the world itself was created, populated and judged, (making it without form and void,) somewhere back in the prehistoric ages of time, and that falls right in line with every genuine scientific discovery that has been made. Scientists and evolutionists can project any kind of wild theory they have a mind to, and not too much is said about it, but you let a man of God speak something different than what the religious hierarchy teaches and he is branded as a fanatic, or a devil, or just plain crazy.
Bro. Branham was not the first ever to be misunderstood. John Wesley once said, “I can speak something and go away for a little while, and when I return, I find that some have so changed what I said that it no longer means what I meant when I spoke it.” A lot of people mistake their vain imagination for inspiration, and they teach those imaginations as though it was revelation straight from the throne of God. All of that is the result of a runaway mind. They take a few words of scripture to justify their ideas, but they never are able to line their great revelation up with the Bible, so instead of putting believers back into the Bible, they take them a million miles away from it. That will mark the difference between a true man of God, and a self professed one, whether their doctrine lines up with Bible doctrine or not. Furthermore they will speak the same thing consistently, just like the apostle Paul. You never find where Paul preached to please his congregations. If he called something wrong in one place, he called that same thing wrong wherever he came up against it. The big difference between the apostle Paul and Bro. Branham is the fact that Paul was sowing good seed for the purpose of producing a good crop of genuine believers. While Bro. Branham was ordained to bring a message that would call those genuine believers out of denominational prisons, and to the word of God, and because of all the tare element that would hear him, and imitate him, God allowed him to speak many things that they could take and run away with. But through it all there was a stream of revelation coming forth that the true people of God could grasp and hold on to. Oh, how I thank and praise God for that. If more people would just realize that we are living in a separating hour of time, they would better understand much of what is taking place in the realm of religion. For that reason, I would never say that certain well known evangelists of the denominational realm of religion are not doing the will of God, for Jesus said in Matthew 13:38-43, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (That term applies to men that are used of God as well as to created angelic helpers.) As therefore the tares are gathered (tied up in bundles to be burned later) and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, (certain men chosen for this tare bundling work) and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” It sounds like the gathering and the burning is all going to take place at exactly the same time, but if you can catch the true significance of such a parable, that is not the picture at all. Actually the gathering together, and the literal burning is more than a thousand years apart. for they will not be burned until after the Millennium when they have been resurrected and judged at the great white throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. You may also want to read Revelation chapters 2 & 3, where you will find that the letters to the seven churches of Asia were sent to the ANGEL of each church, and we know that these were mortal men. Also, Revelation 10:7, speaks of the days of the voice of the seventh ANGEL, and that applied to a mortal man, a certain mortal man, and his name was William Marrion Branham; the seventh church age messenger.
PARABLES OF MATTHEW 13
Denominational systems are overflowing with people who do not even believe that there is any such thing as seven different ages. or divisions of time all within the scope of the dispen-sation of grace, but the Bible establishes that fact very clearly. Actually that is what the seven parables of Matthew chapter 13, pertain to. Each parable speaks of a certain stage that the gospel will pass through before the fullness of the Gentiles is complete. Luther found the treasure that was hid in a field, parable number 5. Wesley found the one pearl of great price, parable number 6, and Bro. Branham cast out the great net and gathered of every kind, as he preached to the people of the world. and the message he delivered to this church age is definitely separating the good from the bad, so to speak, and that is your parable number 7. As we go into our April issue we want to pick up in the year of 1946, and follow through those post war years and on into the 1950’s, and try to make the message interesting as well as informative, as we relate various events and occurrences of Bro. Branham’s life and ministry. But for now, let me just say this, We have no desire nor purpose that would cause us to overstate or exaggerate the various things we will deal with. But at the same time we want to make sure that we do not diminish anything from them. This is meant to be an honest effort to give Bro. Branham’s image is a final resting place in the scriptures, as we try to help some who are still undecided about him, see exactly where he fit into God’s plan of redemption, and the part he played in it. Watch for our next issue.