WE ARE LIVING IN AN HOUR OF ALMOST TOTAL CONFUSION CONCERNING THE WORD OF GOD. YET THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE PROFESSING TO BE CHRISTIANS IN THIS HOUR OF TIME, THAN EVER BEFORE: AND MOST OF THEM WHO ATTEND SOME KIND OF CHURCH FEEL LIKE THEY ARE ON THE ROAD TO HEAVEN, REGARDLESS OF THE KIND OF LIFE THEY LIVE. SELF APPOINTED PREACHERS ARE RUNNING EVERYWHERE; SO AGGRESSIVE AND SO AUTHORITATIVE, JUST INSTRUMENTS OF THE DEVIL, THAT HE IS USING TO MISINTERPRET AND TEAR THE BIBLE ALL TO PIECES. THEN YOU HAVE THAT GREAT MULTITUDE OF ATHEISTS WHO HAVE NO RESPECT AT ALL FOR THE BIBLE, AND GO TO ALMOST ANY EXTREMES TO DISCREDIT IT; SO HOW COULD THERE BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN CONFUSION, EXCEPT AMONG THE VERY FEW WHO DO HAVE A TRUE REVELATION OF THE WORD OF GOD? THE AGNOSTICS AND ATHEISTS SAY, HOW CAN YOU PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, AND HOW CAN YOU PROVE THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD, AND ALL SUCH AS THIS. BUT I SAY, IT WILL NOT TAKE ANOTHER GENERATION OF PEOPLE TO SETTLE THESE ARGUMENTS, FOR I AM PERSUADED THAT THIS GENERATION WILL LIVE TO SEE THE WINDUP OF ALL THAT IS PROPHESIED IN THE SCRIPTURES. NO I AM NOT SAYING THAT I WILL LIVE TO SEE IT; I MAY, AND THEN AGAIN I MAY NOT; BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE LIVING TODAY THAT WILL SURELY LIVE TO SEE THE END OF IT ALL. THAT IS WHY I SAY, WE ARE LIVING IN A MOST CRUCIAL HOUR OF TIME: AND GOD’S TRUE CHILDREN NEED TO TAKE STOCK OF THEIR LIVES, AND GET IT SETTLED ONCE AND FOR ALL, WHAT THEY BELIEVE AND WHERE THEY STAND. THOSE WHO ARE CHILDREN OF LIGHT NEED TO WALK IN THAT LIGHT, AND STOP ALLOWING THE DEVIL TO KICK THEM AROUND. YOU NEED NOT BE SUBJECT TO EVERY MAN’S IDEAS ABOUT THE BIBLE, FOR YOU CAN KNOW THE TRUTH AND BE SUBJECT ONLY TO THAT. THIS IS THE REASON I HAVE CHOSEN TO TITLE THIS MESSAGE, “CHILDREN OF LIGHT,” FOR BY THE HELP OF THE LORD, I WANT TO SHOW YOU THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHILDREN OF LIGHT, AND ALL THE REST WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS.
THE WORLD IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO WILL SAY, SURE I BELIEVE IN GOD; BUT WHEN YOU OPEN THE BIBLE AND TRY TO PRESENT A TRUE REVELATION OF WHAT IS RECORDED THEREIN, THEY WILL DRAW A LINE, AND FORBID YOU TO CROSS IT. WHY? BECAUSE THEY THEMSELVES HAVE NO REVELATION OF WHAT TRUE SALVATION IS; BUT WITH THE MIND: THEY BELIEVE, ACCORDING TO WHATEVER TRADITIONAL THEORY ABOUT GOD THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF SOME OF THESE RELIGIOUS POLLS THAT ARE TAKEN: IT LOOKS LIKE AMERICA REALLY IS A CHRISTIAN NATION AFTER ALL. BUT WHEN YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT MUCH OF WHAT IS CALLED CHRISTIANITY; YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE A LONG WAY FROM BEING A CHRISTIAN NATION. MORAL AND SOCIAL CORRUPTION TIP THE SCALES HEAVILY TOWARD THE DEVIL’S SIDE IN THE OVERALL PICTURE OF THIS AGE; EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE AGE OF PERFECTION FOR THE LITTLE BRIDE OF CHRIST. THAT JUST GOES TO SHOW WHAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAN DO IN THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT PURPOSE. HE CAN LEAD THEM RIGHT DOWN THE NARROW ROAD OF TRUTH; WHEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT HYPOCRISY AND OUTRIGHT UNGODLINESS ALL AROUND THEM. HE CAN GIVE THEM PEACE; WHEN IN THE WORLD THERE IS NO PEACE. PRAISE HIS NAME. BROTHERS AND SISTERS: YOU NEED NOT LOOK FOR PEACE ANYWHERE ELSE EXCEPT IN THE LORD. ISRAEL IS BACK AT HOME IN THE LAND OF HER HERITAGE, AND PRACTICALLY THE WHOLE WORLD IS AGAINST HER, BUT SOMEHOW THE LORD HAS CAUSED THIS NATION TO BE A TRUE FRIEND TO HER, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, MUCH OF THE WORLD IS AGAINST US, AND IT WILL REMAIN SO UNTIL THE END, SO DO NOT LOOK FOR WORLD PEACE, BEFORE JESUS SITS ON THE THRONE OF DAVID IN THE MILLENNIUM. HOWEVER AS I HAVE ALREADY STATED, I BELIEVE THIS IS THE GENERATION THAT WILL LIVE TO SEE GOD CLOSE OUT THIS DISPENSATION OF GRACE, AND USHER IN THE MILLENNIUM. SO THE TRUE CHRISTIAN OF THIS HOUR REALLY NEEDS TO HAVE A MIND THAT IS CLEAR, STABLE, AND STEADFAST, FOR I AM PERSUADED THAT THINGS WILL MOVE VERY FAST FROM HERE ON OUT TO THE END.
- 1 THE DAY OF SALVATION
- 2 WHAT THE DAY OF SALVATION IS FOR
- 3 CONFUSION – AND SPIRITUAL DARKNESS
- 4 AMERICA – NO LONGER A CHRISTIAN NATION
- 5 AT EVENING TIME – IT SHALL BE LIGHT
- 6 WHAT THE REFORMATION DID
- 7 THE ELIJAH FOR THE LAODICEAN AGE
- 8 ANTICHRIST DOCTRINES
- 9 A LOOK AT THIS DAY OF SALVATION
- 10 A NEW DISPENSATION – A NEW COVENANT
- 11 A DIFFERENT ANGLE OF THE SUNLIGHT
- 12 A LOOK AT THE FIVE FOLD MINISTRY
- 13 FULL LIGHT – COMES SLOWLY TO ITS FULLNESS
- 14 SOME HELPFUL WORDS FROM PETER
- 15 VOICE FROM THE EXCELLENT GLORY
- 16 THE GOSPEL CAME – THROUGH ABRAHAMS SEED
- 17 THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST
- 18 SOME HAVE SELFISH MOTIVES
- 19 PAUL REVEALS THE TRUE MINISTRY
- 20 WHAT THE HOLY GHOST DOES
- 21 DARK CLOUDS AND LIGHTER CLOUDS
- 22 THE TRUE MESSAGE – AND THE FALSE
- 23 GOD IS STILL DEALING WITH SOULS
- 24 A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE LAW
- 25 WHEN JESUS TOOK ON DEITY
- 26 WHEN JESUS PRAYED FOR BELIEVERS
THE DAY OF SALVATION
Let us open our Bibles to 2nd Corinthians, chapter 6, where in verse 2 the apostle Paul refers to a prophecy spoken by Isaiah, (which is recorded in Isaiah 49:8) and gives us the revelation of it. “For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Paul uses DAY and TIME, in this verse, so let me say this, When we hear the word day: we immediately think of daylight, but in language structure, a word like that is used in various ways, and the children of light must know how to apply the scriptures, and actually see themselves in every scripture that pertains to salvation. If they do not, Satan will side track them somewhere along the way, and cause them much trouble. In his Thessalonian letter, Paul says, We are not children of the night; but children of the day. In other words, children of light. But this is another usage of the word day. Children of the night are the unbelievers of the world, and we who believe are the children of the day. In this sense, the word day does not pertain to a period of time, but to a condition inside of us, for we have the light of God’s word within us. On the other hand, the children of the night have nothing but darkness inside of them, yet all are living in the same period of time. When Paul said, This is the day of salvation, he was referring to the dispensation of time that Isaiah had prophesied about. In other words, The prophet was inspired to write of a time somewhere out in future time, when the Spirit of God would work with mankind, to bring this great plan of salvation to a present reality, and the whole dispensation when He would do that, is referred to as the day of salvation. Therefore the word day, as pertaining to a period of time, can be 24 hours, or the daylight period of 24 hours, or it can be a period of time that lasts for many years, as is the case here. We call it the grace age, because it is a dispensation of time, wherein the Spirit of God deals with individuals, and leads them to a place where they willingly accept the free gift of his grace, which is the free pardon of all their sins. It is God’s appointed time to deal with man on the basis of his own personal salvation. Therefore DAY points to what is inside of us, and also to the period of time in which it was imputed to us. I hope you understand my illustrations concerning the word day, for I have a reason for making these points at this time.
WHAT THE DAY OF SALVATION IS FOR
People the world over, are getting hold of the sermons of Bro. William Branham. They are being published in various languages, and sent free of charge, just like the Contender is. But the fact remains that if a person does not have the Holy Ghost inside to do what Jesus said he would do, (guide you into all truth) that person is not going to read anything right. Educational degrees are not worth two cents when it comes to receiving a revelation of the word of God. This is how God keeps light separated from darkness: He only illuminates those who will humble themselves, and come His way. The world is full of all kinds of teachers, preachers, and instructors, and a lot of them have money to spend, to open the doors they want opened; but for the most part; they are just fulfilling the 2nd parable of Jesus, in Matthew 13:24. That is the one that speaks of a man which sowed good seed in his field, and while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. Then later, when his servants discovered the tares growing among the wheat: and asked if they should go out and gather them up, the answer was, “Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was to be like this, and when the explanation was given: we find that the field is the world; the sower of the good seed was Jesus, and the good seed was those apostolic Christians of that first age. “But while men slept:” speaks of the time when that first generation of Christians were sleeping in death, and no longer on the scene to guard the pure revelation of the word of God. The devil was then able to sow his tare seed (make believers) among those of the second generation, because they did not guard the true revelation as close as their fathers did. Therefore the children of God, and the children of that wicked one, (the devil) have all been growing right along together ever since, and we are now living in the time of the end of that parable. The application of the end of it is a present day reality, so there is no need for us to close our eyes, and pretend that this confusion will go away. It will not go away; it will get worse, for God has already set in motion the separating process; whereby the tares are being gathered together, and of course the end of it all is that they will be burned in the lake of fire, after the great white throne judgment has been completed. The two spirits have both produced seed in each age of time, but you will not find one denominational preacher anywhere today, that can tell you the difference between the two seed lines. They know there are tares present, but if they even mention it at all, they will just say something like, We just have to leave all of that in the hands of God. Jesus said, that in the harvest time, he would send forth His angels to do the separating; and when we read that: we immediately think of spirit beings. Well spirit beings truly are in the picture, but not like we are prone to think. They set in motion the conditions that affect our lives, but God always uses men in the overall picture of what He is doing. As we look around us, and take note of what is being preached: I believe we will have to agree that there are a lot of men today, being used to gather tares together. God’s true servants are preaching a true revelation, and all the rest are preaching something else, and people are choosing what they will follow. That is how it is being done, but it could not be done until after the 7th church age messenger delivered his message to the age; for that message is the great separating factor. That is why I say, It is important how a true servant of God uses the scriptures. Therefore in the scriptures which speak of the day of salvation: though they speak of, or apply to the whole dispensation of grace which includes many centuries of days and nights, the revelation points to only daylight time; not night time. Even though over nineteen hundred years have passed, we are still living in that day of salvation; for the door of God’s grace has not yet been closed. Then we want to realize that in every generation which has lived in that day, the Spirit of God has gleaned from it the children of light, which were foreknown of Him from before the foundation of the world. All of this has been done in the daylight time of the day those prophets prophesied about, and when the night time of that day finally comes upon the world, this dispensation of grace will be ended. No more Gentiles will ever be saved by the preaching of the gospel, but the foolish virgins who are left here when the rapture takes place, will purge themselves through martyrdom, during the great tribulation time of the seventieth week of Daniel.
CONFUSION – AND SPIRITUAL DARKNESS
Go with me now into the book of Zechariah, where we will read another prophecy showing the consistency with which the word DAY moves through the scriptures. This prophecy of Zechariah followed Isaiah by more than two centuries, and shows us how consistent the Holy Ghost keeps these focal points flowing. We are looking at verses 6 & 7, in chapter 14, which says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, (Day is the focal point, and after it starts: there will come a time when this applies) that the light shall NOT be clear, nor dark.” That is speaking of the light of that day, which we know is the whole dispensation of grace, and speaks spiritually of the light of the gospel. In the natural, we have seen days that even though the sun rose and set right on time, we never saw one glimmer of its light throughout the whole day. But the point is, it was daytime just the same; for no matter how dark the clouds make it, there is enough light penetrating them, to associate that particular time as daylight. On a day like that; when the sun does set, and night time comes on, oh how dark it is. Well we are talking about a day that Isaiah and Zechariah both wrote about; a dispensation of time wherein God would deal with lost mankind on the basis of personal salvation. But Zechariah goes further, and speaks of a time within that day, (or dispensation) when the light of that day would pass through a stage when it would be neither clear, nor dark, and we need to fully understand what the prophecy was referring to; lest there be unnecessary confusion about it. Let us read verse 7 now. “But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, (Yes, it is His appointed day, and He is not going to let it come to a close, without Him intervening to allow for the fulfilling of all other prophecies.) Not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light.” Just think, brothers and sisters: Those Jewish prophets prophesied that, and after hundreds of years, the Jewish people still did not know what the prophecies were pointing to. We are living more than 1900 years beyond the dawning of that day: which began at the birth of the Church, recorded in Acts 2, and at that time, only Jews were privileged to see the light of it. But later, when the Jewish people as a whole rejected this light: God took it from them, and offered it to the Gentiles in the same beautiful structure in which it was presented to the Jews. It did not stay like that very long after the Gentiles got hold of it though; for the devil used those Gentile theologians to cloud it over, in an attempt to shut out all the light. They added creeds, dogmas, traditions, and ceremonies of every sort, a little more in every generation, until finally the Christian world moved off into what was known as “The Dark Ages.” The written word of God remained the same; but men’s understanding of it kept getting less and less, until it seemed like all that beautiful light was lost behind clouds of confusion and spiritual darkness. It seems that carnal minded mankind always tries to dress up everything God does, and by the time they get through dressing it up; it has lost its original purpose and God is out of it. Oh the structure remains the same, but the glow of it is gone. Nevertheless, let me assure you that we are still living in the day called the day of salvation, no matter what some may say. I thank God that Jesus is still on the mercy seat, and that human souls still have that door open to them. God Himself is the only one that knows when the last lost soul will come into the fold, but until that time; the day of salvation will not expire, and when that time comes, no man is going to prolong it. World conditions cause us to feel that time is running out, but even still, God is the only one that knows for sure when this day of salvation will come to a close. That is why, even today, we can still say, Now is the accepted time; even though it seems that there is little concern anymore.
AMERICA – NO LONGER A CHRISTIAN NATION
There was a time when America was considered to be a Christian nation. She maintained separation of church and state, yet the government officials and school officials recognized God’s place in the affairs of mankind, even though they did not all profess to be Christians themselves; therefore she was projected forth as a Christian nation. However those days are far behind us now. Demon inspired and demon possessed people have been able to inject their ideas and influences, and get all of that changed; so that America today is just like an old dead carcass full of maggots. The Bible, and prayer has been kicked out of the schools, and God is not to be considered in anything. Therefore lawlessness is abounding in every level of society, and it will all get worse, instead of better. You do not go away from home and leave your doors unlocked today, like people did fifty years ago. If you do, you may return home and find that everything you own has been taken. These drug addicts and alcoholics have to support their habits somehow, and this is one of their ways. Even small children are caught in these traps of the devil. Sometimes you wonder where God will ever find anyone fit to pass into the Millennium, for the purpose of repopulating the world, after He has cleansed it one more time. Well we do not have to worry about that, God has those souls reserved for that purpose. But you do find yourself thinking about those lines, as you look around about you, and observe the ungodliness that abounds on every hand, and realize how few people even care what God thinks about their ways. Yes, spiritually it is a dismal day, or dismal hour of the dispensation called the day of salvation, just like Zechariah prophesied that it would be. Spiritually speaking, it is neither clear nor dark, as you would think in terms of day and night, except to the little bride of Christ. She knows where she is, in this hour of time, but religion in general is caught behind a dark cloud of confusion and deception.
AT EVENING TIME – IT SHALL BE LIGHT
In the book of Acts, when the Church first started out: oh how beautiful the glow of the gospel of Jesus Christ was, as it touched the lives of people. As we have already pointed out, it was first offered to the Jews; and there was only one of two choices that they could make. When they heard the gospel preached, they either chose to remain in Judaism, or they forsook all, to follow Christ; and if they chose to follow Christ, there was only one way to believe. There was no such thing as going to the church of your choice in those days. There was only one Church, and those who were in it, all believed the same thing; the revelation taught by the apostles. The book of Revelation had not even been written, when that first age Church rose to the peak of its beauty. Furthermore the Christians of the first few years had none of the New Testament epistles that are so precious to us. They were all written later, after other assemblies were formed as a result of the missionary activities of those early Christians. Two thousand years ago, our Gentile ancestors were devil worshipers, and Gentiles in general are fast returning to the religious practices of their ancient ancestors. Lawlessness was a common thing then; and our present society is fast returning to the very same thing. We could dwell upon the social and spiritual state of mankind in this hour of time, but I feel that our most urgent need, is to try to clear up some of the misunderstanding that surrounds some of these key prophecies of the scriptures. Human life was very cheap, before the gospel of Jesus Christ came over to the Gentiles. But because God had purposed to take from among the Gentiles, a people for His name: the Holy Ghost moved back the tide of Satan, and began to clean up that society, and Gentiles received the gospel, with the same enthusiasm those first Jews received it with. It was when the first age died off, that Satan once again was able to put forth certain ideas that would eventually lead the Church into a very dark hour of time. In that Thyatira age, the fourth church age, there was very little of that original gospel light left. It was hard for men to actually see what the Christian object really was. Nevertheless that prophecy of Zechariah was still in the Bible, and must be fulfilled, so just before the light went completely out and night time set in: God did something to allow the light to begin to break through, for according to Zechariah, There would be light in the evening time. Brothers and Sisters: That is exactly what the Reformation was all about. Once it began to strike at the 15th century; just as it went the other way, slowly the darkness of the creeds and dogmas of Catholicism, and make room for the fulfillment of that prophecy, just before the sun sets, here in this twentieth century. “But it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” Nowhere in the scriptures will you find any part of this dispensation of grace referred to as a period of night time. You may think so, as you read certain things in the book of Revelation, that are there to carry a type; but literally, when the night time does set in, the dispensation of grace is over with. That is why I feel so compelled to deal with these scriptures which are related to this dispensation; we need to know where we stand in relation to them. In other words, The dispensation of grace (the day of salvation) is not a period of day and night, you have to think of it in terms like, from sun rise to sun set, daylight time, not night time. Of course I realize that some of you will say, or at least think, Bro. Jackson: Why are you acting like this is so important? Well it is because it really is important; and I believe that the Spirit of God will cause you to realize how important it is; if you will just follow the message until we get through.
WHAT THE REFORMATION DID
As we look at this period in which there will be light at evening time, let me say this, I am convinced the Reformation, from the message of Luther, and on through Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and all the rest, was designed by the Creator, to move back the thick clouds of the religious systems of man, and allow the light of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to once again begin to illuminate the minds and hearts of an element of people, that will make up the part of his bride, that will be alive on earth, when he comes for her. Just think, right here in the twentieth century, God has rolled back those dark clouds, and allowed us endtime Christians to see the glow of that apostolic gospel. We have been allowed to receive it with the same understanding the early church received it. Not because we deserved it; but because of the mercy of God, as he fulfilled that portion of His word. This is how we need to look at, and understand all prophecy. It is God’s word, that must be fulfilled, and it is by his mercy that any of us are privileged to have a part in it. This prophecy has no Jewish application whatsoever; it is altogether a Gentile setting. Do not try to take the book of Revelation and make it otherwise. The book of Revelation is a total prophecy of its own; and there is nothing in it that breaks the consistent flow of all other prophecies of the scriptures, even though some try to make it so. I have said many times, the book of Revelation is a love letter to the Bride of Christ. It is true that much of it is about the Jews, how God will deal with them after the grace age ends, and so forth, but the revelation therein is for the bride of Christ, as she makes herself ready to meet him in the air one day soon. So called Christianity does not even know where it is, in the Bible. It is completely ignorant of the word of God. They have a few pet scriptures they cling to, and the rest can be tossed in the garbage can, as far as anyone cares. They do not know how to walk with God in the light of the Bible. It is completely ignorant of the word of God. The reason I can make such a statement as this, is because of all the precious truths of the word of God, that they reject, and even go so far as to say, That doctrine is from the pit of hell. That is why I am so thankful today; I realize that except for the mercy of God, I could still be sitting right among them, (those that will not walk in present truth) just as blind as a bat. God saved my soul, and while I was still in that old Methodist Church, down here in Harrison County, showed me some things that the Methodist Church does not teach. One February morning as I sat at home, on the couch, I opened the Bible to the first chapter of Luke, not knowing anything about a Pentecostal experience, nor anything beyond what the Methodists and the Church of Christ believe, and the Lord showed me something that I found to be real as life itself. I was reading about Zacharias coming into the temple to burn incense, and how the angel of the Lord came to him, to tell him that his prayer for a son had been answered, and that his name should be called John, and in verse 17, where he said, “And he shall go before Him (the Lord) in the spirit and power of Elijah, or Elias, (which is Elijah) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” I could not help but notice that the angel did not quote all of Malachi 4:5 & 6. He stopped right in the middle of verse 6; and when I read it that time, I said, If we are living in the days just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; He will send that spirit of Elijah again, but I did not know how, when, where, or anything else about it. I will assure you of one thing though, It was God that put that in my heart that day. No man had done it. Furthermore that is something your educated theologians refuse to accept, which reminds me of something the apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 1:26. “For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.” Why? They know too much. That does not mean that Jesus did not die for them; it is just that they are too proud of their own achievements to accept what God has provided for lost mankind. For to come God’s way: Jesus said we must humble ourselves and become as little children, with that same child-like faith. That is why he also said, It is harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom, than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Now most people think of a needle that women sew with; but that is not what Jesus had in mind at all. Right over there in the old walled city of Jerusalem, there was a hole in the rock wall, near the gate, and it was there for a very good reason. When the sun went down and the guards shut the gate to the city, there was no way for travelers to bring their camels into the city all loaded up. That was how they prevented gangsters from slipping in and doing them harm. The guards would say, Unload your camels, and come through the needle’s eye. That meant they had to crawl through; they could not come into the city with anything concealed. So when you know that, it helps you to better understand what Jesus meant.
THE ELIJAH FOR THE LAODICEAN AGE
Modern day religion, especially the charismatics, place a lot of emphasis on material wealth. Their preachers are always talking about how God wants to bless you with a million dollars, or something like that. Now please do not get me wrong; I am not against people having wealth. I would be a foolish person to take a stand like that without any scripture to back me up. On the other hand though, I do know that the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to withdraw himself from perverse and corrupt men who are destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. Well he did say, Godliness with contentment is great gain; so I hope you can all see the difference, because religion as a whole, has the cart in front of the horse for sure, for money is about all they talk about any more. Why? Because they are blind and destitute of the truth of God’s word. I just have to be thankful for the fact that God gave me something more to preach about, than earthly riches, for I never would have been any good at that; I am just not made that way. As for the way God dealt with me about Bro. William Branham: I want you all to know how much I appreciate that, for it enabled me to keep my feet on the ground and see exactly what God anointed him to do in this age. When a brother told me about Bro. William Branham being in Africa, and what God had done through his ministry there, and what had happened up here on the Ohio River, when he was baptizing some believers, I never doubted it the least bit; but said, if those words be true: then this is that Elijah which is to come. A few nights later, I was privileged to hear him preach and to observe his ministry, and after that, I heard just as many of his sermons as any of those so called experts on his ministry, that are running the roads today. What I saw and heard convinced me that he was the man that would fulfill the 2nd half of Malachi 4:6, and I always respected him as that man. I have lived long enough since his death to see what some of his followers are trying to make out of him, and how others react to it. Preachers have come to Jeffersonville from all over the world to see the Tabernacle where he preached, the cemetery where he is buried, the old station wagon he was killed in, and various places where some of his experiences took place, and when they leave this area, they have a revelation that they cannot wait to give to the world. But most of the time their revelation is as inconsistent with the Bible as Roman Catholic traditions. They just simply cannot be satisfied to allow him the place God gave him, without trying to make a god out of him, or make him God. He was anointed with the power of God, as the Reformation was coming to its climaxing purpose: to take the gospel of Jesus Christ and preach it as the first age apostles preached it. True light once again began to break forth, and we were privileged to see the power of God demonstrated as the gospel was once again preached the way the early Church preached it. God did not do that to make the man himself God, but rather, that we might be privileged to hear the gospel preached and demonstrated in a way that would return us to the faith of those first age apostolic fathers. It behooves every believer to have an ear to hear what has truly happened in our day. For I believe with all my heart that we are living very close to the setting of the sun, in the day that Isaiah and Zechariah prophesied about. That day is still in effect, the sun has not set yet; but it is getting very late in the evening time. Just because there was to be light in the evening time, a lot of people have the idea that the minute Bro. William Branham died, the sun slid over the horizon, and we are living in the night after. No. When it is night, the Church will be gone, and the great tribulation will be upon the earth. The darkest hour the world has ever known will come upon it, when the sun sets in the day we have been reading about, and talking about. I have a reason for taking this approach to this message, for there are certain scriptures that need to be set straight for some people, concerning what God has done in the earth, and what He will do yet.
More than anything else at this time, I want to make saints of God aware of how the enemy will try to blacken and darken this end time message, with all of this confusion that is being perpetrated by people who claim to be called of God to preach the gospel. There are as many tares running the roads, quoting Bro. William Branham in this hour, as there are priests quoting the pope. I have to tell you, when I analyze some of the things they put together, out of Bro. William Branham’s messages, I realize that they have the same spirit on them, that is behind the Roman Catholic religious structure. The Catholics claim to go back to the apostle Peter with what they teach; but they do not know a bit more about Peter, than a jack rabbit. They do not even know, that Peter was not the apostle to the Gentiles, nor that he was never in Rome. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, and true Christians know that; but just because of what they heard later, that Jesus said to Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,” they canonized Peter, and gave him a place that God never meant for him to have. They give him recognition as the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church; but they refuse to live like Peter lived. They will not preach what Peter preached, nor baptize the way Peter baptized, yet they hide behind his fleshly image, and cry, We are the Church, and look upon anyone who differs with them, as a heretic. They call their popes, the successors of Peter. Then they will bow down and worship them, something Peter would never allow anyone to do. Brother you talk about a lie out of the pit of hell: that whole system is a lie. Can anyone blame Peter for that? Absolutely not. I guarantee you: If Peter could stand in the streets of Rome today, you would hear some different sounds coming out from there. You would not find any foot kissing, bead counting, nor hail Mary’s. There would either be some genuine repentance, or there would be some people scrambling to get away from him. Well what causes people to do what those poor Catholic people do? It is a satanic spirit; God has nothing in them. Therefore when I speak of what men have done with the image of Bro. William Branham: I am not saying one thing against Bro. William Branham. He is not responsible for what these serpent seed types have done. They are motivated by the same satanic spirits that Catholicism is motivated by. It is what men under the inspiration of these false spirits have projected the flesh of Bro. William Branham to be, that is causing so much trouble and confusion. They apply their revelations to what he said, and then try to rule people who will listen to them, by using fear tactics. But, Saints: Let us remember the words of Paul to Timothy, in 2nd Timothy 1:7 which says, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” When you find a man who is claiming to be a servant of God, using fear tactics in an effort to get people to believe what he is teaching: Mark that man and get away from him, for God does not call men to operate like that. Whatever is taught by the anointing of the Holy Ghost is only for those who have an ear to hear it anyhow, so fear has no place at all in it. Your only reason for fear, is when you know to do right and do otherwise.
A LOOK AT THIS DAY OF SALVATION
As we continue looking at Zechariah 14:6 & 7, let me say this: there is not a Methodist anywhere that knows what this pertains to, nor a Baptist, nor a Catholic, nor a denominational Pentecost. It is a prophecy pertaining to the dispensation, and to the age we are living in, but the full revelation of it, has to be opened up to you by the Holy Ghost. You can accept what I say about it, but if the Holy Ghost does not open it up to you, it will only be in your head, and the devil will cause you to wrestle with it from time to time. Therefore let us go back into Isaiah 49, and read verse 8, the prophecy that Paul’s revelation in 2nd Corinthians 6:2 was taken from. “Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day (not a day of 24 hours, but a period of time) of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” That is a prophecy also: written in the 8th century B.C. But it is pertaining to this day of salvation we are now living in. It will not help those who hear the tapes; but for the benefit of you sitting here, we are using this chart back here to illustrate what we are saying about this day. It represents the whole period of time we are dealing with, right from the dawning of the day of salvation, on the day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2. Dawning is always associated with the rising of the sun in a solar day of 24 hours. You look to the east in the morning, and you can see the sun as it begins to appear over the horizon on a clear day, and what a beautiful light it gives to the earth as it sweeps toward the west, where it will disappear over the horizon on a clear day, and what a beautiful light it gives to the earth as it sweeps toward the west, where it will disappear over the horizon in the evening, and when it sets, it is night time upon that part of the earth, but all the hours in between the rising of the sun, and the setting of the sun, are daylight hours, no matter how cloudy and dismal it may become during that day. This is what I want you to keep in mind, as we deal with this period of time called the day of salvation, which covers the whole grace age, and runs through many centuries of time. Naturally the sun is always associated with what illuminates the earth in the daylight hours, as we think about daytime; therefore the natural sun of the solar day types the Son of God in this spiritual day of hundreds of years, and the light from that sun (SON) was first projected to the world through the ministries of His chosen apostles, and at the dawning of that (or this) day, that light first illuminated 120 true disciples which were assembled in an upper room, there in Jerusalem, and then a little later, another three thousand souls were illuminated by that same light, and then another five thousand and so on, and through all of the centuries since then, that same light has been shining, even though there have been times when it was very cloudy. As long as there are souls being saved, we are still in that day, no matter how few there may be, for when the sun finally does set on this day, it will mean that the last foreknown seed has heard and accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This day started (we will say) in the year 33 A.D., and here we are in the year 1986 A.D., and the light of that certain day is still illuminating and leading the foreknown children of God.
A NEW DISPENSATION – A NEW COVENANT
The Jewish nation had passed through 1400 years of the law dispensation which consisted of types and shadows of the next dispensation that was to come. All of that was likened unto night time, but in that artificial light, there was life given to every soul that sought after God. The ministries of John the Baptist, and of Jesus Christ Himself, brought that old dispensation (night season) to a close, and opened up the way for the new dispensation (day time) to go into effect. John was NOT a writing prophet; he was a preaching prophet, reaching back into the law and bringing out scriptures that pointed to a new dispensation, which would be referred to as a day, another period of time wherein another covenant would be applied. The old had to come to an end, for the new to begin. There has been no life in the keeping of that covenant, since the grace age has been in effect. Jesus had to give his life, shed his blood, and be resurrected from the dead, in order for this new covenant to become effective, but from that time on, no one, absolutely no one has received eternal life, by the keeping of the law. Trying to obtain salvation by keeping the law, in this dispensation, would be just as vain as going out here, and trying to buy a new car with Confederate currency; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, except the name Jesus Christ. We know that we are living in the day of grace, that those prophets prophesied about, and we ought to know that we are living in the evening time of that day, just as we read of, in Zechariah 14:6-7. As I said, This is a prophecy that applies only to the dispensation of grace. When the age started, the sun, which was the revelation of Jesus Christ preached by the apostles, rose on this day, a day in which this gospel of Jesus Christ was to produce an experience in the lives of every predestinated seed of God, and that experience was explained by the apostle Peter, in 2nd Peter 1:19. There he says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” As I said earlier, We really need to get these verses of scripture lined out in our understanding. The prophecy of Zechariah, speaks of the day in which there is supposed to be light, but that light became so clouded over, that the light of the sun (SON) could not be seen in its full glow, so a lot of people would think that the light was no longer there. But the prophecy declares, That at evening time it shall be light, and that being the word of God, it could not fail. Therefore here in the evening time of that dispensation of grace, the sun has broken through all of that religious confusion and tradition, and once again the revelation of Jesus Christ can be seen and understood in the same light those original apostles preached it in. This in turn gives the end time children of God the same light and understanding the first Christians had, and the scripture in 2nd Pet. 1:19 therefore applies to the individual believer’s own experience. The light of the gospel breaks through the darkness of unbelief, and becomes a growing thing in your own heart, and puts you in possession of the revelation of Jesus Christ. That is how the day star (DAY STAR) arises in your heart. It is not another period of time; it is something that happens within this same period of time we are dealing with; the period of time that Zechariah 14:6-7 pointed to. This period of time called the grace age is the same period of time that is also referred to as the 7 church ages, and was set forth as such, in the letters John was instructed to write to the seven churches of Asia, which is found in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. Each one of those seven churches mentioned, represent one of the seven different phases of the New Testament Church would pass through, during this period called “The Grace Age.” We are now living in the 7th, the Laodicean Age, and it was in this time that there was to be light break through once again; and I can testify to you that it has been so. What caused it to be so? Some will say? But the answer is a very simple one; The Spirit of God anointed a prophet in this age to restore end time children of God back to the original apostolic gospel.
A DIFFERENT ANGLE OF THE SUNLIGHT
Bro. William Marrion Branham of Jeffersonville, Indiana was anointed of God, and given the true revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was taught by the first apostles of Christ, and it was through his ministry that there has been light here in the evening time of this dispensation. He never sought fame nor fortune, as we see so many preachers of this day and hour doing. His great delight was in doing what His Creator had given him to do; (Lead true believers back to the word of God) and even though that prophet messenger was taken from among us, in a horrible automobile accident, more than twenty years ago, that evening light still shines because the 5 fold ministry of Eph. 4:11 has stepped into their calling, and from that restored truth of God; they are projecting the light that will fulfill Eph. 4:12-13, which pertains to the perfecting of the true believers, and the unity of the faith that they shall attain unto. In other words, Each believer that sees the evening light, can understand the ministry of Eph. 4:11, and can themselves become enlightened, and reflect the same revelation that was reflected by the Christians of that first age, before the tares got in. Remember this though; Here in the end time, there will be things revealed, and true saints will understand them, that were not revealed in the first age, because in the evening time, the light shines upon the word of God at a different angle. Almost two thousand years ago, when the sun rose, and this light first began to shine, the apostles were seeing things according to what the apostle Paul explained in Eph. 3, verses 1-9; which in itself tells us that the light then, was shining upon the word of God from a different angle. They were having revealed to them from the Old Testament scriptures, this great plan of salvation that Jesus Christ set in force at Calvary, when he laid down his life for the sins of lost mankind. Then they looked far into the future, and by divine revelation, spoke of the resurrection of the saints, and the rapture, (or translation) that is to take place at the end of this age, and such like. But here in the end of the age, in the evening time, that light has shined upon the word of God in its full strength, to reveal some things that they did not see; such as the truth on the prehistoric world, the serpent seed, and the revelation of the first six seals. Then just before the sun sets on this dispensation; it will give off the revelation of the 7th seal, and it will make known the 7 thunders. We already have the revelation of what (WHAT) the 7 thunders will be, but we do not yet know who they will be, nor what exactly their message will be. But whatever their message is; it will be only for the little bride of Christ, that is waiting to be translated to glory, for after she hears them, she will be escorted to the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be in heaven. When she leaves here, the dispensation of grace, called the day of salvation, will be over with, and the setting of the sun in that day, will bring gross darkness upon the earth; the darkness of the great tribulation, wherein there will be suffering and death for those who are left here. Brothers and Sisters: I sure do not want to be left behind, when the bride takes her flight to glory; do you? Let us then take heed to that which the Spirit reveals to us, for that is how our perfection is going to be accomplished. We just simply cannot drift with the world, and still expect to be taken up, in the rapture.
A LOOK AT THE FIVE FOLD MINISTRY
Now at this time, I wish to explain and comment upon the responsibility and ministry of those who will fulfill the offices set forth in Ephesians 4:11. First I will say this, They are to pick up where Bro. William Branham left off. Through them, God will still reveal His will, and His word, and that evening light will be so beautiful. They will be called of God to fulfill these ministries; no man will appoint them, and no man will need to authorize them. Their particular ministry will be vindicated by the Holy ghost to those who are ordained to benefit by it. Of course there will be many men arise, here in the time of the evening light, knowing that it is the season for apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who will want to be recognized for their own personal revelation of the word of God, but those who are truly called of God to fulfill those offices, will have no such selfish motives. They will all preach and teach the same revelation, and work together to fulfill the purpose of God, knowing that in themselves they could do nothing that would glorify God. These self appointed ministers will start out with some very good intentions at first, but because they have not truly been called of God to fulfill the office they profess to be functioning in: they will be subject to, and at the mercy of, all those adverse spirits that cause men to become puffed up with pride, or to seek personal advantage, or to yield to weaknesses of their flesh, that eventually leads them to ruin. Some ask, Will this kind preach truth? They will all have some truth; but they will not be able to put together the picture that God has ordained for His true children to see here in this evening light. Naturally Satan himself will be behind everything that is not genuinely ordained of God; and his purpose in it all, will be to create confusion, with the intention of accomplishing here in the end time, what he accomplished, starting in the closing years of that first age, and going on into the Dark Ages, but God will not allow the same thing to happen again, for it is time to reap a harvest from the seed sown in those apostolic days. In the meantime, here is what true saints should watch out for. Let’s just say there are five men scattered over the earth, claiming to be apostles. Two of them teach the same thing; and the other three have their own individual ideas of what the revelation of God’s word for this hour is. You know there is something wrong; for what God reveals to His true servants will fit together, no matter where they come from. Those early apostles never had to change their revelation, because some fellow came down the road preaching something different. It was just the opposite of that; for in Galatians 1:8-9, the apostle Paul wrote: because of this sort of thing, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Brother he was fully persuaded that he had received a true revelation, and also that the Spirit of God would not reveal something to another true child of God, that would be contrary to what he had revealed to him. We are living in a different age; but the devil is still the same. He will always inspire someone to try to outshine God’s true apostles. He will not give up, until he is chained up for a thousand years; and even then, when he is loosed for a little season, according to the 20th chapter of Revelation, he will again go out into the nations, and deceive a great number of people. But remember, Saints: the word of God admonishes us: if we have an ear to hear, we should hear what the Spirit says to the churches, or to the Church, which is the bride of Christ. Of course some may ask, Bro. Jackson: Do you believe there will be other men in the world that may receive revelation on some things you have not yet touched upon? Yes. But I also believe that when I hear them, or read something they have written, it will blend in with the overall picture of what has already been revealed, by the Spirit of God. If someone comes along with something, that at the time, I have not yet been dealt with, about it, and then later God leads me to look at it, and I see something wrong with it; Do not think for one minute, that I will do as we used to do in denominations, and say, Well it is food for thought, or, He has a good point there, or, Oh he is such a sweet fellow, and such a wonderful personality: God will work it all out if we just leave it alone. NO!!! Brothers and Sisters: Listen to me! It is too late in time for people to be allowed to play around with such as that, without being exposed. It is time for all true men of God to be speaking the same thing; no matter what part of the earth they come from, for the Holy Ghost only draws one picture. Now I do not mean to imply that God has no earthly use for preachers such as I have just mentioned; for I am fully persuaded that He uses them to help separate the tares from the true seed. Furthermore I do not believe that any true apostle or prophet has to defend his ministry, by his own efforts, for God Himself will defend every one that He has called; because they will be speaking His word. There will be great spiritual battles develop over the earth as the age closes out, but we already know which side is going to win; because the children of light will walk in the light that is shined upon their pathway. The children of light, of course, are the children of truth.
FULL LIGHT – COMES SLOWLY TO ITS FULLNESS
As we look back to the first advent of Christ, and beyond: we can readily see that there was no life received in the keeping of the law of Moses, after that event. Everything contained in the law, pointed to the Messiah, which, as we know, instituted a New Covenant; and after that, those who would follow God, would have to do so, within the bounds and requirements of that New Covenant. In other words, A new day dawned, and we today who serve the Lord, are walking in the light of that same day that dawned then, which was almost two thousand years ago. This is the age of grace and the whole book of Acts is taken up with the history of the church’s beginning, as that new day dawned upon mankind. Just as the natural sun gives off light to the earth, so also did the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, give off rays of light, and the glory of God was expressed through it. Therefore we can say this, The book of Acts lets us see the effect, that the rising of the sun (spiritually speaking) had upon mankind, in the dawning of this new day. Therefore we can say for sure, It was not the light that shined so beautifully then, that caused believers to divide into separate denominations, Baptist, Methodist, Catholics, Presbyterians, and so forth, coming through the Reformation, for that light in its fulness, caused believers to have all things common, because they all believed the same thing. No they did not start right out with a full revelation; their revelation was enlarged each day. Natural light follows the same pattern, and has the same affect as what we see of this spiritual light’s affect in the early hours of this great day of salvation. As the natural sun comes up over the eastern hills in the morning, you can see the disc topping the horizon; and everything that light strikes; has a long shadow. But as the sun rises higher and higher, the shadows get shorter and shorter, until finally they cannot be seen at all. The full glow of the sun has everything illuminated; there is no darkness at all, and as we look back through time, we can see for sure that it was exactly the same way with the gospel light. As time moved on, their revelation of the plan and purpose of God became clearer and clearer. That is why you find nothing in the book of Acts pertaining to the rapture of the Church, and nothing pertaining to the overall doctrines that would stabilize the course of the Church as time moved on, and Satan began his attacks. From the various epistles, we see how the revelation of those apostles grew, and how they imparted that revelation to the other believers, and admonished them on how to handle it. Much of what was written in the epistles covered the same period of time that the book of Acts covered; but the purpose was different. The book of Acts is more or less a history of the birth of the Church, and of its glory and difficulties, in it’s early years. But the epistles go into much detail, dealing with conditions that had arisen, both within the local assemblies and the Church as a whole, giving instructions, and explaining doctrines that were necessary, for the unification of the whole body of Christ. For the Church had not gone too far until Satan began to knock on it’s door, and try to gain entrance for some of his children; (tares) he wanted them within the structure of this beautiful body, that had shut him out of the picture. When people believe and adhere to truth, Satan has no ground to operate on; for he is the spirit of darkness, lies, confusion, and deception. This is exactly why, in those early years, no matter how hard he tried, the devil could not find a place among those saints of God; for the light was so bright there was no place for darkness, and the Holy Ghost, working through that ministry, kept it that way for many years, until they, one by one, were taken from the picture. But while those apostles were still alive, they warned the saints of what would happen after they were gone, as that antichrist spirit continued and intensified his efforts to break down the barrier of truth, that kept the tares out of the Church.
SOME HELPFUL WORDS FROM PETER
Let us go to the 1st chapter of 2nd Peter and read it slowly, starting in verse 15, and associate it with Paul’s letters to Timothy. The date of writing was approximately 66 A.D., thirty years before God spoke to the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, in 96 A.D., and commissioned him to write the book of Revelation. By this time many of the apostles and ministry of that early hour had already been martyred. Paul was beheaded somewhere around that time, and by the time God spoke to John, he was the only one left of the original apostles, that had brought this glorious gospel to the Gentiles. The Gentile world had lived for centuries knowing nothing of the power of God, nor of any plan that would include them. But before the Church had existed very many years, the light of that glorious gospel they carried, forced back the powers of darkness and included Gentiles in its scope, and Gentiles have carried it ever since. That does not mean that the whole society of Gentiles was changed, but brother, the personal lives of a lot of them were transformed by that glorious light and the Gentile church had its beginning. Then by the time 66 A.D. rolled around, Peter knew more or less, that he was facing martyrdom, and he took the occasion to write this epistle and give advice, warning, and instructions that the church would need after he was gone; so let us read it. “Moreover I will endeavor (or make this effort to leave you something that will help you) that ye may be able after my decease (Who is he writing to? He is writing to all believers of that hour.) To have these things always in remembrance.” Please notice that what Peter is going to say to them, is to be remembered always, and we should be mindful of the fact that when he says we, he is speaking of the entire apostolic ministry, that God has used, to lay the foundation of the New Testament church. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Brother and Sisters: As you drive down the streets of any city now days, you will see all sorts of slogans on church bulletin boards. Sermon topics are announced, soup suppers are promoted, and every other thing that the world churches are involved in. It is enough to make a person sick at their stomach. Furthermore a person would be much better off, not to even hear a lot of what is preached in those places; for they are void of revelation and could not possibly contribute to the spiritual growth of a true seed of God. I have a reason for talking like this; for if those people had genuine revelation of the word of God, they would not be where most of them are. Anyhow, Peter was one of the chosen 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, that witnessed His 3 ½ years of ministry, and the things that took place as a result of it, and as he writes of His power and coming, he is referring to His first advent; not the second, which is yet to come; for he says, We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. Peter wanted believers to know that they were speaking of something they had seen with their own eyes, and that it was not necessary to use trickery to get peoples attention. Notice verse 17 now, as he speaks of Jesus. “For He (Jesus) received from God the father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Those Jewish men (the twelve apostles) all received the same revelation of the godhead, even though Peter James, and John were privileged to witness something the others did not get to see. We have already read from Jude, and we will read from others, which together will prove beyond any shadow of doubt, that they all had the same revelation of the godhead, and none of them were afraid to speak of the Son, and of the Father, for they knew what they believed, why they believed it, and what belonged to each one. They knew the Father was a sovereign Spirit, and not a person; and they did not feel the need to remind people often of that fact, then, for the revelation had not yet been polluted by a trinity concept at that time, like it was later. These men were entrusted with the responsibility of carrying this revelation to a Gentile world, and I can assure you of this one thing; Nothing was withheld from the Gentiles; the gospel was preached to them in the fulness of its beauty; even though at first, (to the Jews who believed) it seemed like it was only a Jewish gospel.
VOICE FROM THE EXCELLENT GLORY
In verse 17 Peter spoke of how Jesus received from God the Father honor and glory, and that causes some to think of the honor, power, and glory that He will have in the Millennium; but what he is actually speaking of, is the transfiguration the three of them witnessed, when Jesus took them up with Him into a high mountain apart from the others. But the point I wish to make is how they all received the same revelation of the godhead, and of the overall gospel. Some of the twelve were at the river; and heard what was said there; and Peter, James, and John were on the Mount of transfiguration with Jesus, and saw and heard Him speaking with Moses and Elijah, and heard the voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him,” but none of this caused them to get a different revelation. That is why the early Church had such wonderful unity; they were all taught the same thing. Therefore as Peter felt the inspiration to write this epistle, he knew it was very important that all believers everywhere, have confidence in the revelation that had been taught to them, and also in the source through which that revelation was first conveyed to them. It came not to them through hear-say; but from the lips of men who had been personal witnesses of the things that had transpired. Therefore above and beyond all that the others had seen and heard, here was the witness of a man who had been on the mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, and had witnessed all that took place there, including the voice from heaven, (the excellent glory) which had restated what was heard at the river, when Jesus was baptized. Now a lot of carnal minds will say, How can God speak words that can be heard audibly, if He is not a person? A lot of people just simply cannot conceive of the fact that God did not have vocal cords, nor eye balls, nor ear drums, nor hands. But that Is because of their traditional teaching; that God the Father of all creation, is the first person of a trinity of persons in the godhead. Well we have said before, Jesus the Christ, was the ONLY person in the godhead. The Father is the sovereign Spirit that spoke the germ of life into the womb of the virgin Mary, and the Son is what came forth from her womb as a result of it; and the Holy Ghost is that combined Spirit of both the Father and the Son. But as for the ability of the Father to speak audibly, not being a physical person, do any of you think that it is your physical vocal cords that do the speaking, when you talk? If so, then why do they not still speak, after the spirit of life has gone out of them? Naturally we associate our ability to communicate with these physical organs of our natural body; but if you will just stop and think for a moment, you will realize that the ability we have, has to come from another source other than our flesh. Our fleshly organs are simply the means through which the spirit manifests itself, and in our case; those organs are necessary for normal function, because God ordained it to be so, but do not try to put those same limitations on Him. He needs no mouth to speak, He needs no eyes to see, nor ears to hear our faintest cry, for He is Spirit, and always has been. The writers of the scriptures spoke of the mouth of God, the hand of God, and so forth, but those references were for the purpose of expressing the thought they were dealing with, and certainly not because they were confused. They knew full well that their Creator was, and is a sovereign Spirit, and that there is nothing impossible with Him; so Peter knew exactly the source of the voice from heaven they heard.
THE GOSPEL CAME – THROUGH ABRAHAMS SEED
Notice verse 18 now, as we continue reading from 2nd Peter 1, “And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him (Jesus) in the holy mount.” At the time, Jesus instructed them not to tell the vision to anyone, until after he was risen from the dead, but by the time the gospels were written, they were at liberty to tell all about it, and they did, and that is why Peter can refer to it, as he did here, without going into all the details of what took place. But for you who are not altogether familiar with what Peter is referring to, you can read it in Matthew 17:1-9. Alright now, let us read verse 19. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that ye take heed.” We could rephrase that, and in our terminology say, We have prophecy made more sure to us. Because Peter is pointing back to the Old Testament, to the prophecies that had foretold how God would also bless the Gentiles. God spoke to Abraham one day, before he even had a son, and when it looked like he would never have one, (at least by Sarah) and said, (Gen. 15:5) “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He (God) said unto him, (Abraham) So shall thy seed be.” You can go back to Genesis 12:3 and see where God first said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee: and in thee SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.” That prophecy was reconfirmed to Abraham from time to time, and he truly did live to see his promised son Isaac, take a wife, to begin the fulfillment of the prophecy; but the fulfillment itself was hundreds of years on down the road of time, and Abraham himself would never live to see it. One thing is sure though, He did believe God; and he looked constantly for that promised seed, knowing all the time that after he was born it would still be a long time before he would ever be multiplied, so that his seed would be as the stars of heaven, or as the sand on the seashore, for number. Nevertheless that prophecy lay there, and others were added to it, and the apostle Peter was living in the day when it was being fulfilled, and we are too. Hallelujah! From the call of Abraham to the time the children of Israel went down into Egypt, many years came and went. But 430 years later, when they came up out of Egypt, they truly were a great multitude. Now they were twelve tribes; and not only that, they became a nation established within a land; and scripturally they had to be reckoned with. Well that is one prophecy, and Isaiah 49:8, which we have already read, is another one. Naturally the prophecy here pointed to an element of Jewish people, the people to whom he (God) had given this covenant; therefore the gospel was first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles, when the dispensation of grace did start, a remnant of Jews had to be the first beneficiaries of this new covenant, wherein God would write His law, not on stone again, but on the tables of the hearts of His covenant children. That took everything out of the natural and placed it in the realm of the spirit. That is why we can see the apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 6:2, reaching back into Isaiah and bringing that prophecy all the way over to include Gentiles in its application. No it was not carelessness on his part. We all know how God had to deal with him to get him out of Judaism, and into this glorious gospel, and we know that he did not just jump up and preach the first thing that came to his mind. No, he says in his Galatian epistle that he went into Arabia for three years, and then he came back, ready to preach. What did he do during those three years? He took those Old Testament scrolls, and studied them until the Holy Ghost gave him a revelation of what all those types and shadows and prophecies pointed to, and then the Holy Ghost anointed him for a powerful ministry among the Gentiles. Oh yes, he always preached to the Jews first, in every place he went, but he was known and referred to himself, as the apostle to the Gentiles. Those Old Testament prophecies came alive to him; the Holy Ghost caused him to see exactly how to apply them. Brother! That is why I have said, That first apostolic Gentile church was not just a mere Sunday School class, that studied theories; they have exactly what God had revealed concerning His redemption plan for the ages, and how they fit into it, and we, here at the end of the age should know likewise. Therefore I feel that if we can catch a true picture of what this dispensation started with, God will enable us to understand how it is going to end, and what part we will have in it all. Saints: I believe with all my heart that time is running out for us Gentiles. The gospel has been played around with for 1900 years, but I believe the playing time is over. From now on: To them that hath, more will be given; but to them that hath not, it will be taken away, even that which they seem to have. What does that mean? Some may say, it simply means that God is going to hold you accountable for whatever measure he made available to you, to enable you to start living for Him. Therefore those that have not, are those who never endeavored to add anything to what they received at first. In other words, God dealt with you in the Methodist Church and you have sat right there all your life, never even intending to go any farther. Do you think God will accept that kind of an attitude, here in this age of perfection? No He will not. We must have an ear always, to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church; for there are yet prophecies lying there in the Old Testament, that pertain to the second advent of Jesus Christ, and they will be fulfilled just as complete and precise as all these others have been, and the people whose revelation has been kept up to date, will know where they fit into the overall picture. This standard testimony that so many of the old-timers give: (I am saved, sanctified, and on my way to heaven) sounds good to the natural minded person; but those who are spiritual, know that there is a lot more to it, than just that initial experience where the Spirit of God dealt with you, giving you your chance to walk with your Creator in truth. I have said many times, God does not save us just merely to keep us from going to hell; He has a living purpose for each one of our lives, on the journey in between our initial experience, and the time He calls us home.
THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST
The early church started out with twelve apostles in an upper room. But as time went on, God kept calling other men who were qualified to be leaders in this body of believers, and anointing them to perform in a certain function of the overall work of the church, until the whole body of believers began to take on the likeness of Jesus Christ. In other words, The Church, then, was a true reflection of the indwelling Jesus Christ. It was not divided into denominations either; it was a pure product of the word of God. Just as Jesus was a manifestation of the invisible God that man could not see, so was the Church a continuation and manifestation of the invisible God that man could not see, so was the Church a continuation and manifestation of the invisible Christ, which could no longer be seen, because He is in his mediatorial work, in heaven. But please do not think for one minute that this makes the Church, the moon. In the solar system, the moon reflects the sun, but when you are looking at the body of Christ, you are looking at a body of people that are filled with the same Spirit Jesus was filled with, but just not with the same measure. If Jesus had not had that Spirit in Him, He never would have performed one miracle. Oh yes, He was the Son of God; and sinless, but before He was incarnated by the Spirit of the Father, at age 30, he had no power to perform miracles. Therefore what Jesus did, was because of that omnipresent Spirit of the Father, that indwelt Him; and when the Father took Him from among men, and poured a measure of the same Spirit that was in Him, into the Church, the Church then became the light that would reflect to the world, in His place. That is why she is called, The Mystical Body of Christ; she is shining the same light He was. But listen to me Saints: Those multitudes, sitting out there in those denominational systems, are not the Church. They do not have the same light, that early church had. The world looks upon that, as the Church; but God does not; for they have not been produced by the word of God; they came forth from a traditional religious system. They all beget more of their own kind; and they claim to have the Spirit of God, but if they did, they would not deny His word, and refer to precious doctrines of truth, as being from the pit of hell. Their fruits declare that they are not the Church of the living God. Brothers and Sisters: I know it is not popular to talk like this, but these things need to be said. There are people who claim to be in the truth, that are just as far from God, as many of these others are. They will lie, cheat, steal, and you name it, in their fervent efforts of trying to be recognized as a great authority in spiritual matters.
SOME HAVE SELFISH MOTIVES
I received a letter from a brother in Madras, India, this week. (April 1986) They just had a meeting over there with some people from the U.S. and Canada, and this brother says that someone made the statement that I was supposed to have said that people should not read the Spoken Word books. Brothers and Sisters: That is an outright lie. I have not said that; and I will not say it. We still put those Spoken Word books right back there with the Contenders, when they come in. It is not my responsibility to regulate what People read, or what they listen to. Each one of you are responsible to God for your own soul, and also for what you invest your time in, so when these fellows tell lies like that, they are just trying to put me down, in an effort to lift themselves up. They have that need to be recognized. A lot of them have more money to propagate what they have, than I do; but then of course, I realize that you cannot buy disciples. Furthermore I am not seeking to get people to follow me; I want them to follow Jesus Christ; the one who shed His precious blood for them. That was the only interest the apostle Thomas had when he took the gospel to India in the first century, and ended up with a spear stuck in his back. He did not go there to build a hospital, nor a school; he merely went there with the power of God, to preach to them, and they did not want it. He took with him a pure revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they did not want it. I seriously doubt that he had more money than he himself needed for bare necessities. Yet I get letters from people everywhere telling me what they could do if they only had a million dollars. That is why, if I had a lot of money, it probably would not last very long, so God just allows me to have enough to do what I am supposed to do, and the rest is all in His hands. In other words, I do not have the financial means to do this thing the way the world wants it done, and furthermore; I have no interest in doing it that way. I just want to yield myself to the Spirit of God, in a way that will help the true children of light, find that light, and walk in it.
PAUL REVEALS THE TRUE MINISTRY
Go with me now back to 2nd Corinthians 6:2, where Paul is stating his revelation of Isaiah 49:8. Paul was writing this in 60 A.D., to an assembly of both Jews and Gentiles, and the Gentiles were from a low-down, filthy society of immoral people, that had been lifted up out of that state, by nothing more than the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. It just goes to show the power that the true gospel message had. They were all washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and needed only to be taught proper doctrine from then on, and God saw to it that they had a ministry among them for that purpose. It was to the Corinthian Assembly that Paul had wrote, “And God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing,” and so forth. Paul was the one that explained all of that to them; but each one of those men, in their particular calling, was anointed to contribute something to the body of believers, which were a part of the overall Church of the living God. No they were never a denomination in that first age; the Reformation fostered that, much to the hurt of the true body of believers who realized that they were all of the same body. Out here in the world today, you have a few men trying to pull the true body of believers into a unity of the Spirit, out of the word of God, and others, (great multitudes of them) just trying to make some more like themselves, whatever they profess to be. These do not have a revelation of Jesus Christ; all they have is religion. Religion is of the head; but true salvation is of the heart, and it is for the children of light, foreknown of God from before the foundation of the world. Therefore Paul conveys his revelation of Isaiah 49:8 in this way, as he writes to this assembly. “For He (God) saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; (Paul knew he was living in that time.) Behold, now is the day of salvation.” That period of time had already started back then, and we today are still living in it. But oh how the devil has worked, trying to wreck this beautiful plan of God. He has not been able to wreck it; but he has sure been responsible for some awful dark clouds that have overshadowed this day of grace. (We would have to say, That for over one thousand years, it was a very cloudy day. Only a little glimmer of light could be seen here and there, during all that time; spiritually speaking.) But the apostle Paul was one of the chosen men who helped to change the spiritual statue of lost and dying Gentiles, in that first age of Christendom, when the gospel was still pure. Then we come back to the apostle Peter, for he was another one. Just before his own martyrdom, he wrote this 2nd epistle in which he said, (and I am just going to paraphrase it this time, 1:19) we have also the promises and prophecies of God made more sure to us, (He was speaking of something that was in effect right then; telling them that even right then, God was applying certain of those Old Testament prophecies, to those who would receive the benefits thereof.) Whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, (pay special attention) as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Hallelujah! That is what happened to me! How about you? What caused the day star to arise in their hearts? It was the revelation of Jesus Christ that those apostles preached. What was proclaimed and demonstrated, was by the power of God, and it penetrated the sinful hearts of those poor Gentiles, (that had been held captive in spiritual darkness for centuries) as they believed and accepted it. Therefore try to understand what Peter was saying here in this illustrative way, as the beautiful glow of the gospel penetrated that spiritual darkness of those former pagans, for this is how God was lifting them up out of that lost state. What was happening? The Holy Spirit coming into their lives was the dawning of a new day, for each individual that the light of this new day struck. When God reached down His hand to save my soul, He picked me up out of my stubborn old Jackson state. But when I heard that little man named William Branham, preaching that a person needs to receive the Holy Ghost, and heard him say, You Methodists need it too, that started something working within, I want you to know, I new day began to dawn in my life. Hallelujah! Light came upon things that I could never understand before. But just as the natural sun rises slowly to its peak, before it starts its descent, so does your revelation, you do not understand everything at once. But I will say this, The Holy Ghost in your life causes you to hunger for more of God all the time, and as your hunger grows, so does your revelation for God keeps on feeding those who hunger and thirst for more of Him. Your initial experience is nothing you can just sit back and rest upon; it is just the beginning of what God is going to do in your life. For His end purpose is to make us into the very image of His only begotten Son. It is not the purpose of God to make Baptists out of us, nor Methodists, nor anything else that has a brand name to it. Natural man, trying to do God a service, does that, (makes others like themselves) but the Holy Ghost is interested in only one thing when he goes to work on us, and that is to mold us into the very image (spiritually) of the one who died for us at Calvary. The Spirit you now have in you, is the Spirit that He had in Him, that enabled Him to defeat every effort the devil made, to destroy Him. Therefore as Peter wrote, ye do well that ye take heed, as this light shines upon your life; for God is fulfilling prophecies of the Old Testament, in the light of this glorious day we are privileged to live in, this day of grace. I believe we could say it like this, For every individual that has this true experience, a new day dawns within their own heart, but it is all taking place within the light of this one day of salvation, which is a period of time that has already lasted almost two thousand years. The ministry of Ephesians 4:11, which Paul also spoke of in 1st Corinthians 12, is what God is using to shine the true light of the gospel, to a lost and dying world. But this Gentile Church world today, does not want the glow of the apostolic gospel of Jesus Christ; it would tear their church systems all to pieces. It would completely change the whole structure of their programs of religion, and cut off their dollar flow. In other words, This way of life is not the popular way; but it is the genuine way, and that is what counts. Of course some will always say, What difference does it make, whether we all believe exactly the same thing or not, if we all love the Lord? Well first of all, there is a big IF there, and the difference it makes is our eternal destiny. We will either be eternally secure, or eternally lost; there is no middle ground in the end. We either believe the word of God, or we do not, and that is what makes the difference. That is why your neighbors can hear the same gospel you hear, and never be affected by it. Every age has been like that. The grace age is one dispensation of time, but within that dispensation, there have been seven distinctive divisions, or ages, wherein the Spirit of God worked according to the spirit of each particular age, to cause the day-star to arise in the hearts of individual souls. Therefore what makes the difference, is Christ in you, the hope of glory. That is what makes Romans 8:28 so precious to some, and so ridiculous to others. Paul was talking about the Spirit of Christ, how He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Then he said, in verse 28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Hallelujah! Why is that so? Because God allows whatever it takes, to mold us into a little more of the image of his only begotten Son. Even tragedy in our lives, which we many times have trouble understanding, always serves some purpose of God in our process of being molded into that special image. Bro. Jackson: Do you really believe that? Yes I do. I believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God; and that is one of the things I read in there.
WHAT THE HOLY GHOST DOES
Since the Holy Ghost got hold of my life, I have learned to make a place for the total word of God, instead of just a few pet verses like so many are still guilty of. I am no longer scared of what is written in the pages of that precious old book. A lot of so-called preachers of this end time message are scared of it though. They tried for years to preach out of it. Then, when God sent a little man to tell them how, they jumped all the way out of it, and into his sermons, and what they preach today, is completely inconsistent with it. These Spoken Word preachers are no more benefit to the true saints of God, than the Catholic Church is; for they are without a true revelation of the Word of God. Not a one of them were any more blessed than I was, as we sat and listened to that little man preach, and witnessed the power of God that vindicated his ministry. But the God that I saw demonstrated in his life and ministry, never did tell me that he (Bro. Branham) was Elohim, and he never will. A spirit of deception is what does that. God saved my soul, and called me to preach His word, long before I ever met Bro. William Branham. But I will tell you one thing; I learned some things sitting at his feet, that I never would have got in the Methodist Church. Furthermore let me say this, When the Spirit of God began to revelate my soul, I never did feel the necessity to have Bro. William Branham lay his hands on me and ordain me to preach and teach the word of God; for as I said, That had already been done. God had already done that. Everything I preach, I find it in the Bible. I am accused of not preaching what the prophet preached, simply because I do not just get up here and quote him, but that is not what God called me to do. If it is supposed to be that way, why did Peter, Paul, James, John, and all those others, not just quote Jesus? They could have, you know. But the truth is, the same Spirit that was in Jesus, and caused Him to say what He said, was in every one of them, causing them, to say what they said, and none of it ever contradicted what Jesus Himself taught. It is just plain foolish to try to mimic someone else. If you do not have the same revelation: God did not call you to preach; for the Holy Ghost is the preacher. We are only the instruments He uses. Therefore those who do not have the Holy Ghost, are just like the Adventists, the Catholics, and all the rest; they are likely to preach just any old thing that comes to their mind. All can read the Bible; but not all understand; and I am here to tell you: It takes a revelation to preach the word of God. Paul is the one that said, The letter killeth; but the Spirit maketh alive, or giveth life, and that is the reason; for without the Spirit of revelation, the letter itself is dead; so as Peter said, Ye do well that ye take heed. Man cannot do one thing about the dispensational day of grace. God started it; and God Himself is the only one that can bring it to an end; but the day that dawns in the individual believer’s heart is different, for it is regulated by how we take heed to what we hear. It is the dawning of the Son of God in our own hearts, that makes the difference for us. Hallelujah! When the Spirit of conviction strikes our heart, and causes us to step into those baptismal waters, where our sins are remitted, that is the dawning of a new day for us. That is when the Son of God begins to rise in our heart. It is through this experience that old things pass away, and all things start to become new. Your initial experience can be an instantaneous occurrence, but your statural growth is a day by day process; as true revelation builds up in your heart; and that only happens to those who do truly receive this baptism of the Holy Ghost. That is why I cannot see these “professional Christians,” so to speak, in the picture. Many of them, are ever so smart; but without the Holy Ghost, they have no revelation. This light is shining ever so bright; but they still walk under that thin layer of clouds the reformers walked under. A little light came through for them, but not the full light that we have.
DARK CLOUDS AND LIGHTER CLOUDS
Thinking back to what Zechariah wrote, concerning a time when it would be neither clear nor dark, neither day nor night, we ought to be very thankful to have been privileged to walk in the evening light, he spoke of. Do we have a clear understanding of what was being pointed to? Let us review some of what we have looked at. This dispensational day started out with the beautiful glow of the gospel of Jesus Christ shining as bright as the natural solar sun on a cloudless day. But going into the second age, the clouds began to form, and the day ceased to be as bright and clear as it was at first. It was still the same day, but dark clouds had began to form, and shut out the light. What were those clouds? It was that spirit of Satan, raising up men to preach Antichrist doctrine. That was Satan’s plan, devised for the sole purpose of trying to put out the beautiful glow of the light of revelation, of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well we know what happened; that spiritual darkness covered the earth for over one thousand years, as those dark clouds became thicker and thicker. The Church existed under that long dark period called “The Dark Ages,” the period of that one day in which it was neither clear, nor dark, but God only dealt with those certain individual on the basis of what he, or she could understand, in the light of the time they were living in, but still within the one period of time called a day. Alright then, we all know the process of a natural day of time: The sun rises in the east, climbs to a peak, and then begins to descend on its downward course to where it will set in the west, and for a few hours toward the end of the day, we refer to it as evening time; and that is when Zechariah said there would be light again, after all that darkness had made this dispensational day neither clear, nor completely dark for a long period of it. Nevertheless according to the prophecy, God would see to it that these clouds would be driven back, and that beautiful light be seen again, before the day closed out completely. But what about the time prior to it? That would be the years of the Reformation, as Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, and others, caught little glimpses of apostolic truth. None of them ever received a complete revelation like the first age Church had, but the revelation they did receive, caused those dark clouds to get thinner and thinner; and you know the affect that has: As the clouds get thinner, the sun has a more penetrating effect on the underneath side. You still do not see the actual sun, but the day is much brighter because of the thinness of the clouds. Well that is what the Reformation did spiritually, and that condition lasted for many, many years, before the full glow of the sun (Son) was seen again. What drove the rest of the darkness away? The revelation given to the 7th Church Age messenger, here in the twentieth century. The full glow of that wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ, can once again be seen by hungry souls, and we are still in that same dispensational day; the sun has not set yet. Presently, we have full gospel light, just as it was in the book of Acts; but someone is forever coming up with something that causes confusion, until God anoints someone to expose the thing for what it is. I will refrain from mentioning names at this time; and pray that it will not be necessary, but nevertheless, God will not let men who know the truth, just stand by and let false teaching go, without somewhere dealing with it.
THE TRUE MESSAGE – AND THE FALSE
I am accused of finding fault with the prophet, just because I realize that he was human, just like the rest of us; but I want all of you to know, I fully respected that little man in every area that God anointed him to minister in. I just never got to the place where I took every word he uttered, as Thus saith the Lord, like a lot of my critics did. Take for instance, when he was preaching the seals messages, he would say, The Church goes through the tribulation, it is the bride that will be raptured. Oh, you had better be careful, Bro. Jackson. I am careful; it is you who run with such statements as that, that need to be more careful. You do not seem to care what the Bible says; just as long as you can find where Bro. William Branham made a statement about something. You will not find in the Bible, where any of those Jews who wrote the New Testament, ever referred to the Church in any way, except that they are the body of Christ, and we all know it is the body of Christ that will be raptured. Do not bother looking for the New Testament Church anywhere outside of this message of truth. Those apostles wrote about only one church; the one purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was not purchased to send into the great tribulation. The Church is the mystical body of Christ, and those of that body, that are still living when this dispensational day closes out, will be raptured, and everything else will go into the tribulation. The Church, in the eyes of God, has always been made up of the predestined few; the masses have never been in it. The devil has massed a great element of people around the church that the world looks upon as being the Church; and for this reason, they come up with a lot of modern day terminology. But I am here to tell you, that this modern day terminology does not change the revelation of the scriptures the least bit. That is why I insist on saying what the Bible says, about these things. The Church that the apostles referred to, sees herself, here in the end time as being the bride of Christ. A lot of people within the following of Bro. William Branham, refer to themselves as the bride of Christ, just because of certain statements he made; but I would like to say to everyone of them, if you are going to be in the bride, you are going to have to change your ways, and your revelation. The true bride will be sure to know the difference between what he said, that was consistent with the word, and what he said that was only consistent with the world’s religious views and concepts. Can you not find in those same seals messages, where he would say also, The Church goes in the rapture? Twentieth century religious terminology is void of revelation; yet the little man I was privileged to hear, brought a completely clear revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When his anointing was present, it drove back all the doubt and unbelief about the godhead, baptism of the Holy Ghost, sanctification, true water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, predestination, and all those essential basic doctrines that hold the framework of what the Church consists of. Even doctors of divinity would sit there, with tears of joy streaming down their cheeks, as that little man would take that Bible, and make those words therein come to life, or come alive. Brother that was the light of the gospel being beamed out to this twentieth century generation. The light I saw was not a dismal light of the sun, then my name is not Raymond Jackson. When the sun does set on this day, the Church will no longer be here. I want to be sure you understand that; for because of a statement Bro. William Branham made about the bride age: some are now saying we are no longer in the 7th age, but in the 8th. Brothers and Sisters: there is no such thing as the 8th age, in the Bible. Scripturally, the 8th DAY (not the 8th age) puts you right back in the beginning, with everything just like it was before Adam sinned. Actually Bro. William Branham was not referring to another age; he was merely referring to a time within the 7th age when God would deal exclusively with the bride, (The Church) to get her (or it) ready to get out of here. Therefore to keep our revelation in harmony with the scriptures, we must realize that when the sun sets on this one day, the Church will be in glory; with Jesus, and the rest of the world will be in great tribulation, which is total darkness.
GOD IS STILL DEALING WITH SOULS
A lot of preachers, (so called) who sat in Bro. William Branham’s meetings, evidently did not see, nor hear very much, with a spiritual ear, judging from the things they preach. They are about like the blind man Jesus prayed for, when Jesus first prayed for him, he saw men, like trees walking. In other words, he did not see the true picture, and that is exactly what you would have to say about these preachers who preach statements and quotes from Bro. William Branham’s sermons, and deify his flesh. They saw a man, and they heard a lot of things; but they do not have the Holy Ghost to help them put the picture together, so that it will run consistent with the scriptures, so they are left to their own carnal imaginations, and that is tragic for those that listen to them. I will not, at this time, mention any names, for I am persuaded that true children of God will recognize their adverse teaching sooner or later, because of the very Spirit of truth that they themselves have. The sun, of that one day we are dealing with, is still a little short of the horizon; so the Spirit of God is still working with predestined souls, to get their revelation lined up with the word of God. Therefore the reason some of these so called preachers present everything as being so secretive, and such a mystery, is because they themselves do not have that Spirit of light that causes predestined souls to recognize the truth when they hear it. But the point I really desire to make, is that the mystery of Bro. William Branham is what drove back those dark clouds, that had kept the true revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ obscured for hundreds of years, and now that there is light once again, (here in the evening time) God has a called out ministry, that will minister in that same light, until all the living element of the bride of Christ is perfected. Therefore when the light of this day of grace finally does slide over the horizon, the last human soul will have received a full revelation of the word of God, that was supposed to, in this day of grace. Brothers and Sisters: I saw something twenty some years ago, and I have been walking in sunlight ever since. I have been over the mountains and through the valleys, but that same sunlight has been with us all the way, and even if I leave here tomorrow, that same sunlight will still be here, until God has finished gathering His predestined children in, from this world of confusion and unbelief. Do not try to put 8 days in a week, and mess up all the types of the Old Testament scriptures, just to make your own little idea fit in somehow. All of this, that we have been talking about, must fit within the 7 church ages. Man has a tendency to refer to a certain period of time as an age; and Bro. William Branham was no different than anyone else, in that respect. That is why he spoke of the bride age as he did; but we do know for sure, that the bride of Christ will receive everything she needs, before this 7th age closes out completely; lest the scriptures are thrown out of continuity, and the revelation distorted. If we do not keep our revelation in continuity with the scriptures: we end up sawing off the limb (so to speak) that we are hanging on to; and that is exactly what a lot of preachers have done since Bro. William Branham’s death.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE LAW
Let me take you back into the Old Testament, and point out a few things. First I want you to see that the Church is not the moon, in respects to this dispensation of time. The people that really portrayed the moon, were the Israelites. When God called Israel out of Egypt, that began a dispensation of time. At Sinai, they received a law, including certain statutes, that they must observe; and one of them was the killing of the Passover lamb, they were to eat unleavened bread for seven days, counting that first day when it was killed. No Jew today knows why they were to do that. But we know it foreshadowed the seven Church Ages. What takes place spiritually, throughout all of the seven Church Ages, fulfills all of what was typed in that ordinance. Seven days, eating unleavened bread, pointed them back to the evening when the moon was full, and they killed the Passover lamb. For seven days, their memory was pointed back to that, and what it accomplished for them, and all of that typed something for the true believers of a time to come later, and that time, or dispensation, began at Calvary, when our Passover Lamb was slain. For seven Church Ages, believers have been looking back to that day and to what was accomplished there, and then, for them. Every ritual, every ordinance, every ceremony was in some way a type or shadow of something that would be fulfilled in another dispensation, to the people of God. What those Jews did in the natural was to have a spiritual application to the true children of God in this dispensation of grace. Therefore the people of Israel were the people of the moon, which was a reflection of the sunlight of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, the law dispensation was the night season before the dawning of this glorious day of grace; and the moon is the light of the night season. Now the Israelites did not use the same calendar we use; they started their months by the moon, and they were called lunar months. Every new moon started a month. Then, on the 14th day of the month, going into the 15th night, she is coming to her full disc, and that is a full moon, and what the law required in connection with this, set a type of what was to be fulfilled in the next dispensation. For the first 14 ½ days of the month, as the moon moved toward its full circle, the law was pictured. How? Well, 1450 years after the children of Israel were delivered out of Egyptian bondage, God saw the law was full, and our Passover Lamb was slain. Those Israelites observed the law, for 1450 years, and never did see what it pointed to. Nevertheless Paul wrote in Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fulness of the time was come, (the fullness of the law dispensation) God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, (In other words, Born of woman) made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, (To lead them out from under the law, which was the old covenant, into a new covenant, which was the dawning of a new day and time) that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Hallelujah! Brothers and Sisters: That is something to rejoice about; the fact that we are privileged to be called sons of God. Paul then says, “And because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Sons into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Never again was man to live under types and shadows, but rather in the full, glorious revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God no longer deals with people on a national basis; it is now an individual experience, known only to genuine believers, who have had an encounter with the resurrected Christ Jesus.
WHEN JESUS TOOK ON DEITY
John the Baptist was the linking messenger, as the moon age moved to its fullness. Jesus the Son of God and Lamb that would be offered up as a sacrifice, to set the grace age dispensation in motion, had already been born, (just six months after John, actually), when John was on the scene fulfilling his part in God’s redemption program. His message, or ministry was to prepare the hearts of those Jews, who would later be referred to as the apostolic fathers, to receive the Savior. He came out of the wilderness, crying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He was announcing a new dispensation; and he was announcing it to the Jews, that had lived under the types and shadows of the law. We can look back now, and see all of that very clearly, but back then, they could only see enough to enable them to step into the light that was dawning. The actual revelation did not open up until the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was given to those who were waiting in that upper room. When Jesus offered Himself at Calvary; he was everything that those types and shadows pointed forward to. Furthermore, humanly He was a living example of what the Creator wanted His new generation family to be conformed into the image of. In other words, God wants us to be reproductions of His perfect son Jesus. He wanted more than just one Son, but He did not have to have the rest of His family immediately. He made the pattern, and the rest will be made from that. Now that does not mean that we will all have the same physical features; but spiritually we will all look alike. Therefore spiritually speaking, Jesus was definitely that disc of light that would light the world, so we would have to say that John was announcing the rising of the sun. Jesus Himself said, I am the light of the world, but men love darkness, rather than light. Why? Because that light revealed their evil hearts, and their evil deeds. What light are we talking about? The light that is the embodiment of truth lived. Light is truth, and truth is light, but in this case, it was not just a ritual, and neither was it engraved in stone; it walked among average, everyday kind of people, and demonstrated exactly what God our Creator, was looking for. But before the incarnation, He was nothing more than the perfect Son of God, for there was no deity in Him. I hope you realize why I so often put emphasis on this fact. It is because so many people have picked up the Catholic teaching, that as a little boy, growing up, He was out creating birds, and animals, and all such as this. Saints it is important to a proper revelation of the godhead, for us to realize that it was impossible for Jesus to create anything, before He was incarnated by the Creator, at age thirty. Now that does not take anything from Him; it only sees Him in the proper light of revelation. At age thirty, after He was baptized by John, the great Creator descended from heaven, and took possession of His human body, and through Him, all the characteristics of the eternal God were demonstrated to mankind. That is how God walked among men in human form. It was only for a period of 3 ½ years, instead of 33 1/2, as a lot of people believe. But in those 3 ½ years, Jews that had lived under the law, observing types and shadows, were allowed to see what all of that pointed to. Not everyone recognized what they were looking at, but some did. Some were privileged to see Him walk on water, and many witnessed the multiplying of the loaves and fishes; but it required a revelation, to understand what was really taking place. Jesus did not choose to put on a show, when He did those things; it was that Holy Spirit in Him; that led Him to do them. In other words, none of the supernatural things He did, were done by the choice of His own mind; but rather by the mind of the Father that was in Him. Now for the benefit of anyone who may read this in the Contender, and think that we are talking about two persons, let me say once again, The Father (God) is not a person; he is a sovereign Spirit; just like John 4:24 says He is. Jesus speaking, said, “God is a Spirit: (not a person) and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit an in truth.” Jesus had one purpose, and that was to do the perfect will of His Father, that dwelt in Him, and He was in no way selfish; for when the time drew near, that He was to lay down His life at Calvary, we find Him praying for these disciples that would be left behind, that they would be kept, and would be sanctified through the truth, and He wanted them to be glorified as He was. We will read a few verses from that prayer in the 17th chapter of John; but before we do, let me say this, Do not think for one minute, that Jesus never felt the pain, misery, and suffering, of the ordeal He went through, at the hands of those who tortured Him, and put him to death. But He was willing to suffer all of that, in order that you and I could be made partakers with him of that which He was heir to.
WHEN JESUS PRAYED FOR BELIEVERS
Alright now, in John 17:5, Jesus praying to the Father said, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” I wanted to read that verse because it gives a lot of people the idea that Jesus existed with the father as a person, before the foundation of the world, and that is not what He meant at all. It literally means, Oh Father, position me now with thyself, as thou determined before the foundation of the world. Then in verse 22 He said, And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” Hallelujah! That is what those in the upper room were waiting for. They were not hiding out; they were being obedient to what they were told to do. So the glory Jesus was talking about, was the Holy Ghost that had been demonstrated in His own life and ministry. When that same Spirit fell back on the Church; it enabled them to continue the same works Jesus had been doing for three and a half years. No wonder He said, (John 14:12) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my father.” Not greater works in value, but greater in quantity, because the church would be made up of many individuals, that would be representing Him on earth. After the day of Pentecost, it was God in all of His people remolding each one of us to represent His only begotten Son, while we are being molded into His very image. Therefore we are not children of the law, but children of grace, and because of that grace, Jesus could say, Ye are the light of the world.