WHAT ONE THING WAS USED BY CHRIST, HIS APOSTLES AND EARLY CHURCH IN DEFENSE OF THEIR POSITION WHEN CONFRONTED ON CERTAIN ISSUES? HOW WAS SUCH AN EXAMPLE TO AFFECT AN END TIME PEOPLE? WHAT ONE THING DID GOD PERMIT TO HAPPEN WITHIN THIS END TIME MESSAGE TO ASSURE HIS TRUE END TIME BELIEVERS THEY WOULD RETURN TO THE REVEALED WORD IN ORDER TO STAND IN DEFENSE OF THEIR FAITH AND POSITION AS HAD THE APOSTLES AND EARLY CHURCH IN THE PAST?
Our next few articles will be vital and timely ones especially for those who feel to be part of the body of Christ and I do hope you will make a special effort not to miss a single issue. In this current issue my hope is to plant a seed of thought within your minds concerning the necessity of having the correct interpretation on the Word of God. The correct interpretation of the Word of God brings consistency to one’s soul therefore we entitle this message REVEALED SCRIPTURE PRODUCES CONSISTENCY and we trust to prove to you from scripture it has always been the inspired word of God, written by holy men of old as they were moved on by the Holy Ghost, which carried the final say or authority and brought consistency to those it affected. Even today it has not lost its power; when applied properly will do the same.
DEFINITION OF CONSISTENCY
First, let us define consistency, what it is and what it will produce. Actually the word consistency itself is not referred to in the scripture, nevertheless the word itself used in a scriptural manner is the result of that which the revealed scriptures will produce provided we allow it to do so by the grace of God. Consistent or consistency means firmness, no hard places and no soft places–it is the same or agreement, in other words consistent or consistency is always compatible or harmonious.
ILLUSTRATION IN MUSIC
Consistency harmonizes; take for instance a hundred musical instruments, let each one be in tune and the musicians understand which particular key to play and if qualified musicians are willing to remain in the proper rhythm or timing, what then will you have? YOU WILL HAVE BEAUTIFUL HARMONY OF COURSE! That is why an accordion, stringed instrument, horn, piano or whatever other instrument may be in use, although they can all vary in types giving off different sounds, when they are played and controlled by minds who understand what is being played THEN YOU HAVE HARMONY! That is what music is, the harmony of notes all blended together, however could you imagine a guitar, mandolin, horn or piano out of tune with the other instruments and the group trying to play a certain melody while one is in the key of G and the others in the key of C? There you would have everything but harmony, would you not? You would have produced a most weird sound, a sound that no one could sing by, in fact instead of lifting a bad spirit up, it would put one down on you. There is nothing more weird than having musical instruments playing out of tune. Throw that kind of stuff out the door! IT IS HARMONY, IT IS CONFORMITY that we seek for in music, isn’t it and that holds true also with the scripture. Bring that same principle over in the gospel sense of thinking, only using the word conformity here covers thought. Because the scriptures contain all of God’s thoughts whether he is restoring a previous revelation from apostolic days, one thing is certain GOD WILL NEVER RESTORE A CERTAIN REVELATION OF REVEALED TRUTH TO BRING CONSISTENCY TO ONES HEART, THEN LATER COME ALONG WITH ANOTHER REVELATION AND TEAR IT DOWN OR ANY PART OF THAT WHICH HE HAS PERSONALLY RESTORED FOR PEOPLE TO BELIEVE. You see that would not be consistency and furthermore God has never done such a thing–He just keeps adding to it and completes a harmonious line of thought.
CONSISTENCY IN SPEECH
Let us look for a moment at consistency in speech. It is firmness. In other words, it is not projecting something today and then later changing our idea (especially if the first was revealed of God). Consistency shows once you have said it-and by that I do not mean HOW LOUD you uttered it, what I mean is six months from now after you have said it you are still willing to say it again with the same emphasis of thought because after all that is exactly what revealed scripture will produce, CONSISTENCY OF THOUGHT. Therefore it will cause you to speak the same thing today, tomorrow or even six months or six years later because it is the same. See, you are not saying one thing one day (in this case about revealed scripture)and something else entirely different the next time. Consistency will always produce agreement or harmony in so much our testimony or the expression of what we believe whenever we heard it will always be the same with no conflicting ideas or opinions.
MORE THAN AN EXPERIENCE NEEDED
Many people feel the scriptures to be a dull subject, nevertheless by the help of the Lord I will show you in this article once the hour comes that your faith has been challenged on the basis of what you believe as a Christian you absolutely are going to have to be able to produce something more than just a mere experience in order to defend your testimony! Let me explain further what I mean and Bride Saint LISTEN CAREFULLY–Satan is not one bit interested in what kind of experience you had when you began the Christian walk, NO he is not concerned or interested in whether you or I lay on the floor so long weeping when we received the Holy Ghost nor is he the slightest bit concerned as to what kind of power we felt surge over and through our body, that is no concern to him at all. Note carefully, I AM NOT BELITTLING WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO ANYONE IN THE WAY OF AN EXPERIENCE, I AM SIMPLY SAYING IT IS NOT THE BASIS OF PROOF THAT WILL BE NECESSARY TO CONVINCE SATAN ONCE HE ATTACKS YOUR FAITH! Because sooner or later if Satan can get you to doubt (or stop holding onto )those very scriptures that we as Christians have stood on because we believe (or is causing us to believe) that Jesus did pardon and cleanse our soul from sin and gave us such and such an experience on the basis of His Word, then beloved, if Satan can shake us off those scriptures of revealed truth, we are licked because somewhere in life Satan will so pressure us that we will eventually doubt the very experience itself! Therefore we must above all be able to see it is the precious word of revealed scripture before we stand upon it. That is what produces consistency and shall defeat Satan’s purpose, for note, “that which was accomplished in the believers life throughout the New Testament as they stood firmly and solidly upon that which had been revealed unto their hearts, Satan was never able to shake one of them off–the true foundation”.
REVEALED SCRIPTURES—WHOSE WORD IS IT?
Before entering into the scriptures and making what shall be an exhaustive study upon why the Lord of Glory himself, the apostles and early church always confronted, questioned or challenged on their position, so confidently used one source of defense regardless to what situation was at hand, that was the holy revealed scriptures-our question is WHY? What was there about these revealed scriptures that was so dynamic and powerful within their lives that would cause them to use this and only this as the only defense necessary in whatever situation they faced. What about our day, does that which is written in the Bible still hold true for us or must we rely strictly upon something written by others? Why is it so important that we also should rely solely upon that which is written, once having been attacked by Satan? Can the revealed scriptures still be trusted as our only defense against the enemy?
I trust this article shall bring to light why Satan has continually sought through whatever means were available to pull that believing Christian off and away from the written revealed scripture, telling them today they no longer need THAT WHICH IS WRITTEN since having the Revelation of Christ in their lives as was revealed in this end time through a church age messenger they would know we can by no means defeat Satan, we can by no means defend the enemy of our soul unless we stand firmly and committed unto that which is written wherein Paul the Apostle said, and when having done all to stand(stand how? Upon what is written.) STAND THERE CLOTHED IN WHAT IS WRITTEN AND WAVER NOT. (Ephesians. 6:13-14)
Every writer of the New Testament constantly referred back into the revealed scriptures to defend or substantiate his position in whatever he was doing. Yes, beloved it is the revealed Word of God and that alone which is the final test of every challenge, contest or debate, furthermore it is the revelation which brings consistency to the soul of the believer. Yes, it must be remembered true consistency is determined strictly by revelation of the scripture and never through intellectual learning. If the holy scripture that so many are drifting away from in this hour is so important to the believer, being the only weapon that Satan is fearful of, what is there about these writings found in your Bible that would cause the devil, the enemy of our soul to tremble when confronted, seeing he trembles at no other writing? Why is he so fearful only of these particular writings? To learn the answer to this, there are two important scriptures which are most outstanding in showing why the Word of God is given such preeminence over anything else; and why it and it alone is the sole basis of defense whereby we determine all things!!
SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED OR GOD BREATHED
The Apostle Paul writing to young Timothy (II Timothy 3:16-17) declared all scripture is given by inspiration of God. Note for a moment, that word inspiration, for herein lies the secret. No writer simply picked up a pen one day and decided he would write for God and since scripture is inspired or God breathed, it would have been impossible for man to have gotten God to breathe up on his writing. Paul said scripture came by inspiration. Inspiration is the very thoughts of God Himself, given to the writer who penned the holy scripture, however God did allow that writer to use his own ability and personality in his writing as long as he got the thought of God across–which thought later–God would breathe upon for various ones and the scripture would come alive in them while remaining a dead letter to others. Inspiration is God taking a human vessel and placing into it the very thoughts of God which were to be penned down. The scripture consists of God’s thoughts, in which He transposed to men (holy men of old)who in turn wrote them down for the generation to come.
PURPOSE OF INSPIRED WRITINGS SATAN FEARS
What is the purpose of these inspired or God breathed writings? Paul tells Timothy, (1) they are profitable for doctrine–yet is it not strange in this day we hear men saying we do not need doctrine because doctrine tends to divide people! Isn’t it pitiful for a generation of people whose very life is so affected by these inspired doctrines of the Bible to feel since doctrine keeps the people divided and being such a hindrance to the organization of one world church, doctrines are the very things we must first get rid of before being able to unite under a one world religion, nevertheless, the Apostle Paul says scriptures are profitable for doctrine (not manmade doctrines). Profitable for doctrine, reproof or rebuke, for correction (correcting errors of man’s teaching bringing them back in line with the inspired God breathed scriptures), for instruction in righteousness (enlightenment-admonishment in Godly living) THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.
In other words the man of God will lack nothing when once he is challenged by the enemy, he will be fully equipped with a weapon more deadly than anything known in the apostle’s day (or even in our day). The deadliest weapon known in that day was the two-edged sword. Yet the writer of Hebrews said the Word of God (revealed scripture) is quick and more powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow. (Wm. Trans. piercing even to the depths of soul and spirit, to the dividing of joints and marrow)and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ( Wm’s translation says passing judgement on the thoughts and intents of the heart). Do you know of any weapon today more deadly than this living sword? The inspired or God breathed word of life? Heb:4:12, No other creature shall escape his sight! Hence, we are now more able to see how the inspired God breathed Word is by far the most deadly weapon known to Satan.
It is the only thing he fears. Why, because it is God’s weapon and he who can skillfully handle this weapon shall always be able to successfully defeat Satan when challenged. However, without this weapon, those revealed scriptures that have become alive, the Bride of Christ has no weapon. She is defenseless and would be defeated!
Is there any wonder Satan’s agents or those unskilled in the Word of Truth would attempt to instruct the little Bride of Christ that there are other writings today far more effective for this hour than the inspired scriptures? Those scriptures were for Paul’s day, we have been given something else (they say) THAT IS NOT TRUE! Without the inspired scriptures the SAINTS OF GOD ARE DEFEATED AS A DEFENSELESS NATION COMING UP AGAINST A MIGHTY TRAINED ARMY WHICH HAS IN ITS POSSESSION EVERY MODERN WEAPON KNOWN TODAY. Without these God breathed holy scriptures as our defense, Satan would sling every Bride saint to the four winds! Do you possibly think you will jab him with some statement made by the prophet and it will frighten him? NEVER!! You cannot arm yourself with mere statements! Without the Holy scriptures revealed, man has nothing to build himself a defense or a bulwark against Satan! Because of the various ideas and opinions on scripture of denominational religion that was never inspired but only intended to confuse the mind of sincere honest-hearted people. God therefore sent unto this end time a Seventh Church Age Messenger who filled the office of a Prophet to restore us back to that which was written and taught by the apostles of old who were the fathers of the New Testament faith. In other words, why would he who filled that office, during his entire lifetime continually cry, BACK TO THE WORD, BACK TO WHAT IS WRITTEN, BACK TO APOSTOLIC DOCTRINES, BACK TO THE EARLY CHURCH? Why, because he knew without the revelation of that which is written we have no defense against the enemy and therefore Satan would come upon us as a storm whenever he pleases and there is nothing we can do about it and for any person to begin to walk in this end time revelation and refuse to go all the way back to the scriptures and refuse to allow the revelation of truth in this hour to lead them all the way back into the scriptures whereby they might be able individually to stand upon that which is written, it would have been better had they never even started, for God will definitely hold them accountable for having made the start into truth, yet not having gone all the way. (Heb. 10:38)
PROPHET DIDN’T SAY IT!
How often have I heard people refuse to accept from the scriptures that which was God inspired solely upon the grounds that the Prophet to the Laodician Church age just happened not to mention it. THIS IS BLASPHEMY AGAINST GOD AND HIS INSPIRED GOD-BREATHED WRITTEN WORD seeing that it was holy men of old who God himself said penned the thoughts of God! To say, I do not believe something that is plainly written and established in the word of God simply because the prophet to the age did not mention it–is to spit in God’s face !! Have you never heard or read where the prophet church age messenger to this age himself boldly declared that no true prophet of God could ever contradict or annul the writings or the words of another true inspired prophet of God (Seal Book Pg. 149)?
Beloved, the sole purpose of God for this end time people was to restore them unto that which was written by holy men of old and he who continues walking in the revelation delivered in this hour shall one day find himself placed back solidly, firmly, uncompromisingly, unapologetically upon the infallible written inspired (God Breathed)word of God. Therefore, let no man ever tell you we do not need the written word of God in this hour !! Nothing could destroy your soul more quickly than to believe such a thing as that when the hour comes that you are challenged by the enemy upon your faith and why you believe what you do! Satan will only laugh in your face if you cannot do as the Lord Jesus in flesh, his apostles and early church did—-STAND FIRMLY UPON THE REVEALED, WRITTEN, INFALLIBLE, GOD BREATHED SCRIPTURES!
All revealed scripture is for that very purpose whereby in the end we shall all come out as a finished product of God. Did not Christ say unto Satan, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?
When I see that, it begins to place within my soul even a deeper appreciation for this precious old book called the Bible. Oh, yes, they will come along and tell you all kinds of fantastic stories about why you shouldn’t rely upon the Word of God today. Yet I want you to know in the final analysis when you lie down at night to rest, be sure to make the word of God your spiritual pillow, let the precious revealed, inspired, living word of God be the meditation of your thoughts while lying there drifting off to sleep.
GOD BREATHED SCRIPTURES WRITTEN BY HOLY MEN OF OLD
Yes, beloved Satan fears that revealed Word of God secondly because of who was used in writing it. We note according to II Peter 1:20-21 after Paul was given unto the ministry his feelings toward the holy scriptures as to whose word it is and why God gave it, we further note how the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Peter to further emphasize upon the importance of the scriptures showing they and they alone can only be the final say to any problem, discussion or defense. Paul has shown how all the holy writings are inspired (God breathed) and under the direction and inspiration of the Spirit of God he inspired men to write ( not man’s idea’s) but God’s living thoughts! Naturally these men were permitted to express that inspired word in their own terminology, nevertheless it conveyed in writings the very thoughts of God who in his own time and through inspiration would reveal the written word to his chosen people of each hour.
It is here in II Peter 1:20-21 that Peter comments still further concerning this inspiration of writings or speaking for God, he begins by saying, know this first that no prophecy of the scripture is (or was) of any private interpretation meaning no one simply put down their own individual ideas of the prophecy. The entire Old Testament or Word of God was written in a spirit of prophecy and note furthermore how that prophecy fell into three categories–Past, Present and Future.
MALACHI’S PROPHECY SUFFICIENT
Malachi’s prophecy will be sufficient to use as an illustration of how the prophet of God stood in the present, speaking to the people, reaching into the future and back into the past with, his prophecy. Mal. 1:7, present tense prophecy—-Mal. 3:1, future tense prophecy—–Mal. 3:7, past tense and also present tense prophecy. You see that is God’s way of concealing his plan and that is why the prophets of old having the Spirit of Christ within them Peter said, could see these things there in the scripture pertain to the grace age, though they searched diligently, were unable to put them together. Yes, it was so mysterious they themselves did not understand and no doubt would wonder–what made me say that? Yet over in Peter’s writings, the Holy Spirit is saying why they would say this though they did not understand it.
Knowing this first of all, Peter says, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old times by the will of man (this proves the idea you are standing upon as a Christian did not originate from man’s ideas. No man simply said I think I will speak for God–NO SIR! No man could possibly write something that at a later time by inspiration could be made alive and a living thing in the hearts of men. That holy man of old may have gone six months and received nothing, he may have even gone longer when suddenly the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him. Regardless to where he may have been at the time, you would see his feet carrying him somewhere where he would be able to write it all down. And remember the Holy Spirit said as this man wrote, he wrote only as he was moved by the Spirit of God; Inspired by the Spirit of God to write the very living thoughts of God. As that inspiration took over his mental faculties he spoke or wrote as moved on by the Spirit.
Sometimes God would send Jeremiah down to the Lord’s house to speak to those people THUS SAITH THE LORD , Unto Isaiah he might have inspired him to pick up the pen and write. Regardless to how it was, prophecy of scripture was never written simply by the will of men–it was never man who chose to say such and such a thing at a certain time, it was always God who did it! Therefore as God did this using only man to write it, once he had sent it, it would take the revelation or interpretation of these things to come alive (as God breathed the breath of life on that written word), as God himself willed or chose to make certain things known at certain periods of scripture will never become alive to anyone’s heart until first the Holy Ghost breathes on the letter of the word.
GOD BREATHED SCRIPTURE WILL STAND ALL TESTS
In this article we choose to show how Christ, His Apostles and that early church stood firmly, unmoveable upon only that which was written by inspired men of old. We are going to see the confidence that these placed in what was written and why we in this hour, having been restored to that same original apostolic gospel, must also stand just as firmly and committed unto that which was written. Out of Paul’s and Peter’s writings we have clearly seen what the written scriptures are all about, how they came to us etc. Now we will examine men’s position in how they stood so dedicated and committed to that which was written by these holy men of old, by inspired men holding gifted offices and not some Ph.D. or D.D. writings—-you see there is a vast difference. Furthermore, we are instructed by the Apostle Paul that we are to study these inspired writings allowing the Holy Ghost to breathe the breath of life upon them for us in order to show ourselves approved unto God (not to become some religious fanatic, not to go off on the deep end but rightly dividing the Word of Truth; studying to show ourselves approved unto God and realizing that the true interpretation of the scripture can never come to any of us through carnal interpretation of man’s ability, but as it was written by the spirit, so must the true interpretation of what was written be given by that same Spirit!
JESUS STOOD FOR WHAT IS WRITTEN
In order to see how we in this hour who have been restored to an apostolic revelated gospel should know how to stand upon what is written. Let us examine lives, ministries, churches of the New Testament day, who set the example before us standing uncompromisingly on what is written as the only defense for their position. First we examine the confidence placed in what was written by that wonderful personality called Jesus of Nazareth. A short time prior to this setting in Matt. 4, Jesus had been announced unto the followers of John the Baptist as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. Recall, we are studying the following passages of scripture to determine just what emphasis the early disciples, including the Lord himself actually placed upon the Holy Scriptures, which had been inspired of God and written by holy men of old. Whereby we ourselves in this hour may know and understand the position which we also are to take with the Holy Scriptures. I am sure we shall soon discover they are something more to be used than just in a devotional period wherein we might be blessed and whether or not we should be looking for another or something else in our hour to take the place of the Holy Scriptures. That is to say something else that could hold equal position as to that of the Holy Scriptures for the Bride. When we finish this article I am sure you will see that God has never authorized anything for his Bride people to take the place of the Holy Inspired Scriptures.
THE WORD TEST
After John had baptized and introduced Jesus unto his followers as the Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prophet spoken by Moses in Deut. 18, we note Jesus, who is about to enter into the living word ministry of an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, is awaiting in the desert beyond Jericho for Satan. The scripture says he has waited for approximately 40 days. He was led there by the Spirit into the wilderness, sometime after his baptism, for a severe Word test and I want to point out to each reader to note carefully his only position of defense for who He was and why He did what He was doing WAS THAT WRITTEN WORD! Recall, at this time no flesh had ever been a match for Satan seeing that no one had actually stood uncompromisingly without any revelation solely upon the Word of God. It must be clearly understood that Jesus in His match with Satan was not defending His position before the arch enemy of mankind because He was the Son of God, the Great I Am, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) yet as it is clearly indicated in the written Word, He was all of this. He who had fasted for 40 days undoubtedly preparing Himself (with great hunger) for His very first temptation with the enemy of man’s soul, stood strictly and uncompromisingly upon only one thing as His defense-THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD!
If there is one thing this man whom I believe filled the office of the Laodician messenger Rev. 3:14, Rev. 10:7, Mal. 4:5-6 (B-Part)taught to this end time people. It was above all the importance of believing, trusting, relying and standing firmly, uncompromisingly upon the revealed Word of God, as one’s sole authority! How often did he refer to Mother Eve as the perfect example as the one who refused to stand on, believe and trust in the precious Word of God which is Eternal Life, and how often did he say because she failed to believe in all the word and doubted just one word or one part, look what she led Adam and all the seed of mankind into-DEATH!
Beloved, it is death to doubt the authority of any part of the Word of God. We should not only be filled with the revealed scriptures because they produce the stimulation of the new wine, but even more so the stimulation should cause us to know that which is written is the final authority in every decision, dispute, settlement of discussion. In other words, it has always been and will always remain man’s sole defense for his soul’s position as illustrated at first by the Lord of Glory who met Satan face to face in the desert, standing upon what had been written.
Jesus Christ who is our perfect example (I Peter 2:21) of all that God expects of man, never hesitated for one moment to use as his sole defense against Satan THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. Never once did HE waver from its authority, therefore I say unto you the end time Bride people WAKE UP, GET BACK IN LINE WITH THAT WHICH GOD WAS SO GRACIOUS TO RESTORE AN END TIME PEOPLE UNTO! GET BACK TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE SCRIPTURES AS SATAN WILL LISTEN TO NOTHING ELSE! STUDY PRAYERFULLY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED OF GOD WHEREIN WHEN THAT HOUR OF ATTACK BY THE ENEMY DOES COME UPON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO WAS MAN JUST AS YOU ARE A MAN, AS A BELIEVER WILL BE ABLE TO SAY, WITH JESUS—-SATAN IT IS WRITTEN!!!! Was it not that which was written which caused Jesus, Peter and the early disciples, Paul, Bro. William Branham along with all true devoted saints of God to stand so firmly unwavering and dedicated unto the sole authority of the REVEALED SCRIPTURES? Be able to say with them all–SATAN IT IS WRITTEN and be able to stand upon what has been written.
All the four gospels had something to say concerning Jesus dispute with Satan and how by the Word or what is written Jesus defeated him in the desert, overlooking Jericho after his 40 day fast. Nevertheless, it is only Matthew who records all the three temptations that Christ confronted and defeated by WHAT IS WRITTEN. Matt.4:1-21. How exciting it is to watch this setting of a man weakened in the flesh through a lengthy fast as He prepares His heart to meet the challenger, yet what is more exciting is how Jesus of Nazareth who was the Word made flesh, John 1:14, the Son of the Holy Spirit, Matt. 1:20, defeated Satan all because he rested solely upon THAT WHICH WAS WRITTEN.
Are we aware of how much was actually at stake during this contest? Are we aware that all mankind rested upon what Jesus would do and say once he met Satan, the challenger in the wilderness? Have you ever thought what would have happened if Jesus, who the scripture says had become very hungry after 40 days, would have used, His power and authority to obey the tempter and turn the stones into bread in order to feed His hungry flesh? Surely it was a great temptation unto Him, being so hungry. Note first of all, what was hungry and what it was being tempted, not God who was the Holy Spirit living in Christ. Certainly not, God does not get hungry unless it would be to fellowship with you or hungry to see us walk with Him in the beauty of His holiness. It was the flesh of man, the Christ man that had become hungry! The first Adam had fallen, it is now up to the second Adam who is being tempted in the desert and who uses as His only defense as to why HE won’t do a certain thing, THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. As a man our perfect example, the second Adam shows to Satan, God expects man to overcome his tempter and temptation by WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN by inspired holy men of old. We note as the tempter approaches Christ, he who in no way as Eve, began carrying on a conversation with her tempter, No Sir, in all three temptations, which take on various forms ,yet in all three cases, dealt strictly with the power, authority and calling of Christ into the earth. Yet in each case Christ answered him with WHAT IS WRITTEN and answered him in such a way that Satan knew he would never get Jesus to vary even the slightest from that WHICH HAD BEEN WRITTEN. Because he could not get him to vary from THAT WHICH HAD BEEN WRITTEN as his sole authority of defense against Satan, Satan for the first time was defeated by a man and the defeat came only because that one man had stood uncompromisingly upon what was written. Remember what was written had carried the thoughts of God, not the thoughts of man, not mere statements of what man believed himself, or what he thought God would like or dislike. Christ could never have stood upon that! Therefore Jesus was showing that man’s only authority, his only protection in a spiritual battle against the evil one would be that he must stand clothed as his only defense in what has been written in the Holy inspired scriptures. The apostles and the early church followed Jesus their example perfectly in that same manner of defense as we shall later see, therefore showing that we too must follow that same example. We further note, that Satan could in no wise move the early church off of WHAT WAS WRITTEN any more than he could move the Lord Jesus off of WHAT WAS WRITTEN. The one thing those guards of the early five-fold ministry were committed to was teaching the church it’s only defense was to stand upon (WHAT WAS WRITTEN),therefore we see Satan was forced to wait the death of the first round of ministry, before he could even begin to impress or inspire any of the church to begin to shift their position on what was written. Truly Jesus who had defeated Satan upon the sole grounds of what was written by those holy men of old before and after His death (as He continued His ministry in the lives of His disciples by the Spirit, Acts 2:1-4 had pressed upon the believers the value of standing uncompromisingly upon WHAT IS WRITTEN in order to keep error out of the church or body of Christ as she began her earthly journey.
SATAN AND HIS ATTEMPT TO DESTROY END TIME BELIEVER’S
CONFIDENCE IN WHAT IS WRITTEN
I don’t think there is any problem in us now seeing why Satan would desperately attempt through every means possible to sway the true end time believer off the written word of the holy scriptures because to do so, would leave them with no defense against him and without being able to stand upon what is written by those holy men of old, the end time people could never firmly establish themselves upon what is written.
Yes, we note in Matt. 4, Jesus stood as firmly upon what is written in the inspired scripture by those holy men of old that Satan never put up any argument, but simply turned unto another form of temptation, still trying to sway the Son of God off that revealed scripture. However, Satan soon realized he was dealing with a humble individual filled with humility and full of far too much of what is written for him to be able to handle and for the first time in his career he has encountered a human being, a man who was so determined to stand upon what was written, what had been inspired of God. That after a few desperate, unsuccessful tries to get Him off of WHAT WAS WRITTEN, he leaves Christ and the scriptures say angels came and ministered unto Him. Undoubtedly, they rejoiced over His victory with the scriptures because now mankind would have a Savior. A Savior who had defeated the devil. He as Deity had stood against that which had been created in the beginning. The pride of Lucifer became the evil one rebelling against God, leading out a third part of angels with him. No beloved, Jesus did not defeat Satan on what HE was or who He was, He defeated Satan as a man who had no other defense against the evil one, other than that of the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD! Satan was absolutely defeated only by the stand taken of a man who used as his only defense the scriptures that had been written by holy men of old.
THREE TEMPTATIONS DEFEATED BY THE WORD
For temptation number one, Christ gracefully used Deut. 8:3 to defeat this temptation. Christ, though very hungry in body was more dedicated to Deut 8:3 than He was to eat.
Temptation 2: Rather than to be outdone at this point, Satan approaches temptation No. 2 feeling perhaps I can’t get Him to turn stone into bread to feed His hungry flesh, seeing this man thinks he is the son of God using scriptures on me. I will give him a verse of scripture—-you see, Satan knows the scripture also, like so many others, he does not know how to place them whereby they would be effective. Hear Satan saying, Oh, you pull scriptures on me, huh. You aren’t the only one who knows what is written–I know what is written. Therefore we note, round two will be a battle with the two using scriptures. Verse 5, taking Jesus into the holy city he stood Him upon the pinnacle of the temple (that little wing, the highest point) and said if you be the Son of God cast yourself down for the scripture says (note Satan using scripture) Psalms 91:11-12. “He shall give his angels charge over you and they will bear you up on their hands so you will never strike your foot against a stone. However, watch Jesus come back at him”,(still using the scripture as the final authority to what he says). Jesus uses Deut.6:16, again the scripture says: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Although Satan had quoted a scriptural passage, he naturally had taken it out of context and Christ knew this, therefore Christ came back at him with another scripture to offset his plot. Scripture used in proper setting will not and can never under any circumstances contradict any other part of the scripture. The only time scripture will contradict is when it is misused or misapplied. Nevertheless, without the revelation of Christ on the inspired scriptures they will constantly clash and contradict in various places. Here is one for instance that has caused theologians to scratch their heads over for centuries, Matt.28:19 and Acts 2:38, yet through the revelation of Christ which the early church had, including the apostles. Matt.28:19 and Acts 2:38 blend beautifully. Without the revelation–they clash. God meant for the scriptures to work this way. His revelation is what keeps them from clashing. Carnal minds examines them and sees a contradiction.
Temptation No.3-Satan will in no wise attempt to use scripture and seeks to stay clear from the scriptures as far as possible, even as he seeks to persuade people in this hour to do the same. Nevertheless, Christ continues to stand firmly in each case upon what is written, not upon his Deity, but upon what the holy scriptures say. In the 2nd temptation Christ was carried to the tiptop of the holy temple, however, in temptation no. 3, he was carried upon a high mountain, verse 8, and shown all the kingdoms of the world (and their splendor) note no. 3 has to do with worship. All of this I will give you, if you will fall down upon your knees(just once)and worship me. Truly no doubt, this was a great temptation for Christ, knowing his flesh must die a shameful, agonizing death on a cruel cross. To regain all of this when Satan is offering it to Him, if He will bow His knee only once. What a rebuke it is to those who are always seeking the easy way out or doing a thing simply because it benefits them regardless to what it would do to the program of God. Turning to the scriptures once again for his final basis of defense, “Christ says, Begone Satan,” for the scripture says (Deut. 6:13) “You must worship the Lord thy God and serve Him alone.” Satan is now convinced that he cannot defeat Jesus because he can’t get him away from what is written. Not even when he attempted to trick him in the second temptation using a scripture taken out of context, for had the scripture been applied in its proper place, Christ could never have struck Satan with another scripture . For when correctly interpreted, scripture blends with scripture, revelation with revelation, always adding to–but never fighting against.
CHRIST, THE SCRIPTURES AND HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY
Therefore, seeing how the Son of God laid such extreme importance and heavy emphasis as his sole defense upon WHAT IS WRITTEN to defeat Satan, We follow Christ out into His public ministry to see as He is challenged time and again if the scripture still remained his sole authority. Will he continue to treat what has been written by holy men of old with that same high respect as he did in the wilderness facing his own temptation? Will it remain to be the final say throughout his ministry, or shall He turn to other sources of defense? We shall see! Recall our purpose in doing so, is that we of the end time Bride people should know as to what stand we are to take, whether we rely solely upon revealed scripture, or something else as the basis for our salvation and hope of eternal life. Beloved, concerning those days that lie ahead we must so seek the Lord with our whole heart in order to get our faith anchored and settled so deeply in this precious revealed scripture written by men of old that nothing could possibly shake us on WHAT IS WRITTEN in revealed scripture which has been shown to us by the Holy Ghost through his end time servant, prophet, church age messenger who brought a revelation which was needed to place us back in the apostolic truth of that early church who stood so gallantly and loyally upon what is written in order to defeat the enemy. That message we heard delivered by a prophet at this end time carried within it a revelation of scripture whereby we could get our minds and our faith solidly back in the written word of God, using that same powerful revelation given to that early church, as a deadly weapon of defense against Satan. Wherein we could defend our position also with revealed scripture. Furthermore, we trust when this article is finished you may even have a better understanding as to what God has and has not done in this hour to bring a people back upon the written word of God for their sole defense. Beloved, that is why it is vitally important that we search the scriptures and recall, the word search doesn’t indicate one hurries through something and claim there has been a search made.
SCRIPTURAL SEARCH FOR ETERNAL LIFE
Did Christ continue to use the scripture as His only defense after the desert scene or was He now qualified to use something other than the written scriptures for defense? Let me assure you that never once did Christ nor His apostles ever defend their position with anything other than the holy scriptures. Never did they say, I had such and such an experience or I have had a vision therefore it qualifies me. It was always the revealed scriptures they stood upon in the face of critics and agnostics.
Turning now into St. John 5:37-39, Jesus is found speaking to some Pharisees who have begun to develop certain questions in their minds concerning him. “The father himself which has sent me hath borne witness of me, you have neither heard his voice at any time nor seen his shape (why, because he is a Spirit) and ye have not his (revealed) word abiding in you; for whom he has sent, him ye believe not.” Note who is speaking. The very Messiah of whom the scriptures had testified. Christ having begun to perform a few works and had spoken a few things, has not greatly aroused their curiosity concerning himself. Such questions arise was who are you, and who gave you authority to do these things: Why are you tearing to pieces our religious structure? Why teacheth thou contrary to all Moses taught? Outwardly it did appear that they seeing Jesus healed on the Sabbath etc., that He was opposed to Moses teaching, yet He wasn’t. Christ was only the fulfillment, he was the revelatory part of it and surely if they couldn’t see the revelatory part of the written word, by all means they were certain to miss it all by trying to follow it from a natural standpoint. Therefore, Jesus was prompted in verse 39 to remark search the scriptures.
Why? Because it has already been stated and is proven once again here, the final test to every question is the inspired scriptures.
For it is in them, ye think ye have eternal life but Jesus said, they are they which testify of me. Notice, Christ knew somewhere in their searching the scriptures, they had missed the very key to its understanding and therefore having missed the very key which was necessary, He knew Eternal Life was far from their grasp or understanding. Therefore all he says unto them is, search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have Eternal Life, but they are they which testify of me. The scriptures, Christ says, speak so loudly concerning me and yet you are unable to recognize what they are saying! Therefore beloved, it is important we note here that Christ, before the Pharisees, left it all up to the basis of the scriptures to be their final decision concerning him. Yes, the sacred scriptures written by holy men of old are most important as the final proof of all things.
Let us observe another time where Jesus again uses scriptures or that which is written as his final decision among the people. John 7:37 shows us again the people had gotten into another dispute over something that had happened concerning his ministry. This time it is the last day of the great feast in the temple and Jesus stood and cried saying if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. Naturally, with the interpretation to this which John added years later, it is easy for us to understand what Christ is speaking of, however had we been there that day and not known the explanation to his statement we may have been as dumbfounded as the Jews who heard him when he said, “if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, for he that believeth on me as the scripture hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (no explanation follows)! He has only stated they who believe on Him as the holy written scriptures have indicated. Naturally they being void of spiritual understanding had never heard a man speak on this fashion before. Concerning this one whom they all felt had been born of fornication he sounded to them like some quack–whoever heard such —- if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. Who does he think he is? Why he has no water bucket and telling us to come and drink if we are thirsty. Where would he get water? (See that is how carnal people get things) telling us if we are thirsty to come to him to drink– no bucket or anything to draw water with and to think him standing here in the temple. You see all Jesus had said was, he that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, (note how he brought the scriptures into the picture) out of his belly shall flow living water.
Can’t you just hear them saying, “Sure don’t want that to happen to me.” My, how carnal some people become in their attempt to interpret scripture, yet he was saying it in that manner and putting it into a language so they wouldn’t miss it, provided they had any revelation as to what was written. However, note it was many years later before John under the inspiration of the Spirit ever picked up that incident, recording it in his letter and added, but this spake He of the Spirit which they that believed on Him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because Christ had not yet been glorified. See, beloved, that is the part that was added years later. One mind receives it while another doesn’t, yet note Christ left his defense of statement entirely up to the scriptures that had been written and furthermore we note that once he moved away from the crowd, they as always entered into the great discussion and dispute over him.
Many of the people therefore when they heard this (about living water flowing out of their innermost being)said and get this, of a truth this is the prophet (referred to by Moses in Deut.18 that should be sent to Israel and they must all hear him). Others said, (No), this is the Christ.
Again note, how pathetic carnal understanding is toward the scriptures. These people saying this is the Christ differing with those who said this the prophet, were unable to link up Deut. 18 with all the other scriptures given by these other prophets concerning his messiahship. Yes, they were totally incapable of seeing how these scriptures interlocked, referring to one and the self same person! And without the revelation, that new wine of stimulation, one is totally incapable of ever seeing this as well as other things. One said this man is that prophet, another said no–he is the Christ, yet watch what still another group had to say at the feast, who couldn’t accept him as the Christ because of their carnal interpretation of the scriptures.
How shall Christ come out of Galilee, they asked? In other words, they knew this man had come out of Galilee and had been reared in Nazareth. With certain scriptures in mind without revelation they asked, can Christ come out of Galilee? Does not the scriptures say Christ cometh from the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem (referring to Micah 5:2 where David was? True, this group also was using the scriptures. Yet were wrestling with them having no spiritual knowledge or revelation as to where and how to place these particular scriptures. Don’t forget what we are discussing —- it is the authority of the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. Scripture is the basis of all true revelation, and once through inspiration of the scriptures you have gotten them all lined up perfectly or rightly divided, you will then be able to build a framework for your faith, wherein once you retire for sleep at night Satan can hound your soul all he pleases and you will be able to say, “devil beat on me all you want, throw all the darts you please, because I have a framework that can stand the test”. Yes, you will be able to say with the Apostle Paul, I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Did you hear what Paul said he was resting upon? It is most important that you note Paul was not simply living off the experience he had when struck down on the Damascus Road. No, he wasn’t living off the experience of seeing a brilliant light. It wasn’t his testimony that God had brought him into this or that on which he was resting. When Paul lay down to sleep he rested upon one fact, “God had given him a revelation of the written scripture and it was the written inspired word of God causing him to be able to say wherever he went —- IT IS WRITTEN!
To the Galatians we hear him saying (Gal. 1:11) I signify unto you therefore brethren that the gospel which I preach unto you, I learned it not of men. God had allowed Paul to look down through the written scriptures and because he had been called to be an apostle to the gentiles, God had given him other revelations which began to unfold mysteries which God had concealed in his Old Testament writings and beloved once that beautiful picture began to unfold before Paul we hear him declaring before the Ephesians, Eph. 3:5, the things that had been hidden to men of other ages God hath now made know unto his holy apostles and prophets by his Spirit!
Therefore it is important to note concerning the people who always heard Jesus or confronted him over that which had created a question in their minds how it was always by the scriptures he answered them leaving the scriptures to be the final basis of his defense.
Furthermore we note the pathetic situation which always is among the people who discussed him in the light of their own understanding of the scriptures as some would say he is that prophet, others would say he is the Christ. Scripture never fails to show the pathetic situation of those who were unable to take the scripture and place them together whereby they might see their interlinking revelatory aspect, therefore they would say, he can’t be the Christ because the scriptures say the Christ comes out of the city of David in Bethlehem and this man came out of Galilee etc. Poor pathetic people, unable to place the scriptures in their proper prospective because as it was written under the inspiration of the Spirit so must it be revealed and come into perfect alignment by that same Spirit to get the perfect picture. Yes, we are dealing with this picture to try and show you no matter what hour of history (of the early church) whenever an issue arose or whatever was at stake the scriptures always became the final analysis unto him who had an ear to hear what the Spirit said unto the church. Scripture always became the final test for every man’s idea and revelation and so must it also be today!
CHRIST AND THE SCRIPTURES AFTER RESURRECTION
Note how Christ even after his resurrection, in defense of his position concerning the resurrection, used nothing before his disciples, but revealed scripture and it is revealed scripture that always brings the consistency to the true believer. Luke 24:25-27 pictures Christ after his resurrection rebuking his disciples for their unbelief. “Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets hath spoke; (Note how Christ referred to the Word of God declaring before the disciples how they should have believed all the scriptures showed concerning how Christ must suffer these things and enter into his glory. Appearing before his disciples after his resurrection on the third day allowing them to take a close look upon his person, it was so hard for them to believe what they were seeing. To some no doubt it was merely a myth or something, however, note what Christ does, he doesn’t start reminding them it was him who walked on the water and raised the dead, fed the five thousand etc., no, he simply takes the scriptures and aligns them up for his disciples. In other words, he uses no other defense for that which has happened unto him than the holy scriptures themselves. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them all that the scriptures had declared concerning himself and the crucifixion.”
After he had placed all these scriptures in proper order, they were better able to understand what happened and why. No never did he approach his disciples by simply saying, Boys, don’t you remember the day we were on the Sea of Galilee and I calmed the waters; Peter, don’t you remember how I allowed you to walk on the sea; don’t you all recall the different times the dead were raised; don’t you remember on a certain day we did such and such– what good would that have done? That would never have cleared the cobwebs of confusion what had happened and why. Oh Praise God, what reasoning would never do, revealed scripture did! True, they were with him when all these things were accomplished, as a matter of fact they were also with him as he hung on the cross and life expired from his flesh and it was because of their failure to understand all of this as it appeared that all hope was gone and great discouragement was faced as to the outcome of all this therefore they had scattered everyone to his own way. Why? Simply because they had not understood the revealed scriptures. Now, in their minds were such questions as, have we followed the right one, have we been deceived? Yet standing before them is Christ raised from the dead and it so startled their very faith and their confidence had been so shaken, they wondered—– Am I seeing things, what I see before me, is it real? No, Christ never used one single event of the past to prove his resurrection unto His bewildered disciples. All He did was take the scriptures from Moses and the other prophets and brought them down the line expounding to them all the things pertaining to himself written in the scriptures by holy men of old., and beloved, it is only the scriptures in their proper understanding that can be the final test and bring consistency unto the believer once they are laid out properly..
REVEALED SCRIPTURE PROVIDES CONSISTENCY IN JOHN
All that Christ ever used in defending any part of his ministry before a skeptic or a believer was nothing other than the scriptures for which he also used to defeat Satan in the wilderness. In Matt. 11:2 we see where Christ used only scripture to console John the Baptist who awaited execution in prison. Recall the day John was placed in prison because he denounced Herod for living in adultery? Yes, it was this same John who earlier, confidently, had announced the advent of Christ from the Jordan banks, declaring to his followers, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. My, what a great revelation John had received as it had been given unto him as a special sign how the one he saw, the spirit of God descend upon and remain would be the one announced as the Lamb of God. I repeat, John knew because of the inspiration of the Spirit who had given him this sign to know and recognize the Christ once he had come before him and on the basis of what God had shown John, he announced Jesus of Nazareth, his own cousin as the Lamb of God! However, now we find a different setting. John is no longer on the banks of Jordan preaching under the mighty anointing of God; John is not under the great anointing of the Holy Spirit as he had been months ago preaching the gospel declaring to the people he was not the Christ nor was he even worthy to unlatch his shoes! John is now in an entirely different setting for he is in prison and we pick up the story where he calls several of his disciples to go and inquire of that man Jesus whom he had announced to the world as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, “Are you the one we look for or do we look for another?” As another translation declares; or should we keep on looking for a different one?
The implication of the Greek word different- means another different in quality. Matt. 11:3. Beloved, I want you to know this John on whom the spirit of Elijah rested was a man just like anyone else and once he got in prison Satan had made him doubt perhaps his own vision of how to recognize the Christ as he had no actual scripture he could cling to as Satan battled his thoughts. Inspiration and revelation when linked together can make one as bold as a lion; how ever, once there comes a time when your own personal life is at stake as it was with John, Satan will attack your mind to test your revelation and your belief and don’t you think for a moment that this man in whom the spirit of Elijah had rested in order to fulfill the A part of Mal. 4:5-6 (as indicated in Luke 1:17)that John did not have his testing time as well as all the others. Therefore John sends his disciples to ask Jesus, are you the one we look for or do we look for another? OH, I hope this rings deep in your soul. John who had stood so boldly on the river bank of Jordan declaring Jesus of Nazareth, his own cousin, to be God’s lamb to take away the sins of the world definitely had not made such an announcement on the basis of some physical appearance of Jesus—- a thousand times NO!
This had only been announced because of a supernatural sign wherein he had previously been told before how he would identify this man. However, now he is in prison and not under that mighty anointing and inspiration– what had gone wrong with his first revelation? Here as he sits in prison he is just plain John. God has about finished with him, that doesn’t mean God doesn’t still love him -it simply means he has almost completed his commission. Sitting alone in prison he is now beginning to question his own personal revelation, yet let us note, the assurance that Jesus sends unto John which brings such consistency, he doesn’t fret any more over the situation.
John’s disciples no doubt traveled quite a distance to find Jesus, nevertheless, they found him preaching to the multitudes and they saw the lame walk, the blind made to see, the deaf ears unstopped and no doubt the dead raised and most of all Jesus preaching the gospel. Later when they caught Jesus silent for a moment they worked their way up to him and asked a question. Rabbi (teacher) we have a question to ask you. John wants to know, are you the one we look for or do we look for another? Note Jesus’ answer, he didn’t say, you go back and tell John, of course I am the one, what is wrong with him? Doesn’t he remember I am the one he announced on the riverbank that day? No, of course not. He did not approach the situation in any such manner. Instead, as always he pointed them to the scripture ( in Isaiah) you return to John and tell him the things you saw. Beloved, these men had caught a revelation, they had something and because of what they saw they will be able to encourage John’s heart.
Tell him how you saw the blind made to see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dumb made to speak, and more over, how the gospel was preached to the poor. These disciples of John knew fully well this was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, the Spirit of the Lord is upon him and he opened the blinded eyes etc. No other defense was used by Christ other than the revealed scriptures that bring consistency and watch how when they return to John declaring to him you don’t have a thing to worry about because we saw scripture fulfilled before our very eyes as we never saw it before. Old John in his heart, praising God, no doubt said Lord I have fulfilled your mission and I know I will be coming home soon, Hallelujah! John knew he was finished, he had delivered his message and was ready to go whenever the Lord was ready to take him. Isn’t he wonderful? Revealed scriptures are not only the final test in every situation, they also bring consistency to the believer.
THE EARLY CHURCH AND REVEALED SCRIPTURES
Jesus has now left the scene in our next setting. Therefore we might ask the question once again, as we approach the setting of the early church. In their hour of test will they change from the holy scriptures as their sole defense for their action or teaching or will they approach the situation from another viewpoint? Do they desert the scripture as the final test in the hour of crisis? The answer is NO! Turning now unto the birth of the church in Acts 2 we find approximately 120 disciples who have been in an upper chamber for ten days. The Holy Ghost has descended to give birth to the church and send it forth into the earth for its long earthly journey.
A hundred and twenty people are sent into the street to testify and witness. Truly they have received a mighty experience in that upper room, an experience which granted them much boldness, they had heard the wind blow, they had seen licks of fire as it sat upon each of them; they had felt sensations never before as the power of God surged through their very being and they all began to speak in other languages as the Spirit had given them ability to do so. Early in the morning they had come into the streets acting exactly like drunk people although remaining sane and sensible in their outlook. The early morning hour saw the streets of Jerusalem filled with devout Jews who had traveled from every major nation or country surrounding Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feast of Pentecost, a yearly ritual and note God had kept the 120 shut away from the public until he was ready to fulfill the very thing to which this natural, yearly ritual had always pointed. On that very day which God had given to the natural Jew for his natural observance of Pentecost, in that upper room sitting around unaware that anything was about to happen as it did, were 120 disciples. Recall Jesus had mentioned not one thing to them about hearing the wind blow or the possibility of seeing licks of fire sitting upon each of them, his only instruction had been to tarry in Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high and beloved here it came inside their very being and they began to utter other languages etc,. Having become so anointed and stimulated on that new wine of the Spirit so enthused, so blessed they could no longer remain in the upper room therefore into the streets they came acting as drunk men. Once they began to move about in the crowded streets, staggering and speaking in other languages certain men of various nationalities began to understand what they were saying because it was the very language of the nation wherein they had been born! Can’t you just imagine the hustle and bustle of that early morning hour as different Jewish women go from place to place with their kettles etc., and those orthodox Jews dressed out in all their paraphernalia. Truly God had prepared for them a great audience. Naturally, you know what was happening. In your mind you know where they had been for ten days, but what if you had been in that group who didn’t know what had just happened and you saw 120 people acting that peculiar? You too, would wonder what was wrong and why they were acting as they were. At first it may not have created such an obnoxious scene however after a while this thing continued to grow more astounding as these orthodox Jews were hearing praises of God in their own language wherein they were born. No, it was not the old home bunch of Jews who were understanding the disciples, seeing they only spoke the old mother tongue Hebrew, nevertheless these disciples aren’t speaking in Hebrew but in languages of nationalities of the Jews who were present from every country round about. Therefore to the Jew born and raised in and around Judah and Jerusalem, to them it all sounded like a racket, but to others it was a clear language and not only one clear language but many and it was because of this the men who were astounded remarked: “how hear we these men who be Galileans speaking in languages of countries where we were born?” What is this all about, they asked? Therefore, see the picture, it was those devout Jews from every nation under heaven which God was just now sending gospel unto giving them a chance to accept Christ. Those who were in and around Judah, who heard Christ often, who saw his miracles had already been given their chance over and over to accept the Messiah, it had been they who rejected him and insisted he be hanged on a tree. It was not to these God was speaking who lived in and around Jerusalem, NO, he was speaking to those Jews who had come to the feast from every nation under heaven. It was them upon hearing praises of God and testimonies in their own languages that began to question, what is this all about: Never have I heard anything like this!
But naturally it was this home bunch of Jews who tried to explain away the great phenomena by saying these men are full of new wine. As always, it seems to be those who have hung around yet never really stepped into the revelation, who always think they have the answer isn’t it?
PETER WITH REVEALED SCRIPTURE BEFORE MULTITUDE
Upon hearing this, Peter began to express with a very loud voice in the language they all could understand, their old mother Hebrew tongue, first he addressed the men of Judea and those who dwell around Jerusalem as he says—– you from Judea and Jerusalem listen to me, these men are not drunk as ye suppose seeing it is but the third hour of the day, but this that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, please note, Peter as did Christ, using only the scripture as their sole basis of defense. Further he did not say—– we are not drunk, we just came from the upper room and we have the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is what Jesus promised before he left. We received such a glorious experience, we were under the power for so long; we had all kinds of experiences and sensations; we saw licks of fire etc. He did not say one word about their experience in the upper room! Instead under the revelation of the Spirit which had entered into his body and life, he took the revealed scriptures and defended their position by saying, this is that spoken of by Joel the prophet. This is that which the word of God backs up, in their final crucial testing. Peter did not say in so many words—-now you have read so and so, sure they had all read Joel. Those devout, orthodox Jews knew all about Joel’s prophecy although they were unable to place this event of what was happening in their midst with anything that Joel had prophesied. Nevertheless, Peter said this is that which was spoken of by Joel. Peter continuing in his old mother tongue, Hebrew language said, and it shall come to pass in the last days etc. See, Peter goes right down through the scriptures linking them together even into the scriptures of the prophet David concerning Christ and the crucifixion. All of this came by the revelation of the Spirit as he stood there linking those two passages of revealed scripture together. Oh, can’t you just see that old home bunch of Jews who wasn’t receiving any revelation from God, yet was receiving quite a rebuke from Peter with the scripture, nevertheless, while he is using the scriptures to rebuke the home bunch of Jews there is a devout group in that midst from every nation under heaven standing there truly receiving illumination and revelation in their souls and is being given such spiritual understanding as to why they had heard this group at the beginning speaking in languages wherein they were born, that by the time Peter had finished quoting and explaining scriptures as to why they acted as they did then, that crowd of at least 3,000 were beginning to enquire WHAT MUST WE DO? Acts. 2:37
Let us note further Joel and David’s prophecy is not all the scripture brought to light on this day because the fulfillment of Isaiah 28:8-12 is also receiving a fulfillment in that the scripture says, here a little, there a little, and stammering lips and other tongues will I speak to this Jewish people and yet for all this they will not believe. God fulfilled quite a bit of scripture that day didn’t he?
Therefore we must clearly understand on the very day the church was launched, Peter wasn’t standing in the street defending his action by telling them about the strange, miraculous sensations they had felt in the upper room, nor did he tell them of Jesus instructing them to tarry in Jerusalem, until they be endued with power from on high, nor did he tell them of anything the Lord told him as a defense of their position. Peter had received something in his soul early that morning, whereby he was able to reach out and take hold of the scriptures and by the revelation of the Spirit in his life could stand there and use these revealed scriptures as a defense concerning their position. Armed only with the revealed scripture which is sharper than any two edged sword under the anointing was all he used to whack his way through to victory and beloved with us today it still holds true, it is only the inspired revelation of the scriptures that we will ever be able to defend our position once attacked by Satan.
PETER WITH SCRIPTURE BEFORE THE GENTILES
Moving on perhaps another ten years into the young church’s earthly journey, we come into the 10th chapter of Acts where the grace of God has now led Peter with his keys to the kingdom unto the home of a gentile by the name of Cornelius, where something most important is about to transpire, something Peter himself being a Jew has no idea even why he has been led by the Holy Ghost unto a gentile’s home in distant Caesarea. True, God has led Peter who is a Jew into a household full of gentiles. Upon entering Cornelius’ home, note what this gentile Cornelius does—- immediately he falls upon the floor and begins to worship Peter who quickly tells him to arise saying we are only men like yourself, what do you require of me? Please note here, and bear in mind how in the beginning of the gentile program for grace, we see a gentile worshiping this great apostle who has just entered his home, all because he feels Peter is something special.
Cornelius begins by explaining his vision and the experience of the angel’s visitation, telling him to enquire of Peter how that he and his house might be saved (Acts 11:14). Peter upon remembering that he too had a similar vision while on the housetop of Simon the Tanner in Joppa, standing there and not knowing what to do, begins to speak upon his favorite subject. He began to preach Jesus and note, how he began to preach Jesus, strictly on the basis of the scriptures! Verse 39. Peter says, “we are witnesses of things which he did (speaking of Christ’s works and miracles) both in the land of the Jew and in Jerusalem; who they slew and hanged on a tree; him God raised up the third day and showed him openly, not unto all the people, but unto chosen witnesses, chosen of God, even to us who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach unto the people and to testify, it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of the quick and the dead. To him gave all the prophet’s witness that through his name whosoever believes in him, shall receive remission of sins.” And furthermore note here as Peter said, to him, gave all the prophet’s witness– he is absolutely referring to the authority based solely upon that of the scriptures and the results, while Peter yet spoke those words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the words. Why? Because as time had progressed on unto the hour for God to fulfill the inspired writings, which came from the book of Amos, how he would come unto the gentiles to take out of the gentiles a people for his name, as that hour draws near, God immediately inspired Peter to make a move toward the gentiles with the gospel of redemption. God was now ready to begin to set in motion certain scriptures which had to be fulfilled, scriptures which had hung there for centuries and beloved everything is now moving into continuity and consistency within the plan of God. Recall it is always revealed scripture that produces consistency.
REASONED OUT OF THE SCRIPTURE
Time progresses still further into our search and we are brought into Acts 13:29. However, this time it is the apostle to the gentiles, the Apostle Paul and not Peter to whom we are listening as he is using the scriptures as a defense of his position. Although the following statement is not the main one I seek to bring out, nevertheless, it is a statement from one of Paul’s sermon in which he stated “and when they had fulfilled all that was written of him they took him down from the tree!” Beloved, did you note what Paul was saying? When all was fulfilled that had been written by the inspired writers, then and only then, did they take him down from the tree. “And laid him in a sepulchre , but God raised him from the dead; and he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem who are his witnesses unto the people.” The reason I chose this particular brief scripture is because in this portion it shows all had to be fulfilled concerning Christ which had been written even before taking him down from the tree.
Now, I invite your attention over into Acts 17. Paul is now found in Asia, having gone into Thessalonica and entered into the Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath day. It is here we find Paul as his manner was, he went unto them three days and reasoned with them. Now may I ask- how Paul would reason with these Jews? Did he reason out of the by-laws or articles of faith? No Sir! He reasoned with them out of the scriptures. Furthermore let us notice still another place concerning what the scripture has to say in Paul’s ministry, Acts 17:10 and the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea; who coming hither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica (How?) In the fact they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things be so, and searched what? THE SCRIPTURES!! Because it was only the scriptures that verified whether or not these things spoken by Paul were so. Therefore we see Paul used only the scriptures as his defense, however we note further Paul could not approach the heathen with the revealed word on this fashion, seeing they did not know enough about the scriptures to search them! His explanation unto pagans wasn’t on this fashion, yet whatever he did say to them, you can rest assured of one thing—– it always became a personal revelation to them. However dealing with that Jew who know the letter of the scripture, those people who potentially had access first unto the grace of God and for that Jew to be sure of himself as to where he stood Paul as his manner and custom was, approached the Jews on the basis of the scriptures.
REVEALED SCRIPTURE ONLY BASIS FOR SALVATION
Turning still further into the church age period, we approach I.Cor.15:3 and hear Paul saying, “for I delivered unto you first of all that which I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (according to what-the scriptures) No question about it, that early church was built strictly upon the revelated scriptures and note revealed scripture alone was the sole basis for their entire plan of salvation and redemption.
PROPHET IN DEUT. 18, WHO WAS HE?
That early church taught by revelation and accepted fully that the prophet which Moses declared God would send according to (Deut. 18:15-19) that all Israel must hear and accept was none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth who both Peter and Stephen openly declared had been hanged on a tree, yet raised from the dead ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURES! Sometimes I wonder what has happened to the reasoning ability of some people who say they are in this end time move. It seems the further they go actually, the further from revealed scripture and what is written they become! Some people who apparently know nothing about what is written, now propagate that Bro. William Branham, because he filled an important prophet office, was none other than that prophet Moses declared would come to Israel. Naturally they are looking at it from a standpoint of Deut.18. Never will I understand how intelligent people can get so fouled up in their thinking and reasoning, that anyone could believe our seventh church age messenger who was a prophet, could in any manner fulfill Deut.18:15-19. Well, whatever you do if you hear it. Don’t believe it, because it has no scriptural foundation whatever and furthermore is plainly shown through the revealed message of Peter and the sermon of Stephen, the Lord Jesus Christ who was hanged on a tree fulfilled Moses’ prophecy! If ever the revealed scriptures would destroy a theory, it would totally mutilate this one.
Let us examine briefly Moses speaking unto Israel, giving them this prophecy in Deut. 18–“the Lord thy God will raise up unto thee (Israel) a prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren.” Note two things: (1) when Moses prophesied, God would raise up unto thee a prophet, he is not speaking of raising up a prophet for someone else. If I tell you, I will give you something that means you and not the man across the street. Furthermore, the prophet raised up, Moses said, would come out of the midst of thee of thy brethren. (2) Of thee and thy brethren, places it in a kindred relationship. That prophet comes up out of Israel. Moses said he would be likened unto me (as Moses was a lawgiver, so will this prophet be a lawgiver, as Moses brought a covenant, so will this prophet bring a covenant, as Moses was given the revelation in order to offer a proper sacrifice, so would this prophet come and give himself as a sacrifice, as Moses was faithful in his own house according to the writer of Hebrews who says, we can see Jesus faithful in all his house) unto him ye shall hearken. Verse 18: “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren (God speaking to Moses) likened unto thee and I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all, that I shall command him and it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he will speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
Beloved, that prophecy spoken by Moses hung there over the nation of Israel for centuries, until that day finally arrived for its fulfillment, and I want you to know it was not fulfilled by a 20th century prophet church age messenger! God sent Israel that prophet. While Jesus was alive, Israel as a nation (the majority) was not even aware of what was transpiring. Nevertheless, let me tell you there were some men who did receive a revelation on that scripture in Deut. 18. Several scriptures in the gospels indicate that many people believed Jesus was that prophet, however under the anointing of the Holy Ghost scriptures are being revealed in Peter’s second sermon. Acts 3:19-24, “Repent thee therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord and he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Note carefully, Now under the inspiration how Peter picked up Moses prophecy in Deut. 18 and set it in his present day! For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brothers likened unto me, him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you and it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people, yea and all the prophets from Samuel and those that followed after, as many as have spoken have likewise foretold of these days. Note Peter’s statement: these days! Truly he has no reference to a prophet at the close of the church age! Did you catch Peter’s revelation? That prophet spoken of to come, was hanged on a cross and Israel refused to hear him.
STEPHEN AND REVEALED SCRIPTURE
Turn over to another passage and watch another Jew who knew exactly where he stood. That early church didn’t go forth only to have some critic say, how do you know this? Note beloved, by revelation of revealed scripture that was being given by the Holy Ghost, they knew exactly where to place these Old Testament scriptures. Not only were they well versed in what was written, they had the proper revelation on what was written, take for instance Acts 7, Stephen who was only a deacon out of the Jerusalem church, but OH, my, did he ever know where he stood! This is the very sermon that caused Stephen to become the first martyr for the name of Jesus. His Revelation was too straight for his audience, Acts 7:34. After he gives a discourse on the history of Israel down in Egypt and how they had been delivered, Stephen comes right up that line and in verse 37 he jumps completely to Jesus’ time in Jewish history and says with the voice of authority, this is that Moses which said unto the children of Israel etc.,quoting Deut. 18 ——a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren likened unto me, him shall ye hear. Stephen has no reference to some man still in the future, he is referring to a man who recently left the scene through crucifixion and gone to glory. He tells his audience YOU MISS HIM! You have been looking for that prophet, you had him! “And this is that Moses which said unto the children of Israel a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, to your brethren likened unto me, him shall ye hear.” This was he, Stephen is preaching Jesus, Stephen says this is he that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel, which spoke to him in the Mt. Sinai and with our fathers who received lively oracles to give unto us. Our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. That prophet’s office was fulfilled by none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and for any individual in the end time to be promoting that Bro. William Branham was that prophet, undoubtedly is one of those poor deceived individuals misled by that spirit which works so close to the true spirit at the end time. To teach such a thing and use these scriptures would be just another sly, crafty way to say the prophet messenger himself is none other than Jesus Christ, the Mighty God (in this form). This is nothing but the spirit of anti-Christ as declared by the prophet messenger himself, and furthermore it was such a spirit that forced this man off the evangelistic field at one time, his ministry (wherein he declared before his church, 6-11-61–heavily hearted) I WOULD RATHER STAND BEFORE GOD AS A QUITTER THAN HAVING ANY PART TO DO WITH THAT SPIRIT OF ANTI-CHRIST making me to be God!
Nothing of this nature was ever promoted by the prophet messenger who showed throughout his entire ministry that he dearly loved his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart.
Perhaps no place in all of the early history of the church could better illustrate or display to the reader what we have been referring to, as how the revealed scriptures always became the final say for the church as does Acts 15, for it was here under the strict directions of the Apostles (those men who had been called by the Lord to hold a strict line upon revealed scripture, whereby keeping the church from straying into error.) Such a perfect example of a case has arisen here in Acts 15 and it shall be here in the final analysis that we shall see, it was revealed scripture that had the final say and brought consistency to the believer.
THE DISPUTE OF ACTS 15 AND WHAT SETTLED IT
Review with me first of all the setting that promoted such a council meeting in Jerusalem to settle the pressing problem in Acts 15. It seems according to Luke’s writing Paul and Barnabas had made a great progress in the realm of the gentiles, especially at Antioch, preaching unto them the apostolic doctrine of Christ, baptizing believers in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ and seeing them receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, Acts 19:1-5).
IDOLATRY–A PRESSING PROBLEM AMONG GENTILES
Seemingly the background of the gentiles varies much from that of the Jew (irregardless whether it’s yesterday or today) in so much that Jews have never worshiped a man as God, not even one of their great prophets, instead most of them they stoned, not worshiped! Yet note, it appears that the gentiles in the days of the apostles when the gospel was taken from the Jew and given to them, if they were not mistreating or beating the apostles, they were always going to the other extremes worshiping them as God! (Acts 14:8-18 and 28:6 to mention a few) and in each case that we find gentiles worshiping the apostles as deity, it would be over a mighty demonstration of the power of God.
IDOLATRY AND THE GENTILES-PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Seemingly gentiles have always been confronted with the problem of differentiating between the mighty power of God that worked in the man ( in his individual life) and in the very flesh of the man himself. Recall how Cornelius fell before Peter to worship him the very moment he brought the gospel to the gentiles. No doubt it was because a mighty angel had appeared unto Cornelius and instructed him to call to Peter to tell him what he must do. Therefore it appears throughout history wherever gentiles are involved, there always seemed to be a spirit agitating them continually to worship the flesh of some man as deity, nevertheless we see that once the gentiles had been offered the gospel, various men within that early apostolic age who had the mighty power and demonstration within their lives, were often subject to being worshiped as God by gentiles. According to Romans 1 it appears that long before God called Abraham to begin a special nation of people called Israel who would worship the one and true living God only as a spirit being, we discover in Romans 1:19-21 that the gentiles or heathens long before this hour had known God to some extent as verse 20 declares “for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal power and Godhead; so they are without excuse”; verse 19 shows he declared this unto them. Yet scripture declares the heathen became vain in their imagination. Why? Because they were not satisfied to worship God as a spirit being having no particular form or shape, No! Professing themselves wise, they became fools and Paul said ” change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like a corruptible man, and to birds, four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Perhaps shocking but nevertheless true the gentiles in that hour became guilty of trying to put this incorruptible God who was spirit, into some kind of bodily form, something tangible, something that they might be able to visibly see and then worship. (Romans 1:23.) Therefore, because of this idolatry, God gave them up. God gave them up and turned them over to a reprobate mind and called in a new nation (by Abraham) called Israel, later giving to Israel a dispensation of law and once that age ran out for Israel and the gospel or grace was rejected by Israel, God no sooner swung the door of grace open to the gentiles and what do we find in Acts 10, but the very apostle with that gospel message having a gentile fall at his feet to worship him, the moment he enters the door! Therefore is there any wonder that once the seventh church age messenger to the gentiles, the man who would be ordained to restore that same great revelation (in its fulness) of the early apostolic fathers such as Peter, Paul etc. If these men were worshiped by gentiles (Acts 14:14-18) because of the mighty power of God from time to time within their ministry, why think it so strange that once that true gospel has been returned to the gentiles at the end of the age, that certain gentiles would not once again become just as guilty in worshiping this restoring messenger as the very God who was manifested in the flesh of Jesus Christ!
And furthermore, when we face the fact that the Gentiles through their one world church at the very close of the age as all world denominations shall be brought together, will have one in their midst that all the Capitalist gentile world will worship as God! 11 Thess. 2:4.
We are reminded of many statements that this seventh church age messenger, while upon the scene so earnestly and sincerely made warning the followers of this message, that because this seventh church age messenger would have such power with the Lord Jesus Christ, there would be a spirit(seducing spirit) that would cause some of the followers to go astray in their thinking and actually believe this messenger would be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself!! However he firmly stated DO NOT BELIEVE SUCH A THING, THERE IS NO TRUTH TO IT WHATSOEVER….
Nevertheless, with all the warnings he gave, some gentiles are determined to allow that spirit to work which has always played havoc upon the gentiles, who have always had trouble differentiating between the mighty power of God and the man himself who had to be redeemed and saved as a sinner and filled with the Holy Ghost such as Bro. William Branham was! How often did Bro. William Branham ask God to forgive him of his sins? This prophet messenger to the gentiles, seventh age (Laodicea), was a sinner saved by the grace of God—-this, Jesus of Nazareth never had to do.
IDOLATRY SPIRIT PLAGUES GENTILES.
Therefore seeing that this spirit of evil has always plagued the gentiles, why think it strange that such a thing as man being worshiped as God would repeat itself at the end, once the church finds itself established upon the real apostolic truth under the leadership of one so greatly used of God as was Bro. William Branham? Beloved, it was his miraculous ministry that will cause gentiles (however not gentiles in the true body of Christ, church) to worship him as deity! Always remember this, even in the days of Peter and Paul it was not those who were actually in the church of the living God who worshiped them in any form! Always it was those who in each case had been fascinated by that miraculous ministry in their lives and being gentiles was unable to distinguish between the flesh of a man and the Spirit of God working in the man, therefore they worshiped the man himself—- as God! Repeating, no Holy Ghost filled Gentile believer in any hour has ever worshiped a man as God, other than that one man the Lord Jesus Christ! Christ told Satan, “Thou shall worship only the Lord thy God (Matt.28:17) Jesus is worshiped. That Holy Ghost filled believer will be standing upon the Word of God who has made flesh and worshiped in the form of man by some, and it is he and he alone that deserves worship seeing he died to redeem us and by faith in his finished work at Calvary and with the revelation of who he is. John 20:28—-Isaiah 9:6, we are led into the apostolic gospel, Acts 2:42. However before leaving this line of thought and returning to the severe problem found in Acts 15, let us say in passing, regardless of which prophet and the power of God he walked under throughout any part of the days of Israel and Judah, you never at any time found Israel worshiping one of her prophets as God, moreover we hear Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, OH Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who stoneth the prophets (killing them etc.) Israel stoned her prophets refusing their instructions but the Gentiles have a tendency to do the other, when they see the power of God working in a man they become confused thinking God has taken on the form of man once again, Timothy 3:16 1, therefore that man then becomes the object of worship as either God, Jesus Christ, Word or Lamb!!
REVEALED SCRIPTURE SOLVED PROBLEM FOR EARLY CHURCH
Paul with the help of Barnabas and other precious brethren of like faith had accomplished a miraculous work as God was now among the gentiles calling out a people for his name and a great host of gentile believers had been added to the church and great joy was in their midst as they obeyed the apostolic gospel or doctrines of the apostles, until one day, some Jewish brethren from Judah who pretended to be from the church at Jerusalem came down in their midst, presenting a somewhat different doctrine than they had heard. Naturally, this brought confusion–except ye be circumcised according to the law of Moses, ye cannot be saved—-was their message. Actually their doctrine was a carry over from the law age and had nothing to do with the grace age whatsoever. Nevertheless, it was still deeply rooted in a number of Jews who had believed, who had come to the church. Nowhere is it recorded that such a teaching was ever endorsed by any of the five fold ministry and especially not by the apostles, men who had been ordained by God to hold that strict line on the word for the churches.
This was a teaching which at one time Paul himself had believed while he was under the law of dispensation. He, too, had been deeply rooted in all Judaistic belief only a few years prior, however since becoming an apostle to the gentiles in the grace age he had never taught anything like this, for he knew it had no place in the gentile church. Moses’ teaching had no place in the new church of apostolic truth, yet even today as in that day, we still have those who want to preach a mixture of law and grace. Therefore, today we still see those teachings creep in among gentile believers although today they come in under different names, yet it is that same old spirit which always harassed the early gentile church. It was such a teaching by these men among the gentiles that prompted the first church council ever to be held by the apostles, concerning both Jew and Gentile and we want to carefully note how the apostles used the revealed word of God as a basis of defense, for the action taken which cut to pieces the message of the troublemakers who had come among the Gentiles to teach their mixture of law and grace.
According to verse two, these Jewish teachers who pretended to be sent from the church at Jerusalem had created such a disturbance and such serious dissension had arisen over this, that Paul and Barnabas along with the church at Antioch felt it necessary to contact the Jewish apostles at Jerusalem concerning this matter. Could it be that some of the apostles had been teaching such a thing? Paul did not think so, nevertheless it would be of a necessity to journey to Jerusalem to find out what this thing was all about. It must be remembered here that the Apostle Paul had not received his Christian training in the New Testament doctrines of Christ or instructed in the ministry of Christ by any of the other apostles. On the contrary, according to Gal.1, sometime after his conversion and Damascus Road experience, he had been led into Arabia for approximately three years where through revelation of the Spirit he was shown the mystery of Christ and the church. After these three years did the Apostle Paul then go up to Jerusalem to confer with the apostles although even at this time, according to his testimony to the Galations, he did not meet all of them, only Peter, James and John, the brother of the Lord who at the time of Christ’s death was not even a believer yet now was an apostle. We must note the beauty in the work of the Holy Spirit with all of his ministry. In the desert God had revealed to Paul the same revelation on the Godhead, baptism, Holy Ghost and other things exactly as he had taught it to his other apostles and ministry.
Certainly when meeting those Jewish apostles and discussing with them the gospel and revelation of the hour, nothing was mentioned to Paul about gentile believers having to be circumcised after the manner of Moses in order to be saved. True, God had given circumcision as a sign unto the house of Israel, saying if any be not circumcised in the flesh they would immediately be cut off from the House of Israel, however, this is not Israel, this is the gentile church! Yet these Jewish teachers, who it was later learned, were not sent by the apostles, are trying to instill into the young Gentile church of which circumcision had never meant anything to them, that in order to be saved, they must now be circumcised according to the law of Moses.
Something must be done quickly to stop the mouth of these teachers before doing even more damage to the gentiles, therefore the church at Antioch endorsed Paul, Barnabas and certain other gentile brethren to go to Jerusalem and confer with the elders, especially those holding the office of apostleship. Finally arriving at Jerusalem, they are welcomed by the Jewish church which included the apostles and other elders and a conference was immediately called into session, to discuss the pressing problem affecting the gentile believers. Paul and Barnabas gave witness to how God was working among the gentiles, nevertheless, there in the church at Jerusalem was some members of a recently converted Pharisaical party who had not quite at this point gotten all their former ideas washed from their mind and they too said, it would be necessary for the gentile Christians to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses to be saved, however, it must be carefully noted here that these particular converts were not in the apostleship therefore, they were not the men chosen by the Lord to hold a tight reign or watch on the Word of God. However, note how all these elders and the ministry, were in perfect agreement as they began to face the issue and allow the scripture to be the final basis for decision. We note the Lord Jesus, while in his earthly ministry had never related to them what to do in such a case as this, nevertheless they had the revealed scriptures that would have the final say as their decision would be solely based on what is written. Therefore we must note in this first council meeting held at Jerusalem consisting of both Jewish and Gentile believers, it was once again the revealed scriptures that settled the discussion, and brought consistency to the believers, showing to us the importance of revealed scripture in the ministry of the church. It was what the revealed scripture, through the Spirit, had to say that convinced the council of apostles, which steps to take to counteract the disturbance now among the gentiles and without the revealed scripture it is hard to know how this conference would have ended. But oh, it was here we see the brethren working in such unity as they discussed the problem. Testimony was presented by the Apostle Peter, who testified it was he God had used to introduce the gospel to the gentiles and how he had witnessed God pouring out the Holy Ghost on them, as well as he did upon the Jew at Pentecost. Barnabas and Paul testified! However, note these are only testimonies, this is not the final say, the word of God, the revealed scripture will be the final say and produce consistency to the church. How marvelous it is to know that these gallant apostles in discussing any problems never left out the revealed scriptures that played the final part in their discussion. It would be here they would receive their answer from God. These God breathed scriptures coming alive unto the apostles, guiding their footsteps in important decisions. No, it was never said in the early church—– I think we should do this or that, and then take a vote to see who wanted to do what– whatever God said through his inspired word was the final say. And beloved it is to be that way today in the true church at the end time.
Note in this discussion especially verses 13-18. After they all had their say, it was the Lord’s half brother James who says, “brethren your testimonies of how God has worked among the gentiles is perfectly in line with the revealed scriptures” therefore taking the revealed scriptures in Amos 9:11-12 to back up all that had been accomplished that day, the Apostle James uses that revealed scripture and clinches the discussion. It was the revealed scripture of Amos 9:11-12 that clinched their conference. James says, therefore seeing God has declared he would take out of the gentiles a people for his name, then return to the house of David and rebuild David’s fallen dwelling—- I will rebuild its ruins and set it up again that the rest of mankind may earnestly seek the Lord, yes all the heathen who are called by my name saith the Lord who has been making this known from ages past etc.
Having given God’s revealed scripture concerning the matter James says let us write a letter to the Gentile believers and tell them those other men were not sent from us, however, we would suggest as gentiles they abstain from four things (1) abstain from everything contaminated by idols (2) abstain from sexual immorality (fornication) (3) abstain from meat of strangled animals and (4) abstain from tasting blood, and if they do this they will prosper. Let us add no extra burden upon them and note, to this, all the other apostles and elders agreed perfectly!
Therefore it was sanctioned by the church at Jerusalem to send back two prophets, Judas and Silas, with Paul and Barnabas and the letter and to this all were in perfect agreement. Later as Paul discussed these remarks made at Jerusalem concerning the four things the gentiles were to abstain from and to show how beautifully it was the leadership of the Holy Spirit to confirm what had already been going on in the ministry of Paul among the gentiles, Paul says; these four things drawn up at the Jerusalem council I have always taught among the gentiles. See that beautiful harmony as men work together under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, using the revealed God breathed word as the final base of defense in anything that rises up, within the church and furthermore, it is that revealed scripture that produces consistency for note when word returned to the gentile believers from the apostles they were most happy and rejoiced and the gentile church continued to grow and prosper in the grace of God.
Actually there is no end to this type of message because in every case with that early church who was led by a dedicated fivefold ministry of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers & evangelists, Eph.4:11-12, the revealed, God breathed inspired scriptures were the final test for all discussions, questions and disputes and as always even in this hour must be the final answer to every problem. Only that revealed scripture brings consistency to the believer.
EAR TO HEAR
Nevertheless, without that revelation on the revealed scripture which is the spiritual understanding as to that which has been written by the Holy Ghost, we could read the scripture, we could even memorize the scripture and be able to quote it verbally, knowing every term of verb, adjective, noun and adverb, and still end up knowing nothing more about the God who wrote it. Some people only attend church to see if the preacher uses his speech in its proper place. Seemingly they are more concerned with his verbal expression, than with the revelation he teaches. However, beloved, without the thought of God flowing into the spiritual mind of that individual they don’t even know God.
That is exactly why Jesus informed John on the Isle of Patmos, when writing the Book of Revelations, to close out each work dealing with those seven church periods of the grace age, Rev. 2 & 3, by adding this statement—- “he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the church!” Yes, beloved, the word of God is always the final test, however you and I must have an ear to hear what the Spirit saith to the church through his inspired, God breathed Word.
PROPHET RETURNS BRIDE TO REVEALED SCRIPTURE
We have tried to present this in such a manner to place in your minds there are still the most beautiful nuggets lying around within this book of revealed scripture. God truly sent a prophet to unfold the great, overall mystery plan and furthermore to link all those loose ends together in the revealed scriptures of which the Reformation leaders coming out of the Dark Ages were unable to do.
In other words, these revealed truths in which great denominations were later built around the coming out of the Dark Age period could never seemingly be able to fit their revelation of thought together with other revealed truths which also had formed other movements. This prophet to the end time church took all of these revealed revelations which were responsible for the Reformation and showed an end time people how they were not to be kept separate as had been done, but instead were to be brought together to form the full apostolic gospel as taught by the early church fathers who firmly believed the revelated scriptures held the final answer to every problem. Beloved, everything that the prophet of God taught by revelation was to restore the church, aligning her back with the Word of God. If correctly prayerfully studied and approached with the leadership of the Holy Spirit guiding our minds, it matters not what book you read or tape you hear, if you have God’s thought flowing through your mind, every message you will hear will turn you back into that book of revealed scriptures, wherein you may be able to stand on that revealed word and confidently say, Satan it is written!
PROPHETS MESSAGE ORDAINED TO DO ONE OR TWO THINGS
However on the other hand let me say to all, especially you ministers who feel you are called to preach this gospel. This message delivered by that prophet will do one of two things-(1) it will place you back in the revealed scriptures whereby you may be able to stand on WHAT IS WRITTEN as confidently as Christ, his apostles and the early church or (2) by the help of certain well placed statements within the message the Holy Ghost shall lead you far from the written revealed scriptures, yes so far away you will never be able to put things together and furthermore because of these very statements made by the prophet without the Holy Ghost to lead your mind back into the revealed Word you will end up so confused and frustrated the day will come you won’t even know how to preach scripture at all! Holy men of old spoke as they were inspired, wrote the scriptures and every God called man since that time has spoken as he was moved upon to look into its contents and interpret what God has said within its pages. Therefore I say the message of this hour is none other than this-it is to present to the hearer an understanding of how to get back into the sacred revealed scripture and therefore see God’s full plan of salvation for the human race. I realize it is hard to say this, nevertheless, I stand in defense of one thing, THE WORD OF GOD!
STATEMENT AND THEIR TWOFOLD PURPOSE
Concerning the message to the church delivered by this end time prophet to the Laodician Age, as I have stated in previous messages, God definitely had a purpose in the wording of his servant’s statements in the manner they are in various places scattered throughout the overall framework of the message, however without the revelation of his message to guide you through these various statements, multitudes will go astray and never be led back into the holy scriptures wherein they might boldly stand using these revealed scriptures as a defense against Satan in the manner that Christ, his apostles and early church did! Instead, if not careful you will end up on some statement which has no scriptural foundation whatsoever, because God made this prophet’s message in this manner to serve a twofold purpose. Therefore you will end up after analyzing the message disillusioned with a mere handful of statements which was never spoken by holy men of old as they were moved on to pen that God breathed word. Henceforth, you will move completely outside the confines of inspired holy writings and will actually have wound up in the final analysis, building yourself a platform or a gallows upon mere statements that will definitely fall through and when Satan comes against you like a storm, those mere statements will never serve the purpose of that one thing which Satan fears more than anything: AN INDIVIDUAL STANDING ON THE REVELATED SCRIPTURES WRITTEN BY THOSE HOLY MEN OF OLD!
PROPHET’S MESSAGE IDENTICAL TO APOSTLES
Bro. Branham’s ministry was a restoring to that which had already been written. Recall in his vision which he called BEYOND THE CURTAIN OF TIME, where he saw himself with millions of people already having left this life and gone to glory. In the course of conversation Bro. William Branham was told he would be judged according to his teaching, upon which he asked this question—-does Peter have to stand for this? Does Paul have to stand for this? To this the answer was yes. Then, Bro. William Branham said, I AM GLAD I HAVE PREACHED EVERY WORD THAT THEY PREACHED: I NEVER DEVIATED FROM IT ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER, WHERE THEY PREACHED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, I DID TOO: WHERE THEY TAUGHT THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST, I DID TOO: WHATEVER THEY TAUGHT, I DID TOO! You see he did not have a separate message from the early apostolic fathers.
GOD MADE SURE BRIDE WOULD RETURN TO WORD FOR FINAL DECISION
Now we come to a very important statement in which we do not want to be misunderstood, nevertheless, it is something that must be faced! We receive criticism from time to time, because we attempt to explain why certain statements are in the message. Some people feel they should not be touched, because most people are guilty of just accepting the statement they want to and ignoring the others whenever they happen to find one that seems opposite to another in the overall message. Beloved this is not right and God did not intend for us to take a statement which suits us or one that would cause us the least criticism, because the majority might want to lean a certain way or believe a certain thing, that might just happen to be the statement that would not lead us into the Word of God. As I have said before, say I again—- the major purpose in that end time message was to restore the end time church back upon the revealed scriptures and if we refuse to be led back into those revealed scriptures as God intended, we will certainly miss the Bride, because the Bride of Christ will be a revelated Word Christian like the early church, not so-called Christians holding onto a handful of unscriptural statements that cannot be backed by any scripture, thus leading no where but into confusion. By following God’s leadership through that revelated message, you cannot help but come out all right and be brought straight back upon the revealed Word of Truth.
HOW CERTAIN STATEMENTS ASSURE BRIDE’S RETURN TO REVEALED SCRIPTURE
Many ask why these statements are placed within the overall structure of this message which tends to only confuse and mislead, seemingly having no place with the structure of the overall message. I would like to say this and please understand my thought, had this end time prophet message been worded any other way than it was, that is, without these certain statements placed here and there to serve the very purpose of which they are serving to mislead many, you would have had a message so perfect you would have ended up probably never actually returning to the holy scripture, because we would have taken the prophet’s message and it would have become the Bible. No doubt you would have felt there was no need to return unto the Holy Scriptures whatsoever! It is because of these certain statements placed here and there within the overall structure that appears to oppose other statements that forces the true Bride Christian to study the Word of God to see which statement does line up perfectly with the scripture and which does not. God left it this way purposely, that you could not make that final decision of which statement aligned with the scripture without having to return to WHAT IS WRITTEN, to show you which statement of thought is correctly in line with the revealed word! You see it is the scriptures in the final analysis of the prophet’s message that must be consulted! God placed it in this manner as that true Bride saint would look upon these two seemingly opposing lines of thought in different subjects placed within the message, they would be forced to take the Bible as God’s final authority to determine which one of these lines of thought is actually scriptural and which is not, and those who refuse to use the scriptures as the final overall say in the entire matter, nine times out of ten will accept one of these statements that have been so well placed in the overall picture of the message and be led astray!
Not only will they never be restored to the revealed scriptures written by holy men of old as they were moved on by the Holy Ghost, but these statements will eventually cause them to stray so far from the written word of God they will never find their way back to the truth as actually preached by the apostles and early church!
The end time ministry of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists will stem from this end time revelation. However as stated over and over it will be the duty of this ministry through the help of God’s word to find that perfect revelation line of thought laid out in this message to restore the Bride to the written revealed Word in which Satan fears. Satan would delight in seeing ministers and different ones find themselves lodged upon certain statements they could not get loose from, thus never returning to that revealed word he fears and trembles at. We must shake ourselves, as a ministry, from this idea which hangs over the movement and rules them by fear-whatever is said, should be stated only or exactly as Bro. William Branham said it—-meaning to use his verbal statements! No ministry was ever asked to do that! Because to do no more than this, no one could possibly help the Bride choose the statement that would lead her back into the revealed word! Instead she will only remain in a confused state of mind, she will not know which statement to accept whenever there appears to be in certain areas of the message two lines of thought, and remember confusion does not bring consistency. It will take the Word of God to plainly show which is the revelation and which is not. Therefore I repeat, the way God placed the prophet’s message was to force the Bride of Christ to pick up the word of God for assistance to make the final decision on which statement comes in perfect alignment with the Word and which does not and for anyone to say—–it should only be said as Bro. William Branham spoke it and no more is to leave the situation in exactly the same identical state, it has been in for over six years! It is all because these well placed statements by the Holy Ghost forcing the true believer back into the Word of God to settle the question a to which statement is revelation and which isn’t.
Therefore the fivefold ministry will not be afraid to preach those statements within the message that God means to give the Bride to lead her back upon the Word! Furthermore, it will also be the duty of the ministry to point out to the end time Bride of Christ why these other statements also appear within the overall structure of the message and who they are for.
GENTILES WORD ENDS IN IDOLATRY–TWO WAYS AND IT WILL BE SEVERE
That they are placed there to feed a people with their ideas and revelations of their own who never intend to go on with God and will eventually die spiritually clinging to these statements which cannot feed the soul, just as carnal denominations will do who held on to the exact wordings of Jesus and the apostles having no spiritual revelations to guide their thoughts whatsoever. Thus having placed a carnal interpretation on the overall picture of the word of God and shall eventually end up in the one world church worshiping a man as God. II Thess.2:4. This applies beloved not only to the denominational world, but also to those who remain steadfast and unmoveable upon certain statements spoken by our prophet in which the scripture will not back up. Therefore these too shall eventually end up in idol worship, worshiping a man as God whom they feel spoke infallible. Bro. William Branham said that spirit at the end time would work so close to the true spirit of God, that many would mistake the seventh church age messenger for Jesus Christ the Lord. Therefore I trust you are able to see clearly why God had to allow this prophet to speak certain things in the manner he did, because had it not been for these certain statements placed here and there throughout the overall revelated message which appears to have a different slant from his main revelated line of thought in restoring the Bride church to the revealed Word. The revelation of Christ is so placed within the prophets message and with these statements lying around in the message to misguide and confuse many it will absolutely take the revelated scriptures and the prophets message together in order for you to know which statement is revelation and is designed to lead you back in what is written by holy men of old and what is not.
NUGGETS TO PAINT A CLEARER PICTURE
I realize these are hard things to say nevertheless, they must be said for the benefit of a people, who will make the Bride. I do not believe God is looking for a people who goes off into fantasies and great harem-scarem ideas over what that prophet had to say, for recall, it is the revealed scriptures that bring consistency. Beloved, there still lies within the revealed Word some nuggets that will paint a clearer overall dimensional setting of God’s plan even clearer than what it is today. I will explain it like this–when an artist paints an object on a chart or canvas and you happen to be looking at it, you might be able to tell by its profile what it looked like, that is whether it be a cat, horse or cow. However, beloved, as times progresses and the painting continues by the artist, he will have begun to draw certain lines, that portrays the profile of the image even clearer. He now begins to mix his colors and put them on the painting or the shades he wants into his pictures etc. This is what put’s expression into the drawing in which he has been working on for so long. And as you examine it closer you will not only be able to say, that is a cow which the artist is drawing, you shall now be able to distinguish the breed of cow, right? Whether it be, a Hereford, Guernsey, Holstein or Angus! But to do this, you have to look closely at what the artist is painting with; his colors as he places his final touches upon the canvas. Beloved, I say there are yet some colors still in this old book that the artist wants to paint and to add the dimensional setting of this, and all the material one needs is in this one book called the Holy Scriptures. From it all, God’s purpose is that he may form Jesus Christ in you and you, as the body of Christ may grow up unto him who is the head. We are the mystical body that we may reflect his life and truly the day will come when the world will look upon us and say, you are not just a bunch of people gone into fanaticism, all divided over your ideas, no because we shall be a people, WHO KNOW WHERE WE STAND! WE WILL KNOW WHAT WE BELIEVE BECAUSE BY REVELATION WE SAW IT IN THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD AND THE REVEALED WORD BROUGHT CONSISTENCY.