WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT SOME SCRIPTURES, AND SOME PRESENT DAY CONDITIONS, AND LET THE SPIRIT OF GOD TEACH US WHAT PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED TO BE IN THE BRIDE OF CHRIST SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT WHILE THIS BODY OF CALLED OUT BELIEVERS IS BEING PUT TOGETHER. MANY OF US HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO VARIOUS IDEAS OF WHAT THE BODY OF CHRIST SHOULD BE LIKE, AS DIFFERENT MEN CLAIMING TO BE SOME KIND OF SPECIAL INSTRUMENTS OF GOD TRAVELED THE EARTH PREACHING THEIR VERSION OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. GOD DOES HAVE HIS CHOSEN VESSELS, MEN WHO ARE CALLED TO PREACH AND TEACH THE WORD OF GOD AS THEY ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, BUT THERE IS ONE THING YOU CAN BE ASSURED OF, THEY WILL NOT DEVIATE FROM THE REVELATION PREACHED BY THOSE APOSTLES OF CHRIST THAT PREACHED THE GOSPEL ALMOST TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO. THE GOSPEL MESSAGE STARTED OUT RIGHT, AND THEN THE ENEMY OF GOD WAS ABLE TO DRAW SOME ASIDE AS TIME BROUGHT ANOTHER GENERATION UPON THE SCENE AND THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST EVENTUALLY BECAME VERY PERVERTED; BUT WE ARE LIVING IN A DAY AND HOUR WHEN THE TRUE REVELATION OF THAT GOSPEL HAS BEEN RESTORED TO TRUE BELIEVERS, AND GOD IS PUTTING TOGETHER A BODY OF BELIEVERS THAT WILL LIVE TO SEE THE COMING OF JESUS CHRIST WHEN HE COMES TO CALL HIS BRIDE CHURCH TO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER. I ASK EACH OF YOU TO GIVE ME YOUR ATTENTION AS WE LOOK AT THE THINGS THAT WILL BE PRESENTED IN THIS MESSAGE. I BELIEVE WE CAN CLEAR UP A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE BEING MISREPRESENTED BY VARIOUS SELF CENTERED INDIVIDUALS, AND SEE EXACTLY WHAT THE BRIDE OF CHRIST SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT AS TIME FOR GENTILES COMES DOWN TO THE END.
This is going to be a different kind of message. I have a letter that was taken off of the computer. I am going to save it until later though, until after I call your attention to some other things. This religious character, whoever he is, attacks Bro. Branham. I want to show you, that in our religious world there is a lot of thing, going on that is pointing to something else. Here is a letter from India, asking us to please remember them. The message of Bro. Branham has gone all over India. Out of the Indian society there have been many preachers, as well as other men raised up claiming to be something great, but they all have to be measured by the word of God. There is just something about the men in the Orients, if they see something supernatural, it gets hold of them. That is the area where these gurus and seers come from, the deep meditators that come here to the states because this is a country of material assets. They come with their new teachings, new revelations, their sensations and such. They get a lot of our society to follow them. Many times you read where they build a compound. There they seclude everyone they have captured. They feel for some reason or other that this is a special man from God, simply because he came from India. Not everything that comes out of that part of the world is a man of God. This is a letter, which actually is a plea at the end, so I am going to read it just to give you an idea. This is not taking place within the denominational realm. This is taking place among a lot of the people that have heard about Bro. Branham in the last days of time. This man comes on the scene, deceiving a lot of people.
Unbelievable things are happening at (this is a long word, it is some kind of camp). Unexpectedly Bro. Asare Juan Methu, a preacher, conducted a three days meeting. In that he was preaching about the seven seals. He announced himself as an apostle. He announced five members that have the prophecy gifts. These five prophesied to many of their believers and outside pastors to make them convinced of their mistakes. They prophesied a full night with threatening words only. Immediately they have to come up front and confess their sins, otherwise they are threatened, they will be punished. The second state, an important meeting for the ministers alone, were conducted on the 10″, 11”, and 12″ of December. In that meeting he declared himself as the seventh angel, the second part of the he. He announced that he got the Elijah ministry and he appointed twelve persons as the Elisha, and had written their names on the blackboard. Their names were, (It tells the twelve of them). Then the third state, he announced an important meeting will be conducted on the 29th of the 12th month of 1997. In that meeting the seventh seal will be opened and all the angels will come down and half an hour of silence will happen in the heavens. In the middle he arranged a marriage for his church believers without a bridegroom. They had printed the invitations and all the relations were invited, but nothing had happened on that day. Believing these words, more than fifteen ministers are staying there, without going for any job. They are telling that with the command of (this fellow) he stopped the rain, he gave life to No dead fishes. They all believed the Horde of Asare, was Thus saith the Lord. They are telling that it is the only true ministry and that all the other end time ministers are liars. We are sending this circular as a fear that another Lawry has appeared. ( He was one that appeared on the scene a few years ago. He was in Chicago at the time the first moon landing took place. From watching that, he came out with the teaching that as man landed on the moon, the Son of man landed on earth to be incarnated in him. He deceived a lot of people before he died.) We are sending this circular as a fear that whether another Lowery has come again. Still today we are facing many problems to preach the end time message because of Lawry. (He closes out by saying we need your prayers, because they feel this man is a great deception. That is a part of the world where it is only by the grace of God that people can hear a truth and seem to have a mind to know how to grasp it and hold to it, and stick to it without sooner or later being bounced right off of it. Let us now open our Bible’s to 1 Corinthians 12. I want to use this today, to say that we are living in a crucial hour of time. Many of the older ones in here can look back to a time when things were different. Even some of the middle aged can remember the 1950’s, what was taking place in America and other parts of the world by the moving of the spirit of God. Many people are just content to be within a congregation of a denominational system and never feel any urge to look further and seek to find out if there is anything else going on in the realm of religion. They never even wonder, Is God doing anything in the earth today that I don’t know about? We have thousands of people not interested in what God is doing. They are only interested in what their church is doing. Is it reaching enough people in a social way? Have they got all the facilities in place to entertain the people. Some feel like every church has to have some kind of youth program. I grant you, there are times we can do things strictly to show honor and appreciation to young people, but when you begin to search the Bible to find if there was anything special the apostolic Church was doing to help the young people in that hour, you will not find it. Do not get the idea it was not just as hard for young people in that apostolic hour to make a decision to follow Christ, as it is for young people today to say, I am going to follow Jesus. It was especially so when the Church first started at Jerusalem. If you were a Jewish girl, and you had been spoken for by some other man for his son, usually those agreements made by parents would hold. For the girl to break such an agreement, she only humiliates her name, herself, her person, because she has to live within a cultural realm. However, like I told some people, The day Jesus came on the scene, there were some of those young people, both boys and girls, that ventured out to hear Him. As they followed this man, maybe a day and half or two days, they saw something and they saw their own scriptures being fulfilled, scriptures that they had heard their rabbis and scribes reading in the synagogue. If they grew up tied to a family structure, it was pretty hard for those young people to make a decision all on their own, to forsake all and follow after this new way. When God is dealing with such a young person, sometimes that young person has to weigh a lot of things in their mind as they make their decision. If you knew the trend of the Jewish people, like, If a young girl or boy broke ranks of Judaism, even dared to follow this man that the Jewish society thought was a devil, that young person had just as well go to a mortuary and ask them to build him or her a wooden box and bury him, because that Jewish society would ostracize him, cut him off completely. His family would cut him completely off from all heirship. Usually they would have a ceremony treating him as though he were dead, that he no longer exists as part of the family structure. Therefore I say to you, Do not think young people two thousand years ago did not have hard times trying to make a decision to follow Christ. Take a young girl that had been spoken for, and she is waiting through the years for this young man to finally make his way in the material side of life and come and say, I am ready to take you as my wife: But suppose he has been following this man called Jesus and he begins to weigh the future: He is looking at the future, because he knows where he has been in the past, but he has to make a decision about the future. He begins to think, Am I ready to face the future not knowing whether this man is right or wrong? There are a lot of things that went on in his mind, but let us just say as he prays, knowing he had to consider the cost: First if he announces he is going to follow ibis man, he has got Mom and Dad and all his brothers and cousins and all the rest against him. Then he is going to have to face this girl. He will ask her, Will you marry me? Now that I see I want to follow this man Jesus? Here again is a conflict, a battle of the mind. Some would probably say, Let me pray about it. No doubt there have been some that have both decided they would make the sacrifice together. All of this is not written in the scriptures, but you have got to know that because of the Jewish culture, and how strict they were in their family ties and the marriage contracts that were entered into, that they had these various problems to deal with. The very minute that young man and girl step out, they are immediately ostracized by the whole Judaistic society. This young man has got to have a means by which he can put things together for him and this young bride, in order for them to survive. Therefore young people, I agree that your temptations many times are a hundredfold, more so than fifty or sixty years ago, but I want you to know this, We are living in an hour of time when God is going to cause all of us, some way or other, to make more of a commitment of ourselves to Him than we may have previously. We are going to find ourselves walking down a very narrow pathway. We cannot always hope for the future to be based upon dollars and cents. We have heard much about how good our economy is in the last few days since Clinton made his state of the union speech. You bear people now say, Our nation has never been in such good shape: He has lifted it to its highest peak in the material realm. When you hear a person say that, it goes to show they worship the god of this world. The god of materialism means more to them than anything else. What if God took all of that away from them within a short period of time? What if a national disaster should strike this nation? What would these same people begin to do? It is God Himself that gives people an opportunity to enjoy good times, but it is that same God that can reach down and take it all away by some terrible disaster. Therefore in the end result of it all, I would rather know that I am on God’s side, than to be on the side of materialistic success and be subject to this devil that has used the material world to blind, to deceive and mislead people of all walks of life. God Himself, looking upon us from heaven today, knows assuredly, as He moves in our lives by many ways, exactly what kind of people we are. He knows the attitudes and motives of our hearts. I am looking for God to do some strange things before very much longer, things that you and I have never seen before. He will not do it everywhere at the same time, but He will do some things that will absolutely confound a lot of people of the world, people around where He has done certain strange things. I have a reason for saying this, because the letter I will read later, from a man, I presume to be a theologian, as he attacks the person of Bro. Branham, that man does not realize what thin ice he is walking on. As I read the things he has said to accuse and criticize the message Bro. Branham brought, it just goes to show, God has confounded the wise of this world. Some people say, Well how did He do that? He can take an educated mind and cause him to read something wrong. He can listen to someone else say, Well I heard so and so, but he will write it down as though he was the private investigator that investigated that thing. It is not a good practice to take a solid stand upon some story someone else told, if you do not know personally that it is a fact. It will get you in trouble with God, and also with mankind at times. When Paul wrote this 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians, he covered many things. I am going to read these verses, as we begin this subject, “PUTTING THE BODY TOGETHER.” I am going to say to you, With God, this is not a hard job. As you and I look at it, we see a great big mountain ahead, because we see what the world has looked upon as being the Church, or Christianity, down through the years of time. The world looks at Catholicism, as well as the other main branches that have shot out from Catholicism as being the Church. Protestantism and all its denominational branches, whether it is Lutheranism, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Church of God, Pentecostal, and on down the line, all claim to be part of the Church Paul and the other apostles spoke of, but we must find out from the scriptures exactly what those references point to. Let us all make up our minds once and for all time, The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ did not start out as a denomination, and it will not end up as a denomination. It was an organism of people from different societies and cultures, touched by the power of God, with the power of God having demonstrated some supernatural dynamic act on its part. The Church never was supposed to be some fundamental thing put together by man’s mental instrumentality. The Church is an organism of people put together by the revelation of truth that was already recorded in the Old Testament, but as the Church was born, it became necessary for the apostles who were the builders that laid the foundation of early Christianity to write epistles to explain conditions and doctrines of things that are to be related to the new advent, to the new kingdom, the organism which is going to be a kingdom of faith, and all the people are partakers of the same thing. Let me read what the Dictionary describes as an organism.
(ORGANISM– 1. An individual form of life, such as a plant, an animal, a bacterium, a protist, or a fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles, or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life. 2. A system regarded as analogous in its structure and functions to a living body: the social organism.) Knowing this, we can see why, as various wrongs, errors crept in, it became necessary for the apostles to write letters explaining how this called out body was to operate, how this and that was to be dealt with. I have said this, When you hear the Charismatic church world, they say, Well we do not touch doctrine anymore because that divides people, that is your clue that something is amiss. I want to say this, When you do not I have doctrine that embraces your faith, you do not have the faith the Church of the living God was founded upon: You just have an idea that you have subscribed to. Every doctrine the apostles wrote in the New Testament is like a steel framework in a huge building: That is what holds it together to serve its intended purpose. You never see a skyscraper building go up until after they first dig big trenches and drive steel piling down into the ground. They drive them down so far, then around that they begin to pour concrete. That is a footing. When they get the footing poured, that is to support and hold this thing for however long time and God will allow it to stand. From the top of that fooling they start putting up a metal framework. It is not like it was two thousand years ago, with big stones cemented one on top of another. With this metal framework they keep going up, however tall the building is to be. They prefab the outer structure with stone or brick, or something of that sort. With this steel structure, it gives support to the building in all the weather, temperature, winds and storms, and such. That is exactly how the Christian faith is supported, by the solid foundation that was laid down for it by the apostles of Jesus Christ. That is why every doctrine is in the Bible; and therefore has its place in the Christian teachings. For this reason, when you look at denominationalism as it is today, you soon realize it does not have the proper foundation. Each leg of it is an organization put together by men, after they have experienced a certain move of the Spirit of God in their time. It seems as though mortal man today is limited to just how much he is willing to understand and accept from the total teachings of the Bible. You never hear of people in the denominational realm ever saying, It would be so wonderful, to be restored back to the apostolic faith: They are content to build only upon what they have. If it is in the Catholic realm, they want it to remain Catholic. They say, We are the apostolic Church. Well I say, They are definitely not the apostolic Church. What they have, does not even resemble what the Church in the book of Acts had. There is no Catholic today, if he will read his Bible correctly, that can say that the Roman Catholic Church is the actual Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. First, it is the biggest organization on the face of this earth. That is why, in the book of Revelation, it is pictured as the mother of harlots. Every denomination of Protestantism today is something Catholicism has given birth to somewhere in time, something that split off of Catholicism because of a move of the Spirit of God. The move of the Spirit of God was designed to begin to restore back to accessibility the true teachings of the apostles of Christ that were the instruments God used in founding the Christian Church, restoring back to mankind a knowledge of what apostolic truth was, but man seems to be so limited: He I only has the ability to see one or two things. That being true, he then sets out to build his camp right around what he sees, not even stopping to wonder if there should not be more to go with what he has. When they build that camp and build the walls around it, they sign their articles of faith and say, This is what we believe, period. Here is what we believe, period. This is what we believe, period. Little do they realize, a few years later God will move again and most of those people will stay right where they are, thinking the c other is something the devil is doing. That is the reason the world is infested with all these various denominations or brands of religion. History declares that is what I am telling you is the truth. It is not God’s fault: He sends forth another truth from His word, and those who are already holding to something He revealed earlier just simply refuse to even consider that there could be anything more that God would do. It is a fact that before the coming of the Lord can ever be a reality, God had to do something by a moving of His Spirit that would give all of His predestined children a chance to hear a true revelation of His word and accept it. The true seed had to have opportunity to come back to the apostolic faith.
COMPONENTS OF A SPIRITUAL BODY
In the 12 chapter of 1st Corinthians, beginning in the 18th verse the apostle Paul says this, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” The apostle Paul is not talking about a denomination: He is talking about an organism, a nucleus of people. We know that in the upper room there were 120 people. Out of that 120 people, after they voted the last one in, there came 12 apostles. These 12 apostles constituted the architects, the men and ministry that God was going to use to eventually build and put together His Church, which is not a fundamental system. Fundamentalism is only when you look at the scriptures; but then, the Church has got to be a living organism. When you take the life and the spirit out of it, that which makes it a living organism, all you have is an organization with a mental attitude. The Church was definitely to be supernaturally built, and supernaturally led, because it is put together by the Spirit of God through a certain type of ministry. When you build a big building, do you hire just anyone off of the street to build it? They have one thing in mind, they are going to hire contractors and builders who are professional men in their own right. They know how to read the blueprint, they know how to apply the materials, because they can see the end results as they read the specifications, the numbers and all. Therefore the Church was the same war. It was first just 120 people, of which twelve were recognized as the builders. The rest were the nucleus that formed the core. Let us read, “And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.” Paul would never have spoke of it as a body if he did not intend for us to be able to see how the body functions. “But now are there many members, yet but one body. And the eve cannot say I unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet I have no need of you. Nay, much more these members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” Now we will go h down to the 27th verse. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the Church, (notice he starts with the builders) first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Paul did not speak of all the gifts and callings in specifics: He only spoke of them in generality. It was when he wrote to the Ephesian church, that he dealt with them specifically. He speaks there of the different ministries: There were five specified. Looking back to what happened that day, on the day of Pentecost, here came the Holy Spirit. What is the Holy Spirit? It is the Spirit of God Himself. As it came, we know this, Jesus had promised that the Holy Ghost would manifest the same things in them, that was in Him, the things that He demonstrated, or manifested, that it might he made known to various ones that God truly was in Him, (Jesus, His Son) seeking to reconcile the world to Himself. If we cannot see how God was in the person of Christ to demonstrate His power, His spirit, and His very being, we will never understand who it is that is doing the saving. It is not the man Jesus Himself who’s doing the choosing. Jesus was led to choose the twelve disciples in the original, yet He knew He was choosing one that would one day show himself to be a devil. That is why He said, Have I not chosen thee and yet one of you is a devil? t It was how the Spirit of God had shown Him to pick this one, to pick this one, and to pick that one. This goes to show, It is not the man Jesus, who chose you and me. It was the sovereign Spirit, God, the Father, that chose us unto Himself. We must understand that God exercises His sovereignty, His deity, His power to save, His power to heal, His power and mercy to forgive, or whatever, through this obedient vessel: Jesus became the vehicle, the means that God could constitute these things through. We cannot look in any one direction without looking at the two, because it takes the two objects of thought to make the complete picture concerning how we see ourselves being reconciled to God. With this in mind, there I was no such thing on the day of Pentecost, that you had the other ministries there. The reason I am bringing it out in this manner, I want to say this. Some people say something like, Well, he could be an apostle, he could be this or that, but if you talk like that in front of a denominational church congregation of people, they immediately think you are trying to make yourself something. That is the first thought that comes to their mind’s. That is just downright ignorance. I cannot help but say, That is ignorance on the part of such a person. People like that have scaled their minds against any further insight. They read John 3:16 and John 5:24, and they feel like that is THE word of God. Sure it is the word of God, but that only expresses a very small part of His total plan and purpose for lost mankind. Some say, Well, I don’t think it is relative. When you have an argument, most of the time you are arguing with ignorance in people that do not have an eye to see or an ear to hear, and most of them do not even want to see. Most of the time they begin to look for an excuse for being like they are. Leave me alone, I am not interested in that nonsense. Do they not know that when they start talking like that, they are talking against what Jesus said to Peter. Did not Jesus say to Peter, “UPON THIS ROCK, I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH?” Not upon the man Peter, but upon the revelation Peter had a spiritual understanding of who Jesus is. He said, Upon that rock, not the person, but the revelation he had, I will build my Church. Therefore the Church has been built through the ages on a divine revelation of truth activated in our lives by the Spirit of God. Of course some may say, But what is denominationalism? That is when a man or woman will go so far with the Holy spirit, then refuse to go any further, and just become satisfied to stay right where they are spiritually. They build their mentality, their system of religion around a truth, but it is not a truth in the whole context that it belongs in. They want to say, But that is truth. Yes, it was a truth, and as long as the Spirit of God Was working just with that particular truth, to get it reestablished in His body of believers He honored those who held to that truth; but when He moved on to another truth He wanted to get reestablished also, and you refuse to walk with Him and move on, He will leave you sitting right there and fellowship those who will move on with Him. Take the children of Israel for an example: Had they never followed that pillar of fire, they would be lying somewhere out there in the desert, just dead bones left in the wilderness, in the biggest graveyard there ever would have been. They would still be in the wilderness today. God will not just sit still with anyone when it is time to move on. Those of the true body of Christ, are those who are willing to be led by the Spirit of God at all times. Naturally we all have to learn to be sensitive to His leading, but that requires first a willingness to follow truth wherever it leads you. The true revelation of the word of God will never lead anyone astray. Some have gone astray with a true revelation, but it was not by the leading of the Spirit that gave them that truth.
EXAMPLES GOD SETS BEFORE US
Our purpose in dealing with this message is examine the means God uses to put His true body of believers together into an effective organism. We heard preached the other night, a message on the position of the New Testament prophets, and I would like for every one of you to understand, that even though you and I can sit here and visualize a certain picture and say, Well I sure will be glad when this becomes effective again, or I will be glad when that is back in the Church, we need to be careful in talking like that. You and I as individuals, do not have the right to set the time or place, nor the method of how God does anything. When you look back to the apostolic hour two thousand years ago, you will begin to see how God put together, in His mystical organism of people, every calling, every important person that was going to be vital to the construction and putting together of this mystical Church body. This Church, which represents the body of Christ, is to be an embodiment of the character, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ, to continue on exemplifying the same things that He exemplified, and doing the same things He did. That is why He said, When the Comforter has come He will take the things of mine and show them unto you. Meaning, God will place it then in the Church, to continue on the work, with the same purpose, and the same objective, until the entire plan of redemption is consummated. Jesus was only one person, and Ile could only be in one place at any one time, but when God took Jim to glory to be the Intercessor for all of lost mankind, you and me and all who will ever believe, He intended for the Church, which is made up of many people, to be so completely filled with this same Spirit that was in Jesus, and having a revelation and understanding of what truth itself is, that each person could live, and in their own way allow the Spirit of God to exercise through them in some capacity and do the same supernatural things that were witnessed in Jesus’ 3 1/2 year ministry upon earth. That does not mean we should expect everything to be done in such a dramatic fashion, but it does mean that we should realize we have the same Spirit in us, that was Jesus, and that whenever it is needful, to fulfill a purpose of God, He, which is that Spirit, can use any one or all of us the same way He used the physical body of His only begotten Son. Nothing that Jesus ever did, in the realm of the supernatural, was by His own choosing: He did only what the Father (that Spirit that abode in Him) led, or showed Him to do. The Church we see in the book of Acts started out like that, but that supernatural Church, in less than a hundred years, was beginning to lose its footing, and was beginning to lose its identity, simply because they allowed Satan to place his ambassadors in their assemblies and get attention focused upon them as they changed this and that a little here and there, just enough to cause another generation to deviate from the true revelation preached by the apostles of Christ. That is what happens, as the old guards begin to leave the scene. As the next hundred years came and went, the supernatural in the Church began to die, and the spirit of Satan just kept raising up imposters, false teachers, false prophets. At first, they just slightly changed the teaching until they were not exactly like Jesus and the apostles taught them. They even had to contend with them in the days of Paul’s ministry. The Church has never been without opposition. The denominational church body today, is one of the biggest obstacles there is, to the people of this message of truth. People will say, But I know good people out there. Yes, if you are looking at the good side from the physical and social, yes, you can say that; but God is not just looking at that good, social side of the person He is dealing with: He is looking at the attitude of the spiritual mind and the heart What are they feeding on? What are they willing to feed upon? What are they willing to embrace? Are they willing to let their lives be ruled by the Spirit of God? Will they allow themselves to walk in light? Keep in mind, Jesus was the incarnate WORD of God Himself. Physically, lie was the very living organism of everything the written scriptures of the Old Testament projected Him to be. That is why, when He moved from Nazareth to Capernaum, and began to preach in and around the Sea of Galilee, He was fulfilling a purpose of the Father. Who were those people that lived around the Sea of Galilee? They were Jews. We have Abraham to our Father. They knew Moses. They had the synagogue and the rabbis and scribes. Every Sabbath day they could go and hear the scriptures read. The scriptures say also that Jesus went around these little villages near the Sea of Galilee. He fulfilled a prophecy, concerning they that sit in darkness. Look in Isaiah 42:7, “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit In darkness out of the prison house.” Now go to Luke 1:77, and read there. “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, (78) Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, (79) To give light to them that sit In darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet Into the way of peace.” There comes a time when the world of religion is as it was in that hour: It becomes an institution of nothing but darkness. It makes no difference how good, how sincere they are or what, they are sitting in utter darkness. That is why they are so content. You hear, My grandfather was a Methodist, or my grandmother was a Baptist, or a Presbyterian, and I am this or that, but we are all striving to go to the same place. Who in the world is ever going to say, I am interested in only one thing, I want to be a Christian, and I want to be Christ-like at whatever cost it requires? It should be, I want to know His word. I want to know what He has for me to live for, and what my life might be allowed to become. Let me read some more of this scripture here in Corinthians 12. Paul says this, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all Interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” Now He is talking about the subject of love. Love is what all of this other is about. Without love, everything else is vain. When we read what took place on the day of Pentecost, when those disciples were assembled in that upper room, in Jerusalem, we have to realize that this was the beginning of the Christian Church. All of those assembled there were Jews, but this was not about Judaism: it is about how God inaugurated the Church that was to carry the gospel message to the ends of the earth. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and came down out of that upper room, into the streets of Jerusalem, speaking in other tongues. The twelve apostles were right there with all the rest. I do not believe they all came down the steps at the same time, but they were all being tilled with the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost was speaking through all of them. They were literally driven out of that small place up there, so that God, through them, could speak and manifest this Spirit He has put in them. As they came into the streets, who are the people in the streets down below? This is that early morning gathering of Judaistic Jews, on their way to the temple to fulfill a certain ritual of the Law. Something happened right there though, that completely changed the lives of many of them. As those Spirit filled disciples moved among that crowd of Jews that were there from many other nations, the Spirit was speaking through them in various dialects, so after a while some of those Jewish men began to say, What is this? What is going on here? We hear the wonderful words of God in the language wherein we were born. A prophecy was fulfilled immediately. That was Isaiah 28:11.”For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” We know how Paul spoke of that in the letter to the Corinthians. As that first crowd was preached to that day by the apostle Peter, the one builder, he reached back into the Old Testament, and out of the prophecy of Joel, he began to quote that prophecy to those people. They knew what Joel had said, because they no doubt had heard it time and time again in the schools of their synagogues. They did not realize they were seeing a fulfillment of that prophecy until Peter explained it to them. When Peter got through explaining it to them, three thousand came rushing through all that mass of devout Jews, those Jews that were dedicated to Judaism, saying, What shall we do? Acts 2:37-38. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked In their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Those Jews were under conviction” Their spiritual eyes had been opened. They had seen something none of them had ever witnessed before. When the entire occasion had passed, three thousand more Jews had been added to the Church. Then, a few days later Peter preached his second sermon, after the healing of the crippled man at the gate; and another five thousand were added to the Church. I use this to establish a setting. Within the ranks of that eight thousand souls, and we are dealing with Jews, we are going to see how the finger of God begins to deal with human hearts Somewhere within that mass, there is a New Testament prophet. Those prophets came from somewhere, and the prophets we are going to read about did not come from a seminary. I want to say this today, because the man that wrote the letter I am going to read from accuses Bro. Branham of having been influenced much by the latter rain teaching. Well I will say this, Knowing what the latter rain did, and the experiences those people had, I would rather have had their experience and knowledge of what God was doing for them, than to be found in the state of ignorance of the man who would write like this and attack God’s prophet messenger. He said William Branham was affected much by this latter rain teaching, because it caused him to join the Pentecostals and Charismatics. This kind of negative attitude lets us know just what kind of religious doctors of divinity we have in the world today: They will attack your name and character totally on the basis of their own ignorance. They do not know the fads: They respond to the way it looks to them. Somewhere, they have certain friends that have said, Well I heard so and so: I was there when this or that took place, so this kind, just simply oiled all of the fragmentary pieces of information they can get hold of and put them together to form a critical picture of the person they are trying to tear down. They also say, This man even believes in the distribution of the gifts of the Spirit by the laying on of hands. You will hear Bro. Branham speak very little on anything like that as you listen to the taped messages. He did say this, that the laying on of hands was in many ways how the Holy Spirit is ministered to a person, but you will never hear him say that the gifts and callings, like the calling of an apostle, was necessarily administered by the laying on of hands. Those things are administered by the wisdom and mind of God, and certain things that men may do, are just done in recognition of what God has already done. Once that person has been made known in the Sling God has called him in, you have a different picture, because God will sooner or later vindicate each and every one Ile calls. Then many times the other gifts come right along to vindicate, or to confirm that calling. That is why we see this thing in the book of Ads, working just like that.
THE CHURCH IN ACTION
Let us now go to Acts 11. We know the Holy Spirit first Cell in 33 A.D. According to the chronology of the writing of this chapter of Acts, we arc somewhere in 42 A.D. Nine years have gone by. The first outpost is at Antioch. This Church no doubt had its beginning as a result of some of the Jewish people having been in the streets of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost; and then taking their new found experience back home. Some of them no doubt were actual partakers of what took place on the day of Pentecost. They no doubt were the little nucleus that went back to the city of Antioch, which is in Syria, and after having had this personal experience, they began to meet together as a little body of people that just wanted to pray and worship together and discuss the scriptures together. The Bible does not give you a lot of history about Antioch, but when you take the chronological record within the book of Acts, it was a short time later that Paul comes into the picture, whose name then was Saul. He was or his way to Damascus, going to arrest, and bring back to Jerusalem, and maybe execute those believers. There was a small segment of people there in Antioch believing in Jesus Christ, but while Saul was on his way, just outside the city limits, that is when He had his experience with the Lord. As Paul has his experience there on the raid, being knocked down in the road and hearing the lord speak to him, his natural eyes were blinded. When he gets up, the men that were with him helped him into the city. Within the city, we pick up the story with a man by the name of Manias. He was a Jew. No doubt he is one of that nucleus of Jews that went back from Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, with an experience of God’s grace in his heart and he was continuing on with his new faith. Here, it tells how God spoke to this man to go out into the street called Strait, and go down to a certain man’s house and lay hands on a certain man. (Acts 9.11-17) “And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which Is called Straight, and Inquire In the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12: And hath seen In a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight 13: Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem; 14: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to hind all that call on thy name. 15: But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children or Israel; 16: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17: And Ananias went his way, and entered Into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee In the way as thou earnest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18: And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” I am saying to you, This is how the scriptures tell us God began to put His body of believers together. This was something that could not be pre-planned or initiated by a missionary board or committee. Here is Saul, going to Antioch to do harm to the body of believers there, which in reality was probably only a very small segment of people. On his way to Antioch, God dealt Saul a blow he would never forget. We know from the scriptures, that he immediately went into the Arabian Desert for three years before presenting himself as a Christian to those at Jerusalem. He separated himself completely. He studied, he meditated, he prayed, because he only had the memory of the Old Testament scriptures. When he came back, he was able to edify and encourage the believers at Antioch. Then he began to make his way back to Jerusalem, back to his old familiar territory, but now, he sees everything in a completely different light. He no longer has any thoughts about arresting Christians, except in remembering his past. It is nine years later that we see this picture. I am saying this, Something in between the beginning and the time we are going to read in this scripture, God has collectively began to put something together. It was not the product of a missionary board. It was not the product of a group of men that began to calculate and say, What we need to do now is draw up a charter, because it is obvious that we need some prophets. That is not the way it was done. God added to the Church as it pleased Him; because it was His plan of redemption that had to be fulfilled. He knew where every person was, that had a potential calling upon them, to be manifested. We find in the 27th verse, where Paul has been contacted by Barnabas and has brought him back to Antioch. It is at Antioch where the believers were first called Christians (Christlike). “And In these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.” I wonder what went on. Do you think the twelve apostles themselves got together and said What we need now is some prophets. No, have my doubts the apostles had anything to do with who would be this or who will be that. I believe that in the process of time, as the body of people were growing and being enlarged, that God Himself, being sovereign, knew the capabilities of every person. He knew what that person, once filled with the Holy Spirit, would have the ability to participate and to function within the body, because He sits them in the body as it pleases Him. He did the choosing, He did the calling and He imparts the anointing that is going to make this thing work. Here came prophets unto Jerusalem from Antioch. It spoke of the prophets in the plural. “And there stood up one of them named Agabus,” This was the first time his name came into the picture. Naturally we would have to say he was a Jew, because in that period of time, it was God dealing basically with the Jews. He is screening, He is anointing, He is convicting, He is drawing, He is making up a whole segment of people, and putting them together so that they will all function as a mystical, supernatural body of people, as the written scriptures of the Old Testament is quickened to their understanding. This is why, as that body grew day by day, God added daily to the Church such as should be saved. Those apostles were not out putting on programs like we have today. I will never forget, back in 1988 what they had going on. I do not remember what organization it was that put it out, but I think this went on a lot under Billy Graham’s ministry, a million more in 88, or something to that effect. Brothers and sisters, no man has the right to set the numbers, the numerical value of who God is going to save and who He is not. It just seems like people cannot trust God to manage anything. They have got to get their own initiative into it, their planning. Most of the time they go to such elaborate means to propagate and plan this or that, and it is a shame that they think God needs all of that. Once in a while you turn the TV on and sec Billy Graham somewhere having a tremendous convention. Yes, I have to say, When it comes to educated qualities, they do not make them any better, because they have the education, they have natural social qualifications, recognized everywhere and licensed; but when you hear one sermon, you have heard them all. There is no depth to that message whatsoever, because it is usually taught to please every system of denominational structure. The Catholic can sit there, the Baptist, the Lutheran, the Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and anyone, simply because they never teach anything that would cross anyone’s belief. They can all sit there and enjoy the same singing, the natural talent that is put on display, the best qualified singers there are. How many times Dr. So and So is referred to, he is dead, but he wrote a tremendous book, many times these evangelists like to refer to the statement Dr. So and So made. Well, I like to refer to what some Holy Ghost man has said, and he also might be dead, but usually what he said has left an impact that means something. There are always people who like to carry that statement around in their heart and pass it on. Nevertheless, here we see this young man, nobody can vote or put a prophet in his office. It is just like that letter right here, such a man cannot come to a place and pick out twelve men, saying. You will be this, and you will be this, and you will be that. That is not the way it works. Usually, those that are really deceivers and imposters, that is the way they operate. Somehow or other they see in that certain person, an ability to stick with them like a little pup. They become a puppet to this man’s ideas, but it is not like that with the lord “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: (That meant the Roman world, as they were related to it.) which came to pass In the days of Claudius Caesar.” What we see here, is what the Church at Antioch then did. They knew the basic effect of this thing was going to be in the land of Judaea, so they took up collection contributions to send to the believers that would be affected. Those New Testament prophets were different than the Old Testament prophets. The Old Testament prophets, he would prophesy either in the past tense, the present tense, or the future tense. If it was in the present tense, it was usually referred to as a rebuke to the children of Israel the prophet was sent to. If it was in the past tense, he was usually referring to their past, and showing what God did and why He did it. Then many times he would go into the future and speak in great detail of an event so far in the future it would have been utterly impossible for anyone in the natural to even conceive such an idea. That is the Old Testament prophet, and that is why God put him in that office. On the other hand, the New Testament prophet has a ministry that is basically present tense, or maybe just a short period of time in the future, and these things are necessary in order for the Church to grow spiritually. The apostles were called of God to lay down the groundwork which would be a foundation for the True body of Christ to be built upon. There never would have been apostles for our day and hour had God not sent a man who was sent specifically to restore an clement of people back to the apostolic truth. In the 1950’s, my wife and I had the opportunity to be present in some meetings of some of the men who at that time felt like they were really living in the days that they were part of the Church that is eventually to be. A lot of these men are dead, and they never did attain unto what they felt like they were. Those that I heard, spoke very little of the doctrines the Church is built upon. Most of those evangelists back then, just majored on divine healing and faith, or on deliverance. That is about all they ever preached. Most of them came to the place where their main interest was to see how big an offering they could take up from the people. Of those I sat under, there was never very much preached by them that let you see what the true Church was to be like. Yet we do know that many people looked upon those men as apostles. When I go into the book of Acts, I find very few words even uttered by the apostles on the subject of divine healing. This goes to show that the apostles were strictly called, chosen and placed to be builders, to lay a foundation for the Church. They were the ones who had to read God’s blueprint of what this Church was to look like and function like. No matter which one it was, what they wrote, you will never see where any of them ever read the blueprints wrong. Yes, from the personal standpoint we see Peter conducting himself in a way that was not complementary to the calling that was upon his life: but Paul got him straightened out and those apostles laid the foundation for God’s master plan. On and on it goes. because those men were builders. That is why Paul said, I, as a master builder, have laid the foundation and another man comes and builds thereon. However, let every man take heed how he builds, for no other foundation ran any man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone. I remember, back in the last part of the 1940’s and early 1950’s, I heard different doctors of divinity on the various radio programs, and they were all well educated men. Many of them preached good sermons. I will never forget one I used to listen to, named Dr. DeIlahn. He had a large radio listening audience all over the nation. He was the first man I ever heard talk about the possibility that there had been a prehistoric animal kingdom here on this planet. That caused me to study and think, How come we never hear anything about that in Methodism? That doctor of divinity, a historian, preached the first sermon ever heard on that subject. That is what caused me at times to want to probe into the subject. That is why I have to recognize the man for that: it gave me something to think about. However, when it comes to laying a foundation, I have to look to the little man that lived in this very area. The first time I ever heard that little man, I had some questions in my mind, Why is this not preached in our church world? Why is that not preached? The first time I ever saw the little man, he came out and stood behind the Bible stand, and choosing a text in Genesis, he titled his message, “The call of Abraham.” He typed that man, looking to Isaac, to Jacob, and then to Joseph down in Egypt. When he ended that sermon I got up, walked outside, and said in my heart, That man made Jesus of the Bible stand head and shoulders taller than any doctor of divinity I have ever seen or heard. I cannot say I understood everything, but I could see right there, that I had heard a little man that was going to help me understand how to look at this Bible.
PROPHETS IN THE CHURCH
Let me get back to what I was saying about the apostles and prophets of the book of Acts. They had prophets in the Church. As we go into chapter 11, we find a prophet prophesying about something that was coming upon the land in the near future. (11:28) “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit of that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29: Then the disciples, an every man according to his ability, he determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt In Judaea.” Coming into chapter 13, of the book of Acts, we find a New Testament prophet speaking for the first time, concerning this ministry. They had prophets, but only one of them spoke on this occasion. We pick up the setting in Antioch again. This is where Paul and Barnabas spent some of the recent months, along with the other men of God in this church. As I read here, I want you to notice how this went. This was approximately two years later from the incident of Agabus. As I read it, I want you to notice how God spoke through this prophecy to launch a certain ministry. Antioch was the first outpost of Christendom existing outside the confines of Jerusalem. “Now there were in the Church that was at Antioch certain prophets (Where did they come from? They were already there. God saw fit to raise them up. It goes to show they had already been dealt with. They had come into the fellowship, and were actively involved. They had certain qualities within them, and when God got hold of that and began to perfect it, it then became evident to the others, that these men had some kind of prophetic insight.) and teachers; (In this setting, they did not come down from Jerusalem. Notice the entire reading.) as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (It does not say how many prophets they had in that assembly, it just mentions these, and that they had prophets and teachers.) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” It goes to show these prophets had a unique type of ministry, because it is usually a ministry that confirms something that God has already established, but it sets a time factor to it. Paul and Bamabas have been sitting in this assembly now for quite some time. They had already been visited by the prophets from Jerusalem, but now we see that there are those of their own number. That just goes to show that God had to raise up this prophetic ministry. He established them, and there was a lime factor involved in it. Just try to understand what I am looking at: We have seen how the Spirit of God has spoken to confirm certain things in certain peoples lives, but I can also see that this prophetic office was something that deals more or less in the refined workings of what God is doing to really knit that body together, so the devil cannot tear it apart. We have had in the past, too many people that; Yes, God has spoke to them, but many times, just because everything does not go according to their idea, they get offended and let their carnal feelings cause them to want to run off somewhere. When you begin to see that little prophetic ministry working, and sec the individuals really being led by the Spirit of Gad, these that they begin to minister to will gain confidence in them and you will not see them getting offended and running off somewhere, because God will have already been dosing the ranks, and this is His way of confirming, vindicating and showing people. You have stood the test: from now on it is perfection. We are going to be put together to function like a real Church, not just a mass of people running about all over creation, searching, I am looking for the best. I heard it said one time, I am looking for the Church that is in order. I say to such a person, No, you are not, and you never have been. All you want is for someone else to do the work for you, so you can go in and sit down and enjoy the good things. You do not want to get in there, build, and pray, and labor, taking the ridiculing, and having yourself talked about. If you are going to be in the body of Christ, you are going to take it all, whatever God sees fit to allow. You are going to be willing to be slapped verbally, your name dragged underfoot, talked about, and still carry a smile, knowing that your reward is up ahead. When you get to the place you can be like that, you will not even care what the devil says, because you will know you are going to be left here just for a short time, until God’s purpose is fulfilled. So here we see, something had came up, someone felt, let’s just have a day of prayer and fasting. This is the very thing that spoke specifically. “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (who is I? It is the Lord.) It was time for them to go forth with the ministry God had raised them up for. The others then laid their hands on them and prayed for them, and committed them unto God’s keeping and directing. It went something like this, Now brothers, God has vindicated your calling, and He has confirmed the fact that the time has come for you to go forth. You have waited patiently on the Lord. Now it is time for you to go, so go wherever you feel God is leading you to, and may God bless you and use you exceedingly. When we get to talking about these things, and show how they work, you do not see people leaving just because they get their feelings hurt. Those whom God has truly called for a specific purpose will not be getting offended and saying, I don’t believe that, I don’t see it like that. I tell you Brothers and Sisters, we have had it here in Faith Assembly. When we first built here in this location, in 1967, they came in here carrying all their books, ready to take over. This one would learn to quote certain things, and that one would learn to quote certain things, and they would just sit here waiting for their opportunity to put on their display. If someone would get up here and preach something that did not set well with them, you could see them sitting there thinking, Oh my, the prophet never did say that. But you know, in about three or four years they would thin out. There have been many of that kind pass through this assembly. I have to say, We are now living in an hour when God is dealing with us to screen us, to refine us, to try as and to prove that we have inside of us, an ability to be able to wait on Him, and take time to allow Him to have His way with us, in His time factor, to bring us on to the finished product He is looking for. When God begins to place these other ministries within the body, to function, to confirm, to edify, and to encourage, you will see a body of people that will really stick together. They will not be looking for something to become offended about. Stop wearing that chip on your shoulder. The apostles were humiliated, put in jail, knocked down, whipped, beaten half to death, driven out of town and forbidden to return, but they took their orders only from God. I do not say that we everyone will necessarily have to go through the same things they did, but I do believe we will reach a place where our name will definitely stand out. I believe God will let the world see that your name does mean something, but at the same time there is going to be an clement out there in this religious world of denominationalism, because lean tell by the letter that man wrote, that he does not believe in the apostles, he does not believe in the prophets. He does not believe in any of that. All he believes in, is the old denominational system. Well saints, I have to say, All of that is dead: It is on its way right into where the Bible says it will go, and there is nothing anyone else can do about it.
THE THINKING OF A MADMAN
I am going to read this letter I have, sometime within this message, but there are some things that have fallen into my hands that I want to mention also. I have in the car, a fax letter from a sister in Canada. She caught this on some news program up there. This article is about some woman scientist, a doctor, she is formerly from Britain. She is the scientist who helped Saddam Hussein invent those biological weapons of warfare. In this article, we learn that she was there in Baghdad just a few days ago, and before his military, he lauded this woman scientist for creating this monster of biological weapon. It describes one or these deadly germs: Some of the old timers have heard of the disease anthrax. It was a disease here in the early days of America, especially the open west rangeland. It was not of the magnitude of this which has been scientifically invented, but its deadly effect on human life takes its toll in two days’ time. This anthrax, once your body comes into contact with it, goes to work on your lungs and liver, and you have a total breakdown. You begin to hemorrhage inside. There is another portion of this that is designed when your skin comes in contact with it, your skin goes completely into an irritation effect. It starts swelling, and then it begins to burst, leaving the skin to bleed excessively. He decorated this doctor for her discovery, and that is what they have been trying to do through
the operation of the U.N. inspectors since the close of the Gulf War, is to make sure that kind of stuff is destroyed. That is the reason we have aircraft carriers on standby, to stay off any further threat from that madman. There were others that assisted America, which was France and Britain, and some Canadian pilots, as well as some Orientals, and today they want to treat it like it is no big deal. Brothers and sisters, it is a big deal. If you as a person living here thousands of miles away, fail to even realize, that if that mad man was allowed today, to express himself the way he would like to, (him being anti Israeli, I have to tell you, he would like to strike them a blow hoping to get them out of the way. Someone told me that just this morning they had heard this article referred to in the News. I remember back in the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein claimed to be a descendant of the ancient king Nebuchadnezzer. It is true the remains of the old city Babylon lays within the confines of his nation, because it is on the Euphrates River. He claims he is supposed to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon. Therefore he claims that Israel is the enemy, America is the e Satan, and Israel is none other than a devil, so that is why he wants all of these weapons. If the world wants to sit back in complacency and indifference, and play hard to work with, just rest assured, the day they unleash that stuff it is going to be too late to start caring. It is said that they have enough of it to overkill this planet two times over. That is worse than the atomic bomb. The sad part is, it is a silent killer. You know of nothing being wrong until a thousand, or thousands are sick and ready to die. It is also a fact that out of that part of the Middle East comes the major portion of oil that a lot of the industrial nations of the world live on. If they only realized, that once they let that madman dace the Persian Gulf, which is the line by which all these cargo freighters go, you can have a collapse of the economy within two weeks time. Whether it is America that takes the lead in it, or whoever, somebody will have to put a stop to this man’s plans, or you are going home quicker than you thought. Israel has already stated, knowing that Iran is building missiles, that she believes Iran has the capacity that within eighteen months she could deliver a warhead. Iran, as well as Iraq, are anti Israeli. That is why somebody is going to wake up and see it necessary to do something. If they do not, Israel has already said, and they have one of the best intelligence sources there is in the world. We will not sit by and allow this monster to turn one of those scud rockets against Israel. They simply cannot afford to, because all their society is living in a confined area. One scud rocket, or missile with this type of germ warfare aboard, could put Israel in a state of paralysis if it was dropped in one of their big cities. We are living in a time when the devil is using political men to try to set the agenda for what they feel is the future for the 21st century. I have said this, The 21st century belongs to God. We have not entered into it yet, but with all the power crazed world leaders who sit back and anticipate, and plot, and plan, trying to figure out what they can do to gain their portion of the world to control. I am glad God has the whole thing in His hands, and that He knows exactly how to bring everything to an end. Whatever we do, let us not forget Israel. I have to ask, Why do we put so many aircraft carriers out there? and now Britain has got one of them, and they attic have support ships. We have twenty six support ships. We have twenty six support ships with our aircraft carriers. We have taken other fighting aircraft into Turkey. The leader of Germany said last night, on the News, that he will allow the U.S. to use German bases to launch their fighter bombers from. I am persuaded that God will be with Israel. If for some reason we do not get involved in this thing, it is all because God holds us in check and He wants to use Israel to show the world how to fight a war the Bible way, if it comes to that. When Israel goes at it, she will go at it for the kill. She will have to. We have a lot of soft headed politicians, as well as others that say, Well I don’t like war. Well who does? Nobody likes war, but when you see in the Bible a picture of the last days, it is about time we begin to change our attitude and say, Not my will Lord, but yours be done. I will just say, May God be with His people, and especially the nation of Israel. I appreciate that little nation. They do not realize it, but it was through them that the Lord gave the Gentile world the Bible, a book that tells us of His plan of mercy, grace, and salvation for all who believe. If it had not been for that, we would be a bunch of heathen, worshiping the devil through a totem pole, or some kind of altar, and feasting on some sacrifice, indulging in all kinds of worship as evil as hell itself. I am thankful for His grace that has opened our eyes. We have been allowed to taste of ‘Um, of His grace and mercy.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS AND TESTIMONY
I want to return back to our subject, “Putting the body together,” and say dogmatically, It is God that puts it together. If it had not been for the grace of God forty years ago, I would not be standing here today. I would still be out there as a Gentile, stubborn, indifferent, thinking, Don’t get too religious! Fanaticism is not for me. However, when your life is brought within a heart beat of death itself, and you wake up three days later in a hospital, and there is something inside you that tells you, This all happened to bring you to me; then you live for a year and half or so, weighing those words in your mind, you finally have to come to some decision. After a while, the longer you weigh it, and the longer you doubt it, you start to become indifferent, and after a while you get where you cannot even think, and you cannot sleep when you go to bed at night. There have been times I have been driving a tractor across the cornfield, crying, Lord I want some peace of mind; all because I had not slept the night before. I thought, Lord, how long is this going to last. Everything I did, I could see nothing but a brick wall in front of me, as if God was saying, You will never succeed, you will never accomplish what you are after until you surrender your life to me. I am thankful to God that He gave me that opportunity to surrender my life to Him. When He did, He did a good job, it is not through any effort on my part. He supplied the grace, He supplied the mercy, and the forgiveness. The book I was always afraid of, and always thinking – Don’t get too close to it, it makes people go crazy, they pluck their eyes out, they cut their hands off and all of that. Only a demon will cause you to do things like that, but if you go to God in the right way, you will never pluck your eye out. You will never cut your hands off either, because God does not want His word to be interpreted in a way that would cause anyone to act like that. The Bible has never made me want to do anything like that. It makes me want to look to our blessed Savior and His twelve apostles for exampleship. It is their message example ship. It is their message that I desire to present to you: Therefore as I endeavor to speak on this subject, “Putting His Body Together,” many times I say things from the pulpit, and then I realize strangers will say, He talks like he is the only man that knows anything. No, it is just that at one time I did not know anything and had no desire to even care very much, that is, not until the Spirit of God Himself put such a desire in me. That is the way I looked at everything up until then. Then, when by His grace He did save me, and yes, I was still in the Methodist Church. That is what my parents had been in, so that is where I was also; but after God saved me and He began to put a hunger in my heart for His word, I began to read the Bible with a different attitude. Every once in a while I would run into a passage of scripture and it would begin to stand out to me. I would say to myself, I wonder why they don’t teach that in the churches today? I became inquisitive, very curious, and as the saying is, Curiosity got a hold of me. I remember one time when I was asked to take charge of the church while the regular pastor and his wife took a vacation. Then, is when I took my opportunity to preach those things I saw in the Bible; but I was visited a few days later by an older man who was the Sunday School superintendent of the Methodist Church in Elizabeth. He caught me out along the fence and stopped to talk. Finally he said, Bro. Jackson, the reason I came is to have a little talk with you. We love what you preach and we like your style of preaching, but Bro. Jackson, there are some things that is in the Bible, which we don’t believe we ought to preach on them, because the church doesn’t believe like that. You may just as well have hit me on the head with a stick of wood, as for him to have said that. I felt like he was telling me I was a smart aleck; so that went on like that for many days. I will never forget, they were going to ask the district superintendent if they could have me for their pastor, if the pastor they had at that time decided to go somewhere else. It happened in the spring of the year. All the churches were to have their regular conference gathering at the Rogers Campground Church. That is the one we lived close to. Therefore when they had taken care of the material side of everything, they nodded to me, and that was for me to go outside while they talked to the superintendent about having me take over the charge. After a while, one of the fellows came out and said, Bro. Jackson, the district superintendent said no, because the Methodist conference in the state of Indiana had made a ruling, stating that no longer would anyone be allowed to take over the pastoral duties of a church unless they have had so many years of Bible schooling and high school; and of course that eliminated me. I had neither. Well that sent me to the barn, out into the cow stable, crying, late that evening. That is when I said, Lord, never again will I stand in the pulpit and endeavor to preach, but Lord, I am going to live for you; and I am going to support your work the best I know how. I meant that when I said it. There was no need to ask me to preach anymore, because I was not qualified, but yet, when I read about this man Peter in the Bible, the disciple that cut a man’s car off with a sword, I thought, I wonder how much schooling he had, in order to learn to do that? The more I would read, the more I could see Jesus doing a lot of things the Methodist Church would never approve of. He chose a lot of men, and He associated with many people that a lot of our church world today would frown upon. That is a fact. That night, I went to bed so discouraged. It is true, we had already been to the Branham Tabernacle a few times, and I had begun to contemplate getting this man William Branham, to conic to Rogers Campground Methodist Church someday. I thought, Oh if we could get the Campground church set on fire by the power of God, we would really have something going. I remember asking Bro. Branham one time, and he said, Well, if the Lord tells me to, I will be there. As I look back now, I know the Lord was never going to tell him to do that. What the Lord was going to do, He was going to tell me, Get out of there! And go where you are at liberty to accept all of my Word. So that night I saw myself in a dream, walking down a highway, so discouraged. I was walking toward a big city, sad, just walking along. All of a sudden I looked in front of me and saw a big ball field at the right of the highway. I saw a mammoth tent set up there. As I looked at that tent, the thought came to me, because I had read in some magazines how those preachers of the 1950’s who preach divine healing and deliverance and things, usually had that type of tent; and they would travel across the nation from coast to coast with it. They set them up right in the cities. I thought to myself, as I was walking in this dream, That must be one of those divine healing preachers. I believe I will walk over and take a look. I saw myself go across the highway to this ball field. Of course it was in the summertime and the flaps of this huge tent were rolled up, so I walked in. What a huge tent it was. There was nobody there, I thought at first, so I am going to walk around and take a good look. After a while I could hear a noise in the distance. As I looked off to one end of this tent. I saw a little part sectioned off. I could see a man standing there doing something. It sounded like a typewriter. Eventually I made my way closer to that. The man looked up and said, Hello, may I do something for you? I said, No, I am just looking around. I kept on walking. Then, before I hardly knew what was happening, he was right by my side. I turned to look at him, and he said, Sir, you have a need, may I pray for you? He had no way of knowing how hungry I was for something to come along and lift me out of this dismal state of despair and despondency that had come upon me. I said, Sure. The man laid his hand upon my forehead and began to pray. The whole tent and everything completely disappeared. The blessed Lord Jesus Christ came to me just like a flash. His arms were outstretched and He took me, pulled my head to His bosom and I began to weep and cry. I felt some kind of power radiating from His body, going into my whole being. The more I wept the greater that power surged through me. After a while I was weeping so hard, I thought, If I could die like this, it would sure be wonderful. Suddenly, I am wide away, shaking like a leaf, with my pillow in my hand, and ready to go over the foot of the bed. I thought, What in the world is wrong with me? I will never forget the eyes of Jesus though. I want to say to any young person that might feel like they have a problem, There is not a problem you can have, that is too great for Jesus to help you with it. He has the answer. He knows exactly how to touch your life and give you the strength, the will and the ability to overcome all your obstacles. I did not realize the significance of the dream right then, but a few weeks later I had an opportunity to tell Bro. Branham that dream. He said, Bro. Jackson, the Lord is getting ready to lead you off into deep water. A few weeks later I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and I knew from that moment on I had something I could not use in the Methodist Church. By the time the Fall of that year arrived, it found my wife and I leaving the Methodist Church. This is where I learned Jesus is not coming for the Methodist Church. It matters not how many sincere, good people you know in that system, or how many of them are related to you, He is not coming back to take the Methodist Church to glory to be His bride Church. He is coming for a people that above all else, know Him in that intimate way that only the baptism of the Holy Spirit can produce.
ORGANIZED RELIGION-THE ENEMY OF GOD
Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13, show just exactly where the Church, the true Bible Church, has been through past Ages of time. It also shows us, and actually proves to us beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is not coming back for any of the systems of organized religion. However, I do recognize, and acknowledge that God has worked in each of those systems in their initial beginning, when the people were hungering for the reality of God in their lives. He has saved people within the structures of those systems of religion, right on through the years, but we are living in an hour of time when the Spirit of God is calling His people out of the man made systems, to walk with Him in truth. When the hour came, that it was necessary for Him to send a messenger to this Age, He sent a man that was not bound so tight with denominational tics that he amid not hear the nice of his God. That is why Bro. Branham did not cater to any particular denomination. He preached in a lot of different places, but he catered only to what is the true Bible Church. If you ever allow the Spirit of God to get into your life, to control your mind and thinking, it will not be very long until you will see for yourself, that all of these systems, which have up to a point been founded on certain revealed truths of God’s word, every last one has missed the true way that God would have His children to walk and conduct their lives. Yet they all stand off from each other, at least in former days, and argue from their standpoint of doctrine, and in unbelief they have accused each other of not even being a Christian. How often I have heard the Church of Christ say that, because they claim to be the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are more like the church of the antichrist than anything. They say miracles are not for our day, that all of that died with the apostles. I have to say, any Church of Christ man that thinks that, is certainly not going to prove it by church history. History proves that all through time there has been a small segment of mankind that God could deal with, and did deal with, all because they were people simple enough, and humble enough to just walk with their God. That is why Martin Luther could come out of Catholicism and preach what he did. That is why he got as far as he did. Later, here came John Knox, Calvin, and John Wesley. All these men, up to a certain point believed in the supernatural manifestation of God as He dealt with them. That is why, when Martin Luther was doing penance, climbing a staircase to kiss the feet of a worn statue of Mary, he heard a voice say to him, “The just shall live by faith.” Time and time again people had crawled those same steps, kissing, weeping, wiping the feet on that piece of stone, as though they were literally kissing the feet of the virgin Mary. While he was in that position, an audible voice spoke to Martin bather with those words. That is what turned Martin Luther around, made him go back and shut himself off from society for many days. The people that had been listening to him, walking with him, taking up for him, wondered what had happened. When the day came that Martin bather came out of his dwelling, he had something in his hand. I do not know how big the piece of paper was, but he held in his hand a list of 95 things he saw wrong in the Catholic Church system of religion that held Europe in its clutches. The Catholic Church didn’t like what he did, but at that time they had nothing they could do to defend themselves. They had martyred other men that tried the same thing, but now God was with Martin Luther, enabling him. All this goes to put together a complete picture. Through five or six hundred years, God has slowly been restoring back into accessibility the true revelation of the written scriptures. Sovereignly, and mercifully, He has been giving back to mankind an opportunity to see from the scriptures what He is seeking to do. The end result is, He is eventually going to restore His Church back to the original pattern. Any farmer knows you do not plant sawdust and harvest corn from it. That is nonsense. Whatever you plant has to have a seed of life in it in order for it to reproduce after its own kind, like the Bible says everything must do. You cannot take a loaf of bread, plant it in the field somewhere and expect to get wheat from it. However, if you take wheat in its natural state, plant it in the ground, you will get an increase of wheat back from it, and then you can make bread from it. You will not get rice, you will not get oats, you will not get barley, but you will get wheat. Whatever the germ of life is in that particular grain you plant, that is what you are going to reap in the harvest. Between the original grain that you plant, and that which you harvest, there is a period of time through in that cycle that you have only the stalk, the blades, and all of that, before you ever see the true reproduction. None of that forerunning growth looks anything like the original thing you planted, but it takes every bit of it to produce the desired product. The law of reproduction in the original seed, after all that other growth has manifested, will see to it that sooner or later you will have much more than what you planted. The Lord planted something there in that upper room, on the day of Pentecost, lie planted a little seed which was the Holy Ghost, the germ of life of His word, in the heart’s and lives of one hundred and twenty disciples that had obeyed the words of Jesus and tarried there waiting for the promise of the Father. That is why when they came into the streets of Jerusalem speaking in other languages, no one that saw that nucleus of 120 disciples that was so motivated by the power of God, even thought of saying, They are Catholics. No. They were not Methodists either, nor Baptist, nor Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or any of the other brands we know of today. They were believers, filled with the Spirit of Christ. It was nothing at all like many people would have you believe it was. No. It was a little organism, a number of people that had a revelation of truth in them, and the Holy Spirit was the germ of life that was to quicken that and bring it to fruitfulness. The entire New Testament gives you a complete picture, doctrinally, spiritually, and fundamentally of what the original Church was composed of. They did not even see each other as a denominational believer, because whether you were a Jew at Jerusalem or a Gentile in Ephesus, you could have Jerusalem and went to Ephesus, you could worship right along with those Gentiles there, in the same truth, in the same light, and vice versa. Ephesus could do the same. That is the way it was throughout that first generation of Christian believers. Only when time moved on into the second and third century, do we find the devil hacking away at the bedrock, the hacking away at the bedrock, the foundation of Christianity, to change the basics. Slowly the devil hacked at the Church until five hundred years later, the Church was far from looking like the original Church. I say this to any strangers that might be in our midst, No, I do not claim to know it all, but I have been here long enough to have seen a few things. What I do know, I would not sell it for a million dollars. I am not going to change my mind or attitude. When the true Church of the living God is completed, and that is not going to be too much longer, it is going to have some people that once were Catholics, once were Lutheran, once were Baptist’s, Presbyterian, and just about anything else you can name. Each one in that true bride Church is going to be in it because God has dealt with them to get them out of the old dead system of tradition and formalism they were in. You have thousands of people today that are all taken up with formality. That is all they want. They have no hunger for spiritual reality: Their life consists of nothing but a routine of tradition. Tradition does not speak to you. In fact, once it gets in you it sets up like concrete. You defend it with all that you have to fight with, simply because you do not want to know anything else. I cannot help but marvel though; because if a person ever does come to a place where they do truly surrender their heart to God and say, Lord, whatever you are doing today, let me be a partaker of it, and you mean it, I promise you He will take you down a pathway you have never walked before. He will bring you to the understanding of some things that will make all your relatives turn against you. Your old church associates will say, What have you been doing? What has happened to you? Why do you act like this? Or Why do you do that? That is sometimes the way they like to talk to you. You did a horrible thing by leaving us. No, I did not do a horrible thing by leaving them, I just did the only logical thing there was for me to do, after I heard a little man that in the eyes of the religious world did not know very much, because he was far from being educated according to man’s way of assessing our value. I think his qualifications for education was something like maybe about the sixth grade. The world of religionists today, and especially preachers will ask, What college did you go to? What seminary did you study in? What degrees do you have? I will admit, there was an hour of time when God used that caliber of men, especially in the Reformation. It was necessary for them to be educated, because they had to deal with the history side of everything as they moved out to follow God. It is just the opposite today: God is doing something to prove He does not need you or your college to point souls to a true revelation of His word. Someone told me this morning that they heard a singing group last night; and a man on that program said Noah’s ark was built by unskilled labor. That is true. He did not even have a generator on that boat, nor a pilot’s wheel, nor a rudder, and it did not have any source of energy to propel it anywhere, but it still reached its destination. It carried two of every kind of animals we have here today; and it carried eight human souls as far as God wanted them to go. Somewhere, it is still a relic, while the Titanic, which was built at the beginning of the 2Oth century by architects, educated engineers, and skilled labor has been lying at the bottom of the waters it was traveling in all this time. Every last one of them said this was a boat built in a way that it would never sink. She sunk on her maiden voyage. She is laying at the bottom of the sea today. Just think, how many thousands of people perished with its sinking. Nothing perished in Noah’s ark. There will be very few books written about the Titanic, but the story of Noah’s ark will be known even in the Millennium. I have nothing against education. It is very necessary for many occupations of this world. I certainly would not want to take a trip in an airplane that was being flown by someone who did not know any more about flying that thing than I do. Those people need a good education; but does God require a man to have all those degrees of education in order for Him to speak to his spirit? God needs your education just about as much as a farmer needs a bunch of three legged pigs. (That is a story in itself, but I will not tell it now; because I said I would read this letter I spoke of. I am not going to read it all, because it would take too long. This is off the computer Internet. The man that writes this, leaves me wondering who he talked to that he thought knew so much. Just listen to this, as I read part of it.
“William Branham was a man I once greatly admired. (I wonder how much he really did admire him?)I have several of his books, many teaching tapes and a video of his ministry in action. I would actually weep when hearing him minister supernaturally, and wonder why. The Lord is not manifesting Himself in this wily today. Like most of the giants of Pentecostalism, if one can get past the hype and emotion and do some solid logic research, one will discover the old adage is true, that states the best of men are men at best. I do not doubt Branham’s sincerity nor his love for Jesus, but it is indisputable that his teachings were heretical. If I would see that man, I would have to say, You are totally ignorant. Naturally he was, or is a Trinitarian: He states that he is.) Some may ask why Branham is on the rogue of the month. He has been dead over twenty years. The answer is simple. Many thousands of people, and almost all the leaders of Pentecostalism and charismatics still revere this man as a true prophet. The web is filled with sites dedicated to Branham in English, French, and Spanish. All his sermons are still sent worldwide. All his teachings on cassette and videotape are now being sold to yet another generation of sign seekers. So, though he himself is dead, the poison of his false teachings are still affecting multitudes of people. For this reason, William Branham rightly deserves a place in the rogue’s gallery. (I do not know exactly what all is encompassed in that word rogue, but here, is what one dictionary gives as the definition of the word, and I can personally testify to you that none of it fits the Bro. Branham whose leaching changed my life.) 1. ” An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal. 2. One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp: My little brother is such a rogue! 3. A wandering beggar; a vagrant. 4. A vicious and solitary animal, especially an elephant that has separated itself from its herd. 5. An organism, especially a plant, that shows undesirable variation from a standard.” This man goes on and refers to different meetings, how Bro. Branham would say that the angel is not over twenty feet away. He criticizes him for saying that. He tries to emphasize that we are supposed to say the Holy Ghost did it. So here is what he begins to say.) My critique of William Branham. The above are just a couple excerpts from some of Branham’s meetings. One thing characterized in his meetings was his total dependence upon an angel. When his angel would show up then supernatural events and manifestations would begin to occur. Once he was asked if it was the Holy Spirit that did these things in his meetings. What was Branham’s response? No, my angel does these things. When ministering to people William Branham would always ask them if they believed He was God’s prophet (No, he did not always ask that.) When they answered yes, then he would begin to tell them what was wrong, (I remember a lot of times when he told them what was wrong, that he never even asked the question.) lay hands on them and send them on their way. It seemed as if the people had to buy into his claim to be a prophet before the angel spirit would reveal to Branham what was wrong with them. Now unlike many outright frauds, like Peter Popoff – Branham did reveal things to people and about them that he got supernaturally. He was not faking these things. What happened in his meetings were without a doubt supernatural in nature. The issue is this, there are only two possibilities then. They were from God or they were from the devil. (This is his own personal view.) We have no Biblical record of Jesus doing His mighty works by the assistance of any angels. He did them by virtue of being God the Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles in the book of Acts did what they did by the poker of the Holy Spirit, again no angel is mentioned.”
END OF READING
I will have to say this, If you carefully examine the scriptures, there were many times that an angel would conic to the apostle Paul and warn him about certain things. I will say also. No angel mentioned in the Bible ever operated independently outside the anointing of God. That angel was always sent to the earthly vessel as an ambassador or messenger from God Himself and he was anointed of the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Ghost, to convey to the recipient whatever God wanted hint to know. Regardless of how this modern bunch of educated — preachers of our day want to interpret these things, they are one day going to have to face the reality they have fled front, but it will be too late for them. They will 7 burn with all the others that have disbelieved or just flat out rejected the word of God. Do not forget the apostle Paul when he was in the ship, and for so many days they had been in a storm. The sailors fought to keep control of the ship that was being tossed about and they bad thrown everything overboard to lighten it. After so many days Paul had stayed down in the cargo hold, praying. Then God sent an angel to him. Why did the Holy Ghost not just speak to him, like this educated man supposes He always does? God has to send an angel to speak to Paul and tell him what to expect. He made his way out upon the deck and gets the attention of all the deck hands, and this is what he said to them. (Acts 27:23-24) “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, (24) Saying. Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” I am saying all of this because the apostle Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. It was the foundation he laid that our faith is built upon even yet today. That man knew when an angel was sent from God to speak to him audibly, verbally, to convey something important. He did not have to manufacture a story to fit his purpose. Yet we can say this, Knowing that angels do not act independently, out of the realm of the anointing of God, we do not have to always explain the whole proms. The apostle Paul wrote in the book of Hebrews, that angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to them that shall be heirs of salvation. You do not read in the book of Acts what every believer, even down to the lowest level, might have experienced in his or her day, but if there are angels that are ministering spirits, sent forth to them that shall be heirs of salvation, behind it all is the anointing of God, the Holy Spirit working. You just have to realize that within the realm of that Holy Spirit is angels at work. I have to defy these doctors of divinity who want to lambast Bro. Branham, and constantly pick his character apart. Maybe he could have said some things another way, that maybe their educated minds could have better understood; but he was out there to fulfill a calling upon his life, rather than to try to please that bunch of critics. That is why I have said many times, You would have to have known the man, in order to have known what he meant at times. You find that true with a lot of people: If you do not know them well enough to understand what motivates them, you do not always understand everything they may say. It could be the same way with a neighbor: Once you know what motivates him, you are better able to understand what he says and does. Sometimes he can say half a dozen words to you, that could have otherwise been a lengthy conversation, just simply because you know what he meant the way he said it. That is why Bro. Branham, speaking in a hillbilly language, used terminology that other hillbilly’s understand, and your educated people might not understand. It is just that simple.You would have had to have been a hillbilly yourself, to have really understood all of the man’s verbal explanations. Only the Lord knows how many doctors of divinity went and sat in his meetings, with all their Greek and Hebrew and knowledge of all the terms and passages of scriptures they learned in their seminary, and then walked away with nothing but criticism for him, simply because they did not hear their kind of terminology. Some of them would sit there weeping, because of what they had seen, and reject what they heard because it was not spoken correctly. I have seen them myself, weep when they saw Bro. Branham turn and look at a person and say, Sister, you are not from this area. I see you living where there are tall pines, you are from the state of Colorado: You have so and so wrong with you: I (Go home and be well: God has healed you. It would take God I Himself to know all of what he spoke to many people. I will never forget one time, when he was talking to a woman in a prayer line. He said, sister, I see you as a little girl: Do you want to know what the Lord showed me about you? You have been suffering from a back problem: I will tell you when you got that. You were sitting on a fencepost one day and accidently fell off the fencepost and injured your back. You did not realize it, but this problem came back to you years later. You went to this doctor and that doctor, and they said this and said that. When he told her that she had been sitting on a fencepost as a little girl and fell and that was the start of her problem, just think how many times in life you can fall and do not feel hurt. You might have a sore spot, but a few days later it is all gone. You never think any more about it. Then about ten or fifteen years later you begin to have a problem. That is when the body begins to break down from the injury. I will never forget it: He looked at that woman and said, Is this the truth? She was crying then; and he said, Sister, do you believe the Lord can heal you? She said I do. I remember, she reached out her hands and he took her hands and prayed for her. I believe that woman was from a place like Iowa or Nebraska. I cannot even tell you how many times I have heard that man tell people where they came from, even how many doctors they had been to, and what the doctors told them. There is just no reason for anyone to think that many of Bro. Branham’s followers were fools. I did not sit under this man to criticize him or even fault with his education. This man was showing me something that I could see Jesus Christ in. He caused many people to see that Jesus was not just a figure of history. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I began to see that the power of God is the same as it was in the book of Acts. Listening to this man, I began to say, That man makes Jesus of the Bible stand head and shoulders taller than all the doctors of divinity, and all these Greek and Hebrew historians could ever put together. They have had their day, but God was definitely beginning to move in an era of time that was going to produce more than just doctrine to be debated: He is almost totally bypassing the educated field. He is going to show this educated, 20th century bunch of people that He does not necessarily approve of all that they have been doing. An awful lot of what they have been doing, just sows unbelief. That is why I have said, if you get an education, educate yourself for what you feel, educate yourself for what you feel like you need to be, but do not ever think it is going to make you spiritual. Spirituality only comes from God. Only God is going to make you have a spiritual mind. You have got to have a mind open to the Bible and to be led by the Holy Ghost. That is why a lot of these educators can quote the Bible forward and backward, but to understand it is still another thing altogether. I am talking like that, because ever since we came from the era of WW2, it is very evident periodically, here and there throughout the world, God has touched the hearts of men in various religious backgrounds, both from Africa, Europe, India, and literally all over the world men have been touched. Many of these men have been raised up to have an outstanding ministry, but when they were off the scene, they left the scene by only having this kind of testimony, they had a great anointing to pray for sick people I or cast out devils, but none of them left anything to show you and me what God is going to make His Church look like. They seem to be individuals who have been anointed to operate within their own confines. It is the people whose lives they touched who call them prophets or apostles. If you get hold of their works, you find it was of short duration. As for this man called William Branham, in the eyes of the religious world he lived in, he was just a preacher that preached to congregations of Methodists, Baptists, and so on. Many were touched by the miracle power of God, but somehow or other these people seem to have been so anchored, set so deep in tradition taught by the denominations they were a part of, that they never saw much of anything beyond the miracles. They enjoyed the blessings of God when He came and ministered through him: They enjoyed the healing: but they did not want someone like him to come along and tell them what God is seeking to do in preparing a people that will make up his true bride Church in the end time. That is why I have said this, when you read about the reformers from Luther on down, you can read about their heyday, how they were anointed, how God dealt with them in their hour of living, the people that were affected by them and so on. Some of the things God did was outstanding, but they had their cut off point. On the other hand, Bro. Branham taught things that turned people’s mind’s back to the Bible and true purpose of God, and he was the first man this side of the Reformation that dared to take the things that Luther came with, Calvin, Knox, and Wesley, and begin to try to put it all together into a simple message that showed you it is all in the Bible, and it all belongs to the Church of the living God. That is why many times he would say, Let’s get back to the word! It has got to be back to the word. That is why the prophecy he came to fulfill was the ministry of Elijah. This man who wrote this letter repudiates that. I would like to ask him, What school did you go to, that gives you the right to repudiate that? Anyone ought to be able to look at Malachi 4:5-6 in this light, that it is true John the Baptist, according to the 1st chapter of Luke, was announced by the angel of the Lord to Zechariah, his earthly father, that his son would bear the name John, and would come in the spirit of Elijah. To do what? To turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom or the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Those last words are not even in the context of Malachi 4, so that caused me to take note of something. When I read in the 1st chapter of Luke, where the angel told Zechariah how his son would go forth before the coming of the Lord in the power and spirit of Elijah, to turn the heart of the fathers to the children. I turned right back there and read it. As I looked at this in Luke, and looked at that in Malachi, I said, The angel did not quote all of that, because the whole context of Malachi 4, and the heart of the children back to the fathers, was left off. You know what I used to think that was when I was a Methodist? I could see a lot of disobedient juveniles, children turning against their dads and mothers. I thought there would be a great ministry of dads and moms and children being reconciled together. That was the way I looked at it. That was my carnal way of looking at it. However when we see that spirit of Elijah on John the Baptist, you begin to see exactly how it was fulfilled. He no sooner came to the river of Jordan, began to preach and baptize people, that they heard about it up at church headquarters in Jerusalem. Then the scribes began to send the lesser ones, the priests and so forth, Go down there to the river and find out about that guy. The fathers of that prophecy were those spiritual, ecclesiastical big shots, who do not like to get their image out among the common people. We have preachers just like that today. They are so high minded, they do not want to come down on the level where you and I walk. Knowing what I know now, by the grace of God, I would not spend one dime to sit and hear one of them preach. You have to take a dictionary with you to find out what they mean by those words they use. That is the way they are, because tradition and formality has ruled them. Anyhow, as I looked at that, I could see that the last part of Malachi 4:5-6 had to be for another day. Truly after hearing this man over a period of weeks, I could begin to see beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the man himself is looked upon by the denominational, religious clergy as a false prophet and such like, but to the simple in mind and the honest in heart, and they that have an eye to see and an ear to hear, they could not help but hear the still small voice of God speaking above all the confusion, saying, This way my child, come, this is the light I give you to walk in. It will cost you something, but I will be with you. If you think you are well known among your denominational people, you are well thought of by your relatives, you can rest assured, when you step out of their ranks, you are going to get lambasted. That is why when the wife and I made up our minds we were going to have to leave the Methodist system, we knew it would cost us something somewhere. You know, when we left, my Dad and Mother never jumped onto us and her Dad and Mother never jumped on to us. We used to wonder why they did not. We both had said we will never preach to them. If they come this way, they will have to see God in something that will draw them. Our parents never bothered us in any way. What did bother though, was that because of a certain element of those that followed Bro. Branham, God began to allow Bro. Branham to make a few dual statements here and there. I looked at those dual statements and said, God has ordained that man to make those statements, because He is going to try some people who are looking at the wrong thing. Somewhere in all these dual statements where he mentions an event or subject, one is going to play an important part in a revelation, and the other is just the statement of the man. I want you to know, in the thirty some years since his death, my name has been nothing but mud among a lot of his followers, but I kind of like it that way now. I told Perry Green one time, when he asked me, How can you take all this criticism? I said, I am like an old horse that has went through a cockleburr patch: I have so many cockleburrs in my tail now it doesn’t even hurt anymore. I never did know how he took that, but it doesn’t matter. I am saying this to you today, because all over the world the Spirit of God has moved upon lives, not on the rich and elite, but upon those who were hungry for reality. Yes, it would be wonderful if He could get hold of some of those kinds, but the rich and elite of the world today, if they are going to belong to any kind of church, it has to be the biggest congregation in town. It has to have a pastor that is a well known clergyman with a string of degrees as long as your arm. Then when he does go, he doesn’t want that preacher to preach any longer than thirty five minutes. After all, he has a business meeting to attend. Or he has a yacht he is planning on taking friends out on. That is about all they want. Well, I have said enough about this for now.
GOD’S TRUE MINISTRY SEEING EYE TO EYE
I want to get back into the Bible part now. As we said earlier, when it comes to the prophetic office, which is not Old Testament prophets, but New Testament prophets, the early Church had them. We found out that from that upper room in Jerusalem, went a little nucleus of 120 people into the streets of that city, and one might ask, What can 120 souls do, that is going to affect the course of the whole world? If we can see the history in the book of Acts, in the midst of that 120 there were 12 men chosen to become the architects and foundation builders of what would constitute early Christianity. I grant you, some of these men had a good education, but I have to believe that some of them knew just enough about things to transact business and such. God did not care what their qualifications in the natural were. He saw the ability they had within their hearts and lives. Over the period of time as the Church collectively began to grow from place to place, we could see how that time itself puts a nucleus of people together. Within that realm of new converts, once in a while here and there was a man that God singles out and fills with the Holy Spirit, and gives him an ability to understand the truth itself. I am going to say some things that might shock you. Do not turn your face away from me. Every one of these converts that came along ten years later, do not ever think they just joined the Church without ever hearing one word about a man by the name of John the Baptist. Why did you say that, some may say? We have many out in the world today, and I have read…
PUTTING THE BODY TOGETHER
testimonies of some of them: They will say how God spoke to them, when and where it all took place, and tell why they consider themselves to be apostles, or prophets, but they operate completely independent of anything and everything that would work for the unification of the body of Christ. They are self made whatever they claim to be. I do not even mean to deny the experience they may have had, but I seriously doubt that they have always been led by God, because of the way they conduct themselves. You do not find their kind of conduct in the Bible. continued next issue.