WE ARE GIVING THIS MESSAGE THE TITLE, “A HEALTHY BODY” BECAUSE WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO PRESENT A PICTURE TO YOU OF WHAT THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE TRUE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE AND SOUND LIKE WHEN SHE IS READY TO LEAVE THIS WORLD AND TAKE HER FLIGHT WITH JESUS, THE BRIDEGROOM. WE HAVE HEARD ALL KINDS OF IDEAS THAT PEOPLE HAVE, CONCERNING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, BUT YOU HAVE TO WONDER WHERE THEY GET SOME OF THOSE IDEAS. THAT IS WHY WE WANT TO GO INTO THE SCRIPTURES AND ALLOW THE WORD OF GOD TO SHOW US WHAT HE EXPECTS OF THOSE WHO ARE CALLED BY THE FAMILY NAME JESUS.
I will ask you to open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 12. The title of our subject being, “A Healthy Body,” We are naturally talking about the body of Christ, the Church of the living God. Over the world today there are a lot of things being taught that could never be found in the Bible; and the Bible is our only authority for teaching doctrines. As we passed the Methodist Church in Elizabeth this morning, on their bulletin board was the subject, “Spiritual Gifts, by such and such a speaker. I could not help but wonder, What is this portraying? Are they going charismatic, or is the title just misleading? When we look at the Church of the living God, we have to realize that somewhere it is going to reach a point where it is made complete, and that is perfect. It is not going to stay in this world another ten or fifteen years, when it is ready to leave. That is the way I want us to look at it from the standpoint of what the Bible says God is after, because it says in Ephesians 5:27, He will present to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Everything will be in place when that time arrives. I remember years when Bro. William Branham preached on the Church Ages, how the gifts began to be exercised, and soon there were things that began to develop that caused Bro. William Branham to make church order. In doing so, it put a stop to every audible, visible gift in the open assembly. Everything had to be done in a prayer room. I took a lot of abuse for not going along with that. I understood why he did it, but I knew it was just for that particular Assembly, and was not meant to be a doctrine for the universal Church to abide by. A lot of people do not understand, but when you really search the scriptures and begin to try to direct your faith so that it will go according to the scriptures, you will find yourself going contrary to how human beings look at things. Up to a point, I could see going into a prayer room, but it so happened that at that particular time there was not a big representation of a mixed group in which these gifts were manifested. I looked at that and thought, There is no sister that is going to let herself be shut up in a prayer room with six men; just six men an one woman shut up in there to hear from God. Even though it is a church assembly, that was not the kind of image that should be portrayed in a modern hour like we live in. Our society is decaying. That was one of the things I looked at: Another things was, If God has given me a gift, I must be man enough to use it audibly, in the open assembly, or else, where in the world will the unbeliever ever learn anything? Will they have to go sit in the prayer room? No. Therefore my conclusion on those two things was, If going into a prayer room for the gifts was designed to bring certain things under control as a disciplinary measure, then well and good, but you have a lot of pious people sitting in the congregation, ready to judge what goes on, and they themselves would never allow the Spirit of God to move upon them in any kind of manifestation. They will not shout, they will not clap their hands, nor will they do anything except just sit there observing what others might do. How can they sit themselves up in a state of judgment, ready to condemn, push down, and cast into hell anything that does not go their way?
MAKING RIGHT DECISIONS
I will never forget, long before church order was put in, a certain elderly sister that went to the tabernacle, (now deceased) ever so often would visit our assembly: She had a dream and wrote it down and gave it to me. In the dream, she saw a lot of the tabernacle people and also our group, journeying down a valley, going toward some fixed point. She said, As they were walking along, it seemed like the wind began to raise. It got very boisterous. As they were journeying down the valley, over to the right, there seemed to be a hill with a high peak. It reached up above everything else. As they rounded a bend, she looked up and saw a lone figure standing on that peak. The person had on a coat something like Abraham Lincoln would have worn. The wind was blowing the frocks of the coat completely behind him. Different ones were saying. How can he stand there like that, with the wind blowing so hard? As they got closer to this peak, they looked up and Bro. Jackson, it was you. I carried the dream for a long time, because I never felt like I was in a condition that would really suit that picture, but going on through the months that followed, after church order was put in, and seeing certain things go like they did, I no longer had to question myself about it; I became everybody’s pecking post. Through the years I learned something though, If you are going to live for God, and if you are determined to walk with Him, sometimes you have to get to the place you are ready to walk alone, as if you are the last person left on the face of this earth. You have to look at situations as if, “Lord, if it is only me, I am determined not to listen to the dictates of human beings,” because there are thousands of people over the world today that are thumbs down on self righteous Pharisee type people, which they judge us to be. I have seen some of the followers of Bro. William Branham, how they became so independent, and so self exalted. They hide behind quotes and statements, but they do not know one thing about what Bro. William Branham meant or implied in many of the things they major on. They become like the Pharisees of old, and they are what most people judge us by. When they meet a stranger, it isn’t long until they find out if that stranger knows Bro. William Branham was the prophet of these last days, and if they do not know that, they want nothing more to do with that person. If they find out that they have been affiliated in some respect to some of the Branham following, it is not long until they try to find out what they believe. Once they find out it is not the way they assume it should be, then it is thumbs down again. That is why I adapted this old saying “You don’t tied my shoes and you don’t butter my bread,” so do not judge me. It is the grace of God that saved me and gave me a revelation of His word, so if anybody wants to follow what I teach, that is strictly up to them: I do not force anyone. I thank the Lord for showing me very early, that no one will ever get anywhere with Him (God) by letting themselves be influenced by people. When people get to the place where they want to influence the man of God and make him go according to their dictates, you no longer have a church that honors God: You just have a lodge or a political system. I never deliberately say anything just to be hurtful to anyone, but there are times I refer to something humorous just to make people laugh. That is because I want God’s people to be happy. I am not here to press down, dictate, nor to attempt to rule your lives and your homes, nor to tell yo where you can go, and when you can go there. I will never take it upon my self to tell you when you can go see grandma. You do not have to come to tell me those things. I have seen pastors so domineering that their congregation cannot breathe without permission. When they want to visit someone, they have to tell the preacher. How does God get glory for situations like that? You are not accountable to me for how you spend your time: It is your heavenly Father you must have a good conscious before. As long as I know you are a person that is thankful to the Lord for the truth you have heard, and you are glad to be part of this congregation, I am not going to frown on you if for two or three Sunday’s I do not see your face. I just assume that there is a good reason for your absence, and that whatever business you are attending to, is none of my business as far as you being accountable to me. I want God’s people to be free in the Spirit of God, so that His love can be cultivated among the people, and the things that God wants to bind the body of Christ together with, which is His love, can have a chance to affect our lives inwardly as well as outwardly. Our fellowship collectively, should be such as that we can be a people that conduct ourselves in our open society in a God-like manner, whether it is the place where we work, or the place of business we are associated with, so that the world cannot accuse us; and pick at us, assuming that we are just another cult. I am proud of what we believe and how we conduct ourselves before others. I heard Bro. William Branham teach a little of this through the years, but he never did take it as a complete subject: Therefore, as we open our Bibles to 1st Corinthians 12, if we will really take a good look at the type of people this church was made up of, the people that Paul wrote this letter to, we might get a picture of ourselves in these last days, what we came out of, where we have been and what we have been taught. I do not meant hat we were necessarily living the kind of loose life the Corinthians had been living, but having come through the different denominations and having been subjected to their various teachings, it is a fact that when it come to spiritual gift and their operations, and their purpose, which is the objective God had in putting them in the Church, there have been many different ideas as to what they are, what they are not, how they ought to be used and such like.
PURPOSE AND PROPER USE OF THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
Saints: my main purpose in dealing with them, is to divide these gifts of the Spirit into their respective categories and try to show you where each one is to be effective. First we see that there are nine spiritual gifts. These nine gifts can be divided into three groups, or categories. The three POWER GIFTS are faith, healing, and miracles. Then you have three what we refer to as INTELLECTUAL GIFTS, and they are wisdom, knowledge and discerning of spirits. The last category of the three groups of three are the VOCAL GIFTS, which are prophecy, various tongues, and interpretation of tongues. I will now read the 4th verse, to get us start out. “Now there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. (That means they are different one from the other, but though they are different, it is the same Spirit that is the motivator.) And there are differences of administrations but the same Lord. (Meaning the way the Spirit has placed it in the vessel, for the purpose of its operation) And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation (The word manifestation means public display, which brings our thinking back to church order. I do not want anyone coming out of a prayer room and telling me he, or she went in there and prophesied. I am not the least bit interested in it. I did not hear it, so you have not proved anything to me. There are many today, that have lived for thirty some years believing in that stuff, and none of them have learned anything at all about the God ordained use of the gifts of the Spirit. The sad part is, they are hoping everybody else will learn something from them. Well the manifestation, which means public display,) of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (Meaning to show his spiritual life is growing in the spiritual things of God.) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom: to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit: To another faith by the same Spirit: to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit: To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; (speaking in different languages) to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally (or separately) as He (God) will.” Let us read the three verses again, to take note of the nine particular gifts we want to look at. (1st Cor. 12:8) “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (1Cor. 12:9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; (1st Cor. 12:10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.” These are absolutely to be looked at the right way, if we are going to be in the will of God using them. I have grouped these gifts in three different categories for the purpose of illustrating how they fit into the body of believers. Wisdom is something we associate with the mind. Knowledge is also something we associate with the human mind. Paul placed this over here, but this (pointing to the discerning of spirits on chart) is also something associated with the human mind, because there is no other part of your body that you use or depend on, that is going to let you know, Is that false, or is it really by the Spirit of God? It has got to come back to an operation of your mind. Right? Faith, this can also be associated with the human mind, but in a different category. Healings, all this can work together, but these are the vocal gifts, prophecy, tongues, and interpretation. Therefore when you group this, like that, and this like that, that is the middle category. Through the years of time, I have my doubts that there has ever been a decade of years since Christendom has been on the face of this earth, but what lone individuals, somewhere, scattered here or there, could say God heard my prayers and He has healed me, and it was done in a way that no preacher or any congregation could get any recognition out of it. I have read enough Church history, in the hour of the Waldeens and Huguenots, they were an element of people that had been ostracized by society. When they were having to hide from their oppressors, what I have read, in those lonely hours of isolation, it goes to show how the grace of God knows exactly where you are every moment of the day of your life. Even when the Pentecostal hour came at the dawning of the twentieth century, God was using individual men, many times with the prayer of faith. Or many times with a limited amount of the word of knowledge. There were outstanding miracles accomplished, and healing of various sorts. Yet as you travel through time and you meet different people, you come to find out there was a lone person, on the back side of nowhere, they did not know such a thing was even going on, but because they had faith in God and they became so terribly sick, even though they did not know what God was doing anywhere else, God was able to speak to them in a small way and meet their needs, even though they were out in the land of nowhere. No newspaper articles were ever written about those instances. No preachers were on hand and able to use those cases as statistics. You learn these things as you travel about and meet individual people. That is why I say, There has never been a decade pass, that the grace of God failed to do anything for anyone; His healing grace has always been available to those who were able to trust in Him. Therefore as we look at these gifts let me say, If we are living in the closing of this era of time, I hope and pray that we can get settled in our mind’s once and for all, what the purpose of these gifts is. Also, How do we recognize them? How do we respect them? This is why many times I have said, You cannot take vocal gifts and use them to bring about divine healing. They were not put in the body for that purpose. Nevertheless you will hear a lot of people say, But it is the Holy Ghost. Sure, it is the Holy Ghost. My tongue is an instrument for me to speak in tongues with, but that tongue does not take me anywhere. I have to use my feet for that. Does that make sense? I know you have all heard about the prophecy Bro. William Branham spoke about California going into the ocean, but I doubt that a lot of people really know the circumstances that were brought into that whole thing. In the state of California, there was one of the prominent families that was associated with Bro. William Branham in the Full Gospel Businessmen. One family had a daughter which was already up in years at that time. She had a very serious sickness of some nature. They had talked to Bro. William Branham and God showed Bro. William Branham that He would never heal her. And that she would die. It happened in later years when he was in California, in a particular meeting, that during the preliminary part of the service that particular lady had given her testimony of how sick she was, and how she trusted God, believing He is a divine healer. At the end of her testimony a person stood up and prophesied saying, I will heal you. There were more words to it than just that, but the end thought was, I will heal you. When the meeting was over that night, Billy Paul was taking Bro. William Branham to leave and going out the back door of the building, and going down the sidewalk toward the car, Bro. William Branham could see that Billy Paul had his head cast downward, so he said, What is wrong, Billy? Nothing, he replied. They kept walking and came to an intersection of the streets and again Bro. William Branham looked at him and said, Billy Paul, what is wrong? He said, Well you know what was said in the meeting. Bro. William Branham said these words to him, Billy Paul, where are you standing? In Los Angeles. No, I mean the street corner. He looked up at the street signs and said, We are on the corner of such and such streets. Bro. William Branham said to Billy Paul, You will not be an old man when the sharks will be swimming where you are standing, which was to let him know, You cannot believe everything that people say out of enthusiasm, or because they feel they are dedicated. The case was, she did die. Now California has not yet fallen into the water, but I will tell you, When it does, there will be a lot of people taken by surprise. We could use vocal gifts many times to speak promises, edifying, but they are mainly to speak words of comfort and exhortation. As I go on into this message, there are things that have happened to me in my own personal life that I will be speaking of. God has used my own personal lips and tongue to speak words to me that I was not even aware of at the time. I will just lay those things aside for now, but I want us to study these things from the basis of what they are written in the Bible for. You cannot use things associated with the feet and apply it to the head. Neither can you use things applied to the head and associate it with the feet. It is not meant to work that way. Certain things have a certain place for a certain function. Let us take the word of wisdom, first of all. That is the first thing we start with, but we will eventually cover all of the gifts. God knows we all need wisdom. That does not mean everyone is going to have wisdom in the same capacity. We need wisdom for personal growth and personal progress, to be able to understand trials, tests, and things we encounter in life. We will learn things that will help us, if we can just allow ourselves to learn from the past, and know how to apply those things to the present. Then it helps us to learn how to look to the future. Some things are learned in wisdom by watching other people. Some things are learned in wisdom by how God leads you through a personal experience of your own. When I watched Bro. William Branham’s life, (I am not preaching Bro. William Branham, I am going to do my best to preach Jesus Christ) he was one man that lived in my time and exemplified the Christ of the Bible to me. There was never a time that I thought I ought to worship him though: I knew he was my brother. I did not see him in a way that would cause me to want to worship him: and I never saw him as a man that desired to be esteemed in such a category, but I did see him as an example for my own life. I saw him as the man he was, a man that could walk down your pathway and talk about what interested you. He could walk the same pathway with a farmer. When he used to come down and rabbit hunt with myself and my father-in-law, if he was walking beside my father-in-law, he could talk to him about farming. The fact that my father-in-law never went to the Branham Tabernacle did not cause Bro. William Branham to treat him any different than anyone else: He never separated him from the group that was hunting together. He could ask my father-in-law about his cows, his crops, how they were doing and so forth. He could have a normal conversation just like anybody else. He put himself on that level, wherever you were. When it came to spiritual things he was a man that always used wisdom, always knowing when to say something and how to look at it whatever the subject was. The word of wisdom itself, it says in James, that we are all to pray for, and God will give liberally, but NO, He does not give you more than you need: HE gives you something that is good for the present time. Shortly after the Lord spoke to me about starting the church, in 1955, I had been praying, Lord: give me wisdom, because here I am a pastor needing to know how you would have me walk before you. I prayed for weeks, I fasted and prayed, Lord: give me wisdom, not as it is in other men, but the way you want it to be for me.
THE DREAM THAT HELPED ME
I had a dream one night, that Bro. William Branham came down to our place, (This was in the year 1956). In the dream he said, Bro. Jackson, do you have a bale of hay? I said yes. He said, I have a rifle I want to shoot today. I went to the barn and got the bale of hay. We put up the bale of hay and stepped off about a hundred yards. He shot at the target that was on the side of the bale of hay. Then he said, Bro. Jackson, try your luck on it. I never did consider myself an expert shot, but I shot and hit right in the same area had hit. Back and forth we kept shooting like that. As it came about that he shot the last time, we went and looked where it had hit and marked it, then came back and he handed the rifle to me. As I was ready to shoot, out of the corner of my eye, over toward the south end of the field, I saw something strange take place, like the whole woods line began to change its form. As I watched it, it looked like I saw a rock made of granite begin to rise up out of the earth, just came right up through the trees and kept on going right up into the sky. That rock looked like it reached up four or five hundred feet. All of a sudden it stopped rising. I could see perched on top of the rock a strange bird, one I had never seen before. It came flying from a higher place and lit on top of that rock. It sat down on that rock and was looking at everything below. I just turned the rifle around and took aim on it, but I noticed as I took aim on it, out of the corner of my eye, Bro. William Branham was watching me. At that instant, it was almost like I could read his mind: His mind was saying, If he knew what kind of bird that was, he would never want to shoot it. When I was able to read what his thought was, I turned and looked at him and he said, Bro. Jackson, do you know what kind of bird that it? I said, No. That is a foresight bird, he said. I lowered the rifle, then I woke up. Now in the natural there is no such thing as a foresight bird, but take the word to the dictionary and here is what you find, To be able to perceive, to look ahead. I realized whatever was down the road, I would find myself faced with things where I could not depend on my own mentality: I would have to depend on something God would help me with at the time. I will say this, Anytime you ever ask God for anything, you are going to be tried and tested in it, because He is absolutely going to work that and mold that into your life until it fits snugly into a certain realm of your thinking. There is going to be times, in your own mentality you will want to do something another way, but yet there is something embedded in your makeup, and you know He has put it there, so you will have to give into that and say, Lord, not my will but thine be done. That is where victorious living comes from, submitting to the will of God. It is when you begin to rely upon that, as our brother preached the other night, that you find there really is such a thing as total peace. Even in the midst of great storms of life, there is a type of peace that you have accumulated and it does not leave you. Once the storm has passed, and you have seen what the test has accomplished, or what it was designed to accomplish, that peace in your soul really rejoices, knowing you did it the right way and not the wrong way. I can look back in life, and see many things I jumped to conclusions in the midst of. That is one thing we cannot do if we are a child of God and have a determination to please Him. We just have to settle the fact that we cannot allow ourselves to jump to conclusions. God should not have to show you every day that you live, how to do this, how to do that, when to do this and when to do that, or where to do this. After you have walked with Him a while you begin to know many of those things you formerly sought His help with, and you can be sure that you will still be tried and tested. Sometimes we can get up such a momentum, we take far too many things for granted, just with our natural mind, without stopping to ask ourselves, Is this really God’s way? Some might say, Well I am a man of God: I don’t need this or that. Oh yes, you do: He is still the ONE that is leading our lives to perfection. We need Him every day for something that may be just a little different than what yesterday was. Wisdom is something that lets us know how to do this or that in situations where it would be easy to go the wrong way with it. You may not understand the whole thing, but you know how to do it because you trust in God for that wisdom that is going to be the thing that will take you through. Knowledge is not to be confused with wisdom. Knowledge, is what is working when God imparts to you an understanding on something: He can do it by dream, He can do it by a vision. He can even take over your whole mentality and put in you the understanding of a situation, which then becomes knowledge. When that knowledge says, Don’t do that, or the whole thing will fail, you go with that. Your just simply cannot jump to conclusions, just hoping this is the way, when you know God is always present with the help you need if you have determined to walk with Him. The thing about this knowledge, is that God can just drop it down in an instant. Let me go back to the early years of my experience to illustrate. This was before we ever started the church: I was young, and knew I needed to learn a lot of things. At that time, I did not know, what God might have in store for my life and ministry. My father-in-law had bought a brand new Chevrolet: He wanted to go to California in the fall of the year, so he came to our house to talk about it. I had been down in the barn at the time, but he said to my wife, I have this new car and we are making plans to go to California this fall: We want you and Junior to go along: He can help with the driving. When I came back to the house, my wife told me. In the natural I saw no reason why we should not go, but something inside me said, If you go, there will be trouble. There was no indication of what the trouble might be. Therefore I never told my wife about it. I did not want her to feel that I was separating myself from any particular thing her father had offered. I thought about that all summer. I purposed to go on anyhow, but I new if I went, somewhere there was going to be some trouble on the road. We left home heading to Texas where there were relatives that ran a motel: That is out in wheat country. We stayed all night there and got up the next morning, it was blowing snow across the prairie. All the way across Texas into New Mexico, we were in snow and out of snow. We made it into California, crossed the mountains and dropped down into the southern part. We were going to drive the road up the coast to Sacramento. That is where my wife’s uncle lived. It started raining late in the evening. We drove to a motel, signed in, and then decided we wanted to find a place to eat. I was driving. We went out on the highway and started back the way we had come from, because we remembered that somewhere a way back, we had seen some drive in restaurants. We thought we would go back that way just to be sure we would find something. I crossed over and was going south on the highway, looking for one of them. We pulled into the drive in. They had waiters that came to the car. So we started to order. Somebody had decided they wanted chili soup, so we all made up our mind to ask for chili. We decided to go on down the road a little further. I backed out to the highway, looked up the road, and I could see cars on the inside lane. It was drizzling rain, so I never saw the car that was close upon us. I pulled out into the lane and my father-in-law yelled out, Watch out! Just then, that car hit the back end of our car. All that former feeling came rushing back to my mind: This what I told you. It just so happened that it did not damage the car very much, but right there, we had to sit until the police came. I did not know what the police might do. He took the other man’s drivers license and then my drivers license. He was preacher and I was a preacher. After he filled out the report he said, Gentlemen, the type of night it is, I am going to say this, Each one is responsible for his own damage. He did not lay the blame on either one. My father-in-law said that was O.K., because all it had done was knock a rear tail light out. The trunk lid was not hurt, but the left back fender was mashed in a little bit, and also just a very small dent on the bumper. That was all the damage we had, but it taught me a lesson: When you ask God for something to help you make a decision, you need to be careful, because many times He will say No, and you do not see a thing. He will say No, and you hear nothing, but there is something that gets inside of you and takes over your whole makeup, and just lets you know beyond the shadow of a doubt, If you go ahead and do it, you are going to face a problem. That has happened different times since then. Now, if I see something coming up, or somebody will say something and I feel that sensation, I do not ignore it. I do not feel that I have to tell it, but I allow for it in my decision. You just do not go around broadcasting everything, because it is God’s way of leading you and directing you, so it is for you. By taking heed, it can keep you from doing the wrong thing, because many times we are naturally prone to do the very opposite thing. To our natural mind, the opposite thing looks like it is the way to go. This knowledge has many ways it is expressed. Knowledge can come by a dream, so you need to weigh it all against the way God deals with you. That is why they say Bro. William Branham had the word of knowledge. He did. Many times I have heard that man on the platform say, God showed me that such and such is wrong with you. I will never forget, one time there was a middle aged woman that stood before him, he looked at her and said, I see you as a young girl about a certain age, sitting on a fence post. Something caused you to fall off that fence post and it injured your spine. Yo have had trouble ever since the. She raised her hands in the air and screamed out, That is right!! He said, You are going to such and such a doctor. Then he said, Do you believe me to be God’s prophet? She said yes. Go on your way, God makes you whole. Dreams can come to a lot of people, because that is sometimes God’s way of showing you a condition, how to understand it, and how to prepare yourself and how to get ready to deal with it. Now, having said that, it leads me to something else. I do not want to dwell on it too long, because we want to lead up to divine healing, what it is, who it is for and so forth. Does God heal any time, every time, and any where? Do not allow yourself to get carried away on that, because, just about the time you think you have everything on one track, you will be heading for a great disappointment. Back in the years when we first started this work, we went along for years just a small group of people. There were elderly people that had joined us. Well down through the years of time, these individuals would take sick and go to the hospital. Maybe they would not be there long. They would get well and come home, but there has been three times when I would get a telephone call saying, Such and such a person has been taken to the hospital. Some emergency had come up. Just as sure as I am standing here, when I would get that kind of call, something inside of me said, They will come back in a casket and you will preach the funeral. Now how are you supposed to talk to people when you know that? Are you supposed to broadcast this to the family? No. That is for my own understanding. In such cases you just pray, Lord, be gracious and merciful to this brother or sister and do not allow them to suffer, but inside you know, This is it. The last time that happened was when one of the elderly men of the congregation was taken to the hospital and they called and told me. I knew this would be the last time he would be taken to the hospital, because when they bring him out this time he would not be alive. I also knew I would not be the one that would preach the funeral. It happened right at the time I was to be in Norway. Just as sure as you are sitting here, I was in Norway when the word reached me that such and such a brother was taken to the hospital, and that he had passed away while there. When God deals with you in life, what is this for? It helps keep you from getting into a rut. Some people think, Go pray for everybody, and everybody is going to get well, or, You are going to pray for everybody and everybody is going to get saved. You are going to pray for everybody and everybody is going to get the Holy Ghost. You just simply do not get that from the scriptures. We cannot control everything: That is God’s part, who gets what. When we see the ministry of Jesus, we like to take confidence in seeing all the miracles He did, but think how many times He went to a certain place, and maybe He only touched one person. Think of that man that was brought to the gate Beautiful, time and time again he was laid there. I see that man there, looking up at this man called Jesus going through the gate, and imagine what he might have been thinking. He was probably saying within himself, Master, look my way. How many times Jesus walked in and never looked down, we will never know, but here is Peter and John on a certain day, and they paid attention to him and said, Look on us, and Peter said, Acts 3:6 “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” There had to be something that acquainted Peter with the thought, He ha laid there for this last time. Why did that not happen the week before? Why? Too many times we want to get it all done in one day. It is not going to be that way when we are walking with God and being led by the Spirit. Neither should we go to the other side of the road and start talking negative, saying, Well this is not my day, this is not your day and things like that. We have to realize God has a plan. He does have a plan for His Church. I realize we are a minority in the overall, recognized Christian realm, but I cannot help but believe, if this is the gospel truth, and this is what has been restored to the Church for these last days, we are to embrace it and allow our lives to be governed by it. If we collectively make up a people that is to constitute His Body, I cannot help but believe that somewhere along the road, between now and the end, God has a plan to cause the Church to be a testimony to its locality. Sometimes even politicians are going to be fully aware, That is a strange people. God can cause things to be said or done by those believers that will cause politicians to open their eyes and realize God is doing something. The early Church was that way. There were no politicians in the days of Paul and Peter, but sooner or later the important people knew there were some strange people on the scene, and some were interested in what they had to say. I believe it will be like that again before the Age closes out.
EXAMPLES OF HOW THE GIFTS ARE USED
As we think of the gift of wisdom, there is no way I can explain every aspect of it, and the gift of knowledge likewise, but the gift of discernment can be nothing else but the ability to watch something, hear something, pay attention to how something conducts itself, and understand what spirit is motivating it. Sometimes you will have to watch it for a little while before you come to a conclusion as to whether it is right or wrong. Sometimes we hear people say, Oh I have such a wonderful testimony. (Do not become alarmed at what I am going to say.) Some people really do have a testimony that you can rejoice in, but there are others coming down the road claiming to, and yes, it sounds like they have a true testimony, but many times it is a hoax. They many times are those who continually say, The Lord showed me this. The Lord showed me that. Naturally to some it sounds good, but after you have heard all they have to say you wonder what you have learned. After a while you come to the conclusion, That was not a true testimony of the working of the Spirit of God at all. It is of the spirit of that person and the devil has anointed it, because the devil sure knows how to use human instrumentality to sow a lot of confusion, discord, an things that can get an assembly in an uproar. Discernment is not looking at a mountain and saying, That is eleven thousand feet to the peak: It is listening to something, how it is behaving itself and being able to identify its source. I say, When a person has a true testimony, their testimony is edifying. If you hear something that you can spiritually profit by, you enjoy hearing it: you do not get perturbed by it. You enjoy hearing it because, first of all it glorifies God and inspires you, and nothing about it makes you feel that it was given to magnify human flesh. On the other hand, some people stand to give a testimony and try to out do everything they have ever heard, out talk, and out shine everyone else. Discernment will let you know God does not work that way. Now let us come to the gift of faith. I have to say, It is something that operates through the mind, but it has to be deeper than just in the mind. It is not that you know what words to say or anything, but it is something that impresses you, as you see with your eyes, you hear with your ears, and the Spirit of God takes hold of your mentality when you look at a sick person, or whatever the case might be. There is something within, that begins to propel you, and by faith you begin to pray. Years ago, when we were in convention here, back in the 1970’s, we were at a restaurant after the night service. One of the waiters came over and said tome, You have a telephone call. I went to the phone and found that it was someone from the family of Sis. Virgie Foster. She was in the hospital, and in bad shape. My wife and I left and went to the Clark County Hospital. We went inside and asked the nurse if we could come in and pray for this person. She said, Yes, but you can’t stay long. A we walked in, she was coughing. There was a container there with cotton in it. She had been spitting up blood. The nurse said, She is in very bad shape. As we stood there, she finally opened her eyes and recognized us. I told her not to talk. We took her hand and prayed for her, then we left. I cannot say there was anything that showed me she would get well, but just something that impressed me, This is all I can do, just pray for her believing that somehow God will hear our prayers and bring her out of this condition. Not long after that, one of her relatives called me one night from the Floyd County Hospital. They had a little baby about one year of age, that was in intensive care. When I went in, the dad and mother met me and took me to the waiting room and said, they won’t let us in: They have the baby isolated. The little baby’s kidneys had shut down, her fever was high and the nurses would not even let the mother in, except at a certain time. The way the mother talked, they did not expect the baby to live through the night. She was crying, just emotionally torn all to pieces. Right there in the waiting room with the parents, I said, Let us pray for the child. I said, Lord, if it is in your plan to change the picture for this little baby, show mercy and let it get well, but if it is not in your plan for it to get well, then Lord we ask, Don’t let this baby linger here in a state of health that is not enjoyable. After we got through praying, the mother said, Let’s go down and see if the nurse will come to the door. The mother and father and myself were walking down the hallway, going toward intensive care, when the door suddenly opened and a nurse stepped out. She said, I was just come to get you. The baby’s fever has broke and its kidneys have acted. They had been shut down. I realize today, that there are certain things the medical people can do. There are some things they cannot do. Other little babies go into the hospital and never come out, some having the same type sickness that baby had. We just have to praise God, because in just a short time that baby was home. The baby has grown up now, and she also is a mother today. I have to say, All the glory goes to God; not to man. I prayed for the baby, not because I had seen something or foreknown something, but because there was a need. I prayed the only way I knew how, by faith, Lord, take this baby and do something for it. I just hate to see people linger on and waste away. I watched my father linger like that for weeks and weeks on end. His normal weight before he became ill was about 187 pounds. He was six feet tall without shoes. Then when I saw him go down, down until he was about 139 pounds, it was just like watching his life waste away. Finally I said, Lord, don’t let my father lay here and waste away like this: He is not enjoying any kind of quality of life. I just do not like to see people linger and suffer so long before the end. Some people feel like, I want to hold on to them as long as I can: I cannot bear to give them up. Oh yes you can: You may as well just make up your mind that one day in the future you are going to give up what you feel you cannot, so you cannot ask God to allow you to keep holding on and holding on while your loved one suffers pain and anguish. Some people are born into life and when they are eighty years old themselves, they are still not ready to give up anything. They go down the pathway of life always expecting that everything is going t be right there in place, everything and everyone remaining the same as always just for their own enjoyment. It is not going to be that way. Everyone that has lived before us had to prepare to see their loved ones go on. When I say that, please do not get the idea that everyone should become negative about it. Except for those who will live to see the rapture, death is a reality we all must be prepared to face. No one is going to live forever, in this natural life. Some of us are going to go before our loved one think we should, but that also is a reality we have to be prepared to face. On the other hand, some are going to live longer than some may think they should, but we have to realize that all of this is in the plan and purpose of God, and realize that He is in control. There are probably some that stand around wishing grandpa was gone for one reason or another, but God gave the breath of life to every one of us and He is the ONE that withdraws it when we have run our course. I sincerely hope none of you will take offense at what I am saying, but I have lived long enough to observe some things, and I know how Christian people ought to conduct themselves in word and deeds, to respect the plan and purpose of our heavenly Father. I have witnessed some things that were just plain embarrassing, knowing that Christian people have a source of strength they can draw from at any time and yet they conduct themselves as those who have no hope at all. When my father was in the last weeks of his existence, my sister and I would meet at the hospital room and visit together. I went home from the hospital one night, and during my sleep I saw myself in a dream, and I was approaching our old home place. I had come over Daisy Hill by way of Borden: My sister had come from the direction where she lives, from Blue Lick. We both met in front of the old house and got out of our cars. I remember walking up to my sister and saying, Elda Jean, he is not going to be here much longer: we just a well make up our mind’s to accept the fact that he is not going to be with us much longer. As we looked at the house, we felt like, When our father is gone, the old home place will not stand much longer. Sure enough, not long after our father’s passing, the people our home place was sold to left the house one day, and while they were away the house caught fire and burned to the ground. It was less than one year after Dad had passed away: In less than ten years, every building that had stood on the old farm was gone. As I looked at it in the dream, I just felt like the day would come when the old home place will no longer be in existence. That is the only dream I have ever had on that nature. I do not say we have to depend on anything like that: but some will have similar experiences from time to time. As for me, that just let me know to prepare for my father’s passing away. It was not long after his passing until the old home place went too. I look back upon that and realize God is a God that knows how to lead you through life, doing things for your encouragement and your growth. I realize, because I have preached funerals for people whose loved one would just not hardly accept the fact of what had taken place, that people are very different one from another when they are faced with the death of one they felt they could not get along without. It is very frustrating to see someone that feels like that, because there is so little you can do for them. I just want to say, Saints: we are mortal: Except for the hope fo the rapture, we are all faced with this same thing. Some will go by the way of the grave; and I firmly believe some of you will live to see the rapture of the bride. If we cannot accept the fact that this mortal flesh we are living in is not going to be here forever, we had better get alone with God and seek to prepare ourselves for whatever is ahead as we walk down the pathway of life. One of these days we are going to leave this world. When we do, we ought to be ready to meet our Creator, having already committed everything into His hands. Right now, is the time to get all of our personal ideas dealt with and get settled on the revelation God has given us in this end time.
REALITY-VERSUS WHAT PEOPLE THINK
There is something in this message, I really hope I can get across to all of you, especially when it comes to these gifts of healing, gifts of miracles, gifts of faith. To me they are gifts, they are manifestations of an anointing of the Spirit of God in the lives of people. Not everybody is going to have a gift of healing. Some will say, Do you not think they have the Holy Ghost? Yes, they can have the Holy Ghost, but that does not give anyone an automatic gift of healing. Not everyone is going to have a gift of healing. How come? I thought if we had the Holy Ghost, then we have everything? Yes, you have every potential in the measure of the Holy Ghost you receive, but remember, He that is in you, knows exactly what He is doing. He is the one that is doing the dividing, not you. Once you feel the Holy Ghost coming into your life, you cannot up and say, I got everything. You got everything you need, but you do not have everything just to do what you want with it. God is not going to let you do that. God has a mind over that anointing. He is going to try you and test you, to bring you to a point where He can actually use you, but you will have to show to Him wisdom in your life, that you can absolutely be trusted. I believe the Church is going to move into a time factor where these gifts of healing and such are going to be part of the body of Christ, not only to take care of those things like sickness, that need to be taken care of, but sometimes there is a person out there in the world. You might say, Well we know healing is not for the sinner, but I must remind you. We do not know what God may do with you or other people, in order to leave a testimony in the world of His sovereignty and grace. Sometimes He will do a miracle out there in the world among critics, unbelievers, agnostics, and all such like, using a Christian person as His instrument of contact, just to shut the mouths of the unbelieving scoffers. Maybe the person never will become a Christian, but that person can never have an excuse again, because he or she has witnessed the power of God first hand. Then again, this might be the very thing that draws that person to the Lord. In the hour of time that Bro. William Branham ministered there were a lot of people from Salem and all over the country around here, that witnessed unusual healing of people you might not think God would do anything for. He is not bound by the limits we set because of our human reasoning, but when you look back to the community where the people were from, right there is where the person finally died; and right there is where the whole story lays today. It did not wake up the majority of the people and cause them to come out of those denominational churches and embrace truth and assemble with the saints of the Church of the living God: It just gave them something to talk about for a while. In those cases you just have to say, That was just God’s way of showing mercy and leaving a testimony in the community. Therefore I have to say, Let us ever look to the Lord, praying that He will give us all, the wisdom, and the knowledge to see things as He does, and allow Him to use us the way He wants to, and above all else, pray that we will learn how to let God use us, not for show pieces, but for something that will glorify Him.
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT NOT FOR OUR PERSONAL RECOGNITION
I do not know how long we may be on this subject: It is a big field and many have no concept at all of why God has placed these gifts in the Church. I do not claim to know everything: but I try to allow the Spirit of God to teach me a few things as I go through life desiring to serve Him. There are some things we can learn just by observing the workings of the Spirit and paying attention to the results that follow. There are some things I have already learned and there are other things I do not know to be a fact: Therefore I just pray that God will allow me to say what I am going to say, the right way, so that we can all learn together. I am thankful to God for His grace, because it is by His grace, that I am standing here today: I am sure that is the case of everyone that is walking with the Lord today. Except for His grace, we would still be out there in the world doing those things that lost sinners do. I am thankful also for all of you who have cut loose from former ties to follow truth; and I want to say to our black brothers and sisters of this congregation, some of whom are belittled by their own people because they come to a place where most of the congregation are white. You are my brothers and sisters in the Lord and I have the same interest in your spiritual welfare that I have in anyone else. I will do all I know to do, to furnish you with proper leadership. I am an American, born here and intend to remain here unless the Lord shows me something to change that. I have heard stories that are facts, so I know what has taken place in other places, but I want to emphasize this fact as I speak to you; The Bride of Jesus Christ is not made up out of just one race of people: If you think it is, you had better re-examine your own experience with the Lord, in the light of the word of God (THE BIBLE), because to this point, you have missed the mark, and you will miss what you are running the race to obtain, a crown of righteousness that the apostle Paul spoke of in 2nd Timothy, chapter 4. The Bride of Jesus Christ is being made up of every race and color that can be found anywhere on the face of this planet. There is one thing sure, When Jesus Christ comes back to earth to rule and reign with His Bride, that Bride is going to be made up of every race there is on the face of this planet, from all the centuries past as well as this one. Common sense tells me, the white will rule the white, the black will rule the black. You can just forget the idea that some have, that God is going to mix up the races: That is man’s doings. We have an element of educated people today, that I have to believe are just plain ignorant. It does not matter how much math or algebra they know, they have read something wrong somewhere. I have had a black boy tell me, Bro. Jackson, I don’t know why, but when I heard this message, I knew I had heard something I had never heard before in my life. He said, It made sense to me: It made things real, as it made the Bible talk tome personally. He said, I have talked to my own people, but they are not interested. These were his own words as he spoke to me: He said, My people are caught up in a materialistic message: They are after the benefits of materialism. There are a lot of whites in the same shape today, seeking just the material benefits that some are offering to those who follow their teaching. What does it profit a man, though he gain the whole world, and in the end lose his very soul? That goes for any race on the face of this earth. As for this congregation, it would be wonderful, if we could be made up of all the elements of human souls that are in America today, but what we have here is what the Lord has sent: We have never proselyted in any way, trying to build a certain size congregation. I have always accepted the responsibility of pastoring whoever the Lord led to this assembly, but I have never wanted to persuade anyone to come here, just so we could have a large congregation: When anyone does that, they are asking for problems no pastor should have to deal with. I am just thankful for my brothers and sisters whoever they are, and I desire to see every one of them walking with the Lord in truth. I have preached to as many blacks as I have white people, because of the trips we have made to various places, so I have to say, I cannot help but see the Bride of Christ as a different kind of people than what some portray. The true bride people are journeying through this life, not seeking every moment, to see how much of the material wealth of the world they can get their hands on, but rather, seeking for spiritual wealth, seeking for that which is eternal. They are interested in gaining spiritual things, that they may grow in the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ. In his letter to the assembly at Ephesus the apostle Paul wrote this, concerning what the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers was placed in the Church for, so let us read verses 12-15, and pay attention to what God is after. That ministry is set in the Church, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” That is what the Holy Spirit is leading every bride saint toward and he will accept nothing less than what is stated. If you have in your mind, that you can continue to dabble in the things of the world right on up to the time of the rapture, and then be taken up with all the faithful saints who are preparing themselves by allowing the word of God to wash them clean from all of that, you are not going to be among those who come back here with Jesus to rule over the nations of people that are left here to repopulate the planet earth. You can just put that idea out of your mind: Those who will rule and reign as His bride, are being made into His (Jesus’) spiritual image as they allow the scriptures to order their footsteps in this life. The coming of Jesus Christ is going to be sooner than a lot of people think it is. That is why God is opening up doors for the ministry of His word, that have never been open before. I am so thankful, that here of late we have been privileged to have our Contenders read, and our videos, as well as our audio tapes being played by the Messianic Jews in Israel. I have talked to a lady there in Tiberias: She was born in Israel, grew up there, and is deeply concerned for the things pertaining to God’s will and purpose for her people in the end of this Age of Grace. She said to me, Bro. Jackson, keep those messages coming: They mean so much to us. We do not get any of this from our rabbis. If I can be used of God to make their book, which is the Bible, sound real to them, then I feel like I have done what I am supposed to do. I repeat over and over, I am not trying to convert them: Those two prophets will finish up th work when they come upon the scene in the streets of Jerusalem, but if we can sow the seeds to lay a foundation, getting some of them in position for what is ahead, then I feel like we have done our part. Just pray for me, as we continue on with this message, because they are going to receive the tapes. I am deeply grateful to the Lord to have this opportunity. As I said earlier, I do not claim to know everything, but I do know what I have learned by experience as I have endeavored to walk by the leading of the Lord.
FACING REALITY-AS WE WALK WITH GOD
We are on this subject, “The Gifts of the Spirit,” because we want to establish what they are for, and how and when they are to be used. What are they for? Is another question some have. As it plainly says, There are differences of administration and differences of operations. That can be applied to any one of the gifts. None of these gifts by the anointing of the Spirit of God in individual lives, in the end results, is ever going to always be operated in the same manner or fashion. God is not a God of repetition: He does not always do everything the same way He did it before. Not one gift of the Spirit should ever be sought by anyone with any motive of being outstanding as a person endowed with such and such a gift, to be recognized above others. Let me read these meaningful words again. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation (or the public display) of the Spirit is given to every man (or woman) to profit (or to progress in their spiritual growth in the Lord) withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom.” Wisdom is something we do not possess all the time. I will say this, There are some things you will learn, and thereby grow in wisdom in the knowledge of the Lord, which is all because of practical and reasonable willingness to learn. That is why I have said many times, If younger people would just watch some older people, there are many meaningful lessons to be learned that way. Instead, we have in this modern age, young people who say, The older ones do not want change. I grant you, up to a point, it is hard for older people to make a change, but on the other hand, I see young people drifting way too far with such changes as they speak of, and if they are not careful, they will have a spiritual wreck, so to speak. There has got to be a middle of the road, pertaining to how we are willing to learn by practical experience. I always figure this way, If I see someone that is successful in what they are doing, and if I want to try to do something similar that I have never done before, I would be a fool to start out trying to do it, and not be willing to take a lesson from anyone else. It might mean going to them and asking them, How do you go about this? There is nothing wrong with asking a question like that, but too many people feel like, Well it belittles me to have to ask a question like that. Well I ask you, Why do we go to school in the natural? Shame on the child that goes to school thinking he knows everything. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit: To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit: To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally (separately) as He (God) will.” We realize, as the body of Christ grows and as the individual person grows, they may start out with a gift of tongues, and it might go on until some time later, as the person grows in the grace of God, and then God will add to them the gift of interpretation. Sometimes it can grow beyond that, but my point in this particular part, is to try to get everyone to understand that the vocal gifts are not gifts that are going to be used in every way. When it comes to divine healing, it is not. There are certain aspects of them that can be used, but I have examples I will bring in, because I have seen how it was done. I want to go back through the years, things that God has let me see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears. A lot of times we could think, Somebody can come up here and tell Bro. Allen or Bro. Bud something, but you do not realize what you are saying: God can anoint Bro. Bud to immediately give a prophecy to the person, because he would be prophesying concerning the thing that has been said. It will further enlighten the person. I have had it to happen to me. I have seen how it was done by total strangers. If you are a young parent and you want God to visit you and give you a little baby, you are going to have to accept it with wet and dirty diapers and everything that normally goes with parenting. I do not have to beat around the bush to tell yo what I am talking about. In these things, you were not born with the word of wisdom nor the word of knowledge. These are things that come to us in our Christian life and walk with God. It would not matter whether you are a teenager or a person sixty years old: These are things unknown to you. I will never forget years ago, while sitting in the Tabernacle one morning: Bro. Neville had just preached a sermon, and there were two or three black families that came there all the time. That is why, when my wife and I started going there and saw the black people, we felt like we had finally come to a church that had something for everyone. We felt just as comfortable sitting where the black people sat, as we did anywhere else. I will say this right now, If we were living in an hour of time, and in a locality where this message of truth had not been accepted, I as a white man with my family, if there were a black preacher that came through there with it, you can rest assured, I would not hold back because of the color of skin: I would be going to that place where the truth was being preached. I would not worry about what the white people might think of me, because my interest is in serving God by walking in available truth. That morning, when Bro. Neville gave the altar call, one of the black men in this family got up and went to the altar. There were other people at the altar. One of the black women got up and kneeled down beside the black man. Unknown to anyone else, there was a sister that stood up and spoke a message in tongues and gave the interpretation to the stranger kneeling at the altar. The interpretation went something like this, My son, how many times I have spoken to thee in dealing with thy heart, that thou should give thyself over to me, for the work I have ordained thee to carry among thy people, but thou hast not paid heed to my call nor listened to thine own heart, and now thou has reached a point of time in thy life where thou hast begun to wonder, What is in store for me? There were more words spoken, but that is the gist of it. While that interpretation was coming, the black woman kneeling by his side raised her hands and started screaming, Yes, that is right, that is right. I sat there taking it all in, because that let me know, God knows everything. There are some things God can do that no man can manipulate. Before the family left, (They lived in another state) the man gave a testimony, how he was thankful to God, that God in his mercy spoke to him that morning and gave him another opportunity to surrender his Life to Him. As I look back through the years, periodically, here and there, there have been different things like that, that has stood out to me. That is why we titled this message, “A Healthy Body.” A healthy Church body, a church with everything in it, and everyone has learned how certain things should be done, and what they are for. You cannot manipulate it, if it is inspired by the Spirit of God. Denominational Pentecost has tried their best to copy what they have witnessed God doing and there have been various results. A lot of people have lived completely on enthusiasm, never realizing that sometimes enthusiasm is the wrong thing. Many times, when the Holy Spirit does something, it overrides your spirit altogether. It reminds me of the story I heard. This is supposed to have been a fact. We were in a meeting in Missouri many years ago: They told the story of how, in the back country, there was a little holiness church. On this particular night, there was a person stood up, spoke in tongues, and then gave this interpretation. Yea, I say unto thee, There is sin among you. How many times I have rebuked thee, and exhorted thee to put away this sin and you have not taken heed. Now I give you one more opportunity: If you do not take heed to my warning, I will go and bring the Father and the Holy Spirit, and together we will clean this place up. That was supposed to have been done, just as earnest and sincere as could have been. If you know the Bible, you do not have to have a special gift of discernment to discern what that manifestation was of: You could tell for a certainty, that it was a prefabricated thing concocted by an overzealous human vessel. I just use that to illustrate one of the things we have to learn in this walk of life, that we are mortal human beings, living down here with worldly surroundings. Our minds are subject to all kinds of pressures. It behooves us therefore, to keep our minds clear. When our minds are completely clear and at ease, and we can walk before God without letting ourselves be affected by sensational stories and things that take place, the day will come when you will see just how realistic the moving of God’s Spirit is, and you will be amazed at how God can use a little, seemingly insignificant person to accomplish something in His purpose. As I said earlier, There are many way healing is manifested. There are gifts of healing. There are certain ways the anointing works in a person for that. God does not give gifts of healing to everyone in the Church. I have seen individual people, heard their testimony of how God has been gracious to them. Sometimes they have a unique way of making intercessory prayer. Sometimes God will just lay upon their heart to go and pray for someone they have heard about that is deeply in need. When they go, through their type of prayer, the need is met. The healed person will then go their way. Hardly anybody is recognized as the source of what brought this about. When I look back on my own life, in the year I had the accident, as I said earlier, I was raised in the Methodist Church, and we knew nothing about divine healing. We were always taught that this type of ministry was only for the days of the apostles that walked with Jesus, and that God does not do things like that any more. Yet as a child, having seen how my father lay with tuberculosis, and how my mother said some nights she would go to sleep crying, worried about how she was going to take care of a sick husband and two small children, it really interested me to hear about a dream she had one night. As she told it, one night after she had cried herself to sleep, in a dream, she saw a storm cloud rising in the west. As it got right over her, it seemed like it split, and there stood the most beautiful, white cloud with a man, like a prophet, standing on it. He looked at her, pointed his finger and said, Don’t be afraid, everything will be alright. That is why I said, God knows exactly how and when to be merciful to certain people that do not know half of what you and I know. My mother raised us up during the full depression days and I will say this, We never went hungry. We always had a fried egg or something on the table. Our clothes did not always look like they just came from the department store. Some of my overalls had patches on them, but they were a lot better looking than some of what I see some people wearing in this day and hour. If I still had those overalls I wore during the depression days, I could have a yard sale and make a lot of money. They pay big money for clothes that look like that today, because it is a popular fad, to wear ragged clothing, shirts and trousers that are four or five sizes too large. Sloppiness is in. Well that is just a little testimony: Let me go on with the subject we are on.
A FEW WORDS OF TESTIMONY
I never have asked God to give me a healing ministry. I never have said, Lord: I want to be able to cast out devils. I want to see the sick healed and delivered. I have to say this, I am thankful for what God has done for me and for what He has allowed me to see. Just about every day, we receive mail from various places around the world. Through the years, we have saved letters from every continent on the face of this earth. Out of all the continents, Africa, the black people, pastor after pastor has written their letters thanking us, (me and the church) for the help they have received. Like, Bro. Jackson: Thank you for the things you have stood for and the things you have put out in print and on tapes.. You have given us something to stand for, I the face of all this false religion and ungodliness. I am thankful to the Lord also, because I could have been just as guilty as anyone else, but by the grace of God, He has preserved and kept us from going that other route. With this in mind let me say, As the years went on, finally God began to lead us out into other places. In August of 1969, we went into Canada, into the New Brunswick area. In the year of 1970, we went back to Canada, to Bro. Connally’s assembly in the St. John area. One morning he came and said to me, Bro. Jackson, I would like you to go with me. We are going to the veteran’s hospital to pray for a brother there. He is not expected to live. When we got to the room, the room he was in looked out over a cemetery off in the distance. We walked up to the beside of this man and I saw that he was just skin and bones. Bro. Connally knew him, so he introduced us. Bro. Connally asked him how he felt and he started crying and said, I am not going to be here much longer: I will be out there, and he pointed out the window toward that cemetery. They tell me I do not have much chance to live. After we talked a while, we both took his hand and just prayed, Lord, look upon this man, a soldier of WW2, show mercy and grace to him we do pray. We did not pray a long prayer. God does not require that, and I certainly did not feel any electrical current going through me or anything like I have heard of. We just prayed and went on our way. In a few weeks the man went home. He did not die as he had been made to believe. He soon started gaining his weight back, and the last time we were in Canada, about two years ago, he was till alive. He always tried to come to our services. It is a shame, the way things are sometimes. People who are brought up by certain religious traditions just simply refuse to depart from them. They believe a certain thing and do not want to be changed in any way, yet when they get to a point where they really need God for something, especially when they are sick and going to die, they will resort to any means whatsoever to get God to help them. I say that because that poor man went right back to his old dead church. When we go to Canada for meetings, he will be right there, but when we are gone, he goes straight back to that old dead system. Do not ask me why God does what He sometimes does. That is none of my business. He does not have to do anything in a case like that, so I just have to say, He is a merciful God. He has the right to do anything He sees fit to do: After all, He is the Healer. He is the Boss. I am very thankful to Him for everything I witness like that. I have another story I will relate to you at this time. The year Bro. Hiwale came here from India, he asked us to come to India a little later one. This was the year 1978: I had never been in a foreign place like that. We went inland a hundred and some miles from Bombay. They told us we were the first white people to come into that city for many, many years. They had a tent set up for the meetings. They had three services a day, morning, afternoon, and night. That first morning we went to the tent, I saw a man walking toward the tent on crutches. One foot was wrapped up in gauze and cloth. I did not know what his condition was: He just stood back at a distance, on the fringe of the crowd. The tent did not have chairs. The people sat on rugs. Throughout that day the man just stood in the background. Then the second morning when we went, the service was just starting when I saw him walk into view, but at some distance. Then he came and stood on the outside. There was a brick house with a front porch just across the lawn, and after a while he went over and sat down on that porch and listened from there. After the service that morning, we prayed for the people, dismissed, and were in the process of leaving the tent when a small child came to Bro. Hiwale and said something to him in their language. Bro. Hiwale said to me, See the man on the porch, he has sent word that he wants you to come over and pray for him. He had said, that if I really am a man of God, God will make him well, but if I am not, he does not want anything to do with any of it. That is a bold challenge. Nevertheless we went to the porch where he was. He explained to Bro. Hiwale what had happened. We sat on the porch beside him while he talked. After he talked about what happened to his foot and ankle, I said, Let us pray. Again I did not feel any great sensation surging through me. I just said, Lord, you know all about this condition, and you know what the man has said, so Lord, we commit his condition into your hands, for you to do whatever you see fit to do. After praying that simple prayer we left him, and he did not come back to the afternoon meeting, but that night he did come back, and his foot was not bandaged. He did not even have his crutches. Afterward that fellow was always around where we were. Not in our way, but always present wherever we were. He was the first one to be baptized at the baptismal service. I have to say, God knows what He is doing and why He does it. We ought not question Him about that. Many times, in foreign lands, where they are void of any expert medical profession, those people are just left to drift through life in a sick and weakened condition, depending completely on the mercy and grace of God. While we were in that meeting, on the last Sunday afternoon, an Indian preacher came and was asked to give his testimony.
GOD KNOWS WHERE WE ARE
I have never heard a testimony like the one this Indian preacher gave. He started out telling his age: He was a young man. There was a missionary that had come tot he area and set up a tent meeting. This young man went to one of the meetings and the power of God got hold of him and began to convict him and deal with his spirit, causing him to know that he needed to give his heart to the Lord. Every time he would come to the meeting, the Lord would get hold of him like that, but he would always leave before he was really confronted with surrendering. It came down to the last day. He slipped in and sat down among the men in the back area. The preacher was starting to preach: Then he stopped and said, there is a man in our midst, over here at my left, God is speaking to his heart. If that man does not get right, there will be some bad things happen to his wife. The preacher did not know the man and the man did not know the preacher personally. After a while the man got up and changed position. He went and sat in the back where the women were. He thought he was hiding from the preacher. The preacher just preached away, and all of a sudden he stopped preaching and said. Yes, that same man has now gone back to sit among the women. Then he went right back to preaching. The preacher was about to the end of his sermon, so the man thought, I am going to get out of the picture, so he slipped outside the tent and around the back, then came in and sat down I a chair behind the preacher. This is the part that made me laugh. He said the preacher was coming to the end of his sermon and suddenly stopped saying, There you are!! You will never hide from God. I have never heard another testimony like that in my life. That is just the way God works. A lot of people limit God. We just simply cannot categorize Him. You never know what in the world He will do. When you think you have everything figured out an assigned to a category. He just does something so contrary to your formula it completely dumbfounds you. He is God: He can do anything He purposes to do without getting permission from anyone. Well we come into the year 1980, as we remember these various things. That was the year we went back to India, but we landed first in Calcutta. It was late in the evening when we reached the hotel. After the night had set in, Bro. Hiwale and his wife had arrived and came to our room. Before we went to bed, Bro. Hiwale said, My wife’s sister and her husband have brought their little baby to have prayer for it. It has a kidney problem. They brought it to this meeting for you to pray for it. Then there is a kidney specialist here that they are going to take it to tomorrow. We went to their room. This was a small baby, maybe ten months to one year of age. The kidneys were not emptying, so the child was very sick. After I had been introduced to them, the mother held the child while I laid my hands on it. I just prayed the only way I knew how, Lord, this little baby needs your help. You know all about the problem. May you be merciful and gracious to this child and touch its condition. It was just a simple prayer. We then went to bed. When we got up the next morning, after we ate breakfast, we got ready to go out to the tent. The meeting did not start until around 11, so we had plenty of time. I was met by Bro. Hiwale and his wife, her sister and husband the little baby. Bro. Hiwale said, Bro. Jackson, you prayed for this little baby last night. They just got back from the specialist. The specialist said he could not find anything wrong with it this morning. Its kidneys acted during the night, and the fever is gone, so it is well. I cannot brag and boast and publish articles about these things. I just thank the Lord for what He has done. I do know there is a gift of faith, and I know it is not something one should brag about, but rather, just be thankful for whatever God sees fit to bestow upon us. When I look back through the years and think of how the Lord has directed me and my family, if I had known years ago, about some of the things that would come against me to try me, I would probably have been running the other way even yet. God started giving us our children very early in our married life, so somewhere around the time we met Bro. William Branham, I assumed that people who are going to believe in the supernatural way of life, ought not use doctors. Yet it seemed as though every time I tried to make myself refrain from going to doctors, my little baby would get so sick I would feel so sorry for it, so I would give in and take the baby to the doctor. A little bit of medicine, and in a day or two the little one was all right. I walked under condemnation for a long time because of that. I personally had not got acquainted with Bro. William Branham well enough to really know the inside part of his life then. I looked at this man as some kind of model, an example for me to pattern my life after. Time went on for quite a period, and then we started our little mission down in New Albany. There was a sister coming there, (She has passed on now.) That at that time God used many times with tongues and interpretation, as well as prophecy. Many times her prophecies came in a vision.
GOD NAMED OUR THIRD CHILD
When my wife was carrying Naomi, we never asked God to name a child for us, so I do not want anyone to think we have certain personal feelings toward our children in that respect. I do not look at those things like that myself. However my wife was carrying our third child. It was summer and I was combing grain, just finishing up, and it was getting late in the day. My father-in-law and neighbor were taking grain to the crib, so I finished the field and pulled up to the edge of the road, waiting for them to come back. I took my hat off, I was sweaty so I wiped my forehead and said, Lord, my crop is over, my harvest is done. Somehow I feel like yours is getting close to being over. Lord, will you just let me work a little bit in your harvest? Just a few days from then my wife was going to the hospital to be delivered of our child. This particular sister had said to me earlier, Bro. Jackson, I do not know how you feel about this, but I have a feeling that whenever this child has come, God might want to name it, I do not say it as a fact, but just call me, and if it is so, God will have spoken to me by that time. Well we were in the Corydon hospital, my wife was delivered of the baby, the nurses asked what the name was to be, and we said, We haven’t picked it out just yet. We will let you know later. I went downstairs to the telephone and called this sister. These are the words she said on the phone, Bro. Jackson, I just got up from the table where I was writing the prophecy. She asked, What is the child? I said, It is a little girl. She said, that is the way the prophecy goes. When you find this to be a fact, then you will know it to be truth. She said, Have you see the child yet? I said no. She said, when you see the child, you will find on the right shoulder blade a little birthmark. When you see that, you will know this prophecy is true, and Naomi Ruth shall be her name. (Naomi and Ruth came back into their land right at harvest time. Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth.) A few days later I got the prophecy she had written down. It was long. I still have it. It exhorted me in many ways. It said, I have seen how thou hast prayed earnestly for a son, the whole thing was in poetic form. Not yet my will be done. As you walk on with me, there will be a son come at last. In all that time, my wife and I never did take that prophecy to mean that this child was supposed to be made any more special to us than our other children. We love all our children. Naomi was born in 1955. In 1956 my wife become expectant again. I am saying these things because I want to stress a point. When she became expectant with this next child, I just assumed a boy was on its way. Little did I realize, that October in the year 1956 there was an epidemic of mumps that went through the school. I had never had the mumps. I still do not know how I came in contact with them. Not long after hearing about them, I began to feel sick. I thought I would be just as still as I could, because I had heard how, if a man tried to work, they would go down on him. I don’t believe I need to do a lot of explaining; you know what I am talking about. I stayed as quiet as I knew how, but one evening I began to get cold and shaky. I went to bed feeling very badly. I woke up in the night shaking. At that time our small town country doctors would make house calls in the country. My wife called the doctor and in just a little while he was there. He checked me out and said, Raymond, they have gone down on you, you will have to stay in bed. I am going to give you antibiotics to take and some pain pills. In all probability you will have a lot of pain. I will never forget the next words he said. You will never be able to father another child. Well, I never thought much about it at the time, but later, when our fourth girl came, it was like the ceiling had fallen. I cherished my daughter Lois, just as much as the other three, so I prayed, Lord, you know all about this: I do not know why this happened. For three weeks I laid in bed. Bro. Glenn brought Bro. William Branham down to visit one night. When Bro. William Branham got ready to leave, he took my hand and said, Bro. Jackson, don’t worry, this has all happened for a reason. I was not in shape at that time for some Pentecostal fellow to walk in and say, Now you know you should leave the doctors alone. The way I felt, I would have said, You get out of my house and never come back again. I felt that way. I just prayed, Lord, I do not understand. I know you spoke to me, so I do not know what all this is leading to. I finally recovered to the point that I was well. In April 1957, Lois was born. That year we went to Cuba on a missionary trip and took the entire family with us. I was there when Castro was in the mountains preparing to make his assault. We stayed there a month and did missionary work. God took care of us during that time. As I look back, I just have to thank Him. That is where we went for our first missionary trip and when I came home, I had come to one conclusion, God sure did not call me to be a missionary, to leave the country and go live somewhere else. He did let us go that way just for the experience, but that was all of it. Well 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960 passed, and I said to myself. It just looks like I have missed the boat completely; I am not called to be a missionary, there is no boy in our family, so I have missed it somewhere. As 1962, 1963 and 1964 passed and we still had no boy, it became very troubling. You would say after that long, is God’s word still true? If it is real, where is the promise? In the month of December 1964, I got a call one night. That was when little Edith Wright had passed away. She had always said to me, Bro. Jackson, when I pass away, I want you to preach my funeral. Back in earlier years Bro. William Branham lived in this area: Therefore I always felt like, if he was in this area when she passed on, he would preach the funeral, because they were such close friends. Bro. William Branham had moved to Arizona by then and he was off somewhere in a meeting, so here I am, faced with the funeral. I said, I will do my best. When I went back to bed, I had the dream I have told several times about the white horse.
THE HORSE DREAM
I have to say, as I look back on the era of time when I had the horse dream, God was beginning to change everything for my life and my calling. Our assembly was made up of just a small group of people back then. We were just endeavoring to walk in the leading of the Lord. Well when I saw ourselves in this dream, I knew we were going somewhere we had never been before, to be in a meeting. I had turned the driving over to my wife, and I was relaxing on the passenger side. (We even had some characters say, Well you can see who runs the Jackson house now), because my wife was driving. My wife has never run the house the way they meant it. She does the washing, the cooking, the cleaning and all the other things that go with being a housewife. Many times she has dropped everything she was doing, to run and get me some part for my machinery, but she has never been the kind of wife that felt she had to make all the decisions. I do thank the Lord for her and for the way she has stood by me through the years. I just let those characters talk. They do not bother me the least bit. By the grace of God I have outlived a lot of them that thought they had all the answers. Well as the dream went on, after a while I noticed a little speck in the sky. At the distance, it was no larger than a fly. As it got closer I thought, this is strange. It is a man on a horse. I thought to myself, I must be seeing things, so I turned my head away. Then I looked back and it was real close and was coming down toward the earth right in front of us. That is when I said to my wife. Pull over. She pulled off the road and stopped, and by the time she got stopped, the man on the horse was sitting on the horse just a few feet in front of us, and he is turned in the saddle, pointing his finger at me and said, You, get ready, there is a job for you to do. He raised his hand and said, prepare yourself for the calling whereunto you have been called. He raised his finger the third time and said, And if you believe these words, a powerful horse will be given to you to carry you in the calling. With that, he touched the reins and the horse started off back into the sky. I watched him as he got higher and higher, and he was still on a westward course. I watched him until he went completely out of sight. When I looked back where his horse had stood, there stood another horse just like this, only it was a smaller horse, saddled and bridled. I said to my wife, Honey, I am going to get out and try him out. I walked over to him and the stirrups were adjusted just right. I stepped up in the saddle, touched the right rein and he took off into a short lope and began to climb. He was headed eastward. As he began to climb, I looked down at his head, and his ears were laid back and he was really reaching out. It seemed like every stride, he got faster and was climbing higher. The thought came to me, there is no end to where this little fellow will take me, but I am only trying him out. I have to go back now. I touched the left rein and he turned and brought me right back. I got off and got in the car. When I shut the car door, I woke up, wide awake. I told that dream to Bro. William Branham on August 1, 1965. This is what leads up to the dream about the boy. I told that dream on Sunday morning August 1, 1965. In just a few weeks, my wife became expectant with another child. Let me say at this point, so you are one of those old Pentecostal people that always say, Oh, let’s not mess with doctors. The Lord is our healer. It was a doctor that tested me and told me I would never be able to father another child. Nevertheless nine years later, I am going to be a daddy again. It was in the fall of that year, I was in North Carolina in a meeting. I saw myself at home, my wife had gone to the hospital and given birth to this little boy, and then I saw her at home giving him a bath. I knew I was going to have a boy after all. That was in October 1965, and in April 1966, he was born. There are a lot of things in the Bible that people have assumed, but there are some things this way, when you get everything all figured up the way you think it ought to be, God will do something else and tear your testimony all to pieces. I know a lot of people have been raised in years gone by, never to trust doctors, Don’t do this or that, but I just have to be thankful for doctors myself. I know the Lord is the healer, but doctors still have a place in our society. Also, let us not forget what Paul wrote in 1st Timothy 5:23, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” That is not promoting the drinking of wine, but it does make good common sense, because when you do a lot of traveling as Paul and Timothy were doing, you many times are in places where their water carries bacteria your stomach is not accustomed to. I have read all about this condition. Therefore just a little sip of water in a strange place can throw your stomach out of balance and cause a lot of trouble. Therefore when Paul said this to Timothy, he knew exactly what he was saying. I will not tell you to drink a little wine for your upset stomach, but I will say this, we have traveled quite a lot through the last twenty some years, gone into Egypt, India and other places where drinking their water could cause a problem, so we have learned how to protect ourselves. In some parts of the world, they still have a problem with cholera. Every once in a while, they warn American tourists going anywhere in the Middle East. It would do you well to get a cholera shot. On this particular year when we knew we would be going into Egypt, we got the cholera shot. Some may say, What is cholera? People that raise hogs have a problem with it. It is something that goes wrong in the stomach, and when it hits people, they have a high fever and go into a dysentery problem. Lots of times the body just breaks down. Well, I have read this and it sounds like common sense to me. Because of that, we have made it a habit when going into a place like the Philippines, Egypt, India and those places, leave their water alone. Try to stay with something like carbonated drinks, things like that. We must remember though, in the day of Paul, they did not have carbonated water, so Paul was going to use the next best thing. It all adds up to this. There are a few practical things God put here on this earth to be like a medical help to you, but if you want to do without them, that is your business. Just refrain yourself from teaching your ideas as a doctrine everyone else should be bound by. I have seen too many people going through life, trying this, trying that. If you are sure God told you never to take an aspirin or anything. I guarantee you, you will never have to. You will never have to worry about anything like that. I let people make their own decision about those things. What I want you to know, is that these are some of the ways God has led me as a man desiring to follow His leading. I do not use my life as an example for others to be expected to follow, concerning those personal convictions. No. He can lead the next person the way He wants to. That is why there are different ways that He has designed, to lead His people and bring them into a final state of perfection, but in it all, we are all to be molded and fashioned in the image and likeness of Christ Jesus our Lord. I apologize for dwelling so much on my own experiences: Please forgive me, I am just desiring to give you some common sense examples of how to understand certain scriptures without being bound by doubt and fear. I really want to take each of these gifts of the Spirit and try to bring out the proper use of each one without laying down a law for everyone to be bound by. Each gift has a practical, realistic purpose. If God saw enough genuineness about us a few years back, to send the moving of the Spirit like He did, and give teenagers, and little children, as well as some of the older ones, a taste of His Spirit, I just have to feel like there is another wave of something like it in the making. When He does bring the next wave, He is going to do it this time to finish up and wrap up the entire package. By that time, we will have grown to the point, that with the fresh anointing we are really going to begin to characterize Christ. We are going to be a people that the outside world will begin to hear something about and become very interested in. Somewhere down the way, they are going to begin to take notice of the fact that we are not like the rest of the religious world. I believe God will show Himself in a power demonstration in some respects, that it will even dumbfound a lot of the critics. It may also surprise you and me, because He is a God just like that, a God that can always do something different than what He has done in our midst before, and do it without being different Himself. He is always the same. His standards never change. That is why I say, I do not claim to know everything, but for what He has allowed me to learn through experiences in life, I am very thankful. I pray that I can apply it in a practical way of understanding, because I never want anyone to feel that I am standing before them to oppress them, to rule them, and dictate terms to them that they must follow. The Spirit of God Himself, is the ONE that brings conviction upon us and leads us to go a certain way, but He will never lead you to go contrary to His written word. This Bible was written by holy men of old, men that were inspired and led by the Spirit of the God they served. To me, when the body is healthy, it begins to exist in a state where it needs nothing. When it gets to that place, it is time for us to leave here; and I do not believe we will have to wait another ten years for it to take place. This world is very fast shaping up exactly like the scriptures tell us it will, just before the coming of the Lord.