WE HAVE READ MUCH ABOUT BEING PERFECT AND ABOUT PERFECTION ITSELF, BUT VERY LITTLE ABOUT WHAT PERFECTION REALLY IS IN THE EYES OF GOD. THAT IS WHY I FEEL THAT WE SHOULD TAKE SOME TIME TO DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT, SO I PRAY THAT GOD WILL HELP ME AS I GO INTO THE SUBJECT OF PERFECTION; AND ALLOW US TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT HE CALLS PERFECTION.
This is a very familiar passage of scripture we are going to start with, but I have heard some negative reports as to what some people think it pertains to. These reports come from an element of people that are supposed to be believers in fellowship with us, so let us see what the scriptures say on the subject. Open your Bibles with me, to Ephesians 4:7. I am going to read it very slowly, because each one of these words have a specific thought attached that is of utmost importance to believers of this hour of time. “But unto every one of us is given grace (notice the word grace,) according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (That word, measure, is a very important word.) Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” If I had some glasses here, I could illustrate my point, but I do not, so I will try to illustrate by thought to portray it to you. When we receive the Holy Ghost, (Keep in mind.) you receive every potential of what the Holy Spirit is. One way to look at this, It is not the potential one receives that makes the difference when we receive the Spirit of God, it is the measure of it that you received that makes the difference one to another. How many catch the point? It is true, every one that has the Holy Spirit has the potential of the very same thing that the greatest man that ever lived has in him, but that does not mean that because we have the same potential, we each one are going to be equal to the other, because that is not determined by the potential that is in the Spirit we receive: It is determined by the measure of what we receive. It is not that someone was sitting somewhere saying, Well, let us give this person so much, and that one so much. No. It is God Himself that does the distributing. You can ask a lot of people in the church world, What is perfection? Their reply might be, Well as long as we get our doctrine straightened out, that is what perfection really is. My brothers and sisters, hear me; the final analysis of perfection goes far beyond the doctrines that are taught. The doctrines that we uphold and embrace are the framework around which our faith is built, but our faith determines how the life we live from that point is expressed in the realm of our fellowship one with another. This is why it is important that we understand the parable about the talents. We could say this, When God distributes His grace to some, as the parable brings out, some a hundred fold, some sixty, and some thirty fold, that tells me also, that God is not going to give less to a hundred fold Christian. He is not going to give a small measure to that person. He is going to give the measure according to whatever else this person has the capabilities of living up to. The talents, the measure, all these things have to work in cooperation with each other. It is God who does the distributing. With this in mind, we want to get to the main text. Since the title of my thought today is, “What is Perfection?” I ask you also, Is it something you see in one way? No. In another way, yes. It does not change your complexion, or the color of your hair, but it does have an awful lot to do with your inner being. Right there, is what the Lord is working on. Here is a definition of perfection, It is the process of bringing an object or thing to a required state, or likeness. In the sense of a person, obtaining the desired quality or the embodiment of attributes. We know this, It strictly has to be something that has an affect on the entire body of Christ. No one person can live the full potential of Jesus Himself. We are supposed to live Christlike in our daily life, but the total effect is determined by, and depends upon the measure of the grace of God that He has gave to us as individuals. We are to do our utmost to pray, and to ask God to have complete control of our inner being, but even then the outcome is still determined by how well are we able to yield our total makeup to the Spirit of God under all circumstances. Then when we look at this from the collective standpoint, (the entire body of Christ, which is the Church) the Church is eventually going to be a complete embodiment of all the characteristics of Jesus Christ. He was the embodiment of all the attributes of God and He imparted all that He was, into the Church. When we say all the attributes of Jesus Christ, it has nothing to do with how He combed His hair or the color of His eyes. It has nothing to do with any physical resemblance or anything like that, but only with the quality of the spiritual person that He was and the life He lived, doing only what pleased the Father. The way He lived, walked, and conducted Himself before the human race, is what He imparted to us the ability to conform to. Actually, His life and conduct was what our heavenly Father gave us as our example to look to and to measure ourselves by. Even though He was God’s example for all of us, we are not expected to attain unto it instantly, but strive daily to grow into that image. We read one passage of scripture about Jesus and get one thought, but then we go read another one, written by another disciple about Him, and we can easily get another thought. Therefore our point is, Jesus, in His entire life lived here on earth, lived in the manner God ordained to be the image all of us should look to for example ship. In our athletic minded world today, think how many young men want to be like famous football players, basketball players, or others of those who are the role models they look to. However that certain athlete conducts himself, whatever he does in playing the game especially, others will try their best to pattern their own lives after him, or her, which ever the case may be. The same is true for both male and female. In one sense of the word, that is what we are trying our best to do, to pattern after Jesus Christ. This perfection, when we can begin to realize what it is, is not something that one person obtains and the rest do not. Some will say, That don’t apply to me. It does apply to you. Every person that is in the body of Christ, it applies to them. It matters not how smart you may be, this perfection absolutely applies to you also. When we begin to become set in our ways, and do not want to change our own mind about anything, and at the same time begin to look upon everyone else and think, They need to change this and change that, God might finally say to you, Why don’t you stop acting like that? You act like everyone is supposed to change and be like you. Saints: Not everyone is supposed to be like you or me. Furthermore, if I am doing the best I know to do, and somewhere along the road I miss a point, I pray that God, (and I know that He will) bring it to my attention; so I will know I did that wrong, or I said that wrong. As for myself, I want to be sensitive enough to allow the grace of God to mold in me the kind of character Jesus portrayed for all of us. In all of this, we are eventually going to get to the most important thing, but you have to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit in order to do that. It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that puts you in the body of Christ in the first place. Once you are in the body of Christ, then there is the potential for any attribute of Christ to manifest in you, but not that you are going to be this or that, because you are not the one that does the choosing: He does the choosing. He gives you the measure of grace, which is sufficient to start you on the way. The Church is to eventually become the embodiment of all that Jesus Christ is to humanity. My point is, you are going to watch how God begins to do this thing, because over the world there is every and all kinds of preachers preaching things that are not entirely according to a true revelation.
- 1 ANOTHER TRAIL LEADING TO FALSE DOCTRINE
- 2 THE MARK OF A TRUE MINISTRY
- 3 HOLDING TO A TRUE REVELATION
- 4 GOD HAS VARIOUS WAYS OF LEADING US
- 5 SCRIPTURAL EXPERIENCES
- 6 WHAT ABOUT DREAMS AND VISIONS?
- 7 A PERSONAL TESTIMONY
- 8 GOD ALLOWED DUAL STATEMENTS IN THIS END TIME
- 9 GOD STILL GIVES DREAMS AND VISIONS
- 10 HOW WE SHOULD LOOK AT CERTAIN THINGS
ANOTHER TRAIL LEADING TO FALSE DOCTRINE
I just received a package of books yesterday; and after I looked at those books, I wanted to sit down and cry. I just thought, In the 36 years since Bro. William Branham’s death, and after God having left the man’s message here in this earth for our benefit, many of these supposed-to-be educated preachers, as well as other educated people in every nation, have turned the whole thing into an almost intolerable mess. The things they have said that Bro. William Branham said, and the way they put it all together, just makes a right thinking person very ill. The kind of picture they build things into, especially in all these books, would give one very little hope. I noticed this also, An element of these pastors that get together and hold their meetings, have named their churches after certain things they find in Bro. William Branham’s messages. I thought to myself, This is so ridiculous. They are even writing songs today, using certain things they get from his sermons. What is so bad about that, is the interpretation they put on so many things they use. The really sad part is, You either agree with them or you are not in the message. (Their words, not mine) I have a letter here that I just received from a man in India. This man, at the beginning of his letter thanked me, saying, Bro. Jackson: I want to thank you for The Contender. He tells me what a certain man is now preaching in India, even after he had given this brother multiple numbers of Contenders. In his letter this man says to me, Bro. Jackson, it is the way you have presented it, that I can now see everything that Bro. William Branham has said in a proper light. You have explained the purpose of God allowing the dual statements, and what it means. You have also given every major thing Bro. William Branham taught, a place in the Bible, which we all know is essential to our proper growth. You have given me something to stand on. Saints: I am always thankful to God when we are able to help someone get free from the bondage of those who pervert Bro. William Branham’s messages.The same man who had given this man multiple copies of the Contender, is now preaching that the seventh seal was broken in 1963. Here is the revelation of it: It was how Jesus Christ came down in 1963 and embodied himself in the person of William Branham, to peach the other six seals. That false interpretation of a work of God is going all over India. I just thought to myself, How much worse does this picture have to get? I thought, How blind can supposed-to-be believers really be? The books I received yesterday, I just looked over them to get the jest of what they were like: They have picked out the things that others are preaching, which are all wrong, so they take another quote from Bro. William Branham’s message to rebuke that. On and on they go, with nothing that is going to help anyone. I read in there also that a certain preacher is claiming to be “riding that trail one more time,” because he has taken over where William Branham left off and is fulfilling the third pull. There is no way in the world that man could have ever known William Branham. Others are saying they have the capstone ministry. I remember when Bro. William Branham talked about the capstone. Another is referred to as the great leader and general over several churches. They go down the road of life with quotes, quotes, quotes. They are saying what the thunders are not. How is that going to help anyone, if they do not present a picture for people to look at? This all just a lot of confusing nonsense; which makes one wonder, Where in the name of common sense is it going to stop? The reality is, there is no place for perfection in any of it. It is just taking advantage of an element of people they have been able to brainwash into one particular thought; and leading them blindly down a dead end road. That same bunch of people will turn right around and look down upon another element that does not believe like they do. I am not going to look down upon anyone else just because they do not believe like us. I have to say this, What we are, no matter how much truth we have, is all by the grace and mercy of God. God has given us an understanding of something that is real. If it were not for the grace of God that has been with us through these years, we would be scattered to the four winds of heaven after some of the carnal ideas we have been hit in the face with through those years, just whatever fit the fancy of those who desired to be something to be looked up to. God has men over the face of this earth, that desire to present a picture of truth, but it seems that Satan always runs ahead of what is right, presenting the perverted version to an element of people that are not established in the word and principles of God to be able to recognize the false when they hear it. It is a sad picture, but even that fulfills part of the word of God.
THE MARK OF A TRUE MINISTRY
Well Saints, I now want to read the rest of this, dealing with what perfection involves, and then I am going to bring it back to how we must begin to look at ourselves, and how God deals with every individual believer that looks to Him. We hear of all these who are claiming to be preachers called of God, yet I never hear any of them mention anything that would vindicate their ministry. It is one thing to go everywhere claiming to know so much, but it is quite a different thing to have the Spirit of God vindicate your ministry. The apostle Paul did not have to shun the mention of what he was called of God to do, because God vindicated his ministry in every area he went into. When he wrote to the Corinthian Assembly he did not hesitate to speak of his calling, because the truth he preached was always vindicated. Where is this vindication of all these who are running the road in this hour of time, claiming to have such outstanding ministries? (2 Tim 1:11) “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” Who could deny that? (2 Cor 12:12) “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” I just thought to myself as I read the letter I just mentioned, Why do these “supposed-to-be great preachers” not come out with something that God will vindicate, if they are who they claim to be? According to the Bible, if a man claims to be an apostle, and another man claims to be a prophet, and another man claims to be a pastor or teacher or whatever, if they really are called of God to be that, sooner or later those individuals are all going to believe the same. They are not going to teach a bunch of nonsense. They are going to see each other as what God has called them to be; and they will have respect for the purpose of God in each ministry. On the other hand, as long as you have a bunch of individuals going down the road, each one doing and saying things his own way, he may claim to be this or that, but if somewhere down the road his teaching does not begin to link up with that of others and bring about a consistency that is working toward the same purpose, and bring it back to the Bible, rather than just present quotes, quotes, quotes, that ministry is inspired by the wrong spirit. God has not called anyone to do that. The scripture below, shows how God looks at things, and how those whom He calls will conduct themselves. (Isa 52:7) “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isa 52:8) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.” I know what the quotes are, but one thing is sure, Some of the quotes you cannot even find scripture for, because God just allowed the man to say those things to throw a bunch of carnal minds off the trail and cast them by the wayside. As we go on, let us read a little further in the scriptures. (Eph. 4:12) “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Eph 4:13) 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.” These five offices are not staffed with men coming down the road of life with haloes around their heads. They are ordinary men who have been saved by the grace of God. Every person that is going to be perfected in God’s plan, is first a sinner saved by the grace of God. He might have been brought through different church systems. He may have even been brought right out of the world into this belief of truth. That does not matter: God knows who He is saving because He still runs things according to His predestinated plan and purpose. The first and most important, or number one thing is, God has to have a ministry. There can be a million people running over the world, screaming everything from who knows what, but within all that there is an element of men that know they have been called of God for a specific ministry. They have been filled with the Holy Spirit to start them down the road God had ordained them to walk in. God has dealt with them and schooled them by trials and tests, circumstances that many times would almost drive you insane, but in these instances worked to prepare chosen vessels to face opposition. When God is finished schooling His chosen vessels, somewhere, those individuals are going to be looking and asking, Where is that other part of this ministry? He cannot see just himself fulfilling the entire thing, because he sees in the scriptures, other men that are all working in harmony to obtain a purpose of God. Let me illustrate this like a mechanical object. Let us go to one of the Ford Motor Company’s assembly plants and observe the assembly process. No one person puts that vehicle together. Certain things within that makeup have been designed by certain artists. They know how a carburetor is to function, so they specialize in that. Others specialize on the transmission to be used. Every gear in it has to have a certain ratio. It has to work perfectly with all the others. If the wrong gear is put in somewhere, those vehicles are heading for a bad problem. They will not function according to specifications in the meanwhile. Everything has to function according to well prepared plans in order to reach its intended potential. When they put the motor in the frame, that frame was built to house the body of the car, they do not put just any old motor in it, and they do not put just any old transmission in it. Everything has to be designed for that particular type of car. That is why all those people on that assembly line are stationed at precise points, so they can install the proper part at the proper time. It is their job to recognize what is coming down the assembly line and work accordingly. They have a certain amount of time to put their part in there. They have been trained to do that particular job, so that is what they apply their mind and energy toward. That is why that assembly line hardly ever stops, and just keeps slowly moving along, because all are attending to their own job. The very minute something is put in the wrong place it sets the stage for a problem, and after awhile you have a back up. Having nothing but catastrophe ahead, requires a shut down. What went wrong? God is not going to start putting this final plan together until He has enough faithful men standing at their post of duty or calling; and He knows exactly who He has called and when they will be ready for service. It does not matter how many preachers are out here, or what we might say about them as individuals, Oh, but he is a nice man. Sure he is. To some young women he is handsome, and oh I love his voice. It is just his looks, more than the revelation he has, that causes some to be drawn to him. We have people everywhere, that live like that. They will follow the man and most of the time will hardly pay any attention to what he has to say, just because they like his person. They like the way he combs his hair, the way he speaks, or because of the fact that he is always so friendly, a good mixer in every situation. Is that how God expects us to make decisions that affect our spiritual well being? Definitely not! That kind of presentation does not give the true Church what she needs for her perfecting process. The men God calls to fill the ranks of this five fold ministry to the bride Church, will have to have an understanding of what the Church is to attain unto. They have to be able to see the Church the way God wants it to be. That does not come necessarily through college degrees and high education; even though an education like that could be helpful if used properly. The revelation such a ministry will have, definitely will not come to them through the avenue of sophisticated learning and coveted degrees. It is how God schools the mind of that spiritual man He has called, that enables him to fulfill one of these ministries. Sometimes his schooling is a long process. Sometimes he goes through a lot of knocks, bangs and heartaches. Many times it looks like everything he sets out to do is a failure. Many times God allows failures to come along our way to let us know that in the end, when we do reach that potential, the place where we are to function in the way He wants us to, we will know for sure that we are not putting the plan together: We are just blessed in being a vessel God is using as He allows us to express the things He has put in our lives. Therefore perfection is a gradual process, and definitely not something you get at an altar of prayer in one night. You could come up here and kneel down and say, Bro. Jackson, I want to be saved; and then get baptized, but that is not the qualification for the five fold ministry: That is just the beginning of your walk with God. From then on, the kind of Christian you are going to become depends upon your willingness to let God lead you and school you and cultivate in you something He can use. Too many people through years gone by, especially in the Methodist church system, just went in and sat down and decided they wanted to be a Christian. They did not know anything else other than that, and through all of that they only learn how to be a Methodist. That is all that is on their mind. You who continue on, are going to find out before this is all over, that it is not how good a Baptist, Methodist or whatever else you might have been, that makes the difference between church membership and true Christianity: It is how hungry you have been for the things of God, that really count. Did you just get baptized or sprinkled in the church system you are in? Now you want to be a good church member, you want to pay your tithes, be sociable, participate in all the church functions, but how much do you know about the plan of God? You can do all those things and still not be a Christian, and many or most of the time the things you hear preached in their pulpits have no revelation in them. I saw some of it on TV this morning. I thought, There are thousands in church today, and the singing can be ever so beautiful, but when that preacher gets up there, the way he brings his message, about all you can say when he is finished, Well he did mention Jesus as being the Savior, but he did not indulge in any plan, or what God’s purpose is in your life is. He more or less turns it all into business; and big business men were sitting there just eating it all up. When we come back to the apostle Paul we read, Have you noticed in your calling, that not many wise men, not many noble men are called: It is the down to earth, humble, simple minded people that are most likely to take God at His word. They do not think of themselves as being anything so great. That does not mean a doctor cannot be saved, but he cannot bring that medical degree with him and expect God to give him any special privileges because of it. He has to come the same way as the man that picks up garbage on the street. This thing of perfection is a gradual process: It cannot be attained suddenly. I will say this, There never would have been an era of time in our lives wherein God would deal with us on the basis of perfection while we were still in the Methodist, the Baptist, the Presbyterian, the Pentecostal, or this or that kind of system. Yet there was a time in years gone by, before God ever sent a messenger to this Laodicean Age, that He saved people in all those systems. God knew, according to the authority of His Word, He was not going to come one day and take His Church out of that mess, because it was not that kind of church that the bride of Christ would be found in. The Apostolic Church born on the day of Pentecost, and revealed to us in the book of Acts, was not made up of an element of people who had their own ideas about what the Church should be like. It was not an element of people that had something to sell: It was an element of people who were hungry for something real from God. This perfecting quality is going to definitely be found in an element of people who love truth, and it will be climaxed with a move of the Spirit of God, but in order for it to come about there has to be men that have a vision of the body of Christ. They have to see the body as much as they see themselves in whatever part they feel God wants them to have in the process. They also have to see that there are other men in various places on the earth, that God has called for the same overall reason, and be willing to see eye to eye and work cooperatively with. Lord I know they are somewhere, and Lord, I am ready to do my part, but I just ask that you help me fulfill the ministry you have called me to. Such men as God has called to fill these offices, will always preach with the awareness, Lord, I know I cannot perfect your Church by myself, but I will do my best in whatever you give me to do; and I will not hold back in preaching truth. I know because of your written word, that you have these unique callings upon chosen men of this generation; And I know you are going to bring them through a lot of knocks, bangs, trials and tests as they go about their daily activities, but according to your word, (Rom 8:28) “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose,” so Lord, my confidence is in you. Yes saints, no matter what we think, unless we are led by Him, we are not doing Him a service. People get all taken up with many seemingly good works, and as far as humanity itself is concerned they can be very beneficial to human flesh, but many times those good works are just Satan’s way of distracting you and getting you away from your true calling. I will say also, Many times a preacher that is really going to be used of God to be beneficial to the Church body collectively, will get started on something that seems like a good idea and all of a sudden it just seems like it all falls to pieces. Such a man can become discouraged and think, What is the use? but something keeps urging him, Go on, and in the proper time his efforts pay off. First, that man has to get to the place he will let none of these negative things that are thrown at him, keep him from pressing on. When we look at the apostles of old, and the other disciples as well, they could not live on the sensation of “Hallelujah” all the time. They were liable to wake up in the middle of the night with a knock on the door, and there stood soldiers ready to take the whole family to jail. I wonder how that would feel? I am thankful we have been born and raised in a country where we do not have to expect a thing like that every moment; at least not yet. With this in mind, that this ministry is for the perfecting of the saints, then be assured that God will first work on, and in the ministry, which literally means we have to expect the Spirit of God to work with the preacher, on the preacher, and in the preacher, before that preacher can fulfill his calling. As God does that, then we must realize it is what God does with the preacher, in the preacher, and about the preacher, that helps prepare him to fulfill this ministry which is going to accomplish this thing of reaching out and helping others of the body of Christ to reach this perfected point. Then, there is the edifying of the body of Christ, (For how long? Is there a time limit? No. Time is in God Himself. The scripture says,) (Eph 4:13) “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.” Unity is a condition where everything works harmoniously. You see in the world today, what has gone on for the last thirty some years in the midst of the charismatic church world. They finally came to the conclusion, If you want the blessings of God in your life, you simply forget all about the doctrines of the scriptures, because they cause division among the people. That has been said by many of them through the years. They do not even preach doctrine in most of your charismatic assemblies. Some have gone so far as to say, We do not care how you are baptized: we will baptize you any way you want to be baptized. What a loose way to try and present the Word of God! How in the name of common sense can anyone expect unity to come out of an attitude like that? You cannot get by with anything like that in assembling an automobile engine: you cannot take just any old part and throw it into a position to work harmoniously with all the other parts. If you are going to say it does not matter what size piston it is, just as long as it is a piston, Well, just try that and see how far you get. The piston you try to fit in there might be three and one quarter, but the hole where you are trying to put it is only bored at two and seven eights. It simply will not fit. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, (working harmoniously) and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” That means we will stop saying, Jesus was God. No, He absolutely was NOT GOD: He was, and still is the Son of God. Others still want to say, No, He is the second person of the trinity. What trinity? You will not find anything like that in the Bible. What a picture some try to present! How can you put together anything that resembles unity when you have three different kinds of thought about the main object? Where there is a difference of belief or opinion, only one can be right. You could all be wrong, but one thing is sure, You cannot all be right. There is no perfection ever going to come out of a mess like that. When the scripture says, “There is (Eph 4:5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” that is exactly what it means: God is NOT three persons. The only person of the Godhead is Jesus and I will say again, He IS NOT God: He is the only begotten Son of God, endowed with all the attributes of His Father, that He be able to reveal the Father to those who are true believers of the word of God. God can only be seen through eyes of faith, as He is revealed by His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ.
HOLDING TO A TRUE REVELATION
I get many letters thanking me for the way we have explained the godhead. I get others saying, Bro. Jackson, I don’t understand why you say that Jesus was a person. Then another says, I don’t understand why you say God is not a person. I say that because He is a Spirit and not a person. He has no physical form that you can see. I know how the King James translation of the Bible words it, that causes a lot of people to believe God is a person, but I also know (John 1:18) says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” Then you have (John 4:24) which says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth,” and those two verses harmonize with all the other scriptures that let us know God the Creator is a sovereign Spirit; and not a person. The English word person, refers to an object you can see. If you will look in your dictionary, at the definition for person, It plainly states that a person is a living human being. Is that what you want the guardian of your soul to be, a living human being? I doubt that any of you would. Just think about what you have believed by tradition and see if it lines up with the testimony of the written scriptures. Right there in the scriptures, is where every revelation must originate. Revelation to us, is when the Spirit of God opens up that which has been hidden in His word for centuries of time. How many understand that? In the Hebrew and Aramaic, He is a being. He is a Spirit, and He is a Spirit you have never seen and cannot see. He has projected Himself through angelic beings or put Himself in a manifestation of a theophany body, which in every case is only temporary; and allowed that form to be seen, but that form was not, and is not God. It is not His eternal abode. When we say that God is a Spirit, and a being, it means He is the fountain of all life. If John said, No man has seen Him at any time, and that He which is in the bosom of the Father, ( Jesus) hath declared Him, or revealed Him, that is good enough for me. It took all those qualities that God bestowed upon Jesus, in order that they could become materialized and manifested in and through His corporal, physical body to demonstrate to man what God really is. Therefore as we go further in this, I will say, In this period of time that God will use to bring His Church to perfection, I do not like to leave the thought that I am saying it is going to boil down until you are not going to have millions on this planet. I do not think there is going to be multiplied thousands upon thousands of people in the Bride though, like you now hear out here in the denominational religious picture. I do not think the Bride will be literally thousands and thousands over the face of the earth. Nevertheless as we get back to the men of the five fold ministry, I am positive every man is going to be dealt with by the Spirit of God, so that certain things are going to be manifested in his ministry and through his life, which will display the power of God in the objective and purpose God wants to display. That is why the Bible says these signs shall follow them that believe. We know there are nine gifts of the Spirit: Paul taught this in 1st Corinthians, chapters 12 and 13. Then when you come to the fruit of the Spirit, there is also nine mentioned. A little bit of each one of them, we are going to measure up to. Not that we are going to be all that is incorporated in our potential, but we are going to have that certain capacity to measure up to all of this. We had something take place a few days back: when some e-mails came in about this subject: That is what started me looking at this picture and this situation as pertaining to the bride Church. I am going to take it slowly and say some things that will no doubt get next to some people. It will have to, because of the way things are. I want to say to the young people, Please listen carefully, how I say this. I want every young person in here, to know within their own heart just exactly where they stand with the Lord. I am not looking into your heart, to see if I think you have what you profess to have: You have to know that yourself. That has to be a finished experience in your life. That true experience is what puts you in the body of Christ. For too long, people have just assumed that the minute they received the Holy Ghost, bingo, now I can go. It does not work that way. It never has. It is sad many times, especially in real young people, the minute the Holy Ghost gets on them, they are drunk, slain on the floor, they are speaking in tongues and prophesying, but that is not perfection. It is a wonderful sensation and a wonderful experience, but does not qualify you for anything as far as a ministry. Listen carefully, how I say this. You might immediately get the idea, I am going to be something big. Do not be deceived, because you do not know at that point whether you will or will not. You do not know what you are going to be until after the Lord gets through dealing with you in your life. Many times you may say, Oh, I had a dream last night, and it was wonderful. Maybe you did have a dream that was of the Lord, but be careful: The enemy also gives dreams, as well as the fact we have certain dreams because of prior thoughts and experiences. Bro. Jackson: Surely you are not saying God would let something happen to me that is bad. I will just say, We have thousands of people over the earth today that think like that. You cannot talk to them; because they are so set in their own ideas. That is why I say, I am going to go slow. I want every young person under the sound of my voice to take heed to this: Whenever God starts a work in your life, I want you to be patient first of all, and in your patience cultivate some wisdom and learn beyond any shadow of doubt, what God is doing in your life, before you start trying to do anything for Him. But Bro. Jackson, some have even seen angels, and they were talking to them. Brothers and Sisters: Did it ever occur to you that Jesus Christ Himself is the pattern and model for all of us? Isn’t that what the Bible says? In Isaiah 40:3-5, speaking of the voice crying in the wilderness, how that in the day when that voice appears on the scene, He is to be the forerunner of the Jewish Messiah, And how this forerunner, (which was John the Baptist) will break the good news to the nation of Israel. As he appears on the scene, he will begin to say repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. God is getting ready to change the order of events. The multitude began to go out and hear him, but in the background was another man by the name of Jesus of Nazareth. There are a few people in the background that know He had an unusual birth. They knew who His father and mother were supposed to be. They grew up next to Him. They always saw Him as a good boy. That boy grew into manhood without ever performing any miracles, and without ever preaching a sermon. However in the temple that day, He confounded the wise men and the elders with what He knew. This tells me, that even though this young man growing up, knew who He was and what lay before Him, He waited for the proper time. He had a potential to fulfill, but there was a certain way He was going to make His introduction to the people. Nobody had to tell him when and how. When He was about thirty years of age, He was baptized by John in the river Jordan. Read the last verses of the 3rd chapter of Matthew; and see how Jesus makes His appearance. As He came walking down the bank into the river to meet John face to face, John looked up and said, Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. John was already the recognized voice. Imagine this multitude of people on the bank, hearing these two men talking face to face. You can read the words of those last two verses and know what was said. Finally Jesus said to John, Suffer it to be so, that we might fulfill all matters of righteousness. He, who was the voice, John, took Him (Jesus, the Christ) and baptized Him in the Jordan River. There was a crowd of people on the river bank watching and listening. As John lifts Him out of the water, a phenomena from heaven took place. Immediately heaven was opened unto Him. Here came the Holy Ghost in the image of a dove, coming down and resting upon Him, and a voice spake, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” The multitude saw that. How do you know? Because it says in the 5th and 6th verses of Isaiah 40, that as this voice would come on the scene preaching, that His glory shall be revealed and all eyes shall behold it. What a display of God’s power for an element of Jews that had been stuck back in their religious ideas for so long. Here stood a man to announce a new dispensation. As Jesus stepped into the water, the public saw it. They heard what was said. That was the Son of God, born to be a model for you and me to pattern our lives after. It tells in the 3rd verse, that immediately Jesus left this scene and went into the wilderness. I have been to that spot. The wilderness is probably eighteen miles from Jerusalem. It is rough, hilly country. There, Jesus submits Himself to a long period of fasting and prayer. When you read the 4th chapter, immediately, after He who is the Son of God had gone to the river to be baptized in water, He who is to be the beginning of a new creation, the firstborn of every creature, He is now submitting to a time of testing, because the devil came right on the scene to put Him to the test when the fast had ended. Now listen carefully, I used to think God gave Him those visions. God did not give Him those visions. It was the devil that gave Him those visions. Satan came to Him, tempting Him. Why did He have to be tempted? He who was sinless, knew no sin, had no guile in Him, was perfect in every way, if He was to be a pattern and example for every one of us, He had to be tested by Satan and overcome his temptations by the written word of God. God wants us to know, if He is going to permit His own Son to be tempted by the devil, we should never think we are not going to be tempted and tested in some manner after receiving our Holy Ghost experience. The minute you grab this thing and want to run with it, to show the world what you have, you set yourself up to wind up in a brush pile somewhere, so ashamed of yourself you will never want to come out. That is the sad part of it, that too many people find out about after they wind up in a mess. You carry a Bible, so you should know about Satan’s devices. How has this part been preached to you? Jesus was tempted on the merits of everything His life and ministry is going to be beneficial to the human race in. The first one, He is going to be a miracle worker. The devil knew He hungered, so he said to Him, If you be the Son of God, make these stones into bread. That is just like when the devil gets in our young minds, If you are a preacher, why don’t you go preach? The devil said to Jesus, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Could He not have done it? He sure could have, but would that have been the will of the Father? No. Why? Because He did it for Himself, discounting the fact that His Father would supply all His needs. If He could take a little boy’s lunch, five little hot dog buns, and two little fishes, and multiply that to feed above five thousand men and women, even to the point they could gather twelve baskets full left over, leaving them with more than they started with, I am convinced He could have made bread out of the stones. Jesus knew the Scriptures, so He answered, It is written thus and so. It behooves every one of us to know the Scriptures. If you do not know the Scriptures, knowing every detail about this message is not sufficient. You can know all the quotes, and even be able to quote them forward and backward, where it was said, what message it was said in, what book, paragraph and all, but if the word of God written in the Bible is not alive in you, you are still ignorant. You could quote the prophet forward and backward, but do you know what he meant when he was looking at that certain thing? He did not come to give you another Bible. The denominational world was already out of the one they had. He came to take the things denominations had broken up and then put back together all wrong, and put them back in the Bible in their rightful place. That is the message: Get back to the Bible! God is going to judge you on the merits of that. When Jesus rebuked the devil, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, the devil had to realize, I can’t argue with that. Nevertheless he then took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple (in a vision).. He did not take Him by the hand and walk up that mountain eighteen miles, then pick Him up and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple. Naturally it was in a vision, where all this took place. (The devil can give dreams and visions. Do not forget that. That is why it is so necessary for every true child of God to have a revelation of what is in the scriptures, so you can check those dreams and visions by the principles God applies in manifestations.) The devil is going to quote something to Jesus, but notice how he uses it. After he gets Him there, (He is in that devil’s vision.) the devil whispers in His ear, “If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down, for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” You will find that in the Psalms, chapter 91. Jesus knew He was destined to die one day for the sins of the world, but He was not about to let the devil come along and cause Him to commit suicide just to show what He could do with the power of God that was in Him. The devil more or less said, You got me there. He then took Him up to a high mountain top and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and said, If you will fall down and worship me, I will make you king over it all. (My words) Jesus knew that one day He would be King anyway, and that the devil was not to have any part in it, but the devil wanted Jesus to worship him. When the Lord rebuked him, the Bible says the devil left Him and angels came and ministered to Him. Now I want all of you to listen carefully, I do not think a dozen angels came running down the road to Him. He was in a very weak condition, (because he was human) and after Satan departed, He saw all these angels around Him, talking to Him. They touched Him. Do you know what that does? That calmed and strengthened His weakened being , eased that stomach hunger, took that depression out of His mind and enabled Him to go about His business. What a dirty devil! He was ready to take advantage of Jesus’ weakened condition. The beauty of it, He knew how to overcome all of the attacks, by the Written Word of God. From that moment on, Jesus came out and began to bear witness back in Nazareth and so forth. I am using that to say this, When I look back through the years, where I have seen individuals blessed by the Spirit, and how the Holy Ghost would get on them, and how they would get so carried away in the Spirit they would get strange ideas about it, it made me want to examine every case by the word of God. Some of them could prophesy from now until Jesus comes. That is what they may feel like, but that is not God’s way for you to express yourself. He has a purpose for every one of us, but He wants to direct us into it according to His time.
GOD HAS VARIOUS WAYS OF LEADING US
We see in the 10th chapter of Acts, where Peter, when he came to the household of Cornelius, was actually led by the Spirit, even against his own human nature and former teaching, because he did not want to get around Gentiles. He knew what the Law said about it, but he did not have a revelation at that time, of what God was about to do. Therefore when through a vision, the Lord spoke to him and said, Go and doubt not, I have sent these men, Peter just said, I am he whom ye seek, what is the cause? He was ready to go. God has the right to use a supernatural visitation to correct us and get us to do something He wants us to do. He has that right, but He does not always have to do it that way. He just wants us to be in a place spiritually, so He can lead us in whatever way He chooses. Peter did not know what was going to happen: It was all unfolded before him as he followed the leading of the Spirit. When he began to preach, he was as surprised as anyone when the Holy Ghost fell on those Gentiles and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy. It actually startled Peter. Practically the same thing happened at Ephesus, when Paul went there. Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? They answered, We know not whether there be such a thing as the Holy Spirit. Then he asked, Unto what were you baptized? When they said, Unto John’s baptism, Paul did not speak against that: he just simply took them a step further and baptized them in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Paul then laid his hands upon them and prayed for them; and when the Spirit fell upon all of them they began to speak in tongues and prophesy. I am using these instances just to illustrate a point: When they have received the Holy Ghost they received the potential of everything God was ever going to eventually manifest in their personal lives. There are only nine gifts, but we need to look at it in this light, Not everyone will be doing the same thing that Bro. Joe is anointed to do. God has each person marked with the potential, according to the measure He has purposed to use the person for. It is up to you and me to refrain from watching a TV program, when there are other more important things we need to be busy at. If we forget what the Scriptures says about certain things that pertain to being spiritual, then it means I am going to have to spend more time on my knees, studying the Scriptures and seeking to let God speak to my heart about what He has for me to do. God did not force Peter to go up to the housetop to pray, but when Peter felt the need to pray while he waited for the meal to be prepared, the Spirit of God was ready to give him what he needed for the job just ahead. He caused Peter to fall into a trance and gave him a vision that changed his outlook on everything. God wants some quiet time in my life, to inform me and let me know how He wants to work in and through me. If I do not give Him that time, then I am liable to go down the road of life and hit a stone wall, so to speak. I am bringing all of this out, hoping I can make this clear enough to all of you, that we are not called of God just to drift along through life without any thought of how God is going to deal with us. If Jesus was tested, who is Raymond Jackson, that he should think he is not going to be tested. As I look back through the years I have to say, I have been slapped in the face with a lot of things: I thought, I will do this or do that and just went ahead with my plan. I did it one time or two times, but after a while something said, That is not right: you wait on the Lord first. The minute you take this thing and run with it, and you are not going to let anybody school you in any way, or even make a suggestion about anything, nine times out of ten you will wind up in a weed patch somewhere, wondering, Where did I go wrong? Through the years of my life, I have seen that happen to many people. Where did they go? Do they not want to be in the body of Christ? Because of the failures some encounter through personal zeal, others just choose to sit on the opposite side of the religious field and say, Just look at what goes on out there. They judge the whole of Christianity by the mistakes they have seen some make. Also, and I want to speak this very carefully, in this element of believers, some people begin to get the idea, Well I see in the book of Acts, where Peter quoted from the second chapter of Joel, that in the last days your sons and daughters shall prophesy, old men shall dream dreams, young men shall see visions, so you begin to major on dreams and visions. Please listen carefully: There are only nine gifts. Are you listening to me? Well, what is a dream or vision? It is a furtherance of the gift of wisdom or knowledge, no more, or no less. When some people think dreams or visions have to major above everything else, you are reading it wrong. That is the highest quality of what knowledge or wisdom could be. For instance, let me use an illustration: Somewhere in the night you have a terrifying dream, that you are on a highway approaching an intersection. As you get close to that intersection, all of a sudden out of the corner of your eye, here comes a car from the opposite direction headed right at you. Lord, he is going to hit me. But do you know what? As you are in that frame of fear because it looks like he is going to hit you, you wake up. So you lay the rest of the night thinking about it, I don’t understand this. Maybe the next day you are as cautious as you can be, you watch every intersection. But about the time your mind becomes relaxed about four days later, as you approach an intersection, suddenly something says, Watch out! Just then you look up, here comes a car. Had that not come back to your mind, you would have been out there. But by the time that thought hit your mind, you slowed down, and there he went. You had that experience, and it was there long enough to give you an instinct or wisdom, or knowledge. You were able to avoid the most catastrophic wreck you could have had. God can do that. That is not a dream that has to be publicized around the world. However there may be an opportunity in the future when you may give it as a testimony of the grace and goodness of God. Just remember though, dreams and visions are a part of the workings of the Holy Spirit in your life, but if you think it takes a special anointing for that, forget it. I can say that, because I have had so many dreams in my lifetime I cannot remember them all. They have been fulfilled, but that does not make me anything special. The point is, I did not have to have a special anointing for any of them. Do you understand that? Many times, I would have two or three dreams over a period of months, and then go for three or four years and not have anything else. Just when I am not aware of anything going on, the devil brings up something and throws it in my face, usually when I am the least expecting anything like that. I go to bed with that on my mind and have a dream that helps me. It gives me enough in a pictorial sense, that I either know how to avoid it or how to work through it. I do not tell any of this to give you the idea that we all have to go down the road of life saying, O Lord, I need a dream, Lord, I need a vision. No saints, that is just part of the nine gifts, an extension the Lord uses with some. I hope you catch the point. A lot of you are very young and do not know what is up ahead for you, so, Please, get your mind fixed on the Spirit of God and let Him lead you into His Word. Get enough of it in your life that you live each day praying, Lord, lead me, direct me, help me not to stumble. Even when you are painting the house, you can still say, Lord, lead me. If you are carrying firewood from the woodshed you can still say, Lord, lead me. God sees the sincerity in your heart and responds accordingly. You might say, I have never spoken in tongues. You do not have to speak in tongues to be led of the Lord. You are going to see the day come, and probably very soon, that God will put to rest a lot of this foolishness that man has propagated in his efforts to be something great. He is going to put it to shame, as He reveals Himself to many. There are people that never will speak in tongues, but they can tell you a dream that is so precise in every detail you can hang it like a picture on the wall and look at it for years to come. I hope I have not given you a wrong picture of anything, because I have prayed through this week, Lord, I love these people, and through the years I have done my best to present myself in a right way among them, but if they are going to take the things I have taught and stood for trying to give them a groundwork of something solid, and cast it aside all of a sudden because one has a little vision or dream, or because an angel has come to one of them, what is it all coming to? I do not deny that angels are in the plan of God, but do not tell me you have to give way to a special anointing or calling, casting everything else aside to go running down the road proclaiming, I saw angels last night. What if you did? Are angels sent from God to tear down everything He has revealed from His word in the past forty some years? Most of you know as well as I do, that God does not operate like that. Holy angels do not contradict the revealed word of God. The tract we printed years ago, “The Shaking of All Things,” I believe it was called, back in the 1980’s; I saw angels in that. They were not talking to me: they were talking among themselves, but I not only saw them, I saw them on a ladder from heaven to earth. I just watched the scene. I knew when I woke up from that dream, that we are going to enter that era of the shaking of all things. From that day on, you could begin to see political things in this world head into turmoil. When I see Paul on that ship, he stayed in the hole of that ship with all those sailors on the top deck, holding the ropes and sails, trying to keep the boat upright. Do you think Paul was down below watching TV? He was praying. He knew, if God did not do something, he was doomed with the rest of them. This old ship is going to be in the bottom of the water soon, unless God sees fit to save us. Somewhere in the night an angel came and said, “Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” Paul came up and said to those men, Gentlemen, I want you to know, there stood by me an angel of the Lord whose servant I am. He said, There will not be one hair of your head perish, but we are all going to escape this thing. That is what angels do. When you see them, just to carry on a conversation with them, you are setting your frame of thinking in the wrong direction. How many understand? Look at Peter and John there in the book of Acts. They were put in jail and forbidden to preach in public in the name of Jesus. What changed their situation? Along toward daylight, an angel of the Lord came and touched Peter on the side, Get up and gird yourself. Peter and John got up and followed that angel. He took them right out the door. That was a need. It was not something they were going to spend the next forty years talking about. There is no doubt, that up the road somewhere there will come things we have not planned for. There will be things develop around your life that will begin to make you think, Lord, I don’t know what all this is coming to, but help me Lord. Once you do know what you believe and what you are standing for, and you know why you are doing it, then you can say, It matters not what the devil says, I am going to stand for what I know is right. Then if necessity compels God to act on your behalf, it will not be to satisfy somebody’s selfish motives so they can go down the road of life and brag about it. Young people, I will say this, Never allow yourselves to brag about anything. Let us just be grateful to the Lord for His grace. All that we are in this life, is because of the mercies of God. Every man that God has in His end time ministry is going to be schooled and tested. He is going to put in that man a sweet attitude, because in the motivation of that man’s heart, he is going to see the body of Christ, and he is going to see the older ones and the young ones all alike as his heart reaches out to them to help them and lift them up. They are God’s product. He has got to see it in that respect. He does not see himself as the greatest man that ever lived. He sees himself only as a part of a body that God is seeking to bring into unity and oneness of purpose. That body will reflect Jesus Christ. Those that have seen these angels, are all caught up in this phenomena, but I assure you, I find no scripture for anything like what is coming out of that. One is supposed to be able to transform himself from in the body to out of the body and back at will. There is such an experience: I do not question that, but such an experience is not for just any time you want it. That only happens when God has a purpose for such a thing.
Open your Bibles to 2nd Corinthians, and let us listen to Paul speak. He was a man subject to all kinds of experiences, visions, and such, but he did not elaborate on them to make himself into some big idol. The Corinthian church had been saying something about Paul, because they had evangelists that came along and bragged. When you read the latter verses of the 11th chapter, you see all of that. Here in the 12th chapter of 2nd Corinthians, we find this, (Verse 1) “It is expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. (He had multiples of them.) I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (Above means back before. I ran this through the chronology of Acts, and that takes him back to when he was at Antioch. You also see in Galatians, that he spent three years in Arabia. There, is where he wrestled with the Lord. He had been on the road to Damascus, where he was going to persecute Christians, arrest them, and have them killed. That is where God got hold of Paul. You know the experience he had there: He saw Jesus in a vision. Jesus spoke audibly to him. Here he is coming to the beginning of this, when he states, I knew a man,) whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; (So he had those out of the body experiences.) (Verse 4) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.” That tells me he was a man that could sit all day and tell you about his experiences, but even though he mentioned some things, he did not elaborate on them, because he heard words, and saw things in paradise that was not even good to talk about. He knew a man beyond fourteen years ago, which was back in that era of time when he was seeking God with all his heart, to find out where this calling put on him, really fit in, because he was of the Sanhedrin Court. He was educated: we might say he was a doctor of divinity. After the Lord spoke to him like that, when he was on his road to Damascus to persecute the people that believed in the very One that spoke to him in a vision, he spent much time seeking the will of God for his life and ministry. You can easily see how the experience he had, could confuse his mind. Then you can see why he went into Arabia: He had to get away from everything he had been schooled in. What he did then, was wrestle with the Lord. Not in resistence, but in the many things he did not understand. After those three years of time in Arabia, he came out of there a learned man in the grace and mercy of God. That is what his ministry majored on for the rest of his life: not on supernatural experiences. Our faith in God and in the provision climaxed at Calvary, comes from hearing the written Word of God expounded to us, just like it says in (Rom 10:17). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It has also been reported that some of the young ones have talked to angels. I grant you, an angel can talk to you, but I want to say something else, and I am not making fun, but rather trying to take this out of the imaginary state some people get themselves into. Angels of God do not come just to play with you. Also, when God sends an angel to speak it is usually very few words. Do you know what I have said? You know what I meant, do you not? Are we going to preach angels, when God has given no authority for it? How come it is suddenly necessary that we see angels? Why is it suddenly necessary that angels come and talk with us? Paul had something to say about that too. I am reading out of the Aramaic. I like this. In the 2nd chapter of Colossians, starting with the 16th verse. I will read it from the Aramaic. “Let no man therefore create a disturbance among you, about eating and drinking, or about the division of the feast days, the beginning of the month, and the day of the Sabbath: (All that is pertaining to the Law. After the Church was born, here came that bunch of characters always trying to teach the Christians, If you don’t do this, and don’t do that, this or that and so on.) These are shadows of things to come, but the main objective is Christ. Let no man by pretense of sincerity doom you so that you would worship angels, for he is bold about things he has not seen and foolishly he is proud of his intellectual powers. That very person does not uphold the Head, by whom the whole body is constructed, and stands with the joints and members and grows through the discipline of God.” I think Paul has said enough. All this talk about angels sounds good to people that are ignorant of what is really going on. That is why I have to say, I have not set by this week foolishly listening to this. Tonight, if the Lord is willing, we will bring in more on this very thing. I hope everybody understands what I am trying to get across to you. I believe the Holy Ghost is absolutely something every person needs, and when we receive that experience it can create such an excitement. When I first received it, I was laying on the floor in a high school auditorium. I thought, Oh, if I could just die like this, it would be wonderful. Every time I got to church, I wanted to lay on the floor and die. I really did. I thought that was the way to go to church, but after awhile you realize, you are not going anywhere laying on the floor, so you have to get up and reconsider the whole picture. After awhile it all begins to have a meaning and you get the correct picture. You begin to realize it is all by His grace. He wanted you to know, I am working with you, I am coming inside of you. Of curse that so excites us, we can hardly contain ourselves. I am thankful, that in the end He wants us to recognize Him and let Him teach us. He knows best.
WHAT ABOUT DREAMS AND VISIONS?
I want to deal with some things now that may get kind of personal with our own individual lives. I hope I can say what I want to say the right way. I do not ever want to say anything to hinder any person, any brother or sister, young or old, from missing his or her place in Christ, nor hinder them from receiving everything God would have for them. I am not going to explain what perfection is now, because I have already explained it. This message came about because of a condition that has developed, and it started about three weeks back, up in Canada. I want to say this very carefully to the brothers and sisters up there, because they are listening on the internet, and they may also get the video or cassette tapes of it. Bro. Bud had a dream along about the time I began to get word of this. When he told me the dream, it sounded so simple. I said, Bro. Bud, we may be getting ready to move right into that. Sure enough, as the days came and went, I could see us moving right into the very thing. I did not have the dream: Bro. Bud did. I have to say though, As we get further on down the road, and start living every day getting ready for the end time and the coming of the Lord, He is going to have His entire body active. Keep in mind, what the process of perfection is. It is bringing the body to a complete state of unity, where each and every member contributes something to the function and growth of the body. No one person is going to be the big chief. This whole thing is going to be where everybody, somewhere along the road, small or big, old or young, is going to have something from the Spirit of God to contribute. It will come about in such a simple way that you cannot help but recognize the grace of God. Naturally some things have been said in weeks gone by, and I am not going to mention names, but I know what I am talking about. Some people have been made to think there has to be a special anointing to bring on these dreams and visions, like it says in Joel 2. Let us turn to Joel 2 and read the 28th verse. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters (Notice, your sons and your daughters) shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids.” This is worded like this to show you, that when this is brought about, God does not differentiate between young and old, nor your position in life, whether you are the head of a business or working with the street cleaning department. It does not necessarily mean you have to be an old man to dream a dream or a young man to see a vision. It will work just the opposite way also. I can prove that by history. How would you do that, Bro. Jackson? Well back before the Reformation ever really made the break, back in the fourteenth century, there was a lot of persecution going on in Europe. There was a group of people that had pulled away from the Catholic Church and began to worship in separate places. The Catholic Church chased them into the mountains and hills of southern France and northern Spain. When I read the history of that era of time, they had not had anything preached to them; it was the way God led them, because necessity brought it about. That is why I say conditions and time, as we move into God’s plan, will necessitate that God manifest some things. It is for your and my growth and progress in the Lord. It is not that you are ignorant of what is there. There is a real time for those things to be brought forth. God spoke to those people as they hid in caves, either in a dream or vision, because they were scattered families. To some, it came as prophecy. Nevertheless whether it was by prophecy, dreams or visions, they were able to keep ahead of their attackers. They wrote a chapter in history of the grace of God working on their behalf. I hope you understand, that God does not differentiate between your age or position. You do not have to be an old man to dream a dream. It can be vice versa. The way it is worded here, it does not matter whether it is young or old, son or daughter, maid, or a business man, the grace of God is right there to work. Many times we can have a dream, and it looks very real. I say this for the sake of young people. You may never have had a dream that you thought was spiritual, but all of a sudden you might have a strange dream. It creates thoughts in your mind, it looks like it could be a spiritual dream, and it looks like it is really something, but you should always be cautious, look at it, and study it. Do you see something that stands out, something that requires some action on your part? You might have a dream of a young man in a pulpit, and it looks like he is preaching. The reason I say this, it is things like this that cause people to go off the deep end. They do not seem to know where to settle down. Actually, if everyone who has a dream about someone else, would see it become reality, you would have so many preachers and others praying for people, there would be no place for it to be done. Somebody might walk up to a young boy, (Notice how I say this.) call him by name, and say, I don’t think God is through with you. Well if you already know the Lord and you have known Him for some time, you ought to have reached a point that you have a head on your shoulders. You should know where you stand. I have to say this, because it is for your own preservation. If you start down this pathway of life seeking to live for the Lord, but in your ordinary growth you do not begin to have a fixed picture of what you see for yourself, there are a lot of young people that can say, I don’t think God is through with you yet, because they have a certain likeness for you, and though it sounds good, on your part you need to take that with a grain of salt. You do not have to fall head over heels because of such a statement. Neither do you have to say, I don’t believe that: Just say, Thank you. There is one thing sure, if God has His hand on a young man’s life, He is not going to leave it up to everybody else to tell the young man when, where, what, how, and why: He will have His own way of dealing with His chosen vessels. How many know what I mean? You do not read in the Bible, that God left it up to some other human vessel, to do His calling. However some of those things will follow afterward as a confirmation, but the individual person has to have his own mind made up. It can be so confusing many times if people do not know what they are doing and why. Some things sound so good we can really get wound up and ready to go. We would like the whole world of youth to be saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, if we had the say so, but you certainly do not need ten thousand in the pulpit praying the devils off of people. I do not mean any harm and certainly do not mean to hurt anyone, but some things need to be said. How many accepted Christ on the day of Pentecost? Three thousand. They were told they would be filled with the Holy Ghost. A few days later there were five thousand more, so that made eight thousand in the church at Jerusalem. I believe every last one of them, somewhere along the line, received the Holy Spirit. They received the Holy Spirit, but I do not believe they were all doing what a lot of Gentiles think they were doing. They would still not be done telling all their experiences, if they were like a lot of people today. It is ridiculous to think that people can get so carried away. I am thankful for the grace of God and for the baptism of the Holy Ghost: It is a wonderful thing, that God looks upon us with such love and compassion, but you do not live every moment in that realm: You still have to deal with the realities of life. That is what causes a lot of young people to go down the road of life and wreck up, spiritually speaking. Too many people have the idea that the Holy Ghost gives them immunity to Satan’s devices. No. He enables you to overcome, if you have your mind made up to do so, but He definitely does not keep Satan from putting you to the test. Some, when they do submit to some temptation in a moment of weakness are so ashamed of themselves, that nine times out of ten, even if they do come back to church, they just sit and never move, from that time on, simply because they think they have passed a point of no return. The new birth is a one time experience, because the Spirit of that new birth also seals you forever in the family of God. You may make mistakes, but that does not put you back in that lost condition you were in before your new birth experience. When you realize you have missed the mark, repenting and asking God’s forgiveness restores you to fellowship with your heavenly Father: He knows when one truly repents. Sometimes it takes a while for everyone in the assembly to regain that confidence they once had in you. That is just another test that one must overcome. Not with a sour attitude, but with a genuine display of your determination to live for God. There is no reason to let mistakes ruin your Christian experience and your true desire to walk with God. That is why proper instruction in the word of God is so necessary. Jesus was tempted and tested in every way anyone is today, so He could be our example of overcoming Satan’s temptations with what is written in the Bible. It is important that we know what God’s word says about every subject, so like Jesus, we can also say to Satan, It is written, Thus and So. Satan knows what is written in your Bible, but he never ceases to test believers, to see if we know, and to see if we are really serious about living for God. Yes, the Spirit of God in you, is you ability and authority to use the word of God just like Jesus did when He was tested. He became the pattern and example for all of us.
A PERSONAL TESTIMONY
As the Spirit of God began to lead my wife and me into this message under Bro. William Branham’s teaching, I will never forget some of those first experiences. I had never had a spiritual dream, but I did tell my testimony many times, how God led us into contact with Bro. William Branham. When I first started taking my wife to church there, that is where I saw black and white all sitting together and enjoying themselves. The first time I ever saw Bro. William Branham pray for anybody, it was a black lady. She was sitting across the aisle from me. She got up with a walking cane and went down the aisle. Many others went down also. When Bro. William Branham started praying for this lady, he did not have a microphone on, so I could not understand the words he spoke, but I could see her throw her hands in the air and start shouting. He said, You are healed. That woman turned around and back down the aisle she came, skipping, and she was not using her walking cane. She came down the aisle and stopped right in front of me and said, Praise the Lord! I am going home and tell my friends. Out the door she went. Just coming out of a cold Methodist Church, that did something for me. I had never seen anything like that before. You know Saints, that was so real to me: She was a black person in a white church; and that was new to me. One night later on, I saw myself in a dream. I had never had a dream like it before. I heard a terrible noise in the air. I went to the kitchen door and looked out. Here came a huge airplane, down low, getting ready to make a paratroop drop. The side door came open, out came an object in a parachute. It came down right in front of my house. There was a vacant lot in front of my house, and when it hit the end of that lot, it was a little cabin. Hanging on that cabin was a few of the belongings like you would see sometimes in the old country side, a wash tub and a few of those things. The door opened and out came a black family, a man, his wife, and two little children. I heard the man say to his wife, Honey, we’re home. About that time the plane made a circle and came back again. The same picture was displayed before me. The door opened and out came another object. When it hit the ground at the other end of the lot, it was another cabin. When the door opened, it was a white family. I heard the man say to his wife, Honey, we’re home. The black and white stood on that same lot. I knew that was my introduction to the environment, spiritually, that I was to be introduced to, if I kept going to that man’s church. I came to know a lot of those older black people that attended there. They had been coming there several years. In those years, we did not have church order. I am talking about the later part of 1952 and into 1953 and through there. When we first started going, we could go in and sit down and before very long someone would get out of their seats and come over, shake our hand and say, Brother, sister it is good to see you, where are you from? They talked to you back then. They were glad to meet you and glad to have you there. I thought to myself, I have never been in a church like this. That was the beginning of me knowing what a spiritual dream could be like. I have also had a lot of other dreams that were not spiritual. From that time on, the grace of God began to slowly cultivate certain things in my life. I cannot tell you how many times in those early days, I heard Bro. William Branham say, When God gets His Church back where it is supposed to be, there will be every gift in it. I could show you the book, and exactly where he said it, yet we have those today that say gifts are not to be used. They are! That is why the message was brought; to set the record straight and get us lined up with the scriptures. Let me show you something. We have thousands over the earth who follow Bro. William Branham by quotes, quotes, quotes. They have gone no further in 37 years. Let me take you now, to the first advent of Christ. That spirit of Elijah was sent first. On who? John the Baptist. Right? Was he the one and only? No, he came preaching, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. A short time later, Jesus came on the scene. We brought that in earlier; how John baptized Him. That fulfilled scripture. When Jesus came out of the wilderness after fasting forty days and started preaching, the multitude that had followed John was now prepared spiritually to recognize the man John came to introduce. That is why they began to leave John and go to Jesus. Some of the old faithful disciples of John said to him one day, Master, behold, He whom thou baptized, has more disciples following Him than you. What did John say? Did he say, That dirty hypocrite got my people? No, he said nothing like that: He said, He must increase and I must decrease. For three and one half years after His Baptism, Jesus called His disciples, chose His apostles and laid down in the gospels everything they were to know. This was their schooling. Then, as He came toward the end of His ministry He said, It is necessary that I go away; for if I go not away the Comforter cannot come, but if I go away, I will pray the Father, and He will send you another Comforter, and when He comes, He will lead you into all truth, (the Holy Ghost) and He will show you things to come. He will bring to your remembrance, all things whatsoever I have told you. Saints I will ask you a simple question, after I set the scene. When the disciples saw Jesus hanging on the cross, momentarily they were shocked, they were stunned. Our great teacher is gone. Then when He rose from the dead, He was manifested to them over a certain number of days. Finally the hour came, He did leave, and the Holy Ghost came back. Here is the question, Where do you think you would be today, if the disciples of that hour had done just like the following of Bro. William Branham has done in this hour? In other words, I see no reason to look for any further revelation: Bro. William Branham has told us all there is to tell. If the disciples of Jesus had taken that attitude, That whole thing would have died out in that one generation. You know it would have. When they went into that upper room and the Holy Ghost experience came upon them, they came out of there and into the streets, endued with this power, because this power was to take the place of what John had forerun and what Jesus had brought to them, leaving them as the instruments that was going to begin to form this great body of Christ. The Holy Ghost was to call to their remembrance all that Jesus had been teaching them. (John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” As long as those apostles were alive, by the authority that God had invested in them, they were able to teach and say things, and the Church was protected and kept secure. After they began to be martyred, and in other ways leave the scene, the younger generation that began to take the reins, little by little allowed the messengers of Satan to slowly slip in their version of what was taught. This is how it is when a new generation begins to come on and fill the gaps where older ones have been, there always seems to be those minds that will use this thing for self glory. That is why many times the apostle Paul was writing letters to the various churches rebuking them for teachings that had crept in, warning them, trying to tell them the error of such things. The Church definitely had a battle, a real struggle during that first century of Christendom, going into the next century. Down through almost two thousand years of time, the Church gradually strayed away from the basic teachings of the Bible, as taught by the apostles of Jesus. That is why it became necessary again for God to repeat what He did at the first advent. That is why Malachi 4 says, He sent that spirit of Elijah again. To do what? To turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers. Thousands today, are sitting in the middle of the road with quotes. He turned me back to the father. No, he did not, because you sit there afraid to say what Matthew said. You only say what Bro. William Branham said. How many understand what I am saying? To me, William Branham confirmed what Matthew said. He confirmed what Paul said, what Peter, James, and John said, and showed how our denominational systems have stretched and strayed away. Here the Methodists preach sanctification, but here is the Baptist with eternal security. Let me say this, the Baptist have one of the greatest foundational teachings there is, but they need to take the sanctification part to go with it, then they would really have something. Then they need to come along with the Pentecostal experience and put that with the other, and now they are really growing. What I am saying is, God was not going to come and pick a church with their denominational teachings and call them the bride of Christ. I remember one time, going to a Methodist hymn singing. A Baptist preacher stood on the outside of the door and I over heard him saying something to a Baptist sister, (They were coming to this hymn singing, and they were secretly talking about the Methodist people.) And she asked him the question, Do you really think they are saved like they claim they are? This is a Baptist preacher talking to one of his own members, but I just happened to overhear it. I thought to myself, Why did you came to the hymn singing, if you thought this was a bunch of devils out here singing? Each denomination, thinking they were right, could not see how anyone believing differently could possibly be saved. That is the way it used to be years ago: the Baptists were afraid of the Methodists, the Methodists were afraid of the Church of Christ, and on and on. How could God come for a church messed up like that. This man (Bro. Branham) came, and he was the only man this side of the Reformation, that took everything in the Bible, from the Pentecostals, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Nazareenes, the Pilgrim Holiness, all of them, and showed how the original doctrine they were each founded upon, all belonged in the same body. It was not the man, but when God dealt with him, he enabled him to put it all back in the Bible. That is when he said, Get back to the Word. A few did, but the rest, No, they have to go to the quotes, page such and such. I know what was said in those messages they hang on to: I sat there and heard them with my own ears. The difference is, what he said on page so and so, showed me where to go in here (the Bible). It was the Catholic Church that tried to destroy the Bible. They burned them in piles. Our denominational systems only preached parts of it. That is why you could go to a Methodist church and they will only teach about this part that pertains to their doctrine. The Baptist church is the same way. When you talk about the original Church that was in the book of Acts, every doctrine the apostles wrote about was in all these gospels and was upheld by the early Church. Do not bother to tell me any of them wrote something that should never have been written. I have to say, I thank God for that little man that led us back into the Bible. I grant you, I heard a lot of dual statements in his messages, especially when it came to the seventy weeks of Daniel and some other things, but I also heard when he laid down the various subjects by the Bible.
GOD ALLOWED DUAL STATEMENTS IN THIS END TIME
God allowed Brother Branham to say many things in the course of his ministry that were just for tares to grab hold of and run with. The first time I heard him say there is only three and one half years left of the seventieth week of Daniel, I had never even studied it. However one time when he was down at our place rabbit hunting, he brought up the subject. He said, Bro. Junie, there is only three and one half years left, so I just accepted that verbatim as the prophet said it. Over a period of months later on though, God put it upon my heart to make a study on the subject. I took a little fast and prayed about it and God led me in the study. I have the same historical book that he was getting some of his data out of. I have one just like it at home. I took that and looked at it and studied it. I began to take all the histories that are related to that B.C. period of time, and when I got finished with my study I said to myself, There has to be seven years left, but since Bro. William Branham is God’s messenger and prophet, I will never say anything. I never would have said anything either, but when we came to the month of October, 1962, Bro. William Branham took a whole week to preach on the seventieth week of Daniel. I still have the original messages. Do you know what he ended up saying? There was a chart on the wall. It showed seven years left. I will never forget him saying, as he went out to the car that morning, and his wife Mede, said, Bill, they are not getting it. He said to her, They have to get it, because we are too close. There was seven years left. Then when he preached the Seals, he made the statement again, that there is only three and one half years left to Israel; and even though I knew what I had learned, that statement threw almost everyone off balance. There was a question asked, Did you make a mistake? He answered, You just misunderstood me. Had I never studied the history of that period, what the Jews went through to constitute that, I would never have argued with anyone about it, but I have always said, You are not poking anything down my throat, without me first investigating and find out for myself, what it really points to. That is why, in two places in the book of Revelation, it plainly tells you, showing the reviving of this world beast, (Rev 11:2) “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (Rev 13:5) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” That means when he will literally exercise himself in the capacity of the antichrist. However that does not mean that is what it is going to look like when he first introduces the week to Israel, because Daniel 9:27, plainly says, And He shall confirm the covenant with many, that means many nations, for a period of one week, which is seven years, even though that is not specified in the covenant of peace. Sure, that first three and one half years, which is allotted to the two prophets that will come upon the scene in Israel, is sometimes disregarded by a lot of those who want to hold to the 3 ½ years, but that in no way gets that time out of the picture. That is verified in the book of Revelation. I am saying these things to keep the record straight; and I am not saying them to be harsh, or mean. When I see the dilemma over the face of this earth today, just because people have taken quotes and quotes, and sat in the middle of the road, saying, The prophet said there is going to be a revival, I have an obligation, as well as a great desire, to give people another chance to accept the truth. I have to ask, What kind of revival are they expecting? It has already been over thirty six years since Bro. William Branham was killed in that terrible automobile accident. You who sit around waiting for him to come back and have a great revival are drying up and dying, just like the Methodist Church did years ago. You just have a bunch of quotes in your head, which can never accomplish one thing in the way of spiritual growth in your life, if you continue to hold on to this special resurrection of the prophet. I will say it once again, and I pray that some of you will hear me: That is not going to happen!!! Brother Branham will be resurrected when the rest of the bride saints are resurrected and NOT BEFORE. I will never forget, just after Bro. William Branham’s death, the man that edited his Church Ages book stood in the Branham pulpit and said, God will no longer save anybody because Jesus is off the mercy seat. He will no longer speak in dreams and visions and such. I thought, My, my, you are so wrong: He has already showed me too much in a dream now and then, for me to fall for a statement like that; and I am grateful to God for it. We have not left this world yet; and many souls have been saved since that time. Just think of all the young people in your assemblies that have experienced the saving grace of God in the last thirty six years. I say these things with as much kindness and respect as I can, without compromising the truth that God had revealed in the years since the prophet’s death. If the Church had been perfected prior to 1965, she would not still be here. I pray you everyone know what I mean by that.
GOD STILL GIVES DREAMS AND VISIONS
I have had many dreams since the death of Bro. William Branham, but there are some dreams you may have in life, that you do not tell, at least not right away, because the time is not right to tell them. Therefore not every dream that might be given to you, is to be told at the time you have it. You may not really understand what it is pointing to yourself. There may be something about it, that lets you know it is really pointing to something, but you do not know where it will be applicable, so you just hold it. Back in 1957, my wife and I went to Cuba, in the month of December, on a missionary trip. Up until that time I had not had many spiritual dreams, but in a dream one night, I saw myself back home, walking into a funeral home. As I walked in, I thought, Who is dead? I walked over to the casket, there was a little obituary card, so I read it. It told who the person was. It told when she died, where she would be buried, and that the officiating minister will be Rev. Raymond Jackson. Here I was in Cuba at that time. That was Sis. Edith Wright, the daughter of George Wright of Depauw. She had been confined to a wheelchair most of her life. She had polio. We became acquainted with the family in the years before. In 1957, I thought that was an impossibility, because Bro. William Branham was very attached to that family, so that dream was never told. I did not forget it: I just held it. Then, in December 1964, Bro. William Branham was living in the west, but I always thought he would be the one to preach the funeral, when the time came. It was about twelve o’clock at night, the phone rang; and Sis. Wright said, Bro. Jackson, I just wanted to call and let you know Sis. Edith passed away. It was her request that you preach her funeral. Bro. William Branham had already moved to Arizona. He was in a meeting, and they could not get hold of him, to tell him. I said, Alright Sister, I will be there. It was exactly seven years to the very month, from the time I had that dream until it was fulfilled, so what good would it have done for me to go down the road saying, I am going to preach Sis. Edith’s funeral when she passes on. What good would it have done anyone? I just kept it to myself. After I received the phone call and came back to bed, I said to my wife, Honey, that dream is seven years old to the month; and now it is being fulfilled. Saints, do you understand what I am trying to get across to you? I could not deny God, because I know He knows all things. My point is, God is still giving dreams and visions, so some dreams you have could very well be spiritual, but no matter how real they are to you, it may be, that you should not tell them the minute you have them, because they may not be pertaining to that period of time at all. You just carry them in your heart and wait upon the Lord. I am saying these things, because many times people get very excited in telling something they dream, not realizing the lack of wisdom in doing so. Some of these things God reveals in a dream or vision, are not for everybody to know about. I do not say that to be smart or arrogant, but to try to get everybody in a rightful way of thinking. There are times God can deal with people in a dream, and that dream will come to pass exactly, but somewhere along the way the person, or persons that have the dreams, if they are not looking at the plan of God and understanding what is going on, and they do not take it seriously, they can turn right around and have another dream that will tear that one all to pieces. I am going to give an illustration. Do you remember when Bro. William Branham was going to preach the Seals, that there were seven people that had dreams, seven dreams? How many know about that? All of them lived around the Tabernacle area, except me. The one man was my friend at one time, very close. His name was Estil Beeler. He is dead now. My wife and I met him and his wife in those early years of fellowship at the Tabernacle. He baptized both of us in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the little creek down by our home. We were very attracted to him and his wife in those days: they were nice people to fellowship with. Over a period of time though, he began to develop some attitudes about some things that really troubled me. In my own spirit I felt it was not right for him to act like that, nor think like that, but I thought, I will not say anything. It so happened, that he had a dream; one of the seven I just mentioned. He saw Bro. William Branham out on a round up, on one side of a river. As he came to one place on the other side of the river, Bro. William Branham called out to him, Bro. Beeler, try to turn the herd the other way, to keep them from following the stream. I do not remember all that the dream had in it, but a short time later that same man had a another dream: He saw a church house with the word Ichabod, written over it. Do you know what he thought? He, from that day on, thought every church had “Ichabod” written over it; and the glory of God was no longer in there. Regardless of where he went from then on, he did not ever want to preach in a church house any more: he just wanted to preach in the home of those who would invite him. Some of the things he began to teach, would even be a shame and reproach for me to mention in the pulpit. One of his teachings was, because he thought he got a revelation on it, that a man and his wife were no longer to live intimately together. There was a man and his wife, well known in the Tabernacle, that he caused to separate: She left her husband. I know these things to be true. He did all of that because of a dream, so I am saying to you, It is not a matter of God not being in a dream: It is a matter that requires every saint that has a dream, to look at the dream, to determine how it fits in with whatever has been preceding it. That man I just mentioned, went all over the country preaching. At one time he got on a revelation, where he was able to be in the resurrection one day, and back in his mortal flesh the next day, yet he had lost one hand, but never did get that hand back. Imagine a preacher sitting in front of you, preaching that he had the power to project himself into the resurrection, and he is still minus a hand. That lets me know there is something twisted up in the mind of any person that acts like that. Many times that man would come around here during service time, putting tracts on the car windows, which contained some of the twisted ideas of his. He would never come inside to worship with us: No, “Ichabod” was written over the door. The poor man died with a terrible stroke. He did not even have a Christian funeral: he was cremated. That is as unchristian as it can be. How many know what I am talking about? I say these things to let you know, Yes, it is wonderful to be anointed of God in some of these things, but we have got to learn something as we go along. We have to cultivate an attitude that honors the principles of our Creator: If we do not reach a place where we are stable, and where we have an understanding of what we are doing and why, as long as everything we are doing is for personal prestige or recognition, somewhere up ahead we are going to get caught in a trap Satan has set. When God anoints a person to manifest any of these gifts, what does it tell us in the Ephesian letter, that it is for? He does it so that as the body begins to collectively come together in the state of perfection and unity, each member contributes his or her spiritual portion to the edifying and growth, as well as the learning of the entire body. Again it says, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. All the potential is there in the Holy Spirit, to prophesy, to have a message in tongues, to dream, and all such, but that is going to be exercised, based upon the merits of the measure of the grace of God. Read that in the Ephesian letter. The time is coming, that in the whole world wide Church of the living God, He will cultivate His attributes in them, but He has to start with a ministry first. If the ministry does not know what they are called to do in the end time, and why they are doing it, it can turn out to be a personal thing, not a ministry that has a proper vision for the people. Far too many preachers in the past, have gone down the road of life strictly for personal prestige and personal gain. You are going to see more than one of them end up in a terrible wreck, spiritually speaking. If they do not have a vision and a feeling for the people of God, so they can come down on their level, then they cannot contribute anything to the body of Christ. God will let them run the road for so long, and then after awhile, they will wind up in a wreck somewhere. That is why we have seen a lot of people go the way they have in the past number of years.
HOW WE SHOULD LOOK AT CERTAIN THINGS
The books I mentioned earlier, that were sent to me, were not published in this country. They have men’s names in them from Canada, Europe, South Africa, the Caribbean, and West Indies, all preachers. As I read over the quotes and things taken from the messages of Bro. William Branham, some of the things they put together were very beautiful, but as they tried to deal with certain things they thought were errors, concerning the message, they would use certain scriptures to prove their point, and they were going all around what the thunders were not, but never did they come to one point of saying what they thought the thunders would be. I have to say, It is too late in the day for you and me to sit here in the middle of the road, after thirty six years, not knowing where we are. That man brought a message; and that is all God required of him. If we do not begin to have a little spiritual insight, especially as to what those seven thunders are pointing to, and what that ministry will pertain to, it could well be, that we are no further along than the Methodists. I say that with respect, knowing there are people on both sides of just about every truth that has ever been taught. As I read one quote in those books, here is a man from Europe somewhere, a well known man among the people, and he has taken this certain dream a man had about Bro. William Branham riding that white horse, (By the way, I do not want anybody trying to tell me they know what the dream is: you only know it as you read it off the Spoken Word book, but I have the man’s own typed words, as he expressed his dream. Where did I get this? His son gave it to me.) I will say, a lot has been taken completely out of context and greatly magnified. This man in these books, is supposed to be riding this trail one more time, finishing up the third pull according to their interpretation. As I have said before, That third pull was something God was dealing with Bro. William Branham on. If for some reason or other it was never fulfilled the way some people think it ought to have been, then I have to say, Leave it alone. Why do I say that? Because these very characters that want to deify Bro. William Branham and worship him, created circumstances where God was compelled to take the man off the scene. One man called me, Bro. Jackson, Don’t you believe Bro. William Branham is still going to fulfill the third pull? I said, No. Why not? It was people like you that messed it up in the first place. I said, just look at Moses, how God was forced to deal with him. When God spoke to Moses in the wilderness, God explicitly told him, I want you to go down to Egypt and tell them that “I am” has sent you. He gave him a sign. Tell Pharaoh to let my people go, because I am going to take them to a land of milk and honey. Now what was Moses’ thought? I ask you to show me in the Bible, where Moses ever thought, I will only take them so far, and then God will do something else. He left Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, spent forty years in the wilderness, always assuming the day would be, when they would cross over into that promised land. Those last few months changed things: One day, the rock did not give forth water as it had been doing. The people ran out of water and came to Moses grumbling and complaining. How many know what Moses did? By this time, after forty years, that man was vexed. I told the man on the telephone, Remember, Moses was vexed, putting up with that bunch of bellyachers all that time, so when he prayed the Lord said, Speak to the rock. He had already smote it according to the word of the Lord, but Moses was so vexed, he went out and stood before that crowd and said, You bunch of rebels come here! He drew back and hit that rock, and called them rebels. Well, it brought forth water, but that very act and attitude changed the entire picture. We have a lot of people that think God cannot change something He has started. You could say He changed His mind, if you did not have a revelation of His foreknowledge, when it comes to something like the situation with Moses. I want everybody in here to know, after Bro. William Branham had that tent vision, he was rabbit hunting with me one day. This was before he ever spoke about it very much. That morning, while we were rabbit hunting, it started raining. We came up to the edge of the woods and sat down on a log under a tree. He told me that vision he had. He said, Bro. Junie, I believe one of these days God is going to give me a tent, and I am going to be able to go out and set up my meetings, and that I will have a manager to go into the city and acquire the facilities of a ball park or something, and I can stay two or three weeks, even a month if I want to, without having to be obligated to anybody. Just watch what began to happen a little later: When he began to tell from the pulpit this tent vision, do you know what soon developed? Before very long, here they came, I am going to be a truck driver for him. I am going to be a tent manager. It wasn’t long then, that among that same group of men, they were saying, He is the Messiah, he is the Word; and so on. They began to push that idea. If those people were to get around that tent, what do you think they would do to the crowd that came to the meetings? They cannot keep their mouth from rattling what they believe. Then, when Bro. William Branham went to California, and from there to Canada to have a meeting, when he got there what did he run into? It was already there among a bunch of the people, William Branham is our Messiah. They were making medallions and passing them out. I said to the man on the telephone, It was this kind of foolishness that would have defiled the whole spiritual realm. It was not Bro. William Branham personally; it was that bunch that gathered around him everywhere he went. With Moses, it was a personal attitude, but in this case, it was how people wanted to deify, pollute and corrupt the spiritual structure of things that could have been. I will never forget the time when Bro. William Branham had left on that circle of meetings, how all of a sudden I got a telephone call one night, and the person said, Bro. Jackson, I want you to know that Bro. William Branham is going to be at the Tabernacle in the morning. He has a very important message to bring. This is when he preached “The Bruised Serpent.” When that man came to the platform that morning, he looked like he had cried all night long. He felt so bad. He was so sad, because, out of this family of big shots that wanted to be a big “It,” this had started, and he said, I would rather go out as a quitter than as an antichrist. I have to say this, I am not angry as I bring this message, but I am disgusted at what I see men all over the face of this earth writing. They have corrupted the plan of God. They talk about a Church in unity, but they are going to put together something that has no more spirituality about it than a dog chasing a rabbit. That man stood there trembling and cried. Many of them sat in his driveway that afternoon and apologized. Bro. William Branham came back that night, and because of a dream he had, where he had shot that snake and it crawled off into the weeds, and thinking that eventually it would die, but Bro. William Branham was not dead six months, until that same category began to revive that same spirit again. In that same category of people today, he is still their lord. In fact, one of them stood up in the face of other men and threatened them with his fist and said, I will have you know that William Branham is the Lord. That man was going to be a tent manager for him. Like I said, I am not angry, but Christianity is not built on that kind of stuff. There have been a lot of people who have tried to build it that way though; and just made a mess for someone else to clean up. That is why I say, All these things that pertain to dreams and visions, can be very beautiful, and they are wonderful, because they are a part of the glorious plan of God, but there are some people that God may use a time or two to show them something, then they just go crazy. They go off down the road and make a wreck of themselves and it hurts other people. What I am trying to say, Let us be thankful for what God has done and let us be thankful for what He is going to do, but between now and then, let us pray and say, Lord, give us a spiritual mind, to know how to look at things and conduct ourselves in a proper way. I am grateful for my brothers and sisters, and I believe that God can use anyone, a young person or an older one, just any time it suits His purpose, but anyone who is given such a privilege ought to determine to conduct themselves in a way that they would not be a stumbling block to another. Back in the year 1914, before WW1, there had been a revival in the country of Armenia. There were some Christian people over there, that God had already warned through prophecy, to be aware that certain things were going to come into their country. If I remember the story right, the little boy was about twelve to fourteen years of age. Demas Shekarian told this testimony. He was one of the Full Gospel Businessmen. He told how the Spirit of God came on this young boy; and for how long he remained just like he was in a trance. At times he drew maps, and was not even aware of what he was doing. At times he wrote, but when God lifted that anointing from him, it was never said that he wrote anything else. Through all this though, those people were shown, that when this comes to pass and you see certain things develop within the country, then prepare to leave and make your way through Europe. Go to the western coast of Europe. That is in Armenia, close to Afghanistan, where there is all this conflict right now. So these families, one by one, began to leave. In the prophecy it said, You will go to the new world, and you will arrive on the east coast. In the process of time though, you will make you way across that country to the west coast. I heard Demas Shekarian talk about this in Alabama. They did just that. It was not long until they were all in the new world. Do you know what? They were the people that were in Azusa Street when the Holy Ghost fell. That is how God uses the gifts of the Spirit in people, when circumstances arise, but that does not make the instruments He uses, any greater than anyone else in the body of Christ. If God can work like that, do not tell me He does not know what He is doing. I am saying therefore, Let us be grateful to the Lord, but please do not get ourselves in a hurry and run ahead of God. Let us say, Lord, help us. Let us be sure not to make a mess out of something that is so beautiful. His Church is going to be a beautiful people, so endowed with the Holy Ghost, living and walking in unity, and upholding the very image and likeness of Christ. We can look back and know, it is all because of a man and his message, that we are able to have this outlook. People have desecrated, polluted and trodden under foot the beautiful revelation of the word of God, but we can say Thank God, it turned our hearts back to the faith of the apostolic fathers. We were not turned to William Branham: He simply pointed us in the right direction and said, Get back to what Peter said, Paul said, and those early apostles. I hope you understand what I mean. I thank God for the man. I learned some things from him, that I will not let anyone take away from me. I do have to say though, He was not my Messiah and he is not my Lord. He was not the Word; and he is not coming back to finish up his ministry. He told me all about the Lord, and all about the Word of God; and for that, I am deeply grateful. My life is committed to the defense of a true revelation of the Word of God. I do pray that I have not said anything in this message that is confusing to anyone. The life and ministry of William Branham turned me away from man’s traditions and back to the Bible. This is the only Word of God we have.