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By Bro. Louis B. Turner, January 2004
On December 4, 2004 God extended a call to our precious Pastor, Brother, Friend, and Apostle, Rev. Raymond M Jackson. He called him to come up a little higher and rest for a little while. Bro. Jackson, who had faithfully stood for the true revelation of the mysteries of the Bible in the face of much opposition and hardship for the past thirty nine years, was called to come on home and let the five fold ministry carry on for a little season. All of those who are called to this office know what to stand for, because they have sat under the faithful teaching of this apostle for many years and loved and respected him, as we here in his home church do. All of us who loved and respected him will greatly miss him, but we will never allow Satan to sidetrack us with any kind of false hope: We will just press the battle with a little more determination, remembering how he taught us to stick with the Word of God, no matter what comes down the road to distract. God will never leave His true children without the spiritual guidance we need. He is always present to anoint and give leadership to those whom He has called to care for His flock. We who are left here to carry on, have a great outlook and vision of what to look for as Gentile time comes closer and closer to and end, which is when God turns His attention back to the Jewish people and opens the last week of Daniel’s seventy week prophesy concerning the children of Israel. Our faithful pastor has spent many hours of his ministry making sure we understand what this last week will hold for the Jewish people; and what Christians will take part in as the age closes out. He has greatly stressed the importance of our knowing what to look for when our time is drawing nigh. For that dedication to his calling and the patient way he has kept presenting it to us we will always be grateful. He was always thinking from the standpoint of the many who had never heard the true revelation even for the first time, as well as those who had heard it, but just not understood.
LOOKING BACK ALMOST FIFTY YEARS
Brother Jackson’s own words were as follows, “In the month of April 1950, the Lord began to deal with my soul and I had to surrender my heart to Him. A great hunger began to build up in my heart, not only to want to live for Him, but also to know the truth of His blessed Word. I always had a great respect for the Bible: I thought every home ought to have one, but I had heard so much about the fanatical things some had done because of what they read in the bible, I just did not want to get too close to it myself. That all began to change after the Lord got hold of my heart. It soon got to the point that I just could not seem to get enough of it. I looked for every opportunity to learn more about God and His Word. In the year 1952, a relative of my wife stopped by our home, and during that visit he told me about the ministry of a man by the name, William Marrion Branham, how God was using him in miraculous ways. Later that year, we were privileged to go hear him preach; and after hearing him that one time, I knew he had something I wanted to know more about, so for the next two and a half years we sat under his ministry and heard him preach in a way that made Jesus Christ of the Bible stand head and shoulders above any other man on earth.”
Needless to say, a hunger like that led our brother deeper and deeper into the Word of God and in April 1955, the Lord spoke to him about starting a church. He obtained a small building in New Albany, Indiana, where he started out. Then circumstances caused the little work to move to a place in Clarksville, Indiana for a while; and later on, back to another place in New Albany, Indiana, where we stayed until 1967, when the Lord enabled us to build the first part of what is known around the world today as Faith Assembly Church. He first thought it would just be a small mission where he would have a group to preach to, never even having a thought that the time would come, when he would travel around the world preaching to hungry souls; and then publish a paper of his edited sermons that would find its way into every nation on the face of this earth. (The first issue of the Contender was published in March of 1969.) Then the Lord opened up the way for him to have a web site, where people from every nation under heaven would be able to log on and hear him as he preached and taught this precious revelation of the Word of God that burned in his soul day and night.
There has been additions to the facility through the years as the congregation grew, but Brother Jackson has never been one to spend the Lord’s money on beautiful buildings with stained glass windows, just for a show. He always said, “As long as we have a place where we can get in out of the weather, that ought to be all we need;” and he has invested the tithes and offerings of the saints into getting the Word of God to as many people as possible in all the years of his ministry. He always said, If this ministry is of the Lord, He will supply: We will not have to beg for money to do the work of God. Therefore many who have come to Faith Assembly through the years, have had to ask someone, How do I give an offering? That is because an offering plate was never passed around in the congregation. We have a mail box slot in the wall where people drop their tithes and offerings; and the Lord has always met every need through the years without our brother having to preach on tithing. His belief was, That the saints do not have to be coaxed into supporting the Lord’s work; and he was right.
This may seem a little lengthy to some, but we have been taught to give honor and recognition to those to whom it is due: as our brother has been so faithful to do through the years. Therefore these simple words just barely touch on what could be said about a man that loved God and the people of God like Brother Jackson did. He demonstrated unselfish love and compassion like few others of our time. Yes we will miss him, but we would not call him back, even if we could. He has run his race and finished his course; and we all want to be where he is. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
FOLLOWING, IS THE LAST FEW LINES OF OUR OCTOBER ISSUE, AND WE WILL CONTINUE ON FROM THERE.
When men will just take something Bro. William Branham said, and use it like some of them have, they present an image of total ignorance, spiritually speaking. Bro. William Branham had a right to read something out of a book and use it for a little illustration, but when you and I take the same thing and try to build a revelation out of it, that is where I have to say, We had better get on our knees and pray. If we cannot preach it out of the Bible, we had better leave it alone altogether.
Moses was learned in all the ways of Egypt, but he said not one thing about a pyramid, period. That lets me know, if Moses, being learned in all the Egyptian knowledge, and being the man who wrote the first five books of the Bible, if he did not even speak of the pyramids, then why should we build such a revelation as some have, referring to a capstone ministry? I have books at home, where men today, taking Bro. William Branham’s message quotes here and there, are in what they call, “The capstone ministry.” Well I am not in the capstone ministry, I want people to know that. God called me to preach the gospel, and I am going to preach the truth that I have had opportunity to learn, much of which I was taught by a man who had full respect for God and His word. This bunch of characters coming down the road of life, knowing so much, and yet knowing so little, I would not give the time of day. I know most of you know what I mean, that this bunch can get a revelation out of something that is so carnal, yet when it comes to taking the Bible for their study, they are void and destitute of what it really says. I just have to say, God did not call those men to preach. I hope you do not think I am talking foolish, because I have to say to you, The true Church, (the Bride of Christ) is not going to be brought together by a bunch of educated, yet spiritually ignorant characters, who assume this and assume that, but have no Bible foundation whatsoever. Our learning, or revelation, has got to come out of what is written in the Bible. When the Church lost that, it was necessary, that God send a man among us to show us how to get back into it. I thank God for what He has taught me through the years, and helped me to see and understand. I am not saying these things tonight to make myself anything, but I do have to say, God is not sending Bro. William Branham back to straighten up the mess that men the world over have gotten themselves into. He has raised up men who are already in place, that will stand for the revelation of truth in this hour; and I have to say to every man that hears my voice and knows what we have stood for, It is time to sound off: it is time to let God’s people know what truth is and what is not truth. I am thankful for the grace of God and a people that He has allowed me to be able to influence through the years. I do not ask for a halo to be tacked on my image, nor do I ask that any one follow blindly, but I am thankful to God that He has allowed me to have a body of people that have a personal revelation of the word of God to fellowship with. That is worth more than this world has to offer anyone.
TRUE CHRISTIANITY V/S DENOMINATIONAL RELIGION
I have tried to hit different aspects of “The Great Mystery” we are dealing with in this message for the past few Sunday’s, and I have been emphasizing how it is beginning to come to a close; and it is terribly disturbing when I think of the large numbers of people around the world who are still believing God has to bring Bro. William Branham back from the dead to finish his work. He does not have to do that; and He will not do that! I cannot stress it enough! Brothers and sisters, listen to me: Brother Branham finished the work God ordained him to do. His ministry turned true believers back to the Bible and delivered them from the rituals of systems of religion. I want to say once again, That man came upon the scene right on time and fulfilled exactly what he was supposed to do. There might have been some things he desired to do, that were not finished up, but it was those men that gathered around him and began to push and propagate certain things, that caused God to take the man off the scene before he finished everything that was in his mind to do, but he was faithful to do all that God called him to do. Some of those characters are still alive, and would do the same thing again if God was to bring him back from the dead. They just simply did not hear what he preached, the right way. The man came to point us back to the faith, and the doctrinal foundation of the gospel truth that was preached and written by the apostles of old. I am so thankful, that I heard what the man preached and taught. It opened my eyes, softened my heart and made me begin to realize the end time Church is not going to be a bunch of denominational people, all holding to their particular traditional belief. It is going to be some people that God has pulled out of every system under the sun, to give them a true understanding and revelation of the apostolic truth. It is going to be real to them: it is going to come alive in their innermost being. God is going to put together a little end time Church that will confound the denominations. I believe we are in that era of time even as I speak this. He has given people all over the world, an opportunity to know the truth. Ministers have taken the message of the prophet and studied it, and many got their own private revelation, but there are others that have a revelation of the same truth I have stood for all these years; and I see God putting together a beautiful picture for them. I want to read a scripture from the 13th chapter of the book of Acts, so let us go there. Bro. William Branham said, before he left us, that the end time Church will write another book of Acts before the Lord takes it out of here. Naturally he was referring to what the Spirit of God will do among true believers as time for Gentiles is closing out. I believe that with all my heart. It will not be done by evangelists going down the road with big semi trucks, hauling large tents and holding meetings here and there. Those days are over. The element of various religious beliefs out in the world today, are as apostate as anything can be. I want to try to show you how the early Church functioned and glorified God. In the epistles written by the apostle Paul, there are various places where you find him rebuking false teachers, and those false prophets that came on the scene preaching certain things to mislead people. Only God Himself knows the heart’s of professing believers, but we all know the world is full of people who pervert the truth today. I have received two books sent to me just in the past week. They were put together in another part of the world. The man that sent them to me had a page marked and said, Bro. Jackson, your name is mentioned in here. When I turned to it, I saw the perpetrators of the things that are in the book: my name is not well thought of throughout the world, and neither are the people that have dared to believe what I have taught and stood for. They call us Jacksonites. Well that is alright: I have never begged anybody to follow me. I just feel like this, If they cannot see a little bit of Jesus Christ in me, then let them leave me alone. I have done my best for the last forty years, to live for Christ, be an example in character, in honesty and sincerity, and to learn to treat my brothers and sisters like beloved brothers and sisters ought to be treated. Sometimes it is pretty hard to take some of the negative remarks that are thrown at me day in and day out, by those who would like to get me out of their way, but the grace of God has kept me and I am thankful. They say, Well he is not in the message. Well I will just say back to them, I am sure not taking part in your mess, and I am thankful to God, that I am not in your mess, because you do not have the spiritual backbone to straighten your system up. You want God to send the prophet back to straighten it up, but He is not going to do it. He is raising up men today, that have a vision to do it the Bible way. There are hungry people the world over, that have an ear to hear and understand it in the right way. That is why I want to go back into the book of Acts and look at how the early Church fathers conducted their lives and their ministry, and look at how the five fold ministry works in the true Church. When the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost, the only ministry present in the upper room was those Jewish apostles. There was no such thing as prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers. A few months later God dealt with Saul. We know how his conversion came about. It was all by a sovereign act of God. Even when the Lord spoke to Ananias and said to him, (Acts 9:11) “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.” Ananias began to make excuses, talking about all the evil reports he had heard of this man’s deeds, but the Lord said unto him, (Acts 9:15) “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” I am bringing this in to help show how the Holy Spirit did things in the onset of the Christian Church. It was not done by a committee of preachers; and there were no votes taken about whether to start a church: It was all a work of the Holy Spirit. As the months came and went, Saul had spent three years in the Arabian desert, studying and praying. I am sure, knowing that he belonged to the Sanhedrein Court, he had to know the law letter by letter. However when God dealt with him on the road to Damascus, and he heard the voice of God speak to him, and then Ananias came and prayed for him, so that he would receive his sight, he must have felt an urgent need to get alone with God. This new experience was absolutely contrary to everything he had learned growing up, so what he experienced in the entire episode when God met him on the road, was bound to have had an impact upon his mind. His testimony was, that he separated himself and went off to study. When he came out of that cave where he had been for three years, God had given him a revelation that superceded everything he had learned before that. He did not have to go to a seminary to learn anything from the Jewish high priests. He already knew more than they did. He simply came back to Antioch, and there is where we find him as we continue on. Let us now read in the 13th chapter of Acts, verse 1 “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch (This is in Syria.) certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetriarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Now it is written specifically, that the Holy Ghost said this. Somewhere as these people prayed and fasted about certain things of that hour, it became necessary for God to look at the attitude and motive. He knew that Saul, whose name had not been changed at that time, had an understanding and revelation of what was taking place. He chose Barnabas also, to travel with him. It says, When they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.I believe, in this day and hour when many have gotten hold of the message of Bro. William Branham, they have just assumed that God has called them to do what they are doing, when in truth, God has just permitted them to go do what they wanted to do, because sooner or later they prove that they are not going to listen to the voice of God for any reason. Because of that attitude, God has allowed some of them to come along with revelations that are crazy enough to make you scream. A lot of people do not know what is being taught throughout the world today, but I know of much of it because I get all these different things sent to me from various parts of the world; and all of it comes from what certain men have said, like, Well the prophet said this and the prophet said that. Well maybe he did say those things at some time, but not in the context they apply them. It all lays in how they take statements out of context and put together a revelation that fits their carnal minded picture. Then they want to look at the body of Christ as a whole, that it has to be like this. God has let it go on for years and years until the message has gone around the world. There are hundreds and thousands in every nation today that say they believe the prophet’s message, but how has it been interpreted to them and by them? It is far from being according to the actual scriptures written by the apostles of Christ. I believe, that in these thirty some years, some men being the individuals they are, and having being dealt with by God, somewhere they begin to purpose in their hearts, I am going to stop listening to men and start listening to God when He speaks to me. That is how it is supposed to be. I believe the time has come, when scattered around this world, are a few preachers that have the vision and they have been waiting for the cue from the Lord to understand it is time to rise up. When Saul was separated out, that was actually the beginning of his ministry that would grow and keep on growing until he would wind up one day being the apostle that has written the major part of the epistles of the New Testament, There are 27 books in the New Testament including the book of revelation: Paul authored 14 of them; and a great part of the book of Acts is about him and his ministry, so you can easily see the prominent place he holds in New Testament times. He was called, the apostle to the Gentiles. The Lord told Ananias, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” He was a man that believed in the leadership of the Holy Spirit. He did not push committees like your denominational realm of supposed-to-be believers do today. We have just about had our stomach’s full of that idea of the Church being managed by committees. In the denominational world it is committee this and committee that; and God has nothing to say in what they decide to do. That is what caused a lot of religion to wind up in the place it is today. When God is allowed to have a say in the matters at hand, we see here, How He responds, for it plainly tells us that the Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” No committee was needed there. Well Bro. Jackson, how did that come about? When the Holy Ghost said it, he either did it by causing someone to have a vision or dream, or He did it by prophecy. I have to look at it in this way, because we know it was not a case where someone looking at Saul’s character rose up and said, Saul is a good man for this job, so let us ordain him and send him out. No saints, it was how the Holy Spirit looked upon it that was the determining factor. I believe, that after thirty eight years have come and gone, this message, as it has gone around the world, has been embraced in the hearts of a few individuals here and there and God is just waiting for the right moment, and for the right understanding of His word to become embedded in the hearts and lives of His chosen ones. They have to have an understanding of the truth that has become unshakeable. They are not going to let the flesh of anyone entice them and pull them away from the truth. Through the years, as I was privileged to be led by God to the sit under the ministry of Bro. William Branham, I met many other men that seemed to have great potential. I grew up in life, being taught to always prefer others above myself, so I never thought of myself as being much in the way of standing up for the truth of God’s word. There was one particular man I met, that I really took a liking to. He had also been in the military; and had known Bro. William Branham a few months before I ever became acquainted with him. We went to his home quite often and talked about what we were seeing in the word of God. I became so influenced by this person, that even in 1955 when the Lord said to me, Now is the time to start the church, I wanted him to come and work with me. However I began to notice, that every time he would preach, he preached as though he had a club in his hand, and had to beat people. One time, Bro. William Branham was down home to go rabbit hunting, right before the Christmas holiday. While we were hunting Bro. William Branham said to me, Bro. Junie, I want you to come up Sunday and preach, then I want you to go home with us for dinner. He had already asked this brother to preach on Sunday morning and he wanted me to preach on Sunday night. I said, That will be O.K. So we went on Sunday and heard this brother preach the morning service and I preached that night. I will say this to preachers that may hear me: Some preachers have the idea that we have to preach it hard, and that we have to rebuke and lay down law. Well I have said before, If you are going to lead sheep, then keep your mouth under control and lead them. It is one thing to throw a corn cob at a sheep that may need it, but if you think every one of them need it, then the day will come that they will leave you: they will never want to eat out of your hand again. I hope you everyone get the point here. Do not ever allow yourselves to treat everyone in your hearing as though they everyone need to be clubbed half to death. Do you understand what I am saying? God speaks of His people as being the sheep of His pasture. I will never forget that particular Sunday morning: That brother took the pulpit and for about forty five minutes he clubbed and beat, using scriptures in a way that seemed like he was trying to beat us half to death. When dinner time came, we went home with Bro. William Branham and had a meal. That night I preached at the evening service. When the service was over and we went to the car, Bro. William Branham said to me, Bro. Junie, I liked the way you delivered that message tonight: Keep that spirit. Then he referred to the brother that preached that morning and said, Don’t ever get that spirit. Learn how to deal with people, and don’t think everybody has to be clubbed all the time. I took that as a most important lesson. As I try to stand up here and uphold something precious, I might sometimes sound like I am just trying my best to hit somebody over the head, but please remember, I am not talking about you in here, I am usually talking about a situation that somebody is involved in somewhere else. All of that affects the body of Christ.
HOW GOD SEPARATES
Back in the early months after starting the church, I let this certain brother I mentioned, come and preach twice. Each time, he just simply clubbed and beat as though everyone needed whipping. Then one night I had a dream that he came to my house. He said to me, Let’s go out to the field and pray. In the dream, I saw the two of us out in a big field, in the daytime. We kneeled down to pray, each one praying in his own way. Directly something inspired me to open my eyes. When I looked into the sky eastward, I saw a little object coming at a fast speed. As it got closer, I saw that it was a wagon heavily loaded, with a horse and mule hooked to it. As it got closer, I began to say to him, Look, look. He opened his eyes and looked, and said, where? I said, There, look at that. He was looking, but he could not see it. By then, it was in front of us. Then it suddenly vanished, but a voice above me said, He does not see what you see. I knew then that a horse and mule hooked to a wagon was not a good combination, because they do not have the same nature. Of course I realize this is farm language. How many understand that? From then on there was a separation; not because of enmity, but I could see God had his way of leading the man to do something else; and that we were not compatible in a way that would be profitable for those being ministered to. It came about in his later days, that he got a wild revelation and went different places preaching it, but it was not an edifying message; and God was not glorified in any of it. He later on, died of a massive heart attack. God has dealt with me in life to teach me a lot of things, and when I looked back I could always see why, because it is one thing to deal with a problem, but it is another thing to deal with everybody collectively and try to make all of them think they need to be clubbed half to death. Saints as a whole, do not need that kind of preaching. We all need to be brought together and made to see that we are part of a unified body, a great family purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. God wants to lead each and every one of us into a particular relationship with Him; and He uses His called out ministers to teach us his righteous ways. Therefore as we continue on in this message, there are some things I want us to understand. It was the Holy Ghost that said separate me Barnabas and Saul. Then when we come on over some time later, we find that the Church body at Antioch had been affected by someone coming up from Jerusalem, and teaching things contrary to what they had previously learned. He, or they had come into that church and began to teach those people, that unless they be circumcised like the Jews were, there was no way they could be saved. When Paul and Barnabas came back off their big campaign, they found this church in an uproar, and very divided. They went to Jerusalem to talk to Peter and the elders. As they dealt with that situation, here is where James spoke up. There was a letter written for Paul and Barnabas to take back to Antioch, but there were two men from the ranks of the Jerusalem church they referred to as prophets. I have said this many times, The Church started out with just apostles. However as the Church began to grow, God saw fit to raise up men that were endowed with these certain gifts and callings. Later, by the testimony of these men, seeing how the Holy Spirit had worked in and through them, it became evident that they were prophets. I have to say, Those men were definitely men that had a certain ministry of exhorting and explaining things. At first it was basically how a certain gift would work in their lives to confirm what was said. When you read this in the 15th chapter of Acts, the 33rd verse, Judas and Silas went back to Antioch with them, and they bore witness of what had been discussed at Jerusalem. They confirmed this letter and everything by how the Holy Spirit had used them. When we come to Acts 18, I think this involves Paul’s second trip around. He purposed to go back out through the area of Asia, but then he had a vision. A man standing on the other side of the Dardanelles Straits, saying, Come over and help us, come over and help us. That caused Paul to began to realize he had to change his plans. You can read that in the book of Acts. Paul changed his plans and that is how he came to go into the area of Corinth, and the Lord told him at Corinth, Abide here for a certain length of time because I have many souls here. You can read all that in the book of Acts. I am saying these things to emphasize how the Holy Spirit led the early Church. There were a few times when circumstances were used, but there was also times where the Holy Spirit changed the order. We have got to be receptive to the Holy Spirit, regardless of how He is working.
HOW CARNAL MEN INTERFERE WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD
When I read the book about when Bro. William Branham went to Africa in 1952, my attention was captured by the way those preachers were asking this gifted man to come over there and help them. They had heard about his miracle ministry here in the states; and they were totally wrapped up in wanting to have their plans fulfilled. In fact, they went ahead and set up an itinerary. God showed Bro. William Branham what they were going to do and he did not like it. If you have ever read his story, you have seen the problems that were involved. He pleaded with the ministry one day, but they said, We can’t change the events, nor can we change the order: It has all been planned already. Here was a man that really wanted to be led by the Holy Spirit, but there were men claiming to be Holy Ghost filled preachers, wanting to plan the whole thing to suit their selfish plans. He gave in, to their plans, but he suffered much after that: A sickness began to develop in his stomach. He told me many times, Bro. Jackson, I was sick nearly the whole time I was in Africa. You can read that in his book also. Many times, I would hear him say, If the Lord shows me, I will do so and so. He could be asked by a hundred people, come here, come here, but his answer was always, If the Lord shows me, I will be there. He wanted to be led by the Lord to do whatever he did. Most of the time people wanted him so badly, that they were looking only at it strictly from the standpoint of a carnal contact. All through the book of Acts, we find a Spirit led Church in motion, and that allows us to understand how they lived and conducted themselves in everything. When we come to the 20th chapter, Paul, after having spent much time in the Grecian area and in Asia, decided to go back home. He had been away for months, so he purposed to go back to Jerusalem, to be there for Pentecost. As the 19th chapter closes, coming into the 20th chapter, it begins to show how the Holy Ghost has witnessed that bonds and afflictions await him. Think of that; things that he could have avoided, but he had made his plans and would not be diverted from them. He knew that bonds and afflictions awaited him, but he was determined to go anyhow. (Acts 20:22) “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (Acts 20:23) Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.” Bonds and afflictions abide me. It plainly says there, that the Holy Spirit witnessed in every city, that it would be that way. How in the world is the Holy Spirit, in every city where he goes, going to say the same thing, unless He was definitely warning him about going there? Was that the product of a committee? You know it was not. This is absolutely a proven fact by the witness of true Christian, born again, Holy Spirit filled people. They had heard that Paul was coming their way on his way to Jerusalem; and sooner or later, somebody in their midst either had a vision or a dream, or the Spirit had spoken, that this man is heading for trouble, but he said, None of these things bother me. Little did he realize what he was saying. Every place that he came into, visiting the various groups of people on his way back to Jerusalem, he experienced the same thing. In every little congregation, the Holy Spirit was warning him to stay out of Jerusalem, trouble, bonds and afflictions are in store for you. When he came to Philip’s household, (I am saying this for young people.) Philip had virgin daughters, they had never been married. They had the Holy Spirit, and God had put a gift in their life. They were not running up and down the countryside, Oh I have to display my gift: No, they were led by the Spirit of God in using that gift. I am saying that for a purpose, because in this age of time, in 2004, we can get in our car and go where we please, but are we really going to be led by the Spirit of God, or are we going to carry out our own selfish ideas, like, I want to put on a show, I want people to know who I am and what I have. That will only last so long, and then, either God will speak harshly to you and bring you into a problem, or He will take the gift away from you and you will find yourself sitting down, never wanting to open your mouth again. There is no such thing as, God is going to raise up a bunch of tongue talkers or prophesiers, and send them around telling His whole Church when, where, what, and what not. That has had its day in Pentecost, when certain ones served certain things to get their ideas out there. Do not ever think I do not know what I am talking about: I have seen carloads of them running here and there. When I first received the Holy Spirit, I thought, Oh, I just cannot seem to get enough of God. I was going to every little prayer meeting I knew about. I was hardly ever at home at night. Then all of a sudden, I got a real bad cold. It got down in my throat and I could hardly talk. I thought, Oh my, I wish I could get rid of this. After a while I realized, I have to stay at home until I get straightened up over this. Then, one night in a dream the Lord said, Stop running around and I will heal you. Brothers and sisters, young people, before Bro. William Branham ever preached Church Ages or the seals, in the Jeffersonville and the Louisville area, there were households of individual people, every time you came to their prayer meeting, they knew what the Church ought to be like, they knew how the church ought to be run. They knew how the preachers ought to preach and this and that. I would sit there, because I wanted to learn from older people, but when I stopped following them, things began to change. When Bro. William Branham did preach the church ages, I did not see very many of them any more. When he preached the seals, I saw even less of them. By the time Bro. William Branham was taken off the scene, I saw none, because they had all taken their lot in the grave. I say this to give an example, A lot of people have ruined the experience they did have because they thought they, as an individual, would help put the Church in order. God has promised to put it in order, because it has to meet God’s specifications, not mine nor anyone else’s as an individual. Saints I say these things because I want every person to realize, that I have experienced some of these things in my young life, and that I am thankful to God for how He brought me through and allowed me to see things the right way. That taught me a lesson. I realize now, that if some of those same people would have followed me, I would have been guilty of wanting them to try to set everything in order and run the church just like they thought it ought to be. They had the idea, you are not supposed to have a platform. Well I certainly do not have the idea that this platform makes me anything special, and neither does it help me preach, but it helps me see you better, and helps you see me better, so I do not see anything wrong with having one. I believe all of you understand what I mean. I could ask, Why would Jesus take a multitude out by the seaside to teach them? The answer is, He knew the acoustics of the terrain were favorable. He would get in a boat and tell the disciples to push out a little from the shore. It was an area where the landscape sloped backward. He was in a boat preaching to a multitude of people on the land, and they were elevated where they could see Him. Another time, He led them into the foothills of a mountain area, and He went up on the hillside a little further and preached to them below Him. Why did He do that? Because He was using the acoustics. I realize we have electronic devices to help us these days; and that we do not have to depend upon acoustics in order to be heard, so the only reason I am mentioning this, is just to show you how some people can get such crazy and carnal ideas in their mind, about how church services ought to be conducted. In Acts 21, we see that Philip’s daughters prophesied. It does not tell what they prophesied, but I have to believe, because the Holy Spirit had witnessed in every city where Paul went, that he should stay out of Jerusalem, that when he came into this house, those daughters also prophesied along that same line. They had absolutely said something that was again warning Saul, Stay out of Jerusalem. Then in that same chapter it tells about a man by the name of Agabus, that came in among them there. He is referred to as a young prophet. It does not say where he had his experience, but as he walked into where Paul was he did not walk over and say, Good evening Paul. Instead, he saw Paul’s cloak lying somewhere and evidently had a vision as he looked at it, so he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. (Acts 21:12) “And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. (13) Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. (14) And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.” You can see, that Paul would not let anyone change his mind about going to Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit has warned him everywhere he went, Stay away from Jerusalem. The saints had begged him, but Paul’s determination was so compelling, he could not and would not stay away from Jerusalem, so he went ahead. When we look at the 23rd chapter, Paul has already been arrested, the Jews had threatened to kill him, the soldiers had taken him and put him in jail to protect him.
HOW PLANS ARE SOMETIMES CHANGED
I want you to notice now, When Paul was at Corinth, he wrote to the Romans. He had never been to Rome, because that church was not established by any of the apostles: It was established by Jews that were in Jerusalem from Rome, on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost fell on the 120 disciples. Some of them no doubt were baptized by the disciples and returned home on fire for the Lord. As those Jews went home, they started a little fellowship and it became a growing thing. Paul wrote a letter to the Romans and said, I purpose to come by thee as I pass into Spain. So Spain was his major objective, but he put there in the later verses that he wanted to see Rome. He is in jail, but I ask you, Was that the end of Paul’s ministry? Not at all. This just goes to show, how the Lord came to comfort him. While he was in jail, waiting to be dealt with by the authorities, the Lord said to Paul, Fear not, for as thou has borne witness of me in Jerusalem, so shall thou bear witness of me in Rome. Will he be a free man then? No. He will be a prisoner. We bring this out to show how the Holy Spirit will work on a man’s behalf. There in Jerusalem, when the crowd said, Crucify him, get rid of this devil, as they continued to accuse him of just about everything, it was a Roman officer that ran in with troops and rescued Paul from the clutches of that bunch of bad fellows. When I look at that I can see, in one point that the weakness of Paul was, he wanted to see Jerusalem again so badly he just had to go. Had he never gone back there, no telling where all he would have gone by the leadership of the Lord. Why do I say that? Because he had written a personal letter to the Romans, that he wanted to come and see them on his way to Spain. However as this turn of events took place, he never did see Spain. He did get to Rome though, but only as a prisoner. I just have to say, The Holy Spirit knows exactly how to lead all of us, if we will just allow Him to have His way in our lives. When we begin to get rid of this thing in our hearts, Well I want to do this and I want to do that, I want to go here and I want to go there, we just do not know what we may be led to do. That is our human side, just ignoring the leading of the Spirit of God. As I look at Paul, he was a perfect example of one doing what he or she wants to do. God called him, and ordained him to be the apostle to the Gentiles; and that he was, but he just had to go his own way at that one particular point in his life. As it turned out, he still wrote more epistles of the New Testament than any of the other apostles. He was the apostle that laid down in nearly all those epistles, the true revelation of how the Gentiles were to be brought in and built on the foundation of the true faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we read the rest of the book of Acts in that respect, finally, before Paul was taken from Caesarea to jail, he was tried before Agrippa, which gave him the opportunity to appeal to go to Rome. This wrecked his earlier testimony, I am ready not only to suffer but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus, when he appealed to go to Rome. Why? It lets me know, it is mighty easy to say, I don’t care how much it costs me, I am going to do this and do that. God knows how far to allow us to go in our headlong way. I am thankful to God for that. We may think we know everything, but really we do not know everything. I just pray that God will be merciful to me and help me, if I come against a set of circumstances I do not understand. I just pray, Help me Lord: I do not want to go through this thing blindly. When we see Paul, God had spoken to him, As you have borne witness to me here, you will bear witness of me also in Rome. That is a fact, but look what he had to suffer on the ship, out there in the Mediterranean Sea. They were caught in a storm; and for many days that ship was everything but totally upside down. They threw the cargo off, sailors were holding on to everything possible, to try to keep the ship upright. Then after certain days, Paul was down in the hold praying, Lord you promised me I would bear witness of you at Rome: Lord, is this boat going to sink? Then, after a while the Lord came to him in a vision, Paul, I am going to give you every soul on board this ship. None will be lost. What did Paul do? He got up off his knees, and I can just see him climbing back up where the others were, ready to speak to them. Fourteen days in that boat, he had not eaten, was scared half to death, because it looked like that boat was going to come to pieces. When the Lord gave him that vision, he became a different kind of person, came up on the top deck and spoke to the sailors, Gentlemen, the Lord Jesus stood by me tonight, whose servant I am; and He assured me that not one of you would lose a hair on your head. He is going to give me every one of you. Think of that. As the hours came and went, the ship drifted near an island complex. Finally it ran aground; and as those waves came in and tore that ship all to pieces, some of the them gathered the loose parts and they floated to shore on them. There were some natives on the island. (You know the story.) They were all chilly, after just coming out of the water. They built a fire; and while Paul was helping the men gather wood, all of a sudden, out of that wood came a reptile and bit Paul. Those natives saw all of this, and expected Paul to drop dead any minute. Paul just shook it off into the fire. Did that make Paul a snake handler? Not at all. He just knew God’s promise, so that not even the bite of a snake would hurt him. When he failed to drop dead, it caused some of those natives to repent; so they then believed he was a god. When they left there, they had great favor with the natives. That just simply says to us, that no matter what the circumstances may be, sometimes it may not look good, but God knows exactly how to turn the evil into something He gets glory out of. I have to believe this morning, that for a short period of time, as God gets the nucleus of people the world over that make up the bride, and they begin to look at His word in the right way, and allow the message of the hour to penetrate their heart’s, so that they come into unity and understand His purpose, I believe God is going to bind these people together with a love and understanding that is unparalleled, and with an assurance that will cause them to leave a testimony in this evil, wicked world. I cannot see the Church going out of here and not leaving a testimony of God’s grace and goodness. The apostate, religious world has sold out to the devil, but God has an element of believers scattered around this world that are not going to sell out to the devil: They are going to walk with God as long as He leaves them here.
We went to see “ The Passion of Christ,” movie, which was very dramatic. I had seen a similar one years ago, but it was not as dramatic as this one. The way they dramatized this one, and the way they tried to show the torture of that human body, I just sat there watching those Roman officers and said, Right there, is displayed every diplomat, and every politician of America today. They are all represented in the behavior and deeds of those Roman officers. There sat Pilot, a politician, and his wife had warned him, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him,” but chief priests and elders had persuaded the multitude to ask that Barabbas be set free, and Jesus be destroyed, so Pilot was caught between two opinions, and the evil bunch won out. Then when you see all those high priests with ecclesiastical crowns on their heads, how they are right there pushing for this crucifixion, I thought, That is America. The last fifty years, every element of human society was represented there, from our president on down. When 9-11 happened, oh they could shed a few crocodile tears, oh I have faith in, what? How long did it last? Now we have to be careful: We cannot say anything about the Muslims, we cannot say anything about the Hindu, the Buddhists, or any other. We believe in the freedom that everybody ought to be allowed to worship the god of his choice. That is America. It was not that way when I was a little boy growing up. That is why I have to say, When the American society began to crucify the Christ that was with every one of our founding fathers, just look how our historians of today want to rewrite this whole thing; and say that is not so, that was not the way it was. They want to brainwash the younger generation. I will have to say, Sixty years ago we had one of the highest educated categories of youth there was in the world. Now we have opened the door and let every illegal immigrant out of hell come into America. I am not a racist, but I am an American. I love America for what it was founded upon two hundred years ago, but it stinks today because a bunch of politicians who throw mud balls at each other to get elected, are little more than professional, legalized crooks. The Jesus that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and all of those men of old knew, is not the Jesus that is portrayed today. The testimonies of those men are written in books and found in libraries. They tell how those men, even on their death bed, prayed. Now our modern historians want to get hold of those books and re-write them. I would say, that the modern history writers of today are nothing but two faced hypocrites and tools of the devil. That is why America is heading down a road of no return. I believe George Washington’s vision is going to come to pass just exactly the way God gave it to him. I am thankful for the truth we have heard by a little man just before the door to the gospel began to be closed. Watching that little man through the years, gave me an understanding that God is going to have a little Church that is going to be led by His Spirit. They are going to have to learn to be taught by the Spirit, and they are going to have to learn to be a part of one great body of believers, preferring their brothers before themselves. It is just not one person running up and down the road serving God alone. Every true believer has got to be a part of something that is greater than anything one person alone can accomplish doing his or her little part.
EVERY TRUE BELIEVER WORKING TOGETHER
As this little Church comes together in a pure unity, it will be just what Paul described in the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians, because, not only will the Church be led by a five fold ministry, but wherever that little body of people are, the Holy Spirit in them is going to manifest every one of these gifts that are described in the scriptures. What did the apostle Paul write in 1st Corinthians 12, starting in verse 7? “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; (10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” What does the word manifestation mean? Public display, in this case. The manifestation of the Spirit is not maybe: it a sure thing, because the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. It is not all going to be tongues and interpretation. Every one of the nine gifts will be in operation in an orderly manner, because God distributes them as it pleases Him; not as I want it, but as He wants it. Some people will say, Well I just don’t seem to have anything. Well I say to all such, Just hold on: You have not left here yet. Maybe God is saving you from a situation where you would feel like your feet are tangled up in a bunch of barbed wire. We have so many voices here and there saying, Yea I say unto thee, yea I say unto thee, it is like this, and it is like that, but much of it is out of order. It has got to be something that is constructive, edifying, uplifting and informative, something that helps us as we are coming closer to the end. Certainly we do not need anyone prophesying, Yea I say unto thee, unless you are doing what I am doing, you are going to hell. If you do that, I will be right on your trail, because God will not anoint anyone to prophesy like that. That is not the manner in which the Holy Spirit works. How many understand what I mean? The weakest true believer among us must be loved and appreciated as much as anyone else. God did not intend to just save the strong and let the weak go to hell. We all have our own calling of God; and no one should ever have the attitude that they have to be smarter than anyone else, because God gives His Spirit to us in the measure that you and I have the ability to let Him lead us. I will promise you this, you will not take that measure He gives you and run your own direction, or you will be in trouble. God is a faithful Father: He chastens every disobedient one of His children when they get out of line. Furthermore He will always go about it in a way that will eventually cause you to say, I am going where God’s Spirit is leading His people: I do not belong out here by myself. Do you understand what I am saying? I have seen this other element that wants to run up and down the road and show off, acting as though they are going to run the entire plan of God. Where are they today? November 2, 2004Most of them have already wrecked up somehow. God does not want that kind of thing going on in the bride Church: He wants a people that have a head on their shoulders and know how to use it. I have never said, Well you have to follow me if you truly are of the bride. I have done my best for thirty some years to stand for a truth that I first heard from a man God has already called home. I have testified of it in Canada, Norway, and wherever I have gone. I went to Mexico after I first met Bro. Saucedo. The Mexican people had been taught everything under the sun, except the right thing. I went there and all they could say was, The prophet Branham, the prophet Branham, he is coming back to finish his ministry. I was privileged to preach through interpreters that made clear to the people exactly what I stand for. The things I preached to them eventually caused them to begin to come out of their shell and say, That is the truth.
A DREAM FULFILLED
Back in the 1960’s, I had a dream which was fulfilled twenty two years later when I met Bro. Saucedo. In this dream I saw myself and my wife and family in a country I knew was inhabited by Spanish speaking people. I came into a town, and thought, Where am I? I pulled my car alongside the curb. Then my wife said something about going to a drug store if I could find one. I went into a drug store and seemed to be able to signal to the proprietor what I wanted, but all the time I was thinking, Where am I? I got what I wanted and came back out to the car. Outside, there was an area just like the old towns of America, with a court house in the middle and you just drive around the square; only this was more like a little park. As I was ready to get in the car, I saw a crippled woman. She was crawling on her hands and knees to get to that little area in the center. Here came cars, men on horseback, and some carts; and I was thinking, Isn’t someone going to help that poor soul? I rushed into the street and helped her our of the traffic, then I prayed for her. She stood up and walked away. Then I saw myself and my wife and family in a hotel. The next day, I heard a knock on the door and I was still wondering, Where am I? I opened the door, and there stood a little boy that looked to be about twelve years of age. He said, Sir: the woman you prayed for yesterday, it has been noised all over town, that she got up and walked away: My father is a policeman; and he has foot problems that keep him from being able to walk very much: He cannot walk good, and has to sit down most of the time. He wants you to come and pray for him. I followed the young boy to the end of that plaza area where I had prayed for the woman, and down at the end, where the street goes around, there was this officer in khaki clothes like they wear in Mexico, sitting on a stool. I walked up to him and the little boy said, Papa, (He had been talking to me in English.) And the officer said to me, What you did yesterday has been heard all over town. Would you pray for me? I have had this foot problem for a long time. I laid my hands on him and prayed for him. He stood up and began to flex his legs and said, I feel something. Then he began to walk around. He then said to me, Sir: The gospel is needed so badly here in South America. I thought, Well, where am I? Then I happened to look up and see a tall building with the words, Mexico, on the front of it. I did not meet Bro. Saucedo until 1982, so that was twenty two years after the dream in 1960. Back in the 1960’s, nobody in Mexico spoke in English. They were not learning English in school. I had to wait until that little boy grew up. Now I can say this, Going to Mexico has healed that crippled woman, (the Mexican element of the Church) and has enabled some preachers to be able to walk and know what they are carrying. Some have been here in our services. Why did they come here? Because they respected what was brought down there to them. I say this morning, This truth that we have preached this number of years will set people free if they hear it the right way. God is going to have an element of truth-seeking people around this world; and He is going to put these people together the way He wants it to be done. When I look over the congregation here, I just thank God, that He has given me people like this to support my ministry through the years. It is your loyalty, and your support that has put the Contender in every nation at this point in time. It has been the support of people around the world who love truth, that has enabled us to get that truth going out over the internet, going to people around the world, that otherwise would not have access to it. It is what we have stood for all these past years, that God has honored. I love God, I love His Word; and I love His people wherever they are, so I want to establish something with all who will ever hear the sound of my voice, I absolutely have no desire or motive, to be a one man showpiece. I have stood for a true revelation of the word of God and for a true ministry that would join with me to uphold it around the world. It is God that does the choosing, not me, but if I can present the truth, God will do the rest to fulfill His word. He did it in Mexico, He did it in India, and in Africa, so He will do it anywhere He finds hungry souls. During all these almost 40 years, what I preach has been ridiculed and spoken evil of by a lot of people who claim to follow the message delivered to us by Bro. William Branham, but it is because I refuse to compromise. This is the truth that is going to put God’s people together, so there is no place for compromise. Those who criticize me are always talking about the thunders, that it will require Bro. William Branham to come back and bring us the revelation of the seventh seal and the seven thunders. I say to them, You can forget that idea: He is not coming back until God resurrects the other precious saints that have passed from the scene. You that have believed that, have had almost forty years to wallow with that belief; and during that time you have not put together one thing that God will accept, and furthermore you cannot, because God does not honor such ridiculous ideas as you are motivated by. I am saying this to you who have ridiculed me for the truth that I have spread abroad, because it has helped put a people together that are consistent, and you need to recognize it. God does not want any of us to sit here with a half dozen ideas that cannot be vindicated by the Bible, one going this way and one going that way. That is common in the denominational systems of the world, but people who claim to be following a true revelation of God’s word cannot continue to live and conduct themselves like that. The gospel that was delivered by Paul, Peter, James and those other apostles was a consistent message to put together a nucleus of people in that hour, all believing the same thing, staying together and praying for one another. I am thankful that when I read the book of Acts, I see the report of how a Church, a believing people, were put together by the leadership of the Holy Spirit working in them. I believe with all my heart, that the hour is fast approaching when we will all get in the right frame of mind and become consistent with what we see and believe, that God will begin to deal with every one of us in various ways. Out of every vessel of clay, the Holy Spirit is going to manifest that quality that God wants each one to be endowed with. You say, Well I have never spoken in tongues, I have never interpreted or experienced any of the gifts of the Spirit. Well be patient and faithful, God has other things He leads people into in their Christian lives. There are times that the Holy Spirit lays prayer upon the heart’s of a number of people, when situations arise that demand the prayers of praying people. You have analyzed it, you have talked about it, you have read the scriptures, then all of a sudden, God has a way of taking your mind and harnessing it to put within you the word of wisdom or knowledge. Neither of those are dependant upon speaking in tongues and interpreting. You do not know why you are thinking this way, because from the natural way of looking at it, the situation looks impossible, but somehow or other, something is saying to you, Everything is going to be alright. I have to say, If we will just yield to the Lord the right way, He will do the rest.
WORDS SPOKEN TO GOD’S TRUE CHURCH
Here in this 10th chapter of Revelation, where it tells about how the Lord dealt with John, an old man that had been put out there on the isle of Patmos, we see some very important words. The politicians of that hour thought they were going to put him out of commission when they put him out there, but it was there on the isle of Patmos, that he was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and God began to give him this entire writing we find in the book of Revelation. When we come into the 10th chapter, we close the 7th verse where God announces about the message of the messenger to the age. Then in the 8th verse, we find these words, “And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, (The reason I am reading this, is because it is not going to be fulfilled to every Tom, Dick, and Harry of this message around the world. God has given them ample opportunity to get it in their souls the right way; and they have rejected it. The right way, is to see it right and submit yourself to the Lord in a way that He can lead us all together, because that is His main objective, to put all believers of the bride of Christ together as one people.) Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. (Now let me say, This portrays Jesus in angelic form, when He appears on earth at the end time, the time when the seventh seal is opened. At that time, the scroll is in His hand and it is open. Do you understand? As long as that scroll has not been opened, that means the seventh seal is still not broken. The fact that it is not broken shows that He is still on the mercy seat interceding for the contents of that scroll of redemption. Then when the time has come, that He has broken that last seal, He can then announce it and those thunders are going to be revealed on earth. Right here in verse 9, we find John saying to this angelic being, Give me the little book.) And He said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, (meaning a bad case of heartburn) but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” That is for our day because Jesus will then have broken the seal, and time for the bride to be left here will be getting very short. Jesus will be on earth in angelic form, not literally, as He will be at the end of the tribulation that will be just ahead. As John was told to eat it up, and that he must prophesy again later, I say to you, The same Spirit that gave John the insight on how to write the total revelation, will be the Spirit that is going to be causing the end time ministry to be prophesying and bearing witness as time for the Gentiles is closing out. The seven thunders will be sounding their voices; and they will speak things that have not been uttered by mortal men before. I believe there is going to be some things done that are going to cause men to be led into political high places, where they will point the finger and speak to those leaders. Notice, For thou shall prophesy again: before who? Will it be the janitor? Will it be the garbage collectors? No. It will be before kings, governors, and other men of high places. They are the ones that need the finger pointed at them today. Would you not say so? Listen to me now; This cannot be done out of assumption: it will only be done by a direct leading and working of the Holy Spirit. I believe it is one of the last things that God is going to do with His Church, as He puts all of it together in perfect unity.
COLLECTING AND PROJECTING THOUGHTS
We are going to endeavor to finish this message we have been on now for several weeks. I titled it, “The Great Mystery,” even though I have covered many things you might not include under this title. I do believe with all my heart that we are an element of people, both here and around the world, that are witnessing the things God has been doing as He brings this dispensation to a close. I made mention this morning, that I had received a couple of books sent to me this week. When I glanced through them and saw what they were discussing and realized who they were copying from, it just simply made me feel bad. All over this modern world today, there are people who have heard, read and taken the sermons of Bro. William Branham, and have interpreted the contents into some of the most crazy revelations anyone could ever come up with. They take everything he said, as the message he came to deliver to this age, and hardly ever get back into the Bible at all, which is what his message was ordained to cause true believers to do. As I read one particular phrase from one of them, he said the message is the same as the Bible. No saints, he got that wrong, because it definitely is not. God has not called anyone to write another Bible. This was a case where God was using a mortal man in a way as to bring out by his own way of expressing things, the revelation of His word, in language this present day element of Bible believing humanity could understand. He was speaking in his own words, what the apostles of Christ spoke, taught and wrote in the original scriptures, when the gospel was still pure. I just have to say I am thankful to God tonight, for what He has seen fit to reveal to His Church in these last days. What we are going to do tonight, as I referred to this morning, as I read out of the various scriptures in the book of Acts, is read some of the things that God has confirmed to me about my life and ministry, things that have taken place over a number of years. I have avoided some of these things through the years, because I realized there is an element of people that will say, Who does he think he is? There was an element of religious people that said the same thing about William Branham, but I want everyone to know that I never thought anything like that. The minute I heard the man preach, I said, That man has something I need: I am not going to let daylight be seen between me and him, because I want to listen to what he has to say every chance I have. I want to learn something, that I am sure I can learn from him. All through the Bible, all the apostles of old would speak fluently. Paul’s own personal testimony is referred to twice in the book of Acts. It was necessary for him to give this testimony at times, when he was being held in question. That is why I am going to read some of the things that have been handed to me in recent months. Back in September, just a short time before we had our convention, Bro. Nelson wrote his personal testimony. I did not ask for it: I did not even know he had a testimony like that, but he brought it to me and said, Bro. Jackson, I have written this out because I am just afraid to try to say it, afraid I might mess it all up. I am not going to read all of it, because the first part is about his years in the navy, what he experienced and so forth. Then he tells how, in 1968, he got out of the Navy and started living with his sister near Booneville, so just listen as I read it.
BROTHER BOBBY NELSON’S TESTIMONY
“My sister had a dream one night and told it to me the next day. She says today, that she doesn’t remember it, but I remember it well. She had dreamed of Bro. William Branham going up a mountain and hundreds of people were following. (This was in 1968, Bro. William Branham was already gone.) When he got over half way up the mountain, he stopped and people began to cry, What is wrong, what is wrong. Bro. William Branham said, This man will lead you on up. A man stepped out of the crowd of people. Many went on with this man and many stayed with Bro. William Branham. (That is true. I heard it said years ago, in the days of John the Baptist, right after the crucifixion of Christ, John had some disciples then that had never heard or seen the Christ. When real persecution broke out, many of these people left, went down across Saudi Arabia into Yemen. It was reported that for years to come, the offspring of those people, were all still talking about John the Baptist. Think, that was years later. We are going to have a lot of people in this world today just like that. That is why the Lutherans only look at Martin Luther. Look how many years ago that was. They cannot see any further ahead. We can ask, Why are people like that? It just seems as though they only have the capacity to catch one revelation and then they stop.) Then in 1969 someone put my name on the mailing list to get The Contender. She saw your picture and said, That is the man I saw in my dream, with Bro. William Branham. I soon forgot this account and from 1969 to 1974 would read Then Contender and throw it away, because I didn’t want anyone but Bro. William Branham. This is where you can’t believe every spirit. The thought came to me, here is just another want-to-be trying to take Bro. William Branham’s place. Then I heard the tape My Defense by Bro. Jackson. I said, well at least he said Bro. William Branham’s horse was much bigger than his, so I will give him credit for that. (A lot of people think I have never been around a horse. I raised horses from 1968 until 1982 and I still have horses. I have had some horses fifteen and a half hands tall, and some fourteen hands tall. In that dream, the horse that was left there for me was not a pony. How many know what I am saying?) I was laid off from my job at Whirlpool from December 1974 until April 1976. Remember when Bro. William Branham was stranded in the flood that time for days, and had time to pray and think about things, well I had almost a year and half to think about things. There was no work at all, so I wrote to Faith Assembly and asked for all the Contenders from 1969 to 1975. For one whole year I was in the floor with my Bible and all the Contenders and a concordance, and history books. I said, I am going to find out if this guy is of God or not. (He had a right to, anybody does.) I thought, Surely he will mess up somewhere, no preacher can preach year in and year out without contradicting themselves somewhere. So I just knew that somewhere I would find a mistake or a proud spirit about Bro. Jackson, or something wrong. After a year, ten hours a day of reading, I still wasn’t convinced. I thought, You can’t really judge a man’s spirit without being around him. So a friend of mine I had met at Whirlpool, and had given a few Contenders to, suggested we come to Faith Assembly and hear Bro. Jackson preach. I was really displeased with the church we were going to, just singing and shouting, but never hearing the word or learning anything. Three of us came to a night service in November 1977. After that service I said, This is where I am going to church. Not long after that our family started attending Faith Assembly. As I sat there every Sunday, trying to see what kind of spirit Bro. Jackson had, I began to believe he really can’t take Bro. William Branham’s place. (I never have tried to, I was not supposed to take his place. What God called him to do, is done.) As God led Israel in the Old Testament, when one prophet died God would raise up another one and leadership by kings was the same way. I truly believe we all still would be trying to figure out serpent seed, foolish virgins, the antichrist and much more, if not for the teaching and ministry of Bro. Jackson. I asked a brother a few weeks ago, Did God show you what the two trees in the garden were? Did He show you all about the re-gathering of Israel? I said, brother, if I had not heard this explained by the revelation given to Bro. Jackson, I would be like most everyone else, just guessing at what it means. I am here at Faith Assembly to grow in knowledge and to get my robe washed white.” Bro. Nelson, I thank you for this testimony. It comes at a time that is very important. I have another testimony here, which I cannot take time to read all of, because of the time involved, but it is all about the Contender. This came from a brother in Pennsylvania, just about the time Bro. Nelson gave me his. This man had done something and was arrested and put in jail, but he knew he would be transferred from there to somewhere else. He was wondering where he would be sent, to actually spend his time in confinement, so he said in here, “This was going to take four months to find out where I was going. The first month I found fellowship with some professing Christians. As time passed, a man came to me and told me about Bro. William Branham and his life as a prophet. Those professing Christians told me to stay away from him, (meaning anybody that had anything to do with Bro. William Branham) but I felt a pull in me to check it out, so I did. He gave me a Spoken Word book to read. I went to my cell and read it. It was very good, but at times it was hard to understand, but I kept going with it. Bro. Noel told me about two other brothers in another state prison that believed in the same thing and asked me to pray and ask God that I would go there. So I did, and God granted it. I was moved to Huntingdon State Prison to do the rest of my time. When I was allowed to get out of my cell, I went looking for the brothers and found them, Bro. Joseph Martin (He has been corresponding with Faith Assembly for several years.) and Bro. Billy Seay. These were the brothers that Bro. Noel was talking about. One of the brothers gave me a Contender to read. He said, This is a continuation of the truth of our time. It was vindicated to him when God gave him a dream. In the dream Bro. William Branham gave him a Contender and said, Continue in the message. (Now you Spoken Word people, you who want to listen to nothing else but just what the prophet said, here comes a testimony out of a penitentiary by inmates that have found the grace of God somewhere in their lives. They have been given a Spoken Word book to read about Bro. William Branham, and they believe it. Then one of them has a dream that Bro. William Branham came to him and showed him a Contender, and said Continue on in the message. It has been eighteen or twenty years ago, I received a letter from a young man in Africa. He said, Bro. Jackson, I had been given the Contender but I was afraid to read it, because I had heard so much criticism and opposition to your ministry. Then one night Bro. William Branham came to him in a dream. In the dream it seemed like he was walking somewhere and he saw a Contender lying there. He picked it up reluctantly, not wanting to read it, but was just looking at it. In his dream, Bro. William Branham walked up to him and said, Go ahead and read it, you will find a message in it. In the thirty six years we have printed the Contender we have never said or done anything to change the things Bro. William Branham brought to this generation. We have done our best to take what was said by him and show where it fits in the Bible in the proper way. We have explained the dual statements and the seventy weeks of Daniel; and certainly not in any way that would diminish what God ordained Bro. William Branham to preach. I would never even touch the seventy weeks of Daniel until I could see it clearly myself, studying history. After God let me see it in history, I said, If the Jews in the hour of Jesus would only have understood the writings of Daniel, they should have been able to discern that their Messiah would come on the scene somewhere within a short period of time. However, religious leaders had cut everything out, just like religion has today. As I was watching the News this week,(March 2004) I heard that this Passion film, since it has been released, has brought in 251 million dollars, the largest intake of any movie ever produced, and it is not done yet. I will just say, The Catholic Church can go climb a tree if they want to, because, if they are not careful, God is going to rip some more off of them one of these days. In the past number of months, this covers the period of time from 1950 until now, ten thousand six hundred people have come forward testifying how they were abused by priests when they were young. The number of priests that have openly confessed, number four thousand and six hundred already. Think of it. This is not just the spirit of Catholicism in the United States only, because this is the picture of Catholicism for many, many decades worldwide. Let me get back to this testimony.) I went back to my cell with a handful of Contenders and started to read. As I was getting into what I was reading, and was also agreeing and saying, Yes, this is it, then the floodgates of heaven opened upon me. I felt like I was floating on a cloud. Right then I knew that I had received the Holy Ghost, the missing part of me or a hole in the heart was being filled. Praise God. After a while we were allowed to have a tape service every Sunday morning, tapes that were sent to us by other brothers from the outside, sermons of Bro. Jackson, Bro. Allen, and Bro. Thompson. We would sing along and really get anointed to hear the truth being preached to us. Then we had Bro. Billy Paul Branham come to see us and I got baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then as time passed on, I studied the Contenders almost ten hours a day in my cell. I was really soaking it up. In the spring of 1991 God granted it to me to be released from prison. I came to the fall convention at Faith Assembly Church. (I remember that.) I was amazed to see how much love, joy, and peace each had one for another, and the sisters cooking the food in the dining hall. Not one complaint came from them. I had a great time there and met with some wonderful people in the Lord.” I have to say, I am thankful to God. These testimonies bear witness that God had a purpose, not only in my life, but also in the Contender. I do not read these things and say these things to brag. However just as Paul of old testified how the Lord spoke to him on the road to Damascus, and he was not ashamed or afraid to give his testimony of what happened, I say tonight, I am not ashamed to give my testimony of how God has dealt with me; and of how He has vindicated my ministry. I have other testimonies here, that I have received from people, but I am not going to read all of them tonight. I will just say, I am very thankful to God for what He has allowed me to see and understand through the years. I received this poem years ago, and I do not even know who wrote it and sent it to me, but I put it in my files and found it a few weeks back, so I will read it to you. The title is, “My Pastor.”
Down near Elizabeth on a little farm, the Lord spoke to Raymond Jackson and said, come along, now is the time to start the little church. If you stay true, it will be my perch. So he started out, just a few inside, but he taught the true word and said, Now abide by the rules inside this little black book, and you will make it there if you don’t shirk. As the years passed on, the congregation grew, and in my mind I never knew what the Lord had in store for this little man, that he is carrying the true word all over the land. When I went there in 1957, he was teaching then on how to get to heaven. He said you have to repent, be baptized in His name, then receive the Holy Ghost and never be the same. So with the Lord’s help I did all of this, and with Jackson for a teacher, now I couldn’t miss. He taught me well down through the years, when things got rough, he had no fears. He trusted in the Lord with all his might, and he knew everything was going to be alright. He is a loving man, and gentle too, he likes to laugh with the young and hear the babies coo. He is sympathetic with the old and kind to the middle aged too, his burden must be plenty, still he never seems blue. Then came the year that William Branham died, people talked about him, even said he lied. But he stood up strong for the truth and the right, never wavering once, he stayed right with the fight. He is an example of what he has taught, you can’t pay him because he can’t be bought. There is no room for sympathy of natural ties, he is patient, longsuffering, yet firm with the guys. When it comes to wisdom, there is none to compare, you can count on him, for he’ll always be there. He takes all the information of the things in hand, then acts accordingly as the Lord draws a plan.
I have said all this so I can say this, to be acquainted with this man is not something I’d not want to miss. While I have failed many times along the way, true to the truth he taught me, I always want to stay. So get behind this man, stand firm and strong, down through the years, I have never seen him wrong. Now of the things to come, he sings a song, so get yourself ready, it can’t be long. While the five fold ministry works hand in hand, to perfect a people for a heavenly land, yet I believe the Lord has chosen this man, to get the Bride ready to leave this land.
I did not ask anyone to write that, I don’t know who wrote it: it was given to me several years ago. I put it in my files and just ran across it a few weeks ago. I just have to say again tonight, I am thankful to God for the way He has dealt with me in life: I could have absolutely been in the same condition a lot of others are in, that have totally sold out for quotes. That is why, for the first three years after Bro. William Branham’s death, I found it mighty hard to look to the future, feeling like I would not have any friends. In the face of all of that though, it seemed like the mercy and grace of God just kept nudging me along. In situations like that, you want to stop and be friendly with everybody, and try to agree with everybody, but something always said, Keep on going. I want to read to you a prophecy. Back in 1955, in the hot summer time, I was just finishing up combining a field of oats. My father-in-law and my neighbor was helping, taking it from the combine to the barn to put in the bin. I finished up a piece of grain and was pulling the combine out of the field, pulling up to some shade at the edge of the woods; and I will never forget this. Sitting on the tractor, tears came into my eyes. I said, Lord, here I am sitting on this tractor and I want to go preach your word. I thought, I just simply cannot be occupied by farming all the time. I remember taking my straw hat off, taking my handkerchief and wiping my forehead as I thought that. I am telling all this because, about three days later I got a letter from a sister that was in fellowship with us. She is dead now, and gone on to be with the Lord, but God, at times, used her in a very unique way of prophesying. Sometimes those prophesies would be in poetic form, while at other times they would just be normal. To my surprise, in a letter I received one day, was this long prophecy. I saw who it was from and opened it up. I will read it now.
Hearken son, to the sound of my voice, may God abundantly bless you and the fruit of your seed, and the fruit of your land. May He abide in your heart and soul and make ready your path. May He look down upon you and not find you wavering or departing from the faith, which alone is found in His only Son Christ Jesus. May you humbly walk cautiously and softly before Him, as He makes ready a new road for thee to travel. Stay on this road my son, lest you stumble against a stone, which Satan has laid for thee. Hasten and make ready thy garments, and lead my sheep to my door, which I will gladly open if you shall knock. I shall receive the fruit of your labors and greater shall be the blessings when you are obedient and faithful unto my calling. You are a branch and seed of David and you I have called to do good works unto the end, as I have bid you. Listen, I have been talking to you lately. The other day in the field, I spoke to you and you heard me. Now time is short, and just like the harvest you have gathered in your own field, likewise my harvest is almost to a close, my son. I see sincerity in thy heart and intensity in thy purpose. Heed it my son. Thou art mine and I am thine, so we go twain in great and mighty works to fulfill the mission unto which you were born. Take my hand and follow me, and you shall know the truth and by it we shall set the captives free.
When I saw those words, The other day I was talking to you in the field, I will never forget, pulling out of the field, sitting under the shade of that tree, I pulled my hat off and was wiping the sweat from my forehead and said, God, here I am tied up here. Little did I realize, God knows exactly how to speak. If I were like a lot of other fellows, that did not believe a thing like this, I would be in a pitiful shape like they are, because they would say this is not for our day. Well I say to everyone who hears this, All of this definitely is for our day, and it is going to get much better for those that have a mind to receive it, and allow God to prepare them to be used as a vessel in His plan. No, God is not going to force His way into everybody’s life and home, but He is going to open up the door for every person that is willing to walk with Him, and that has an ear to hear what He has to say. I am simply saying to you, There is something coming up the road, and I believe God is absolutely going to anoint His servants, wherever they are around this earth, to be ready for it. Out of the shadows, God is going to set a ministry out front that is going to stand true to His call, His purpose, and to the revelation of truth that has been restored. For a short period of time they are going to labor, they are going to do their utmost by the leadership of the Holy Spirit in their respective lives, and we are going to know that God has truly heard the prayers and supplication of people that want to be on the winning side. I have said many times, I do not want to stand by myself, but at the same time I have said, I am standing long enough for God to raise up some men that are going to have a revelation of how to take this restored truth and put it in order, working together to help put a people together for the glory of God. I am thankful after all these years, that some are anxious to believe what we preach, and they stand for it, but there have been others, that after a while, they go another direction, because, without a true revelation someone has been able to entice them and draw them away. That is not the way it is supposed to be: God’s messenger brought us a truth, how to get back in the Bible, and the God that we seek to serve will lead us just like he did the early ones in that first age, if we are subject to His leading. I am thankful to God for every brother and sister that loves truth wherever they are, but I am especially thankful for every one that has come here by God’s divine leadership. Some were born here, but others have come from various other places; and I just pray that we can all walk together, pray together, work together, worship together, praying one for another, that we can all truly, in the end, be one in mind with one purpose. I am fully persuaded, that this is the kind of people the Lord Jesus is coming for, regardless of where they reside in this life; and that we will all see every spiritual truth exactly alike. I cannot tell you how many times through the years, I have heard individuals say, Well I don’t think we have to see everything exactly alike, just as long as we all love Jesus. You may think, or even say, Well, what is wrong with believing like that? I will tell you what is wrong with that attitude. The gospel preached by Jesus and His apostles of old had one application: They did not preach one gospel for the purpose of getting bride saints, another to make foolish virgins, and another for some other reason. The gospel was preached for one purpose only, to redeem lost souls and gather together in one, all that were ordained of God to be His children. Regardless of whether those redeemed end up in the bride of Christ, or whether they end up as foolish virgins, they are all redeemed by the same gospel. The apostle Paul expressed it perfectly in his epistle to the Ephesian Assembly, starting in the 1st verse of chapter 4. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3, Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5, One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7, But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. That is not written for Athiest; it is written to believers, that they may have a true revelation; and those who have a true revelation of God’s word have nothing to disagree about. It is just like going to school. When the teacher tells you that two plus two equals four, it will do you no good whatsoever to disagree and say that two plus two equals five. That serves no purpose other than to reveal the fact that such a person does not know what they are talking about. Do you know what you will get? You will get an F, just what you deserve. In the case of spiritual truths, it reveals spiritual ignorance, when someone wants to argue about the meaning and application of Bible doctrines that have been given to us by divine revelation. If we take our natural education and say that certain figures have to be exact, and that unless they are we are going to get an F, well, this is God’s text book. God did not have it written to give us a half dozen answers and a dozen different pictures on the exact same thing. There is one message. It says one thing. If we see it right we are going to come out right. If we let human flesh guide us, (I have seen enough of flesh trying to entice me through the years, because my natural instinct was to treat everybody nice.) we are going to miss the mark. The Bible says prefer your brother above yourself, but that does not mean we should pamper flesh. We are to prefer our brother above ourselves, rather than to display selfishness and always try to get first place in everything pertaining to things of the natural, but when it comes to a spiritual revelation, there is no place for compromise. If what you have, is a true revelation, you cannot get rid of it anyhow. That is worth thinking seriously about, whoever you may be. When you have to sacrifice a revealed truth for something, there is where you draw a line, because you cannot follow flesh. Truth does not know flesh from flesh, so we as believers are obligated to be obedient to the grace and leadership of God. I believe with all my heart, that up the road very soon, as God begins to create some conditions in certain areas to cause an element of people to really begin to work together and pray, He will cause them to see certain things that are up ahead. As they seek the face of God, God by His divine guidance will show them exactly what to do, and how to go about it. We just have to realize, that in the end, He is not going to let all of us just sit in here with some still having doubts. There have been times in the past when some would say, Well I don’t know about that: I did not understand it that way, but God is not going to let time run out with part of the bride still feeling that way. When I went to hear Bro. William Branham and made up my mind that he was the man I wanted to sit and listen to, I did not sit there and say, Well I don’t see this and I don’t see that the way he is presenting it. No saints, we need to have confidence in the ministry we feel led to sit under. When I first heard Bro. William Branham say something about it not being an apple that Eve ate there in the garden, that caused the problem, it naturally struck me a little strange. Back in the 1950’s, when I heard him say that, certain types of words were not openly spoken in our American society, and especially not by preachers. I thought, My goodness, oh my! But going on from there I thought, Well that makes more sense than eating an apple. The more I thought about it, the more I prayed about it, and after a while it began to make more sense than I could ever have imagined. As you begin to see more and hear more, all the nonsense you have heard before has to be cast out of your mind. I have been thinking about all the nonsense they are teaching in our schools, how they have a new idea to send our boys to school separated from the girls, to have separate sex education. That is a trick of the dirty devil: the day you do that, you will produce a bunch of females that will not be fit to be a wife, and you will create a bunch of men as mean as the devil himself, more ornery than a snake; and they will not grow up to know how to be sociable human beings. Think of it, in a nation that once knew God, now certain influential ones have had Him put out of our schools and government buildings, never to be mentioned again, if they have their way. Our politicians, as well as many of our educators are becoming as ornery as snakes in the grass. I am so thankful, that here in America, God did send a little man with a message that opened the hearts of some people; and showed them exactly where we are living, in time. God knew America was heading down the road toward decay, but praise be to His wonderful name, He opened up a way for as many as would, to escape from the general trend and find a higher plane of life. He gave us something worth living for. No matter how vile and corrupt our general society gets, we can walk with our heavenly Father in the light of His glorious truth. He has given us a revelation of the godhead, of scriptural water baptism, of all that His only begotten Son gave His life for at Calvary; and of what we should expect and look for as time closes out. At the same time, just look how it is all around us: every evil that has been in the old world for years, we now have it here in America one hundred percent and we are not doing one thing to try to get rid of it. Some would say, Well you are always talking hate. That is because I hate what some politicians call just, knowing it is not just at all. A nation that was founded by men that fought to gain independence, and gave her a birth, and men that allowed God to be supreme in all the national discussions, have passed on to their reward and the nation is left to a generation that have taken everything that was sacred and trampled it under foot, one thing after another. Oh God, help America we pray, in this hour we are living in; and help us walk before you as wise people, made ready for the soon coming of our precious Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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