HOW DOES THE FIVEFOLD MINISTRY IN EPHESIANS 4:11 LINK WITH CHRIST AND HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY? WHAT MINISTRY DID GOD PREDESTINATE AND ORDAIN TO GUIDE, PROTECT AND PERFECT THE BODY OF CHRIST? HOW LONG WAS THIS MINISTRY TO BE EFFECTIVE? WHAT WAS GOD’S METHOD OF SCHOOLING THIS MINISTRY? WHICH MINISTRY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NICEA AND THE DARK AGES? THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION, WHAT PURPOSE WERE THOSE MINISTRIES? WHY COULD NOT AN ENDTIME FIVEFOLD MINISTRY SPRING FROM EITHER THE SCHOOL OF CATHOLICISM OR PROTESTANTISM? WHAT IMPORTANT THING IN RELIGION HAD TO TRANSPIRE BEFORE THE OFFICES OF APOSTLE, PROPHET, PASTOR, TEACHER, AND EVANGELIST COULD BE REESTABLISHED IN EFFECTIVENESS WITHIN THE ENDTIME CHURCH PRODUCING A MINISTRY THAT’ WOULD SEE THE REVELATION OF TRUTH EYE TO EYE!
CHRISTIANITY THE TRUE WAY OF LIFE
Christianity is the true way of life. Christ came into the world not to merely give man a philosophy to live by, instead He came because people were in need of a Saviour and an example in order that those who would accept Him might be lifted up out of the things of the world and live a life consecrated to the Glory of God. Today we enter into a subject still in much controversy, yet, time has come that certain things should be lifted out of the Word of God and taught with a certain firm stand being taken in order that people might begin to recognize and make preparation in their hearts for whatever God has purposed to do among His people. Turning to Ephesians 4 we shall study the greater part of this marvelous chapter which deals strictly with THE CHURCH. As far as salvation is concerned (as preached by evangelists) this would be one chapter they would hardly ever mention except for a few isolated verses as this chapter deals strictly with the believer who makes up the body of Christ, AND WHAT A CHAPTER IT IS!
Paul says, “I therefore the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” speaking strictly to the believers in Christ (Col. 1:18). Paul encourages the believer to walk worthy of the vocation! Vocation here does not necessarily imply a skilled trade, yet value wise the salvation given to you which was purchased at Calvary is the most priceless possession of your life and is worth (material wise) far more to you than any natural skilled trade of this world could offer or ever benefit you. This spiritual call or spiritual life given freely unto you by the grace of God has lifted you up into a special realm of life, it is a special call and a very special gift of God, therefore such a gift should not be tampered, trifled, or played with. Paul says walk worthy of it, meaning don’t treat it haphazardly, God is certainly not one who does things haphazardly. Furthermore, the apostle says since by His grace He was gracious enough to lift us up, making us to be partakers of His wonderful gift of Eternal Life, walk then worthy of that gift which by no measure could ever be merited on our part through works or virtue because this gift of life is strictly a gift of unmerited favor coming from God who saved and cleansed our hearts giving unto us the gift of Eternal Life which is the Holy Ghost (Rom. 8:9). Analyzing all of this Paul pleads with the church to walk worthy of this life, not cheapening nor degrading it in any manner. Like a man who schooled himself for a precise trade and is supposed nevertheless once he is employed to express that trade and merely plays around with it, It won’t be long until people begin saying I thought he was a master in this trade! Just look at that which he did, in other words, looking upon his work proves whether or not he was a master tradesman, likewise the life we live proves whether or not we are actually trying to measure up to that priceless gift of life itself. Walking worthy of it in no way means that we have actually in any way been worthy of it, instead It means since freely having been given to us let us cherish it and be most grateful for it. After all it was through His love that it was freely granted in the first place making it all the more reason to cherish and adore it.
WALKING WORTHY, HOW?
Therefore Paul shows since having been called by God’s grace how we are to walk worthy of It (1). with aII lowliness (not being puffed up, feeling I am such and such) and (2). meekness (being gentle) after all seeing our salvation was freely given with no merits of our own, really there is nothing on our part to be puffed up about, moreover, we should be even more humble. Paul continues on saying, in lowliness – – which doesn’t mean to show lowliness one places his head in a gutter – – that is not being lowly! Lowliness deals with the attitude of our thinking in that we realize, Lord, I am not worthy to receive this great gift, nevertheless I sincerely thank you for it. In myself I recognize I am no good, yet because of what you did Lord I sure thank you. Now please help me Lord to walk ever humbly with all lowliness and meekness. Mother word Paul uses here illustrating how we should walk it with (3). longsuffering – – meaning to forebear one another in love. That is the only way God desires us to be, therefore always remember, learn to differentiate between these words and place them where they belong. And recall, to forbear one another in love never means forbear one another in sin or disobedience!
THE PROBLEM OF SELF
So often our human nature gets in our way, doesn’t it? Therefore the grace of God placed in our lives is all sufficient wherein if we will recognize our place in the body of Christ we can recognize the remedy and means whereby these human natures can be kept under control (not always getting in our way), that is, in so much these human natures of ours will not become uncontrollable spirits wherein we would create a sickening condition within the body of Christ because once we begin to forebear and respect one another as the scripture teach, esteeming one another to be above our respective self that and that alone is grounds and attitude which constitutes a sincere christian motive. Therefore Paul is stating to the church their Christian walk should be in lowliness. meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another in love. Because with that kind of attitude and motivation of our hearts we as believers can successfully put forth an effective effort to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace. Recall, Paul is not addressing his statements to sinners but unto those who have been redeemed by the grace of God through the only true gospel of that hour (the apostolic teachings of Christ) and have become the church or body of Christ. Sinners must first be saved by the grace of God, being brought into the family of God before they could ever begin to walk worthy in any manner of this wonderful new way of life, pathway or attitude, etc. . Nevertheless, since being brought into this wonderful way of life we now have been called into a great vocation and have a responsibility Paul says to live up to something great!
ONE TRUE BODY IN THE BEGINNING, ONE AT THE END
Continuing on he says, “There is only one body.” Aren’t you grateful to the fact there is only one true body of Christ? That lets us know if we seek with all of our hearts this one true body of Christ we shall find it, and upon finding it and becoming a part of it, we realize one day we shall be able to see Him, and be with Him. Moreover, recognizing there is only one true body shows it would be foolish to look into a dozen different bodies of religious faiths trying to find Christ! Beloved the true biblical revelated church started out only one body and it is going to end up as one body irregardless to how Satan splits it up into so many pieces during and after the Dark Ages!!
BODY NOT SEEN BUT RECOGNIZED
Scripture contends for the fact there is only one mystical body of Christ wherein God placed in the very beginning (1). gift of life and (2). His abilities and (3). His ministry to assist believers in living Christ. That one body is made up of strictly born again believers who are filled with the Holy Ghost and feasting in the beautiful revelation of His Word. Furthermore, it is a body that cannot be seen, yet can be recognized due to the fact that the Spirit of Christ lives in the lives of the redeemed and they have a great love and respect for all of His Word.
GOD IS ONE SPIRIT
From the following statements of Paul we now note as he continues to speak directly unto the one body of revelated believers something that is most important and shall truly affect their thinking. Paul now deals with the oneness of God! This is accomplished in first stating to the believer how many spirits God is! God is – – ONLY ONE SPIRIT! Recall Christ’s statement concerning the Father (God) that He was Spirit (John 4:24). However Paul’s revelation is that Jehovah is only one indivisible Spirit! Therefore you can see the true body of Christ through the assistance of that fivefold ministry is instructing and drilling into the believers, not a doctrine of the trinity of God as the majority of the church world accepted and holds too today (the trinity of persons) founded as a doctrine at Nicea 325 A.D. or several hundred years after the death of the last original apostle of Christ, on the contrary, the true church in the beginning of apostolic days was taught mainly by Paul himself that God was not three separate and distinct persons, having three separate spirits because his revelation is that God is only one Spirit! Eph.4:4. And the true biblical fivefold ministry that goes with this one true body of Christ can have no other revelation than that which lies in the foundational teaching. Therefore Father, Son and Holy Ghost is all of this one Spirit showing this one Spirit God operates in three separate offices (office of Father, office of Son and office of Holy Ghost) not three separate and distinct persons each having a separate and distinct personality and spirit separate from the other two!! On the contrary Paul instructed the true body God is made up of only one substance, that of Spirit!
Paul says, He is only one Spirit even as you are called into only one hope of your calling. Note here how Paul uses the phrase—EVEN AS – – to show comparison with this one Spirit, and one hope of your calling, in other words you can’t divide your one hope up into two or three hopes, nevertheless, some people have taken this one God who is only one Spirit and tried to divide Him into two or three separate things. No Sir, even as you are called in only one hope and that one hope is someday you will live eternally with Him. Paul continues using more of these various ones which cannot be divided with emphasis directed back to this one Spirit who cannot be divided either! He continues by saying, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH AND ONE BAPTISM, meaning there is only one. You can no more divide this one Spirit than you can divide this one Lord, one Faith or one Baptism. “One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all! “Now we see that this one God who is only one Spirit who also is the Father, since the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 has lived in each true revelated believer’s life. Note these are all things that are most important to the Bible believing Christian.
ONENESS OF GOD NEVER CHANGED UNDER ORIGINAL MINISTRY
What marvelous and glorious foundation teaching and instruction is coming to the Ephesian people who make up a part of that young gentile church and is applicable to all true believers everywhere, and it should be noted that not until long after the death of these faithful apostles and that early fivefold ministry died away did an entirely new ministry arise who held an entirely different concept of God than did the Apostles, and were guilty of eventually leading the church unto that Nicean church council (325 A.D.) and on out into the Dark Ages completely away from all the revelated light that had been taught by the Apostle Paul in Eph. 4. Paul taught we had been called to this one Spirit and been placed into one body that we might have fellowship with this one Holy Spirit who is God and also our one Eternal Father! Being just one spirit he also is our one Lord (Jesus Christ), our God John 20:28. Are you able to say without doubting Apostle Thomas upon recognizing the resurrected Christ, He is both Lord and God? Note here in Ephesians 4:5-6 without apology Paul teaches the true body of Christ there is only one Lord and one God and Thomas called Jesus both – when he cried “My Lord and my God”! Therefore it is clearly evident that the true church believed and taught firmly in the oneness of God and in no way could have believed in the three persons of God or what is now known as the trinity of persons, a doctrine introduced much later into the church! Yes, we have been brought in by one spirit into one body that we might fellowship this one God or one spirit and never forget we were brought into the revelation of all this through one faith.
CHURCH OF YOUR CHOICE
However we must note in this day of modernism many hundreds of years later one is instructed to go to the church of his choice or the church of his faith, as if it were left up to the individual to accept or choose the faith which was most desirable to them, when Paul in Eph. 4 emphatically declared there was only one recognizable scriptural faith with God, that one faith places true revelated believers in one body. Therefore to say church of your faith you might as well say the god of your faith because remember God has only one faith! Taxi cabs continually run about cities carrying advertising slogans “This Sunday go to the church of your choice.” Imagine yourself walking down a street in Rome some 2000 years ago on a day of worship. You would no doubt see various pagan shrines and temples with perhaps a dozen or so going to each shrine (or faith), another multitude attending another Shrine (that faith) and etc. all over Rome. Yet notice once the Pope took over the so called christian religion founded upon the basic doctrines of Nicea 325 A.D., finally plunging it into eternal darkness that office merely removed the statutes from off all these various shrines, placing them upon the Vatican and giving them separate New Testament names and declared before the world this is the church or the one faith (only faith) of the living God! You see it took all this paganism of the Roman Empire sprinkled with a little bit of christianity blended all together and announced as the true church, and that we are all going to be in it and be one big working happy family.
HOW ONE GETS INTO THE FAITH
Notice what Paul is now saying in verse 7 once he turns his thoughts away from the oneness of God and begins to deal strictly with the individual believer as to how he managed to get into this one body in order to fellowship with this one spirit who is called God. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Thank God He did freely give grace, didn’t He? Look what this grace did for us? It was all grace that brought us into this personal experience with Christ, watch (1). grace to believe Him (2). grace to repent and accept Him on the basis of His blood atonement and note since it was through His own grace freely given He further grants us grace (3). in receiving this wonderful revelation of the oneness of God wherein we might begin to walk and fellowship with Him as He truly is, therefore unto each of us Paul says was given a certain small measure of grace or unmerited favor with Him.” Note momentarily how this unmerited favor of grace works in the true believer once it is applied. Undoubtedly there are those who feel that this grace has made us all to be equal in every respect with the body of Christ. Up to a point that’s true, however beloved that equality can only go so far because we are only equal in the sense of His free love toward us. If you can show me anywhere that all the ministering angels called spirits were ever made in equal capacity or authority then I would gladly change my statement. THEY WERE NOT AND YOU KNOW IT!! Some were created to hold positions that other angels could never fulfill! Some were made of lesser authority than others to stand in lesser positions around His throne and in no way will they ever be lifted up in equal position to that of Michael or Gabriel or some cherubim of which we have no scripture concerning their names or positions. Nevertheless, if you could look into the glory world today and view that great angelic host around the throne of God you wouldn’t see one jealous spirit in the entire angelic body instead each angel would be found standing in his respective rank with his face glowing, being most thankful to his Creator for having made him a ministering spirit to carry out his will and work within the universe, saying no more and no less than he would be instructed once called upon to go forth and minister that which he had been created to do! And I assure you he would never go forth to carry out his commission and a half dozen others trying to get in his way!
ON EARTH AS IN HEAVEN
Is there any wonder when Christ’s disciples asked him to teach them to pray that he taught them to pray on this fashion “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Yes beloved, when we pray we should pray that the will of God be done on earth even as it is in heaven, because I assure you HIS WILL is performed perfectly in heaven. WHY? Because there are beings there who first of all know their place and secondly, they know what it is to carry out the will of. God even if they had to stand at attention for a billion centuries, yet once that great Eternal God commands them, they go forth and carry out gallantly the orders of the Creator without fussing, stewing and without getting in one another’s way! Therefore Christ taught his believers to continually pray for the will of God to be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. Unto God this entire realm of society must resemble a dead carcass stretched out in an open field engulfed by millions of maggots crawling all over each other, getting in one another’s way! That is just how humanity looks in the eyes of God with everyone getting in the other’s way. Too many people who feel themselves a part of the body of Christ are not content to listen, live and let live, on the contrary they are continually trying to bring something under their thumb and once under their thumb they want to press down and finally crush it making it a puppet in order to rule and domineer it. Beloved, God never created man, whether in the body of Christ or merely religiously or politically, to be ruled over in any such manner! We note Paul stating in verse 7 that this grace which is given by the spirit was an unmerited favor granted strictly according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Yes, God placed a measure (only a measure) of His own Spirit within each redeemed life, and in whatever measure of spirit he placed in the believer’s life that would constitute and determine of course by that predestinated mind of God as to what your life would be potentially one day within the body of Christ. Remember, I said potentially and yet we do realize in the final analysis those individuals who met the requirements to be a part of this great body would naturally be none other than the ones whom God had already foreknown and predestinated back in the beginning to make up that body of Christ. However it must never be overlooked in studying predestination that God still had to send forth a universal calling to whosoever will – giving all an equal opportunity to accept him in order to receive those He had foreknown in the beginning, because through predestination He knew exactly who would and would not accept His revelation of truth. Therefore we give the predestined and potential equal recognition because in the final analysis it had all been determined in that predestinated mind of God. According to the measure of the gift of Christ wherein he said “when he ascended upon high he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men! Here in verse 8 Paul refers to two separate things Christ did. (1). refers to the time after Christ’s death on Calvary when he went into the lower parts of the earth and preached to imprisoned spirits. Paul is actually confirming Peter’s revelation who only a few years before had by revelation written how Christ had actually preached unto disobedient spirits imprisoned (who lived in the days of Noah) I Pet.3:19. It is concerning this same period of time that Paul has reference to in 64 A.D. writing the Ephesian believers from Rome, yet here Paul’s revelation ran deeper into the happening of something else! Christ triumphantly became victorious over the grave and hell itself as he ascended upon high leading his captives which he had rescued from a place called Paradise under the earth (in hell). He, leading captivity captive, referred to these imprisoned righteous spirits who had been held captive by death since the days of the Old Testament until Christ conquered death and hell at Calvary. Although not in the tormented section of hell these righteous souls had nonetheless been held captive in hell. We are reminded of how David rejoiced when he received the revelation God would not leave his soul in hell nor would he suffer his Holy One (Christ) to see corruption (Psm. 16:10). Therefore David sang “my soul shall rest in hope! Out of those led captive undoubtedly was David who died realizing his soul must go into a part of hell yet his revelation hundreds of years before Christ was, one day, one day, my soul shall be taken out of hell! And here in Eph. 4:8 Paul tells the true church that after Christ ascended up on high leading his captives taken from hell that he did something else – – WHAT WAS IT? (2). He gave gifts to men and we note from the following verses that those gifts unto men (not women) fell in a capacity of a five-fold ministry to lead, instruct and perfect this one body called the church.
HOW CHRIST GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN
How do you suppose that after Christ’s resurrection and freeing the captives, he went about giving gifts unto men? Are we to suppose that as Christ went out upon the Mount of Olives where he met a multitude of disciples who witnessed his ascension that before his ascension he stood there with a basket or bag full of many gifts (presents) for his disciples saying to each before leaving, I want to leave you with a nice gift, therefore I give you this and I give you that? OF COURSE NOT!! That is not the picture at all in Eph.4:8, yet how do you suppose Christ gave gifts unto men? Catch the thought please, when those gifts were given unto men Christ was not even present in his corporal flesh because if you recall nowhere on the Mount of Olives shortly before his ascension into glory does it mention anything about the giving of gifts unto the disciples! On the contrary all that was stated that day was an answer to a question, will you at this time deliver the kingdom to Israel? To that he replied, it is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has kept in his own power but you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you,” but notice, NO MENTION OF GIFTS FOR MEN IS MENTIONED ANYWHERE! Taking them upon the Mt. of Olives they stood as eye-witnesses to His immortal presence where He had been seen in His glorified flesh, testifying for 40 days concerning His resurrection (I Cor.15:6). Christ had vindicated His resurrection before His disciples by many infallible proofs. Here He stood immortal never to die again when suddenly the earth begins to lose its gravity pull and the immortal Christ begins slowly rising from the earth. No doubt the disciples were grieved as they watched the clouds engulf Him. Suddenly two angels in white apparel stood saying “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing into heaven, this same Jesus that you saw going up will come again in like manner (or fashion).” Remember Christ had instructed his disciples prior to His ascending, to return unto Jerusalem and wait until they had been endued with power from on high, yet nothing had been stated about presenting any gifts unto men! Therefore, when this scripture in Eph.4:8 was written it had long ago become a past tense fulfillment, here is merely the Apostle’s way of stating it. You must catch the language and terminology of the application of it. After this Mount of Olives scene Christ was no longer on earth in immortal flesh to give gifts unto men – – then where, how, and when did Christ accomplish this giving of gifts? According to Hebrews After Christ was taken up into the glory world He went into the Holy of Holies into the presence of the very Eternal Spirit to intercede for the human race before the Great Eternal Spirit Father. The great presence of the Eternal Spirit is now going to take these things of Christ (beginning on the day of Pentecost) and distribute them out. Recall in the upper room when the Holy Ghost came they were not lined up, yet instead the scripture says they were seated when suddenly the Holy Ghost came as the sound of the rushing mighty wind. Now once he got their attention did everyone in the upper room then form a line and stand at attention while the gifts were given out? INDEED NOT! Yet this is often how carnal minds interpret things!
IN SPIRIT CHRIST GAVE GIFTS TO MEN
They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4). What are we saying in respect to the gifts which Paul in later years referred to which the church had received? You see, it is none other than the Holy Ghost in its office work who is none other than the Spirit of God taking these things of Christ that were expressed and manifested in His personal earthly ministry and placing them in the body of believers. In that sense it was none other than the Spirit of Christ who no longer was present in His corporal flesh who came into the upper room and began to take those things of the fleshly man Christ and distribute them out among the body of believers. Recall it was Christ. Paul stated, who distributed the gifts and the gifts were given out in the upper room where the Spirit of Christ was present (yet not in corporal flesh) to distribute gifts. Do you understand, it was none other than the Holy Spirit of God (who was in Christ, II Cor.5:19) in its office work who comes on the inside of the believer bringing into the believer’s life the very nature of Christ, bringing in the very gift of God which is God fulfilling the scripture in Col. 1:27.” Christ in you the hope of glory”! How else except by Spirit could Christ enter into your life? Certainly not in flesh!! That Holy Spirit came to demonstrate Christ in us and as it did whatever measure of grace that was imparted unto us according to God’s will determined at the time of entry exactly where we fit into the body of Christ. Furthermore, these gifts not only carry in them the expression of the nine spiritual gifts according to I Cor.9:12 but carries even a far greater application in this sense that it also covers that very ministry of Christ which he had while here upon earth. That ministry, beloved, which was in Christ’s earthly ministry was absolutely now being broken up and distributed within the body of Christ’s disciples on earth, causing that very ministry which was in Christ’s earthly journey to still continue here upon the earth for the propagation of the gospel that others might come into this one glorious faith. Christ Jesus the Lord had launched these gifts while He was here on earth in His corporal flesh and are now being distributed within the body of believers. It was the church through the ministry of the apostles and prophets took up these ministries left by Jesus and continued on as the church began to take on its growth and its bodily structure in the earth! Therefore seeing that he did descend first into the lower parts of the earth, and then ascended into the heavens that he might fill all things, after having accomplished this great giving of Himself, now fulfills B-part of Verse 8 by giving gifts unto men beginning in the upper room through the Spirit.
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY PRESENT TENSE
Let us examine this scripture of gift giving in a Positive manner, not as some do who say they believe in them, yet always want to shove its fulfillment somewhere into the future or leave it back in the past, but let us place this five-fold ministry and the gifts where they belong – – IN THE PRESENT TENSE! Besides time probably won’t last long enough for it to be shoved too far out into the future of the church anyway.
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY FIRST IN CHRIST
Verse II, “And he gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers.” Why do you suppose Christ never gave them all the same gift or position? Certainly he could have, although it wasn’t in his plan because if you will study the life and ministry of Christ carefully while on earth you will discover He, himself, fulfilled each one of these five offices of Up until that time you recall the law had been applicable and the law age carried its own ministry also. For instance, there were the scribes who propagated the law message (priests, prophets, etc.) yet even with all of that the law still pointed to Christ and now here came Christ on the scene as (1). an apostle with a new revelation or message to set in order a new way of life which was at hand for the human race. A covenant of life, of joy of peace and hope therefore none could deny that Christ was the apostle of all apostles – – HE WAS THE VERY SOURCE, THE ONE WHO MADE IT APPLICABLE AND THE ONE WHO PUT IT IN FORCE!! (2). Was he not a prophet? Moses and others referred to him as the prophet the Lord God would raise up and the people should hear him (Acts 7:37). Was he not referred to as the prophet of Nazareth? Again I say, he was the prophet of all prophets! (3). Was He Not A Teacher? Mk. 1:22 – and they were astonished at His teaching: for He taught as one having authority and not as the scribes! (4). What about the office of pastor, did he fulfill that? The Hebrew word for pastor means shepherd. Peter referred to him as the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet.5:4) and then again (I Pet.2:25) refers to him as shepherd and bishop of your soul. (Heb.13:20) refers to the Lord Jesus as Great Shepherd of the sheep. (5). What about the office of evangelist, did Christ fulfill that office? HE MOST CERTAINLY DID! As an evangelist he journeyed from place to place doing good, preaching, healing the sick, raising the dead. People felt the impact of this evangelistic ministry and note this important fact, once having ascended upon high he did not carry any of this five-fold ministry back to glory with him (to keep). On the contrary, all the ministry which was in him while on earth, last used in Jerusalem, was imparted into the body of Christ (still on earth) beginning on the day of Pentecost (still at Jerusalem) and nowhere at any time has God ever stated he had removed that ministry or only part of it) for a more efficient one. (Such as religion has today.)
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY NOT YET SERVED PURPOSE
Nowhere has God ever stated this ministry has served Its purpose. NO SIR! On the day of Pentecost as God poured out the gift of life, which was the Holy Ghost into his body of believers according to the measure of grace and God’s sovereign will, Ile called one to be something and another to be something else within this fivefold ministry. God placed and delegated a certain authority in that ministry as these would go forth under the leadership and revelation of the Spirit of God, that by and through that ministry-Christ would continue to reach out unto a sinful world of humanity and redeem all who would come to Him through the effect of the gospel as the atonement was preached and there, beloved, He would, through this fivefold ministry, bring lost mankind to a saving knowledge of Himself whereby they might be added to the Body of Christ. Each one of these men of that early fivefold ministry carried the same vision and message henceforth each one had the same motive and objective in mind – – TO GLORIFY GOD! They were certainly not a group of selfish self-righteous individuals who were apparently out to run a political rat race trying to out-do his brother and build a separate little empire for his very own! We live in a day when if it isn’t the organization trying to run the race against someone else or if it isn’t the man who is an independent minister (from his organized religion) trying to run himself a rat-race, hearing that someone else had built a larger Sunday School than he, a larger auditorium or a larger following, what does that do but create in that poor individual a desire to use every scheming carnal tactic under the sun to promote himself a larger building, a larger program or a larger Sunday School religion.
MEANING OF LAYING CHRIST
Never forget beloved in order to do this it forces the individual who is running the rat race to be pressured into cutting corners and shaving off everything possible from this gospel that he deems not necessary to carry. In plain English to get what he wants he’s forced to compromise God’s message! To the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul stated there is no other foundation that a man can lay than that which is laid and that is Jesus Christ (I Cor. 3:11). To lay Christ means to lay Him on the basis of his word! To preach Christ and to lay Christ as a foundation for the true christian faith means to lay him as an exampleship which portrays the right motive and time has come that we ask ourselves one heart searching question “Is this that we do, is it for God or for our own self?” Some individuals wouldn’t desire to become an outstanding political figure in politics oh no, they are aware God would frown upon that! Neither would they want to become an important figure in the realm of materialism, nevertheless seeing a need to be religious in obtaining some knowledge and fellowship of God and we cannot deny the fact God has not imparted his grace unto many people throughout the world, yet the question remains what do they do with this grace upon receiving it? That beloved is where the race begins! Oftentimes God will bless a man giving him marvelous opportunities merely to watch him and see what he does with the things of God, that is, just how far will he go in promoting them? If a man (minister) will truly walk with God, he will build for God and the word alone without any compromise or cutting any corners. However if for a selfish motive he chooses to take the selfish motive, there will be no alternative with him but as he seeks to build his own thing, compromise will he his ultimate result to get his own program across for after while you will begin to see the things of the world take hold of him and we all realize that’s exactly what brought the church unto its downfall forcing her into the long Dark Ages.
WHY FIVEFOLD MINISTRY WAS GIVEN
Yes, verse 11 explains how God gave unto some the gift of apostleship, some prophets and etc. However it’s not until you touch verse 12 that you find out why and for what purpose Christ gave the body of believers this particular outstanding ministry! No one can show where any one man holding any one of these five offices of the early apostolic days ever had a vision to start a separate system all of his own. While I am fully aware they did have different ideas nevertheless different ideas or differences in ideas pertaining to the human nature of man is a far cry from wanting to build an enterprise separate and apart from the body of Christ! Let’s watch where we draw a line on these words. Sure according to Ga1.2 :11-14
Peter while up at Antioch had allowed himself to be taken hold by a certain idea or spirit which dealt with human nature, furthermore this idea showed how deeply rooted Peter still remained, pertaining to his old Judaistic nature or ideas of fellowshipping with gentiles and at that hour just how far his revelation had actually gone on this particular point. Paul witnessing this strange behavior pattern as it was also taking hold of Barnabas, confronted Peter saying, “you ought to stop that Peter, you have too great a ministry to allow this kind of thing to take hold of you concerning jurgen tiles brethren.” If ever such a thing got scattered out it could hurt your ministry, and we note Peter wasn’t like so many today when confronted about something saying “Bless God I don’t have to listen to you Paul,” I’ll take my marbles (ball) and I’m going to quit playing on your team and I’ll start me one of my own. No, by no means did Peter act sulky or indifferent, but like a true servant of Christ saw his mistake and took his rebuke, therefore, remaining in the fellowship of the one true fivefold ministry, why because Peter realized that within the christian body of Christ he couldn’t act like that, for he had to be an example to the believer! Therefore putting a difference between the Jew and the gentile as was the case here dealt strictly in the social aspect of christian living and was merely a social thing in the first place.
PERFECTING SAINTS – -VERSE 12
What has been Christ’s purpose in placing his earthly personal ministry now with this 5 fold ministry within the body of Christ? Verse 12 informs us that it is for the perfecting of the saints and everyone I am sure will agree that since the church is still on the earth that she has not as yet been perfected therefore this ministry is still in force! Have you ever thought if Satan could have been kept out of that Second Age as gracefully as he was kept out of the First Age by that first round of faithful dedicated ministers in an apostolic truth undoubtedly the church would have already been perfected by this ministry ordained for that purpose. and been long gone and we would no doubt have been in another age by now! It merely goes to show someone allowed the devil to get into the church and I’m not merely referring to some building when I say church because scripture teaches ye are the temple of the living God “Ye are lively stones built upon a holy foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone” (I Cor. 3:16) and (Eph. 2:20).
FIVE OFFICES SPECIALIZED AND TRAINED WITHOUT EARTHLY SCHOOLING
And here we might add that this particular fivefold ministry dedicated to truth Christ had set within His church to lead His believers into Perfection was five offices of specialized skilled trades which required no earthly schooling! Specialized skilled trade and not one of these who filled an office in the fivefold ministry of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher had to attend a bible school to learn his craft or how to carry out, and fulfill the will of God! No sir, there wasn’t a bible school or seminary on the face of the earth who could train these men in the revelation of the word! There simply was no need for one and we do not hear of such things throughout the entire christian faith until we come out of the long Dark Ages! Where then did Bible School originate? From protestantism! And note what they were, mere counterparts running parallel to that of the monasteries, the monks and etc. which had been and still are institutions of the mother church: Catholicism. Therefore we repeat, within that first age of apostolic truth there simply were no bible schools! How then were the young men schooled, whom God had laid his hands upon for a ministerial call? By merely sitting in the local assembly of the church! God would place a young man in the local church, allowing him to hear the revelated word of God from the pastor’s rostrum (pulpit) and once he had been schooled enough in the true revelation and it had sank into his bosom, it would be then and only then that he would be allowed by the spirit to go forth to do a work for God. No, this is not said because some might feel I’m against education, I am not, this is said because it is true. God is not a God who can be isolated off somewhere in an institution, close the door on Him and He’ll go through a window every time. God will absolutely have a body of people in this hour who are holy, pure and godly living enough to recognize what it means to live a christian life according to the truth of the gospel and believe me it wouldn’t be according to the interpretation of some political religious system filled with religious rituals. No, these people will not be walking behind a clergy who was socially trained to express and impress others through their verbal vocabulary (as the world today is addicted too). You may sit in an institution and study history until you become spiritually dead, yet if your study does not have any revelatory affect to give you a further insight into a deeper spiritual purpose of God within his body of people you’re accomplishing very little through training, therefore once we entered into that 2nd age leaving behind that early apostolic pentecostal period, already a new and different ministry is slowly beginning to appear on the scene who do not hold altogether with the apostolic ideas, still there remains no seminaries and no bible schools discovered in these periods! Whatever was taught was still brought through the local assembly which still remained to be God’s bible school of the hour. No young man was saved one day. declared himself a preacher and then called for a church to pastor, perhaps that’s why Paul laid down the pattern in Romans 12 stating that if any man be called of this ministry “let him wait on his ministry.” In his own appointed time God would fulfill his calling, God who is one spirit is not some ignorant something who doesn’t know how to school you Himself.
GOD’S SCHOOL IS REVELATION
His schooling is through trials and tests, through circumstances by which He molds you and while molding you, one thing is sure He certainly isn’t going to leave you ignorant! On the contrary all the time that He has been molding you, by revelation He’s been planting that engrafted Word in your heart also. And no institution has the record of planting revelation in any student’s heart. Only God can do that! You may be changed from your ideas and theology which you learned from study while in an institution, however once God plants a revelation of His Word by the Holy Ghost in your soul all the devils in hell couldn’t change any real person from standing for the revealed truth! Remember it’s God who does the calling and the placing of that local man in that local congregation where he shall sit under the guidance and supervision of the ministry of an older man, under a man who came from another generation, an experienced warrior who in order to hold up the revelation of truth as taught by the Holy Ghost has fought the battle against Satan who offered him everything within that first age for a compromise. No, the young man never sat at the feet of some doctor of divinity or learned theologian of this or that school of learning whose degrees were yea long! On the contrary that young man was placed at the feet of a faithful, true, dedicated minister to the word of God who had proven himself through tests and trials, who had been knocked about, perhaps even ostracized from society, yet nevertheless stood firm upon the apostles’ doctrine and teaching.
THE RISE OF A NEW AND DIFFERENT MINISTRY
Ministers today are led away from truth by the following 3 things more than any other – – money, women, or popularity! Beware of Satan’s 3 main traps! Undoubtedly it was through a desire for popularity somewhere within that 2nd age that men began to lose their vision for that which was highly esteemed by that (earlier round) of the fivefold ministry, because we later note what happened once that ministry reached into 325 A.D. at Nicea. It goes to prove beyond any doubt that once you begin to lose your true vision on the real truth of God’s word something will always take its place! A vacuum cannot exist without sooner or later something being pulled into it, it would burst or crush if something didn’t fill that vacuum. During that 2nd age men who held positions in the ministry began to become complacent and indifferent while others became self-centered and as they did they naturally began losing their true love for the truth. They began losing their devotion to stand for that dedicated call in which they had been called and now begins to enter into the picture a race of competition (popularity) in which naturally as they did they began to reach out and apply certain tactics to gain and hold their position which was certainly not according to the leadership of God. They were now forced to cut corners on the Word, shaving it here and there wherever possible because as compromise enters into the picture they began to relinquish here and there until it wasn’t long you had an overall environment and condition settling down over the congregations themselves as Satan was now well on his way of setting the stage for his great plot, once they reach the hour of Nicea! (325 A.D.) Christianity the world over by the second age had grown until it filled villages and cities throughout the Roman Empire. As one godly writer defending christianity around the 2nd century wrote to the Roman emperor stated, you notice how most noble emperor that the christian faith has filled your senate, your cities, and your institutions. That dedicated early ministry of the first century had been fully responsible for christianity, its growth and progress throughout the Roman Empire. Bible christianity had lived on revelated truth and unction of the leadership of the Holy Spirit, especially, until that great controversy arose involving the ministry and churches of which Constantine invited them all to Nicea for settlement. It was here that the greatest trial the ministry had ever faced began. Never in all their history since the days of those early apostles through all their persecutions and etc. – was the ministry now faced with what it was facing! Because of their true loyalty to God’s truth and realizing the evilness of the plot, many true devout ministers of God simply refused to go to Nicea, but oh you take that preacher who was looking for a position in popularity (one of Satan’s main 3 traps) or who simply wanted to be looked up too, who wanted to work and share in this great plot of Satan, certainly they all filled their spot in the Nicea Council and there they sat! There they sold the church down the drain for a dogma and a creed, why? Because a different ministry had now stepped into the ranks (limelight) contrary to that of the thinking of the early church and now takes the church by its collar saying. I’m your ministry, follow me! And together the blind all fell in the Dark ditch! (Dark Ages of Catholicism)! Yes it was this ministry, a new ministry that was responsible for steering the church into the Dark Ages, a priesthood liken unto the pagan Baal priests of old had arisen to take the place of the fivefold ministry who alone were ordained to perfect the church as taught by the Apostle Paul, instead it was now no longer apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who were leading the church into perfection and helping to stabilize the church where she would no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the slight of men and craftiness wherein they lay in wait to deceive. No fivefold minister of the early church taught the doctrine of God developed at the council of Nicea, instead now filling the ranks of this church will be preachers who are called archbishop, right reverend, cardinals and priests of every description. Now it is monsignor this or monsignor that and every other kind of earthly unscriptural title this church could create! Why all this nonsense? Because the church had now lost its true Godgiven five fold ministry which would have pushed her on toward perfection instead of into the Dark Ages where she eventually wound up!
OBJECTIVE NOW, SYSTEM BUILDER
Their objective soon became, from the third century on, not truth or dedication to the Word as had been the goal of that early ministry who filled the ranks of the first age, on the contrary, now its objective is builders of systems and note once they started this, they now began to search the scriptures for something to verify their man-made creeds and doctrine which had already been established without scripture! Certain secluded ways of life etc., which man (not God) had chosen and adopted wherein they secluded themselves away from the world for periods of time as they put it – -to better acquaint themselves with God in receiving His Spirit and revelation within themselves prompted the first places of these schools of learning.
BEGINNING OF MONASTERY OR SCHOOLS
It was here once they had established such deeds, purposes and ways of life that schools began to come into being in order to teach and train disciples or other men of their particular ways of life and teaching! Therefore off on top of some mountain, isolated from society they began to build what they called monasteries, which was none other than isolated systems whereby men could be sent who had chosen to dedicate themselves to live a lonely life of celibacy, living secluded lives from society, sleeping in cold bedrooms, sleeping on stone floors and denying their flesh certain other privileges and comforts whereas they felt they would receive virtue and become more holy doing without. The church of that hour followed such a program drifting still further and further away from the true purpose of the five-fold ministry. Through a process of time and with the assistance of monks they were now able to begin filling their libraries with books of learning of history etc., until eventually through this process they were finally able to shut out the leadership of the Holy Ghost and His revealed Word! It wasn’t long after church men who were trained for various positions began to live a life of seclusion now something was added for the women who might take part in certain ministerings of the church. therefore all over Europe and the Holy Land sprang up what is referred to as nunneries to train their women in dedication unto the church, theirs would be to teach school, run institutions, care for the sick, poor etc., as if that had been the original commission of the church by the living God! Beloved in no way was this the church of the living God standing for apostolic truth, on the contrary it was what had taken the place of the apostolic church and its dedicated fivefold ministry! Nevertheless the church had to come this route.
NEW TYPE MINISTRY EARTHLY TRAINED
It was this type ministry that now had to be schooled and trained through institutions, and what did this trained, educated priesthood teach once out of school? They preached what they had been schooled and trained according to their own environment. Their teaching was exactly as they had been trained and all were taught to speak the same thing because they had all been trained alike! That is why if ever a priest became contrary to that of the pope’s ideas he didn’t last long. They ostracized him from the only church of that hour and this pattern remained true throughout the Dark Age period! It was none other than scrupulous, popularity seeking ministers who thought carnal ideas of scripture formed the Holy Roman Church which was destined to take the place of the true apostolic church and its original fivefold ministry of Eph. 4:11 who had been placed in the church to guide her unto perfection. Throughout the long Dark Ages the church removed herself further and further and further from that possibility of ever being a Bible church in that it was merely a system, a dead religious system stooped in darkness and spiritual heathenism and who had so long ago been successful in lowering her standards to meet the requirements of that of the world. Their vision being instead for God wherein He purposed the standards of His true church to be high in that of living a godly christian life far above the world’s religion, a life which would express Jesus Christ unto a darkened world was now all but shut out! Why? Because somewhere that ministry had sold out, and as it did look where it brought the church, straight into the Dark Ages!!
PROTESTANTISM AND THEIR SCHOOLS
To continue our study of schools, religious institutions and ideas of men which was never found in the apostolic church age because the body of Christ moved from revelation to revelation or faith to faith, something no school of learning was capable of doing, we must now turn to that period after 1517 A.D. when out of the long religious Dark Ages sprang a revelation of truth that revolutionized the religious world! Slowly after 1517, God was raising up men with different opinions on scripture than that which was held throughout the Dark Ages. Yes, these men who belonged to the Reformation hour was given a different vision than that which was held by what was now referred to as the Pope and his school of ministry.
PROTESTANT MINISTRY NOT AS OLD MINISTRY YET NOT FIVEFOLD MINISTRY
One by one began raising up certain courageous men to slowly begin leading the church back unto its original position in the scripture, however note something – these men were still influenced by much of the activities and principles of training carried on in the Dark Ages. Luther, branded from Catholicism, separated himself and taught his revelation “the just shall live by faith.” Everyone whose life has been changed by this great spiritual endtime truth of the word knows that it was faith in God and His Word that first had to be restored back into the church and not faith in a system of religion or its head office! Faith in God had to first be restored whereby man might place his faith back in the God of the Bible and no longer have to confess his sins to a priest or pope as he had been accustomed to for so long. Therefore we note how through protestantism man was continually receiving more and more revelation which was slowly pulling him out of these Dark Age ideas and back closer to the truth. Nevertheless he still continually built his systems and wrote his new articles of faith and along with each new creed and articles of faith which formed another separate protestant religion they still continued to build their seminaries and bible schools to teach their own particular ministries more about the faith according to their creeds, and doctrines since their new movement had been founded. We might add concerning all these protestant ministers and ministries which certainly was in no way a ministry as that had been of the Dark Age period, nevertheless neither was it that scriptural fivefold ministry of Eph. 4:11 who alone could perfect the church.
A MINISTRY OF SURVIVAL
Yet this type (protestant) ministry goes forth, which we shall call a survival ministry of the church, during these periods while rerouting herself onto original truth. Their great institutions of learning still continued to spring up as they constantly trained their preachers and as always it was institutions of these various protestant groups who taught and instructed this new special ministry to help the church survive during the period of protestantism. These all are now being taught their new (newest) revelation of faith which ruled their particular system and we must note how that once again all these new ministers coming out of their denominational schools believed and taught their new revelation the same according to the belief of the system in which they were a part because that’s the principle by which each system operates and is motivated. That’s why beloved it would be so very hard for these men to catch a revelation of anything else which had been brought forth from God by other reformation leaders, or in any revelation of God which had not been taught by their particular schools of learning. Seeing that particular ministry was trained to operate and motivate under this one revelation which founded their particular form of protestantism. This procedure held true through Calvin’s movement, through the Knox revival and movement, Methodism movement and yes even the Pentecostal splits and splinters after 1900. Each movement followed in the same footsteps once their particular revelation of truth had come to the age. Their next step always was to set up their own particular schools of thought according to their particular revelation of the Word. That should all the more explain why beyond any shadow of a doubt God had to send a prophet, coming to this age of every kind of intellectual learning, yet according to his own natural ability had been denied the privilege of much of man’s education, who was so gifted, so inspired of God that he could stand on platforms in the FACE OF ALL THESE DOCTORS OF DIVINITY WITH THEIR OWN PREVIOUS LINES OF THOUGHT AND PREACH the true gospel with God working through that little humble vessel of clay and confirming his ministry with signs and wonders in so much that it made all of this educated religion appear like some cheap plastic something – that you might purchase at the 10 cent store! These statements aren’t made to belittle, nevertheless we must never lose the sight of having a big God on our side and to cheapen His Word, is to cheapen His way! And to teach God can’t when God can, cheapens Him!
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS NOT EARTHLY SCHOOLED
As I have said before say I again, every prophet called of God in the Old Testament was never sent to man’s religious schools, although they did have schools of the prophets in Old Testament days yet show me one place where God ever sent one of his prophets to such a school for training! The book of Kings records how various religious groups of that hour had schools for the prophets and no doubt some of these young men were inspired to prophesy however you do not find any of them predicting any great future events their prophecies always dealt with something present tense, which again goes to prove God never placed his full approval on this method of getting the job done; however once God raised up a man to he a prophet to Israel he always took that man and placed him off out in the country somewhere or in a cave and there schooled him Himself! Usually the man was ridiculed by society, and in the eyes of society was a total misfit; nevertheless he had God’s word for the people for that hour and that and that alone was the only cause for survival during that period! Even Jesus whom I seriously doubt was an unlearned child, at the age of 12 confounded doctors of divinity at the temple probably never received much of man’s training seeing the question was asked concerning him how is it he knows this or that having never learned letters (Jhn. 7:14-15)? Probably Christ never attended a public school, if not, the few things He knew were probably taught by Mary His mother at home, nevertheless as he grew into manhood his education was possibly much like that of Abraham Lincoln’s (self- schooled). Yet what astounded the people was He, never having learned letters, spoke with such authority! His public was always inquiring who gave you this authority to say thus and thus, which again proves God does have His own school yet his school is that of revelation!
Beloved, you’ll never show one place where at any time God ever gave His revelation through the medium of man’s intellectual learning institutions. That doesn’t mean to imply Jehovah has never used a man who attended an institution not at all, sometimes the man who later received revelation (somewhere among protestantism) would be one while in an institution of learning had become miserable, mixed up and in a confused state of mind as to what he was being taught, then once God had them all disturbed in their thinking He would say FOLLOW ME and once they began following Him and was led outside of in-learning then God would instruct them to take this revelation of truth and go with it and it would be that revelation which would be the thing that changed the world or change man’s course of human thinking during a certain period in history and note, every true revelation taught by these Reformation ministers led them more and more back upon the original Word of God unto that true original pattern! Therefore, we say, it was of a necessity that in such an hour of religious education when the church had become so commercialized in Babylon throughout all of its many systems and people were groping onward, if Jesus were to tarry His coming for another 200 years and everything had remained as it was somebody tell me where the true church of the living God would be? Why it would be so organized in the world that even God Himself couldn’t do anything for it, therefore WHAT DID HE DO? He sent a little man who was a prophet to the age, to whom the Word of the Lord came and from his mouth flowed words that were life to the human race (especially all that would hear).
BACK TO THE WORD, HE SCREAMED! There was enough of God’s manifested presence to let anyone know that the God of the Bible was alive and lives forevermore and was present tense on the scene to change the course of a few people who dared to listen to his words and this prophet continually screamed out God’s Word, BACK TO THE BIBLE, BACK TO CHRIST, THE WORD! What happened? People began to come to that Word of Life which was spoken by the prophet and beloved, that is where we still have been left standing today! Across the world many people heard the scream of that voice which is still echoing through the earth today! As these people heard it, out of their systems they came. They realized through this man’s message God had spoken unto their hearts to awaken them out of their places of darkness and Babylonian ideas and returned them back or restored them to the apostolic fathers who taught that true Word of God. Nevertheless for as out of Egypt came a mixed multitude who were responsible for a great deal of Israel’s trouble she faced in her wilderness journey so was it in cats day: A mixed multitude of people did come out and where are they today? Still standing bearly on the outside of religion after 6 years still milling around, picking to pieces the message, refusing to go any further – in order to voice a protest to everyone’s belief, hearing every kind of confusing voice that could be hatched up within this movement since 1966. Spirits mingled in among the people teaching so many things adverse to scripture, trying to lead astray precious souls who were supposed to have returned to the word of truth. Deceived and confused, the little church of the living God stands as never before at the crossroads of her journey looking this way and that yet under her breath she is constantly asking where do we go from here: what will we do: why can’t we get out of this perverted mess of wild fanatical doctrines taught by so many? Church there is a way! The answer as always is in your bible!
THE BRIDE’S ANSWER IS FIVEFOLD MINISTRY
Do you actually want it? To do so you will have to submit to a certain ministry found in Eph. 4:11! You see beloved, it is the only ministry that was ever ordained by God which was promised in the scriptures to perfect his bride church. Are you not aware that it was this ministry that the church had in her beginning to guide and lead her through wild heresies? It was that perfect fivefold ministry who taught doctrines alike that started this church and the devil knew in order to ever defeat the church has a body it would he of necessity to rid her of that fivefold ministry because that was the personal ministry of Christ himself within his own body (the church). To show you a type, watch! When Christ came on the scene his ministry was most outstanding, was it not? I do not mean outstanding as that of the great rabbis of that hour who could stand in the temple for hours lecturing on Israel’s history, being a masterful speaker who could hold you spellbound, lecturing and informing you of so many things. NO, NOT A MINISTRY LIKE THAT, because when this little fellow who had never learned letters came on the scene there was something different about him. Wherever he went, crowds followed him. Nevertheless his personal ministry was brief, lasting only a few years; however, reading in the four gospels and from Luke’s writing in the book of Acts we discover a strange yet beautiful thing – – this man’s ministry was soon picked up again – – from Pentecost came that ministry not in just one person but in a number of different individuals, looking at it from this standpoint and not merely from the standpoint of signs and miracles, seeing that we have so much of that today yet accompanied with so little truth – – that is all the majority seem to be looking for today. From the Book of Acts we are quick to note how that church was led and motivated by what those early ministers did in that fivefold ministry and connecting that with the other written epistles you can well see how these men built for God and not for some religious institution or for them-‘ selves independently. Instead they truly built for the kingdom of God.
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY THE ONLY WAY OUT
Therefore I, more than ever, am convinced that the church of present day truth cannot go one step further in the truth of the word of revelation until that same fivefold ministry office of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers become the only recognized ministry within this body of Christ and that this ministry be completely unshackled – – by man’s request to follow strictly the will of God. Time has come, people have stood idle for some six years since the death of our church age messenger, milling around, walking in circles, becoming more and more confused; pulling in more and more ideas of what individuals think the prophet said to confirm their own revelation. Nevertheless out of all this confusion I am convinced there is a people who wait to hear something said, because over these past years everybody has voiced his own opinion which has only served to add confusion to an already critical situation. No one has kept still to wait on God that he might be permitted to carry them deeper into the revelated message. Many dollars have been spent yet so little has actually been accomplished because men have only promoted different conflicting ideas of the message – – this the fivefold ministry will not do! They still speak the same thing. Back to Paul’s statement concerning this fivefold ministry in Eph. 4 which he stated was solely for the purpose of perfecting the saints and beloved there is no power on earth which can undo nor erase that Holy Ghost statement, no it cannot be undone no matter how much someone may dislike the idea that it is going to take a God called ministry to perfect the church!
PERFECTION, WHAT IS IT?
What is the meaning of the word perfection? It means complete, entirety, or the whole of anything, lacking nothing, therefore God gave gifts unto men, some he gave apostles, some prophets, to some he gave pastors, teachers and evangelists, but all for what purpose? For progressing the spiritual growth of the body of Christ, given to that individual believer as well as the collective body of believers as a whole who together make up the entirety of the body of Christ. That fivefold ministry was placed within the body of Christ for the growth of that body or the progressing of that body causing that body of believers to grow in the grace and spiritual knowledge and understanding of his will whereby in so doing becomes more and more complete and perfect in Christ. It must be understood here that being perfect is not merely reaching a certain plateau or level in Christ and suddenly announcing LOOK! – I’m perfect or I’ve reached perfection! No sir, being perfect is a goal one presses toward and as long as you remain on this earth that goal of perfection shall always remain somewhere out in front of you! Perfection shall remain far enough in front of you that it will always keep you progressing onward and whatever state of growth in Christ you have obtained when either death summons you or you be translated, always remember that will always be the mark of plateau that you had obtained or reached In Christ at the time of your summons to leave the world, therefore it behooves us to truly understand according to his word the will of God whereby we might continually grow and progress in the Lord. And don’t ever forget that it’s only those offices of that chosen fivefold ministry according to the word of God that can lead the true church to that goal of being perfect according to the will and word of God!
CAN THERE BE NO EFFECTIVE SUBSTITUTE?
Let us ask ourselves a question, if this is the only ministry ordained of God to accomplish such a job (perfecting saints) could it not be possible that some other ministry or person could be used as a substitute? Not according to the word of God! It was only this fivefold ministry who successfully led the church throughout the apostolic age upon her proper course because all this ministry taught and spoke the same revelation!
NOT DISCREDITING OTHER MINISTRIES
Everybody I am sure realizes how the body of Christ grew spiritually as it followed the leadership of the spirit within his fivefold ministry and how God continued to add revelation upon revelation unto the body of believers in order that they might grow spiritually, even as God through the preaching of the gospel reached out and added more members unto her mystical body. That early fivefold ministry mentioned in the scriptures is the only ministry ever established within the structure of the true church that would have the mind of Christ in order to guard and lead the church unto perfection and unto its final goal of arriving safely in glory. No wonder Satan sought desperately to strip her as quickly as possible of this God given ministry, however remember while examining this we certainly by no means want to leave the implication in anyone’s thinking that we are discrediting the ministry of other ages, although it must be remembered that it was not the ministry of other ages that could ever take the church on to perfection! Why? Because the ministry of certain periods within the church age only served as ministries which dealt with sur-vival of the church through various periods and dealt strictly with the situation that was present tense. Once the church was stripped of that fivefold ministry and another ministry was installed into the church, it had lost that true leadership of the spirit and true vision because now another gospel had been introduced (around 325 a.d) as it was now well on its way unto the Nicea Council and on its downward course finally plunging into the Dark Ages where it remained for better than a spiritual day or a 1000 years. Therefore those ministers God raised up during these other hours or generations, especially over the last 450 years of protestantism served only as a ministry which deal strictly with the situation that was present tense, and never having the vision as to what the church would be or had to do and believe as it pressed itself onto perfection. (However now the hour has arrived for her perfection) The ministry then was engrossed in an hour when the church had taken upon itself a worldly materialistic nature and it was in such an environment that the ministry of that hour was forced to deal with the church under these circumstances therefore this made it none other than a ministry of survival, one to fight the present evils of that hour and press on for mere existence otherwise time and again Satan would have destroyed the church! Therefore once Satan successfully robbed and stripped the church of her true God given fivefold ministry, those guardians of the apostolic truth, it then became his purpose to replace that ministry with a ministry of leadership (as he slipped in another gospel) which would take it all the way downward. Yet we must never lose sight that God was permitting this, as it was in his program to later on In time add back through these reformers after 1517, certain truths which would be responsible for setting a pattern of ministry which would serve for the survival and the existence of the church until time had lingered on long enough that he could restore back little by little portions of this great apostolic gospel which had once been delivered by the apostles and that early ministry.
A PROPHET CAME BUT NOT FROM OLD SCHOOL
Therefore surely anyone should be able to see the necessity of God sending a prophet messenger at the end of this grace age who naturally would not have a ministry similar to those ministries of past generations (preferably throughout the protestant reformation) where men catered to certain organizational means or plans of things, their vision always being for that of another movement to be organized and started again. (only this time, one more on a scriptural pattern, yet never succeeding) No this man had to absolutely be able to look past the clouded blurred ideas and views held by religious groups of the day and see into the true and perfect plan of God for the church. Therefore as John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah at the closing of the law age, rebuking that religious order of his day who had strayed so far from the truth of the law age, likewise did this man who was also clothed in the spirit and power of Elijah come to the closing of the grace age for gentiles, stood on the outside of their systems and cried unto the people bound within telling the people to get back to the word of apostolic truth! Through this ministry God did shake and awaken a people to their needs who were stirred from their beds of complacency and brought out into the light of truth and note just as the message began to do all this, rerouting the people back on the proper route of returning to the original apostolic truth, what did God do in December of 1965? God simply reached out, removed his servant and took him home, his job was finished!
SIX YEARS NO DEFINITE MINISTRY
Since realizing God has sent a messenger with a message to our age to restore us back upon that true biblical apostolic foundation as they all had in the beginning, then removed this prophet from the scene where does that leave us today? For six years it has left us without any kind of ministry that would speak the same revelation of the Word, to carry this truth for-ward and lead the church on to perfection instead most all that has been accomplished is the church has been left in confusion with so many different ideas of the message taught by the prophet. Thousands upon thousands of people throughout the world have been influenced to the ministry of this man either by what they have heard or read and the realization of what they have Come in contact with has shown them his ministry was one of spiritual truth. Yet for six years people have stood motionless (as far as going on further in the Spirit of the Word) and milled around asking questions, “What are we to do; where do we go from here; what are we to believe?” as confusion continues to mount on every hand which brings me to the place that I am convinced after six years of this kind of carrying on and milling around time has come for that true scriptural fivefold ministry to step forth on the scene before this people and say, “People, Forward March!” Naturally I can only speak for myself and the ministry of our church yet around this world I know there are true ministers of God who God has placed His hand upon and perhaps all these men need is just the proper word of encouragement which would serve I as a signal causing that minister to decide in is heart, this is the thing I have waited for! No doubt, as God prepares to move calling forth his fivefold ministry Satan will also move in an attempt to block its effectiveness by perhaps impressing a certain regulation to their function within the movement.
SIMPLY BEING INDEPENDENT NEVER BROUGHT ANYONE INTO MORE TRUTH
Let’s ask ourselves a question, especially to the ministry, if the Bible states there had to be a messenger to our age, someone tell me what could you do (in organization ) until that man came on the scene? You couldn’t do anything simply because you wouldn’t know what to do! OH you might say, I would have come out anyway and been independent. Sure, there have always been independent minded people who by no means could cater unto an organizational religious structure mainly because they disapproved of something within the governmental structure or makeup. Yet becoming independent from the system never brought them into anymore revelation of the Word! Being independent usually caused them to remain on the same plateau of belief; they apparently couldn’t go any further in the scriptures even if they were independent minded. All that happened was they merely got away from that which they felt bound their spirit, therefore just to get out and become independent without going on in the revelation of the Word of God has been of little advantage! I am sure beloved when you came out, you came out with the intentions of going further in the Word, did you not?
DOES GOD COUNSEL?
Have you ever noticed when God is ready to move He consults no one? He simply steps upon the scene and does what he pleases! No He doesn’t ask anyone what they think about His plans, what do you think about this or that or do you think I ought to do it this way? NO SIR, God never counsels with anyone! When He is ready to do something Ile just does it without the advice of anyone, as a matter of fact, it seems so often God does it contrary to man’s way just to be different from his puny little ideas. Recall God states in Isaiah His ways were far above man’s ways (Isa. 55:8) therefore once time arrives for God to fulfill whatever He has said in His Word He merely places a child somewhere upon earth and allows him to grow into manhood and usually trains him according to His own choosing, allowing that man’s upbringing to be that of being schooled by the Holy Ghost according to the Word and their particular calling.
GOD’S PROCEDURE IN BRINGING MESSENGER TO FRONT
Concerning the messenger of the hour—how did God bring him before the eyes of the people? The Holy Ghost working in this man’s life produced circumstances within other people’s lives (needs) which brought his ministry to the front. By permitting certain conditions to arise in human lives God used this as advertisement or a calling card to get His man into the front. You see beloved, by that means when God calls a man to do something, it is God who does the advertising by bringing certain contacts with conditions and circumstances into focus, being the very basis for which He will fulfill the purposes He desires. Surely we must all agree that man’s ways of getting a man into a position whereby men might know of his presence would never be in this manner! God set His own stage and platform to launch the ministry of his prophet and church age messenger, William Branham by first introducing him to the very individuals who had the conditions which would send his ministry to the frontlines of all ministries (in this hour) and by the means of that supernatural gift of divine healing, this man’s ministry slowly began to be introduced and furthermore became God was going to use divine healing (around 1948) to begin a great move, placed a great gift in the life of His servant therefore making the way for that gift to be so exemplified and through it the man was lifted up more and more in fame until the day he could stand on platforms around the world and his name was known from the realms of the royal palace in England to the chiefs in the jungles of South Africa. And to think, he was born in a little one room, floorless log cabin in the hills of Kentucky and raised along the banks of the Ohio River. Many other individuals were also born in the mountains in Kentucky yet their names never reached the royal family of England nor the chief of the tribes of Africa, did they? You see beloved, when the hour arises for God to fulfill something He already has the stage set because after all it is lie who makes the way.
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY DOES NOT PUSH SELF
If that alone can be seen I am convinced God will do the same for this ministry to get His work accomplished in the Bride and there be no need for any man to push himself! That ministry will not come out of Catholicism or any other ism (in Protestantism) yet in no way am I saying that individual man who fills the category of that ministry would not have a Catholic background etc.! What I am saying is, ROMAN CATHOLICISM NOR PROTESTANTISM WILL NOT PRODUCE THAT MINISTRY.
ONLY MINISTRY TO SEE EYE TO EYE
although that ministry of men may have at one time been in most everything, though not so today, and note, the important thing is when they come to the true revelation they will all see it eye to eye! Beloved that is the only ministry ever promised in the Bible who would see the entire revelated Word of God eye to eye! It is the only ministry which started out seeing the Word of revelation eye to eye because remember once human nature rises enough in men when they come together and sit down in a council somewhere it is most difficult to discuss their differences without fussing and stewing. However this ministry I will have nothing to fuss and stew over because God will have shown them the same revelation whereby they all can see it eye to eye! Therefore for six long years men of this message have run over this country propagating every kind of doctrine in respect to this message which has mainly brought in confusion and division rather than unity. Why it seems to have gone contrary or opposite to what the message was supposed to have done! This again lets me know that since Paul spoke of a glorious church that Christ would present unto Himself (at the end of the age) not paving spot or wrinkle or any such thing but would be holy and without blemish, beloved there can only be one ministry that can produce such a church–the offices of the fivefold ministry. I am convinced this is the message to produce those men who shall absolutely stand before God and in the face of all criticism regardless of how large or small the number may be who fills the ranks of that ministry! TIME HAS COME FOR THAT MINISTRY WHO IS TO DO THE JOB TO STEP FORTH AND COME OUT OF HIDING!
Not a person with an ounce of spirituality could witness the moving of the Spirit of God in that prophet’s life and testify they had seen just another ordinary preacher. If you couldn’t say after seeing him under the anointing of the Spirit that you had seen a prophet if there ever was one, then I would be forced to say you had never paid any attention to the Bible. That man wasn’t bragging nor trying to build himself up, NO, for ever so often he fell under a complex when he would say to someone Do you believe me to be God’s prophet? Oh, you know what I mean, a seer or something like that then he would probably say, am just a preacher. Nevertheless, there is no need to try and explain away the fact he was God’s prophet, when he spoke to this effect the statement was correct and just and you know it was the individual who accepted him on that basis who was the individual who usually saw his place of fulfillment in scripture! Seemingly it was much easier for that in-dividual to see and believe. That is why I say up to a certain point if a person has a godly call there has to be a certain amount of refraining from personal testifying of self, yet when it comes to the point whether the individual would be a policeman, mayor, president, king of some country or whatever, YOU CANNOT STAND ASHAMED OF THE POSITION OR OF THE RIGHT OF TIIE POSITION IN WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED. Why? Simply because that is what you are! Yet by the same token if a person claims to be something and tries to exercise himself in that call when he cannot fill the bill, then beloved it is only to make a fool out of oneself!
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY NOT FROM PRESENT DAY SCHOOLING FIVEFOLD MINISTRY NOT FROM PRESENT DAY SCHOOLING
None of this present five-fold ministry of the hour can possibly come through the Catholic monastery, the school of monks nor the bible schools or seminaries of organized religion, on the contrary, they will have to be men who have come through the school of the Spirit because it is simply the only school God has for that kind of ministry. When Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee and chose those disciples, they were by no means illiterate men. When the Sanhedrin court denounced them as ignorant and unlearned yet took notice they had been with Jesus, they had reference to ignorant and unlearned in the sense that these men had in no way attended any of the training schools or colleges of that day. Nevertheless their reputation was, they were men who turned the world upside down. These men possessed some education, they at least knew how to read and write. Peter, per-, sonally, wrote two epistles recorded in the scripture. Other apostles did the same. NO, they were not backward hillbillies who hardly knew how to make an X. Jesus called Matthew from the Tax Collector’s booth. Their very callings in life before their ministry showed they were not illiterate men, Yet they were called and chosen on the basis of their ability to yield themselves to The Spirit of God, who after having these precious revelations in their hearts were men who could stand shoulder to shoulder in agreement on the day of Pentecost, having one vision and one motive to fulfill. The Holy Ghost had taught these men the way the church should walk, character, principle, motive of life and the revelation that brought them into understanding, understanding how to walk and talk with God. What else could anyone desire to learn than know how to live in this world and get along with his fellow man while at the same time be able to walk and fellowship with his God, having Him to reveal His wonderful mysteries? Yes, through that early ministry Christ dropped nuggets and revelations upon His people that would edify them, things they could feast upon and no sooner had they feasted upon one thing for a while suddenly something else from glory would roll in, nevertheless, as already stated Satan did not desire to see this church grow spiritually and go on to perfection therefore we see what he did when he stripped her of this ministry, through another ministry he plunged her into darkness and paganism. Therefore I am saying with all my heart I believe time has come that this ministry having been trained by God, whoever they are and whatever number of them there is irregardless to the position within the five-fold ministry they have been trained for in order to preach and see this message alike it is time for these individuals stand up identify; and declare themselves. Over the past six years many brethren have gone everywhere trying to proclaim this message, of which I have no doubt they were sincere in what they were trying to do yet nevertheless they would take certain things of the message and by twisting it, it would always give the true message a different slant, while on the other hand, someone else was twisting it another way until it gave the appearance that all they were doing and their only motive was to have a greater revelation of it than someone else. Naturally that would pull a great attention of the followers of this message to their side of thinking, yet in so doing, it has not brought unity instead it has brought division, disunity, misunderstanding, distrust confusion of mind and where love, peace and joy should flow in the heart of people because of the TRUTH restoring them back to the apostolic fathers original gospel, these cagey individuals have been most successful in placing fear in so many people, fear of being afraid they might do something or say something that would be contrary to the message; afraid they might be wrong and knowing that life and death abides in the true revelation they are simply afraid to move out. True Beloved, I too believe this is the message of God of revelated truth whereby the age shall be judged. I also believe there is life and death in the message, life only if you accept the true revelation of what God was sending through the messenger and death if you take and twist that pure revelation of the Word revealed back to the church through the prophet church note messenger of Laodicea. As a minister of Christ I would be foolish to testify to a calling that I feel God has chosen to give me if I did not know what I was talking about. And only because of the things that you shall later read in this article concerning my testimony in which I believe with all my heart that my own personal life, along with other men wherever they may be scattered over this earth, has been placed into an office of this five-fold ministry. You shall read in my testimony as to why I feel God has placed me in a certain office within the five offices.
WHY WE PREACH AND PUBLISH WHAT WE DO
Time has come after three years of our publishing THE CONTENDER that my personal testimony should be given to you, our readers as to God leading and spiritually directing my life. We want to give you an opportunity to read in the light of the scriptures and the light of the message delivered unto this age by the prophet William Marrion Branham, who I as an unworthy creature was privileged to sit under his ministry since the early 150’s. It was through this man’s ministry that my soul was changed from that of a previous life of belief according to my Methodist background and furthermore it was through this ministry I was brought to the reality of knowing Jesus Christ is truly the same yesterday, today and forever and that Ills words never change, it is only man’s ideas that change. Let it clearly be understood I am not relating this testimony in order to create any human attention to the flesh, nevertheless in order to express my feelings and convictions I must present to you this testimony which will explain more fully why we teach and print the messages we do. Some 20 years ago I was brought into this message of the prophet. I would like to begin my testimony with a dream of which I am fully aware many will already be familiar with portions of this dream because of the messages on tape and in book form of the prophet nevertheless since all of the dream was never related, seeing it did not fit the purpose of the message at that hour, I would like to relate it to you in full as I related it to Bro. Branham.
BREAKING THE ROCK OF REVELATION
The dream I wish to relate is one I had concerning Bro. Branham and the Rock of Revelation, because it is from this dream that our setting begins which in conclusion of all I will say shows why our ministry is as it is today. So often we are accused of saying things the prophet did not say or saying it differently than the way he said it! I wish to state we are not purposely doing anything to make things different. I am concerned only with one thing – – searching out everything that was said in the message brought by this man because it will dovetail and witness with the scriptures and will put our restored faith and revelation back in the written word of God! And I know once we do that we are going to see what the message was. To some it may appear that I have said things differently or contradictory – – I wish to state to the reader I treat that as human expression. This I do honestly in the fear of God and if any person cannot look at certain things in the light of which I have spoken, there is something wrong with the spirit in the individual because no matter how great God may have used a man, man is still subject to his human feelings and human expressions at times and people who live in his respective generation are the people who are privileged to hear those numerous things and it is from that they are compelled by God to decide what they have heard and as to whether it was God (revelation) or not.
BREAKING THE ROCK – DREAM ONE
I will relate this dream in full and furthermore what was stated when I related the dream to Bro. Branham. This dream concerning him breaking the rock came to me in February 1961. I saw myself walking through rolling country and I was aware in the dream that as I kept on walking, progressing toward a certain strategic point that once I had arrived at that point there I would be meeting many, many people coming from different directions. It seemed I had walked for a considerable distance before I noticed out of the corner of my eye on the horizon of the landscape, individual people walking also. I was fully aware in the dream that sooner or later we would all converge at some fixed point. As I continued walking the landscape began to become more centralized to a point and as I topped a rise or knoll in this particular area of the country through which I was journeying, I noticed in a valley in front of me the lone figure of a man standing by a rock protruding out of the ground. The rock was approximately shoulder height to this man and it was then that I could see this great element of people were standing like a great huge wagon-wheel all around me. On the horizon I could see these people converging toward this fixed point. As we moved toward this lone figure standing by this rock, I could see this great circle of people getting closer together and finally we began to mass in a huge circle, gathering around this man and when we were about 50 yards away from him, in the dream I heard myself speak out loudly, LISTEN TO WHAT HE HAS TO SAY, HE WILL NOT ALWAYS BE HERE! I kept on walking until I came within a few feet and then the circle all converged and congested in and around the man. The man spoke and said “STAND BY THIS” and as he spoke he pointed to a rock which I noticed had about a 6 inch layer of the top of this rock which showed a little hairline crevice which signified there was approximately a six inch layer which was more or less broken, yet the structure of the rest of the rock itself was buried in the ground. Then I heard myself again say LISTEN TO WHAT HE SAYS FOR HE WILL NOT ALWAYS BE WITH US! These two statements I heard myself speak out clearly unto the group. Next I saw laying on top of the rock a huge crowbar or pinch bar similar to those used around quarries. This little man who was none other than Bro. Branham, picked up the pinch bar and then I knew what he was getting ready to do. He was going to break off the top of this rock – -in other words, he was lifting off that approx. six inch layer of rock winch would cover a space about the size of a dining room tabletop. It was then I noticed engraved in the edge of this top layer of rock the words, “THE ROCK OF REVEALED TRUTH,” and as I looked at that I watched the little man and then I knew he was the only one who knew how to use the pinch bar and remove that top layer of rock from the base of the rock without breaking the top into pieces. With one thrust of his hands he thrust that pinchbar into that little hairline crevice and looked I at that top layer and as he did he began to move the pinchbar and the top layer moved back off the rest of the rock which exposed a complete new area of stone to which light had never been exposed and neither had ever been exposed to outside day. Once he slipped the rock back he laid that bar upon the top layer of rock and spoke these words. STAND BY THIS! With that everyone began to press in closer to look upon the rock and you could see the beautiful limestone glitter – – as it does sometimes when it has little glittery powdery substance that shines like little snowflakes. Then he began to press out from the circle of people and as he did something within me said “WATCH HIM,” therefore I just sort of turned and from a side vision or from the corner of my eye I watched him and as I did I saw his little figure begin to walk Westward and as he walked West in this low terrain I could see his head and shoulders and his silhouette come up many times and then go down into a valley yet all the time he continued going westward. After a while as I continued to watch him, I saw his figure come up on the horizon and as it did there silhouetted in the evening I could see the sun beginning to set, casting its evening shadows back across the landscape and still watching his little figure going westward it just begin to drop off the western horizon. As I watched I knew he was gone and my heart felt kind of sad. Then about that time everyone began to rise up from looking at the rock and began to cry out, “Where did Bro. Branham go? Where did Bro. Branham go? Where did Bro. Branham go!” (and now to the portion never related). With great excitement and frustration, and many even began to scream hysterically. “Where did Bro. Branham go,” – with that type of feeling beginning to spread over the people, they began running and going back in the same directions from which they had come. I heard them screaming at the top of their voices and I could still hear it as they disappeared over the horizon going back to the same direction they had converged from in the beginning. and I could still hear them screaming “Oh, Bro. Branham! Oh, Bro. Branham! where did Branham go!” With that it left only a few people standing by the rock and together I could see ourselves standing looking toward the west with a feeling of sadness that he was gone, never more to return, yet I still saw us standing by the rock!
I never told this dream until Oct. ’62 when Bro. Branham visited our church for prayer meeting, it was related to him as we sat in his station wagon in the presence of Billy Paul. Bro. Branham remarked “Bro. Jackson, that is getting ready to take place,” (believe me I had no idea at that very time he was making preparations to move westward). “Bro. Jackson, he said, when all this comes to pass — STICK WITH THE WORD for they will go in every direction and will go after everything!!” God is my witness, those are the words he stated! The dream was told in October 1962 and it went on until during the month of December while speaking upon the subject, “SIRS, IS THIS THE TIME,” he made mention of this particular dream, however, as 1 stated he only made mention of the part of the breaking of the rock (leaving the other out). Naturally, we well remember that at the end of the year 1962 he and his family moved, and then in March 1963 he returned to Jeffersonville and preached the SEALS, again making mention of the dream – – as to how it was being fulfilled, breaking the top of the rock, THE SEALS etc. Nevertheless, I was always conscious of the fact of that which was spoken in the dream, HE WILL NOT ALWAYS BE WITH US, and the day that would happen the people would go into hysterics and begin to run after the man rather than sticking by the rock which he had stated to do Now I am convinced of one thing, that rock is none other than the TRUE REVELATED WORD OF GOD, although I am aware that many people have gone after the person of the man rather than the Word of God the man brought! Furthermore I am aware as these words go into print persecution from devout followers of his person will begin and no doubt they will speak many things against what we are publishing. Nevertheless I am most grateful to God that these are things which he has shown to me in my life, as my life has been privileged above that of many, I realize, to have been affected by this man’s ministry and I want our dear readers to know I loyally stand behind this man’s character, God’s purpose in his life, his testimony and the marvelous exampleship which he set before so many as a christian and as a true servant of God. I stand firmly upon the revelation of what he brought to place us back in the Word of God, whereby we could have our spiritual feet planted on the sure foundation and that is Jesus Christ the true living Word. Furthermore, it is because of these things that makes me become more firm and more established in standing for the Word of God! After THE SEALS were preached in March 1963, we continue through that year and on into 1964 where great things were beginning to progress. Many things were building up and as we approach the closing month (December) of 1964 it had never dawned upon me that I should ever do anything of any great magnitude furthermore I had never desired to be a man known, my main desire is to be a christian, to live true to God, to live loyal and if He has called me to be a servant, simply serve Him in whatever opportunity He presents me. Other than that I can truly say I have no other ambitions and no other motives. Nevertheless, when He does give me the opportunity to do something, I want to do it with all my heart, with the utmost that is within me, that I may know that Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever is the one in the end I have waited for, the one I have endeavored to lift up and exalt before that of mankind.
DREAM NO. 2
Approaching the end of the year 1964 I had another unusual dream which also has been referred to. On this particular night I had been awakened by the ringing of the telephone and the incidents con-cerning this call fulfilled a dream which I had 7 years previous. Briefly discussing with the wife the fulfillment of the dream by that telephone call, I then fell asleep and had the following dream. I saw my wife and myself traveling in our car, going somewhere for a meeting – – somewhere I had never been before. I knew we were going to be in a meeting and minister to people I had never met. At this time I had allowed the wife to drive and was sitting on the right side relaxing. As we drove along the highway I looked into the sky and noticed a small speck very high in the sky, traveling across the elements. As I continually wat-ched, I noticed it getting closer and it appeared to be coming in our general direction. As it came closer I noticed it was a man on a horse! Oh, the dream was so real! Immediately I said to myself, I must be seeing things (for you know men do not ride horses in the sky). I turned my head away thinking to myself, well you are just seeing things so relax yourself a little. For a moment or two I relaxed my mind and I thought, well, I will take another look to see if it is still there. When I turned and looked again I saw it now very close and it was coming straight at our car.
“Honey, pull off the road and stop here,” I said. “I want to watch this. There is a man on a horse in the sky.” I kept my head turned (for it was so real) and yet I know in the natural you don’t see men riding horses in the sky, nevertheless, it was so real I just wanted to be so sure of myself that I kept my head turned until the car was completely stopped and once the car came to a stop I turned to look and then just a little off the road a little distance in front of the car stood this magnificent white horse, standing at attention much like a Calvary horse would. I immediately recognized the rider to be none other than Bro. Branham who was dressed much like a western range rider who rides open range country for the government inspecting and checking that no wrongdoings goes on. Immediately as my gaze fell upon him, he looked straight at me and I knew he was an officer – – he raised his hand quickly like, as an officer would to get your attention. Raising his hand he pointed it straight at me and said, “YOU, GET READY, THERE IS A JOB FOR YOU TO DO,” and with that statement he again raised his hand and pointed at me saying, “PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE WORK WHEREIN YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO FULFILL,” the third time he raised his hand and pointed directly at me saying, “YOU WILL BELIEVE THESE WORDS A POWERFUL HORSE WILL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU TO CARRY YOU IN THE CALLING WHERE UNTO YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED.” With those words ringing in my ears, I noticed him, touched the reins and that horse reeled and made about three lopes and took to the sky. I sat there watching him out of the window of the car as he rode that horse off into the sun. After he was completely gone out of sight, I looked back and right in the very same spot where he sat on that very beautiful white horse stood another one a little smaller, but as I looked at him I knew he was of the same breed and had come from the same place. Furthermore he had been trained at the same source of training. I noticed he was already saddled and bridled so I said to the wife, “Honey, I am going to get out and try him out” and as I did I went over to where the horse was standing at attention, I stepped up into the saddle and immediately noticed the stirrups were already adjusted for me! I just touched the reins and that little animal made a turn and he also took about three lopes and took to the sky. As I sat in the saddle I looked upon the head of the little animal which was running with such ease and said to myself, “This animal runs with such ease there seems to be no labor to his body,” and as I said these words I could see the horse was beginning to lift from the ground and as he got higher he seemed to get faster and immediately the thought came to me, “There is no end to what or where this horse will take me if I but let him go, but he will do whatsoever I ask him! With that thought still fresh in my mind I said to myself “but I am only trying him out, I must go back.” I barely touched the reins to give the direction turn to the little animal, he turned in the sky and brought me right back where I had mounted him. As I dismounted and got back ,in the car, the door slammed and I awoke from the dream. The dream was quite an unusual one – – MEN RIDING HORSES IN THE SKY – – for a long time I treated it as nothing. Time marched on until July of 1965 when I received a call from a place in North Carolina asking me to come for a meeting, a place I had never been before – – immediately the dream came to my remembrance – – could this in some way be a start or beginning of the fulfillment? If it was I would treat it as such. Therefore I told the party I would pray and let him know. I did and later called saying the Lord willing I would be there. Immediately following this I wanted to talk to Bro. Branham about this particular dream, mainly because of its unusualness and because it involved him. I phoned to ask permission for an interview with him and it was granted and set up for Sunday morning, August 1, 1965. That Sunday morning with my wife present I told Bro. Branham the dream. Bro. Branham looked at me and said these words, “Bro. Jackson, something is about to happen and when it does you will have a work to do, I don’t know what it is, he said, but this I do know, THE HORSE IS THE POWER OF TILE WORD and he picked up his Bible and pointed to it saying to me, STICK WITH THIS WORD! Bro. Branham, I said, I will do my utmost to and again he repeated himself, Bro. Jackson, something is about to happen, I don’t know what it is but when it does you will have a work to do, Bro. Jackson, STICK WITH TILE WORD! I know WHAT THAT HORSE IS HE SAID, TILE POWER OF THE WORD! Hearing him say that I left the room that morning feeling confident in my heart when all of this would happen, THE HORSE WOULD BE THE POWER OF THE WORD! Now I think any true biblical minded person knows the power of the Word is the authority of the Word. In other words, the power of the Word isn’t that you would take the Bible and hold it up in front and move backwards with it – – NO! The Word power means the authority of the Word and with that you are able to move back certain spiritual forces that come against the Word and it is through the authority of the Word it was proclaimed in its right true meaning! Then the authority brings forth light; it brings forth help; it brings forth joy, feelings of happiness to the minds and souls of the believer. I walked out of there that Sunday morning being most grateful and thankful to God. Next morning I journeyed East for the meeting, and I recalled in this dream when I was trying out the little horse, he too went East! As I went East I knew God was beginning to set that dream in fulfillment.
It seemed as though from August through that fall certain people began to project into the minds of the followers of Bro. Branham certain statements stemming mainly from the fact the Seals had been preached. Statements began to be declared from everywhere such as, it is a revelation Christ off the mercy seat; there is nothing else to be done, therefore there is no need to preach and even it was said of me that I was just simply running circles; that I was only running out of the will of God and trying to build a name for myself. I knew if I listened to these things it would only bring defeat and discouragement to my heart. Now, it was either up to me to listen to what people were saying or it was up to me to believe the particular dream that had been given to me in which I was told to get ready for there was something to do; to prepare myself for there was a work I had to fulfill and if I would believe those words then a powerful horse would be given to me to carry me in the calling or work wherein I was called.
Now dear Reader, whoever reads these testimonies of what I believe and accept as God dealing with my life. I came to one conclusion, (when all this began to take place and began to come heavily against me), either I would follow God or listen to these people. I made my decision, I WILL FOLLOW GOD no matter what the cost may be, trusting that if this was not of God it would all come to naught however, if this was God then I owed my life to God to follow in obedience regardless how it looked in the eyes and minds of people. My decision was to press on. From that time of August 1st through the fall and winter I went every opportunity that was presented for me to preach wherever there was an open door. Let me declare myself, I am not a person who has ever asked to preach anywhere. I will never do that. I do not ask for meetings; I do not force myself on anyone. If God called me to preach He is big enough to make a way; He is big enough to open the door. Never have I called some brother and said, I feel led to come at a certain time, no sir, I leave my ministry and calling strictly in the hands of God. What He rules He makes an open door, therefore I go wherever I have an opportunity. I leave it in the hands of God and I can say truthfully and honestly from that time until now God has caused my ministry to be fruitful to that of many people, nevertheless, it has also brought about a great amount of broken fellowship and friendship although I do not look upon people with animosity or with malice, I only say they do not understand the mind of God nor do they know the will and leading of God for this hour. At no time do I look upon them with malice and if I am misunderstood by those people I merely leave all that in the hands of God in whom I have purposed and bowed myself unto to follow. I have seen too many people who want to follow a crowd or a movement or a particular clique of friendship, but I know that in the end you can’t follow God and choose those methods or means to please and still remain in the perfect will of God. God had called me to be a minister, Him would I follow. As time passed on I began to realize more and more Bro. Branham had told me that morning what the horse was in the dream, however he never told me what the work was and being ridiculed so much by those who were opposed to my ministry I felt somewhere if there was a work to be done in such a late hour as this and realizing God had already sent a messenger to the age and knowing there COULD NEVER BE ANOTHER MESSENGER TO THE AGE, yet if there was a work for me to do surely it will have to be a scriptural work or office in the ministry that would fit somewhere within the true body of Christ or it would have no significance to the age whatsoever. Therefore I began to search the scriptures and I thought to myself, to have any authority over the Word then somewhere it would have to be something pertaining to that of that five-fold ministry. I firmly believed and had been preaching strongly that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true biblical church, the true Bible bride would have in her ranks that living ministry of men who are true loyal and faithful to God in this endtime. (Recall those were saying it is over, nothing else to do, Christ off the mercy seat etc.). I might say this to all those who will read this particular article – – there could never be true apostles as we know apostles in the Book of Acts until first something had happened. No, never could there be true New Testament apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists or pastors as known in the Book of Acts. In no way possible could the true church ever have that kind of a ministry until first the true Word which they had taught would first be restored back to the people! This would present the opportunity and platform by which that kind of ministry could then pick up the true Word of God as it was to be restored and then with the anointing that would lead them, go on for God unto the end. The end we know is getting close at hand. Therefore God, having sent a prophet-messenger to the age to fulfill all scriptures as Ma1.4:5-6; to fulfill what He said in Rev.10:7 – -it is this man’s ministry, it is his message that has been restored which brought back a true understanding of the Word of God in all of its basic true meaning.
Dear reader, I did not say this man took every little minor detail of the Word of God and expounded it in its full details, No, Sir! I have said somewhere God left enough nuggets whereby this ministry that is to continue on after this man’s purpose has been fulfilled to the age – – God left enough nuggets still in that written word for that living ministry to pick up and with the true revelation that has already been restored back by that one true prophet messenger to the age, with that in its rightful revelation and application to the people and with those living nuggets of revelation still con-tained in the written Word of Cod, God through that ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers would con-tinue to lead the Bride out into the end, dress her up, clean her up and spiritually revive and restore her back in her true Word position to get ready for the coming of the Lord for His saints! Because of my stand I was opposed from many circles by preachers and teachers of the message. In that hour these things bore heavy upon my mind. This continued on until the fall of 1966. I had become most discouraged through all the opposition and had reached a point in life that I was going to do one thing – – to prove myself to God and the people, I was going to give people an opportunity to hear and decide for themselves why I stood as I did. Therefore, what they said could possibly have bearing on my course. I preached a message in Faith Assembly entitled MY DEFENSE. The message was recorded and sent to what I felt was every strategic point representing the message of Bro. Branham throughout the country. I sent it out because it was my testimony as to why I, Raymond Jackson, had done and preached the things I had up; until that hour. Although having preached and sent it out I received so few remarks I hardly heard what the feelings even were concerning it!, Therefore I left it strictly in the hands of God. Praying one night I said, Lord, now I leave it all in your hands; I am not in this race to run competition with men or to be different or contrary; I am in this because I feel this is the way you have led my life and that if you have led it, you are the one that is leading then I am only concerned with one thing – – finding your perfect will, walking in that and thereby letting you work all things according to your own good pleasure. All I was asking God was to do something for me so my heart could be encouraged, and this I well know, friends, you can reach a place many times when you see yourself losing friendship, you become spiritually lonesome for true spiritual fellowship. As I said I was leaving it all in the hands of God, if these other dreams (which I have related) are your true leading for my life up to now, then God you can continue to lead me on however it pleases you. Vowing myself to God I determined whatever the cost, I would pursue this course, even if it cost me my friends and everything in life because first I AM NOT AFTER A NAME OR FAME. I am only interested in one thing – -FINDING THE WILL OF GOD and pursuing that course, living and doing that only, therefore I invite anyone to investigate my life, my character, my family life; I invite anyone to investigate our home. how we live and how we present ourselves; I invite anyone to do that. If they see anything that mars the exampleship set in the scriptures then they are free to point the finger of accusation.
Now I knew and was still confident as I held to the Words of that prophet, though he never told me what the work was, yet I was sure that work must somewhere have a scriptural basis for operation therefore two weeks had gone by after I had preached and sent out the message, MY DEFENSE, when one night I had another dream.
DREAM NO. 3 THE WORK
In this dream I saw myself going to the mailbox to get the mail. Returning to the house I noticed in the mail a large envelope, something similar to one in which official documents are mailed. Coming into the house I was very excited wondering what was in the envelope. Tearing the front open I pulled the contents out and I could see that it was a minister’s license and the thought came to me – Why am I getting a minister’s license? I have only held a minister’s license once in my entire life and that was with the Methodist church yet here I am being presented a minister’s license. WHO ARE THEY FROM? (It was all so real in the dream ). As I looked at the minister’s license I could see they were drawn up different than that which would be drawn up by some denomination and furthermore I realized this, many people will, once they read this, will never believe what I am saying simply because they have never been led in this manner, therefore there would be no basis for them to recognize it. Never-theless as I feel these dreams are true I tell them as my testimony in how God has led and directed me. I never ask God to do these things. As I looked upon this minister’s license I noticed there was a blocked in area and immediately my eyes fell upon a word printed on the very top of the license (which was like a certificate). As I looked upon the word I could see that it had been printed by Bro. Branham’s own hand – – actually he had burned it in there with an engraving object much like men engrave saddles with. At the top of the certificate or minister’s license was the word APOSTLE written in large bold letters. Underneath that in the area of writing where you read on any normal minister’s license it read, Raymond M. Jackson being called of God – is hereby ordained to preach the gospel according to – – and in there in all that writing was written out by an ink pen in his own personal handwriting with those different scriptures to back up my purpose in preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the bottom of the license certificate where normally the president of the association or organization or the bishop or elder of a particular denomination would sign his name, the signature read WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM. Furthermore, I noticed up in the right hand corner where the date is placed to show when the license came in force, the date was AUGUST 1, 1965. That beloved, was actually the day I related the dream to him about the horse!! In his office that day he had told me what the horse signified, but not the work I was yet to do! Now here a little over a year later it all comes back in another dream and there is the date and his signature — then this dream should mean scripturally the work I was to do. Awakening from the dream my heart was made to rejoice over this one thing – – now I knew scripturally where I stood, what my calling was to fulfill and I knew if I would remain loyal to God and not listen to man, it is true I would receive much ridicule, much opposition and many no doubt would seek to destroy my influence as they would attempt to mar the image of my person – – yet I knew if I would remain faithful to God, He would see to it this ministry to which He had called me would serve His purpose. I believe it to be a biblical ministry and furthermore I believe it is truly spiritually in line with the written Word of God. I realize if it is scripture, then as a minister of God I had a right to study the message which was brought to the age. I have that right from God to explain to people why there is so much confusion and contradiction among the people at large over what this Prophet, Church Age Messenger taught to this age. At the same time I have no right to make myself above and beyond anything of any other minister, yet I know somewhere God is going to have someone who will have enough of God in his life, enough boldness, enough determination to stand for the true entire Word of God. No, he will not stand in defense of men’s flesh but he will stand in defense of the resurrected Christ and the true revealed Word of God!
APOSTLE’S OFFICE – -WHAT IS IT?
The question may readily be asked, what constitutes the office of an APOSTLE? Why is this office even necessary? It is very simple, God needs this office especially to hold a plumbline on the Word. In order to do that, that man holding the office of an Apostle must be unconditionally and absolutely sold out to God and can in no way have one selfish motive in his heart for worldly enterprise of his own. Furthermore, that man must be in the plan of God more so or in a greater measure than just the average believer because without this knowledge somewhere he will refrain from remaining loyal to that Word. Somewhere without this knowledge he would lose sight of the plan of God and become afraid for his own ministry and compromise. Nevertheless if he is truly an ordained and God called APOSTLE, he will have only one purpose and plan in mind – – that is, whatever God’s mind is planning, that is what he will do and say. It makes no difference to him whether six or six hundred listen to him, he will be just as content to preach to the six as to six hundred because he is not building for himself he is building for the Lord! Therefore his main sole duty above everything else is to hold a straight line on that Word.
SIGNS AND WONDERS DO NOT DETERMINE APOSTLE’S OFFICE
Now, as to signs and wonders, this all lays in the plan of God. It is His business to do whatever He wants to. Remember this, an APOSTLE’s ministry cannot be determined by signs. First of all you had a number of apostles in the scripture who never mentioned one word about a miracle or sign they performed. You would never be able to take the Bible, especially the Book of Acts and prove because of many signs and miracles that a man was an apostle. On the contrary, signs and miracles were even in the lives of the deacons, Acts Chaps. 7 & 8. Therefore signs are not the basis to say a man is an apostle. An apostle holds a line on the revelation of the Word, protecting it against error, therefore when you hear some man say he is an apostle simply because he has great faith or because of signs which Mark 16:17 says follow the believer, if you will examine his ministry closely you will probably find that is all he majors in. Certainly there is nothing wrong with great faith in God although that isn’t the qualification for the office of an apostle. Until that man has a revelation on the Word of God and the authority by God to absolutely apply it to the situation at large (through that revelation) then he will have to fill some other office – – it isn’t that of an apostle. I repeat no one fills the office of an apostle unless he absolutely has an authority from God to handle that Word and you recall the dream concerning the horse which I told Bro. Branham and he interpreted the horse as being the POWER OF THE WORD. THE POWER OF THE WORD IS THE AUTHORITY TO USE IT.
FIVEFOLD MINISTRY WILL PERFECT SAINTS
Now I must speak still further in this respect. After having received those credentials which I knew was a sign unto me, sooner or later God would one by one begin to raise up men to fulfill what I feel would be the scriptural fivefold ministry. Since I have the scriptures to back me I wish to state here and now this fivefold ministry which I firmly believe the bride must have in her ranks as God closes out the age will not only bring unity to the body of Christ but shall be responsible for helping clear away the confusion, doubt, destroy the fear, yes, it is this ministry that will fulfill what Paul stated in Ephesians 4 : 11-13. These ministries will teach the Word of God alike to accomplish the scriptures that all should believe and speak alike, think the same thing; that we have the same mind one toward another, that our hearts and lives be knit together in the bonds of love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Yet, it is this type of ministry I believe that will bring all that back to the body of Christ! Realizing first of all it could never be until God first had sent His messenger to the age, however, since that messenger came and delivered the message, then God could take that message and lay it in the hands of those true ministers whose lives will measure up to the scripture and who will have a vision of God’s will in their respective calling. These men will be able to reach over into this message brought to the age and line it up with the scriptures and each man standing in his respective calling will live godly, holy, honestly and uprightly and will have but one motive THAT IS TO SERVE GOD AND DO HIS WILL AND DO IT WITH ALL HIS HEART, WITH ALL HIS ABILITY THAT IT MIGHT BRING UNITY TO THE BODY OF CHRIST, UPLIFTING, EDIFICATION AND COMFORT TO THE BODY OF CHRIST whereby God will be glorified. Jesus Christ will be exalted and men will only be made to be looked upon as that part of God’s program or plan and no more than just be honored, obeyed and saluted as declared in the book of Hebrews (13:17). God asks for no man’s flesh to be Deified or to be glorified or any such thing, God only asks that man be respected by people in whatever calling and in whatever measure of working of God they are able to see in that man’s life. I wish to state and put in print, this ministry which God chooses to place within the ranks of His bride people, their lives and callings are subject to no man; their calling is subject to God and God alone! Furthermore, these men will not be voted in by people, boards, committees, syndicated systems, neither by political minded people who have an objective that runs in the realm of carnality which in the end so often is only to propagate a spiritual motive in order to strictly hide behind that of a monetary gain! These men will absolutely not submit themselves to any kind of excommunicating spirit to compromise in order to find a place to preach! These men will stand for one thing – – THE WILL OF GOD AND THE WORD OF GOD. God will raise these men up and I will further say he will lead each man according to the call that God Himself has placed in that man. If God has called me to fill a certain call and it is scriptural, I have no right to try to pursue any other course than my calling! If I do this honestly God will make a way for it; God will honor it and the same is true with any other man in any other call — whatever his God given call is, if he will be obedient God will see that his call fills itself. Concerning my own ministry and office, I said Lord if you call me to do this you make the way and I can say beyond any doubt He has definitely made the way. During my ministry I have seen things go on; I have heard things propagated secretly behind closed doors and furthermore I am in a position to know there are men even today who hover things in their hearts yet afraid to preach them openly because of persecution from the so- called brethren. Because of this they are afraid what they have may be wrong, yet I can truthfully say, at no time have we taught or published an article I was ashamed of and would declare it to the world if I had the chance. Not because I am anything but because it has been the truth and we have letters from around the world and across the nation thanking us for this publication. People have read so much religious literature, filled with gimmicks, sale pitches and come-ons until they are sick! Now they want some gospel and they are happy with what they receive in THE CONTENDER. I believe the reason God has honored it, supplying every need, is because it lines up with the scriptures. I have been falsely accused of supposing to think I was going to take Bro. Branham’s place. THAT IS NOT TRUE! You will find nowhere in any statement I have ever preached, where I ever instilled such a thought, nor has it ever been written! That is merely people’s way of seeking to destroy, to belittle and to do harm to a person’s image or ministry. Again I say, I leave all that in the hands of the Lord. I will argue with no one; God knows our hearts; He knows exactly what He wills to do with our respective lives. We do not mean to imply that this area will be some kind of headquarters; we do not mean to imply that you who would fill a five-fold ministry office has to line up behind Raymond Jackson, nevertheless we do believe that if we both are looking at the same truth correctly we shall see it eye to eye and it shall be proclaimed from whatever area and corner that God has placed His man. The one thing we do know according to scripture the five-fold ministry sees, preaches and proclaims the truth in the same revelation, although they are allowed by the Spirit of God to use their own vocabulary and line of thought to get the revelation to others. We believe there are hungry hearts over the land begging God to do something to get them out of this confusion and lead them on. We would say further that those who will not accept the office of an apostle will by no means accept any of the other of God’s five-fold ministry.
WITHOUT THIS MINISTRY BRIDE CAN GO NO FURTHER
Now, hear me well, if this is the ministry God placed in His church to lead it to perfection and this has been the message of the day that has restored us back to that faith in which the ministry led the way in apostolic days, I say the church cannot go one step further than what it has without that ordained five-fold ministry to lead it on into perfection. One thing you will have to agree with me on, the church can absolutely go no further than that they are listening to, therefore if one group sits listening to one man saying one thing (and it is wrong) they can’t go any further than that and another dozen or so listening to another man who says just the opposite etc., see; that is as far as they can go!! Yet somewhere in the middle of all that I am convinced are a few ministers who have the right vision and interpretation and in no way do I place myself above or beyond anyone of them, nevertheless I believe God by His grace has kept my mind clear and free of much of this stuff going about today. Not for my sake only but for the sake of His Word and for the sake of some of His people we have been privileged to help, especially through our publication THE CONTENDER. Therefore I am convinced that the hour has arrived if this call I believe in my life is truly of God that I must begin to say, ALRIGHT YOU PEOPLE WHO HAVE ABSOLUTELY WHACKED AND TRIED TO BUTCHER AND DESTROY MY NAME, REPUTATION AND IMAGE THROUGH EVERY CONCEIVABLE LIE THAT COULD BE THOUGHT OF, NEVER-THELESS BY THE GRACE OF GOD I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LIVE A CLEAN LIFE AND KEEP MYSELF ABOVE AND BEYOND REPROACH WHEREIN I WOULD NOT BRING A REPROACH UPON THIS TRUE REVELATION OF GOD RESTORED IN OUR HOUR, NOR AT ANY TIME HAVE I PREACHED OR PUBLISHED ANYTHING AGAINST THE MESSENGER OF THIS AGE, IF I HAVE, PRODUCE IT!! FURTHERMORE, in 1969 when God linked Bro. Brown’s scribe ministry with my ministry (and our publication began) I realized then according to the scripture that was exactly how God did it in the early church when He joined Luke to the ministry of the Apostle Paul. You can rest assured that is how God ordained it. Luke you recall wrote most of Paul’s epistles. You may say I thought Paul wrote them, NO, Paul dictated them, Luke did the writing!! I express to you the reader that these words of testimony are coming from my heart and in no way are they being published to portray the image of a person seeking to be lauded or glorified or highly esteemed in any manner in the eyes of people. These are God’s personal dealings with my life. Furthermore, I am convinced by them my life has been led by that, my inner being has been compelled by these things – – that is why I have preached what I have: that is why we have printed what we have – -and concerning this particular message carrying my personal testimony I leave it strictly in the hands of God! Therefore I declare my position before you today trusting that it will set off a chain reaction in ministers’ hearts who have the true revelation on what was brought in this hour and that together this ministry will perfect the Bride of Christ that the Lord shall take unto Himself.