WE ENDED PART 1 OF THIS MESSAGE TALKING ABOUT THE REVELATION THE APOSTLE PAUL HAD, AND HOW HE GOT IT, AND HOW HE CONVEYED THAT REVELATION TO BELIEVERS IN HIS DAY, AND THEN WROTE IT IN HIS EPISTLES, SO THAT WE, HERE IN THIS LAST AGE OF GRACE, CAN RECEIVE THE SAME REVELATION HE HAD; SO LET US PICK UP THE THOUGHT RIGHT THERE AND CONTINUE ON.
RECOGNIZING AN APOSTLE’S CALLING
During those three years of time Paul had spent out there in the Arabian Desert after his conversion, God gave him a complete revelation of what those Old Testament scrolls meant, as they pointed to the Messiah, and to the redemption of lost mankind; and even sitting there in a Roman jail, he was able to fulfill the office God had called him to minister in. He was an apostle of Jesus Christ, a star messenger to the first Church Age; and truly he held a line on the true revelation of the word of God for as long as he lived. In other words, no matter what the environment may be like, there is never a time when the Spirit of God cannot communicate with the spirit of His chosen vessels; so let us notice what Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church while there in Rome under adverse circumstances. In chapter 1, he identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ, and then speaks of election, predestination, and the foreknowledge of God, how that this whole plan of redemption and all who will ever be a part of it was worked out in the mind of God the eternal Spirit, according to the good pleasure of His own will; before the foundation of the world. He then speaks of how God made known to those whom He had chosen, that which He had purposed to do on behalf of lost mankind through His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ. He reminded them also that they had been Gentile pagans, outside of the covenants of promise made to the Israelites, and without any hope of a relationship with God. Then he said to them, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (or in former times) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” In this epistle, Paul covers all bases, leaving no doubts as to the point he is making; for both Jews and Gentiles have the same access to God under this New Covenant. In 2:19-22 he says, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; (He is speaking of the same thing the apostle John wrote of, in Revelation, chapter 21; they just used different terminology) In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” This is the only kind of building the great eternal Spirit (God) has ever dwelt in. He needs no roof over His head to protect Him from the elements. Why? Because He has no fleshly body like His created creatures do. That is where religion in general is so far off course; they think o9f God as some ancient old man with long white hair and a white beard, and so forth. Their lack of revelation on the godhead, keeps them from being able to receive a revelation on other foundational truths of the Bible; so they just have to preach what they call, the gospel of Jesus Christ, from their natural understanding of the letter of the word. That is the reason for a message like we are dealing with here, which we have titled, “Faith Versus Faith.” It is our way of contending for “THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE DELIVERED UNTO THE SAINTS,” like Jude 3 exhorts us to do. There are a lot of preachers out here in the world today that fall into the category of what Paul was pointing to in Galatians 1:8 & 9, when he said, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received (from us) let him be accursed,” and they ever one encourage people to have faith in what they preach to them. Brothers and Sisters, if just boils down to one thing; they are preaching another gospel. If the apostle Paul could look them in the eye, he would no doubt say, May you be accursed; but he cannot do that personally, so he has left the word of God to say it for him.
SOMETHING WORTH DYING FOR
When Paul was writing this epistle to the Ephesian Church, he knew he would never see them again in his life; so he made sure they were reminded of who they were, who they are now, and what God expects from His redeemed children, and here in chapter 3 is what I wanted to call your attention to especially. In verse 1, as he continues on, notice, “For this cause (all of what he has been saying to them) I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, (Why did he talk like that? Because Christians had been persecuted and abused, and treated as though they were trying to create an insurrection against the Roman government; and he wanted them to know that no matter what men may do to a Christian, they can never rob that person of the joy of the Lord; nor of the revelation they have in their heart. Whether in jail, or out of jail, he was always an example of that, and he never compromised on what he believed.)_ If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: (or the understanding God gave me for your benefit) How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery of Christ; Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (What?) That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, (spiritual body) and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” For centuries Jewish spiritual leaders had been reading scrolls written by Old Testament prophets in which this great plan of salvation was set forth in types and shadows, never being understood by anyone, not even those who wrote them. They did not just sit down and write a lot of their own ideas, and say, Thus saith the Lord; they were inspired and unctioned by the Spirit of God to write what they wrote; and it all remained a mystery until the dispensation changed. Jesus taught His disciples for 3 ½ years concerning things that were written by the old prophets; but they did not really understand very much until after the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was given to the 120 disciples assembled in the upper room. With the Spirit of God inside of them, they began to get a true revelation of the plan and purpose of God; and it was so precious to them, they were willing to die for it if necessary; and for many of them it was necessary. Our revelation has never yet been put to the test like their was; but I will say this, It could be just any time now. We are living in a period of time when an awful lot of people are religious; but very few of them have a true revelation of what they profess to believe; and only those who have the same revelation held by the first apostles of Christ, will be willing to die for it, as this dispensation moves toward the end, and true Christianity becomes a reproach to the rest of the world of religion. That is when it will be known who does, and who does not have the genuine product. Some people will say, What exactly is a revelation, and how do you know when you have it? A revelation is an understanding of a truth, or truths from the word of God, in the context of our usage; and the way you know it is a revelation is by the witness of the Spirit of God you have in you. If what you have, contradicts any other scripture: it is not a true revelation; therefore you have some responsibility in the matter. You are obligated to study the Bible and also to talk to it’s author about it; and in doing so, you will be assured that what you have is a true revelation, if it is.
HOW TO ASK IN FAITH
People who go to the Bible looking for something to settle an argument, or something to make them look good in the eyes of others, have a wrong motive; and they are very likely to get a false revelation, so to speak, for that is the kind of atmosphere Satan likes to work in. Nevertheless God’s revelated children will immediately recognize it to be false though; for somewhere it will cut across another truth they already have settled in their hearts. Yet others who just want something to make them feel religious, will grab it, and run with it. The world is full of that kind. God is faithful though; when His true children get hungry, and ask for something to feed their hungry souls, do you think He will ignore them? Or do you think He would give them anything less than the best? Jesus taught very specifically that we should ask of God in faith, for those things we desire, and that when we do so, we will receive them. Oh, Bro. Jackson: I have asked for a lot of things I never received, so how can you say that? It was not me that said it; I read it from the word of God. Check your attitude, and your motive, and see if your request was from a genuine need, or if it was just something to gratify your flesh. I myself, put no limits upon what God may see fit to grant to those who ask for things beyond their needs; but I do know that the main emphasis on what Jesus taught was for the spiritual enrichment of those who trust in God. He never placed natural things ahead of spiritual things; for everything He did, and everything He taught, was for the purpose of reconciling lost sons and daughters to their heavenly Father. There are many scriptures we could read; but I will read only two verses from the 16th chapter of Luke at this time. Verses 23 & 24 say this, “And in that day ye shall ask me (Jesus) nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, HE WILL GIVE IT YOU. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.” You can be sure, He was talking about that inner joy we have, when we have the right kind of relationship, and fellowship with our heavenly Father. Therefore if there is something you do not understand, ask God to reveal it to you, and do not place any restrictions on how He should go about giving you what you are asking for; and just rest in the fact that He is a faithful Father, that works everything for good to His children; just like Romans 8:28 says. Paul wrote to Timothy (2nd Tim. 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man (or child) of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Naturally it requires a revelation of those scriptures, in order for them to do for a person what they are there to do; and that is where denominational religion has missed the boat; they try to attain that place in God strictly by the letter of what is written. Brothers and sisters, if that were possible, why did Jesus place so much importance upon the Holy Ghost teaching us? We all know the answer to that; it is because He is the only one that knows what lies beneath the literal printed words. He teaches us how to read between the lines; so to speak. In other words, God reveals His word to us, by leading us to put various scriptures together to form a complete picture. It is just like putting a jig saw puzzle together; if you will follow my thought. When you dump all those pieces out on a table, there is no possible way you could look at any one piece, and know what the whole picture will look like when it is completed. Well the prophecies of the Bible are the same way; it takes something from another place to fill it in; and natural man, without the leading of the Holy ghost, is not able to pull them together. We can be sure of one thing; every last one of those prophecies lying there in the Bible were written by the Holy Spirit; and as time moves into the age for their fulfillment, He reveals to chosen vessels what they need to understand about them; in order to fulfill their part in the overall plan. Therefore there was never a need for John the Baptist, until just a short time before Jesus Himself would appear, even though the prophecies concerning the part he would play were written hundreds of years before the time when he would appear on the scene in Israel. He was a prophet himself; but not a writing prophet. He was a preaching prophet. Malachi was the last of the Old Testament writing prophets; and he was 400 years B.C., give or take two or three years. It is in Malachi 3:1 where you read “Behold, I will send my messenger, (John the Baptist) and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, (That is Jesus) even the messenger of the covenant, (The New Covenant, the covenant of grace) whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”
THE VOICE – PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE MESSIAH
More than 700 years B.C., Isaiah wrote, (40:3) “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” You can go to Matthew 11:10, and Luke 1:76, as well as other scriptures, and you will find Jesus Himself saying that these Old Testament prophecies pertained to John the Baptist. Yet until time for their fulfillment none of those old Judaistic religious leaders knew exactly what to expect from those prophecies they had been reading for hundreds of years; from one generation to another. The day Zecharias, John’s father, named him, the Holy Ghost came upon him and he began to prophesy of redemption, and of the Redeemer, and then of the part his own son would play in it, saying, (Luke 1:76) “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou (John) shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.” Jesus Himself said of John, “Among them that are born of woman there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist,” (meaning a greater prophet.) Why would He say such a thing about John, he never wrote on word of prophecy? Because John had the unique privilege of introducing Royalty to the nation of Israel. No other prophet had ever been privileged to do that. John was actually introducing the very Messiah they had all been looking for, and talking about; but the very ones that should have been the first to receive his message, came to him with a wrong motive; for he looked at them and said, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (or evidence of repentance) and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” People have read those scriptures pertaining to John making a highway for God, in the desert, and where John speaks of the axe being laid to the root of the trees; and actually visualized a literal road being built over the mountains and through the valleys of Israel; but I hope all of you sitting here know that it was those ritualistic, hard hearted Scribes and Pharisees, that John was chopping down. His message was, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He knew it was time for the inauguration of a new dispensation; and he knew he was to play an interlinking part between the old, and the new. His ministry was all under the old covenant, but all of his message pertained to the new. From those Old Testament scrolls, God had shown John a picture of something He was getting ready to do; and sent him on, ahead of time, to prepare the hearts of an element of people in Israel; to welcome the Messenger of the New Covenant, which of course, was the Messiah that was to come. He was not referred to as “the Messiah,” very many times in the bible; but those Jews for centuries, looked for a deliverer to come, to deliver them from their enemies, and to rule over them upon the throne of David. Why did they have Him crucified then, if He was the one they had been looking for? Because they failed to recognize Him; His coming was too simple for their educated minds to accept. All of those old prophets that had written about Him were lying in their tombs; but there stood one in the Jordan River, explaining those Old Testament prophecies to Jews that were coming and going, and what they were hearing, just simply tore their school of thought all to pieces; but to many of them it made their hearts glad; for he was speaking under an anointing, something they could understand, just like the apostle Paul did later.
AN APOSTLE’S ATTITUDE IS CHANGED
When Paul spoke of how God made known to him by revelation, the mystery which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, he went ahead and said, I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power. Of course the mystery he was referring to, was that the Gentiles were also to be partakers of the grace and mercy of God in these last days; and God first revealed to a man named Ananias in Damascus Syria, that Saul of Tarsus was a chosen vessel, to bear His name before the Gentiles; as well as the children of Israel. As we have already said, Prophets had written many things concerning the Gentiles; but none of them ever knew what their prophecies really pointed to. Paul did not know either, until after the Holy Spirit had schooled him for 3 years out there in the Arabian Desert. After that though, he could see where every one of those prophecies fit right into the picture, and he spent the rest of his life making that revelation known to others, both Jews and Gentiles. All of the first Christians were Jews; and most, if not all of them, still looked upon Gentiles as good for nothing dogs; for they had been raised up under that kind of belief and teaching. That is why the apostle Peter had such a hard struggle when God laid His hand upon him; to prepare him to preach the gospel to some Gentiles in Caesarea; he still did not have the revelation that God would also show mercy to them. He went to Caesarea with the men Cornelius had sent his message by; because the Spirit had said to him, “Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” He did not know what was ahead for him, but he did know that was the Spirit of God telling him to go with those men; and to doubt nothing, so away they went. When Cornelius met him coming in, one of the first things Peter said to him was, (Acts 10:28) “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Up to this point, Peter still did not know he was there to preach the gospel to those Gentiles; but after Cornelius finished telling him what the angel had said to him, Peter knew nothing else to do, except tell them about Jesus Christ; and when he did, they all believed and received the Holy Ghost; even before they were baptized with water. Well Peter had a lot of explaining to do, when he got back home; for those Jews at Jerusalem had already heard the news that the Gentiles had received the word of God by the mouth of Peter; and the first thing they said to him was, You went in and ate with uncircumcised men. Peter rehearsed the whole thing to them from start to finish, and then said, (Acts 11:17) “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto you, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” That settled the whole matter; and they all glorified God, realizing that God was working way beyond their little circle. What they found out through that experience, was what God had revealed to the apostle Paul from those Old Testament scrolls. That is why Paul could talk like he did in his Galatian epistle, “If any man or angel preach anything different to you than what we have preached, let him be accursed.” God had given him such a complete picture of the whole thing, he knew anything different from that would have to be from the spirit of antichrist. Hallelujah! I like to listen to a man that knows what he is talking about; don’t you? I’m so thankful God included me in His wonderful plan of salvation. No it wasn’t because I was a good Methodist, that He included me; it was because He foreknew me from before the foundation of the world. I just had to wait for my time to hear the good news. Well my point is, We are everyone going to believe something, and we are going to believe someone. That is why God ordained it to be. That is why Paul wrote what he did to the Romans (10:13-14) saying, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” The sad thing is, Too many times people get their eyes on the human vessel God uses to bless them; instead of on the one that should be glorified and praised. When you get your eyes on human flesh, you leave God out of the picture. That is how so many people get off course and wreck up; spiritually speaking. You do not blame the preacher, or the instrument God is using, whoever it may be. Just look at this Branham movement 22 years after his death: they are worse than the Catholic Church; and no one could ever rightly accuse Bro. William Branham of teaching them their idolatrous ways. No, it is that unrevelated element that always had to have something they could see and touch, in order to feel like they were worshiping God; and now that he is gone, they have given him the place that only one man was ever qualified to stand in; and they have made him their god; when all he ever confessed to be was a servant of God. Brothers and sisters, this element of so called Branham followers have brought more shame and reproach to the gospel of Jesus Christ, than anything else you could mention today. They are not followers of Bro. William Branham’s message; for they do not believe like he believed, and taught. When you think about it, you realize that those people are in worse shape now, than when they were still scattered around in various denominational systems, never having heard the gospel preached from the standpoint of revelation. I believe if you will think about it, you will see why we gave this message the title, “Faith Versus Faith,” for all these churchy people have faith of some kind. The only thing is, they could never contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, with the gospel they have. The only faith that will ever do us any good spiritually, is a revelation faith that lays hold on the promises and provisions of the word of God, without exalting any man’s human flesh. When Jude wrote, That we should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints: he had no faith in mind other than that revelation faith the early church lived by. Nothing else would have even been called faith in that day. It is only here at the end time, that we have so many different faiths, (interpretations of the word of God) and the slogan that says, Go to the church of your choice this Sunday. People will always choose the easy road if they do not have a revelation to stand for. Just because your mother and dad had a revelation is no guarantee that you will have one. That is why it is said, God has no grandchildren. If we are born again, we are sons, or daughters of God; and if our children are born again, they will also be sons, or daughters of God, not grandchildren.
THE PURPOSE OF A MESSENGER
Since I started this message, God has been dealing with me to go even further than I had originally thought I would go; so I want to go back over a few things we have already touched, and try to bring out some things that surely need to be said. First let me say, Church is not a game we play. Either we are part of the Church, or we have no part in what the Church does. Following flesh will never make you a part of the Church, no matter how noble that flesh may be, and no matter how much God may use that flesh. God has many ways in which He gets our attention; but after He gets it, He expects us to follow Him; and He has no flesh for us to hold on to; so we must have our faith anchored in His word; and be willing to be led by the Spirit. God uses messengers to get our attention, and get us started in the right direction; but that man’s message will always point you to the one that sent him. In the 3rd chapter of Malachi, we have already read the 1st verse, where Malachi was inspired to write, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come saith the Lord of hosts.” A messenger is one who bears a message from another; and we see two messengers mentioned here in this one verse. John the Baptist was the first one; and Jesus the Christ, was the other one, so let us look at John first. Israel had gone 400 years without a prophet, when this messenger showed up with some good news for her; but most of them failed to hear the message correctly. Their prophets had prophesied of the coming of a Deliverer, or Redeemer; but their theologians had as many different theories about that Redeemer, as the Gentile church world has of the Bible today. Nevertheless in chapter 1, Malachi prophesied of two messengers that would come; and in chapter 4, he prophesied of two comings of that Elijah spirit; and John the Baptist fulfilled the first part of each of those prophecies. He was the messenger sent to Israel to prepare the way, and then introduce their Messiah to them; and he was the Elijah in chapter 4 that turned the hearts of the fathers to the children. He preceded the great day of the Lord; and Bro. William Branham, the man that fulfilled the other phase of what Elijah was supposed to do, preceded the dreadful day of the Lord; but neither man sought to draw disciples just to follow their flesh. They both pointed their followers to Jesus; just like they were ordained to do. The great day of the Lord was when Jesus came in His first advent, offering Himself to Israel as their King, and then offering Himself upon the sacrificial altar to pay the sin debt of all lost mankind; and John the Baptist was the Elijah that preceded Him. Then of course we all know Jesus is literally coming back to earth again, and when He does, that will be the dreadful day of the Lord that Malachi prophesied of, and Bro. William Marrion Branham was the Elijah that preceded this coming. His anointing was to turn the heart of the children (Christians) of this age back to their fathers (meaning the apostolic fathers of the true faith of Jesus Christ, as was preached in the first Church age, and recorded there in the New Testament for all of us to read later) before the coming of Jesus to pour out the wrath of God upon wicked mankind. Therefore you must be able to recognize that there is a span of almost two thousand years of time between those two comings of that Elijah spirit, (which is a God identifying spirit) or you will never experience anything but confusion in this area.
WHAT JESUS KNEW ABOUT JOHN
Let us just look a little further at John. Isaiah spoke of him as the voice of one crying in the wilderness. It did not make much sense to those old Judaistic religious leaders; but Jesus sure knew who that terminology pointed to. He said, in Matthew 11:13-14, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John, and if ye will receive it, this is Elias, (or Elijah) which was for to come.” Where did He get His information? In Isaiah 40:3, and Malachi 3:1; He (Jesus) never spoke anything contrary to that which God inspired His prophets to write. Therefore this statement concerning John was right in line with the scriptures. What about John though? Why was he referred to as the voice of one crying in the wilderness? There was just something about his makeup that made him an isolationist. He did not like to be around a lot of people, but the fact hat he was in the wilderness does not mean that he was a wild man. The calling of God upon his life, just made him feel like he needed to be alone. The Bible does not tell us at what age he went to the wilderness; but do not place him there as a little child, for he knew how to read the scrolls; so it is reasonable to assume that he went to school somewhere along the line. No doubt as the time approached for him to fulfill his calling, he just felt the need to get away alone somewhere, and study; and that is when God began to anoint and open up His plan to him. Then as time drew near for Jesus to appear to Israel, the Spirit anointed John to go ahead of Him, preaching a message of repentance; and declaring that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. That was God’s way of having an element of the Jewish society awakened to their spiritual need, and their hearts made ready to receive Jesus when He came upon the scene a short time later. It was prophesied in the 1st chapter of the gospel of St. Luke, by the angel that spoke to Zecharias, that John would go before Him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elias, (Elijah) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This is a scripture God first dealt with me on, back in February 1952, before I ever heard Bro. William Branham. I saw that the angel had quoted only part of Malachi 4:5-6; and I said to myself, If this be true, then God will have to send that Elijah anointing again before the end of the age; for John did not fulfill everything, that Elijah spirit was supposed to fulfill before the Lord comes again. He only turned the hearts of the fathers to the children; and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Through John, God gave some people enough wisdom and insight from the Old Testament scriptures, to be able to recognize the Messenger of the covenant of grace; which was also their long awaited Messiah.
GOD’S METHOD OF VINDICATION
Now I am going to say something about John, and I want you to pay attention to what I say and how I say it. John the Baptist had a message to deliver to his age; and naturally it was to the Jewish people that he directed his words; but the new covenant that would follow, would not be limited just to Jews; the Gentiles would be included also. Therefore you could not limit his prophet ministry just to the nation of Israel. Now of course some may wonder why I said that, so I will tell you why. Many today, when you speak of God sending a prophet for our age, will say, That is ridiculous; it is not scriptural; God only sends prophets to the nation of Israel. How foolish and spiritually blind can you theologians be? The law of Moses was give to Israel; but in that law there were all those types and shadows of a better covenant that would come later; and that better covenant was not just for Israel; but for Gentiles as well. John was a Jew; and his prophecy was first for the Jews, but the spiritual objective was not tied just to the Jews. What was the main theme of his total message… Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The kingdom of heaven is a dispensation of time; in which the kingdom of God is established in the hearts of all who believe the word of God and surrender their lives totally unto Him. Like I have already said, John was not a writing prophet; he delivered to the people, a revelation of what those old writing prophets had written in their day and hour. He was a vessel God could speak through, to soften the hearts of a number of people, and get their minds on present day realities, instead of constantly rehearsing what God had done in former days. That is why he would say, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Up to that time, those people had never heard anything about being baptized with the Holy Ghost; that was a revelation given to john, preparing him for his special calling. John was a prophet of a different magnitude than the other prophets of former times. When the disciples of John came to Jesus asking, “Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?” How did Jesus answer them in order that John might be assured that He was the one he had believed Him to be? He merely said to them, “Go and show John (or tell John) again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” He knew that should be enough to let John know that He was the one; for no other man would be doing all such works as that.
THE ORDER OF IMPORTANCE
After the disciples of John had departed to deliver Jesus’ message to John, Jesus began to say to the multitude, concerning John, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.” This was directed primarily to those Pharisees that followed along in the multitude, and questioned everything that was done and said, because God had bypassed them. They just simply could not accept the fact that God would use a man that looked like John, a man that was not even a recognized theologian. Therefore Jesus asked them, “What did you go out into the wilderness to hear?” A doctor of divinity? A priest? A great theologian? When he used the term, a reed shaken with the wind, it was actually to say, Did you go out there to listen to a weak kneed preacher that did not know what he was talking about? “But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, And more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. (Mal. 3:1) Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” What made him greater than all the other prophets was the fact that he was chosen of God to introduce heavenly royalty. However Jesus, in this dispensation, is portrayed as the Bridegroom; and the Church (the redeemed ones) as His bride; therefore the least little member of that bride element is greater than John; because of the place that person stands in. In other words, a wife, or sweetheart of a man, holds a dearer place in his heart, than the person who introduced them to each other. That was just the way Jesus chose to express the importance of what John was pointing them toward. He said, (Matt. 11:13) “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” Which means, through their prophecies, this dispensation John was sent to introduce, was spoken of, but not explained. It was a mystery to all who read of it until the time came for it to be introduced; and then God had to give someone a revelation of what those scriptures pertained to, in order for him to be able to do what John the Baptist did. You did not just get out here somewhere, and preach some idea concocted up in your own mind and force God to come along and vindicate it. God only vindicates what He authorized you to speak. Therefore in Luke 16:14-16, when those Pharisees were making fun of Jesus, He said to them, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it.” There is a difference between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God; even though some use the two terms interchangeably at times. The kingdom of heaven is the dispensation itself; and the kingdom of God is that spiritual kingdom found only in the lives of those who are redeemed and set apart by the Spirit of God. That is the reason Jesus said at another time, The Kingdom of God cometh not by observation. It is not something you can see with the natural eye. It has no materialistic value attached to it. People who have proper discernment can see the fruit of such a kingdom in the lives of God’s true people; but they can not see the kingdom of God itself, because it is of the spirit.
TAKING THE KINGDOM BY FORCE
Jesus spoke again concerning the kingdom of heaven. We go back to Matthew 11:12 for that. “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” You did not just drift in and out, looking for excitement, in those days. Those who followed John and Jesus were constantly harassed and persecuted. Those old legalistic Jews did not want any part of what they were preaching about; and they did not want anyone else to pay attention to them either; so if God got their attention, they really had to become almost violent themselves, in order to press through all of that resistance. They had to be willing to put up a fight, if necessary, a spiritual fight, that at times got over into the natural. In 2nd Corinthians, the apostle Paul made a statement in connection with this sort of thing, saying, “for though we walk in the flesh, (or live in a tabernacle of flesh) we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; (spiritual powers) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” This literally means that the kingdom of God is not something you can go out and buy; and it is not something you have to defend with guns, knives, hand grenades and swords; but there will be times when opposition is so strong, you will feel like you have been in such a fight as would require weapons like this. For those who are truly called of God to walk with Him in truth, spiritual opposition will be great at times; and you will be required to defend that truth with every ounce of strength you have; but God will never allow you to be without the necessary strength to overcome that opposition. That is what Peter had in mind when he wrote the words of 1st Cor. 10:13, which says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (or allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; (or beyond what you have strength to endure) but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
THE FATHERS OF MALACHI 4
As we look back to John the Baptist now, to continue our thought, remember, he was a preaching prophet; he did not add one page to the written word of God, as the writing prophets before him had done. He simply reached back into those prophecies of the Old Testament, with that revelatory anointing that was on him, and presented a revelation to those who went out to listen to him, that prepared the hearts of many in that day to receive their Messiah. This was God’s way of getting their spirits prepared ahead of time; so an element of people would know what John was talking about when he would say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Therefore we can say today, as we look back to the scriptures, Isaiah prophesied of both John and Jesus, in verses 3-5 of the 40th chapter; for in verse 5, he said this, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” That is what was happening when the Spirit of God descended in the form of a dove, and sat upon Jesus, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” In Luke it says, ”Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Nevertheless this is how we have to see the first part of Malachi 4:5-6 being fulfilled, for it was the ministry of John that turned the hearts of those Judaistic fathers to a simple child-like faith, to receive Jesus in His first advent, which was the great day of the Lord, of verse 5, in Malachi’s prophecy. That still left something else to be done, to fulfill the last part of those two verses through; for that Elijah spirit (or anointing) was also supposed to turn the hearts of the children to that of their fathers, before the coming of the dreadful day of the Lord, which of course is when He comes again, to pour out the wrath of God upon all ungodly mankind; before setting up an earthly kingdom. Saints, we ought to thank God every day for sending that Elijah anointing, (which is a God identifying anointing) to get us straightened out in our concept of God; for we every one came up in a time when spiritual ignorance proclaims God to be a trinity of persons, when in truth, He is one sovereign Spirit, manifested in three office works; and Jesus His Son, is the only person of the Godhead. I am not a Christian by political persuasion: and neither are you. WE are Christians by spiritual birth; because we believed the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the way it is laid out in the New Testament; and our spiritual fathers were the men that wrote it. Then to take it one step further, the men that wrote the New Testament, were among those that had their hearts turned by the ministry of John the Baptist, to receive Jesus in His first advent. It was not the hard core Judaistic spiritual leaders that turned to receive Jesus; but out of all those who went out to hear John preach, came a select number of men who did receive Him, and we look back upon them today as our spiritual fathers; because the true gospel of Jesus Christ was first preached by them.
WHERE GOD’S LAW IS WRITTEN TODAY
John’s ministry there, was to prepare an element of people before the coming of the great day of the Lord; and Bro. William Branham’s ministry was to prepare an element of people in this last age before the coming of the dreadful day of the Lord; and no matter what some may say. God truly did send a prophet to the Gentiles, a man who was a Gentile himself. People who refuse to accept that fact ought also to reject the idea that the Gentiles are recipients of the gospel; for God will certainly not save a bunch of people He cannot talk to, just merely to keep them from burning in hell. You must remember the covenant God made with Abraham; and how He said to him, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Naturally the new covenant which we know is a covenant of grace, was first given to Israel; because that was the nation God had chosen to work through; but the covenant in it’s overall purpose, was just as much for Gentiles as it was for Jews; because God’s redeemed family is to be from every nation under heaven. That is why the apostle Paul wrote, The gospel is first to the Jew, and then to the Gentile. It was not because the Jew was to receive better treatment than the Gentile; for God is no respecter of persons, when it comes to the salvation of a lost soul who cries out to Him in surrender. Jeremiah and the apostle Paul both spoke of a new covenant that would be established with the house of Israel and with Judah, a covenant whereby God would write His law upon the table of their hearts, instead of upon tables of stone; but that only meant that they would be first partakers of it, and not that it would be just for them. God never changes His mind, like mortal mankind is forever doing; therefore whatever benefits we Gentiles have under this covenant of grace, were in God’s original plan, which He purposed in Himself before the foundation of the world, just like Paul wrote in the first chapter of Ephesians. In other words, God has always gotten His quota of both Jews and Gentiles, in every age since this new covenant went into effect. Then here at the end time, because we Gentiles had desecrated the gospel of grace, like the Jews had the law of Moses before Jesus came in His first advent: God had to do something to get us back to a true understanding of that covenant Jesus mediated; or He would have needed up with an inferior harvest from the seed that was sown two thousand years ago. That true faith held by the first age Church, had been substituted with so many human rituals and dogmas; there was absolutely no way the Church could reflect back to God, a true image of the Church we read about in the book of Acts, unless something was done to restore us to the faith of our apostolic fathers. However this was no surprise to God, for 2400 years ago, He spoke through His prophet Malachi, telling what He would do to accomplish that very thing. Something had to be done to return our spiritual understanding to the faith of our fathers; which is as we know, the faith Jude wrote that the first century Christians should earnestly contend for. Who would they have had to contend with? The devil of course; the same devil that will rob us today if we will let him. How will he do it? By giving you cheap substitutions of the real thing that God has laid up for all of His true children. Now of course, those who have truly been restored to the revelation of the word of God, that was taught by those early apostles, will not be deceived; for once you receive a true revelation of the godhead, you could never be persuaded to believe in a trinity again. Neither could you be persuaded to believe that Adam and Eve were put out of paradise because they ate an apple from a natural tree there in the garden of Eden, once you have a revelation of what their original sin was; but Satan can still rob you in other ways, just simply by getting you to compromise in your daily walk with God.
WHAT GOSPEL ARE WE JUDGED BY?
Now concerning this faith that true children of God are to contend for, the apostle Paul spent the rest of his life declaring it, and defending it, after his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. In the epistle to the Romans, you find two places where he speaks of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as “my gospel.” In chapter 2, talking about how God will judge sinners, he finished the statement like this, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL.” Then on over in chapter 16, as he is bringing the epistle to a close he says, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Now to Him that is of power to establish you (or to stabilize you in truth) ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, But is now made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to ALL NATIONS for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.” Those two places allow us to see that according to Paul’s own testimony, there was absolutely no room for any variation from the gospel of Jesus Christ preached by him. It will establish and stabilize you; and by it all men will be judged. Paul is currently referred to as the star messenger to the first age, and also as the apostle to the Gentiles. The very fact that 14 of the New Testament epistles were written by him is vindication itself of the revelation he held, and also fo the office he held. Then in Acts 9:15, the Lord said to Ananias when he questioned Him concerning Paul, “Go thy way: for he (Saul who was later called Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” That man preached the gospel the same way from a prison cell, that he preached it in that great 3 year revival at Ephesus. There were no circumstances that could alter his revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how Christians should walk with God in their daily lives. In other words, the scriptures are still the same as they were two thousand years ago; it is just the way Satan has caused man to interpret them, that had the whole world in Babylonian confusion, so to speak, before God sent His Elijah prophet to this age. The Bible has been treated just like the constitution of the United States has been treated. Those law makers in Washington D.C. have amended the Constitution so many times it can never again reflect what that first body of men desired it to; when they drew it up. Well Satan and his helpers have done the Bible the same way; but the one that wrote it is still alive today, and has already sent His prophet messenger to this age, with a revelation of what the original contained; and his message has steered the Church back into a true course where she will remain, for the rest of her journey here on earth. Hallelujah! Aren’t you glad to be in that Church today? Brother, the covenant God made with the recipients of His promises in this grace age, and sealed with the blood of His only begotten Son, guarantees every true believer the same benefits. We all receive the same Spirit; and that Spirit teaches us all the same revelation. There are no secondary ways of salvation. Of course the word guarantee, is our word; but that is what a covenant it, a contract; and a contract is a guarantee that those who draw it up and sign it, will do exactly what is specified therein. Well a lot of contracts are written in such language; that it requires an attorney to properly interpret them at times; and we could say the same thing about the Bible; the Spirit of God has it written in such a way that only those who are authorized by Him, can properly interpret it. That is why we needed that Elijah prophet, to get us straightened out; the contract had been misinterpreted for hundreds of years. Did he turn us back to the faith of our fathers? He sure did. He made the Christ of the Bible stand head and shoulders taller than any Catholic priest, or any Protestant theologian ever could. Praise God! He pointed us in a direction that has no room for the ritualistic programs of man. That does not mean that all who heard him are walking in that way he pointed us to; but those who are not, have no excuse for their failure to do so; it is by their own self willed choice. Where God at one time tolerated their ways, because they knew no better, He now looks upon those ways as abominable, because they do know better. He would be an unjust God to accept what some people offer him; when their offering is the same as Cain offered him; and He rejected it.
SAME FAITH – DIFFERENT COVENANTS
A large element of those who claim to be following the message Bro. William Branham delivered to this age, present a picture to denominational people that causes them to believe he was the cause of all this confusion and idolatry; but I want to go on record right now to anyone who ever comes in contact with my words, by saying this, If ever there was a man sent from God since the beginning of the Reformation, that knew what he was talking about; it was none other than William Marrion Branham. I sat under his ministry from the time I first heard him preach, until the time he was taken from us in that terrible accident; and I never heard him say one thing that ever caused me to take my eyes from the Bible, nor from the Christ of the Bible. In those years that I was privileged to sit under his ministry, he truly pointed me to the faith that is there in the New Testament. Of course the faith itself is the same as all those old Testament saints had; it is the covenant that is different. The Old Testament contained types and shadows of what the New Testament was to be, when it was activated; and once the New Testament was put into effect; that because the only means for the salvation and perfection of lost mankind; and there has never been any reason for anyone to believe that God has a third Testament in effect. Bro. William Branham was not sent to activate a third Testament; he came with that God identifying, Elijah anointing upon him; to turn us back to the covenant that was put into effect by the shed blood of Jesus Christ; because we were all in bondage, in spiritual Babylon, which is confusion. If you are not walking in truth today, do not blame anyone but yourself for the calamity that is sure to come upon you, for truth is set before you.
NO ROOM FOR COMPROMISE
It is not easy for me to say a lot of things that I will say in this message; but I feel that after more than twenty years of confusion, with so few doing anything to challenge the spirit of that confusion, it is the responsibility of those who know the truth to take a stand for it. Nothing I do, or say, is meant to draw any attention to my own flesh; but we all know that people do have a tendency to look to the flesh man at times, instead of to the God that anoints that man; so we just have to trust the Lord to help those who are sincere, to put their trust and confidence in His word, instead of the man that directs them to the word. I can fail you; but the word of God will never fail you. Therefore when this message is finished, I hope we will be able to see some people walking in truth that were not sure where the truth was, before. My personal conviction is, that if this truth, (this faith) is worth standing for: it is worth letting someone know about. I am accused of being a know-it-all, by a lot of preachers who are jealous of me; but I cannot help that. God has called me to stand for the truth of this faith Jude admonished believers to earnestly contend for; and that is what I am doing. I have never said I know it all; and they do not know anything; they say it like that themselves, because their own spiritual blindness prevents them from recognizing truth when they hear it. I would be a fool to preach something different than what God has given me to preach, just simply to pacify a bunch of idolaters who do not want to hear the truth nor to accept it when they do hear it. I would rather face their opposition in this life for preaching it, than to have to stand before God in judgment, and try to explain why I failed to preach it when He had given it to me to preach. Saints: What I am really trying to say, is that Faith Assembly has nothing to hide. We want the whole world to know what we believe, and why we believe it; and that we have no intention of compromising on what we believe in order to drift along with the crowd. True Christianity has always suffered persecution; and there is no reason for anyone to believe it should be any different in this age; for Jesus Himself said to his disciples “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake;” and the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution;” and two thousand years has not changed that one bit. The same devil that hated truth then, still hates truth today; and will persecute those that stand for it, every chance he gets. People here in the United States have not had to suffer physically like believers in other parts of the world have had to; but none of us have any assurance that we will get out of this life without it. Nevertheless once you have a true revelation of the word of God, there is no amount of physical abuse that can take that revelation out of you. That is why people down through the ages have been willing to die for their faith; they just simply could not believe otherwise, even to save their lives. Therefore let me say this to you, You may not have to put up a battle physically, because of what you believe; but those who follow truth will have to be ready for a spiritual battle every day of their lives. Satan’s attacks come in some very unexpected ways; and many times when you least expect them.
THE TEACHER WE ALL NEED
When Bro. William Branham’s death occurred, it became known that there were more than 900 of his sermons on magnetic tapes, and I suppose by now they have quite a few more than that; but nothing he ever said in any of them should ever be allowed to supercede the New Testament teaching of Jesus and His apostles. They call him the Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6, and then they turn right around and tell you that he was God. No wonder they keep their followers so confused they do not know where they are. He could not be a prophet sent by God to turn the hearts of believers back to their apostolic fathers who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be God himself, as a lot of them claim. In 1960 when Bro. William Branham preached on the Seven Church Ages, he went back into history and brought everything right through time, right down to our present day, and left no doubt whatsoever in my mind that before this dispensation ends, God would restore His true Church right back to the original foundation laid down by those apostles of the first century. He was not a theologian; and he never did anything trying to focus attention on his own flesh. He did not beg for money; and he did not try to organize any kind of program; but he did know for a fact that he had a call of God upon his life; and he wanted more than anything else to be faithful to that. That is why so many people who enjoyed the gifts of the Spirit manifested in his ministry, ended up calling him a renegade; he just simply refused to take those gifts and build a great program where he could manipulate human souls; like so many preachers have done in this twentieth century. Some call him a devil; and others call him God; but he was neither one; he was a man anointed of God to put believers back into the Bible, and get them out of denominational bondage; free from dogmas and manmade creeds of religion. He did not always go into details and explain fully every subject he touched upon; but he did present a profile sufficient for other men of God to take and put the picture together. His purpose in the plan of God was not necessarily to explain every scripture in the Bible; but to get the true people of God back in the Bible. The Holy Ghost is still the teacher; just like He was when He took Paul out into the Arabian Desert for three years and taught him. When the Holy Ghost teaches you something, it will agree with what He has taught someone else; no matter how far apart you may be geographically. Even the apostles in the first century had to deal with that spirit that always focuses attention on the instrument God uses, instead of upon the word of God delivered by that instrument. Look how Paul had to write to the Church at Corinth, (1st Cor. 1:10-17) cautioning them against that very thing. We will read a little of it. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, (or have the same revelation) and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (A lot of confused souls out here in the world today have actually been baptized in the name of William Marrion Branham; which was no more benefit to them spiritually, than Cain’s basket of fruit and vegetables was to him.) I thank God that I baptized none of you, (said Paul) but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any (of you) should say that I baptized in mine own name.” The big difference between those Corinthians and this bunch that worship Bro. William Branham, is that the Corinthians took correction from Paul; and this bunch will not be corrected by anyone. In chapter 3, Paul said, “I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” When Jesus Christ ceases to be the central figure, and the only foundation upon which your salvation is built, your religion is vain; and you are without God, and doomed for destruction.
GOD’S PROPHET STANDS AGAINST IDOLATRY
Men who began to press themselves personally around Bro. William Branham, so they could be close to everything that happened, began to get the idea, even while he was still alive, he is Jesus Christ. That was how that spirit began to get hold of them and before long it was getting off on others as well. Bro. William Branham’s own testimony, (when he was forced to deal with that issue) was that he had talked to these men individually, saying to them, Don’t do that. However that very year that he went to Chicago, and then on to Canada, it became known how these same individuals were working among the people, telling them, William Branham is none other than the Lord. They began to make medallions and baptize in his name; and when Bro. William Branham heard that, it almost tore his heart to pieces; because he knew it was the spirit of Satan promoting it. That same antichrist spirit that had turned the Church from it’s true course way back in the 2nd Church Age, after all the first apostles of Christ had left the scene, was still at work. He knew a spirit like that would destroy his ministry; for he was the messenger to the age; and not just to one group of people. Now of course he knew God’s ultimate purpose would not be defeated; but when you recognize a spirit like that, you have to take a stand against it. Therefore the time had come for him to do so; and when he came to the pulpit that morning, he was weeping. He looked like a sick man that had not slept for hours. Brothers and Sisters, a spirit like that is enough to make a true child of God sick. He read his text weeping, and began to exhort the people; referring to the vision, or dream where he had seen certain individuals playing with a serpent; and they had told him how beautiful it was. Saints, the devil can always show you a lot of pretty things, if that is all you are looking for. That is how Satan leads a lot of people into his traps; he gets their attention focused on something beautiful that looks harmless at first; and when they let their guard down, they are immediately victimized. Well in the vision, Bro. William Branham was supposed to have shot this serpent. He saw it wounded and saw it crawl off into the marsh, and said, I believe it will die. He no doubt thought it would die; but it did not. That is how it is with a snake; you can shoot it half in two but that is no guarantee that it will die. Time passed and when he preached the Seals messages in 1963, it was not visibly evident that this thing was still lying there in the hearts of a lot of that multitude of followers. However when he lay dead in the Coots Funeral Home, I discovered that the same gang still had their ideas about him. Right there in the hall of the funeral home I was struck with such surprise when a man, who is a doctor of divinity, approached me and said, Bro. Jackson, he will rise. When I got a chance to talk to Bro. Neville, he said, Bro. Junie: That spirit is rapidly circulating through the crowd; but I want nothing to do with it. I said, Bro. Neville: I don’t either; I will have nothing to do with it. Then on the day of the funeral, after various ones had spoken, and the body was taken back to the funeral home, until Sis. Branham was able to make a decision about where his final resting place would be, we all went to Jerry’s Restaurant, out here on Hwy. 62, and that same preacher, that doctor of divinity that had said that to me in the hallway of the funeral home, arrived in the parking lot; and just as some of us were leaving the restaurant, going to our car, he called out to me, Are you with us Bro. Jackson? I said, What do you mean? His answer was, He will rise. I just said back to him, He will rise in the resurrection; not intending to go any further with such talk; but he answered back, He will rise before that. This ended our communication at that time; but the issue would have to run its course.
GOD WORKS IN SIMPLE FAITH
As the months passed, this same doctor of divinity propagated many other ideas among that following; and various men began to proclaim, He has got to rise; he left too many things unfinished. That was the way they looked at it; but God did not see it that way. Time and space will not permit me to speak of every remark that was made, and of every reason that was given; but I will say this, There was no voice from within that realm of the following, that would speak out and say, Let us stop this nonsense, and wait upon God. Instead, it seemed like each preacher, realizing the pulpit Bro. William Branham stood in was vacant, began to project themselves forth with these various so called revelations, hoping to be able to step into that place. They began to leave the impression that it was open for any man’s bidding, based of course, upon whoever had the best revelation. In 1966, I was in a meeting in North Carolina, when I received word of another revelation that was being circulated among those who had gathered at the Branham Tabernacle for a tape service. It was traced back to one particular man; but he was not the only one believing it. Here is what it was. In 1963, when Bro. William Branham preached the revelation of the seven seals, Jesus came off of the mercy seat; so no one else can ever be saved. Brothers and sisters, I am thankful to God today, that Jesus is still on the mercy seat. Twenty-two years have passed since them; and a lot of those children which were just babies at that time, have grown up, and had their own personal salvation experience with the Lord. That same fellow was also saying that God would no more speak to any one through dreams, nor visions, and that there would be no more manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. He really had it all nailed down and he had a bunch of blind followers, just like every other one that got one of these great revelations. People who are void of the presence of the Spirit of God in their lives, do not have anything in them to judge these antichrist teachings by, they just hang on to whatever comes by. This whole mess reminds me of a story I heard some time ago. Out in Springfield, Missouri, hanging on the wall in the office of the Dean of a University, there is a brass plaque with some interesting words inscribed thereon. It has been scientifically proven by the law of aerodynamics, that because of it’s body size and weight, and it’s short wing span, the bumble bee cannot fly. However since the bumble bee does not know all of that, he goes ahead and flies anyhow. This is probably not the exact wording; but it will serve to make my point here. A lot of those poor souls believed that character and drifted along through life with nothing but quotes from Bro. William Branham’s sermons to feed on, and spiritually, they are dead as a doornail, because they shut God out of their lives. They do not believe God will do anything for them; so He does nothing for them; for He does not work in unbelief. The brighter side of a story like this, is that there have been people all around the world who never found out that God had gone out of business; so they just proceeded to believe God’s word and surrender their lives to Him, and He gave them the same experience those disciples of Jesus received, on the day of Pentecost, there in that upper room in Jerusalem. Try to tell them God is not doing anything for anyone since 1963, and see what they will tell you. Hallelujah! After 22 years, Jesus still has not changed positions; lost souls still have an intercessor. I cannot tell you how much longer He will remain upon the mercy seat; but the important thing is, He is still on it today. Therefore I can say today, as the apostle Paul did almost two thousand years ago, “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” If the Spirit of God is dealing with your heart, you know it; therefore this word is for you.
WHY THE NECESSITY OF A VIRGIN BIRTH?
There are certain things I want to include in this message, while we are dealing with faith versus faith, therefore I will be referring to some notes as we go along, in order not to leave any of them out. I am not as interested in shooting men out of the saddle, who foster these false doctrines, as I am in keeping the truth alive for hungry souls that love it. Therefore let me say this, God will not let His redemption plan fall to pieces, just because it appeared to some that Bro. William Branham left te scene before he finished everything he was supposed to do. Anyone who holds to that idea after all this time, will not hear truth from anyone; but I want to say something loud and clear right now. Bro. William Branham did not leave the scene before he accomplished what he was sent to this age for. Every spiritual truth taught by those early apostles has been restored to us; because of his faithful obedience to what God called him to do. A lot of the things people expected Bro. William Branham to do, did not fall within the bounds of the Malachi 4:5-6 commission, or promise. What that Elijah was supposed to do, was turn our hearts, our attitudes, our spiritual understanding, back to the simple revelated faith of our apostolic fathers; and that has been done. To that, God added certain other things; things that we do not find taught in the New Testament; but they give us a more complete revelation of why, and how God looks at mankind as He does. The revelation of what happened in the garden of Eden, between Eve and the serpent, is one of them. We call it the serpent seed revelation. Nowhere in the Bible will you find it written out in details; but when you see the little that is written, and realize that there truly is a mystery hidden there, the Holy Ghost will put the picture together for you. Denominational people say such an idea comes from the pit of hell; but you must realize they have to say that; for they are without that Spirit of revelation. It left those systems years ago, because they had no love for the truth of God’s word. The people who are being restored to a true revelation of God’s word, appreciate the revelation of what the original sin was; because it lets them know why Jesus had to be born of a virgin birth. It took a blood sacrifice to atone for man’s sin debt. People have always known that, but now we know why it had to be sinless blood, free from the imputed death that had passed upon all mankind. There was no way such a Savior could have been born through the natural law of reproduction of man and woman, because every other man and woman upon the face of the earth had death in them; because of Adam and Eve’s sin, there in the garden. The serpent seed revelation takes the big question out of all of that, because you learn that there was no apple in the picture; it was a two legged creature on the ground, talking to Eve. Bro. William Branham let us know that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, was a sex act; but he never did explain what the tree of life was. He only said, It was Christ. I had a person throw that statement at me one time; Bro. William Branham said the tree of life was Christ. I just responded by saying, “In what form?” The man we call Jesus the Christ, was a physical embodiment of the life qualities and virtues every woman on earth would have been bearing, if Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of life instead of that other tree. That is why Jesus is referred to in the Bible, as the righteous Branch. In other words, broken out of the tree of life, and grafted into the seed of woman, from the standpoint of the flesh. Though Bro. William Branham never did lay it all out step by step, through the years of his ministry, at various times he would make statements like, Before Adam could come to Eve, Satan had already defiled her. Why did he talk like that? He knew what Satan had inspired that serpent to do; introduce the sex act to Eve for pleasure, instead of for the purpose of reproduction only, which would have constituted partaking of the tree of life. In other words, those two trees there in the midst of the garden, were two spiritual laws; One for life, and one for death. How many of you really do appreciate this revelation? Without the revelation of serpent seed, we could never have a revelation of election and predestination, and eternal security. You could believe they were Bible doctrines, because they are written therein; but you could not completely understand their operation in the plan and purpose of God.
SOME WAYS GOD SEPARATES TARES FROM THE CHURCH
As time passed, and various ones harped on what God will no longer do, some were remembering what Bro. William Branham said about the year 1977; so they made a doctrine out of their idea about that. Bro. William Branham was a prophet; there was no doubt about that; but some of the things those people took to be thus saith the Lord, were never meant to be that at all; and what he said about 1977, was one of those things. He never did say, I prophesy this. He merely said, (because of the progression of the things he saw in the vision of seven major things that would happen) I predict that by the year 1977, it will all be over, and the Millennium will be here. Those people, completely ignoring the word of God which denies any of us the authority to set dates for the coming of the Lord, and such like, grabbed hold of that prediction and said, When a prophet says, I predict, it is the same as saying, Thus saith the Lord. They began to work on the half hour of silence spoken of in Revelation 8:1, which says, “And when He had opened the seventh seal, (Jesus is the only one that opens, or breaks those seals.) There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Using the year 1977, some figured back 3 ½ and others figured back 7 years, to get the great tribulation in ahead of that predicted climax of all things. They could not agree on whether the Jews still have 3 ½ years, or 7 years left to them; because Bro. William Branham had said both. He preached a message on the 70 weeks of Daniel, in which he showed by the scriptures that there is one full week (7 years) left to them, of that 70 weeks; which adds up to 490 years of God’s dealings with that nation, because of their transgressions. Yet in another message, he merely made a statement that there is only 3 ½ years left, and that has left the whole bunch in an uproar. Some say, I believe it is seven, others say I believe it is three and a half, and others are foolish enough to say, I believe both; because Bro. William Branham said it. I never did figure out how anyone could try to reconcile both; but it does not matter, for we are eleven years beyond their cut off year of 1977, and the Lord Jesus is still on the mercy seat; and that bunch of blind leaders of the blind have used up all the dates they could think of, and do not know where to go next. They cannot return to the Bible; they discarded it long ago. You just have to say, God willed that man to say some things two ways; because of the age we are living in. It did not need to be so in the days of Luther, Wesley, Knox, Calvin, and all of those Reformation leaders; but here at the end of the grace age, God is using various means to separate the tares from the true Church; and these dual statements serve no other purpose that I can see. Whenever Bro. William Branham would make dual statements, some would go one way, and some another; and others just throw it all out; but no true seed of God will ever allow the statements of a man to turn them against the Bible, like a lot of them have. God’s true Church will always take what they hear, and get it lined up with the Bible; for they realize that God will never speak contrary to His written word. Anything that is Thus said the Lord, will always line up with what was already Thus saith the Lord, in His written word. It is the responsibility of every true child of God to examine any dual statements they may hear or hear of, and see which one of them lines up with what is already written. The seventy weeks of Daniel should never cause anyone any problem, if they will just do that; for there is no way possible to make a 3 ½ year span of time fit the revealed scriptures that deal with the seventieth week of Daniel. Yet you can take Daniel, chapters 9 and 12, and Revelation, chapters 11, 12 and 13, and you can see the 7 years harmonize all the way through. Brothers and Sisters, we are at the end time; and something has to separate the tares from the true believers; so do not be surprised to learn that God allowed a fan to operate through the ministry of His seventh Church Age prophet. There will never be another star messenger to the age; and there will not be another prophet ministry of that magnitude; but do not try to deny the fact that Bro. William Branham was a human man that had to be saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ; just like all the rest of us had to be; and therefore subject to voice certain things that were not Thus saith the Lord. When you can come to the place where you can see this: his ministry can do for you what it was supposed to do for the true children of God; turn them back tot he faith of their apostolic fathers; which is recorded in the holy Bible. Hallelujah! It thrills my soul; just to stop and realize what God has done for the Church, here in these last days, just before the return of Jesus Christ to take His little bride to the marriage supper. Brother, He did not send us a prophet messenger to plunge us into more confusion; He sent him to get us out of the confusion the Church had been in, for hundreds of years.
SET FREE FROM BONDAGE
I have been falsely accused by many because I opposed, and stood against that antichrist spirit, that moved among those who sat under Bro. William Branham’s ministry. I had to do what I did; because I saw where it was leading people. They say I withstood the prophet because I refused to put church order in my assembly; but God allowed me to see that Bro. William Branham did what he was forced to do, to try to control something that was getting out of hand there at the Tabernacle. However I will have to confess to you, as I have many times before, that there was a great battle went on inside of me, because of that. I looked at myself, and I looked at that man, and realized the calling of God upon his life; but I had to rest in the fact that God had a calling upon my life also. Not to be a church age messenger; but to stand for His word as He revealed it to me. I spent many hours in agonizing prayer because of that great conflict in my soul; and there were many times I thought to myself, Who am I that I should withstand church order? Yet I would always come back to where I first took my stand; If it is of the Lord, and for the universal body of Christ, it has got to be in the Bible; and I cannot find it there. That great conflict made me sick inwardly; and I felt at times like I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown, simply because I would compare myself to him, and say, Who am I, that I should be like this? I will never forget that February meeting there in the Jeffersonville High School, in 1965; for it was during that time, that God set me free from that terrible feeling. There I sat, along with all the rest of them, realizing that I was looked upon as a black sheep. (Some had called me a black bird.) I was tired and weak. I had lost sleep thinking about all of that; and I felt sick inside, and felt like I had a huge log chain wrapped around my chest. Yet as I sat there somewhat dizzy, and feeling like I might faint, it was as if God spoke literally to me saying, How long will you doubt my word? Right there, and right then: I settled it once and for evermore: if Church Order is not in the Bible, it has to be something God allowed in that local assembly to correct the error of people’s doings. I said in my heart, I will not question that; but it is not in the word of God, laid out by the apostle Paul; so I cannot put it in Faith Assembly. When I made that decision, it was as though a pair of scissors came down my back and cut that band. A deep breath of relief moved within me, and never again was I discouraged. It was settled then and there; but that old spirit of Satan soon designed another means to try to get at me.
I AM NOT A JOSHUA
I was in a meeting in North Carolina in 1966; and they began to project me in a way that I knew nothing about, until it was already done. They put out a paper advertising the meetings, Come and see our Joshua. Somehow, because of the horse dream I had told Bro. William Branham on August 1, 1965, some jumped to the conclusion that it was to be as it was when Joshua continued leading the children of Israel after the death of Moses. I am thankful to God for the dream; and I am thankful for the way God has led my life; but I was not thankful for being called a Joshua. I had nothing at all to do with that. Furthermore I have never been ashamed of the fact that God was leading my life in a way that would sooner or later require me to hold a line on His revealed word. It is not somethign I premeditated and planned; it just fell my lot to stand in this place. If God had not ordained it to be this way, none of my human efforts would be worth two cents to him. I hope that is understood. Most of you have heard me tell of Bro. William Branham’s response, when I told him that dream; so I will not go into all of the details, telling you the full dream; but just remind you of his words to me. When I finished telling him the dream, he turned, picked up his Bible and said these words, (My wife was with me, and heard it all.) Something is about to happen. I don’t know what it is; but when it does, you will have a job to do. I know what the horse is; he said, the horse is the power of the word. Stick with that word, Bro. Junie. I said, I will. Then he turned toward the wall, and pointed to a painting of the translation of Elijah, showing him being taken up in a fiery chariot; and said, That is a beautiful piece of work. We looked at it and commented, and then he turned back and picked up his Bible again, and said, Bro. Junie; something is about to happen. I don’t know what it is; but when it does, you will have a job to do. I know what the horse is; it is the power of the word; stick with that word. I said once again, I will. Now as I said, I had nothing at all to do with that Joshua tag that was attached to my name; therefore I am not responsible for what anyone may have thought; because of it; but I do want to say once again, I have nothing to hide. My life, my ministry, what I believe, and what I teach is open for all to examine; so I just say, Let God judge between the preachers, and everyone else that has had any part in any of this. What He thinks about it, is all that really matters anyhow. I would hate to think though, that after all that has been revealed to this generation of Christianity, it would all end up in a worse mess of confusion than what existed in the denominational realm, before Bro. William Branham came into his ministry. There has got to be truth somewhere; and a standard for hungry souls to look to, or we are not as close to the end as most of us believe we are. Anyone who knows anything at all about the Bible, knows we are close to the end; and they know God has been merciful to us, to reveal His word to us as He has; so we will all have to determine within our own hearts, to let God judge between all who have played any part in promoting, or denouncing, or perverting the teaching of Bro. William Branham; and also let Him judge every individual that has ever made a determination about the man himself. Those who have tried to make him God, will have to answer to God for their idolatrous ways; and those who believed he was a prophet sent from God, yet failed to accept the truth he preached, will have to give an account for that. I know where I stand; and I know what God has called me to do; and I am determined to be faithful to that, and to give others their place to fulfill what God has called them to do.
HOW SOME TELL LIES TO GAIN AN ADVANTAGE
I learned later that exactly one week after I told Bro. William Branham the horse dream, he and his family were over in Louisville at the Blue Boar Cafeteria for Sunday lunch; and there he met a preacher that used to be a friend of ours; and supposedly said some things to him about my dream. It was told later, that Bro. William Branham came over to his table and sat down; and said to him, I know what Bro. Junie’s dream is. (I will only tell what the preacher later claimed Bro. William Branham told him.) The fact that I only went a little distance when I tried out the horse, and then returned to my wife, who was still waiting with our car, showed that I would only stick with the message a little while, and eventually return to the denominations. I did not know where a story like that came from, until a man out of Chicago began to proclaim, You can tell where Raymond Jackson is going; because in his dream, he went back to his wife; and you can tell who runs things in that home, because she was driving the car. When I heard that, I still did not know the origin of it; but while we were in India, this preacher that Bro. William Branham was supposed to have said this to, took it upon himself to take steps to correct me. He came to my home, but we were still in India; so he left word that he wanted to talk to me. When I met him later, he had all this in print, and handed me a copy. I read it and tore it up, and said to myself, Now I know where that story got started. A few weeks later, he stood right out here at the entrance to this road, passing out those papers to the people coming to church here. His plan was to make it appear that I am down here on Potter’s Lane, starting another denomination. Well the lord knows I have no intention of starting another denomination; and I believe the people who love truth, know it also, and none of us are accountable to a man such as that. He believed that every church goer has Ichabod wrote over them; for he got the revelation somehow, that everyone should worship at home, instead of congregating together for worship. I could tell you some other ideas that he has preached; but there is no profit in hearing it; so I will just say, Someone lied; and I know it was not me. I have told exactly what Bro. William Branham said to me; and I do not believe he changed his mind about it. As for my wife running things, anyone who knows us, knows better than that. On a trip, I sometimes ask her to drive part of the time; but that has nothing at all to do with anything SPIRITUAL. She is not my slave; & neither does she run my ministry; but she does stand by my side in whatever I do. We have a good marriage, we love each other, and we have traveled around the world together; as the Lord has led me to go various places to minister His word; and furthermore, she does not complain about what she does. I have no control over what others believe, nor over what they may tell; but I do have confidence in the God of our salvation; and I believe He will vindicate truth at all times, and that He will vindicate those who serve Him in truth; when the time is right; therefore this is not my personal fight. Whateer I do, or say, is because of the responsibility God has laid upon me, to defend truth, and oppose error, regardless of personalities involved. (The man Bro. Jackson has been referring to, died since this message was preached; but that in itself does not change what has already transpired.) The Church that is being perfected, to meet Jesus when He comes for her, cannot be tossed back and forth between two or more opinions forever; there has to be something somewhere, that she can depend upon.
GOD HAS LIVING VESSELS TO SERVE HIS PURPOSE
As for Bro. William Branham being raised from the dead to complete the rest of what some feel he was supposed to do: he never taught anything that justifies anyone believing he is to have a private resurrection. There is nothing in the Bible to even suggest any such thing. Jesus Christ Himself is the only one that had any reason to have a private resurrection. Beyond that, God always has living vessels to do what He wants done; without having to raise a man from the dead, to serve Him. Furthermore there is no scripture to justify anyone deifying a mortal being; no matter what kind of an anointing that man may have had. I will always be among the first to testify of my belief that Bro. William Branham fulfilled that Elijah ministry, spoken of in Malachi 4:5&6, but I will be just as quick to oppose any spirit, that tries to make him more than a man. We are saved because of what took place at Calvary almost two thousand years ago; and because men like the apostle Paul made known to the Gentiles that we were included in that redemption work. Bro. William Branham had a job to do; but he did not add one word to the gospel of Jesus Christ; which is the only gospel that has any hope of salvation. God revealed some things to him that add to our revelation; but the gospel of our salvation was preached in it’s entirety almost two thousand years ago. As a Methodist, I did not understand the Godhead, nor water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, nor the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We were not taught these things back there; because there was no one to teach them; but as I sat under the ministry of Bro. William Branham, the Spirit of God in him made me see all of these things as clear as a bell. Praise God for his life. He made me want to bring my life into line with the New Testament scriptures; and that is still my desire today.
A TALK WITH BILLY PAUL BRANHAM
Let me get back to the rest of what I wanted to say about this Joshua thing. In the fall of 1966, it was going around everywhere, Jackson is claiming to be Joshua. I called Billy Paul Branham on the telephone; and he said, Bro. Jackson: When you get back here, I want to talk to you. When I came home, I called him, and made arrangements to meet him at the Tabernacle on Monday morning. Bro. Neville is dead now; but I also called him and asked him to meet with us there. I told him it was important; because I wanted him to be a witness to what would be said. The first thing Billy Paul did was confront me on that write up, Come and see our Joshua. I said, Billy Paul: I had nothing to do with that. It is just like these people who want to deify your dad: they do what they want to do. I also reminded him of how so many of them were saying Bro. William Branham will rise from the dead; and he said, Bro. Jackson, he has got to; he left too many things unfinished. I said to him, If God took him before the time, it was because of what people were doing and saying, and what they were trying to make out of him. Do not forget that when God called Moses to go to Egypt, to deliver the children of Israel from their bondage, He anointed him, and commissioned him to take them to a land that flowed with milk and honey. With that commission, Moses went to Egypt, and stood up to Pharaoh and his magicians. (You all know the story, so I will not go through all that took place.) I said to him, When Moses left Egypt with that great multitude, do not think he did not believe he would lead them all the way. There was no reason for anyone to think differently. Yet when Moses made that fatal mistake, God just let him view the promised land from afar off. Then He cut him off; and anointed Joshua to finish what Moses left Egypt believing he would do. In this case, it was not Bro. William Branham that made the mistake; it was others; but if God was forced to take him from the scene before he completed all that you feel he was supposed to do, it was because people were poisoning the body and bringing reproach upon the whole thing. I know that Billy Paul no doubt knew, at that time, what Bro. William Branham was supposed to have told that preacher over there in the Blue Boar Cafeteria that day. I said, Billy Paul: That dream I told Bro. William Branham, it is not because I am trying to be anything more than what God wants me to be. I did feel in my heart though, that if this was a calling of God, He never would give me a platform strong enough to support it; and He has done exactly that. That is why I have always said, You people are a part of my ministry. I could not do what I do; if it were not for people like you. I have no desire to get out here, and try to build a little kingdom of my own, like so many are doing today. If God is not in it, all is vain, and without purpose. As I continued talking to Billy Paul, I said to him, Regardless of what God does from this point on, I am persuaded by the scriptures, that He will have some men on earth, in this end time, to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-16, doing the very things so many people are saying God will no longer do; therefore you people could very well be forcing God to do something with one man; until that Ephesians 4 ministry comes about. I left him with that, not realizing that in the back of his mind, he was thinking about what that preached claimed Bro. William Branham had told him about me.
WHEN THE CONTENDER STARTED TO TALK
From 1965 until about 1970, my life and my ministry were targeted by everything coming and going. There were times during those years, that my mind was so burdened with the pressures of what people were saying, trying to destroy my image, and my ministry, I found it very hard to come to church and stand up to preach. There is just no way to really explain what it was like during that time. By 1970 though, we were starting to get letters of encouragement from people who were receiving the Contender; thanking us for the stand we had taken, and for the things we were teaching; and that began to make me feel like what we had stood for was bearing some fruit; and that encouraged me to press on, even more determined, if that were possible. By then the overall following of what was supposed to be preaching Bro. William Branham’s message had continued to get more extreme in the things they were teaching. They were setting dates right and left, 68, 72, 77 and condemning anyone who did not agree with them. By the time they reached 1972, we had already printed the Seventy Weeks of Daniel message, and sent it out, and that had things buzzing for sure. One man who works for the Spoken Word Publications, saw me down in Corydon, and said, Bro. Jackson: I want to talk to you about that article. Don’t you believe the prophet? I said, Yes. Well don’t you believe he was right when he said there were only 3 ½ years left to the Jews, of the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy? I said, No. Why not? He responded. Because historically, 3 ½ years does not leave enough time for everything else that must transpire. You just simply cannot fit it all into only 3 ½ years. Then he said to me, I believe I would be careful if I were you, in what I say. I said, I am. As we stepped out the door, he asked, What do you believe about 1977? Don’t you believe that? Here is what I said to him. I believe that by the time 1977 has come and gone, we will all still be here, unless death claims some. Well 1977 passed a long time ago, and most of us are still here, even in 1988; but do you think any of those main leaders of that following has ever bothered to say, We were wrong? No they have not. As time passed after that, this church, the Contender, and the name Raymond Jackson were talked about among that movement, from Canada, to Norway, and India, and wherever else any of them go. It did not matter that those preachers could not agree among themselves, concerning what they believed, when they got together, they were all against Jackson. Up in B.C. Canada, one man asked a certain preacher, How is it you can all get together, having different views, and not teaching the same things concerning the message of Bro. William Branham, yet when Bro. Jackson’s name is mentioned, you are all against him? The reply from this preacher was, He has got another spirit. This was one of the big name preachers among the Spoken Word following. Well if that is what they believe, so be it; I do not deny it. I would certainly hate to think I had the same spirit in me that caused them to deify a mortal man, and follow everything but the Bible. I will say again, What I have said repeatedly through these past years since Bro. William Branham left us: I have nothing to hide. Not once has any of those people, in all of these years, ever come to me and asked me why I teach this, or that, or anything. Yet they will go to the far reaches of the earth and tell anyone that will pay attention to them, Don’t read the Contender; Jackson is wrong; he is not in the message. They tell people that I am against people reading the Spoken Word Books; and that I will not allow my people (this is their words) to read them. Yet all anyone has to do, is step inside the Faith Assembly Church building and they will see the Spoken Word Books stacked on a shelf right in the middle of the Contender rack, where anyone can take as many as they need. I will say also to Billy Paul, The Contender is not meant to be contemporary to the Spoken Word Books. It is a means of showing some people what Bro. William Branham meant by some of the things that were not properly understood; which is something you people have no interest in. You do not want God to do anything else, for anyone else; but you cannot stop Him, for He will not allow Himself to be fenced in. They want to control everything that is done and said, but that kind of spirit cannot rule the true children of God, that want to have fellowship with Him and be led by His Spirit.
THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER
I really take no delight in some of the things I am forced by circumstances to say; but some people just simply leave you no choice. Years later, after I assured Billy Paul I had nothing tod o with that Joshua thing, he told a preacher in Christianburg, Virginia that he could not go along with me completely, due to the fact that I had never openly acknowledged tat I was not a Joshua. On a Sunday afternoon in a church in Christianburg, Va., I stated plainly that I am not Joshua; nor am I trying to be Joshua. Neither am I going to be a messenger; and I am not going to take Bro. William Branham’s place. That is all I can do. If they would have spread that, like they do other things trying to destroy me, then everyone would have known years ago, that I had acknowledged openly that I was not Joshua. I know a lot of them would be glad for me to just go home and never speak again; but I am like John Paul Jones said, when eh stood on the side of that burning ship that had the side blown out, I have just begun to fight. I will contest this deity nonsense, this carnal flesh worshiping which the God of heaven detests, with the last breath I ever breathe in this life. It is abominable to God, it has brought reproach upon the entire Branham family; and it has made a laughing stock out of everything that is in any way associated with the name of William Branham. To Billy Paul I will say, You have those that have placed the Branham family on a pedestal; but the day will come, that the winds will begin to blow, and God will rip your pedestal to pieces, and leave all of you sitting somewhere in shock. You just simply cannot build upon a fleshly image, without a scriptural foundation, and have any right to expect what you have built to be able to withstand God’s shaking, which is sure to come. As for myself, twenty some years have passed, and I have tried to be led of the Lord, not striving in any way to try to fulfill that horse dream, outside of what I have felt the leading of the Lord to do. Now I have my personal testimony in print, and you can read it. I believe with all my heart that Malachi 4 was here; and did exactly what it was supposed to do. That scripture, as pertaining to this age, pertained to a singular man, the seventh angel of Revelation 10:7. Yet from within that very movement, there are now some preachers that are beginning to say the seventh angel in that scripture was not to the Gentile Church; it is for Israel. They are wrong. That angel in Rev. 10:7 is the 7th church age messenger, the messenger to this age of Laodicea. Nothing can ever change that; it is a vindicated fact. I would like to say also to Billy Paul, and to whoever else that will hear me, What I preach does not detract in any way from what Bro. William Branham preached and taught, nor from what he was ordained of God to do. He was the star messenger to this age; and there will never be anyone take his place; there is no need for that. However there will definitely be a ministry of men ordained of God to complete this thing for the little bride of Christ thought; and no one can prevent that; and neither will any human family monopolize or control that. Anyone who tries to do so, will end like Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swaggart, by the time God gets through with him, or them. The only way anyone can walk with God is according to His word; and that has to be by revelation, not private interpretation. God reveals His word in a way that brings about a unified benefit and belief to the people who receive that revelation. This is one thing your deity spirit has never produced among the following; and those few who seem to agree, are not looking for Jesus to return; they are looking for Bro. William Branham. Some of them have even gone so far as to purchase an airplane to be used to fly the bride to a certain destination to be raptured. That plane will rust in the desert, waiting for Bro. William Branham to raise from the dead. It will never fly him, nor the bride church, anywhere. God has allowed Satan to shoot all these carnal ideas into the minds of those who have chosen the statements of a mortal man over and above the written and revealed word of His; therefore their condition can only get worse and worse as time passes, because they have nothing within them, to turn them around.
THE END TIME MINISTRY GOD WILL USE
When Bro. William Branham preached marriage and divorce, a certain element hit the road looking for another wife, as if Bro. William Branham had any authority to go contrary to the scriptures, and give them permission to do such a thing as that. Like I said earlier, They accuse me of thinking I am the only one that is right; but I will be quick to tell you, if I had to put up with all that carnal nonsense, in order to be considered a Christian in their circles. I would rather be a Catholic; for they do not know any better. The Bible says, To whom much is given, shall much be required. I know they do not like the Bible quoted to them; but they are going to be judged by it just the same, whether they like it or not. God will not judge anyone by the Spoken Word Books, nor by the Contender; we will all be judged according to the way we handled the revealed truth of His word. Do you think I am being too hard on them? What would you do? Would you just sit back and say, Oh they mean well; so God will surely have mercy on them. Not according to the words of Jesus, in Matthew 23:15, when He was talking to some people who had that same spirit leading them. He said, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Brothers and sisters, it is too late to just sit back and try to pacify a bunch of people who profess to be Christians, yet have no respect for the word of God. I am not the one that put them where they are today; but I am one that will protest their idolatrous ways in the hope that innocent souls still scattered over this world, not knowing what to believe, may have something to judge these religious spirits by. I cannot make Christians out of them; but by the help of the God of heaven, I believe I can help some of them to know what true children of God are believing and teaching in this hour of time. If Bro. William Branham was sent to this age to turn the children back to the faith of their fathers; you can be sure of one thing, God will raise up a ministry that knows how to minister that true faith to the people that are to be the benefactors; which of course is the bride of Christ. That ministry will detract nothing from what Bro. William Branham taught; no more than the revelation God gave John, in 96 A.D., detracted from what Paul taught in his hour. The apostle Paul taught everything he was supposed to teach: and then John came along, and wrote of things Paul never even touched upon; but did that diminish anything from Paul’s revelation? Absolutely not. We still live by the truth Bro. William Branham preached. The only thing is, we just do not put a period at the end, and say, That is all God is ever going to reveal to anyone. Bro. William Branham was not supposed to reveal everything in his hour, that the raptured element of the bride of Christ will know when she leaves here. There are seven thunders yet to sound; and do not try to tell me they have already sounded through Bro. William Branham’s messages; I know better. Revelation 10:3 & 4 lets us know that these seven thunders will sound THEIR VOICES; therefore if you have ever been to school at all, you know that no one man can fulfill such a prophecy. Besides that, Bro. William Branham never did preach on the 12th chapter of Revelation. He made a statement that the woman is the bride of Christ; but he never dealt with that woman in a message. Yet, even while he was still alive, God dealt with me in a dream, giving me the true picture of the woman in Revelation, chapter 12; it is Israel. In a Spoken Word Book, where the question was asked of Bro. William Branham, Who is this woman that flees into the wilderness; his answer was, It is Israel, running for her life. That presents another case where plural statements are to be considered. One lines up with other revealed scriptures; and the other is out there for tares to run with; but because Bro. William Branham never did teach on that chapter, they think no one else should either. Some of those statements preachers will do almost anything in the world, trying to put another man’s light out, because they themselves have no light. Well I am not like that, I love to see the light of Christ shine through other men; for it vindicates what I have believed all along, that God is still revealing things to those whom He has called. They do not have to just stand and quote someone else with their every breath. There is nothing wrong with quoting someone else; if it fits in with what you are presenting; but if that is all you have to feed to the people who come to listen to you, do not try to tell me you are called of God to preach.
Of course I realize that nothing I could ever say will change the views of a lot of people who have already sold out to that old spirit of carnality. They could not change, because of their pride. Listen to me saints; pride has no place in this walk with God. Pride is the enemy of truth, because the bare truth will tear flesh all to pieces; and the flesh is where pride works first. The truth of God’s word is the only thing the bride of Christ will be dressed in, when she leaves here; so you had better get it settled, and take your stand, while you have the opportunity to do so. I say that to those of you who have been pulled and threatened by that element that loves to use fear tactics on people, knowing full well myself that following truth can break up families. Jesus first said it; but it is a proven fact; if you are going to walk with God, you have got to be willing to take a stand when necessary. That is why it was necessary for Jude to use the terminology, earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. I am thankful that while this movement has played around with their various doctrines, the Holy Spirit has been busy, leading and guiding hungry souls into truth; and some of them are men chosen of God to fulfill Ephesians 4. They all realize that the ministry of Ephesians 4 does not destroy Malachi 4, they take what Malachi 4 produced, and continue on with it. There will be no big I’s and little you’s, in the five fold ministry; for they will all be dedicated to the same purpose; the unity of the true body of Christ, through the revelation of the word of God. Selfish interests have no place in that ministry. God Himself will make every man big enough to stand the tide of Satan’s constant attacks; for we are not called to be defeated; but rather, to lead God’s people to victory, even if they have to go off and leave some sitting. It is as hard for the Branham family to accept Ephesians 4, as it is for the denominations to accept Malachi 4, because they have always been in the spotlight, therefore I am not attacking them personally. I am attacking that old spirit of Satan that has raped and contaminated human souls around the world for the last 22 ½ years, since the death of Bro. William Branham. I am close to ending this message; but for the sake of anyone who can still be awakened to the error of their ways, I want to go into the 6th chapter of 1st Corinthians once again, and point out two or three verses that every sincere person will have to judge themselves by. Some of you may wonder why I would refer to anyone as idolaters, so let me say this, If you have any question in your mind about the definition of idolatry, get hold of a good dictionary, and check it for yourself. I will give you the only one that is needed in this instance; which is, “The worship of a physical object as a god.” Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Therefore to deify any mortal man, as many have done with Bro. William Branham, is idolatry; no matter if he did have an anointing second only to Jesus Christ. Remember, it was that anointing that did the word of God in his life, and that did not make him God; so pay attention while I read these verses, starting with verse 9. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: (There is the key, deception) neither fornicators, nor IDOLATORS, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God.” Those who are still doing such things cannot claim the same benefits as those that have been washed and delivered from those former ways; so do not allow Satan to deceive you. God does not have dual standards for His children; we all have to come to Him the same way; no matter how much we have been in the spotlight of man’s attention. Any time you attribute deity to anything else but God; you are guilty of idolatry; and God hates it. Ancient pagans were idolaters; they worshiped all sorts of objects; but children of the living God do no such thing. Peter was against it, at the house of Cornelius, Paul and Barnabas were against it in Asia; and someone has got to be against it here at the end time, just before Jesus comes. You can call me whatever you choose to, and you can falsely accuse me as long as you have breath to do so; but you will not affect the way I look at idolatry, of which many of you are guilty. I will never be a star; and I will never be a prophet to take Bro. William Branham’s place; but I will be something for God, as long as He gives me breath, and a voice to speak. If what I say causes you to lose sleep, praise God; I have lost a lot of sleep contending for this faith the devil is trying so hard to destroy. You love to hear the message Bro. William Branham preached on the eagle stirring her nest. Well God took His prophet home, but that eagle spirit is still here; and I pray that He will continue to tear up a lot of these nests. Eagles do not have to worry; they will all learn to fly; but those that are not eagles, may never fly.
I do not know how many will be helped by this message, but I do feel that you have been given an opportunity to examine what you are believing; and see if you are in the faith once delivered to the saints, or not.
May God help all of us, as we face the days ahead. Amen