IN OUR ATTEMPT TO BRING INTO CLEAR FOCUS THE TRUE MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE, WE ARE RUNNING INTO QUITE A LENGTHY MESSAGE; BUT I BELIEVE THAT WHEN WE GET FINISHED, SOME PEOPLE ARE GOING TO REALIZE THAT THEY HAVE NO TIME LEFT JUST TO PLAY AROUND WITH THE BIBLE, NOR TO PLAY AROUND WITH GOD. THE MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE IS CLEAR; AND THE HOUR IS LATE, SO LET US TAKE STOCK OF WHERE WE ARE, AND WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO WITH OUR LIVES; AS WE CONTINUE ON IN THIS MESSAGE.
In two of the seven letters sent to the churches of Asia Minor, the Lord mentioned a door, so I feel that we should take a little closer look at what was inferred by that terminology. To the church of Philadelphia, He said, “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Philadelphia was the church that typed the sixth Church Age; the age of brotherly love, in which Wesley is believed to have been the messenger to the age; Then to the church at Laodicea, the Lord said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” These were the only two churches in the whole seven that the word “door” is mentioned to. That was not coincidental. He (Jesus) was the one that said it. Let us notice how the word “door” is used, and in what sense and relationship it is used. The Philadelphia age, was the Wesley age; and the Wesley message. The Lutheran hour was an hour that brought about political conflict in Europe. Wesley’s hour was after the new world had been discovered and began to be populated. It was the era of great missionary endeavor. He set before the Philadelphia age an open door, and said, “No man can shut it.” What the door signifies is a door of opportunity. An opportunity that did not even exist in the Dark Ages. The printing press played a great role in all that was encompassed in that terminology. Now the gospel can be printed in practically any language mankind has the ability to translate it into; therefore, the printing press has played a great role in what has been accomplished through this open door. The Bible, for the first time, this side of the Dark Ages, began to be published in the various languages where the Protestant Reformation missionaries had a calling and longing to go. That was the door of opportunity. That was the Philadelphia age. Think of Dr. Livingston who went to Africa. Think of the various missionaries who went to India; as well as other regions of the world, who were men of great faith. Their stories revealed how they went to those places, not sponsored by any denomination. Many times they were right down to their last penny; when there would come something that showed their faith and their willingness to stay true to what God gave them in that hour to do. God was right there to honor their faith. A door of opportunity is what we have to see there. The next age was Laodicea; It would be the last age in which God, by His sovereign grace, would deal with an element of Gentile mankind; before turning back to the Jews. It was the people of the Philadelphia age that God used, when it came time for the next age to be ushered in. It was Methodists, at Wichita Kansas, in 1900, that received the baptism of the Holy Ghost; and brought the restoration process one step closer to being completed. As those Methodists from Wichita, and on down through Kansas, and into Missouri, and around into Texas, testified of their new experience, it was a Nazarene, a black man in Texas, that actually got that message. He was going to Los Angeles, California to preach to some Nazarene people. By the way, Have you ever wondered what the Nazarene movement was a part of? It was a part of the Philadelphia movement; because they had the same message John Wesley had. It was the same message of sanctification and holy living by those who had obtained salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ; but we do know that history reveals the fact that some of those Nazarenes even spoke in tongues. That branch of their movement was called Pentecostal Nazarenes. However, emphasis was not placed upon speaking in tongues until that message went to Los Angeles; then tongues became a message in which God places emphasis upon; but it was not God that declared it to be the initial evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost; that was man’s interpretation of it. I believe we can show you, before we finish; that tongues is not, and never was, God’s initial evidence. It was only a sign. It was a sign in the apostolic age; and they knew it was; because they had the original revelation to go with the supernatural manifestation.
A LOOK AT REALITY
When the Church was stripped of truth, then the Holy Spirit which is God Himself, that can do with Himself whatever He please, just simply stopped manifesting Himself in many of the ways He had before. That is why we read that in the third Church Age, when that third horse of antichrist spirit was riding, they could sell the wheat and barley; but the oil and the wine, they could not touch. Did not the Catholic Church take the word of God, the bread of life, and sell it in their traditional forms of ritual, in the Catholic Church? They sure did; but the revelation of the Holy Ghost, and the anointing, God keeps to Himself. No man can touch that. He anoints whom He will, and He reveals what He will, to whomever He chooses to. The 20th century opened in 1900, with God giving the Holy Ghost, with signs; and emphasis was put upon it. That is a fact. God began to put emphasis upon tongues, because it was time to restore the knowledge and purpose of the supernatural to the Church. A fundamental church is not a whole church. Fundamentalism is just the framework of the written word; it could never fulfill the complete purpose of God in the life of a bride saint, in this age of complete restoration. The primary objective of the Holy Ghost in any person’s life, is to lead that person into all truth, and show him, or her, things to come. If there is anything in God’s word that has been hid for centuries, and if we are the people that are to know those things, He will reveal them, whether you speak in tongues or not. Just remember, Tongues are for a sign; and not for any kind of evidence. When this Laodicean age began, America was destined to become a society that was totally influenced by a Protestant spirit; from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Her government was Protestant; but within her confines, Catholics were managing to gain recognition. They did not control any of the political affairs of this nation back then; but their presence was known. Their political influx has only come about in the last 50 years. When the Holy Ghost began to fall, it is testified of many people, that Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Nazarenes, criticized it, fought against it, and publicized all kinds of derogatory things about it. Some of the skeptics that went to cause trouble, found themselves smitten; right there in the audience, by the power of God, and they were either carried out, or they ended up speaking in tongues; doing the very thing they had gone there to denounce. Think of it saints! God is that Spirit which gave those manifestations; and He will display Himself to whom He will, and any way He sees fit. You will never manipulate Him. He was not manipulated in the upper room, among the 120 disciples assembled there; and neither will He be now. When the time came that He wanted emphasis placed upon the restoration to the church, it was necessary that the supernatural power be manifested. This made God alive to those people; and it became the Church’s way of being a living witness, that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The world had the fundamental aspects of Reformation; and the Holy Ghost was definitely in it; but as truth was restored to a certain point, it was time for scriptural baptism; and the very essential manifestations of the supernatural. However, the door was not set immediately. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost was a sovereign move of God. We cannot deny that. Then, when God began to fill people with the Holy Ghost, in no more than 20 years, it had been evidenced and witnessed in India, in Africa, and in Europe; because the missionaries from the various organizations, that had been a long time in these places, began to hear about what was taking place in America; in California; and they left their places of service,and came home to investigate; and to receive this experience. Then they would go back to their field of service and spread the news of what God was doing. The war years of WWI, slowed these things down somewhat; but when the war was over, the Holy Ghost went across the continents like a blaze of fire. God is a Spirit of revelation though, and it was not to the Methodists that He set an open door before; and neither was it the Nazarenes; it was the tongue talking Pentecostals. He did it by testing their own evidence. He sovereignly began to talk, supernaturally, in an audible voice, to many of those Pentecostal followers and ask, “Will you take my name?” I have read the testimonies of preachers; and of individuals, who were awakened in the night, hearing a voice that said, “Will you take my name?” They would go to their Bible to see what it meant; and it would open to Acts 2:38. Right here, in Aurora, Indiana, during that era, just before WWI, (I believe this is right) a man of that Pentecostal hour, a Trinitarian, was holding a revival; and at the end of several days, or nights, or however long it lasted, there were several people that had been converted and were ready for baptism. On Sunday, to close it all out, they were going to have a big baptismal service. The evangelist that had been holding the meeting had all the candidates lined up to be baptized; and as that evangelist was standing in the water, speaking to the people, just getting ready to baptize the first one, with the pastor of the church standing with him to assist; the evangelist heard an audible voice say, “Bury these in my name!” The pastor heard something; and knew the evangelist had heard something; so he said to him, “What was that?” The evangelist, knowing the controversy that had already caused a breakup in the Pentecostal ranks answered, “Oh nothing.” He tried to shrug it off; but again he heard (as he prepared to baptize the first one) that audible voice ; and it said to him, “I said, Bury them in my name.” Then the pastor said to him, What did he say? In answer to that, the evangelist said, I will tell you when we are finished. Then, when he finally did get ready to bury the person in baptism, in immersion, the voice said, “I said, Bury them in my name.” He paid no attention to the words he was hearing; and went ahead and baptized all of those people in the trinity titles. When they got back to the pastor’s house, the pastor said to the evangelist, “What did the Lord tell you?” Finally the evangelist said, “You know how controversial this thing is of baptizing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Yes?” That voice said, “Bury them in my name.” The pastor then said, “Let us go to the word; and see how they baptized believers in the New Testament. Everywhere the New Testament recorded how they baptized, it showed that they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, or in the name of Jesus Christ. The pastor then looked at the evangelist and said, “I do not care what people say, you are going to do this all over again.” He made him go out to the river, take all those people, and rebaptize them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. These things went on in Pentecost, when Pentecost was the message of that day and hour. Laodicea was destined to be the age in which that spirit would be characterized; but the age had to start with some kind of message.
TWO SIDES OF PENTECOSTALS
We must get to where we find there is a door; so let me say this, When God did drop the Godhead revelation, most of the evidence, trinity Pentecost, rejected it. This had the effect of closing the door of revelation to their understanding. The age did not end instantly though; even though God knew they would denominate. He let them go; and went ahead and used them. The oneness people were given an opportunity to see something standing in the door of revelation; and God honored them; and blessed them. The two branches of Pentecostals continued right on through the era of WW2, because they are the Laodicean light that was to shine. However, when the oneness side denominated, they closed the door to any further revelation. They held onto their evidence, and have just simply closed the door themselves, to any further enlightenment. They do not see Malachi 4, nor Revelation 10, nor even the message in Revelation, chapter 3; that we have already read. When WWII was ended, it was time for God to send His messenger to the age of Laodicea. Both elements of Pentecostals recognized him for the gifts God operated through him; but when it came time for doctrine, they pulled away from him. Furthermore, it was not even the Jesus-Name people that introduced him to the field of evangelism; the Assemblies of God did that. Later, the oneness people did began to promote him; but they looked at him with such a critical eye, because he associated with the trinity side of Pentecost, which they knew was wrong. I will say this, from the time he started ministering in the field of evangelism, (while the Assemblies of God sponsored him) independent Jesus-name pastors who dared to have their name reproached, would be in the meetings. There would also be a few Catholics, some Baptists, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, and others, because some were sick and needed healing; and others were hungry for something more than they had. Only God Himself knew what all of this was leading up to. In the year 1963, to line up the scriptures of Revelation the right way, to make them begin to project to you and me an understanding of how to read that letter, God led His messenger to preach on the seven seals, and the revelation of the first six was given. Up to this point, the messenger had touched every major doctrine in the New Testament. All of which was written by men who had a true revelation of them. He had touched everything from eternal security and predestination, to the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, knowing that this is the only way you will get into the body of Christ. It is the only way you become a member; or a part of God’s Church. He had touched the virgin birth, and also the second coming of Christ; when even many of the oneness people denied the visible bodily return of Jesus Christ. What a pathetic picture! All of that just goes to prove, that when they stopped following the leadership of the Holy Ghost, and continued to harp on evidence, God left them as blind as a bat; and they will go in circles until the day they die. That is a fact. Let us back up a little right here; before going on. In December 1960, Bro. William Branham felt the necessity to preach the first three chapters, (1, 2, & 3) of Revelation. He literally took an historical account of how each one of those seven local churches exemplified an age that their overall condition corresponded to. He showed us what Laodicea was. He was the only evangelist among all of the deliverance men, who had an insight to reach out and touch the conditions that in 1960 was fast setting in. Many of the deliverance men were going on radio or TV; because the revival fires were beginning to dwindle. (I lived through it.) As we came on into the 60’s, just look back, What began to set in among the circles of religion? The Catholic Church began to reach out and say, We must extend the hand of fellowship to our erring brethren. By the time we came to 1962, we had a pope that had really begun to speak out; using the words of Jesus, in His prayer in St. John 17, that we may all be one. When we look at the Charismatics in the world today, we are reminded that they were not called Charismatics back then; because all of that movement started out in the basements of various homes; and that experience was called, “The Glossiola Experience.” God knew He was going to set a door of revelation before this Laodicean age; and He did it in 1963. I know some of you Branham followers will challenge me on that; therefore, I challenge you by saying this, In 1963, they did not know in Africa, what they know today. They did not know in India, what they know today. They did not know in the Philippines, what they know today. You may have known; but they did not. Do not ever allow yourself to think that God intended to save a church just out of America and Canada; and just let the rest of the world go to hell. God did not send William Branham to be a messenger just to the United States; he was THE messenger to the Laodicean age. The fact that he was in America, and was an American, does not limit his message of getting back to the word, (the Bible) just to the people who actually heard his audible words. It is his message, that people of this age have to hear; regardless of where they are. As that ecumenical spirit began to be cultivated, God knew exactly how to time the whole thing. As that pope used the words of Jesus, “That we all may be one.” Did not the apostle Paul say, in 2nd Thessalonians, 2:10, “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” God would do what? Send them strong delusion, that they might believe Satan’s lie and be damned. Coming into 1962, you would hear the various little stories of the glossolalia experience people were having. Those people were so proud of their religious affiliations, (because some were Lutherans, some were big shot Presbyterians, and even Catholics) they did not want to be associated with what they considered to be lowdown Pentecostals. They did not want to lower their religious image, to associate with that bunch; so they gave their experience a dressed up name; and kept it in their basements; and in small prayer rooms. As I have already said, The 7th parable of Matthew 13, was put into fulfillment back in the 50’s; when that great gospel net was cast out; and when that net had spread throughout the world, as far as its salvational outreach, it was time for God to begin to separate, and set in motion the trend of things for the decades that would follow; which upon their termination, will bring forth God’s finished product. Always remember this, though, you do not interpret these things by saying, This lasts until such and such a point, and you stick a pin there. We are very foolish, to do those things. As a certain thing is projected, it can continue in its projection a lot longer than we may think. However, somewhere along the line something else may blend in, and become the major picture, as that particular thing fades out. That is why we are not setting points, and cutting things off, or anything like that. Coming on through 1963, every major message he preached concerning the plan of salvation, the necessity of the Holy Ghost, sanctification and so forth, in other words, every doctrine of the New Testament, Bro. Branham preached from coast to coast; and from Canada to the Mexican border. Furthermore, they had been vindicated by signs that had never been evident in any other Reformation move. He had preached the history of the Church, in December 1960; and when we came to 1963, it was God’s time to start moving into a certain era; and from that point on, Jesus has been standing at the door knocking.
A PEOPLE OFF COURSE
In 1963 when God dealt with Bro. Branham like He did, it is a fact, God dealt with him in a supernatural way. We still have people today; on the face of this earth, (because they assume that the tent ministry was not fulfilled, and they think it has to be fulfilled by him) that are telling the world, Bro. Branham is going to rise from the dead; and he is going to have a tent ministry. That is their message; but God did not give it to them. Jesus spoke of conditions that would prevail on earth prior to the time when the Son of man is revealed; (Luke 17) and because of that, a lot of those people have literally made William Branham the Son of man. That sounds good to them; because they are without revelation. They criticize me, and what I teach; but I still have to say, as clearly as I can, William Marrion Branham, who was born of woman just like the rest of us, born down in a Kentucky community, was not the Son of man. However, being a prophet of the capacity that he was, the Spirit of God, which is the same Spirit that was in Jesus Christ in the fullness of all of God’s divine deity characteristics, was in him also; in a measure sufficient to exemplify the things in him, that God had exemplified and demonstrated in Jesus Christ, who was, and still is, the Son of man. Because of the similarities of that gift, both in Jesus and in him, carnal minded Gentiles assumed by what he said, that he was the Son of man. He never did say he was the Son of man. He knew what he was telling people; because he knew that at the ending of the Gentile age, God would give to the Gentiles the same sign He had given Judaism in the first advent of Christ. When I saw William Branham, I saw a man that would get tired and have a headache, just like anyone else. When he got a headache, he would very likely take an aspirin. If that surprises you, it is because you have attributed to him something you should not have. When he would accidentally scratch his hand, it would bleed just like anyone else. If he had an upset stomach, he would take something for that. In other words, There was no deity about him. Yet, when he would stand on a platform before thousands of people, with that anointing on him, he would see things about people that only the Spirit of God could know; and he would relate those things audibly, to those people; and that would literally cause theologians sitting on the platform with him, to weep and say, I have never seen anything like this. That has to be God. He was a man with a fifth or sixth grade education; and they were Doctors of Divinity. What a picture! What a story! When he would stand there, and see a person sitting so far back it would be impossible for the human eye to distinguish who they were, or what they were wearing, and tell their name, and maybe say, You are up for an operation. I see you as a little girl; when you fell off of a fence post and hurt yourself, and every bit of it was true, no wonder carnal minded people thought he was God. That same gift was manifested in the Son of man, Jesus Christ, who was born of virgin birth, born the son of Mary, and His foster father was Joseph, the carpenter. William Marrion Branham was a Gentile; but he was a prophet. He was not a writing prophet, but a preaching prophet, just like John the Baptist. We do not need a book of William Marrion Branham; to read in place of the Bible we have already. We do not have a book of John the Baptist; who fulfilled the first half of Malachi 4:5-6, so why would anyone dare to think we should have such a book by Bro. Branham. Oh, you can climb the wall if you want to; but it will not change anything. He pointed me to a book the Catholics do not like for their people to read. Protestants, who are supposed to be in that book, (The Bible) are out of it; and even a lot of the Branham following are out of it; Not just in the United States; but all over the world. They are using the Spoken Word Books; instead of the Bible. There is a right way to read those books; but most of those who read them have not found that right way. I want to say something here, You can read every Spoken Word Book that has ever been printed, and still go straight to hell. However, if you read them the right way, you will make heaven your destiny. I know you do not like to hear what I just said; but you may as well know, I am going to be a witness of all of this; until God lays me in the ground. This Bible is God’s word for our day; the New Testament, and it is going to remain to be God’s word for Grace Age believers, until the Gentile bride is fully dressed for her trip to glory; so there is no need for any true believer to even look for another book to replace the Bible. When 1963 came, God gave an opportunity for both trinity and oneness Pentecostals to get straightened up forever. I want to show you something; and I hope you will give serious thought to it. We are the people of the age of Laodicea; but we do not have to be controlled by the spirit of the age. We are given an invitation; as Jesus stands at the door knocking; to receive an up to date revelation; and walk with Him in truth, right on through all of this perverted mass of humanity. When Bro. Branham began to preach serpent seed, which was incorporated into his many other messages dealing with salvation, that was God’s way of showing people what true revelation is; and how to follow it. Well, to some people, it set the joy bells ringing in their heart’s; while others, when they heard him speak of such a thing, it was almost like he had kicked them in the teeth. What they could not read straight from the scriptures, they could not accept; no matter how much scriptural foundation was laid, nor how much sense it made. In essence, what they said (By their actions) was, we will accept the gift; but the rest is of the devil. People who quit following him because he preached serpent seed, will never get any closer to that door we have been talking about, than they were then, unless they repent. God says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: (but notice the rest of that verse, Rev.3:19) be zealous therefore, and repent.” Some people are so stubborn, God has to literally kick the stuffing out of them before He can show them anything. Their spirit makeup is what determines how God will speak to them; either loud, or softly and kindly, or very firmly. It is also going to be the determining factor in how God chastens them. You can see this scar on my face. That is how God got my attention. He said, YOU! You are not going to be a Methodist any longer. You are going to be a child of mine.
A HEAVENLY SCENE
In 1963, when God dealt with Bro. Branham in the manner he did, I want you to know, There was a door made available to the people of the Laodicean age. When Bro. Branham took the scriptures, of what he saw in the writings, (Not necessarily seeing the scene in heaven, but just by what he saw in the writings of the fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters of Revelation) and showed that this whole heavenly event pictured there, overshadows, and continues right straight on until Jesus leaves that spot; and is here on earth fulfilling Revelation 10, those who were seeking a closer walk with the Lord stepped right through that door. Naturally Jesus has been sitting there on that throne position ever since He ascended from the Mount of Olives; over 1900 years ago; but it was not known, really, what all of that picture really contained. We will see something a little further on though; so notice, as we continue. When Jesus said to John, in these last verses, “To him that overcometh, (in this age) will I grant to sit with me in my throne, (That is a promise for you and me.) even as I overcame, (past tense) and am set down with my Father in His throne.” That ought to tell us something; when we find out how many are in that throne. Chapter 4 will tell us what we need to know; if it is interpreted right; but Bro. Branham did not deal with it, in its entire pictorial setting. He read it and then went to chapter 5; to describe the book. Let us just look at chapter 4, for a few minutes. The first thing, John heard a voice say, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which shall be hereafter.” That set a perfect type; because the Laodicean Church was the last He spoke to. Therefore, that set a perfect type; that when these Church Ages are over, just as John was taken up, and shown things that would be hereafter, (He saw from then on, what would be from 1963 on out; to finish out this Laodicean age.) his being taken up set a perfect type of the Church being taken out of the Laodicean age. The voice said, “I will show thee things which must be hereafter,” but he did not hear that voice while he was being instructed to write to the various Churches. That goes to show that the Church had to remain on earth right on through a certain span of time. Notice verse 2. “And immediately I was in the spirit: (He was caught up in a vision, we will say.) and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and ONE sat on the throne.” Trinitarians will try their level best to preach to this world of religion (with their great knowledge of Greek and Hebrew) that there is definitely three thrones in heaven. I guarantee you, you will never find it so. Our Trinitarian critics say, “There is nothing written in the scriptures about the seed of the serpent; so why should we even consider such a thing?” To them, I will say, Neither is it written in the scriptures that God is three persons; but you believe it anyhow. You will believe the devil’s concerning the Godhead; but you refuse to accept a true revelation concerning what took place in the Garden of Eden to cause the fall of man. It is just the way you take certain words to interpret what certain words mean, that causes the trouble. Just remember this, These heavenly scenes have to correspond to the revelation God has already given to His Church. He is certainly not going to portray something in a heavenly scene that will be contrary to what He has already revealed. The language of the gospel down here, has got to be understood by mortal men; but God has cleverly concealed the revelation of His word from those who approach it from the standpoint of their great wisdom. Nevertheless, when John was taken up, and saw this beautiful throne setting, there in heaven, actually, for the first time, it became a recorded fact, of what really is in heaven. In Isaiah chapter 6, you can read how he had already spoken of some of its scenes; as he saw the Lord sitting high and lofty upon His throne, and the train that followed him, filling the heavens. That, of course, is His great heavenly escort, (angelic beings). He saw those four living creatures and how they cried Holy, Holy, Holy. The glory of the Lord filled the whole heavens. Do you know what that was? Trinitarians will try to tell you, that was God the Father. That was God the Father projecting a prophetic picture of a future thing yet to be. Isaiah was the first one to record it; but Isaiah did not find 24 elders there, then. Then Ezekiel came along, and wrote (in the first chapter), of how he saw the Lord. He saw this great throne, and this great halo of light, like unto an ember round about the throne. He too saw the winged creatures, and the four creatures that cried, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy; but he did not see the elders either. What Ezekiel saw was one like unto man, a son of man. All of that goes to show, from Isaiah, to Ezekiel, that all of these were prophetic visions of what one day, would be in heaven, in reality, when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born of virgin birth, would sit on His Father’s throne. Brothers and sisters: The only one that can possibly be sitting in that throne is the person of Jesus the Christ. While those people were stoning Stephen to death, God let the heavens be opened to him, and while the rocks were hitting him, he looked up and said, “I see Jesus, the Son of man, standing on the right hand of God.” Then Paul the apostle, spoke of Jesus being taken up and seated on the right hand of majesty,in his letter to Timothy. Paul said, “He dwells in the light which no man can approach unto.” That means that God the Father, the Spirit, the being that filled all things, is not an object that is tangible, nor has a form that you can describe. He does not exist like that. He is everywhere. He is a being that fills the universe; but He cannot be seen. He took His only begotten Son up into heaven, and seated Him on His right hand, to be the mediator of the covenant of grace that He had extended to us lost creatures. It was Jesus, His only begotten Son, whose life was offered on Calvary’s cross to pay our sin debt. It was through the shedding of His blood, and the suffering of His flesh, that your sins and mine, were paid for; because God required that kind of offering, to redeem us from our fallen state. Then, His body was buried; and His Spirit went down into the regions of hell, where He preached to the imprisoned spirits of those that had gone on before. When He was raised up by the power of God on that third day, Jesus, this Son of man, who was also the Son of God; because He was High Priest to be, took out of the oils of hell, the righteous souls of all of the Old Testament saints. He took them to glory with Him. That was Paul’s revelation; which he wrote in his letter to the Ephesian Assembly. Jesus ascended on high, to be seated; and that is how John saw Him. Let us read some more of what John wrote, here in Revelation, 4:3, “And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone.” Absolutely! Brother, I want you to know, when Jesus was here on earth, during that interval of time between His resurrection and ascension, did He not say to His disciples, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth?” The power He was speaking of, is the power to be the intercessor, the advocate, the High Priest, for every one of us. When God took Him up physically, glorified Him, immortalized Him, and positioned Him in this throne position, He delegated to Him that ancient authority that pertains only to Himself. That ancient authority has to carry the characteristics of what is ancient; but remember, Jesus the Christ, who was born of virgin birth, had a beginning. He was not ancient Himself. What He had was delegated authority. In other words, The Father clothed Him with His majesty, and invested in Him an authority and dignity through which He, the Father would get recognition. Therefore, the object that is seen, is the person of the Son. If we believe in one God, we have to see it that way. It is not Jesus only, as the Oneness denomination sees it; for we see the Father for exactly what He is. He is everything. He is the One who lives for ever and ever, because He had no beginning. On the other hand, Jesus, who had a beginning, is the One that was dead, but is now alive forever more. It is also stated, that He is the beginning of the creation of God, the new creation; because this new creation is all summed up in the redeemed ones; that are redeemed through Him. It all lies in how the Father chose to redeem and reconcile unregenerate mankind back to Himself. This is what makes Jesus the first born among many brethren. It makes Him the first begotten from the dead. It makes Him the beginning of the new creation. He is every bit of that.
WHY WE STILL HAVE THE BIBLE
There are many people on the earth today, who do their best to get others to believe that the Seven Seals Book is our Bible for today; but listen to me saints, That is an antichrist spirit spreading that idea; for God intends for His children to continue using the same scriptures Bro. Branham used; when he preached those messages. He went through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; and back again; but never did indicate that anyone listening to him should use his messages instead of the Bible. God inspired that little man to preach those many messages he preached,to give you and me an understanding of how to read the scriptures that contain the basis for all that he ever preached. As we consider this heavenly scene in Revelation, chapter 4, and realize that the object seen there is Jesus the Christ, the very one that walked on earth among men: let us realize also, that He fulfills 1st Timothy 6, Hebrews 1, Colossians, and what Stephen saw while he was being stoned to death. In Hebrews, Paul reached back into the Psalms, where it was prophesied through David, concerning Jesus, and said, (In ch.1:3-4) “When He had purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Paul was a Jew, well versed in the scriptures, and his revelation was always consistent. Therefore, if Stephen saw something a certain way, in his glimpse into heaven, Paul could not have seen it any different. Furthermore, whatever Paul wrote in his Colossian letter, and whatever he wrote in his letter to the Philippians, and to the Ephesians, he wrote the same thing in Hebrews. Each one of these scriptures confirm the total picture of whatever there is in heaven. Let me read a little more, in Hebrews I. Continuing on from verse 4, where he wrote, “Being made so much better than the angels,” we see this, “For unto which of the angels said He at any time, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son?” (Angels are definitely in the picture, and I will bring that into its proper place later.) Trinitarians, where the psalmist spoke in this pictorial language, see another person there; but the psalmist knew the Father was not a person. He knew He is a SOVEREIGN SPIRIT that has no form or likeness. However, He can manifest Himself in a form, any time it suits the occasion. One thing you will find though, as you get the tight picture, that in all those occasions where He did project Himself in a form, that form always pointed forward to Jesus Christ. Therefore, Once God fulfilled all of those types, in the person of Jesus Christ, He has never projected Himself in any other form or likeness since then. Verse 6, “And again, when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.” Paul wrote all of this; (We will not read it all) and then closed the point, in verse 13, by saying, “But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” Brothers and Sisters, When Jesus led His disciples out to the Mount of Olives that day. (You read it in the closing verses of the Gospel of Luke, and the first chapter of Acts), and they watched Him ascend into heaven, that is when these scriptures were fulfilled. The Father, the ETERNAL SPIRIT, took Jesus up and seated Him on the right hand of authority. He is still seated in heaven today, on the Father’s throne, in that delegated position of authority, mediating between the great Eternal Spirit and mankind. That is what He is doing even today for you and me, as well as for all of lost mankind; mediating. His sinless life, His death, burial, and resurrection, accomplished every necessary requirement to place Him in that position. When He gave Himself as an offering for our sins, that was the pinnacle of obedience to His purpose in life. An incomparable act of love and obedience. All of this is set forth in the Bible; along with various things that are yet to be fulfilled; so whatever else you do, hold on to your Bible; for every prophetic utterance that will ever come forth by the Spirit of God, will without question harmonize with that which He has inspired His servants of old to record. The BIBLE is our yardstick that everything else should be measured by.
THE “US” OF GENESIS 1:26
Trinitarian critics look at people like us, because we teach that God is SPIRIT, and not a person and say, “Those people are ignorant, just plain stupid; their revelation is out of the pit of hell,” simply because we have the revelation of the terminology God used, there in Genesis 1:26, when He said, “Let US make man in OUR image.” They just assume that God was speaking in relationship to three persons in the Godhead; when in reality He was speaking to His angelic helpers; which were created beings also. Throughout the scriptures, we find evidence that the angels were helpers together with God, in everything pertaining to mankind. In Hebrews, Paul spoke of angels being ministering spirits, (Heb. 1;14) sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. Do they (These critics) not realize, that if there were three persons in the Godhead, there would have to be three thrones in heaven? If God were three persons, the types of the Old Testament would have presented evidence of three, instead of one. When God was bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, and gave them the law at Sinai, and instructions for setting up the Tabernacle with its various types of badger skins, goat skins, and such like, there were no trinity types set in it. There was a box overlaid with gold. The box was wood; which speaks of the flesh of Jesus Christ. The gold speaks of the deity of Jehovah; but He has no flesh. There were two tables of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written. They were placed inside the box. That was God’s word, to be observed, remembered, and to be followed, and guided by. This box was placed in what was called the holy of holies part of the tabernacle, with two cherubims made of beaten gold covering it with their wingspread. Hovering over all of that, was the living presence of Jehovah, which was referred to as the Shekinah glory. What a sight to behold; but only the high priest were allowed in there. Just imagine, in a little room in which there was no natural light allowed to penetrate, that box was placed; and the angels on the ends, faced Inwardly, their wings tipping toward each other. It was just a little box; but over it was a manifestation of light like no other light ever seen by man. You could call it a halo, I suppose, or a swirling light; but it was the only light in the holy place. I would like for someone to tell me, how anyone could get a trinity out of that. The box typed Jesus, in which God would dwell in all His fullness. That was God’s word, engraved in stones; but it had its place in their lives; because they had to remember what it meant. As long as they followed it, God was with them. When they could no longer observe it, and apply it, then many times God allowed the box to be captured by their enemies. When it was captured, Israel suffered. When the Church lost the revelation of Jesus Christ, it lost the very thing that showed it how to live and serve God. As I stated earlier; There is an awful lot in the Bible that cannot be understood, without a proper revelation of the Godhead. I have said all of that to show you this, When God says US, He is not speaking of three persons in the Godhead. He is speaking in relation to how He associates Himself to His angelic beings who have been ministering spirits down through the ages. Just listen to what Stephen was saying, as he preached to that bunch of religious Jews, that made them so angry, just before they stoned him to death. (Acts 7:51) “Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: (Notice now) Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, (which means, You received it by the administration of angels) and have not kept it.” The angel Michael, was the archangel that guided Israel through the wilderness. He was the guiding light. He was that angel that was in that pillar of fire by night, and cloud by day. He was the one that characterized everything that was to be culminated in the person of Jesus Christ. That is why Paul, in Hebrews, reminds us of this, in the first chapter, saying, “God, who at sundry times and divers manners wake in times past unto the fathers, by the prophets.” Moses was the first major one through which God spoke, giving the Law, and the ordinances and statutes He wanted His people Israel to keep. Just remember though, there was always an angel in that anointing, that communicated the word of God to man. The man then becomes the mouthpiece, or medium through which God speaks to others. That is how people are to learn. God does not speak audibly to everyone. That is why Stephen preaches like that. God wanted that angry mob to know that they had been, and were being given a chance to obey Him. Keep in mind, Paul was a Jew, and Stephen was a Jew. When he said those words we just read, to me that is confirmation that in the whole law period, there was not a single mention of anything pointing to a trinity; in those types. God used all those angels to characterize the things yet to be. Let us notice in Hebrews, chapter 2, how the apostle Paul confirms that. In chapter 2:1, he said, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Then he said this, “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” What I really wanted you to catch was the part where he said, “If the word spoken by angels was steadfast,” thus and so, for we need to realize, that when God spoke to the prophets, or to the fathers by the prophets, the prophets were anointed and minister by angelic authority. It just simply boils down to this: If you get hung up on the word US, in Genesis 1:26, you will have trouble all the way through the Bible; and especially here in Revelation 4, where John was caught up to heaven and saw that throne, and the One sitting on it. You can be sure of this one thing; The element of the bride of Christ that lives to be taken up in the rapture, will have a clear revelation of the Godhead. However, we may as well reconcile ourselves to the fact, that the world of religious people all around us are blind to the spiritual depth of God’s word; and you will never be able to prove to them that they are wrong. Why do I say that? Simply because the huge body of what the world looks upon as Christians do not have the Holy Ghost. Many of them have tasted of His anointing; and have been moved by it, but they do not have the reality of His sealing presence abiding within. If they did, He would be leading them into truth; and showing them what He wants them to do. In 1963, when Bro. Branham was led to preach on these certain chapters of Revelation, and there began to come forth the revelation out of these seals, that the spirit of antichrist had been running parallel to the Spirit of God all the way down through the seven Church Ages, even to this very day, it gave true children of God reason to sit up and pay attention to what He (God) was revealing to us. Even that white horse rider in the first seal, that so many believe was Jesus, turned out to be the spirit of antichrist also. That is why I say, When he preached on the seven seals, of which only six were revealed, it did not take a true believer out of the Bible; it caused a hunger to get into it more. You can see then, what Paul meant when he wrote the 2nd letter to the Thessalonians saying, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” You can also see what John meant when he wrote the little epistles saying, (1 John 2:18) “Even now are there many antichrists.” (Meaning agents of the spirit of antichrist.) They were already infiltrating the ranks of the believers in Paul’s day; and especially so in 90 A.D., when John wrote these little Epistles. That being so, we should not have any trouble seeing that white horse rider as a deceiver; instead of the very Son of God. It was that spirit of Satan, riding parallel to the Holy Ghost, to create unbelief and fear, and conquer all who would allow him to. Coming into the second age, he had already changed his colors; for the second seal showed him riding a red horse. Naturally, history confirms that the second age was a time of bloodbaths for Christians; an age of martyrdom, brought on by Satan, through those pagan nations; in an effort to get rid of Christianity forever, but the Church thrived, through it all. I will never forget how Bro. Branham would refer to various histories of time, in relation to these four horse riders. It made us realize that we can see precisely how Satan disguised himself in these mysterious ways, and has come right up through the age of grace running parallel to the Holy Ghost, even in this very age of time. When you come to that third horse, it was a black horse; and the rider had a pair of balances in his hand. This was going into that Dark Age period, when there was very little true light left in the ranks of what professed to be Christians. As that black horse went forth, what was heard? “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Brother, if that was not the Roman Catholicism in the Dark Ages, you tell me what it was. They sold the mass. They turned the word of God into a ritualistic ceremony that they could charge poor innocent souls for. No wonder the Holy Ghost left the scene. God let them get by with selling what they called the word; but they were not allowed to mess with the oil and wine; which speaks of the Holy Ghost and Holy Ghost revelation. They could not find any way to sell that.
PALE HORSE OR GRAY HORSE
Coming to the fourth horse, we see that it is called a pale horse; but actually there is no such terminology used, in speaking of horse colors. A mixture of white and black, may appear to be white from a distance; if the sun strikes it a certain way, but it is commonly referred to as a gray horse; not a pale horse. That really speaks of what is left of Protestantism, as she stopped following God; and joined herself back to the old mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. Death and hell follow this pale horse rider. You yourself, can see what this ecumenical spirit coming out of Rome has done. It has this great mass of world church type of so-called Christianity believing that Roman Catholicism is changing; to be like them; when all of the time, Rome is capturing them; because they themselves are void of the Spirit of God; and have no revelation of what the truth is. Glossiola came out of the basements and took on a new terminology; that is now referred to as CHARISMATIC, and we have been eyewitnesses of the forming of the IMAGE OF THE OLD BEAST Daniel and John both saw. From the time Bro. Branham preached on the seals, this ecumenical spirit has covered the earth; and sucked protestantism into a hole they can never get out of. Oral Roberts, a man that had been greatly used of God in the healing realm, soon joined the Methodist Church seeking favor with carnal mankind rather than favor with God. Pentecostal preachers by the scores began to be taken in by that Charismatic spirit; and sold out to it lock, stock, and barrel; as the old saying goes. This of course, is that delusion God said He would send upon those who have not a love for the truth. Do you think denominationalism wants to know anything about the seals in the book of Revelation? Only to the extent of having something to debate about. The World Council of Churches has linked up with Rome. The Charismatics and the ecumenical spirit are compatible, so that gray horse rider is riding through this religious world today; and he has a message of unity the church world loves to hear. That is why I say, The religious world will never read the seal book. They want nothing to do with anything connected with the name William Marrion Branham; the man who taught serpent seed. Well, if they cannot believe in serpent seed, do you think they are going to believe the revelation of the seals? No, sir. This is why I have to say, There is a door, where Jesus stands knocking; but it is a door that most people professing to be Christians, are not prepared to open. It is a door of revelation. I hope that is clear to all of you. There is a door of revelation; which is the only way Jesus is going to come into your life. Why do I say it like that? Simply because we are living in a day when the true light has been restored to the Church; and there is no time left for anyone to play around.
THE FIFTH SEAL
The fifth seal is presented in a completely different manner than the first four. In chapter 6, verse 9, John wrote, “And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” The terminology there, is, under the altar; but it means that he saw them gathered around the altar. Not up above, but down below; so that from upon the altar, one would be looking down upon them. That is what is meant by the words, under the altar. In chapter 4, John wrote of 24 elders seated round about the throne; but standing there looking up, were these souls that had been slain because of their faith in God, saying to Jesus, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” That is when white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. I will never forget when Bro. Branham brought out the revelation that this is those Jews which were martyred under Hitler and his henchmen during those war years. The Jews are still talking about how six million Jews were put to death in what is called, “THE HOLOCAUST.” Does that mean there are six millions Jews represented here in the 5th seal, begging? No, But every one of them who were martyred because of the testimony they held, concerning the word of God, (Which was the Old Testament) are represented in that number. When that war ended, (We can now see, by divine revelation) Jesus was standing in the doorway of revelation and opportunity. Not only to American saints; to Canadian saints; but to Africans, Indians, Philipinos, and however many others there are, to the ends of the earth, that would hear God’s voice for this day. God’s voice for this day is His word; and His word becomes the revelation of Jesus Christ, as He sits before mankind a door of opportunity to enter into it. He (JESUS) is the one who knocks at our hearts door, and wants to come into our lives. He is not going to sit 40 feet away from you and sup with you. It has got to be inside of you, or nothing. Brothers and sisters, we have to enter a door of revelation. This thing of theology is not going to be a dime’s worth of good to you. That is why I have got to say, The scene we see in chapters 4, 5, and 6, strictly is a heavenly scene; but it is related to time, as we can see, from the events pictured here, the scroll and the breaking of the seals, the voice, and all of that. Here is where that door was set before us; because that door not only includes the restored gospel taught in the New Testament, it brings forth divine revelation; because the Holy Ghost came on the scene to make Jesus Christ real to us; just like He was to the first Church we read of, there in the book of Acts. He makes Himself available in the ending of this Grace Age, to close it out by revelation. Once He has restored the original things the Church had lost, and gets them all back in place, then in the end, He will bring forth things that are new. This is what invigorates and enthuses the heart of the true bride believer. His Church is built on divine revelation of Himself. Saints; I pray that we have said some things that will help us all realize that the door He stands at, saying, “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” is a door of revelation. Philadelphia had a door of opportunity; and they stepped right through it. Surely we all realize that they fulfilled their part; and walked right through their door of opportunity. Now, we are responsible; as to how we approach this door that is set before us. For once it is closed, there will never be another opportunity to walk through it.
GOD KNOWS WHERE WE ARE
The reason I have 1963 on our chart as a dividing line, is because the year 1963 is as important to our age of time, now, as 96 A.D. was to the closing years of the apostolic age. Multitudes of people out here in this world of religion, are completely ignorant of what God has done while they were playing church. I did not know myself, three weeks ago, when we started this series of messages, how important some of these things really are. I knew how important they are to me; but since we have been on this subject, THE BIBLE AND ITS MESSAGE, I have been made aware of a depth of importance in these things, that I had not been previously aware of. In 96 A.D., John was given a commission to write something; the things he had already seen, the things that then were, and the things which shall be hereafter; and what he wrote, not fully understanding everything he was shown, is what God reserved until 1963, to reveal to the Church. Even though he did not understand everything himself, it was important that he put it every bit in writing and sent it to the seven churches of Asia; according to his instructions; for God wanted the Gentile Church to carry that in their Bibles until He was ready to reveal the meaning of it all. Just imagine, 30 years after the death of the apostle Paul the star messenger to that age, with John being the only one of the original apostles, still alive, God gave the Church, through him, things the apostle Paul knew absolutely nothing about. In the 30 years since the death of Paul, many things had developed, and accumulated: adverse things that were affecting the Church as a whole. However, the things God had John write and send to the seven Churches, were to have a two fold application. The rebukes and admonitions were not only for those literal, local assemblies of that day; they were also to the universal Church, in their respective age of time, as those same conditions prevailed. We can look back, because of historical records; and see how perfectly the Spirit of God tagged every age; knowing exactly what would transpire in each one; and how He would deal with it. John wrote this revelation in 96 A.D.; and the Gentile Church has carried it in the same book as the rest of the writings of the scriptures; but very little attention was given to it by the students of theology down through the centuries of time. Whenever the book or letter of Revelation was read, by any of those scholars, very little of its contents was understood by the reader. Doctors of divinity, in your great theological seminaries, will always say, “It is not supposed to be understood;” Or they will say, “It is not important that we understand it;” Remarks like that, made back in other centuries, is understandable. It was not time for It to be understood. Even Daniel, in chapter 12, was told to shut up the words. Thou shalt sleep. Well, if Daniel was told to shut up certain things, meaning there was no way he could get God to reveal at that time what it meant, then we have to realize that the things John wrote fall in the same line and category. They were for a later time. Sooner or later though, whatever there was in Daniel 12, and in the writings of the letter, or book of Revelation, there has to be a generation somewhere, reach a point in time that it begins to be understood. Remember now, the subtitle we are using in this particular part of the message; “He Stands At the Door,” for as we look at chapter 3, (and I want to emphasize this) we realize that in the last verses of this chapter, God’s invitation closes out, for salvation among the Gentile people in this Laodicean age. Some of the last remarks Jesus made, as we read here in verse 20, was, “If any man (or person) hear my voice.” He has already said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten;” so that lets me know, If you and I are living in the Laodicean age of time, and if we truly are children of God, then we can expect Him to deal with us in specific ways that will bring about whatever is necessary, to bring us in line with His word, and His overall plan. We may try to slip away, run off somewhere, or just try to hide; but God always knows where we are; and He will not let us hide out forever. He has a plan for us. Notice again this 20th verse; This is what I want us to look at; for a few more minutes, “Behold I stand at the door.” I just simply cannot emphasize enough; the importance of recognizing this door. It is the only hope anyone has, to be ready to meet Jesus in the air when He comes for His bride. As we have already stated, Only two of the seven letters John sent, had any mention of a door. The door for Philadelphia was an open door set before them; a door of opportunity, which we have to associate with the message of holiness preached by John Wesley and his following. Does that mean that everyone accepted, or entered that door of opportunity? You know they did not. Was that door some kind of square frame that God set up, where it was visible to everyone? No. How was that door of opportunity made understandable then? It took the message of John Wesley to give the proper entrance through that door. The reason I stipulate it in that light, is because there had not been the evangelism in Luther’s hour that we read about in the hour of Wesley and his message. Neither was there the evangelism associated with the Calvinist message, that there was in the hour of Wesley’s message. We are not holding that door of opportunity strictly to the years Wesley was alive. It was a door set before the whole age. Once God anointed that man, and that message became the revealed truth for that hour, and that period, every soul that was going to be dealt with by the hand of God, sooner or later would see what that message was for, and who it was for, and if they had the call of God in their lives to do so, it would cause many to go to the ends of the earth with it. It was a message of salvation that took the individual Christian far deeper in the grace and knowledge of God than what Luther’s message had done. It was designed by the Spirit of God; to move the Universal Church another step closer to the apostolic gospel Satan used Romanism to get her away from. Calvin and Knox both had a message for the Church; as God step by step brought her out of that great darkness; but Wesley’s message of holiness injected a much needed element back into the overall gospel message being preached. Wesley’s message did not annul Luther’s message; it only added to it. That is how the Reformation worked. God used many different men to get His true word back into the body of believers; before Jesus comes again.
The thing that identifies this as the age of Laodicea is the spirit that matches so perfectly the prevailing spirit present in that local assembly in Laodicea; some 1900 years ago. Therefore, knowing that the Laodicean age is the last age of time in which God is going to deal with mankind in this dispensation of grace, we know for sure that there will not be another age beyond this one. Not only is this to be the age wherein apostate Christendom is characterized, somewhere within this age of time, as apostasy sets in, the Lord Himself sets before mankind another door. This is not another door of opportunity; like the door set before the Philadelphia age. It is a door through which believers of this age will invite Jesus to step; that they may have the sweet communion He spoke of, here in this 20th verse. The requirement though, is that we hear His voice. The door that is made available for you and me, and the voice that we must hear, are both related to the same thing. When He said, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock,” He is not standing at John Wesley’s door any longer. This door has a different objective and purpose of God. Furthermore, “If any man hear my voice,” cannot be overlooked; because He did say, “IF.” As it was with the open door, the mere fact that a person sits in a church pew, does not mean that they will hear the voice of Jesus; and invite Him in for fellowship. The question is, “How do we understand what this door really is, and how do we relate to it?” We have already touched on it; but it is of utmost importance; that we understand what Jesus meant by this statement; for He is not going to force His way in. However, we are not without hope; for He did say also, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” He rebukes and chastens; if we are careless; but it is so much better for us, if we will just be sensitive to His voice and allow Him to come in and sup with us. Looking at it strictly from the standpoint of what is written here, we know that somewhere within this age of time, God would cause His word to be made accessible in a revelation, that all of His true children could understand; and that is where we are today; living in the age of Laodicea; but not captured by that apostate spirit that the age is characterized by, lest we hear not His voice. When we look at the voice side of it, it means there would be a message in the earth that would serve as that door of entrance or acceptance; and we must distinguish it between Wesley’s, Calvin’s, Knox’s, Luther’s, and all the rest that have preceded it. This is the only age in which this type of picture is presented to Gentile people. That is why I say, In the years of Bro. Branham’s ministry, as God sent him forth, He specifically told him, As He was with John the Baptist, who was a Jew, and a prophet, (sent forth by God) with a message to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord in His first advent, so did the angel of the Lord tell William Branham, “You will take a message that will go around the world, and prepare the world for my second coming.” Here is how we have to look at the two individuals. John the Baptist’s message was not to a universal people; His message was to the Jewish race of people, a very small nation. He could stand in the river of Jordan, one place, and say everything that was necessary, to be said and eventually they would all hear it. With Bro. Branham, it was a different story. Why did God speak to him in this manner, “You will take a message, and the message will go around the world?” His message, which becomes the voice of Jesus Christ, if you read your Bible correctly; will sound; and echo back and forth, until it literally encircles this entire planet. However, it takes time for it to do that; so do not get the idea that because you have heard it, the rapture could take place any moment. That is why we have to look at how the two are related to their different eras of time. It is true, William Branham went around this world; but we have to look at another thing; to make our determination about the fulfillment of his commission. In many of the times he went to the various nations, the things that really make up the message that is going to affect the universal picture of Christianity, and pull an element of people out of confusion, get them out of their traditions, rituals, and customs, and get them ready for the coming of the Lord were not even preached on those tours. The messages he mainly preached, on those tours, were messages dealing with God’s mercy to heal, and to save lost souls. Here in Jeffersonville, Indiana, God gave him a platform where he stood and spoke at various times through the years, the messages of truth that make up the message to the age. By the time the year 1963 closed out, he had touched every doctrine in the New Testament. He had explained repentance. He had explained faith in God instead of in a denomination, or a man. He had taught the necessity of the true believer being sealed (Baptized) by the Holy Ghost. Showing that without that seal, you are not in the body of Christ. He had taught us the scriptural meaning of what sanctification is. He had taught us about the gifts of the Spirit, that they are as much for the Church of this last day, as they were for the apostolic age. He had spoken out against the error; in all circles of religion. He showed how fanaticism and confusion had more place in traditional churches, than the word of God could ever have; from Catholicism, right on down to Pentecostalism. These are the things the denominational systems despised about his teaching. Does that change God’s mind, just because people do not like to hear the truth mentioned? Not at all. Does God ask any denomination to form a committee to supervise when it is time for Him to fulfill something from the scriptures? He never has; and He never will. Prior to 1963, Bro. Branham had already preached the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. I sat there, through every bit of it; and heard every word of those messages. He never said one thing when he preached the seven church ages; that should have made any true Christian mad. He repeated every doctrine the true Church of the living God should be embracing. He repeatedly rehearsed from history; how that antichrist spirit had treated the word of God; the written word. When he got to the Laodicean age, in the series, he repeatedly proclaimed, “We are living in the last age of time.” We were told that there would be a messenger to this Laodicean age; just as there had been a messenger to the other six Church Ages. Denominationalism did not see, nor even try to understand one thing he was talking about. From the preaching of the Seven Church Ages, until the year 1963, which became a focal year, many people came face to face with an important decision; and just about the time a lot of them thought they had it sealed, there came the messages on the seven seals. As I have already stated, This is when God set up something, and from that moment on, (Let me say this loud and clear) A DOOR HAS BEEN AVAILABLE; FOR ALL WHO WERE HUNGRY FOR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Please understand though, that nothing I am saying is in any way designed to annul or discredit your salvation experience; that is something between you and the Lord. Nevertheless, this door that has been erected by the Lord Himself; and every individual member of the bride Church, in this age, is going to invite Him to step through that door. If you do not hear His voice in this hour of time, there is something wrong; for time is running out, for those who have had their chance. Just believing what John Wesley said, then joining a church somewhere, folding your arms and setting down is not good enough. There is a revelation of that truth the bride Church must have; that was not found in Wesley’s message. There is not one of you, that can take John Wesley’s message and compare it with what the first age apostles preached, and truthfully say, It looks exactly the same. It was not the same; but what Bro. Branham preached, was the same thing that was preached by the apostles of Jesus Christ.
FACING REALITY OR DENYING TRUTH
If Jesus sets before us a door, then we must surely realize He relates you and me to one side of that door; and in this case it depends upon us which side of it He is on. In Revelation 3:20, He is pictured on the outside knocking. That is where the Laodicean spirit has Him even tonight. However, even though we are living in the Laodicean age, if we are true children of God, we ought not be under the power of that Laodicean spirit of apostasy that keeps Jesus on the other side of that door. There is no way I can come to that door and open it by saying, “Well, Good Morning, Lord. Please enter. I belong to Such and Such a Methodist Church.” If in our mind all we are is a Methodist, or Baptist, or Nazarene, or whatever else people are called by, we will never even hear Him knocking. We will not even know there is a door. That is exactly why denominationalism today is so brazen; and so ready to accuse us of being a cult; they have not heard the voice of Jesus. They are not shocked; nor are they scared or zealous. Why? Because they only see their denomination; their system. They do not even know what this door is related to; because it is a door that relates us to something you could never have access to sitting in a denominational church system. Most of you know by now that I was a Methodist prior to being introduced to the ministry of Bro. Branham; but once I heard him preach, The Methodist Church was never able to feed me anything that would satisfy my hungry soul. He would take his Bible, and preach all the way from Genesis 1, to Revelation 22, in one sermon. I had never heard anything like that before. Then when he preached that series on the Seven Church Ages, I could see every bit of it unfold right in line with the Bible. Regardless of what some may think or say, the Lord opened my eyes to a beautiful picture. Those Church Ages; from Ephesus right on through to Laodicea, fit the description seen in those seven letters John wrote; and sent to those assemblies. I just have to marvel at the way God does things. Truth is hidden in such simple ways. Praise His Name! When the year 1963, came, and in the months of March and April, God led Bro. Branham to preach those six seals like that, I sat right there and heard them; and in my heart, I said, “That makes more sense than anything I have ever heard Clarence Larkin, or anyone else teach.” A lot of other Bible scholars have tried to write things related to the book of Revelation, but somewhere along the line they miss the mark I think often of the Four Horsemen message Billy Graham published back some time ago; and of how those denominational people gobbled it up. They are looking for the four horse riders to ride in The Great Tribulation, which would put all four of them out somewhere in future time; when actually all four of them have already ridden; and the gray horse is still galloping right on through this age. Actually, though, those six seals are what served as an unlocking factor. They are what lines you up behind that door, depending of course upon how you understand them. If you did not hear those six seals with the right spirit of understanding, in your mind you may visualize a door, but time will tell; by the way we drift, whether all is well, or not. This is why many who sat there, hearing those six seals, and hearing other things he said, have done their level best to deify Bro. Branham; trying to make him to the rest of the world, more than God called him to be. If you can see him as the God-called prophet messenger to the Laodicean Church Age without trying to make him God, you are on the right road. At least you will not be guilty of idolatry; concerning him. However, even then, you still have the many dual statements he made, to deal with; before you can actually have the right kind of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are one of those who are looking for Bro. Branham to come back to this age, and set up a tent, to fulfill some kind of tent ministry you have imagined he must fulfill, you are still in trouble. Jesus is still standing outside knocking; as far as you are concerned, He is not coming back from the dead for any kind of ministry; he has already fulfilled everything God called him to personally do. His message to the age stills rings out around the world; but his personal ministry is finished. He will not be resurrected until the time arrives for all of the New Testament bride saints to come up. There is just simply no scripture to support any kind of private resurrection; like many followers of the overall movement are expecting. I recognize these voices; they did not hear those six seals right. There are too many other things in their mind; for them to know how to relate to that door of entrance. Keep in mind, As Jesus, the voice, is related to that door, He will always be standing, ready to communicate with every individual that is to definitely hear His voice. He does not just knock; then run away and hide. When He knocks, there must be a response; an invitation, and the invitation to Him is to invite Him in for closer communication, and fellowship; and to obtain knowledge, which is needed for whatever span of time there is left for us. Naturally, if the year 1963 is a focal point in Gentile time, and we know it is; and why it is; God is dealing with mankind on a different level than what He did before this revelation was given to us. With this revelation, came an understanding of something in the word of God, that had been written there in symbols, but not understood, until the time came for it to be understood by a people destined to see the Coming of Jesus Christ for the Church. This marked the beginning of God dealing with the Church in a new way; and it will remain so until the closing of time for this dispensation. Just look at what has already come about, since 1963. Look at the ecumenical spirit coming from Rome. Look how it has grown. Look at the Charismatic spirit rising up among an anonymous element of denominational people, Lutherans; Methodists; Nazarenes; and so on, until the ecumenical spirit and the Charismatic spirit finally joined ranks. When it did, the Pentecostals were no longer the ones maneuvering the Charismatic move. The Catholic nuns and priests who received their experience, became the ones that maneuvered the Charismatic move as a whole. Go back and dig in the various magazines, if you can find them; and you will see that what I am saying is the truth. Read about what happened at Notre Dame a few years back. Then read about the great Charismatic meeting in Montreal, Canada. That spirit of unity, of acceptance in that light, was definitely the binding, or pulling together, of denominational Christendom; in what they thought was the greatest spirit of love and unity the world has ever seen. Sure there were a few miracles, and sure there were some blessings, and some outstanding testimonies; but the Spirit of revelation that could have taken those people deeper in the word of God, was nowhere around. Out of that has come a universal testimony, We are the brotherhood of love. We believe the body of Christ should be in unity; and since doctrine divides, we will just love one another as Christians; and not preach doctrine. That is their philosophy. They do not care whether their robes are worn backward, frontward, or how, just as long as they can congregate together, speak in tongues, and prophesy to each other. Some of the so-called Charismatic preachers that did come out of other realms of Gentile religion look like trash out of a garbage bin somewhere. Oh Bro. Jackson, you ought not talk like that about them; they do a lot of good in the world. Brothers and sisters, what they do has nothing at all to do with the careless way they groom themselves. A man that is supposed to be representing Jesus Christ ought not go around looking like a Skidrow bum. Some of these Charismatic preachers who did not come out of Catholicism, but came out of some kind of off-shoot branch of Protestantism, look like hippies rather than ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only do they look like hippies, they act like hippies, they sing like hippies, they beat their drums and everything else like hippies; and yet claim to be filled with the Holy Ghost and have the love of God in their hearts. That just simply does not add up right. The world may be blind to what has been going on for the last 26 years; but there is no excuse for any of us to be blind; for we have been right in the middle of it all; and nothing has been done in secret. It has been declared openly, for all to hear, that has ears to hear. Some of these characters you see on TV is enough to make a dog howl; when we have to try to relate Jesus Christ to that kind of image. There is nothing wrong with that kind of image; if you are out somewhere working, and sweating; but do not try to tell me how much you love God, and what a burden you have for lost souls, if you are not going to take a bath and clean yourself up, before going out into the world to represent the living Christ. Jesus Christ did not come down the road looking like a bum; trying to make Himself look humble and meek. He did not do it like that two thousand years ago; and He certainly has no reason to exemplify Himself like that in this day and hour; just because that is the general trend of the world. God desires to lift us up out of the ways of the world rather than make it easy for us to join them. It is just like what the apostle Paul said in 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 2; God is sending strong delusion to religious people who have not a love for the revealed truth of His word. Therefore they are believing Satan’s lies, and being led right straight to destruction. When you open the door, it means you must open your heart’s attitude, because you have a hunger to know more about God. You are not content to follow a crowd just for temporary excitement. You are reaching out. You are searching for something you are not finding in all this other conglomeration. God has ordained it this way. This is the way He separates chaff from the grain, or tares from the true seed. He does not care which way the tares go. He does not care which way the winds blow to get the chaff; but He is very concerned about the true seed; that love His word; and He will not withhold anything from them.
WHERE JOHN WAS STANDING
I must take you back into chapter 4, for a little point, because when Bro. Branham started preaching these seals, that first night, as he read in this 4th chapter of Revelation, light started to break forth. I want to read the first three verses. “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, (This types the rapture at the closing of Laodicea, because nowhere in the rest of the writings of Revelation does the word “Church” ever occur.) and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” I wish to express something right now, to make it plain; for in your mind you might say, Well, John lived in 96 A.D., That is true, He did; However, when he was taken up in the Spirit, since God is SPIRIT, and is not related to time, He took him up into a heavenly setting, and introduced him to the 20th century. You just have to realize, this is prophecy; even though John wrote it as though it had taken place already. God just merely gave him a vision of 20th century events; that were yet 1900 years in the future at that time. Physically, he was in 96 A.D. but in his spirit he saw something which would be afterward, just as the voice had inferred. Something for a future day fulfillment It was strictly a twentieth century setting, given in the first century; and not to be understood until 1963. I made the statement the other night, That this is the age that all bride people, if they have a spiritual mind at all, can get the Godhead picture cleared up, and get the whole picture right, without any misgivings. When I say that, I do not mean that you are going to be able to sit down and put every detail in writing. That is not the point. However, regardless of your ability to receive understanding – if you are a child of God, He is going to make sure, sooner or later, that you grasp the picture in its overall profile. Well, John was taken up; so notice what he said about it in verse 2. “And immediately I was in the Spirit (Brothers and sisters, you must get his flesh out of the picture; in order to catch a vision of what God did with John on this occasion. His flesh remained in 96 AD.; but remembering that God is not limited by time or distance, and that He can project our Spirit into future time, or even into the past, and allow us to see anything that will ever be, or that which has been already, just picture John being taken 1900 years into the future, and allowed to see these various things as they transpired, both in heaven and on earth. That is why he could describe these things as though he was standing looking at them take place; he was.) “And behold, a throne was set in heaven, and ONE sat on the throne. (This is what Bro. Branham read, so I want to take my time, and give an explanation as we go along.) “And HE that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Bro. Branham said, (when he got to that point) “That is the Father’s throne.” We just read that description; the sardine stone, the jasper stone, and the rainbow like unto an emerald, which is a description of the Father’s majesty and deity, made present to draw observance, worship, and admiration. However, John saw the profile of a person sitting in that chair; and the person sitting there was not the Father. It was Jesus, the immortal, risen ONE, who was taken up more than 1900 years ago, and seated on the right hand of the Father, or is standing on the right hand of the Father, (He is described in both positions, in the New Testament.) but John saw Him sitting; in this scene. What we need to remember, lest we miss the true picture, is that there is only ONE PERSON IN THE GODHEAD. There are three offices; but there is only ONE body of flesh; and that is the flesh of Jesus; the only begotten SON of God; whose mother was the virgin Mary. This is the body of flesh the Father (SPIRIT) came into; there at the Jordan river, when He (JESUS) was baptized by John the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth. Let me remind you now of the description John gave of the One whose voice he heard behind him, recorded in chapter one. Watch the description; as He first appeared to John while he was in the Spirit, on the Lord’s day. He heard that voice from behind him, speaking; and it sounded like the voice of many waters and so forth. He turned to look, and you know what he saw? He said, I saw one like unto the Son of Man. Why would he say that? Because John happened to know what He looked like. He had walked with Him for 3 1/2 years; before He was crucified. Therefore, as he described Him, (the One he saw, when he turned, and looked back) he was seeing Jesus portrayed to him as the High Priest,( as He is in heaven) in the High Priest position. Then, he described Him, that He was clothed about with a garment, and about His chest was this golden girdle. Actually, that was the emblem the high priests wore in the Old Testament; upon which was the Urim and Thummim. Please notice though, (Verse 14) that John described this Son of Man as having hair white like wool, as I white as snow; and eyes as a flame of fire. Well, you know, He did not have white hair in His earthly role. Why would He have white hair now? Did He suddenly get old, when He went to heaven? You know better than that. When He took on immortality, age stopped. Hair will never turn gray on an immortal being. Well then, why does He have a white head of hair? This is to portray a position He has ascended to. He has been wigged with the presence of the Ancient of days, the One who is that High Priestly Spirit. The sovereign, eternal One has invested that in His immortal Son. It also said His feet were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace. It is because the man, the Son of Man, as John saw Him, had taken your sins, and my sins, and had carried them to Calvary in His flesh, and God, in the person of His Son, judged your sins, and my sins; in the fleshly person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. All of this is symbolic; pertaining to something meaningful in God’s redemption plan. When He rose from the dead, never to die any more, He rose by the power of God. The Father then took Him up; and seated Him upon the right hand of His majesty. Now this throne we read about in Revelation 4, if we can get the right picture in our own mind’s of how John saw it, it will get rid of a great cloud of mysticism that may have been hanging over you. Remember, if Jesus the Christ, the anointed One sent by God, who was born of virgin birth, lived, died, and rose again by the power of God, had not already ascended to heaven, there would not have been a throne like that in heaven; or anywhere else. The reason is, God the Father does not sit on a chair. He said, heaven is my throne; so that means the spirit world is His position over creation, where He positions Himself to rule over. However, since He is omnipresent, He is everywhere, so He does not just centralize His majesty in one certain area of the heavenlies. There is no reason for Him to. He relates Himself to creation in the whole. Nevertheless, when we see that He has ordained a plan, through which mankind on earth is to be saved and brought back to Him, we discover that the Father established a certain way; and that way is through Jesus. He is the gateway. He is the door. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life. If we expect to get back on talking terms with God, it must be through His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That throne is a place that the Father ordained; to manifest His glory, His deity and authority, and He placed His Son upon it. Now let me say this, There are no less than five different scriptures in the book of Revelation that describe the Lord Jesus Christ; and you believe me, William Marrion Branham does not fit any of them. I realize there are some who would accuse me of blasphemy for making a statement like that; But I thank God, that I am not accountable to them.
A QUESTION NOT A STATEMENT
Bro. Branham did not explain every detail of what we read in chapters 4, 5, and 6; When he described this jasper and sardine stone, and the rainbow like an emerald, he said, “This is the Father’s throne,” and truly it is. Then we go to chapter 5, where John saw the Lamb. When he (Bro. Branham) read about the lamb coming out of the midst of the throne, and approaching the one that sat on the throne, he said, “Look, we know who the Lamb is. It is Jesus Christ.” Then as he went into an explanation along those lines, I remember he said, “Could it be, that the Lamb has left the mercy seat? Could it be that mercy is just about over?” Go read the seal book, that first sermon he preached, and notice the explanation he gave there. He never did set the record straight; pertaining to the being sitting in the throne position, and the Lamb coming to take the scroll. You will not find anywhere that he ever described that transition. That is why it left so many with a suppositional picture; that Jesus is no longer on the mercy seat. That is why they ran around everywhere saying, Nobody can be saved. All seven seals are open; and we are now living bla, bla, bla.. (I will finish it like this, According to their picture, in no man’s land). Lost, bewildered, running in circles, and without any explanation as to why all things continue on as before. If those same people had the true picture of what John really saw, and wrote about here, the way it should be understood by people of this age and time, and especially in this message, there is no way that they would dare touch the word of God, or anything Bro. Branham said, and say, William Branham is the Lord; or Jesus, or that he is the Word. Some have even made him the Lamb; and the white horse rider of Revelation 19. How crazy can people get!? How wild and weird, can they become!? You might think I have no right to preach like this; but I say to you, Then you preach something that lines up with the scriptures, and makes the picture clear, and I will gladly receive it. I want to take a few minutes to describe this. Any man living in 1989, that has the Holy Ghost, regardless of his educational background, if he can believe there is only one God, then he ought to begin to see that this throne is a position in heaven that the Father provided; and not a place where the Father Himself sits. Therefore, when He took the Son up, 1900 years ago, and set Him on His right hand, there is only one tangible object, or person sitting there; and that is the Immortal Christ. I have these scriptures written down; that pertain to His position; 1st Timothy 6:15-16, Colossians 1:15-16, Hebrews 1:13, Acts 7:55-56, which is where Stephen cried out, when he was being stoned, and heaven was opened to him, and he said, “I see the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” The last one is Ephesians 1:17-20; which I am going to read; because it is a heavenly picture written by the apostle Paul; that describes in more detail, what we are talking about. Did it ever occur to you, that all these scriptures I have referred you to, are scriptures written in relationship to the ministry of the apostle Paul? Whether it is Luke’s writings in the book of Acts, or 1st Timothy, Colossians, Hebrews, or Ephesians, written by Paul, they are all letters, or epistles connected with the apostle Paul. I will read this portion now, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling; and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints; And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power; Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places.” Brothers and sisters: If that throne picture does not fulfill precisely what Paul said there, then my name is not Raymond Jackson. The only visible body that you would see if you were there, is the visible, tangible, immortal body of Jesus the Christ. He is the One that fulfills these scriptures, as testified by Paul. When John was taken up to see this throne, and the One that sat there, he saw something about His countenance, the overall appearance, that goes much further than flesh. The color of His eyes, or the color of His hair, they were different than what he had been used to seeing. He saw that this One looked like unto a jasper and sardine stone. What does these stone reflections represent? Something that is ancient, very old, that has been there for ages upon ages. These stone like identities depict and portray the majesty and deity of God; invested in Jesus. God (The Father) has taken Him up and placed Him in this position. The rainbow round about the throne, means it was over the throne. That halo, or great rainbow he saw, lets to get the complete picture that God has projected Himself into. This is the type of relationship of His divine presence, and positioned He has with His Son. Within the scope of that setting, He has actually told a story; that Holy Ghost filled people can visualize; because we already know that there is only one person in the Godhead. Saints: Do you realize that John is the only man we know of that ever literally saw heaven as it is, and had the opportunity to describe it in all of these details, so we also may know what it looks like? What he wrote concerning Jesus, we can accept as reality; for we know that He is Mediator and High Priest, between God and man; in this grace age. These various writers who tell that they saw heaven, and saw three thrones, you can know for sure, that they did not see a heavenly scene. If they saw three thrones and three persons, their vision was given by that other spirit. He is the author of the three person god. Now they, (the Trinitarians), will say, Now Bro. Jackson: “What are you going o do with that scripture in the book of Daniel, (I believe it is in Daniel 7) where Daniel the prophet saw a throne set, and one like unto the Ancient of Days sitting on this throne. Then he saw one like unto the Son of Man,
come before the Ancient of Days.” No Holy Ghost Christian should have any misgivings about that; because the vision is a prophecy related to this period of time, when we are getting closer to the Millennium. You just have to realize that this scene Daniel saw shows that Jesus (The Son of man), has to receive His authority from the will and mind of the Father; and this symbolically portrays Him receiving that authority to be King of kings and Lord of lords, in the Millennium age. If you can understand my illustration, In the book of Daniel, in the vision, the Father is portrayed in a form, and Jesus did not even exist then; but it is all symbolic; to show that all authority has to come from THE ANCIENT OF DAYS; for all authority is His; to delegate according to His plan and purpose. In Matthew 28:18, where Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” even that pertained only to redemption. He did not have power at that time to judge the nations and start the Millennial reign. All of these things have to be understood according to the phase of His office work, that He is dealing with. I assure you, That prophecy in Daniel, was given well in advance of the time when it will be fulfilled; but when the time does come for it to be fulfilled, it will be the Father that issues the authority to His only begotten Son; and then the Son will carry out His commission. That is why Bible scholars down through time became confused as they read these pictures; because many times these pictorial scenes they saw in the vision of prophecy are only related to a development, and an application of fulfillment; but knowing that the writer Paul did write in Colossians that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, you do not make Him invisible one day, and visible another day just because there is a form seen sitting somewhere. Whatever God truly is, in His being and substance, you have to keep that consistent with how He relates Himself in omnisciency, and in omnipresence. Just remember, that He can choose any kind of form or likeness of something to project Himself into, to convey authority, or something in relationship to redemption and restoration. Knowing what we do already, we must see Jesus as the immortal Christ, sitting there; fulfilling the Psalm where it was prophesied, that because the Son so pleased the Father, the Father says, “This day have I begotten thee.” Then He said, “Come and sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Saints: That has been the position of Jesus the Immortal Christ, for almost 2000 years; sitting on the right hand of the Father, while the Spirit of the Father moves in the earth, in relationship to redemption to carry out those things He promised would be subject to the priestly mediatorial work of Jesus, as He intercedes.
THINGS THAT CAN BE MISUNDERSTOOD
In 1963, when Bro. Branham was dealt with by God like he was, when he went west, and had the experience there in the mountains, many people made much out of what happened to him. Most of you will remember, how he saw that great manifestation of angelic beings in that certain kind of formation; and what he said about it. Well, there has literally been people that tried to make a gospel out of such a thing as that; which was God’s own sovereign way of dealing with that man of God. Brothers and Sisters: Did not the apostle Paul say in his writings to the Corinthian church, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven,” and so forth? He heard things, unspeakable words, which he referred to as unlawful for a man to utter. Well, if he was taken up into the third heaven, I know Paul heard things, and saw things, that he felt it was not good to utter. In other words, he meant this, He heard things that no mortal creature would understand, no matter how much you tried to explain them; because it was all something to educate Paul; and to establish His fellowship and contact with him. This is exactly why man has literally taken statements out of the Spoken Word Books and misrepresented the whole picture. They have tried to portray a gospel that does not exist in the writings of the sacred scriptures. Do you ever wonder what is in the mind of people who are always trying to go beyond the authority of the scriptures, and promote some kind of teaching? Do they actually think God would violate His own word, and give them something that would run contrary to everything else He has done down through the ages of time? I tell you for sure, He will not do that. He will not do anything out of harmony with His established principles. That is why I want to make these seals stand out as plain as possible; so every true child of God can see just how important they are; for you and me, in this day and hour. We ought to really appreciate them; because I tell you, Billy Graham, and what he wrote, will never open the book of Revelation for you. What the Jehovah Witnesses wrote, will not do it either. However, what Bro. Branham said in 1963, about those six seals, that you read about in the 6th chapter of Revelation, presents something beautiful; if we can grasp it, and look back through time, to see how they are all related. Yes, 26 years have come and gone, since 1963; when the first six seals were revealed; but I do not see how it can be very much longer before the seventh one is revealed; and the little bride gets her traveling instructions. Whatever there is in it for you and me, and whatever effect it has upon our lives, we had better be sure before that time, that we know how to read the word of God and relate ourselves to it. Do not stop driving nails; or sawing boards, or whatever your job is; but while you are doing what you do, just remember that living for God should always have first place. You can drive a nail and say, Thank God, I see something. For every nail head, you can see a verse of scripture. When the apostle Paul said, “Pray without ceasing;” do you think he meant that we should stop doing everything else and spend all of our time on our knees praying? You can have constant communion with your heavenly Father, regardless of whatever else you may be doing. You are going to see religion out here in the world get so corrupt, so apostate, and so worldly, that the day will come when people who claim to be Christian’s will say of you, “There is another one of those black sheep.” That reminds me of something from years ago when I first went to Colorado. Out on the ranges, I would see those huge herds of sheep; that looked like there could be anywhere from 3 or 4 thousand on up to 6 thousand head; but ever so often, I would see a black sheep among them; and I wondered why. I knew you could not sell that black wool; so I asked my uncle, “Why do they have those black sheep out there?” The reason for that is, as they graze on government range, they have it set up, so that for every so many hundred head of sheep, there has to be one black sheep. Then when the government range rider comes through the area, he does not have to ride among the sheep and count them. He has a chart, and knows that so many ranchers have authority to graze so many hundred, or thousand head of sheep on government range. Therefore, as he rides into a herd, he takes out his binoculars; and just counts the black sheep. He knows automatically, from whatever is represented by that number of black sheep, This is So and So’s sheep. In other words, it cannot be some New York City, Dude rancher, that goes to Colorado, buys 3 or 4 thousand sheep, trucks them up onto government range, and then goes back to New York, while the sheep take care of themselves. Brothers and Sisters: We may be black sheep; but God knows where every one of us are. Hallelujah! When you think of it, the ratio may be about the same as in the example I just used.
A LOOK AT THE THRONE
There is a beautiful picture here; of something I pray to be able to relate to you; as we take a better look at the throne John saw, in this heavenly vision. As I I stated earlier, When Bro. Branham preached the revelation of the seals, he did not tarry long in the 4th and 5th chapters. He gave a slight description of the Lamb taking the scroll. He described the four beasts around the throne, and how those four beasts were related in their individual identity to earth, and to that respective seal; and how time would cause each one of these beasts, in the characteristic of that particular beast, to be expressed in the earth, in God’s plan of redemption; but he did not go much beyond that. I am not going to take time to explain the beasts, though; for I want us to look at this throne instead. I want to show you where people got off course, and why they jump to conclusions by taking Bro. Branham’s statement about the Lamb, that came and took out of the hand of Him who sits on the throne, (which of course was the Father). Without further description or explanation, they jump to the conclusion that there is nothing else in this 4th or 5th chapter that needs to be touched upon. Their first response is, “Let us go to the Spoken Word book, and take what the prophet said.” Right there is where God pointed the finger. Any man or woman that would ever be sitting in my presence can rise up in anger against me if they want to; but hear my words, one day, they are going to be held accountable for how they heard what was said. They have preached one God in a legal way. That does not justify the scriptures though. You cannot be legalistic, just to please people. You have to have a personal understanding of who saved you, why, and what causes you to fellowship with something, and how that fellowship is related to the whole thing. This picture we have here before us, is a heavenly scene; and there is a key in the book of Revelation that I want to be understood in this fashion; There is only one person you will ever see on a throne in heaven; and that is Jesus the Christ. We have read that scripture out of the 1st chapter of Ephesians; how it pleased the Father to highly exalt Him, and gave Him such a position, seating Him in heavenly places, and so forth; therefore His name is a name that all humanity will one day be required to give account to. I have repeatedly stated, The name Jesus given to Him who became the Christ, is a compound name. You have to see God the Father, and God the Son, revealed in that; or we have not seen the picture at all. We will go to the 4th chapter, again; and keep in mind, however, that throne in heaven may appear, it is not a materialistic throne at all. It merely symbolizes how God, the Eternal Spirit, portrays Himself, and gives Himself a relationship to His Son. If you were in heaven tonight, you could not look a millions miles away from that spot and see God at all. Not in any materialized manifested fashion. Your eyes would have to center on that throne; and what is on that throne, and what the whole setting is related to. We would have to see God; because of the strangeness of the total environment. That acquaints you with God the Father. We are going to read something here in a minute to show you why I talk like this; but you could not look at that throne without seeing the figure of Jesus; the immortal One that was taken up. While we live on earth, we cannot see Jesus in His personal, human form. When Jesus was taken up physically, over 1900 years ago, He has never been back to earth since. People who see Him in a vision, are seeing His features projected by the Spirit, which can be anywhere; but they are not seeing Him in person. Sure, it seems real; because it serves a real purpose; whatever God sees that you need. The Holy Spirit is standing in the place of Jesus since the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was given. That is why Jesus said in St. John’s writing, that when the Spirit of truth had come from the Father, He would come in His name; (the name of Jesus) which is the redemption name of the Father also. What did Jesus say the Spirit would do? Glorify Him, Jesus. When Jesus was here in His physical person, He glorified the Father; by pointing every mortal soul to the Father, whom they could not see; unless by revelation they saw the Father in Him. However, now that He (Jesus) is gone, and the Father is here, in the office work of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does nothing outside of pointing you and me to Jesus. That is why Jesus said, That when the Comforter comes, He will not speak of Himself. The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself as the third person to draw attention to Himself. He speaks explicitly of Jesus. He glorifies Jesus; because it is through Jesus that you and I are redeemed back to God the Father. Well, John is in the Spirit; here, and he is before this great throne in a heavenly setting; so he begins to describe everything round about it. We will begin reading in the 4th verse. “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: (In Isaiah 6, when he saw the glory of the Lord sitting upon His throne, he did not see those seats. It was not time; yet, because that was a prophecy for the distant future. There were other things that had to develop within that prophecy, before that prophecy could come to a heavenly fulfillment. In Ezekiel, chapter 1, verses 26 and 27, you will notice that even Ezekiel did not see these seats around the throne. They both saw the four beasts, and they saw the many wings and eyes. They heard them crying, Holy, Holy, Holy; but they did not see these four and twenty seats.) And upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” These are men, who have been mortal upon earth; but have been redeemed by the grace of God. Whatever dispensation of time you want to relate in your mind, they have got to be seen as representatives of people; and these elders represent people to that throne; and to the One sitting on that throne. That is exactly how a theocratic government operated in the Old Testament. It is one who represents mankind to the Eternal Spirit, God. Because He is the Redeemer. These elders are not priests; in the sense that you and I would think of it. They are like our Senators or Congressmen of today. They are not Presidents; but they have certain jurisdictional representative, and authoritative qualities in them, to be conveyed to Him who is President. Each Senator represents only a certain element of the people; and not the whole nation. He represents the state, or territory that voted him into that office. I have put that in just as a description of who we have to see these elders as being. I am not saying anymore about who they are; though, for that is not all that important at this time. “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fife burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” The lamps in themselves were not the Spirits of God. They are symbols that portray the Spirit of God in His completeness. Try to understand this, God is not seven different spirits, one going this way and one going that way. This merely speaks of the fact that there are seven distinct characteristics about this One Spirit; and therefore, everything man has need of is represented therein. That is why there are seven redemptive attributal names given in the Old Testament. These lamps burn continually before the throne of God; So that they represent, or signify the presence of that Spirit of God; that generates out through the universe to fulfill on behalf of lost mankind, whatever he has need of. They can also symbolize how God, in the seven Church Ages, manifests His Spirit in a certain attributal way to reveal Christ; whom man could not see in His physical, personal image. Really when you look at the whole of it, it is Christ all along. You do not cut Jesus Christ up into seven different pieces, and say, This much is what we had here, and this much is what we had there. Verse 6, “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. (Isaiah, in chapter 6, saw it. Ezekiel, in chapter 1, saw it; but here it is; no longer a prophecy as they saw it; but it has come to pass. What Isaiah saw, and what Ezekiel saw, in their respective hours of time before the advent of Christ, when Christ was taken up and seated upon that throne, those prophecies became a fulfilled reality in this heavenly scene. You and I do not see it; but we can see it for what it is right now, in its finished picture; here in its written form.) “And the first beast was like unto a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.” I will never forget, when Bro. Branham began to touch on the seals; and began to bring forth that understanding, what the breaking of the seal in its symbolical sense in heaven was, and how it brings an understanding to earth. These beasts are not something that you and I look forward to for some kind of a fulfillment, which is some far flung future thing; but we see how these beasts are related to the breaking of the first four seals; and we are made to see how the Spirit of God worked, counteracting Satan’s deceptive tactics. That lion, the first beast that was like a lion, is symbolic of what was set in motion by the Spirit of God, and was characterized first in Christ, and then in the apostles, as well as others in that first age of New Testament time. A lion is a creature that is not afraid of anything. There was such a boldness in the life and ministry of Jesus. You know the times we read of Him in the four gospels, how the mobs would be standing there, gnashing their teeth, just so angry, ready to cast stones upon Him; and for some reason or other, this man called Jesus was able, without any argument, and without any physical contact, just to evade them, and move away. That is how the power of God led Jesus; as well as many others, like a lion. It did not end with Jesus. When they arrested Peter and John, you had the same thing. When the Judaistic elders and the Sanhedrin had them locked up in prison, the angel of the Lord came and smote them on the side, released them, and led them right out of that old jail. All of that characterized the power and Spirit of God; that was reflecting from heaven in that beastly figure of a lion; as Satan, through the political, Judaistic system, was coming against the work of God in that first age. That lion like nature counteracted Satan’s attacks. When they thought they had them in jail, they were released. Did you ever watch a lion in his cage? Sure, you will see him once in awhile, sound asleep. You see him once in awhile just lying down resting; but again, you might see him when he is walking the fence, as restless as he can be. What is he looking for? A hole to get out of that cage. That is the way we have to see that. Think of Paul and Silas in jail. That lion was still on the prowl. What is it? Nothing less than the power of God. When the power of Satan in that old pagan system over there, came against the saints, the power of God was present in that lion-like way; to supply whatever it took to fulfill HIS purpose. Imagine Paul and Silas, beaten, put in jail with all the rest of the crooks, and that night, when everything else was sound asleep, these two men, with backs bleeding, sore, and aching, yet saying, It is a privilege to suffer for the Lord. Brother! That old lion went on the prowl again. While that jailer thought he had everything under control, he might have been in there, with his feet propped up, sound asleep, but that old lion came on the prowl. An earthquake broke loose like never before; and when that thing stopped trembling, and the dust settled, all the jail doors were wide open, and the lion was on the loose. When the jailer realized what a situation he was in, he was about to cut his own throat; because he immediately thought, Oh, they are all gone. He had reason to think that; but who was it that cried out, “Do thyself no harm; we are all still here.” It was the apostle Paul, of course; and when that old jailer heard the voice of that man, God used that instance to bring salvation to that jailer’s soul; and to his whole household. Before the sun rose that morning, Paul had been bathed, had his back taken care of, and he and Silas had been fed a good meal: and then they had taken the jailer and his family out to the water hole and baptized every one of them. You would have to say, The lion was on the prowl.
VIEWING THE SECOND BEAST
Finally there came a time when Paul was no longer around. He was dead. The power of God no longer, necessarily, worked the way it had worked before. That is why we read that the next beast, the second beast was like a calf. I cannot stop here to give a full account; but you have heard, if you ever read the seal book, how Bro. Branham explained that. You see how perfectly it fits the age of martyrdom. Instead of getting people out of jail, and instead of keeping people from being martyred, God’s power came upon them; and gave them the grace, and the will to be a sacrifice for the faith of Jesus Christ. The devil, that had been out killing them, trying to get rid of them, could not understand how so many hundreds and thousands could be slaughtered, and not bring an end to this terrible thing that was invading his kingdom. You would have to read history to understand completely, how people came by the thousands, to stand in the place of those saints that were being martyred. When they saw one saint eaten alive, something came upon them, that caused them to feel so compassionate for the Christian who could die like that, they, instead of saying, This is getting too rough for me, I have read that they came pouring out of the bleachers saying, “Let me die with them!” Why? Because they realized that they had something they did not have; and they wanted it; and wanted to be where they were. That had to be the power of God then; and it will have to be by the power of God, for you and me, if we ever face such circumstances. We are not facing conditions like that presently. What we are faced with is all this miserable fanaticism that is going on in the world today. It runs some people crazy. In the mail, came an envelope from the Philippines. What a Satanic revelation. I will not even indulge in it but the instigators of it are using Bro. Branham as a launching pad. No wonder the denominations jump on the image of that man and say, Away with such a fellow. Last week, I received a letter from a man in Malawi, Africa. This man is from an Apostolic Assembly, believing in one God, and Jesus name baptism. Yet he said, “Please take my name off of your mailing list for the Contender.” That is a rare one of course; but when we do get one like that, you can see behind it, what kind of person it is. Here was the jest of his letter, “I have studied your Contender message on the serpent seed; and there is no way I can see in the word of God, any foundation for this kind of teaching. I appreciate the other Contenders you have sent; and have enjoyed them tremendously; but because of the serpent seed doctrine, which you have so readily put out to the world, and Bro. Branham having taught this same thing, I deem it necessary to no longer study this material. However, I would appreciate it if you would send me the book on Bro. Branham, written by Gordon Lindsay,” and another book he mentioned. He then closed his letter by saying something like this, “As I have studied the word of God, I have come to believe, that we should speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent.” I just thought, as I read that, Dear brother: You sound exactly like a Church of Christ disciple of some sort. If he is not careful, he will wind up in the same place they are in; because he has the same spirit, or spiritual attitude that they have when they read the Bible. I am going to ask that man this question, If the original sin was not what I say it was, then will you please tell me what it was? I will also say to him, You say the scripture is silent on this; but I say to you, If the scriptures are silent, will you please tell me why Eve’s menustrating periods were cursed? Can you give me a medical account that will explain that? The truth is, The Bible is far from being silent on that. Saints: I will remind you; while we are on this, that the Bible only shows that Adam knew his wife once; yet they had two sons, Cain and Abel. Certainly you will have to admit that the Bible is not silent on this subject. Either Eve gave birth to twins, or she mothered two children. One was her husband’s; and the other was not even mentioned in Adam’s genealogy. Then the Bible is explicitly clear on that. Seth was given to the woman; that she might have another seed in place of Abel; and Adam’s lineage is traced down through him, not Cain. I wish such a person as wrote that letter, would please tell me where the Bible is silent. I will say this, What the Bible does say is enough that it ought to set your soul on fire; instead of causing you to close your eyes to the truth? I will say one other thing on this; and then leave it. Would someone who rejects the serpent seed revelation, please tell me who those sons of God were in chapter 6, when things really got messed up, that were looking upon the daughters of men, and taking wives, plural? That does not sound like silence to me. Do not tell me the Bible is silent on that. Do not close your eyes to it; because when that episode took place, there were giants in the earth, in those days. Not only giants, but men of renown, scientists, big shots, intellectual wizards, We have them today in the religious world. I know where they came from; and you should too. This rebellion against the word and will of God, had to get its start somewhere; so just think about it.