AT THE END OF OUR LAST ISSUE, BROTHER JACKSON WAS TELLING HOW GOD GOT HIS ATTENTION CONCERNING MALACHI 4:5-6 AND LUKE 1:17; SO THAT IS WHERE WE WILL BEGIN IN THIS ISSUE.
As I have said many times, Sitting there on my couch that cold February morning, I just picked up the Bible and it fell open to the 1st chapter of Luke. I read where Zechariah went into the temple to burn incense, and how the angel Gabriel was seen there at the right hand of the altar of incense. He got Zechariah’s attention and told Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth was going to conceive. She was going to give birth to a son. His name shall be called John. Then the angel told Zechariah this son will go before the coming of the Lord in the power and spirit of Elias to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and he stopped quoting Malachi. Right then, even though I was still a Methodist, something inside caused me to say in my heart, That angel did not quote but the first half of that prophecy. Sure I can see why the New Testament declares that John the Baptist was the Elijah of that hour, but it is a fact it only records half of what that prophecy in its entirety is to be. Then something said, That spirit of Elijah has got to return again. I did not see that as anything related to the Jews. I could see that strictly related to us Gentiles. However, living in this area, and not yet knowing anything about Bro. William Branham, I just carried that in my heart and went right on in the Methodist Church: never even thinking that one day I would be compelled to leave that Methodist Church. I was still in there teaching Sunday School, preaching whenever there was an opportunity, and believing that one day that spirit of Elijah would come up the aisles of the Methodist Church, turn everything upside down, and we would have a great revival. That was my hope; because that was my idea of what the coming of Elijah would accomplish. I could see a revival coming. Even after I was privileged to meet this man, (Bro. William Branham) twice I asked him, Bro. William Branham, I would like for you to come and preach in Rogers Campground church. He just replied, Well if the Lord ever speaks to me Bro. Jackson, I’ll be down there. I prayed with all expectation and hope because I could see that if that little man could get down there that little church house would reel and rock. I thought, They will stop fussing about where the piano is supposed to sit and get serious about serving the Lord. I do not know how many times we have gone to Sunday School in an old country church, and because some of the people in the community volunteered to come in and clean the church house, and for some reason decided to put the piano three feet from where it had been sitting and face it in a different direction, in would come someone who would say, Who moved the piano? Brothers and sisters I am telling you, There would be warfare through the whole Sunday School hour. You would go home thinking, All we heard was, The piano, the piano. What a tragedy! That is why a lot of denominational church people go to church on Sunday morning and then go home, not knowing anything at all that they did not already know. They have not enlarged themselves in any way; and the sad part is, They do not even hunger for anything more. They are content with the way they see everything already. They do not want that nest in their head torn up. Anyhow after I had asked Bro. William Branham the second time without getting him down there to preach, I was beginning to see the possibility that it was never going to be a reality. I was beginning to get the feeling inside of me that my days in the Methodist Church were numbered. You know, soon after that I began to face facts: Instead of him coming to the camp ground, I was going to have to leave the camp ground and go where he was. That is why I say, This message of truth was definitely given to call out a people from among those places that would follow truth. Just as God was to call out a people, Israel, out of the nations and bring them back into the land of promise and deal with them there, and establish them as in the days of old, then it is a fact today that God is calling a Gentile people out of all this religious confusion in the world and bringing them back to the basic foundational teachings that was laid down by Paul, Peter, James, John and all those other first age apostles. It does not matter what anyone says about it, nor how they go about making excuses for what is happening, it is a fact that God is doing exactly that. It is reality; and I am glad to say, Thank God for doing that for me. I did not know there was anything more than what we had before the Lord started dealing with me. He stirred my nest: you might say.
THE GOSPEL WAS COMPLETE – SO WHAT THEN
In 96 A.D., when God gave the prophecies contained in the book of Revelation, even though the first Church Age had not completely closed out, the gospel was complete. God gave those saints a prophetic letter. It did not touch doctrine, it did not touch water baptism in any way; so that is why I say, The gospel message was complete by then. Right there, in the gospels and epistles is the faith that you and I are to be turned back to. As for the prophecy of the book of Revelation, things that are to be, really saints you could say that the basic part of its applicable only over here at the end time. Well we are living in the end time, so we need to pay attention to what is written therein. From 1933 to 1965, which was the year Bro. William Branham was killed, we can actually say that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the very gospel that was taught by the apostles, had been restored. With that restoration came the revelation of six of the seven seals, all of which makes up that which is referred to as the voice of the seventh angel in Revelation 10:7. That voice is still making its way around this earth; because it pertains to the message and not the actual audible voice of the messenger. We do know for sure that every predestinated seed of God upon the face of this earth will hear what he or she needs to hear before this all comes to a climax. God will not lose any. The revelation of the first six seals has been preached. The Godhead has been reestablished in its apostolic truth. Water baptism, repentance, (what it really is) the just shall live by faith, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and all those New Testament teachings has been reestablished in the true Church of the living God. Also the fact that the Church in this day and hour is to have the same gifts operating in it as it did in its apostolic beginning. The Church is to be built upon nothing else but the revelation of Jesus Christ as it is presented in the New Testament. Therefore once those basic things have been restored, they become that which we would rightly call the voice of God that began to be published throughout the world. This means that in the period of time from that point when the voice began to sound, to the time when God does choose to end this present age, the Church will have reached completeness. As we look at this 7th verse in Revelation 10, we need to realize that if it was not in this chapter at this time, you could read this chapter with a different picture in your mind: because this verse is referring to something, not announcing something that is to be. I hope you catch my point here. It is not a verse that announces something that is to be later; because if it was announcing it, then there would have to be a period of time for that announcement, the introduction of it, to be applied. But notice that at the end, after the thunders have sounded and the angel cried time shall be no more, God is actually closing the door to the Gentile nations. The dispensation of grace for Gentiles has already ran its course. He is coming to take the people who have benefited by the gospel out of here. I would not take it upon myself to put forth a day and hour for the translation of grace age saints; but I have to believe time is running out for us Gentiles. You do not see the Spirit of God working in its convicting power among unsaved people very much anymore. It is an altogether different picture we are seeing in this hour of time. God is now dealing mainly with the human side of that which is redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; because even though we are redeemed from our lost estate, we still have an awful lot of inherited traits that must be dealt with before we can really portray the image God is looking for in each and every one of us. Our revelation and understanding of how to look at ourselves in relation to the coming of the Lord also has to be perfected. An awful lot of people still have their head’s full of traditional ideas about the rapture of the saints; and about our estate after the rapture; and God is not going to take us to glory with all of that junk still hanging on to us. God is a sovereign Spirit; and that Spirit is the very Creator, the author and finisher of everything we will ever know anything about. The only fleshly body He has ever chosen to take up permanent dwelling in was the body of His only begotten Son Jesus, our Lord and Savior according to the scriptures; and the fact that this sovereign Spirit dwells in His only begotten Son, does not make the Son, God. He is still the Son of God. He has been given authority over all things pertaining to the Church; but that still does not make Him God. It is very natural for children of God to give honor and praise to Jesus the Son; because it was what He willingly took upon Himself at Calvary in our place that even gives us the privilege of approaching the throne of God for any reason. He is worthy of our adoration of Him; but He is not God: He is the Son of God. He taught us to direct our prayers and petitions to the Father; and it is through His name that we do this. We ourselves, by our own virtue, are not worthy to approach the throne of God; but because He paid the required price for that privilege for us, we are only accepted when we come to God by the authority of His name. Let me read a few verses of scripture to go with this, and then we will move on. (John 14:13) “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 16:23) And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. (John 20:30-31) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: (31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Only the Spirit of God can give us a revelation; and He will not force it upon you before you are ready to receive it; but when you come to the place that you desire the revealed truth of God’s word regardless of what it does to your hang-on traditional ideas, Jesus said that Spirit would lead you into all truth. He is the Comforter; and I assure you, it is comforting to know the truth about things that are of interest to you. Therefore whether it be 1994, 1995 or whenever, when the Lord comes for His Gentile bride, it has been that voice of Revelation 10:7 that has called the Church out of Babylonian confusion and caused her to make herself ready to meet the Lord. That is why when it comes to this prophecy that was given in 96 A.D. back here in the first part, when we come to certain things in here, like for instance, chapters 4, 5 and 6, children of God in other ages did not have an understanding of them. They were to be understood at the end of the age. When we come to the revelation fo the 6th seal, the 6th chapter closes. How many realize that? There is nothing in it about the 7th seal, nor the seven thunders. The 6th chapter closes with the sixth seal. But notice the 7th chapter, how it falls right in line. What is it? He saw this angel ascending by the way fo the east, meaning from the eastern countries. He is saying to the four angels which stand on the four corners of the earth, and the four corners of the earth are not the north pole, the south pole and the eastern and western hemisphere. That actually points you right to the Euphrates Valley where the picture of civilization and everything started. Right there, is where those angels stand; because that is the gate way into the land of Israel and He is saying to those four angels, hurt not the sea, nor any tree, hold back the winds until we have sealed the servants of our God in their forehead. Therefore following the events of the 7th chapter we can say this, The 7th chapter lines up with chapter 8, after the seventh seal has been opened. Chapter 9 lines right up with the week of Daniel; but you have to bring the seventh seal back over here and apply it to the Gentiles. That is why you bring chapter 10 back to the Gentiles. I believe with all my heart that all this was written and shown to John like this, just to confuse certain natural minds from being able to put the picture together. Let us read this 10th chapter and allow our minds to look back and see if chapters 4, 5, and 6 are not related to 1965, and if so, we have been traveling in a period of time when that voice is being proclaimed around the world. We do know though, that somewhere that voice of God does reach a climaxing point: a point when it has fulfilled everything God purposed for it to fulfill. By the time we have traveled to that point, whether it is 1994, 1995, or 1996, or when, it means when that time comes then the seventh seal in heaven will be broken. It will all be over for us Gentiles; because that means Israel, by that time, is in position to have everything restored. Her borders are reestablished and God si ready to start doing something for the nation in respects to that seventieth week of time Daniel prophesied about.
WHEN THE SEVENTH SEAL IS OPENED
Let us read those first seven verses of Revelation 10; and I ask you to just follow the thought here. Do not try to visualize the literal man Jesus standing there like that. “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire: (This is none other than the revelation of Jesus Christ in angelic for. It is not Christ in his immortal form. How many realize that? It is an angelic being conveying the image of Christ to accomplish a purpose of God.) And He had in His hand a little book open: (that is the scroll that was seen in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. Therefore that image can represent none other than the immortal person Jesus the Christ; because the scroll He was holding when John first saw it, is now open in this scene. It serves to show that the seal has at that time been broken. However we must take note of the fact that this 7th seal is broken back here in chapter 8, the very 1st verse. That is why, when we get these chapters and verses in chronological order of fulfillment, in their time sequence where they apply, it forms a beautiful picture.) And He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, (3) And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. (4) And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: ad I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. (5) And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, (6) And swear by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: (Time wise, where is that scene? It could be just ahead of where we are. Those things yet to be fulfilled first, God can wrap them up in very short order. Whenever that happens it means God’s Church is universally complete, perfect, and she is ready to go. It is at that time we see this 7th verse recorded.) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of god should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” That voice will have already accomplished its purpose by the time the 7th seal is broken. The 7th verse is referable. That is why at that time, through the light of that verse, we can look back and realize you and I are where we are spiritually at that time, based on the fact that there had been this voice. Those thunders of verse 4, will not touch doctrine, baptism, salvation, nor anything else related to the gospel. The gospel has already done its work well before then. When I hear some of these preachers that sit and read and quote, and how they will say, Well I don’t know so much about the scriptures; but what the prophet said in these books I believe, it makes me say, You can quote those books verbatim; but if you do not learn from those books how to get back in this Bible, which is the basis of the whole thing, you are like a box car that has been cut loose from all the rest. You are going down a side track somewhere, and you are very likely to go through a bunch of weeds, down between two warehouses, and eventually be forgotten. That is exactly what is going to happen to a lot of people like that. They are living on quotes and they cannot see where those quotes lead to. They cannot put it in a time frame, therefore they cannot see the sequence of it. It is sad to see so many people like that today; but it is all in the hands of an all wise and all powerful God. He knows what the final estate of each of us will be. Nevertheless we are ready to start dealing with what we have been restored back to; and we need to find out if there is anything else we are to be restored to. I believe as time is getting short, every doctrine has already been restored. We have a true picture of the Godhead; and that is the key to understanding an awful lot of the other scriptures. How many of you really believe you have a true picture in your mind of the Godhead? I do. I am not the least bit confused about the Godhead. I can look back and say, Yes there was a time it did not matter to me whether God was ONE, three, half a dozen, or what. That is just the way I looked at it years ago; but listen to me, No true child of God in this hour of time can be so unconcerned. That is a denominational attitude. When God starts dealing with your heart you want to really be a child of God and you want to walk in the light of what is really truth, then you have to lay that old idea down; because that is the point where the whole thing starts. It is the revelation to know God in His deity, in His true makeup, and what He really consists of, that really puts you on the right track. When you see that, then from that time you begin to draw your knowledge, and your spiritual growth and progress in Him. I am thankful for His grace and mercy. Hallelujah!
A STAND FOR TRUTH
Some may wonder why I have repeated so many things I preached in other messages; but I assure you, I have a purpose in doing it. I hope you will bear with me long enough to allow me to fulfill what I feel God wants me to say in this little message. It is time for some of you to face up to what we really do stand for. I do not say this to brag or anything like that, but by the grace of god I have done my best for the past thirty years to stand in defense of the little man I believe was ordained to say something to help some people. It is very evident he has not helped the denominational church world. It has gone even further in the way of confusion: way beyond what it was thirty years ago. May I remind you also, that prior to 1960 we heard very little said about the various other religions of the world, such as Hinduism or Islam. We heard very little of their ideas and beliefs in our society; but that has all changed drastically. In the past thirty years there has been a spirit working to get prayer out of our schools, and Bible reading; and look what this present society or generation has come to. The atheists that have tried in the past to get the creation references taken out of all the school books have been successful in getting God out of the picture. That has made way for their teaching on evolution. In fact it overrides everything else in this hour of time. That just lets us see how things have changed in the last few decades of this century. When I was a child growing up, you dare not mention anything about evolution in our schools. You would have been run out of the place; and they would not have been very gentle with you. Now they come into this country from the Asiatic nations with any and every kind of religion and no one tries to stop them. From the Mid East nations they have come with Islam. They come in boldly. They build their synagogues, taking shelter behind our constitution of the United States. If anything is said in public that would indicate anything about true Christianity, somewhere there is always something said to put it down. The Hindu and Islam people will absolutely take the side of atheists if they need to, in order to contest what you and I believe. This nation was not founded under any such principles or influences. Our founding fathers held to Christianity as close as their revelation would let them; and the very freedom they devoted their time and efforts to is what these others are taking advantage of, in order to promote their pagan deities. There was a time when the word of God was respected in all branches of our government. That is why the Bible was a book used in the court rooms of our country. Today though, there are an awful lot of people in high places that mock the teachings of the Bible rather than having respect for them. I sometimes wonder why they even bother to use the Bible when they swear in a president: when they have such little respect for it otherwise. It is a shame that we have a society like this. Yet it is very evident that the Spirit of God has just about finished dealing with people to get them out of denominational religion in America, to sit under the teaching of the prophet to this age. Seeing the way our society has gone in the last 30 years, I just have to say, God have mercy on the generation coming up under the influence of a society like this. I have to believe there is a generation alive right now that will live to see the coming of the Lord; and I say that because of the way this anti God spirit is manifesting itself so openly. As Jesus said in Matthew 24, This generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled. Many of the things He mentioned are the things we are now seeing take place. Listen to me saints, we need to be very diligent in standing for the truth of God’s word in this hour of atheism and perversion. If you give the devil one inch, he will take a mile; and you will have a battle regaining what you lose.
A LOOK AT HOW CHRISTIANITY STARTED OUT
We are going to look at some things in the Bible that should be encouraging to every true believer. I want to go back to the first century of Christianity as I deal with this message, “The Mystery of God” and pay attention to how Christianity started out. After the gospel came to the Gentiles, beginning around 56 A.D., we want to see from the book of Acts how God, in that hour, spread the gospel to accomplish His purpose, fulfilling these prophecies we have been reading; and keeping such unity of belief and purpose among the saints. We notice throughout the book of Acts the unique harmony of agreement, working together to establish within the Gentile societies, wherever they would be led, a people of like faith. Not a people of mixed ideas. The Gentile, pagan world was already mixed up, confused by all their pagan deities; and without hope in God. They could worship any god, any deity, but those gods were without life. There is no doubt there were rivalries, but at least most of society at that time was mixed up and confused in respect to the various deities that were worshiped. Yet when it came to the revelation of Jesus Christ, all the of the apostolic ministry went forth teaching and preaching the same thing. They were not the least bit confused. They knew what Jesus taught; and they understood what HE meant. It has been just the opposite of that for the most part in our day. After we take a look at how Christianity started out, we will come back and take a look at what has happened since 1965; and also take a good look at ourselves in the light of what has been going on. If we are true children of God, there has to come a time when we are content with what we understand in respect to what we have heard. There is going to be a people living upon this earth when that final hour has arrived: that will all be believing the same thing. America was founded in a time when the Reformation in Europe needed a place to escape to, that they might have the opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord: so that in the appointed time, God could manifest from among them a messenger to this age. That is why he came out of a nation that had been established under freedom, whose government had stood in defense of the Bible through most of two centuries of time. It has truly done that: even though right now you might look at how things are and question such a statement. Anyhow let us look and compare as we see how the gospel was preached, the unity it went forth with, and how God worked in it to accomplish His purpose. Yet when we come to our day, I have to believe that many who claim to be a Christian have missed the important ingredient in such an experience. Many claim to love the Lord, yet somehow along the way there seems to be something missing in their lives that ought to be there. People are all caught up in a lot of traditional ideas, rather than having a true revelation of what the Bible is all about. They are so set in the way they see things there is literally no way to penetrate that barrier until God first deals with them to soften them up a little. As I have said many times, you could not go to a school and teach from the textbooks the way people do the Bible. In other words, The Bible is God’s textbook; and it is not for everyone to interpret it according to their own ideas. It has to have a consistency, a uniformity of projection of revelation that establishes people upon a firm foundation; and that foundation is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Let us go now to the book of Acts. The church has already been born. The gospel has already been preached in Jerusalem and it is time for it to reach out, so we look first at the 8th chapter of the book of Acts: to see how that outreach began. At that time, Saul of Tarsus was in Jerusalem. He sat as one of the high characters on the Sanhedrin Court. He was very much opposed to this new belief, this new covenant that was being proclaimed. Stephen had been stoned to death and believers were being persecuted right and left. So with this, we will begin reading in the 8th chapter of the book of Acts, “And Saul was consenting unto his death. (Stephen’s) And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad (That does not mean they were driven overseas, but rather out of the vicinity of Jerusalem.) Throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” This gives us a little glimpse of how the New Testament Church started out. It also lets us see how Saul, the man that wrote half of the Epistles in the New Testament, actually started out persecuting the Christians until he himself had an encounter with the living Christ. (Acts 8:3-8) “As for Saul, he made havoc of the Church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. (4) Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (5) Then Philip went down the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. (6) And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. (7) For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. (8) And there was great joy in that city.” Philip, you might say, left Jerusalem out of fear of what was going to take place if he stayed there: because he had already seen what had been done to his fellow brother, a deacon, chosen along with him to minister to the needs of the saints. Stephen, had been stoned to death shortly after being chosen to that office. God allowed this persecution to come about for one major purpose: to scatter those believers throughout the region. If He allowed all those believers to stay in Jerusalem without any kind of persecution, that is as far as the gospel message would have reached. He let them stay there in Jerusalem until they grew into a great body of believers; and then He let some persecution come about to scatter them; and those who fled the persecution preached and testified concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever they went. It did seem very strange though, Stephen was chosen from among the congregation of believers to be one of the men that would wait on tables and look after the needs of the people; and he started fulfilling that office according to the plan of God; but in the street he was preaching to the Jewish sinner people. Then those cutthroat Jewish religious leaders who were as hypocritical as it was possible to be, along with others just like them, rose up against him and stoned him to death. What a quick way to leave this world: Just be chosen for a place of service to the Lord and you find that it is soon to be a gateway into heaven. When he lay there dying the power of God came upon him; and he saw a vision. He saw heaven opened and Jesus standing on the right hand of the father. That pleases the Trinitarians: because they see Jesus standing on the right hand of another person. They will argue with you: That is what Stephen saw; so that is the way it is. That is because they have no revelation of the Godhead. We see it different than that: because we understand that Jesus was the ONLY PERSON of the Godhead. We want to move on with our look at the ministry of Philip though, so notice how God honored his preaching down there in Samaria. “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” He went there out of fear for his life; but God made an evangelist of him: for he was so full of the Spirit of God, and so full of joy he could not help but tell what he knew: and when he began to tell it, the people of Samaria received his words gladly and turned to the Lord. Notice again what it says, about that, “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. (7) For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. (8) And there was great joy in that city.” The part I am bringing out is for the purpose of showing you how the power of God worked in that first age: regardless of whether it was a deacon doing the preaching, or an apostle, or whatever the preacher’s position was in the body of Christ. We want to notice that however God worked through that person’s life, there was no one standing around saying, Now what are you up to? Who do you think you are? You are just trying to make yourself something. That is the kind of spirit that has been present for the past thirty years of this age; but I have to say, if it had been that way two thousand years ago, Christianity never would have gotten out of the first twenty five years of its existence. It would have died in its infancy. God’s purpose was for what had been started there in Jerusalem to eventually spread throughout the whole earth: so He saw to it that there was unity among those believers of the first age, and also a vision as to how they were to proceed forward in the divine plan of God. That vision came later: after the first persecution began to scatter the believers. Anyhow as Philip preached the gospel there in Samaria, we find that many believed on the Lord Jesus Christ through the gospel he preached, with no questions asked. Then when that meeting was built up to a certain magnitude and the Lord was really glorified in it, God exercised His sovereign right to intervene in it. If His human instruments are sensitive enough to the Spirit, He can direct them in a way that will keep on glorifying Him, instead of allowing it to come to a place where the human instrument gets the glory. We find here that as the apostles at Jerusalem heard how Samaria had received the gospel, and heard that miracles were done by the ministry of this little deacon, they purposed to send Peter and John down there to help out. They prayed for the people who had been baptized, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for at that time, none of them had received the Spirit. After they ministered to those believers there in Samaria, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel along the way; and God moved Philip to another location: this time to minister to one single solitary soul that needed to know more about God.
GOD DOES NOT LOSE ANY THAT WERE FOREKNOWN OF HIM
While Peter and John were on their way back to Jersualem, after ministering to the believers in Samaria, the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, so let us move to verse 26 and follow him. We are going to keep our eyes on this deacon for a little while. “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip.” In this day and hour we have many that would say, I don’t believe that. That is not what the prophet taught us. I am not going to listen to that any longer. That bunch of idolaters refuse to believe God will ever use anyone else after Bro. William Branham was taken from among us. Even now, some will say, Now Bro. Jackson, you are picking on me. Again I say, Let the shoe fit where it fits. If you are guilty of such as I spoke of, then I am talking about you along with all the others who have the same attitude. When I heard Bro. William Branham preach through the years, many times he would say, The Church will return to its same apostolic position. I believe that also; and I am fully persuaded that God will not have to raise Bro. William Branham from the dead in order to bring that to pass. God has other vessels scattered around this world that He is using in these last days of this age of grace to Gentiles. An awful lot of people in this world today want miracles; but they have already programmed God in such a way it has got to come according to the way they want it, or they will not accept it. Their theory is, If I cannot get any benefit out of what is taking place, then phooey on it. If my name cannot be at the top, I will not have any part of it: is how many of them look upon what the Spirit of God is doing in this hour. That is this twentieth century generation of so-called Christians. It is a proven fact, no matter how great a revelation God drops down and makes accessible to man, by the time he is done with it, he has picked it apart and taken so many things out of it, there is not much left on the plate to feed upon. It was not like that in the apostolic beginning. Those men moved with the revelation: wherever it took them. Keep in mind, they had no tape recorders, they had no copy machines, they had no typewriters, nor any radios. What they remembered, was what they preached and lived by; but God saw to it that their memory was sufficient for His purpose in each of them. What you have to marvel at, is how faithful and loyal they moved with what was committed to them. They had the Holy Ghost in them; and He was able to call to their remembrance anything they had ever heard. That is the main thing. Mankind today, with all his mechanical and electronic devices, has cultivated a spirit that is completely anti to the plan of God. I am talking about the church world in general: not God’s chosen ministry for this hour. Let us finish verse 26. “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he (Philip) arose and went:” While he was in Samaria the angel did not tell him why he should go; but Philip went anyhow: no questions asked. If it was in our day that God would speak to someone by sending an angel, and then someone was to relate the experience to some friends, and we would say things up to a certain point have been going wonderfully well, you let the same thing be repeated and someone would say, Now I just don’t know about that! You see what God had already done. Did the angel tell Philip what he was supposed to do? No, he just said go out into the desert. In our day, here is what you would likely hear, Well if I were you, I believe I would be very careful about something like that. There is so much criticism, self righteousness and outright unbelief, that many people are already blocked before they even get started. Nevertheless here is Philip, he left Jerusalem because he was afraid to stay there any longer. He did not want to go out of this world the way his brother Stephen did. God used that opportunity to get him out of there; but watch from here on, what an experience he had. All of this goes to show, and I have to preach it this way, God is no respecter of persons when it comes to the working of His Spirit. When people can see through the working of the Spirit and the leading of the Spirit, that there is absolutely no difference in the objective on the part of the individual, God is free to use that vessel. “And he arose and went: (went where? He was headed down toward the Gaza Strip) and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, (God likes to talk to you when there is no crowd around. That is many times where it is more simple, your mind can dwell on just what God is talking about.) Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said,” (I can almost see Philip as he was approaching this roadway. God coincides everything. If God is working on this end, then he is working on the other end also. Now whatever route the angel took Philip, he was destined to be intersected by something God had planned for him to be apart of. As soon as he saw that chariot, the Spirit of God said to him, Go join thyself to the chariot. As he approached the chariot and got where he could see the man riding in it, ‘I imagine he discovered that he had the reins wrapped around something there in the front of the chariot so he could have both hands free.’ He heard him reading. Those horses knew what they were doing, more than a lot of church members in the world today. Imagine, he was going down the road, not even having to worry about where the horses might take him, just riding along there reading the scriptures. The horses were staying right in the road, taking him right where he was supposed to go; and he was reading out loud; because Philip heard him reading from the writings of Isaiah the prophet. That was the occasion that caused Philip to say to him,) “Understandest thou what thou readest? (31) And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”(That was all Philip needed. It is a wonderful thing, when God works on both ends.) (32) “The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not his mouth: (33) In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? For his life is taken from the earth. (34) And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? (In other words it was a question, Who was this man talking about?) Of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, (Since Philip was a Jew, knowing the scriptures, and was now full of the Holy Ghost, he got the revelation of what this scripture was all about, and the setting dropped right before him,) and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” What a wonderful setting we have here, but let us watch the climax. This is the part I am looking at. I am bringing this in, to try to show you something that is going on. Over the world today, from one end to the other, through the past thirty years the teachings of Bro. William Branham have literally gone around the world to every nation. From South America to Scandinavia, from Africa to the Far East, yet wherever it has gone you still have people just as much in division and confusion as Christendom has ever been in since the denominational structure was formed. My point is to ask, Why is this so? If this man’s teaching was to bring us back to the apostolic faith as we brought out earlier, then tell me, what has happened? What entered the picture that causes it to be like it is? I am convinced after thirty years, we have not much more time left, and there is a people in the earth today I am also convinced that their hearts have been changed, and the things they believed have literally been turned around; and today they believe exactly what the apostles taught. You have both elements claiming to believe the message of the prophet to this age: so I ask you, Which one element really do believe what the prophet taught? What was that Elijah anointing supposed to do when it came again? The answer is very obvious. I believe by the time we get finished with this message we will see for sure what the Lord is coming for. We know for sure He is not coming for any of these people who have sold out to some denomination: that is a well established fact; but at the same time, what about all of those people who were called out of those denominations and have ended up with confusion and ideas that are just as antichrist as what they came out of? Some of those people are sincere, godly looking people that no one can lay a charge against concerning how they look: yet spiritually they are idolaters because they worship a man, instead of the God that anointed him. They are sincere in what they do believe; but the point is this, Is their belief more justifiable than that of a person in a denomination simply because they sat under the teaching of a prophet? Some of the things they believe and teach cannot even be found in the Bible in any form: they have to go to some book they have, trying to justify them. So my answer for that condition has to lay in this, If for some reason there is an element of people out here in that category that truly are foreknown children of God; and for some reason God has allowed them to linger there in that state of confusion until some future point, since they will not listen to any other preacher, that means God will have to do something on the basis of the supernatural, in order to get them in. If such a thing is possible, when that hour of time does come, they will not have another ten years to play around with whatever God does in their life. I just say that to keep from judging them; because I know what the word of God makes so clear concerning believers at the end of this age.
THE EUNUCH BAPTIZED PHILIP CAUGHT AWAY
As we look back to Philip, out there in the desert with that Ethiopian eunuch, here is what it says, Philip opened his mouth and preached Jesus unto him. (36) “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: (I can just hear that man say, Whoa! to the horses. They stopped right on the spot. I do not believe he had to look for a rock to ground hitch them or anything. I believe he wrapped his lines up and got out. When he did the horses stood there watching the scene, what was about to take place) and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” Now I want to ask you something. Was this eunuch a president, or a dignitary of some kind? Was he a public figure? Was he an individual that stood out, being of some great importance? Why do I ask you that? Simply to call to your attention, that in the days of the apostolic Church, it was not your image as far as some important earthly figure that caused your name to be recorded, or your person talked about in the writings of the scriptures. The scriptures were written to give an account of what took place in that first age; and not for the purpose of pumping up someone’s flesh. Keep in mind, Philip did not write the book of Acts. It was written by Luke. How did Luke get hold of this story? It is simple: I am convinced that sooner or later wherever God worked, however He chose to work, and whomsoever He worked through, it was not long until that story found its way back to Jerusalem and to the Church. When the report got back there, The Church did not say, Well it looks like Philip is running all over the country trying to be something. No. They all rejoiced. They did not talk then, like so many jealous preachers do in this day and hour. The Church back then, glorified God in every occasion they had. They were glad to see god working by His mighty power, regardless of what vessel He chose to work through. They were not only willing on the part of each one, to preach Jesus Christ at any moment, but wherever they went, and whatever God did through any of them, sooner or later that story got back to the home assembly. It was from the home base knowledge of these things, that sooner or later all the wonderful displays of God’s saving grace and power became recorded in the overall historical story of how the power of God, through the apostles, worked in the early Church. That is why it is called the book of Acts. It is the acts of the apostles; but keep in mind also, that it records the acts of some of the deacons, which are lesser than the apostles whose names were recorded in the various episodes. In this case, Philip baptized the eunuch, and then look what it says, (39) “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” The Catholic Church will say Philip took his eunuch down into a little shallow hole, sat him on a rock, and poured some water over his head. That is how they portray baptism. I heard a man on the radio one time. He had been there. Well I have too. Anyhow He said the place where this was supposed to have taken place was not deep enough to immerse the person. Today that is true; but let me remind you of this. When you live in desert type country, you find that those kind of things change over a period of time. That was water from a spring. It was really called a fountain; because the water came from an underground source. But it is also a fact that through centuries of time these springs can become filled with sand from wind storms. Therefore after two thousand years of a certain place of water being exposed to the elements of nature, you have to realize how man might see it a hundred years ago, and it might be altogether different than what it was 1900 years ago. It is not like it is in this part of the world where we do not see the wind pick up tons and tons of dirt and carry it somewhere and fill up different places. Regardless of all that, the point is, They came up out of the water. You would not have to go down into the water to pour a little over someone’s head. He immersed him, buried him, if you please; and then raised him. “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip.” What do you think those apostles at Jerusalem thought, when word got back to them that Philip had been transported by the Spirit? Do you think they found fault with him? Did Peter feel like he was just trying to out do him? I seriously doubt that. They were all thrilled about what the Spirit of God was doing. If he had lived in the twentieth century and had that happen to him, it would have been a different story. All of the other preachers out there with their huge tents would have been jealous of him. It has been like that for the past forty years in this nation. Even when the spirit of God was moving back in the 50’s in such a mighty way, in what we call the deliverance realm, if A.A. Allen got one type of tent, someone else came along three weeks later with a larger one. Here they are going down the highways with their tractor and trailer trucks, their chairs and their three pole, four pole, or five pole tent. I do not know whether they made any with more poles than that or not; but that is how they state the size of a tent. Some of those five pole tents were enormous things. Those preachers had the picture of the tent painted on the sides of their trailers for everyone to see. I heard this story one time, Two of those type of evangelists had met at a convention. (This is supposed to be a true story.) One of them was saying to the other, I understand you have a meeting scheduled in a certain place. Yes. Then he asked, How did they respond when you took up an offering? Did they come forward, or did you have to spend a lot of time begging? As that was told to me I thought to myself, That is exactly what the whole thing ended up in: just a big push for money. When they got to running a rat race, to see who could get the largest tent, and who had the best equipment, then naturally if they were going from place to place, they wanted to know where the riches cities were; and how liberal the people were in giving. If that town seemed more liberal in their giving, that is where he wanted to go next. Tell me, How could the Spirit of God lead in a situation like that? If one of those fellows had a good meeting going like Philip did, Do you think he would take his tent down and go out into some remote place where there had been no preparations made? No, the Spirit of God was not allowed to direct them: the way He did Philip. He left that good meeting in Samaria just to obey the Lord. I have to say, saints, I want to obey the Lord in whatever time we have left; and I am sure all of you do too. No matter what it is, how insignificant, how unimportant it may look, if we respect the grace of God and the Spirit of God, then there are times we have to say, Lord, not my way, not what I plan, but whatever you want me to do. Say it, and mean it; and you will be surprised at what the Lord may ask you to do. Philip just followed the angel of the Lord, asking no questions, and not doubting that the Lord had a purpose in moving him; so there he went out into the desert; but the Lord did not leave him wandering around out there: He led him straight to the Ethiopian eunuch; and the rest just came natural. He instructed him, he baptized him; and as they came up out of the water, here is what it says about Philip, “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip.” In other words, God gave him a ride in the Spirit. Think of it. Let a thing like that happen today and you can just imagine what people would say, I know he is just stretching the facts: God would not do that. I say, Why Not? He did it for Philip! People today would rather say, He is trying to make himself somebody. My point is, You cannot go anywhere, nor say anything to please the Lord without having to face all this criticism from people who think they saw so much, and heard so much more than anyone else. Maybe they did; but they do not know what to do with it. Therefore if they do anything, it has to be something Bro. William Branham spoke about in one of his sermons; and then they do not know what he meant. That is why there are dozens of versions in the world today about everything he spoke upon: simply because those carnal minds that followed him so closely did not have spiritual perception.
HOW GOD SPOKE TO THE APOSTLE PETER
Let us go to Acts, chapter 10: to look at another example of God’s leading. This time, it was the apostle Peter. The Church, at this time was just about six years old. However God was going to begin to show forth in advance, to the Jewish element at Jerusalem, that He had the Gentiles in mind also. Peter was not at Jerusalem when God dealt with him. He was over the mountains, along the Mediterranean sea coast, in a little town called Joppa: that lays on the south side just a few miles from Tel Aviv. There, is where Peter was. He was called there to pray for a certain person who had died. Up the sea coast at Caesarea though, was a Greek by the name, Cornelius. He was a Roman soldier, an officer; but he had become a proselyte to the Jewish faith, to Judaism. He had befriended many of the Jewish people out of compassion: seeing their conditions. He had taken it upon himself to be kind to the Jewish people, rather than being a lord and just exercising his authority over them. Being a proselyte to their belief, he had fasted and prayed, doing what he knew to do. He was a man of authority, very concerned about his position, and what he was there for, and for the Jewish people he was there to watch over. All of a sudden Cornelius had an unusual experience. An angel of the Lord came in and spoke with him. Cornelius had been praying; and the angel of the Lord came to him in a vision and told him his prayers had been heard. The angel of the Lord told Cornelius to send men to Joppa and call for a man whose name is Peter: staying in the house of a man named Simon, a tanner whose house is by the sea side: He will tell you what you need to do. If they had been a day earlier they never would have gotten that Jew to talk to them: much less go with them. He wanted nothing to do with Gentiles up until this very time; so we will pick up the account in verse 9, where the Lord is dealing with Peter, getting him prepared for what he was about to be asked to do. (Acts 10:9-12) “On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: (It was evidently right before meal time.) (10) And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance (where was Peter? On the house top. Dinner is cooking downstairs. Peter was hungry, physically hungry. Watch the setting, how God uses a natural setting to speak to that Jewish man; and then launch His purpose through that man, Remember, odors usually filter upwards; and Peter was hungry when he went up there and just took that occasion to pray. Yet every time he would breathe, he could not help but smell the aroma of food cooking down stairs. All of that was feeding into his human makeup; and that was the basis for how God was going to speak to him.) And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: (12) Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. (You could almost see this huge thing slowly descending before him; and Peter, in his natural, human feelings was very hungry. No doubt the odor of food from below was filling his nostrils; So God used that very setting to expose Peter’s human personality; and his attitude toward Gentile people. Little did he realize what would come out of it. What he saw in that great sheet were things the Law forbade Jews to eat.) And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. (He believed in keeping the Law to the letter. In other words, He was a legalist.) And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: (three times) and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” Three time was significant: because it spoke of the number of people that were on the road, coming from Cornelius’ household. “Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, (He was the property owner where Peter was lodged.) And stood before the gate, and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.” Can you not just almost see and hear all of that taking place? There, was Peter up there on that flat roofed house top: The vision has just ended; and he was doubting, or questioning in his mind as to what all of that meant: when all of a sudden he heard men’s voices down at the gate: asking, Is there a man by the name of Simon Peter staying here? “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” The vision and voice was repeated three times; and Peter knew the Law deemed those beast to be unclean animals: not meant for Jewish consumption. Brother, if you taught this to your theological, denominational church world ministry today, here is the response you would get. Well you see, it is like this, that was done in days when illiteracy was predominant. Men were not very smart; so God had to rely on a display of His power to convince them and vindicate His purpose. When I read the Bible I find that Peter could read and write: Otherwise there would not have been the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter. How many realize that? To me, that is a very poor way of trying to excuse away that supernatural presence of God; and how He likes to work in supernatural ways many times through a body of people, to accomplish and bring about a collective element of people from different realms of human societies and races of nations to fulfill his purpose. When God gets through with them, they all wind up believing the same thing. Just notice here, we see this man Peter; and the Spirit has said to him, Three men are asking for you. “Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, (That is how the Spirit was talking to that Jewish fisherman.) doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” I tell you, this man Peter, who was the spokesman in the streets of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, the principle one the Spirit literally used to speak to those thousands that day, when out of that crowd of people three thousand were baptized. He was Jewish through and through; but this just goes to show how God, by over riding the human nature side of Peter, was going to lead those men there to go against his human feelings. It was not for the purpose of humiliating him: but rather to broaden his vision concerning the plan and purpose of the God he loved and sought to serve with his whole being. I am so glad this man was pliable in the hands of God: so his human makeup, which this portrays, was not allowed to take a stand against the will of his God. His human makeup, and how it was dealt with, is the part I want you to see and take note of; and then observe how in spite of it he followed the instructions and leadings of the Spirit of God. “Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?” From that, they began to tell how their master had been praying and the angel of the Lord had said thus and so, which had to be understood by Peter, making it even that much more compelling for him to go with them. The Spirit was urging him: Go on with them! Do not question the vision; and do not question the men, just go with them. Some people, if you ask them to do something, you have to explain every little thing to them before they will take one step. But here, God is saying to Peter, Go with them and doubt not. Peter left Joppa with them and they made their journey up the sea coast to Cornelius’ household. He was just simply following those men: going to a man’s house, whom he had never laid eyes upon before. As he goes in, Cornelius had some of his relatives there. He wanted his relatives to hear what he was going to hear when this Jewish man came. Therefore when Peter and the other brethren that had gone with him stepped inside the house, (I believe the number of those that went with him was six; and they were witnesses; and were Jews that believed just like Peter.) he began to ask, For what reason have you ask me to come here? Cornelius began to tell his experience. You can say this, That put Peter in the spotlight of attention. What was he going to say? Was he going to doubt the vision Cornelius had? No. When he understood how God has spoken to him there on the house top; and then saw how God had dealt with Cornelius by sending an angel to speak to him, you can say this, Peter knew he was standing in an opened door. He knew he either had to preach Christ to them, or his mouth would remain shut. (I have to say it like that; because that is exactly what it really amounted to. But notice, Peter did not know what God was really going to do: He just knew enough to feel in his own heart, I have to preach Jesus to them. As he preached Christ to them, we do not know whether it was 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 40 minutes: but when his message got to a certain point, God was watching from above and saw the spiritual nature of those Gentiles sitting there in that room; and saw how they were hanging on to every word Peter spoke just like little birds sitting in a nest waiting for mother to feed them; and He just simply began to drop the Holy Ghost down on that entire household of people while Peter was still preaching. They all began to speak in tongues. I have to believe, that after that supernatural display of God’s power became so obvious that these people were beside themselves, they just could not refrain from yielding to the Spirit. I also have to believe that Peter finally had to stop preaching and yield to what God was doing among those Gentiles. He looked at the other men with him and said, (Acts 10:47) “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? (48) And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” These examples are what those Pentecostal people who insist on tongues being the evidence of the Holy Ghost, always want to use. Well saints, let me first say this, Some people who receive the Holy Ghost do speak in tongues immediately; but tongues alone do not prove that a person has received the Holy Ghost, for the devil can speak in tongues also. He is allowed to manifest anything manifested by the Spirit of God. He is a counterfeiter: Therefore the most dependable evidence of whether anyone has truly received the Holy Ghost is how they respect the word of God from that moment forth. When you find someone claiming to be filled with the Spirit of God, and that person continued to fight against the true revelation of the Godhead, there is definitely something wrong with that person’s experience. Did not Jesus say that when the Holy Ghost (the Comforter, the Spirit of truth) comes, He will guide you into all truth? That is His first and foremost purpose in the daily lives of true believers. The Holy Ghost is not given to us just so we can have a good time shouting and dancing and have a good feeling while we are in a certain atmosphere: If He is truly in you, He will open your eyes to truth and enable you to overcome the temptations the devil places before you daily, always trying to get you to return to your former ways. He is in you to enable you (not force you) to live for God wherever you are. Well let me get back to the tongues part. We have to keep one thing in mind, If the Holy Ghost had come into those disciples on the day of Pentecost without any supernatural manifestation of His presence, those who did not receive the first outpouring would have had no way of knowing that the 120 had received anything. Peter, being a Jew, and totally critical of the Gentiles, always looking up them as dogs, had to witness something himself, in order to recognize what was taking place there in the house of that Roman Centurion. God knew how Peter was: That is why He showed him that sheet three times, with all kinds of unlawful beasts in it, that the Law said for the Jews not to eat. There, God was saying to him, Rise Peter: kill and eat. Well naturally, even though he had received the Holy Ghost along with the others on the day of Pentecost, he was still living under the Law of Moses; for God had not yet instructed them concerning this covenant of grace: so Peter responded to that voice by saying, Not so, Lord, for I have never eater anything common or unclean. How did God answer him? He simply said, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. Peter still did not understand the significance of what he had just experienced; but one thing was sure, he was willing and ready to follow the instructions given him by the voice from God. My point is this, God took this man and over rode his human nature, therefore when he saw the Holy Ghost fall upon those Gentiles with the same manifestations they themselves had received, he immediately recognized that God was doing a new thing; and that he was a part of it. Do you think Peter would have been convinced that those Gentiles had received the Spirit of God, if the only evidence present was them saying to him, I believe, I believe? Peter was not going to accept those words from a Gentile, and then go back to Jerusalem and say they had received the Holy Ghost just because they said they did. However when he heard them speak with tongues just like they did in the upper room, that was what made him say, Seeing they have received the gift just like we did at the beginning. It was God’s ordained plan that the Gentiles receive it with the same sign of manifestation that those first Jews did. That is why Peter said it like that. He was convinced.
PETER REPORTING TO THE CHURCH AT JERUSALEM
Now when you go on over into the 11th chapter, and this is the point I am getting to, Peter was back in Jerusalem: How long he stayed at Cornelius’ house, the Bible does not say; but whatever amount of time may have transpired, Peter eventually came back to Jerusalem; and there, he was faced with answering to those other Jews for going among Gentiles: which they all knew was contrary to the Law. The 1st verse of chapter 11, “And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, I was in the city of Joppa praying.” He then began telling the vision God had given him when he was on the house top praying. When you come on over here a little further, you will find the apostles all accepted Peter’s testimony concerning how the Holy Ghost had led him. Therefore it became a recorded fact at the Church in Jerusalem, how God had bestowed the same blessings upon those Gentiles that the Jews had received in that first outpouring of the Holy Ghost; and there remained no more questions among the elders and the apostles of the Jerusalem assembly, as to whether it was of God or not. At that particular time though, there was no one keeping a written record of the various manifestations of the Spirit of God and of the impact upon the people. However some time later, after Saul of Tarsus had been dealt with in a supernatural way, and his name changed to Paul, as he went forth in the ministry, Luke the physician came into the picture. It was Luke, months and months later, that began to feel it was his obligation to begin to set down an account of the things that had been going on. He did not exclude one thing of how the Spirit led Peter, and how God chose to give the Gentiles the same gift of eternal life. My point is, Suppose Peter had left Jerusalem and gone that sixty some miles to Joppa, (That is approximately the distance.) then later, he had this vision, and goes up to Caesarea, and there God bestows the blessing on the Gentiles; and then just suppose it was in our day that it took place. What kind of story do you think you would get, if Peter came back to Jeffersonville and began to tell the same story; and the same individuals that have been in this area for the last 35 years was to hear it? I know exactly what they would say. I don’t know about that: the prophet did not say anything about a thing like that ever happening. Now I am not saying this to belittle anyone: but just to look at a spirit that has side tracked a bunch of people. It is a pitiful picture. They claim to believe, and are saying this man was to turn our faith back to the faith of our fathers; but in their mind it is only a legal statement. In reality they have not been returned to that faith themselves; and they give no room for anyone else to be. That particular element of quoters have not grown one inch spiritually since the death of Bro. William Branham. It is just so many words in their mind; and they feel justified to hold to them, even though they actually mean nothing to them; because they have not allowed the Spirit of God to move them from where they stood 30 years ago. Their idea of walking in the Spirit is, Just say everything exactly like Bro. William Branham said it: for if you say anything more you are out of the will of God; and out of the message. Well if I have to be in that kind of message, I have no desire whatsoever to be in it. It is a mess, instead of a message. What they have is not God’s message for the bride of Christ in this hour of time; and it is certainly not God’s voice for the hour of the bride of Christ. That is why they look upon me and say, There goes that black bird. Well if it takes a black bird to make all the white ones shine, so be it. The point is, Those saints at Jerusalem glorified God: that the Gentiles had received the gospel and they did not question Peter as to whether he had done such a thing. They all knew from the way it came about, that Peter was in the perfect will of God. They did not set about to worry about what God would do next, or whether there was any authority for any of them to go contrary to the Law of Moses. They were convinced that God was doing those things to fulfill His purpose and that was just fine with them.
OBEYING THE HOLY GHOST
As we explore these various occasions where the Spirit of God changed the mind’s of His servants and caused them to do something different than what they had planned to do, I would like to go to the 16th chapter of Acts. We know the apostle Paul’s testimony: how God dealt with him on the road to Damascus: when he was going there to persecute Christians; so now we will look at an occasion where Paul, after he became a missionary spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, had determined to go to a certain place and the Spirit of God changed his plans. This is the very man that condemned Stephen to death and stood by holding the clothing of those that were stoning him. Stephen was a Jew full of the Holy Ghost and the revelation of Jesus Christ; and that pious bunch of Pharisees were bashing his head in; and Paul, who was still called Saul at that time, was as hard hearted about it all as anyone could be, just stood there watching them take the life right out of him. But what we are going to look at, took place years later, after Paul was fully committed to the service of God according to the New Covenant. God was leading him; and he was in his second missionary journey. He had purposed to go into what today we call northern Turkey. I pick up the account in verse 6, of Acts 16. “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, (notice) and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost (this lets me know somewhere the spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, was able to speak either to Paul or one of the company so that they felt constrained not to go any further into Asia) to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed (purposed) to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over unto Macedonia, and help us.” Where is Macedonia? In the old country of Yugoslavia, just south of where they are fighting in Bosnia: That is where it is located. There is where those early churches were established by the apostle Paul. Verse 10, “And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.” The apostle Paul is the man God had purposely called and chosen for this particular work, to preach this great revelation of truth to the Gentiles in their overall setting. However we do know that Peter was the man from Jerusalem, that God first led to preach to a Gentile family there at Caesarea: but remember, That was still in the home land of the Jewish people. On the other hand, Paul, who was also a Jew himself, was outside of home land, wanting to fulfill the commission that God had put in him when Ananias, at Damascus, had been told by God, Go out in to a street called Straight and enter into a certain man’s house, and behold, Saul of Tarsus is there praying, and seeing you come and pray for him that he may receive his sight. When you read that you see exactly how the Holy Ghost worked on both ends to make this a connection. In that picture we see how Ananias told Paul by prophesying to him, For God hath chosen you to be a light unto the Gentiles and a means of salvation to the ends of the earth. Therefore as we examine all of this we find Paul in 56 A.D., starting in the 19th chapter of the book of Acts, something that lasted right on thro9ugh for the next three years. That is when the Ephesian church was really ignited and set on fire; and the other six churches of Asia Minor along with it; but ten years later Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, was dead. We can say this though, God, through Paul, had literally revealed all the doctrines, all the foundational principles of what a Christian life is to be composed of in character, in spirituality, in morality, in principles, and in social behavior. All of that is condensed in the writings of the apostle Paul: which is just about half of the New Testament writings. If we cannot agree, that right there lay the faith of the fathers, as it was laid out to the Gentile Church, then there is something wrong with us; because we find the apostle Paul, as he writes in the epistle to Timothy, referring to the Church as being the pillar and ground of the truth. He was actually saying, That according to his revelation and the teaching he has laid out, the Church is composed, or is made up of people, sinners who have truly been made new creatures in Christ; and their faith, their attitude, and their outlook is all governed and knit together by this unified picture which is none other than Christ being formed in each and every vessel of clay that became a true believer. They became lively stones, knit together, built on a holy foundation. The foundation was laid of all the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. Therefore as we look at it in this light, keep that in mind when we find later on that Paul and those that accompanied him had gone back to Jerusalem. Let us go to the 18th chapter of the book of Acts, the 4th verse. He is at Corinth, a pagan city, wholly given to idolatry, in this setting. I have been there. The city itself, where Paul stood and preached is a shambles today. It was destroyed, I do not remember what century it was, by a terrible earthquake. However the stone building where Paul preached, which was a house that joined close by the synagogue, much of its framework is still there. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks and when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” Watch the setting here. He has already been there a few Sabbath days, preaching to the Jews and a few Greek proselytes. They believed the gospel of Christ he had preached; but when he really began to come out boldly, then is when they began to set up against it; so Paul took leave of them. “And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshiped God, (he was a proselyte, a Greek) whose house joined hard to the synagogue. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians (which were also Greek) hearing believed, and were baptized. (Listen to what the Lord spoke to Paul.) Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” I am going to cut this short; because I want to bring in something else right here. It is where Paul and Barnabas return to Jerusalem when they hear at Antioch that certain Jews have came to Antioch teaching that unless the Christians there be circumcised like the Jews, thus and so; and the church at Antioch was in an uproar. That caused Paul and Barnabas to go to Jerusalem to find out the facts. They wanted to know how this thing got started. When they came in before the elders and apostles at Jerusalem, once again Paul began to relate to the Jerusalem Church the things God had done through his ministry; and told them of the miracles that were wrought, and how the Gentiles had received the gospel. It was right at that setting that the apostle James took up the subject and said, Brethren, listen to me. There is where he pointed back to the prophet Amos. We have already read that prophecy into the message, how Amos prophesied that somewhere in the future tense of time God would return to the Jews and they would again rebuild the house of David, which is the temple, and close up the breeches, rebuilding the walls, and then it brought in how that among the nations, the people that were called by His name and so forth. I use that to look at it in this light, Suppose Paul and Barnabas had gone back to Jerusalem to find out the facts and get a true story about why those men came to Antioch teaching that, and when he related to them what God had done among the Gentiles, that Jerusalem Church would have done like some who are supposed to be leaders today are doing, and said, We do not believe that? That is not the way we heard it. My point is this, A Church, whether in Jerusalem, or whether it was among the Gentiles, and maybe among different races of people, they were all established upon the same foundation. They all had the same teachings. Wherever God worked by His power and showed signs and wonders in doing it, the whole Church glorified God. That is the part that strikes attention in my heart, They glorified God. So with that, I want to make this statement; because we are going to deal with this very thing. By the time we came to 1965, I know that through all the years as Bro. William Branham taught on the various doctrines and subjects within the New Testament scriptures, whether it was on the Godhead, sanctification, baptism, repentance, or whatever, somewhere along the line there were dual statements made. Some of them really stand out; and some others seem very small and insignificant. Nevertheless after thirty years we still find people playing with these statements instead of getting settled in the revelation. Bro. William Branham spent a whole week teaching the seventy weeks of Daniel. I sat there and heard everything he said; and observed the chart he sued; and the various means he used to illustrate how to understand it. I have asked myself many times, when I remember the same preachers that sat there and heard it along with me, How come they sat there and heard this explained so perfectly, yet when he preached the seals, and he only made the reference that there are three and one half years left to the Jews, they take that statement and look upon the sermons as though they were irrelevant to the revelation? To me, that shows there is something wrong inside the spirit and mind of human beings. That is why I have said many times, I heard the man. The denominational church world with all their theological knowledge, will read a little of what he said and they hear a little of what he said on tape and look at that and say, What was that man trying to say? This is crazy, it makes no sense. No man of God can talk like this. To me that proves they do not even know their Bible. Then when I say something like this, some literally jump up and down. We’ll read in Matthew: When the Jews in the days of John the Baptist, sent men, scribes, smart, intelligent men out to question John, Who are you? John the Baptist said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He took the least position in the scriptures; but when he spoke of the One who would come later, following him, the One he was sent to introduce, he made the statement concerning Him, He will indeed baptized you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. That is a part of Jesus Christ’s priestly work. That was not a part of His ministry while He was here on earth; and neither is that what He will do when He comes back to rule and reign. That is part of His priestly work: the work He is doing right now. No one will question that. He did include another statement that many do question though; Not because they disbelieve, but simply because they do not understand the terminology. Let us read the whole statement. (Matthew 3:11-12) “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (12 Notice here) Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” What about those words that are connected right in with the other part of that verse? Whose fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His floor? Where does that fit in? Ask those theology professors to explain that and they will say, Oh that is irrelevant. Brother, do not kid yourself! That is just as much a fact as the other part which speaks of Him baptizing you with the Holy Ghost and fire. He certainly will thoroughly cleanse His floor with a fan; but you have to realize this is a parable. When you interpret it to its practical application, it means every one still alive here at the end time, that God has dealt with through time to bring them back to the truth of His word, will be dealt with just like wheat on an ancient threshing floor. They will be tossed up into the air in many ways; and their destiny and acceptability in this Bride Church will depend solely upon whether they come back down on the word of God, or whether they go after something else. In other words, the Bible, in the sense of the parable, is the threshing floor. Right in here, is where He deals with everything. If I am a tare, I am destined sooner or later to be blown completely off of the word; but if I am a true seed of God, then I am destined, no matter how many winds blow around me, to always come right back to the word of God. Those winds that blow so many away are doctrines of man, false doctrines. Those men that originate the various false doctrines have to get their material from some source. That is why William Branham was God’s prophet to the age. God could use the man for more than one purpose: because as I have said many times, He was not a writing prophet, he was a preaching prophet. God could use him any way He saw fit: to reach His predetermined objective. Therefore He let the man speak certain things which were completely of the man; and not unctioned by His anointing. When I say that, I am very aware that from around the world I will get letters, and some will say, Jackson, you are saying the prophet made mistakes. No, I have never said he made any mistakes: I have always said that God allowed him to speak certain things that would serve as a fan to toss people up into the air. We all have to be tested; and I say, What better way than to allow a man we all believe to be God’s prophet messenger to this age, say things two different ways, with one way matching a true revelation; and the other way catering to man’s traditional ideas? We just have to be spiritual enough to examine everything by the scriptures; regardless of who preaches it.
PAUL – EXERCISING HIS HUMAN WILL
The apostle to the Gentiles, which was the apostle Paul, has his whole human image displayed right there in the Bible. When Paul left the Ephesian Church, he bid them goodbye. He was already testifying and saying these words, I go back to Jerusalem bound in the spirit. I know that bonds and afflictions abide me. The Holy Ghost witnessed in every city that bonds and afflictions abide me, was his confession. When he finally got on a boat and landed in Israel, in Canaan’s land, in the area of Caesarea, he was fellowshipping with a group of believers there. It was at night. They had assembled there in a certain place; and in walked a little prophet by the name of Agabus. When he came in, he did not bother to say Hello, or Good evening brothers, how is everyone; he just went right to a cloak that belonged to the apostle Paul, sat down and began to wrap it around his hands and feet saying, (Acts 21:11) “Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” A vision or something had already showed him as he walked into that place, that the owner of that particular article was going to suffer many things. Therefore let us ask ourselves this question, Why was Paul so insistent on going to Jerusalem, when from somewhere way back up the line, I believe it was Tyre, it was pr9ophesied to him that he should not go up to Jerusalem? What was his motive? There was really no objective for him going to Jerusalem at that time. If you read the book of Acts right, there was obviously no benefit in him going to Jerusalem. When you read Paul’s letter to the Roman church, which he wrote from Corinth before he started this journey, he plainly said to them, I purpose to come to you as I pass into Spain. This lets me know Paul knew there was a large colony of Jews in old Madrid, the capital of Spain. Just as he preached to Jews in Asia, he no doubt in his mind determined he wanted to preach to those Jews in old Spain also. That was his idea; but the point is this, Why did he feel that he had to go to Jerusalem first? That is why I say, If the Holy Ghost kept on telling him, Paul, stay away from Jerusalem, trouble is ahead, if you go there, this should let us see that we are seeing the human side of that man. A lot of people cannot see this. He was being persuaded by human feelings for those disciples there at Jerusalem. He wanted to see them. Follow me a little farther here; and I will show you something. When Agabus walked in and said that to Paul, they all fell on Paul and began to beg him, Don’t go Paul, don’t go. What did he reply back? Oh, leave me alone, I am not only ready to go to Jerusalem, I am ready to die for the gospel that I preach. Then he reminded them how he had absolutely done some of the early believers wrong when he was persecuting Christians, before the Lord dealt with him on the road to Damascus. But let us look at the scriptures: Was Paul really ready to die? No. Why do you say that Bro. Jackson? Well go to Jerusalem with me. He goes to Jerusalem, and goes before the apostles and elders. He has been gone for a long time and I have to say, Paul just simply could not stay away from Jerusalem: He just wanted to get back to the old crowd. When he gets there, Peter and the others tell Paul for him to go do certain things and make a covenant between certain men. They tell him of these enormous stories they have heard drifting back to Jerusalem, how that wherever Paul goes, he preaches to the Jews and tries to tear down the Judaistic faith and such like; so on the basis of all of this, just watch: In a few days here is Paul in the court, the temple, seen with these same men he went and made this agreement with. When all of a sudden here come a bunch of Jews from the Gentile areas, which had seen Paul in their cities and they point, There, is that man! Here they come, rushing in upon him. If there had not been a soldier near by, that controlled the people, it is no telling what they would have done to him. If that officer had not rushed in and rescued him, they would have bashed his head in right there. Watch what happens: Paul is arrested and put in jail. Then his nephew later heard through some source that a certain bunch of Jews were going to lay in wait for him on a certain day. Right? They were going to kill him. Remember now, Paul had just said up there at Caesarea, Stop bothering me! I am not only ready to go to Jerusalem, but I am read to give my life for the sake of the gospel, if need be. When the nephew came in and told Paul, he said to the boy, Go get a certain officer and tell him you have a message you want to deliver to him. You can read all this in the book of Acts. We are taking a good look at this man Paul, for the purpose of seeing how willing he really was, to die. When the boy goes and tells this officer, then what does this officer do? The orders are changed. Plans are made, with so many footmen, (infantrymen) and so many horsemen, (cavalrymen) and they take Paul out of the jail at night, unknown to that bunch of cut throats. They take him to Caesarea and put him in jail. There is where he stays for a considerable length of time. It was from that setting finally he had made his plea that he would take his defense before Caesar. Had he never made his plea to have his case defended before Caesar, you can read right there, I believe it was Felix, or that one governor that would have turned him loose, but because he had made his plea to present his case to Caesar, and for that reason he remained in jail until the appointed time. Why? Because a vision had come to Paul when he was in Jerusalem, As you have bore witness of me here in Jerusalem, you shall bear witness of me in Rome also. All of these things show the human side of the man and he never did get to go to Spain as he had wrote in the Roman letter. You can see in the Roman letter this was his heart’s desire. But for some reason he was bound and determined to go to Jerusalem first. Though the Holy Ghost has warned him and told him, trouble, trouble, trouble awaits you, he still felt that he had to go. Actually after he spent almost two years in jail at Caesarea, he was then put on a boat to be transported to Rome. He was a prisoner. He was being taken to Rome, and he was ship wrecked at the sea, and had all kinds of experiences; but nothing was going to keep him from eventually ending up in Rome. All this goes to prove, that had that vision not came to him when he was there at Jerusalem, still in jail, we might be reading a different story here in the book of Acts. (Notice this one verse here in chapter 23, verse 11, of the book of Acts) “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” He had not even made his plea to present his case before Caesar at that time. All of this goes to show how God can, even in spite our human makeup, still lead us into the stream of His will and cause us to fulfill His purpose. If we do go too far to one side of the other, the mercy and grace of God can still lead us back to where we ought to be. He just uses a little different means. Of course I have said all of this to establish a point: that in the time of the early Church, people respected the Holy Ghost, had respect for how He worked, and for how the lives of men were spared, and how they were directed, and how God was glorified in it all. However in this hour, after thirty long years, when God, through a little man, brought such a beautiful teaching that should have restored us back to that same apostolic faith, we see on every hand people who have no respect at all for what the Bible teaches unless they can find it written in one of Branham’s sermons. It is a pathetic story; and there are abominable deeds done by some of them; but God is still leading the true bride saints into perfection. It is true there are plural statements in many of the things taught by that prophet of God; but I have said many times, If a person has the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit is allowed to lead that person, he is not going to lead him or her astray: just because of certain statements made by someone they trust. The Holy Spirit in us, sooner or later will cause us to know that such statements are irrelevant to the overall message of truth that has been brought to the Church. When we can see how that all fits right in here, that is why I have said many times, When John the Baptist said, “whose fan is in His hand,” that was the Elijah for that day, so those words had to be fulfilled in the Elijah of our day. John was introducing the kingdom of heaven; and he knew what would follow through that period of time; but it is here in the ending of time we see God completing it and bringing it to an end. Therefore I have to say, This is God’s threshing floor. He will beat you, He will cause winds to blow on you and really put you to the test; but it is His business to test and try you, to see if every time you see yourself tossed up in a trial, tossed up in some kind of situation, there is something in you that makes you come right back down on the word of God. All of God’s true children will eventually fal back on the word, no matter how rough things get for them. It is wrong for us to try to judge the final outcome of people we see going through certain besetting situations of life; because God Himself is the only One who knows for sure who His true children are. We have a responsibility to judge the deeds of those round about us; but only God Himself can pronounce their destiny.
FALSE WITNESSES V/S TRUE WITNESSES
As we have already stated, Paul, Peter, James, John and those first age apostles were the one’s that preached the gospel of Christ and the various doctrines that the New Testament Church was established upon; and all of that collectively, became the faith of the fathers, that believers in this age were to be restored back to. It took a prophet sent by God to this Age of Laodicea, to preach the Bible the way those first Age apostles preached what later became written for the Church throughout the entire Age of grace to live by. The Church strayed from the true revelation of what is written in it; and passed through hundreds of years of spiritual ignorance, living under the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church: until Martin Luther and various others of what we call the Reformation, began to get a revelation of certain truths from the Bible and began to protest what that old system of religion taught. From 1500 A.D., until time moved into the twentieth century, many systems of religion were formed; but no matter what truth they got hold of, nor what they called themselves, they still held to the basic doctrines of the system they came out of. Therefore in order for God to get the Church re-established in the true revelation of what the early church believed, He had to send a prophet messenger to this Age: with a message and a gift that would get the attention of people out here in religious bondage. That prophet messenger being the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6, was endowed with that God identifying spirit of the Elijah of old and John the Baptist of the days of the first advent of Christ. That is why he preached so hard against the blessed holy trinity your denominational churches hold to be so sacred; and that is why he was so staunch about the necessity of believers being baptized in water, in the name of Jesus Christ, like Acts 2:38 says. He made the Jesus so many people of our day always think of as a little baby, stand 10 feet tall to me. He showed Him to be the ONE and ONLY PERSON of the Godhead; and made it perfectly clear that God the Creator was in the person called Jesus the Christ. God the Father, the Creator, is a sovereign Spirit. He has never had a fleshly body of His own that He dwelt in permanently: until the day He incarnated (made his abode in the body of flesh of) His only begotten Son Jesus. Therefore because we have the faith of our fathers restored to us, we now see ONE true and living God, manifested in three office works. That is exactly how the apostle Paul preached it. I might say also, Whatever Paul preached or taught, no other apostle ever came along and contradicted it. However by 96 A.D., which was thirty years after the death of Paul, the apostle John was the last of the old apostles left alive; and God dealt with him and showed him what we see in the overall book of Revelation. We can see now, that this prophecy of the book of Revelation, even though it was given in 96 A.D., was mostly to be fulfilled in our day, right here in the 20th century. It is a prophecy of things that would take place for the most part right at the end of the Age. Who would have ever dreamed that God would choose a man right here in this area and use him to fulfill Malachi 4:5-6, though? The people of this area did not realize it; but that Elijah they have read about in the last chapter of Malachi, walked right in their midst and looked just as ordinary as anyone else. What he preached was extraordinary though, when you compare it to what everyone else was preaching. He preached what the apostle Paul preached. I realize we have a lot of denominational critics today, that would disagree with my statement. They like to ridicule those who follow the teachings of Bro. William Branham; because to them he was not quite right in the head. They say many unkind things about Bro. William Branham and what he taught; but not one of them has ever come to me: to ask one earthly thing. I have often said, Why do they not come around and knock on my door? That bunch of UPC fellows that wrote that article a few years ago titled, “Branhamism, Fact or Fiction,” never even bothered to ask a question of someone that could have given them straight, positive answers: They just made accusations: three of them in particular. They challenged the fact that Bro. William Branham said he was the spirit of Elijah. They challenged the fact that he preached predestination. They challenged the fact that he preached serpent seed. In that little pamphlet they sent out, they accused the movement as a whole, of believing that he is going to be resurrected from the dead to finish his ministry. They also put in there, that his body lay in state at Faith Assembly Church for a long time, with everyone waiting, believing he was going to rise from the dead. You know very well he did not lay in state at this church. He lay in state down in Jeffersonville, at Coots Funeral Home. That goes to show, if that bunch of big shots at UPC headquarters can tell something to try to put someone else’s light out, they will do it: not even bothering to search out the truth. What is a lie to them, if it will serve their purpose? We have a lot of people in the religious world today that will say almost anything they can think of trying to ruin the image of those who do not preach what they want to hear. At the same time they claim to be so holy. They hide behind a holy look; but it is a far cry from holiness. It is just a shell they hide in. When we wrote what we did and sent that letter out as a rebuke to it, and it was sent right to Springfield Missouri, right to their headquarters; but do you think we ever heard one peep out of them? Not one peep came from them. I thought to myself, Surely the headquarters of that system ought to say something; but not one word came from them. If they had anything to say, I sure never heard anything about it. You just simply cannot allow people like that to worry you: They have no revelation themselves, or they would rejoice over what God has seen fit to do for this generation instead of finding fault with those God has used. I am thankful in my heart, that God spoke to that little man down there at the river in 1933, when he was baptizing some believers. From 1933 to 1965, we can say this, Everything that is essential to the restoration of the apostolic faith was delivered to this generation: including the revelation of six seals that was brought in March and April 1963. All those things lay right there in what we can accurately say is the message he brought. If we have the Holy Spirit leading us, and teaching us, then we can get from his message the essence of all the truth that will put us right back within the framework of what the apostle Paul taught. In 1963, when the seals messages were preached, we only received the revelation of the first six; even though there were some comments made concerning the seventh. The seventh seal is yet to be opened; so until this day, no man knows exactly what it will reveal. There are also seven thunders yet to be sounded: which we find recorded in the 10th chapter of the book of Revelation. The movement as a whole has the idea that since the day god took His prophet, God has not revealed one single thing that is essential to the Church, the body of Christ. They cannot see how God could possibly reveal anything to anyone else that would be essential to the bride Church in preparing her for the coming of the Lord. They look at you and I as if we are a bunch of shoots: out here trying to do or say something that we know nothing about; and they really believe that we are actually against what the prophet taught. That is as far from being the truth as anything could possibly be. That is one thing we have done our best, for the past twenty nine years since his death, to convince people that we not only believe what he was sent for, we are completely convinced that it is essential for every end time believer to believe the message he brought to us. We are not out here preaching him, like so many of them are: We just preach the revelation he brought to us. I do not want anyone to believe that I go around preaching Bro. William Branham; but there are times when we are challenged; and the things we are standing for are contested; and when that happens, we give credit where credit is due. I am always ready to tell anyone whose teaching put me on the right track when I was still a Methodist preacher; and give the basis for why I preach what I preach. I can preach the true revelation of the scriptures without having to say, Brother Branham said, Thus and so every breath I take. I can do that; and still honor that little prophet whose message put us back in the Bible; and caused us to realize the importance of returning to the faith of our spiritual fathers, those first century apostles of Christ. I believe there are quite a few true witnesses of what that prophet brought to this Age; and I consider myself to be one of them; but we have to be aware also, that there are ever so many more false witnesses of what his true message and purpose was. That is why I want us to look in the scriptures and ask ourselves what we have learned in the last 29 years since the death of that prophet messenger. In the movement as a whole, (This is the only way I know to identify those quoters who are void of the true revelation they speak of) they take these outstanding quotes from Bro. William Branham’s messages and are content just to say what the tape says and not one word more. They say they are living on stored up food; but I say they are living in fantasy land; and they will never grow one inch more spiritually, as long as they continue in their present trend. When Bro. William Branham was taken off the scene, the movement as a whole was left you might say, standing before God; and in the minds of many of them were shocked feelings. They never anticipated such a thing. They never figured God would do such a thing, take His prophet to glory and leave them without a crutch to lean on. In many of the things he had preached, were things they still had questions in their mind’s about. For instance, on the subject of serpent seed there were dual statements made. While he was alive, he had never taken any of those statements and clarified them strictly by the scriptures to a finished conclusion. Therefore the world over today, as they read, and as they listen to the tapes, they take each statement just exactly the way he spoke it: no matter what he may have said about it at another time. I realize that people who have never heard anything along the lines of serpent seed in connection with Cain and his line of descendants may hear what he said and say, He was just a dirty old man; or that I am, because I also teach the same revelation. Well I am no dirtier than some of these teachers out here in our public school system that are teaching eight, nine and ten year old kids about sex. The denominational world, doctors of divinity, challenge the overall teachings of Bro. William Branham: because they say that his teaching of serpent seed is out of the pit of hell. I will just have to look any doctor of divinity in the face and say, Then you use the scriptures and tear down what we teach. They think the Garden of Eden, which was a place somewhere in Eden, was a little geographical spot with a wrought iron fence around it. That is not so. The boundaries of the Garden of Eden were between the Nile and the Euphrates, and between the Mediterranean Sea, which did not exist at that time, and a dried up desert bed, Havilah, which runs parallel across Saudi Arabia. Those are the boundaries of Eden, as laid out in the book of Genesis. When God planted a garden eastward in Eden, keep in mind He did not come down through there with a knapsack around His neck, with seeds in it, going along with a hoe, planting plant life. The seeds of plant life were already there in the ground from some other creation. A creation that existed in prehistoric times. That brings it right in to what Bro. William Branham said when he was challenged one time about believing the creation story, that God made this in six days. You see that in the seals book. That is the only statement Bro. William Branham ever made that would give you any indication that he believed this world had been here a long time before six thousand years ago. It all bears out in the Bible though. When we look at this garden, you have to realize, as you come to the end of the Bible, paradise is what it was, because it was a little bit of heaven placed in a little spot on earth. It is where God placed a little bit of Himself and a little bit of heaven and the spirit world, the angels, and everything that is in the spiritual environment, was right there to begin God’s new plan in this era of time that you and I live in. Yes all the plant life trees grew out of the ground; but the garden, God placed there, because it was a spiritual environment. The two trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, were not plant life trees that grew up out of the ground: They stood in the midst of the garden. The serpent creature, which was the highest form of animal life, definitely was not a snake: He was a two legged creature that walked upright like man, talked like man; and was capable of carrying on a conversation with Eve. The very fact that he talked to Eve, lets you know he had to have a vocal box. He was not a gorilla, nor an ape: He was a two legged creature that stood upright like Adam. When the Bible said he was the most subtil, it meant he was the most intelligent, the smartest and most cunning of all the other creatures. Therefore when the devil used this creature to entice Eve to eat of this fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it is just like these ornery teachers in our colleges today, if you will pardon my language, they are more ornery than that serpent was. When they will stand before a teenage audience of students and make some of these gestures about sex, to me that says they are being used the same way Satan used the serpent. Some of our colleges have even been known to introduce teachers who want to introduce oral sex and all that kind of garbage. All of that kind of behavior in the world today, is what the devil had in mind when he persuaded the serpent to seduce Eve, that sinless daughter of God. To those people who will always say, Oh that idea of the serpent seducing Eve cannot possibly be right: I just have to say, Well when you get over to the 6th chapter of Genesis, What do you have to say about that? When that Cainite line began to multiply over in the land of Nod, and daughters were born to them, after awhile the sons of God that were still on the Eden side, began to notice those daughters of men, So tell me, How comes the sons of God are Seth’s line, and the daughters of men, of necessity, have to be of the line of Cain? Why did the genealogy chapter separate them? It lets you know there is a genetic cause for that problem there somewhere. It did not come from the loins of Adam in that respect. You see in Genesis 6, that the sons of God, (which were Seth’s line) began to look upon those daughters of men, (which had to be Cain’s line) and saw that they were fair. That did not mea they were white as a snow ball: it was the way they began to portray their appearance before those sons of God, just like they are doing in this day and hour. Look at the entertainment world today: how they use that same tactic. They can take a black girl, a white girl, a brown girl, or a red girl, it does not matter what they are; because when they get through dressing them up and putting all that gunk on their face, and teach them how to present themselves, it is all for one purpose, to sell their body to the entertainment world. Is that not right? That is all it is for. Therefore what you see out here in the world today, the seed of it all came from way back there before the flood of Noah’s day. You can get angry and climb the wall if you must; but the day is coming that will vindicate what I am saying to you. God’s word is going to have the final say so about everything. That is why I say, Regardless of what anyone may believe or think, and no matter how much anyone may think Bro. William Branham left undone, by the time he departed this life he had presented a profile of everything that is essential to the faith that you and I are going to, sooner or later, have established in us, if we truly are seed of God. Some people have said, Do you preach serpent seed for salvation? Absolutely not. Why do you preach it then? To show you why you and I need to be saved in the first place. I needed to be saved, but not because Adam and Eve ate apples from a plant life tree. Let us be honest with ourselves and look at the picture clearly. It all started with their disobedience in the garden. It became an imputed genetic trait. That is why every man or woman that has been born of woman since that time, has been born in sin. It means their nature is to be against God, stubborn and rebellious. You may say, I just simply do not see it; but that does not change the fact of why the scripture says, None seeketh after God, no not one. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The prettiest baby ever born and held in a mother’s arms, in its most innocent state, still has that attribute of sin in its makeup. Just let it get 12 or 13 years old, and you will begin to see the devil’s ways pop out on certain occasions. It is that nature that is inbred in there from birth. It has passed from father to son, from mother to daughter and so forth, down the line, all the way from Noah’s hour. It is all because the devil, through the serpent, did something to bring that defilement upon God’s innocent and sinless son and daughter. Then when God came into the garden to have fellowship with them in the cool of the day, they hid from Him because they were aware of what they had done. They tried to hide behind plant life. They had taken fig leaves, plant life, and made aprons, and what did they cover? Did they cover their mouth’s? If their only sin was eating from a plant life tree, they should have covered their mouths. Therefore when these doctors of divinity want to dispute what we teach about this, challenge them. Why did they cover their reproductive organs, instead of their mouth? Ask them: They will have no answer. Here stood Adam before the Lord. The Lord said to Adam, What hast thou done? Hast thou eaten of the forbidden fruit that I commanded thee not to eat of? Adam passed the buck to Eve, and she passed it to the serpent. When the Lord looked at the serpent He said to him, (Genesis 3:14-16) “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shall thou eat all the days of thy life: (15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Then notice what He said to Eve.) (16) Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Up there he stood: right next to Adam and Eve in physical form and recognition; but God stripped him of his arms and legs and made him into a crawling reptile. He was that creature that modern evolutionists and archaeologists are looking for even yet today, the link between the baboon or the ape and you and me. There he is; but they will never find him because they refuse to acknowledge the accuracy of the only record that tells where that animal they are looking for went to. When God cursed him, where did He put him? He did not make a wooly worm out of him. No. He put him out there in the reptile family: all the way at the end of the line of His animal creation. Keep in mind there are a lot of reptiles; but only one particular line of them are descendants of that crawling serpent God placed the curse upon. That was his curse: he had to crawl and lick dust from that day onward. When God placed the serpent being, which looked like man, and talked like man, back there, He just added one more creature to the reptile family. There, is where he is yet today. How do you get that Bro. Jackson? You can read it in Isaiah 65. It tell you, that in the Millennium, dust will still be the serpent’s meat. Not all snakes are serpents. However we do call them serpents. Now, let me try to move on: I just felt that we needed to get this in right here.