Redemption Revealed – II
Hebrews 12:3-8, "Consider Jesus Who patiently endured such hostile contradiction of sinners against His innocent life lest you become wearied and despondent and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted sin to the point of pouring out your own blood.
Have you forgotten the Divine exhortation and encouragement which appealed to you as sons? My son, don't think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of God, nor be discouraged when you're reproved by Him (Proverbs 3:11): for the Lord corrects and disciplines all He loves; He chastens, even scourges, every son whom He recognizes, [adopts or places] as a son.
You must endure chastening for discipline, God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whose father does not so train and correct? But if you're exempt from chastisement, and without the discipline in which all of God's children partake, then you are bastards, and cannot qualify to be born-again [or placed] as sons."
Ephesians 4:15, "Let our lives lovingly express the truth in all things. So let us grow up into Him in all things, Who is the Head of the Body, the Church, even Christ."
In this service, we'll discuss election and predestination by the foreknowledge of God in the redemption of Abraham's faith seed. As our introductory texts explain, wisdom or character aren't natural endowments but virtues we earn on earth by the exercise of our own free moral agency, basing all of our choices upon the Absolute of God's unchanging Word.
Many of God's children, and I speak from personal experience, seem to major in the mistakes they make. That's alright, our Father's a God of Grace. Our Brother Jesus has experienced greater temptation and more pitfalls than we are likely to encounter, and He made a way of escape for us. But we are expected to learn.
We've been placed on an incentive scheme. If we do well, we please our Father and receive a pat on the back. When we fail, He will chasten us with a view to our correction. He's not a jokey God of frolic. He's a sober God fulfilling a Divine purpose. That is, to raise a Family of "little gods" in His image and likeness. For us to be recognized in His Family we must be under pre-eminence to His Word, which is to have His mind in us.
God is waiting for us to grow-up into the likeness of His first born Son, the beginner of the new creation of Himself in His Family. The saints who've gone before us are waiting upon us to grow-up and mature. The whole creation is groaning in the pain of mortality as they wait for you and I to grow into the stature of mature sons able to be trusted with God's Word, and see Him do what we say.
In this service I will be reading a number of quotations from the expositions of the prophet of Malachi 4:5-6 and Revelation 10:7, the late William Branham. (Transcripts of his sermons are on-line at http://www.branham.org; and printed books are available in many languages from Voice of God Publications, PO Box 950 Jeffersonville, Indiana USA 47131).
"When a baby is conceived in the mother's womb, it's just flesh and blood, jumping, quivering. And although you don't see it, there's a [mortal] spirit and soul hanging near that mother to come into baby as soon as it's born. God has created a soul and a spirit to be in that baby just as soon as it comes into this world. That little baby becomes matured, and it begins to learn; then it becomes a living soul and it knows what's right and wrong. [This is the age of accountability]. Then it's got, just like Adam and Eve, set before a tree of right and wrong [the Tree of Life or Christ, and the Tree of carnal knowledge or Lucifer]. It makes its choice. And then it becomes intelligent [having made the right choice]. It's growing all the time in God's great economy.
Finally it comes down to the end of the road, for this physical body. And just as this body is deteriorating and going away, there is one being prepared to receive it. Just as soon as it leaves here, this soul that's in us now and this spirit leaves this body and goes to another, a young one, a good one, a better one, one that won't get old; one that won't pass away" (The Comforter, 8:52-53).
Your mortal spirit breaks up when you die, but your soul goes on to its destination as determined by the choices it made during its journey here on earth (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Before the foundation of the world, God knew the choices it would make. And according to His foreknowledge, each one of us is predestinated to eternal Life or to damnation.
I Peter 1:2-4, says that we elect of God were "chosen according to His foreknowledge of our sanctification by the Spirit, to obey His Word and be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ, signifying our sealing into His Body (Hebrews 9), with grace and increasing tranquillity under all circumstances."
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By His boundless mercy we've been born-again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance beyond the reach of change and decay, undefiled and unfading, [that's a resurrection to glorified flesh] reserved in heaven for you."
It's this foreknowledge of our glorified appearance God sees. Paul spoke of this in Romans 8:28-30. Moses explained it briefly in Genesis 1:27. God doesn't see His elect defiled in sin, mired with the world, sickness or old age. He sees us under the Blood, or in Christ. He's not in time. He sees our glorified form. In His mind, we are finished and glorified Sons and daughters now.
God's thoughts are what He is. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). We are what we think. His mind is Spirit; it is the attributes of Himself. So when he looks at His finished family, He sees our angels or theophany bodies, the appearance of our glorified form. They're like the negative of a film which has yet to be developed.
When a mother gives birth, that spirit which God foresaw becomes a manifested soul, coated with flesh, and immersed in the developing solution of His Word in this world, to put on His image which is a Christ-like character under all circumstances.
This demonstrates the importance of recognizing our day and its Message, because our lives are acting-out the understanding in our soul. The Lutherans are trying to live Martin Luther's Message and it won't work today. Methodists are trying to act-out what John Wesley taught, the Baptists are impersonating John Spurgeon, and the Pentecostals are impersonating William Branham. They are all souls imprisoned by their own mind set into a day gone by. And they'll perish in the upcoming tribulation because of this sin. We must walk in the Light Jesus is fulfilling NOW, not impersonate the glare of a day gone by.
Look at Judah. They were carried away captive into Babylon because they tried to impersonate the nations of the world. And the church lives just the same as the world. Dresses like the world, worships like the world, thinks and acts like it, yet claims it's called out of the world. Their life proves they are not God's Church as Judah proved he was not separated from the nations.
In our earthly walk, we're influenced either by the Force of Light or the forces of darkness. On one side God is incarnating Himself into His Church by a trinity of justification, sanctification, and the baptism with of the Holy Ghost. On the other side, Satan is incarnating himself into his church, by a trinity of the spirit of the Dragon, the beast and the false prophet.
There are seven dimensions:
Just below the realm of mortal life are the souls of the unjust in Hades, (Heb.) Sheol, the place of the grave and the unjust awaiting the General Resurrection and White Throne Judgment. Under the altar of sacrifice as it were. They only know folly and what they did. The Lord Jesus preached to the souls who were imprisoned in I Peter 3:9, and we are preaching to souls that are imprisoned now. Next is Tartarus, (Heb.) Gehenna, the realm of demon power and the domain of Satan which will one day be "cast into the lake of Fire."
Going up, above kitchenware, furniture, electrical appliances and the dimensions we mortals can contact with our ten senses: length, breadth and time, we have the Holy Spirit. Next are the souls of the saints under the Altar of incense. Above them is God Himself. (All this can be typed to the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place, the outer court of the Temple, and the place of removal without the city. God is of course in the Most Holy Place within the veil, which is our Lord Jesus Christ prefigured by the Ark of the Covenant. The Entombment, 65:77-86; Demonology, 71:191-198).
Brother Branham said, "You can't be here a spiritual being [soul], sinner or saint, without having an influence from the underworld or from the Above world. If you're influenced from here, you're from Above. Your celestial body is waiting up here. But if you're wicked, and hypocritical, and indifferent, your celestial body is down here, regardless of how much you think it's up there; because the fruit that you bear before people proves where you're from. So you are here what you are somewhere else. Your life that you live here is just reflecting what your inheritance is when you leave here. Do you understand?" (COD, 111:37).
"Those whom He justified, He also glorified. And do you realize that our glorified, immortal body is waiting in the Presence of Jesus Christ right now, waiting for us to come?"
"As soon as that natural body is being formed in the mother, there is a spiritual body [a soul] waiting to receive it as soon as that baby's born . . . And just as sure as this spiritual body is being born [again], there is a natural body [or theophany] waiting to receive it as soon as it goes out of this world" (COD, 112:41, 43).
Your soul is the theophany of your being . . . if you're born-again (The Entombment, 65:77). A theophany is a visible manifestation of God. When Brother Branham was asked to explain about each person's angel who abides with them from birth, he said, "It isn't promised that sinners have Angels; it's only the redeemed have Angels. Did you know that? The Angels of the Lord encamp about those that fear Him (Psalm 34:7).
Now, Angels are messengers. I want you to notice It's so perfect, and it'll prove predestination to you. See?
The angel of the Lord is a messenger from the Lord, and the Lord Himself is that Person, not the [human] person of the angel, [but] the angel from the Lord. Let me show you. Earthly speaking here's an angel from the Lord [says Brother Branham, pointing to a saint in the congregation, and pointing to another]. Earthly speaking here's an angel from the Lord. Earthly speaking here's the angel from the Lord. [He points to another saint in Church]. How do we know then that they are angels from the Lord? When they bring the Word of the Lord . . .
Then there is a supernatural Angel comes down from the Lord, a Messenger like Gabriel, and Michael." (COD, 1155:51-53, 64-65).
"Just think, your glorified body's right here at the Tabernacle now, the Presence of the Holy Spirit which is your glorified condition. You're glorified in Christ right now. "Those who He justified, He glorified." And your own glorified body is standing near you right now in Christ Jesus to give to you a strength like a charge going into a battery. The Holy Spirit's in you. It's to charge your body to give you new strength, to heal you from the sickness that you've got, to make you well" (COD 102:264).
When we're born into this world, our mortal spirit, although it's from God, it is not of God. It's a spirit of nature, a spirit of the world. And the god of this world is Satan.
We're a by-product of the original creation, Adam. The first Adam was of the earth, earthy. That's why we must be reborn from Above. Our mortal life came by the sexual conception of our parents, and it can't live forever. Our soul was born asleep as if dead. It was certainly dead in sin and trespasses as we grew up, and had to be awakened or quickened to Life. So we must be born-again.
Remember the story of the ten virgins in the end-time? Matthew 25:5 says, "While the Bridegroom [Christ] tarried in mediation for the last saint predestinated to be redeemed in the Laodicean Age, those souls who would be the wise and foolish virgin in the end time slumbered and slept." In other words their souls were dead in sin and trespasses, and only the "Shout" of the prophet of Matthew 25:6, Malachi 4:5, 6b, Revelation 10:7; 18:4 and I Thessalonians 4:16 could quicken them to Life we call the new birth in this day.
The only thing that can give the new birth in any age is the Word, Message or portion of Spirit predestinated to that Age. There was a different portion of God's Word predestinated to each age. God's Word is His Spirit in a form we can receive by faith. And unless our lives are reflecting the Light He is manifesting now, we are not and cannot come under the blood, which is the new birth (I John 1:7).
When we're born-again, the nature of the world that has ruled over our soul, dies, and we become a new creation. Our desires, [that old life that began when God breathed into your nostrils at your first birth], that life of carnal nature, died. It had a beginning and it had an end. It died and the old nature was done away forever. And God came in with the new nature. Then love, joy, peace, long- suffering, gentleness, peace, patience, meekness and kindness entered, and took the place of malice, temper, hatred, emulation, and strife when you passed from death unto Life.
The Spiritual birth is like the natural birth, we're born Spirit babes in Christ and grow to maturity as we become more experienced and seasoned in the faith. Ephesians 4:11-15 says, God placed five different ministries in the Church to bring the saints to maturity for the working of the ministry—not the pulpit ministry—but for edifying the body of Christ, and to shine the Light so others may see and be born-again. We each have to grow to maturity.
Now the five-fold ministry will be in the Body until we all mature into the unity of the faith, growing into the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a finished, mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
Born-again Christians grow-up into the stature of Christ as they live, developing as a baby takes form and begins to grow, from the moment our soul is quickened until it manifests the glorified form of the angel God foresaw. Day by day, year by year, as they feed their souls upon "the present Truth" and exercise themselves in the faith, they grow to the full stature of Christ. We're chastened by our heavenly Father as Jesus was trained by Joseph and Mary, and He also had to grow from a Spirit babe to maturity.
We learned from the first two chapters of Hebrews that if we are born-again, God is our Father, and Jesus is our Brother. The only difference between Jesus and any of the New Testament saints is that He is the firstborn Son in the new creation. That He was born of a virgin, lived without sin, that He was the Word before He was flesh, and in Jesus dwelt the fullness of the nature and character of God whereas we manifest but a portion.
The Logos appeared to men in the theophany of a Pillar of Fire, or Cloud. Abraham saw It as Melchisedec, paid tithes and was served communion. Other saw It as the Archangel Michael. Moses saw It in the burning bush and as the Angel of the Covenant. Finally It was manifest in the mortal flesh of Jesus to be our Kinsman Redeemer.
Jesus was the Word manifested in theophany before He was flesh. In the form of theophany He knew all things. In the form of virgin-born flesh before His resurrection, He did not know all things (Matthew 24:36). We have not yet entered into our Word-form or theophany body. We're still developing the negative of our soul into the image God sees in His mind.
Like Adam, we came from the Attribute to flesh, so that our souls could be tested by Satan and vindicated as God's Attribute. Paul explained this in our opening Scripture. But when we have overcome and been recognized as Sons, . . . "If this earthly tabernacle be dissolved, we have one already waiting." We go to our theophany or Angel body, the image of our glorified form. In that Word body we can look back and see life's journey. We don't understand it now, we haven't yet become the Word. We've just become the flesh-man.
If you're following what I'm teaching, you'll see we'll never be the Word unless we were a thought at the beginning. This proves the predestination of God. You can't be the Word unless you were a thought. You had to be in His thinking first, and foreknown as an overcomer. That's how your name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life from the foundation of the World. That Book is Christ, the Logos. It's the record of His Offspring, Abraham's promised Seed.
You bypassed your theophany and came directly from the Attribute down here in flesh to be tempted by sin. When Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, his wife and all of his posterity was in him then as we were in Christ (Psalm 139:13-16). And through God's law of reproduction we were all born in due time, after the desire of our parents, not as individual creations of God—which is our second birth, and we were placed on the same basis as Adam and Eve—free moral agency.
God foreknew who would overcome the temptations of sin. And all He foreknew He's predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. Of the overcomers Paul said, "If this tabernacle of mortal flesh be dissolved, we have one already waiting." Jesus said, "All the Father has given Me will come to Me, and I'll raise him up at the last day" in a glorified body.
But you had to be in His thinking first, foreknown as becoming the image of God's Word for your day by laying aside your free will to fulfil that Word.
When we receive the Spirit of God, the Immortal Life inside of us brings this body under subjection to the Word (Romans 8:11). "He that's born of God does not commit sin" (I John 3:9). He cannot disbelieve God's revealed Word.
Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Obedience to the revealed Word of God, faith, brings your body subject. You won't say, "If I could only stop drinking." Just get into Christ, and those desires will be gone. Because your body is now subject to the Spirit, it's no more subject to the things of the world. They are dead; your sins are buried in baptism. You're a new creation in Christ. And your body's becoming subject to the Spirit, to live the right kind of life.
The Spirit is nothing but His foreknowledge of you coming to pass in you. This seed Word (or thought) in His mind of your glorified form, is now being made manifest, because your soul has been made alive or quickened. And when the Bible said, "Don't do this," that body quickly obeys; there's no question. It's your earnest of the resurrection. The guarantee your body will be raised again. It's already started. It was once subject to sin, doubt and corruption. Now it has the earnest, it's turned heavenly. This is the earnest that you're in the rapture.
When you see the Word for your day coming to pass in your Life you know you're a Son of God and a part of the first resurrection. And your life's an epistle of "the present Truth, read and known by all men.
Our corruptible body is now subject to the Spirit in our soul, and our life is being brought into conformity with the image of His Word as we feed upon It by faith. For since the veil of blindness has been removed from our understanding it becomes apparent that our lives are reflecting the Life of Christ as we grow into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:18). And as our character and behaviour more closely reflect His, Who died for us, our soul is growing into that image of our glorified body in His mind.
Death in the flesh took the Church Age saints to their angel or Word form Body. But I do not believe that the saints born into the Body of Christ since the revelation of the Seven Seals can die in the flesh. The saints from Pentecost through the Seven Church Ages were born of part-Word through Christ's mediation for their errors or ignorance. They enter the Presence through a door called death or the grave. Christ's end-time Bride is born of the fullness of the Word and have no need of a Mediator. We are predestinated for the new wave offering of the Holy Spirit in the finished product of the Wheat harvest, bread baked with leaven. Paul calls this new wave offering "the manifestation of the Sons of God." The Holy Spirit is waved in the Bride after the close of the Gentile dispensation while the sleeping saints are being resurrected, or "harvested" in their glorified bodies.
Jesus is our type. His wave offering was not a public show because the dispensation of Law was over, and His ministry fulfilled with Israel's apostasy. He appeared only to those who believed in Him. Similarly our wave offering will not be a public display of the Supernatural. As the Holy Spirit was waved in Jesus after His resurrection, signifying acceptance of the Old Testament saints, and calling their resurrection (I Corinthians 15:20), His waving in us will awaken the New Testament saints. Leviticus calls us two loaves baked with leaven because we'll still be in sin-born bodies of corruption.
When Christ's end-time Bride manifest the Sons of God it will not be a public show of the power of the Spirit as God demonstrated in the ministry of His prophet, William Branham. The Gentile days of grace will be over. Nothing would be achieved if Jesus physically returned and explained all things with signs and wonders following because by this time there will not be another Gentile redeemed. Already, redemption is over. Besides, the world will be experiencing a time of such catastrophe that the wise and foolish virgin will be a hunted and persecuted little group.
The purpose of the manifestation of the Sons of God is to build up faith in the Bride for translating grace. When we speak the Word, God will fulfil It because we will be mature and in the unity of the faith, as Jesus prayed in John 17, "At one in agreement with Himself and the Father." We'll be under pre-eminence to the Word, just like Jesus, speaking only what He has inspired to us, and doing only what is shown by vision or dream (John 5:19).
And when the day of Pentecost has fully come, we'll break into the other dimension where the resurrected saints are. Seeing them will give us that extra boost in faith to change in the atoms from this corruptible body to glorified flesh body prepared for us from the foundation of the world.
Brother Branham told this little tale to illustrate life's journey for those predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. "Here we're formed to the Word image to be a partaker of the Word, being predestinated from the beginning. You see, that little spark of Life you had in you from the beginning when you started your journey . . . Many of you can remember it. You joined this church and joined that church, and tried this and that yet nothing satisfied. That's right! But one day you just recognized It. Right?
. . . I believe I've told the little story here about the man setting a hen and had a eagle egg under it. And when that eagle hatched out, he was the funniest looking bird that them chickens ever seen. But he walked around; he was the ugly one among them, because he just couldn't understand how that hen will cluck and scratch on that manure pile and eat, and he couldn't get the idea. She'd say, "Come on over and feast, honey." Why, he was a eagle; he just didn't eat like that. It wasn't his food.
So she'd catch grasshoppers and what more, you know, and call the little chickens. And all them little chickens would go along, cluck along, and eat. But the little eagle just couldn't do it. It didn't look right to him.
So one day his mammy came hunting him. And he'd hear that hen cluck. He'd tried his best to cluck, but he couldn't do it. He tried to cheep like a chicken, but he couldn't do it. See, he was an eagle. To start with he was an eagle. He was just hatched under a hen. That's like some church members. That's about the way it is; about one out of a setting is right.
But one day his mammy flew over and she screamed. He recognized it. "That sounded right." Why? He was an eagle to begin with. That's the way it is with the Gospel of the Word, the power of Jesus Christ; when a man has been predestinated to Eternal Life, he hears that true ring, scream of God, nothing can keep him from it. The church might say, "Days of miracles is past, cluck, cluck, cluck. Stand here and eat this, and stand here and eat that."
That barnyard stuff won't do for him anymore. He's gone. "All things are possible." He gets off the ground. That's what's the matter with so many Christians today; they can't get their feet off the ground. The old mammy said, "Son, jump; you're an eagle. Come up here where I am."
He said, "Mom, I never jumped in my life."
She said, "Well, you jump; you're eagle to begin with; you're not a chicken."
So he made his first jump and flopped his wings; didn't do too good, but he got off the ground. That's the way we do; we accept God by faith by the written Word. There's something in there (See?), that Eternal Life, you were predestinated to it.
His grandpa and grandma were eagles; he was a eagle all the way back. Eagle don't mix with other things. He's not a hybrid at all; he's a eagle.
Then after you recognize the very Word of God was Eagle Food, then you left the other thing. You've then been formed into the living image of the living God. You heard from your theophany. "If this earthly body be dissolved, we have one waiting."
You say, "Is that right, Brother Branham?" All right, let's take a couple of eagles and look at them for a few minutes.
There was a man named Moses. Everyone knows that a prophet's called the eagle in the Bible. There was a prophet named Moses. And one day God called Him and wouldn't let him go over the land and he died on a rock.
The Angels took him away and buried him. There was another man, a eagle, didn't even have to die. He just walked across Jordan, and God sent a chariot down and: "This robe of flesh he dropped and rise and caught the everlasting prize." Eight hundred years later, eight hundred years later on Mount Transfiguration here stood those two men. Moses' body had been rotten for hundreds of years, but here he was in such a form till even Peter, James, and John recognized him. Amen. "If this earthly tabernacle be dissolved..." If you're an attribute of God expressed here on earth, you've got a body waiting after you leave this world. There they was standing on Mount Transfiguration in their theophany, for they were prophets to whom the Word came to.
Also let us notice another prophet one time by the name of Samuel. He was a great man. He'd taught Israel, told them they shouldn't have a king. He said, "Have I ever said one thing to you in the Name of the Lord but what come to pass?"
They said, "No, everything you've always said in the Name of the Lord come to pass."
He was a prophet. And he died.
About three or four years later, the king got in trouble; that was before the Blood of Jesus Christ was ever shed. He was in paradise. And a witch of Endor called for somebody to come, console Saul. And when the witch saw him standing up, she said, "I see God raising up out of the earth." And after the man had been dead, buried, and rotted in the grave, here he was standing there in that cave with his prophet's robes on, and was still a prophet. Amen.
For he said, "Why did you call me out of my rest, seeing you've become a enemy to God?" Watch him prophesy. "Tomorrow night by this time you'll be with me." He was still a prophet, though he was gone from this body.
See, he had become here and was part of that Word, and he entered from the flesh life back into the body that had been prepared for him before the foundation of the world. He entered into the theophany which was the Word. You get it? That's where all believers go when we turn from here.
Then in that form the veil then is lifted. You see you are the Word also when you enter into there . . . Praise God for the opening of these Seals is my prayer, to know these things" (Who is this Melchisedec, 13:65-94).
So let us lay aside everything that might distract us from the Word and will of God, and rejoice when we are chastised, knowing it's a sign of His love. For it's later than we think.
I pray there has been something here to bless and help you grow in the faith of Jesus Christ. When you have the revelation, kindly forward this sermon to someone who loves the Lord. bb840408.htm