Word: The Logos and the Rhema
Based on the book by Alfred Raa Olson
"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee" (Job 42:5).
In I Corinthians 1:21 the Bible teaches "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." With the vocabulary of our speech we go forth proclaiming the Good News—"Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour." Those who have ears to hear what the Spirit has to say, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be saved.
The ministry of William Branham has gone forth in these closing hours of time just before Christ returns for the glorious millennium: this ministry was promised by our Lord Jesus Christ, to "finish the mystery of God" and "restore all things" for the Rapture of His Church. Jesus testified the vast majority of people always rejected God's prophets, or misinterpreted their Message. Those associated with the Message Brother Branham brought are no exception. They reiterate his words by quoting the "letter" of the Spoken Word books, as those in previous times quoted the letter of prophets before him, without understanding what the Spirit was saying through them. When matters of doctrine arise, instead of searching the Scriptures, as the Bible instructs (II Timothy 3:16), people typically respond "I'm going to stay with what the prophet said!" Few perceive the God he preached. Had they heard what he said, their hearts would have been restored to the faith of the Pentecostal fathers (Malachi 4:5-6), which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ laid out by the apostle Paul (I Corinthians 3:10-11), himself a prophet. And they would diligently search the Word to "prove all things . . ." (I Thessalonians 5:21).
Many believers of this last day Message, like those who claimed to follow Moses, Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul, Luther, or Wesley, are preoccupied with the words and speech of William Branham, in their zeal to be 'in the Message.' That they have lost sight of the foundation of our faith in the Scriptures, "which are able to make thee WISE unto salvation" (II Timothy 3:15). The baptism of the Holy Ghost, Christ dwelling in you in the Form of the Holy Spirit, is the Seal of God's promise He will return for you.
The evidence that you have received the Holy Spirit is "WISDOM" in the Word God promised for YOUR day, and seeing it manifesting in your life. For if the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells within you, it will quicken your mortal body to every Word in God's Bible by the Message for your day, as it did in the saints of previous Ages. For if Christ does dwell within you, you cannot deny what He wrote in His Gospel, the Scriptures. But these preachers have not had their hearts back to the truth in the Gospel of Christ. Instead, they repeat only words and speeches, not perceiving the Message of Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
William Branham said, "Like the Dutchman, take me for what I mean, not for what I say; one word contrary to the Bible is the kingdom of Satan." If your heart has been turned back to the truth of the Word, you will not just repeat his sayings, but compare them from Genesis to Revelation to discern consistent 'MEANING,' lest you "darken counsel by words without knowledge" (Job 38:2).
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Brother Branham taught God wrote three Bibles we know as "the Word."
The Gospel was first declared in the stars, a witness to the ancient world of our Lord's first Coming, the purpose for His suffering and to His Coming again. According to ancient astrologers, the Zodiac began with Virgo, the Virgin, and ended with Leo, the Lion. Our Lord Jesus Christ came born of a virgin and will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. This is but one of many examples which prove "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handywork" (Psalm 19:1).
When people meet me in Chicago, I often take them to visit the planetarium. Visitors to the planetarium sit in a circular auditorium in soft, cushioned chairs, which lay back so you can look up at the ceiling. The lights are turned off, and a machine in the center of the room projects images onto the ceiling, each representing a star or planet. A narrator explains what the sky looks like tonight. He can also show us how the heavens looked two thousand years ago, about the time that Christ was born. He can show you where each star will be tomorrow night, or ten years from now, or even a hundred years from now. Those who study the stars even know what the heavens will look a thousand years from now. God's unchanging Word the Holy Bible says the righteous shall shine as the stars. They declare God's predestination, nothing is hidden from Him. He knows the path our lives will take, for He's omniscient, knowing the very thoughts going through our minds, even the hairs on our head are numbered. God knows all of our tomorrows. By foreknowledge He knew I would be saying these things and chose me in Christ Jesus, writing my name in the Book of Life before time began (Revelation 17:8).
All nature is ruled by the heavenly bodies and testifies to the accuracy of God's Word. Throughout the Scriptures, situations in nature were used to illustrate God's ways. Jesus spoke of His impending death, saying, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
Jeremiah compared the man who trusts in the Lord to a tree: "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit" (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
Even the seasons give testimony: spring brings forth life; summer is youth; fall older age; and winter is death. But after winter, comes spring—the resurrection. Birth, life, death, resurrection—all nature is governed by the heavens.
The second Bible was built of stone by Enoch as a witness before the Flood. The Great Pyramid sits geographically in the center of the earth so the sun never casts a shadow around it and types Christ and His Bride. Notice how it is broad at the base and constantly narrows as it nears completion, like the elect Church which becomes increasingly in the minority as it nears the Capstone. The great pyramid and its unplaced capstone with the all-seeing eye of God is 'The Great Seal' of the United States and has never been used for sealing, and rarely for any other purpose, aside from its reproduction on the US one dollar bill. The pyramid is represented by thirteen rows of masonry, (thirteen is the number of woman), and above this, is the capstone surrounded by the Shekinah. The capstone has always been a mystery, like the "Seven Thunders" of Revelation 10, nothing has ever been revealed, and without it, the pyramid could not be finished. It speaks of another Stone, rejected, elect and precious—the Seven Sealed revelation of Jesus Christ—without which the Church cannot be made complete.
For the instruction of those who are wise, the Great Pyramid is a prophecy that the same Light which shone in the East, would be restored in the West, to Seal and complete that which He has begun: He is Alpha and Omega. Latin mottos above the Great Seal announce: "He has Favoured Our Undertakings" and under it, "A New Order of the Ages."
God wrote His third Bible on paper for the educational age and neither one contradicts the other. The Scriptures are often referred to as "the Word." We use various terms in referring to the Word. For example, we speak of the 'written Word;' the 'revealed Word,' the 'living Word;' and the 'restoration of the Word.' To some, this last reference to God's Word seems inappropriate, because restoration means, to "return to an original state of being," as one might reconstruct an historic building that was in decay. We know the Word of God is "the same yesterday, today, and forever;" that it can never change or pass away, but must manifest what was spoken in its designated season and time. Therefore it may be said, there can be no restoration of the Word, rather a restoration of understanding or faith in the Word. Instead of speaking about a restoration of the Word, we shall consider restoring the elect Church, back to the Word. The difference is one of semantics. Jesus referring to Malachi 4, said: "Elijah truly shall first come and restore all things" (Matthew 11:17). Peter said Jesus could not return the second time, "until the restoration of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began," so it is the Word which is to be restored (Acts 3:21). Not that the Word has failed, or that another gospel will be proclaimed. Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away [or change], but My words shall not pass away [i.e. change]." Man failed and changed, not God the Word. God miraculously preserved His Word intact through years of persecution. It is not the "letter," but the SENSE of the Word, or "faith," which was lost and required restoration.
The New Testament, as you know, was originally written in Greek. Now I don't know much Greek but I know a man who teaches Greek at a seminary near Chicago. Perhaps he thinks I'm a fanatic with my questions about the Greek New Testament, but he's always willing to see me and explain. I appreciate that. The Greek language is far more precise than English, with more words giving finer distinctions in meaning. Take for example, the word "love." Two Greek words: 'Agape' and 'Phileo' are both translated "love," however they have entirely different meanings. The Greek 'parousia' is a present participle meaning 'arrival and subsequent presence' is translated "come," as in the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; 'erchomai,' also means to come, go, or enter but is used only in the present and imperfect tenses. Debate and confusion often arise where two different Greek words are translated by one English word.
Looking up "word" in our concordance, two Greek words: 'Logos' and 'Rhema,' are translated "word." Rhema means word or words as utterance or speech. Let me illustrate from Scripture: "every idle Rhema [word or utterance] that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36). Brought before Pilate to answer accusations: "Jesus answered him to never a Rhema [word or utterance]; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly" (Matthew 27:14). In II Corinthians 12:4, Paul describes "How he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable Rhema, [words or utterance], which is not lawful for a man to utter." John 8:20: "These Rhema [words or utterance], spake Jesus in the treasury as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him for His hour was not yet come."
Logos is an expression of thought: a concept, an idea, the reasoning behind the Rhema. Galatians 5:14 says: "For all the Law is fulfilled in one Logos [concept, thought], even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." In John 5:24 Jesus says, "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth My Logos, [concept or thought], and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto Life." And in John 8:43, "Why do ye not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My Logos [concept or thought]."
This next example, found in the tenth chapter of Acts, is probably one of my favourites. There was a certain devout man in Caesarea called Cornelius, who feared God, but did not know the way of salvation. He gave alms to the poor and did good things but he was not born again, and he was a Gentile. An angel appeared to him one day and told him to send his servants to Joppa to find one Simon Peter and bring him back. So Cornelius sent his servants to Joppa. In the meantime Peter had seen a vision; a sheet came down from heaven "wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth . . . And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean: And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call thou not common" (Acts 10:12-15). Gentiles, you see, were considered to be unclean. As soon as the vision was over, there came a knock on the door, and it was the servants of Cornelius. They took Peter back to where Cornelius had gathered his whole household: his mother, father, sisters, brothers, slaves and servants, etc., to hear what Peter had to say.
Peter began to preach Christ unto them. And "While Peter yet spake these Rhema, [words or utterance], the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Logos [concept or thought]." I thought they ALL got the Holy Ghost. But it doesn't say that. They all heard his speech, his Rhema, the spoken words, but only those who caught the Logos, the concept or idea behind what he had said, received the Holy Ghost. Do you see the difference?
We can hear a man preach, listen to his tapes, and read books. We can all hear speech or read words, as Cornelius' household listened to Peter. But we've got to catch the Logos, or thought behind what is spoken or written. Many believers today are saying, "we'll say just what the prophet said, or quote the Scriptures." Beware! You can quote a prophet, the Bible, or any other book word-for-word, and still not say what the speaker or author has said. Let me quote a Scripture: When Jesus was brought before Pilate, the high priests wanted to find some reason for putting Him to death and needed an accusation to bring against Him, but could find no witnesses. At last, there came two false witnesses. One said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days'" (Matthew 26:61). The man had heard Jesus' speech, but did not catch the thought behind what Jesus had said. He wasn't talking about the Temple in Jerusalem: Jesus was talking about His own body—"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). This witness had heard Jesus Rhema but had not heard the Logos. Do you see the difference?
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, wanting to know the ways of the Lord. He was a Pharisee, yet he knew that Jesus was a man sent from God. Jesus told him, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Nicodemus did not understand: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus answered, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit" (John 3:4-6). Nicodemus heard the Rhema, the words Jesus spoke. But he didn't catch the thought or Logos behind what He had said. [Oh, I hope you're getting the Logos behind what I'm trying to share with you]. The Bible says, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith" (Revelation 2:7). ". . . for the letter [Rhema or Gramma] killeth, but the Spirit giveth Life" (II Corinthians 3:6). The Spirit has to reveal to you the thought or concept behind what is being said.
I went to college for a few years. Before I had graduated, however, I met my wife and we were married: I had to quit school and find a job to support us. I remember an incident in advanced math while I was still in college. One day the instructor wrote some equations on the blackboard—they were, I think, algebraic equations. Well, he explained the first one, and when he had finished, he turned around. There we were scratching our heads with blank expressions. He looked at us and said, "You didn't get it. Did you? You haven't been doing your homework, have you? I'll explain it again." So he went through the equation again and explained each portion of it. When he had finished, he turned around to find us still scratching our heads with blank looks on our faces. "You still didn't get it did you?" And he explained it one more time part-by-part. Suddenly, I caught the idea behind what he was saying: the thought or concept behind the equation. Now that's what we Christians need to do—make sure we have the thought behind what is being preached or written, as regards the things of the Lord.
Sometimes, I go to France to preach. Now I don't know French, and one day I was trying to talk with a Frenchman, and he spoke very little English. I was trying to explain something and the more I tried to make him understand what I was saying, the more confused he became. I was trying hand signals, anything I could think of to make him understand. After quite some time, when I was about to give up, his face suddenly changed; it was almost as if a light had come on: he caught my Logos—the thought behind what I had been saying.
Suppose each of us was a missionary preaching to sinners in different parts of the globe. In preaching to the unconverted church-goer, the best place to start bringing the plan of salvation is Acts 2:38. We have to show them who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and their need to repent of their sins and be baptized in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they might receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Now, one of us might go to Germany and be speaking in German. He may be using an illustration of some type to emphasise their need to repent, accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and be baptized in His NAME. Another on a Pacific island would employ different words and illustrations, and a language understood by those people. Another might serve in a third country and use different words, illustrations, and Scriptures. No matter how we went about it, each is presenting the concept in Acts 2:21-38. Like chicken: you can boil it, you can fry it, you can stew it, or you can grill it, no matter how you cook it, it's still chicken! The situation is much the same with us Christians as we learn the things of God. Whether we hear a preacher, listen to tapes or read Brother Branham's sermons, we must get the thought behind what is spoken or written. And we can't "say what the prophet said," unless we have the Logos behind what he was saying. Amen!
Theologians today are unsure what language Jesus actually spoke. For the moment let's presume He spoke Galilean, the language of the common people. After His death and resurrection, the apostles wrote what He said, as well as things that happened, and they wrote it in Greek. Twelve or fourteen hundred years later, it was translated into English. Not long ago, I was in Bangladesh preaching in English with an interpreter. Just imagine—from Galilean to Greek, from Greek to English, then into Bengali. It's a wonder anyone knows what original the story was. You can tell someone a story and let them pass it on. By the time it returns, it's often a different story altogether. But "God watches over His Word:" He watches over the Logos. Those in Bangladesh, who were predestinated, caught the same thought and as came forth when Jesus preached it two thousand years ago. Do you see that?
Years ago people used to debate the issue of water baptism. "Should we be baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost?" some asked. "No, we should be baptized in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ!" others said. They argued back and forth until they got the thought behind it—the Logos. "Lord Jesus Christ" IS the NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Without the Logos there was confusion.
Revelation 22:18-19 says we cannot add or take away one Word from Scripture—the "word" here is Logos. You cannot add a single thought, because the Bible is the complete revelation of Jesus Christ. You can add a Rhema or utterance: there are many words written in italics to indicate they are not in the original, and have been added to make grammatical sense. Words are sometimes added because there's no English equivalent. The Bible is God's thoughts, or Logos, expressed in writing (Rhema); and although the various translations use different words we cannot add one Logos. Unless the Holy Ghost reveals it personally, we can never get the Logos in the first place.
The Bible says, "All should be taught of God." Now you're either taught of God, or you're not taught at all. You can go to college or Bible school to learn many different things, but you cannot go to school to learn God. You either learn from Him or you don't know Him at all. I'd like to quote here from I Corinthians 2:9-16: "As is written, eye hath no seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ."
In other words, we don't know what another person is thinking. He can say one thing and think another. Only the spirit within the person knows what he is thinking. Likewise, no man can know what God thinks, but the Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God indwells you as the Holy Ghost, you have the mind of Christ, and you understand His thoughts.
I John 2:20, 27: "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." The unction is the Holy Ghost. "But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." Though a man preaches the Gospel, the Holy Ghost must take what was said and reveal the thought behind it. Do you see that? The revealed Word is the Logos, the concept made known unto you. Praise the Lord! That puts all preachers on the same level. God is neither helped nor hindered by our vocabulary, or eloquent speech. Paul said, "I came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God." Regardless of our words, God takes what is said, and reveals the thought behind them by His Spirit. Otherwise we could never hear it. We have got to get the Logos of God. We can receive nothing unless it is given from Above.
Our Lord Jesus prayed in John 17:21, "that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me." On the day of Pentecost that prayer was answered! God sent the Holy Ghost, Which is Himself, "and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:4), making the oneness between God and man! Jesus Christ comes into the believer, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, doing the same works as when He was yet with them.
Jesus said, "My sheep hear my Voice." Because those listening all heard His Rhema did not mean they were "His sheep." One day, Jesus said to His disciples, "Who do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." They all had different ideas who Jesus was. Then He said to them, "But who do YOU say that I am? Simon Peter answered, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replied, Blessed art thou Simon bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 16:13-17). No matter how well a man can preach, or express himself, Christ is building His Church on the rock of God revealing the Logos personally to you. Amen! We all hear different concepts and different ideas, but those who hear the Logos from God, hear the same thing. Amen! Paul asked, "Is Christ divided?" The Corinthians knew more than many in this day: He is NOT divided. By one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body. And if we are baptized into the Body and His Spirit dwells in us, we will hear His voice and be hearers and doers of His Word (James 1:22). Everyone with the Holy Ghost will hear [or understand] the same thing.
After Paul was converted on the Damascus Road, he didn't go to Jerusalem to confer with men, but spent three years in the desert where God could reveal His Word or Logos without human influence. When Paul met with the apostles in Jerusalem, they all had the same revelation. Those with ears to hear believe alike by the same Logos; there is one God, and everyone who has the Holy Ghost receives the same Logos or concept.
I am hearing among Christians today, a variety of "requirements" to be in the rapture. People say, "Brother Olson, we're trying to make the rapture. And I say, "Brother, the rapture cannot take place without me, because I'm sealed unto it."
God's one requirement to be in the rapture is that we are sealed with Holy Ghost. If we are sealed by the Holy Ghost, we are sealed unto the day of redemption. Only the elect can be born again. When we're sealed we're a finished work and He has to take you. Once we've been sealed, we obey His Word: not so we might be accepted—we are already accepted and we want to please Him. Law says if you do certain things, you will be accepted; Grace says because we are accepted, we desire to do the things which please Him.
Now you may disagree, but it seems many of these 'requirements' for making the rapture were without revelation—Rhema without Logos. The "rapture" is a revelation—the threefold PROCESS Paul described in I Thessalonians 4:16 bringing you into oneness or agreement with God by putting on the mind of Christ. It commenced in 1963 with the revelation of the Seven Seals—the perfect interpretation of the Word with divine vindication—bringing Christ back to earth in W_O_R_D form. "Since that which is Perfect [or complete, Christ the fullness of the Word] has come that which was in PART-Word [denominational creed and guesswork and Christ's mediation for ignorance] has been done away" (I Corinthians 13:10). The rapture is the separation described in Luke 17:22-36, II Thessalonians 2:1 and Revelation 18:4 calling us out of the world "into the unity of the faith" (Ephesians 4:13), for "the manifestation of the Sons of God" (Romans 8:19) and the translation (I Corinthians 15:50-55).
Faith is the separator—a clear understanding of the Word—knowing the Logos rather than learning the Rhema. The rapture is the second Coming of the Lord, we would all agree on that. The Greek word for "Coming" is 'parousia,' which refers to 'the arrival and subsequent Presence' of the Word as the Son of Man, NOT to His millennial Coming as Son of David. The second Coming is "as a thief in the night," so it is a mystery. It is also 'universal,' and clearly cannot be His second physical return when He returns as Son of David WITH the saints of all Ages for a thousand years of peace.
According to the Rhema, the 'parousia' or second Coming is the Logos of the FULNESS of the Word—Christ, incarnating His Bride by the baptism with the Holy Ghost, or new birth. Separating His people from the churches through faith in the FULNESS of the Word. Luke 17:34-37, "there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left: Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other one left. And the Disciples said unto Him, WHERE TO LORD? And Jesus said unto them. Wheresoever the Body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." He did NOT say, "To the Wedding Supper," did He? This is the rapture, NOT the translation, spiritually catching up the LIVING Bride in the revelation of the FULNESS of the Word, which brings Her into Oneness with the Word under preeminence for the manifestation of the sons of God.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost or new birth is Oneness with the Word: it is a revelation. The rapture is a revelation. If we are going to receive glorified bodies at the end of the Gentile dispensation, we've got to have 'rapturing faith.' Rapturing faith does not mean technically understanding how God manifests the saints in glorified flesh. Rapturing faith is simply a clear understanding in the Logos, not Rhema, of the end-time Message of Revelation 10:1-7 and Malachi 4:5-6. What is this? It is the faith of the apostolic fathers restored in this last day, plus the mystery of the Seven Church Ages and the Seals. This placed the Church in history and identified the true and false churches—the Church of God, and the churches of Satan. It shows what part of the Word is fulfilled already and therefore what part God is fulfilling in His elect today. 'Rapturing faith,' is oneness with the FULNESS of the Word. The revelation of the Seven Seals "finished the mystery of God" making our oneness with God possible without a mediator for ignorance.
People say, "You've got to have the resurrection power in you." Or "You've got to have perfect love. You've got to have the love of God, Agape love, in you." If the Logos of the Word God is fulfilling today, YOUR part of the Living Body Word of God is in you, His resurrection power is in you now. Paul spoke of it in Ephesians 1:3-17-20. 'Agape,' the love of God, is the new birth. The "love of God" is Jesus Christ, "the hope of glory" who enters into you by the spiritual marriage union of the Bride and Christ. What the Holy Spirit has joined together: "neither death, nor life, nor angels, or principalities, or powers, nor things present, or things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
Faith is a revelation. If you have a clear revelation of the present Truth and can see it coming to pass in your life that is the evidence of the new birth. The love of God is in you, and you are already in the rapture. You don't have to prove it to anyone: you can't, because they'd have to receive the Logos from God before they could understand. If the same Spirit which raised up Jesus Christ from the dead is dwelling in you, it will quicken your mortal body to every Word, and the Life of Christ will be on display.
If you're truly born again, there is not one thing you need do to be in the rapture, or Jesus Christ died in vain. Don't be provoked by carnal folk who challenge you to prove you have 'Agape' by fleshly comparison with the charitable works of the world church system. If after the first and second admonition they cannot receive the faith, just walk away from them, "if our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (II Corinthians 4:3).
Adolph Hitler once said, "If you repeat something often enough, people will believe it." He was right. The best way to paralyse faith is to let men persuade you you've got to get this, do that, or you'll never make it. The old Devil will always tell you what you lack, but he'll never tell you how to get it. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Men who imply you don't have it without proving their point in God's Word are sowing doubt.
Preaching in the negative destroys faith. Brother Branham talked about the time when the angel appeared to him and said, "If you can get the people to believe, nothing will stand in the way of your prayers." If ever you were in his meetings, you know he would testify to what the Lord has done. He would generate faith. The people saw and heard God do great and wonderful works. POSITIVE! They would think, "He's no respecter of persons, what he has for done others, surely He will do for me." He would then challenge their faith by saying, "I challenge you. If the Lord will reveal what your problem is, will you believe He will grant you the desire of your heart?" What can preachers do but challenge people to have faith in God? Christ is NOT divided. There might be differences of opinion; there might be groups which argue; there might be brethren who say, "We believe one way, and he believes another." But Christ is NOT divided. The elected will eventually believe the same thing, for His sheep hear His Logos.
I recall hearing a man preach years ago. He said something very good. He said, "Do you know what wisdom is? Wisdom's taking the mysterious and deep things of God and making them so simple a fool can understand them. Do you know what foolishness is?" He asked. "It's taking the simplicity of the Gospel and making it so complicated nobody knows what's being said."
I remember after Brother Branham had finished preaching the "Seals" and the "Church Ages," and all those different revelations. They were so plain and simple; we wondered how we'd missed them all these years. THAT WAS WISDOM!
On the other hand, let me tell you about a friend of mine who is a Doctor of Divinity. I hadn't seen him in years when he came to Chicago to preach, and I had the opportunity to hear him. Well, I want to tell you this man had one of the largest vocabularies I'd ever heard, with theological terms for every expression and situation. He is a gifted and eloquent speaker. After service all the people said, "Oh that was such a wonderful service. Wasn't it beautiful? Have you ever heard such wonderful speech?" But most had no idea what he'd been talking ABOUT, and were embarrassed to say, "I didn't get his point," because someone else might think they were not very spiritual. He took the simplicity of God's Word and presented it with such complex terminology, he caused confusion. THAT WAS FOOLISHNESS!
We see so many different interpretations of the Word. Even among those who listen to Brother Branham's tapes and read his sermons, there are different opinions as to what was actually said. Many are saying we have to agree, we've got to have unity. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, the Body of Christ unites when each individual member hears His voice through the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Those sealed with the Holy Ghost heard the Logos: they are "one" in the unity of the faith. In every Age the saints of God were baptized into the Body by coming to the unity of the faith or Logos for their Age.
Paul told the early churches "heresy" must come (I Corinthians 11:19). In Greek, heresy means 'sects.' Different groups and ideas MUST come so those who are approved of God might be made manifest. If you think it's bad now, wait: It will get worse. It has to be that way. However, the elect cannot be fooled: they have unity in the Word (Logos), and will not be confused by different ideas that come along! The non-elect are and will continue to be confused by those God has raised to bring confusion.
Think for a moment: if the Devil wanted to deceive you, what do you think he would do? If he told you to go and rob or swear, or commit adultery, you'd know right away that was Satan. But when the Devil comes, he's usually 99%—almost 100% right! What he says is mostly truth. In Matthew 16:6-12, Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Leaven is likened to corrupt doctrine; a little sin eventually affects the whole lump. It takes just a small amount; it would almost deceive the very elected, IF that were possible.
I hear so many people say, "Brother, are you in the Message?" And they all have different ideas what the 'Message' is. It's not whether you're in the Message, or the Message is in you—that isn't the point. The question is, "Are you in Christ?" If you're in Christ you have the baptism of the Holy Ghost; you've heard His Logos, which is the understanding of the Message. Do you see the difference? Many believe the Message and can quote it by page and paragraph. Only the elect can receive the Holy Ghost; they hear His voice and will not be confused.
We hear it said so often, "the evidence of the Holy Ghost is to receive the Word for THIS day." Not everyone who believes Brother Branham's preaching receives the Logos. One says, "I believe Brother Branham was a prophet. I believe the 'Church Age' Messages. I believe the 'Seals.' I believe the Cloud appeared; I believe all this." Then another brother says, "I believe Brother Branham was a prophet, I believe the 'Seven Church Ages' Message, I believe . . . etc., but I don't agree with the first brother. I see it this way." Somewhere another brother says, "Hold on, Brothers—I love you and all that, but you're both wrong. I believe Brother Branham was a prophet (remember the Devil believes too! He knows the Message better than you and I). I believe this, that and the other . . . But you're both wrong. This is the way it is . . . ."
Then people stop and say, "Wait a minute, who IS right? They're either all wrong, or one is right and the others are wrong. How do I know who's right and who's wrong?" And how do you know if what I am saying is right? You can't know unless the Lord shows you.
There are so many different ideas; so many have the Rhema without the Logos—the letter without the Spirit. Many were in Brother Branham's meetings, but only the elect heard it right. Brother Branham did not have a formal education. But although his grammar may have been limited, the elect heard God's Logos. God was not restricted by his choice of words. Education is an accumulation of knowledge without faith.
In America today there are men with only a few years of schooling, who head large corporations. It thrills me in this day of specialization and high tech, to see God chose an unlearned man to reveal His mystery of His Word This proves God does not require our intellectual accomplishments. Either we get it from Him, or we don't get it at all.
How do we know, then, who is right? How do we even know if Brother Branham preached the truth? "Well," you say, "there were signs and wonders." How do you KNOW there were signs and wonders? Were you there when that Cloud appeared? Did you see all those things happen? How do you know? You say, "The signs and wonders prove what he preached was truth." Many have signs and wonders—and not all preached the truth! Back in the sixties, it was Oral Roberts. Then, there was Kathryn Kuhlman. People would come into her services, just to see what she had to say, and they'd be healed. I knew a "Jesus Only" man who visited her service out of curiosity. He had a heart condition and the Lord healed him in her service, though he himself was not prayed for. Others had signs and wonders also. Signs and wonders are not proof Brother Branham preached the truth.
According to the Scriptures, Aaron had a breastplate, called the Urim and Thummim. The breastplate hung in the temple, its twelve stones are said to be the birthstones of the Patriarchs. If a man had a vision, a dream or a revelation, he would tell it before the Urim and Thummim. If it was of the Holy Ghost, a light or rainbow would flash, vindicating it as truth. However, if the light did not appear, it was wrong.
The Bible is our Urim and Thummim; every revelation is already within its pages. The Greek for "revelation" means to 'unveil' or 'uncover.' Brother Branham's Message is the 'revealed Word' which finished the mystery of God, veiled under symbols in the Apocalypse, or the Revelation of Jesus Christ, uncovering Jesus Christ, the Logos of God. The prophet simply preached the Logos veiled in the Rhema. Brother Branham proved each Seal by Matthew 24. They may have been hidden, but they were already there. As we listened to him preach those Seals, the same thing happened to us, as happened on the Emmaus road—the Lord drew nigh and opened our understanding. Beginning with Moses and the prophets, He drew back the veil and uncovered the Logos, just as "the Message" does. Amen! These things were always there.
And so you say, "What happened, Brother Olson? How come there are so many divisions—so many different concepts and ideas?" I'll tell you why. It is because some believers are making the Rhema of Brother Branham's Message their Urim and Thummim. Not comparing it with Scripture to find the Logos, they've veiled Jesus Christ once again, in the Rhema of the Message.
Only God's Word is infallible. 'Infallible' means something that can never fail. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away [or change] but My Logos shall not pass away [change]" (Matthew 24:35). Amen. We can only know the truth by applying the Word test, the Bible test.
We talk about "the Word." Do you know "the Word" is a Title? "Father" is a Title. A Title is a word that describes or identifies a person or thing. Son, Holy Ghost, I Am, Alpha and Omega, are all Titles. The Title itself is not God, but an Office which identifies certain attributes which reveal His nature. God was expressing Himself in Christ who is the whole concept, the Logos or idea of God, made flesh.
In the Scriptures, the Logos is likened to a seed: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (I Peter 1:23). "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit" (John 3:6). Therefore, until you have been born again of the Spirit, the seed of God is not in you: God is not your Father. Adam's seed and the serpent seed are both corruptible: the seed of God, which is the Word or Logos, is incorruptible. We are born again when we receive incorruptible seed, or Logos, through the spoken Word or Rhema, whereby God imparts His Life through faith in Jesus Christ, the Logos, and we put on a new nature.
James 1:21: "receive with meekness the engrafted [the Greek 'emphutos,' means 'implanted'] Logos which is able to save your souls." In other words through preaching the incorruptible seed, which is Christ, the seed of God is implanted in us through faith, and we are born again.
The Bible is God's thoughts (Logos) put in written form (Rhema). Everyone who's been born again is filled with the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of Christ expressing Himself through the believer by manifesting the Logos for his day. We act like Him and do as He would do, because the Holy Spirit expresses the nature of Christ through our faith.
The Bible says that in the last days there will be a famine—not for food or water, but for the hearing of the Word. In this day and age, the Gospel is being preached more than it was at any other point in history: Christian stations preach the Gospel over radio and television. It is recorded on cassette, and printed as literature. The famine, you see, is not for the preaching of the Rhema, but for hearing the Logos. You see the difference? Only the elected can hear His Logos, and because the non-elect are offended it cannot often be shared.
When you listen to Brother Branham or some preacher, you hear his Rhema. Jesus said, "Why do you not understand My speech [Rhema]? Even because you cannot hear My word [Logos]" (John 8:43). They all heard His Rhema, but we must have the Holy Ghost to understand the Logos. The Holy Ghost reveals to us the thought behind the words. Mark 16:19-20: "after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God [meaning absolute authority]. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Logos . . . [not Rhema] . . . with signs following."
The Lord confirms the Logos! He stands behind His Word.
We talk about vindication. We call Brother Branham a vindicated prophet. God confirmed the Gift He gave the man through the signs and wonders that followed him. In Ephesians 4:7-8: "But unto every one us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."
Now, the MAN is not the Gift. The OFFICE of the man is the Gift of Christ. When God vindicates His prophets, He is confirming to others the Office of prophet, or the Gift of Christ that is in the man. God did not vindicate the words of the man, William Branham. He vindicated His Own Words (Logos) expressed through the prophet.
How do we distinguish between Brother Branham's words, and the Word of the Lord? When a prophet pronounces something in the Name of the Lord, or says something is THUS SAITH THE LORD, he is saying the thought was not His own, but God expressing Himself through his lips. Our test, or Urim and Thummim is the Bible. Anything a genuine prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, must line up with the Bible, then it is THUS SAITH THE LORD. If what a man says does not line up with the BIBLE, it is just the words of the man. A genuine prophet will NEVER fail the Word test.
In his sermon, "He Cares, Do You Care?" on July 21, 1963, Brother Branham cautioned "be careful what you're listening to. See? There's so much of it that it's just the human side . . ." God uses human frailty to bring forth a divine Message, we must discern what the Spirit is saying (Logos) through the words (Rhema) of the man (". . . the human side . . .")
"The Word," or Jesus Christ in the Form of the Holy Ghost, comes to every believer, or he couldn't be a believer! That's what makes you one with the Word—a Word believer or Word Bride. But we receive it SECONDARILY, for "The Word is FIRST revealed to the prophet."
Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Before God can bring judgment or destruction, He reveals His counsel or plan to His prophets in advance as a warning to the people, providing an escape to those who hear and obey.
Brother Branham was a prophet, and he had open visions. Open vision is the sovereignty of God over which Brother Branham had no control. He waited on the angel to come and rest upon someone before God would give him a vision. Brother Branham said to me one time, "Brother Olson, I have to go by faith. I can go into a congregation and we'll have a healing meeting, I don't know if the angel will come or not. I have no control over it. HE has control over me. By faith I believe if I go in His Name, He'll be there." When he went in His Name the angel came, because God honoured His faith. God stands behind the Gift, not the man. When Brother Branham had a vision it was the sovereignty of God. He could say, "Your name is so-and-so, you live here, etc.," and it never failed, because it was the grace of God. Visions come under a certain anointing; preaching requires another anointing. They are two different operations or manifestations of the Holy Spirit. How many times after preaching, did we hear Brother Branham say, "I'm going from one anointing into another, and the people don't understand what that's like." Then he would wait for that change of anointing.
The Bible says Balaam was a prophet. Balak wanted him to curse Israel, but as a prophet of God, he could not do it! He got up to prophesy evil but he prophesied good, because the Gift or Office of prophecy was the sovereignty of God. He couldn't help himself! So in order to gain Balak's reward, He taught them error when he preached. Like modern preachers who know there is no such thing as a Trinity or baptism in three Titles, but for the sake of denominational reward, will twist the Rhema and cause the congregations to believe the lie. Don't claim Brother Olson said Brother Branham taught error—I'm using the example of Balaam to show you the difference between administrations. As a prophet, Balaam could not prophesy to curse Israel; but as a preacher he could teach contrary to the Word and bring the people into idolatry by departing from Exodus 34:14-16, ". . . thou shalt worship no other God etc." This illustrates that the gift of a prophet is a separate manifestation of the Spirit distinct from the operation of a Gift to teach. They are not the same thing. Balaam was a prophet; his prophetic Gift was the sovereignty of God over which he had no control.
When Brother Branham received a revelation, or Logos, it was up to him to faithfully preach what God had revealed. The same is true of your pastor; when the Lord reveals something, or uncovers the Logos, he's responsible to preach it. The Holy Ghost takes his words, and reveals the thought behind them. We must be careful not to look to the man but to the Gift of God in the man.
Brother, the Bride of Christ will not be deceived. She hears His Logos and knows how to apply the Urim and Thummim, or Word, proving everything that is preached from Genesis to Revelation, which is the complete revelation of Jesus Christ. If it's in the Word it was always there: we must not add one idea, thought, or concept to what lies within its pages.
The apostles were anointed of God. Paul was ordained of God to write the New Testament, and lay the foundation or basis upon which our faith rests. "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." It's already there and always has been. Through the Dark Ages the faithful were martyred and the faith was lost, but the foundation was always there. In the last days, God sent a messenger to restore us back to the original foundation. Malachi 4:5-6 says the spirit of Elijah would turn the heart of the children back to the faith of their Pentecostal fathers.
It says he'll "turn their HEARTS." In Greek as in Hebrew the word "heart" signifies the seat of intellect—the mind, purpose, intention, knowledge, understanding and insight of a person. We read, "out of the abundance of the heart" (Matthew 12:34); "to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . ." (Mark 12:30); "Why reason ye in your hearts?" (Mark 2:8); "Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts" (as the Holy Ghost did though Brother Branham, Luke 9:47). In Luke 21:14 it says, "Bear it, therefore, in your heart for a purpose . . ." Luke 24:38 says, "Why do thoughts arise in your heart?" You see? The heart is the intellect, your mind. That's the real you. Malachi 4 is to RESTORE our understanding or knowledge, to agreement with the faith of the Pentecostal fathers. After Brother Branham had finished preaching, I looked up my Bible and knew what Paul had been talking about, I knew what Peter had been saying, and what John meant, because I was turned back in my understanding and intellect to the faith of the apostolic fathers.
Now brother, if you've never been turned back in your heart, no matter how well you know the Message and profess to believe, you've missed it. We must have the same faith they had in the beginning. Paul said, "If our Gospel be hid, it is hid from those who are lost"—"other foundation can no man lay." It was already there when Brother Branham came. God's messenger was not sent to deliver a new gospel, but to RESTORE our faith to the original foundation laid in the early church.
It says in the last days there will come a great falling away, people will not endure sound doctrine, and shall turn away from the truth and be turned to fables. "The last days" is the Messianic Age of redemption and completion; it runs from Pentecost to the consummation. We live in the end of the last days, Laodicea and the world church system having ended in apostasy in 1963.
There was no apostasy during the Dark Ages. Churches did not meekly accept dogma; the saints were faithful unto death at the hands of Rome. In order for you to apostatize you must have something to fall away from. Lutherans could not apostatize in their Age, they weren't restored back. Methodists couldn't fall away in their Age, they were not restored. But at the end of the Pentecostal Age, God sent a prophet and "finished the mystery of God," to restore His people back to the faith of the fathers. They did run well, but the Pentecostal denominations and those of other Ages, all rejected the messenger and His Message, fulfilling Revelation 3:20; the Gentile churches end in apostasy.
The "falling away" or apostasy could not take place until first the faith was restored back to its original foundation. God permits it, all who will fall away, will fall away. It's also happening today in "Message" circles. Only those with the Seal of God will remain steadfast. With the Holy Ghost you will believe the Word, and it will hold you. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The Message is, "Come out of Babylon and be filled with the Spirit!" Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
There is only ONE Message. I John 1:5: "This then is the MESSAGE which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is LIGHT, and in Him is no darkness at all." The Message is Spiritual LIGHT, faith, or revelation of the Word on which Christ said He would build His Church. Zechariah 14 describes how the denominational Ages culminate in apostasy: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at the evening time it shall be Light".
Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just is the shining Light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." After the centuries of Dark Ages, the people saw Light. When Luther preached "the just shall live by faith," the Light began to shine. Wesley followed with sanctification and that Light grew brighter. Pentecost, with the baptism of the Holy Ghost shone more of the same Light, a Light to lighten the Gentiles. The Holy Spirit working through Brother Branham caused that Light to shine brighter still. Today as in every Age, the Message is Jesus, the Light of the world. As in every Age, its greatest enemies are those who claim to be the household of faith but who are impersonating the glare of an Age gone by, NOT walking in the Light Jesus is manifesting.
Judas Iscariot was chosen by the Lord Jesus Himself. One of the twelve apostles Jesus sent forth saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand: heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead . . . etc." Judas was said to be 'in the Message,' for his day, but he betrayed the Word and never made it to Pentecost!
In the Eternity to come, in that Holy City, the New Jerusalem, "there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever".
Dear Christian, "He that is of God heareth God's Words" (John 8:47). "And ALL Thy children shall be taught of God" (Isaiah 54:13): being ONE WITH THE WORD proves whether you are of God and Spirit-filled. No other criterion. "It's Christ [the Word] in you the hope of glory".
Why don't you stand up now and say out loud, "I CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST!"
Jesus Christ the same—yesterday and today, and forever is the Message and the spiritual food for today. If you believe on Him and obey His Word, He will lead you into that way everlasting and open your understanding. "If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21). bb920623.htm
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