Luke 3:21-23, "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, was praying, and heaven was opened, (in other words, John saw a vision), And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 'You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased'. And Jesus began to be about thirty years of age".A highway shall go through this once deserted land, and a way; and it shall be called 'The way of holiness.' The unclean will not use it. But it shall be for wayfaring men. The most naive shall not wander from the way (for God is revealed in simplicity).
John baptized Jesus shortly before His thirtieth birthday. After His baptism, Jesus fasted in the wilderness forty-days, like Moses on Mount Sinai, and the Devil tempted Him. Meanwhile, I think John worked his way north to minister in Galilee, and that it was here the priests and Levites from Jerusalem questioned his Scriptural identity. John identified Himself in the Bible, and explained how God vindicated his ministry when he baptized Messiah at Bethabara.
It was in Galilee, that he introduced Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, to Messiah. And the next day, Philip and Nathanael became followers of Jesus. Together with Mary, all were invited to attend a wedding feast in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. From Cana they went a day's journey to Capernaum, where Jesus had moved from Nazareth, after His ordeal in the wilderness. In a few days, they went to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Passover (John 2:13).
Going south to Aenon, near Salim, Jesus preached and His disciples baptized, because according to John 3:23-24, "there was much water there." These events occurred early in the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, when Jordan overflows its banks. Clearly, Jesus was not born in December, but in April, Springtime.
John was still free at this time, and was preaching and baptizing with his disciples at the same place. His six-month ministry was near its end. He must fade from the scene so Jesus could increase.
"When Jesus heard the Pharisees knew He was winning more disciples than John, (though He personally didn't baptize anyone). Leaving Judaea, He returned to Galilee through Samaria, where He came to Sychar, a city near the parcel of land Jacob gave his son Joseph. Here was Jacob's well. As it was approaching noon, and being tired by His journey, He sat on the well.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink". (For his disciples had gone into town to buy something for lunch.) She replied, 'How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, a Samaritan?' (for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans).
Jesus answered, 'If you knew, and had recognized the Gift of God, and Who It is that says to you, "Give Me a drink;" you would have asked Me, and I would have given you living water'.
The woman responded, 'Sir, You have no bucket and rope, and the well is deep. Where do You get Your living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle also?'
Jesus answered, 'All who drink of this well will thirst again: but whoever drinks of the water that I will give shall never thirst again; but the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water continually welling up within him unto eternal life'.
The woman said, 'Sir, give me this water, that I may never thirst, nor continually come here to draw'" (John 4:1-15).
Jesus was speaking of the waters of regeneration and eternal Life which would flow, commencing on the fiftieth day of Pentecost when the Church would be established, three years from the time of this conversation with the Samaritan prostitute. Pentecost represented the fullness of the grain harvest typing the Gentile dispensation. It was followed by the ingathering of tree fruits, celebrated in the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles.
The Feast of Tabernacles closes the harvest of fruit of trees and vines and types the final quickening of the rivers of the water of Life which regenerates 144,000 elect Israelites almost 2,000 years after It began to flow. Israel will be born as a nation in one day during the time of "Jacob's trouble" or tribulation for all who failed to attend the Pentecostal Feast.
The olive tree is harvested by beating; the fruit of the vine is crushed, emblematic of Israel. Before they can fulfil the Feast of Tabernacles and enter the seventh day rest or Millennium, (and eventually the eight day of the new heaven and new earth), they must afflict their souls on the Day of Atonement. Then seal their testimony in their own blood.
On the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews drew water to the sound of trumpets and singing from the pool of Siloam for offering to God, chiefly to solicit His blessing of former rain on the approaching seedtime. It types their joy in the revelation of their Trumpet mysteries which is the water of Life, or new birth to them, and introduces our second Scripture.
John 7:37-40, "In the eighth day, that great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood and cried, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. For the Scripture says, 'He that believes on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water'. (But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given for regeneration; because Jesus was not yet glorified).
Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, 'Of a truth this is the Prophet'."
Jesus was quoting from a prophecy in Isaiah 12:3 pertaining to the rebirth of Israel—all 144,000—in one day. Of course the woman at the well couldn't foresee the 2,000 year delay of the Gentile dispensation. But she anticipated Messiah in those days, Who would redeem Israel and Samaria.
These Scriptures from John's gospel cover the entire New Testament harvest, from Pentecost to Tabernacles. The stream that began at Pentecost, which Ezekiel pictures trickling from the south-east corner of the sanctuary, becomes so broad, it brings restoration and Life to whatever is touched by it. It's the Holy Spirit which gives spiritual Life as water refreshes and sustains natural life.
Jeremiah 17:5-8, "Cursed is he that trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart departs from the LORD. He shall be like a stunted shrub in uninhabited salt land. Like someone naked and destitute in the desert, he has no future. Good times pass him by forever. (That describes the ungodly, and Israel throughout the times of the Gentiles).
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope the LORD is. He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots by the river, and isn't bothered by the heat, nor in the year of drought. Its leaves stay green and it doesn't cease from yielding fruit". (Like Israel's restoration under the figure of Ezekiel's Temple).
Ezekiel's prophecy represents the ministry of the two Hebrew prophets, anointed in the Spirit of Moses and Elijah, re-instructing 144,000 elect Israelites into the Presence of the glory of God.
God revealed His glory to Israel in the Temple where the Levitical priesthood was strictly charged with instructing the congregation to separate clean from unclean. This was the lesson of Ezekiel 40-46, measuring the sanctuary, etc. Entrance into the sanctuary of Ezekiel's symbolic Temple and revelation of the glory, calls for total separation from unbelief: faith from reasoning, Spirituality from carnality, clean from unclean.
Ezekiel 47:1-5, "After this instruction, the angel, (Christ's end-time Bride of Revelation 11:1-2; bb971203.htm), I was brought back to the door of the Temple; and saw waters issue east from under the entrance at the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
Then he brought me outside the wall by the northern gate, and led me around to the outer eastern gate; and, waters trickled out from the right (south) side of the gate.
Measuring eastward, the man with the measuring line took Ezekiel 1,000 cubits (1,500 feet) downstream, and told him to cross. And the waters were to the ankles. Measuring another thousand, he told him to cross once more. And the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and the waters were to the waist. After measuring another thousand, it was a river so deep it could not be crossed except by swimming".
The Eastern gate was perpetually closed as decreed (Ezekiel 44:1-3) in response to the return of the Shekinah in Ezekiel 43:1-5. This imagery portrays the new God-given future as the undoing of a past evil situation.
Following the Fall in the Garden of Eden, God cursed the earth, so that thorns and thistles competed with edible, useful vegetation. And earth did not yield its strength (Genesis 3:18-19, 4:12). But the Presence of God in the Temple is sufficient to transform the place of death into the place of life.
Israel took upon themselves a curse unto death when they said of Messiah, "His blood be upon us and upon our children" (Matthew 27:25). "For if the exclusion of Israel from salvation resulted in reconciling the world, what shall their inclusion be but life from the dead? For if the first fruit (Abraham and the patriarchs) is holy, the lump of dough (or offspring) of the twelve tribes is also holy: and if the root is consecrated, so too are its branches" (Romans 11:15-16; Numbers 15:19-21). Praise God, "I am the vine, you are the branches".
"I'd like you to see this truth from God, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that Spiritual blindness in come upon Israel as a nation, until the last predestinated Gentile is baptized into the Body. Then all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, 'There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall remit their sins.' Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: as touching the election, they are beloved because of My promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For the gifts and calling of God are without irrevocable" (Romans 11:25-29).
Israel's national revival is called "The sign of the end of the dispensations." The end of the day of man and the start of the day of the Lord. Jesus said it signifies summer, and that the final ingathering of souls in the Feast of Tabernacles is at hand (Matthew 24:3, 32-34). Israel put forth leaves or reinvigorated in 1948 when the present State was proclaimed.
Ezekiel 37 signifies Israel's natural revival as gathering the "dry bones" of the twelve tribes, and uniting the two sticks of Ephraim and Judah as one nation under one King. While the rest of his Book refers to their Spiritual revival.
The nourishment by the mighty River produces trees of Life on both banks, whose fruit is Life and peace. This speaks of undoing the works of Satan, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is Paradise regained.
"When God saw ALL He had made, (Heb.) 'asah'—'to fashion from existing material,' it was very good—'pleasant and delightful' in His estimation." It's a different word, but "Eden" also means "pleasant or delightful." Therefore I think Eden was all the earth within which the Garden was God's sanctuary, as the Lamb's Book of Life is a special section within the Book of Life. Brother Branham said "God made the world's headquarters in the Garden of Eden, in Egypt, right at the east end of the Garden was the headquarters" (Genesis 1:31; Satan's Eden 7:41).
"And the LORD God planted a Garden eastward (or to the front) of Eden, towards the rising of the sun; and there He put the man whom He had formed" (Genesis 2:8).
A Garden is a protected enclosure, figurative of a bride. Solomon wrote "A Garden enclosed is my sister, my bride; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed" (or a virgin, Song of Solomon 4:12). We'll see how Ezekiel's Temple patterns after the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:9, "Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. (He formed Adam out of the ground); the tree of Life also in the midst of the Garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." (These trees were not natural vegetation, but two spirits: Christ and Lucifer). There was no need ever to leave Headquarters, where God walked and communed with man, and every good thing was here.
"And a river went out of Eden to water the Garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads" (Genesis 2:10).
Notice, one river went out of Eden. And as there was no rain until after the Flood, the waters were underground (Genesis 8:2). Under extreme pressure, water can be compressed and cooled. When its released it becomes flash steam and expands. This river must have sprung from the earth as an artesian spring on top of a mountain, as portrayed in Ezekiel 47. Revelation calls it "living fountains of waters".
This types the River of Life, or Holy Spirit, for the Garden was irrigated by the fullness of this one river constantly percolating life from the ground. Brother Branham loved to speak of it often. It began as a trickle, but after it had watered the Garden, the residue departed as the headwaters of four rivers. It is the stone Nebuchadnezzar saw cut out without hands, which smote the image of the four world beasts, and grew into a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
"The name of the first is Pison: which flows right around the land of Havilah, where there is rich gold ore, bdellium (a gum resin), and onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon (Araxas) which crosses the entire length of the land of Cush.
The third river is the Hiddekel (or Tigris), which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates" (Genesis 2:11-14).
The four headwaters became mighty rivers, bringing natural life to all the lands through which they pass. These type the four lively creatures that bring spiritual Life, and more abundantly, to earth and all they touched under the first four Seals of redemption.
The physical attributes of the four living creatures exhibited the nature of life peculiar to each—the majesty and strength of the lion, the patient and productive labour of the ox, the rational and moral nature of man, and the far sight and winged velocity of the eagle. These are attributes of the fourfold nature of God's own Life He's imparting to His Family. That the cherubim are made of earthly symbols is a token of redemption, not replacement. They had God's own Life, and were full of intelligence as symbolized in the "eyes" with which they were covered.
Adam first saw the earth outside the Garden in order that he might better appreciate the glory of Paradise, and of his own discipline extend his dominion from the Garden over the whole world. God took Adam out of the world and put him in the Garden in His Presence to dress or care and cultivate nature, so it didn't grow wild. We see in this the contrast between the Hebrew olive cultivated in the Light of God, and the natural branches of the same plant that grew wild under natural sunlight (Romans 11). And God's taken us out of the world, and seated us in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The types and shadows show we are on our way back to the substance of the Garden. Potentially we are there already, because faith is the substance of things hoped for.
Dressing and keeping was activity or "work", but not agriculture as we know it. Agriculture began after Adam was expelled from the Garden, and he was made to work and serve the earth from which he was taken (Genesis 3:17-19, 23-24). There'll be no such toil in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 7:16).
Before the Fall, God walked with man in the Garden, and the waters of Life flowed back into Eden, or the world. He instructed the man not to partake the sophistry of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Separating clean, from Lucifer's carnal reasoning. After the Fall, God met man under the shed blood of an innocent lamb, typing Christ and the new birth.
God instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle where He could meet His elect under the blood, and He gave them the Law to separate clean from unclean. And He showed Ezekiel a Temple on top of a mountain, instructing him to separate clean from unclean.
Before the Fall, Adam was to keep or watch over the Garden. Then "God drove out the man; and placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword (Shekinah) which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of Life" (Genesis 3:24). He also set Ezekiel as a watchman or keeper (Ezekiel 3:17).
Adam was out of the Garden, but he was still in Eden. Cain was the first to leave Eden. "Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden" (Genesis 4:16). "Nod" is a land of escape or banishment, and therefore in contrast to the happy land of Eden where God walks and talks with man under the blood.
The land of Nod foreshadows the far away uninhabited land to which the scapegoat or goat for azazel bore Israel's sins after they had been atoned (Leviticus 16). It types the west building adjoining the outer wall behind the sanctuary of Ezekiel's Temple which was a repository from where anything that might defile the Temple and its precincts was removed. Now, where is the land of Nod? As the mystery of God is finished, I'll leave you to enquire the answer of God, Who is the dissolver of all doubt.
If you look at the map of the world in your Bibles, you'll see the headwaters of all four rivers are in the mountains of Ararat which would be where the first worshipers brought their offering after the Fall. It's fascinating to note that Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the Khazar empire (which converted to Rabbinic Talmudism) converge here, at this point, in the mountains of Ararat.
From Ezekiel 28:13-16, we discover that Lucifer, who in Genesis is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was, before the Fall, God's right hand man. He is pictured as His high priest with the breastplate. That part of the Garden where he is described as "the holy mountain of God".
"You were in Eden, the Garden of God; your clothing was bejewelled with every precious stone—sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald and carbuncle, all in beautiful settings of finest gold. They were given to you the day you were created. I appointed you to be the anointed guardian cherub. You were upon the holy mountain of God; you walked up and down amidst the stones of fire.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. Your wealth through commerce filled you with lawlessness, and you sinned. Therefore I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God. I drove you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire".
(This foreshadows "that man of sin, the son of perdition, who will oppose every god, and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God claiming that he is God" (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). Satan was God's high priest before the Fall: when he's cast out from heaven, he'll incarnate the so-called "Vicar of Christ". See "Hubris" bb950219.htm).
It may be that the Garden of Eden was fifteen hundred miles square like the New Jerusalem because the third phase of God's three-fold purpose is to restore His redeemed back to all that was lost in Eden. Taking Jerusalem as its center, such a Garden would include the mountains of Ararat and the four named rivers that rise there, together with Egypt, and the River Nile.
After the Flood subsided, Noah's ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. He built an altar and offered a burnt offering to God of every type of clean beast and fowl. "When the LORD smelled a sweet savour, He said in His heart, 'I won't curse the ground again for man's sake; for he is born in sin and shaped in iniquity and the imagination of man's heart is evil; neither will I again kill everything living by flood. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease'.
God blessed Noah and his sons, and renewed His command to Adam at the beginning, saying, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth'" (Genesis 8:21-9:2). He gave the token of the rainbow, and to make life easier, in view of His curse upon the ground, God permitted man to eat meat. All of this took place on the mountains of Ararat, east of the Garden of Eden, where Adam was cast out and where God set cherubim at the altar to keep the way of the Tree of Life. Cherubim which are today the four Gospels, admit all who recognize their day and its Message.
Water flows east from Ezekiel's Temple, as it did from the eastern end of the Garden of Eden. Turning south it flows through the city then divides; one head flows westward into the Mediterranean, the other east into the Dead Sea, increasing in volume the further it flows, bringing life to all created things touched by It. Let's read on in Ezekiel 47:6-12.
"Ezekiel was told to 'Remember the vision of the Holy Spirit typed by the increasingly abundant waters of Life.' Then he was led from the waters that were too deep to pass through, back to the bank of the river. There he saw a great many trees on either side of the river. (Trees featured in Eden, But these trees are the offspring of the Tree of Life that was in the midst of the Garden. They are the saints of Old and New Testaments which drew eternal Life from the river of Life). Ezekiel was told, 'These waters flow eastward into the desert, down the Arabah Valley into the Dead Sea (1,300 feet below the Mediterranean Sea), and they heal its salty waters. Everything the living waters touch, whether in the Mediterranean or Dead Seas, shall live: and because of the healing waters, fish will abound in the Dead Sea. Everything shall live wherever the river goes.
Fishermen will stand on the shores of the Dead Sea. From Engedi (half way down the western shore) to Eneglaim (on the eastern shore), the beaches will be covered with nets spread out to dry. Fish of many kinds will fill the Dead Sea, as they fill the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes shall not be healed and remain for the harvest of salt.
Fruit trees of every kind will grow along the river banks. "Every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food." As it was in the Garden of Eden. Their leaves will never fade and fall, and there will always be fruit. There'll be a new crop every month, because they live by the waters from the sanctuary. The fruit will be for food, and the leaves as a memorial of eternal peace between nations." Eden restored.
Precisely what we read in Psalm 1:3 and Revelation 22:2. Remission of sin is a healing: not of the soul alone, but of the body also. The atonement is spiritual and physical. Showing there has to be a resurrection. "He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
The Temple where the Shekinah is revealed in its fullness is the Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the cleansing stream of the Spirit flowed to the City or Bride, and into all the world, bringing Life and healing grace. In Ezekiel the healing is shown as coming from the rivers of the water of Life. In Revelation, It comes from the leaves of the trees of Life, for during the Gentile dispensation the Life of Christ can come only through the Body of Christ.
Seas signify multitudes of people. The Mediterranean represents we Gentiles; the Dead Sea, the Jews of Daniel's Seventieth Week.
The Waters flow from Christ, the Temple, into the City or Bride, and from the Bride west, then east into all the world. Finally, Israel sees his position in Christ when the land is divided. In Revelation 21, the waters flow through the middle of the street. This is a raised section called the way, from which the rains wash all uncleanliness to the sides of the highway.
One morning in 1933 when the foundation stone was to be laid for his Tabernacle, God showed Brother Branham a vision which foretold how his ministry would lie between the two arms of the Pentecostal Movement: Trinity, and the Oneness.
Brother Branham stood between these two schools and planted trees, and of all the trees in the vision, these were the only two trees which had fruit. All the trees grew about thirty feet and stopped because they were impersonating the Word for Philadelphia, Sardis, or some other Age that was fulfilled. They could not produce fruit to God in the Laodicean Age. However the Pentecostal Trinitarians and Pentecostal Oneness quickly grew right into heaven.
These trees were sown from Pentecostal seed or doctrine. Both were in error but Christ was a Mediator in the Pentecostal or Laodicean Age, and they were believing on the Word revealed to their day.
God said, "Hold out your hands for the fruit." And he found the same fruit from Calvary's cross from both trees. Then God said, "Do the work of an evangelist. Make full proof of your ministry (during the Pentecostal Age, when Christ was still Mediator). For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." The Laodicean Age ended with the apostasy of the churches, and Christ no longer a Mediator, rejected for tradition and creed (Standing in the Gap, 31:129; C.O.D., 739:226).
Brother Branham's vision was Scriptural:
Isaiah 35:6-10, "Waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah. The mirage shall become a pool, and thirsty land springs of water. Where desert jackals lived there shall be reeds and rushes.
No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up upon it. They will not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk on it. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy. All sorrow and all sighing will be gone forever; only joy and gladness will remain". The Message God commissioned Brother Branham had two climaxes. The first was to the Laodicean or part-Word Bride which He called "the work of an evangelist." This was under the first and second pulls in the terminology he used to explain his parable about fishing for men's souls. The first pull was a sign in the hand by which God described their ailment to Brother Branham. The second pull was discerning the thoughts and intents of their heart. These two pulls were to draw a congregation to listen to his second climax, which was the former or teaching rain—the fullness of the Word—after the opening of the Seven Seals, that restores the end-time Bride to the apostolic faith, and calls her out from all man-made doctrine into the unity of the faith, for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation.
In 1962 he had another vision which ties-in to the vision of the two Pentecostal trees. He was preaching to a huge congregation in a forest, and streaks of sunlight or revelation were shining on to some of the trees representing the Pentecostal elect. The Prophet had been expounding the Message for their day under the first and second pulls. Eventually the people became hungry and went away to eat, indicating the apostasy and close of the Laodicean Age.
God identified this with the end of Brother Branham's ministry of "doing the work of an evangelist" to the Church Age saints and the rejection of Bible Truth for denominational fables. God had given Brother Branham two climaxes in his ministry, and told him to read further in II Timothy 4, likening the close of Paul's ministry in seeming anti-climax, to the end of Brother Branham's first climax.
Paul had a tremendous following when God revealed Himself in signs and miracles. So did Brother Branham. He confirmed the Word they preached, but when they began to unfold the Message for their Age, they were rejected. Paul wrote how most of his disciples had gone back to the world. Paul foretold Brother Branham's second Climax, which is the "third pull," and the revelation of the mysteries, which call and prepare Christ's end-time Bride, saying, "there's a crown of righteousness laid up for all them that love Christ's appearing", or His "epiphanaea".
Christ's epiphanaea is this day of the brightness of the unveiled Word, shining-forth as the sun (Matthew 17:2; 28:3; Acts 6:15; II Corinthians 3:7; Revelation 1:16; 10:1; 18:1; 19:17). When Moses descended from the mount, his face shone, reflecting the Light of the manifested Word. Ecclesiastes 8:1 says, "Who is like the wise man? and who can interpret things? a man's wisdom makes his face to shine, softening its hardness".
Brother Branham was the angel standing in the Sun of the fullness of the Word, calling Christ's Bride out of Babylon for the second climax, like Moses, when he came from the Presence of God with the Word for that age (Blasphemous Names, p. 41-45).
Here's where we are today. Here's the vision of the end-time Bride come in to view, and we are to keep in step with the Word of the hour as we march to Zion via fountains of living water. bb971210.htm
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