Hi, good to be with you again. I'm Brother Anthony, welcoming you to 'Bible Believers', where we focus on the PRESENT Truth - what Jesus is doing in THIS day.
We read in Ecclesiastes 5:1, 'When you go to church, be more ready to hear and obey, than to give "the sacrifice of fools" by making rash promises to God'. Or in plain English, you'll never learn with your mouth open!
The prophetic list of SIGNS foretold in relation to the end of the world and the Coming of Christ for His Bride is quite lengthy, including such occurrences as an INCREASE of knowledge, REPETITION of the circumstances of the days of Noah and Lot, the RISE of anti Christ, a FLOURISHING global economy, wars and earthquakes. These conditions and the INSTABILITY of world affairs, have convinced scientist, economist, politician and psychic, as well theologians, that a major catastrophe is imminent.
I wish to alert listeners to one more vitally significant sign which, likewise, has found its fulfillment in our day. This sign is unique in that it is God's essential warning before any major, scriptural happening. It is at once His most vivid and yet his most overlooked and misunderstood sign.
Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God will do NOTHING but He revealeth His secret to His servants the prophets". God's pattern of dealing with His people has always included sending prophets. Amos states emphatically that God does nothing without a prophetic forerunner as disclosed by the most rudimentary study of scriptural history.
History also reveals that seldom was a prophet greeted without skepticism and abuse. No matter how great their Divine vindication, they suffered at the hands of those to whom they were sent. Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 23:3l-36, it was their forefathers who were guilty of the blood of ALL the prophets from Abel to Zechariah.
This-morning we will illustrate how in maintaining the CONSISTENCY of His Word, God promised us a prophetic messenger to announce his second Coming. We'll show that only one ministry in this century could qualify as that messenger, and that William Branham was vindicated by god, and recognized by his contemporaries as a major prophet, then rejected by this wayward and arrogant Laodicean generation.
Before we review the life and ministry of William Branham, we'll list some of the Scriptures which declare that a prophet IS to forerun the Second Coming of Christ. For it's commonly considered that since the first advent of Jesus Christ, God no longer uses prophets to minister to His people. A carnal interpretation of Scriptures such as Luke 16:16, "The Law and the prophets were until John," and Hebrews 1:1, "God, who at sundry times and in various ways spake in time past unto the fathers in the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us in His Son..." is taken as proof of this. Let it be clearly understood; these Scriptures do not point to a cessation of prophets. They state only that the partial Word each Old Testament prophet uttered was fully expressed in Christ, the Logos (Word,) when he appeared in flesh.
The New Testament abounds with prophets after Christ, even aside from the prophetic ministries obviously manifest in the Apostles Peter, Paul and John. Let's consider Ephesians 3:l-5:
"For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for you Gentiles. If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you: How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. [In other words, I'm a vindicated prophet]). Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, (or prophets - Ezekiel 2:1,) as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
Here Paul shows that New Testament prophets not only EXIST but are ORDAINED to carry the mysteries that the Old Testament prophets (sons of men) under the Law could only see as a SHADOW. "In THESE last days God has spoken unto us by His Son," defines the FIRST advent.
The Son is STILL speaking through His ordained messengers.
The Scriptures are equally clear that a PROPHETIC ministry would be focal at the END of the world; FIRST, to RESTORE the Gentiles to the TRUE Message of the Son, (the Logos or Word,) and SECOND, to deliver the Message of the Messiah to Israel during the great tribulation (Revelation 11.) Following, are some Scriptures which as seen TOGETHER, point to this Gentile forerunner:
Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God will do NOTHING, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets."
Remember - before any significant, scriptural event, God ALWAYS speaks to a prophet. For example, Noah before the flood, Abraham before the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses to deliver Israel; John the Baptist before Christ's first advent, Paul to the Gentiles, the two witnesses to the Jews of Revelation 11, etc.
Malachi 4:5-6, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet BEFORE the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
The Spirit of Elijah is here prophesied to PRECEDE the Day of the Lord. Any Bible student understands the great and dreadful Day of the Lord is the END of the age when plagues of God's judgment are poured out upon the Christ-rejecting Gentiles (Isaiah 2:12,19; I Thessalonians 5:2,3; II Peter 3:10.) Notice this TWOFOLD prophecy, Elijah WILL come:
l. To turn the heart of the FATHERS to the children,
2. To turn the heart of the CHILDREN to their fathers.
In the following Scriptures we will see where this prophecy was PARTIALLY fulfilled.
Luke 1:17, "And he shall go before Him in the Spirit and power of Elijah; to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
This speaks of course, of John the Baptist, but notice: the Holy Spirit DIVIDED the prophecy of Malachi and showed John fulfilling the FIRST part only; John did NOT precede the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. He preceded the EARTHLY ministry of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
Matthew 17:10-12, "And His disciples asked him, saying, 'Why then say the scribes that Elijah must FIRST come?' And Jesus answered and said unto them, 'Elijah truly SHALL first come, and RESTORE all things, But I say unto you, That Elijah is come ALREADY and they knew him not...'"
Notice how Christ maintains the CONTINUITY of the previous Scriptures, ALSO dividing the prophecy concerning the Elijah ministry. Jesus indicates that PART of the Elijah ministry is ALREADY fulfilled and part REMAINS to be fulfilled. In this FURTHER aspect of the Elijah ministry, He declares he will "RESTORE all things."
II Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall NOT come, except there come a falling away FIRST and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
Paul was stating that the Lord's Day would NOT come until there was a "FALLING AWAY." The Greek word is "apostasia" and means a FORSAKING of the faith. If we continue through II Thessalonians 2, noting particularly verses l2 to I5, it becomes evident that Paul was warning of a FALLING AWAY from the WORD of God as delivered by the Apostles. This is PRECISELY what ensued from about the fourth century, when Roman Catholicism gained pre-eminence, REPLACING the authority of Scripture with the authority of church dogma, and married Christianity with PAGANISM.
Acts 3:20-21, "And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution of ALL things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL His holy prophets since the world began." That is, the FULLNESS of the Word.
Peter ALSO identifies the fact that BEFORE Christ's return, there must be a restitution. Restitution has the same Greek root word as RESTORE and could have read "RESTORATION of all things." Notice the similarity to Matthew l7:11. BOTH indicate a restoration of "ALL THINGS." Peter here identifies these things as: "All things which God has SPOKEN by the mouth of all His holy prophets." It is a RESTORATION of ALL the WORD of God. What ELSE is spoken through His prophets. And as the Word of God comes ONLY to a prophet, God must send US a prophet in THIS day (II Peter 1:20-21).
Let us now APPLY this Scriptural picture to our concluding text to establish:
l. Elijah IS to restore "ALL things" (Matthew l7:11.)
2. ALL things are to be restored BEFORE the second PHYSICAL Coming of Christ (Acts 3:2l.)
3. ALL THINGS refers to God's Word AS it came through His prophets (Acts 3:2l; II Thessalonians 2:3; II Peter 1:20-21.)
Revelation 10:7, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the PROPHETS."
This SEVENTH angel is identified as the messenger who would preach the mystery of God that has been DECLARED to the prophets. This mystery is HOW God incarnate and gained the pre-eminence of CHRIST, HOW Christ redeemed His Bride in each age and is gaining the pre-eminence of His end-time Bride and HOW He will RESTORE us BACK to Eden. This incarnation is the WHOLE Message of God's holy prophets and apostles. This seventh angel then will REAFFIRM this SAME Word or Logos TO the Gentile church.
You must be aware of the significance of the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation to the Gentile church. They describe the CONDITION and CHARACTERISTICS of seven Gentile churches once located in Asia Minor. It is erroneous to presume that this discourse ONLY had an application to John's day. The FIRST verse of the Revelation describes its contents as "things which must shortly come to pass" (in the FUTURE,) thus the ENTIRE Book is PROPHETIC, beginning with the IMMEDIATE future and continuing THROUGH the Gentile dispensation to the calling of the 144,000 Jews, the Millennium, the White Throne Judgment and even the new Jerusalem.
These seven churches then were ALSO prophetic and their characteristics applied to seven AGES which would make up the WHOLE dispensation allotted by God to the Gentiles. From Ephesus to Laodicea, EACH age had an angel who would bring it a Message from God. The word "angel," means MESSENGER and here it refers NOT to heavenly but to earthly messengers through whom "the Spirit speaks to the churches." Over the past two thousand years, God has raised up a succession of great, spiritual leaders such as Paul, Irenaeus, Martin, Columba, Luther, and Wesley to preserve the faith, from age to age.
The reformers, particularly AFTER the Dark Ages, were anointed to BEGIN this RESTORATION. God blessed the ministries of Luther and Wesley with mighty revivals as the Light of the Word was reopening to them. The followers of these messengers, however, refused to KEEP ON walking in the Light AS God was CONTINUING to unveil it. They stopped at a partial restoration, organized, denominated, then died and assumed the identical formalistic characteristics of the organization from which they were once delivered. Hence Revelation 10:7 indicates that the ministry of the seventh angel, or the angel to the Laodicean Church Age, would be to sound the COMPLETE mystery we mentioned. When this FINAL messenger arrives, he will declare ALL the Word (ALL THINGS), from which the EARLY church apostatized, AND reveal the mystery surrounding the rapture and the second appearing of the Lord Jesus.
Earlier, we paraphrased Solomon, who said in Ecclesiastes 5:1, 'You'll never learn with your mouth open'! And I'll warrant any of you who know ONLY what organized systems teach knew nothing of the prophet JESUS said God would send US in THIS day. As we learnt in our study a few weeks ago, the MAJORITY is ALWAYS wrong when it comes to Spiritual matters. Unless we are constantly IN the Word, how can we be UP-TO-DATE with what God is doing NOW?
Unless we are constantly IN the Word, we'll have to rely upon what OTHERS say. And IF those others are DENOMINATIONAL ministers and priests, they're beholden to the creeds of their organizations and to the educated guesses of DEAD men. BOUND, and NOT free to follow the LEADING of the Spirit.
A man in the employ of an ORGANIZATION must promote ORGANIZATIONAL thinking, or be kicked out and discredited by the organization. Is this so? Look what happened to Elijah, Jesus, Martin Luther, John Wesley, and William Branham. Throughout history, ALL men that have been signally used of God were REJECTED by organization. Organized religion is NOT of God. In Isaiah 8 its accursed; in Revelation 2 and 19, its end is the Lake of Fire.
Nations assume the authority of a god over their citizens, because they have the power to take their life. Organizations have similar ABSOLUTE power over those who submit to their authority. Those who refuse are branded heretics, or 'the ENEMY', and excluded from certain privileges reserved for those who yield their allegiance and accept their mark.
Just wait until the end of this GENTILE dispensation, when ALL the organizations UNITE and agree to give their support to the Beast. There will be a BOYCOTT against the faith and you'll receive their teachings and do their bidding or be KILLED. But AFTER a brief and powerful display of the Spirit - UNKNOWN to anyone except the end-time Bride, or TRUE Church - God will take HIS people Home for the Wedding Supper, and there'll not be hide nor hair of them.
THAT'S why He has send US a prophet in THIS day. God SEPARATES His Own by the sharp sword of faith in His Word. FAITH is Spiritual revelation, or a clear understanding of that Word. The Word of God comes only to a prophet, so the unchanging God sent us a prophet in this day, to reveal the mystery hidden in His Word by the Seven Seals.
His Sheep RECEIVE that revelation. But to the MAJORITY, It remains a mystery. And as Ishmael SCOFFED at Isaac, so do these, men of REPROBATE minds concerning the one and ONLY faith once delivered to the saints, SCOFF at the RIGHTEOUS. Saint Peter said they would and his prophecy is coming TRUE today.
In Acts 3:21, he prophesied, 'Heaven must receive Jesus Christ UNTIL the times of RESTORATION of ALL things, which God has spoken by the mouth of ALL His holy prophets SINCE the world began'. Or, 'When That which is PERFECT is Come'- the FULLNESS of the Word!'
This matches the prophecy of II Peter 3:2-4, 'REMEMBER the Words which were spoken BEFORE by the holy prophets, AND the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the LAST days SCOFFERS, walking after their own CREEDS, And saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? (or His PAROUSIA) for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation"'. Peter goes on to speak of the destruction of OUR world by fire as it was in the days of Lot.
Denominational children of the bondwoman will NOT be heir with the Son of the FREE woman, or TRUE Church. That's why Jesus promised faithfully in God's unchanging Word, to send US a PROPHET in these last days to RESTORE the apostolic faith, FINISH the Mystery of God, and call His people OUT from the SIN of the organizations and SIN is the OPPOSITE to faith. Sin is UNBELIEF in the REVEALED Word of God.
Can you see It? Do you understand what the BIBLE promised US in THIS day? A GENUINE, VINDICATED, Word PROPHET in the Spirit and power of Elijah to TURN our hearts (or our understanding) BACK to the faith once delivered unto the saints. Amen!
Jesus PROMISED us in Revelation 10:7 that in the days of the VOICE of the SEVENTH angel, BEFORE he sounds his MESSAGE, Jesus will have opened and revealed the SEVEN SEALS, and the mystery of God as He hath already declared to His holy prophets will be REVEALED.
THIS is the 'Shout' of I Thessalonians 4:16 which AWAKENS the wise AND foolish virgin as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 25:6. The SHOUT is the Message of THIS prophet which causes them BOTH to 'trim their lamps'. A lamp is something which gives LIGHT in the absence of the sun. But we walk by FAITH not by SIGHT, so the virgin trim their FAITH or REVELATION, CIRCUMCISING their understanding of all denominational teaching, which Jesus calls 'SIN'. The SHOUT calls GOD'S people OUT of this UNBELIEF in the revealed Word, and is the new birth for His elect, or WISE virgin, in THIS day.
Revelation 18:4, 'I heard another VOICE from heaven, (the Voice of the Archangel - Christ, in the heart of the Bride, CONFIRMING the Message from Genesis to Revelation) saying, "Come OUT of her, MY PEOPLE, (not everybody) that you don't partake of her SINS, (her UNBELIEF in the revealed Word) and receive not of her plagues (during the Tribulation)'.
Now I don't want any of you thinking Brother Anthony told you not to go to church. You MUST attend church, ESPECIALLY as you see the day of the Lord so close. Try to find a CHRISTIAN Church, one that believes and preaches the FULL Gospel - AND the PRESENT Truth. But if you CAN'T find such a Church, then go along to an organization. If you can't get a loaf you might find a few crumbs. And live the Life as a TESTIMONY to the Hope within your soul. But DON'T receive their ERROR.
I definitely DON'T want you to leave this-morning accepting what I have said just because I said It. But TAKE what I've said BACK to your Bible, and PROVE It. Make absolutely certain it is what God's said. My promises can fail. I want you to be resting on god and his promises for this day, and to know it by faith.
It's wonderful to read of the heroes of faith, the Miracles of Jesus, and what God did in ages past. But what is He doing now?
God is only making epistles of the PRESENT Truth. We MUST recognize OUR day and ITS Message because as Christians, we can only manifest the Word He is fulfilling NOW.
When we can see the PRESENT Truth coming to pass in OUR lives, we have found OUR position in the Body of Christ. We KNOW we are born again and sealed to the day of our redemption. radio012.html
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