We all want to defend what we believe! From one extreme to the other we can find a reason. We have our scriptures, we can find quotes to shut the mouth of those that oppose us. Where does it end, who is right, and who is wrong?
We have the most glorious “Message” that has ever come to mankind, since the angels told the shepherds that Christ had come. A message that corresponds completely with the teaching of the Apostle Paul, who was identified by the pillar of fire and gave us the biggest part of the New Testament.
As a Pastor what is there to explain, and is there anything to defend! Have we become a people of apologists. Perhaps it becomes our pride, our church, our ministry, that we feel compelled to protect or is it Jesus Christ we are defending? He did not even defend himself!
Does our defending become just another method of criticizing those that are not like us, or perhaps see things differently. Lord help me to pray as Rev. William Branham (1909-1965) prayed in regards to his own ministry: “So you help me, as I stand here with my hand up at the pulpit, help me to criticize nobody. And help me that God will give me a spirit in my heart, that instead of criticizing it, I will love them anyhow, and go on.”
We have so much more information than ever before and it is at our fingertips. We can share it with the world instantly. Has it united us and drawn us closer together, as we wait to be gathered in the rapture with those that have gone before?
As a pastor, there is one that has spoken for me in this age, and he was the voice of God to this generation, I do not have to explain it, nor do I have to give you quotes, you can look them up yourself, we all are responsible! It doesn’t offend me because Bro. Branham said; “If I offended you by saying that, forgive me. But I felt that might been resented. But I am God’s Voice to you. I say that again. That time was under inspiration. And I felt bad about the first time, but It repeated it.”
There is no other voice that represents what I stand for and believe! I believe that God give us a one man ministry, it was a one man ministry to the “AGE”. None other possesses that, he was the last church age Messenger and the Seventh Angel according to scripture (Rev 3:14, 10:1-7). Yes God is a big God, he is able to keeps His Word, He still has a fivefold ministry that fulfill their office and duty to God, to speak from a clean heart, the revelation that has already come to us in God’s provided way.
That does not need any apologist to defend! Search the scripture, YOURSELF, as that noble church at Berea; Acts 17:11 “…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The things that was brought to them by the Prophet Messenger of the age. They did not blindly follow no man. Not a prophet or a local ministry (pastor). However, they were not searching because they doubted, but because they believed the Word with ALL readiness of mind!
Yes, people have made Brother Branham more than our brother, but many have done the same thing to a Preacher or a Pastor, placing him above the Word of God. And there are men, who have allowed themselves to be put in that position, believing they had a little more to say than others, or a better interpretation. My Brother, with all due respect, God may have given you a great ministry that can be a benefit to many, but there is only ONE prophet message to the age. He spoke for me, and for the age, NOT YOU. It is was a message headquartered not in any geographical location on this planet, but at the very throne of God in the heavens.
There are many that believe Brother Branham was false, is that unusual? If there were none that believed that then he would be false. Jesus himself commissioned us to preach the gospel and they that “BELIEVED” would be saved (Mark 16:16). The others will not believe, no matter what you show them in the Bible, in the Message, or by any other means. They simply cannot believe. Yes, they will persecute those that do, but again that is scriptural, and the Believer is blessed for it (Matthew 5:11).
This message has the strength to hold me, it is not the prophet that has held me or a pastor, as noble as they may be. But it is the one that is guiding us to the other side as I just hold steady. I love what was said in the sermon “Christ is Revealed in His Own Word;”
“Now the stabilizers has been put on the ship. Great fearful waves are out here before us; but we know, just beyond that wave yonder, we’re nearing the shore. We’re nearing the shore. Just stay stabled. Just stay in the Word. Stay with God. No matter how you feel, what anything else; stay right with the Word. Let it stay stable, when you see all these great big old clouds around us, and storms coming, and atomic bombs, and everything else they’re talking about. But our stabilizer is right straight in the Word. God said it would be here; we’ll crest every one of them. Yeah, we’ll go right over the top of them. Yes, indeed! They, they can’t sink us. They can’t drown us. You put us in the grave; we’ll come out again. That’s just all there is to it. There ain’t no way in the world to keep it down there. We’ll crest every one of them, ’cause our great Chief Captain is calling at the other side.”
Then our Prophet sang; “We’re anchored in Jesus, the storms of life I’ll brave; I’ve anchored in Jesus, I fear no wind or wave;”
The Word has come alive to me because His presence is in me making the one Book I believe in for redemption live. Yes, God sent a restoration Prophet with a message to forerun the coming of Christ, not to write another book, as the prophet Mohammad and the Mormon’s prophet Joseph Smith had to do. Our Prophet brought light to the ONE Book which we have been told is “God in print form.” That is why I can say the only Book for me is the Bible, as the only book that contains redemption!
Bro. Branham is clearly not my absolute, but neither is any OTHER MINISTER in this message. Bro. Branham wasn’t against the ministry, but he sure had problems with them when they were together as a group of men. Trying to persuade him, understand him, abuse him, take advantage of him, imitate him and even learn from him how do understand the supernatural in his life. How many times they got him in trouble! Do you need the quotes?
Yes, we need pastors, evangelist, teachers, etc. but ultimately as a minister and a Pastor I stand alone leading those that the Holy Ghost has entrusted to my care. I appreciate my brethren ministers, but they do not speak for me as a Pastor of my local congregation. However, I am not alone, we are following the same bloody footprints the Prophet followed. We can stand on His shoulders and see so much further down the road than any other age.
I don’t care how many quotes, and I appreciate them all, no matter how right they are, or how well a person can put them together. I am not even interested in the results a person gets from his ministry, to be able to stir a crowd, and even produce the supernatural, IF THE TRUE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT ARE NOT PRESENT Gal 5:22-23) and if love is not projected, how can the marvelous grace which this message has produced have its effect!
We draw sides and join clubs and pick our leaders, and do not realize there is something wrong in all of it. The world is still falling apart again as it was when Christ came the first time!
There was a time, we heard the message and we wanted to repent, constantly we were examining ourselves to be right with the Word which the Prophet brought to us. But alas, now, we look more for what kind of social functions a church has, what is available for the youth, is the music at the standard the young people enjoy, and as pastors we do our best to provide what the people want. Have we, that claim to still believe, do we really believe, or have we fallen like those we criticize for not being right?
Have we all become idolaters in our religious beliefs, calling our views the Word of God? Even if our views are correct, if the fruits of the spirit is not present, and the CHARITY of 1 Corinthians 13 is missing, we make what we know and believe a stumbling block to so many?
Have we made a golden calf out of what we believe. Remember, while the Prophet Moses was away, the people wanted to know about the God that brought them out of Egypt. So Aaron gave them a golden calf, which was not another God, but his interpretation (image) of the God that brought them out, an idolatrous medium of the true God. This was taught by Aaron, but it was the work of man (denominational work)! Look what it produce!
After bringing the revelation of the Seven Seals to us, Brother Branham closed with the following statement, which I do NOT believe will make us ignorant of what God has revealed, but will make it really live in us as being true!
63-0324E THE.SEVENTH.SEAL_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN
“There’s no great man among us. We’re not great men, not great women–we’re all brothers and sisters, all the same in the same bracket. We’re no great. One don’t make one greater than the other one–not a thing at all to do. No, sir. But we’re just all human beings. Don’t try to interpret the things. Don’t try to do anything more than just live a close life, giving praise and honor to Jesus Christ. Everybody understand that now? Amen. Love Him with all your heart. Do you do it?”
Then Bro. Branham sang the song; “I love Him (And I will) I love Him, Because He first loved me, And purchased my salvation, On Calvary’s tree.”
In conclusion, no matter how we might disagree upon doctrinal issues can we project to others such a spirit of love that they will have to say; “I might totally disagree with you, but I can see that you really LOVE JESUS CHRIST!”
Pastor Bill Ivy, Campbell Missouri (Gibson Community) – www.livingwordtabernacle.com