An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages, Voice of God Recordings, 2012, Jeffersonville, Indiana.
The Smyrnaean Church Age p.123:
"You see the one difference between Israel and the rest of the nations was God. Put God to one side and Israel was like any other nation. When Sampson cut off his hair he was like any other man. Put the leadership of the Holy Ghost aside and the church is NOTHING BUT THE WORLD WITH GOD'S NAME ATTACHED TO IT. The world and the church are of the same lump, just like Jacob absd Esau were of the same parents, but the Spirit of God makes the difference.
It doesn't matter if you call yourself a Christian. Anyone can do that. The point is whether or not you have the Spirit of God in you, for without the that Spirit you are reprobate; you are none of His. Amen.
Not too long ago I asked a lady if she were a Christian. She said to me, "I will have you know, sir, that I burn a candle every night." What in the world has that got to do with it? I'm a Baptist, I'm a Pentecostal. That hasn't a thing to do with it. It is the Holy Ghost or perish.
Well, starting way back there in the first church [Ephesian Age] the people got to thinking and reasoning how to improve on God. The deeds of the Nicolaitans [which later became the doctrine of non biblical hierarchy] began showing themselves. Then a group formed [ie a denomination] They dirfted away from the pattern of the Word. All it takes is just one word changes and that little leaven then leavens the whole lump. He that offends in one point if the law is guilty of all. Eve just changed one word. That will do it.
And when that Satan-centered group was formed, it began to hate and to fight the true believers, insisiting that they (the aliens) were the church of God.
Notice how organization breeds hatred. It destroys fellowship. It makes bitterness. That is what myrrh means. That is what Smyrna was full of. Bitterness. A root of bitterness defiles many."
*used by permission
William Branham (1909-1965) was to 20th century American preaching what Frank Capra (1897-1991) was to 20th century American film-making.
Today is our fifteenth in a series of excerpts from William M. Branham's two principal written works. We're not going to take time explaining his life or the miracles that attended it, or defend his preaching style or grammar, his doctrines or vice versa.
That's all being said and done, and likely will be until Jesus comes back.
Rather than get distracted, our aim is to see Branham's gift of in depth discernment, study, and then fully shouting from the rooftops about biblical passages that Christians historically, and to this day, avoid, gloss over, explain away, or outright change, according to denominational and political fault lines.
Having said that, there might not be two bible expositors or students across the whole Christian spectrum who agree with half of what Br. Branham preached.
Yet and still, in an age where preaching has become so tepid, so nuanced, so easy-pleasy, so cookie-cutter and prosperity bound, there seems to be a famine of the prophetic word, his voice is somehow still welcome. (As for this famine: https://vimeo.com/126142650 ) Why? I'm not sure, but it has something to with the fact that his preaching still prods and wrankles all, just like Jesus', and even galvanizes some to get serious about salvation from our savior who said "not everybody who says 'Lord Lord' will get into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew7,21)
Long before anybody heard about "the prosperity gospel," Branham was preaching against it. Instead, he preached for all God's people, for humanity, not for pastorianity or churchianity, not for secular power and wealth on behalf of the potentates of the world, but for humanity, poor as well as rich. In this homespun humanity and the breath of his gospel vision, he shares much with the renown American film-maker Frank Capra.
One note of caution, Branham's ability to communicate, especially vocally, is so effective, so boiled down and rich, the apparent temptation of some is to preach his words rather than the same written word and gospel that he so loved.
In sum, anyone who hasn't sampled Branham's vast gospel output has missed something of the potential breath, vision, and import of our individual faith witness according to the word of God.
Hope you enjoy this series.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...