An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages, Voice of God Recordings, 2012, Jeffersonville, Indiana
The Pergamean Church Age
"Thou Has Not Denied My Faith" p.179:
In Acts 3,16 when Peter was asked how the mighty miracle had taken place upon the crippled one at the Gate Beautiful, he explained it on this wise, "And His (Jesus) Name through faith in His (Jesus) Name hath made this man (former cripple) strong, yea the faith which is by (from) Him (Jesus) hath given him (the man) this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." See there it is. Jesus' Name, and Jesus' Faith brought about the miracle. Peter did not claim it was his own human faith any more than he claimed that it was his own name. He said that Jesus' Name used in the the faith which is from Jesus performed that great work. This faith is what the Lord Jesus was speaking about in Revelation 2:13. It was HIS faith. It was not faith IN Him. But it was HIS OWN faith that He had given to the believers. Romans 12:3, "According as God hath dealt to every man" (according to verse 1 the men are BRETHREN) "the measure of faith." Ephesians 2:8, "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that (Faith) not of yourself: it is a gift of God." And it also says in James 2:1, "My brethren," (notice he, too, is talking to BRETHREN), "have not the faith OF (not in) our Lord Jesus Christ Christ with respect of persons."
In this Pergamean Age where men were humanizing salvation, having turned from the the truth that "salvation is of the Lord," - having cast aside the doctrine of election and opened wide the church door and their fellowship to any and all who subscribed to their tenets (never mind the word), in this age of rapid degradation, there were still a few who had the measure of that faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not only used that faith in acts of power but withstood those who dared to say that they were simply saved on the grounds of joining a church. They knew that no man could truly believe unto eternal life and the righteousnes of God apart from the measure of the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. As today's church is filled with mental believers who endorse the virgin birth, the shed blood, going to church and taking communion, and are not reborn at all, even so in that third age was the same problem. Human faith wasn't enough then and it is not enough now. It takes the very faith of the Son of God to drop into a man's heart so that he can receive the Lord of glory into the temple not made with human hands.'
*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 fourth 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 is his voice still so welcome? 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 something of 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...