"The Mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which though sawest are the seven churches." Revelation1,20
An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages, Voice of God Recordings, 2012, Jeffersonville, Indiana
The Smyrnaen Church Age p.110-11:
In order to refresh your minds I want to point out again how we arrive at finding the names of the messengers to the various ages. God in his sovereign will has seen to it that the history of the New Testament church was not lost, as even as He saw to it that the history of Israel would not be lost by placing it in the Bible and corroborating it today from multitudes of scrolls, earthen vessels and other artifacts that archeologists have discovered and interpreted. We actually have a running commentary of Bible history from the first page up until now. Thus by reading history we can find out what man or men in the various ages were the closest to God's original pattern, the Apostle Paul. The ones that God used to bring his people back to the Word of Truth would be the ones to examine. Then out of these there would be one for every age who would stand out the clearest as the closest in Word pattern and power. That one would be the messenger. The ages are also found by a study of history. One simply needs to read the ages as found in Revelation and it all patterns perefectly with history as INDEED IT MUST. Since the church ages were foretold by God [Revelation2-3] and their very conditions revealed, then of necessity, the history that would follow would be as the BIble sets forth. It is that simple- but then simplicity is the key to the Word. Now with all this I have not simply been a student and a historian, I have sought to be a Spiritual-minded man, and it was only with the definite approval of the Spirit of God that I chose the men I have chosen. This is true as God knows my heart."
*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 thirteenth 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...