They Asked Jesus Three Questions
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.
In our last two meetings we proved by the Bible, that God always sends a prophet before judgment, and that He promised a prophet to we Gentiles BEFORE the end of OUR Dispensation. We demonstrated how THIS ministry was FULFILLED by William Branham, and in last week's program, spoke on three essential doctrines his ministry restored. FIRSTLY, WATER BAPTISM by immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the ONLY New Testament water baptism. SECONDLY, the revelation of the TRUE Oneness of the GODHEAD and the supreme Deity of Jesus Christ, as taught from Genesis to Revelation, and THIRDLY the ORIGINAL SIN in the garden of Eden.
Jesus and His apostles, as well as the prophets of both Old and New Testaments, taught that the Gentile dispensation ends in APOSTASY, and NOT a revival, as supposed by some denominations. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock" because the Seventh and last, or Laodicean, Church Age, had put Him outside the Church. Paul prophesied of THIS time, saying that 'men would no longer endure SOUND doctrine; but having itching ears for pleasant words, gather to themselves one teacher after another to foster the ERRORS they hold, and turning aside from hearing the Truth, turn to man-made fables' (II Timothy 4:3-4).
Fancy Christ being put OUTSIDE the churches that bear His Name, and claim to be His Own; His spiritual Bride. No wonder He calls them a whore and harlots. They are UNFAITHFUL to the Word, yet CLAIM to be His body. Jesus said they would be LUKEWARM, and neither hot nor cold about SPIRITUAL matters and the REAL Word of God. MATERIALLY rich and in need of nothing, to the extent that they would not even REALIZE that they had REJECTED Him.
Can you imagine a woman in the natural, who was so MATERIALLY well-off, so engaged in the PURSUIT of 'affirmative action' -- to advance her own vanity, that she becomes oblivious to her husband, and does NOT know it! This is Jesus' prophecy concerning the CHURCH of today who CLAIM to be Christians - His WIFE. But are so engrossed with man-made traditions and programs contrary to the Word, they have left the Presence and don't miss Him. They don't even know it.
For five hundred years, beginning in the days of Martin Luther, God tried to reform the denominational system. Now He is calling His Bride out from it.
Two circumstances had to be dealt with by the Holy Spirit in order to PREPARE a Church for Christ's return. First, as mentioned in previous programs, it was necessary to RESTORE His elect back to the PURE Word of God and correct the doctrinal confusion created by hundreds of denominations. And some Scriptures, pertinent to the Bride of the end-time, had never been clearly taught. For instance, the parable of the wheat and tares of Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43; the antichrist of II Thessalonians 2:4; the mystery of the rapture; the mysteries of the Book of Revelation, and many others. This is precisely why a vindicated prophetic forerunner with "THUS SAITH THE LORD," was promised by the Bible. The Word of God comes ONLY to a prophet.
Did you ever notice that ONLY the forerunner of Christ's first Coming, John the Baptist, was able to IDENTIFY the Scriptures which were being fulfilled such as Isaiah 40:1-3. When he quoted them to denominational ministers of his day, they were so blinded by their own theology, that they could not see God's Word manifesting before their very eyes. Only he was able to identify the Lamb. I suppose each of the denominations were so sure of themselves they thought Messiah must come to them. So was it in the days of OUR end-time Elijah, whose ministry foreran Christ's SECOND Coming. It's over thirty years since his death, and denominations know nothing of the multitudes of Scriptures that have come to pass in THIS day! Or of this ESSENTIAL ministry of RESTORATION.
The second circumstance was the behavior of God's people. You will notice that besides rebuking the traditions of the clergy, John also trumpeted a call to repentance and holy living. Today, we find churches have relaxed their standard of holiness to such an extent, the conduct of their people conforms almost completely with that of the world.
In today's evangelical World, the focus has shifted from holiness, to finance. Grand projects of many internationally famous preachers are costing billions to build and maintain. One can hardly attend a meeting, or listen to a religious broadcast, without being accosted repeatedly for enormous sums of MONEY to sponsor religious resorts, hospitals, broadcasts, colleges, and universities. Adherents are compelled to support huge real estate empires and worldwide administrations.
In addition to this, mixed swimming, scantily clad women, social drinking, smoking, necking and petting among the young people, etc. has become acceptable in the churches. It wasn't so in the beginning.
Jesus identified OUR day with the days of Lot and Noah, wherein the BESETTING sin was SEXUAL promiscuity and finally, TOTAL perversion. The word, 'UNISEX', has been adopted to describe the attitudes, styles, and appearances of today's men and women. Over the last 30 years this trend has EVOLVED, until NOW they are exchanging roles. The WOMEN are cutting their hair, wearing men's garments, demanding equal rights and have forsaken motherhood and home-keeping to pursue their own careers. The MEN have become morally weak and perverse, growing their hair like women, wearing blouse-like shirts, tight suggestive pants, high heels, and even necklaces and earrings.
The churches, instead of resisting this perverse decline, have succumbed to and adopted these worldly standards of conduct, dress, music, and entertainment. Consequently, God has given then the portion of the unbeliever. Ichabod is written across their ornate portals, and God has ABANDONED them to the harlot system, and the IRREVOCABLE mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:15-18.)
However God cannot forsake His predestinated, and in spite of this dismal end-time scenario, promises 'a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing' (Ephesians 5:27.)
Once again, He has prepared an ark for a lovely, but tiny, end-time Bride. Her final call is twofold. One, "Come OUT of her (Rome and her daughters) My people" (Revelation 18:4); Two, come INTO Christ (Ephesians 1:10,) the LIVING Word of God. She alone will RECEIVE the Message of Christ's forerunner in THIS day, and make Herself ready for the great translation; the REST will be swept away by the PSYCHOLOGY of so-called revivals, into the council of churches, and perdition. This truly is the LAST call -- there will not be another. The Jews ARE in their homeland, the Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6 has COME, and GONE. His Message is in the hands and hearts of God's people. The stage is set for the rapture!
Multitudes of tapes and books of William Branham's sermons have been distributed all over the world. So although he died in 1965, his voice yet speaks. In country after country, God has raised up churches, and thousands have been delivered from sin, the world and denominationalism to walk according to the Scriptures. If you have been baptized by some organization under the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, you need to be rebaptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every Christian must realize that he can NOT follow God without following His Word! The evidence of our love for God is measured directly by our obedience to His revealed Word. In John 14:15 Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My Commandments'. We can only know Him as we see Him unveiled in His Word.
In the Laodicean Church Age, (Revelation 3:14-22,) Jesus foretold a pitiful picture of Himself knocking on the outside of the church. Not the heart as many suppose, although the call IS to individuals. He says, 'if any MAN, (NOT Word-rejecting system), HEAR My Voice, and open the door, I will come in'. May YOU who hear these words also HEAR and RESPOND to the Voice of the Bridegroom and join Him on the OUTSIDE of everything that has to do with man, and enter into His perfect Word!
Jesus promised in Matthew 24:45 that His faithful minority at the end of the world, who love to do the will of God, would be given 'meat (or Spiritual food) in due season'. He promised that while He was withdrawing from an apostate world, they would have provision and be nourished. Hallelujah! As Elijah provided meal and oil for the widow of Zarephath, the Elijah of THIS last age was commissioned to leave a "Message" which would carry the Bride through to the Rapture.
This Message sent by God through his prophet can CHANGE your life, and make the Word of God come ALIVE to you.
Paul esteemed the Bereans 'more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they RECEIVED the Word with all readiness of mind, then SEARCHED the Scriptures daily, whether those things were SO' (Acts 17:11).
Take this Message, consider It, check It out with the Scriptures and let the Lord reveal Himself to YOU. If you wish, you may call me now on or write to Brother Anthony care of this radio station.
Last week we had a visit from two overseas ministers, one from Mesa in Arizona, the other from Gisbourne, New Zealand. For many years their churches have been copying tapes and publishing transcripts of the Message of this end-time prophet, Brother Branham. I first met Brother Searle when he visited Hong Kong back in about 1979. He is now an old man close to eighty but he still travels the world to preach the Good News of what Jesus Christ has done in OUR day.
Did any of you manage to attend the services where Brother Mamalis spoke? Because of broadcasting commitments I was only able to hear him last Friday night. He certainly taught a sound Message on how to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost, which is the new birth. Brother Mamalis is a university professor, and as a Greek-American, is fluent in the original tongue of the New Testament. His service last Friday, except for the Greek, was translated into Mandarin. We were asked not mention the Chinese translation when we announced the services over the radio last week because the Communist secret service people are apparently quite active among the local Chinese community and do not take kindly to Christianity.
The unabridged cassette tapes and transcripts of Brother Branham's sermons are available for LOAN. You may also BORROW two video films recording the Supernatural Which followed and confirmed this mighty ministry. SEE people healed by God of leukemia, cancers and heart disease, while Jesus Christ is revealed the same yesterday, and today, and forever, veiled behind the flesh of a sinner saved by grace, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart 'as it was in the days of Lot'. Just write to me care of this station, and we'll make arrangements so you may witness this LAST Sign Jesus promised before the END of the Gentile dispensation, on film and cassette (http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/photos.htm).
Now let's catch up on a little Bible Believers':
Anyone on the 'Net can call Bible Believers', 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Teaching sermons, freeware Bibles, Concordances, Books, Bible games and much, much more is available for download. Users may participate in Conferences with other believers across Australia and throughout the world, for the cost of a local call.
Paul said, that in the end-time, which is AFTER all Seven Church Ages, (and consequently Christ's Mediation) are fulfilled, that the churches would be apostate. Then the Seven Seals would be revealed, but ministers would 'turn away their ears from the Truth, and be turned to fables'. The following two-part message from a user, is certain testimony to the validity of this prophecy of Scripture. I suspect he may be some shade of New Ager because his theology is really quite a patchwork of belief. He writes:-
"There has been so much watching and predicting the second coming of Christ and what it will be . . ."
But not, my Brother, by genuine Christians. As the Bible so clearly says, 'that day shall NOT overtake us as a thief' (I Thessalonians 5:4) because God sends a prophet in the spirit and power of Elijah BEFORE 'that great and dreadful day to RESTORE the apostolic faith' and 'FINISH the mystery of God' (Matthew 17:11; Revelation 10:7).
Next he says:-
"I would like to have a more logical explanation. None of the gospels were written while Jesus was on earth. Why? Because the early Christians were looking for an almost immediate personal return of Jesus Christ."
This is absolutely untrue and contrary to the Bible. The Gospels, and also the Epistles, as well as the Old Testament, are chock full of prophecies that had to be fulfilled BEFORE the return of Jesus Christ. Take, for example, the three questions the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24:3:-
1) When will the Temple be destroyed?
Jesus even told them WHEN to escape. And as this was not fulfilled until AD 70, we know for an absolute certainty, that NONE of the early Christians were anticipating the 'almost immediate personal return of Jesus Christ' before Titus had destroyed the Temple. Jesus WARNED them to escape when they saw the pennants of the Roman soldiers ... 'and pray that your flight is not in winter when the hills are full of snow, or on the sabbath day because the City gates will be shut and you'll be trapped'. So its destruction HAD to be AFTER the Gospels were written, otherwise such a major event in Jewish history would have been mentioned.
From that time the Israelites began to disperse once more. However we know that God does not deal with Israel outside their Land, and He returns to Israel for Daniel's 70th week, following the close of the Gentile dispensation (Daniel 9:24, 27; Romans 11:25-32). In 780 BC Hosea 6:2 said, 'After two days he will revive Israel, in the third day He will raise them up'. So the return of Jesus Christ could not come to pass until about 2,000 YEARS after Calvary. That's about NOW. We are LIVING well into the third day.
Peter, Paul, Jude, and John were prophets with THUS SAITH THE LORD, and the Gospels were written by scribes to whom the Holy Spirit brought to remembrance the Words of Jesus Christ, the God-Prophet (John 14:26). So they were NOT expecting the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
2) What shall be the Sign of Thy 'parousia'?
This is the Sign of Daniel 7:9; Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:9-11 and Revelation 1:7. It was the Shekinah or Pillar of Fire in the Form of a Cloud that led the children of Israel from bondage in natural Egypt, and has manifested AGAIN in THIS day, to lead God's children in the third exodus, from bondage to SPIRITUAL Egypt through man-made creed and dogma into the glorious liberty of the faith, (Matthew 25:6; Revelation 18:4).
This Sign manifested over Arizona on February 28, 1963, when a huge SUPERNATURAL cloud formed, 30 miles across and 26 miles high, above the atmosphere where there's NO moisture to form a NATURAL cloud. Encyclopaedia year books and books on meteorology, describe this phenomenon scientists have yet been unable to explain. It featured on the front page of the New York Times, The London Observer, in the May 17, 1963 Life, as well as Science, Weatherwise and numerous other magazines and scientific journals. These pictures are available for download from Bible Believers BBS.
You are looking for and speaking of the WRONG Coming of Christ. Christ's second Coming was a 'parousia', NOT an 'erchomai' Coming. Parousia is a Greek word meaning 'arrival and subsequent Presence', and in relation to Christ's SECOND Coming, does NOT refer to His physical appearing. You should be seeking the FULLNESS of the Word, NOT a man.
When the glorified Man sets foot on this earth, He returns WITH the glorified saints of ALL ages who step out on the ashes of the wicked, for the millennium. AFTER the destruction of ALL life on earth (Isaiah 13 :9; Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 3:12; Revelation 20:5). Nobody SEES Jesus Christ return, EXCEPT those who return WITH Him.
Christ's 'parousia' is NOT a physical Coming. His precious feet do not touch this earth ... we meet Him in the air. Therefore to suggest, as you have, that 'the early Christians were looking for an almost immediate personal return of Jesus Christ' is NOT the testimony of Jesus Christ, of Scripture, or 'the early Christians'. Remember, many of them SPOKE Greek; and they KNEW Christ's parousia was NOT the return of a Man.
3) And what shall be the Sign of the end of the Pentecostal feast, or the Gentile dispensation?
Jesus said this would be the restoration of Israel to her OWN land.
Since the times of the Gentiles BEGAN Jerusalem's captivity by Nebuchadnezzar Israel and Judah did not REGAIN sovereignty until AFTER World War II. Your claim the 'early Christians were looking for an almost immediate personal return of Jesus Christ' is FALSE.
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