To me it is wonderful what God has done in our midst, but somebody is always questioning because they don't understand. Not that questions are wrong if asked in the proper attitude, but the Scripture says that "because of their questions and doubting, Jesus did not many miracles in Nazareth." For when Jesus returned to Nazareth, they began to say, "Don't we know him? Wasn't he raised right here and don't we know his father? Is this not the carpenter's son?" Therefore, because they began to look at the carnal side, seeing him only as a man, he did few wondrous works in their midst.
Spirits are not seen. We "war not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities," as the Scripture says. Thus it is today that, without a spiritual revelation of the working of God through His prophet, people will ask questions, wondering why (in their eyes) we follow a man. The carnal mind, the natural mind of man, is always at enmity against God.
There seem to be four basic questions which plague the minds of people concerning William Branham. These are: Why do you follow a man? Why do you give so much praise and glory to one man? Why do you people place so much trust in the tapes? What about the mistakes, the errors and the contradictions that Brother Branham makes? I will answer these questions in the order of their listing.
If someone asks me why I am following this man, I respond with the question: If they had lived in the days of Jesus Christ, at a time when no one knew who He was, what would they have done when Jesus walked past and said, "Follow me." But, you argue, that was Emmanuel, the Son of God. True, but how many people knew it when He said those words? Obviously, there was something about this man, some magnetic drawing, that caused them to follow Him, though they could not explain it even to themselves. But they did follow Him, and the disciples were strongly criticized for following a man. For He was a man-in whom God dwelled.
In I Corinthians 11:1, Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." Would any Christian of that day have said that it was wrong to follow Paul? I don't think so - if they were truly Christians and understood who Paul was. But the same kind of people today, secure in their belief that it was right for the disciples to follow Christ (even though they only knew Him as a man at the time), and that it was also proper to follow Paul, somehow, by obscure logic, will say that it is wrong to follow Brother Branham - to follow him as he followed Christ. Yet these same people urge others to follow them. They have no question or doubt about following a certain evangelist, preacher, or the Pope - taking what one man says and following it. They refuse to believe anything that is contrary to what this one man says, yet they turn around and accuse us of wrongly following Brother Branham - a man whose Powerful Ministry far exceeded all the rest.
Others follow a group of men in a denomination, where everything is related to and judged by what their denomination teaches. The Bible says in Matthew 24 that if they come to you and say, "Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not." Consider this, that Jesus was seeing those things at the end as though they come together behind closed doors who would compose creeds and dogmas saying, "Here is Christ. Here is what you can believe. We say this-you believe it. You'll be alright, you'll go to Heaven." But the Word stands in silent warning: "Believe it not." God's Word shows clearly why this could not be of God, for every thing God has ever spoken to man it has been to one man only, not a group of men meeting behind closed doors. Not only this, but without fail, that one man was prepared specially all his life, brought to a position where he could speak, not on his own, but "Thus saith the Lord."
Some are so pitifully mistaken that they follow only their own poor revelation, which is filled with the possibility of error, and so cannot follow Brother Branham's message. In most cases, their revelations are not only without foundation, but against the very Word of God. For example, the Word says, "The Lord our God is one God." Now, how can one have a vision of three Gods and expect it to have proceeded from God? How can there be a revelation of the so-called trinity, which is not even mentioned in the Bible, and it be of God? It is nothing more than a tradition of the Roman church, just as Christmas is a tradition.
Brother Branham taught why Christmas cannot be the birthday of the Lord because Christ was born in the spring of the year when the shepherds were in the field. They aren't in the fields in December. Where did it come from, this tradition? The Roman church is guilty. lt was merely to bring the pagans and the Christians together on a common ground. Brother Branham explains this on his sermon "Christianity Versus Idolatry - 12/17/61". There is so much paganism mixed into Christendom that people no longer know the difference, taught as they have been for nineteen hundred years. To get the pagans to accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, they had to have a date for His birthday. Since the pagans were already celebrating December 25, one of the shortest days of the year, as the birthday of their sun god; the Roman Catholic church changed it from "sun god," to "Son of God,", leading the people to believe that it really doesn't make a difference.
Easter is another example of the traditions of men replacing the Word of God. The name was derived from a Babylonian goddess named Ishtar, whose legendary magic rabbit laid colored eggs representing sex and fertility. The pagan idea was combined with the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ in order that the pagans might receive it.
Pagans worshipped the gods of the sun, the earth, and the moon. The true one-God concept had to be made compatible with the pagan concept, so they developed a triune God from the titles mentioned in the Word of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But they never got the Jews to accept it because the Word says that the "Lord our God is one God." Elohim, the eternal existent, self-sufficient one manifesting Himself as God the Father in the Pillar of Fire, God the Son in Christ, and God the Holy Ghost when He sent His Spirit with tongues of fire. The same God in three offices, the Lord our God. That's not Oneness doctrine, that's the Bible.
Some claim there is a contradiction and say they would rather do what Jesus said than what Peter said. How foolish, for if they take Acts 2:38 out of the Bible, then they might as well take others out they don't want to believe. Why do people believe that it is right and proper and in accordance with the teaching of Jesus to be baptized "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?" Because Jesus said so? Yet Jesus said the remission of sins shall be preached in my name - the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is the Name under Heaven whereby all men must be saved? The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Father is not a name, it is a title. I am father of my children, husband to my wife, son to my parents, but I am one person and my name is Pearry Green. My name is not Father, Husband, and Son. So it is with the Saviour of this world. And most important, so it must be with the Bride! She must have His Name.
We read in Revelation that the first thing they began to do in the churches was deny His name. They adopted the titles as names because the Roman church required three gods to fit with the pagan belief. But as William Branham brought this out, showing them in the Scriptures, they denied it, saying, "Our denomination doesn't teach that." They would rather rely on denominational dogmas, private dreams, and revelations, or teachings of other men than the vindicated Word of God brought through His prophet, and written in the Bible.
But if you ask me whether I am following one man, my answer is yes - as he brought the Word of God "Thus saith the Lord." They ask whether I don't think I talk too much about him. No, I don't talk enough. You see, I am not glorifying Brother Branham's flesh, I am glorifying God in him. Paul, in Galatians 11:24, tells how when the people saw all the things that God did through him, "They glorified God in me." What does it mean to glorify God? The word "glory" means great honor, praise, or distinction to someone who has done something important or worthwhile. Now, without apology, I tell you, what God did through Brother Branham was one of the most important and most valuable things that ever happened to me. He lifted blindness from my eyes (the traditions of men) and revealed Himself to me that I might see and behold the wondrous vision of God before my eyes.
To glorify means to make glorious, to give glory, to exalt, and to honor, to make things better, finer, more important than may actually be the case. I know the Bible says in Ist. Corinthians 10:31 that "whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God," and in Ist. Corinthians 1:31, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." But I want you to know that to me God is His Word. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." John saw God in three different ways as his revelation became deeper - first as a man, next as the Word, and then as Light.
Some say we make too much of what has happened. Not if it is of God! You may over-exalt humanity, but you can never over exalt God. There is simply no way that man can over exalt God. If God said a thing, then manifested it by bringing it to pass, I will have no fear in glorifying it. If it came through a man named William Branham, I'll glorify God in him. I won't apologize for it, I will only be glad that I can see it and be sorry that others cannot.
Sometimes I wonder why it was that God let me see, but yet it happened that way because it was so predestinated. Look at the days of Israel when Moses came on the scene. Many Israelite men were far better known than Moses, but God chose Moses to be that man. Nobody complains today when the name of Moses is glorified; they know that it wasn't Moses that did it, but God in Moses. Even today the children of Israel still love the name of Moses, for he was a man sent from God in his day. It is no different today. God said He would send one in the spirit of Elijah that would correct and restore all of those things that had gone off into error; God did send him in the person of William Branham, and I glorify God in him.
They question our trust in the recorded Messages of William Branham. People come to the Tucson Tabernacle, settle into the pews, and prepare to hear a sermon. Often, I set the tape recorder up on the pulpit; the people usually have a printed copy of the sermon in their hands, and Brother Branham preaches on the tape. Some disapprove because they say that the man is dead; he's gone. Well, so is Paul dead, so is he gone, but he brought, and still brings, the Word of God. To some this statement may be alarming. I can hear the question, "Wait a minute, are you saying these tapes are the Word of God?" Yes, I am saying this, but they don't understand why I say it. Printed matter is published every day from ministers and evangelists who claim that theirs is the Word of God, but this doesn't offend those who question us.
What is the Word of God? The Bible? Why is it called Bible? Why is it called Scripture? Because it was originally handwritten, that's all. But today the word "Scripture" has become synonymous with the word "Bible." When we acknowledge a saying as Scriptural, we are saying that it is in accordance with the Word of God. The word "Bible" comes from the Greek "biblica" which means "collection of writings. n "Biblion" means "little book. " "Biblos" means a papyrus, or scroll. But the separate book of Christianity that we call the Bible is a collection of both the Old and New Testaments. The Roman Catholics have their own name for their book which includes other books and they call it Scripture. The Jews recognize the Old Testament as Scripture, the Torah. The Moslems recognize the Koran. The Mormons have their own book. But they all call it Scripture. It is their Bible.
How amazing it is that people will demand to know out of what book Brother Branham got a certain thing. (As though being written in a book made a thing infallible.) How did he know that so and so took place? I've read a lot in books that wasn't so! Now, the Jews have the law, written by Moses, the first five books in the Bible, and in answer to those who want to know where Brother Branham got certain things, I ask them, how did Moses know God created the world in six days? He wasn't there. Where did the things come from that Moses put in his books? God revealed them to him, that's all. Why? Simply because he was a prophet.
It happened the same way in our day. They say, "But everything is already in the Bible." That is exactly right, but we don't understand everything that is in the book. There were mysteries spoken of in Daniel, for instance, that people didn't recognize; he said it would be revealed in the time of the end. John the Revelator saw things in his vision that he couldn't even write; but he said it would be revealed in the time of the end. How then does God reveal a thing? By sending His Word through a prophet. So it has always been. Moses wrote a history from the beginning-by revelation. Job records a personal experience. David wrote psalms.
The various prophets wrote of the happenings and experiences of their day, their visions. This is all called Scripture, the Word of God. Would they have been able to accept it better back in the days of, say, Jeremiah? Or, would they have had to let it stand for a few years? Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all wrote what they saw and heard. In Colossians 4:16, Paul says of his own writing, "And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea." If the same attitude which questions the tapes of Brother Branham's sermons being the Word of God had been prevalent in Paul's day, they would have asked just who Paul thought he was. Suggesting that they read the entire epistle in their church. How preposterous! We have our own pastor, they would have said; he can bring us a message.
So when they ask why we play the recorded Messages of William Branham in our services, I simply tell them that they need a revelation of who this was and what he said. Again in Ist. Thessalonians 5:27, Paul said, "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren." Why? Because this was "Thus saith the Lord!" Bear in mind that it is easier for us to agree with this now, but back in the days when it was written and received, it was only a letter, written by a man to a church. Likewise, the recorded sermons of Bro. Branham be viewed as nothing more than a sermon preached by a man to a congregation, yet it is the Word of God to this generation. It is "Thus saith the Lord."
After all, Paul wrote two-thirds of the New Testament; but this is appropriate enough when we realize that he was the first messenger. He was the messenger to the Ephesian church age. Paul's writings were used to settle important matters. Supposing a deacon was to be selected, what must be his qualifications? The answer could be found in Paul's first letter to Timothy, chapter 3, "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife . . . " If a proposed deacon could not meet the qualifications set down through Paul, the authority, he could not be accepted. That was pretty definite.
So it is with us today who follow this messenger of God to this age, vindicated as Paul was. If a question arises, I can say, "Let's go to the electronically recorded messages for an answer."
Scriptures, writings, collected together become the Bible. John the Revelator had such fantastic visions on the Isle of Patmos, recorded in the Bible, that if the like had come forth today, the great theologians and denominational heads would have utterly refused to accept it, and they would have missed completely the most wonderful revelation of all. Jesus said that Scripture cannot be broken, and He called it the Word of God. At one time He said, "Search the Scriptures (the old Testament as written) for in them ye think ye have eternal life." But where does Scripture come from? In II Timothy 3:16, the Word says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." In II Peter 1:20, we read, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
Today many people speak who are not moved by the Holy Ghost to speak. And there are many who say they believe the message of Brother Branham, yet all they have proved is that they can listen to the recorded messages and they can read. If they really believe, they would put what they hear into practice. They refuse to hear preachers who preach the message when the prophet charged the ministers to preach and ordained them to do so. And the Word says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And again, "And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" When they say there is no need for preachers they have not heard the prophet correctly. For example, some people, hearing the prophet say that education is of the devil, immediately take their children out of school. But he didn't say to do that, nor did he do it with his own children.
Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." This then is God's way of making secrets known-through His prophets. If it were otherwise, then the Scripture would be broken and Jesus said that Scripture could not be broken. That is why I say the recorded Messages of William Branham are our epistles for this day; they contain our instructions, authority, reference, and official guide, spoken not by the will of a man but by a holy man under the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
These tapes are records of visions and experiences that bring "Thus saith the Lord" to the Bride. He said we were to hear the recorded and/or printed Messages. He said that they were the Message. Yet the question arises, as to how a man could be so presumptuous as to believe that what he said was the Word of God. The answer is, the same way Paul could be sure. Paul, when aboard the ship, turned to the captain and said, "Don't you let one soul overboard, because the Angel of the Lord stood by me and told me that we would all be saved but lose the ship." That was against natural judgment, but Paul had "Thus saith the Lord." And he stuck to it at the risk of his own life. They wanted to kill the prisoners lest one escape and Paul forbade them to do it, knowing that they would break the Word of God if they did.
Yes, Paul was presumptuous, but he was right. Before King Agrippa, Paul was so presumptuous, so thoroughly convinced that what he had was right, that he said, "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." This wasn't self-righteousness either; he just knew that he was right. This conviction is what brought him to where he could stand in Jerusalem and say, "Follow me, even as I follow Christ." He knew that others would come with revelation also, so he wrote in Galatians 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach another gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Thus he set up a safeguard against even himself changing what he had said. That man knew what he was talking about. He knew that he served an unchanging God and that God had given him His own words.
Brother Branham once said to me, "Brother Pearry, if I ever tell you "thus saith the Lord' and it does not come to pass exactly as I say it, don't you ever listen to me again!" He said, it would have been himself that had entered into it. So it wasn't Brother Branham talking, but a holy man under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, bringing the message of the mysteries to the Bride.
Paul, in I Corinthians 14:37, wrote, "If any man think himself to be a prophet (and this surely fits today), or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." Therefore when a man comes to me today and says that he is a prophet, I apply a simple test, I merely ask him whether he believes Brother Branham to be a prophet with the spirit of Elijah and, after I know that he has enough background to understand this, if he refuses it and walks away, then I know he is not what he claims to be. He may say he is, but a prophet does not deny the Word out of jealousy.
I think of Granddad Marconda, how God used him and his wife throughout the nation among the Italians, but when he heard this message, he said, "That's the prophet." There were people that followed him, but he asked every one whenever he got the chance, "Have you heard God's prophet?" No jealousy there. If they say, "God speaks through me," then they shouldn't be jealous if God also speaks through somebody else.
It is important to stay with the Word as brought by the messenger. I hear them say, "But Branham made mistakes." (In the first place, the prophet said, "If you love me, you'll call me Brother Branham.") They say there are contradictions, but I say that I don't find any. I wonder if they mean such seeming contradictions as appear in the Word. For instance, Matthew 28:19 says "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," but, Acts 2:38 says, "Jesus Christ." Is this a contradiction? No, it is a lack of revelation.
There are no contradictions in the Bible, just a lack of individual revelation. People take the verses that say, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, . . . Consider the lilies of the field, . . . And I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these," and they become bums. But let them also read where it says, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise;" the balancing side. Proverbs 26:4 and 5 contain a classic example of what seems to be a contradiction in the Word of God. Verse 4 says: "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto hirn." And verse 5: "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." Is it a contradiction? No, It is a matter of revelation of the proper and improper way of dealing with the folly of the foolish.
Likewise, there is no contradiction in Brother Branham's message. Not in one place. There are people, however, who misunderstand what he said. The Scriptures are balanced. The Message is balanced. When I first said to Brother Branham, "Sir, I perceive you to be the prophet with the spirit of Elijah upon you," he answered, "Brother Pearry, keep your balance in the Scriptures."
To me, the Message is spiritual authority; yet I had difficulty thinking of it as Scripture, because it wasn't written in script. But I have no hesitancy whatsoever for saying it is "Thus saith the Lord." Therefore I say it is the Word of God.
Some fear because they know that the Word warns about taking away and adding to the Bible, but, they need not fear, for Brother Branham's message was not guilty of either of these. It merely fulfilled it (as the Word itself said it would in the last days). You see, it is completed in the written Bible, but it is not revealed. The message revealed and "they that have eyes to see can see it." Also "they that have ears to hear can hear it." But not all men will see it and not all men will hear it because they will give a carnal interpretation to a spiritual revelation and, as a result they will not see, nor will they hear what God did in this generation.
I follow a man, Brother Branham, as he followed Christ, and I glorify God in him and I say that what he brought for this generation was the Word of God for the Bride.
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