Matthew 24:45 A Faithful and Wise Servant
REVELATION 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
This sounds very much like brother Branham's ministry that condemned organized church systems.
The strong "voice of the seventh angel".
REVELATION 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
"Come out". An exodus.
"Another voice". The inner conviction of the Holy Spirit that tells individuals that all the modern churches are wrong.
All the churches? Even the message-churches?
Yes. Because no exceptions are mentioned when Jesus speaks to the Laodiceans.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
REVELATION 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Jesus, the revealed Word, stands outside the church door and appeals, not to the church, but only to an individual.
All churches are included in this condemnation of our apostate church age.
The third exodus is to call individuals out of the crushing power of organized churches that bind the individual into subjection to a priesthood of the five-fold ministry. This five-fold ministry has now evolved to produce a one-man leader as head of each church, called a pastor. The pastors of the modern churches have replaced the Bishops of the Dark Ages. The Pope took authority over all the Bishops. Now, a prominent pastor (sometimes called an apostle) wants to exert world-wide authority over other pastors. This is the spirit of Roman Catholicism.
65-0220 GOD'S CHOSEN PLACE OF WORSHIP
A man called me not long ago, in Beaumont, Texas. He said, "Mr. Branham, if your name is not on our church book, you cannot go to Heaven." Would you ever think of that? Don't you believe such a thing as that. They think you have to belong to that certain church or you cannot go to Heaven. That's wrong. To believe that, is antichrist. I'll say this: if you believe such a spirit, you're lost. That's a good sign you are lost, because it's taking away from what God did. God never put His Name in any church. He put It in His Son, Christ Jesus, when He and His Son became One. That's the genuine place of worship. No other foundations was laid, no other rock.
Each of the early churches was run by elders, some of whom preached as part of the five-fold ministry.
But the elders who had a preaching ministry were not above the elders who did not preach. All the elders had equal authority.
I TIMOTHY 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
The church at Ephesus was a foundation for all the church ages. The Ephesian church age was the first church age.
Paul left this church in the hands of the elders. There was no mention of a pastor.
ACTS 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
ACTS 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
As soon as the apostles died, ambitious men started taking over the church as Bishops. Bishops were elevated above the people.
The Old Testament priesthood that stood between the people and God was done away with at Calvary.
Now, every believer is a priest.
I PETER 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
I PETER 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
There is nobody above a priest other than the High Priest, Jesus.
Today, no one man can claim pre-eminence over Christians. That is a Nicolaitan spirit.
"Niko" in Greek means "overpower".
An unscriptural priesthood of preachers overpowered the congregation or laity.
A sheep can only feed at the spot where it has been tied.
Up to AD 312 the believers met mainly in houses as small groups that were guided by a group of elders.
62-0601 TAKING SIDES WITH JESUS
Now, do you know, when those early men went out, sometimes there were only about six or eight of them, together? And they shook the country. Well, you know, when Aquila and Priscilla, that great revival that Apollos was having over there, there was only about six or eight men and women in that bunch. That whole church, meant six or eight. You got five or six, seven times as many here tonight as they had then.
ROMANS 16:5Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
Within 150 years or so of the death of the last of the apostles, two significant organizational changes found their way into the congregation: first, the separation between the bishop and the presbyters (elders), with the bishop occupying the top rung of the hierarchical ladder; second, the separation between the clergy (preachers) and the laity.
Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage who died in AD 258, elevated the Bishops as being a class separate from the rest of the church.
Instead of the communion bread and wine being a symbol of salvation, eating the bread became the salvation of the people. The priest alone drank the wine to separate him from the congregation.
Thus the church went to its death in the Dark Ages. Guided by elevated church leaders.
But when a church leader is wrapped up in himself then he makes a small package.
MATTHEW 24:44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Again, reminding us of the total mystery of the seventh Seal.
"The Son of man".
The word "the" means that there is only one Person Who this refers to. Jesus.
MATTHEW 24:45Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
"A faithful ... servant".
The word "a" means that no specific person is being referred to.
This can mean any faithful individual.
Each local church had a number of faithful people.
COLOSSIANS 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
COLOSSIANS 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
COLOSSIANS 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
God uses each wise and faithful man as a local elder in one of His local churches.
No local church must have one man as its head. No man must be head of many churches. That is Catholic.
Each local assembly is ruled by a group of local elders, never by one man.
I PETER 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
I PETER 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Not for filthy lucre. Today, this gets collected by the pastor and distributed to his yes-men to buy their loyalty.
No Scripture says that the tithes belong to the pastor.
Agabus prophesied of a big drought. Disciples collected money to send to the believers in Judaea.
ACTS 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
ACTS 11:30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
The collected money was delivered to the elders. It was the elders, working as a team, who decided on how the money was to be spent. The elders ruled the assembly and handled the financial affairs.
I PETER 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
No elder felt that he was the head of the church.
I PETER 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Each elder in a local assembly will be rewarded when the Lord comes.
57-0908 HEBREWS CHAPTER FIVE AND SIX.1
Show me by the Bible what's greater, in the Bible, than a local elder to a local church?
That's right, yes, sir, the sovereignty of the local church, each church in itself.
Their task is to ensure that each local assembly returns to the pattern of the first church age that never had a pastor in charge of a church. If a pastor is the head of the church, then that pattern is unscriptural.
Most of the apostles were dead by AD 70 when the Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem. Thus there was no longer any church with pre-eminence. Then the Nicolaitans quietly took over each local church and elevated a holy man to be the head of the church. God hated that.
REVELATION 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Nicolaitan is to conquer the laity by elevating a holy man above the laity or congregation.
The seventh angel came to reveal the mysteries of the written Scripture.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
If he restores all things then there is no need for us to look for a follow-up ministry.
Believers can obviously help each other but there is no dominant ministry that we are dependent on.
If each local assembly studies the message to prove brother Branham's revelations from Scripture, they can be restored to the first church.
People are free to search the interNET or ask for help wherever they feel led, but there is no central world-wide figure that they have to obey.
That is how the Catholics regard the Pope.
Many have claimed to be the Elisha to follow Elijah or to be the eighth angel. Thus the Nicolaitan's spirit is still strong in the last church age.
But men should not indulge in praising their own ministries.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;
Only one disciple of John the Baptist, who was Andrew, became a disciple of Jesus.
So following brother Branham is no guarantee that you will end up following the Scriptures.
Especially if the head of your church is a pastor, which is unscriptural, to begin with.
We are all fallible humans with many mistakes in our beliefs.
So these self-elevating men continue to spread error to all those who uplift them.
Each church only listens to its elevated pastor.
This minimizes their chances of ever hearing the truth from outside their church.
But in the last church age, Jesus stands outside the church. Every church. Because he mentions no exceptions.
There are many differently-believing message-churches. Thus there is much error circulating. Yet each message-church proudly claims to have the full truth.
Some of the obvious errors:
A seven-year Tribulation has been carried over from the denominations to some of the message-churches.
They claim that the antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews for 7 years and then break it after 3.5 years.
DANIEL 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease
The covenant is not made, it is confirmed.
A confirmed covenant cannot be broken.
GALATIANS 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
God made the covenant with Abram in Genesis Chapter 15, using animal sacrifices.
GENESIS 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
Then the covenant was confirmed at Calvary with the ultimate sacrifice, the death of Jesus after a 3½ year ministry. That ended all the animal sacrifices and Temple oblations.
GALATIANS 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ,
Consequently, there is only a 3½ year Tribulation left.
Another big error is that a man can divorce and remarry, usually to a younger woman.
When a man and woman are legally married, no divorce and remarriage is allowed.
The woman has to be a virgin. If she is not and did not confess this before the wedding, then her vow is false.
When her husband discovers this, he can divorce her if he so wishes. Her false vow was not binding and thus, he is free to re-marry. But if he forgives her then the marriage vow is binding.
Fornication is sex when unmarried. This applies to man and woman.
I CORINTHIANS 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
A non-virgin who never confessed can be divorced. Eve was not a virgin when she came to Adam. That is the only excuse that God accepts for cancelling a wedding. Then, and then alone, can the man remarry someone else, as long as she is a virgin.
Because of this one exception, the Bible cannot say that a man cannot remarry.
But, only in this one specific circumstance that he did not know that his bride was not a virgin and had been humbled by someone else. If he does find out later after the wedding, and if she does submit herself to him as her head, then he is free to forgive her and the marriage vow then lasts till death.
MATTHEW 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
In every other case, divorce and remarriage means living in adultery.
ROMANS 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth;
A legal vow is binding until death.
The marriage vow binds the woman as long as her husband lives.
Thus this vow is equally binding on the man until his death.
A bizarre error is the claim that a man cannot commit adultery against his own marriage.
This claims that a married man can sleep with a single or unmarried woman. Quite awful.
A terminally unimaginative answer.
I CORINTHIANS 6:18 Flee fornication.
Fornication is a single person indulging in sex.
The Old Testament allowed the animal law of polygamy because Eve listened to an animal, the serpent, before it was cursed and turned into a snake.
But polygamy stopped at Calvary. Then things went back to the beginning. One man and one woman only.
MATTHEW 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Divorce is ugly. It speaks of a hard heart.
We cannot prepare for the future Wedding Supper of the Lamb if we get involved in a divorce.
Jesus wants us to be like Adam and his bride were at the beginning. No divorce. Just one man and one woman that were married to each other. No third party.
61-0806 THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL
The divorce courts of America produce more divorces by our women than all the rest of the nations. The morals in our country is lower, and divorces, than it is in France or Italy, where prostitution's on the streets so... But they're prostitutes; ours is married women trying to live with several men, and several married men trying to live with other women.
In the nations where they have polygamy, it's a thousand times better. And yet, polygamy's wrong; we know.
Message pastors now specialize in speculating about the mysteries that are not written in the Bible.
Brother Branham's ministry was to finish the mysteries that are written in the Book.
62-1230 IS THIS THE SIGN OF THE END SIR
Notice his type of Message, "Finishing all the mysteries of God, that are written in the Book." The seventh angel is winding up all the mysteries that's laying loose-ended, all out through these organizations and denominations. The seventh angel gathers them up, and finishes the entire mystery. That's what the Bible said, "Finishes the mystery of the written Book."
The early church never tried to preach on the unwritten mysteries like what the 7 Thunders are nor when the Coming of the Lord happens.
63-0324 THE SEVENTH SEAL
Now, what this great secret is that lays beneath this Seal, I do not know. I don't know it. I couldn't make it out. I couldn't tell it, just what it, and, just what it said. But I know that it was them seven thunders uttering themselves right close together, just banging seven different times, and it unfolded into something else that I seen.
Then when I seen that, I looked for the interpretation that flew across there, and I couldn't make it out. That's exactly right, friend. See? The hour isn't quite yet for it, but it's moving into that cycle. See? It's coming up close.
… But I know that it was them seven thunders uttering themselves right close together, just banging seven different times, and it unfolded into something else that I seen.
Then when I seen that, I looked for the interpretation that flew across there, and I couldn't make it out…….. and there's one thing that I cannot interpret, because it's in an unknown language.
... and He opened that Seventh Seal. But you see, it's a hidden mystery. No one knows it. But it's right along with what He said: no one would know His coming; they also would not know about this seven thunder mystery. So you see, it's connected together.
The interpretation was in an unknown tongue. Thus we know nothing about the seven Thunders.
64-0614 THE UNVEILING OF GOD
And he said, "Well, then, them seven thunders, you see," said, "wouldn't them seven thunders blasting out, won't that be a Revelation be give to some man?"
I said, "No, sir, it would be adding something to It or taking Something from It."
No person is going to suddenly come up with a bright idea to explain the seven Thunders.
The early church just preached the written Word.
II TIMOTHY 4:2 Preach the word;
MATTHEW 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
"That servant". Any elder, anywhere, who is taking the quotes back to Scripture so that the truth can be proven, just by using the Bible.
Any elder who believes that the 1769 King James Version of the Bible is the infallible and absolute Word of God.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Our eagle-season is to catch the revelation of a doctrine from the messages of William Branham and then labour to establish that doctrine from Scripture. We must then be able to prove the doctrine purely from Scripture, without referring back to brother Branham’s quotes.
That is what every wise servant is trying to do as he serves his local church.
In the age of the interNET, a local church can now also be a network of widely scattered individuals using ZOOM technology to fellowship, and by learning from websites.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The great harlot in Revelation 17 is drunk. So Message pastors drink from the denominational cup of Rome and claim dominion over the church. They claim to be head of the church just like the Catholic priests are head of their churches. They dominate the people and harshly condemn any opposition to intimidate the people into obeying their will and following their beliefs. They rely on their pools or puddles of interpreted quotes because they cannot prove their beliefs from Scripture. Only when you run a doctrine through the Scripture are you partaking of the River of Life.
MATTHEW 24:50The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Again reminding us of the total mystery of the seventh Seal which represents the Coming of the Lord.
MATTHEW 24:51And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Pastors love to have the pre-eminence. They rule the church. They limit the people to their own knowledge areas and the congregation is crippled in those areas where the pastor is ignorant. These domineering leaders will end up in the Tribulation.
Pastors claim to be shepherds, but the Scripture does not say a shepherd is the pastor.
The Scripture does not say a pastor is the head of the church.
The word "pastor" is only mentioned once in the New Testament, so he has no Bible authority to be the head of the church.
The Bible condemns pastors six times.
JEREMIAH 23:1Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD
JEREMIAH 2:8…:the pastors also transgressed against me,
JEREMIAH 10:21For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD:
JEREMIAH 12:10Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
JEREMIAH 22:22The wind shall eat up all thy pastors,
These are some of the mistakes that pastors tend to make.
It is obvious that power over people corrupts a one-man-leader.
The leadership of the church needs a serious review.
EPHESIANS 4:11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
This is the only verse that mentions "pastors" in the New Testament.
And in this reference, they are mentioned fourth out of five ministries. Thus they have no Scriptural claim to be in charge of the church. They have usurped that position.
When God set up the church He never even referred to a pastor.
I CORINTHIANS 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
It takes a Bible teacher to prove the message-revelations just from Scripture.
Who should lead the church?
St Paul at the start of the New Testament church said it should be elders.
ACTS 20:17And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
ACTS 20:28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
St Peter said the same thing towards the end of the New Testament.
I PETER 5:1The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
I PETER 5:2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
JEREMIAH 23:2Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
God is not impressed with pastors who are in charge.
A pastor has his limitations. He has his strengths, which are good, but also has his weaknesses and areas of ignorance, which cripple the people's progress as they seek Truth. Some churches appoint elders, who first have to be approved by the pastor and thus have to be his yes-men. But even this group of elders is dominated by the pastor as the churches have adopted the Catholic model of having one man in charge.
It is impossible to find the full Bible Truth in a church dominated by a man because that whole structure is contrary to the Bible. Full Truth will not emerge within a framework of error.
Dominating leaders of the church is also an indication of the end time where error takes over the church.
Always remember what God said about our seventh church age churches:
REVELATION 3:16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Lukewarm means partly Scriptural and partly unscriptural.
Out of God’s mouth comes His Word. So the absence of Scripture in so much of what the churches believe means that they are no longer in the Word of His mouth. God does not accept us as being partly right and partly wrong. He requires us to be searching for doctrines that are fully correct. In other words, we must be open to correction. We must be teachable. We must want to be taught.
REVELATION 3:17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
There is no “thing” that is darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. God’s Word is light. Being unscriptural is simply an absence of light. This puts us in darkness. Anyone who is in darkness is blind as they cannot see what is going on. The absence of Scriptural proof for our church doctrines simply means we are groping around in the darkness, looking for the Door which is Jesus our Light.
GENESIS 19:10But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
The same happened in Lot’s day. The homosexual men of Sodom searched in darkness, but the door was closed.
LUKE 17:28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
While all seemed to be well, the door closed.
Noah, in Hebrew, is Noe in Greek.
LUKE 17:26And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
So all seemed to be going well but once again God closed the door.
GENESIS 7:16And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
There was one door into the ark and God closed it.
Jesus is the Door to heaven.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Both in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day, the door was closed.
So a major indication of the end-times in the 7th church age is God closing the Door to understanding Scripture.
The churches cannot explain many of the issues in the Bible, and they are also not able to prove many of their doctrines from the Bible.
How do we know that the Door to Truth is closing at the end-time?
LUKE 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence,
(much praise and worship)
and thou hast taught in our streets.
:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
(doing what they know is wrong)
:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out
(into the Tribulation).
REVELATION 3:14And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write
REVELATION 3:20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This verse makes it clear that Jesus stands outside the door of the church. He is knocking on the closed door.
So the door is closed, but He is trying to get individuals in the church to listen to Him and He is the Word, the Bible.
LUKE 18:8.... Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
This statement indicates that there will be few believers at the end-time.
ROMANS 10:17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Your faith is only as strong as the amount of Scripture that you believe.
These two Scriptures mean that few people will be able to prove their beliefs from the Bible.
Make sure that you are one of them, even if the rest of your church is not interested. There is no safety in numbers. He only took one from the field and one who was grinding corn.
A sobering fact.
Before the Flood, only one man Enoch was caught up to heaven without dying. Today the Bride has to prepare to be caught up to heaven before the Tribulation starts. Thus the living Bride will also not see death. If the Flood is a comparison to our day, then the numbers will not be big.
So another indication of the end times is the fact that very few individuals are interested in being Scriptural in all that they believe.
Fewer and fewer people take the Bible seriously enough to read and study It with intense diligence. Why? Because if they do so, they find that other people are not really interested.
This end-time attitude of indifference dampens their enthusiasm, and they lose interest as well.
So we allow our circumstances to control us instead of God’s Holy Spirit controlling us.
MATTHEW 15:8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.