What are the former and latter rain?
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
The Laodicean churches are all blind. So how do we find the Truth? Stay with what is written in the Bible.First published on the 7th of April 2017 — Last updated on the 4th of December 2017
The word used in Hebrew for the former rain (mo-reh', pronounced mowreh) can also mean either an archer or teacher according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. A teaching rain or early rain.
Who does the teaching?
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
God sent a prophet to restore us back to the early New Testament church established by the apostles. His teachings will take us back to the Bible.
There is a deeper meaning behind "former" rain. It means being restored back to the former beliefs of the first church age.
But Judas was in the group of disciples that walked with Jesus. So when God makes His move, then the antichrist spirit of the white horse rider, the bowman or archer of the first Seal which represents religious deception, also goes forth.
God's Holy Spirit and Satan's spirit are locked into the greatest battle ever fought for the control of how the minds of end-time Christians establish what the whole basis of spiritual authority is. Is our Absolute the written Word of the Bible as believed by the early church, or is it the quotes of William Branham as interpreted by Message pastors with their numerous conflicting viewpoints.
The battle is on.
On one side is the clever human wisdom of the bright but dominating pastors who interpret quotes and do their best to deify William Branham by regarding his quotes as being infallible and thus equal to, if not above, Scripture. Each pastor is the pre-eminent but unscriptural head of his submissive church. Their congregations try to absorb and obey what they are told to think by their pastor. They uplift the pastor as a member of a modern Aaronic priesthood between Jesus and themselves. Blind obedience, not thinking for themselves, parroting quotes, and going to a certain pastor's church every Sunday is their main hope of pleasing God as good "Message believers" who desperately need to be following a human leader, rather than following Scripture. They ignore the numerous different beliefs that exist amongst the highly fragmented Message churches. Each is deluded by the conviction that only their pastor is right.
On the other side are scattered individuals who want to think for themselves, and put their faith in God's written Bible as they prove brother Branham's revelations by the way these illuminate the different verses in the Bible on any topic. These individuals have a deep love for the Lord Jesus, which makes them revolt against any man who comes between them and Jesus. They seek a Mount of Transfiguration experience, where even a great man like Elijah fades away in the presence of Jesus. They desire to see Jesus only, even though they needed Elijah to point Him out to them. They totally depend on their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and cannot (and will not) believe anything unless they see it proven from Scripture verses. Verses that brother Branham's revelations have enabled them to understand. They are utterly disenchanted with one man human leadership of a church. They have seen pastors come and pastors go in the sad ongoing cycle of "church capture" by human leaders with their love of power and money.
A fundamental issue is between the idea that "The pastor is the head of the church" versus "The Bible does not say that. The Bible says Christ is the head of the church". This is the pivot that the balances between truth and error depend on. Choosing a man as your church head just means that like Belshazzar, you are weighed in the balances and found wanting.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
PSALM 23: 1 The Lord is my Shepherd.
Biblically, Jesus is the Head of the church, not any man.
Jesus is the Shepherd. The Scripture does not pass this responsibility onto one man. The task of a shepherd, who feeds the sheep, is delegated to a group of elders for each local assembly.
But there is no Scripture that says the pastor is the head of the church. There is no Scripture that says there is one-man shepherd of the flock, who has to be the pastor.
I PETER 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort,....
:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you,The Bible says Christ, the Word of God, is the Head of the church. He is your Shepherd. God wants the elders to feed the flock. Feeding the flock is the responsibility of the shepherd. So a group of elders fulfils the role of a shepherd.
But here are some very different quotes.
61-0425B THE GODHEAD EXPLAINED
because I believe it's apostolic, because the head, the highest order in the church is the shepherd; we realize that: the pastor.
58-1007 CHURCH ORDER
And now to the pastor, to our Brother Neville, at this time. Remember, he is the full head of the church.
Here is the dividing line. Some quotes thus say that the pastor is the head of the church.
But not all of them.
57-0908M 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?
Now you have to choose between Scripture and some selected quotes.
That is what the former rain involves as it prepares us for the harvest. Is our Absolute the Bible, or is it quotes?
Now stand back and take a look.
The Message churches, under the leadership of human pastors, have splintered up into so many different variations. So how do you know which variation is the truth? If you managed to find the one true variation of the Message, then all the other varieties are obviously wrong. Then all those pastors have misled their people. So how safe are you when you rely on your pastor?
PSALM 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man
JEREMIAH 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Also remember that brother Branham's quotes are not necessarily infallible.
God gave him seven visions. The last one was of America being destroyed. He then predicted that this would happen by 1977. But America was not destroyed by 1977 despite him making that prediction.
Then I seen the United States as one smoldering, burnt-over place. It will be near the end. (Then I've got in parenthesis: "I predict that this will take place... before 1977.")
And at 1906 the Laodicean Church Age set in, and I don't know when it'll end, but I predict it'll be done by 1977.
But then he also added in a caution.
1965 CHURCH AGE BOOK LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE
.... 1977 ought to terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium.
...... Now, I could miss that a year, I can miss it twenty years, I could miss it a hundred years.
So this quote cancels out his previous predictions and makes them null and void.
But this did not stop 1977 being stressed as the year that the Lord would come by many Message believers in those days. Now of course some who preached 1977 as the Coming of the Lord tend to deny that they did so.
So it is unsafe to build up a doctrine on quotes, as one quote can differ from another quote.
For instance :
62-1230E IS THIS THE SIGN OF THE END SIR
Look where the voices was, the Thunders. Not in Heaven; on earth! The Thunders never uttered from the heavens. They uttered from the earth.
63-0324E THE SEVENTH SEAL
The seven thunders in heaven will unfold this mystery. It'll be right at the coming of Christ, because Christ said no one knew when He would return.
Do the seven Thunders utter from Heaven or from the earth? We cannot answer that from these two quotes.
Quotes are only useful where they reveal the Bible verses. They are not a foundation on their own.
I CORINTHIANS 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.Paul laid the foundation, not brother Branham. We must build on this Scripture Foundation. Brother Branham brings us back to this.
A great Cloud was photographed over Flagstaff, 200 miles north of where brother Branham was in Tucson on 28 February 1963. The Cloud never came down and it never came towards Sunset Peak, where brother Branham went hunting six days later, which is only 40 miles from Tucson. The Cloud stayed at its 43 kilometers height for the 28 minutes that it was visible, going from west to east towards New Mexico.
The Cloud was only visible at Sunset. The 7 angels visited brother Branham in the morning around 8 o'clock and then left him. So he got the time of the day wrong as well as the date and the place, if the Cloud was to have been made on the day that the 7 angels visited him.
He only got to the hunting site near Sunset Peak on 6 March 1963. The angels came to him 2 days later, which was 8 days after the Cloud was seen.
When they left him no Cloud formed as no Cloud was photographed.
So brother Branham got his facts totally wrong. He was human and made mistakes. He was neither God nor the Voice of God. Before you condemn him for making a mistake, let the person who has never made a mistake cast the first stone.
But God hereby gives us a stern warning. Brother Branham brilliantly revealed the mysteries of the Bible but there were times when he got his facts it wrong. These mistakes were essential in order to prove that he was not infallible and to prove that he was not deity. So check his quotes carefully against the true facts and against the Bible before you believe them. We have our warning: not every quote is the truth.
The first exodus was the Jews coming out of Egypt. The second exodus was the church coming out of the Jews. The third exodus is the Bride coming out of the church.
So a difficult part of the third exodus is the battle between "the voice of the seventh angel" which the Bible says brother Branham was, and the infallible "Voice of God" which was never promised for our day, but is claimed by Message pastors as another step towards their goal establishing their power over the people by making a deity of William Branham. Then they claim that only the pastors can correctly interpret his quotes.
Again you have to choose.
Was brother Branham the seventh angel, a star in the right hand of Jesus OR was he God incarnate in the flesh?
You need to consider your verdict.
Your eternal future as Bride or foolish virgin depends on it.
But the foolish virgin goes into the Tribulation where we lose our salvation if we take on the mark of the beast. That is a huge risk.
PHILIPPIANS 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This is not being saved from hell. This is being saved from the great Tribulation. Why fear and trembling? Because you will have to disagree with your pastor and your close church friends.
Seven angels came down to brother Branham on 8 March 1963 in the vicinity of Sunset Peak and Rattlesnake mesa in the desert near Tucson, Arizona in order to commission him to start the third exodus of getting the Bride to come out of the church. This movement that he spearheaded has been called "the Message". He went back to Jeffersonville where the angels revealed to him the mysteries of the Seven Seals. These mystery-truths enabled him to reveal to the Bride all the hidden mysteries of the Bible that had been lost in the Dark Ages and which the reformers like Luther, Wesley, and Pentecost had been unable to solve.
As he revealed the deeper mysteries of Scripture to us, so we find ourselves influenced either by the evening Light (sunset) of the beliefs of the first church age
by the dictatorial and dogmatic modern and new opinions, unknown to the early first church age, which poison our Bible faith like the bite of a rattlesnake (which are a category of vipers).
Who are these vipers?
The denominational churches are so far from the mark that they represent little real threat in their attempts to corrupt truth. Their mistakes are so obvious that they are unlikely to fool us.
But who are the subtle enemies that successfully poison sincere Message believers against the restored Bible truths?
John the Baptist, in the days of the second exodus when the church came out of the Jews, called the religious leaders of his day vipers. All of them.
MATTHEW 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
So if the same cycle repeats today, the religious leaders in the days of the third exodus, who are mainly the Message church pastors, will be found to be the main enemies of truth. That is a tragic irony. But remember Judas - he was highly placed.
A snake has poison in its mouth. A pastor teaching anything contrary to Scripture or denying any Scripture is letting poison come out of his mouth.
The very clever but deadly success of the Devil was to convince people to make quotes their Absolute.
The mark of the beast is linked to Vicarius Filii Dei, which means "in place of the Son of God".
So today Message pastors have elevated brother Branham's quotes "in place of the Word of God" as their Absolute.
JOB 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
JEREMIAH 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
You can only look to man when you take your eyes off God.
How does the archer or bowman produce deception?
JEREMIAH 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
Poison under the tongue. Just like a viper.
The bowman in Revelation Chapter 6 was not described as having an arrow. He did not need one. The lies rolling off his tongue as he spreads his false doctrine have killed more people spiritually than any real arrows could achieve.
Church leaders love us when we are deceived enough to agree with their interpretation of the quotes. But this love is very superficial. You will discover this when you start to contradict their beliefs with Scripture, or alternative quotes that they have carefully ignored. Then their dislike surfaces and you are sidelined or exiled. Your name is blackened. Their congregations do not even want to speak to you, unless it is to condemn you.
MATTHEW 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
The religious leaders at the time of the second exodus kept saying, "The prophet Moses said.....". "The prophet said.....". "The prophet said ........". This was a powerful method of crushing any opposition to their love of power over the people.
Scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of that day.
Today the Message church leaders are pastors. Notice how their style of preaching which emphasizes quotes, is an exact duplication of the basic error of 2000 years ago. Those leaders emphasized the prophet Moses and rejected Jesus. Today's leaders emphasize William Branham's quotes, and reject the Scriptures that contradict their belief.
Listen to today's preachers. "The prophet said...". "The prophet said ....". "The prophet said ....". History repeats itself.
The seat of Moses. "Seat" speaks of authority.
REVELATION 13:2 ... and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
The prophet, William Branham, is now the seat of their spiritual authority. His quotes have become their Absolute.
This is the same spirit that comes from Rome.
The Catholic church has a pope for an absolute.
Jesus defeated the Devil with, "It is written...". One seldom hears "It is written..." today. That is why the Devil is not defeated and he has managed to get Jesus out of our churches. Jesus, the Word of God, stands outside the church door. "Quotology" rules the message churches.
A major error was to change his sermons from being "the voice of the seventh angel" to being "the Voice of God". This effectively is putting a man in the place of God. Nothing can be more dangerous.
Vicarius Filii Dei is the number of the mark of the beast. (The Romans regarded both "v" and "u" as being the same.) The letters "u" and "v" were both used interchangeably for the lowercase (or small letter) but only "V" was used for uppercase (or capital letter) of both u and v.
Carvings on walls were done in uppercase. It is easier to carve a V with straight lines rather than the rounded U.
To turn letters into numbers we must write the title in uppercase or capital letters: VICARIVS FILII DEI
This adds up in Latin where V = 5 I = 1 C = 100 L = 50 D = 500. (I repeat 6 times, V repeats twice)
Then it all adds up to 666.
REVELATION 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
"It is the number of a man". One person. Who was this person who Christians claimed could take the place of Christ?
Pope Stephen II once used this expression in a letter written to the usurper king Pepin of the barbarian tribe called the Franks, around 754 AD. He offered to anoint Pepin as God's ordained king if the barbarian Pepin protected the Catholic church properties.
The document was an intentional forgery called the Donation of Constantine. The Pope begged the Franks to come down and defeat another barbarian tribe called the Lombards who had taken over the city of Ravenna and were threatening the Pope's territory.
He said that Peter was the doorkeeper to Heaven as Jesus had given Peter the keys to Heaven. Thus if the king helped the Pope, who was Peter's representative on earth, then when he died he would be admitted into Heaven by the grateful Peter.
Notice the subtlety. Jesus is the Door, but the real authority is Peter who has the power to open or close the Door.
The Donation of Constantine puts the emphasis on a holy man, Peter.
Jesus and submission to the Bible are no longer the main issue.
The Devil has always elevated man in order to take our attention away from Jesus. So if we have not had a deep personal experience with Jesus, which makes all men fade out of view in comparison to Him, then we will be fooled into admiring and elevating some holy man as an alternative means of getting into heaven.
One sentence in this letter, called the Donation of Constantine, reads....(ignore the Latin, just focus on the underlined type)...
ut sicut "B. Petrus in terris vicarius filii Dei esse" videtur constitutus etiam et pontifices,
This roughly translates as "Blessed Peter who is on earth in the place of the Son of God".
Then John the Revelator looks at the number of this title.
To turn letters into numbers we must write the title in uppercase: VICARIVS FILII DEI
What was the deception in these Middle Ages or Dark Ages?
Roman Catholic Christians were claiming that a holy man, Peter, could take the place of Christ. They claim that to make heaven, you had to submit to Peter because he opened the Door to Heaven, since Jesus had given him the keys of Heaven. To prove that you were in submission to Peter you had to meekly submit to whatever story the Pope told you, because he claimed to be the only one who could tell you what Peter said.
In this document, Peter is declared to be "in place of the Son of God". Elevation of a holy man to be equal to God.
The key error of this title is that Catholic believers applied it to a godly man Peter. You could only get into heaven if you are submissive to Peter who has the power to unlock Heaven's Door. You demonstrate your submission to Peter by being submissive to his main representatives the Popes, who are the head of the earthly church (even though they contradict each other). You have to submit to the Pope, in order to prove that you have submitted to Peter, and then you will get into Heaven.
Notice how a similar technique has crept into the Message.
William Branham is the messenger who is no longer presented as the voice of the seventh angel, but is promoted to deity as the "Voice of God". You will not make the rapture unless you only say what the messenger said. He is infallible (a title of the Pope) and his main representatives on earth, the Message pastors, will tell you what he said (even though they contradict each other). Thus by submitting yourself to your pastor, who claims that he is the head of your earthly church, you think you submit yourself to brother Branham, and that your pastor's interpretation of his quotes will open the door to Heaven for you. The fallacy of this approach is that there are so many different and conflicting Message groups.
With your pastor as the "head" of your church, and his interpretation of the quotes as your Absolute, the emphasis is no longer on Jesus and the Bible.
DANIEL 4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god,
Nebuchadnezzar, a heathen, named a Jewish prophet after his god and worshipped him.
DANIEL 2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
DANIEL 3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
Only God is worshipped. Nebuchadnezzar made an image of Daniel the prophet and forced everyone to worship this image.
This indicates that Nebuchadnezzar thought that the prophet was God. Just like so many modern-day Message preachers. (In case you wondered why Daniel was not included in the episode of the fiery furnace -- he could not bow down to an image of himself.)
62-0714 THE UNCERTAIN SOUND
Now, here other night, I scolded you women about having short hair. Did you know the Bible speaks of that for the last days? Right. Do you know in the Bible, it was the disobedience of a woman that started with the feminish, a woman back there, when this thing first issued in of death? And when it's going out the same way?
The Gentile nation was issued in with King Nebuchadnezzar with unknown tongues and interpretation, and goes out the same way? Issued in by a worship of an image of a man, a holy man, Daniel (which was Belteshazzar), the image of Daniel, to make everybody worship that image of a holy man, and go out the same way?
You know, every Scripture has a compound answer to it, repeats Itself? Certainly It does.
So the first Gentile kingdom of Babylon in Daniel's Gentile image brought in the idea of the enforced worship of the prophet Daniel.
The last Gentile age, thanks to the influence of mystery Babylon, will go out with an enforced worship of the prophet William Branham who is promoted to being the 'Voice of God', the manifestation of the Son of Man, and God incarnate in the flesh. He is even referred to as "Lord Branham Christ". The infallible.
But we are supposed to be going back to what they believed in the first church age. The first church age believed none of these ideas.
These very wrong modern day fictions have only ever existed in the minds of those who perpetuate this fantasy.
But we no longer think for ourselves, as that is hard work. We just believe what we are told to believe without proving it from Scripture. This is the first step towards the mark of the beast. Human leaders controlling what we believe. The mark is in our foreheads, where the human mind operates inside our brains. Programmed thinking. Like Pavlov's dogs that responded by reflex - each time a whistle blew food appeared. After a while saliva drooled from their mouths when the whistle blew, even if no food arrived.
Nicolaitanism is conquering the laity or congregation by elevating a holy man above them.
1. So by distorting the role of the prophet who is to restore us to the Bible, the mystery archer or bowman on the white horse rides through the third exodus with his lies and deception. A cunning move.
2. Shifting the goal posts. While the prophet tried to take us back to the beliefs of the early church, so the white horse rider cleverly got the pastors to take the future events back into the past. For example "The Lord has come", "Mercy is over", and "The mighty Angel of Revelation 10 has come down to open the Book".
This spiritual virus mutates further as some believe that the rapture has happened, the resurrection has happened, and we are in the Millenium.
Notice. If the future events have already happened then we have no future.
3. The sign that comes before the event is regarded as being the actual event.
The great Cloud of 1963 which was the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens is now regarded as the Coming of the Lord, is also regarded as the appearing of the Lord, and is also regarded as the coming down of the mighty Angel of Revelation Chapter 10.
4. The revelation of a future event is regarded as being the actual event.
Thus brother Branham's revelation of the opening of the Seals is regarded as the actual opening of the seven Seals which will only happen when the Bride is standing around the throne in Heaven, after the Bride has been caught up to Heaven. They claim the seven Seals have actually opened despite the fact that he said that the seventh Seal has not opened yet and that the two Jewish prophets will only open the sixth Seal in the Tribulation. Despite the fact that in the fourth Seal we do not know which end-time Pope the pale horse rider called Death actually is. He will only be revealed after the Bride is caught up to Heaven.
64-0719M THE FEAST OF THE TRUMPETS
The Seventh Seal hasn't opened yet, you know. That's His Coming.
63-0323 THE SIXTH SEAL
Now, notice. Don't let it choke you, but watch what opened that Seal: prophets. See? Amen. There you are. Oh, we're living in the eagle day, brother, head up among the clouds. They opened that Sixth Seal. They have power to do it. Amen. There's your Sixth Seal coming open. See?
The mistakes started right from the start.
The Seven Seals book has a brief comment saying that the angels formed the Cloud, after speaking to brother Branham when he was hunting. This is completely wrong because the Cloud was on 28 February 1963. According to his daughter, Becky, brother Branham met the angels on 8 March 1963 near Sunset Peak and Rattlesnake mesa. The Cloud, which was eight days earlier, was photographed 200 miles further north as it flew over Flagstaff. On that day brother Branham was still in Tucson busy planning to go 1000 miles east to Houston.
Brother Branham, who is not infallible, got his facts about the time and place of his hunting trip wrong. He never was under the Cloud. The angels came in the morning. The Cloud was at sunset, 200 miles up north, and eight days earlier. So Message followers who want him deified are forced to believe that his quotes cannot be wrong -- the "Voice of God" cannot make a mistake! Thus we now have sceptics proving these statements are wrong, and Message people who are trying unsuccessfully to defend these mistakes are proving to be rather pathetic. This confusion only benefits one person, the white horse bowman.
Trying to prove that a wrong statement is right is just politics, it is not Christianity. God's Spirit exposes mistakes.
Look at the title on the cover of the Seven Seals book.
It does not say that it is the actual breaking of the seven Seals. It says instead that it is the Revelation of the (Opening or Breaking) of the Seven Seals".
The prophet went beyond the curtain of time and saw the future events in a vision. But that was just as though he was there. Now we know what is going to happen. But Revelation Chapters 5 and 6 actually happen after the Bride is caught up to Heaven, which happens in Chapter 4, just after the seven church ages.
We are easily fooled if we think that the revelation of an event is the actual event. God always reveals the events first. Then He brings them to pass.
AMOS 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
5. Message pastors claim to know the mysteries that are not written in the Bible.
This has to be total guesswork, as they have no symbols to interpret.
They know when the Lord came, they know His new name, they know what the seven Thunders uttered, they know the third pull. They know the seventh Seal. There are no limits to their imagination, and no written Scriptures to back their claims.
When they preach on these topics they are telling you about things that are not written in the Bible. Denominational churches do the same. They also preach about things that are not written in the Bible.
6. Establishing an unscriptural church system is the shrewdest move of the white horse rider.
By setting up an unscriptural church structure, ruled by pastor domination, and with the pastor's family, yes-men, and cronies. Message assemblies cannot return to the early church example because the pastor-dominated system breaks the Bible pattern. The people, who long ago stopped thinking for themselves, can no longer survive without a pastor who does the thinking for them because he alone knows how to interpret specific quotes. The people are brainwashed into thinking that a plausible interpretation of quotes, that cannot be proven from Scripture, is the truth.
Why must the pastor's family be involved in the church? It is essential to keep big money in the family, even though the Elisha who succeeded Elijah was not in any way related to him. The prophet Samuel had sons who were a disaster.
"Pastor" is mentioned once in the New Testament. Thus this office has no Scriptural authority to dominate as the head of the church.
But let us look at an example of an early church leader who behaved just like some of today's pastors.
III JOHN 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.(Diotrephes did not want the apostle who wrote Scripture)
Notice this love of pre-eminence. Wanting to be the authority figure. Sitting in the authoritative seat of the prophet Moses, or today's prophet William Branham. To be in his congregation, you had to agree with Diotrephes. Woe betide you if you dared to disagree with pastor Diotrephes!
:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us (the Word) with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. (Sounds familiar. Throw out the dissenters and forbid his church members to have any communication with them).On the plus side, a pastor can do a good job as an understanding counsellor who has a knowledge of how humans think and behave, because pastoral care is helping people with their personal, work, and family related problems, and thus he acts as a means of holding everything together and encouraging and motivating people not to give up. People need a sympathetic ear in which they can pour out their fears and troubles.
63-0724 GOD DOESN'T CALL MAN TO JUDGMENT WITHOUT FIRST WARNING HIM
But, you see, in the church there is the pastor, and that pastor is a special person. He's built to where he can put up with the fusses of the people. He's a burden-bearer, he's the ox of the team. He's a man that can sit down when somebody's got something against somebody else, and sit down with them two families (and take neither side) and reason it out and bring it right back into sweetness. See? He's a pastor, he knows how to take care of things.
Notice that the pastor is part of a team. This is crucial. He is not the head of the church. A team of elders was the original pattern for the church, with no single leader.
JEREMIAH 3 : 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
No Scripture says that a shepherd has to be a pastor.
A shepherd is human, and thus far superior to a sheep. Saying that the church has one shepherd promotes the pastor to being above the sheep, and gives him a superiority complex enabling him to be a dictator. No shepherd consults with his sheep. He just leads them or drives them where he wants to go. That is not a good space to be in. No one man can be shepherd of a flock. That is reserved for Jesus.
PSALM 23: 1 The Lord is my Shepherd.
No Scripture says that a pastor is a Bible teacher, and that is where the system goes seriously wrong. Elevated by pride, pastors preach their own bright ideas which lack Bible foundation. They simply lack the skills to bring all the Scriptures on a topic together.
63-0724 GOD DOESN'T CALL MAN TO JUDGMENT WITHOUT FIRST WARNING HIM
The teacher is a special man. He sits back under the anointing of the Spirit and is able to take the Words and put them together by the Holy Spirit, that, the pastor or evangelist either one could not compare with him.
Pastors do not welcome Bible teachers who correct them.
Diotrophes cast out those who disagreed with him. A one-man dictatorship. Put one guy in charge, and all he can do is to enforce his will and produce uniformity and stamp out disagreement. The congregation catches the spirit of the pastor, which is not good.
A pastor's motto is, "Everyone is entitled to my opinion".
1965 CHURCH AGE BOOK THE SEED OF NICOLAITANISM
And the church corporate has never learned this lesson from the Scripture nor from history. Every time God gives a visitation of the Holy Spirit and people get free, after a while they bind themselves right back to the very thing they came out of. When Luther came out of Catholicism, the people stayed free for a while. But when he died, the people simply organized what they thought he believed and set up their own creeds and ideas and repudiated anyone who said opposite to what they said. They went right back to Catholicism with a little different form.
Message groups have done the same thing. The denominations have pastor-dominated churches, and the Message churches adopted that pattern. Message pastors modify quotes into what they think brother Branham believed. In the process, they set up their own creeds and ideas.
Jeremiah warned us about pastors' effects on the church. He says one good thing about them, that God will provide pastors (he does not say dictators), and then he proceeds to condemn pastors seven times. This is scary.
A ministry that is complimented once and then condemned seven times is not the guy to be in charge.
JEREMIAH 2:8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
JEREMIAH 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
JEREMIAH 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
Wine represents the stimulation of revelation. Obsessed with quotes, Message believers know little of the Bible.
JEREMIAH 17:16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee:
Pastors, like leaders of some countries, are too busy enforcing their own will. They do not seek God's will. They follow their own agendas. They seek their own gain.
JEREMIAH 22:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors,
Wind represents strife, and also suggests hot air. They speak much, but say little of value in terms of getting us back to the New Testament doctrines. They get a lot of doctrine wrong. That is why there are so many divisions amongst the Message churches.
JEREMIAH 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Like Diotrophes, pastors cannot handle opposition. "Do it my way or get out. I'm in charge here." Pastors destroy the influence of any dissenter. To belong to his church means you have to agree with him.
JEREMIAH 23:2 Therefore 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.
:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4: And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.Pastors scattering the sheep is a world wide problem. They have all been infected with this dictatorial spirit.
God wants to provide shepherds, plural. One-man leadership was not his original plan in the early church. There, each local church of believers was controlled by a group of local elders.
ACTS 20:17 And from Miletus he (Paul) 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.
A group of elders blocks the ambition of a one-man leader.
Feeding the sheep is a shepherd's job. So a group of elders together perform a shepherd's function.
This is the key decision. Who runs the church? A dominant pastor, or a group of elders.
The example of the first church said it was a group of elders. So this is the direction that the former (teaching rain) will move in.
Paul was the Ephesian church age messenger. He is establishing the church in Ephesus as a foundation for all seven church ages. So we need to carefully note the pattern that Paul set up. Then we will do likewise if we are restored to the first church age.
Peter, towards the end of the New Testament, completely agreed with Paul.
Peter does not pull rank and call himself an apostle. He is content to be an elder. Then he is equal to the other elders, not above them. A brotherhood of elders. Not an Aaronic priesthood of the fivefold ministry that is above the people, with the pastor elevated above the other ministries in the church.
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:
: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;
:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.It takes a group of elders to fulfil the role of a shepherd that guides and feeds the flock. When one elder gets it wrong the others can correct him. Teamwork amongst equals is needed to unfold the Bible mysteries, and prepare the flock for their real Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. The elders as a team are supposed to guide the church back to the beliefs of the early church. No church in the New Testament had one man as its leader. Thus the church had no human head. Only then can Christ enter to be the Head of the church. Nobody can have two heads, so if the pastor is the head then Jesus has to stand outside.
Every Message church that has a pastor as its head, has Jesus standing outside the church door. The Bible speaks of no exceptions - He stands outside every church door in Laodicea.
He is the Light. If He stands outside then the inside of the church is dark. So no one can see, and thus we are blind, but do not know it because we have become so used to building up our ideas from quotes and placing future events into the past that we have lost sight of how far we are now removed from Scripture. When light slowly fades in a room we keep adjusting to the increasing darkness and are actually unaware of how dark it has got. If someone comes in from outside then they will immediately realize how dark the room is. That is why pastors do not want their members to speak to people who are outside their group, because those outsiders can tell them how dark their doctrines are due to their lack of Scripture.
Remember that the white horse archer without a Scriptural arrow got the Pope elected as dictator, and one-man head of the Roman church. Thus the same rider wants a pastor in charge of every church. That has been his very successful system of operating for 2000 years. It is an exceptionally efficient way of killing truth in a church.
ACTS 20:29 For I (Paul) know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
The poisonous rattlesnake and the deceitful white horse rider enter.
:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.The leaders want the church to follow them and their opinions. This love of pre-eminence that says, "Follow me and my interpretation of the quotes".
MATTHEW 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Notice the acclaim. An elevated public title that boosts their self-importance. They crave this pre-eminence.
8: But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.The church is a brotherhood. We do not need titles. Do not call a man Rabbi Levi. Call him brother Levi. Today pastors insist on attaching the title pastor to their names. This is an elevation of the man, which is wrong. If his name is Ray, they say we must call him Pastor Ray. This is wrong - he is brother Ray. No other ministries insist on attaching their title to their name.
"Be ye not called Rabbi". "Be ye not called Pastor".
No man in the entire Bible was ever called Pastor Somebody. Today you cannot throw a brick without hitting Pastor Somebody or Other.
CHURCH AGE BOOK CHAPTER 9 LAODICEAN AGE
Now in every case you will notice that a false prophet is one who is outside the Word. Just as we showed you that 'antichrist' means 'anti-Word' so these false prophets come perverting the Word, giving it a meaning that fits their own devilish ends. Have you ever noticed how the people who lead others astray bind them closely to themselves by fear? They say that if the people don't do what they say, or if they leave, then destruction will follow.
They are false prophets, for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won't tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says.
Notice how these people like Judas are out for money.
They get you to sell all you have and give it to them and their schemes. They spend more time on offerings than the Word. Those who attempt to operate gifts will make use of a gift which has a margin of error in it and then ask for money, and neglect the Word and call it of God. And people will go to them, and bear with them, and support them, and believe them, not knowing it is the way of death.
Follow the Bible, or fear the church leaders. That is our choice.
53-0614A EARNESTLY CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH THAT WAS ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS
Look, the highest order in the Bible for the church, the local church is the elder.
57-0126B INDIA TRIP REPORT
.... Now, remember the reason that I just kind of stuck with the Baptist church was the sovereignty of the local church what I think is apostolic. You see? Not as the Baptist, we have in there. I don't even attend the fellowships, but in the Baptist church is not a denomination. It's not supposed to be. It is now, but it was not supposed to be a denomination. It's a brotherhood. And it's the sovereignty of the local church. And if God is ever going to get a message to His man, His elder, which is the...
According to the Bible, the highest office in the local church is the elder.
57-0908M 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. Now, brotherhood, that's wonderful. All churches ought to be in a brotherhood like that, together. But the sovereignty of local church!
1965 PERGAMEAN CHURCH AGE - CHURCH AGE BOOK CPT.5 DOCTRINE OF NICOLAITANES
You will recall that I brought out in the Ephesian Age that the word, Nicolaitane, comes from two Greek words: Nikao which means to conquer, and Laos which means the laity. Nicolaitane means, "to conquer the laity". Now why is this such a terrible thing? It is terrible because God has never placed His church in the hands of an elected leadership which moves with political mindedness. He has placed His church in the care of God-ordained, Spirit-filled, Word-living men who lead the people through feeding them the Word. He has not separated the people into classes so that the masses are led by a holy priesthood. It is true that the leadership must be holy, but then so must be the whole congregation. Further, there is no place in the Word where priests or ministers or such mediate between God and the people, nor is there a place where they are separated in their worship of the Lord. God wants all to love and serve Him together.
Nicolaitanism destroys those precepts and instead separates the ministers from the people and makes the leaders overlords instead of servants.
Now this doctrine actually started as a deed in the first age. It appears that the problem lay in two words: 'elders' (presbyters) and 'overseers' (bishops).
Though Scripture shows that there are several elders in each church, some began (Ignatius among them) to teach that the idea of a bishop was one of preeminence or authority and control over the elders.
Now the truth of the matter is the word 'elder' signifies who the person is, while the word 'bishop' signifies the office of the same man. The elder is the man. Bishop is the office of the man. 'Elder' always has and always will refer simply to a man's chronological age in the Lord. He is an elder, not because he is elected or ordained, etc., but because he IS OLDER. He is more seasoned, trained, not a novice, reliable because of experience and long standing proof of his Christian experience.
But no, the bishops did not stick to the epistles of Paul, but rather they went to Paul's account of the time he called the elders from Ephesus to Miletus in Acts 20. In verse 17 the record states, "elders" were called and then in verse 28 they are called overseers (bishops). And these bishops, (no doubt political minded and anxious for power) insisted that Paul had given the meaning that 'overseers' were more than the local elder with official capacity only in his own church. To them a bishop was now one with extended authority over many local leaders. Such a concept was neither Scriptural nor historical, yet even a man of the stature of Polycarp leaned toward such organization.
Thus, that which started as a deed in the first age was made a literal doctrine and so it is today. Bishops still claim power to control men and deal with them as they desire, placing them where they so will in the ministry. This denies the leadership of the Holy Ghost Who said, "Separate Me Paul and Barnabas for the work where-unto I have called them" This is anti-Word and anti-Christ.
II THESSALONIANS 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
The Coming of the Lord has always been a major controversy, a key focus for deception.
:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;At the time of the Lord's Coming deception abounds and believers fall away from Scripture.
:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.Man is then elevated to take the place of God.
63-0630E IS YOUR LIFE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL
He that setteth in the temple of God, upholding himself, all that's above God; he, as God," forgiving sins on the earth, and so forth. How that this thing happened! But it couldn't happen until the falling away, until the church begin to get away from the spiritual feast, draw itself back and organize itself. And then the revelation didn't stay with the church.
Roman Catholics believe that the temple of God is the Vatican. As the people fell away from Scripture, so the Pope got elevated until he issued indulgences whereby people could buy forgiveness of sin from him. Only God forgives sin. Thus he shewed himself to be equal with God.
The people in this Dark Age were illiterate, as only the monks and priests could read. Saint Peter had been exalted to take the place of Christ. Vicarius filii Dei.
The first move of antichrist is religious deception followed by people falling away from the truth. Then a holy man, the Pope, was elevated until people believed that he could forgive sin. This made the Pope equal to God.
The same pattern followed in the former rain, after the angels' visit to brother Branham on 8 March 1963. Once brother Branham had revealed the mysteries, the Message preachers began interpreting quotes to develop a whole spectrum of different beliefs. These Message doctrines moved the people further and further from Scripture. The further they got from the Bible, the more they elevated brother Branham, until they felt that he was the Voice of God as well as being the appearing of the Son of man.Then they claimed him to be God incarnate in a man.
His quotes were made equal to Scripture and at times above Scripture. If a quote contradicted Scripture then we were taught to believe the quote.
So the Devil has fooled the Message believers in the same way that he fooled the Catholic church.
Message believers think that brother Branham's quotes are their Absolute. This is a Catholic spirit.
The Catholic church has a Pope for an absolute.
As soon as we move away from the written Bible, the Devil ties us in knots.
The further the "Message" churches have got away from William Branham's attempts to restore us back to the New Testament, the more they glorify William Branham and elevate his quotes to be equal or superior to Scripture.
This must be some kind of subconscious compensation mechanism.
Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
There were four seasons for the former or teaching rain. Luther's justification. Wesley's holiness and Gospel outreach. Pentecost's baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then we need an end time prophet to reveal the mysteries of Scripture.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
The evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism is the ability to understand the revealed Bible in your day.
Only then will we be restored back to the early apostolic church.
Then comes the latter rain.
The latter rain means the harvest rain or to gather the after crop. Ruth gleaning the leftovers.
The harvest time comes when the seed is pulled upwards off the plant symbolizing the believers that are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
I THESSALONIANS 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.HOSEA 6:3
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
The Lord's going forth was prepared in the morning at the first church age. He does not want a church that is any different to the first church age. This is obvious in a natural harvest. The final seed that is harvested is identical to the first seed that was planted.
I CORINTHIANS 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
JOEL 2: 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
48-0304 THE ANGEL OF GOD
And He promised the former and the latter rain in the latter rain, in other words, a double portion. Like the garment of Elisha. When Elijah dropped it, Elisha picked up and had a double portion. He was a type as a type of the Church and Christ. Christ was taken up. And the same Spirit that was upon Christ is on the Church tonight, the Holy Ghost. See?
Moderately. Luther and Wesley and Pentecost reformed the church and brought back certain key aspects of Scripture but left many Bible mysteries unresolved.
Then seven angels appeared to the end time prophet to reveal the seven Seals and finish the unresolved mysteries. This took the former or teaching rain to a much deeper level in Scripture with wine (stimulation of revelation) and oil as the Holy Spirit guides individuals into all truth that the churches are unable to unlock.
JOEL 2: 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
: 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.The teaching rain, once the seven Seals are revealed, will restore the Bride back to the former doctrines that the early church used to believe in the New Testament. During the Dark Ages the truth of Scripture got eaten away by the different stages of the antichrist spirit of deception by false doctrine, human opinions, and pagan traditions. Then a centralized church organization of the Roman Catholic church, backed by brutal political power of the Roman emperors, forced everyone into their system. Then demonology undermined the great reformation movements that soon lost the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and fell into the trap of dividing up into denominational camps. Church leaders dominated their assemblies. Like the legs of Daniel's Gentile image that split up into many toes. So human leadership, Nicolaitanism, blunted the Spirit's control of the church.
A final prophet is needed to reveal the secrets of Scripture, so that the end time seed church can be identical to the first seed church that was planted by the apostles. Only then will a harvest take place.
"The voice of the seventh angel" has gone out in books, tapes, and on the internet to spearhead the final teaching rain.
When individuals can open the Bible, and read and understand it, and live and believe like the early church, then the mighty Angel descends in Revelation 10, with the opened Book, to raise the dead and change our bodies, which makes us part of the latter or harvest rain. If your body does not change, you are not part of the harvest.
But, remember, if it goes plumb into the shadows of death, "I am the resurrection and Life; I'll raise him up again." And when the great Director comes down and bears that stick down, then, "time shall be no more."
When that Angel, of Revelation the 10th chapter, puts one foot on land and one on the sea, and a rainbow over His head, He swore, "time shall be no more." When that time comes, you will rise up from among the dead. While the rest of them lay there, you'll go in.
Brother Branham links this Angel to the resurrection of Lazarus. The ministry of Jesus, when He intervenes as the archangel Michael, is to raise the dead. He demonstrated at Lazarus' tomb that He has the power to do this.
Revelation Chapter 10 deals with the latter rain which starts with the resurrection from the dead.
They will appear to the living Christians, but will only blend in when they meet those who have been restored back to the first age beliefs that they had. This will be the final test for the living Bride. Will we believe the same as what they believe?
When the living and the resurrected saints see eye-to-eye, then the second stage of the latter rain takes place, which is the changing of the body of the living saints from the end time church. Around this time the seven mysterious Thunders utter. This will be the next test for the Bride. Will we connect with these mysterious seven Thunders, and be able to relate them back to Scripture? If we can, then they will prepare us for the catching up as we get pulled off planet Earth.
CHURCH AGE BOOK CHAPTER 10. A RESUME OF THE AGES.
Now it says God is going to "restore". The Lutheran Age did not restore the church; it started a reformation. The Wesleyan Age did not restore. The Pentecostal Age did not restore. But God has to restore for He cannot deny His Word. This is not the resurrection of the Church; it is the "Restoration". God will take the Church right back to Pentecost of the beginning. Now notice in verse 25 it tells why we need restoration. The locust, cankerworm, caterpillar and palmerworm have eaten all but the root and a small bit of the stem. Now we are told that all these insects are all one and the same in different stages. That is right. They are the antichrist spirit manifested in organization, denomination and false doctrine through the ages. And that poor little root and stalk is going to be restored. God isn't going to plant a new Church, but is going to bring His original planting back to original seed. He is doing it as stated in verse 23, by the teaching, or "former" rain.
Next will come the harvest rain or rapturing faith.
A RESUME OF THE AGES - CHURCH AGE BOOK CPT.10
Thus at this very moment we are in the complete fulfillment of Matthew 24:24 "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." And who is it that shall attempt to deceive the very elect? Why, the spirit of antichrist in the "false anointed ones" of this last day. These false ones have already come in "Jesus' Name" claiming that they have been anointed of God for the last day. They are the false Messiahs (anointed ones). They claim that they are prophets. But are they one with the Word? Never. They have added to it or taken from it. No one denies that the Spirit of God manifesting in gifts is upon them. But like Balaam they all have their programs, make their appeal for money, exercise gifts, but deny the Word or bypass it for fear that a controversy might diminish their chances for greater gain. Yet they preach salvation and deliverance through the power of God, just like Judas, with a ministry imparted by Christ. But because they are wrong seed, consequently they have a wrong spirit motivating them.
Religious? Oh my! They outshine the elect in effort and zeal, but it is Laodicean, not of Christ, for it looks for big crowds, big programs and startling signs amongst them. They preach the second coming of Christ, but deny the advent of the prophet-messenger, though in power and signs and true revelation he eclipses them all. Ah yes, this false spirit that in the last day is so close to the real, can be distinguished only by its deviation from the Word, and whenever it is caught in being anti-Word, it falls back on the one argument we have already shown to be false: "We get results, don't we? We have to be of God."
The church world had a moderate ability to teach Scripture and restore truth. Luther brought back the need to get saved. Wesley taught holiness and doing outreach. The Pentecostals taught the gifts of the Spirit and the Holy Ghost baptism.
But the harvest is when you pull the corn seed off the plant.
The real harvest is the catching up of the Bride, when God pulls people off the earth. If He does not catch you up, you are not part of the harvest. The only ones who will be caught up will be those who have had their bodies changed. That is the ministry of the mighty Angel in Chapter 10.
So first the mysteries came down to the prophet, brought by seven invisible angels, for the former or teaching rain which continues on to the end during the days of his voice, conveyed to us by the books and tapes and electronic media, long after he had left the scene. Then those individuals who accepted the Word -- that is now outside every church door (although every church does not know this and thus strenuously denies it) -- get restored to the teachings of the apostles. This is the function of the former rain, to restore us back to the former beliefs of the first church age.
Then the latter rain merges with the former rain as the mighty Angel comes down and raises the dead, especially from the first church age. That starts the latter rain.
MATTHEW 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
"Cried with a loud voice". Same as the Angel of Revelation 10.
:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.The resurrected dead at the end time will "appear unto many" as they look for those who believe what they believe. They never deified a man, so will not be impressed by those who do. They are resurrected to await the Coming of the Lord, and will not be impressed by those who say He has come. That will be our final teaching time rain, learning to fine tune our beliefs with theirs. We will have to change to their beliefs because we must be restored to them. Then at some point the bodies of the living are changed. We have no say over that. Our bodies either change or do not change. That is the next phase of the latter rain as only the changed bodies get caught up off the earth, like seed pulled off a plant. This catching up to meet the Lord in the air is the final phase of the latter rain.
So we have no say in the latter rain. We can only be taught by the former teaching rain. If we line up properly with the early church, we will then be in the latter rain.
Teaching is always followed by an exam or test. The latter rain is the exam, the final test. If we pass, we graduate and leave the university (this earth). When those resurrected saints appear to us, they will be examining us to see if we believe what they believe. Only those who pass that test will have their bodies changed. Those who fail the test have to repeat the course, but in the very tough cauldron of the Tribulation that will knock off all their church traditions and speculations and make them think for themselves, because they will no longer follow their church leaders/ pastors. Once they are in the tribulation they will realize that they have been deceived by their leaders. Then they will no longer be impressed with their pastors.
1965 A RESUME OF THE AGES - CHURCH AGE BOOK CPT.10
What seemed to be the answer came as many began to speak in tongues and manifest gifts of the Spirit. It was then believed that this was indeed the long awaited RESTORATION. It was not, for the latter rain can come only after the former rain which is the spring or TEACHING rain. The latter rain, then, is the HARVEST rain. How could this be the real thing when the Teaching Rain had not come? The Prophet-Messenger who was to be sent to TEACH the people and turn the hearts of the children back to the Pentecostal fathers had not yet come. Thus what was thought to be the restoration and the final quickening unto the rapture had not come. In it was a mixture of the unrighteous partaking of Spiritual blessing and manifesting in the Holy Ghost as we have kept pointing out to you. In it also was devil power as men were under the control of devils, yet no one seemed to realize it. Then, to prove that it was not the REAL, these people (even before a second generation had appeared) organized, and wrote their unscriptural doctrines and built their own fences as every other group ahead of them did.
Remember, while Jesus was upon earth so was Judas. Each came from a different spirit, and upon death each went to his own place. The Spirit of Christ later came back upon the true church, and the spirit of Judas came back upon the false church.
....The second forerunner of Christ will sow for the latter rain.
Jesus will be the showdown between the denominations and creeds, for He will come to back up His Word and take His bride in the rapture.
In 1965 he says "Will sow for the latter rain". This was his last year on earth. So the latter rain did not happen when brother Branham was on earth.
There are three key ministries.
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.
How does it work?
The apostles who wrote the New Testament are the most important. They come first. Not brother Branham.
Then come prophets. They are second in line. A prophet is only of value if he reveals the mysteries in the Bible in such a way that will take us back to the New Testament teachings of the apostles, who are the most important. The 12 apostles sit around the throne of God in Heaven as part of the 24. So Paul is extra special. He is a messenger and an apostle. And brother Branham has to agree with Paul and the other apostles. So the apostles always get priority.
GALATIANS 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven [ the seventh angel ], preach any other gospel unto you than that which we [ the 12 apostles ] have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
The pastors mess up by making brother Branham’s quotes come first. Anyone who disagrees with Paul and the apostles is accursed. This is dangerous.
Then, the third most important ministry is teaching.
This is the former or teaching rain (mowreh). The teacher takes brother Branham’s quotes back to the Bible, and then proves that what he is saying is within the written Bible, and can be proven from the Bible without having to refer back to the quotes. Then alone you know that you have truth because the Bible was written by the apostles. And your revelation or picture that you have in your mind came from the prophet’s quotes.
The prophet’s quotes are then proven from the written Bible to restore us back to the first church age.
So far there is no mention of pastors in this Bible verse of I Corinthians 12: 28.
Elevated human leadership is nicolaitanism. God hates that.
II TIMOTHY 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.Pastors act as teachers, telling the people what they want to hear. Not what is written in the Bible. A puddle of quotes becomes their foundation of faith which takes them away from the Bible.
ROMANS 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
A ministry is hard work, and we have to be sure that we are waiting on God, not rushing forward to do what people want us to do as they build up their churches and lock Jesus outside.
Note that teaching is a special ministry. It is mentioned separately from the other ministries.
57-0105 HEAR YE HIM
Notice. Then this child, as soon as he was born was given a tutor (many of you know the Galatian letter), of a tutor or a teacher. And this teacher raised this child, bringing his father word all the time how the child was progressing. He educated the child. He raised him up. And he kept word to the father all the time about the child.
Father would come along once in a while and trot his child on the knee and kiss him. But he was a busy man, and he couldn't take time to educate his own child. He had a special, selected, the best that he could find to raise that child, because it was his son.
Not just anyone who knows something can be a teacher.
60-1211M THE TEN VIRGINS AND THE HUNDRED AND FORTY FOUR THOUSAND JEWS
Now, these may seem teaching, I'm a long ways from being a teacher. But teaching is cutting, that's a special gift in the Body of Christ.
Teaching contradicts the popular opinions, and is thus rejected. Teaching cuts across the pastor’s viewpoints, making the pastor view the teacher as an enemy.
63-0724 GOD DOESN'T CALL MAN TO JUDGMENT WITHOUT FIRST WARNING HIM
The teacher is a special man. He sits back under the anointing of the Spirit and is able to take the Words and put them together by the Holy Spirit, that, the pastor or evangelist either one could not compare with him.
This is what destroys a teacher in the eyes of a pastor. A teacher can line up brother Branham’s quotes with Scripture in a way that a pastor cannot compare. But the pastor wants to be "top dog". So he cannot cope with someone who lines up doctrine better than he can. So the teacher is discarded or ignored.
But in God’s order, the pastor should learn doctrine from the teacher.
What makes teaching so difficult and labour intensive? He has to study the Bible, the Messages of brother Branham, a huge amount of history, a good knowledge of geography, and the basic rules of science and astronomy. Not many want a ministry like that. It is simply too much hard work.
Then comes the hardest part. The teacher has to make a picture from brother Branham’s quotes, which we call a revelation. Then he has to hunt down this picture in the Bible by finding written verses all scattered around in the Bible, and bring them all together to make a cohesive picture from Scripture.
Then if he is honest, he has to look for Bible verses and facts that contradict his theory, and then change things until the contradictions in the Bible have been smoothed out so that all the verses are telling the same story. This is a long and difficult process.
If he gets it right then he has a final reward. Rejection. People today want fast food take-aways. Nothing to really make them think. So their replies are something like. "Don’t bore me with history or facts from science. Don't refer to passages in the Bible because that is not important. All I want is a few quotes that are easy to learn, and easy to twist into some speculation". Quick and easy, but no nutritional value. Junk food.
This outlook will never allow people to peer through the mists of their ignorance and misunderstanding. When the great Tribulation crashes into their lives like a horrific tsunami, then all their delusions will be ripped away from them.
For those who stay with the Bible, when His kingdom is revealed, they will be able to understand and share it with Jesus.
Pilgrims establish no earthly institution.
The early church met in houses. This was even true in the city of Laodicea.
COLOSSIANS 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
This is a good example for us, who live in the Laodicean age, to follow.
John the Baptist was the forerunner of the first Coming of Jesus. William Branham's message was the forerunner of the second Coming of Jesus.
Let us look at four of John's disciples.
JOHN 1:35Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
:37 And the two disciples heard him (John) speak, and they followed Jesus.These were the first disciples of John.
John's preaching pointed to Jesus, and these two disciples of John, after listening to him, followed Jesus.
They were not dedicated to John as a man, but they were dedicated to the Man Jesus who John was trying to point out to them. William Branham's preaching pointed to the Bible. Those disciples of his, who heard him speak and understood what he was pointing out, then follow what the Bible said. His disciples must not be dedicated to him as a man, they must be dedicated to the Bible that he pointed out or revealed to them.
Then there were another two disciples who were so dedicated to John that they stayed with him rather than follow Jesus. This was fine while John was preaching truth. But, being human, John made a big mistake and contradicted the Scripture by doubting whether Jesus was the Messiah. Then these two disciples of John were silly enough to also believe this unscriptural doctrine. When John contradicted Jesus, these two disciples walked around trusting in John's wrong quotes. Silly guys. We never hear of them again.
So there will be disciples of William Branham who will be silly enough to believe an unscriptural doctrine just because brother Branham got the doctrine wrong. They will boldly walk around and contradict Scripture just because brother Branham made a mistake. Once again, silly guys. History will repeat itself.
Those disciples who really understood John's ministry ended up following Jesus. But those disciples who were so impressed with John that they stayed with him ended up denying Jesus.
MATTHEW 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?They stayed so close to John that they could not see the Jesus that John had pointed to. Message believers are so intoxicated with quotes that they cannot see the Scripture that brother Branham pointed to. Why?
JOHN 5:35 He (John) was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
John was a bright light. But when his disciples got too close to him they were so dazzled by his incredible ministry and could thus see no further. So they rejoiced in his light, in his statements, in his quotes. That was fine for a season until John made a statement or quote that was wrong.
A puddle of selected quotes is not the river of life.
John was a signpost pointing to a destination which was Christ.
JOHN 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
: 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.John was not the whole Light. He added a small, but vital, contribution to the light of the Bible. But Jesus was all of the Bible.
We have to look at the Bible through the quotes that brother Branham revealed.
We do not look at the quotes. They are just a "sign post". We look in the direction that the quotes point and then only do we see Jesus walking through the pages of the Bible.
And when you have seen Jesus revealed in His Word, then like Elijah on mount Transfiguration, brother Branham fades in comparison to Jesus. A bright star cannot shine when the sun comes up.
JOHN 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
John, that great prophet Elijah, faded out of the Bible when Jesus arrived.
William Branham's quotes are not the light. He cannot add anything to the Bible. He can only reveal the mysteries that the Bride needs to know in order to prepare for the second Coming of Jesus.
He can only build on the foundation that Paul laid.
I CORINTHIANS 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Bible).If you stay rejoicing around the signpost then you have missed the purpose of the signpost. Then you will never arrive at the destination. A signpost is not the destination.
A star is not the sun. All stars fade away when the sun rises.
If brother Branham is the brightest star in your life, it just means that you are still in a dark night.