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Were Seven Thunders of Rev.10:3 revealed? Are they the Seven Seals?

Question:

Brother Phiri, what do you say about the following words? The quote shows that William Branham said  Seven Thunders were revealed as Seven Seals.

“John knew what the thunders were, but was forbidden to write, because the Bible said, in the days of the VOICE of the seventh ANGEL. The seventh ANGEL is a messenger of the Seventh Church Age. When he begins to sound, that’s when the SEVEN  MYSTERIES of the SEVEN THUNDERS would be revealed. These divinely revealed ‘mystery truths’ literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. The Malachi 4 prophet precedes the second coming and  John the Baptist preceded the first coming. NOTICE that both are MISTOOK for BEING THE MESSIAH.


Response

Dear ___

The quote you have given is a concatenation of sentences taken from two books. The first 53 words in the quote  were taken from Conduct Order and Doctrine (Volume II, p.1161), and the rest from An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, page 327. I am stating the sources because I should emphasise here that the Seven Church Age book is a heavily edited version of what William Branham actually taught on the subject. Brother Branham had sent messages he taught on the subject to brother Lee Vayle to grammarise them. But when you read the original messages of the prophet and compare them with what came out of the edited book it should be clear to see that not all the words in the book were of William Branham. However, I will still approach your question taking the words to have been written by brother Branham.

Many people have argued over the prophecy of Seven Thunders, about whether or not it was already fulfilled. The arguments and contentions often result into more carnality and ungodliness – schisms, anger, and even breakaway churches (1 Cor.3:3). Often it’s a case of two men looking at a seed, one says it’s of an apple tree and another insists its of a lemon tree. Well, until that seed is sown, grows, and manifests itself, the two can go on arguing. But can we afford to leave the Seventh Seal to the ‘soil’? Not so. Its fulfilment holds a  promise which is very crucial for the rapture of believers. The question is, Has this promise already fulfilled? Woe to us if the blessing is here and we cannot see it! But on the converse, What if the revelation, and its resulting power of translating our mortal bodies, is yet to happen? If the latter, then fools are treading with hob-nailed shoes where angels, with awestruck silence (Rev.8:1), fear to tread!

Now, there is so much of what Brother Branham said or what he did not say, what he meant or  did not mean. What adds to the confusion is that both the “What he said” and “What he did not say” are actually retrievable from his words . Yes, brother Branham gave dual-statements on some topics he taught. On the subject of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel in one message he taught that it is seven years which will  remain after the Rapture and in another place he said three and half years. Which teaching do we take of the two? Well, if one has ears to hear what the Spirit speaketh through a man and  not what the man is speaking in trying to convey the mind of God it is often easy to sift through such discrepancies. True understanding begins when one realises that words of a man may point to the Truth but yet the Truth is not to be sought in his words.  Like the old adage says, the finger pointing to the moon doesn’t make the finger the moon itself. Did not John under inspiration point out to the Lord as he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Joh.1:29)? Some people heard that, believed and followed the Lord. But at another time the great prophet doubted and questioned, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Mat.11:3). One wonders what confusion the latter words of John may have had on some of his devout followers. Yes, he had a great ministry with the spirit and power of Elijah on him but one thing is sure, his words of doubt were not ‘God talking through John’; it was his mind speaking. It is because of this that  people ought to be spiritual. One has to know and discern when God is speaking through a man and when a man is merely expressing his opinion. Way after the Lord Jesus had died, resurrected and the Holy Spirit had been poured out, there were certain people who could still say, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” (Act.19:2).

This reminds me of one time when brother Branham referred to an incident in the book of Kings when God had said to Elijah, “I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal” (1 Kin. 19:18). During preaching William Branham said seven hundred instead of seven thousand and that made someone to ask this question: “Brother Branham, did you mean to say seven thousand who had not bowed their knee to Baalim, or seven hundred?” Believe it or not, if that question had not been asked and he never had the chance to clarify, there would have been people today teaching that it was seven hundred prophets and not seven thousand! What would cause such a terrible state of the mind in a person? Well, this one simple thing: not knowing how to hear. Didn’t the Lord admonish us saying, “take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luk.8:18)? Here is what brother Branham said in asnwering the question about the seven thousand prophets:

“Forgive me…I knowed that was seven thousand. I just happened to say seven hundred…I just didn’t read it out of the Scripture. It just come to my mind while I was talking…I make them mistakes all the time…I didnt mean to do that” The Revelation of the Seven Seals, Questions and Answers on the Seals (p.441-442). 

Concerning Seals, the Seven Seals of Revelation Chapter 6 can never be Seven Thunders of Revelation 10:3. One night, in Namibia, a minister told me “Seven Seals are Seven Thunders” and we talked for over 6 hours (from about 9:00 PM to 03:00 AM). The minister was loud, emotional, and so agitated. He did most of the talking and throughout the talk my words were the same, I kept repeating the question – “if Seven Seals are Seven Thunders, tell me the contents of the Seventh Thunder?” He could not give the answer. At last when he realised the meaning of my question he said something to this effect, “It’s a mystery and we may never understand these things”. I was surprised to hear him say those words after trying to defend his position for hours. He talked at great length, dodging and meandering about my question and at the end only to express his ignorance of what the Seven Thunders actually mean. Now, you may wonder what exactly my question meant, well here was the question in full:

  • If “Seven Seals” = “Seven Thunders” then,
  • First Seal = First Thunder = White horse revelation
  • Second Seal = Second Thunder = Red horse revelation
  • Third Seal = Third Thunder = Black horse revelation
  • Fourth Seal = Fourth Thunder = Pale horse revelation
  • Fifth Seal = Fifth Thunder = Souls under the altar
  • Sixth Seal = Sixth Thunder = revelation of  the travail to fall upon the earth
  • Seventh Seal = Seventh Thunder = Uttering of the Seven Thunders???

The last line takes us back to the question: What are the utterances of Seven Thunders? And how can the Seventh Thunder be the one uttering them? That is the question which kept the man iterating in his explanations until I think he saw the confusion of his own words. I further asked this:

If in Revelation Chapter 6 the seals or thunders were already written, why should the angel treat them as a secret and forbid John to write anything about them?

Well, until God opens someone’s eyes no amount of logical arguments can do anything. When one reads the Seals book and other messages the prophet preached in 1963, 1964, and 1965 (the year he died), it is very clear to see that the mystery of Seven Thunders contained in the Seventh Seal was never revealed to brother Branham and he actually was waiting for the revelation even in the year that he died.  He rightly explained that even the apostle John was forbidden to write what the Thunders uttered because God has kept it a secret which will only be revealed at the time of the coming of Christ. Here is what he said:

“As certain as I stand in the platform tonight, I had the revelation that revealed…Those Seven Thunders that he heard thunder and was frobidden to write; thats what the mystery is, laying behind those Seven consecutive Thunders rolling out.”

“Now, what this great secret is that lays beneath this Seal, I do not know it. I don’t know it. I couldn’t make it out. I couldn’t tell it, just what it – 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. It flew across there, and I couldnt make it out. That’s exactly right…the thing for you to do is to remember that I speak to you in the Name of the Lord. Be prepared , for you don’t know what time  something can happen.”

“Now, we have in the completion here now, by the grace of God, all the mysteries of the six Seals that’s been sealed up, and we understand and know here that the Seventh Seal is not to be known to the public…It is a complete mystery, therefore, we’re this far, and the rest of it will be known right around about the time that Jesus appears on earth again, for His Bride…until that time, let’s just all pray, live good, straight, Christian lives, looking forward for His coming.” (Revelation of the Seven Seals, The Seventh Seal, Paragraphs 248,  323-324, 397-400)

Yes, the prophet admonished us to remember that he spoke in the name of the Lord but how many people have kept the instruction to remember? Many are playing with quotes and have gone into territories that angels wouldnt go.

Now here is a question you may want to consider:

Could William Branham have changed his view on Thunders after 1963?

On August 30 of 1964 somoene asked brother Branham this question (find it in COD Vol.II, Page 1161):

“Have the Seven Thunders which equals seven mysteries already been revealed? Were they revealed in the Seven Seals, but are ye- but are yet not known to us as the Thunders yet?”

And this is what brother Branham answered:

No, they were revealed in the Seven Seals; that’s what the Thunders was about…The Seven Thunders that had uttered their voices and no one could make out what it was…John knew what it was , but he was forbidden to write it. He said, “But the seventh angel, in the days of his sounding, the seven mysteries of the Seven Thunders would be revealed’. And the seventh angel is a messenger of the Seventh Church Age. See?”

We all know that brother Branham was a kind of man who would say a word here at one time and at another explain it somewhat different. And what have some men done, they grab what I call a ‘flying’ word or sentence and build upon it a doctrine. In taking a  one or two-minutes flying Word, often they can throw away what the man taught  for over two to three hours or a whole week! On that unstable flying word they can erect a huge structure of a doctrine. How unsafe! Like I have always said, many times to undersand what brother Branham said or meant one may require to read or hear an entire message or even a combination of sermons he preached during a week or a month. When you do this regarding his words on Seven Thunders it immediatly becomes easy to see that the “No” in the above answer of the prophet was in reference to the fact that Seven Thunders are not Seven Seals. Please, in the quotes that follow next observe what he said in the same month of August. The question above was asked on 30th August, 1964. The quotes I show below (under 1964) are taken from sermons preached on 19th July and 16th August. When you check what brother Branham taught in March of 1963 (when Seals were revealed), and what he kept saying about the Seventh Seal and Seven Thunders, through 1964 and also 1965, it is very clear that he still believed that Thunders were yet to be revealed.

In 1963

  • “Jesus, when He was on earth, they wanted to know when He would come. He said, ‘Even the Son Himself don’t know when it’s going to happen.’ See, God has this all to Himself. It’s a secret. And that’s the reason there was silence in heaven for a space of a half hour. And Seven Thunders uttered their voices, and John was even forbidden to write it (See?)—the coming of the Lord. That’s one thing He hasn’t revealed yet, of how He will come, and when He will come. It’s a good thing that He doesn’t. He has showed or revealed it in every type that’s in the Bible” Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed (28th July 1963).
  • “The Lamb took His Book when the Seventh Seal, just ready for it to be opened–the Sixth Seal. Remember, He hid the Seventh Seal from us. He wouldn’t do it. When the Angel stood day by day telling it, but then He wouldn’t do it on that one. Said, ‘There’s silence in heaven.’ No one knew. It was the coming of the Lord”  Souls that are in Prison Now (11th November 1963).

In 1964

  • That Seventh Seal hasn’t opened yet, you know that’s His coming” Feast of the Trumpets (19th July, 1964).
  • “The seventh angel was to open the six-seal mystery. It’s all to be gathered up in the Son of man, His fullness of time has come to the Fullness of His Word to manifest the fullness of His Body”  Proving His Word (16th August, 1964).

In 1965

  • “Now, in doing this, I have come here for the purpose of teaching the last vials, last seven vials, and the last seven trumpets, and the last seven thunders of the Book of Revelations, tying them together in this hour that we’re now living to follow the opening of the Seven Seals, the Seven Church Ages. So we couldn’t get room to do it, so I–I hope that soon as I can, we’ll can get a place sufficient for that either here, or in Louisville, New Albany, or either put up a tent, so we can just stay as long as the Lord leads us to do” The God of this Evil Age (1st August, 1965).
  • “And to see this nervous age that we’re living in… And last week’s tapes, I think, will reveal to you the great hideous things that we’re going to speak on one of these days when we can get a place sufficient, of the opening of those last plagues to be poured out upon the earth–those Vials, rather, pouring out of the Vials, and the Seven Thunders… And those hideous sights that’s coming upon the earth…” Christ is Revealed in His own Word (22nd August, 1965).
  • “But we’ve got one of the most dreadful times to go through that ever laid before human beings. Now, I’m just waiting for the hour and when we can get–everybody can get a chance where you can get off from work and spend a few days, and we can get set up somewhere where I can speak on those plagues and things that’s to fall in the days, and throw about two or three weeks together, and bring that together, if the Lord let’s me live to do it and will inspire me to do so. See how those things will be dropped in and those thunders, then you’ll find out what that man and them people has been dreaming about and all these things there; it’ll come to pass. See? You’ll notice what them revealed, that great thunder a-coming forth out of the–out of the skies. Now… Of course, the whole bunch of you, you know that I know what that–what that means. You see? And… But let’s just wait till the time comes (You see?) for it to…?… Now… And it’ll be more in season” Christ is Revealed in His own Word (22nd August, 1965).

I hope this reply to your question is of help. If you still cant understand the explanation, lay it before the Lord to grant you the understanding.

Shalom,

A C Phiri

Why did the angel who revealed the Apocalypse to John identify himself as a prophet (Rev.22:8-9)?

Question:

The angel who showed John the visions in the book of Revelation identified himself as a prophet. He said to John, ‘I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets’ (Rev.22:9). Which prophet could this have been? Was it Elijah, Moses? And why was the prophet described as an angel? Could this justify the belief that when some holy people die they become angels?


Response:

Some believe the angel was one of the Old Testament prophets, and others have an extreme cultic view of presenting their beloved preacher to have pre-existed as an angel who revealed the Apocalypse to John [There is one in Puerto Rico who holds such a claim. I have heard of some people who believe that angel to have been William Branham]. Well, in the absence of true light (knowledge), speculation and strange teachings thrive.

Here is what Revelation 22:8-9 says: “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” A wrong understanding of this passage  may arise by a misunderstanding of the English used in the King James Version Bible. Reading other versions like NIV, Amplified or the New American Standard makes plain what the verse states. NIV:

I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book”.

The Jerusalem Bible is even more clear:

I am a servant just like you and like your brothers the prophets and like those who treasure what you have written in this book.”

It should be clear here to see that the angel was telling John that he too was merely a servant of God just like John, the prophets, and all those who keep the Word of God; he did not identify himself as a prophet but as a fellowservant like the prophets are also servants. Now, even when we read the angel’s words to be “I am of thy brethren the prophets” this is what it would come to:

First, it is important to know that a phenomenon which occurs in the world, whether in the realm of politics, religion, or among God’s people, is influenced by spiritual forces. In the scriptures we read about the nation of Israel having an army which had a captain but whose victories were actually influenced by angelic beings.  In Joshua 5:13 we read about the commander of the army of Israel meeting a soldier whom he asked, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” The soldier he met turned out to be an angelic being. He answered: “as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come” (v.14, NIV). What was this “army of the Lord” that the angel presided over? Let’s look into the book of Samuel for we find the same term there.

In 1 Samuel 17 we read about the story of Goliath of Gath challenging Israel. He called out saying, “I defy the armies of Israel this day” (v.10). Now notice the following words in the response of David: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he could defy the armies of the living God?” (v.26). Yes, the armies of Israel were armies of the living God, not merely by description but because there was actually a spiritual army (host) led by the angel Michael, who fought against spiritual warlords of the Gentile nations  (Dan.12:1). The visions of Daniel make this clear.

When the prophet Daniel had fasted for 21 days and at last angel Gabriel came to him, he explained: “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Dan.10:12-13). Please note that what Gabriel calls princes (or kings) are not earthly ones but angels of darkness that ruled over earthly empires. Now, just as Gentile nations have principalities (or captains of spiritual armies over them), the nation of Israel also has angel Michael. In Daniel 12:1 Michael is described as “the great prince  which standeth for the children of thy people”. By this statement we would certainly be in order to describe angel Michael as being of the armies of Israel because that’s what he has been anointed of, to fight for that nation’s army!

It is in the same light, as what has been explained above, that we can read  Revelation 22:8-9. Just as Michael can be described to be of the armies of Israel, so the angel who ministered to John can be said to be of the prophets.

Are these words of Brother Branham scriptural?

Question:

Shalom Bro. Phiri. How do you understand the below quote, especially the part in bold

THE WORD THAT FELL ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST WILL NOT WORK THIS DAY . No, sir. That was for Pentecost. This is for the Bride, going Home of the Bride. WE GOT SOMETHING DIFFERENT. The Pentecostals represented that, again. We’re in the Bride age. No more than the Word of Noah would work in the days of Moses; no more than Moses’ law would have worked in the time of Paul here. He tried to tell them, “You are dead to that, and you cannot have that.”

(Rev. William Marrion Branham, 65-1125, THE INVISIBLE UNION OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST)

Is it Scriptural?

God bless you.


Reply:

Shalom dear Brother,

When the above words of William Branham are analysed separate from the whole text where they are drawn from, one can easily dismiss them to be wrong and misleading. In this way many people (Branhamites and Anti-Branhamites alike) have mispresented William Branham’s words.

It is important to know that Brother Branham was uneducated and often misused words in trying to convey his thoughts. Many times it would take ears that can hear the Spirit to correctly understand what the humble man tried to speak.

William Branham was aware of his limitation of vocabulary and grammar. Here is what he said one day during preaching:

I hope you get it. I haven’t got no education. I know what I’m talking about, but maybe I can’t explain – explain it, to make sense to you. But I hope that God takes the words that’s mixed up, and divides them out right, and lets you know what it is. (p.496, REVELATION OF THE SEVEN SEALS).

It is God who saw it fit to use a man with limited vocabulary to express his Word and Works. Often,  in order to understand what William Branham said or meant, you may have to hear or read a whole portion of a message he  was preaching. For example, before he spoke the words you quoted in your question, William Branham was explaining the history of church revivals from the time of Luther, Wesley and then through the Pentecost revival which occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. He likened the various stages the church went through to what a grain of wheat goes through when growing. As growth progresses what remains behind (such as the husk) is lifeless and drops off. This continues until the seed comes forth. Brother Branham referred to the dying off remains as denominations. He also denounced the Pentecostal movement to have died as it couldn’t move on to receive the Present Truth that God was revealing. This is what he said:

Now, you take a grain of wheat, when the wheat is first coming forth…You look at it. You say, ‘We got a grain of wheat’. Be careful. It’s just exactly like the grain, but there’s not a bit of grain in it. It’s the shuck…Then what happens? When the grain begins to grow, and to get bigger … the denomination pulls away from it…God has separated us from all the dead religions…Separated us, and opened to us a new land, a new message for this day. Pentecost dried up and died, like Luther, Wesley, and the rest of them. It’s no more than a bunch of churches pulled together.

Notice that when he said “Pentecost dried up and died”! he was clearly referring to the Pentecostal blessing which had began in the early twentieth century and was a successor to Luther’s reformation and Wesley’s revival. This should be clear to see if you hear or read the whole sermon. All who are acquainted with William Branham’s sermons know that he placed the history of the revival in the endtime as follows: (1) Luther’s reformation and message of Justification, (2) Wesley’s message of Sanctification, (3) Pentecostal blessing or restoration of gifts, and (4) The ‘restoration’ of the Word in the Endtime. It is for this reason that in the above quote he said, “God has separated us from all the dead religions…Separated us, and opened to us a new land, a new message for this day. Pentecost dried up and died, like Luther, Wesley, and the rest of them”. Throughout this sermon Brother Branham kept talking about the fall of pentecostals from the true spiritual experience to being a denomination. It is in this context that one should read and understand these words – “THE WORD THAT FELL ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST WILL NOT WORK THIS DAY”. The meaning of his words become quite evident in the sermons he preached that same week:

Now it’s begin to pull away, the wheat’s begin to be seen. This is not a Pentecostal age, this is the Latter-day age, this is the Bride Age, this is the Evening Light, this is when Malachi 4 must be fulfilled to follow God’s pattern, this is Luke 17:30 to be fulfilled, this is the book of Jeremiah and all the rest of them, that Joel has spoke of these days. This is that day! “I have heard, Lord, and It was coming, but now I see It with my eye!”

We’re not living in a Pentecostal age, we’re living in another age. See, we’re not living in a Methodist age, we’re living in another age. We’re living on up here to the Bride age, the calling out of the Church and getting It together for the Rapture. That’s the age that we’re now living. To my honest opinion that’s exactly the Truth.

(I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE: 65-1127, MODERN EVENTS MADE CLEAR BY PROPHECY: 65-1206, LEADERSHIP: 65-1207)

Many times Brother Branham proclaimed that the true church of God has to be restored to the Pentecost of the book of Acts. This is what he said during his preaching on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel:

Aren’t you glad ? back to the Message brother! Back to the Original! Back to Pentecost! Back to the real blessing! Back to the Name of Jesus Christ! Back to the Baptism of the Holy Ghost! Back to signs and wonders! Back to Pentecost! Away with your organisations! (SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL)

Preaching on “Pentecost” was among the highlights of William Branham’s message and there is thus no way he could have dismissed it. So, “were his words in the quote scriptural?” No, if we just focus on the letters or grammar of what he said. But, Yes if one is acquainted with his language and mind.

I hope this helps.

A Phiri

Does 1 Corinthians 3:10 justify the ‘Chief Apostle’ ministry claims?

1 Corinthians 3:10 is usually cited to prove that Paul was The Chief Apostle that laid the foundation of the Church of Christ. Here is what the verse says:

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Does this scripture teach that Paul was the masterbuilder of the foundation of the Church, and that the other apostles built on top of the foundation he had laid? Here is what one man who claims to be “the Lead Apostle” wrote:

What we must realize, as bride saints, is that that Chief Builder Office of Jesus Christ, was expressed IN Apostle Paul’s ministry, for he occupied the office of THE APOSTLE! What is difficult to see in that? (RELIGO, Pg.41)

Well, everything is difficult to see in that. We must first establish the meaning of this scripture in its proper context. Paul used the language of building-construction and it is important to understand that scriptures usually type the body of Christ or family of believers as a building or a tabernacle of God. This true church of Jesus Christ is shown as the Holy City New Jerusalem in Revelation chapter 21. God’s Word tells us that this City is built on twelve foundations of the apostles. Verse14 says that the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb”. Paul was one of the twelve foundations’ builders. If you think that it was Matthias then you still have a lot to learn. Nonetheless, understand that Paul’s ministry was one among the other apostles which contributed to the other foundation stones.

Now, what is the difference between Jesus Christ, the foundation of the Church and the apostles, the foundations of the church”. It is a simple fact to understand but which, if misunderstood, will have you constructing a confused picture of the building of God –  having Paul as the foundation on which more foundations (of the other apostles) are laid upon it.

Listen, when the Lord Jesus Christ came and started healing the people, preaching and teaching the Word, he was that sower who went out to sow seed (Mark 4:1-20). The seed was the Word he proclaimed. During that time the disciples (who were yet to be sent forth as apostles) were not filled with the Holy Ghost but sat under the ministry of the Lord for more than three years. The Lord Jesus was the Chief Prophet and when the Church came into existence, He was called “the Apostle of our profession” and “the Chief Shepherd” (Heb.3:1, 1Pet.5:4). He alone then can be called the Chief Apostle! He was the Foundation for the Church that God laid. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1Cor.3:11). After Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension, the Holy Ghost was poured out and the apostles being anointed with the revelation of the Word for the Church became supports or footings to the foundation of Christ. Hence, the Church can be said to have been built on the foundations of the apostles. Whatever the apostles, including Paul (as one “born out of due season”) taught were fastened to the ONE FOUNDATION of Jesus Christ. Read Paul’s epistles and see if what he teaches is not rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ as penned in the four gospels. John’s epistle is so full of exact same words you will find in his gospel of Jesus Christ. All the apostles were simply building on the foundation of Christ.

Now, each of the apostles had his responsibility and calling from the Lord. Each of them was called to be a builder of the city of God. Inside this city of God, there was actually serious construction work going on. Here is an illustration: There are different construction companies handling the building of different areas of construction. There is company SP Ltd, company PM Ltd, JM Ltd, etc. Each of these companies has a building manager with workers under his supervision. Some companies are bigger than others, and hence have a greater capacity than others. But each company’s tasks are limited to the project assigned to it. All the companies report to the CEO of the City Building Project. He is the Master Building Manager who inspects and supervises all building (construction) work.

Now, this illustrates the Holy City, New Jerusalem, which is the Bride (Church) of Jesus Christ. Different ministries (“companies”) have been called for the construction of the different areas of the City (cf. John 14:1). All companies can only build on the foundation which was already laid, for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1Cor.3:11). God is the Master (Chief) Builder who laid the cornerstone which is Christ and which is the foundation. In the early church there was Simon Peter’s Ministry, Paul’s Ministry, John’s Ministry, and etc. Each of these ministries had allotted tasks, given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Some ministries were bigger in capacity than other ministries but each ministry was limited to its allotted tasks. It is for this reason that apostle Paul said, “I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation (Rom.15:20). This is simple enough to understand that Paul had a portion of a foundation to lay and he never wanted to intrude into other people’s “building” works!

Each of these ministries had other committed servants of God under their care. For example Paul planted a church at Corinth. (He also had other ministers whom he groomed. Timothy, for example, pastored the church at Ephesus). Although Paul planted the Corinthian church, other visiting ministers would pass through and minister at Corinth. Among the ministers who spent a lot of time teaching there, while Paul was not there, was a brother who was very good and eloquent at expounding scriptures, the man Apollos (cf. Acts 18:24-25). But with time, divisions started at the Corinthian church. Some believers began to see Apollos as a better teacher than Paul and others saw it otherwise. With time they started discriminating each other as a result of comparing the teachings of Paul with Apollos’. Instead of comparing the teachings with scriptures they were comparing teachings with teachings! Some brothers then began to send reports to Paul over what was happening. Paul decided to deal with the confusion and wrote a letter, in which he stated in 1 Corinthians 3: For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (v3). Why did he say they were carnal? Here it is: For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (v.4). This is exactly what is happening today? Some believers say, “We follow Ewald Frank”, others say, “Raymond Jackson”, others, “Joseph Coleman”. This is carnality as it amounts to adoring a man of God and not the God of the man! Consider this; how many preachers can sincerely rebuke their followers in such a manner as Paul did. Many would not because they enjoy honor. Now watch the humbleness of Paul: Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase (vv.5-6). See, it is not about Paul or Apollos but God! According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder [‘building manager’ for his ‘company’!], I have laid the foundation, and another [i.e. Apollos] buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (vv.10-11).

Sequence of Holy Communion events

Question:

“During the Lord’s Supper and feet-washing, did Jesus Christ wash the feet of Judas Iscariot?”

Response

The Scripture makes it clear that Judas Iscariot left the venue of feet-washing and communion after the dipping of sop in the dish (i.e. after the Lord had indicated he would be betrayed by one who would dip the sop with him in the dish). However, as I will shortly demonstrate, the dipping of the sop was not that of the Holy Communion but the ‘ordinary’ part of the supper.

To understand the answer to the above question we must establish when feet-washing was done: was it before or after the dipping of the sop? And most importantly, how do we reconcile the sequence of events as given in Luke which seem to suggest, contrary to records in the other Gospels, that Judas was present at the time when the Holy Communion was administered by the Lord?

Many Christians read John chapter 13 and believe that feet-washing was done after Holy Communion. However, a simple closer look at the passage actually reveals the opposite. The misunderstanding of placing feet-washing after the Holy Communion (or Lord’s Supper) arises because of this KJV English phrase, “And supper being ended”, found in   Joh.13:2-5. But verse 4 of this scripture  actually shows that when the Lord took the basin to start washing the disciples feet the supper was actually still going on. If supper had ended the Scripture would never have said “He riseth from supper” (v.4). Thankfully many other Bible versions have the correct phrase for John 13:4. Here is what some versions say: “The evening meal was in progress…” (NIV), “During supper…” (English Standard Version and also in Numeric English New Testament), “The evening meal was underway…” (Berean Study Bible).

Now, here is another important thing to note: the supper or evening meal doesn’t refer to the Holy Communion. The Holy Communion was done at a certain point DURING or AFTER the supper. Its occurrence was marked by the Lord taking bread and blessing it – “And as they were eating [the evening meal], Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Mat.26:26). There is clearly no way for the benediction to have come after the disciples were already eating the bread and drinking the wine; what the Lord did signified that holy part of the supper or communion. Having established this, here should be the correct sequence of what happened:

  1. The Lord and disciples gather at the venue for the Passover meal. It is evening time and they are eating their evening meal.
  1. A contention arises among the disciples of who is the greatest among them; “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest” (Luke 22:24). Do you remember that this contention had previously occurred among the disciples when the Lord had pointed to a little child to illustrate how they were supposed to be humble? The story is found in Luke 9:46-48. This time however, when they were on the supper table and the same conversation ensued again, the Lord stopped eating, moved away from the table and humbled himself as a servant to his disciples. Here is what Luke mentions: “For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth” (Luk.22:27). The Gospel of John went further to narrate how Jesus demonstrated servant-hood by taking a basin of water and  clean the feet of the disciples (Joh.13:5).
  1. When the Lord came to Peter and had admonished him saying, if he refused to be washed then he wasn’t a part of Christ and Peter then had desired for his hands and head to be washed too, the Lord said: “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all” (Joh.13:10). Ofcourse the one not clean was Judas. At this time Judas was still around as the Scripture says he only left after sopping into the dish with the Lord.
  1. In John 13:12 we read that after washing the feet of the disciples the Lord went back to sit on the table, and then he began to speak about one who would betray him – “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?…Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he” (John 13:12, 16-19).
  1. Like in verse 10, there is every good reason to believe that when the Lord said “I speak not of you all”( in verse 18), a statement which came after he washed his disciples’ feet, Judas was present. Furthermore it was after saying that that he spoke about the person that would eat bread with him (sop it in the dish). And it was after the sopping that the Devil entered Judas and he left the room: “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly” (Joh.13:26-27). After Judas was told, “That thou doest, do quickly” he left the room: “He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night” (Joh.13:30).
  1. It was after Judas left that the Lord administered the Holy Communion as shown in the other Gospels (read, Mark 14:20-23, Matthew 26:23-28). Note that Luke’s record seems to suggest Christ talking about the betrayer after the Communion (see v.20-23). However, the sequence of events as recorded in the other Gospels should help us see that Luke’s writing is more a sequence of subject matter than a sequence of events. Elsewhere Luke has done this. Consider this: when did John the Baptist baptize the Lord: Was it before or after he was jailed? Ofcourse it was before he was jailed but a casual reading of Luke 3:19-21 may seem to suggest otherwise. However, Luke is actually a kind of writer who first has to exhaust one subject before he moves to the next one: he has to mention all the necessary detail of John’s ministry before moving on to the ministry of the Lord. Thus, in narrating about John he goes further to talk about his imprisonment. But when he comes to talking about the Lord he has to mention that he was baptized by John. To carefully follow Luke you have to observe the sequence of the subject matter and not the time of events. I trust that if we look at events of Luke Chapter 22 in this light the problem of sequence disappears. When Luke begins to talk about the eating activity at the last Supper he tells everything at once of what happened about the supper. Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke does not distinguish the transition that occurred from the mere part of the evening meal to the administration of the Holy Communion. When he moves to the talk about who would betray the Christ, he narrates all conversations that related to that.

Although we delved into other matters in trying to answer the question, if my sequence of of 3, 4, and 5 above is Scripturally correct (which I believe is to the best of my knowledge), then Judas participated in the feet-washing done by the Lord. However, he never partook of the Holy Communion. A question which arises is, Does it mean Judas was part of the Lord, going by the Lord’s words to Peter – “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part  with me” (Joh.13:8)? Not so. The context of what the Lord said should be correctly understood in the context of what the act meant. That is, “Peter, if you can’t participate in this act of humility then you can’t identify with me. All those who claim to be my followers should accept this show of humility”. May I state further that if Judas had not moved out during Communion the Lord would surely still have gone ahead to also give him the bread to eat and the wine to drink. However, it is his hypocrisy and wrong heart that would have brought judgement on him.

Est-ce que Frère Ewald Frank, est “Le serviteur fidèle et prudent” de Matthieu 24:45?

Ceci est la traduction d’un message du Frère Andrew C. Phiri

Ce n’est pas faux si un prédicateur s’identifie comme étant  «un serviteur fidèle et prudent»  selon Matthieu 24:45, mais de penser et  dire, que le Seigneur prophétisait qu’un homme paraîtrait un jour, et  serait «le serviteur fidèle et prudent», est totalement faux. Et enseigner aussi, que le serviteur fidèle est le chef  de tous les autres serviteurs de Dieu, à cause des paroles suivantes: – «…que son maître a établi sur ses gens» (v. 45) – est une interprétation grossière de l’Écriture Sainte!

Lorsque l’interprétation des Écritures passe hors contexte, la confusion commence là, où il ne fallait pas y en avoir. Quand nous lisons  Matthieu 24: 45-51, et nous voyons à quel point la parabole relatée là-dedans est simple, et combien est évident le sens de l’expression «camarades», qui est mentionnée dans ce passage, on se demande comment une doctrine aussi étrange, naquit de l’Écriture sainte.

Matthieu 24: 45-51, était une simple parabole que le Seigneur a relatée et qui a également été enregistrée, par Marc et  par Luc. La manière dont la parabole a été racontée, indique qu’il ne s’agissait pas d’une prophétie, mais d’une illustration d’un serviteur bon par excellence, ou d’un serviteur perfide par excellence. Le Seigneur commence par demander: « Quel est donc le serviteur fidèle et prudent, que son maître a établi sur ses gens, pour leur donner la nourriture au temps convenable?” (V. 45). Il posa la question et indiqua qu’un bon serviteur devrait donner la nourriture à ses gens, au moment opportun. Et Il alla plus loin, en déclarant que : « Heureux ce serviteur, que son maître, à son arrivée, trouvera faisant ainsi! » (v.46). Maintenant, si vraiment, il s’agissait d’une prophétie selon laquelle, un certain individu paraîtrait à la fin des temps, alors les paroles citées dans Matthieu 24:46, veulent dire que cette personne-là, devrait rester en vie, jusqu’à l’avènement du Seigneur Jésus? Indépendamment de cela, la prophétie implique aussi, que le serviteur fidèle et prudent, finira par se transformer en un méchant  serviteur, qui commencera à battre ses compagnons – serviteurs: –  « Mais, si c`est un méchant serviteur, qui dise en lui-même: Mon maître tarde à venir, s`il se met à battre ses compagnons, … le maître de ce serviteur viendra le jour où il ne s`y attend pas (v.50). Mais nous sommes certains que cela n’annonce pas l’avenir d’un certain individu, car la prophétie n’est jamais formulée avec de telles conditions paraboliques, (le «si»). Lorsqu’on lit cette parabole dans le récit de Luc, on remarque clairement, que le «serviteur prudent » et le «méchant serviteur », ne sont pas deux personnes distinctes, mais, ces deux adjectifs se rapportent  en réalité, à une seule personne, qui peut devenir méchante – « Heureux ce serviteur, que son maître, à son arrivée, trouvera faisant ainsi!… Mais, si c`est un méchant serviteur, qui dise en lui-même: Mon maître tarde à venir, s`il se met à battre ses compagnons, s`il mange et boit avec les ivrognes, le maître de ce serviteur viendra le jour où il ne s`y attend pas et à l`heure qu`il ne connaît pas, » (Luc.12: 42-45)

Remarquez que le méchant serviteur frappe ses «compagnons de service»! Le mot “compagnon” indique qu’il n’est pas le seul individu ; mais qu’en fait, il est un, parmi d’autres compagnons de service ou de travail. Cela devient plus évident, lorsque nous lisons le passage où cette même parabole est relatée dans Marc. Marc a écrit: Il en sera comme d`un homme qui, partant pour un voyage, laisse sa maison, remet l`autorité à ses serviteurs, indique à chacun sa tâche, et ordonne au portier de veiller” (Marc 13: 33-37). Oui, les serviteurs de Dieu ont une seule autorité, la Parole de Dieu!

À ce stade-là, une question importante s’impose: quelle est l’origine de la doctrine de «The Wise-Servant» “Le Serviteur Prudent”?

D’où vient la doctrine du «serviteur prudent»?

Une fausse doctrine peut se découler d’une Écriture, ou d’une expérience spirituelle mal interprétées. La doctrine du serviteur prudent est née, de ce que je crois être une véritable expérience spirituelle.

Frère Ewald Frank, a eu une fois, une expérience merveilleuse. Dieu lui a parlé pour stocker la nourriture, parce qu’un projet est visé pour l’avenir. Lorsque frère Branham l’a rencontré, il lui a raconté l’expérience et son interprétation. La nourriture était le message, qui devait être stocké. Après la mort de frère Branham, frère Frank, a sûrement joué un rôle assez important, en veillant à ce que le message soit mis sous forme imprimée. Cependant, le fait qu’il soit nommé par Dieu pour stocker la nourriture en raison de la prochaine famine, ne veut pas dire, qu’il était le seul individu chargé de cette responsabilité. Cela paraît évident dans les paroles de la prière de frère Branham dans le message suivant: Le CHRIST EST LE MYSTÈRE DE DIEU RÉVÉLÉ (63-0728):

Bénis notre très cher pasteur, [Bro. Neville], le berger. Nous Te prions de l’oindre du Saint-Esprit de Ta Parole, de La révéler aux gens et de nourrir le troupeau. Un jour, il n’y a pas très longtemps, lorsque Tu as montré la vision du petit Tabernacle ici… : il était question d’emmagasiner la Nourriture; car il viendrait un temps où on aurait besoin de tout ceci. Alors nous avons vu Frère Sothmann et Frère Wood qui s’apprêtaient à faire la traversée pour se rendre dans un autre pays, afin de… Mais Tu as dit : “Emmagasinez cette Nourriture ici, pour ce temps-là (pour le temps convenable).”  Seigneur, avec beaucoup de respect, j’ai essayé de faire cela.

Si le frère Neville avait laissé l’orgueil s’emparer de lui, il aurait alors proclamé: «Je suis celui qui nourrit le troupeau, parce que le prophète a dit:« Nourris le troupeau».   Il est important de toujours se rappeler, qu’à chaque fois une pensée ou une idée  s’écarte du contexte, une mauvaise interprétation s’ensuit, et par suite, une confusion se produit là, où il n’y en aurait pas eu! Dans tout cela, il est toujours intéressant de noter que le prophète avait indiqué quel était le magasin de la «nourriture» – pas en Allemagne mais à Jeffersonville, dans l’Indiana. Voici ce qu’il a dit dans le message Se ranger du côté de Jésus (62-0601):

Vous vous rappelez ce qu’était ce rêve dont j’ai eu l’interprétation. «Retourne et emmagasine la nourriture.» Où était le magasin? Cette tente (ce tabernacle)… Et voici où la nourriture a étéemmagasinée.

Qui peut nier qu’en ce qui concerne la distribution des sermons imprimés de William Branham, Voice of God Recordings (à Jeffersonville dans l’Indiana), a effectué des efforts plus que tous les autres ministères réunis? Nous pouvons être en désaccord avec les croyances issues des enregistrements de « Branham Tabernacle », ou de la Voix de Dieu (Voice Of God), mais personne ne peut nier qu’elles sont le principal moyen de conserver et de diffuser les messages de frère Branham.

Mais qu’est-ce qui constitue réellement la «nourriture»?

Quelle est vraiment la “nourriture au temps convenable”, qu’un fidèle serviteur de Dieu, devrait donner à ses gens? Est-ce simplement, répéter les messages de William Branham sur les bandes magnétiques, ou lire les livres du Spoken Word (La Parole Prononcée)? Est-ce donner de la nourriture, signifie-t-il partager à plusieurs reprises le témoignage de ce que Dieu a fait lorsque son prophète était ici?

Nous savons que tous les prophètes de l’Ancien Testament avaient fait signe à la venue de la pleine manifestation de la Parole, en Christ. Mais après l’avènement du Christ, Son enseignement et Son ascension au ciel, est-ce que les apôtres avaient fait  le tour du monde, en ne répétant que mot pour mot, ce que le Christ, «la Parole complète», avait enseigné? Est-ce que la mission de Pierre, était de répéter sans cesse, comment il avait reçu les clés pour ouvrir le royaume des cieux? Était-ce  tout ceci, la «nourriture»?- Non, ce n’est pas ça. Nous trouvons dans les épîtres, beaucoup plus d’enseignements, que ce que Jésus avait enseigné, non pas, parce que le Seigneur n’était pas la Parole complète, mais parce que la vie de la Parole, était toujours présente parmi eux. De même, on peut lire un livre de la Parole Prononcée (ou Parlée), mais sans aucune inspiration, et notre âme mourra toujours de faim. La nourriture réelle, n’est pas les propos de William Branham parlés ou écris, mais ce que l’Esprit veut dire à travers ces paroles-là! Ainsi, sans l’Esprit, on peut écouter les bandes, mais on ne va pas manger de cette nourriture, qui peut subvenir aux besoins actuels. Cette nourriture ne peut provenir, que de la bouche de Dieu et seul, celui qui a des oreilles pour entendre l’Esprit, pourra vraiment entendre! Dieu utilise ses serviteurs pour donner cette nourriture et la servir, en temps opportun. C’est la nourriture en pleine saison! Ce ne sont pas des aliments pris aux micro-ondes d’une bibliothèque. Ainsi, « tout scribe instruit de ce qui regarde le royaume des cieux est semblable à un maître de maison qui tire de son trésor des choses nouvelles et des choses anciennes» (Mat.13: 52).

En conclusion, il est clair qu’il n’y a que Sept Âges d’Église seulement.  Soulever un homme en cette fin de temps, en tant que successeur du messager du Septième Âge de l’Église, nous mènera à la «Révélation (Apocalypse) Chapitre 23»! Puissions-nous donc prêter attention à l’avertissement de saint Paul: “ afin que vous appreniez en nos personnes à ne pas aller au-delà de ce qui est écrit, et que nul de vous ne conçoive de l`orgueil en faveur de l`un contre l`autre” (1 Co 4, 6).


Pour des questions ou des commentaires, utilisez le formulaire ci-dessous:

 

Does 1 Corinthians 7:14-15 mean babies of believers will be saved because their parents are holy, or that an unbelieving husband or wife is made holy by their believing spouse?

Question

“Shalom Sir, could you please explain 1 Corinthians 7:14-15 to me: Does it mean all babies of believers will be saved because their parents are holy?”


Reply

When 1 Corinthians 7:14-15 is read casually it surely seems to imply that an unbeliever who is married to a believer automatically becomes sanctified or holy in a salvational sense. Similarly, it also seems to imply that children born of such a union are also automatically holy. This idea is stretched further by some churches to justify the baptizing of infants. However, we know that salvation is never obtained by inheritance through a sexual or marital union. If a person is an adult, apart from God’s foreknowledge and predestination, he or she has to call on the Name of the Lord to be saved (Rom.10:13). So, what is the explanation?

It is important to note that the misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 7:14-15 comes from looking at the words “sanctified” and “holy” in a wrong context. It is important to know that the two terms may mean different things in different passages of Scripture and so one has to understand the context of their use.

In Haggai 2:12-13 we find the term “holy” being used to describe meat as “holy flesh“. Just how holy was this meat: was it holy in a manner that a child of God has to be holy as God is (1 Pet.1:15-17)? Not so, it was holy in a ceremonial sense. It had been set apart according to the requirement of the Mosaic Law. This should bring us to analyzing another term closely related to holiness or sanctification, the term “righteousness”.

In Romans 3:10 (and also Psalm 14:3) we read that “There is none righteous, no, not one“. However, in Luke 1:5 there is a record of a couple – Zecharias and Elizabeth; “they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless“. Did Scripture contradict itself? Not so, it should be clear to see that there was that ceremonial or religious righteousness that required adherence to statutes or commandments. In Israel there were devout men who were determined to do what was right before God. However, sin was still in the blood and nature of mankind and it was only through the pure and sinless blood of Jesus Christ that we could receive the righteousness of God. Like apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ). Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom.5:17-19).

Note that the righteousness of a ceremony or of the Law was by works but that which is of Christ is called “the gift of righteousness” in Romans 5:17 because a true believer is dead to the flesh and lets the Holy Spirit live himself through them to manifest the holiness of God. That holiness comes by faith and not through a marital union.

Now, let us understand the subject Paul is dealing with in the sixth and seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 he admonishes believers to never defile themselves in sexual union with a harlot. Note that acts of fornication and adultery involves committing a right act with a wrong person. However, when a man and woman are married, the bed or their union is ‘holy’ so to speak – “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb.13:4). The word used for undefiled in Greek is amiantos and means to be pure and it is derived from miaino which is a verb meaning to ‘sully’, ‘taint’ or ‘contaminate’ in a ceremonial or moral way.

In the  seventh chapter Paul continues to teach believing couples on how to relate with each other. He tells a believing couple to never divorce and further warns  that if a marital relationship so much deteriorates that one spouse decides to leave, “let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband” (Rom.7:11). When Paul got done speaking to believing couples, he began to address those who were in mixed marriages (i.e. marriages in which one spouse was a believer but the other was an unbeliever). In 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 he explained that a believer who is married to an unbeliever should not consider divorcing his or her spouse on the excuse that their marriage is not acceptable before God. Whilst a believer who is single should only marry a fellow believer (cf. 1 Cor.7:39), there are those who came into the faith whilst already married. It is this category of people Paul was addressing. A believing spouse in such a marriage should know that their union (or ‘bed’) is not defiled; their marriage is ceremonially clean and acceptable, and through a godly and sanctified life of a believing spouse, the unbeliever and children may come to salvation. “For what knowest thou” Paul wrote, “whether thou shalt save thy husband ? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife” (Rom.7:16). Note that Paul wouldn’t have said these words if in verses 13 and 14 he meant spouses or children could automatically be saved through a relationship.

But, a question may be asked, “Where do babies go when they die?”

When a child dies prematurely someone may exclaim, “Oh, that child could have been doctor or a president!” That is true but there may very well be a possibility that the child  could have grown to be a murderer or a Hitler. No one knows the future of children. We can only dedicate our children to God and do our best to raise them in the right path. A time will come when their senses of judgement will be mature to make a decision. However, if they die prematurely I can only say God’s  Election will take course. If a child was ordained to Eternal Life by God’s foreknowledge he will surely be saved. “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” the Scripture says (Act.13:48).

What is the “secret place” of the Most High in Psalm 91:1?

Psalm Chapter 91 presents the world as a battle ground where various evils occur. The passage mentions about the “terror by night“,”arrow that flieth by night“, “pestilence“, and “destruction“. Woe to him that walks about with blindness in such a terrible place. Apostle Paul described the situation as a war with evil spiritual forces of darkness-“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.6:12).

In those ancient times cities or nations use to have fortresses or towers. These were places of safety. They  were characterized by thick walls and high raised portions on the wall wherein a watchman would stand to observe and alert people in case of any approaching danger.

In case of danger and you were outside the gates, you would run into the fortress for your protection.

As a Born Again child of God you also need to live in the fortress of God’s Word. This world is dark and our true protection lies in the revelation of God’s counsel to our lives. When one develops a closer walk with God he or she will live by the speaking of God in his life. When God reveals his counsel to you, that gives you joy and out of that joy comes strength. The revelation of God’s will gives you sight to see and walk not as a blind man but one who sees. That is not the situation for many people. Their lives are open for the devil to play around with. They are naked before forces of darkness. But a believer walks with God and is actually hidden in Christ – “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col.3:3).

When you live by the counsel God reveals to you, what you do is  being done in the name of the Lord. As a believer “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col.3:17). That name is your protection and no amount of devils can defeat that. The name of the Lord is his presence and hedge around you; it is your ultimate tower of protection – “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Pro.18:10).

Now, having explained the above, let us read Psalm 91. Note that the word used in the Hebrew text for “secret place” is sether sithrah and refers to a shelter of protection. It is because of this that other versions like NIV states, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty“. When you read the whole chapter you will realise that the shelter being referred to is actually a fortress or tower. The Jerusalem Bible puts it very well as follows:

If you live in the shelter of Elyon and make your home in the shadow of Shaddai, you can say to Yahweh, ‘My refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust!

And verses 14 and 15 continues to say:

I rescue all who cling to me, I protect whoever knows my name, I answer everyone who invokes me, I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honour.

These verses clearly strike a chord with what we read in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe”.

Was the conception of Jesus the transformation of theophany into human flesh?

Question:

“I thought that the Word or Logos (the Theopany Body) became literally flesh and that was the flesh body of Jesus Christ. Does it mean that the Body dwelleth in a Human body which was Jesus’ body? Hope you will give me the difference between these two statements. God bless”

No, the Word did not transform itself into flesh as a foetus in the womb of Mary. Again no, at the baptism of Jesus it was not the Word Body entering another (human) body.

In the New Testament the Word Body vanished (i.e. ceased to exist) in order for the Word to now be expressed through a human body. That human body had to grow and feed. When Jesus was born as a baby he breastfed just like all babies. That was not a theophany breastfeeding; it was a normal human body being prepared. It had to grow in stature until such a time when the Spirit would indwell it so that it would now be the new mask of the invisible God (Col.1:15, Heb.10:5). When Jesus began his ministry the power and glory of the Word was manifest through his ministry. That was the Word becoming flesh! Like in the words of Paul, “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim.3:16). On page 22 of his book on the subject of the Godhead Richard Gan puts it in this good simple way:

In the old, the LOGOS was expressed in and through a spirit body; in the new, the LOGOS was expressed in and through a human body…

And on page 24:

The newborn baby Jesus became a living soul and grew up to express the Life of God. From thence there was no longer any manifestation of the Spirit (Word) Body. Theophany ceased but the WORD was still with God.

In Hebrews 1:1-2 we read that “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son”. So, in that Old Testament era the Word would at one time take on a manner or form or body of what appeared like fire and at another time like a cloud. That doesn’t mean when it appeared like a cloud then the cloud was an incarnation of the previous manifestation of fire. The fire is ANOTHER FORM through which the LOGOS manifested or expressed itself. Hebrews 1:1-2 thus makes it clear that the body of Jesus was another (and actually the final) form through which the Word would manifest.

On his baptism we read that “the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” (Mat.3:16. That is what indwelt Jesus on his baptism, the Spirit of the Word, which is God (cf. Joh.1:1). When that Spirit was in Christ it manifested the Spoken Word of Life – “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (Joh.3:34); “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Joh.6:63).

May I conclude with these words: if the body of Jesus was the theophany-turned-human, the question arises: what will become of that ‘theophany-turned-human’ when Christ hands the kingdom back to the father so that God may be “all in all” (1 Cor.15:28)? Please note that in the Old Testament when God manifested in form of fire, the fire wasn’t God. When God manifested in elements of dust fashioned into a human body like he did to Abraham, the dust or body of flesh was not God! When God was done with his use of that body, the dust went back to the ground, the theophany ceased until another time that there was need for its manifestation.

Was Jesus God when he was a baby?

Questions asked during India visit

Question No.5

“Was Jesus God when he was a baby?”

In Acts 2:36 we read that, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ”. This one passage of Scripture shows us that there is God and there is Jesus the man and it is God who made Jesus both Lord and Christ. Secondly, the verse also tells us that Jesus was not Lord and Christ from eternity or from birth but that he was made Lord and Christ at a certain time of his life.

It is important to know that Jesus was a ‘mask’, so to speak, or a body,  through which the invisible God manifested. Like Paul stated in his letter to the Colossians, Jesus was “the image of the invisible God” (Col.1:15). However, he did not become that body or mask right from birth. The body had to be prepared until such a time when the glory of God would manifest through it : “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith…a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb.10:5). Jesus grew in “stature” (Luk.2:52) and when he was about thirty years of age, he was ready to be endowed with that Spirit without measure (Joh.3:34).

At his baptism when the Spirit of God came into him God declared “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat.3:17). From that time mankind saw the God of heaven living among them through Jesus. It was for this reason he was named Emmanuel which means “God with us” (Mat.1:23), and Thomas called him, “My Lord and my God” (Joh.20:28) . That was the mystery of godliness – “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim.3:16).

It is when that glory of God began to manifest in Jesus’ life that the Word was made flesh. The Word being made flesh does not mean the Word became blood cells, skin, or muscles as a fetus! Rather, it refers to the manifestation of the power of the Word through the flesh, that is, “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim.3:16).  The Amplified Version phrases it this way – “He (God) was made visible in human flesh“, and in the NIV it states, “He appeared in a body“. Yes, God appeared in that body WHEN it was fully prepared for its work (Heb.10:5). John wrote that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY” (Joh.1:14). That refers to the power of the Word that began to manifest through the Lord and made people to behold the glory of God. That cannot be said to have occurred when Jesus was born as a baby or during his childhood years.