The Coming of the Lord
The second coming of the Lord has been a Mystery that has been hidden down through the ages, but it has been revealed up here in this end-time through the ministry of Malachi 4. We have certainly heard about the many strange doctrines that are present in the realm of professed Message believers, from some saying that the Seventh Seal has not yet been opened to the more extreme teachings that the Rapture has already taken place and the believers are now waiting for the third coming of the Lord!
The purpose of this article is to show both the simplicity and yet the depth of the understanding of the coming of the Lord that has been revealed to the Bride in this day by the ministry of Malachi 4.
The Purpose of Brother Branham’s Ministry
Brother Branham’s ministry was to forerun the second coming of Christ just like John the Baptist (the Elijah ministry of his day) foreran the first coming of Christ. His ministry was to introduce Christ to the Bride:
TRIAL.THE_ TOPEKA.KS V-20 N-6 SUNDAY_ 64-0621
144 And He spoke down on the river, He said, "As John the Baptist was sent forth to proclaim the coming of Christ, at the end of his ministry, Jesus came. And as John was sent, so will your ministry forerun the second coming of Christ."
As God took John off of the scene after he had introduced the Christ (“Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”) so that the ministry of Christ Himself could take over, so did God take Brother Branham off of the scene in this day after he had introduced Jesus Christ to the Bride, so that the Person of Christ Himself in Spirit form would again be the preeminent One:
QA.ON.THE.SEALS_ JEFF.IN SUNDAY_ 63-0324M
498-1 And finally one day he [John the Baptist] said, "Behold, there He is. There's the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." Said, "My time's up now. I've introduced you to Him. I must decrease now; I must go off the scene. He will take over from here. The millennium will be on right away. (See?) The--the time is at hand."
Notice in the above quote that Brother Branham is referring to John the Baptist, but then he switches to referring to himself (because it is after the Elijah of Malachi 4 that the Millennium will come soon after). Brother Branham foreran the second coming of Christ just like John the Baptist foreran the first coming of Christ.
So what was this introducing of Jesus Christ to the Bride that Brother Branham’s ministry was to fulfill? This took place at the opening of the Seven Seals.
The Rapture is a Process
Most have thought of the Rapture as being an instantaneous event. But the second coming of the Lord as explained by Brother Branham is a process that started in 1963 when Christ came back down to earth in Spirit form. Christ coming back down to earth in Spirit form (Revelation 10:1) was the fulfillment of the opening of the Seventh Seal. The Seventh Seal is the coming of the Lord:
SOULS.IN.PRISON.NOW_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-22 SUNDAY_ 63-1110M
33-3 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.
The second coming of the Lord will culminate in what we generally refer to as “the Rapture” which is the body change and the subsequent rising to meet the Lord in the air. But technically speaking the Rapture is actually a process which is comprised of three stages: the Shout, the Voice, and the Trumpet:
I THESSALONIANS 4:15-17
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven [Revelation 10:1] 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.
Brother Branham explains these terms clearly in the Message The Rapture:
RAPTURE.THE_ YUMA.AZ SATURDAY_ 65-1204
152 Shout, a messenger getting the people ready... The second is a voice of the resurrection. The same voice that, a loud voice in St. John 11:38 and 44 that called Lazarus from the grave. Getting the Bride together, and then the resurrection of the dead (See?), to be caught up with it. Now, watch the three things take place.
153 The next is what? was a trumpet. A voice--a shout, a voice, a trumpet. Now, the third thing is a trumpet, which always at the Feast of Trumpets is calling the people to the feast; and that'll be the Bride's supper, the Lamb's supper with the Bride in the sky.
So the Shout ministry was the ministry of Brother Branham from 1963 – 1965. The ministry of the Voice of the Archangel (Christ) has been going on since 1963 up to the present time. And the Trumpet will be the final Rapture call when we receive the body change and rise to meet the Lord in the air. So the process of the Rapture has been going on since 1963.
Brother Branham brought out that there are three comings of the Lord:
1) To redeem His Bride
2) To get His Bride
3) With His Bride
FUTURE.HOME_ JEFF.IN V-3 N-5 SUNDAY_ 64-0802
51-1 Jesus comes three times. He come once to redeem His Bride, next time to get His Bride, next time with His Bride. See?
We are currently in the process of His second coming which will culminate in what we call the Rapture or the body change.
Below is a graphic depicting the three comings of the Lord. The “zoomed in” portion shows where we are at in this present time period (the time of the Voice):
What has been going on in the Bride since 1963 has been an amazing thing. It has been the process of the Third Pull, yet is has been so humble that it has not been a public show. It has been a ministry that has not and cannot be impersonated. It has been the process of the Bride “ripening in the Presence of the Son:”
37 We're at the end of denominations; the wheat's taking shape. But what's the matter with the wheat now, you can't... It must lay in the Presence of the Son to ripen before the combine picks it up.
This has been the ministry of “the Voice” part of the Shout-Voice-Trumpet phases of the second coming of the Lord. “The Voice” phase is what is described in Revelation 10:8-11:
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go [and] take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take [it], and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
The depth of this “Voice” phase of the coming of the Lord will be covered Lord willing in another article. But to give a little preview of that article, notice that John (who types out the end-time Bride here) was commanded to take the open Book (the just opened Seven Sealed Book of Redemption) and to eat It. Then there would be three phases that would happen after he ate the Book:
1) Sweet in the mouth
2) Bitter in the belly
3) Prophesy again before many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings
This process has been going on. It has been a process of dying out to self, of character development, of change:
I CORINTHIANS 15:51-54
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
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.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Another quote showing that the second coming of the Lord is a process is shown in how Brother Branham worded his prediction of the year of the Lord’s return in the following quote:
322-4 LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
I still maintain this prediction after thirty years because, Jesus did NOT say no man could know the year, month or week in which His coming was to be completed.
The coming of the Lord started in 1963 when Revelation 10:1 was fulfilled. It will be completed at the final Trumpet call when we receive the body change and rise to meet the Lord in the air (i.e., what we refer to as “the Rapture”). In between these times has been the Third Pull ministry of “the Voice”, the Bride taking one step of Faith at a time, overcoming self, putting off the corruption (the flesh), coming to the place where Christ alone is our righteousness (no longer Christ AND works, but Christ alone), and thus walking with God. It has been the ministry that cannot be impersonated. Only those who are a part of it can know what it is. One day soon the Bride will take that last step of Faith into the body change: “And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24).
Mechanics and Dynamics: The First Six Seals and the Seventh Seal
Brother Branham used an analogy in which he used the terms “mechanics” and “dynamics”. He used the example that you could have a Cadillac all polished up and filled with gasoline. But that is just the Mechanics. It takes the spark (the Dynamics) to ignite the gasoline to make the car move. He typed this out in a spiritual sense, that a person can have all of the Mechanics of the Word, but it takes the Holy Spirit (the Spark) to make that Word live:
RISING.OF.THE.SUN_ JEFF.IN 65-0418M
16-6 No matter how much theologians claim, how well you got your church set, how much education you got, how much like the Bible, until that wave Sheaf, until the Holy Spirit comes upon that person to quicken that Word (The gasoline represents the Word; It's the Truth.); but without the Spirit it won't move.
We've put too much stress on the mechanics and nothing on the dynamics. It needs the dynamic power of God, the resurrection power of Jesus Christ upon the church to manifest and to bring to pass that this is gasoline. It might be in a gasoline can; it could still be water. See? But the only proof of it is put the Life on it, and it'll prove whether it's gasoline or not.
Another analogy using the Mechanics / Dynamics metaphor is that the Mechanics types out the Body, and the Dynamics types out the Life that enters into the Body to make it live. This is exactly what the Seven Seals are. The first Six Seals represent the Mechanics (the fully restored Word, the Body), and the Dynamics types out the Holy Spirit (the Life) that enters into that restored Body of the Word. The Seventh Seal was the Life coming down from heaven (Christ Himself in Spirit form (Revelation 10:1)) to enter that just restored Word Body:
50-3 But remember, all this time Noah was in the Ark. The Bride is sealed in with Christ. The last member has been redeemed. Sixth Seal has produced itself. The Seventh Seal brings Him back to earth. The Lamb come and took the Book out of the right hand of Him and set down and claimed what He owned, what He had redeemed. That right? It's always been that Third Pull.
In the Message Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed (which was the preaching of the Seventh Seal), Brother Branham refers to the type of Ezekiel’s dry bones. The Body of the Word (the Mechanics) had been restored back – the Seventh Seal brought the Life back into that Body:
CHRIST.IS.THE.MYSTERY_ JEFF.IN 63-0728
86-2 Notice the vindicated Word in His Body is His very victory and the reason of His death. See, the death, not in the Spirit... When He died, He only died in the flesh; His Spirit went to hell and preached to the souls in prison. Is that right? His flesh only died, then He raised it up again and quickened it ("Quicken," means "made alive."), His flesh, which was His Body" (and that's the Word). It's been laying dead for years, but It gradually begin to come in the reformation, and now She's standing up on Her feet.
86-3 Oh, how I wish I had time to go back into Ezekiel and pull out them dry bones and show you! He said, "Can these bones live again?" He said, "Prophesy." How can prophecy come? Only through the prophet. It's the Word of the Lord. "Hear ye, ye dry bones, the Word of the Lord." And sinew skin come upon them, and they stood up a mighty army, and they begin to march toward Zion. Glory to God. That's Him; that's Him--the victory.
The ransomed of the Lord shall come to Zion with joy.
All His holy Mountains, nothing hurt or shall destroy.
He proves His resurrected Life then as He a-vindicates Himself.
At the end of the Message Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed, Brother Branham said that the Second Pull had ended, the Third Pull was at hand:
CHRIST.IS.THE.MYSTERY_ JEFF.IN SUNDAY 63-0728
94-1 Not knowing (of course, being spiritual, you watch spiritual things)--not knowing this, God knows it. But if you'll turn and look at the clock, it's on the dot 2 o'clock: the end of the Second Pull, the Third Pull is at hand.
The ministry of the Third Pull had started. It was the ministry of the Mechanics and the Dynamics together. The second coming of the Lord had begun…