To Him That Overcomes
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, the message to each church age ends with the words “To him that overcometh…”. It is only the overcomers that are the members of the Bride of Christ. It is only the overcomers that will go in the Rapture. Man’s time on earth is a testing time.
But what does it mean “to overcome”? What is it specifically that we are to overcome? What is the enemy that the true believers overcome but those that are lost failed to overcome? That is what this article is about.
Our Main Enemy – Ourselves
HOW.CAN.I.OVERCOME_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-12 SUNDAY_ 63-0825M
71 See, if the little baby keeps trying, "Oh, I can do it; I can do it." And he's just everywhere; He can't do it. Neither can you; neither can I. But if we just hold still and let Him do it, just yield to Him, "Here, Lord, here I am. Just--just let--let me be nothing. And I--I--I yield; You put my hand in the right place." That's the victory; that's overcoming.
The thing you have to overcome is yourself, your ideas, your things, and surrender yourself to Him. He overcome for you. He knows the way; we don't.
HUMBLE.THYSELF_ JEFF.IN V-21 N-1 SUNDAY_ 63-0714E
77 You know, people are--want power, and really they don't know what power is. See? They--they don't really know what--what--what goes with it. The--the way up is down always. If you want power, see how humble you can get. Just get away from all your worldly thinking, and humble yourself before God, and then you've got more power than the man that runs all over the building and makes a big lot of noise (See?); because you have been able to conquer yourself and commit yourself to Christ (You see?) to humble yourself before Him. That's really power.
You show me a church that's humble, real humble, not a--a arrogant church, just a sweet, humble church, I'll show you a church that has the favor and power of God in it. That's right. That's the thing it takes, humility, humbling ourselves before God, and letting God just work through us. Don't have to make a lot of noise. You...
79 Sometimes, as the farmer said, he went out to the field with his wagon, and every time it hit a bump, it just rattled and went on. But when he come back, he hit the same bump and didn't make no noise at all, because it was loaded with good things.
So I think that's just about right (See?), that we get filled up with the good things of God, that the fruit of the Spirit might be known through us. As he referred so much to I Corinthians 13 there, and how, that, "Though I give my body to be burnt, and have all these things, and have not charity; it's nothing, profits me nothing." You see? We want to do that.
81 Above all things, it's our individual souls that we're responsible before God. See, it--it's you going to heaven. It isn't whether I go, or he goes. It's you going (See?), and you first. And you've got to look this out and come sweet before the Lord.
And I've always found out that the man that humbles himself is the man that God exalts. When you take a person with his chest out, knows everything, and you can't tell him nothing, and he is arrogant, and--and, well, that--that's the person that never gets anywhere. But you take that person that humbles themselves and walks sweetly.
PERFECT.STRENGTH_ JEFF.IN V-8 N-1 SUNDAY_ 61-1119
99 I've often said, "The greatest enemy I got is William Branham." He's the one that gets in God's way. He's the one that gets lazy. He's the one that gets to a place sometimes where he thinks he can do something about it, and when he does, that shoves God right out of the picture. But when I can get rid of that guy, when I can get to a place that he's out of the way, then God can come over and do things that William Branham knows nothing about.
That's when God can use you. That's when He can use any of you. He can use anybody when we get out of the way. But as long as we got ourselves in the way, then we cannot. All right.
355-3 LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
"Be zealous and repent." Now this false church has zeal; make no mistake about that. Her zeal has literally been that of the Jews, John 2:17, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten Me up." But it is a wrong zeal. It is for the house of their own building. It is for their own creeds, dogmas, organizations, their own righteousness. They have put the Word out for their own ideas. They deposed the Holy Ghost and made men into leaders. They have put aside Eternal Life as a Person, and make it good works, or even church conformity rather than good works.
But God is calling for another zeal. It is the zeal to cry "I AM WRONG".
117-1 SMYRNAEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.4
Unless we suffer with Him we cannot reign with Him. You have to suffer to reign. The reason for this is that character simply is never made without suffering. Character is a VICTORY, not a gift. A man without character can't reign because power apart from character is Satanic. But power with character is fit to rule. And since He wants us to share even His throne on the same basis that He overcame and is set down in His Father's throne, then we have to overcome to sit with Him. And the little temporary suffering we go through now is not worthy to be compared to the tremendous glory that will be revealed in us when He comes. Oh, what treasures are laid up for those who are willing to enter into His kingdom through much tribulation.
351-3 LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
"You had better come before it is too late," saith the Lord, "and buy of Me gold tried in the fire and then you will be truly rich." Are we getting it? Listen to me, "Naked (physically) we came into the world, but naked (spiritually) we will NOT leave it." Oh no, we are going to take something with us. What that something is, is ALL we can take with us, nothing less and nothing more. So we had better be real careful now to see that we take something that will make us right before God. So, then, what will we take with us? We will take our CHARACTER, brother, that is what we will take with us. Now what kind of character will you take with you? Will it be like HIS Whose character was molded by suffering in the fiery furnace of affliction, or will it be the softness of this character-less Laodicean people? It is up to each one of us, for in that day every man will bear his own burden.
The ultimate reality of being an overcomer is to have the New Birth (the soul change), because Jesus already overcame for us, and our New Birth imputes that overcoming to us. To be born again is to be an overcomer. This is the ultimate reality of being an overcomer.
But the New Birth in a person will have the outward manifestation of that person being able to conquer himself, of that person being able to humble himself, of that person being able to cry “I am wrong”. This is the Life that cannot be impersonated.
Those who are not overcomers will be those who are strong in themselves (remember Brother Branham’s message Perfect Strength in Perfect Weakness). Those who are not overcomers will be those that in some way justify themselves, justify their false doctrines, justify their own ideas. They will defend the way that their natural human spirit wants to be even when it is contrary to the Word. The non-overcomers will be those that will allow themselves to be deceived because they had no Anchor within themselves (a New Soul) to hold them. As time goes on, people eventually manifest who they really were all along. Time is the great expresser of what is really in man.
Recognizing the Devil at Every One of His Tricks
HOW.CAN.I.OVERCOME_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-12 SUNDAY_ 63-0825M
104 "Overcome" means "to recognize the devil at every one of his tricks."
But what are the majority of the devil’s tricks? They are satan trying to access what can be tempted in each unique individual. What is a temptation for one may not be a temptation at all for another. We could say that one of the main meanings of “recognizing the devil at every one of his tricks” is to personally know the nature of our own human spirit to the point that we can recognize all the aspects of it that satan can try to use to make us fall. For example, look at how Eve fell in the garden of Eden. Satan came to her with his reasonings. She was deceived in her mind realm. Satan was able to access Eve’s unique vulnerability whereas satan could not tempt Adam in this way. She did not “recognize the devil at every one of his tricks” which had a specific meaning for her. She was deceived in her mind realm.
Remember that Brother Branham taught us that a woman was designed to deceive and to be deceived:
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18-3 There is nothing designed to be so deceitful as a woman that's deceitful. There cannot be nothing else; there's nothing made to be that way. Also there is nothing that could be so easily deceived as a woman. Now, the fall proves this statement to be true, the fall in the beginning.
She was not in the original beginning creation. She was in Adam, but not in a female sex herself at the beginning. She was a byproduct, made.
Now, there's nothing designed that can deceive and be deceived as easy as a woman.
And what is our human spirit? It is a woman, the “wife” of our soul:
Our human spirit is made to deceive and to be deceived. Our human spirit must be brought into subjection to our New Soul (which is the real us). That is what we need to overcome – ourselves.
Remember that the “greatest battle ever fought” is in the mind (the human spirit) realm:
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13-4 Now, don't get--miss this. When this great battle started on earth, there had to be a mutual meeting place; there had to be a place selected for the battle to begin, and for the battle to rage; and that battlegrounds begin in the human mind. There's where the battle starts. The human mind was chosen for the place of the battle, where it was to begin; and that is, because that decisions are made from the mind, the head.
All of these facts tie together to show us what it really means to overcome.
HUMBLE.THYSELF_ JEFF.IN V-21 N-1 SUNDAY_ 63-0714E
77 …because you have been able to conquer yourself and commit yourself to Christ (You see?) to humble yourself before Him. That's really power.
What does it mean to “conquer yourself”. What is the “self” that we are to conquer? The “self” that we are to conquer is the flesh and the spirit (mind) realms, the “outer man”, because the New Soul is perfect. As was brought out in previous articles, overcoming is the process of the dying out of the outer man (the flesh and the spirit realms) so that the “lava” of the Life of Christ that is within us (our New Soul) can break out and be expressed.
Possessing the Land
Israel’s journey into the promised land is a beautiful type of the process of an individual’s New Birth. When Israel came out of Egypt, they first crossed the Red Sea. This types out a believer’s water baptism, when he first makes that initial step of coming out of the world (Egypt) and receiving Jesus Christ. All of his past sins are forgiven (the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea) – he has gone through the step of Justification.
Then Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until all of the unbelievers died out. This types out a person’s step of Sanctification, when God starts to call for obedience to the “first things first” of the Gospel. This is the phase where the person shows whether he will continue to agree with the Word, thereby furthering the death of his old soul.
And finally, after all of the unbelievers had died out, Israel crossed the river Jordan and entered into the promised land. This types out a person’s receiving of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost which kills the old soul and brings the New Soul into manifestation in that person’s being. The person is now born again and enters into the “greatest battle ever fought” which is the possessing of the promised land.
For Israel to possess the land, they had to overcome, to totally wipe out, the Canaanites that were possessing their land. Some of these Canaanites were giants. Some had great walled cities. Some had iron chariots. Aspects of our own human spirits may appear to us the same. Let us be the Joshua and the Caleb who confess, “we are more than able to take the land”:
148-1 SMYRNAEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.4
Then since that is so, and only TWO ENTERED, then the rest were not true believers. What made the difference? Two stayed with the Word. When the hearts of the ten spies failed at Kadesh Barnea, Joshua and Caleb did not stagger for they believed the Word and said, "We are more than able to take the land." They knew they could because God had said, "I have given you the land." After all those Israelites saw of the power and goodness and deliverance of God they did not enter into rest, which is a type of the Holy Ghost. So you can see right now that very few will ever believe all the way to receiving the Spirit of God.
The Canaanites were a type of our flesh and spirit realms, of our “outer man”, of our natural human spirits. They type out what we have to overcome. We are called to possess our land – ourselves.
Some have examined the root meanings of the names of the Canaanite nations that Israel overcame (Hivites, Amorites, etc.) and have found that they represent aspects of man’s fallen human nature. That is what we need to overcome – ourselves.
“Recognizing the Devil at Every One of His Tricks”
Understanding your natural human spirit (your mind realm) is very important in being able to overcome yourself. One of the main aspects of overcoming is to personally know the nature of your own human spirit to the point that you can recognize all the aspects of it that satan can try to use to make you fall.
There are many “tools” that can be used to help us to understand the nature of our human spirits. Various tools will be discussed below.
Understanding the Sign That You Were Born Under
The Scriptures plainly state that one of the purposes of the lights in the heavens are for signs:
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Understanding the sign that you were born under and what that means as an indication of your natural human spirit is a powerful tool in being able to overcome yourself. Brother Branham referred to this in the following quote:
QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS_ JEFF.IN COD SUNDAY_ 64-0830M
1075-60 The first thing, I went to that person and found their birthplace, and what sign that they were born under, and could tell what their birth was. Which way it set in their natural nature sets them in a certain line. Then, when they're reborned again, they're over here in another nature. And then, when you find into this nature, that's the inside, in-conscience, inside conscience... The outside conscience moves you in one way; that's your natural birth. Then they'll make up something and it puts them what? Under a four, and puts them in a split condition. They don't know what to do. They'll say, "The Lord wants me to do this."
The inside, "Oh, I--I just know it's--it's--it--it lines up with the Scripture." And they'll start to do it, and the first thing you know, Satan on this outside will show them all kinds of defects in it. And then they say, "Well, I guess I..." See, see? They listen to Satan. See? You've got to take that inside something, that what's on the inside of you that's Scriptural. And don't let Satan stand anywhere. It's--that's his duty to stand there and pound at you like that. But don't you listen to him.
“and the first thing you know, Satan on this outside” => the natural human spirit nature
”You've got to take that inside something” => the New Soul
Brother Branham found out this person’s sun sign in order to understand her natural human spirit better. This helped him to understand her unique, personal “greatest battle ever fought” so that he could better counsel her.
This shows us not only the great value that can be had by each of us in personally understanding our own sign that we were born under, but it also shows that this is a tool that can be used by pastors and leaders to better know and be able to deal with those that are under them.
It is to be noted that we are not talking about predictive astrology here which is forbidden in the Scriptures. We are talking about just going so far as to understanding the sign that one was born under in the way that Brother Branham did.
In studying about the sign that you were born under, if you run across any “seeds” (e.g., New Age astrology teaching), just spit those seeds out and keep on eating the pie:
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3-5 And if you don't agree with it, just like I always said about eating cherry pie: When I run into a seed, I don't throw the pie out; I throw the seed out, just keep on eating pie.
This principle is true about all the tools that are out there that can be used for our benefit:
I THESSALONIANS 5:21
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Understanding Your Human Temperament
Another powerful tool in being able to understand our human spirits is the four temperament theory. This theory states that there are four basic human temperaments: Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholy. This theory can be easily searched and read about on the internet. There are also excellent books on the subject, such as Tim LaHaye’s book Spirit-Controlled Temperament.
In the book Elijah the Tishbite, the author talks about the four human temperaments and how the Lord dealt with each:
Elijah the Tishbite, pages 191-192, by F. W. Krummacher
The manifold wisdom of our blessed Saviour, as seen in his intercourse with sinners; the consideration he showed for different shades of character, and the peculiar readiness and propriety with which he met every one's disposition and situation, are sufficient of themselves to evince from whence he came. We have striking instances of this in Luke ix. 54--62. In this passage we have the four principal temperaments of the human mind before us: the choleric, the sanguine, the phlegmatic, and the melancholy: and we behold Christ treating each of them with consummate wisdom. To the choleric, namely, his disciples who wished to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans, he only presents his own spirit as a contrast to it, and unfolds his compassionate intention in coming into the world; showing that it was to save men's lives, and not to destroy them. Nothing could have been more appropriate to allay irritation of the feelings, and to give them an entirely different tone, than these gracious and gentle words of the compassionate Friend of man.
Shortly after this, a man comes up to him on the road, saying to him, "Lord, I will follow thee, withersoever thou goest!" Here was a sanguine disposition. The man appears to have been carried away with the brilliant actions and Divine loving-kindness of Jesus; and it was necessary that this flighty and enthusiastic mind should be brought to sit down, and count the cost. Hence, our Lord thus answers him, "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."
Another comes to our Lord, and thus addresses him, "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father;" by which he appears to mean, "Allow me to remain in the house of my parents till my father dies; I will then reflect further on the subject." This man then was of a phlegmatic temperament; a person slowly excited, quiet, even, and phlegmatic. Our Lord again treats this person in a wonderful manner, entirely appropriate to such a disposition. He speaks strongly, seriously, and awakingly, in order to produce an immediate and firm resolution in this procrastinating spirit, and says, "Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God."
The Lord meets with a fourth, whom he had anticipated by saying to him, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, I will follow thee but let me first go bid them farewell which are at home at my house." Can we doubt what is the temperament of this individual? It is the melancholy, the slowly roused, but deeply and durably susceptible; which, as has been justly observed, is seldom taken by sudden surprise, but is oftener stolen upon by slow but strong affections; which is more inclined to care and sorrow, than to mirth and joy; which does not shun labour, but is wont to pursue its objects energetically. These characteristics are conspicuous in his very language to our Lord. The thing which first presents itself to his mind, is the dark and dreadful consequences of following Christ. Therefore he desires to embrace his family once more, and perhaps, as it seems to him, for the last time. To meet such a disposition there was need of encouraging and firm language, which might disperse the clouds of melancholy, and give the resolution to break through a host of cares. The man needed an arousing call to the standard, and such a call the Lord addresses to him, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Here then we may well admire the penetrating eye of the Searcher of hearts; the skill of the great Physician; the infinite condescension of the Prince of peace. All is equally great, glorious, and adorable.
Understanding the human temperaments can not only help us in dealing with ourselves but it can also help us in our interactions with others.
Understanding Your Family of Origin (Your Family System)
The family system that we grew up in and the conditions of that system have a great effect on a person’s temperament, thought processes, and the bias through which they see the world. The family system that we grew up in had a great impact on how we think today. This needs to be examined and the wrong aspects of that influence overcome:
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22 Now, this young fellow's parents. His mother is German. No reflection on the German, but there's a strain in that family. And, that is, they'll just set, and you can talk to them, and they'll just stare you right in the face. Now, they got... This girl's sister, the mother of this boy, her sister, I have come down the street, many morning, and this young lady be setting out in the yard, and I'd say, "Good morning to you." She'd just look at me. And I'd stop, and I'd say, "Sure a fine morning." She'd just stand and look right at you: an intelligent woman. And I'd say, "Come up to see us sometime." She'd just stand and look. Well, her brothers are that way, father and mother is that way.
23 Now, the father of the boy is strictly an Irishman, moody, and high-tempered, high-strung. That's his whole family like that, except one other out of the family, converted. Now in this, this boy...
This father and mother, both are Christians, filled with the Holy Ghost, and they have brought this young man up in the way of the Lord. And now the young man's about seventeen or eighteen years old, something along there, very fine kid, and he's--he's been a real model boy at home, nice kid. And he's got a brother that's just vice versa.
But the girls, the mother's family, lives close to the--a fine church. But do you think they'd ever come over there? No. And they know it's right, but it's just not in them to--to ask forgiveness or ask pardoning. They just won't do it. It's just not in them.
26 Now, the genes in the father and the mother of this boy, no matter how much they are converted, still remains the flesh that's been interbred out to this boy. Therefore, the boy has got a complex in him, just like from his mother's family, and they are not forgiving, they will not apologize, and that's where that boy stands.
Now, I said to the father, "No matter how much you've raised him up..." I said, "Now, look at you, out of your family: all of them, drunks, and--and fighting, and shooting, and cutting, and so forth."
"Now look at your family," to the mother. "They're a bunch of people, just set there and won't speak, very independent, and so forth, irreverent to religion." But I said, "It's not you. You're the only one of all your sisters and brothers, and you're sweet, kind, and forgiving. What does that? And your tree's part of that family tree, yet you have received the Holy Ghost. That's the thing that made you tender and sweet. It's not your people anymore; it's your Christ that lives in you."
I said to the boy, "Look at your family, practically all of them are drunks and so forth." I said, "And how moody, and--and high-tempered and high-strung, but you're not. You're kind, forgiving. What is it? The Holy Spirit. You're no more what you are; it's Christ in you." I said, "Now, that same thing has to happen to your son."
30 And the father raised up and said, "My son went to the altar. He was baptized correctly, in the Name of Jesus Christ, and water baptism in the pool." Said, "I know my son has come to Christ."
I said, "That may be all right, all the outward motions. He might be identified as a believer with the believers. But until he's regenerated, born again, I'd advise that young man to never marry a woman. He'll make hell on earth for her, until that gentle, sweet, forgiving Spirit of Christ comes in. Then that will be a paradox in itself to take the very nature of a boy that's bred between father and mother. And yet, in his intellectuals, he's trying his best to overcome it. He can't do it. He'll never overcome it. Christ will have to overcome it. When he lets Christ in, then he's already overcome then. It'll be a perfect paradox, when a man is borned of the Spirit of God.
QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS_ JEFF.IN COD SUNDAY_ 64-0830E
1165-Q-405 405. Brother Branham, when some of--someone gets on me or "steps on my toes (This might be a good one.)--steps on my toes," as the old saying is, my temper rises; how can I overcome this thing? I know the Lord will have to do it, but what can I do in my heart? I don't want this thing.
Sweeten your temper with prayer; then make up your mind. There... I don't guess there is too many people in this building ever had any more temper than I did to begin with. Oh, I--I had a mouth mashed all the time. And I--I--I'd taken a lot of my meals out of a straw.
1165-95 My mother, as you know, was a half Indian, and my father was an Irishman, a Kentucky Irish at that. And every one of--both of them had enough temper to fight a buzz saw. And all the time my mouth was mashed; I was little to begin with. And they'd just pick me up and knock me down. And I'd get up again; and they'd knock me down again till I just got too able--unable to get up anymore. That's always. And then when I got able to get up, I got up again; they knocked me down again. So that's just the way I had it.
I thought, "I can never be a Christian." But when the Holy Spirit came into my life, that done it.
When we are born again, our New Soul is Christ. But the outward flesh and human spirit still retain the nature that we inherited from our family. This must be brought into subjection to our New Soul. But how can it be brought into subjection to our New Soul if we do not even recognize what needs to be brought into subjection to our New Soul?
Taking the time to study in depth the affects of the family system that we grew up in is a powerful tool to be able to “recognize the devil at every one of his tricks.” So many people remain in bondage to addictions, to codependency, to insecurity, to shame, to problems with authority figures, to repeated bad relationships, etc., all because they have not recognized and dealt with the affects of the family system that they grew up in.
As a personal testimony, studying this out (which our local assembly did together as a Body) helped me out tremendously. Books such as Love Is A Choice and Kids Who Carry Our Pain (books in the Minirth-Meier series) were a great blessing to me. The late John Bradshaw’s books were also a great help to me. Again, when you run across the inevitable “seeds” in these books, you spit out those seeds and keep on eating the “cherry pie”.
It is a natural law that we will repeat in our own lives what we grew up under. A man will be like his father, a woman will be like her mother. We will subconsciously recreate the atmosphere, good or bad, that we grew up in. The sins of the fathers are carried down from generation to generation:
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation].
The New Birth in a person can break this cycle.
Overcoming the Spirit of Your Nation
The spirit of the nation that we were born and raised in has an influence on our natural human thinking. We need to recognize the effects of this and overcome it:
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126 She said, "Aren't we Americans?"
I said, "We live here, but this is not our home. We are pilgrims. We're seeking a City whose Builder and Maker is God.
I went into Finland; I seen the way they acted in Finland. I went in, and down into Germany; I seen the way they had their German spirit. I went down into Switzerland; they had the Switzerland spirit. I come to America; they got a American spirit."
She said, "Well then, what about us?"
I said, "We are born from above, heavenly, where purity, and holiness, and righteousness, and honesty."
Understanding the Influence of Your Name
Our name has an effect on our natural human spirit. This is something to examine and take account of in the overcoming of self:
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254 Now, look at the age now where we're living. Aren't we living right in that Sodom time? Watch the Messenger to Abraham's group. Watch the numbers, letters, and the numerology of his name. You say, "There's nothing in a name." Don't you never let anybody tell you that. Why did He change Abram's name to Abraham, Sara to Sarah? Why did He change Simon to Peter, and all those other? See? Sure there is. Exactly.
256 That's the reason I say don't ever call your child "Ricky," or "Elvis," or something. "Elvis" means "cat," "Ricky's" a "rat." See? When you say... That's exactly right. So 'less, or something, don't you never call one of your child--children that. If it is, change it right quick, people. Don't you never... You just... If you believe me to be God's servant, don't tack that name on that poor child. See? No, sir, give him another name besides that. My. I oughtn't to have got off on that, 'cause I'm off of my subject, but I said it and it's all over.
The Mind Age
Remember that Brother Branham brought out that we are in
the time of the intelligence or the mind, where there is “no moving motion”:
CHRIST.REVEALED.IN.HIS.OWN.WORD_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-10 SUNDAY_ 65-0822M
152 Now, notice the Light... You can't see with your hands, yet it's part of the body. You can't see with the ears, yet it can hear. You can't see with the nose, yet it smells. You can't--you can't see with the lips, though it speaks. See? That was the Pentecostal age. But now, it's in the eye time, the seeing. See? Now, there isn't one moving faculty beyond the eye. Is that right? The next is the Intelligence, which is Christ Itself, Who controls the whole body: no moving motion beyond that. See? Everything else has moved. See? Move your feet, move you muscles in your legs, move everything, move your--your ears, to move your nose, your--the lips, and so forth, but after your eyes, there's nothing moves. That's why they claim that man gets bald-headed quick, is because (See?) there's no exercise to develop the muscles in--in the hair, the scalp. See? And it's not got a cushion so that they can get blood up in there. The blood won't pump through (See?), won't go up and furnish blood, 'course the--the hair root lives by blood. And now, we find out that that part (You see?)... There's nothing beyond the eye.
When Brother Branham was here it was the eye time, the time of the prophet, the time of the seer. But since Brother Branham left the scene, we have moved into the time where there is “no moving motion beyond that”. This ties in exactly with what Brother Branham said about the time period that we are in – the quiet time, the time of no growth, the harvest time:
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Harvest time. Have you noticed that in the harvest time, though there is a real acceleration in the ripening, there is consequently a slowing of growth until there is no growth? Is that not exactly what we are seeing now? The false vine is losing multitudes to the Communists and various other types of belief. Her numbers are not increasing as she would like us to think. Her hold on the people is not what it used to be, and in so many cases going to church is just a show. And the true vine? What about her? Is she growing? Where are those vast numbers that keep coming to revivals and answer altar calls? Are not most of them merely emotional in their approach, or desirous of something physical rather than desiring that which is truly Spiritual? Is this age not like the day in which Noah entered the ark, and the door was shut, but yet God tarried in judgment seven days? No one was literally turned to God in those silent days.
Science has made great progress over the past decades in its research about the mind, how the brain works. Being that we are spiritually in the “Mind Age”, what science has discovered about the workings of the mind can be a blessing and another tool that is available to help us to understand and to overcome. For example, below is a diagram used by science to explain the “physiology of human reaction”:
Notice that our thoughts, before they can get to the rational thinking part of the brain, must go through the emotional part of the brain. Understanding this process can be a help in dealing with our reactions.
Being that our reactions are an area through which we want God to be expressed, understanding how reactions are actually formed in our minds can be a help in overcoming (see the subsequent section entitled Our Reactions).
Coupling this with the fact that we are in the “age of neurotics”, an age of insanity, the things that science has learned about the workings of the mind both physically and psychologically can be a great help to the Bride in this end time in dealing with the issues in our minds that we need to overcome:
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In one generation we have gone all the way from the horse and buggy age to the space age, and we are proud and boastful about it; but inside is a dark void cavern that is crying out in torment, and WITHOUT A KNOWN REASON men's hearts are failing for fear and the world is so darkened that this age could well be called the age of neurotics.
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11-8 Let me prophesy something to you just before it comes to pass. The whole world is groping in insanity, and will get worse, and worse, and worse until it'll be a bunch of maniacs, and it's almost that way now.
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22-2 There'll come a time in the Name of the Lord, that people will go completely insane. The Bible said so. They'll scream and holler: great hideous things in their imaginary mind... The radios and things, or television programs are producing it. There'll be such things as ants raise up on the earth that'll be as high as fourteen trees. There'll be... A bird will fly across the earth with wings four or five miles across, and people seeing them; they'll scream and holler and cry for mercy; but it'll be the plague.
There are many other tools that are out there that can be used to help bring to us an honesty and a clarity about what we need to overcome in our lives.
There are books that teach about being Scripturally faithful with your finances, such as the books written by the late Larry Burkett. Obeying God’s instructions about finances will bring God’s blessings into our lives.
There is the tremendous book written by the late Stephen Covey entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and his follow up book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. These books give powerful insights into living a life of character.
There are books that are a help in raising children, such as the late H. Stephen Glenn’s book Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World.
There are books that can be a tremendous help in the marriage relationship, such as The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
For those in the music ministry, there are books that teach about growing in your gift, such as the book The Mastery of Music by Barry Green.
The list could go on and on. These tools are out there and are available for the Bride to use to help us in this “greatest battle ever fought” which is in the mind realm.
Some may have thought that studying things out by reading such books is somehow “wrong”. But when Brother Branham rebuked knowledge and education, he was talking about satan’s perversion of it. Learning about God’s creation by true science can be a great blessing. The following quotes show this principle:
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All through the Dark Ages she [the roman catholic church] has dominated. For over nine hundred years she plundered and destroyed. She killed the arts, destroyed the sciences, produced nothing but death until the light of the Truth was almost entirely gone and only the barest sliver of light remained.
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The true vine flourished in this age as in no other when one thinks of numbers at home and abroad. This age brought holy men to the forefront. The true vine spread and the false vine receded. Everywhere the true vine went God gave light and life and happiness. The false vine was shown up for what it was: darkness, misery, poverty, illiteracy and death.
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9-5 [Brother Neville says, "Brother Branham, can I have time to interrupt you?"--Ed.]
You sure can, Brother.
[As a token of our appreciation and by the--the work of a young man in our midst, we present this picture to you, Brother Branham, with the full expression of our love and appreciation.]
Thank you, Brother Neville and the Tabernacle.
[The young man was Jerry Steffy that painted that picture.]
Brother Jerry Steffy painted that picture. God bless that boy. That's very fine, Jerry, if you're here this morning.
It's too bad; I wished I had the means to let that boy go to school for an artist. I believe God is in art. Don't you believe so? God is in music; God is in art; God is in this; and it's too bad to see a talent like that wouldn't be developed. More he does, the more developing it'll be, and I--I pray that God will bless you, Jerry.
Our local assembly has together as a Body delved into many of these tools throughout the years and has grown much together because of it. We did these things as a Body. The Body life of the believers is so important.
The Body Life of the local assembly is so important. It is in our interaction with the others in the Body that we grow in character and grow in the love of Christ for one another:
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.
14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Some who claim to be in the Message are not even a part of a local assembly. They just stay home and play Brother Branham messages, or they listen to a current Message preacher over the internet. How sad. A person cannot grow spiritually in love and character without the personal interaction of being a part of a local assembly. It is in being under a God given gift of a pastor to lead you, and in the personal interaction with the other members of the Body that we grow spiritually. The learning to work with one another, the dealing with conflicts, the learning to forgive and believe in one another, the learning to humble ourselves, the learning to confess our sins, the learning to say “I was wrong - I am sorry”, the learning to give and to receive the help of the others in the Body – all of these things work to produce spiritual growth. When we believe in one another no matter how a person has failed, and we help him or her (or are the one being helped) to get up and press on again, that is an expression of the love of Christ in the Body:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
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40 But when the church once gets it, the Elected is called out and separated then in the Presence of God, I know it'll be something like the people was there when it takes its rapture.
The Story of Jacob
We know in the Scriptures that a person’s name represents their nature. The idea of a name change is familiar in the Scriptures:
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Now the idea of a new name is a familiar one. Abram was changed to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, and Saul to Paul. These names either brought about a change, or were given because of a change. It was only after Abram and Sarai had their names changed by the Lord that they were made ready to receive the coming son. In Jacob's case, he had to overcome and then he was called a prince. In the case of Simon and Saul, when they had received the Lord, their change came. And today each one of us true believers has had a change in name. We are Christians. It is a name common to all of us.
Notice that Jacob had to overcome in order to receive his name change. The story of what was involved in Jacob’s overcoming is very illuminating. Remember that the name “Jacob” means “supplanter” or “deceiver”. That was what Jacob’s natural nature was. Now let us look at what was involved in Jacob’s overcoming:
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What [is] thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Jacob wrestled all night with God. Before Jacob could be blessed of God, he had to admit what his name was: Jacob, a supplanter, a deceiver. He had to humble himself and admit what he was. He had to cry, “I am wrong!”. It was a long and painful struggle. But after he admitted what he was (Jacob, a supplanter, a deceiver), then he received the blessing. Then he overcame.
This is what the overcomers will do. They will be able to cry, “I am wrong”. They will be able to face the sin in themselves and be honest about it and reject it. But the sin in each of us is different. Each individual’s sin is according to his natural nature, his name, his family upbringing, his temperament, the sign that he was born under, etc. The overcomers will be the ones that “conquer themselves”:
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77 … because you have been able to conquer yourself and commit yourself to Christ (You see?) to humble yourself before Him. That's really power.
There is a condition in psychology that is known as “victim mentality”. A person with victim mentality is one who always blames others for his problems. It is always somebody else’s fault. People with victim mentality are not being overcomers. They are not having the zeal to cry, “I am wrong” but are having the zeal to cry “they are wrong.” That is not overcoming.
In every situation that occurs, no matter how wrong somebody else is in that situation, we can always ask, “What is the Lord trying to show me in this? In what ways was I wrong in this situation?” We want to be so dead to ourselves that only the Lord’s reactions come forth from us in any given situation.
We know that God is sovereign over all things. God permits people and circumstances in our lives to test us and to perfect us and to see how we will react. It all works together for the good to them that love God (Romans 8:28), therefore we should thank God in all things.
In every situation we have the choice as to how we will react. Between stimulus and response is our power to choose. We can by God’s strength choose to react according to the Word. We can by God’s power that works within us choose to be men and women of character. There is no excuse for ever having a bad spirit.
God lets things happen in our lives to see what we will do. He tests our reactions:
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast [it] to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
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150 Jesus said, "Oh woman," or, "old woman, great is your faith. Go your way, for what you've been persistent about, what you have believed, you're going to find it that way." Amen.
She'd finally overcome. She had the right approach to God's gift. She was a Gentile. Faith always admits the Word's right, humbly and reverently, not get out and blow up about something. Same way now.
Notice how Brother Branham used the phrase “She'd finally overcome”. She did not react naturally as most people would have. She reacted in character, by faith. She had “conquered herself”:
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77 … because you have been able to conquer yourself and commit yourself to Christ (You see?) to humble yourself before Him. That's really power.
This is the age of Laodicea, “people’s rights”:
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Notice the name, Laodicea, 'the people's rights', or 'justice of the peoples.' Was there ever an age like the twentieth century church age that has seen ALL nations rising up and demanding equality, socially and financially?
The spirit on people in this age is to “stand up for my rights, nobody is going to treat me wrong or tell me what to do!”. This is part of the spirit of this age that the Bride will overcome. The woman of Canaan that Jesus called a dog certainly could have stood up for “her rights”, but she was an overcomer. The Bride too will be overcomers as she was. The below two quotes bring out more of the depth of the overcoming that this woman of Canaan expressed:
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169 So as she come up, she said, "Thou Son of David, have mercy upon my daughter, because she's variously vexed with a devil."
He turned and looked at her and said, "It's not meet for Me to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs." Whew. Wasn't that one? That was one: not only turned her down on her request, but called her a dog. That's right. And a dog's one of the lowest names the Bible has, you know. So He said, "Not meet for Me to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs."
She said, "That's truth, Lord." "Lord," then she got it. He wasn't no Son of David to her, but He was Lord. Said, "True, Lord. That's right, but the children eat the scraps under the..." Or, I mean, "The--the dogs eat the scraps under the master's table." That got it. That was it. That was the respect.
Jesus turned to her, said, "Great is your faith. Now, go home, you're going to find your daughter just as you have believed it." That's it. Why? It was her approach.
172 What if she'd have turned around and said... He turned around, said, "It's not meet for Me to take... "In other words, it's not proper."
Say, a Catholic come up and say, "Oh, Brother Branham, I know God hears your prayers for these people here. Will you pray for me?"
And I'd say, "Well, it's not right for me to take these children's time up here. I'm here to pray for these Pentecostals, not for you bunch of Catholics." See? What would she had said? Oh, man, I imagine you'd stomped out of here like everything. See?
But she turned and she said, "That's true, Lord. That's true, Lord. But we're--we're willing to... The dogs are willing to eat the scraps under the Master's table."
See, that caught Him right quick. He turned and said, "Great is your faith." And then we find another case... See, it was her approach, her respects. She was respecting God as she respected Him.
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E-63 Yes, called her a dog, said, "I'm not sent to your race of people. I'm only sent to the Jews. I'm not sent to you. And besides, your people is just a bunch of dogs." Hmmm. But still she held on. Oh, my. I like that. Now, I feel religious. Amen.
I like that. No matter what the obstacle was, she still held to that faith. That's when you got a hold of it, brother. Amen. All the... Everything in the world couldn't shake you away from it then. That's right.
She held on. No matter what anyone else said, she held it. Even Jesus Himself said, "I'm not sent to your race, and you're a bunch of dogs. And I won't take the children's bread and throw it to you dogs." Oh, my. But she still held on. I like that.
E-64 She wasn't a hotbled--hotbed plant, some kind of a hybrid like the modern crop is today. What'd I say then? Notice. That's right. A hotbed plant has to be babied. You have to spray him all the time, pat him on the shoulder. But an old sturdy plant that come on out there with the power of nature, you don't have to spray him. And no bug's going to bother him either. Amen.
This hybrid stuff, have to pat them on the shoulder. If the Methodists don't want them, the Baptists will take them. If this one don't want them, the other one will take them. That's the reason they have no faith. She wasn't one of them hybrids (No, sir.), a hotbed plant. She knowed what she was after, and she had a hold of something was going to deliver it for her. Amen. Amen. I like that. Yes, sir. She wasn't a modern crop that we--we have today. She stayed with it.
E-65 Notice. She also admitted that what Jesus said was the truth. Whew. My. "I am a dog." Amen. Faith... Listen, Jesus was the Word. And if you've got genuine faith, a faith will always admit the Word is right. Faith will never argue against the Word. Amen. It'll stay with the Word. The way the Word said do it, that's the way faith will recognize it. I'm just going to let that soak a minute. Yes. Faith admits the truth.
She said, "It's truth." She admitted He was right. Faith will always do it.
Brother Branham preached numerous messages on the topic of perseverance in which he talks about this Syrophenician woman. These messages are well worth reviewing.
Let us look at a great test that Brother Branham was given. Notice how he overcame – he had passed the test. His human spirit had been conquered. He was out of the way:
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E-30 Well, I stepped out to one side, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and I begin to shake. And it said, the Spirit of the Lord said, "There is a trap set for you, and be thou careful what you say."
Fred, where are you at? Are you in the meeting here tonight? I know he come over. Yes, right back here. That's right. And we left there and I told Brother Sothmann, "Something's fixing to happen." And when we got to the meeting that night I said to the audience, "Remember, THUS SAITH THE LORD, there is a trap set for me. And all of you pray that I'll know to do the right thing when this comes to pass."
E-31 And the next night it happened. The devil sent in two people, a young boy and girl to break up the meeting. And that was in--it was in, not New Hampshire, but Vermont. Freddy, you remember the name of the city, it was the capital, what--of Vermont. And we were just across Lake Champlain. And so when we were in the meeting this boy... The girl looked like kind of a Mongolian girl. But the boy was just holding... They were both at least twenty-five years old apiece. But such immoral acts in a church... They were setting about like this from me. And when I started preaching, he would just grab her, and throw her head back, and climb up on her, and kiss her, and carry on, and just act awful in the meetings. And the ushers couldn't make him be quiet. And I said to him from the platform, I said, "Young man, don't do that; you're attracting the attention while I'm preaching." And he just laughed right out at me. I thought, "Oh, oh, there it is, there's the trap, right there."
I went right ahead speaking just the same. And oh, he got so immoral with her, till I had to stop again. I said, "Don't do that, sir, please." I said, "If you want to make love to the young lady, then you leave the building, but this is a--a religious meeting." I said, "You shouldn't do that. Don't--please don't do that while I'm preaching." I started again and he just made it worse.
E-32 And then when I was turn--I said, "Don't..." And Something said to me, "Say what you will, and it'll be done." I stood there. Mr. Mercier, the tape boy, and all of them standing, Brother Fred, and many of them standing present, the perspiration was just running from me. Something said, "Say, 'Blindness,' it'll be blind. Say, 'Death,' and they'll pack them out. Say what you will." I couldn't speak. I couldn't move. And it just left.
I thought, "God, what--what must I do?" And I turned, and he stood there, and his face white, looking at me. I thought, "What must I say?" Then I turned, and looked like, before I knowed what I'd said, I said, "I forgive you of your act."
And it must have been just the right thing to say. It was God trying a--a reaction on an action. That night it was revealed to me that I'd said the right thing. I knowed it was all leading to something, but what was it? What to do?
You know you have to watch what with a Divine gift what you do with it. Remember what Moses did? So I must've said the right thing. "I forgive you." For you know John, young John, wanted to burn up Samaria one time because they wouldn't feed them.
Jesus said, "You don't know what kind of a spirit you are. The Son of man came to save life, not to destroy it." And I... Them Scriptures just kept pouring over, all night. I didn't sleep. But that was a trap set that Satan would get me all worked up and then make me say the wrong thing. But the Holy Spirit was there and told me beforehand to be careful what I said. Oh, the goodness of God, how it was. It... Just His mercy.
Notice that even God suggested to him, "Say what you will, and it'll be done." "Say, 'Blindness,' it'll be blind. Say, 'Death,' and they'll pack them out. Say what you will." But yet Brother Branham was so out of the way, so dead to his own natural spirit ruling, that he said “I forgive you”. Think of the justification that the natural human spirit could have used: “Well, God suggested to me to speak blindness, to speak death. That will teach those people!”. But Brother Branham was so dead to his natural human reactions ruling. His New Soul was ruling. He was not deceived by the woman, his human spirit. He overcame. He had conquered himself.
We can find examples all through the Scriptures where God is testing to see how the people will react. Below are just a few of these examples:
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E-29 [referring to Martha and Lazarus]
Jesus said, "But I am that Resurrection and Life." Oh, my. After turned her down, how could a Man that's the Resurrection and Life ever treat a friend like that? Sometimes He's testing you, see what you'll do. See? Put the thing before you, and see what you'll do with it. He might do that tonight. He has been doing it, so just to see what you'll do about it.
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E-27 Now, this man here. Look at him, how humble he was. [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.] Sending him.
Now, Jesus gave him a rebuke. He said, "Oh, well..." and,
Except ye see signs and wonders, you won't believe.
We're supposed to believe whether we see any signs or wonders at all. Is that right? But... Now, watch. He tried him out there.
The nobleman said unto Him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
My, what a feeling. Could you imagine your son dying, and coming out to see the man now to pray for the sick. The Man told him, "Well, except you see signs and wonders, you won't believe."
Now, look how humble he got. He said, "But Sir, come down or my child will die."
Now, watch what Jesus said. Now, He could've went. But He seen the faith. He seen the humility. He seen that the man knew what he was speaking of. Jesus said unto him, "Go thy way; thy son liveth." (Oh, my. There you are.)
II CHRONICLES 32:30-31
30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
31 Howbeit in [the business of] the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was [done] in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all [that was] in his heart.
II SAMUEL 16:9-12
9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now [may this] Benjamite [do it]? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.
12 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.
C.S. Lewis gave a good analogy regarding reactions in his book Mere Christianity:
Mere Christianity, pages 164-165, by C. S. Lewis
We begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.
God lets the trials come to show us what we are, what is in us. If we can then humble ourselves and say “Truth, Lord, I am wrong”, then we can die to that sin in us and the Life of Christ from our New Soul can come out to be expressed in its place.
This quiet time that we are in, the time when there is no outward revival, is the time when a person’s trust in God is tested: “Do I really believe that God is there? Do I really believe that prayer makes a difference? Do I really believe that God cares?”
Our trust in God is tested in this quiet time because there are no outward distractions to deflect our attention away from the hidden subtle doubts that lie deep within our human spirits. God wants to purge all of these doubts out of us. That is part of the purpose of this quiet time: to create the conditions whereby all of the hidden doubts that lie deep within us can come out and be expressed. Once they are expressed, they can be confessed and crucified and those doubts can then be replaced with faith from our New Soul. This process forms within us the character of God.
118-1 SMYRNAEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.4
The cloudy skies and storms of life are no signs of God's disapproval. Neither are bright skies and still waters signs of His love and approval. His approval of any of us is only IN THE BELOVED. His love is elective which He had for us before the foundation of the world. Does He love us? Ah yes. But how shall we know? We shall know because He SAID SO, and manifested that He did love us for He brought us to Himself and gave us of His Spirit, placing us as sons. And how shall I prove my love to Him? By believing what He said, and by conducting myself with joy amidst the trials that He in His wisdom allows to come to pass.
MASTERPIECE.THE_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-7 SUNDAY_ 64-0705
And one of them fell and was--in the plane the other day and was killed instantly, laid in the fire for ten hours 'fore they got to him. So leave... Twenty-eight years old, his wife twenty-six, and--and leave three little children, the oldest seven: very sad. And they... When they got him in, then they had to bury him the next day. So I just--I didn't get to go. And I just wrote out--or sent by telegram what I was going to say, or what I would've said at Brother Mosley's funeral. And some of these things we can't understand, but yet He makes everything work just right.
9 We're here in service of the Lord this morning, knowing that--that--that we believe God, that we believe that He'll make everything just exactly right. Regardless of what it is and how it works out, we know it's got to work for good. He promised that. It's just got to be that way. Sometimes we can't understand that, gets very complicated at times, but yet we know that it's the truth, 'cause the Bible says it's the truth. And the Bible to us is God in letter form.
A book that was a great blessing to me is the book Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers. This book was life changing for me. It presents a whole new paradigm, a new way of viewing the world, and it is true because it is what the Word of God teaches. Literally everything is in God's hands and will work for the good to those that love God.
Overcoming the Sin of Our Age
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33 And this evil age is when He's a-doing it, this very age of deception.
Last week, in Matthew 24 it was the most deceiving age of all ages. All the ages of deceit from the garden of Eden all the way down, there's never been an age so deceptive as this age. False prophets will rise and show signs and wonders, if possible, to deceive the very Elected. See? Now, just a cold, formal, starchy churches and so forth of manmade theology, that wouldn't--the Elect would never pay no attention to that. But it's up there almost like the real thing. Just leaving out one word is all you have to do. Promised of the age, very great time... Christians everywhere, take heed to the hour we're living. Mark down, and read, and listen close.
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44 We see this age that we're living in. It's one of the grandest ages of all ages. This Laodicea church age is the grandest of all the church ages, because it's the ending of time and the blending of eternity. And then, it's the greatest sinful age. There's more sin in this age than there's ever been. And the powers of Satan is--is many times harder to fight against than it was in any age. See?
Here, back there in the early ages a Christian could for his profession of being a church--of belonging to Christ could be beheaded for it. He could be killed and put out of his misery, and go to meet God quickly. But now, the enemy has come in in the name of the church; and it's so deceiving. This is a great age of deception when... Christ said so, the two spirits would be so close in the last days till it would deceive the very elected if it was possible. See, see? See? And remember, Christ spoke of a elected people for the last day. See? It would deceive the very elected if it were possible, so close.
46 The people so live--people can live a clean, holy life, not be sinful, adulterers, and drinkers, and liars, gamblers; they can live above that and still not with it.
HOW.CAN.I.OVERCOME_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-12 SUNDAY_ 63-0825M
145 We're sometimes tempted to go back. Many of you, tempted to go back to the denominations, go back and take up, 'cause all the world's saying, "What denomination you belong to? What church are you affiliated with?" We're tempted to do that. All of us are. Our sisters are tempted to go back, go back and join up with the--some of the rest of the churches, with some of Assemblies, or Churches of God, or some of them, still be Pentecostal and let your hair; just cut off and dress just about any way you want to. See, you're tempted to do that, go back and be popular with this wicked generation that we're living with, when this is the major sin of our day, the major sin among our people, worldliness. As the Bible said the Laodicea--Laodicea age was, she's worldly, rich, have need of nothing, and don't know that she's naked, miserable, wretched, blind. That's the sin of our day. When you hear the Word of God call out against it, then you take the other route, you're unpopular with the world.
146 You're tempted to go back. I know you keep saying to me. I know you're saying all the time... I know you get tired of me harping on these things. I get tired seeing you do it too. This sin that I'm trying to tell you about... Say, "What are you harping on it for?" Stop doing it then. Trying to save your life by the Word. I get tired also. So just straighten up. This is a sin, shouldn't be done. Yes, sir.
If we are to overcome these things, we're expected to be tempted by them, the world, "If you love the world, the things of the world, the love of God's not in you," said Jesus.
In this Laodicean age people are blind to their sin. They are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, and do not know it:
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
The Bride will overcome this condition. They will know the sin that is in themselves. They will have the zeal to cry, “I am wrong”.
This is the age of lukewarmness that makes God sick:
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
340-3 LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
Now He has cried out to this last age, "You have the Word. You have more Bibles than ever, but you are not doing anything about the Word except dividing and hacking it into pieces, taking what you want and leaving out what you don't want. You are not interested in LIVING it, but debating it. I would sooner you were cold or hot. If you were cold and rejected it, I could stand that. If you would get white hot to know its truth and live it, I would praise you for that. But when you simply take My Word and don't honor it, I in return must refuse to honor you. I will spue you out for you nauseate Me."
Being lukewarm is not that a person has weaknesses and failures. We all have that. When we fail and confess our sins, those sins are put in God’s deep sea of forgetfulness. But lukewarmness is when a person gets to a place of complacency wherein he starts to gradually justify his lack of consecration and holiness to the point of actually calling right wrong and wrong right:
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
It is like the frog in the pot of water. Warm the water up gradually and the frog will stay in the water and eventually die. Gradually the “ABC’s of the Gospel” begin to fade out of a person’s life and even the conviction starts to leave as that person’s conscience becomes gradually seared:
I TIMOTHY 4:1-2
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
We have seen this subtle lukewarm spirit come to shocking visible fruition in some that have claimed to be in this Message. We have heard some say that “if Brother Branham were to come back now, he would not preach on holiness so much”. This is astounding! They are saying that Brother Branham would be accursed, for if he came back and preached another Gospel he would be fulfilling what the Apostle Paul warned about:
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
83-1 EPHESIAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.3
Here it is in Galatians 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have (already) preached unto you, let him be accursed." It was the apostles who brought the original Word to the people. That original Word could not change, not even a dot or dash of it. Paul knew it was God Who had spoken to him so he said, "Even if I come and try to give a second revelation, try to make one little change in what I gave originally, let me be accursed." You see, Paul knew that first revelation was correct. God can't give a first revelation, then a second revelation. If He did, He would be changing His mind.
We have seen women that have claimed to be in this Message wearing makeup, cutting their hair, wearing pants, etc., and somehow justifying it. We have seen professed Message believers disobeying Brother Branham’s clear teaching on marriage and divorce and somehow justifying it. These are some examples of this lukewarm spirit manifesting to its extreme. The Bride in this last day will overcome this spirit even in its subtle manifestation.
As the end-time prophecy that the conditions of Sodom and Gomorrah would again return are being fulfilled to the extreme right before our very eyes, the Bride will overcome that lukewarm pull to start to justify it and say, “well, maybe it is not that bad for people to be that way after all”. It is that bad, for the Scriptures say that it is an abomination to God (it makes God sick). We love the people, but we recognize this extreme expression of rebellion against God taking place in these final hours. Surely the Lord’s coming must be very close.
Enduring to the End (to Not Fall Away)
It is especially relevant at this end time, that “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). It is in this end time, this quiet time, this waiting time, this time of harvest, that to be an overcomer is to endure to the end, to not fall away. Below are Scriptures and quotes that bring this aspect of overcoming out. Note the places in these Scriptures where the context is the last days:
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
315-3 PHILADELPHIAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.8
Oh, we have a word for us all at this time. It is hold fast-- persevere. Don't give up. Put on the whole armour of God--use every weapon He has given us--use every gift at our disposal and look ahead with joy, because we are going to be crowned by Him Who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I CORINTHIANS 9:24
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
II THESSALONIANS 2:3,10-12
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;
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
4 For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
223-1 THYATIREAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.6
I want to give a warning right here. It says concerning the last days that because of abounding iniquity the love of many will wax cold. In the Laodicean, or last age, self love, and love for material things will take the place of the true love of God. We need to guard against the power of sin in these last days. So many are getting so hard because they haven't realized the effect of this last day spirit. It is time to draw nigh to God and let him fill our lives with His love, or we will feel the coldness of the last day church, and reject the truth of God which alone is able to help us.
239-2 THYATIREAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.6
Each age had its pressures. For example a great burden of the last age is the pressure of riches, soft living and nervous tensions in a complex age that we seem unfitted to live in.
HOW.CAN.I.OVERCOME_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-12 SUNDAY_ 63-0825M
145 See, you're tempted to do that, go back and be popular with this wicked generation that we're living with, when this is the major sin of our day, the major sin among our people, worldliness. As the Bible said the Laodicea--Laodicea age was, she's worldly, rich, have need of nothing, and don't know that she's naked, miserable, wretched, blind. That's the sin of our day. When you hear the Word of God call out against it, then you take the other route, you're unpopular with the world.
The following quote shows that to overcome in this age is to not fall off on one side or the other as the honed edge gets narrower and narrower over time:
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179 Watch how close it gets to that razor edge now between right and wrong. And remember, it'll fall on one or the other sides; and it comes down sometime like a honed razor between the difference of right and wrong. It's got to be every Word of God, not just almost every Word, but every Word. And it's got down today, not to Lutherans, not to Methodists, not to Pentecostals, but to that honed age, in this age where just the antichrist anointing is so perfectly, it would deceive the very Elected; they'll fall on the wrong side if they don't watch it, like a wedge. Watch. Be careful.
The following quote shows the New Age “God is in all”, “love everybody” satanic spirit that would rise up in this last age that the Bride would overcome:
319-3 LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
How fitting were the characteristics of this last age to represent the age in which we now live. For example, they worshipped one god, Zeus, who was the chief and father of the gods. This forecast the twentieth century 'one God, father-of-us-all' religious premise that sets forth the brotherhood of man, and is even now bringing together the Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, etc. with the intent that a mutual form of worship will increase our love, understanding, and care of each other. The Catholics and Protestants are even now striving for, and actually gaining ground in this union with the avowed intent that all others will follow. This very attitude was seen in the United Nations Organization when the world leaders refused to recognize any one individual concept of spiritual worship but recommended putting aside all those separate concepts with the hopes that all religions become leveled into one, for all desire the same goals, all have the same purposes and all are basically right.
360-1 LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
THE OVERCOMERS THRONE
Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne."
Now what are we to overcome? That is the normal question to ask here. But that is not the actual thought of this verse for it is not so much WHAT we are to overcome but HOW we are to overcome. Now this is logical, for does it matter much WHAT we are to overcome as long as we know HOW we can overcome?
A quick look at those Scriptures which involve the Lord Jesus overcoming will bring out the truth of this proposition. In Matthew 4, wherein Jesus is tempted of the devil, He overcame the personal temptations of Satan by the Word, and by the Word only. In each of the three major trials that corresponded exactly to the temptation of the Garden of Eden, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, Jesus overcame by the Word. Eve fell to the personal temptation of Satan by failing to use the Word. Adam fell in direct disobedience to the Word. But Jesus overcame by the Word. And right now, let me say that this is the only way to be an overcomer, also it is the only way that you can know if you are overcoming, because that Word CAN'T fail.
Now notice again how Jesus overcame the world systems of religion. When He was repeatedly badgered by the theologians of His day, He constantly applied the Word. He spake only what the Father gave Him to speak. There was not a time when the world was not utterly confused by His wisdom for it was the wisdom of God.
In his own personal life, contending with Himself, He overcame by obedience to the Word of God. In Hebrews 5:7 it says, "Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him That was able to save Him from death and was heard in that He feared: Though He were a Son, Yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." What was He obedient to? The Word of God.
Now then, there will not be one person who will sit in the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ unless he has been living that Word. Your prayers, your fastings, your repentances--no matter what you present to God--none of that will gain you the privilege of sitting in that throne. It will be granted only to the WORD Bride. As the throne of the king is shared with the queen because she is united to him, so only they who are of that Word even as He is of that Word will share that throne.
Remember we have shown clearly all through the ages that even as Adam and Eve fell because they left the Word, so the Ephesian Age fell by turning slightly from the Word, until with every age continuing to turn away, we have a final repudiation of the Word by the World Church system. This Laodicean Age ends in a blackout of the Word, thereby causing a departure of the Lord from the midst. He stands outside calling to His own who follow Him by obedience to the Word. After a short and powerful demonstration of the Spirit this little hunted and persecuted group will go to be with Jesus.
We are called to overcome being deceived by our human spirit, the woman. We are called to bring our minds (our human spirit, the “wife” of our soul) into headship to Christ, the Word, our New Soul. We are called to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ:
II CORINTHIANS 10:5
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
But note that the “greatest battle ever fought” for each person is different because we are all unique individuals. That is why we must individually “recognize the devil at every one of his tricks” in order to overcome. Understanding our own human spirit will help us to overcome ourselves. God has provided to us many tools which can be used to help us to overcome.
Understanding how our particular human spirit interacts with those of others will help us in our relationships with the other members of the Body of Christ. We will learn how to love one another:
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.
14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
We know that this time period is the harvest time, the quiet time, the time of ripening:
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E-17 Now, these disciples had seen that. And in an amateur form they were living the joy, while Jesus was resting, of what they seen done that day. And I think the revival's doing something like that, that we're now just living in a quietening time, while He's resting, maybe, between the meetings, or the revival and His coming. And we are rejoicing over the things that we have seen done during the time of this revival: great, wonderful works. No matter what the world says, we still seen it done. It's a statement. It's a fact. It was done.
It is in the quiet time that all of the hidden sins of the human spirit can come out. The outward distractions of revival are not there to keep those things buried. This is the time when God is purging out all of the dross to form a deep character within His Bride.
In every age God had His overcomers. They are His Bride. Each overcame the sin of their age. May God grant to each of us His grace that we would yield to the trials that will squeeze us out of the picture in order that the character of Christ would be formed within us:
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94 There was too much of you in you, till God had to squeeze it out through trials. And while that squeezing was coming on, it's hard. But after while the skies clear back and you see the purpose of God. Then you cry, "I know my Redeemer liveth, and at the last days He'll stand on the earth. Though the skin worms destroys this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." These little trials and things are just for a moment, and they fade and pass away. But they're only done for your good; let us remember that, that God would get glory.