The Rains are
Truly that was a move of the Holy Spirit, but that certainly was not the "latter rain" outpouring. If that was not it, then what is the "latter rain"? When would it come? How would it come? Where would it be poured out? Upon whom would it shower? These are the questions that need to be answered in the light of Godís Word for this hour.
Saints of God, let us not be fearful to look unto the Lord for the understanding and revelation of His Holy Word and His promises. There is plenty of foolishness going on, not only in the denominations but also, in and around the "Message Movement". Since the death of Bro. Branham, confusion has reigned over many assemblies that believed in the message that God had sent through the man. Because of many malign interpretations of the prophet and his words by different preachers within the Endtime Message, there is much fear in the believersí heart in studying and rightly dividing the Word of God. Many ministers simply brandish statements of Bro. William Branham in one form or another to the assemblies of believers Ė "You donít judge the prophet! Heís the absolute! He could make no mistake." "The message is a Ďperfecting messageí and it will give you Rapturing Faith." "All truths have been restored, all mysteries have been revealed. Just believe what the prophet said even if you donít understand it." "Just say it exactly the way the prophet said it. If the prophet said the sky is red, then it is red no matter what science tells you." "You do not have to know every doctrine and teaching of the Bible, just believe the prophet." "If you do not believe every word of the prophet, then you are an unbeliever." And the list goes on with "the doís and the doníts".
When preachers teach such foolish notions, are they not pulling people away from the truth that is supposed to restore us back to the Faith which was once given unto the saints? Certainly, thousands of followers of the message of Bro. Branham have fallen from the Faith that they had claimed to be restored to. Itís no longer "Back to the Word. Back to the Apostolic Fathersí Faith" but is now "Say what the prophet said". The Absolute is no longer THE WORD OF GOD but the words of William Marrion Branham.
Nevertheless what saith the Scriptures? "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Have you not read that the Scriptures were written for our admonition? Should we then continue to act foolishly to our own destruction? If the Spirit of God is alive in us, He would certainly guide and lead us into His Own Word, into all Truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (Jhn.16:13). Furthermore, the Scriptures is sufficient for us: add nothing to It, take nothing away from It. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim.3:16-17). Amen. Therefore let us not be ashamed of the Scriptures for that is where we shall find eternal life (cf. Jhn.5:39).
Surely, we are living at the closing of the Church Age in the chronology of Godís prophetic time. We are not far off from the outpouring of the "Latter Rain" for the "Seven Thunders" have yet to utter their voices. As their utterances were sealed up in the day that the apostle John heard them, nobody knows anything about them. And no one can preach or teach something that was not recorded. What the "Seven Thunders" uttered cannot be Bible doctrines or teachings concerning the Lord nor the Christian life as they are not laid in the Scriptures.
Bro. William Branham said that the "Seven Thunders" would bring forth Rapturing Faith to the saints of God. I do believe that, and it will certainly take place just before the time our Lord Jesus Christ comes to meet us in the air.
Yes, the Parousia is here and it will not be long before the bodily parousia of our Lord will become a reality to His Bride when He shall epiphania to meet her in the air. How important then it must be for the Bride to come into oneness with the Groom by spiritual revelation and not by some menís opinions or by some theological schools of thoughts. It has to come by the Holy Spirit through the Ascension Gifts ministry that Christ has set in the Body (Eph.4:11). The saints have got to eat the LITTLE OPEN BOOK of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (cf. Rev.10).
The Former and Latter Rains
Come, and let us return unto
the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he
will bind us up.
The "two days" of this prophecy is the 2,000 years that Yahweh has ordained for the grafting of the Gentiles into the "natural olive tree" (that is, Israel). When Israel turned her face away from the Gospel, blindness in part came upon her and some of her branches were cut off for the grafting in of the Gentiles until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete (Rom.11). When it does then will the Gospel return to Israel and Yahweh will pour out both the former and latter rains upon her and open her eyes to the knowledge of their Lord.
Notice that the "rains" are associated with "knowledge" Ė the knowledge of Yahweh. The NKJ version renders verse 3 as: "Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth."
Forasmuch as the prophecy was directed towards Israel, "Spiritual Israel", the Church, will also experience her own former and latter rains as James testified of it saying: "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (Jam.5:7-8).
According to the prophet Joel, there will come a terrible Day of the Lord upon the earth, but Israel is promised deliverance by the Lord. The Lord will send upon them the former and latter rains so that the nation will have plenty to eat as He restores all the years of destruction that He had put upon them. Then Yahweh will pour out His Spirit upon them.
Be glad then, ye children
of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the
former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain,
the former rain, and the latter rain in the first
(Notice verse 28.)
it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all
flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall
dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Notice what verse 28 said? Until Israel is restored to the knowledge of the Lord there will be no outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. But was the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost the former rain or the latter rain?
The Day of Pentecost
Concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, let us look at how the apostle Peter used the words of the prophet Joel:
is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
It is obvious that Peterís reference to the few verses of Joelís prophecy was not the complete fulfillment of all that Joel had prophesied concerning the restoration of Israel. What happened on the Day of Pentecost was only a foretaste of what the Jews will experience in the future when the Messiah comes for them. Remember that all who had the gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost were Jews. Furthermore, that Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32, which immediately follows Joelís prophecy of Israelís restoration by the Spirit of the Lord in Joel 2:23-27, tells us of a complete fulfillment of a prophecy which is yet to come for Israel. Therefore what we see is a precursor of the total fulfillment of Joelís prophecy that is still in the future, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost could not be the former rain or the latter rain.
The First Advent of Christ saw the children of Israel restored to their homeland for some 480 years after the decree of Cyrus was issued, liberating them. The Word of the Gospel of the Lord was preached to them. Jesus Christ, the Husbandman, sowed the seeds. And for those who believed the Word, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and are sealed to the day of redemption. But when the Holy Spirit was given, what was it given for? Clearly, the Holy Spirit is not given to believers to speak in tongues, prophesy or to perform one of the many miraculous spiritual gifts. But the Spirit is given to guide believers into all truth and also to show them things yet to come, that Christ might be glorified as saith the Scriptures:
Howbeit when he, the
Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall
not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:
and he will shew you things to come.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was a testimony that LIFE had come to those that had believed. It was given to guide the believers to all truth and to show them things yet to come. That is, the Spirit was showered upon them to cause them to grow and mature, through the guidance of the Spirit to attain full stature by the revelation of the Word. When the believers reach maturity the Husbandman would then harvest His crop.
Yes, Yahshuah HaMashiach sowed seeds and the Pentecostal rain came and the seeds began to sprout. As souls were added to the Church, the Spirit moved to teach them the truth and to show them things to come. He did these through the Ascension Gifts ministry. The prophetic, the evangelistic, the pastoral and the teaching ministries followed the apostolic ministry that had already begun. But about 20 years later after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, before the Five-fold ministry could even bring the saints to maturity, the Church, like Israel, had begun to transgress against the Word of the Lord. Certainly, this was foreknown to God and He planned thus that there would be an age in which He would graft the Gentiles into the Household of the Commonwealth of Israel (Rom.11; Eph.2:10-22). And as revealed by the Lord in His seven parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, the harvest would take place only at the end of the Grace age.
One Gospel Ė One Household of God
Now, there is but only ONE CHURCH, ONE HOUSEHOLD of God. There is only ONE LORD, ONE FAITH and ONE BAPTISM. There is but only ONE GOSPEL. It is important that we understand this: there is only ONE GOSPEL. However, Satan would trouble some believers Ė there has been a teaching going around that there are TWO GOSPELS, the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Paul, and that Peterís Gospel (including those in the circle of Peter) is for the Jews whereas Paulís Gospel is for the Gentiles. Some have even gone further overboard to say that Jesusí teachings (in the four Gospel books) are only for the Jews and that Paulís teachings are only for the Gentiles. Does the Bible really teach such? One of these days, some foolish ones will come along and say that we do not need the four Gospel books, the epistles of James, Peter and John, and the book of the Apocalypse. Let the Scriptures speak:
next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of
God. (Paul had
earlier preached to a mixed multitude of Jews and Gentiles Ė Acts 13:26.)
Notice this statement: "Öbut seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (cf. Acts 18:6). This should be clear enough to tell us that Paul was not given another Gospel by which he was to preach to the Gentiles. There is but ONE GOSPEL, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Scriptures:
Now after that John was
put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the
kingdom of God,
Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Truly, the Messiah came to seek for the lost sheep of the House of Israel. That was His first and primary purpose, for Yahweh had chosen Israel in the old times as His own people. However, the Old Testament prophecies show a mystery of God in which He would take the light of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 60:3). Christ Jesus came according to prophecies and laid down His life to be a propitiation for sins, not for the Jews only but for the whole world (cf. 1 Jhn.2:2).
When the Jews rejected the Gospel of eternal life, Yahweh turned to the Gentiles and gave them that same Gospel. It was not another Gospel, not at all. The erroneous doctrine of the "TWO GOSPELS" stamps from this particular verse from the Book of Galatians:
Gal. 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
This verse speaks not of two gospels. A reading of some other translations of the Bible will show us what Paul was saying. Paul recorded that the preaching of the Gospel to those who were uncircumcised (that is, the Gentiles) was entrusted to him, whereas the preaching of the Gospel to those who were circumcised (that is, the Jews and those who were the proselytes of Judaism) was entrusted to Peter. They were preaching the same Gospel as the following two verses testify of it:
(For he that wrought
effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was
mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
There is no one gospel designed specially for the Jews and none designed specifically for the Gentiles. The difference is in the people that the Gospel is given to, and not the Gospel itself. The Gospel that went to the circumcised people is the same as that which went to the uncircumcised people. Those of the circumcision were Jewish in their faith. They were very traditionally minded and they religiously kept the commandments and the ceremonial laws of God given under the old covenant. They could not fully grasp that Christ had fulfilled all the laws and that Christ had also blotted the handwriting of ordinances that was against and contrary to us, and took it out of the way by "nailing it to his cross" (Col.2:14).
The apostles who had "graduated" after three and a half years of discipleship training under the Lord Jesus failed to fully comprehend the leading of the Spirit when the Gospel was given to the Gentiles. In the first instance they were apprehensive about the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit but were later convinced about it. However, when "certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved" (Acts 15:1), it led to a council being held in Jerusalem. Yet even after much debate over the issue of circumcision for the Gentiles had come to a positive conclusion Ė that circumcision was not required, they laid down these laws for the Gentiles: "that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood" (Acts 15:20). As religious as they had become, the Apostles and Elders of Jerusalem failed to see the liberty that the Gospel had given them. (Read Acts chapters 10 to 15.) But the Apostle Paul had seen that freedom from the beginning. And because of His obedience and quickness of heart to receive the Word, it was entrusted to him (along with a few good men) to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. So, the Gentiles benefited from the Gospel brought to them by Paul and his circle of men. It was the Gospel of Christ Ė grace, and grace alone without the law as Yahweh had ordained it. On top of that, Paul was shown a deeper revelation of the plan and the purpose of God which then led him to boldly claim: "This is my gospel. This is my revelation."
Now, did Peter and the circle of apostles and elders in Jerusalem truly preach a Gospel of grace mixed with laws? Yes in a certain sense they did. Unlike Paul they were "slow of heart" to understand. (Is not that also true with many Christians today concerning the Truth of God?) However, the consolation of truth came to them later as is evident in the epistles of Peter and James. Peter came to recognize the deeper revelation of Paul and warned his readers not to fall in the same traps as those who were lawless (cf. 2 Pet.3:14-18; 1 Pet.2:16). Remember that Peter had been rebuked by Paul for his hypocrisy of living like a Gentile in the absence of watchdogs from Jerusalem while he yet wanted the Gentiles to live the Jewish ways (cf.Gal.2:11-14). As for James, he taught on the law of liberty (cf. Jam.1:25). That amounts to something in his revelation of the Full Gospel. Therefore we cannot brush away their writings and ignore them or say that we do not need them.
Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth
When Paul said that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim.3:16-17) he was obviously not referring to his epistles or whatever New Testament books that were written and circulated. He was referring to the Old Testament books. And those 39 books were written about the Law and Prophecies and they were for the Jews. Should we then say that we have no need of them just because we are Gentiles? Certainly not! Every book is profitable. For what? "For doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works". If that is true, what about the 27 New Testament books that the Spirit had through time brought together for us? Is it not also true that every book, whosoever the writer, whether an apostle or a physician, serves the same purpose?
It takes the Holy Spirit in us to rightly divide the Word of Truth in order to understand the Plan and the Purpose of God for our day. We look into history to see what went wrong, how the saints had trod, their progress and their failure, and learn from them for all that were written is for our admonition. Then we seek the Mind of the Spirit to take what is for our day and act upon it. If, like Paul, we are also quick of heart to receive, we will progress greatly in the revelation of the Lord. We should try to not be like the others who, in Paulís day, were slow of heart to receive because they were held back by some religiosity.
The revelation of the Lord to His saints is individually progressive, for each person does not receive the revelation at the same time. Whether we are quick or slow to understand the truth is of no consequence as long we receive the truth. When one turns aside from the leading of the Spirit of the Lord for some opinions and teachings of men, that is when he falls. Bear in mind that the Spirit is given to a believer to lead him into all truth and to show him things to come. This is a fact that must be emphasized.
There is only ONE GOSPEL that is true. There is only ONE HOUSEHOLD of God. When Israel rejected the Word, blindness in part came upon them and the Gospel went to the Gentiles so that the prophecy of God would be fulfilled when He said: "I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth" (Acts:13:47). With that one stroke of action, God had broken down the dividing wall of partition between Israel and the Gentiles. And to the Gentile converts in Ephesus, Paul said:
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who
are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the
flesh made by hands;
Can you see what Paul was saying? He said that the Gentiles were once alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and had no part in the blessed covenants of promise given to Israel. But through Christ, both the Jews and the Gentiles now have access by one Spirit to the Heavenly Father. With that the Gentiles are made fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. The Gentiles are now a part of the whole HOUSEHOLD of God. Read Rom:4:1-17.
Do you see what else Paul said? In his revelation of the mystery of God Paul also said that the whole household of God was "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone". Therefore it is a very serious error for anyone to contradict Paul and teach that we believing Gentiles are built upon the foundation of Paul alone. Not only would it contradict what Paul said but also what was written in Malachi 4:5-6 where it clearly states that the "Elijah" that would come in the last day to "turn the heart of the children to their fathers". See? It does not say, "father" but "fathers", not just to "father Paul" alone as if the foundations of the other "fathers" have no bearing upon the Gentiles who are a part of the Household of God. The Household of God is not divided into two groups of people where Paul and the Gentiles are standing on one side, and the rest of the Apostles and the Jews are on the other.
This following verse is often taken and twisted to try and prove that the Gentile converts had only Paul for their "father":
1Cor. 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
No one can deny that Paul took the Gospel to the Corinthians (Gentiles) and started a church there in that city. There might have been other apostles who went by the city and ministered to the believers there but there was only one "father" who had begotten them and that is Paul. And likewise of the Apostle Thomas who went to India. Thomas could say the same to those Indian converts (Jews and Gentiles) that he was their "father" and there was no other one for he had begotten them through the Gospel and laid a foundation for them. See?
One Foundation Ė Twelve Foundations
Paul laid only a foundation. He said:
1Cor. 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
There is ONE "THE" FOUNDATION and that is Jesus Christ. All the Apostles laid a foundation each, pegging down or anchoring on that SOLID ROCK, that which is the Christ. Each of the Apostles laid a foundation for the Church in the revelation that God had given them. Paul said, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part" (1 Cor.13:9). Each had a part to play and so they laid their part of the foundation. The Apostles were the ones with the revelation of the Word. They were the master builders. They were called the Apostolic Fathers. And there are a total of 12 foundations as revealed in the Book of Revelation (cf. Rev.21:14). There is no 13th foundation added to the Bride, the Holy City New Jerusalem, as some presumably teach that Paul had built his one inside the City. Why do they teach this? So as to make Paulís gospel superior to the other twelve. To do so is to add to the Word of God, something that one should never do. (In Scriptures the number 13 speaks of apostasy, rebellion, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution or some kindred idea. Certainly the design of God cannot be even a little frayed.)
Yes, Matthias was numbered with the eleven other Apostles but only by lot after Judas Iscariot left and went to his own proper place. (The number 12 stands for governmental perfection whereas 11 stands for the falling short of it.) However was Matthias the man counted among the 12 foundations of the Household of God, the Bride of Christ, the Holy City New Jerusalem? Or was it someone else? Spiritual revelation shows that when God calls a man to a ministry, He calls and deals with the man directly and personally (cf. Acts 13:2). The casting of lots to elect a man so that the Church will have twelve Apostles was certainly not the way of God. It was but the way of men even as much as prayer was offered. Disagree with me if you like but Paul was the man that laid the twelfth foundation stone for the Holy City New Jerusalem.
Blindness (or hardening of heart) in part has happened to Israel as a nation, that the Gentiles might be grafted in until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete (cf. Rom.11:7-27). Though the Gospel has gone out to the Gentiles for nearly the last two thousand years, there has been a meager number of Jewish converts to the faith. And in this last Church Age, if any Jew receives the Word for this hour and is made ready, he will be a part of the Bride that would be caught to meet Christ up in the air.
Now, the Church has come this far and nearly 2000 years has passed. We are in the last of the Seven Church Ages. This is the harvest time. We are at the end. And the wheat has got to be mellowed down in the Sun. They have to be fully matured for the harvest.
Recall. What is the Spirit given for? He is given to guide the elect into all truth and to show them the things to come. These are the two primary things the Spirit would do to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. But on what foundation and authority would the Spirit have in leading Godís elect? Nothing but the very divine in-breathed Scriptures of the Living God. Yahweh lives in His own Word. The Spirit and the Word are ONE. He cannot but reveal what has already been spoken before the foundation of the world was laid. Christ must be glorified and His Bride must be one with Him and be in harmony with His plan and purpose in order to be made ready as a Wife for the Grand Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Therefore every member of the true Bride must come right back to the homeland of the Promised Word where they would eat and be full of the Word. Remember, in dealing with the children of Israel, Yahweh had put His Name in Jerusalem of Israel (2 Chr.6:5-6). It was there that He had manifested His Word through the prophets to Israel. There was no other place where Israel could be fed but in Jerusalem of Israel. Likewise the spiritual saints of the Living Christ can only be fed in the Word of God for He has put His Name in His own Word.
After their long years of captivity under the Babylonian army, Israel finally returned to their homeland upon the decree of King Cyrus of Persia. They turned their hearts towards the Lord as they rebuilt the city and the temple. Through tumultuous times they gained the victory. And the Messenger of the Covenant, whom they longed for, came suddenly into His Temple and manifested Himself unto them. Likewise "Spiritual Israel", the Church of the Living Christ, must return to her homeland of the Word in which she was born and diligently seek the Lord. After her long years of bondage under the so-called Holy Roman Empire, the Lord poured out His Grace upon her and again through tumultuous times she began to pull out of the darkness under the Reformation. With the light she had, the Church struggled passing through the Philadelphian age to this day. She will have to prove her faithfulness and her love to her Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, to gain the victory and make it in to meet Him.
Truly the saints must be fed the Word for them to grow to maturity in the knowledge of her Lord. The Holy Spirit in each individual guides them to get the nourishment in the Word and in that knowledge He will show them the things to come.
Now letís take a type from the prophetic words of Scriptures. Moses said:
And it shall come to
pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I
command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all
your heart and with all your soul,
Notice: the purpose of sending the rain is that the people may have FOOD, that they may eat and be filled and satisfied.
In Israel the first rain comes just after the planting, around the months of September to October. The second rain is a normally heavier rain to ensure the maturing of the crop, and occurs before the harvest around late March to early April for the barley and a month or so later for the wheat. This period is known as the weeks of harvest (cf. Jer.5:24).
Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
There is a play of words in the verse. Read the various translations and you can see why in the different renditions of the verse. The verse hints that both rains will be poured out "in the first month". The words "in the first month" is "riíshown" in Hebrew and it means "first in time, rank or place; former manner". Yet, it seems to point to the first month, which is Nisan (Abib) the time of the harvest season (late March to April). Then there are these two words "former rain" which, in this particular verse, is "mowreh", a Hebrew word for "an archer" or "to point to teach" and also "teacher or teaching". How interesting! The "former rain" is the "teaching rain". It speaks of a ministry which points, teaches and that shoots straight right at the Word of the Lord as the Spirit guides the elect into all truth. And it comes just before the harvest season!
Note: Some Bible students teach that the former rain spoken of by Joel was fulfilled by Jesus Christ who had come as the "Teacher of Righteousness". In a certain way it is true. However, a closer look at the revelation of the apostle James reveals something else.
Now the apostle James gave this revelation:
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the
coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious
fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it,
until he receive
the early and latter rain.
In Greek, the word "early" is proimos; it means "dawning; showering, the first of the rainy season" and the word "latter" is opsimos; it means "later; from opse, late in the day or after the close of the day".
Clearly James is not speaking of the early and latter rains as that which come after the sowing and before the harvesting respectively. He is telling us that two rains will come before the gathering of the crop. The Husbandman, our Lord has been waiting patiently for a very long time now to harvest His precious fruit. See? He had already sown the seeds. So "until he receives the early and latter rain" He will not be able to gather His fruit out of the earth. But the two rains will fall. Likewise we also have to be patient and strengthen our hearts and faith while we wait for that blessed hope.
We are living in the last of the Church Ages. Therefore have both the rains been poured out since we are at the close of the Kingdom of Heaven? Are the 20th Century Pentecostal Movement and the Latter Rain Movement the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the "early and latter rain" respectively?
That both rains will be poured out in this age is certain. Moreover the 20th Century Pentecostal Movement is not the "early rain" just as the Latter Rain Movement is not the "latter rain". Both these "rain" movements are not the fulfillment of the prophecies per se. They are but the casting of the great net into the sea to gather in the fishes in the seventh parable of Matthew 13. Remember that there first has to be a restoration of the people to their "homeland" where they will be fed the food that is brought by the rain.
Now, the latter rain is the HARVEST rain. It can only come after the former rain has fallen. How can any one of these "rain" movements be the real thing back then (in the first half of the 20th Century) when the Teaching Rain had not yet come? How can it be when the Prophet-Messenger, who was to be sent to "restore" the people and turn the hearts of the children back to the Word of the Pentecostal fathers, had not yet come?
The Food of the Land!
Take a look at Israel and see what the prophet Jeremiah had to say about the attitudes of Yahwehís people towards Him, and we can surely see the same thing being manifested in the people of the Church of Christ in this present day. Here are the words of the prophet Jeremiah to Israel:
Hear now this, O foolish
people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which
have ears, and hear not:
Oh mine! Rebellious people! Thatís the condition the Church of this age is in, isnít it? It has become a man-made system. Itís a cage full of unclean birds and their dwelling places (the various denominational churches) are full of deceptions by which they become powerful, rich, fat and famous. The theologians teach lies, the preachers follow their decision, and the people are just glad to have it. But what will it be in the end? Certainly, thereíll be no latter rain for them.
No wonder Jeremiah had so prophesied earlier with these words:
They say, If a man put
away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he
return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou
hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the
Wow! What an allegory! Can you see that because of spiritual whoredom the Church can never have the latter rain? How can there be when the Church is polluted with man-made creeds and dogmas while she does away with the Word of her Lord. Itís iniquity (Matt.7:21-23). The Church today has fallen so far away from the Lord. She has a whoreís forehead. Thatís right. She has a name and the Book of Revelation calls her (the whole system) Ė "Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth" (Rev.17:5). And she refuses to be ashamed!
However, for the true saints of the Lord a messenger is sent with the spirit of Elijah. The messenger came with a message that will turn their hearts back to their Pentecostal Apostolic Fathers (Mal.4:5-6), a message that will call them out of the darkness of the Church-ism into the Promised Word, a message that cries out, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; come ye out to meet him" (Matt.26:6). Therefore "come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (Rev.18:4-5). That is right. Staying in the system and condoning its works testifies of oneís allegiance in fellowshipping with the great whore Ė Babylon, the Great Mother Harlot. It shows the person is worshipping the Beast and its image.
Now the Seventh Church Age messenger, Bro. William Branham, had come. He had delivered his message and has gone to be with the Lord. The message having been given, the true saints are restored back to her "homeland", the Promised Word. It is in her "homeland" that the "early rain" will fall to bring forth much food, where the rain will teach the saints and mature them for the coming "latter rain" that will take her into the harvest.
But has the "early rain" (or "former rain") fallen yet? The answer is a definite yes. It is none other than the Ascension Gifts Ministry of Ephesians 4. The saints being restored to the Word by the SHOUT message are now being showered by the "former rain" and taught the Apostolic Truth by the 5-Fold Ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. The saints are being fed the Word and established in the present truth (cf. 2 Pet.1:12). They are getting to the state of perfection. Once perfection (complete maturity) is attained then the "latter rain" will come and not otherwise.
But what is the "latter rain"? The "latter rain" according to Brother Branham will give us Rapturing Faith. Like the "former rain", the "latter rain" will also be the Spirit of the Word of Christ that will come by utterances through anointed men of God. Remember, the types and shadows of Scriptures must prove consistency. Therefore after the Word (through the ministries of Ephesians 4) perfects the saints who make up the Bride of Christ, there will come the utterances of the Seven Thunders to cap the saints for the catching away.
The Two Doors
The Two Rains of God in the last days are found inside the House of God by going through two open doors. To get in, the saints of the Lord must go through the FIRST DOOR and then through to the SECOND. It is beyond the SECOND DOOR that the TWO RAINS are found inside the House of God.
Behold, I stand at the
door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I
will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This is the first door. The age is Laodicea, it is the last of the Church ages. Throughout the Church ages the antichrist spirit had much control over the life of the people. But in this last Church age Christ has to set an escape door for individuals who hearken to His Voice. Religious Christians have so formulated creeds and dogmas upon which to build their super church so that the Word of Christ is no longer needed. Christ is rejected and thrown out as the people embrace their goods. They have all their riches and lack no material thing but they have no knowledge that they are living in religious darkness, blind, wretched and spiritually naked. The lukewarm Church has locked the people in by several key systems that indoctrinate fear, self-righteousness and wealth. But in such a witching hour Christ makes a way for those who would open the door as he stands knocking. "Come out of her, my people,Ö" (Rev.18:4). Christ stands and waits at the door. The individuals must open the door. To those who open, He comes in and sups with them and they with Him. This open door is a result of the believersí faith in heeding Christís call. Paralleling the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25, these believers hear the knocking of Christ and heed His voice. They come out of religious Babylon to sup with Christ yet not all truly come out with faith. Not all overcome.
This first door is the beginning of the restoration of the Bride to the Word. It is set before the heart of every individual in a worldly religious realm. This is the beginning of the Spirit of Christ getting the seeds back into the field of His Own Word before the "former rain" comes. Remember, the Spirit of God is given to guide and lead a believer into all truth. A believer comes out of religious darkness and into the light to sup with Christ and be guided into all His truth. However, it is despondent to see that many who come out never follow through into the next open door that Yahweh has set for them in Heaven. These believers are like the children of Israel who had come out of Egyptian bondage and just wandered about in the wilderness when the Promised Land was just next door to them. And like the people of Israel who had the manna from Heaven, the believers are simply happy to hold on to the manna and say, "We thank God for the manna He gave to us through Bro. Branham. Oh, manna, manna! Oh, precious manna that Bro. Branham brought to us!"
Yes, manna is what they have but "what is it?" Do they know what it is? No, not at all. They only keep saying, "Oh, what is it? What is it? Oh, precious "what is it?" that Bro. Branham brought to us!" How true; they are just able to hold to "The Spoken Word" books and tapes and feed on them without knowing "what it is" all about.
When a person is in bondage or wanders about for a long time in the wilderness, he becomes weak. Manna is a food that quickly revives and sustains a person. It is but temporary nourishment; good only for the day it is given. Read Exod.16:14-21. Had Israel the faith they would have all gone over into the Promised Land to eat the old corn of the land. But only Joshua and Caleb and those under twenty made it in to the land of Canaan and ate of its old corn (cf. Josh.5:10-12). The old corn of the land is the produce of the land. The grains will never rot even if kept for a long time, year after year. That is the same with "this Old Book" called the Holy Bible. The produce of Godís in-breathed Scripture has been giving life to believers from generation to generation and it is ever fresh, never stale nor corrupt. So for those today who receive the manna from the Seventh Church age messenger and mix it with faith, they enter in to the Promised Word through the first door that is set before them. The rest who do not are like the mixed multitude of people who came out of Egypt following the Pillar of Fire, seeing only the signs, miracles and wonders of Godís prophet.
this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the
first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which
must be hereafter.
Unless believers "come out of her" they will not be able to "come up hither". If believers cannot hear the revelation of the Midnight Cry Ė the SHOUT message, they will not be able to receive the revelation of the VOICE of the Archangel.
This second door was set in a heavenly spiritual realm before the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ, the apostle John, who represents the Bride. Unlike the first door this second door is already an open door. The first door requires the believers, who are locked in by the strangest prison in the world (Religious Christian Organizations), to unlock it and escape into Christ. This SECOND OPEN DOOR locks no one in or out. It is kept open for those who have entered into Christ to rise even higher Ė into the prophetic Word and visions.
The VOICE said, "Come up here! I will show youÖ" Show what? "I will show you things to come." Remember again that the Holy Spirit is given to believers not only to guide them into all truth but also to show them things to come. Do you see? A believer can stay in the message of Bro. Branham and quote what he said but if he does not go through that second door he will not receive the revelation of things to come. Yes, saints of God, we need to go beyond the message of the prophet-messenger for there are things yet to be revealed to us.
True worshippers do not wait to consider this option. The spiritual men and women see the invitation and follow through, and immediately they would be in the spirit, sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (cf. Eph.1).
Itís Raining for the Appointed Weeks of the Harvest is Come
Yes, only the Bride of Christ can understand the importance of what it is to "come up hither" and to enter into the realm of prophetic visions and prophetic Words Ė "things which must be hereafter". It is inside this second OPEN door that the Bride waits to receive both the "former and latter rains" during the appointed weeks of the harvest (cf. Jer.5:24). The first rain, the "former rain", falls as the Teacher of Righteousness comes to teach. It is a "teaching rain". The Bride receives the Spirit of the Word in the learning of Christ and of things to come through the utterances of anointed men of God, who are part of the Ascension Gifts Ministry of Ephesians 4. The rest of the Christian world (including those in Branhamism) can talk and debate about the Bible and Church History but only the true preachers can "speak the Word". Many Christians can hear the Word but it is only the elect who can receive It. They are just like the Jews living in the First Century of the Church who had the laws but it was the Disciples of Christ who had the life of the Living Word.
Beloved, it is not just knowing about Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 17:30, John 3:28-30 (cf. Mat.10:40-41; Lk.4:18; Joh.4:34), Revelation 3:14-22; 10:7 and the many other related passages regarding the message and the messenger. It is also not just about Acts 2:38 versus Matthew 28:19, or the Serpent Seed, the Church Ages or any of all the other doctrines that the Messenger had told us to stay on to. Itís much more than that. Itís about recognizing and understanding the Spirit Ė His leading us into all truth and showing us things to come as He glorifies Christ. See? "The letters killeth but the Spirit giveth life."
The virgins may come out of the Church World to meet the Bridegroom. But only the wise with "the spirit of wisdom and revelation" in the knowledge of God (Eph.1:17) can enter in to the Heavenly place, where the "teaching rain" ministry of the Ascension Gifts is, and sit with Christ and sup with Him as He teaches them the Word of Yahweh. This is the only age where Ephesians 4:11-16 is become a reality. The 5-Fold Ministry for the perfecting of the saints could not come in during those six other Church Ages because the tares and the wheat were growing together then. The whole Church World of wheat and tares could lift up their hands and shout "Hallelujah!" and have their revivals. Without separation there is no way to bring the wheat (saints) to perfection for, in the first place, Godís Word calls for total separation from unbelief. With the separation, revival of signs and wonders is a secondary issue, for the wheat look for the mellowing in the Son to be perfected. So until the Bride comes back to the Word to root in her place of birth and her homeland to eat the old corn, she can never be perfected.
The true Bride is now feeding on the Tree of Life and eating the "little open book" and getting herself ready; the Church World is on that other tree, hybridizing the Original Seed to their own damnation. As is the Church World, so are the many believers in the Endtime message; believers who simply "follow the leader"; "what the monkeys see, the monkeys do". Just give the Word test and see the result in the eating. The elect will be persecuted for not doing the "monkey". Certainly!
Howbeit, when the day comes that the Bride-wife has made herself ready, the "latter rain" will be poured out upon her. The soaking and mellowing in the knowledge of God, and the prophetic Word and prophetic vision of things to come ends, as the "former (teaching) rain" would have served and fulfilled that purpose. With the mechanics in place, the dynamics take charge. Now comes the "latter rain" to give the "precious fruit of the earth" the final boost before they are harvested by the Husband-(man) and taken to the Heavenly Fatherís home. The Seven Thunders will utter their voices for the Bride-wife to receive her Rapturing Faith. The utterance of the Spoken Word of God will enliven every physical member of the Bride body, restoring and transforming every diseased and defective part. The body of every member will be set free as full redemption arrives (cf. Rom.8:18-23). This is a revival solely for the Bride-wife who has made herself ready. She will be the Super Church then, doing a quick and short work. Then on one fine morning, with the rising of the sun, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye", her Word Body (Celestial Body) will come and pick her up and change her, "and to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Rev.19:8). Thatís her new body Ė a glorified body, a spiritual body!
Time to Break up Fallow Ground
Sow to yourselves in
righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time
to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
Saints of God, now is the time to break up your fallow ground and seek the Lord if you have not already done so. If you have "come out" through the first door because you have heard the SHOUT message of the Seventh Church Age messenger, you have done well. But you have only taken the first step towards perfection. The coming out will not perfect you. You have only the manna that will sustain you till you cross over Jordan into the Promised Word, your Homeland, where you will be fed the old corn of the Word. So, you have to enter in to another door, a second door, an open door. It is set before you in Heaven. The Household of God is gathered inside that open door. Here is where the saints are being perfected. They are soaking themselves in the "teaching rain", growing in Godís righteousness under the Teaching Spirit of Christ. When the "precious fruit" is completely mature, the "latter rain" comes to give one final boost before THE HARVEST (Rapture) comes.
So, come. The open door awaits you. Come up! Stop farming deception, wickedness and sins. You may not have realized what you are doing because you have trusted your own understanding or the words of the multitudes of great foolish preachers who hold to "the books" of "the prophet" but have no faith mixed in with the truth they learned. Many of them would say that the Bible is the Absolute yet they mock true ministers who search the Scriptures to prove the things Bro. Branham had spoken and even to teach things that he did not receive and teach. You need to know who labours among you and who has a true God-given ministry. If you have the Holy Spirit, discern the Ascension Gifts carefully and follow after the ones who have the truth. The ones who are truly called are the ones who stay with the Word and the revelations that Paul preached. Give them the same respect as those who gave respect to Joshua and Caleb after Moses was gone. Do not take the "teaching rain" of God lightly. Bear in mind you may pray, you may fast, but you will never receive the "latter rain" of the Holy Spirit unless you have first received the "former rain".
The Spoken Word Ministry
I believe in the power of the Spoken Word given under the anointing of the Spirit of God. It will always give life to the hearers who have ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord says. The Book of Revelation tells us that the Seventh Age of the Church is lukewarm and in darkness. The Laodicean Church is dead. But a messenger was sent to speak the Word of Life and he called the Bride out of the darkness of the Laodicean system. The "Elijah" of Malachi 4 who was to "turn the heart of the children to their fathers" had come and gone. He was the voice that cried out, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh! Come ye out to meet Him!" He fulfilled the parable of Matthew 25. The PAROUSIA of Christ in the Second Advent has already begun and the events of Revelation 10 unfold in a reality for our day. He cometh! Thatís a fact.
Observe the revelation of the apostle Paul:
For the Lord himself
shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel,
and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Nominal Christians have different interpretations of the passage. Some interpret it as Christís coming to meet the saints (dead and living) at the Rapture and that the SHOUT is a literal shout of Christ to His saints with a great ARCHANGELIC VOICE like as a great TRUMPET blast. Others teach that the SHOUT calls for the living saints and the VOICE calls for the dead saints with the TRUMPET blast putting them into the air to meet the Lord. Yet others teach that the SHOUT is a revival and the VOICE wakes up the saints who are spiritually dead and the TRUMPET blast is the victory call of all who overcome to meet Christ in the air.
What is the truth to the revelation of the apostle Paul?
All who knows Bro. Branhamís teachings knows that the SHOUT is the Seventh Angelís message. Thatís the revelation of Bro. Branham. If that is true, then there are three phases in that parousia of Christ ― the SHOUT, the VOICE and the TRUMP. But practically nothing is understood concerning the phases, the VOICE and the TRUMP. As I wrote above, I believe types and shadows must hold consistency. Observe the two verses. They speak of Christ descending from Heaven and three events take place on earth after which the dead in Christ rise, and together with the living saints they are then raptured to meet Him in the air. Now, if the SHOUT is the message of the Seventh Church Age messenger which is a SPOKEN WORD ministry, then to be consistent the VOICE and the TRUMP have got to be SPOKEN WORD ministries, too.
In Scriptures, the number 3 stands for completeness or divine perfection (not spiritual perfection which is number 7). Take these examples: 1. Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence; 2. Justification, Sanctification and Holy Spirit Baptism; 3. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and 4. Repent, Be Baptized and Receive the Holy Spirit; what do you see?
In all there is a common factor or relationship. In the first, we see that the attributes are exclusively the Almighty Godís. In the second, we see the three measures of the one meal that is the Gospel of Christ. He justifies, He sanctifies and He gives the Spirit. In the third, God identified with those men as the Covenant-maker. In the fourth, we see an obedient personís act towards redemption. They are just some of many such examples in Scriptures. So, when Paul speaks of the coming of Christ to take His Bride, there are 3 events connected to His coming. The common factor in all three events is that each is actually speaking of a ministry that Christ will execute in order to perfect His Bride. He comes with a SHOUT ministry, with the VOICE of an Archangel ministry and with the TRUMP ministry.
Christ descends with a SHOUT. Thatís the message of the Seventh Church Age messengerís ministry. Itís a Spoken Word ministry that restores the Bride to the Word. Then in (the homeland of) the Word, the Bride hears the VOICE of her Bridegroom who is the Chief Angel (Messenger) as He speaks and teaches her through the ministry of Ephesians 4. Itís the Spoken Word ministry that perfects the Bride in the Word. Finally when the saints are perfected, which would be Rev.19:7 Ė "his wife hath made herself ready", the TRUMP ministry will enter. The Husband(man) will speak the word through the Seven Thunders to give His wife the Rapturing Faith. Itís a Spoken Word ministry that will heal and revive every member of the Bride body and prepare her for the translation to meet the promised Son of God who is her Beloved. Remember the Angel of the Lord once came to Abraham and Sarah and spoke the word that changed their bodies and prepared them to receive the son that God had promised them.
It is after the TRUMP ministry comes in that "the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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".
The Seventh Seal
Revelation chapter 10 is the Seventh Seal coming into play. Heaven shuts up in silence as the final events of the Kingdom of Heaven unfold. The Mighty Angel is the Covenant Messenger (Mal.3:1). The covenant to redeem His own was made with blood and He had paid the price for it with His own blood (Heb.9:11-23). He did not make that with the Jews or Gentiles, He made it with Abraham. The title deed is now in His hands and He comes to claim all that belong to Him. First the Gentile Bride, and then Israel. [For a more detailed study of this vision, read The Revelation of Jesus Christ: Chapter 10.]
This finale started sometime in the midst of the 1950s. As Christ descends He descends "with a SHOUT, with the VOICE of an Archangel, and with the TRUMP of God". He gives a SHOUT through a forerunner (messenger), to call His Bride out of darkness. The Bride comes out and meets the Word-Groom. (The vision of Revelation 10 begins at this stage with the Book "sealed with Seven Seals" opened in the hand of the Mighty Angel. The Mighty Angel has now descended.) They enter into the Wedding. The SHOUT is over and the messenger goes home, then the shower of the "early (former) rain" comes. With the VOICE of a Chief Angel, Christ speaks. And through His servants in the 5-Fold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) a table of Food is spread. The Bride is taught to eat the Word (the "little open book") like the caterpillar eats the greens of the plant it was born on. The revelation of the Word is sweet to the mouth but bitter in the belly. This is especially so for the Bride body must be enliven with Truth in order that she makes herself ready as Christís Wife so that she can be presented to the Father in His Heavenly Home. As the Bride matures to that stature of perfection in Christ Jesus, the 5-Fold ministry folds up as the TRUMP sounds and the Seven Thunders (seven anointed men) utter their voices. What they utter are not doctrines. What doctrines there are have all already been written in the Scriptures. One can read them and teach them. In the vision shown to the apostle John, John heard their utterances but he was not allowed to write them down. Therefore nothing can be taught when nothing has been written.
However, when the fullness of time comes, the Seven Thunders will utter their voices to the Bride-wife of Christ who has made herself ready. As Abraham and Sarah had received the Spoken Word and their physical bodies were renewed, regenerated, revived and resurrected in order to bring forth life and the promised son, so will the whole assembly of true worshippers of the Lord. Afflicted, diseased and impaired bodies of individual saints will be restored by the revelation of the Spoken Word. Legs shall grow out for those who have no legs. Eyes shall be restored to those who once had no eyes. The natural physical bodies of the saints will be completely restored before their glorious transformation. Thatís right. They will go through a change like the caterpillar in its cocoon before it breaks open and flies off. What goes on in the little cocoon is shrouded in secrecy. Likewise, itíll be hush-hush in the marriage chamber of the Word Groom. (Remember the little room in the Tent Vision of Bro. Branham where the Lord meets with the individuals and where believers walked out perfectly whole from the little room and yet were unable to explain what had happened?) The Lordís final THIRD PULL and THE SPOKEN WORD will be a reality. As the revival comes in, the dead in Christ shall rise and wait for the mortal saints to put on immortality. This is a revival solely for the Bride-wife of Christ and is to last for 40 days. [Note: The number 40 is a number of waiting. It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to grace and ends in revival and renewal (cf. Acts 1:3).]
After the quick and short revival Ė what excitement as every member of the Bride body is enlivened with life! Ė the Dead in Christ and the Living Saints are then swished away to meet their Lord and Master in the air to forever be with Him. Hallelujah!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Word to the Wise
There are many arguments and debates over the revelation of the Seven Thunders and their unwritten utterances. These are the six most common speculations:
1. The Seven Thunders are the Seven Seals, which were revealed in 1963.
2. The Seven Thunders are the Seven Virtues of Christ, which a believer must manifest or "thunder" forth in his life.
3. The Seven Thunders are the second set of Seven Seals which sealed the back of the book (scroll). They are not the Seven Seals on the inside of the book.
4. The Seven Thunders are the seven sermons or doctrines of William Branham. They list specially "The Token", "Marriage and Divorce", "The Serpent Seed", "The Mystery of God" (or the One God doctrine as they understood it) but could not specify what the other sermons are to complete the seven.
5. The Seven Thunders are the Seven Spirit Angels who are now uttering their voices through the 5-Fold Ministry to give her Rapturing Faith.
6. The Seven Thunders are the Seven Spirit Angels who came and uttered their voices through William Branham in 1963 when they opened up the revelation of the Seven Seals to him.
If anyone has just a little of the wisdom and knowledge that God has given us, he will know that all the above are but presumptions. Now look at these facts:
a. All the written words of the Holy Scriptures are in-breathed of God. They hold the doctrines and teachings of the Lord (cf. 1 Tim.3:16). Some doctrines may be hidden in certain particular expressions of the Spirit and so remain as "mysteries" until revealed by the Spirit Himself to babes and such that yearn to learn. These doctrines are therefore written "mysteries", not unwritten ones. Here are two examples: i) The "Tree of Life" and the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the midst of the garden were not two literal trees, but are two opposing laws governing the usage of the sexual reproductive organ that lies in the middle of the human body. ii) The Mark that God put on Cain was not a literal mark but rather an increase in his physical size. He became a giant so that those who sought to kill him could not do so easily. He would run when there were many coming for him, and thus he became a fugitive and a vagabond.
b. The utterances of the Seven Thunders were not written though the apostle John heard them in his vision. Therefore the utterances remain a true mystery. No one can preach about the utterances because they are not written in the Holy Book. But as John who types the Bride heard them, so will the Bride hear them in the day they are uttered once more. The vision will then be fulfilled.
A teaching thatís been going around says, "when the seven seals were opened, the seven thunders were made known. The seven men have already come and gone, the seventh one doing the speaking for the other six". This is nothing but confusion. Were the Seven Thunders (whatever they are) seven mysteries made known? Or were the Seven Thunders seven men already made known? If they were, who were they? Or were they the Seven Spirit Angels who came to Bro. Branham to reveal to him the Seals? If they were, how could those Seven Spirit Angels be called seven men? The Seven Spirit Angels are not the Seven Stars. They are ministering spirits and should not be confused with the Seven Stars who were Church Age Messengers (Grk: aggelos, messenger). The Seven Stars were earthly messengers. Each of those Seven Spirit Angels is responsible to his assigned STAR-Messenger. Each ministered to his Star who then took the Word to the saints in his Church Age. When those Seven Spirit Angels came to Bro. Branham they came not as Seven Thunders. They came to him to reveal the Seals to the Bride in this last age. This is one of the seven roles they had to perform. Each was assigned to reveal a specific Seal. The Seven Spirit Angels were bearers of the Revealed Seals. Also, the Seven Thunders are not the Seven Stars. Both are different groups of men but the same Seven Spirit Angels are responsible in working through them. How could one man, Bro. Branham, be the voices of Seven Thunders? A man has only one voice. A man does not have seven voices. Did John see ONE man utter with seven different voices and call those voices "Seven Thunders" or did he see SEVEN Thunders utter their voices? Certainly John knew what he saw and what to call them. It is therefore simply foolishness to equate the Stars with the Thunders as much as it is to equate the Serpent with the snake or the Logos with Jesus, the Son of God.
The "little book" open in the hand of the Mighty Angel of Revelation 10 has nothing directly to do with the Seven Thundersí utterances. The "little open book" is the same book (or scroll) that was sealed with Seven Seals in Revelation chapter 5. The visions of John show that the Lamb took the scroll from the One set on the Throne and broke the seals one by one. Then the scroll was rolled open to show its contents Ė all that belong to Christ Ė for the Lamb had paid the price for redemption. Thence, He came to claim His possessions.See? Therefore, it is when Christ descends to claim His possessions that the Seven Thunders will utter their voices.
The Parousia of Christ did not start in 1963 when, or after, Bro. Branham brought forth the revelation of the Seals. It started back in the mid-1950s (around the year 1956) when the SHOUT went forth to call the Bride. However the SHOUT message is only the beginning of the MIGHTY ANGEL DESCENDING (He has not fully descended). Look at the Parable of the TEN VIRGINS. The messenger arrives first to herald the Groom's coming (Behold He comes!) but the Groom has not yet come. He is on his way, so to speak. Then the wise virgins get ready to go out and meet Him. When they meet Him they enter into the marriage. See? That's when the Groom is said to have arrived for He has met them and entered into the marriage. The Mighty Angel of Revelation 10 is said to have truly descended only after the Seven Seals are revealed. The revealing of the Seven Seals to the Bride is like a dowry or bridal gift for the Bride. It is like a bridegroom saying to his bride, "I give you this dowry to show my heartís desire to take you as my wife. Come and dine and prepare yourself." And the moment the Wife is made ready, Christ will claim her and the Seven Thunders will utter their voices to give her Rapturing Faith.
The Cry of the Mighty Angel of Revelation chapter 10 is not the SHOUT message. The leonine cry speaks of His proclamation of being the Rightful King of this earth and the claiming of His rights over it. He had fought well and had paid the price for it. When the Seven Thunders had uttered their voices, the claim of the King would have been realized with the Grace (Church) Age closed up by virtue of the fact that the SEVEN SEALS were broken and the BOOK opened. But as the vision depicts, Yahweh commanded the utterances of the Seven Thunders to be sealed up completely without one word written down. This "frustrated" the Mighty Angel who declared that in the day of the sounding of the Seventh Angelís message, time should no longer delay to finish up the Mystery of God. The utterances of the Seven Thunders are to remain a mystery until the appointed time. Why this delay? Simply because the Bride needs her own special revivals. Firstly, to get her revived in the FULL WORD. She must achieve the full stature of maturity and be perfected in the WORD spiritually. Secondly, to get all the members of her body revived physically. Hence, the Heavenly Father commanded the Bride to eat of the "little open book" until it is well eaten and digested. Yahweh wants the Bride of Christ to eat the "old corn" under the "teaching rain". Do you see? The SHOUT message cannot take you to perfection. The Seven Seals revealed cannot take you to perfection. The "little open book" is what you need Ė eat it! In the meantime the Bride "must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings".
Now, you cannot eat the utterances of the Seven Thunders for there were no written scripture on it, not even one word. You cannot eat something that is not there. See? But now the whole "little open book" must be eaten and digested by the Bride so as to prepare her for the final boosting rain, the "latter rain", that will take her in. Thatís when the Seven Thunders come to give her Rapturing Faith.
With all the many teachings about the Seven Thunders being revealed back in 1963, why is it that the "believers" are still waiting for the Rapture? How long has it been since Bro. Branham went to sleep in the Lord in 1965? Has the rapture already taken place? Some of the extremists said it has and they claim that the Bride is now in the Millennial Reign of Christ and that the ordinances of Feetwashing and Communion are no longer necessary. To these unwise ones let me say that the Rapture is not some foolish spiritualization, but a literal event.
I believe Bro. Branham's right when he said that the Thunders will give Rapturing Faith. How long will it take for Rapturing Faith to work, to transform a saint and take him off this earth? Will it take 50 years, 10 years, 5 years, 1 year or 6 months? Or perhaps it will take 1 month or 1 week or 1 day or instantly?
When Christ gives a man saving faith upon his hearing of the Word, how long does it take for him to be spiritually transformed, born again and eternally saved? 50 years, 10 years, 5 years, 1 year or 1 day, or instantly?
Similarly, when a believer hears the Word and catches a revelation of the healing power of Christ and it is given to him that healing faith, how long will it take for him to be healed?
How long did it take Abraham and Sarah to be young again in their bodies so as to be ready to receive the PROMISED SEED after hearing what the Angel had uttered, "This time, this season, next year, you'll have a child" ? Did not their bodies immediately begin to change, returning to the strength of their youth and in the 3rd month Sarah conceived?
"Faith cometh by hearing" Ė THE WORD OF GOD. That is, THE SPOKEN WORD. We receive saving faith by hearing the WORD OF GOD. Our spirit are then REBORN. The same goes for Rapturing Faith. The WORD OF GOD must be uttered, heard and received, then our physical bodies will be quickened and be "reborn" (transformed, changed).
"Bro. Gan, what if there were no seven men?" This question came from a minister who believes that the Seven Thunders were those seven angels, each of them taking turns for seven nights to "utter" the revelation of the seals to Bro. Branham. My reply to him was, "What if there were seven men?"
If the Seven Thunders have uttered and whatever things they be are in the messages of Bro. Branham, then Rapturing Faith has been given. If Rapturing Faith has been given, why then, for the past 40 years, are the believers not yet gone in the Rapture?
"Bro. Gan, we do not believe that the Seven Thunders are seven men but we do believe that the Seven Thunders have not yet been revealed. They have not uttered as yet."
This is a fairly common confession. However, think for a moment: if the Seven Thunders have not been revealed or uttered, which is true, then how will the utterances come about? How will they be made known, and by what or by whom? The Word of God says, "The Seven Thunders uttered their voices." John heard them open their months and loosen their vocal cords and speak. So, what or who "uttered" and had "their voices" heard by John? Non-living things or living things? If living things, are they plants, birds, fishes or animals, or are they human kind? What then are the living creatures that have vocal cords and could "utter their voices" ? Therefore what are the Seven Thunders? Think.
Now, John heard what the Seven Thunders said but he was not allowed to write them down. What were not revealed to the saints are the utterances of the Seven Thunders and not the Seven Thunders per se.
A German minister once brushed aside what I said by stating that "if the vast majority of Christians find it hard to accept ONE MAN that God sent, wonít it be harder for them to accept seven men?" Little did he know he was speaking the truth and I answered him by saying, "Nevertheless you are one of those who could accept the one man, Bro. Branham. But how did you accept that one man to be sent of the Lord in fulfilling the Scriptures? Was it because you found him to be a great preacher or was it because God revealed him to you by showing you His Word?"
Saints, without a revelation from Yahweh no one can come to the Truth of the Gospel and accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God sent to be a propitiation for sin. Without a revelation from the Lord no one Christian can see the fulfillment of Malachi 4 for our days in sending a messenger to call the Bride out of Mystery Babylon and back to His Word. Without a revelation of the Holy Spirit no one can come to the prophetic Words and prophetic visions under the Present Day Ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Similarly, without a revelation no one saint can come to hear the utterances of the Seven Thunders (seven men) for his Rapturing Faith. Remember God is in all these moves revealing all His Grace and Mercy. All Glories belong to Him alone.
Think seriously and reevaluate your beliefs.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I stand upon the mountain. I look
across the plain.
It is raining all around us.
Rain, rain, the early rain!
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