This is 'a history lesson' which is intended to help us better understand WHERE we come from (Spiritually) and WHERE we are going? WHAT move or plan of God brought us, as individuals, to where we are (Spiritually) in the 20th century. Are we the off-spring of God by His Word or the product of man-made religion?
We're taking our text from DEUTERONOMY 8:2:
In this age there is a great interest in 'natural' genealogy. People want to know where they come? They would like to know the "who's who" in their ancestry. The truth on the matter is that we can "all" trace our natural genealogy back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and "in Adam we all die" (1st. Corinthians 15:22). What we need to do is to see if we can trace our Spiritual genealogy (by a new birth) back to Christ - "For in Christ shall all be made alive" (1st. Corinthians 15:22).
According to our Scripture text, we're instructed to "Remember ALL THE WAY which the Lord thy God led thee..." The purpose is that we might know WHERE we come from, what we have/are learning in our journey and how far we have progressed in the journey. The Bible also tells us in 2nd. Peter 3:18 to "...grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen." In remembering can we say that we are able to trace our Spiritual genealogy back to Christ and that as 'new creatures' in Christ we can say that we have "grown in grace, AND in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ." Let's journey back in time for about 110 years and see if we can discover our Spiritual ancestry and prove our 'birth by the Word' for this Age.
In 1st. Corinthians 1:26 - 31 we have been given an insight into the attributes of those who are "called of God". Are we described herein
or would we feel insulted by the description given of those whom God has chosen?
The Berkley New Testament.
Are we content to be identified as simpletons, weaklings, no-accounts, contemptible and nobodies in the eyes of the world?
Our subject will be "The End-time Scenario". All true sons and daughters of God will find themselves represented here somewhere.
The Dictionary defines "Scenario" as "A summary or outline of the plot of a dramatic work".
No other word better describes the events which have unfolded since the beginning of the Laodicean Church Age in 1906. It is a summary or outline of a dramatic work - the End-time Drama wherein Sons and Daughters of God were born to give witness of 'the End time' and God's Word for these last days. When viewed in the Light of END TIME Prophecy, the actions and spirit of the actors have been very dramatic indeed. It is a drama that will NOT be repeated.
Never before has there been so much activity on the stage of life - Spiritually, religiously, politically, climatically, geographically and immorally. But we want to focus in on the Spiritual and religious Drama that has unfolded in this last Age. We want to rehearse the plot of this End time Drama which has produced what we see in the Spiritual and Religious realm today. And the one main element we can trace throughout this Drama is the "Supernatural Element".
It began with the manifestation of the "Supernatural" (signs and wonders), pointing to the Message for the Age; and it is closed out with the same manifestation - signs and wonders; but not signs and wonders just for the sake of signs and wonders, or to show the power of God, but to get out attention and point us to a message from God that will "catch the Bride of Christ into Eternity" before the Great Tribulation sits in upon the earth.
We usually trace the beginning of this last Church Age back to 1906 and Azusa Street. BUT we find the "seeds" of the "Azusa Street Revival" were planted in 1885 in London, England - 21 years before the Outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Azusa Street. In 1885 in London there was a conference on "Divine Healing", with brethren from all over the world attending, yearning for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. From This conference the "Pentecostal Movement" started, spreading to America and eventually all over the world.
NOTE that when this revival started it was just a "new movement, or new moving of the Spirit of God" in the earth. Previous revivals such as Luther's, Wesley's, William Booth's, etc., had gone into denominationalism, putting a "period" behind what God had done. But, within a very few short years after the "Pentecostal movement" had begun it also went into denominationalism and put a "period" behind what God had done in that revival. Still, the end was not yet, but God would raise up a ministry that would put His "period" behind the His Eternal purpose and plan.
To continue our end time history lesson.....
The First man to bring National attention to the ministry of Divine Healing in 20th Century America was Bro. Alexander Dowie. - A man ahead of his time. He was mightily used of God in the 1890's and early 1900's - several years before the 'Azusa Street' outpouring. In the early 1900's he saw that according to prophecy, an Elijah-type ministry was to come before the Second coming of Christ - looking at the "signs and wonders" following his ministry, he judged himself to be that prophet. In his understanding of prophecy he was 'ahead' of his time, BUT he had not the 'signs of vindication' of a Prophet - a great Evangelist, yes, but not a prophet.
Yet Out of Dowie's ministry came such men as Bro. F.F. Bosworth and Gordon Lindsay's father and Gordon Lindsay Himself (who was just a boy) when Dowie's ministry came to an end. These men, with others would be destined to meet the True Elijah-Prophet to the 20th Century; and they would also play a part in introducing him to the world.
During the time of Dowie's ministry, the Holy Spirit was also being poured out upon the Saints in North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Again - this was before Azusa Street. In this God was laying a foundation for the Azusa Street Revival.
Most of the brethren (including Brother Branham) date the beginnings of the Pentecostal Revival from "a" meeting held in the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles in 1906 - Here the 20th Century witnessed the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, not just in the healing of the sick BUT in the manifestation of what was to become known as "Glossolalia" - speaking in tongues (known and unknown).
1906 - Therefore the Prophet fixed 1906 as the beginning of the "Laodicean Church Age" and the beginning of the Pentecostal Move in America. During this out-pouring of the Holy Ghost, meetings would go on for weeks - souls were being saved, thousands filled with the Holy Ghost, experiencing the supernatural gift of speaking in tongues, and the Divine Healing ministry began to spread - God was answering prayer. The phrase "Full Gospel" was coined at this time; and to be "Full Gospel" meant that you believed in Salvation Through Jesus Christ, Divine Healing, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.
The Fire of the Holy Spirit was falling, lives were being changed and the Supernatural Power of God was sweeping the land. Many thought that this was a Revival that would surely 'bring back the king'. Many thought that "nothing" else would come to equal this move of God. They had not counted on God sending a prophet - A Revival but not a prophetic ministry. In fact they saw no need of a prophet. There seemed to be such unity among the people. BUT ALAS THEY DID NOT FORESEE WHAT WAS TO BEFALL THE CHURCH IN THE YEARS TO COME. What this "END TIME DRAMA" would bring forth had not even entered into the thoughts of these early Pentecostal Pioneers.
1907 - And in the excitement of this NEW Outpouring of the Holy Ghost, Bro. Alexander Dowie was almost forgotten. He faded into history - passing away in 1907. BUT two years later God remembered his promise of the Malachi 4 prophetic ministry.
1909 - This was the year that God began to bring into manifestation a ministry that would play a prominent part in this "End time Drama" - In 1909, in a little log cabin a baby boy was born - William Marion Branham. His destiny - A Prophet-Judge-Seer to an end time generation, and to bring down the curtain on the Pentecost Revival and the Pentecostal Feast. BUT WHO WOULD BELIEVE IT? To whom would this arm of the Lord be Revealed? When William Branham was born the Pillar of Fire came into the room, moved to the bed and hovered over the infant boy.
1909 - The year that witnessed the birth of the prophet also witnessed something else - by 1909 Cracks and splits began to appear in the great Pentecostal Revival; and denominational spirits began to move among the participants of the Revival.
NOTE, the Book: All Things Are Possible, by Professor Edwin Harrell, Jr. Page 18. This book is available at: http://www.amazon.com.
1922 - 1944 -The people had fallen to denomination spirits and organization so quickly that it wasn't until around 1922 that brethren with National and International Divine Healing ministries began to emerge out of the Pentecostal Revival - such ministries as that of Smith Wigglesworth, Charles Price, Raymond T. Richey, Bro. Freeman and Sister Aimee S. McPherson began to appear. These ministries (against the pressure of the depression and denominational spirits, carried on with the Azusa Street Anointing until 1947. They bridged the gap between Azusa Street and the 'revealing' of a prophet to the world.
1933 - While these anti-denominational, Holy Ghost filled Evangelists continued preaching Divine Healing and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, God was getting His Prophet ready to Spearhead a Revival that would "CROWN" what He had started in Azusa Street in 1906.
A Prophet Waiting In The Wilderness
In 1916 the Lord appeared to His Prophet for the first time warning him to keep himself from the World and the things of the world because there was a work for him to do when he got older. As with the prophet Samuel, so also with William Branham, the Lord at first dealt with him by way of "A Voice" speaking to him. Later, came the supernatural visions. His first vision at the age of 7 years was an indication of the "Open Vision" ministry which was to follow. As he got older the Lord began to deal with this young man through a "Voice" and "Visions".
In 1933 - The Lord appeared in a Pillar of Fire (in the presence of about 4000), to Brother Branham during a water baptismal service, and commissioned William Branham, stating that he, with a Message from God, would forerun the Second Coming of Christ. BUT WHO would believe this Kentucky hillbilly?
1933 - 1945 - William Branham continued with a local ministry of Evangelistic meetings - preaching and praying for the sick - waiting for the time of his 'revealing to the Gentile world'. While God was training His Servant, Wigglesworth, Freeman, McPherson and others continued under the Pentecostal Anointing with Evangelical "signs" and "wonders" and a Pentecostal Message. But, the stage was being set for the final phase of the End time Drama. This phase would be quick and short and then judgment would be ushered in. The church world would never fully realize what happened in their midst.
1944 - 1945 - To make way for the "Prophetic Ministry", that would usher in a "Bride Age" and "The Day of Vengeance Of Our God" (Isaiah 61:2a), principal actors in the Divine Healing End time Drama are removed from the scene - Wigglesworth, Freeman, and McPherson - within months of each other they passed on in 1944 - 45.
The Prophet Is Given Instructions
1946 - Just before God removed the last of these principal actors who had bridged the gap between Azusa Street and the NEW outpouring that was about to begin, He sent His Angel to the Prophet whom He had driven into the wilderness. He found the Prophet pulled back into a Cave, desperate to understand WHY God had given such a peculiar ministry to him. Here, in the cave, in 1946 William Branham received a commission to take a Message of Divine healing to the world. This would attract the attention of the people to a "prophetic" ministry that had a Message from the Lord. The Gentile world would NEVER again witness the type of ministry which was now waiting to be ushered unto the stage in this End Time Drama.
1946 - In 1946 something else was also happening - God was preparing a shelter for the Ministry and Message which He would send through the Prophet. A shelter would be needed until the time was ripe for the final phase of the Prophet's commission. In 1946 the Lord began to heal the cracks and splits which had appeared in the Azusa Street Revival many years previous. They began to unite with a 'common hunger' for a 'new outpouring' of the Holy Ghost. God was creating in their hearts a call for what He was about to do.
NOTE: The Book: ALL Things Are Possible - Page 18: last Para.
A Void In The Divine Healing Revival
1947 - To deepen this hunger and thirst for a fresh manifestation of God's power, the last actor that had come out of the 1906 Revival was removed from the End time scenario - Bro. Charles Price died in 1947, creating a VOID in the ministry of Divine Healing. Brother Branham was, as yet unknown by those who were directly associated with the Pentecostal Revival. He did not move in Pentecostal circles - he was a Baptist, preaching a non-denominational Message. Under this veil God kept His Prophet hidden until the time of his revealing to the church.
A Prophet Steps In to Fill The Void
1947 - With the passing of Bro. Price and the 'deeper' hunger and thirst for the Holy Ghost, the stage was set for a quick, short, End time Revival - In 1947 the Revival erupted with astonishing force.
NOTE: The Book: All Things Are Possible - Page 21.
1947 - 1952: Spearheaded by William Branham, the Divine Healing Revival spread worldwide. NEVER BEFORE was there such an interest in Divine Healing and especially in the "unique" ministry of this little man from Kentucky - his ministry was unlike any other Evangelist, comparable only to that of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Old Testament Prophets. One contemporary Evangelist stated that if they put William Branham in one side of a scale, it would take at least 24 of the most successful Evangelists of that day, in the other side of the scale to make it balance. And the people came by the hundreds of thousands to watch as this Humble Servant of God saw vision after vision and discerned the thoughts and intents of the hearts of the people.
1948 - As William Branham moved to the center stage in 1948, the End time Revival exploded and out of this came hundreds of other Evangelists - the world (especially the church world) would be given one LAST chance to repent and stay with the Word. BUT as the next few years reveal - this was not to be.
1948 - In 1948 the Law of contrast also came into play in this End time Drama. There was Cain and Abel; Isaac and Ishmael; Jesus and Judas; and now, in 1948 we see NEW forces come on the scene which would, eventually, move the people away from the "God-Word-centered" Revival being spearheaded by William Branham.
In 1948 Billy Graham's ministry started in Los Angeles.
1948 - 1956 - As a direct influence of Brother Branham's ministry, the Latter Rain movement began in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1948. The emphasis was on the 'laying on of hands', Divine healing, baptism of the Holy Spirit, holiness and Prophecy (misplaced). From 1948 - 1956 this movement spread far and wide. Up to 1956 they remained strong supporters of Bro. Branham's ministry BUT within a few short years this would change. Compromise for the sake of popularity and/or money was already taking it's toll among many of the brethren.
1952 - In 1952 the Latter Rain (so-called) movement split into two groups - One group consisted of hundreds of Evangelists building their own ministries, locked in a struggle to become "the" number one ministry. Eventually, the ministries became more professional, more entertaining and abominable in the sight of God. The Second group became the Full Gospel Businessmen International and from 1952-1956 Brother Branham was well-accepted as a prophet ordained of God among the inner-core of the Christian Business men. He was to many, the Prophet-Watchman of this body. Many times he was their main speaker. BUT as with the Latter Rain brethren, so also with the Christian Businessman, compromise would take it's serious toll among them.
1955 - BUT God wasn't finished yet. In 1955 He sent His Angel to inform Brother Branham that a Third and final phase of his ministry was approaching. This was predestinated ministry, with a predestinated "beginning" and a predestinated "end". Then it would be left with the people to accept or reject the Message - the "Arm of the Lord Revealed" to this end time generation.
1956 - Almost immediately after the Angel came to the Prophet in 1955 to further instruct him concerning his ministry, the Christian Businessmen's movement began to compromise and move away from the Word to a social Gospel. In 1956 the Charismatic Ecumenical Renewal 'spirit' began to "Usurp the Authority of the Prophet" among the Christian Businessmen.
1956 - On the Evening of June 26, 1956 a "Warning" is given. Brothers Shakarian, Krause, Sonmore and Bro. Branham Met together to discuss what was happening in the Full Gospel Businessmen's Movement. The Spirit spoke by prophecy saying, "Up, Sanctify, separate and cleanse the people! Sanctify yourselves against 'tomorrow'. For Thus Saith The Lord God of Israel, 'There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee. Thou canst not stand before thine enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you. 'In the morning' you shall be brought before me for self-judgment, and if not heeded, then I will judge you."
On June 27, 1956 in the 'morning' service, Brother Branham was the speaker. That morning disobedience ruled and the Voice of God's prophet was not heeded.
1956 - 1962 - Both the Latter Rain Brethren and the Christian Businessmen's movements gradually pulled away from Brother Branham. By 1962 almost every door in the country was closed in the Prophet's face. WHY??? Because He REFUSED to compromise on the Word.
1962 - The Prophet had come to the "Present Stage" of his ministry. On September 8th. of that year he preached a Message entitled "The Present Stage Of My Ministry". The Third Pull, the final phase of his ministry was at hand. The Word-Mystery of God would be revealed and the Latter Rain Brethren and the Christian Businessman would have no cloak for their unbelief.
1963 - The Mystery of the Seven Seals is revealed; the Mystery of God is finished. In Jan. of 1963 Brother Branham "indicted" the Christian Businessmen's movement. (See Message: "Identification 1-23-63 - last few pages") Again the Spirit spoke by prophecy. Before leaving the platform, Bro. Branham screamed with a loud voice, "COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE". It is finished!
1963 - The Whole Ecclesiastical system is INDICTED by the Prophet. They had gone beyond the line between mercy and judgment.
1963 - 1977 - The Entire Ecclesiastical system moves out into Spiritual Darkness. In his vision of the Bride, the prophet saw it go to perdition.
1977 - Forward... - From Here the Bride moves into union (oneness) with the Word - no denomination, or organization, JUST the Word pointing, not to man, but to Our Lord Jesus Christ, His 2nd. Coming, the Resurrection and the Rapture.
What would you have been believing in 1906, 1922 - 47; 1948 - 1963; 1963 - 1977?
Make your calling and election SURE by the Revealed Word - the Finished Mystery
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