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2Before we read, I would like to note that most everyone that has ever preached concerning this parable have focused on the fact that this Tree had no fruit, and do so Jesus Cursed the tree. And so they turn their thoughts on the scene where Jesus actually curses the fig tree and they say he cursed it because it had no fruit. And so many a sermon have then gone forth emphasizing the necessity to bear much fruit as though it is the essential thing to do, and without bearing much fruit you may find yourself cursed.
3Now, I do not believe that is what this parable is about for one minute. It may be true that the Bible teaches us that we should bear fruit, but I do not believe for one minute that the tree was cursed because it did not bear fruit, nor because it lacked fruit, and we will see why I say this in a few minutes. But first let’s read this parable in Luke chapter 13.
Luke 13:6 ¶ He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
6And that is the same evaluation that every missionary must make when he spends energy and funding in certain regions of the globe. Is there fruit being produced in this region, or is this just a waste of time and money because the people just do not seem to be progressing in the Word.
7But look what the Husbandry man said, 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
8Now, notice the compassion that the husbandry man had for the tree. And notice the response of this husband man of the vineyard. He in essence is saying, "Lord there might be a reason why this tree is not producing fruit. Let’s first do all we can to fertilize it, and create the right environment around it, and then let’s see if it will produce or not".
Now, that is a very wise thing that was said here because many times we expect people in the church to produce when they have not even been taught the basic principles of Christianity.
Therefore, there are three points that make up this parable.
Number 1 – The Fig Tree Itself.
Number 2 – The fact that the Fig tree has no Fruit.
Number 3 – Judgment awaits the results of the Fig Trees ability to produce fruit.
To begin with, let’s examine point Number 1 – the Fig Tree Here we must ask ourselves what is the significance of the parable being about a tree? Why a Tree?
From his sermon His Unfailing Words Of Promise 64-0120 pp. 31 brother Branham says, "But here's what Jesus was speaking to my most humble opinion, was that He said, that this generation, in other words, the generation that saw the fig tree putting forth his buds. See, He said here, "And when the fig tree is begin, is tender and putteth forth its branches, you say summer is nigh. Likewise (See?), when you see all these things, know the time..." When you see all these three questions fulfilled, the time is at the door. That generation that sees the fig tree...
9And we showed you a few weeks ago that a generation lives 70 years and if per chance with good health eighty as we see in Psalms 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; (a score is twenty so threescore and ten is three times 20 plus ten or seventy years.) and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, (20 times 4 equals 80 years) yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
10Now, let's get back to what brother Branham is teaching us here. "And the fig tree is always Israel. And when Israel goes back to her homeland and becomes a nation, that generation will not pass away until these things are all fulfilled. And Christian friends tonight in this great scruple in the Scriptures, that people think is scrupled, we're now living to see the very... Everything that He has said here is fulfilled, just the next thing's for His coming.
A little later on in the Book of Luke we find Jesus telling another parable about a fig tree as well.
11Luke 21:29 ¶ And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Now, notice that Jesus is talking in a parable and he tells the people that when the fig tree which we know is represented in Israel because the country is identified with its fig trees, that when this Fig Tree, Israel is beginning to put forth its bud, which means when it begins to produce the fruit it was meant to produce, then we know that the summer or the end is nearing.
Again let's turn to Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Now, in this parable we are also dealing with Israel. Because the Fig Tree represents Israel. That is her Tree that grows everywhere throughout that country. And we can know Israel was declared the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, and therefore 70 years from then will be May 14, 2018. Now, I do not know if there is any significance to this date since it was May 17, 1963 that The Lord appeared in the cloud over Tucson.
Now, this is significant because a Vindicated prophet told us that Noah entered into the ark on may 17 as well, and then the clouds came...
12On the wings of a dove 65-1128E P:33 Noah was given a sign, as the brother just sang about it. God was displeased, and there was nothing going to stay His wrath, for He said, "The day you eat thereof, that day you die." And Noah had found grace with God and had built an ark according to the instructions, that He had given him. And he had been floated up. I can imagine what happened in them days when they said, "This old man up on the hill, an old fanatic, building an ark, saying it's going to rain, it never has rained." But it...Noah said, "It's going to rain anyhow."And then I know the day that he went in, I think what... can't think of what day it was, I believe the seventeenth day of May. Noah entered into the ark, and God shut the door. And the clouds begin to come; the rains begin to fall; the sewers begin to fill up; the fountains of the deep broke up; the springs all belched up their water. Finally people got into the houses, climbed up. The old ark set right there just the same. After while when enough begin to get around her, she begin to rise up higher and higher. The people knocked at the doors and screamed, but it did no good, Noah could not open the door. God closed it; God's the only One can open it. So is it at our Ark, Jesus Christ; God opened the door for us on Calvary, He'll close it just as sure as He opened it.
13Again we see in the Book of Mark this same parable being told.
Mark 13:28 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
Now, this brings us to the second point we want to speak on concerning the fruit, because Jesus is not just speaking of The Fig Tree, but He is speaking of The Fig tree that has no fruit. And we see an episode in his life that is exactly what this parable is all about.
Matthew 21:18 ¶ Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
14Now, notice closely that this is the key to this scene in Jesus Life. He was hungry and so he noticed a fig tree and he went out of his way to get something to eat from this tree. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
15Now, the question is, “why did Jesus curse this particular fig tree?” You might say, “well, it is because it had no fruit on it”, and yet we find this same parable told in several other places in Scripture and the indication is, that it was not yet the season for the fruit to be on the tree. So we must ask the question, why did Jesus Curse this Tree.
In Mark 11:12 we read, ¶ And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
2414 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.
Therefore without knowing what it was that Jesus was looking for in that tree to eat, we will not understand why he cursed it. Now, let’s read on in this story picking up at verse 19.
Mark 11:19 And when even was come, he went out of the city. 20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw The fig tree dried up from the roots.
2621 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Now, Jesus is not telling them that they can go around and just start speaking and those things are supposed to happen. What He is teaching them is about How to approach Faith.
27Remember, Jesus did nothing unless the Father showed Him first. we all know that very well. That is John 5:19 and 30. And that is always the key in our having Faith, and manifesting our faith to others. It’s not what you want, but what God has shown you, that’s what you want. Faith is a Revelation. Not an action.
If Faith is a revelation, then Faith is based on someone, God, revealing to you something. Therefore, Has God made the promise or has God not made the promise?
30Jesus was not just some simple man that went around showing off his power he had received from His Father. There was a specific thing he was looking for in that tree and when he did not find that certain thing, He knew that the Tree was already cursed, and thus He could pronounce what God had already shown him.
In his book "The Life and Tgimes of Jesus the Messiah" written by Alfred Edersheim in 1883, it states “Around 1881, Edersheim was writing about Jesus thrusting his hand into the branches of a fig tree and withdrawing it without fruit. Putting a curse upon the tree. It occurred to Dr. Edersheim that Jesus was tried and crucified in the spring, and that the fig tree did not bear fruit until the early days of summer. Edersheim was certain he had caught the Messiah in a poorly devised example. He put his pen away, packed his bags and took a steamer from Liverpool to the Holy Land. The time was spring. He would not write another line until he learned what Jesus had in mind. After an exhaustive journey, he rode an animal from Haifa to Jerusalem, dismounted and looked for a fig tree. Finding one, he reached into the branches, and drew out his hand, and found he had a few leaves from the previous autumn, and some round gray substances. They looked like lozenges. Edersheim sought out several pedestrians until he found one that could speak German. He was told that the little gray objects were edible. That travelers used them to postpone hunger until they could reach an inn. "Unless you find those on the tree branches in the spring," he was told, "the tree will not bear fruit in the summer." So the German scholar returned to Germany where he continued to write "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah" which is an all time classic.
Now, what I want to bring to your attention here is that it was not figs, that Jesus was looking for, but fruit or evidence that this fig tree was capable of bringing forth fruit. In the Book of Jeremiah we are given a story that is an allegory which represents Israel and its people being typed with the fig.
31Jeremiah 24:1 ¶ The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. 6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. 8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: 9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. 10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
32Now, this brings us to the fruit itself. In the book of James 3:12 we read, Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
In other words, we are to bear what we are ordained to bear. Every seed must bring forth after its own kind or nature. Therefore, by our nature we bear what we bear, and we cannot bear anything other than what we were made to bring forth. Therefore we must look at the fruit to know the significance of this parable.
34Now it is not as though God has two laws, but the Two laws are the law of blessing and the law of cursing. And we find that it all boils down to How we respond to the Voice of God. If we hearken to it, we are blessed, and that blessing will come up upon us, and before we are fully aware of what is happening, it will overtake our situation.
35Deuteronomy 28:1 ¶ And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: 14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Now, I want you to notice that for every blessing God has promised and every circumstance that we are to be blessed in, God has also set to be cursed in those very same things as well. But it all depends on your attitude towards the voice of God.
Deuteronomy 28:15 ¶ But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: 16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
36Now, I am going to stop short of reading the entire chapter for time sake, but you can read it for yourself to see that the same things we are blessed in we can be cursed in and it all depends on how we show respect to the Voice of the Lord of God.
Notice then, it is not your fruit that brings on a curse, and it is not what you do, or do not do that brings forth a blessing or curse, but it is your attitude and respect or lack of respect you have towards God and His word.
That is what the apostle Paul plainly teaches in Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, Who is willing to shew His wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath that had fitted themselves to destruction: 23 And what if He did that to make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
In other words, what if God allows the darkness of night in order to show forth the brightness and splendor of the day. What if he allows bad people in order to show forth those that are good? What if God allows storms and rain in order to bring forth freshness after the rain. You know how good the air smells after the rain and lightning? Well, God doesn’t do things for no reason at all. As Solomon said, "There is a purpose and a season for everything God does under the sun". God is very exact in what He does, and has a purpose for everything He does under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ¶ To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; (in other words a harvest time and season) 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
And God has a purpose behind everything. Then what is the purpose of the tree being cursed? Because that tree could not be cursed unless it was first cursed in heaven.
37And that is the key to our prayer and our faith. Acknowledging what God has already done. Jesus knew that tree was already cursed and could not bring forth fruit, even before the season and thus then could speak those words of curse to it, because it had already come under a curse, and the fact that it did not have in it the essentials to be able to produce the desired fruit is why it could be cursed. The curse is not because of what it did or did not do. The curse is done in heaven and then just spoken or acknowledged on earth. Our words declare what God has already pronounced.
Point number 2) The Fruit
1st, we must understand the fruit shows there is life in the tree, Therefore without any fruit there is no representation of life in it to begin with. Then therefore, all you have remaining is just a form. And Jesus warned us that in the end time people would have a form of Godliness (God-likeness) but would deny the Power there of, and the power is the Manifestation of the Revelation.
38Romans 1:16 the Word of God is the Power of God unto salvation.
Therefore, we see in point number 2 that the fruit is an indication that the tree is producing something for someone, and it is good for something. No fruit, shows it is of no use to others, but just taking up space, and getting in the way. That is why Jesus said, ; why cumbereth it the ground? or why let it take up good ground when it is not utilizing what the ground has to offer.
39And I wonder sometimes if he doesn't think that today when we have people in Laodicea who are just lukewarm concerning Christ and service in His Kingdom.
Point number 3, The fruit represents the teaching for the season.
40This is very Important because when he reached in to see what fruit it had, there was not teaching there at all. And without any teaching, which is doctrine, the tree is fit for just one thing, and that is for fire wood. In other words a church or people without doctrine is fit only for destruction and the fire of the tribulation period.
41From his sermon Anointed ones at end time 65-0725M P:42 brother Branham said, "Notice. But it's what they produce that tells you the difference. "By their fruit," Jesus said, "you shall know them." Man does not gather grapes off of a thistle even though the thistle be right in the grapevine. That could be possible, but the fruit will tell it. What is the fruit? The Word for the, fruit for the season; that's what it is, their teaching. The teaching of what? The teaching of the season, what time it is, man's doctrine, denominational doctrine, or God's Word for the season.
42Therefore, he said by their teaching of the season you will know whether they are God's seed or not. By what they teach this message is. By what they teach that the Message for this season is. Do they just point to a man? or to the God who came down and used that man. Do they just point you to the tapes? or to what is taught on those tapes.
46From his sermon Invasion of the USA 54-0509 P:46 Brother Branham said, "I, sometimes I think of my ministry, and see people come. And I'd get in a hotel room, say, "God, who's the people coming to see, me or You?" See? "If they're coming to see me, they're lost yet; but, O God, tear me down and take me away. I want to represent You, the One Who'll stand before someday with trembling hands and trembling, feeble body, looking at You, knowing that my soul hangs by Your decision." Let us exalt Christ.
47In closing let me share a quote that the Starks shared with me this week, from his sermon You must be born again 61-1231M P:18 Brother Branham said, "Into the Presence of the living God we come now, soberly, and in the fear of Him, we come in the Name of the Lord Jesus, knowing that we could not come and saying, "Now, Father, here is William Branham, or, Armand Neville," or whoever we might be, we would be turned down quickly. But we have the assurance that He said, "If you ask the Father anything in My Name, it'll be granted." So I don't guess I could get, using my name, anything from Him. But I know that when I use His Son's Name, then I get my petition, for it's in Him that I trust. It's in Him that we live and have our being. And we're grateful this morning, God, for all that He means to us, and that's our complete life and being."
48Now, hopefully you will have understood that this sermon was to help us to understand how we are to approach Faith, and there is only One Faith and that is the Faith of the Son of God, which is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. And if we approach God in any other way than through His Son, we can be pretty much guaranteed we will not receive anything from the Lord.
49Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
50Ephesians 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Access by the faith of Who? He's talking about Jesus Christ, and we have access through the faith or revelation of Jesus Christ. Not revelation of William Branham and who he is, because he even said of himself,
51Influence 63-1130B P:56 If you want to find how great you are, put your finger down in a pool of water, or a bucket of water, then pull your finger out and try to find where you put your finger. You're nothing. God can do without you, He can do without me, but we can't do without Him. We've got to have Him, for He is Life, and He alone. Not to know His Book, not to know this, or know that, or know the creed, but to know Him is Life, know Him as the Person, Christ in you, the Word made flesh in you. That's knowing Him. When you and He becoms one, like I said last night in "The Super Sign." He's got to come in you: you. God and man must come one. You're conscious of your littleness.
52Influence 63-0112 P:58 Now, they had two wings over their feet. What was that? Humility in His Presence. Moses took off his shoes in the Presence of God. Paul fell down to the ground, to kiss the ground, as it was. He was in the Presence of God. John the Baptist said, "I'm not even worthy to loose the shoes on His feet."Wings over their feet, humility, watching where they walk, what they do, realizing they're on holy ground. Oh, if we would do that, we'd never walk in these places that's wrong. We'd never do these things that's wrong. Now, notice. Always... Listen. Be conscious of your littleness. Who are you? Stick your finger in a bucket of water and pull it out, and find the hole you put your finger in. Then say, "That was me." You're nothing. You'll not be missed after, a little while after you're gone. They'll have a funeral possession out here, and that's all. But your influence will live on, and on, and on.
53Why little Bethlehem 63-1214 P:25 One of my little girls was asking the other day about importancy. I said... Well, talking about some important man... Why, it was the President that was just assassinated, and our hearts was grieved over it. And I said, "Well, he was important man." The papers played it up, and the television shot it, billions and billions of dollars it cost the government to broadcast that. Which that's all right; that's their business. But I said... This little Pentecostal preacher up there in Carolina, that a man walked in, a drunk with his shotgun, called for his wife, and shot the man plumb out of the pulpit, then shot his wife, and shot himself, a little piece in the back of the paper about that big. Let me tell you, brother, no matter who we are, "You want to know how important you are," I said to my little girl, "Stick your finger in a bucket of water and pull it out, and try to find the hole." We're nothing. There's only One important; that's God. We must remember He's the One.
54Just remember, and never forget what the Apostle Paul told us concerning our relationship with God. He said in Hebrews 11:6 But without faith (and there is only one Faith and that is the faith of that One Lord and since faith is a revelation, therefore we can read this as "without the revelation of Jesus Christ") it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he (God) is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
55And in closing let's read from Matthew 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; (you know I hear people all across the country quote that with much pride, but you never hear the other half of this which says,) and he that receiveth a righteous man (a rightly wise man) in the name of a righteous man (a rightly wise man) shall receive a righteous man's reward. Now, we all can name a prophet but can we name a rightly wise man?
57From Brother Branham's book entitled The Seven Church Ages Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age P:140 Brother Branham said, "In every age we have exactly the same pattern. That is why the light comes through some God-given messenger in a certain area, and then from that messenger there spreads the light through the ministry of others who have been faithfully taught.
There's your pattern, and in Matthew 10:41 Jesus said, "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's rewardand he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
58Now, listen, he said you must receive that prophet in the name of that prophet so if you cannot receive what William Branham taught and if you try to bypass the name of that prophet when teaching others, you have not received what that prophet taught in the name of that prophet. There are a lot of men who try to teach some of the things William Branham taught but give no credit to the man. And so they teach without any acknowledgement of the prophet by name. Then, though they teach some of what he taught they will receive nothing of his reward. And he also said, you must receive the rightly wise man in the name of that rightly wise man, and Br. Vayle was a righteous man, he was a rightly wise man, and if you cannot receive that righteous man in the name he came with, you will not receive that righteous man's reward.
59There are a lot of people who try to teach what brother Vayle taught but stay clear of ever identifying with the man, and they will not receive the reward associated with that righteous man either. I have always identified my ministry with his and brother Branham's because the light came to the prophet and br. Vayle was faithfully taught by William Branham and then he mentored me, and I was faithful to shut up and listen, and then not just stop their but asked him to identify scripture with things he taught so Zi could then faithfully teach others.
60And to me that Scripture where Jesus says in Matthew 10:41 "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's rewardand he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
61To me to receive the name of the prophet and the name of the righteous man is like the pre-fruit of the fig tree, the little gray objects in the fig tree, the pre fruit that travelers used to eat to postpone hunger. And when you receive what a prophet teaches in the name of that prophet, it takes you to the fruit which is Christ, and when you receive the righteous teaching of a righteous man it takes you to Christ, the Fruit of it all.
62From his sermon, God in simplicity 63-0317M P:21 When a minister walks into a congregation of people praying in the anointing of the Spirit, you're bound to hear from heaven. That's just all. There's no way to keep from it. But if you walk into confusion, then you're so confused, the Spirit's grieved.
63Brother Branham said in his sermon, Jesus Christ the same 56-0426 P:49 Notice, if Jesus did those things in that day, and He has raised from the dead, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He's obligated to His Word. Now, His corporal body sets at the right hand of God. You believe that, don't you? But the Holy Spirit is here working through His sanctified vessels. (notice this is plural here) And God has set in the church what? First apostles, then prophets, then teachers, then evangelists, then pastors (Is that right?), for the perfecting of the church. God has did it. It's not the preacher that preaches; it's God preaching through him. It's not the prophet that sees the vision; it's God speaking through him. "I do nothing except the Father shows Me first what to do."
64Jesus on the authority of the Word 54-0217 P:14 Always be reverent during time of the service, especially when the healing service is going on. Be open-hearted, open-minded. Just say, "Now Lord, I'm here to learn; You come teach me." See? And the Holy Spirit will teach you. If you come with a kind of a sarcastic criticism, whatever you expect to see, that's just what you'll See? If you come expecting to be just disappointed, that's the way... You'll get what you expect, always. If you come to receive, you will be expecting to receive, and you shall receive just what you expected to receive. God always does that. He's sworn to His Word. And now, maybe some things might be said that would be just a little different from your religious teachings. You might be Catholics or you might be something, other phase of religion, or some Protestant that doesn't believe in Divine healing. Whatever it is, you look at it just the way it is. Just look it from the standpoint of God's Word.
65Matthew 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.