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1This morning we have finally arrived at the text for this sermon of brother Branham’s which he calls Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed. In his text brother Branham reads from Colossians chapter one, so if we would open our Bibles to Chapter One of the Book of Colossians.
2Now, brother Branham says in paragraph 51 “Now, I want to read some out of the Scriptures. And I trust now, that you've got your pencils and papers and everything ready. And, Brother Neville, you're setting still; I'm just going to take my coat off. Excuse me for taking off my coat, but this is awfully warm up here.
52 Now, I want you to turn to the Book of Colossians, the 1st chapter of Colossians. And then, while we read this, beginning with... I want you, when you go home, to read the entire chapter of these Colossians. But I want you to read this morning with me from the 15th verse, 29th inclusive. And now, just be as patient as you can, for I feel that in this here, if God will help me, will reveal and bring into your mind all these other things that I have talked on all through the days of the Tabernacle: why I have said what I've said, and why I have done what I have done. This is why.
4Now, notice he is cautioning us to be very careful and patient in how we read the Scripture. Too many people just brush over God’s Word and that is how they miss what God has for them. They do not read God’s Word patiently, slowly and with purpose.
5I remember after 50 – 60 hours of preaching and teaching in Kinshasa Congo in 2004 I had several brothers come up to me after the meetings we over, and they said, “well, one thing for sure we have learned this week, and that is how to read our Bibles.”
6You see too many people make the mistake of reading this love letter like they would read a book. But my wife, bless her heart, she still has the love letters I wrote to her when we were courting, and when you write a love letter, or read it, and if you know it is to you, or about you, you read it with more purpose and patience to glean everything you can get out of that letter.
7As brother Branham said when he would read the letters from his wife while he was oversea’s for any length of time, he said in her letters to me, I could read between the lines. And when you begin to patiently read God’s thoughts that he had penned down by the scribes over the ages, when you read His thoughts patiently, and carefully, you begin to see things that 99% of all people miss, and seems to just go right on past them.
9 Now, from the 15th verse... Who is the image of the invisible God, (Now listen to these words, He’s speaking about Jesus here, and he calls him the image of the invisible God. Now that tells us that there are two involved here, one “Who is the invisible God” and the other “Who is the very image of that invisible God”.)
14Hebrews 1:1 God, The invisible One, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers through the prophets, (The invisible one using the bodies of His visible prophets to speak through) 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; So we see here the Great Invisible God entered into the Body of His Son to speak through and manifest Himself to the world, that the world might know the Invisible One. 3 Who (the son of God, the visible one) being the brightness (being the illumination) of His (God the invisible one, being the illumination of His) glory,(His Doxa, His values, His opinions, His judgments) and the express image of his person, (not just image of God’s person but the expressed Image of the invisible One. In other words, “The Image” that has been set forth, “The Image” that completely manifested or that completely communicated the essence of the invisible one. And when it speaks of complete manifestation or complete communication, it speaks of fullness and nothing short of fullness.) and upholding all things (and Paul said in other verses, that we are “all things” in Christ. So he upholds us,) by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (so it wasn’t about Him, it was about us. He didn’t come into this world to manifest the invisible One for Himself, He came into this world to express, to manifest, to communicate the invisible one for us.) 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
16Oh, if we could only see that eternal Life is living for others. Remember what I read to you from the Transliteration called the Message a few weeks ago from Romans 8. Let me read it again for you so that you might see what Paul is speaking of here in the book of Colossians and why Brother Branham read this Scripture for his opening text to this masterpiece of a sermon.
17Romans 8: 5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored. 9-11But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's! 12-14So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! 15-17This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!
18Therefore in reading this from the King James version we will do so with the exception that when you read the word flesh, insert into your thinking the word self. Because when you read the word flesh you automatically think this speaks of others, and not yourself. But when you substitute the word self for flesh you can mnot hide behind words, you must face up to them.
19Romans 8:5 For they that are after self do mind the things of self; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are self cenntered cannot please God.9 But ye are not self centered, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to self, to live after self, 13 For if ye live after self, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do put under submission the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
20Therefore in getting back to Colossians, 1 and reading from paragraph 15: Who is the image of the invisible God, Now notice His Life, it was not about Himself, His Life was about expressing His Father, the firstborn of every creature: (Not about Him, but firstborn means the first along with others) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible... invisible, whether they be thrones,... dominions,... principalities,... powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him “all things” (that’s you and I) consist. And he is the head of the body (not alone, but the head of the body suggesting His role as a leader of the body, so he was made for the body), the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; (The first born from the dead, therefore the first to taste death for the other born ones.) that in all things he might have preeminence. (Now, these words here doesn’t mean that he might be the big shot. The word pre-eminence means the focus. He was the firstborn of creation that others might follow his footsteps. He was the firstborn from among the dead so others will know how to die and rise again. You see, he was the trail blazer, the one who had to cut the path through life and death so that others might follow in his footsteps. Now, listen, the hardest job is to be first, because you are the one who has to do the trailblazing, the hacking down a path, for others simply to follow. His whole being was about living for others.)
21For it pleased the Father that in him should be all fullness dwell;--should all fullness dwell;... (Let me put a little emphasis on that again--this 19th verse.)For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
23Now, let’s read on about our eldest brother Jesus. “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, (Now, who was that peace made for? It certainly was not made for Him? He is the prince of Peace. He didn’t need to make peace with God, so we are told here that the cross that he bore made peace for you and me. So again we see his whole purpose of being was to do for others.)
Let’s continue, “by him to reconcile “all things” (again it is us, the all things that this scripture is pointing to.) unto himself, by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven...
24Now, notice again, he is talking about something that Jesus did for you and me. By Him, he reconciled us unto Himself. Now, He needed no reconciliation with the Father but you and I did. And by what he did, becoming the head of our body, he brought us into reconciliation with the Father through the cross which he bore alone on Calvary.
25Now, brother Branham says here, (Watch where that reconciliation went.) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your own mind by your own wicked works, you now has he reconciled. So it was not your own mind, nor your own works that reconciled you to God. Your own mind and your own works were here called wicked. But this is what He did for you. He did not do this for himself. His mind and his works pleased the Father, not like your works and your mind which were wicked. In the body of his flesh, in the body of His own self, through death, (which means which he died to his own self in order) to present you holy... unblameable... unreproveable in his sight:
26Now, look, Jesus died to self to present you as holy, to present you as unblameable, to present you as unreproveable in his sight. Now, in your sight, you are not blameless, and In your sight you are not holy, and in your sight you are no unreproveable,. But what He did for you makes you holy, makes you unblameable, makes you unreproveable. So he didn’t do it for himself, he did it for you.
27Now, let’s continue with Colossians 1. “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and not be moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, (Now, notice what Paul is saying here. I Paul was made a minister for you. Now a minister is someone who ministers to others. A minister is not a big shot, but a servant. Jesus example to the 12 was that if they wished to lead, they must become the servant of all, because Jesus lead by serving others.)
28John 13:12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
29So there is a joy and a blessing in the doing thereof. But why then is it just the opposite among the preachers and laity. It seems the people serve the preachers instead of visa a versa as Christ laid down the example and pattern for us to follow. Well the answer is self. If we are living for self it will manifest, but if we are living for others that will manifest as well. And to live for others is eternal life, whereas to live for self all you have to look forward to is death.
32In the Book of Isaiah 53:5 we are given prophecies about Christ… But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; (you see self there again? To our own way, that is self all the way…) and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
33Look, this is becoming very clear here that his life wasn’t lived for him, it was lived for you and me. His sacrifice was not for him, it was for you and me. Then how can we sit back and think of self, when our example seed, when our pattern lived for others. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him;(Look, It pleased God to bruise Him not for what he did, but for what you and I did.) he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
34Again and again we see that his grief, his suffering was not for what he did. He was pure, and holy and true and just, and in him there was no guile, not deceit. Yet the scripture says, by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
36Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, (that means for the maturing of the saints and notice what else for.) for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (of the building up) of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, (The revelation of Jesus Christ) and of the knowledge of the Son of God, (not knowledge about the son of God, but His knowledge, as Paul said in Colossians 1: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many)
37So it is the work of the five fold to get across to the people this knowledge of the righteous servant, the son of God, that everything about him was for you and me. His life, His love, His role in the family. Nothing about him was for himself, but everything about him was for you and me. And when that knowledge I assimilated into the Children of God they become no more children.
38But become “unto a perfect man, unto the measure (the metron, the portion) of the stature (or character) of the fullfilling of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;15 But speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into him (May grow up into Who? Into Him, in His image, be conformed into the image of the first born son)
40So Paul continues in Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into him (That we may grow up into and be conformed into the image of the first born son) in “all things”, which is the head, even Christ:
41Notice that we might grow up into him in all things, and remember we are the all things in Christ. So this tells us that we are to grow up to be just like Jesus Christ the eldest son, when it comes to dealing with “all things” which is the body of Christ. And what does that mean? It means we no longer live for self like a young baby lives for self. But as grown ones, we are no more children, we have become identified as sons.
42You see most people do not understand what I have been teaching concerning the spirit of adoption. The purpose of the spirit of adoption is to take us from being children to sons, and once we have grown up and become sons, we are now walking and talking in the image of the first born son.
43In every family when you have little children you have to feed them, and cloth them, and shelter them, and tend to their affections, and their pains and their general welfare. But when they grown out of childhood and become more mature, they are now able to take on a role in the family and tend to things to help the family, and to assist in the families welfare. Every household chore is in effect learning to do for others. It is this child training that the comforter gives back the report to the heavenly father about his son or daughter. Because there are three basic steps we go through before we become joint heirs.
44The first is the stage as children, which we are not a child of God until we are born into the family by the new birth. Then we begin on milk, and as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect (which is mature or fully grown) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, and I understood as a child, because I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things and childish thinking. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
45So those who think like a child will act like a child, and the Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
46Therefore it is this knowledge of the son of God, his knowledge on how to live for others is what changes a person from a baby to an adult. Just look at a child, they are the most selfish people on earth. Everything in their life revolves around them. And when you see this attitude among people that is totally into “self”, you are dealing with children, and not sons who have received the spirit of adoption.
47Now, I will have to get into this a bit more on Wednesday night because right now, I am getting away from my text, so I must get back on track. But Wednesday night I will show you how there are three stages to our Son-ship. First we are children, then we become under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the Father. That is where we are now. You can’t tutor a young child, all you can do for them is nourish, and provide for their needs. But when their minds develop and they begin to see the bigger picture, we then can begin to train them to be in the image of the Father, and that is what we train them for, until one day all their thoughts are as thought coming forth from the Father himself, and they are ready for inheritance or to become heirs in which they not only receive a certain portion of the estate, but they are also ready to take on the responsibility of that estate.
48You see, our Father is a King, a Judge and Priest, and we have been called to become Kings and Priests, that is the estate, and that is what we are hear to and to be a King Is not just to have the wealth of the kingdom, but it also means having the responsibility of the welfare of that Kingdom as well.
Anyway, in getting back to Ephesians 4: we will pick up at verse 16 where Paul said we have all grown up and are no more children, and so then he says, “From whom the whole body fitly joins together and compacts by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. In other words, we come to the place where all our energies are directed towards the rest of the body, to the place of making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
50Notice we see the same ting in Isaiah 53: 12 Therefore (after living a life of self sacrificial in nature, God says) will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; (that speaks of the inheritance. And we receive inheritance after the testing has been completed and we have been found to be about our fathers business.) will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
52And notice back in Colossians 1 after the Apostle Paul has spoken of the self-less Son of God, he then says, Whereof I am made a minister, ( I am made a servant) according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you,(notice not for my benefit but for yours) to fulfill the Word of God; Even the mystery which has been hidden from age and from generation, but now is made manifest to his saints:...and then brother Branham says, (And I want to read that verse again.)... Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory (of the Doxa, of the values and opinions and judgments of God) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the opinions and values of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”: Whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to the working, which worketh in me mightily.
53Oh, I hope you see what the Apostle Paul and now brother Branham is driving home. He is talking about Christ, the anointing for service being in you, which is your hope or earnest expectation of coming into the full Doxa, the full Glory or having the values, opinions, and judgments of God.
Now, brother Branham goes on to say in paragraph 53 Now, for a text, I want to take out of there this for a text, basing it upon the entire Bible, but I want to title this "Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed," “Christ” being the mystery of God revealed. Now, I took it in order as a Sunday school lesson so we could all read together and have this fellowship together.
Now, I think we will leave off here until Wednesday night when we pick up where we left off and we will go more into the three stages of Son-ship, or from a child of God to a son of God to a joint-heir with Christ, because we will need this understanding for a background before we proceed further into this wonderful Message from Br. Branham called Christ is The Mystery of God Revealed. You see, that is why I have been preaching on the spirit of Adoption for the past 7 years. I am trying to get us from being children to becoming sons, so we can go on to becoming joint heirs with Christ.
56Because brother Branham said if you are not the right kind of a son, there will be no inheritance for you. And I am afraid there are a lot of people who have been storing up treasure on earth, and will be missing much treasure where moth doth not eat, nor rust can canker. It is not enough to know about Christ you must know Him. You must enter into the fellowship of His suffering. Let me say this one more time to make it stick before we go to prayer. “It is not enough to Know Christ you must not only put on Christ but you must become Christ.”