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5This evening I would like to take a short study on the persecution of the righteous and I would like to show that the righteous have always been persecuted by the group or church that they left to seek further light.
6In order to do that I would first like to read from brother Branham's sermon, Joseph meeting his brethren 56-1230 P:42 Now, watch them two seeds: One's fighting, the evil's tried to destroy the righteous seed. And he tried to destroy Abel. He did. But, God raised up Seth to take his place. He thought he had Jesus right there. Look down through the age everywhere, Ever place he come, he cornered that seed. When he slew one or the other, he thought he had that. And finally, he took after John the Baptist. Finally, cut his head off. He thought he had him then; but he found out he was over here in Jesus. He slew all the babies. And Moses, he tried to kill Moses. He tried every way he could to destroy that seed. And when he killed Christ at Calvary, but God raised Him up again the third day. And then He sent the Holy Ghost back to call sons, daughters of God. And that same evil, religious seed is persecuting that righteous seed yet today. You see it? They're trying to destroy that righteous branch of God.
7Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
8Abel was murdered by Cain for His revelation. The Bible tells us that after God rejected Cain's sacrifice and accepted Abel's, the two of them talked in the field and shortly after that talk Cain rose up and slew his brother Abel. why? Because Abel shared the revelation with Cain and it offended him knowing he was the son of the serpent.
9It was Job a righteous man before God whose friends perscuted him because they thought the trials he was going through were because somehow he was a secret sinner. But it was God who was showing off His servant job to Satan, allowing the trials to come to show the righteous attitude of Job.
11We also see in Genesis 21:5-12 that Isaac was mocked by his older brother Esau because he was a child by promise. we see in scripture that Isaac had to be separated from his brother Ishmael, before God could bless Him. In fact Ishmael only mocked Isaac when Isaac was at the stage in his life where we was being weaned from milk to strong meat. And we find that it has been that way with those of us who have been weaned from milk to strong meat as well. When the elect of God began to take hold of this Message of God's Presence, we too were mocked and ridiculed by those who call themselves our brethren.
12Galatians 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
13We also see Jacob who also was a prophet of God who did not receive his blessings until He departed from his kin. When he got away from his kinfolk he met Rachel and then God begin to deal with him. We see in scripture how His brother Esau persecuted him and caused him to flee for his life. It was then during this persecution, and fleeing that he met Rachel, and it was not until this happened that God began to bless Him according to the blessing of the first born.
14And what of Joseph? We see in Gen 45:1-8 how God blessed Him spiritually, and set him apart from his brothers spiritually, that caused them to become angry with him. And God allowed his brothers to get so angry that they themselves separated Joseph from their presence, and they sold him into bondage. Once Joseph was alone with God and separated from His brethren, then God begin to work mightily in Joseph's life, and bring to pass the things that He ordained.
15And what of Moses? When he got around his brethren he tried to deliver them his own way, and God had to make him flee for his life. Once separated from his brethren, then God begin to deal with him until he was finally child trained and ready for the job that God had for him to do.
16Now, in each of these cases, we find that the separation from the brethren was only a beginning. Once the person, the prophet of God, was away from his brethren, then God could deal with them for the specific purpose that God had purposed. But once they were trained, in some instances, God allowed the brethren to come back into their lives again.
17Even the Apostle Paul had to separate himself from the brethren for the space of about three years and he went to the desert where he could get alone with God. Once He knew what God had for him to do he came back around to his brethren, but they rejected Him, and once again he was forced to live about 14 years away from them working with the Gentiles. Finally he returned to Jerusalem and was welcomed by some of the brethren. But what I see here is that God had a work for Paul to do that was separate from what He had for Peter and the rest of the Apostles to do. And therefore, God will, many times bring about circumstances that may seem to put you at odds with the brethren, but that is for a purpose. God has His way of using these circumstances to bring Glory to Himself. God used them here to spread the Gospel.
18And what about Jesus, raised in Galilee of Nazareth? He had to leave there as well. And it seems that so often man, being just what they are, seem to be affected by the brethren in a way which does not fit into God's provided plan. Therefore, God has to bring about a separation between brethren, in order to bring into manifestation His divine purpose. We should always keep this in mind, when we see these separations taking place and we just can not seem to understand the why's and where for's.
19We see in Genesis 1:1-11 to understand why separation is important before God can bring forth the promise. Notice that when God's word goes forth it causes separation. But notice that the separation has to do with separating unlike things. And this separation of unlike things has to take place before life can come forth into manifestation. Why? Because every seed brings forth after it's kind. And without separating first we would have a hybrid life coming forth. Therefore God separates His Prophets who are the Word manifested away from the brethren to guarantee a manifested Word that is free from the thoughts of the brethren, or the thoughts of man. Moses Stoned
20And what about brave David who slew the giant that the greatest soldiers of Israel had feared? We know that each time the persecution came, he fled from it. First with Saul, we find David fleeing into the wilderness rather than fighting openly with Saul. Saul had ben God's anointed and David didn't want to fight against God's anointed so he did the best thing he could do and he left the scene. He walked away from the fighting. Later on when his own son Absalom turned against him, David left the city as well.
Psalms 31:15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
22Now, you would have thought that David, a man after God's own Heart would have been fearless against Saul and His own Son. But what you fail to recognize is because he knew his position with God he chose rather to walk away from fighting those he loved so they would not be slain by God in the process.
23And I think that is a lesson for all of us, because sometimes Satan will enters your home to bring on a battle between husband and wife, or parent and child, and I think if you really love the other person, you do not wish for them to be harmed in any way, so it would be best to just go for a walk and get alone with God, because He offers you a peace that surpasses all understanding. Instead of girding up for a battle, because you must never forget, that person you are angry with is someone you love and have devoted your life to, So it would be better to just walk away from a battle and go get with God and pray, than to cause great harm to them knowing that God will stand with you.
25Look what happened when Sister Meda when she used words in anger against brother Branham. Joseph had said something to his motherm Meda. Look how the devil used Joseph to bring on a battle in that home, and brother Branham seeing what was coming, tried to just walked away, but he did so too late, because Meda had already said what she did in anger and God would not let that stand. She came down with a growth that almost killed her. But because of the intercession of her Husband, God spared her life.
26And what about Elijah who stood against the Jewish prophets. Yes, Jewish prophets and priests who were supposed to be serving God, yet persecuted Elijah and also caused him to flee to the wilderness where he could be alone with God.
27And then after Elijah, their was another prophet named Micaiah who also had to take a stand against all the Jewish prophets and priests. And he took hi stand on the word of the Lord as it was given to Elijah. All these men of God were mocked and made fun of and when they were persecuted they always fled to the next town or to the wilderness. They never stood their to fight. They just turned their cheek so to speak and walked away.
28Even the prophet Jeremiah after he came into the city to say what God had told him to say, left for the wilderness right after to be alone with God. He didn't stay their to fuss and fight. He spoke the Word of the Lord and then immediately departed to let the chips fall where they would.
31The same way with the Apostles. They were hunted down and persecuted by the jews, but Jesus had warned them, when they were rejected, to dust their feet and go to the next town. They were not directed to stay and put up a fight. They were instructed to walk away from conflict, and I believe that admonition is for us as well.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
32Joseph meeting his brethren 56-1230 P:47 They had signs and wonders in the camp. When John came, he was supernatural. When Jesus came, It was supernatural. And the enemy on the fundamental side always persecuted the supernatural. You see what He's trying to do today? The same thing: "Blot out Divine healing, blot out these people. There's nothing to them. The dignitary's the great people. Blot it out." Brother, it's nothing but that vine twisting through Genesis coming into Revelation. I take my side with the holy-rollers. Let it be whatever... I never seen a holy-roller. That's a name that the devil put on the Church of God when it don't belong there. They are not holy-rollers; they are sons and daughters of God misunderstood by the world.
33Serpent's seed 58-0928E P:98 That's our God, and the seed of the righteous is about run out. Talk to people about these things; talk to people about going back to the Bible way; talk to the people about miracles; talk to the people about that; their church don't believe it; so they're bastard children to God. The Bible said if we cannot bear persecution, and trials, mockeries, and called holy-rollers and so forth like that, if you can't stand it, you're bastard children and not the children of God. The Bible said so. Call me a holy-roller if you want to; call me anything you want to; as long as my heart's right with God, and my spirit matches God's Bible, I'm moving right on in the same direction.
34Church Age Book Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age P:55 That poor Smyrnaean Age was dying. When it died, it never came back. No age ever comes back. No revival ever comes back. It can't have the life of God in it by natural generation. It takes a regeneration from above. This last age started with the fires of a Pentecostal revival and they organized it right back. Instead of taking the Word they took their own ideas and did just what every age has done, substituted the manual for the Word. Just you step outside that manual and see what happens. You are out, brother. And they will persecute you and blame it on God. And how they love their organization. No wonder. They are second generation Pentecostals and since God doesn't have grandchildren they are just children of their fathers, known by their creeds and form of worship. They can talk about what used to be, but they can't produce it. Once they had the lightning but about all that is left is the thunder. But let them talk to you about the glories of their movement. They will say, "Yes sir, I want you to know that this is a move that no man started. It came spontaneously. The Spirit fell all over the world. Yes sir, we got what they had at Pentecost. This was not of men but of God." THEN WHY DIDN'T THEY KEEP IT THAT WAY? IF GOD STARTED IT HOW COME GOD COULDN'T KEEP IT AND FINISH IT? If God didn't write a handbook of creeds and formulas and dogmas to start it, then what right did they have to do that? God poured out His Spirit upon Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes, Adventists, Presbyterians, Brethren, Church of God (several so named) etc. All these brethren were brought up on different doctrines, by-laws, church manuals etc. God swept it all to one side; He destroyed their dispensational theories and restored the gifts of the Spirit, proving He is the same yesterday and today and forever. But did those Pentecostals learn their lesson about organization? No sir. They organized right back and have written their own textbooks, by-laws and church manual, fellowship book, etc. with one idea in mind, which is to prove that they now have all the truth, know all the answers, and are therefore, the elite of God who know the way and can show it unto others as God's appointed guides. But they haven't got it. They have hybridized themselves like the very groups they came out of. If they want to be in the bride they are going to have to come out exactly as did their forefathers.
352 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
36And again from the Church Age Book Chapter 9 - The Laodicean Church Age P:102 brother Branham said, Now we can see why there were two vines, one true and one false. Now we can see why Abraham had two sons, one after the flesh (that persecuted Isaac) and one after promise. Now we can see how that out of the same parents two boys came forth as twins, one knowing and loving the things of God, and the other knowing much of the same truth, but not of the same Spirit, and hence persecuted the child that was elect. God did not reprobate for the sake of reprobation. He reprobated for the sake of the elect. ELECT CANNOT persecute elect. ELECT CANNOT harm elect. It is the reprobates that persecute and destroy the elect. Oh, those reprobates are religious. They are smart. They are of the Cain line, the serpent seed. They build their Babels, they build their cities, they build their empires, and all the while calling on God. They hate the true seed, and they will do all they can, (even in the Name of the Lord) to destroy God's elect ones. But they are needed. "What is the chaff to the wheat?" No chaff, no wheat. But at the end, what happens to the chaff? It is burned with fire unquenchable. And the wheat? Where is it? It is gathered in His garner. It is where He is.
371 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 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. 16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. 17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. 18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
39Hebrews 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
42And Jesus said in John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
45And also in John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
47Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
49Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
52Now, there are very few words that he said here, and so before we begin to look at the blessing and cursing side of this issue, let's first look at to whom this blessing is to be aimed. Notice he did not say bless them that bless you, for any hypocrite can do that. Not, that we shouldn't bless them that bless us, but that is not what this scripture is about. He said, bless them that persecute you, and so it is those that would persecute you that our blessing is to be directed towards.
53Now the word persecute was translated here from a Greek word Paul used, DIOKO meaning: to follow after, to follow after with intent to harass, to press upon with the idea toward hostility. To harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief 2: to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities)
54In other words, these are people with an attitude, a chip on their shoulder, and they seem to come at you with a persistent harassment, but instead of fending them off, and doing what they do to us, we are commanded to bless them, and not curse them.