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292 Now, notice, again. Now, what's the threefold purpose? (1) Manifest Himself in Jesus Christ; (2) to come into the Body by Jesus Christ to have the preeminence to what? (3) Restore back Eden, bring back that which lost. That was the only thing out of order. All the rest of His things was in order. But He had to put man on free moral agency to fall, so that He might be a Saviour to display what's in Him (See?), His attribute of Saviour. Something had to be lost, and the very thing that man fell and became lost, He become the Saviour of that, taking His own law. And He could not do it as that great Jehovah that covered all space, time. See, He couldn't do it, and He had to become a man. And He took kinship with the man that was lost (Amen.) and become a man, God made flesh. Hallelujah. Think I'm excited, but I'm not. Something inside...
393 God became from God and become me, to take my sin upon Him, that He might make me Him (Amen.), back to His great purpose of sons and daughters of God, for He is a eternal Father. That attribute was in Him (See?), so that had to be displayed.
Now, see the whole threefold purpose? See? To express Himself. He wants to become... Now, the world is lost. Now, He has to express Himself in a Man to become a Saviour through the reconciliation of the Blood from His cross. Now, He had to become that to die, in order to save and to bring Himself back into the Church to have the preeminences in His Church.
494 Now, remember, it cannot and will not, and never will be, and never has been a denomination. He has to have the preeminences and He is the Word. Amen. How can any creed be injected in there? It turns the church into a prostitute to take any man's words, or any creed, or any denomination; it quickly is marked in Revelations 17 as a whore and harlots: the Roman Catholic Church being the whore and the Protestants being the harlots. It's exactly as clear as any person could read it. We've come through the Church Ages, and you can see that in those tapes if you desire it. Exactly. And anything that joins itself with a creed outside of the Bible is a whore in the sight of God. Done the same thing Eve did: got away from the Word, which is Christ. Oh, my. All right.
61. A formal statement of religious belief; a confession of faith. 2. A system of belief, principles, or opinions: And that is what I have been harping about for the past few years. I see where brothers will take their creed above taking all the Word. And they will take one mans opinion above the Word of God, and when you shove a square into a round hole to make it fit your creed, you are guilty of prostituting the Word of God.
7Br. Branham said from his sermon, We Would See Jesus 62-0727 E-18 If God doesn't speak back through His Word when we see something, then just leave it alone. But as long as It's the Word, then I know that heavens and earth will pass away but His Word will never fail. Therefore, I believe the Bible to be the absolute truth of God, and it isn't to be added to or taken away from, but just lived preached in Its simplicity, lived the way It's wrote, and God is... If He ever was God, He's still God. And if This is His Word, and He made a promise that He cannot back up, then He isn't God.
9From his sermon, Explaining The Ministry 62-0129[/quote E-9 And let's just search back. If that isn't Scriptural, then leave it alone. If I ever say anything in your presence, as a doctrine or a teaching, that's not in the Bible, forget it, because it's not right. And any angel (I don't care how real he looks, and how inspired he is), if he speaks contrary to the Word of God, leave him alone. He's not of God. Galatians 1:8 said, "An angel from heaven preach any other doctrine than this is, what already taught, let him be accursed." We don't take nothing but just what God...
10Now, in getting back to Christ is the Mystery brother Branham says in pp. 95 Now, we see His mystery He had hid in His mind before the foundation of the world. Now, would you just like to read a little of this? Let's just read it. Have you got plenty of time? We'll read it. Now, let's just all turn just for one reading anyhow to the Book of Ephesians, and let's begin at the 1st chapter of the Ephesians, to read. And now, as the Sunday school lesson goes on now, in this threefold manifestation of Christ, let's read. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God... (Now, watch, it's not addressed to the world, but)... to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
1196 How do you get into Christ Jesus? by joining church? By birth. By one Spirit (I Corinthians 12) we are all baptized into one Body. See? All right. That's the ones he is talking to there; that ain't addressed to the outside world. We can't talk to the sinner on this, 'cause he knows nothing about it. Paul didn't address it to no sinners. He said, "This is to that group there that's in Christ Jesus. "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings... (where about?)... in heavenly places in Christ: Heavenly places.
97 Oh, how I wish I had time. Here I've got it marked right here in my Bible about heavenly places. What is heavenly places? Heavenly places (just for a moment) is the believers' position in Christ (See?), where the believer stands in Christ, in heavenly places. According as he hath chosen us... (Listen close)... chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,...When did He choose us? Before the foundation of the world, when His great hidden mystery, His great secret... He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.... that we should be holy and without blame before him in... (What?)... love: Having... (a what?)... predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
1298 Predestinated... There's the mystery. He'... Before Christ or anything else was ever on earth (You see His great mystery?) that He chose the Bride, knowing Eve would fall from disbelieving the Word, knowing that she would fall, but He would choose a Bride that would not fall, that would hold to that Word regardless of what all the rest of the world had to say about It; they would hold to that Word. They are predestinated to stand there. The adoption of children by Jesus Christ predestinated the Church to that great glorious stand.
13Now, this word predestination is almost a curse word to some so called Christians today. In fact Jimmy Swaggart said the doctrine of Predestination is a lie from the pits of hells. Well, if you take that word out of the Bible, you might as well close your Bible and get yourself a book of creeds. The problem is that people just don’t read there Bibles. There are three words that many get mixed up concerning this thought on predestination. They are Foreknowledge, Election and Predestination.
14Therefore in examining the difference between Foreknowledge, Election and Predestination. Many people today, especially the Fundamentalist and Evangelical differ greatly on exactly what Election and predestination are all about. The main issue however, has not been whether God predestinates or not, as much as the issue of choice, or rather whose choice. Men want so bad to be in control of their own lives that they have placed free moral agency as the ultimate in a man's experience with God. Men, it seems, would rather have the ability to choose God, than allow God to do the choosing Himself. Thus, they try to explain away election by using foreknowledge of God, as their excuse to place man's ability to choose above God's Own choice.
15Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.
16I CORINTHIANS 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
17Thus they say, God being omniscient, and knowing the end from the beginning, knew who would and who would not and based upon this foreknowledge, God then elects those to Glory who choose right, and He elects to condemnation those who do not choose right.
19I have attended their seminars of Apologetics and One of their most brilliant scholars Dr. Norman Geisler placed Predestination this way; by using a story he said, If you were up on top of a building looking down and saw two cars heading toward the same intersection, and based upon their speed and distance from the intersection you knew they were going to crash, would you be responsible for the crash? Well, he says, that is how predestination works. God knowing all things, knows who will and who will not choose Him and so He doesn't shove you through a tube and then hold you responsible. He just knows your end from the beginning.
20Now, that might give you a warm fuzzy about God, but it doesn't hold up in the court of God's Word. In order to believe this you must be willing to throw out entire passages of Scripture and you must be willing to believe that man is capable on his own of making a correct choice.
21God knows your end from your beginning because He pre-destined your end. That is what the word predestinate means. It means to pre - destine. To mark out before hand, your destiny. Therefore, predestination is the path you are destined to take. Let's turn to the Word now and examine the very scriptures that must be relegated to the trash heap in order to prove free will has anything to do with election.
22In John 15:16, Jesus said, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
23Now, we ought to stop right here and rest our case. Either this is meant for all believers or it is not. If it is not, then all believers are not expected to bring forth fruit, and all believers are not entitled to ask the Father in the name of Jesus and expect to receive what they ask for. But I say, Jesus is telling us here that we did not choose Him first, He chose us, and our love toward him, and acceptance of Him, is only in response to His choice.
24In I John 4:19, we hear John tell us, "We love him, because he first loved us." Now, either this is true or it is not. Then if this is not true, we must rip it out of our Bible. And if this passage is in error, then what else is in error. If we believe God wrote the Word, that His Bible is the Un-adulterated Word of God, then we must accept what it tells us. Scripture does not fight scripture.
25In DEUTERONOMY 7:6, we read, "For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy
them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
27O brothers and sisters, this is beautiful what brother Branham is telling us here. Notice he is going into Ephesians 1, so let’s open our Bibles this morning to Ephesians 1 and read together and we will comment on it as we read along.
29Warning then judgment 63-0724 P:51 But, you see, in the church there is the pastor, and that pastor is a special person. He's built to where he can put up with the fusses of the people. He's a burden-bearer; he's the ox of the team. He's a man that can set down when somebody's got something against somebody else, and set down with them two families, and take neither side, and reason it out, and bring it right back into sweetness. See? He's a pastor; he knows how to take care of things. The evangelist is a special man. He's a man that's burning like a fireball. He runs into a city and preaches his message, and gets out of there somewhere else. See, he's a special man. The teacher is a special man. He sets back under the anointing of the Spirit and is able to take the Words and put them together by the Holy Spirit, that the pastor or evangelist either one could not compare with him. And then we find out the apostle is a special man. He's a setter-in-order. He's a man that's sent from God to set the things in order.
30And from his sermon, Baptism Of The Holy Spirit 58-0928M 109 And He set some in the Church what? In the Church, in the Body, set some there here what? A, first apostles; that's missionaries. ... That's the first highest call, a missionary. You say, "An apostle is a missionary?" Absolutely. Go look in the dictionary and find out what "apostle" means; means "one sent." Go look what a "missionary" means: "One sent." Same thing. The highest order is a missionary who travels the seas for the Lord Jesus.
31So we see the word disciple means to assist in spreading the teaching of doctrine of another. And an Apostle is one who is sent to do so. That means the man that is an apostle must first be a disciple, and then when he is sent he fulfills his role as an apostle. Other wise, if he travels from church to church teaching the doctrine of Christ he would be an evangelist, and if He merely teaches it to his own church he is called a pastor, and if His teaching is very deep and thorough then he is called a Teacher. So You see all five fold ministry roles must first be a disciple of Christ to do so.
32Now to be a disciple, means you are first willing to learn yourself, because how can you teach others if you do not understand it yourself. And unless you understand what the other taught, you can not assist in the spreading of that teaching. Now, there are many ministers who claim to believe what brother Branham taught but because they do not understand what he taught, they are not assisting the spreading of what was taught but rather are more of a hindrance to what was taught. Because if they are not teaching what He taught but claim to be then any that hear them are not hearing at all what was really and truly taught, but when the man says he is teaching the message and is not teaching the doctrine, then he is not teaching, but he is perverting what was truly taught.
36An interesting thing Paul is saying here in both Corinthians and Romans is that his being called to be an apostle is actually speaks of not just a general call for help and Paul decided he would answer that call. But the word “called” in both Corinthians and Romans was translated from the Greek word kletos and it suggests more than a mere invitation. It also speaks of a divine selection or being appointed to that position by God Himself.
37If you remember, it was not Paul seeking Christ, but Christ who sought Paul. Paul was out trying to destroy the very workings of the early church that Jesus Christ had established. And when Paul was on the road to Damascus where he intended to arrest the believers there, he was met by the Lord Jesus Christ in the form of the Pillar of Fire. It was at this meeting that Paul was knocked off his high horse and given instructions as to how he was to go about his ministry as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ doing the work of an Apostle.
38Therefore, we can safely say that this calling has to do with a pre-selection. It was not just a call that went forth and whosoever comes would show up to do the role of Apostle. But it was a direct call to one individual Paul, and therefore we can say that this call was part of a divine selection and appointment that came forth from God Himself. Not by the will of Paul, but by the will of God. It was God’s will, and if his will, then his purpose and plan.
46Notice here who he’s addressing. He’s not addressing just anyone who reads this bible. He’s addressing the saints and the faithful in Christ Jesus. And that is exactly what brother Branham is pointing out here. He says, “All right. That's the ones he is talking to
there; that ain't addressed to the outside world. We can't talk to the sinner on this, 'cause he knows nothing about it. Paul didn't address it to no sinners. He said, "This is to that group there that's in Christ Jesus.”
49O, what a Message we have. When the world seems to be running as fast as it can over the cliff, which they call a fiscal cliff, there is Grace and Peace for the elect and faithful in Christ Jesus. When the world is heading at shipwreck speed into insanity, there is Grace and Peace to the elect and faithful in Christ Jesus. When the world is dying of all sorts of filthy diseases, there is Grace and Peace to the Sainted Ones, who are faithful in Christ Jesus. What a Message we have. Before one bomb strikes this nation we will have Grace and peace in the arms of Christ.
5297 Oh, how I wish I had time. Here I've got it marked right here in my Bible about heavenly places. What is heavenly places? Heavenly places (just for a moment) is the believers' position in Christ (See?), where the believer stands in Christ, in heavenly places.
53“According as he hath chosen us... (Listen close)... chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,...When did He choose us? Before the foundation of the world, when His great hidden mystery, His great secret... He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.... that we should be holy and without blame before him in... (What?)... love: Having... (a what?)... predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
54Now, I want you to think about this here what Paul is telling us. He is saying that even before God ever made an molecule, or an atom to make a molecule, before he brought anything into materiality, he pre-destined you and I to be holy and without blame.
Now, I tell you brothers and sisters, every time I think that I might have something to do with that holiness, he shoots me down right then, and I realize that I have nothing to do with it at all except a willing recipient of His Love, His grace and His peace. And as long as you think that you can get to the place where your holiness might merit something with God, he will let you fall flat on your face just as certain as you are living in the body of this death.
56Now, the word before is used twice here but each was translated from a different Greek word. The first before used in He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world was translated from the Greek word “pro” which means in front of, prior to and so the sentence could be rendered, He chose us in Christ “in front of or prior to” the foundation of the world...
57But the next time we see the word before used as in “should be holy and without blame before him”... that word was translated from the Greek word katenopion and does not mean in front of prior to, but means in the presence of. So that verse could be read, He chose us in Christ prior to the foundation of the world.... that we should be holy and without blame in His presence...So it was already ordained and predestined in us to be holy and without blame at this hour of His Presence. His Great Appearing.
581 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; And we know He is Holy, so we shall be holy even as he is Holy. Because that is what he said, “be ye holy even as I am Holy saith the Lord.” for we shall see him as he is. And so he had to make a way for that to happen, and he predestined for it to happen.
59And so John says, that when we see Him we shall be like Him, and then he adds, “3 And every man that hath this hope in Him (God) purifieth himself, even as He (God) is pure. 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth (or habitually goes beyond the limits) of the law: for sin is the transgression (or going beyond the limits) of the law.
60Now, when it says “whosoever committeth” sin, this word “committeth” was translated from a Greek word whose root means to do so repeatedly or habitually. It does not mean that you will not make mistakes, or be trapped, but it is a habitual thing because the one who sins is lawless. The Wuest translation says, Everyone who habitually commits sin, also habitually commits lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
61Now, verse 5 And ye know that He (Jesus Christ) was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. So if in Him is no sin, then if you are in Him you are at rest and peace in His Grace, which is His unmerited favor. And listen sin, is unbelief right? Then how can you be in Him if you are in unbelief? That’s why it doesn’t come by your own mental merit, but by Revelation. 6 Whosoever abideth in him (or whosoever has made their home in Him) sinneth not (disbelieves not) whosoever sinneth (or disbelieves) hath not seen him, neither known him. Now, listen, how can you outright deny what a vindicated prophet tells you.
62How can a vindicated prophet say one thing and you say the opposite. How can God say “he that believeth in me the works that I do shall the believer do also, and you say it isn’t so. Whose vindicated anyway? If God’s prophet says so who are you to deny it?
Now, in getting back to the Apostle Paul as he continues in Ephesians 1 and verse 6 notice he says, “To the praise of the glory (the doxa, the values, the opinion and the judgment) of his grace, wherein he hath (past tense, it’s already been done. He has done) made us accepted in the beloved.” Who did it, God did it. And here’s how he did it. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, (The praise of His doxa, the praise of His values, his opinion) who first trusted in Christ.
63In other words the very doxa Jesus gave us as He said in His prayer in John 17, is the very doxa that we sing praises of. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
64Now, I am sorry brothers, but he said after, he didn’t say when you heard you received the baptism of the spirit, but after you heard, after you believed. Now, this same Paul after having travelled through Corinth and upon arriving at Ephesus, he met some disciples and in Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
65Now, in this sermon we are preaching from, Christ is the mystery 63-0728 P:136 brother Branham said, “They said, "We received the Holy Ghost when we believed." The Bible said, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?" There's the difference. See? That's right. See? And they say, "We're the Catholic church. We started early; we did this." The Methodist say, "We are based upon the Bible." Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe." Now, where's it at? Uh-huh, see, right. "The works that I do shall you do also," every creature, every person that believes in Him. Now, where's it at? That's His Words. "Heavens and earths will pass away, but My Word shall never fail." Now, where's it at? See?
66So we had better seek to get the Holy Ghost if we haven’t got it, and he told us and told us and told us so we are without excuse. Notice he keeps saying, so where’s it at? You say you are a believer but if you are a genuine believer then the works of Christ should follow you, so where’s it at?
67Now, you can say you believe the doctrine all day long, but that only means you believe the doctrine. But that don’t mean one bit because I can show you a denominational church that believes the doctrine of One God who had a son, and the son was not God but he was the son of God. And I’ve talked to their ministers and we have conversed with them and several years back I gave them quite a bit of Scripture to help them in their stand.
68They have a book on Systematic Theology written by Alva Huffer which was published by the Church of God General Conference, Oregon Illinois. And if you would like to read it for free, you can go to www.hutchinsoncog.com/systheology/ So don’t tell me that just because you believe the Godhead correctly that you are born again and filled with the Spirit of the living God. Godhead doesn’t take a revelation, it just means you can read the
70Believing one God might make you a Jew or a Muslim, but that don’t mean you are born again. And to believe in a trinity really takes stupidity in the first place. Who in their right mind would believe that One God is made up of a committee of three individuals. That’s so pagan.
71So what we see this morning is that brother Branham is letting us know that the three-fold purpose of God can be found in Ephesians 1 and if you will notice, the first one is God manifested in Christ, the second is God manifested in His Bride, and the third fold purpose is for God and man to have fellowship again like they did in the garden to begin with.
7298 Predestinated... There's the mystery. Before Christ or anything else was ever on earth (You see His great mystery?) that He chose the Bride, knowing Eve would fall from disbelieving the Word, knowing that she would fall, but He would choose a Bride that would not fall, that would hold to that Word regardless of what all the rest of the world had to say about It; they would hold to that Word. They are predestinated to stand there. The adoption of children by Jesus Christ predestinated the Church to that great glorious stand.