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2Now, before you think here that Paul is saying that he counts all things for receiving the excellency of attaining the knowledge of Christ Jesus that he is saying this because he was an intellectual. Listen, Paul had been an intellectual and all that got him was to find himself at war with God. But he is saying I had to loose all my intellectualism in order to Know Christ in the power of His resurrection.
For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
3Notice he says that he was willing to loose all that he had to win Christ. Now, that doesn't sound like an intellectual to me. That sounds like a man who experienced a face to face encounter with His God and found God to be sovereign. Now, the problem I see with intellectuals is there is a certain pride that they can never admit when they are totally wrong. But Paul said, I was totally wrong and I consider everything I ever knew to be nothing more than dung in comparison to the relationship I now have with the God I thought I had known and come to find out I had no clue to Who he is.
49 And be found in him, not having mine own right-wise-ness, which is of the law, but that which is through the revelation of Christ, the right-wise-ness which is of God by revelation: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
5Now, Paul was willing to throw away everything he ever thought he knew in favor of entering into this relationship based on experiencing God firsthand. And I know that my intellectual buddies out there are not going to understand what I am going to say here next, and I am sure they will use what I am going to say here against me, But let me just say it anyhow. "I know where I stand in the doctrine of this Message, which is the Doctrine of Christ, and I know of no man living that has done what I have done to get the doctrine out there to the brethren around the world, yet I would throw away all my knowledge and understanding of this Message, and the Scriptures for an intimate relationship with my God to where I knew nothing but His Love, and that I could see nothing but Christ and Him crucified among you. To see only what he sees, and to hear only what he hears, and to breathe only when he breathes and to love everyone He loves."
6One of the last admonitions from brother Vayle to me was we need to focus on the Life, not so much the doctrine, but the life. And yet that is where brother Kash was at years ago right before he left this world and he took so much mockery for this but he was so right. I believe we will see him one day soon along with Br. Vayle, because you see, it's not about what you know, it's all about who you know that counts.
8In other words, I am willing to lay everything down, and call everything I ever held dear as though it is no more than dung, to attain to the out resurrection of the dead and to know Him in the power of His resurrection.
9And then he tells us in verse 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
10Notice it is all about apprehending Christ Jesus. It's not what we can gain in this life for ourselves, it's all about Him. And he says for those who are perfect, for those whoa re mature, you will understand what I am talking about. I press for the high calling of God IN Christ Jesus. In other words, that life I saw in Christ Jesus, that High calling to where he died to self, and was a love prisoner to God, that is the life I want as well. Forget everything I ever attained to in this world, forget all the knowledge I ever processed through this mind of mine, I count everything that I ever attained outside of Christ as worthless and no more use that the dung our bodies pass through into the drought.
1116 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
12Notice he did not say they were the enemies of Christ but enemies of the cross of Christ. In other words, they are against the true suffering and will not come to Christ by means of the cross. And when we look at the cross and our own crucifixion of self, we must always realize that to crucify your own self and the lust's thereof is a very painful thing for any person.
1319 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory (whose doxa, whose values, and opinions) is in their shame, (why? because) they mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
14Notice he says for those of us who are actually looking for our Savior the Lord jesus Christ, our citizenship and thus our behavior is molded to be like His own Glorious body. Now this word glorious is translated from the Greek word Doxa again showing that it is not the physical body but the body expressing the values and opinions and judgments of God just as Jesus own body expressed the same values and opinions of God.
15Now, this morning I would like to speak again from paragraph 150 or paragraph 312 in your books here, because this paragraph has several thoughts in it that are so vital for where we have come today by God's grace, and if we are not careful we will just let it slip by and all the good that brother Branham is telling us in this paragraph will be lost if we just rush through this.
16So let me read this to you very slowly. It's found in paragraph 150 in our search engine, and (pp. 312 Spoken Word book) "Paul, this great intellectual man, (1) never tried to express his great theological terms upon the people. (2) He humbly accepted the Word of the Lord, and (3) he lived the Word so that it expressed It. (4) He lived so godly until they seen Jesus Christ in him so much, till they wanted his handkerchief to take it and lay it upon the sick. (5) There's the Life of Christ. Not what some... "Oh, you see, Elijah done that a long time ago, laid his stick, but oh, that was the days of Elijah." Now, the world thought that. The intellectual priest and things, and churches of that day thought that, but to them believers, they knew different. They seen the revelation of Christ that was in Elijah: same thing was in Paul, expressed the same kind of Life, 'cause he was a prophet. See? He foretold things that happened exactly the way it was, and they knew that was God's identification of a prophet. And they knew that he was God's prophet. You couldn't shake them from it at all.
17Now, this morning I would like to begin our study of these five thoughts that brother Branham lays out for us to think about here, and I am glad that the footsteps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord. Because God knows your thought even before you think them, and he said your thoughts are not my thoughts, and your ways are not my ways, but he has given us His very own Spirit so we can think with His Spirit, and think His thoughts and know His thinking on it.
18Therefore if you don't mind, I don't wish to rush through this so let me again read these four thoughts, and if we only get through one of them, well, then we know what the next thought is that we are going to take in this series, don't we.
19Therefore, Number 1) Paul, this great intellectual man never tried to express his great theological terms upon the people.
Number (2) He humbly accepted the Word of the Lord,
Number (3) he lived the Word so that it expressed It.
Number (4) He lived so godly until they seen Jesus Christ in him so much, till they wanted his handkerchief to take it and lay it upon the sick.
Number (5) There's the Life of Christ.
20Now, this morning I do not expect to get through all five of these thoughts that brother Branham has laid out here for us, and to be quite honest, I have my doubts whether we will be able to cover the first thought completely this morning.
Therefore, Number 1) He said, "Paul, this great intellectual man never tried to express his great theological terms upon the people."
21Now, I know that brother Branham also told us that Paul was the pattern for every true five fold minister. So if this is the case then why do so many try to preach over the head of their congregations? Brother Branham said here that Paul never tried to express his great theological terms upon the people.
22He said I never came to you with excellency of speech. I never came to put on a show. I never came to preach over your heads. I came to you in humility, and in weakness and in fear and a desire to see only one thing among you, and that is Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
23Now, brother Branham said in his sermon, Preparation paragraph 018 "Don't depend on your knowledge, and don't never try to figure anything out that God says. If you could figure it out, or I could figure it out, or any other preacher could figure it out, we would be equal with God. We are not supposed, and never will be able to figure it out, because when we can figure it out, it's not faith any more.
24Now, I like this kind of talk, because I am a simple guy. I never have gotten excited about trying to figure out Daniel's Seventy weeks, and all that mumbo jumbo that came forth in the days of man. Now, I don't wish to be irreverent because I have studied a whole lot of what those brethren of that age of man had to say, and I've read, Spurgeon, and Hislop, and Scofield, and Larkin, and Pink, and Bullinger, and Clarke, and Barnes, and on and on, and it is good reading if you want to keep your mind sharp, but in light of a vindicated prophet, who needs them.
26He said, "We've got to accept it by faith. Is that right? God said so. I don't know how. I can't tell you how He's going to do it, but He's going to do it 'cause He said so. That's the basis. God is going to do it because He promised to do it. He's God, and He can't break His promise, how it is.
28And brother Branham said, "And some of God's preparations has been so ridiculous to the people who depend on the tree of knowledge. God's preparation has been absolutely ridiculous to the natural mind, 'cause the natural can't conceive the things that are of God. Because they are foolishness to him, and he just thinks it's horrible to think. "Why, God would do..."
30The same Apostle Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
31This is the same Apostle Paul who later in this same letter only a few lines later he said, I didn't come to you excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God 10 because it is God who reveals them unto us by his Spirit: for The Spirit (God's own Spirit) searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man could know the things of a man, except he has the spirit of man which is in him? (the knot on the tree could never understand what a human thinks and does) even so the things of God no man could know, but the Spirit of God knows. 12 So we have received, not the spirit of the world, but we have received the spirit which is of God; in order that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
32So it takes the Holy Spirit in our vessel in order for us to even understand the things of God. So that is what we should seek after. Don't seek after wisdom, seek the Holy Spirit because if you seek wisdom, you might get it thrown your way, but you will never understand it without the spirit of He who is the fountain of all Wisdom.
33And notice verse 14 But the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: and he cannot even know them if he did hear them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual, he that is filled with the Spirit, he is the one who judges all things, yet he himself is not judged by any man.
34Oh, they might think they are casting judgment on the one with the Holy Ghost but since they have no authority with God their judgment is not judgment at all. That is why I am so glad to see when people pull away from those churches where the preachers are so condescending to the people, and they have their church structure set up that the people are so in fear to make any move on their own towards God, and when they finally leave all that nonsense behind, I love to see them liberated to walk after God with their own integrity and personal convictions, to work out their own salvation and to fall in love with their Loving Lord Jesus.
And Paul finishes by saying, 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
35Now, I believe sometimes we try to hard and we press too hard and we find ourselves pressing for an answer from God, and when we do that we do more harm, not only to ourselves, but those around us as well. We must never do that.
36We must learn to trust God and relax in that trusting relationship with Him. Did not He promise us, that if we really Love Him then all things would work together for our good? Then what are we worried about. We should be the most relaxed people in the world.
37Q and A COD 54-0103M 057 Now, I'll admit that people study too much, and try to go too far ahead, and try to think too hard, and sometimes have mental breakdowns and things on account of studying about the Lord. You must quit that. You don't have to do that. The only thing you have to do is fall in love with Him, and just go right on loving Him. Amen. It's not trying to push into something or make yourself something you're not; just go ahead and let God use you the way He wants to use you. Just yield yourself; commit yourself and walk on, happy, singing, rejoicing. That's the way. 058 The Bible said, "All things work together for good to them that love Him." So just be sure that you love Him; that's the only thing you have to know. Amen. Just love Him and walk on. Say, "Lord, I love You; You know I love You." And then the Lord might try you and say, "You love this?" "No, Sir, I love You, Lord." See? And then he might say, Say, "Well, don't you want to be... Wouldn't you like to be a great preacher? Wouldn't you like to be this?" "No. Now, Lord, what... If You want me to be, I will. If You don't... Amen. I'll be right here, just a doormat at this church." "Well, now, I believe if you do something like this, the people would think a lot more of your church." "I don't care what the people think; I want to know what You think, Lord. I'll just stay right with You, what You tell me to do. I love all them, sure." "Well, now, you know Sister So-and-so; you don't love her." "Yes, I do, Lord. Yes, I sure do. I love her." "Why?" "'Cause You love her, and You're in me. And I have to love her, 'cause it's You in me loving her out of me." Whew. That will get it.
38And listen to what Brother Branham said in his sermon, Way to have fellowship 55-1009 P:18 He said, "I'd rather have a church... Listen, just a moment. I would rather have a church that knows nothing about any spiritual gift, and just be so in love with each other and with Christ, I'd rather have that than every spiritual gift operating in the church.
401 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, (If I speak with human eloquence, great trained homiletics, even angelic ecstasy and don't have love expressing itself from my heart, I am nothing more than the sounding a brass gong, or a rusty gate
412 And though I have the gift of prophecy, the ability to speak with such authority, and to understand all mysteries, so that I could reveal them as plain as day, and if I could possess all knowledge so that no matter what the question, I could answer it, And though I had such faith that I could speak to the mountains and remove them from where they stand, yet if I could do all this and not have the Love of God inmy heart for my brethren, what use would I be to God or His family? I'd be worthless in God's economy.
42So what we are hearing the Apostle Paul say is the very same thing we just heard brother Branham say, when he said, "I would rather have a church so in love with Christ and with each other and be completely ignorant concerning teaching, and preaching. Because if you have teaching or preaching without Love you don't have anything that God can use. It's completely useless.
43Brother Branham continues saying, "Where there is gifts, they'll fail. Where there is gifts, they'll bring confusion. Where there is gifts, they can be questioned. But where there is love, it is perfect. That's right. And if you had perfect love you'd have perfect gifts. That's right. So work first with love. That brings fellowship, and fellowship brings gifts.
45Works That I Do Bear Witness Of Me 51-0413 029 "Brother, I know the Author better than I know His Book." Amen. I'd rather have the Author anyhow anytime. His Book's fine. That's right. But I'd rather know the Author. Wouldn't you? And you know Him by the love...
46Now in closing let me share this quote from brother Branham's sermon God Perfecting his Church that Br. Peter from Australia sent me the other day. It fits so beautifully with our subject this morning that I would like to share it with you in closing.
God perfecting His church 54-1204 P:16 Through the Blood cell of the Lord Jesus that in-veiled the Life of Jehovah, and we, coming through the Blood cell, becomes a part of that Life. So, Deity itself lays in the man that's received the Holy Spirit. You are a son. I'm a Branham by birth. And a part of Mr. and Mrs. Branham is in me. And if you become a son or a daughter of God, part of Deity lays in you. 17 See how the devil robs you. Say, "Oh, you can't do this." "All things are possible to them that believe". No matter what it is. You are a part of Deity, not a servant, a son and a daughter. Why, brother, it surpasses all Angels, Archangels and everything else. It comes right into the Presence of the Potter Himself. And how are we brought? Through the Blood. Amen. Then you come into Deity. You become a part. You're welded in. Let's think of God folding around Him now. We're going to enlarge it billions of times from this Blood cell. And there God, in this Blood cell, folded Himself up, and wrapped Himself in this Blood cell, and come to redeem man to Life. Hallelujah. There, when that Blood cell spread out, spread out, and brought the body Christ Jesus, Jehovah Himself was tabernacled in Him. That through the bursting of that Blood cell at Calvary might bring sons and daughters to Himself, in the Blood cell to the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, into Himself. And we become a part of God. Amen. That's what makes Satan mad. That's what shakes him. When the Church of Jesus Christ only knew who they were, brother... Oh, you say, "I know there is nothing impossible with God." He said there is nothing impossible to you. Amen. That changes the subject, doesn't it? Oh, they says, "There's nothing impossible to God." He said there is nothing impossible with you. "Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe you receive it, and you shall have it." Amen.
47Mark 11:23 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.