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11 Peter 3:12For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
2Let us pray: Dear Loving and merciful Father, we realize that you are the author and finisher of our faith, and as we see by Your Scriptures how You have molded and shaped Your own Son through suffering, the we ask Father that you might help us to understand this principle. Then help us to focus our thoughts this morning on the three Exoduses and the Alpha and Omega comparisons between them. Help us to gain a better understanding of how you shaped your Messengers also Father, so they would echo forth what You gave them to deliver to your people and nothing more and nothing less but a pure echo of Your Message. Help us to understand that before you bring deliverance you always bring forth a trial or testing of our character. We know that in school before we are approved to move up higher each student is tested and we know that approval process is necessary for graduation. So too Father, help us to see how Your principles ready your people even as you made ready your messengers for your people. For we know that Moses ate what the people ate, and he suffered what they suffered, and yet we see the approving hand of a loving Father in all of this, and we ask that you continue to watch over us and bring us to perfection, in Jesus Christ name we pray. You may be seated.
10If the people follow the Message they are delivered. If they do not, they are not delivered, but they perish. And furthermore, they we know that if they turn down mercy there is only judgment left for them.
11V) The Message that God came with He delivered first to a Prophet and then from that prophet to men who would be faithful to listen. Then out from those faithfully taught men, the Message would go out to the world and deliver the world from that organization system that held them in bondage. This second part of the Exodus was the teaching ministry of the Holy spirit. This is the part that bring the people in.
17And we also find in Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. So we see the ministry of the anointed vessel that God uses has but one thing to learn, and that is to shut up unless He says what God tells Him to say and only that is he permitted to say.
20Exodus 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? And God will not cut slack for anyone. So God teaches his servants what it means to be obedient.
21But Moses learned that God’s ways are not easy ways, and he would have to suffer if he was to receive the reward. Hebrews 11:24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
22Notice the Scriptures tell us he chose rather to suffer with the people of God that to enjoy the pleasures of sin. Until you can come to this mindset you will never have victory over your flesh. In fact we talk about victory but jut what is victory but a surrender of self. And even the Son of God had to get self out of the way if he was to be victorious on our behalf. Then how could it will be any different with us when God is nt a respecter of persons, and He always acts the same. He did it at the first Exodus.
23EXODUS 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
25DEUTERONOMY 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
28And in the Second Exodus even Jesus the Son of God, had to be proved first and then adopted. And he learned obedience by the things that he suffered. That’s Hebrews 5: 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
29From his sermon Conference 60-1125 P:43 Brother Branham said, There was a Gethsemane conference one time. When it had to be brought after a victorious life had defeated sickness, defeated everything in the world, He came to Gethsemane, and the Father had to check up to see if He really wanted to go through it or not.
30And that is where the test has always come. That is where the suffering always comes. The greatest battle ever fought is in our mind, and in our mind is where we suffer the most. And we do we hate the tests? Not because we have drawn blood by them. But we do not like the mental battles that test our will or His will. But Jesus wrestled not against flesh and blood but against principalities in high places. And Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10: 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
31And again in Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
32Church Age Book Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age P:17 Now the Lord God Almighty says, "I KNOW." There He is walking in the midst of His people. There He is, the Chief Shepherd of the flock. But does He hold back the persecution? Does He stem the tribulation? No, He does not. He simply says, "I KNOW your tribulation, I am not at all unmindful of your suffering." What a stumbling block this is to so many people. Like Israel they wonder if God really loves them. How can God be just and loving if He stands by and watches His people suffer? That is what they asked in Malachi 1:1-3, "The burden of the Word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet we say, Wherein hast Thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” You see, they could not figure out God's love. They thought that love meant no suffering. They thought that love meant a baby with parental care. But God said that His love was "elective" love. The proof of His love is ELECTION, that no matter what happened, His love was proven truly by the fact they were chosen unto salvation (because God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth). He may commit you to death as He did Paul. He may commit you to suffering as He did Job. That is His prerogative. He is sovereign. But it is all with a purpose. If He did not have a purpose, then He would be the author of frustration and not of peace. His purpose is that after we have suffered awhile we would be made perfect, be established, strengthened and settled. As Job said, "He puts strength in us." (Job 23:6b) You see He, Himself, suffered. “He learned obedience by the things that He suffered.” He was actually made perfect by the things that He suffered. Hebrews 5:8-9, "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” In plain language, the very character of Jesus was perfected by suffering. And according to Paul He has left His church a measure of suffering that they, too, by their faith in God while suffering for Him, would come to a place of perfection. Why did He want this? James 1:2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
33Church Age Book Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age P:18 Why does He stand by? The reason is in Romans 8:17-18, "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. 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.” Unless we suffer with Him we cannot reign with Him. You have to suffer to reign. The reason for this is that character simply is never made without suffering.
34Character is a VICTORY, not a gift. A man without character can't reign because power apart from character is Satanic. But power with character is fit to rule. And since He wants us to share even His throne on the same basis that He overcame and is set down in His Father's throne, then we have to overcome to sit with Him. And the little temporary suffering we go through now is not worthy to be compared to the tremendous glory that will be revealed in us when He comes. Oh, what treasures are laid up for those who are willing to enter into His kingdom through much tribulation.
35Notice he said Character is simply never made without suffering, and character is a victory not a gift. That means you are not born with the right character. You are not born perfected. You are born in sin and come to the world speaking lies. That is why character must come through suffering, and if we try to work in our children character without suffering our children will never mount to a hill of beans.
36Br. Branham learned the hard way and he lost his wife and little daughter for his disobedience. God told him to go to the Pentecostal people but he loved his wife so much he wanted to protect his wife from the insults of his mother-in-law and so he compromised and we know what happened. He listened to his mother-in-law instead of God and he suffered for it.
37Life Story 51-0415A P:80 And there, friends, is where my sorrows started. I listened to my mother-in-law in the stead of God. He was giving me the opportunity. And there this gift would've been manifested long time ago, if I'd just went ahead and done what God told me to do. But instead of that, I didn't want her to be angry, and I didn't want to hurt nobody's feelings. And so I just let it go like that. Just walked... Just said, "All right, we won't go." And right then, sorrows started. Immediately after that, my father died. My brother was killed a few nights later from that. Almost lost my own... I lost my father, my brother, my wife, my baby, and my sister-in-law, and almost my own life within about six month's time. And just started going down. My church, pretty near everything went down, down, down. Hope taken sick.
38Life story 55-0626A P:21 Now, from here, listen. I listened to my mother-in-law instead of God, and forsaken the church, and went on back with the Baptist people. Right away, plagues hit my home. My wife took sick; my father died on my arm; my brother was killed. And everything happened just in a few days. A great flood hit the country and washed away the homes. My wife was in the hospital. And I was out on a rescue with my boat. And one night out in the water, my boat got in the current, and was going over a big falls. I couldn't get the motor started, and I raised up my hands, and I said, "Oh, God, don't let me drown. I am not worthy to live, but think of my wife and baby." And I tried again, and it wouldn't start, and I cried again to God. And then, just before going over the falls, the motor started, and I got to the land.
39The Apostle Paul learned the hard way. He started off fighting against God and not even knowing he was doing that, so God just threw him off his high horse and told Paul that he would have to suffer many things for his sake.
40Acts 9: 15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.6 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
421 Peter 4:12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
43Church Age Book Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age P:19 "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials that are to try you.” That is what Peter said. Is it strange that God wants us to develop a Christ-like character that comes through suffering? No sir. And we all have trials. We are all tried and chastened as sons. Not one but goes through that. The church that is not suffering, and is not being tried, hasn't got it, it isn't of God. Heb. 12:6, "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
44Church Age Book Chapter 9 - The Laodicean Church Age P:84 "You had better come before it is too late,” saith the Lord, "and buy of Me gold tried in the fire and then you will be truly rich." Are we getting it? Listen to me, "Naked (physically) we came into the world, but naked (spiritually) we will NOT leave it." Oh no, we are going to take something with us. What that something is, is ALL we can take with us, nothing less and nothing more. So we had better be real careful now to see that we take something that will make us right before God. So, then, what will we take with us? We will take our CHARACTER, brother, that is what we will take with us. Now what kind of character will you take with you? Will it be like HIS Whose character was molded by suffering in the fiery furnace of affliction, or will it be the softness of this character-less Laodicean people? It is up to each one of us, for in that day every man will bear his own burden.
46And the suffering that Christ did on our behalf was done for an example for us so we might know how important it is to be willing to suffer. 1 Peter 2:19For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.
50And just remember, he will not allow you to be put to the test beyond what you are ready to endure. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 There hath no temptation (putting to proof or test) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (put to the test) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (putting you to the test) will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Now his word “escape” comes from a Greek word that means a way to end the test or a way of exit.
51Romans 8: 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. The words “glorified together” comes from a Greek word sundoxazo which we know the word “doxa” is the opinion, assessment and judgment of God. But the word “sun” as a prefix means “in union with”, so we see that we come into a union of the same mind through our suffering with him. So if we are willing to suffer for him, He shall also glorify us, which means He will also equip us with the same mind that was in Christ. And that only makes sense since He also told us that Jesus was made perfect by the things he suffered. So if we are to be made perfect it must also come through suffering.
52Now, I do not understand why Christian parents don’t look to God our Father as their role model for being a parent. This generation of young men is the most effeminate and unmanly in the entire history of mankind because parents took the advice of a godless man like Dr. Spock who told them they should never spank nor discipline their children or the child will grow up with a low self esteem. And so we have a generation of boys in their 30’s and 40’s who have never grown up and don’t know what it means to be responsible.
54Look Paul is telling us here the sufferings and things we are going through right now are not worthy to be compared with what it is producing in you. That is why the trial of our faith is more precious than gold tried in the fire.
561 Peter 1:6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations (that’s many putting to proof, God is proving you) 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
581 Peter 1:6-7 Wuest Translation: In which last season you are to be constantly rejoicing with a joy that expresses itself in a triumphant exuberance, although for a little while at present time if perchance there is as need for it, you have been made sorrowful in the midst of many different kids of testings in order that the approval of your faith, which faith was examined by testing for the purpose of being approved, that approval being much more precious than the approval of gold which perishes, even though that gold be approved by fire testing, may be discovered after scrutiny to result in 1. praise and 2. honor and 3. glory at the time of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
59Notice, Wuest shows that it is not the suffering that is more precious than Gold but the approval that results from it that is more precious than gold. It is not the suffering itself, because suffering never seems to equate to anything. And most people don't understand that without suffering there is no character, period. That's scripture. If you do not allow your children to suffer then they will not develop character, and that is Satan’s Eden.
60 Notice Peter speaks to us of the Trial of your faith. That is how God develops the picture in us! Through the trials. And those trials are for the purpose of approving you. You don't do all that work with the negative just to wash it clean. You do all that washing and follow the process in order to develop the image that is in the negative with the purpose of bringing it into a positive. You are tested for the purpose of approval. And the result is to produce in you “praise, honor, and glory”.
61Now that doesn't mean that you've got to suffer the way most people think you've got to suffer. We don’t believe in doing what the nuns used to do. They would kneel on a kneeler with a wire across it while they prayed in order to suffer. That kind of self inflicted suffering is not what builds character. Suffering is simply a process of discipline especially in the mind. Mental suffering is much worse and sometimes is a lot harder to go through than physical pain. Some people have a high threshold for pain, and they can take more than others, but to be able to stand with the Word of God and take whatever comes your way as a result of that stand, is what most people will not do. Being able to stand alone when the whole world is going the opposite direction takes more strength of character than to just go out in the ring and let someone pound away at your face.
64Now, we are not just talking about suffering for sufferings sake. But we are talking about being molded By God for suffering on account of our faith. That’s the trial of your Faith. God places you in situations because of your faith to see how you will utilize your Faith. Remember Daniel in the Lion den and the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. They all possessed the revelation of their hour and so God tested them. The Revelation you possess is your Faith, and thus in order to get you to use it and to apply it, God allows affliction and suffering to come your way because of your stand for your faith.
65Thus the suffering does not bring faith, but having faith we thus suffer for it. You already possess Faith and that puts you into the place of having to rely upon your Faith to see you through. That is exactly what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went through, and Daniel & Moses, Abraham and all God's prophets. Each had to go through a trial of His Faith, A trial of His Revelation. The trial came because of the Revelation and thus he learned to wait upon God and in due course when God brought forth His Faith for testing again, it caused the Revelation to energize his own faith. Your Faith is given you to be used. But you can't just use it for any purpose. It must be of God's choosing and according to His timing. But believe me, If God has given you a measure of Faith, then He will surely test your faith, thus assuring it is of use to you. So when you enter into the trials of your faith, just Let go and let God.
66Then it is up to Him to help you to exercise your Faith that He’s given you. I Peter 1: 7 - 9 'That the Trial of your Faith (Revelation), being much more precious than gold that perishes, that your Faith may be found after scrutiny to result in praise , honor and Glory at the Appearing of Jesus Christ." So we see that there’s to be a trial or a testing of your faith, and the result of this testing will actually produce in you, “praise, honor and Glory”. So then as James said, the testing will, bring forth Patience, and when patience has it's perfect work, it'll produce a fully mature son of God in the very image of the Father just as His First born was. Remember, Jesus Himself, God's firstborn, learned obedience to God's Word by the things that He suffered.
67There is no doubt that we all have to be tested, for every son that cometh to God must first be tried and tested. Each of the prophets was tried and tested. But they passed the test because it was Christ in them. And Christ in you is the hope of Glory, and the glory is the doxa which is the very mind of God in the believer. And that is our perfection. By one spirit we are all baptized into one body, and then having the mind that was in Christ in us. What more could you ask for?
68Look, God said “every son that cometh to God must first be tried and tested”. Christ in you is the hope of Glory, and the glory is the doxa which is the very mind of God in the believer. And that is your perfection, by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, and then having the mind that was in Christ in us is our perfection. What more could you ask for? The trial of our Faith is supposed to produce in you “Praise, Honor and Glory”, and that is to come at the Appearing of Jesus Christ. That’s when the revelation of Christ is made known.
69Now, I want you to notice these three stages that we go through at the Appearing of Jesus Christ. Peter speaks of “Praise, Honor and Glory”. Now, the first stage is “praise” because Paul told us in Hebrews that the praise offering is the fruit of our lips giving praise to his name. And so our trials produce “praise” in us, which is the giving back to God His own Word. As you go through the trials you begin to quote to God what He said in His own Word about those trials and how He promised to not give you anything greater than what He has equipped you to withstand. In other words, when we are tested we begin to give back to God what He said about what we are going through.
70Then once our minds are focused on speaking God’s Word, our bodies follow and come into subjection to what we are saying from God’s Word. And the word “honor” was translated from the Greek word time’ pronounced “teem-ay”. And it means “a valuing by which the price is fixed; hence the price itself:” So we first begin to give back God His own word in the midst of our trials and then we begin to “value” that Word and we thus value what God values, and finally we receive the very Glory or Doxa of God which is His very opinion, His assessment, and His judgment.
71Now, we see in the first Exodus God tested Moses and actually took him out to the dessert for 40 years to get him where God wanted him before God would use him. And in the Second Exodus Christ was tested; He was the lamb that was tested before it could be sacrificed. And He was tested by what? Satan against the Word. When he hit Eve, she fell; when he hit Moses, he fell; but when he flew up against Christ, and tried to quote the Scripture to Him wrong (uh-huh), he found out that that wasn't Moses. See? He was tested. What did... he turn around, he said, "If thou be the Son of God. Now they tell me you perform miracles, and they tell me that the Messiah's to do that. Now, if it is, you're hungry, you haven't eat, turn these bread into... these stones into bread, and eat." God’s only provided place of Worship P:69
72Brother Branham said, Jesus was tested to see where He was standing, see, tested in every manner, tested like we are tested. But there was no giving in to him at all. No, sir! That was the Son of God.
73ACTS 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: So if Jesus was a man that was approved of God, then he had to be tested first.
77Therefore if we are to try every spirit then we should try our own spirit to see whether we be in the faith. That’s what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13: 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? And how do you prove your own selves? Give yourself the word test. You know we are always so concerned with the other guy, but what does the other guy have to do with whether your life is pleasing to God or not. Get your eyes off of all others and get them back on your own self.
85Let us pray, Dear Father we thank Thee for your plan and Process of Child training for we have irrefutable evidence that your way works, and your way is not our way, but your way is much higher than our way, and we ask that you help us to understand your way for we know that “All things shall work together for the good of them that love you and are thee called according to Your Purpose.” In Jesus name we pray, Amen!