An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages, Voice of God Recordings, 2012, Jeffersonville, Indiana
The Smyrnaen Church Age p.179:
...."All over the world in both Pentecostal and fundamental groups they are orgainzing the businessmen. They have invaded the pulpit without a call from God. They have styled themselves the fishers of men and the founders of a move of God, and they say the gifted ministry of Ephesians 4,10-13 that God gave the church has failed, so they are taking over. Here we are right in the midst of the fulfillment of prophecy, called the gainsayings of Korah [Numbers16], and they don't even know they have fulfilled it. They are blindly going on preaching experience for truth. May God have pity on them. May their eyes be opened before it is too late. Oh, listen to me. When did the prestige of money, social leadership, business ability, or sheer mental prowess ever quality a man for spiritual leadership, or give any weight to the word of God? And when in any way materiality or human values begin to show as the media by which God works instead of the Holy Spirit ALONE, then we are fighting against God not for Him.
Now I want this in record right here. I am not speaking against elders in the church. No sir. And that elder can be as poor as any man ever was poor, or be the richest man in the world as long as he is an elder in heart and deed. I would not hesitate to ordain any man that has a the real Spiritual qualifications as an elder or deacon regardless of his finances or social position. But when you see social or financial structure come into the church that divides the folsk in any way- that is not of God. It is another sign of the time in this physically rich, but Spiritually impovershed Laodicean Age in which we are now living."
*used by permission
William Branham (1909-1965) was to 20th century American preaching what Frank Capra (1897-1991) was to 20th century American film-making.
Today is our fifth in a series of excerpts from William M. Branham's two principal written works. We're not going to take time explaining his life or the miracles that attended it, or defend his preaching style or grammar, his doctrines or vice versa.
That's all being said and done, and likely will be until Jesus comes back.
Rather than get distracted, our aim is to see Branham's gift of in depth discernment, study, and then fully shouting from the rooftops about biblical passages that Christians historically, and to this day, avoid, gloss over, explain away, or outright change, according to denominational and political fault lines.
Having said that, there might not be two bible expositors or students across the whole Christian spectrum who agree with half of what Br. Branham preached.
Yet and still, in an age where preaching has become so tepid, so nuanced, so easy-pleasy, so cookie-cutter and prosperity bound, there seems to be a famine of the prophetic word, his voice is somehow still welcome. (As for this famine: https://vimeo.com/126142650 ) Why? I'm not sure, but it has something to with the fact that his preaching still prods and wrankles all, just like Jesus', and even galvanizes some to get serious about salvation from our savior who said "not everybody who says 'Lord Lord' will get into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew7,21)
Long before anybody heard about "the prosperity gospel", Branham was preaching against it. Instead, he preached for all God's people, for humanity, not for pastorianity or churchianity, not for secular power and wealth on behalf of the potentates of the world, but for humanity, poor as well as rich. In this homespun humanity and the breath of his gospel vision, he shares much with the renown American film-maker Frank Capra.
One note of caution, Branham's ability to communicate, especially vocally, is so effective, so boiled down and rich, the apparent temptation of some is to preach his words rather than the same written word and gospel that he so loved.
In sum, anyone who hasn't sampled something of Branham's vast gospel output has missed something of the potential breath, vision, and import of our individual faith witness according to the word of God.
Hope you enjoy this series.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...