The Just (Bride) Shall Live By Faith
Many suppose that honoring Christ simply means to sit in some message church and support it's different activities. Indeed this is part of God's requirement. Others think that honoring Christ means to be a witness to others about Him and His mighty prophet. This is a requirement also. Still others suppose that having come out of a denominational system into the message they are honoring God.
On and on we could go in listing what the followers of the end-time message think is honoring the Lord Jesus: long hair and long dresses on the sisters, modest apparel on both men and women, church order, tithe paying and etc. All these things are good and not to be overlooked, but few seem to realize that Christ is not truly honored until we are living a life of faith and trust in Him before the world.
This life of complete trust in Jesus can only come to those who are walking in total subjection to His revealed will. "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (I Sam. 15:22) While the Israelites walked in obedience to God and His prophet Moses, God did make a difference between them and the Egyptians. (Ex. 12:7)
For our living Christ to be truly honored today, His Bride must live in such a way that the world will once again see that God does put a difference between her and all the rest. Is not this the thing that will best create and interest in what we believe? How many precious people today sit in message churches who are no better off faith wise than those in the systems around them.?
They suppose that because they BELIEVE THE MESSAGE they have arrived at some high spiritual place. They suppose that because they sit under the ministry of a man that "made the Bible a new book" to them that they have grown in grace. They think that because their store of Biblical knowledge has greatly increased that they are more spiritual. They suppose that the mere listening to the prophet's tapes and reading his sermons is FEEDING ON THE WORD. But this is not necessarily so!
We do not FEED ON THE WORD until we personally take into our daily lives that which we hear and read. Where there is not a complete surrender of the heart and will to Christ, then more knowledge only brings more condemnation. "And that servant which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes." (Lk. 12:46)
One of the great dangers connected with the end-time message is "Ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth." (II Tim. 3-7) Some hear one message after another, they attend camp meeting after camp meeting, they listen to one tape of the prophet after another, yet never seem to apply the basic truths to their daily lives.
They have a hunger for the Word. The more they hear the more they want to hear. On the surface they seem to be drinking in the Word, but year after year their faith remains unchanged. They are not living in Goshen under the protection of the Wings of the Almighty. They still look to the world's programs with it's false hope. To truly receive the Word is to acknowledge it by allowing it to change our lives. It is the "Acknowledging of the truth which is after Godliness" that counts. (Titus 1:1) But to this, many in the message are strangers.
What is needed then, is to be reminded of our duty until we have acquired a sense of it and the fact that God requires of us a conscientious practice of it according to our knowledge. And what is the duty of the Bride? It is to put all our trust in Him! "The God of my rock, in Him will I trust. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior. Thou savest me from violence." (II Sam. 22:3)
II Sam. 22:31, "As for God, His way is perfect. The Word of the Lord is tried. He is a Buckler to all them that trust in Him."
I Chron. 5:20, "-------for they cried to God in the battle, and He was entreated of them, because they put their trust in Him."
Job 13:15, "Though He slay me yet will I trust Him."
Ps. 2:12, "-------blessed are they which put their trust in Him."
Ps. 3:8, "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou, Lord, ONLY makest me dwell in safety."
Ps. 20:7-8, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses. But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright."
Ps. 118:8, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."
And so we need to "Hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecc. 12:13) When we fear God with a reverential fear, that amounts to trusting Him and putting no other Gods before Him, and this is the whole duty of man.
To sit on our laurels reciting scripture pertaining to election while we ignore our duty of trusting Him, is to be spiritually blind. The fact is the Elect will be constantly examining their spiritual position and adding such things to their faith as the Spirit instructs should be added. By this vigilance they "cannot be deceived" and, therefore, are they Elect.
The Elect do really seek His statues to discover what He has required. They have read the searching question wherein He asked, "When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?" We are to be constantly "examining ourselves to see whether we be in the faith." (II Cor.13:5)
No place in the Bible does the Lord own anyone as a lover of Him, except the ones who keep His commandments. Love for and faith in God is more than an emotion worked up in a song service or sentimental words spoken with the mouth. They are principles of action.
I John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." Verse 4, "----this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
It is through the keeping of His commandments that He will deliver the faith to us "that was once delivered unto the Saints." (Jude 3) Obedience to God is the mind and heart recognizing His Lordship over us and His right to do with us, and ours, as He sees fit. It is the complete subjection of our whole man to the blessed yoke of Christ. Out of this submission and obedience will come a faith so great as to cause those around us to take notice that we have been with Jesus.
We must not be fooled into thinking we have saving faith while self rules our lives. "Salvation is far from the wicked, for they seek not Thy statues." (Ps. 119:155)
How can we tell if we have gained in spiritual growth through the revelations of God's end-time message? There are some questions that we may ask ourselves that when answered honestly will give us an indication of where we stand. Have the revelations that we claim made us less worldly? Are we more and more discerning the true character of the world system that it is a hollow shell, a vain thing, contrary to God's Word in every respect, a Satan's Eden?
Do we cling as tightly to the "arm of flesh" as ever we did before, or is our faith being transferred to Jesus day by day? Can we trust Him for things today that in years past struck fear into our hearts?
Are we understanding more and more that the world is an enemy to be resisted and overcome, and that its programs and systems are the organized kingdom of the carnal mind and therefore anti-Christ?
The Bride is bidden to "fight the good fight of faith" (I Tim. 6:12) to enter into mortal combat with the world, for either we will get the victory over their teaching or be destroyed by it. Settle it in your heart then, dear Message Believer, that the World is your enemy, for it is written "Whatsoever is born of God OVERCOMETH the world." (I John 5:4)
The world, with all its alluring objects and right sounding teaching, tend to divert the attention and alienate the affections of the soul from God. This has to be so because it is the tendency of the outer man to lean toward things seen and away from spiritual things unseen. They would deceive us into getting off the Word.
QUOTE: GOD OF THIS EVIL AGE, PAGE 41, "It's a God of this earth, and she has built colleges, she's built universities, she's built hospitals, she's built libraries. She's built all those things for the temporary help of man. JUST ENOUGH TO DECEIVE THEM INTO GETTING OFF THE WORD. And what has she led them to? The whole church world is plunged into death. Come out of it people. Don't you be caught in there." (End quote)
This spirit that is in the carnal world is exactly backwards to the Spirit of Christ. Therefore, did Paul write, "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God." (I Cor. 2:12) The Son of God came into the world but "the world knew him not." (John 1:10)
I John 5:4, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our FAITH." Nothing but a God-given faith can overcome the world. As the heart is occupied with the scriptures and the message of the hour, which are eternal realities, it is delivered from the corrupting influence of the world and its teachings.
The eyes of faith discern the things of sense knowledge and see that to follow the senses, when they contradict the Word, is to be led into death. But a felt sense of the perfection of God and His Word will cause the world and its supposed logic to loose its hold on us.
But how is it with you, dear Message Believer? You may cordially agree with what has been said above, but has your life actually been affected by them? Is your faith anchored in the eternal Word so that the circumstances of life cause you no fear? Take away from the carnal man those things in which he has trusted and he is wretched and full of fear. Is this so with you, or does your joy and peace come from "Thus Saith The Lord"?
Our precious Lord Jesus came that "He might deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal.1:4) to free our souls from the teaching and bondage of this world while we yet remain in it. Thus does the Lord do for His Bride. He breaks the power of the world over their hearts so that they live independent of it's systems, that they neither seek their advise nor fear their unscriptural teaching. He frees them from the demoralizing influences which surround them, and turns their eyes toward His eternal Word.
The true Bride, in these last hours before Rapture, is pleading with God to deliver her completely from "this present evil world." (Gal.1:4) "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4) Such a word as this out of the mouth of God ought to make us tremble and search our lives and our hearts.
How can we enter into their ways, place our faith in their carnal teachings, and trust in their "arm of flesh" which cannot help but cause our "hearts to depart from the Lord." (Jerm. 17:5) Surely the Lord still wants to make a "difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians." (Ex. 11:7) How can we who profess to have the Token, to be guided by the Holy Ghost, and have our citizenship in another dimension join ranks with those who despise such things?
The world system is dying. Its darkness deepens with each new day. Their departure from the Word of God has deepened their blindness until "The whole body is full of darkness." (Matt. 6:23) The light that was in them has become darkness, and how great is that darkness. Their speech, their programs and their life styles are anti-Christ. Sin has hardened hearts and drained them of the love of God. The nominal Church is cold, and the Bride must be warned lest this same coldness creeps into her. Our prophet, Brother William Branham, left us a solemn warning.
QUOTE: CHURCH AGE BOOK, PAGE 223, "I want to give a warning right here. It says concerning the last days that because of abounding iniquity the love of many will wax cold. In the Laodicean, or last age, self love, and love for material things will take the place of the true love of God. We need to guard against the power of sin in these last days. So many are getting so hard because they haven't realized the effect of this last-day spirit. It is time to draw nigh to God and let Him fill our lives with His love, or we will feel the coldness of the last day Church, AND REJECT THE TRUTH OF GOD WHICH ALONE IS ABLE TO HELP US." (End quote)
We have profited from God's endtime message when we have been elevated above the world and its CUSTOMS AND FASHIONS. Our chief concern is to be "conformed to the image of His Son." We have profited from the Message of God when we are not overcome by the cares and sorrows of this life. It is written of the Saints of old that they "took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had in heaven a better and an enduring substance." (Heb. 10:34) We have grown spiritually when the worldly entertainment no longer attracts us. What do they have that can lure those who are "delighting themselves in the Lord." (Isa. 58:14) Last, but in no wise least, we have grown spiritually when our faith has been transferred from the ways and the programs of the world and the nominal Church.
Hab.2:4, "------the just shall live by his FAITH."
Heb. 10:38, "Now the just shall live by FAITH, but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in Him." (What a solemn warning.)
I Cor. 2:45, "That your FAITH should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
I Peter 1:21, "Who by Him (Jesus) do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, THAT YOUR FAITH AND HOPE MIGHT BE IN GOD."
Please notice the direction in which all our faith is to be pointed! It is always Godward, never earthward, nor toward man. "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and who maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." (Jer. 17:5)
When faith in God dies, the people die both spiritually and physically. They come under a curse because of their misplaced faith. In every age God has reserved for Himself a remnant of people whose faith cannot be enticed away from Himself. He is their "hope and stay", their "solid rock", their "all in all". He calls them His Bride. They are married to Him, and he is the WORD.
God's Holy Word is a Light from Heaven shinning here "in a dark place." (II Peter 1:19) It's divine rays will penetrate the false covering under which the world's helps are cloaked. Those worldly helps upon which so much money is spent and which are so advertised and trusted in, are declared to be the enemy of God. Therefore, are His Bride Children forbidden to be "conformed to it" (Rom. 12:2) and have their "affections set upon them." (Gal. 5:24)
One of the exhortations which God has addressed to His Bride says, "As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the WORD, that ye may GROW thereby." (I Pet. 2:2) It behooves each of us to examine himself and discover whether or not this be the case with him. Nor are we to be content with just a head-knowledge of the message. Our concern must be our practical growth. Are we applying the teaching of the scripture and the prophet to our daily walk and TRUST in Jesus Christ the Word? Are we looking more and more to Christ and less and less to the NATURAL helps the world offers?
QUOTE: DEMONOLOGY, PAGE 37, "The whole armor of God is our FAITH. We haven't got one natural thing of this world that we can depend on. Everything of the Christian is a FAITH act. Everything SUPERNATURAL, nothing NATURAL. So, we don't look at things NATURAL because we are operating in the SUPERNATURAL! (End quote)
QUOTE: GOD OF THIS EVIL AGE, PAGE 30, "Satan, the God of this age by his knowledge, causing the people to eat from his tree of good and evil. He says he is building a greater civilization by his knowledge of good and evil. But Christ's little Virgin Word Flock don't care for his knowledge. She keeps free from him." (End quote)
QUOTE: GOD OF THIS EVIL AGE, PAGE 31, "And knowledge causes DEATH. What caused death in the Garden of Eden? Knowledge! It can't be of God so its of the devil."
QUOTE: GOD OF THIS EVIL AGE, PAGE 44, "You've got to worship EITHER the god of knowledge, you can rely on what you hear by knowledge, or you rely UPON GOD'S WORD BY FAITH." (End quote)
There are many hearers of the Message, regular hearers, interested hearers, reverent hearers, but is it incorporated into our lives? Does the Word-message regulate our lives? God says they who are not "doers of the Word" are deceiving their own selves. (James 2:14-20)
How many such as this are in the message today? They are not hypocrites. They are good, God-loving, Prophet-loving people, but they are deluded. They suppose that their great knowledge of the mysteries has impressed the Lord while they ignore the Word that says, "Without FAITH it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him." (Heb. 11:6)
Their hearts being turned from the WORD, they look on the earthly level for help where it is not. It is the sovereign decree of Heaven that nothing can save us from the works of Satan but God in Christ, but this they will not believe. Therefore, they go from one broken cistern to another, inquiring where the best help may be found. Each worldly thing that attracts them soon disappoints. Still they seek help from the things today that yesterday let them down.
If, after many trials, they discover the helplessness of one of the world's programs, they turn to another only to verify our Lord's Word, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again." (John 4:13) And so we conclude that some wonderfully good message people are deluded about the way the Bride is to glorify God on earth.
God is glorified when we demonstrate our LOVE for Him by TRUSTING Him for our welfare. "Faith worketh by love." (Gal.5:6)