The Way Of Salvation
(Has the way changed?
Is there more than one way?)
QUOTE: IF GOD BE WITH US, PAGE 8 "Now many might say, "This is the Prophet of our Church, or this one (over here) is the Prophet of our church, and two of them contrary, one to the other. Something has got to be wrong. We all must speak the same thing. Then we must speak, not contrary but EXACTLY with this Word. That's how a true Prophet is tested, whether he has got the Word---it's got to be according to the Word." (End quote)
There can never be a subject as drastically important as, "THE WAY OF SALVATION." If we are deceived about the way God has ordained for us to enter His kingdom, then we have missed everything. This statement being true then, we must understand that the GREATEST PART OF THE END-TIME DECEPTION WILL BE AIMED AT CHANGING AND CONFUSING THIS "WAY". But thanks be to God, we do not have to be confused. We still have God's Word, and He sent a Prophet to explain it. Is there now a different way to enter the kingdom than we have had for the last two thousand years? Has the way been changed from what the four Gospels and the book of Acts teach? Martin Luther came out this side of the dark ages still preaching justification by faith, just as Paul had before him. If the plan was changed, our Prophet was unaware of it.
QUOTE: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN, PAGE 12 "But God made a plan for man to be saved. And man cannot add anything to that plan. It's God's plan and that's the plan we are going to study this morning. What is God's plan? He said, "Let every man's word be a lie and mine be the truth." Therefore, we would darsent to change one sentence, to make it something else. No matter how much our rituals and so forth reads, we have to forget that. This is God's Word. (His Gospel Word plan for salvation.) It just can't be done any other way. God has a plan. He has made a plan. (End quote) QUOTE: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN, PAGE 11 "Now one man could not save the other. Now it makes no difference what anyone tries to say, no man can save another. No matter how smart, or what his office is, let him be a Pastor, Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, or a Pope. He cannot have one thing to do with saving any man's life, because he is a sinner himself." (End quote) A Prophet telling us that believing in him did not bring us into the Kingdom! It seems strange to this writer that this should have to be preached, nevertheless, the need is there. How much clearer could it be said that God has set forth the plan of salvation in His Word, and that we dare not try to change it. How then did Brother Branham say we must come into the Kingdom? Let us look further at what he said, then we will check it with the scriptures.
QUOTE: FUTURE HOME, PAGE 11 "And notice how God makes plain to us His plan of redemption. Now compare what we see with our own eyes, what God has done to redeem His world. He has done the same plan to redeem His people. FOR THE UNCHANGEABLE GOD CHANGES NOT ANY OF HIS PLANS-----such a glorious thing! How he led us to Himself, to tabernacle in us BY THREE STAGES OF GRACE." (Justification, Sanctification, and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost) (End quote)Until the end of his ministry, Brother Branham taught the three steps of Justification, Sanctification, and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost for full Salvation.
QUOTE: BROKEN CISTERNS, PAGE 3 "Now we know He came to bring three works of Grace: Justification, Sanctification, and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Everything in God is completed in threes. (End quote) QUOTE: BLASPHEMOUS NAMES, PAGE 11, "God makes Himself perfect in three. He makes Himself perfect in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; three offices of one God. He makes Himself perfect in Justification, Sanctification, and Baptism of the Holy Ghost. (It) comes, perfect works of Grace." (End quote)
Because there seems to be confusion in some areas about how one comes into the Kingdom in this hour, we are stressing what a Prophet taught on the subject. Now let's read what he said the pattern way is and how that ever Christian must come in this way.
QUOTE: THE INNER VEIL, PAGES 19-21 "We can walk in the presence of God and be hid from the things of the world----a man that once walks into the presence of God, and the veil drops behind him, shutting off the things of the world, he is in the presence of God eating Manna----. You say, "Brother Branham, you've got a picture here under consideration, how do you get to it?" That's the next thing. How do we get in there Brother Branham? Here is the way they come in, THE PATTERN. Oh, I am a Christian, Brother Branham. I've been saved. I've been baptized. I enjoy the blessings of God. YOU'RE IN THE OUTER COURT. But said, days I have my ups and downs, my wearies, my tosses, my troubles. I wish I could live a victorious life. Well, you've got to get out of the (Outer) Court. You've got to come in. Now what was the first thing? The (Outer) Court represented Justification---Then they came to the First Altar----that was the Second Court (Sanctification), and now after they left the Second Court, Sanctification, they entered into this consecrated life, entered into the presence of God." (The Baptism of the Holy Ghost) (End quote) Here the Prophet is stressing the three steps by which we enter into the Kingdom of God. And then, on page 21 of this message, "The Inner Veil", he said "AND EVERY CHRISTIAN COMES THE SAME WAY." We see here that in the Old Testament, God's type of how to enter the Kingdom was through the three courts set up in the Tabernacle. These three courts have now been replaced by three stages of Salvation!
Has our Lord ever, in the hundreds of years since He carried out His glorious plan for Salvation, changed any part of it? Since the blood of Christ replaced the blood of bulls and goats, has there ever been a DIFFERENT WAY MADE? Can we now, in this end-time age, come in by some different way? If so, then God would have to furnish us with a different Bible than the one we now have.
Can belief in a Prophet and his message lift the sin load from our shoulders? Never did Brother William Branham say, "You must believe that I am Mal. 4:5 Prophet before your sins can be forgiven." Jesus said in John 8:24, "If ye believe not THAT I AM HE, ye shall die in your sins."
Never does the Bible demand belief in the office of a man, other than the office of the SON OF MAN, JESUS CHRIST, before we may enter the Kingdom. Only "The" Son of Man can forgive sins. Matt. 9:6 , "But that ye may know that The SON OF MAN hath power to forgive sins-----." (Not that belief in a Prophet can forgive sins.)
Of course, we know that when the Prophets message pertaining to salvation, through the blood of Jesus, is preached men can be saved. But it was never ordained that a general belief in Brother Branham and his message should bring salvation. Certainly, the Bride should believe in their Prophet, but never as A WAY TO SALVATION. He was only a "means to the Way". What saith the Scriptures? Matt. 6:33, "Seek ye FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD and "HIS" RIGHTEOUSNESS." This is the age old way. May I respectfully say that it is not recorded that we should "FIRST" seek the Prophet of Mal. 4:5.
Dear Message Believers, there has not been another DOOR opened whereby we may enter into the Kingdom. John 10:1, "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by THE DOOR into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." And in verse seven, Jesus said, "I am the DOOR of the sheep."
No mortal man could ever be the DOOR TO SALVATION. We do thank God that our Prophet was the way by which revelation came, AFTER our salvation. Salvation is based solely on the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not on the coming of a Prophet, as drastically important as his coming was.
Brother William Branham led multitudes to Christ, but not by preaching that he was a Prophet. Never did any man preach Jesus Christ more effectively than he, and for this reason were the multitudes brought in. How dare we then to preach salvation through belief in Brother Branham as a Prophet, and declare that we are preaching his message. How wrong we can become in our thinking, and how the Prophet would rebuke us if he were here. Surely the Scriptures teach that our Elijah should come, and thank God he did come, but it was not to stand between the people and the DOORWAY to the Kingdom, which doorway is Jesus Christ.
Why cannot belief in our Prophet, as necessary as this belief is, bring us into God's Kingdom? It is because we were born separated from God by a great gulf, which gulf was a fallen Nature, and this old Nature must be slain and a New Creation put in it's place. This is the work of a Supernatural Being, and can never be credited to belief in a mortal man.
No matter how strong our faith might be in a God-sent, and God-anointed man, this could never bring about a change in our old soul, or nature. According to the Prophet himself, we could, "Believe every word you say Brother Branham, but that would not be good enough." Jesus Christ has to change our old nature or else we are still lost.
To some it may seem quite unnecessary to speak about the only way of Salvation, but as has already been said, the enemy would love to confuse the people, who believe the end-time message, into thinking that the message itself is the way. Truth is, it can only be the way because it points to CHRIST who is the only way.
And so, it behooves us to preach what the scriptures and the Prophet say is THE WAY OF SALVATION. Not only were the Sons and Daughters of God separated from their Creator, but the law they had broken demanded that they make full amends for their sins. No man could make this restitution for himself, nor could any other mortal pay his debt.
The case of these fallen Sons was desperate indeed. Their only hope was in a Mediator who would be both WILLING and QUALIFIED to pay the terrible price the law demanded. But, where could such a Mediator be found? Who could span the awful gulf so they could come back to Father?
Could any of the descendants of Adam qualify to change their fallen nature so that they loved God rather than SELF and the world? No! All they, like their first parents, were in need of a WAY OF SALVATION themselves. The situation was totally hopeless unless the Divine Majesty Himself would come down to us, for we could in no wise ascend back to Him.
But if God should come down to help us, this only seemed to increase the problem, because full satisfaction could only be made by a full satisfaction being given to the Law, and this satisfaction involved two seemingly impossible things. First, the person who interceded would have to live a life of perfect obedience to every "jot and tittle" of the Law, and no Son of Adam could approach to such a life. Second, the person who interceded would have to suffer the full penalty for sin, the end of which suffering was death.
Man seemed faced with an unsolveable problem in that no mortal could keep the Holy Law perfect. And even though God should choose to come down for us, how could He die? There is no death in God! But Divine wisdom had already planned a glorious solution. God would come down, and without ceasing to be God, He would become a man by being formed in the body of a virgin.The Seed of God placed in Mary's body by the Holy Ghost made Jesus to be God. Yet the chemicals from the food she ate made Him a man in a flesh body. QUOTE: BLASPHEMOUS NAMES, PAGE 34 "What was their fuss with Jesus (about)? Their fuss with Jesus was because He was a Man making Himself God. He was God, God was in Christ, and He told them; don't look at Me. It's not Me, it's My Father, and He dwells in Me. Now, they were looking at that little BODY that was borned of Mary. See? THAT WASN'T GOD!"(End quote) (A Prophet saying He was both God and man.)
And so by the wisdom of the Creator there was produced a GOD-MAN. A person who could, and did, keep all the Holy Law, then give that Holy Life for those of us who could not become perfect in the flesh. And so, the Eternal Word, God Himself, became flesh. (John 1: 14)
By this means, and this means only, could the Children of God be restored back to Himself. No other mortal had any way at all of appeasing the anger of the One whose laws they had broken. The Redeemer must be sinless, or else He would need redeeming Himself.
We are looking at THE WAY OF SALVATION, which way needs to be carefully re-examined, in this day that has been called the most deceitful of all days.
Exactly what is it that the true Minister of God ought to preach about the WAY OF SALVATION? No honest heart can study the New Testament without seeing that we are to preach "REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS IN HIS NAME, among all Nations." (Luke 24:47)
We are to invite all men to "COME TO CHRIST, and beseech our hearers to be RECONCILED TO GOD." (II Cor. 5:20) Not just come to a Message preached about this God, and not just to a Prophet who brought the Message.
We are to tell them that "Whosoever shall call upon the NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED." (Rom. 10:13) The Ministers of God are to preach "The Gospel", which Gospel is a promise of mercy through CHRIST, and HIM only. The Gospel is a Divine Revelation of THE WAY OF SALVATION THROUGH the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel never does present any other person that must be believed in before entering the Kingdom. It only presents the GOD-MAN as the object of our faith. The One who "cannot lie" most solemnly declares that "Whosoever believeth in His Son shall not perish." (John 3:15) Jesus Himself has expressly announced, "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37) The duty of the Minister is to urgently present the fact that God "Now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30) When men have truly repented they are JUSTIFIED. When they follow on, placing their whole life on the Altar at the Lord's feet, they are SANCTIFIED. Once SANCTIFIED, they can receive the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST. If they will yet follow on, this BAPTISM will make way for He, Himself, the Word.
We know not whom He has called as His Bride, but we need not know in order to preach Salvation through the New Testament plan. We must NEVER seek to change the UNCHANGING WORD which says, "But as many as received HIM (Christ) to them gave He power to become the Sons of God." (John 1:12)
When people today come to Christ for Salvation, as they did in the Book of Acts, they will have the same experiences as they did in the Book of Acts. If this is not true, then Jesus is not the same as He was yesterday. After we have preached the Gospel, and one is convicted and repents, he is then Justified. He has a foot in the Kingdom.
From this point on God will choose His Bride; we must preach Christ first and foremost. Certainly, there are those individuals who are scattered throughout the systems who have repented and entered the Kingdom. To fail to recognize these as Children of God, and do all in our power to fellowship them and share our revelations, is to ourselves fall into the sin of denominationalism. Such a stand on our part destroys the New Testament concept of Christianity and makes a mockery of the blood shed on the cross. It tends to reduce salvation to the place the Pharisees of old had brought it. They claimed to know God through Moses, while they rejected God, THE WORD, as He stood before them.
Do some of us claim to know God through William Branham, while we reject his number one doctrine of Salvation, which is faith in the Blood of Christ? Do we reject some who have repented on the grounds that they have not the light about a Prophet? Let us not be known for how many we have refused fellowship with on the grounds of their not seeing our Prophet, but rather let us be known for preaching Christ to a lost and dying generation. We are well aware that there is a point beyond which Christian fellowship cannot continue. This is not to say that we should forsake any of our spiritual and moral absolutes. Without these absolutes that the Bride is holding fast to, Christianity would cease to exist, and the world would laugh us to scorn. But, let us be certain it is sin that we stand against and not our brother himself, the enemy we war against and not each other.
We ministers must realize that, "The carnal mind is enmity against God." (Rom. 8:7) and that no arguments of any man can overcome or melt the heart of stone found in the lost person. Paul may plant and Appollos may water, but God only can give the increase.
Nothing short of the supernatural working of the Holy Ghost revealing CHRIST to him, can bring in the lost sinner. We are to take the Gospel and reveal to him the sins he stands charged with under the Divine Law, and the curse he is under because of them.
We must show him the ONE WAY of Salvation, which is through faith in the blood of Christ. To convince the lost that a Prophet has come, does not do away with his sins. To show him the great supernatural ministry of our Prophet is well and good, but it does not produce the New Birth of itself. To take the scriptures and the ministry of our great Prophet, and prove to the intellectual person that Brother Branham was that one which was to come, still will not, of itself, change his nature.
To see this nature change is our first and God-ordained goal. We must open to the view of the lost man the plan of the Gospel. This plan includes the riches of God's Grace to forgive sinners, the all sufficiency of Christ's payment on the cross, the terrible misery he will experience in the lake of fire if he refuses grace, the unexplainable blessedness of heaven, and the shortness of the time he has left to prepare himself.
If you say, "But we must bring them to the End-Time Message", then I say so too. But if you are preaching the Message to him, be certain you preach the part where the prophet said, "YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN", for according to Jesus, this is his first and greatest need. (John 3:2) To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ allows the Holy Ghost to begin a saving work in the soul. To preach a Prophet may enlighten his intellect while the soul remains darkened. When we preach the Gospel, the Holy Ghost convicts the lost for failing to keep God's laws, and produces a deep sorrow for such failure. This great sorrow that we call conviction, then opens the door for us to call upon the people to repent. To believe parts of the message of our Prophet is not necessarily to repent. We must call upon the lost to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and carefully explain what saving faith consists of. That it is first a turning away from ALL OTHER WAYS AND MEANS OF SALVATION. (Acts 4:12) "Neither is there salvation in any other name under Heaven!"
No one receives their freedom from the bondage of sin until they believe on the Lord Jesus. Belief in no other person brings such freedom. John 1: 6-12, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness , to bear witness of THE LIGHT, that all men through him might believe. He was NOT THAT LIGHT, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Verse 12, "But as many as RECEIVED HIM, to them gave HE power to become Sons of God, even to them that believed on His name."
With all our hearts we believe that Brother William Branham was the Prophet of Mal. 4:5 come to reveal the Word that would prepare the Bride for rapture. But we just as firmly believe that by far the greatest of these revelations was full salvation through THREE STEPS, WHICH STEPS ARE JUSTIFICATION, SANCTIFICATION, AND THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.
We are convinced that to preach salvation through any other means is the greatest of errors. Justification has to do with the Man Jesus Christ and not with the man William Branham, except as Brother Branham taught this truth. Sanctification has to do with the Man Jesus Christ and not with the man William Branham, except as Brother Branham taught this truth. And so does the Baptism of the Holy Ghost have to do with the man Jesus Christ, and not with William Branham, except as he taught this way. But thanks be to God he did teach this way. Brother Branham was not here to magnify himself ; he was here to glorify the Redeemer. (John 16:14) He came to reveal the lovely perfections of Christ unto the Bride, to win their hearts to Jesus, and to cause them to be conformed to His Image.
Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelist, and Teachers in this message need to use the plough of the Law to cause men to be convicted and repent before they sow the seed of the Gospel that pertains to a Prophet. This is the general rule and not a hard fast law.
There is no need to keep repeating to the lost person that he should "Believe in a Prophet" until we have used the Gospel material that will convince souls of their awful need of Christ.
When the Lord Jesus called Paul and sent him forth to preach to men, it was to "Open their eyes" and to "Turn them from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God." (Acts 26:18) Never do we read where Paul said men must believe he was the First Church Age Messenger, before they could enter the Kingdom. When Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ", it was only so he could bring them to the fullness of Christ Jesus. And so Paul was not THE WAY, he was only a means to THE WAY. In the same sense, our Brother Branham was not THE WAY, he was a means to THE WAY.
God's Divine way of Salvation is the greatest Monument to Divine Wisdom, Grace, Sovereignty, Power, and Justice that was ever shown on Earth. He has produced a Savior, who by His perfect life and the suffering of death, has made atonement for sin. The whole scope of the Bible, from the first hint of it in Eden (Gen. 3:15) to the end of the New Testament, bears witness to this marvelous and ONLY WAY OF SALVATION.
The Divine promises declare it, the types all illustrate it, and the Prophets have foretold it. When THE SON OF MAN came in our age in A SON OF MAN, He was still announcing that Jesus Christ came to give His life a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:28) In these sad days when some, who profess to be saved through their belief in a Prophet are destroying their own testimony by continuing in their self will and self indulgence, the need for making sure THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION is double clear. Saving Faith is that which "PURIFETH THE HEART" (Acts 15:9), and by the fruits of some it can be seen that the heart is still not changed.
It is to be greatly feared that some are taking shelter behind a profession of Christianity, because of their belief in a Prophet. And they no doubt fondly hope that there is some sort of general merit to be had by it. We do agree that it is very commendable of any person to intellectually accept the Word about an end-time Prophet, but we still deny, on the grounds of the infallible Word, that this, of itself, can bring one into the Kingdom.
We do also whole heartily agree that we need the revelations God gave our Prophet to prepare us for the Rapture, and that the foundation of his teaching can be found in the doctrine of three steps to full salvation. May God have mercy on us and save us from any deviation of this WAY is our prayer.