"There is a Faith That Saves and There is
a Kind of Faith That Does Not Save."
No more important words could possibly be spoken to a people waiting for a resurrection and rapture. They call for our utmost attention and our most diligent study. We are told to examine ourselves, that is, examine our faith.
If we are to examine our faith, then the clear implication is that there is a faith that is faulty, that falls short of pleasing God, and therefore does not save. It would be impossible to overemphasize the importance of understanding the difference between this "Faulty Faith" and "Saving Faith". Saving faith will go in the Rapture, while faulty faith will end up in the great tribulation.
If true faith is so necessary, and faulty faith so dangerous and misleading, then it behooves us to go to the scriptures and our prophet's message to make a most diligent and thorough inquiry as to the nature of SAVING FAITH.
QUOTE: C.O.D. BOOK, VOLUME I, PAGES 42-43, "It's remarkable, the man came to my house, him and another (and a Jew) a few months ago. And he said Brother Branham, "I've got so many degrees in Bob Jones (college). I've.........and out of Wheaton." All the education that could be piled into him. He said, "I've believed God since I was a little boy. And he said, "Still my life is vacant!" He said, "Has the teachers been wrong?"
Page 43, "He came to my house, he said, "Brother Branham, I've been dumbfounded." He said, "Is there something greater than this that I have believed and accepted Christ as my personal Saviour? And I believe that I am born again of the Spirit, but I have no witness of anything." I said, "Brother, as bad as I hate to say it, the teachers have deceived you, your schools (have deceived you)......The devil believes and trembles! It ain't what you BELIEVE.........And I was talking to one of the greatest men in America right then. Yes sir. He's the President of Sudan Missions, the greatest in all the world, fundamental to the core. He knew the scriptures, and the death, burial and resurrection, just preach it like a house on fire. (He understood it.) But that ain't it. The devil can do that too.......Not just because you say, "Yes, I believe that, yes, I believe that's the way. I believe that. Yes! That don't do it. It's got to be an actual experience of the new birth." (End quote)
The prophet was speaking with a man that had BELIEVED the Bible record of Jesus Christ, all that He was, and all that He did, and He had BELIEVED these things from his youth. He had been wrongly taught by teachers, that all that was necessary to salvation was to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31)
It is true that this verse is in Holy Writ, but it is also true that it cannot be isolated from other scriptures that instruct us concerning saving faith. Let it be said that SAVING FAITH involves much more than BELIEVING certain things about Christ. It involves much more than believing certain things about our Prophet William Branham, and the Message he brought. Some today that sit in Message Churches and do really believe and receive the Message of the Hour, are being deceived. They are believing a way that they know is right, but unless God intervenes by a miracle of grace, they will miss the rapture. This is because there has not also been a submitted heart, will and life to God.
I base the above statements on the Holy Word of God, and on the teaching of a prophet who came to explain it.
QUOTE: DOING GOD A SERVICE WITHOUT HIS WILL, PAGE 41, "You BELIEVE IT, BUT JUST TO BELIEVE IT IS NOT ENOUGH. I believe that my wife was a good girl. I knowed her father, and her mother. I knowed her for years and years. She walked a straight life. I believed she was a good woman, but that didn't make her mine. She never became mine until I accepted her, she accepted me." (End quote)
Can we understand his teaching here? He is using an earthly type to explain a spiritual truth. Just as he had to accept his wife as his, so do we have to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, not only as Saviour, but we must take His yoke upon us. We must come under His headship and yield to His government. Until our ALL has been laid at His feet, it matters not what we say we believe.
To sit in our message churches and cry, "Lord, Lord, I believe all that your prophet has said.", without submitting daily to His divine will and leading is not saving faith. "Not everyone that saith unto Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN." (Matt. 7:21)
QUOTE: THE UNVEILING OF GOD, PAGE 11, "And not only BELIEVING it, but live it. If we don't live it, then we don't believe it. We just say we do.....that's the way you got to do it. No matter what anybody else does, we believe it and THEN WE ACT UPON IT. If you don't DO IT, then you don't believe it."(End quote)
Our intellectual understanding and belief in Jesus Christ, of itself, is not yet saving faith. There must come the Spirit of God to quicken our believing, and only then will there be a Godly, spiritual, and saving faith. Only then will the BELIEVER put his believing to work and come into saving faith through obedience to Christ.
QUOTE: BLASPHEMOUS NAMES, PAGE 22, "And the biggest part of our faith is MENTAL FAITH. By hearing the Word, it brings us to a mental recognition of God. But if this coming from above, oh brother, if it ever strikes this (mental faith) then there is a Godly, spiritual faith." (End quote)
If the MESSAGE now being delivered in our message churches does not contain that part of the Gospel that is vital to genuine conversion, if it is lacking that which will produce changed lives, then it is lacking the foundation that God's prophet placed his message upon. Never was God's message meant to be something apart from the Gospel of salvation.
It is a waste of time to sow seed concerning the coming of a prophet upon ground that has not been plowed. To present God's prophet to those who still have a passion for their sins, is to give that which is Holy to unholy people. What is needed first is WORD that will convict them, show His willingness to forgive, teach them of His righteous demands upon their lives, and show the fatal results of disregarding Him and going their own way.
It is to be feared that THE WAY OF SALVATION has been falsely defined in some message churches. How often has it been preached that to BELIEVE the message is our proof of rapturing faith. But what about the teaching of Christ and His prophet concerning the "Taking of His yoke upon us?" (Matt. 11: 29)
Only those who are spiritually blind would suppose that Jesus would save any who despise His authority and refuse His yoke. Something more than believing parts of the Endtime Message is needed for saving faith. A heart that is still in rebellion against God, one that has not been broken and made to submit to His government, does not have saving faith.
This remains true no matter how many of the mysteries he may understand. Those who have not bowed to Christ's rule, and enthroned Him in their hearts, are only being deceived by their supposed belief. Those ministers that preach that we may be saved by belief in the Endtime Message, without forsaking the world and our idols, and without surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ daily in our lives, are deluding some, and are themselves deluded.
Luke 14:33, "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not ALL that he hath, he cannot be My disciple." Some today claim saving faith for the rapture, while their lives give no indication that they have complied with these words of Jesus. It was so in the case of Simon Magus as seen in Act. 8:13-23, "Then Simon himself BELIEVED also, and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip."
Apparently this man had such a faith and testimony that Philip took him to be a genuine Christian. The scripture says he "continued with Philip". That is he went about with Philip. No doubt the Church accepted him and gave him the privileges granted to Christians. Yet a short time later the apostle Peter said to him, "Thou hast neither part not lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.....I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts 8:21-23)
Peter, with his gift of discerning of spirits, saw that Simon was still bound by sin (in the bond of iniquity). A man may BELIEVE all that the Bible teaches, as far as he is acquainted with it. He may accept God's prophet, William Branham, as the one who was to come. He may understand more mysteries than do many genuine Christians, but this is no proof that his faith is saving. Faith is not saving until it has caused a total surrender of ALL we are and have to Jesus.
In Acts 26:27 we read, "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." Paul had said in verse 26, "For the King knoweth of these things....for I am persuaded that none of these things are HIDDEN from him." Here again Paul, by the gifts of the Spirit discerned that Agrippa believed the Gospel that had been preached to him. Yet his BELIEF did not save him, because he would not submit his heart and life to the Christ he believed in. He would not give up his will, his position, his ALL. Paul could not quite persuade him to do that even after he believed it.
Some in our churches are not outwardly opposed to Jesus, or His prophet. They are perfectly willing to abide by the dress code, church order, and much of the life style of true believers. They love the Lord in their way, and believe the message to be true. They are greatly impressed by the supernatural credentials of God's prophet. They are mentally stirred and excited by the mysteries that are being preached, yet the sad truth is they have never yielded their whole heart, will and life to Jesus.
People who will not hazard the loss of money, goods, reputation, pride, their own plans, or anything else that is dear to them, do not as yet have saving faith.
QUOTE: DOORS IN A DOOR, PAGE 23, "But what then when Jesus comes into the heart? Many people accept Him because they don't want to go to hell. But when Jesus comes into your heart, He wants to be Lord. Not just Saviour, but Lord also. LORD IS RULERSHIP, HE COMES IN TO TAKE OVER." (End quote)
Saving faith then, has as one of it's basic and necessary ingredients a yielding to the authority of God, a submitting of ourselves to His rightful rule and ownership. Isa. 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way." It is this self will that must be abandoned before it can be said that we have a saving, rapturing faith.
There will be no more rebellion in Heaven. The last one has been discharged, and never again will another person entertaining such a spirit gain entrance. Until we are aware of the exceeding sinfulness of self will, and self pleasing, until we are truly broken down and repentant over it, and until we come willingly under His government, it is but a presumption to suppose that we have saving, rapturing faith!
Far from teaching that saving faith is a simple matter, Jesus taught that the road to the rapture is a hard and laborious one. Matt. 7:14, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it."
Acts 14:22, "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Heaven."
Luke 13:24, "STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate."
The Feast of Divine Grace has been spread. The Great Supper is brought in the form of a Word Prophet's Message. Through God called ministers the call is going forth to come and partake, and what is the response? Luke 14:18, "They with one consent began to make excuse." They were more interested in other things. Their hearts were set upon "land" (Verse 18), "oxen" (Verse 19) and "fleshly comforts"(Verse 20).
Many are willing to BELIEVE the message as long as their life style can remain unchanged. But, when the abandonment of every idol is called for, and the crucifixtion of self is taught and giving Him the supreme place in our affections is set forth, it is then that we must all "Count the Cost" (Luke 13:23).
In Luke 14:33, our Lord insisted, "Whosoever he be of you (This includes those of us who sit in Message Churches.) that forsaketh not ALL THAT HE HATH, he cannot be My disciple." How many who BELIEVE THE MESSAGE have submitted to these Words of Jesus? How many have a plan for their own lives, and for the lives of their children? How many have resisted His will in order to fulfill these plans? Howsoever many of us there are, that is how many who are not true disciples, and who do not have saving faith!
I pray that we are being able to see how NARROW is the road, and how STRAIT is the GATE. Hundreds in the message are learning prophecy, and that is good. Many are learning the meaning of the types, and that is wonderful. The significance of the numerals in the Bible are being studied, and that is meaningful. How to divide the dispensations is being understood, for which we are thankful. What is hidden under each of the Seven Seals is being a great blessing to us. But what of the revelation concerning what saving faith is?
He is not a Christian with saving faith who does not live for the Lord. Some in the Message seem to think they can be raptured on easier terms than these. They think its enough to BELIEVE in Christ Jesus, and the Message He sent His prophet, while they do not LIVE for Him. May we respectfully point out to you, over and over again, that the genuine proof of saving faith is our LIVING for Him.
II Corth. 5:15, "And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth LIVE FOR THEMSELVES, but unto Him that died for them, and rose again."
Nothing so dishonors Jesus Christ as for those who say they believe an Endtime Message, to live a life for SELF, and to be conformed to this world, then to cloak their wickedness under the name Message Believers. They are the greatest hindrance of all to the progress of the MESSAGE on the earth. It would be far better if they would either abandon their course of selfpleasing, or else drop the name Message Believer.
If the Lord should be pleased to use this sermon to destroy the false confidence of some deluded souls, and should they honestly ask, "How can I tell the difference between saving faith and non-saving faith, then we answer, "By it's EFFECTS."
The HEAD KNOWLEDGE of the Endtime Message, which is all that some professing Believers have, will have no influence upon their walk before God. The light which the Spirit gives humbles the receiver and always leads him into loving obedience to his Saviour. When that great Light shined into Paul's heart, he at once asked, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6)
Paul declared to the Colossains, "The Gospel which is come unto you.....bringeth forth fruit....since the day ye heard....and knew the Grace of God in truth." (Col. 1:6)
Saving faith makes Jesus Christ so dear to that soul that all else is esteemed as dung in comparison with pleasing Him. But a mere head knowledge of the "Doctrines of the Message" have no such effects.
A person with non-saving faith can think highly of the doctrines, but not of the duties and responsibilities it imposes on him. It can shout and praise God for the blessings He imparts, but not yield to His claims on their life. It can acknowledge the High Priestly office of God's prophet, but not yield to the Kingly Rule of the Christ he so faithfully preached. Non-saving faith balks when personal interests are crossed. Saving faith asks, "Lord, what more may I do, what more may I give?"
Non-saving faith quickly plays out when worldly pleasures come to compete with Christ. Saving faith rules the heart and is stronger than this death that fleshly pleasures would trap us in. To sum up what has been said and to close our sermon, we can say, "Non-saving faith does not better it's possessor, while saving faith changes one so drastically that he hates the world he once loved and loves the very things he once hated. What is the test? It is fruit, not belief alone. Amen.