TABERNACLE TEACHING SERIES
(In Danger of the Tribulation)!
By C.W. Wood
A PERSONAL NOTE TO OUR READERS: “Time waits for no
man” That use to be an old saying when I was a small boy, but having now been
a Christian for 47 years, I have learned that our gracious Lord is waiting until
the last Bride member has been saved before He takes His Bride to the Marriage
Super. If we have time to get this message out, then can we say, “Time has
waited a little longer, and He has given us time to once again thank each one of
you personally by way of this note”. We are holding to His Word for the
strength to continue the work until He is finished with us. We love you. Br.
C.W. Wood and Church
II Corth. 13:5, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in THE
FAITH (the saving kind); prove your own selves. Know ye not your own
selves that Christ Jesus is in you except ye be reprobates."
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
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 Savior? 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
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
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 Savior, 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
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
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."
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 End-time 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 End-time 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
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
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
Savior, but Lord also. LORD IS RULERSHIP; HE COMES IN TO TAKE OVER." (End
Saving faith then, has as one of its 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
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
crucifixion 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
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 is 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 it’s 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.
Nothing so dishonors Jesus Christ as for those who say they
believe an End-time 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
self-pleasing, 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 its EFFECTS."
The HEAD KNOWLEDGE of the End-time 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 Savior. 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 Colossians, "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 mere head knowledge of the "Doctrines of the Message" has 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 its possessor, while saving faith changes one so drastically that he hates the world he once loved and loves the very things he once hated. Amen.