The Stature of the Perfect Man
God Bless you, Bible believers. We love him with all of our hearts, because He first loved us. That chorus expresses the heart-thoughts of each one of us here this-morning. Where would we be if we hadn't heard the Message of this hour? Certainly, we'd be in a denominational church somewhere, religious as can be, loving God and worshipping Him sincerely. But without faith, we'd be sincerely wrong.
Can you say "Amen" to that?
Let's go straight to the Scripture, I Corinthians 10:1-12:
"I want you to know, brethren, that although our fathers were all under the Cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all as followers of Moses were baptized in the Cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink: for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. Nevertheless God was displeased with the majority of them, for they were struck down in the wilderness."
"Now these things occurred as warnings for us, so that we should not lust after evil as they lusted, neither be idolaters like some of them, as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to dance [before the golden calf]. Neither should we commit fornication as some of them did, when twenty three thousand fell in one day. Neither let us try the Lord's patience as some did and died of snake bite (Numbers 21:6), nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the Destroyer" (Numbers 16:41-49)
"Now these experiences happened to Israel as a warning, and were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall."
Moses was admonished, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown to you on the Mount." The natural visible things of this temporal existence are a type and shadow of the heavenly or Spiritual reality. So the natural manna God provided for Israel's necessary food was a type of the revealed Word and Life-giving resource for our soul.
The Rock that followed Israel was a manifestation of Christ the Wordsmitten it produced water for natural life as Christ brought forth Living Waters of the Spirit for eternal Life. When Moses smote the rock a second time his works implied the insufficiency of the Word and he died without entering Canaan, and by works without faith the natural church crucifies to its self the Son of God afresh and is judged, whereas Christ's end-time Bride speaks the Word whereby God vindicates us as the Sons of God and will restore us to the eternal land of the millennium and the great hereafter without death.
Natural Israel was God's servant nation; Spiritual Israel is God's Children. We are joint heirs in Israel's Throne, a chosen people wholly separated to Christ, the Word of God. As Israel left Egypt a mixed multitude, we departed denominational Egypt Believers, make-Believers, and un-Believers; God then tried and separated the murmurers . . . women who wanted to paint their face, cut their hair and dress in the fashions of Egypt, men who sought popularity with the world rather than identification with who are despised by the world but wise in Christ.
The Devil takes his man but never his spirit, and God takes His man but never His Spirit: those spirits return to anoint another, and so history repeats itself because spirits don't die. Thus Old Testament types and shadows serve to show us things that will come to pass under the New Testament.
If I hold my hand before the light it will cast a shadow against as an indistinct image of my hand. If you had never seen a hand before you would have some idea what one looked like by observing the shadow. The shadow is not the very image, but as the light moves closer to my hand the shadow becomes more clearly defined. So when my actual hand comes into view, you will instantly identify it by your familiarity with the shadow. This illustrates "faith" which is a clear revelation of the revealed Word of God. Scripture is written in this manner so that God's elect who are looking for the Promise of His Word to be fulfilled will recognize the substance when it materializes from THUS SAITH THE LORD of the shadow and not be deceived by human reasoning.
Many came out of Laodicean denominations and were baptized in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christand that's the only water baptism commanded in the New Testament. They were sanctified. They have seen that He is still a miracle-working God, and by the "letter" they have tasted of the heavenly Gift and of the good things to come, but like Israel they are wandering to death in a Spiritual wilderness because although they have "come out of her" by works of the Message they have never entered into Him by revelation of the Message.
Let us take warning. God deals exclusively with individuals always. Because we have heard the "shout" of the prophet's Message and come out of Babylon does not mean we have entered into Christ. The foolish virgin also heard the "shout," came out of her and are worshipping with us this morning. The foolish virgins today are in the circle of this Message.
There are three kinds of Bible believers in this room today: genuine saints, un-Believers, and impersonators. We must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and "if the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, it will quicken your mortal body to the Word."
Let each of us examine his life. If we really believe the Bible is God's Word and that William Branham was His prophet we will obey everything they instruct us to do. Is that right? Even if we don't have a revelation we'll believe and obey what God's Word commands because God said so. All things are possible to those who believe . . . carry on obedient in prayer, seek, knock, and He will unlock the revelation to your heart.
"If the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, it will quicken your mortal body to the Word." If our body and spirit are not coming subject to the Word it's a good sign we do not have the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ and are not a part of His Body. Certainly you will have failings, but you will repent, pick yourself up, and press on in obedience (Romans 7:14-25).
A married Brother here took out a woman recently. Such behaviour is not condoned even by the Roman Catholic church. Where is the conscience that convicts the heart of sin? Others of you dress like the world and go mixed bathing, when the Bible forbids it. Some are not even baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. I might be preaching to four bare walls one day but I put you on notice this behaviour will not be tolerated in this assembly. And I expect you to warn me if you believe I am bringing a reproach on the Word.
James 5:16 says "confess your faults to one another, and pray one for another." Paul tells us to "examine ourselves" before we observe the Lord's Supper, "judging our life by the Word lest we bring a reproach to the Lord's Body," that is, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
This might be "legalism" but it is God's Word. We should be free from condemnation and ready at all times to observe the Lord's Supper which represents our oneness with the Word and Spirit, typed in the bread and wine. At all times because we don't know when He will require us to give an account of ourselves. "If today you should hear His Voice, harden not your hearts as they did in the Wilderness." Repent and make things right now.
This church is in no shape to take the Lord's Supper were we to serve it tonight. If we bring offence in these things, we offend the Body and must apologize to the Brethren before we can make things right with God. This requires sincerity and either speaking privately with one we feel we might have offended, or standing before the congregation, confessing our faults, and asking prayer (Matthew 5:23-24).
Each of us is expected to be present for service whenever the doors are open. Your attendance is not optional, it is obligatory. Church is a privilege we will not have for very much longer and something we should all look forward to. When you attend service don't come thinking, "what can I get out of this?" If you believe we are preaching the Present Truth and that you are part of the Body, come along for the benefit of the other members of the Body. We are each individuals but members of the same Body which is incomplete without one of our number.
God is holy and He requires His Bride to be holy. If our lives are not holy and we don't repent we know for sure we are not His Wife. Jesus taught on correction in Matthew 18:15-20, and Paul applied this in His letters to the Corinthians when he found a brother in incestuous relations with his father's wife. When confronted with his sin the man failed to repent and was put out of fellowship with the Church and the protection and blessings of the Spirit. Such may attend services and sit at the back of the church but Brethren are not to greet or fellowship with him. The whole object and purpose of the exercise is to discipline the man with a view to his correction. Church is not a social club. We don't come here to drink tea and fellowship with one another. As Paul taught us in I Corinthians 11:34, we have homes where we can socialize. We attend church for correction, for edification by the Word of God, and to encourage one another in worship together.
When someone is out of fellowship, particularly when he is out from the protection of the Word, it is for a purpose. If he is a Christian, Satan will give him such a hard time he will quickly repent and ask the Church to forgive him. If he fails to repent, God will take his life before He will allow him to bring reproach to the Word (I Corinthians 11:29-30), otherwise you know he went out from us because he was never one of us. In other words, he was not born-again in the first place.
I baptized such a fellow in 1983, a fine sanctified chap who has been out of fellowship and baptized many times since. A visitor to so many churches, the Catholic "Sunday Visitor" might be named in his honour. Despite his zeal there appears not the slightest evidence he was born-again as there is no clear revelation, and no repentance. He has spoken terrible words against the prophet and for years denied the faith and promoted universal salvation, even for Satan.
We are each entitled to believe whatever we perceive to be truth. But if I as your pastor say do not fellowship with such a person you are to shun them; should they communicate tell them without discussion they are out of fellowship. A true friend will not interfere with God's work by comforting one in his sin. "Your glorying is not good; a little leaven leavens the whole lump! Deliver him to Satan to bruise and drive him to repentance that his soul may be saved."
What this assembly does is the private business of this congregation alone. This chap isn't interested in us, sharing our news with him is gossip from which we are to abstain. If you don't have confidence to obey the things I say, you are in the wrong church and should find a pastor in whom you can have confidence. If you have confidence in the Word, don't interfere with It, let it do what It says to restore Him or put him out.
I Corinthians 10:6-10: "Now these things occurred as warnings for us, so that we should not lust after evil as they lusted, neither be idolaters as were some of them, as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to dance. Neither should we commit fornication as some of them did, when twenty three thousand fell in one day. Neither let us try the Lord's patience as some did and died of snake bite, nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the Destroyer"
I Corinthians 2:9-14: "But as it is written, No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no man comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
"Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed upon us by God. Of these matters we speak not in words taught by human wisdom but in Words taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to spiritual persons. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."
God's Word holds many promises for His childrennot for everybody, but for an election chosen in Christ unto Glory before the foundation of the world . . . called, justified, and already glorified in His sight. These promises are revealed by His Spirit to those of whom Jesus said, "You have not chosen Me but I have chosen you".
We are admonished to be Spiritual men, not natural men, to judge in all things by the Spirit or revealed Word of God. Paul said the Gifts of the Spirit are to be desired but it is more desirable that we prophesy, or possess Spiritual discernment, which is faith or understanding in the Word.
God is building Christ a Word-Bride by faith to reproduce the glorious character and nature of "Zoe," His Own Life, in the living Body-Word of our flesh under preeminence, bringing our part of the world under dominion as commissioned in Genesis 1:28. His Wife will reflect His Attributes whereby she is His glory, for He will not share His glory with the attributes of this world (I Corinthians 11:7). The lives of we who are His Body will be holy epistles of revelation subduing our spirit to think right and bring our body subject to our high calling.
This morning we are going to teach on building the Living Tabernacle for the Living God's Dwelling Place, the stature of the perfect Man.
I Corinthians 3:11-13, "No other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work will become evident, for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by Fire; and the Fire will test whatever quality each one's work may be".
Now let's read II Peter 1:1-12: "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:"
Paul said, we should have the same mind and speak the same thing. The "common salvation" is by a common faith. And did you notice Peter is addressing the saints, those who "have already obtained" the faith, not the outside world. As we learned last week, the ministry is not for the sinners but for the perfecting of those who are saints and for the edification of those already in the Body (I Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:11-12).
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has bestowed on us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him has who called us to glory and virtue, by which He has granted to us His great and precious promises: that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
What is our Goal? It is to be "made partakers of the Divine nature," having escaped the cares of the world by sensual desire that we may please our Lord (I Corinthians 7:34). How do we overcome the world? Through faith which unlocks every promise of the Bible.
"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue; and your virtue with knowledge; and to knowledge add temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if you possess these things increasingly, they ensure that you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
"But he who lacks these things is blind, and shortsighted, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Therefore be the more zealous, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do this, you will never fall: for so an entrance will be liberally provided for you into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
Without the Spirit or new birth we are not "guided into all truth and cannot see things to come," which is the evidence of the new birth (John 16:13). The Token or evidence of the new birth is "the Divine Nature"Christ's Life manifesting the Present Truth in youwhat Jesus promised He would do in this day. Vindication!
"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the present Truth."
Peter is teaching how as individual saints we grow to maturity in the Stature of the Perfect Man. Simultaneously he was prophesying how throughout the Pentecostal Feast or Gentile Dispensation each division of the Body has emphatically displayed one specific virtue of the Life of Christ in its Age, while the Fullness of Christ will be waved before the Lord at the manifestation of the sons of God when His end-time Bride under preeminence to the Word will exercise the 'third pull'.
So this morning, we will take the key of faith, and unlock the way to becoming Living Biblesvirtuous Christians in the stature of God. Remember, the Bible is the story of God changing His Form from the eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts, through the Spoken Word to the flesh of those thoughts in the Form of His familyJesus Christ and His Brothers and Sisters, the New Testament saints.
He revealed Himself to Israel in a Pillar of Fire, called "the Fatherhood." Then that same God manifest in Jesus Christ as the Son. Finally through the death of that body He sanctified a Church that He can dwell in. It was God above His people, God with His people, and God in His peoplethe same God (singular) all the time.
Isaiah 9:6 explains it as does Matthew 28:19. Not three Godsthree major Offices or Dispensation Claims of one God, Who is the "everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace" or Son, and the "Wonderful Counselor" or Holy Ghost, whose Name is Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the Seventh Day Adventists and other groups regard the sabbath as a "day" of rest, but God's Bible says that the sabbath day may only be observed in God's provided "Place," and the one "Place" in which Israel can observe sabbath is Palestine, outside the land God's Covenant is of no effect.
Acts 7:44-49: "Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, even as He who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations, whom God drove out before our fathers. The tent remained until the days of David, who found favour with God and prayed that he might provide a house for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built him a house. Howbeit the Most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as the prophet says: Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool: what house will you build Me? says the Lord: or what is the PLACE of My rest?"
The Presence of God dwelt in the Tabernacle and appeared above the Mercy Seat between the cherubim over the Ark in the Tent of Witness in the wilderness. It was patterned after the vision of heaven where God dwells alone between the cherubim. The evidence that He had taken His abode was the Shekinah manifest at the inauguration of the Tabernacle, and witnessed by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Exodus 40:34-35).
Our unchanging God displayed the same Sign when He took His abode in King Solomon's Temple (I Kings 8:10-11), and later in the Temple of the Lord Jesus Christ at His baptism in Jordan (Luke 3:23).
Hebrews 10:5-6: "Consequently, when He came into the world, He said, Sacrifices and offering You have not desired, but this body of Mine you have prepared for Me to lay as a sacrifice on your altar: in burnt offerings and sacrifices You have taken no pleasure."
We know God's perfect will was obedience, not sacrifice. Ideally He never wanted the sacrifices of bulls and goats, or the Lord Jesus, our kinsman Redeemer: He wanted a Body under pre-eminence.
Where is the place of God's sabbath today? God is tabernacling in a Body, the Bride of Christ. I Corinthians 3:16-17, "Do you not know that you are the Temple of God, and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If any man defiles God's Temple, God will destroy him, for God's Temple is holy, and you are that Temple".
Nothing could approach God's holiness; even Cherubim covered their faces in reverence and their feet in humility. When God visited Moses, if an animal so much as touched the mountain it must be killed. Then God was made flesh and dwelt among us in the form of Jesus Christ, His SonHis Creation, who yielded His natural life in our stead to release the Holy Spirit of His soul that it might return to release us from the dominion of carnal desires, regenerate and unite with our soul, and displace the nature of the world with the Divine Nature that we may be God's dwelling and the Place of His rest.
If the Pentecostals are looking for the 'initial evidence' of the new birth, it is found in Acts 2:1 and 3: "When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all in one mind in one place . . . And there appeared to them tongues as of Fire that rested on each of them." When the unchanging God inaugurated the many-membered Body of the Bride of Christ, He identified it with the same Sign by which He identified His previous tabernacles.
"Sacrifices and offering You have not desired, but this body of Mine you have prepared for Me to lay as a sacrifice on your altar." That Body is now the Family of God, Jesus Christ and the New Testament saints. Romans 12:1-2, "By the mercies of God, present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
When you are in the Body, that is, at one mind and in one place in the Word for your day, "you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" (John 14:20). This is your sabbath.
The Church is now taking the place of Christ, carrying on His ministry. "He who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also. Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more; but you will see Me: because I live, you will live also," continuing His work of reconciling the world to the Word (II Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians 1:24).
God dwells in the stature of a man, reflecting His glory through the character of our being when we live life a pleasing sacrifice to Him. That is perfect worship whereby we become the Word in our flesh, written epistles of faith read and known of all men, "which is Christ in you, the hope of glory".
Pagans worship inanimate idols in the physical form of their god. Those idols look just like the demon spirit that inspired the artist or sculptor to make a likeness by which it could receive worship. Christians are living images of the character of the Living God. Man was created to display God's attributes that He may receive glory to Himself, and God has always reflected Himself in men yielded to His Spirit. Consider the shadows and types. Born a deliverer, Moses spent forty days on the mount and returned with the Law, the Ten Commandments for Israel. Also born to deliver Israel, Christ spent forty days in the wilderness and magnified the Law in His sermon on the mount, the Beatitudes of Matthew 5-7. "Moses said you shall not commit adultery: But I tell you, that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart".
Another man who reflected Christ was Joseph, a spiritual man who could interpret dreams and see visions. His brothers hated him because of it and cast him into a ditch as one dead, then sold him for almost thirty pieces of silver. From there he came to sit at Pharaoh's right hand and no man could come to Pharaoh but through Joseph. Before Joseph left the Palace, a trumpet sounded and messengers went before him shouting, "bow the knee, Joseph is coming," and everyone ceased whatever he was doing and bowed before him.
A perfect type: no man can come to God but through the Sacrifice of Christ. Six Trumpets sounded through the Gentile dispensation while Israel, enslaved in unbelief, was made to bow low under God's terrible judgments. When the Seventh Trumpet sounds our labour against sin will be over; our Joseph will meet us in the Air and hide us in the Palace as Joseph's Gentile bride and offspring were hidden in his palace before he revealed himself to his kinsmen of the flesh. For three and one half years two messengers in the spirit of Moses and Elijah will run before Him shouting to the Israelites, "bow the knee, Messiah is coming," and an election of 144,000 of Jesus brethren in the flesh will cease their labour, bow the knee, and receive Jesus Messiah as Lord.
Another shadow or type was David, scorned and spat upon by his brethren and plotted against by his son. Likewise, Jesus was spat on by Israel's "chief priests, and elders, and all the council" (Matthew 26:59-67), and his brother in the Church plotted against and betrayed Him to death. Then David sat on the Mount of Olives and wept over Jerusalem, a perfect type of our rejected King a thousand years thence.
These shadows and types reflected God's Word in PART, foreshadowing Christ in whom dwelt the Fullness of the godhead bodily. Since that perfect One is Present and has redeemed His Bride, we come under preeminence and reflect the Stature of the Perfect Man. This is the Token of the Life of Christ on displayGod's purpose and plan to dwell in the flesh of His FamilyJesus Christ and the New Testament saints.
The Bible is the story of God unfolding Himself or changing His form from the eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts to the manifestation of those eternal thoughts in glorified human flesh. If you can see that you will understand that in the renewed heavens and renewed earth the "saved" outside New Jerusalem will worship God throughout eternity in the form of His glorified Family.
God wrote three Bibles. His first Bible was the stars. Romans 1:20-21 and Psalm 19:1-4: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. There is no spoken Word from the stars; yet their Voice unheard is evident throughout the earth, and their sayings to the ends of the inhabited earth. . ."
Job, the oldest Book in the Bible, speaks about the stars where God wrote His first Bible. It starts off with Virgo the virgin and ends with Leo the lion as symbolized by the Sphinx. Bailly's Astronomy says, "The Zodiac must have been first divided when the sun at the summer solstice was in 1 degree Virgo, where the woman's head joins the Lion's tail." Astrologers will tell you there is no continuity of time beyond the victorious triumphs of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Death, hell and the grave with the Devil and all of his children, are cast into the lake of Fire. Then a great voice in heaven will sing, "Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God."
Virgo the virgin (August 23 to September 22) is followed after nine months, the period of Mary's pregnancy, by Aries the Ram (March 21 to April 20). Jesus was born in April in the Northern hemisphere springtime when all little lambs are born, not in December as Rome asserts, which is winter when Bethlehem's hills are snowbound. He was the little Ram sacrificed for the sins of the world.
Passover was followed by the Pentecostal Feast where the middle wall of partition that separated the Gentiles from God's Covenant was broken down, and the Church, predominantly Israelite until the seventh century, became mostly Gentile (Ephesians 2:14-22). This is the Cancer age we live in now.
Cancer the Crab (June 23 to July 23) is a crustacean that can walk in any directionsideways, and even backwards. The malignant growth which tends to spread or reproduce itself, corrupting the cells concerned, and generally ending in death, was named after this characteristic. How appropriate to the Gentile dispensation which spread the Gospel throughout the world, ending in apostasy and death (John 3:18; Romans 11:32; Revelation 6:8).
Leo (July 24 to August 23), the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, completes the circle of time back to Virgo. This coincides with Christ's "parousia" to the 144,000 elect Israelites and also to His second "erchomai" or physical Coming as King.
Heaven is in harmony and the name Leo in Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac and Coptic means "He that rends, that tears asunder, that destroys, that lays waste." The stars in this constellation unite in describing what is written of "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah" the Title by which Christ was recognized when in 1963 He advanced to claim His inheritance and to indict the world for judgment (Isaiah 61:2b; John 5:27; Revelation 5:5).
In Israel's dying blessing the prophetic words foretold of Judah: "Your brethren shall praise You: Your hand shall be in the neck of Your enemies; Your Father's children shall bow down before You. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, My Son, You are gone up: He stooped down, He couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse Him up" (Genesis 49:8-9)?
Balaam prophesied: "He shall eat up the nations His enemies, and break their bones, and pierce them through with His arrows. He crouched, He lay down as a lion, and like a lioness: who would disturb them" (Numbers 24:8-9)?
The same testimony is borne by the prophet Amos: "Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has taken nothing? . . . The lion has roared, who will not fear" (Amos 3:4, 8)?
The Spirit describes the scene when "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah" is roused up for the rending in Isaiah 42:13: "The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against His enemies."
However He has not come to the exercise of His powers and prerogatives as the Lion without first clearing away all impediments and overcoming all embarrassments by His sacrificial atonement and satisfaction for the sins of those for whom He takes the character of the Lion, to tear His and their enemies in pieces (Psalm 50:22). This is what is meant and included when (to comfort John who throughout the Book of Revelation represents Christ's end-time Bride) the Elder says: "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has prevailed." Hence He is "worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (Revelation 5:5, 12).
When God created the heavenly bodies and set them in the firmament, He said, "Let them be for signs and for seasons""signs of something or Someone to come" at a "set or appointed time" (Genesis 1:14). Here we have a distinct declaration from God that the heavens contain not only a revelation concerning "things to come" in the signs, but also concerning "appointed times" in the wondrous movements of the Sun, and Moon, and Stars.
To demonstrate the perfection of God's heavenly Bible, the motions of the Sun and Moon are so arranged that at the end of a given interval of time they return to almost precisely the same position, with regard to each other and to the earth, as they held at the beginning of that interval; almost but not quite precisely. There will be a slight outstanding difference, which will finally destroy the possibility of the combination recurring, or else lead to combinations of a different character.
Whether we look at the primeval revelation in the heavens, or at the later revelation in the Word, the story is the same. Thus the probability of God's prophecies being fulfilled is so finely balanced as to vindicate their Supernatural infallible inspiration. Not one jot or tittle of His Word or one degree of turning in the heavens can be changed.
Many books have been written on the stars by godly scholars such as Seiss, Bullinger and Chambers. And although they were not prophets, and God has sent a prophet in our day with the perfect interpretation of the Bible, there are certainly great blessings to be had by reading their commentaries in conjunction with your Bible.
God's second Bible is written in stone. It is the Great Pyramid built by Enoch before the Flood. This diagram represents the unfinished Great Pyramid that appears as a witness on the United States' one dollar bill and is the Great Seal of the United States. As the dollar is the world reserve currency, the Voice of this sign, like the stars is heard throughout all the earth.
I believe the Great Seal is an occultic imposture that tells how initiates of the mysteries want to establish a New World Order dominated by enlightened ones. It contains ten features of thirteen. Every occurrence and likewise of every multiple of thirteen in Scripture stamps that with which it is associated with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolt, or some kindred idea. The Latin Mottoes say, "He has favored our undertakings" and "a new order of the Ages." The device is enclosed within a circle which to the Occultist is a very important geometric shape that declares the very nature of his Great Work. The "accidental theory of history" taught in school and university is mind manipulation. God has His plan and foreknowledge and Satan has counter-plans executed by elite useful idiots in high places; so history is planned, a conspiracy if you like.
If we familiarize ourselves with God's plan we will not be deceived by Satan's counterfeit. This diagram of the Stature of the Perfect Man shows the divisions of the Body spoken by nine measures of Word and Spirit, nine distinct baptisms with the Spirit, and the "Token" or evidence of the Life of Christ in each Age. It depicts the Body during the Church Ages and the breach between the Church Ages and the revelation of the Seven Seals or fullness of the Word when the Holy Spirit interceded for the ignorance of the PART-Word or Church Age saints. Since the Church Ages and redemption are over, Christ is no longer in the office of Son of God and Mediator but Son of Man and Judge. The revelation of the Seals capped the pyramid because Christ's end-time Bride who form the Capstone are predestinated to receive the fullness of the Word and do not require mediation. Therefore we were fully redeemed in Christ on Calvary.
God's third and last Bible is the one we read today. In II Peter 1 the prophet defined how we enter into our position in that Place of rest, the Stature of the Perfect Man, and which virtue represents our part of the Body or Dispensation.
It is by one Spirit that we are baptized into this One Body. Jesus said, you must be born again and then you have faith. Until you are born again your Bible knowledge will not agree with God's Word. New birth produces faith, and faith is a clear understanding of the revealed Word. Jesus said, "Until a man is born again he cannot understand the Bible" (John 3:3). And "without faith it is impossible to please God: for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him".
So the whole Temple of the Living God is built of faith upon the foundation of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 3:11-13) which is "the doctrine of the apostles and prophets" (Ephesians 2:20). This double line on the base represents your new birth in Christ. Once you've laid the foundation, you are a "babe in Christ" and you start to grow into the Token which is the Life of Christ represented by these attributes.
Add to your faith virtue. The Bible said "virtue went out of Him" to the people. Virtue is strength. Until we become strong in the faith, we have no strength others can draw upon.
If our spirits are up one day and down the next, doubting, unstable, not able to hold to the strict line of God's Word, we have no virtue for ourselves let alone sufficient to take the place of Christ who is our example. Before we can give out strength to others for healing, answers to prayer, salvation or the Rapture, we must have overcoming power in our life.
When you possess virtue, add it to your faith. You're growing in character, and character is not a gift, it's a victory. Next add knowledge of His Word to judge right from wrong. Paul said, "Let he who is Spiritual judge in ALL things" (I Corinthians 2:15). Jesus said, "With what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matthew 7:2). So we judge by the revealed Word which is the judge of all men, and what God says God is able to perform. The revealed Word, His promise is our standard, NOT our circumstances.
When Abraham was a hundred years old and his wife was ninety he staggered not at the Promise of God through unbelief. Faith was a reality. God had promised him a son by Sarah and he knew that God was able. When God later told Abraham to sacrifice his only son, he knew God would somehow provide for Himself a substitute sacrifice because a mighty nation was promised through Isaac.
If you read Acts 2:38 which says we are to be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Matthew 28:19 which says in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and you don't know what the Bible means, you have no knowledge to add. Leave it there until you can see that Scripture does not contradict Scripture, and can say "Amen" by revelation to every Word.
But when you can see these things and have obeyed all you know to do, add that, and you're approaching the stature of the full measure of Christ.
When the preacher sings, "the things that you're liable to read in the Bible, ain't necessarily so" or, "the days of miracles are over." You declare, "He's the same yesterday, today, and forever." Be a witness, add that knowledge to your faith, there are no private interpretations.
If God has watched over you when you transgressed His laws and condemns you for it, how much more has He watched over His Law which condemns you? Holy Ghost knowledge will always say, "Amen" to the Word of God.
If you can't understand the Word, sit and study it prayerfully. With the Father's Word Jesus defeated every devil. It may take a year, but God will reveal and tie it together from Genesis to Revelation.
After adding Holy Ghost knowledge, we come to temperance which is having mastery over your senses. Temperance is controlling your tongue and actions, keeping your passions and prejudices under due bounds. As in the Beatitudes, let Christ be your attitude. Be slow to anger, swift to bless and learn to turn the other cheek.
St. Martin, the angel to the Pergamean Church Age and a man whose ministry was followed by a constant witness of the Supernatural is said to have been "always one and the same." A biographer wrote of him, "No one ever saw him angry or disturbed, or grieving, or laughing. Many hated him for virtues they themselves did not possess and could not imitate. . . "
After godly knowledge, add patience. If you have faith it will produce patience. The first thing is to have patience with God. Abraham's faith was tested for twenty-five years while he waited for God's Promise to be fulfilled, all the time calling the things which were not as though they were which is how you receive healing and answer to prayer. Discounting his infertility and the barrenness of Sarah's womb he held patiently to God's Word.
For a hundred and twenty years Noah patiently preached repentance as he erected the Word of God on top of his hill. He loaded the animals onto the ark for seven days under clear blue skies. Clouds and rain were unknown; children scoffed at this crazy old man and threw stones and rotten fruit at the Ark. But Noah was patient, he did as he was instructed and waited, for God had said, "It will rain."
The rapture has been the same way. My friends, God has placed the saints into His Ark through Seven Church Ages. It will be fifty years next March since the Church Ages ended and the revelation of the Seals brought the former rain, unrecognized by the denominations. You have patience with God because He has promised a latter rain when the door is shut (Genesis 6:16; Matthew 25:10-13; Luke 13:25; Revelation 19:7). Meanwhile the children of disobedience scoff, saying, "Where is the sign of Christ's parousia? Since the fathers fell asleep things continue as ever" (II Peter 3). "They have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house" (Ezekiel 12:2; I Samuel 15:23; Romans 11:25; Revelation 3:17-20). But they will see for God also promised a latter rain: it will come with the Jubilee, "the wicked will do wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:10; Revelation 22:11, 14-15). We're not seeking Christ's 'parousia,' we anticipate the Jubilee for the manifestation of the sons of God and the translation.
Have patience with one another. The apostolic saints were told to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on High? After five, six, seven days, Satan tried to tell them, "I think you've got it now. Just accept it by faith and start your ministry." But godly knowledge taught them they did not have it yet, 'cos Isaiah 28:11 said, "With stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people." And the types said, when "This" comes you'll know it, 'cos you'll be anointed by the Pillar of Fire as God dedicated His new Temple, Jesus, Solomon's Temple and Moses' Tabernacle.
When you have faith to see God has given you a promise and you see it in His Bible, then wait. Add that kind of patience to your faith. Put Him always before you, for it was He who made the Promise, not man, and He is able to keep His Word.
Next add godliness which means to be like God. Jesus told us to bless those who despitefully use us, to love our enemies, and to be perfect or complete as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). But don't try to add this till you're born again, or you'll only become religious.
We grow to perfection by maturity. Ephesians 4:11-14: "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, [or bring to maturity those who are already saints] for the work of the ministry [which is the ministry of Jesus Christ, reconciling the world to the Word], for the edifying [or building-up] of the Body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ".
We are to be like Jesusin absolute agreement with the Father by faith and under preeminence to the Word. He said, "I always do that which pleases My Father." He taught us to pray, not "God do My will, but Your will be done." We should not try to change God's mind but ask Him to change our minds to conform to His Word. Godliness is to be like Jesus.
Last, add brotherly kindness. Endure with your brotherput yourself in his shoes and look at the world through his glasses and you'll better understand his problems. Be longsuffering without compromising the Word for evil spirits. An old Brother once defined "Fellowship" as "two fellows in the one ship."
Next add charity which is love. The seven virtues combined produce love which is Christ the Capstone which completes the building. The headship of that rejected Stone controls and is the strength of every one of these virtues. Like the Shekinah which surrounds the Capstone of the Pyramid-city New Jerusalem, keeping it in the Light so it casts no shadow at anytime; there can be no darkness around the Capstone.
The overshadowing Holy Spirit welds the Body into the "unity of the faith" in the end-time, "That we should no longer be babies, swung back and forth and carried here and there with every wind of doctrine that springs from human craftiness and ingenuity for deception; but speaking the Truth in love ["agape," God's own benevolent affection], may grow up into Him in all things which is the Head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:14-15).
This diagram represents not only the individual Christian as he grows from a babe in Christ to maturity, and in this Age, to the manifestation of the sons of God and full adoption, which is the body change. It also represents the corporate Body of all Ages and illustrates what Paul said in I Corinthians 12 and Jesus defined in Revelation 1-3: one Body made up of many members, each with his particular position in the Building and a unique part to fulfill. One Bride drawn out of the whole Gentile Dispensation typed by the Pentecostal Feast in Leviticus 23.
The Pentecostal Feast commenced on the second of seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that foreshadowed Christ the unadulterated Word of God upon which He founded the original Church on the Day of Pentecost, shown on this diagram as the double base line or foundation of the pyramid, and the only Church He recognizes as His Own. This "Alpha" Church is restored in Christ's end-time or "Omega" Bride. The Pentecostal saints understood and upheld the Word pure and undefiled for a brief season until their numbers increased and the antichrist spirit began to work among the non-elect.
Leviticus 23 informs us seven sabbaths or forty-nine days were counted from the beginning of the Feast. Now a "sabbath" is a rest and these sabbaths type the Seven Church Ages or mercy seats of the Gentile dispensation. Each Church Age forms a distinct Part of the Bride or Body of Christ born of the Holy Spirit which came out of Jesus on Calvary. A portion of that Spirit conceived the saints of the Ephesian Church Age who heard it through the Message of their "angel" Paul. The token or evidence of the Life of that Portion of the Spirit in that Age was Faith.
Isaiah 59:19: "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him".
In the Ephesian Age the Church "left its first love" Christ the Word, and tolerated the "deeds of the Nicolaitanes"the introduction of a hierarchy between God and men "which Jesus hates" (Revelation 2:4, 6). God sent Paul anointed with a portion of the Spirit that defined faith or revelation to withstand Satan's sophistry and carnal reasoning against the Word.
Once the saints predestinated to the Ephesian Church Age had all been baptized into the Body God sent Irenaeus with a different Message to build a further part of the Body, the Smyrnean Church Age. The portion of Spirit represented in his Message produced the Token Life of virtue or Spiritual strength in the saints predestinated to that Age. The diagram below shows how each Age or dispensation is built by a different Portion of Word, and how as the Body grows the number of true saints diminishes in proportion to the increase of "nominal Christians".
God kept building His House through the Church Ages but the church world fell for Satan's lie at the First Nicaea Council where the Judaeo-Roman world church system organized in the Pergamean Age and the "deeds of the Nicolaitanes" were made "doctrine." Here the distinguishing Token of the indwelling Spirit was godly knowledge. Rome martyred Christians in the Thyatira Church Age inducing almost a thousand years of Dark Ages in Europe and God added temperance. In Sardis He added patience; in Philadelphia godliness; and in Laodicea, or Pentecost, brotherly kindness. From this we understand the way to overcome Satan and our own faults and shortcomings is to do the opposite.
The Capstone which represents Christ the fullness of the Word incarnate in His end-time Bride could not be placed to complete the Body until all seven Church Ages were fulfilled and the Seven Seals revealed. The Pyramid was capped when Christ opened the Seals in 1963 because the end-time Bride was fully redeemed in Christ on Calvary. We are only waiting for the last saint to recognize their day and it's Message.
The pure faith in the heart of the saints was lost in Roman martyrdom and overcome through ignorance so that even the elect were observing Roman dogma such as the trinity and baptism in three Titles hybrid with God's Word! The Protestant Reformation of the Roman Catholic system of false worship ended the Dark Ages but today's apostate (once) Protestant churches represent different stages of the Reformation of Judaeo-Catholicism, and by teaching Rome's traditions in place of God's Word they have rejected the Capstone and formed an image of the papal beast.
Christ was a Mediator from Pentecost until the last saint predestinated to the Laodicea Church Age was born again. Now He is Judge (John 5:25-27).
The Protestant Reformation of the Roman Catholic system of worship restored three major Revelations: Justification by Grace through faith in the Sardis Age, Sanctification by the blood in the Philadelphian Age, and the baptism with the Holy Ghost in Laodicea. As water, blood, and spirit constitute the natural birth, all three steps of grace are required for one Spiritual birth (I John 5).
Every "angel" came at the end of the Age, and the "seventh angel" William Branham received his "Elijah" anointing after the close of Laodicea. He revealed the seven unknown thunders that finished the mystery of God, call the wise and foolish virgin out from Rome and her harlot daughter churches, and baptize the wise into Christ the Capstone.
When Israel worshiped the Golden Calf, God moved His Tabernacle without the camp; He wanted to destroy Israel and begin a new nation with Moses but that prophet stood in the breach and pleaded for his people (Exodus 32-33). After Christ's Mediatorial Office was fulfilled, Brother Branham stood in the breach between the Church Ages and the Capstone as shown on our first diagram. There he received the Fullness of the Spirit as he revealed the Seals introducing Christ the Fullness of the Word, who was rejected and put out of the church that bears His Name (Revelation 3:20).
The Elijah who introduced Elohim's first Coming to indwell the Temple of our Lord Jesus Christ was John the Baptist. Malachi 3:1: "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant in whom you delight, behold, He is coming says the Lord of hosts".
The Elijah who foreran Elohim's second Coming was Brother Branham (Malachi 4:5-6). His second Coming was not as Jesus the Man but as Christ the W_O_R_D to incarnate the Temple of His end-time Bride for the manifestation of the sons of God and the translation.
The Capstone is now on the Pyramid. The Capstone is Christ Jesus incarnate in His Word Bride. "Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but this body of Mine you have prepared for Me to lay as a [living] sacrifice [of praise] on your altar".
All seven Church Ages or sabbaths of the Pentecostal Feast are over. Leviticus 23:15-16: "You shall count from the day after the sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: even to the day after the seventh sabbath you will count fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord".
This is where we are today; the Capstone is beyond Laodicea, beyond the Seventh Church Age. The forty nine days or seven times are over; we are now in the holy convocation of the fiftieth day, feasting on the manna of all Seven Church Ages, a full seven course meal. Leviticus 23:18-19 is this Message!
The corporate Body of all Ages has grown or matured into the Fullness of the Stature of the Perfect Man the same way we individuals mature or come to perfection in the Word, adding the virtues until we all come to the Divine nature and in the unity of the faith (II Peter 1:4; Ephesians 4:12-13).
Amen! When the last member predestinated to the Body enters the top of Mount Transfiguration, God will place it in full adoption as He placed Jesus in Matthew 17: "This is My beloved Bride in whom I am pleased to dwell in. Hear ye HER. What She says I will do for we two are One"in perfect agreement on the Word! Then those two witnesses will go before Him into Israel.
These virtues are the character-building blocks which make-up the Divine Nature of the dwelling Place of the Living God. It's not a building with a steeple, "but a Body have You prepared Me," a Body God can dwell in, walk in, talk in, work in.
Those seven "adds" together equal love, which is the Fullness incarnate in His end-time Bride. We are One Body but many members. And this body when it's completed is the Church of God that's going in the Rapture. And my being when completed is a servant of God in the Church of God, that's going in the rapture.
As in Hebrews 11:39-40, none of the Church Age saints can be made perfect or glorified without the completion of the Capstone Bride to finish the Body and bring it to maturity and perfection for the new wave offering (Matthew 5:48). See how few saints there are in Christendom today? Since we now have the perfect interpretation of the Word Christ is no longer a Mediator and the Church is in such a minority . . . with the same kind of ministry He had.
Can you see where the Church is today? Can you see your place in it? Then reckon yourself dead to the world and the flesh, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Know your weaknesses and keep them covered, live to the glory of God. Let's press the Battle, yield to the Spirit, ensure our lives are at all times under preeminence to the Word. Don't let some transitory thing of this present world keep us from the millennium. "But as it is written, No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit."
God Bless you, Bible Believers, and to those of you who are following this Message on-line, we have you in our prayers and ask your prayers in our behalf. When you have the Revelation of this Message, be sure you live it, and fax or mail it to another soul who might receive. bb930221.htm
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