Tonight I plan to speak about the sabbath. The word sabbath means to "rest" or desist from labor. This end-time Bride must realize sabbath. We must learn to release ourselves entirely to Him. There might be many things we can do ourselves, but the manifestation of the Sons of God will be Christ IN us willing and doing His own good pleasure. The body change will also be God's doing. Paul calls it, "the working of God's mighty power" not our might nor by our power but His Spirit (Ephesians 1:19; Zechariah 4:6). We need to come under pre-eminence to Him.
Do you have a problem? As long as you're certain you're abiding in His Word and His Word is abiding in you, cast your cares upon Him. That's His promise to you (John 15:7). If our prayers aren't being answered now, if we're not receiving guidance now, what consolation do we have for "the working of God's mighty power" when the last Trumpet sounds?
I have two texts for our context. Firstly Ephesians 1:9-10, then Revelation 8:1.
Ephesians 1:9-10, "Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him."
God determined a secret PURPOSE that He did not reveal to the Old Testament prophets as completely as the Spirit revealed it to His apostles and prophets: how that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs with the Israelites in the Body of Christ. However, only those who discover His purpose by the Spirit and become written epistles of It will be joint heirs with Christ.
God's purpose was in the Logos which was revealed in its fullness in the virgin-born Jesus. The word "Logos" means thought in speech or concept, and refers to the sum of God's Attributes or thoughts of what He is. God purposed to express the fullness of His nature and character under pre-eminence in one Man, then redeem the New Testament Bride by expressing the fullness of the godhead bodily under pre-eminence in a many membered Form . (See how they type the husband-wife relationship? The husband has headship in all things!) Finally, God would restore this redeemed Kingdom to its sabbath or rest in a world without sin.
The dispensation of the fullness of times came in 1963. The times were the Seven Church Ages finished. Since "that which is perfect is come," Christ, the fullness of the Word, "time is no more" (I Corinthians 13:10; Revelation 10:6). And God's been gathering together the end time Bride out of man-made systems into the unity of the faith in the fullness of the Word. Without us, the sleeping saints can't be made perfect, or resurrected in a glorified condition. When we're mature, or in "speaking conditions," we'll manifest the Sons of God. The Church could not manifest the Sons of God during the seven "times" or Church Ages, because they only had "that which was in part" or PART-Word; therefore they needed a Mediator to excuse or intercede for their ignorance. This explains why God could NOT have the pre-eminence in the Church Age saints. The Holy Spirit could not be waved the second time in the Church as It was once waved in Christ, because the PART-Word saints could not come to maturity and pre-eminence. When we're in that condition, there'll be a resurrection. After God's glorified His Name again by waving His Word in Christ's Bride (John 12:28), we'll be changed, and the glorified Bride of all Ages will meet her Lord in the Air.
Our second Scripture is Revelation 8:1, "When Jesus had opened the Seventh Seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour."
Where's all the Thunder? When each of Six Seals were opened there was a thunder, now there's just silence in heaven. In the Bible, a thunder represents the Voice of God (John 12:29). Once the Seventh Seal is open, He has nothing more to say. It's all been said.
In Genesis 1:1 - 2:38 God spoke all His creative Words in six days (or periods of a thousand years). He spoke a little Word here to separate light from darkness; some more over there to create the atmosphere for us to breath and for birds to fly in; then He spoke a few more Words somewhere else to separate the waters from the land, and so-forth.
This was PART-Word. God didn't grab the "bit bucket" and pour-out His plan all over the universe like spreading tomato paste on a pizza. He wasn't making a pizza . . . not back then, anyway.
Every Word was spoken in due order, and It didn't always manifest immediately. In fact, most of it didn't manifest until after He'd entered His rest on the seventh day. Then He sat back and watched His finished spoken creation transform itself into what He had said it should be, thinking to Himself, this is "very good."
Genesis 2:2-3, "On the seventh day God ended His work which made the raw materials from which He would form all things; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had fashioned into material. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work of speaking out of nothing the raw materials from which His creatures would be formed."
(Read the Teaching Sermon, "In the Beginning," which distinguishes between the three Hebrew words translated make, create or form and you will have a better appreciation of what happened back then).
God did no more work but enjoyed His creation, forming man and then the animals from the clay He had spoken, molding them into the shapes He saw in His mind. After all of His creatures were formed, He took some rib chops from Adam and made a byproduct. God was like a Big Kid with a new toy. And like a man would enjoy playing with a model railway he'd built, God put creation under control of His children, setting them on the rails by the command of Genesis 2:16-17, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat: for in the day you eat thereof you shall surely die."
Now the train can't think for itself, it can't communicate, and it can't love. It has no creative powers and no emotions, it can only follow the rails. God placed Adam and Eve on free moral agency with the assurance all would be well -- providing they followed the rails. They could stop, start, reverse or develop the system, just so long as they stayed on track with Genesis 2:16-17, they'd do well.
Since God had finished His work and had entered His rest, this was a "hands-off test" of His Spoken Word. He placed His children on trust to test them, whether they'd remain obedient to His Word.
Now what was God's work? It had been "speaking His creative Word," so that on the seventh day God did no more work, there was just "silence in heaven" for all of His creative Word had been spoken.
Unfortunately, the woman mishandled God's Word and threw the whole of creation "off the rails," causing the Fall. The seventh day was never completed. And after a long time, God brought Plan "B" into effect.
Galatians 3:24, "Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
God introduced the Law so man would understand the horror of sin and its terrible consequences. Even mechanical obedience to the Law was not acceptable to God, as the Pharisees and Sadducees proved, for without faith or a clear understanding of God's hidden mystery and purpose at the PRESENT time, it's impossible to please Him.
God's determined will is His own thoughts. They've been expressed and recorded in our Bibles, but we must understand what He means, not what He appears to say. We can only please Him when we have His mind in us to reveal the mystery of His will.
So the Law presented a shadow of faith and was a type of things to come, in order that Israel may visualize an approximation of future promises. And It provides us with a measure for proving our vision because the antitype must agree with the type. The object must match the shadow that was cast (Hebrews 10:1).
Exodus 16:4, "The LORD said to Moses, 'I will rain bread down from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my Law, or not'."
God tested Israel and inspired Paul to record it as a type for our instruction (I Corinthians 10:10). God sent manna for six days and told Israel to gather only sufficient for each house for one day, as any left over would spoil and breed worms. But on the sixth day they were to collect a double portion to provide for the seventh day on which no manna would fall. Miraculously it did not spoil.
But some people gathered more than they required and it spoiled. Others disbelieved the Lord and left their rest to gather manna on the Saturday.
God sent manna six-days (bread from heaven to sustain natural life -- a type of Jesus who sustains Spiritual Life. John 6:51, "I am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever." God's spoken Word in the form of manna came from heaven for six-days, then He waited to see what His children would do with His Word on the seventh day. Heaven was silent -- no manna fell on the seventh day -- this was a test of obedience. When Israel sinned, God swore they would NOT enter His rest.
Hebrews 3:9-12, "When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me and saw My Word vindicated throughout forty years of wandering, I was grieved with that generation and said, 'They always err in their HEART (no faith, see); and they have not known My ways (no faith). So I swore in my indignation, 'They shall not enter into my rest'.
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."
Eve departed from the rest of God when she accepted Satan's wisdom and tried to "work-out" God's purpose, feeding her pride, when she taught this secret knowledge to her husband. Had Eve waited, God's purpose would have been revealed in due season through His elected channel.
Learning is not knowledge. Impatience for knowledge is typical of the Internet generation, which is learning much but understanding nothing. Children should be taught to re-experience the pivotal experiments of mankind so they can understand principles of how, what, and why; not learn facts. Learning shouldn't be accumulating knowledge but acquiring understanding. All children big and small, should preferably learn nothing but understand everything.
Knowledge without faith or understanding took Eve out of the rest of God. And when Adam redeemed his sinful wife both were expelled from God's rest and man was made to work all the days of his life.
Genesis 3:19, "In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it you were taken: for dust you are, and to dust you shall return."
Thereafter, man has worked for the necessities to sustain natural life; spiritually he's labored against sin for six thousand-year days. But we're approaching the Pentecostal Jubilee, and the rest or sabbath of the seventh Millennium for Jesus Christ and the elect of Adam's race.
Jesus Christ was the antidote for Adam's plight. For God required the perfect substitute of an innocent Life for the guilty kinsman. Christ took upon Himself the guilt of His Bride as Adam had taken upon himself the sin of his wife. Don't imagine Adam sinned!
John 4:34, "Jesus said to His disciples, 'My strength is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work'."
God sent Christ to clean-up the sin question. Christ finished His earthly work in the Garden of Gethsemane where He overcame. John 17:4, "I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave Me to do." He carried through with His decision on Calvary's cruel cross, declaring "It is finished" (John 19:30).
God made a way for us to receive sabbath or rest for our soul. And that is, by recognizing our day and its Message, dying to carnal desires so that part of the Word, Christ, can live through us. The sabbath for Israel was a natural rest for their body and spirit in a natural place, the promised Land. Ours is a sabbath for the soul in a Spiritual Place -- in Christ -- the Word God is fulfilling NOW. It's our new birth. And "unless our lives are reflecting the Light God is shining NOW, we are not and cannot come under the blood, or be born-again" (Isaiah 28:5-13; Matthew 11:28-30; Colossians 3:3; I John 1:7).
So the sabbath is not a day, it's a place. Sound Bible teaching gives Christians a clear revelation of our position in the Body, and faith to accept and stay in our rest, which is to remain under pre-eminence to the Word. So what people see is God in us, willing and doing His good pleasure not our own enthusiasm (II Corinthians 5:16).
How do we enter our rest? Faith! By one Spirit we are all baptized into Jesus Christ. Israel could not re-enter God's rest, for no man can come to the Father but through the Atonement, or Son. They only had a rest for their body.
Besides, the prophet David, speaking many years after Joshua, said, "To-day if you'd hear God's Voice, don't harden your hearts like the children in the desert." David was referring to the baptism with the Holy Spirit which is the Token or promise of restoration to God's eternal rest. "There awaits a true rest to the people of God and he who has once entered into his rest has also ceased from his own works as God did from His. Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves to enter into the rest of God, by the faith of Jesus Christ. For if It's a revelation, we won't fall by unbelief like those Israelites" (Hebrews 4:8-11, Genesis 2:2).
Christ ceased His earthly labors but He continues to work through His Body who labor not to enter the rest of God, for we're already sealed to the day of our redemption. Our labor is against sin, to bring our body and spirit subject to the Word in our soul that His Light may be seen in the Token on display. James taught faith without works is dead (II Thessalonians 1:11-12; James 2:20).
Christ revealed the portions of Word that would redeem the saints and "save" the non-elect Israelites and Gentiles. John recorded It in the Book of Revelation. However the Bible was sealed with Seven Seals to the time of the end when Christ would fulfill Revelation 4, 5, 10:1-6 and reveal His secret through the prophet-messenger to the Seventh or Laodicean Church Age (Daniel 12:4, 9; Revelation 10:4, 7).
We confirm our understanding by matching it with the Old Testament types. "The" one and only faith God delivered to the apostolic saints was lost when Jewish fables and pagan Gentile mythology were added. Then under the headship of men, it organized away from the Headship of Christ, and Christendom endured almost a thousand years of Dark Ages in the Thyatira Age. Then the last three Church Ages was the reformation of the Roman Catholic system of worship.
Brother Branham explained how the Messenger to each Age always came at the end of the previous Age, rebuked and corrected the Age for departing from the Word, and introduced the Message for the new dispensation. The Messenger to the Age was the only saint able to enter the Light of the new Age. Thus, Paul who was baptized into the Pentecostal Age, brought the Light to the Ephesian Age, and William Branham who was baptized into the Laodicean Age, delivered the Light to the holy convocation (or rest) of this Bride Age.
He explained that although the Messengers to each of the six previous Ages had a specific part of the Word to deliver, but the seventh angel had no particular Message and was to "gather-up all the loose ends of the manna that fell in the Sixth Age", and by the grace and inspiration of God, "restore the children of God to the faith of their apostolic fathers" (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:19- 23). His ministry would also reveal the mystery of the seven thunders of Revelation 10:4 which are the revelations contained in the Seven Seals.
This ministry places the end-time Bride into the holy convocation or sabbath that ends the Pentecostal feast where she comes to maturity in the unity of the faith for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation. We see six Ages where men worked, "presuming" to interpret part Word, then restoration, fullness and rest at the close of the Seventh Age.
Christ was a Mediator for the ignorance of the part-Word saints. Since He tore open the Seven Seals and revealed them through His prophet in 1963, we now have "that which is perfect" and no longer work to establish the meaning of His Word. We're resting in the Fullness, learning to lay aside our own ideas and come under pre-eminence to His Word so that we live life by the faith of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20).
As Jesus Christ was the first manifested Son from those who slept, Brother Branham was the first manifested or mature Son of those who are Christ's at His parousia. Brother Branham was our living example of a man under such pre-eminence that the Spirit could be waved in him. So much so, some misguided souls sought to worship him as if he were Jesus Himself (Revelation 22:8-10).
Brother Branham said, "I have this Gift of being able to get myself out of the way" -- out of His way. And that's the Gift we need to cultivate. We cultivate It by doing NOTHING but resting in Him and bringing our vessels subject to His Word so that our words and actions are Christ in us willing and doing His Own pleasure.
As God tested the Israelites and those who lived during the Church Ages, to see if they would abide in the part-Word revealed through their Messengers and hidden in the symbols of the first Six Seals, since the Seventh Seal has revealed their mystery, He is testing the Message people to see who will obey and rest in Him.
Heaven is silent as the mystery of God is finished. Those who are truly His end-time Bride won't add to or take from His Word. They will be obedient and come under pre-eminence to Christ's Headship. They rest in Him. If anything's to be done, they wait for thus saith the Lord (John 5:19).
He wants to manifest His Word, His thoughts. Not our enthusiasm. We need to learn to hear that "still small Voice" before we rush into action. We have to come into "speaking conditions," like Jesus and Brother Branham.
Very soon Christ's Bride will be bereft of family, friends, homes, money and all material support. We may not have support of pastors or brethren and will be a persecuted little group. In that day our only Possession, Provider and Companion will be the Spoken Word. This is why we must rest and become familiar with the Word. Rest, wait and watch without unbelief as the Word interprets or fulfills Itself into what is written.
We can't hasten God except by resting in Him and studying to show ourselves good workmen and approved of Him, rightly dividing the Word. Oh, you want to do something else? Good, your instructions are Revelation 10:8-11:1:-
"The Voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, 'Go and take the little Book which is open in the hand of the Angel (Christ) Who stands upon the sea and upon the earth'.
And I went to the Angel, and said to Him, 'Give me the little Book'.
And he said, 'Take It, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but It shall be sweet as honey in your mouth'.
And I took the little Book out of the Angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
And He said, 'You must prophesy again concerning many peoples', and nations, and tongues, and kings. And I was given a reed like a rod: and the angel stood, saying, 'Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein'."
"Prophesy" or declare again the THUS SAITH THE LORD that has been revealed to you concerning what is to happen universally. And don't add to or take from that revelation.
Like the seventh day in Eden, the fullness of the Word has been spoken. Heaven is silent and God is waiting, watching to see His Word manifest what He intended. That is, the manifestation of the Sons of God. Since the Church Ages have ended, redemption is over. And unlike the Church Age saints, all who will be redeemed were fully redeemed in Christ on Calvary.
Brother Branham said, "This Seventh Seal is spoken of from the very beginning in Genesis" (Seals, 338; 536:4; God's Gifts Always Find Their Places, 23:100). The fullness of God's creative Word was delivered in the first six days, and on the seventh, He rested and took pleasure in seeing It bring forth what He has said.
We're in the Seventh Seal. The fullness of the Word is with us and coming into us. That Deity is what God's redeemed, and It's all He can use. When we are weak, He is strong (Hebrews 11:34). Rest and wait upon Him. bb990118.htm