Bible Believers' Newsletter 796
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; we are pleased you could join us in fellowship around God's unchanging Word.
We welcome and encourage new subscribers to make fullest use of the Christian resources on our Church Website. With your focus on the "present Truth," following the example of our Lord by identifying important current affairs with Biblical prophecy you can gauge how true history shows not only the unfolding of prophecy but exposes the utter corruption of the myths we have been conditioned to believe as historical facts and spiritual truths.
Our main article in this issue is sourced from Brother Owen Jorgensen's anointed book, "The Life of William Branham." This week we read about some of Brother Branham's hunting experiencesshooting a large cougar in Arizona, and zebra and Cape buffalo in Africa; a series of visions, prophecies and miracles, visitations of the Angel of the Lord, and manifestations of the Shekinah. I know you will be blessed by these historical anecdotes illustrating Scriptures our Lord Jesus has fulfilled in real time in this our day and see in them a token of the 'third pull' operating in His Bride for the manifestation of the Sons of God before He activates E=mc2 in us and "we're traveling like a thought, and you can see those then who are already resurrected".
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
The Sun's Magnetic Field is about to Flip
August 6, 2013 NASA says: "In an event that occurs once every 11 years, the magnetic field of the sun will change its polarity in a matter of months, according new observations by NASA-supported observatories. The flipping of the sun's magnetic field marks the peak of the star's 11-year solar cycle and the halfway point in the sun's 'solar maximum'the peak of its solar weather cycle. NASA released a new video describing the sun's magnetic flip".
"It looks like we're no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal," Todd Hoeksema, the director of Stanford University's Wilcox Solar Observatory, said in a statement. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."
As the field shifts, the 'current sheet'a surface that radiates billions of kilometers outward from the sun's equatorbecomes very wavy, NASA officials said. Earth orbits the sun, dipping in and out of the waves of the current sheet. The transition from a wave to a dip can create stormy space weather around Earth, NASA officials said.
Full story: nbcnews.com
News you don't want to Read about Fukushima
August 6, 2013 For all of us who thought we were safer down here in South America, a hemisphere removed from the jet streams blowing radiation directly from Fukushima over the United States, we can now see how false that belief is. In this video and a graph from NOAA (at the bottom of the newsletter) we see that La Nina is splitting the jet stream sending radiation increasingly over Hawaii and then on to South America.
Radiation levels are rising! The situation is getting worse, not better, but we are not hearing about that in the news until today's headlines, Japan nuclear body says radioactive water at Fukushima an 'emergency'. Tepco confirms radioactive contamination flowing out into the sea. The head of Japan's new Nuclear Regulation Authority, created since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami wrecked Fukushima, said this month he believed contamination of the sea had been continuing since the accident. . . Full story: drsircus.com
US 'Protection' of al Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi 'Black Hole'
August 5, 2013 Two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadreand its entirety. . . visible only to God. . . And this parallel government is guided in surveillance matters by its own Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which according to the New York Times "has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court." Thanks largely to Edward Snowden, it is now clear that the FISA Court has permitted this deep state to expand surveillance beyond the tiny number of known and suspected Islamic terrorists, to any incipient protest movement that might challenge the policies of the American war machine. . . Full story: globalresearch.ca youtube.com
Comment: The US is slaughtering innocent people by drone attacks in Yemen in their latest psyop designed to cover US taxpayer funded, armed and created al Qaeda's latest mythical threat planned by the Pentagon and CIA to distract from the treason and treachery of the parallel and puppet US governments exposed by Edward Snowden.
The Irish Slave Trade The forgotten 'White' Slaves
January 27, 2013 They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives . . .
The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white. From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland's population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain's solution was to auction them off as well. . .
As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts. African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. . . Full story: globalresearch.ca
By Owen Jorgensen
During the fall of 1964 William Branham bought a license to hunt a cougar. In January of 1965 he drove to the mountainous region in the northeastern corner of Arizona where he connected with a young man named Dawson Riley. Dawson made his living as a hunting outfitter and guide, specializing in tracking mountain lions. These giant cats live in the mountainous regions of the West. They are often called cougars in the northern states and pumas in the southern states. Cougars are known for their cunning intellect and elusive ways, making them a real challenge to find, unless a hunter uses dogs to track the lion's scent.
Riding horses and leading packhorses, Bill and Dawson rode into the mountains and set up a base camp. The next day they rode their horses through several small valleys, searching for some sign of a cougar's presence. Early on the morning of the third day, the dogs picked up a scent. At first the hunters didn't know if it was a cougar until Dawson found a place by a creek where its paws left some tracks in passing. All morning they tracked that lion, following its trail through twenty miles of heavily timbered valleys. By late afternoon the cougar had moved into higher country. Here the dry, rocky ground made it more difficult for the dogs to follow its scent. For a while they lost its trail at a place where a valley branched into several steep canyons. Briefly the hunters split up, each taking a different canyon to see if they could locate the lion's trail again. Dawson took all four dogs with him.
Halfway up his canyon Bill stopped so he could use binoculars to study the ledges above him. One side of the canyon was still sunny; the other was steeped in shadows and patches of snow. He examined the shadows carefully, hoping to see movement. He spotted a coyote, but he wasn't hunting coyotes today.
The shadows were lengthening as the sun sank towards the horizon. Where the canyon slopes had sufficient dirt, ponderosa pine and pinyon pine trees dominated the area. But there were many places too rocky to allow much vegetation. Dismounting, he looked for tracks in the sand of the dry creek bottom. Suddenly, the shrill scream of a cougar pierced the afternoon, quickly rising and falling in pitch. The scream echoed down from the upper canyon, telling Bill he was on the right trail.
A shiver went down his spine. It wasn't from fear. Rather, it came from recognizing that something extraordinary had just happened. He remembered the poem he had written when he was twelve years old.
I am lonesome, oh so lonesome for that far away Southwest,
Where the shadows fall the deepest o'er the mountain crest.
I can see a lurking coyote all around the purple haze;
I can hear a lobo hollering down where the longhorns graze.
And somewhere up a canyon I can hear a lion whine,
In those far off Catalina Mountains at the Arizona line.
Over forty years later, here he was in a canyon near the Arizona State border with New Mexico, listening to a mountain lion scream. He didn't think of it as a coincidence, nor as a dream come true. He felt like it was another confirmation that God was guiding his life, and had been ever since he was a boy. Before the sun settled below the mountain peaks, Bill shot that lion. (Later he would learn it was the largest cougar ever killed in Arizona up to that time). He skinned it carefully because he wanted to have it stuffed and mounted. He thought this cougar would make a fine hunting trophy to exhibit in his new den room.
Recently Bill and Meda had purchased a house on the northern fringe of Tucson near the Santa Catalina Mountains. It was a modest, three-bedroom house with a flat roof, situated on a one-acre lot that was covered with cactus. The hillside lot had a nice view of Tucson to the south and a beautiful view of the mountains to the north. Currently his family was still living in the duplex apartments on Park Avenue. They needed to do some remodeling to their new home before they could move, including the building of an addition on the west side of the house. Banks Wood came to Tucson to help Roy Borders build this addition. It would be a study or den—a single room large enough to hold all of Bill's hunting trophies. This den room would be separate from the house, attached only by a breezeway. The construction plans called for large picture windows to face the northern mountains. The cougar he had just shot would fit nicely with the rustic décor he was planning for his new den. [And what a magnificent trophy it makes]!
Demos Shakarian, president of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, had scheduled a convention in Phoenix, Arizona, for the third week of January, 1965. Demos asked Carl Williams, who lived in Phoenix, to set up this convention and arrange all the details. Carl Williams was the organization's International Secretary/Treasurer, as well as the President of its Phoenix chapter. Carl wanted William Branham to speak at this year's convention, just as he had done many times in the past. But Carl knew that not everyone liked this idea. Some of the board members thought William Branham offended too many people when he preached. At their board meeting before the convention one of the directors proposed a resolution that the same convention couldn't have the same speaker two years in a row. Another director seconded the motion. Carl Williams said, "I know what you're up to. You don't want William Branham back at the Phoenix convention anymore. But I want you to understand something—if you take Brother Branham out of the Phoenix convention, then I'm gone too." Because Carl's management skills had helped the organization get out of debt, he had enough influence to get his way—at least this time. The motion was withdrawn.
Carl Williams had a good reason for his unwavering loyalty to Bill's ministry. During the 1940s, Carl suffered from arthritis in his knees. Eventually his condition became so painful that he could only walk using crutches. Late in that decade he attended Bill's first faith-healing service in Phoenix. On that wonderful night Bill's sermon inspired Carl to believe Jesus Christ could heal him from arthritis. He hobbled forward and stood with others in a prayer-line, awaiting his turn. When Bill prayed for him in Jesus' name, he threw away his crutches and walked around the sanctuary, free from pain for the first time in many years. He had walked normally ever since, feeling only the normal aches and twinges that bother every older person occasionally.
After the board meeting ended, Carl Williams phoned Bill to ask him if he would speak at their Phoenix convention, January 17 through the 23. Carl didn't say anything about the attempt some of the directors had made to keep him out.
"Yes," Bill replied, "I'll be happy to speak for you. What days do you want me?"
"I have you scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, and again on Saturday morning and Sunday night".
Before hanging up, Bill said, "Brother Carl, I appreciate you standing up for me like that".
Recently, Meda Branham had given her husband a new Bible. For many years Bill had used a Scofield Study Bible (King James Version) with the words of Jesus printed in red letters. Bill didn't agree with all of Dr. Scofield's notes, but he found some of them helpful. Mostly he liked this Bible because he had started using it early in his evangelistic ministry in 1946, and by now it had become as familiar to him as an old friend. He knew where to find many of his favorite verses as much by their location on a page as by looking at the reference numbers. He had carried this Bible with him all over North America, down into Mexico, across the Atlantic to England and Scandinavia, through Europe, down into Africa, and over into India. It felt as comfortable in his hands as an old, well-worn pair of gloves—a pair that should have been discarded long ago in favor of a new pair. He had simply worn this Bible out. Now he had to open it carefully or loose pages would fall on the floor. Several times, Meda suggested he get a new Bible, but he was reluctant to part with his old friend. In a burst of inspiration, Meda bought him a new Scofield Study Bible as a Christmas present—a Bible that was exactly the same as his old one.
Bill took both Bibles with him to the Full Gospel Business Men's convention in Phoenix, but during the week and on Saturday morning he continued to use his old Bible when he preached. On Saturday night in his hotel room, still using his old Bible, he found his text for the next day and wrote down the reference numbers in his notes: John 16:20-21, which begins: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice. . ."
On Sunday morning the Full Gospel Business Men's convention was held in the Ramada Inn's large banquet hall. When Bill left his hotel room that morning, he decided to finally make the switch to his new Bible. Leaving his old Bible on the desk, he picked up his new Bible and his notes, and went downstairs to join the convention. After several songs, Carl Williams turned the service over to his friend.
Bill stood behind the podium and greeted the men and women gathered in the banquet hall. Then he asked them to turn in their Bibles to John 16 and follow along as he read verses 20 and 21. Bill flipped through the book of John until he found the beginning of the 16th chapter, nestled where he expected to find it in the lower right hand corner of the right hand page. Turning the page, he found verse 20 and read, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that . . ." Realizing this was not the Scripture he wanted, he apologized to his audience while he turned back a page to get his bearings. There was the heading for the 16th chapter of John in the bottom right hand corner of the page. But when he carefully turned that page forward, the new left hand page didn't match with what he expected to find. Flustered, he turned the pages back and forth a few times, and then said to his audience, "My wife gave me a new Bible, and it has this page printed wrong".
A Catholic priest named Bishop Stanley sat near the podium, wearing a red robe adorned with elaborate vestments. He was the Archbishop for the Chaldean Catholic church in the United States. Bishop Stanley rose from his chair, walked over to the podium, and handed his Bible to Bill, saying, "This is God's handiwork. There is a reason why it was done. God will show you the reason. It is wonderful".
Thanking Bishop Stanley, Bill took the Bible, found the verse he wanted and read aloud, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." Closing the borrowed book, he handed it back to the priest.
In his sermon, which he called Birth Pains, Bill compared our world to a pregnant woman who is laboring to deliver her baby. The woman experiences violent contractions that grow more intense the closer she gets to delivery. Likewise our world has experienced some violent contractions in her twentieth century—principally [the "two Woes" of] World War I, followed by World War II [and soon, when Satan is cast down to earth, the brief "third Woe" of the 'hot stage' of World War III which will precipitate Armageddon at the end of the second half of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Revelation 8:13; 9:12; 11:14; 12:7-12)]. Now that we have atomic bombs, humanity won't survive a third such war—at least not civilization as we know it now. But such a day is coming. The Book of Revelation calls this the great tribulation [which commenced in the Ephesian Church Age when General Titus besieged Jerusalem and will proceed to the consummation of life (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:1-3a, 15-35). After the close of the Gentile dispensation it will purge and martyr the foolish virgin, all of the non-elect, and an election of Israelites in the land of the Covenant will be trodden in] the winepress of the wrath of God [(Revelation 14:19-20l 19:15-21). Throughout these "last days" of Messianic redemption and completion or "great tribulation" seven angels have poured out Seven Vials full of the wrath of God in the antitype of Israel's Ordeal of Jealousy in what Brother Branham called an "investigation judgment" to distinguish righteous foolish virgin from the false church, and Seven Trumpet judgments of natural war have chastised Israel with a view to correction]. . . Yet, out of this final contraction . . . earth will be . . . purified . . . fit for Jesus Christ (the Promised Son) to live on, and to reign with His Bride (those born-again Christians from every Church Age) [throughout the millennium].
Although the Full Gospel Business Men's convention would continue for several more nights, after the Sunday session ended, Bill drove his family back to Tucson because his children had to go to school the next day. On the way home, they stopped at a restaurant to eat supper. Bill was still thinking about the misprint in his new Bible. Meda felt embarrassed because she thought she had given him a flawed Bible. She said she had never been more nervous in her life than she was during those few minutes he spent searching for his text. Now in the restaurant, Bill opened his new Bible to examine it more closely. To his surprise, he found it was not a misprint after all; rather, two of the ultra-thin pages had stuck together so perfectly that they looked like one page. Bill recalled what the bishop had told him: "This is God's handiwork. There is a reason why it was done. God will show you the reason. It is wonderful." Suddenly, a story in Luke came into his mind. Like a lightning bolt, the reason struck him.
On Monday Bill drove back to Phoenix to hear Dr. Reed speak at the Full Gospel Business Men's convention. While talking to Carl Williams before the meeting, Bill shared what the Lord had shown him last night at the restaurant. Impressed, Carl asked Bill to share this with everyone at the convention. He could have 10 minutes at the podium before Dr. Reed brought the evening message. So, on Monday night Bill again stood behind the podium, addressing this interdenominational group of Christian businessmen and their wives. After reminding them of yesterday's funny little incident, he pointed them to Luke 4:16-30. When Jesus visited His home town of Nazareth, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. A rabbi handed Jesus the book of Isaiah. Jesus unrolled the scroll to chapter 61 and read part of the first sentence: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Then Jesus rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the minister, and said to those in the room, This day this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears".
Bill pointed out that Jesus read only a portion of that Scripture. In our modern Bible, the first sentence in Isaiah 61 fills verses 1, 2, and 3. Jesus read all of verse one, but just the first part of verse two. Why didn't He finish reading that sentence? He stopped because the rest of the sentence did not apply to that moment in history; it would not apply until the end-time. But today, it does apply. Some day Jesus Christ must proclaim, "The day of vengeance of our God," as Isaiah 61:2 prophesied.
"Isn't that exactly what had happened yesterday?" Bill asked his audience. He quoted Luke 17:30 and stressed again that he believed he was living in the time that Jesus prophesied would come—the day when the Son of man is revealed. If that was true, then on Sunday night, January 24, 1965, in Phoenix, Arizona, "the Son of man" used "a son of man" to proclaim "the day of vengeance of our God."
It took those two pages stuck together in his own Bible, and then borrowing a Bible from a priest, in order for Bill to see the connection between Isaiah 61:2 and Luke 4:17. Without equivocation, he said to his audience, "This day this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears!"
After the Phoenix Convention ended, Bill had two weeks at home before his next scheduled meeting, which would be in Flagstaff, Arizona, on February 6, 1965. Several things were on his mind at this time. Building his den occupied some of his thoughts, but it was not his biggest concern. During the planning stage he had to make a lot of decisions; but now he didn't have much to do on his den except answer an occasional question. Banks Wood and Roy Borders were handling everything during the construction stage of the project.
Lately Bill was spending a lot of time trying to get his book about the Seven Church Ages ready for publication. After he had given the transcripts to Lee Vayle in Tampa, Florida, he had talked to Lee on numerous occasions, sometimes on the phone, sometimes by sending him audio letters made on a tape recorder, answering specific questions and offering general advice. Mostly Lee was on his own, researching background information and structuring the ten sermons into book form. During the last eight months of 1964 Pearry Green sent Lee Vayle $48 a week to support him while he wrote; and Lee sent Bill approximately one completed chapter per month. Now, in January of 1965, the book was almost finished. Bill was spending many hours going over the manuscript, making additions and corrections. He was trusting Lee Vayle to make the grammar correct. Bill was trying his best to make the doctrine clear and precise.
There was one more thing on his mind during that last week of January, 1965. For many years men and women had asked him questions about marriage and divorce. Sometimes a Christian man would ask him if he could divorce his unbelieving wife and marry another woman. Sometimes a Christian woman would ask him if she could divorce her unbelieving husband and marry another man. The personal details varied widely, but when he melted the details down, they pooled into the same basic questions. Many Christians seemed confused about divorce, and in their confusion they sometimes made mistakes.
The Lord had revealed to him the truth about marriage and divorce back in June of 1963, while he was returning home from Hot Springs, Arkansas. At that time the Holy Spirit told him to preach on the subject and record his sermon, but he kept putting it off, concerned that the truth might hurt many of his dearest friends who had made mistakes in that area of their lives. On the other hand, he could not disobey the leading of the Holy Spirit. Troubled by this dilemma, he felt pressed in his spirit to do something about it. One day, as he was driving toward his new home to inspect the progress on his den, he looked at the northern mountains not far away and his eyes focused on Finger Rock. Suddenly Bill heard the Holy Spirit whisper to him, "Climb that mountain and I will talk to you there".
Obediently he drove north until he came to the parking lot at the trail head for Pima Canyon. He hiked the trail for half a mile before he reached the entrance to the canyon. There the trail split, one path continuing up Pima Canyon, and the other path rising toward Finger Rock. He took the path to Finger Rock. The trail rose steeply, and he was soon sweating from his effort. The many rocks along the slope glittered with flecks of mica. Little green gecko lizards darted from shade to shade. Yellow butterflies fluttered by. Palo Verde trees and various cacti clung to the lower slopes, but as he climbed higher, the darker-leafed pinyon pine trees dominated the available soil. He stopped high on the slope, near the base of the cliff that rose and blended into Finger Rock. The point of Finger Rock loomed hundreds of feet above him. Although Finger Rock was not the highest point on the ridge, it was unique and very noticeable. It looked like the fist of a human hand with one finger pointing straight up into the sky. Bill sat on a boulder and looked out across the Tucson valley. To the east stood the Rincon Mountains and to the south he saw the Santa Rita Mountains, looking blue-green and hazy on the horizon. Bill located his new home just a few miles away. Then his mind returned to his purpose, and he prayed.
Bill believed that the marriage covenant was more serious than many people realized. He viewed it as a type of Jesus Christ and His Bride. The Old Testament foreshadowed this bond in many places. For example, King Solomon had many wives—one king, yet many queens, typing Jesus Christ and His church. Bill did not believe in polygamy among Christians. Although the Old Testament seems to condone multiple wives, Jesus set the record straight when He said ". . . from the beginning it was not so." The pattern in Eden was the archetype for every Christian marriage to follow—one man married to one woman until one of them dies (Roman 7:1-3; I Corinthians 7:1-16). If they divorce, they have not sinned. However, if the divorced woman then marries another man, Jesus said she is living in adultery because she would have two husbands, even though she is only living with one.
People with marriage problems often asked Bill questions about divorce. Some of these questions were easier to answer than others. Perhaps the stickiest questions came from people who were divorced and then remarried before they became Christians. Bill knew how closely some of these people followed his teachings. If he preached the truth about marriage and divorce, would some of these people dissolve their marriages so they could be right with God? Would he be responsible for breaking up families? This burden weighed upon him heavily as he sat on the slope directly beneath Finger Rock.
Suddenly he heard a noise like an approaching whirlwind. Looking up, he sucked in his breath in surprise. An amber sheet of flame was dropping from the sky. Before he could exhale, it covered the rock outcropping above him. Three times Bill watched that supernatural flame rise and settle again on Finger Rock. As it disappeared back into the heavens, the Angel of the Lord spoke to him, giving him an answer to his question about marriage and divorce.
After he climbed down from Finger Rock, he was driving home when he noticed his car was low on gas. He stopped to fill his tank at the gas station owned by his friend Welch Evans. A young man who worked at the station said, "Brother Branham, you were up on that mountain an hour ago, weren't you".
"What do you mean, Ronnie" What did you see?"
"I can show you exactly where you were at." Ronnie pointed to the line of mountain peaks north of the city. "You were up there by Finger Rock. I called mama and together we watched a bright reddish cloud go up and down. I told mama, 'Brother Branham must be sitting up there somewhere, and God is talking to him'."
Bill heard the same thing when his children came home from school. Some of the teachers let their children out of class to watch a fiery amber cloud hovering above Finger Rock. They watched it go up in the air and come down three times before it disappeared.
Calling Orman Neville in Jeffersonville, Bill scheduled special meetings to start Wednesday evening and run through Sunday, February 17 through 21, 1965. Returning to Indiana, he preached in this order: "A Man Running from the Presence of the Lord," "The Seed is not Heir with the Shuck," "This Day this Scripture is Fulfilled," (an expanded version of the testimony he gave in Phoenix), "God's Chosen Place of Worship," "Marriage and Divorce," and "Who is this Melchisedec?"
On Sunday morning, February 21, 1965, he preached "Marriage and Divorce." Bill knew he could only speak on this sensitive subject in Branham Tabernacle, where he had complete freedom of expression. Even then he worried about how plainly he must speak, and he chose his words carefully because of the women and children who were in his audience. During this sermon, Bill noted that Christians tend to view divorce in two different ways. Some people believe that a man can only be married once, unless his wife dies, in which case he is free to marry again. Other people believe that a man can divorce his wife and marry again, or the wife can divorce her husband and marry again, if the other spouse has committed adultery. Bill said that both schools of thought have some truth, but with either view it was possible to go too far out on a limb and fall off. As usual, legalism and Calvinism both miss the mark. [Calvinism (as William Branham used it here) is the liberal doctrine that argues once you claim you are saved by Jesus, you can live any kind of life you want to live, and no matter what sins you do, you can't be lost]. The truth rests in the middle. He used his own marriage as an example. The law of God instructs him to remain faithful to his wife, but he doesn't stay true to her just because God said he must. He loves his wife so much that he doesn't want to do anything to hurt her, and that is why he remains faithful.
Next he read Matthew 19:1-9 where the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce. Jesus said that in the beginning God intended each man to have only one wife. Then the Pharisees asked Jesus why Moses introduced divorce. Jesus said it was because of the hardness of men's hearts, but from the beginning it was not so. Jesus said that any man who divorces his wife for any reason other than [unconfessed] fornication [which would invalidate the contract] causes her to commit adultery (Why? Because she'll marry again, giving her two husbands, even though she is just living with one). Consequently, the man who marries a divorced woman is also committing adultery [Matthew 5:32].
Bill talked at length about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Because Eve was not in the original creation, she was susceptible to the devil's lies, which he told her through the serpent, (who in the beginning was not a reptile, but an intelligent mammal, the so-called missing link between primates and humans). By disobeying God's commandment and yielding to the serpent's advances, Eve committed adultery and brought death into the world. But we can't criticize Adam and Eve because every man and woman today has the same choice—a choice to be either a jewel in God's crown or a thorn in His foot.
Finally Bill came to his conclusion—the thing God told him that day on Finger Rock. He said, "I'm speaking to my group only; this message is only to them. Little children, I'm here to help you. I am your friend. You might think I'm speaking against you, but I love you. This is an awful strong thing. I didn't know how to bring it out. What will I do when I have good men and women in my congregation who have been married twice or three times? They got mixed up because someone taught them wrong. They didn't wait on the Lord. Jesus said, 'What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.' Not what some half-drunk magistrate or some backslidden preacher has joined together; I'm talking about what God has joined together. When you have a direct revelation from God that someone is your wife (or someone is your husband) that person is yours for the rest of your life. But what man joins together anybody can pull apart."
Bill repeated, "Bear me record of this before God: this is just to my group only. Some of you men and women married a second time because of misinterpreted theology. If God gave Moses and Paul special permission concerning marriage and divorce, should not God permit me to do the same thing? [Matthew 19:7; I Corinthians 7:6, where Paul said (speaking on the subject of marriage) "But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment"]. I say this by the vindication of His Cloud upon the mountain and His Message that has brought me this far. You men, who have made that mistake, go on the way you are and live in peace with your wives, but don't you dare try to do it again. It wasn't so in the beginning (a man having more than one living wife) and it will not be at the end. But under this modern condition, if you are happy with her, then live with her and raise your children in the admonition of God; but God be merciful to you if you ever do that again! You teach your children to never do a thing like that. God bore me witness on the mountain that I could say this—let them go on as they are and sin no more. It is a supernatural revelation because of the opening of the Seven Seals, so that this question would not be left dangling." (If you have a question concerning marriage and divorce, don't base any life-changing decisions on my synopsis of this sermon. Prayerfully consult the full text of William Branham's sermon "Marriage and Divorce," along with his sermon "Choosing of a Bride," preached on April 29, 1965 O.A.J).
In his sermon, "Who is this Melchisedec?" Bill tackled an age-old question. Genesis 14 tells how the city of Sodom was ransacked by the king of Elam (Persia). Lot and his wife and children were captured and carried away to the north. Abraham assembled a fighting force of 318 men who pursued the king of Elam and defeated him in battle. Thus Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from slavery. After the battle, a priest named Melchisedec came to Abraham, blessed him, and then ate bread and drank wine with him. (This is a type of the great wedding supper where, after the battle is over, Jesus eats bread and drinks wine with His Bride Mark 14:22-25). In return, Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, giving Him a tenth of all he had. This story would be mysterious enough just from the Genesis account, but in Hebrews 7 Paul writes that Melchisedec is the King of peace and righteousness, and He didn't have a father or mother, neither beginning nor ending of days.
Who is this mysterious person? Bill explained that Melchisedec had to be God Himself, because only God had no beginning. Melchisedec was God's theophany appearing to Abraham in order to pre-figure Jesus Christ. It was not Jesus like we see Him in the New Testament, because Jesus had a Father and a mother, and this man had neither. Jesus had a beginning; this man didn't. Jesus gave His life; this man couldn't, because He was life. Yet there is a close connection.
To explain that connection, Bill went back to the beginning of the universe when God lived alone with His thoughts. God is a spirit. After planning the universe, Spirit-God spoke. His Words became the Logos, or "the Word of God." A word is a thought that is openly expressed. Spirit-God has no form that we could recognize. Initially, His thoughts had no form that we could see. But as soon as He used words to express His thoughts, then in that sense He had a form that could be recognized, although at first there was nothing around to see it. The Logos that came out from Spirit-God was His theophany, or "Word-body." God's theophany was not a physical body; rather, it was a supernatural body. But now that His thoughts were expressed, His theophany could become a physical body. That is what happened in the days of Abraham. Bill explained that Melchisedec was "God the Word" appearing in flesh to Abraham two thousand years before He became "God incarnate" in Jesus Christ. Thus Abraham saw the theophany of Christ in a pre-incarnate form. Later, when God became incarnate and walked among men, Jesus said to the Jews, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad." Then said the Jews unto Him, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:56-58).
The book of Hebrews explains how the Levitical priesthood (which God started in the days of Moses) came to an end when Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of mankind. From that day forward God has ministered to His people through the priesthood of Melchisedec—Jesus Christ being the high priest par excellence. (Hebrews 4:17 10:22).
All this might have sounded abstract and overly technical until Bill explained that every born-again Christian also has a theophany. They have to have one, because they were in God's thoughts from the beginning. That makes them, in essence, attributes of God. When Jesus Christ was born on earth, He had His theophany with Him. That is why He was a perfect man, because He never strayed from His Father's Word. He could not stray because He and the Word of God were one and the same. The rest of God's children were born without their theophanies so that they could be tested with trials and could overcome the sin of unbelief through their faith in Jesus Christ. When a man (or a woman) finally recognizes that the Word of God is the true food which feeds his hungry soul, he has just heard from his theophany. Now he knows he has a Word-body waiting for him beyond this life. This is the meaning of II Corinthians 5:1, which says: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." During the millennium and forever thereafter, God's children will live with their physical bodies and their theophanies connected. Bill referred to this future state of being as a person living in a "glorified body."
Demos Shakarian had a good reason for believing that God can work through people to perform miracles and to instruct through prophecy. His grandfather left Armenia (Turkey) in 1855 when a young Christian prophesied that an unspeakable tragedy was coming; so the family missed the Great Calamity of 1915, when the Ottoman Empire systematically killed 1.5 million Armenians. [The Ottoman bureaucracy was run by Donmeh (Sabbataean) anti-Semitic self-styled Jews who pose as Muslims, through whose internal subversion the Rothschild Dynasty conspired the downfall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, bringing Palestine under Britain which they controlled. Donmeh Jews established and rule the Republic of Turkey. Donmeh Jew Ataturk and the Young Turks' support for Zionism and creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine after World War I and during Nazi rule in Europe endeared Turkey to Israel and vice versa]. The Shakarian family settled in California and started a dairy, which grew into a successful business. They also became Pentecostal Christians in the aftermath of the 1906 Azusa Street revival.
Demos Shakarian became involved with the Branham Campaigns back in the 1940s when Bill first visited California. Over the years, Demos had helped sponsor several of Bill's faith-healing campaigns and had seen God perform hundreds of miracles during those meetings. Sometimes Demos had worked as an usher, collecting prayer-cards from people in the prayer-lines as they left the main floor to walk up on the platform where Bill would discern and then pray for them. Demos always checked what these people wrote on their prayer-cards with the diagnosis Bill gave them through his supernatural gift. Demos never saw a mistake in that discernment, not even in the slightest detail. When Demos' mother was dying, he asked Bill to come to the hospital and pray for her. When Bill did, Mrs. Shakarian rose from her deathbed and lived in good health for several more years.
In 1963 Demos Shakarian's sister, Florence, was diagnosed with cancer. Although she was only 39, the cancer had advanced to a stage where her doctors couldn't stop it. Naturally, Demos wanted Bill to pray for God to perform a miracle in his sister's life.
As Bill began his prayer, God showed him a vision of Florence running from something that was trying to kill her. She jumped into a bed and screamed for Bill's help. In the vision, he ran towards her, but she died before he could reach her side. A clock next to the bed showed him the time. Sadly, Bill told Demos that his sister would not live to see the coming of the Lord, but she would die some morning between 2 and 3 o'clock.
On Thursday evening, April 29, 1965, Bill spoke to the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Before his sermon, Florence Shakarian (now 42) sang a beautiful solo that touched every heart in the room. The song was all the more poignant because most of the audience knew about her battle with cancer. Suddenly a Pentecostal man spoke in an unknown tongue; and then another Pentecostal man interpreted it, saying, "Thus saith the Lord, 'Oh daughter of Zion, thou shalt not fear, thou shalt not worry, for thou shalt live to see the coming of the Lord'."
A murmur of approval rippled through the room. But Billy Paul Branham was troubled by this prophecy because he remembered that his father had said Florence would not live to see the coming of the Lord.
Although the banquet room was packed full of people, Bill was mindful of a larger audience. The twin reels of a tape recorder were turning, so he knew his sermon, "Choosing of a Bride," would go far beyond the four walls of this room. He took his text from Genesis 24, where Abraham was searching for a bride for his son, Isaac. Abraham was not impressed with the pretty women in the godless tribes of Canaan where he was living. He hoped to find a suitable bride in his homeland among his relatives. Since Abraham was too old to travel, he appointed his eldest servant, Eliezer, to accomplish this task. When Eliezer arrived at a well on the outskirts of Nahor, he prayed, "O Lord God of my master Abraham . . . let it come to pass that the damsel to whom I shall say, 'Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink'; and she shall say, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also': let the same be she that Thou has appointed for Thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast shewed kindness unto my master?" It happened just the way he prayed it would. Rebekah accepted the invitation Eliezer delivered. The very camels that she watered carried Rebekah to her future husband, Isaac. This love story is a beautiful type of Christ and His Bride. (The same Holy Spirit that the believers water will carry them to their heavenly Bridegroom).
Of the many choices we make in life, few choices affect us more deeply than our choice of a marriage partner. A good wife is the best thing God can give a man outside of salvation; but a bad one, as Solomon said, is rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4; also see Proverbs 18:22; 19:13; 21:19; 27:15, 31:10 and 30). A good wife is one who fits her husband well, who complements his character and helps him fulfill his purpose. A man should pray before he chooses. He should not base his decision on a woman's outward beauty; he should look for the inward beauty of a Christian character. Outward beauty can be deceiving. (Remember, Lucifer was so beautiful, he convinced a third of the angels to follow him). Inward beauty endures forever. If a man meets a woman who is born again, and the two of them fall in love, and they both pray about it, and they feel it is God's will, then they should get married. The character of the woman a man chooses to marry reflects his own character and his ambitions. After all, she is going to help him make a future home.
These natural principles have important spiritual applications. When a man chooses a church for his family to attend, he should not look for a beautiful building, a fancy choir, or how many group activities the church sponsors. He should look for a church that preaches the full gospel, a church that makes the Bible its final authority.
Just as the man was not created for the woman, but the woman was created for the man; so Christ was not made for the church, but the church was made for Christ. (I Corinthians 11:9; Ephesians 5:21-32). Who will Jesus Christ choose for His Bride in this day? He will choose men and women who are filled with the Holy Spirit and who respect His Word.
Bill said, "Jesus did only what pleased God—that is, He honored and manifested God's Word. His Bride will have to be of the same character. She could not be chosen from inside of a denomination. Every denomination has a board of directors somewhere who tell their people what they can and can't do—and many times it is a million miles off the true Word. God never intended to lead His church through popes, cardinals, bishops, priests or presbyters. He sent the Holy Ghost to lead His church. Jesus said, 'When the Comforter (the Holy Ghost) is come, He will reveal what I have told you and lead you into all truth.' (John 14:16-26; 16:12-15). The modern church hates that plan, so how could she be Christ's Bride? When Christians today choose to belong to a denomination, it reflects their poor understanding of the Word of God. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but I want it to go deep enough until you will look at it."
Bill told them about the vision he saw of the Bride of Christ and the modern church on parade. As he neared the end of his sermon, he felt a strange impulse to speak freely, until he scarcely knew what he was saying. "Men, look at the creeds you serve. Is your church exactly with the Word of God? Women, look in the mirror—not in the mirror of your church, but in the mirror of God's Word—and see if you qualify to be the spiritual Bride of Jesus Christ. Is your life patterned exactly like God's marriage certificate (the Bible) says it has to be? Ministers, ask yourselves the same thing. Do you soften what you preach to save somebody's feelings, so they won't put you out of the church? Church member, if your church isn't measuring up to the qualifications of God's Word, get out of it and get into Christ. That is a solemn warning. You don't know what time this city is going to sink to the bottom of this ocean."
Bill's exhortation changed into a prophecy. "Los Angeles, thou city who claims to be the city of the angels, who has exalted yourself into heaven and sent your filthy fashions and dirty movies around the world—regardless of your fine churches, remember, one day you'll lie at the bottom of this sea. The ground under you is like a honeycomb. The wrath of God is belching beneath you. I don't know how much longer He'll wait before this sandbar will sink and that ocean out yonder will slide inland all the way back to the Salton Sea. (The Salton Sea is a large lake in the Imperial Valley of California, about 150 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The Salton Sea lies below sea level). It will be worse than the last day of Pompeii. (Pompeii was a city in Italy that was destroyed in AD79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city and its inhabitants under volcanic ash). Repent, Los Angeles! Repent, the rest of you, and turn to God! The hour of His wrath is upon the earth. Flee while there is time to flee, and come into Christ!"
Amid much weeping and repenting by the audience, Bill prayed his closing prayer. Then he added, "My brothers and sisters, I don't know what more to say. If you believe me to be His prophet—this is the first time in public I've ever said that, but I feel a strange warning of some sort. I'm not prone to this. You know I'm not. I usually don't act like this. I hesitated to speak that message, but now it's been said; and it will stand at the Day of Judgment as a witness that I've told the truth. That is 'Thus saith the Lord God'."
"Oh Pentecostals, run for your lives. Flee to the horns of the altar and cry out before it is too late; for the hour will come when you can cry and it will do you no good. Remember, Esau sought to find the place of his birthright and couldn't find it. (Hebrews 12:14-17). I commit you, oh members of the Full Gospel Businessmen, whom I love with all my heart, I commit you to Jesus Christ tonight. Flee to Him. Never let the devil cool you off from this Word. Stay right with it until you're filled with the Holy Ghost insomuch that you men and women will straighten up and live godly lives. If you say you've got the Holy Ghost and won't cope with the Word, it's another spirit in you. God's spirit is on His Word. Christ's Bride must be the anointed Word."
After the meeting ended, Bill felt numb and somewhat dazed, the way he used to feel when visions sapped his energy during a prayer-line. But tonight he had seen no visions. Something else had moved his tongue. Billy Paul and Earl Williams (who was Carl Williams' son) each took one of Bill's arms and guided him out of the building. Bill walked with his head tilted back and his eyes half shut. He didn't drag his feet, but neither did he seem fully conscious of his surroundings. As Bill came up to his car, his head rolled forward, his eyes focused on his son, and he said, "Paul, what did I tell those people? I didn't come here to be mean to them."
"You're all right, Daddy," Billy Paul answered. "You didn't say anything mean to them."
On their drive back to Tucson, Bill told his son that he could not remember what he had said during the last part of his sermon. Billy Paul told him how he had prophesied that Los Angeles would someday sink beneath the ocean.
A stretch of silence followed, and then Bill asked his son if that was why he looked so glum. Billy Paul reminded his father about the person who interpreted that unknown tongue, prophesying that Florence Shakarian would live to see the coming of the Lord. Billy Paul hesitated, and then expressed his quandary. "Daddy, you said she would not live to see the coming of the Lord, but she would die some morning between 2 and 3 o'clock."
"Son, all I can say is that the Lord has not shown me anything different from what I've already said." (Florence Shakarian died on September 10, 1965 at 2:45 a.m.).
Later that night Bill read Matthew 11:23, where Jesus prophesied: "Thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day." Consulting a Bible dictionary, he learned that an earthquake sent Sodom to the bottom of the Dead Sea; and Capernaum was also destroyed by an earthquake.
Ever since William Branham visited South Africa in 1951 he wanted to return and spend more time preaching to the indigenous natives. He liked the way they accepted his message with simple faith that produced tremendous results, not only in healings and miracles, but also in changed lives for Jesus Christ. He felt his work in Africa was not finished. For many years he didn't have the financial backing to hold more faith-healing campaigns in Africa. Later he was promised financial support, but then he could not get a visa. He suspected interference from South Africa's religious leaders, who wielded a lot of political power through their National Committee. In 1965 Bill again applied for visas to South Africa and Mozambique. Both visas were approved; however they were restricted visas which would permit him to hunt, but would not allow him to hold any religious meetings. Apparently South Africa was simmering with political unrest. Government officials worried that any large gathering of natives (remember, tens of thousands of natives attended his Durban meeting in 1951) might turn into a riot. Although disappointed with this restriction, he nevertheless bought airplane tickets for himself and for Billy Paul.
They landed in Johannesburg, South Africa, on May 26, 1965. Sidney Jackson met them at the airport. A few days later the three of them flew to Beira, on the coast of Mozambique, where they hired a guide and outfitted for a three-week-long safari. They rented a Land Rover, which is a boxy 4-wheel drive truck manufactured in England. Loading the Land Rover with supplies, they drove 150 miles west into some very wild country. African savanna is composed of subtropical grasslands dotted with thorny trees that have small leaves. Large herds of grazing animals migrate across the savanna, like elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, ibex, and others. Many predators prey on these herds, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, eagles, and vultures.
For three weeks Bill and his companions lived in the bush country, hunting by day, cooking over a fire in the evening and sleeping in tents at night. Every few days they moved their camp to a new location. One afternoon about 5 o'clock, Bill saw a vision of two natives carrying a third native on a stretcher. The vision made it clear that the third man was sick with a contagious disease.
When the vision ended, Bill walked over to Sidney Jackson's tent and said, "Brother Jackson, in a little while they are going to bring a man in here who is suffering from smallpox. As I understand it, the law in Mozambique says that out here in the savanna, if a sick person asks us for help, we are obligated to drive him to the nearest doctor or hospital."
"That's right, Brother Branham. In our case, the nearest hospital is at Beira, 150 miles away. We would just send our guide, so we would be here for two days without a vehicle."
"Brother Jackson, if you were asked to pray for this man, would you put your hands on him, knowing that smallpox is contagious?"
Jackson smiled. "I would do what a certain Irishman said he would do—shoot first and argue later," referring to something Bill had said to him on one of their hunts.
"Come with me," Bill said. He turned and walked into the tall grass that surrounded their camp. Jackson followed him. The temperature was a stifling 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Bill was not following a trail; he just pushed his way through the elephant grass, which was about 7 feet tall. Naturally there was no way for him to see what lay ahead. About 200 yards from camp, he stopped and said, "Stand still."
After a minute of listening, they heard a rustling noise coming toward them. Three men pushed through the tall grass, two of them carrying a third man on a stretcher made from strips of bark woven together. The man in the lead looked puzzled when he saw two white men standing quietly in the thick, tall grass. Sidney Jackson spoke to them in their native language, asking them to set the stretcher down so he and the American evangelist could pray for their friend. The sick man groaned with pain as these men lowered the stretcher. Bill and Sidney knelt and laid their hands on the sick man, feeling the heat from his fever even on such a hot day. After saying a short prayer, Bill stood and walked back to camp. The other men followed him. When the three natives reached the clearing, they spoke to the guide, who immediately loaded the sick man in the back of the Land Rover and drove off. Everyone else ate supper and retired to their tents for the night.
In the morning Sidney Jackson was surprised to see that the Land Rover was already back. He roused the guide and said, "You made that trip to Beira very quickly."
The driver answered, "No, I didn't go. Just a few miles out of camp, that man on the stretcher thumped on the top of the cab and said, 'Let me off here. My house is nearby.' So I let him off and I came back."
"Wasn't he sick?"
"No. He told me he felt as good as rain."
One day Billy Paul shot a leopard that had been killing cattle near a village. The local natives were grateful and held a feast to celebrate their deliverance from the leopard. Not only did the hunters attend this feast, Bill donated meat from a zebra he had shot.
A few days later the hunters discovered the trail of a Cape buffalo. Cape buffalos are large animals having massive, downward curving horns and nasty tempers. Sidney urged Bill to hunt the buffalo with his elephant gun, which was a .416 Rigby Nitro; but Bill wanted to use his .300 Weatherby, which had been given to him by some friends to replace the gun that had blown up in his face. They tracked this buffalo for several hours until they found it grazing in short grass. As the hunters crept forward, the buffalo smelled their scent.
Immediately it lowered its head and charged. Bill brought it down with one shot (much to Sidney Jackson's relief, because there would not have been enough time for a second shot). [See the first image on the film strip above].
Bill wanted to shoot a lion, but two weeks went by without seeing one. He tried setting a trap. First he shot a zebra. Tying the dead zebra behind the Land Rover, he drug it in a wide circle around a tree, then left the zebra carcass under the tree, hoping a lion would smell zebra scent and follow it to the tree. After a few unproductive days of waiting, he tried a different approach. He used his four native trackers to beat the brush, making as much noise as possible in a wide arc, trying to frighten a lion into running toward the hunters. This method didn't work either.
Despite this disappointment, it was a successful safari. Bill and Billy Paul collected 33 trophies between them. Back in Beira, Bill arranged to have the animal heads stuffed and mounted, and the skins cured. Later they would be shipped back to Tucson, Arizona, where he planned to display them in his new den room.
Before the hunters left Beira, a native ran up to Sidney Jackson and said that someone wanted to see "the master." Sidney followed this native to a room where a young man waited. It was the man who Bill and Sidney had prayed for while he lay fever-ridden on that woven bark stretcher in the elephant grass. Incredibly, this man had walked 150 miles, just so he could thank "the master" for praying for him. Sidney Jackson led the man to William Branham, and together the two hunters told him about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
A few days after he returned from Africa, William Branham dreamed he was a young man again, working at his original job at Public Service Indiana. In the dream he was walking his old route, collecting money from customers for their electricity bills. It was a hot day and sweat dripped from his temples as he walked by a river. Setting the customers' money and their receipts on the ground, he changed into swimming trunks and jumped into the cool water. He thought, "This isn't right. I shouldn't be swimming on company time." Getting out of the river, he changed back into his service uniform. Suddenly a gust of wind blew his receipts away, leaving him with a pile of coins. He thought, "Now what do I do? I don't remember who paid what amount on their bills. The only thing I can think of is to leave this money with the cashier, and when these customers get a notice that they haven't paid their bills, they will bring in the other half of their receipts. That sure is a lot of bother, all because I wasn't paying attention."
When Bill awoke, he turned over in bed. Meda batted her eyes, and then opened them wide and yawned. "Did you sleep well?" she asked.
"No. I dreamed that I was back at the public service company."
"Again?" she asked with a hint of surprise.
During the past year Bill had dreamed several times that he was back working for the public utility company in Jeffersonville, and in each dream something bad happened. The frequency of these dreams bothered him. Was the Lord trying to tell him something? Earlier in the year, he asked God to give him a vision that would show him if he had done something wrong, so he could make it right. So far, the Lord had not given him a vision to explain these dreams.
They prayed together as was their morning custom. Then Meda went next door to wake their children. (Remember, they were living in a duplex).
"Lord," Bill prayed, "What have I done that my subconscious mind won't let me get away from my old job? I must be an awful guy."
After he bathed and dressed, a thought came to him: "Maybe I'm neglecting the Lord's work. Maybe that is what the Lord is trying to tell me through those dreams."
Grabbing his Bible, he sat at his desk. It was a simple wooden desk just a little wider than its companion chair—about as big of a desk as this small apartment could accommodate. He said, "Lord, in the Old Testament, if Your children wondered about a dream, You spoke to them through the Urim and Thummim—through that supernatural Light sparkling in those twelve precious stones on the breastplate of Your high priest. (Uwriym (Urim) 'lights; Tummiym (Thummim) 'used with the Urim, for the will of God. Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8; Numbers 27:21; Deuteronomy 33:8; I Samuel 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65). But that priesthood has changed, and now the Bible is Your Urim and Thummim. Lord, since You haven't given me a vision to explain those dreams, I'm asking You to show me something in Your Bible that will explain them. Surely there is some character and situation in here that will pertain to me. If somebody in here did something wrong, and it matches something I have done that displeases You, then let me turn to that place so I will know, and can make it right. If someone in here had a task to do, and You want me to do that same thing, then show me."
Bill held the Bible upright in front of him, its spine on the desk, the covers pressed closed between the flats of his hands. Shutting his eyes, he withdrew his hands so that his Bible fell open randomly. Pressing his index finger down on a page, he opened his eyes and read the verse his finger was touching. It was Genesis 24:7, "The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father's house . . ."
"Hmmm," he thought. "Who is speaking to whom?" He glanced back at the chapter heading to get the context. Abraham was trying to find a wife for his son, Isaac. Here in verse 7 Abraham was sending his steward, Eliezer, to search in the region of Mesopotamia. Abraham said, "The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; He shall send His Angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence".
He shall send His Angel before thee? How striking. A chill ran along Bill's spine. He thought about the Angel of the Lord who had been his guide and companion since the day his ministry began. Bill realized he had a commission like Eliezer; only his duty was to find a wife for someone far greater than Isaac. He was trying to find a Bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. nl796.htm
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.