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Important update re: resumed in-person services

Modified services

Our in-person services resume on July 5,2020 with precautions on SUNDAYS only. Thursday Bible study will continued to be live-streamed until further notice here and on our Facebook page.

Masks are required.

All attendees are required to wear a mask or face covering for the duration of their time on LWBC property.

Due to limited seating, we ask that visitors stream our services online here, on our homepage, or on at Facebook.com/TheLWBC.

Yours in Christ,

-The LWBC

The Millennium Post #1

The Millennium Bible Study #1 Pastor's Corner

This episode focuses on what the Millennium is, how we will live during that time, and who will inhabit the world that is to come.
  1. The Millennium Bible Study #1
  2. The Geopolitics of Good Friday
  3. The Messiah (Holy Week series#1)
  4. The Hour of Deliverance
  5. Raising the Standard

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4-6

Our next few studies will center around the Battle of Armageddon and the Great Millennium that is to come. Today, I want to address three questions:

  1. What is the Millennium?
  2. How will we live in the Millennium?
  3. What kind of people will be in the Millennium?

    First, let’s recap the basics.

What is the Millennium?

The word “millennium” means 1,000 years and the biblical Millennium is a 1,000 year period promised to the Elected who were faithful to the Word in their generation. This takes place after the Rapture of the Saints and the battle of Armageddon (which we’ll cover in another lesson) .

The Millennium is a honeymoon period—a sacred time where Jesus Christ, His Bride, and the 144,000 Jews who have received the Holy Spirit live and worship together. It is a time of peace that was typified by the reign of King Solomon in the Old Testament.

Notice that Solomon was the son of David. When he took the throne, Israel knew a time of prosperity unlike any other. His reign was a time of justice and peace for all because of the great gift of discernment (wisdom) that God gave him. So Christ—who is called the Son of David during this Millennium (see 2 Tim. 2:8, Rev. 5:5)—will take His place as King over Israel. This is the time that the disciples were longing to see when they asked if He would “restore the kingdom unto Israel” (Acts 1:6). You see, Israel means a “prince with God.” The name itself promises rulership over the nations yet, since the fall of Israel after Solomon’s time, Israel has never again known the glory that God promised.

But the wonderful God knew that the people that would rule with Him during the Millennium would not only be natural Israelites but an elected people made up of Jews and Gentiles. As I said this morning, He has been hand-selecting that Bride in the 2,000 years since He went away, pulling them to Himself for the great Age that is to come. When the last Bride-member comes in, and the 144,000 members of the Jewish remnant (see Romans 11 and Rev. 14) have received the Holy Ghost, God’s predestinated starter-seed for the new world will be complete.

Now, He can restore the kingdom to Israel. So, in the Millennium Jesus, the Son of David, will rule as head over Israel and as the Bridegroom to the Gentile church. To the Jew, Christ is the Root and Offspring of David. In other words, He was before David (the Root of the royal vine), in David, and after David (the Offspring). But to us Gentiles, He is the Divine Lover shown in Song of Solomon who has finally received a faithful Bride.

How will we live in the Millennium?

Now that we’ve got the basis established, let’s look at what happens to the Bride for and during the Millennium. Now take your time and study the Scriptures I’ll share with you. Pause, pray, think and come back whenever you want to so you can really soak in the Word and, I trust, love Christ more as a result of your study.

First, the redeemed upon this earth will live in a glorified body that is just like the body that Jesus Christ will have.

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Philippians 3: 21

All of our loved ones that died in Christ are in a theophany (2 Cor. 5:1) that does not age, thirst, sleep or get hungry. Therefore, as the Lord Jesus said, there are no human associated relationships in that body. You remember Christ was asked the question about the woman who had married 7 brothers (Mark 12:18-27)? He showed us that there is no marriage in that estate (called the resurrection).

Not exactly with flesh and blood like it will be in its glorified stage, but it is of a form of a human body that doesn’t eat, neither does it drink, but it’s—it’s a body, a body that’s waiting for us as soon as we leave this one. Now, in there, we enter into that body. And that’s the kind of body that God was, for He said, “Let us make man in our own image and in our likeness.”

  57-0828 – Hebrews, Chapter Two #3
    Rev. William Marrion Branham

If you recall Brother Branham’s experience beyond the Curtain of Time, you see this same truth born out. They all called him “our precious brother” including his first wife that had passed on. That body is waiting for the resurrection of their flesh which our text calls the “First Resurrection.”

But when Jesus Christ returns to start the Millennium and His saints with Him (see Zechariah 14:5, Matt. 16: 27, Psalm 96:13, Is. 66:15) the saints will no longer keep a theophany. Instead, the dust, minerals and whatever else that makes up your body will combine with that theophany to produce a perfect body that is ready to live and reign for 1,000 years and into eternity.

Brother Branham says this, speaking of the resurrection and the Second Coming of the Lord.

332 And now when that tabernacle…they left there in that body, they come back to the earth, and that type of a body they had took on immortality. The—the dust of the earth gathered into that theophany of somehow and they become human again, had to eat like they did in the garden of Eden. See? “But if this earthly tabernacle be dissolved, we have one already waiting.”

61-0112 – Questions And Answers

Now there are so many things we don’t understand about how this body will work, as the Bible tells us that it is not fully revealed to us what kind of a body we will have, but we can look back at the pattern of God to get a good idea of what things will be like in the Millennium.

Notice how God brought man from a thought (attribute)–> theophany–> flesh man (glorified). If you can see my diagram it might make a little more sense.

God thought of Adam then He created Adam as a theophany (Gen. 1:28) and then He put Adam in flesh (Gen. 2:7). So we see the same pattern repeating again. From thoughts in God’s mind, we were put into flesh but that flesh was fallen because of sin. Christ’s blood brought us back into God’s order and so we enter into a theophany after this life is over. But the journey isn’t over yet!

And, then, when this robe of flesh is dropped, there is a natural body, theophany, a body not made with hands, neither born of a woman, that we go to.

Then that body returns back and picks up the glorified body.
 

65-0221E – Who Is This Melchisedec?
    Rev. William Marrion Branham

At the coming of Christ, we return to a glorified body just as Adam and Eve were given. Now notice how human desires were granted to them in their glorified state. They got hungry. Tired. They loved. And yet they were divine beings. We see the same pattern in Jesus Christ.

After His resurrection He had to follow a specific order until He ascended to His Father (John 20:17). He did not eat or drink contrary to what He told Jairus to do when He raised up the little girl from the dead. Why? His body was not ready for that yet. But once He ascended and then returned to His disciples, He came with a glorified body that could eat, drink, and be touched. Do you remember what He said to Thomas (John 20:27). Something had changed for, instead of not being touched and eating or drinking, He asked them for food (which He had always loved) to prove that He wasn’t a theophany or a vision!

Now in the Millennium we will have a restoration of all that makes us human. We will eat. Drink. And love.

Micah the prophet predicted this Millennium about five hundred years before Jesus Christ came the first time.

But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

Micah 4:5

Isaiah also prophesies of this great, agricultural society that lives in the blessed presence of the Son of God.

And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

Isaiah 65:21-23

In that world, all wrongs will be made right. Those without the correct spouse here will find that God brings them to the correct mate so they can live in happiness and peace.

What people will inhabit that world?

Now, here we’re going to venture into some deep water so get your Bibles and stay with me. The Millennium is only for the Bride and tribes of Israel that stayed true to God. However, the earth will be well-populated.

Notice that all the Elect (those whose names are on the Lamb’s Book of Life) from Adam on to the last one that comes in before the Rapture will be there. But God brings in the twelve tribes of Israel with Dan and Ephraim (who were not among the 144,000 group according to Rev. 7) into the picture. There they establish the temple worship with the nations flowing to the House of the Lord according to Micah 4:1-3.

Let’s read.

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Micah 4:1-3

Here we see the Gentiles (many nations) being a part of the plan of God. We will all go to worship the Lord in Jerusalem during this time. Whereas these nations (Gentiles) once fought against each other, now they use weapons as agricultural tools for the world has been reset and we turn back to an agricultural society instead of the high-tech, high pressure world that we now know.

Ezekiel chapters 40-48 spell out in detail the order of worship that Israel is to follow and show us that there will be weights, currency, and measurements in this new world–much like there is now. We often think of it as a sort of mystical, dream world but it will be extremely tangible with work and trade being a part of it.

Some have wondered at my repeated statements that there will be children born in the Millennium but let me share just one scriptural promise regarding this matter. It is a beautiful scripture found in the book of Ezekiel chapter 47. Here God is ordering the layout of the tribes of Israel during this Millennium and He says,

And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

Ezekiel 47:22

You see, a glorified body doesn’t mean that we cease being human. Frankly, Eve conceived although she was in a glorified body, did she not? I’ll let you think on that awhile.

Our human talents and skills remain with us. We will use them to glorify the Lord who will be in our midst. Think of what it will be as we worship for a thousand years with singers like David and Sankey, as we hear testimonies by Paul, Peter Cartwright and Bro. Branham. Truly, I wonder how we’ll find time to sleep with so much excitement going on!

And through it all is the blessed presence of the Lord Jesus incarnate among us.

But, at the end of this Millennial period, some incredible things take place—the anointing of the New Jerusalem, the resurrection of those who have never heard the Gospel, and the general resurrection. How do these events affect the world? How do they fit into Bible prophesy? How does Isaiah’s statement that a child shall die at an hundred years fit into the great picture? Lord willing, we’ll look at this next time.

What does a global economic meltdown have to do with the crucifixion?

The Millennium Bible Study #1 Pastor's Corner

This episode focuses on what the Millennium is, how we will live during that time, and who will inhabit the world that is to come.
  1. The Millennium Bible Study #1
  2. The Geopolitics of Good Friday
  3. The Messiah (Holy Week series#1)
  4. The Hour of Deliverance
  5. Raising the Standard

The geopolitics of Good Friday

Today, I started my Good Friday by listening to Luke 23 which covers the trial and subsequent crucifixion of Jesus on the Bible app. It struck me how adamant Pilate was at first to spare Christ’s life but, when faced with mounting political pressure… he gave in. Why?

As a Christian, I believe this moment was firmly orchestrated by God for the purpose of humanity’s redemption. But we must realize that God works His divine will through the choices that we make based on our perception of reality. Pilate had no idea that he was an instrument in the hand of God. But he did understand the natural forces of politics, rebellion, and conspiracy that led up to this moment.

As a historian and minister, I love to dig into the background of major moments in world history. Let’s take a quick look at what geopolitical forces conspired to bring about Good Friday.

What happens when the financial system collapses?

In AD 33 the Roman empire was confronted with a financial crisis that would have a global impact. A shortage of cash—largely triggered by political infighting in the Roman Senate, an outbreak of plague, and a strained financial market—resulted in an economic meltdown that is called the Financial Panic of AD 33.

Emperor Tiberius responded with a bailout—some 100 million sesterces lent at 0% interest to business owners and banks. This stimulus was injected into the market, primarily benefitting the elite but ultimately stabilizing the economy.

Sound familiar? Truly, history repeats itself.

But, while the world was grappling with a financial crisis, another event was mark AD 33 as a year unlike any other. On a hill outside Jerusalem, a Man hung suspended between heaven and earth, making a bridge between God and humanity with His body and blood.

These two events may well have been connected.

Why did Pontius Pilate condemn Jesus?

Roman bust

As financial panic spread throughout the Roman empire, Pilate himself faced an unprecedented challenge. He had been appointed by Sejanus, a man who effectively ruled the empire while the emperor Tiberius spent his days in a sort of voluntary exile in the gorgeous island of Capri.

Unfortunately, having power makes you want more power. Sejanus, who had 9,000 members of the Praetorian Guard at his disposal in Rome, was accused of planning a coup against the emperor and was executed before it could be carried out.

What followed was a persecution of Sejanus loyalists. So when a riot ensued in Jerusalem and the Jewish leaders threatened Pilate with an accusation of disloyalty, he had every reason to be concerned.

What does John 19:12 mean?

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

John 19:12

It’s doubtful that Pilate had a direct relationship with Caesar Tiberius so the Jewish leaders weren’t talking about personal friendship. To not be a friend of Caeaser, non amicus Caesaris, was to lose a position of trust normally held by administrative leadership. Pilate’s loyalty was being called into question–and he couldn’t afford to have that happen. Not when he had been appointed by a a man who Caesar had recently executed. Regardless of how Pilate took it, the implications were clear—and so was the decision he had to make.

What does this all mean for us today?

I believe that God orders all things now as He did then. When we read the news online or see it on TV, we often wonder how things are all coming together. As our hearts break with those who’ve lost loved ones in mass shootings, or those who are victims of the ongoing pandemic, let us remember that everything—and I mean everything—plays some part in bringing about God’s perfect kingdom.

Without all the drama in Roman Senate perhaps the crucifixion would never have take place. Without all the drama in our halls of Congress, perhaps the pieces that are necessary for Christ’s return would never happen. But everything is working together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

American flag at half-mast

History and prophecy

One final thought: let those who believe the Gospel remember that we are not here to save this world but to look for the world that is to come. While we may not understand all that’s happening, the wheels of history show us that our decisions result in biblical prophesy coming to pass.

So let us true believers draw comfort from God’s promises and lift up our heads, as we remember the sacrifice of the Son, for our future is bright.

The Messiah (Holy Week Post #1)

Scripture reading: Mark 11:11-33

The Millennium Bible Study #1 Pastor's Corner

This episode focuses on what the Millennium is, how we will live during that time, and who will inhabit the world that is to come.
  1. The Millennium Bible Study #1
  2. The Geopolitics of Good Friday
  3. The Messiah (Holy Week series#1)
  4. The Hour of Deliverance
  5. Raising the Standard

This week we’re going to try to look at the incredible events that characterized the Lord Jesus’ final week of ministry in “real-time.” In this post, I’m touching on events that happened on the Monday and Tuesday after His triumphal descent on the Mount of Olives. The goal of this week’s posts is to spark a fresh love for our Messiah.

Mark 11:11-33 show us both the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. He was God yet he was human and we see Him busily fulfilling prophecies with each beat of His glorious heart. Let’s zero in on this.

Monday Morning

First, we see that Jesus is a planner. He’s not the kind of guy who just jumps at things impetuously. Instead, He surveys the situation and takes the appropriate action. Mark 11:11 shows us that He came into Jerusalem and “looked round about upon all things.” Then He turns around and leaves. In many ways, Christ here acts like Nehemiah who just surveyed everything before starting his work or rebuilding Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:11-15). This is good practice for all of us in our natural and spiritual lives. As Christians, we shouldn’t just jump at new things or be “trigger happy” in responding to situations. We should prayerfully sit back and look at what we see from a Word-standpoint and not an emotional one.

Christ was about to take dramatic action–and fulfill prophesy–but first He stops and assesses the situation. We don’t know what He saw but, whatever it was, it didn’t discourage Him from the work that He had to do. Neither should we let what we see around us breed doubt or fear in our life. Instead, let us align the realities of our world with the Word of God and go forward to fulfill what God has called us to do in Christ’s name.

On the road to Jerusalem

Second, Jesus wasn’t just an observer. He was on a mission to redeem you from the power of the grave and the next morning (our Monday) He makes His way to Jerusalem from Bethany. This is a trip of about 2 miles but on this short trip we see a powerful reminder of the character of our Leader. Let’s join the disciples as they’re following him. There had to be a sense of anticipation, and probably fear. No one knew exactly what was going to happen when Jesus got to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples are thinking Christ is definitely going to proclaim Himself King. After the triumphal entry, how could He not? Others are wondering how the priests and religious leaders will react. But Jesus has something else on His mind.

He stops abruptly near a leafy fig tree and starts to look for food.

Now, I want you just to consider this for a moment. Jesus is about to claim His throne–or so everyone thinks. In a time like this, why focus on food? I don’t know about you but, if I was about to take over the world, looking for figs would be the last thing on my mind. Even worse, this isn’t fig season! Fig trees in Israel typically start bearing fruit in late April but here we are, probably in two week before that time.

But we see the Master has a purpose for everything that He does. Not only do we see how human He was—getting hungry and hoping (not operating by a vision) to find some food on the way—but we also see Him for what He is—the wisest Teacher that ever lived. Jesus curses the fig tree. Through this experience, He’s about to radically alter His disciples perception of their relationship to God.

In the temple

Let’s imagine we’re standing with the disciples as Jesus enters Jerusalem. We see Him just ahead of us, flanked by Peter, James and John. He goes straight to the temple and we know that the tension which has been brewing between our Leader and the Sanhedrin is about to spill over. The armed temple guards and Jesus stare at each other across the courtyard on the outer part of the temple. Peter’s right hand drops to the hilt of his sword. Around us are the money changers and the sellers of lambs and doves and crowds of worshippers give our group stream by as they go toward the inner court.

And then it happens.

For many people, this is probably the hardest part of Jesus’s ministry to accept. Christ—the Lord of love—violently takes over the temple. This isn’t a quick emotional flareup; Christ’s anger lasts long enough for Him to braid a rope together and beat them out of the temple. Again, I want you to remember that this is the same God that thundered on Mount Sinai but He is veiled behind human flesh. This is the same God whose wrath drowned the world in Noah’s day. This is the same God that is coming soon to cleanse, not only the temple, but the whole world!

Jesus was angry, yes. But His anger was fueled by His desire to see God’s word accomplished. Here, even in His anger, He was fulfilling prophesy (see Psalm 69:9). Now here’s my challenge to you.

Even when you’re angry, make sure your anger submits itself to the will of God. Let your emotions and actions be subject to “thus saith the Lord” at all times. Christians should not curse or be crude in their anger. Jesus did none of these things yet He was really upset because He was upholding the family honor. His Father’s house was being violated. His Father’s Name was being disgraced by those who claimed to worship Him. And He, as the Son of God, was on the scene to set things straight.

Today, we are God’s representatives. We are here to set the record straight. We don’t need the tables of the moneychangers or the dove sellers to be overthrown but we do need the idols of unbelief, hypocrisy, and “churchianity” to be demolished. Paul told us that we are here to cast down spiritual enemy strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). As Sons and Daughters of the Father, it is our responsibility to tear down every attempt Satan makes to pervert true worship in our lives. The Father’s Name and Honor is at stake and the enemy is hard at work.

Let us be busy.

I’d like to point out that Jesus dominated the floor at this stage. The Bible said that he “would not allow any man to carry any vessel through the temple” (verse 16). He was clearly in control of the situation. He was the judge, the Lord, determining what would and would not get through. All pretended reiligious authority had to bow to the authority of this “Carpenter from Galilee” for in Him, the God-Man, lay true authority.

And, if He’s in us, that puts us in control of the situation today. Under His authority, you—not society, not the church, not the devil—decide what comes in and out of your life. Let us break the power of the enemy by refusing him to push anything through in our life.

Let’s keep this temple clean.

Tuesday morning

Jesus did not often stay in cities. Frankly, I can’t think of a time the Bible tells that He ever spent the night in Jerusalem beside (presumably) from when He was left there by Mary and Joseph at age 12. So after cleansing the temple, He again leaves Jerusalem. He’s an early riser so we see Him on the move again toward Jerusalem in the morning the next day.

We’re right behind Peter when we pass the fig tree that Jesus cursed just yesterday.

“Master!” Peter shouts. “Look at this! The fig tree you cursed is dead!” We all turn to stare at the fig tree, our minds struggling to absorb the reality of this latest miracle. For it is indeed a miracle. Trees don’t just die and decay overnight. And this tree was healthy enough to bear fruit 24 hours ago. Something has clearly happened.

Now I want you to notice something you may have overlooked. Jesus knows what this week holds. THe masses that throng Him now will turn against Him in just a few days. He will be betrayed. Arrested. Verbally and physically abused. He will be shamed, stripped naked and murdered in one of the cruelest ways possible.

So, with all that on His mind, why teach this lesson now?

Because the power of our relationship to God is the most important lesson we can learn.

In verses 22-26, The Messiah shows us that He is here to restore all the power and benefits that were lost after the Fall. He taught us that faith is based on forgiveness. That restoration of our relationship to God allows us to have a restored relationship with our fellow man. Essentially, His entire ministry is summed up in these verses.

Fellow Christians, God makes no mistakes. Jesus taught by example not just words. Here He showed us that the same power and life that flowed in Him is more than able to change circumstances (move mountains) in our own lives if we approach Him on the basis of undiluted faith. It took time for Jesus’s Word to come to pass (within 24 hours) but it happened. And we ought to be so encouraged right here.

If He had the Spirit without measure and it took time for His word to materialize, we shouldn’t be discouraged when our confession of His Word in faith takes time to materialize for we have just a portion of His spirit. Believe! His Word cannot fail.

Nothing… “Therefore, if you say to this mountain ‘Be moved,’ and don’t doubt in your heart.” Because (what?) you are Deity speaking. You believe it? Bible said so. And whatever you say shall come to pass if you’ll not doubt, if you can get all of the—the world bred out of you, let the Holy Spirit make you a full son or daughter of God: no world, no condemnation, no doubt. What is it, then? It’s no more you, it’s God in you. Then you take His Word, It’s a promise, and say, “Father, it’s Your promise.” 

60-1207 – The Pergamean Church Age | Rev. William Marrion Branham

The final authority

Satan always likes to challenge authority and he was busy doing just that through the religious leaders in Christ’s day. Clearly, nothing has changed in 2,000 years. But despite the fallibilities of the clergy, Christ showed that the Word is the ultimate authority in verses 27-33 and when It speaks nothing can confound it. Identify with that Word and you will never be ashamed.

The Hour of Deliverance

Listen to this blog post.

Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”

Ephesians 4:8 ESV

This afternoon I’d like to do a study on the Old Testament saints that were contained in Paradise. Last Sunday, I drew some parallels between the atmosphere they maintained while waiting for Christ the Deliverer and the Bride today who is waiting on Her hour of deliverance (1 Thess. 4:16). Today, I’d like to dig deeper into what exactly happened in Paradise and what the Bible tells us is waiting for us right around the corner.

Reason to rejoice

First, let me start by saying that we, the universal Bride of Christ, have every reason to be excited about what’s going on in the world. Every sign, every prophecy shows us that the Coming of the Lord is at hand–and that everything the saints have cried out for throughout the millennia is about to be realized. Be excited! Rejoice and don’t let the negativity of this world sap your enthusiasm for the one that’s about to shatter the gloom.

Waiting saints

Prior to Christ’s death on the cross, those who died in faith (Heb. 11) could not enter the presence of God. Because the blood of a perfect lamb had not been shed upon the earth to redeem them, they still suffered some of the effects of the curse and had to remain outside the direct presence of God. They did not deserve to go to hell because they couldn’t help that they came to earth before the Messiah was born and they all died in faith. So God sent them instead to Paradise which, according to Christ’s parable of the unjust ruler, was separated from Hell by a great divide (Luke 16:23-26).

So, whereas Abel, for example, died believing in the coming of the Lamb of God, he still could not enter the presence of God until that Lamb came to earth and paid the ultimate price for his sin. We see right away how seriously God takes sin and how grateful we should be for the perfect Atonement that has been offered for us through Jesus Christ.

Now, because this atonement hadn’t been offered, those who died still wore the form/body that they held when they died. A classic example of this is Samuel. The witch of Endor pulled up his spirit from Paradise (1 Samuel 28). When Samuel’s spirit stood before Saul it looked just like it did when he was on Earth. Samuel was an old man and he still had the robe that was associated with him in this life. That physical robe may have been rotting away in a grave but it also existed with Samuel in Paradise. It goes to show that our actions, our clothing, and our very words live on after we leave this world.

So, sisters, when God says to dress modestly you see how important it is! I wonder how many women are associated with bikinis and other immoral dressing in God’s sight? It never leaves you and will meet you again at the judgment.

How did this witch bring Samuel up? Let me break this down a little by God’s grace. Paradise lay next to Hell or the prison house of the lost. Using her gift, the witch could break into that dimension of Paradise because it was the dimension right below the dimension we all inhabit now. We may think that’s incredible but the reality is it’s very simple. Whenever we believers break into the atmosphere of the Holy Ghost we are also crossing dimensions but toward Heaven instead of Hell.

Some of us are gifted to break into the realm of tongues, prophesy, etc. It just depends on which way your soul is aligned and what abilities God has placed within you (Romans 11:29). But note this: whatever body a person died in, that body would be the the one in which he would be judged before God (2 Cor. 5:10). So all the souls that didn’t repent in the days of Noah etc. were awaiting judgment in the form that they died in when Jesus came and preached to them (1 Peter 3:19-20). Let me share a quote from Brother Branham here that might make this a little clearer.

There is a great mass of souls, lost and screaming. And beautiful girls and wrinkled hags and everything else, crying. Oh, my. If they only had a chance. The heavens has done said He was the Son of God.

   54-1204 – God Perfecting His Church
   Rev. William Marrion Branham

Another example is on Mt. Transfiguration where Peter, James, and John all recognized Moses and Elijah in a moment. While this also shows us that, in the Rapture we will know each other instantly, the truth is that these men looked like they did while they were here in flesh and the disciples were able to know who they were.

So what happened in Paradise?

While the saints were no doubt grateful to be in Paradise, it wasn’t the end product. It wasn’t what they had fought for, believed for, and died for while they were in the flesh. As beautiful as it may have been, a prison covered in gold is still…well… a prison. So all they could do was look forward to the day when the Woman’s Seed would come and set them free. I imagine they had some very powerful testimony meetings in that place as they shared stories about their experiences in this life. Still, they were prisoners.

But Jesus was about to change everything.

Every demon in hell knew the Lion of Judah was on the prowl. There was no corner dark enough for them to hide. No evil spell that could bind the conquering Son of God who had come to rescue that group of His Bride from the hands of His enemy. Jesus came like a whirlwind, shattering every wall that death, hell, and the grave had erected. The Bible says He grabbed the keys from Satan (Rev. 1:8). And then, when His enemy cowed in the dust, He turned His eyes toward that great gulf that separated His children from the children of Hell.

Remember that God still sets a gulf between the sinner and the saint. We are to be different, to walk differently, to live in a different atmosphere even though we’re in the same physical location as the sinner. Let us keep our atmosphere a heavenly one that shows we are “set apart (Eph. 4:1-6).”

Then when Jesus came to Paradise, all the saints that waited in expectation were thrilled beyond measure to see the answer to their prayers. The hour of deliverance had finally come! Adam took Eve’s hand. Eve took Abel’s. Then Seth. One by one the great family of God linked hands and followed their conquering Lord, their Deliverer, out from their prison house.

Jesus left Paradise as a heap of rubble. Frankly He destroyed it. The hour of deliverance had come and He led capitivity captive.

Leaving Paradise was only the beginning

Let’s zero in here on a few things that I trust will do you a lot of good. It’s important to note that, as the saints left Paradise, their bodies changed. It became like Christ’s body. No longer old. No longer wrinkled. Now it became a glorified body that reflected His own great glory. The blood price had been paid and they no longer had to endure the shame of grey hair and wrinkles. Adam could look into Eve’s eyes again and see the original sparkle they once had in the Garden before sin ever dulled their shine.

How do we know this? Because of what happened next.

The Bible says that when Christ arose, many of the overcoming saints rose with Him (Matt 27:52). But not only did they arise–they APPEARED to many other elected Bride members. Listen to me church. This was a family reunion of both Old and New Testament saints. Have you ever realized how much detail Peter and the others went into about Abraham’s life? Did you ever consider the fact that they sat down and had conversations with Enoch and the others? The Bible said they did. “They appeared unto many” for 40 days before they took the flight home with Jesus.

Now here’s where it gets really good to me. Brother Branham shares how Abraham wanted to see the city of Jerusalem. While he and Sarah were exploring prior to the Ascension, a little something happened that tells us quite a lot.

Caiaphas said, “Who is that couple there? Seemed like I seen them somewhere.” Abraham said, “Sarah, Sarah. We’re being recognized.”

They had a body like Jesus’ body. They could disappear like He did through the walls. Just disappeared out of their sight. And Caiaphas said, “You know? Something’s going wrong around here. I don’t know what’s happening.” Oh, my.

  54-1204 – God Perfecting His Church
   Rev. William Marrion Branham

Jesus’s glorified body allowed Him to fly. To appear and disappear. To change appearance so His friends didn’t recognize Him. And now Adam could once again do the things he once did prior to the fall. Now all the saints could act as Jesus did. The Hour of deliverance changed their bodies.

What does this mean for us?

The happenings of 2,000 years ago were a foreshadowing of what will happen–and is happening–to the Bride. Our bodies will be changed to be like His just as their bodies were changed so many years ago (Philippians 3:21). Whereas Abraham once ached and groaned, now he no longer has that problem. Whereas we groan, our day of deliverance is at hand.

Just like that early church, this end-time church will have a spiritual “Family reunion” and will gather in the skies.

In the days that are to come, the Bride will be translated or changed from this earthly house into a theophany (or spiritual body) according to 1 Corinthians 15. But that’s not the end. Lord willing we’ll drill down deeper into what happens in the Millennium and New Jerusalem next time.

What we learned:

  • Souls of the just were sent to Paradise before Christ’s atonement
  • Paradise was next to hell and was a prison/waiting house until the Redeemer came
  • The souls of those who die are in a body like the one they inhabited during this life
  • Christ shattered the power of hell and rescued that portion of His waiting Bride
  • The souls of those in Paradise came forth unto the earth and met with the New Testament saints
  • We, at this junction, will also have a family reunion with the saints at the time of the Rapture

This week, feed your soul on the message An Absolute and focus your reading on 1 Corinthians 15 (whole chapter) as well as Philippians 3 (whole chapter).

Raising the Standard

My heart has been deeply burdened these past few days and I took some time today to go before the Lord in prayer. Especially burdening my heart are the host of signs that all point to imminent persecution for the Bride and the Foolish Virgin group. The clampdown on free speech, the use of social media to hunt down participants in the recent riot in Washington, and the naked hostility of political parties to Christianity are all signs that we cannot ignore.

I only know one Place to go when I’m troubled and that’s to the Lord Jesus. Today in prayer, the Lord revealed something to me that I want to share with you. I hope it will comfort and encourage you as we face the future.

Let’s turn to the book of Isaiah.

So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Isaiah 59:19

God deals with us all differently. For me, deep consecrated prayer is a means of getting myself out of the way so I can hear from the Lord. Often, I will find my questions answered, or find direction as the Spirit prays through me (see Romans 8:26). This evening, as I was unburdening myself before the Lord, I was led back to this Scripture–the Standard.

I saw, as it were, a warrior—like a knight—in battle holding the Standard (or flag) of his nation. I wouldn’t call this a vision. It’s just something the Lord seems to use at various times (including while I’m preaching) to get me to understand something I need to know. This warrior in white was lifting up the standard as the enemy streamed in.

You may not know this but the standard has a reputation for being where the enemy strikes hardest. It’s the most visible target. The bravest of men are the ones who lift up the standard. And that’s what stunned me.

We know that the Bride is the Word-Standard of this hour.

Now, God’s church keeps moving up. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God raises a standard against it. That’s right.

58-0207 – Jesus Christ The Same Yesterday, Today, And Forever
Rev. William Marrion Branham

But I realized we’d only focused on half the picture.

The important thing is that Christ stands by His Standard when the enemy threatens.

The standard is important, yes. But what is the standard if there aren’t strong Hands to lift her up? Just as the standard bearer must be next to the standard in order to lift it up, so Christ will be with His Bride in this dark hour. The Bible says that the “Spirit of God” will lift up the Standard! Truly brother and sister, we see the enemy rising, roaring, and threatening. He will continue to do so. He will grow in power and will crush all opposition to fulfill the word of God spoken by John the Revelator. He will kill. Steal. Destroy.

But, in the midst of all of it, Jesus Christ will stand by His Bride. He will defend Her, protecting her as He uses her to achieve glory. He is the bravest of all. And, just as the standard bearer must stand next to the standard in order to lift it up, so will Christ stand next to His elected Bride, vindicating her in this great day of spiritual battle.

The Bible bears out this truth in many places. God has always stood by His people. In Joel, He promised, “…and my people shall never be ashamed.” Jesus Christ promised to be with us “until the end of the world.” It is in these times of great stress and persecution that the Bride of Christ (the true Church) truly experiences the power of God.

That was my answer. It had me sobbing before the Lord. His divine promise is all that I needed and I trust that this assurance will strengthen you for the days ahead.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what we see or what happens to us. All that matters is that the Word of God is fulfilled. They can take our homes. They can close our churches. They can shut down your internet accounts. They can stop you from streaming sermons. They can even take our lives. But they cannot take the Holy Ghost out of the heart of a born again son or daughter of God.

Just as the standard bearer must stand next to the standard in order to lift it up, so will Christ stand next to His elected Bride, vindicating her in this great day of spiritual battle.

I want to close with this quote and a scripture.

53 He said in Joel, “In that day I’ll pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; your young men shall see visions: upon My handmaids and maids will I pour out of My Spirit. I’ll show signs in the heaven above,” flying saucers and everything, all kinds of mystic signs in the heavens above. Signs on the earth below, there’ll be sea a roaring, tidal waves breaking along Chicago, and all down along the places, great sea a roaring. Men’s heart failing, perplex, the time distress between the nations. Oh, my.

And in that day the great anointed Church was to rise to Her power. Jesus Christ was to come in. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God raises up a standard against It. And today when science is doing all their different things, then God sending down supernatural signs to show to His Church. Take your mind off the things of the world and look up. You’re in the ladder now, you’re anchored both in glory and heaven.

56-0404 – The Infallibility Of God’s Spoken Word
    Rev. William Marrion Branham

Following this time of prayer, I went back to the book of Jeremiah which I had been reading earlier. The Bible was still open from where I had been reading during the day but I hadn’t notice that there was a verse which went right in line with what I had received in prayer.

But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

12 But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.

13 Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

Jeremiah 20:11-13

Like us, Jeremiah was living in a time where religious insincerity, political corruption, and the weakness of the pulpit had led to apostasy and the downfall of the nation. Like us, he (the true servant of God) was being persecuted by the government that had once been lifted up by God to serve His divine will.

And, while Jeremiah suffered, he saw God’s deliverance. That is what I want you to see. Jeremiah was the standard for his age and God stood beside him. And He will do the same again today.

Bro. Joseph Robinson

Breaking through the Barriers

This morning I focused on what it means to “pray through.” Tonight I’d like to identify what barriers have to be broken in order to pray through and give an example of someone who did just that.

Praying through means to pray until we get through to God. But, as I said this morning, our enemy is out there to sabotage our efforts. So we need to commit to pressing through every spiritual barrier until we achieve our prayer objective.

If you can see my diagram, you’ll note that I have the three parts of our human makeup labeled. Body, spirit, and soul. To pray through we need to make contact with God. But where does God live?

Not in heaven—as in somewhere a million miles away—but in you.

When the Lord Jesus prayed, He was directing His prayers to His divine Father that lived within Him. So must we.

So first, we need to punch through the barriers of flesh. That’s the part that is too tired to pray. Or can’t find the time to pray. Or maybe gets distracted, thinking about the laundry or the other things that need to be done. This is the part that gets shy and tries to keep you quiet instead of turning loose in prayer.

This barrier must be broken. If not, you simply won’t get through to God. Think of it like the first veil in the biblical temple. You had to go through it to get to the Holiest of Holies where God lived.

The second barrier

Okay, so you’re no longer self-conscious. You’ve no longer thinking about the hardness of the floor or how sick you might be feeling if you’re fasting. Now we’re in the area of the spirit. You might feel happy. Maybe like shouting. Or perhaps Satan is targeting your mind, trying to get you to doubt that God will hear your prayer.

Whatever the case, this second level will stop your prayers if this is as far as you go. Remember, our objective is to touch God not just feel good. We don’t just want an internal jubilee—we want results! This is where many believers get tripped up. They think that, because they feel blessed, it means they’ve touched God. Well, the holy place was a wonderful area with a lot of God’s blessings, but it still wasn’t where God lived.

I’m sure you can see the parallel with the sanctification and even Pentecostal movements. Certainly, God was moving. But there was still farther to go to touch Heaven.

The third barrier

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter. We’ve prayed through the senses and the distractions of our flesh. We’ve kept on praying through our emotions and we’re deep in prayer. Now, we’re getting ready to enter the presence of the King. It doesn’t go by how you feel. Or by how you don’t feel.

Making contact with God is less about emotion and more about certainty. It’s about finding your positioning, understanding what it means to be able to approach Him because you’re family thanks to the Blood. Yes, there’s emotion. But there’s more than that.

Yes, there might be reverent fear. But that’s not all. You see, here, in the Soul is the Throne Room of God when you’re converted. He takes up the kingship in your soul and is ready to give you an audience if you’ll press through all the barriers. Here is where you come to the place of faith.

This is why prayer is really a sort of travelling. It’s a spiritual journey from where you are to the very heart of the presence of God. And it’s taken without you needing to move one physical step. In the Throne Room you can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to you, reassuring you of His plan. He provides guidance. Rebuke. Whatever is needed for your situation to be resolved.

You all probably recall the testimony of the insane woman that Brother Branham prayed for. He references her story several times in the message, From that Time. Immorality, alcohol addiction and self-degradation had brought her to this point. But although church groups had prayed for her–and Bro. Branham also prayed for her–we find that she was still unable to overcome the situation.
She prayed but had never gotten past the first or second barriers. If you recall, at one point, she looked up at him and said, “Things are going to be different now.”

And he replied, “No they won’t.”

Stop and think. Why would a preacher tell a sincere young woman that she would continue to sin? It’s because he knew that, although she was sincere, she hadn’t really touched God yet. She perhaps had cried and her emotions were stirred but she hadn’t come into the Throne Room–the place where her faith could be ignited by the fire of God.

So he told her to keep praying and left her alone for a while. He noted that there came a point that “she being to change her notes in her prayer. In other words, she struck home run.” What was it? She’d broken through the barriers and come into the Throne.

Praying through changed that girl’s life. Praying through will change your life.

Break through and pray until you know the situation is over.

Study on Adoption #3

The Millennium Bible Study #1 Pastor's Corner

This episode focuses on what the Millennium is, how we will live during that time, and who will inhabit the world that is to come.
  1. The Millennium Bible Study #1
  2. The Geopolitics of Good Friday
  3. The Messiah (Holy Week series#1)
  4. The Hour of Deliverance
  5. Raising the Standard

Last week I stressed that spiritual adoption means that God places us in His Body for service and that He gives us a responsibility that we control in His Name. Today, I’d like to dive really deep into what this means for Bride of Christ as we approach the Millennium. Today we’ll study:

  • The link between spiritual adoption and the Rapture
  • Why Satan will be bound 1,000 years (the Millennium)
  • Our role with Christ during this time period.

I’m excited to study this with you and I hope you are too!

What does Adoption have to do with the Rapture?

Let me start by quoting Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:50 where he says “flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The Lord Jesus drove this point home when He taught Nicodemus that we must be born again (1 John 3:3-6) because a sexual birth can’t produce a child of God.

Our New Birth brings us spiritually into condition with God (see Adoption Study #1) but our bodies are still full of corruption.

This must change.

Referring to nature, Paul writes,

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:23

Now this is where I believe some get confused and put off all adoption into the future. But Paul here isn’t talking about our soul’s status before God—he is talking about our body. Whereas here we struggle with aches, and combat viruses like COVID, our body will one day receive the acknowledgement of its placing as a son or daughter of God just as our soul receives its acknowledgement when God places us into His Spiritual Body for service.

In other words, we are groaning and crying out for Christ’s return because then, like nature, we will be changed to have a perfect body that will never age, get sick, or die. This is the adoption of our body—not our soul. That has already happened when Christ placed us for service in His spiritual body.

Adoption here is the moment that we stop groaning and we receive the condition we ought to have enjoyed all along. It is the moment where nature recognizes us as supreme lords that rule this world in the place of our Heavenly Father. It is the moment when we regain the supernatural abilities that Adam possessed, and Jesus demonstrated, but we robbed of by our fallen birth.

Again, Paul prophesies the things that are to be.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Philippians 3:20-21

This does not happen at death for death takes a Christian to a temporary body (a theophany according to 2 Corinthians 5:1). Remember, those who go to be with the Lord “sigh and cry” wondering how long until they can come back to Earth (Rev. 6:10).

When Christ returns, then the children of God receive the adoption of their bodies. Take some time to pause and think about this. Compare it to John the Revelator who wrote,

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1 John 3:2

Pause and think about this. When you’re ready, pick back up here.

Okay, so to drive home my first point, there is coming an adoption of our body (not our soul) in which we will have a body that will be similar to Christ’s at the moment of transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). You see, prophet after prophet in the New Testament understood that there was coming a time that nature itself would recognize the authority of the adopted children of God.

What’s everything waiting on? What’s the whole creation waiting for? The manifestations of the sons of God. It’s waiting for the Church to become into its position. Who was the son of God, when Adam, where was his domain? The earth. He, he had domain over the earth. Is that right? [Congregation says, “Amen.”—Ed.]

He wasn’t Elah, Elah, Elohim then; He was Jehovah. See? That is, “I am God, and I’ve made some lesser ones under Me. And I have give them a dominion. And in their domain, the dominion under them, is the earth.” Man had dominion over the earth. And all the whole creation is waiting for the sons of God to be manifested. Oh!
   60-0522M – Adoption #3
   Rev. William Marrion Branham

In that day our bodies will be changed to wield the authority that God will entrust to us.

“What authority?” you ask. The authority to carry out His commands and rule over this world (and possibly others) as He entrusted to Adam. This is yet another reason why the Rapture is necessary—we cannot fulfill the original commission in this feeble flesh. We need something higher, something divine.

At the Rapture, we are changed to a theophany, and when Christ returns, we receive a glorified body. But we’ll go into details on that another time, Lord willing.

Why will Satan be bound?

Satan will be bound during the Millennium because there is no one for him to work through. We, who were once his slaves in sin, rule over him and sin when we are born of the Spirit. During the Millennium and beyond, the Bride will rule over this world. How can Satan tempt or rule when the sons of God have dominion?

Impossible.

Nothing will be out of order. We will enforce the law of God and nature will willingly humble itself to the leadership of the redeemed. Satan, the one who brought death to man and nature, who turned animal against animal, will be scorned according to Isaiah 14:16-18.

Now, he tries to make us fear him as he bluffs us and attacks our mind. But let us remember that we have already overcome him (1 John 4:4) and we are pressing the battle to the final victory when the spiritual will be manifested and the devil will be our captive (Rev. 20:1-10).

Take some time to think about that before we move into our final segment for today.

How does adoption impact our role with Christ in the Millennium?

I said previously that adoption is a service as well as rulership role. That is true. We are placed in the Body of Christ to serve and are given authority within our role, just as the priests, prophets, singers, and righteous kings of the Old Testament had their specific levels of authority and duty.

Just as we spiritually are placed with authority over a specific area (spiritual gifts, the ministry, the career God has chosen for us or our domestic relationships etc), so will we have specific authority in the world that is to come.

Didn’t Jesus promise us, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Rev 3:21).” ? We see here again the parables He taught of the servants who used their talents (responsibilities/callings) wisely and received rulership under the king’s dominion (see Luke 19:11-27).

To the Bride is given the privilege of ruling with Him, not because She is worthy humanly speaking, but because Her character meets His standards for She is part of Him. In recognizing the sincerity of our faith, Christ places us in His Body (or adopts us).

Throughout this life’s journey, we must remain faithful to His calling, giving him interest on the talents (Luke 19) that He has laid in our hands. At His return to Earth, we will receive the adoption of our bodies and usher in a thousand year ruling period in which the Earth will be repopulated and Satan will be bound.

But then comes the really good part—the Eternal world and the New Jerusalem.

Lord willing, we’ll get into that some other time.

Main Takeaways:

  • The adoption of our body is different than our spiritual adoption now. It occurs when Christ returns as King with His Bride.
  • Satan will be bound during that Millennium for the Righteous (Mrs. Jesus Christ) will hold the Earth under Her control in His Name.
  • Christ has promised that we will rule with Him and, to do so, we must receive a body more infinitely glorious than anything we can imagine.

Study on Adoption #2

The Millennium Bible Study #1 Pastor's Corner

This episode focuses on what the Millennium is, how we will live during that time, and who will inhabit the world that is to come.
  1. The Millennium Bible Study #1
  2. The Geopolitics of Good Friday
  3. The Messiah (Holy Week series#1)
  4. The Hour of Deliverance
  5. Raising the Standard

Our objective

In today’s message, I want to do two things. First, I’d like to reinforce your understanding of when a child of God is placed (or adopted) and second I’d like to show how this placing reflects the coming kingdom of our God. As we go through this lesson remember to pause, study, and write down any questions that come to your mind.

I’d like to take them in early December if the Lord tarries.

What we learned so far

Last week I focused on what adoption is and we showed that a son of God is adopted when the Holy Spirit places him into service within the body. Now, I’d like to drill that point home.

First, the spiritual is often like our natural relationships. We all at times wanted things from our parents. Maybe we couldn’t wait to drive their car or to do something independently. Well, most parents won’t hand you the keys to their car when you turn 10. If they’re thinking parents, they’ll wait until you reach legal age, then make you go through a driver’s Ed course or teach you how to drive themselves.

Then, when they’re convinced that you can handle the responsibility, and after you’ve passed your licensing test, your parents will probably let you drive their car or get you your own.

My point is that, while you were always their child, they will only give you the responsibility once you’ve demonstrated that you’re worthy of it.

God does the same thing.

After we are born of His Holy Spirit, He tests us to see if we’re responsible, zealous for His kingdom, and if we’ll live in a way that glorifies Him. When He sees that continuous faithfulness, He gives you responsibility within His body. It might be a gift of prophecy, placing you as a model single man or woman, using you to serve as a help within His church or moving you into the ministry etc.

The point is, that God has a place for everyone and, if the church pulls together in that great unity of the Spirit, letting Christ position us as He desires, we will have a spiritual Body that cannot be defeated.

Let me pause to say that God’s placing is not only spiritual. Your natural job can also be God’s positioning within the body—a farmer, a housewife etc. Do you understand? It’s not just preachers or those with spiritual gifts.

Alright, let’s move on.

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:5

Paul shows us that God’s purpose was to place us within Christ’s body. Compare this to Ephesians 1, where he tells us that God predestinated our purpose in Christ’s body from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1: 5). Then you can see that the adoption of a believer is when he or she is placed within the Body of Christ by the Spirit to do a certain work or hold a certain office.

Doesn’t every part of your natural body serve a function? Or is it there only to say, “I’m a part of the body?” We may be tempted to think that adoption’s purpose is to exercise God’s power but that would lead to pride. Adoption is not only to rule—it is also here to serve the entire spiritual Body of Jesus Christ.

Did not the Lord Jesus show us by His words and example that the one that truly rules is the one that serves?

Now, here is a good time to pause and think about how your natural body functions while keeping in mind what Paul taught the church at Corinth.

For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12

When you’re ready, pick back up here.

Okay, so now that you’ve thought on that, let’s look at this parallel of the natural body a little more closely.

Every part of the body has a specific place and a specific purpose. The kidney cannot move over to the lung’s grounds and say, “this is where I belong, I’ll do my job better here.”

No. Body parts that don’t function as they ought to—or leave their original position—lead to dysfunction and disease. The same is true in the spiritual body.

God has a place for each of His own and He leads us to it as we show our zeal, love, and faithfulness to His Word.

How does this work in our daily life?

When God places you in the Body, or gives you a spiritual gift, you are responsible for its use. You rule that spiritual territory. Now this might sound strange, but it shouldn’t. The Bible says “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” (1 Corinthians 14:32). You therefore, rule over the portion of the Holy Ghost that is given to you. Now by you I don’t mean the human element, I mean that aspect of God that’s on the inside of your soul.

Just like in biblical Israel, each Isaraelite inherited or ruled over a certain part of the possession that served to benefit the whole tribe (and ultimately the nation of Israel), so each member of Christ’s body rules a portion of God’s spiritual kingdom. Through good stewardship of what God has given to you, the entire body benefits.

Now this is true for pastors but it’s also true for the laity who have been gifted with various gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12) or have been called to serve. You are responsible to give God a good spiritual return on what He has given to you and use it as He would for He has given you authority because He trusts you.

How was our inheritance given to us, through what? Predestination. Predestination is foreknowledge. How did God know He could trust you to be a preacher? His foreknowledge. “Not he that willeth or he that runneth, or he…It’s God that sheweth mercy.” That’s right, predestination. He knew what was in you. He knowed what was in you before you even come on the earth. He knowed what was in you before there was an earth for you to come on. That’s—that’s Him. That’s the infinite God, the infinite.

Rev. William Marrion Branham, 60-0522E – Adoption #4

What authority is given to God’s adopted children?

Now this, to me, is where things really get rich. Just as God brings us individually to a place that He can use us and work through us, so He has been building His Bride for 2,000 years to get her to a place of adoption—a time where the Word that leaves Her lips is backed up by God Himself.

Now this has happened as individuals. We see and know that when you are correctly placed by God in your ministry or role in life, God will honor your words to minister to those He has given to you.

If you’ll permit me to say so, that’s one of the secrets that I have held before God constantly as a pastor these may years. When I have a dire need or situation to face that involves the people (not myself), I am confident that I can use my status before God as a minister to intercede. You may have heard me in prayer say things like “I claim this one” etc. That is what I mean.

Because this is my office, or my place in the Body, by His Grace there are times when He will honor that faith that I hold over this spiritual ground. Now I do not often talk about this but, I believe it’s a time for things to be said plainly so we can understand. To quote Paul, “I magnify my office (Romans 11:13).”

Now, we are in a time where the Bride of Christ is pulling into shape to operate collectively as representatives of the Lord Jesus—what we call adopted sons of God.

Forgive me for what I am about to say. Adoption is not something to look to like a Hindu/Buddhist Nirvana. I do not mean to be disrespectful but that is the clearest way I can make my point.

It is not something that we can be “good enough” to attain. As the individuals within the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ take their place, the Body collectively will take its place. Israel as a nation settled Canaan land under Joshua as each individual family possessed the land.

In the days of Nehemiah, the entire land was resettled as each family group repaired their own inheritance.

We are now in the season of adoption, where the entire family of God moves under the Spirit’s anointing to speak creative Words, but that moves as individuals take their place in the Body.

You remember I taught that adoption means to stand in the place of Jesus Christ? Frankly that was the whole point of adoption in the ancient world. A son could represent his father in any business deal. His word was just as powerful as his father’s word.

That is what the Bride of Christ is to be doing today. Throughout the ages, we had portions of Christ representing Himself in the church but now we are here to speak and act on His behalf.

“Go right back to Genesis, to the original, what is it? Now the world and nature is groaning, crying, everything’s moving. What? For the manifestation of the sons of God, when true sons, born sons, filled sons speak and their word is backed. I believe we’re on the border of it right now. Yes, sir. Say to this mountain, let it be so.

81 “Brother, I—I desire so-and-so, a certain thing done. I’m a believer in Jesus Christ.”

82 “I give it to you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen. There’s a manifestation.

83 “Oh, brother, my crops are burning up out yonder. I haven’t had any rain.”

84 “I’ll send you a raining, in the Name of the Lord.” There she’ll come. Oh, waiting, groaning, all nature waiting for the manifestations of the sons of God. God ordained it at the beginning.”

    60-0522E – Adoption #4 Rev. William Marrion Branham

This couldn’t happen in any other day because now the End-Time Word has been revealed. Now, the Seals have been opened. Now, the antichrist is enthroning himself in the church and now Christ is enthroning Himself in His Bride.

Let’s pause here for today and next week, if the Lord tarries, I’d like to look at what this means for the Millennial rule. You’ll understand why our adoption as a Bride is necessary for the Millennium to take place, what adoption has to do with our change of body and why Satan will be bound for 1,000 years.

Main takeaways:

  • Adoption is being placed positionally in the Body
  • The entire Body must be placed correctly and carry out its functions
  • God demonstrates His trust in you by giving you a work to do
  • The adoption that happens as individuals is also happening in the Bride collective