Blog

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

Tearing Down our Towers of Babel

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

The Bible tells us how humanity was scattered across the whole world in the Tower of Babel story found in Genesis 11:1-9. Called “the world’s first skyscraper,” history places the Tower of Babel at about 330 feet tall and at the center of the ancient sprawling “city of Cities.”

Today, all that’s left of this symbol of ancient pride is a watering hole. So, what lessons can we learn from this as Christians today? Over the next few moments let’s identify three lessons from Genesis 11.

God’s instructions

God had instructed Noah and his descendants to spread across the whole world and that he wouldn’t destroy the world by water anymore.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a global flood but the evidence was all around them in that time. But the invisible God that their fathers once talked about wasn’t so easy to see. Instead of obeying, in just a few generations humanity forgot both God’s command and his promise. They settled in the Shinar Valley and began construction on a Tower that was both an icon of pagan worship as well as a backup plan “just in case” the floodwaters that destroyed humanity came once again.

Spiritual Towers of Babel are easy to build. In fact, we might be erecting them in our lives right now.

Consequences of our decisions

First: The Tower was the result of human decision. I’d like to say the consequences of our attitudes and life decisions. Instead of choosing to follow the path that God has outlined, we often are tempted to make our own way, relying on our abilities or those of people around us just like the people in Genesis 11 chose to unite themselves to accomplish a particular goal. Their question was reasonable. What if a flood comes again? But God had already said that it wouldn’t come. Their attitude was one of doubt.

Remember: if your attitude toward someone or something isn’t lined up with the Word, it will lead you from one bad decision to another.

The question then becomes, how do you know if your attitude is Christ-pleasing as I mentioned in my live sermon this morning? The answer is by staying connected to the Holy Spirit. Humanity at this point had strayed so far from being in an active relationship with God that they were willing to trust stone and slime more than the infallible Word of God that brought the flood in the first place. Which brings me to my next point.

Second: Where there is no passion for Christ it is very difficult to know whether your actions or attitudes are correct.

Being passionate about Jesus will drive you to seek Him humbly in prayer, to pore over the pages of His word, to listen for His voice in every puff of wind and in the quiet places of your heart. Knowing Him, and what pleases Him, becomes the very center of your life. But those who are building towers instead of God’s kingdom fall out of love with their Creator and make their own life pursuits their god.

When choosing your career, for example, ask yourself if you can freely serve the Lord in this path. Or will you be helping evil to spread or be placed in compromising situations? For Noah’s descendants, this became a life pursuit but it was one that led them away from the very purpose that God had placed them here to accomplish. So be in love with Jesus in order to discern whether your decisions and attitudes towards God and other people is pleasing to the Holy Spirit. Remember, we’re here to please Him not the other way around.

Finally: the Tower was a note of security whereas God was challenging humanity to step out into the dangerous wilderness and survive by trusting in Him alone. Now, to get a better picture of what I mean, remember the world had been tilted about 23 degrees from being perfectly upright. This sudden shift resulted in massive changes—seasons, land slides, volcanic eruptions to name a few. Talk about climate change!

But in the midst of all this, God clearly directed Noah’s descendants to step out and fill the whole earth. He still asks His children to step out into unknown situations, into difficult and dangerous environments, to fill the earth with His glory. Because it’s in the difficult situations that we see Him act in our life. We can choose to stay where things are comfortable in our spiritual or natural life, right up close to the Tower of Babel that we or others are building, or we can move out in faith and watch God work His wonders.

The blessing of obedience

It was only when humanity moved away from its comfort zone that God was finally able to get a man under his control. A man who would change the course of history and get the first stage of God’s redemption plan going. His name was Abraham and we’ll pick up with his story next time.

Until then, tear down the towers in your life and build the kingdom of God.

Of Faith & Doubt

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

Genesis 11 opens with a story that many of us have heard since childhood: the Tower of Babel. But I’d like to take a different angle on this story in today’s sermon on Walk Through the Word. I’d like to focus on fulfilling the calling of God in your life.

Two chapters earlier, God commanded Noah to spread throughout the whole world after the Great Flood. He said,

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:1 ESV

Yet, just about two generations after Noah, humanity made a choice to rebel against God’s purpose for them. Why did God want humanity scattered across the world? Why didn’t humanity listen? And what lesson can we learn that’s applicable to our lives today?

Let’s focus in on these three questions for the next few moments.

The plan of God

Before the Flood, all of humanity was gathered together and filled the land as we’ve shown in previous lessons. When man builds cities, sin and moral decay swiftly follow. God knew the evil that resides in humanity–just look today at our cities from New York to Las Vegas which has earned the deplorable name “Sin City.” So God resolved to spread mankind across the planet. He did not want groups of humans clumped up together which would lead to rebellion against his plan. Remember, He knows our nature better than we do.

We don’t need evidence to prove God’s Word. Frankly, I believe that science is supported by the Word of God and not the other way around. And there are many factors that show that all humanity was once of one language, from common language roots and similarities to astronomical charts that are relatively consistent in how the stars are analyzed across ancient civilizations.

So the Bible’s statement that “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them (Gen. 11:6b)” is very accurate.

Humanity’s response

Now, this is where I want to spend the most of our time together. Mankind had an answer to God’s declaration. And that answer was a firm NO!

They wouldn’t scatter across the world.

They wouldn’t believe that another Flood would not happen.

They would stick together, because there’s safety in numbers, right? They would build a tower that would reach to heaven so, just in case another Flood happened, they would be safe.

You see, the sad reality is that, within just a few years of the Flood, humanity already had forgotten that God is faithful to His Word. They didn’t see this as the work of God. It was a story told by old men (Noah and his sons), and not a living reality. How we can compare that to the way the Word of God is treated today! Regardless of how many signs and wonders God does to prove His Word, regardless of how many prophecies we see fulfilled before our eyes, to many the Word of God is simply the words of old men that can be debated, questioned, and reasoned with.

Then as now humanity chooses doubt instead of faith.

So, ruled by fear, humanity chose to follow a logical course of action. God had said He wouldn’t destroy the earth with water. But they didn’t believe that. So they instituted their own safety plan–a tower which could serve as a temple for worship as well as an escape route in the event that the Flood happened again.

You see, humanity didn’t question that there was a Flood. The evidence was all around them. But as their faith in God waned, their trust in their own ability and self-worship grew.

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower bwith its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 

Genesis 11:4

Their decisions were not made by faith but doubt. Fear kept them from accomplishing the very purpose that God set them here to do and, as a result, they turned to idolatry. So today, you cannot accomplish the plan of God as long as you are afraid of failure. Or of the devil. Or anything in this life.

Being the man or woman, boy or girl, that God wants you to be requires you to step out in courage and faith. Staying where you are in doubt or self-reliance might give you the illusion of security but you will never have the testimony that you would have had had you obeyed God and trusted His Word.

We see that this doubt actually led them away from the God who had spared their ancestor Noah (the God to whom they owed their lives) and led them to idolatry. You see, God’s Word will always convict a heart that is not right with him. If your attitude, or perspective in live isn’t pleasing to God, don’t expect Him to leave you alone. God comes to chasten us, to hammer us into a state that we’re finally pleasing to Him (see Hebrews 12:6).

And God didn’t leave humanity alone.

God confused their language and showed that He is the master of every situation. If they wouldn’t obey Him of their own free will then He would force the situation to bend to His Will.

Why? Why does God care? Because He is the God of love and He knows that if left alone we will destroy ourselves.

Think!

It’s taken 4,000 years for our species to come back to a similar amount of evil as the world had before the Great Flood. And that’s with us being scattered by geographical and linguistic barriers. What would have happened if we had all been together speaking the same language?

Before the Flood, when everyone spoke the same language and dwelled together, God had to destroy mankind in only 2,000 years. It was His mercy that caused us to scatter. He was saving us from ourselves, and giving us as a chance to know Him as individuals.

Your life

Like early humanity, each of us has a choice. We can stay behind the crumbling tower walls of our unbelief or we can step out in faith and embrace the challenges of the Word and life that God sets before us.

God wants to bring out the best in you. So He will prod at your life, reach after you day after day, trying to get you to a place that you’re fulfilling His plan and not simply hiding behind your doubts, fears, and carnal insecurities.

Don’t build a tower of confusion in your life. Step out in faith and walk with God.

lightning strike on forest during night time

Gen. 4-10: Worship, Murder, and the Human Experience

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

Thank you for listening to this episode of Walk Through the Word. This is Brother Joseph. As we dig into our study of Genesis 4-10, we want to focus on the theme of meeting God’s requirements. What does He require from us in worship? In the way we interact with others?

The Book of Genesis is the story of our human beginnings. It’s also a prophesy of the global conditions that will exist at the end of time according to Matthew 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-30. So let’s examine our hearts as we approach this great text.

From worship to murder

Eve was pregnant. Normally, we get happy when we hear that a wife is expecting. But, in this case, the child she carried would be the bane of humanity. For his father wasn’t Adam. It was the serpent with whom she’d had a sexual relationship in Genesis 3. Our focus today isn’t the lineage of Cain (which is proven throughout the scripture). Today, let’s look at the approach to worship.

Both Cain and Abel (who was Adam’s son) grew to adulthood. Now there were physical differences between Adam, Eve and their children. For starters, these boys had a belly button whereas Adam and Eve did not. We know this because Adam and Eve came from the hand of God whereas the children came from Eve’s body. Now, this might seem funny but that physical mark reflected a terrible reality—that the boys would one day die. For God’s promise was that “the day you eat thereof, in that day (1,000 year period) you shall die” (Gen.2:17).

As they grew to adulthood, the boys knew that they had to get right with God because time was running out. So today is time running out for you, sinner who’s listening in. None of us know when God will call us from this world. So, let us learn from their example and come to the throne of God for mercy.

Note that both Cain and Abel had religious desires, even though Cain was of an evil seed (see 1 John 3:12). It goes to show that Satan hides himself in religion. And when Satan’s goals are thwarted, religion paves the way for murder. Let’s look at this more closely.

Abel approached God with a revelation that blood (his father’s semen) had made his mortal body. The Bible clearly calls a man’s semen, his blood (see John 1:13) and the link between adultery and murder runs throughout the Old Testament. Both could only be atoned for by the shedding of blood according to the law. But Adam and Eve would not have told their children the truth of their parentage. What parent would? Can you imagine a mother saying to her son that the man he thinks is his father really isn’t and, because of her wrong doing, he and all the rest of humanity will die?

Not at all.

Therefore, Abel’s approach to worship is based upon one thing alone—divine revelation of the will of God. Somehow, Abel heard from God and, according to Hebrews 11:4, he offered a sacrifice which pleased God by faith which is revelation. So, to answer our first question: how do we worship God?

It must be by a personal revelation of Jesus Christ—everything else will be rejected.

The Christian religion has lavished countless dollars upon gorgeous churches and invested heavily in all sorts of religious rites that fail to offer revelation and true consolation to the soul. Now, with a virus, our church buildings are just like our religious works—empty.

Jesus taught us that we must worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:12). What does the Spirit bring but divine revelation of who God is? For the Spirit is the Teacher as well as the Comforter (John 14:26). So, if your worship is not revealing God to you, if it is not making Him know to you as well as through you, then your worship is in vain (Matthew 15:9).

Notice that Abel’s worship brought him in contact with God but it also revealed God through his literal body. As he offered up his lamb, Abel was foreshadowing that one day God would offer His Lamb upon an alter. Worship, my friends, reveals God through your body and through your life. So we cannot truly worship the Lord if we look, act, think, or feed upon the sins of this age. Our worship is to last, like Abel’s until our death. Our entire lives are to be a “living sacrifice unto God” according to Romans 12:12.

Before we move on, ask yourself: is my life one of worship? If not, lay it on the altar of God today.

Cain shows the hypocrisy of religious orders. Once he failed to achieve his goal he went from being a worshipper of Jehovah to a murderer. Here we see clearly the pattern followed throughout history—if they disagree, kill them! If they have a trace of the Spirit about them—they are a threat! From the Jews throughout the ages to the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches, empty religion has always set the stage for murder. And the Bible predicts the emptiness of intellectual Christianity that does not have the Spirit, will soon unleash the greatest murder persecution the world has ever seen (see Rev. 12:17).

Cain crossed a line. For the first time, the earth drank the blood of a human. And nothing would be the same again.

The beginning of the end

Cain married his sister (perhaps a daughter of the serpent) who was in the land of wandering or Nod. God had condemned him to be a wanderer (see Gen. 4:14) but, instead of accepting his punishment, Cain decided to fight against the Lord’s judgment and build his own civilization. He could not live among Adam’s children, for he was now an outcast, so he decided to start his own race. Just like Lucifer, he rebelled against the divine plan and decided to create a city.

But the sins of the father come down to the children.

Lamech is a descendent of Cain and Lamech introduces the idea of polygamy. Prior to this time it was one man for one woman among the human race. But Cain’s tribe unleash a new idea that will soon spread across the world. Towards the end of Genesis 4, we see a remarkable statement that many overlook.

One day Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!”

Genesis 4:23-24

Right after polygamy is introduced we see the second human killing–a death caused in self-defense. .Lamech is more justified than Cain because Lamech killed to protect himself. And so we see the seeds of human war are sown. And now there’s no stopping what will lead up to the greatest destruction humanity has ever seen.

The power of genes

In a natural sense, the human story revolves around one basic principle—genetics. God gave Adam and Eve perfect genes that allowed them to live eternally with sickness unable to touch them–although it was present. Remember the Tree of Knowledge and Satan were in Eden all along. Genes are what allow the Son of God to enter the human race as redeemer. And in Genesis 5, God takes the time to list the genealogy of the righteous line from Adam to Noah’s sons.

Before I go further, let me say that I know believing that Eve was impregnated by the Serpent of Genesis 3 is difficult for many to swallow. But once you get over that hurdle, the Bible literally becomes a new Book. Genesis 5 again proves this to be the case. Note verse 3:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Genesis 5:3

Note that Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth. But the Bible says nothing about how old he was when he fathered Abel. Do you get it? Adam was an eternal being when Abel was fathered. Time wasn’t reckoned unto him. But by the time Eve conceives with Seth, Adam is now mortal. He is aging. Time is applicable to him. But the hand of time is also moving toward the promise of redemption.

The next seven generations span a timeframe of about 2,000 years. Humanity is reproducing but we can see that life stages, such as puberty, are happening a lot later than they do today. Most of the marriages occur when the adults are between 60-90 years old, which makes sense if the entire lifespan is almost a thousand years old as was the case with Methuselah. But as you look at the line of Adam, we see that in general the age before fathering the first child decreases which shows us that humanity is getting slowly weaker.

For example, Adam fathers Seth at 130. Seth’s first child, Enos, is born at 105 years old. But Enos fathers hi son at 90 and the process goes on. With a few exceptions, the genetic pool of Adam’s race is changing. What does this tell us about the ancient world?

Adam’s race is getting weaker. As the world was rushing toward its first destruction, something was happening that led to earlier puberty. We see the same in our world today. In 1860, the average age for puberty in girls was documented at—get ready— 16.6 years old. In 2010 that number had dropped to 10.5 years, globally according to a study reported by The Guardian. This varies across races but the general trend is clear. Humans are becoming physically capable of sexual acts at a younger age while marriage is being postponed or forgotten altogether. What does this produce?

A world primed for immoral living. Sexual promiscuity always leads to overpopulation which, in turn brings about competition for natural resources such as food and raw materials as societies become burdened by demand. In a limited sense, this same problem of limited resources and unlimited needs was behind the rise of the Nazi Germany and the United States’ genocide of the Native Americans. Looking at the conflicts in our planet now, we see that little has changed. Competition leads to war which ultimately brings about destruction.

The human experience: then & now

As we zoom into Genesis 6 & 7, we see two distinct groups of humans emerging: Seth’s line and Cain’s line. Each represent a spiritual reality: the righteous and the damned. Again, remember that before Christ came, your spiritual status depended a lot on genes. Hence the reason that Christ came “to His own (the Jews)”. Even the calling out of the remnant of Israel, the 144,000 will be linked back to the family groups or genes (see Zechariah 12:10-14, Rev. 7:1-8). Their inheritance in the land, even the physical locations where they will live in the Millennium are all dictated by their genes as shown in the book of Ezekiel.

Notice that when Israel came back from Babylon in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, they went straight back to the inheritance that was allotted to them by their genealogy. It was attached to them from the time that Joshua divided up the land and was never taken back. So, it’s not like the U.S. where anyone can buy another person’s property. Even if I liked to live by the sea, I couldn’t just pick up and buy land in Zebulun’s tribe if I was a Judahite for example. Each inheritance belonged to the individual family groups forever! And God still will remember the rights and privileges of that ownership even after the return of Jesus Christ.

Blessed be His Name!

What a great grace is shown then to us Gentiles in re-geneing us so that we too can have a part in God’s inheritance. It goes to show that we who are not of Israel but are Gentiles have so much to thank God for! We had no genetic promise to tie us back to God like Israel, through Abraham, did. But Jesus Christ brought us into the family of God by a new birth that changed our spiritual genes and gave us an inheritance.

giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Colossians 1:12 NKJV

Now I hope you can see the need for the New Birth. It is a spiritual transformation that literally changes our genes from the coding of our earthly parents to the spiritual faith of our heavenly Father. That is why you’re now able to rise above the emotional obstacles that your natural birth laid down on you. You will have to struggle against them all your life but you will have the power to overcome, thanks to this re-geneing of the Holy Spirit.

Truly, genes are important. I’m so thankful to have the genes of the Holy Spirit, aren’t you? We could take that a lot farther but you just meditate on that awhile on your own. Let’s turn our attention back to Great Flood.

The rise of race

But back in the antediluvian world, humanity was divided into two groups of people.

The Bible tells us that things changed as humanity multiplied. Instead of bearing predominantly sons (see the genealogies of the previous chapters), humanity began to bear daughters. Obviously girls had always been born or the human race would have ceased to exist. But now, there was an abundance of women born upon the earth. And, with the pattern established by Lamech of taking more than one wife, there was no longer a need for monogamy. Being faithful to one woman was no longer a requirement.

Sound familiar?

The truth is that Cain’s side had launched a sexual revolution.

But remember there was a race war going on at the time. Satan was the author of it then and he is the author of all racial tension now. His goal was to annihilate the sons of God (see Isaiah 14:13-14). But how could he? They were freshly descended from God through Adam. Adam, Seth—the patriarchs were living for almost a thousand years teaching the Word of God. How could he break through this hedge of preachers?

Through the woman.

Satan learned in the Garden of Eden that men have one major weakness. It doesn’t matter how holy they are, how much they pray, every man’s weakness is a woman. And still today every man must face the temptation. Even the Son of God Himself had to face it. Christ struggled but He overcame. And so will you brothers if you keep your eyes on where we’re going and not the temporary pleasures of this world.

So sisters, remember to be careful what you say to men and how you conduct yourselves around them. Dress in ways that will lead to holiness as the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9 remembering that you have the power to either keep his mind on things of God or to inflame his lust.

And, if you’re married, Sisters, remember to be patient and listen to him if he talks to you about his struggles. The Bible commands that you meet his needs (1 Cor. 7:5).Don’t drive him away or make him feel like he’s an abnormal creature. That’s his nature. He was made to propagate life.

And men, keep your conduct under the Word, striving to keep your thoughts and bodies sanctified to God. And if you’re married, keep yourself only for your wife. Meet her physical and emotional needs as the Scripture commands you to do. Listen to her struggles and pray with her.

The race war then wasn’t so much black versus white or any of the nonsense we see today. It was a spiritual war focusing on bringing down good and elevating evil.

Don’t we see the same today?

Behind the fog of racism and antisemitism, liberalism and conservatism, the real agenda is faith versus doubt.

Satan won that war.

The fall of the righteous and the end of the world

Adam’s line quicky forgot their religious principles when faced with the temptation of the gorgeous Canaanite women. Like today, the clergy failed to hold the people accountable to God. By the time of the Flood, only Noah and his family—out of a population of billions—had enough spirituality to hear from God.

As the female population exploded, there simply weren’t enough men to pair with one woman. Society then became a world of women’s rights, with women leading homes, being worshipped, and leading nations. We see this by the lack of spiritual knowledge shown by Adam’s sons, and the prophecy of Jesus Christ that our world will be a reflection of what was in Noah’s time.

But on the heels of hedonism comes violence. Then as now, physical wars broke out across the planet. Wars fueled by the discovery of nuclear technology. We’ve often been taught that early civilizations were primitive but that simply isn’t born out by the Bible or archeological evidence.

Humanity is like a pendulum. It swung once toward a technological peak, was destroyed and swung backward, then now is swinging back toward another technological peak. Keep in mind the following:

  • Cain’s side was actively tapping into knowledge (shown by Tubal Cain’s inventions)
  • Each scientist lived for hundreds of years, passing down knowledge
  • There were no language barriers because everyone spoke the same language so knowledge could be easily shared
  • There were no geographic barriers because there was one landmass.

It is utterly illogical to think that the science and technology would not have continued to grow, especially when we look at our world. In just 250 years, we’ve gone from a primitive steam engine, which launched the Industrial Revolution, to space travel. And that’s with scientists living about 80-90 years!

What would happen if scientists were living for an average of 800 years and we had 2,000 years to experiment as was the case between Adam and Noah? Stone axes and animal skin clothes?

Not at all. We have Noah being able to build a boat that is over 500 feet long. God inspired him but he still had to build the physical structure. And a boat the size of the ark (the British SS Great Eastern which was 692 feet long) wasn’t built until 1858, according to the Visual Capitalist.

One of the reasons people question the Bible is because we present to them a very unscriptural view of what it says. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Noah and his family didn’t have access to the technology of their time, even though they weren’t scientists themselves. Think about it: I trust you all are Christians listening to my voice this morning or reading this online. Yet you’re using the technology developed by critics of God’s Word to listen to this podcast!

I was very pleased to recently read an article by Quartz Hill School of Theology in which they also recognize that the world of Noah was one with highly developed technology and nuclear technology.

Noah and his family survived the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust — in fact, for all we know there might have been one just before the flood. Radiation poisoning and the resultant genetic damage would go a long way in explaining why human life spans, which before the flood averaged over 900 years, declined rapidly to their current levels after the flood.

Quartz Hill School of Theology, Was there modern technology before the Flood?

Without reading this article, I’ve often stated that the lifespan of humans after the Flood is shorter because they were trying to grow crops in a world that had been contaminated by radiation. When we look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we see that humans were literally vaporized when atomic energy was used on a small-scale level. What would happen if the entire planet went to war? There would be little or no evidence left. And the survivors would be starting over, from scratch.

Just think about it: if you and your family were the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust, how much of our technology could you reproduce? Could you build a car? How about a spaceship? Or maybe you could reinvent the internet?

When the nuclear technology of that world was misused, it altered the entire balance of creation. Floodwaters covered the planet, unleashing the wrath of God. And so today the same will happen again. But this time it will be fire. The bombs of our world will trigger volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis like we’ve never seen. The Pacific Ring of Fire, the Phlegraean Fields near Naples, Italy, the Supervolcanoes right here in the United States, will belch forth and God’s wrath will again be unleashed.

Our only prayer is to be right with God. Then, it doesn’t matter what happens to this body, as long as our soul is ready to meet Him. For hell is right beneath us all. It is a physical place in the earth (where these volcanoes are active) as well as a spiritual dimension. The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus descended into hell after He died to preach to the lost, does it not?

Oh, that might be a hard one for you. Let’s read it together.

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

1 Peter 3:19-20

Again Peter says,

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

1 Peter 4:6

Paul also brings this out clearly.

In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Ephesians 4:9-10

Hell therefore is in the earth but, just as we cannot see the Holy Spirit and the angels of God until we leave this body of flesh, so can we not see the demon powers that inhabit the dark world. Let’s hear what Brother Branham had to say about this.

And then man,sitting a pot of hell, hits hisself in the chest and defies God’s Word, and says, “There’s no such a place as hell.” (I got that down here in a little bit, and we’re going to get to that, see.) You’re sitting on a big pot of it every day. And while you’re here you’re sitting right on it, and hell’s just beneath you.

53-0729 – Questions And Answers On Genesis

Coping with the stress

The Bible doesn’t just tell us the good that God’s servants do. It also reveals their weaknesses. This encourages us as well as provides instruction, telling us what we should not do when faced with similar situations. After the flood, Noah is traumatized. I’m sure you can understand that. Imagine, all your friends, your family, they’re all wiped out.

You are the only survivor. And all the comforts that you’ve known are now non-existent.

Even though God has blessed Noah and his family, it still doesn’t take away the heartache. What a good lesson here for us to remember. God may bless and use you but He expects you to be willing to sacrifice everything to serve Him.

Sometimes this is our stand for Christ. You might be facing ridicule or pressure from a coworker. Maybe you feel like you’re missing out while others are living in pleasure and sin. Or maybe you’re fighting to break free of a habit. You see, every action that we do for God brings a blessing but it also comes at a price. And, at times, that load can be heavy to bear. Don’t be alarmed if your cross gets heavy at times. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a Christian. It simply means that you’re human.

The Bible encourages us to keep on doing the work of God for we will be rewarded (see Gal. 6:9). Simply lean back on the arms of Jehovah and seek His strength.

Noah didn’t do this. His escape was the one thing he still understood in this world—making wine. Now, is that the kind of example that a prophet of God should be showing? It brought reproach upon his testimony and a curse upon his grandson that we’ve seen carried out through the ages.

Here’s the lesson that I’d like to point out.

Be sure that your ways of coping with stress and pressure glorify God and don’t hinder your Christian testimony.

I think every Christian should have a hobby. Especially in this age of pressure, we need natural things to relax our natural bodies. God didn’t command us to pray all the time. After all, a huge part of Adam’s day was spent in physical work, not just prayer. Be it a sport, outdoor activity, or some kind of art, it’s good to get our bodies and minds out of the routine. But don’t let your stress outlet lead you to acting out of a Christlike character (isolating yourself, or using foul language or violence for example).

The consequences of our decisions

I want to close out this podcast with a stern reminder that everyone of our decisions will always bring a consequence—sometimes well after we’re gone. Noah’s decision to live as a drunk would impact the entire world more than four thousand years after his death. Ham disrespected his father when he saw him lying naked in the tent. As a result, in anger Noah cursed Canaan, Ham’s son.

Keep in mind that Ham himself could not be cursed for God had already blessed him (Gen. 9:1). But Canaan was a different story. Although Canaan himself had done no wrong, the judgment fell on him. The prophecy of his angered grandfather condemned him to slavery and subordination to his brothers.

Now I want to clarify something here. This scripture has often been used to justify the enslavement and racial inferiority of the black race. I recently read a text that was popular in America during the 1860s which claimed that God instantly changed Canaan’s skin color from a white to black and his features from European to “thick lips” and other “negroid” characteristics!

The ability of humans to twist God’s word to their own evil intentions is nothing short of amazing. That being said, I want to clarify this subject as it is so important in our modern world, especially in America, and many criticize the Bible without understanding that there is God’s will and then human choice.

God’s intention was never to have slavery, however slavery did come. And Noah, the angered prophet, unknowingly set this chain of events in motion. Much like Elisha who cursed the children (2 Kings 2:24) the word of a prophet must be honored. This was not God’s intention. But He had to honor the prophet’s position because Noah was His mouthpiece.

Looking at the genealogies in Gen. 10-11, we see that Shem fathered the groups that we know as the Semites (including but not limited to the people of Israel), Japheth began many of the groups in eastern Europe and Asia (such as the Greeks, the Celts and Russians) whereas Ham settled in Africa (see Psalm 78:51 and others).

And, as we know from history, his descendants did end up in servitude to the other races of the world. For centuries, slave traders and other evil minded people used this text to justify their actions. To make things worse, Ham’s name in Hebrew, Arabic and Egyptian, according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, is associated with heat, blackness, and servitude while Japheth (meaning enlarged) has been linked back to the Hebrew yaphah (which is to be beautiful or white). I want to really emphasize that the will of God (who came to set the captives free) was never slavery or racial discrimination.

But, sadly, it did happen as Noah said. Many races have been enslaved throughout human history, including Europeans and Anglo-Saxons. But the African slave trade was especially noteworthy both in terms of its brutality and its global impact.

Again, there is God’s will and then there is the consequences of human decisions. I don’t say this all happened because of Ham. But there’s no denying that unfortunately humans used this story to do what was in their heart all along as a quick read of pro-slavery literature shows.

So here is the lesson:

Don’t leave a mixed record of your life as Noah did. Remember that your actions, for good or for bad, will have consequences that outlive you. So, live in such a way that others can only be inspired by your life. Believe with a faith that will leave a testimony for others to follow. Because, in the end, all that matters is the record we leave for Christ.

Well, this has been a long and in-depth study of Genesis Chapters 4-10 on Walk through the Word. I truly hope it’s been as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me.

Here’s a quick summary of what we covered:

  • Our worship of Jesus Christ must be based on revelation
  • When we are born again we are spiritually regened by God and are brought into fellowship with Him
  • Be on guard! Satan infiltrated God’s line through unlawful sex and tries to sabotage us still today by the same trap.
  • Live in a way that you are right with God at all times
  • Be sure that your means of coping with stress please the Lord
  • Don’t be dismayed if your burdens get heavy at times. Lean on Christ for strength.
  • Your actions/decisions will have long lasting consequences.
  • Live in a way that inspires others to serve the Lord.

If you’re part of the global audience and have questions, just write them as a comments on our website: thelwbc.com.

Until we meet again, walk in the Spirit.

From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

Thank you for joining me today for our second Bible study in our series, Walk through the Word, for 2022. This is Brother Joseph. Today I’m going to be ambitious and cover key points from Genesis chapters 2 & 3. As always, please read these chapters on your own in detail. God’s Word is like an exquisite meal. It’s not meant to be rushed, but to be savored one bite at a time.

Now, in Genesis 2, we see that God has completed his work of creation and sets aside the seventh day as a sacred or holy day. The Bible tells us that each day with God is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8) so we know that this is not a 24 hour period but rather a period of 1,000 years in which the chief of his creation (man) was to rule the world in God’s place.

I find it always striking that many of the world’s empires desired to last 1,000 years. Few, if any, achieved it. It’s almost impossible to say when an empire begins or ends but historians will typically place the average lifespan of a civilization at around 336 years. But I believe that trait in humanity began, like so many other things, in Genesis. For God set aside this 7th day ( a period of 1,000 years) to be holy.

He showed it in symbol all throughout the Old Testament when He instructed Moses to set aside the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). And the sabbath was, in itself, a symbol of the Holy Spirit which will be the Eternal life force of the believer throughout the coming 1,000 year Millennial reign with Jesus Christ (see Rev. 20:6). In that kingdom there will be no death, for the eternal life of God will ensure that the saints complete what God began in Genesis.

From spirit to flesh

In Genesis 2 we see that God took Adam and placed him in a body of flesh. Prior to this moment, Adam was in a spirit-form, what we call a theophany. Here we see a perfect foreshadowing of the coming of the second Adam (Jesus Christ) who came from spirit (God) to human flesh. Notice that Adam could not be tempted as a spirit but he would be tempted as a mortal. So it was with Jesus Christ who came to redeem us! He could not stand temptation as a spirit (God above us) but became flesh to be tested and take the stain of sin upon himself (see Heb. 2:14).

God placed this perfect man (Adam) inside a specially-prepared home that we call the Garden of Eden. This was no small 10×12 plot of land. Now, I’d like you to understand that Adam was ruler of the whole earth but this garden was his home territory (his castle if you will). I believe that this is a foreshadowing of the world that is to come. God will establish the New Jerusalem upon this world as the headquarters of the Bride of Christ but the saints shall be scattered throughout the universe ruling all of space in His name.

I’d like to share a quote from our precious brother Branham that sheds a little more light on this and, hopefully, will inspire you to keep pressing on to this glorious day that is just ahead.

Some fellow, very critical on the second coming of Christ, said, “Do you mean to tell me all the Christians that ever died in Christ will rise, them, what you call, born again people? Well,” said, “you couldn’t place them on this earth like cordwood.” I said, “Who said they’d be here on earth like cordwood?” That’s right.

They won’t. I said, “My Heavenly Father stood back there and blowed off His hands moons, stars, moons.” I said, “They’ll be millions of worlds out yonder. Well, my, hard tell where we will live out in them great places.”

Said, “How about over ten cities and all these cities He said, ‘He that overcometh shall rule over?’” I said, “Why, God’s got worlds on top of worlds, and places on top of places.” How can our little infinite mind limited God? Why, we can’t, there’s no way at all to express Him when you look out and see how vast God is in His universe. Why, He’s marvelous.

   Rev. William Marrion Branham

   53-0830A – Why I Am A Holy-Roller

Adam and Eve were a type, or a symbol, of a much bigger picture that God was unveiling. One in which the saints will not only rule over this world but every world in the domain of God. This is why science is pushing hard into space. This is why the militaries of this world are no longer looking at Earth as being our only home. From the moon to Mars, we’re destined as a species for the sky.

That influence at the end of the world can come only as a perversion of God’s perfect plan. Through intellectual ideologies they will try to accomplish their will and, in so doing, bring about their own destruction in the battle of Armageddon. But God will unleash His perfect plan for His people in the eternity that is to come.

Now, this Garden encompassed the heads of four great rivers which we know now as the Amazon, the Nile, The Tigris and the Euphrates. I realize that time and continental drift has pushed these rivers apart but imagine a world where all the continents were joined as the Bible and science tell us was the case. The continents of Africa, South America and the area we know as the Middle East were all watered by rivers whose source was in Eden.

Like I said, this was no small garden.

Adam: the world’s first superman

I think it’s beneficial for us to take a few moments and look at the powers God gave to His created son Adam. This will give us some clue as to what to expect at the return of Jesus Christ. First, Adam could travel like a thought.

We know this, because of how our Lord Jesus ( the second Adam) often displayed this power both for himself and his disciples. Look at what happened after Christ walked on water.

Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

John 6:16

Let’s look ahead. What a day it will be when we are no longer bound by the laws of gravity, space, and time.

Notice, God told Adam to take care of the entire Garden. Now, if you’ve ever been an avid gardener or a farmer, you know that it’s a lot of work. Just because there were no weeds doesn’t mean there wasn’t work that needed to be done. God doesn’t waste time and He created Adam for the very reason that Eden needed maintenance. We can learn a lesson here.

Just because something’s perfect doesn’t mean it doesn’t need upkeep to keep it perfect. Sometimes people get discouraged because they don’t expect to have to work at something because God was in it. That’s simply not true. God starts things as perfect but He wants us to be His partners.

The same can be said for a marriage or any relationship. God may have orchestrated your marriage but you need to maintain it to keep it running smoothly. The same is true for your spiritual relationship with Christ. Just because it’s a union between you and Christ doesn’t mean you can neglect it. You must maintain it. If God gave you a ministry, expect bumps in the road. Expect that you’ll need to learn and grow. Remember, it’s all a partnership and don’t give up.

The first marriage

We could spend much time on Adam’s pre-fall condition. But let’s move on. We see that God gave Adam a helpmate, Eve. Notice that she came from him exactly as the Bride of Christ is taken from the Lord Jesus. I always believe that it’s striking that Eve (symbolizing the Bride) was taken from Adam’s rib not his foot or some other part of the body. The ribs enclose the heart so she was taken from a very dear part of his body. What a consolation to us, to know that we were taken from just beneath His heart.

I’d like to drop this in just as a reminder of our sacred commitment to the Word. The ribs are there for a purpose. To protect the heart and other vitals. We are here to defend the Word of God in an age where it is being defiled like never before. Paul declared it when he wrote that he was “set for the defence of the gospel” (Phil. 1:17). Be sure that in your life you are defending the faith in a world that is hostile to it.

Many today are ashamed to declare themselves to be Christians. They are silent when they ought to speak up or bow when they ought to stand. What kind of wife stands silently by when her husband’s good name is tarnished? If we love Him, if we are near his heart, let us remain unwavering in our commitment to His Word. Stand up for Christ! Be bold and challenge the forces of darkness, fearing nothing. That is your duty of being joined in marriage to Jesus Christ.

The Fall

I’ve spoken many times on the Fall of man so I will touch it lightly in this study. My main point is that we must all be watchful because we can all, like Eve, fall from grace. Paul warned the church in Corinth,

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3

I am very concerned that many go to extremes with predestination and, as such, do not pay close attention to their spiritual walk. We must be continuously watchful to be sure that we are walking in harmony with the Holy Spirit and not our own imagination. If your life isn’t bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit, get back into prayer. If your soul isn’t satisfied with God, go back tot he altar and make your calling and election sure. If we desire to overcome this age we must check ourselves constantly because it is so easy to slip from righteousness to sin.

One of the key things that makes a Christian backslide is the relationships in his/her life. This can be relationships with friends or family, romantic relationships, or purely sexual ones. All of these are reflected in Satan’s approach to Eve in the garden. It was a man whom she trusted—a man with whom she had a relationship—that deceived her into apostasy. This was the seed. Now we’re in the harvest.

Today, relationships with those who don’t know God or claim to be Christians but don’t have an experience with the Holy Ghost can pull you away from the Word because of their intellectual understanding. Be on your guard! Surround yourself with people who share your testimony.

I do not want you to question your salvation but I do want you to be watchful. Trust in the grace of God. Believe in His atoning Blood for your salvation. But walk carefully so Satan has no room to pull you into the deceitfulness of unrighteousness.

The consequence of sin

First, let me share that Adam and Eve could not be tempted in spirit form. Only in flesh could they sin. The same is true for us who are struggling along in this fleshly temple of corruption. One blessed day, if we are faithful to the Word, we will be delivered from this mortal house of clay. All the struggles and trials will fade away. So console yourself with that reality my brothers and sisters and be faithful to Him who has called you!

Because our father Adam and mother Eve lost the struggle, we see that God established a new covenant. Death had the right to strike all humanity. Sickness has the right to attack us. Troubles and pain and plans that won’t work out are all wrapped up in God’s promise that the earth will bring forth thorns. Nothing would be as it was.

And yet hope remains.

God’s promise to bring atonement (through the bruising of flesh) triggers a chain of events that will alter the rest of human history. Lord willing, we’ll see how in our next study.

Until then, may God bless you.

sunlight beaming on green trees

Walk through the Word #1

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

Thank you for joining me for our first episode in Walk through the Word for 2022. I’m brother Joseph and I’m looking forward to digging into the scriptures with you. As always, I’d like to start by encouraging you to take your time as you go through this podcast. Read the chapters involved and pray to get the most out of it. You can comment on this post with any questions by visiting our website: thelwbc.com.

Today we’re beginning a study of the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings. It begins with a clear affirmative statement that God made the heaven and the earth when time began. Now, I’d like to compare this with John 1:1.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

Creation was perfect, and came as a result of the Logos (God in Word form) creating all things. This is referenced in the book of Proverbs which compares the Logos to Wisdom (see Proverbs 8:22-31). The scripture also reads,

The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Proverbs 3:19

When you read these scriptures closely, you realize that God, the fountain of wisdom, created a perfect structure.

But it was not to remain so.

Millions, perhaps billions of years passed between the time that God created the world and the time that He placed human life upon it. Science is not necessarily wrong when it says the world is 4.5 billion years old. The scripture simply says that God created the world. Period. With that said, let’s go deeper.

When God began working on the earth in verse 2 of Genesis 1, we see that it is in a state of judgment. The prophet Jeremiah brings this out clearly as he compares the world’s beginning to the wrath of God that was to be unleashed against Jerusalem.

I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.

Jeremiah 4:23-26

But God is the author of new beginnings. In verse 1, the world was perfect (for everything that God does is perfect) but one verse later we see it is in chaos. But God had plans for the earth, just like He has a plan for your life. And His purpose will not be stopped. So the Spirit of the Lord began to brood upon the earth, changing it from a state of chaos to perfection.

I’m sure we who are born of the Spirit can relate to that! How wonderful it is to know that, like this world, you were in the mind of the great Creator. That even though your world (life) was chaotic God’s plan wasn’t altered. Perhaps you grew up in a bad home. Perhaps you had negative influences that pushed you in the wrong direction. Perhaps you grew up in church but never had a touch from the living God. Whatever the situation, Christ alone is the one who can transform chaos into perfection.

And He will do it, if you’ll let Him.

But God can’t do it alone. He needs YOU to put forth the effort needed to transform your life. I’d like to point out that the world had to embrace the touching of God’s spirit in order to be transformed by it.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:11-12

Notice that the earth is responding to God’s command. It is pushing forth vegetation. The EARTH is pushing forth the right kind of seed. So must we put forth the spiritual strength and energy to produce the character of Jesus Christ. So many times in our life, we are tempted to stay in our “helpless” estate. So many times, we give in to the urge to simply pity ourselves and not reach out for God’s transformative power.

But God is our master not our slave. His power is there to use if you are willing to change yourself to His image (see Romans 12:2). As a Christian, you might still be tempted to gossip, to hold onto grudges, or make immoral decisions. But God is calling us to be changed from the chaos of this miserable world but the power of the Spirit that lives within us. Let’s look at some other scriptures to better understand.

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry … Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Colossians 3:5,12-14

Note that it is YOU putting to death the actions of this body–not God. It is YOU who puts on the character of the Spirit. Not God.

At the end of this glorious chapter, we see that God finally brought out the highest of all creation. A son in His own image (Gen 1:26). Now, as I said before, this first chapter is all about restoration. And, in itself, it’s a glorious promise that God will end the chaos of the world around us and bring forth Jesus Christ and His Bride in the glorious power of the resurrection.

Just as Adam and Eve existed together in one complete unit, so will Jesus Christ walk among His people when all things are made new (see Revelations 21 and 22).

Let us press to be molded into the image of Christ so we can live in that perfect world that only He can create.

aerial view of clouds

The End of the Matter

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

This year I’ve truly enjoyed combing through the book of Ecclesiastes with you. As we wrap up 2021, I’d like to close our study on Ecclesiastes while focusing on the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Solomon begins this chapter by giving us one of the most poetic descriptions of old age and death that has ever been written. He shows us that as we age the things that once produced delight and pleasure no longer do so. Every moment can become a burden. I’d like to compare that to the state of this world which is old and ready to die.

The things that once were innocent and produced joy are now corrupt. Relationships, once the thing that held society together, are now dysfunctional and tear society apart. An upright man or woman is a rare thing to find. But it is in the midst of this gloom that Solomon brings out the main point of this entire book. It teaches us how to conduct ourselves throughout life and, I believe, it is a strong message for us as part of the Body of Jesus Christ.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

God will bring everything into judgment

I’d like to actually focus first on the verse 14. We all know the day of judgment is when Christ returns to take up His throne (see Psalm 98:8-9). As we heard this morning in service, His coming is the ultimate showdown bringing judgment to the antichrist and the false church while establishing the reign of the saints and the redeemed of Israel.

As He comes from glory, seven thunders utter their voices according to Revelation 10:4. Part of what they contain is the revealed Name of Jesus Christ (the New Name that He will receive according to Rev. 3: 12 and Rev. 19:12). Remember a name signifies a ministry or the holding of a particular office.

Joseph’s name was changed to Zaphnath-Paaneah which means “the man to whom mysteries (secret things) are revealed” when he entered into a new phase in his life/ministy. This is so important because you must understand that some names can only be uttered at specific times in world history.

Let me make this a little clearer. Brother Branham makes a great statement here when he says,

258 That expression. If you only—only knew the numerology of the Bible, and know what Elvis or—or Ricky means, to the Scripture! Uh-huh. Just like, why did Jesus…You say, “There is nothing to that, your name.” There isn’t? That name could only come in this last days, for this last-days people.

  260 That name could not be spoken till this day. That’s the reason we got this hellish thing we got in the earth today, because of such things. The whole human race is corrupted. It’s—it’s gone, see, and that’s why it is.

   Rev. William Marrion Branham,   63-0728 – Christ Is The Mystery Of God Revealed

My point in sharing this is that there are patterns and rules to the spiritual world just like there are in the natural world. The new name of Jesus Christ (whatever it will be) will be so glorious that it will be only given by the divine utterance of God at His return. Now names aren’t just “Harry” or “Suzy”. When Moses asked the Lord to show His glory, God went before him announcing HIs name. Let’s take a look at what happened.

 5And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Exodus 34:5-7

Can’t you just imagine that Voice proclaiming or thundering out in blast after blast? The Lord! BOOM! Merciful and gracious! BOOM! And it goes on.

You see, as I tried to explain this morning, the name of God reflects the character of God. Which is why, when He came as a savior, His Name was Jesus which means “Jehovah-Savior”. But what about when He comes as a King to judge the world?

Oh, it’s so important to realize that God continues to reveal Himself to His people both now and in the world that is to come. None dare try to guess what He will be called for they will be wrong. This is a sovereign secret that God will reveal when He comes again.

Now, I want to go a little deeper if it’s all right. And just pause this whenever you’d like and go study and pray because we love to talk about the Lord and sometimes we need to rest our minds a little between thoughts. These thunders utter at the coming of the Lord Jesus, therefore we see that they do bring in themselves faith for the rapture. The Bride of Jesus Christ is now waiting for His coming–not for a specific doctrine or move but for the revealing of the Lord from glory (see Acts 3:21).

His coming from glory is to return to earth and become the judge according to Revelations 10:4, Isaiah 40:5 and others). On His way descending, He meets His Bride in the middle of the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and reveals Himself to Her as the two witnesses (Moses and Elijah) declare His Name as Jesus to the Jewish remnant (see Rev. 7, Rev. 14, Zechariah 4).

Why do the two witnesses declare Him to be Jesus?

Because He is come to bring salvation unto Israel, so He is still the Saviour! The perfection of the Word cannot be broken. To the Gentiles who have rejected Him, he is the judge. But to Israel who has been longing for the Messiah, Christ is revealed as Jesus.

Zechariah writes,

“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

Zechariah 13:1

While this revealing is going on, the Bride of Christ is waiting in the heavenly atmospheres just above the earth. Remember that Joseph revealed himself to his brothers without his wife being present? So Christ reveals Himself to the elected of Israel while the Bride waits in the heavens just above the world. Zechariah shows us that the saints will accompany him but He is revealed privately to the elect out of Israel.

The two prophets turn the hearts of the elect of Israel from the “faith of the fathers to the children” under the anointing of Elijah (see Malachi 4:5-6). If you notice, the ministry of the 7th Angel (which we believe to be Brother Branham or a man anointed with the spirit of Elijah) actually occurs during the calling out of the 144,000 in Israel in Revelations 11.

What is it?

The same Elijah spirit that calls out a Gentile Bride for Christ from creeds and empty religion, calls out an elected group in Israel. For the Gentiles, there were hidden truths (such as the Name of Jesus Christ) that were hidden in the Bible, lost to the church throughout the ages, and revealed in Brother Branham’s ministry. Now, as that ministry comes to call out Israel, Christ who is Lord of both Jew and Gentile, cries like a lion and the seven thunders which are the Voice of God roar out their great secret.

Isaiah prophesied what would happen just before the Millennium. He asked,

Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”

Isaiah 66:8

Christ Himself appears so they can see the scars in His hand (Zechariah 13:6) but His Bride is not with Him. This 3 1/2 year period passes very quickly. THEN after He is revealed and fights for Israel, King and Queen come from glory to take over the world.

There is definitely more to the Thunders than what I have shared. Let us simply say that all the world will see the effects of their sounding.

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”

Zechariah 14:9

The conclusion

Now that was quite a lot to pack into that one verse in Ecclesiastes. But I’d like to turn now to the first part of our reading.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

When all is said and done, it’s not so important whether you understand the Thunders, the Seals or any of the deep mysteries of the Bible. My brothers and sisters, what matters is that we live the kind of Christian life that glorifies Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiastes begins with a search for meaning, for understanding to the deep things of life. Why do we die? What is life’s purpose? And it ends with an answer, the perfect answer. Our whole purpose in this world is to fear the Lord and to show we love Him by keeping His Word.

When He comes to judge the world, my prayer is that he will find you and I faithful to His call.

Thank you for joining me for this study in the Word. Lord willing, we will begin a new book in 2022.

May God bless you.

sunlight beaming on green trees

Ecclesiastes: The Quest for Contentment

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living? 

Ecclesiastes 6:7-8

There is so much to say about contentment that it is almost impossible to find the perfect place to begin. But let me tell you a story that I hope will help pave the way for the few thoughts I’d like to share as we wrap up this year’s Bible study. The Roman philosopher, Cicero, told the story of an unhappy king who, although he had wealth and power, could trust no one. Only his daughters were allowed to shave him because he constantly feared assassination.

One day, a fisherman came to his court and began flattering him, telling him how perfect his life must be. The king became so annoyed at the useless prattle that he offered to trade places with the fisherman, letting him rule in his place for a few days. Of course the fisherman agreed and quickly the exchange was made.

The fisherman had everything he could want—money in abundance, good food, the most beautiful women. It was everything that could possibly bring contentment. Until he happened to look up, as he sat on the throne, and realized that there was a sword hanging suspended above his head—point down. The sword was held in place by a single strand of hair.

Of course, seeing this the nervous fisherman quickly jumped off the throne and ran out of there, realizing that he had been better off before hand.

Brothers and sisters, we must remember that there will always be those who have things that we don’t have. Perhaps people that we don’t have. Perhaps the quality of relationships that we don’t.

Like the fisherman we can easily take what we see on the surface as being the whole story. But it’s only when we’re in the situation that we see the true reality. Only when he was seated on the throne could the fisherman see the sword hanging over his head.

So, what is contentment?

Contentment is the root of happiness. And being content is a choice, not a gift. Let me emphasize that. Contentment itself is a choice. It is a settled peace that automatically happens when you finally accept what God has decreed for your life (be it for the moment or permanently).

Paul said,

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

I want you to notice how Paul stated that contentment was something he learned. And the learning came through the experience of facing different extremes in life. There will be times you have strength and beauty as a young man or woman.

That cannot last forever. You must learn to be content with what you have as you age and not look back at what you were or fantasize about what you can never be. You must face reality successfully by using Paul’s secret.

Are you ready to find out what that secret was?

Recognizing that he had Jesus, and having Jesus meant Paul had everything. In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul says, “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” As long as you have Jesus, you truly have every reason to be content.

But what does this mean in everyday life?

Let’s first look at what discontentment produces and we’ll be better able to understand how to be content and why it’s so important. Discontentment is the basis for every war, every act of adultery, every murder and the evil that inundates society.

Because one ruler isn’t content with the size of his kingdom, he or she begins arming against another nation. That nation retaliates and we have a conflict. A woman thinks another man will treat her better than the man she’s married to—or perhaps a man is attracted to another woman’s physical features—and the discontentment pushes them into sinful lifestyles. We can go on and on but the point is that not being content drives us to actions that will lead to our ruin.

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 NIV

Discontentment produces misery in life because w focus on what we don’t have instead of the good that God has given us. This affects our health, promotes jealousy, and drives the Spirit of God away from us.

Discontentment vs. Self-improvement

I want to pause and point out that there’s a difference between being discontent and wanting to improve your situation. Working to get a better job, become stronger or lose weight etc., those things are all of course fine. But you have to keep it in balance. If God doesn’t give you the job you want but gives you another position–be content with that.

If God lets you lose twenty pounds but doesn’t let you get to that size 0, be content with that! Never stop trying to improve yourself but be content with being the best that you can be. That difference might seem to be small but it’s important. Sometimes, good desires can become unhealthy obsessions if they’re not balanced. If this is not clear, please write me a question.

Contentment allows us to live fruitful lives

Christians who are content in their natural lives are better able to focus on fulfilling the purpose that God put them here for. They are better able to bear more spiritual fruit because their energy isn’t going into pining over what they don’t have.

Our first reading, Ecclesiastes 6:7 shows us that nothing satisfies. All our work goes to producing food for our table (directly or indirectly) yet each day we get hungry again. Our money goes to buying a home but then there are repairs that need to be made. Or you kids might get a game you’ve wanted, only to realize after a while that you don’t enjoy playing it anymore.

Our society feeds upon constantly inundating ourselves with “new” things—getting things or even going to as many places as possible before death. And in so doing we breed a climate of discontentment. We subconsciously make the natural things of this world our God by drawing satisfaction from them instead of the Lord Jesus. But the Bible points out that this isn’t the way things should be. And as Christians, unless we learn to be content in whatever situation comes our way, we cannot hope to fully please God.

Let’s take Job for just a moment. We all want health. We desire health because we know how bad sickness can be. But Job came to the point that he said,

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Job 2:10

There are times we parents want our children to be like other children. Or we push our family members to pursue the paths that “important people” take. But it would be better to push others to seek the will of the Lord instead. I think of Paul of Tarsus whose family had prestige, business and influence. This might be hard for you to imagine 2,000 years later but it was no small thing to be educated by Gamaliel the grandson of one of the most renowned Hebrew scholars. I’m sure Paul’s father had high expectations for his son. He could, potentially become high priest one day.

But God had bigger plans. He didn’t want Paul to occupy the chair of the high priest. He wanted him to sit in a Roman prison. To be beaten by mobs and live his life hounded from city to city by men who swore to kill him for being a heretic.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Maybe not. But in this and more Paul learned contentment. Despite not living up to his family’s expectations, despite the shame and terror of constantly running for his life without the comforts of a wife and family, despite knowing that he would have no child of his own to carry on his family name—Paul said he was content.

I think this should truly cause us to re-evaluate what we consider to be important.

How do we become content?

Let’s wrap this up by addressing this important question. All you have to do to live a contented life as a Christian is to make up your mind to be satisfied with what God gives you. Do not deride the value of your own life because it isn’t like someone else’s.

Do not compare yourself to others. Compare yourself only to Christ. Work to make yourself the best that you can be, but remember your best is between you and God. It doesn’t involve anyone else.

Draw satisfaction from intangible things such as relationships instead of materialistic things. If your relationships aren’t what they ought to be, pray and work on them. You can find contentment in winning small victories. Even if things aren’t what they should be, see the good in the moment and focus on what is right instead of what is wrong about the situation.

The conclusion of the whole matter

In Ecclesiastes 12, the Bible tells us that the point of life is to fear God and to keep His Word. Christ is to be the center of everything that we do. Of everything that we are. And, if that is the case, like Paul of old we must learn in everything to be content.

Ecclesiastes: Finding balance in a world of extremes Part 2

Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid Walk Through the Word

Genesis 11:1-9 Bible study
  1. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Vuild the Kingdom of Gid
  2. Of Faith & Doubt
  3. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  4. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3
  5. Walk in the Word #1: From Chaos to Perfection

This is Brother Joseph at TheLWBC.com.

In our last message, I shared the importance of maintaining balance in our natural and spiritual lives. Next, I’d like to target four areas in the spiritual and natural areas of life that often give us trouble. They are maintaining balance when:

  • Handling doctrinal and political differences
  • Navigating social changes
  • Dealing with backslidden saints and outright sinners
  • Loving family who don’t show your beliefs

Some are things we don’t like to talk about—at least I don’t— but they are part of Satan’s Eden. As such, I believe it’s my duty as a pastor to address them.

In going through our message this evening, as always I encourage you to get your Bible and read through the Scriptures I reference throughout the week. A good companion sermon to today’s message is The Falling Apart of the World preached by Bro. William Branham in 1962.

So, let’s start with an easy one:

1. Balance when doctrinal difference arise

Sadly, I’ve seen doctrinal divisions divide churches, marriages, and believers at-large more often than I care to recount. Message believers disagree on many things from Christmas to the COVID vaccine. Not only does this demonstrate spiritual (and often natural) immaturity, but the sad reality is that all believers are striving to get to the same heaven. Do some think there will be special spots in heaven perhaps closer to Jesus for them because their opinion is the right one? Believe me when I say neither the Bible nor the messenger for this hour support that belief. The scripture does show us that all our debating is irrelevant because only God holds perfect insight into His Word.

Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Psalm 147:5

Believe it or not, it’s rare to find Christians who agree on every single detail of the Word. Even when they do, there’s no guarantee that they’re right. Just because believers, or even preachers, say the same thing, it doesn’t mean that God is present or that God is pleased. Just think of King Ahab’s group of preachers who were all sincerely in agreement but had a wrong view of the Word (2 Chronicles 18:1-25). As a result of their error, the king died and the nation was thrown into chaos.

So let’s look at this more closely. On one hand, believers are supposed to contend for the faith (Jude 3). We cannot accept ideas that contradict the Word. On the other, we are to preserve unity at all costs (Eph. 4:3). Where is the balance? Let me put it this way,

What should happen when we bitterly disagree on what the Bible (or the Message) means or what God wants for our life?

Again, our goal is to maintain spiritual balance. The devil’s goal is to cause you to fall on one side or the other. If you’re straying off on the legalist side, you might find yourself in an argument, having some kind of ill feeling toward that person. If you stray off on the excessive grace side of things, you’ll find yourself tolerating error and the Word will no longer produce Its power.

But a discerning, balanced approach focuses on knowing Christ, NOT explaining His Word. When explanations are necessary, line everything up with the Word as best as you know the Word and leaves the rest up to God. Above all, keep a firm love of God in your heart toward that person,no matter what church they affiliate with or even if they don’t belong to a church at all.

Right now, a divisive issue is the right response to the COVID-19 vaccine. Christians are all over the spectrum on this issue but let this be clear—Satan’s objective to divide and then conquer the Church has never changed. The only way to win this fight is to maintain a standard of divine love and unity regardless of your brother or sister’s feelings on the matter.

Here’s a good test: ask yourself if you can feel as warmly toward that person after you’ve disagreed as you did before the divisive topic came up?

If not, pray through until you get that brotherly (or sisterly) love in your heart again. Otherwise, you’re not ready for the Rapture.

Let me give a simple example. Years ago, I used to work with a wonderful brother who I believe was an Apostolic Pentecostal. He and I often discussed the scriptures and , one day, he invited me to a gathering that Billy Graham was going to lead. I was a teenager and might not have been preaching yet but I told him that my friends and I wouldn’t go. My logic at the time was that, since we had heard what the messenger of the hour said, what could Billy Graham have to say that would be worth our time?

Now doesn’t that sound terrible?

It was. Frankly it was flat out wrong and I am thankful now that the Lord has let me grow enough in Him that I can share this with you to prevent you from making that same mistake. The fact is, yes we might be called out by a different Voice but that same messenger showed us time and again the importance of uniting ourselves and fellowshipping with others as long as they are Christians. Let me share a long but precious quote with you from teh emssage Speak to the Rock.

That’s the reason today the church is getting so dry and everything: murmuring, complaining, and fussing, and stewing, and one saying, “Oh, bless God, I belong to the Assemblies; that’s the biggest.”

And the other one say, “Well, I’m a Oneness, and I’ll tell you; I’ve got it.” And that’s just the reason your supply is cut off. That’s it exactly. Sure it is.

If you get together, and I don’t care whether he belongs here, or where he belongs to that; if he’s a Christian he’s my brother. Hallelujah. That’s all there is to it. And I’ll just shout, and shake his hands, and move on. What do I care? What…If he says he’s a Christian, and he’s acting like a Christian, and he—his fruits proves he’s a Christian, I’m associating with him and going on. If this fellow isn’t, I’ll take him by the arm and say, “Come on, brother, straighten up your life and let’s go anyhow.”

53-1115A – Speak To The Rock
    Rev. William Marrion Branham

Did you catch that? Our spiritual dryness is because of divisive spirits which is really spiritual prejudice. You think your church is superior even if you don’t say so. Your view of the Word is more accurate. Says who? The Holy Ghost or your own imagination?

Is it getting warm where you are? I hope so!

Let me point out that Brother Branham said even if a brother isn’t acting like a Christian, still reach out, pull him up higher and move on together. But do we do that? We who claim to be followers of William Branham’s message?

No.

Too often we say, “if they were elect they’d have made it.” Or, the classic: “If they were elect, they’d see it my way.” This is exactly why we are dying by the thousands in our church pews instead of being the mature Bride that Jesus Christ is looking for. This is exactly why many may miss the Rapture itself. Beloved in Christ, you who are blessed of the Lord, examine your attitude so that you can reflect the truth of this Message.

A balanced approach sees the attitude of the person— desire to serve Christ and the efforts that are being made to live for God not the letter of the law as to whether they’re right or wrong.

You may have heard me tell this story but I believe it’s worth repeating just now. My wife and I love to travel. I’m a historian and and Europe is a favorite destination spot. One day I stood in France at Notre Dame cathedral and watched as an old woman who might have had MS struggled to make her way up the long path to the altar. She had a candle lit for prayer. My heart clenched as I admired this little lady. I don’t agree with the Catholic faith at all. But I wonder how many who claim to be Holy Ghost filled believers would go through the obvious pain and struggle that this lady did?

Or would we just stay home and stream?

In the end, I wonder who God feels has shown more love.

Remember this as you interact with Christians from across the spectrum. True balance doesn’t accept everything but it does accept everyone , discerning good from evil through the Word that you have received.

Divisions between Married Couples

Now I want to address this same issue but focus for a few minutes on married couples. Things get a little more intense when the people involved are married.

Yes, God has an order for that.

First of all, the Bible shows us that it is the husband’s view of the Word that is to anchor the home—not the wife or the children. If there is a difference in understanding, to bein line with the Word she must defer to his judgment unless it is totally antichrist (which of course wouldn’t happen if this is a Christian man). As it is written in the biblical marriage song,

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him.

Psalm 45:10-11 ESV

That’s a tremendous amount of authority and most importantly responsibility. Men, make it your duty to be in fellowship with the Spirit and grow in your understanding of the Word. Quite honestly, not even the pastor of the church has the authority to go around a husband to explain the Word to that man’s wife (see 1 Corinthians 14:34-40) unless the husband asks the pastor to do so.

I’m stressing this because this Laodicean age influences easily creep into our lives and the only way to escape is to choose the Word way.

The same applies to the children of the home. If children believe they know more of God’s will than the parents, again this breaks the model of God’s Word (see Luke 2:51, Eph. 6:1-3).

2. Balance in natural and social issues

It seems that society places more emphasis on rights, technology, wealth, and science everyday. As such, Satan works through this to tempt the Christian and place us in situationst hat are very difficult to navigate.

Let’s start with the rights issue.

It seems that everyone in this world has rights except the Christian. We’re stripped of our right to pray, to witness, to share the love of God as and when we would. But the biggest social “hot topics” lately have been issues revolving around the women and gender identity. As you interact with people who, sadly, have been blinded by the god of this world and cannot see whether or not they are male or female, remember two things:

  1. God still expects you to love them as He loves
  2. We are not here to change the world but to prepare to leave it

This is Satan’s Garden of Eden, a perversion of the perfect place that God created. In God’s garden, man was both male or female originally (see Gen. 1:27-28) and Satan has deformed humanity through science until we have a generation that doesn’t know what gender they are. This is again a false perversion of the Bride of Christ losing Her identity as she unites with Jesus Christ (see 2 Tim. 2:7) and the beauty of Jesus Christ being formed in His Bride (see Rev. 1:13).

The spiritual union between man and woman is now a disgraceful reality that the governments of this world enforce. We as Christians must not encourage or support such lifestyles. However, we cannot stop people who wish to live in this way. Again, our job is not to REFORM society but to PREACH the Gospel (Good News) that Christ is here to liberate all who desire to find freedom from the bondage of this sodomite world. We are here to bear witness to the truth.

There has been much discussion about what to call “Johns” who now wish to be “Charlotte”. I do not believe we as Christians should use pronouns that refer to men as women and vice versa. To do so is to cater to what the enemy wants and implies that God made a mistake when He made that person male or female. However we believers are not responsible for the name that this person wishes to be called.

As much as I hate to say it, names are fluid and aren’t always tied to a particular gender. For example, we attribute the name Noah as belonging to a man, however the Bible tells us in Numbers 27 that Zelophehad had a daughter whose name was Noah and who received an inheritance along with her sisters.

The balance here is to stand for your principles, and the accuracy in God’s creative plan in making us male or female. However we must recognize that whatever name a man or woman is called is their responsibility not yours. I’m genuinely sorry for any man that wishes to be called Harriett. That’s a poor misguided brother that Satan has wrapped around his ugly crooked finger. But if that is the name I know him by, what else can I call him?

We cannot rename the whole world. Unfortunately. But I could not, as a Christian, refer to a man as “she.” Satan tries to indoctrinate us believers but we must remember that God makes no mistakes.

Beyond the gender issue, there are many social issues that clamor for our attention. Brothers and sisters, God has called us to peace. Racism is a rampant problem but Jesus never made it the focus of His ministry although He experienced it on a daily basis. He was a Jew, as they thought, living under the heel of Rome—the very government that killed him. In the Roman view, Jesus was not their equal. He was a little better than an animal fit to do the bidding of Rome.

If only they knew the truth!

My message to you is to keep balanced. Live a life that shows all you meet the respect and love of God. That is your focus. Remember, we are preparing to leave this world, not fix its problems.

Our world constantly struggles for “social justice” and to a certain degree that’s a good thing. But Solomon shows us that we shouldn’t be surprised when the poor are mistreated or the good meaning of a law is perverted to accomplish a political scheme. They are all reflections of a fallen world and corrupt government on a grand scale.

 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent [b]perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.

Eccl. 5:8 NKJV

Many get caught up in the cries for social justice and unknowingly fall into the devil’s snare. Again, we’re speaking of balance here.

On one hand, Christians tend to live in their own bubble without reaching out to those who suffer. This is wrong and we may answer God for having a callous heart or committing sins of omission.

On the other hand, believers sometimes get themselves embroiled in things that God never called us to do.

So, where is the balance?

Our core mission is to “preach the Gospel” and demonstrate the power of Jesus Christ not be vocal advocate for social change and protestors.

We should care about the needs among us—the hurting, the homeless, the refugees and do all we can to help. James teaches us that this is part of true religion and undefiled (James 1:27). We should more than care, it is our responsibility to act to make a difference!

But act knowing that the corruption and cruelty in this world goes beyond your reach and will last until the King of Kings finally comes to set up His throne.

Brother Branham shows us where our eyes ought to be as Christians.

Everything that’s outside of that…God sent everything, He made it fragile so it would break. In its fragile condition like that, it’s got to break. It’s fragile. But, remember that we got a Kingdom that’s solid now, when everything else falls and give way.

….A Kingdom! Not a politicianal system, not a political system, not a church system, not a denominational system; it all becomes Pharisees and doctors of the devil. But we receive a Kingdom, an Eternal King Who is the Eternal Word, Who has Eternal Life; by His Eternal Word to His Eternal people who has Eternal Life, and we’re partakers of this. Oh, my! That’s the thing.

62-1216 – The Falling Apart Of The World
Rev. William Marrion Branham

Cost of Living

The last thing I wish to present today is balance in regards to inflation. As the cost of living rises, the cry to “make more money” seems to rise in volume also. But, here again, God advocates for balance.

When goods increase,
They increase who eat them;
So what profit have the owners
Except to see them with their eyes?

Eccl. 5:11 NKJV

Plainly said, the more money we make, the more expenses there will be to pay. It is all an illusion of security and the same can be said for education and technology. While money, tech, and education each have their place, we must be careful of giving into the social pressure to “get more tech/education/money” which can make us miss the very call that God has placed on our lives to fulfill.

Most Christians don’t mean to get caught in the “need more money trap.” Instead, it’s the pressure placed by the employer, mounting expenses, or simply too much time on our hands. As Solomon says, you’ll always need more money–if not today, then tomorrow. But without balance, you’ll lose the joy of living. So, if you’ve met your 40 hours for the week why not take end it there and enjoy time with the Lord, by yourself, or something positive that you enjoy?

Peter shows us that everything around us will pass away and urges us to live with that understanding.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

1 Peter 3:11-14 KJV

Sometimes parents want their children to succeed in life, so they overemphasize school, clubs, and sports more than they emphasize a deep spiritual walk with God. How many of our children are used to spending an hour in prayer on their knees each day? Or listening to the sermons that will give them the spiritual strength they need to face an overpowering enemy? The time they give to the natural is taking away from their ability to channel into God’s Spirit.

I’ve had the privilege of teaching kids who were lined up to be professional athletes, ambassadors or politicians, movie stars and dancers. They knew that in order to achieve anything, they had to be the best. And so they sacrificed everything for the chance to get noticed by the right people.

I wonder if we Christians have that same vision for our own souls and the souls of those whom we care about? Are we willing to sacrifice the other pulls in this life in order to achieve the walk that God desires?

John has words that we must never forget:

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

1 John 2:17 NLT

Now, here’s a good place to pause and reflect on what we’ve covered so far.

Today we’ve looked at maintaining balance in some very controversial areas such as doctrinal divisions and social issues. Above all things, remember the coming of the Lord is near and we must focus our time on winning souls for His coming while preparing ourselves to leave. Let nothing move you from those goals.

Next time we wish to look at maintaining balance when dealing with those who are not walking with the Lord, particularly family. How do we keep our interactions positive and pleasing to the Lord when they don’t share our faith?

I hope this is helpful and addresses some of the issues you face. Until we meet again, walk in the Spirit and may the peace of the Lord be with you.