A Timely Message by God's Commission
I greet all believers, all brothers and sisters worldwide with the Scripture from 2 Pt 3:9: "The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
This is the promise: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (Jn 14:3).
We are deeply grateful to God for His precious and Holy Word, for the Old and the New Testament, the Gospels, the letters of the apostles, and the Book of Revelation. Every biblical topic has been covered therein, with ultimate clarity.
The main thing for all Bible believers was and is the subject of the second coming of Christ. At present, this is directly connected with the last message sent to call out, separate, and prepare the Church of Jesus Christ for the glorious day of the Return of our LORD.
In 2 Pt 3:14 we read: "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
The apostles were led to give the believers specific instructions on the subject of the Return of our LORD. John wrote in 1 Jn 2:28: "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." It is overwhelming to consider the burden that the Spirit of God put on the apostles' hearts in regard to the importance of the preparation for this glorious day, and how it moved them to put it in writing. This applies especially to us, since we know exactly that we have reached the point in time right before the Return of Jesus Christ, so that we actually experience our preparation.
The words that the Apostle Paul wrote to his co-worker Timothy are particularly addressed to me today, but also to all of the brothers who faithfully preach the revealed Word and give out the spiritual food: "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our LORD Jesus Christ …" (1 Tim 6:14). Now, before the Return of the LORD, the proclamation must be absolutely biblical. It is about preaching God's Holy Word without blame.
The apostle wrote in verse 15 with regard to the Return of the LORD: "Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and LORD of lords …"
God has determined everything in advance: the entire Plan of Salvation, what would happen at the first coming of Christ, and also what now takes place before the second coming of Christ. The apostle could write: "Which in his times he shall shew …"
That is why it also applies to our time that a message precedes the second coming of Christ.
In 2 Tim 2:15 we read: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
God has really thought of everything. And we are grateful; yes, I am grateful for the many years in which I was able to proclaim God's Word, without ever presenting any kind of interpretation; indeed, I only preached God's Holy Word.
I am particularly grateful because the LORD commanded me in 1980: "My servant, rise and read 2. Timothy 4." I arose, picked up my Bible and read: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the LORD Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
The entire chapter has a very special meaning for me, ever since that day. We see what kind of warning is written in the first verses. At that time, the admonition by the Apostle Paul was addressed to his co-worker Timothy. In 1980 the LORD gave me this Scripture. Then we read what Paul said in reference to his ministry, and it now applies as well, because it is the last message that is proclaimed by God's commission:
"Notwithstanding the LORD stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." (2 Tim 4:17).
We have something very special here. Paul believed that his preaching revealed everything that God had decided in His Plan of Salvation, and therefore the LORD gave him strength. It was not arrogance; it was not a personal opinion. That was God's commission! And the strength given to him was not human, but the work of the Holy Spirit.
Paul had written in particular about the Return of Jesus Christ, in 1 Cor 15, 1 Ths 4, and in various other Scriptures. And then we read in Titus 1:3: "… but hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God, our Saviour."
We have read that the Return of the LORD will come to pass at the appointed time, and here that He manifested His Word at the appointed time. Both take place in our time: the proclamation of the message of the revealed Word and the Return of the LORD at the appointed time.
Praise and Glory to our LORD! HE revealed His Word that is ordained for this period of time to His Prophet William Branham; in like manner, Paul was able to testify back then of the commission that had been given to him.
There were divine callings in the Old and New Testament, and all of them, whether it was Noah, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, or Paul, no matter who it was, they all had a divine commission and carried it out.
The New Testament begins with John the Baptist appearing at the appointed time, namely in the period of time when Bible prophecy was fulfilled at the first coming of Christ (Mat 3). John the Baptist had a divine commission. He was a man sent from God with a direct calling and prepared the way for the LORD, as announced in Isa 40:3 and Mal 3:1 in the Old Testament. He could refer to the Word and rely on It to be his testimony.
In the Gospel of John, in the first chapter, he was asked: "Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?" (vv. 19-22). And then he gave his answer in verse 23. There he referred to the Word in Isa 40:3: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
Through his ministry a people was made ready, prepared for the LORD: "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the LORD their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the LORD." (Lk 1:16-17).