It has become necessary as Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “concerning the things about which ye wrote unto me“ to give a reply. The special theme about marriage once more must be profoundly dealt with.
It was given unto us, by the grace of God, to take all teachings out of the realm of discussion and give clarification by the very writings found in God’s Word, and thereby know they are beyond any shadow of doubt true. So shall it be with the help of the Lord, that this most complicated theme pertaining to our earthly life will be dealt with. Marriage crises are as old as marriage itself. They existed in the days of Moses, in the times of our Lord, and the apostles, and even more so now. Especially in this present age we were given the answers to all the questions and problems which deal with this topic from the Holy Scriptures, Sad but true, they are not all found in one chapter where we could go to and have our questions answered. Nevertheless, if we look into the various scriptural passages we can find the answers. As with all the other themes, we search for the references which are scattered throughout the Bible, and just fit them together properly, and thereby have the respective answers.
We are living at the end of the last church age wherein, by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, all things are made known and brought back into the original state and order. Our heavenly Father is so much concerned with our well-being that He has given the right advice and illuminated the good old way. He knows how much heartaches and strifes exist within the families and cares for His children in such a way that He would want to spare and to protect them from harmful things, so we could serve Him with a joyful heart and unburdened soul. Therefore He gave, as Father to His children, the needed guidelines.
The sermon »Marriage and Divorce« preached by William Branham on the 21st February, 1965, in accordance with the Holy Scripture, is the basis of this publication. He was directly commissioned, as Paul, by the Lord, to speak about the theme »Marriage and Divorce« from the scriptural point of view. According to his own words, he received the respective verses and their connections within the Word Itself. He placed much weight upon the fact that the revelation given to him and addressed to the church, would be looked upon as one of the mysteries which were revealed since the opening of the seven seals. We understand that this revelation is something that was not known before. Brother Branham was hesitant to speak on this topic because he was afraid that he would have been misunderstood or even cause separations. In his sermon »The Third Exodus« preached 30th June, 1963, he said repeatedly that something spoke to him, “»Tape that marriage and divorce!« See. The Lord willing, if that keeps on my heart and the Lord shows me some more about it, well then, I may tape that, see.“ He even said, “Might go down and play it to the judge — some of these squires. See what the Lord said about this marriage and divorce.“ (pg. 6).
It is only after the Lord commanded him to go up to the mountains, where He appeared in the supernatural cloud and the revelation of marriage and divorce was granted, that he preached the message to his church in Jeffersonville. Quote: “Something said to me, »Go up yonder in the mountain, and I’ll talk to you.« … And the whole city of people looked at it. On a bright day with no clouds nowhere at all, with this big amber cloud hanging there, coming down like a funnel and going back and spreading out. Friend…, that’s when this was being revealed to me what I’m going to tell you right now. So don’t miss it.“ (Marriage and Divorce, pg. 47-48).
We find what has always happened in the past being repeated to this day. Men would love to hear a prophet, at the same time they expect him to say what they believe and what their ears are used to, and this is what has been traditionally taught all along. Some old inherited tradition can be very religious, but at the same time totally unscriptural. The four hundred prophets in the days of Ahab were under a lying spirit — although they were prophets of Israel —, when they tried to please the king. Micaiah was the true prophet of God. That is the vast difference. Our Lord Jesus.predicted that many false prophets would appear on the scene in the last times. He also confirmed what the prophet Malachi promised; that the »prophet Elijah« would come and restore all things (Mt. 17:11; Acts 3:19-21), before the great and terrible day of the Lord. The Word always came to the true prophet. He could tell the day, the month and the year (Hag. 2: vv. 1, 10, 18 a. o.). Today it is still valid, as it is written, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants, the prophets.“ (Amos 3:7)
The servant who was sent to call Micaiah told the man of God, “… let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good.“ (2 Chr. 18:12b). Zedekiah, the main prophet among them, made himself horns of iron, prophesied mightily and shouted, “Thus saith the Lord …“ (v. 10). It was not Thus saith the Lord of hosts, it was “Thus saith lord Zedekiah“. When the man of God, at first, said what all the others had already spoken, even the backslidden Ahab noticed that something was not just right and he demanded from the prophet, adjuring him, “… that thou say nothing hut the truth to me in the name of the Lord …“ (v. 15b). After this Micaiah proclaimed the revelation he had received before the kings — Jehoshaphat and Ahab. After Jehoshaphat had listened to the 400, his question was whether there would have been still one more through whom God would speak. The revelation came thus, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left“ (v. 18).
It is only Micaiah who had the Word of the Lord, the true Spirit of God, the Thus saith the Lord; the other prophets had a lying spirit connected with a religious attitude. If a »man sent from God« teaches what all the others are saying, then God has not yet spoken through him. It is only when he delivers the revelation he received, which is always contrary to the inherited schools of doctrines, but always agrees and coincides with the testimony of the Holy Scripture, which is thus saith the Lord, that we shall know that the Lord God has spoken.
Brother Branham referred to the respective scriptural passages and showed what the Lord had told him in the right context, which led some to believe that he did not go all the way, but remained in the footsteps of an Old Testament prophet. His sermon was, in spite of the Old Testament comparisons, most definitely addressed to the Church of God in this generation. The God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament. He is the same yesterday, today and for ever. It remains true that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine…“ (2 Tim. 3:16)
If we read in the New Testament, “As the scripture saith…“ or “As it is written…“ or “…that all scripture might be fulfilled…“, and so forth, every time this refers to the Old Testament. The New Testament was just about to come into existence. In the first two centuries, the gospels and the epistles written to the churches were in circulation. Paul mentions this in his letter to the Colossian church, “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea.“ (Col. 4:16).
It was at the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th century when Eusebius and Athanasius gathered those single letters into a book which we call the New Testament, the canon, which means the guideline, the rule. The preaching, whether done by our Lord or by the apostles, was originally done from the Old Testament. “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures…“ (Lk. 24:44-45) Our Lord cried with a loud voice, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said…“ (Jn. 7:38) Of Paul Luke testifies, “… to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.“ (Acts 28:23). Everything pertaining to the plan of salvation or teaching is found all the way from Matthew 1, in the gospels, before the Pentecost experience (Acts 1), on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and thereafter, in all the letters of the apostles, right to the epistle of Jude. Therein the respective passages from the Old Testament are given.
Teachings which are detached from the Word of God are of the lawless one, of whom Paul speaks in 2 Th. 2. God is for ever bound to His Word, He binds His Own to it, so that they might experience the true liberty. The New Testament teachings are so fitting, and are even characterised, when Brother Branham uses the examples, the lived experiences of those whom God used in the Old Testament, that the man of God should be perfect in all good works.
A teaching is biblical when both, the Old and the New Testament, are taken into consideration, and are brought to coincide one with the other. For this reason, the Christian denominations are very wrong, because they have forsaken the Old Testament foundation. In his preaching on marriage and divorce, the man of God surprises us with outstanding comparisons, of which insiders know that he would never have used them of himself. In his humility he said, “And being this is a Bible question, it should be a Bible answer.“ The scriptural answers which he gave do not seem to fit too well into the modern way of thinking. The spirit of the age is ruling everywhere under the banner of equal rights of women. The full emancipation is “in“, and woe unto him who dares to come forth with the outdated scriptural teachings.