Shall we pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Presence. We know that You are here. We cannot see You, but You have been thoroughly declared to us again, led forth by words, even as Jesus himself led forth by words manifesting, showing, and proving Your great existence and his fellowship with You, being the only-begotten Son of God.
And again, Lord, today we’ve had that same Pillar of Fire that appeared to Paul bringing the Word, now revealing it, declaring again the fellowship we have in Christ at this time Your Fatherhood and our sonship with You, the born-ones of God.
And we pray, Lord, that indeed Your Word, which cannot return unto You void but must return unto You fulfilled, has its fulfillment in us, tonight each and every one of us being children of the Rapture, of the Resurrection, children of You by children of the Word, coming right to the very end and going home to be with You, to the great Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
We pray therefore, tonight, Lord, in faith that You will help us to understand Your Word better than ever. And help us not to make anything… judgment, or any statement concerning Your Word that is not exactly true. But we know, Lord, that is difficult. Yet, You will help us because You promised to do so, and the Elect shall not be deceived.
So, in our studies tonight may Your Name be glorified; may we be edified. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
You may be seated.
Now, just before we go into the little Message tonight and quite possible I won’t be able to finish it I want to make a little statement to go on the tape and on the video cassette, concerning the Ministry, here.
You know, as well as I do, that I have not been able to take as many services as formerly just a few shorter this year than last year, but even at the rate of twenty-two messages, that’s forty-two hours of preaching, and better.
And then, roughly, twelve Communions which would be about twenty minutes a-piece at least, you would have 240, which is another four hours in there. So, we’d have about forty-six hours at least preaching.
And you put that over a period of time where any sensible preacher never goes beyond an hour because it’s very debilitating usually it’s very difficult, you’d actually have, then, about forty-two sermons.
Well, that would make me feel a little better to know that I had been able to take that many services, although that’s kind of stretching the point, isn’t it?
But, with that also, the people have been very good at supporting our ministry to the extent that a goodly portion or sum of money has come in over the years. And that money, of course, we try to send out, to give away not all of it, but a great portion of it.
And it may be that as people realize that I’m going off the scene, here and I don’t know how long my time is on earth, that they may decide to support some other minister. That’s perfectly fine by me. Or some other ministry… receive tapes from somebody else, that’s certainly fine.
But there is one thing that I would request, at this time, is that if anybody is getting tapes and they are now attending another church, I would wish that you would notify your pastor and ask him are you able to get these tapes.
Because I don’t want anybody to receive tapes in another man’s ministry and that pastor not being fully in agreement with that person getting the tapes, because it will engender questions. And I speak out very strongly against those things that I know to be wrong, where I don’t care where the chips fly.
If I’m wrong, I’ve got to stand in judgment. I’m not there to judge any preacher, but when I find that there are things that are not according to Brother Branham, I say those things as warning to people that listen to me and have any confidence in the ministry.
So, I don’t like anyone to receive a tape… I don’t want to cut anybody off, but if anybody is receiving a tape and I know there are some and you’re attending some place else, please feel free to tithe there, to listen to that person. And do not get my tapes any longer unless you know that that person, that pastor, is willing to allow them.
And you’re going to find that very very difficult. There are very few who allow that privilege in their church. It’s a dangerous thing, anyway, because the pastor is the supreme authority in whatever area he has been called to minister.
However, for those who have sent in money, along with some help not a great deal from Grace Gospel Church these are some of the amounts that have been sent out: 24,000, 24,000, 15,000, 12,000, 16,000, 10,000, 8,000, 7,800, 5,000, 5,000, 5,000, 3,000, 2,000, 500’s… and so on, which well up over $130,000. So, you can see we’re not trying to put money aside.
Those who send money, I want you to know that in support of this ministry, I’m trying to support others and do everything we can to the extent that widows and orphans… and sometimes we have sent out as much as $5,000 at one time for widows and orphans, and helping people who don’t have care.
And so, this is what we’ve been trying to do. And I’m taking a little time in explaining this before the message because I don’t wish to go into this again. So, everything we try to make above board as possible.
I haven’t mentioned names where money is sent. If you wish to come down sometime and see the checks, there’s no problem at all. You can see them all there. They’re all there money deposited, and money sent out.
And at this point I’ve been desperately trying to find out where there are orphans that I know that I can really support. And I believe that I’m on the track of being able to do something which will amount to several thousand dollars from my own side of the ledger, which I have put it in over the last year or two, which is a sizeable amount of money.
So, we’re just explaining these things to you. And the strange thing is, I’m going to be talking on Stewardship tonight. So that may be a little corner of it. But the idea is, we try to be faithful with the people who tithe send their money in here; we try to do right.
And as I say, I know that no one is critical and no one is going to say, “Well, show us the checks”. Well, I’m glad to show you bank statements and everything else. There’s no problem at all with it. But I feel good about being able to do something for people.
I don’t know how you feel about it. I’m sure you feel just as happy as I do. But I feel very very happy, almost to the point of being emotional, over what we’re able to do just to help people, because it’s so wonderful to know that you can help people, and God blesses you for it.
Now, we’re going to talk about Stewardship tonight, and I don’t expect to get finished. I don’t expect to cover it even as I have it in my heart to do so. But, as we go into this subject, I want you to start to realize that the Bible is a great deal like a pie.
It’s completely round round signifying God and infinity, eternity and in there you have various doctrines that are set forth in the Word, principles. And you just even follow one, you will notice that there’s no such thing as one over here, two over here, three over here, four over here, so that if you could cut the pie and take out a wedge and put it over here and nicely divide it, you can’t do it.
The Word of God is a whole; it’s an entity. It’s like a life. And though there may be sections to it, you cannot ever take one section from another. They all blend; they overlap; they’re all congruent; they’re all part of a whole.
And so we talk about Stewardship tonight, you’re going to find that the same thing obtains. There’s a similarity you’ll see. There’s something in here that shows there’s a unity with other branches and other thoughts. So that ‘dividing the Word’ is not throwing it into segments; it’s learning how it all comes together in its divine purpose.
So… now, in our study, then, tonight, on Stewardship, my thought is: to bring out the responsibility that man has towards God to use those physical properties with which God has endowed him by reason of him being a human-being, made a little lower than the angels, and also because God has entrusted to him spiritual gifts of offices and ministries for which he is responsible, not only as to their safe-keeping, but even more so as to their use.
We are, therefore, dealing with accountability toward God even as stated in 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, Romans 14:10-12, and 2 Corinthians 5:9-11. So, we’ll just start now, then, with 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, and in there, Paul is saying:
(09) For we are labourers together with God: [We are in a partnership with God, and we are God’s field. We are God’s husbandry; we were God’s farm, His field of sowing, and] ye are God’s building.
So, Paul is in a partnership with God in order to sow such material as to bring forth a building which is God’s building, because Paul, in partnership with God, is sowing that material. So it’s going to be God’s building. Now, that’s quite a statement Paul has made, here, as to his… not only his partnership with God, but his great responsibility.
Now, he says,
(10) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder…
Now notice, Paul, here, is talking of an actual gift by the grace of God that is given to him. It is a ministry. He is the repository… a man is a repository for that which God has for this building this people, this Bride, this church. And now he says, “I am a wise master builder.”
Now, he’s not claiming that in himself; he’s claiming the wisdom of God which he claims already in 1 Corinthians, the first two chapters. And he also claims in Galatians, “I never learned this from man.
I never got it by myself. I’m giving you the wisdom of Almighty God” which James also describes, which we won’t mention at this time. We could turn to it, but we won’t mention it. Now, he has this wisdom, making him a wise master builder.
Now, there was a master builder way back in the time of Moses. And when they were making the accouterments and the actual tabernacle itself, Bezalel was suddenly given a gift of God.
He was now the repository of fabulous skill from God how to actually mold with his hands gold, and silver, iron, and brass. He was… as it were, a divine engineer stepped into him and he was able to produce this. Do you see what I’m saying, now?
These men were stewards. These men were receivers of the abundance of Almighty God. And Paul, here, not elevating himself but simply telling the truth… it’s marvelous that a man can come back from God fully vindicated and lay something out like this, and the people with an ear to hear the sheep will hear and they say, “That’s wonderful! That’s great!”
And the world says, “Oh, boy. That guy thinks he’s somebody. Well, we’ve got to admit that he’s got the goods, but we should kill him to get him out of our hair.” Now Paul, of course, was killed… just like Jesus, Peter was.
Now, he said,
(10) …I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.
Now, this master builder had everything that was necessary to make this wonderful building which would be people. And he had the instruments whereby he could lay out the foundation sextants, and all those things so necessary… divine instruments from God.
He would know instantly if the foundation was a bit out. And it wouldn’t be a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of an inch out. Couldn’t be… couldn’t be. Infinitesimal… you couldn’t even begin to figure. You know, it wasn’t long ago until was it Bill Gates’ outfit that turned out a chip that had a little error in it.
And they knew the error was there and they said, “Well, it’s such an infinitesimal thing. Hardly anybody would ever use the chip to this extent, so we’ll just let the error sit there.” Man! He was caught just like that, wasn’t he?
He had to call it in; he had to apologize. I’m going to tell you: there’s a God Who knows those computer chip errors. He doesn’t have any errors in His computer chips. Nope! And Paul didn’t have any error; he laid the foundation.
I’m never going to get to this sermon, but it’s okay anyway. You just hand me a Bible and I can just start feeling so good.
(10) …and another buildeth thereon. [“And another buildeth…” He said, “There’s going to be people around me and people follow me. And they’re going to keep this in perfect Divine Order. It’s going to a hundred percent building”, he said, “You following me.”]
Now, let’s just keep watching now, though:
(11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid [and I’ve laid it with wisdom, grace of God], which is Jesus Christ. [Now,]
(12) If any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble:
(13) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it [absolutely declare it that is, to prove it… what it is], because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
(14) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
(15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(16) Know ye not… [and so on, down the road there.]
Now Paul, here, is looking at that which starts out completely infallible. And it completely is infallible; it’s a hundred percent from God. Right off, here, he begins to warn you that there is a danger of people who will intrusively come into a place where the architect of God alone should be.
And that person, of course, is presuming not called. Then, there are those who also become carnal.
And they could have a call that is genuine but they are not willing to listen a hundred percent to the Spirit of God as He reveals that Word. They will be a little bit convenient with themselves and with others.
Now, these people, then… you’ll see the building, then, would not be perfect, but there is a little seed in there that keeps the building perfect even though the acts of the people themselves aren’t perfect.
But now you’re watching… you’re seeing a building come up and you’re seeing individuals, now, that are working within that building.
Now, that’s why people have to understand that Brother Branham said, “A five-fold ministry will bring the Bride to perfection.” The Blood does the perfecting work in a passive faith. But there is a faith that comes by way of a five-fold ministry.
And that part is passive; it is also active. And therein you will find that those people who do not work within the complete framework of the Scripture we’re going to show you more and more of this they will find themselves, actually, disapproved as to their works.
Now, all this starts, here, as it starts in the beginning with ‘lamb-life’. Lamb-life started in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were absolutely lamb-life because God breathed into Adam the breath of lives which was the Holy Ghost.
The souls were in there to come down in a physical manifestation from a natural election, right on down from the supernatural, foreordination, natural election, right on down to predestination it was there.
But there was an intrusion. See? There was an intrusion… and that intrusion threw it out.
So there’s Lamb-Life and Book of Life. Now, in the Book of Life, you can have your name taken out. But Lamb-Life, you could never have your name taken out, because that’s the Life of God. See? There’s an intrusion in there.
So, there can be an intrusion, here, where the Bible warns us that as Paul laid this place to perfection, he also knew in the 20th chapter of the Book of Acts, when the elders were called together, that there were already sitting there people who would attempt to build upon this foundation not with gold and silver and precious stones the Word of the Living God.
That’s like the ephod, you know, the priesthood coming on down, priesthood transferred to Jesus Christ, no longer Aaronic but Melchisedec; this thing here, then, there could be that which would be burnt out.
And, thank God, everything that’s in the true church, that’s wrong, it’ll be burnt out; it’s corrected by the Word… completely taken care of. Right today, the church is a purified church by the Pillar of Fire.
And our God is a ‘consuming fire’ and everything which has not been of Paul, everything which has been of man anything in there, contrary has been burnt out as it was in the very beginning.
We are specifically an Ephesian Church right here. Nobody can do a thing about it because it’s all something practiced by grace.
The thought we wanted to bring out, here, is that there is a responsibility devolving upon the people to whom God has given, by grace, ministries or gifts or whatever.
There is a responsibility, and Paul is mentioning this. He’s very very careful.
Now, with that we’re going to go to 2 Corinthians and see the very same thing here… 5:9-11, and it says,
(09) Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
(10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
(11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Paul is now calling upon his vindication… that he is telling them the truth. See? In other words, there must have been a bunch of wrong ‘eternal security’ believers there.
They must have been believing they could do anything at all, and it didn’t matter. Well, it does matter! You cannot be given something from God and not be held accountable.
You cannot even be born in this, the human race, and be a seed of God, and not be held accountable. It has to be there, and it is there.
So, we read a little further. Now,
(12) For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf…
Look at what he is saying: These people can glory on behalf of Paul’s vindication. They can glory in the fact that he can come right there and lay it all on the line, even telling them, “Look, there’s a responsibility, here, that you’ve got to face up to.
As Brother Branham said, “You say you believe me, then why don’t you obey me?” Nobody could pin anything on Brother Branham.
The man was just like the Apostle Paul with the greatest ministry in the last two thousand years, distinctly the same ministry that Jesus Christ had but even greater, because this was to the Gentiles.
And in the skies there are two dippers, there are two folds the little dipper and the big dipper; they’re the two folds. And the handle of the big dipper points to the North Star.
And the big dipper is the Gentile fold, and the little dipper is the Israelic fold. So, here we are at the end-time.
The Gentile church is now receiving the answers, and the same thing they had back there. And what is it? It’s vindication.
(12) …that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
(13) For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
[See?] You can have a church meeting where they’re very sober, and you can have where the people are beside themselves. But what good is it to be sober sitting there… a bunch of sober people, drunk with the wisdom of this world, or a bunch of raucous people drunk with the philosophy and the foolishness and the emotions of this world?
There’s a time to be extremely serious and sober. There’s a time to be extremely happy. And it’s going to be the same gospel that brings it.
So, Paul is saying, here now, “Look”, he said, as he told the people, “I’m literally whipping you people”, he said. “But”, he said, “I’m not trying to do it because I’m trying to exercise some authority over you to make you sad and show you I’m in control.”
He said, “No! I’m trying to get you to see the truth.” There is a responsibility that the people of God have. See? The Word of God is wide open with promises: “My sheep hear my voice; I will lose none of them.
The Word of God cannot return unto Him void”… right down the line. You can go all the way to extreme Calvinism and go all the way to extreme Armenianism.
And Brother Branham said, “There is a true Calvinism. There is a true Armenianism. There is a true middle-of-the-road.”
And the fact of the matter is, neither one of those bunch were ever born-again. But, you see, the true born-again, they walk in the light. See? They’re in there. There is a responsibility.
Now, let’s go to Romans the 14th chapter to continue and watch 14:10-12. Now, here he is saying, No I don’t want… further up there… now verse 7 I want,
(07) For [no man] liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
(08) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
(09) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
(10) But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
(11) [As] it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Now, it tells you, right here, that every single person born into this world has a moral obligation to fulfill the will of God.
Now, Paul himself brings out the fact that many heathen fulfill the law of God from their hearts, not even knowing the Word of God. Like the centurion… why, he said, “Look, I see you’re a man of authority.
I’m a man of authority. You don’t have to come and pray for my servant.” He said, “I just speak a word and I’ve got a hundred men running, right now, doing anything I want done. Even if it means suicide, they would kill themselves.
If I tell them to kill themselves they’ve got to kill themselves. There’s nothing that my word won’t do over those men.” He said, “Just send your Word”. And Jesus said, “I’ve never seen such faith, never!
Not amongst the sheep.” Here’s a Gentile… and then Paul says, “They do by nature the things that God told you to do.
You don’t even do them when God told you to do them.” Where are you standing, then, before God? Responsibility is a keynote of the Scripture. You cannot get away from it.
Now, as we desire to approach the thought of Stewardship, we have no choice whatsoever than to link stewards with servants. You can’t help it. If you’re going to teach on stewards you’re going to have to teach on servants; you can’t get away from it.
I can prove it to you, shortly… so that our subject is literally Stewardship and Servitude. Now, the word ‘servitude’ Did you get what I said? How many know what servitude is? Servitude is slavery.
Did you know that? Doesn’t mean just to be a servant; servitude doesn’t mean ‘kowtow’ “Oh yes, oh yes, thank you. Oh yes, thank you, I’ll do it; oh yes, thank you.”
No, you’re not some little brow-beaten person that can’t say no. Stewardship and servitude are set forth in the Bible. Now, the word ‘servant’, in the Scripture, actually means ‘slave or bond-servant’.
Now, a bond-servant was one whereby he was bonded over because he had been bought or he had gotten in debt, and now he had to pay it off. See? It’s… actually is slave, then, a bond-servant.
So when we speak of servants we are actually talking of bond-servants or slaves of God, men who are not free to do as they please or take orders from those other than God but live at the desire and pleasure of God and for God and by God’s Spirit. This is the ultimate, as is noted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34.
Now, this is just a little quickie thrown in here to give you an illustration, but we’re going to put it 32-34. And he says here,
(32) But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
(33) But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
(34) There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
(35) And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
Now, from this verse you could get the Roman Catholic church with their nuns. Forget it! Any church order that wants people to act against their own conscience and their own physical-ness, which they know they have and they desire to have… and it’s perfectly legitimate because sexual intercourse is a righteous act and don’t think that it’s not, and marriage is not prohibited.
It’s simply telling you, here, that there are people who are freer than other people because they have desired to be free purely and simply and a hundred percent to serve God.
But they’re not a bunch of absent-minded kooks, like idiots I’ve known of or heard of where my brother-in-law told me of one where one fellow pretended he was so enthralled with God, he didn’t even lace up his shoes.
Now, listen: we’re not talking about a stupid God; we’re not talking about idiocy. We’re not talking about Roman Catholicism or the Greek Catholics if they have their conference, or whatever they have.
I don’t know what all junk they’ve got along with the Protestants and the rest of the goofies. We’re not talking about that. Because you could take this Scripture and then you could compel anybody’s conscience or their mind weak people to follow some stupid foolishness which is not in the Bible.
And Paul said, “This is not for a snare.” But it can become a snare. Then, whoever is in that church, in whatever ministry, he must explain this and show it perfectly so this Scripture does not become a snare.
Do you follow me? Responsibility… responsibility. And you don’t dare carry a responsibility that you don’t have to some place where you can’t put it because it’s a lie of the devil. It’s a complete perversion of the Scripture. Most people are the marrying kind.
As Paul said, “Some have a gift and some don’t.” He said, “Some are made eunuchs of men, and others are made eunuchs for God.” He said, “They’re the ones that simply refrain from those things of matrimonial bonds, and so on.”
And he said, “They do it because they are well able to do it.” And Jesus himself said that all men cannot take this saying; they’re not qualified for it. And Paul brings it up, the same thing there, now.
So, all right… Now, some Scripture relative to stewardship and servitude will help us to see what we have in mind.
Now, a steward as a servant is a bond-slave, completely under the domination of his owner [or should be, if he’s a good one]. A steward is a manager, but he is not a manager of his own personal possessions, but what is someone else’s possessions.
And the word actually describes that man to be a ‘house or a state manager’… a house or a state manager. Well, isn’t it true that Paul said, “I’m a steward of a house; I’m building a house.
Its not my house; it’s God’s house.” The Bible also mentioned Moses was faithful as a steward, as a servant. Now, he’s an overseer, an administrator of the economy or the well-being of an entire family.
His decisions concerning what he is entrusted with and for which he is responsible is not only an alarming prospect he is sort of given ‘carte blanche’ to make sure this man’s fortune is secure, the family is secure, the future is secure, everything is on time, everything is in harmony he’s supposed to do it.
He’s got to do it; it’s his job. That’s an alarming prospect, but it is a compliment of the highest order, for the owner of the house has judged him competent in administrations and unimpeachable.
As to his character and motive, it’s impeccable. Success or failure lies in his hands an entrustment.
Here it is, stewardship and we’re talking about God and what He has entrusted by gifts and ministries, attributes, various… you just have to call them gifts because that’s all you can call them, because that’s all Paul could call them in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12: “Some have this gift; some have that gift they differ.”
One has a gift of being forgiving with cheerfulness which is wonderful. One has a gift of giving. As Irenaeus said, “There are hundreds of gifts in the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Not just like the Pentecostals who try to make… put nine of them, and the only one they come up with, really, is the gift of tongues. And nobody knows if that’s a gift of tongues. What a tragic, tragic thing to say the church here has gifts.
Yet Brother Branham said, “The churches… [and I understand he referred to it locally, by the context of what he was saying, that] the churches have a right to all nine gifts.” Well, man-oh-man, I give up on that one.
Personally, I wouldn’t know what to do with them even if I had them. But do you know something? If I had them, I’d have to know what to do with them and do it.
And Brother Branham said, “you’ve got a gift of tongues, here, and interpretation, a bit of prophecy, you go in that room, there, and there’s where you operate those gifts, and you write it down, and you bring it into the church, complementing the pastor’s ministry, you’ve got a vital church in those areas.”
They turned it down flat. He wanted me to help him get a church established that way. We never could do it.
Now, I tell you: the other day I mentioned positively not as though everybody’s got to do it but I said, “Brother Branham tried for seventeen years, he said, to have the church people just believe in the Word of God and get healed in their seats,… maybe hold hands [whatever it was] when the prayer is prayed.
And they just take the Word as they sit there and walk out healed and all. He couldn’t get them to do it.
Well, I’m not, by backing Brother Branham up, trying to do what Brother Branham couldn’t do. But then again, who’s to say that we shouldn’t try to believe as never before?
But [it] doesn’t mean every church has got to do it, and doesn’t mean anybody’s in sin if hands are laid on them. The Bible said, “Call the elders. They’re anointed with oil. That’s ‘hands laid on them’.
Brother Branham never did stop laying on of hands. He never stopped letting people, if they wanted to, speak in tongues if they thought they ought to speak in tongues to have a little more assurance.
In fact, he prayed to God for a woman who needed that kind of assurance to speak in tongues. But, here, we’re looking at the fact that God has placed men and everybody in the Body of Christ as responsible members, see? responsible to themselves, and God, and each other.
Now, success or failure lies in his hands. But, alas, though all stewards should measure up to this standard, there are many who take on the responsibility only to fail, and usually because of selfish or unconsidered ends.
Now, let’s read over here, first of all, in Luke 12:36-48. We want to see these stewards and these servants… what we’re after. Luke 12:36… he said,
(35) Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
(36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Now, that’s a little picture, there of the return, and the house is supposed to be ready everything ready. It’s not like you’ve got today, “I never knew you”.
(37) Blessed are those servants [notice: there you are… servants], whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
(38) And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
(39) And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken [into]… [Now, see, there you’ve got stewardship again… very watchful, very careful].
(40) Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
(41) Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?
(42) And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward…
Now, you see ‘steward’ and ‘servant’ is the same thing. There’s no difference because he says servant in one place and then he says steward.
So, the bond-slave and the steward is the same thing. So, steward is a bond-slave, and a bond-slave is a steward. So, no matter how low a person thinks he is in the stature of the structure…
“Oh, I’m only a bond-slave; I’m not a steward”, he is entirely wrong; he is a steward.
And if the steward thinks he is above it all and he is in a class by himself, in a sense of the word his obligation is just the same as though he were a bond-slave.
A hundred percent at the disposal of the master, the master’s materiality, and he must be accountable, and he is accountable to the master.
Now, he said, here,
(42) …whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season.
(43) Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
(44) Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he [has].
Now, you notice in here, there’s… along with the responsibility, the performance of the duty correctly, will elevate that person in the ages to come.
Because this has to do, really, after the Wedding Supper, as far as I can understand this, because it’s after the Marriage. So, this could well apply to the Millennium.
(45) But… if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken,
(46) The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the [hypocrites].
Well, that’s very true, but do you notice when that happens? That happens after the Great Tribulation. You’ve got a picture, here; you’ve got left-hand, right-hand. You’ve got no… you’ve got parallelism; you’ve got two vines. See? Very very strange.
(47) And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
(48) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
So, here you are, right now, and you understand, then, if we’re back to the First Age which has the full commission and the full authority and Word of Almighty God, how much more are we required, or is required of us than of others?
And you will notice that Jesus put Himself… God puts Himself in the same position because, “Greater works than this shall he do because I go to my Father.” And so God Himself is leading in this illustration.
And Brother Branham said, “He had more success in my ministry on earth than he had in his own back there.” And he is referring, of course, to Jesus Christ. But Jesus, the man, never did claim any ministry. It was God’s ministry there.
So, all right. We go to Luke 16 and I suppose we’ll just have time to read Scripture and not much more.
(01) And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
(02) And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
(03) Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
(04) I am resolved what [I must] do…
Then, of course, this is the picture of the story of the steward that learned how to make great use of materiality. Then God says, here, “You can learn to use materiality for you instead of against you”.
Now, materiality almost always is against us. But there can be a way that the materiality of this world, even though against us, can be used for us. In other words, a wise steward can always turn the tables.
He can always make things come up because he is a steward. Now, you’re not commended for doing things wrong. And you’re not commended for turning aside the principles of Christ.
Remember, Jesus himself said, “You tithe of mint, anise and cummin… these things you ought to have done and not let the others undone.”
He didn’t say, “Look. You’re so spiritual-minded that you don’t have to deal with these financial things, these physical things”. That’s not true.
In life you have to deal with life as it’s dealt with you. And at the same time, remember, we have a ‘vocation’ which is a calling of God, and we have an ‘avocation’ which is a calling of life.
And as a minister, or as a teacher, or as a plumber, or electrician doesn’t matter what you are you can live for Christ.
And you can also use the means that God has given you physically in such a way that it will, actually, amount to something even though, figuratively speaking, it doesn’t really amount to anything, because we brought nothing into the world, nothing do we take out, and whatever we have, here, will be burned.
Now, over here in Titus 1:
(07) For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God…
So, therefore, when you’re talking about ministry five-fold, elders and deacons, or anyone in any position of trust in the church he must be blameless as the steward of God because he’s not serving man, he’s serving God.
(07) …not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
(08) But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
(09) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught…
Now, notice in there, he’s not a divisive person who sits around and says, “Well, I believe my pastor’s teaching wrong so I’ll just go to all the congregation and I’ll teach them what I want to teach.”
Get your own church. Be man enough to get out and get your own church. There’s always someone who wants to do something like that. A true elder will not do that.
If there’s something that’s wrong he’ll go to the pastor because the pastor is the authority. He will go to that man and talk about it. You see?
(09) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
In other words, how in the world can a man be of any use to the world out here, to the sinners, if he can’t even serve God amongst the saints.
And he claims to be server of God and servant of God and serve the saints, and all the time he’s trying to pull down the very ministry upon which the church is built.
The guy is a liar and a hypocrite. But you’re going to find him there. Hey! For every true elder there’s a false one; for every true deacon there’s a false one.
For every true pastor there are a million false ones… I don’t know how many prophets there are. See?
(10) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
(11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
Now, notice what you’ve got right there. You say, “Why would these guys do that?” Well, there’s your answer, right there: money, money, money, money, money. We’ll talk about that later. See? But there it is.
Now, we’ll go to 1 Corinthians 4:1-2. We’re looking at these people, stewards and servants of God, written down, here, in the Bible. And Paul said:
(01) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
In other words, what’s this man, as a minister of Christ, going to do? He’s going to be faithful, containing and diffusing, disseminating the Word that God has given him, and that’s all he’s interested in. He’s not interested in anything else.
(02) Moreover, it is required in stewards [that’s plural], that a man be found faithful.
In other words, this is something that’s going to last a life-time. It’s not something you pick up and lay down. It’s not something whereby you say, “Well, I’m called of God to minister, but I don’t think I can stand the hard times.
I don’t think I can stand the pressures.” Then you weren’t called of God. You know, Brother Branham said truly, “If God calls you, He’ll supply your needs.” I learned that the hard way. I didn’t want to go through it the first time; I had to go through it the second time.
But I went through it the second time, and I found, “Hey! This is wonderful!” A lot of people have an idea God is just trying to grab you and squeeze you like a lemon, get all the juice out of you and then throw the rest in the garbage tin.
We don’t be ridiculous. He is trying to get the honey out of you. See? Trying to get the attar the beautiful aromas that lie within our souls, if we only allow the hand of God to move upon us. You see?
Now, look at 1 Peter 4:10… we’re getting over here. And there again, I want you to notice we’re talking about these stewards. And Peter says the same thing as Paul says. And over here, then…
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
In other words, people that have gifts and we all have something we are to be faithful to what God has given us, and not fail in that particular area where we have been designated to stand.
Now, let’s go back to Matthew 20, and we’re going to read a few verses, beginning at verse 1, and he says, here,
(01) For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
(02) And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
(03) And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
(04) And said unto them: Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. and they went their way.
(05) Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
(06) And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, why stand ye here all the day idle?
(07) They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
(08) So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward…
And that word ‘steward’, there, means ‘the one with all authority and power’. In other words, this man was over the steward, but the steward was over everything else.
And the steward was going to get instructions from the boss. And whatever the boss said to do with what the boss had given him, that’s what this steward had to do.
That’s why Brother Branham would never let anybody trick him. Remember the little Evan’s girl? She came and she said, “Brother Branham, will you interpret this dream?”
And he said, “Honey, I can’t unless God shows me. He said, What good would it do, now, if I tried to interpret this dream, and the interpretation was wrong [because, I can’t interpret dreams by myself, anyway] and then later on you had a real need, how could you come to me in any faith?”
See? In other words, you can’t fool around. I never could figure why God told Brother Branham, “You made a side-show of this ministry.”
I thought it was dynamite, and just right. Of course, you can see how stupid I am… carnal, thinking I’m spiritual; I’m not.
But, listen: that man, he was so perfect and his ways were so upright, and yet God said, “You made a spectacle of this.” See, there’s no way that anybody can use anything that God gives him except God himself operates through the individual.
That’s over, here in,
(20) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the [exercise of his] power… [and He’s doing the exercising within us.]
In other words, if there is something God has given an individual, how great will the operation, the manifestation, the enormity of that gift be if that person can learn to get out of the way?
And Brother Branham said, “I’ve got a little gift; it’s to get out of the way.” We’re talking about true stewardship. I find, myself, that I can get imbued with my own verbosity.
If I feel at times that I’m hitting on all fours… it’s usually I’m hitting on two instead of four, but I think I’m doing great. But I’ve realized over the years that it doesn’t matter how I feel about anything.
The point is: Am I telling the truth? It doesn’t matter how you respond. The point is: Are you receiving the truth? It doesn’t matter what a manifestation is, because I’m not in the manifestation business; I’m in the declaring business, the teaching business.
And many times you can’t tell a thing about the person sitting there, whether he’s getting it or not. You can’t do it. What if I was teaching poetry in your class, and you closed your eyes so you could drift with the poetry, you could sense it, literally open up like a sweet aroma coming.
And I look down and say, “Hey! Wake up!” Why, I’d be ruining everything. Because the person is not sleeping at all; the person is reaching out a little further.
Now, I don’t suggest you do that in class, but I’m just saying, “Hey! What if it happened?” Now, that has to do with your stewards, and they’re the same as servants.
So, let’s go over here to Matthew the 18th chapter and start at verse 23… and we’ll get a little closer.
(23) Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants [bond-servants, sold out to him; he had control of them].
(24) And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
(25) But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
(26) The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
(27) Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
(28) But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pense: and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
(29) And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
(30) And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. [Now, that’s a double burden. How are you going to pay a debt when you’re in prison, see? Or the court says you’ve got to spend so many years for doing that.]
(31) So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
(32) Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
(33) Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?
(34) And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
(35) So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
You know, that’s a great thing right there because already the Bible has told us… Let me go for it, will you? Let me go, here, in Romans 12:8, shall we just get together here in the 12th chapter is says… in verse 8.
(08) …he that sheweth mercy [that’s one of the gifts], with cheerfulness.
Now, there you are. What if you have that in your heart, and you’re supposed to be a very merciful, forgiving person because that’s your gift? What if you don’t do that?
What if you’re a person that actually has been given a gift of generosity you give to people, and you begin clamming up, you don’t do it?
Do you know what? You’re going to pay for it. You’re going to pay for it because stewardship and servitude is the same thing. It’s a great responsibility. It’s a great privilege.
First of all, it’s a tremendous privilege that God should have that kind of faith in us. You talk about… not misplaced trust, but great trust. And He expects us to be responsible.
Now, over here, in Matthew 24 and we looking at verse 44 beginning.
(44) Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
(45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Now, this evidently has to do with those people that have real outstanding ministries we call them that; five-fold, I think is what they would be in there of God. And they’re supposed to be faithful.
(45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Now, since Brother Branham used this and referred to himself, it would be very difficult for me to put a five-fold ministry in here, except under the Prophet.
So, once we have a vindicated ministry, like Paul… and Jesus said, “This faithful man gives the household meat in due season.”
Brother Branham says, “Spiritual food in due season,” speaking of himself and his ministry. Now, he said, “…that man who is charged”. And remember, many men took upon themselves the charge that weren’t called to do it.
They’re the ones that stood up against Jesus, they stood against Paul, they stood against Brother Branham, they’ll stand against any true five-fold minister or ministry. They can’t help it.
And those that are called can’t help it; they’re going to stand up. There should be no reason for them to run away. They just stand there and give it.
Now, he said,
(46) Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find do doing.
(47) Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
(48) But… if that evil servant [now, that’s not that servant, but there’s an evil servant] shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Now, who’s an evil servant? Well, the evil that Cain did was perpetrating an act of worship based upon the Bible according to his own leanings and tendencies and understanding.
That was an evil act. And you get these evil preachers out there, and they’re worshipping God and everything looks great. They’re giving alms and tithing; they’re just doing great things.
Oh, the people are getting healed left and right. There can be some valid prophecies and some various things in there, but you know, the evil servant began to say, “My lord delayeth his coming”.
(49) And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.
(50) The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not… and in an hour that he is not aware of.
(51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth [that’s the Great Tribulation; so, that’s in this hour. Right in this hour, this is coming to pass.]
Now, Brother Branham was that faithful steward who gave us the meat in due season, and anybody who attempts to supersede it or in any way attempts to destroy it, or any way tries to put himself above that man, or in any way denigrates… take from any way at all, that man is a wicked drunken individual, and he will go to the Great Tribulation. He will be cut asunder.
Now, look at Matthew 25:14-30, and he says here:
(14) For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
(15) And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one [well, that’s sure not very much money, is it?]; to every man according to his several ability [that’s individual ability]; and straightway took his journey. [Now, he knew what each one of those people could do, so he entrusted them with so much.]
(16) Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
(17) And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
(18) But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
(19) After a long time the lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them.
(20) And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
(21) His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord.
(22) He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
(23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(24) Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
(25) And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast [what] is thine.
(26) His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful [now, he called him ‘slothful’… lazy bird] servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
(27) Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
(28) Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
(29) For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
(30) And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [Great Tribulation, right at this very time. See?]
Now, it has to be a total misunderstanding of Sovereignty, a total misunderstanding of grace, a total misunderstanding of this Message. They simply can’t receive it.
Now, this last fellow must have been a down and outright legalist… “You’re a tough God; You’re demanding; You’re a rough character.
You gave me this and You gave me that, and I know that You’re just brutalizing me. I can’t stand Your ways. I don’t have confidence in You” Whereas these other two people were not of that ilk; they were different.
They knew He was a Sovereign God, but they knew that they had the ability given from God to go ahead and enhance by multiplication what they had.
In other words, whatever they had in ministries would become greater because that’s what they had from God and they knew they could use it. They came to the place of submission, recognition, strength, fortitude, and went ahead.
I’m going to tell you something: Not many people like that. They don’t like that. So, you’ve got, here again… we see the utmost demanded in responsibility.
Matthew 21:34-36… Now, this is to our day, we talking… people that are shunning responsibility. They don’t realize that that goes with the Sovereign grace of Almighty God.
That’s that little area in there that is so hard to understand when it comes to predestination. “Well, if it’s predestination, God knew everything so I must be forced to do everything.”
No, there’s a leeway in here where real predestination comes in, where you and I realize that we’ve been entrusted with something from Almighty God and we are responsible to use whatever He has given us. And we’ll go into a lot of that before we’re over it.
(33) Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
(34) And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
(35) And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
(36) Again, he sent other servants, more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
(37) But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
(38) But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him and let us seize on his inheritance.
(39) And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
(40) When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
(41) They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
(42) Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?
(43) Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
(44) And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever is shall fall, it will grind him to powder. [Left-hand, right-hand, right? Right today.]
Let’s keep reading,
(45) And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
(46) [And] when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
You’ve got the same thing right today, again. See? God gave out… look-it, you read Ephesians 4, and you cannot help but understand [and Brother Branham declared it so] that a five-fold ministry will bring a Bride to perfection.
These are the ones… the ministries are the ones that have been entitled by God to serve, given gifts. And amongst them are true and amongst them are false… you know.
I know Brother Branham preached Anointed Ones at the End-time.
He asked Billy Paul, “Did you understand what I preached?”
He said, “Daddy, I believe I understood.”
He said, “Not that many understood it.”
I know I understood it because we discussed it. It was a thing that really turned me around and made me know that this was the answer to the great dilemma: What about it?
There were men, right here, with gifts and everything else, and men over here. And over here it looks like they’re running a band and a great circus and a great parade winning the world for God.
What is this anyway? False anointed ones… anointed to the gifts but not to the Word. So, therefore, they were never under subjection as a steward and a servant are.
They were going their own ways, taking their master’s goods and spending it the way they wanted eating, drinking, were merry. See?
Allan had a great ministry. I don’t want to cast-off on the dead, but the man was a drunkard; he never got over it as far as I know, positively. He fought Brother Branham and those around him fought Brother Branham.
People fought Brother Branham. It’s all manifested. Where are they today? They had these great ministries; there’s not one on the scene left.
I don’t know… well, Benny Hinn, and they’re falling over like ten pins that’s an evil spirit. Hey! Brother Branham said, “Why settle for anything unreal when the heavens are full of the real?” How full do you want it?
I remember one guy, years and years ago, I never saw a more puffed up toad in my life, puffed up like a frog. He billed himself as the world’s great youth evangelist.
He got in an elevator with us there in Indianapolis when Brother Branham was there and I was there with him in meetings in ’55, and he wouldn’t look at you a puffed up. Who ever heard of Ewing, tell me?
That’s his name, Ewing. Who ever heard of him? Who ever heard of me and heard of you? Now, the point is: Who heard of Brother Branham? Hardly nobody. They’re getting rid of the name of Jesus.
They can’t use B.C. Before Christ. It’s got to be Before ‘Christian era’. Well, put an ‘r’ and another ‘r’, you’ve got Christian ‘error’. That’s what they’re trying to make it.
Now, you get these people that saw the great end-time ministry spiritual food in due season saw the vindication, saw it all; and they become drunk with their own ideas, exhilarated with their own thoughts.
They’re out there not preaching this simple true Word of God that binds us down to reality, as God wants it. His Great Tribulation is coming up. So, there you see it.
Now, let’s go to Romans 1:1. Here’s what Paul says,
(01) Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God…
“I’m a bond-servant”, he said. “I’m completely locked out of myself. Any plans, any purposes, any principles, everything I knew, all I had, what I stood for, is all gone.
It’s shot; it’s lost; it’s finished. I’ve become a servant, a bond-slave.” In other words, “I’ve been bought, paid for; now, I’ve got to produce what I’m delivered for.”
And he says, right there, “It’s an ear-full, and a mind-full”.
(01) …separated unto the gospel of God,
(02) [Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,]
(03) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; [It was the tribe of Judah.]
(04) …declared to be the Son of God with power [he certainly was God manifesting His power through him], according to the spirit of holiness [that’s right], by the resurrection from the dead.
(05) By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
(06) Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
He said it, right there a specific purpose, specific gifts, everything of God and from God and everything controlled by God. So it is of God and by God and for God. And that was his ministry.
Everything he had, even himself, it was not a pawn to God. No, it was not a pawn; it’s a living oracle or a living Word that Brother Branham called a living ‘statue’.
Now, we can compare this book with Philippians the 2nd chapter and the 7th verse… talking of Jesus,
(07) [He] made himself of no reputation, [but] took upon him the form of a [bond-slave] and was made in the likeness of men:
Now, it doesn’t say he is made in the likeness of men and then became a bond-slave; he was a bond-slave and became a man “Lo, a body hast thou prepared for me…
I come to do Thy will, O God” already completely bought out, sold out, and shut out… bought out by God, sold out to God, shut out by the world. Same thing; no difference between the two.
But in this we also go, then, to Hebrews the 3rd chapter, and in there we read,
(01) Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [confession] Jesus Christ;
(02) Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
(03) For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
(04) For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. [Now, you see, here’s a man that talked in 1 Corinthians saying this over here in Hebrews 3.]
(05) And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
Now, in here, this word ‘servant’ is a little different; it simply means ‘a menial’… a menial. That’s kind of like a housekeeper that does chores, takes care of things.
Not some manager, now, not somebody like that, but it means like ‘a nurse or one that cherishes’
And you know that Moses admitted that he ‘bore them in his bosom’ He took them on their journey; he was a nursemaid to them… nursed them along.
He did get sore a couple of times, all right. But you understand that Moses had maybe no right, but I can understand why and how he got provoked to doing it.
He had a rough time out there with those people. He was actually a nursemaid. The Bible speaks of God being a nursemaid.
We’re in His bosom which, actually, means ‘a harbor, a place of shelter, a comfort, and so on… a nourishment.’ All of these things are in here.
So, here is another form we’re looking at where the Bible said, “ the servants of God”. And that includes not just the bishops and those things, but everybody should be meek, and we should be known everywhere for our temperance and our mildness.
It’s too bad that some people are that way and they don’t have the spirit of God; it’s all a human form. But that’s beside the point.
Now, let’s go a little further and check this out, what these servants are like these bond-slaves. And that’s in Romans 6, beginning at verse 14.
(14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
(15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
(16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Now, “There’s a free moral choice in there,” as Brother Branham would say. God does not bind us and turn us into robots taking away our wills. He gives us a free moral will.
He gives us a new mind, a new heart, cleansing our souls, setting our spirits in order. And He wants us to serve Him because we’ve been set free from sin.
Now, he said,
(17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
What is he talking about? He’s talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ which through faith delivers us into perfect justification, unto sanctification, baptism with the Holy Ghost, right the Body of Jesus Christ. See?
(18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. [In other words, you’re in the Word, your worship is according to truth “in spirit and in truth” obedience of the faith.]
(19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
(20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
(21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
(22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
(23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Yet the church and the government are trying to legislate homosexuality into the churches and ministers and everything else.
You could no more have the Holy Ghost speak in tongues, and be healed, and everything else… claim this Message and be a homosexual, and satisfy me that you have anything at all.
Now, someone will say, “Well, just a minute.” Don’t ‘just-a-minute’ me. My Bible tells me plain, right here, how you yield your members is what counts.
The woman was made for man not man for man, and not woman for woman. So, don’t try to talk to me about anything you think you know, or you’ve got some sweet spirit of ‘love’.
You’ve got a spirit of Hell, an erotic crud within your heart, and nothing to do with the love of God. This will be a series like… I’ve got lots and lots of Scripture.
I want to show you, brother/sister: stewardship is bondsman, is servitude.
It all carries responsibility to Almighty God for what God has invested in us for our good to bring forth praise and glory unto Him, to place us in realms which we never knew of in the Kingdom to come not just in this life, but the life which is to follow.
Yeah… See, I’m preaching practical faith, now active.
Now, we already took Romans 14, but let’s go over it again, for it says, here, in verse 7.
(07) For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
(08) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
(09) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
That’s not Purgatory, or Hell, the grave, and this and that. He’s telling you, here, that Jesus died and bought every single soul and He can do whatever He wants with them, because He said, “All souls are mine, and I bought every one of them”.
Here’s the Sovereignty of God, manifested. We are the bond-slaves of God, and the world also is a bond-slave of God. There isn’t anybody that’s not a bond-slave.
Even Satan will find out that he is a bond-slave, because he gets thrown into the Lake of Fire and destroyed annihilated with all the rest of the fallen angels, and those who gave fallen angels a residence. Because Brother Branham did equate that.
1 Corinthians 6:
(13) Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, [in other words, the body’s not made for sex, period although that’s part of it] but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. [And part of that, in there, is to raise children up to the Lord.]
(14) And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
So, therefore, God has raised up Jesus. He is a separate man from God, and he isn’t God. Because only God can raise the dead, and this man was raised. So, he is not God, right? My!
I can’t understand these people that think God is Jesus and Jesus is God. They can’t even talk; they can’t even read; they can’t even hear; they can’t listen. There’s nothing there.
Well, tell me, is there something there? You be the judge, tonight. It said right here, “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and also raised us.” In other words, God is going to do both to us.
(15) Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. [That’s harlot church and harlot woman.]
(16) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
Adam said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. But Eve didn’t believe it. She thought she was bone and flesh of the serpent. Oh, come on… take a look at it.
Didn’t the Bible say, “These two shall be one flesh”? They were one spirit to begin with. Of course, one was female part, one was male.
God divided the male from the female for the purpose of propagation, that’s all. The spirits were created; the soul wasn’t created. Part of God… just like that light that came forth was a part of God.
Lots of little parts came forth from God. Maybe a million little parts came forth from God. Maybe billions! How many Foolish Virgin are there out there surrounding the Holy City?
And the 144,000 Elect that attend the Bride, they were a part of God. Oh, absolutely!
They never would have got in otherwise. “For all in Adam, that died, are made alive.” Anybody that was not in Adam, he is not going to make it.
Eve will make it. I don’t care David or anybody else did; they’re going to make it. No problem.
(17) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
So now, if the Spirit of God goes against fornication, adultery, homosexuality and all this stuff, then don’t tell me that you and I aren’t against it, if we’re children of God. See?
(18) Flee fornication. [Now watch…] Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; [now watch this one…] but he that [commits] fornication [sins] against his own body.
Which tells you: if you do it, there’s where you get syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, AIDS, and everything else. Your body will just produce it.
And they’re going to keep looking at every mummy, five thousand years old… “Where did syphilis come from? Where did it come from?”
I’m telling you, because I’m a student of the Word of God. I’m a Bible teacher, and I’m telling you, “Here it is in the Bible.” Because you’re sinning against your body.
You can steal, you can lie, you can drink and do smoke and every other thing but that doesn’t bring that sin. Fornication, illicit sex, vulgarity, filth… and the body will produce it. Circuitry.
(19) What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [Any man full of the Holy Ghost has no right to live for himself, nor any woman live for herself.]
(20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Even your spirit belongs to God, now. Your soul is of God; your body belongs; your spirit belongs. Then, what about your mind?
Now, if all those things belong to God, and the mind, now, can take the Word of God, the spirit can bring it down to the soul, feed the soul, come back in the body and say, “Yes, I admit that every one of those passions are there.
I admit those feelings can be there. I admit those desires can be there. I admit I’d like to take an easier path. I admit all of these things, but I’ve got a higher order.
I can’t take the low road any longer, because I’ve been bought. I’m a bond-slave, and my master, the slave master, tells me, ‘Go here; go there. Do this; do that’.”
Oh, a lot of Pentecostals, a lot of people want to claim that. Hogwash! They don’t even have the Word. “Oh,” I say, “I pray!” What about when God said, “He that turneth his ear from hearing My Word, even his prayer is an abomination.”
It stinks. It’s idolatry. It’s filth. “Oh, I pray.” Oh, I get so tired of that stupid miserable excuse… “I pray”. I told a guy, one day, when he pulled a deal on me. He said, “I pray”.
I said, “Why didn’t you ask God to help you rob a bank?” I said, “Ted, you don’t ask God to help you to sin! You seek God so you don’t sin.” Phttt! He didn’t like it… what do I care!
Ephesians… we’re going to close, for our time is gone anyway. And we’ll go to the other things we’ve got written down here. I’ve got pages I haven’t written down yet.
But, don’t worry, I won’t get it all to you. Paul, here, is giving a bird’s-eye view, epitomization of eternity to eternity.
And he ends up with a phase on earth which inducts us into what we already possess but now are insured of it in these words
(12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
(13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.
(14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Right here he tells you, your body has been bought by the Holy Ghost, guaranteed and sealed to the day of Redemption. You are not your own; you are God’s.
Therefore, glorify God in your members. There’s an obligation with your stewardship.
And stewardship is not simply, “I have something that I can do what I want to do with it, and I should be really careful that I do it.” It has nothing to do with that.
It is servitude, which means you and I are stuck. And if we concede which we do that ‘weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth’ is the Great Tribulation because Brother Branham pinned it there every time, to my knowledge, they’re a bunch of people that are faithless.
When that which could be known of God, proved and presented as in this hour , as was in Jesus’ day, they will enter into the Great Tribulation faithless, although they call themselves the stewards, the bond-slaves of God.
You and I are no more a bond-slave of God than nothing if we turn down the Word and we refuse to go by the dictates which are within it.
Now, let me tell you something: It is very true, that this is against our own old nature, but by this time we should be smart enough and wise enough in the concept of God to know that though this may be bitter in our mouth, it will turn very sweet in our stomach.
It will sweeten our lives up. And remember, when we allow that Word of God to come in here, and confess it not only by our mouths, but confess it by our lives, it becomes multiplied and more and more wonderful.
As old Reynolds once told me, he said, “Brother Vayle, a preacher gets what he preaches for.” And I want to tell you: You and I have the same opportunity. We don’t have to be preachers.
We just have to realize that there are things which God has given us, and with that gift is a commission.
And as we enter into that commission and do those things that we know we can do, let me tell you something: There will be, not only a remuneration a payment down the road but there will be a multiplication, or an aggrandizement, an increase of what we have.
And it will be greater as the day approaches, even as the light today is the greatest light of the hour, we have within ourselves the gifts and the responsibility to be exactly what we should be. And that obedience to the faith, brother/sister, starts in a church.
Mrs. Hilary Clinton can say, “It takes a village to raise a child”. I’m going to tell you something: That’s a lot of hogwash, in my books.
It takes a little church, a little one, as it were… a people with the grace of God to practice the precepts of God amongst them to go out and gain a village. She’s got the thing so backwards, it is pitiful.
But that’s okay, she is a politician. And no politician can give a correct assessment or make a correct judgment or anything at all. We, on the other hand, have the true Word of God and His true principles.
So, I’ve covered, tonight, this portion of Scripture showing us that stewardship is no more nor less than servitude wherein we are the bond-slaves of God, fully purchased by the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, baptized into His Body showing and proving we are sons of God.
And, therefore, now we are obligated therein to act as sons of God, which have a manuscript truly and fully revealed a road-way, a map whereby we can abide in the Presence of Almighty God and each other and go forth as a unified group of people.
As Brother Branham said, “Oh, how you ought to love each other, you who love this Message!”
In other words, we are looking at that which God expects of us, God demands of us, and we can get out of the way and give it back to Him. And we can stand approved.
And herein lies the rewards. And herein lies that thing which we call ‘the active faith’. And I believe this, and I have to believe it: If there is a true, true, true ‘passive’ faith, there has to be, somewhere, an increasing evidence of the ‘active’.
Whereas Brother Branham said, “At this end-time, it’s going to be like people just living naturally.”
There’ll be no pushing; there’ll be no pulling; there’ll be no self-aggrandizement; there’ll be no power-plays; there’ll be no wild visions, wild assertations, vain fantastic dreams.
They’ll be like Israel marching into the Promised Land with the manna come down from Heaven strength for the day, spiritual food in due season and we giving back to God that which He gave us, and the spirit in which He gave us.
And, I believe with all my heart, brother/sister, that’s what God wants. And, I believe, that’s what God is going to get from a Bride.
And the sooner we make up our minds to it, the sooner we’ll have peace. I’m not going to say there won’t be storms, but you know the eye of the greatest storms in the world is a place of peace.
That can either be in the hurricane or the tornado. There’s movement there, but it’s a different kind of a movement. That’s what we’re looking for in this end-time, this end-hour.
Let’s bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father, we come to You, now, at this time, the Communion service, the Foot-washing. May You get honor and glory from everything that’s said and done.
And may, above all, our spirits be lifted with the understanding even as we take Communion and we can do it. And we can take it in the right frame of mind, clearing our hearts of everything that shouldn’t be there.
Even so, Lord, we can take everything You’ve given us in this hour, which is a great hour, with multiplied blessings on every hand.
And we can show forth the praise of our God and be true stewards of the Word, the mysteries, the grace and all of those things which You have put within us in order to glorify Your Name, and yet at the same time to send us on the journey, ever onward and upward to a place of exceeding great reward where ‘eye hath not seen’, the mind hasn’t imagined they haven’t reasoned it out.
There’s no way, Lord, that has entered into our hearts, those things that lie ahead of us. We only know something is there of great magnitude.
What a time that will be when we enter in and partake, even as we are partaking now of the Living Word of the Living God, which had been vindicated and manifested to be so. In Jesus’ Name we pray.
[Brother Vayle continues with the Communion Service]