Circular Letter - December 1983
/ Ewald Frank
Dear ones in Christ, special greetings to you all in the precious Name of the Lord Jesus. This circular is meant for the insiders of the End-time Message. Should it fall into the hands of those who have not heard or do not believe in the ministry of the late William M. Branham, please bear with us, as we have to deal with a few unpleasant doctrines. Our aim is to be as close to God and His Word as possible and to partake of all the blessings promised to His people for this time.
As the second coming of Christ is the main subject, we have to deal with some of the doctrines surrounding this event, although it should be clear for any Bible reader that this great occurrence will take place precisely according to the Word of God. All the interpretations at the first coming did not prevent a single prophecy from being fulfilled at that time. So, all the explanations which are given in connection with the second coming of Christ will not hinder God at all from letting this great phenomenon come to pass precisely in the way He planned and promised it.
In reference to the return of Christ, Peter writes, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the POWER AND COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." No other subject is so controversial as this one. The statements of Brother Branham pertaining to it are being taken out of context, and the same mistake seems at all times to be that the Scriptures are being neglected. Our Lord said in Matthew 24:4: "Take heed that no man deceive you." The first deception was accomplished in the garden of Eden by taking God's Word and giving it another interpretation or meaning. That is the way all other deceptions will be accomplished.
Since we are about to start dealing with or correcting some of the various teachings, the declaration should be given to all world-wide that William Branham is not responsible for any of the doctrines and cults which have made their appearence in recent years and are more or less being ascribed to him. In fact, if he could see those things being done under the prophet's mantle, he would turn in his grave. There is no need for any child of God to follow cunningly devised fables which, of course, are being presented in a nicely dressed-up way as "the message of the hour", "special revelations," "the bride age," "the new covenant," "the seventh seal," "the seven thunders," "the new name of God," "the special mysteries," and so on. The many strange teachings which are in circulation should make everyone stop and ask, "What is Truth?" The answer is the oldest one you can ever get: THY WORD IS TRUTH!
The common slogan "We had the Bible for many years, but did not understand it" is not so bad in itself, if it were not misunderstood. It is true that we didn't understand those mysteries which were hidden and then were made known to us through the prophetic ministry. Now the Bible has become a living book to us, the Word by which God speaks to our hearts. Who has told anyone to put the Holy Scriptures aside? Should it not be that God's Word after being revealed has become more precious to us than ever before? Surely the whole plan of salvation from Genesis to Revelation was introduced to us through the prophetic ministry. God has taken us back to His Word.
It is hard to comprehend, but again the time is fixed to the years 1983/1984. This is being done, because someone had the idea of calculating the half-hour of silence to be a little over 20 years, setting the beginning of it with the opening of the seals in March 1963. Never has any prophet or apostle endeavoured to risk such a calculation. In fact, it is totally unscriptural and a serious error. Who has given anyone the authority to take the seventh seal mentioned in Rev. 8:1 to do a thing like this? May I ask here that those who refer to Brother Branham should at least show one place where he did it? The play with words about nobody knowing the "day or the hour" arises from head-knowledge, lack of revelation and lack of sufficient respect for God's Word in a person who makes such statements. The same Bible that says that nobody knows "the day or the hour" also says, ". . . 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons..." (Acts 1:7; 1 Thes. 5:1). Moreover anyone who would read Rev. 8:1 slowly would find out that the silence is in heaven and not on earth. If you think that that time is now, why in the Name of the Lord do you speak and don't keep silent? How can you believe that this applies to the time in which we are living, when it concerns heaven only? If one checks those claims with the Word, it shows that the supposed wisdom of men is utter foolishness in the eyes of God.
Furthermore, those who are acquainted with the seals will know that only the first four pertain to the church ages, the fifth refers to the Jews, and the sixth already deals with the great tribulation which conies after the taking away of the Bride. The seventh is placed at the very end. "It's the end of the church age. It's the end of the seventh seal. It's the end of the trumpets. It's the end of the vials, and even ends the ushering in of the Millennium — that's on the seventh seal." (Seven Seals Book, page 556). In pp. 411-420 the first six seals of Revelation 6 were placed right into Matthew 24. You also find the statement that the seventh seal must be scriptural, but remains a total secret. Jesus never spoke about it, and John never wrote anything, and all heaven was silent. God alone will take care of it! Amen.
I had to tell God's people in a circular about the year 1977, that it was not the dead-line. I must do the same now to let you know that those predictions attached to the years '83/'84 will not come to pass. I declare as God's servant: The year 1984 will come and go, as the year 1977 did. If you feel such a statement is unscriptural, I would like to point out only one of the many scriptures which must come to pass first: "Christ. . . whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the time began." God is obligated to His own Word. The actual restoring of the New Testament church takes place before the coming. The restoring of Israel happens before Christ reveals Himself to the Jews. God has an order; He has a plan. Amen.
The assertion that Christ has come in the flesh in 1963 is very wrong. There is absolutely no such promise given. As you will see later, the supernatural cloud, which appeared before the opening of the seals, has nothing to do with the actual second coming of Christ, nor was it the fulfilment of Rev. 10:1-6. Anyone who is acquainted with the ministry of Brother Branham knows about the pillar of fire being present in his meetings. When he prayed for the sick, he saw that light over the person and it was revealed to him what he should say or do. But this same ministry continued through '63, '64 and '65 in the same way. If Christ had come down into the person of William Branham in 1963, where did He go to after the tragic death of Brother Branham on 24th December 1965? O what a blasphemous thought! Of course, Scripture is being misused again and covered up with many quotations, which are gravely misunderstood and misplaced. There is only one manifestation of God in the flesh, and this happened ONCE FOR ALL IN JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD!
In John?, I. Tim. 3:16, John 1:14, and of course many other scriptures speak exclusively of Jesus Christ and of no one else. HE was the only one who could say, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." HE was the only virgin-born Son of God and therefore became the firstborn of many brethren, who are also born again by the same seed of the same Word and Spirit of God. To brand those as antichrist who don't believe in the invented new doctrine that God has come down into the flesh in 1963 means to step over every limit that one can imagine and turn that verse upside-down. Paul writes to the believers, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith- that ye, being rooted and grounded in love." (Eph. 3:17). "Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints, to whom God would make known that is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:26-27).
Since receiving the cassettes with messages preached about this doctrine, I am more than shocked and alarmed. It is being claimed that Christ, the Bridegroom, has come down and the Bride is now having the marriage supper with Him. Does that compare with Rev. 19:7-9 or with Matth. 24:23?
The scripture of I. Tim. 4 is being spiritualized and the people are taught, that if anyone forbids them to attend those special meetings, they are forbidding them to be married with the heavenly Bridegroom. Also the abstaining from meats is taken symbolically. Those preachers are now serving the food to those who are listening to their sermons, so that no one should tell anybody to abstain from that food. They are each claiming to be the faithful servant whom the Lord has appointed (Matth. 24:45).
With much enthusiasm those men speak of themselves, applying various scriptures. I. John 4:6 certainly could be claimed by John or such men who had been called directly by the audible voice of the Lord, but not by any self-appointed inventor of a new doctrine. Of course excerpts of the message are being mixed again to make it sound right to some who are acquainted with the prophetic ministry. Brother Branham did not use the word parousia one single time, neither is he responsible for all these false teachings connected to it.
Dearly beloved children of God, soon you will find out that the ordained message for our day does not need to be preached over again. It was brought once and for all through the God-chosen vessel. Stay with that original Word which was completely revealed.
Through the past years various claims about the seven thunders were made and new thoughts and doctrines are further introduced. Some believe, the seven thunders are the seven virtues, others say, they are seven special men who will have a final world-wide ministry, again there are those who claim that the seven church angel messengers will come back to complete their ministries. The newest doctrine is that the blood is no more on the mercy-seat but in the seven thunders, and only those who believe that teaching can be sealed by the Holy Ghost. If such people are asked what the seven thunders are, there is one answer, "It is a revelation by faith." But that is no answer, it is only an evasive statement.
The noise which surrounds such meetings shows that the atmosphere is being worked up from the platform and no real moving of the Holy Spirit is present. I personally met a man who claims to have the seal of God according to Rev. 7:2. Only after talking to him for a few minutes I had to move on, because he was obviously disturbed in his mind. Already here we can ask, whether a full gospel or a "fool gospel" is being preached. What have all these teachings to do with the Word of God or the message Brother Branham brought? Absolutely nothing!
At the present time there are different ones who claim to be the eighth angel. In the hand of Jesus were only seven stars (Rev. 1:20). They were the seven angels to the seven churches (Rev. 2 and 3). So the question arises: in whose hands are those who claim to be the eighth angel? Again a scripture is being twisted and some of the quotations from the sermons are being misused. Rev. 10:8-11 is a direct testimony of what God said to John, "And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke unto me ..." Only John was addressed a number of times; he was the only one spoken to on the Isle of Patmos, that is very clear.
In verse 11 we read of him, "And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again about many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." If we read the former chapters, we already find the prophecies about the judgments which will come upon the earth under the six trumpets. In the following chapters we find again the prophecies pertaining to the vials which will be poured out upon the earth. Nobody needs to misunderstand such a plain Word from God. Who of those men has already prophesied in the past about many nations and kings? And who is going to do it in the future? The whole thing is nothing but a total confusion of mind! Who could say that he has heard the voice from heaven? If so, when and where and what was said? O what a presumption!
Dear ones, just believe what the Holy Scripture says, ". . . in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants, the prophets." There is no promise for anyone to follow after the seventh messenger. The whole plan of God was made known to us as we had need of.
There are many scriptures which give detailed information of the order of Christ's return. HE will not come as a pillar of fire, not as a rock, not as the Spirit, not as the Word, but as the Scripture says, "This same Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. " (Acts 1:11) Who dares to say something contrary to the Word of God? The same Jesus who suffered, who died, who was crucified, who rose on the third day, and who, after being with His disciples for 40 days, was taken up before their very eyes into heaven, the same Jesus will return as our Redeemer to receive the redeemed. We shall meet Him in person, and "see Him as He is" (I. John 3). All the other things have their place: the Spirit of God, the Word of God, the pillar of fire, all the manifestations, but we must stay with the subject and say what the Scripture says. We shall meet the LORD in the air. HE is not going to touch this earth when He comes to take His Bride home to the wedding supper (I. Thess. 4:17). Brother Branham made the fundamentally clear statement, "Jesus comes three times: the first time He came to redeem His church; the second time He comes to receive His church; the third time He comes with His church." Then the millenial reign will be established.
I suggest that those who believe that Rev. 10:1-6 was fulfilled when the cloud appeared in 1963, would do well to compare the description of Rev. 10 intently with the cloud photo.
· Is there a rainbow over His head?
· Does His face shine like the sun?
· Are His feet like pillars of fire?
· Does He have an open book in His hand?
· Do His feet touch the earth and the sea?
· Did the seven thunders utter their voices?
· Has He announced, "Time shall be no more."?
Please answer these questions after opening the Bible and reading Rev. 10:1-6 in the fear of God. What did Brother Branham say about the cloud? He spoke of the seven angels, and he was told to return to Jeffersonville for the opening of the seals. There is absolutely no similarity between the two events. When did Brother Branham say that "a new covenant" was made at that time? Just show one place, not two or three. Ministers, who preach that and the different other things, don't you realize that your teachings are not found in the Scripture neither in the messages? Does not every wrong doctrine originate from wrong inspirations of evil spirits?
A statement in the "Rapture" sermon was made a doctrine; this can by no means be allowed. If anyone only reads a few more pages, he will find how the Holy Spirit straightway moved to Matthew 25. "A message comes forth first. Now, 'Lamp-trimming time. Rise and trim your lamps.'. . . 'Behold the Bridegroom cometh. Rise and trim your lamps.'. .. But it's lamp-trimming time. It's Malachi 4 time . ..
It's Luke 17. It's Isaiah ... All those prophecies . .. perfectly set in order for this day in the Scriptures ..." (Pg. 29).
There is a cry which goes forth to wake up and to call out according to Matthew 25 and Rev. 18:4. That is going on now through the message. The shout, voice and trumpet of I. Thess. 4 will take place at the second coming of Christ. If somebody teaches that the first phase started with the opening of the seven seals and that Christ has left the mercy seat then, that is wrong. If the first phase is still going on after over twenty years, how long should we wait until the second and the third phase will be accomplished? This again shows how quickly unscriptural conclusions are drawn. Only after the last predestinated seed has come in, Christ will leave the mercy seat. It takes a divine call to the ministry. Otherwise someone is only "trying to do God a service without it being His will". The result of that is pathetic.
In Psalms 47:5 we read, "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet". Take this Old Testament prophecy as the basis. Two things happened when the Lord our God went up: a shout and a trumpet. Three things will take place as the Lord comes down. The voice which is connected with the raising of the dead could not be there when He went up, because the Old Testament saints who were to partake in the first resurrection had already risen with Christ. Matthew 27:46 says, "Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit. . . And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept were raised..." So at His ascension to heaven there was only the shout and the trumpet. O how perfect is the Word of God!
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first."
Every prophecy contained in God's holy Word must be fulfilled, regardless of the realm it's assigned to. I. Tim. 4 is no exception, ". . . in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron ..." The list of the false teachings could be continued. All those who have come up with their own interpretations are not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God. Therefore Gal. 1:8, which Paul wrote by inspiration and Brother Branham referred to many times, applies. I challenge everyone of them. Nothing stands the Word test. Certainly not, and therefore all these things are under a curse. When Brother Branham was taken beyond the curtain of time into paradise, he saw a great multitude dressed in white, who came to the Lord through his ministry. The One who spoke to him said, that he will be judged before those he preached to, and he asked if Paul will also be judged. The answer was, "He'll have to be judged with his." So Brother Branham's reply was, "... I've preached exactly the same Word, I taught the same things Paul did, and baptized the same way." This mighty host shouted, "We're resting on that."
My dear friends, what will happen to all of you who are listening to all kinds of teachings which have nothing to do with the original Word of God — the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Many have misconstrued the statements which were taken out of context from the sermons and made their own messages. This need not surprise us, for in apostolic days there were those who wrested the words of Paul and the other Scriptures (II. Pet. 3:15-16; Acts 20:29-31).
God's Word alone is the original seed, and God has sent His servant and prophet for the greatest purpose of all times to bring forth that Word of God which needs to be received with a believing heart and will bring forth after its own kind. I was acquainted directly with the ministry of Brother Branham from 1955-65 and have on file 25 letters from Brother Branham or his office, the first dated llth November 1958, the last 30th September 1965, I am burdened and also responsible before God to emphasize the importance of the original unfailing Word and the promises pertaining to our time.
All the developments of which only some were mentioned bring division among believers and reproach upon the Lord, His Word and His messenger. Perhaps to comfort me in my distress, God, by His grace, has recently drawn my attention to three experiences which I had. Strange or not, maybe divinely appointed, Brother Branham had the same and spoke of them. The day he laid the cornerstone, he saw a vision and was told three times, "When you come out of the vision, read II. Timothy 4." When I was ministering in Marseille, France, in 1970 I heard the audible voice of the Lord, "Rise and read II. Timothy 4." I just lingered for a moment, and the voice repeated even louder, "Rise and read II. Timothy 4." After reading the first five verses, I started again. As I came to the first part of verse 2, "Preach the Word. . .", I stopped, laid my Bible on the table, raised my hands to God and said these words, "Lord, only that which is written as the Word can be preached. Those things which are not written will never be preached." When I looked at my watch, it was 4.55 a.m. I got the answer right then, that whatever the voices of the seven thunders uttered will never be preached, because it was not written. Therefore it has not become part of the Word of God which should be preached. Those things the seven voices uttered will happen in God's own time without anybody ever talking about it. That is THUS SAITH THE LORD by the authority of His own Word.
Compare this with Rev. 1:3, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand." It cannot be made any clearer: we are to read and to hear and to keep those words of the prophecy WHICH ARE WRITTEN. Also in the last chapter our Lord says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." Whether anyone believes it or not, this is precisely what is going to happen. All who add to the written Word of this book of prophecy will go into the great tribulation. The plagues which are mentioned in Revelation will fall upon them. This is again THUS SAITH THE LORD. Please don't take it lightly, it will become a bitter reality.
The second experience I wish to mention is about the storing of the food. The Lord told Brother Branham to store the food. There were at least ten occasions when he referred to it. The Lord used the same words to tell me about the storing of the food just before sunrise on 2nd April 1962. The two brethren are still alive who were sitting on the back seat, when Brother Branham came to pick me up with his own car. Later they were sitting opposite each other across the table and I sat opposite Brother Branham, when he told me what the Lord had spoken to me. As you may already know, he gave me the answer and told me what was revealed to him.
Some of you have heard of my experience which took place on 1st January 1981. With a great multitude of people dressed in white, I was taken up in the air. I saw those who were near to me and also all the others dressed alike. All were young, all had a glorified expression of joy on their faces, the sisters had long hair which was hanging open, and the brothers had short hair, no one had a beard. But what surprised me so much was that everyone had the natural hair colour. It was quite a sight to behold. Actually, I did not want to mention this detail about all the different hair colours when I first related the experience. Only after reading in the Seven Seals Book, I noticed that Brother Branham mentioned the same thing after he saw those who were in glory (Page 380). I am not looking for experiences, my only desire is to be found in Christ — the Word. But as we read the Bible, we do find that all who received the Word also had most marvellous experiences, and so did Brother Branham.
It is very important that God's Word as the original seed is not mixed with any interpretation. Because at all other times the lives and the ministries of those whom God had called were ordained of God, so I do believe with all my heart that the present time is no exception. You might hear all kinds of stories and rumours about a servant of God, but you will never hear that he left the Word of God and followed some interpretation. The one who is called to the ministry is duty-bound to the Word of God.
As it has been in the past, so will it be in the future. Those who come up with predictions will find new ones without apologizing for those which did not materialize and will continue to go from one error to the next. I believe that after 1984 ends many of those who were innocently pulled into some of these various strange teachings will come back to believe the Word of God. The folly of the Jannes and Jambres will be made known to all (II. Tim. 3). The shock will come. Sometimes we need disappointments to sober up. God will only permit those things to happen which are helpful and not harmful to His elect.
The past year 1983 has been outstanding in some ways. The meetings in the Far East and Middle East were on new territories. Those in the Asian and African countries were a renewal of old precious fellowship. Even the ones held in the hotel room in Peking should bear their fruit. God's people are scattered in the many denominations, therefore the doors are opened to reach them.
br> The contact to the Arab countries came as a direct surprise. Since I ministered there, I can testify that God has precious people there. The invitation to speak in Jordan, Egypt, Syria and even in the camps of Palestinians was a thrill.
In 1984 the developments around Israel will increase. The end-time prophetic plan will come more into view. As the Lord leads, we shall keep you up-to-date by showing happenings in the light of God's Word.
With gratefulness of heart I remember the last time the Lord spoke on 28th December 1982 at 4.13 a.m., "Gather unto Me My people with whom I made a covenant through sacrifice." The hour has arrived. God's people will not gather any longer to hear this brother or that one, but they will come out of the religious prison camps and enjoy the true liberty of the Spirit within the limits of God's holy Word. There has to come a real restoration of all things starting with the first love, and the true fellowship of the believers, and the rest will follow automatically. The salvation of our soul does not depend on a certain doctrine, as some make it sound. Our salvation happened, when the Lamb of God shed His blood and cried, "It is finished!"
Future publications Because of the many requests which are sent in, especially by ministering brethren from all over the world, we shall endeavour by the grace of God to publish the main topics in separate brochures. The intention is to help those who trust God and are willing to believe and stay with His Word. Those of you who translate into other languages, do it in the same godly spirit. Let God's people be gathered everywhere and hear all the Words of the covenant, and recognize the plan of salvation and become a part of it.
Ministering brethren are welcome to send in their suggestions of subjects which they believe to be essential. Please feel free to let us know, if you need some extra copies for selective distribution. Share with those the Lord may lay upon your heart.
I take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the brethren who are helping to publish Brother Branham's sermons. Together we are engaged in a world-wide effort in this ministry.
The English editions are so very much appreciated. Our beloved brother from England prefers to remain in the background.
Brother Alexis Barilier is responsible for the French publication.
Brother Etienne Genton is translating all the sermons into Italian.
Apart from these four important European languages, many other brethren are working hard all over the world and share the burden. God has really blessed.
For the year 1984 I wish you all God's richest blessings. Do as Abraham did, believe God's promised Word with all your heart and let no unbelief stumble you in connection with things your eyes might see or your ears may hear.
"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
"For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth."
Remember this ministry in your daily prayers.
May God bless you and be with you.
By His commission