Circular letter 12/2003
/ Ewald Frank
7. A comparison
Once again it needs to be pointed out that some brethren who are known internationally refer to Brother Branham and specialise in different topics, all the while not taking God’s Word as the only absolute. It happens that the Bible is being put aside and only statements of Brother Branham are used, which they turn and twist to their own destruction, as it was done already in apostolic days (2.Pet.3:16-18). Thus heresies are spread, for instance the assertion that the LORD already came in 1963. Others claim that Brother Branham will rise and have the tent ministry. Also the many teachings about seven-thunder-revelations and parousia and the numerous other issues are not in actual agreement with the teachings of Brother Branham nor with the Holy Scriptures. It is obvious that 2.Cor.11:1-4 still applies in our time: On one hand the concern is the ministry of an apostle, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy …”, on the other hand there are those who preach another gospel and also another Jesus and are under the influence of another spirit.
For this last phase the Apostle Paul predicts that men would rise against the Truth, not against the prophet, like Jannes and Jambres. Whoever reads the chapters 12 to 17 in Numbers will come to know the trials a man with a divine commission must endure. We would have never heard about Korah’s rebellion, not about Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, if there had not been a divine calling and ordained ministry. These men were part of the church of Israel, they belonged to the Levitical priesthood, but rose up with different arguments against Moses and Aaron and thereby provoked the LORD (Num.16).
The Apostle Paul writes about those who depart from the faith and give heed to seductive spirits and doctrines of demons (1.Tim.4:1). He writes about Hymeneus and Philetus who erred from the truth, saying that the resurrection had already taken place. Their teaching was like a cancer and some were overthrown in their faith (2.Tim.2:17-18). The Apostle James writes about those who strayed from the truth but could possibly be restored (Jas.5:19-20). The Apostle Peter writes about false teachers who would introduce destructive heresies (2.Pet.2:1). The Apostle John writes about those who went astray and “they went out from us ” (1.Jn.2:18-27). The Apostle Jude writes about the scoffers and mockers who caused splits, even though they had previously been feasting with the believers. Even in Revelation 2 we find mention of men who believed the teachings of Balaam and also those of the Nicolaitans. The woman Jezebel presented herself as a prophetess just to deceive the servants of God. But still the divine order remains, in spite of all these developments. God has placed in His Church apostles, not apostlesses; prophets, not prophetesses; teachers, not teacheresses; (1.Cor.12) “… for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph.4:11-13).
What we experienced here in the Krefeld Mission Center on May 5th and 6th, 1979, when two men rose, as it was announced, to “cut off the tip of the tree ” — referring to Brother Frank, Brother Russ, and Brother Schmidt — was a direct attack of the enemy against the church. Behind our backs these two men were instructed by two women, who were looked upon to be “prophetesses”, to rise against the God-ordained servants. Thus Satan sneaked right onto the platform, so the Scripture might be fulfilled as Paul was prompted to predict in the Spirit about Jannes and Jambres. All who were with us during the seventies will for ever remember the special blessings we experienced in the presence of God. Then, however, when it was repeated,“…smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered”, the destructive split went through the marriages, the families, and the church. Only God can mend this damage, by bringing in reconciliation and forgiveness and thereby dissolving enmity and hatred (Eph.2:13-16).
Brother Leonhard Russ and Brother Paul Schmidt were called by the LORD with their first and last names to be ordained as elders in 1964, with the consent of the whole church. By God’s grace we have had the true biblical structure in the local church right from the very beginning. The same LORD Who commanded me on that Monday morning in 1962, when giving me the commission to go to other cities to preach His Word, but not to establish local churches anywhere else, the same LORD bid me on that Friday evening in 1964 to ordain Leonhard Russ and Paul Schmidt as elders in this local church. The Church of the LORD Jesus Christ is not the work of a man, but the work of God by grace. It is also written for our orientation, “But call to remembrance the former days,in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.” (Heb.10:32-33).
That is the way it is, there is a negative part connected to the prophetic prediction for this last time period. Wherever the LORD builds His Church, Satan will try to bring in destruction. But the gates of hell shall not overcome the Church. Nevertheless, she remains on the spiritual battleground right to the end. The dragon stands before the woman to swallow the manchild as soon as he is born. But he shall be taken up to be in the Marriage Supper and thereafter to rule the nations with an iron rod (Rev.12). The redeemed have been promised the victory of the Redeemer, they are the overcomers.
Right after the blow in the Krefeld church two brothers rose overseas, writing a letter that was sent out from Tucson to ministering brethren worldwide, with the suggestion not to receive Brother Frank. There are still those who are under the same influence of the first destruction here at the base, men who rise within the message but actually are against the Word of Truth. Of course, they must rise especially against the one who carries the Word, so they can easily continue with their interpretations. Such men do not preach the Word, they constantly quote the prophet and decorate his tomb. But as it is written ,“… for their folly shall be manifest unto all men … ” (2.Tim.3:1-9).
During such trials the two seeds manifest their true nature. There are the ones who hate, and the others who are hated. Cain hated Abel, Ishmael despised Isaac, Esau was against Jacob, etc. Some betray, others are betrayed. Some blame, others are blamed. Some accuse, others are accused. The true children of God are born again because of the seed of the Word and they manifest the nature of the Redeemer in all their being. They cannot hate. In Gal.4:28-29 we find the description of the true elect, they are described as the “children of promise ”, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” The elect ones will never persecute others, in the contrary, they will pray for those who have become their enemies.
In Acts 13 the Apostle Paul was presenting God’s plan of salvation to the Jews, who, however, rejected it. He also called them “despisers”, referring to the prophetic Scripture of Hab.1:5, “Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” (Acts 13:41). The concern now is the final work God is doing among His own (Rom.9:28). After speaking to the Jews, the Apostle referred to Isa.49:6, “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:47-48).
No one needs to wonder about it, it is now as it was back then; when despisers rise, that is the time the turning point comes and the everlasting Gospel is preached to those who have never heard it before. God in His grace has actually opened the doors in all the various denominations. Whenever a part of the plan of salvation is concerned, it will repeat itself. There are despisers among the people, they are responsible for general uprising and are actually against the LORD and His anointed. They are always dissatisfied and cause a disturbance. That is the actual trial wherein the spirits are separated. Every time the target is the one who carries the Word,he is made to appear unreliable,and also targeted are all the brethren who carry the same Word. Those who despise the divine commission and God’s work wish to destruct, so that they can continue unhindered. They always search for mistakes with others, but mistakes are found with many of God’s servants. There is no infallibility with a man of God — only supposedly with the Pope and all the small “popes”. With a true man of God is found only the infallible Word of God that he carries. Therefore it is written, “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ” (2.Pet. 1:21).
Prophets were called “gods” because of the divine substance of the Word, but they lived and died as humans (Ps.82;Jn.10:34-38). The Scripture cannot be broken, the LORD Himself said it in this connection. In any case, God completes His work for the glorious day of the Return of Christ and all who are born of God have part in it. No one should think that God will be mocked and that heaven will be filled with despisers. The Apostle Peter writes of them, “Which have forsaken the right way … ” So they were previously walking on it. The Apostle continues to write, “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness …” (2.Pet.2:15-21). If someone is sent and commissioned by God, then we are dealing directly with Him, are we not? To simply point to the past with reference to the prophet will not help anyone. The past is behind us. However, it is like Brother Branham used to say, „Men always praise God for what He did, looking forward to what He will do and bypassing what He is presently doing! ” If we do not wish to be distracted from what God is presently doing, we must look forward more than ever before.