Circular December 1999
/ Ewald Frank
Words are not sufficient to declare the loving kindness of God. He is faithful and true. Perhaps I had to go through the many trials because of the high calling to the ministry. The enemy was determined to finish my life a few times, especially when I had malaria tropica which, according to the statement from the hospital, meant my sure death. If somebody is being pushed into the room where people die, given up by the doctors like I was, knows that God has done a great miracle of healing. Repeatedly I heard the chief physician, Prof. Dr. Becker, say to his team standing around me, »It is too late. It is too late.« But God is more than able to deal with the most vicious attack of the enemy upon soul and body and convert it into victory and blessing. On 3rd January, 1981, which was to be the day I was supposed to die, I had one of the most glorious experiences which also is a lasting blessing to me:
It was the second time that I was taken out of the body. This time I experienced the rapture. And again I call God as my witness. I saw the great multitude as we were going up, being in the first row. Looking to my right, I saw that all were young, in the prime of their youth. All were dressed in white, the long hair of the sisters was open falling down their backs with all the different natural colours. I actually had a glimpse into Glory and saw the holy city like a pyramid tower up. The light came from the very top and was penetrating, shining and glittering right through the walls which were like crystal, illuminating the whole earth.
In all my afflictions, the misunderstandings, the trials, the attacks, the continuous assassination of character I had to endure, God has always known how to comfort me. He has kept His Word and never denied His help to me and His faithfulness being with me in all the different circumstances. To His glory I can testify that in the thousands of sermons I preached I never had to correct what I said. I obeyed faithfully what the Lord has spoken to me on that morning just before 5.00 a.m., in 1970 at Marseille, France, repeating with a commanding voice the second time, »My servant, raise and read 2 Tim. 4!« I did as I was told and read from verse 1 to 5. Then I started with the 1st verse again. At the 2nd verse I knew by direct inspiration from the Lord what He wanted me to know, because the evening prior to this experience I was asked about the seven thunders and had no answer. The emphasis was upon the commission, »Preach the word!« — that was it. In connection with it goes »… be diligent in season, out of season …« I realised that the original Word puts all the explanations and interpretations out of force.
I laid my Bible upon the small table, my hands went up and I said, speaking to the Lord directly, »As certain as you, my Lord, have commanded me to read this scripture, as certain nothing can be preached except the written Word. And as certain as what the seven thunder voices uttered in Rev. 10 was not written in the Word of God, as certain no one can preach about them.« For it is written, »Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand.« (Rev. 1: 3). As we are told by God Himself, we must stay with and in the written Word. Only what we can read we can also keep. And only that can God reveal unto us. All speculations about what is not written are not of divine origin and only cause confusion. Even if an angel came from heaven claiming to announce the mystery of the seven thunders, I would have to send him back.
When brethren preach their special revelations, it becomes very obvious that they are drawing disciples after them. If they even claim that only those who believe their interpretations and special revelation will participate in the rapture, then that is blasphemy.
My commission is and remains to preach the Word as it is written, to proclaim the message of the hour including everything promised to us for this time and take it to the ends of the world. How can somebody claim to be a preacher of the Word when preaching things which are not even written in the Word?
This I say as a Word of the Lord: The seven thunders of Revelation 10 will utter their voices when the Lord as the Angel of the covenant comes down to Israel — not one hour sooner and not one day later. Then it will be reality that He as the original owner will put one foot on the sea and one on the earth. Thus it is written and so it will be. That is precisely what Bro. Branham said on 17th March, 1963, at the beginning of the opening of the seals. »If you’ll notice that’s Christ, because He in the Old Testament was called the Angel of the Covenant, and He’s directly coming to the Jews now, for the Church is finished. All right. … You remember that Angel in Revelation 1? — same thing. Angel is a messenger, and He’s a Messenger to Israel. The Church has been raptured.« (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, pg. 72). The Bride expects Him as Bridegroom and shall go with him to the wedding supper.
Much went wrong in the last message. All who had the desire to be someone fell under the inspiration of the enemy, whereby the divine influence of the message was partly destroyed. If the brethren on the North American continent had left every sermon of Bro. Branham as it is and not taken quotations out of context, making their own message, we would not have the different directions. It remains true: When a brother leaves the Word, God leaves him. He is only bound to His Word, not to any interpretation. For instance, if somebody believes and teaches that the seven virtues of 2 Pet. 1, which compose the nature of the Redeemer in the redeemed, are now the seven thunders, he has totally lost all spiritual orientation. Such people resist the Truth, having corrupt minds (2 Tim. 3: 8).
In spite of all these developments will the Lord with great power complete His work. He accomplished salvation, rose victoriously and will have a Word-Bride called out from all confusion who will not defile herself again. She is washed in the Blood of the Lamb and also purified by the water of the Word and sanctified in the Word of Truth.
My concern is to preach the Word according to the commission I received and to acknowledge that all the attacks of the enemy are directed against me as upon no one else on earth. Twenty years ago, in 1979, the enemy had stirred all of hell to destroy me and the work of God. In that darkest hour I received a word from the Lord for my consolation, found in Isa. 54: 15-17, »Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me, saith the Lord.«
Especially those who spread their own interpretations have taken their stand against me because I stay with the Word. As the prophets were carriers of the true Word and were persecuted, stoned to death and killed in every way, even our Lord and the apostles had to go through similar circumstances. The attacks of the enemy are always directed against the bearer of the Word, because with him the divine influence stands or falls. The Lord in the Sermon on the Mount gave us the right comfort, »Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.« (Mt. 5: 11-12). Then we need to rejoice even while the heart feels all the pain.
I am persuaded that the Lord will give me strength to continue right to the end and remain in His Word. As Apostle Paul, I can say I know in whom I believe; I know him personally and have the same assurance as the apostle. I conclude this part with his testimony, which also is my testimony, »… for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Spirit, who dwelleth in us.« (2 Tim. 1: 12b-14). The Lord Who placed me into His ministry is faithful.