After twenty-four years in the pulpit, one of the hardest things that I have had to
digest is the resentment toward the Five Fold Ministry by some so-called followers of
Brother Branham. I do not believe that the idea that the five-fold ministry is not needed
is paralleled with any move of God anywhere in church history. It is my experience, that
the ones that are most vocal against the living ministry are just the tip of the iceberg
concerning the number of people who feel the same way. Many of the laity has become so
anti Five Fold Ministry, that most ministers, especially pastors, for the sake of wisdom,
dodge the scriptural truth of this subject. We will start by studying three reasons that
some have alluded to this misinterpretation.
Dissension Part 1 (Voice)
One of the main undercurrents that have caused this misinterpretation, is the fact, that many
folks believe Brother Branham's voice was the literal Voice of God. They believe that when they listen
to Brother Branham recorded sermons, that they are listening to the recorded Voice of God speak.
Often ministers who believe and support the Five Fold Ministry ignorantly, declare the same. This has lead
many to the wrong conclusion. It has hurt the Truth concerning the Five Fold Ministry, brought Biblical shame
upon the message people, and cause
many other spiritual battles.
In the New Testament dispensation anyone (brother, sister, neighbor, or friend) who speaks under
the influence of the Holy Ghost is the Voice of God. But we are quick to note in our minds that it
is not that person voice, it is the move of the Spirit. But when it comes to the Brother
Branham, many view his voice totally differently. But it should not be perceived any
different than anyone else speaking by the Spirit. What causes this perceptional error of Brother Branham
is our carnel understanding of what the Voice of God is, relating to a Word prophet in this New Testament age.
HEBREWS 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake
in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his
Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (verse that Brother
Branham often used).
Brother Branham was an Old Testament prophet in a New Testament age. He had the same
signs and gifts that the Old Testament prophets had, as well as the Messiahic sign that Jesus had in the
role of a Prophet.
in the Old Testament prophets did not guarantee their salvation; neither did Brother
Branham's gifts merit his salvation. For the unchanging God to correct the doctrinal error of the seven church
ages He would
need an Old Testament prophet's fleshly vessel for service (Amos 3:7). This did not change the fact that Christ
was going to do the work completely by Himself using the vessel at His unseen Will. During the Old Testament age,
God was above the people.
When Christ was on earth, God was with the people. In the 7 church ages, God was/is in the people.
The reason why people misunderstand Brother Branham voice is because they do not know that an Old Testament prophet is
born with a physical attributes to perceive and demonstrate supernatural signs. Brother Branham was a prophet from birth,
long before he repented and was saved. The Voice of God is the Holy Ghost
and Brother Branham was not the Holy Ghost. The recorded message is not perfect in any form, except by the spirit
to the right hearts (the elected of God). Who would dare to say,
the Voice of God is the work of a human vessel and not the moving of the Holy Spirit beyond earthly realms.
Down through the Old Testament ages when a prophet came on the scene,
he always spoke judgment to his generation for he was the literal Voice of God (before the Holy Spirit was poured into
However, you would not desire, to be in proximity of that prophet's vocal range. To naturally hear his voice
as the Voice of God was to receive and perceive judgment for that generation. If that be truth, and it is, if
you hear Brother Branham
voice as the literal Voice of God, you will miss the Spiritual experience and be under the divine curse
as recorded on tape for this sinful generation.
We do not desire to be doctrinal harden here, but lets nail it down. If you claim Brother Branham as your prophet,
and believe that the literal recording was the Voice of God and that you should not accept men's preaching or
teaching, you must be insane. For you are embraceing your OWN OPTION, man's views, and not what the message
declares. ALL THAT CRADLE SUCH TEACHINGS, welcome speakers who declares that they should not listen to man preach.
This type of thought process, speaks against a person's mental intelligence. Basically they are saying,
that you should receive only from a man who said not to receive from man. AGAIN, how can anyone in their
right mind believe that they have the power to turn God on and off (tape player, MP3) is simple ludicrous.
If a person goes to a tape church that has a pastor, it show's they are mentally and spiritually deficient
(they are a oddball to God). No wonder some folks can not accept the Five Fold Ministry, for they are a
spiritual disaster totally lost in their understanding of what the Holy Spirit has and is still doing.
Dissension Part 2 (Submission)
Some people think that because Brother Branham rebuked the preachers or demanded Word submission from
(in a Christian like way) the Five Fold Ministry has little value, if any. Yielding to submission
to other believers is required of all Christians. Brother Branham claimed Brother Ormand
Neville as his pastor, then later, Brother Pearry Green. Apostle Paul answered for his message to Pastor
James in Jerusalem. Brother Branham could of gotten away with not having a pastor, but it is scriptural and
thus he had a pastor. All Christians will have a pastor. Maybe you are a pastor, and wonder about this statement.
God has other ministers in the Five Fold Ministry to submit yourself to, and you will,
if you are genuine. The wrong group will never submit themselves to a scriptural overseer. The act of refusal to
submit to one another, is as far alway from
the Bible, as a sunny day is from a dark night. This is not Christianity period. There are some that might have
a pastor, but if he is not preaching the Word or the people are not submitting themselves to his teachings,
he is not pasturing them. The truth is, many do not want to be corrected. They will not accept any form
of submission. They choose and pick from the message what they like, while reminiscing about the testimonies
of the past, and interpreting the Word in a way that fit's their life style.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they
that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is
unprofitable for you.
Dissension Part 3 (Money)
Yes, money. Folks know that if they get to involved with a church group that are going to be expected to
support it with tithes and offerings. In their heart, they feel that the, "preacher is getting rich using
the message", Most pastors, if they
quit preaching the message their income would soon triple. Rests assure that money plays a big role in
the decisions many folks make.
Brother Branham's Five Fold Ministry
Old Testament types show us the Word came to the prophets and then to the priesthood. New Testament
shows us that the Word again came to the Prophet (Jesus) then to the apostles. The letters of Apostle Paul
was sent to the pastors of different churches. Our prophet,
used every opportunity possible to get the Word to the ministers. IDENTIFIED MASTERPIECE OF GOD
Then when the Christian Business Men, the Full Gospel Business Men, this chapter... I
was among the first meetings with Brother Shakarian. I knew him before there was the organization,
or the organism was set up. And I thought it was a great thing, and it's been an open door for me
to travel internationally with this Full Gospel Business Men, where... Sometimes that--you find a
group of ministers, sometimes they get a little feeling against another group because someone
said something. That's not everywhere, but we find it in localities. And like, if one church is
going to sponsor it, the other one'll have nothing to do with it. But with the Full Gospel
Business Men it's been an open door for me. When they come in, then I get all my brethren
together and we--we can associate. Maybe two pastors might had a feeling or something. This
has been a great open door, and I've traveled internationally for them now for years, speaking
in their chapters."
Brother Branham knew that if the business men came to hear him, the
ministers would come too. Another way that Brother Branham encouraged and supported the ministry
is that he hung-out with young ministers. Such as, Brother Ed Byskal, Brother Pearry Green, Brother
Charlie Cox, and so on. These men at that time were just kids, certainly not the ministers
of ministerial caliber. Today, we see why this message has spread around the world. It is because
of these personal efforts initiated by Brother Branham. Also, it is the Five Fold Ministry that
has carried this message to the foreign fields (not books or mp3s, they follow later). Yet today,
we have many who would love to see the Five Fold Ministry stopped. I believe Christ is delighted
in the efforts of many ministers who have spreaded the Message to millions.
Don't, don't miss it, friend. Remember, listen at my voice. It'll haunt you all your life, if
you haven't got in. Out yonder, when you're suffering for your punishment, and where weeping,
and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, that voice will scream back and forth. You hear it all
the time in that weary, spooky place of hell. Don't fail. Now's your opportunity.
Now, you know, there's just so many... I wonder if I could get... Would it be all right, you
brothers to pray with me, help me pray for them? Now, is these ministers over here? I--I wouldn't
leave this place...
Now, look, I've said some pretty rough things about airplane, automobile. Remember, they're
horsepower too. All of it's horsepower. The church is just moving up, Holy Ghost power. It's
the Holy Ghost that we're justified by. You ministers know that, don't you? The Holy Ghost
sanctifies. The Holy Ghost fills us. The Holy Ghost gives us rapturing faith (See?) as we move up.
Now, I wouldn't leave this country here, and you all thinking that your--that, "Oh, Brother
Branham's something." I am not. I ain't even worthy to set with them pastors. I--I have no
schooling. I--I'm one out of season. And that's the reason God just lets me do this little thing
here just to confirm what your pastor's been teaching you. They're men of God.
What is Five Fold
never mentioned the words "Five-Fold Ministry" on tape (that I know of). In the Church Age Book
he mentioned "Five-Fold Ministry" twice (made other references in the same book). Due to this fact,
many oppose the use of these words "five-fold"; henceforth, they adopt this anti-five-fold doctrine
as a message truth. They are assuming. By using the same ideology, we could not accept the rapture
teachings, for the word rapture is not mentioned in the Bible. This delusion opens up many issues.
We would like to answer this argument in two different answers. 1.) If this delusion is correct,
then a person can not have a option on this subject, because, to be against the Five-Fold ministry
is adding to the Word which is the same sin as taking quotes out of the context. 2.) There are
thousands of quotes that speak in support of ministers. You can count their offices, there are
five. Thus it is the Five Fold Ministry.
Five Fold Ministry War
The seventh church age messenger did declare war on this age from many pulpits. The battle continues
against the devil from the pulpit (same spiritual warfare). The pulpit get reinforcements when
the rest of the Five Fold Ministry take their turn in these pulpits. Each member of the church
becomes apart of the battle by supporting a certain pulpit. Having a pastor puts you where the
fight is ongoing. If you do not have a pastor you are not on the battle field. No wonder Brother
Branham called it your "POST OF DUTY".
We realize a pastor (along with the other four offices), are gifts given to the church. It is not
a man that makes himself a member of the Five Fold Ministry. It is that office, which makes him
a gifted minister used of God. We believe you could put an unqualified man in one of these five
offices and he would shortly start impersonating the calling of that office. So not to impersonate,
a man that steps into these spiritual offices should be naturally qualified as well as scriptural
qualified. These two qualifications will give him a personal revelation from God concerning
leading the church of God. In other words, he should also be naturally gifted before he is spiritually
gifted. Ministers are born with gifts; they do not have to be a Christian to use that gift. God
is in the business of directing gifts to their correct place. Five Fold Ministers are gifts put
into service by God as a gift to His Body. As I mentioned in the "Dissension Part 1 (Voice)"
paragraph, it is not the human elment, for humans make mistakes. It is the working of the Holy Spirit
in the ministry and laity.
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts
unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower
parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens,
that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; or 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 fulness of Christ:
Five Fold Ministry Authority
We started this lesson with the statement; "that most ministers, especially pastors, for the
sake of wisdom, dodge the full truth of this subject." We will close by dwelling on the reason
for that statement. This might shock some, but according to the Bible and history God does not
give the Word directly to the congregation (laity).
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their
flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone
round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for,
behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is
born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a
sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
From Genesis to Revelation the Word was given to the clergy before given to the people. That is
not to say in some
cases, others did not hear the Word, the same time the Five Fold ministry hears the Word. But
the people heard it differently than the ministry. Many heard God at Mt Sinai, but Moses heard
it different. Many heard when Jesus spoke, but the disciple got to hear It in private, where Jesus
would expound upon It. Paul
preached the Word to all, but the 14 books of the New Testament (new covenant) were given by
private letter to the overseer of the flock (in some cases they were told to read it to the
church). Every one that has studied this Message realizes that Brother Branham
directed the testimonies to the sinners, the fundamental gospel to the congregation, the prayer
line to the sick, the altar call to the lost, and the meat of the Word to the ministry. That is
not to say others did not get to hear and be blessed by it, but the Gospel has it own outreach
program. This arrangement has been the order of God since God spoke through Adam concerning Eve.
It might be hard to swallow but it is the Truth.
In situations where a person's heart is right and they desire a godly pastor but for unforeseen
reason it's not possible, the Holy Ghost will be their pastor. Christ promised to take care of
or be a natural husband to the widows who are widows indeed (I TIMOTHY 5:5), so again, God will
be their husband, if they are spiritual widows indeed.
We realize there is more to this subject, yet like we said, in the introduction page, we are
directing each lesson to the heart of the subject matter. May God bless you.
Eagle Christian Church ' P.O. Box 1510 LaVergne, TN 37086 USA
Pastor James Tidwell