Is rapturing faith an immediate and instantaneous work of grace just prior to the rapture? Is it connected to sanctification?
This is a term that I believe was coined by brother Branham. To start, I want to briefly emphasize its meaning. It is not rapturing “work yourself into being prepared for the rapture based upon your behavior.” It is not rapturing works. It is rapturing faith. There is a tendency to turn this into somehow a personal work that we make within ourselves in preparation for the rapture. This mistake is made at times because of a misunderstanding regarding what brother Branham spoke of on several occasions. In the First Seal he stated:
And then there’s coming forth seven mysterious thunders that’s not even written at all. That’s right. And I believe that through those seven thunders will be revealed in the last days in order to get the Bride together for rapturing faith; because what we got right now, we—we wouldn’t be able to do it. There’s something we’ve got to step farther; we–we can’t have enough faith for Divine healing hardly. We’ve got to have enough faith to be changed in a moment and be swept up out of this earth, and we’ll find that after a while, the Lord willing, find where it’s written. –63-0318 – The First Seal Rev. William Marrion Branham
I want you to notice a few things. There is something that needs to be “revealed in the last days in order to get the Bride together for rapturing faith; because what we got right now…we wouldn’t be able to do it.” The rapturing faith that we need comes from the basis of what God reveals. There are sixteen different times that brother Branham refers to it as “rapturing grace” instead of “rapturing faith.” Thus we see two concepts connected together for the rapture which are connected with salvation through Christ. “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Our salvation and our rapture come in the same vein and same nature. Next, I want to show you this concept of rapturing faith in Scripture.
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
In Hebrews 11 we find that Abel, Abraham, Noah, etc. all had faith. Each of them were given faith in order to accomplish the special purpose God had for them in that age. Truly it was a gift of God to them by grace. Enoch was given a unique faith, it was a translating or rapturing faith. For “by faith Enoch was translated,” and it will be by faith that the Bride is translated as well. Enoch was given a rapturing faith and the Bride will be given a rapturing faith.
We’ve often regarded rapturing faith as a future and instantaneous event – the concept of waiting for rapturing faith to arrive. But I want you to notice something, it is via the seven thunders revelation that rapturing faith is to come. We’ve covered this in the past, but let’s do so again. In the 7th Seal the prophet tells us the following…
Here now, we find that the Sixth Seal has been opened to us; we see it, and we know that this Seventh Seal cannot be broke to the public until that hour arrives. –63-0324E – The Seventh Seal, Rev. William Marrion Branham
Many have taken this to mean that the seventh seal is not revealed and therefore the seven thunders are for the future that will come and give us rapturing faith. But this contradicts almost everything else that he speaks about it. The key words I believe are “cannot be broke to the public until that hour arrives.” Let’s review several quotes to show that we actually have everything that is necessary to produce rapturing faith.
And I remember when He swept down there in that big Light, standing yonder at the bottom of the river, 1933, in June, when He said, “As—as John the Baptist was sent forth and forerun the first coming of Christ; I send you with a Message to the world, to forerun the second Coming of Christ.” And around the world She’s went, when revival fires had been built for fifteen years on nearly every mountain. Divine healing across the nations, and the power, and restoration. 226 And now I believe She is ready to strike that final climax yonder, to bring forth a Faith that will Rapture the Church into Glory. And She is laying in the Messages. We’re really at the end time. We’ve talked about it, and everything, but the thing has moved upon us now. Yeah. Yes, sir. Here is one. That’s right. –62-1230M – Absolute, Rev. William Marrion Branham
This is from the message The Absolute which was preached in the morning before he spoke the prophecy of the Seven Angels meeting him in Arizona. He speaks of the message there regarding forerunning the second coming. Then he says “around the world She’s went” speaking of the message as She. Then he says “She is ready to strike the final climax yonder, to bring forth a Faith that will Rapture the Church into Glory.” It is the message that is ready to strike the final climax that will produce rapturing faith. So it is the message which produces rapturing faith. It is not a future mystery to be revealed by the seven thunders.
Next, let’s look at a few things that he spoke after the seven seals were preached and where he said that the seventh seal will not be known to the public.
95. Have the seven thunders which equals seven mysteries already been revealed? Were they revealed in the seven Seals, but are yet—but are yet not known to us as the thunders yet? No, they were revealed in the seven Seals; that’s what the thunders was about. They was to reveal… The seven thunders that had uttered their voices and no one could make out what it was… John knew what it was, but he was forbidden to write it. He said, “But the seventh angel, in the days of his sounding, the seven mysteries of the seven thunders would be revealed.” And the seventh angel is a messenger of the seventh church age. See? –64-0830E – Questions And Answers #4, Rev. William Marrion Branham
Here we have the prophet paraphrasing Revelation 10:7 at the end of the quote to give his interpretation of it. The seventh angel will reveal the seven mysteries of the seven thunders. He tells us that they were revealed in the seals, that’s what the thunders were about. In Revelation 10:7 we see that it is regarding the mystery of God. In 1963, after the seals were preached, he preached the message Christ IS the Mystery of God Revealed where he began to show forth what the mystery of redemption is – the threefold purpose of God. He speaks of Christ and the Bride being the revelation of the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He shows that God revealed himself in fullness in Christ and in fullness in the Bride in order to gain the pre-eminence and in turn, restore the kingdom back to Eden again. The Seventh Angel reveals this mystery, and it is connected with the seven thunders. Remember, it is in Daniel 12:4, 8-10 we find that the book is sealed until the time of the end. It is the mysteries of redemption that are hidden in the book and completely revealed at the end time. Notice, in The Breach brother Branham says,
This is described in this seven-sealed Book that we’re talking of now. All right. The Book of Redemption, it’s all described in here. All that what Christ will do at the end will be revealed to us this week in the Seven Seals if God will let us. See? All right; it’ll be revealed. 142 And revealed as the Seals break and are released to us, then we can see what this great plan of redemption is and when and how it’s going to be done. It’s all hidden in this Book of mystery here. –63-0317E – The Breach Between The Seven Church Ages And The Seven Seals
The Book of Redemption is what is sealed with seven seals. Once those seals are broken the mystery of the great plan of redemption is revealed. From the Church Ages books we read this:
Now this messenger of Malachi 4 and Revelation 10:7 is going to do two things. One: According to Malachi 4 he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. Two: He will reveal the mysteries of the seven thunders in Revelation 10 which are the revelations contained in the seven seals. It will be these Divinely revealed ‘mystery-truths’ that literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. Exactly so. –An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages – Chapter Nine – The Laodicean Church Age, Rev. William Marrion Branham
The restoration of the faith and the mystery-truths revealed in Revelation 10 via the seven thunders are connected together. It openly shows the great plan of redemption. It reveals what it has been all along. Let’s notice the order of events in Revelation 10.
- The Mighty Angel descends with an open book.
- The Seven Thunders utter their voices.
- The seventh church age messenger reveals the mystery.
- John, representing the Bride, takes the book and eats it.
All of these events are connected. It is through the seventh church age messenger that the seven seals are revealed. If the Mighty Angel descends with an Open Book (which was once sealed with seven seals) and cries with a loud voice resulting in the seven thunders uttering their voices, they are clearly connected. Then John is told to seal up what the seven thunders spoke and write them not. So it is a mystery to be revealed at the end time. Then we have John write, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he begins to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
It is via the seventh church age messenger that the seven thunders mystery is brought to its completion. We have everything we need for rapturing faith via the message of the seventh church age messenger. I want you to notice what he says in 1965.
The—the thing that’s the matter with the Message today, is, those who obtain It in their hearts must lay in the Presence of the Son, to get ripened. See? You can pick up the Message, and then let the Son bake all the greenness out of you, see, making matured Christians. See what I mean? God is coming soon, to receive His Church, and we must have that type of Christians for Him to receive. The—the wheat has got to get ripe. All right. –65-0822M – Christ Is Revealed In His Own Word, Rev. William Marrion Branham
He starts speaking about “laying in the Presence of the Son to ripen” for the first time in December 1964, and starting from that point he mentions it 15 times. It is an ongoing theme that he mentions. The basic idea is that now we have the message, but what is needed is for us to lay in the presence of the Son to ripen, bake down, and grow into maturity. Baking and growing are both a process. They do not happen instantaneously. If you remember in our last PTM Contender there was a subject called Justification and Sanctification. In it we noted that there is an end time sanctification that is unique for the Bride of Christ in preparation for the rapture. Refer back to that article for greater detail. We have to be ripened in order to become matured Christians ready for the rapture. Through brother Branham’s message the seven thunders are revealed, and we have what we need for rapturing faith. However, this revelation needs to be baked into and ripened in the Bride so that she is prepared for the rapture. In the sermon Perfect Faith, brother Branham himself ties these thoughts together.
We’re coming now to the perfection, because the people has to come to this in order for the Rapture. That’s what’s holding it away right now, is waiting for that Church to come into that Perfect Raptured Faith. Looking for it. It means a lot of shaving down for me, it means a lot for you, but together we’ll make it by the grace of God. –63-0825E – Perfect Faith, Rev. William Marrion Branham
There is a process of sanctification that comes within us through faith that produces rapturing faith. It is not as though we are merely looking to the future to receive rapturing faith. We have what we need, but through this message we need to be ripened to be prepared for the rapture. It is through this message, the “washing of the water of the word,” that Christ presents to himself a church “without spot or wrinkle.” It is through faith that we are sanctified, not by works. It is through that that we will be raptured. It is God’s work within us that prepares us for the rapture, not our own works. The foundation for this work within us is the message itself, the revealing of Christ, his plan of redemption and who we are that we are made matured Christians prepared for the rapture.