The Day The Altar Is Removed
By: Rev. G.E. Branham
“And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and have slain thy prophets with the sword” (I Kings 19:10).
Every great man of the Bible had a personal altar; Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, and so on. The sacrifice that they brought was an offering of penance. This was not done just one time at conversion but was an ongoing continual practice throughout the lives of these great men.
Paul said, “I die daily.” Repentance is the death of the old man who then is buried in baptism and resurrected in newness of life (Romans 6;1-6). Yet Paul confessed that he dies daily. In other words he repented or submitted his sacrifice at the altar of God daily.
John’s first letter is to saints not sinners. He writes, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
Since it was necessary for these great men of God to have a personal daily altar of sacrifice unto God then how much more is it required for a present day Apostolic altar of sacrifice. Not only sinners need to repent but so do saints.
When the altar of sacrifice unto God is removed judgment is always near at hand. When a man decides he no longer needs to repent at the altar, whether he be saint or sinner, he deceives himself and destruction is near at hand.
Mark it down as proven fact, when a saint stops weeping at the altar they loose any convictions they might of had then backslide. You never get mature enough to surpass your need for an altar of repentance. It is when a men gets so stubborn with God that he wont acknowledge his mistakes that he crosses a line where he can no longer be helped.
A CONVENIENT RELIGION
We are living in an age of convenient stores, cleaners, fast foods, microwave ovens, and the list goes on. Denominationalism has developed convenient doctrines of “easy believism” where sinners are pronounced to be saved without any change in heart or life. Added to this deception is the doctrine of “once saved always saved.” Holiness is out the door. Total consecration is a has been. No rules. No regulations or government. No doctrines. No restraints. You go your way and I’ll go mine and we are all going to heaven our own way. “Whatever it may be!”
Sin has been done away with to an extent that every abominable and foul thing is wearing the name tag of Christian. But the most disturbing part is it has began to overtake the Apostolic ranks also.
Apostolics do not need the Baptist Sunday School programs. They do not need to copy the positive preaching concept of the Charismatics “name-it-claim-it” prosperity and miracles preaching. Those are not the concepts that birthed the Apostolic faith in scripture nor in this twentieth century. How can these people tell us how to build a church. congregation when they do not have enough spiritual insight to even understand who Jesus is?
It is high time to get back to Apostolic basics. It is time to preach heaven holy, hell hot, and naming sin. Don’t take the altar out from our churches. Don’t create a convenient religion in the ranks of Apostolics. If you don’t believe the message anymore then get out of the Apostolic ranks and change your church name. Stop being a reproach upon the name of truth.
In the Old Testament when Rehoboam king of Judah copied Jeroboam he had the same thing that Jeroboam had, “nothing.” They both ended up with a bunch of backslidden rebellious people that the judgement of God was hard pressed toward. Copy the Charismatics and that is what you will have, Charismatics. They don’t have truth. They don’t have salvation. They are as much on their way to hell as the rankest sinner in this old filthy world.
Salvation is common (Jude 3) but it is not convenient (Matthew 7:13,14; Isaiah 35:8). Every person who would be saved must journey to the altar of God and bring their sacrifice of penance. There is no exception; old, young, male, female, saint or preacher. All must have their personal altars. Don’t remove that altar from our churches.
The blame of backslidden churches lies at the door of the ministry. Apostolics have begun to let every worldly thing imaginable to call itself a church member in many churches. Sin is not named across the pulpit. The saints feel no need for an altar of repentance because nothing is preached to awaken their dormant convictions. Preachers are to blame. Judgment is upon those who refuse to preach the whole council of God. Laodicea has made great inroads in today’s Apostolic Church. God have mercy.
TAKE THE ALTAR DOWN
Altars are being removed from our Apostolic sanctuaries. New concepts of praying people through to the Holy Ghost have emerged. Because in the past we have had “chronic seekers” who tarried sometimes for months or years before receiving the Holy Ghost a new idea has emerged. Don’t let the sinners weep at the altar but get them immediately and have them to raise their hands to receive the Holy Ghost. Then as soon as they jabber the least bit rush them to the baptismal tank and count them. Take the mourners benches out of the church. We don’t need them anymore. But the Bible teaches: “Godly sorrow worketh repentance” (II Corinthians 7:10). Let them weep at the altar that is where the battle to serve God is won or lost. You can talk in some kind of gibberish from now until Jesus comes. You can be baptized in Jesus name 100 times. But if you have not repented you are as lost as the rich man in hell. Preacher don’t by-pass the altar of sacrifice. Let the convicted prayer repent. After all it is still the first step in Acts 2:38.
I am tired of hearing old negative preaching being put down while this positive preaching is accepted as the now thing. It has been said, “you don’t need to preach all of that holiness stuff. The Holy Ghost will straighten that all out. Just preach love and prosperity.” But the facts speak for themselves. Our churches are more worldly than ever. I am not convinced that Bro Joe Duke, Bro. Verbal Bean, and the old pioneers of this great truth who preached heaven holy and hell hot were all wrong in their approach. Our positive preaching generation have removed the altars from our churches. Sin has lost it’s identity so there seems to be no more reason for the altar. There are no more convictions in the pew because nothing is preached from the pulpit.
“Judgment begins at the house of God” (I Peter 4:17). “Some mens sins are open before-hand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” (I Tim. 5:24). Either sinners will repent now and make things right with the Lord or their sins will follow them to the white throne judgment. Yes, every person needs to make the journey to the altar of God.
God told Ephesus that if they did not repent and return to their first love that he would “remove thy candlestick out of his place”
When Apostolic preaching comes hot off the griddle of the throne room and directly from the pages of inspired text; instead of some homiletical and hermanutical work of art; and when again the cry is heard heaven is holy and hell hot; when fearless Apostolic preachers again name sin and identify it; then conviction will be restored and saints and sinners alike will make the journey to the altar of sacrifice where God will meet with the fire from heaven.
Masses will not rebuild the altar not even in Apostolic ranks. But those who are sincerely hungry for God; will return the altar to it’s rightful place in our churches. The Apostolic Church as a whole needs to repent, and to cry out “I acknowledge my sins; create in me a clean heart; renew in me a right spirit” (Psalms 51:10).
(The above material was published by Apostolic Book Publishers, Portland, OR.)
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