Video available here: http://youtu.be/Y-LooXZjlUo
Another book of the Bible that you won’t find in William
Branham’s recorded sermons from 1947 to 1965 is the book of Obadiah. Although this is a very short book, it
contains Words from God that might otherwise be missed, leaving our
understanding of Old Testament scripture incomplete. As with all books of prophecy found in the
Old Testament, the book of Obadiah speaks concerning the current sin, God’s
justice, and the coming Messiah. When the
Bible is studied without the book of Obadiah, we never have conclusion to the
story of Jacob and Esau. And by missing
this book, we are missing an important reference that points the Day of the
Lord to Christ, and Christ as the one who comes to restore Israel after falling
under the Curse of the Law.
Esau, remember, did not value the birthright. Before the two children were born, God
promised Rebekah that her two sons would become the fathers of two divided
nations, and Jacob would rule his older brother, Esau. Receiving his father’s blessing, Jacob
fulfilled God’s promise and rose to become the beloved Israel that God chose
for the Messiah.
But there are a few very important things to notice about
this story, especially coming from the teachings of Branham with regards to
this story. It was Rebekah who inquired
upon the Lord, receiving the Word from the Lord with regards to Jacob and
Esau. A daughter of Bethuel the Aramean,
Rebekah descended from a line of semi-nomadic herdsmen that originated in what
is now Syria. The Arameans tended herds
in Biblical Aram (Syria) until migrating to Mesopotamia and integrating with
the Assyrian and Babylonian people.
While the focus of this story is typically focused upon how
Jacob tricked his father Isaac to receive the blessing, the book of Obadiah
will turn your focus back to the Word of the Lord that came to Rebekah. Though Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, his
nature and disposition was more like that of Rebekah’s heritage. Isaac favored the older Esau and his skills
as a hunter, but Jacob was a much more mild-mannered personality that would
have preferred the lifestyle of his maternal grandparents. And Jacob, remember, was God’s choice to be
the father of the stronger nation.
Having studied under a mostly male-dominated religious
organization, many of the followers of William Branham overlook the importance
of women throughout the history of the Bible.
Many would have expected God to have spoken directly to Isaac concerning
the prophecy of the two nations, but instead, it was Rebekah received the Word
from God. And ultimately, it was Rebekah
who was responsible for Jacob’s inheritance – she is the one that gave Jacob
instructions for her plan of receiving the blessing. Without Rebekah, Esau could have very well
become the stronger of the two nations, and God’s promise to Rebekah would have
But God’s Word does not fail.
When God spoke to Rebekah, telling her that the older would
serve the younger, this seemed like an impossible task. The mild-mannered child who preferred the
simple lifestyle would never seem like the type to produce warriors powerful
enough to rule the children of the mighty Esau – and without the Hand of God
controlling the outcomes, Esau would have surely been the stronger of the
Without the book of Obadiah, historians do not have a
timeline for the end of Edom, but they do have a trail of history describing
the mighty Edom’s rise from their father Esau.
Egyptian history depicts Edom as a nomadic people that survive off of
the watering holes in Egyptian territory until the Iron Age, when they finally
settled around the 8th century BC west of the kingdom of Judah. Edom stretched from the Sinai peninsula as
far as Kadesh Barnea, and controlled three major ports on the Mediterranean
Sea. Esau made his home on Mount Seir,
which was called the Mount of Esau, and rose into a power that grew into a
threat for Israel as a nation. Obadiah
foretold the crumble of that nation, and the sin that turned God’s anger
Dwelling on Mount Esau, the Edomites had a false sense of
security in their own accomplishment.
Warring nations that rose against them struggled to conquer both the
mountain and the well-fortified nation on top, and because of this
fortification, Edomites gained pride in their establishment. It was this pride that caused their
downfall. God condemned them for their
pride, and specifically for their pride in their mountain fortress:
The pride of
thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock,
whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to
the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as
the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring
thee down, saith the Lord.
But worse, Edom’s pride included selfishness. As God was dealing with Israel for their
failure to uphold the Old Covenant, Edom rejoiced in the punishment. The older brother’s nation despised the
younger, and the children of Esau felt as though they were stealing back the
birthright. Watching God’s justice being
fulfilled against Israel, it would have surely seemed like the Word given to
Rebekah had failed.
But again, God’s Word never fails.
God sent Obadiah to condemn Esau for this pride, and to
inform them that their celebration for the punishment of Israel would not go
unnoticed. Because of their selfishness,
God was going to destroy the nation of Esau.
violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be
cut off for ever. In the day that thou
stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive
his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon
Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.
But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day
that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the
children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have
spoken proudly in the day of distress.
But not only were
they prideful and selfish, the people of Edom were scornful. It was not enough for them to be filled with
pride against the neighboring Israel during their punishment. And it was not enough for them to rejoice in
Israel’s calamity. Edomites entered
Israel to look upon their destruction, offering scorn instead of
assistance. Then, they plundered the
fallen nation, stealing their posessions:
not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea,
thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their
calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that
did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did
remain in the day of distress. For the
day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be
done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
But the most important part of the prophecy of Obadiah
points to the coming Christ. Obadiah
foretold the coming Day of the Lord, the day when the Messiah would come to
overthrow the evil that had seemed to go unpunished. Obadiah is yet another prophecy that firmly
binds the fourth chapter of Malachi to the coming of Christ, and it would seem
that this is the reason the book of Obadiah was avoided by William
Branham. Branham, remember, pointed the
Day of the Lord described in the Old Testament to the “prophet that would one
day come to restore,” but the Old Testament prophets pointed the Day of the
Lord to the day when God would send a Savior to redeem them from the Curse of
the Law. To the Jews, the Day of the
Lord was a great and terrible day for the evil nations like Edom that had risen
against them unpunished.
For the day of
the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto
thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain,
so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they
shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and
there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their
And the house
of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of
Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there
shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it. And they of the south shall possess the mount
of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields
of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the
children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath;
and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities
of the south.
shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall
be the Lord's.
That last verse, “saviors,” in the original Hebrew was a
word with multiple meanings, all of which pointed to the power of God. Literally speaking, it was not plural
“saviors” that would redeem, but rather multiple ways in which God would redeem
This same word is used in scripture as: avenged (1 time),
avenging (2 times), brought salvation (2 times), deliver (27 times), delivered
(8 times), deliverer (3 times), deliverers (1 time), deliverers who delivered
(1 time), delivers (2 times), endowed with salvation (1 time), gained the
victory (1 time), help (9 times), helped (5 times), preserve (1 time), safe (1
time), save (85 times), saved (33 times), saves (5 times), savior (13 times),
victorious (1 time).
God was sending a Savior, and His name was Jesus. God was sending a Deliverer, and that
Deliverer would pay the penalty for the Old Covenant upon the cross. God’s Only Son was going to Redeem the world
from sin, and offer Himself as a sacrifice.
Christ’s atonement was the greatest event that this world would know,
and become the greatest event that it has ever known. A day was coming, and it was not Edom’s day –
Edom was going to be destroyed. It was
not Israel’s day, they were fallen.
This day was the Lord’s.
The great and terrible Day of the Lord would restore Israel into the
Grace of their fathers before the Law came to show them that they could never
save themselves by works. The Day of the
Lord would bring power for the weak by sending the fire of the Holy Spirit from
God. On the Day of the Lord, the Lord
would be One, and His Name would be One.
And all who believed in the Name of the Lord would be saved.
Peter, at Pentecost, explained the prophets of Old. The Day of the Lord had come, and they had
received power from on High. Reading
from Joel chapter 2, Peter declared the prophecy of Obadiah had been fulfilled
– along with the prophecies of Isaiah, Zechariah, and others who announced the
Day of the Lord.
standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea
and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my
words. For these people are not drunk,
as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But
this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it
shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons
and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and
your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants[c] and female
servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And
I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood,
and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon
to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And
it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall
Peter says that this day had some. The Day of the Lord had came and filled them
with power. And this day, the Day of the
Lord, was prophesied in the book of Obadiah.