Rebuilding The Temple

INTRODUCTION:

 

WHAT ASTOUNDING CLUE, REVEALED IN REVELATION 11:2, DEALING WITH A PRECISE, ALLOTTED 42 MONTHS PERIOD, INDICATES WHEN ISRAEL’S 3RD TEMPLE SHOULD BE ERECTED? FURTHERMORE, WHAT DID GOD REVEAL THROUGH ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI, HIS TWO (2ND) TEMPLE RESTORATION PROPHETS IN 512 B.C. CONCERNING A LATTER HOUSE AS WELL AS TWO MIGHTY PROPHETS BEING ON THE SCENE WHEN ISRAEL REBUILDS HER TEMPLE? WHY WERE THESE TWO PROPHETS SINGLED OUT TO REVEAL SUCH AN ASTOUNDING PROPHECY CONCERNING A 3RD HOUSE?

 

PART 1 – THE PALACE OF DEITY

 

Each day Gentiles the world over, visit the old Solomon temple grounds in Jerusalem located in the very center of the earth and spread over the sacred historical Mt. Moriah, famed for its role in the day of Abraham where the patriarch was ready to sacrifice his only son to the glory of Almighty God. Genesis 22:2, and where, according to II Chronicles 3:1, the first temple stood, completed in the year 960 B.C. by King Solomon.

 

WHAT IS A TEMPLE?

 

First, what is a temple? It is a building set apart for the worship of a deity. With the rebuilding of the temple as shown in Revelation 11:1-2, sometime shortly before the ushering in of the millennium, Israel will have seen three separate temples built at Jerusalem, each bearing the name of the temple as well as all three being built upon the same site, along the same general pattern! The Hebrew term for temple, hekal, is an old Akkadian word signifying palace, a large building frequently joined with Jehovah and denoting THE PALACE OF DEITY! The Greek term for temple is naos (shrine) and hieron (a sacred place).

 

MOUNTAIN PEAK IS SACRED ROCK

 

Today all that appears visible standing above ground on the holy spot of Jerusalem which has any connection with the original Solomon temple, destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., is the sacred rock altar used in Israel’s animal sacrifice which actually is not simply a rock sitting on top of the ground some 5½ ft. high, but instead is the top of a mountain peak, showing this stationary rock can never be moved! Even though two Jewish temples have been destroyed on this 31 acre site, spread out over Mt. Moriah, nevertheless for over 2,550 years this unmoveable rock has remained as it is throughout some 23 separate times Jerusalem has changed Gentile hands, from the beginning of the day of the Gentiles in 587 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, carrying away the last of the people into captivity and Jerusalem lay in total ruin and waste 70 years.

 

7TH CENTURY DOME OF THE ROCK

 

Today, high above this protruding mountain peak or sacred rock looms the dome of the Mosque of Omar, better known as THE DOME OF THE ROCK. When Arabs captured the city of Jerusalem and Palestine, the Arab or Moslem leader Calip Omar first built a temporary house of Moslem worship in the temple area. Then in 691 A.D., some 50 years later, the present Dome of the Rock was built on the site of the old Solomon temple grounds and has stood since that day bearing the name of Omar, although during this period of time it has undergone many changes.

 

WESTERN WALL DATES BACK TO 2ND TEMPLE

 

In passing, we might also mention something else connected with the old temple grounds which is the Western Wall surrounding the court area and the rock (or mountain peak), this wall better known as the Wailing Wall today is Israel’s holiest shrine, and to the Jewish world as well. The wall itself is a section of the defense rampart (or court wall) which encircles the temple court in ancient times. The rows of large stones date from the 2nd temple. However, over the course of centuries, debris of successive wars and destruction was thrown here, thus resulting in a great part (or 21 layers) of the wall through time, being covered with soil, in so much that the large portion of the wall itself (21 layers) is hidden beneath ground level. The lower part of the Western or Wailing Wall actually dates back to the time of Solomon’s temple.

 

Capturing the old city of Jerusalem in 1967 brought the control of all Jerusalem into Israeli hands for the first time in 2,554 years! The meeting at the Wailing Wall June 7, 1967, by various Israeli forces who participated in the capture of the Old City was the climax of the 6 day war. Immediately following the 6 day war the large square in front of the wall was cleared of shabby shacks and poor houses cluttering the area. Today the wall is the most hallowed site of all Judaism. Official mass ceremonies are held here, as well as young recruits for the Israeli army take their oath here. Pilgrimages to the Wailing Wall or Western Wall are made, seeing this is all they have to remind them of the old temple and has been a featured sight in Jewish life for many generations. The Jews believe the divine presence of God rests eternally upon this Wailing Wall and on the eve of Tisha be-Av, legend declares that in the dead of night a white dove, the divine presence, appears and coos sadly with the mourners. At night the stones are covered with drops of dew, which tradition declares to be the tears the Wailing Wall sheds while weeping with all Israel.

 

For a number of years archeological expeditions have been carried out along the southern wall of the temple site. Many remains of the Herodian period are being uncovered, as well as the reins of a Moslem structure (dating back to the 7th and 8th Century.) A large stone engraved with a Hebrew inscription carrying the words of Isaiah’s prophecy, “And when ye see this your heart shall rejoice and your bones shall flourish like young grass.” (Isaiah 66:14)

 

DAILY ALTAR SACRIFICE CEASES 70 A.D.

 

Titus surrounded Jerusalem in April of 70 A.D., and a month later captured half the city, where at this time the daily sacrifice ceased upon the holy sacred rock altar and has not been in use by an Israeli priest since that hour. In August of 70 A.D., the second temple went up in flames and after 143 days of siege, on September 4, the Holy City fell with the perishing of some 1,000,000. However, with all that perished the one thing that did not perish in the siege or could not be torn down was that Wailing (Western) Wall, but was left to stand. After the Roman siege, the old, bedraggled, the sick and crippled, which had been left to mourn the plight of the city, those who were in no condition to be chained and hauled away and sold throughout the Roman Empire, were the poor souls left to throw themselves against the only visible thing that could remind them of the glory of God and the magnificent temple and there wail, mourn and cry excessively over the ruins of the city and over the holy temple, their pride and joy. No doubt asking themselves certain heart searching questions, WHY HAS OUR GOD LEFT US? LOOK WHAT HE HAS DONE TO US! WHY HAS HE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN TO OUR MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE? And no doubt they mourn the loss of the most beautiful building throughout the Roman Empire, the holy temple. This beautiful, magnificent, enlarged, elevated temple which had only finished receiving its complete face lifting in 64 A.D., six years before Titus destroyed it, was first built by the exiled Jews returning from Babylon as a simple, plain, modest structure and remained so for 500 years before Herod the Great began work on it. (19 B.C.)

 

CYRUS ORDERS 2ND TEMPLE BUILT

 

Cyrus the Great, who gained control of Babylon in 539 B.C., gave a proclamation permitting the captured people of Judah who had been deported by Nebuchadnezzar to return to Palestine and rebuild the temple of God, II Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4. Only this temple that was rebuilt was by no means an extravagant, luxurious, decorated temple as was Solomon’s, who spent 7 years in building and decorating the first temple. No, these returning Jews simply did not have that kind of money or assistance to build such a fabulous temple, seeing the only money they had was donated from the treasury of Cyrus the Great. The returning Jews were given vessels of silver and gold as well as animals and precious things (Ezra 1:6). Cyrus even returned to them the holy vessels taken from the Solomon temple by Nebuchadnezzar 70 years earlier, (Ezra 1:7-8). However, the Jews could only afford to build a plain, modest temple which stood for some 500 years unto the time of Herod the Great, who won the favor of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus in 37 B.C., and was awarded the crown of Judea to serve as king over that territory.

 

HEROD REMODELS 2ND TEMPLE

 

Herod sought desperately to win the confidence of his people by giving royal charity in the time of famine and other means, but all in vain! The people of Judea deplored him, seeing he only used the throne of David as an usurper. The main reason Herod was disliked as King was the fact the Herodians were not of Jewish stock, instead descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. Their second reason for disliking Herod was he turned to the Romans for support and seemingly he could not understand nor get along with his subject people.

 

However, there was one good point in Herod’s favor which finally won the approval of the Jew and that was his extravagant taste in architecture. This article is not concerned with Herod’s rebuilding such cities as Samaria nor his own magnificent Herodian palace, but the fact Herod in 19 B.C., began an extensive long range project on the modest temple which actually was not totally completed until six brief years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Yes, the thing Herod did was take the plain, modest temple which had been erected by the returning Jews from Babylon, some 500 years earlier, and enlarge, elevate and beautify it beyond words.

 

Since we are discussing what the Jews are wailing over since 70 A.D., and because continually throughout the gospel writings we hear much concerning the extravagant beauty of the Herodian temple which John 2:20 described as having already required 46 years in the building program, yet wasn’t completely finished until 64 A.D., briefly before the destruction by the Romans. Although the main part of the temple, beginning in 19 B.C., only required 18 months to complete, yet the final touches were still being added even in the days of Christ and was not totally completed until 64 A.D.

 

In order not to offend the sensitive feelings of the Jews and to win their favor, Herod, who wanted to repair, rebuild and glorify the present modest temple, chose 1,000 priests, many of whom were trained to be stone cutters and carpenters, to enlarge and beautify the temple whereby no profane hands would have touched the shrine of the inside of the temple. Herod, with a solemn promise not to disturb their present worship in any manner, began his extravagant building program on the temple. Although it occupied the same ground plan as that of its predecessor, Herod did increase its elevation by 100 cubits and Josephus tells us it was constructed of glistening white marble stone.

 

HEROD’S REMODELING, NOT ANOTHER TEMPLE

 

No, by no means can Herod’s temple be looked upon as a third temple, because according to Herod’s own words his plans called only for beautifying and enlarging the present temple. The temple and its courts repaired and redecorated by Herod, this vain extravagant man, Josephus said, occupied an area of one stadium of 500 cubits (Talmud) which was arranged in terrace form, one court being higher than the other with the temple itself the highest of all, whereby it could easily be seen from any part of the city thus presenting a very impressive appearance, Mark 13:2-3.

 

TEMPLE PLACED ON HIGHEST TERRACE

 

We can by no means linger long upon the extravagant building program of Herod who sought to win favor with the Jews as he beautifies their 2nd temple other than to say, the temple itself after his elevation program was finished, stood much higher than even the court of the priests and the altar required a flight of 12 steps to reach the temple itself! According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, the new foundations were of massive blocks of white marble, richly ornamented with gold both inside and out. Some of these stones were 45 cubits long, 6 broad and 5 high. Yes, truly Herod, this vain man, a builder of many cities and heathen temples, glorified this sacred mountain peak of Moriah beyond measure! The ancient men of Israel said, he who has not seen the building of Herod has never seen a handsome building in his life. Is there any wonder that on several occasions the disciples of Christ approached Him discussing the beauty of the temple, only to hear Jesus say in Matthew 24:2, “Verily I say unto you, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another.” (Speaking of the hour Titus in 70 A.D., would destroy this magnificent structure).

 

The grandeur of the building consisting of gleaming white marble was on the eastern side covered with plates of gold which reflected the rays of the rising sun. This area, twice as large as that of Zerubbabel’s temple, was 26 acres in size and surrounded by a high wall. Around the outside of the walls ran porches, the finest one being on the south side called the Royal Porch, which had four rows of dazzling white marble columns of Corinthian style, or 162 columns in all. The eastern porch was called Solomon’s, John 10:23, Acts 3:11, 5:12. One thing must be mentioned which was added to Herod’s temple, not applicable to the other temple was the various fortresses located upon the walls to protect the magnificent temple area from the enemy. Around the temple itself was the court of the priest where stood the rock altar of burnt offerings (which stood in front of the temple) and the laver which was accessible to men worshipers only. Above the entrance of one of the porches, Herod placed a golden eagle, an unclean bird which was the Roman emblem and was most distasteful to the Jew. However, shortly before his death it was destroyed.

 

Beloved, had Herod not taken it upon himself to remodel and beautify Zerubbabel’s temple, this plain, modest temple building would have been standing in the day of Christ, and the Jews would not have bragged and been filled with such pride concerning its beauty. Memories of its towering, glistening beauty tortured and plagued that Jew’s pride as they mourned the loss of such a magnificent temple, now laying in utter ruin! Yes, Jews left behind after 70 A.D., came to the Western Wall or Wailing Wall (the only thing left standing on the location) to mourn their loss of both temple and city! Undoubtedly Herod’s temple, as it was now called, was the most extravagant building in wealth of the entire Middle East and Europe as well seeing Athens nor Rome, two contemporary cities of that period, had nothing to offer in comparison to this second temple once it was redecorated, elevated and beautified through Herod’s architectural genius. More than once Christ’s own disciples showed their spellboundness toward its magnificent beauty and wealth only to hear the Master’s words ringing back, every stone upon another shall be torn down!

 

WALL BLOCKS VIEW – NOT PART OF TEMPLE

 

In the light concerning the prophecy of Christ (Matthew 24:2) prophesying of every stone being torn down within the temple itself, Gentiles whose frame of thinking has been geared to understand that the Wailing Wall or Western Wall is a part of the temple itself (which is not true), wonder why the Wailing Wall stands since Christ prophesied that no stone would be standing? It must be understood that the Western Wall is by no means a part of the old temple building itself, instead is only a portion of the old court wall which surrounded the temple area to keep out heathen Gentiles from observing the Jews worshiping their God around their altar of sacrifice. The temple, as you recall, was only the building divided into two rooms, while the court walls were something entirely separate from the building proper enclosing the vast 31 acre court area where the temple stood. The wall served much the same purpose as would a palace fence built around a kings palace enclosing all the palace environment such as servant quarters, etc.

 

ALTAR STANDS IN FRONT

 

Directly in front of the temple stood the altar of sacrifice which was the first thing seen as one entered the Eastern or King’s Gate. In Solomon’s day this King’s Gate, Eastern Gate or gate called Beautiful which now for hundreds of years had been sealed by the Moslem’s, led out of the temple area down the gradual sloping valley of Jehosophat (sometimes called Valley of Kidron) which faces the Mt. Of Olives, a distance of approximately ¾ mile. The road leading from the little village of Bethany which lays several miles off the Eastern slope of the Mt. Of Olives ran through Bethany, over the Mt. Of Olives down the sloping valley of Jehosophat, ascended up the gradual slope of Jehosophat straight through the Eastern Gate on to the temple grounds itself.

 

ARCHED BRIDGE SPANS VALLEY

 

However, because of numerous ancient architectural drawings concerning the period of Solomon, it is believed he erected a huge arch bridge from the King’s Gate which crossed above the Valley of Jehosophat bringing the flow of traffic directly from the Mt. Of Olives straight on to the arched bridge, through the Eastern Gate on to the temple area. While crossing the bridge, the traffic looked directly through the Eastern Gate to the temple grounds and the first thing the visitors eyes fell upon was that great rock altar, of animal sacrifice, standing in front of the temple.

 

HISTORY OF MT. MORIAH

 

Therefore, we recognize the fact that this altar of sacrifice is the top of Mt. Moriah (which the Jews refer also to as the stone of foundation) and the fact in Solomon’s day the temple grounds, along with the temple, the Eastern Gate and altar were all on eye level as one entered the Eastern Gate. What a tremendous amount of work must have been involved in bringing all this ground on to an eye level with the Kings Gate! The altar of sacrifice, which not only the Jew believed to be the center of the earth as well as the very spot Abraham offered Isaac, but also according to them the word Moriah, which is derived from Mora (Hebrew) means awe, and from that mountain, they feel, went forth the fear of the Lord to all mankind. Another Jewish word in connection with Moriah may be derived from Orah, meaning light, Therefore, when the Almighty commanded, let there be light, the Jews believe it was from that mountain light first shown forth to all mankind. To the Jew Mt. Moriah has quite a history!

 

MELCHISEDEC, HIGH PRIEST AND KING OF SALEM

 

Jerusalem, the city where the holy temple or palace of God was to be located, came first into the Bible spotlight around 1900 B.C., when Abraham, having returned from a victorious battle with much spoil, met Melchisedec, King of Salem, who brought forth bread and wine and was the priest of the most high God, to whom Abraham gave his tithe and he blessed Abraham. Genesis 14:17-20, Hebrews 7:1-4, sheds more light on the picture concerning this high priest of Salem named Melchisedec calling him king of righteousness, King of Salem and king of peace who had neither father nor mother, without descent (Melchisedec was none other than God in a theophany form who received Abraham’s tithe and gave him communion.)

 

HOLY CITY JERUSALEM

 

The city of Jerusalem, which is located high up in a mountain chain called Mt. Zion, is some 2,700 feet above sea level. After a fortress to the Jebusites fell into the hands of David who captured the mountain area around 1101 B.C. He made this area to be his capitol of Israel calling it Zion and the city was held exclusively by David and his successors for 400 years, at which time the period known as “the day of the gentiles” began once Nebuchadnezzar, in 587 B.C., became the first gentile king, overran the holy city thus destroying both city and (Solomon’s) temple and hauling away the people captive for 70 years.

 

Mt. Moriah, which lays in this chain of mountain called Mt. Zion, standing some 2,700 feet above sea level being in the center of the earth, was the ideal spot for Solomon to place the holy temple. II Chronicles 3:1, then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mt. Moriah where the Lord appeared unto David his father. (Genesis 22:2) Around the middle of the 18th Century B.C., Abraham is instructed to take his son Isaac into the land of Moriah, upon a mountain of which he would later be shown and sacrifice his son, Joshua, around 1300 B.C., when entering the Promised Land, did not take Jerusalem, however in 1010 B.C., David captured the stronghold of the Jebusites making Jerusalem the capitol. From that time on Jerusalem is in the historical spotlight and plays the most important role being the city where God locates His most holy temple which Solomon builds in 950 B.C.

 

What a spectacular sight this must have been from the valley below where villages were located, stretching all the way down to the Dead Sea roughly 40 miles away to the lowest point in all the earth, 1300 ft. below sea level, when at night this magnificent holy temple area was well lighted. Naturally, from the highest level of the city Jerusalem on top of Mt. Moriah, the brilliant light reflected on the skyline which could be seen for many, many miles away as the people in towns and villages below the holy city level looked up and saw the lights of the holy city of Jerusalem.

 

Beneath all this mountainous area where Jerusalem sets are vast networks of mined out tunnels which were brought about when Solomon mined great quantities of granite rock out of the mountains, using it to erect his magnificent temple. Removing this rock left networks of tunnels below the old city and throughout her hundreds of years before the Babylonian captivity and total destruction of the city, these tunnels served Jerusalem to house livestock, garrisons of troops and especially in Solomon’s day, housed his armored chariots and over 1,000 horses. Naturally, the entrance of all tunnels was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C.

 

PLAIN, SIMPLE TEMPLE

 

70 years passed from 587 B.C., until finally Cyrus the Great, the Persian leader, released the Jews whereupon some 50,000 (Ezra 2:64) returned to rebuild the temple inspired by the prophecies of Zechariah as well as Haggai, two prophets who had been sent back to encourage and strengthen the Jew during their 20 year period of rebuilding the temple. However, due to many hindrances of the enemy (Ezra 4:13, 4:21, 4:6-7) it was not until some 20 years later, around 536 B.C., before the second house of God was actually completed, and although not very much is actually known from scripture concerning the building of this simple, plain temple other than the fact that according to Ezra 4:1, the adversary halted the work of rebuilding the temple for many years by sending a letter to the King of Persia, it was only through the encouragement and prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah that the people finally arose and rebuilt the temple in the year 516 B.C. (Ezra 5:1, 6:15)

 

PROPHECIES REVEALING LATTER HOUSE

 

It was during the process of rebuilding the temple (built on a much simpler scale than the original) that these two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, through their prophecies and visions reveals an astounding thing! THIS TEMPLE WILL BE DESTROYED AND SOMETIME LATER ANOTHER WILL RISE UP IN ITS PLACE! Yes, these prophets positively show a third temple will be erected at a later date. Later in this article we will discuss more thoroughly those precious eye opening prophecies and visions which bring forth two mighty revelations concerning the future plans of God for a new temple to be erected once again, sometime after Israel has again been driven out of her homeland (70 A.D.) And later returned (1948) once again becoming a nation of people!

 

TEMPLE ON EXACT FOUNDATION, THOUGH NOT WALLS

 

It should be added that although after 16 years of hindrances this 2nd temple was finally erected and furthermore on the exact foundation as that of the Solomon temple, although the temple court walls which surrounded the temple were not built upon their exact original foundation as before in Solomon’s day! Nevertheless, they did build walls and they were set back as close to the new temple and sacrificial rock as the people were to determine from certain traces of the old original court walls as to where they should go. Historically, today it is only the lower layers of the Western or Wailing Wall which extend back into this period, however, it is not built on the original first foundation site of the court wall itself. Isn’t it interesting further to note that according to Revelation 11:1-2, in the rebuilding of the 3rd temple, which John is instructed to measure, he was told to leave out the measurement of the court walls altogether!

 

WALLS ENCLOSE TEMPLE AREA

 

Beloved, Israel has never been without walls around her temple and worship area. No, not even in the days when she followed the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. There was always walls around her worship area, yet here John in Revelation 11 is instructed not to measure any court walls. WHY? Because beloved, this 3rd temple would go up in such an hour that it would run so close to the time the anti-christ would take over for his last 3½ years before the millennium, and even though there would be time to erect a temple, though maybe not in its completeness before the anti-christ took over, there simply wouldn’t be enough time to transpire to build the court walls which normally keep Gentiles out from observing Israel’s worship as she stands around her altar of sacrifice. Once Israel gains her holy spot and receives the sacrificial rock and begins sacrificing to God and is in the process of erecting her temple, before those court walls could go up something dreadful will happen in Jerusalem leaving her with only 3½ years before the millennium (Daniel 9:27, 12:11, Matthew 24:15-22). No, there simply won’t be enough time to bother erecting these walls because it won’t keep the Gentiles out anyway seeing they will tread down the holy temple area as well as the holy city for a space of 42 months or 3½ years.

 

WALLS KEEP GENTILES OUT

 

Recall, the court walls only prevent the Gentiles from viewing Israel in her worship service around the altar in the priest’s court. Something is going to happen allowing the Gentiles to tread down this sacred area as well as the holy city itself for 3½ years. Please note, it is in this special 3½ years where lies the clue as to the period when this 3rd temple will be erected! Surely there is no one who thinks that in the first 3½ years of the millennium, Gentiles will be allowed to tread down the holy temple area, while it is true Gentiles will continually be coming to Jerusalem according to prophecy (Zechariah 14:16-20) to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts; but there is not a verse in the Bible to indicate any Gentile, during the millennium, will ever be treading down the holy temple ground as well as the holy city for 3½ years! Therefore, sometime before the millennium begins something is going to happen in Israel that shall bring into focus the prophetical setting of Revelation 11:2.

 

PART 2 – REVELATION 11:2 PROVIDES CLUE

 

WHEN & WHERE TEMPLE IS BUILT

 

Having briefly observed the historical setting of Solomon’s as well as Zerubbabel’s temple (the 2nd temple), which was redecorated extensively by Herod some 500 years later only to be destroyed in 70 A.D., we are now ready to approach the following question from the scripture: WILL THERE BE A 3RD TEMPLE ERECTED? IF SO, WHEN AND WHERE WILL IT BE ERECTED? For all three answers we turn to Revelation 11:1, as we hear the angel instruct John, who is in the Spirit, to take a reed (like unto a rod) and measure three things: (1) the temple of God (2) the altar (3) them that worship therein, (or round the altar). As already stated, the only place Jews could ever worship God, seeing they are never permitted to enter into the temple for worship as that temple was designated strictly for the office work of the priest only, was always standing around the altar of sacrifice within the court area.

 

WHAT KIND OF TEMPLE IS MEASURED?

 

The year is 96 A.D., and the aged Apostle John is fully aware Israel’s temple no longer exists in Jerusalem, but has laid in ruins for some 26 years and furthermore since 70 A.D. Israel has not even had a daily animal sacrifice offered on her rock altar. Titus destroyed Jerusalem along with her (2nd) beautiful temple, however, here in Revelation 11 in 96 A.D., John is being instructed to measure not a new city, seeing the hour he has been projected into Jerusalem has already been rebuilt, but he is instructed to measure a new temple. What kind of temple do you suppose John is going to measure? Will the temple be the church as some think the temple of God is referred to in Revelation 11:1? If the temple of God is the believer which he is to measure, how would anyone ever measure the altar if it too is spiritual, seeing the only altar the Christian has ever had is where the Lamb of God was slain and offered once and for all, (Hebrews 10:10-12) several hundred yards outside the Damascus gate at Jerusalem on a hill called Calvary. Why go and measure that altar, it will never again be used!

 

GRACE AGE TEMPLE BUILT FROM LIVELY STONES

 

True, I do not deny that during the grace age the temple of God is the believer in Christ as clearly shown in I Corinthians 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16, nor do I deny that during this marvelous grace age we have a covenant with God, and not only is the believer the temple of the Holy Ghost, but furthermore, Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches us we have even come (in this grace age) to our Mt. Zion, unto our spiritual city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn. All this is true for the Gentile grace age, but Revelation 11:1-2 is not dealing with the grace age, it is dealing with Israel at the end of the age!

 

Scripture such as John 2:19 seems to mislead certain Gentiles where Christ, having been asked for a sign showing what authority he had driven money changers from the temple, simply answered the Jews by saying, destroy this temple and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP! This spake He not of the natural temple, but of the temple of his body! This answer seems to imply to certain Gentiles that Christ would no longer be concerned with Israel ever having another natural temple. II Corinthians 6:16 teaches, Ye are the temple of God, you His bride people, during that grace age. Yet none of that annuls the fact after the church is gone that Israel will again have a natural temple! These and other scriptures are the ones that topologist play upon to do away with the fact that Israel’s temple is no longer important and that as far as God is concerned from this day on the only temple He is concerned about is the body of believers which is the only temple He will ever dwell in. That only holds true for the Gentile grace age period while God is gathering out a people for His name (Acts 15:14) however, read the next three verses which pertains strictly to Israel once He has gathered out His Gentile Bride! Although notice something, when God deals with Israel and when Israel is within her own land she has always had a temple as well as an altar of animal sacrifice, but the Gentile age has never had a natural altar nor a natural temple, but Israel has! Israel will again have her temple not after the millennium begins, but at least 3½ years before the millennium begins as it is plainly shown in Revelation 11:1-2. However, there are to be no court walls measured for this new temple seeing all that holy area around the altar of sacrifice is to be given over unto the Gentiles to trod under foot for 42 months, which, according to the Hebrew calendar is 3½ years, exactly the allotted time the anti-christ is given to rule and reign before the millennium begins!

 

WORSHIPERS AROUND ALTAR IN JOHN’S VISION

 

If John is to measure something, he must be looking upon whatever it is he is to measure, although in reality the year is 96 A.D., and he has been placed on the Isle of Patmos. In the future sight he has been projected into, taking place somewhere around the Day of the Lord shortly before the return of Christ, John is actually seeing the setting as it will appear in that distant day, although at this time (96 A.D.) The temple area lay in ruin and no doubt Titus’ 10th Roman Legion is still encamped at Jerusalem to keep order.

 

Therefore I ask you, according to Revelation 11:1, when John was given a reed likened unto a rod (used as a measuring stick) and told to rise and measure the temple of God, what did he measure? Did he take his reed and measure himself or some other believer for the temple of God? Was he himself not a (grace age) temple of the Holy Ghost! If John was being instructed to measure the church or believer who is the temple of the Holy Ghost today in the grace age (and we realize we are lively stones in the grace age making up a holy temple for God to dwell in), Ephesians 2. And what about those that worship therein or around the altar? What did he measure then? Last but not least, what about the court walls which are without the temple itself that John is instructed to leave alone and not measure because that temple ground is to be given unto the Gentiles? FOR WHAT REASON? To trod under foot the holy temple area along with the holy city for 3½ years! How, beloved, can anyone spiritualize this particular temple altar, worshipers and court walls saying it is the Gentile church? How can anyone make Revelation 11:1-2 apply to anything other than that of a literal setting, located in a literal Jerusalem, the Holy City, the only literal spot God has ever ordained where a natural temple would sit and furthermore, the only place He has ever had a rock altar of sacrifice was in Jerusalem. No, the temple will not sit just any place in Jerusalem, but only one designated spot, on top of Mt. Moriah, next to the sacred rock. See beloved, if you could spiritualize all this other, making it to be the church as some have, I simply can’t imagine how anyone could spiritualize the court walls which is to be left out for Gentiles to tread under foot for 42 months. You say it pertains to Babylon overrunning the church, IT DOES NOT! Oh, don’t you see the problems you can run into when you spiritualize a thing too far when it has only a natural setting. Not only do you destroy in your thinking the original setting God wants you to actually see, you spiritualize it to a point you run into no man’s land and it links to nothing, and the beautiful picture God wants you to see in your understanding is destroyed.

 

Note, whatever God intends to do naturally, even though you spiritualize it, it will not stop Him from doing in the natural what He intends to do. It only shows an individual who takes a natural biblical setting and can’t see it happen that way and spiritualizes it, always runs into serious trouble with the scriptures (II Peter 3:1-18). Such people remind me of those who must always interpret certain passages in Isaiah pertaining to natural lions being in the millennium to mean something spiritual because it goes cross grain with their idea of the millennium. Therefore, they feel the lions spoken of in connection with the millennium are not natural lions with their nature changed, but merely old lionish natures of people being calmed down, HOGWASH! Beloved, face it, there are some things written in this book that will require natural fulfillment as well as some spiritual things that will require spiritual fulfillment, and it will take some spiritual minds to look at this thing correctly in order to know what is natural and what is spiritual!

 

Yes, I wonder what ran through the mind of John as he has been lifted into the presence of God and ushered out into the Day of the Lord where he is told to take a rod and measure the temple of God, the altar and them that worship therein? If he had been like some today who always want to spiritualize everything, what do you suppose the poor man would have measured? However John is not confused, he knows exactly what to measure for in the Spirit he is standing in the center of the earth in Jerusalem where God placed his name, standing before the very object he is to measure. I want you to know there were already some worshipers around that rock altar in his vision also!

 

JOHN FAMILIAR WITH 2ND TEMPLE’S HISTORY

 

No, it isn’t the Herodian temple destroyed some 26 years before 96 A.D., that John has been instructed to measure. No doubt he well remembers having visited that magnificent temple quite often, first as a lad with his parents where he probably viewed the vast construction program already in progress in the Herodian period, which involved the workmanship of 1,000 priests, and he further recalls having visited the temple with his Lord and fellow disciples, often hearing his Lord tell of the hour when not one stone would be left standing upon another. John was also well familiar with the Jewish history surrounding the early struggles which evolved around the building of the holy sacred temple when Zerubbabel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Joshua the high priest all returned with 50,000 Jews (Ezra 2:64) from the exile in Babylon to rebuild the temple.

 

Sometime after Cyrus had given his order for the Jews to return and rebuild the temple, he left his throne in the hands of his son Artaxerxes, (Ezra 4:7) and journeyed off to conquer new territories. Yes, John is familiar with the problem which arose from the adversary of the Jews who already lived within the land of Palestine, who wanted to assist Zerubbabel in rebuilding the temple, (Ezra 4:2-10). Nevertheless, when Zerubbabel refused, the adversary wrote the new king telling him once the Jews had rebuilt their temple, city, etc., they would not pay him their taxes (Ezra 4:13). Upon hearing this the new king, not aware of the previous arrangements made by Cyrus, halted the building program of the temple, (Ezra 4:21) and thus was the work on the house of God suspended until 16 years later in the 2nd year of the reign of Darius the next king who found the decree which Cyrus had made, (Ezra 5:13, 6:1).

 

ANTIOCHUS IV. CALLED EPIPHANES

 

No doubt John is also well familiar with the Syrian Antiochus (Epiphanes) IV whose horrible persecution and defilement came against the second temple from around 175-164 B.C., all because the priest refused him entrance into the holy temple when he wanted to look around. John knows also Antiochus IV is a forerunner in type of the dreaded anti-christ who will unlawfully overrun this 3rd temple (II Thessalonians 2:4) before the real Christ comes into it (Ezekiel 43:4-8). Recall, when Christ comes into it, it is already built. It is the very temple John is instructed to measure, where he is told to leave out the measurement of the court walls. Antiochus IV (175-164 B.C.)

 

“EPIPHANES” – GOD MADE MANIFEST

 

This dreadful forerunner of the anti-christ soon gained the surname of Epiphanes, meaning “God made manifest.” This Gentile leader who defiled Israel’s 2nd temple and brought on the bloody Jewish Maccabee revolt was also called Antiochus (Epiphanes) the madman! And a mad dog he was! He entered the holy sanctuary of the 2nd temple, took away the golden altar, candlesticks and other sacred vessels (brought back from Babylon) and slaughtered many of the men, making a decree that the people forsake their own law, and as a result many of the Jews sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath. Epiphanes, the madman, ordered idols to be erected and pagan altars to be set up using sacrifices of unclean animals. According to Josephus, Epiphanes reached the height of his abominable crimes against the Jews when, in 168 B.C., he ordered a sow sacrificed on a pagan altar on top of the holy rock altar of God and whoever refused to act according to the words of this cruel tyrant who ruled explicitly over the 2nd temple, was put to death. Mothers who circumcised their children were hanged on crosses while their children were hung by the neck until dead. Many Jews, rather than submit, were put to death. The bitter persecution of Antiochus IV resulted in the uprise and open revolt against him by the Jews in 168 B.C., led by a priest named Mattathias, which led into the famed Maccabeen revolt against the Assyrian Antiochus IV.

 

ANTI-CHRIST FORERUNNER

 

Thus we have seen the desecration of the 2nd temple which also had its evil tyrant to overrun it, who foreshadowed the man of sin who will overrun the 3rd temple shortly after it is erected, which temple John is instructed to measure, (Revelation 11:1). This man was only the foreshadow of the dreaded evil anti-christ of whom Paul spoke in II Thessalonians 2:4, who would sit in the 3rd rebuilt temple of God (Revelation 11) changing also the order and proclaiming himself to be God and demanding worship. Note further, Epiphanes IV foreran his evil role before the true Christ came to his temple (Malachi 3:1).

 

MT. MORIAH, LOCATION FOR 3RD TEMPLE

 

No, beloved, when Israel does rebuild her temple it cannot be on some other spot apart from the holy temple area as some think! If God would allow Israel to rebuild it in some other place than the holy spot on Mt. Moriah, He could have also chosen some place for Israel to inherit other than Canaan land! If God can change His mind after having built two temples on the same foundation at different intervals of time and then allow the third temple to be built elsewhere, He would never have had to bring Israel back to that old piece of ground in Palestine (before 1948) and resettled her! He could have just as easily resettled them out in the vast humid areas of New Mexico or Arizona. The Yuma desert and surrounding areas resemble much the arid area of the holy land. But as we want to emphasize, when Israel rebuilds even her old cities she always builds on the exact foundation of the old city itself. Therefore, once God places his finger on a certain geographical spot of ground in reference to Israel, that is exactly where He means for things to be located! Note for instance, when God chose a city, He chose Jerusalem. It didn’t matter how many Jebusites were present in 1010 B.C., or how strong their fortress might have been, God allowed David to capture their stronghold and call it Zion. It became David’s capitol and has remained God’s chosen city since that day! Once God places His finger on Jerusalem it is going to become His city of peace even though we realize Jerusalem has witnessed more wars, turmoil and confusion within that old city than probably any other one place in the world. Nevertheless, it is still called the city of peace because someday when Jerusalem will at last be at peace, the whole world will be at peace, and you can rest assured as long as Jerusalem is not at peace it is a good indication everything else in the world is in an uproar and mess also! So forget about Israel rebuilding her temple elsewhere! God doesn’t operate that way with Israel!

 

ISRAEL ALWAYS REBUILDS ON OLD LANDMARKS

 

Since the six day war, the U.N. has debated whether or not Israel must give up part of the Sinai. Sometimes it sounds like she might negotiate while all the time she is digging out from under the sinking sand old ruins of some of the Biblical cities, and upon those old foundational ruins there builds new settlements. What is she doing? Israel is fulfilling scripture! Did not God say He would bring her back into the land the He gave to her fathers and she would build the waste places and inhabit the desolate places. SHE IS DOING IT! I want you to note when Israel builds a new city or village, she doesn’t go out 15 miles from the old location and rebuild. No, instead she looks for those old landmarks and then rebuilds thereupon. Searching out these old landmarks ought to inform these modern interpreters of Baal whether God intends to rebuild His temple or not, and if so, on what ground He will rebuild, exactly where the old landmark for the temple is! Why? Because it fulfills the Bible. Therefore, do you see why the church must also return to the old landmark which has been buried far beneath the old Babylonian rubbish for over 1,500 years and rebuild!

 

TEMPLE REBUILT SHOWN BY 42 MONTHS

 

Archeologists, digging around the temple area, are finding stones, walls, etc., which have not seen the light of day for hundreds of years. Such great discoveries lets us know the original old landmark of the old walls within the Solomon period will be the spot Israel will rebuild her 3rd temple and that will be shortly before the end of the age, just in time to allow those final 3½ years, or 42 months, to be given over to the Gentiles and the anti-christ power where he shall rule from that newly erected temple and do his diabolical work treading down the holy temple area while he sits in the newly rebuilt temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God for a period of 42 months. Thus the angel told John, don’t bother to measure the court wall. Israel would never have time to erect those court walls before the area would be overrun by the Gentiles.

 

WHAT JOHN SAW IN THE SPIRIT

 

John has had quite an experience up until Revelation 11, seeing how in Chapters 4 and 5 he is caught up into the presence of God where he sees a throne set in heaven and a book is taken out of the hand of him that sits on the throne and opened by a bloody Lamb. He sees the four beasts with the six wings, creatures who are full of eyes that rest neither day nor night before the throne, but continually cry “Holy, Holy, Holy…” In Chapter 6, John sees the bloody Lamb open the seven seals upon the scroll. Before the 7th seal was opened, in the spirit John witnessed the sealing in of the 144,000 who are called out by two prophets sent to Israel in the hour that her temple is being rebuilt and the altar of sacrifice is re-established. Furthermore, he saw the great Gentile multitude who had come up out of the great tribulation resulting from the 3½ years of persecution by the anti-christ, (Revelation 7:14). In Chapter 8, he witnesses 30 minutes of silence while the 7th seal is being opened and the seven angels begin to sound their judgment trumpets, which primarily affects Israel and the Middle East. In Chapter 10, he witnessed the sounding of the seven thunders utter their voices, yet he was forbidden to write what they spoke. He further mentions the voice of the 7th angel, who is none other than the 7th Gentile church age messenger, (Revelation 10:7). How when he begins to sound the mystery of God should be finished. WHAT SHOULD BE FINISHED? Not every revelation, for John said, ONLY THE MYSTERY OF GOD! Then in Chapter 11, John is instructed to take a reed like a rod and measure three things: (1) the temple of God (2) the altar and (3) them than worship therein (by the altar). However, in verse 2 he is warned not to measure the court itself.

 

JOHN SEES TWO ANOINTED ONES PROPHESIED BY ZECHARIAH

 

Furthermore, in verses 3-12, he sees those two anointed prophet messengers who appear at this same time to prophesy to Israel for 3½ years to pronounce judgment upon Israel! WHY? For having made a covenant agreement with the anti-christ (Daniel 9:27). They smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. Also within that 3½ years calls out the 144,000 Israelites with a revelation of who Jesus is. After prophesying for 3½ years, John says these two prophets are destroyed by the anti-christ, or beast power.

 

ISRAEL, THE PREGNANT WOMAN

 

In Chapter 12, John sees Israel (not the church) as a pregnant woman, pregnant with prophecies concerning her Messiah, ready to burst into bloom. John sees Israel’s last 3½ years of history before the millennium reign begins fleeing from the presence of the anti-christ, who has now taken over her 3rd temple exactly as Antiochus (nicknamed Epiphanes), the foreshadow of this anti-christ, who took over the 2nd temple, and stopping the daily altar sacrifice, etc.! Is that not what this antichrist also does in the middle of that covenant week with Israel, (Daniel 9:27, 12:11)? Does he not also stop the daily sacrifice that is then on the altar, thus becoming himself the abomination of desolation that standeth in the holy place recorded by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, as he quoted the prophet Daniel, (Daniel 12:11)!

 

TITUS NOR MOSQUE IS ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

 

But Brother Jackson, could not that abomination that maketh desolate be none other than Titus and the Roman army destroying the temple area in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.? No beloved, this thing that fulfills the prophecy of Matthew and Daniel happens only after cutting off the daily sacrifice and exists for only a period of 3½ years, whereas the holy place has continually been trodden down ever since the day of Titus. What is it then? It is none other than Rome and the anti-christ for a period of 3½ years before the close of the Gentile age.

 

CUTTING OFF SACRIFICE HOLDS HIDDEN CLUE

 

Neither did Tutus overrun Jerusalem simply for 3½ years. History proves Jerusalem since Titus’s day, was continually overrun by Gentile nations until 1967. Again I repeat, the Mosque of Omar didn’t stop the daily sacrifice spoken of by Daniel 9:27, 12:11, which sacrifice so many want to spiritualize and make to be Christ, when these verses have nothing to do with Christ whatsoever as being the sacrifice, but instead deals strictly with a daily sacrifice being cut off on the Jewish altar. The cutting off of that sacrifice, beloved, is the clue to when the abomination that maketh desolate stands in the holy place. But someone else may say, could not that abomination standing in the holy place recorded by Daniel by the Mosque of Omar or Dome of the Rock which has stood since the 7th Century? In one sense you might say the Dome of the Rock is an abomination, but is not the abomination spoken by Daniel. Why? Because the Moslems did not cut off the daily sacrifice and then place the Dome of the Rock over the holy Jewish altar and allow it to remain there for only approximately 3½ years! No, the Dome of the Rock has stood over the holy altar since the 7th Century, and besides that, there was no Jewish temple nor altar of sacrifice in existence in the 7th Century when the Moslems overran the holy city and placed the Dome of the Rock over the altar.

 

WHY MOSLEM’S INTERESTED IN ROCK

 

Why the Moslem’s are interested in this rock? The holy rock is important to two religions; Judaism and Muslimism. The Mosque, or Dome of the Rock, is the second holiest spot outside of Mecca in Arabia, and Moslems are required once in their lifetime to visit the holy rock. Mohammed, the last prophet of the Moslem religion, followed Jesus (some 400 years) with far more revelation thus causing Mohammed to be greater than Jesus. The Moslem religion accepts 38 prophets, of which Jesus is only one of the 38 who brought truth. The sacred rock holds a special interest to Moslems due to the fact their tradition teaches that from this rock Mohammed ascended into heaven. Embedded within the rock is supposed to be a footprint of this prophet as he ascended and a few hairs of Mohammed’s beard is also kept there. Both Arab Moslems and Jews alike in reality are mainly from the line of Ishmael, Abraham’s son of the flesh by the Egyptian handmaiden Hagar, along with also a mixture of the other sons of Abraham’s 2nd wife, after the death of Sarah, while the true Orthodox Jews descend through the line of Isaac through which the promise came. None but the seed of Isaac can inherit this promise. The Moslem religion is to Judaism what Catholicism is to true Christianity, a thorn in the flesh or a counterfeit of the real thing!

 

GENTILES TREADING TEMPLE AREA 42 MONTHS

 

FURNISHES VALUABLE CLUE

 

Time has come that we would look more closely at Revelation 11:2, which will not only prove Titus and the Roman Army nor the Mosque of Omar could possibly fit the scriptural abomination that maketh desolate standing in the holy place, but will show us approximately when the holy Jewish temple will be erected and where this mysterious special allotted time of 3½ years comes into focus where the Gentiles are allowed to tread down the holy temple area and holy city as well! Now beloved, I ask you a very simple question, we know from history the Gentiles have continually trodden down all of the holy city for no less than 2554 years and their trodden down did not cease until 1967. Then if you were going to place a little 3½ years over a period of 2554 years since Nebuchadnezzar crushed Jerusalem and the day of the Gentiles began, WHERE WOULD YOU PLACE THAT PERIOD OF TIME? The truth is, there is nowhere you could place that 3½ years into the period between 70 A.D., and 1967, and it is certain you can’t spiritualize the 40 and 2 months, stretching them out over all the period or long history that the Gentiles have trodden down the city, and if you can’t put it in the millennium, face it, where will you place it? Beloved, there is only one slot of time the 3½ years spoken of in Revelation 11:2 could possibly fit and that is somewhere between now and the coming of Christ to enter the millennium reign. It is the only place left for the 3½ years to fit in!

 

TEMPLE & ALTAR MUST GO TOGETHER

 

Revelation 11:1-2, deals strictly with a future restoration of the Jewish temple and the altar of sacrifice and don’t forget, those two always go together. Therefore, this should let Gentiles know once the temple is erected, it must be erected near the sacrificial altar and not on some other spot of ground elsewhere. Because it is this Jewish altar in operation, according to Daniel 9:27, the anti-christ brings to a halt. Nevertheless, before the anti-christ cuts off the sacrifice in the middle of his prophetic week, scripture teaches that two prophets come to Israel, not only did they prophesy against Israel, smiting with plagues as often as they would as a rebuke to Israel for aligning herself with this beastly system of Rome, but for 3½ years , Revelation 11:3 says these two prophets prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem and in the area where the temple is being constructed and the altar of sacrifice is in operation, where 144,000 of the House of Israel, according to Revelation 7:3-8, 14:1-5, will receive the revelation of who Jesus is as they are sealed with the Spirit of God (Revelation 4:3, Ephesians 4:30). Now when is all this being accomplished? In the first half of the 70th prophetic week before the anti-christ rises in power strong enough to cut off these two prophets (Revelation 11:7), stop the animal sacrifice on the Jewish altar, and take over the temple for the remaining 3½ years after their death, and become the abomination that maketh desolate, (Daniel 9:27). The period of his horrible reign begins after the daily sacrifice is cut off and continued for 1290 Hebrews days. WHAT COULD BE CLEARER!!

 

BLOODY ALTAR NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REDEMPTION OF 144,000

 

Now concerning the 144,000, let us make one thing perfectly clear, this 144,000 from Israel, no doubt, were greatly stirred over the fact Israel is in a revival with her new temple and altar of sacrifice although their redemption and revelation of who Jesus is, which comes from these two prophets, have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact there is animal blood or animal sacrifice daily on the Jewish altar! (Hebrews 9:11-15) No, the 144,000 were not redeemed to Christ because an animal sacrifice lay on the altar. Then why have an altar, some will say? Beloved, what these two prophets are saying for the 3½ years does not change the majority of the Orthodox Jew whatsoever, he will continue seeing only the newly erected altar of sacrifice that is in progress. And he will lean heavily upon this as they did in the Old Testament days until that sacrifice is taken away from him in the middle of that final prophetic week of Daniel 9:27 and 12:11, which is clearly shown in Matthew 24:15, to be the hour for the abomination that maketh desolate to stand in the holy place for that final 3½ years before the millennium reign. Again I repeat, Daniel 12:11 declares from that time of cutting off the daily Jewish altar sacrifice (which has nothing to do with Christ, instead deals strictly with animal sacrifice on the Jewish altar) and the abomination that maketh desolate is set up, the anti-christ power will run for 1290 Hebrew days.

 

Isn’t it interesting to note that during the first half of this final prophetic week, 144,000 of the house of Israel are getting their eyes open to truth, yet still the greater percentage of Israel will be blinded by the promises and smooth words of the anti-christ before he breaks his Covenant in the middle of the week! Then all Israel gets their eyes open to who the anti-christ is, once he cuts off their sacrifice and moves into the temple to become Daniel’s prophesied abomination that maketh desolate. Beloved, one thing is certain, whether you want to say Israel has only 3½ years left or 7 to fulfill prophetic time before the millennium, the office work of these two prophets, whoever they are, will certainly not begin once the millennium has started. No, it all takes place before the millennium begins. The anti-christ’s final 3½ year reign of terror will not be after the millennium begins, it is shortly before. Therefore, what the prophets do and what the anti-christ does to fulfill his role must all be concluded in that final prophetic week, because when the millennium begins the two prophets have already prophesied for 3½ years and been killed by the anti-christ power and he too for 3½ years has run his course.

 

WHAT YOU FACE IF ONLY 3½ YEARS LEFT

 

Now I ask you, if there is only 3½ years left to that final prophetic week, called Daniel’s 70th week, to be fulfilled watch what you will run into. You have these two prophets prophesying for 3½ years; they are killed and their dead bodies lay in the street for 3½ days before they are resurrected. Don’t forget, God also limited the anti-christ to 3½ years. If the two prophets in Israel are prophesying during the same 3½ years while the Antichrist is treading down the holy place and Jerusalem, then he would be killing the two prophets, not at the beginning of his reign of terror, but instead at the end of his reign! See, he would be just coming into enough power at the end of his reign to cut off the two prophets and stop the daily sacrifice at a time when the Bible clearly reveals him to be losing out, because at this time Christ is coming to take over! Now if all this is accomplished by both prophets and the anti-christ simultaneously, Christ will be on His way down when all this is taking place, because Matthew 24:29-30 declares, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, (anti-christ reign of terror, 3½ years) the sun will be darkened, and the moon shall withdraw her light, and the stars of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall be the sign of the coming of the son of man.” No, the truth is, there is a full prophetic week left, during the first 3½ years the Antichrist sits in Rome (not Jerusalem) carrying out his own diplomacy, while in Jerusalem you not only have a Jewish temple worship restored along with the altar sacrifice, but you have two prophets who are having a revival among certain Jews. Then beloved, after their 3½ years of prophecy the anti-christ cuts them off, as he is now ready to fulfill his 3½ years reign of terror.

 

HOW BEAST SPIRIT KILLS PROPHETS

 

For a few moments let us deal with the spirit of the best in Revelation 11:7, who comes out of the bottomless pit to make war against the two prophets, overcome and kill them after they have finished their testimony of 3½ years. Who is this beast spirit that rises out of the bottomless pit? We know a corporeal bodied man does not rise up out of the bottomless pit, but a spirit can. It is the same beast referred to in Revelation 17:8-18. This beast is none other than the resurrection of the political power of the Old Roman Empire, which before crumbling passed through seven imperial forms of government with the last head of government being referred to as the 8th is of the former (7th) power. The 8th form is religious, while the other heads were political (Revelation 17:11). The beast which ascends from the bottomless pit is the spirit of the devil which entwined itself in olden days around the first seven heads of the Roman Government before jumping over on the new head which was in Rome also. The 8th head, or form, which is referred to in scripture as still that of the 7th was the papal power or final form of government to ever set over the old Roman Empire! Even after the old Roman Empire had fallen, the popes were still able to rule the European territories referred to after the fall as the ten national powers of Europe, which are receiving their resurrection back into the 4th beast through the European Common Market.

 

8TH HEAD IS PAPAL OFFICE

 

Although time came in history when the 8th form of power (papal head) received a deadly blow to its headship which almost killed it, Revelation 13:1-10 teaches in time to come that 8th head would be healed and all the world would wonder after it! That head, or papal power, over the subjects of Rome will be completely healed somewhere around the time the covenant week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27) goes into effect, and the two prophets come on the scene who rebuke Israel who, I might add, in the past had been aligned with the U.S. as you well know. However, in the final period of time for the Gentiles, Israel is not aligned with the U.S., but instead with this resurrected beast system of old Imperial Rome of which the 8th head which was healed will once again be in headship!

 

8TH HEAD RECEIVES AUTHORITY OF 7TH

 

Yes, the beast system is none other than the 4th world empire which passed through seven great imperial head ships or office in its makeup. After so long a time without any life of the beast existing, what do we see? The spirit of this thing (Revelation 11:7) having already sometime earlier come up out of the bottomless pit, entwined itself once again around the last headship office Satan used for a mouthpiece before it vanished from the scene, which the Bible declares was that papal office wounded unto death. Seeing the papal office in olden days had wrestled from the 7th head or form of government which was political all authority and power simply means as the spirit of Satan, which had been working through this old system for hundreds if years now, sees the 7th head on the beast collapsing because of weakness, he simply jumps over into another part of Rome onto another chair, placing all authority that went with the imperial chair over onto this other chair, only this time it is religious. Nevertheless, it still leaves his power to be in Rome. It should be noted, the spirit of the devil, who works through the headship of this beast system even in its resurrected stage and is responsible for killing Israel’s two prophets a little over 3½ years before the millennium reign begins, first many hundreds of years ago as early as 39 B.C., began working through the first imperial headship to that beast. Through men called caesars and these caesars who represent the first head or office on this beast whose office was in Rome (and has always been in Rome) were cruel, evil, barbarous tyrants. It was the very incarnation of the devil himself. The caesars were worshiped as the God of heaven!

 

ROMAN RULERS WORSHIPED AS GOD

 

Now bear that statement in mind as you watch that spirit of the devil pass through every one of those heads on that beast, through the hundreds of years it existed, finally completely losing out under the 7th head where the papal power snatched all of its authority over onto the papal chair. Remember, in the resurrection of that empire it will be the 8th head, which of course is of the 7th, that will be the mouthpiece! That mouthpiece is going to leave Rome and come to Jerusalem, cut off a Jewish sacrifice that is in progress, kill two prophets, and take over a newly erected temple, becoming the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. And he does that in the middle of a covenant week, (Daniel 9;27). (See VATICAN, VOL. 3, NO. 7)

 

8TH HEAD ONCE HEALED BECOMES MOUTHPIECE

 

Now let us quickly bring that old dilapidated Roman system into its final 3½ years as now it is the 8th which is of the 7th that was wounded unto death (16th & 18th Century), but is finally healed. Revelation 13:4-10 informs us that the devil or dragon gave power to this beast and this beast was given a mouth (the wounded 8th head now healed) to continue for 42 months or 3½ years, look what he did. Opens his mouth and blasphemes against God, blasphemes His name and (blasphemes) His tabernacle at Jerusalem as well as them that dwell in heaven, makes war with the saints of that hour and overcomes them and all upon the earth shall worship him, whose name is not written in the Lamb’s book of Life, slain from the foundation of the world. When does this transpire? In that final 42 months before the millennium begins. It corresponds perfectly with Revelation 11:2-7, where we are told this spirit kills the two prophets after their 3½ years were finished.

 

PART 3 – VISIONS & PROPHECIES

 

CONCERNING 2 PROPHETS & 3RD TEMPLE

 

Who are these two prophets who die in Jerusalem after prophesying for 3½ years in sackcloth, and if any man hurt them during their hour of prophecy fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth the enemy? What manner of fire proceedeth out of their mouth? No, they don’t spew fire from their mouth like a fire dragon to devour their enemies! It is more like when Peter spoke to Annanias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and they dropped dead. Peter was simply anointed of the Holy Ghost and those words proceeding from his mouth were anointed with Holy Ghost fire, bringing instant death. Recall also, the prophet Elijah in the day of Ahab when Israel was in her worst hour of apostasy, fire did not proceed out of his mouth though he spoke the words declaring if I be a man of God let fire devour these men (and 102 men were burned to a crisp, II Kings 1:9-12), the judgment of God fell and burned up these men. It was the fiery judgement of God against Elijah’s enemies. Elijah only spoke Holy Ghost anointed words. Thus, it is true with the two prophets who walk the streets prophesying to Israel, smiting the earth with judgments (especially the Middle East), trying to show blinded Israel the error of her ways in uniting herself with this beast system and its mouthpiece, which is the 8th of the 7th head now healed who speaks for the beast in that hour, Daniel 9:27. Of these two prophets, the Lord God definitely referred to them in verse 4 as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. Verse 6 declares these two olive trees and two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will. Why are these two men in Revelations 11:4 referred to as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of heaven? You can rest assured that in the proper hour when these two prophets come stomping out into the open, fulfilling Revelation 11:3-6, they will not be two young kid preachers! I further have my doubts they will be men fresh out of the Jewish Seminary, although it is for certain they will have come from God’s school.

 

ZECHARIAH PROPHECIES OF TWO PROPHETS

 

To learn more concerning these two men and how they were to play an important role within the final prophetic week of Israel’s history, as well as mankind’s final 7 years on earth before the Gentile dispensation closes out, we must go back some 500 years before the birth of Christ, to a time when the Children of Israel had returned from Babylon to rebuild their 2nd temple. I want to show you here from the prophecies and visions of two prophets, Zechariah and Haggai, prophets who were sent back to encourage Israel while she was in the process of rebuilding their 2nd temple, how these two prophets brought prophecies, not only concerning a time when Israel would be having her 3rd temple rebuilt, but also a great deal is learned concerning the two prophets who will be on the scene when Israel is rebuilding her 3rd temple. Isn’t it interesting to note while the 2nd temple was being rebuilt, Israel already had two prophets on the scene prophesying to the people future events concerning another time when Israel would be returning from another period of exile and would be in the process of rebuilding a 3rd temple when two great prophets would come on the scene. Zechariah had visions concerning the two prophets who are to be in Israel, which is positively confirmed in Revelation 11:4-6 as being the two prophets Zechariah spoke of, while Haggai gives forth prophecy showing the 3rd temple will be far more glorious (Haggai 2:3-9) than that of the 2nd temple they were presently building.

 

During that period Cyrus the Great had issued a decree for the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple of God. Why? Because Solomon’s old temple was in ruins in that hour, exactly as the old Herodian temple is in ruins today. Zechariah and Haggai, the two prophets, are on the scene while the 2nd temple is being rebuilt along with Zerubbabel, the governor of the people who governed in social matters, and a man name Joshua is to be the high priest of this 2nd temple. Wonder why this man was called Joshua, which in Greek means Jesus? Why wasn’t he named Aaron or some other name? Because the name Joshua (Jesus in Greek) will also link to this spiritual temple for the grace age as well as the 3rd Jewish temple that will be built in Israel in time for the final 3½ years to be given back over to the Gentiles, who before 1967, had continuously overrun Jerusalem since Nebuchadnezzar’s day, for a period of 2554 years. Therefore, sometime after 1967, and some 3½ years before the millennium begins, once again the Gentiles will tread down Jerusalem as well as the holy temple area. However, this time not before a 3rd temple has been erected and an altar of sacrifice re-established, and then for only 3½ years, the shortest period the Gentiles have ever had to tread down Jerusalem, but they will be the most severe, (Matthew 24:15-21).

 

Therefore, it is clearly evident these two prophets, although they are spoken of as minor prophets, were actually restoration temple prophets on the scene as Israel was building her 2nd temple, both prophesying future events concerning Israel! Prophecies by these two men prophesying in Israel while Israel cleared away the burned out mountain of rubbish left by Nebuchadnezzar’s army 70 years before and prepared to reconstruct the temple, are most fascinating and too important for us to simply overlook. Yes, while the 2nd temple was under construction, God was also showing Zechariah a future event pertaining to the two prophets which we are studying about in Revelation 11. Note, the angel addressing John called them practically the same thing the angel speaking to Zechariah 500 B.C. calls them, the two olive trees and the two candlesticks (lamp stands)! At this time when we touch Zechariah 4, Zechariah has already had a number of visions which pertain primarily to his own period and what is being accomplished in the building of the 2nd temple. However, Zechariah saw something that did not pertain unto his period, this he was most concerned about. Zechariah says the angel awoke him out of sleep, asking him what did he see? Where upon he replied, I saw a candlestick all of gold. Actually what Zechariah saw was the golden Jewish Menorah used only in the temple worship which consisted of a bowl to hold the olive oil in. Upon the top of the bowl were 7 lamps, in other words, it had a stem running from the large bowl holding the oil, out through 7 pipes or stems which formed little burners at the end of the stem, making 7 lights. But he saw something else standing on each side of the Menorah which really stirred his curiosity! According to verse 3, he saw two olive trees, one of either side of the bowl and he asked the angel what these were? For the moment the angel seemed to ignore his present question concerning the two olive trees and began to explain something else to him which had a present tense meaning. In verses 5-6, the angel answered him, “This is the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel (the Jewish governor of social affairs of returning people who is mentioned in both Zechariah and Haggai’s writings) it is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord.” No doubt Zechariah wonders how such a statement could possibly link with the two olive trees and lamp stands he saw (actually there is no connection, nevertheless keep watching).

 

MOUNTAIN OF RUBBISH

 

Listen as the angel continues saying something in behalf of Zerubbabel the governor with this returning people. (7) “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” Remember the setting, Israel had been returned for quite a few years, yet still no temple has gone up. Because after Cyrus gave his decree to build the temple, he left his throne in the hand of another and journeyed elsewhere. When the enemy of the Jews wrote the new king saying, once the Jews had finished their city and temple, they would not pay taxes to him, and for some reason not being aware of the decree made by Cyrus, he stopped the work which remained stopped for 16 years until the 2nd year of Darius the new king. It is in the 2nd year of Darius’s reign, in the 6th, 7th and 8th months, that these two prophets are stirring up the people with prophecy to come forth and begin to rebuild the temple after such a lengthy time. Bear in mind, even though Israel does not have her 2nd temple up, for a number of years her altar of sacrifice has certainly been in operation. The angel of the Lord has addressed a great mountain standing on Mt. Moriah, which is nothing more than a vast mountain of rubbish and charred ruins which once had been a beautiful city as well as a magnificent temple, only now it all appears as nothing. Huge stones piled in every direction, and over that 70 year period weeds and brush have grown up everywhere. Poor Zerubbabel (the governor) has been placed in charge to see the house of God and the city are rebuilt. However, no sooner do these people return to face this gigantic mountain of rubbish, which is their responsibility to clean away, than a spirit of discouragement hits them. Even though word finally arrived from Darius, the 2nd Gentile world ruler, that after 16 years they may continue their building, the Jews seemingly have lost interest. They had to be stirred by the words of these two prophets as God speaks to get His house rebuilt. Zerubbabel, having looked at this mountain of rubbish, perhaps in his heart says, O Lord, look what a mess! How will it be done? Our people are dishearted over what they see. Then we hear the prophecy to Zerubbabel saying, Who art thou, O mountain (of rubbish)? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain! It won’t be by might nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord. Notice the Lord is telling Zerubbabel he will move on the hearts of the people and stir them mightily with the spirit to work. Without bulldozers, cranes or even dynamite, the Lord says it will be leveled like a plain.

 

Zechariah is concerned about who those two olive trees are and as yet he has not received an answer. Why? They do not concern his hour, therefore, the angel continues with the present tense prophecy that does effect his hour as he says, after they clear that mountain of rubbish away, Zerubbabel shall bring the headstone to Joshua the high priest shouting Grace, Grace. The headstone was none other than the cornerstone used in Solomon’s temple, which at present, lay in that mountain of rubbish. First they had to find the headstone and place it into the building. They are moved on by the spirit of God to begin work and finally clean up this terrible mess, and as they do they find the chief cornerstone (with 7 eyes) of the first temple and place it in the second, (all measurements will be taken from this stone). It is Zerubbabel’s responsibility, according to the prophecy, to bring the head or cornerstone with shouts crying grace, grace and place it at the feet of one called Joshua who is to serve as high priest of the 2nd temple. Later we see how Joshua, being the high priest of the 2nd temple, will be connected with the Lord Jesus of the 3rd temple.

 

Continuing to discuss only the 2nd house, the angel says, (9) “The hands of Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of this temple, his hand shall also finish it.” Don’t worry Zerubbabel, the house of God will be rebuilt and it will be rebuilt under your direction.

 

THINGS HEADSTONE SIGNIFIES

 

Observe once again the cornerstone or headstone which was found and Zerubbabel brought it to the high priest, Joshua, which contained the engraving of 7 eyes, which absolutely is a type of Jesus Christ. Joshua the high priest means Jesus Saviour, who is or high priest, (Hebrews 10:19-25), and also is the chief cornerstone (rejected stone) that went into our spiritual temple foundation in the grace age of which the redeemed are lively stones, becoming a part of this spiritual temple for the grace age among the Gentiles. Although this is true, don’t spiritualize that natural Jewish temple as the house to be built during the grace age whereupon Jesus is to be the chief cornerstone. Even though this cornerstone or headstone (used in the 1st and 2nd temple), engraved with 7 eyes, does show a spiritual type for the grace age temple, please don’t confuse the two. Don’t spiritualize away any of the Jewish temples: don’t be guilty of taking scriptures which clearly apply to Israel’s rebuilt natural temple and make them apply strictly to this grace age either. Remember, there is a spiritual temple for the grace age and there is a natural temple to be erected for Israel shown in the scripture.

 

Zerubbabel brought the chief cornerstone and laid it at the feet of Joshua. This headstone in the two natural temples represented the 7 attribute spirits of God: (1) Jehovah-jireh (the Lord will provide), (2) Jehovah-rapha (the Lord that healeth), (3) Jehovah-nissi (the Lord our banner), (4) Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord our peace), (5) Jehovah-ra-ah (the Lord my shepherd), (6) Jehovah-tsidkenu (the Lord our righteousness) and (7) Jehovah-shammah (the Lord is present). Recall, when Jesus (which is Greek for Joshua) the Christ became our high priest, offering His own blood becoming also the chief cornerstone to the spiritual temple which was laid, He was these 7 attribute spirits of God all wrapped in one body of flesh, or one spiritual chief cornerstone. Furthermore, it is Jesus the Messiah who came in the 2nd temple, was rejected and then became the chief cornerstone to our temple for the grace age. However notice, the Jews will actually be building the 3rd temple for Jesus their Messiah to sit in during the Millennium reign, (Ezekiel 43:4-7).

 

WHY ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI SHOWN SETTING FOR 3RD TEMPLE

 

Zechariah still can’t shake the vision from his mind concerning the two olive trees he saw. The angel explains all about the restoring of the present house of God but Zechariah, still inquisitive, asks, what about the other two things you showed me? I want to know what they are. (Verse 11-14) Why was Zechariah shown these two olive trees at this time? Why were they not shown to another prophet in another hour? It is important because the prophet is shown these olive trees during an hour when Israel had (1) returned from captivity and (2) returned to rebuild her 2nd temple. In such a setting as this God gave Zechariah this vision of the two olive trees and the candlestick which absolutely had nothing to do with the present rebuilding of the temple. Zechariah and Haggai were the two (restoration temple) prophets present here in Israel for that hour prophesying things pointing to future events. That future event is confirmed in Revelation 11:3-6, concerning Israel’s future temple and two prophets. And note, both temple and prophets as well are reconfirmed (together), confirmed 600 years later by John on the Isle of Patmos, and get this, in a day and hour when Israel did not have a temple standing, seeing Titus had destroyed the 2nd Jewish temple 26½ years prior to John’s vision. (Revelation 11)

 

Back to inquisitive Zechariah who ask again for an explanation of these two olive trees & candlesticks. Notice verse 12, “What are the two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?” And the angel says, (13) “Knowest thou not what these be? (14) These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”

 

TWO GREAT ANOINTINGS ON EARTH

 

Zechariah, one of those two (restoration temple) prophets who is present for the rebuilding of Israel’s 2nd temple, has looked way down into Israel’s future and saw the time when she shall rebuild again, and there he saw the two prophets that will be present. His prophetic sight had taken him down to the final seven years of Israel’s history before the end of the age, into a time recorded in Revelation 11:4 to have been fulfilled by these two prophets at the end of the age. Get this, two prophets who come to Israel as she has once again returned from captivity and once again rebuilt her temple exactly as they were doing in 519 B.C., when the vision broke. When you examine that statement of Revelation 11, it reads almost identically word for word as to what the angel told Zechariah, and John also in 96 A.D., is being shown exactly who these two olive trees are to be. These two prophets are the two golden candlesticks or the two olive trees which stand before God of the whole earth. This is what it means, these are two of the greatest anointings of God Israel will ever experience, and note, they will experience these two anointings at the same time while she is in the process of rebuilding the 3rd temple.

 

Recall, it was the messenger to the age who revealed how this lamp stand with the 7 golden lamplights was represented by the grace age as those 7 lights represented the seven gentile church age messengers recorded in Revelation 2 & 3. All 7 receive their revelated light from where? The same golden bowl of oil, which is the genuine Holy Ghost. Also note Revelation 4 & 5, John was taken up into heaven where he notices seven spirits of God. Now in reality we know this one spirit God is no more seven different or separate spirits than He is three separate spirits distinct persons! What then is the meaning to all this? Recall that headstone with the seven eyes which was the cornerstone of the rebuilt temple we discussed showing the seven attribute powers of God to this people. God is only one spirit (Ephesians 4:4), however, within this one spirit called God lies these seven different expressions or attributes of Himself to His people.

 

In Revelation 1, when John saw Jesus standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks (Revelation 1:12-20), we realize what John saw was that spiritual light (Jesus said, I am the light of the world!) of Christ unto those seven Asiatic churches, yet was also the light of Christ which would be exemplified through the seven dispensations of the grace age, and with each age would be attached an angel messenger! But where did that light originate which lit the seven candle lights? FROM CHRIST OF COURSE! He is that light. No, by no means is God actually seven different spirits, nevertheless, within him are those seven attributes of power which God may, whenever and wherever he chooses, execute and recall whenever He does choose to act through those attributes of power it is always here upon the earth where they are manifested! Therefore we are fully aware that it is also here upon the earth, through the two olive trees mentioned in Revelation 11:4 & Zechariah 4:11-14 that the golden oil will be poured out in a full demonstration of his mighty power.

 

GOD IS GOLDEN OIL POURED OUT

 

Scripturally, what is the purpose of an olive tree? To originate olive oil, right? Therefore, if an olive tree is a symbol of oil, what then is oil a symbol of? It is the symbol of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost is none other than God. Then in the vision of Zechariah 4, that makes the spirit of God to be none other than this golden oil to be poured out! Yet how will it apply to Zechariah’s vision, and furthermore, how does it fit into the picture of the two olive trees when the angel declare they were the two anointed ones? Zechariah 4:14, while Revelation 11:3 declares them to be those two powerful prophets who have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. In reality it means this, these are the two special anointings God has chosen to demonstrate Himself through within a certain precise period of time (3½ years).

 

MOSES CARRIED ANOINTING FOR DELIVERANCE

 

Beloved, one of the greatest anointings of God to ever rest upon one man, rested upon Moses while delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses smote Egypt continually with plagues and turned water into blood. Please note the comparison: (1) Moses, as a man, symbolizes that great anointing of God. As a man he was chosen to lead a people to safety who were in exile and bondage and over in that hour of Revelation 11, Jerusalem will also be in bondage under the rule of the Antichrist and shall need delivering, and 144,000 shall be delivered! (2) Moses was a man chosen to be a lawgiver which was God’s word for that hour when Israel needed to hear from God in order to know how God would have them to walk and live. (3) He was a man anointed to execute judgment upon the earth at a time when God was ready to gather His people together to take them from their place of bondage and (4) since that day at no other time has there been that anointing to hit the earth. One day when that anointing was on Moses, Egypt became pitch dark. What was it? It was the anointing of God resting upon Moses as he had authority to execute it. Moses spoke and lice came from every direction. What was that? That was a plague! When that man spoke water became blood, hail fell from heaven ripping crops to pieces. When Moses spoke every firstborn in Egypt died. What was it? It was an anointing from God resting upon a prophet in an hour of judgment dealing with a people to lead them out of bondage. According to Revelation 11, at an hour when the temple is being rebuilt, the Jewish sacrifice altar in operation and shortly before the holy place is to be turned over to the Gentiles, not for another lengthy period of 2554 years, but this time only for a period of 3½ years that same anointing that was upon the man Moses the prophet, will once agin hit this earth. Although there was no process of building a temple when that special anointing first visited the earth, nevertheless, Moses as a lawgiver showed Israel how the tabernacle of badger skins and goatskins should be built, which was none other than a shadow of the very temple itself.

 

ELIJAH CARRIED ANOINTING DEALING WITH APOSTASY

 

What about the other special anointing or the other olive tree? Recall these are special anointings of God. True, any true anointing a man ministers in is an anointing of God, however, there are certain anointings of God that hits this earth for a precise objective of God. That is the kind of anointing I want you to see! What is that next anointing which is also represented by an olive tree, the holy anointing. It is the anointing of Elijah! Sure Israel had other prophets, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Nehemiah, etc., all these were prophets, yet not anointed like Elijah. He was not a prophet called to lead from or perform an exit. No, he was a prophet sent to deal with apostasy, and did that anointing which rested on Elijah ever know how to deal with apostasy.

 

That anointing on Elijah contested false prophets of Ahab and Jezebel, while Moses spoke and lice, hail, blood and death followed. Elijah prayed and shut up the heavens for 3½ years that it ran not in Israel. See, Elijah also brought judgment. Now do you see these two special anointings? They are God’s severe anointings dealing with man while he is seeking to execute a precise object and purpose in the earth to deal with a certain situation. Elijah came at an hour when the ten northern tribes had drifted far from the true original worship. As this great apostasy was in Israel, that anointing came on a man as he stomped out the woods. Elijah dealt with apostasy. One day Ahab called forth 50 men to go forth to get Elijah and all Elijah said was, if I be a man of God, let fire come down and burn them up. It happened and was repeated again, making a total of 102 men burned to a crisp. No, it had never been seen on this fashion before. That particular anointing did not even rest on Moses (II Kings 1:9-12).

 

Now can you see when it speaks in Revelation 11:5, how from these two anointings on these two men that fire proceedeth from their mouth, it is not a literal fire coming from their mouth, it is that special Holy Ghost anointing on the spoken word. What are these two olive trees? They are non other than these two special anointings of God, and the reason the vision was given to Zechariah and not another prophet in a different hour is because it goes in connection with the rebuilding of the temple in a future date. No, it didn’t fit into the building of their present temple, it carried altogether a future application, when these two great anointings of God (two olive trees) will be used by the Lord only as He deals with man for some precise reason and purpose. Such of Elijah when he dealt with apostasy and the judgment of God was, Lord, don’t let it rain, and for 3½ years it didn’t. What a horrible sight Israel must have faced in that hour when both men and cattle suffered extremely. Why? Because Israel had strayed from the ordinances of God.

 

Yes, I want you to know when that man of sin signs that 7 year Covenant agreement with those political minded Jews (Daniel 9:27), as they are in the process of rebuilding their temple, (Revelation 11:1-2), having their altar of sacrifice in operation, out of the woods will come these two special anointed prophets who prophesy for 40 and 2 months or 3½ years. Once God sent Moses, then 1000 years later he sent Elijah, however, never before has these two anointings been sent at the same time. Therefore, these two anointings will come together to rebuke Israel for what she has done. Simultaneously God gives them both barrels of His anointed gun or both anointings at the same time. Why? Because Jerusalem is in bondage to a covenant agreement and there are 144,000 people who need delivering, while God wants to judge the political Jews for their action and He sends these two prophets to walk the streets and prophesy, pronouncing judgments and plagues. Revelation 11 says, they have power to shut the heavens, that is what Elijah did. Revelation 11:6 further says, they have power to turn water to blood, that is what Moses did. However, it further says they have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues, therefore, we are shown within the 6th trumpet judgments within that hour, how hail falls from heaven, (Revelation 8:7). Recall among other things, Moses plagues Egypt with hail. Yes, they have power to smite the earth with plagues.

 

HEAVENLY & EARTHLY SCENE

 

Now please observe carefully two scenes. The first one is on the earth and the second will be in glory. On earth two Jews will come stomping out of the wilderness to appear on the streets of Jerusalem prophesying for a space of 3½ years and striking the earth with plagues as often as they will, while in glory from the great throne of God I can see the vastness of that Holy anointing of God suddenly being turned loose, and beloved, that mighty anointing of God (the Golden Oil) will empty itself through these two prophets here upon earth! Once again the earth will see the anointing that rested upon Moses and Elijah or Elijah and Moses together in action. Why? Because God will send those two anointings once again into the land of Israel, prophesying and pronouncing judgement in an hour when they are erecting their temple.

 

ELIJAH’S SPIRIT ON JOHN

 

Recall in the day of John the Baptist he came in the spirit and power of Elijah, although he was not Elijah, (Luke 1:17) and that spirit stood on the earth at the end of the Law age announcing, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. John the Baptist was closing one dispensation and introducing a new one. Furthermore, it was an interlinking anointing, therefore, watch that anointing when it hits this earth again, coming to Israel, prophesying judgment at a time when the Gentile age is closing out and introducing to the hearts the millennium that is to come, an age Israel has long waited for. I don’t know who these two men will be, that is not the purpose of this article, only to show these two men will walk together in the anointing that rested on Moses and Elijah.

 

MOSES & ELIJAH APPEAR TOGETHER

 

Recall further out in Matthew 17, when Jesus had stated some of you shall not taste of death until you have seen the son of man coming in the power and glory of His kingdom. Six days later Peter, James and John are taken up on a mountain where they saw a vision of what Jesus will be like in the kingdom age. The scripture declares the face of Jesus did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as light. There was a glow about Him as His face did shine while His raiment was white as light. Is that not the picture we see in Revelation 19, when heaven is opened as Jesus is ready to split the eastern skies and return in the power and glory of His kingdom to rule and reign?

 

What else was seen in that vision? Recall, Moses and Elijah appeared together talking unto Him. In other words, here stood those two great anointings like this earth has never seen before and note these two anointings were together in the vision. Beloved, this vision the three disciples are looking upon pertains to what Jesus would be like in the kingdom. Yet it is shortly before the kingdom is ushered in that there shall be these two mighty anointings which were on Moses and Elijah that shall come to Israel during her last prophetic week of time which proceeds and closes out the whole calamity of God dealing with the human race. No, I do not say it will literally be these two men called Moses and Elijah, but undoubtedly it shall be those two mightiest anointings of God resting upon two men of that hour, but from those anointings it shall appear like Moses and Elijah are back on the earth again.

 

HAGGAI’S PROPHECY CONCERNING LATTER HOUSE

 

Haggai, one of the two restoration temple prophets on the scene while the 2nd temple was being constructed, is given prophecy concerning the glory of the latter house, or 3rd temple, which one day would replace this 2nd temple. This book consists of only two short chapters, yet what powerful chapters they are. Again I ask, why would it be Haggai and Zechariah (In 519 B.C.) who are being shown about the temple (or the latter house) as well as the two prophets in Israel’s future? Because these are the two prophets who fulfill the present role while the 2nd temple is under construction, prophesying concerning the glory of the 3rd temple to encourage the elderly people who are building the 2nd house who could remember the glory of the first house.

 

The setting of Haggai is exactly the same as that of Zechariah, only his prophecies come several months ahead of Zechariah’s. Both prophets prophecy in the 2nd year of Darius, the Medo-Persian leader of the 2nd world empire. It was not until the 2nd year of Darius’s reign that this decree made by Cyrus was discovered and Darius gave new orders to proceed with the building of the house which will only be a plain, undecorated house of the Lord completed four years later during Darius’ 6th year of reign, and will remain so until 500 years later when the architectural genius King Herod takes it upon himself to enlarge, beautify and elevate this present simple temple, which has no present description other than Ezra 6:3.

 

From Haggai’s prophecies we know this hour was far from being what the first house was, and the older people who could remember the glory of the first house were very disturbed and sorrowful over being unable to do any better (lack of finance, etc.) Bear in mind, 16 years had passed and not one block has been laid upon another during that time. As the prophecy opens, the spirit of God is somewhat fretted with the people over this lengthy standstill as He declares in 1:2, this people say the time has not come, that the Lord’s house should be built. Verse 4, God says, through the prophet, O ye, who dwell in your cieled houses, and let this house lay waste, it is time (after 16 years) for you to build. Verse 5, now therefore consider your ways. Verses 6-10, God tells the people why they haven’t prospered any better than they have in their last 16 years. You haven’t built my house, says the Lord! Verse 8, He instructs them to go to the mountains to bring wood and build my house of which God says I will take pleasure in and I will be glorified saith the Lord. Verse 14 declares the spirit of the Lord stirred up the spirit of the governor, the high priest and the remnant of the people, and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of host their God.

 

See also Ezra 3 thru 6 for the complete story of their 16 years in the land without a house. The families, having returned to their original cities, Ezra 2:70, met in Jerusalem and erected the altar whereby they might offer burnt offerings, (Ezra 3:1-3), beginning the 7th month of the 1st year. Ezra tells how in the 2nd year they met, laid a foundation, and started to build a wall when stopped by the new king and work was delayed for 16 years, Ezra 3:8-13, Ezra 4:11-24.

 

2ND TEMPLE NOT AS GLORIOUS AS 1ST TEMPLE

 

GRIEVES OLDER JEWS

 

Haggai 2 begins with another prophecy unto the people saying, who is left among you (elderly people) that saw “this house” in her first glory (Solomon’s temple), and how do you see it now? It is not in your eyes in comparison of it (1st house) as nothing! In other words, God is saying, isn’t this little plain, undecorated building in your sight as nothing compared to the glorious former house (Solomon’s temple)? Undoubtedly what has happened, God has revealed the peoples thoughts, especially the elderly people who could remember Solomon’s temple from their youth before the captivity and its destruction. God is saying to these people, who saw this house in her first glory?

 

Note the phrase “this house”, irregardless to which building the Lord refers to, whether the first, second or third temple, He always refers to it as “this house” as you shall see as you read the chapter. God has reference to the glory of Solomon’s, yet spoke of it in the present tense “this house” speaking of “this house” in its first glory, although destroyed over 80 years! Undoubtedly many could say in their hearts Lord, I can remember, and this little thing we are building isn’t anything compared to what we had in Solomon’s day, (they seemed ashamed of this building)!

 

No doubt Zerubbabel felt very downhearted knowing he couldn’t build one like Solomon had, nevertheless, God encourages him with prophecy telling him it will serve the purpose. Ezra 3:10, 11, 12 declares the old people wept who could remember the glory of the first house as a child. See also II Kings 25:9. Why did they weep? “This house” was nothing compared to the first house, so plain while the other one was so ornamented. The lavish beauty of “this house” under Solomon required seven years to complete, whereas this present structure (2nd house) required only four.

 

5 THINGS MISSING IN 2ND TEMPLE

 

The description of Solomon’s temple is found in I Kings 6:1-38, II Chronicles chapters 2 thru 4.

 

Furthermore, five things, according to Talmud, were missing in the 2nd temple which was found in the 1st temple: (1) the ark of the covenant, (2) the sacred fire, (3) the Shekinah glory, (4) the Holy Spirit and (5) the Urim Thummim. Josephus declares the holy of holies was empty in the 2nd temple and a single slab marked the sot where once stood the ark of the covenant. Truly this house was nothing in comparison to Solomon’s temple which God also referred to as “this house”, (Haggai 2:3). However, in their downheartedness God informs them in verse 9 that the glory of the latter house (3rd temple) shall be even more than the glory of the former house (Solomon’s temple), therefore don’t worry about it, just build the house.

 

LATTER HOUSE BUILT IN HOUR OF SHAKING OF ALL THINGS

 

Verse 6 declares, yet in a little while will I shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land (this shaking comes at the end of the Gentile age). God continues by saying, I will shake all nations (when?) At the end of the Gentile age. Beloved, we are in the closing hours of this Gentile age. Why else do you think America’s political structure is being shaken to pieces? First with such dissatisfaction of the nation with the Vietnam War, and secondly the Watergate situation, and thirdly with America losing her prestige among nations, while the dollar sinks to a new low, bouncing like a straw on an angry wave on the money markets of the world. Not only is America, but the Gentile nations of the world are being shaken to pieces, that is evident everywhere. No, this setting cannot be placed at Christ’s first coming, only at His second.

 

Watch now for some vital clues coming up on that 3rd temple, although God still refers to it as “this house” when He says, the glory of the latter house will be far greater than that of the former house. Recall, former house in verse 3 was Solomon’s as they are erecting the 2nd house which apparently had no visible glory at all. The glory of the latter house was nothing to do with any part of the 2nd building destroyed in 70 A.D.

 

Begin looking for the appearing of this latter house sometime around the time of the shaking of all nations as well as the shaking of all things, for the nearer we reach the end the more things will be shaken! What else did God say through Zechariah, and the desire of all nations (in the millennium) shall come and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord! Irregardless to how many houses God built, He also referred to it as “this house”. The setting has moved now from the 2nd house, to the end of the Gentile age to the latter house where God shakes all nations, etc. (See also Haggai 2:21-23) Now we begin hearing him begin to talk about a time that He will fill “this house with glory”! Somewhere in that period and not during the time Zerubbabel is building the temple which was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. The setting ends with the Gentile age and enters into the Millennium where God begins to tell how He will fill this house with glory. However our point is, the 3rd house is already built somewhere in the closing of the Gentile age before the Lord enters into this house at Jerusalem and fills it with glory!

 

EZEKIEL WITNESSED GLORY ENTER LATTER HOUSE

 

Pause there for a moment and turn into Ezekiel 40 thru 47 which describes this house in that hour beginning with the millennium! Remember, John the Revelator in Revelation 11 was given a reed liken unto a rod to measure the temple, altar, and worshipers and note also in Ezekiel 40, we are told of a man who was given a measuring rod and also told to measure the temple (this latter house)! I am not saying John was that man, but I am saying John was also given a reed and told to measure the temple of God. Ezekiel 43:4-7 informs us how the glory of the Lord entered into this rebuilt house, when the Lord Himself entered into the house by the way of the Kings Gate toward the East. Ezekiel says the spirit of the Lord picked him up and stood him in the inner court (of the newly built temple) and he says he beheld the glory of the Lord fill the house. Haggai 2:7 declared He would do just exactly that! Ezekiel further declares he heard the Lord (Jesus speak out of the house, 3rd rebuilt temple in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium) saying, Son of man the place of my throne and the place of the souls of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel forever and my holy name shall the Children of Israel never again defile.

 

FIRST HOUSE NO COMPARISON TO GLORY OF LATTER HOUSE

 

I repeat, through Haggai, God is speaking to those dishearten, sorrowing, elderly people who could remember this house in its first glory, telling the people about the time all nations are being shaken at the end of the Gentile dispensation, another building will be going up, far superior to anything yet. Verse 8, the silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord. In other words, I could build a nicer house now if I wanted to. Do I not own all the gold and silver? Just wait, don’t feel bad about it because this house (2nd temple) is so plain, I am satisfied! Verse 9, because the glory of this latter house (3rd temple) shall far surpass that of even the former house (Solomon’s). This prophecy came about to encourage the older people who could well remember the glory of that former house of Solomon and who felt so downcast over what they were erecting. But God said, cheer up, the glory of the latter house will be greater than even the former one you are thinking about, and in that place will I give peace. See beloved, it is in that 3rd rebuilt temple God will give peace to the world. Haggai, through prophecy, is telling the people, be of good courage and build the present house with the means you have because the former house would be nothing in comparison with the latter house (3rd), and later God encourages Zerubbabel’s heart with still another prophecy. Verse 20-25, In that day, when I shake all things and overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, destroying the strength of the heathen, in that day, O Zerubbabel, will I take thee my servant and make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts!

 

Someone may ask, will the temple be built around the time the anti-christ makes his covenant? It could be, the Bible doesn’t say, But one thing is for sure, there will be a temple there when he breaks his covenant in the middle of the week. How long would it take for Israel, with modern day equipment to put up a temple? She could easily do it in 3½ years, seeing that the Jews around the world would contribute heavily toward its erection. Three years after the 6 day war Jews in America alone had donated one billion to the expense of the 6 day war, what will the Jews from the U.S. and Canada donate to this dream once it is announced the temple is ready to be built. Undoubtedly that is why God has allowed the Jews with money to remain in America and Canada, to pour in the money for that project when the time comes.

 

Did you know the only thing keeping the Jews from offering sacrifices today is he can’t get possession of that rock, however, when he does you can be assured that he will clean off that area and begin offering sacrifices to Jehovah and a temple will soon be going up. However, until that rock falls back into her hands they will never offer a sacrifice on any other altar, it is forbidden in the Old Testament. By no means will you ever see a temple of God erected on the same holy site while that Mosque of Omar stands over the rock. Therefore, it is important to note when the angel instructed John to measure the temple, he instructed him to measure the altar also. Why? Because the two go together and are inseparable in the worship of Jehovah.

 

PART 4 – DESECRATION BY THE MAN OF SIN

 

5 THINGS 42 MONTHS DOES NOT IMPLY

 

Back to John’s vision as we begin to bring our message to a close, it is the treading down of the temple area by the Gentiles for that special 42 months period which gives us a clue as to when this latter house will be erected, seeing it must be erected in time for the fulfillment of the last 3½ years, or 42 months, before the millennium. Please note the following things that the treading down of the holy city area for 42 months has no reference to: (1) It has no reference to Titus treading down the temple area and city in 70 A.D., seeing 42 months is nothing compared to the period of time the Gentiles trod down the holy temple area under Titus. (2) It has nothing to do with the Dome of the Rock being located over the holy rock, seeing the Moslem’s have stayed more than 42 months since the 7th Century. (3) It ha no spiritual application in the fact you could take the 40 and 2 months and somehow spiritually stretch them out over the 2554 years the Gentiles have continually trodden down Jerusalem until 1967. (4) It cannot be applied to the grace age temple of the Holy Ghost throughout the Gentile dispensation and (5) The 40 and 2 months the Gentiles tread down the holy temple area and Jerusalem cannot apply unto the many Gentile tourists, the Gentile news media from around the world who will be present during that period the temple (latter house) is being erected.

 

None of this can apply to the meaning of the 40 and 2 months Gentiles once again tread down Jerusalem and the holy temple area. No, beloved, this will be a special specified period of 40 and 2 months when the European Gentile beast power and its mouthpiece, the wounded 8th head, takes their final stand in Jerusalem, especially in the temple palace which has been erected for their Messiah, the Lord God whose names is Jesus, who is prophesied in Haggai to fulfill His latter house with his glory.

 

FINAL 7 WEEKS

 

Yes beloved, somewhere out in the near future, though Revelation11 does not give explicit details showing exactly what world conditions will develop that will bring that temple into existence, nevertheless somewhere in front of us is going to develop some worldshaking events in the Middle East and irregardless of what the U.S., England, France or anyone else wants to do, they are helpless once God is ready to act in behalf of Israel. Somewhere in front of us when time is just right that prophetic minded orthodox Jew is going to get his dream fulfilled as he receives that holy temple ground and that altar of sacrifice goes quickly into operation. That holy spot of ground will not fall in the hands of the political minded Jew who cares little about whether the prophecies of a holy temple is fulfilled or not, seeing his interest is only political and trying to persuade the world to see his vision for Israel, that is to be recognized as a nation among nations and to have a chance to live in peace and have prosperity. No, that political Jew is not back in Israel with intentions of fulfilling Bible prophecy to restore a temple, although that orthodox Old Testament minded Jew is there for that purpose, and one day that spot will fall into his hands and his dream will come true and when it does you can mark it down, Israel being God’s timepiece will once again begin to measure time prophetically. Prophetically time will begin to tick off as man will have only around 7 years to complete his Gentile dispensation and usher in the millennium.

 

A MAN (OF SIN) SETS IN TEMPLE

 

During that final seven years prophesied, especially within the book of Daniel which include the words of Jesus in the gospels as well as Paul’s writing in II Thessalonians 2:3-4, will spring into a reality and close out the final history of mankind as he heads into the millennium. According to Daniel 9:27, when the anti-christ makes his political agreement with that political minded Jew, and don’t think that spirit to sign that kind of agreement is not already resting on that politically minded Jew even today, it is! No, that doesn’t imply the Orthodox Jew is happy over the situation, nevertheless, that political minded Jew must begin to lean forward that office seeing that one day, according to Daniel 9:27, they will sign a covenant agreement with the prince of Rome. That political minded Jew in that hour must be willing to negotiate world trade, world peace, and prosperity for the survival of his own nation with Rome, and he makes this agreement with the anti-christ looking at it strictly from the political angle the anti-christ introduces his seven year peace covenant with Israel. (Daniel 9:27) When that happens, that will absolutely align Israel up with a political agreement with the Common Market nations. When that political Jew signs that covenant, ushering in that 7 year period, somewhere around that hour (I know not when as the Bible is silent to when only showing it must be ready for the final 3½ years) Israel will begin building her temple on that holy spot by the altar of sacrifice because these two pictures must run simultaneously and perfectly parallel, because the scripture declares in Daniel 9:27 that in the middle of that final prophetic week the man of sin will break that political covenant. After the breaking of that covenant, for a short duration of 42 months or 3½ years , Revelation 11:2, he will literally sit in that rebuilt temple. (II Thessalonians 2:4) Dear Soul, this is a literal fulfillment and not a spiritual as some think, for there is no way possible for the man of sin to literally sit in a spiritual temple within the grace age, because during the grace age you are the temple of the Holy Ghost if the Holy Ghost dwells within you, and at no time does the Holy Ghost and the devil occupy the same temple at the same time!

 

Isn’t it amazing that Ireanius, that 2nd church age messenger, according to the anti-Nicene fathers declares that the Christian church taught (around 150 A.D.) that the man of sin, who is none other than the anti-christ, will literally sit in the temple at Jerusalem! And may I point out, in that period, 130 A.D., the Roman Emperor Hadrian razed Jerusalem to the ground after another revolt and built a much smaller city dedicating it to Jupiter and excluded all Jews from the city, yet still with such a setting the early church was teaching a literal fulfillment to the man of sin one day sitting in the temple of Jerusalem for 42 months and IT WILL HAPPEN! He is the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place described by Daniel during the last 3½ years of Israel’s history, in a reign of terror described in Matthew as the worst days on earth. (Matthew 24:15) After he takes away the daily Jewish sacrifice, his days to set there are recorded in Daniel 12:11.

 

GENTILES ONCE AGAIN TREAD DOWN JERUSALEM

 

(Matthew 24:15) When you (Israel) see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place, you who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Some might say this is a fulfillment when Titus destroyed the temple. No dear soul, Titus did not fulfill this because he didn’t cut off the sacrifice and allow something to stand in the holy place for 1290 days! Therefore, we see clearly Revelation 11:2 has yet a future fulfillment. It will only be fulfilled after Israel has made her political covenant with the anti-christ to fulfill Daniel 9:27. Then in the middle of that prophetic week the anti-christ cuts off the daily sacrifice, moves himself from Rome to the newly erected temple at Jerusalem where he sits for 3½ years. I might point out that although some of you might think that a pope would never leave Rome. Pope Paul has already clearly stated that for the sake of world unity he would gladly move his office any place in the world, and the Bible declares where one day that office will be moved, INTO THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM. When this sacrifice is cut off ushering in the last half of the 70th prophetic week of Daniel, that temple would have already been built and the altar already put into operation for the breaking of that covenant and the cutting off of the daily sacrifice by the antichrist is fulfilled upon that holy spot, and then you shall see the fulfillment of the abomination that maketh desolate sit in the holy place. What is it? He sets himself in th temple and cracks that Roman office whip for then the 8th Head of the beast, which was wounded unto death, is completely healed, and the world wonders after him, ready now to fulfill the 42 months or 3½ years which coincides perfectly with Revelation 11, 12 and 12, as he calls in his international police force, and don’t think Jerusalem and the holy temple grounds won’t be well guarded for that 3½ years. No, it won’t be Swiss guards there, it will be his international police force, and you can rest assured the millennium will never usher in until the anti-christ has run his 3½ years to coincide with the true Christ who ministered also approximately 3½ years.

 

TEMPLE DEFINITELY BUILT BY MIDDLE OF WEEK

 

This precise 3½ year period of Revelation 11:2 can only transpire after the temple and altar have been re-established. It isn’t necessary for Israel to wait until her temple is built before she begins offering animal sacrifices to Jehovah? Oh no, this was revealed when Israel returned from Babylonian exile. In the first year of her return the altar of sacrifice was already in operation although it was some 18 years later before Israel had her second temple erected. Therefore, you see once this holy rock altar is cleared away, that is the Dome of the Rock moved, there is nothing to hinder Israel from immediately beginning to offer daily sacrifice sometime before her temple should be erected. Recall in Daniel 9:27, as well as Daniel 12:11, it was the daily sacrifice that was cut off, not the temple seeing the anti-christ himself shall use the temple for his own diabolical purposes. Beloved, this 3½ years of Revelation 11:2 is a special period and can only apply in Israel’s history sometime after she had re-entered the holy city and taken full possession as she did in 1967, and by no means can you possibly spiritualize these 42 months nor can you stretch them out over 2554 years that the gentiles did continuously tread down the holy city as well as the temple area. Dealing with Israel you must keep three things in mind: there is a holy land and Israel became a nation on that land in 1948, there is a holy city called Jerusalem and Israel took full possession of that in 1967, and there is a holy spot which at this moment Israel does not have but somewhere ahead of us something will happen that will place that temple area into her hands, and when it does you may rest assured that Revelation 11:2 is just around the corner.

 

SUMMARY

 

God showed two prophets two future happenings concerning the rebuilding of Israel’s 3rd temple, or latter house, which would come in the latter days! Zechariah saw the two prophets in vision while Haggai spoke freely of the greatness of the latter house to be rebuilt in the latter days which would far outshine either house. And still, after all of this, there are people who want to spiritualize the events of Revelation 11, making it something to represent the gentile church when so many scriptures point to it as being a natural house or temple! GOD FORBID!

The Candle Was Lit

Turn with me to Revelation 2 where we shall endeavor to teach a subject concerning a certain influential church called Ephesus, which was founded in the first Gentile age on Paul’s third missionary journey. Here it was that God lit Himself a spiritual candle which shined throughout all Asia for three years. However, by the time this church (at Ephesus) was forty years old God has sternly rebuked it and threatened to remove its candle!


Our study will cover this great influential church at Ephesus of which God chose to name the first age of Ephesus displayed to the gentile world, especially throughout Asia, its beauty of spirituality, morality and character, her revelatory capacity, love and unity as it displayed the grace of God within their lives. And we see its location in Asia Minor will explain why God chose such a city to beam out His powerful revelation of truth from the mouth of His chosen Apostle , the apostle to the gentiles, unto all Asia. Thus founding the most important church in the first church age only to have received a severe rebuke forty years later and a warning if they did not repent their very CANDLE FROM WHICH THE LIGHT HAD GONE FORTH AND INFLUENCED ALL ASIA IN THE TRUE REVELATION OF CHRIST WOULD BE REMOVED. (Revelation 2:5)


EPHESUS became so great it shook the very foundation of the religion worshiping the goddess Diana, whose headquarters was at Ephesus, as people everywhere were being converted to the true way of life, turning from paganism. God even wrought special miracles from that place by the hands of Paul, the like of which he never did in any other place throughout all gentile churches. In this article we shall learn the sad reality that for God’s purpose, the usefulness of any outstanding church is approximately forty years, and we shall see how it applies to our own age as well.


OUR GENERATION AND ITS USEFULNESS


Therefore, after some forty years the Lord Jesus is demanding repentance from this great church and says if they do not repent He will remove their candlestick out of its place! As already stated, forty years appears from scripture to be the life span of usefulness to God in His true original program and purpose within a local church! Forty years also seems to get the usefulness of a man as well as a church irregardless to how long either may exist. His great drive seems to burn out in those first forty years of service, the same is true with a church!


ONLY 40 YEARS


Revelation 2:1-6, as we see this church some forty years after its birth as Christ returns to earth (on the Isle of Patmos) and instructs His only original apostle still living to write a letter to this Ephesian Church, which He has chosen to use as a model and the characteristics found within that church during those early hours signifies and displays the qualities found in the gentile churches during the first age!

 

 

JOHN ON PATMOS


Banished to the Isle of Patmos (for the testimony he held) only a short distance off the coast of Ephesus, John had been exiled to this barren, snake infested island in the year 95 A.D. when the church to whom he is writing called Ephesus is now forty years old and is no longer the great spiritual, dynamic, Holy Ghost led church it was in its originality under Paul’s ministry! Here is an urgent message to Ephesus from the Lord Himself to repent of what they were doing there which also was affecting all the other gentile churches in the same revelation! I WANT YOU TO GET THIS, Ephesus was the kind of church which was so influential upon all other churches within the true message that the other churches were greatly swayed and followed closely in whatever example Ephesus set before them (such as, what had only been a deed of action in Ephesus, because of their influence that same thing had already by 95 A.D. become a doctrine over in Pergamos. (Revelation 2:15)


LETTER FROM DISAPPOINTED GOD


We want to read this short letter which is straight to the point, and written by a disappointed God to Ephesus, who is now some 40 years old and is the very church He was chosen to exemplify the spirit of the first age, seeing that He also named this first age after this church. (1) “Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write these things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand and walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: (2) I know thy works, and thy labor and thy patience.” These three words carry great weight as to what Ephesus has gone through during her forty years, as we shall later see. “And how thou canst not bear them that are evil: and hast tried them who say they are apostles, and are not, and hath found them liars. (3) And hath borne, and hath patience, and hath not fainted. (4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thy hast left thy first love! (5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works over; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thy repent.”


From this statement you can see why we have entitled our message, THE CANDLE WAS LIT! Where? AT EPHESUS! However, we want to discover what happened to this candle of revelation which was lit at Ephesus some forty years prior, who is now being told to repent and do their first works over. What were their first works? Who had tampered with this revelated light which was so influential upon all the other churches that whatever Ephesus did, caused the other churches in the message to follow? For instance, when Ephesus blazed with glory and was so Holy Ghost led it caused an influence upon the other churches of that truth to do likewise. When it did something unwise it caused others to stumble! WHY? Because at Ephesus the messenger of the first church age ministered and pastored here, and as already stated what eventually happened at Ephesus, which at first was nothing more than a deed or action had shortly become a doctrine within the church at Pergamos a short distance away who followed the influence of Ephesus, as did all the local churches of Asia and Europe. Somewhere something happened at Ephesus that affected that great spiritual light in its original power and effectiveness, hence causing another condition to not only begin there, but also develop within the other churches among the gentiles, and we shall see later what that condition was! After forty years Ephesus’ testimony is not as influential in pushing the mainstream of God’s purpose for her, as it was when her revival fires burned brightly. And if this church is getting such a severe rebuke from the Lord it is important we discover why He is so displeased with His MODEL GENTILE CHURCH, which is still affecting the worship and leadership of the Spirit within the other churches influenced by her action!


Continued on we read, (6) “And this thou hast, (there in Ephesus) that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes which I also hate. (7) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Now remember this letter is being written unto the guilty church. Before you can apply any of this letter to the age itself, it must first be applied to Ephesus, the guilty church). We will also learn, by the grace of God, what it was she was guilty of because if the same thing happens to us who at the end of the age have now returned to the true original faith once delivered unto the saints, then we also are in trouble! “He that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” The reward for overcoming what hinders this church and all other assemblies will be Eternal Life (especially for those within the first age)! Therefore, whatever condition arose in Ephesus could easily be a matter of life or death, could it not?


THE NICOLAITANE SPIRIT


We have heard much concerning what Nicolaitanes are which is first spoken of in the church of Ephesus. Biblical scholars and historians of whom you read, all seem to agree with Nicolaitanes mentioned in Revelation 2:6, which the Lord saw in the Ephesus Church and furthermore saw was prevailing their influence over, not only that church, but the other churches of the message as well for even before 95 A.D. was not actually an individual group of people in Ephesus called by that name, Nicolaitanes, instead they teach it was a spirit which was being harbored by some there at Ephesus in that influential church, and their influence was beginning to create quite a problem throughout all the latter part of the first age! Let me say, this Nicolaitane spirit is blocking and hindering the definite move of the Holy Ghost in his leadership among his people in the congregation of the churches, and I want to emphasize something, I have yet to read one scholar or historian who has ever stated what promoted or what caused this spirit to take hold and ever gain foothold at Ephesus and their influence in turn caused other churches to take the same step or action insomuch that Christ himself stated Pergamos had made a doctrine out of this thing and was teaching as a doctrine the thing Ephesus was doing which to them was only a deed or action taken on the part of the ministry.


Yes, the scripture gives enough clues we can easily determine what happened that caused a Holy Ghost led church with an open fellowship such as Ephesus, to suddenly change from one mode of worship into something else which became known by the Lord himself as Nicolaitane deeds, which He said He hated, and furthermore the true saints in that congregation also hated!


I want to re-emphasize that this spirit which God hated ruling over His people in 95 A.D. was not present and could by no means ever be present in Paul’s day, nor was it present in 64 A.D., when Paul wrote his beautiful letter to the model church of that first age called Ephesus. Whatever transpired causing that spirit to show itself happened after Paul died, and later we shall read in Acts 20, when Paul gave his final address to the Ephesian elders, whom he was leaving in charge of the work at Ephesus, that this thing was going to come!


In order to understand more clearly what this FIRST WORKS of this church were to which they are commanded to return or else He will come and remove their candlestick, we must go back more than forty years to study what led to the founding of this great church.


PART 2 – PAUL’S FIRST VISIT TO EPHESUS


Time is drawing near once again for another Jewish feast in Jerusalem and Paul wanted to be present. No doubt it gave him great opportunity to witness to many Jews. Therefore, we note Paul leaving Corinth after having ministered 1½ years and takes with him Aquilla and Priscilla, crosses the Dardanelles Straits and comes directly into the capitol city of Asia Minor, the very headquarters of the Diana religion. Perhaps as no other city in Asia Minor this was the most influential. What was its name? EPHESUS! It is Paul’s first visit to Ephesus. On this missionary journey there will be no church founded however, as usual when Paul arrived in this beautiful, gentile city stooped in idolatry, where does he go first, straight to the local Jewish synagogue and is permitted to bear testimony of his wonderful, glorious revelation of Jesus Christ; not giving them too much during the first visit, nevertheless it has been enough to excite the curiosity of the Jews as they flock around him desiring that he stay and tell them more of this wonderful story. To this he explained he could not because he had to be at Jerusalem in time for the feast, nevertheless he promised faithfully he would return to Ephesus as he had been extended a hearty invitation by the Jews to return. Note, he does not take Aquilla and Priscilla with him to Jerusalem, instead, leaves them at Ephesus and journeys on alone.


WHY PAUL WENT TO JEW FIRST


Here is something interesting, have you ever noticed or wondered why in each gentile city between Acts 13 and Acts 19 Paul would always seek out the Jew first? Yes, beloved, within each gentile city Paul visited scattered throughout the Roman Empire there was always found a Jewish colony. The history or origination of Jewish colonies in gentile territory can reach as far back as 600 B.C. in the Babylonian dispersion. Jewish synagogues were established in each town, however, for the main seven feasts of which all Israel observed, the Jews would always go to Jerusalem to the temple. If Paul was an apostle to the gentiles, as he most certainly was, why did he continually seek out the Jew first? There are two main reasons.


BRIDGING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER


(1) The gospel was to go to the Jew first, (2) The Jew of that certain locality who had been reared in that area, knowing the customs and traditions and the tongue of these gentiles – these converted Jews could bridge the gap for the Apostle Paul to work his way into the heart or main flow of the gentile society in that area! As these Jews all spoke the original mother tongue, Hebrew, which Paul also spoke, they also were familiar with the language of the gentiles of their particular locality. Thus, God had bridged the language gap or barrier of all gentiles by permitting these Jewish colonies to be located in each of these cities, even long before he was ready to send his Jewish Apostle among the gentiles to preach the gospel in their language!


GENTILE LANGUAGES AND HEBREW BOTH AT PENTECOST


In Acts 2, we see how both the Hebrew and the national tongues wherein those Jews who visited Pentecost when the Holy Ghost came into the life of the believer played such an important role. The Jews from various nationalities who were visiting Jerusalem on this particular feast day testified how they had heard the praises of God coming from these Jewish Galileans in the tongue in which they were born! Acts 2 shows some 16 nationalities on the day of Pentecost. However, when Peter personally addressed all these Jews present, he spoke in the old mother tongue, Hebrew, the language in which all Jews regardless to which country they were from were familiar with.


CLEARING UP TONGUE CONFUSION


Therefore, I would like to clear up something that has been taught denominational circles – that the tongues in apostolic days were inspired languages in which these Jewish missionaries would speak under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit while they witnessed in these foreign countries! Furthermore, they say tongues ceased after the evangelism of the early church throughout the Roman Empire. To this teaching after the empire was evangelized in the first century, there was no more need for these tongues. However, this is not the purpose of the unknown tongue or language spoken of by Paul to the Corinthians which it appears many of them did speak. These are not tongues in which God permitted missionaries to speak while in foreign countries. The only time you find such a setting and this time was to preach the gospel, but to catch the attention of the Jew at Pentecost when God permitted those believers there to be speaking in some 16 foreign languages. Therefore, the tongues spoken there according to the Jews were their own native tongue wherein they were born and this is what aroused the interest of the Jews of these nations who were visiting Pentecost. However, when Peter preached the sermon, he spoke in the old mother tongue, Hebrew, which all Jews everywhere understand. No, tongues were not given for the purpose of evangelism in foreign countries, because as already stated, whenever Paul visited in each city he first visited the Jewish synagogue where after some Jews were converted through these contacts he was able to venture into the flow of the gentile society of whatever area he was in because it was these converted Jews who could speak these different dialects and were a great assistant to Paul. In short, by placing these Jewish colonies throughout the world of that day, God had already bridged the language barrier of that hour when the hour arrived He would send his Jewish apostle throughout the gentile nations of Asia and Europe to preach the gospel of Christ in their own language.


UNLOCKING THE CHURCH AGE


Watch closely the events now coming up surrounding Ephesus and the birth of the church which had great influence throughout the gentile church world for no less than 8 years. Aquilla and Priscilla, having been left in the city of Ephesus with these hungry Jews while Paul journeyed on to Jerusalem, did not seize the opportunity of doing a great deal of witnessing in this most susceptible field! There is definitely a reason why! Watch these events unfold as we near the birth of the church at Ephesus.


ONE ACT OF WITNESSING


Meanwhile, an eloquent speaker and lawyer named Apollos, had somewhere in the past come in contact with the revelation of Jesus Christ as had been taught by John the Baptist some years prior. John, you recall, came in the spirit and power of Elijah to forerun Christ’s first coming, baptized disciples telling them to believe on him who should come after him – that is on Christ Jesus. Apollos had come to this Jewish synagogue at Ephesus where Aquilla and Priscilla had an opportunity to hear him speak. He was powerful in the scriptures as far as his revelation had led him and he was more than faithful with what revelation he had, convincing the Jew that Christ was the Lord God in the flesh. Some of these Jews believed in his teaching as far as he was able to teach them, however, Aquilla and Priscilla, having been with Paul 1½ years or more, knew Apollos’ revelation was not up to date as Paul taught it. Note what they did! They were not like people of today, by no means. Aquilla and Priscilla took only Apollos aside (not his converts) and explained to him the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:26). No they never did touch his converts; they never explained one thing to them! Out side this one act there is not one mention of anything these two did, yet truly there was a great opportunity in this area though Aquilla and Priscilla never touched it! Bringing Apollos’ revelation up to date, which would include the true name of Jesus, water baptism and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:38 was all they did, they in turn sent letters of recommendation by Apollos over to Corinth where Paul had converts and had pastored there for 1½ years. Apollos leaves and goes to Corinth where evidently from the letter Paul wrote later to the church at Corinth Apollos was very successful in his ministry there, (I Corinthians 3:4-8). Aquilla and Priscilla apparently discussed this revelation with no others, instead waited for the return to Paul to teach the revelation to those hungry Jews.

 

 

EPHESUS LEFT STRICTLY TO PAUL’S MINISTRY


We are now approaching Chapter 19 of Acts, the most important chapter of our study where we see Paul’s first convert in Ephesus which shall lead into one of the greatest influential churches in all Asia. Paul returns from the feast at Jerusalem, Acts 19:1, “And it came to pass while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coast of Asia Minor came down to Ephesus.” Paul is now back in Ephesus, but not at the Jewish synagogue, and I want you to watch every minute detail in this chapter for some of the most important developments as we shall now see some of the works unto which this church in 95 A.D. was commanded to return to in that first love. “Finding certain disciples..” (Whose disciples were they, not Paul’s, he didn’t have any new disciples in Ephesus). These men no doubt have fallen under Apollos’ influence . Although they were (Apollos’) disciples they will make a statement which proves Aquilla and Priscilla had not been witnessing to the Jews about this revelation, for these twelve say to Paul they had not so much as heard where there be a Holy Ghost! Apollos did not know that either until he met Aquilla and Priscilla. This shows the Holy Ghost would not permit Apollos to remain in Ephesus to preach the true way, because as you shall see, Paul must be the founder of this special work!


PAUL’S FIRST CONVERT


Knowing they were believers or disciples he asked under what were they baptized and they replied, “Unto John’s baptism”. Note, Paul knew all about John’s ministry. You see, the prophet John, even though he was the forerunner for the first coming of Christ, coming in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17) was not continually preached upon throughout the early church. You can be assured that early church knew the role and ministry which John had played in the scriptures! Imagine Paul saying to those men after being told they were baptized unto John, WHO IS JOHN, I NEVER HEARD OF HIM!! No, beloved, Paul knew exactly John’s position in the scripture and he recognized that position although John was recognized in no more than he was called to do – ANNOUNCE THE FIRST COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!


Remember, we are approaching the birth of the Ephesus Church whish is in approximately 54 A.D., and it is in this period God is opening up what He calls the first gentile dispensation or age called Ephesus, and furthermore it is these twelve men who are Paul’s first converts in Ephesus that constitutes the birth of the church! Therefore, the Ephesus Church Age has opened with this church at Ephesus being in the center spotlight!


Reading Acts 19:4, we are told Paul explained to these twelve men John had truly baptized with water, declaring to all his disciples they should believe on him that should come after him, that is on Jesus Christ. Watch these events as they unfold as they are most important seeing the church come into its infancy. We are now about to witness something pertaining to the Holy Ghost which is only recorded three times in scripture!


GENTILES TO HAVE SAME HOLY GHOST POWER


God is preparing to unlock something pertaining to this thing of how people say you must receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost in a certain special way, watch this closely! Out of all the churches Paul has founded, whether it be Corinth, Thessalonica, churches in Derbe, Lystra or throughout Asia or Europe, not one of them expressed how a single disciple received the baptism of the Holy Ghost or what experience they went through! However, here in Chapter 19, Paul comes straight into Ephesus, meets twelve disciples and the first thing he asks is about the Holy Ghost. And notice, we are told how they received the Holy Ghost. There is definitely a reason it had to be in this manner because it is with this church God is officially doing something for the third time, opening His gentile dispensational church period in its first stage and the church will pass through seven stages before the end, according to Revelation 2 and 3. Here is the initial opening of the gentile church age as twelve men receive Christ in His fulness and become the first twelve candidates of the new church at Ephesus! The official opening of this church can not be just any old way, it must be exactly according to the true pattern, else how could it ever be the model and influential church that shall rise to such prominence under the ministry of the Apostle Paul within the next three years that all Asia and the gentile church world shall be influenced by it. No wonder Christ demands this church to repent and return to its first works in 95 A.D. It is because of that great influence and sway it held over the other churches of the age! Were she to repent, she would be influential in leading the others to follow her example!


EPHESUS AND THE 3RD OPENING


Thus, as we watch the gospel in action upon these twelve men, we are seeing the working of the Holy Spirit within that first gentile church age. That is why the Holy Ghost is so precise in every detail concerning Acts 19, especially those first six verses. And as Paul officially opens this gentile church age at Ephesus with these twelve disciples, it explains why Aquilla and Priscilla never started a church or fellowship through their personal witnessing before Paul returned. No, by no means, shall this be an ordinary church, for we shall see things transpire in this church that transpired in no other gentile church under Paul’s ministry, and furthermore we shall see WHY they transpired.


SOMETHING HAPPENS FOR 3RD TIME


The fact we see the messenger to the age, the Apostle Paul, take these twelve men and although they have been baptized once, they must be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus and come into this thing correctly and receive the Holy Ghost, speak in tongues, and prophesy in order to illustrate there is absolutely no less happening here or being received as this gentile church age is officially opening, as did appear in the other two official openings found in Acts 2 and Acts 10 on these other two great occasions found in scripture, though many years apart! (1) When the Holy Ghost officially came on the day of Pentecost, infilled those 120 Jews in the upper room and the scripture declares, they spoke with tongues. I AM TEACHING SOME TONGUE EVIDENCE DOCTRINE, that must be clearly understood. I am merely showing you how on these three special occasions (only), some 10 years apart in each case He initiated the opening with the same power and presence of that same Spirit (His).


Although from Pentecost up to this hour it must be remembered tens of thousands had all received the same Holy Ghost, yet there is not one mention as to how any of them received the Holy Ghost only on these three special occasions is it shown, some 10 to 20 years apart! The purpose, as stated, is to show God is giving the same measure of grace to the gentile church and she will have the same Holy Ghost, the same revelation, and the same gifts as when it officially opened with the Jews.


LOCATION OF EPHESUS


Ephesus, where God lit His candle to light all Asia, was the capitol city of Asia Minor and in Paul’s day was a contemporary city to Athens, Greece, as well as Rome. As a matter of fact, the road from Ephesus which led around the Mediterranean Sea went straight to Rome. Thus came the slogan, all roads lead to Rome! This beautiful seaport city lay on the coast of Asia Minor facing the Aegean Sea next to the country of Greece and protruded down into the Mediterranean Sea, thus separating two areas of land by a large body of water coming from the Straits, draining into the Black Sea. Probably the most important factor of this city was religiously, seeing it was the headquarters of the Diana religion with its temple location there. This religion had spread its influence across all Asia from the city of Ephesus. Perhaps this more than any other reason is why God chose Ephesus to establish His church to bear such influence over all Asia as had the Diana worship from their headquarters in Ephesus. From here God would spread His true light of revelation throughout all Asia by His first church age messenger.


TEMPLE OF DIANA


Ephesus not only was the center of the Diana religion, but was also the location of the great temple of the goddess Diana, which had influenced all Asia religiously for centuries. This rich industrial city being one of great culture perhaps is why the headquarters of the Diana religion was established here and her worshipers spread throughout Asia Minor (and the world). Just as Athens, Greece, which lay across the Aegean Sea had those great Acropolis buildings dating back to 1600 B.C. and still further on many miles west stood that great ancient city of Rome with her many pagan shrines and temples being used to worship pagan deities, both male and female, likewise was Ephesus the third city being the headquarters of the Diana religion.


Undoubtedly this goddess has been greatly responsible for the tremendous growth of Ephesus due to the fact that the Diana temple was located within the city. This temple in its magnificent beauty required 200 years to complete, its dimensions reached 425 ft. long, 220 ft. wide, 60 ft. tall and was supported by 127 pillars. Yes, it was through this pagan temple that the worshipers of Diana of the Ephesians were successful in spreading their influence and worship throughout all Asia Minor. Therefore, can’t you see why the God of heaven would choose this very city to light His candle of true revelation and beam that light across Asia where in less than 3 years He had rocked the very foundation of this ancient (woman) religion! Perhaps more so than Martin Luther when he shook the Catholic Church in 1517, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation!


WORKING OF HOLY GHOST – SAME


Already we have been in Acts 19:1-6, step by step Paul’s conversation with the twelve men who knew only John the Baptist’s revelation of Jesus Christ. Taking these men, re-baptizing them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, laying hands upon them and seeing these 12 Ephesians disciples speaking in tongues and prophesying proves one thing; God is giving unto the gentile church age that same full measure of grace with nothing watered down nor diluted in the way of the Spirit, but giving exactly the same full measure of grace issued to the Jews on the day of Pentecost some 20 years prior, and also to the household of the Roman Centurion Cornelius as the gentile age itself was opened in Acts 10, as his household received the Holy Ghost in the Holy Land ten years earlier at Caesarea as that second phase was opened within the grace age.


EPHESUS – 2 OUTSTANDING EVENTS


Furthermore, to show you as God is opening in Acts 19 the gentile church age at Ephesus there were two outstanding events which standout through the ministry of the Apostle Peter as Jerusalem, 20 years prior, that are similar to the two miraculous events which happened at Ephesus under Paul’s ministry demonstrating the power of the Holy Ghost given to the gentile church is exactly the same as that when the Holy Spirit lay strictly in the hands of the Jewish disciples at Jerusalem some years before Israel declared herself completely unworthy to receive any part of the gospel, remaining strictly with the Law of Moses and the temple worship.


Now to examine these two things which happened in Paul’s ministry at Ephesus which was very similar to two things which happened in Jerusalem. (1) At Jerusalem the very shadow of Peter healed the sick. At Ephesus came forth aprons, cloths, handkerchiefs, etc., from Paul’s body that was carried throughout Asia, and as that material was placed upon the body of the sick and afflicted, they were instantly healed of whatever disease they possessed, including demon possession. (Acts 19:10-12). (2) The slaying of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 as they lied to the Holy Ghost concerning certain property which had been sold. The Bible declares fear fell upon everyone around and no man dust join himself to them for fear. Now at Ephesus we are told Paul’s great meeting held within this school building drew such crowds, coming from all over Asia (converts of the Diana religion) who repented and were saved, filled with the Holy Ghost and healed, and the name of Jesus Christ grew so strong and powerful, it is recorded a Jewish priest named Sieva had seven sons of which the scripture calls vagabond Jews (exorcists, fortune tellers, zodiac studiers). No doubt these seven son were most ambitious and would enjoy having a following of their own, had watched Paul casting out devils and observed the name of Jesus which he used was powerful against demons. These seven sons find a demon possessed man upon whom they use the name of Jesus to cast out these demons. Bravely they say, come out of the man in the name of Jesus of whom Paul preaches. To this the demon responded, Paul I know and Jesus I know, BUT WHO ARE YOU? With that the demon possessed man attacked the seven men, whipped, beat and stripped these insomuch they ran from the house, wounded and naked, (Acts 19:16)! Such an event was noised about among all the Jews and Greeks dwelling at Ephesus and (note this just as in Jerusalem) fear fell on them and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. (Acts 19:17)


CONTINUAL 2 YEAR REVIVAL (ACTS 19:10)


Following the conversion of the first 12 in Ephesus, Paul returns to the Jewish synagogue where he ministers 3 months and leaving there took over a school building of one Tyrannus where he ministers daily for two years, wherein all which dwelt in Asia heard the Word. (Acts 19:9-10)


BOOK BURNING


The true disciples of Christ began to multiply out of this idolatrous pagan woman religion as Paul was kept busy for a full three years, preaching day and night, teaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. Sins were confessed, heathen converts straightened out their ways of living and the Bible says those which used curious arts, a common thing in the Diana religion, gave up these things, brought their books before Paul who built a bonfire and burned them in the streets of the city and the price of the books was over 50,000 pieces of silver! Naturally this was shaking the very foundation of this religion of Diana insomuch that near the end of Paul’s third year at Ephesus he had almost crippled the craftsmen’s trade who made the little (woman) Diana trinkets, statues, things to be kept in the home of which the priest would bless. (Reminds you of another religion which has statues, images, prayer beads, etc., and the blessing by priests, does it not? Which is also nothing but a hand-me-down tradition). People throughout Asia were not buying these things from the craftsmen who had in the past had a tremendous business in Ephesus before Paul came.


SILVERSMITH TROUBLE


Demetrius, a silversmith, who made shrines of Diana, along with the other craftsmen who also had grown wealthy, now see their business almost shattered! Things have become so desperate by the time the people burn their books the craftsmen call a meeting to see what steps can be taken to stop Paul before he turns all Asia away from the worship of the goddess Diana.


Reading from Acts 19:21-41, we pick up the story showing Paul’s remaining days in Ephesus are limited. After the burning of the books Demetrius calls a meeting of the craftsmen of his trade telling them how the goddess of Diana has been made to be despised and if something isn’t done soon, her magnificence would be destroyed whom all the world worshiped (by Paul’s teachings). In one form or another this woman religion is worshiped throughout the world, one place she may be called Diana, in another Mary, and another something else. Verse 28 states when they heard this they were filled with wrath and cried, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. Verse 29 discloses the entire city was filled with confusion and taking hold of two of Paul’s traveling companions, men of Macedonia, Gaius and Aristarchus, the crowd rushed with one accord into the theater, and when Paul would have entered in before this mad, confused multitude the disciples begged him to refrain. This great amphitheater now became a mass of confusion as one group of the Diana worshipers cried one thing and another group cried something else, while the majority were not even aware why they were there!


SHOUTING FOR 2 HOURS


For two solid hours they cried GREAT IS DIANA OF THE EPHESIANS! The uproar was of such magnitude the town clerk who tried to quieten the confused, violent mob, assured them if Demetrius and the craftsmen had a quarrel against any man to take it before law for they were in danger, said he, of being called into question (by the Romans) for this day uproar. With this demonstration of Diana worshipers it seems Paul’s ministry in Ephesus after three years is finished. However, study carefully the entire 19th chapter of Acts for that great three year ministry where his time was spent as God lit this candle at Ephesus spreading His revelation light throughout Asia from this one lighthouse from Ephesus.


PAUL LEAVES EPHESUS


Paul left in Ephesus a church which was influential over all the other churches of the same revelation. Just as the great Goddess Diana supposing to have been an image fallen from Jupiter and worshiped throughout Asia with their strategic spot, temple etc., located in Ephesus, likewise did God place His beacon light in Ephesus not only spreading the light all over Asia from that one candle, lighting many fires, but was so influential it became the symbol of all churches of the first age. Therefore, is there any wonder Satan would especially attack this one church after Paul’s departure.


We note in verse 21, even before this great uproar brought about by Demetrius and the craftsmen against Paul, already Paul was feeling in his spirit his time was about up in Ephesus as he had a desire to visit Rome. However, before this could be accomplished he must first pass through Macedonia, Corinth, Achaia and other places before returning to Jerusalem and later visit Rome.


MESSAGE TO ELDERS


While at Corinth Paul decides to return to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, which by the way, will be his final trip, for here he will be captured and eventually, upon his request, be sent to Rome to appeal his case before Caesar. However, watch especially what he does here! Remember, he has left the church at Ephesus where he pastored for three years and that church became a light of inspiration to the gentile age during that period. Now Paul is so moved in the Spirit that he must deliver a final message unto the Ephesian elders themselves (not to the congregation). Elders are men who hold certain offices within the five-fold ministry. However, Paul does not return to the church itself in Ephesus to deliver this urgent message. Instead, on his return to Jerusalem he passes through Miletus, a town a short distance from Ephesus, and sends word to the Ephesian elders to meet him there. Here at Miletus Paul warns these men of certain things (Acts 20) and conditions which will arise at Ephesus in the church after his departure.


WARNED OF 2 THINGS COMING


He beings by saying to these men left in charge of the church and made overseers by the Holy Ghost – “You will see my face no more.” Naturally such a statement grieved the elders who dearly loved Paul. Nevertheless, Paul knew his personal ministry in Asia was completed and he would never return! The church at Ephesus had now been turned over to others, however, the three years Paul labored there he had withheld nothing in his teaching concerning this faith and revelation of truth that they should know. For the final time addressing the saddened Ephesian elders at Miletus who see the seriousness of this meeting, Paul continues by saying he must be at Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. I go bound in the spirit but I know bonds and afflictions abide me in Jerusalem. How did he know that? The Holy Ghost was constantly witnessing this one thing to him in every city he visited. Such a continual witness could come only through the nine gifts of the Spirit which many, I am sorry to say, do not believe in today, nevertheless, were most prevalent and in operation in the assemblies of the early gentile church day! Paul told these serious minded Ephesian elders, AFTER MY DEPARTURE GRIEVOUS WOLVES SHALL DECEITFULLY ENTER INTO THE FLOCK AT EPHESUS, RIPPING AND TEARING THE POOR SHEEP TO SHREDS WITH THEIR FALSE REVELATIONS AND THEORIES (which were prevalent in that hour, mainly over the godhead).


Not only did he warn them to beware of the false apostles etc., who would come but GET THIS, men within their own ranks within the church would rise up at Ephesus and begin to lead away souls after their wild, fanatical teachings which, no doubt, they would declare to the local assembly to be revelations from God! It seemed the devil was going to turn loose with everything he had in the way of false teachers and bombard the very gate of this influential church after the departure of this great apostle. Paul warned them to watch for this for it would come, watch those two things especially!


PAUL IN ROME


Leaving the Ephesian elders at Miletus, he journeyed on to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost where, no doubt, he desires to witness unto the multitudes of Jews. After all, it was at the Feast of Pentecost Peter won 3,000 souls…remember? Paul arrives at Jerusalem and, as the Spirit had warned him, ran straight into trouble as he was confronted by an angry mob who had cooked up quite a story against him. For his safety he is arrested by the Romans and placed in jail. The angry Jewish mob threatens to kill him, however, the Lord spoke to him in a vision saying, as you have witnessed of me in Jerusalem so also will you bear witness of me in Rome. Recall, he told the Ephesian elders he had a desire to see Rome! All these things have great importance because it was sometime after Paul reached Rome, around 64 A.D., approximately eight years after he had established the church at Ephesus he wrote his immortal letter praising that great church for the influential way they were known throughout Asia as a church of great love and influence. (Ephesians 1:15)


EPHESIAN LETTER WRITTEN FROM ROME


It seems in those first few chapters of that letter Paul touched upon so many of the great doctrines of Christ; GODHEAD, PREDESTINATION, SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER, oh yes, in Ephesians 4:30, we find him telling this church, Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption! This was a later warning unto them for, according to his own prophecy to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, Paul knew the time would come if they were not very careful they would grieve the Spirit. Roughly 30 years later we see the Spirit is grieved (95 A.D.) as he is rebuking the church saying He has somewhat against them and demands their repentance. Notice, in that great Ephesian letter Paul does not go into lengthy detail concerning these church doctrines. Why should he, he did that during those three years teaching them night and day warning all men to repent and flee the wrath of God! He had already taught these great doctrines to that church, withholding nothing! The thing I want you to notice in the Ephesian letter – there is not the slightest indication this spirit spoken of in Revelation 2 as deeds of Nicolaitanes had even begun to work in the hour of 64 A.D., in this great church which at that hour still remained with an open Holy Ghost led fellowship! It is evident in all of Paul’s gentile churches or fellowships as he is the messenger to the age, he promoted an open fellowship in the assemblies among the saints, yet everything was run decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:26 & 40). Paul’s anointed ministry and manner of life, and his zeal so inspired this church that their love, devotion, doctrinal teachings, zeal and missionary efforts became known throughout all Asia. Churches throughout Asia were formed, although not personally founded by the Apostle Paul, instead various people came and lit their fires of revelation off the gospel candlelight that burned at Ephesus, the capitol city of Asia Minor, which still remained that model church who influenced all the other gentile churches of that hour in the revelation of Christ in their manner of following the leadership of the Holy Ghost.


Thank God Paul never lived to see this dreadful condition in his beloved church at Ephesus which had developed in 95-96 A.D. Paul lived only approximately one year after writing the Ephesian letter before he was beheaded at Rome on Nero’s chop-block. Therefore, the Apostle Paul had been dead roughly 30 years when John received word to write to the seven local churches of Asia, Ephesus being first and received a rebuke that none of the others received because Ephesus was responsible for what happened-which affected that age and the other 6 ages as well!


ROME NEVER ACCEPTS PAUL AS CHURCH AGE MESSENGER


As we previously stated, Paul had left Ephesus for several years before he ever saw Rome. However, eventually he finally went to Rome where in 64 A.D. he wrote that great Ephesian letter, and at that hour the church was much like he left it. It is believed that while Paul visited Corinth after leaving Ephesus, he writes a letter to the Roman church expressing his desire to come their way that he might impart unto them some spiritual gift, (Romans 1:11-15), informing the church he was ready to preach the gospel at Rome also. It should be noted the church at Rome to which Paul writes from Corinth was already presently established in Rome, being neither founded nor influenced by the Apostle Paul, as were the churches throughout Asia Minor and some sections of Europe. AND GET THIS, it was the churches throughout Asia whereupon hundreds of years later who eventually became known as the Greek Orthodox Church or the churches of the East who after 800 A.D., severed all relations with the Roman Catholic Church whose headquarters was in Rome and who held sway mainly over the western churches. It appears the eastern churches could never accept a gentile pope that dwelt at Rome claiming to be from the line of bishops of whom they claim the Apostle Peter to be first Bishop of Rome, while all Asia still accepted Paul as having been the gentile church messenger to the gentile church (and not Peter), as it had been mainly Paul’s ministry from Ephesus pastoring that great work for three years wherein multitudes throughout Asia came to Ephesus and were converted. Therefore, the church at Rome which later influenced most of the European churches, particularly with that idea that whatever they did was correct especially in teaching the bishop of Rome to have been the successor to the Apostle Peter and not Paul who all Asia still was accepting as the church age messenger, and this conflict between the East and West grew stronger as it always presented a problem until this final break.


ROMAN CHURCH NOT ESTABLISHED BY PAUL


It appears from Acts 2 that orthodox Jews, and perhaps some gentile proselytes converted to the Jewish faith, were present in that great audience in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when those disciples came out of the upper room, drunk on the spirit (Acts 2), and one of these languages the Holy Ghost was allowing to be uttered in the street of Jerusalem by Galilean Jews was that of a Roman tongue which caught the attention of some of the Jews from that area, and they were converted off the revelation of the Apostle Peter to whom Christ had given the keys to the kingdom and these had obeyed Acts 2:38 and returned to Rome where they established a fellowship of worship around this revelation. At first the fellowship consisted mainly of a nucleus of Jewish Christians until later it became a mixed congregation once gentile began to be added to the fellowship. Such a fellowship of Jews and gentiles had created a friction which Paul had heard about, and from Corinth he writes an inspiring letter to the Roman Church wherein he spares no punches as he knew his office saying, thou who sayest thou art a Jew, thou makest a boast of the law etc. (Romans 2:17-29). Certain things had leaked out from the church at Rome and had reached the ears of Paul. Paul, being the apostle to the gentiles, wrote a letter to straighten them out on certain things and informed them of his coming to Rome. However, it must be noted after Paul’s death at Rome he was never accepted as the gentile messenger to the age as he was in Asia. Furthermore, it was this European Roman church sometime after Paul’s death which began drifting into domineering ideas of Catholicism and never once lifted up nor recognized Paul to have been the gentile church age messenger of that period. Instead contrary to Galations 3:9, they adopted the Apostle Peter as their messenger and further pretended he was first bishop of Rome. Peter was not the gentile messenger nor was he ever in Rome, and it was that lingering influence of Paul’s throughout Asia Minor and Greece as him being the true gentile messenger which was so strong it, among other things, finally caused the Eastern Greek Orthodox Churches to sever fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church in the 8th Century! Paul’s missionary work throughout his three journeys had been mainly influential through all Asia and the eastern part of Europe called Macedonia, today know as Bulgaria and Greece.


EPHESUS, A GREAT LIGHT


How many can see God lighting His candle at Ephesus and the other churches of Asia Minor, (Revelations 2 & 3) coming to Ephesus to light their revelation from the one fire at Ephesus instead of Paul making personal visits into these various places and personally establishing the local works himself throughout Asia? Yes, they were all lit in the three years Paul, the church age messenger, was at Ephesus.


Remember, Paul, in warning those Ephesian elders in Acts 20, had stressed these two extreme problems or conditions which would arise sometime after his departure (apparently meaning after death). Grievous wolves would come into the congregation at Ephesus to deceive many, and he warned further that some of their own men in Ephesus would rise up and draw away disciples! Leaving the Ephesian elders whom he would never see again, Paul departs for Jerusalem and is captured, moved to Caesarea where he spent some two years, and during this time wrote many of his epistles back to his gentile churches. From there he was placed aboard ship and taken to Rome where in 64 A.D., he wrote that beautiful and inspiring epistle to the Ephesian Church which we note at that time was still a great church, walking in its first love and still in tune with God! Had not something happened somewhere after Paul’s death that swayed this church onto a different pattern of devotion, she would never have received the rebuked she did in Revelation 2, some thirty years later. Ephesus, that beloved church pastored by Paul the church age messenger to the gentiles, had set the stage and was Christ’s model church of the age. However, what prompted Christ to write certain things to rebuke to this church who had exemplified the spirit of love, unity and doctrinal stand of which Paul taught, happened somewhere roughly between 67-95 A.D., less than 30 years. What she stood for and exemplified, as Ephesus lit the age, could not be seen in the church 40 years after her birth!


A CHURCH AFTER 40 YEARS


Much can happen to a church in forty years which plays such an important role as did Ephesus. Conditions and events can develop to such a point within a church such as Ephesus, in 40 years which will determine her course and destiny as to the direction the church will travel in unity, doctrine, etc. Recall, any church such as Ephesus which plays a major role in God’s program, irregardless of how great it is to the age, if it steps out of line of God’s program He too will rebuke it! I hate to say this, nevertheless bring this over into our present age. After God has been gracious enough to re-establish us in the true revelated, apostolic truth as taught by those original apostles, let any church playing such a major role of influence as did Ephesus to her age and see where such a church in our age is after 40 years – WILL IT GO THE SAME ROUTE?


Sorry, but the 40 years span I particularly have in mind concerning this age is from 1933-1973, when something was accomplished within the state of Indiana which greatly affected the Laodicean gentile world! I am aware some of my statements could hurt, however, I am only interested in one thing – IS GOD’S WILL BEING ACCOMPLISHED? God never permitted Paul to live long enough to see what would occur in these local assemblies which were influenced by his beloved Ephesus, the model church to the age. If he had lived to see it, undoubtedly it would have broken his heart. Perhaps none of the other six messengers lived to see the way their church went after 40 years either! To think the aged Apostle John had to be inspired around 95 A.D., to write such a letter of rebuke to what was once one of the finest gentile churches in all Asia Minor! As a matter of fact if you will notice there was something wrong within each of the other six churches as well in which Christ addressed in Revelations 2 & 3. Although by no means were these seven churches all the churches in Asia Minor, why are only these particular seven chosen from the great number of churches? Nothing is said concerning the church at Lycaonia, Derbe, Lystra, Galatia, Corinth, etc., only these particular seven in Asia Minor. God has found fault with all seven and what happened certainly was not Paul’s fault. The blame lay with other people at Ephesus after Paul’s death. Although we have traveled 1900 years since Paul’s day no matter how greatly God may have used a man or his church, let that church choose to go another direction contrary to the true plan and purpose of God and it too shall be rebuked as was Ephesus the model church one it finds displeasure in the eyes of God!


PART 3 – LETTER OF REBUKE


Bear in mind, the birth of the church came around 54 A.D., and forty years later the aged Apostle John, on a barren, snake infested island called Patmos, is inspired of the Holy Ghost to write the most stern rebuking letter this church ever received! No, the condition present in 95 A.D., was not there when Paul pastored for three years and pushed that church into the very spotlight for all Asia to see as an example and follow.


John, forty years after the birth of the Ephesus Church is compelled by the Spirit to write certain things to Ephesus in Revelation 2, saying, “Unto the angel of the church at Ephesus write, saith he that holdeth the seven stars (7 messengers to the 7 church ages) in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” These seven golden candlesticks stood first of all for the revealed light of the seven local Asiatic churches who lit their testimonial light from the one light at Ephesus. However, we see this hold a two-fold meaning! These seven local gentile churches wherein the light was shining which had been lit from Ephesus, this light was the revelated light of Christ. Furthermore, each of these seven local churches exemplifies the Spirit of Christ which should be portrayed or projected and would shine throughout the seven gentile ages.


EXAMINING EPHESUS’ 40 YEARS WORK


To Ephesus, the Lord is saying, I KNOW THY WORKS. Works in this sense represents the deeds accomplished throughout the church’s ministry for the Lord over the past 40 years serving in the dispensation of the kingdom of God. However recall, as Christ observes that which He considered works that being accomplished for His name, He further notes what spirit their labor is accomplished in! Believe me, Christ is far more concerned over the human vitality or enthusiasm and devotion displayed toward the work which is done as they (or we) carry out our labor of love for Him in his service. In this Ephesus Church after 40 years, the devotion has become merely a thing of routine and not in the fervency, zeal and love it displayed in the beginning. Of this God was not well pleased!


Christ sees whether their labor (as well as ours) springs from a heart of pure love, zeal and devotion or whether it is merely something that has become a drudgery and constant struggle. Whichever, it will register on the countenance of the heart or spirit of the fellowship of the church. Ephesus, I know thy works and thy labor. Remember, before you can apply any part of this letter to the first gentile age as a whole, it must first be applied to that local church in Ephesus whose fellowship exemplifies that which is going on in the age at this hour! I know the effort and enthusiasm you have in time past put into the work to accomplish something for my name. I know thy works and thy labor or the strain under which you have performed your work. Why is it worded in such manner, because God examines the heart or spirit (of the church) which registers that strain or joy and enthusiasm in which the work is performed. Your effort and patience, see, all these words such as work, labor, effort and patience all link together in what they are doing because the moment you begin doing something for God that exerts action on your part, either you will face the works for Him with love and patience or it will become impatient, discouraged, desiring to give up and quit. And he says, I know thy works, the things you have accomplished. I know your labor and your effort you have put forth or the patience and the attitude how you faced up to the responsibility. Recall, he has reference to the effect these grievous wolves and the many within their own fellowship who have over the years rose up, teaching perverse things leading away disciples as Paul spoke of in Acts 20, who had left the fellowship. Constantly trying them who claimed to be apostles and finding them to be liars became quite a strain after awhile. The strain of such activity couples with the gradual loss of their first love and devotion was beginning to tell on this model church and it was affecting the spirit of the age among the other gentile churches also!


EVIL WAS HATED


Christ continues by saying, you cannot bear them who are evil. Still after 40 years they despised sin, corruption, evil of any nature, desiring to live clean and holy lives and hear the wonderful truth from God’s true servants. The Anti-Nicean fathers books cover that closing period of the first age as it goes into the second gentile church age. And beloved, in those early days, those men such as Ireneaus, Polycarp and others were strict. Today we really don’t know what being strict in Christian living is compared to how they taught it. This is a day when you speak concerning men and women appearances they take it so lightly. However, in that day you wouldn’t be fellowshipped or spoken to if you did not live and dress properly. One who didn’t live and dress according to the Christian testimony of that day was treated as an unbeliever! Because from your conduct and personal appearance, to them that revealed what you had on the inside and after 40 years we note Ephesus still possessed that loyal, fervent spirit within the church of standing against evil.


TRYING FALSE APOSTLES


Now we approach that part of Christ’s letter which closes in on the very purpose of John writing, the purpose which led to their dilemma as it spread its influence across Asia. After, he said, you cannot bear them that are evil, he continues by saying, you have tried those who claim to be apostles and found them to be liars. I wonder, beloved, just how many of these false apostles with wild revelations had come through Ephesus, falsely claiming to be apostles? Recall, Paul in Acts 20 informed the Ephesian elders they would be coming. Paul at that hour of informing the elders this, had been the only apostle to have ever been to Ephesus. However, sometime after Paul’s Ephesian letter had been written in 64 A.D., and he passes off the scene, many have come through pretending to be apostles with great revelations. Paul said grievous wolves and men among yourselves will rise up, not spring the flock, therefore, Paul was charging these Ephesian elders to guard that flock from such sheep killing wolves and dogs in disguise! (Acts 20:29)


Paul’s three year ministry at Ephesus, as he was the messenger to the gentile church age and through all God accomplished as he labored night and day, no doubt witnessed that Ephesian church to grow into a considerable size and influential work consisting of perhaps many hundreds of believers. Many had come through this church area in the latter part of these 40 years pretending to be apostles, for after all Paul had been an apostle with great revelation and these characters to be able to sway any weight upon such a revelated church as Ephesus would certainly have to pose as an apostle with perhaps deeper revelation to even interest such a congregation. To think what prestige it would be to these characters who wanted to make a name for themselves among christianity to be able to say: I PREACHED AT EPHESUS WHERE PAUL (THE MESSENGER TO THE AGE) PREACHED!


The first age was certainly the age of going forth of apostles as God spoke great revelation through them. There were the twelve who ministered to the circumcision and even throughout the region of the Roman Empire during that day. Furthermore, it was a day when a man spoke freely what his calling in Jesus Christ was. It was also an hour a man’s calling could be recognized by the evidence of the things which either went before him or after him that bore testimony whether he was such or not. It was an hour that Peter, Jude, Paul and the others could truly say, I am an apostle of Jesus Christ because surely Christ had sent each of them. Furthermore, it was an hour when it was established and written that such men as Judas, Agabus, Titus and Silas were prophets. Yes, it was an hour when man, called of God and set forth in the gentile church age in this five-fold ministry was not ashamed of his calling nor would back up from his office! Whatever the man’s calling, prophet, apostle, evangelist, teacher or pastor, the Spirit of God bore witness to it!


Recall further, it was a day when very little of the Word (New Testament) going forth had been written. Instead it was given out in an oral manner, spoken from the mouth of anointed men. Not until sometime later did the various letters of the New Testament begin to be written. Yes, beloved, this was an age of apostles when men went forth declaring a revelated Bible message and having authority from God to set things straight or set something in motion within the kingdom of God. Ephesus was that church of great influence wherein the candle was first lit for gentile churches throughout all Asian cities as they came to Ephesus during those three years of Paul’s ministry, and lit their candle thus returning to their own cities to begin their own fellowships. With Ephesus holding that influential position it is no wonder these false apostles and prophets after Paul’s death, would want to first go to Ephesus to make a name or stake a claim, much like in the gold rush days of 1849, when everyone wanted to go to California! Well, everyone who wanted some kind of recognition as someone outstanding couldn’t pass up the opportunity of going to Ephesus! These false apostles, of which Paul warned the elders, would come by and bombard the congregation with their revelations and over a period of time split and divide believers as they stood in the open assembly slipping in these wild revelations through their testimony because Ephesus, as well as all the churches at the time, did have an open fellowship in the assembly. An open assembly worship naturally presented a greater opportunity for these false apostles and those who wanted to have the opportunity to say something deceptive. However, remember it was also just as great an opportunity for the true anointed servants to say something uplifting as it was for the others to tear down! The true servants could manifest tongues, prophecies, etc., to edify the assembly. It must not be believed that every man who testified at Ephesus bore false revelation, by no means! God used this open fellowship of assembly worship to bless his saints as his Spirit could work among them, permitting a true uplifting testimony of revelation and blessing to be shared by all the congregations of that day, especially Ephesus. These false apostles felt if they will let me in Ephesus to say something they will allow me in almost anywhere to witness, especially after they hear I have been to Ephesus, AFTER ALL, THIS IS WHERE PAUL WAS! My, I have been to Ephesus where the messenger to the age stood and preached… What a boost to their prestige!


That is somewhat like it is in our day. An evangelist would come by certain churches and say, I know Bro. Branham; I was in a meeting with him; I have been in his tabernacle, leaving an impression on the believers as he desires to worm his way into their confidence with such smooth speech, thinking this gives him some prestige or some great anointing when perhaps if the truth was known they may have been in the meeting, however sat 40 rows from the platform! It reminds me of an evangelist who came through our area once declaring he had come from great meetings in Alaska and Bro. Branham had told him my church probably needed a good evangelist. However, later conferring with Bro. Branham I found out he said no such thing, he was only using Bro. Branham’s influence to get his feet in our door (oh, they still do it across this land). The first sermon was THE FOURTH MAN, an Oral Roberts speciality. How perfectly he had it memorized as I later saw this sermon typed written word for word in his Bible. It seemed, after the first night, according to him, our little building wouldn’t hold the congregation he would draw. Therefore, off he went a few miles away to Louisville to rent a larger building where he lasted only a few nights. Sure, he like so many others who sought Bro. Branham’s reputation and influence for their own advantage, was a good speaker. These characters worming their way into Ephesus were also good speakers, but that didn’t make them true preachers of the Word! Concerning this evangelist who came our way, we later found out he left town owing a bill for gasoline and the rent on the building in Louisville. I only use this one incident to illustrate how these characters travel around professing themselves to be great deliverance evangelists, using Bro. Branham’s reputation to further their end. Such characters should have joined Al Capone and John Dillinger, seeing they are crooks also!


When did these false apostles begin to come to Ephesus? AFTER PAUL’S DEATH? No, they wouldn’t dare come around while Paul was alive and try to foul up the lives of true believers, they knew better. This was an hour when men who wanted to be recognized spent much time studying the great doctrine of the godhead which Paul had taught to the gentiles. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be long before some of these men, as Paul stated in Acts 20, would begin to get the idea this doctrine (along with others) needed to be dressed up somewhat.


Therefore, the absence of the original apostles from the field, as many were being martyred or imprisoned, left the field open for these evil characters or sheep killing dogs who desire recognition! It left the way open for these wolves to run rampant, tearing the flock of God to pieces. And where did it happen more than any place else – EPHESUS! She was overrun with these new off colored revelations concerning the godhead as these revelations would be flowered up and twisted many ways. I repeat, in those days within the gentile churches it was definitely God’s intention for these churches to worship with an open fellowship! As a matter of fact, it seemed within the Jewish synagogues there also had been somewhat of an open fellowship where a man had the opportunity to testify. Look how Paul testified in them! On various occasions the leaders of the synagogue would ask Paul if he had something to say. No doubt it was probably true also in the early church. These certain characters also had opportunity to say something as they pretended to be in some part of this fivefold ministry. However, they were seeking to take away from this revelation which had been delivered by Paul by placing a new twist here and there. Like Paul said they would draw away disciples after their way of teaching. Oh, but praise God, there were always those loyal saints who could still say, that isn’t according to Paul’s revelation when he stood here! There were those who would guard that precious revelation with much fervency although as stated not much had been written at that hour. Nevertheless, they knew it was not as Paul had taught it and they would say, you are not teaching it that way, so that makes you false! Be gone you false apostles, we don’t need your newfangled revelations!


Ephesus was definitely that drawing card of which these false ones needed to work their way into other gentile congregations across Asia, etc. If ever one place had received more than their share of false teachers in that hour it was Ephesus. Likewise did Jeffersonville, Indiana, receive more than their fair share when the prophet messenger was alive! It too, became a drawing card for every kind of religious card shark and quack (religiously speaking) who, like those false ones in the day of Ephesus, here in our day would also attach themselves to this message who wanted recognition. Merely let be noised abroad that Bro. Branham would be present at Jeffersonville for a few services and these would also be present in the Jeffersonville meetings (in the early days) distributing their little tracts which mostly supported their own particular idea or theory.


Later we will cover in this message how it was just such things as this which was directly responsible for BRO. BRANHAM MAKING A CERTAIN ORDER IN HIS CHURCH WHICH WOULD AFFECT THE SERVICES OF THE BRANHAM TABERNACLE ONLY, AND FURTHERMORE, HOW CERTAIN UNSPIRITUAL CHARACTERS WHO HAD ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO THIS MESSAGE, HAVING NO MORE LOVE FOR GOD OR HIS PRECIOUS TRUTH THAN THEY DID FOR HIS MARVELOUS NINE SPIRITUAL GIFTS (AND FRUITS), WHICH OUR LORD PLACED WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST, USED SUCH AN EVENT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE WHICH IN TURN AFTER NINE YEARS HAS SPLIT AND HINDERED THE WORK OF GOD AS DID EPHESUS SUFFER AS WELL AS THOSE EARLY GENTILE CHURCHES TAKE A BEATING FROM SUCH CHARACTERS IN THEIR DAY! That spirit is still here among the gentiles in an hour when God has restored his truth to the Bride of the Lord!


You have tried them who say they are apostles and are not and have found them liars and have borne and have patience for my namesake. Meaning, yes Ephesus, for my namesake you certainly have put up with much from these characters who seek to invade your open fellowship which I gave you and try to trouble you.


These false teachers coming mainly to Ephesus were working on the theory that Jesus was not the MIGHTY GOD in flesh nor as John declared him to be (Revelations 1:8) THE FIRST AND LAST OR ALPHA AND OMEGA! Instead, later it was from these forerunning false apostles or anti-christ spirit revelations that Christ was declared to be the second person of the trinity, a doctrine finally adopted in Nicea 325 A.D.! However, while the true fivefold ministry was on the scene they taught no doctrine! John declared they who confessed Jesus Christ was the anointed one and had come in the flesh were of God, in short meant this – he, the anointed one, was the very Old Testament God come in the flesh and any other teaching short of this revelation was anti-christ! Furthermore, when John stated they have gone out from us because they were not of us simply verified Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20! Paul, as did all the apostles, taught Jesus Christ was God manifested in flesh, II Corinthians 5:19, I Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 1 and Isaiah 9:6, to mention only a few. Every true convert baptized throughout Asia which came to that revelated light at Ephesus accepting Jesus Christ was baptized according to how Paul taught these first 12 at Ephesus, in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul taught the church whatsoever you do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus to the glory of God the Father. (Col. 3:17)


ANTI-CHRIST SPIRIT RIDES


Apostle John’s writing in 90 A.D. (I John 4:1) verifies this as John teaches the church to believe not every spirit but try the spirits to see whether they be of God because many false prophets (teachers) are gone out into the world! Yes, by 90 A.D., they had already gone out. In this letter John tells the churches how they may recognize the true ones sent of God, opposed to the false ones who are nothing more than the anti-christ spirit which was already going forth mightily in that first age. John, in his letter, revealed how the people of the assemblies are being affected by men of whom he terms anti-christ agents, running about loosely teaching every kind of doctrine and revelation contrary to that of the apostles. John calls them false christs as he says, there are many anti-christs and they have gone out from us because they were not of us. Truly the devil was permitted to ride in that hour and come against Ephesus just as he has been permitted to ride in years past against Jerusalem when Judaism harassed the church there. However, here he is riding against Ephesus and he will continue to ride until he gets a chance to accomplish his work.


1ST SEAL – WHAT WAS IT?


Turn again to Revelations 5, where John, writing in symbols showed a white horse rider coming forth in the first age, under the first seal. Many within the church world believed the white horse rider to be the Holy Ghost riding in the first age, however, when the real meaning came forth in 1963, by the prophet to the age, it was revealed to be none other than the spirit of anti-christ riding in the first church age! How was he riding? He was riding parallel to the Holy Ghost in order to do his satanic work! If the Holy Ghost through men had already been accomplishing the work of God then the anti-christ will ride parallel to do the work of the devil. What else did the first seal say? The white horse rider went forth to conquer! And that beloved is exactly what he did by first sending out those false teachers to harass and frighten the already weakened church as they were losing their first love, causing the elders to remove certain congregational liberties of their open assembly to block these men from entering – this was only the first step! Satan knew once these men had taken this step, they believed it to be a good step in the right direction as they shut the door on these false teachers. The Holy Spirit was grieved, as Satan knew he would be, and slowly but surely through this first step of removing certain congregational liberties in Ephesus, the Holy Spirit was slowly pushed out of the fellowship as he became more and more grieved.


Nevertheless, five years later in 95 A.D., God could still see at Ephesus there were many who had remained loyal to the name of Jesus revelation as taught by Paul, for in this respect they had bore the brunt and had shown much patience with those characters and for his namesake had labored. Nevertheless, all this harassing by these false teachers had left its effect and begun to show the strain upon this church’s spirituality as it was undergoing such an exertion of strength struggling to remain faithful and loyal to that great revelated light Paul had left with them. Evan as late as 95-96 A.D., God could see they were still remaining loyal, true and faithful to that one name of the Lord Jesus Christ who was the Christ (but not some second person). “And thus had not fainted…” No, they certainly had not given up. Their patience had been greatly tried and taxed to the very breaking point with these characters but they had not given up! Although they had fought long and hard to remain true to certain doctrinal truths and because they were slowly losing their first love which was really going against them no in the battle, they were reaching a point of exhaustion, fright and discouragement over what these false teachers from the outside were planting, as well as those whom Paul spoke of would be working from within the fellowship to raise up from among them and cause people to believe their line of thought! Some of those over-ambitious characters, who, like some in our day feeling they have a call in their life from God, simply couldn’t control themselves until they had fully come into their ministry (as Paul taught the Corinthians) thus leaving themselves open to be invaded by anti-christ spirits helping to lead the church astray!


REMOVING CERTAIN CONGREGATIONAL LIBERTIES


The officials left in charge in the Ephesus church, had reached a breaking point dealing with these characters. They thought for the benefit of the church and the spirituality of the church it would be far better if they would make certain rules in order to keep out all this false and no longer have this open fellowship as it was through this, these false teachers were getting through to the people. However, remember by what they did, it not only shut out the false teachers it also shut out the true ministers, true gifts as well!


This was what Satan wanted, to get the order of the service changed because, as things were, he could never bring in a priesthood to domineer over the saints! These men, no doubt, thought the wisest thing to do was make AN ORDER AFFECTING THE SERVICES! An order or rule which would affect the worship of the local assembly. More on this later when we touch on the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which Christ said he hated as well as did many in the church. Recall deaar ones, that which was done t Ephesus as this order was made, led not only to them receiving the rebuke, 40 years later but the age as well! Because what had only been a deed of action at Ephesus had become now a doctrine in other churches who looked to Ephesus and had followed their example, such as the church at Pergamos!


LOST FIRST LOVE


However, watch Christ now touch on that part which broke his heart concerning this model church. Nevertheless, I find fault against thee (remember Ephesus typifies the age) because thou hast left thy first love. What beloved had caused such an influential church to leave or loose their first love in less than 40 years? This church we know had fought evil, tried false apostles, etc., although when Paul wrote his Ephesian letter in 64 A.D., none of this which was not present in 95 A.D., had transpired.


As Paul, in his Ephesian letter used the illustration of the love of a man and woman for each other to illustrate the love of Christ and his church, allow me to use man and woman briefly to illustrate what Christ meant when he said Ephesus, you have left your first love (ME)! When a young couple falls deeply in love, throughout their courtship it is evident they only have each other in their sight. Their continual topic of conversation is concerning each other. Something inside their heart has drawn them closely together in so much they can now see nothing but each other. Following months of courtship comes marriage and after their honeymoon they must now begin to face up to those responsibilities which marriage has placed upon them. The first few weeks breakfast is wonderful. No matter if the food is slightly burned, their thoughts are still only upon each other. After work he is met at the door with hugs and kisses. However, as the weeks turn into months and months into years, with the constant strain of financial and other pressures, watch what happens! She begins to stop greeting him at the door in the evenings and that continues until finally for them life has merely become a routine, cooking is no more a joy – I will just fix anything, he will accept it! Recall, we are only using such an illustration to show how that Ephesus Church under Paul’s ministry 40 years before had such a fervency and such magnificent zeal and love for God it was still known in 64 A.D. throughout Asia as Paul commended her for the zeal and faith and her devout reputation to her spiritual husband. However, from the continual harassment, persecutions, ridicule and those things she endured from false ones, which at first when she walked in that first love and devotion did not bother them at all; they did not mind the things they had to suffer for his namesake as they were walking closely by his side, as time passed the continual drudgery of these men who invaded their precious open fellowship in the assembly with false testimonies began to have an affect on them, especially after they began to lose their first love as the illustration showed of the young couple when after a time of this continual harassment of obligations, their first love simply dwindled into a life of routine!


Where was that stamina, that first love, that devotion? Sure, Ephesus was probably doing about as much as she always had, that wasn’t the point – THE POINT WAS, HOW SHE WAS DOING IT! Now things were being done merely through routine AND GOD HATES A ROUTINE!


Yes, Ephesus you are probably doing about as much as ever only now it has become routine, return to doing those things for me in the manner you once did, full of zeal, enthusiasm, full of love for my Word, etc., don’t feel that you must do it, feel that you want to do it! Remember from when you are fallen and repent and repent and do the first works over, else I come unto thee quickly and remove thy candlestick out of its place! Be sorry for your present attitude of complacency; you are now doing things from routine and taking things for granted; I see no deep love and devotion in what you are doing. Oh, yes they still loved clean living, and they hated evil, but their love and devotion was burning low. They no longer receive that personal enjoyment that once they did when they could say, Lord, I thank you. That was all gone now, God isn’t receiving that anymore and that beloved, is what He wants! Remember He loved us when we didn’t love Him. Repent, Ephesus and go back to your first love, that original enthusiasm you once showed in your service toward me. Do what you do with joy and gladness, I know you have endured much: you have had every kind of teacher to come along; I know you have been torn to pieces but don’t let that destroy your love!


Poor Ephesus, the model church to the gentiles portraying the age did not repent and today Ephesus is no more! Earthquakes and invading armies ravished that capitol city and its inhabitants. History records how the Moslem world conquered all Asia, including Ephesus. One Moslem leader from Egypt came to Ephesus with his armies and massacred its inhabitants. Such things caused this city of Ephesus to be laying waste and in desolate ruins, and today only a few illiterate tribes dwell in this area who can only reminisce of Ephesus and her former day of great culture and learning. No longer is Ephesus that city of which you could hear the shouts of joy of these early Christians during the first age under Paul’s influence when the books of idolatry were burned in the streets! No longer is she that city which had a stout, stalwart church whose gospel light caused all Asia to walk in truth. Instead today she is nothing but ruins of her former glory. Sad but true, the candlestick remained no longer lit, nor did it continue to shine a true revelation for Ephesus.


NICOLAITANES DEEDS


(1) WHAT WERE THE NICOLAITANES? Something else after 40 years was seen in Ephesus by the Lord of which He said He hates as well as did many of the people. But this thou hast there that thou hatest, the deeds of the Nicolaitanes. As we previously stated, the Nicolaitanes were not a group of people or a sect of people called by this name within the Ephesian Church. Bible scholars and historians alike teach by breaking the word apart that Christ used – NICO means to conquer, LAITANE, the laity – therefore Nicolaitanes means CONQUER THE LAITY or congregation. YES, it is one thing to know that this Nicolaitane spirit was a conquering spirit from the ministry ruling over that church which also affected the age, and furthermore affected everyone of the next six ages, including our present age until the very end. We further know, this spirit that came upon the elders (ministers) later led the church away from the fivefold ministry as God had set it in the church and led it into a domineering priesthood who carried the church into Nicea 325 A.D., and on into the Dark Ages under a Trinitarian doctrine! Yes, we know what eventually happened because this spirit got into the church. The important question I ask each reader as we read together between the lines: WHY WAS IT EVER THOUGHT BY SOME PEOPLE AT EPHESUS THAT SUCH A SPIRIT OVER THE CONGREGATION WAS DEEMED NECESSARY? WERE THEY NOT HAPPY IN THEIR OPEN FELLOWSHIP, SHARING THE GREAT BLESSING OF GOD TOGETHER IN TESTIMONY, ETC.? Then why was such action deemed necessary? Nevertheless, what happened played right into the hands of Satan as some 400 years later, through a priesthood, he carried the church into the darkest ages known to church history! Christ is rebuking this church whose influence is affecting the age because He didn’t want the church to go this route and demands the church repent and return to its first works – of which it did not!


For a period of time let us examine more in detail what actually caused this conquering spirit in the first place to ever take hold of the ministry. Why did the ministry deem it necessary to take such action which involved the removing of certain congregational freedom of the people? Recall, these deeds, hated by Christ, were caused from the action of someone. No, it wasn’t the janitor nor from the congregation!


At first no doubt that conquering spirit was only upon a certain portion of ministry at Ephesus, and recall what was done was not accomplished over night. I am sure those men’s idea to do this thing was not on the spur of the moment. There was a condition developing in the church of which the ministry thought necessary action on their part should be taken to curb this serious problem.


Whatever these deeds were in their accomplishment had greatly hindered and displeased God, and furthermore will bring the church into a spiritual decline of which Christ will find no pleasure.


Ephesus, that influential church, having now that domineering spirit of the ministry ruling over the laity, had all eyes of the other gentile churches walking in the same message or revelation throughout Asia Minor looking upon her in such a way they too according to scripture had been influenced to follow the same procedure or take the same precaution though curtailing certain congregational liberties with their churches. However, what is so pathetic, the deeds which occurred here at Ephesus (though not a doctrine) were something that would spread everywhere, especially as we see the Pergamos Church before 95 A.D., which , by the way, would be the gentile church in Asia Minor to exemplify in spiritual type what the 3rd church age would be like as it closed out, going into the 4th church age, Thyatira. Pergamos, as we are told, wasn’t just doing deeds, they had already taken the deed of action at Ephesus and made a doctrine of it! They were teaching it, they were putting it into practice and other churches would be following their example!


(2) DEEDS OR FIRST STEP OF THIS CONQUERING SPIRIT – What is the definition of a deed? Webster Dictionary defines a deed as: a thing done, or the act of doing something, or it is action expressed. Through Paul’s lifetime there was no such thing as the deed of the Nicolaitanes, therefore, this conquering spirit only appears sometime after the death of the first church age messenger and somewhere before 95 A.D. Therefore, it is here we must read between the lines using what scriptural knowledge we already have to determine what took place in less than 30 years. We are sure something definitely happened at Ephesus which necessitated action on the part of the elders of whom Paul declared the Holy Ghost had made overseers of the flock to guard them, Acts 20:25-31. Why had this conquering spirit gotten upon the ministry who were already weakened by the continual harassing of the false apostles, false revelations, etc. What promoted this spirit to act? These are the things which hold the secret to the deeds of the Nicolaitanes. No, it is not simply enough to know that Nicolaitanes was a ruling, domineering spirit over the congregation by why was it ever deemed necessary by this church ministry that a spirit of this nature act or perform the thing called a deed? No doubt as the continual harassment of these false teachers who needed Ephesus as a launching pad into influential prestige among the other churches following in the message whereby they might be looked up to as some great person, and the fact Paul spoke of such teachers as heretics of which he said, after the first and second admonition reject. Titus 3:10, could be the very things which prompted the elders to take this first step they did in removing certain congregational freedoms and liberties. Yes, it is true Paul said reject such characters as this, however, no where did he teach to change the order of the church or remove certain congregational liberties by which the people were being so greatly blessed in order to stop the appearance or shut the door on these anti-christ spirits parading through the gentile church world!


SEARCHING FOR SHORTEST EFFECTIVE ROUTE


Get this, the leadership of the church has grown tired, become exhausted and weakened over this continual bombardment of false ideas and testimonies and with their first love being extinguished, there seems only one thing to do, that is shut the door on this stuff which has caused such heartache. Instead of these men at Ephesus relying upon the wisdom of God through His nine gifts of the spirit as they had done in the past to expose the thing as error, they now look only for the shortest and easiest route to eliminate all such things from the congregation.


Through their elimination process they not only shut the door on the false, they shut the door on everything that comes along. Their feeling is, there is so much false going on we will not allow anyone to preach here we personally do not know. Beloved, when they closed the doors noone was allowed to preach except the ministry already in there! Slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit is now beginning to be dampened and the precious 9 gifts of the Spirit which had edified, uplifted, instructed and revealed many things to the congregation, now begin to dwindle as the church is losing its first love and spiritual eyes! Yes, it all began as an action or deed on the part of the elders to curb a condition which had prevailed for some time and to curt this action, rather than brand these men as heretics, notify congregations they had left the faith, call them by name as Paul did, (I Timothy 1:19-20, II Timothy 2:17-18) they took the easy route and shut the door on everything which grieved the Spirit of God more and more until finally in 95 A.D., they received this letter from God himself demanding their repentance! No you can’t blame this deed on the congregation, janitor or someone of that nature, the blame goes directly to the ministry who was looking for an easy way out of this dilemma, an act which at first seemed harmless. Correcting the problem was fine, that should have been done! What grieved God was the method used in eliminating their problem. In the long run it had proven to be a trick of Satan for the long range program which would end in the Dark Ages! These elders could not see that at the time, seeing they had already lost that close fellowship and communion with Christ as He informed them they were leaving their first love. That with the fact they were running scared caused them to take away certain congregational liberties to curb their problem.


SATAN AND HIS SCARECROWS


Recall, when Satan desires to catch the church in a plot or snare he will always throw out a few scarecrows to get the people’s attention looking in another direction as he runs through the door and lays his trap, while all the time the thing or object the people have been watching was nothing other than Satan’s scarecrow! Yes, the objective is to get you to look away while he runs past and leads you into the trap he has set for you. God had taken Paul and in three years practically crippled Satan’s kingdom throughout Asia, beginning at Ephesus. This religion which highly exalted a woman called Diana lost untold converts to the new revelation of Jesus Christ. Satan would not take such a blow sitting down, instead he sought to return the people back into a false religion wherein within less than 600 years he had succeeded to bringing in a priesthood to replace the fivefold ministry God had set in the church, and slowly the people are turned down the revelation of Paul back to a pagan religion where the center of the religion is another woman whose name, this time is not Diana, but Mary! Such an act on the part of the elders had grieved the Spirit, (Ephesians 4:30) who could no longer work freely among His people through His nine gifts of the Spirit nor His gifted fivefold ministry outside this particular body of fellowship. Nevertheless, it was the feeling of the elders at Ephesus because the fellowship there was so open it represented such free access for these false teachers, apostles, etc., and even those among themselves to rise up and do much harm to the body. Their manner of worship which Paul had left to them was making it too simple for these false teachers to gain access of standing in the congregation testifying to their false theories. What they were going to do was shut the door on all this.


OTHER CHURCHES FOLLOW EXAMPLESHIP


Satan could sacrifice the loss of the opportunity to invade the privacy of the church through the false teachers seeing that was nothing but a scarecrow anyway to drive these men into this excited state of action because Satan knew only too well, it would curb and eventually cause this God given leadership, of which route God had chosen to bless his people to leave the scene also. The eyes of all the church world was upon Ephesus (especially Asia) seeing the messenger to the age had pastored here and the feeling from the other churches was, if any church in the message knew the leadership of God for the hour, it must be the church at Ephesus. Naturally, the other churches facing somewhat the same problem, though not nearly the extent Ephesus was, thought it proper procedure to follow the EXAMPLESHIP of Ephesus. However, what was only a deed or act of doing something at Ephesus, certain other churches took this deed of action and went so far as to make a doctrine of it! That which was only a mere deed at Ephesus became a doctrine at Pergamos before 95 A.D.


HOW NICOLAITANE SPIRIT DREW STRENGTH


A moment ago we stated after the door was closed at Ephesus and other churches followed their example, and the Spirit of God could no longer have control of their services; where once the great blessing of God had been present, soon became a vacuum. We know a vacuum does not stay empty, something will fill its place and to take its place or fill the vacuum came the necessity to place more and more emphasis upon the ministry, lifting it higher and higher.


Why was this? Recall, the people of Ephesus are mainly converts from that once powerful Diana religion and in their heathen ways before converted it was a normal procedure to allow a heathen priest to rule and domineer their life. Their pagan background of priesthood is responsible as they had been taught to place the priest of Diana upon a pedestal and highly exalt them. Thus the convert having turned to Christ after taking such an open beating from these false teachers, and seeing how the elders have now taken this step they feel will protect them as this deed became an act on their part to shut out this kind of spirit whereby it may no longer attack them or at least they wouldn’t have to put up with it, now they began to exalt the ministry!


FROM HOLY GHOST LEADERSHIP TO MANMADE LEADERSHIP


As the nine gifts of the spirit fade from the assembly and the joy leaves as well, the program of the church slowly begins to change! Now instead of Holy Ghost leadership it becomes man’s own carnal leadership and ceremonial rituals. No, it did not immediately become a priesthood, however, these men began to steer the course exactly like that of the priesthood until it became a form, day in and day out. Gifts began to vanish from the assembly, as well as true revelation which had fed their hearts. Slowly but surely this all created a vacuum. It creates a hunger in some but a satisfaction in others, because you always have that element of people who wouldn’t know a revelation from a theory. Revelation doesn’t concern them, they are only interested in a short sermon in order to get out quickly, to go home! No, let it be understood they have not as yet taken the attitude or set themselves up as priests, however, they are taking on a priestly attitude in the way they handle things. Month after month this continues and that which first a few men did to correct a situation as the church came under attack by the anti-christ spirit, the church now begins to become more motivated and controlled by a certain party of men.


Ephesus reaches a standstill. That love which once they had – diminishes, as Ephesus is now controlled by this Nicolaitane spirit and the ministry which once came through those doors to take the great congregation onward into new heights of the Spirit is heard no more. Satan has set his trap which he will spring several hundred year later at Nicea Council 325 A.D.! This conquering spirit, or deeds of the Nicolaitanes, took hold of the congregation as they no longer were a congregation taught by the revelation of the Spirit. The Spirit now grieved can no longer move among them. Satan had now thrust his dart to the very heart of the church and spiritually killed it, which was his main objective. Now can you see the DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANES and what caused it? It was caused by those minor anti-christ spirits continually harassing the church until it forced the church to do something, either to rely completely upon God and His inspiration or take the easier way and rely on carnality and the inspiration of the devil who had built a plot to bring the church to naught.


PERGAMOS MAKES DOCTRINE


No sooner had Ephesus done what she did and Pergamos heard about it. Pergamos now becoming more worldly minded each day, took this and made a doctrine out of it, teaching it as a mandatory thing! Because of that spirit, beloved, the devil used Pergamos’s doctrine because recall, Pergamos exemplifies the 3rd Church Age. It was that very spirit which sat at the Nicea Council, held a few miles from the coast of Pergamos in 325 A.D., when, of all people, Constantine the Roman Emperor gathered all the bishops together for a settlement on the doctrine of the Godhead! That spirit which was at Ephesus became a doctrine at Pergamos sewing the seeds and building the groundwork in that universal (priesthood) ministry whereby at Nicea the ministry which started in the first church age of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists was not something of the past! Church rituals had been manufactured to fill the vacuum of true worship and freedom of the moving of the Spirit. And get this, that great revelation of the one God as taught by the Apostle Paul at Ephesus slowly is covered over by the theory of two other persons in the Godhead. That church which was a great light and where God lit his candle to shine across all Asia, before 155 A.D., had already accepted and begun to teach and baptize into the Trinitarian theory! HOW ART THE MIGHTY (CHURCH) FALLEN!


PART 4 – AFTER 1900 YEARS HAS HISTORY REPEATED ITSELF?


How well do I remember back before 1955, the Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana, a church and a lighthouse that I feel served in this age to the gentile Laodicean Church Age the same direction and purpose as did that of Ephesus where God lit his candle in the first age. A church that possessed great revelation due to the fact the messenger to the Laodicean Church Age, the final age, stood and taught the revelation of truth as did the Apostle Paul, fulfilling the office of Malachi 4:5-6, Revelation 10:7, as he was bringing a people back unto the true revelation of the Word.


EARLY DAYS AND OPEN FELLOWSHIP


How well do I recall those early years when one was permitted to shake hands within the church with his brother or sister, something that is of a scarcity among people of this message today. It was an hour when the service had finished, it was not thought strange to see the prophet himself standing in the middle of the church aisle, inside the house of God, perhaps with a dozen people standing around him as he told them of the goodness of God, many times until after 11 o’clock when finally everyone would go home. However, these are scenes that are witnessed no more at this great lighthouse to the gentile age. New rulings have long since gone into effect, however back in those early days, that is before the Tabernacle actually became a prominent drawing card and known around the world as that of Ephesus, and before all these off-color characters (spiritually speaking) began to crown into the picture who forced the Branham Tabernacle to make an order removing certain congregational liberties which affected everything from the back seat to the pulpit. WHY? Because certain things had gotten completely out of hand or completely out of scriptural order in the church.


AFTER 9 YEARS – LOOK!!


May I say the remarks I will make are not made because I am bitter or have some personal ax to grind with anyone. My only interest is, ARE WE OBEYING THE WORD OF GOD? Did you know after nine years of such an order that was produced in the Branham Tabernacle to eliminate many problems which had arisen within their own congregation as certain people were taking far too much liberty causing an extreme amount of confusion and resulting in an embarrassment upon the ministry and the lighthouse itself and churches everywhere feeling, as did Pergamos in the first age, that they too must insert this order, not actually knowing why only that the prophet had placed it within his own church in Jeffersonville, such assemblies are dead having no more leadership of God than the Roman priesthood, who, in the beginning destroyed the original fivefold ministry set in by God and commanded to be left in force until this ministry had brought us all into the perfect unity of the faith, (which has never yet been accomplished) and secondly killed the gifts of the spirit which led and blessed and instructed those first assemblies. After nine long years these assemblies who took it upon themselves to copy or patten themselves after the Branham Tabernacle in respect to a CHURCH ORDER which was being used strictly for a punishment upon an unruly segment of the congregation has killed all movement of the Holy Spirit in their assemblies! For since then it has been difficult for the Spirit of God to find freedom in such congregations as these, to operate His gifts and being the Spirit He is, one easily grieved, (Ephesians 4;30) most of such assemblies have become strictly led only by certain individuals within the congregation. Today, it has reached the point that few in this message know the difference between CHURCH ORDER and SCRIPTURAL ORDER IN THE CHURCH.


SCRIPTURAL ORDER IN CHURCH, WHAT IS IT?


WHAT IS ORDER IN THE CHURCH? It is anything sanctioned by the Word of God! Anything the Word of God sanctions is perfectly in order in the church until certain individuals within the congregation oversteps those scriptural God given privileges within a fellowship and must undergo correction, as what happened in the Branham Tabernacle more than nine years ago. May I say, the prophet was perfectly entitled to whip his unruly children of the church in any manner he saw necessary to discipline them, however, for someone else to take this deed of action by the Branham Tabernacle and the prophet himself, place it in their own church, teaching it as a doctrine as they did in Pergamos saying, all churches and pastors who do not follow this procedure are not in the message, nor in the bride of Christ, is going too far! The day any individual tells you, you must whip your church children in your congregation as did the prophet sone nine years ago when there is no cause for you to do likewise, seeing your problem is not the same as was his, you don’t have the lighthouse that reached across the gentile world; you don’t have these characters and certain individuals overstepping their scriptural liberties within the congregation, and for some individual to say unless you do the same thing you are not in the message, and take that order and use it as a whip or a means to frighten people and churches into a certain line of thought which can lead only to total spiritual disaster and a complete driving away of the liberties of the Spirit among his people when there is no cause whatsoever, is to play into the hands of Satan to destroy the very revelation of truth which has delivered unto a people in this hour to place them back within that same early church fellowship with the Holy Spirit they had in the days of Paul and the early fivefold ministry.


Therefore, the CHURCH ORDER, which was merely a deed of action used in order to correct certain problems developed in one church, became a DOCTRINE and a guideline to others as to whether or not you are in the body of Christ or in the message of the hour unless you yield and accept it as a DOCTRINE into your congregation accepting those certain regulations governing the gifts of the Spirit, which was one of the major problems in the Branham Tabernacle – when you don’t even have any gifts of the Spirit in operation WHY WOULD YOU NEED AN ORDER TO REGULATE THEM? Don’t you know a saddle is to be put upon a LIVE HORSE and NOT A DEAD WOODEN DUMMY!! Unless your people have gotten completely out of order, why would you want to punish them by taking away their liberties as so many did? Is there any wonder the Spirit of God was so grieved whereupon nine years later these churches who accepted this as a doctrine has driven the Holy Spirit far from their idea of worship! Yes, beloved, we have reached the point today, nine years later, certain men have taken it upon themselves to push this church order which could only be applied to one place and that was THE LIGHTHOUSE OF THE AGE! Men, first of all, who did not even have enough spirituality and God given leadership about them to know what they had in their minds of doing would kill every precious assembly, driving out the Spirit and the gifts as they used it for a whip or a club over people’s head! There is nothing one of these characters could have done that could have pleased Satan more! They did not seem to have enough spirituality to know to leave the order where it belonged or had been originally placed in the beginning! Therefore, we have reached the place that thousands know what the CHURCH ORDER was (as it was used for a correction rod) but they DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURAL ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY.


WHAT IS ORDER IN THE CHURCH? It is anything that has a scriptural O.K. on it! THAT IS TRUE BIBLICAL ORDER IN THE CHURCH! If it is scriptural praise, it is order in the church! If it is preaching, it is order in the church; if it is singing, it is order in the church; if it is gifts being divinely operated by the Spirit, it most certainly is order in the church. WHY? Because it is all scripturally sanctioned and okayed by the Word of God. That alone is what makes it order by the church. However, and don’t ever forget this, because this is partially what happened at the Branham Tabernacle causing that order to go into effect – if anyone is misusing any of that mentioned above or anything else of a scriptural nature whether it be praise, singing, preaching, prophesying or whatever then it becomes an act or deed of necessity to correct any misusage of that which has already overstepped its spiritual liberties!


MANY MISUSED FACTORS PROMPTED CHURCH ORDER


Therefore, as I stated earlier, in those years before the 60’s when the Branham Tabernacle had not become such a prominent drawing card like that of Ephesus and every so-called preacher with every kind of idea had not as yet linked himself into ths unspoiled picture, I can well remember for example, standing in the vestibule within the old building as Bro. Branham had delivered a lengthy sermon on some major Bible teaching that morning and we would be gathered back in the evening for the night service when in those days they came from far and near, from the East, West; from Texas to Maine, Canada etc., and there would always find certain characters standing – blocking the hallway, handing out tracts which would pertain to their own personal idea. Never will I forget one particular evangelist standing there one night in the vestibule with his revelation on HOW MANY WERE ON THE CROSS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT THE CRUCIFIXION ,ETC. Such things became a common sight of which down at Faith Assembly and many other congregations we did not have such problems, standing there in the vestibule of the Tabernacle teaching their own personal little doctrines to a dozen men or whoever they might corner, filling their heads with all kinds of ideas before the service. Imagine when a people had come from all over the U.S. and many parts of the world to hear an end-time prophet proclaim a great revelation as his message was restoring us back to Bible truth when he would have to follow such characters who had overstepped their liberty to promote their own ideas before the prophet came to speak! Or sitting in the church itself, talking and yakking to perhaps 6-12 others concerning their own revelation, God forbid that a prophet of this caliber would have to take a bunch of minds like that and try to get them straightened out in about 1 hour and 45 minutes, seeing all this other garbage had been dumped into their ears! I ask you, what would you do? Really, what I feel should have been done, however I can only speak for Faith Assembly Church, the deacons should have shown these characters the front door and said GET OUT OF HERE AS YOUR INTENTIONS ARE NOT WALK IN THE TUE REVELATIONS OF CHRIST, and still leave the church door open as these are the exact instructions the deacons of Faith Assembly Church have from me personally considering any such characters who invade our assembly. And as the little song goes, when the people get to acting up in the pew what should you do – THROW THEM OUT, but leave the church door open and let the church roll on!


Another problem arising in those days was people had come along who portrayed themselves to be so spiritual and in line with this truth, yet wouldn’t live right, refusing to pay their just and honest debts. In other words, dead-beats for the most part! However, they enjoyed standing in the open congregation of fellowship and operating spiritual gifts. See when you have such a collection of things which converge on the church and these conditions seemingly get no better only prevail worse and worse, what would you do? You are forced to act and the fact you act or what you do becomes a deed. You are forced to act because of prevailing conditions. And I say, with all due respect to this great man of God which God so greatly used in this hour who knew, because of these many arising circumstances which was greatly affecting the spirituality of this lighthouse in which God chose to light his candle to the gentiles to spread the full revelation of truth to the 7th and final church age restoring a Bride people back to the unadulterated Word of God, and probably not aware of the fact in a few years after making this church order he would be off the scene, leaving the order to run in every direction or to about anyone’s interpretation as to what is was all about, something had to be done to correct these who had overstepped their rights as a believer. And because of his own personal makeup, a kind, loving, easygoing man who didn’t enjoy hurting anyone (instead of making an example out of this individuals) he made a church order which affected not only those guilty of trespasses, but also affected the innocent as well! For the order covered everything from the back seat to the Bible stand.


RESULTS OF INDIVIDUALS PUSHING CHURCH ORDER


Let me go on record as saying, as unwise characters began to push this church order out of its original bonds where it was supposed to be kept, like what happened at Pergamos etc., now after nine long years of this in other churches, placing it where it had no business has completely killed off the nine gifts of the Spirit which are supposed to be in the church of which this message was supposed to call out a people to be ready to go with the Lord who would have those nine gifts of the Spirit in operation within their local assemblies. After nine long years of misguided individuals taking this one order of correction, given to and for the BRANHAM TABERNACLE ONLY, having used it in such a pathetic way, it has spread enough fear, doubt, unrest, distrust and created enough spiritual disease that the nine gifts and nine fruits of spirit lay dormant and yet everyone is crying HOW WILL IT ALL END, and some are even going so far to teach and believe it is going to take a PERSONAL RESURRECTION of Bro. Branham to return and straighten out this mess in order for it to be ever ready to go in the rapture.


PAUL NOT RAISED TO CORRECT FIRST AGE


All I have to say is this, according to the scripture God didn’t resurrect Paul to come back from the grave to straighten out that first age after it had followed Ephesus’ exampleship and made a doctrine out of the thing crippling the influence of the spirit of God to move through his church, destroying the authority of the fivefold ministry and brining in a priesthood which carried it into the Dark Ages. NO, GOD DID NOT RESURRECT PAUL AFTER HIS DEATH, but He did speak through John on the Isle of Patmos saying to Ephesus, You left your first love and have there those who hold deeds of the Nicolaitanes of which I hate. Therefore I command you to repent, else I take away your candlestick. Oh, I realize after nine years when I make a statement like this people who have no scriptural grounds to hold to and have no intentions of returning to the scriptural truth in which this prophet’s life was dedicated to restore us unto before Christ would come for a Bride whereby at the wedding supper we would be a people all believing the same thing, these people will say oh, YOU ARE SPEAKING AGAINST THE PROPHET! You see, that is what they always say, because they do not have anything scriptural to support them, therefore, they hide behind this favorite statement.


I WANT TO SAY AGAIN JUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THESE INDIVIDUALS, I AM NOT SPEAKING AGAINST WHAT THE PROPHET DID IN HIS OWN CHURCH, AND FURTHERMORE, WHEN I VISIT THAT ASSEMBLY I AM COURTEOUS TO OBSERVE EVERY RULE MADE BY THAT GREAT MAN OF GOD CONCERNING THIS ORDER OF CORRECTION MADE FOR HIS LOCAL ASSEMBLY. But brother, God forbid the man who says simply because the prophet did a certain thing in a certain way as he saw fit to spank his unruly child, that I must in turn spank my child the same when my child may not have done this, THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! God is not looking for copycats of this nature, He is looking for people who will copy after the one and only – THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! Question: If you had 7 children and only one overstepped his privilege, would you punish all 7 or only the one who overstepped his privilege?


Therefore, when this certain CHURCH ORDER went into effect at the Branham Tabernacle, true it stopped those characters from sitting long hours in advance of the service teaching their own private doctrines to a dozen people or standing in the vestibule expressing their own views and distributing their tracts, however, it didn’t stop them from moving out into the parking lot, because the order only covered the inside of the building. At least they couldn’t do it within the meeting house anymore! It stopped the false prophesying from the congregation, but don’t forget IT ALSO STOPPED THE TRUE PROPHECY which had also been coming from out of the congregation. You see, the true also suffered! And now that CHURCH ORDER has been in affect for some nine years, all over this country, an order intended for only one place, simply because of unscriptural dealings by certain individuals, it now not only affects one place as it was originally intended, it seriously affects multitudes of other places! After nine years the hearts of many people know something is wrong and perhaps even see their gross error, only are too proud to admit it. That’s a gentile for you. In general he is too proud to admit he was ever wrong. I want to say, had they left the order alone where it was originally intended to be, the message itself could have moved on in the Spirit of the Lord! When the prophet himself said after making this disciplinary order to affect his local church, WE WILL LEAVE IT IN FOR A WHILE THEN WE WILL SEE WHAT THE LORD WILL HAVE US TO DO ABOUT IT! It was definitely his intention after it had served its purpose at this one location to have been lifted, however, before the prophet could do this he was taken from the scene and this order, as it was picked up by others who didn’t care if a gift ever operated, who didn’t care whether God’s blessings ever flowed through the congregation, their orders became, get rid of your tambourines, get rid of your guitars and your special singings. In reality they were saying get rid of everything God could use to bless a soul with an then they would use the church order, as a whipping post, to get their carnal ideas across! Until today it has reached the place preaching church order, to these characters of which they can find no scriptural grounds for doing, has become more important than seeing a soul walk in the true revelation or be baptized in the same Jesus Christ! It seems the subject of CHURCH ORDER was the first thing a preacher wanted to get in the pulpit with and begin to hammer and beat everyone else in the face with, using such unscriptural phrase to frighten people as, God will severely judge you if you don’t or your are not in the message thus you couldn’t be in the Bride! Throw out those tambourines, guitars and special music!


BLINDED INDIVIDUALS DRIVE OUT SPIRIT


Therefore, these individuals drove out what little Spirit had remained in these assemblies robbing them of their personal joy and oral expression of liberty and most of all destroyed the gifts of the Spirit from operating in the church. Now you sing two songs, have a short prayer, read out of the books and simply say something about the prophet, dismiss the service and go home feeling – BOY, WE SURE ARE IN THE MESSAGE AND READY FOR THE RAPTURE, when beloved, they who walk in that kind of attitude and atmosphere are as the old saying, “DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL”! Why, the Baptist have more Spirit than that! No, I am not making fun, but I realize after nine years what this has done to the churches and what the church has come to. These poor people haven’t manifested a gift of God since that day! Naturally, after nine years why should they believe in them. After nine years of all this they have no more spirit or know anything more about God. No, it is sad to say they don’t even know as much as they did nine years before about God and won’t ever know. WHY? Because they invited this into their hearts and shut the door on the leadership and manifestation of the Spirit of God!


OVERCOMERS IN EACH AGE


Christ continually says to the churches, he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh (overcometh what?). This condition within the church and to the age. I say, as it was in that hour of the Ephesus Age, it is up to the individual to overcome those things which hinder them as well as the worldly conditions of the hour. It is up to the individual to recognize his own liberty in the Word of God as God through His sovereign grace gives him the liberty to be in and participate as a yielded vessel in the plan of God. Yes, it is up to the individual to overcome those spiritual conditions, rise up and shake himself and walk in the love of God, allowing the joy of salvation to live within his heart. The condition itself will go on, not getting any better yet, God says to the individual, to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Oh, how thankful I am there is a great promise of what we may have access to in the other life if we overcome!


MANY IGNORANT OF REASON FOR CHURCH ORDER


I have met people across the country who had no idea why CHURCH ORDER was ever brought into effect in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Many people have their idea that the prophet needed all the time himself and that is what caused it to be made. Well, if that be true then what about the great percentage of time he wasn’t there? He certainly didn’t need the time then and what about since he has been gone these seven years, he certainly hasn’t needed the time. No beloved, that is not why CHURCH ORDER was made! I remember so well when I first began going to the Tabernacle when it had an open fellowship, it was this very thing that made me feel so at home. No sooner had we set down then someone shook our hand and said we are glad to see you, where are you from etc., and after the service invited us to return. Although when I heard that man speak for the first time in my heart I knew I was going to return. After preaching he would come down and stand in the aisle where we would all talk until late hours before going home and we felt like we had been to church!


SATAN MUDDIES WATER IN OPEN FELLOWSHIP


However, it wasn’t long before you could sense there were these certain individual people who didn’t want the Holy Ghost to move, some of them who were out of certain denominational churches who sat in high places, who wouldn’t give their tithe there but instead send it back to a denominational church. Beloved, I have never done a dirty trick like that! I believe in paying my grocery bill where I buy my groceries! And in those days the congregation was always left open for the Holy Spirit to have option in whatever it saw fit to do. And so, often the Spirit would move and bless the people. There was always someone who wanted to make a fuss about it. Nevertheless, God would move back the opposition as He moved in with enough momentum for a short period of time it would seem like the Holy Spirit was going to have complete authority and the right to work and do as it pleased Him in the congregation. You can rest assured when the devil knows that, he will have to put another shot in the arm. Then it wasn’t long until people would take advantage of testimony time talking about things which should be thrown in the trash can and every time it seemed the Holy Spirit would give the opportunity and liberty to testify of God’s goodness, these same individuals always wanted to hassle and wrangle about foolish things, which isn’t testimony but complaining! And coming to prayer requests, some people don’t seem to know the difference between prayer requests and how sick someone’s dog is. I am not complaining, I am presenting you a picture of when people have liberty in the congregation how the devil doesn’t like it and does everything possible to muddy the water!


ORDER MADE AFFECTING ALL RATHER THAN HUMILIATE GUILTY

What does he do, he shoots just enough human nature and ideas into it to aggravate the situation and create a condition. Rather than humiliate anyone or make anyone a victim of circumstance, let us just make an order. This will be done and that will be done and when we have done this for a while we will see what the Lord will have us to do. No sooner was this said and done sure, it stopped the testifying, the prayer requests and those long-winded preachers who couldn’t say anything, but the word of the prophet, when the congregation already knew the word of the prophet – beloved, let me say, if the name of Jesus Christ cannot become the central theme of your message and your preaching and still be thankful in your hearts to God He was kind enough to send a prophet to straighten out our thinking and put us back in the truth of the Bible, then there is something carnally wrong in our minds. Because I want you to know all prophets prior to Christ’s coming, as well as these since His coming, God has willed that everyone who preaches anything in respect to this gospel preaches it centered around and about the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ said if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me, nevertheless, I once heard an individual make the remark about this scripture, which pertained only to Christ hanging on the cross, saying, He was going to lift up William Branham. Beloved, may I say this, if you don’t lift up Jesus Chris who died on the cross, I have my doubts that very much of the atonement which flowed from the cross of Calvary will ever be your portion! Everyone knows when Bro. William Branham preached he magnified and lifted up that Christ who hung on the cross and never once was it ever his intentions to be lifted up himself. The virtue of Calvary didn’t come from this man, however, by the spirit of this man he pointed you through the revelation to that Christ.


Yes, as I said, this church order stopped those long-winded preacher in the pulpit who couldn’t say anything but, the word of the prophet, although once the prophet himself had delivered a lengthy message those individuals couldn’t wait until they had dashed to the outside world and because they had no leadership of the Holy Spirit to guide them to know what God was doing, their feelings like Pergamos was WHATEVER IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE TABERNACLE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HERE! Beloved, through their diabolical leadings they have placed the church in the state it is as they have killed out the Spirit and His nine gifts and diseased the nine fruits of the Spirit, as they took their whip (this order) and did worse to the grace of God than the Catholic Church ever did!


Church order placed in other churches did not kill the Spirit in every assembly because some were ALREADY DEAD!


MANY WEIRD IDEAS SINCE CHURCH ORDER


Briefly I want to show you I am not ignorant of what I am speaking, of how the spirit which has led these people has now led them into revelations straight out of the pit. I say the man I heard called William Branham the prophet, what he taught me placed me BACK IN THE BIBLE, and if you haven’t been placed BACK IN THE BIBLE you are still wandering and drifting today! To any of our new readers who might not understand what I am teaching and you think this is simply awful, you should have set in some of those early apostolic churches before 96 A.D. when the elders at Ephesus had clamped down on the Spirit of God and heard some of those ridiculous revelations which floated through the congregation!


Recently I received a call from a very disturbed person who had been in this message two years. Somehow they had received one of our Contenders with the message REVEALED SCRIPTURES PRODUCE CONSISTENCY. The individual informed me how because of a deep hunger for God they had been led from a certain denominational church and had been given some literature concerning what Bro. Branham had taught. Later they began to attend this certain church whereupon as the months passed by instead of being helped they realized they were becoming more confused. The person said, I was aware God has sent a prophet and what he had taught was supposed to put me back in the Apostolic faith, however, the more I listened in this certain place I wasn’t hearing at all what I had been reading. I was only hearing certain parts. It soon reached a place I was very disturbed. Each time they got in the pulpit it seemed every other word, said this individual, was THE PROPHET, THE PROPHET, until they began to wonder WHERE WAS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN ALL THIS. If I dared open my mouth, continued this person, people would try to hush me up with this phrase, NOW DON’T YOU BLASPHEME! I heard this until I thought my life was dominated by fear. Now, the caller said they have taken the extreme in this church to teach that people should remain unmarried. Remember, I said, Paul wrote to Timothy saying in the latter days some (thank God not all) would depart from the faith teaching that very doctrine. I know where that idea came from, it came from certain individuals’ personal interpretation of what their twisted minds understood Bro. Branham to mean when he preached on MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE. No, they didn’t get that idea from the Bible. And I said to this person, those poor people who didn’t take on that kind of spirit, got influenced by another which is just as rotten, referring to one’s mate that if you feel God did not give you the right one, ditch her and get another, or else just keep her and get a second one. Beloved, it is time we returned to this Bible! I am only saying these things to show you when the people wandered off the trail once they accepted a church order because it did not pertain to their assembly as it was used strictly for disciplinary action.


To show you how far this thing had drifted, many who took that route (of church order) since now driving the Holy Spirit from their churches, no teach no one has the Holy Ghost, and I personally doubt that anyone who remains very long in that atmosphere does have the Holy Ghost. A friend of mine, doing missionary work in Trinidad has made three visits, said each time he visited the island things were drifting further and further into the state of apostasy. Men from our local area, who are supposed to be a part of this message, had been on the island teaching in churches that no one was born again until they came into this message. That, by the way, is what they were teaching last spring. However, on his recent journey he discovered the northern part of the island where churches had been established in this message, all of them had been caught up in this teaching as he was given no opportunity to speak in any of them. One pastor whom he questioned was bold enough, who had this diabolical spirit upon him so strongly that not only did he explain it to the missionary, he wrote it down, dated and signed it and we have a copy. It goes like this; THERE HAS BEEN NO ONE BORN AGAIN APART OR OUTSIDE OF WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM SINCE THE DAYS OF THE NICEA COUNCIL UNTIL THE DAY THE SEVEN SEALS WERE REVEALED BY WILLIAM BRANHAM, GOD’S PROPHET IN 1963. There has been no one between these two periods of time born again outside the prophet.


Now do you see why some misguided souls go through the land teaching no one has received the baptism of the Holy Ghost because they certainly do not have it themselves.! If they did, they would not teach such rotten stuff from the pit and think THEY GOT IT EVERY BIT OFF A MESSAGE ENTITLED, “THAT STATUE OF A PERFECT MAN.” When Bro. Branham taught that message he never intended for anyone to develop such a carnal opinion as that. He preached that message to get you back in the Bible as he preached all his messages; to make a real Christian out of you wherein Christ might dwell in your life, and certainly he was not responsible for such a weird teaching as that! Such characters as these running over the country are ruining God’s people! Instead of helping them go forward, they are responsible for them going backward, and what they can’t make go backward they cause them to go sideways. And they say to me, Bro. Jackson, you know we have to have love! Beloved, I say these sheep killing dogs, or dumb dogs as Isaiah called them, wouldn’t know the love of God if they saw a boxcar load of it! The only thing they love is for you to get deceived like they are, get in the same ship with them and sail out in no-man’s land far, far away from the truth! REMEMBER, BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER!